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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VII | Mr. Suresh V. Bhatt

Mr. Suresh V. Bhatt,
7-A, Nandini Complex,
Sayaji Road, Navsari - 396 445,

Mobile: 98255 39693
E-mail: and

      Mr. Suresh V. Bhatt, Deputy General Manager of a Mafatlal Group industry, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came to Navsari on March 30, 1967. We all went and had darshan. It is Mr. Harikishen Vidya that gave us the information about Swami's programme. Till then I had not known much about Swami, but Mr. Vidya used to tell me about Swami's leelas.

At the instance of Mr. Vidya, we went to Dharmakshetra, Mumbai in December 1968. Swami came there and we had darshan. He was on the dais. 'If you are God' I prayed to Him in my mind, 'please get down the dais and come to us'. Swami indeed got down and walked towards me. I was amazed. Was He reading my thoughts?

Next day, I applied oil to my head. Usually, I don't do so. I applied deliberately a lot of oil. If anyone touched my head, his hands were certain to become oily wet. I avoided places where Swami would go during darshan. I sat at the end of the pendal at the cricket gate. There was no chance of Swami coming that side. Swami came on the stage. 'Please step down from the dais' I prayed to Him silently. He stepped down the dais. 'I believe in you' I prayed to Him silently, 'if you come to me and touch my head with your right hand and bless'. I saw Swami walking towards me. 'You can't come to me' I thought, 'I am in the middle of the crowd at the end. Unless You part the crowd into two parts and walk in between, you can't reach me.'

Swami came towards me, parted the crowd, walked in between and reached me. He then placed His right hand on my head - not caring that His hand would be oily, and rubbed. I was overwhelmed with joy as tears rolled down my cheeks in ecstasy. I became a devotee that very moment. At that time, I might be 17 years old.

In 1969, I came to Prasanthi Nilayam for darshan. We had good darshan.

In 1969-70, I joined the sevadal. Those days we were given orange scarf to wear during seva. I came many times for seva and was blessed with padanamaskar.

I was married in 1976 and was blessed with a son in 1979. I came to Prasanthi Nilayam with my parents and a group of aged people in 1980. I planned to take them on a tour of pilgrimage to various places including Prasanthi Nilayam. Many people passed comments heckling my endeavour. 'Here goes this group of the aged' they used to laugh at us, 'let us see how many of them return safely'. The group had 17 persons.

We arrived at Prasanthi Nilayam leaving all our baggage at the Ganesh gate and ran for darshan. Swami came during darshan straight to my father who was then 80. Swami called my father for interview. He spoke to my father in Gujarathi, that too, in the dialect prevalent in our parts. Bhagavan told him about his whole life. He told him the names of the people in the group, how many had come and so on. Then Swami asked 'what do you want?' 'I want Your darshan at the time of my death' my father prayed to Swami. Swami materialised vibhuti and gave him. My father was literally crying as he came out of the room. Tears rolled down his cheeks.

Swami did not call any other in the group. The other members said 'Swami called only your father. What about us?'

'It is left to His will and pleasure' I replied, 'there is no system of recommendation or pressure here.'

They were not convinced. 'We have to cover many places such as Tirupati. How many days can we sit here?' was the refrain of the others in the group. They came to Swami just as they would go to some saint en-route. One darshan enough for them! What to do? I was praying to Swami in my mind to give others also interview or permit us to proceed further.

When Swami was coming along darshan lines, I ventured to ask 'Swami, may we go?' Swami said 'sit down'.

'But Swami, I have to take all these people to several places' I murmured.

'Call them' Swami said, 'all 17.'

Swami gave us all interview.

As soon as they settled down in the room, Swami asked them 'you are pressing poor chap Suresh in the room for interview or to start?'

Then He told each of us about the problems we had had and asked us to tell Him what we wanted. He blessed us all. He materialized vibhuti and gave us.

'You have to go to Tirupati?' Swami said, 'everything will be ok during your trip to all places. Be happy' He blessed us all.

We went to many places including Tirupati, Mahabalipuram, Madras, etc. Everywhere we had good darshan of the local deities. We could get accommodation, transport and food as if someone had gone in advance and made necessary arrangements. All 17 reached Navsari happily completing the whole schedule successfully owing to Swami's blessings.

In 1973, I came to the summer course at Brindavan, Bangalore. The group that was selected for the course had two wings. One was consisting of devotees while the other was of university students, some of whom were not believers even. One of them was a young man called Jayesh Dholakia.

