Ghandikota V. Subba Rao
Prashaanthi Nilayam
1 January, 2000


Divinity is marked by two types of characteristics. The first is termed "SVARUUPA LAKSHANA" - Its true, inherent, Absolute Nature. The Upanishaths declare IT to be inexpressible by words and in fact unreachable by the Mind: APRAAPYA MANASA SAH. The second is called THATASTHA LAKSHANA or its partial attributes and manifestations. When DIVINITY descends in human form, DHAIVAM MAANUSHA RUUPENA, it is said, IT manifests sixteen aspects of selfless, loving, universal attractive features or powers. The following is an exposition of these sixteen "attracting" aspects of the Divine Advent of Shree Sathya Sai Baba. These are similar to the traditional sixteen types of 'attractions' of the Universal Divine Mother, LALITHAAMBA.

First and foremost is KAAMA AAKARSHANA or desire fulfilling power: There are countless instances of Baba fulfilling the legitimate desires of devotees such as advancement in life in terms of moral, material, monetary or even marital aspects in order to elevate our thinking in the direction of spiritual growth. Svaami - Himself free from all desires - is like the KAAMA DHENU or the proverbial Celestial Wish-fulfilling Cow, ever ready to fulfill the Wishes of God-loving, Sin-fearing devotees. But at the same time, Baba emphasizes that selfish worldly desires multiply and enmesh our personality in attachments and bondages. He therefore instructs us to keep a strict ceiling on our desires for our own good or Shreyas. Second He is tireless in teaching that material or monetary or marital (family) objectives should only be pursued through virtuous or righteous or Dhaarmik means. Pure motives and right means are much more important than the ends, however mighty and useful they may appear to us. Artha and Kaama wealth and desire fulfilment should be used in the development of the yearning for liberation from worldly attachments, i.e. attainment of MOKSHA. Moksha is MOHA KSHAYA - the destruction of all worldly infatuations, says Baba.

The second type of attraction of a living Divinity is termed BUDDHYAAKARSHANA - the power to activate, stimulate and fulfil our intellectual capacities. He is the bestower of the power of reasoning, power of discrimination and power of renunciation of worldly attachments. As Bhagavaan Krishna says, Buddhi Graahyam Atheendhriyam. Perception of Truth is not amenable to senses; the intellect at its best is capable of grasping it. Baba stimulates our intellectual powers and capacities to gain a glimpse of the Transcendental. Svaami with His dazzling brilliance of intellectual clarity and richness, removes the cobwebs of our doubts and sets us on the path of Buddhi Yoga, the Yoga or communion based on Intellect. He sets us on the path of inquiry KOHAM "Who am I?" Naham Dheham; Naaham Manah, I am not the mind or senses - I am not a mere body. SOHAM - I am the very Divinity.

The third aspect of the power of divine attraction is the AHAMKAARA-AAKARSHANA transformation of our Ego sense. Svaami Himself free from the coils of the ego (Aham-Kaara Varjitha), He sometimes inflates our big ego before deflating it and destroying our false ego, which is the greatest obstacle to Spirituality. Many Scientists and Scholars visit Svaami to show off their learning and, soon enough, their ego bubble is pricked. I had been a witness to the scene of a great logician who was tongue-tied in the presence of Baba and also of a noted scientist having had to eat his humble pie! Being omniscient, Baba corrects such people, and frees them from their false pride of learning or achievement and bestows on them humility, character and wisdom. Baba quickly puts the power-mongers, and ego-players in their proper places, sometimes in a blunt manner but more often by subtle diplomatic skills influencing their inner psyche.

The fourth power of divine attraction is called SHABDHA AAKARSHANA, the power of sound. Baba's words and teachings cast a spell on us. They are put into simple language but are pregnant with profundity and depth. They produce powerful vibrations in the hearts of Scholars as well as laymen.

Baba represents the primal power of pure sound consciousness - Shabdha-Brahma-Mayee. Shabda also connotes the Vedhas containing the most ancient but ever new or fresh eternal wisdom. Baba is therefore called Vedha Purusha, the embodiment of Vedhik Wisdom. Whatever Baba says is truly Vedhik as attested by one of the greatest scholars of Bhaarath who was also the Seer of the Sathya Sai Gaayathree. This scholar stated that Baba's words are on a par with Vedhik Manthras, although Svaami does not as a rule impart any Manthras or Himself practise any Manthras or Meditation. But His words have the deepest impact on our subconscious.

The fifth power of His Love and Grace-filled attraction is called SPARSHA AAKARSHANA - the power of divine touch; it is healing touch. His is a sin-erasing touch; It is a purifying sacred and holy touch.

