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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group IV | Dr. Sitaram Vij

Dr. Sitaram Vij,
286, Riverton Drive,
Shelly- 6148
Western Australia


Dr. Sitaram Vij (63), a leading dentist, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'Our family belonged to the North West Frontier Agency prior to the partition of India. In the wake of communal troubles that followed the partition, we moved to India as refugees. After residing in the refugee camps in India for about six months, we went to Singapore.

I was brought up and educated there. I did my graduation in Dentistry there and went to London where I did my post-graduation in Dental Surgery. I returned to Singapore and from there migrated to Australia and settled in Perth.

During 1992, I was associated with the Rotary Club and used to go for service under the auspices of the Club. Probably in 1992 or 1993, I came to India to do service at the Tibetan refugee camp at Dharmakshala in Himachal Pradesh, where the retinue of Dalailama was put up.

After my return to Australia, one of my patients, Mrs. Anna Wilson came to me and said 'where have you been? I wanted to go to India. Before leaving, I wanted to show my teeth to you'.

'I went to India to do some service' I replied.

'If you want to do service', she suggested to me, 'why don't you do it at Puttaparthi in Sri Satya Sai Baba's place?'

That is how I first heard of Bhagavan.

'Who is Sri Sathya Sai Baba?' I asked her. In my childhood, my parents used to talk about Sri Shiridi Sai Baba with reverence. But I did not know about Sri Sathya Sai.

'He is God walking on earth' she told me. 'He is the reincarnation of Shiridi Sai'. She left for Prasanthi Nilayam afterwards as per her programme. On return she brought me a photograph of Bhagavan, vibuhti and the volume six of the series 'Sri Sathya Sai Speaks' That book was published in 1966. Curiously it was the year in which I was qualified to practise as a dental surgeon. The book gave me some idea of His teachings and I wanted to know more about Him. There is a Sai devotee named Dr. Sakrapalli. I phoned to him and his daughter who answered the call told me that there is a Sathya Sai Centre in John Waters Community Hall where bhajan is held every Sunday. I went there on a Sunday. There was no difficulty in finding the hall as I saw the car of Dr. Sakrapalli going in front of me and all that I had to do was to follow it. Had Swami arranged it to show me the way to the Centre?

Bhajan commenced. I was new to bhajans. So I was only listening to the bhajans and could not join in the singing. I am not at all sentimental, and not used to crying also. I don't know what happened to me that day I felt emotional and broke down unable to control myself. There was no reason ostensibly for me to break down, but it happened thus. Simultaneously, I felt as if it was homecoming for me. The Chairman, Dr. Leslie Gan came to me quietly and hugged me in a consoling gesture. He patted me on my back and wanted me to cool down, adding that such experiences were not uncommon there. After a few minutes I regained my composure. That was a very curious experience which I cannot explain even now.

In 1995, I married an Australian girl, but the marriage did not last. She was not a devotee of Bhagavan. 'I have nothing to do with your Baba' she told me one day, and the marriage ended in a divorce.

In 1995, I came to Prasanthi Nilayam for the first time. I wanted to do seva in the General Hospital as a dentist, but there was no vacancy. Therefore I had to be content with doing seva in the western canteen by cleaning vessels. I attended Swami's Birthday celebrations in November. On November 28 I got the first row in the darshan line. Swami was coming along. I prayed to Him mentally that I wanted to touch His Holy feet, if I got a chance. Swami paused before me. I could take padanamaskar gratefully. Earlier I had bought a chain and a ring in the bazaar and I held them up. Swami placed His hand on them and blessed. Later, I attended bhajan.

During 1996, I came to know that some miracles were taking place in the house of one Mr. Subhash and Mrs. Daljith in Perth. I went there and saw vibhuti emanating from Swami's photographs. When some eatables were kept there as offering, Swami was partaking of them, which was evident from the fact that the plate used to be found empty after sometime.

In 1997, I came to know that miracles were happening in a house of another devotee also in Perth. It was the house of Mr. Ramu and Mrs. Jaya Ramu. In fact the miracles had been happening there even before they began in Mr. Subhash's house. I went there also. I began to move close to both the families gradually.

Early in 2001, I placed a letter at the altar in Ramu's house addressed to Bhagavan. In that letter, I asked, 'do I have scope to have a companion in life, Swami?'

After sometime, we found vibhuti on my letter indicating that the answer was in the affirmative.

Then I placed another letter, 'will I have to go in search of her or will she come to me?' The answer was that she would come to me.

