Swami's Letter to Smt. Subbamma garu
When I am residing in your hearts how can you be far from Me?
"Subbamma was the person most anxious about Baba's health and most worried about feeding the hundreds of pilgrims who gathered at Puttaparthi. Baba even now says that the grinding stone in her home was always busy preparing chutney out of the heaps of coconuts for the hundreds who stayed at her house. Subbamma was grinding and grinding,besides boiling rice and preparing dishes almost eight hours of the day! She had immense love and devotion for the Lord, and Sai Baba had said that He would satisfy her one great desire - to have the Darshan, that is, the blessing of seeing in person the Vision of Sai Baba in her last moments. It is indeed a thrilling story, the story of those moments and that Darshan.
Subbamma fell ill and was taken to Bukkapatnam, but in spite of her illness, she came over one day in a bullock cart to see the Prasanthi Nilayam, which was then underconstruction. She was soon bedridden and could not move; her condition worsened; and Sai Baba was away at Bangalore! Subbamma in her delirium talked about Baba and the Vision of Sai Baba of Shirdi which she had been privileged to see. She spoke of the many "miracles of Lord Krishna " which she had witnessed. When normal consciousness returned, her talk concerned the same incidents and the same Person. She was in the midst of relations who had little sympathy with these sentiments, for they felt that her love for the strange miraculous young boy had taken her away from attachment to her kith and kin. They told her that her Baba was a hundred miles away, and it would be better for her to concentrate her final attention on her family gathered around her. But her faith in Sai Baba did not falter.
Meanwhile Baba left Bangalore for Tirupathi. He knew that Subbamma's soul was struggling to free itselt from the mortal coil, and that she was rolling in her deathbed atBukkapatnam. The people around her announced that she had breathed her last. But a peculiar glow on her face made them hesitate to take the body away for cremation. A few wise people shook their heads when it was suggested that she had died. They advised patience, and admonished the relatives, "The bird has not yet flown." How could that bird fly, even though the doors of the cage were wide open? She must have the Darshan, the promised Vision, and she must wait until Baba came.
Baba was hurrying toward her bedside. He left Tirupathi by car, and arriving at Puttaparthi, proceeded to Bukkapatnam three full days after the announcement of Subbamma's end! Her eyes had lost the glint; she was placed on the floor; for no Hindu should die while on the bed, and people were evincing an uneasy impatience. Sai Baba sat by her and in a low voice called out, "Subbamma, Subbamma," just twice! To the evident wonderment of everyone crowding around, Subbamma opened her eyes; her hand extended toward Baba and grasped His Palm firmly and began to stroke it lovingly. Baba put His Fingers to her lips; her mouth opened a little, as if she knew that Baba was giving her something to slake the thirst of the soul. From the Fingers of Baba there poured into her mouth a small quantity of water which He said was from River Ganges. Subbamma then joined the ranks of the released!"
Sathyam Sivam Sundaram I, by Professor N. Kasturi
Topics: When I am residing in your hearts how can you be far from Me?