The Constant Presence
of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
On Sunday, the 13th day of December, 1964, Baba was at
Venkatagiri town. He had reached the place a few days earlier in
connection with a heavy schedule of discourses in the Chittoor
and Nellore Districts, in Andhra Pradesh. But, Baba is not bound
by the limitations of space and time. On that very day, about 8
a.m., "Baba surprisingly appeared in front of my house", says, U
Ram Mohan Rao, Superintendent of the Junior Technical School,
Manjeri (28 miles south of Calicut on the West Coast, in the
State of Kerala). As the crow flies, the distance between
Manjeri and Venkatagiri will be more than 600 miles! But
distance is only a game that Baba plays to keep us, poor
We shall listen to Ram Mohan Rao describing this visit, "I
and my wife were indoors with our daughter. The maid told us
that a Sadhu had come. We went out to see who it was and we were
surprised to see Sri Sathya Sai Baba! Baba said, Hari Om,
Santhih Santhih Santhih; we prostrated ourselves at His Feet. We
led Baba into the officer room, but, on the way, He saw our
Pooja room where His Photo was hung, along with several holy
pictures. He said He would sit in the Pooja room itself. He told
us that He had come to us that day, being very pleased with the
Bhakthi of Sailaja, my daughter. He asked me to send word to
devotees if any were available, for Bhajan and Pravachan." "He
sent word to his neighbours and people collected immediately",
says Ramesh Rao, his cousin. "He sang "Nandamukunda Sayinatha",
"O Bhagavan", "Jayaram Jayaram", along with the Bhakthas. After
Bhajan, He talked to me in Tamil, to my wife in Canarese and to
the others in mixed dialect of Tamil-Malayalam. He blessed us by
the gift of a Sankhamala and Himself placed it on His own
photograph. He told me that my father had decided on a rite to
propitiate the Snake-God (Sarpasamskaram) at Bangalore on 25th
February, Thursday ('My day' He added), but He told me that he
need not perform it, since He had already wiped off the calamity
it was intended to avert and the sacrilege it was designed to
"He took some light refreshment. Then, He told the persons
around Him that all will be anxiously awaiting Him at Kalahasti.
So, He took leave of us and asking us not to follow Him, went
through the gate. He disappeared in a few seconds. We all felt
happy at this unexpected Darsan and were struck by the
'disappearing miracle', within the twinkling of an eye."
Nor was this all. There are a few more paragraphs in the
letter, which I am quoting: "24th December, Thursday, was a
holiday; we felt lonely since our Sailaja was away at Mangalore.
So we went out in the afternoon to visit some friends and
returned home at 6-30 p.m. We were shocked to see the lights
burning within the house. My wife asked me whether I had
forgotten to switch off all the lights. I first examined the
lock of the main door and finding it intact, went round the
house to see whether the other doors were bolted from within.
They were o.k. Then, both of us came to the front door, opened
the lock and walked in. We found everything intact; all the
lights were on. We saw Baba in our Prayer room! We prostrated
ourselves at His feet. He asked us (in Kannada) whether we were
afraid! We replied that we were very lucky and that we left very
happy! Baba said that He had come because we were lonely and
said, 'Let us sing Bhajans. If Sailaja were here, she would have
liked to sing', He said. He sang a few Bhajans. He took food
later, we discussed some general topics together. Then, Baba
retired for the night.
Early next morning, Baba had His Bath; He had coffee with us
and then, discoursed on Bhakthi and the Basic Truth of Nature.
All of a sudden, we saw a rosary of Rudraksha beads in His hand;
He put it on my neck with His Blessings, with the direction that
I should wear it during my Sandhya rites. After those rites, I
was to place it on Baba's photograph. We had breakfast together.
The Puja room was decorated specially with garlands and flowers.
Bhajan began. Meanwhile, devotees came to know that Baba had
come; so they too assembled for Bhajan. Baba discoursed on
Bhakthi in the Tamil-Malayam dialect. He granted every one the
At 12 noon, Baba himself waved the Sacred light of
Mangalarathi and distributed Prasadam, to every one present. The
quarter kilogram of dates that I had, sufficed for 100 persons!
We had our lunch with Baba. He rested for a couple of hours and
we had 'tea' at 4-30 p.m. Then He told us that several devotees
were eagerly waiting for Him at Kalahasti. He blessed us again,
when we fell at His feet. At 5 p.m. He went out on the road
through the gate and suddenly disappeared. What a wonderful
miracle! We could not believe our own eyes!
Nor could I, without confirmation through independent
sources! Baba had given Darsan to persons in distress in distant
places but nowhere, so far as we knew, did He stay so long and
so concretely. It was too overpoweringly unscientific! I wrote a
letter to two friends, P.K. Panikkar and P.A. Menon in Kerala
enclosing a list of 84 questions for which I wanted them to find
answers at Manjeri. They proceeded to Ram Mohan Rao's house and
sent me a fuller report, which dotted all the 'i's and crossed
all the 't's of his letter to me!
Ram Mohan Rao and his wife told them that Baba was wearing a
yellow gown on the 13th December; He walked in, barefooted and
went into the shrine room saying, "I shall go into My own
place." My friends saw the picture on which the rosary of
Rudraksha beads were placed. It had a thick outgrowth of sacred
ash in a few days. Strangely enough, the face of Baba was clear
but from the outer area in the picture, 'there fell a continuous
shower of Vibhuthi dust which was being collected and
distributed with the reverence due to the divinely created gift
"Rao and his wife have been devoted to Shirdi Sai Baba for
many years; they have not visited Prasanthi Nilayam, but they
had secured a picture of Sathya Sai Baba seven years ago and
placed it amidst the other pictures in their shrine. When Baba
sat in the shrine room and leaned against the wall, right under
His own picture, they saw that the picture was genuine! That was
the first time they saw Him; they had borrowed the book 'Sathyam
Sivam Sundaram' from a friend to read it. They thought that Baba
has come, accidentally to Calicut or some nearby town and had
decided to bless them by this visit.
