The stories of Dr. Gardhia can be found on the internet. However, we have added a few of his memories here.
Dr. Kishan Gadhia, born on 7.10.1939, is a noted surgeon in London and a devotee of Swami for over four decades. He has had several interviews with Swami, and was given several articles materialized by Swami like rings, lingam, Garuda, Ganesh, etc The following is an account of his experiences in his own words.
‘I was born and brought up in Kampala. I spent my childhood at Kampala, the capital city of Uganda (East Africa) as my people migrated from India and settled there in gainful vocations. I came to India to study Medicine at Jamnagar as I could secure a seat in the Medical College there.
I first heard of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Bhagavan from my brother Dr. D.J.Gadhia who studied Medicine at Mangalore. He was convinced after witnessing several miracles that Sri Sathya Sai Bhagavan is Shiridi Sai re-incarnated, and was telling us all about Him. Though my parents and other relatives gave credence to his words, some of us continued to believe only in gods such as Rama, Krishna and Siva.
While I was a medico in Jamnagar, some of us went on a tour of South India. We had been to almost all the centers of pilgrimage but somehow could not make it to Puttaparthi though we had thought of it. Perhaps, time was not yet ripe to have darshan of Swami.
At the instance of Sri Sathya Sai Bhagavan, my brother Dr. D.J.Gadhia came to Jamnagar from Puttaparthi. He took me with him to a jewelry shop to buy a silver casket. When he returned home he wanted to put in it some vibhuti he had brought from Puttaparthi for my use, but found that there was vibhuti in it already.
He thought that it was a miracle of Sai, while I thought that the shop owner might have put it being either a Sai devotee himself or knowing that my brother was a Sai devotee. Next day we went to the shop and enquired of him. The shopkeeper was not aware of Sri Sathya Sai Bhagavan at all. Nor did he have any idea of my brother’s spiritual pursuits. Besides, the casket we had bought was a snuffbox! Even after hearing all this, I was still harbouring some doubts about how vibhuti had come into the box.
Later in 1960, I went to Puttaparthi along with some of my overseas classmates. At that time, Sai Kulwant Hall was not there, nor any rooms for overnight stay. We made some improvised bed under a tree and had to go to the Chitravati for purposes of our daily ablutions. That was the first time I had been to Puttaparthi. Then we had darsan of Swami for the first time.
As Swami likes students very much, we were called for an interview. In those days, Swami used to spend a lot of time on interviews. When we were in the interview room, Swami rolled the sleeve of his robe (gown) back up to his elbow, put his palm downwards, waved it in a rotating fashion and materialized vibhuti right before our eyes. Then he began calling each one of us by name along with the name of the country to which that particular student belonged, and gave vibhuti. With this we were all stunned with surprise. While giving vibhuti to all students he omitted me. So I asked, ‘Swami! You have not given me vidhuti!’ Swami said, ‘I gave you in Jamnagar itself in the silver casket your brother had bought for you, didn’t I?’ With this, I was clean bowled.
Then swami asked smilingly, ‘Do you need any further proof?’
‘No! Swami!’ I said, ‘I am completely convinced that you are God.’
‘Let me tell you’, Swami continued, ‘your mother is now in hospital down with heart attack. But, no need for alarm. I am taking care of her’. So saying Swami materialized some vibhuti and gave it to me with instructions to send it to my mother.
After this, I left Puttaparthi and arrived in Bombay from where I could contact my father on phone. ‘How is mother?’ I asked.
My father was surprised. ‘How did you know about her indisposition?’, he asked.
‘Swami told me’, I said, ‘He said there is no need to worry, He gave some Vibhuti for her’.
I sent Vibhuti to my mother.
I came to Puttaparthi again in 1963 for Guru Purnima. Later, again for Dasara. Swami materialized vibhooti from an empty container and performed ‘Bhasmabhishekam’ (Bath of ash) to Shiridi Sai. As I was a student, I was seated in the front in the 4th row and could witness it. Swami produced vibhuti in such a large measure that there was vibhuti everywhere. We were all fully coated with bibhuti.
After I wrote my third year MBBS Examinations in 1965, I came to Puttaparthi once again.
