“Yaa Devi Sarvabhootheshu Mathru Roopena Samsthithaa”

An advent divine took place in Puttaparthi, the Divine Abode on Earth in Prasanthi Nilayam…an Incarnation of Shiva and Shakti, worshipped now as Sathya Sai is She…Who has come to set you and me free… She is the Shakti ever present inside us all, Who responds to our distress call…with Navarathri 2012 coming to a close shortly, let’s peep into our Beloved Bhagawan’s illustrious facet as ‘Mother Divine,” an article by Prof N Kasturi.

Writing of Sri Sadguru Sai Baba, Hemadpanth writes, “Sai Baba had the peculiar, disinterested and extraordinary Love of the Mother; His joy knew no bounds, when He saw His children beautifully dressed and adorned. He knew the wants of His children long before-hand and He took great pleasure in fulfilling them.”

Everyone who has come to Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the present manifestation of that same Mother, will describe Him too in the same words. Every devotee, however old, becomes in the presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a little child and, just as a child takes refuge in the mother’s lap and sobs out to her all its fears and worries, he too pours out his troubles and gets consoled.

In the Markandeya Purana, Devi is described thus: Durge smrthaa harasi bheethim asesha janthoh. “If remembered in times of trouble, She destroys the fear of all living things.” We all know that Baba need only be remembered and He flees thousands of miles in an instant, to succour and give relief. The sloka continues: Swasthaiah smrthaa, mathim atheevasubham dadaasi. “If remembered by others, who are free from immediate fear, She grants the most auspicious understanding.”

Devotees of Baba will endorse that Baba, as soon as they pray to Him, vouchsafes advice directly or, if they are far away, indirectly but clearly, on all problems facing them, not merely spiritual and mental, or physical but even social and domestic. Let us turn again to the Markandeya Purana. There the Mother is again praised as, Daridrya dukhabhaya harini. Just like a loving mother who helps distressed child from out of her secret hoard and saves it from shame and dishonour, Baba too as every one knows is saving many from their own folly and negligence and putting them on the path of honourable living. In the last line of the above sloka, Mother is described by the Purana as, ‘full of Mercy.’ The poet asks, Kaathwadanyaa sarvopakaarakaranaaya sadaardra chiththaa? Who else has the heart, ever melting, to bestow favours on all? Baba’s Heart, too, is ever overflowing with mercy, not only to those devoted to Him for years, but to those who have had little contact with Him, and even those who disparage Him. His Karuna is the right of all beings and He is never tired of telling the good news to all. He has said so often in His discourses at Puttaparthi and elsewhere, that no one need look upon Him with fear, or even extol Him, in order to earn His Grace, because no one fears his mother or is put to the necessity of praising her in order to win her to his side. The mother’s love is spontaneous and independent of any expectations.

In Tamil Nadu, Easwara is known also as Thayumanavar, ‘He Who became also the mother’ because in one of His leelas, He saved a woman’s life and helped her safe delivery. The mother of the woman, who was to attend on her, was held up by a flooded river and the Lord, taking pity on the lonely, forlorn daughter, assumed the form of the mother and attended to the labour, Himself. Numerous are the cases where Baba has, dream, vision, or actual materialisation in some form, even as Thayumanavar, acted in the similar way and saved His children from calamity.

One must listen to the advice Baba gives His daughters and sons about the choice of life-mates; and, to the daughters, when they proceed to take up residence with their mother-in-law, or when they have new born babies to feed and foster. One common argument that Baba uses to persuade people to postpone their departure from Puttaparthi comes to mind just now. He usually asks the lady of the party, “Why don’t you remain a few days longer in your Mother’s home?” and that settles it! One will realise, then that He is the Mother of all mothers, the Mother who is the Mother in all beings. The tenderness, sympathy and love with which Baba attends to the needs of the cows, the rabbits, the pet dogs, peacocks or deer, the care He takes to avoid any harm to living things is a lesson to every one in the art of efficient mothering. He is verily maternal love, incarnate. “Yaa Devi Sarvabhootheshu Mathru Roopena Samsthithaa.”

There is, therefore, a special significance in the Celebration of Navaratri, at Prasanthi Nilayam. Besides the Birthday of Baba, the only two festivals celebrated on a grand scale at Puttaparthi are, Sivaratri and Navaratri,for, Baba is both Siva and Shakti. During these Nine Days and Nights, He is Saraswati, presiding over Poetry, Dance, Music and Drama; Annapoorna, lavishing Annam and Vastram; Lakshmi, granting boons to all who come; and Durga, slaying falsity, pretence and wickedness, destroying the buffalo sloth and the buffalo stupidity that has overpowered us all. May Baba, the Mother, bless us and give us Faith, Strength and Joy.

II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II