Transformation of the Heart
The Story of
How Bhagawan brought about a change
of heart in a criminal
The story of Kalpagiri, Prof. N Kasturi says,
deserves to be inscribed in letters of gold. It is a story
of a base metal turning into gold with the loving touch of
Baba. Here is the story in Prof. Kasturi words:
Kalpagiri had committed a foul murder and
escaped the police of his area. He slithered silently towards
the Himalayas in the north. He donned the ochre robes of a
monk and wandered from one Dharmasala (monastery) to another,
trying to smother the squeaks of conscience by chanting the
Name of God. Four years he spent thus, trying to flee from
himself into the sylvan glory and silence of the snowy mountains
spread before him.
He met many a saint and sage and sadhakas
(spiritual aspirants) and read many sacred books, discussed
the role of Bhakthi, Jnana and Karma in releasing man from
bondage and soon became proficient in the dialectic of non-duality.
After a few years had passed this way, he
decided that he could safely venture into the old familiar
regions and extended his pilgrimage to Simhachalam, Tirupati,
Kanchi and Rameswaram in the southern part of India. Thence,
he turned to Madurai and Srirangam, Chamundi Hills, Melkote,
and reached Bangalore. In Bangalore he was told that a new
Shirdi had now emerged in Puttaparthi. He boarded the Guntakal
train, alighted at Penukonda, and a bus brought him to Prasanthi
Baba called the Sanyasi in. He is the All-knowing
One. Nothing can be hidden from Him, by time or space or the
artifice of man. He chided him for running away from the consequences
of his deed.
While at Shirdi in the Sai Baba body Baba
had told Shama, one of his close devotees, "Debt, enmity
and murder have to be atoned for; there is no escape."
So, Baba admonished Kalpagiri, "Why postpone
for another birth the suffering which you must undergo in
return for this dire deed?"
He told him that ochre robes ill became a
debtor who has not paid his dues. He went up to His room and
brought white clothes for him to wear in place of the ochre
ones. He commanded him to go to the police in his area and
give himself up. He gave him the fare and also the precious
Vibhuthi Prasadam, four packets of it; He assured him,
"Go, confess and undergo cheerfully whatever punishment
they ultimately give you. You will not be hanged; I promise
that. Your neck shall wear a Japamala, a rosary, which I shall
myself put round it, when you come to Me after the sentence
Kalpagiri emerged from the room, like a serpent
that had cast off its skin and renewed itself. There was a
new glint in his eye, fresh vigour in his voice and a lightness
in his gait that was not there that morning. Baba must be
the Lord Himself, he thought. He decided to obey His command
and save himself, rather than discarding it and get caught
in the net of retribution and rebirth.
Travelling in the crowded train that night,
he saw a fellow writhing in pain, with his hand pressed on
the abdomen; he could not but part with one of the four Vibhuthi
packets he had with him; he was happy to find that the pain
stopped and the man slept soundly. He knew that his estimate
of Baba’s divinity was correct.
So, he confessed to the police and the death-sentence
the Judge pronounced was compounded by the President of India
into a sentence of life imprisonment.
During the weeks when the petition for Presidential
Mercy was being considered, Kalpagiri in his cell was telling
his neighbours Chengappa and others that he had met the Incarnation
of the Lord at Puttaparthi and that He had assured him that
mercy will be shown and that, he would get from Baba Himself
a rosary when he finished his term and went to Him, freed
from the recoil of the stab that he had inflicted on a fellow
The word came true and the petition bore
Shivam Sundaram”, Vol-II, by Prof.
N Kasturi. Page: 108-110. Published By Sri Sathya Sai
Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.