Swami came to me in the morning in darsan lines and told me that I was going to fail in one paper – Gynecology.
‘But it is an easy subject, Swami!’ I protested, ‘How can I fail in it’?
First I thought Swami was kidding. But when he appeared serious, I tried to plead with him not to fail me.
‘Why did you not do Japam on the day of that Exam?’ Swami asked.
True. I did not do Japam on that day. Usually I do one full mala everyday. But as I had no time to take bath preparing for the Exam, that day I skipped it. I explained to Swami what had happened that day.
Swami, at last, relented.
‘Go and pay Rs. 10 and ask for re-valuation’, Swami advised me.
I heaved a sigh of relief. Curious enough – I failed in Gynecology as predicted by Swami despite my confidence about it being an easy subject for me. I paid Rs. 10 and asked for re-valuation.
Meanwhile, things moved fast as war broke out between India and Pakisthan. Pak bombers dropped as many as 50 bombs on Jamnagar. By Swami’s grace we were all safe as all the bombs fell away from the city. But people were scared and left for safer places deserting the city. Almost all the students, except those from the overseas, who had nowhere to go, fled. We were left behind praying to Swami to save us. Due to Swami’s grace, nothing happened to us afterwards.
The war highlighted the need for more medical professionals. The Government announced that re-examination for failed students would be held within 3 months – instead of the usual schedule of 6 months. As the result of my revaluation was not received till then, I too appeared for re-examination. But, meanwhile, the result came. I passed in the re-valuation as predicted by Swami. Due to war, the Government reduced the period of internship from one year to six months. Thus, I became a Doctor earlier than scheduled, owing to Swami’s grace.
In 1966, I came to Swami and took His blessings. Swami materialized a visiting card of His, for me. His Photograph, name and address were there on it. ‘Keep this always in your pocket, not in Pooja room’ Swami instructed me. Later, I went back to East Africa, got married, and set up practice at Masaka – 80 kms from Kampala.
Swami came on a tour of East Africa in 1968. He came to Kampala. Everyone was going to see Him. I had the responsibility of my Hospital. As Swami often says ‘Work is worship’ and ‘Duty first’, I continued to attend to my work. On Saturday, which was a holiday for us, I went to see Swami. My wife was not a believer of Swami yet. ‘If Swami shows’, she said, ‘some special favour to you, I will believe’.
Swami called all local Doctors for an interview. I too was included. Swami asked me ‘How are you?’ I said, ‘OK! Swami!’
Later I told my wife, ‘See! Swami called us for interview and enquired after my welfare. What more special favour do you want!’
She was not convinced. Meanwhile, Swami called me in and said, ‘I am coming to your home. You can call all your people there’.
My wife and I were flabbergasted. It turned out to be a grand and happy congregation of Gadhias with Swami as the central figure. We gave Haarati and had paada-namskars.
Chatting informally with us, Swami said, ‘your time in this country is up. Move out of this country for good at once. Sell whatever you have here and deposit the money abroad’.
We were all taken aback. We were there for decades. It was like our motherland for all practical purposes. How to leave it? Where should we go? But when Swami said so, there was no other go.
Keeping my faith fully in Swami’s words, I sold away my property and deposited the money in a Bank in London quickly. My parents also were anxious to follow suit, but to wind up business and to sell it away could not be done in a huff.
In 1972, Idi Amin staged a military-coup. He became a dictator and issued a warning to all Asians to quit the country within 90 days leaving every thing behind. Those who stayed back violating this order would be doing so only at their peril. Fortunately, Swami forewarned us about the bad times ahead well in advance. I decided that we should not delay our departure till the period of 90 days allowed, but leave for the UK immediately.
I wanted to go to my parents and hasten them personally. While I was driving to my parents’ place, I was stopped by a Military Picket enroute. One of the soldiers with a machinegun came to me and said, ‘you have weapons in your car?’ I replied in the negative. He searched the car and found none. Yet he did not leave. He ordered me to get down and walk into the roadside bushes, threatening to shoot me. I tried to plead with him to leave me but in vain.
