The Passing Of Jaganaatha Sai – Son Of Datuk J. Jegathesan – Malaysia 2004
Dear friends and fellow seekers, since Ex-Devotees Of Sathya Sai Baba (particularly Barry Pittard, Robert Priddy and Timothy Conway) continue to wage unremitting smear campaigns against the Sathya Sai Baba devotee Datuk J. Jegathesan (also spelled “Jagathesan” or “Jagadeeshan” or “Jagadeesan”) and have written several articles ridiculing, mocking and maliciously publicizing the tragic suicide of his son and the death of his wife, I am duplicating the following letter as a public reference to Sai Devotees who may have come across Anti-Baba articles regarding this matter:
My Dear Sai Family,
It is with totally uncalled tears in my eyes and heart (for Bhagavan Baba has said that “under no circumstances should we cry”), that I am conveying to all those who have worked with me for so many years in the leadership of the International Sai Organisation, about the passing away of my youngest son, in very hurting and sad tragic circumstances.
He was born on March 6th 1981 and Bhagavan Baba, in an interview I had with him, lovingly gave the name “Jaganaatha Sai”. Subsequently my son has had the grace of a number of personal contacts with Bhagavan, the latest being in Nov. 1996 when the family met Bhagavan about two weeks after the passing away of my dear wife Shanti.
At that time Jegan (as he was lovingly called by all) was about 16 years old. He was the pet of the family, tall, fair and good looking and was a special pet of his late mother.
The passing away of Shanti, in extraordinary and sudden circumstances had great impact on all, but especially our youngest child.
He went into a mild depression, and seemed to recover and performed well in his studies and at the age of 21 had graduated in IT and started working.
But in between all this, it was about a year ago that his depression began to manifest.
One day he became totally irrational, and began to find faults with me and members of the family and even his office staff and close friends. I myself only realized that something was seriously wrong when he accused me of interfering with his office and speaking to his boss against his work. This stunned me and that was when we decided that he needed psychiatric help.
He was referred for medical treatment at the psychiatric ward of the Malaysian University hospital. He was there for 13 days.
He was diagnosed as suffering from stress induced paranoid schizophrenia. He came out of that, and to give him a new environment, he went to Australia to further his studies (for an MBA), but returned within 2 months saying that was not for him.
His old company gladly took him back. He was in the meantime being treated for his psychological problems and was on regular medication.
Even before his 23rd Birthday (6th March), he was promoted to Supervisor and when i spoke to his manager about 2 weeks before his passing away, when he was admitted to hospital, he described Jegan as “brilliant” and someone with a great future in the company.
On his return from Australia he decided to stay away from home, but would visit regularly and join for family events. About three weeks ago he called me at about 2.30 a.m. and said “Papa, I would like to come back home, as I need my family to cope with the stress”. I welcomed him back and he came back that very morning, and settled in nicely.
About two weeks ago (on Thursday 12th Feb.) his elder sisters returned home in the late evening and saw him lying on the couch in the Living room, after he had gone jogging, (possibly for the first time in months). He did not respond to our call to “wake up and go to bed”.
However thinking it was just exhaustion combined with the drugs that had been prescribed for him, we let him sleep on the couch for the night. Next morning when I went to work he was still sleeping.
It was only at about 11am when my daughter called and said that he was still sleeping and they could not wake him up, that we decided to rush him to hospital. There he lay in virtual coma and under drips for 3 days and than he came out of the “sleep”.
The first day after the “awakening” he was totally irrational, but the next day he telephones me from the hospital, and talks as though nothing had happened.
When asked what had happened he told the doctors and us that he could not cope with his new promotion and “wanted to end it all”. He claimed that after his promotion he had only “about an hour sleep every night”. He had taken an overdose of pills after he had finished jogging, because he “just wanted to sleep”.
Now he himself laughed at the incident and told me “Papa, this will never happen again. This is a new Jaganaatha Sai”.
Anyway he was in hospital for about 10 days.
My meetings with the psychiatrists who were treating him assured me that he was recovering well and he was put under new medication.
He became a hero of soughts in the Ward, when he helped prevent another patient from trying to commit suicide or hurt himself by trying to cut his wrist with the sharp end of a paper clip.
On Thursday 26th Feb. the doctors said he could return home, but not before he was asked by the staff to be the master of ceremony of a party that the staff had put up for all, in conjunction with some holiday event. He even won a prize.
I took him home and that night there was a big family outing, dinner etc with his cousins and he was perfect.
On Friday 27th Feb., he came into my bedroom early and joined me in my morning prayers. This was for me a very extraordinary session.
He was so good that I showed him how I cleaned the prayer altar every morning so that in case he wanted to help, he could clean it in future.
Than he joined me in the garden and I showed him how I plucked Thulsi leaves and flower for prayers. I also showed him (and he did likewise) how I chewed Thulsi and Margosa leaves every morning as this was very healthy.
Than we prayed together and he sang a bhajan to Lord Subramaniam.
He than did LINGA ABISHEGAM on the Shivalingam that Baba had materialsed for me with instructions to offer the abishig water to sick people. He drank that water.
He also did abisheg on another lingam that had been gifted to him by some elders with 27 invocations of “Om Nama Shivaaya, Om Sai Ram”, the mantra that Bhagavan Baba had asked me to use when I did the Abishegam on the materaised Shivalingam.
Than he took Padanamaskaar from me and I placed Vhibuthi on his forehead and hugged and kissed his cheeks, assuring him of my Love.
