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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group IV | Dr. Krishnan Bala

Dr. Krishnan Bala,
8738, East Whispering Wind Drive,
Swttsdale, Arizona - 85255,


Dr. Krishnan Bala (57), a leading dental Surgeon, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'During 1955-56, one of our neighbours told me about Shirdi Sai Baba. He was an aged person whom we used to call Sai Ram Tata (Tata means grandfather). He made us sing some bhajans and do nagarsankirthan also.

At that time, we were residing in R.S. Puram. There is also a temple of Shirdi Sai Baba in Sai Baba colony. At first that area was full of shrubs and snake pits. The local devotees wanted to build a temple for Shirdi Sai. Some of them went to Prasanthi Nilayam and placed the proposal before Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

'Good, go ahead', Bhagavan told them, and 'I will come for opening'. The temple was constructed and a beautiful marble statue of Shirdi Sai was installed. On the day of opening, bhajan was going on and everybody was waiting for Bhagavan. Then a snake suddenly appeared at the feet of the idol and stood there with its hood raised. Photographs were taken. It remained like that till the bhajan concluded with harati. Later, some devotees went to Prasanthi Nilayam to inform Bhagavan about the opening of the mandir.

'I know. I was there', Bhagavan told them, and 'you have taken photographs also'.

IN 1961-62, we shifted to Bangalore. My father, Mr. Rama Murthy was working as an Engineer in the Telephones Department. One day he told us that he went to Brindavan in connection with the installation of a telephone. 'Swami gave me darshan also', he told us. On a Sunday, we all went to Brindavan. But by that time darshan was over. The gate was closed. We did not know what to do. Just then, a sevadal came and said, 'Swami says that a telephones engineer would have come by now. He is waiting for them'. He then led us in. Swami received us in a small room in Trayi. He materialized a photograph of Himself which is one inch square and gave it to our father. 'Keep this always in your pocket', Swami told him. Swami materialised vibhhuti and gave to all of us.

My mother's mother was very much anxious about the marriage of her daughter, that is, my mother's sister. She wanted my mother to ask Swami about it. But even before my mother broached the subject, Swami told her, 'you sister will be married to a good doctor. Don't worry'.

I passed B.D.S. and had a brief stint at Vellore before I went for post-graduation. In those days our stipend was too low, and I wanted to earn an extra chip by doing work in the evenings. I was advised by one of my friends to join Dr. D.S Chander, a leading dentist. When I went there the first thing I saw was the picture of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai at the very entrance. Though I was away from Bhagavan quite for sometime, He didn't leave me.

I applied for a job in the Army in 1970-71 and got it. Dr. Chander suggested that I go to Prasanthi Nilayam and receive blessings of Bhagavan before I joined the Army. He was kind enough to give me some money to defray the expenses.

'Mention my name. They will give you a room taking 50 paise per day. If you give 20 paise, they give hot water to bath', Dr. Chander told me. I came to Prasanthi Nilayam, my first visit there. I sat in the verandah. Swami used to come out and give darshan. Early in the morning, Swami used to stand in the balcony and bless those who were leaving. Though I stayed for seven days, I did not get any prasad. I had darshan of Bhagavan and sat in the bus. One student of Brindavan campus sat by my side. He took out a packet of vibhuti and gave me. He told me, 'Swami wanted this to be given to you. He told me there is a doctor from Bangalore going to join the Army. Give this to him'. I was overwhelmed with joy.

I joined the Army. I was posted in Kashmir in the forward areas. After six months, I received information that I had to attend viva voce to defend my thesis. They granted me leave for 20 days. I came to Jammu and caught a train to Delhi and from there to the South. I got down at Nagpur where my parents were residing at that time. Later, when I reported for viva voce, the principal told me that the test was postponed and regretted the inconvenience caused. I returned to my post in Kashmir. But when I returned, I came to know of a great tragedy that had occurred.

Daily all officers meet at 10 a.m. for tea. After I left, one Jawan brought a grenade and gave it to the Major, I was told later. 'This was one of those thrown at us by the enemy. This, of course, has been defused. It won't explode.' So saying, the Major kept it on the table for perusal by the officers present. No sooner had he placed it on the table; it exploded injuring seriously all eight officers present around the table. The Commanding Brigadier was held up to answer a phone call. He was safe. A doctor was held up in the clinic. He was safe. I would have been there and overseen the arrangements, had I been there at that time. I went out of station. So, I was saved. I thanked Swami for taking me out of the place on the ruse of viva voce.

In 1976, I was released from the Army, and I set up practice at Coimbattore. My uncle and aunt (my mother's sister about whose marriage Swami had predicted would take place with a good doctor) were in the USA. They were asking me to go over to the USA. I was hesitant. At that time, Dr. Chander offered his daughter, Ms. Annapurna to me in marriage. I was too glad to marry her coming from such a noble family. Invitations were taken to Swami by Dr. Chander. Swami asked, 'where is the bridegroom?' Dr. Chander replied, 'he is at Coimbattore, Swami'. 'He will come tomorrow', Swami said, 'let him come'.

