Sri Jodi Adipalli Somappa

He has a million names and a million forms, though He is beyond all names and forms, all adulations and attributions. The One whose stature transgresses all the limits and benchmarks set by the worldly, He often comes in response with the most viable and potent solution to his puzzles and problems. Quite often we have experienced this gentle tap from the Greater Heaven in the most unexpected, unfamiliar form. Read on for yet another story of His ‘visiting card’ born out of the pen of the illustrious Prof. N. Kasturi, as published in the Sanathana Sarathi, May, 1959.

Sri Jodi Adipalli Somappa

“Then, suddenly from among the crowd, an old man emerged. He shouted in a loud commanding voice, ‘Give the child to me;’ there were two women and one man with him, who also pleaded, ‘Give the child to him, lady! He is famous as a curer of children’s diseases. He has saved many children from death.’ And, so, losing all fear, my wife handed over the child to him.”

This is from a letter written by S. R.V. on 28th November 1958. The incident happened on 25th November 1958. The ‘old man’ was no other than Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Himself; the two women and the man who accompanied him were also creations of His Grace and Power, whom He had with Him, while He appeared in disguise in His Mission of Mercy! The child is the lovely little baby that Sathya Sai Baba is seen holding, in the picture that forms the front-piece of this number of Sanathana Sarathi. (NOTE: The same image is reproduced in this article) Let us now look a little closer at this strange story, this Leela of Bhagawan…

Sathya Sai Baba With Sudha

Sathya Sai Baba With Sudha

Sudha Raghunathan As A Child With Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sudha Raghunathan As A Child With Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

A devotee, S.R.V. from Bangalore had come to Puttaparthi, with his wife and child, for the Birthday Festivities of the Bhagawan, on 23rd November 1958 and he left the Prasanthi Nilayam on the 25th at 12.45 P.M. taking leave of Baba, and receiving from His hands, the Vibhuti which He gets by a mere wave of the Hand, as well as a few oranges.

At 5:30 P.M. that evening, when some devotees gathered round Him at the Prasanthi Nilayam, Baba told them a dramatic tale of ‘death’ and ‘rebirth!’ He said that S. R. V.’s child, Geetha Sudha, called Sudha, for short, had died on the way to Bangalore at 2:45 p.m. but, He had left His body at Puttaparthi and hurried to the place and manifested Himself as an old man and saved the child. His narration was full of details and very clear and devotees who keep diaries of their experiences have recorded every word of it. He said that the child was sleeping on the back seat; that a scratching sound was heard by the mother; that when she turned she was shocked to find the baby stiff and blue and practically lifeless; that the moving car was stopped; that the time was 2:45 P.M.; that the place was between Palasamudram and Bagepalli; that a huge crowd of villagers gathered on account of the wailing; that every one was advising all kinds of remedies and cures; that a bus proceeding to Hindupur came on the scene, was stopped and added to the confusion; that as soon as the bus moved off, He appeared as an old man and demanded that the child be given over to Him, saying that He heard about the tragedy and had come running to the place; that He asked the party for a little Vibhuti, because He was sure they had it; that, keeping the child on His lap, He showed it His real form, upon which the baby, as usual on all occasions when He took the child up in His hands, cried; that He pretended to go through some curative rituals and handed the baby to the overjoyed parents; that S. R. V. thanked Him profusely for His service; that he offered to pay Him a rupee, which He refused to accept; that he pressed upon Him an Orange out of the five or six that He Himself had given him at noon while leaving Him at Puttaparthi, and that after invoking upon that fruit the calamity that had pursued the baby, He threw it away before reaching the Nilayam!

On the 28th November, a long letter written by S. R. V detailing the entire incident was received at Puttaparthi and it was given over by Baba to be read by those who had heard Him describing the miracle, three days earlier, within a few hours of the ‘death’ and ‘re-birth.’ What a surprise it was to read in the letter that the child was sleeping on the back seat (!) there was heard a scratching sound (!) that the body was stiff, that the child was breathless, that the villagers ran in from all directions, that there were suggestions galore, that the Hindupur bus was stopped at the scene (!) and then, the para quoted above! “Then, suddenly from among the crowd, an old man emerged…”

The letter continued, “The old man placed the child on His lap and she began to cry (!) He also heated a copper wire and applied it to the brow. We thanked him much for saving the child to accept at least a rupee as a reward (!) But, in spite of our best efforts he refused to accept it. I then gave him an orange from among the ones which Baba had given us while leaving. He asked us to leave for Bangalore without worry and do Arati to our Ishtadevata, Venkataramanaswami as soon as we reached home. I asked him his name and he gave it as Jodi Adipalli Somappa.”

