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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VII | Mr. I. Nageswara Rao

Mr. I. Nageswara Rao,
Flat No. 403, H.No. 2-16-106,
Concrete Rhythm Apartments,
Road No. 2, Prasanthi Nagar,
Hyderabad - 500 039.

      Mr. I. Nageswara Rao (65), retired Chief Engineer, AP Transco, Kothagudem Thermal Station, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'I heard about Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba around 1958 from a friend of mine. But till 1965, I could not have His darshan. In 1965, I had His darshan at Sivam, Hyderabad for the first time.

In 1972, I came to Prasanthi Nilayam for the first time and had darshan of Bhagavan. I was married in 1968. My wife, Mrs. Shyamala had to undergo hysterectomy (removal of uterus). Though the surgery was successful, she began to feel unbearable pain later. Doctors made several tests and used several medicines to no avail. They could not diagnose why the pain was coming. This started in May 1978 and continued till August 1978. My wife was confined to bed.

On the night of August 3, 1978, I casually told my wife 'why don't you write a letter to Swami?' You hear what happened from my wife Mrs. Shyamala:

Mrs. Shyamala narrates her experience thus.

'When my husband suggested that I had better write a letter to Swami, at first, I was not much interested. He left for the night shift. I reconsidered his advice the next day, and decided to write to Swami. I could not move around for getting pen and paper as I was extremely weak. I found a pencil and a cooperative stores letterhead on the table. The backside of it was blank. I don't know what I wrote. By the time I finished, I felt almost exhausted. I put the letter at the feet of Bhagavan's photograph in the room, and fell down on my bed.

The whole night I was feeling pain as if the pain aggravated after I had written the letter. This was in the night of August 4. That was incidentally the birthday of my father. My husband's elder brother had come with his family a few days back to see me. They had no idea of the gravity of my problem except that I had undergone surgery. We had not written to anyone lest they should feel worried. I wanted to recite Lalitha Sahasranamas. So I got up with difficulty and went to the place where the book was. In fact, it was near the feet of the Bhagavan's photograph. I put the letter on that book. When I tried to take out the letter which was folded for the book, I felt there was something in it. When I examined, there was a little vibhuti, kumkum and akshatas in it. I did not put them. How they came there was a mystery. I felt excited. I put a little vibhuti on my forehead and a little in my mouth and went out, and told my husband's elder brother and his wife and gave them vibhuti. I felt no pain even as I moved around. This was the first time in four months that I could move about without pain normally. When I realised it, I felt immense joy and thanked Bhagavan for His mercy and compassion.

Mr. Nageswara Rao continues:

'In the morning (August 5), an aged lady came to our house. She was the mother of my colleague. 'May I have a little of Swami's vibhuti?' she asked.

I gave her a little and wondered 'we give them vibhuti and use part of it ourselves. But my wife's health has not improved. These people come for vibhuti to us. They would not do so unless they got some result or response. Why are we not getting the same benefit?' I went out and came back for lunch. As my wife was bedridden, I became used to serve food myself.

'Serve your husband lunch' my sister-in-law was heard telling my wife, 'he has just come.'

I felt irritated. 'Does she not know the condition of my wife?' I thought, 'how can she serve lunch when she is unable to get up from her bed?'

However, I did not say anything, went into the kitchen and began to serve lunch in my plate.

'Swami cured me' my wife said, 'I am all right now. No pain.' My wife came and served me lunch. I did not believe. It might be the passing effect of the pain killer, I thought. But she was moving around in the house normally. That evening, I started to go to the temple. She said 'I too will come.' I could not say no. When we came out, I wanted to call a rickshaw.

'Why rickshaw unnecessarily?' my wife said, 'the temple is hardly a kilometre.' She walked to and fro. She did not have the pain thereafter.

One day, my father-in-law Dr. Ayyagari Veerabhadra Rao came to our house. He was a leading scientist who was working with Sir C.V. Raman. He, too, was a devotee of Swami. We requested him to wash 'the feet' of Swami. We have a room set apart for Swami in our house with a chair, bed, table, etc. We place a plate near the chair on foot stool and wash 'the feet' assuming they are there. When Dr. Rao was washing, the water poured into the plate became turbid. It was seen mixed with vibhuti. On the plate were the foot marks of Swami seen clearly.

We used to keep food served in a plate for Swami daily. We used to keep water to drink in a glass and water to wash hand in a bowl. We used to keep a napkin also there. After about 20 minutes, when we went to Swami's room, we used to find the food items mixed up. The water in the bowl used to smell of the curries. The napkin used to be wet as if Swami had dried His wet hands with it.

Once my wife served food in separate plates to Swami, and also to Sita & Rama.

'Why did you leave out Hanuman?' I asked.

She put another plate for Hanuman and served food.

The food in the plates of Swami and Sita and Rama was mixed up neatly. But the food in Hanuman's plate was mixed in a haphazard manner. 'He wants to show us monkey business' we said, and had a hearty laugh.

My wife used to worship with reka-nandivardhanam flowers without removing their foot-stalk. We later found that the foot-stalk of all flowers were neatly pricked and kept in a heap near Hanuman. 'Perhaps, this is a lesson for us' we thought, 'He does not want us to worship with flowers with foot-stalk. So Hanuman neatly pricked them away.'