After sometime, Mrs. Jaya gave me some details of a lady residing in London and asked if I would agree to give mine to her. I agreed. I placed a letter to Baba at the altar in Ramu's house asking Baba if I could marry her. Vibhuti was seen on the letter indicating that Baba approved our marriage. I placed another letter seeking Baba's permission to contact that lady in London on phone. This I had done at the suggestion of Mrs. Jaya. The lady from London was Ms. Indira. She was a divorcee. Vibhuti appeared on the letter indicating that I could contact her on phone. I did not know at that time that Ms. Indira had come to Perth and also visited Ramu's house to witness the miracles there. Mrs. Jaya got details of Ms. Indira at that time which she passed on to me later

On June 1, 2001, I spoke to Ms. Indira on phone for the first time. As she is a devotee of Baba, we mostly talked about Baba only. This went on for sometime. That year we both came to Puttaparthi. We had not seen each other. We decided that we should meet at the Ganesh mandir in Prasanti Nilayam after the morning darshan on the Gurupoornima day. I was to wear a cream colour kurtha and have yellow flowers around my wrist. Ms. Indira was to come in orange sari carrying a garland of yellow flowers for Gansesh. This was to facilitate mutual recognition. We met at the arch on way to the temple of Subrahmanya. We walked around Ganesh temple three times together.

'Will you marry me?' I formally proposed to her. When she assented, I placed my ring on her finger as a token of our engagement. Afterwards I took new clothes for me and she took her new bridal dress, and we both sat for darshan. Swami blessed both of us. She took some akshatas also in a small casket and Swami not only blessed her bridal dress by touching it but also placed His fingers in akshatas and turned them for a few seconds by way of blessing. We went to Singapore and had the blessings of my mother also. We got married in Australia on November 18, 2001 in Ramu's house of Sai miracles.

Earlier in 1997, I came to Prasamti Nilayam for seva. I attended Swami's Birthday functions. On November 29, Swami walked past me in the darshan line. He paused before me and asked 'which country you come from?'

'Australia, Swami!' I replied.

I had padanamaskar. Swami materialized vibhuti and gave me before He moved on.

In 1995, I came to Prasanthi Nilayam and applied for an opportunity to do seva as a dentist in the general hospital. I did not get any reply.

In February 2004, I came to Prasanthi Nilayam and applied again. I met Mr. Anil Kumar at the Ganesh temple. When he heard about my desire to do seva here as a dentist he said 'there is a dire need. Go and apply immediately'. I went to the hospital. It was a Thursday. Someone on duty said, 'Swami has to approve. Please leave your resume here'. I sat there and wrote down a resume and gave him. Swami was kind enough to approve on Friday. I joined on Monday and worked for two weeks. That was my first chance to do seva here as a dentist.

In November 2004, I came again for the Birthday of Swami and worked for six weeks as a dentist in the General Hospital at Prasanthi Nilayam.

We constructed a new house at Perth and we placed the plans at the altar in Ramu's house. Vibhuti emanated on them as a token of Swami's blessings. We kept on that occasion an empty bowl also in the tray in which the plans were kept. It was filled with sacred water.

We performed housewarming ceremony on September 5, 2003. Before doing that we went to Ramu's house and prayed to Swami at the altar. A new cloth of ochre colour materialized for us at the altar to be used as the turban cloth for Ganesh idol. A medallion with Ashta-Ganapathis having main Ganapathi in the centre (total nine Ganapahthis) materialized for me. On the ochre cloth also vibhuti emanated. The letters S (for Sitaram) and I (for Indira) appeared in vibhuti on the ochre cloth. S and I were on both the ends of the cloth separated by ochre cloth that stands for Sai. It is Sai who bound us together.

Whenever we prayed to Bhagavan at Ramu's house, we were invariably blessed with kumkum or chandan or haldi or amrit or vibhuti. Like that, something or other used to appear several times. Once, a small golden Ganesh idol materialized. Another time a japamala came. Once, vibhuti came on Ganesh idol. Another time we got 147 beads of different varieties including a ruby. We happened to visit Devi Amma at Whitefields. She is an ardent devotee of Bhagavan. We asked her about the beads.

'In your previous births, you were both in Shirdi' Devi Amma told us, 'you were a Hakim and she was a lady doctor. You gave some medicines and 147 silver and gold coins to Baba, and He would not keep any debt. So he has given you now these beads. You take 73 each, and let the ruby go to Indira as a central piece in her mala.'

Once, a stone materialized for me at Ramu's house. I got it fixed in a ring. I am wearing it always.

One thing strikes me as significant. That is Ganesha's connection. Indira and I met for the first time in front of Ganesha's temple. At Ramu's house we got a new ochre cloth to be used a turban cloth for Ganesha idol. I was given a medallion with nine Ganeshas. I met Mr. Anil Kumar near Ganesh temple which facilitated my entering Swami's seva as a dentist. To crown it all, a small gold idol of Ganesha materialized for us in Ramu's house.'

-- Dr. Sitaram Vij

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 20.07.2005)