Sathya Sai Baba’s Miracle House In Kathmandu Nepal
Sai Baba’s New Healings, Leelas and Manifestations at the home of Bharosa Adhikari
Baba Drops a Hint in an Interview
It was July 28, 2000 when I was sitting, yet again, at the feet of Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the interview room at Prasanthi Nilayam. Sri Sathya Sai Baba had selected us from a crowd of thousands and we had just placed ourselves around Him to hear what the Avatar of the Age, our Beloved Lord would tell us. There were about 20 people seated on the floor, gazing at Baba with rapt attention. Twelve were Italian, five were Indian and three were American.
Baba quickly manifested 11 pieces of gold jewellery for several fortunate devotees: four watches, three chains with medallions, a bracelet and rings. In regard to His manifestations, Baba repeatedly has told English devotees, “Besides being tokens of my love, my so-called miracles are to plant the seed of faith in the minds of unbelievers and to foster humility and veneration towards a Higher Power.”
After having teased me a bit during the interview, Baba signed the manuscript for my new book, Wake Up Laughing – My Miraculous Life With Sai Baba. However, since the printing of the book for the first edition was already in progress, the signature page would have to wait until the second printing, which came much faster than we had anticipated.
Before Baba ended the eventful interview He suddenly turned to me and asked, sweetly and innocently, “Are you going to Nepal?”
Obviously He knew something about my future travel destinations of which I was totally unaware.
“Nepal? Me, Baba? Oh…I’d like to go there someday… .” (What on earth was He trying to tell me?)
“What is in Nepal?” He asked, with sparkling eyes and a Cheshire cat smile.
“Oh! Bharosa Adhikari is in Nepal, Swami,” I answered, suspecting that He was soon going to send me to see her. Bharosa Adhikari is a long-time Nepali Sai devotee who is notable for many reasons, one of which is that she was resurrected from death caused by a heart attack in October 1996. Miracles abound around Bharosa and she and her husband Ramesh are fast becoming well-known in the world-wide Sai community because of their ‘Miracle House’. Ramesh and Bharosa who appear to be in their fifties, hold public devotional singing or bhajans in their home twice a day, at 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. I hadn’t seen Bharosa and Ramesh since early 1998 when I had taken two trips to visit the home of Sujata and Sarit Rimal, the daughter and son-in-law of the Adhikaris who live in the American West in Salt Lake City, Utah. The two trips had been remarkable in every way since Bharosa served as Baba’s instrument for scores of healings.
Phenomena in Salt Lake City, Utah
In addition to healings at the Rimal household, there had been, in profusion, the type of phenomena that one hears about in Sai Miracle Houses throughout the world.The first Sai manifestation took place as I was carrying a large armful of fruit across the threshold of the front door into the Rimal living room. Immediately Om symbols began to appear on the fruit the moment I entered the house. Within half an hour there had been appearances of Sai’s sacred vibhuti (ash signifying healing and material detachment) on the clothing of six devotees, on altar flowers, on a tambourine, on wall photos, on altar photos of Sai Baba, and under the protective cellophane wrapping which covered a large dish of rice pudding! An empty, clear cut-glass bowl had filled itself with about a pound of yellow turmeric powder. Further, Baba had written a message to us in Hindi on a turmeric-filled cookie sheet, wherein He had instructed each visitor to take a bit of turmeric in water daily for a week for healing.
Bharosa had given of her time freely and generously to do healings for dozens of people, though she herself had high blood pressure and diabetes at the time. Her daughter Sujata and other devotees had prepared chai (tea) for us and later served us a delicious Nepali dinner.
More than two and a half years had passed since the Salt Lake City miracles. Baba’s hint of a trip to Kathmandu, Nepal, to see Bharosa and Ramesh, had come to pass seven weeks after He had brought it up in the interview room. I had returned to the U.S. in August 2000 after having spent five weeks in India and was immediately invited to Nepal by Bharosa. Someone who owed me some money paid it just in time for me to unpack, re-pack and return to Asia with four friends to visit Bharosa and later, Sathya Sai.
