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 Sathya Sai Baba Cleared The Cloudy Skies Over Bangalore With One Wave Of His Hand

How Sathya Sai Baba Cleared The Cloudy Skies Over Bangalore With One Wave Of His Hand

Sri Indulal Shah, formerly the Chairman of the International Sathya Sai Organization, recounts his first Darshan of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in his book “Sixteen Spiritual Summers”:

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

In the summer of 1965, which, to me, was the first of my sixteen spiritual summers, I was in Bangalore once to visit a friend. During an informal conversation one morning, my host asked me whether I would like to see Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who was to address a meeting at Malleswaram, in the heart of Bangalore city, the same evening.

I had heard about Sri Sathya Sai Baba and also read about Him in some Bombay newspapers, but had never seen Him before. I had, till then, no particular urge to read either His biography or discourses. My immediate response to the question from my host, therefore, was somewhat casual and uncertain.

However, on second thoughts, I felt that I should attend the meeting and so, later in the day, accompanied by my wife, Sarla, I went to Malleswaram where a mammoth gathering was listening to Baba with rapt attention. We sat in a remote corner of the big maidan (ground). I was swayed by a nameless feeling, a strange inquisitiveness or curiosity, as though I was adventuring into the unknown.

Then suddenly, the sky became rather dark with thick clouds fast gathering overhead. The large crowd became visibly restless, as people feared an impending rain. We ourselves were in a quandary and my host hastened to take us back to his car.

Just then, we saw Sri Sathya Sai Baba raising His hand and saying something aloud to the crowd in the local South Indian language which, however, I could not grasp.

My friend said that He was asking the crowd to sit down and that He was assuring them that it would not rain. As He said this, we saw that the rain clouds started disappearing and the gathering darkness was giving way to bright sunshine. I remained spell-bound!

I could not believe that anyone could disperse moisture-laden heavy clouds by a mere wave of the hand. And yet, our eyes were a witness to this strange phenomenon, the likes of which I had read about only in Puranic (Hindu legends) stories.

Reference: “Sixteen Spiritual Summers” by Sri Indulal Shah. Page: 1-2. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam in 1980.

Sathya Sai Baba Transmutes Water Into Petrol

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba Transmutes Water Into Petrol

Howard Murphet records this fascinating episode in his book “Sai Baba: Invitation to Glory”:

Divine alchemy is used only on rare occasions under particular circumstances -as when Jesus turned water to wine at Cana in Galilee, and Moses turned the waters of the Nile to blood in Egypt.

An old Sai devotee told me that, just after World War II, he was in a car with Sathya Sai Baba and others driving through the countryside. They were on their way to an important religious festival, and did not want to be late. Suddenly, in the middle of nowhere, their car ran out of petrol.

One of the passengers, who knew the district, thought that there was a service station about three miles up the road, but, as petrol was not plentiful at that time there may not be any available there.

The driver said he would walk to the service station, or somewhere, and try to get a can of petrol. But even if he managed to secure any, this would mean a considerable delay. Also it was a long, hard walk for the man on a hot day, and, even though he was at fault for not having ensured that there was enough petrol in the tank at the start of the journey, Swami was merciful.

He said to the driver: ‘Bring a bucket from that house. There’s a well there.’ He pointed to a humble dwelling, less than a hundred metres away. The driver obeyed silently. Everyone remained silent in a kind of hushed expectancy as they stood waiting with Swami beside the car.

Soon the driver returned with a large pail full of water. ‘Here’, Swami indicated, and the driver placed the pail on the ground at the Lord’s feet. All watched intently as the red-robed figure leaned over and with one finger stirred the surface of the water.

‘Put it in the petrol tank and be careful not to spill any’, He told the driver.

Soon they were driving along again as the engine drank the miracle petrol happily; they reached the religious festival in good time. There is evidence, moreover, that the divine finger will stretch many thousands of miles to stir petrol into being.

A pleasant-mannered, turbaned Punjabi, named Surjit Singh Chahal gave me a letter he had received from a friend, a Mr Gordon Chetty of Durban, South Africa. In this Mr Chetty writes:

‘I have a 1970 model, nine-seater station wagon which used to travel to any destination to spread Bhagavan Baba’s teachings. Bhagavan started providing petrol miraculously for the vehicle.

This has happened eleven times in two years. Each time the miracle has been witnessed by hundreds of people.

It happens like this: while the vehicle is standing stationary, the tank fills to overflowing, and a small quantity of petrol often pours out from the tank. Many people have, in fact, placed containers in position to collect the overflow.

One Sunday morning, for instance, I was at a wedding party. I had left my vehicle parked on the roadside among other cars. It was about 11.30 in the morning when I was called urgently, and told to go to my station wagon as petrol was spilling from it.

I found that the petrol tank had filled-up completely and was overflowing! Many people from the wedding party rushed out to see this miracle. There were, in fact, about 800 witnesses that time. Twelve people collected petrol from the overflow to use in their own vehicles.’

