Dimosthenis Tampakos – Gold Medalist Devotee Of Sathya Sai Baba

Dimosthenis Tampakos

Dimosthenis Tampakos

Dimosthenis Tampakos – Gold Medalist Devotee Of Sathya Sai Baba
A foreign, Olympic gold-medallist, Dimosthenis Tampakos, is inspired by an Indian saint. V. V. Subrahmanyam talks to the athlete.

When Dimosthenis Tampakos of Greece was strolling along the corridors of the Andhra Pradesh Olympic Bhavan in Hyderabad, none realised that he was an Olympic gold medallist gymnast (Roman Rings, 2004 Athens).

What was this Greek sporting hero doing in Hyderabad? Being an ardent devotee of Sri Satya Sai Baba, Tampakos was on a visit to the Sports Coaching Foundation in Hyderabad which is run by K. Sai Baba, another devotee of the Puttaparthi saint.

Tampakos says he is always inspired by the teachings of Baba. “You tend to feel in a different world when you think of him. There is always a special ambience in Puttaparthi,” he remarked. He also mentioned that ever since he became a follower of Baba in 1996, he has made it a point to visit Puttaparthi every January for the Sports Day celebrations there.

Puttaparthi Saint Sathya Sai Baba

Puttaparthi Saint Sathya Sai Baba

Another interesting revelation from this champion gymnast was that he preferred not to undergo shoulder surgery before the Athens Games. He believed in the blessings of Baba and went on to win a gold. “I owe my gold to Baba,” he says with all reverence.

And, when this Greek athlete interacted with budding stars at the Sports Coaching Foundation in Hyderabad, his message was simple: Dream big but take care to achieve it with all sincerity and commitment.

In a chat with Sportstar, Tampakos aired his thoughts about contemporary sport and his belief in Baba’s teachings.

A silver medallist in the 2000 Games earlier, he believes that the Beijing showing could well be the beginning of a new chapter in Indian sports.

“A gold and two bronzes may not mean much when compared to the big guns of the world of sports. But, if you look at this from the Indian perspective, this should be big news and provide the impetus to the efforts to promote sports in a big way,” said the Greek athlete.

He feels that it is time for Indian sports administrators re-looked at the whole gamut of long-term training and scientific programmes. For someone who keeps track of Indian sports, Tampakos strongly believes there is no dearth of talent and all that is needed is scientific grooming and adequate exposure.

“I know how an Olympic medal changes the lifestyle of an athlete. I remember being given an incentive of 1,60,000 Euros for my Athens gold. And if you look at the huge publicity blitz for shooter Abhinav Bindra and the bronze medallists Sushil Kumar (wrestling) and Vijender (boxing), it should only inspire the other young talent here,” said this two-time World Cup gold medallist.

Tampakos also says that he was not surprised by either the grandeur of the Chinese in organising the Games or their great performances.

“It is the end-result of long training programmes. You have to have a vision and diligently try to realise it. This is where I feel the whole world can take a lesson from the Chinese,” he remarked.

“I am sure China will continue to dominate the world of sport in the years to come.”

He refused to entertain any query on the controversy surrounding his gold-medal performance in Athens. “That is past. What is imperative is that I am not responsible for that. Ultimately, I will be looked in Greek sporting history as a gold medallist. That is the greatest satisfaction,” he explains.

Talking of his own career, Tampakos, who is 32 now, says he is looking forward to competing in the 2012 Olympics in London. “I am disappointed that I did not qualify for the Beijing Games, but will love to be there in London. For this, I feel next year’s World championships will be the most crucial,” says the Greek.

He takes immense pride from the fact that his Athens gold was the 100th medal won by Greece in all Olympics.

“I don’t think age is a barrier for me,” he asserts while saying that he won his Olympic gold at 28. “What matters is fitness and commitment to the task at hand.”