Visiting a Resurrected Woman
We had finally arrived at Jana Marga, Chakra Path, Kathmandu, Nepal in September 2000. The five of us stood in the entry way of Bharosa’s white-walled suburban garden, glancing up at the clear blue sky over Nepal. (We remembered that a few hours earlier in Hong Kong, as we had taxied for take-off down the runway, bound for Kathmandu, 15 colorful hot air balloons had appeared in the air. We had trained ourselves, we often joked, to be alert for auspicious signs in our travels, since Baba had provided so many of them on our numerous trips to India.) Suddenly a rainbow appeared as we walked through the garden entry to the Adhikari home. The walled enclosure held many surprises for us in addition to the two-storey brick house which was flanked by a healthy green lawn and tropical trees and plants. As we approached the house from the sidewalk which edged the grass, we noticed several delightful white-washed spiritual niches which held statues of great deities.
Overhead there was a royal blue arch displaying the symbols of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastriaism. Opposite the back door of the daylight walk-out basement prayer room, there was a small white meditation building. Next to it there was a terrace overlooking an empty lot with a view of other homes in the neighborhood. Prayer flags flapped on strings tied to the rooftops of Buddhist houses which were painted ochre, beige or off-white. Next to the masonry terrace there was a new one-storey white Bhajan hall which can accommodate up to 50 people for singing, talks and special occasions.
“Isn’t it exciting that we’re finally here?” asked our psychologist friend Dr. Gloria Ryder.
“Yes! I’m thrilled to be here. We’re so blessed,” answered Donna Koon, who owns an alternative healing and retreat centre in Colorado.
“The setting is lovely, isn’t it?” whispered Kay Brooks, social worker, as we removed our shoes at the door and placed them neatly next to the 25 pairs that obviously belonged to people inside the puja (prayer) room.
“I just hope we’ll have the chance to have individual healing sessions with Bharosa sometime during the next three days,” said businessman George Ryder, Gloria’s husband. The day before our departure for Asia, George’s doctor had ordered him to report for heart surgery but George had politely declined.
He had told the doctor he couldn’t check into the hospital because he was leaving on a trip. He hadn’t bothered to mention that he’d be going to Hong Kong, Nepal and India, strictly against doctor’s orders…
Directly after we were warmly welcomed by Bharosa and Ramesh, and shown the spectacular altar in their prayer room, we sat on the floor and joined the assembled group for an hour of devotional singing.
A paragraph popped into my mind from the book Baba – Sathya Sai, where Baba had been quoted as having said, “Do not give importance to miracles. Do not exaggerate their significance. The greatness of my power does not lie in this ‘miracling’. It consists only in my Prema – Love. It is true I can change heaven into earth and earth into heaven. But Divine Power does not fritter Itself thus to reveal Itself.”
Immediately phenomena began to take place within ten or twelve inches of where we sat, directly in front of the altar.
As we sang bhajans to Sathya Sai, our eyes filled with tears of gratitude. We admired the packed altar which was filled from floor to ceiling with photos of Baba, Shirdi Sai, a picture of Jesus, statues of Krishna, Shiva and Saraswathi. Many of the photos were so caked with vibhuti ash that the figures were totally obscured. The manifested silver Saraswathi statue was covered with red vermilion powder and the base metal of the manifested Shiva statue was gradually turning to gold!
I remembered that Baba often had said, in speeches:
“Do not crave from Me trivial material objects: but crave for Me, and you will be rewarded. Not that you should not receive whatever objects I give as signs of grace out of the fullness of love. I shall tell you why I give these rings, talismans, rosaries, etc. It is to mark the bond between Me and those to whom they are given. When calamity befalls them, the article comes to Me in a flash and returns in a flash, taking from Me the remedial grace of protection.”
We noticed a manifested lingam which was actually growing so large that a small upside-down glass which had been placed over it at one time was now resting jauntily on the lingam like a glass hat. Ramesh had told us that he had poured manifested water into a vessel in the prayer room. It had turned into milk. He also related that Baba had manifested rings for him and Bharosa. Baba said, in a discourse on June 16, 1996, that “So long as you are in possession of such sacred objects, only pious thoughts will be generated in you.”
