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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group VII | Mr. T. Nagaraj

Mr. T. Nagaraj,
10-3-23, Sarojinidevi Road,
Anantapur - 515001

Tel: 08554-274395

      Mr. T. Nagaraj (58), who retired as a lecturer, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'My grandfather Mr. T. Chidambarayya, an advocate, constructed a house at Anantapur in 1930. In the new house he lost his daughter on a Friday and his son on the next Friday. He had no peace of mind in the new house.

My father, Mr. Satyanarayana wanted to get a tantric to eliminate the negative forces in the house. He went to Kutagulle near Kadiri to one of his relatives' house in 1944. By Divine grace, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba came there unexpectedly. Our relative told my father 'why do you rely on those tantrics? Take this boy with you. He has been performing many miracles.' So my father approached Swami who readily agreed to visit our house.

When Swami came to our house in 1944, our family was the first to invite Him to Anantapur after He had declared Himself to be an incarnation. Swami got a pit dug in the premises, materialized some vibhuti and other materials, placed them in the pit and got it closed. My parents and grandparents who witnessed the event were stunned. He told them 'I will be here for good.'

Then He went into our pooja room. My grandparents who had made Swami sit in the hall because of caste considerations could not dare object when He was entering the house on His own, after they had witnessed the miracles performed at the pit. 'May I sit here?' Swami asked my grandmother in the pooja room.

'Why not?' she replied, 'you are everything for us. You have to look after us'.

'Have faith' Bhagavan said, 'I will protect your mangalasutra.'

After that Swami came to our house a number of times. Our family used to keep a room for Him exclusively and another room for His interviews. He used to give interviews in that room.

I was born in 1948. I am the third generation devotee in our family. In 1954, my mother, Venkata Narasamma was seriously ill. It was diagnosed as bone TB. In those days, it was a dreaded disease. Swami came in her dream one day and softly passed His hand on her back. He gave her vibhuti prasadam. When she woke up, she found vibhuti. She took it mixing it in water. Later Swami came to our house. 'Are you all right now?' He asked my mother. He cured her like that completely.

In 1960, my grandfather went to Madras to attend a meeting of Madras Charitable Trust of which he was a member. Later, he was returning by train. In the dead of night, he went to the toilet and fell down out of the open door as he could not withstand the jerks of the speeding train. This happened at Basin Bridge. One constable by name Jagadish noticed him, took him to a hospital and sent a telegram to our house taking the address from his note book. My mother, after receiving the telegram, rushed to Puttaparthi. Swami used to treat her like His mother. She could go directly to His room. When she went to Him weeping, swami said 'He is like a jumping calf; quite active. Why do you cry? I told you 'I will protect your mangalasutra. I did.' When she went to the hospital in Madras, she expected to see her husband full of bandages. She was wonderstruck to find him sitting on his bed reading a newspaper. Except for a hair line fracture in his thighbone which he sustained not due to his fall from the train but in the course of his trying to be on his feet in haste after he touched the ground, he was completely unhurt and safe. He was quite all right up to 1972 when he passed away due to natural causes.

Swami treated my grandparents with reverence. He never allowed my grandfather to touch His feet. My grandmother was treated as the sister of Mother Eswaramma. 'Swami' my grandmother, Mrs. Subbamma asked Swami one day, 'give me a room in Prasanthi Nilayam. I should be able to see you from room.' Swami came with her to South1-A4, saw from the window towards mandir and said 'see! You can see me from here. So, take this.' He gave her S1-A4.

My grandmother invited Swami for my aunt's marriage.

'I will come without fail' Swami assured her.

But on the date of marriage, there was no trace of Bhagavan. Muhurtham was fast approaching. All were waiting for Swami. My grandmother went to the portrait of Swami and wept. 'How can we perform the marriage without you?' she cried, 'how can I show my face to the world if you don't turn up'.

There was some sound of footsteps. Some one patted her on her back. She looked up. There was none. But something was shining before the portrait. She picked it up. It was mangalasutram. She went into the marriage venue with it. 'Swami has come' she cried excitedly showing it to all.

When they went to Prasanthi Nilayam later, Swami came to her and said 'on the day of marriage you have served me hot, hot scolding well!' He then narrated to her what all had happened in the marriage with minute details. 'See, I was there all through' He said smilingly.

Once, Swami came to our house at Anantapur. Just before getting into His car, He looked at me and said 'get in.' I got into the car.