'I will ask Baba for lot of gold' he used to tell us, 'with that we will live happily after'. I had thought at first that he was quipping but, later, realised that he was saying so in right earnest.

One day Swami came direct to him.

'What do you want, my son?' He asked.

Mr. Dholakia very humbly replied 'Divine love and blessings'. We were all surprised. Swami moved on.

Then Mr. Dholakia cursed himself. 'What golden chance I lost' he exclaimed, 'what had happened to me? If He asks me again, I will definitely ask for lot of gold'.

Then he looked at me. 'Pray for me' he said, 'pray to Bhagavan to give me one more chance.'

At tea, Swami came towards us. He stopped right in front of Mr. Dholakia. 'What do you want, son?' He asked, 'ask whatever you want. Don't hesitate.'

'Divine love and blessings, Swami' Mr. Dholakia was heard saying, 'nothing else'.

Swami moved on when Mr. Dholakia began to curse himself for the lapse on his own part.

That whole day, we heard Mr. Dholakia repeating 'lot of gold, Swami! Lot of gold, Swami!' It was like gold japa. He was doing so, lest he forget to ask for gold when Swami came to him.

Next day at lunch, Swami was walking along lines encouraging students to eat well. He stopped at Mr. Dholakia.

'What do you want, son?' He asked 'don't hesitate. Ask anything.'

Some boys who sat behind him started prompting him in low tone saying 'gold.' But Mr. Dholakia said 'I want Divine love and blessings', Swami! Nothing else!'

Then Swami turned towards us.

'See poor chap!' said Swami, 'he does not know what to ask.'

Then Swami said 'when you want to ask, ask for Swami. When Swami is with you, the whole universe and the whole of the creation is with you'.

We had a session in which a guest lecturer was expected to speak. Sessions should start on the dot. As the guest lecturer had not turned up, Dr. Gokak, the then Vice-Chancellor, came to take the session. As Dr. Gokak entered the hall from one side, Swami entered from the other side.

'What are you doing here, Gokak?' Swami asked him.

'The guest lecturer has not come' Dr. Gokak replied, 'so I want to take the class.'

'How do you know he has not come?' Swami said, 'his car has been held up at the railway gate. As soon as the gate is opened, he will come'. He came with his wife a few minutes later. 'When you come with ladies, you will be always late as they need more time to get ready' Swami added.

I came to Prasanthi Nilayam in 1998 for seva. I was posted at the residence of Bhagavan. I used to bring breakfast, etc for the students that would stay with Him to help Him in daily chores. One day while handing over the tiffin to one of the students at Swami's residence, I had a passing thought. 'Swami gave me laddu prasadam with His own hand several times' I thought, 'He gave me fruits and other eatables. I ate them happily. But I have not got the left-over after Swami partook His meal or tiffin. How lucky I would be if blessed with such prasadam.' I did not say this to anyone. Within 15 minutes, the student came back and called me.

'Swami asked me to give this to you as prasadam' he told me and handed over a container. I thanked him with Sairam and ran outside with it. Inside there was one bhakshyam (bobbattu) which we call puranpuri. On one corner of it, a small piece was missing as if Swami had partaken of it. I was overwhelmed with joy to the prompt response of Swami even to a passing thought of mine. I told all this to my group leader. 'Let us all in our group share this invaluable prasadam sent by Bhagavan' I told him and we all shared it with joy.

In 1996, I went to the USA on a three-month Company assignment. I am used to driving my car in India, but driving in the USA was a totally different experience. The Company provided me with a chauffeur for one week to guide me driving in the USA. Driving at high speeds on smooth roads along a stream of rule-minded traffic was, indeed, a pleasure. As I began to get used to the pleasure-centred physical environment in the USA, my attention began to drift away from the Lord. One day, while returning to my hotel, I had a minor accident. My car's rear view mirror on one side touched the tail lamp of another vehicle. Nothing happened. No damage. We, in India, consider it a trifle and ignore it. But the American driver of the other vehicle reported it to police who arrived promptly on the spot within minutes. We feel uncomfortable when we get involved in a police case. I was in a new country. I had no idea of the stringency of its laws. So I was perplexed as well as frightened. Then I remembered Bhagavan.

'Swami! You alone can save me' I prayed to Him in my mind, 'I have no one else to come to my rescue.' Then, as if sent by Swami, the chauffeur who had guided me in driving in the USA came there. He saw me and got down from his car. He explained to the police that I was new to driving conditions in the USA as I was there only on a short assignment. The police allowed me to go but wanted me to come to the police station the next day.

