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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group IV | Dr. K.B.R. Prasad

Dr. K.B.R. Prasad,
B-11, Staff Quarters,
Samadhi Road, Puttaparthi - 515134

Tel: 040-27532344

Dr. K.B. R. Prasad (68), Reader in the Physics Department, SSSIHL, relates quite a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'I joined the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, as an Aerospace Engineer in the Department of Aeronautics in 1970. In 1975, one villager from my native place came to my house in Bangalore.

'I have come here to attend the Summer Course conducted at Brindavan Ashram by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba', he told me, 'as I am new to this place, you have to take me there'. I took him to Brindavan and also attended the Divine Discourse. That is the first time that I had Darshan of Bhagavan. I was so impressed that I attended the course for the remaining 15 days along with my wife. There used to be a large thatched pendal in those days where this course was conducted. It could accommodate about 1500 to 2000 people. We were sitting in the periphery.

One day it rained. Swami saw that we were getting drenched and called us to come into the pendal and sit inside. We were going to the back seats when Swami asked us to come to the front row. So we went and sat in the front row right before Bhagavan. Unexpectedly, I had the good fortune of sitting in the front, and having Darshan of Bhagavan from very close quarter owing to His grace. That is how I made my debut into Sri Sathya Sai family.

One day I read an article in Sanathana Sarathi on 'seva'. I was much impressed and wanted to join as a sevadal. I did not know that Prof. S. Ramakrishna working in our own Department in our Institute was the convener. When I came to know that, I went to him and enrolled myself as a member of Sri Sathya Sai sevadal. Prof. Ramakrishna told me at that time that Bhagavan had mentioned to him earlier that two persons from our Institute would join the sevadal. 'You are the first', he told me. I was surprised that Swami had foretold about my enrollment in sevadal.

'Have you visited Prasanthi Nilayam?' Prof. Ramakrishna asked me one day.

'No', I replied.

'Then you can join us', he said, 'we are going for seva to Prasanthi Nilayam'. This was in 1975. That was my first visit to Prasanthi Nilayam. That year was the year of Bhagavan's 50th Birthday. They were constructing Sarvadharma Sthupam at that time. We were given the work of levelling the floor pit by filling it with sand for expansion of the canteen for the ladies wing, which was under construction then.

One day I was asked to go to Bangalore in a van to get wall paper to be pasted on the walls of four green rooms in the Purnachandra Auditorium. We went to the dealer in wall paper in Bangalore.

'It will take two or three days', the dealer said, 'besides, it is difficult to spare workers to do the job as we have prior commitments'.

We felt crestfallen and tried to cajole him into taking up our work on priority. But he was in no mood to listen. As we were talking to him, he received a phone call from his uncle based in Mumbai. That uncle was a Sai devotee. We do not know what his uncle told him, but he agreed to deliver what we asked for immediately, and also send with us three workers next morning.

'We will have to get back on the third day', the workers told us, and 'we have prior commitment here'.

They lifted into the van 20 bundles of wall paper each containing five rolls of the same colour and design. We began our return journey happily.

On the way, I found the workers talking in Telugu. 'You know Telugu?' I asked them.

'I come from Tirupati', one of them said, 'I talk Telugu and Tamil. In most of the houses where we work, people speak Telugu. So, all of us have working knowledge of Telugu. He is a Maharashtrian. He speaks Marathi'.

'Baba speaks with only big shots', one of the workers commented during the journey, 'He won't talk to poor fellows like us'. I wanted to refute, but kept quiet, as it was useless to argue with them.

After we reached Prasanthi Nilayam, we wanted to take Swami's instructions and start the work in right earnest. As we were waiting, Swami came along to inspect the progress of work on Sthupam. He came to us and saw the wall paper designs which we kept ready for Swami's inspection and selection.

'This design can go to room one, and this for room two', Swami said as He went on looking at the paper rolls we brought, 'this is for bathrooms and this is for ceiling. This, of course, is good but not adequate. It is not available in Bangalore and has to be brought from Madras'.

Then He turned to the workers. He talked to the Tirupati man in Tamil and to the second one in Telugu. To the third one who was a Maharashtrian, He talked in Marathi.

'All of you have your food first', Swami told them, 'and take rest. You can start work later'.

