SRI SATHYA SAI HRUDAYA
(Indweller of Hearts)
By Bombai Srinivasan
They were liberated
There are instances when Bhagavan Baba had given
extension of life to some devotees. He had, by
His Grace, even brought some other back to life,
hours after they had died. And yet in some
cases, Sai, had by His compassion, taken some
blessed souls unto HIM, liberating them from the
cycle of birth and death.
When somebody passes away, we normally say that
so and so has attained the Lotus Feet; Or
attained the Paramapadham, Or reached Sri
Vaikuntam, (the abode of Lord Vishnu; Or reached
the Holy Kailash (the abode of Lord Shiva). The
end, which a devotee meets in this earthly
sojourn, indicates the level of surrender and the
degree of devotion he has reached. The Lord
takes special care to give them a blissful end.
To many devotees, Swami had given His Darshan
when they were to breath their last and Swami
made the transition less painful and the passing
blissful. I wish to narrate the cases of couple
of such devotees.
Sri. M.K.Bhaskar was a retired Senior Railway
Officer. He was the District President of Sri
Sathya Sai Organizations in Madras. We always
cherish the days when we worked under him,
engaged in various service activities. You cannot
find anybody more vigilant than Mr. Bhasakar who
enforced strict discipline in the organization
without fear or favour. Yes, he was always
strict, and yet was a very kind hearted man.
Mr.Bhaskar and His wife were affectionately
called by us, as Achhan (i.e. father) and Amma
(i.e. Mother). Both of them derived great joy in
giving sumptuous food to all those who visited
their house. They never got tired of this seva.
'Athithi Devo bhava ' is one of the dictums of
Vedas and they followed this dictum
enthusiastically. Even now ,in spite the old age
and restricted movements, Amma continues to treat
her guests with sumptuous food.
After relinquishing the post as District
President, Mr.Bhaskar was nominated by Swami as
one of the members of Sri Sathya Sai Trust of
Tamil Nadu. Once, while he was in Parthi, it
seemed that he had an heart attack, but was
discharged from the general hospital the same
day, after keeping him in Oxygen for a couple of
hours. He traveled the same night in a bus along
with us. By the next day, his condition had
become very serious and he had to be admitted in
the Railway Hospital in Madras. By the Grace of
Swami he recovered very soon.
Later on, Mrs. and Mr. Bhaskaran shifted their
residence to Prashanthi Nilayam. Swami had
assured that He would give him a good job at
Parthi. He was waiting for that opportunity. It
was a long wait. After a couple of years, it was
the Holy festival of Shivarathri day. After the
morning Darshan and devotional songs were over, I
went to his residence at Parthi in the round
building. Sri. Bhaskar was sitting in an easy
chair in the verandah and was reading a paper.
Suddenly he collapsed. On hearing our frightened
call, his wife came out and prayed to Swami.
Vibhuthi was applied on him, and after a while he
recovered. We stayed back and spent some more
time with him. During the chat, Mr. Bhaskar
insisted that my friend Sri. G. Venkatesan and
myself should have lunch in their house the next
day without fail. We agreed and accepted the
invitation. I could
not forget the next day in my life.
The morning Darshan was over and Mr. G.
Venkatesan and myself were standing in the queue
outside the canteen for our breakfast. Mr.Bhaskar
was returning home I found him dressed in a new
white safari dress, hoping that Swami might give
him the promised job that day. He spotted us in
the queue and told us very sternly that we should
go to their house for lunch without fail. We
promised to do so.
It was morning Bhajan time in the Mandir. Swami
had finished the interview for the chosen
devotees and came out of Mandir. The seva dal
volunteers, from Madhya Pradesh, who had
completed Prashanthi Seva for about a week, were
sitting outside, for the blessed Pada Namaskar.
The Bhajan was going on, as Swami walked amongst
the gents seva Dals. We were standing outside
the compound wall and Mr.Bhaskar was sitting on a
chair just inside along the wall, almost in front
of us. Swami, while walking along a row, which
terminated just where Mr.Bhaskar was sitting.
