Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Kumar wins the greatest gift of life from Sri Sathya Sai_Part 2

The bhajan that he could never forget

The bhajan that Kumar had chosen to sing was full of pathos and meaning. It called out to Swami as one’s everything - mother, father, Guru, friend, sibling. It also addressed Him as the Vedas, Upanishads and the Geeta of life. It was a bhajan of complete surrender to Him. Since Kumar had completely been shattered by the tragedy that was happening meters away from where he was singing, he was almost sobbing as he sang. It had taken superhuman effort to sing that day. In fact, such was his emotional turmoil that he sang the first line of the bhajan - Sai Pita aur Mata Sai - twice. He sought some response and solace from Swami but all he had got was to see his Lord turn His face on him, looking outside the hall. Even as he sang, he prayed to Swami within,
“Swami, even in this hour of need, you are not setting aside the cold treatment! You are deserting me and going away from me. who do I turn to now? You don’t even want to hear what I want to say. Have I become so unwanted?”

(Dear reader, if you are reading directly from here, let me assure you that you have missed quite a lot of the story. Please come back to this after reading the first part which is at the link given below:

Soon, Kumar completed his bhajan and the rest of the session went on. It was almost after 5 bhajans that Swami returned after His bonus darshan round. Would there be some compassion for Kumar at least now? He recalls his feelings at that moment.

Swami walked into the bhajan hall, took his seat on the throne. He continued looking outside and enjoying the bhajans like everything was fine. After the 6th bhajan, he got up to receive Arati. Forget talking to me, He did not even glance at me. He simply received Arati and walked out of the bhajan hall, back to his residence. I was totally devastated. I considered it as my worst fate and walked out of the bhajan hall. I wanted to rush home and hoped that Amma would be alive.

Yet another shock

As Kumar exited the bhajan hall and rushed towards EA1, scores of students and teachers walked up to him and patted him on his back saying,
“Blessed you...”
“You are lucky...”
“You are Swami’s very own...”
Kumar was wondering what that all meant. Even the warden walked to him and gave him a gentle pat. Not able to comprehend what was happening, Kumar sprinted towards his house.

As Kumar reached the door of his house, he saw four Seva Dal volunteers walk out holding a stretcher between them. And on the stretcher, lay his mother, as motionless as he had seen her before. Behind them came his father and he was in tears. Who wouldn’t be on the journey to the mortuary? He was trying to lock the door but his tears simply weren’t allowing him to do so. Kumar knew that it was all over but this was not the time for him to grieve. He walked to his father and gently patted him on the shoulder. Amidst sobs, the father tried to speak to Kumar but no words came. Kumar took the key from his hands and said,
“You go with Amma. It will all be fine. Don’t worry.”

(This is the time you should go to this link at RaagaBox with Kumar's bhajans. Play the bhajans and listen to them as you read on. I personally recommend - Sai Pita Aur Mata Sai & Muralidhara Mukunda Murari. :) Enjoy )

With a heavy step and an even heavier heart, Kumar walked into the house. EA1 would never be the same ever again. There was no time now for nostalgia. He quickly grabbed a woolen sweater for his father because Puttaparthi can get chilling cold at night in December. He locked the house and moved towards the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital mortuary.

I reached the gate of the hospital and asked the watchman where the mortuary was.  He looked puzzled and said
“There is no one in the mortuary.”
“God! They have taken a dead body of a woman just now. Didn’t you see that? Do you know where the body is?”
He gestured skywards with his finger. Even amidst my sorrow, I was bemused.  I told him,
“I know she has gone up, but where have they taken the body?”
The confusion on his face grew and then he replied,
“They have taken the stretcher to the first floor.”
I wondered as to why would they do so. Nevertheless I went upstairs and I found my father sitting on a bench outside a makeshift ICU room. I went up to him and asked him,
“What happened? Why are you sitting outside? Why have they brought the body here?”
He caught hold of me tightly and said in a quivering voice,
“Don’t you know Swami came to our home during the bhajan and saved Amma?”

