To indicate that a thing is clear beyond the slightest shadow of doubt, it is described in Sanskrit as “Karathalamalaka”, like the berry in the palm which all can see and none can deny. Proving to the genuine doubters, who doubted the Oneness of the ‘two’ Sais, Bhagawan had at times shown proof, Karathalamalaka proof, as indisputable as the Berry in the Palm! Read an account from Prof N Kasturi.


When Sri Sathya Sai Baba, at the tender age of fourteen was finally brought to Puttaparthi, after months of fruitless treatment by specialists in medicine and magic, devotees flocked around Him and gained His grace, every day, in ever increasing number. Baba was all the while declaring that He was Shirdi Sai Baba and no other; He was distributing to all the Udi He got by a mere wave of His hands; He was inspiring, curing, consoling, strengthening and blessing every one, as He was doing in the previous Shirdi manifestation also. When a few doubters of the continuity and identity between the two Babas approached Him one day, He lifted His palms and holding them up to their faces, said, “Look”. They looked and got Karathalamalaka proof! One palm was a shining picture of Sri Sathya Sai Baba (!) and the other was a shining picture  of Shirdi Sai Baba (!) both equal in size and splendour!

This was long ago at Puttaparthi, with Baba concretely in front of the questioners.  Now, listen to Sri. C. H. of New Delhi, “It was exactly three months ago. I was returning on my cycle from my office in Old Delhi to my residence in New Delhi.  I had been to Puttaparthi only once and I was so fascinated by Baba that I felt eager to visit the place again.  But, I must say that I could not quite understand why a village boy from Andhra should call Himself ‘Baba’ and relate a peculiar story about Himself that He was ‘Shirdi Baba’ in His previous birth. Strangely enough that day, while coming along that road, this doubt was distracting me. Suddenly, I was alerted by some one on cycle who pulled up along side of the road and accosted me thus: “Well, have you finished office?” He was an old but hefty person dressed in white, with a kerchief round his head. I said “Yes,” automatically; He asked me “Then, can you come with me for a few minutes to that tomb over there; I wish to talk to you.”  So, we directed our cycles to that ruined tomb, riding two abreast for a furlong or two. We got down and sat on the grass, with our backs against the wall.

It was the old man who began the conversation. “My friend, you have planned to go  to South… is it not? Do not cancel it or postpone it,” he said. I was astounded. It nearly took my breath away. I thought I must tell him about my doubts, the absurdity of Shirdi Baba being born again etc. So, without further enquiry, I poured out my heart to that old man. He evidently relished my story, for his eyes gleamed and there was a merry laugh hovering around his lips. When I had finished, he stared at me full in the face and holding both his palms spread in front of me, commanded, “Look.” I looked and (would you believe it?) one palm was a portrait of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the other palm was a picture of Shirdi Sai Baba! When I had recovered from the exhilaration, He told me “Do not neglect this great opportunity, my boy.” We both rode back and the old man turned in the direction from which He had come (!) and …… even as I was looking at Him and His cycle…… melted into thin air.”

The same Karathalamalaka proof, eighteen years later! Baba materialising Himself 1500 miles away, to direct the steps of a devotee who was hesitating at the crossroads!  The continuity and the identity are as indisputable as the Berry in the Palm!