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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group III | Mr.P. Suryanarayana Raju

Mr. P. Suryanarayana Raju,
DNR Hostel Veedhi,
Bhimavaram, West Godavari District.
Tel: 08816-222705

Mr. P. Suryanarayana Raju (72), who retired as the Assistant Director, State Information Centre, Vijayawada, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

‘Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came to Rajahmundry in late December 1972. I had His Darshan for the first time on January 1, 1973 there.

Since 1953 I was suffering from piles. After Darshan of Bhagavan in 1973, I began taking part in Sathya Sai seva activities. Within three months, my piles complaint was completely healed owing to Swami’s grace. There has been no recurrence till now.

In 1974, we took out a procession carrying the photograph of Bhagavan. Though I was physically present in the procession, my mind was preoccupied with my personal problems. I had no money. But I had to pay the school fee of my son. I was praying to Bhagavan while singing bhajan songs outwardly, as I was walking in the procession. Even before I had gone a few paces after my prayer to Bhagavan, a postman met me in the procession.

‘You have a money order, sir!’ he told me, ‘lucky I met you here’. He took my signature on the M.O. form and delivered the amount. I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to Bhagavan for the prompt response.

In 1975, I came for seva to Prasanthi Nilayam. As it was the time of the 50th Birthday of Swami, we had to work the whole night. One of my co-sevadal was behaving flippantly without seriousness. While we were all awake the whole night doing seva, he went and slept comfortably. In the early hours, Swami came where we were working. This sevadal who had slept well in the night came a few minutes before the arrival of Swami. Bhagavan did not look at us even, but talked to him. I was feeling piqued for this.

But Swami went about 30 feet and suddenly turned back, looked into my eyes straight and gave a meaningful and bewitching smile. Perhaps, Swami wanted to prick my ego in thinking that we had worked the whole night and hence expected Swami to talk to us. He also knew our feelings. So he gave me the enchanting Divine smile of His to compensate and also to console me, I thought.

In the last week of March 1980, the marriage of my eldest daughter Venkatalakshmi was settled. Muhurtham for the wedlock was fixed on April 9. Our relatives sent word, ‘we will make all arrangements for the wedding. It is enough if you bring Rs. 10,000 to be given as dowry to the bridegroom’.

I had no money. How to secure Rs. 10,000 within a week? In those days, Rs. 10,000 was a big sum. Sometime earlier, I had helped expedite a case of land acquisition. The landowner, Mr. M.S. Raju came to me then with some bribe because his work was done earlier than he expected. I refused politely.

‘I know you won’t accept bribes’, he said, ‘you are a devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. But when you have to perform the marriage of your daughter, please remember me. Let me help you at least by giving you a loan then’. I laughed and let it pass.

As I prayed to Baba, I remembered this. So I went to his place, Atreyapuram. But he was not available. His father asked me the purpose of my visit. I explained. But I had no hope of any positive outcome. I was not sure that this gentleman would inform about my visit to his son. So I returned to Kakinada. I wrote a letter to Bhagavan praying for help and posted it. After dropping the letter in the postbox, I returned home. A telegram was waiting for me. It was from the landowner, Mr. M.S. Raju of Atreyapuram, ‘sent DD for Rs. 10,000 – Raju.’ Swami is our unfailing friend.

In 2000, I brought my co-brother, Mr. D.V. Rama Raju to Prasanthi Nilayam. I was coming for seva. He wanted to have Darshan of Bhagavan. He has only one son. But his son had no issues. So he came to pray to Bhagavan and sat in Darshan line. Though he went regularly for Darshan, he always got 14, 20, 24 token numbers, etc. He did not get an opportunity to give the letter. As I was in seva at the SSSIHMS, I was not able to go for Darshan. After five days, he became frustrated and began to feel unhappy. I tried to console him and enthuse him.

‘Let us go today’, I said, ‘Swami will take your letter’. After saying so, I began to pray to Bhagavan, ‘Swami! He came with me. If he is unhappy, how can I go back happily? I have no self-interest in this. Pray grant my request and make my word come true’.

That day we got the second line. Swami came along Darshan line. He came to us but proceeded further a few paces sending our B.P up. Then he turned back and came smiling to us. Swami took the letter from my co-brother, materialized vibhuti and gave it to him and to me. Thus Swami made my assurance come true out of compassion. The daughter-in-law of my co-brother, I learn, is now carrying. She is in the 4th month of her pregnancy, all owing to His compassion and grace.

In 2004, my son, Mr. P.V.K Kumar Raju who was working as a lecturer at Visakhapatnam had an attack of asthma and was admitted in a serious condition in the ICU in a hospital there. I received a phone call about his condition. On that day we had akhanda-bhajan in the night because it was the day of Sivarathri. How to leave Swami’s programme and go? I could not think of any way out. I prayed to Bhagavan, ‘even if I go to Vizag, there is nothing I can do for my son. It is only You who can save him. I place all my worry at Your lotus feet and stay here doing bhajan.’

So I did not go, but sat in bhajan the whole night. In the early hours, I returned to my house. Then there was a phone call. My son who was unconscious the whole night regained consciousness. Doctors said that he was out of danger. He was progressing well. ‘You need not worry. You can come at your convenience’, they said. After my son recovered, I phoned and talked to him explaining why I could not go to see him. ‘I was taken to Prasanthi Nilayam and sent back, without spending a pie’, my son told me, ‘I owe my life to Swami.’ Only then I could understand that Swami had given my son a new lease of life on the Sivarathri Day. Literally His prana, which was taken out of his body to the lotus feet of Swami, was sent back by the compassionate Sai-mata. What a grace!’

-- Mr. P. Suryanarayana Raju.

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 21.04.2005)