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

Mr. T. SRI. Ramanathan,
8/84, St. George Crescent,
Drummoyne - NSW-2047,


      Mr. T. SRI. Ramanathan (82) held several high positions in Sri Lanka as well as in the WHO and the ILO. He retired as a Professor in the Sydney University. He has been actively associated with Sri Sathya Sai Organization in Australia. He relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'I was born in Sri Lanka on July 19, 1924. After practising law and working in many senior positions at home and abroad, I migrated to Australia in 1975.

I first heard of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the fifties. I went to New Delhi to attend some Board meeting in 1950 and met Bhagavan in the house of Mr. Sarath Ram, an industrialist. The president of the Senate in Sri Lanka came to see Bhagavan, along with me. He was standing a little away from me on another side. Bhagavan came to me and asked, as if we were old chums, 'who is he?' pointing to my friend. I was a little annoyed that Bhagavan who was a stranger to me was asking about someone else without asking me about myself. I was also intrigued by His assumption that we (both Bhagavan and I) were old friends, and behaving thus.

After this, I requested Mr. Sarath Ram to arrange to meet Bhagavan whenever I visited India to attend the Board meetings of his firm.

When I came to India, may be in the fifties only, Bhagavan was in Madras. I asked the President of the Senate if he would like to come to see Bhagavan. One of his friends, a lady, who was present on the occasion, asked me 'why are you taking him to a soothsayer?' Finally, she, too, came with us. Bhagavan went first to her. She was so impressed that she soon became a strong devotee of Bhagavan.

On another trip to India, Mr. Sarath Ram entrusted the work of taking us round to places of interest in India including Puttaparthi, to one of his assistants. The assistant had no idea about Bhagavan and the way things happen at Prasanthi Nilayam. He sent a routine note to Mr. N. Kasturi about my visit on such and such date and asked him to arrange an interview with Bhagavan and confirm it by return of post, etc. Mr. Kasturi would have been annoyed and would have thrown the letter in the waste paper basket. My guide told me that he was not sure of an interview at Prasanthi Nilayam as he did not receive any reply from the Secretary of Bhagavan. We went direct to Poornachandra Hall where Bhagavan was giving darshan. We had darshan and returned.

Later, I received a letter from Mr. Kutumba Rao, an aide of Bhagavan, asking me to go over to Prasanthi Nilayam as Bhagavan wanted me to meet Him there. This letter came to the University of Sydney where I went only to deliver a lecture. At that time, I had not migrated to Australia. How did Mr. Kutumba Rao know that I would be at Sydney at that time? Bhagavan, the Omniscient, must have asked him to send that letter there. This letter was very unusual. My initial reaction was that some one had played a hoax on me. However, I found that the postal stamps, etc confirmed that it had come from Prasanthi Nilayam. So I wanted to take a chance. I tried to get flight tickets. I could not get place in any flight. Only Lufthansa Air Lines was left. I tried that also praying to Bhagavan. I could get tickets. Unexpectedly, I received some special discount also on the fare!

I went for darshan on reaching Prasanthi Nilayam. Bhagavan came to me. He materialised vibhuti and gave me. When Bhagavan stood before me, I felt excited. In that excitement I did not know what I was doing. I poured the vibhuti given by Bhagavan on His feet!

'What do you want?' Bhagavan asked me.

I did not know what to say. 'I want you, Swami!' - was all I could say.

After this, I came out. Prof. Gokak, the then Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, requested me to address the students. He had a Morris - Oxford car in which he took me to the Institute. I spoke. Rather, Bhagavan spoke through me. On return, I told Bhagavan during the evening darshan 'Swami, I gave a talk to the students. Prof. Gokak took me there.' Bhagavan smiled and said 'good!' Later, Prof. Gokak told me that he had invited me to the Institute only at the instance of Bhagavan.

Bhagavan called me for interview. He materialised a ring and gave me. Behind the face of the ring, something was written in Sanskrit. I tried to decipher it but could not do so. 'It will be revealed to you' one of the devotees told me, 'at the appropriate time'.

My daughter-in-law presented me a suitcase brought by her from the USA. I carried it to Prasanthi Nilayam during one of my trips, may be, in 1975 or so. On arrival, I undressed using a bath towel and gave my clothes to laundry. After bath, I tried to open the suitcase in vain. I had nothing but a bath towel. How to go out for darshan? I began praying to Bhagavan in desperation. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. I opened the door. My taxi driver was there. 'A boy came here' he said, 'and gave this for you'. He handed over a key to me. I tried to open the suitcase with it. It opened! Who could be that boy who gave the key? When the original keys were with me, I could not open it. How did the lock open with some new key? I concluded that Bhagavan had come to my rescue. When I took out my valet from the suitcase, there was vibhuti in it confirming my presumption about the Divine intervention. I was happy. I called the driver and offered some tip. He politely declined to accept. 'I have not done anything' he said, 'I only passed on the key given me by a boy whom I did not know.'

After I migrated to Sydney, one of my classmates in the Jafna Hindu College gave me a small photograph of Bhagavan. That is the first time that Bhagavan came to me in the form of a photograph. One of Bhagavan's devotees, who was a contractor, once presented me with a basket of fruits, sweets, drinks, etc. It also contained a photograph of Bhagavan. Later, we bought several photographs of Bhagavan. Once I went to Prasanthi Nilayam and bought a huge picture of Bhagavan. Bhagavan called me for interview. He described each room and hall in my house in Sydney counting correctly the photographs of Bhagavan in each room and then asked 'why one more, now?' Before I could reply, He added 'I am always with you, in and around.'

