Shirdi Sai Baba’s Ardent Devotee – Shivammataayee

Born on 16-5-1891 in a village called VELLAI KINARU near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

About herself as narrated by Raajamma/ShivammaThayee:-

Her uncle (father’s elder brother) Thangavel Gounder brought Shirdi Sai Baba to a village near Pollachi in the year 1906 (In Sai Satcharithra, we were told that Baba never really went outside Shirdi & its nearby villages. This incident, narrated by Raajamma shows that Baba is omnipresent. Her age was 15. She had a one-year-old son Mani Raj. BABA’s estimated age at that time would have been 71 years.

Baba stayed there for 2 days in that village and initiated her with Gayathri Mantra in her ears and also wrote down Gayathri Manthram on a paper with a pencil in Tamil and gave it to her. She lost the paper. BABA appeared in her dream and told her that the slip was in the rice storage drum. From the time she met BABA, she was longing to go to Shirdi for BABA’s darshan.

She had to get permission from her husband for this. She asked for it and also asked him to take her to Shirdi. He was a nonbeliever. But got a belief in BABA with the happening of a miracle. Then, he agreed to take her to Shirdi. It was in 1908 at her 17th year. Baba used to talk to her in Tamil only.

Shivamma taayee describes Shirdi Sai Baba

“HE is 6 feet tall. HIS hands are very long, and the finger of the hands cross beyond the knee. HE is very fair. HIS nose is long and sharp with broad openings. Blue & not black are HIS eyes & they have very sharp vision. HIS eyes are always glowing like a bright light, and they are glowing like that of cat/ tiger. HE is having ”TEJAS”.

On seeing HIM, I felt that GOD himself came on to this land as a human being. HE liked to cook and feed all the beings including animals and birds. When I went first to Shirdi, we, all our family members and other devotees, saw that “Ganji” (cooked rice with more water) was getting cooked in a big vessel. While we were seeing, BABA folded his kafini of the arm above, and started mixing the boiling Ganji with his bare hand and he did this for a long time. We all saw that wonderful incident. HE himself distributed that Ganji to everyone.”

She continued….”After our return from Shirdi, my husband saw one advertisement in paper, that T.R. Mill in Bangalore wanted a supervisor. He applied for it, and by BABA’s grace, he got the job”.

We shifted to Bangalore and started living in Chamarajpet. I used to go to Shirdi 3 or 4 times a year. My husband did not like this. When he questioned, I used to tell him, ”For me, BABA is my GURU. To me no other God or devathas are important. So it is natural for me to have darshan of BABA”. He asked me, ”why you chose BABA as your guru?”

I said ” HE is SADGURU & GOD’s incarnation. That is why I chose HIM as my guru. I pray HIM only and would like to go to Shirdi whenever my heart will long for it.”

At that time, I used to go to Shirdi 3 or 4 times, irrespective of my husband’s opinion. I used to stay there for a few days, see the miracles of BABA, take the shower of HIS blessings. I considered myself very fortunate. In due course of time, I used to spend time in the house itself, doing the parayan of HIS name. With this, slowly I experienced detachment and lost interest in worldly life.

I continued to visit Shirdi. BABA used to treat me as HIS own daughter. HE used to shower blessings on me. Sometimes I was the only spectator of HIS wonderful acts. I was the only witness to HIS yoga saadhana, like Khanda yoga etc.” (also mentioned in Sai Satcharitra). Shivamma taayee was there when BABA was narrating the poorva janma of snake & frog. This incident is mentioned in Sai Satcharitra in detail.

Shivamma taayiee’s husband left her after getting fed up with her and married another woman. Then she went to her mother’s place and stayed there. Her son Maniraj got the post of sub inspector, but he and his wife died in an accident later. Her father took her to Shirdi after her husband left her. BABA not only blessed her but also asked her to stay in one of the choultries of HIS devotee and asked her to spend time reciting HIS naamam.

BABA attained Mahasamadhi on October 15th 1918 at 2-30PM. She says, “Shirdi SAI BABA is the incarnation of SHIVA. HE is the incarnation of DATTATREYA. BABA changed my name to SHIVAMMA TAAYEE (mother of SHIVA) in 1917. BABA said ” From today you are called Shivamma Taayee. Go to Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, My blessings to you, You will start an ashramam in my name. ALLA MAALIK”.

Construction of Ashram /Temple

She followed the instructions of BABA. She lived many years by begging, meditating and saying Sai naamama always roaming in Bangalore.

In 1944, one great soul, Sri Narayana Reddy and his wife Sharadamma gave some land, the land at Roopen agrahara, near Madiwala at Bangalore for her to stay. She did penance for 12 years there without food. Ants built up “Putta” around her and she was completely submerged in that. One snake also used to rest on her head during this period.

One day many devotees from Bangalore assembled and by chanting BABA’s name, skilfully made the snake to leave from the jatajutam of Shaivamma taayee. They all requested her to put an end to the Tapas, which she had been doing it for 12 years. She did so and spent life with the namasmarana of BABA.

She constructed a temple for BABA and an elementary school in the name of BABA for poor children in 1973. It was later upgraded to High School in 1991. Many SAI devotees and her relatives, grand-children used to visit her. Her relatives, who were in good financial positions, asked her to come and stay comfortably with them. But she never desired to leave the place saying that she did not want to leave from the shelter and the feeling of being drenched with the shower of enormous love and blessings of her GURU Shri BABA In this ashramam.

In 1993 she said, “My samadhi is being constructed in the SAI BABA temple itself. It is almost complete and when I or my Guru decides, my body has to be kept in that and the top has to be closed. That is the only work pending.” She continued, “BABA during HIS life-time and even after HIS Samadhi, is taking care of me, showing me the way, helping me, and showing kindness. My each inhalation and exhalation is because of HIS blessing and wish. Even after HE left HIS physical body, HE is always in contact with me with HIS “sukshma sareeram” cosmic body. He is talking in good Tamil. Frequently He is meeting me either in HIS physical body or cosmic body, talking to me, guiding me, cautioning me if required.”

She constructed two temples of BABA in the ashramam. In one of them, she installed black colour Pratima of BABA.

This kind of pratimas, one black colour pratima and the other one in a begging posture are not there anywhere else to my knowledge. In the other, she installed Pratima of BABA in the standing, begging posture as asked by BABA in her dream, made of marble by a sculptor brought for this purpose from Rajasthan.

These two temples are apart from the Pooja room of Shivamma Tayee where she installed the pratima of BABA in silver, by getting it done there itself by a goldsmith.

Devotees used to approach her and ask her to help in solving their problems. Shivamma Tayee used to pray BABA and give them her visionary solutions, blessings, and wishes of BABA. This, she did not do every time, to everybody, at all times. She used to do to only one devotee at a time with restrictions.

She said, “In front of my GURU, I am like a dust particle. I am not here without HIM. This is the truth. Whatever these devotees are getting from me like-wishes, blessings, boons, philosophical discourses, guidance, mental strength, everything is coming actually from BABA.” She used to tell the devotees, “If you completely surrender to SAMARTHA SADGURU SHIRDI SAI BABA, you will not have any problem. Deep mental peace will come to you automatically.”

She explained whatever she knew about BABA’s birth, life, teachings, etc.

TR. Madhavan

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