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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group III | Lt. Gen. S.P. Malhotra

Lt. Gen. S.P. Malhotra (Retd)
C 76, Defence Colony,
New Delhi – 110 024
Tel: 011-5155 0502

Lt. Gen. S.P. Malhotra (Retd) is a longstanding devotee of Bhagavan. He is presently associated with the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre, New Delhi. He has had several experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan of which he narrates a few in his own words.

‘With a passion to serve the nation, I was traversing the path of life in the Indian Army. It was in the year 1974, I remember, when the path took a turning towards the spiritual, taking me to Wellington where I was posted as Commandant, Defence Services Staff College. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came to Ooty, a beautiful hill station about 14 kilometres away from Wellington. Since we had heard so much about Baba’s spiritual powers to lead people towards the path of piety and service to humanity, my wife Prem and I decided to visit Ooty to have Darshan of Bhagavan.

My first Darshan of Baba

On arriving at Ooty, we went to the Ashram. At the time of evening prayers, sitting in a small room, we were awaiting the emergence of Baba from His room. After sometime, Baba came out clad in a saffron coloured long robe. He glanced at us and passed by going to the congregation waiting outside for Him. We had fulfilling Darshan of Baba and listened to His Discourse. He spoke in a continuous flow of mellifluous prose, keeping the devotees in a state of complete attention to His timeless words of wisdom.

Thereafter, we made a few visits to Ooty during Baba’s stay. At Wellington, we have a mandir in the Staff College complex. A desire arose in me to request Baba to visit our mandir. I prayed to Baba to accept my request. Next morning, the telephone rang and I got the welcome message that Baba had agreed to visit the mandir at Wellington! On Baba’s visit to Wellington, we attended His Discourse along with the staff, the students and their families. The visit over, just as Baba was boarding the car for His journey back to Ooty, my eyes met the glance of Baba and I felt that a communication had been established between us and I was on my way to the less travelled road of spirituality.

A Calamity Afflicts Me

Six years passed by. Our contact with Baba continued by our visits to Puttaparthi twice a year for seeking His blessings. It was in October 1980 that I went on an official visit to Kamptee (Nagpur) to prepare and organize a colour presentation ceremony in my capacity as Colonel of Brigade of the Guards. While visiting Kamptee, I developed ‘herpes of the eyes’. Due to being fully occupied with the colour presentation ceremony and on account of my obsession to make it a success, the trouble got neglected. The attack got aggravated resulting in oozing blisters on my head and face. Immediately, after the colour presentation ceremony, I had to be evacuated by an I.A.F. plane to the Army Hospital in Delhi Cantonment. As I was a senior officer, full attention was given to my ailment. However, in spite of administration of latest medicines, my condition deteriorated, virtually closing my eyes. There was a distinct possibility that I might lose my eyesight. I recollect how helpless I felt while lying in bed in the hospital with emotional tears of anxiety in my eyes and praying to Baba continuously for His help. The doctor, Colonel Boparai, was sitting in his room contemplating upon my case and wondering why all medicines administered so far had not produced any result. Suddenly, the light shone in the mind of Colonel Boparai and he gave me a particular injection to which earlier patients had not responded. It worked. The ailment was arrested. The attack left behind clear pigment marks all over my face which the doctors said would not go and I will have to live with them. I was in hospital for 35 days, at the end of which I was granted four weeks sick leave with instructions to return for a review. When being discharged from the hospital, I was advised not to travel and to ensure that dust did not go into the eyes.

Baba Saves my Eyes and Career

Overlooking the doctor’s advice, I travelled to Puttaparthi by air and some distance by a rough road to get Baba’s blessings. I reached in the afternoon. Baba lived adjacent to a beautiful mandir with a verandah all around. Hopping to have Baba’s Darshan during the evening prayers in the mandir’s courtyard, I waited in the verandah. Many people were sitting outside in a congregation. At about 4 p.m., Baba came out of His residence and on seeing me sitting in the verandah, came over to me with a smile on His face, took away my glasses with His hands and said ‘I have gifted you your eyes’. He advised me to stop all medicines and enquired as to how long I would be staying at Puttaparthi. I said, ‘about a week’. Baba said, ‘have all your meals with Me while you are here’. I felt great exuberance within me. The dining room was furnished in a simple manner with a table and chairs. During meal hours, I used to be mostly alone with Baba. Whenever I would look up at Baba, while having my meals, I could see Baba looking into my eyes directly. As the days of the week passed by, the pain in my eyes started diminishing and the pigments started vanishing. A miracle indeed! On my return when doctors observed me, they were overwhelmed with astonishment. Lord be praised!

Years rolled by. The calamity, which had struck me, was kept at bay with Baba’s grace. Both my eyes and my service career were protected till I retired in September 1982 as an Army Commander in the Indian Armed Forces. With Baba’s grace I was awarded Padma Bhushan in January 1983 for rendering exceptional service and for excellence in defence matters.

-- Lt. Gen. S.P. Malhotra (Retd)

(Source: This is an article by Lt. Gen. S.P. Malhotra (Retd) published in the Sanathana Sarathi (English) in November 2001)