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 I | Mr. R. Indreswara Rao

Mr. R.Indreswara Rao,
(1) Temple Street, Penumantra -
     West Godavari District
(2) S1- B18, Prasanthi Nilayam - 515134
     Anantapur District
     Mobile: 94405-06125

Mr. R. Indreswara Rao (65), presently residing at Prasanthi Nilayam, was born on May 14, 1939. He belongs to Penumantra, West Godavari District. For over half-a-century, he has been a Sai devotee. He has been blessed with several Sai miracles some of which he relates in his own words.

'I heard of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in my early childhood. My mother's elder sister and her husband used to go to Puttaparthi frequently. When I was a student of the 4th or the 5th class, I used to be an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. I did not consider even Krishna as God. I used to view skeptically the tales about Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Sometimes I used to think: 'If Sri Sathya Sai Baba is God, let him give me chocolates'. Incredibly, two chocolates used to be there in my bag! While preparing for an examination, I prepared a guess paper and thought: 'If Sri Sathya Sai Baba is God, let this same set of questions appear in my examination'. I got the same questions when I opened the question paper in the examination Hall!

Our family was a spiritually oriented family. So I was brought up in an environment of spirituality and devotion. There was a Yogini called Bucchamma in Mamuduru near our village. She was a disciple of Yogini Picchamma who was famous as an Avadhuta. Bucchamma was a devotee of Lord Krishna. The moment she heard the name of Krishna she used to go into ecstasy. When we went to see her, she used to shower her love and affection on me in abundance. She used to tell me, 'you will come up in life. You will see God'.

And, I did see God in 1953. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came to Chebrol (W.G. Dist) in that year. I took a flower garland and an apple, and went to the house where Baba was staying. Though no one was allowed to go in, I somehow got in. I went in, pushing the doors. In one room arrangements were made for taking bath. Swami was there, but I did not know that he was Swami, as I did not see him earlier.

'Why have you come?' Swami asked looking at me smilingly.

'To see Sathya Sai Baba', I replied.

'Then, see!'

I did not know what to do. I came out. People at the door were surprised not knowing how I could get in hoodwinking them. I ran to my uncle's house. There they were all waiting to receive Swami, as he was to visit my uncle's house also. My cousin-brother, who was older than me, asked me to stand by his side, and not to go near Swami. 'You should not make noise. Stand here!' he said. I meekly obeyed.

Bhagavan arrived. I could realize that He was the same person whom I had just seen earlier in the room where preparations were made for His taking bath. As He entered, He gestured to me to come near him and said: 'Why are you standing there without coming to me?'

'Children', I replied, 'are told not to go near Swami'.

Swami took me near Him with His out-stretched arm and said, 'want to garland?'

He was taller than me, and bent a little. I garlanded and handed over the apple.

He did not take. 'You are not coming near me, so I am not taking', He said. Swami went round the house without allowing me slip out of His half-embrace. He gave me vibhuti 4 or 5 times, materializing it.

'Would you come with me?' Swami asked.

'I don't know', I said, 'my parents have to tell'.

Swami asked my parents to send me with Him. 'I will educate him' Swami told my parents, 'send him with me'.

I don't know what happened, but it ended there.

In my childhood, I had a problem in the liver. Rambabu, one of my elder brothers, passed away with the same ailment. So my parents were worried. There was no medicine for liver ailments at that time. At that time, a saint came to my grandfather's place, Kaikaram.

'I will cure this boy', he told my grand parents pointing to me. 'But, when I return after 12 years, you will have to give him to me'.

It was a peculiar condition. My people thought, 'let him survive, first!' So they consented. He gave some reddish powder. I was completely cured! But he did not turn up after 12 years to claim me. But Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came exactly after 12 years and asked me to go with Him. I always feel that it was Bhagawan who came to Kaikaram and cured my liver-ailment miraculously. When I first met Bhagawan in Chebrol, He showered His love, affection and compassion abundantly on me. I could realize, for the first time, the taste of Divine Love the like of which I could not find anywhere else.

We used to go to Puttaparthi often. Swami used to move with us freely. He used to ask us to do this or that work which we used to do, due to His grace.

Later Swami visited Chebrol in 1954. He came there later 4 or 5 times. I passed S.S.L.C. in 1955-56, got married in 1958 and was blessed with a daughter in 1960. We all went to Puttaparthi with the newborn child. I used to long for a son also. Swami told us at Puttaparthi, 'when you come to me next time, you come with your son also'.

In 1962, we went to Puttaparthi. We arrived late, and the Darshan was over. We stood in the premises expecting to have a glimpse of Swami when he came out of His room on the upstairs of the Bhajan Mandir where He used to reside then. Swami came out of His room, stood in the verandah and gestured something. I understood that He was to come downstairs, and wanted us to wait. He came down and asked us to follow. Some Yajna was conducted in the previous year at the place where the temple of Karthikeya (Murugan) has come up later. A platform constructed for the Yajna was still there with tall stone pillars raised on either side.

