"Now you can go!" - Ticket to
How Baba extended the life of Sri
Prof. N Kasturi in “Sathyam
Shivam Sundaram” narrates this thrilling experience of Sri Seshagiri
Rao, who served as the priest at the Mandir in Prasanthi Nilayam:
Seshagiri Rao, who tended the shrine at the Old Mandir and later at
the Nilayam for full 14 years had been injured by a fall and was in
the throes of death. He was declaring aloud with his last breath the
amazing Truth (enshrined in the Isavasya Upanishad) which no one
except sages recall at the moment of mortal 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 someone 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 judgement against the
All-knowing One? Seshagiri Rao obeyed the order; he attended Bhajan
and went through the allotted schedule of work.
Six months later, he fell ill, seriously ill and was admitted to the
Sathya Sai Hospital; his condition worsened. His mental faculties
began to fail, he lost all disgust for dirt and it saddened everyone
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 son and his nephews, who were employed there.
But, Baba said, "Do not worry at 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 despatched him months ago, when he had a fall." And, it
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 took to his bed.
His son was by his side, tending him lovingly.
One evening, Baba went into Seshagiri Rao’s 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 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 agape at the wonder and the meaningful
"waywardness" of the wind of Grace”.
Reference: “Sathyam Shivam Sundaram”, Vol-II by Prof. N.
Kasturi. Page: 224-225. (Chapter: ‘Signs and Wonders’). Published by
Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.