Bharam Umamaheswara Rao (B.U.Rao) was born on 25-05-1922 at Guntur. His parents were Rao Saheb Bharam Narayana Rao, (retd. Deputy Spdt of Police & then, perhaps the First RTO (retd) in A.P. with Head Quarters at Machilipatnam) and Mrs. Anjaneyamma. Narayana Rao was also given by the British Government, a revolver without license during his life time in recognition of his devotion to duty. Narayana Rao was also religious and was an ardent devotee of Lord Sri Rama and used to perform every year Sri Rama Kalyanam with pomp and splendour, not only when he was in service but also after his retirement. He had led his entire life praying to Lord Sri Rama. Such was the devotion he had exhibited towards Lord Sri Rama. And even now, the tradition of celebrating Sri Rama Kalyanam is being continued by his descendants.
Umamaheswara Rao had studied in Board High School, Bapatla upto 1939 and also studied in Hindu College, Machilipatnam upto 1943. He later joined as S.I. in the Police Dept in 1945 and followed his father’s foot steps in sincerity and devotion. In the year 1945, Umamaheswar Rao married Ms. Mani, daughter of Rao Saheb Dr. Manam.Narasinga Rao and Smt. Laxmi Narasamma. Mrs.Bharam Mani, W/o B.U.Rao, was born on 07-09-1931 in Eluru. They were blessed with three children, first two daughters and a son, viz. Neeraja, Girija and Krishna Kishore.
During his entire service, he was highly devoted to his duties and was very honest. While in service, he received Police Medal in 1962 and got promoted as Dy Supdt. of Police. He worked as Dy. Supdt. of Police in Vizianagaram and Eluru during 1964-67 and later at Visakhapatnam and in Hyderabad.. While in active service in the Police Dept., he did not exhibit much affinity towards religious and spiritual matters, perhaps due to his pre-occupation with the service activities. He retd. as Addl Supdt. of Police in the year 1977.
He was a heart patient from 1968 and was also declared dead in Vijayawada Pushkaram during 1960s and wireless messages about this information also, were relayed to the concerned police Head Quarters. Luckily he survived this attack and got revived with God’s Grace. Since then he was continuously taking treatment from a cardiologist for his heart ailment.
To begin with, he was initially drawn to Lord Raghavendra Swami and had multiple divine experiences bestowed on him by Lord Raghavendra Swami. Subsequently, on instructions from Lord Raghavendra, he developed faith in Sai Baba and was gravitated fully towards him from 1981. Intrigued and captivated by Sri Sai Baba, B.U.Rao was fully engrossed in Baba’s devotion and thereafter his life completely started revolving around Baba. Though he was physically weak due to heart problem and also due to age factor, he was very active in moving here and there, perhaps having been endowed with fresh vigour by Baba. Baba had presented very many divine visions, messages, teachings and his Leelas to B.U.Rao with instructions to spread Baba’s messages and miracles far and wide, just like the raining showers of clouds. He thus became an ardent devotee of Baba and started performing daily puja to Baba and also service to Baba by way of propagating about Baba. He was also visiting Shirdi frequently with his family, close relatives and friends.
Baba started giving very important messages through him and using him as Baba’s medium when he was in meditation or in trance position and all the messages that emanated from his mouth as narrated by Baba, were all written down and recorded by his wife, Mrs. B.Mani Umamaheswara Rao. All these messages were published in the shape of a book in English, “Bhava Lahari (Voice of Sri Sai Baba) in 1993. There is lot of demand for this book. In all, he wrote eleven books on Baba and Baba’s teachings.
Despite his heart problem since 1968, he had led a devotional and spiritual life without severing himself from his householder’s responsibilities. He had also strived for the well-being of everyone he was associated with.
About the heart problem he was having, the condition was diagnosed as 'Aortic Stenosis with Regurgitation and he was advised to undergo by-pass heart surgery. He endured, many a time, severe syncope attacks which left him breathless with pulse becoming very weak and irregular.
