"Signs and Wonders"


The entrance of Prasanthi Nilayam

There was a blind person once who came to the Nilayam for getting his eyesight restored; he was a teacher in the State of Mysore, who had lost his sight suddenly, without any apparent reason. Baba did not pay any attention to him, at first. Then one day He said to me pointing to the man being led by his wife along the verandah, "See, that man wants his eyes back; he does not know that blindness, is his good fortune"! Two days later, he received a letter from the Government of India offering him a scholarship to go to Delhi for training in an Institution for Teaching the Blind! I know of one deaf supplicant, to whom Baba said, "Your ears are your Guru; they brought you to Me; now, be thankful that at least one source of attachment is providentially put out of action". About another supplicant, He said, "If I give him back his eyesight he is sure to ruin himself". He has the knowledge of the past and the future; open book for him. So, He says, "I do not feel the meaningless sympathy that you pour so easily; I have to calculate the potentialities, the retribution they deserve, the use or misuse they will make of additional faculties and capabilities." When some one died in one of the cottages around Prasanthi Nilayam, and the kinsmen prayed that Baba might revive him, Baba said, "Do you mean to say that this area alone is mine? What of the thousands who have died this moment allover the world? They are also as much mine as this person. Again, tell me how this man is indispensable for the world's progress? He has finished his career; he was born to work out his destiny, not to provide temporary trivial joy to a few." 

In the Vivekachudamani, Sankaracharya refers to the Master as "Ahethukadayasindhu - the Ocean of Mercy that saves without any reason or context." Baba is like that. He cures some chronic illnesses by the exercise of His will; He allows other supplicants to suffer. No one can say, why. The instance of Seshagiri Rao who is referred to in the First Volume too will throw some light on this aspect of Baba's ministration. Seshagiri Rao, who tended the shrine at the Old Mandir and later at the Nilayam for full 14 years had a fall and was in the throes of death. He was declaring aloud with his last breath the amazing Truth which no one except sages recall at the moment of crisis: "This body composed of the five elements is disintegrating into its components; I am being liberated"! I stood by, admiring and envying the old man. "What great good fortune, to pass into the beyond with these words on one's lips!", I told myself. Suddenly, Baba appeared in the room, as some one had informed Him of the approaching demise of His trusted servitor. Baba chided Seshagiri Rao in firm tones. He said, "How dare you start on this journey, without taking a ticket from Me? Come down, do the task allotted to you. I order you to come to the Prayer Hall this noon and carry on with Arathi, as usual. We stood aghast, at this 'unkindness', but, who are we to pit our judgment against the All-knowing One? Seshagiri Rao obeyed the order; he attended Bhajan and went through his allotted schedule of work. 


The Super Specialty Hospital [see * for some details]

Six months later, he fell ill, seriously ill. He was admitted to the Sathya Sai Hospital; his condition became worse, pathetically worse. His brain became soft, he lost all disgust of dirt, he made everyone sad that a faithful servant of God should suffer so. His brother came from Bangalore and prayed to Baba that he may be allowed to take him to the Victoria Hospital, where he could be given personal attention by his sons and nephews, who were employed there. But, Baba said, "Do not worry; seeing his present plight. I am allowing him to work out the suffering he has to undergo. After this, he has the chance to die peacefully and quite happily. Otherwise, I could have dispatched him months ago, when he had a fall." And, it happened so. A month passed. Seshagiri Rao recovered quite mysteriously. The sun shone around him in his apartment. He spent six weeks of bliss, doing his chores. Then he started to decline and was in bed. His son was by his side, tending him lovingly. One evening, Baba went into the room. I had the privilege of going with him. He asked me to bring a cup of hot milk. Spoon by spoon, He fed him the entire cup, calling on him by name and telling him that it was his Baba that was feeding him! Then, He rose and moved; turning back while at the door, He looked at him and said, "Now, you can go"! And, Seshagiri Rao obeyed, within an hour! Baba knew when he had to come down and when he had to "go". We can only watch and pray, only stand aghast, at the wonder and meaningful "waywardness" of the wind of Grace. 

