Here is something that has been told by Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba during one of His discourses.
In the Treta Yuga, Rishi Bhardwaja read many texts to gain knowledge but after reading for a long period of time, he was yet not satisfied, so on the advice of Narada, he decided to perform a Yajna to gain spirituality. It was important that Devi Shakti (Parvati) be present while he performed the Yajna. So Rishi Bhardwaja set out for Mount Kailash to request Devi Parvati to grace this divine occasion. When he reached there he found that Shiva and Parvati were engaged in a celestial dance. The Rishi decided to wait till their dance was over. He waited for eight days, but the divine couple seemed to be totally unaware of his presence as they were engrossed in dancing. On the eighth day, Devi Parvati, seemed to see the Rishi from the corner of her eye and gave him a slight smile but continued dancing with her consort Lord Shiva.
Rishi Bhardwaja felt that Devi Parvati had deliberately slighted him. He was so offended that he decided to return without extending the invitation. As he made his way down the snow capped mountain, he slipped and fell down. His left arm and leg became paralyzed. Shiva realized what had happened. He came rushing to the Rishi and helped him up. Shiva sprinkled holy water on the paralyzed left side of the Rishi. Immediately the Rishi was cured. Then Shiva told him that to make up for this, Shiva and Parvati would grant him a boon.
Shiva promised Rishi Bhardwaja that in the Kali Yuga, Parvati and Shiva would be born as incarnations in the Bharadwaja Gotra. This incarnation would be in three parts. In the first incarnation, Lord Shiva would come alone.
In the second incarnation, Shiva and Shakti would be born together as one. Shiva further went on to say that in the second Avatar which would be the Ardh Naarishwara Avtar, the left side of the body would represent Shakti i.e. the female aspect and the right side of the body would be Shiva i.e. the male aspect. To atone for having made Rishi Bhardwaj wait for eight days at Kailash Parvat, Parvati would undergo paralysis during this Avatar, for eight days. Then Shiva would sprinkle holy water on Her in the same way as He had sprinkled over the paralyzed body of Rishi Bhardawaja and She would be cured.
In the third incarnation, Shakti would be gracing the Earth alone.
Baba tells us that the first Avatar of Shiva alone, came to be known as the Shirdi Sai Avatar.
The second Avatar of Shiva-Shakti is the Sathya Sai Avatar (being physically present now in Puttaparthi in South India).
The third Avatar shall grace the Earth as the Prema Sai Avatar after the Sathya Sai Avatar leaves its mortal coil.
Our Beloved Bhagwan Baba was born in 1926 in the Bharadwaja Gotra. He is the incarnation of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. In the year 1963 Baba fell down and the left side of His body became completely paralyzed. He seemed to be suffering from untold agony. He refused medication of any kind.
On the eighth day, on His insistence, His devotees carried Him and brought Him for darshan. When His devotees were crying because they could not bear to see their beloved Lord in so much pain and agony, Swami in His infinite grace whispered to His close devotee that He was not in pain, He was only keeping a promise that He had once made to an ardent devotee. He asked for a glass of water. His devotee held the glass to His lips, because the left part of His face was so badly paralyzed that Swami could not even drink water without help.
Then Swami dipped His right hand into the glass of water and sprinkled it all over the left side of His body. He then lightly massaged the left arm and leg with the right hand. In a few moments, the paralysis disappeared and Swami became well again!
Dear friends, we have put this story into this book for a purpose. The people who are already aware of the divinity of Sai are partaking of the bliss of enjoying and benefitting from His physical presence in this world. They are also reading Sai literature wherein is contained an ocean of spirituality and the answers to the innumerable questions that have continued to haunt mankind from time immemorial. Incidents as the one described above would be found easily in Sai literature. But not all of us are fortunate enough to be partaking of this sweet flow of nectar, being unaware of the Divinity of Sai. During the incarnation of Lord Rama, there were many people who thought Him to be a mere mortal. There were even the likes of Ravana who abducted His wife and tried to kill Lord Rama.
At the time of the Krishna Avatar, there were devotees like Radha and Udhava and the lovelorn Gopikas. But there was Kansa too! There were demons like Putna, Trinavrata, Kagasura etc who tried to kill Him.
We consider ourselves to be most fortunate and blessed because we know that Baba is Divinity incarnate. We wish and pray that others too would enjoy and experience this bliss.
No Avatar has done this before … going among the masses, counseling them, guiding them, consoling them, uplifting them and directing them along the path of Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love.
The Darshan of the Lord is like divine nectar. It is being splurged upon humanity. All of us find time for working, playing, holidaying, reading, partying … the list is unending. But only a handful of blessed people, find time for God, are you one of them?