The Divine Birth

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Mythology of Puttaparthi

In a remote corner of Andhra Pradesh was a prosperous village named Gollapalli. The land was fertile and crops grew well. Cows were healthy and gave copious milk. The simple village folk were contented, with their basic needs fulfilled.
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One cowherd found that his best cow came back from grazing daily with empty udders. He resolved to find out who was stealing the milk. He followed the cow one day and found that it went to a putta (an anthill inhabited by a snake) and stood there while a snake came out of the putta and put its mouth on the cow’s udder and drank the milk. The enraged cowherd picked up a rock and threw it at the snake, which was mortally wounded. Before it died, it pronounced a curse that the place would become a home for snakes. Prosperity would decline and people would find it difficult to make a living.
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Following the curse of the snake the land became infertile and cattle declined in health and number.The name of the village was changed to Valmikipura and then to Puttaparthi. Despite the snake’s curse the Ratnakara Raju family stayed on.
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Our story starts with one Kondama Raju
He was widely respected for his sweet nature and wisdom. One day he had an unexpected visitor. It was none other than his Guru,Venkavadhoota the divine messenger, after whom he had named his two sons. Kondama Raju welcomed his visitor respectfully and after some exchange of pleasantries, he expressed his feeling that there appeared to be a purpose behind his Guru’s visit. Venkavadhoota admitted that there indeed was a purpose to his visit.
He said, “Bhoodevi, mother earth weeps, so Narayan has to come. He will take birth in your family. He will love you. He will play on your lap. Be prepared. With these words,Venkavadhoota departed, leaving behind a mystified Kondama Raju.
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The Avatar Makes His Advent
Years passed. On Kondama Raju’s suggestion a distant relative, Subba Raju, came over and settled in Karnatanagepalli. A marriage was fixed between Subba Raju’s daughter Namagiriamma and PeddaVenkappa Raju, Kondama Raju’s elder son. Mindful of his Guru’s prophecy, he named his daughter inlaw Easwaramma. A year later a son was born and was named Seshama. Two daughters followed, named Venkamma and Parvathamma. Then followed four miscarriages. One day when Easwaramma was drawing water at the well, there was a flash of lightning in a clear sky and a big ball of blue light came rolling towards her and entered her body. She had a great feeling of joy and fainted.
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Karnam Subbamma, wife of the village chief, helped her to get up and go home.
Years later Swami told a group of devotees that this was the way he made His advent. It was a “pravesh” (entrance) and not a “prasav” (not a child birth ). Soon Easwaramma realized that she was pregnant for the eighth time. To be on the safe side, her mother in law planned a series of Sathyanarayan puja. Kondama Raju drew the attention of his family that just as Krishna was the eighth child, the baby that Easwaramma was carrying, would be the result of her eighth pregnancy.
He was certain that Lord Narayan was about to make His advent. Then a curious thing happened. At night the musical instruments in the house started playing by themselves. The music was sweet and soothing. When Kondama Raju and his two sons went to investigate, they couldn’t see anyone and the music stopped. After a few such nights they were too tense to sleep. Kondama Raju remembered an astrologer in Bukkapatnam who was highly respected. They went to consult him and told him the reason for their anxiety. He meditated for some time and then announced that a great being was about to be born to Easwaramma. Celestial beings like Devatas,Kinnaras and Gandharvas were playing divine music to charm the baby in the womb.
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For more information on the life of Sathya Sai Baba this book can be purchased at the museum book shop.
Col.S.K.Bose (Retd) Prasanthi Nilayam
Illustrations A R Prowse

An Offering at The Lotus Feet of
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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