Dr. Charanjit Ghooi is an ObGyn specialist at the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital in Prasanthi Nilayam, and practices alternative medicine with the blessings of Bhagavan Baba. She has written a number of books on health and spirituality, and travels frequently to the U. S. to lecture on the subject. Here she shares an extraordinary experience.
Sri Sathya Sai State Organization President of Madhya Pradesh (M.P.), Mr. S. K. Sachdeva, telephoned me in March 1987 and told me that a team of doctors and volunteers were arriving from U.K. the following month to conduct a medical camp in my hospital in Bhopal. I was taken aback by this most unexpected news, and I replied: “Sir! I will not be available in Bhopal from March 29 to April 12 because I am going to America to read my research paper in Virginia. My ticket is booked, reservation made in a hotel in Washington and all arrangements completed three months before. It’s a pity that you did not ask me before finalizing the arrangements for this medical camp.”
“Why ask you? It is Swami’s order that the medical camp should be conducted in Ghooi’s hospital in Bhopal,” Mr. Sachdeva fired back. I just let Swami handle the matter. “Oh! If it is Swami’s order, then I have nothing to say. It is not my hospital; it belongs to Swami anyway. Let Him use the hospital whichever way He wants to,” was my response; asked when the group was arriving from U.K. “Tenth April,” replied Mr. Sachdeva.
“Yes sir, they are most welcome,” I said. “The house and hospital will be under your care. I will be going to America on 25th March. At present I am very busy working on my research paper and slides.”
“You go ahead with your work. We will look after everything. Sairam!” Mr. Sachdeva rang off.
I went straight to my prayer room and sat in front of Swami’s photo and prayed, “Swami, the house is at your disposal. Please look after the doctors, the sevadal [volunteers], and the patients.”
My three children, all medical students, were at home with the servant. I wanted them to assist the medical camp in the evening in addition to attending their regular college. The hospital staff was also informed about the medical camp.
I left for America after five days, placing all the burden on Swami. My research paper in Virginia, USA, was very well received. Highlights of my paper were shown on one of the TV channels and published in all the leading newspapers. The subject of my research was: “Bhopal Union Carbide Gas Tragedy—two years after.” I spent a week with my cousins because my flight back was fixed for 12th April. On my return to Bhopal, I was introduced to all on the U.K. team.
I made a complete round of the hospital with the state president and his wife. The whole hospital was well decorated. Old curtains were replaced by new; so were bed sheets and pillow covers. Every room was fully equipped with all kinds of gadgets and necessary items. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the equipment that was available. The sevadal from M.P. were busy taking care of the patients and attending to other hospital work.
I went upstairs to my residence and everything looked so different. The kitchen and living-cum-dinning hall were filled with doctors and sevadal from the U.K. In the evening I noticed that the food served was excellent. My children attended medical college daily and helped in the camp every evening—they had not been disturbed at all.
I went to my prayer room and thanked Swami for the wonderful arrangements. For the next five days I was very busy with the camp doctors who were serving the villagers. During this week alone we had 1,466 outpatients. All the eye operations were done by Dr. Surender Uppadhya, an eye surgeon from the U.K. The hall in the basement was filled with post-operative patients. Altogether 116 eye operations were done.
Food for our U.K. guests was cooked upstairs in my kitchen while the Madhya Pradesh sevadal and the patients got their food from our out-house nurse’s quarters. It was a good medical camp and everyone was very comfortable.
The day before the camp ended, while Dr. Surender Uppadhya (of the UK) and I were discussing how and when we should discharge the operated patients, the night watchman came in and said, “Madam! The big doctor, whose photos are hanging on the wall, came every night at two-o-clock and did his rounds. Only last night I went up to him and asked if I should call the other doctors. He said. ‘No, they are all tired; let them take rest, I am going up,’ and he went toward your residence.”
Dumbfounded, we asked the watchman in unison: “What do you mean? The man in the photo was taking rounds here, in this hospital?” “Yes madam, I have talked to him,” replied the watchman. “O.K., you can go now,”’ I said pointing toward the door.
I told Dr. Uppadhya that the night watchman was no good, and he was probably drinking on duty. “How can Swami come every night to see the patients,” I asked Dr. Uppadhya who concurred with my observation and agreed that the watchman was unfit for the job. He suggested that I remove him from his post as soon as I got a better person.
The camp was closed and the team from the U.K. went to see Swami in Ooty. Swami blessed them with an interview. He gave a pen and paper to Dr. Uppadhya and asked him to write down everything that was discussed in the interview.
“How was the camp’?” Swami enquired.
“Swami, this was one of the most comfortable and best camps we’ve ever had. We felt as if we were in a five-star hotel.”
Swami smiled and said, “No, you were in a multi-star hotel. In a five-star hotel you have to pay for breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner. Here everything was free. Patients and the arrangements were very good. Swami was present all the time to look after you.” Thus, Swami confirmed His omnipresence.
Pointing to a chest physician Swami asked, “Why did you send the old lady for an X-ray? She was so poor and had no money. She went away, and never came back.” Hearing this Dr. Uppadhya was almost in tears. All of them apologized to Swami for the mistake.
“When you go to villages, why do you count multi-vitamin and calcium tablets? People in villages are so poor give them full one month’s supply,” Swami suggested. Here again Swami showed His omnipresence as Mr. Kirit Patel, leader of the U.K. sevadal, had been counting multi-vitamin tablets and giving medicines to patients in the village camp.
“Tuberculosis is still very common in Indian villages. Mobile X-ray units should go to villages, and doctors should treat these villagers door-to-door,” Swami explained in a simple way.
“Why did you remove the sevadal when patients were operated and had their eyes bandaged? How can they see?” Swami asked the doctors. “I had to go there to help them.”
After the interview, Dr. Uppadhya came back to Bhopal and told me the whole story. He also met the night watchman. He asked me not to remove him from his duty. We both went to the village to meet some of the patients operated upon during camp and enquired if anyone had helped them at night when their eyes were covered. “Doctorji, somebody with soft hands used to come and help us,” they replied.
Thus it is evident that whenever a medical camp is held in Swami’s name, He Himself will be there to take care of everyone—the doctors, the volunteers, and the patients.
Editor’s note: The hospital in Bhopal belonged to Dr. Ghooi and she donated it to the Sri Sathya Sai Trust.