Beach 1: The First Prostration
Wave 2: Names ad infinitum for the Nameless
Drop 15: Names from the ashTottara of
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The ashTottara ( = 108; standing for the string of 108 names used for offering flowers at the Lotus Feet of the Lord) of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is well-known among the large world-wide family of His devotees. It is part of their daily routine. Usually many of the names are understood as referring to His various miracles, or the historical facts and events associated with Him. But what is less familiarly known is the fact that the names which do not particularly refer to a historical event are already the names found in the various sahasra-nAmas and stotras of Hindu literature and carry a profound meaning which goes back to the very roots of Hindu religion, culture, and philosophy. They legitimately apply also to Baba because He is the Lord Himself. We shall take up some of these names and dwell on their esoteric and philosophical meanings. We shall also append a number to each name; this number being just the serial number in the ashTottara. This will enable the reader to locate it in the ashTottara.
We give each name in the form in which it is familiarly known, namely, as a process of offering flowers at the feet of the Lord, known technically as arcanA. In other words this process prefixes an Aum, keeps the name in the dative case and suffixes a namaH.
For the meaning and significance of Aum,
go to The tAraka-mantra Aum.
The word namaH means prostration. But it is not just that simple. There are two syllables there, namely, na and ma. The syllable na stands for a negative. The syllable ma stands for the word mama which means, 'my' or 'mine'. Together the word namaH says 'not mine'. So when we offer anything to the Lord, say, a flower in the form of an arcanA, we better recall to our mind that we are offering what is naturally His, to Himself. It is not as if something belongs to us and we are offering it to Him. The only thing that belongs to us is, probably, our mind. It is this that we should offer to Him so that He can use it, come and reside in it, as He thinks fit. Instead of doing that we are offering a flower, or sometimes an eatable, calling it naivedya, or sometimes some money, in the hope of getting a greater benefit
August 7, 99 ©Copyright V. Krishnamurthy Home Contents Next