|Dr. Shashank Shah with Sri Sathya Sai at Kodaikanal - 2007|
The Universal Divine Mother Sai
|Goddess Adi Shakti|
The Devi Mahatyam, popularly known as the Durga Saptashati describes the various facets of the Mother Goddess in its verses:
‘Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu
Buddhi Rupena Samsthitaha,
Daya Rupena Samsthitaha
Maya Rupena Samsthitaha,
Kanti Rupena Samsthitaha,
Namastasyai, Namo Namaha.’
(I offer my obeisance to the Goddess who is present in all the beings as the intellect, the compassion, the delusion and the illumination.)
But the most significant verse of all is:
“Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu,
Matru Rupena Samsthitaha,
Namastasyai Namo Namah.”
(“I offer my obeisance to the Goddess who is present in all beings as the Mother.”)
For indeed, She is the source of all existence and sustenance of this creation. The love of Mother Sai, as Bhagavan describes, is that of a thousand mothers rolled into one. Swami says that when we are not able to understand the love of our physical mothers, how can we understand the love of the Divine Mother Sai?
Let us for a few moments dive deep into the ocean of the Divine Love of Mother Sai by recollecting and reliving a few incidents which enable us to taste sweetness of Her Divine love for Her Dearest children.
On one particular occasion, Bhagavan had instructed that Prasadam should be distributed in the Mandir and He was supervising the distribution of the Prasadam. We all know the fact that Bhagavan is aware of everything. He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. But sometimes we tend to overlook the fact that Bhagavan is physically very observant about the minutest details of every act. When the Prasadam was thus being distributed, Swami called one of the students and asked him whether he had received the Prasadam. The student replied that he had not. So, Swami personally gave him a packet of the Prasadam. But, what is most important to remember is what Swami said to that little boy. The sentence is a message, a reminder for each and every one of us. Swami said, “Listen My child, your brothers (pointing to the students) may forget you, (pointing to Himself) Your Mother will never ever forget you.” What a statement, nay, declaration! What an assurance to all of humanity for life times! What love!
|"Your mother will never ever forget you"|
|The Universal Mother|
When Bhagavan approached this little boy, He very lovingly accepted the offering of the grass flower from his tender hands. Thereafter, Swami went inside for a meeting with the office bearers of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation and the members of the Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Maharashtra. He came out of the inner complex only after over two hours. But till the time He came out, that little offering of love - that insignificant grass flower which was a very significant offering suffused with love by that little boy, occupied the prime position in Swami’s Divine Hands. Bhagavan sees the purity of intention and the intensity of devotion behind every act of ours. He is not pleased by external pomp and show, false appearances and pretenses. For Him, quality is important and quantity does not matter. Swami says very often, “I am Bhavapriya and not Bahyapriya.” Many, many years ago, nearly three and a half decades ago, during the Dasara celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam, Bhagavan used to personally distribute Prasadam to the thousands of devotees gathered at His Lotus Feet. He would personally serve Prasadam, bending and straightening, to each and every devotee, for hours on end. Many devotees would plead with Swami, “Swami, please take some rest, we shall finish the rest of the distribution.” And pat would come the reply from Him, “How can I take rest when these thousands are still hungry and waiting to receive the Prasadam?” Such is the love and concern of the Divine Mother.
|Sri Sathya Sai serving devotees at Puttaparthi in the 1950s|
|My Dear Child! |
You did great service...
There is no limit to Bhagavan’s love. The ocean may have its boundaries but the love of Bhagavan is far more vast, deep and expansive than the ocean. It knows no reason, no season, no language, no dialect, no caste, no creed, no religion, no race. It is universal, unsullied, and all-encompassing love.
|When the Mother gives Herself |
to the Child...
During the Divine Discourse given during Bhagavan’s 43rd Birthday Celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam on November 23, 1968, Swami said, “The various problems with which you come are mere baits to bring you here to Me. There is a far greater purpose to bring you to Me and that is to know the secret to higher life, to understand the uniqueness of the human birth and above all to realise the oneness with the Divine Self.”
Swami further added, “It is a very unique chance which has befallen mankind to be in the midst of the Avatar. Do not let go of this chance for it may not come again your way. Make the best use of it.”
Swami is everything for us. He is our dearest mother, our caring father, our affectionate kith and kin and the closest of friends. How can we ever repay the gratitude we owe to Bhagavan for all that He has done for us? Of course, He never considers it as a debt to be repaid. Swami had once said to one of the very old devotees, “Don’t pray that you can repay the debt of gratitude to Me, for let the debt continue so that we can be together always.”
Once a devotee had asked Swami, “Swami, I must have done a lot of Punyam (merit) in my previous birth that I am with you in this birth.” Pat came the reply from Bhagavan, “Not only the previous birth, in hundreds of previous births!”
We are so very blessed and fortunate to be in the midst of the Poorna Avatar of the Kali Age, the Supreme Divinity, The Shiva-Shakti in human form. Bhagavan had once said, “This Shiva-Shakti Avatar has never come in the past and will not come again in the future.” It is now and now alone that He is with us in this supra human, transcendental, blissful and beautiful form of Sathya Sai.
I express my heartfelt gratitude to Swami for all that He has done for me. I pray that we may be the recipients of His Pure, Infinite, Eternal and Divine Love - always…
Samastha Lokaha Sukhino Bhavantu...
- Dr. Shashank Shah
Department of Management Studies
Department of Management Studies
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus