Queen Of England Honored Sai Youth Of UK In 2005 With Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Preface: Due to misleading claims about Sathya Sai Baba, the UK Sai Youth Group and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, the following article relating to the British Controversy is provided for factual background information.

Queen Of England Honored Sai Youth Of UK In 2005 With Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

THE QUEEN’S ROYAL GARDEN PARTY
2006 is a very special year in Great Britain, it marked the 80th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the 50th Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme for young people. To celebrate both events a special Royal Garden Party was organised at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 13th July 2006.

Royal Garden Parties have been held at Buckingham Palace since the 1860’s by Queen Victoria. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II has always worked hard to recognise the efforts of those people who best embody the spirit of Great Britain.

This year was no exception: approximately 8,000 invitations were sent out to various dignitaries, diplomats, ministers, famous celebrities, and ordinary people who had made a unique contribution to society.

But the most heartening fact was this – the National Youth Wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation United Kingdom, had been chosen by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to attend and receive a special certificate of gratitude and recognition for the outstanding contribution made by its Youth towards nation-building and promoting happiness and harmony within the community. This indeed was a great honour and further demonstrates the respect and gratitude that the country has for the humanitarian work being undertaken by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The National U.K Youth Co-ordinator, Shitu Chudasama, had been asked to speak at Buckingham Palace during the presentation ceremony on the work of the Sai Youth and the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation.

This was extremely well received and all marvelled at the wonderful work being done by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. When the certificate was presented, instead of bearing the name of the Sai Organisation, the certificate instead bore the name of ‘Sri Sathya Sai’.

Shitu Chudasama

Shitu Chudasama


“It was a blessing, a shower of Grace” – Mr. Shitu Chudasama

Recounting his memorable experience, Mr. Shitu Chudasama said:

As soon as Rita, my wife and I arrived at Buckingham Palace, we were escorted to a special enclosure where we were introduced to some famous Hollywood actors, actresses, and people who had received honours for doing outstanding and heroic deeds. We were extremely nervous and at this point wondering what we were doing here. However the celebrities were most kind and extremely humble. Tim Burton, a famous Hollywood director who directed famous movies such as ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Planet of the Apes’, and ‘Batman’, came up to us and started asking questions about what we did. We started talking to him about Swami and Swami’s Youth and the wonderful work that is being done in United Kingdom. He straightaway said that America needs an Organisation like this – we told him that America already had one. He mentioned how some of the youth that he had come across in the movie world were so badly behaved and lacked manners. He further went on to marvel at Bhagawan’s youth and how impressed he was by them.

When the time for the speeches and award ceremony came, my heart started beating very fast. What was I to say? How can one describe in a few minutes the marvellous and miraculous humanitarian projects that are undertaken by Bhagawan.

I was the last speaker called up, and suddenly a confidence, and a joy engulfed my being. I spoke about the wonderful work being done by our Sai Organisation Youth in United Kingdom. I attributed everything to our founder Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. As I spoke I watched the sea of faces, there was a look of excitement on their faces as if to say ‘why have we not heard of this Organisation before?’

Suddenly the certificate was presented to me. Instead of having the name of the Sai Organisation, the certificate bore the name “Sri Sathya Sai” – I looked again, and was dumbfounded. For that split second as everyone cheered and clapped loudly, I felt the omni presence of our beloved Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Buckingham Palace. Then I knew that this was a gift from Bhagawan Himself. A blessing, a shower of Grace for all the Sai Youth in UK that work so hard contributing to Bhagawan’s Mission of Dharmasansthapana – establishing righteousness in the world.

After the award ceremony, we were then escorted to a special section, which was lined with the Queen’s guards. We were asked to wait here so that we could meet the Queen. At 4.00pm, as the National Anthem was played by the Royal Band, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, together with other members of the Royal Family emerged from the Palace and started to greet their guests.

We could not believe this remarkable Grace Swami had bestowed upon the Sai Organisation. As the Queen walked gracefully by, one noticed that there was a very special aura and energy around the Queen, something quite beautiful, enigmatic, and spiritual. The Queen had dedicated her whole life to serving her country and people.

As she walked passed, looking at all and smiling, you could not help but notice that her smile never once left her face. She was extremely patient with everyone and spent two hours greeting and welcoming everyone. All in all it was a truly memorable and uplifting event.”