At that time, an African taxi-driver going that side saw me. He knew me. He came to the soldier, and tried to intervene to save me. But the soldier was in no mood to relent and threatened him also. The taxi-driver was frightened and drove away. With this last chance of rescue proving futile, I broke down before the soldier pleading to let me go. He kept the gun on my chest and said. ‘What is your last wish?’
‘Let me go and see my parents and family’, I replied.
‘No’, he refused flatly, ‘Smoke, if you like’. He offered a cigarette.
‘I don’t smoke’, I said.
‘Pray for the last time’, he said, ‘I will give you two minutes’.
I put my hand into my pocket and took out the visiting card of Swami. It may be recalled that, in one of the interviews before my leaving India, Swami materialized it and gave it to me.
‘Keep this’, Swami told me at that time, ‘always with you. Don’t put it in the Pooja room.’
It had a Photograph of Swami on it. I started praying to Him frantically.
‘Who is that God you are praying to?’ The soldier took the visiting card from my hands and read:
‘Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Bhagavan, Puttaparthi, Penukonda Tq, Anantapur District’.
I don’t know what happened to him. He returned the card to me, and said ‘Go!’
I returned hurriedly to my car, but was too shaken to drive. Just at that time, a military jeep came there. The local taxi-driver, who had tried to intervene to save me, went and reported the matter to the Local Commander who knew me. That Commander rushed to the spot to save me.
‘How are you Doctor!’, he enquired as he got down from his vehicle, ‘what can I do for you!’
‘I am OK’, I replied, ‘but I am not in a fit condition to drive. Kindly get me dropped at my house’.
My wife was very anxious at home. She was praying all the time for my safe return. When I got back safely, she heaved a sigh of relief.
We immediately informed our people about what had happened and conveyed to them our decision to leave. ‘We are going’, I told my parents. ‘After what happened today, it is foolish to stay here. Come with us at once. We are going whether you come or not’.
We all left Uganda for the UK in October 1972. In England, we found the Government and the people very sympathetic to us. We had offers of free accommodation from nearby places. I bought a house with the money I had in the Bank and started practicing medicine. By Swami’s grace, I could open a Hospital in London in due course. Gradually I settled all my people there in various vocations.
In 1978, I was at Puttaparthi. Swami called me for an interview and said, even before I opened my mouth, ‘I saved your life.’
It was on December 30, 1979 that we again came to Brindavan (Whitefields, Bangalore) and had darshan of Swami. Swami called us for an interview that day. Those who were called for the interview included a lady from Birmingham called Papatlal Purmar. She was not in a position to walk and came in a wheel chair. Swami went to her and asked her to get up and walk. And she got up and walked! Swami asked me, ‘what would you do in this case?’
‘We give her a wheel chair. That’s all, Swami’, I replied. Swami smiled. When swami said ‘you’, He meant ‘Medical Science’. Swami granted me the bliss of watching this miracle happen right in front of me to show me the utter inadequacy of the medical science to cope up with various ailments.
In 1980, we came to India and had darshan of Swami at Brindavan. That time we came along with a group of devotees brought from the UK. The group included Mr. Victor Kanu. Swami called the group for interview. Mr. Kundra who is now associated with the North Indian Canteen at Prasanthi Nilayam, Mr Patel and others were also there. As we all sat in the room, Swami went to one of the members of the group and asked: ‘who is the lady that came with you? She is not your wife’. We were all surprised. None of us was aware of it. It was embarrassing to that person. He replied that she was his friend. ‘I will get you married’, Swami said. Both that gentleman and the lady agreed. Swami recited some mantras himself, and asked a photograph to be taken with Him in the middle, flanked on either side by the bride and bridegroom. Swami very neatly turned the situation and made it end on a happy note, which, otherwise, could have proved embarrassing. We were all blessed with the fortune of witnessing Swami Himself performing a marriage – a rare occasion, indeed.
Then Swami materialized a plum fruit, gave it to the couple and asked them to eat it. He said, by eating it, they would be blessed with a child.
Earlier, Swami pointed to Mr. Kanu and said that Kanu had wanted to drop out of the trip for financial reasons. ‘But as I wanted you to go over here, I arranged the needed finance for you and made you join the trip’, Swami added. Mr. Kanu had, indeed, thought of dropping out for financial difficulty. As some of his friends lent him the needed money, he could join the group.