The workers were amazed. 'How does Swami know which language we speak?' they wondered, 'and He talked to us, though we are poor and illiterate lot'.

My problem was different. Swami said that the fourth design was good but the stock was not adequate. How could it be? We brought all four designs in equal quantity as per the indent placed by the mandir. I got the bundle opened. Four rolls from that bundle were of the same design and colour, but the fifth one was of the same design but of a different colour. How could they use material of two different colours? I was amazed. How could Swami detect the discrepancy? He did not open the paper roll.

After Swami left, we went for food to the canteen and were returning after taking food.

'We are workers', our workers began, 'we work for 24 hours and finish the job at the earliest. But we can't work eating this (vegetarian) food. If you give us money for food, we go out and eat (non-vegetarian)'.

I did not know what to say. When we started work, Swami came there.

'How is the food?' Swami asked the workers.

'It is good, Swami' they said.

'You are workers', Swami told them, and 'you can't work well taking this food. I will tell Kutumba Rao to give you money. You go out and eat whatever you want.'

The workers were stunned. There was no chance of anyone conveying to Swami what they were telling me a few minutes earlier. How did Swami know what they wanted? They repented.

'No, Swami!' they said, 'the food is good. We eat here only'.

'You need not feel any delicacy', Swami said, 'after all, work is important. Other things are secondary. You take money, go out and eat whatever you want'.

'No, Swami!' the workers were emphatic; 'we eat here in the canteen only'.

'Well, as you like', Swami said and asked Sri Kutumba Rao to give the workers whatever item of food they wanted without restrictions on quantity. 'Sweets, chapatti, rice, curries, curd - anything, give them in unlimited quantity', Swami ordered. Workers never expected Swami to take so much care of them. This type of affectionate treatment was new to them. They were so flabbergast that they themselves decided to stay on till the work was completed. They sent a message to their office in Bangalore and convinced the dealer on the need to complete the work at Prasanthi Nilayam on priority. They also told him to get one more roll of matching colour and design from Madras to replace the one found to be of different colour. They worked night and day with zeal and enthusiasm, convinced that they were doing God's work.

When the workers went in the evening for Darshan, they saw a big shot in whose house they had done wall paper work in Bangalore sometime back. That big shot was standing on his knees before Swami with folded hands, and representing something. They were stunned. If such a big shot was behaving like a servant before Swami, 'then Swami is not an ordinary person' - they reasoned.

One day, we saw new clothes being distributed to the workers, working on the Sthupam.

'Will Swami give us also new clothes?' my workers asked me.

'Well, I don't know', I replied, 'you are also doing work here like them. So you also are likely to get new clothes'.

Within half-an-hour or so, Swami came there.

'You wear trousers and shirts', Swami told our workers, 'others here wear dhotis. We gave them dhotis. I am getting pant and shirt cloth for you separately'.

Swami gave them new clothes - pant and shirt cloth before they left for Bangalore. They completed the work in five days and left happily. They were completely transformed by the liberal taste of the Divinity of Bhagavan.

As we were working here in the rooms to paste wall paper, another team was working on the construction of Sthupam on the site just opposite to the auditorium. Brigadier Bose was in charge of it. One day they all left in the evening after completion of their day's work. That night there was a heavy downpour. They did not cover their work with tarpaulin before leaving as they did not except it to rain that day. Bose saw the cloudy sky and realized his lapse. He began praying to Swami frantically all night to save the work done from the rain.

Next morning, Bose went for Darshan of Swami before he proceeded to the Sthupam to check the damage caused by the heavy rain.

'You did not get the work covered with tarpaulins before you left', Swami told Bose, 'you were just praying to me the whole night. Go and see what happened'.

Bose rushed to the spot. He was afraid that all would have been washed away. But when he went there, there was no damage at all by the rain! He was amazed. Next evening he got the whole thing carefully covered with tarpaulins. That night also, there was rain. Bose felt comfortable that he had taken all precautions against damage by rain.

Next morning, he went for Darshan with a confident look before he went to the Sthupam.

'There was rain last night', Swami was saying to Bose.

'Yes Swami!' Bose replied, 'we got the whole thing covered carefully with tarpaulins'.

'Is it so?' Swami remarked, 'go and see what happened'.

Bose came to the Sthupam. He got the tarpaulins removed. All the work done the previous day was washed off by rain even though it was securely covered by tarpaulins. Bose went to Swami distraught.

