Post No.8

Om Namo Bhagavate Rudraya

Sai Ram!
This post is about what had transpired on the 9th of March 2016.

We first went to Prasanthi for morning Darshan.
 It was a beautiful darshan. Swami's presence is always there!
After darshan, we all lined up to do pranams at His Maha Samadhi.
You are then given some flower petals that are divinely blessed.

Off to breakfast at the Western Canteen.

 Porridge, fruit salad (banana, paw paw etc), toast with either jam, honey etc.
 Mango lassi!
The food prayer is always chanted aloud by all and arati is offered beforehand to the shrine.
All religions are represented there.
We then went to the coconut stand to get our daily morning fix of coconut water.

 I started getting the flu. Bother!
 We headed back to the hotel.

 Someone told me that the pundit will be doing a Linga abhishekam at the Shiva Temple.
So off I went!
It had already started, but managed to witness some of it.
Abhishekams were done to the Lingam. The pundit was chanting the Sri Rudram.

This Temple was built by Easwaramma's father. Swami apparently installed the lingam Himself.

Here is a video of that puja.

Some screenshots!


 After the puja, the pundit blessed us who were present with the sprinkling of the water from the Linga & distributed holy prasad to us all. 

It seems every time I come to Parthi, I am always drawn to the Temples.
So much history there! Swami history!
 I would love to spend a month there. Make a documentary about Puttaparthi itself.
Visiting all the places where Swami grew up etc... till the present day.
 Interview the devotees who knew Swami when He was young.
Not just Parthi itself but beyond!

Anyway back to the real world!
As I was filming, this brother came up to me and wanted to show me around.
He said he was the manager or something to that fact.
I could not really understand what he was saying.

 He took me to a few Sacred Temples, that I never knew existed in the back streets of Parthi.
An area where most of us would never go. Its another world there!  

Here's the resultant video, I put together.

Note: If you experience buffering issues with video playback, click on the HD and select a lower setting.
Or click play then pause it until the graybar moves across at the bottom. Then press play again.
Here's a screenshot storyboard.


This temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was brought up in a community of cowherds or gopas and He is lovingly called Gopala. The history of this temple is intricately woven with the legend of Puttaparthi.
 This temple dedicated to Krishna or Venugopala has an interesting mythological genealogy. Apparently, Gollapalli (Puttaparthi's earlier name) was a prosperous village of cowherds at one time. However, evil fortunes fell upon the village when one incensed cowherd hurled a stone at a cobra that was sucking milk from the udder of one of his cows. The dying cobra cursed the village, and as a result, the cattle began to perish, and the place was infested with ant-hills. Its name was now changed to Valmikipura (the word 'Valmiki' denoting 'anthill' in Sanskrit, and Puttaparthi being the Telugu equivalent of the same). In an attempt to appease the spirit of the dead snake, the villagers installed the blood-splattered stone in a shrine and started worshipping it. Sathya Sai Baba instructed them to wash it and smear it with sandal paste. On doing this, the outline of the figure of Krishna (or Venugopala) holding his customary flute, became discernible. The temple was now called the Venugopalaswamy temple, and the curse on the village of Puttaparthi came to an end.

Lord's Feet

Krishna & Radha

 Deities protecting and blessing in all directions.

This man had a small tape player playing the ...OM!

 Inner Sanctum

 The stone.

Headed off over to the other Temples where the Shiva, Hanuman, Shirdi Temples are.

He proceeded to explain about some of the other Temples.

Nine Stones

 Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman on one of the side walls of the Anjaneye Temple.

At the back wall of the Temple.

Hanuman on the other side.

Anjaneya Swami Temple

 The Hanuman Temple is located in the village of Puttaparthi at the northern end of the Gopuram road. The temple is associated with a remarkable incident that occurred during Bhagawan’s childhood days. One day, young Sathya and His friends visited the temple to perform the customary circumambulation. They had gone around the sanctum sanctorum once and preparing to go around again when Sathya suddenly stopped and stood rooted to the spot as if held by some invisible force. Some of his stronger mates tried to move Him but couldn’t. He explained to His wonderstruck friends that it was Lord Hanuman who was holding Him back, and even as He said these words the boys could see Lord Hanuman holding Sathya’s feet tightly and saying, “Lord, it is I who have to circumambulate you”.