The award reads, as you can see from the picture, “This certificate is presented to Sri Sathya Sai on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award with grateful thanks from the patron … for Your invaluable contribution as a partner of the award in helping to provide an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding personal development programme for young people.”

Now what is Duke of Edinburgh’s award? And how and when did the Sai Organisation of UK become associated with it?

Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award Certificate To “Sri Sathya Sai”

Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award Certificate To “Sri Sathya Sai”


THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S AWARD
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an international leadership in action programme established in 1956 by its Founder and Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (the husband of the Queen of England). The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical cultural and adventurous activities. It is designed to support the personal and social development of young people aged 14-25, regardless of gender, background, or ability.

Being voluntary, flexible, non-competitive, balanced, progressive, challenging and most of all enjoyable, it provides an opportunity for young people to achieve personal excellence and build self-esteem, self-confidence, self-reliance, self-motivation and respect for others via their involvement in service, skill, physical recreation and expedition activities.

THE GENESIS – THE UK NATIONAL YOUTH PILGRIMAGE TO INDIA 2004
The partnership of the Sai Organisation of UK with the Duke of Edinburgh award and the tremendous positive international contribution of the UK Sai Youth is what lead to the recent recognition award from the Queen. But the whole episode has its genesis in November 2004. 180 youth from United Kingdom embarked upon the National UK Youth Pilgrimage to Prashanti Nilayam for Bhagawan’s blessings that year. The trip was both unique and multi-faceted. It was a message of love for Bhagawan that His youth in UK were ready and waiting to take up the baton of His mission. The Pilgrimage consisted of a Youth Service Camp, the UK Youth Choir, Youth Speakers and a Mini-Prashanti UK Youth Conference which were all held in Prashanti Nilayam leading up to Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday.

The Youth Service Camp was entitled “Helping Hands and Healing Hearts” and a phenomenal amount of planning, energy, goodwill and sacrifice went into the work. For over 5 days, the Youth visited 4 villages near Puttaparthi that were not easily accessible by bus or car. The Youth Service Camp was unlike anything ever attempted before by UK youth. 5 tonnes of equipment was taken from the United Kingdom consisting of medical supplies, the latest health scanners, thousands of saris, baby clothes, and toys.

The camp consisted of a plethora of service activities for the needy villagers: Narayan Seva, workshops on hygiene in the villages, the installation of toilets, the providing of water pumps and water pipelines. There was also seva directed specifically to the women of the villages: talks, medical check-ups, and counselling to improve their quality of life. For the children there was distribution of clothes, music, games and special dramas. The youth also engaged in village cleaning and maintenance, the reconstruction of a dilapidated village temple and installation of its village deities. And finally, a large scale Medical Camp which provided general medical care, eye care, paediatrics, dentistry, physiotherapy, massage, diabetes screening and cancer screening.

The entire cost and expenses of the Youth Service Camp totalling around $45,000 was solely funded by the youth, which was inspired and enabled by Swami’s Ceiling on Desires Programme. During the Medical Camp Vibhuti started materialising on the badges worn by a number of our Youth. The Pilgrimage proved to be a very powerful magnet in not only empowering the youth to become leaders but also bringing out other qualities in them such as self-confidence, discipline, and compassion.

On returning to the UK, the National Youth Wing was contacted by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Office, and informed that they wanted to award each of our Sai Youth the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. They had heard about the wonderful work that was done in Puttaparthi by our Sai Youth in UK .

On 9th August 2005, the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation (UK) formalised its partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme by signing the much-coveted Operating Licence Agreement. This gives the Organisation the mandate and authority to run this famous Award scheme and to award the certificates within the structure of the UK Organisation for all youth aged between 14-25 years.

At the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Ceremony, held on Saturday 3rd September 2005 in London, all 180 youth from the National UK Youth Pilgrimage received their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award certificates in front of an audience of 450 people.

