Sathya Sai Baba – ‘House Of Miracles’

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sunday Sunday 24 Mar 2002 Durban news
Are these Sai Baba’s footprints?

Devotees and tourists seeking cures for ailments and help with domestic problems have been flocking to a Durban home said to be blessed by the miracles of Sai Baba.

Kay Pillay, 59, owner of the home in Silverglen, Chatsworth, said the miracles began 11 years ago when honey started forming on a framed picture of Sai Baba.

“We knew it was the miracle of Baba, because we heard of it happening elsewhere. Soon we saw ash on the walls, kungu (coloured powder), turmeric powder, holy water, brass statues of deities, sugar candy, dates, prunes, cloves and coloured string representing the different deities,” said Pillay.

He said brass figurines representing deities appeared on auspicious religious days.

“I believe we are highly blessed. This is Baba’s way of asking us to help others,” said Pillay, a former supervisor at a packaging company.

The room where Baba’s miracles are said to take place has been converted into a shrine by the Pillays.

Visitors can see honey dripping across a framed picture of Sai Baba, and two red velvet-covered throne-like chairs with a little stool from which ashen footprints lead to a burning lamp. On the floor are offerings of sweetmeats by devotees.

Sai Baba Footprints In Vibuthi

Pillay said every Wednesday and Saturday Baba’s footprints are washed from the carpet and everything is cleaned. The following day, the powder and footprints reappear.

Dr Thillayvel Naidoo, a former lecturer in the science of religion at the University of Durban-Westville and author of Sai Baba, An Analysis of Documented Manifestation, said it was difficult to explain such phenomena.

“This might be the work of Sai Baba, but this is very difficult to say. He, his disciples and students can make the claim, but at the end who can actually prove it is so? Who can verify all this?

“Nobody comes to spiritual activity by looking at miracles first. I think Sai Baba does this, in part, to attract a few people.”

However, he questioned the significance of the miracles to devotees’ lives.

Naidoo said he had never witnessed any of the manifestations of honey, brass figurines or footprints.

“I will not say it is not true, but equally I do not say it is true. Wherever I’ve been, people have said it happened last night or yesterday. That kind of thing never happens when people are around.

“I will never condemn it, but I have serious doubts about its real value. If it helps people in any way, then let them use that help to their advantage,” he added.

Pillay said people had been sceptical about the miracles in his house, but he denied that he or his family would use honey and ash to create the phenomena.

He said everything materialised by Baba, except the deities, were given to people seeking help.

“A special drink is prepared for people with any ailments by mixing the holy water, turmeric powder, kungu, coconut water, ashes, clove and honey. It will only work if one has faith in Baba.”

Dr Rajen Cooppan, vice-president of the Sathya Sai Central Council of South Africa, said these so-called miracles were specifically intended for a member of a family or people in a family.

“These miracles are the calling cards of Baba, and the substances have a capacity to heal as well as to enable the person to recover from whatever adversities there are in life. They are physical substances being used to strengthen one’s faith. The ashes have the power to influence and heal anyone who has faith in God,” he said.

“The miracles are to strengthen their faith and devotion, but it gets turned into a activity where people are made to come and worship. In the Sai organisation, there are no donations collected whatsoever. Wherever there is money transacted, there is a fake organisation going on.”


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