Next day I started to go to the police station in my car. My assistant was with me. I was so depressed at the very thought of being summoned to a police station in a new country that I could not even start my car.

'Swami! I cannot drive in my present depressed state' I prayed to Swami, 'I have to go to the police. So pray drive my car for me. I am utterly helpless. You are my sole refuge.' As I was praying thus, I saw Swami's hand turn the ignition key of my car. Though I was in the driver's seat, I could see His hands on the steering.

'Be careful' my assistant Mr. Kulakarni cautioned me, 'you are absent-minded, not even keeping your hands properly on the steering.' The car was going smoothly as Bhagavan was driving it. I was shedding tears. 'Don't get depressed' my assistant tried to cheer me up as he could not understand why tears were rolling down my cheeks. I was in a state of bliss watching Swami's hands on the steering wheel. Owing to His grace, police let me go with an oral mild reprimand to be more careful in the future.

All through my stay in the USA, I used to pray to Swami whenever I sat in the driver's seat to take over the driving. I used to observe Swami's hands on the steering and feel the bliss, oblivious of the pleasurable physical environs of the USA. I learnt a lesson then. Now whenever I begin any work, I first pray to Swami to guide me, and help me in carrying out the tasks in the physical world.

Swami used to give padanamaskar to all Gujarathi devotees at Prasanthi Nilayam the day after Diwali as it is our New Year day. In 1966, I got silver padukas made, and brought them to Prasanthi Nilayam. I was in darshan line praying to Swami to bless the padukas. Swami came straight to me and stood on the padukas before me when I could do padanamaskar gratefully as He blessed me.

In 2000, I came for seva. I was posted at Swami's residence. I was the group leader then. Many young boys came for seva from Gujarath and some of them were posted at Swami's residence at different points.

I used to allow one of them by turns to come near and stand in the corner at the time of Swami's arrival for darshan so that they could have His darshan from close quarters. I thought such a chance would make their future brighter with bliss. That day, Dr. Bhatt Yogi, a young medical practitioner, was kept by me in the corner to have darshan of Baba. Swami came and looked at Him severely. 'Go to your place of duty' He commanded curtly.

I knew that it was a violation of discipline for sevadal to leave their places of duty even for having darshan of Swami. Dr. Yogi broke down and wept in shock at this unexpected development. In my mind, I was praying to Bhagavan that it was my fault and not that of Dr. Yogi. We were all shivering. After that Swami did not look at me for several days. He appeared deliberately ignoring me, while smiling at other sevadal and even talking to them.

At the end of the seva, our group sat for padanamaskar. Swami came to Dr. Yogi, patted him on his cheek and blessed him reviving his cheer. Sai Ma forgave and forgot our indiscipline. Swami then came to me and gave padanamaskar. He went round the group and came back to me. He patted me on my cheek as I was crying literally in ecstasy. He waved His hand and materialized a ring with three diamonds in a row. He took my left hand into His and pressed each finger of the hand. Thin He took my right hand and pressed each finger of my right hand also. I thought that He would put the ring on the ring-finger, but He put it on the little finger of my right hand. I was overwhelmed with joy and thought that it was the Millennium Gift from Bhagavan.

In 2001, I had been to China on my Company's work. The plane was going over the Himalayas. 'We would be flying over Mount Kailas and Kanchanganga soon' the pilot announced, 'you can have darshan'. But the sky was cloudy. We could not see anything but clouds below. By my side sat the Materials Manager of our Company. 'If your Bhagavan wishes' he told me, 'we may be able to see Mount Kailas.' Just then, miraculously the clouds parted a little. Mount Kailas blessed us with its darshan as the pilot announced happily 'you are lucky. Clouds parted; you can see Mount Kailas and Kanchanganga well.'

In 2005, we got a documentary on Swami made with commentary in Gujarathi and showed it to 80 + 1 villages to mark Swami's 80th Birthday. We distributed photographs of Swami to 45,000 house-holds. We conducted a 3,618 km long Parthi Yathra from Dhakur (a place in Gujarath) to Puttaparthi, now famous as 'Dhakur - Parthi Yathra'. Swami came to us, and blessed individually the village leaders of each of the 25 villages that participated in the Yathra out of His abundant love and compassion.'

-- Mr. Suresh V. Bhatt

    (As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 24.06.2006)