I was fortunate to visit Prasanthi Nilayam in the month of August 2006
and witness the
in His Divine Presence.
After it concluded, I left the ashram confines and stayed in a tiny room overlooking the Shivalayam Temple (Birthplace of our Lord) in Puttaparthi village for around five more days till Ganesh Chaturthi before returning home.
During this time I met a lady from Russia, who has been living in Puttaparthi for around 10 years or so and who calls herself Amma Sai Era Meera. She was gracious to show me around the area to some interesting places and temples and also to meet some of the Sai brothers and sisters who reside there. During this short time, I took my video camera along and filmed some short snippets of life there. She even took me to a wedding!
This page will focus on some these video snippets.
Amma Sai Era Meera
A artist who has painted many beautiful portraits of Swami
and has held many exhibitions and even published her work in various books.
She also used to teach Indian traditional dance.
One of the first places she took me and another Sai Brother (who she talks and explains to) was
Smt. Karanam Subbamma’s House
Sathya Sai Baba visited her house often when He was a boy.
A neighbour to Easwaramma (Sathya’s mother).
“Karanam Subbamma was one of great virtues. She had a highly respected position in the village. As time passed, there was great transformation in her. She prepared food for all the devotees who came for My darshan. Whatever she made, she made it for the sake of Swami. Those days, I did not stay at home most of the time. I moved about in the adjoining hills and valleys. Subbamma made many preparations, put them in a tiffin box and went searching for Me wherever I was. Her love for Swami was great. In the Dwapara Yuga, it was Devaki who gave birth to Krishna, but Yashoda had the great good fortune of being called the mother of Krishna. Similarly, Subbamma had such great good fortune in this Age.” – Sathya Sai Baba
Next day she took us to visit a local Government School in the same street.
Sai Ram Sai Ram!!!
We later proceeded meeting up with some of the other local Sai devotees who reside in Puttaparthi.
Sacred Temples in Puttaparthi
Puttaparthi is dotted with many ancient & sacred temples.
We visited many and here is some of the most famous ones.
Also called ‘Sathyamma Temple’, this is a temple dedicated to the worship of Mother Sathyabhama, the divine consort of Lord Krishna. This is a unique temple because seldom in any part of India is this type of homage offered to Mother Sathyabhama.
It was built by the pious Sri Ratnakaram Kondama Raju (the Bhagawan’s paternal grandfather) and in explanation of this unusual tribute to Sathyabhama, he said that he was persuaded to erect the temple, by events that occurred during a strange dream!
The Dream: In the dream, Kondama Raju saw Sathyabhama, alone, expectant and forlorn, waiting anxiously for her lord, who had gone on an errand to bring her the much-coveted ‘Parijatha’ flowers. The minutes increased to hours and the hours accumulated into days but still there was no sign of Lord Krishna! So, Sathyabhama broke into tears. There ensued a huge storm accompanied by thunder, lightning and a heavy shower of rain. Luckily, Her eyes fell on Kondama Raju who was passing across the place where she stood and she asked him to provide some shelter. This led to the determination of Sri Kondama Raju to raise a temple for the Consort of the Lord.
SRI VENUGOPALA SWAMY TEMPLE
This temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was brought up in a community of cowherds or gopas and He is lovingly called Gopala. The history of this temple is intricately woven with the legend of Puttaparthi. It is a small temple but of immense significance to the village folk.
Inner Sanctum Sanctorum
ANJANEYA SWAMI TEMPLE
The Hanuman Temple is located in the village of Puttaparthi at the northern end of the Gopuram road. The temple is associated with a remarkable incident that occurred during Bhagawan’s childhood days. One day, young Sathya and His friends visited the temple to perform the customary circumambulation. They had gone around the sanctum sanctorum once and preparing to go around again when Sathya suddenly stopped and stood rooted to the spot as if held by some invisible force. Some of his stronger mates tried to move Him but couldn’t. He explained to His wonderstruck friends that it was Lord Hanuman who was holding Him back, and even as He said these words the boys could see Lord Hanuman holding Sathya’s feet tightly and saying, “Lord, it is I who have to circumambulate you”.
A short video taken of these Temples.
Ancient Shiva Linga Temple near the Hanuman Temple.
Prayerful songs to Shiva Linga
One evening before Ganesh Chathurti we were fortunate to attend a Q&A session by Prof. Anil Kumar to a group of Russian devotees.
To see and hear more of his wonderful talks
A wedding we briefly attended in Puttaparthi.
Amma Sai Era Meera took us one afternoon visiting outlining villages Bukkapatnam and Karnatagapalli. On the way we visited a ancient Shiva and Satyanarayana Temple on a small hilltop.
and next to a Shiva & Parvati Temple
We then reached Bukkapatnam village and visited Swami’s old school (Samithi Elementary School) that he attended in 1941-1942. It has been since re-constructed.
We then visited the Lakshminarayanaswamy Temple where He used to frequent during His time there.
Next we went to Karnatagapalli village visiting the place where Easwaramma (Swami’s mother) lived before moving to Puttaparthi after her marriage to Pedda Venkappa Raju. We also visted a tiny Sai Prema School that caters for orphans.
We then interviewed the village elder of the village about his moments with Swami and Easwaramma back in the old days. Finally back in full circle to Puttaparthi.