Please read Samarpan on the site and contribute your mite to Sri Sathya Sai Veda Pratishtan. | Please Subscribe to Vedamu YouTube channel

Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VI | Mr. K. Padma Raju

Mr. K. Padma Raju,
60-4-29 / 2, Prakashnagar,
Malkapuram, Visakhapatnam - 530 011.

Tel: 0891-2740137

Mr. K. Padma Raju (45), working as Charge-man in the Visakha Steel Plant, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'During my younger days, I was attracted by Communist activities. My father, Mr. Appa Rao, sent me to Puttaparthi for darshan of Bhagavan with a hope that I would have a chance to reform. I came to Prasanthi Nilayam reluctantly as I had no belief in such spiritual leaders as Bhagavan. That was my first visit. On the day of our arrival in February 26, 1981, we learnt that Swami was in Whitefield, but He returned to Prasanthi Nilayam the next day. After having darshan of Bhagavan, I folded my hands and did namaskar involuntarily. Thus, February 27, 1981 was as a turning point in my life. That day, I gave up non-vegetarian food. I have not touched it ever since.

Owing to Swami's grace, I was elected as a Director of the Steel Plant Employees Cooperative Society on March 30, 2000. Some employees, who did not like my exposing their selfish activities in the Society, manhandled me one day in 2001. When I started saying 'Sai Ram', they became furious and began to beat me black and blue. I do not know how I survived their wrath.

In January 2002, we, Steel Plant employees, went to Prasanthi Nilayam. Swami gave us group interview. He materialized rings and gave to two persons in the group.

'Swami, I want Your protection' I prayed to Bhagavan.

'I already saved you when you were manhandled' Swami replied. He materialised vibhuti and gave me; then He said 'I will give you raksha'. Then He left the mandir, went towards the ladies side and returned, while we were still seated. On return, He materialized a gold chain with a locket. There is Aum on one side of the locket and the picture of Bhagavan on the other. As Swami tried to put it around my neck, it did not pass my head. Swami took it in His hands, and stretched it a little to loosen as if it were elastic, and put it around my neck Himself.

Three months later, I was arrested on an allegation that I had scolded a tribal person using caste name. It happened on a Wednesday in April 2002. My wife, Mrs. Saraswathi prayed to Swami: 'If you are God, my husband will come home by Friday'. But that Friday was Good Friday, a holiday. My lawyer approached the Magistrate for bail on Thursday. The Judge said 'I am not convinced of your arguments. However, something tells me from inside that I should give bail to him. Who will give surety?' The person who came forward to give surety was a tribal. 'He is said to have scolded your tribe person by caste' the Judge told him, 'how is it you come forward to give him surety?' 'I know he is a gentleman' the tribal replied, 'he will not do such things.' The Judge granted me bail and I returned home the same day. My wife was happy that Bhagavan had made my release happen against odds.

When I was arrested and taken to the jail, the jail authorities asked me to remove the chain given by Bhagavan as it is against jail rules to keep any thing on body. I explained the sentimental reason why I could not do so, but they did not agree. So I kept it with my brother till I was released. The case dragged on for a year or so, and was dismissed in my favour owing to Swami's grace.

Every year we are coming to Prasanthi Nilayam as a group from the Steel Plant. On one such visit, I asked Swami 'I want to contest for the President's post (of our Cooperative Society)'. 'But there is no provision' Swami replied. True. I later learnt that there is no direct election to the President's post. However, owing to Swami's grace, I was again elected as Director, and from among the Directors, as the President.

In 2002, I had slept around 11 a.m. on Gurupoornima day in my house. Around 11:35 a.m. I had a dream. Swami appeared in the dream and asked me if I knew Gayathri mantra. 'I don't know Swami' I replied. He then told me the mantra in my ear. He also said 'hereafter, I am not going to allow padanamaskar'. I work up. By 1:40 p.m., I was at the Steel Plant shed where we used to have satsang.

'I had a dream' I told the fellow devotees; 'Swami told me in the dream that He is not going to allow padanamaskar hereafter'. After a few minutes, there was a phone call from Prasanthi Nilayam. One of our colleagues who had been there to attend the Gurupurnima celebrations was on the line. 'Swami has announced' he told on the phone 'that He will not allow padanamaskar from today'. All were taken aback.

In January 1999, we performed Sai Sathya Vratam at Visakhapatnam and started for Prasanthi Nilayam as a group of 84. In fact, we wanted to bring as many of our employees as possible. In those days, our Company was incurring losses. Our future was threatened. We wanted to pray to Swami to save our Company and, thus, save us. Swami told us 'I will call you for a group interview tomorrow.' We had all written individual letters about our Steel Plant and handed over to Swami in a bundle. 'So weighty!' Swami felt surprised.

The next day He asked us to go into the Bhajan mandir for the group interview.

'Meet us in the interview room, Swami' I pleaded.

Gesturing to tell us that we are bulky, Swami said, 'can't accommodate'

'We will sit one in another's lap and adjust' I pleaded further.

'Won't do' Swami said, 'go into the Bhajan hall'.

Swami explained about many philosophical aspects. When we broached about our Steel Plant, Swami said 'politics without principles is the cause of all this. Don't worry. I will take care'. He then added 'your steel will get good name and great demand in the world. But you have to keep in mind not only your rights but responsibilities as well.'

One of our colleagues was taking treatment confidentially for AIDS. He was afraid of death in a few months. Swami suddenly turned to him and said 'your case is not that'. He materialized vibhuti and gave him. This happened in 1999. Though tests showed earlier that he had been afflicted by the AIDS, he has come to normal health after he took that vibhuti.

'Swami' I prayed in the same interview, 'may we have a photo with Swami!'

'Where is your camera?' Swami asked.

We did not bring a camera.

'Don't worry, I will arrange' Swami said. He went to the door and called someone with a digital camera. We had a number of photographs. Swami allowed us to stand very near to Him, and did not mind when some of us placed our hands on His shoulders, hands, legs and feet'.

Owing to His grace, Visakha Steel Plant turned the corner. The Company which, at that time, was steeped in losses amounting to Rs. 300 crores is having a profit of Rs. 2000 crores now.'

-- Mr. K. Padma Raju

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 29.01.2006)