Mystery Of The Missing Yogi

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Mystery Of The Missing Yogi

Read up on Giri Naidu’s (12th standard student in Prashanthi Nilayam shcool) experience as published in Sanathana Sarathi, March 1985.

A few days remained for the Navaratri festival to begin at Prasanthi Nilayam. I was at Madras, having no hopes of witnessing the grand celebrations at Parthi.

One night Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba appeared in my dream. The next night too He appeared in my dream and repeated His order, “Leave for Parthi immediately.” I dreamt that I pleaded with Him, “Oh Baba! How to come to You when I am caught in the coils of never ending troubles.” Bhagawan replied, “Nonsense! Come immediately.” I was worried how I could leave for Parthi when my mother and sister were critically ill, and I not much better than they. The day passed while I was in a dilemma.

On the third night again my Lord appeared in my dream but not as Sai Baba, but as Sai Shiva, for He looked at poor me with angry eyes and lashed and thrashed me verbally for not obeying His divine command, and once again He summoned me to Parthi, without regard to my tearful pleadings.

I woke up in the morning dazed. I was unable to make up my mind. But the thought of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba again coming in my dream made me tremble. I dared not keep my head on the pillow, fearing I would fall asleep and He might again appear in my dream and give me another sound verbal thrashing. Somehow I decided to leave for Parthi that very night.

That day Madras seemed to have incurred the wrath of Indra for it rained incessantly. With the help of our sympathetic neighbour, my ailing mother, sister and myself boarded the night bus for Anantapur. We were to reach Anantapur at dawn. We spent the night miserably but waiting for the glorious day to dawn. As the bus sped by, tearing through the dark night I pined to see the golden rays of the sun. My childish emotions overpowered me, for I accused the sun of being lazy and a late riser. It was not too long when my angry accusation turned into prayers too. I prayed to the sun to rise fast at least for my sake. But the sun took his own sweet time, and the day dawned.

The bus was nearing Anantapur when it came to a halt with a sudden jolt. There was a bridge which it had to cross. It was heavily flooded. All around was a scene of destruction. The bus took an hour to cross the flooded bridge, with great difficulty. After we had crossed the bridge, to our great delight we found a bus going to Puttaparthi trying to cross the bridge. Our bus conductor advised us three to quickly get down and board the bus leaving for Parthi, without our going to the Anantapur bus stand. We hurriedly brought our luggage down and boarded the Puttaparthi bus. The latter’s conductor was very hostile. He rudely said, “There is no place, so get off the bus.” When I tried to request him, he took our luggage and threw it out of the bus, and forced us to get down. To our great dismay we found that the Anantapur bus was nowhere in sight and the deserted look all around made me shiver in fright. To my great surprise, as soon as we got down from the bus bound for Parthi, the bus could not move as its engine refused to start. Half of its chassis was in the water and half on dry land. It could neither proceed forward nor go back. It refused to move an inch.

My mother and sister seated themselves on the luggage and were on the verge of collapse. I stood beside the raging river and viewed the angry waters, while mother sat lost in prayer or despair, I do not know. Broken logs of timber rolled and came dashing against the bridge. The corpse of a goat was caught in the swift current of the swirling waters. The dark sky above seemed to be determined on a downpour to drench us, The grim situation cast a gloomy spell on me. I cursed myself for being responsible for the watery grave I had chosen, as I felt our end not far.

Something said within me that the Lord is my host and why should I give myself away to despair and frustration. No sooner had this thought occurred in my mind than I felt the pressure of a hand on my back. I whirled round and saw, “a white long robed yogi with a white beard and matted hair” smiling at me. He had a tender voice and spoke softly. His eyes twinkled and his face shone with splendour. I stood bewitched while he spoke, “Son! You seem to be troubled. Tell me, it may be that I could help you.” Hearing him speak such kind words, I was very much delighted. I told him of the soup that we were in. He gave me a reassuring smile and said, “Is that all! O. K. How many persons are you?” I replied, “There are three of us.” Then I saw him dig his hand into the side pocket of his robe and take out three pink tickets. The smiling yogi said, “I don’t need them, you can take them.” Now with tickets in our hands we boarded the bus that still stood there. As I was boarding the bus, I again felt a pat on my back. I looked behind and saw. It was the smiling yogi. He then uttered these mysterious words, “You go to Puttaparthi and `I’ shall meet you there.” And he hurriedly walked away.

