The Young Avatar

Sathya Sai Baba - The Young Avatar

Sathya Sai Baba - The Young Avatar


The Young Avatar

It is interesting and at first sight inexplicable that footsteps of an Avatar should be dogged from the earliest years with threats to his life. Sathya Sai Baba has stated that it is impossible to remove him from Earth until his mission is completed. It is of course a comforting thought to his followers but not so comforting to his enemies, of which there are always many. I will give what I consider the reasons for his life-threatening enemies at the end of the story. Serious threats to the life of the young Sathya Sai Baba began in his youth in the early 1940’s; some 20 years before I had his first darshan in 1965. The events were related to me by a number of people including the late Raja of Venkatagiri and his two sons and the late Nagamani Purniya and other reliable witnesses whose integrity is beyond question. At the time we knew her, Nagamani was putting together a collection of her experiences and later had them printed privately under the title “The Divine Leelas of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba”. I believe the little book has been printed again since her death. It is a mine of information about Sathya Sai Baba’s earliest years.

The young Sathya Sai Baba was born into the Kshetria caste; that is the caste which from earliest times was responsible for the protection and the governing of the people of India. Unlike the Brahmins who were their advisors in governing, they are not vegetarians. From his earliest years, the young Sathya Narayana Raju could not bear to eat the flesh of our young animal brothers, so he began going to the house of a Brahmin lady who lived just a few houses from the home of his parents in the village. The lady who at this time, seemed to have lived alone in the Brahmin house was named Subbama and she became very attached to the young Avatar.

After he had announced his identity as Sai Baba and became known as Sathya Sai Baba, his followers began to gather around him in ever-increasing numbers. No doubt the draw card at first was what he called his visiting cards, that is his miracles. So it was that the large Brahmin house became the venue for the meetings of the first Sai groups. Unfortunately, the village of Puttaparthi, like I suspect most Indian villages, was more than somewhat caste-conscious.

One Brahmin lady living in the village seems to have put the purity of her Brahmin caste above all other considerations. I will not name her, not because of her actions, but because of what happened as a result of her actions. She strongly resented young Sathya Sai going himself and taking his followers who were of mixed castes into the pure Brahmin home of Subbama. She felt that as Subbama did not object, the meetings would continue in her home.

The signs were that the crowds would continue to grow in numbers and the pollution of the Brahmin home would become unbearable. She could see only one way of preventing this. Obviously, and to me, incredibly, strong beliefs in caste purity outweighed any moral and dharmic considerations about the taking of a human life. In brief, she decided to poison the young Sathya Sai. Her plan for carrying out this deed, although perhaps not worthy of Lucrecia Borgia the queen of poisoners, was perhaps adequate for the removal of someone in the remote primitive village of Puttaparthi.

She decided to make a batch of vadis (the savoury little cakes with a hole in the middle like a doughnut). Such tasty morsels were very popular with the boys and youths of the village, so she invited a number of the boys and youths including Sathya Sai. Understandably, the boys arrived very promptly on the day of the feast and sat in groups in the garden devouring the vadis at a great pace. The hostess who I shall name Lucrecia Borgia took little Sathya aside, telling him that she had some especially good vadis for him. He came readily and she offered him the two special vadis in a container. She sat and watched to see that he ate them. Without hesitation, Sathya began to masticate the two poisoned vadis. As Lucrecia Borgia watched he ate up every morsel. Perhaps he knew he was eating poison, perhaps not, but he must have sensed something was wrong because immediately after finishing his vadis he left and walked back to Subbama’s home. Lucrecia Borgia, very anxious to know what happened, left the other boys still enjoying the feast and followed after young Sathya Sai. By the time she reached Subbama’s home, she could hear Sathya vomiting in the garden. She stood and watched. She was startled and very frightened when she saw him throw up the two vadis whole, even though she had seen him masticate them and chew them up very thoroughly. She began to realise that he was no ordinary youth but somebody special, a being beyond all castes.

She watched him as he composed himself after the ordeal and sat down on the garden seat to recover. She went down on her knees before him and begged for his forgiveness. Sathya Sai fully forgave her, as through the years he has forgiven others who tried to do him harm. So it was that his would-be-murderer became one of his followers. The young Avatar was fully aware even before this attack on his life, that there were many people in and around the village who hated him with a great animosity and violence. His own village was, it seemed a small sample of what the world was to become as his mission grew to world wide dimensions some believing, loving and serving him in various degrees, while unbelievers scorned him and the violent hatred of a few seemed to be a menace to his very life.

