Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan | Group V | Dr. Narendranath Reddy

Dr. Narendranath Reddy,
Endocrinologist, Medical School,
University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, USA.

E-mail: nreddysai@yahoo.com

Dr. Narendranath Reddy has been a practising Internist Endocrinologist in Southern California for over 25 years. He has been a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Endocrinologists. He is a member of the Prasanthi Council and a Trustee of the Sri Sathya Sai Book Centre of America. A long time intimate devotee of Bhagavan, he narrates his experiences of the Divinity of Bhagavan in his own words.

'When Swami called our family for interview one time, He introduced us to a different group that we were all doctors. At that time, only my wife and I were doctors; but my two daughters, who were not even in their teens, were also included by Swami as doctors. However, Swami's words always come true. Now our two daughters are practising physicians married to physician husbands.

Swami showered His grace on our family on several occasions for which we have all been indebted to Him forever. Swami performed the wedding of my first daughter in June 1995 in Brindavan, Whitefield. Swami decided the place and date of the marriage, and guided us all the way. Before I left Prasanthi Nilayam before the wedding, I asked Swami when I should come. Swami said June 9 which was to be the day after the wedding. I coolly said 'I will come on June 9 if it is Your Divine command'. Swami laughed and told me to come three days before the marriage.

Accordingly my wife and I arrived at Brindhavan three days prior to the wedding. Friends like Col. Jogarao were saying 'oh! Chief guests are coming'. They were not joking; it was true because Swami was the chief organizer who made all the arrangements including menu, military band and accommodation for the guests, the arrangements in the wedding hall, etc. Swami took personal interest in every minute detail including what tablecloth was to be used and how the helpers should wear gloves and how the guests should be properly treated. One day He scolded me for not visiting and greeting the bridegroom's party housed in the guesthouse of Swami. When I move with Swami I forget everything. Then I was going with Swami every day in the car and He was discussing every minute detail of the wedding arrangements. On the wedding day, Swami was sitting in the hall throughout the ceremony and guided at every step. He was explaining to the people sitting around the significance of the Hindu wedding. He was very loving, materialized the mangalasutra, came to the stage and blessed the whole family and posed for photographs.

After the wedding, when it was time for food arrangements, Swami personally gave directions about the sequence of food items to be served. He showered lot of love and blessings on the invitees. He gave us bountiful gifts in the form of clothes and jewellery. But the greatest gift was His motherly Love.

When my daughter was 10 years old, He had promised that He would arrange the wedding procession with a military band. He fulfilled the promise by arranging wonderful military band during the wedding. He also took part in the narayanaseva which immediately followed the wedding by serving food and giving clothes to a few fortunate souls with His divine hands before the rest of us followed suit.

My son-in-law who was then new to Swami did not realize what he was getting and was naïve in his behaviour. But Swami, the great Divine Master, made him feel very comfortable and began to attract him slowly by His nectarine pure divine love. Then there was a reception arranged in Hyderabad after the marriage. I was not willing to go for the same. But Swami persuaded me to go and even made arrangements for our family to be received in the Hyderabad airport, and shown around Swami's temple Sivam and the famous kalyanamantapam in Hyderabad. When His grace comes, there is a torrential downpour.

There are many instances of His divine healing of various physical ailments of different family members. My second daughter, who is now a practising obstetrician & gynaecologist, during her teenage years after return to the USA from a pilgrimage trip to Prasanthi Nilayam, had high fever with toxicity. We consulted an infectious disease specialist who diagnosed it to be typhoid pending the blood cultures and started her on intravenous antibiotics. Meanwhile, both my daughters started praying to Swami, because this has a major implication in the USA. If this were typhoid, my daughter would not be allowed to go to school for many months and the whole family would be investigated for a carrier state. To our pleasant surprise, as they were finishing their prayers, we got a call from the laboratory that blood cultures were negative for any bacterial growth. When we made our next trip to Swami, He confirmed how He cured her serious illness. We were all moved to tears with His Love.

My father had acute and severe back pain in 1996 when he was seventy-five years old and he was severely incapacitated at Prasanthi Nilayam. In desperation my mother summoned me to come and help them in the critical situation. I immediately started from Los Angeles and came to Bangalore where my father was brought by ambulance from Prasanthi Nilayam. The MRI of the spine was done, which showed two huge disc protrusions impinging on the nerves causing excruciating pain. We consulted an orthopaedic surgeon in Bangalore, and a neuro-radiologist and a neuro-surgeon in the USA. They all recommended that he should go through surgery right a way to relieve the pressure on the nerves.

When I asked Swami, He advised the surgery to be cancelled, and gave the best medicine: materialized vibhuti from His Divine hands to be rubbed at the site of the pain. Needless to say, the pain subsided remarkably and till to-date he has been able to function well without any neurological deficit. In contrast, at the same time, I had a forty six year old patient in my practice with an identical problem seen in 1996. She went through neuro-surgery in the USA and was later permanently disabled. She had to quit her job. This shows how our sweet Lord is better than the best neuro-surgeons.