Dimosthenis Tampakos of Greece

ATHENS - AUGUST 22: Dimosthenis Tampakos of Greece competes in the men's artistic gymnastics ring finals on August 22, 2004 during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at the Olympic Sports Complex Indoor Hall in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

How Sathya Sai Baba blessed His Devotee In Her Last Moments

Sathya Sai Blessing

Sathya Sai Blessing

How Sathya Sai Baba blessed His Devotee In Her Last Moments

Throughout the 1940s, and for much of the 1950s, Sathya Sai Baba would frequently go into a trance signifying a journey out of His body to save a devotee in danger or, in some rare cases, to bless a fortunate soul with Divine Darshan during its final moments on the earthly plane. Prof. Kasturi says, “On such occasions, symbolic of death, destruction and the end of the temporary and the evanescent, sacred vibhuti issues from the mouth of the body that Baba leaves behind in order to proceed to the death-bed.” Prof. Kasturi cites the following example:

At about 5.20 p.m. on November 15th 1958, Sathya Sai Baba was reading a letter aloud to some people around Him, when suddenly He exclaimed, “Ha!” and fell to the floor. The body was still for ten minutes, then it appeared to cough. Puffs of vibhuti were coming from the mouth, shooting out to a distance of more than a foot and a half. At 5.35 pm., having been unconscious for fifteen minutes, He resumed the reading where He had left off, quite naturally and showing no signs of exhaustion.

When requested, He told the devotees where He had been – the town of Dehra Dun in the state of Himachal Pradesh in the foothills of the Himalayas. There, He said, the mother of a doctor, quite well known in the ashram, had just passed away. Baba had gone to help her through the time of transition, which was about 5.30 p.m.

He also remarked that the doctor, her son, was present at the woman’s death in Dehra Dun, and that people were singing bhajans in the room there. He further described how the old lady had at the end announced to everybody: “This is my last breath”, and then expired.

Two days later, on November 17th, a letter came to Sai Baba from the doctor whose mother had died. He wrote, “My mother drew her last breath on Saturday, at 5.30 p.m. We were doing bhajan during her last hours as per her wish. She was remembering You constantly.”

Reference: “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles” by Mr. Howard Murphet. Page: 139. (paperback edition, 1972). Published by Macmillan India Ltd.</blockquote

Roshan Peiris – Pioneer Female Indian Journalist And Sathya Sai Baba Devotee

Then Secretary of the Editors Guild of Sri Lanka and current chairman of Lake House Bandula Padma Kumara placing the gold medal on Roshan Peiris at the Guild’s Awards ceremony.

Then Secretary of th Editors Guild of Sri Lanka and current chairman of Lake House Bandula Padma Kumara placing the gold medal on Roshan Peiris at the Guild’s Awards ceremony.

Challenge-loving scribe who quizzed world leaders and delivered top stories – Roshan Peiris

She was in the twilight of her professional life as a journalist when she joined The Sunday Times, in the early ’90s, but even at that stage of her career she was a formidable force, and soon earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues.

She had in earlier times reached the highest echelons of the Ceylon Observer during her long and distinguished career as a journalist. She was admired for the breadth of her knowledge of current affairs, Sri Lankan and international, her efficiency and crisp writing skills.

Never one to waste even a second, the minute she returned from an assignment, she would head for the typewriter and get on with the job. With Roshan, there was no time to be frittered away at lunches and coffee breaks when a copy was due. It was always work first. She would not rest till she had finished her story and handed it in.

She was game for any assignment, and even the hurly-burly of election campaigning did not daunt her. Tired she may have been after long evenings on the campaign trail, covering election rallies as political campaigns reached fever pitch, but she always filed her stories on time. She delighted in the challenge of a tough story and being the first to break the news.In the course of a long career she interviewed many famous figures – from world leaders to film stars, writers and other celebrities.

Her list of “contacts” was legendary. She had a particularly soft spot for the world’s first woman Prime Minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, and never missed her birthday gatherings at Tintagel.

She was an ardent disciple of Sathya Sai Baba, and looked forward to her visits to Puttapathi, in India.

Her colleagues knew her as a kind and generous person, always willing to help those in need. She was always forthright and sound with her advice.

Every so often she would bring us special treats. She would make Indian sweets and Parsee dishes and bring these to office, and then look on happily as her colleagues did justice to her culinary preparations, which invariably vanished in a trice.

Her love and devotion to her family, her daughter Savitri and son Suren, was an example to all. She is remembered with affection, three months after her passing away.

By A Colleague (Reference)

Pioneer woman-journalist Roshan Peiris departs

Roshan Peiris, a pioneer woman-journalist, departed from us last week. She was amongst a handful of women-journalists of the so called “Golden Age” of Lake House in the early 1950s who braved the citadel to work with the impregnable bastion of male journalists such as Tarzie Vittachchi, Denzil Peiris and Mervyn De Silva. It was a difficult task but Roshan, just as the rest of the determined and committed women-journalists at the time such as Ranji Handy, Jean Pinto, Vijitha Fernando, Malini Balasingham, Sumana Saparamadu, Hema Gunawardene and Mallika Wanigasundera, took them on and set trends of the highest order.

Hailing from a distinguised Parsee family – the Dadabhoys which had famous physicians and businessmen, Roshan, with a degree from the University of Ceylon joined Lake House in 1953 and took to journalsim like duck to water. She was a feature-writer and Women’s Page Editress of the Observer when she married the legendary Observer Editor Denzil Peiris who was at the time editing the Janatha, the Silumina and Jana – an international Lake House magazine.

They had two children – Suren who is an Attorney-at-Law today and Savithri whose death Roshan refused to accept till the time of her death.

Roshan wrote on a range of topics – politics, arts, fashions, health, human interest stories as well as colour pieces on special events. She rose to be the Features Editor and later even acted for the Editor of the Sunday Observer in the mid 1970s, an opportunity which perhaps did not come in the way of other women-journalists at the time. Her career spanned for over four decades and Roshan was the pick when Sirimavo Bandaranaike wanted to ‘grant’ an interview to a journalist. Roshan interviewed at least two Prime Ministers of India including Indira Gandhi and many, many other international VVIPs.

Roshan was also awarded a medal for long service in journalism at the 2001 Editors’ Guild Awards Ceremony. She spent her last years of journalism at The Sunday Times. If not for her poor health and the mental trauma of losing her daughter Roshan would have certainly continued with her writing right to the end.

By Rajitha Weerakoon (Reference)

The First Devotee Of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Bala Sai Baba

Bala Sai Baba

The First Devotee Of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Sri Goddumarri S. Anjaneyulu

“He was the first to recognise My divinity” – Baba

He had taken more than a simple liking for young Raju. The liking was strange for Raju was neither his relative nor his neighbour. While Raju lived with his teacher brother, Seshama Raju on Brahmin Street in Uravakonda, this middle-aged Salt (Excise) Inspector, lived in a spacious bungalow outside the main town. But Raju was his son’s schoolmate.

Goddumarri S. Anjaneyulu (1904-1979), a simple, devoted and orthodox Brahmin who respected holy men and his wife Bhagyalakshmi (1918-1976) had the two children – Narasimha Dass, a son and Subburathnamma a daughter. Raju and the two children went to school together.

Anjaneyulu had possibly known Raju earlier as the latter’s brother was a teacher in the local high school. Raju had already picked up a good number of friends then, many of whom had been witness to miraculous experiences associated with him. Anjaneyulu had then been asked by Raju to procure a Shirdi Sai Baba statue for worship. To please the young boy, Anjaneyulu looked for it in the local market, but could not find any. Raju then told him, “Go to the Lakshminarasimhaswamy Temple festival at Pennohobilam and try”. Pennohobilam was situated thirteen kilometres away from Uravakonda. True to Raju’s word the statue was found there.

This Shirdi Sai Baba statue became a spiritual link between Anjaneyulu and Raju. Being a Shirdi Sai Baba devotee himself, Anjaneyulu created a personal shrine for Sai Baba in his garden. He spread a tiger skin on a boulder and placed the statue there for puja every Thursday. For many months Raju would have his Thursday bhajans in the houses of his teacher-devotees. A time came, when he decided to hold the bhajans in Anjaneyulu’s house as it was a quiet place being situated on the outskirts of the main town and did not disturb the neighbours. Raju had possibly allowed the Anjaneyulu family to actually spiritually prepare themselves to receive what was to follow.

Every Thursday, returning to the Anjaneyulu house, from school, Raju would bathe, then cast off his white shirt and khaki shorts school uniform and don silk dhoti and angavastram. He would then perform puja to the Shirdi Sai Baba statue and then lead the bhajans. One of the bhajans, he sang then was “Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam, dusthara bhava sagara taranam”. He would also sing the song. “Baba Raava, Sai Baba Raava”. He would ask everyone else to follow the song in chorus.

The Thursday bhajan sessions were great spiritual experiences for the Anjaneyulu family. During these sessions, Raju would stand in deep concentration, glowing in splendour, his body swaying forward and backward as in a trance. He would remain in this state for three to four hours. He would advise, instruct, bless and materialise vibhuti, pieces of cloth reportedly from the kafni of Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi, pictures and fruits for visitors. He would raise his hand, pick up the things from nowhere and give them away. The devotees would open their mouth at his bidding and he would put fruits and candies into the open mouths. He instructed them to eat them immediately and take home post haste whatever other article he gave them. His instructions were specifie for specific people and not meant to be shared with others. Raju would even call people at specified time and place for special spiritual advice.

At the end of this long spell, Raju would indicate and say, “I want to go, perform arathi. Break the coconut after arathi.” After the arathi, he would fall down. The Anjaneyulu’s family would position themselves in different places in the puja room to break his fall. They were not sure where he would fall. Anjaneyulu himself would then pick him up, keep his head on his lap and wave a fan on him. Raju would gradually get up after about fifteen minutes, his eyes bloodshot with weariness.

There was yet a parent-sibling love between Anjaneyulu and Raju. When the small boy’s school uniform was torn, Anjaneyulu got a new one stitched. When Raju wanted his newly written play, Parijathapaharanam staged at the Anjaneyulu residence, Anjaneyulu had his attendants arrange the stage in no time. The play was meant only for the family. So Anjaneyulu himself dressed Raju in his wife’s sari. Anjaneyulu’s son, Narasimha Dass played the role of Sri Krishna, daughter Subburathnamma acted as Devendra and Raju himself was Sathyabhama.

The most memorable day was when Raju had returned from a visit to Hampi with his brother and school had reopened after Dassera holidays. On his way to school, Raju had been to the Anjaneyulu house. He took the latter’s new born daughter in his arms and exclaimed, “You, too, have fallen under Maya!” He then named the child Sai Prabha. Along with Narasimha Das and Subburathnamma (and another classmate Narasimha Murthy) he want to school. On the way he lost a gold collar pin that the Municipal Chairman at Bellary had gifted Raju. This greatly worried Raju. After the first period of class, the whimpering Raju went and complained to Seshama Raju of the loss. The latter rebuked him and asked him to tell his sister-in-law instead. Picking up his school bag and muttering to himself that ‘Maya is everything’ Raju left the school never to return again.

On the way home he met Anjaneyulu. Anjaneyulu, seeing a brilliant light around the boy’s face asked him what had happened. Raju did not answer but proceeded home.

The rest has become famous in history. Later in the morning when Anjaneyulu had come to know that Raju had declared his divinity, he rushed to Seshama Raju’s house. Seeing Raju, he immediately observed, “He is not Sathyam, he is Sai Baba Himself” and prostrated before him. He then reminded the boy, “You said you would come home for lunch. All the children are hungry and we are waiting for you.” Raju immediately got up, said, “Let us go” and left for Anjaneyulu’s house with brisk steps and the children struggling to keep pace. Raju asked Anjaneyulu’s wife, “Where is the boy?” Anjaneyulu asked Raju, “Sathyam, my dear child, what is the matter?” Raju replied, “I am not Sathyam, I am Baba. I have to live for the welfare of mankind. Do not stop me.”

Anjaneyulu was dumbfounded, understanding the purport of what the boy said. He was sure beyond doubt that Raju, their Sathyam, was Sai Baba, whom he so long worshipped. So on the very stone, the shrine of his Sai Baba of Shirdi, Anjaneyulu spread a tiger skin and made Raju sit on it. The Sai Baba Gundu (Sai Baba rock) became the first pedestal for the new avatar and Anjaneyulu his first herald.

After lunch, Raju retired to the rock again and was immersed in himself for two full days. While the others started bhajans and worship, Anjaneyulu put a velvet pillow under the boy’s head.

When he woke up, he desired to go to Seshama Raju’s house and thence to Puttaparthi. He promised to come to the Anjaneyulu house again for lunch before his final departure. On that day, the faithful Anjaneyulu worshipped the feet of the young Sai Baba and that of his parents. They were all garlanded. A photograph, now famous, was taken of the young Sai Baba and the strangely procured Shirdi Sai Baba statue. Very soon the young Baba left Uravakonda never to return again.

Ayyagaru, as Raju would fondly call Anjaneyulu, had helped to provide a link between the two divine incarnations at Sai Baba Gundu. This inanimate symbol of divine expression would even become spiritually potent in later years.

This little known Salt (Excise) Inspector was the first devotee of Sathya Sai Baba. Just as Mhalsapati was the first to recognise him in Shirdi as Sai, Anjaneyulu, too was the first to recognise him in Uravakonda as the young Sai Baba – “Behold the man.”

