A Catholic Priest Meets Sathya Sai Baba

Catholic Priest Meets Sathya Sai Baba

A Catholic Priest Meets Sai Baba
By Don Mario Mazzoleni
Leela Press; April 1, 1994 (November 2000)
285 pages – ISBN: 0962983519

Table of Contents
The Search Begins
From the Paranormal to the Supernatural
In Search of Saints and Masters
The First Steps Toward the Avatar
Another Religion or a Single Faith? Sai Baba and Jesus
The Work of Sai Baba
Man is God
The First and Final Reality
Religion: Devotion to the One God
Schools and Education
Doubt and Inquiry
Anguish and Ecstasy


Many of my friends were alarmed when they learned of my intention to
write a book about Sai Baba. They were aware of my convictions about
this being who is human only in body. With brotherly concern, they
variously advised, begged or beseeched me to publish it under
pseudonym, imagining the unhappy consequences I might encounter from
the ecclesiastical hierarchy.

I asked myself that I should have no fear in saying what my own eyes
have seen. Why should I be afraid to make known what this poor heart
of mine experiences before an extraordinary presence? Should I feel
guilty for what I have discovered during these years, and be afraid
to announce it? Certainly not! On the contrary, I feel quite
fortunate. Necessitas enim mihi incumbit: it is not possible to
resist the impulse of Truth, and woe to me if I should remain

I write this book dedicating it above all to the Church preciously
because I could not let pass, without pointing out to Her who is my
Mother, a piece of news which can no longer remain unknown, hidden
by indifference, fear, or by general confusion. This work is an
undertaking which has made use of me, I would say, only as hired
manual labour: I consider its contents the work of Another. It has
been written above all for my bishop, Pope; and then for all my
fellow bretheren, for my superiors, and for all those who throughout
the centuries try to work in the services of, and in the search for,

Contrary to what those friends of mine fear, I hope – and my heart
is certain of it – that these reflections will sound like a call and
a warning for a greater spiritual re-awakening.

This era – the era of Sathya, the era of truth – is, in my opinion,
a unique moment, which will change the historical and religious
order of nations. Certainly the most extraordinary characteristics
of this study, in an age in which there is so much talk about sects
and religious factions, is that in all the things I have discovered
these years, I have found nothing which would prompt an aversion to
our religion, nothing which would obstruct our faith. On the
contrary! Everything I have meditated on has brought me that much
closer to the mysteries I had been celebrating, often without
knowing them thoroughly. And it is precisely to Sathya Sai Baba that
I owe the renewal of my life as a priest!

In short, my hope is this: that the same thing might happen for many
of my fellow bretheren, whom I have found tired, strained and

I am grateful to all those who have offered me precious suggestions,
in particular to Professor Pierantonio Di Coste, who encouraged and
supported the drafting of this book.

I place this book at the feet of Him who inspired it – the only
begotten son of yesterday, of today, and of always, the immutable
Truth – in the hope that this fruit which He alone has the right to
gather will be pleasing to Him and that He will accept it as an
offering for His greater glory.

November 23, 1990

Don Mario Mazzoleni

«Why on earth would a priest, who has been taught so many well-
packaged and inviolable truths, need to be a seeker? Are there any
existential questions which a priest has not answered? and – you
might ask – what does a man of the church, who should already have
perfected his education and knowledge, still need to investigate?…
Well, then, yes!

In nature, everything undergoes change, and our reason is part of
nature. The fundamental truth might not change, but the human
approach to these truths does, and this amounts to admitting that it
is necessary to review and correct the way sacred truths have been
formulated in the past. The level of consciousness of a people
gradually expands, and a formulation which seemed right centuries
ago today appears honestly outdated. It is not the underlying truth
which goes out of date, but the way in which it is expressed. The
clothes change, but not the body dressed in them.»
– Don Mario Mazzoleni, page 2

«One of the quotations, which has made Sathya Sai Baba’s mission
famous throughout the world is the following:

There is only one religion: the religion of love.
There is only one language: the language of the heart.
There is only one caste: the caste of humanity.
There is only one God, and He is omnipresent.