Although Sathya Sai Baba, in other cases, transmuted water into petrol, in Durban He seems to have multiplied the petrol that was already in the tank. The help and grace of the Lord comes at the place and manner that He Himself prescribes.

Reference: “Sai Baba: Invitation to Glory” by Mr. Howard Murphet. Page: 53-55. Published by Macmillan India Ltd, 1982.

How Sathya Sai Baba Mysteriously Saved The Governor Twice

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

How Sathya Sai Baba Mysteriously Saved The Governor Twice

Late Shri Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was the Chief Minister of the old Hyderbad state, and later Governor of Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. An ardent devotee of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, he experienced Baba’s divinity on numerous occasions. The Governor shared with Howard Murphet some of his miraculous experiences and he has recorded them in his book “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles”:

In 1961, when Dr. Ramakrishna Rao was Governor of Uttar Pradesh, his wife and he were travelling by fast train from Bareilly to Nainital in the Himalayas. They were the only occupants of their first-class carriage and the train had no corridor by which anyone could enter or leave their compartment.

At about 11 p.m. the Governor noticed some sparks coming from the electric fan. These rapidly increased in number until he and his wife grew quite alarmed, thinking the compartment would catch fire any minute. He looked for a cord or bell by which he could sound the alarm and stop the train, but could find none.

It began to look as if the Governor and his lady might be burned to death before anyone learned of their plight. There was nothing they could do but pray – which they did, wholeheartedly. Then there was a knock on one of the outer doors.

Very surprising this was, because the doors simply led to the open air through which the train was roaring at a good speed. Dr. Rao walked over and opened the door. In from the dark night stepped a man dressed in the khaki uniform of an electric wireman.

Without a word this man went to work on the faulty fan from which the sparks were now flying “like chaff from a threshing floor”. About a quarter of an hour later the electrician said to them: “There’s no danger now. You can go to bed and sleep.” With this he sat down on the floor near the door.

The Governor’s wife lay down on her bed and closed her eyes. But she kept half opening them to watch the man by the door because, as she told her husband later, she thought that anyone who risked his life to walk along the running board of a fast-moving train was probably a burglar who, when they were both asleep, would rob them.

The Governor himself, with no such suspicions, was deeply engrossed in a book. Suddenly, he was startled to feel the touch of the workman’s hand and hear his voice asking quietly if the doctor would mind closing the carriage door after him, because he was now leaving.

The little doctor was astonished that the electrician did not wait until the next station before leaving, but before he could say anything the khaki-clad figure had opened the door, and the night air was whistling in to the carriage. Dr. Ramakrishna Rao jumped up, and stepped to the open doorway in time to see the man stand a moment on the running board, then vanish into the darkness.

It was all rather mystifying. How in the first place did he know that the fan was giving trouble? How did he get to the carriage and why did he choose to leave and make his way along the running board of this swaying, fast-moving express when he could have easily waited until the next stop?

He either liked living dangerously or he was simply crazy, but in either case he must also be clairvoyant to know about the fault in the electric fan. With a mental shrug the little doctor lay down to sleep.

About a month after this incident the Governor was again travelling, this time by the aeroplane that was kept for his official use. With him on this occasion, besides his wife and the pilot, were his A.D.C, his personal assistant, and the pilot’s wife. They were flying from Kanpur (the capital city of Uttar Pradesh) to Benares.

Above Benares the Governor noticed that they seemed to be circling a very long time over the airfield before landing. He asked if there was anything amiss and was informed that the under-carriage was stuck; the wheels would not come down. Furthermore, they were now almost out of fuel.

With Dr.Rao’s agreement, the pilot decided to attempt a crash-landing on the grass of the airfield. He signalled the ground to this effect. The fire-engines were brought out, and everything made ready for the attempt. All knew, of course, that it was a highly dangerous operation, and both the little doctor and his wife sent fervent prayers to their Gurudev, Sai Baba, for his much-needed protection.

Perhaps the A.D.C. was praying too, for he also was a devotee of Sai Baba. Like the doctor, he wore on his hand a talisman, a ring that had been materialised by Baba. The pilot knew this and, as a last resort before trying a crash-landing, asked the A.D.C. to try his hand at working the lever for releasing the jammed undercarriage.

The A.D.C. placed his hand on the lever and pressed as directed. The undercarriage came down without any difficulty. They were able to make a normal landing!

The next day Mrs. Ramakrishna Rao, knowing that Baba was at Bangalore in the south, phoned Him from Benares in order to thank him for his grace and protection, which, she believed, had saved them from their perilous predicament in the plane.

She found, not at all to her surprise, that He knew all about the event, and mentioned details. Then He remarked: “But you have said nothing about the train incident.”

“What train incident, Swami?” she asked, for it had slipped from her mind.

