Avatar of Aquarius
There is a deeply prophetic story about Swami's early life when He was attending High School at Uravakonda and living with His uncle's family in term time. During a school holiday, Swami's mother, Easwaramma, was giving Him an oil bath when she noticed a broad callous on young Sathya 's left shoulder and asked Him how He had acquired it. At first, He just laughed, but when she insisted, it emerged that Sathya had been carrying water pots, on both ends of a pole, on His shoulder. He had been fetching drinking water six times daily from a well nearly a kilometre away from His uncle's house, for His own relatives and for two neighbouring families.
When Easwaramma protested that they had been taking advantage of Him, He replied: "I carry the water of life from that distance gladly Mother! I have come to do this service."
THE WATER PROJECT
This story is prophetic partly for the shining promise of service to humanity now being fulfilled in the great Water Project. The young boy, who knew what it was to carry heavy water pots in the hot sun, has grown into a Being of such power and compassion that He is regenerating a whole drought-ridden region of India by bringing pure water to every village in the area.
But the story and the Water Project are specially significant to devotees in the West because they are symbolic of Swami's role as Avatar of the dawning Aquarian age. Aquarius means the Water Bearer. (In Indian astrology it corresponds to Kumbham). Not just an abstract archetype now, but coming to life in this Avatar as a perfect model of all the distinctive characteristics of Aquarius: truth,idealism, equality, brotherhood. In fact, all Swami's great social projects. With Divine Grace, Swami fulfils the myths and prophecies of all cultures. He is the Avatar of the Kali Yuga and of the Aquarian Age. Has He not come for all mankind? All three incarnations - Shirdi Sai, Sathya Sai and Prema Sai - fall within the turbulent transition stage between the fading age of Pisces, with its religious issues, and the growing age of Aquarius, with its promise of sharing resources.
Our beloved Sathya Sai is the most important of the three, coming at a lime of crisis when global priorities are changing rapidly. Mankind is having to confront the need to cooperate and value and conserve the most basic natural resources of our planet. As many experts have observed, water will soon become "the oil of the 90's". Our spirituality has also become arid and separated from its source.
We have some crucial and urgent decisions to make and Swami has come to help us make these decisions by giving us a model of how things can and should be done.
GREAT CHANGE IN PROSPECT
This November, on the very eve of Swami's 70th Birthday, there will be a New Moon occurring virtually on the same degree as Swami's sun at birth. As if this were not auspicious enough, the planet Pluto, symbolising power and transformation, will also be conjunct in the same degree. It would seem that the 70th Birthday will mark a major emergence of Swami's power in the world, a marvellous new phase in His Mission.
If we devotees remember to give our Love at this time, we will surely be helping Swami distribute that most important resource of all Love: throughout the world.
Footnote: During an interview on 19th July, 1995, Swami graciously added some details to the childhood story (which is told in "Easwaramma: the Chosen Mother" by N. Kasturi). Young Sai's water pots were made of clay. "Very heavy" and He was seven years old at the time and seventy at the time of the Water Project. He smiled and said "Akshaya, Akshaya, Akshaya" (that which forever grows and grows) free medicine, free education and feeding of the poor - fulfil the Aquarian vision which implies not just water transported for the needy, but all important resources transported and distributed equally to humanity, improving the quality of life everywhere.
The Sarva Dharma symbol proclaiming the equality of world religions is also a perfect Aquarian symbol. Even Swami's name, Sathya Narayana, which we recite in the Arathi, is significant, Sathya meaning Truth and Narayana coming from a root word meaning water.
Sandra Levy, U.K.
( From "Sanathana Sarathi Bhagavan's 70th Birthday Commemoration Volume". )
Article, titled "Sai BabaТs gesture helped them to drink water" in "Deccan Chronicle" (News Paper from Andhra Pradesh, India) dated 9th February, 1998:
Anantapur: Amidst drought, the people in 700 villages in Anantapur district are able to get drinking water, though not as per their requirements, thanks to the mega water supply project implemented by Sri Satya Sai Central Trust floated by Sri Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthy. The Rs 300-crore* protected drinking water supply scheme was put in place in a record time to benefit nine lakh** people living in 700 villages. "After conferring the gift of free education and free advanced medical care on the poor, Sai Baba has done his bit for the water-starved people of the district," admits a Communist leader.
* - 1 crore = 10 000 000
** - 1 lakh = 100 000
From Sri Sathya Sai Baba's speech on Oct 11, 1997 (Dasara - Vijaya Dasami):
"When I took up the drinking water project, our Trust members told me: "Swami! There are not enough funds in the Trust. How are we to embark on this gigantic project?" I assured them: "That is my concern. I shall see that this good project is completed." That has been accomplished without any impediments.
Much remains to be done in Bharat. As the Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly said , water is a primary need all over the country. Pure drinking water should be made available to the entire people. That is my resolve.
From my earliest years I have been concerned about providing three primary requisites for our people: Free education, free medical aid and free basic amenities like drinking water. Education is for the head. Medical care is for the heart and pure water for the body. These three cover the main requirements of life. To provide these three gives the greatest gratification."