Sri Sathya Sai Visits Badrinath - Part 2 (A Photo Feature)

Sri Sathya Sai with Swami Sivananda at the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh

... Continued from Part 1

On His way back from Badrinath, Swami visited Haridwar, Sivanada Ashram at Rishikesh and Nainital. Swami rejoiced the devotees of Nainital at the Geeta Satsang with a Discourse. On that occasion He mentioned:

Sri Sathya Sai at the
banks of the Ganga
"Swami Vidyananda, in the Hindi Address which he read just now, welcomed Me to this Nainital, describing its beautiful scenery and praising its climate. Well, that is taking Me to be an outsider, who has to be formally invited and welcomed. I am in your Satsang, for wherever the Geeta is studied, I am, and will be present. I do not care for the external beauty of nature as much as the beauty of 'character and of conduct' which you are seeking to acquire by the constant study of the Geeta. I came to the Geeta Satsang to see all of you, because I bless all efforts by man to raise himself by study and Sadhana. "Madbhaktah Yatra Gayante, Tatra Tishthaami Narada" is the declaration. "Wherever My Bhaktas sing of Me, there I install Myself." Why, the Lord is always there and everywhere whether you sing of Him or not. The singing only makes Him manifest, like the radio receiver which catches the tune from the-ether when it is switched to the correct wavelength. The current is flowing ever; when you fix the bulb, you will get the light. 

The Bhagavad Geeta is a text book for all mankind, giving the secrets of spiritual science in clear and simple terms. But it will be useful only when the reader has as much detachment as Arjuna had when Krishna started the discourse. If you have as much Vishaada (despair) as Arjuna had, you have the Adhikaara (competence) to get the Teaching which removed the grief. Only a patient ailing from a disease is entitled to the specific which will cure it. What business have others with it? What profit can they draw from it? The Geeta will act on the mental system only when the symptoms of Vishaada (grief) are strong."

He returned to Prasanthi Nilayam on 4th July, 1961, after nearly a month. On that very day, He gathered all the devotees in the Ashram and delivered a Divine Discourse reminiscing the momentous journey to Badrinath:

"You are all waiting to hear from Me about the journey to Badri and what happened there. These people went to Badri and returned Bhadram (safe)! That is the story in a nutshell. For danger lurked all the time from fire, water, wind, sky and earth - all the five elements in fact. Every moment these people felt the Lord's Grace; for about 150 persons, mostly old and in indifferent health, to accomplish this Yatra (pilgrimage) without a single moment of even headache was due to Swami. 
Sri Sathya Sai with the Netra Lingam at Badrinath
Swami also went to Badri because the Netralingam which is the central source of Holiness there had to be revived with spiritual efficacy. Shankaracharya brought five Lingams from Kailasha and installed one each at Dwaraka, Shringeri, Badri and Puri and the fifth he placed at Chidambaram. Of these, the one at Badri has the Narayana Amsham (orientation)and that had to be consecrated afresh. That was My task and these people who came with Me saw Me doing it.
Shri Adi Shankaracharya 
at Badrinath
I had to accomplish it this year itself, for this is the 35th year after this Avatar took birth and this is also the year when the 35th successor to the Shankaracharya Peetha is at Shringeri. This year is therefore important for charging the battery of spiritual wealth, known as Badarikashrama. The Netra Lingam, laid by Shankaracharya underneath the idol there, was "taken" out by Me and Abhisheka (consecration by pouring holy water) was done with Gangotri water which I fetched by a wave of the hand. It was worshiped with golden Bilva leaves and Thumme flowers, both created by Me on the spot, and sent back to its original place. The Lingam was placed on a Golden Lotus, with three layers of petals, each having two smaller layers of 16 smaller petals, the entire Kamala (lotus) representing the Hridaya (heart) where the Lingam has to be installed for worship. 
Sri Sathya Sai followed by Sri Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, Governor of Uttar Pradesh and other devotees
When you see the enthusiasm of the pilgrims who trudged along the Badri Road in thousands, you will be silenced with wonder; you will no more lament that atheism has become rampant in this land. With faith as their only support, people from all parts of India, men, women and children, old and young, stalwarts and decrepit, rich and poor, move on towards. Badri. There are many things which you can learn from their steady march towards the goal; that is the advantage in going on pilgrimage. You can develop your Bhakti (devotion), your Shraddha (faith) and your Sadhana (spiritual discipline) when you are surrounded by kindred aspirants. That is the greatness of that Narayana Murti at Badri. 
Sri Sathya Sai marching towards Badrinath
Yes; the spiritual change must come about. That is the reason for the belief, "a mere sight of the pilgrim who has returned from Badri gives much merit." Of course, for undergoing that change you need not go so far; you have Badri Narayana here itself! Badri is the place where the Nara-Narayana bond is established and commemorated. That you can establish here itself. If you get rid of delusion, you become Narayana (God); if you are sunk in delusion, you continue to be Nara (human); that is all. There is no place to which I have not gone; there is no place without Me therein. So, the Bhaktas who came with Me were journeying to the Abstract with the Concrete, with the Pratyaksha to the Paroksha! That was their good fortune.
Sri Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, in conversation with Sri Sathya Sai during the Pilgrimage
Those of you who were here and could not join need not feel sorry, for all these days you were thinking of Swami and Swami alone and so your Sadhana was greater. After all, pilgrimage is for softening the heart, widening the outlook, expanding the circle of sympathy; not for collecting curios or pictures or Prasadam packets or idols and images. It is more a matter for the Netra (eye) than for the Patra (vessel). Pilgrimages should be as silent as the eye-lids dropping on the eye. Why should people wag their tongues and shout and wrangle when they are Godward bound? Truly, all Kshetras (places of pilgrimage) and all Yatras (pilgrimages) are in yourself. You are ever on a pilgrimage, though you might not have taken a step forward towards Badri or Kashi. Do not feel sad that you did not get the Abhisheka Teertha (holy water used for consecrating the idol) from Gangotri which was used for the Netra Lingam. I can see that all of you are desirous of getting it ever since you heard from others about the event at Badri. I shall get you the Gangotri Teertham here itself and give you, do not worry. 
Sri Sathya Sai with Pilgrims
People may say that pilgrimages are a waste of time and money; but let Me tell you that it is the best way of spending time and money, provided one has real devotion. Bhakti is no sign of weakness; it is a sign of courage, of wisdom, of discrimination; it alone can give Saukhyam and Shanti (happiness and peace). Every one has one day or other to fall in line with you, for every one is terribly anxious to get these two. They try, in their ignorance or excitement, various other remedies, but this remedy alone can cure them."
Sri Sathya Sai with Sri Burgula Ramakrishna Rao on the journey from Badrinath


  1. Is it possible to include an audio of the swami discourse here ?
    It will give immense joy to hear of this in His own voice

  2. Sai Ram,

    Thanks a lot for the suggestion. Unfortunately, the audio files of that era are not available! We fully agree with you that to listen to the audio discourses of that era would have been wonderful. However, we are grateful to Prof. Kasturi, Swami's biographer, for meticulously documenting His Discourses from the 1950s so that we have atleast the text version of almost all the Discourses.

    Best Regards
    SSwS Team

  3. Sairam,

    I am planning a visit to Nainital and would love to visit the place where Swami's discourse took place. I tried to search but couldn't find. It will be of great if you could provide address of sai centre, so that we attend Bhajans and sat sang.

    Thanks for your help.


  4. This is a lovely understanding of what really is the truth about Sai Baba Shivaananda and Babaji from Nainital!


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