Early in the morning on Saturday (August 20), Bhagavan had slipped in His bathroom and an X-Ray picture taken by the doctors revealed a fracture in the hipbone. Although the doctors had advised four weeks of complete bed rest, Swami declared that he needed no rest and would carry on His work. Swami, however, had to refrain from giving the usual Darshans for the next few days.
Onam was celebrated at Prasanthi Nilayam on 26th August 1988. On the morning of the 26th, the Onam programme began with Vedic chants and folk dances by students of the Srisailam Vidya Vihar. The students band greeted Bhagavan when He gave Darshan from the balcony of the Prashanti Mandir to the inexpressible delight of the thousands of devotees who had gathered in the Mandir compound. Hundreds of overseas devotees were also present.
In the afternoon, the State President of Kerala Organisation, Sri Natarajan, welcomed Bhagavan at the Poornachandra Auditorium. Bhagavan blessed the devotees with His Onam message at 4.30 pm.
Beginning His discourse on the Onam Day with a call to men to realise their inherent Divinity, Bhagavan devoted a good part of His discourse to an account of what happened to Him on Saturday and cleared all the doubts and apprehensions felt by the devotees regarding His ailment. The entire gathering heard with rapt attention Swami's memorable discourse, which provided not only new insights into His Avataric mission but revealed to them how they should overcome "the ills which flesh is heir to." He said that even the Divine has to submit to Nature's laws. Excerpts from the Divine Discourse included below:
"The laws governing Nature were made by God and everyone is subject to them, whether he is a millionaire or pauper. The earth has its power of attraction. If a man slips he is bound to fall and may get hurt. The body is subject to the laws of Nature. When anything happens in the course of Nature, the Divine can face it by self-control. The ordinary devotee cannot do so.
Various rumours and conjunctures were going round among devotees after I could not give darshan for four days from Saturday. It was My usual practice to bolt My room after giving Namaskars to devotees at night. In the morning after finishing my ablutions, I would open the door. On Saturday morning I slipped on a piece of soap in the bathroom and fell on My back. The injury I sustained was a natural consequence of the fall - as natural as heat generated by the fire. Whoever sustains a fall, whether it is Swami or anybody else, will suffer from the consequent injury. Even the Divine has to submit Himself to His own laws governing Nature. In this process occasional mishaps may occur.
When I slipped and fell, the hipbone had been affected. By My willpower I got up and opened the room. Then Radhakrishna (My attendant) and the doctors came. There was no need for the doctors to see Me. I have to control whatever happens to Me. This is My example to the world.
Pain is mitigated by diverting the mind
This kind of equanimity cannot be felt by anyone except the Divine. There is nothing beyond the power of the Divine. Although them was excruciating pain on account of the injury, through self-control. My mind did not think about it. If the mind had been dwelling on the pain, the pain would have been greater. The best medicine for the pain is diverting the mind. Every time the body turned, there was a kind of shock. I was wholly engaged in reading the numerous letters from the devotees and was oblivious to the state of the body.
"Why should not Swami cure Himself?" I was not as selfish as that. When others are injured do I relieve them immediately? Everything has a time factor. One has to put up with it for the duration of the trouble. The pain can be mitigated by prayer and by diverting the mind.
The body is subject to ailment from time to time. It comes and goes. If I rid myself of any ailment instantaneously, people may comment: What a selfish person is Sai Baba? He cures His illness immediately. But He does not remove the pain of others. Whether it is your bodily ailment or somebody else's, attempts can be made to treat it, to teach the sufferer how to control the mind, and strengthen the power of resistance. But it cannot be got rid of the same instant. The time required for healing has to be allowed. During the past four days My mind did not bother about the injury. I did not give up any of My normal activities. I did not come out only because of the entreaties of devotees.
"My Devotees' joy is My joy"
Sometimes I take on the ailments of the others. I do this for My own delight and not out of any external pressure. But in every case of illness, control of the mind is needed to bear with it. This is what every one of you should bear in mind. This is the message of My life. I am exercising various kinds of self-control to serve as an example to you.
My love and kindness for the devotees were there in abundance. Otherwise, I would not have stayed on, when the doctors were keen to take Me to Bangalore. When thousands of devotees from Kerala are coming here, it is impossible for Me to go away. I will not go. The joy of the devotees is My joy. I have no exclusive joy of My own. I have no such desire. Why should I be concerned about this body? You must take note of this important fact. This body is not Mine. It is yours and therefore I have no concern with it. Your bodies are Mine.
Do not give room in any circumstance, at any time, for apprehensions about what may befall Swami. Nothing can do Me any harm. Occasionally there may be troubles which are incidental to the nature of the body. But these are passing clouds. If you realise the true nature of Divinity, you will not feel that Swami is experiencing great pain and that He should take some medicine. Out of their love for Swami, devotees are appealing to Swami to take rest. But I don't need any rest. Karmanyeva Adhikaaraste (you are entitled to do only your duty). That is My message to you. Although I have been told by doctors not to move, I get up at 5 in the morning, attend to My ablutions, and take My bath as usual. All of you should forget your troubles and try to be as
happy as possible. Rest assured that Swami has no troubles and no harm can come to Him. Ills of the body come and go.
Nothing can harm Swami
As I fell My head hit the mosaic floor with a thud. Dr. Krishnamurthy wanted to do an X-Ray on My head. I told him: "No one can know My head has been injured. There is no need for doing an XRay." My only sadness is that I have not been able to give joy to My devotees. When you know that Swami has the capacity to control anything, why do you think that I am suffering? You think only about Swami's pain in relation to the body, but do not think about the Atma. You must have the firm conviction that nothing can harm Swami.
Concentrate on Namasmarana, constant remembrance of the name of the Lord. There is no use in doing japa and meditation for the sake of Swami. It appears artificial. What you have to bear in mind is that no trouble can affect Swami now or in the future and that everything is part of My play.
Such things happen to the Divine - they come and go. I take no account of them. Here is another example of how the Divine works. The fact that I have been standing here for such a long time is itself a miracle. The legs have been strained to the limit. There has been considerable pain. But in the joy of addressing you I am unaware of the pain. Likewise, in all the troubles and sufferings, you must turn the mind away from them. It is to teach you this lesson that I chose to speak to you today.
At all times and in all situations recite the name of the Lord with devotion. Live in harmony and love with everyone. The Lord's name is sweeter than nectar. Let the Lord's sweet name dance on your tongue. Do not have any anxiety on My account. The devotees from Kerala, though they have missed Swami's darshan on three days, should not suffer any pain on My account. They should think that whatever has happened is for their good."
Bhagavan watched a cultural programme presented by the Bal Vikas students that evening.
Source: Sri Sathya Sai Digvijayam (1986-2005)