“Why, when the fan was almost on fire and you thought I was a thief,” Baba laughed.

Dr. Ramakrishna Rao was sure the train story could not have reached Baba in the ordinary way because neither his wife nor he had talked to anyone about it. They had refrained from mentioning it on the following morning, not wanting to upset any of their staff; then the incident had faded into the background of their busy lives.

Nothing superhuman that Sai Baba did could ever surprise the little doctor; he had through the years seen and experienced so much.

Reference: “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles” by Mr. Howard Murphet. Page: 172-174 (paperback edition, 1972). Published by Macmilan India Ltd.

How Sathya Sai Baba Answered The Prayer Of Sri S. N. Singh

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

How Sathya Sai Baba Answered The Prayer Of Sri S. N. Singh

Sri S. N. Singh, a successful businessman, is an ardent devotee of Bhagawan. He has had many thrilling experiences with Sathya Sai Baba, which have strengthened and solidified his faith in Him. Here is one instance of Baba infusing life and strength into Sri Singh’s mother in answer to his fervent prayers, narrated by Smt. Shakuntala Balu in her book, “Living Divinity”:

It happened in 1975 to his eighty-nine year old mother. In the first week of May, her kidneys and ankles were very swollen. Medical experts in Calcutta had attended on her, but none of them could do much to help her.

The swollen leg was nine inches wider than the other one, she could hardly eat and, for the last six weeks, she had existed on two teaspoons of barley water a day. Sri Singh was devoted to his mother who had brought him up singlehandedly as his father had died when he was only four years old.

During this desolate period, Sri Singh heard that Sri Sathya Sai Baba was to be in Bombay and he wanted very much to go there and see Him. Two days before his intended departure, his mother went into a coma. He sent a telegram to Professor Gokak (a close devotee of Baba) expressing his regrets and his inability to travel to Bombay.

That night, Sri Singh felt that worldly success, wealth and all its accoutrements were singularly useless, for they could give no succour to his sick and dying mother.

At midnight, he left his mother’s bedside and, before going to bed, prayed to Sri Sathya Sai Baba: “Swami, take her away if that is your will. But, please do not make her suffer. Give her perfect health and a good appetite till the very last and give her these for two or three more months. Then, take her to your lotus feet.” A tear escaped down his cheek. He cannot remember how he finally fell asleep.

Next morning, the nurse came running to his wife, excitedly saying that her mother-in-law was sitting up in bed and asking for khichri (a dish of rice and lentil). Mrs. Singh went to her mother – in – law and said, “how can you possibly want ‘khichri? For the last six weeks you’ve been on liquids only!”

The old lady-smiled and said that Sri Sathya Sai Baba had come to her in the night with a rope in His hand (such as is used for swings) which He swung about playfully and had said, “eat well and get well. . .. I will take you, when the time comes.” Then He had vanished.

She said that as soon as she woke up that morning, she felt absolutely well and quite hungry, so she asked the nurse to fetch some khichri. The mother’s condition improved so suddenly that the doctors were taken aback. There was no more need to keep her on a liquid diet. She ate well, very nourishing and even rich food. She could even relish all her favourite foods like makki roti (cornflour bread)!

Although the doctors continued to be mystified, the family was very relleved and happy. Though the old lady had not realized the extent of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s omnipresence and omniscience, Sri Singh attributed her remarkable recovery entirely to Him.

Later, when Sri Singh was in Puttaparthi, Sri Sathya Sai Baba said to him, “I got your two telegrams.”

Sri Singh said, “Swami, I sent only one, to Professor Gokak, about not being able to go to Bombay.”

“What about the second telegram from your heart?” He asked, touching Sri Singh’s chest.

Sri Singh was overwhelmed. Yes, it was true, Sri Sathya Sai Baba had heard even that silent and tearful nocturnal prayer he had addressed to Him about his mother’s suffering!

Reference: “Living Divinity” by Shakuntala Balu. Page: 231-232. Published by S. B. Publications, Bangalore, 1983.

Swami Purushottamananda Is Granted A Divine Vision By Sathya Sai Baba

Jyothi Sai Baba

Jyothi Sai Baba

Swami Purushottamananda Is Granted A Divine Vision By Sathya Sai Baba

On the way back Sathya Sai Baba stopped the bus at a place, where a thin little iron rod carried a half-distinct nameplate, “Vasishta Guha.”

He proceeded to descend the rather precipitous incline to the river bank, as if He had been there often before and as if He had become aware of an engagement with the occupant of the cave.

The Ganga takes a wide curve near the cave; nearby a small rivulet pours her offerings into the Ganges, and so the scenery is doubly attractive. The Vasishta Guha bears a hallowed name; it has been sanctified by the austerities performed therein by many great recluses and monks in the past.

Swami Purushottamananda, a disciple of Swami Brahmananda of the Ramakrishna order, initiated into Sanyas by Mahapurushji, another direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, had been living in the cave since 30 years and welcomed Baba as if he too was expecting Him!

