The Power of Prayer
Swami Purushottamananda is granted
the Divine Vision
“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
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 intervention!
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 cave, thus:
"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.”
Shivam Sundaram”, Vol-I, by Prof.
N Kasturi. Page: 111-113. Published by Sri Sathya Sai
Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.