Ever since July 16, 2019, the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, and ever since thousands of mere mortals were witness to the divine deliverance of Madhusudan to Sri Madhusudan Sai, much has been said, and much has been debated. Is something like this even possible? Is this true? Is this all some kind of a hogwash? Sai Baba was anyway using Madhusudan’s body as per His will, whenever He wanted….then what does ascension mean?
Sri Madhusudan Sai penned down his state of divine rhapsody that morning. Sri B N Narasimha Murthy read out exactly what Sri Madhusudan Sai had written about himself, and explained to the world at large about what was happening – the outer form being Madhusudan and the inner content being Sathya Sai – the Pragya of Sathya Sai manifesting in Madhusudan, and therefore Madhusudan Sai. A combination of both divine in man and man in divine! And still many are unable to comprehend this unique, but most stunning spectacle in the history of human kind. But, have we forgotten that great Masters like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sri Aurobindo and multitude of others often reminded everyone to believe and live as divine, as this is what we are all here to learn and achieve? Simply put, divinity manifesting through a human face.
One thing which we all have to remind ourselves all the time is God is Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathanam, Niketanam, Nithya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swaroopinam! So, who is Sathya Sai Baba? We as devotees of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, definitely feel joy in saying Sathya Sai Baba is God. But the truth is that it is God who came as Sathya Sai Baba. God was there before Sathya Sai Baba, in Sathya Sai Baba, and after Sathya Sai Baba also, as the eternal formless divinity. Sathya Sai Baba was just one manifestation of God. Why did God manifest as Sathya Sai Baba? What did Sathya Sai Baba do? He came with a mission, a purpose to transform humanity. He taught service, sacrifice, compassion, devotion through various projects. Unless one solved the basic problems, how would anyone be receptive to the higher echelons of wisdom. Hence, Sathya Sai Baba initiated projects in healthcare, education, nutrition and socio-care. Just as mother Yashoda would show the butter to her beloved son Krishna to draw him towards her, and also keep a stick behind her to discipline and teach him, so did Sathya Sai Baba. He gave all that we wanted, so that one day we would ask what He had come to give – self-realisation! Everybody came to Swami – Arthi, Artharthi, Jignasu and Jnani. He dealt with each of them at various levels only to encourage them to develop love for God, and finally have only one desire which is to attain Godhood.
We may say, Swami gave up His body which was untimely. As per His own statement, He had said He would leave at the age of 96. But we must understand that there is a reason and season behind everything that God does. Was He helpless? No! Everything is under His will. It was Swami’s will to leave the body at 85. It was Swami’s will to return to Muddenahalli and do what He wanted to do. However, even a divine spirit has to operate in the physical world with a human body, therefore an Avatar (divine incarnation) happens. So, Sri Sathya Sai Baba had to use a physical body, though His Pragna (consciousness) is ever present, to do His work. After giving up His body earlier than it’s time, He wanted someone to give oneself completely to Him without holding anything back unabashedly, so He could do whatever He wanted. A person whom the divine could use completely. And he found such a person in Madhusudan!
I have seen Madhusudan over the last eight years, as he gave up inch by inch, piece by piece, everything away to God! There is nothing left of him, or in him. Madhusudan has himself described in his book, ‘The Story Divine’, how Darshans began at Premdeep during those early days. He was uncomfortable with all the public gaze and attention, and at that time he could see Swami in front of him, walking and giving instructions. Slowly, with the passage of time he found himself to be in ‘auto pilot’ mode and did not realise where Swami was! Everything was automatic. Many people who had the special grace of a subtler vision, saw Swami going in and out of Madhusudan! There have been times, when Madhusudan would be seated right next to us, at the dining table, or on a flight, and would suddenly ‘become’ Swami to give certain instructions. And later he would say that whatever happened was not in his control! He would always share with us, “I go to the Mandir, I take His Namaskar and sit down. And whatever would happen next, would be completely in Swami’s control! Once the work for the day would get over, Swami would permit me to go back to my room, only to return the next day.” So, he would go back to his room after the day’s work with Swami, as Madhusudan. But every time he entered Swami’s room, he was a different person, as Swami would completely take over him. He would always say that nothing was in his control, the thoughts, or the words or the gestures.
