ALL ARE BOUND BY THE
LAW OF KARMA
to face the consequences of one’s own karma. Who has
made the bats to hang from the branches of a tree with their
heads downwards? It is their fate. Likewise, nobody can escape
from the consequences of karma.
Every human being, insect, bird, beast or
animal, nay, every living being in this world is bound by
destiny. None can escape from the result of karmas, good or
bad. It is natural for every living being to obey the laws
of nature and the law of karma. For example, the bat hangs
from the branches of a tree heads downwards. That is their
nature. That is how they are born to live. Every human being
in this world thinks that he is undergoing suffering, even
though he had not done anything bad. He feels, “I have
not done anything wrong! Why then am I undergoing this suffering?”
But, the fact is otherwise. Whatever pleasure or pain undergone
by a living being is certainly the outcome of the karmas (action)
performed by it. Every human being performs karma and enjoys
its fruit as a consequence. Nevertheless, it is not clear
to him till today whether it is a natural consequence of his
actions or by any unknown reason. Not only the human being,
even bacteria, birds, insects, beasts and animals are experiencing
the consequences of their karma.
In support of this inevitable law of karma,
I would like to narrate certain incidents that happened long
ago. These incidents explain how certain births took place,
just to demonstrate this truth. There used to be a great devotee
by name Subbamma in Puttaparthi. She was very rich. She had
no children. Whatever she had, she used to give in charity
to one and all with a feeling, “I am only sharing my
god-given wealth with my fellow human beings.” She was
leading a pious and noble life with a sense of equanimity.
She had, however, one desire. She used to pray, “Swami!
At the time of my departure from this earthly sojourn, You
should quench my thirst by pouring a few drops of water into
my mouth with Your Divine hands.” I promised her that
I would do so. Six years after I gave that promise to her,
I had to go to Chennai once to fulfil My engagement in a devotee’s
house. That was the time of Second World War. Once in every
hour, there used to be an air raid precaution siren and the
streets would become empty in no time. I stayed there for
three days and started My return journey straight to Bukkapatnam
from Chennai in a car. Meanwhile, Subbamma fell seriously
ill and was taken to Bukkapatnam from Puttaparthi. That was
her parental home. There she died. Her relatives started making
certain sarcastic remarks, “Sai Baba gave word to her
that He would pour water into her mouth at the time of her
last moments. Did He come? Where has He gone?” Subbamma’s
brothers and relatives made all arrangements for taking her
body for cremation. In those days, it was not easy to procure
firewood to cremate a dead body, especially in the villages.
However, they procured some firewood and kept everything ready.
While passing by the house of Subbamma, I noticed several
people gathered there. I enquired, “Who is going to
be cremated?” Washerman Subbanna was there. He replied,
“Swami! Subbamma is dead.” I enquired again, “Is
it? When did she die?” “Three days ago, Swami”,
he replied. I went into her house where her body was kept.
Her relatives were about to take her body out for cremation.
Her sister saw Me and started wailing. She told Me, “Baba!
She longed for Your arrival. She yearned that You should pour
water into her mouth before she breathed her last. At last,
she died without her wish fulfilled.” I told her that
there was no possibility of such an eventuality and asked
her to fetch some water in a tumbler. I put a basil leaf in
the water. I removed the cloth that covered her face. Ants
were crawling all over her body. I gently called her name,
“Subbamma!” She opened her eyes and saw Me. She
held My hands and wept. She enquired, “When did You
come Swami?” I replied, “I came just now.”
I wiped her tears gently with a towel. I told her, “Subbamma!
Look here.” I then poured a few drops of the sacred
water into her mouth and said, “Now, close your eyes
peacefully. Subbamma drank that water from My hands and breathed
her last. Thus, I kept My promise to Subbamma. While this
strange phenomenon was going on, all her relatives and the
doctors who attended on her were watching the happenings with
awe. They could not believe their eyes. They were wondering,
“How come! Subbamma died three days ago. There was no
breath in her body. How is it that she opened her eyes now
and spoke to Swami? Perhaps it is a divine miracle of Sai
Baba.” Subbamma was constantly worried during her lifetime
that Swami was always on the move visiting several places
and perhaps her last wish might not be fulfilled. But, I kept
My promise made to her long ago. At last, the dead body of
Subbamma was cremated by her relatives as per their family
custom. She was a Brahmin lady. I started returning to Puttaparthi.