There were fresh flowers on the altar and, to the left of the altar, on two glass window ledges under the window, there were about 50 small lidded pill-boxes, or vibhuti boxes, some of which had the names of the owners attached by a small slip of paper. Apparently the boxes mysteriously would fill with either vibhuti ash, turmeric powder or kumkum (vermilion) powder after the bhajan session. Once the King of Nepal, His Majesty King Birendra, had brought a silver jewel box and left it for awhile. It filled with vibhuti and was claimed by the owner, like most of the other containers.
Now, during our visit, auspicious signs and events began to take place. There were thirty-eight which occurred within a three-day period. Vibhuti ash manifested on a Ganesh statue which was only inches away from us. Without warning, flowers began “jumping” from bouquets and garlands on the altar. Om symbols began to appear on bananas and other fruit.Suddenly, Donna Koon’s box flew from its location. Om’s appeared on cucumbers, bananas, an apple and a papaya. Vibhuti appeared on some crystals that rested on the altar which Donna had given to each of us as a gift from her crystal shop in Crestone, Colorado.
On another visit to Bharosa’s house the five of us placed letters to Baba on the altar. Vibhuti Om’s appeared on the letters, and ash manifested inside the closed envelopes. A white jasmine flower manifested on Kay’s letter and a pale pink carnation manifested over the Sai Baba photo I had placed on the altar. There were no pink carnations in the room.
Sacred fragrances began to catch my attention. They continued for three days. The essences were vibhuti, jasmine, sandalwood and rose.
We were shown later the “Turmeric Fax” by Ramesh, which he said Baba used to send loving and instructive messages to the family once a week. The “fax” was a half-inch layer of yellow turmeric powder in a cookie sheet, such as we had seen in Salt Lake City. Baba had sent Ramesh a turmeric fax message asking him and the group to take good care of us, which they did, in abundance.
Another unusual manifestation concerned food. One day as we sang in front of the altar, a large vibhuti Om appeared in a dish of yogurt which had been placed there before dinner to receive Baba’s blessings, as is customary in Hindu homes.
But Bharosa’s healing sessions were an especially memorable aspect of our visit. Bharosa asked visitors to line up for brief healing sessions after each morning and evening Bhajan session. She subsequently said a prayer for each person, poured holy water into the mouth of each healing recipient, placed vibhuti ash on his forehead and touched him or her on the shoulder.
During one of the lovely dinners prepared for us by Bharosa and the devotees, a Sai brother mentioned how incomparably fortunate the Kathmandu devotees consider themselves to be, having received countless testimonials of Baba’s love and grace.
“But you know,” he said, “Baba’s miracles are his calling cards. We must not get stuck on calling cards. His greater work is awaiting us and that means a lifetime of implementing His teachings and serving others each day to the best of our ability.” We nodded in hearty agreement.
Gloria Ryder took photos of various scenes at Bharosa’s house while we dined and chatted with each other, brimming with joy at our good fortune to have had three amazing days at the Adhikari home. “It’s difficult to say what has impressed me the most,” she said, smiling and bouncing her shiny red hair as she talked:
“One of the most touching experiences for me was hearing the joy, strength and love of the devotees who sang Bhajans to Baba here. At those moments we all became one in our love for God, for Baba. Also, I received turmeric powder in my little tin box on the ledge. George’s box received vibhuti ash. Both are used for healing. Remember seeing vibhuti emit from the Ganesh statue? It has all been so thrilling that, next to having seen Baba Himself, I feel that this experience of seeing so many miracles at such close range and in such quick succession has been one of the highlights of my life.”
George, Donna, Kay and I all nodded emphatically. We would soon be leaving and we were getting sentimental about the Adhikari family’s extraordinary hospitality, Ramesh’s wisdom, and our longing to see the Avatar in a few days.
From outside the window we could hear Bharosa’s caged green pet parrots screeching “Sai Ram!” as devotees left for the evening through the front door beside the parrot cages.
One of the last memorable events of our stay concerned lovely and generous Mrs. Meena Khanna who had bought two pictures of Krishna at the ISKON Temple in neighboring Budha Nilkanth and had placed them on the Adhikari altar. Within minutes vibhuti collected on the pictures. Tiny vibhuti footprints appeared on a small clear plastic paperweight picture of Krishna. A bit later, when Mrs. Khanna presented each of the five of us with “going away presents” of handsome brass Ganeshas; they all manifested vibhuti ash. But that wasn’t the end.