'Tell the driver how to go to Kuppamma.' She had no inkling of the arrival of Bhagavan. Before she could recover from the pleasant shock, Swami went into the kitchen. She prepared lunch for a brahmachari as it was the festival day of Subbaraya Shashti. There were jantikas (a type of snack) also in the menu prepared. Swami took one into His hand.

Mrs. Kuppamma caught hold of His hand.

'No!' she told Him to the astonishment of all present, 'we are householders. How can we eat before the guest partakes?'

Everyone was stunned at the way she took Swami as her family member, and not as either God or a guest.

'That is why I brought with me a brahmachari for you' Swami told her pushing me to the front, 'I know you are waiting for one.' After I had eaten the lunch, she seemed worried again. 'Mutthaiduva has not come, Swami!' she said. Swami changed into a mutthaiduva and took vayanam from her. Then He waved His hand and materialised a photograph. It showed Swami as mutthaiduva. He gave that photograph to her.

In 1969, we four young men went to Prasanthi Nilayam. 'Come to Brindavan' Swami told us. In those days, the present Trayi was not there; nor was Sai Ramesh Hall. Swami was staying on the first floor of the old building. We stayed on the ground floor. We were there for two months.

One day Swami called us and said 'what is there on My back? See!' One of us placed his hand under His shirt. There was a caterpillar. While throwing it out, we showed our disgust at it by facial grimaces. Soon on our hands appeared some rash.

'What is it?' Swami asked. He materialised some vibhuti and rubbed it on the affected part. The rash disappeared miraculously the next moment.

'See if I, too, have any rash?' Swami asked us.

We lifted the gown and baniyan. There was no rash.

'It (the caterpillar) was there for quite sometime on my body. You have taken it out. You felt disgust and contempt even to touch it. For a few moments of touch you got rash. It was there with me for sometime. I had no rash. Why? If you are truthful, everything including that caterpillar is God. Nothing to despise' Swami explained.

'Be ready for two days trip' He told us while sending us to rest.

Swami was in the Impala car. We followed Him in another car. Where were we going? No one knew. None could dare ask.

We went to Mysore. Thousands were waiting for Swami there! How did they know? We stayed in the guest house there. We left for Bandipur forest. We stayed there in a guest house. We brought two matador vans. One of the two was grilled. One could sit inside and watch wild life safely. Swami took some photographs. Some did not come up well. He took the photographs which did not come well, folded them and kept the folded material in His hand. 'What is this?' He asked us.

'It can be anything as per Swami's sankalpa' we replied. He opened His hand. There was a ring studded with diamonds.

'Take this' He gave it Mr. Appa, Chairman of some Corporation in Karnataka.

'Do you want Swami or diamonds?' Swami asked him.

'Swami' he replied unhesitantly.

'Then give it back' Swami took the diamond ring back. He then closed His hand and opened again. Amidst the diamonds on the ring was a small picture of Swami. He gave it to Mr. Appa again.

Swami gave us binoculars to see wildlife. We tried to spot some or other animal. The forest was so thick that the light was dim and visibility was poor even during the day.

'What do you see?' Swami asked all of us as we saw through binoculars one after another. We saw no animal.

'The trunk of an elephant' Mr. Raja Reddy exclaimed. We were all excited and tried to see the elephant.

'There is Sai Gita (the pet elephant of Swami) in Brindavan all the time' said Swami, 'no one cares to look at it. Here you spot a trunk or an ear of an elephant and get excited. Look! I am with you here for days in flesh and blood.

But when you see a piece or trace of my gown in meditation you feel excited and say 'I saw Swami in meditation' jubilantly. What is this?'

Swami used to teach a lesson from every episode or incident.

At one point the vans were negotiating an uphill drive. After nearly reaching the top, the vans began to slide back. It was a dangerous moment. The driver had to manoeuvre the car backwards without seeing fully what was behind owing to the thick growth all around. We all felt anxious and began chanting 'Sai Ram'. The vehicles stopped sliding backwards and came to a halt. The driver tried to take it up again but the engine could not take the load of going the steep incline up. He was getting exasperated.

'Now try once' Swami told the driver. The driver tried reluctantly again. This time the van ascended direct to the top point without any problem.

'Self confidence' Swami told us, 'is the extra gear. You have to apply it also.' Then He added 'you are with Sai Baba, not Rayi (stone) Baba. You have no cause for anxiety whatever happens.'

We all returned to the guest house.

Next day, swami asked us 'would you like to go to Ooty?'

'We are ready' we said, 'to go anywhere with Swami.'

'No!' said Swami, 'I am not coming. You go. Take Appa's car.' Swami gave us Rs. 5000 as pocket expenses.