By our touching His lotus feet or His touching us with his open palm on the top of our head, there is a descent of divine energy or Shakthi Paatha. This is called Hastha Masthaka Samyogam by which the thousand petaled lotus blooms; His touch of the space between our eye brows awakens the Aajnaa Chakra; His touch of the heart centre (Anaahatha Chakra) provinces spiritual vibrations! I have personally experienced these effects of Baba's divine touch. There are innumerable instances of His curative powers by His mere touch.

The sixth is the power of attraction of Baba's divine form, RUUPAAKARSHANA. Svaami's forms are splendrous and wondrous. His spiritual form has an aura of radiance!

The formless Divine takes on a beautiful form on the earth, DHAIVAM MAANUSHARUUPENA in order to liberate humanity from the shackles of ignorance and worldly illusion. The Divine assumes human form in order:-

  1. to protect the pious, the holy and the noble.
  2. to rescue the suppressed, the oppressed, the depressed, the repressed and the compressed!
  3. to reform and transform the wicked, the unjust and the sinful persons and
  4. above all, to restore and manifest the power of Virtue and Right Conduct, Dharma which in this Kali-Yuga walks only on one of its "four legs".

Baba's form radiates an aura of beautiful light bluish colour, as was revealed in the Kirilian photographs taken by Dr Frank Baranowski. These spiritual vibrations purify the environment around Baba and spread truth, righteousness, LOVE and Peace all around.

The seventh power of attraction of Baba is called RASAAKARSHANA - sweetness personified. His words are sweet; His bearing is sweet and grace filled; His gestures and movements exude LOVE and compassion. Baba is RASESHVARA - the Lord of Mellowed Ambrosia of supreme delight and inexpressible sweetness of inner Bliss. The devotees imbibe this sweet nectar of association with Baba. It is this nectar of LOVE and Bliss of Baba which attracts millions of people from all around the world.

The eighth power of Baba's attraction is called CHITTHAAKARSHANA. Chittha is the store-house of our past and present memories and unfulfilled residual desires and impressions from our previous lives, called Vaasanas which haunt us in the present and will continue to affect our future also. Baba, like Krishna can be be called Chittha Chora - the stealer of all our dominating desires, thereby making us desire-free!

Baba relieves us from the burdens of our past lives; He wipes our dirty "state" clean and fills with Love of God, Dhaiva Preethi, fear of Sin, Paapa Bheethi and morality in Society, Sangha Neethi. These three constitute the corner stone of Baba's teachings which are quite appropriate to this age marked by disbelief in God, also marked by the most heinous crimes against persons and public property and an age characterised by immorality and corruption in all strata of society and walks of life.

The ninth power of Baba's attraction is called GANDHAAKARSHANA - the power of His divine fragrance. He exudes a fragrance of Purity, Holiness and Loving Grace and Compassion. As the Upanishath states DUURAATH GANDHO VAATHI; Svaami's spiritual "fragrance" spreads far and wide purifying our polluted thoughts and our environment polluted with pride and prejudice, hatred and violence.

Many devotees have attested the fact that when Baba approaches them, they experience a sweet smell. The divine fragrance from His created Vibhuuthi removes our bad thoughts, evil propensities and harmful habits.

The tenth is the power called DHAIRYA-AKARSHANA - the power of overwhelming courage and self-confidence. Baba's early life was a saga of calm courage and great patience in the face of heavy odds, of severe hardships, of physical and mental violence on His person. He was the object of calumny and poisonous envy from some of the villagers.

Baba's life is His message and therefore our life should also exemplify the lessons and messages of His life. As Baba teaches, we should Face the Devil with courage, confidence and patience; Follow the Master by performing our duties and obligations, with unflinching faith; Fight to the End the negative forces within and outside; and, finally Finish the Game of life with LOVE and Bliss in our heart.

The eleventh power of Baba's attraction is called SMRITHYAAKARSHANA. Smrithi means powerful memory power. Svaami has phenomenal memory reaching far into our past and present and deep into our future too. Many devotees have attested to Baba's divine vision, Dhivya Dhrishti peering into every nook and corner of their past conduct and behaviour and warning them of the future hurdles or problems to be faced. There is no way of hiding from Baba's all seeing eyes! When a new student denied he smoked, Baba instantly created a photo showing the student clandestinely smoking!

Baba enchants us by memorable stories, anecdotes and legends from the distant past, with graphic detailed description of ancient heroes, materialising even the ornaments they wore (e.g. the crown jewels of Raama and Seetha, the diadem worn by Krishna, the pearl necklace given to Hanumaan by mother Seetha which the former rejects because they did not vibrate with the sound of Raama's name, etc).

Baba on occasions bestows good memory power to devotees and scholars too. When I was busy taking notes of His explanations of Brahma Suuthras, He stated that there was no need for me to do so, as He was guaranteeing that I could recall whenever necessary His words. By placing His divine palm on the top of my head, He graciously bestowed on me the power of recall and memory of His valuable teachings and messages.