When I was away from my house in Sydney, one of my neighbours saw from his house Bhagavan walking in my house. At that time, I came to Prasanthi Nilayam for Bhagavan's 60th Birthday. When I went back, he told me how he had seen Bhagavan in my house. 'I rushed to your house to have Swami's darshan' he told me, 'but your house was locked. So I went back to my house thinking that I was mistaken. But when I looked at your house from mine, Swami was there walking from one end to the other in the hall seen from an open window.' Then I realised the meaning of Bhagavan's words 'I will be with you, in and around!'

Once someone broke open the window of my car and stole a bag kept by me in the car. There was my wallet, mobile phone and two diaries in the bag. The diaries related to my work in the University and were very valuable record of my assessment of my students' performance from time to time. I was crestfallen. The thief might have tried to remove the tape recorder also in vain, and made the steering wheel jam in the process. After I started back home, I noticed that the steering wheel was jammed. It was dangerous to drive like that, but what to do? I drove slowly praying to Bhagavan and reached home safely. I was very worried for the loss of the diaries in particular. When I called the garage fellow to take my car for repairs, he was amazed. 'How could you drive this car?' he asked me in disbelief, 'the steering is jammed!'

'I didn't drive the car' my reply remained in my mind, 'Swami drove it for me!'

Within minutes, the phone rang. A lady was on the line. 'Someone left two diaries in front my door' the voice said, 'they bear your name and phone number. I was in the University. So I know how valuable they are to you professionally.' I went to her house and collected them. Of course, the wallet and mobile were missing, and I did not mind. I thanked Bhagavan for giving me the two diaries back so that the prospects of my students were not affected.

Once I came home and tried to play Bhagavan's bhajans. The cassette got stuck and was giving only one word repeatedly without moving forward. I was vexed. In my disgust, I scolded Bhagavan 'what is this, Swami? Why are you doing this?' Next morning, I found the jammed cassette on the draw board. Who removed it from the recorder? I thought Bhagavan had responded to my scolding Him though He could not be found fault with.

I had a picture of Bhagavan in all rooms of my house including the garage. One day some miscreants went on damaging all garages in our colony except mine. When people woke up in the morning, they saw that their garages were damaged during night by some unknown fellows. They were all surprised how only mine was spared. I thanked Bhagavan who, in the form of His picture, stood guard to my garage and saved it.

Once I had a dream in which Bhagavan came to me and we were walking. 'I want to give all a surprise' Bhagavan said. We came to a place closed by barbed wire. Bhagavan and I went to the other side crawling under the wire. The dream ended. Later, I saw in Sanathana Sarathi that I was appointed as the Central Coordinator for Australia by Bhagavan. Everyone including me was surprised.

Once I had a dream in which I saw the Poornachandra Auditorium at Prasanthi Nilayam. It was painted white with blue stripes. After a few days, I came to Prasanthi Nilayam. To my surprise, I saw Poornachandra Auditorium exactly as I had seen it in my dream in Sydney.

Another time I had a dream. Bhagavan was in Brindavan. He was removing the big peepal tree under which the idol of Krishna had used to be. 'Bhagavan is working alone' I shouted in my dream, 'let us go and help.' I ran towards Bhagavan but Bhagavan asked us not to bother. The dream ended. After a few weeks, I came to Brindavan. The good old peepal tree was missing! Sai Ramesh Hall came into being! It is exactly as I saw it in my dream!

Once I was at Prasanthi Nilayam. Bhagavan came to me. 'Last night' He told me, 'I attended to your matter!' I could not follow what that matter was He had attended to? I could not ask Him as He moved on. One my return to Sydney, I found a letter awaiting me. The University of Sydney proposed to confer on me the distinction of The Fellow of the University of Sydney. Would I send my acceptance? That was the letter. I calculated the date on which the letter had been signed and despatched. It tallied with the date on which Bhagavan 'attended' to my matter.

Once when I was at Prasanthi Nilayam, Bhagavan asked me 'why don't you do International Business Law?' I could not follow what He was driving at. I was already teaching International Business Law. On my return, I received orders of appointment as Professor of International Business Law in the University of Sydney. Owing to His grace, I happen to be a pioneer and an authority on International Business Law in the world today.

In 2003, my legs became weak. I had to move on wheel chair. I came to Prasanthi Nilayam. At the Sydney airport, I was pushed by a porter in a wheel chair to the aircraft. I gave him my tickets to show where necessary. In my hurry to get into the plane, I forgot to collect my tickets from the porter. I needed the tickets to continue my journey back to Sydney. When I alighted at Bangalore, I remembered about the tickets. The officials advised me to report to the Police and apply for duplicate tickets. But it would be a long drawn process. My wife searched all my baggage on arrival at the hotel in Bangalore though she knew that the tickets were not there with us. She searched my bag, etc in vain. 'Swami is there to look after us' I said, 'He is our only refuge!'

I went to bed. Early in the morning, I woke up. There was a small tea-poi by my bedside. The first thing I saw on it were our tickets which I had given to the porter at Sydney. No one entered the room. No chance of the tickets coming to me all the way from Sydney only to surface on the bedside tea-poi in the hotel. Only Bhagavan's grace!

Once, some pooja was arranged in our house. Someone volunteered to act as the priest. He wanted to do pooja with 1008 names of Bhagavan. But the booklet containing the names was missing. I had one copy, but it was kept somewhere and could not be located in a huff. I began praying to Bhagavan. Suddenly a booklet fell in my hands. It was the booklet with Bhagavan's 1008 names!'

-- Mr. T. SRI. Ramanathan

   (As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 05.04.2006)