Sai Miracle Children

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sai Miracle Children

A completely new and fascinating phase of Sathya Sai Baba‘s work for mankind has been launched. He is bringing to birth in different parts of the world, what I have termed ‘Sai miracle children’. He is reported to have told a Sai devotee who has spent a long period with Sathya Sai Baba at the ashram in India that there will be thirteen of these children and I understand that there are five of them in incarnation already. One of the five is in Holland, another in India, two of them in countries that I am not certain of and a fifth one in Australia. Of the latter, I am quite certain, as I have spoken to his mother and had reports from several of my close friends who have been to visit him and I have a photograph of the little boy himself.

The story of his birth, which was related to me by his mother and the account of his subsequent miraculous manifestations are of such an outstanding nature that they would perhaps sound incredible to any but Sai devotees of long-experience and deep understanding, yet there are many unimpeachable witnesses to them. First then, the birth. When she was six and a half months pregnant, and certainly not expecting the birth of the child, she was having a meal one day in a well-known restaurant with her husband and possibly some friends. She told me that during the meal, she suddenly had a vision of a group of monkeys standing in front of her making excited noises, while the one who appeared to be leader came close and was talking to her in some language that she did not understand. She could make nothing of this vision of excited monkeys. Although a Sai devotee, I expect she had not read about Lord Rama and his army of monkeys led by the great devotee, Hanuman but to me it seems that the child in the mother’s womb has some close connection with Lord Rama. At any rate, on the following day, the mother was rushed to the hospital as the birth of the child was imminent. She told me that while she was getting undressed to go to bed in the hospital, she saw Vibhuti oozing from her body, particularly around the stomach area. Immediately she felt it must have a connection with the child she was carrying. She did not feel that she, herself, was worthy of such a manifestation, so the child within her must be very holy indeed. She felt some worry however, that he was arriving so prematurely. He arrived that day and was very small indeed, weighing only a kilo and a half. He was put into a crib and at this particular hospital it was customary to write the religion of the child just born, on a label to be put on the crib, in order that ministers of religion visiting the newborn babies could give their blessings to any child born into their religious flock. This mother and her husband were close followers of Sai Baba, so on the label for religion, she wrote ‘Sai Baba’. She was somewhat surprised and very pleased that all the religious leaders who visited the hospital that day, including a Buddhist priest and several from Christian denominations, as well as giving their blessings to the newborn children of their own religious denominations, all came and blessed the little boy under the label ‘Sai Baba’. On this first day of his life, something else surprised her when, going to look at him lying in the crib, she saw a gold cross lying on his forehead. It had just appeared there as he lay asleep so she took it off and hung it around his neck.

Although so tiny at birth, the little boy was perfectly healthy and grew quickly to normal size. East and west met in the two parents. The beautiful and spiritually advanced mother was Singhalese, from Sri Lanka, while the tall, handsome father came from Greece. They named their Sai miracle son, Alexander Saisha. He is generally called Alex. I know, as I have a photograph of Alex, taken when he was between two and three years old that he is a very handsome little boy indeed.

The account of the miracles that flow from him was given to me partly by his mother and completed by my close friends who have visited him. I think the Vibhuti must have been manifesting on his skin while he was still a baby-in-arms. I know the Vibhuti appearing on his face and head could not have been such a nuisance to him as it was to the little Vibhuti baby-in-arms that the Indian parents brought to Sathya Sai Baba over twenty years ago. I saw it appearing immediately after the mother had wiped it off him, she, and the baby’s father had brought him to Prashanti Nilayam to beg Sathya Sai Baba to make the manifestation of Vibhuti less frequent. I write about it in my book entitled Sai Baba Avatar. I would say that little Alex of Australia is not a fallen Yogi reborn, as Sathya Sai Baba said the little Indian child was. Alexander Saisha is one of the group being sponsored into incarnation by Sai Baba for a particular purpose of which I will say something later on.

Sometime after the manifestation of Vibhuti on his skin, Amrita began to flow at about the third eye area. This is sometimes called ‘the nectar of the Gods’. Then a healing oil bearing a wonderful perfume, started to flow from the crown of his head. This oil, of which I have been given a little myself, is reported to have cured cases of cancer. Of course, neither the Amrita nor the oil are flowing constantly, which would be too much for the child to bear. They flow intermittently, sufficient for quantities of each to be kept in bowls by the parents, for gifts to some of the lucky visitors. I, myself, have also received a little of the Vibhuti and can say that it’s taste is not like any other Vibhuti I have ever had. It is sweet with some indefinable pleasant flavour.

Another outstanding phenomenon manifested by this little Australian boy who is not yet quite three years old, is the production of Shiva lingams. They do not come up from within his interior or by the wave of his hand, as do those of Sai Baba, but simply appear in the palm of his little hand as he lies asleep in his bed. He may be either asleep or awake when they appear but they are of remarkable size, some larger than a duck egg, his mother tells me and they are all made of beautiful crystal of glorious colours. Sathya Sai Baba, himself, who is frequently in the house tells the mother to whom these sacred symbols of Lord Shiva should be given. It is really a great honour to receive one.

Another remarkable production recently begun by the little miracle boy is items of jewellery. Although a few of these have been medallions, the great majority have been rings golden rings. Between thirty and forty of these have come from Alex up to this time of writing which is May, 2001. Some of the rings have borne precious stones, and all appear of first class quality, “The kind you would find in the best jeweller’s shops,” remarked an observer friend of mine. The rings may appear in his little hand partly buried in Vibhuti, or they may be lying beside the sleeping child. Rose petals are often found, strewn by some unseen power, on each side of the little sacred form. Sometimes, the shining gold rings are found among the rose petals. Who receives these beautiful and valuable rings? Once or twice the little boy himself has handed a ring to some lady among the daily visitors, but generally I understand, the oft present Lord Sai in subtle form tells the mother for whom each of these rings is intended. Some of the ladies who receive the jewellery, are overwhelmed at the receipt of such a precious gift. The reader may well guess that this little Australian member of Sathya Sai Baba’s miracle team receives plenty of visitors. The fact is, that although no publicity, bar that of word of mouth, has ever been given, people from all over Australia and many from abroad come daily to see him. The house where he lives is a small one and only thirty people at a time can sit comfortably there. The generous hard-working mother books people who apply by phone, allowing for thirty each day, six days of the week. Sunday is a rest day. Applications have been on such a scale that she is always booked out for some nine months ahead. They certainly cannot cope with more than this number and that is why the parents have asked me not to give any indication of the location of the little boy and his unnamed parents in this chapter.

These young parents are not rich, just the reverse in fact, yet they give food as Prasad to all the daily visitors. My Carer, Sita Iyer, along with two good friends of mine, had the blessing and the great joy of visiting the home recently on a day when mainly friends of the family were present. They described the food served as, “More like a banquet”. In the main, the mother cooks the meal herself with some help from a member of her family. One of my friends heard the mother say, “I cook for Sathya Sai Baba, and he is often here while I’m cooking to direct me. Then I serve it as Prasad to my little son’s visitors.” I know personally, from long experience that only the best quality food is served in Sathya Sai Baba’s presence and that when visiting friends to have a meal He usually goes to the kitchen first and either helps cook Himself, or gives advice to the cook. So I understand that when he supervises the cooking for the visitors of His miracle child and perhaps He stays there some of the time when it is served, the little mother considers that nothing but the best is good enough. But, the question is, how does a young couple on a small income provide such expensive food for so many people six days in the week? I know that some of my friends think of the ‘loaves and fishes’ when Jesus fed the multitude. I feel myself that something like this must be the answer. I have known cases in India where Sathya Sai Baba has multiplied the food and I think of Jack Hislop’s remarkable and story about how when he was on a visit with Sathya Sai Baba and the hostess was overcome with embarrassment because she did not have the food to serve them dinner, Sathya Sai Baba said to Hislop, “Go and get the food in the car, Hislop.” Jack knew full well that there was no food in the car but he went anyway. He found, standing near Sathya Sai Baba’s car, two Angels holding a tray of food between them. A big tray it was, but Jack managed to carry it inside, his face still stamped with a look of amazement, at which Sathya Sai Baba said, “You can shut your mouth Hislop, They are always there but you just don’t see Them.”

The parents of little Alex do not say how this miracle is achieved. It, like so many other things of which they do not speak, are private matters between them and Sathya Sai Baba. And so, for their comfort and indeed for the little boy, I can only say that their location is somewhere in the vast continent of Australia. Furthermore, I know nothing of the other four miracle children except that they exist. As they are all Sai-sponsored children I presume their miraculous powers must be the same as, or similar to, those of little Alexander Saisha. Anyone may hear by word-of-mouth, of the location of any one of the team of Sai miracle children, but if it is the Australian one, please remember that the parents who are true Sai Baba devotees will not accept a donation in the form of food, money or in any other way.

Now, let us consider briefly, what Sathya Sai Baba may have in mind in initiating this new and unexpected phase in his mission. Sathya Sai Baba has not told anybody to my knowledge about any special reason he may have so I can only give my own opinion here. I have stated in a number of places in my writings that Sathya Sai Baba has said, in fact he said it as early as the 1960’s, that the Golden Age will begin before he leaves this body, which will be in 2021. So, I expect that every well-informed Sai Devotee is aware that this is the culminating point of his mission to mankind. It is a greater mission than any Avatar has attempted before, but as I heard Sir George Trevelyan state from a Sai platform in Rome, “Avatars do not fail, it is not in the nature of an Avatar to fail in his mission,” or words to that effect. We know if we read the sacred writings with a little insight that the Avatars who have gone before have not failed in their main mission to mankind on earth. And so, I have great confidence that this living Avatar will not fail in his mission.

No doubt many of my readers have heard about the big propaganda campaign against Sai Baba that was launched in recent times. The dark or backward-pulling forces were undoubtedly aiming to ruin the Avatar’s mission once and for all. But, did they ruin it? The strong wind that blew away the chaff leaving only the grain behind may have helped rather than hindered his mission. Perhaps he intended for this wind to blow for what was the chaff but those of little faith and less understanding. In the words of the old hymn, those, “Who never loved him well, and those who had lost the love they had.” Of what value is such windblown chaff in the building of the critical mass that Sai Baba must create in the very short span of years that he has at his disposal. If the Golden Age is, as he has stated, to have it’s initiation in the few years between now and 2021, what is the function of the critical mass, as it is called in science. A good homely analogy is the small amount of leaven or yeast required to raise the flat loaf of unleavened bread to the level of the baker’s loaf. In the same way, the present level of the consciousness of mankind can be lifted by a quantum leap to the level required for the Golden Age by the power of the critical mass. What must this critical mass consist of in numbers and in quality? We do not know the numbers required but no doubt God does. We may, perhaps, have some thoughts about its quality, about its content; surely it must be the true grain without any admixture of chaff. It must be those devotees of God who have deep understanding, firm faith, those who are striving with all their willpower to live according to the highest values of truth and the Divine Love. In short, those devotees who are firmly on the journey home.

So it may well be, I think, that this team of thirteen miracle children are meant as a strong weapon in the building of the critical mass and thus help to bring about on time, the greatest miracle ever. That is, raising the mighty loaf of human consciousness and thereby bring about that new world of peace, contentment and joy for which we are all longing. At least, that is my opinion and my great hope.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

Sai Avatar And Mysticism

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sai Avatar And Mysticism

I would like here to draw an interesting comparison between the teachings and missions of Sai Baba Avatar, who walks the earth today and those of Mysticism. Mysticism began as a powerful spiritual movement about one millennium ago affecting all the monotheistic religions. Whatever the founders of these religions may have taught, the ordinary members of Church, Synagogue, Mosque and Temple worship a God ‘out there’ somewhere, somewhere beyond the bright blue sky. The Mystics however, arising from the membership of the various religions found a God within themselves, deep within, seeming closer to them than breathing, nearer than hands and feet.

It may be that the fathers of the Mystic movement in each religion had an intuitive sense of the inward divinity; or it may be that the movement was born with those who had meditated deeply and discovered the inner presence. In any case, the movement grew in some religions rapidly, in some slowly. In most of the religions it was not welcomed, in some it was condemned as blasphemy to bring the austere, judgmental God from his pure throne far beyond the earth, into the intimacy of one’s personal body, into the body of sin, as thought many. This was not acceptable to a large number of the orthodox religionists, yet in spite of this opposition, the Mystical movement grew apace and eventually had a good influence on each of the monotheistic religions.