For Sivarathri, we used to do akhanda-bhajan. Some one had brought a packet of grapes to be offered as prasadam, but we did not notice it. The packet was left in tact. Next morning, my wife was cleaning the pooja room and found the seeds of grapes. 'How did these things come here' she wondered. On the glass of the photograph she saw the juice of grapes trickling down from the grape fruit placed above the mouths of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana. All the grapes were eaten, and the packet was as it was placed there, without, of course, any grapes inside. One notable thing was that only the soft matter inside the grapes was placed on the hoods of Subrahmanya. No seeds, no cover of the grape fruit. On Sivalingam, only juice! 'Perhaps, this is how the Nivedan should be done' we thought, 'the Lord is teaching the right method to us.'

Once, my wife was frying puris in the kitchen. She placed the fried puris in a plate and put raw ones in the frying pan. When she looked at the plate after a few seconds, there were no puris in the plate. She went into the pooja room only to find pieces of puris stuck near the mouths of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana. There were none for Anjaneya. We concluded that Anjaneya was serving the hot puris to His Lord's family.

Once, Mr. Krishna Murthy, an engineer of the BHEL, came to our house. After bhajan we gave grapes to him as prasadam. One of the grapes was full of vibhuti - no seed, edible material or juice. Only vibhuti! Vibhuti used to come in pan which we offered to guests after dinner.

When my wife took out the lid on the pressure cooker after the food was cooked, she used to find Aum and other Bijaksharas on the food as if they were relief models, on several occasions. I did pooja of Yogananda Paramahamsa one day. On that day, Yogananda Paramahansa's picture was found on the rice in the cooker.

One day, Prof. C.V.L Prasad came to our house. When he heard all these stories, he said 'let your God show me my Ishta Daivam'. He also told my wife 'show me the cooker and other things when you cook.'

After he saw what my wife had put in the cooker, the lid was placed and it was kept on the stove. My wife started frying cabbage on the second oven of the stove. He came and watched. The green chilly pieces formed into names.

'Your God has shown me my Ishta Daivam' Prof. Prasad cried in excitement, 'my Ishta Daivam is Lord Venkateswara.'

My wife put only a few slices of tomatoes and a little green gram dhal in the cooker. Strangely there was the prepared dish - tomato pappu - complete with talimpu. Even salt was added.

On the Christmas day, we used to do bhajan of all religions, as is done in Prasanthi Nilayam. That day my wife got wheat ground in the flour mill and spread the warm flour straight from the mill on a wide plate to cool down. After a while, there was a beautiful relief flour sculpture of Jesus on the cross. Even the nails driven on His toes and fingers, etc were also there! Mr. Lokeswara Rao, a Christian colleague of mine, came and witnessed it. 'It is impossible to sculpt that with flour even for an experienced artiste so naturally' he remarked.

In February 2000, I proposed to opt for voluntary retirement and filled the application form. I kept the application on the table in my office room in my house and came to my bedroom and slept. Next morning, I was the first to get up and go into my office room. The papers were missing. I asked my people. We all searched thoroughly. There was vibhuti at the place where I had kept the papers on the table. They could not be found. Then I thought 'Swami does not like my opting to retire now.' I gave up the idea.

We wanted to rent a house in Hyderabad and shift there after retirement. Our relations suggested a house where the owner was constructing some apartments. We went and saw. We liked it. 'I will take this portion' I told them, 'it is enough for us. But I would like to have one more apartment also for me.' Thus I took one extra portion also. When my daughters and sons-in-law came it would be useful. When we were shifting our household goods to Hyderabad we brought the luggage of my daughter also. Then we came to know that my son-in-law was transferred to Hyderabad. Their luggage came with us earlier. The extra luggage I had brought came in handy to settle my daughter's family soon. I thought that it was all Swami's planning.

Once, when my wife was working in the kitchen, she heard a sound as if a wasp was moving nearby. Within a few minutes she noticed milk on the floor. She examined how the milk was on the floor and noticed that it was coming down the wall. On the wall were pictures of Srichakra, Lingam and other parts of Panchayatanam as if some expert had etched them on the wall. The sound of whizzing of wasp she heard was that of etching. The milk poured on the Lingam as abhishekam by unknown hand was coming down the wall onto the floor.

When my daughter was a little girl, she had some health problem. We went to a homoeopath. He gave some medicine as a result of which she had rash and boils all over. We prayed to Swami. On the plantain offered to Swami, two letters 'Su. Na.' appeared in Telugu. After thorough discussion, we could deduce that Swami wanted us to take the child to Suryanarayana of Pedapudi who was a family doctor of ours during my childhood. That very night we went to him. He gave a dose of medicine and said 'you have come just in time. Had you delayed a few hours, her brain would have been affected.' Later he came to our house to attend akhanda-bhajan. He was a priest in Siva temple doing Homoeo practice as a hobby. 'I saw Lord Siva appear in linga form in the photograph of Bhagavan here during bhajan' he remarked.

Once, my daughter had high fever when she was a child. She was crying that she would sleep on the cot set apart for Swami in Swami's room. We had to yield because of her ill-health. Next morning, she was ok. When she got up from the bed we saw an outline of a large snake with a big hood and long body on the bed where she slept. There was vibhuti in the middle of that outline of the snake. We assumed that it was His leela.

In 2005 we bought a house at Hyderabad. On 17.05.2005 we had house warming ceremony without a priest and usual rituals. We have had padukas for Swami made of sandal wood. On that day, vibhuti came on those padukas to show His Divine presence to bless us.'

-- Mr. I. Nageswara Rao

    (As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 21.06.2006)