I started on my journey from Coimbattore to Bangalore, but did not inform them. I wanted to give them a surprise. When I went home, they were expecting me as Swami had told them already. We all went to Brindavan for darshan of Bhagavan. There was heavy rain at Bangalore that day. The ground was wet and muddy. We were at the tree in the premises of Ashram near the gate. Swami came there. I made sashtanga-namaskar by falling flat on the ground soiling my new clothes. Swami lifted me up saying 'what have you done, Bangaru?' After that He asked us to wait there till the bhajan was over. After bhajan, He took us inside for interview in the small room in Trayi. 'When are you going to America?' Swami asked me. 'I have no plans, yet, Swami', I replied. 'Go there', Swami told me, 'I will be with you'. Swami then materialized mangala-sutra and gave it to my mother-in-law, Mrs. Chander. He gave a new sari to the bride. He autographed the wedding card and returned it.

In 1977, I went to the USA. I was in Houston, Texas for a couple of years and then moved to Phoenix in Arizona. There is a Sai Centre there. We used to go there and attend bhajans. Later, we started a bhajan centre in our house. We used to come to Prasanthi Nilayam regularly once in two years during those days.

In 1994, I wanted to build a house in the USA. Swami blessed the plans for my new house, when I brought them to Prasanthi Nilayam. 'Build your house and locate the centre there. I will be with you', Swami told me, while blessing the plans. Our new house was ready. There is a hall for bhajans in it as well as accommodation for Balvikas and other activities. We conducted housewarming ceremony on May 5, 1995. When we were doing bhajan, vibhuti emanated from Swami's photograph. We were all excited and felt grateful to Bhagavan for showing us a sign of His graceful presence. Our eyes were full of tears of joy. That was, of course, only a beginning of what was to follow in a series.

In our pooja room, there are large photographs of Bhagavan, one in white dress and another in ochre robe, and the third is that of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba showing abhayahastha. We keep a chair for Bhagavan on which we keep the robe of Bhagavan gifted us by Bhagavan Himself earlier. Bhagavan gave us padukas after putting His Lotus Feet in them. We keep the padukas also in pooja. There are pictures of a number of deities such as Saraswati, Mahalakshmi and others. After the housewarming ceremony, vibhuti started emanating from the pictures beginning from the left running to the right, almost every alternate day, from one of the pictures. Like that vibhuti came from all pictures in due course except from that of Shirdi Sai.

According to the instructions of Bhagavan given us at Prasanthi Nilayam while blessing the plans of our house, we started Sri Sathya Sai centre in our house. Activities such as Balvikas, bhajans, study circle, library of books on Sai and the like are part of the activities run from our house. We use the backside quarter for our residential purpose.

Every Sunday, we organize narayana-seva to the homeless poor. We take food and serve them. On one Sunday I went with a few others for narayana-seva to the homeless when my wife contacted me on the cell phone around 6:30 a.m.

'Vibhuti is emanating from the hand of Shirdi Sai Baba', she told me in excited tone. I was happy because I had been initiated as the devotee of Shirdi Baba first, and brought into the fold of Bhagavan later.

After a few days my wife had a dream. Bhagavan appeared in the dream and asked, 'why are you keeping my room untidy?' We did not clean the vibhuti emanating from the photographs. We kept one room exclusively for Bhagavan fully furnished. When I returned home, my wife and my mother-in-law were cleaning the whole house.

'What's up here?' I asked impatiently because they were cleaning up vibhuti on the photographs as well. She told me about her dream.

My mother-in-law, Mrs. Chander visited us in 1996. Those were the days of Sivarathri. She prepared avalaki - a sort of preparation with beaten rice and kept it before the photograph of Bhagavan in white dress. Later, we went out. On return, we alighted the car in the garage and were entering the house from the garage. My wife and my mother-in-law cried excitedly, 'Swami has come. We feel His fine fragrance!' When I was going into my room, I heard my wife scream loudly calling me to come immediately. I ran to the pooja where they had been on return. I was amazed. There was a mount of vibhuti on the vessel kept before Bhagavan's photograph with the offering of avalaki. We were overwhelmed with joy, and gave harati. Afterwards, we carefully collected the vibhuti and then partook of the prasad. The vibhuti was very fresh; we could feel its freshness by its very touch.

On June 25 2005, we organised a medical camp for the homeless poor in Phoenix. Next day we conducted bhajan. Then Aum in Devanagari formed on the robe of Bhagavan spread on His chair. Perhaps it is an indication that He was pleased with our conducting the medical camp for the homeless poor.

Once we were showing a video film on Bhagavan to the homeless poor when one of them by name, Mr. Larry asked me, showing the picture of Bhagavan, 'who is He?'

'He is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba', I replied, 'He is God. He resides at Prasanthi Nilayam in India'.

'It is not His name', Mr. Larry observed, 'I know Him, but He told me another name, not this one'.

'How do you know Him?' I asked. 'He is in India. He has not come here.'

'He comes to me whenever I feel frustrated or depressed, sits by me and tries to pep up my spirit. He is the same person'.

I was stunned. Bhagavan has been already with the homeless poor long before we tried to do anything for them. 'Mr. Larry!' I thought, 'how fortunate you are to have the Lord sit by your side in person and console you and enthuse you!'

-- Dr. Krishnan Bala

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 16.07.2005)