In that trip Swami gave me interviews four times. In the first, I witnessed the wedlock performed by Swami Himself. In the second, He materialized a Shiridi Sai Idol and gave it to me. I was to do abhishekam daily and take tirtham. Earlier on one occasion, Swami called my brother Dr. Gadhia and introduced him to the audience in the Purna Chandra Auditorium at Prasanthi Nilayam as the grandson of Kaka Dikshit – a devotee of His earlier incarnation of Shiridi Sai. ‘Dikshit prayed to me’, Swami told the audience, ‘to look after his children and grandchildren. I am taking care of them’. (Thus, Dr. Ghadia was the grandson of Dikshit in his earlier birth.) Because of this Shirdi Sai connection of us, Swami might have given me Shirdi Sai idol.
In the third interview, Swami asked my wife, ‘do you know your husband’s Bank balance?’ She replied in the negative.
‘I know’, Swami said. ‘He spends a lot. Of course, for the marriages of his sisters and for other needs of the family. I will take care of his Bank balance, don’t worry!’ So saying, Swami materialized a Garuda idol that can be worn as a locket in a chain. On one side of it, the wings show upward movement. On the reverse, they show downward movement. It has a man’s face but bird’s body.
Some of my Parsee friends thought I was lucky to get ‘Ahur Mezda’s idol, for it resembles, in all aspects, their God, Ahur Mezda. After that, I had no cause to worry about any financial cringe. Earlier, to come to India even once in a year to have darshan of Swami, we had to think twice. But, by Swami’s grace showered through Garuda, we are able to go over to Prasanthi Nilayam even 3 or 4 times in a year.
To be of token service to the Super Specialties Hospitals at Prasanthi Nilayam and at Bangalore, I have been trying to equip the libraries in those Institutions with the books on Medicine that ought to be kept in them as per rules. Swami has been kind enough to allow me to do my little bit to the Super Specialties Hospitals, as well as the General Hospital here.
In the fourth interview, Swami materialized a mysorepak (a sweet) – fresh and warm. ‘Give it to your son. Don’t eat it yourself’, He said giving it to me. I took out little bits of it, and made my younger son, who was with us at that time, eat it, as Swami bid me.
We came once again in 2000 to have darshan of Swami. My wife was suffering from hypertension of some malignant type, which could not be managed well with medicines. I told about it to Swami when He called us for an interview. Swami materialized a small crystal idol of Ganesh – complete with modak. ‘Daily do Abhishekam to this, and take that water as teertham’, Swami instructed her as He handed it over to my wife. She has been doing it ever since and her B.P. is under control.
Swami also gave us Shivalinga and said: ‘Do Abhishekam and take the water as teertham.’ My wife mentioned to Swami about vibhuti coming out of a Photograph of Swami hung in my clinic in the UK. The Photograph shows Swami with the Abhaya Hastam. ‘Vibhuti is coming out of that Abhaya Hastam. The Photograph of Swami is on the wall behind my husband’s chair’, she was telling Swami.
‘It’s my chair’, Swami interjected, ‘your husband is sitting on it’, Swami advised us to give that vibhuti to patients, and to whosoever needed it.
While I was at Puttaparthi in 2003, we had a typical case of advanced pregnancy of a local woman. The sonograph taken at Anantapur showed the possibility of a stillbirth indicating danger even to the mother. At the instance of Dr.Alraja, who is in-charge of the General Hospital here, another sonograph was taken in the General Hospital at Prasanthi Nilayam, which confirmed the same position. When the case was being discussed, a nurse suggested: ‘Why not brief Swami on this?’ So the case was taken up with Swami.
Swami materialized 3 packets of vibhuti and gave them to Dr. Alraja. ‘Give a little vibhuti from one packet to the mother and smear the rest on the lady’s stomach. When she delivers a babe, put a little of vibhuti from the second packet in the mouth of the babe before cutting the knot. It is important’
‘What is the third packet for, Swami?’
‘Give it to the nurse who suggested that this case be taken up with Swami’; Swami added giving the finishing touch in His characteristic manner.
No need to add that the woman had a safe delivery. The baby was very beautiful, and was taken round the wards, as many were eager to see her. She was called ‘Miracle Baby’ by the Hospital staff.