Years later (2000), Sri Sathya Sai Baba would Himself remark of this unassuming devotee, “He was the first to recognise My divinity.”

Anjaneyulu’s children have survived him and live in Anantapur as Sai devotees, in the memory of their father and mother and their divine association with Sai Baba at Uravakonda


Goddamurrai Anjaneyulu

Goddamurrai Anjaneyulu

Senaka Senanayake – Rainforest Trail

Senaka Senanayake

Senaka Senanayake – Rainforest Trail
By Riddhi Doshi
Friday, August 01, 2008

Artist Senaka Senanayake is spreading an awareness about saving the rainforests through his works

Senaka Senanayake, one of the most famous artists in the world, will exhibit many of his sculptures and mix-media works in India next year. Currently, he is spreading awareness about saving the rainforests through his works. Some of his works to be exhibited in India will contain that message.

Though, born and brought up in Sri Lanka, Senaka is a great follower of Sathya Sri Sai Baba of Putaparthy. So he visits India at least thrice a year.

“Baba always says to squeeze out the happiness from sadness. So I decided to portray positive aspects of life in my works rather than the sad and dark side,” he says.

And when in Mumbai, Senaka just loves to chill out. “I love going to different restaurants. Mumbai is a vibrant place. It is fun to be here,” he says.

His works find a place of honour in important places like United Nations Building in New York, the White House and the National Geographic Building in Washington DC, the FAO headquarters in Rome, the International Post Office in Berne, the Lodge in Canberra, the National Panasonic Headquarters, Osaka, the Berlin State Museum, the Lidice Museum and in several art institutions and private collections abroad. Cricketers like Wasim Akram, Arvinda D’Silva and Kapil Dev are few among those who love his works and have also bought a few of them.

Senaka held the first exhibition of his works when he was just eight-years-old. And since then he has been called a child prodigy. Senaka’s great-grandparents were also well-known artists. But Senaka wanted to be a cricketer and his parents wanted him to be a doctor. They asked him to dabble in painting only as a hobby.

“I was set to take up science and become a plastic surgeon. But I finally took up arts in the Yale University,” he says.

Senaka Senanayake Art Piece

Senaka Senanayake Art Piece

Senaka Senanayake was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1951. He is Sri Lanka’s premier International artist with over 103 one-man exhibitions in London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Moscow, Berlin, Singapore, Bangkok, Sydney, etc. Recognised as a child prodigy, Senaka has enjoyed a reputation as one of Sri Lanka’s leading artists since his early childhood. A Paris art critic remarked many years ago: “Senaka is not a supported prodigy but an authentic painter because he cannot be linked to a particular aspect of Sri Lanka – he seems to get inspiration not only from the ancient forms of traditional Buddhist art but also from the luxuriant natural beauty that surrounds him.”

Senaka has assimilated the Sri Lankan scene and has been celebrating it in his work- the green fields, the lush vegetation, the flora and fauna, the fisher folk, tea pickers and Buddhist monks: all have been brought to life with his brush. He works in oil, water colours and mixed media. Senaka’s prolific output displays an extraordinary fertility; it also remains constantly personal in style. His love for pure colour is carried to a daring pitch as he almost instinctively pumps life into every corner of his painting.

A graduate from Yale University, his paintings adorn many prestigious buildings and museums around the world. The United Nations Headquarters New York, F.A.O. Rome, International Post Office Berne Switzerland, Virginia State Museum, Hirchorn Museum, Lidice Museum to name a few. His paintings have been reproduced and feature articles in leading journals and magazines worldwide. There is no doubt his art has been a great source of joy to many in many lands.

Senaka Senanayake Art Piece

Senaka Senanayake Art Piece

K. Raja Rao – Experiences With Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba

Bhagwan Baba

Bhagwan Baba

K. Raja Rao – Experiences With Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba
Mr. K.Raja Rao,
Orient Sai Tailors, Sai Krishna Complex,
Gopuram Road, Puttaparthi – 515134

Mr. K.Raja Rao (48), a Sai devotee for over a decade, narrates his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

‘My ancestors were Telugu people who migrated to Culcutta from Barampuram. I was brought up in spiritual environment. Though I was hearing about Sri Sathya Sai Baba, many of the things I heard were not of complimentary nature. So I used to ignore them.