'You took the precautions all right', Swami told him, 'but you forgot to pray last night. Man has to do his duty, and also pray to the Lord for fruition of his work. This is a lesson for you'. It is, indeed, a lesson for all. I was a witness to this miracle.

I did not return to Bangalore, but continued in seva because of the 50th Birthday celebrations. Prof. Ramakrishna was doing the installation and operation of P.A. System in mandir as well as in the Purnachandra Auditorium at that time. He used to take me with him to familiarize with the equipment. The equipment was arranged in such a way that anyone sitting anywhere in the premises of Prasanthi Nilayam can listen well to the proceedings in the Purnachandra Auditorium. Then there was a suggestion that the system should be extended up to the Eswaramma High School where the car parking was then located. It would help drivers, sevadal and others to listen to the proceedings. That work was entrusted to me.

In those days, all the area of about half kilometer from the mandir to the Eswaramma High School was only groundnut fields. With the help of sevadal, we got the pits dug and poles fixed enroute. We took the connection from the speaker located near the old hospital (now Sai Srinivas Guest House) and amplified the sound for release through the loud speakers. The snag in this method was that the noise in the amplifier would also get amplified along with the proceedings affecting the performance of the system.

Mysteriously, the noise was totally absent and people could hear clearly and loudly - better than those in the auditorium. No engineer could explain how this occurred. There was no way - particularly, with the equipment available then, to filter the noise and disturbance, and release only the proceedings. It happened, and it was nothing but a Sai miracle, indeed! Another significant thing was that the whole work of fixing poles, drawing the wire, installing loud speakers, connecting to the system and testing - all was done in an incredible time lag of just three hours; again, a Sai miracle.

After the Birthday was over, all sevadal were to be assembled to take prasadam from Bhagavan and also have padanamaskar. I was told that it would take place the next day. That evening, I went to see off some friends. At the bus stand, I suddenly felt an urge to leave for Bangalore. Immediately I packed my baggage and left for Bangalore in a huff. Next day, when Swami was giving prasadam to sevadal, He enquired, 'where is Prasad?'

'He said he would stay on, Swami!' some one replied, 'but he was not seen today'.

'On seeing some people board the bus, he too, might have felt like going', Swami remarked; I was told by my colleagues about this later.

I came for seva again for Vaikuntha Ekadasi to Prasanthi Nilayam. I was given canteen duty. One day Mr. B.V. Ramana Rao came to us and asked 'is there any one in Hyderabad sevadal acquainted with the P.A. System?' As I was from Bangalore and not from Hyderabad, I did not get up and answer. He went back to Swami and said that there was none who could do the work of the P.A. System.

'What did you ask them?' Swami enquired.

Mr. Rao repeated what he had told us.

'You said sevadal from Hyderabad', Swami told him, 'go back and ask, 'is there any one who can operate the PA system?'

Mr. Rao came back and asked us as Swami had told him. I got up and said, 'I can operate'.

'Why did you keep quiet when I had asked earlier?' Mr. Rao questioned.

'Because you said, sevadal from Hyderabad', I replied, 'I am from Bangalore'.

I was asked to install the PA system and operate it.

As Prof. Ramakrishna showed me earlier the place where the equipment was kept, I took out the equipment. In those days, they used to keep it in the Purnachandra Auditorium. Swami used to come to the auditorium and get into His car there whenever He went out. He used to alight in the auditorium and return to the mandir. This was the practice in those days. While walking from his car to the mandir, Swami saw me.

'What Prasad!' He accosted, 'you left without talking prasadam?'

I was stunned. He enquired as if it had happened only the other day, though several months had passed by.

I kept mum.

Swami took out apples from His car and gave me.

'Have this prasadam and take padanamaskar', He said. I was overwhelmed with joy on experiencing His abundant love and compassion. Far from chiding me for going away without taking prasadam, Swami gave it to me now Himself, giving padanamaskar also.

In those days we used to stay under the trees near the present VIP guest house on the hill. We used to finish our daily ablutions in the Chitravathi. No rooms. Prof. A.V. Krishna Murthy, a colleague of mine in the Institute, also stayed along with me under the trees. Nobody minded it. On the other hand, we used to enjoy it and feel a rejuvenating thrill in our seva life.

