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X. The Same Baba: Shirdi Sai and Sathya Sai

The Assurance and the Fulfillment
How Baba had prophesied His advent to Smt. Sharada Devi.

Smt. Sharada Devi (affectionately called as ‘Pedda Bottu’ by Baba) is one of those few privileged souls who had the unique chance of being in the proximity of both Shirdi Sai and Sathya Sai. Here she narrates how Shirdi Baba had revealed to her about His future Advent and how later Sathya Sai blessed her profusely:

One day I requested Baba (Shirdi Sai) to give me Mantra Upadesh (spiritual initiation). Baba replied, "You are young yet. I will give you Upadesh when you grow older".

I waited till I was 29 years old and prayed to Baba again. He shouted at me in anger: "You are always obsessed with Upadesh" and kicked me on the chest with his right foot.

With tears of dejection streaming down my face, I went out and lay beneath a tree. I must have slept after weeping for a long time. It must have been very late in the night when Baba came to wake me up. He asked me to follow him to Lendi Garden.

When we reached the Garden, He said "My child, I could not sleep in Dwaraka Mayi (the dilapidated Masjid, and Baba's dwelling) when you were lying out there without food since morning. I have brought you here, for, I want to tell you something, but first you must eat.”

He stretched out His right hand with palm up and said "Allah Malik hai". (God is the master). Two chapatis (wheat pancakes) and a lemon sized-kova (soft solid sweet made of milk) materialised in His palm. He gave them to me to eat. Again He stretched out His hand and this time a very small mud pot full of water materialised. When I ate and drank, he asked me: "Gori, Is your anger gone?" (Baba used to affectionately call Sharada Devi, ‘Gori’)

I replied in all humility "There is no anger or frustration now. I was a fool not to realise that your kick was in fact a sign of your Grace.”

Baba then told me "I will tell you something, but before that you should hold My feet and promise Me not to tell this to anyone".

With pounding heart and anticipating the much awaited Mantra-Upadesh I did as he told me, "Gori, I will appear in Andhra with the same name of Sai Baba but in another Avatar (divine manifestation). Then again you will come to me. I will keep you with me and will give you joy".

I was ecstatic in joy and said "I am blessed, my Lord. This is my greatest fortune.” This conversation between us took place in 1917 AD. Later, I was informed that my ailing elder aunt wanted to see me at Rajamundry. It was when I was at Rajamundry in 1918 that I learnt that Baba had left His physical body. I was filled with inexplicable anguish.

One day, many years later, I was invited to sing a ‘Hari Katha’ (a form of ballad popular in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh) in a village called Uravakonda. In the house where this event was arranged, I happened to see on the wall a photograph of a handsome lad. He had a large crown of hair. The face and eyes were most charming and magnetic.

I asked the housewife whose photo it was. She told me "Don't you know? He is Puttaparthi Sai Baba. If you want to see him, I can take you to him tomorrow".

The next day I was taken to the house of one Mr. Seshama Raju, the elder brother of Baba. I then saw the young 14-year-old Baba. It was in 1940; I was then fifty-two years old. The first words that Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba uttered were: “Gori, you owe me sixteen rupees from my Shirdi Incarnation".

I replied that I had already paid up all my debts to Shirdi Baba. He said, "I know. I said it because you are not able to recognise Me. All right. After completing all your tasks at the Poor Home you are running, go over to Puttaparthi. I shall retain you with Me and shall bestow all the joy you want".

For the next seventeen years, I used to visit Puttaparthi frequently and spend a few months every time in the divine presence of Baba. In 1958, when I was 70, I closed down the Poor Home and went over to Puttaparthi to spend the rest of my life there.

Reference: “Sathya Sai – The Avatar of Love”, Page: 14 –16. Published By Sri Prasanthi Society, Hyderabad, under the auspices of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of Baba’s 67th Birthday, 1992.

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