DR. CHOUDARY VOLETI
Introduction: Internationally known heart surgeon Chaudary Voleti volunteers at the Indian Super specialty hospitals of Holy Man Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Many years of very close exposure to Sai Baba have resulted in countless interviews and lessons learnt. Welcome to Souljourns. This interview was recorded in May 29 2002 in Pepper Pike Ohio.
Chaudary Voleti: Oh you know it’s very complex that I come 200 miles from Puttaparthi you know that is Swami’s ashram is but for the first fifty years of my life I had no idea. I had some vague opinion about some Holy Man making holy ash for people, nothing more nothing less. The thing that actually drew my attention was the charity hospital and when a cardiology friend of mine told me that there is this hospital that does totally free heart surgery in South India in Anantapur which is the poorest of the poor it was such an oxymoron I thought I should check it out myself and I went to the hospital. I had no clue I was going to see Sai Baba, I went to the hospital and then went to see Sai Baba.
Ted Henry: What did you think of the hospital and what did you think of Sai Baba?
Chaudary Voleti: Oh, the hospital is out of this world like it’s come to known now as the Temple of Healing. That’s what it is called. It is not just called a hospital and the reason it is called a temple of healing is the emphasis is on not just the physical ailment. Its emphasis is on the correlation of developing both the cure process for the disease, cure process for the soul and the cure process for the mind what we call a total approach to the disease.
Ted Henry: How can the soul be cured?
Chaudary Voleti: The soul can be cured by evolution but the first step in that evolution is to realize that we all have a soul and then your second question about what do I think of Sai Baba. In the beginning I had no idea who he was and then you know introspection and my own evolution and I think my own spiritual upbringing made me realize that he is a God’s man and then more evolution realized he is an avatar in to this world at the right time to make human beings better people, a Christian a better Christian, a Hindu a better Hindu, a Moslem a better Moslem
Ted Henry: and for those totally uninitiated to the name to the form don’t even know what an avatar is how do you convey to somebody who is perhaps eager to know but innocently ignorant of what an avatar is, what it can possibly mean, to be a God Man, could be an incarnation of God. How can you begin to approach that subject with clarity for those who are uninitiated.
Chaudary Voleti: In a very very simplistic way you see ‘Gita’, we call Gita, it is Bhagvad Gita that’s the quintessence of the Indian philosophy and when it was written,, we know it was written by Vyasa and it was written an extra five thousand years ago and that is basically the guide for anybody’s life. It doesn’t have to be a Hindu. You know Max Mueller is probably one of the earliest westerners to realize the significance of the Bhagvad Gita and its all the essence of vedas and even Einstein’s study was lined with your vedas and Bhagvad Gita and in there it is very explicitly said that when times become worse, when evil dominates good then God will appear in a human form to restore Dharma or Righteousness. So that concept is there not alien at least to the eastern society and so it’s very easy for me to comprehend very quickly that Sai Baba is an avatar for that explicit purpose.
Ted Henry: and is Sai Baba and the answer to this for everyone right now, or is he for those who are seeking him out? You shared with me three and half years ago that you would have a medical team you would take from Los Angeles to Super specialty hospital would include if I remember correctly a Christian a Jew, I think may be a Buddhist. They had no idea who Sai Baba was but they were interested in doing this work. Do you find that people hearing his name and learning a little bit about him automatically open up to greater enquiry or is he not for everyone right now?
Chaudary Voleti: He is for everyone but the only qualification I will make for the statement is he is for everyone at the right time.
Ted Henry: So those who travel to even Puttaparthi in India and see him and receive his darshan it may not be their right time to know more about him than just what they heard or seen.
Chaudary Voleti: Absolutely not, they can see him but it will not reflect in their what we call as discriminatory intelligence and I will tell you a very quick example of this thing because you know one day Sai Baba himself was asking three seven year olds where do they come from? The first one said I come from Bombay city, the second one told I come from Calcutta city and the third one said Swami I come from your holy feet. So these two, all three had the same education, same background and same everything but the third guy was already able to realize what the secret of life is. So you could go to Puttaparthi but your mind may still be the same when you come back.
Ted Henry: You exercise your powers of discrimination and discernment rather quickly if memory serves me correctly about your discovery of Sai Baba. Three and half years ago when I talked to you, you like Sai Baba, you followed Sai Baba, you were devoting your life to Sai Baba. How have things changed? How have times changed and how has Choudary Voleti changed in your relationship with Sai Baba today?