Some detractors think that this slogan implies a desire to unite all
religions into one, making just one religion… Sai Baba has
absolutely no intention of founding a new religion. He himself has
said that there are plenty of religions already, indeed too many.
The sacred task He has assumed is to lead all religions back to the
one Truth which is God and Love. Any religion that fights or
dismisses other religions in order to defend itself is not a true
religion, because it is against Love, which is to be against God!»
– Don Mario Mazzoleni, pages 177, 178

This era – the era of Sathya, the era of Truth – is, in my opinion,
a unique moment, which will change the historical and religious
order of nations. Certainly the most extraordinary characteristic of
this study, in an age in which there is so much talk about sects and
religious factions, is that in all the things I have discovered in
these years, I have found nothing which would prompt an aversion to
our religion, nothing which would obstruct our faith. On the
contrary! Everything I have meditated on has brought me that much
closer to the mysteries I had been celebrating, often without
knowing them thoroughly.»
– Don Mario Mazzoleni, Introduction

Don Mario Mazzoleni has a degree in Moral Theology from the Higher
Institute of Theological Sciences of the Alphonsian Academy in Rome.
In the 1970’s he was associated with the Vatican Radio and the
newspaper L’Avvenire. He was particularly concerned with the
relationship of the mass media to spiritual instruction.


The publisher , 06/10/96:
What does a Catholic priest do when he encounters a man who can
create anything at will, who heals the sick, and who raises the
dead? What does a Catholic priest do when he discovers that God is
alive in India? Don Mario uses his theological training to examine
Sai Baba’s miracles and teachings. His doubts dissolve as he learns
how Sai Baba’s teachings mirror those of his divine master, Jesus
Christ. When the Church demands that Don Mario recant for saying
that God is alive or be excommunicated, the author
said, “Institutions do not accompany anyone beyond the grave, the
only reality that one can present to God is one’s conscience. The
Lord who examines our hearts is the Judge!” Don Mario Mazzoleni was
excommunicated Sept. 24, 1992.

Sri Sathya Sai Hrudhya Nivasi – Vision At Thrayambaka

Prema Avatar Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Hrudhya Nivasi (Indweller of Hearts)

There are some devotees who had experienced His Grace, much before they had come into the fold of Sai. They came to know of this, much later on being revealed by Swami Himself, or through by some other methods. One of the Ashtothara Archana mantras of Bhagavan Baba mentions as “Kaalaatheethaya Namaha”. It means that “I worship the one who is beyond the ‘Kala’ i.e. time”.

He is bound by time and space; He is eternal and omnipresent. Without our being even aware of it, for reasons best known to Him only, He extends His Grace to you. He is so loving and merciful and His divine loves binds you for ever with the Divinity.

I too, had such an experience, which is unforgettable. This happened even before I came to know of the Advent of Sai, the second coming. Till then, I knew Sai of Shirdi only. It was the beginning of the year 1965, when I visited Shirdi with my wife for the first time. I felt truly blessed and experienced peace after worshipping at the Samadhi.

From there we proceeded to a nearby pilgrim center, Nashik which is on the banks of river Godavari. The other side of the bank is called “PANCHAVADI”. Our scriptures say that Lord Sri Rama stayed here with His consort Sita and brother Lakshmana during their sojourn to the forest. Sri Rama had paid oblations to His departed father King Dasaratha at the banks of Godavari at Panchavadi.

It was from this place that Ravana had taken away mother Sita. It is a great pilgrim center. We had holy bath in Godavari river and visited various places of interest near there. We were staying at Shankara Mutt. Somebody from the Mutt informed that this Holy Godavari River is originating from a placed called “Thrayambaka” which was about 25 kilo meters away from Nashik, and suggested that we should visit this Holy place also.