Unfolding of a miracle

Kumar was speechless and shell shocked. He had received far too many shocks in the past couple of hours. But this final one was a very pleasant and thrilling shock. He no longer felt the need to hold back his tears and appear strong in front of his father. He broke down and cried like a baby. However, he quickly recovered for he was eager to hear what had happened. The story that unfolded from his father’s lips was simply mesmerising. Kumar had not heard anything more fantastic till then. The only narration that was even more beautiful and divine was when Swami recounted the entire story in great detail a couple of days later. It was during a discourse that He delivered in the bhajan hall. Kumar was seated at the end of the hall near the Krishna-Arjuna chariot. Pointing to him, Swami called him by name and narrated in detail what had actually happened. The story, which he was hearing for the second time from the divine lips after hearing the same from his father’s lips, was as unbelievable as it was memorable.

Even as Kumar assumed that it was all over because Swami got up and walked out on his bhajan, Swami had headed straight towards the gate on the gents’ side. He walked out of the gate and took a right turn towards EA1.
“The boy’s mother was dying but he was calling out to me as his mother. How could I keep quiet? I just rushed to the house”, Swami revealed in His discourse.

Entering the house, much to the amazement and relief of the doctors, Swami asked,
“What happened to her?”
“Swami, she had very high blood pressure and as a result of that, she collapsed with hypertensive heart failure. Her condition gradually deteriorated and after a few hours, she passed away.” The doctor’s voice was weak and meek.
Swami just smiled at the doctor and he continued,
“We have tried everything possible to revive her Swami but she eventually she passed away.”
Swami moved ahead to Kumar’s father. He was devastated and in a state of absolute shock. Patting him lovingly and blessing him with a smile, Swami said,
“Why are you worried mad one? I am here now.”

So saying, Swami walked up to the bedside of Kumar’s mother. In His sweet voice, He asked like a mother asks of her little kid,
“Sithamma, look who has come!” (The mother’s name is Sitha.)
Sithamma did not respond. Swami placed His index finger under her nostrils, as if checking for breath. He then called a doctor to do the same. The doctor did as asked and shook his head to indicate that there was no more life left in Sithamma.
Swami moved towards the platform where there the Shiva linga that He had materialized for Kumar’s parents was kept. There was a tumblerful of Abhishekam water (the washings from the worship of the linga). Picking up a spoon, He poured a spoonful of that water into the mouth of Sithamma’s lifeless body. It did not stay in the mouth and trickled out, down her cheeks. A second spoon of water was poured and the result was the same. As Swami picked up the third spoonful of water, Kumar’s father began to cry.
“No Swami! Noooo...” he said.

In the Hindu tradition, when the relatives adjudge a person’s last seconds have arrived he/she is given drops of sacred water through the mouth. It is one of the last rites just before breathing the last. And if the third spoon of water is also ‘rejected’ it is a confirmation that the person has moved on - a confirmation that Kumar’s father did not want to see.

I went in and gave water. They thought that water is given to signify the end. But water is life. Through water, I gave life”, Swami stated emphatically in His discourse. 

Check it yourself: Do a web search (images) for "ECG death to life"
and you will come across only such images. Sithamma's ECG that
day showed a reverse of this as she returned to life from the other
side. THAT, is a miracle.
That was what happened when Swami offered the third spoon of water. A faint ‘glug’ was heard as Sithamma accepted the water! The ECG monitor which had flatlined, suddenly kicked back to life. The tears from Kumar’s father multiplied. Kumar recollected the miraculous moment with great relish.