For some reason, it grew most strongly and rapidly in the Muslim religion and a good proportion of the followers of Allah became Mystics or Sufis as they were called. In the Jewish religion also, Mysticism was, and is, a strong movement; it is known as the Cabala. It had no particular name in the Christian religion but those individuals who followed the mystical path of close inner union with God were often called Saints. Some who responded to the divine voice within themselves, such as Joan of Arc, were martyred and then later canonised as Saints.

There was, moreover, a vast difference between the God of the ordinary religionist as taught in the religious institutions and the inner God of Mysticism. The former was a judgmental God giving the heavenly rewards to those who kept his Commandments; and terrible punishments, often everlasting, to those who disobeyed his laws; whereas the inner God of the Mystics seems to have been a close and loving friend, leading his human children along the pathways of love and deep understanding back to their spiritual home. It seems strange that a greater proportion of people is not attracted to the intimate God of the Mystics away from the judgmental tyrant resident in the remote skies. Perhaps it is because it is not easy for most people to find the inner divinity, maybe many more would, if they were given leadership.

When, in my student days, I was researching all the churches of every denomination to find the one that appealed to me most, I heard no mention from the pulpit of the God who resides within the heart of man. Indeed, I had to live through many decades and travel through many countries before I met the One who revealed to me the great secret, which is the secret of life itself and is so simple that it should be made known to every child.

The time was the mid sixties of last century. The place was a small garden at Brindavan, near Whitefield. I was strolling in that garden with a few men of varying ages; we were waiting for Sri Sathya Sai Baba to appear through a doorway. When he did appear, one who must have been the youngest among us, accosted him with the pointed and important question, “Are you God?” It was then that we received from the divine lips of Sathya Sai Baba, the great revelation. Perhaps it was the matter-of-fact tone of the stupendous statements that made me accept them immediately without question. He told us that we were all Gods, we were, indeed, Avatars of God, having brought God to earth within us, each one of us, when we were born, but we had forgotten this great truth long, long ago. The purpose of our lifetimes on earth, he said, was in order to remember the great truth of our own divinity. It took many lifetimes to re-discover and experience this one great truth of our identity. To help mankind in this task, Avatars with full memory of their divine identity come to earth from time to time. He, himself was one of those; he had known it from his early childhood in the remote village of Puttaparthi. “God is everywhere,” he said, “But the easiest place to find Him is within yourself.”

At later times through the years I spent with him, he frequently reminded me in many different ways of that God within, who is our true identity. Once he said, “My job as your Guru is to lead you to your inner Guru.” Then many years later he said, “I have brought you to your inner Guru or God and there is no spiritual reason why you have to come to me again.” Then he added as an afterthought, “But in a human way I always like to see you, of course.” So here was Sathya Sai Baba revealing to me, very soon after I had come to him, the reality of the inner God discovered by the Mystics through inner search, but never mentioned in Sunday School or Church. Surely every child should be told this magnificent truth about themselves.

So it is that I see Sai Avatar as a super Mystic and I ask myself what is the difference between an Avatar and a Mystic are their teachings different or the same? Is their mission on earth different or the same? Considering their earthly mission first, I see that of the Avatar today, as of all former Avatars, to be vaster, more expansive than that of a Mystic. Sai Baba, Sai Avatar, has the charisma necessary to attract huge crowds from all parts of the world and the teachings to change the consciousness of millions. He has said that he is the Avatar of the masses, whereas one such as Aurobindo is the Avatar of individuals. Unlike Aurobindo, Sai Baba’s teachings are put in simple language that does not require a philosophical bent of mind to appreciate and understand.

To all people of deep spiritual perception, the signs in the world today are not those of doom and destruction as might appear on the surface, but of a great change. A change that could be described as the death of the old world, or of the old world order and the birth of something that is entirely new, stupendous, wonderful, in fact what has been termed the Golden Age. The present Avatar has said, and I have often heard him say it, that the Golden Age will be born before he leaves his present body in the year 2021. In support of this, two of the leading ascended Masters have predicted that this new age will begin in a little over a decade from now, from this time of writing; it is now early in the year 2001. Other great workers in what Sir George Trevelyan called the ‘Force field of Light’ are working for this new age and know that it is not far distant.

No Mystic, be he Christian, Sufi, or Jewish, ever came to the world with such a mighty mission as this. The Mystic’s aim, in whatever century he was born, was to teach as many people and change the lives of as many people as he could in his lifetime. But he thinks in terms of individuals, or perhaps hundreds, and eventually maybe thousands of individuals, but his mission is not to raise in a few decades, the level of the consciousness of the whole of mankind.

One of them whom I feel to be among the greatest, that is, Rumi of the Sufi order of Mysticism must have brought many to the light through the Dervish Dancing he started in Turkey, through his poetic teaching and his great influence on the world of art, but his ambitions fell far short of bringing a quantum leap upward to the world consciousness. So, while the Avataric mission and that of the Mystics is different, their teachings in general are much the same. The differences are few, mostly a matter of degree and can be related to their missions.

While I have through the years read something of the writings of the Mystics, particularly of the Sufis, and some of the Christian Saints, the one I have studied more thoroughly is a modern Christian Mystic named Joel Goldsmith. Although he would be classed as a Christian Mystic because the Master he followed was Jesus the Christ, he was Jewish by birth and lived in our modern age from approximately 1890 to 1964. To what might appear to be a coincidence, though I believe when on the spiritual path, there is no such thing as a coincidence, most of his books and a large quantity of his audio teaching tapes, suddenly became available to Sai friends of mine. Together we studied his books and his tapes. The most remarkable thing about them is the way they fit into the Avataric teachings. Put in different words and language, style, they make an excellent supplement to what Sathya Sai Baba has taught about the relationship of man and God and, while giving a different reason for the great illusion of separateness, teach the truths of Adwaitha or the essential oneness of all mankind beneath the veil of illusion. The only difference in the teachings of the Mystic and the Avatar that I have noted, is in the matter of prayer or man’s verbal communications with God.

The Mystic, Goldsmith, follows closely his understanding of the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament which says such things as, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the rest will be added unto you.” His Master, Jesus, also says in other places that the Kingdom of God is within you and that God himself is within you and in prayer we should ask, he says, for further understanding and enlightenment and for help in living the Spiritual life of compassion, forgiveness and so on. If we do that, Joel Goldsmith points out, there is no need to ask God for any material advantages, such as a better job, a higher salary or anything else of a worldly nature, because God has said through Jesus, that all such things will be given to you if you concentrate on using prayer for the advancement of your spiritual evolution. Sai Baba, on the other hand, encourages his devotees to ask for whatever they want, whether it is material or spiritual. He says that he will give people what they want if it will not bring them any harm, in order that they will, in time, ask for the things he wants to give them. Those things are of course the spiritual treasures. So Sai devotees happily petition God for material things that will help them in their daily living. Many even ask for simple things like a parking place for the car and believe that Sathya Sai Baba helps them.

Perhaps this wider latitude granted by Sai Baba is that he calls people to him at an earlier stage in their spiritual development, earlier in their spiritual journey homeward, than those who would be attracted to the Goldsmith teachings. People have to be ready, Sathya Sai Baba says, before he calls them unto him, but they are ready at an earlier stage than they would be for the Mystic’s teachings. And so, they have analogically, the easier kindergarten or primary school privileges. Furthermore, by giving them the material trinkets they love, he establishes more firmly, their love for the living Avatar, placing their feet more firmly on the spiritual path. Interestingly I discovered, when much later he told me that he was now in my heart and visits to him physically were no longer necessary, that the material things such as rings and watches and the many other trinkets, do work as a kind of talisman in helping to bring the student to his inner God.

In speaking about the Vedic chant, the Gayathri, I have heard Sathya Sai Baba praise it because it contains only one petitional prayer and that is the request for spiritual Light. As our footsteps advance along the pathway home, our petitions to God will automatically become spiritual requests and not those of a worldly nature.

The other types of communication between man and God, those we generally call meditation or contemplation, Joel Goldsmith teaches that they should be carried out at least twice a day for a period of a quarter of an hour or more each time, and then throughout the day whenever possible, if it be only for a minute or more. This, in a sense, is like the ‘receiving’ practice in Subud, by the Master, Pak Subuh, who said that we should endeavour to receive the spirit and grace of God while we are occupied in our daily task, particularly when cooking or preparing food. Such divine blessings, he said, would be tasted by those eating the food.

Joel, like Sathya Sai Baba, gave specific instructions in different forms of meditation and said that each student would, in time, discover the best form and the most fruitful technique suitable to himself. These teachings are really no different in essence from those of Sai Avatar, except that the latter perhaps adapts the instructions for the type, manner and periods of meditation to the needs of the individual, but he does encourage all of his devotees to interweave in their daily lives, communications with God such as repetition of the divine name, quiet moments of meditation and sweet loving interchanges with the divinity. Whatever can be fitted into the necessary worldly tasks of one’s life, helps to increase the strength of one’s divine life along the pathway home.

It is interesting to note that the modern American Mystic gives as much emphasis to love or prema in the development of the divine life as does Sai Avatar. Joel is sterner than Sathya Sai Baba in condemnation of human love as being too tainted with selfishness or the element of self-interest, to equal the selfless purity of divine love. Man must be satisfied with nothing less than the attainment of this pure, selfless love. Sathya Sai Baba, while saying the same thing in principle, is a little more tolerant and understanding towards certain kinds of human love. Mother love, or more correctly, parental love, is closest to the pure love of God and in some cases where a parent is prepared to give his own life to save that of the child, love reaches its highest level. As Sathya Sai Baba said when he was on earth as Jesus the Christ, “No greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.” And there have been examples among world explorers, among warriors on the battlefields, and among members of families, of those whose love has been so great that they have willingly given their lives to save that of others. Here, the greatest of all human values reaches its zenith in the pure Divine Prema.

It is, indeed, heartwarming to know through study and experience that the stupendous mission of the world Avatar is being supported, if in a humbler and relatively modest way, by the Mystics of the world both present and past.

I would like to conclude this chapter by stating that I personally have found great joy in the realisation that Mysticism is giving its unqualified support to the work of Sai Avatar, as we workers on the divinely human path must strive to do.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

Easter And The Dharmic Life

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Easter And The Dharmic Life

One day, a little over half a century ago, I was sitting in a coffee house in the wonderful city of Old Jerusalem. The table where I sat looked through the open front onto a cobbled street. This was the street I had come to see and to walk along. Its name was the Via Dolorosa, which means the Way of Sorrow. This is the street along which Jesus of Nazareth walked carrying his heavy cross on that first Good Friday some two Millennia ago. His back was covered with blood from the metal tipped whips with which he had been scourged and there was blood on his face from the crown of thorns that had been forced into his scalp. Though a man of strong build, he had been greatly weakened from the torture he had suffered at the hands of the Roman soldiers and his cross was heavy. Story tells that he fell over at least once during his journey up the hill to the place called Calvary or Golgotha. Having reached that summit, he was nailed to the cross he had carried and remained there suffering until the sun set on that first Good Friday. Then, as bodies were not permitted to remain on a cross on the Jewish Sabbath, which was the Saturday, Jesus the Christ was killed by a spearthrust by the Roman legionnaire named Longinus. The corpse was taken down and Jesus was carried by his great uncle Joseph of Arimathea and his friend, another devotee of Jesus, named Nicodemus. They put the corpse in the private tomb in the garden of Joseph’s house in Jerusalem. Then a large stone was rolled in front of the tomb, closing it off. Finally a squad of soldiers from the Temple troops was placed on guard at the entrance of the tomb.

All was quiet throughout the Saturday, the Sabbath, but early Sunday morning brought the beginnings of the final act of this world drama, out of which a great religion was born. Somehow the stone had been rolled back and the tomb was empty. Nobody was there. A little later in the day, Jesus walked through a closed door into a room where some of his disciples had gathered. His physical body had been transmuted into a subtle body which some have called a spiritual body, a body of glory and a body of light. This is a phenomenon that Sathya Sai Baba has demonstrated many times. That is, he travels through walls or closed doors in his subtle body and when necessary lowers its vibration to create a solid body that can be felt by human hands and can be seen by normal human eyesight. Some days later, after communicating with his disciples and others, this body of Glory, this body of Light, ascended to the highest spiritual realm as Lord Rama and others have done.

