Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group V | Mr. R. Ranganathan

Mr. R. Ranganathan,
F 125, Prasad Kamalapriya Tower,
Santoshimanagar, Old Shafilguda,
Secunderabad - 500 056.

Tel: 040-2722 1135

Mr. R. Ranganathan (60), a retired engineer, relates a few of his experiences of the Divinity of Bhgavan in his own words.

'In 1978, the principal of the local college gave me a book on Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, but I did not go through it. At that time I was working at Villupuram. Though I did not go through it, I used to look at the picture of Bhagavan on the cover now and then. That is how I had introduction to Sri Sathya Sai Avatar.

Later, I was transferred to a place near Salem. I used to suffer occasionally from ulcer. It became severe. The physician whom I consulted prescribed some medicines and also warned me against surgery. 'You are young' he said, 'if it recurs after surgery, it might be risky to get operated again.' I went to a surgeon also for second opinion. 'If you don't get operated immediately' he warned, 'it may burst anytime the consequences of which could be fatal'. I was in a dilemma. My wife Mrs. Manjula was crying.

After coming to Salem, I began to read books on Bhagavan and was much impressed by Bhagavan's teachings. 'One God and one Religion' reminded me what Tirukkural had said, which we read in our school days. We were unable to decide in my case whether to go in for surgery or not.

About that time, Bhagavan came to Madras. I went to Sundaram and sat for darshan keeping the opinion of the surgeon in my hand. Swami came along, but did not even look at me. He moved away to the other end. I felt as if my last hope had also gone. I began to cry like a child. Then a miracle happened. Suddenly, Bhagavan made an abrupt about turn and came straight to where I sat. He looked into my eyes, smiled and tenderly touched the papers on my palm and left. 'Swami' I assumed 'indicated that I opt for surgery'. So, I went and got my ulcer operated. Everything went on well. Owing to Bhagavan's grace, there has been no recurrence.

In 1985, I was sitting in my office at Chennai. 'Bhagavan helped me by blessing me at the time of surgery' I was thinking for some time, 'what have I done to thank Him?' The same train of thought was passing through my mind as I was sitting that day in my office. Mr. Ramadas, an engineer, came in. 'Here is Bhagavan's prasad for you' he said giving me vibhuti and some sweet, 'this is from Prasanthi Nilayam'. I was stunned. 'I was thinking of how to do some seva for Bhagavan' I told him, 'you walked in with prasad - an auspicious sign, indeed!' 'Why think so much about it? You can be a member of a seva unit' Ramadas quipped. Thus I became a member of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithi. In those days, it was called a unit. I joined unit No. 2 of Rayapatam.

In 1988, despite my unwillingness, I was chosen unanimously as the convener. One day, I received a call to send four sevadal for seva to Prasanthi Nilayam immediately. I contacted some of our members, wrote down names of four who were willing to go to Prasanthi Nilayam for seva and gave them the list. That night, I had a dream. Swami appeared. 'So you have sent four people?' Swami asked, 'is that all?' 'They asked for four only, Swami!' I replied, 'I sent four'. 'Why didn't you go?' Swami asked. I was nonplussed. Before I could reply, I woke up and the dream ended.

That was the period of Dasara. Next day, I bought a pair of white dress and came to Prasanthi Nilayam for seva. We all sat for padanamaskar after the seva period was over. Swami came along, gave us prasad and allowed us to take padanamaskar. Standing amidst us, Bhagavan said 'you have all done very well'. He repeated it again and again. In fact, our contribution was not that good. But Sai-mata praised us more than that we deserved out of His love and compassion. We were all flabbergasted and happy. Bhagavan, in an unusual gesture, distributed new clothes to all of us. Usually, vibhuti prasad and sweets are given at the end of seva.

In 1990, my son Sivakumar had an attack of typhoid. After 21 days of treatment, it subsided but relapsed. He was on antibiotics for 45 days. 'Antibiotic is not working' the doctor told us, 'medically we have reached the dead end. Only God can save him'. My son was so weak that he was not even opening his eyes. We began to pray to Bhagavan incessantly. 'You are our only refuge' I prayed, 'pray, save my son'. That night my wife had a dream. Swami appeared. 'Swami! See my son' she pleaded, 'doctors say, no hope'. 'What do doctors know' Swami remarked, 'they are not final, nothing will happen. I am here. You do one thing. Invite a sumangali, give her lunch and a new sari'. This dream came to her at 2:30 a.m. She awoke looking exhilarated. I got up and took temperature of my son. It came down. That day we received vibhuti prasad by post from Prasanthi Nilayam. There was no letter inside; nor was there any name and address of the sender on the cover! In a few days, my son recovered well to the amazement of doctors and all.