In the year 1983, while he was having severe heart pain, Baba appeared in his dream and applied udhi on his fore-head and after he woke up, he found that there was really an udhi mark on his forehead and the udhi mark had created a soothing effect on him. Later, in Nov, 1983, while he was meditating, he experienced a glow of light that had flashed from Baba's photo and had pierced his skin in the heart area in a circular manner. Immediately, he felt burning sensation and observed that blood was oozing from the circularly burnt area. He then fainted and was lifted and placed on the bed. The marks of burns were seen as stitches and thereafter the heaviness in the chest and the syncope attacks subsided immediately and disappeared later. The ring like burn marks were photographed (see the side photo). Thereafter, the various tests conducted had confounded the doctors since B.U.Rao’s heart condition was found perfectly normal. Few days before this incident, his wife had a dream in which she saw four people carrying B.U.Rao, saying that he was dead. This was a bad omen and however this catastrophic situation was averted by Baba. Then it was understood that Baba had performed a surgery on him which reaffirmed Baba as Doctor of Doctors.
Bhagavan Sri Shirdi Sai Baba, a direct representative of all Gods, the Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent, is the living spiritual force which is drawing people from all walks of life, from all parts of the world, into his fold. He came to serve the mankind, to free them from the clutches of fear. Today he is considered nothing less than “The Living God on the Earth”. Shirdi Sai Baba, the most benevolent God and easily accessible God, had been brought into the lives of all of us by this great personality, Umamaheswara Rao through his experiences. He had dedicated the later part of his entire life towards the spiritual propaganda of Baba’s philosophy. Though he had many visions of Baba and other Sathpurushas or other Gods and Goddesses, he was a simple person, non-assuming, non-egoistic and was ready to help any person in his spiritual pursuit. He was thus a great but humble man.
Post retirement period is the most significant and valuable part of his life as during this period only he had attained greater levels of spirituality. His spiritual and devotional journey began in the year 1978 after which he gradually, step after step, reached the level of higher consciousness and transcendence. He expressed that though he held a superior position in the Police Dept., he was more happy in his later life after he was drawn towards doing service to Baba.
During this period, B.U.Rao took up propagation of the faith and philosophy of Baba. In May, 1985, he had a dream in which Baba asked him to start a monthly magazine for propagation of Baba’s philosophy and the same night, Baba also appeared in the dream of Sri Yousuf Ali Khan, another devotee and asked him to assist B.U.Rao in starting a magazine and also informed the name of the magazine should be “Sai Prabha”. Leaving the matter of wherewithal to Baba, both of them started on this venture and proceeded further. A special issue of “Sai Prabha” was released in 1985 itself on Vijayadasami day. Later Sri V.Narayana Rao also assisted him. Thus B.U.Rao was able to run the monthly magazine successfully under Baba’s instructions and guidance.
During 1985, in one of his visits to Shirdi, he met Sri Marthand Maharaj and Sri Ashok Mhalasapati, son and grandson respectively of ankita bhakta, Mhalasapati.
During 1985, he was in Vijayawada attending Baba’s Nama Sapthaham for 49 days and in one day Baba appeared in his dream and ordered him to sit in meditation. While doing meditation on the last day of the Sapthaham, he had a vision in which he saw Lord Dattatreya, Jesus Christ and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
During summer in 1986, on one day he woke up very early in the morning for nature call and when he came to the drawing room in his house in Hyderabad, he happened to see a man dressed in white clothes sitting in a sofa chair. Though baffled, he shouted, “who is that” and moved near the sofa. Then he had a clear glimpse of Baba who disappeared immediately thereafter.
He received the first message at Dwarakamai in Shirdi in the year 1987. His faith in Baba grew multifold and by Baba’s Grace he started experiencing amazing miracles and visions. During his lifetime, he had many experiences and his near and dear ones were also fortunate in witnessing such amazing experiences. It is not possible to narrate all his experiences. All these confirm the fact that Baba was/is guiding us, helping us and showing his Grace and Mercy in every aspect.