The third time the water went in with a sound ‘gluk gluk’. This was the sign of life coming back. Swami created vibhuti and applied on her forehead and then, walked to the other side of the bed to rub it on her foot. He looked at the doctors and smiled. He called Dr.Alreja and asked him to check if Amma had started to breathe. The doctor kept his finger under her nose and then with a smile said,
“Yes. She is breathing. Swami, she has resurrected.”
All the doctors with folded hands gestured and thanked Swami for such a miracle. Swami told them,
“Shift her to the general hospital, keep her in ICU and then let her take rest for a month or so. Then she can come home.”
He instructed the doctors to be present there next to her and take readings of her pulse rate and blood pressure every half hour. He said He will have a look at the chart the next morning. He finally looked at Appa, my father, and said,
“You mental fellow, don’t worry when Swami is there. Your son sang with lot of devotion. He said I am his father and mother. I could not sit there. That is why I got up and came running. Your wife will not leave this world till I give the green signal’.”
Saying this he blessed him and left the house.

Warmth of Love after ‘cold treatment’

Kumar and his father remained by Sithamma’s bedside till late in the night. The day’s activity and excitement slowly took its toll on them as they drifted into sleep. Suddenly, at 2am, Kumar was woken up by a strong fragrance of vibhuti in the room. He looked around and saw that his father too had woken to that strong scent. They were sure that Swami had arrived and so, they rushed into the makeshift ICU room. The doctor there was also dozing away. But even as he entered the room, his mother gently opened her eyes.
“Amma”, said Kumar gently moving his hand on her head.
“Where am I? Where have you brought me?”

At such times of overwhelming gratitude, the lines of a famous English song come to mind,
“Where do I begin to tell the story of how great a love can be? The sweet love story that is older than the seas... the simple Truth about the love He brings to me... Where do I start?”
Isn’t the divine love that binds the individual soul and the Universal soul the purest and truest form of love? It is a love that can make the dumb speak but it is also a love that can make the eloquent dumbstruck!

Kumar did not know where to begin to answer his mother’s question.
I was very eager to tell her everything that happened last evening. But doctor prevented me from starting my endless talk. She said this is not the time for this talk as she needs to rest fully. I was politely asked to go out.

It was a new morning, a new day. At about 9:30am Kumar and his father were debating as to who should be the first to go home, have bath and return. The father prevailed and Kumar headed home. As he climbed down the stairs, his eyes were blessed to behold a sight that would stun anyone - Swami was walking up the same staircase!
Ay Dunnapota! Yekkada Pothunnavu (Where are you going)?” Swami asked.
Though the word Dunnapota translates into ‘he-buffalo’ I just cannot describe or translate the sweetness and magic of the word when Swami uses it - how we pine to hear Him call us thus!
“Swami, I am going home to take a bath, change my clothes and refresh myself. Then I will return.”
Swami climbed up to the step on which Kumar was standing. He held his hand and said,
Ra, Kalisi Paiki Pothamu (Come, let us go up together)!”

Kumar was simply thrilled. He had been so busy in answering Swami that he hadn’t noticed that the ‘cold treatment’ had ended. Swami was speaking to him after a long time and it was absolute nectar for him.

There was no one except the doctor and a nurse. There was no proper seat for Swami as well. Swami pulled an old metal chair and Himself organized His seating! Meanwhile the news of Swami coming to hospital spread and all the doctors and nurses converged into this small room.  Swami went to Amma’s bedside and said to her in Tamil,
“Sithamma, yeppadi irukku? (How are you feeling)? Ivangellam sonnaga ne poyacchu (These people told me that you are gone).”
Amma was smiling and she said,
“Swami, it is by your grace that I am alive today.”
Swami looked at the doctors and asked,
“Where is the ECG machine?’
Immediately, the ECG machine was brought into the room. He said,
“Take ECG now.”
The ECG was done and Swami was checking the readings. The divine doctor had completely taken over. He said,
“It is totally normal. She is normal. Look at the ECG taken yesterday and this one. What a difference!”
One of the doctors immediately said,
“Swami, it is only by your grace that she is alive today.”
It was a redundant statement in the circumstances. But Swami looked up and said,

He Himself dictated a few beta blockers and other medicines to the doctors with the required dosage. It is said that the doctor only prescribes while the Lord heals. Here, the prescription was also being done by the Lord. The doctors noted all in a pad. Swami looked at me and asked,
“Where are you having your food?”
“Swami, I will have it in the canteen till she is in the hospital.”
“She is sick today because she continuously made pooris for you.” He tapped me on my head and said, “Joke chestunnanu ra (I am just joking).”  
Then he said’,
“You have lunch with me daily. No need to go to canteen. For your father, I will arrange food to reach home from canteen.”
Swami left after talking to all the doctors.