We climbed the bus. The bus conductor gave us a threatening look before he could speak out a word, I showed him the tickets that the yogi gave me, The conductor was shocked and he questioned me, “From where did you get them.” I told him about the yogi. He got down from the bus to look for the yogi. The yogi could be found nowhere. He seemed to have melted into the thin air of the deserted region. The conductor climbed into the bus. He looked shaken. He timidly got three seats vacated and offered them to us. As soon as we took our seats, the engine that had refused to start for two hours miraculously started all of a sudden, and the bus moved towards its destination.

The happy passengers shouted with joy and the air was rent with shouts of JAI SAI RAM!


Can Money Alone Bring Happiness And Security?

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Can Money Alone Bring Happiness And Security?

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

This week, we would like to briefly take you in a direction that you might not at all consider spiritual, namely economics, markets and all that. Having taken you on that detour, it shall then be our endeavour to convince you that wealth generation and the proper use of wealth cannot be divorced from Spirituality.

In a sense, economics and wealth dynamics are all about money. True, the concept of wealth goes back to the time when there was no currency and only barter. The advent of coins enabled wealth to be moved around more easily than moving bartered goods, and that was a major step forward. Let us say that five thousand years ago, two people do a barter exchanging a goat for some firewood. The man who receives the firewood has to carry it all the way back home. These days, however, when a villager sells a goat he gets cash, which he takes home; later he uses that cash to buy whatever he needs from the place where it is available. Money being “fluid”, it makes business easier than old style barter. In this age of electronic communications, new dimensions have been added to financial transaction. As someone remarked, money is no longer coins or even currency notes; it is a set of binary numbers in electronic code.

We are conscious that you are aware of all this but even so, this preamble would set the stage for what follows. Science and Technology have immensely aided manufacture, which in turn has spurred everything from trade and business to transportation and communication. For example, recent statistics show that the O’Hare Air Port in Chicago is the busiest in America, with roughly 500,000 plane landings and takeoffs in a six-month period! It is just amazing.

So what has all this got to do with Spirituality? Everything, because in one way or the other, it is all connected with money! Money is a great magnet, and few can resist its attraction. Sadhus might say they are not attracted to money, but it requires money to keep even Sadhus alive – someone has to give them charity! And the powerful attractor that money is, it tends to draw people out very much into the world in quest of money. Having drawn people into the world and got them hooked, money keeps the attention of such people rooted very much to the world. A man who has made a million starts thinking, “I am a millionaire now but how can I become a billionaire?” On the other hand, there might be a man who has borrowed heavily for some reason or the other, and he is all the time worried about how he is going to raise money to pay off his debts. With all this preoccupation with money, people lose sight of God and often with it, the quality of goodness. Of course there are others who, while worshipping money, have not entirely forgotten God, but for selfish reasons. They want God to be the Great Provider by giving them more money and still more money. This is nothing new and five thousand years ago, Krishna declared that this is one type of devotee, who unfailingly comes to Him!

Why is man attracted to money? It is all due to the Mind! As Swami says, the Mind of man can either make him look towards the world or inwards. If it looks outwards, then it easily succumbs to the attractions that the world provides in plenty. Man is then deluded into thinking that money is the royal road to all happiness. The connection to Spirituality is rooted in precisely this delusion that traps man; more about that later.

Money being at the heart of manufacture, trade, business, commerce, etc., is necessarily the engine of every conceivable economic system. For almost everyone today, being wealthy simply means having a lot of money. For about three hundred years or so, great thinkers have tried to formulate the basic principles of wealth generation, social well-being etc., and as a result, many theories of economics have come into existence. For some, well-being starts with opportunities for individual enterprise, making lots of money, minimal interference from the State, etc. This has led to the Capitalist system of economics, which, in recent times, has soared to the concept of absolute free-market economy cum globalisation. At the other end, we had, until recently, Communism that many countries went for, and “Scientific Socialism” which India opted for. As far as Communism as an economic philosophy is concerned, despite its strong ideological appeal at one time , it has now become more or less extinct, though there are still countries that are “Communist” as far as the political system of government is concerned. Scientific Socialism too is all but dead, despite some loyalists continuing to pay lip sympathy to it. Currently, the free-market philosophy with the “icing” of globalisation added to it is the dominant survivor, actively peddled by those who stand to gain much by it.

Today there is a lot of hype about the glory of globalisation and the free-market economy, but are they really the roaring successes they are claimed to be? It all depends on whom you ask. Those who have benefited from it would undoubtedly hail it in the most flattering terms. But if you ask the millions and millions who have been left out, nay sacrificed, it is a different story.