What, if anything is the significance of this Easter story to you and to me? “Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected to save all mankind,” write the Christian theologians. “But,” preach the Christian evangelists, “To be saved you must believe in Him, in Jesus.” I want to take you, if you have not gone there already, a step deeper into this great, important question. In fact, Sathya Sai Baba has already shown us that step if we can take it. He teaches us that we are all one and I feel that most of us accept that, even though we may not have experienced it. But if we ordinary humans are all one beneath the surface, then surely Godmen are also all one and they are aware of it. Sathya Sai Baba has shown himself in the forms of Rama and Krishna and Dattatreya and Jesus. All physical forms are but the clothing of one Godman, one Avatar of God. Sathya Sai Baba has indicated, not only by taking the form, but in other ways, that he and Jesus are one. Once on the Christmas day platform at Prashanti Nilayam, I said a few words about the several different names Jesus had been known by when he was on earth and afterwards. One of these was Isa, which he was called in India and the Middle East. Sathya Sai Baba opened his own discourse by saying the true name of Jesus was Isa the letters of that name also make the word Sai. Isa and Sai are one. So the Godman who can save us from our iniquities and lead to the goal does not have to be named Jesus or Isa. Today his name is Sai and by his loving grace, his infinite mercy, he is leading us on to our spiritual home. But why, you may ask, did the all-loving Godman in the body named Jesus or Isa have to suffer the Via Dolorosa and the Crucifixion?

Long before the time of Jesus, in the temples of ancient Egypt, men went through the ritual of crucifixion as an initiation to the highest. But why did one have to go through it in agonising actuality on the human stage? Was it simply that a great spiritual Light should come into the dark world of the west under the Roman Empire? It was that and more than that. Spiritual masters such as Rudolf Steiner have given interesting esoteric reasons why the Crucifixion of Jesus is for the benefit of all humanity, but here I would like to give only the explanation given by our own great Master, who, as I said earlier, went through it all himself in an earlier body. And why do I say that you and I are today treading the Via Dolorosa, treading it voluntarily as the Godman did two thousand years ago? We have come through a certain doorway in consciousness from the ordinary self-consciousness of mankind to a level where we have become aware of the purpose of our lives and where we are going. We know that our destination is union with God. We know that we are treading the path to our spiritual home. We have discovered, too, beyond all doubt that we are two people. Each of us is at least two people, one the obvious self-assertive one who makes a great deal of noise on the stage of life, what Sathya Sai Baba calls the personal ego. We have inherited this from a long way back when we were parts of the animal consciousness. This was necessary for that phase of life but now, with our feet on the spiritual path, we realise that this ego who dominates our lives is really an anachronism. He is an anachronism and an impostor who belongs to a past time. He has no place in eternity. But the other Self does belong to eternity. He has been buried away in the dungeons of falsehood and maya, in the darkness of our ignorance for so long that we seldom hear his voice. And when we do, we call it ‘conscience’. It is, in truth, the voice of God and is therefore the root of all consciousness. We now know that the ego self has to be eliminated in order that the God Self can take command and guide us into that spiritual harbour which is our destination. But it is not an easy struggle while our feet are on this slippery and narrow path. Some have named it the razor’s edge. Jesus himself said that it was a way that was strait and narrow. I am calling it the Via Dolorosa.

Sathya Sai Baba has said that pleasure is just an interval between two sorrows and here we know the purpose and meaning of sorrow, hardship and adversity. We know their meaning and their value in helping our faltering footsteps up the slippery, rough, cobbled road to Calvary. We know that we must strive here to live the dharmic or sacred life that will take us in the shortest possible time to the cross on the hill and what lies beyond it. Sathya Sai Baba makes a cross with his two forefingers and states that the cross stands for the final death of the personal ego. When this false ego is finally annihilated from the body, which is its tomb, there will arise that glorious eternal spiritual Being which is our true Self. And this, as the Godman Jesus illustrated, will be able to communicate with and inspire his brother men who are still on the human path, to arise and become part of the one God.

So this great drama of Easter is important to every one of us because it illustrates what every human being must go through before he comes to his glory. It is our model. It seems to me that we must strive with all the divine will that is in each of us to live the life of dharma, the special sacred life, as we strive with brave hearts and divine understanding towards the cross of final victory that stands on the hill. We all know and we are all striving to practice those five divinely human values, those five bright beacons that our Lord has given us to keep our feet on the slippery way. I just want to say here that it behoves us to delve as deeply as possible into their meaning.

Take, for example, the first one, Sathya or Truth. It was Jesus who said, “Know the truth and the truth will set you free.” What is this truth that will set us free from our bondage? For me it is the fundamental truth of oneness. If we can reach within the glittering lights of diversity and take hold of this truth of oneness and strive to live it, then we are well on the way to freedom.

The last of the five beacons is Ahimsa or Non-violence. That seems fairly straightforward, but is it? One of our greatest Godman leaders, Lord Krishna, encouraged the violent destruction of a large part of the Kshetria caste in order to rid the world of a group that had grown evil beyond redemption. He was cutting down the diseased tree, as Sathya Sai Baba says. But Krishna encouraged the right understanding and the right attitude when necessary violence must be carried out. We know that life must be destroyed in order for man to eat and to live. When our hands are doing violent acts, from the chopping up of spinach, through the cutting down of a tree, to the slaying of men in battle, we must do it with love and reverence, without any violent feeling towards the form of life that we needs must destroy for a greater good. For all forms of life from a blade of grass to the greatest sage are a part of God. I feel it would be true to say that the more we can follow the life of dharma, the more we can weaken our false ego as we try to tread the narrow path, less painful will be the final crucifixion of the ego.

Here we have the key to true Shanti. While our feet and hands are playing their part in the tug of war between good and evil, let our minds be in the eternal, the infinite. A line from an old prayer says, “There is a power that maketh all things new. It lives and moves in those who know the Self as one.”

May that power grow in us all as we struggle up the Via Dolorosa with the great vision of oneness before us.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

Wensley Gains More Than A Cure

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Wensley Gains More Than A Cure

Wensley Roth lives in New South Wales near the Queensland border with her husband and children. It was while I was in that area in the early 1990’s that she told me an interesting story. That is nearly a decade ago now but I have not told her story in an earlier book because something seemed to stop me. The reader will realise by the end of the chapter the reason why I had an inner prompting to wait. She not only told me her story verbally but wrote it for me in all details.

It was in October of the year 1990 that she noticed a swelling on the right side of her neck. This she was told was an enlarged lymph node. In the following month a number of lymph nodes were removed from her right armpit and from the shoulder. Her medical specialist informed her that she was suffering from a disease known as non-Hodgkins lymphoma. This disease, he told her, was treatable but could not be cured – it always comes back. Wensley remarked, “I would like to be the exception to that rule.”

During the early months of the next year, that is 1991, she heard about Ian Gawler’s clinic for people suffering from cancer and in March that year she paid two five day visits to his centre. I would like to introduce Ian Gawler here because I knew him personally some years before. He was suffering from a serious bone cancer and had several months’ treatment from a number of psychic healers in the Philippines. Then he was advised to go to India to Sathya Sai Baba to complete the cure. He did so and Sathya Sai Baba assured him that he was cured. Ian felt complete faith in this and, after gaining some strength, returned to his practice as a Veterinary Surgeon in Victoria. Then he had the idea to open a clinic in which he could help patients suffering from cancer. So it was interesting for me to learn how Wensley fared in Ian Gawler’s clinic. Briefly she told me that it had been well worthwhile and she gained a number of benefits from her time there. For one thing she was taught some very useful techniques in meditation and visualisation. A woman she met at the clinic showed her a photograph of Sathya Sai Baba and gave her some of the vibhuti he had manifested. Furthermore, it seems to have been through this woman that she obtained a copy of Dr Sam Sandweiss’s book The Holy Man and the Psychiatrist. One day while she was resting with her eyes closed she became aware of a man standing before her with a great deal of compassion in his eyes. He had a peculiar headgear which seemed to be a cloth tied over his head. When she opened her eyes the vision faded away. She told her friend about the vision who wondered if it could have been Sai Baba. Later when she saw a photograph of Shirdi Sai Baba she recognised the man in her vision. She began to feel a longing to go personally to Sai Baba, whom she somehow felt was her Sadguru in this life, yet he seemed so remote, so far away in India that she felt reluctant to go to him at this time.

The benefits she gained at this time at the Gawler Institute are too numerous to mention here. One, however, is that Ian Gawler taught her a number of affirmations which she used and felt were very helpful in fighting the disease. One was, ‘At last I can be my true self’ and another, ‘I have much to achieve in this incarnation’ and a third, ‘My spiritual evolvement is number one priority in my life.’ On returning home towards the end of April in that same year, she found that the tumour or swelling on her neck was only half the size it had been eight weeks earlier when she went to Ian Gawler’s clinic. Her oncologist was pleased and told her to keep it up, whatever it was that she was doing. So she kept to a strictly vegetarian diet with fruit juices and mineral and vitamin supplements. She also continued the meditation and visualisation that she had learned at the Gawler Institute. She did this twice daily for a period of half an hour to one hour each session. Often her meditation would be the white light meditation that Ian Gawler had taught her. “I would visualise the light as coming from Baba,” she said, and sometimes his form as Sathya Sai would appear to her while she was meditating on the light. And sometimes, surprisingly to her, she would hear the word Jesus pronounced strongly and clearly by an inner voice when the form of Sathya Sai Baba appeared. “I did not understand this at first,” she said, “But later wondered if Jesus was the one who sent Sathya Sai Baba or did it mean that Sathya Sai Baba was the Father who sent Jesus?”

Wensley continues her story: While at the Gawler Institute I learned that disease comes about when the divine energy that is constantly flowing through the body is blocked at some point and for some reason. Then at the point of the blockage of the sustaining energy, probably the one called prana, a lump is formed. So I tried to visualise the divine energy again flowing through my body, propelled by Sai Baba or by Jesus, so that the lump would be removed.

A few weeks later, tests showed that the lump in my neck had been reduced to the size of a pea and my Oncologist remarked that this size was normal in many people. A week later I could not feel anything at all where the lump had been. And this was only about six months after the original diagnosis.

About a week after this very encouraging development, I was driving my car along a road when I saw a notice above the entrance to a ground, saying “Sathya Sai Camp.” Although I was not familiar with the name Sathya, the word Sai arrested my attention. There were some people under the sign at the entrance, so I made some enquiries. The two I spoke to were Arthur and Poppy Hillcoat, who became my friends later. They confirmed that it was a Sathya Sai Baba camp and kindly invited me to join the camp. I felt very happy about their invitation and told them that I would attend the next day. This was a wonderful day for me being among a crowd of Sai devotees, hearing bhajans sung for the first time and enjoying a talk by Arthur Hillcoat. Arthur and Poppy kindly gave me a beautiful photo of Sathya Sai Baba sitting in a cross-legged position. They also gave me two of your books, Howard, Sai Baba Man of Miracles and Sai Baba Avatar. It was by a photo in one of them that I was able to confirm that the one who came in my vision while I was at the Gawler Institute, was Shirdi Sai Baba.

It was in October of that same year that I had my first dream of Sathya Sai Baba. He was looking straight at me and was surrounded by an aura of pink light. Then he extended his aura to envelop me. (Later Wensley, no doubt, would have learned that the pink colour is the aura of love.) It was in December of that same year that my oncologist could not find any trace of my recent disease. So I thought with joy that I was cured. He remarked that he wished all of his patients would manage their diseases like I did. My joy at being cured was deflated when I heard my oncologist telling my general practitioner that I was in remission. I recalled that he told me earlier that this was a disease that could not be cured but would go into remission and then come back.

I continued reading regularly the books about Sai Baba and enjoyed many dreams and visions of him. Consequently my love for him grew more and more and I felt certain that he was the Sadguru I had hoped to find. So I decided that my search was over and I must as soon as possible visit him in India.

In the early months of the following year, which was 1992, I intensified my meditation both on Sai Baba’s teachings and on his present form. While I was doing this I was surprised to hear the name Jesus pronounced several times and I felt certain there must be some connection between Sathya Sai Baba and Jesus. I longed to know what the connection was. Was it, I wondered, that Sai Baba was a reincarnation of Jesus or did it mean that Sai Baba was the Father God who sent Jesus? Then I was given a vision. In this Jesus was standing before me, dressed in a long white gown. He held his arms before him to make the sign of the cross. Next I saw Sathya Sai Baba in the cross-legged position in which I saw him in the photograph, floating towards the figure of Jesus. Then the words came to my ears or inner ear, “Sai Baba crucified.” The words sent a shot of sadness and compassion through my heart at the thought that Sai Baba too had suffered the pains of the crucifixion. But how could this happen? It must mean, surely, that the two were one, one in the Christ consciousness and the cosmic consciousness.

