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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group IV | Dr. R.S. Padmanabhan

Dr. R.S. Padmanabhan,
177 D, 7th B Main,
3rd Block, Jayanagar,
Bangalore - 560 011

Tel: 080-2660 1357

Dr. R.S. Padmanabhan (82) was a very popular dentist in Bangalore, and has since given up his profession. A longstanding devotee of Bhagavan, he has been an office bearer of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization, Bangalore. He first met Bhagavan when he was 21 and Bhagavan was 18 years old. He has innumerable experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan. He narrates some of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'I am tempted to share with you my good fortune of belonging to this select group of 'old' devotees. I say it not with pomposity, but with the joy of speaking His glory, and with gratitude for the difference He has made in my life. In 1944, my uncle, Seshagiri Rao, my cousin Sundaramma, and my other relation, Savithramma, were drawn to Baba's mission of spiritual, educational and service activities. Subsequently as dedicated devotees, they spent their lives with Baba. In those days, Baba used to come frequently to Bangalore and regarded it as His second home.

I had just completed my dental education and started practicing dentistry, in the early part of 1944. On Sundaramma's appeal, I visited Baba's bhajan session on a Sunday morning, in the first week of December, at the residence of a devotee in Chamrajpet. Although I had gone there rather reluctantly, I was, to my surprise, called for an 'interview'.

To this day, I feel a thrill when I recall that interview. Inside the room, I experienced the Divine Presence of Baba. He spoke softly and lovingly to me, told me all about my life and my future, assuring me that He would always be with me and guide me. He produced vibhuti, gave it to me and smeared some of it on my forehead. I was wonder-struck and could not utter a word. I just surrendered my ego and doubts and took padanamaskar. He then told me that I would be married in February of 1945. That was a shock and not very pleasant news for me, as I had just started my practice and had yet to settle on my own. I was only 21 years old. I pleased that it would not be possible for me to agree to marriage, as I was not well set in my practice. He simply said it would happen, whether I liked it or not, and that he would take care of everything - which He did and is doing, even to this day. Kamala, who was to become my wife, also had an interview in December of 1944 and was told that she would soon be married to a dentist - in spite of her protest to the contrary, as she was only 15 years old at the time. We were married on 15 February 1945, and have been in His care ever since.

I have a very heart-warming experience of Bhagavan's grace. During my practice in Seventies, I was overworking for the sake of 'love for work' to render service for the suffering patients.

Due to the strain, I used to suffer from spinal disc problem. One of the famous orthopaedic surgeons of Bangalore Late H.K.Srinivasa Murthy looked after this problem very well. One day, this surgeon suddenly phoned me to come to Vellore as a world famous orthopaedic surgeon was visiting Vellore Medical College Hospital for medical interaction. He wanted a friend of mine to go along with him. My friend decided to go with the professor and also requested me to go with him in order to get the best advice from him for any spinal problem. I could not miss such a rare opportunity and hence decided to go with him to Vellore.

I left Bangalore on Saturday with him and returned on Sunday night. Swami was in the Brindavan and I did not tell Him before going, as I thought it was a small matter to tell Swami about it. At darshan on Sunday morning, He saw my wife and asked where I was, as I was not with Him. My wife had to tell the truth that I had gone to Vellore with my doctor friend, and would be returning in the night. Next day, Monday, at 1 p.m., Swami called me over phone and asked me to see him at 7 p.m. at Brindavan. I got a shock of my life as I had not told Him before going to Vellore.

I went to Brindavan at 7.p.m. Swami was having a bhajan session with devotees from Sri Lanka and the music was being recorded. After it was all over, He spoke to me and asked about my health. I said I was ok by His grace; and I explained to Him that it was for a courtesy consultation with a doctor from London that I went with my doctor friend. Then He told me that I should have informed Him before going to Vellore and that He felt pained about my going without telling Him. I profusely apologised. He materialized a rudraksha bead and asked me to take the abhishekam water as prasad and said I had nothing to worry for the rest of my life. I have never had a back problem ever since.

His Omnipresence, Omniscience and Omnipotence

My aunt had cataract. Swami had advised her to have the operation done. She was in Puttaparthi, and later came to Bangalore and stayed with me. I was asked to take care of her. When the date was fixed, she refused to undergo the operation without the blessing and vibhuti from Swami. We were waiting for this. One day, the telephone rand in my house and my daughter, who was eight years old, received the call. The call was from Swami at Puttaparthi who asked, 'Geetha, is that you?' She replied 'Swami, yes, it is me'. He enquired 'is the old lady complaining about your father?' That is the all knowing omnipresent Swami.

He then asked Geetha to put the phone on a paper. When the same was done, through the phone poured forth vibhuti on to the paper!

Protector par Excellence

Bhagawan invited me and Mr. Gangadhara Setty to attend the Sports Day at Prasanthi Nilayam, which would be held every year on January 11. Brother Gangadhara Setty left Bangalore in the morning on the 10th January 1990, and I requested him to inform Bhagawan that I would be leaving Bangalore in the afternoon at 2 p.m. As planned, I along with my wife left Bangalore in the afternoon. After passing Bagepalli, my brand new Maruthi car suddenly picked speed and started going zigzag. I control speed normally. But that day I could not apply brakes. My wife started praying to Bhagavan. There is an agricultural dry land with full of pits and stone on the left side, along the road. Somehow I was able to negotiable, and landed in the agricultural land. It was a miracle, as there was no traffic of trucks and buses at that particular time.

As I stopped the car on the side of the highway, traffic of trucks and buses from the opposite direction increased. One of the taxi drivers on his way to Bangalore who had known me stopped his taxi and came for assistance. There was a puncture in the right tyre. The driver repaired this; we thanked him and left for Prasanthi Nilayam. This accident happened at 4:30 p.m. Right at that time, Swami asked Gangadhar Setty 'why Padmanabhan has not come?' Mr. Setty told Swami that I would be reaching late in the evening. We reached Prasanthi Nilayam in the evening. My wife persisted that I should inform Swami about the miraculous escape and that our lives were saved by Swami's grace. I told her it was not the appropriate time to inform Him, as it was already late in the evening.

Next morning, sports and other activities were held on schedule. In the afternoon, during darshan time at 4:00 pm., in the varendah, Swami came straight to me and told me that He had saved me from an accident. Swami granted padanamaskara to me.

Bhagavan has taken such good care of my family and me, over the past five decades, that it would fill volumes to relate all of our experiences. I cannot find words to express my gratitude to Bhagavan for all that He has done for our family. My wife and I have been supremely privileged to serve Him all these years. Nothing has given us greater joy.'

-- Dr. R.S. Padmanabhan

(The above is an excerpt from Dr. R.S. Padmanabhan's Introduction to the Volume One - The Advent (1926-1950) of the book Love Is My Form, coupled with the devotee's article in the special souvenir Tribute published by the Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust on the occasion of the 80th Birthday of Bhagavan.)