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Volume 5 - Issue 01 JANUARY 2007

The Grateful Granny from Bijapur

By Sri Y arvind

Bijapur – Cradled in History


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Location of Bijapur, India

Five hundred and thirty kms to the northwest of Bangalore is the ancient town of Bijapur, the capital of the Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur city in the Bijapur district, having been under different rulers all of whom were oriented towards the fine arts, has many places of historical, cultural and architectural interest. The city established in the 10th-11th centuries by the Chalukyas of Kalyani was referred to as Vijayapura (City of Victory). The city came under the influence of the Khilji Sultanate in Delhi by the late 13th century and then was conquered by the Bahmani Sultanate of Gulbarga. By this time the city was being referred to as Vijapur or Bijapur.

Bijapur has been influenced by different cultures and Islamic, Buddhist, Jain and Hindu architectural styles are found all around the district. Aihole a temple city, is famous as the 'Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture'. Pattadakal, at a distance of one hundred thirty four kms from Bijapur, is a World Heritage Center and has ten major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture. Badami, the capital of the early Chalukyas, is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. It has four rock-cut cave temples, the largest being the third cave dedicated to Vishnu. Basavana Bagewadi is the birthplace of the great 12th century poet and reformer Saint Basaveshwara and Kudalasangama is a famous pilgrim centre associated with him.

Aihole and Gol Gumbaz

The more recent Islamic influences include the Gol Gumbaz – mausoleum of Mohammad Adil Shah of the Bahamani Dynasty, the Ibrahim Roza - the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II which is said to have inspired the design of the famous Taj Mahal, the Jumma Masjid (still in use today), Asar mahal, Gagan mahal and Barakaman all of which are architectural beauties to this day.

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Gol Gumbaz

Kallavawa’s Life in Jeopardy

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Smt Kallavawa

From this same district of Karnataka, comes the simple housewife, Kallavawa. Though she lives in a land with such a hoary past, history seems to have little to do with her day to day living. References to the famous historical, cultural and architectural landmarks of the district bring to her old wrinkled face a placid smile that speaks volumes of her lack of sophistication.

To her, home, family and the present are important. Since generations her family earned their livelihood through farming. She lives in a village thirty kms away from main city of Bijapur. At the age of sixty, a mother of five sons and two daughters, she had lived a full life.

Four of her sons continued the family tradition of farming but her last son chose the path of education and is now working as a part time school teacher. Having fulfilled the duties of a wife and a mother, now she felt, it was time to rest and enjoy the company of her grandchildren.

But that was not to be. Over four months ago she found that she was having trouble performing her daily tasks. Her attention tended to wander, her memory began to fail and she found herself inchoate with her behavioral patterns undergoing drastic changes. Her family suspected a neural disorder and took her to the local doctor who confirmed the same. He advised some basic tests but ultimately the solution was surgery.

‘Sai Baba Super Hospital’ – The Only Resort


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The district of Bijapur has six allopathic medical colleges, but the family had no knowledge of any of them. They did not know where they were supposed to go. The doctor gave them their options and added that the cost of surgery alone would be around Rs.100000, further there would definitely be other medical costs. The family was disturbed for two reasons: the malady and the cost. The doctor then suggested that that they could go to Bangalore where the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, (SSSIHMS WFD), generally called the Sai Baba Super Hospital, provided medical care free of all costs.

Skeptical though they were, they confirmed that this was true through a second source. It was hard for them to accept the fact that there was a Hospital that provided not just consultation, but diagnosis and treatment free of cost. But they came to the SSSIHMS Whitefield and after due consultation and tests, the diagnosis was confirmed as Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive form of the primary brain tumors known collectively as gliomas. These tumors arise from the supporting, glial cells of the brain during childhood and in adults. These growths do not spread throughout the body like other forms of cancer, but cause symptoms by invading the brain.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Gliomas

Gliomas are graded by their microscopic appearance. As a rule, their behavior can be predicted from this classification: grade I and grade II tumors grow slowly over many years while grade IV (GBM) grows rapidly, invading and altering brain function. Untreated, GBMs are rapidly lethal. Different areas of the brain control different functions of the body. The area of the brain first involved by the tumor influences the first symptoms of GBM. Apparently in her case the “eloquent” areas controlling the speech and visual functions were affected since her symptoms included loss of speech and incoherence. GBM’s usually arise on their own or may develop from lower grade gliomas after many years. Though genetic modifications have been found responsible for some forms of Gliomas they are not genetically transmitted.

The diagnosis of GBM requires tissue obtained by surgical methods. Computer image guidance is used for the process. The tumor can be imaged by contrast-enhanced MRI scan. An open or needle biopsy provides tissue for microscopic diagnosis.

The treatment of GBM has evolved over the past 50 years. Modern, effective treatment for GBM includes the following: surgery to remove the maximum volume of tumor followed by radiation therapy and finally chemotherapy. Within a few days of surgery a MR scan is obtained to document any residual tumor. Finally patients may elect to undergo chemotherapy after consultation with local oncologists (cancer specialists).

Healed by Love to Be Healthy Again


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Sri Kallavawa and her son

Kallavawa was admitted to our Hospital for treating the “Left Tempero Parietal Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV”. The surgery went on smoothly with a craniotomy (opening the skull) followed by tumor decompression (removing the tumor). Following this she received Radio therapeutic treatment for thirty three days. The SSSIHMS transported her to Manipal Hospital everyday for the therapy. Post treatment scans showed her to be free of the disease and she was duly discharged. She returns regularly to the Hospital for her follow up and so far destiny has been kind to her with no sign of the disease.

When asked about her impression about the Hospital she is reticent since she feels words do no justice to the service imparted her. To one who is accustomed to eating only jowar rotis, the variety of food offered by the Hospital came as a literal feast. The beds that she slept on were those of her dreams. The linen provided was the cleanest she had ever seen. The attention given by both the medical and support staff left her with a feeling of immense gratitude to Swami.

Above all the most impressive aspect of the SSSIHMS was the ambiance of the Hospital. Peaceful and silent, calm and serene, she cannot imagine any hospital being different but she has also seen the hospital where she received her radiotherapy. The clinical dissociation of the other medical institutions and the warm comfort she received in the temple of healing has given her a new perspective towards life. She received the best totally free of charge and is very much conscious of the fact. In fact she has decided that she would definitely come to Prasanthinilayam and have the Darshan of her Benefactor as soon as possible.

Life is like a map. It only gives us an idea of where we are going but it does not tell you how the path is going to be. It is not a relief map that talks of the highs and lows, the hills and valleys, the joys and sorrows. They are there for us to learn how to remain equanimous under all adversity. For how can one appreciate light unless one has suffered darkness? How can one value joy unless one has experienced sorrow? To those of us who, by the grace of God are without any physical ailments – it is a reminder to serve our fellow beings in whatever capacity we can - and to do so with a feeling of love rather than duty. For all said and done, the greatest is Love. It is the pure unsullied pristine love that Swami has for all of us, His children, that He has blessed us with temples of education to correct our distorted visions and confused minds, and temples of healing to heal our bruised bodies. For a healthy body and healthy mind go hand in hand. That is what makes us complete. And a complete instrument is a perfect tool in the hands of God.


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Vol 5 Issue 01 - JANUARY 2007
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