There was another thing in that vision. When Sathya Sai Baba was quite close to Jesus, I heard the latter say, “Sai Baba is the Lord.” When I thought about these words, I decided that it meant that Sai Baba was the Avatar carrying the divine consciousness in the world today.

One day during the Easter of 1992, I was feeling rather low in spirits so I put an extra large pinch of vibhuti into a glass of water, drank it and lay down to rest. Later as I was waking from a sleep, I heard a voice saying, “Divine intervention.” Then a few minutes later, as I was looking into the glass from which I had taken the vibhuti water, I saw two images, one of Sathya Sai Baba and one of Jesus.

The fruit of my many visions and dreams was my first visit to Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram in India, that is, his main ashram known as Prashanti Nilayam. This took place in November, 1992. On the day after my arrival I was granted an interview. I shall never forget the exultation and gratitude I felt when I heard Sathya Sai Baba say to me, “Your cancer has been cured.” So I felt this was not just a remission but, by His Grace, a cure.

Sometime later I had a dream, a very vivid dream, in which a lady who was Indian but dressed in western clothes, appeared and said to me with a smile, “The object of your disease was to bring you to Sai Baba.” How blessed I am that He whom Jesus called the Lord has revealed His divinity to me in so many ways and in His mercy, turned the remission into a cure. I am humbled to be the recipient of so much of His Grace. Now when I wake up each morning to the glory of the sunrise, I feel happy to be in a new day in which I can love God. My latest dream message was that just as the Mother-Father-Siva-Shakti God loves me, so I must strive to mirror that love to Him and to all mankind on planet Earth. This will be an expression of the Divine One within me. Thank you beloved Sathya Sai Baba.”

Note by author: It is almost a decade now since Wensley gave me her story and while I was writing this chapter in October, 2000, I tried to make contact with her through friends in Queensland, but nobody seemed able to trace her. So, sadly I began to think that perhaps, after all, the killing disease had returned and carried her off as the same non-Hodgkins lymphoma did to my wife. Then, joy of joys, I had a phone call from ‘the pink twins’ in Brisbane, telling me that Wensley had walked into a Sai Baba function carrying a bunch of beautiful flowers and smiling like a picture of radiant health. They told her that I would like to hear from her and she phoned me the next day. Now I can happily conclude this chapter by saying that Wensley’s hope to be the exception to the rule came true. The so-called remission was a cure, as Sathya Sai Baba told her, on her first visit to him.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

The Esoteric Christmas

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

The Esoteric Christmas

Undoubtedly the many millions of Christians throughout the world know that the 25th of December is the traditional date for celebrating the birth of Jesus. Very few, perhaps, know that this has not always been so. In fact, it did not become the accepted date for the Christmas festival until nearly the middle of the fourth century A.D. In her book entitled “Esoteric Christianity”, Dr Annie Besant, who was President of the International Theosophical Society for more than a quarter of a century, ending about 1934, quotes Williamson Gibbons, author of “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” and a number of others on this interesting subject. From these I gained the following facts, which should be of interest to all who join in the Christmas festival. Indeed, other spiritual people who regard Christmas as belonging only to the Christians may feel inclined to celebrate the 25th of December themselves when they know its true meaning and implications.

Not knowing and finding it impossible to determine the actual date of the birth of Jesus, Christians of the earliest centuries chose any date for the celebration. It is said that over a hundred different dates were chosen by sects of the Christian church. Dates in September or August, February, March, June and July were chosen by groups of Christians in different countries. Perhaps this did not matter so much but it was certainly better that all should celebrate on the same date. So in the year 337 A.D. the head of the Christian church, Pope Julius (, residing in Rome, decided on the 25th of December as the date for all Christians to celebrate the birth of their Saviour and leader Jesus Christ. At this time, about half of the people of Asia Minor, Europe and North Africa had become Christians, while others retained their old religions, mainly that of ancient Greece. At about this time, or a little earlier, Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire. So it paid those in power, or seeking power, to adopt this new religion.

Now what was the reason for the choice of this date, the 25th of December, above all other possible dates? There must surely have been a good reason and, in fact, there was. The reason goes back through many centuries to time immemorial. It goes back, in truth, to the worship of the sun god or the sun hero who reincarnated every year on that date. This was, of course, connected with the rebirth of the sun in the northern hemisphere. The wise men of ancient times, as do those of esoteric understanding, believed in the maxim, “As above so below and as below so above”. They understood that what happens below on earth is, in a sense, a shadow of more important happenings above. As you and I, having three-dimensional bodies, cast a two-dimensional shadow, so events in the higher spiritual world of many dimensions cast three-dimensional shadows here on earth. We are concerned here with the rebirth of the physical sun on the 25th of December and the parallel rebirth of the sun hero, the one bringing earthly light and the other bringing spiritual Light.

At midnight on the 24th of December, known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, where our culture had its roots , the sun, which had been declining for six months and seemed likely to leave the earth forever, was suddenly reborn. The reincarnating sun rose above the eastern horizon, proceeding through the constellation of Virgo just above the horizon. So it was that on the early morning of the 25th of December the sun was reborn through a virgin. This was the great and wonderful event to the earth below. But, in the world above, there was a parallel, a yet even greater event. To the wise men of the ancients and likewise to the modern esotericists, a life-giving saviour sun is the body of the spirit known as the Logos. The dictionary gives two meanings to this word Logos, one is the Son of God and the other the Word of God. It is the Son of God, whether he be considered a messenger or an Avatar, who brings to man the wisdom of God in words. The new-born physical sun is at first a weak infant. He seems to struggle against the dark, which is predominant while the nights are longer than the days, and this valiant struggle of the youthful sun continues until he reaches the line of the spring equinox. And when he crosses that, he is said to be crucified and rises triumphantly to ripen the corn and fruits, thus bringing warmth and sustenance to the creatures on earth. His life-giving ascension into the heavens continues until the summer solstice in June, then he begins his six-monthly decline until the next winter solstice in December.

The Logos or Godman, who descends to earth to bring the divine Light and thus save mankind from spiritual death, has many parallels in his birth and life with his symbol, the physical sun. For one thing, he is always and inevitably born of a virgin as the sun is born through the cosmic virgin. The mother of the Godman may not be a virgin in the physiological sense but she is always so in the spiritual sense. Let us think of the few whom we know, Isis of ancient Egypt was the virgin mother of Horus, one of the Godmen light-bringers. Devaki, the mother of Krishna was of a spiritually pure virginal nature and in some accounts of Krishna’s birth his mother, Devaki, was a physiological virgin. The Chinese account of the birth of Buddha claims that his mother, Mayadevi, was a pure virgin. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin according to the biblical account, while all accounts show her to be a spiritually pure woman. Those of us who are fortunate to have known Eswaramma, the physical mother of our Avatar, Sathya Sai Baba, know that she was pure and virginal of heart. It would seem that none of the saintly mothers of the Godmen had any bad karma to adversely affect the bodies of those Godmen who came to earth through their wombs.

Knowing something of the lives of the great Avatars of history, we can see more easily through them, the continuing parallel of their lives with that of the new-born sun. They too suffered in the early part of their lives from the threats of the spiritual darkness around them. The Avatars are not, of course, born every year like the physical sun, but they reincarnate at the end of a cosmic year when the spiritual light is fading and the power of darkness comes near to eliminating the last shreds of spirituality in the hearts of men. Then in the boyhood of the young Avatar the parallel with the sun continues. His life is still threatened by the power of darkness. We know the threat to the baby Krishna by his wicked uncle Kamsa was there from the very beginning of his life and continued through his childhood. We know how, when he heard of the birth of the baby Jesus, the prince of darkness King Herod, who had heard in a prophecy that this child would be a threat to his throne, had all the male children born about the same time in Israel slaughtered to make sure that he had eliminated the threat to his power. But an angelic messenger had warned the baby’s parents and they took the young Jesus into Egypt where he lived until the threat to his life was over. We know, too, how the dark forces worked through certain ignorant and misguided villagers to kill the young Sathya Sai through poison and fire.

But is this interesting, strange parallel with the life of the sun seen also in the many sun heroes who have come to help mankind through past ages? Annie Besant states that this is so and that the similarity in the pattern of their lives is too great to be accounted for by a mere coincidence. Today we do not, of course, think of a sun hero, a saviour, as he was called, being born every year at the winter solstice, as perhaps some of the ancient peoples did. Oddly, however, in a metaphorical way we do think of him being born each Christmas. As Rudolph Steiner points out, in some of the Christmas carols we sing ‘Christ is born on earth today’, ‘Today the angels are rejoicing and singing on earth as well as in the heavens’.

Perhaps in past ages many of the ancient peoples celebrated the 25th of December not because a new sun hero was born but to rejoice in the birth of one born in past years. The Celtic peoples, for example, used to light fires on the hills of Scotland and other countries on the 25th of December, and the bells would ring in rejoicing and thanksgiving to Bael, one of the ancient Light-bringers. When they became Christians, the Celts continued lighting the bonfires in honour of the new saviour and redeemer, Jesus Christ. How appropriate it was that the Christian leaders in Rome in the year 337 A.D. chose this date to celebrate the birth of Jesus! Whenever he was actually born, was he not the great and recent bringer of the spiritual Light and therefore the Saviour and redeemer of mankind?

Another of the ancient light-bringers, or sun heroes, was Dionysius of ancient Greece, renamed Bacchus by the Romans. In Rome itself, it seemed very useful and appropriate that on this day any ritual celebration by the Christians would hardly be noticed and attacked by the non-Christian Romans who were busy noisily celebrating the birth of Bacchus who, as well as being a sun god, was also the god of the grapevine. A good deal of noisy celebration and drinking seemed called for. Also sports and games were part of the Roman celebrations of the birthday of Bacchus. Altogether it was safe for the Christians to hold their quiet spiritual rejoicings on this day. Christians were not altogether safe from violence even at that period in the first half of the fourth century A.D.

So the Christmas rejoicings and celebrations go back into the dawn of time. We can hear the bells ringing out through the many centuries, giving it a greater dimension. As well as this greater dimension in length, the concept of Christmas gains also a greater width. It embraces not only the birth of Jesus but of all other bringers of spiritual Light. We can include all of them, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Sai Baba in both of his births and others we know and appreciate, in our prayers of thanksgiving and our songs of joy on that special day of the year, the 25th of December, honoured and sanctified through so many generations of our forefathers and perhaps by ourselves in former incarnations. We do not need to belong to a Christian church. We do not even need to think of ourselves as Christians in order to open our hearts and minds in unity with all our brothers and sisters on the earth and of all time and feel our oneness with the one and only God, who has periodically paid his special compassionate appearances on earth in the many forms and under the many names we know and of so many more that we do not know.

Sai Baba teaches us this by holding Christmas celebrations at Prashanti Nilayam each year. And though I have spent Christmas in many lands among many peoples, those held at Prashanti Nilayam are the most spiritual and meaningful that I have ever experienced. Thinking of Christmas in this esoteric way helps us to feel in our spiritual hearts the unity, the love in all religions, as Sathya Sai Baba teaches us to understand and accept.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

What Is Truth?

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

What Is Truth?

When at his trial before Pontius Pilate, Jesus stated that he had come to earth to teach the truth, Pilate replied, “What is truth?” and walked away. Apparently he did not think that this tall gentle Jew, whom the temple priest had sent to be tried for his life as a trouble maker to the Roman rule, would have the answer to this big question. It was really laughable to think that he would have the answer to a question the Greek Philosophers from Socrates onward had failed to answer satisfactorily. Well, what is the truth? Do we know it yet, 2000 years after that mocking question was asked in Jerusalem? Did Jesus teach the truth that he claimed he had come to teach? I believe that he did for those with ears to hear. Perhaps he did not emphasise the meaning sufficiently, but he certainly emphasised the importance of knowing and living the truth, for he said, “If you know the truth, the truth will set you free.”

Most men and women long to know the truth about their own being who they really are and what the purpose of their lives on earth is. Does all this struggle and endeavour end in nothing or does some important, happy destination lie at the end of this long road, this seemingly meaningless journey of pain and pleasure? Is there some formula for living that will lead them with mathematical certainty to a goal that will bring them permanent satisfaction and happiness.