The free market philosophy is focussed almost entirely on wealth generation for a few, the shareholders. If others benefit by the process, that is purely incidental. Though many may be involved in the market processes as employees of various sorts, when it comes to brass tacks, it is a few that determine the fate of many. Throughout history, it has often been this way, but the power of modern technology has enormously magnified the impact factor.

In the last couple of decades, high power technology and high power business have affected people all over the world in many ways, creating in general a huge gap between the haves and the have-nots in all countries with big economies. Even in America , once the dreamland where the poor could become rich by working hard, they now say that if you are poor, you had better get out of America . If that is what is happening in America , the situation in the “newly emerging economies” like China and India is even worse. One might say, “Sorry that is inevitable in a free-market economy; that’s the way the cookie crumbles.” Maybe, but when hundreds of millions suffer, Society as a whole pays a price, and a big one too, that inevitably would one day impact those in the comfort zone also.

What we are driving at is that it is no longer enough to talk in terms of “costs”, “efficiency”, “profitability”, etc., as calculated by accountants and finance experts in big Corporations. Costs and profits may mean a lot to shareholders, but Corporations exist in the midst of Society and what happens to Society eventually makes an impact on everyone, including industry, business and finance. Thus, the business sector cannot clinically exclude from its considerations, the public who are STAKEHOLDERS. If it does, then while it may enjoy short-term gains, in the long run it too would have to pay, and heavily too. As someone said, one cannot have an island of prosperity in an ocean of misery.

Where the human race is concerned, everyone is a stakeholder. This important point has been consistently ignored in the past, but it no longer can be, especially in this age of high technology and fast communications. These days, when smoke clouds are produced by the burning of huge forests in one country they choke people in another country. Excessive fishing by the big fishing corporations of one country can ruin the poor fishermen of another country. Massive emission by hundreds of millions of vehicles in one or more rich countries now threatens the climate of the entire planet. So on the examples go. In every case, there is a price to pay and that price is paid by Society. In some cases, the price is paid by people in the same country where the problem originates, while in other cases it is people elsewhere that pay the price. And in some cases, everyone pays the price, no matter where.

We cannot go into all the details here but the essential point is that when there are huge imbalances, there will necessarily be conflict, violence, large-scale suffering, etc. Violence, cruelty and exploitation have no doubt been always present in mankind, but what makes the current situation frightening is the scale.

Which brings us to our central point: It is time to move away from socio-economic philosophies that focus on profits for a few to a philosophy that is wedded to the well-being of all. Currently, there is too much importance given to individual and corporate enterprise, and very little, if at all, to Society. This precisely is where Swami’s teachings come strongly into the picture. Swami says that without self-control, and we stress the prefix self, the human Mind would inevitably tend to seek self-advantage and focus entirely on the short term. This may appear to be very rewarding but the advantages that seem to accrue are illusory. As Swami says [this was in a recent Sai Inspires Message], “Human existence is enveloped in infatuation,” often with money we might add.

So what is the alternative? Sathya Sai Baba says that the starting point of how one views oneself ought not to be the lower self [which is the one that wants profit in a hurry etc.,] but the Higher Self or God. Next, one must realise that God the Creator brought Creation/Nature into existence. Society is a part of this Creation and the individual is a limb of Society. So there is this Cosmic Hierarchy: God, Nature, Society and the individual, which should never be lost sight of.

The individual must conduct himself/herself in such a manner that is not harmful to Society, does not disturb Nature and is in harmony with God; that is to say, one must always act in full consonance with one’s intrinsic Divine nature. If a person does this, the person would not be in the business of selling fast food and soft drinks, however profitable they might be; why? Because fast foods and soft drinks harm people and thus Society. When a high percentage of the population becomes obese, when a large number of children develop diabetes at a young age, etc., Society ends up paying a very high price. The companies may make profit but if Society as a whole loses, is that good?

In today’s Society, it is dangerous to delink money-making from its consequences to Society. Economic theories can no longer afford to start from notions of unfettered freedom for the market. One must instead move away from the hitherto sacred principle that the individual has the right to make money to the principle that the individual has responsibilities to discharge to both Society and to Nature. In other words, economic philosophy must start from basic moral and human values and duties that arise thereof rather than rights that the individual might think he or she is entitled to. If we start with value-based economics, then we would have value-based trade and commerce, which in turn would ensure fair distribution of wealth, minimisation of exploitation, well-being for all in some reasonable measure. The present system is based on competition. On the face of it, competition might look like a good thing but soon it gets contaminated by all the evil tendencies lurking within humans, at which point it leads to painful consequences.

