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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group I | Mr. M.Maheswara Raju

Mr. M.Maheswara Raju
D.No.30-19-10, Chaparala Street
Vijayawada - 520 002
Tel: 0866-2435559

Mr. M.Maheswara Raju (47), a Civil Engineer turned share marketer, narrates some of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'Though I was hearing about Sri Sathya Sai since my student days, I did not show much interest. On seeing some Babas, I lost respect for saints, as it was difficult to know who was a bona-fide saint and who was not.

In 1984, my aunts were going for pilgrimage in a Yatra Special Bus and wanted me to accompany them. Though I was at first reluctant to go, I consented finally to accompany them. One of the places in the itinerary was Puttaparthi. It so happened that we reached there on the eve of Gurupurnima.

In the morning of Gurupurnima, the Divine Discourse of Swami was arranged in the Purnachandra Auditorium. Sai Kulwant Hall was not there at that time. When I entered the hall, I saw the writing 'Aum Sri Sai Ram' there. I used to do Omkaram as well as Gayatri and Surya Gayatri everyday. Usually I write 'Om', not 'Aum'. In my amateurish mood, I thought that some one who did not know how to spell properly should have written that.

When Swami started His Divine Discourse, He began explaining about Omkaram. 'Pranava, that is, AUM, is a combination of three syllables 'A, U and Ma', said Swami and added, 'do you understand Bangaru?' It was as if He was asking me. I realized that he who did not know how to spell was none other than me. At that time Swami's face alone appeared to my eyes.

As I was looking at Him, my mind got stuck on the enchanting face of Swami. The auditorium, the stage and the audience ceased to exist for me except the Divine face of Bhagavan. I began to run towards Him seized of an uncontrollable urge to be near Him. Sevadal and others caught hold of me. I was not conscious of even that. My mind, at that time, registered nothing but Swami. I was not aware how foolishly and impudently I was behaving.

Swami left the auditorium at the end of the proceedings. He was going into the Mandir where He was residing in those days. I began to run after Him. Again sevadal were after me. Finally they held me on to the ground till Swami reached His abode. I sat down there itself still wondering about this Divine personality that moved me thus. I clean forgot about my food or about what other members of my tourist party including my aunts were doing. Next day we had Darshan and then moved on to other places such as Mahanandi, Mantralaya, Srisailam, etc. Thus ended my very first visit to Puttaparthi.

In 1985 also Sri Acchi Raju, the convenor of Sri Sathya Sai Samiti at Vijayawada sponsored a Bus to Puttaparthi and other places. I got my seat reserved in it. But when I was requested to take a rear seat, to make way for an aged, I refused. In a fit of dissent, I got down from the bus, and left for my house dropping out of the trip.

In 1986 also, Sri Acchi Raju sponsored a bus. I did not join, but my wife went along with them. At Puttaparthi, Swami gave all of them Padanamaskar. When He came to my wife, He asked, 'where is that angry fellow? Should he not come here with children? Is this a picnic?' She told me what Swami had said, on her return. But I did not pay much attention in my youthful mood.

In 1987, we all came to Puttaparthi during Sankranti festival days. Swami gave us all Padanamaskar. We also went to see sports on January 11. Those days security was not so tight as it is now. I could go very near Swami and watch Him from behind. Bhagavan's hair was so fascinating with its light blue hues that I could not take away my eyes from Him. His complexion appeared to be in a lovely golden shade the like of which is not found in humans. Just then some one said that the boys who were playing volleyball were not playing well.

'Chapatti fellows', commented one person.

'What did they give you for breakfast?' Swami asked.

'Chapattis', replied a boy.

'Was that enough?' Swami asked.

'They also gave us Kesaribath.'

'A spoonful? I suppose!' Swami commented.

'No, Swami', the boy replied, 'quite enough!'

'Kesaribath is all right', Swami said, 'but no principal bath!'

