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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VI | Mr. K. Rajendra Prasad

Mr. K. Rajendra Prasad,
Manager, Nagarjuna Grameena Bank,

Tel: 0882-245244

      Mr. Kolipaka Rajendraprasad (57), Manager, Nagarjuna Grameena Bank, Nalgonda, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan.

'In the nineties, I was busy with union activities. Because of requests for key placements from various groups of staff, to work out transfers had become a tight rope walk. As the tension was unbearable, I wanted to run away and be underground for a few days. Just then my colleague and a relation of mine, Mr. Vijaya Sankar came to me. 'We are going to Puttaparthi' he said, 'would you care to join us?' I jumped at it. 'Sir, I am going to Puttaparthi' I told my Chairman, 'you do all transfers keeping Bank's interests in mind. I will concur'. Thus I came to Prasanthi Nilayam in 1991 for the first time, not because I was a devotee.

In fact, something had happened in 1989 itself to open my eyes but I ignored the hint of the Divine. In 1989, my father, Mr. Ramachandra Rao, a freedom fighter was ill. We engaged a taxi to take him to Hyderabad from Khammam. Mr. Vijaya Sankar, a devotee of Bhagavan, was with us in the car. Even before we reached Suryapet, our car had a head-on collision with a lorry. Mr. Vijaya Sankar who was in the front cried 'Sai Ram'. We got down and pulled carefully out my father who was pushed by the impact under the seats. Miraculously, none of us including the driver was injured in the least. Just before the accident, my father had hiccups. We did not know what to do. There were no hiccups after the accident. Then I saw a car coming from Suryapet. I stopped it. Those who were in it got down and saw our plight. 'Where are you going?' they asked me. 'To Hyderabad' I replied. 'We are going to Khammam' they said, 'it is in the opposite direction, but you take the car. We will go by bus.' Later, I came to know that they are devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I should have realized then itself the Divinity of Bhagavan, but I was blind to it then.

Even though I came to Prasanthi Nilayam on the Gurupoornima day, I did not care to go into the Poornachandra Auditorium where Bhagavan was addressing a meeting. All those who came with me went there. I was sitting under the trees alone. After sometime, I rose and went near the Auditorium. Just then, Bhagavan was coming out of the hall to go to His room in the Mandir (He was residing then on the first floor of the mandir). When I reached the Auditorium I was face to face with Him. I folded my hands involuntarily. That was my first darshan of Bhagavan. In fact, my friends said later, 'you saw Bhagavan from the distance of couple of feet while we were somewhere in the Auditorium at a distance.'

We returned to Khammam. By then transfers were over. No one could blame me as I was away when transfers took place.

In August 1991, a member of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithi advised me to have bhajan in my house. 'I don't know anything about it' I replied, 'I don't even have a photograph of Swami'. 'I will give you one' Mr. Satyanarayana, the MRO who came to request me said. I took and got it laminated. I wanted to make a big show. I phoned to all my friends, relatives and customers as I used to do for our Bank meetings. All of them generally used to turn up earlier than scheduled. But, on the day of the bhajan, I was stunned to see that none of those invited by me turned up. Only devotees that usually attend bhajans were there. I could not digest the failure. I told Mr. Satyanarayana. 'Don't worry' he said, 'Swami brought those that have really an inclination to do bhajan. Why quantity? We want quality.' It was a lesson for me. Swami pricked the balloon of my ego.

In August 1991, I started to do nagarsankeethan. We were only three, but we persisted. In 1992, I wanted to construct a house. But I had no money. One of my colleagues promised to advance. On the day of registration, he did not turn up on time. I was praying to Swami. Assured of registration, I even laid the foundation. That I did without pooja or priest, but only reciting Sai Gayathri. When all were in jitters, the colleague appeared in the last minute with the money and the site could be registered in my name.

Though the work was still going on, I decided to have house-warming ceremony. That was also done without formal pooja, but only by reciting Sai Gayathri and carrying only the photographs of my father and Bhagavan with us.

As the construction was going on, my son Gokul got a seat in a college at Nellore. I paid Rs. 20,000 which I had kept for work on the house, as his fees. The next day, he got a free seat in a residential college. So we admitted him there forfeiting Rs. 20,000. One day I met a Sai devotee in Khammam. 'My uncle is S.E. in Nellore' he told me, 'why should you forego Rs. 20,000? Give me particulars. We will try.' I gave him details. By Swami's grace, that money was refunded. When I went to receive that amount, the Secretary of the College said 'we do not refund any fee, as a rule. But yours is the only case in which we are doing so.' So Swami got back the amount to enable me complete the house.

