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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VII | Mrs. Subbalakshmi

Mrs. Subbalakshmi,
2-340, Satya Deepa,
3rd Road, 5th Cross,
Anantapur - 515004.

Tel: 08554-226327

      Mrs. Subbalakshmi (74), a housewife, relates a few of her experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in her own words.

'When my father, Anjaneyulu was working at Uravakonda, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (then called Sathyanarayana Raju) came to study there staying with his brother Sri Seshamaraju.

Swami used to come to our house frequently as our house was very near to the school. He used to call my father 'Ayyagaru', and my mother 'Ammagaru'. He used to wear a half sleeved shirt and knickers.

'Today we will have bhajan in your house, Sir' He used to tell my father now and then.

'By all means, have it' my father used to say.

On Thursdays, Shirdi Sai Baba used to come on Him. He used to sway and appeared a different person. He used to call some one keeping His eyes closed all through that phase. If anyone who was not called went to Swami, He used to say, 'no, not you' without even opening His eyes. He used to materialize prasadam and udi (vibhuti) from Shirdi as well as some sacred clothes from Shirdi.

Once we played a drama, Parijaataapaharanam. My father procured all material required for staging the play from a dealer using his good offices. Swami played the role of Satyabhama while my elder brother Narasimha played Krishna. I was Rukmini. My mother made Swami wear her silk sari. He looked like a lady to the surprise of many.

On the day of the drama, Swami came to my brother.

'Narasimha garu' He said, 'you are playing Krishna and I Satyabhama'.

'What of it?'

'Satyabhama has to kick Krishna in the play. How can I do so to you?'

'Never mind' my brother replied, 'after all you are only acting'.

The play went off excellently well.

Once we all went to Hampi and from there to Hospet. Swami was seen then by His brother and others both in the temple and outside at the same time. It was in that trip that Swami was given a collar-pin as a present. The trip went on well.

By the time of return of Swami and party to Uravakonda from Hospet, my mother had already delivered a daughter. She had taken her bath of purification at the end of the period of ten days. Swami hurriedly came to our house. The child was on the cot. He came and lifted her only on His right hand and said 'you have come! You, too, have come into this illusion!' We could not understand what He was driving at.

Later, we all started to go to the school. We used to enter through a gap in the fence and walk to the class rooms. There was a patch of green grass across after the fence. Swami was searching for something.

'What is it you are searching?' we asked.

'Collar-pin' He replied, 'I lost it here'. It was not found. We went to attend the prayer. Someone went to Seshamaraju, the brother of Swami and conveyed the news of the loss of the collar-pin.

'I don't know' he remarked, 'let him go to his sister-in-law and report.'

Swami left the school and went to His house. He threw the bag of books on entering the main door. His sister-in-law came out of the kitchen to see what was going on. She saw a bright hallow around Swami's face.

'Who are you?' she was reported to have cried, 'you are not our Sathyam.'

'I am leaving' Swami was reported to have remarked, 'I am not your Sathyam. My devotees are calling me. I have work'.

He left the house. Just at that time, my father returned from camp. He saw Swami coming out. He put his hand on Swami's shoulder and asked 'why are you going to our house now?'

'All this is illusion' Swami said and walked into our yard. My father saw hallow around the head of Swami. 'You are not our Sathyam' my father said. He prostrated before the boy.

'Get the tiger skin' my father cried, 'spread it on the rock.'

There was a rock in the garden of our house on which Swami (Sathyam) used to sit earlier. The tiger skin was spread on it. My mother brought some food; 'mix all' Swami said. So my mother mixed curry, chutney, rice and curd into one. She put a morsel in His hand. He ate it and washed His hand saying 'enough!' He reclined on the tiger skin on the rock. A sizable crowd gathered around. They started to do bhajans. Three days passed. His parents came. He agreed to go to Puttaparthi with them. On the day of departure, we hosted lunch for the entire family. My father brought new clothes to Swami. Swami wore the half sleeved shirt and dhoti for the first time in our house.

My father called the photographer Mr. Sreeramulu to take a photograph of Swami. My mother brought the idol of Shirdi Sai which was there in our house, and placed it on the rock before Swami. The photographer objected.

'No use!' he said, 'it will appear like a stone and not as an idol.'

Swami overruled him. So my mother placed the idol before Swami. This idol is with my younger brother even now. It is not correct to say that there was a stone before Swami which appeared like Shirdi Sai idol in the photograph. This is the version given in many books. But it was my mother who had actually brought the idol and put it there before Swami for the photograph.

The song 'Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam!' was one of the songs sung by Swami in our house during bhajans. He used to sing another song which was written by Him only. That is, 'Baba Ra Ra, Sai Baba Ra Ra'. Soon after He sang it, Shirdi Sai Baba used to possess Him in our house on Thursdays earlier.

Swami was given a warm send off with band and music. He was taken in procession. 'Sri Sathya Sai Baba!' my father told Him while taking leave of Him, 'You bless us all.'

That is the first time Swami was called thus. My father was the person who christened Him thus. Swami invited my parents to Prasanthi Nilayam many times after He became famous. But somehow my father could not go. After his retirement, he went to Prasanthi Nilayam once. Swami came to him and placed His hand on the head of my father and rubbed. There was heaps of vibhuti on my father's head. After that my father was in a blissful state for several days.'

-- Mrs. Subbalakshmi

         (As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Anantapur on 28.04.2006)