Canadian Hindu Leader Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma Passes Away

Canadian Hindu Leader Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma Passes Away
By Karishma Patel

Mississauga, Canada (CHAKRA) – An important leader and pioneer of the Hindu religion, Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma has died. He was a prominent leader for Hindus in both Trinidad an Tabago and Canada. He was the one to start celebrating Diwali in Trinidad in addition to building temples, performing wedding ceremonies as well as taking trips to India.

He was 80 years old and settled in Canada in 1989 after many Trinidadians requested for him to live there. He lived in Mississauga and passed away on Thursday, March 1. A funeral with many attendees was held for him a few days later.

Sharma’s father, originally from the state of Madhya Pradesh, came to Trinidad in 1910 with his 12 year old son. Once in Trinidad, Sharma’s father became a certified priest and conducted many religious ceremonies. He had eight children of whom Sharma was the eldest. Sharma along with two of his younger brothers followed his dad’s footsteps and also pursued becoming priests.

Sharma was conducting his own public prayers and rituals by 1944. He married a woman named Badewattee Persad in 1962 and they had six children altogether.

He had begun to create temples by 1971 in Matilda, Princes Town, Barrackpore and Rio Claro of which one is the well known Moruga temple in Matilda.

Boodram Ramoutar, a close friend of Sharma said, “His family fully understood and supported his role as a pundit and community leader with little time for all else. One special aspect was that he was not driven by material rewards, and treated rich, poor, man, woman, child, young and old with empathy and respect. In Trinidad alone, he had officiated at 4,000 weddings and become the guru of over 5,000 godchildren after baptising them as Hindus. It is fair to say that Trinidad has become richer in Hindu traditions, culture, and spirituality by the presence and teachings of Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma.”

For the diaspora, Sharma organized the first tour to India in 1983 because many Trinidadians were more interested in their roots and where they came from due to listening to radio programmes as well as from watching movies associated with their cultural past.

His initiatives such as his visits to India increased the demand of people wanting to learn more about their ancestors, their religious leaders and temples. The Sathya Sai Baba following was one such example. He became so respected by crowds as well as a charismatic leader that Sathya Sai Baba himself requested to meet him and talk privately as well as give blessings to all Trinidadians that he represented.

Sharma was asked to address the opening at the first Diwali Nagar celebration in 1986 in Chaguanas. Hindu awareness was growing and thus this event since then became an annual function which not only drew Hindus but also people of other faiths who just wished to experience the auspicious occasion of Diwali.

Thereafter, on the island, every Hindu celebration began to be celebrated with high respect and grandeur.

Most Trinidadians who moved to Canada, Britain and the United States starting in the 1970’s and onwards all called Sharma to perform their religious ceremonies such as weddings, house warming’s and other related religious events that required blessings from a respected elder. Due to this increase and demand for him, Sharma and his family moved to Canada thereafter to settle in the province of Ontario.

In Canada, he started the Satya Jyoti Cultural Sabha while becoming more prevalent to Canadian Hindus at the same time, marking a presence of Hinduism in the Canadian society.

All levels of government in Canada praised and honoured him with certificates and recommendations for his service to the Mississauga and Canadian community as a whole. Pundit Jankie Persad Sharma had become Canada’s first swami and was also known as Swami Atmananda Maharaj Ji.

Chakra News Reference

Ten Commandments for Peace of Mind

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Ten Commandments for Peace of Mind

In the modern age , it would appear that most of us are in a state of perpetual restlessness despite enjoying good health care and basic economic security.

Analysing the causes of this restlessness has led me to find ten solutions to attain peace of mind. I have called them “ten commandments” because they need to be followed religiously if we are sincere in achieving perfect peace of mind.

