Ghandikota V. Subba Rao
Prashaanthi Nilayam
February, 1998

Dear Reader!

Sai Ram!

Can you guess what is really in common between:

  1. a Sai Seva Dhal volunteer from Kottayam, Kerala doing security rounds near the hillock west of Prashaanthi Nilayam on a rainy night, and
  2. a Sai volunteer group from Greece in a strife-torn Bosnian town in the Balkans, and
  3. a Sathya Sai Seva Dhal volunteer kidnapped and kept in a militants hideout in the North-east corner of India, and
  4. the Sai relief team working in a drought-ridden and typhoon-flooded coastal town in North Korea?
The answer to this quiz is given at the end of the following narration.

On Womens Day, celebrated recently in Prashaanthi Nilayam on 19 November 1997, a speaker from Greece revealed the miraculous soothing effect produced in a war-torn Bosnian town (where there was a fearful, prolonged confrontation between two ethnic groups) by the loud playing of an audio cassette containing the Sai Bhajan devotional song: Sai Baba, Geetha Sudha, Madhuram, Madhuram, Aanandam. I recalled at that time what the visiting Croatians told me about the potent effect of chanting Sathya Sai Gaayathree in a tension-ridden Balkan town not so long ago.

It also brought back to my mind the memory of playing the same Sai Baba, Geetha Sudha, Madhuram, Madhuram, Aanandam bhajan after the chanting of the Sathya Sai Gaayathree some years ago at a meeting of the Sathya Sai Study Group at the United Nations in New York. As I recall now, the room that was allotted to the Sai meeting happened to be called Military Staff Committee Room. This room has been the venue of the monthly meetings of the Military Liaison officers of the five veto-wielding powers of the Security Council of the United Nations. At that time, I happened to have an audio tape of the bhajan Sai Baba, Geetha Sudha, Madhuram, Madhuram, Aanandam. This bhajan, sung after the chanting of the Sathya Sai Gaayathree, found immediate echo and ready response in the hearts of the Sai devotees, producing peaceful vibrations. Thereafter, the bhajan was regularly sung at the UN Sai Study Group meetings. In this connection, a thought crosses my mind that the valiant United Nations peacekeeping efforts will be further facilitated if they broadcast Sai Bhajan music in the killing fields of Central Africa and other strife-torn areas.

Recently, I heard another report when an ardent Sai devotee from Singapore recounted a remarkable incident in far-off North Korea, which was reeling under a severe drought followed by typhoon floods in its coastal areas. The Sathya Sai Organization of Singapore in association with the Malaysians organized a food relief effort after much prolonged but subdued negotiations with the North Korean authorities who, initially suspicious of any foreign interventions and relief efforts, welcomed the rice shipments sponsored by the Sai organization. This indeed was a great breakthrough. According to the participating Singapore devotee, the Sai relief team was able to establish its bona fides and credentials by the continuous chanting of the Sai Gaayathree whenever it faced unexpected difficulties in its humanitarian mission. Hail to the power of Sathya Sai! It was reported that the advancing typhoon suddenly ceased with the intense devotional chanting of Sathya Sai Gaayathree Manthra!

A third similar event reported to me on the same day related to a distant part of North-East India where ethnic insurgency has been taking a toll. An ardent Sai devotee, who is also a Seva Dhal volunteer, reported that he was kidnapped a few months ago and tortured by the insurgents. But he kept chanting Sathya Sai Gaayathree all through this harrowing period. He stated that to his amazement he experienced no pain and became immune to this brutal treatment. He said that it was a miracle how he survived and how at the end the insurgents released him. He was one of the few to have escaped alive and unscathed. His eyes brimmed with tears when he recalled how the power of Sathya Sai Gaayathree Manthra rescued him.

The reader will not fail to notice that the Sai devotees involved in the incidents narrated above have one thing in common, namely, the chanting and singing of the Manthra and bhajans of Bhagavaan Baba with faith and confidence in their hearts. Once I questioned Svaami whether Manthras are potent in this doubting Kali Age, and whether, as the Thelugu saying goes, Will a Manthra make the tamarind fruit fall from the tree? Svaami expressed surprise that I, coming from a holy Vedhik family, should entertain any doubts on the efficacy of Manthras and emphatically declared that Manthras are eternally potent provided that they are chanted with whole-hearted faith.

By Ghandikota V. SubbaRao, Prashaanthi Nilayam