Volume 8 - Issue 04
APRIL 2010
Other Articles

When God Breathed New Life Into Me

From the brink of death to a new lease of life, Ms. Deepti Surya Pemmaraju, a Sai student shares her story of Sai rescue


I am a 25 year old, recently married, a former Sai student, eagerly looking forward to living. Today, more than ever before, I want to live my life in the constant awareness of the Power that has given me this gift, the gift of life, first at birth, then again after a serious illness and for the third time more recently when the doctors had declared that I would die within 48 hours! A sudden and severe brain clot had affected the nerves that control my body’s vital functions like walking, talking and memory, and had threatened to reduce me to a vegetable. Top doctors in Hyderabad gave my parents 48 hours to prepare for the worst.

The power I owe my new lease of life, my health, optimism, sense of hope and undying gratitude and my very dear life to is my personal God, the Lord of Prasanthi Nilayam, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Why did He shower such immense mercy upon me, I’ll never know for sure but what I do know without an iota of doubt is that if He is incapable of resisting something, it is the power of prayers. The Sai incarnation is the Lord of mercy and compassion so immense that if anything can move Him, it is prayers from the depths of our hearts. The fact that I am alive to tell you my story is the greatest testimony to the power of prayers that can move this ocean of compassion.

My Blessed Childhood

My name is Deepti Surya Pemmaraju and due to some mysterious and good karmic balance from past lives, I started my present life journey on a soundest possible note by becoming a Sai student. Today, in hindsight, I believe, it was the finest life insurance policy my parents could ever have got me.

Sri Sathya Sai Primary School in Prasanthi Nilayam

I joined the Sri Sathya Sai Primary School in Prasanthi Nilayam, in the year 1996 when I enrolled in Grade 6. That is when I began living within the divine aura of our living God, Bhagavan Baba.

After completing my education there up to Grade 12 under His loving care and guidance, I went on to join the Sri Sathya Sai University’s Anantapur campus where I studied Commerce, earning a B.Com (Hons.) degree in 2005.

This is how I ended up spending the longest span of my 25 years on this earth under the divine umbrella of Sai care. My brother too was similarly blessed to attend the Sai School and University.

Sai - The Silent Saviour

Actually, I have a family history of being blessed by His grace. My paternal and maternal grandfathers were both fortunate to serve the divine mission of Sri Sathya Sai as sevadal volunteers and in other such capacities. Inspired by their example, my mother too has been a committed volunteer in the Sai mission. Serving Sai has been the wisest investment decision we could ever have made as a family, for it allowed us to draw upon His grace in our times of despair and desperation, especially during my recent tryst with death.

Being the youngest in my family, I grew up being everyone’s favourite. My jovial, talkative and friendly self made me even more popular. Often, my parents, friends and teachers would request me to stop my incessant chatter so that they could enjoy some peace. I was healthy in all ways and had a happy-go-lucky nature.


But things took a sudden turn for the worst shortly after I graduated. Due to a sudden drop in my hemoglobin level, I developed a serious health condition.

Luckily for me, I was admitted to the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital in Puttaparthi and the doctors of the Sai healthcare system took such excellent care of me that I recovered fully and was back to my healthy, spirited self in no time.

I was most grateful to my Sai for His timely rescue through His able medical staff. I really consider that event as a second lease of life.

The Beginning of the Grim Ordeal

But I am not just a twice lucky girl. After graduating from the Sai University, I completed my MBA and started working for an American company in Hyderabad. By June 2009, things were going really well and we were all getting ready for my wedding scheduled a month later, in July 2009. That is when I started having severe headaches. Initially, I dismissed them as routine until the time when the pain persisted for about 15 days at a stretch.

By now I felt very giddy and vomited twice and then I am told I fell unconscious. I have no recollection of the nightmare that my family went through nor of the love and concern that so many of my family, friends, especially my teachers at the Sri Sathya Sai School in Prasanthi Nilayam poured towards me during the next few days.

When I fainted and refused to regain consciousness, my mother rushed me to the Yashoda Hospital in Secunderabad. After a battery of tests and scans, I was diagnosed with a clot in the brain which was growing and exerting pressure on the surrounding nerves. This would affect the functioning of the various body parts. Given the severity of the condition and extremely high risk involved, the doctors ruled out the possibility of an operation. Instead, they broke the grim news to my family that I had only 48 hours to live!

Intense Prayers and their Astounding Result

Immediately, our circle of family and friends, which is quite large, thanks to the fact that we have always been members of the Sai family, swung into the only defense mechanism we are all programmed for – prayers. In those moments of crisis, we realized the value of having such a strong support group which only the Sai fraternity can ever provide.

From the Headmistress of our school in Prasanthi Nilayam to alumni of the school and the Anantapur college, to the members of the A.P. State Sai Organisation, within minutes everyone was informed about the grim situation through cell phones and land lines, Orkut, Facebook, email and such.


Net result of this news dissemination was that from the bottoms of their hearts, each of them held mass prayers for my health. Under the guidance of our Headmistress Munni Madam, my entire former school began praying in unison to Swami to come to my rescue and give me another shot at life. Apart from mass prayers and vigils for my survival, my family tells me that throughout this period, my husband (fiancé at that time) Mr. Sanjeev Kumar was by my side, supporting the family in this moment of crisis.

And then, over the next few hours the divine drama unfolded in the most inexplicable way, as He breathed new life into me. While so many of our dearest teachers, friends and family were praying for me, my aunt rushed to Prasanthi Nilayam as her way of seeking divine intervention in this emergency.

Just then, Bhagavan Baba was giving His darshan as usual and when He walked past Mrs. Vasumathi, the head of Andhra Pradesh state’s Service Wing, He dropped a small packet of vibhuti at her, saying softly the words “Idi Tisuko” or take this. She was a bit surprised but being aware of the gravity of my situation, she immediately had it sent to Hyderabad for me.

