Saturday, May 29, 2010


No sooner did I complete my last post, got the information of a similar event happening in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh. This information is provided in the May 2010 issue of Sri Sai Darshan magazine.

Sri Alla Nageshwara Rao lives in the village Subhadrayyamma Peta. This village is in the Tuni Mandal of East Godavari District. Like his fellow village men, he is also a simple person, hailing from a very ordinary family. His living was also very simple as he did not have any ancestral property.

The only thing he knew was to sing, melodious devotional songs. Every evening, he would go on top of the nearest hill, select a comfortable place, sit there and sing songs. Occasionally, he would take other children and made them also sing devotional songs. Other than this, he was not tainted by the so called wisdom of the world.

Without his knowledge, one day, Baba blessed him. And in no time, Nageshwar Rao had built a temple for Baba on the same hill on which he used to sing songs. A beautiful Baba idol was also installed. When asked if this was not a task beyond his capabilities, the answer is simple, like the person himself.

“You yourself are saying that the task was beyond my capability. Then how do you think the task was completed? You are thinking that I have done it. But there is no power greater than the power of Baba in this world. I did nothing. Baba himself built this temple. He made all the noble minded people to donate lakhs of rupees and completed the temple.”

The villagers visit the temple every day. No day dawns for them without the darshan of Baba. In fact, the villagers have changed the name of their village from Subhadrayyamma Peta to Chinna Shirdi (small Shirdi).

A parallel event which happened in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh as recently as last year, wherein I was involved from the very initial stage is narrated below.

I met Sri Venkatesh, for the first time, in an exhibition more than 15 years ago. The exhibition was the annual All India Industrial Exhibition conducted every year in the month of January. He had put up a small stall dedicated to Sri Shirdi Sai Baba. A notice proclaimed that Baba’s Prasadam would be delivered at home for a small amount of Rs. 11/-. I thought that the amount was too small for the service being rendered and immediately registered. From the next month onwards till now, I have been getting Baba’s Prasadam at my home and during these long years my friendship with Venkatesh has also grown considerably.

To my surprise, I found out that Venkatesh does not do anything else for his livelihood. He has a mother, a wife and two small baby girls to support. Every month he goes to Shirdi by train, collects the Prasadam there, brings it to Hyderabad and delivers to all the devotees through out the month. Even if he has a clientele of one thousand devotees, a monthly income of Rs.11, 000/- is too meager to sustain himself and the family. The most stunning fact is that, he has unflinching faith in Baba and does not believe in working for anyone else. And he can talk only in Telugu.

Last year, may be in the summer months, one of the devotees, Sri Visveshwara Rao told Venkatesh that he would give him 200 Sq yds of vacant land in which a temple for Baba should be built. The land is several kms after Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad. Anyone who has knowledge of Hyderabad can understand the location. There is no house or any human movement within the purview of the human eye. I tried to dissuade him from the project, but Venakatesh was very firm. He said that Baba wanted a temple there and a temple there will be. Then things began to happen. People came flocking to help the construction work.

On the Vijayadashami day of 2009, the foundation stone was laid and the temple is ready to be inaugurated in the month of June 2010. It appears that the gram panchayat have come forward to offer another 2,000 sq yds of land behind the temple for the temple activities.

Would all these efforts have been possible without the explicit grace of Baba? Rajesh, Nageshwara Rao, and Venkatesh, to name only few, who are utterly simple and highly devoted, have immortality conferred on them by Baba himself!!!!

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