Bharati Maiya Of Surat (Gujarat)
By Dr. D.J. Gadhia
Sai Samaran (Chapter 45, pages 323 – 329 )
After a laksharchana in a hall in Leicester, some devotees from London said to me, “We would like to see the ‘Mini Prashanti Nilayam’ in Wolverhampton” – i.e., the Sri Sathya Sai Temple in Ratibhai Patel’s house.
It was already 10:00pm and it took us two hours to get to Wolverhampton. We reached there at midnight and a few devotees from Manchester were sitting with Ratibhai. Among them was Bharati Maiya of ‘Ambica Niketa’ in Surat (Gujarat), who was visiting Manchester. She invited ‘this Das’ to come to Manchester and after two days I went there and heard the following true story about her.
At the age of ten years, Maiya used to worship Lord Krishna. Her devotion must have reached great heights – a continuation of her bhakti from previous lives – and Lord Krishna granted His darshan. The Lord advised her to worship Shakti (Devi Amba Ma) and she went to the temple of Gabbar in Gujarat and was initiated and started worshipping Amba Ma.
After ten years, Ma appeared in front of her and said, “You have to serve mankind in several ways. But first you have to build Ma’s temple”. She replied, “I do not have the means to build the Temple”. Ma suggested, “Collect just one rupee from everybody.”
Maiya started collecting one rupee from each person. Some devotees offered a hundred or even a thousand rupees, but she refused. After one year and nine months, she had collected one hundred and seventy five thousand rupees. Ma appeared again and said, “You have now collected enough for building the temple. Nobody but you can see me. Follow me and I will show you the site of the temple.”
Ma took Bharati to the banks of the Tappi River on Athwa Lines and said, “This is the place.” Maiya said, “You want me to build the temple here where Muslims kill goats!” Ma answered, “Don’t you know that I will come here as Mahakali and stay here with you?”
A committee was set up and the site was acquired for the temple and plans for the building were prepared. A beautiful building was ready and Ma appeared again and said, “Look here, observe me correctly. I am not sitting on a tiger or lion. I am sitting on a stone. I do not carry any lethal weapon; there is only Surdarshan Chakra in one of the eight hands. You go to Jaipur where beautiful statues are made. Most of the merchants will say that they do not have a big enough stone to make a life-sized statue but they could cut out a big statue from two stones. In the end you will find one person who will say that there is only one big stone, which he has stored for many years. He will be the right person who will make the statue. You give him the description and the rest will be handled by Me.”
A most wonderful life-like image of Amba Ma with eight arms was completed and one feels as if she would speak.
Bharati Maiya called upon one hundred Brahmins to do a special puja called Lakhchandi Yagna before installation of the statue in its right position. Two Brahmins developed severe gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) that could lead to serious consequences. Bharati Maiya prayed to Amba Ma who appeared and suggested giving the juice of neem leaves. After taking this juice, the two patients recovered miraculously.
Having installed the statue, Amba Ma appeared and instructed Bharati Maiya on the following matters:
– Keep a few cows to supply milk for the ashram’s use.
– Establish three dispensaries in different locations to give free treatment to all patients.
– Establish homes for old people, especially old and sick parents who have been rejected by their married sons, where they can live comfortably with all their necessities provided. Some hundred old couples were being looked after in this place.
– Establish a school (Veda Pathashala) and admit 50 children who would learn everything including the Vedas, recitation of slokas, astrology, etc.
Some devotees of Beloved Swami staying nearby informed Maiya that the following message, written using vibuthi, had appeared on a wall: “Examine the life story of Bharati Maiya”. She was not prepared to believe this, but went to see it and was most surprised to see Divine vibuthi falling from the wall. She developed faith and requested the devotee to give her a small photo of Beloved Swami.
Bharati Maiya obtained a small photo of Swami and kept it in her shrine and used to offer food preparations before taking it herself. From that day onwards, one food item used to disappear, as if taken by Beloved Swami.
One day, all the boys in the Veda Pathashala expressed their wish to visit Prashanti Nilayam. They arrived in the ashram in Puttaparthi and after three days, Swami called everyone for an interview. in the beginning, Beloved Swami said, “You are my Maiya. What have you brought for Me?” She answered, “Swami, a box of chocolates for the children.” He opened it, ate one chocolate and distributed the rest to the children.
