Baba profile in white

I sit here in my old apartment in Puttaparthi just after signing the familiar registration book the doorman has given me, with Becky’s 2008 form filled out as the first page in the book! I arrived yesterday from Delhi to be here for Christmas – it feels like home although Baba’s physical presence is missing. The stillness in the air, the feeling of floating as I walk through the streets, Sai Ram’s said to several people I know and recognize in the streets. I see Aftab, who Maa and I love, and who owns the Himalayan Heritage gem and statue store near the front gates of the ashram. Maa is thrilled to know that Aftab accepted Maa’s invitation and will be coming to the Kumbh to be with all of us. I see Anil Kumar, who ran Sai Surya, a restaurant just outside the gates, who now runs a café and guest house just outside our apartments. He asks for Mataji’s blessings.

I went to the mandir (temple) this morning at 7:30 not knowing what to expect. I sat through chanting of slokas and bhajans, followed by a procession of everyone up to the Samadhi of Baba. Where Baba used to sit in his chair in the front center of the hall, they have created a resting place for Baba covered with white marble and colorful flowers, with photos of Baba encircling the background, in a circular area that is first covered by a golden curtain that is pulled back at 10 am for everyone to see and pass by the Samadhi. Above the Samadhi hangs a banner saying “Live in Love”, an important message for each and everyone of us.

When I first entered the mandir I was pleasantly surprised by the power of the Shakti in the temple, and was washed by Baba as I sat there for a few hours listening to the chanting and clapping along during the bhajans. Everything felt much calmer than before, with no tension as in the past to get closer to the front, especially to see Baba as he passed by during Darshan. Interestingly, there is much more Shanti (peace) now, respect, courtesy by the sevadals (those men doing seva) and those attending.

As I slowly approached the Samadhi, I closed my eyes and breathed in Baba, the love, the heart-filled compassion, the grace, the power of Baba entering me and everyone. I bowed down and placed my hands on the marble by Baba’s physical form, honoring and thanking Baba for his physical presence on the planet, the many years of service and devotion to us all, the continued service through his energetic presence, and Baba’s devotion to Maa and grand and glorious contribution to who Maa is now as an enlightened master, Divine Mother, Guru to me and many of us.

As Maa could not be Maa without Baba, I could not be who I am now without Maa.

I pranam at the lotus feet of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, I pranam to the lotus feet of my Guru, Her Holiness Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi.

I will continue to share my experiences, including the Christmas celebration tomorrow, in future blogs from Puttaparthi.