A bullock cart was kept ready for My return. Myself and the
brother of Griham Ammayi (Easwaramma) sat in the bullock cart
and were returning to Puttaparthi. His name was Chandramouli
(Swami’s physical body’s maternal uncle). We saw
smoke emanating from the cremation ground where Subbamma’s
mortal remains were being consigned to flames. Chandramouli
enquired, “Swami! You were with Subbamma’s dead
body till now. Why did You not wait till the cremation was
over?” I told him, “Chandramouli! I am not a person
who goes back on his word. I gave a word to Subbamma that
I would be present by her side during her last moments and
pour water into her mouth. That I fulfilled. I advised her
to depart from this world peacefully. I kept My promise and
I am now returning to My abode.” Chandramouli felt very
happy. In fact, Subbamma was held in high esteem by the entire
village. She was the head of the village, being the wife of
the Karanam. The entire property of the village was in her
name. However, since she came into the fold of Swami, she
had no other interest in life, except Swami. Right from early
morning till she went to bed, she was constantly engaged in
Swami’s work only. On certain occasions I used to retire
into the caves of the nearby hills without informing her.
Poor lady! she used to go round the hills in search of Me.
She used to pack upma, dosa, vada,
idli, etc., in a tiffin carrier and come in search
of Me. At last, when she could find Me, I used to enquire
teasingly, “Subbamma! What did you bring for Me?”
She used to reply, “Swami! I brought the items of Your
taste.” Then I used to tell her, “Give Me dosa.”
She then served dosa in a plate and handed it over
to Me. I used to tease her further saying, “Subbamma!
I don’t like this dosa. Give Me idli, upma, vada, etc.”
Poor lady! She used to serve Me all those items. From morning
till evening, she used to prepare a number of items and wait
for Me. Yet, she was anxious to know what more did I need.
Once I told her “Subbamma! You need not fear. I don’t
need anything. I have put so many questions to you asking
for this and that to make your devotion and surrender known
to the world.” Subbamma then requested Me, “Swami!
I am happy that I have been able to serve You food. I am also
happy that You ate these items with love and affection towards
me. I will be happy if You can kindly put a small quantity
of this stuff in my mouth with Your Divine hands.” Then,
I took a small piece of idli from the plate and put it in
her mouth with a little chutney. She felt extremely happy.
Thus, Subbamma experienced great bliss in the divine proximity
of Swami till her last breath. Chandramouli, who was a witness
to My showering love and grace on Subbamma on a number of
occasions, observed, “Swami! How compassionate You are
towards the devotees! We don’t have words to express
Your love and compassion towards devotees, especially Subbamma.”
True! Words fail to describe Swami’s love and compassion
towards Subbamma. The devotion of Subbamma towards Swami surpassed
even that of Prahlada.
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 in your mouth.” Kondama Raju 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.
I was taken to Kamalapuram for higher education.
The elder brother of this body, Seshama Raju was very intent
on My pursuing higher education. Therefore, he took Me along
with him to Kamalapuram and admitted Me in the school. In
those days, I was struggling very much to prosecute the education
due to paucity of funds. Often times I had to manage with
empty pockets. Hence, I used to make use of My poetic skills
to earn a few coins to meet My personal needs. In the same
village, there used to be a businessman by name Kotte Subbanna.
He used to run a provision shop in which some Ayurvedic medicines
were also sold. Once a new Ayurvedic medicine by name “Bala
Bhaskara” was introduced for sale in his shop. It was
a new and very efficacious medicine. It could fetch him a
good profit if popularised. He therefore, requested Me to
shoulder the responsibility of making propaganda for his new
medicine. I agreed to his request, but asked for some more
information about the medicine. Then, I composed a song about
the efficacy of the medicine and gathered a few children of
My age to go round the nearby villages with placards in their
hands and sing the song composed by Me. The song ran thus:
There it is! There it is! Oh, children!
There is the medicine Bala Bhaskara;
Be it an upset stomach or a swollen leg;
Be it a joint pain or flatulence;
Be it any ailment, known or unknown;
Take this Bala Bhaskara for an instant cure!
If you wish to know where it is available:
There is the shop of Kotte Subbanna;
It is in that shop that you can pick it up.
Come here boys! come here!
It is an excellent tonic
Prepared by the famous physician Gopalacharya himself,
Come here boys! come here!
By the time we completed our propaganda tour
of the nearby villages, all the stock of medicines in Subbanna’s
shop were sold out. He felt very happy. Then he called Me
and offered a pair of knickers and a shirt stitched for Me.
But, I flatly refused them saying, “Subbanna! I did
not compose that song for the sake of new clothes. I don’t
need them. I won’t touch them. Please take them back.
If you thus offer some money or articles in return for My
services, I will not even step into your shop.” He realised
My sincerity and strong feelings. From then onwards, he used
to say, “Raju! I don’t want anything in this world,
except Your love.”