Chaudary Voleti: You know it’s very interesting because you know it’s a gradual progression and how fast you progress does not depend on what’s happening in this time span alone. The reason I say that is one day one of a very intellectual person with Swami who happens to be an ex vice chancellor you know asked Swami and he said, ‘Swami we must have done something very good in this life to come this close to you’, and he said, ‘No, in the past hundred lives you must have done something good to come this close to me the same way easiest analogy to give is there is a guy who come and hits a stone 19 times but it doesn’t break and a guy comes and hits the twentieth time and the stone breaks. So, the stone broke because of the effect of the first nineteen strokes but the twentieth stroke does not know that. So in that way do I evolve every day? Yes, I evolve every day and if you want me to very quickly to answer me. My goal in the beginning was just to realize you now bliss which is the ultimate happiness in life which is to know yourself. I think now I have gone one step further and I strongly believe the aim of this life is not to be born again and so what do I want now is to be a merger in his feet and that will be the end of my ….
Ted Henry: Life cycle…As I like to say sometimes we are all still fully humans though in your fully human dimension on days that are grey, you feel out of sync, you have had nightmares from somewhere and your consciousness is altered do you ever have any doubts about Baba and do you ever find yourself with misgivings about where you are on your spiritual path.
Chaudary Voleti: Yes, always unfortunately always and that to me, the way I resolve that issue is in a couple of ways, that’s my own way of developing it. One way I resolve it is, ‘It is a part of evolution, you have to go through these ups and downs, it is not a steady progress, never a steady progress. Number two that I get over with it is that what we call illusion or maya is nothing but his own other aspect of it, that he is putting through the mill, putting through the test, putting through, o what do I do in those days? I just take it easy and I know I do get depressed, yes and I am not happy all the time but the thing that gets me out of that mood is ‘Namasmarana’, thinking of him.
Ted Henry: and explain Namasmarana.
Chaudary Voleti: Namasmarana is just think of his name or any favourite of yours. You can say jesus Christ you know that’s all what it is or Rama, Krishna, Sai Rama, Sai Krishna, Buddha, Jesus like I said so like that. What I have done, the other which is very interesting that I have done is making him as a second….how should I explain it almost becomes as a second sense for me in the sense that I may be doing whatever I am doing but he is in the back of my mind all the time. Really he is there ll the time. So, if I get up in the middle of the night and I cannot go to sleep I will keep up thinking of either something that I had very pleasant with him or just say Sai ram, Sai Ram.
Ted Henry: We are in Cleveland Ohio and we have invited number of guests to not only listen to you but ask questions and I have some of their questions and one I read now is because it is on this very topic. Can you speak about depression as you have been and what does Sai Baba say about treatment for depression?
Chaudary Voleti: You know he is very specific which I do even agree as a physician 90% of the diseases today are caused by physicians.
Ted Henry: Physicians?
Chaudary Voleti: Yes, you know actually the number of cases of Blood pressure went up after the BP machine came into existence. Yes, it is really simple, simple, very simple. It is a very simplistic way of putting at it. Yes, 90% of the diseases are created by….You know I’ll tell you one…..the man could be dying and Swami would go and say, ‘You are going to be fine’, and everybody will say you know this man is a cheat, calls himself a God man whatever you want to call, everybody knows he is dying and he is telling him you are fine. But, that is a very superficial way of looking at it. What Swami tells us…when I say swami tells us is I am telling you what Swami tells us is the Atma has no death. His physical body is going to go but his Atma is going to be okay. He is going to continue long. So when he says you are going to be fine there are two things that are going to happen then. Yes, he is going to die for sure, the atma is never going to die so swami is not lying and number two, the man is going to die with a smile on his face. So first thing he tells physicians is you take a pulse, don’t tell the patient right away ‘My goodness your pulse is very weak and the guy will obviously feel weak the very next minute even if he came healthy. See, this is basically what we call as Biofeedback and we are calling it a science now but from the day I knew Swami, Swami was telling me, ‘No, do not depress the patient though he has an incurable disease; don’t tell him he has an incurable disease. You are not telling him a lie because who are you to tell him it is incurable because medical history is full of this incurable diseases cured within five days or within five months. It is incurable in my perception as a doctor with my limited knowledge which is not true. For now science has realised it and they are now setting up double blind studies on all or most of the major centres to see what actually this biofeedback does to a person. So people who are going to have angiograms, angioplasties, they are divided into separate halves. One half do praying actually do pray before the tests and the other half do not pray. Preliminary studies have already come through that the ones who pray, believe, do very well. So how did this change in my very own life. When I see a patient, you know I tell him, this is your problem, I will not lie to him, but this your problem but there is cure for your problem within my limits and what happens from now on is between you and the man upstairs and I will do my best and then between you and us and we hope and we will all pray that you are going to do very well and you know in the western society I thought that people are going to laugh at me no, everybody, everybody they loved it so much and they say, ‘Oh, this man speaks the truth, you know this is what I wanted to hear. I did not to want to hear him say Oh, I am the doctor, I am going to make you better, you are going to be fine tomorrow or something like that. No, you just tell him the truth. You will try your best which is what our medical knowledge and our own as a human being we want to do and number two we also know our own limitations there is never anything that a doctor does is 100%. That is the first thing we need to know but we ignore it. Number three patients do know more than we give them credit for. These things are not taught in medical school unfortunately. If Baba had a medical school he would teach you all these things.