'Remove those pillars from there', Swami told us. 'Bring them there!' He showed us the place (presently the inner gate of Sai Kulwant Hall)

'Yes, Swami!' I replied enthusiastically. 'You seem to be weak and lean', Swami remarked smilingly. 'How can you do it?'

Some persons joined, tied strong ropes to the pillars and held. I and another young man from Kerala named Rishikesh held the pillars so that they would not fall. Some others took crowbars and were trying to lift the pillars from the base. Swami was warning from a little distance, 'be careful!'

Then suddenly, one of the ropes tied to the pillar gave way. The pillar by then was loosened from its base, and fell owing to its own weight. I managed to slip out of the danger spot, but the pillar fell on the legs of Mr. Rishikesh crushing them to pulp. I immediately ran to him and cried in alarm, 'Swami! Legs of Rishikesh are crushed.' It did not occur to me in that moment to say 'Sai Ram'. But Mr. Rishikesh was doing Sai-namam, though writhing in pain.

Swami dismissed my shouts of alarm and said, 'you are unnecessarily frightened. Nothing happened to Rishikesh. Let me see!'

Swami came to Mr. Rishikesh, materialized some vibhuti, and sprinkled it on his legs. By that time, the pillar was removed. Swami waved his hand over the affected portions of the leg and said, 'remove his pant (trousers) a little and see what happened?'

I slowly lifted the pant rolling it up carefully. To my astonishment, there was no scratch even! I had seen, with my own eyes, his legs below the knees having been crushed by the falling heavy stone pillar. Again I saw the same portion of his legs, which did not bear even a scratch. 'That is', I thought, 'God!'

'Did I not tell you, nothing happened?' Swami smilingly slapped me, 'you fellow, you raise hue and cry for nothing!'

Though there was no discernable injury, Mr. Rishikesh had to be hospitalized for about 10 days. He used to suffer from severe pain. When it was brought to the notice of Swami, He said: 'His mother is an ardent devotee. He was to die that day. But because of her incessant prayers, I saved him. Yet he had to undergo suffering at least for a few days for his past karma. Now he is rid of all that'. Mr. Rishikesh was all right after a week or so.

When I was a student of the S.S.L.C. in 1955-56, I used to wake up early, take bath and put a few flowers on the Photograph of Bhagavan, which I kept in my room. Some of my classmates used to heckle me for doing so. I thought of bolting the door of my room from inside and do this quickly.

As I put a flower, it disappeared as if someone had pulled it away. I thought the flower might have slipped and fallen down. I put another, which also met with the same experience. I searched for the fallen flowers on the floor, but could find none! Later, I happened to go to Puttaparthi. On seeing me, Swami remarked, 'you fellow! You don't follow what I preach, but put flowers on my Photograph. Is that devotion?' Then I was certain that the flowers, which I thought had fallen down, were actually taken by Bhagavan out of his compassion.

During 1963, my wife went to her mother's house in Bhimavaram for delivery. When she was taken to Dr. Mary Majes for checkup, she sent for me. When I called on the Doctor, she was cross that I, though educated, was giving my wife ash (vibhuti), which caused her to become anaemic. She said that the delivery was going to be a complicated one with serious risk to the mother and the child. I told her that we had our own beliefs, and giving Swami's vibhuti to her could not be inadvisable. She said, 'I told you what I must. She may deliver after15 days. Till then, no worry. Give her rest and good diet.'

We came to my mother's-in-law house. I wanted to take my daughter to my place and arrange for Vinayaka Pooja for her there, as Vinayaka Chaviti was only on the next day. My wife said, 'Ok! Wait, I will give some clothes for her'. I got ready to leave, went out and brought a rickshaw. But my wife had not come out still. I became restless. Meanwhile, I noticed that the Photograph of Swami hung in that room was swinging violently as if exposed to a gale, even though there was no wind movement in the room.

Then the mother of my mother-in-law came out and said, 'how can you have Pooja when you are having 'purudu (seclusion observed for 10 days following child birth in a house)?' I could not follow what she was driving at. Later she explained that my wife had a normal delivery and that I was blessed with a son!

'But she had no labour pains!' I asked.

'That is a surprise', she replied.

The Doctor opined that the delivery would be complicated and could be a risky one. Here it came about normally, devoid of even labour pains! How did this happen so early and so easily?

Later, we all went to Puttaparthi with my son to request Swami to christen the boy. I told Swami how my wife had delivered without pains. Swami remarked, 'how could she have pains when I had all the labour pain? I gave her blood (transfusion) also, and conducted delivery'.

Instantly, I was reminded of the violent swing of Swami's Photograph at the time of delivery of my wife!