Presiding over the ceremony was the Chief Executive (CEO) of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, Peter Westgarth. Peter was extremely impressed with the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation and in particular the calibre of its youth. This was truly a historic event in the history of the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation in UK and a befitting tribute to our Lord during His 80th year of Love in Action. The Sai Youth of UK said:

“The invitation to the Organisation to attend the Queen’s Royal Garden Party and receive the award is a valuable testimony of recognition for the Sai youth in the UK. The youth of the United Kingdom are indeed grateful to Bhagawan for the wonderful Grace that He has bestowed upon them with the presentation of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Certificate.”

(Please Note: This blog is not affiliated with the Sai Organization, Mr. Shitu Chudasama or any other member of the Sai Youth Group in the UK. This article was obtained from personal archives.)

Also see:
Paul Lewis – The Guardian UK Newspaper And The British Controversy

‘Tiger From Madras’ Retains World Chess Title

Viswanathan Anand - World Chess Chamption

Viswanathan Anand - World Chess Chamption


‘Tiger From Madras’ Retains World Chess Title

BERLIN (AFP) — India’s Viswanathan Anand successfully defended his world chess champion title Wednesday against Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik in Bonn, Germany.

The “Tiger from Madras”, 38, won the match in the 11th round, which finished in a draw. The two players drew seven times in a contest that started October 14. Anand sealed three victories while Kramnik managed just one.

“Vladimir pushed me into giving my all. I’ve given one of my best-ever performances here in Bonn,” Anand said.

“I tried everything, but it just wasn’t enough. Life is like that and defeat is part of it,” the defeated Russian said.

Kramnik finished second to Anand last year, followed by Israeli Boris Gelfand when eight of the world’s top chess brains met in Mexico for the competition.

The Indian, who learned to play the game at the age of six, distinguished himself as a youth for his chess acumen. At the age of 13, he won the junior title in India, and at 16, the senior chess title.

He first won the FIDE world title in 2000 after which he was dubbed as “the Indian meteor.”

As champion, Anand walks away with a first prize of 600,000 euros (775,000 dollars). Next year, he will face either Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov or the Russian-American Gata Kamsky.

Reference

Education In Human Values – A Scholarly Perspective

Education In Human Values
News Agency of Kashmir
10/28/2008 9:29:47 PM
Sadakat Malik

Shri Sathya Sai Baba has beautifully quoted:

“If human values take root in the educational system, the emerging individuals will have the following attributes: they will want peace & justice in a world that acknowledges the rule of law and in which no nation or individual need live in fear; freedom and self reliance to be available to all; the dignity & work of every person to be recognized & safeguarded; all people to be given an opportunity to achieve their best in life; and they will seek equality before the law and the equality of opportunity for all.”

Unfortunately, the scheme of strengthening education in human values (EHV) appears to have very little planned the picture seemed different in the country’s educational institutions besides launch of policies and programmes. The central legislations has failed at the very beginning. The NCERT as a central resource centre for value education resulted futile, as the agency has failed at the very essence to reach the target. Mere publications on the part of National resource centre on value education by the NCERT at the centre will not serve the purpose.

The organization of teacher training seminars at national level is not a remedy to re-exhibit the values among so called teachers and people in governance. The teachers need to be taught the basic ethics as to how to talk and act with the learning posterity. The monitoring and training resource centres at local level may prove herculean for inculcation of value among all the people. Moreover, A draft curriculum for teacher training acknowledges several problems in preparing teachers properly for the classroom and imbibe in them values.

Historically. Education about India’s common cultural heritage has been identified in para 3.4 of National Policy on Education as one of the core areas under the National System of Education. The common core will include the history of India’s freedom movement, the constitutional obligations and other content essential to nurture national identity. These elements will cut across subject areas and will be designed to promote values such as India’s common cultural heritage, egalitarianism, democracy and secularism, equality of the sexes, protection of the environment, removal of social barriers, and observance of the small family norm and inculcation of the scientific temper.

The National Policy on Education (para 8.4 and 8.5) has laid
considerable emphasis on value education by highlighting the need to make
education a forceful tool for cultivation of social and moral values.
A Central Sector- Scheme of Assistance to Agencies for Strengthening Culture/Art/ Values in Education and for Assistance to Educational Institutions implementing Innovative Programme was formulated in 1987-88. It provided for financial assistance on 100% basis to projects/proposals screened by duly constituted Grants-in-Aid Committee of the Ministry. In July 1990, a decision was taken in the Ministry to set up a working group to review the scheme to make it more purposeful. Accordingly, a working group was constituted with the officers.