History has shown that Society moves forward through harmonious co-operation, which is why the Vedas extol co-operation. And that also is why Swami talks to us often about Unity, Purity and Divinity. Humanity must shine with humanness and NOT with meanness. That will happen only when we stop dreaming all the time about profits, and turn instead to using money for common good. We can never prosper in isolation. The dynamics of Society are such that money gotten by unfair and evil means would always produce its own unpleasant reflection via the problems in Society.

There is much that we can say on this subject, but we shall not. Instead, we bring to you a small extract from a Divine Discourse that Swami gave in Bombay on 12 th March, 1999 at a reception given to Him in the Cooperage ground by the elite of Bombay (now Mumbai).. Many who spoke before Bhagavan expressed grave concern about the rising crime in Bombay . Responding to those fears, this is what Sathya Sai Baba said:

Is Bombay in a healthy state today? No! Hundreds of thousands of people are living in slums. Tens of thousand children receive no schooling at all. They roam the streets and take to evil paths. Any number of people are sick and they are left to their fate. In this same city, there are many rich and well-to-do people also. They also are a part of the same Society. They have become rich on account of this very Society; all their wealth has come from the people. But what is it that they are doing with their money? Are they using even a fraction of it for the general good of the public? Are they doing any service? Are they helping the poor in any way? Are they bothered? Are they concerned at all? Do they at least think of them and their misery? Do they feel compassion for them?

What this quote reveals is that money is the starting point of many of the problems of Bombay that Swami alluded to. What applies to Bombay applies to many other parts of the world as well. Values and NOT money should be the starting point of economic philosophy. When one starts with values, one knows how to deal with money properly; money would then not be an end in itself, but the means to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the dispossessed. However, if values are abandoned right at start, then there can be only disaster. We might in passing also draw attention to yet another of the recent Sai Inspires Message that says, “It is only when you experience other’s suffering as your own, that human value is manifested.”

We took up this topic of extreme economic asymmetry just to stress that Swami’s teachings are extra-ordinarily profound and touch all aspects of life. They are of immense value to humanity, especially in the present critical juncture. Will humanity realise that? Will the world wake up? We leave you to speculate about those issues!

Jai Sai Ram .

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team

How Sathya Sai Baba Came To Me

by James Sinclair

James Sinclair

James Sinclair

Mr. James D. Sinclair is a reputed businessman, who has made a very big mark for himself in the field of mineral prospecting. That apart, he is also a person who has been coming to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for spiritual guidance for several years for now. After having acquired his degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, Mr. Sinclair, in the year 1975, set up the Sinclair group of companies for which he became the President and the Chief Executive Officer. Thereafter, he established, in the year 1981, the James D. Sinclair Financial Research Institute, for which he became the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer. Later on his interest increased in the field of television and telecommunications, wherein he became the founding partner of the company Cross Country Cable TV. Presently, he is the Chairman and the Executive Officer of the Tanzanian American Development Corporation. The manner in which James Sinclair of America became a devotee of Sai makes a thrilling story. Sinclair had never heard of Baba but he had a deep yearning for God in his heart; that was enough. For the rest of the story, we turn to Sinclair himself:

“How is it possible”, I used to wonder, “that I was born at this time and age?” As a Christian, it seemed so unfair that here I was in the 1950’s, and Jesus was on this planet two thousand years ago. I used to pray as I drove to New York City for business work: “I know you are out there, but I can’t find you, Dear Lord. Instead, You must find me!” Those prayers were not wasted. They were heard and answered in the positive.

I will tell you of an event that at that time seemed shocking but would take thirty years to become fully clear. It has to be kept in mind that neither I nor my wife at that time had any understanding or inclination towards Eastern tradition or philosophies. In 1964, just a short while after our marriage, my wife and I accepted an invitation to stay at a friend’s woodland cottage. As we were going to sleep, I saw an old man standing over my bed in the moonlight. My feeling was not one of fear but rather like one has while a mother is looking at her son. The old man then turned and walked across the room and through the wall! Just then, my wife said in a loud voice, “Jim, are you awake?” She screamed since she was watching the old man as he walked through the wall. Barbara had never seen anything like that in her life and was shaken by the experience. Now let us leave this experience and move ahead to 1968.

