The First Signs

At Uravakonda

Sathya was also sought after by people who had lost articles of value, for He had brought with Him to Uravakonda the reputation for intuitive perception, which revealed to Him the place where anything was! Baba says that in those days, He used to give His friends only the first and last letters of the names of the persons with whom the lost articles could be found. He left them with their own resources to recover the goods.

Sathya then moved to Uravakonda for further studies. On March 8, 1940, the whole town was shocked to hear that a big black scorpion had stung Sathya in the twilight hours of the evening. However, Sathya slept that night without any sign of pain! Everyone felt relieved, only to become anxious once again when the next evening, Sathya fell unconscious and became stiff; He would not speak and breathing appeared faint. Seshama Raju brought in a doctor, who gave an injection and left behind a mixture. Sathya was apparently unconscious throughout the night. The doctor came again in the morning and declared that the boy was out of danger!

An incident happened in the night which showed that Sathya was not ‘unconscious’ but, that He was actually supraconscious! Someone suggested that the local deity be propitiated, because the condition of the boy may be due to some evil spirit that possessed Him. So, volunteers hurried to the temple and offered worship, placed flowers and incense, and broke a coconut at the altar. At that very moment, Sathya, who was to all intents ‘unconscious’, said, “The coconut has broken into three pieces,” and when the volunteers came home with the offerings, they had with them three pieces and not the usual two!

Sathya got up in a day or two and began to behave in an extraordinary way. Baba has said that He Himself initiated the process of manifestation, for He could not wait any longer, playing about as a mere boy, with ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ and ‘classmates’ and other secular bonds. He wanted to demonstrate that He was beyond both ‘Visha’ and ‘Vishaya’, that neither the poison of the scorpion nor worldly attractions could ever affect Him.

Meanwhile, Seshama Raju had informed his parents at Puttaparthi about the state of affairs at Uravakonda. He had written that Sathya was not answering anyone who spoke to Him, that it was a Herculean task to make Him accept food, that He was spending the time mostly in silence but, sometimes bursting into song and poetry, at times reciting long Sanskrit slokas (hymns), sometimes expounding the highest Vedantic philosophy. The parents took about a week to reach the place, because of unforeseen and inexplicable difficulties.

Seshama Raju got nervous as to why the parents had not arrived. He decided to send someone to Puttaparthi to find out the reason for the delay. But, Sathya interposed and said, “You need not send for them now, they will be here in half an hour,” and true to His words, they came in exactly thirty minutes later.

Divine Fortitude

The parents were beside themselves with worry at the condition of Sathya; He sang and spoke and behaved in such a queer manner. It was all so mysterious. At that time, someone gave information to the worried parents that there was an expert exorcist before whom no evil spirit dare wag its poison tail! He will cure Sathya perfectly and make Him fit to go to school, they assured.

The exorcist was a gigantic figure, terrible to behold, with blood-red eyes and untamed manners. He tried all his craft which he dared not experiment even with strong adult patients! For example, he shaved the head of the boy and, with a sharp instrument scored three ‘X’ marks on the scalp, from the top towards the forehead. Sathya sat through the pain without wilting. With the scalp injured and bleeding with those markings, the witch doctor poured on the open wound the juice of lime, garlic, and other acidic fruits. The parents who were watching the proceedings in utter despair were surprised, for there was not even a tear, or a gasp of pain from the boy! But the exorcist was unrelenting and put the boy through even more terrible trials until the parents could bear to see it no more. They wanted to save the boy from the jaws of that Yama (God of Death) in human form; they had seen and suffered enough. They paid him full fees and also gave some unasked gifts, and thanked him for all the ‘learning’ he had utilised.

When asked later as to why He chose to go through this horrendous adventure, Bhagawan remarked, “Even after seeing all that fortitude and the miracle of a little boy passing unscathed through all that terror, even now, you are not convinced that I am Baba; how then would you have reacted if I just made the announcement one fine day? I wanted to make known that I am Divine, impervious to human suffering, pain or joy.”

Meanwhile, Sri Krishnamachari, a lawyer-friend from Penukonda, heard of these occurrences in the Raju household and came to the village to study the situation and offer what help he could. He had a good look and told Venkama Raju, “It is really more serious than I thought; take Him immediately to the Narasimha Temple (Lord Narasimha – the man-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu) at Ghatikachalam; that is the last chance.” On hearing these words, Sathya said, “Funny, is it not? I am already there at Ghatikachalam and you want to take Me to Myself!” The Vakil had no inclination to cross-examine.

continue reading: The Mission Begins