Bhagavan Baba enquired as to Mr.Bhaskar what he
wanted. He replied 'Swami, Padam'. Swami allowed
him to touch His Lotus Feet. He got up blissfully
and was trying to sit on the chair again. But he
was falling down sliding from the chair as soon
as he managed to sit. All the eyes were glued to
Swami and nobody noticed Mr.Bhaskar falling down
from the chair. As Swami mentioned later on, Mr.
Bhaskar had died as a chairman (sitting in a
chair) and not as sick man in the bed.
What a beautiful end to a devoted soul! The end
happened, inside the compound of the Mandir
premises. that too, immediately after taking Pada
Namaskar. The ears were listening to the Bhajan
while the eyes were feasting on the Divine Form
of Bhagavan and the body just had physical
contact with the Divine, while taking Pada
The senior doctors from the Super Specialty
Hospital who were there for Darshan rushed to him
but could not revive the heart. I was witnessing
the event quite dazed. If the end had come the
previous day, he would have memories of his wife
and family at that critical time. But Swami
extended his life by one more day and had willed
that the end should come in His very Presence.
Mr.Bhaskar left the body with nothing else in his
mind other than Swami. Swami even undertook to
organize all the religious rituals as per the
customs of the family for Mr.Bhaskar.
How else can we explain this liberation other
than by calling it that "Mr.Bhaskar attained
the Lotus Feet." There was glory to the devotee
even in his end.
I wish to add one more such an episode. Here the
name of the devotee was Mr. Kasthuri Rangan. He
was a member of our T'Nagar Samithi, at Madras.
He was earlier a senior executive with Manali
Refineries Ltd, and opted to retire on voluntary
retirement scheme. He was always very regular in
attending the weekly bhajans at Sundaram Temple,
and he used to reach there early so that he could
enter the hall and sit almost behind the Bhajan
singers. He was a regular lead singer in the
We did not know how deep-rooted devotion he had
for Swami. We knew him just as another devotee
and a good singer. But in the end he proved to be
very close to Swami. Swami had often said that
physical proximity to Him might not indicate that
the person is a great devotee. Perhaps a person
who is away from Swami could still be a close
devotee of Swami.
The weekly Bhajan at T'Nagar Samithi was
regularly conducted on Saturday evenings. As
usual, on that particular Saturday, the Bhajan
was going on, and Mr. Kasthuri Rangan was
singing. That song came to an end and the first
line was resumed in slow rhythm, as it is the
practice in Sai Bhajans. Immediately after
finishing the song, Mr. Kasthuri Rangan slipped
sideways on to the laps of another singer named,
Mr. Kailash who tried to pop him up. Instantly we
knew something was wrong. Mr. Kasthuri Rangan was
lifted by a few devotees and taken to a clinic in
a car. As is the discipline in Sai Organizations,
the Bhajan continued. On arrival at the hospital,
doctor pronounced that Mr. Kasthuri Rangan had
already passed away.
What a great devotee, Mr. Kasthuri Rangan should
have been. Only Swami had known the depth of
devotion and had liberated him. We have heard of
the stories of many singer devotees in our
scripture like, Meera, Purandhara Das, Vittal,
Sri Krishna Chaithanya and all. But this Sai
devotee had cast away his body immediately after
finishing his singing. A blissful divine end of a
devotee with Lord's Name dancing in his mouth!
Author's statement in:
Many of you may
be aware that I had authored a book with the title "Sri Sathya Sai
Hrudaya Nivasi (Indweller of Hearts). This book had seen the third
reprint, and is being sold in Bhagavan's Bookstall at Prashanthi
Nilayam. Many of you would have purchased and many would not have
got chance to go to Parthi and get the book. After the third
edition, this may not go to print again. As such I wish to bring
the contents of this book to each and every one of you.
Starting from today I shall post one chapter every week or if
possible twice a week, depending upon the response I get from you
all. I would request you to kindly read it and then re-circulate
it to your other friends in the Sai Family.
The text could be transferred to your hard disk, and if possible
print outs taken out.
Utilize the contents, as much as you like.
With Lots of Love and regards