Our married life had produced our first daughter. Business was not going well. My health was not so good. The IRS [Internal Revenue Service, which is the name for the Income Tax Department in the U.S.] was looking for me. I had just sold my car to pay the month’s rent for our living quarters. I was frustrated about the way things were going and my apparent inability to change the circumstances. One day, it just became too much for me to bear. I went into my cellar where I had a desk. I sat down and prayed:

I don’t know who You are.
I don’t know where You are.
I don’t know what You are.
But this I do know: You are!
So, You have to take over,
Because I have made a mess of everything.

I resolved not to leave the cellar till the Divine literally took over, whatever that meant. All of a sudden, I looked to my right and saw what appeared to be a little royal child dressed in gold and jewels. The child had long hair, so I thought it must be a girl. Suddenly, all my fear was gone. I was totally at ease. I got up and went upstairs. The fun was about to begin.

I began to meditate twice a day. The environment slowly began to improve. I had an interesting experience. My meditation was on the light from a candle. Every time I started my meditation looking at the candle flame, I saw a little fellow in the flame wearing an orange robe with a great shock of black hair. Then I would transcend thought. I also began to have the same dream every single night. It went on for years. I saw myself walking up a hill, led by three men in the darkness of night. One was an old man in white. One looked somewhat like Jesus Christ. The one in the middle had an orange robe. This dream occurred night after night for years. At that time, I had no knowledge of Shirdi Sai Baba or Sathya Sai Baba. For that matter I had no idea of any Avatar and did not know what the word meant.

Now we move ahead another eighteen years to 1984. I have been meditating now for fifteen years. I am a vegetarian, and I keep a special room in my house for my meditation. It is a tiny hut, completely private. My meditation has lost form of any kind. A friend who then was a technical commodity market analyst knew my interest in meditation. He suggested that I might like the tape he has. He told me that he it played before and after his meditation. It gave him a great spiritual feeling. I was most grateful and began the same practice for relaxation before and after meditation. Wow! It was powerful.

Now comes the spectacular story. Please understand that I don’t feel special in any way. In fact, I believe that someone had been knocking hard on my door for a lifetime. I was too stupid to know. Therefore, this person had to blow a bugle in my ear to get my attention. Well, the bugle blew in Connecticut, East Coast USA, one winter evening.

I was walking from the lavatory in the night. You know how you get a feeling someone is there. I did. I turned around and there He was. I hadn’t the slightest idea who He was. This handsome figure dressed in a long orange robe, with a shock of hair you wouldn’t believe, was in my hallway, looking at me silently. I nearly jumped out of my skin. As fast I had seen Him, He was gone. Well, it happened a second time. Not too much later, I was in my meditation room, and this same figure was standing when I came out of meditation. I rubbed my eyes. He was still there. He motioned as if I was to do something with His Feet. I knelt down and touched His Feet. As I looked up, He was no longer there. This time I didn’t feel scared, I felt out of my mind. I didn’t know which I needed more, spiritual or professional medical help! I was determined to find out who this fellow was that visited me. I certainly wasn’t going to tell my wife.

Off I went to the fort of spiritual knowledge in New York City, Samuel Weiser’s bookstore. I approached the clerk. He asked if he could help me. I said, ‘I certainly hope so.’ I described my visitor, of course without giving details of the visit. I wanted to know if there was any book about someone who looked like the description of my visitor. He said, ‘One moment. I will be right back.’ He returned and handed a packet of whitish grey powder and a book titled Holy Man and the Psychiatrist written by a doctor [this book is by Dr. Sandweiss]. The salesman told me that he himself was a devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Now I knew that the name of the form was Sathya Sai Baba. Was I in for a surprise when I recognised that the recurring dream had been of Shirdi Sai, Sathya Sai, and Prema Sai walking up the hill night after night for many years? The figure in the flame was also Him.

Sai Baba Trinity

On my first visit to Prashanti Nilayam, which is a story in itself, I was granted an Interview with Baba. As I entered the room, He said, “All I have given you, and you have never been happy one moment in your life. I CAME TO YOU TWICE. Would you do something for Swami?” My answer was, of course, yes.

Swami went on, “BE HAPPY”. I had told absolutely no one at that time of the visit. In a 1994 Interview, Swami said to my wife and myself, “I came to you thirty years ago”. He said it right out of the blue. 1964 was the year when we had the experience in the woodland cabin with the figure of the old man in white. That was indeed thirty years ago.

Who was the royal little girl in my cellar when I was at my wits ends? I believe it was Baba in the form of Baby Krishna, welcoming me as a spiritual baby onto His path. Thank You, Swami!


RadioSai Reference