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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group IV | Lt. Col. Bhim Singh Thakur

Lt. Col. Bhim Singh Thakur,
Padam Lodge, Middle Kaithu,
Simla - 171 003, Himachal Pradesh.

Tel: 0177 - 2804142

Lt. Col. B.S. Thakur (81), who retired from the Army, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'I was posted to Aurangabad in the fifties where I heard of Shiridi Sai Baba for the first time from an army doctor who was a devotee of Baba. 'I will give you prasad' he told me, 'take it. Sai is God'. He used to give me vibhuti. I did not know at that time what it was and I did not pay much attention then to what he was telling me about Sai incarnation. I did not even visit Shirdi.

When I was working in Shillong around the sixties, I wanted to visit a temple on the Sivarathri day. While on my way, I found some people cleaning the road and learnt from my driver that they were doing so to hold bhajan there. I, too, joined the bhajan after completing my visit to the temple. There I saw the photograph of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba along with that of Shirdi Baba and asked them, 'who is He?'

'Don't you know Him? He is Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba' they told me, 'He is the re-incarnation of Shirdi Sai.' Then what I had learnt about Shirdi Sai at Aurangabad from my army doctor came to my mind at once. 'Even though I did not think about Him, He has been with me', I thought. I met Dr. Barua in Shillong for the first time and began taking interest in Sai activities such as bhajans and seva.

After my retirement, we shifted to Simla. I continued to associate myself with Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithies in Simla also. One day I was told that Bhagavan was due to visit Simla in a few months and the preparations were on. It was in 1972. As many as 50,000 people gathered in the Mall Road, where the meeting was to be held at 11 a.m. on the day of the arrival of Bhagavan. They began to gather from 8 a.m. onwards or even early. Bhagavan, we were given to understand, came to Simla at about 12 noon. He was at the place of His halt and did not arrive at the meeting place. After some time, I noticed that the Police and the Home Guards were leaving the place as they had some information that Bhagavan was not coming. I was then asked by the President of Sri Sathya Sai Samithi to announce in the mike that Baba was not coming. I could not do that as I was certain that such an announcement might make the crowd restive and lead to law and order problems even. I suggested that the new Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Anand Swaroop Bharadwaj could, perhaps, do it. But he was not available.

I then decided to go to Bhagavan and personally explain to him about the waiting crowds and pray to Him to come to the venue once and give darshan. When I went to the place of stay of Bhagavan, I found a heavy crowd there also. I, somehow, managed to go in and stood at the entrance to the hall where Bhagavan was staying. The sevadal on duty objected to my standing there near the hall. When I explained that I had come to invite Bhagavan, he said that already we were informed that Bhagavan was not going to attend the meeting, and wanted me to withdraw from there just then. Bhagavan, who went into the kitchen, was returning to His room. I could see Him as He was passing from the kitchen to His room. That is the first time that I had His darshan. As He was passing before me, I found Him sport a smile, which was enchanting. His figure was radiating a bright and incredibly incandescent aura like of which I had never seen before. I was wonderstruck, stood rooted to the floor and simply forgot the very purpose for which I had been there. By the time I remembered it, He was almost gone into His room while I stood there cursing my stupidity.

Then the most unexpected thing happened. Bhagavan who put his foot almost inside His room turned back and came straight to me. Even before I opened to plead with Him about the waiting crowds, He said in Hindi, 'Aayega, aayega' (I will come, I will come)'. I was amazed, 'how did He know that I had come to take Him to the meeting place?'

Then Dr. S. Bhagavantham came out and asked me to take him to the meeting place. I took him to the venue where he found 50,000 strong crowd patiently waiting for Bhagavan. 'Very disciplined lot' he said, 'I will bring Bhagavan'.

It was already 2 p.m. by the time Bhagavan reached the venue. Till that time there was no photographer at the venue. But, there were more than a dozen by the time Bhagavan came there. Bhagavan sat on the dais and signalled with His hand beckoning at us. I thought at first that it was me whom He was calling, but it was not me. Then someone else also got up like me, and he too had to sit down. Finally, it turned out that it was Mr Anand Swaroop, the Master of Ceremonies who was called. He went to Bhagavan. 'Anand Swaroop, announce that Swami will give His discourse tomorrow at 11 a.m.' Bhagavan told him. Bhagavan called the Master of Ceremonies only to announce the next day's programme. How did He know that Mr. Swaroop was the Master of Ceremonies, since he was appointed only 24 hours earlier? How did He know His name?

After the meeting, we were all returning home. On the way there was a photo studio. Some one said, 'so many photographs are here of Bhagavan'. We all went there.

The photographer did a prompt job. He developed the photographs taken at the meeting venue and displayed the prints outside his studio. Someone who was by my side exclaimed, 'Thakoorji! You are here.' I was seen in that photograph welcoming Bhagavan waving my hands as if I was showing Him the direction of the stage. I was a little bent in that photograph. When I saw it, I was reminded of my dream which I had had a few months before. In that dream also I found myself welcoming Bhagavan in the same posture. I was wonderstruck. Is it an indication that the dream was as real as the actual happening? Or, was it a dream photograph?'

-- Lt. Col. Bhim Singh Thakur

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 02.08.2005)