Ted Henry: Since you are talking about health; let’s talk about the health of Sai Baba. You delighted me three and half years ago with your stories of I believe when talking to an ophthalmologist who discerned that he had the eyes of a teenager, the blood vessels of a teenager. Yourself you have noticed that his weight was not changing over the years, that he would eat very little or sleep practically not at all. Tell us then with your close proximity to Baba how you appraise, how you apprise him today. How healthy is he? How old is his body?
Chaudary Voleti: His body is still 76 years old, it is 76 years old but especially the last three months I have been around I have spent a little bit more time. The last time I spent this close was the week I spent in Kodaikanal. The last three month I have been with him. He is 76 yrs. old, physically he is still 76 yrs. old but his faculties are not a 76 yrs. old man. He can still read the smallest print that’s in front of him without glasses, without any aids at all and he is still eats the same 300 calories that I have seen him eat the seven days that I was with him and he is still you know…..I will tell you a very simple example which is the most amazing example I can give. So, one day this happened about 2, 2 and half years ago, we were all sitting and the most uncomfortable I get in front of him is if he makes me sit on a sofa in front of him, sometimes we do because either we are looking at something together or something like that. So me and the Cardiac anaesthesiologist were sitting on one sofa and Swami was sitting in front of us and we were looking at the map and everything was done. We were ready to get up. So we like idiots give our hands to Swami to get up and it all happens within a fraction of a minute, he said, ‘No, these hands are for you,’ and before we realized he was up and he pulled us both of us up, okay that’s one, number two just recently only you know I don’t know how many break a coconut here. It’s almost impossible to break a coconut. You would do that, with a stick, he with his bear hands he will take a coconut in each hand and hit them together and it breaks in the middle, and he will keep on doing it. He did it twenty five of them just for Sivarathri.
Ted Henry: that’s a lot of force!
Chaudary Voleti: and then the thing he makes it totally clear is that that force has absolutely nothing to do with his divine power. No, he said this is a typical example of mind over body because he has told us repeatedly and repeatedly that the so called powers or whatever he has is for others but not for his physical body. He says you and I can also do that if we believe in ourselves as strongly as he believes in his own body. He says we can do that too except you guys don’t believe in your own body and in your own innate strength.
Ted Henry: You know the Sai Baba who is strong enough to break coconuts, you know the Sai Baba who is capable of chastising you, you know the Sai Baba who is capble of being like your mother, which is the Sai Baba you know the most?
Chaudary Voleti: CV: The Sai Baba like my mother.
Ted Henry: What does he say to you?
Chaudary Voleti: That’s the love, that’s the love you get from him. His…its difficult because its that’s the same thing happens to me like I said when I go through periods of depression like I said….I am not going to make a big issue of being depressed…..don’t call me…. We all go through that….we all wake up somedays and that…so all I have to do is sit back a little bit. I do a little bit of meditation and concentrate on him and meditate and then you know I get up and I am you know fine, walking around and then like this. I am very happy right now. Why I am so happy because I am talking about my mother and my father and everything that’s something to me is him. That’s what he is.
Ted Henry: there is another question from the people here…What is the most profound thing that has happened in Baba’s presence to you?
Chaudary Voleti: See it’s very difficult to give a single incident. I will answer it in two sections. One way is the imperceptible changes that keep on happening in you that s what I called the other day evolution. You try to become a better person, a better person as time goes by but the other thing that has happened is sometimes you interact with him and then a whole new world opens up for you. A whole new world opens up for you and that’s a world that to me is real, not this where we are…for example take desires, all of us have desires, its human tendency to have desires. Swami never says do not have desires but have what you call Satwik desires, you know pious desires yes you must have a desire to help your neighbour. If you don’t have a desire to help your neighbour you are not going to help your neighbour. You must have a desire to have good thoughts otherwise you are not going to have good thoughts. So at the same time, you cannot not have desires at all So what the idea about these desires is you put a ceiling on the desires. That’s the most important thing. How do you put a desire on the ceiling? You put desires on the ceiling in two ways number one, like I said earlier make them Satwik desires, number two try to reduce them slowly. If you have six cars today, next day try to have five cars. You can’t have no car next day.
Ted Henry: I remind people to get their questions to me. We have a person who wants to know I have heard that Swami says it is not yet his time what do you know about that?
