In the year 1986, Bhagavan visited Kodaikanal along with a party of devotees and students of the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus. Enroute to Kodaikanal, Bhagavan halted at Dharmapuri, Salem, Dindigul and Palani to bless the devotees. He reached ‘Sai Kripa’ in Kodaikanal at 6 pm on 18th June 1986.
|Sathya Sai with Students at Kodaikanal - 1986|
Sri V. Srinivasan and his wife were shocked to hear Bhagavan’s decision to reside in the new guest house along with His party. Earlier in May 1984 when the guest house was under construction, Bhagavan had planned to allot it to the Rajmata of Navanagar. He had now decided to make that guest house His own residence. Bhagavan decided to change the guest house into a Mandir. Sri Srinivasan gladly accepted Bhagavan’s command and made preparations for the inauguration of the guest house on 19th June. Bhagavan inaugurated the guest house on 19th morning and named it ‘Sai Shruti’.
|Sai Sruthi Ashram at Kodaikanal|
The first historic and popular sessions of Bhagavan with His students started on that day. Along with the students, a few devotees like Col. Jogarao, Sri Indulal Shah, Smt. Sarla Shah, Smt. Brij Ratanlal, Sri Srinivasan, Smt. Vidya Srinivasan, Sri Mohandas Naidu and Sri Narasimha Chari were the blessed ones to attend that first Divine session at Kodaikanal.
During one of these sessions, Bhagavan materialised a Lingam, white in colour and about 3 inches in size. He said, “It is Vishwa Lingam and it represents the Universe.” He gifted it to Sri Indulal Shah and said, “Indulal Shah is the Chairman of the World Council of our Organisations. Therefore I am giving this Lingam which stands for the world, to him”. He instructed Smt. Sarla Shah, “Perform Abhishekam to the Lingam with milk everyday, and both of you partake of that milk. It will keep you healthy and strong”.
Bhagavan left for Ooty along with His entourage on 24th morning. He stayed there for a day and left for Whitefield the subsequent morning. Enroute, He waited at Mudumalai forest for the students who were following Him in a bus from Ooty. When the bus arrived with the boys, Bhagavan got into the bus and told them, “I wanted to take you for an elephant ride in the forest but there is no time now. Still, I will show you elephants and other animals on the roadside itself.” The bus moved slowly on the road in the midst of the forest so as to enable the boys to see the animals. Bhagavan enjoyed those moments like a child. For nearly an hour, the boys enjoyed the most delightful journey with their Divine Master. When the bus came out of the forest, Bhagavan went back to His car. He reached Brindavan at 10 pm on 25th June.
|Swami with the students during the bus ride|