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IX. The Power of Prayer

The Fruit of Penance
Swami Amrithananda’s penance is rewarded with a vision of Lord Ganesha

The experience of Swami Amrithananda, a very senior disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi is a testimony to the fact that Baba is in fact the embodiment of all Gods and Goddesses. Prof. Kasturi narrates this incident thus:

As soon as Swami Amrithananda reached Prasanthi Nilayam, Baba accosted him, "Amritham," and, he was genuinely astonished at the familiarity and even the affection with which that call was saturated, for, he said, "Only Ramana Maharshi with whom I spent 17 years used to accost me thus and the voice and manner were exactly the voice and manner of the Maharshi!" This is a miracle, indeed.

Later, Baba asked the 85-year-old Swami, about a Ganapathi Homam (ritual worship of Lord Ganesha) that he had performed for 41 days in as a seven year old boy! He told the swami all the details of that Homam, including the long involved Manthra with which the offerings were placed each time in the fire.

Baba told him that he had repeated this Manthra a thousand times a day, for forty-one days and made as many coconut offerings in the Fire of the sacred Homa. "What is the reward promised in the Sastras?" Baba then asked the old ascetic.

He answered that the Sastras declare that if the Homa is done with scrupulous regard for ritual, Ganapathi Himself will appear in the Homakunda as the golden-coloured effulgent elephant-headed God and with His trunk He will receive the final and concluding offerings and He will grant everlasting Bliss by means of the Darshan.

Baba asked Him whether he had the Darshan. Amrithananda replied that it was not so easy for a seven-year-old boy to get the Darshan of the Lord, by the mere number and quantity of offerings and Manthras. But, Baba interrupted him and said, "No, no. It is due to all that Japa and all that Homa that you have come to Me now. You will today, after an interval of seventy eight years get the reward, mentioned in the Sastras."

Then, He asked the Swami to look at Him and, lo, Amrithananda saw the golden coloured Elephant, the Ganapathi as described in ancient texts! He was beside himself for about four days after this Darshan and forsook food and drink and sleep, in the Bliss which he derived therefrom.”

Reference: "Sathyam Shivam Sundaram”, Vol-I by Prof. N Kasturi. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.

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