MOTHER SAI: EASWARAMMA
A Divine Mother
When Pandit Munelal became my guru (spiritual teacher), I was first introduced to Sai Baba. For three years panditji received training in Mumbai, India at the Chinmaya Mission on Hindu philosophy, Vendanta and various other texts. After his training he met and obtained the blessings of various holy ones and saints, including Sai Baba.
Panditji's eldest daughter, Vaishnavi, sings a very sweet bhajan to Mother Sai called Jayaho Jayaho Eeshwarambaa on his album entitled Divya Darshan. I wanted to know about the woman in the song and to experience who she was to Sai Baba and many others. I dedicate this blog to my guru, Pandit Munelal. Later in this month he will be leading a tour in India.
Imagine being the channel through which Divinity comes into the world. Mother Mary, Devaki, Kaushalya, Jashoda and other women have experienced having the role of the Divine Mother. So how did she know she would be the one of those women who become Mother of All? Every one of these mothers had a great story behind the coming and entry of Divinity into the world. Mother Easwaramma is no different in this regard. As Sai Baba said, "I resolved on my birth. I decided who should be my mother!"
Mother Sai was originally named Namagirlamma. At the age of 14 she married Pedda Venkama Raju. It was her father-in-law, Rondama Raju, who first called her Easwaramma, which means Mother of Easwara (God). This occurred long before Sai Baba appeared on the Earth.
Mother Sai relates a very interesting story about her first inkling that she was about to experience something very unusual. She said, "The mother-in-law had dreamt of Sathyanarayana Deva (a form of God) and she cautioned me that I should not be frightened if something happens to me through the will of God. That morning when I was at the well drawing water, a big ball of blue light came rolling towards me and I fainted and fell. I felt it glide into me." His birth was called Pravesa, or an entrance, very different than normal births. He was conceived when the blue light entered into his mother's womb. On Monday, November 23, 1926, a day dedicated to Lord Shiva, Sai Baba was born in Puttaparti, a tiny village in Andhra Pradesh State in India. Mother Sai had eaten prasad (sacred food) given to her by her mother-in-law after a Sathyanarya Puja. This is when Sai Baba was born into the abode of Kondama and Easwaramma Raju.
When He was born, musical instruments in the house played completely on their own without no one playing them. A cobra was found beneath the blanket, in which He was wrapped, sweetly rocking the baby. Lord Shiva is connected with snakes which He wears around His neck. It was as though Shiva had taken form to announce the birth in the form of a serpent.
Baba was christened Satya (Truth) Naaraayana (Supreme Consciousness in Human Form). Later on He displayed great ability as a musician, dancer and poet. He was called "Little Master" at the age of three by this grandfather, performed miracles by the age of seven and materialized objects out of empty bags. Satya revealed He was an incarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdee reborn. By the age of ten, He explained to pandits high philosophy of the Vedas and scriptures of all faiths.
His mother coped with all these events. Can you imagine having a child like this? He ate very little food and would choose clothing after other children in the family had chosen from clothing brought from Hindupur to their village. He was always happy to let other choose first. He said, " I do not need anything. Whatever you give Me, I will accept. That is enough for Me."
He stated his mission as, "I have come to inscribe a golden chapter in the history of humanity, wherein falsehood will fail, truth will triumph and virtue will reign." Love is the greatest virtue is what he taught to all humanity.
People in ill health came to Him and received miraculous cures and there are documented cases of Him bringing the dead back to life. Krishna and Jesus are two other incarnations of God who also resurrected the dead and cured the sick.
His mother, of course, looked at Him as her son and tried to protect Him as any mother would. She always wanted to cook for whenever He travelled and made sure He had plenty of food. She was in charge of the menu in the host's kitchen making sure He had Andhra or Raylaseema cuisine, the regional area of Puttaparthi.
When He wanted to travel to Africa, she was afraid for his safety and did not want Him to go there. He finally went there and had a great time. It became the only country He travelled to outside of India.
She was very instrumental in all His work to improve the lives of people in distress. It was through her efforts that His charitable foundations were developed. Wells, schools and hospitals sprung up all over India because of her efforts. People would visit her son and she would meet with them for all kinds of reasons.
Baba built the Prasanthi Nitayam Mandir on the outskirts of their village. She was very concerned about what people were saying about its location. Today it is a great building called the Sai Kulwant Hall.
She had the greatest concern for widows and other women who had financial struggles. She did what she could for them, giving them sarees and other items. As a single woman who has had my financial challenges since the recession in the USA, I really can indentify with the women she would help and advocate for in various ways. Your life is never stable and you never know what will happen in these circumstances. You have to be prepared for anything which might happen to you.
I recall when I was with my healing guru, Master Lin, a well-known Chinese Taoist Qigong Master, who came to the USA because of persecution in China. His parents were jailed by the Communist government. In my first class he sent energy around the class. He walked by me, and I saw blue and orange balls of energy. Thinking about this great woman experiencing a blue ball of energy enter her womb really brings me back to this experience. When you have a powerful experience with energy, you never forget it. God enters in through these powerful experiences. Your life is never the same again.
Pehaps, we all chose our mothers before we were born, just like Sai Baba did. We all have our mother's energy with us throughout our lives. We were inside of her for many months. She sang to us and talked to us even before we were born. This stays with us always. God enters in through our mother's efforts, no matter what kind of birth we have had.
Mother Sai was with Him when she left this world on May 6, 1972. She drank her morning coffee and called out, "Swami, Swami, Swami" at the time of her death. She was with Him always except for when he travelled to Africa. Like all other Divine Mothers she loved her child first and came to accept that Divinity had entered into the world.
JAI SHRI MOTHER SAI! JAI SHRI SAI BABA!