On hearing this comment of Swami, we were unable to make out what Swami had meant by those words. Meanwhile, the Principal - I don't know his name, who was at a distance where Swami's words were audible, came hurriedly to Swami and fell on His feet.

'Swami!' He said crestfallen, 'kindly pardon me. Because of the cold and for want of time, I could not take my bath today'.

I was wonderstruck at this unexpected development. How tactfully Swami brought the conversation from volleyball to chapatti, from chapatti to kesaribath and then to Principal bath! He then gave a bit of His mind to the Principal on the need to set on example to the boys by his own conduct.

I used to come to Puttaparthi quite frequently - either for seva or Darshan. In 1995, we all sat in Darshan lines. I held a letter in my hands about my son's admission into Swami's school.

'I will give, Bangaru!' Swami said while taking the letter. He gave seat for him later in the 11th Class. He also did MFM (Master in Financial Management) in Swami's college only. My daughter, though she did not study in Swami's school, was blessed with good education. She did her BCA. She is now doing MFM at Vijayawada and MCA through Distant Education mode from the Pondicherry University.

In 1995, Swami called us for a group interview on March 8. 'Though we are not able to be devoted to Swami fully, we request Swami to take care of us', I pleaded.

'Being a part-time devotee', Swami retorted, 'you want to claim full-level grace? Become a full time devotee first. I will give you G.P.F, gratuity, bonus, rights issue and even arrears!'

Noticeably Swami used many words from the share market terminology. In those days, I was doing share market business and was thriving well. I asked Swami about it.

'Stop it', Swami said, 'it is enough'.

I did not heed Swami's advice and continued my share market dealings only for a week after Swami's injunction. I lost most of the amount I had earned in shares earlier!

Once my daughter, Ms. Dola Radha Mayee sat in Darshan lines at Puttaparthi. She was sitting carrying a silk saree in a tray with a cup of akshatas.

'You do poojas, etc well', Swami told her as He came near her, and took some akshatas, and sprinkled on her by way of blessing.

We were non-vegetarians earlier. After coming into Swami's fold, we all gave up non-vegetarian food, but my daughter did not. I tried to persuade her.

'If Swami tells me to give it up, I will', she told me.

In 2001, she attended the Youth Conference at Puttaparthi.

Swami came along the Darshan line and told her 'Don't'. He was showing with His fingers a gesture of eating. Others were perplexed, 'what! Swami is asking this girl to give up taking food!' But my daughter could understand it. However, she began to grumble.

'Give up non-vegetarian, Bangaru!' Swami told her in so many words, 'it is not good'.

My daughter gave up non-vegetarian food. After a few months, she asked me, 'can't I eat eggs?'

'Ask Swami!' I replied, 'why ask me?'

Nowadays, she says, 'I don't even get a thought about non-vegetarian food or even eggs!' That's how Swami has transformed her.

My father was a devotee of Sri Anjaneya Swami. He wanted to visit some Anjaneya Temple.

'Here is a god who moves among us in human form', I told him, 'why go after all idol gods?'

After a few days, I had a dream. Swami appeared to me with his mouth puffed up in reddish colour.

'Why is your mouth swollen? Swami!' I asked in the dream.

'Is it so?' Swami replied. 'Don't you know that all gods are me only?'

Swami did not like my talking in a casual manner about Anjaneya Swami, which might have hurt my father. So he came into my dream to correct my notion with the face of Sri Anjaneya.

On March 9, 1995, Swami came to me in the Darshan lines when we were there in a group.

'I will have a Photograph with your group consisting of 35 members', Swami told us.

He came to me and placed His hand on my head. I immediately placed my hand on His so that He would not remove His hand soon. Then the Photographer was focussing his camera on Swami and me. I was looking at Swami's fascinating face.

'Look at the camera', Swami told me affectionately, 'and not at me!'

Those were the unforgettable moments when I was drenched totally by the nectar of His Divine Love.'

-- Mr. Maheswara Raju.

(As narrated to Mr. B.Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nialayam on 01.07.2004.)