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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group III | Mr. K. Gopala Rao

Mr. K. Gopala Rao
S1-A22, Prasanthi Nilayam - 515134
Tel: 08555-287954

Mr. K. Gopala Rao, born in December 1908, is among the oldest devotee-residents of Prasanthi Nilayam. An ardent devotee of Bhagavan for decades, he had distinguished career in the Banking Industry, retiring as the Chairman of the Andhra Bank. He was awarded Padma Shree in 1974, a year after his retirement from the Banking Industry. He has had several experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan of which he narrates a few in this article in his own words.

‘I first met Bhagavan Baba in Mumbai on July 24, 1965. I was to translate His Discourse that evening in Shanmukhananda Hall. I was quite nervous, as I had no experience in translating. But at the very last minute, Sri B. Ramakrishna Rao, who usually translated for Swami, arrived unexpectedly. I felt greatly relieved. At the same time, I had the rare opportunity of travelling with Swami in His car to the venue of the meeting. My wife and I had his blessings also. This encounter totally changed our lives. My family and I have had many experiences of Swami’s Divinity over the past 36 years but I will confine this narrative to the more significant ones.

Swami cancels my Cancer

In 1962, I had surgery and radiation for malignancy in my urinary bladder. Four years later, when there was a recurrence, my doctors sent me to London for further treatment. The urologist there, after examination and tests, wanted to remove my bladder. I was reluctant. I wrote a letter to Swami for help. During the surgery that followed, the doctor, to his utter surprise, found no trace of cancer. There was an understanding between us that if no cancer cells were found, my bladder should not be removed. So, he closed me up allowing my bladder to remain.

After my return to Mumbai, my wife and I visited Puttaparthi quite a few times. During one such visit, Swami told my wife not to worry about my health any longer, as He would look after me. Thereafter, I did not need any examination or medication for more than three decades. Swami had cancelled my cancer. I have been a resident in Swami’s Ashram since my retirement in 1973 and by His grace I have been enjoying perfect health.

Arthritis Cured with Vibhuti

The next experience relates to my daughter Surya Kumari (72). My wife, who was an ardent devotee of Swami, passed away in April 1976. Swami permitted me to attend the Summer Course in Ooty in May to help me get over my grief. On my return to Bangalore, I was shocked to find my daughter crawling on the floor, unable to stand up or walk. She was found to be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. I immediately took her to Puttaparthi and prayed to Swami to save her. It was only a few weeks since my wife had passed away, and I would not be able to bear another calamity so soon, I pleaded.

Let my daughter continue the story: ‘In the interview Swami looked at me with love and compassion as I slowly limped into His presence. He said to me softly, ‘see Bangaru, believe in Me fully. Keep away all medicines. You will walk and do all your household work in a week, I promise.’ He materialised vibhuti for me and gave me padanamaskar. I did walk within a week. My arthritis disappeared as if in a dream, never to bother me again. To experience His close presence, I became a balvikas guru and this seva has been giving me immense satisfaction for the past 39 years.’

Swami Gives a Second Life to my Son

My son Suryanarayana (71) has been Swami’s devotee since 1963, even before I met Swami. A highly qualified mechanical engineer, he had a long and distinguished career with Ashok Leyland. In December 1997, he came to Puttaparthi for my 90th birthday and during our interview, which Swami granted us, he told Swami that the doctors had discovered a patch in his left upper lung through scanning and x-ray. He had been losing weight and appetite and getting weaker. He was advised to undergo bronchoscopy and biopsy to determine whether the patch was malignant.

We prayed to Swami for His protection and guidance. Swami asked my son to go through the tests, assuring him that He would be with him. My son returned in a week with the reports, which confirmed malignancy. He was advised surgery within a week for the removal of the lung or a portion. This did not guarantee a cure however. Suryanarayana was much depressed and despondent. We showed the reports to Dr. Alreja, who on our request, placed them at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan. Dr. Alreja brought us prasadam from Swami.

I now continue the story in my son’s own words: “In my anxiety, I had told my two sons in the USA of my grave condition and they decided to come to India immediately to be with me in this crisis. At this stage, Swami appeared in my son Gopal’s dream that night and told him, ‘do not come. I am looking after your father. Nothing will happen to him while I am here.’ Gopal phoned to tell me this.