The episode of the poisoning made Sathya realise that some of these slings and arrows of hatred against himself, might also strike his good friend and sponsor Subbama, so he decided that while seeing her often himself, he would find another place for his meetings with his devotees, but where? The cave where he often went to meditate was too small for the purpose, so he decided to build his own sanctuary in the form of a hut. Some good friends came along to help him and in a very short time, an adequate hut was constructed. It was a rough and primitive building, but adequate for his present purposes. So he began having his meetings in this little, quiet sanctuary on the edge of the village. This went on peacefully for a time, but his enemies had not gone to sleep.

A small group of youths among the most violently active members of his enemies, formed a plan, an evil plan which they felt sure would achieve the purpose of removing forever, the ‘young upstart’, Sathya Narayana and give them a bit of good sport at the same time. So it was that one evening when they knew for sure that Sathya was in his hut with a very small number of his closest devotees from the village, they silently crept up to the hut, carrying a pail of petrol and a strong prop. Firstly, they securely propped the door so that it could not be opened from the inside, then they doused part of the wall with petrol and set fire to it. When the flames had taken firm hold, they slipped a short distance away and sat on a rise to watch the fun. Soon the flames were crackling lustily and noisily up the front wall of the hut but to the utter amazement of the watching youths, no shouts, no calls for help came.

Whether or not if they had humbled or frightened their victims sufficiently, thus proving that Sathya Narayana was an ordinary mortal, they would have removed the prop and released them, it is impossible to say. Inside the hut Sathya and his friends soon realised that the walls were in flame and burning rapidly. One of them jumped up to open the door but young Sathya who knew the door was blocked, told him to sit down. “Just wait and have no fear,” he said “all will be well”. Then after a gap had already been burned in the wall and the hut was unpleasantly filling with smoke, Sathya waved his arm. All had full faith in their leader and felt that this was a sign to bring rain. It was within a minute or two, a gigantic clap of thunder was heard over the hut and over the village. The thunder continued with a violence which seemed to break open the sky and make the Earth tremble. In no time at all, a torrent of rain began to fall. Those inside could hear nothing but the heavenly organ music of their saving rain. Another sound could be heard very dimly above the torrent that pelted against the hut and the Earth beyond. This was the sound of the shouts and curses of the young delinquents who, wet to the skin, were running towards the shelter of their homes. The storm ended as suddenly as it had come and silence reigned, but the heavenly fire-brigade had done it’s work. Within the charred wood over the front wall was a gap big enough for Sathya and his friends to walk through. The friends with Sathya were too over-awed to say much. He had saved their lives with a wave of his hand and their belief in his power was beyond all doubt, perhaps even some of the young criminal fire-bugs were beginning to wonder and doubt their own arrogance and think that the hated youth against whom they scoffed, might indeed be somebody special.

Friends of the young Avatar helped him repair the hut and it served his purpose until the number of his followers required bigger premises. Then together under Sathya Sai Baba’s leadership, they built the Mandir now known as ‘the old Mandir’ that is another story.

Why is it, one may well ask, do world changing Avatars such as Rama, Krishna, Jesus and Sathya Sai Baba have so many enemies and suffer so many attacks on their lives, often right from their very birth? At first sight it seems incredible that one who brings light and redemption from the heart of God to all mankind should have even one enemy. Yet if we think about it with sufficient depth, we will see that with God’s plan of evolution of consciousness and the development of beings with divine consciousness, there must of necessity be struggle and conflict in this training field of Earth. Without struggle, consciousness would remain static without any development and of course, struggle requires that there must be both the good and the bad forces. And so there exists the great divine drama through which we earthlings learn our lessons. Sometimes the struggle between good or forward-pulling forces and bad or backward-pulling forces gets out of hand out of balance. The Asuric or demonic forces gaining such strength that they threaten God’s plan. At such times God takes direct action where a God-man comes to Earth with commission to rectify the balance, by reducing the evil and helping and promoting the good. In this way he brings an uplift to the consciousness of humanity and changes the world thereby.

But the entrenched dark forces who hold the power and most of the worldly wealth, do not want such a change. Any change will threaten their ignorant, self-centred lifestyle and so they resist it in every way they can, even to the extent of attacks against the life of the God-man. But the God-man will only leave the Earth when his mission is completed. The crucifixion of Jesus was part of his mission, indeed the greatest part, so it does not represent the defeat of the God-man but rather his victory. Incidentally, it may be asked why are there attacks against the greatest of the spiritual teachers the God-men, and not against the lesser ones. It must be because only the great ones are a real threat to the world order; the greater the sunshine, the stronger the shadow. So by the very light they bring, the Avatars create their own deadly enemies. “To teach the truth,” said an old sage, “Is like carrying a lighted taper into a powder magazine”. Only One with the absolute power of almighty God can carry the lighted taper of absolute Truth into the powder magazine of the dark forces of Earth.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

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