Many men and women have searched through the world for a wise Teacher who will give them the answers to such questions and who will reveal the truth of being and provide the recipe for living that will bring them the freedom and joy they seek. Well, as one of those world wandering Sadhakas, I eventually found the One, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I knew I had found my teacher but I did not immediately recognise him as a Godman or Avatar.

Very soon however, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gave me the answers to most of my main questions; the mysteries that remain are probably beyond the level of my conscious understanding. He told me that there was just one purpose in my life, that it was to develop and expand my consciousness until it had become one with the Divine Consciousness of God and thus to become one with the Divine Being that goes under many names. There is only one Being, He told me One without a second. In the darkness of our ignorance, we think that we are separate beings and that there are billions of others, but in truth there is only one Being. Such an illogical statement was hard to accept against the evidence of my senses. Through the years that I spent in the environs of His physical presence, I began to realise the truth of this astounding paradoxical statement. Though you and I see many, touch many, hear many, communicate with many, there is in truth, only One. If this be true, then surely we must be part of the One.

I remember one day some years ago at the ashram, I was sitting on the verandah of the Mandir, as Sathya Sai Baba was calling into His presence a number of boys who had just joined his elementary school. He was standing perhaps three metres away from where I was sitting. I remember He asked each boy two things his name and where he was from. Each of them stated his name and address in India. Each one seemed overjoyed to be in the presence of Sathya Sai Baba, while one little fellow, though smaller than the rest, had the brightest smile. He gave his name readily and when Sathya Sai Baba said, “Where are you from?” he replied, “From You, Sathya Sai Baba.” Then the Lord Sai smiled too. “Look,” he said happily, “Here is one who knows he is from God.”

This boy could not have been much more than six and here was I, in my sixties and still trying to understand and realise that I was from God that indeed we all are. So we come from God, yet we are still an integral part of Him the One Being; and furthermore, in our present state of human consciousness, we are not aware of having any connection with Him; we are, in a sense, like the prince in the story who was taken from his royal home by a band of robbers. He grew up with the robbers and believed that he was one of them; indeed he had no idea of his royal identity not until many years later, when a turn of circumstances brought him back to his home, did he realise his true identity.

Must we go back to our spiritual home before we realise who we are? On the contrary, I think we must realise our identity before we can go back. Well, if we have come from God as the little boy stated, and with which Sathya Sai Baba agreed, how did this happen or seem to happen?

There are three main explanations propounded by some of the great Rishis of the past who gave commentaries on the Vedanta. The word ‘Vedanta’, by the way, means the end of the Vedas, because this philosophy comes from the Upanishads which are found at the end of each Veda. The word ‘Upanishad’ means that these teachings are for those who sit close to the feet of the Master. They are, it is implied, beyond the understanding of the ordinary man or woman. The great sages strive to understand them but do they always succeed? Now, briefly, here are the three explanations on how there seems to be such a diversity of life, whereas in truth there can be only oneness or unity.

The first explanation briefly is that God through his shakti, created a maya or illusion in which we see ourselves as separate, whereas in reality we are only one. This is sometimes called ‘the mortal dream’. Our everyday consciousness in its waking state is really a dream state and only when we wake from this dream will we see the truth of oneness; this is called the Adwaitha Vedanta or in English, non-duality.

The second great theory as given in Vedanta is that we were always throughout eternity, separate souls, though part of the one God. The best analogy I can think of for this is the fruit of the pomegranate with its many separate seeds within the same skin, all being part of the one fruit. We are still part of the one fruit or the one Being without a second, whom we call God. We, the separate seeds, are not aware or have somehow forgotten who we are.

The third of the great theories is this: The one and only God created or emanated the myriad of separate souls from within himself, they are part of his very breath, part of his essence, as the Old Testament of the Hebrews state; and for all eternity they will remain separate from their creator, that is, separate in form while being one with God in their spirit or essence. This particular understanding of Vedanta seems to lie at the base of some of the world’s great religions. For some reason, known only to God Himself, separate souls in this world are born into the great illusion believing that they are separate or asunder from God. This mistaken belief of being asunder from the One is the original sin, or error from which all other errors emanate. When, through the discipline of spiritual training, we come to understand and realise that though apparently separate in form, we are, in essence and in truth, one with God and with each other, then we come into the Kingdom of Heaven which is simply the state of Divine Love, or the feeling of oneness with all. Sathya Sai Baba, whose teachings are in line with the main teachings of Vedanta, together with the love he stirs in each spiritual heart, has not said, to my knowledge, which of these three explanations is correct. Since they all teach the one God and our eternal oneness with Him, perhaps the theories of creation are not important.

Though a great deal of joy-giving light has been thrown by the Sai teachings on such fundamental questions as where we come from, who we really are and the purpose of our long journey through this schoolroom of earth, it seems to me that one big question remains. That is, why did we have to come to earth in complete forgetfulness of our unity with the Divine One, or to look at the matter in the evolutionary way, why did we have to begin the journey in the mineral kingdom with only a modicum of consciousness?

Why did we have to develop that consciousness through life in the plant and animal kingdoms before reaching the human stage, and then struggle on further up the evolutionary ladder until we reach divine consciousness? As God is Chit or Absolute Consciousness and it is taught that we, each one of us, is wholly God, why the necessity of the long climb through aeons of time from the modicum of consciousness in the mineral to the full consciousness of the God-realised man? In brief, why was it, what the Masters call ‘the journey of necessity’, really necessary?

Perhaps this is one of the questions which, in Paramahansa Yogananda‘s terms ‘will be left for eternity’, or perhaps when we have reached that adulthood of consciousness as God-realised individuals, we will know the answer.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

The Mystery Of Vibhuti

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

The Mystery Of Vibhuti

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” With these words of the funeral service, the human body is committed to its final formless form. In some denominations of the Christian church, ash is blessed by the priesthood, becomes known as Holy Ash and is used as a symbol of penitence, reminding man that his time on earth is short and that he should use his time to seek the true eternal values. Back in the timeless mythology of the Hindu religion, ash was used by Lord Siva as a symbol or flag of victory. After his victorious battle with the god Kama, the god of desire, Siva reduced his enemy’s body to ashes and smeared his own body with those ashes, so then it was a victory over desire. But, as we all know, Kama, like Phoenix, rose from his own ashes and is very much alive and active within each one of us, where he is known as the kama rupa, or body of desire. Indeed, as I have heard my late friend Dr V K Gokak say, “He lives our lives for us.” Only one who has reached the state of enlightened self-realisation could, as Siva did, adorn himself with holy ash as a sign of victory over desire. So why do we smear our foreheads or swallow quantities of this symbol of victory and purity which Sathya Sai Baba has named vibhuti? And why does He call it vibhuti?

This is part of the great, the important, mystery on which I would like to invite your consideration.

Looking into the Sanskrit dictionaries for the meaning of the word ‘vibhuti’, one finds such definitions as ‘manifestations of divine power’ or ‘opulence by which God controls the whole universe.’ Other words used to define the meaning of vibhuti are divine glory and splendour and magnificence. In some translations of the Bhagavad Gita, we find the title of Chapter Ten is, “The Yoga of Vibhuti” while in others it is called “Manifestations of the Power and Glory of God”. And we so learn that the union with the divine which we seek is aided or perhaps accomplished by the power, glory, splendour and munificence of God and this is called vibhuti.

Nowhere in the great Scriptures of the nations have I personally read of or heard of a Godman or saint who produced holy ash from unseen dimension by the wave of his hand or by any other means.

Interestingly, during the near-half century that Sai Baba spent at Shirdi, He used ash, from the fire He kept burning, to help people with their health and other problems. This ash He called ‘udi’ which must bear some relationship to the word vibhuti. So why did Sri Sathya Sai Baba name the ash that He manifests many times a day by circling His hand by the title vibhuti? Surely He must mean us to understand that this wonderful material which comes in various shades of colour, perfume and taste, carries with it the divine power, glory and splendour that lie in the meaning of the word itself. And surely this is something of which we should be fully aware when we use vibhuti either externally or internally.

We should not be like I was when He said to me on the first day of our meeting in a room in Madras, “Would you like some vibhuti?” I said “Yes,” because I wanted to see Him manifest it out of nowhere. I had no idea what to do with it, nor of its power. But I discovered its power of healing on the following day when He manifested vibhuti for my wife and cured her of hepatitis on the spot. It is strange that Sathya Sai Baba, not always, but frequently, manifests His divine power and compassion through material things, such as the leaves and flowers of plants, water, lingams and nectar but certainly most often through holy ash.

I have heard people say that the power of vibhuti lies in its placebo effect, its effect on the mind of the patient, thus creating greater faith and expectation. But I know of cases in which the recipient of vibhuti had no expectation at all, no expectation of a cure, that is. My wife, Iris, was one of these in the case just related, but the most striking in my experience was the cure of the parachute jumper, Squadron Leader A. Chakravarthy and his absent wife, which I describe in detail in my book “Sai Baba, Invitation to Glory”, I will repeat the main facts here.

Chakravarthy, along with two scientists with whom he had arrived at the ashram, was called for an interview during his first evening there. Sathya Sai Baba manifested several things for two of his friends and then told Chakravarthy to join his two palms together in the form of a bowl. Then Sathya Sai Baba waved His down-turned hand in small circles above the bowl thus formed. Vibhuti poured from His hand until Chakravarthy’s two joined palms were full. Then He told the parachute jumper to eat the vibhuti. The Squadron Leader, who was also head of the parachute jumping school in the Indian Air Force, had no idea why he should eat the vibhuti but he came from a spiritual family and had the feeling that he was in the presence of a Godman, so he did as he was ordered. He consumed every morsel of this double handful of vibhuti. “The flavour was quite pleasant and I thought I was getting some spiritual benefit from it,” he told me.

He had an interview on the following morning and the same thing happened. Again the Squadron leader did as ordered and ate all the vibhuti, having no idea what the specific benefit might be. He and his friends returned to Bangalore after spending the one night at the ashram. He was amazed and of course, overjoyed to discover in the next few days that he had been completely cured of a disease that the medical doctors had told him was incurable. He was even more astounded to find that his wife was cured of the same incurable disease. They had both been told by several doctors that the disease they shared was not only incurable but would prevent them having children. Now, as if to confirm the cure, Sathya Sai Baba told them that they would have a son to be born on Sathya Sai Baba’s own birthday that year. This duly took place. No placebo effect could have played any part in this unexpected healing of two people by two double handfuls of vibhuti given to one of them.

Several friends have told me how they have cured diseases in animals, mainly pet dogs and cats, by the application of vibhuti and this seems to indicate that the healing power exists in the vibhuti without any help from mental expectation or even faith.

The quantity of vibhuti required and time taken for healing are also part of the divine mystery. In Chakravarthy’s case, two double handfuls of vibhuti healed two people almost immediately. In the case of Mayan Waynberg, (given in my book “Sai Baba, Invitation to Glory”) another example of vibhuti healing an incurable disease (that is, incurable by ordinary medical means), the patient was instructed by Sathya Sai Baba to take a pinch of vibhuti in water daily, but it took nearly two years for the complete cure. Different diseases, different methods and only the Divine Healer Himself knows the reason. All we can know is that this sacred substance that we have learned to call vibhuti is imbued with the divine power, glory and opulence to work great miracles.

Then there is the amazing worldwide phenomenon of the appearance of vibhuti on articles, mainly on holy pictures, under the glass when they are mounted in frames with a glass front. Such things are happening to Sai followers from Russia to Malaysia and Australia. Why and how is this done, may be asked.

Well, I would say, it certainly builds faith and even takes people to Sai Baba. My famous friend, Jegathesan, of Malaysia told me that when he heard people talking about Sathya Sai Baba, his reaction was negative but when vibhuti began to appear on the pictures of Sathya Sai Baba and other holy figures in the home of one of his relatives in Malaysia, faith was born in his heart and he immediately went to see “The Living God in India.” Well, we all know the fine work that Jegathesan has carried out in the Sai mission to the world.

As to the ‘how’ of the operation, I have heard more than one person say that the job is done by other beings and not by Sathya Sai Baba. But psychic science has proved beyond question that, in general, discarnate spirits do not possess the psychokinetic power to move even a featherweight physical object.

