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HOMAGE TO EASWARAMMA - EASWARAMMA DAY
 

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Date: May 6
 

6th May 1972 was the day when Mother Easwaramma, left her mortal coil. Every year since then, the day is observed as Mother's Day by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. In the past few years, Bhagawan has been either at Brindavan or Kodaikanal on this day. This day is marked by charity to the poor, with Bhagawan distributing food, clothes and blankets to the weaker sections of the society. Bhagawan emphasizes on the need to love and respect one's parents. He also explains how much Mother Easwaramma used to love Bhagawan and His Devotees when she was alive. He elaborates on the greatness of Motherhood and their influential role in shaping the lives of their children.

 
The choice of becoming mother to the present day Avatar Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was conferred on Easwaramma. On December 31, 1970 Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba announced: "I resolved on My birth. I decided who should be My mother" in answer to a question from the editor of "Nav Kaal" a Bombay Daily paper. On another occasion Swami was asked by a Pundit, well versed in the Puranas, who felt a sudden urge to ask a question, "Swami, was your incarnation a "Pravesha" (an Entrance) or a "Prasava" (Enceinte). Turning to Easwaramma seated in front, He said, "Tell Rama Sharma what happened that day near the well after your mother-in-law had warned you."
 

Mother said, "She had dreamt of Satyanarayana Deva and she had 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 glided into me." Swami turned to Rama Sharma with a smile. "There you have the answer! I was not begotten. It was Pravesha, not Prasava."
 

"From ancient times, it has been the practice in Bharat to revere the mother as God. From the outset, the Vedas have declared: 'Revere the mother as God, father as God and preceptor as God.' If they are gods, for what purpose are they gods? In the ordinary course of daily existence, they are gods for worldly purposes. For the human body the mother, father and preceptor are to be deemed as divine. But, for the pursuit of life the Divine is the only God. There is another Sanskrit saying which hails God as mother, father, kinsman, friend, wealth, knowledge and in fact the Supreme Lord of everything. This means that for the spiritual life, God is everything.
 

The mother and father are residents of the home. The preceptor dwells in his Ashram. But God is the indweller of the heart. Only God can reside in the heart. It is true that mother, father and preceptor are divine, but they are not entitled to dwell in the heart. They have to be revered, adored and made happy. God alone deserves to be worshipped. 'God is nearer to man than his mother, closer than even the father. To give up such God is a heinous sin. This is the truth proclaimed by Sai'. (Poem)"
 

"When I appeared in the form of Lord Shiva to her [Easwaramma], she would ask, 'What Swami? Why are you adorning the snakes around your neck?' I would act innocent; 'Well I don't have any snakes on Me.' She would move away saying, 'Look, there are some snakes inside.' But later on not finding any snake inside, she would ask for forgiveness. Like this on many occasions, she had the experience of My Divinity. Similar was the case with Kausalya and Yashoda. Though they knew that their sons were Divine, they used to get carried away by their motherly affection towards them. Mothers are highly noble and virtuous. Their nobility cannot be described in words. It does not matter if you do not acquire worldly wealth, but you should try to win the wealth of your mother's grace. Only then your life will be sanctified."


EASWARAMMA-THE CHOSEN MOTHER - book is a befitting tribute to the life of Easwaramma whom Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba the God incarnated chose to be His Mother. It provides rare glimpses into her psyche; her curiosity, compassion and wonder. She was tenderhearted and pious and like an earnest Sadhaks, had to trudge along the inner path that leads from Maya to the Master.
 

This short narrative of the earthly life of Easwaramma ('God's Mother') pictures lucidly her expanding awareness, and delineates hesitations, hazards and hopes that she had to encounter.


Naturally simple, meek and modest, she always stepped back from publicity, admiration and adoration. As Mother of the global family of Sai, her love had to be all-enveloping and unconditional.
 

When we review the life of the Mother of the Avatar, we find ourselves progressing through curiosity, expectations, compassion and wonder and landing in appreciation, admiration and adoration. Easwaramma was allotted the well-nigh-impossible task of expanding her awareness beyond the ring of hills, beyond the barricade of tradition and taboo and the wall of custom and caste. Burdened with the prestigious and pardonable pride of the most precious motherhood a woman could aspire to, she could not inspite of consistent effort jettison the homage she attracted from all the continents. Even while in this predicament, she, like any other earnest Sadhaks anxious to win His Grace, had to trudge along the inner path that leads from multiplicity to unity, from dispersion to concentration and meditation, from egoism to detachment, from passion to serenity, from unconcern to the love that cares and shares, from Maya to the Master.
 