Of the Ministry and experts from premier resource institutions of the country
engaged in strengthening cultural and artistic inputs in education.

The recommendations made by the working group were examined in the Ministry carefully and a decision was taken that the process of strengthening cultural and value inputs in education should be extended to the non-formal sector also. The Scheme was revised and reformulated in 1992 which is known as the Scheme of Financial Assistance for Strengthening Culture and Values in
Education
.

Nevertheless, In January 1997, the Government of India entrusted to Tata Institute of Social Science, Bombay (TISS) a project of an evaluation study of the working of the scheme. TISS submitted a report in April, 1999 which recommended for continuation of the scheme which should have essential components like involvement of community and evolving teaching strategies for a lasting impact on students. The scheme was given adequate publicity. Services of District Institute of Education and Training (DIETs), State Council of Educational Research and training, (SCERT) Panchayat etc was effectively utilized. The report was examined in the Department and it was agreed that the scheme can be continued.

The Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee in its 81st Report under Shri S. B. Chavan has also recommended that Education should highlight multifaceted development of human beings and the programme of Education in Human Values (EHV) should be built around core universal human values like Truth, Love, Peace, Righteous Conduct and Non-Violence. The focus of value education should be more at primary stage through stories/folk songs/folklores/skits/flip charts/film strips National Cadet Corps (NCC), Scouts and Guides need to be promoted. The committee stressed that the teacher who has an important role should be encouraged to initiate innovative methods of values education to students.

Interestingly, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) functioning as National Resource Centre for the programme of Education in Human Values. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and other autonomous organizations and other institutions collaborated with and assisted NCERT in development of the National Resource Centre’s In the present times of unprecedented changes dislocating traditional values and creating conflict between traditional and new values there is a universal concern in respect of erosion of values, promoting values and culture which fit in with the needs of the modern times. This concern is universal but is more acute for our country which has leads its own distinct culture, worked view and a living value tradition.

The process of developing in to a modern nation, with new social, political and economic institutions, and with emphasis on science and technology, has thrown up many new values ? Challenges in all areas of our national life. It is important that we examine these challenges and prepare our youth to face and resolve them.

In this regard, Government agreed that SCERTs will function as value Education Centre for training of in-service teachers. In those States where the work of SCERT is performed by the State Board of Education, the later will be designated as Value Education Centers for training of in-Service teachers in Value Education. Reputed NGOs, which have proven track record of working in the area of education, culture, values and transmission of culture. The assistance under this scheme was 100 per cent for all project/ programme taken up for implementation subject to a ceiling of Rs. 10.00 lakhs per annum for a project. Resource Centres and Value Education. It was decided by the government that recource Centres may be sanctioned more than Rs. 10.00 lakhs with the approval of Grant-in-aid Committee (GIAC). Resource Centres for Value Education may be given a grant upto Rs. 30.00 lakhs for augmentation of their functional resources and pedagogic infrastructure. Besides islands of initiatives by Government Of India, the Scheme for strengthening has concentrated only in few locations thereby failed to achieve the desired objective.

The researchers observed that teachers would be more effective if they balance love and care more judiciously while interacting with students. While firmness is necessary, love must play a dominant role in handling students; love and sub-values like sympathy and kindness must get precedence over maintaining silence and order in the class. In this context, there is a school that practices such an approach successfully; the SVV School at Vandalur, Chennai, run by the old students of the Sri Sathya Sai Women’s College at Anantapur. The confidence displayed by these under privileged rural children testifies to the success of their EHV programme. Department of Education, Government of India had announced that value education would be introduced in schools and colleges starting with IIT, Delhi. A lot has happened thereafter, and governments have changed; a war has been fought; and that resolve seems to have been forgotten! We are now quarrelling over quixotic issues like text errata. Inculcating human values in children is the crying need of the hour. The rest of the world is making quiet strides by following the lead shown by Indian educationists. One wonders when our government will wake up.

But you know, as in the Sathya Sai School in Thailand, many teachers come from many places. They are not devotees. But then, when they come close to the children who are full of love, they become transformed. And when children go back home, they transform the parents. So, in this way, the society is getting transformed. That’s why it is very important that we work hard to set up Sathya Sai schools as model schools in the country like ours.

