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II. Resurrections

“Now you can go!” - Ticket to Eternity
How Baba extended the life of Sri Seshagiri Rao

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 happened so.

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.

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