Let Dr. T. Nallainathan of Castle Lane, Colombo tell us of one such wonder. "A boy of 12 called Anthonis was suffering from Ependymoma (a cancerous growth of the cauda equlova of the spinal cord inside the lower vertebrae). His father's brother is a famous surgeon, and the neuro-surgeon performed an operation in his presence which lasted for 3 hours and 15 minutes; but, no good came out of it. The boy passed urine for 24 hours, without intermission, while unconscious. This did not stop, nor could it be checked or decreased. A member of the Sathya Sai Seva Samithi, Colombo gave the child a little vibhuthi brought from Baba, that very night. The parents found a noticeable improvement. So, they went post-haste to Baba at Madras; they had His Darsan on November, 10th. Bhagavan created an amulet by a wave of the hand and asked that it be worn round the wrist. They had Darsan twice and returned home happy. I saw the boy on Christmas Day, playing delightfully and talking of attending school, after the holidays! I know he is attending school now." 

Among the large number of cases that have come to my notice, I shall quote here a specially wonderful cure. One noon in '66, February, a young couple arrived by car from Bangalore, after landing there by plane from Delhi. The lady's brother had been sent home from a New Delhi Hospital, as a hopeless, casualty. Some one told them of Baba and they came to seek His Grace, so that the brothers life might be saved. Baba gave into my hands two packets of Vibhuthi from the receptacle kept in His Room for distribution by Him and asked me to tell them, to take them to the Patient 'immediately!' The case history of the brother makes very sad reading; "Balija, aged 30; chronic nephritis; anaemia. In July, 1960 had attack of pain in left lumber region and haematuria. In Dec. 1960, was noticed to have swelling of the whole body. Urine-Alb. was + + +. He had generalized anasarca, too. Blood urea-normal; blood pressure-normal. X-ray Alb. normal; X-ray chest, normal. In 1964, Dec., complained of diminution of vision. Blood pressure 240/140. X-ray and intravenous Pyelography: Dye not secreted by both kidneys. Blood urea-70 mgm. Urine- Alb. + + +; Treatment continued with hypertensive drugs. Then, suffered from hypertensive encephalopapathy (Oculogynic crisis) - involuntary movement of the right side of the face. BP-240/140. Admitted to Hospital: Treated with hypertensives and sedatives. Blood urea-98-132. Come down to 80 mgm. Urine alb-heavy traces, no casts. Occasional RBC. BP came down to normal, but, rose for 10 days to 150/100-200/120. Urine output ... 50-60 oz. Hemoglobin gradually decreasing. On 18-12-1965, H-9 gms. RBC 3'5 million; Hg 8 gms; 7'5 gms; 29-1-66 HC-5'8 gms. At present, patient gets restless; pallor and slight puffiness of face - pain in both joints; unbearable pain, treatment: Adelphin Esidrex 2 tablets, 3 times a day; Serpasil, 1-2 tablets, three times a day; Injection Serpasil SOS, Injection Largactil. Injection Jacttofer started on 22-1-1966 on a alternate days. Pot. Chloride gr 15, three times a day; diet, protein restricted." The two packets of Vibhuthi were to be given, internally in water and some of it was to be smeared over the body. I was amazed when I received a telegram from the sister that they were bringing the patient to Prasanthi Nilayam 'the next day.' This was before the fortnight was over, after their visit. The car from Bangalore came into the compound and three people came out, the couple and a stranger. They walked briskly towards the Mandir and as soon as I saw and recognized them, I inquired, "Where is the patient?" They laughed and pointed him out to me. It was the third Person, the man with no sign of illness on him, except a woolen muffler wound round his throat. 

Or, let us listen to another tale, from the Padubidris of Bombay. "May, 4th, 1957. It was her first birthday. The children's party was in full swing. While her young guests helped themselves with the snacks and sweets, the little hostess rocked vigorously on her wooden horse. She needed something to provide her distraction from pain. Medical experts were investigating her case. The birthday party was not quite over, when the X-ray report came. It revealed with sudden unbelievable finality that the poor one-year-old was stricken with a bone-eating disease of the worst type. Pott's Disease; the disc between her 5th and 6th vertebrae was completely destroyed. Nothing more grim could have befallen us". 