S. R. V. concluded his letter thus, “I am now certain that the Old Man was no other than Baba Himself. I also suspect that the three villagers who asked us very forcibly to give Sudha into His Hands were also ad hoc creations of His Leela. My inference is that Baba must have gone on a ‘trance’ about 2:30 or 2:45 P.M. on the 25th.”

We, who had heard Baba relate the whole thrilling story on the 25th evening itself, have no doubt in our minds that Jodi Adipalli Somappa is no other than Baba Himself, Baba manifesting Himself 48 miles away to save the child!

Om Jodi Adipalli Somappaya Namah. . . Mysterious are the ways of the Lord. Words are of no avail, if one desires to describe Him. The mind is too feeble and instrument to measure His Glory. . . . . aprapya manasa saha!

(Readers may note that the story is an episode from the life of one of the distinguished voices in the carnatic music in India, Sudha Raghunathan from Chennai. Smt. Sudha Raghunathan has experienced the rare blessing of singing in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on various occassions)


How Sai Baba Brought Walter Cowan Back To Life

Sri Sathya SaiBaba

Sri Sathya SaiBaba

How Sai Baba Brought Walter Cowan Back To Life

This amazing episode of how Bhagawan miraculously revived Walter Cowan after he had died of a massive heart attack is narrated by Mr. John Hislop in his book, ‘My Baba and I’:

Walter died in his room at the Connemara Hotel in Madras. He and his wife, Elsie, had arrived there on December 23, 1971 to see Sathya Sai Baba, who was in Madras to preside at an All-India Conference of Sai Organizations.

Early on the morning of December 25, a rumour quickly spread that an elderly American had died of a heart attack. My wife, Victoria and I immediately thought of Walter. We went to the hotel and found Elsie (Walter’s wife) there. Walter had fallen to the floor in the early morning hours. Elsie had called Mrs. Ratanlal whose room was just down the corridor. The two women managed to lift Walter to the bed, and he passed away in Elsie’s arms a few minutes later. An ambulance was called, The body was taken to a hospital, pronounced dead upon arrival, placed in an empty, storage room, and covered with a sheet to await daylight and decisions about the funeral.

Elsie and Mrs. Ratanlal had already been to see Baba when we arrived. He had told them He would visit the hospital at 10 a.m. The two ladies were ready and waiting to join Baba at the appointed hour. They did go to the hospital, but Baba had arrived earlier and had already departed. To the joy of the ladies, but also to their total amazement, they found Walter alive and being attended to. Nobody saw Baba with Walter, nor has Baba chosen to say how or why Walter was resurrected, but on returning to the devotee family who were his hosts, Baba told the people there that He had brought Walter back to life.

Walter’s own story throws some light on what happened, and later on, I was a party to a fascinating episode; for Walter’s life continued to be in danger and, in fact, Baba told me that Walter died three times and had to be returned to life three times.

Walter described his experience. He said he realized that he had died and that he had remained with the body, in the ambulance, looking at it with interest. Then Baba came and together they went to a place, which seemed to be at a great height. There they entered a conference room where people were seated around a table. There was a presiding chairman who had a kind face and who spoke in a kindly way. He called for Walter’s records and these were read aloud. The records were in different languages and Walter did not understand what was said until after some time when Baba started to translate. Walter was surprised to hear that he had occupied a lofty status in various times and cultures and had always been dedicated to the welfare of the people. At length, Baba addressed the person presiding and asked that Walter be given over to Baba’s care, for Baba had work for Walter to do. Then, when Baba and he departed the room, Walter felt himself descending towards a place where his body was, but felt great reluctance. In terms of direct experience, he had realized that he was not the body, and he had no wish to be subject again to anxieties and miseries.

