How Sathya Sai Baba Gave Radhakrishna A New Lease Of Life
Mr. Howard Murphet narrates this amazing episode in his book “Sai Baba:Man of Miracles”:
There happened in the latter part of 1953 an event almost as dramatic in its way as Christ’s raising of Lazarus from the dead. I heard of it from a number of people, including the man most closely concerned, the “Lazarus” of the case, Mr. V. Radhakrishna. Then I finally had the facts carefully presented by Mr. Radhakrishna’s daughter, Vijaya, who was an eyewitness, and who wrote down the details at the time of the happening in the diary she has always kept of her experiences with Sathya Sai Baba. While relating the experience to me she had her diary before her.
Mr. Y. Radhakrishna, who was an industrialist and a well-known citizen in Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, was about sixty years of age when in 1953 he paid a visit to Puttaparthi. With him on this occasion went his wife, his daughter Vijaya and the latter’s husband Mr. K. S. Hemchand.
Vijaya was about eighteen and had not been long married. Her father, she told me, was at the time suffering from gastric ulcers, with various complications. He was really in a very bad way, and one of his reasons for visiting the ashram was the hope that he might get relief from his frightful suffering. He had known Baba for some time.
The great religious festival of Dasara was on, and a good number of people were visiting Puttaparthi. Mr.Radhakrishna was given a room in the same building where Swami lived, and spent all his time on his bed there. Once when Baba came to visit him, Radha Krishna said that he would prefer to die rather than go on suffering the way he was. Swami simply laughed at this, and made no promise of either healing him or letting him die.
One evening Radhakrishna went into a coma and his breathing was that of a dying man. Alarmed, the wife dashed off to see Swami. Swami came to the room, looked at the patient and said, “Don’t worry. Everything will be all right,” and left.
On the next day the patient was still unconscious. Mr. K. S. Hemchand, the son-in-law, brought a male nurse of the district who, after failing to find any pulse and making other examinations, gave his opinion that Mr. Radhakrishna was near death that there was no possibility of saving him. So, about an hour after this, the patient became very cold. The three anxious relatives heard what they thought was the ‘death rattle’ in his throat and watched him turning blue and stiff.
Vijaya and her mother went to see Baba who was at the time upstairs in His dining room. When they told Him that Radhakrishna seemed to be dead. He laughed and walked away to His bedroom. Vijaya and her mother returned to the room of the ‘dead’ man and waited.
After a while, Swami came in and looked at the body, but went away again without saying or doing any thing. That was on the evening of the second day since Mr. Radhakrishna had become unconscious. The whole of the next night passed while the three stayed awake and anxiously watched for any signs of life returning. There were no signs. Yet they still had faith that Baba would some how or other, in His own way, save Radhakrishna, for had He not said that everything would be all right?
On the morning of the third day the body was more than ever like a corpse – dark, cold, quite stiff and beginning to smell. Other people who came to see and sympathise told Mrs. Radhakrishna that she should have the corpse removed from the ashram. But she replied, “Not unless Swami orders it.” Some even went to Baba and suggested that, as the man was dead and the body smelling of decomposition, it should either be sent back to Kuppam or cremated at Puttaparti. Swami simply replied, “We’ll see.”
When Mrs. Radhakrishna went upstairs again – to tell Baba what people were saying to her, and ask Him what she must do, He answered: “Do not listen to them, and have no fear; I am here.” Then He said that He would come down to see her husband soon.
She went downstairs again and waited, with her daughter and son-in-law by the body. The minutes dragged by – an hour passed – but Swami did not come. Then, when they were beginning to despair entirely, the door opened and there stood Baba in His red robe, copious hair, and shining smile. It was then about half past two in the afternoon of the third day.
Mrs. Radhakrishna went towards Baba and burst into tears. Vijaya too began to cry. They were like Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, weeping before their Lord who, they thought, had come too late.
Gently, Baba asked the tearful women and sorrowful Mr. Hemchand to leave the room. As they left, He closed the door behind them. They do not know – no man knows – what happened in that room where there were only Swami and the ‘dead’ man. But after a few minutes Baba opened the door and beckoned the waiting ones in.
There, on the bed, Radhakrishna was looking up at them and smiling! Amazingly, the stiffness of death had vanished and his natural colour was returning. Baba went over, stroked the patient’s head and said to him, “Talk to them, they’re worried.”
“Why worried?” asked Radhakrishna, puzzled. “I’m all right. You are here.”
Swami turned to the wife: “I have given your husband back to you,” He said. “Now get him a hot drink.”
When she brought it, Swami Himself fed it to Radhakrishna slowly with a spoon. For another half an hour He remained there, strengthening the man He had “raised”. Then He blessed the whole family, placing His hand on Mrs. Radhakrishna’s head, and left the room.
Next day the patient was strong enough to walk to Bhajan. On the third day he wrote a seven-page letter to one of his daughters who was abroad in Italy. The family stayed a few more days at Prasanthi Nilayam, then with Baba’s permission returned to their home in Kuppam. The bad gastric ulcers and complications had vanished forever.
When I spoke to Mr. Radhakrishna himself about the experience I asked if he had any memories at all of the time he was unconscious and to all appearances dead. He replied, “No. When I became conscious again I thought at first that it was just the same day. Later they told me it had been three days I was unconscious, that I was ‘dead’ and actually starting to stink. But Swami can do anything he wishes. He is God.”
Reference: “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles” by Mr. Howard Murphet.
Publisher: Macmillan India Limited, 1972. This episode is also recorded in the book “Anyatha Sharanam Nasthi – Other Than You Refuge There Is None” written by Mr. Radhakrishna’s daughter, Smt. Vijaya Kumari.