“I Am He” – Shirdi Sai Is Parthi Sai

The ‘Shirdi – Parthi connect’ has always been the most curious focal point of many devotees of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai. To the yearning sincere hearts, Bhagawan has always been magnanimous, revealing the connect of Oneness of the two Sai Avatars. Read on how Bhagawan fulfilled a long-pending desire of an ardent devotee, Sri Ghandikota V. Subba Rao, connecting the dots for him in His inimitable style.

For many years, I developed a deep yearning to visit Shirdi. I made several attempts to pay my respects at Shirdi Sai shrine at Shirdi itself but to no avail. The closest I could come to the point of realising this dream was in 1983, when I planned on my home-leave trip from New York to India to visit Shirdi after our landing in Bombay. Unfortunately, the whole family developed a stomach virus after our first meal in India at a Santacruz airport five-star hotel – precluding any extensive surface travel all the way to Shirdi. It was once again a great disappointment.

I was thinking of this escapade while intensely gazing at Shirdi Sai’s shining silver idol and his giant size picture in the background of the Prashanti Mandir bhajan hall, and also wondering about the connection of Shirdi Baba with Parthi Baba, about which I found numerous references in the Sri Sathya Sai literature.

I closed my eyes, with Shirdi Baba in my mind, when to my utter amazement Parthi Baba stood right in front of me while I continued in my reverie. Swami waited till I fully opened my eyes, when with a burst of bliss I clasped His soft Lotus Feet and hung on to them like a child. Swami beckoned me inside the interview room and materialized a rather large silver ring with an inlaid multi-coloured enamel picture of Shirdi Sai – saying that ‘I Am He’.

I was stunned and electrified and I blurted out that at long last my long-cherished desire was fulfilled now! The shining large Shirdi ring on my finger used to attract the attention of my diplomatic acquaintances during my frequent elevator rides in the forty-story UN headquarters building in NY, leading to many inquisitive queries on the strange-looking personality on the ring-face. One thing led to another and before long I found myself presenting Sri Sathya Sai literature to the UN Secretary General in his office!

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II