An exception to this rule is the stone-throwing poltergeist and it’s not the nature of the poltergeist to smear holy ash on holy objects in order to increase man’s faith in God.

We know that Sathya Sai Baba Himself can travel in a flash to any spot on the globe and, when there, use His divine psychokinetic power to carry out any physical work He likes. We know, too, that He has helpers, multitudes of helpers, on the subtle planes as well as on the earth plane. He could endow any of these helpers, be they discarnate, angelic or devic, with the power to spread vibhuti on the glass or under the glass of holy pictures, inside books, on the cover of books when they are lying underneath other volumes, on the hands of saintly dying people (as once happened to a dying Sai devotee in Melbourne, Australia). So, whether He does the work Himself or delegates it to some of His numberless subtle helping hands, it is not possible to know, and I do not feel that it matters, since all the divine work is done by God.

Remember the story of the man who, sitting on the roof of his house during a rising flood, refused all help from men in boats and helicopters who tried to rescue him, saying, “Don’t bother, I have prayed to God to save me.” When in due course, he was drowned, and his soul stood in the presence of God, he said to the Almighty, “I prayed to You to save me, but You did not.” God replied “I sent rescuing boats and a helicopter to take you off your roof and save your life but you had forgotten that all helping hands are My hands.”

Another mystery is why does vibhuti appear in some homes and not in others? By what criteria does God select the homes? Are the people blessed by vibhuti, more spiritual than those who are not? From my observations, I do not think so.

I have noted that the ash recipients in India seem to be more humble, more egoless than usual. I first saw the phenomenon, for example, in a Brahmin home in Coimbatore. It seemed to have covered practically everything in the shrine room and while I sat watching, it was pouring from a small statue of Shirdi Sai Baba.

Many years ago on my arrival at Prashanti Nilayam, I met a young man in the village outside the wall. He told me the story of his aunt who lived in a humble dwelling within the village. He told me that while Sathya Sai Baba was away on tour, vibhuti and amrit began appearing on the pictures in his aunt’s home. It was not long before crowds of people filled her courtyard to see the phenomenon and receive gifts of vibhuti and amrit, there being plenty for everybody. Attending to the growing crowds became too much for the poor lady who was a widow. She became overwrought and unable to carry on.

Then suddenly Sathya Sai Baba, who was still on tour bodily, appeared to her in His subtle form and said “I am stopping this now. Lock your gates and let nobody in.” From that moment no more vibhuti or amrit appeared. My first book on Sathya Sai Baba had been published and the young man knew my name, so very kindly he took me round to meet his aunt. All was quiet there. Though her pictures were no longer producing ash or amrit, she had stocks of it kept in jars and kindly gave me some. She belonged to the class of the meek, the humble, the surrendered to God, the lovers of the good. Sathya Sai Baba had both blessed her and protected her.

But in other countries of the world and also in other parts of India, I have found vibhuti appearing in the homes of people whom I could not class as humble and surrendered. In fact, they seemed to have as much ego as the average searcher in the domain. So the mystery remains and I feel that only God Himself knows the answer.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

Signs, Strange And Significant

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Signs, Strange And Significant

In the Blue Mountains just west of Sydney, Australia, I have a number of friends, most of them followers of Sathya Sai Baba. I would not have called Peter a Sai devotee at the time of this episode, but he was certainly interested in Sai Baba and perhaps it was to encourage this interest that Rocky Bugmann, an active member of the Sai centre in the mid mountains, gave Peter a very attractive, good-sized photograph of Sathya Sai Baba. Without framing it, Peter stuck the photograph on the wall of his bedroom in a position that allowed him to see it easily while he was lying in bed. Incidentally, Peter is a bachelor of middle age and lives alone except for his four legged friend, a dog named Adam. Perhaps Adam acquired that name because of his hatred of snakes. Adam of the Garden of Eden had no reason to love the reptile, for it was because of a snake that he was thrown out of paradise into the wide and terrible world.

Although Peter has a large house, he usually allows Adam to spend the night on the floor of his bedroom. It may have been no more than one or two nights after he had hung the picture that the strange phenomena began. While Peter was lying comfortably in bed with the light on, gazing intently at the photo of Sathya Sai Baba, it suddenly became three dimensional, that is, it stood out an inch or so from the wall. At the same time, the image of Sathya Sai Baba changed to a man who appeared to be an historical character. Judging, Peter said, from his clothes, style of hair and beard, he belonged to history but Peter could not identify him. After a while the photograph went flat against the wall again and Sathya Sai Baba was there. For the next five or six nights, the photo of Sathya Sai Baba played the same strange tricks, the only difference being that it was not the same person who appeared in place of Sathya Sai Baba. Each night there was a different one, always appearing to be someone from an earlier period of history and never identifiable by Peter. Peter was quite fascinated but puzzled. It must be some sign to him from Sathya Sai Baba but he could not figure out what it was meant to tell him. And who could help him? The only other person in the room to see this pantomime was Adam the dog, and he seemed quite unaffected by the strange antics of the picture.

Then came the night when, instead of another human being appearing in the three dimensional photograph, in the place of Sathya Sai Baba came a large cobra. It was raised and its hood was spread as if about to strike its victim. Peter was horrified. This, he thought, is a symbol of evil and he immediately turned out the bedroom light but it was a long time before he could go to sleep. He, like many followers of the Christian faith, perhaps through the myth of the Garden of Eden, regards snakes as an animal cursed by God and therefore evil. At last he fell asleep. No dreams came to help him with his problem and as soon as he woke in the early hours before full daylight came, he got out of bed with the intention of removing the picture. But it was not on the wall anymore. Knowing that he had not stuck it to the wall very securely, he looked on the floor below where the photo had been hanging. It was not far away but ripped into many small pieces. This must have been the work of Adam the dog who was lying near the heap, as if to protect his master from any evil that may remain in the torn-up picture. Peter gathered the pieces and burned them.

It was not many days after this that Peter informed Rocky and myself about the episode, about what had happened to the photograph. Both of us assured him separately that to Sathya Sai Baba, who is an incarnation of Lord Siva and his consort Parvati or Shakti, snakes are certainly not evil, just the reverse really. Illustrations of Lord ..Siva often show him with a necklace of snakes around his neck. They are one of his symbols and he has, indeed, appeared as a cobra to a number of people at his ashrams, including myself. The one that appeared to me was a beautiful white cobra in the garden at Brindavan. It had behaved more like a friend than an enemy of man. Peter understood readily and happily. He was very pleased when Rocky gave him another photograph. But he had had his ration of signs and wonders and the second photograph behaved as photos are expected to.

I think that Peter would now call himself a Sai devotee. There are, of course, many different brands and types of devotees and they meander to the feet of our Lord by many strange but interesting routes.

* * *

The Sai signs that came to the married couple, Syd and Karen Paterson were also strange and certainly significant. The Patersons live near me in the Blue Mountains and I regard them as earnest devotees who are making good progress on the Sai path that leads back to God. Strangely, they too witnessed some Sai photograph leelas but, unlike Peter, it was after they were already Sai devotees. It was in this case a framed photograph hanging on the wall of their sitting room. One day when they were sitting discussing Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings while looking at the photograph on the wall, it began to play some strange antics. It would, for example, move along the wall to left or right and sometimes seemed to come away from the wall towards them. At other times bright lights would appear around the photo, bright pink or green or just white light. Of course, they told each other what they were seeing after it had happened but to test that it was just not a fault in eyesight, they decided to tell one another at the time of the happening. For example, Syd might say, “The colour has turned to silver,” or, “The photograph is moving along the wall to the right,” and Karen would confirm that she was seeing the same thing. Then Karen might say what was happening and Syd would agree that he was seeing the same thing. So they decided that what they saw was actually happening and believed it to be a sign of God’s presence in their lives.

Other signs also came to them separately. For example, Syd who is a painter by trade, one day – and all day – during his work saw the face of Sathya Sai Baba appear on whatever surface he was painting, perhaps a door or a wall or a cupboard. This gave him great joy and he had a wonderful day.

Another sign that he spoke to me about was that one day he suddenly experienced adwaitha or non-duality – everything was one. This brought him a great feeling of bliss, an uplift of consciousness. Unfortunately, he said, this did not last all day but just for a short period. Nevertheless he has remembered it always and knows that the truth of Being, lies beyond what we see with our eyes and is in truth, oneness of all life.

Later on, about the middle of the year 1990, Syd had his first dream of Sathya Sai Baba and it was to him a very important prophetic dream. It remained very vivid in his memory. He told me that it seemed to begin with him standing talking to a neighbour who had lived next door to him in a Sydney suburb. Suddenly they saw the form of Sai Baba on the opposite side of the street standing on the pavement. Sathya Sai Baba had a white robe on, said Syd, but I don’t know whether he was aware at the time that white is the colour of mourning in India. Whether or not he understood the significance of the colour white, Syd knew instinctively that the old overcoat that Sathya Sai Baba had swung across his shoulder, represented the body of his own father. Sathya Sai Baba gave them a smile and a wave and moved off down the street. Syd was so full of his strong feelings that he omitted to return the wave but the neighbour did so, remarking something about Sathya Sai Baba being the head of some weird cult in India. Syd did not answer but remembered thinking, “If only you knew the truth!” At the first intersection, Sathya Sai Baba turned as if to go along the cross street but instead he faced up towards Syd and his friend and gave another wave. This time, both men returned the wave and Sathya Sai Baba vanished.

It was a sad dream for Syd because he felt sure that Sathya Sai Baba was giving him a sign that his father, who was very sick in a nursing home hospital, would not last very long. Thinking about this, Syd prayed earnestly to Sathya Sai Baba to be granted four boons. The first was that the hospital would warn him of the approaching death in sufficient time for him to let his old mother know, so that she, who was living in the same nursing home would get there in time for his father’s passing. The second was that he, himself, would manage to be present in the bedroom of his father at the actual time of his passing. The third was that his father would have a peaceful end with no pain and the fourth was that Syd would be aware of the actual moment his father left his body. Perhaps this was asking a lot, he thought, but felt sure that somehow Sathya Sai Baba would grant his wishes.

It was not long after this that the call came from the hospital telling him that his father’s condition had deteriorated so rapidly they were sure he did not have long to live. So Syd had time not only to warn his mother but also his brother. That morning they were all sitting in Father’s ward. Brother had brought along his wife too, but Syd had not brought Karen because at this time they were just at the very beginning of their friendship and Karen did not know his parents. The patient did not seem to be aware of their presence. He was sleeping peacefully with no apparent pain and so the hours dragged by, with a nurse coming in about every half hour or so to check the patient’s condition, which seemed to indicate to Syd that the end was not far away.

After a few hours of watching, mainly in silence, Syd felt that his mother, who was unwell herself, was looking as if she needed a rest. So he advised her to go to her room and lie down for half an hour then he would call her. She went and the brother, who had some urgent business to attend to, left too with his wife. Syd was left alone with his thoughts. His good father, for whom he felt great love, was still alive, breathing quietly. Then, after about ten minutes, something strange happened. A shaft of what seemed like dark blue energy about a yard in length and perhaps six inches in width began to emanate from his father’s throat chakra at an angle of about forty five degrees to the body. Then it vanished and the sound of the breathing stopped. At a later time, Syd learned from someone who had had a great deal of experience with death and dying and the hereafter, that this was his father’s astral body leaving the physical. But Syd must have known this himself intuitively because of what happened later.

The next event happened almost immediately. Sathya Sai Baba came into the room, not the usual Sathya Sai Baba but one about half the size of his small self, a dwarf Sathya Sai Baba and he was dressed in green, which is not a colour he ever wears. Syd took this as a symbol that his father had had a peaceful passing because to Syd the green colour meant peace, like the peace one feels in a green meadow. To emphasise the point further, the diminutive Sathya Sai Baba floated onto the bed and sat cross-legged on the chest of the dead body. Having emphasised the point to Syd of his father’s peaceful passing, Sathya Sai Baba vanished. Soon after that two nurses came into the room. One of them went and stood behind Syd with her hands on his shoulders while the other went to the other side of the bed to examine his father’s body. The one behind asked gently, “Where is your mother?” Syd replied “She’s gone and so has my father.” “Oh, no,” she replied, “I think your father is still alive.” But the nurse on the other side confirmed that he had passed away. Syd sat for a while in quiet remembrance of his beloved father and mentally gave his thanks to Sathya Sai Baba for granting him the four boons he had requested and indeed for being present and blessing the transition of his father who had not even been a Sai Baba follower.