In 1993, my son applied for admission to Swami's college at Brindavan. 'I spoiled the paper in the entrance test' he told me, 'no chance of a seat'. But Bhagavan willed it otherwise. He joined the Brindavan Campus as he was selected on merit.

'I am poor in Mathematics' he told me, 'shall I take some other subject?' 'Why ask me?' I replied, 'you are with Bhagavan. Ask Him.' He asked Swami. 'Take Maths' was Swami's reply. 'But, Swami' murmured my son, 'I am poor in Maths'. 'Take Maths' Swami repeated. My son took Mathematics as the main subject. In the final exam, he got excellent rating.

In 1998, my daughter Brinda got admission in Swami's college at Anantapur. 'What do you want me to take?' she asked Bhagavan, 'Physics or Chemistry?' 'What Physics?' Swami replied, 'what Chemistry? go and get married'. We assumed that Swami had wanted her to become an educated housewife. After her graduation, she was married into a good family.

Since 1989, we have been doing bhajan in our house on every Thursday. We begin exactly at 6:45 p.m. In 1991, my wife, my son, my daughter and I fell ill. It was some viral fever. On a Thursday, I had to go to my office on some urgent work. 'I am not in a position to arrange for bhajan' my wife told my children, 'you do bhajan upstairs. You go there. I will lie down and rest'. So the children went to the upstairs portion. Exactly at 6:45 p.m., there was some sound at the entrance. My wife looked out of the window. She was stunned. Swami, in flesh and blood, was coming in. She got up and walked to the door.

'Is there no bhajan today?' Swami asked her.

'On the upstairs, Swami' my wife recovered from the shock and replied meekly.

'Oh!' remarked Swami and began to negotiate the stairs to the first floor one by one. My wife stood there watching Him go up step by step. Then remorse overtook her. 'What a fool I am?' she began to cry, 'I did not even invite Him into the house'.

Bhajan was over. My daughter came running. 'Has Swami come to our house?' is the question she put to her mother. 'Why do you ask so?' my wife retorted. 'Well!' my daughter said, 'I felt His presence in the bhajan.'

While we were all ill, a young man came to us. He is a doctor. He was an old student of Swami's school. His name is Dr. Sai Chander. He saw that we were all ill. He began treating us, coming daily to our house. We thought 'Swami has sent the doctor to us as none of us is in a condition to go out and see a doctor. After a day or two, the bhajan incident mentioned above happened.

My son's marriage is fixed for March 2, 2006. We were searching for alliances in Chennai, but unexpectedly an alliance came from Secunderabad. After my retirement, we shifted to Secunderabad as my son got a job there. Now we continue to be there though he has gone to Delhi. The alliance came to us miraculously, and we all okayed. The bride's name is Sambhavi. Her sister is Rajarajeswari and her mother is Tripurasundari Devi - all Devi's names. Sambhavi marrying Siva! It is another chamatkar of Bhagavan!

In 2002, my wife wanted to send certain consignment to my daughter. That was the day of Varalakshmi Vratham. I wanted to book a truck to take the material to the road transport office. But the driver of a truck whom I contacted was demanding Rs. 500 which, I felt, was on the high side. As I was returning, a hefty person came to me. 'See that tempo carrier there', he asked me 'can it be of use to take your consignment?' He was a Muslim. I said 'it is enough.' Before I could ask him how much he wanted, he said 'give me Rs. 200. I will take. You can also come in the tempo.' So my wife and I went to the transport office in that carrier with the consignment. The driver and I went into the office while my wife was sitting in the tempo. Suddenly she noticed that she had company. Swami was sitting next to her in the driver's seat.

'Swami' my wife prayed to Him, 'please take care of us, my family, children and all'.

'I will' replied Swami. 'Swami' she pleaded, 'my husband is a staunch devotee. He will be happy to see you, shall I call him?'

'Do call him, Bangaru!' Swami replied with a smile. She called and called. Though we were near in the office, I could not hear a syllable. We came out. I paid the driver Rs. 200. Then I heard my wife talking to me in a loud voice. I had wanted to give some tip to the driver for the help he had rendered in carrying the packages at my house as well as the transport office. Usually, the drivers do not do so. As I was enquiring with my wife 'what is the matter?' she was coming to me. I moved a little forward to speak to her. Then I remembered about payment of the tip. I looked back. The driver disappeared. We did not see when he had got into his tempo and driven off.

Suddenly, I felt that the driver was none other than Shirdi Sai - hefty Muslim. When I tried to tell this, my wife replied 'He is none other than Sri Sathya Sai. He was with me in the tempo, sitting in the driver's seat and talking to me. I called you repeatedly. You didn't care to come.'

-- Mr. R. Ranganathan

(As narrated to Mr. B. Parvatala Rao at Prasanthi Nilayam on 04.01.2006)