57. The Event - June 7, 1993

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(Note in 2012: I describe exactly what I saw that night, as well as talk, rumors and newspaper articles which guessed at the events within the Mandir and the motives. I have no way of knowing what exactly happened inside and why. However, I know for certain what I saw first-hand happening surrounding the Mandir and compound that night.)

The Event

June 7, 1993

Prasanthi Nilayam

Dear Parents,

Yesterday night at 10 PM, when I was meditating, I heard a siren go off. Later we learned that Swami Himself had put it on. Amma's granddaughter Neeraja ran outside to see what it was, then came in and was shouting at Amma and me, to come and see. Soon there were loud noises of shouting and banging. We saw a horrific sight: thousands of people (who had also heard the siron and came running, fearing Swami was in danger) jumping into Swami’s Mandir compound, grabbing chairs, shouting and surrounding the Mandir! (All gents, the ladies stood at a distance, outside the compound wall.) Someone had gotten into Swami’s house to kill Him, they said! Amma was very upset, her granddaughter Neeraja was rushing about trying to get more information, the elder kid Vijai Sri was frightened but demanding to know exactly what was going on, and the small baby (age 4) slept through the entire thing.

From 10 PM till 3:30 AM we remained outside watching the entire nightmare (Amma’s house looks directly into the compound). Ashram residents, the entire Puttaparthi village, all the students – thousands of people – all clutching sticks and knives, first rushing this side, then that side, trying to locate the culprits. Soon the police came and put on searchlights, and rushed in stationing guns at all the entrances.

When it first started, I couldn’t help my curiosity and I walked down the South Prasanthi stairs outside of Amma's room, and went near the darshan compound wall, directly opposite the top window which we knew as Swami's bedroom. I looked up at the window, to see a man stare out of the top window, look side to side at the crowds outside in a frantic and disturbing manner, then quickly close the shutters to the window, one by one. The look on his face gave me such shivers of fright that I quickly went up the steps to South Prasanthi again, my entire body badly trembling! I did not dare to go down the stairs again the entire night!

Next thing I saw was a blood stained body being carried out and put in a waiting car, then sped off. I later learned this was Swami’s beloved loyal driver, Radhakrishna! He had been serving Swami for over 20 years, always living with Swami in the Mandir, doing seva to Swami and driving Him wherever He went. When Swami returned from Brindavan I saw him come out of the car and go in the Mandir behind Swami. His hair was gray and I noticed this – it was always black before. When I came 9 years ago Radhakrishna was barely 30, I think. I thought, “Ah, he is becoming old with Swami!” He never married but gave his whole life to Swami’s personal seva.

Later we learned the details to this terrible, unbelievable, shocking real-life nightmare. The whole ashram is in a state of shock! Amma was very, very upset and cried a lot.

It seems the event was planned days ago. The culprits were actually former students of Swami’s school! There were, I think, six boys in all who planned to kill Swami. At least three were former students, and two had actually served Swami in the Mandir for some days (so they knew the layout of the whole Mandir).

First the culprits knocked on the kitchen door at 10 PM, and were let in. Vishnu Bhatt (Swami’s kitchen help who stays inside) was attacked and injured with stab wounds but hid himself in the next room, until the confusion died down. Next they went to the driver Radhakrishna (whose room is beside Swami’s room upstairs) and murdered him, the noise alerted Swami they say (who is omniscient but plays the game of hearing and seeing, etc.). Swami sounded the alarm and went across the top verandah to a room at the other end (the old dining room) and He locked the door behind Him. The alarm alerted the entire ashram and outside also, so the thieves were trapped.

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