Karen, who is very studious and gentle, has had her own experiences of God’s hand in her life. While her husband Syd has felt the unity of all life, she has gone beyond the maya in a different way. For example, she says one day at work, when everything seemed to be going at a mad rate it was as if worldly affairs in her life, that is the maya, was going around at an ever increasing rate and seemed impossible to handle, her mind went beyond it all. She saw it as it was, an unreal, crazy illusion. She wanted to laugh at the crazy antics of people, including herself. It was unreal and she stepped back from it all into the quiet peace of reality. She found that on future occasions when the worldly merry-go-round seemed to be getting out of hand, just to focus on the memory of this occasion was helpful in trying to re-establish that peace.

Earlier in the same year that Syd’s father had died, Karen too, had witnessed the compassionate hand of Sathya Sai Baba at her own father’s death. “Neither of my parents were followers of Sai Baba and they only ever heard his name when I was at home with them and could not help talking about him sometimes.” Her father was sent to hospital through his emphysema and the work of some other mysterious, tropical virus. She felt somehow that this illness was terminal but the hospital staff was not very co-operative about informing her and the rest of the family of his state of health. So either Karen’s mother, sister, herself or another member of the family spent a lot of time in the ward to check on his recovery or otherwise. One day when she was in the ward alone with her father, he suddenly asked to her great surprise, “You know that fellow you went to see in India I’ve forgotten his name what was it?” Karen told him. “Yes, that’s right,” he said. “I had a dream of him the other night.” Karen felt great surprise and delight to hear that Sai Baba actually visited in a dream, her non-Sai father. She questioned him about the nature of the dream. “Oh,” said her father, “He just walked up to me and shook my hand.” The pleasure Karen felt had a tinge of sadness. She felt sure that this handshake meant that her father would leave his body very soon. Then she asked her father, “How did that make you feel, Dad, when he shook your hand? Was it a good feeling?” “Oh, my word!” her father said. There was such enthusiasm in the old man’s voice that Karen felt assured and humble, with a rush of gratitude to the Lord that he seemed to be taking care of her father at this time of his great need.

A few days after this pleasing but worrying conversation, Karen’s father did, in fact, pass away. Only her mother was present and she told Karen that it was an easy, peaceful passing. He just seemed to stop breathing, she said. Karen knew with an inner knowing that Sathya Sai Baba had been present unseen and had given her dear dad a peaceful and blessed passing. She was very grateful and somewhat surprised that Sathya Sai Baba would in this way, help one who had never taken the slightest interest in him.

To me, the fact that Sathya Sai Baba gave loving help and compassion to the two fathers is a sign that Syd and Karen have their feel firmly on and are making good progress along the spiritual path. The ancient sage Narada in his Bhakti Sutras states that anyone well advanced on the path of devotion will bring divine help to several generations of ancestors and descendants. So I feel that Sathya Sai Baba’s blessing to one generation ahead, that is to the two fathers, is a result of Syd and Karen’s own devotional work and progress. Sathya Sai Baba is interested in and brings blessings to the members of the Sai devotees’ families.

Narada’s Sutra 71: His ancestors rejoice, the gods dance in joy and the earth gets a Lord and Saviour. Such a devotee who is full of God-realisation gives salvation to seven generations of ancestors and descendants in the family. The gods rejoice to see a man of God-realisation as he is one with God. The Earth gets in him a saviour who can bless all mankind.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

Two Sai Stars

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Two Sai Stars

There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will –

I agree with the Bard on this and moreover feel that there is a time when the shaping divine force strikes the note that starts something of importance.

I had met Dr Ron Farmer and his wife Swanny some ten years earlier but the time was not right for our special spiritual brotherhood to begin. Now, in June 1998 the time was right. We were the only three guests for dinner at a friend’s place in Queensland and so had the opportunity for a long talk together. At the end of the talk I felt that I must see them again and hopefully see them often. They must have felt somewhat the same because it was not long before they paid me a visit at my house in Oyster Cove.

Ron and Swanny invited me to spend the following weekend with them at their home about half an hour’s car drive away at a place called Willow Vale. It was to be the first of many delightful weekends spent in the fresh invigorating air and spiritual peace of their residence. We approached it through rolling green hills and found their long one-storey beautiful house on the top of one such grassy hill. There seemed to be no other house nearby, just the open countryside with, in one direction, a view of a mountain range that was part of The Great Dividing Range. It reminded me of my country upbringing in Tasmania where neighbours’ houses were out of sight behind trees on distant farms, with, in one direction, the glorious blue wall of the Western Tiers. Yet I very soon found that the aloneness spelt by my first view of the Farmer residence was certainly not loneliness, in fact, two unseen houses were not very far away. One was on the other side of a high white lattice wall with tall palm trees supporting it while the other hidden house was down the hill hiding behind an edge of the hill and hedges helped by clumps of trees. The house beyond the lattice wall was occupied by two ladies and two other four-legged beings, generally known as a dog and a cat.

We did not see much of the two ladies but quite a lot of the four-legged entities, especially the one known as a dog. He was a glossy, completely black labrador named Yang. It was an appropriate name as he seemed the personification of all things gently male. I felt that he showed good taste too, in choosing Ron as his master and friend. I think he went home only for meals and spent the rest of the day with Ron. Their day together would begin early, with Ron finding him waiting on the mat by his front door. Then their mutual demonstration of affection would begin, with pats, strokes and tail wags interspersed with conversation in which both would join, Yang talking in his own version of human language which he fondly hoped his beloved master would understand. Ron told me that if he and Swanny got in the car to drive away, Yang would turn his back on them and look the other way as if he could not bear to see this terrible event. For most of the day where you saw Ron you would also see Yang. I too, loved this near-human animal from the moment I gave my first pat to his shining black side.

I once happened to go to the house beyond the lattice when the lady Diana was feeding her treasured Yang. To me she made the remark “Yang is a soul-dog you know.” I agreed whole-heartedly but thought to myself, “But surely all domesticated dogs have souls,” and so, too, do many cats including the one I first saw sitting aloofly on the grass of Ron’s lawn.

My heart gave a jump when I caught sight of her, she was that ‘Thing of beauty that is a joy forever,’ as poet Keats remarked. I spoke to her from a distance, she turned her head and gave me one disdainful glance from her shining blue eyes then turned her head away. Suddenly I remembered the cat-enticing technique that my wife Iris, a great cat-lover, had taught me long ago. I tried it on Yin and within about five minutes of this cat-magic, she walked slowly across the grass towards me and sat at my feet. I was able to stroke her beautifully marked head and her plush back of an indescribable off-white colour. Before my weekend at Willow Vale came to an end, Yin was rolling over on her back inviting me to scratch her tummy. She was no longer aloof with Ron and Swanny and at a later time would sometimes follow Ron around like Yang and another labrador dog that joined the family.

Unlike the glossy black Yang this one was rusty in colour and so had earned the name Rusty. He lived in the other hidden house at the foot of Ron’s grassy hill. His owner was another Sai devotee called Kevin Dillon. Kevin Dillon, however, was frequently away on his property further north in Queensland and so Rusty began to attach himself for much of the time with Ron. The latter told me that Rusty was uniquely useful in one way. He had a keen eye for the venomous reptiles that were often found in the long grass among some trees at the lower end of Ron’s property. When Ron began to mow his grass, Rusty would come through a gap in the hedge and keep a close watch on the mowing operation. He would sight a snake hiding in the grass just before Ron, pushing his mower came to the spot where he was in danger of being bitten by the snake. Rusty would seize it in his teeth at a spot where it could not bite him and shake it to and fro until it was dead. I have seen the kookaburras fly to the branch of a tree with a snake in the beak and shake it vigorously in the same manner, killing it before they made a meal of it. Rusty’s only purpose in killing a snake however, seemed to be the protection of his friend, Ron.

Some weeks later when I came for another heavenly weekend at Willow Vale, something tragic had happened to our beloved friend, Rusty. Somebody driving a car on the Dillon property, fortunately not too fast, had failed to see Rusty and with a front wheel had hit the dog’s hindquarters. The result was that Rusty walked with a bad limp and sometimes would collapse and sink to the ground. Ron took me down to the foot of the hill to see the injured dog. We called his name and he came limping through a gap in the hedge wagging his tail and seeming to smile welcome with his eyes. I suddenly felt a great sympathy for this suffering friend and had the idea of putting my hand on the injured back near towards the tail, Ron did the same, both of us hoping that we had enough healing in our hands to help his injury get better. The dog seemed to enjoy it and stood quite still. After this period of healing, his limp seemed to be better and his hindquarters did not suddenly collapse on the ground as he tried to limp along. For the rest of the weekend, Rusty came out towards us for his healing session whenever we came near to the Dillon house and there was a definite improvement in his injury, by the time my weekend was up. Ron told me later that he continued the healing practice on his own and eventually Rusty had no limp at all. After that he spent much more of his time with Ron and Swanny, even accompanying them on walks. Yang, who had previously seemed to enjoy Rusty’s company, showed signs of jealousy. Ron played the part of the spiritual father to him and gave him a ‘human values’ lecture against the negative emotion of jealousy. Yang seemed as if he understood or perhaps it was just the tone in Ron’s voice, in any case, he would hang his head in shame.

After my return to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, I received by phone, regular bulletins about the adventures of the four-legged Farmer family, Yang and Yin and Rusty. Things seemed to be going harmoniously among them and I feel that through the love and understanding of Ron and Swanny Farmer, some, if not all of the three, will be elevated to a human incarnation at the next birth or soon after. I am tempted to go on writing about these beloved entities but feel I have said enough to show the part they play in the lives of my two star friends, so I will now tell something of the background of each of them and show how they became involved in John Fitzgerald‘s work for God.

First then, some interesting biographical facts about Dr Ron Farmer. He was born in the state of Queensland and remained at school there until the age of sixteen. Then he travelled to Melbourne and joined the Royal Air Force. This was about in the year 1954 and his main ambition in joining the Air Force was to learn all he could about radio electronics. After about three years of this he found it no longer of interest so left the Air Force and worked for a number of different companies that served the Air Force. One of these was the Aeronautical Research Laboratory at Fisherman’s Bend in Melbourne. Here he found himself serving with the War Games Department where part of his duties was to interview helicopter pilots. This work took him to Sydney where he was asked to study psychology to help in his interviewing of helicopter pilots. This study of psychology at the New South Wales University was the break in his life that might be termed ‘lucky’ but I prefer to call it ‘the finger of God’ placing him where he was meant to be. He loved psychology so much that after two years, sponsored by the War Games Department, he felt a strong urge to continue and did so at the University of Queensland, where for a time he was given some financial help but eventually won a scholarship which carried him through to his Ph.D in Psychology.

Not long afterwards he was back at the University of NSW as a lecturer to graduates in Psychology on the subject which he calls Behavioural Therapy. This had previously been considered a very complicated branch of Clinical Psychology but Dr Farmer had the gift of making it seem quite simple and interesting. The result was that he found himself giving talks on the radio and being interviewed by the press on this fascinating subject. His name thus became well-known to the public and he found people coming to him for help in their mental and psychological problems. In this way he found himself building up a clinic and dealing with patients from the members of the public, in addition to his university work. He thus found himself going through a period of very high pressure work which led eventually to a nervous breakdown. Employing some of the therapy that he had used for his patients for his own treatment, he turned the nervous breakdown into what he called a ‘nervous breakthrough’. When he had fully recovered, he wrote a good lecture on this method of treating a nervous breakdown, which I have heard on an audio cassette. It is probably available to anyone who needs it.

A very important part of Ron’s breakthrough was his spiritual awakening. Although he went on lecturing at the university for a time, he found this work and the other limitations in the academic life a handicap to his now fascinating development of the spiritual dimension which was showing its face more and more in the world around him. So that, after six years altogether of university lecturing, he resigned and started his own clinic in Sydney. Yet he did not feel this work altogether satisfying and after about a year as a professional Clinical Psychologist, he felt the compulsive urge to go exploring. Perhaps it was, in reality, the urge to become somehow more involved in what has been called the New Age. And so he went to live in a commune at a place called Nimbin, in the north of New South Wales.