We were not happy to go to Ooty without Bhagavan. But we had to start reluctantly. I was reminded of an incident while we were going to Ooty. Once, Swami sent a few boys to go round Mumbai in a car giving them money for shopping. They enjoyed well and bought some useful things for themselves. When they returned, Swami asked them 'what did you bring for Swami?'

Nothing! The boys were crestfallen.

'How many times have you thought of Swami during the trip?'

Again silence. Then Swami told them what all they had done with minute details including their looking at some cinema posters.

'Swami is with us though He is there in the guest house physically' I said, 'let us do bhajan.'

We spent our time doing bhajan without chitchatting.

Suddenly our car hit the parapet wall of a culvert and fell topsy-turvy. Miraculously, the car stopped at the parapet wall. Otherwise we would have fallen into the deep valley. 'One jeep was coming in the opposite direction' our driver told us, 'I was going slowly but that fellow hit us and ran without stopping.' We all got down and pushed the car on to the road. The mudguard got stuck jamming the tyre. We all pulled it saying 'Sai Ram'. It got back to its position. No injuries to us and no damage to car. 'What to do? Shall we go back or shall we continue?' Though shaken badly, we all decided to go to Ooty - not so much for sight seeing, but for obeying Swami. We went to Ooty, went round and bought nothing for us. We bought some flowers and fruits for Swami. Then we noticed that one of the headlights was gone in the accident. Even so, we dared to return on the forest road back to Swami in the night doing bhajan. Mr. Appa was waiting in the guest house at the entrance itself for us.

'Swami told us that some Coffee Board jeep had hit the car and run away without caring to stop even. He had stopped the car from falling into a ravine. 'They all will be back safely at 9:30 p.m.' He told us!'

We entered the Threshold at 9:30 p.m. exactly.

Mr. Appa was given one ring by Swami long back. 'Give up non-vegetarian food' Swami told him, 'and wear this.' Mr. Appa was strictly following the advice of Swami. One night in an official dinner, he was forced to eat non-vegetarian food. That night the ring showed a crack. So he came to Prasanthi Nilayam to report about the broken ring to Swami. Swami used to call him the same day of his visit. But this time, Swami avoided him for ten days without even glancing or smiling at him.

'If Swami does not talk to me' Mr. Appa prayed before Swami's photograph in his room, 'I will take poison and die.' Swami did not look at him the next day also. He bought some poison and decided to swallow it that night. Just when he was preparing to swallow the poison, there was a knock on the door. The messenger said 'Swami calls you'. So he rushed to Swami.

'You are prepared to die taking poison' Swami chided him, 'but won't give up non-vegetarian!' Swami asked him about the ring. When he explained, Swami blew on it. It became all right.

'Do you know' Mr. Appa asked us, 'Swami suffered from bodily pains after you had the accident? 'I have taken all the impact of the accident on me to save our boys', Swami told us; 'hence these bodily pains'. Literally Swami became like a stick without any movement or trace of life. We were all unhappy. We carried Him as we carry some inert object to the car on our hands. We were feeling guilty that Swami had taken on that suffering only to save us. After reaching Brindavan our anxiety grew worse because the next day, a Kavi Sammelan (poets gathering) was to be held there in the Divine presence of Swami. We were praying to Swami repeating 'Sai Ram'. Next morning, we waited anxiously at the staircase for Bhagavan. Swami, to our great relief, was coming down the stairs smilingly in a happy mood. Just at that time a thought about my exams came into my mind. I was afraid that I had spoiled one paper. To ask Bhagavan for help, I felt delicate. While passing by me, Swami said 'if you have to pass, you will pass.' I did not grasp its meaning. I felt sad and did not go for tiffin. I went back to my room in a melancholy mood. Suddenly there was some movement in the room. I lifted my head from my knees and looked up. Swami! I got up and did pranam in excitement.

'You have not come for tiffin' Swami remarked, 'you have passed, come on!' If Swami says anything, it shall happen. I rose happily and thanked Swami, and ran to take tiffin.

One industrialist's wife sent a big basket-full of sweets to Swami.

'What for?' Swami asked.

'Our race horse ran first' thy replied, 'they are celebrating.'

Swami asked for Sai Gita to be brought there.

'Gita!' Swami told the elephant, 'it seems your sister won the race. Eat these happily.' Swami fed the whole lot to the elephant because it was an animal that had won, and it was for all animals to celebrate.

Once Prof. Gokak, the then Vice Chancellor of the SSSIHL, was asked by Swami to address the students.

