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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group IV | Mr. A.V.Krishna Murthy

Mr. A.V.Krishna Murthy,
8, 5th Main, 2nd Cross, NTI Layout,
RMV Extension - Stage II,
Nagashettihalli, Bangalore - 560 094

Tel: 080-2341 0116

Mr. A.V. Krishna Murthy (64), who retired as a senor officer at the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'I joined Sri Sathya Sai Sevadal in 1975. One day, a meeting was held in Brindavan to bid farewell to the then convener of the sevadal. Being a new entrant to the sevadal, I was allowed to sit only in the last line. While addressing the gathering, Swami suddenly called me and, to my utter surprise, announced that I would be the next convener! I could cite no reason for entrusting me with such heavy responsibility except His grace.

As the convener of the sevadal, I had many opportunities to move close to Him and witness many miracles happen.

Bhagavan used to conduct summer classes at Brindavan. One day, after hectic activity, I went to bed late. When I awoke in the morning and opened my eyes, I saw the sky filled with bright light and Swami smilingly walking towards me in the middle of the sky. He was wearing white dress like the one He wears during His birthday festival. I don't know how long this lasted. After a while, I looked at the watch. It was 4 a.m. I was in my bed in total darkness. This was not a dream. I don't know the meaning of this vision.

Another time, I had a dream. Swami was sitting on a throne in a cave. By His side, there was a smaller version of Swami sitting with similar glory. Saptarishis were standing in front of Him with folded hands. I rushed myself to cross the doorstep.

'Don't come in', Swami was heard saying 'you can not go out if you come in'.

'Swami! I cannot wait', I said, 'I cannot stop coming'.

'Don't come in', Swami warned.

Then He Himself came out, put me in his lap and said with love for which there is no parallel in the world, 'I will give you darshan whenever you want, but don't come in now'.

'I want that darshan now', I said adamantly.

Swami then turned into a light form which was very bright and pleasing. Is that the real form of Swami?

On one occasion, we were doing Narayanaseva in Brindavan. It is customary to give harati to the rice heap before the seva starts. Mr. Patel, a sevadal member, gave harati that day. He saw Swami standing on the rice heap. On that day Swami was in Prasanthi Nilayam - not even in Brindavan.

On one day in Brindavan, when I was walking behind Swami, suddenly something spectacular happened during the return phase. Swami turned back when I saw a dazzling light emanating from Swami's head!

Around 1979, Bhagavan was walking down from His bungalow to the small shed where devotees used to wait for His darshan. There was a drizzle that day. I, therefore, held an umbrella over His head. A photographer caught that scene in his camera and showed the print later to Swami. Swami made some interesting comments. His comments made us feel that we were with Him during His avatar as Shirdi Sai also. This aroused some interest in me to visit Shirdi hoping to get some recollections of the past life.

Normally, those days, Swami used to encourage people to visit Shirdi. But when I mentioned my plans to visit Shirdi, he was unmoved. Finally, after the morning work, Swami sat down on His throne in the sitting room. I was in front of Him. With a wave of His hand, Swami produced a silver ring and put it on my finger, with the love of the Divine Mother. I felt overwhelmed. The ring has a picture of Sri Mahavishnu in all His glory. Cascaded into Vishnu is Shirdi Baba, inside him Sathya Sai and inside Sathya Sai, a small Prema Sai. I was stunned to see it. It was clear that the same Shirdi Baba who was indeed Mahavishnu was in front of me physically. Fortunately, I recovered from the ecstatic feeling and stood composed. A thought crossed my mind - 'how is it Swami gave me only a silver ring? Don't I deserve a gold ring?' As the thought was half-way in my mind, Swami said, 'it will become a gold ring for your next birthday!' I felt immensely happy.

After a few days, Swami left for Prasanthi Nilayam. I got an opportunity to visit Shirdi after Swami had left for Prasanthi Nilayam. I visited the shrine as well as some old devotees in Shirdi. I enjoyed every bit of my visit to Shirdi. On return, I went to Prasanthi Nilayam to tell Swami about my visit to Shirdi and the happiness it gave me. As soon as Swami saw me, He asked 'has your ring broken?' I was shocked. I was expecting some special kindness from Swami in response to my pilgrimage to Shirdi. Instead, He was expecting my ring to break.

'Swami, I am keeping the ring carefully and will continue to be very careful in future also so that it will never break' I said.

However, Swami's words left an unpleasant fear in me that the ring might break sometime. I began looking after the ring with great care and caution. Finally, one fateful day, it fell down and broke. My heart sank into unbearable depression. Fortunately, Swami was at that time in Brindavan. I went to Him and stood in front of Him exposing my broken ring. I was sad beyond description and felt that Swami also was as sad as I was. Swami did not say a word about it. It took a few days for me to recover from that shock.