While reading many books born of the New Age, he built himself a house in Nimbin and opened a clinic in which to treat patients professionally by his clinical psychology. Moreover, with the aid of two friends, he opened what must have been the first New Age Bookshop in New South Wales. His shop, like his clinic, was situated in Lismore. In order to stock it, he ordered books from all over the world and so he had the pleasure of reading his growing stock of books, which included the work of leading spiritual writers from all countries. He spent about eight years soaking up this world wide literature of the developing New Age. Inevitably, he ploughed his way through to books on Sathya Sai Baba. This was in the year 1984, a most important milestone in his life. The finger of God seems to have been active here too, because soon after the arrival of the books, he found himself at a friend’s place watching a video about Sai Baba. During the film there was a close-up of Sai Baba looking straight into the camera and so he seemed to Ron to be looking deep into his own eyes. “At that point I nearly fell off my chair,” said Ron. Asking him why he reacted in this way, he replied, “When he looked straight into my eyes, I felt sure he knew all about me and all about everybody. In fact he knew everything. I knew that this was the man I had to follow, there was no-one else like him.” Now he read avidly all the Sai Baba books in his possession and felt that Nimbin, Lismore and neighbourhood were not the right place for him. He had to be where there were more Sai people and Sai activities and so it was that he returned to Sydney and re-opened his clinic there. And of course, he attended any Sai meetings and other activities available in his area.

It was while he was visiting a Sai Baba meeting in Homebush, a suburb of Sydney, that he met Dr Devi, the wife of the well-known Dr Sara Pavan, the Anaesthetist. Dr Devi one evening announced to the meeting at Homebush that she was going next day to a Nursing Home where the patients were all seriously handicapped mentally. Anyone who wished to come with her, she said, were very welcome. One person went and that was Dr Ron Farmer. He was quite unaware of the fact that one of the most important things in the whole of his life was to happen to him at this Nursing Home. Towards the end of his visit on that first day, the Matron of the Nursing Home said she would like to introduce him to the Clinical Psychologist who was working regularly at the Nursing Home. Ron had no desire to meet this Psychologist. All of that profession that he had met in recent years had no interest whatsoever in any aspect of God or the spiritual life of man. So he gave some reason to the Matron and excused himself from the meeting; but he was very interested in the Nursing Home itself and before long he was there again. This time the Matron said, “I have told my Psychologist about you and she is very anxious to meet you.” This time Ron made no excuse but submissively went upstairs with the Matron. She conducted him into the clinic and introduced him to the dark-eyed, smiling Swanny. He had immediately, he told me, a deep feeling that something important, something inexplicable was going to happen. He had never had this feeling before at the point of first meeting someone. The inexplicable feeling had, he said, an overture of deep peace, he wanted to see her again. Asked what she felt at the first meeting, Swanny said, “His face looked so very sad and I felt a strong urge to make him happy.” So they began seeing each other frequently, usually at lunch-times. One of the most important things they had in common was the fact that they both used spiritual principles wherever possible in treating their patients, but it was not long before their feeling for each other deepened into something more important than their academic interests. This was love, the kind that, while including romantic love, goes far beyond. It is the true love of union and includes sharing and caring.

After they were married, Swanny began having dreams about Sathya Sai Baba which brought her onto the Sai path with Ron. They had been married about three years, both happily working in their profession of Clinical Psychology when the bell rang heralding a new chapter to their lives. The bell, in this case, was the telephone bell in their home; it rang about ten o’clock one evening. Ron went to answer it. On the other end of the line, a young man’s voice said “You don’t know me but my name is John Fitzgerald, I have a lot of money and I want to help street kids but I don’t know where to start.” There was silence for a few moments then the voice went on, “A friend of mine, in fact, my Architect, took his son to one of your meetings. It was a meeting on Human Values and he told me that you and your wife were the best two people in Australia to help me with my project.” John Fitzgerald went on to request them to visit him at his office on the Gold Coast as soon as they could, if they were interested in helping him. Ron replied that he and Swanny were going up to the Gold Coast in the following week and they would be happy to call and talk to him. When he returned to Swanny, Ron said, “I have been talking to a young man in Queensland who is either mad, or he is a very wise man.” He told her the gist of the phone conversation and they both decided to call and see him on the following week when they were going up to the Gold Coast on some other business. And so, in due course, they were sitting in John Fitzgerald’s office listening to his philanthropic dream. One thing that impressed them both was hearing John say, “My gift of making millions is something God has given me, so I must use it in doing God’s work.” The interview lasted for three hours and at the end of it they were his partners in the Karma Yogic work he was planning to launch. Swanny had such faith in this new found friend that at his request she agreed to give up her work and spend all her time helping John. Dr Ron Farmer agreed whole-heartedly with this move, he too, felt full faith in John Fitzgerald. Thus, the divine association had its beginnings.

Now I would like to give some background information about Swanny Farmer, who is, I must say, one of those rare people whose pure inner beauty shines through, thus endowing her with a special outer beauty. I feel it was someone like her to whom Shakespeare addressed the words, “Do noble deeds, not dream them all day long and so make life, death and the vast forever, one grand sweet song.”

Swanny was born in Indonesia in the year 1952. Her father, a businessman in Djakarta, found his fortunes greatly improving after this third daughter was born and so he was able to send her two older sisters to complete their education at Hanover University in Germany. When Swanny was seventeen years old, that is in 1969, she was also sent there to join them and complete her tertiary education. She specialised in psychology because it seemed that this was the kind of training she needed to help people in their lives. She obtained a Master of Arts degree at Hanover and worked for a time in Germany. She was invited to become a German Citizen, but decided instead, to go to England and obtain another degree in psychology. Thus, she attended the University of Manchester and after about two years there, obtained a degree of Master of Science in Psychology. With these two degrees she was certainly qualified to work in her professional field in many parts of the world. Her heart called her back to her home in Indonesia where she worked in the psychological field for about two years. However, Swanny felt that she was not making full use of her potential in Indonesia and as one of her sisters was practicing as a Medical Doctor in Australia, she decided to move to that country where, indeed, she had no difficulty finding professional work and eventually finished up working up at the Nursing Home for mentally disadvantaged children in Liverpool near Sydney, where eventually she met Ron Farmer.

As already told, Swanny Farmer changed her job again at that fateful three hour interview with John Fitzgerald when he invited her to be what he called his navigator, in finding the right children to launch his Toogoolawa scheme of providing schools, as well as some accommodation hostels for the unfortunate children who, often through bad parenting, were homeless, school-less and on the point of becoming street-kids. Ron, who whole-heartedly supports the project and gives it much voluntary help, carries on other work for Sathya Sai Baba too. One of these is conducting a small publishing business in conjunction with his wife Swanny and a Sai friend by the name of Ross Woodward. They have already published a very good book designed to help people anywhere in the world to conduct study circles on the literature of the New Age, particularly the teachings of Sai Baba. The quality of the book holds out good promise of other treasures to come.

Dr Farmer of course, continues his main professional work regularly seeing patients at his clinic which is in the same building as John’s company offices on the banks of the Nerang River. In this therapeutic work he frequently makes use of the Sai and other spiritual teachings. He told me about several of these as we walked together on the grassy lands round his home at Willow Vale. At my request he put several on an audio tape for me. Here briefly, is the gist of one such treatment.

A Minister of the Uniting Church asked Dr Farmer if he would treat the Minister’s twelve year old daughter. Dr Ron Farmer agreed and in due course the twelve year old girl was sitting in his clinic. Her main problem was that in the school classroom, when as a pupil she was asked to stand up, perhaps to read something, to recite something or answer a question, just the fact of standing there in the classroom of sitting pupils would bring on such a powerful agonising form of stage fright that she would break out in a cold sweat and be unable to speak a word and so would have to take her seat. As neither teachers nor pupils have any understanding or sympathy in such situations, the twelve year old girl would suffer a great deal.

Eventually after asking her several questions, in an endeavour to find a door that he might open for her, Ron asked intuitively, “Do you have any recurring nightmares?” The answer was that she did, a terrible dream that recurred every week or every fortnight. In the dream she was walking along the edge of a cliff when she fell over the precipice and in terror went down towards the bottom. She always awakened before she hit bottom but it was an experience of great terror. Ron felt that if he could cure this nightmare terror it would also cure her classroom terror.

Ron remembered one of Sathya Sai Baba’s teaching to the effect that it does not matter in the least what form and name of God you worship but you must remember He is with you always and you must trust in His love and His help. This girl was the daughter of a Minister of a Christian Church and would probably look to Jesus as her divine guide and saviour. So Ron asked her, “Do you believe in Jesus?” “Oh, yes I do,” she answered. Then Ron asked, “Do you love Jesus?” “Yes,” she replied enthusiastically, “I love Him with all my heart, He is my life.” Then Ron explained to her the principle taught by Sathya Sai Baba, that is, if we hold onto the name and form of God, bringing it into everything we do, life will become harmonious and any problems will be solved. Moreover, Sathya Sai Baba says, unlike what is taught in modern psychiatry, that the unconscious is benevolent. So Ron proceeded to relax his patient and asked her to close her eyes. Then he took her in imagination, through the details of her recurring nightmare. She was walking along the cliff edge picturing the scene and then her foot slipped and she began to fall, but now she was holding onto the hand of Jesus as she fell. He kept repeating to her, “You’re holding onto the hand of Jesus, you’re falling, but you’re holding onto the hand of Jesus,” this he repeated for about ten minutes. Watching her face as he made her picture that she was holding onto the hand of Jesus, the expression of fear changed quickly into a beautiful expression of peace and happiness. So eventually, he asked her to open her eyes and asked her, “What was that like?” She replied that she forgot she was falling and felt happy in the protection of Jesus. Asked what she felt in her body, she replied that she felt relaxed, deeply relaxed. Then Ron asked her to imagine she was in the classroom situation and that the teacher had asked her to stand up and read something, but while she was standing up she pictured the scene where she was falling, holding onto the hand of Jesus, so she felt relaxed and not at all worried with this situation because she was holding the hand of Jesus and felt the joy of his protection. After this guided imagination, he said to her to open her eyes again. Then he said, “Do you feel now that you will be alright in the classroom when you have to stand to your feet and speak?” She smiled happily and replied, “Yes, I feel sure I will because I will have Jesus close to me holding my hand.” “Well,” Ron replied, “If ever you have the slightest return of that problem, contact me and I will bring you some more help.” She agreed that she would do so, but she never contacted Ron and he felt that his spiritual therapy had worked. He has found that this use of the name and form of the God one adores has a very powerful effect. It releases the stupendous power of divine love which always conquers fear.

Reference:: “The Lights of Home” by Howard Murphet

Sri Sathya Sai – Love Is What We Seek

Sri Sathya Sai – Love Is What We Seek

EDEN Creative Studio’s musical Love Is What We Seek will be staged on Sept 19 and 20 at Pentas 1, KLPac in KL. The musical centres on a young photographer who is distraught with life after a series of disheartening events and much hardship.

The story follows his quest to trace the whereabouts of his long lost sister due to the separation of his parents and his ongoing conflict with his mother, whom he blames for the severance.

This musical revolves around love, the essential value in our lives, as advocated by spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba.

It is produced in collaboration with the Seputih Choir under the baton of Stanley Cheong. Cheong has performed numerous times in India and was awarded a silver medal in the Songs For Religion Category and a bronze medal in the Mixed Choir category in the 1st Asian Choir Games in Jakarta in 2007.

Tickets are priced at RM20, RM50 and RM100. For details, call 03-4047 9000 or browse

The Star Reference

Sathya Sai Baba - Love Is What We Seek

Sathya Sai Baba - Love Is What We Seek

Love is What We Seek centres on a young photographer who was distraught with life after a series of disheartening events and much hardship. The story traces him on his quest to trace the whereabouts of his long lost sister due to the separation of his parents and his ongoing conflict with his mother whom he blamed for the severance.

This musical revolves around love, which is the essential value / ingredient in our lives as advocated by the great guru – Sathya Sai Baba – and will be brought to life by a group of enthusiastic performers.

Love is What We Seek aspires to put across this message – love begets love; life is love experienced” and hopes that this musical drama portrays Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings.

Produced in collaboration with the Seputih Choir, Love is What We Seek features many original music composed to express the purest human value of all – love.

The Seputih Choir under the baton of Stanley Cheong has performed in numerous performances in India and was awarded Silver Medal in the Songs for Religion Category and Bronze Medal in the Mixed Choir category during the 1st Asian Choir Games in Jakarta in 2007.

We welcome you to enjoy this musical drama as it will fill your heart with love…(KLPAC Reference)