Swami asked the question, “Why are the boys wearing pants of different colors although the material seems to be the same?” Maiya answered, “Swami, some can afford while some are poor and cannot afford to buy costly clothes.”
Beloved Swami gave a signal to a volunteer who brought the same type of cut pieces of cloth to be distributed to every student. Then beloved Swami said, “Every boy will have the same colored pants.”
Maiya thought that if only Swami had given this two days earlier, the pants could have been stitched. Beloved Swami knew what was in her mind and sent three tailors; they took the measurements and all the pants were ready by the morning. All the children with the same type of pants stood near the interview room.
Swami called the children from His Veda Pathashala and sat them opposite to the children from Surat. Baba asked the Puttaparthi children to recite a particular verse from the Vedas. They knew it perfectly and recited it quickly.
Then Beloved Swami asked the children from Surat. They too recited perfectly and everybody came to know that their pronunciation was correct.
Baba took them to the interview room and had photos taken with them. One of the boys asked Swami, “When will you come to Surat, Baba?” Swami answered, “Ask Maiya, she knows. I come daily to partake food offered at her shrine!” This was a great revelation.
The climax in this story was when Beloved Swami called Maiya in the interview room and said emphatically, “Look here, who is this?”
Baba was transformed into Amba Ma – the same as the visioin Maiya had seen – and she shouted, “Oh, my Amba Ma! I am so pleased to know that You are my Ma.”
When Baba returned to his own form, Maiya said, “Can I ask you one question?” Swami said, “Yes, Maiya!” She said, “The Jain community in Surat is building a very large hospital and we have been given the responsibility to build a super diagnostic centre where all investigations can be done under one roof. We do not have the provisions for it, what do we do?”
Beloved Swami answered immediately, “Will you do what I say?” Maiya replied, “Yes, Swami.” He then said, “Go to the UK and America; your work will be done easily.” She therefore travelled to the UK with the secretary of the temple and subsequently met us in Wolverhampton.
This was the result of Beloved Swami’s resolve. Perhaps He wanted to send ‘this Das’ to help Maiya do her work. I took her to different places in the UK and after hearing the description of the super diagnostic center, everyone was happy to help. With her blessings, the health of many devotees improved and women who had no issue for a very long time became pregnant within a couple of years. Maiya’s blessing helped hundreds of devotees in different places during her stay of two weeks.
I asked my sister Hansa and her husband in California to help. Maiya was such a divine lady that everybody was attracted towards her and many devotees throughout California invited her. During Maiya’s stay there the response was great and as directed by Beloved Swami, her work was completed and she was able to establish the Super Diagnostic Centre in Surat. As a token of love, one rupee was charged for a complete investigation to help towards a diagnosis, after which the patient was sent to the hospital by the Jain community for free treatment including free surgical treatment.
We are all aware that Beloved swami build a beautiful hospital called the Sri Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospital near Puttaparthi where all treatments are given free of charge, even surgical treatment, without regard to the patient’s caste or creed. We also know that a second such hospital was build near Bangalore; it is the biggest in the State of Karnataka.
Beloved Swami proved to Maiya that His sankalpa (resolve) was final and everything happens according to His plan. Bhagavan must have decided to involve the Gadhia family as he said in Kampala, “Gadhia family is Sai family”. In the UK, ‘this Das’ was called to help Maiya, while in the USA my sister Hansa did the same under the Lotus Feet of Beloved Swami. Thus was His Grace showered upon us!
Beloved Swami said:
Ask me when you need any help. Extend your hand only for Grace from God. Ask for Grace as a right, not in a grovelling style. Ask, as a child asks the father; feel that God is nearest and dearest. Grace is showered on those who seek. Knock and the door shall be opened; ask and food will be served; search and the treasure will be yours!
Maiya, after having the Divine darshan of Amba Ma, asked Beloved Baba – not as a father, but as a mother – and Beloved Swami fulfilled her wishes.
Beloved Swami has said:
God does not address everyone as a real devotee. If you are a real devotee, then God will call you ‘His devotee’. It is not good to call yourself a devotee; only God can call you His devotee.
Beloved Maiya was worshipping heartily and sincerely Amba Ma (Shakti) – the left side of Beloved Swami. Hence, as His real devotee, Baba gave her the Divine vision of the same Amba Ma.
Our most sincere and hearty salutations to Beloved Baba and Beloved Bharati Maiya!
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