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XII. Manifesting in Multiple Locations

“Baba Appeared in front of My House”
How Baba was simultaneously present in Venkatagiri and Manjeri.

This is an incredible miracle that demonstrates how limitations of time and space can never bind Bhagawan in His task of ensuring the joy and happiness of His devotees. Indeed, events surrounding this story are so incredible, that Prof. Kasturi took great pains to convince himself of its authenticity. His sedulous efforts culminated in the narrative that follows:

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 Chittoor and Nellore Districts, in Andhra Pradesh. 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 is more than 600 miles! But distance is only a game that Baba plays to keep us, poor mortals, apart.

We shall listen to Sri Ram Mohan Rao describing this visit, "My wife and I were indoors with our daughter. The maid told us that a Sadhu (sage) had come. We went out to see who it was and we were surprised to see Sri Sathya Sai Baba!

Baba said, Hari Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti; 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 (devotion) of Sailaja, my daughter. He asked me to send word to devotees if any were available, for Bhajan and Pravachan (discourse).

"He sent word to his neighbours and people collected immediately", says Ramesh Rao, his cousin. "Swami sang the bhajans ‘Nandamukunda Sayinatha’, ‘O Bhagavan’, ‘Jayaram Jayaram’, along with the devotees. 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 (rosary of small conch-shells) 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 atone.

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 Darshan and were struck by his miraculous disappearance”

But, this was not all. In the letter written by Sri Ram Mohan Rao to Prof. Kasturi he goes on to describe Bhagawan’s next visit to Manjeri:

"24th December, Thursday, was a holiday; we felt lonely since our daughter, 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 seemed alright. Then, both of us came to the front door, opened the lock and walked in. We found everything intact. All the lights were on. And Baba was 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 Bhakti 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 (evening prayer) 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 coveted interview.

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 Darshan 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 comprehensive 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 of Grace!”

The report further went on to mention: “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 Shivam Sundaram' from a friend to read it. They thought that Baba had by happenstance come 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 and 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 Ram Mohan 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', 'Shiva Shiva Shiva' 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, they 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 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, the couple partook of it as sacramental food. 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 quantities now.

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 discoursed 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 Shirdi Sai Baba, and about Lord Subrahmanya.

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!"

Prof. Kasturi ends the narration of this incredible incident saying – “This is perhaps the most dramatic, detailed and authentic narrative of the multilocative miracle performed by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.”

Reference: “Sathyam Shivam Sundaram” Vol – II, by Prof. N Kasturi. Page: 92-99. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.

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