IN THE 1970s, I GOT MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO ESCORT SWAMI TO MADRAS (Chennai now). Swami visited Madras every year, usually in January. Upon receiving an intimation from Him, I would go to Brindavan, Whitefield, in Bangalore (Bengaluru today) with three or four cars and drive Swami back to Madras in a convoy.

Swami was always very meticulous in His planning. He instructed us to have all the diabetic patients in the entourage in one car and provide savories for snacks, but we were not to pack any sweets for them. He guided us to keep all the elderly devotees in another vehicle, instructing the driver to make regular stops at hotels along the way so they could visit the restroom. He had me keep track of all vehicles to ensure everyone reached the destination safely. He attended to every little detail before we set out on the journey.

The story I am about to narrate happened during Swami’s visit to Madras in 1978. It began as usual, with me going to Bangalore and returning with Swami to Sundaram in Madras. There was only a small mandir back then. The beautiful edifice of Sundaram we see today was inaugurated by Swami only later on January 19, 1981.

The Drive Protocol

At that time, Major Rayanangar was the State President of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations of Tamil Nadu, and I served as the District President for Madras. During Swami’s stay in Madras, He would bless many devotees with visits to their homes. The homes and venues to be visited would be decided the previous day by Swami, and Major Rayanangar would give me the details to take Swami for the scheduled visits in Madras, as I was familiar with the city.

He casually mentioned,
“Parvathamma had died two hours ago. I brought her back to life. She is fine now.”

Whenever Swami went around in Madras, there would be motorcycle escorts. I was told to use the signal lights in the car to alert the motorcycle escorts in case Swami made any changes to the route while driving. It was a well-understood protocol. On that particular day in January 1978, Swami surprised everyone, including myself!

Major Rayanangar said that Swami had not given him any specific destination for the day. He advised me to ask Swami for this information myself. Swami told me that He would tell me the destination on the way. Even when we started, I had no clue where we would be going. It was just the two of us in the car, and Swami told me to take a right turn at a signal. I switched on the right indicator lamp, and the piloting motorcycles ahead clearly saw it in their rear-view mirrors. But even as they turned to the right, Swami quickly instructed me to turn left! Though I changed the indicator quickly, it was too late, and now all the motorcycle escorts were headed in the opposite direction!

Hospital Hospitality

I was confident that the motorcycle escorts would soon turn around and catch up. However, Swami had directed me to turn very quickly. After that, He guided me through a series of right and left turns in quick succession, and I was convinced that there was no way that our escorts would find us. Swami led me to Lady Wellington Nursing Home, a well-known hospital established in 1932 at 31 Greams Lane in the heart of the city. We reached the hospital at 11:10 am.

I knew the timings of this famous hospital, and I told Swami that visitors would not be allowed between 11 am and 4 pm. But Swami would have none of it. He told me to drive to the foyer, where He got out. As I began to open my car door, He told me to stay put. Surprisingly, the gate wasn’t locked that day! He went into the hospital alone and returned after 10-15 minutes. On the way back, He casually mentioned, “Parvathamma had died two hours ago. I brought her back to life. She is fine now.

My jaw just dropped open! Mrs. Parvathamma was the wife of Mr. Hanumantha Rao, the Transport Commissioner of the State of Madras. He was also the person who issued Swami’s driving license as He used to drive the two-door Morris Minor car! The couple were ardent devotees of Swami, and Swami visited their home on many occasions. Swami continued, “When I brought her back to life, she opened her eyes and asked for water. I suggested coffee would be better for her. She agreed, and so I gave her some coffee.

“How did You get her coffee, Swami,” I ventured to ask, “You had not taken any flask with You….”

He smiled. “I put my little finger to her mouth, and she drank her coffee from it.” Swami continued, “She has to take over as chairperson of the Andhra Mahila Sabha (Ladies’ Wing) and do a lot of service. I told her to leave the hospital in the evening.

Confirmation of Miracle

After Swami retired to His room, I was reprimanded by the State President and others about how I had given wrong signals while driving. I quickly explained to them that I was following Swami’s command and excused myself. Getting into the car, I rushed back to the Lady Wellington Hospital. It was now around 12:30 pm.

As I stopped the car at the hospital, a security guard came to me and said that I could visit patients only after 4 pm. I explained that I had come to the hospital just an hour ago, and a ‘person’ had indeed gone inside to meet a patient at 11:10 am. The guard was convinced that I was lying and got angry. Luckily, just then, a doctor who knew me well came by, and I requested him to take me inside. I discovered that the hospital staff had thought Mrs. Parvathamma had passed away, and her death certificate was being prepared. But then, she had suddenly revived and asked to be discharged in the evening! I rushed to the place where Mrs. Parvathamma was in the hospital. She was oblivious to the fact that she had reportedly passed away! But she was beaming with joy at having Swami’s darshan. Her narrative matched Swami’s description to the last detail! “How did Swami give you coffee?” I asked. “Oh! He held His little finger to my mouth, and I drank the coffee!”

His Divine Word is a Command

Dazed, I returned to Sundaram to be in time for the afternoon darshan at 3 pm. Swami summoned me to His room. He asked me, “Ay! Where did you go after you left Me?”

I had to tell Him the truth.

Swami responded, “So, you did not believe what I said and went back to verify?

I just fell at His feet, asking for forgiveness.

Swami then told me, “Do not share this with anyone else. Keep it to yourself.

I nodded in loving obedience.

It is unbelievable that for 20 years after that incident, I did not even have any recollection of this stupendous and awe-inspiring miracle! One fine day in 1998, in Brindavan, when Swami beckoned me to give a talk, He told me to speak about Mrs. Parvathamma! In an instant, all the memories came rushing back, and I took that as Swami’s permission to share this miraculous episode from then on.

It also gave me a glimpse into another facet of His reality. When He wills, our mind goes blank; and when He wills, it is activated! Similarly, when He wills, our body becomes lifeless; and when He wills, it is brought back to life!




Sri T.G. Krishnamurthy has served as the President of the Tamil Nadu chamber of commerce, honorary secretary and correspondent of Sri Thyagaraya educational institutions. He has served in the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization India as the District President of Chennai in 1976, member of the State trust in 1978, State trust convener in 1982 and as the State President of Tamil Nadu in 1995. Bhagawan on numerous occasions has blessed him to speak to devotees at Prasanthi Nilayam, Brindavan, Ooty, Kodaikanal and Chennai in His Divine Presence. He is also the author of the book “The Divine Path to the Wisdom of Sai”.


First published in Eternal Companion Vol. 2, Iss. 7