Manifestations in Lumbini (Nepal), Prasanthi Nilayam, Arkansas and Georgia
After we parted tearfully from the two dozen loving, hospitable Sai devotees who form the core group at daily Bhajans, Baba had another surprise for His five American pilgrims. During our flight from Kathmandu to Delhi, He sprinkled His sacred healing ash on the arm of the airplane seat between George Ryder and Donna Koon. They mistakenly kept wiping it off, thinking that a passenger behind them was disobeying the “no smoking” regulation and was flicking cigarette ashes on their armrest. After it kept re-appearing they finally realized it was Baba’s vibhuti.
Interestingly enough, while I was writing this article, I learned of more Sai manifestations which took place in a flat in Baba’s Abode of Peace Ashram in Puttaparthi, South India. In addition, Sarit Rimal, Bharosa’s son-in-law, had conveyed further by telephone that Bharosa’s mother, in Lumbini, Nepal (many years ago), Bharosa and her daughter Sujata, in Salt Lake City, Utah, all three have had sacred Om’s appear on fruit in their homes. In other words, three generations of Sai devotees have been blessed with the same phenomenon by Sathya Sai Baba.
Also, Sarit’s family friend, Mrs. Anand of Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.A., had told me by phone about Bharosa’s forty-eight-hour visit to her home in 1998 wherein vibhuti collected on the pictures of Sathya Sai, Shirdi Sai Baba and Guru Gobind Singh. Since then, at least three pictures in the house continue to emit vibhuti.
“You know, whenever Bharosa eats a piece of fruit an Om symbol appears on that fruit,” Mrs. Anand told me with great animation:
“On about August 10th, 2000, I was visiting Swami at ‘Parthi and we invited Bharosa to our room in the ashram. Bharosa and Ramesh came to the room with Dr. Sita Ram Choudhary, another man and an unmarried girl in their group. We wanted to serve them some coconut water so we obtained some coconuts at the ashram stand near the rooms. My father-in-law, J.S. Anand was there along with Raminder, M.P. Singh, my father, my Aunt Kuldip and myself.
When Bharosa touched the coconut and a grape they developed Om symbols. I personally have seen this more than once so I know it’s true and there were many witnesses. Furthermore, in Atlanta, Georgia, when Bharosa and Ramesh visited the home of Pawan and Chanda Rai, where the Center used to meet, many phenomena also took place.
“In regard to any potential scoffers of such phenomena, Mrs. Anand says, ‘To know a believer, you must also have, for contrast, the unbeliever. Unbelievers are key players in Baba’s drama. Everything in the Master Plan has a place. God is in all the actors. A Master Chef uses a pretty, dainty serving utensil as well as mundane utensils and a blackened pot in the kitchen. All the utensils are used in putting out a great meal. None is superior.”
In addition to the cascade of grace which the Adhikaris have received from Sathya Sai, two recent phenomena have taken place. Baba manifested a yellow silk Avatar robe in Bharosa’s closet. After it was taken out, vibhuti Om’s appeared on it. A protective glass case will be created to protect Baba’s gown from potential damage by too much handling from overly-zealous devotees.
Lord Rama Appears to Bharosa
We recently learned that on Guru Poornima, 1999, Baba in the Form of Lord Rama, looking very tall and well-built, appeared to Bharosa. Lord Rama handed Bharosa His heavy golden archery bow to hold and then He pointed to His divine toe and, lo! – holy Ganges water began to flow from His foot. He asked Bharosa to get a vessel to collect the holy water in order to distribute it to devotees for healing purposes.
The end of the pilgrims’ story, at least for now, is that George Ryder still has not had heart surgery and is starting a project on low income housing. Donna Koon continues with her crystal shop and healing center while Gloria and Kay work heroically in the courts as advocates for troubled families. This author writes, speaks, hosts a weekly Sai group and oversees many service projects. To sum up, Baba’s own approach to the hundreds of Sai miracles which the author and others have been privileged to witness, is very simple. He has clearly emphasized in His discourses:
“I use my Shakti (power) to attract people and to draw them towards the God-ward path. These miracles are merely baits with which I lure them towards Me. Once their faith is firmly established, they begin to look beyond the miracles and slowly start stretching their hands out for what I have really come to give – Knowledge and Bliss.”