Farewell…Little Princess Sai Gita…

Seven years since Sai Gita’s glorious exit…still Sai Gita is as vivid a picture with her living presence in every devoted heart and mind, as one of the most exalted devotees of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai… Remembering the Little Princess, we recall the fateful day, through our pages on that day…paying rich tribute to one of Bhagawan’s most ideal devotee and celebrated devotee… Sai Gita, The Little Princess…

To the mortals death comes as a big blow, for, it inflicts pain of separation from near and dear ones. Quoting an anonymous poet, Prof N. Kasturi wrote substantiating his statement that anything, which is born and grows, declines and dies…

…as soon as we are born our funeral procession started! Our heart is the drum. Our hearts beat like a muffled drum and the funeral march starts! So, birth is only the beginning of death!

With death defined as a consequence of birth and at birth man is given an opportunity to rediscover what he has  forgotten,  it should be man’s endeavour to dwell upon how best one could put an end to this otherwise unending cycle. In this modern age when man often fails to find out the real meaning of God’s greatest gift to humanity, the great sojourn called life, here in this ‘God’s Own’ village at Puttaparthi, an elephant by name Sai Gita has epitomized itself, to join an illustrious band of immortals, with its typified devotion!!! That is the inspiring saga of Sai Gita, Bhagawan’s pet-elephant whose sojourn on earth came to a spirited end at 1800 Hrs. IST on 22nd May 2007 after a lengthy script of glorious fifty years of dedicated service at His Divine Lotus Feet!

The following extract from SAI GITA A MYSTIFYING TALE OF UNMATCHED LOVE published in Heart to Heart journal gives clear insight into the unsullied love and devotion she had for Bhagawan.

In the early sixties, the regular evening ‘appointment’ of Swami with Sai Gita was a sight which devotees looked forward to with great anticipation and elation. She would wait at the gate on the ladies’ side (where Swami’s car now enters Sai Kulwant Hall) and if for some reason Darshan was delayed, she would get very impatient. Twisting and twirling her tiny trunk, intermittently flapping her lotus-leaf-sized ears vigorously, and her swift and strong legs jumpy and restless, she would eagerly look at the Mandir unable to bear the delay.

Tears that rolled down her cheeks on many an occasion, her mischievous pranks acknowledging ecstasy at having been blessed to be in the Divine Presence, were testimonies to the unmatched love,  pristine in quality, she has had for her Beloved Master, Bhagawan,  that for sure would be envied even by human beings.

It was not a mere coincidence that brought The Creator and His Creation together in the Mudumalai forest marking the beginning of this glorious tale of love. It was a Divine happenstance, a well-crafted Master Plan by the Divine that would have had its roots linked to many previous births that had made such a meeting possible.  Sai Gita is a Shuddha Brahmacharini (pristine and perfect celibate). She has come for Me, said Bhagawan once, at the end of a long arduous trial she had been forced to undertake at the instance of some senior devotees; she had been ‘reluctantly’ sent to the forest for breeding at the dogged persuasion of some senior devotees in the ashram for no positive result.

Sai Gita is history now and essentially a part of His-Story. In death body goes…but the soul, the indestructible divine essence in every being does move on, on a soul-search…and the soul of Sai Gita moved on to successfully find the bond beyond bondage, The Light that has been keeping her life a glowing fantasy that even exalted humans fail to achieve.

“Death is the denouement of the drama of life” wrote Prof N. Kasturi. For those who loved Sai Gita, her passing away would definitely mark the end of a drama in physical and leave a vacuum that would never be filled. Devotees would definitely miss her beautifully caparisoned frame majestically leading processions, her gorgeous princely gait, rare sight of tears of love rolling down her cheeks, the beauty of her being cuddled and fed by Mother Sai so affectionately, her unruffled nonchalant looks dissipating every passing thought into the gleam of eternity and lots more…. But, her footprints would continue her legacy in the hearts of millions who loved her so dearly. Sai Gita indeed lived a Life…Full!