Chaudary Voleti: It’s not saying it’s not his time. No, when he is saying it is not his time it is saying it’s not our time yet. You see when he is….you know there are certain things you cannot take on face value what Swami says. I think that’s where again your own perception of what he is telling. He may tell the same thing to three different people and three different people will come out with three different answers you know totally. Oh, this is what exactly Swami said I heard and the other guy will say….Why do three people interpret in three different ways that’s again depending on their own evolution, their own discriminative innate intelligence and their own state of you know where they stand that day.
Ted Henry: Swami has two super specialty hospitals, here in America we might call them tertiary hospitals…
Chaudary Voleti: Yes, tertiary care centres.
Ted Henry: You are intimate with both of them having worked at both, having watched both be built. What can you tell us about why he creates such mammoth projects, if he is going to create more specialty hospitals?
Chaudary Voleti: Now, you see there again is something that most people…..and when I say these are my opinions …have to go along that. The way I perceive Swami is, Swami is not here to cure the whole world. He wants to drop a stone in a calm lake and you see ripples go by. So whatever Swami is doing he expects others to pick it up and do it all over the world. He is not going to build a hospital in New York nor build a hospital in Argentina, not build a hospital in Mexico, not even build one hospital in Bombay either. The reason he build it in Puttaparthi and the reason he built it in Bangalore is to say that I am one person, this is a one man show and I could build this 300,000 square ft. hospital within one year but the only difference between how he builds and everybody else builds is he will tell you the say of completion before the day of beginning, that’s the difference here.
Ted Henry: and it’s usually within a year….
Chaudary Voleti: Yes, the general…so he will tell you January 22nd 1991 the hospital will be functioning when he is talking on January 23rd 1990. Same thing happened you know when he spoke about this in 1999 the end of it that in 2001 January 19th this hospital will open yes, it opened. So that’s the only place where you get the opening date before anybody even knows the project is beginning.
Ted Henry: TH Swami, Sai Baba has inspired people to help bring these hospitals about in the deadline time frame he said, same with the service for education opportunities, same with the water projects. That so much is done, if you have a chance to visit India and see with your own eyes all these projects. Do you have any idea why it can’t be done elsewhere even by people who have never heard of Sai Baba’s name. Can these serve as a model to replicate similar services for humanity in other places around the world?
Chaudary Voleti: I think this basically is the aim of Swami. See, the other day he was very clear that this is the ….this is what I said when you said How do you evolve, because I hear different things and the other day Swami was…and I keep saying Swami and when I say Swami its Sai Baba first let me make that clear. What he was telling is that God is a facilitator. He picks the right people to do the right things; rarely he does anything by himself. You see that’s exactly that is happening here. Anybody can do this. People have started doing this now.
Ted Henry: Where does the money come from?
Chaudary Voleti: Oh It comes from people who unasked give money. I will give you another simple example. Don’t worry about the money. I was there for his …in 1996….yeah for his 75th birthday, nobody asked anybody there was never an invitation to anybody there were one and a half million people. Nobody invited them. They all came. Nobody asks from anybody anything. So, people know….this idea is coming in this country also. If you see people who want to give to charity they are telling don’t give this to ‘X’ charity because 95 cents of your dollar is given for administrative work, only five cents is going for real charity. But everybody knows that has anything to do with this organization you give a dollar all 100 cents go for work there, there is no administrative responsibilities. Like Swami says that I don’t have a secretary because I don’t have any secrets. It is an open book there, there are no secrets. That is why people who have no clue who Swami is will one day realise that I want this money to go this person apparently I heard he is doing such great things, I am going to give him this money.
Ted Henry: We have many questions…let’s play a game… I will go through as many questions as I can and you will go through your answers as quickly as you can and we will see if we have covered all the bases. Okay? Swami has these mammoth serving these various avenues of Social care Medicare and Educare. How can we participate in these projects and how can we benefit from these initiatives?
Chaudary Voleti: Okay, how you can participate in it is very simple, do the best you can. You don’t have to do it in Swami’s institution. No, that’s one thing… I will tell you a typical example. I was so upset that I could only get to work for two weeks in his hospital and the other fifty weeks I am working in America he said, ‘Don’t ever have that feeling, wherever you are working, you are working for people they are the same people. Whether you work in my hospital or you work in Los Angeles people are the same’. So when you want to do service, he is not saying come and do service to my project, No! Do what you can do in your neighbourhood.
Ted Henry: Tell us about Sai Baba’s some details of his 900 crore…water project. Is it for Puttaparthi only? Will it control floods and droughts?
Chaudary Voleti: No, no, this water project that he has started now is for Madras city. See, Madras city has a population of let me guess….
Ted Henry: ten million?
Chaudary Voleti: Just a little in excess of ten million and unfortunately more than 50% of them in that city do not have drinking water.
Ted Henry: 5 million people don’t have drinking water in one city?