The gift of life was only the beginning of the Lord's blessings on Kumar
who has always shared a special place in His heart.
The gift of life

The gift of life is only the beginning. That is what Kumar discovered as Swami’s shower of love and grace overwhelmed him and his parents. Swami made another trip to the hospital to enquire about Sithamma. He constantly monitored her health. And finally, after a month, when Kumar asked Swami whether he could get his mother home, Swami sent His Mercedes Benz car to serve as her transport chariot! The gift of life was only the beginning for Sithamma.

The gift of life is only the beginning for each one of us. With it, God puts us on the pathway to Himself. And like Kumar’s mother, each of us have been given that gift - so what if it was not done in that dramatic fashion?
Hang on!
Maybe it was quite dramatic.
As your mother how it was when you entered the world. She surely will narrate with tears in her eyes and joy in her heart, the dramatic unfolding of a miracle. Why do we think that the gift of our lives is not dramatic?
Have we ever pondered how is it that our hearts beat, our lungs take in air and all our body systems function in perfect harmony without any effort on our part? That is because life is God’s first gift to each of us. And it is also the greatest gift because with that gift we can achieve the ultimate.


In an unfortunate turn of events, Kumar today has become a follower and proponent of a group that proclaims the existence of a fictitious "Sukshma Sai" or "the Subtle Body of Sai" - which nobody can perceive with the five senses. Kumar propagates the existence of channelers and, at times, acts as a 'medium' which goes completely against the tenets of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (as declared by Him in several discourses) and against the principles of the Sri Sathya Sai Organization established by Baba.

That just serves as a warning to the reader that each and every one of these stories should serve to highlight only Swami's love and grace. We should not start hero-worshipping the recipient of the Grace instead. The only Hero was, is and will be Swami.

If you enjoyed reading this, you will surely love these stories of three more singers:

1. Sai Bin Raha Na Jaaye - No life without Swami (experiences of S.Ravikumar)

2. His singer and His song - experiences of Ashwath Narayan.

3. Love between Mirabai (Meera Boy) and the Lord - Source and not Force.

For all readers:

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  1. Omg.Swamis love is beyond sny words.beautiful write up.Arvind u kept me at the edge.lovely

  2. I had tears in my eyes on reading how Swami spoke in Tamil to bro. Kumar's mother and said that others had mentioned that she was gone. Thank you so much Aravind for sharing this experience. We can only shed tears of gratitude to Swami for all that He does for us all the time.

  3. Amazing Grace of the Lord! Sairam and thanks brother - was waiting so eagerly for part 2 - as always! Sairam.

  4. wonderful reading and worth the wait! thanks aravind

  5. Hari Om. Jai Sai Ram !!!

  6. Omg.Swamis love is beyond sny words.beautiful write up.Arvind u kept me at the edge.lovely

  7. Amazing grace, most beautifully narrated. Thought provoking final lines "Why do we think that the gift of our lives is not dramatic? " How foolish are we in not celebrating every moment of life with gratitude, the greatest blessing that God has bestowed on each and every one of us. Tears rolling in my eyes. Aum Sairam. Thank you brother for sharing this.

  8. Sai Ram. Great experience. Thanks for sharing.

  9. no words. Just over joying mind with over flowing water from eyes. Thanks Brother. Where do I see that sweet form today ?