Now what has happened? By being continuously with Swami, working with Swami, it has led to a state where he has become one with the Divine, Advaita Bhava! This is the progressive state for everybody. This control, where earlier Madhusudan would come and Swami would do what He wanted, and then he would go back as Madhusudan, has disappeared!
I understood what had happened, as I was one of the fortunate few to watch him metamorphise from Madhusudan to Madhusudan Sai over the last eight years! As I shared this concern of others’ lack of understanding with Sri Sathya Sai who was talking through the being of Sri Madhusudan, He compassionately answered many questions which may have risen in the minds of many. I would like to share the below questions and answers, which will hopefully make every single person today, tomorrow, and for many generations to come, truly understand what has really happened to Madhusudan.
Bhuvana: What should everyone truly understand about what has happened?
Sathya Sai: You must remember three important aspects about this phase of Me in the subtle. Jesus said ‘I am the messenger of God’. Then He said, ‘I am the Son of God’, and finally He said, ‘I and my Father are One.’ It was the same Jesus who made all the three statements, but at three different points in time. So, what does this mean? When He came, He was a devotee, and was in Dwaita Bhava – God is there. Then it moved to the Visishta Dwaita Bhava – ‘I am the Son of God’, where He felt that He was part and parcel of God. After this, He moved to Advaita Bhava – ‘I and my Father are one’.
Similarly, when Madhusudan came, he was a communicator and a messenger of God – that was the first phase of Sankarshana, which means attraction. During this phase I used him as my messenger to reach out and draw those devotees whom I wanted to myself. Then he became a part and parcel of Me. How did this happen? There was Darshan, Sparshan and Sambhashan – it was not merely communicating, it was a little more than that. He spoke as Sai. He touched and blessed as Sai. This was Sandarshana – interaction with the devotees and guiding them in this mission. Now, it is the third phase, the Advaita Bhava phase; what has happened is similar to how an iron piece transforms into a magnet due to its constant state of ‘touch’. First, the iron and magnet came together. In the next phase, there was temporary magnetism, and now permanently he is a magnet! This is Sankramana- ascension leading to transformation. Now he is completely one with Me. This is how this transition has happened!
Bhuvana: Swami, many are asking as to why You did not speak about this before?
Sathya Sai: When did I speak about anything before time? I always spoke about it at the right time! I declared I was Shirdi Baba incarnate only when I was 14-years-old, and not when I was born. I did not reveal that I was the Shiva-Shakti Swaroopa until I was 37-years-old. I did not say that I was going to leave the Sathya Sai form when I would be 96 years old, until the right moment arrived. So, there is a reason for everything. Likewise, I have revealed this aspect only now.
Bhuvana: Swami, the question which people are asking now is, ‘How do we deal with Madhusudan’?
Sathya Sai: It’s very simple. How do you deal with Swami? If you call Him as a mother, He will respond as a mother. Call him as a father, He will respond as a father. Call him as a friend, He will respond as a friend. Call him as a human, He will respond as a human. Call him as divine, He will respond as divinity. Similarly, Madhusudan will respond.
Bhuvana: Swami, how should we explain the difference between then and now in a way all will easily understand? Before Guru Purnima 2019 and after Guru Purnima 2019?