After having the taste of the Divinity of Bhagavan, I yearned to be near Him. I began toying with the idea of leaving the Institute and shifting to Prasanthi Nilayam.

One day Bhagavan asked me, 'do you come to Prasanthi Nilayam?'

I readily agreed. I went to my Institute with a letter of resignation. At that time, I was the convener of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithi, Bangalore, while Prof. A.V. Krishna Murthy, my colleague, was the Karnataka State Convener. Prof. Ramakrishna was taken as the Principal of Swami's Degree College at Prasanthi Nilayam. It was then affiliated to Sri Venkateswara University.

My office people tried to reason with me. 'Why do you want to resign?' they asked, 'have you an alternate job? Do you have an appointment order?'

I did not have any. They concluded that it was foolish on my part to leave an All India Institute, seeking placement in a degree college.

One day Swami asked me, 'have you asked your wife? You can't work at Puttaparthi if she does not cooperate whole-heartedly'.

I broached the subject with my wife. She smiled and kept mum.

Next day Swami asked me again, 'have you asked your wife?'

'Yes Swami!' I replied.

'What did she say?' Swami asked and added, 'she would smile and keep mum'.

I nodded.

'Ok! It is all right now', Swami said.

One day I asked one of my colleagues to come to Brindavan, Whitefields and have Darshan of Bhagavan.

'I will come on Sunday', he told me. I went to Brindavan on Thursday for Darshan. Swami came to me. 'What Prasad? What news?' He asked. I was silent. 'Why did you ask your colleague to come here?' Swami asked, 'to convert the non-believers is not your work. It is mine. You mind your business. Anyway, your friend will not come'.

I went to my friend on Friday and told him, 'you come to my house (on Sunday) on your scooter and keep it here, and we will both go on my scooter'.

He agreed. I went to him on Saturday also and repeated it. He promised to come.

But he did not turn up on Sunday. I went to his house. It was locked. I came to know that he had left with his family to see his brother who was ill. He was out of station.

One day I was on seva duty at Brindavan. Swami came to me. 'What Prasad? What news?' He asked me. That is how He always addresses me.

I was silent.

'What do you tell people?' Swami asked, 'you tell others that work is worship. But you came here today without even applying for leave in your office. What do they say? They will say, 'this is how Sai Baba's folk behave; no discipline'. I get the bad name, not you. Go back to your work'.

I left Brindavan and returned to my office.

On another occasion, I was given seva at Brindavan. Swami was going to Puttaparthi where I was to look after the P.A. System. What to do? I was in a dilemma. I gave two leave letters to my office Superintendent. 'Keep these', I told him, 'if I return in three days, use the first. But if I am delayed for more than three days, use the second one that seeks ten days leave'.

At Prasanthi Nilayam, Swami saw me and said: 'What Prasad? What news?'

I kept silent.

'You are undecided', Swami told me, 'why did you give two leave letters? Be here and attend to the P.A. System. Ask for ten days leave'.

I did accordingly. How did Swami know about my leave letters? I stopped wondering about such things long back.

When I was the convener of Bangalore sevadal, Mrs. Bhagavantam came for Darshan one day. At that time her husband Prof. S. Bhagavantam and both her sons were abroad.

Swami came to her during Darshan.

'Swami! Be with my husband and sons always', she prayed to Swami.

'I will do so', Swami assured her.

Swami instructed the sevadal not to allow Mrs. Bhagavantam into the Ashram from the next day onwards.

She tried for five days to come in. The sevadal did not allow her. She had wanted Swami to be with her husband and sons. 'As far as she was concerned, Swami was to be deemed to be abroad with her husband and her sons, and not at Brindavan. Why did she come to Brindavan then?' May be, Swami's line of reasoning could be so.

After a week, Swami went back to Prasanthi Nilayam. As Swami was not there, Mrs. Bhagavantam boarded a train to Madras to be with her people there. But she died in the train. Her body was brought back to Bangalore. Her grandson and I went to Prasanthi Nilayam to inform Swami. Swami arranged for giving a new silk sari, kumkum, haldi, etc to us for use during the last rites. Swami promised to go over to Bangalore that very night. Swami came to Bangalore that night by 8:30 p.m. He consoled the family members and cajoled them to partake food. He personally served them food. Swami then instructed the third son of Prof. Bhagavantam to go to the airport at Mumbai to receive Prof Bhagavantam and his two sons. In fact, Prof. Bhagavantam was not due to return to India that day. However, his programme was advanced unexpectedly by a day. No one in India knew about it. But Swami, being omniscient, instructed thus. They were not to be informed of the bad news, but to be brought to Bangalore. Otherwise, they would go to Hyderabad - all this, Swami briefed the third son of Prof. Bhagavantam.