"The bone specialist ordered that the child be strapped in plaster to reduce her movements to the minimum of almost nil, to help the decalcification. Besides, a prick with streptomycin every day and a long list of medicines and tonics were prescribed. How long was she to be tortured thus? We prayed to Sai Baba; dreamt that He was holding the child protectively close to Him. In June 1958, she was out of the plaster, but, the doctor prescribed an iron jacket as support to her decalcified vertebrae. On November 4th, we reached Puttaparthi with her. Baba interviewed us for 45 minutes. He blessed the child, stroked her back, gave her Udi, and told the anxious grandmother. "Leave everything to Me; I shall always take care of her; you are worrying too much about her." He assured us that the child would start walking in January ...and, she did!" 

Instances where He has willed off cases of cancer, saying "Your cancer is cancelled", are plenty. The case of D.R. Ghule is remarkable in many ways. In a letter dated 15th June, '66, Rao Saheb V.R. Ghule writes, "On 11th May, 1966, I had sent a letter to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba informing Him of the sad plight of my brother, Dattatreya Ramachandra Ghule, aged 76. I wrote, "The pain is now concentrated on the right side of his throat, like terrible pin thrust, even while swallowing milk, tea, or coffee. He has become very weak. He is unable to speak clearly. The doctors at Jubbulpore declared it was cancer and he is now taking X-ray treatment at the Tata Hospital here at Bombay. Day by day, he is getting weaker and weaker. We obtained the book, "Sathyam Shivam Sundaram" and after reading it, we brought a photo of yours and kept it in a prominent place for daily darsan. I do not know whether this appeal will reach you, for I do not know your present address or your correct address. With folded hands, I beseech you, to save my brother from this terrible pain and illness." 

"On the 13th, in the morning, my brother's condition became serious and doctors called him for an immediate operation. I placed a copy of my letter to Baba at the feet of Baba in the picture and prayed for His mercy. It was about 12.30 P.M. At 1 P.M., my brother asked for water, which he drank freely! He, then, drank milk, which he had not been able to take for the past! We took him to the hospital, where he was found to be normal and the doctors declared that there was no need for an operation. He is now very much better." 


"Let the children come to Me" 

The amulets packets of Vibhuthi, or other articles that He gives are but assurances for the recipient, that they have 'something' from his hands. They are superfluous, when we know that His Will is supreme. It can cross frontiers of sea and land, language and age, and it can be won by prayer, sincere and deep. It cures, for reasons best known to itself. He has come for the revival of morality and the restoration of faith in God and in the ultimate liberation of man from grief and pain. These cures are visiting cards that He scatters, in order to announce that the Divine has come down among men. "Take up thy bed and walk" has been said by Baba to many, at the Prasanthi Nilayam, during the daily session of Grace-gifts, called "interviews" and then, He gives the advice, "Walk in fear, walk in hope, walk in truth". There was a girl in her teens who was being carried about by her brother. She had come from Bhadravathi in Mysore State. For 5 long years, she had not set foot on the ground. Baba called the brother to him and asked that the sister be brought. He carried her in, as one carries a child. Within minutes, the door of the Room opened and 500 people sitting outside the Nilayam saw the girl walking helped by the brother and mother; Baba had asked that they go round the building three times! And, the next day, she did it alone! And, Baba exhorted the girl to go home and be happy! Each cure is an eye-opener, the gift of a new vision, the vision of the Divine Healer, who heals the body so that it may be a fit instrument for the conquest of the mind and for the realization of the Ananda lying dormant within the region of the senses, the emotions, the impulses and the intellect!


"People ask, "Where is God?" The answer is provided by Nature.
Who is it that has created the five elements, the five life-breaths, the five sheaths,
the five external sense organs and the five internal sense organs,
which are alle ceaselessly carrying out their functions according to their prescribed roles? The seasons in their regular cycle are teaching a lesson to man.
Therefore, Nature is the demonstrable proof for the existence of God.
Nature is not under any obligation to any man, it takes no orders
from any man, it operates according to the Will of the Divine.


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 One of the wings of the hospital, seen from the terrace.


 the terrace seen from another angle


 An overview of part of the hospital




Written by N. Kasturi M.A., B.L.