That by itself was a high speed divine drama as my aunt rushed with this vibhuti packet to the local bus stop where she caught the driver of the overnight bus to Hyderabad just in time and requested him to hand over the precious packet to my brother the next morning. Meanwhile, my brother was waiting for the bus to pull into the Hyderabad bus stand early the following morning and as soon as he received the prasadam, he rushed with it to the hospital where I was.

Meanwhile, as the prayers for my survival were being conducted, Swami was responding to them in various different levels and ways, many of which we will never know. But this I know for sure is that most unexpectedly, the previous night, the team of doctors attending on me had suddenly decided to operate, even though they had ruled out surgery as an option only hours earlier.

‘Sairam’ Revives His Child in His Inimitable Way

While the vibhuti packet traveled from Prasanthi Nilayam to Hyderabad, I was undergoing a 10 hour long operation. By morning, I was heavily sedated and kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with tubes and a mask keeping me alive. It was just then that Swami’s vibhuti prasadam also arrived. Now the challenge was how to dispense it to me when my face was covered with a mask and I was under constant medical watch in the ICU.

The ground had been set by the mysterious forces that were at work at all levels through this ordeal. This kind doctor immediately did what my family wanted him to do, i.e. feed me some vibhuti prasadam and sprinkled a tiny bit on my forehead and the portion of the head where I had been operated. Immediately, he noticed a complete jerk or movement in my entire body. Later, he personally described it to me saying that my whole body moved slightly. That was the moment when the ocean of compassion, the Lord of unlimited powers my Bhagavan Baba breathed new life into my body. I know this with utmost certainty because from that moment onwards, I began to recover most unexpectedly.

My family requested a doctor who was known to us if he could help. Being a medical professional, he did not wish to violate any hospital regulations. With much apprehension, when he came into the ICU where I was being kept, strangely, he found no nurse or doctor around at that moment and what is even more interesting, the respiratory mask on my face had been set aside! He didn’t have to remove it against medical ethics.

The ground had been set by the mysterious forces that were at work at all levels through this ordeal. This kind doctor immediately did what my family wanted him to do, i.e. feed me some vibhuti prasadam and sprinkled a tiny bit on my forehead and the portion of the head where I had been operated. Immediately, he noticed a complete jerk or movement in my entire body.

Later, he personally described it to me saying that my whole body moved slightly. That was the moment when the ocean of compassion, the Lord of unlimited powers my Bhagavan Baba breathed new life into my body. I know this with utmost certainty because from that moment onwards, I began to recover most unexpectedly.

How can I be so sure? Well, for starters, within 48 hours of this moment, I regained full consciousness – something unheard of in cases of such severity. Meanwhile, the final 48 hours of life span that the doctors had predicted for me had already expired! No prize for guessing that the first words that escaped my lips were Sai Ram!

The experience of being in the ICU was intensely spiritual. Even under heavy sedation, I was conscious at some level which made me cognizant of Bhagavan dispensing care twice when I felt I was sinking into the darkness. Once, when I felt my tongue curling back into my throat, chocking me, no doctor seemed to be around and I think the nurse may have been asleep. That is when I felt Swami come in and fix my tongue and set everything right. Another time, when I could not breathe and was gasping, and no one seemed around, I found Him tenderly fixing the tubes and the mask that helped me breathe!

The Amazing Extent of His Extraordinary Love

Even after the operation, the doctors were very cautious and prepared my parents to accept the fact that I may end up spending the rest of my life restricted to bed. They said since I was operated on the left side of the brain, the right side of my body would be paralyzed. There was also a strong chance of losing my eyesight and/or my ability to speak could be greatly impaired.


On the other end of the spectrum, there was a slim chance of my being able to walk and talk within 6 to 8 months and my memory being restored in 18 to 24 months.

Compared to the earlier prognosis of a life span of 48 hours, everyone heaved a sigh of relief at the chance of my survival, even if with such severe limitations.

But what really took their breath away was the fact that even though the nerves that connect the talk, walk and memory functions were severely affected, I was able to walk on the fifth day after the surgery, using crutches for help. Within 15 days, I was walking and even talking, with the help of little speech therapy.

Today, after 9 months of this episode, I am nearly back to normal, sitting long hours in Prasanthi Nilayam, to catch a glimpse of the divine being who wrote me a new destiny. On December 31, 2009, as we bid good bye to a year of near-death and experienced the power of prayers to change one’s karma, He looked me straight in my eyes as I sat in the alumni block for darshan. Then, as I presented a New Year greeting card to Him, He said “Bagundi” or good.

The Divine Bond That Makes Every Other Bond Joyous

Meanwhile, since the time everyone ever known to me sent out a heart felt prayer for my well-being, everything in life has been nothing but good, in fact very good, including the fact that 4 months after this harrowing experience, I was married with His blessings. Even that joyful event was preceded by His blessings. As I sat for His divine darshan, Bhagavan came and blessed my wedding card, wedding saree, mangala sutra and granted me the ultimate boon of touching His sacred lotus feet. Within four months of my surgery, I married my fiancé Sanjeev Kumar on October 31, 2009.

On January 9, I was operated upon one last time to close the gap on my scalp. With His assurance of “Bagundi” I know from now onwards, things will play out as miraculously as they have so far. This being my third shot at life, I am not taking any chances. My parents, husband, school teachers, friends, family and I know for sure that this life extension is scripted, directed and produced entirely by Him on a fresh slate and is no long connected to my past karma.

I now intend to live every moment as a grateful daughter whose life must become His message only because this life is His gift to me.

Dear Reader, did this article inspire you in any way? Would you like more such stories from devotees who have been touched by His Love? Please write to us at h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

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