Baba used to tell in advance the impending danger to him. On 4th Jan, 1987 in early morning in his dream, Baba told him that 4th Jan (same day) was not a good day for him from 10-30 AM onwards. B.U.Rao also advised his people not to admit him in any hospital. He became unwell at that exact time and lost his consciousness and his condition became serious. His body appeared paralysed. He was then taken to nearby Mahaveer Hospital, Hyderabad. Doctors in the hospital, on examination, told that his body got totally paralysed due to cerebral haemorrhage and that there was no hope of his survival and also asked his people to take him to any Govt. Hospital. Then he was admitted in the Gandhi Hospital, Secunderabad at about 1-30 PM and they also confirmed that it was cerebral haemorrhage and he was taken to ICU. While treatment was going on, his wife placed Baba’s photo in blessing pose, near his head & Dwarakamai photo in his pocket and also applied some udi on his forehead. A doctor, perhaps an atheist, who was observing all these things, expressed that neither Baba nor any one could save him as his position was highly critical. After some time, there was slight movement in his body. But his right side was still totally paralysed. After some time, he started moving his right side also with Baba’s Grace. On getting consciousness during that night, he started blaming all others for having admitted in the hospital. And he wanted to go away from the hospital in that night itself. He was pacified saying that during mid night, it was not possible to move. The compiler was in Mysore at that time and on receipt of the information about his cerebral hamorrhage, the compiler rushed to Hyderabad and went to the hospital to see him. At that time, he was not there in the hospital and the compiler was told that he got discharged even though he was not cured on some undertaking given by Dr.A.Prabhakar Rao, a senior Govt. doctor and one of his relatives. Nursing sisters expressed surprise at the bizarre behavior of B.U.Rao who disliked treatment from any hospital and believed only in the curing powers of Shirdi Sai Baba. B.U.Rao became alright after some time. Nothing is impossible for Baba.
During 1988, he along with other devotees visited Paradasinga near Nagpur to have darshan of Avadhoota Anasuya Mata. She received them with motherly affection and took all of them to her Ashram.
He continued to receive messages while in trance position and Baba gave a message on 1st Jan, 1989 when he was in Shirdi, asking him to publish all the messages for the benefit of the general public. At that time, he received all the messages in Telugu only except three in English. As per Baba’s orders, he got all the Telugu messages translated into English for the purpose of publication and wider publicity. The messages received in Telugu were also printed in Telugu in a booklet called, “Sai Tatwa Sandesh”
He was also assigned by Baba, many a time, to pray on behalf of others for their welfare during the period of their adversities The messages received by B.U.Rao were recorded by his wife Smt. Mani. He had received over 350 messages while in trance position and by Baba’s Grace they were all recorded verbatim and published in the form of book, “Sai Tatwa Sandesh” in English for the benefit and welfare of everyone. All these messages indicate spiritual insight of Baba’s teachings.
He was getting messages even in Sanskrit, some times slokas in Sanskrit, while he was in trance position and whatever was coming out from his mouth, was being recorded by his wife. He did not know Sanskrit. Once there was a Sanskrit sloka that came out from his mouth and that was recorded. He had a group of Baba’s devotees and among them there were some Sanskrit scholars also. For all the slokas that emanated from his mouth, he was consulting the Sanskrit scholars for their meaning in Hyderabad. Once a Sanskrit sloka came out and its meaning was not known, even to several Sanskrit scholars in Hyderabad. He left it at that stage and was unable to proceed further to know its meaning and its context. At that time, Baba gave a message to him, asking him to go to Bangalore and consult the Swamiji in the Ashram of Sri Rajarajeswari Temple located on Mysore Road in Bangalore. When he arrived in Bangalore, the compiler was in Bangalore and took him to the Ashram where Pujya Ratna Puri Swamiji felt very happy to see the Sanskrit sloka and called all his disciples and explained its meaning and the name of the religious scripture in which it is available. It was an important sloka, but the compiler did not remember either the sloka or its meaning. This had happened in 1990.