After hearing Walter, I asked Baba if Walter was just imagining the incidents. Baba replied that it was not imagination. They had occurred in Walter’s mind and Baba himself had guided the thoughts. I then asked if everyone had a similar experience at death. Baba answered that some people had similar experiences and some did not. Several years later, I brought up the question again. Baba answered that the corpse was common to all, but beyond that there was no common experience.

The day after Walter returned to life was one of high interest for me. Sri Appa and I accompanied Baba to the home of a devotee. From there we went to a meeting of lady members of the Nigara Sai Samithi where Baba was to give awards and speak. Sri Appa and I were sitting on the platform, just a few feet from Baba, and were able to observe him closely. He made the awards and gave a spiritual discourse, all without any break or any moment of hesitation. From that meeting, we were to go to the home of a devotee for lunch. As soon as we got in the car, Baba turned to us and said, “While I was talking in the meeting, Mrs. Cowan called me. I at once went to the hospital and did what was necessary. Mr. Cowan’s health had taken a turn for the worse.”

So, even while busy on the speaker’s platform, Baba had gone to the hospital, and had done what was necessary. But, to the eyes of Sri Appa and myself, Baba had continued in action and speech on the platform for the whole time without any break or hesitation whatsoever. How does one explain this mystery?

When we arrived at the devotee’s house for lunch, Baba turned to us and said:

“You will not be able to join me for lunch. Take this Vibhuti to the hospital, give Mr. Cowan some in his mouth and rub the rest on his forehead and chest. If you will walk to the corner there, you will find Mrs. Hislop in a taxi. She will take you to the hospital.”

Now the fact was, that my wife had been following in a car. However, she had taken great pains to stay out of sight, but her effort was to no avail for, as usual, Baba knew everything. When we reached the hospital with the Vibhuti, Mrs. Cowan said, “Walter took a very bad turn just a little while ago. I thought he was dead, and I was terrified. I at once called Baba in a loud voice. Now, Walter seems a little improved. When I called Baba I felt his presence at once.” At the hospital, Elsie experienced exactly what Baba had told Sri Appa and myself in the car.

Other instances of Baba’s powers of resurrection are also known. The Raja of Ventagiri told me how some twenty or so years ago, he had witnessed Baba’s resurrection of a man dead some six days in whom body decomposition was taking its normal course. About these mysteries, one can make no comment; they are outside one’s common experience.

Reference: “My Baba and I” by Dr. John Hislop. Page: 28-31. Publisher: Birthday Publishing Company, San Diego, California, 1985. Copyright now with Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.

How Sai Baba Gave Radhakrishna A New Lease Of Life

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

How Sathya Sai Baba Gave Radhakrishna A New Lease Of Life

Mr. Howard Murphet narrates this amazing episode in his book “Sai Baba:Man of Miracles”:

There happened in the latter part of 1953 an event almost as dramatic in its way as Christ’s raising of Lazarus from the dead. I heard of it from a number of people, including the man most closely concerned, the “Lazarus” of the case, Mr. V. Radhakrishna. Then I finally had the facts carefully presented by Mr. Radhakrishna’s daughter, Vijaya, who was an eyewitness, and who wrote down the details at the time of the happening in the diary she has always kept of her experiences with Sathya Sai Baba. While relating the experience to me she had her diary before her.

Mr. Y. Radhakrishna, who was an industrialist and a well-known citizen in Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, was about sixty years of age when in 1953 he paid a visit to Puttaparthi. With him on this occasion went his wife, his daughter Vijaya and the latter’s husband Mr. K. S. Hemchand.

Vijaya was about eighteen and had not been long married. Her father, she told me, was at the time suffering from gastric ulcers, with various complications. He was really in a very bad way, and one of his reasons for visiting the ashram was the hope that he might get relief from his frightful suffering. He had known Baba for some time.

The great religious festival of Dasara was on, and a good number of people were visiting Puttaparthi. Mr.Radhakrishna was given a room in the same building where Swami lived, and spent all his time on his bed there. Once when Baba came to visit him, Radha Krishna said that he would prefer to die rather than go on suffering the way he was. Swami simply laughed at this, and made no promise of either healing him or letting him die.

