Celebrating Bhagavan’s Birthday

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Celebrating Bhagavan’s Birthday

In those days (in the 1940s), Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday did not call for any major celebration. Instead we enjoyed more experiences with the Lord which we now cherish for all eternity. Elderly devotees used to apply the customary coconut oil on His head and we would garland Him with bright flowers while singing bhajans.

During one birthday, Sathya Sai Baba refused everyone who came to garland Him. The ever playful Sai Baba was enacting a divine drama. But He appeared serious all the same! The 20 or so devotees who had assembled returned with the garland still in their hands, rather downcast and perplexed. This was to have been the highlight of their year! Then they discussed how to attract the mysterious Lord to their side, and collectively requested Sathya Sai Baba to partake meals with them.

Sathya Sai Baba asked them to sit inside the Mandir and then surprised the group by serving water and food to everyone with His own hands! Needless to say, they were all moved and overjoyed after their initial disappointment.

Maybe Bhagavan was teaching them the lesson that God’s creation is full of ups and downs – but be assured that when it seems as if things have gone awry, He will always wipe away our tears in an unexpected way!

There lived an old man named Kadirappa in the village who used to wash up all the utensils after devotees had partaken their meals. Generally, he ate the leftovers from these cooking vessels, and often, this comprised of just plain steamed rice, without any salt, or garnish, and was rather lacking in nutrition. Once, when this old man was eating silently sitting beside the well, Sathya Sai Baba went into the kitchen and brought out all that my mother had personally cooked for Him.

This included boiled vegetables, curries, and chutney. Sathya Sai Baba lovingly told the old man to eat all the other items and not just plain rice. It was such a sweet sight to behold. The Lord offering His own food to the man who washed the dishes! After giving him the food, Satya Sai Baba went up to my mother and asked her if she was upset. She replied, “You are God. How can I question what You do?”

This unique spirit of sacrifice seems unparalleled except in Sathya Sai Baba’s own life as we remember incidents from His childhood recorded in His biography, Sathyam Shivam Sundaram, Part 1. Prof. Kasturi writes:

At the tender age of three and four, He showed that He had a heart that melted at human suffering. Whenever a beggar appeared at the door and raised his cry, Sathya left His play and rushed inside to force His sisters to hand out grain or food. The adults were naturally irritated by the endless procession of outstretched hands.

On one occasion, in order to put an end to what the elders thought was expensive and misplaced charity, the mother caught hold of Sathya, and with a finger raised in warning said, “Look here! You may give him food, but mind you, you will have to starve.”

That did not daunt the child. He would run inside and bring out food to the hungry man at the door and later stay away from lunch or dinner himself. Nothing and no one could persuade Him to come for His food which was left untouched!

When Sathya began running about in the streets, He sought out the maimed, the blind, the decrepit, and the diseased, and led them by the hand to the doorstep of His parents. The sisters had to secure from the store or the kitchen some grain or food, and put it into the beggar’s bowl while the Little Master looked on happily. – H2H Team

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