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"he is my swami"
part - 2


This is the second part of a transcript of the conversation between Mrs. Padma Kasturi (PK), daughter of Sri N Kasturi, Swami’s biographer and Ms. Rajeshwari Patel (RP), a former student and faculty member in the Anantapur campus of Sathya Sai University aired on Radio Sai a few weeks ago. To read the first part again, click here.

RP: Okay. Let’s first finish talking about your father. Then we will go to you – because I am sure you have a lot of things to share with the listeners of Radio Sai! What were the last years of Prof. Kasturi like?

PK: You mean his ailment or…

RP: We know that the intimacy was growing towards the end; no doubt! But he himself must have said certain things about those last few years – from ’85 on towards ’87? Did he ever talk about how the University was formed? There were so many vast changes that were taking place! Did he have any intimations of his end – that he would be missing all this?

PK: No. He never missed Him because he would go to see Swami everyday! So he never missed that intimacy.

RP: No, I mean the remaining part of whatever we have seen now in the last 10-15 years?

Doctorate Conferred By the Divine

PK: He was very happy with all that was going on and how Swami’s glories were spreading, and His University, etc. He was getting old and when he saw so many youngsters coming, he was very happy!

RP: That is what I was getting at – it is so beautiful that he saw that the vision of Swami was now being passed on and another generation would take over.

PK: In 1954 Swami had called my father for unveiling His portrait in the Bukkapatnam High School. In that invitation He had put his name as: “Dr. Kasturi, Ph. D” and when somebody asked Swami: “In which University did this Kasturi get his Ph. D?” Swami said: “Puttaparthi University !” I think Swami had a plan already about this University and all that! [The University came into being only in 1981]

RP: Yes! He had – no doubt about that! What else about those last years? He was ailing you said – tell us a little bit about that.

 

PK: He had a little back ache and he used to go to Swami by wheel-chair. But he couldn’t go upstairs.

RP: When was this?

PK: His backache started in ’85 and he passed away in ’87. Swami had come to our house to see him twice.

His Beloved Instrument till the End

RP: But he continued to do the Sanathana Sarathi (the ashram monthly)?

PK: Oh yes. But he pleaded with Him: “Swami I can’t do this editor’s job anymore. Please hand it over to someone else!” But Swami said: “No! You are the editor and you will continue to be the editor till your last!”

RP: So he was working until the end?

PK: Yes. He passed away on August 14 and even though he couldn’t write that month, but he would dictate and my son would write and help him out and also take care of him.

RP: Oh good. So he did Swami’s work till the last moment! Do you have any mementos of that period?

PK: He got an attack of jaundice in April and he passed away in August. Somebody told him that Swami was not well and that He was then in Brindavan, Bangalore and that He hadn’t given Darshan for 3 days – it seems He had taken on somebody’s heart attack or something like that – and He had become very weak. He had that attachment towards Swami so he said: “I must go to see Swami! Please arrange a taxi and take me to Him! We can start early and leave at 5 o‘clock and just have His Darshan and we will come back!”

His jaundice was severe and his glucose was low but he still pleaded me to arrange a taxi! I said: “How can I go? You are not just my father; you are Prashanti Nilayam’s property too! If something happens they will scold me and I don’t know what Swami will say?”

That evening he almost cried and said: “We can call Shri Kutumba Rao and ask him to call Swami and get His permission. You can go at 10 to ask him.”

 
     

Exceptional Love

RP: He was worrying about Swami even though he himself was not well!

 

PK: Yes. So I went at about 10 and told Mr. Kutumba Rao that we had made arrangements for everything.” He said: “You are taking a risk!” I said: “I have to take a risk because he is pleading with me!”

Then he asked me: “What if something happens on the way?” I said: “That’s good. He is thinking of Swami’s Darshan on the way; if anything has to happen, let it happen.” He said: “No! It is a risk.” Then he and Dr. Alreja came and convinced him saying: “We will call Swami and get His permission and then we can go.”

That whole night he was crying: “Oh! This is my fate! I can’t go to see Swami!” Then he wrote a letter to Swami and Swami sent a reply: “Kasturi, accept My Blessings. Don’t have any fear! Swami is with you and around you. Be courageous, think of Him! Give up other thoughts! The body is a water bubble; on its account do not feel sad. Spend your time in thinking of God. Yours, Baba.” - Dated April, 1987 – from Brindavan.

Then, two months later, he wrote another letter to Swami - in June ’87 because he didn’t have Darshan for so many months, so the agony of wanting to see Him was there.

     

RP: Did he write to Swami himself?

PK: Yes. Even though he couldn’t write, he scribbled. Then one day I told him: “See, you are scribbling and Swami may not be able to read this! I think I better write and put yours along with this. He said: “No! Not with my letter! If you want, you can write yours and post it separately!”

RP: So this second letter that He sent in June ’87 is much bigger than the letter in April – which seems quite normal. But apparently Bhagavan has written every word separately and much bigger letters.

PK: Yes, because he had become very weak by that time.

RP: And Bhagavan wanted him to be able to read it himself.

“Wait For Sai”

PK: Yes. He wrote: “Kasturi, Accept My Blessings. Sai is with you and around you. Be happy. Don’t think of anything. Be constantly in the thought of God. This is the chief sadhana (spiritual practice) that you must do now. I will come soon; wait for Sai. Yours, Baba.”