When Prof. Bhagavantam came the next morning, he did not find anything amiss at his house. The crowd, he thought, was there because Swami was there. Swami broke the news gently to him. After the cremation, Swami personally served food to all the family members. As the then convener of Bangalore sevadal, I was physically present there and was a witness to the love and compassion Swami had showered on that family on that occasion.

After formally offering to resign my job in the Institute of Sciences, Bangalroe, I went to Brindavan for Darshan. Swami called me in. There were a number of big wigs present.

'Do you know him?' Swami asked them pointing to me.

'We know Prasad, Swami' they answered.

'He is in the Indian Institute of Sciences in a very good position. I only asked him if he would come here. Pat he goes and resigns his job. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Isn't it?' Swami asked.

'Yes Swami!' they all chorused.

Swami put His hand on one side of His head and gesticulated to them as if to tell them that I had no brains. Like this He did daily for five days.

On the sixth day, Swami told me 'September 18 is Thursday, Dasami. It is good. You go and join that day' I was happy. Before that date Swami returned to Prasanthi Nilayam. I, too, shifted there. On the morning of September 18, I sat for Darshan at Prasanthi Nilayam. Swami, it appears, told the Principal earlier, 'before starting bhajan, introduce Prasad and then start bhajan'. The Principal mentioned it to me.

That day Swami did not come up to 8:50 a.m.

'Let us go', the Principal told me, 'it is getting late. The assembly was to begin at 8:55 a.m.

'How can I come without Darshan?' I pleaded, 'you proceed, and I will join'.

'Swami told me to introduce you and then start bhajan. Swami will be annoyed if what He said was not done'.

'I will have Darshan and come', I replied firmly.

They all left.

Just then, Swami came out. He came to me and said, 'you are still here? Go, go! Take padanamaskar and go!' He blessed me.

I took padanamaskar. But how to go while Swami was there standing in the path?

Swami went a few paces and then turned back. He saw me and said, 'still there? Run, I say!'

I ran and met the Principal and others at the Ganesh gate.

'Swami might have come late only to test you', the Principal told me, 'now let us go'.

That is how I entered the service of Bhagavan.

When I was the convener of Bangalore sevadal, I used to walk behind Swami during Darshan, sometimes.

One day Swami was chiding someone and telling him to behave. When Swami speaks to someone, others cannot follow even though they are near. Suddenly, Swami turned to me and asked, 'did you hear what I was telling him'.

'Yes, Swami', I admitted.

'Then it will apply equally to you', Swami said and moved on.

On the day of Akhanda-bhajan in the year 2000, my father-in-law, Mr. Brahmanandam was with me at Prasanthi Nilayam. At 8 p.m., we had to switch off the PA system. I switched it off and returned home for taking food. I brought the cassette of bhajans with me. My father-in-law did not attend bhajan and stayed at home. I placed the cassette in a tape recorder and pressed the play button and went to take food. He was listening to the bhajans.

After some time one of our lady-relations who came for the Akhanda-bhajan went into the room to talk to my father-in-law. He did not respond when she called him. She came out and told us. We went and noticed that he had passed away. He was cremated on the banks of the Chitravathi. The day on which the final ceremony was to be held fell on November 21. I had to attend to the P.A. System for Swami's Discourses to be held right from the 18th to the 23rd November. When I consulted Swami earlier on this topic of final rites, He agreed with me that Narayanaseva could be done and that it would suffice. When my people wanted that final rites be done according to local custom, 'you all attend to it', I told my people, and 'I can't come because I have work'. They felt unhappy and were annoyed.

There were discussions in our house on this issue. As a compromise, I suggested doing Narayanaseva on November 21 as I would be free that day, and it also happened to be the day of the last rites. But my relatives were not happy. Swami, in spite of His busy schedule of the Birthday celebrations, sent word to me: 'According to the family tradition of Prasad, the final rites fall only on November 21. Let him do Narayanaseva on that day and not earlier'.