We were fortunate to be present here this year (2004) on the Sivaratri Day and to witness Swami taking out Atmalinga, which He called Hiranyagarbha Linga. Later we left for Rajkot where we performed Devi Puja. We also visited Sri Sathya Sai Super Specialties Hospital there. We were told that when they did Bhajan on the Sivaratri Day there, spreading a carpet (plain without design) before Swami’s Photograph, the footprints of Swami were seen on the carpet indicating the arrival of Swami there for Sivaratri. We also saw those Divine footprints to preserve which safely they were making arrangements.
On our return to Puttaparthi, Swami called us for an interview. When I told Swami that we had seen Swami’s footprints that had appeared on Sivaratri Day at Rajkot Hospital, Swami looked at the students by His side smilingly, and said: ‘Look I had been to Rajkot also for Sivaratri!
We were also a witness to another Sai Miracle. When we were at Braindavan in July 1980, Swami called us for an interview. An Italian lady who came in a wheel chair was also among those called for the interview. She lost control of her legs due to a spinal injury sustained in an accident. Swami asked us if any of us knew Italian. None of us responded in the affirmative.
Swami asked us if we could take her hand and make her walk. Again the response was in the negative. Then Swami took her hand, made her get up, and took her into the interview room. After a few minutes, she emerged beaming with happiness.
‘Run’, Swami said, and she ran like a hare!
‘In which language, did you both converse?’ – The lady was asked later.
‘Why?’ she replied, ‘in Italian!’
On January 2, 1980, we were at Puttaparthi. We had an interview with Swami.
‘Your mother’, Swami told me, ‘is going to merge in me. You leave Puttaparthi today itself and get back to London’.
‘One prayer Swami!’ I pleaded, ‘give her a peaceful and painless exit’.
Swami nodded in assent, ‘don’t weep for her. Tell your people also’.
I left the same day for Bangalore and went to one of my close relatives residing there. As I reached their place, the phone rang. It was my father from London. ‘You must contact Kishan’, my father was telling my relatives.
‘He is here’, my relative told my father, ‘speak to him’.
He gave the phone to me. ‘Swami told me’, I told my father, ‘we are leaving today for home’.
We reached London and drove to my house.
I told my people, ‘Swami told me that mother was going to merge in Him and advised that no one need weep for her.’
They narrated the story of her last journey to me. She went to my brother’s house as his wife delivered a babe. She was there for 14 days. On the 15th day, she gave the ceremonial sweet to the daughter-in-law and said: ‘Today is my last day. You will have to manage hereafter yourself’.
Later, the daughter-in-law was reintroduced into the kitchen with customary formalities.
My mother, Mrs. Chandaben Nanalal Gadhia, got into the car and journeyed back home. On the way she had heart attack. When she was taken to the Hospital, she was pronounced dead.
‘She had a very peaceful and painless end’, the Doctor who examined her and tried to revive her in vain, said.
I thanked Swami in my mind for blessing my mother with painless exit.
Once in an interview, I showed Swami the silver casket of vibhuti which my brother Dr. Gadhia had given me in Jamnagar and prayed, ‘recharge this, Swami!’
Swami put his finger in the casket, pressed a little, closed the lid and returned it to me. When I opened it, I found a coin of Durga Mai in it!
I was at Brindavan, Bangalore during May 2004. Bhagavan called us all one day to the Trayi (Swami’s residence building) session after the afternoon Darshan. Bhagavan was kind enough to ask me that day to narrate my experiences. After I spoke about how Bhagavan had saved my life from a Ugandan soldier, Swami said, ‘the story did not end there’. Bhagavan continued:
‘When the soldier took the visiting card which I had given to Dr. Gadhia long back, he looked at my Photograph on the card. I spoke to him from the Photograph and transformed him. He let go Dr. Gadhia. Later, that solodier changed completely. He came to me when I was in Ooty. I told him to give up cruelty and violence. He changed his name also as Sacchidananda Swamy and became a devotee.’
— Dr. Kishan Gadhia
(As narrated to Mr. B.Parvatala Rao in Sai Gokulam, Brindavan, Bangalore on 29.05.2004.)