Chaudary Voleti: Drinking water… not water to take a bath, not water to flush your toilet, drinking water cooking water and how it is supplied is by people making whole lot of money by delivering truckloads of water and making money out of it and then they drink any possible amount of water that they could drink anywhere from any source and that makes disease rampant and the government has been trying and could not do anything for the last umpteen number of years and then finally Swami realized that if anybody has to do this for these people you know he is the one who is going to do that. So that’s how on January 19th he announced that he has this 900 crore for people who are listening 900 crore comes to little over 230 – 240 million dollars but the thing with Swami is this, that’s the starting point. You see when he started this water project in Puttaparthi he said it was 70 crores which is about 20 million it ended up as 270 crores, which is 90 million. This he is starting at 230 million God knows where it is going to end up because you know this escalates and that’s what he wants to do.
Ted Henry: You said the Super specialty hospitals are healing temples providing a care for the soul as well as the body and mind. Is there a specific treatment for the soul, Spiritual healing? And number 2 is there a place for energy healers, vibrational healers to volunteer at the super specialty hospitals.
Chaudary Voleti: Yeah like I said earlier the first concept that Swami always said was you to treat the person as a person and not the disease as a disease entity. The thing we have in this country is that every disease has a code so you go by a code, you don’t go by a person you go by a code. You know he is code no so and so and so. That’s what the disease is but in his hospital it is not that way. So somebody, even very very smart very successful doctors ask me, ‘Oh, why does Swami waste so much space in this hospital when you walk in, he could use it for a lab, he could use it…..’ and I tell them ‘Listen buddy, there is enough room for the lab, this space here is so that the patient starts realizing looking inside, how he was sick, how he got better, how he could be a better person and invariably if you talk to any one of them walking out of that hospital after they are cured they will tell you I am a totally different person’. Here I will give you one example which will sum it up totally. There is this guy, the poorest of the poor is a truck driver his daughter had a hole in her heart and he brought her all the way from about a 1000 – 1500 miles so everything went very well. The he realised what can I give to Swami what can I give to this place, he has no resources, he couldn’t do anything. You know what he did, he said from this day onwards I am going to stop smoking and I am going to stop eating meat. That’s what I am going to do and he did it from that day onwards.
Ted Henry: This person has four quick questions; they are all on the same theme so I will just ask them. Does Sai Baba call certain people only to him such as yourself, how does he do this if he calls certain souls. Does he manifest in order to revel himself to us. Is he encouraging us to develop the divinity within ourselves?
Chaudary Voleti: Yes, the last part of the question is absolutely true. He is trying to …..see, in olden days the idea was you have to kill somebody to get rid of evil. That’s not what it is today. You can’t go on killing people. Like Gandhi said, ‘If you take one eye for an eye, there will be whole lot of blind people in this world.’ That’s not what the idea is. The idea about Swami is to make a person a better person. So to improve you as you know better person I think that is what his main aim is.
Ted Henry: and why does it seem to call just special people…
Chaudary Voleti: yeah, I am coming to that So why does he call certain people like I said earlier you know all of us have a role to play in this that destiny is already decided. It is already decided, we have and then what he does is I think what he does is depending on who he needs at what particular time point he brings them to himself so that they can do what they have to do. The rest of the people… there are so many good people in this country that go out and do good things. When I was chosen I felt that I should go there and do something at that moment because he needed somebody to put the program back on track. That’s the only way I can look. That’s what people tell me, ‘Sir you came here to put us back on track’, that’s all I did. I didn’t do anything. So I asked him the same question one day, ‘Why why me…what’s going on with this?’ He says, ‘Don’t you know the surgeon is only as good as his instruments’, so, he picks up instruments and he uses them at the right minute and you know if you have an orchestra, if everybody plays at the same time its chaos. Orchestra is when everybody plays in his turn and the conductor decides whose turn comes when and Baba is the conductor.
Ted Henry: Question about working…doing Baba’s work helping humanity and deriving a livelihood from it which people need. For those of us who earn our living teaching and doing healing work, Swami says, Education, health care should be freely available, fully available to all. How do we do this? How do we earn our living?