More than seventy years old, he had spent the major part of his life in asceticism of a most rigorous kind and in the study of scriptures. His face has the genuine glow of spiritual joy and the slightest mention of the glory of Godhead would send him into Samadhi (spiritual ecstasy). When he was still a young man, Swami Brahmananda had read his palm at Kanyakumari and predicted that he would enter a cave and go on meditating and meditating!

Baba reminded him of the travails he endured when he first came into the cave, leopards and cobras and the three-day trek to Rishikesh and the desperate struggle for salt and matchboxes! He spoke of the succour that came to him through sheer Divine intervention!

Baba repeated the visit the next evening in spite of a rumbling sky and the grumbling of some persons who accompanied Him. But, the rumbling ceased and the grumblers were humbled; by Baba’s Grace, the sky became clear and the rain held back.

Baba himself sang a number of songs that day in the Vasishta Guha and when one of the Swamis attending on Swami Purushottamananda requested Him to sing a song of Thyagaraja, He very graciously asked him which of Thyagaraja’s Krithis (compositions) he most liked to hear. Swami Kalikananda said that he was longing to hear “Sri Raghuvara Sugunalaya”!

Baba sang it, just to make him happy. No one had heard Him sing that song before and so it was an unexpected piece of good luck for which we thanked Swami Kalikananda. Hearing that Swami Kalikananda was suffering from chronic stomachache since many years, He took some ‘candy’ from nowhere and gave it to him, with instruction about diet etc. He also gave Purushottamananda, a Japamala of shining Sphatika beads, which ‘manifested’ itself in His Hand.

But, more mysterious and significant was the Vision that He vouchsafed to Swami Purushottamananda that evening. After sending every one outside the Cave, Baba and the Sage went into the inner room.

Sri Subbaramiah, President of the Divine Life Society, Venkatagiri, describes what he was able to see from outside the cave, thus:

“Even now that picture is imprinted in my memory. I was standing near the entrance of the cave. I could see what was happening. Baba placed His Head on the lap of Swami Purushottamananda and, laid Himself down! Suddenly, His entire body was bathed in divine brilliance. His Head and Face appeared to me to have increased very much in size. Rays of splendour emanated from His face. I was overwhelmed with a strange inexplicable Joy. The time was about 10 p.m.”

When pressed later to divulge the vision, Baba informed us that it was a Vision of Jyothir-Padmanabha! (Lord Vishnu as the Flame of Love-Wisdom) What supreme Karuna! (compassion) What immeasurable Good Fortune!

Swami Purushottamananda passed away on Shivarathri Night, 1961, four years later, during the Lingodbhava Muhurtham – the time Baba manifested the Lingam that Shivaratri.”

Reference: “Sathyam Shivam Sundaram”, Vol-I, by Prof. N Kasturi. Page: 111-113. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.

Swami Purushottamananda - Room Where He Attained MahaSamadhi On Shivarathri 1961

Swami Purushottam-ananda - Room Where He Attained MahaSamadhi On Shivarathri 1961

How Sathya Sai Baba Assumed Multiple Forms To Save A Devotee

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

How Sathya Sai Baba Assumed Multiple Forms To Save A Devotee

Swami Satchidananda, a distinguished monk of Divine Life Society of Rishikesh, and a close disciple of Swami Shivananda Saraswati, narrated this astounding incident in the presence of Sathya Sai Baba on the 29th of June 1957, on the occasion of the Inauguration of the Tapovana (Meditation grove) in Puttaparthi. This incident convinced Swami Satchidananda beyond doubt about the divine nature of Bhagawan. Prof. Kasturi has recorded this incident thus:

Swami Satchidananda was in Sathya Sai Baba’s room one afternoon in the bungalow on Kodaikanal. Baba was reclining on His bed. Suddenly, He stood up and shouted, “Don’t shoot”, in Telugu and fell upon the bed, in what is called a ‘trance,’ but is best described as ‘going on a transcorporeal journey.’

His body became stiff and remained in that condition for about an hour. When He returned and took charge of His physical frame, He looked at those around Him and wanted a telegram sent urgently to an address at Bhopal! He dictated the message and the address. It ran, “Don’t worry; the revolver is with Me, Baba.”

Swami Satchidananda expressed a doubt whether the postal authorities would accept the message for transmission, for it spoke of revolvers, which come under the Arms Act. Others too supported him and there was some argument on the pros and cons.

Baba wanted that it should go quickly to Bhopal and alternative words to bypass the rules were discussed. Swami Satchidananda suggested the word, ‘instrument,’ for ‘revolver’ and Baba agreed that it would convey the meaning intended, so far as the recipient was concerned. The wire went quick, and fast, to Bhopal, a thousand miles away!