All my relatives were amazed. How does Swami know what we were discussing?' How could He find time to advise Prasad suitably on this occasion? At Bhagavan's level, how would this small matter concern Him?

Then another problem arose. Swami announced that free food would be given to all from the 18th onwards. When Swami was giving food who would attend Narayanaseva arranged by us? So I said, 'there is no need now to do anything. Swami is doing it'. This annoyed and pained all my relatives who did not agree with me.

One day, during this period, after Darshan, Swami came into the room where I was alone operating the equipment. 'What Prasad? What news?' He asked. I kept silent. 'Look' He told me, 'there is no male issue to your father-in-law. If you do not do anything by way of final rites to him, all your people will be pained. So you perform Narayanaseva on November 21'. When I told our people what Swami had told me, they were stunned: 'How meticulously He cares for His devotees and guides them and protects them?' All of them became His devotees at once.

We arranged Narayanaseva on November 21. Owing to the grace of Bhagavan, all our relatives came forward to help us in preparation and service of food. We prepared food for 30 or 40 persons. Finally, on November 21 as many as 70 persons came and par-took food owing to His grace. And the preparations were adequate for all, and much more was left.

As part of Bhagavan's 60th Birthday celebration, it was proposed to establish Space Theatre. Some overseas devotees were proposing to donate it for the last few years.

'Why not spend that money on helping disabled?' Swami would say.

Next year they would approach Swami again, 'we organized help for the disabled as instructed by Swami. We will take up the Space Theatre this year'.

Swami would suggest some other area like the mentally retarded for spending that money more usefully. They would come back saying, 'we did it, Swami! Now we take up Space Theatre'. Like this it went on for four years.

Finally, for the 60th Birthday celebration, they prevailed upon Bhagavan to accept the proposal of Space Theatre.

'We don't need a theatre of 650 seating capacity' Swami told them, as they offered to install a Space Theatre of 650 seating capacity, 'we don't use it commercially. So let us go in for a smaller one of 200 seating capacity'.

In the month of July, Swami wanted me to go for training as the Director of the Space Theatre to be established at Puttaparthi in connection with Swami's 60th Birthday celebration. I had to go to Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, USA

'Do you have the passport?' Swami asked me during Darshan time.

'No, Swami!'

'You have to leave in a week, better apply immediately', Swami counseled.

After Swami left, one devotee from Hyderabad sevadal came to me.

'What is it that Swami was telling you?' he asked. I told him.

'Don't worry. I know Mr. Rommel, the Passport Officer at Hyderabad. He is a Sai devotee coming here regularly for seva' he told me, 'I will get the passport application forms from Hyderabad by tomorrow. You fill them in and give me'.

He got the forms the next day. They were sent through the bus driver from Hyderabad and picked up at the bus stand here. When this devotee went back to Hyderabad with my forms, he learnt that Mr. Rommel was transferred. However, by the Sankalpa of Swami, Mr Rommel came to Hyderabad for attending a wedding and came to his former office casually. Just at that time the devotee who took my forms ran into him. My case was explained to Mr. Rommel. He quietly took the forms and told this devotee: 'Be seated here till I return'. Then he went into the office. No knowing what he did there. But after a couple of hours, he emerged with my passport!

When the passport came, the problem of visa remained. A devotee from Chennai took me to Chennai. He gave me a car and said, 'go and visit Sundaram (Bhagavan's ashram at Chennai) first. Then go and see the US consulate also where you have to appear for an interview tomorrow, and come back for lunch'. I did accordingly.

Next day, I appeared for the interview for visa in the US consulate. There were many that came for the same purpose. Interviews began. Some were being grilled for 5 minutes and some for seven minutes. I was called. They asked me only two or three casual questions. One of them was: 'Are you to go only once for this purpose or are you likely to go again?' 'May be again also', I replied. I was out in less than a couple of minutes. All of them thought that I would not get the visa because I came out early. In the evening, they called me first and gave the visa. I applied for only three months visa, but they issued the visa for five years! Yet another Sai miracle, indeed!

