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VIII. Lord of Time and Space

The Omnipresent Protector
How the Governor was saved mysteriously, twice!

Late Shri Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was the Chief Minister of the old Hyderbad state, and later Governor of Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. An ardent devotee of Bhagawan, he experienced Baba’s divinity on numerous occasions. The Governor shared with Howard Murphet some of his miraculous experiences and he has recorded them in his book “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles”:

In 1961, when Dr. Ramakrishna Rao was Governor of Uttar Pradesh, his wife and he were travelling by fast train from Bareilly to Nainital in the Himalayas.They were the only occupants of their first-class carriage and the train had no corridor by which anyone could enter or leave their compartment.

At about 11 p.m. the Governor noticed some sparks coming from the electric fan. These rapidly increased in number until he and his wife grew quite alarmed, thinking the compartment would catch fire any minute. He looked for a cord or bell by which he could sound the alarm and stop the train, but could find none.

It began to look as if the Governor and his lady might be burned to death before anyone learned of their plight. There was nothing they could do but pray - which they did, wholeheartedly. Then there was a knock on one of the outer doors.

Very surprising this was, because the doors simply led to the open air through which the train was roaring at a good speed. Dr. Rao walked over and opened the door. In from the dark night stepped a man dressed in the khaki uniform of an electric wireman.

Without a word this man went to work on the faulty fan from which the sparks were now flying "like chaff from a threshing floor''. About a quarter of an hour later the electrician said to them: "There's no danger now. You can go to bed and sleep." With this he sat down on the floor near the door.

The Governor's wife lay down on her bed and closed her eyes. But she kept half opening them to watch the man by the door because, as she told her husband later, she thought that anyone who risked his life to walk along the running board of a fast-moving train was probably a burglar who, when they were both asleep, would rob them.

The Governor himself, with no such suspicions, was deeply engrossed in a book. Suddenly, he was startled to feel the touch of the workman's hand and hear his voice asking quietly if the doctor would mind closing the carriage door after him, because he was now leaving.

The little doctor was astonished that the electrician did not wait until the next station before leaving, but before he could say anything the khaki-clad figure had opened the door, and the night air was whistling in to the carriage. Dr. Ramakrishna Rao jumped up, and stepped to the open doorway in time to see the man stand a moment on the running board, then vanish into the darkness.

It was all rather mystifying. How in the first place did he know that the fan was giving trouble? How did he get to the carriage and why did he choose to leave and make his way along the running board of this swaying, fast-moving express when he could have easily waited until the next stop?

He either liked living dangerously or he was simply crazy, but in either case he must also be clairvoyant to know about the fault in the electric fan. With a mental shrug the little doctor lay down to sleep.

About a month after this incident the Governor was again travelling, this time by the aeroplane that was kept for his official use. With him on this occasion, besides his wife and the pilot, were his A.D.C, his personal assistant, and the pilot's wife. They were flying from Kanpur (the capital city of Uttar Pradesh) to Benares.

Above Benares the Governor noticed that they seemed to be circling a very long time over the airfield before landing. He asked if there was anything amiss and was informed that the under-carriage was stuck; the wheels would not come down. Furthermore, they were now almost out of fuel.

With Dr.Rao's agreement, the pilot decided to attempt a crash-landing on the grass of the airfield. He signalled the ground to this effect. The fire-engines were brought out, and everything made ready for the attempt. All knew, of course, that it was a highly dangerous operation, and both the little doctor and his wife sent fervent prayers to their Gurudev, Sai Baba, for his much-needed protection.

Perhaps the A.D.C. was praying too, for he also was a devotee of Sai Baba. Like the doctor, he wore on his hand a talisman, a ring that had been materialised by Baba. The pilot knew this and, as a last resort before trying a crash-landing, asked the A.D.C. to try his hand at working the lever for releasing the jammed undercarriage.

The A.D.C. placed his hand on the lever and pressed as directed. The undercarriage came down without any difficulty. They were able to make a normal landing!

The next day Mrs. Ramakrishna Rao, knowing that Baba was at Bangalore in the south, phoned Him from Benares in order to thank him for his grace and protection, which, she believed, had saved them from their perilous predicament in the plane.

She found, not at all to her surprise, that He knew all about the event, and mentioned details. Then He remarked: "But you have said nothing about the train incident."

"What train incident, Swami?" she asked, for it had slipped from her mind.

"Why, when the fan was almost on fire and you thought I was a thief," Baba laughed.

Dr. Ramakrishna Rao was sure the train story could not have reached Baba in the ordinary way because neither his wife nor he had talked to anyone about it. They had refrained from mentioning it on the following morning, not wanting to upset any of their staff; then the incident had faded into the background of their busy lives.

Nothing superhuman that Sai Baba did could ever surprise the little doctor; he had through the years seen and experienced so much.

Reference: “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles” by Mr. Howard Murphet. Page: 172-174 (paperback edition, 1972). Published by Macmilan India Ltd.

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