Every one was anxious to know what the nature of the averted tragedy was, but Baba parried all attempts to draw the information from Him. But, on the fourth day, a letter arrived from Bhopal, which was read out to all, a letter revealing that Baba was indeed the same Lord Vishnu who had saved Gajendra and Prahlada, and the same Lord Krishna who had come to the rescue of Draupadi!

The author of the letter, whose wife was an ardent devotee of Bhagawan, had served in the Second World War and was now occupying a high position in Government Service. He was very much upset by the administrative rearrangements following the Reorganisation of States, for persons far junior in service were hoisted on top of him. He had no one nearby to assuage or comfort or even to listen to his tale of woe.

His wife was away at her parents’ village. Disappointed by the unlucky turn in his career, he decided to end his humiliation by means of a revolver. There was one handy; he tried one shot, just to see whether his hand would be steady for the fatal second; but before he could shoot next… Baba had shouted, “Don’t shoot!”

When suddenly, there was a loud bang at the door! Baba had come! Not as Baba, of course, but as an old college-mate accompanied (!) by his wife and a Chaprasi (porter), with a trunk and a holdall, to make the picture complete in every detail!

The officer ran into the bedroom, placed the revolver on the bed, threw a sheet over it, hurried back into the front hall, adjusted his lineaments to the new situation, and opened the door!

There, lo and behold, were the three forms of Bhagawan, ready to play their part. The college chum was very boisterous and demonstrative; Baba had become by instantaneous materialisation a friend, who had just the qualities that would remove melancholy and who could give the officer, the tonic that would cure him of despair.

He responded to the treatment and became quite normal, very soon. He even smiled and laughed at the jokes of his old friend, and as the conversation proceeded, all thoughts of suicide melted away.

The lady too joined in the talk, but, when they discovered that the mistress of the house was away, the visitor put on an air of profound disappointment and said that he would prefer to stay with another friend. In spite of the appeals of the person whom he had saved, the friend departed forty-five minutes after he materialised, with the lady, the porter, the trunk and the holdall, thus drawing down the curtain on the excellent dramatic performance!

After seeing them off, the officer hurried into the bedroom; he was stunned to find that the revolver was not there nor anywhere in the house! Who could have removed it?

He locked his house and ran in hot haste to the address to which the college-mate said he would be going. He got his doubt confirmed; there was no one there; the three visitors had melted into thin air, with the trunk and the holdall!

Back home, he was turning over in his memory the stunning events that had happened that day, when he was startled by another knock at the door! It was the telegraph messenger! The wire from Kodaikanal; “Don’t worry; the instrument is with me – Baba.”

Swami Satchidananda said that this incident is much stranger than the Parakayapravesam extolled in Puranas. Parakayapravesam is entering into another body which is existing at that time, but, this is Kayasrishti, the creation, at the very moment of willing, of three bodies and making the bodies act their roles of existing individuals, correct to the minutest detail of voice and inflection, gait and gesture, idiom and idiosyncrasy, and the recitation of incidents and anecdotes relating to decades past when they were both students of the same college!

This, concluded Swami Satchidananda, is possible only for an Avatar.

Reference: “Sathyam Shivam Sundaram”, Vol-I, by Prof. N Kasturi. Page: 102-105. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.

How Sathya Sai Baba Appeared As Three Villagers To Help His Devotee

Shiva Shakti Sai

Shiva Shakti Sai

How Sathya Sai Baba Appeared As Three Villagers To Help His Devotee

In the Sri Sai Ashtotthara (the 108 names of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba), one of names is “Sri Sai Jodi Adipalli Somappa”. How this intriguing name came to be associated with Bhagawan is narrated by Prof. N. Kasturi. This is one of those amazing miracles when Baba assumed multiple forms at the same time to come to the rescue of His devotee.

On 26th November, 1958, three days after Baba’s birthday celebrations, a devotee, Sri Venkataraman left Prasanthi Nilayam for Bangalore by car after seeking permission from Baba.

On the way, his 2-year-old daughter was attacked by ‘fits’, which became so serious that the child was asphyxiated and it collapsed.

Baba knew this and presented Himself before them as a ‘villager’ with two other ‘villagers’ whom He created. He wanted the child to be given to Him and the two comrades supported the demand. ‘Give him: he will cure it. He has cured thousands’; they (the other two villagers) implored.

The villager (Baba) told them, ‘I was busy for the last 3 days; I just now laid myself for rest; but I came to know that a child was seriously ill on the road. So, I ran up”!

He placed the child on his lap and she was cured. He gave her back to the relieved parents. They offered him a rupee and when it was refused, they gave Him a fruit from the many that they had received from Bhagawan’s hands before leaving Prasanthi Nilayam.