There was a major health crisis in February 2000 when my Father had convulsive seizures and we had to call paramedics for emergency medical attention. He was unresponsive and was taken to the closest emergency room immediately. He had extensive medical work-up and the neurologist feared he might be having a brain tumour. However, the final diagnosis was encephalopathy due to electrolyte imbalance, namely, severe hyponatremia. By Bhagavan's grace and blessings, to our pleasant surprise, all this was corrected by intravenous fluids and he was discharged within 24 hours. When the paramedics were attending on my father, my mother ran to the shrine room where she was loudly and frantically calling for Swami's help. During our next trip, Swami was telling us how my mother was holding on to His feet and crying for help. Again this shows His omnipresence and prompt loving response to the devotee's prayers.

In 1985, I was involved in an auto accident in California, USA when a large thirty-foot-truck hit my car. The car was badly damaged, but I didn't have even a minor injury. When I saw Swami in Prasanthi Nilayam thereafter, He narrated the details of the accident and how He saved me from the danger. In addition, He remarked that I had remembered Him only after the accident, but not at the time of the collision. Compassionate Lord! He remembers and protects us all the time. We forget Him at times.

Once I asked Swami, if life was a dream, whether He was also a part of that dream. Right away came the answer from the Lord of Truth that He is in all the four states of waking, dreamless and turiya. Thereby He revealed that He is the Supreme Brahman, Everything, Everywhere, Ever. For all the grace and Love Swami showers on us I felt we never did enough service to the Lord. In my humble way I expressed to our dear Lord Sai my desire to do service by translating His discourses on the life of Shirdi Sai from Telugu to English. However, Sai Shiva gracefully admonished me with the revelation that real service is to find out 'who I am'. I pleaded with the Lord about the difficulty of this path because of the vasanas of several life times, standing as obstacles. Bhagavan kindly encouraged me saying that one can get rid of the darkness of a cave prevailing for thousands of years in an instant by lighting a lamp. So does the light of wisdom dawn on us with His grace and our sincere yearning.

My chosen deity was Shirdi Sai before I came to Swami. So, in my first encounter with Swami, I told Him that during my worship I offered flowers first to Shirdi Sai and then next to Sathya Sai. Swami in His large-heartedness said it was alright to do that because all names and all forms are His. In fact, He said I could put flowers on my own head because I am also divine.

Another time Swami conveyed a similar message when I was going in the car with Him. Many devotees throw flowers on Swami's car when He moves about, and one western lady devotee was trying to throw a flower on Swami's car. But she was weak; it fell on herself and it did not reach the car. Swami looked at me and said 'see the poor lady. She wanted to worship Swami with the flower, but it fell on herself; without knowing, she did the right thing because she herself is Divine'.

During our first visit to Prasanthi Nilayam, my wife was seriously ill with dysentery and could not come for darshan for three days. I felt she had to be taken to Bangalore to be hospitalized. But by Bhagavan's grace, she recovered and came for darshan on the fourth day, and sat on a chair along with disabled people. That day Swami came to me when I was sitting in the darshan line on the sand and said 'your wife has come'. I did not realise that she had come for darshan till I went back to my room. I wondered how He recognized her among the thousands of devotees. Another time when we were in the interview room, there were many devotees, and one of the men was trying to introduce a young boy as the son of his brother devotee. Even before he introduced, Swami said he knew everyone present there.

During the first interview, I gave a book to Swami to bless it with His signature. Right at the time, lights went off and there was no electricity. I wondered how He could see and sign. Meanwhile, He looked straight into my eyes and said 'I can see even in darkness a small ant crawling at a distance'. That time I was wearing glasses, and Swami pointed out how His vision was better that mine even without glasses. I said 'Swami, that is because of your Divine power'. But Swami corrected me saying that He does not use His Divine power for such personal things, but it is because of His disciplined way of living and eating. He said I could have similar capacity if I also led a disciplined life like Him.

In 1994 Swami invited me and my wife as His guests to Kodaikanal. During that time we had many wonderful experiences including going on picnic with Swami. On one of those days, Swami went to one devotee's house and plucked two plums from a bougainville vine and gave one each to two students to eat. I wished I could have them. We were resting in a house arranged by Swami that evening, and when we woke up next morning, there were two plums on the nightstand next to the bed. I and my wife shared them both and enjoyed their delicacy. Then we enquired if anybody had left them there, but nobody was aware of the plums. Then I realized how Swami fulfils even un-stated minor desires of His children without ever asking.'

-- Dr. Narendranath Reddy

(Source: The devotee's article in the special souvenir Tribute published by the Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust on the occasion of the 80th Birthday of Bhagavan.)