Thus Swami sent me abroad. When I went to the SPLITZ Space System, the first thing I saw there was the large sized (20'X20') photo display of the proposed dome of the Space Theatre, Prasanthi Nilayam. Underneath it was written: 'The Geodesic Dome of Space Theatre, Prasanthi Nilayam - the first of its kind in the world'. I felt immensely happy on seeing that. I thought 'whatever Bhagavan does will naturally be unique'.

I could complete my training just in three weeks against the three months term given, and returned to India. People, who go abroad - particularly to the USA, bring several goods like electronic gadgets with them - some for their use and some as gifts to others. I did not bring any. At Bangalore airport, I bought Éclair chocolates for children.

'What did you bring for your children? Swami asked me on return.

'Nothing, Swami!'

'Don't tell me' Swami remarked, 'I know what you brought'

'Nothing, indeed, Swami!'

'Haven't you brought Éclair chocolates, you fellow?' - Swami had a hearty laugh.

On return from training in the USA, I was kept in-charge of the Space Theatre as its Director.

One day prior to the date of inauguration, in November 1985, Swami came for inspection. Scaffolds were still there. He had to wade through knee-deep water to reach the entrance of the Theatre. There was not even a single seat to sit! Everyone was apprehensive about how this would be ready in the next 24 hours!

'When is the inauguration?' Swami asked.

'Tomorrow, Swami' answered Mr. Indulal Shah who was coordinating the work.

Swami simply heard and left. And, next day it was inaugurated! I do not know how the Theatre was got ready; how the seats were fixed; how the equipment was put on trial run; how all other miscellaneous works were completed in less than 24 hours. It was, indeed, a Sai miracle of the highest order. After the inauguration, Swami asked, 'how could it be completed?' Mr. Shah said, 'Your grace, Swami!'

'No!' Swami said, 'not grace, but Sankalpa'.

One day we received an invitation for some function.

'No question of my going there for that function', I declared, 'I have work here'.

'I will go', my wife said, 'you ask Swami for permission.'

I did not agree. 'I don't ask Swami anything', I said. But on her insistence I relented.

'My wife wants to go to her place for a function tomorrow, Swami' I told Bhagavan.

'Only if the bus goes', Swami remarked, 'let her go after a couple of days'.

When Swami says something, we have just to comply.

'Why won't buses go?' my wife asked, 'there is no bundh'.

She went to the bus stand on the day on which she originally planned to leave. The bus was there. She came home in a recalcitrant mood:

'You told me 'Swami said only if the bus goes', she accosted me, 'the bus is there in the bus stand'.

'Why did you go to the bus stand?' I asked, 'you should not have doubted Bhagavan's words'.

That night the bus by which my wife had wanted to travel left Puttaparthi as per schedule. But it did not go to its destination as Swami foretold. It was attacked by dacoits near Nandyal. Some passengers were hit, and all of them were relieved of their purses and jewellery. We learnt about this the next day through the media. Bhagavan saved her thus.

Once I attended a meeting addressed by Late Kutumba Rao, then Member-Secretary of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. In the course of his speech, he mentioned many miracles he had witnessed. Once a leading industrialist came to Prasanthi Nilayam, 'I want to be seated in the verandah and talk to Swami', he told Mr. Kutumba Rao. Mr. Rao mentioned it to Swami. Swami was silent. So the industrialist could not be taken to the verandah. Again he asked Mr. Kutumba Rao to seek Swami's permission for the verandah seat. Mr. Rao mentioned it to Swami who was silent again. When Mr. Rao expressed his inability to make him sit on the verandah, the industrialist flew into a rage. He took out a cheque for Rs. One crore drawn in favour of Bhagavan, showed it to Mr. Rao and tore it off. Then he left Prasanthi Nilayam and went away.

Next morning, Swami paused before Mr. Rao during darshan. 'You seem to be regretting the loss of a huge amount? I know that he came to give a big sum as donation'. Later Mr. Rao explained to Swami what had happened in His room. 'It was a donation with strings. He wanted something to be done for him by me. I don't like it. I do not accept anything with strings' Swami commented.

Then Swami went up to His chambers on the first floor in the mandir (He was living there at that time) followed by Mr. Kutumba Rao, pushed the foot-rest before His chair with His foot when several bundles of currency notes appeared under it.

'Take them', Swami told Mr. Rao, 'take them all'.