After my marriage, I shifted to Visakhapatnam. There were thefts in my shop twice. So I had to move to other places such as Jadupally, Kasibugga and finally to Palasa. When we were at Jadupally, our gold jewellery was stolen. Though it was recovered, it did not come to our hand as the case was pending in a court.

When I was residing at Visakhapatnam, I took bath one morning and was kindling agarbatti in my Pooja room, according to my usual practice. Then our son Sudhir Babu who was three years old brought a Photograph of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It was pasted on a cardboard. There was a Ganesh idol by the side of which Swami was standing in Abhayahasta posture. Around Him were Navagrahas. Our son brought it and showed it to his mother who told him to give it to me so that I can place it in Pooja. We do not know how he got it. We placed it in Pooja. That is how Swami entered our house for the first time in the form of a Photograph in 1988.

One day I had to go to Patapatnam from Palasa to attend the court for recovery of our gold. As I was going round the Court for over three years, I was vexed.

‘Swami!’ I prayed before leaving for Patapatnam, before the Photograph of Swami, which my son gave me, ‘I will believe in you and worship you all my life if my Court affair is settled today’.

When I reached the Court I found it locked. I was told that, that day being a second Saturday, was a holiday. I was very much disappointed and tired. I tried to rest on a bench I found there when an Attender came and said, ‘please make way. The Magistrate is coming!’ I was soon called in. He asked me, why I was there. I explained. He was sorry that I was going round the Court for over three years.

‘Is the box of valuables with us or have they sent it to the Treasury?’ he asked the Attender. When he was told that it was still with the Court, he arranged to deliver the gold to me against my receipt. My work in the Court was over and I returned home happily. Why did the Magistrate come to the Court on a holiday? How did his office keep the box of valuables without sending it to the Treasury knowing about the advent of two holidays? How did the Magistrate return my jewellery without hearing arguments and completing formalities? All these are unusual. Only Swami could make them possible.

When we were at Palasa, I came under the influence of another person who was also a tailor, and a Sai devotee. On his advice, I used to attend Bhajans and was even organizing them in my house occasionally. While I was at Palasa, I came to Puttaparthi for seva in connection with the 70th Birthday Celebrations of Swami. I wrote a letter then to Swami in which I said, ‘Swami! I want to be at Puttaparthi, breathe my last here and merge in you. Kindly grant this prayer’. I sat in Darshan line for five days but Swami did not take the letter. I decided ‘if Swami does not take the letter from me the next day, I shall see that I and members of my family end our lives here at Puttaparthi itself’.

Next day I sat in Darshan line. The crowd was very heavy even though the Birthday of Swami was still two days away. We were far away from Mandir. Then Sai Kulwant Hall was not there. I sat there and started to intensely do Sai Gayatri closing my eyes. The music started signifying that Swami entered Darshan lines and began giving Darshan. I did not open my eyes. Suddenly my son tapped me on my shoulder and said, ‘Swami took your letter’. Swami came into the lines, came up to the lion’s idol, took a turn and came nearer the place where we were sitting. He signalled for the letter looking at us. My son took the letter from my hand, ran to Swami across the crowd and gave it to Swami.

In 1996, my son was ill. On examination, it was found that he had three holes in his heart. Medication prescribed was very expensive costing Rs.400 to 500 a day to be taken for six months. Even then, it was doubtful. After six months, cardiac surgery might be necessary. We came to Puttaparthi. I waited in Darshan lines for five days with letter. On the sixth day, Swami took the letter from me. We then went to the Hospital; they gave medicines free for two months. After two months they examined my son again. There were no holes and the boy was miraculously cured.

When we came to Puttaparthi for my son’s treatment with family, initially we were in the sheds. Later, I rented private accommodation outside and shifted. We put a bowl of milk (not boiled) before the Photograph of Swami.

When we enter a new house, it is customary to boil milk till it runs over the container in which it is boiled. But we did not put the milk bowl on a stove. Still, the milk ran over the container on its own as if it were being boiled on a stove.

Later, on June 8, 2000, sandal paste and vibhuti came from Swami’s Photograph in our house. Cold milk boiling and running over the brim of the bowl happened in my house again twice. When I took a new shop for my tailoring work, that is, the shop in which I run my business now, cold milk ran over the brim of the bowl again on March 25, 2004.

