By- Santisri Jandhyala Venkateswara Sastry
The Lord declared that he would incarnate again and again on earth for the resurrection of Dharma, the righteousness. The basic nature and purpose of an incarnation of the God on earth is beyond comprehension of human mind. It is widely held that incarnations of God are of various types: some are said to be complete incarnations (poorna avathar) of the Supreme Lord; some are said to be partial; and some others are mere manifestations of divinity. It is also held by many that incarnations take form that is appropriate to the times and context. Many believe that it is only in India the Supreme Lord Himself incarnates; and that in other countries His messengers, preachers of His divinity, saints, sages and philosophers partially imbibing His nature and character are born.
The present incarnation of the Supreme Lord in the form of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the most unique of all incarnations. The fame and glory of the earlier incarnations in India were known only to the Indians. But the whole world is familiar with the magnificence and splendour of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Hence it may be observed that the mankind of the present Kali Yuga is luckier than the earlier generations. We should indeed feel greatly fortunate that we are contemporaries of the Lord, Who walks amidst us, Who speaks to us, Who loves us more than a mother, and above all Who takes care of us all the time.
The story of the God incarnate, His nature, His life etc; cannot be meaningfully and adequately comprehended by anyone. It is beyond human capability to provide a full account of the Supreme Lord or His incarnate. But an attempt can be put together at least some part of the unimaginably vast and infinite glory of incarnation of the Supreme Lord and enjoy it oneself, and also help others in enjoying it. Thapovanam: Sri Sathya Sai Satcharitra is a great attempt of this kind. This is a holy book of daily recitation of the Sacred Life Story of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
It has been a great tradition in India to recite daily the sacred story of the Lord, and His incarnations. It is considered a holy ritual. This Tapovanam is prepared most suitably for daily recitation, like the great epics and the Holy scriptures such as Ramayana, the Maha Bhagavatha, the Bhagavad gita, the Guru charitra and the Satcharitra of Sai Baba of Shirdi. There are 18 chapters in Tapovanam like the Bhagavad Gita. The recitation of Tapovanam can be started on a Thursday of a week and following a daily program for a week can be concluded on Wednesday. Every section of the Thapovanam is for a pilgrim like an important stage on the banks of the holy river Ganga.