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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group III | Mr. P. Ananth Babu

Mr. P. Ananth Babu,
506, Sunny Residency
Motinagar, Yerragadda
Mobile: 98494-44224

Mr. P. Ananth Babu (44), famous cine artiste and brother of the famous comedian, late Mr. P. Raja Babu, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came to Mandapeta in East Godavari district in 1969. I was a kid of primary classes at that time. My mother gave me small change to place in the hundi thinking that practice of collection of money, usually found on such occasions, would be there with Bhagavan also. She was, of course, not aware of the practices that go with Bhagavan's tours.

I must admit that finding some money with me put ideas in me. I kept the money in a paper packet and tucked it under a stone desirous of buying a chocolate or peppermint later. I went to the meeting and had Darshan of Bhagavan for the first time. My mother asked me on return to the house, 'what have you done with the money? There is no hundi or any type of collection there.' I admitted that the money was with me and brought it from the place I had hidden it. Did the Divine Darshan create my frank admission of not spending the money, owing to the impact on my childhood psyche subconsciously? I don't know.

Mrs. Anjali Devi gave me a role in her Telifilm, 'Shirdi Sai - Parthi Sai' in 1998. I had no idea at that time that it was going to be a turning point in my life altogether. For the shooting of the film, I came to Prasanthi Nilayam. At the end of the shooting we all sat for Darshan. As Bhagavan came to me, I said, 'I am leaving today, Swami'. Swami moved forward a few paces before He turned to me and said, 'may it be so, Bangaru'. That was my second Darshan of Bhagavan.

I do not remember if Swami gave any Discourse at Mandapeta in 1969. But, as far as I can remember, I heard His voice for the first time in July 1998. I was overwhelmed with ecstasy. Though I wanted to leave that day, my departure was deferred, and I stayed on. Next morning, I sat for Darshan and Swami gave me Darshan and Padanamaskar also. Soon after Darshan, I came out and sent my son, Nagendra to my wife who was sitting in the ladies enclosure to come out. But she did not come out as she was advised by Mrs. Kanta Rao to stay on. So my son and I coolly returned to our place in the Mandir.

No sooner did I resume my seat than Mr. Murali Mohan came out of Swami's room calling me. At once I rose and began to move. I did not know where to go. People moved aside and gave me way. I could reach the door of Swami's room along with my son. Swami was there to receive me! How can I describe the joy and surprise I experienced when I found Swami waiting for me. It appears Swami called our group for a group interview. As I went out to call my wife, I was not aware of it. Swami, I was told later, said 'there must be one more in your group?' Mr. Murali Mohan looked around and told Him, 'yes, Swami! Ananth has not turned up'. So he came out to fetch me on Swami's instruction. When Swami saw me, He asked me to go in. 'Swami! My wife has to come', I told Swami. 'I will receive them and bring them in', Swami told me in a soft tone, 'you can go in and be seated'. However, I lingered on till my wife joined us. That was the second time I heard His voice - vibrant with love!

Swami, after a while, called my wife, son and me for a private interview. We went into the anteroom. Swami sat on His Simhasan. I sat on His left while my wife sat in front of Swami along with my son. Swami took my right hand into His hands and placed it on His thigh and went on writing on it with His finger or softly caressing it as long as He talked to us.

'What do you want?' Swami asked me.

'Money', I replied.

'Why do you want money?' Swami asked.

'For charity', I answered.

'What do you propose to do with these two?' Swami asked showing my wife and son, 'it is your duty first to take care of them and then indulge in charity. Tank is full. Tap is there. Whenever the tap is on, water will flow from the tank'. Then He saw into my eyes and said, 'if you talk less, you work more. You will be working more and more'.

Then He turned to my wife and said, 'you have small frictions'.

'No, Swami!' my wife replied.

'I am only joking', Swami said.

'I want something as a remembrance, Swami!' I prayed.

Swami smiled and waved His palm in circles, 'take this'. There was a ring in His hands materialized for me.

'Do you know what this is? Swami asked.

I was at a loss to answer. Did He expect a simple answer like ring or something like 'prasadam'?

Swami said, 'these are diamonds, be careful', showing to the stones studded in the ring.

Even after Swami cautioned me thus, I was not careful. I lost one a few years later in a shooting, and one year and one day after that, the other. When I lost the first diamond, my health improved. My ulcer problem left me. On the loss of the second diamond, I received good news that I was selected for the State Award of the best comedian. The ring is still with me with only a lone diamond on it.

On February 7, 2005, I was praying to Swami silently. Since the day of Swami calling us for interview, we have become devotees of Bhagavan in a spirit of total surrender. We even renamed our son. We christened him first as Nagendra Babu. After we came into Swami's fold, we wanted to rename him. So we wrote three chits: 1) Nagendra Babu 2) Sri Sathya sai 3) Sri Sathya Sai Nagendra Babu. We placed the chits before Bhagavan (Photograph) and drew one. When we opened, it read Sri Sathya Sai Nagendra Babu. So we renamed him.

When he was just Nagendra Babu, he used to display a tendency to hiss now and then with short tempter. After he was renamed, the addition of 'Sri Sathya Sai' to his name softened him. He has become more soft-spoken, and less and less hissing. It was a miracle in itself.

We have kept Bhagavan's Photographs all around in our house. We have stopped listening to cine songs, and begun playing bhajans. We have wanted our Sweet Home to be a replica of Prasanti Nilayam. Bhagavan has brought a transformation in me also. I used to indulge in taking alcoholic drinks and savour non-vegetarian food. After acting in the telefilm, 'Sri Shirdi Sai - Sri Parthi Sai', I gave up both. On the day I gave up alcohol and non-vegetarian food, I had a feeling that God had forsaken me; prayerfully I asked, 'Swami! Why have you forsaken me?'

That day, Mr. B.V.Pattabhiram telephoned to me and said, 'congrats! You are one of the thirty that are tipped by Bhagavan to write about their experiences in the souvenir to be brought out to commemorate Swami's 80th Birthday!' I could not believe my ears. Soon I received a letter to that effect and acknowledged it also. So Swami hasn't forsaken me. I always remember with gratitude the oft-repeated declaration of Bhagavan, 'even if you leave Me, I will not leave you'.

Bhagavan has blessed me with His appearance in my dreams several times. As He told me in the interview, 'the tank is always full'. I get all the money I need. As my obligations surface, the income, too, follows miraculously. This has been my experience often.

On my present visit to Prasanthi Nilayam, this morning before Darshan, I prayed before Lord Ganesh 'pray let me have Darshan of Bhagavan from close quarters'. As Swami came along Darshan lines, I prayed to Swami, who blessed me with the wave of His hand. Lord Ganesh fulfilled my prayer.'

-- Mr. P. Ananth Babu.

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 26.02.2005.)