My birth day falls in one of the periods when Swami is usually very busy. It was Dasara. Veda-purusha Jnaana Yajna was going on. I was wondering what would be my fate. Swami is an embodiment of kindness and compassion. In spite of His busy schedule, He called me upstairs of His mandir in Prasanthi Nilayam, gave me breakfast and was in a joyful mood. Suddenly He asked me for my ring. I put it in His hands. He held it in His hands and blew on it. I was watching keenly. Right before my eyes, it became a gold ring with His majestic picture on it.

'This is for your birthday', He said and put it on my finger Himself.

'Why did my earlier ring break Swami?' I asked prayerfully.

'This ring will never break', Swami replied.

I asked Swami repeatedly why my previous ring had broken.

'It is because', Swami told me, 'you get ego sometimes'.

His reply was shocking. 'Am I egoistic?' I was pained.

The Divine Mother did not like causing me pain.

'I am just saying it for fun', Swami tried to console me.

One day Swami came out of His bungalow in Brindavan unexpectedly at 2 p.m. and began to walk towards the hostel. It was a hot day. Swami was walking under real hot sun. I did not have an umbrella to hold. We were all unhappy that we could not do anything to make His walk more comfortable. Just then a cloud appeared from nowhere and cast a shadow over Bhagavan. The shadow which was of three meters diameter only moved along with Him up to the hostel. What a wonder? I felt that the nature, too, loves Him. For Him, it is mother also.

When Swami made me the convener of the sevadal, I was new to the organization. He used to give me guidance through dreams. In those days Swami used to make frequent visits to Brindavan. Every time Swami came to Brindavan, He used to appear to me in the dream and provide indication about His arrival at Brindavan. This type of dream guidance happened at least six times continuously.

In 1994, I underwent bypass surgery. After recovery, we had puja in our house. At the end of it, there was a short programme called 'asirvachanam' when Vedic mantras were chanted by way of blessing. Two persons among the many that attended the pooja saw Swami walk down from the first floor portion of our house as soon as asirvachanam started. He descended the stairs and sat in a chair in the pooja room for a few minutes. He blessed us by putting akshatas on our heads, went back and ascended the stairs before disappearing. Vani of vizag and my sister-in-law are the two fortunate people who had His darshan that day. Of them, Vani had not seen Swami earlier. Later, she asked, 'why is Swami carrying a small white cloth?' Then, I realised that she was referring to the hand kerchief Swami always has. This confirmed that she had actually seen Bhagavan.

Once, during Narayanaseva, a sevadal member served sambar close to sweet-rice on the leaf of someone partaking food there. Swami was visibly uncomfortable. Swami chided him saying, 'do you serve like that in your own leaf when you are eating?'

Around 1980, a German devotee arrived in Brindavan. She was suffering from some terminal disease. She was admitted in the SSSGH, Whitefields. Swami went to see her at the hospital in the evening. I had an opportunity to accompany Bhagavan on that occasion. The patient seemed to be on the verge of passing away. On our return journey from the hospital, I made bold to ask Bhagavan, 'Swami! Everything is in your hands. She has come all the way from Germany. Will you save her?'

Others in the car were taken aback at my impertinence. But Swami was unperturbed. He chided those that were trying to stop me from asking such question, and allowed me to prattle. At the end, Swami spoke suddenly like sweet thunder with a force of assurance in His voice.

'Yes, I will save her', He told me, 'tell me what good that will do to her or to the society?'

I had no reply.

He had gone all the way to see her in the hospital. That was an unusual blessing. Both she and Swami were satisfied. Extension of her life lost its relevance in this case, perhaps.

One day Swami was moving along darshan lines at Brindavan. He was carrying letters in both His hands. Suddenly, a lady devotee dropped her one-year-old child on Bhagavan's feet. I was worried about how to bring order in the crowd which was restless and was trying to reach Swami. Enough number of the sevadal was not at hand. Suddenly, I saw a golden chain emanating from the top of the letters He was holding, and falling on the kid to the delight of the mother. We think Swami materialises things by waving His hand into the air. It is not necessary. He creates anything with mere sankalpa, I realised.

When I was in Canada, I happened to visit the Sai Centre in Ottawa. In that centre is a big bhajan hall, and facilities to cook food for at least 1000 people. There is also a special room in it meant exclusively for the 'use' of Swami. It has a big bed, table, sofa, etc. 'Why such symbolic worship?' I thought.

'How are you able to keep the room so clean?' I asked the volunteer there. He narrated a story.

Once they did not change bed sheets for three days for some reason. Swami appeared in the dream of the concerned person and asked, 'why are you not changing the bed sheets?' Since that time, they have always been careful to maintain the room as if Swami was in the centre. In fact, there appear frequently signs such as ruffled bed sheets indicating that Swami, indeed, does use the bed.

We attended one bhajan session there. My wife can sing bhajans well. During the bhajan, I was thinking, 'Swami! We are strangers here. We do not know anybody. If you are here, make my wife offer one bhajan song.' Even before I completed my prayer, I heard the voice of my wife singing the next bhajan song to my utter amazement and joy.'

-- Mr. A.V. Krishna Murthy

(Based on excerpts from the book 'Sai Devobhava' written by Mr. A.V. Krishna Murthy)