Sri Bala Charanam.
December 8th, 2009.
At the request of Smt Renuka Karunakaran of Sydney, Australia, I shall reproduce in this post, a copy of the e-mail I received from her today.
In my previous post, published yesterday, I have written about the sequence of events that led me to draw this portrait of Sai Baba. The photo from which I based my drawing was pre-selected by none other than Baba himself.
Also, while I was initially going to do this drawing using only black charcoal pencils, an interesting incident happened at the art store that made me change my mind.
A young girl with an afro hairdo walked up to me as I stood undecided in the aisle displaying charcoal pencils. She said “ I’ll show you what pencils are good to use for portraits”. She took me by hand and selected a set of charcoal pencils in various colors. These were the shades of brown, ochre and yellow I have used in the painting. I thought this girl was an art student and asked whether art was her profession.
Her reply “ Oh no, I just draw from my heart. You don’t need expensive art lessons when God has given you the ability to draw”. She ran off and I didn’t see her in the store after that brief encounter.
Renuka has informed me in her letter today, that Swami wanted me to draw his robe in yellow color. He had also told her the exact pose he wanted to be portrayed. However, after our initial phone chat I didn’t communicate with Renuka for nearly a week, until the picture was finished and I published it on the website!!
Furthemore, like I have mentioned previously, even after Renuka’s initial request, I wasn’t too keen on drawing Swami and instead did a pencil sketch of Bala on that Thursday!
I hope people who come across this painting of Sai Baba and read this story, realize exactly the divine nature of this “ leela” played by both Sri Bala and Swami Sai Baba on two devotees living thousands of miles apart ; myself in New York and Renuka Karunakaran, in Australia.
Here is the letter from Renuka:
When I spoke to you last Thursday, you mentioned you’d purchased a card from the art shop but didn’t quite know what to draw. I told you to do a painting of Baba since this is exactly what he was telling me ( in my mind) at that very moment. “ Ask Uma to do a drawing of me and bring it with you when you visit me in Puttaparthi. I will bless it”.
So, I merely passed on his message to you that day. I remember you asked me in what pose you should draw Swami . I replied when I attended the Sai center for bhajans during the weekend, I might get this message and would indicate it to you. But I never did get back to you!
However, immediately after our phone conversation, I went to my puja room and looked at the picture of Sathya Sai Baba with his hand raised in blessing. I kept looking at it for a long time. Then, my attention was focused on another photo of Swami ( from which Vibhuthi often materializes). I got the mental message from Swami “ Ask Uma to go to my website. She’ll know which picture of mine to copy and base her drawing”.
Since I was busy that weekend, I did not call and relay these messages to you. So, it comes as a true surprise, indeed as a miracle, that Swami guided you to his website and “picked” a photo for you to copy!!
Also, on Sunday, Nov 22nd, we celebrated Swami’s birthday at our local center. There was a cake decorated with a picture of Swami dressed in his yellow robe. I was sitting in the front row looking at this picture and He kept telling me “ Ask Uma to draw my robe in yellow color, just like in this picture”. ( I’ll send you that cake-picture soon).
I didn’t pass on this information to you as well.
I checked out your blog yesterday and was overwhelmed to read about your experiences while doing this painting.
Om Sai, Sri Sai, Jaya Jaya Sai!
Your loving sister,