When I left for office, he went over to my Aunts house in front of our home and joined his aunts (my cousins) who had come visiting from Overseas. In fact, they had told me to send him over for he should not be alone at home.
They than took him for Friday prayers to the Ganesha Temple where he participated fully and happily and with great devotion. They came back home for lunch and it was a very happy family gathering.
At 3.30 pm he told his aunts that he would like to go for a walk and he was so perfect that they thought nothing of it, but asked him to be back by 4.30 pm, as they did not want him out alone for so long. He insisted on the walk so they asked him to make it short.
At 5.00 pm he had not returned and they became concerned.
At about 5.30 p.m., I was still in the office with some meeting, when I receive a call from my daughter.
My son had at about 4.10p.m. (at best time estimates would have it from those who heard the impact), had jumped off a tall building less than half a mile away from my home and had died. He had taken his own life!
Why he would do this when there was no stress (at least as others perceived it), when he had enjoyed, for all intents, a perfect and happy day, only God will know.
There is a strange irony to these events which has been noted by many people.
On Tuesday 24th Feb at the weekly Bungsar Sai Centre Bhajan, I read out excerpts from Baba’s 2003 Christmas message. When I read that message I was doing it to comfort and give courage to some others in the Centre who had suffered some family tragedies.
This was what I read out:
“Whatever man experiences is the creation of the mind. Due to the illusion created by the mind, he establishes relationships and starts saying, my father, my mother, my wife, my children, etc. This illusion is the ultimate cause of his suffering. When man develops pure and unsullied love, he will not experience pain or suffering. Love for the physical body is false and transitory…
…Pleasure and pain are of your own making. They are not given by God. You are the cause of your suffering, none else…
…Worldly LOVE is transient; it cannot be called love at all. True love is immortal. You should cultivate such love. Physical body grows and decays.
How can you consider it to be real? In fact, nothing in this world is real.
Body attachment is the cause of delusion. Hence, gradually reduce your body attachment. This is the most important Sadhana you have to undertake.
…What is the use if you get drowned in delusion more and more with the advancement of age? Do not develop undue attachment to be body and material possessions.
Under any circumstances, do not shed tears of sorrow. You will be free from sorrow when you give up body attachment.”
Little did I realize that my Divine Father was preparing me for the events that would confront me on Friday 27th Feb. 04.
Bhagavan had said that we should never cry under any circumstances. I always try to uphold as best as I can all what Bhagavan says.
At the mortuary I maintained HIS instructions and gave comfort to the others who were crying.
But on Sat.28th during the funeral at home and at the crematorium I shamed the Avathar and myself by crying uncontrollably.
The only comfort that I could draw from the breach of this divine directive was the thought (as equally when I cried uncontrollably when my dear wife passed on), was the thought that “Rama cried when Sita was captured. Rama cried when Lakshmana was wounded in battle. Arjuna cried when his son was killed in battle”…so who am I, an ordinary aspirant of Divine devotion, not to cry. I cried but also resolved that I will continue to fulfill my Dharma and continue to contribute in my own small way to the work of the DIVINE MISSION OF THE AVATHAR. Please forgive me for taking your time with this long message.
Even as I write this I realize that this is one way I am psychologically consoling myself and trying to, by putting this narrative on paper, taking it from the frightening recording machine in my mind that seems to be constantly repeating the events of the last few days. Perhaps now the recording machine will stop, especially when I try to sleep.
To my Beloved Bhagavan and the leaders of the Prashanti council and all the leaders who make up the leadership of the International Sai Seva Organization, I give my assurance that the tragic events that has beset my life (my mother as you all know passed away on the 29th Nov. 03, the day I left Prashanti Nilayam for home… creating almost an identical situation as when my wife passed on, as I was returning from Prashanti in Nov. 1996) will in no way diminish my resolve to serve in the Divine Mission.
I am aware that some in Malaysia and elsewhere, knowing half truths and listening to rumors will judge me harshly for “losing a son” like this, when I have tried to motivate to the highest ideals thousands of Youth round the world to be ideal sons and daughters. If that happens than that is my fate.
If even the Avatar is judged harshly, by those who wish to judge and find faults, who am I to be spared this calumny.
In respect of the work of the Sai Organisation, if the Prashanti Council leadership wishes that I serve, as I have done in the past (and as I had indicated to brother Goldstein in Prashanti in Nov 03), I will do so.
Whatever happens, I will continue to serve in HIS Divine Mission in any small way I can in Malaysia or anywhere else in the world where people feel I can contribute to the Divine Mission of reviving Dharma.
Once again please forgive me for the length of this note and the details I have chosen to include.
Another reason, other than the personal psychological one, is that I do not want rumours to spread as they surely will. Some of you may be aware that the anti Sai forces used the passing away of my wife as part of their campaign, saying that she had committed suicide etc.
Though they were wrong that time, this time it will be true, but at least by making this incident transparent, hopefully it will forestall any other version.
I apologise to Bhagavan and all Sai Devotees and to the Sai Leadership if the anti Sai uses this as another tool in their vicious campaign.
With Love in my Heart to all!
Yours in SAI
As one can see, Jegathesan correctly foresaw the way in which Anti-Sai Activists would propagandize the death of his son (although critics ceaselessly boast & blather that they are conscientious, moral, honest, sincere and non-attacking)!
– Jagadeesan’s Letter About The Sathya Sai Baba Controversy
– Interview With Datuk J. Jegathesan (discusses the death of his wife)
– Response To Timothy Conway Regarding The Jegadeeshan Letter
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