'Pandu means white' Prof. Gokak explained in his speech, 'puram is field. Pandaripur is Pandu Rangapur or Whitefield of Ranga. Brindavan is the abode of Krishna. Thus we have here the abode of Pandu Ranga as well as Krishna, and here is our Sai Ranga and Sai Krishna.'

Swami was pleased, and materialized a watch for him. Prof. Gokak placed his watch on the floor near Mr. Appa, Chairman, Karnataka State Electricity Board and went to Swami to take the present. Swami personally put the watch around Prof. Gokak's wrist.

When Prof. Gokak returned to his place, his watch was missing. Mr. Appa waved his hand imitating Swami as if he was materializing something and told Prof. Gokak 'take this'. He gave him his old watch which he had picked up from the floor to make fun.

Next morning, Swami came to Mr. Appa and said in a pretentiously serious tone 'oh! You are also materializing things like me?' Mr. Appa was shocked, and literally shuddered with fear. Then Swami laughed to the great relief of Mr. Appa and patted him on his cheek saying 'just for fun!'

When a poet in Kannada recited poetry in the poets gathering, Swami waved His hand and held His hand a little up in the air far all to see. There was a little gap between His thumb and pointing finger (forefinger). There appeared two pearls one near the thumb and the other near the forefinger. As we all saw from close quarters, a pearl necklace slowly descended from His thumb and forefinger. After the full necklace materialized, He gave it to the poet amidst thunderous applause.

Once Swami asked Sri Kamavadhani, the great Vedic scholar, 'how do you call your wife?'

'Ose' he replied.

'What does that mean?' Swami asked.

Sri Kamavadhani was silent.

'Vasi, when reversed, means Siva. Besides, vasa means wife' Swami explained, 'osi, ose are corrupted forms of vasa. Sri Kamavadhani is a great scholar in Vedic lore. But if you ask what is Sita to Rama, he can't say. So I advised him to read Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagavata. He is an expert exponent of puranas as well now.'

We had a friend who was the son-in-law of a famous musician. We used to call him Chandu. He came with us to Swami. Swami materialised vibhuti and gave all of us including Chandu. We all ate but Chandu threw it away quietly. 'You should not have done so' we reprimanded him. He was an engineering student. 'If we become good engineers, we can make Rayalaseema full of prosperity' he remarked, 'what is the use of these cheap tricks?'

We went a couple of days later to Prasanthi Nilayam as Swami was there. Chandu also came with us. Swami called all of us for interview. Then He left in His Impala car, and asked us to accompany Him in another car. We went to the hill top (where the museum stands now). Swami threw one pebble up and caught it. 'What is this?' He asked, closing His fist. 'It can be anything' we chorused 'as willed by Swami!' Swami smiled and opened His fist. There was sugar candy in it. He gave it to all of us. We ate. 'Our hearts also should be as sweet' Swami told us, 'of course! If you become good engineers, you can make Rayalaseema prosperous. What is the use of these cheap tricks?'

Chandu shuddered when Swami repeated his words. He fell on the feet of Bhagavan. He became an ardent devotee.

One of our friends used to tell us that he would treat Swami not as God but as his friend. When we were there, one of us said 'I read Madhava will be born in Bharadwaja Gothra on the banks of the Chithravathi'.

Then the boy who considered Swami as his friend asked 'who is Madhava?' Pat come the reply from Swami 'your friend!' We all laughed.

When Swami used to come to our house, a number of people used to stay with Him for lunch. Even though my grandmother cooked food for several, some times the crowd was more than her estimation. She used to take Swami into the kitchen.

'This is the preparation' she used to tell Swami, 'it is now for You.'

'Don't worry' Swami used to assure her sprinkling some water on the preparation, 'serve, the preparations will be enough and to spare'. It was so. A lot of food used to be there at the end.

In 1998, we were coming to Prasanthi Nilayam in a jeep. The driver winked en-route and dashed against a culvert. I had my hand fractured. I applied vibhuti. Mr. Janaki Ramayya was informed on phone about the accident. He told Swami. Next day Swami materialised vibhuti and applied on my hand. It became all right.

In 2005, we were going to Prasanthi Nilayam to take Swami's blessings after we performed our son's marriage. Swami, we did not know, was on His way to Brindavan. We saw the convoy, and stopped. Swami also stopped His car and called me. Sitting in His car, He said 'take padanamaskar'.

Then He materialised a navaratna ring, a watch and a bracelet and gave them to us by way of His blessings.'

-- Mr. T. Nagaraj

            (As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao Anantapur on 28.04.2006)