He explained that Adi Shankara Himself had installed a powerful Jyothir Linga in a temple there, and the Deity is called Lord Thrayambakeswara. It means that it embodiment of all the three amsaas of divinity viz., Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, in a single piece of Lingam. We accepted his suggestion and visited the place.

We reached Thrayambakam at the fag end of the day and the sun was about to set. It was a small village and there was not much crowd, only about a dozen or so pilgrims inside the temple. We entered the sanctum of the temple and was looking inside the place where the deity is installed. I could find the base of the lingam but no lingam was in the usual shape there. We could only see a cavity. Water was continuously oozing out of the cavity and the pundits were cleaning very often with cloth. It was amazing that no lingam was found, even though it was claimed that Adi Shankara had installed it. While I was thus standing there in utter confusion of mind, an elderly man called me from behind. He looked very pious with tuft in his head and wearing a neat white Dhothi like a pundit; but looked very serene.

He talked to us in Tamil, which is our language. Initially he enquired wherefrom we had come etc. Later on, he took interest in us and explained about the importance of the Holy place in detail. When I enquired where is the Holy Lingam, he told us that there is not one but three small lingams placed in the sides of the cavity of the base, which is not visible from outside. The three lingams represent Brahma, Vishnu, and Lord Shiva, exactly as was explained to us at Panchavadi Shankara Mutt.

In those primitive old days, Adi Shankara had traveled all the way from a remote village in Kerala to this place where Holy River Godavari originates and installed this Jyothi lingam. I wondered how this was possible without any means of transport. Moreover, He has installed 8 such lingams in various parts of India within his short span of 32 years. We heard all these from this pious man and in the end, we prostrated before him. He blessed us that by next year we should come again with a newborn child. He then moved away.

Within a few minutes, we searched for him and went up to the nearest bus stop and he could not be seen. We wished to have his contact address in Bombay so that we could meet him again when we return. But he had just vanished.

Here, I wish to mention one other factor. Since I could not get accommodation in Bombay, I had left my wife at our village in Kerala and she was forced to stay there for over three years. Ultimately by Grace of God we got a temporary accommodation and settled our family in a Bombay Suburb named ‘Goregoan’. However, for the next three years we did not have the pleasure of having a child. Due to some medical grounds the doctors had said she might not conceive again. This is the situation when we visited, Shiridi, Nashik and Thrayambakam.

Shortly after our return to Bombay my wife conceived and we got a baby boy. The boy was born at her native place in Kerala, which had earlier been described in detail. Soon after her arrival with the child, we went to our Gurui, Dhyani Maharaj Sri Madhusudhan Dasji who was in the residence of His disciple Dr. Pathak at Prarthana Samaj. He took the child in his hands and fondled him. While giving back the child, he mentioned that we had got the child due to the Grace of Sai whom we had started worshipping recently.

“You need not worry about the boy since Sai will Himself look after the child, protect him, guide him and help him in all his endeavor in his life”.

Then we knew that the pious man whom we met at the sanctum of Thrayambakam must be Sai Himself, whom we did not know during those days.

I had already enjoyed the bliss of Darshan of Bhagavan Baba for the first time, had an extraordinary experience. Yet, I asked a foolish question to our Guruji. “Guruji, excuse me, but who is this Sai Baba? Is he a magician, a saint, or what else? He is reportedly showing lot f miracles and are they all genuine?” Guruji admonished me and cautioned me not to utter such words. “Sai is Poorna Avatar and you should worship Him for all the rest of your life. In fact, it is He who had sent you to me!” I apologized for my bad thoughts and enquiry and prayed to Bhagavan Baba also, to forgive me.

From that day onwards, all these years, it is only Sai and Sai only in my life and every breath of mine also vibrates with the name of Sai. I try to be very very alert not to forget Him not even for a moment. He on His part continued to look after me, guide me and hold me close to Him ever after!