The twelfth power of attraction of Baba is NAAMAA KARSHANA, the power of His Sacred name. Chanting of His holy name with faith, works miracles of healing, ensures success in our undertakings, helps in overcoming accidents and above all in the removal of our elemental fears of death - all these effects have been testified and recorded by numerous devotees from all parts of the wide world.

As Baba says, spiritual discipline is deep penance and meditation for the Kritha Yuga, the performance of Vedhik Sacrifices in Thretha Yuga and of elaborate ritual worship in Dhvaapara Yuga. But in this Kali Yuga, mere remembrance and repetition of the Lord's name - Naama Smarana - is the panacea - as repeatedly mentioned also in the Puraanas. Baba boldly declares, "I answer to whatever name of God you use." The name, Naama - evokes the response of the Naami, the named Divinity.

That the word 'Sai' means Shiva Shakthi (the almighty power of the Supreme Lord) as declared by Baba and affirmed by that great Vedhik Scholar, Shree Ghandikota Subrahmanya Shasthry the Seer of Sathya Sai (Eeeshvara) Gaayathree. Baba created a stunning tricoloured picture of His bust in the middle of Shiva Linga, canopied by the seven headed serpent (Sesha Naaga) and stated to my father, "This is My true form!"

The thirteenth power of Baba's attraction is called BEEJAAKARSHANA SHAKTHI. Divinity exercises elemental or seed force and incorporates it in all beings. The Geetha says, "Beejam Maam Sarva Bhuuthaanaam.": Know Me to be the eternal seed power, the cause of germination of all Beings. All beings are born from the seed of Brahman, the Supreme Divinity. He is indeed the seed force of all Manthras or holy, thought-articulations in terms of seed syllables and words. These represent the basic energies of various deities presiding over the forces of Nature and Cosmos as a whole. These basic sound forces and seed Manthras or primal utterances of Divinity calling forth various manifestations of power. These are the seeds of supreme knowledge of reality (Brahma Vidhyaa), seeds of conscious speech (Vaak Beeja), seeds of illusory energy (Shakthi Beeja), seed of existence (Lakshmi Beeja), seed of desire (Kaama Beeja) and above all the seed of time and destruction (Kaalee Beeja). Baba activates these seed forces; Baba validates all Manthras and scriptures and scriptures validate the Sathya Sai Avathaar.

The fourteenth power of Baba's attraction is called AATHMASAKARSHANA; Divinity attracts our inner Being, Antharaathma. It is called soul-power attraction; drawing the sense oriented Self towards the experience of the bliss of divinity.

The principle of the Pure unsullied Inner Being, Aathma is Love filled. That is why the great sage Yaagnavalkya tells his wife Maithreyi, Aathmanasthu Kaamaaya Sarvam Priyam Bhavathi. Everyone loves his Self which is all pervasive. It enjoys the Bliss in the Awareness of the Being. The Paramaathma or the Supreme Omni-Self attracts the individualised inner Being. As Svaami says, when a person moves away from the attachment to sense-objects, he is freed from the grip of I-ness and mine-ness; his identification with the body (Dhehaathma Buddhi) is destroyed and in its place, comes the identification with the Indwelling Divinity. This results in the experience of divine Bliss consciousness.

The fifteenth power of attraction of Baba is called AMRITHAAKARSHANA. Amritha is the elixir of life in divinity. Unbounded Love and immortality are the signs of Divine life. The individual self prays to the Supreme Divinity to bestow on a Life of LOVE, LIGHT and IMMORTALITY, in the following Upanishaahik words:-

Asatho Maa Sath-gamaya,
Thamaso Maa Jyothir gamaya
Mrithyor-Maa Amritham-gamaya


Baba graces us with the nectar of DHARMA and BRAHMA: the attainment of Supreme Bliss consciousness in eternity through Righteousness, Selfless Service and Sacrifice. Baba frequently quotes the Upanishath; Thyaage Naike Amrithathvam Aanasuh: Immortality cannot be attained either through actions, through progeny or through wealth. Only by Sacrifice, meaning sacrificing totally the possessive and the ego senses, is immortality possible.

The sixteenth is the totality of the above fifteen attractive powers and it is called SARVAAKARSHANA SHAKTHI. Baba's Integral, Holistic, Divine, Universal Personality exercises in totality all the fifteen powers mentioned above. He is the embodiment of all Divine Principles; He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omni-named and omni-formed, the very Omni Self. That is why people of all climes, castes, cultures and creeds are fascinated by His divine drawing power and miracle of Universal Love and visit Prashaanthi Nilayam, the Abode of Supreme Peace.