Life History

Life_history_1The Ratnakaram Raju FamilyThe Raju family of Puttaparthi was noted for its piety since the days of the renowned sage, Venkavadhootha, a saintly ancestor who was looked upon as a Guru in hundreds of villages around. Not only did the family build and endow the Gopalaswami Temple (dedicated to Lord Krishna), but Sri Ratnakaram Kondama Raju, the grandfather of Bhagawan’s physical frame, dedicated a temple to Sathyabhama, consort of Lord Krishna, a deity to whom this type of homage is seldom offered in any part of India. Peasants by vocation, they were known for their musical and dramatic talent and were much involved in the propagation of the sacred scriptures through village plays and musicals. Consequently, the family was given the name ‘Bhat Raju’ (Bhat – priest).

Bhagawan was born as member of Raju family to Pedda Venkappa Raju and Easwaramma on 23rd November 1926..

All the devotees who knew Mother Easwaramma, felt that she was more their mother than the Divine Mother of the Avatar. It was because she treated everyone as a member of her family. Very supportive and kind, she empathised with the agony of all. Her heart was so full of compassion that she would gel with everybody without any reservations and distinctions, and would reach out to help anyone who was in need, without any difference of mine and thine.

The baby was named Sathyanarayana because there seemed to be a significant relationship between the worship to that God and the realisation of the mother’s cherished desire.

Little Sathya soon became the pet of the entire village of Puttaparthi and the farmers and cowherds vied with each other in fondling it and feeding it and playing with its lovely silken curls. Its charming smile attracted every one. Like a lighted lamp, Sathya moved about the house and laughter tinkled in the street when He lisped His sweet vocabulary of sounds. The villagers soon started referring to Him as “Brahmajnani”, the knower and proponent of Brahman or Godhood. Even at a young age, Sathya was known for His extraordinary love and compassion towards creation and aversion towards harming any creature. His heart melted at human suffering.

The early school days

Life_history2At the age of eight, Sathya was declared fit to proceed to the Higher Elementary School at Bukkapatnam, about two and a half miles from Puttaparthi. He had to start early, after a meal of cold rice and curds or cooked ragi (maize), rice and chutney, carry the afternoon meal in a bag, and with His companions make the arduous trek daily to Bukkapatnam. Sathyanarayana was a precocious child, learning more things than anyone could teach Him and much quicker than most; He could sing all the songs and Sthothras (prayers) that were recited at the village operas. He even composed at the tender age of seven or eight, some touching songs for the cast, which were gladly accepted by them for public presentation!

The Pandhari Bhajan group

Life_history_3When He was about ten years of age, Sathya formed a ‘Pandhari Bhajan’ group in the village of Puttaparthi. The group consisted of about sixteen to eighteen boys dressed uniformly in ochre clothes, holding each a flag in the hand and wearing jingling anklets. They all danced to the tune of folk-songs and ballads, describing the yearning of pilgrims for Lord Panduranga’s Darshan. He also added some Bhagavatha songs of His own.

 

Avatar Declaration Day

Life_history_4In the year 1940 on October 20th, Sathyanarayana started for school as usual. However, within a few minutes, He returned to the house. Standing on the outer doorstep, He cast aside the books He was carrying and called out, “I am no longer your Sathya. I am Sai.” The sister-in-law came from the kitchen, only to be blinded by the splendour of the halo around Baba’s head! He addressed her, “I am going; I don’t belong to you; Maya (delusion) has gone; My Bhaktas (devotees) are calling Me; I have My Work; I can’t stay here any longer.” When the brother hurried home on hearing all this, Baba only told him, “Give up all your efforts to ‘cure’ Me. I am Sai; I do not consider Myself related to you”.

Thus the young lad Sathyanarayana Raju revealed to the world His Divine identity and the glorious mission on which He has come.

There after people in Puttaparthi and over a period, people from all over the globe witnessed millions of miracles by which they became ardent followers of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

85 Years of Love in Action

Swami’s boundless compassion to fellow human being paved the way for 85 years of service to society in various form like free education at school and university levels, delivering quality medical care completely free of charge and supply of pure drinking water in various regions of the state of Andhra Pradesh and the metropolitan city of Chennai to name a few.