Devidas, a 36-year old temple priest by occupation from the Amaravathi district of Maharashtra, has something similar with these age old feats as he dared to ‘walk a different, difficult terrain’, to reach his destination, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi.
He had a vow, a vow to God, to reach Puttaparthi as a “Rolling Devout’ to have His Holy Darshan at the Sanctum Sanctorum.Set on his arduous journey, on the 7th December 2012, Devidas accompanied by family members and some close friends reached the holy precincts this morning. As he rolled in at 9.20 hrs. entire Puttaparthi was all agog, welcoming the great devotee. At the gate, he was welcomed by the security personnel, who led him to Mandir, well before Mangala Ararthi. During his Rolling Yatra spanning more than 5 months, he has covered a distance of 1727 kms, rolling all along. On an average he covered 10 km per day, doing it in twin shifts, from morning 6 am till 10 am and in the evening from 4 pm till 7 pm.
He was followed by a group of close associates, who either walked along with him or sat in the small makeshift ‘chariot’, adorned by beautiful portraits of Bhagawan and also fitted with a public address system playing Bhajans.
A rolling stone gathers no moss, they say. But in this case, hundreds of curious onlookers and the devout gathered around this ‘rolling devotee’ with folded hands, in reverence and admiration, at all the villages, towns and cities, enroute to Puttaparthi.
Earlier, ‘the devout on roll’ had reached the final ‘base camp’, three kms away, last evening. This morning when he began his final lap, as the news was spread all around, Puttaparthi was all set to witness the unique feat. Interestingly, this is Devidas’s maiden pilgrimage to Puttaparthi, though he has been a devotee of Bhagawan for over a decade.
For the devout on the roll, a first timer to achieve such a feat, though without any fanfare or publicity, it was the darshan of His Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai, that was all along in his mind, and he was too determined to achieve it, notwithstanding the summer onslaught and other travails.
It was a dream come true for this simpleton priest from Amaravathi district of Maharashtra… And for the onlookers, it turned out to be an awe-inspiring tale of steadfast faith and devotion… Faith, they say, move mountains! Devidas proved it, winning an arduous battle, without even a single scratch on his body, finally winning his destination to have his “Dream Darshan” at Prasanthi Nilayam.