Chaudary Voleti: Okay, No Swami never said to anybody don’t earn. He says but earn in a Dharmic way. Earn in a right way. Earn but don’t earn more than what you need. How do you know what? He gives again a simple example. If your shoe is size 9 you cannot wear 11, you cannot wear 7 one is too big, one is too small. That is where again the discriminative capacity come. You earn enough that’s for you. Don’t earn too much so that you don’t know what you are do and then you automatically become a breeding house for bad habits. Don’t earn too little. If your potential is there to earn more earn enough. And that way you are earning but earn in a dharmic way. That’s what you have to do you know earn in a dharmic way and then you do service. You are a teacher, be a better teacher, you are an engineer be a better engineer. You are a doctor, be a better doctor. Have compassion. See for example I can talk to you only about doctors, I can’t tell you how to become a better teacher but you are a doctor what he is trying to tell us is, ‘Don’t put money ahead of the patient’, number two treat them as human beings and number three have compassion, have real compassion. You may not treat everybody but have compassion like he says very simply which is something, ‘ you cannot oblige everybody but speak obligingly’, you cannot change the face God has given you but you can change the face the expression that god has given on your face. SO you find the patient, you are laughing, you are a little jovial, you are encouraging when you talk to the patient he walks out of the office in a much better frame but the other person with a sour face you know he may tell the same thing but the guy is going to walk out, ‘O My goodness, what is going to happen to me. So that’s how every one of us must do our profession but that is where… I will digress just a little bit. The reason for this is, this is what we call as karmic tendencies, that’s our karma, that’s our duty to do. If you do the duty properly, how do you know that you are doing properly is you ask yourself the question, what I am doing is it going to hurt somebody. That’s the first question you ask yourself. Is it going to hurt somebody? And how do you know it’s going to hurt somebody or not? We come back to again by being a better person so this is a vicious cycle. You can go down the vicious cycle because you have no clue what you are doing. You keep on doing, doing doing because Ted has a 5000 house I must have a 7500 sq. ft. house. How do I do it doesn’t matter I am going to do it.
Ted Henry: I don’t have a 5000 sq. ft house.
Chaudary Voleti: I am just …..
Ted Henry: people here some of them may wonder why I turned to you as Chaudhary as an authority on Sai Baba. You have had many face to face meetings with Baba. How many approximately have you had?
Chaudary Voleti: first of all I am not an authority on Sai Baba because that is you have to qualify that statement. In my limited exposure to him, I don’t think anybody can ever understand him and it’s a mistake to understand him. It’s a mistake to analyse him. It’s a mistake to interpret him. The ideal way to do is to accept him.
Ted Henry: Now then let’s talk about the facts of Sai Baba, How many meetings have you had with him?
Chaudary Voleti: Can’t count.
Ted Henry: because you have had so many
Chaudary Voleti: yes.
Ted Henry: Has he ever told you anything specifically that you didn’t like? That you found difficult.
Chaudary Voleti: Oh, yes, oh yes!
Ted Henry: and without going in to details about personal matters how have you come to reconcile with difficult information coming to you from Baba
Chaudary Voleti: Oh, I know right away you see very simple, I will tell you the last example, which is much easy. You know I don’t have to actively do surgery any more but I still wanted to be a part of the hospital, still want to help the director in his job in the morning, the CEO run his job in the morning, the financial officer run his job…because I have so much experience in running hospitals her and then go to the operating room you now guide them a little bit. In the evening sit with the cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and review all the patients and have a game plan for next day. That was my passion I wanted to do that and I bought a ticket to come here on the 17th of April with a return ticket on 29th so he calls me in to the interview room and says yes, you are leaving on the 17th but you are not coming back on 19th, ‘Swami, I want to come serve the hospital,’ Don’t worry about the hospital I will take care of the hospital you have this responsibility, you have this responsibility, you have to finish them, less luggage more comfort, you have to finish them. So, I didn’t like it but I would not question, I would not question because he is reminding me my personal obligations, yes, that’s where again he will tell you, he will never going to tell anybody, drop what you are doing, come do my work. No, you can do his work here.
Ted Henry: he has made many trinkets for you large and small, some quite valuable. After receiving so much favour from Sai Baba so many wonderful items that he has materialized for you a) How does he materialize these? b) What attachment do you associate with these items now that you like Baba so well?