RP: He said: “Wait for Sai. So did Swami come?”

PK: Yes. Before my father passed away on August 14, he was in the hospital for a week. And when anybody would pass by our house, he would think it was Swami!

RP: Swami was constantly in his thoughts!

PK: Yes! He wanted to meet Swami! Then Swami sent word that: “I cannot come to your home; for if I do, the whole crowd will come! Admit him in the hospital and I will come there and give him Darshan.”

RP: So Swami came from Brindavan a week before he passed away?

PK: No. Swami came in June!

RP: Oh! So He returned from Brindavan in June when He wrote in that letter: “Wait for Swami!”

PK: Yes. Swami came to see him the day he was admitted to the hospital and made him drink a glass full of water and told him to just think of God and not to worry about anything. He said: “Ask the Doctors not to allow any visitors to come and disturb him.” He didn’t want anyone to talk to him - the only two persons there were me and my son.

RP: Because he wanted him to follow Swami’s command – to think constantly only of Him!

PK: Yes. Someone suggested I should play the sahasranaam but when I played that he said: “No! I don’t want anything!”

RP: His whole life was totally immersed in thoughts of just Swami only!

 
     

Realising the Ultimate

PK: Yes. One day, in June – before Gurupurnima – he suddenly called my son and said: “I am Atma (the spirit)! Kasturi is dead! Go and tell everybody that!”

RP: He said that?

PK: Yes. I think he had spiritually realized it. My son was disturbed as to what he was saying and why he was talking like this. So I went to ask him and he said the same thing to me too!

RP: So in those few months of ailment, Swami had uplifted his consciousness to that level!

PK: I think so. In the end he told me: “Please don’t force any food on me.” I said: “Your body is still here and I have to take care of your body! So I won’t force you but please eat whatever you want and how much ever you want!” And he said: “Okay. But don’t force me anymore.”

After that, he didn’t say anything and I think inwardly he was thinking about Swami – only Swami!

 

“Freedom has come!”

RP: Bhagavat-chintana!

PK: So since the day Swami came to the hospital, no visitors were allowed and the day he passed away, he was a little breathless. He didn’t reply to anything, he didn’t show any response to my son’s calling either – even though he knew his voice and was there on that day taking care of him.

Then Dr. Alreja went and told Swami that he is feeling breathless and Swami said: “He has served Me for forty years! Freedom has come!” Then He told Dr. Alreja: “I will come to the hospital to see him, so don’t give him anything” - they were giving him glucose in a very small dose; about four drops a minute or so.

About 11:30 or so Swami had gone to the College to see some drama practice and then he came to the hospital immediately. We were all there. The breathlessness was still there and suddenly there was some agony in Swami’s face as He came in calling: “Kasturi! Kasturi!” Immediately my father opened his eyes!

     

RP: He was not responding to your calls?

PK: No. Only to Swami! I think he was waiting for that call!

RP: Oh! And when Swami came, he opened his eyes immediately!

PK: Yes, immediately! Then he was trying to fold his hands to do namaskaram and Swami touched both his hands and created vibhuti and applied it on his forehead and He gave me some and told me to mix it with some water. Then He asked me if he took any food since morning? I said: “No Swami. I am just giving him some drops of coconut water because his lips and mouth are dry.” Then He was just standing there for 2-3 minutes.

RP: What was the expression on Swami’s face?

PK: After that, Swami was cool because the breathlessness was not that much. Then He immediately asked me to take His namaskaaram. I felt like He was saying that the responsibility is now mine. He commanded me and my son. Then He went down and told the Doctors: “Just one more hour.” Then He added: “He was a very famous man; he worked in the All-India Radio. We have to make a grand procession because he was world-famous!”

RP: Definitely. He was a world-famous teacher; so it had to be grand!

PK: And He asked all the Doctors and the nurses to go to the room and to repeat ‘Aum Shri Sai Ram’ and He asked the Doctor to inform Him when it was all over. We were all repeating ‘Aum Shri Sai Ram’ till 12:30.

 

Attainment of the Highest

RP: And then there was the grand procession!

PK: Yes, on the next day. It was India’s Independence Day too. It was a grand procession. Swami had asked the canteen to be closed and sent all the students to the procession! There was Veda recitation and bhajans during cremation. After cremation, Karunyananda (a monk very close to Swami those days) came and told me that there was this kapalamoksha – the soul escapes the brahmanantra – so it was not a usual death!

RP: So the skull had split and the soul had left the body through the skull.

PK: Yes.

RP: And that is a sign of someone who has attained total mergence with God!

     

PK: Yes. So in the evening when I was sitting in the line, Swami told me: “He has attained what he has got to attain! So there is no need to do any karma or anything for him!

RP: No rituals - because we do the rituals to pray for the soul's mergence; and in this case it was not needed. So Swami didn’t want any rituals to be done.

PK: No. He said: “On the 12th day, I will Myself do some Narayana Seva (feeding the poor) and I will arrange for everything for some puja (worship) in the house.”

(To be continued...)

- Heart2Heart Team


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Thank you for your time.

 

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Vol 5 Issue 06 - JUNE 2007
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