  10. Sairam.. whenever our family reads your articles..we feel that the we are direct witnesses to the entire episode other words to Swami's leelas..Thank you so much for this experience..Kumar 's episode is proof for the nth time about Swami's promise to His students that He is their mother and father..

  11. wow nice..i could relate to not stop here share more miracles and my dear brother ..donot think too much about who i am actually ...just treat me as your younger we are a go and there are no feelings except those of love between us..this is what i wanted ..finally it is done...treat everyone as u treat me only if it is possible and it is not a necessity..praise lord!!!

  12. Aravind, reading this article, I am so choked. How much the Lord loves each and every one of us and how little we do for Him. We think twice before we do anything.
    What a blessing for the family ?
    Tears well up listening to stories of Grace. These are the ones we get to know. Imagine what would be happening in the world-the ones we are not aware of.

  13. Aravind, tears roll down reading this incident, so many lessons to take away, surrender, faith, prayer, compassion, love.. Swami amidst all that does not forget to ask where they will have lunch, and He says have lunch with me!! My fingers aren't moving, I have no words to describle this blissfull joy. Thank you again Aravind for bring these lovely life treasures in such a beautiful manner. Sai Ram.


  14. Dearest Aravind. Aum Sai Ram! I couldn't wait for the second part and Swami delighted my eagerness with happiness supreme. I listened to "Sai Pita aur Mata Sai" as I read the second part with tears of joy streaming down.This story helped me reconnect to our dearest Sai! Thank You!

  15. i have heard this glorious tale before and treated it as one more expression of Swam's boundless, life-giving grace. But this morning when I read the second part, I couldn't hold back my tears.dear Aravind, you have been blessed by Swami to rekindle the flame of hope in our hearts.SWAMI WILL NEVER EVER LEAVE US!!HE LOVES US TOO MUCH!!

  16. Dearest Aravind. The above comment is from my brother who shared your blog with me.It is awe inspiring. I understood the Tamil that Swami spoke and could hear his gentle tones. In an interview he told me "he was just joking" in perfect English...and the Divine Swami was cautious that I was not offended. Treasure these memories forever there is no other earthly pleasure Warm love from South Africa Rajes Govender

  17. Thank you Arvind. It's a really heart touching story.... Jai Sairam.

  18. Sairam Aravind.... Thank you so So much...!!!

  19. Thank you so much Arvind!what a fine example of pure love. Etween The Lord and his devotees!

  20. Sairam Aravind ...Thank you very much for this article (Part1 & 2).How blessed are this family to get the divine grace and love.Expecting and wishing to read more such articles.

  21. Sairam Aravind ....Thank you very much for writing this article Kumar wins the greatest gift of life from Sri Sathya Sai Part 1 & 2.Thrilled to read.

  22. most loving sairam to you my brother, i know you must be getting a lot of appreciation notes in response to the otherworldly gift of narration bestowed upon you by swami, but i only wish to share with you that for each of those notes there are a thousand more which can not be and are really never posted since, as you say, love simply stuns, even the most eloquent, dumb.. keep it up and carry on being yourself... yes the greatest incomparable reward of being oneself is after-all The Eternal

  23. Very touching! Very Rejoicing!! Though read short version of this story in "Tapovanam" many times, reading the the full story in lucid narration that too straight from horse mouth ...feeling elated. Sairam.

  24. Sairam Aravind. I heard this story narrated by Mr. Kumar himself . Almost one year before he came to Mr.Nagesh's house at PUNE. That day special bhajan was conducted. Feeling that we are very fortune to heard the experience from Kumar. Actually i forgotten his name after reading your story i recalled him.

    by M. VijayShankar

  25. Sairam , Please be publishing more and more experiences so that we are delightful in Swamy's ,memories.

  26. Feel blessed to have read this...thank you Brother :))

  27. Sairam. Lovely story but was a little disappointed with the Disclaimer. What he does or what any reader understands of the story is their choice. NOt sure if the writer is justified to give warnings. Might have been more effective to let the reader soak in the Divine Leela...


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