On Jan 25, 1990, he was told in his meditation by Baba that coming Sunday, 4th Feb, 1990, your life would end and asked him to prepare for that situation. This was also true as per his astrological prediction. Baba also advised him to chant his Nama Japa and take the juice of Bilwa leaves. All his near and dear, were shocked at this revelation. All the relatives were informed about this oncoming calamity. Again on 28th Jan, Baba gave a message, asking him to inform all his relatives and friends and ask them to come on the specified day and that he should also ask all of them to do Nama Japa with devotion and faith. On 3rd Feb afternoon, he also received another message asking him to arrange to read Sri Vasu Devananda Saraswathi Swamy’s “Guru Samhita” which consists of 7000 Sanskrit slokas during the night on 3rd itself and perform Datta Homa the next day(4th Feb). His people arranged more than one Sanskrit Pandit in order to ensure to complete the reading of all the slokas during that night itself by taking photo copies of the slokas for distribution sectionwise to the Sanskrit Pandits, as only one book was available. Luckily, Sri Sri Sri Paramahansa Parivrajaka Acharya Sri Bodhananda Swamy who accepted their invitation, arrived to his house and stayed till the next day. On 3rd night, all the 7000 slokas were read. On 4th morning, Nama Japa by groups was going on and Homa arrangements were made. At that time, some devotees got an urge to recite Lalitha Sahasra Namam for eleven times which was completed. Some how, without any efforts on their part, a large number of more than 400 devotees including Dr.Raghava Rao, an ankita devotee, assembled in the house. All were praying for the bestowal of Mercy by Baba. At 2-00 PM, his BP came down and his pulse stopped. Based on human instinct, his son tried to connect oxygen cylinder to him, but the opener of the cylinder got broken and it was of no use. After some time, B.U.Rao started uttering some thing slowly, “Baba, Baba” His pulse was then checked by doctor-devotees present there and was found normal. Thus Baba by miracle, extended his life and saved him from the catastrophic calamity. The compiler also was present during the entire time and observed the miracle. B.U.Rao thus got extension in his life span by one year. Similarly, his life span was extended by Baba each time by one year for further 10 times, with Baba forewarning and B.U.Rao and his people similarly following Nama Japa and other recitation of scriptures
This significant incident by benevolent Baba would only highlight how cascading was Baba’s love and compassion on B.U.Rao by extending his life by 11 times since 1990. Every time his life span was extended by one year by Baba, on the critical day and several people used to gather at his residence, without any special efforts by him/his family members, including Sri Dr.K.V.Raghava Rao, noted Sai Bhakta and were able to witness the entire events leading to the extension of his life. B.U.Rao. strongly believed that this part of his life thus extended belonged to Baba only and since then he whole heartedly devoted all of the eleven years in the service of Baba.
B.U.Rao’s communion with Baba was so close and intense that his connect with him was almost regular, just as between two living beings. By Baba’s Grace, during 1987, he not only had darshan of various Gods but also had darshan of many Siddha Purushas viz., Adi Shankara Charya, Narasimha Saraswathi Swami, Sri Radhakrishna Swamiji, Sri Pada Vallaba Swami and others. He had in his dream, darshan of some Goddesses and also saw Pratyangira Devi. B.U. Rao had developed a large devotional acquaintance, though he didn’t try to garner the same. But he was very much grounded simple in nature and had put forth lot of efforts in propagating the philosophy of Baba as a notable pracharak.
In the evening on 6th May, 1991, while he was in deep meditation, he had many peculiar visions and experienced very strange incidents. In the vision, a sacred lady who looked like a Yogini in white dress. with her hair tied to a knot on the top of her head, with her neck and hands adorned with Rudraksha Mala, took him through forest and hills and other places where he saw some divine people as well as demons. But when he enquired for the details with that sacred lady, she said that it was none of his business. She also did not allow him to offer his obeisance to other Gods and Goddesses whom he saw while travelling with that sacred lady. They travelled through a very difficult and troublesome path. Then suddenly there was a heavy rain with thunders and lightning which were frightening very much, but the sacred lady knew that he was not afraid of. Finally she took him to a palace which was shining like a brilliant diamond emanating very bright light which could damage the eyes and so he closed his eyes. Then he saw a throne inside and on the throne, Goddess Lalitha Tripura Sundari was sitting, glowing radiantly with innumerable rays, wearing all the precious ornaments, also having some weapons in her hands. Then only, he was permitted to prostrate to that Goddess. He thus had darshan of MANIDWEEPA and the blessings of the Goddess. He felt that with Baba’s Grace only this was possible and he had this great vision.
He was having a deep meditation during the year 1992 and was meditating on Baba. During that meditation, he wanted to have darshan of Baba. He kept before him a photo of Baba with a tinpot (Baba going on begging rounds). But Baba said that B.U.Rao was a fool as he could not withstand the brilliance of light emanating from Baba as that would definitely impair his eyes. But he continued his meditation for more than one day and was adamant. For first five days, he was taking liquid food. From sixth day onwards, he stopped taking even the liquid food and he continued like this for 12 days in all. But on the 12th day, Baba gave darshan to him, not in Baba’s resplendent position which would affect his eyes, but in a simple usual way through that photo which he kept before him. He was extremely happy to have Baba’s darshan finally.