Chaudary Voleti: See, I think the items that he materializes it sometimes looks like there is a message for every one of them. I will tell you one interesting example and so one day we were all sitting there I will tell you two examples…..the first example I will tell you which is very interesting. We were all sitting there and so he suddenly materialised you know a very beautiful bracelet for me it’s really amazing, everybody asks me what this is. You know and its very unique, it’s a very unique bracelet and I am sitting right in front. You know when I go there I just sit at his feet so there is no trickery there is nothing there. He wears a robe, you can pull it up and there is nothing in there and he just goes like this and you can see a small kind of a spark and this come out. He is putting around my wrist and all the women in the room and they says ah, Ah! And he asks, ‘What happened?’ and they say design swami. And he says, ‘no, not design, desire’. You see he is just telling that so why and then this materialising process in my mind you see its all matter, it’s all matter. What form of matter is where when how, so he can materialise any matter into any matter. I have seen it happen you know umpteen number of times. I can go on and on and on and on. So he can physically create things, that is all it is about. How did it come out of his hand? It just came out of you know his hand, I have seen only the other day the ring that my brother was wearing had a white stone in it so he took it back and said, ‘I know you don’t like white stones’, because my brother came back to me and said, ‘he gave me a white stone, you know I like green stones’, so he did it okay, he took it back and put it inside his hand and all he did was blew on it and took it out and there was a green stone can second incident which is I am sure some of you heard it its nice, you don’t mind hearing it again that’s my ….the reason is this its very simple is we were sitting in the interview room one day and he suddenly asks these question that all of us a sudden boggle you, he said, ‘ Oh, you are a surgeon’? Swami you know that why are you asking I said. How come you are wearing a ring on your finger? I said you know this is Lord Balaji which is Narayana Balaji it’s all about the same. Lord Balaji Swami, I am wearing this. ‘Lord Balaji is your favourite God isn’t it? ’ I said, ‘No Swami you and Balaji are the same I never make any difference out of both of this things’. But then he says you have to clean your hands, you have to scrub, put the gloves on then what do you do with this? and I said, ‘ I have to be very careful swami, I have to take it out and put it in my scrub jacket inside and make sure as soon I finish the surgery take the gloves off and the first thing I do is I reach into from my pocket and put it back on again. Oh, does that how you serve. Just a conversation, just a simple conversation, I thought that was all it was. So he started talking to other people and you know some time goes by and then suddenly he looks at me and says you know Take your spectacle off. You know we call glasses and he calls spectacles. That’s one thing I do now, I am serious when I say this. He tells me to do something and I will do it seriously. I will do it because I am totally convinced in my mind that it’s for my good. That minute I may not think it’s for my good but I know it’s for my good. That’s why I cancelled my return ticket. So, he said take your glasses off and I took my glasses off and again same way you know he was going around like that and I know nothing is there because he has already done many things. Opened his hand and gave vibhuti to people and things like that and he has only a robe nothing else. Then all of a sudden this beautiful pendant comes out of his hand, you know the chain comes out of his hand and then there is a pendant at the end of this chain which is exactly the same replica of this ring you know the same replica of this ring and the he puts it around my neck and says you know you don’t have to worry about losing now. It will always be there and you don’t have to worry about taking it off so you see this is ….when you say this you get a perspective that there is a rationality behind….he doesn’t just give it to show off. Well he does it sometimes, for example I will give you one other really interesting example. I have a cardiac anaesthesiologist who goes with me and he materialised like this a ring with Shirdi Baba and I know this guy has no clue who Shirdi Baba is and he is all Sai Baba devotee and then he gave it to him and he was looking, he said that’s not for you, that’s for your wife because your wife only believes in Shirdi Sai which is totally true when we came out and I checked he said ‘yes my wife doesn’t believe much in Swami, she only believes in Shirdi Sai baba’ and it fit her ring finger perfectly.
Ted Henry: Several quick answers to several quick questions. Sai Baba’s hospitals are doing a great service but does Sai Baba take any medication himself?
Chaudary Voleti: So far he has not taken any medication that I know of and there is no….not even vitamins. The other day specifically he told us all that day have been my own mistake. I found some nice….you know sometimes we do things which are….I found some ….i haven’t told this to anybody but I will tell you this like a stupid….anyway…I found some nice creams which has vitamin E Aloe and everything so I left some for him in his quarters, next day the speech was Avatars Divinity we don’t need vitamins.
Ted Henry: Next question I asked you before, I ask you again. Who is Sai Baba?
Chaudary Voleti: I think Sai Baba is I would say depending on... He is like a mirror you see in him what you want to see and I see in him an avatar come here to make our life better, more purposeful, more goal oriented and make the whole world a better place for everybody. Not just in India, not just in Andhra Pradesh.
Ted Henry: What do you say to newcomers who don’t understand Sai Baba the way you do and who are quick to judge him in a negative context, spread stories about him, say he is something that he is not, align with some perhaps misdirected spiritual groups around the world might be. Do you worry about defending him and if so how do you?
Chaudary Voleti: I never defend Sai Baba. He doesn’t need my defence. He really doesn’t need my defence. I will never even think of defending him and also I can extend it to the next step. He never believes in defending himself. He told many times you be to ignore them. Ignore them, that’s what it is and my advice to people is do not judge him quickly. Do not judge because you cannot judge him but if you want you want a second opinion I mean I have been in practice for so long. Well, people come they think you are a very good doctor. I know they are telling me that. Most of them do mean it some of them don’t but still they tell me you are a very good doctor but I want a second opinion. I tell them a very simple thing I say that you are entitled; you should get a second opinion but don’t go to the corner drugstore and get the second opinion from the pharmacist. Go to another fully trained board certified cardiac surgeon and get a second opinion. I hope it answer the question.