I went to Puttaparthi again in 1964. It was summer. In those days, all those who sat in the verandah used to be called for interview. By the time I got ready and went to the Mandir, the verandah was full. I went and stood in the back.

In the previous night I had a dream. Swami called me for an interview and asked, 'what news?'

'Nothing particular, Swami!' I replied.

'If it is so', Swami observed, 'You wait outside, I will call you!' The dream and the interview both ended there.

Swami came to the ground floor and began giving Darshan here in real life. He called all persons present - not just those in the verandah, for the interview. So I got a chance to attend the interview. When I went in, Swami asked me, 'what news?'

'Nothing particular, Swami!' I replied.

'In that case', said Swami, 'you wait outside. I will call you'.

The interview in real life went as exactly as that in my dream.

In the last, I was called.

'Go to your village immediately', Swami told me. He did not give any reason. We cannot ask either.

'Yes, Swami!' I said, 'I will go'.

When I came out, I ran to Sri Ghandikota Subrahmanya Sastry who authored Sai Gayathri.

'Don't go today', he told me. 'Today is not auspicious'.

I was in a dilemma. I thought of having lunch first. Swami saw me at the time of lunch and said, 'didn't you leave? I told you to go!'

'Yes, Swami!' I said meekly, 'I am going'.

It was very hot being midday in summer. I engaged a coolie to carry my luggage, but he dropped out at the last minute.

I stood by the side of a pillar near the gate with my luggage, and was thinking how to go to Bukkapatnam. In those days one had to go to Bukkapatnam to catch a Bus.

'How to reach Bukkapatnam in this hot sun?' I was contemplating. 'Swami! Why don't you send me a jeep at least?' This thought crossed my mind more in a casual manner than in a serious mood. Within a few minutes, there was a jeep. It was of the BDO, Kothacheruvu.

'Is Swami available?' He asked.

'He is there' I replied, 'but Darshan time is over. You have to wait up to 4 'o clock.'

'Then you go back', he told his driver alighting from the jeep.

Immediately I requested him to give me a lift.

'No problem!' He readily obliged and instructed the driver to take me to Kothacheruvu.

The driver took me to Brahmanapalli. There he went out and returned fully drunk. 'This jeep won't go now', he blurted out. He was not in a position to heed to my pleas.

After a delay of an hour, he somehow managed to take me to Kothacheruvu. By the time we reached there the Bus had left. What to do?

Then unexpectedly a Bus was coming that way. I signalled to stop it. The Bus stopped. On it was a board 'Spare Bus'. There were only the driver and the conductor. They allowed me to get in. I thought it would take more than an hour to reach Dharmavaram. But the Bus reached there just in half-an-hour.

A horse-drawn cart driver took me with incredible speed to the Dharmavaram Railway Station from the Bus-stand. Every one at the Bus-stand told me that the train had left long back. It had come on time and was to leave the station three hours before my arrival there. But it was there on the platform still by the time I reached the Railway Station.

I came to know later that due to some tussle between the engine drivers, it was held up there. No sooner had I boarded the train, it started to move, as in the meanwhile, the issue had been sorted out. I reached Vijayawada by the train only to find that the train to Kakinada Port by which I should have gone had left already. 'Oh God!' I said in soliloquy, 'Why don't you bring that train back?' I know it is absurd to think like that. But that was the thought that had crossed my mind then. I sat on a bench on the platform in a dejected mood.

Meanwhile, a train was coming on the same platform where I was sitting. No engine was seen, as the train was coming in reverse direction. I thought that it was some bogies that were being shunted. But when the train came and halted, I saw that it was the train to Kakinada Port, which I should have caught. Immediately I entrained. While in the train, some passengers told me that after it had moved for a short distance, only the reverse gear started working. So the train came back. After a check up, it was found that the engine was functioning well. No hitch. So the train again started, and moved towards Kakinada.

Safely I got down at Tadepalligudem. But the Bus to my village had gone. 'Oh God!' I prayed again, 'why don't you get the Bus also back?'

In 15, 20 minutes the Bus that was to go to our village returned as it had developed some problem soon after leaving Tadepalligudem. After a checkup, it was found that the Bus was in good condition. It left, taking me with it.

I alighted at my village around 1.30 a.m. with my luggage. What to do in this unearthly hour with the luggage? Just then the person who was working for us in our village was passing that way. He saw me, came to me and took my luggage.

I safely and comfortably reached my home as per the instruction of Swami. I heaved a sigh of relief that all my people were OK. Why did then Swami ask me to go to my place immediately? I came to the conclusion that it was a lesson to me. See how He turned all the impediments at every point in my journey into conveniences! When Swami tells us to do anything, we should bear in mind that He creates the situations in which we can execute what He bids us to do. He gives the strength and capability to do it.

-- R. Indreswara Rao

(As narrated to Mr. B.Parvatala Rao on April 5, 2004 at Prasanthi Nilayam)