The country’s educationists and policy makers should learn the lesson from Sathya Sai School system to re-imbibe human values among her children. (NAK)

Reference

Robert Priddy Dishonestly Alleges ‘Sathya Sai Baba Invites’

Robert Priddy Dishonestly Alleges ‘Sathya Sai Baba Invites’

On Robert Priddy’s Anti-Sai WordPress blog, he wrote an article about V. Ramnath and claimed matter-of-factly that Sathya Sai Baba personally “invited” him to india on three separate occasions. Needless to say, Robert Priddy is shameless distorting the truth, is obviously suffering from delusions of grandeur and is attempting to deceive gullible and naive readers into thinking that he had some sort of unique and personal relationship with Sathya Sai Baba (he did not).

Robert Priddy wrote:

robertpriddy.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/1248/
“Ramnath makes untrue assumptions: I was actually invited by Sathya Sai Baba to go to India several times – including the first time, and – as the Coordinator of the Sathya Sai Organization – to attend his EHV course in 1987 and come to his 70th Birthday too.”

Sathya Sai Baba never personally “invited” Robert Priddy to visit him in India on three different occasions. These are blatant untruths that can easily be refuted by sourcing material from Robert Priddy’s Pro-Sai book “Source Of The Dream”.


ROBERT PRIDDY’S FIRST TRIP TO SEE SATHYA SAI BABA:
How exactly did Sathya Sai Baba “invite” Robert Priddy to India the first time? In the chapter “Sai Answers A Call”, Robert Priddy said he wrote a letter to the Guru expressing a desire to see him in his “earthly incarnation”.

A friend of Priddy’s was to travel to Puttaparthi and took Priddy’s letter with him to India. When Priddy’s friend arrived at the ashram, he was told that Sathya Sai Baba was in Madras. However, the friend took Priddy’s letter with him “on an impulse” to bhajans and Sathya Sai Baba happened to arrive at that time. The Guru made rounds and took Priddy’s letter from his friend. That’s it!

Sathya Sai Baba never said one word to Robert Priddy or his friend that he should come to India. Since Robert Priddy currently contends that Sathya Sai Baba is a fraud, then Sathya Sai Baba taking his letter had no actual significance and did not constitute an “invitation”.


ROBERT PRIDDY’S 1987 TRIP TO SEE SATHYA SAI BABA:
Robert Priddy also alleged that Sathya Sai Baba personally “invited” him to an EHV course at Prashanti in 1987. Once again, Sathya Sai Baba never personally “invited” Robert Priddy to the EHV course at Prashanti in 1987.

In the chapter “The Rat In The Drum”, Robert Priddy narrated the entire story about his trip to Prashanti in 1987. Since Robert Priddy was turning 50 years old, he felt he needed to make a pilgrimage. Robert Priddy asserted that after chanting the Gayatri mantra in Norway, he would see gulls and various birds flying “without exception in the very direction of Puttaparthi”! After praying for “higher confirmation” and sending Sathya Sai Baba a “mental telegram”, he was convinced that Sathya Sai Baba answered his prayer after he rang his travel agent who said there was “no problem” and that he could wait “another week or so” before booking his flight (when earlier the same travel agent insisted he pay for the tickets within 24 hours). That’s it!

Sathya Sai Baba never said one word to Robert Priddy about coming to India to attend the EHV course in 1987. Since Robert Priddy currently contends that Sathya Sai Baba is a fraud, then the entire incident with the travel agent had no actual significance and did not constitute an “invitation”.


ROBERT PRIDDY’S TRIP FOR THE 70TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS:
Since Robert Priddy’s book was published before Sathya Sai Baba’s 70th birthday celebrations, one can only conclude that his visit to Prashanti for the 70th birthday celebrations was similarly based on “signs” he thought he received from the Guru. This is not surprising considering that Robert Priddy claimed he had a psychic telepathic connection with Sathya Sai Baba.