Ted Henry: it does. How does one go about volunteering at the super specialty hospitals. What is the process or procedure involved?
Chaudary Voleti: See volunteering there ….see the volunteering there has very limited opportunities because you can volunteer one of two ways, as a professional in the hospital or as what we call as sevadal. To volunteer as a sevadal is not open for everybody as their slots are filled way many many many times. To volunteer as a professional, if you are in any of these professions yes, you can go and volunteer.
Ted Henry: We have just a couple of minutes left on the video tape can you share with us one most overwhelming clinical miracle you were a part of or a witness to.
Chaudary Voleti: Oh, the simplest I will tell you. Okay, you want a very short one or a long one?
Ted Henry: I want both of those.
Chaudary Voleti: Very short one I will tell you. The shortest one I will tell you this is amazing. Every Sunday he will come and say how many operations? And we will say, ‘Today is Sunday we don’t operate okay fine. Just last week I was there he comes you know on a Monday and says how many operations did you do yesterday? I said, ‘Swami yesterday was a Sunday we didn’t do any’, No, no, you can operate on Sundays and then walked away. What’s he saying you can operate on a Sunday and walks away because they don’t tell me everything that goes on. Then I found out they had an emergency that they did the night before.
Chaudary Voleti: At the hospital. So how does he know? So he knows that’s what is….the long miracle?
Chaudary Voleti: the long miracle is I tell you…. there is this guy fit as a fiddle. 52 yr old guy fit as a fiddle and retired and wanted to work and spend all his time with swami because his son is very close to Swami. He doesn’t know much about Swami but his son is very close to Swami in his school so he wanted to come and spend. So he goes to Swami and says, ‘Swami I want to come and only be with you and do work and work’, he says, ‘Go take care of your health’, he says, ‘Swami my health is fine I am very healthy, a vegetarian there is nothing wrong with me.’ No, no, no take care of your health. So he said may be I have some ear problem so may be discharging ear so maybe I should go see an ear specialist and take care of it. So he goes to the ear specialist and he says you need some minor surgery to take care of this ear discharge but just because you are 52 I think it’s better if you get some heart tests done. So he says okay, that’s really routine above 50 yrs. we need to do that. So sure enough they put him on a treadmill and he flunks it right away and they say Oh my goodness you flunked so fast we have to do an angiogram right away. And then they found very critical blockages in all his coronary arteries, all his coronary arteries and they said you got to have the operation right away which is you know I would have done the same thing too. Right away means today or tomorrow. So he calls his son and his son says, ‘Don’t worry you come right over here and we will do that’ so the guy takes the next train and comes to our Puttaparthi and sure enough at that time it so happens I was there and our cardiologist, the guy got admitted and Swami fixed the date to have surgery done and he had his surgery done and then the surgery was done two days before Shivarathri. Exactly two days, 48 hours before Shivarathri and in Shivaratri discourse and in the morning Swami comes to me and says ‘why don’t you bring the patient here. I said ‘What patient Swami?’ the only one you did two days ago. I said it’s just two days ago’, he says, ‘No, no, no bring him here because ….I said what’s he asking me to bring the patient to…even we do that,…48 hrs.….even here we send them home after but not over there where people stay for weeks. I go there and ask him why Swami wants you to come there? So he said, ‘Oh, he heard my prayers’, I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ Whole night I was praying I want to see you today, Shivaratri, I want to see you today, I want to see you today, he heard my prayers and so we checked him up, everything is fine so I come back to the Shanti Bhavan and then there is a message from Swami’s right hand person, Chiranjeevi Rao, this is the human side of Swami that you would never never experience and you don’t want to experience, believe me. So Chiranjeevi Rao is on the phone, then I knew there is something trouble. I said what do you want Mr. Rao?’ Swami wants you to give him 100% guarantee that this person is going to be alright when you bring him and take him back to the hospital’, So I knew this already, I have gone through this before so I am not going to fall for it so I said, ‘Go tell Swami I will give him 150% guarantee, see what am I doing? I am doing nothing. I am just an instrument; he is doing everything kind of a thing, so it went very well. He came in he saw everything, he had his chair, he had his car ready, everything worked on the dot. He had his car ready for us. We went out brought him in. As I was walking in I couldn’t believe it, nobody ever even saw anything the first speaker finished the second guy was about to start I don’t know where he came from, Swami told him wait the next thing we know Swami turned around and walks straight to us.
Ted Henry: We have less than a minute. Chaudary thank you very much. I will give you one last crack to answer this question for the third time in thirty seconds. Who is Sai Baba?
Chaudary Voleti: Like I said, Sai Baba I think is a …..In my mind I am very clear he is an avatar. He is basically an avatar come in this right time where the world is so turbulent, so full of unrest. He is going to establish rest and peace and love.