“You didn’t call Me to the Hostel…”

January 17, 2003 (Friday)

The previous day there was an informal gathering in the Sri Sathya Sai Hostel for Senior Students for all teachers and students. The services rendered by some teachers and students in organising the Sports Meet successfully were formally thanked. 
Swami came to the Ganesh portico at 4.00 pm. A look of indignation was writ large on His face while His eyes betrayed the naughtiness. Curtains raise for a divine play.
Swami: Yesterday you didn’t call Me. You called all others except Me.

Warden: Swami, please come to the Hostel on Sunday.

Swami: What? Next Sunday? Exams will start then. Pilavani Perantaniki Yavaraina Vastaara? (Does anyone come to a function uninvited?)

Warden: Swami, we prayed to You yesterday and felt Your presence. Boys were showing some video clippings of the Sports Meet.

Swami: Forget all that. You didn’t call Me. Without your invitation, how can I come? 
(To Prof. Anil Kumar) Did you go to the Hostel yesterday?

Prof. A. K.: Yes Swami, I went.

Swami: They called everyone except Me.

Warden: Swami, without you, the Hostel does not exist. We want to show the video clippings in Poornachandra Auditorium.

Swami: (To Prof. Anil Kumar) What items did they prepare for yesterday’s treat?

Prof. A. K.: Swami, sweets and some other items whose names I do not know.

Swami: Don’t you know the names of the items? 
(To a senior teacher Prof. V. E. Ramamoorthy) Did you go too?

Prof. V. R. : No Swami, I didn’t go.

Swami: (To Warden) Donga (Thief). You left all old people like us!

Teacher: Swami, they called me, but I didn’t go.

Swami: (Pointing to Warden) If only you called Me, I would have come. You are simply making adjustments now.

Prof. A. K.: Swami, if you come, they have to make heavy preparations.

Swami: I don’t need heavy preparations. I eat very little. Heavy preparations are required for you. You will need Payasam, sweets, etc. I am always satisfied. Where did you arrange the dinner?

Warden: Swami, in the lawns.

Swami: How did they eat in the lawns?

Warden: Swami, everything was served in plates and arranged in the Hostel quadrangle. Swami, please come to the Hostel.

Swami: Once they have disgraced Me by not inviting, they are now calling Me to Hostel! 
(To a teacher) Is it not an insult for Me if they call everyone except Me?

Prof. A. K.: Swami, they did not think along these lines.

Swami: (With a smile on His face.) If boys are happy, I am happy. Their happiness is my happiness. (To a student) Kya Kiya? Bahut Kaam Kiya. (What did you do? You have done a lot of work.)

Student: Swami, I worked only a little. But You did not come.

Swami: If you had called Me, I would also have come. 
(But the expression of hurt on the students’ faces broke the ice suddenly.) You need not call Me. I was only joking. If you are happy, that is enough for Me. 
Prof. A. K.: Swami, in the evening they served Pakoda and soup. The Pakoda was very good.

Swami: Guntur people like Pakodas.

Prof. A. K.: Swami, Kallur is famous for Pakodas.

Swami: I stayed for two months in Kallur. It was Subbamma’s parents’ place. She took me there. It is neighbouring Pamidi. An M.L.A. (Member of Legislative Assembly) by name Raja Rao was there then.

Warden: Swami, we have a Mathematics lecturer from Kallur.

Swami: I went there by walking 25 miles. The ladies came in bullock carts. At that time, it was a small village. Only 100 houses were there.

Prof. A. K.: Swami walked for 25 miles!

Swami: When in Badrinath, I had walked 28 miles. I had walked 12 miles on snow. Ramakrishna Rao (then Governor of Uttar Pradesh) had bought new canvas shoes for me. After walking for some distance I developed boils on my feet. So I stopped wearing the shoes. His wife scolded him for forcing Swami to wear the shoes. She was a very good lady. After removing the shoes, I felt more comfortable.

Prof. A. K.: Swami, did You use rugs to keep warm?

Swami: No. Kasturi and others would use rugs. But I wore only a robe. The robe I am wearing now is of teri-cot. But that time I was wearing only a cotton robe.

Prof. A. K.: Swami, how was the food arranged for so many during the journey?

Swami: There were 200 people. Some of them would go ahead of us and keep the food ready. We visited places like Vishnu Prayag.

Prof. A. K.: Swami, did Mother Easwaramma come with You?

Swami: Yes, both she and her husband came with Me. She didn’t even wear a sweater. She said that since Swami did not wear one, she too wouldn’t wear. Ramarao, Radhakrishna, Peddapuram Apparao, all of them had come with us. On the way back, many came to know of Me. At every station there was a huge crowd. We travelled to Nainital. We visited Vendi Konda (silver peak). It was shining.

Prof. A. K.: Swami, it is said that You met many Rishis (sages) there.
Swami Purushottamananda with Sri Sathya Sai, July 1957
Swami: Yes. I met them. They do penance in caves. I met Purushottamananda Swami. They do penance according to the ancient methods. At that time, the father of Nadendla Bhaskar Rao, former Chief Misnister of Andhra Pradesh, also joined us. People also came from Peddapadu, Chinnapadu and Errapadu villages. Among them, M.R.O. (Mandal Revenue Officer) Apparao was also there. Tellaprolu Raja was also with us. But none of them came to Nainital. Only ten of us went there. There, the Raj Bhavan was very small. It was a very nice place. 
Burgula Ramakrishna Rao (with Gandhi cap), Governor of Uttar Pradesh, with Sri Sathya Sai, en route Badrinath, June 1961
Ramakrishna Rao was a very good person. He would personally serve water and food to all of us. He knew 12 languages. He was the Governor of Kerala. Later he went to Lucknow as Governor of Uttar Pradesh. After that, he served as a central minister in Delhi. Once Nehru called him a Communist Minister since he was from Kerala. He resigned from his post. He packed his luggage and immediately left in a car. Later, Nehru apologized and said that he was only joking.

He tore the resignation letter and posted him as Governor in Lucknow. When Telangana was being included into Bharat, he stood in front of gunmen challenging them to shoot him by opening his shirt and showing his chest. He was a very brave man. He would come here for every festival. Once, in Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium (in Mumbai), he translated Swami’s discourse into Marathi. He would hang around Swami like a child. He was very short. Those days, there was no telegram facility. A person would have to be sent to invite someone. He would come personally to invite Me. He had his meal, slept and passed away in sleep. He had a peaceful death. Whenever he would come, he would stand in queue with others. He would say that he was very insignificant in front of Swami. (To students) Did you eat well last night? (To Vice-Chancellor) Did they call you yesterday?

V. C. : Swami, I don’t know anything.

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