Sathya Sai: Earlier, I decided when to use Madhusudan, when to enter Madhusudan’s body and carry out the tasks as per what I wanted. Once done with My work, he had no choice but to descend back to his human self. Ascension was only when the Divine pressed the button as the control was with Me. Madhusudan was in the ascended divine state only for a while, but had to largely stay in the human state. On Guru Purnima day this year, I handed over the remote control to Madhusudan, which means he can be in the ascended state 24×7 if he chooses to. However, should Madhusudan wish to descend to do his basic chores, he may choose to just be Madhusudan. I trust him completely, and have given him the control. Anytime he wants Me, to live as Me, he can have Me and be Me. If he wants to live 24×7 in the Pragya of Sathya Sai, he can do so! So, should you call him Sathya Sai? NO! Should you call him Madhusudan? NO! So, therefore, Madhusudan Sai!
Bhuvana: But why Madhusudan first, and Sai later?
Sathya Sai: Why Radha first, and Krishna later? God always puts His devotee before Himself. That’s why it is Radha Krishna. I have put My devotee before Myself. And is he such a devotee? Of course, yes; it’s evident from all that he has done in last eight years for Me! It is clearly his devotion which has done this. Otherwise why would I choose him?
Bhuvana: Swami, is this the end of it all? Is this the ultimate feeling? Or is there something beyond?
Sathya Sai: What is beyond is Atma Bhavam. Madhusudan Sai is the vessel and with Sai as the content, but there is something beyond this too. Beyond the illusion of forms and names, there is the reality of Atma Gyan, an attribute less supreme state beyond, which is for everyone. Now even as Madhusudan, he can transcend to this state of Atma Gyan, which is neither Madhusudan nor Sathya Sai Baba but the supreme state of Atman. He is therefore a Jeevan Mukta!
Bhuvana: Swami, since this third phase Sankramana started on the morning of Guru Purnima 2019, how long will this phase last?
Sathya Sai: Ten years.
Bhuvana: Why will it last for ten years? And what will happen after ten years to Madhusudan, after he hands over to Prema Sai?
Sathya Sai: This is the phase during which all My work must happen. After ten years, Madhusudan who has been transformed into a permanent magnet has his own divinity to live with. The mission of course will progress to the next phase, into the hands of Prema Sai. Right now, Sathya Sai’s time is not over! After the 96th year, which is 2022 + eight years is 2030 and this is when Prema Sai will take over the ongoing mission. Until then, what will happen? This is what will happen! Madhusudan Sai will be there to do all that is needed.
And after that also, Madhusudan is a Jeevan Mukta so what is there for him to worry? He will go to any corner of the world as I command and will do whatever has to be done as per what I say. If he has to serve Prema Sai, he will!
Bhuvana: Swami, when I was speaking to Madhusudan a few months ago, and asked him whether he can ‘access’ the supreme Parabrahman consciousness, he said he did not have the ‘access’. But now, post Guru Purnima, since he has broken free from the shackles, and when he chooses to be Madhusudan, can he go to the Parabrahman state? Would he know everyone’s past, present and future?
Sathya Sai: Yes, Madhusudan can go to the Parabrahman state, but at that time, he would no more be himself or even an amalgamation of Me and him. He would be attribute less divine self of Parabrahman. Before he could not do so on his own, as I had the key to it. Now he can, as I am assisting him. He can experience the divine consciousness, as now I have given the key to him! Madhusudan Sai has the key, as a reward to his sincere efforts. This state is beyond Madhusudan and Sai together.
Let Me explain with an example of a mansion which has three floors. The ground floor is the consciousness of Madhusudan. The middle floor is the consciousness of Sathya Sai and the topmost floor is the ultimate supreme consciousness of Parabrahman. Earlier Madhusudan had access only to the ground floor where he could be only his human self – Madhusudan, and could come up to middle floor only with My permission. But now, I have not only granted him access to the middle floor where he can become one with Me – Madhusudan Sai, but also given the access to the top floor where he can be the divine supreme self. This is the reward for all the service that he has done to Me.
Bhuvana: Was there anybody in history who could ‘access’ the state of divine consciousness or Parabrahman?
Sathya Sai: Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Yukteshwar Giri as well. But they did not have a physical mission. They were in their Ashrams, and did not engage in mammoth projects at that point in time.
