The Supreme Blessing
is granted the Divine Vision
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
“On the way back Baba stopped
the bus at a place, where a thin little iron rod carried a
half-distinct nameplate, "Vasishta Guha."
He proceeded to descend the rather precipitous incline to the
river bank, as if He had been there often before and as if He
had become aware of an engagement with the occupant of the cave.
The Ganga takes a wide curve near the cave; nearby a small
rivulet pours her offerings into the Ganges, and so the scenery
is doubly attractive. The Vasishta Guha bears a hallowed name;
it has been sanctified by the austerities performed therein by
many great recluses and monks in the past.
Swami Purushottamananda, a disciple of Swami Brahmananda of the
Ramakrishna order, initiated into Sanyas by Mahapurushji,
another direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, had been
living in the cave since 30 years and welcomed Baba as if he too
was expecting Him!
More than seventy years old, he had spent the major part of his
life in asceticism of a most rigorous kind and in the study of
scriptures. His face has the genuine glow of spiritual joy and
the slightest mention of the glory of Godhead would send him
into Samadhi (spiritual ecstasy). When he was still a young man,
Swami Brahmananda had read his palm at Kanyakumari and predicted
that he would enter a cave and go on meditating and meditating!
Baba reminded him of the travails he endured when he first came
into the cave, leopards and cobras and the three-day trek to
Rishikesh and the desperate struggle for salt and matchboxes! He
spoke of the succour that came to him through sheer Divine
Baba repeated the visit the next evening in spite of a rumbling
sky and the grumbling of some persons who accompanied Him. But,
the rumbling ceased and the grumblers were humbled; by Baba's
Grace, the sky became clear and the rain held back.
Baba himself sang a number of songs that day in the Vasishta
Guha and when one of the Swamis attending on Swami
Purushottamananda requested Him to sing a song of Thyagaraja, He
very graciously asked him which of Thyagaraja's Krithis
(compositions) he most liked to hear. Swami Kalikananda said
that he was longing to hear "Sri Raghuvara Sugunalaya”!
Baba sang it, just to make him happy. No one had heard Him sing
that song before and so it was an unexpected piece of good luck
for which we thanked Swami Kalikananda. Hearing that Swami
Kalikananda was suffering from chronic stomachache since many
years, He took some 'candy' from nowhere and gave it to him,
with instruction about diet etc. He also gave Purushottamananda,
a Japamala of shining Sphatika beads, which 'manifested' itself
in His Hand.
But, more mysterious and significant was the Vision that He
vouchsafed to Swami Purushottamananda that evening. After
sending every one outside the Cave, Baba and the Sage went into
the inner room.
Sri Subbaramiah, President of the Divine Life Society,
Venkatagiri, describes what he was able to see from outside the
"Even now that picture is imprinted in my memory. I was standing
near the entrance of the cave. I could see what was happening.
Baba placed His Head on the lap of Swami Purushottamananda and,
laid Himself down! Suddenly, His entire body was bathed in
divine brilliance. His Head and Face appeared to me to have
increased very much in size. Rays of splendour emanated from His
face. I was overwhelmed with a strange inexplicable Joy. The
time was about 10 p.m."
When pressed later to divulge the vision, Baba informed us that
it was a Vision of Jyothir-Padmanabha! (Lord Vishnu as the Flame
of Love-Wisdom) What supreme Karuna! (compassion) What
immeasurable Good Fortune!
Swami Purushottamananda passed away on Shivarathri Night, 1961,
four years later, during the Lingodbhava Muhurtham – the time
Baba manifested the Lingam that Shivaratri.”
Reference: “Sathyam Shivam
Sundaram”, Vol-I, by Prof. N Kasturi. Page: 111-113. Published
by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi
The room at the Ashram where Swami
Purushottamananda left his body On Shivarathri 1961