These are the typical types of exaggerations, embellishments and bold-faced untruths that Robert Priddy tells on almost a daily basis on his WordPress blog. Amusingly, Robert Priddy denies he has told a single lie. Since Robert Priddy and Ex-Devotees have miserably failed in their apathetic attempts to bring Sathya Sai Baba to “justice” in the past 10+ years, they resort to smears because the truth does not argue in their favor.

See:

Sathya Sai Allegations REFUTED (An article defending Sathya Sai Baba and the Pro-Sai position held by various Sai Devotees, including Dr. Michael Goldstein, Thorbjorn Meyer, Phyllis Krystal, Indulal Shah, etc.)

Sathya Sai Baba Called Out And The Wind And The Clouds Obeyed

Sathya Sai Baba Called Out And The Wind And The Clouds Obeyed

This incident happened when Sathya Sai Baba was still a young lad, affectionately called as ‘Sathya’ by everyone. Baba’s mother, Easwaramma, recounts this episode for Prof. Kasturi, which he has recorded in “Easwaramma – The Chosen Mother”:

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

“Puttaparthi was Gokulam, for Sathya was there. The old name of the village had been Gollapalli, the Cowherd Hamlet. It is this name that must have drawn Krishna to be born again on earth. How else can I explain the strange things the boy did?” Easwaramma asked me and related a story of His early years.

It was one evening during the North-East monsoon. The sky grew dark and menacing. Venkamma (Baba’s sister) was building a house then and there was a large kiln of wet bricks waiting to be baked. The logs of wood were readied but the fire could be lit only the next morning for the day was inauspicious. Now, there would be a downpour and all those bricks reduced to a huge misshapen mound of clay.

Something had to be done and quickly. Luckily there was a helpful neighbour. Cover the bricks with bundles of dry sugar cane leaves, he told Venkamma. Where were we to get that?

He suggested a friend of his living on the eastern bank of the Chitravathi who could be persuaded to give these leaves. A long line of men, women and children ran over the sands in desperate hurry. Swami too joined, the last in the line of volunteers.

But when He got to the middle of the riverbed He suddenly called out for everyone to stop.

‘Venkamma!’ He said. ‘Vaana raadu!’ (The rains will not come).

And – the clouds scattered, the day brightened, the threat was over! A few quiet words, a small palm silhouetted against the dark sky for a moment and up above in far space, the wind; the clouds and the rain obeyed! Everyone turned back home with no bundle of leaves, for they had the young Lord of the Elements in their midst.

Easwaramma concluded her story triumphantly and turned to watch my face with eager expectancy. I did not disappoint her. “This Krishna has saved this Gokula by lifting a single finger!” I said.

Reference: “Easwaramma – The Chosen Mother” by Prof. N Kasturi. Page: 33-34. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Baba Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam, 1984.

Sathya Sai Baba Sent The Clouds Away In Mumbai

Sathya Sai Baba Sent The Clouds Away In Mumbai

Sri Indulal Shah was a fortunate witness an astounding event in Mumbai (then Bombay) and the year, 1967. This time, it was in Dharmakshetra in Bombay. The month was July, the monsoon time in Bombay, and Sathya Sai Baba was paying a visit to Maharashtra State. The Bombay Samithi had arranged a public meeting of devotees in honour of Baba at Dharmakshetra.

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

I remember that it was a Sunday evening. In Bombay, in the month of July, a heavy downpour can be expected any time. That being a Sunday, a large crowd was expected to attend, regardless of the possibility of rain. The Samithi had taken all precautions to provide shelter to the devotees from showers. The large pandal at Dharmakshetra was packed with people to the full. The meeting was to commence at 6 p.m.

But at about 5.15 p.m., the sky was overcast and we feared that the rains would lash down any time. We were anxious to save the devotees from getting drenched in heavy rains. Some of the office-bearers felt that we should request Bhagavan Sri Sathya Baba to start the meeting a little early, say at 5.30 p.m. I felt that Baba might not accede to this as there was ‘Rahu Kal’ (inauspicious time) upto 6 p.m., but my colleagues insisted that there was nothing like ‘Rahu Kal’ for Bhagawan.

Accordingly, I went up to Bhagavan and prayed: “Baba, could we start the meeting a little early?”

“Why?” asked Baba in a tone, which, by itself, was an answer to the question. But we did not understand this then, as our mind was also clouded like the overcast sky that evening.

