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72. Aum SrI sAi bhakta-parAdhInAya namaH
This is a very interesting name. bhakta-parAdhIna means one who is subservient to His devotees. The name originates from Srimad bhAgavatam where in the 9th book, 4th chapter, there is the story of King Ambarisha. The devotion of Ambarisha is so much liked by the Lord that He gives him his own sudarSana cakra (= the Lord's disc, called sudarSana) which saves him at a crucial time. And that happens when Ambarisha calls the tune. When the sage DurvAsa who is at the receiving end of the Lord's disc now, goes to Lord VishNu Himself for protection, the Lord says: I am not free. I am at the control of my close devotees. I am bhakta-parAdhIna, says the Lord.
There are scores of stories in the purANas how the Lord is 'at the mercy' of His devotees. So the name bhakta-parAdhIna is very commonly used with reference to God in many contexts. But as a name occurring in one of the sahasra-nAmas or ashTottaras, it is a rare occurrence. The Vishnu sahasra-nAma does not have this name. It only has bhakta-vatsala - which simply means only that He loves His devotees. The name is neither in Rama-ashTottara, nor in Krishna-ashTottara. LalitA-sahasra-nAma has the name bhakti-vaSyA, which means that the Mother Goddess allows Herself to be controlled by the devotion of Her devotees. This therefore is the nearest in meaning to bhakta-parAdhIna, occuring in sAi ashTottara.
In the case of bhagavAn sAi, there is a countless number of episodes where the lord simply bowed to the devotion of the devotee and allowed Himself to be led by His devotee. In fact many a time His body has suffered illness or disease for the sake of his devotee, thereby warding off the suffering and possible fatal consequence for His devotee. No wonder He is called bhakta-parAdhIna.
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