When my son was playing on a ground with others, the ball fell in thorny bushes. When he went to retrieve it, he found some thing shining under a mango tree. He dug a little and found a silver locket. On one side, there is Swami’s picture and on the other side Swami’s lotus feet. There are also letters in Telugu ‘Pratishtha (installation)’. Was that installed there? By whom? Why? When? No knowing! It is still in our Pooja.’

— Mr. K.Raja Rao

Sathya Sai Baba And The Yadalams Of Bukkapatnam

Bhagavan Baba

Bhagavan Baba

Sathya Sai Baba And The Yadalams of Bukkapatnam
They had known the sublime in Bhagawan

Literature on the experiences of devotees of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba particularly in the 50’s and before, are full of reference to the Yadalam family of Bukkapatnam, who provided refreshment and conveyance for pilgrims heading towards Puttaparthi.

The family they talked about was that of Yadalam Venkataramanappa and Yadalam Nagamma. They were one of the first families outside Puttaparthi to recognise Bhagawan’s divinity.

They became devotees of Bhagawan in a very interesting manner. Yadalam Venkataramanappa had come to Puttaparthi hearing of Bhagawan’s glory. He had in mind three questions that he intended to ask Bhagawan: his own health, his business and his daughter’s family problem. When he arrived at Puttaparthi, he was disheartened to see a huge crowd of devotees in front of the house where Bhagawan was staying. Venkataramanappa lost hope and stood at the rear. Within a few minutes, Bhagawan sent for him. Venkataramanappa was taken by surprise, more so when Bhagawan recounted all the problems and assured the latter of His grace and protection. Venkataramanappa then invited Bhagawan to his house at Bukkapatnam, offered Him padapuja and even took Him out in a decorated procession.

Bhagawan became a regular visitor to the Yadalam house. He was very playful with the entire family. He proudly wore the garlands they made and went about singing songs. He would even take out ornaments family heirlooms, put them on and ask others how He looked. When His legs ached out of exhausting walks, Yadalam Nagamma would arrange hot water, turmeric powder and amudham oil for His bath.

The Yadalams were the first people to get a robe made for Bhagawan. It was light grey in colour and not of full length. Bhagawan materilised a Peetham (pedestal) to keep idols. He did not give any idol. He said, “I am here in the centre of the Peetham. On either side me stand Parvathi and Paramaeshewar. On another occasion, He materialised a yellow Kafni worn by Sai Baba of Shirdi for Yadalam Nagamma.

Once in 1946 Yadalam Venkataramanappa, suddenly lost sensation in his knees and was bedridden all the time, unable to walk. People at Bukkapatnam teased the Yadalam family: “You have allowed a Bhat Raju to enter your house. That is when you are suffering so much. Can your Sai Baba cure you? Some even went to Puttaparthi and asked Bhagawan: “Your devotee Venkataramanappa is suffering with leg pain. You have not done anything. Can you not cure him?” Bhagawan replied, “I know what to do, I will walk to Bukkapatnam and cure his disease.” That night, some one called out for Venkataramanappa is front of his house. On opening the door, the family was pleasantly to see Bhagawan Himself standing there in the middle of night. Bhagawan went to Venkataramanappa, held his hand and asked him to get up and walk. He even materialised dates for him and personally made him eat them. By the time, Bhagawan left for Puttaparthi in this morning, Venkataramanappa was perfectly well again.

The following year another touching episode occurred in connection with the Yadalam family. Yadalam Nagamma had gone to Mudugubba, 38 kilometres from Puttaparthi to attend the marriage of a close relative. She had been injured in a fire accident, suffering from burns on the body and face. Nagamma did not want to go back to Bukkapatnam with her swollen sepsis-infected face. She went instead to her native place, Kothakota. In His own mysterious way, Bhagawan was aware of the accident. He instructed Nagamma’s daughter-in-law, Janakamma, who had by then reached Puttaparthi with the terrible news, to arrange to fetch Nagamma to Puttaparthi. They Yadalam family did as Bhagawan bid them. Bhagawan materialised vibhuti and applied it all over her body. He even mixed it in some food and made her eat it. Early next morning, to everybody’s surprise, Nagamma’s face was whole and clean.

Bhagawan had once suggested to the Yadalams to open a grocery shop at Puttaparthi, but they did not want to do business in Bhagawan’s place and develop desires. They wanted to keep business away from devotion. Such was their faith and devotion to Bhagawan.

R. Padmanaban


Yadalams Bukkapatnam

Yadalams Bukkapatnam