Inner Sanctum


Another Temple. Not sure what is was? Devi?

 Shiva Linga


Coconut Offering

This brother wanted me to follow him outside the complex.
I obliged!

 The Linga at the bottom of the well near the Sri Sathyamma Temple.
Not sure the history of this?
 The spot where Swami on Inauguration Day, 14th December 1945 of the Mandir, placed His palm on the ground. Soon, a spring rose (from the spot). It was fresh water.
 Baba ordered a well to be dug at that spot.
 It was the only source of drinking water at that time.
If any one can shed some light on this?
Feel free to let me know for the benefit of all.
 You can do so via the comment pop-up at the bottom of the post.

He showed me where the old Mandir used to be. Now its rebuilt as a Marriage Hall.
 Bhajans are held there also...I believe?
A bust of Swami's Father (Pedda Venkama Raju) sits at the top.

On December 14th, 1945 on the auspicious day of Vaikunta Ekadashi, Bhagwan was taken in a procession from Subamma’s house to the newly built Temple. Thus was born the historic “Old Mandir” or “Paatha Mandiram”.
 Old Mandir heralded yet another significant milestone in Bhagwan’s earthly sojourn.

On my very first trip way back in 1992, I was fortunate to go inside the old mandir.
Here is a photo below I took then of the small shrine that was there then.

 Very early picture of Swami in front of that Shrine on 15th December 1945

Back to the present!

He met up with this lady in the street, saying she is a relation of Swami.
She mentioned her name but you will need to watch the video, as I can't pronounce it.
He then proceeded to show me where Swami's brother and sister lived.
Seshama Raju and Venkamma.
Their houses are almost opposite each other.
Same road that leads to the Shivalayam Temple.

Next we turned right up this lane to another Siva Temple.

Harinareswar Temple

He knew the pundit who lived next door to this Temple.
The pundit said Swami did abhishekams to the lingam when He was just 6 years old.

He proceeded to unlock the Temple, but the gate was stuck. It took awhile for both of them to open it.

The pundit offered some flowers and coconut to the lingam.

A very loud strange noise started soon after.
Not sure what it was. You will need to watch the video to hear it.
 I followed the brother further along the small lane ways.
 I had not ever ventured down this way before.
Almost like a maze! Felt like, I was going back in time.

We arrived at this small Temple. It had a long tall structure at the front.
He said when there was no power, Swami provided oil there.
It was hard to hear what he said.

Vishnu and Lakshmi?

He mentioned about this stone behind the plant on this particular spot with regards to Swami.
I could not understand what he was saying.
Again watch the video to hear it.

Off we went further down the lane ways. Dogs were barking at us!
Not sure because of him or me.
 Maybe they weren't used to a westerner carrying a camera on a tripod.
Soon there were a lot of them! A bit scary to say the least!

He pointed to a large stone like lingam on the ground.
Again, I could not understand what he was saying. The dogs were still barking in unison.

Just there also was another small Temple.
Kalki Devi

It was very hot that day! Each day seem to just get hotter and hotter.
He met up with his sister there, so I presumed that he resided in that area.
 I felt the need to go back to the hotel, as I was concerned about my son who wasn't feeling the best.  Stomach bug!
  It was almost lunchtime at Prasanthi.
 Did not want to miss that!
 The head cold had set in and I was feeling exhausted.
We parted ways! Thanking him for the tour! 

Going back myself, the dogs started barking again!!!

 Walked back to the hotel.
My son was okay, so we headed to Prasanthi for lunch.
We decided to take rest afterwards, only to return for evening Darshan.
Students of the Brindavan Campus of SSSIHL presented a Gratitude Offering.

That was the 9th March for us in Parthi.

Post No.9


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