They asked Him His name. He said “Jodi Aadipalli Somappa”. When asked later at the Nilayam, why He chose that name of all others, Baba said, “I am Somappa, Appa (Lord Shiva) and Sa Uma (Sa – along with; Uma – Goddess Parvathi, the consort of Lord Shiva) with Uma. The place of My residence is Aadipalli, the primeval village, Kailasha. It is Jodi (joined together) because it belongs to Sa & Uma ‘Shiva-Shakti’, – the Twin – Prakrithi and Purusha (Nature and God). This is therefore Baba’s most appropriate epithet, selected by Himself, for that profound miracle of grace. It reveals His truth as ‘Shiva-Shakti’.”

On another occasion when a devotee asked Baba, “How can we know that You are Shirdi Sai Baba?”

Baba said, “It is difficult for you; when I ‘went’ the other day, as an old man to save Venkataraman’s child on the road near Bagepalli, he did not recognise Me, he thanked Me profusely and held out a rupee coin towards Me (!). He believed that I was a villager named ‘Jodi Adipalli Somappa,’ when I gave that name!”

Reference: 1)“Garland of 108 Precious Gems” by Prof. N Kasturi. Page: 26-27 (Fourth Edition, 1979). Published by Sri Sathya Sai Education and Publication Foundation.

Reference: 2) “Sathyam Shivam Sundaram” Vol-I, by Prof. N Kasturi. Page: 193. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.

How Sathya Sai Baba Came As An Old Beggar To Shardamma’s House

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

How Sathya Sai Baba Came As An Old Beggar To Shardamma’s House

Sharadamma, the daughter of Sri Seshagiri Rao, the temple priest of Prasanthi Mandir for many years, came to Baba in 1942 when He was still a young boy of 16 years. In her long association with Baba, she has had many wonderful experiences. Here is one of her experiences as narrated by Mrs. Shakuntala Balu:

She remembers an occasion when she had arranged Samaradhana Puja in her village. After the conclusion of the puja she had organized a feast for the Brahmins (priests).

While the puja was still under way, an old beggar arrived seeking alms. Sharadamma sent him away saying, “Come later. The puja is not over yet.”

The occasion went off very well. The old beggar never returned for the promised food and Sharadamma soon forgot about him.

A few months later, in Puttaparthi, she asked Sri Sathya Sai Baba to pay her a visit at home. He looked at her severely and said, “You invite me now, but if I come to you, you may chase me away saying the puja is not over yet”.

With a shock, Sharadamma realised that it had been Sri Sathya Sai Baba who had come to her that day to test her. She bitterly regretted her action of that day, but recognised that she had been taught a very good lesson: never to turn away a hungry person who comes begging for food.

Reference: “Living Divinity” by Mrs. Shakuntala Balu. Page: 180. Published by S. B. Publications, Bangalore, 1983.

How Sathya Sai Baba Was Simultaneously Present In Venkatagiri And Manjeri

Sri Sathya Sai

Sri Sathya Sai

How Sathya Sai Baba Was Simultaneously Present In Venkatagiri And Manjeri

This is an incredible miracle that demonstrates how limitations of time and space can never bind Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba in His task of ensuring the joy and happiness of His devotees. Indeed, events surrounding this story are so incredible, that Prof. Kasturi took great pains to convince himself of its authenticity. His sedulous efforts culminated in the narrative that follows:

On Sunday, the 13th day of December 1964, Sathya Sai Baba was at Venkatagiri town. He had reached the place a few days earlier in connection with a heavy schedule of discourses in Chittoor and Nellore Districts, in Andhra Pradesh. On that very day, about 8 a.m., “Baba surprisingly appeared in front of my house”, says, U Ram Mohan Rao, Superintendent of the Junior Technical School, Manjeri (28 miles south of Calicut on the West Coast, in the State of Kerala).

As the crow flies, the distance between Manjeri and Venkatagiri is more than 600 miles! But distance is only a game that Baba plays to keep us, poor mortals, apart.

We shall listen to Sri Ram Mohan Rao describing this visit, “My wife and I were indoors with our daughter. The maid told us that a Sadhu (sage) had come. We went out to see who it was and we were surprised to see Sri Sathya Sai Baba!

Baba said, Hari Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti; we prostrated ourselves at His Feet. We led Baba into the officer room, but, on the way, He saw our Pooja room where His Photo was hung, along with several holy pictures. He said He would sit in the Pooja room itself. He told us that He had come to us that day, being very pleased with the Bhakthi (devotion) of Sailaja, my daughter. He asked me to send word to devotees if any were available, for Bhajan and Pravachan (discourse).

“He sent word to his neighbours and people collected immediately”, says Ramesh Rao, his cousin. “Swami sang the bhajans ‘Nandamukunda Sayinatha’, ‘O Bhagavan’, ‘Jayaram Jayaram’, along with the devotees. After Bhajan, He talked to me in Tamil, to my wife in Canarese and to the others in mixed dialect of Tamil-Malayalam. He blessed us by the gift of a Sankhamala (rosary of small conch-shells) and Himself placed it on His own photograph.