I pleaded: ‘Bhagavan, it is likely to rain, the meeting may be disrupted, the devotees may suffer’.

In answer to this Baba smiled and that benign smile remains imprinted in my mind even to this day – as bewitching as the smile that we see in the picture of Lord Krishna.

He then held my hand and took me to the nearby window where I saw that a drizzle had already started. Those who have seen Dharmakshetra know that Baba lives in a lotus-shaped mandir on top of a hillock and that the windows from His room open out westward. So, we could see through them the entire crowd gathered below and the dark expanse of the cloudy sky above.

Standing near the window, Baba said: ‘Yes, yes, it will rain, and it will rain very heavily’.

This statement put me out completely. I could see from the window, devotees holding open umbrellas in an effort to protect themselves from the impending showers. I was searching for words to pray to Baba.

Meanwhile, Bhagawan raised His hand through the window and, in a moment, we saw the drizzle stopped and clouds dispersed in the sky!

In that moment of anxiety, the full import of what Baba had done did not strike me. Baba said that the meeting should commence as scheduled and I rushed out to convey Baba’s decision to my colleagues outside.

The meeting started at 6 p.m. and, by then, the sky had brightened enough to dispel all our fears about the rains. It was during the meeting that I realised what a great blunder I had made in praying to Baba to commence the proceedings a little early. During those few minutes, I had forgotten that Baba is God and that He had absolute command over ‘Prakriti’ (nature).

When the meeting concluded and my colleagues were saying happily that the meeting went off very well, I shed some tears of joy and rushed to see Baba and fell at His Lotus Feet.

Baba, then, smiled and said: ‘You forgot’.

When the heart is full, words are few. I had no words to convey my gratitude. I was in an ecstatic thrill. That was an unforgettable moment and I cherish the thought that it was Bhagawan Himself who reminded me that I had forgotten that He is God!

This incident is a conclusive proof that Baba is Omnipotent, that He can control nature and that He is an Avatar, God come in human form to bless all mankind.

Reference: “Sixteen Spiritual Summers” by Sri Indulal Shah. Page: 16-18. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam in 1980.

How Sathya Sai Baba Cleared The Cloudy Skies Over Bangalore With One Wave Of His Hand

How Sathya Sai Baba Cleared The Cloudy Skies Over Bangalore With One Wave Of His Hand

Sri Indulal Shah, formerly the Chairman of the International Sathya Sai Organization, recounts his first Darshan of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in his book “Sixteen Spiritual Summers”:

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

In the summer of 1965, which, to me, was the first of my sixteen spiritual summers, I was in Bangalore once to visit a friend. During an informal conversation one morning, my host asked me whether I would like to see Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who was to address a meeting at Malleswaram, in the heart of Bangalore city, the same evening.

I had heard about Sri Sathya Sai Baba and also read about Him in some Bombay newspapers, but had never seen Him before. I had, till then, no particular urge to read either His biography or discourses. My immediate response to the question from my host, therefore, was somewhat casual and uncertain.

However, on second thoughts, I felt that I should attend the meeting and so, later in the day, accompanied by my wife, Sarla, I went to Malleswaram where a mammoth gathering was listening to Baba with rapt attention. We sat in a remote corner of the big maidan (ground). I was swayed by a nameless feeling, a strange inquisitiveness or curiosity, as though I was adventuring into the unknown.

Then suddenly, the sky became rather dark with thick clouds fast gathering overhead. The large crowd became visibly restless, as people feared an impending rain. We ourselves were in a quandary and my host hastened to take us back to his car.

Just then, we saw Sri Sathya Sai Baba raising His hand and saying something aloud to the crowd in the local South Indian language which, however, I could not grasp.

My friend said that He was asking the crowd to sit down and that He was assuring them that it would not rain. As He said this, we saw that the rain clouds started disappearing and the gathering darkness was giving way to bright sunshine. I remained spell-bound!

I could not believe that anyone could disperse moisture-laden heavy clouds by a mere wave of the hand. And yet, our eyes were a witness to this strange phenomenon, the likes of which I had read about only in Puranic (Hindu legends) stories.

Reference: “Sixteen Spiritual Summers” by Sri Indulal Shah. Page: 1-2. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam in 1980.