When Swami gave Himself a New Name!

Tuesday, November 25, 1958

On 25th November 1958, Sri S.R.Venkatraman and family were returning from Puttaparthi after attending Swami’s Birthday celebrations. Baby Gitasudha, Venkatraman’s daughter, suddenly lay dead. The miserable parents were helpless. The bus pulled over, and a crowd soon gathered around the dead child. 

Sri Sathya Sai with Baby Gitasudha (now Smt. Sudha Ragunathan)

An old man from amongst the crowd commanded, “Hand me the child”. The old man had two ladies and a young lad by his side. The old man held the babe in his hands and muttered some Mantras. He asked the onlookers, who happened to be returning from Puttaparthi as well, for some Vibhuti and smeared it on the child’s forehead. The child that had been dead for all practical purposes suddenly let out a loud cry. The joy of the hitherto bereaved parents knew no bounds. A grateful Venkatraman offered the old man a rupee, but the latter turned him down. He then offered the old man an orange that was given to him by Swami. Venkatraman asked the old man what his name was. “Jodi Adipalli Somappa” was the reply. 

Later, the bewildered Venkatraman wrote to Puttaparthi enquiring whether Swami had gone into a trance around 2:45 pm (which was the same time ‘Jodi Adipalli Somappa’ had appeared to save his daughter from the jaws of death). Venkatraman had inkling that it may have in fact been Swami in the guise of the strange old man. Even before the letter could reach Puttaparthi, Swami told His close devotees in detail about how He had rushed to the rescue of the helpless family! He told them that He had drawn the evil power that had been dogging the child into the orange that was given to him, and had it cast away. It was indeed Swami who had made the trans-corporeal visit!

Sri Sathya Sai with Smt. Sudha Ragunathan, internationally renowned Carnatic vocalist (the Baby Gitasudha)


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