He told me that my father had decided on a rite to propitiate the Snake-God (Sarpasamskaram) at Bangalore on 25th February, Thursday (‘My day’ He added), but He told me that he need not perform it, since He had already wiped off the calamity it was intended to avert and the sacrilege it was designed to atone.

He took some light refreshment. Then, He told the persons around Him that all will be anxiously awaiting Him at Kalahasti. So, He took leave of us and asking us not to follow Him, went through the gate. He disappeared in a few seconds. We all felt happy at this unexpected Darshan and were struck by his miraculous disappearance”

But, this was not all. In the letter written by Sri Ram Mohan Rao to Prof. Kasturi he goes on to describe Bhagawan’s next visit to Manjeri:

“24th December, Thursday, was a holiday; we felt lonely since our daughter, Sailaja, was away at Mangalore. So we went out in the afternoon to visit some friends and returned home at 6-30 p.m. We were shocked to see the lights burning within the house.

My wife asked me whether I had forgotten to switch off all the lights. I first examined the lock of the main door and finding it intact, went round the house to see whether the other doors were bolted from within. They seemed alright. Then, both of us came to the front door, opened the lock and walked in. We found everything intact. All the lights were on. And Baba was in our Prayer room!

We prostrated ourselves at His feet. He asked us (in Kannada) whether we were afraid! We replied that we were very lucky and that we left very happy! Baba said that He had come because we were lonely and said, ‘Let us sing Bhajans. If Sailaja were here, she would have liked to sing’, He said. He sang a few Bhajans. He took food later, we discussed some general topics together. Then, Baba retired for the night.

Early next morning, Sai Baba had His bath; He had coffee with us and then, discoursed on Bhakti and the basic Truth of Nature. All of a sudden, we saw a rosary of Rudraksha beads in His hand; He put it on my neck with His Blessings, with the direction that I should wear it during my Sandhya (evening prayer) rites. After those rites, I was to place it on Baba’s photograph.

We had breakfast together. The Puja room was decorated specially with garlands and flowers. Bhajan began. Meanwhile, devotees came to know that Baba had come; so they too assembled for Bhajan. Baba discoursed on Bhakthi in the Tamil-Malayam dialect. He granted every one the coveted interview.

At 12 Noon, Baba himself waved the Sacred light of Mangalarathi and distributed Prasadam, to every one present. The quarter kilogram of dates that I had, sufficed for 100 persons!

We had our lunch with Baba. He rested for a couple of hours and we had ‘tea’ at 4-30 p.m. Then He told us that several devotees were eagerly waiting for Him at Kalahasti. He blessed us again, when we fell at His feet. At 5 p.m. He went out on the road through the gate and suddenly disappeared. What a wonderful miracle! We could not believe our own eyes!”

Nor could I, without confirmation through independent sources! Baba had given Darshan to persons in distress in distant places but nowhere, so far as we knew, did He stay so long and so concretely. It was too overpoweringly unscientific!

I wrote a letter to two friends, P.K. Panikkar and P.A. Menon in Kerala enclosing a list of 84 questions for which I wanted them to find answers at Manjeri. They proceeded to Ram Mohan Rao’s house and sent me a comprehensive report, which dotted all the ‘i’s and crossed all the ‘t’s of his letter to me!

Ram Mohan Rao and his wife told them that Baba was wearing a yellow gown on the 13th December; He walked in, barefooted and went into the shrine room saying, “I shall go into My own place.” My friends saw the picture on which the rosary of Rudraksha beads were placed. It had a thick outgrowth of sacred ash in a few days. Strangely enough, the face of Baba was clear but from the outer area in the picture, “there fell a continuous shower of Vibhuthi dust which was being collected and distributed with the reverence due to the divinely created gift of Grace!”

The report further went on to mention: “Rao and his wife have been devoted to Shirdi Sai Baba for many years; they have not visited Prasanthi Nilayam, but they had secured a picture of Sathya Sai Baba seven years ago and placed it amidst the other pictures in their shrine. When Baba sat in the shrine room and leaned against the wall, right under His own picture, they saw that the picture was genuine! That was the first time they saw Him; they had borrowed the book ‘Sathyam Shivam Sundaram’ from a friend to read it. They thought that Baba had by happenstance come to Calicut or some nearby town and had decided to bless them by this visit.

When Mrs. Rao was listing her sorrows to Baba encouraged by His overflowing love, Baba said, ‘sorrow and pain are the lot of all; don’t you know that both sisters of this body are widowed?’

When Sailaja asked Baba for a Bhajan Book, Baba said, “Palghat Menon has brought 400 Bhajan books, printed in Malayalam, to Prasanthi Nilayam. I shall give you one”. So saying Baba held His palm upside down, waved it twice and caught with His fingers the book that appeared and gave it to the girl. We saw it! It was the same book, with the blue paper cover! Sailaja had great faith in Baba, since her eczema on the foot was cured by Baba a year ago, in answer to her pleading before His picture.