'No, Swami!' Mr. Rao replied with folded hands, 'I don't need that. I know money will come on its own for all Swami's programmes, which depend on nobody's donations except His will'. Swami smiled and waved His hand when the notes disappeared.

One day, Mr. Rao went to see Swami. On seeing him, Swami materialized a parrot and kept it on His hand. Showing it to Mr. Rao, Swami asked him to take it.

'I don't want it, Swami!' Mr. Rao declined to accept it.

'Just touch it', Swami coaxed Mr. Rao 'and hold it'.

Mr. Rao tried to hold it. 'It is a solid toy parrot, hard as a rock to touch, Swami!' Mr. Rao exclaimed.

'Are you sure?' Swami asked Mr. Rao who asserted.

Swami smiled and touched it with His other hand. At once, it began to move a little on Swami's hand and flutter its wings. The rocky toy became a live parrot. After a few minutes, Swami made it disappear.

My eldest son, Mr. Narayana Murthy went to the USA in 1997 on some project work. There he met with an accident and was admitted in a hospital. People began pressing me to go and tell Swami.

'Swami knows everything; there is no need to tell Bhagavan'.

My people were saddened and called me adamant and what not.

My son Ramakrishna works in the Central Trust. My wife might have prevailed upon him to broach it with Bhagavan. When he did so, Swami said, 'I know. I will take care of him. Don't worry. Send this prasadam to your brother'. Swami gave my son vibhuti.

My son brought vibhuti prasadam. I gave the packet to the driver of Puttaparthi - Bangalore bus and phoned up the father-in-law of my elder son, based at Bangalore to collect the packet and send it to the USA. He was busy with some work, and sent some person to the bus.

'Has Prasad come?' he asked the driver.

'No', the driver replied. I was informed on phone that the packet did not reach.

'The bus will return from Brindavan', I told him on phone, 'go and ask for vibhuti packet. If you ask for Prasad, he thinks you are asking for me and not for prasadam and would say, no'.

This time the father-in-law of my son went personally to the bus stand and collected the packet.

A little earlier, a colleague of my son, who was going to the USA, came to the house of the father-in-law of my son. 'If you want to send anything to Mr. Murthy, I will be glad to take it', he said. 'We have to send vibhuti prasadam', he was told, 'but it is yet to be received'. My son's father-in-law rushed to the airport and handed over the packet of vibhuti to him. My daughter-in-law took it to the hospital. For the last three days no one was allowed into the room in which my son lay unconscious, not even his wife. The doctors' attempts to infuse movement in him failed.

'If you want you may go in, see him and come back', the doctors told my daughter-in-law. It was the first time she was allowed to see her husband after the accident. It was also the day on which the vibhuti prasadam arrived. The doctors, who, perhaps, lost all hopes, might have decided to allow her see her husband once.

She went in and put some vibhuti in the mouth of my son, and sprinkled the remaining vibhuti on the body and came out.

'You can come once at 10 a.m. tomorrow also and visit him', the doctors told my daughter-in-law when she came out.

She went the next day to the hospital at 10 a.m.

'What did you do in the room yesterday?' the doctors asked her.

She was perplexed. 'Was something wrong?' she felt.

'Why?' She asked 'what's the matter? I haven't done anything'.

'Your husband regained consciousness miraculously', they said. 'He was talking something which we could not understand. We recorded it. Hear it and let us know what he wants'. They played the tape. My daughter-in-law heard the tape.

'He is singing the glory of the Lord', she explained to the doctors; for it is Sai bhajan my son was reciting.

The doctors told her, 'we do not know what you did but he had a miraculous recovery. It is amazing'.

'When we asked him, where he was', the doctors told her, 'he told us 'Puttaparthi'. We could not follow what it is'.

'Puttaparthi is the place where Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba resides' she explained to them, 'my husband might have felt the Divine presence of Baba, and said so'.

After his discharge from the hospital in the USA, my son came to India and came to Prasanthi Nilayam. He went for Darshan on a wheel chair. Swami went along Darshan lines but did not seem to have noticed my son.

'What Prasad? What news?' He asked me as He came into the room after Darshan.

I kept silent.

'Your son is there on a wheel chair. He is all right', He told me and smiled. It was an enchanting smile of Divine assurance.'

-- Dr. K.B.R. Prasad.

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Pra