The following day, January 8, 1998 was a Thursday and Vaikuntha Ekadasi. I was able to get a front line seat in the morning Darshan. Swami came direct to me and asked: ‘What are the doctors saying?’ I raised both my hands in total surrender and responded, ‘Swami! You alone must save me.’ Swami, in His infinite compassion, placed His hand on my head and gave me divinely materialised vibhuti. Almost instantly, I started to feel a sense of well being. I hurried to my room to convey this happy news to my father and wife. For three months, I stayed at Puttaparthi having Darshan daily and doing intense sadhana. Swami would notice me at times and raise His hand in recognition.

My health showed an all-round remarkable improvement. From that time till now I did not take any medicine. Nor did I get myself examined by any doctor, not even by my son who is a M.D., practising in the USA. I depended solely upon the Divine Darshan and vibhuti with total faith. I now enjoy good health and am free from all anxieties. Bhagavan has granted me a second lease of life”

Swami Cures my Grandson Gopal in a Dream

Gopal has been a computer engineer in New Jersey, USA for the last twelve years. He and his wife sing bhajans at Sai Centres and he also plays on the Tabla at Bhajans. He writes: “In May 1993, I was getting excruciating pain in my feet during my daily jogging. A specialist diagnosed my problem as flat foot. Due to insufficient arch, the tissue at the bottom of the foot pulled at the heel bone causing pain. An injection gave me relief for six months. But in winter, the pain would return with double the intensity. When my problem continued despite treatment, I was advised surgery but with no guarantee of cure. I shared my anxiety with my parents over the phone in June 1998. My father gave a letter to Swami about my condition.

In July 1998, early one morning, I had a vivid dream. I was sitting in Prasanthi Nilayam. Swami came right up to me and asked me what the matter was with my feet. He said, ‘let me see your right leg.’ I stretched my right leg with the sole facing upward. Swami put His right foot in the region of the arch and pressed firmly. Even in my dream I could hear myself groaning with pain caused by the pressure. Swami did the same to my left foot also. After Swami spoke to me a few words, the dream ended. When I woke up in the morning, miraculously I felt the pain leaving me. It was going down my waist propelled by a cool blissful sensation in both my legs and then to my feet and then to disappear completely. When I put my feet on the ground, I realised for the first time in years that I was free from pain. I could not believe myself. By Bhagavan’s grace, the pain has never recurred.”

Swami Restores a Bank’s Health

Even institutions have health problems sometimes. In 1968, with Swami’s blessings, I became the Chairman of the Andhra Bank for a five-year term. I had served in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra for over 40 years. My ambition was to serve my own State also before I finally retired. Earlier to my taking over, a strong employees’ union had forced a weak management to sign away its rights in regard to recrui9tment and promotions on the basis of merit. This was crippling the Bank’s progress and was its chief problem.

A 90-day strike brought on by the union on a non-issue gave us a chance to remove the roadblock. Swami’s directive to me was: Stand firm with courage and do not yield. We had the support of the Government, the Reserve Bank, the public at large and the loyal staff with us. No wonder, when Divinity is with you, everybody will also be with you. With ‘No Work No Pay’ enforced at our instance throughout the country by all other Banks also, the All India Union had to call off the strike. This was unprecedented. For over 30 years now there have been no prolonged strikes either in Banks or Government or Industry. The principle of ‘No Work No Pay’ has come to stay. Through Swami’s grace, the country has benefited immensely.

Normally, a Bank would be in shambles after such a lengthy strike. But the Andhra Bank’s growth that year was the best in 49 years of its existence. The Reserve Bank expected a run on us when we reopened, but exactly the reverse happened. We had a rush of deposits. Even the staff that had lost the wages during the strike worked with zeal. During my five-year period, the bank grew to three times its size despite labour troubles.

I shudder to think as to what would have been the predicament of my family had it not been for Bhagavan’s immeasurable compassion and grace. This is the story of one family. Bhagavan’s protection extends worldwide to millions. Each one will have a story to tell if there is someone to listen. We are in the immediate presence of the Avatar. This is our extraordinary good fortune. This is our chance to fulfil our lives through selfless and dedicated service to humanity with the firm conviction that we are thereby serving God Himself who is immanent in all. We should be Swami’s worthy instruments with no feeling of doer-ship.

-- Mr. K. Gopala Rao

(Source: This is an article by Mr. K. Gopala Rao published in the Sanathana Sarathi (English) in November 2001)