When he was asked to bring some persons for Bhajan, Rao did not go far, for he did not desire to miss Baba’s company for long. He brought in the owner of his house, an old gentlemen, by name Thalayur Moosad and his 5-year old daughter; he brought the widow of Madhavan Nair, the founder of the renowned Malayalam newspaper, ‘Mathrubhoomi’, and his sister.

Baba asked Moosad, ‘What ails your leg?’. He gave Him an account of his disease and prayed for some drug. Baba told him, ‘The course of treatment you are now undergoing is enough.’ Mrs. Rao is now sending him the Vibhuthi Baba showers from His picture; he finds it very effective.

The widow told Him of her diabetes. “I am getting bags and bags of rice from my fields; but I cannot eat a grain,” she said, Baba replied in Malayalam. ‘It is the result of your past Karma’. He asked Rao to bring an empty glass. When Baba held it in His Hand, it was full of a pink liquid. He gave it to her. ‘Take this thrice daily for 3 days; you can then eat any quantity of rice you like.’

“One cynic was there, among the rest. Baba knew it and so He jocularly asked Ram Mohan Rao to bring a pair of scissors and He asked the fellow to cut for Himself a single hair from His Head! The man tried hard but failed, whereupon a bigger pair was brought at His command. This time too he failed. So, he put down his head and walked away without a word,” writes U.N. Ramesh Rao, Rao’s cousin, who visited Manjeri soon after this incident.

Baba sang four songs in all, during the Bhajan, asking the gathering too to sing them after Him in chorus. They were: ‘O! Bhagavan’, ‘Pahi Pahi Gajanana’, ‘Shiva Shiva Shiva’ and ‘Omkara Priya Sai Ram’.

“We saw the Sankhamala, the rosary of small conch-shells,” says the report. “It is of the type available at Kanyakumari, each shell being no bigger than a seed of pepper.” They are white in colour, with brown dots. There are 108 of them in the rosary, created and given by Baba. When we saw it, Vibhuthi had heaped itself over the beads. The rosary of Rudraksha beads also was examined by us. Baba told them that, until he could string them in gold, they should place it on the picture.

Baba also created an orange-size bell-metal drinking cup with a spout and gave it to Sailaja. He created a piece of scarlet silk cloth with borders of gold thread, and, presenting it to the girl, asked Rao to have a jacket sewn for her. He gave Rao additional Vibhuthi and Kumkum created on the spot to be given to “Calicut” (meaning U.N. Ramesh Rao, his cousin living there). Baba left at 11 a.m. on the 13th, saying, “I have to keep to a programme at Kalahasti.”

They did not then know that Kalahasti was about 20 miles from Venkatagiri. They were too aggrieved at His resolve to leave to ask where it was. He said, “No one need come with me.” He closed the gate behind Him and disappeared!

The second visit was on a Thursday. Mrs. Rao was afraid to approach the house, since the lights were on. Rao opened the lock and entered. He saw Baba in the shrine, sitting leaning against the wall. Baba asked him in Tamil, “Are you afraid, seeing me?”

“I have come to join your Bhajan”, He assured him.

Rao had brought some dried dates from the bazaar; he gave the plate into the hands of Baba for distribution; he felt that He alone could make it suffice for all those who were present. Baba entered the kitchen and protested against the dish of ‘Kheer’ being prepared. He did not “relish that sweet dish”.

“This is enough for six”, He said! They had cooked only for two but, after dinner, food for three more was available. Next morning, the couple partook of it as sacramental food. Before retiring for the night, Baba removed one picture of His from the shrine and hung it on a nail in the bed room. “Let it be here”, He said. From that picture too, Vibhuthi is showering in large quantities now.

Rao peeped through a slit in the door to find out whether Baba was sleeping well, but he saw Him sitting up, most of the time, ‘lost in thought, as one in reverie.’

Next morning, Baba had His bath and breakfast. When the housewife started preparing ‘festive dishes,’ He noticed her enthusiasm and warned that He would leave without eating anything at all; He insisted that only their daily menu should be given to Him. He discoursed to them of Sankaracharya being caught while young by the crocodile (Maya) in the river Poorna (Brahma) and saved by renunciation (Sanyas). He spoke of Shirdi Sai Baba, and about Lord Subrahmanya.

While speaking of Subrahmanya, He created a thin plate of gold, drew on it with His nail the picture of Subrahmanya on a peacock and rolling it directed her to wear it around her neck, inside a golden cylinder, to be made later. He said jocularly, “Sorry! I have no gold!”

Prof. Kasturi ends the narration of this incredible incident saying – “This is perhaps the most dramatic, detailed and authentic narrative of the multilocative miracle performed by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.”

Reference: “Sathyam Shivam Sundaram” Vol – II, by Prof. N Kasturi. Page: 92-99. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.