Whenever I have a problem, I place a flower on the picture of Bhagavan. If the flower falls, then, it is my belief that, the work will be done and the path followed by me is the right one. One of my sisters wanted to have a love marriage. Many of my family members were against it and wanted to boycott it. I decided to go and attend it because the flower fell down. Later, all my people also reconciled, and accompanied me to the delight of the couple.

In 1995, I went to Prasanthi Nilayam for seva. We were given Prasanthi Seva Training by Bhagavan and many senior devotees. I was fortunate to be one among the trainees.

In 1997, my second son, Rahul left home and went to Mumbai with a friend without informing us. We felt anxious and instituted search in vain. I went to an astrologer. 'He will come back' the astrologer told me, 'no worry. Do Vishnu sahasranamam.' That was on a Friday. There was bhajan in the house of Mr. Vijaya Sankar. I went there even though I had no plan to go there. In the bhajan, I sang the bhajan 'Ananta Bandhu Sai.' Though I was not aware of it then, my colleagues in the bhajan told me that I had sung the bhajan very touchingly and that tears were rolling down my cheeks as I sang the bhajan. At the end of the bhajan, I invited all of them to recite Vishnu sahasranamam in my house the next day. I did not even tell my wife before inviting them. That night at 2:30 a.m., I received a phone call from the friend of my son. Both of them had left for Mumbai without any information in the houses. 'We are now in Pune' he said, 'in the bus to Hyderabad; we will be back in our homes tomorrow'. I told my wife about the phone call. 'One more thing' I told her, 'we are having Vishnu sahasranamam parayana in our house this morning'. She rallied happily; got the house cleaned and made everything ready. My son arrived as informed by his friend.

The interesting part was this. A group of ruffians was after them at the beach in Mumbai. They wanted to kidnap the boys and put them in crime. Suddenly there was a taxi. The boys jumped into it and asked the driver to take them to the bus stand. When they reached the bus station, they jumped into the bus not even caring to know whither it was going. It was going to Pune. They were so frightened that they decided to return home. They phoned us, and then boarded a bus to Hyderabd. 'When did you meet the ruffians?' I asked. 'At around 7:30 p.m.' was the reply. That was exactly when I sang the bhajan 'Ananta Bandhu Sai', and Ananta Bandhu responded at once as He did in Gajendra Moksham.

Rahul passed his B.Sc. and got a seat in MBA. But, for months, it was my incessant prayer to Swami, 'kindly bring the boy round, Swami! Make him serious about his studies.' He had almost all vices. Owing to Swami's grace, he gave up all by himself. Earlier, he failed exams in B.Sc. I & II years. But he passed all pending and current subjects in one stretch in the third year. He appeared before joining B.Sc. for entrance at the SSS Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam. He got the first rank in the entrance and did well in the interview. But he was not selected. 'His future is elsewhere' Swami is reported to have remarked while putting x mark before his name. Later, he got free seat in MBA on merit at Nalgonda. I got a transfer to Nalgonda just then. It facilitated his education. He passed MBA and secured a job in Hyderabad.

In 1995, my third son Kapil went to my sister's house in Khammam. One day, as he tried to pick up a book from the shelf, the glass pane got loosened accidentally and landed on his right arm. It cut it severely, and there was profuse bleeding. Right across the street, there was a hospital. The doctor came down to go somewhere. As he saw the boy with a bleeding arm, he took him inside and operated upon him. It is a private hospital where they insist on advance payment. But hid did not even care to know the address of the boy but attended on him cancelling his outing errand. 'If this happened in your house' the doctor told my wife, 'he would have been no more. Or, had I left a minute earlier, it would have been the same fate.'

'The bleeding was so profuse', later after the wound healed, he told us, 'make him learn writing with his left hand. He cannot bend his fingers for ever.' We were crestfallen for his exams were going to take place in about 3 months. He was in the 7th class and had to take the common exam.

We prayed to Bhagavan incessantly. One of my relatives, Dr. A P Ranga Rao came from Hyderabad to Khammam on some work. He called on us and saw the boy. He showed him some simple exercises. 'Do these regularly; it will be painful in the beginning. But you can win with perseverance'.

We thought Swami had sent him to show us a way. My son followed his advice. My son is also a devotee. So he used to chant Sai Ram as he did the exercises. Owing to Swami's grace, he gained full control of his fingers and hand. Not only could he write the exams well with his right hand, he could play cricket well. In fact, he won several prizes in cricket at the district level and regional level matches for 'under 19' boys. He passed his Engineering later and is now employed decently in Hyderabad.

Thus Swami has steered us all through the thick and thin of life to a comfortable journey.'

-- Mr. K. Rajendra Prasad

   (As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 16.02.2006)