Another incident had happened while I was
studying in Kamalapuram. I attended a scout camp in a nearby
village called Pushpagiri where a big fair was being held.
I was away from the house for a few days and there was nobody
to fetch water from a distant well for household purposes.
Hence, the wife of Seshama Raju had to shoulder that responsibility.
By the time I returned from the scout camp, Seshama Raju was
angry that there was nobody in the house to help his wife.
He was then drawing lines in a notebook with the help of a
wooden ruler. As soon as he saw Me, he shouted at Me, “Hey!
Come here. There is no one in the house to fetch water for
the last few days. Your sister-in-law had to attend to that
job also, besides her normal domestic chores.” So saying,
he took the ruler and beat Me angrily. The ruler broke into
three pieces. My hand was swollen and it was giving Me a lot
of pain. I did not give a reply nor revealed the incident
to anybody. I tied a bandage Myself to My hand with a wet
cloth. The next day, Seshama Raju’s son died. He gave
a telegram to Pedda Venkama Raju (Swami’s father). Venkama
Raju immediately rushed to see Seshama Raju. He started from
Puttaparthi and reached Bukkapatnam and from there to Kamalapuram.
The Griham Abbayi (Swami’s father) enquired from Me,
why I was having a bandage on My forearm. I tried to explain
away very casually as if nothing had happened. I told him
there was a slight pain due to a blister on the forearm and
therefore I put a bandage on it. There was a lady belonging
to the Vysya community in the neighbouring house, who used
to make her living by preparing dosas and selling them. She
tried to reason with Griham Abbayi saying, “What! Venkama
Raju! I know you are sufficiently well-off so as to get Raju
educated at your place. Why should you put Him to so much
trouble by keeping Him under the care of His elder brother
at such a distant place? You do not know how much suffering
the poor boy is undergoing here. He has to fetch drinking
water from a distant place carrying two big pitchers with
the help of a Kavadi on his young shoulders daily.”
Thus, she narrated several incidents where I had to undergo
physical strain and suffering. Griham Abbayi was deeply moved
on hearing My plight and immediately called Me and said, “My
dear son! You start immediately and come along with me. Let
us go back to Puttaparthi.” All the family members loved
Me. He therefore lamented, “I have come to know that
the injury to your forearm was due to your elder brother’s
beating. I myself never beat You till date. You are undergoing
so much suffering here. Come! Let us go back to Puttaparthi.”
At the time when this incident happened, Griham Abbayi made
a comment which still rings in My ears even today: “Sathyam!
If one is alive, one can make a living even by selling salt.
I can no longer put You to such an ordeal. Can I not provide
for Your living even with my meagre income?” So saying
he shed tears. From then onwards, He did not send Me with
anyone. My formal education stopped with the high school.
I did not attend any college. Nevertheless, I have been continuing
My Mission as a Sathya Bodhaka (Teacher of Truth), making
Puttaparthi My headquarters.
I composed a beautiful poem depicting the
glorious history of Puttaparthi, which reads as follows:
Encircling which town the sacred river
Chitravathi flows in all its pristine beauty;
Around which town there are beautiful
Mango groves symbolising auspiciousness;
Standing guard on the four sides of which town
are the deities of Parvati and Parameswara constantly protecting;
Firmly installed in the midst of which town is the
effulgent Lord Vishnu in all His splendour;
That world famous town is Puttapuram or Puttaparthi
with its fresh water tank built by Chikkavadiyar
standing as an everlasting monument
to the glory of Bukkaraya.
I built a residential colony in commemoration
of the great love and devotion Subbamma had towards Me and
named it as Karanam Subbamma Nagar, which is next to Gokulam.
I also purchased some cows and engaged some people to look
after them. Some of these people were accommodated in a few
of those houses in Karanam Subbamma Nagar. Thus, I made efforts
to see that the name of Subbamma is remembered for ever by
A few years ago, I started a project by
name “Deenajanoddharana Pathakam” to adopt some
orphan children to provide food, clothing and education to
them so that when they grow up they will be able to lead a
life with honour and dignity. I am looking after these boys
with all love and care. You must have seen these boys when
they come for Darshan every Thursday and Sunday. I also built
living accommodation for these boys so that they may stay
comfortably in those houses. Besides their normal education,
they are now acquiring proficiency in extra curricular activities
also. Thus, there are so many service activities that I have
undertaken right from My childhood. If they are all to be
narrated now, it can go for hours together.
I have great love for you. I wish that all of you should come
up well and earn a good name. I love such boys who earn good
name. In fact, I give Myself to such boys. I will give you
whatever you want.