So, these were some of the questions many people asked me, and even shared their doubts about all that was happening. Let me say, many out there may think this is yet another gimmick to claim the ‘seat’! Someone who has not understood will sit and make claims for sure. Well, all that I can say is, come and sit on this ‘seat’ and see for yourself! This may seem as a bed of roses but it is not! If one thinks this is glorious, amazing, easy and a cozy job, and Madhusudan is having a happy and jolly ride, do come and run these Institutions just for one day! I promise you will not even survive for an hour! If anyone thinks it is Madhusudan’s mind playing to usurp all this, let me tell you as a first hand witness, with the kind of intensive resources required every single day, the people management, the issues and challenges, and many other facets, only God or a God-like person can deal with this! What is happening now, is only divinity at work! Period!
Let me ask you, if Sathya Sai had to do all that is happening now after leaving the body, would there have been any better way of doing all that is happening across the world? Can the current mission be improved and enhanced even by one percent over how it is being done now? Well, the only way it could have been possibly done better was if Sathya Sai Himself had resurrected in the physical form, to continue the work. But when did Sathya Sai use His powers for Himself? He silently suffered in His body by taking up many diseases and difficulties of His beloved devotees only to save them and the world at large, and gave up the failing body which could bear it no more!
But after having shed His mortal coil, when He wanted to complete the unfinished tasks, He needed someone who could do whatever He wanted. The choice was Madhusudan who emptied himself of himself to make place for Sathya Sai in his being. In Swami’s own words, “We all know what happens in a relay race. The first runner runs during the first lap and hands over the baton to the second. In the second lap, if the runner succumbs to an injury, a replacement runner is provided for the ‘injured sportsman’. Similarly, if we have a hand injury, and an examination to write, a shadow person is provided, to write on our behalf. A proxy or a substitute. This is what is happening right now! Shirdi Sai was in the first round of this mission who passed on the baton to Sathya Sai. Sathya Sai continued the mission in the second round, but had to quit His body that had borne many an injury on behalf of His devotees, and so He is now using Madhusudan as His proxy to complete the second lap and handover the baton ultimately to Prema Sai for the third and final round.”
There are Avesha Avatars, who manifest for a very short period with certain specific powers like the Narasimha Avatar – the half man half lion form. There are Amsha Avataras, those who appear to achieve a specific task and are endowed with limited powers only, like Parasurama Avatar. Then the Poorna Avatars are those who manifest with their complete glory and all 16 kinds of divine qualities, who are only two so far – Lord Krishna and Swami. There are Vishishta Avatars, special Avatars, like a boar, fish or tortoise. However, Sathya Sai Avatar is beyond these, it is a very special one, Ati-Vishishta Avatar, which has never happened before. Swami explained this saying, “Before God came in the form of a tortoise or boar or half lion half man or a dwarf, no one believed it happened. Now everyone believes! Likewise, what is going on now has never happened before, hence it is difficult to believe. With time there will be acceptance, that God can also do this Leela. When God can become half man and half lion, why can’t be become half God and half man? An amalgamation of human and divine! This is a very special phase indeed! Hundreds of people will be liberated. If it has happened to Madhusudan, it can happen to anyone. Liberation or Paramananda is accessible to purity. Sathya Sai using Madhusudan for the last part of the second lap, is a unique phenomenon. ‘Accessing’ Paramananda is not unique. Many Sages have received this, through their penance too. It was their self-effort, after which God’s grace flowed. In the case of Madhusudan, ‘access’ has been given to him purely because of Grace and not by self-effort, because he has pleased his Master. He has pleased Me! His only self-effort was his surrender! Madhusudan will not only carry Me wherever I go, not only be My proxy or face, but I have given him a special key, where he can go beyond to his ultimate supreme divine self!”
After answering all my questions Swami said, “If even after having answered all these questions, someone still has questions, then it’s obvious that they don’t want to understand!”