Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sathya Sai fulfils grandfather Kondama Raju's dying wish

An extract from http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume38/sss38-05.pdf is given below (English translation of words spoken by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Telugu):

People had by now realised that Swami had fulfilled the promise given by Him to Subbamma. They felt that Subbamma’s life was sanctified. Taking cue from her example, several elderly people used to visit Me with the request, “Swami! Please give a word that You will pour sanctified water into my mouth with Your Divine hands at the time of my departure from this world.” I used to tell them, “My dear ones! All people cannot get this great boon. If you are destined to get it, you will certainly get it. I will come at the appropriate time and pour sanctified water into your mouth.”

Kondama Raju [Ravi: Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's very pious grandfather] used to observe these people coming to Swami with such requests. He also developed a yearning for this prapti (deservedness). One day, he approached Me and requested Me, “Swami! You are born in our family, in our lineage. You have upheld the honour and glory of our lineage. But, I also have a request to make to you. I wish and pray that my birth in our family should be sanctified. I therefore request you to please pour some holy water into my mouth with Your Divine hands during my last moments of life.” I assured him that I would certainly fulfil his request. He felt very happy, for, he knew that once Swami had given His word, He would certainly stick to it.

He lived for 112 years. Every morning, he would walk from the village to the New Mandir to have My darshan. One day I asked him, “Why do you walk all the way from the village to the Mandir and back. There may be cattle on the way and if they attack you, you will fall down and get injured. Won’t you?” He used to tell Me very boldly, “Swami! When You are protecting me and constantly standing by my side, which animal  could attack me?”

One day, early in the morning he came to the Mandir and had My darshan. He returned home
and lay down. After a while, he told Easwaramma to go near Sathyabhama Temple and see whether Swami was coming that side. She went there, returned and told him, “Yes, Swami is coming in His car.” Swami had a small car then. Kondama Raju said, “Easwaramma! Get a tumbler of water and put a tulasi leaf in it.” She did accordingly. He held the tumbler in his hand and was waiting for Me. He knew that his end was near and that I had come there to keep My promise. None else knew this. Holding the tumbler, he said, “Swami! I am ready.” I replied, “I am also ready.” As I poured the water into his mouth, he passed away peacefully. Before passing away, he said, “What a great fortune it is to drink water from Your Divine hands before departing from this world! Even King Dasaratha who performed great penance and sacrifice, did not have such a fortune. My life is redeemed.” Saying thus, he closed his eyes. With this incident of Kondama Raju, it was once again revealed to the whole world that Swami would certainly keep His word, come what may! The lives of Subbamama and Kondama Raju were thus redeemed. I manifest My Divine leelas in many ways to fulfil My word. I go to any extent to fulfil My promise. However, some devotees act contrary to their words. [Ravi: Sri Kondama Raju seems to have passed away in or around the year 1950.]
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Divine Discourse 9-3-2005, Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi)

[Ravi: BTW, if I recall correctly, I heard this discourse live, sitting in Sai Kulwant Hall.]

About Sri Ratnakaram Kondama Raju (grandfather of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba), here's an extract from Sathyam Shivam Sundaram (official biography of Bhagavan) Volume I, http://www.vahini.org/sss/i/wonderm.html:

The Raju family to which Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba belongs was noted for its piety since the days of the renowned sage Venkavadhootha. Not only did the Rajus build and endow Gopalaswami Temple, but the devout Sri Ratnakaram Kondama Raju, grandfather of Sathya Sai Baba, dedicated a temple to Satyabhama, a consort of Lord Krishna. This homage is seldom offered in any part of India to such a deity. Kondama Raju used to say in explanation of this unusual tribute to Satyabhama, that he was inspired to erect the temple because of the events that occurred during a strange dream. Tears of joy would run down the wrinkled cheeks of this centenarian, Sri Kondama Raju, whenever he recollected that enthralling dream experience.

In his dream Kondama Raju saw "Satyabhama alone, expectant, and forlorn, waiting anxiously for her Lord who had gone on an errand to bring to her from Paradise the much coveted Parijatha flowers. The minutes increased to hours and the hours to days, but still there was no sign of Krishna! Satyabhama broke into tears. There ensued a raging storm bringing thunder, lightning, and a heavy downpour of rain. Fortunately her eyes fell on Kondama Raju who was passing near the place where she stood. She asked him to provide some shelter." This dream led to his determination to build a temple for the Consort of the Lord.

Kondama Raju lived out his hundred and ten years of earthly existence in the contemplation of the Lord. He was a master of music and the histrionic art. He knew by heart the Lepakshi version of the entire Ramayana, the Great Epic poem in Sanskrit about Rama. This version was a series of songs composed by a poet from the City of Lepakshi. They depicted the incidents in dramatic imagery and artistic luxuriance. Kondama Raju played the role of Lakshmana, the devoted brother of Rama, in all the Ramayana plays enacted at Puttaparthi and other villages. Requests for him to play this role were received even from far-off places. His depiction of the steadfast devotion and unquestioning dedication of Lakshmana touched the hearts of all who witnessed his performance. He appeared hundreds of times on many stages until age prevented him from further repetition of the role. He was a strict vegetarian, prone to observe the holy vows of the Hindu calendar. His cottage, a short distance from his sons and grandchildren, was a veritable abode of holy homage. He took delight in gathering around his cot the children of his sons and relating to them the tales of Gods and God-men. The children loved to be with him, for he made every character and adventure live before their eager eyes through the enchantment of song and drama.

--- end extract from Sathyam Shivam Sundaram ----

[I thank sssbpt.info and vahini.org, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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