It’s A Miracle!

Sai Baba Manifestations Miracle Vibuthi Rudraksha
Miracle Within A Miracle – Rudrakshas Materialize From Vibuthi
Manifesting From Sathya Sai Baba’s Picture

It’s A Miracle!
Do you believe in miracles? A simple question. But, for the vast majority of humanity who fall somewhere in between staunch believer and die-hard sceptics, the answer isnt. Veena Pradeep & Chethana Dinesh attempt the answers nonetheless.

Statues shed tears of blood, drink milk and open their eyes in benign blessing. Crosses of light inexplicably appear around many parts of the world. Sea water in a muddy creek turns sweet. The faithful flock in piety and amazement while sceptics pull out their hair in desperation, crying foul.

Do you believe in miracles? The question is as simple as that. But, for the vast majority of humanity who fall somewhere in between staunch believer and die-hard sceptics, the answer isn’t.

From time immemorial, there’s been a miracle for every season and every reason. If only our senses were open to perceive it! On a hot summer afternoon, sitting in a garden, under the cool shade of a peepal tree, soaking in the beautiful sight of colourful flowers, you close your eyes and take a deep breath, saying a silent prayer to the Almighty for a spell of rain. Voila! It actually starts raining. If this isn’t a miracle, what is?

For Tarun Cherian, a well-known spiritual healer, based in Bangalore, everything is a miracle. The blink of an eye, the blooming of a flower, the flight of a butterfly, the existence of the universe itself is no less miraculous than statues of gods and goddesses drinking milk or opening an eye.

Yet, we take the former for granted because our brains have understood the mystery behind these natural phenomena. Innumerable instances of mysterious things have been recorded, so nobody can discount the fact that miracles happen, he says. Tarun said:

“For example, auras around humans have been photographed, so nobody can deny their existence.

What we know about the universe is only the tip of an iceberg. We can just see that wee bit above the water, and a little bit below it. What lies underneath, unknown, is bigger than what most of us can even imagine.”

On the other hand, for miracle buster Sanal Edamarakku, president of the Indian Rationalist’s Association based in Delhi which has been fighting for inculcating scientific temper among people and exposing superstition, blind belief, obscurantism and paranormal claims among other things, all miraculous events can be explained.

“There are three kinds of miracles,” he says. One is purely the outcome of people’s ignorance. Sanal quotes the example of a Sai Baba ke roti miracle doing the rounds in some parts of the country where you place a piece of roti in a container, add tea leaves, a little sugar and water and leave it covered for seven days in front of a Sai Baba idol. On the seventh day, a whole roti forms.

Sanal says this is because of the formation of something called the Manchurian algae. “Even if you were to place the same ingredients in front of your own photograph, the roti would form,” he says. At the height of the Ganesha milk-drinking episode, he had demonstrated how it happened, feeding a little coffee to a statue of Jawaharlal Nehru, and “this may sound blasphemous, but also a little beer to a statue of Gandhi,” he laughs. According to him, every instance of a miracle can be explained in scientific terms.

The second kind of miracles are special phenomena such as people suddenly speaking in the voice of a dead person. These are mental illnesses which any psychiatrist can explain, he says. The third kind are pure deceit where charlatans use sleight of hand to take advantage of people’s gullibility, like conjuring vibhuti out of the air, making things disappear or appear, etc. “Whenever a miracle takes place, there is an economic or social beneficiary,” says Sanal.

“Obviously some miracles are manufactured,” counters Tarun. “But where are there no scams? Science has clear biases, ignores inconvenient facts, and has its share of utter frauds.”

All of us may pooh-pooh the mass hysteria whipped up either by a statue of Sai Baba opening his eye or Ganesha idols drinking milk, but, deep down don’t we want to be a part of the crowd that firmly believes in such miracles? Says Prof C R Chandrashekar, Department of Psychiatry, Nimhans:

“All of us love miracles, irrespective of our community and religion. In fact, we long for them. Being born and brought up to believe that miracles do happen, we accept anything that’s even mildly suggestive of a miracle. Our lives revolve around expectations that miracles can happen.

For instance, take the recent case of the statue of Shirdi Sai Baba opening his eye in Bangalore. People thronged the place to witness it. That’s human weakness. At the same time, not all of them who went there believed in it. Most of them were driven to do it only out of curiosity. But, the very fact that they wanted to be a part of the whole episode illustrates how a human mind works. They went there out of expectations — they wanted to believe that the miracle had indeed happened.”

It’s true. Caught in the rigours of this world, all of us yearn for miracles in some form or the other. And again, who can doubt this longing for miracles when it’s being felt in various pockets all over the world?

There have been instances of miracles quoted in every religious text and in the history books of every civilization. Circles of Light, Crosses of Light, Healing Waters, Signs of Allah, The Holy Mother, Buddhist Miracles, Christ Encounters… the list can be endless.