And, all this journey while busy as mother and grandmother in the Raju family as well as in the fast multiplying multi-lingual, multi-racial, multi-cradle, global family of Sai. As Mother, her love had to be all enveloping, all protective and unconditional. It was mainly through the teachings and Grace of Baba that she succeeded in this assignment of expanding and deepening her love. Baba, in His elucidation of Dharma, has revealed that woman represents the concretization of God's beneficence. She has a natural aptitude for spiritual endeavor, being endowed with fortitude, meekness and modesty. She is intelligent and vigilant. She has an innate sense of honor and loyalty to virtue. Easwaramma, as the closet devotee of Sai, was aided by Him to uplift herself to the heights marked out for the ideal woman.


Swami has often declared that this Sai Avatar descended because the saints and sadhu of all lands prayed for His arrival. "I chose the mother who was to experience my closeness during gestation. The Avatar alone has this freedom of choice. In other cases, karma determines the time and place, the group and the grade," He had said. The mother is the first recipient of the Avatar's Grace. The father, who protects and nourishes the mother, is rewarded with the fame bestowed on his name. When Pedda Venkappa Raju threw off his mortal coil in 1963, Swami wrote a note for the sake of those who lamented the loss of the 'father'. It was published in the "Sanathana Sarathi". "Well, you say that he was a blessed soul since he passed away in the fullness of years without falling ill and incomplete possession of his memory and consciousness. It was not thus alone that he was blessed. These are mere signs and pointers. On the day that he could be known as the 'father' of the Manifestation, on the say that this Manifestation allowed it to be known that he was his 'son', that very day, he was blessed and his life was rendered holy and sanctified. This good fortune can be won by only one individual, in one entire age (Yuga). It is beyond the reach of others."


EASWARAMMA- the love with which she treated the women blossomed wider as she watched Swami healing the stricken. He showered Compassion on them and applied Vibhutti profusely on their brows. Easwaramma decided that she would not condemn or ridicule any women on the basis of her apparent faults or failings for they were only, she knew, the symptoms of maladjustment or neglect or persecution and poverty.

 
The Mother thus became more than their own mother to an ever-increasing number of women in distress. She was a friend with a burnished mind. Contemplating the Mother among those who were rescued by Swami, the publisher likes to repeat Rabindranath's exclamatory poem on Women:
 

'Women! You are blest!
You have your home, your household work-
In the midst of it you keep a little gap
Through which you hear the cry of the weak.
You bring your offering of service,
And pour out your love,
Your patience is endless-
Their helplessness calls out your mercy.


The devotees discovered in her a never falling source of strength and wisdom. They sought her out more and more often and honored her as the Mother, assigning her distinct roles during festivals and holy days. Easwaramma did not yield as soon as the women surrounded her and pleaded that she should guide them or bless them. But how long could she keep them at bay? On holy days dedicated to the worship of Varalakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth ready to grant boons) or Gowri (the Fair Consort of Siva, mother of Ganesha), she had to accept the first offering of homage from every women who needed her. During the nine days of Navarathri, the Festival of the Mother, she was honored for the first three days as Durga (the smoothener of the path, the provider of safety and security of Her children), in the next three days as Lakshmi (the provider of food, clothing and shelter, status, power and renown) and on the last three as Saraswathi (the Teacher who implants the yearning for learning and for liberation, for material skill and moral strength).
"We women must learn more about the world," she sighed. Swami had left Africa after addressing a Guru Poornima meeting there in the morning and had arrived in Bombay in time of the Guru Poornima celebration at Dharmakshetra in the evening, and so it happened!


The Guru heard the cry of the Mother on behalf of her daughters. Within a week of His landing on the soil of India, he inaugurated the Sri Sathya Sai Arts and Science College for Women at Anantapur, the Headquarters of the District to which Puttaparthi belonged. "Swami, you have done the right thing! Women must be as well educated as men. When one animal is bold and alert and the other is cowardly and blind, how can the cart to which they are yoked move forward?" She commented. Lakshmidevamma, the Headmistress of the Girls' High School, Anantapur, told her that Swami had promised this College a year ago when He had presided over the High School Day. "I find that the girls who complete their high school have now to go to distant colleges at Tirupati and Kurnool," He had said, "I shall therefore establish a college right here very soon." And so, the girls of Anantapur got a college, a college dedicated to the realization of the universal and constructive ideals of Sathya Sai Baba.


The Mother, it must be conceded, was the foremost pupil of the 'son'. She was an exemplary housewife and an unquestioning conformist in the observance of vows, vigils and fasts declared as obligatory in the Hindu calendar. She delighted in visiting holy places, bathing in holy rivers and offering worship at shrines. And like the high cast women of Puttaparthi and other villages, she was loyal to the lawmakers who laid down the dos and don'ts, which should govern daily living and social relationships.