When Mrs. Rao was listing her sorrows to Baba, encouraged by
His overflowing love, Baba said, "Sorrow and pain are the lot of
all; don't you know that both sisters of this body are widowed?"
When Sailaja asked Baba for a Bhajan Book, Baba said, "Palghat
Menon has brought 400 Bhajan books, printed in Malayalam, to
Prasanthi Nilayam. I shall give you one". So saying Baba held
His palm upside down, waved it twice and caught with His fingers
the book that appeared! He gave it to the girl; we saw it! It
was the same book, with the blue paper cover! Sailaja had great
faith in Baba, since her eczema on the foot was cured by Baba a
year ago, in answer to her pleading before His picture.
When he was asked to bring some persons for Bhajan, Rao did
not go far, for he did not desire to miss Baba's company for
long. He brought in the owner of his house, an old gentlemen, by
name Thalayur Moosad and his 5-year old daughter; he brought the
widow of Madhavan Nair, the founder of the renowned Malayalam
newspaper, 'Mathrubhoomi', and his sister. Baba asked Moosad,
"What ails your leg?" He gave Him an account of his disease and
prayed for some drug. Baba told him, "The course of treatment
you are now undergoing is enough." Mrs. Rao is now sending him
the Vibhuthi Baba showers from His picture; he finds it very
effective. The widow told Him of her diabetes. "I am getting
bags and bags of rice from my fields; but I cannot eat a grain,"
she said, Baba replied in Malayalam. "It is the result of your
past Karma". He asked Rao to bring an empty glass. When Baba
held it in His Hand, it was full of a pink liquid. He gave it to
her. "Take this thrice daily for 3 days; you can then eat any
quantity of rice you like".
"One cynic was there, among the rest. Baba knew it and so He
jocularly asked Rammohan Rao to bring a pair of scissors and He
asked the fellow to cut for Himself a single hair from His Head!
The man tried hard but failed, whereupon a bigger pair was
brought at His command. This time too he failed. So, he put down
his head and walked away without a word" writes U.N. Ramesh Rao,
Rao's cousin, who visited Manjeri soon after this incident.
Baba sang four songs in all, during the Bhajan, asking the
gathering too to sing them after Him in chorus. They were: 'O!
Bhagavan', 'Pahi Pahi Gajanana', 'Siva Siva Siva' and 'Omkara
Priya Sai Ram'.
"We saw the Sankhamala, the rosary of small conch-shells,"
says the report. "It is of the type available at Kanyakumari,
each shell being no bigger than a seed of pepper. They are white
in colour, with brown dots. There are 108 of them in the rosary,
created and given by Baba. When we saw it, Vibhuthi had heaped
itself over the beads. The rosary of Rudraksha beads also was
examined by us. Baba told them that, until he could string them
in gold, he should place it on the picture. Baba also created an
orange-size bell-metal drinking cup with a spout and gave it to
Sailaja. He also created a piece of scarlet silk cloth with
borders of gold thread, and, presenting it to the girl, asked
Rao to have a jacket sewn for her. He gave Rao additional
Vibhuthi and Kumkum created on the spot to be given to "Calicut"
(meaning U.N. Ramesh Rao, his cousin living there). Baba left at
11 a.m. on the 13th, saying, I have to keep to a programme at
Kalahasti." They did not then know that Kalahasti was about 20
miles from Venkatagiri. They were too aggrieved at His resolve
to leave, to ask where it was. He said, "No one need come with
me." He closed the gate behind Him and disappeared!
The second visit was on a Thursday. Mrs. Rao was afraid to
approach the house, since the lights were on. Rao opened the
lock and entered. He saw Baba in the shrine, sitting leaning
against the wall. Baba asked him in Tamil, "Are you afraid,
seeing me?" "I have come to join your Bhajan," He assured him.
Rao had brought some dried dates from the bazaar; he gave the
plate into the hands of Baba for distribution; he felt that He
alone could make it suffice for all those who were present. Baba
entered the kitchen and protested against the dish of 'Kheer'
being prepared. He did not "relish that sweet dish". "This is
enough for six," He said! They had cooked only for two but,
after dinner, food for three more was available. Next morning,
Rao and Mrs. Rao partook of it as a sacramental. Before retiring
for the night, Baba removed one picture of His from the shrine
and hung it on a nail in the bed room. 'Let it be here,' He
said. From that picture too, Vibhuthi is showering in large
Rao peeped through a slit in the door to find out whether
Baba was sleeping well but, he saw Him sitting up, most of the
time, 'lost in thought, as one in reverie.'
Next morning, Baba had his bath and breakfast. When the
housewife started preparing 'festive dishes,' He noticed her
enthusiasm and warned that He would leave without eating
anything at all; He insisted that only their daily menu should
be given to Him. He talked to them of Sankaracharya being caught
while young by the crocodile (Maya) in the river Poorna (Brahma)
and saved by renunciation (Sanyas). He spoke of Sai Baba, and of
God as Subrahmanya or Murugan. While speaking of Subrahmanya, He
created a thin plate of gold, drew on it with His nail the
picture of Subrahmanya on a peacock and rolling it directed her
to wear it around her neck, inside a golden cylinder, to be made
later. He said jocularly, "Sorry! I have no gold!"
This is perhaps the most dramatic, detailed and authentic
narrative of the multilocative miracle of Bhagavan Sri Sathya
Source: Prof. M. Kasturi, Sathyam Sivam
Sundaram (The Life Story of Sathya Sai Baba), chapter XXIII