An oft-quoted instance is that of the sighting of angelic warriors by Israeli soldiers in all of Israel’s wars. And in every war, there were reports from both sides of angelic intervention on Israel’s behalf. Though some rationalists attempted to term it as battle fatigue, believers didn’t buy the argument, considering that the angels were seen by both sides in the war.

Surprisingly, while many today believe in miracles, no modern historian fills his or her books with accounts of miraculous events. For, they are considered incredulous and nothing more than a case of collective hallucination. Experts in human psychology think otherwise.

“It is basic human tendency to desire the marvellous and the wondrous, to be deluded about them, to fabricate them, embellish them and to exaggerate them. It is a manifestation of our dislike for the mundane and the ordinary. Hence we lap up anything that is different from the ordinary,” explains Prof Chandrashekar.

However, there are many philosophers and anti-supernatural thinkers like David Hume (1711-1776) and Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677) who argue against this belief in miracles. While Hume terms it an act of faith and not of reason, Spinoza says that the belief in miracles and a commitment to modern scientific methodology are incompatible.

Another much widely neglected argument against miracles is put forth by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) in his book Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone. According to Kant, miracles never occur! In other words, miracles are theoretically possible but practically impossible.

Miracles are ruled out on scientific grounds too. According to the scientific understanding of the universe, no event can be termed rational unless its occurrence is regular and repeatable. Miracles are by nature not regular and repeatable and hence there is no scientific basis for the belief in miracles.
“It’s true that there is no scientific basis to miracles. But, everything cannot be explained by science right?” argues Rachna Chabria, a consultant with a software firm. To support her argument, she narrates a true life experience. She questions:

“My father was a hale and hearty person. One fine morning, we found him dead in his sleep and the doctors attributed it to a massive heart attack. My mother was devastated. Everyday she reported of having his visions, prompting her to take her BP tablets. According to her, she distinctly saw him walking in the house with his familiar and recognisable steady gait. One such day, she told us she had decided to join him. We didn’t take her seriously as we thought it was just another of her emotional outpourings. But, the very same night, to our horror, she too passed away peacefully in her sleep. How do you explain this?”

“Anything we do with intensity can create miracles. When we understand it, it forms the basis of life, when it surprises us, we call it a miracle,” says Tarun.

Miracles are anything that’s beyond our realm of understanding. Nevertheless, they help us get on with our lives with hope. “They are all around us. We just have to ask the universe for it. I have prayed for miracles and they have happened. The universe is very kind. It just gives all that you ask for. You may be gripped by a serious problem and not know how to get out of it. You hope against hope for it to be resolved by itself and it does! That’s a miracle,” says renowned tarot card reader Krishna Nath Malhotra.

A miracle definitely helps ordinary mortals like us to live on, with the fond hope that a miracle will very soon put an end to the suffering in the world.

Says model-actor Nasser Abdullah, a firm believer in miracles:

“About three decades ago, I went with some friends to Satya Sai Baba, hoping to be able to rid myself off a consistently present nervous strain, and fear of living in this world. I was not disappointed, as he did rid me of that, plus a few other disturbing samskaras lurking within my being which I wasn’t even aware of. That was a true miracle for me! I mean, to be able to prevail upon the mind and transform it so completely without appearing to be doing so is a feat worthy of resting foremost in the annals of miracle workings.

“I had also on the same trip witnessed a healing by him on a boy who was afflicted with a disease, which had left him deformed from neck to toe. When Sai Baba whispered something into his ear he dashed off, unaided towards his room, a distance of 15 metres, in a split second, and turned contorted again. A few hours later, I saw this boy walking about awkwardly but proudly around, with the most radiant smile upon his face, unaided, watched by his ecstatic mother! He was not even able to stand up on his own, prior to Sai Baba’s interaction with him, until a few hours earlier! That was the other miracle I witnessed. This is for those who might want to rubbish my earlier claim of my miracle as a psychological abberation or fluke!”

Despite many miracles being explained away by rationalists and scientists, the media continues to report on strange events and happenings around the world and otherwise rational human beings continue to believe in them. “Now miracles happen most when we are desperate or troubled. And indeed we are in trouble today with an imminent collapse of the environment, and a global economy powered by skinny energy resources. Since man’s very survival is threatened, the stakes are raised. Our desperation unleashes immense psychic force, and so miracles and psychic gifts are far easier to receive today than in any point in our history,” says Tarun.

Both miracle-seekers and miracle busters will agree on one thing, however. Miracles are but extensions of one’s belief. You believe and you will be blessed by an experience. You don’t believe and you can explain the experience away. Every now and then, you read newspaper reports of potatoes or eggplants sporting the image of gods. Now, if you’re religious and a believer in miracles you’ll see in these divine vegetables a sign and probably worship them, but if you are a rationalist you’ll just chop that freak vegetable into your curry!


Also see:

Sai Baba Vibuthi Miracle In Australia

Sai Baba Vibuthi Miracle In Australia

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