Adorned as a Little Princess
There came Sai Gita to Prasanthi Nilayam
Rejoiced Prasanthi in her endearing presence
…and struck a love tale…Creator with His creation
Echoed the song of her heart’s melody
L-O-V-E for Baba…L-I-F-E for Baba!
Gazing at Baba, she wept
The King returned ‘His Own’ to her
His Love was what she sought
His Heart was what she conquered
Knowing fully, still unknowingly…
She lived a Life…a Life Full…
Unruffled and nonchalant
Dissipating every passing thought
…into the gleam of eternity
Yet, in the end came ‘the end’
Denouement of the drama of life…
Yet, she survived the scare…death
Basking in the love of her ‘Sun’
At the end…she receded…devoutly
Into the clasp of eternity!
Into a Bond Beyond Bondage!
Farewell Oh! Dear,
Little Princess, Sai Gita!!!
We salute You, Oh! Little Princess!!!

For the passersby on the roadside, for those who pass by, to and fro Parthi, a peep through the gate to have a glimpse of the blessed elephant would definitely be missing from now on…one would peep to have a darshan of her samadhi hereafter, and there, one would feel her touch, her legacy, a feeling that would peep into the nostalgic past of her glorious sojourn.

Little clue did we have of the Divine Vision Bhagawan had while getting along with the construction of a ‘Sai Gita Mahal’, a new home for His pet-elephant inaugurated in November 2006. Reminding one of the story of Shirdi Sai wherein the Muralidhar Mandir constructed at the ‘instance’ and blessings of Baba had finally turned out to become the ‘Samadhi’ Mandir of Baba Himself, who had expressed His ‘desire’ to be ‘placed’ in the Mandir, the newly built Sai Gita Mahal was a would be Samadhi for the pet-elephant…and adding to this came the bonus; Bhagawan’s out of turn return to Prasanthi Nilayam skipping normal schedule of going to Bangalore… Indeed Divine Vision that eluded mortal’s blurred vision.

This she-elephant known for her nobility with cool and calm composure was taken for bath on the fateful morning and as one would call it, the call of time, she lost her balance and dropped down by the side of the bathing pond. It was an arduous task to help saving her precious life. Doctors and experts tried their best, but as clock ticked past, she was receding towards the exit point…and the fateful moment came at 1800 Hrs. IST…for her to join the Hall of Fame of the illustrious band of immortals, lived at the time of God Walking on Earth. She seemed to have got the message of Bhagawan rightly…

Be steady a moment; watch; catch; within reach the life-boat floats…

One could see hundreds of onlookers seeking to get a glimpse of the mortal remains of Sai Gita on the evening of 22nd, waiting outside the planetarium gate…and on the morning of 23rd May, Bhagawan straight away drove into the Sai Gita Palace just after 7:30 a.m. Bhagawan Who came out of the car, blessed the mortal coil of His pet-elephant by smearing Vibhuti on her trunk and eyes, and lovingly stroked her trunk for the last time.  It was indeed a sight to behold, a direct expression of Godly Concern and Love spurred out with fullest feeling, out in open. Indeed a Mystifying Tale of Unmatched Love!!!

With Bhagawan’s watchful eyes scanning the entire proceedings, amid Veda chanting and bhajans by students and with thousands of onlookers silently praying with moisten eyes and sunken feelings, Sai Gita’s body was lifted with the help of cranes to the final resting spot, a pit specially dug in the Sai Gita Palace and was finally laid to rest following formal rituals. Yes, Sai Gita has drifted away, into the gleam of eternity…Leaving a life full of cherished memories…leaving behind a tomb, a memorial, Sai Gita Mahal.

A moment of stillness, a deep prayer from within, and a deep sigh…let this be our Tribute to our Dearest Little Princess…Sai Gita…

The epic Srimad Bhagavatham has a chapter on Gajendra Moksham, the story of elephant King Gajendra who chose to surrender calling out Lord Vishnu praying to save him from the clutches of a deadly crocodile that caught hold of him. No sooner did the Lord hear the sincere prayer that emanated from Gajendra, relinquishing his ego, Lord Vishnu started off on His vehicle Garuda to reach out the devotee. Whatever be the metaphorical explanation to this story, it does carry one message that God does respond to sincere prayers suffused with dedication and surrender. Here, in Sai Gita’s story, it was neither wail nor any distress call that made the Lord to come and spent considerable time by the side of His diseased pachyderm, watching the entire proceedings. Who would know the agony of the soul, the crying thirst to reach out its ultimate destination, other than The Real Master, Bhagawan Himself? She has come for Me, mentioned Bhagawan talking about Sai Gita on one occasion. Having fared well in her earthly sojourn, it was for the Lord to respond to her final prayers and reciprocating for her heartfelt prayers, came the Lord all the way to give her The Fitting Final Farewell!

We salute You… Oh! Little Princess, Sai Gita!!!