He used to inform that whenever he was in deep meditation, he observed that his body would be warm.
He organized many Satsangas and Nama Japas and used to give simple spiritual discourse on such occasions. He also attended inauguration of several Sai Baba temples at different places on the invitation of the Managements concerned. In the picture shown here, he was giving a simple discourse.
In one of his dreams, Baba appeared and told him that he was Nanasaheb Chandorkar in his previous birth. Once a lady, in mid 30s, came and wanted to see B.U.Rao who was unwell at that time. She also said that she was proficient in Rekhi treatment and had come to treat him. She was allowed inside the room where B.U.Rao was taking rest. She then asked all of us to vacate the room, leaving both of them only. After some time, she came out and said that the treatment was over. Then we went inside the room to see B.U.Rao who said that she gave Rekhi treatment to him. But the most important thing that B.U.Rao said was that she was her daughter, by name Mainatai in her earlier birth when B.U.Rao was Nanasaheb Chandorkar in his earlier life. She had also known her earlier life and also knew about the earlier life of B.U.Rao. This had happened in Guntur. She was the wife of a senior government official in Andhra Pradesh at that time. How she located the house of B.U.Rao and how she came to know that he was unwell and was in need of Rekhi treatment--all these were not known to any one. However, there is no basis to verify such statements about their previous births. But the facts are that Nanasaheb Chandorkar passed away in 1921 while B.U.Rao was born in 1922.
During 1995, two disks got dislocated in his spinal cord which got bent and consequently, he was not in a position to stand erect and walk. Despite this problem, he was, with Baba’s Grace, in a position to move here and there and do all his activities on his own without any body’s assistance.
People who have been associated with B.U.Rao had the great privilege of having been drawn towards Sai Baba, the most benevolent God of this world. His entire family, the near and dear ones, friends, acquaintances and general public, were tremendously fortunate that this selfless individual had shared and taken the burden of some part of their lives by undertaking Prayers and Nama Japas for their welfare. Thus, he did wonderful service in the area of propagating about Baba, his mission and his philosophy. He lived for 78 years and left his mortal coil on 23rd May, 2000 and had merged into Baba.
Smt.Mani Umamaheswara Rao, his wife was equally a devout lady, having lot of faith in Baba with unswerving devotion towards Baba. She gave lot of support to her husband. From 1981 onwards, she became equally devoted to Sri Sai Baba & was also instrumental in helping her husband in the mission of propagating about Baba.
She started, on her own, collecting the devotees’ experiences, post Baba’s Mahasamadhi, across the country and compiled and published the devotees’ experiences in 1987 in a 350-page-book by name “Sai Leela Tharingini” in Telugu as Part I. She also published another book by name, “Sri Sai Leela Sravanthi” in Telugu as Part II. She also wrote and published, with Baba’s Grace, another book by name, Sri Sai Lalita Geeta Vibhavari in Telugu on Baba.
Smt. Mani U.Rao was giving a religious discourse and also on Baba’s unique way of teaching and the need to understand Baba’s philosophy and also as to how to pursue spiritual goal (in the side photo). She was a generous woman and was always interested in talking to people politely and courteously. She was of the greatest help to B.U.Rao, her husband in constantly helping him in writing and compiling books on Sri Sai Baba. She helped her husband and also herself in the pursuit of attaining spiritual goals with Baba’s Grace. She passed away happily on 14th May, 2006 with lot of contentment.
Blessed were the souls of both of them. B.U.Rao and his wife, both of them had led spiritual lives and received Baba’s help in all their endeavours and finally attained spiritual progress with the Grace of Baba.
The compiler of this Article is related to B.U.Rao and consequently had got ample scope to observe him from close quarters and also had the opportunity of witnessing all major miracles of Baba and other miracles as reported by Mrs.Mani.U.Rao. On the desire of some Baba’s devotees only, the compiler has been forced to compile an article on B.U.Rao and Mrs. B.Mani U.Rao for the information of the general public.
(Courtesy: Shri.Bondada Janardhana Rao, Sai Pracharak, Bangalore)