One evening Radhakrishna went into a coma and his breathing was that of a dying man. Alarmed, the wife dashed off to see Swami. Swami came to the room, looked at the patient and said, “Don’t worry. Everything will be all right,” and left.

On the next day the patient was still unconscious. Mr. K. S. Hemchand, the son-in-law, brought a male nurse of the district who, after failing to find any pulse and making other examinations, gave his opinion that Mr. Radhakrishna was near death that there was no possibility of saving him. So, about an hour after this, the patient became very cold. The three anxious relatives heard what they thought was the ‘death rattle’ in his throat and watched him turning blue and stiff.

Vijaya and her mother went to see Baba who was at the time upstairs in His dining room. When they told Him that Radhakrishna seemed to be dead. He laughed and walked away to His bedroom. Vijaya and her mother returned to the room of the ‘dead’ man and waited.

After a while, Swami came in and looked at the body, but went away again without saying or doing any thing. That was on the evening of the second day since Mr. Radhakrishna had become unconscious. The whole of the next night passed while the three stayed awake and anxiously watched for any signs of life returning. There were no signs. Yet they still had faith that Baba would some how or other, in His own way, save Radhakrishna, for had He not said that everything would be all right?

On the morning of the third day the body was more than ever like a corpse – dark, cold, quite stiff and beginning to smell. Other people who came to see and sympathise told Mrs. Radhakrishna that she should have the corpse removed from the ashram. But she replied, “Not unless Swami orders it.” Some even went to Baba and suggested that, as the man was dead and the body smelling of decomposition, it should either be sent back to Kuppam or cremated at Puttaparti. Swami simply replied, “We’ll see.”

When Mrs. Radhakrishna went upstairs again – to tell Baba what people were saying to her, and ask Him what she must do, He answered: “Do not listen to them, and have no fear; I am here.” Then He said that He would come down to see her husband soon.

She went downstairs again and waited, with her daughter and son-in-law by the body. The minutes dragged by – an hour passed – but Swami did not come. Then, when they were beginning to despair entirely, the door opened and there stood Baba in His red robe, copious hair, and shining smile. It was then about half past two in the afternoon of the third day.

Mrs. Radhakrishna went towards Baba and burst into tears. Vijaya too began to cry. They were like Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, weeping before their Lord who, they thought, had come too late.

Gently, Baba asked the tearful women and sorrowful Mr. Hemchand to leave the room. As they left, He closed the door behind them. They do not know – no man knows – what happened in that room where there were only Swami and the ‘dead’ man. But after a few minutes Baba opened the door and beckoned the waiting ones in.

There, on the bed, Radhakrishna was looking up at them and smiling! Amazingly, the stiffness of death had vanished and his natural colour was returning. Baba went over, stroked the patient’s head and said to him, “Talk to them, they’re worried.”

“Why worried?” asked Radhakrishna, puzzled. “I’m all right. You are here.”

Swami turned to the wife: “I have given your husband back to you,” He said. “Now get him a hot drink.”

When she brought it, Swami Himself fed it to Radhakrishna slowly with a spoon. For another half an hour He remained there, strengthening the man He had “raised”. Then He blessed the whole family, placing His hand on Mrs. Radhakrishna’s head, and left the room.

Next day the patient was strong enough to walk to Bhajan. On the third day he wrote a seven-page letter to one of his daughters who was abroad in Italy. The family stayed a few more days at Prasanthi Nilayam, then with Baba’s permission returned to their home in Kuppam. The bad gastric ulcers and complications had vanished forever.

When I spoke to Mr. Radhakrishna himself about the experience I asked if he had any memories at all of the time he was unconscious and to all appearances dead. He replied, “No. When I became conscious again I thought at first that it was just the same day. Later they told me it had been three days I was unconscious, that I was ‘dead’ and actually starting to stink. But Swami can do anything he wishes. He is God.”

Reference: “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles” by Mr. Howard Murphet.
Publisher: Macmillan India Limited, 1972. This episode is also recorded in the book “Anyatha Sharanam Nasthi – Other Than You Refuge There Is None” written by Mr. Radhakrishna’s daughter, Smt. Vijaya Kumari.