Woman has been extolled in ancient scriptures as well as classical poetry as grihalakshmi, the Goddess of Prosperity in the Home. She is the Dharmapathni, the Companion of the Husband in the fulfillment of the Duties and Rights of wedded life as a householder.


The Puranas and Sasthras stress the role of women as mother and extol the mothers, who instilled high ideals in the minds of the children of the land. The Vedas speak of Maitreyi and Gargi, as great scholars and spiritual heroines. Gargi was revered in the assembly of Vedic pundits for her mastery of the abstruse problems of the spiritual voyage into the heights of self-realization. In historical times, we have the mother of Sivaji who fed him on the epics and Puranas, and brought him up, as a brave representative of the best in Hindu culture.


What a great inspiration is this Bharathi for all of us! Our Puranas and Sasthras, the Upanishads, the Vedas, the lives of the saints and seers of this land contain hundreds of such incidents which serve as beacons to light your path, Learn about them and derive benefit from them. This has always been our Divine Lord Baba's message to the women.
 

Sent with Sai love - 'saidevotees_worldnet' 
 


 

Easwaramma Day

 


 
In 1972, Bhagavan Baba conducted a month long Summer Course on Indian Culture and Spirituality at Brindavan, Whitefield. 800 boys and girls selected from colleges situated in all the various states of India were chosen for the camp.
 
When Easwaramma, Bhagavan Baba's mother came to know about it, she desired to be there. She took up residence on the ground floor of Swami's bungalow with other families.
 
On the eleventh or twelfth day of the camp, the Mother had an experience that reaffirmed her faith that Swami was God. She had high fever for four days and Swami visited her enquiring about her health. When she looked up she was amazed to see "Sri Rama with Kireetam and Kodandam" (Crown and Bow). She raised her folded hands and struggled to sit up. But in a few moments He became Swami again. He gave her Vibhuti Prasad and assured her of recovery from her fever. She shared the thrill of this encounter with an intimate friend.
 
This divine revelation proved to be the prelude for her merger with the Paranjyoti (Supreme Flame). It was the 6th May 1972 about 7 in the morning. Students had already completed Nagar Sankeertan; Swami had given them a Darshan at its close. Then He went for His bath. Meanwhile, Easwaramma had finished her bath. She drank her coffee and was seated on the inner verandah. All of a sudden proceeding to the bathroom, she cried out, "Swami, Swami, Swami!" Bhagavan responded, "Coming, coming." Within that period she breathed her last. That was an authentic consummation, a yearning at the final moment for God. It was the sign of her holy purity. She was a model mother, chosen by God to be His mother.
 
Easwaramma was a poor, middle-aged, tender-hearted, pious, illiterate rural housewife. When she was invested with the onerous responsibility to mother God Himself, she rose to the occasion and with steadfast courage enacted the role and encountered the challenges. She experienced all the grief and joy, hope and despair, anxiety and assurance of the mothers (Kausalya and Yasoda) of previous incarnations Rama and Krishna.
 
Easwaramma, like every other Hindu housewife of her region was conversant with the Telugu ballads, legends, folk songs and tales that have gathered around Rama and Krishna. But, it took years of intimate observation and hundreds of inexplicable incidents and intimations to convince her that the child she had fondled had come to prove the Bhagavatha and the Ramayana as true.
 
As mother of the Avatar she was venerated by all the devotees. But, she herself was an earnest sadhak guided by her Divine son through the tangles of life. She expanded in her awareness beyond the barricades of tradition and taboo, custom and caste of her people. She rose to be the universal mother of the fast multiplying multi-lingual, multi-racial, multi-creedal, global family of Sai.
 
May 6 for Sai devotees in Easwaramma Commemoration Day. On this auspicious occasion Bhagavan Baba visits His mother's Samadhi and makes obeisance to her memory, to set a model for others. In the evening He gives a discourse highlighting the glory of motherhood. He reminds people of the roles of Madalasa, Iswar Chandra's Mother, Putlibai and others in shaping the destiny of their children. Mothers, Bhagavan says, have the unique privilege of instilling the first seeds of spirituality and human values in their children. Bhagavan lays equal emphasis on children revering their mothers. He reminds them of Rama's words, "Mother and motherland are greater than Heaven itself", and "Parents are the visible embodiments of God."
 
(Based on Easwaramma: The Chosen Mother by N. Kasturi)


 

Courtesy Saibaba News