Here they are with brief explanations:-

  1. Do not interfere in others’ business unless asked – Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others’ affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction. This thinking denies the existence of individuality and consequently the existence of God. God has created each one of us in a unique way. No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way. All men or women act the way they do because they are prompted that way by the God within them. There is God to look after everything. Why are you bothered? Mind your own business you will keep your peace.
  2. Forget and forgive – This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind. We, often develop ill feeling inside our heart for the person who insults us or harms us. We nurture grievances. This, in turn results in loss of sleep, development of stomach ulcer and high blood pressure. The insult or injury was done once but nourishing of grievance goes on forever by constantly remembering it. Get over this bad habit. Believe in the justice of God and the doctrine of Karma. Let Him judge the act of the one who insulted you. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forget, forgive and march on.
  3. Do not crave for recognition – This world is full of selfish people. They seldom praise anybody without selfish motive. They may praise you today because you are in power but no sooner you are powerless they will forget your achievement and start finding faults in you. Why do you wish to kill yourself in striving for their recognition? They are not worth it. Do your duties ethically and sincerely and leave the rest to God.
  4. Do not be jealous – We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind. You know you work harder than your colleagues in the office but they get promotions, you do not. You started a business several years ago but you are not as successful as your neighbor whose business is only one year old. There are several examples like these in every walk of life. Should you be jealous? No, remember everybody’s life is shaped by his previous Karma, which has now become his destiny. If you are destined to be rich, not all the world can stop you. If you are not so destined, no one can help you either. Nothing will be gained by blaming others for your misfortune. Jealousy will not get you anywhere, will only give you restlessness.
  5. Change yourself according to the environment – If you try to change the environment single handedly, the chances are you may fail. Instead, change yourself to suit the environment. As you do this, even the environment which has remained unfriendly for you will mysteriously appear to be congenial and harmonious.
  6. Endure what cannot be cured – This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations and accidents which are beyond our control. We must learn to put up with these things. We must learn to endure them cheerfully thinking, “God will it so, so be it”. God’s logic is beyond our comprehension. Believe it and you will gain in patience, in inner strength, in will-power.
  7. Do not bite more than you can chew – This maxim needs to be remembered constantly. We often tend to take more responsibilities than we are capable to carry out. This is done to satisfy our ego. Know your limitations. Why take on additional loads that may create more worries? You cannot gain peace of mind by expanding your external activities. If you have extra time, then spend it in an inward life of prayer, introspection and meditation. This will reduce those thoughts in your mind, that make you restless. Fewer the thoughts, greater is the peace of mind.
  8. Meditate regularly – Meditation makes the mind thoughtless. This is the highest state of peace of mind. Try and experience. If you meditate earnestly for half an hour every day, you will tend to become calm during the remaining twenty three and a half hours. Your mind will not be disturbed as much as before. You must gradually increase the period of daily meditation. You may think this will interfere with your daily work. On the contrary, this will increase your efficiency and you will turn out more work in less time.
  9. Never leave the mind vacant – Empty mind is the devil’s workshop. All evil deeds start in the mind. Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something worthwhile. Actively follow a hobby. Do something that holds your interest. You must decide what you value more; money or peace of mind. Your hobby, like social work or temple work may not always earn you more money but you will have a sense of fulfillment and achievement. Even if you are resting physically, occupy yourself in healthy reading or mental chanting of God’s name (Japa).
  10. Do not procrostinate and never regret – Do not waste time in wondering “should I or shouldn’t I?” Days, weeks, months and years may be wasted in that futile mental debating. You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all future happenings. Always remember God has His own plan too. Value your time and do things. It does not matter if you fail the first time. You can rectify your mistakes and succeed the next time. Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing. Learn from your mistakes but do not brood over the past. DO NOT REGRET. Whatever happened was destined to happen only that way. Take it as the will of God. You do not have the power to alter the course of God’s will. Why cry over the spilt milk?


By Gyan Rajhans

May the Merciful Sri Sathya Sai Baba always shower His grace on us and our families and remove our problems and anxieties by giving us all – strength , goodluck, success and happiness with peace of mind.
~ Sathya Sai bhakt, Deepa H

Can We Have The Cake And Eat It Too?

Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Can We Have The Cake And Eat It Too?

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam, the Sathya Sai Baba Ashram.

In recent centuries, humanity has experimented with three major socio-economic systems. They are: First the Capitalist System at one end and second the Communist System at the other extreme. In between is the third system namely, hybrid Socialistic System that India, for example, tried to operate for about forty years after its Independence. Each system has its passionate advocates and every system claims that it is the best option for Society, because it alone can provide good economic and social security besides keeping its citizens happy.

These are claims. If, however, one looks carefully at the scorecard, one would find that no system has emerged as the clear winner. The simple reason for this is that no modern socio-economic system is explicitly based on Morality. No doubt, implicit in every system is the idea that people would be honest, truthful and ethical in their behaviour. However, the enemies of man lurking inside are so powerful that they easily overcome the vague commitment to values that these systems demand. That is THE fundamental reason why all modern systems are doomed to fail; and the danger posed by such a failure can create grave crises in the future, if some core issues, hitherto swept under the rug are not frontally confronted.

Experts say that for any economic system to operate four major inputs are necessary: Trained human resource, financial capital, infrastructure and raw material. Where raw material is concerned, mankind draws from a ‘Bank’ called Nature. All the renewable as well as the non-renewable material resources that drive the engine called economy are drawn from Nature. For thousands of years, everyone laboured under the impression that Nature is a Bank with infinite resources and that one can draw as much as one wants, any time. Lately we have discovered that this assumption is not true, and therein lies a serious problem.

Planet earth is finite, and it simply cannot provide infinite resources, just because we want it to. Lately, this truth has begun to sink in, though only in a limited fashion. For example, many have realised that oil which is one of the principle movers in modern economy, can one day run out. One can go to town on this subject of finite resources but we will not . For the present it suffices to say that consumerism which is the engine of modern economy, is very wasteful and is placing on planet earth a burden it cannot carry for too long.

What is the alternative? Sathya Sai Baba has indicated this but before we discuss that, it is pertinent to call attention to a report published several decades ago, known popularly as the Club of Rome Report. In effect, it warns mankind as follows: ‘The present consumption pattern is UNSUSTAINABLE. Curtail consumption immediately and drastically; otherwise, one day, the Bank called Nature would go broke and you would not be able to draw from it.’ This is the warning given not by religious or spiritual leaders but by hard-nosed economists, based on cold reasoning, and pitiless statistics and all that.

What does Satya SaiBaba say? He of course has been telling us a long, long time to practice CEILING ON DESIRES, not from the point of view of the Club of Rome, but from much higher spiritual considerations. When we place a ceiling on desires, it means we stop buying things we really do not need – and let’s be honest, we can jolly well do without most of the gadgets of today. We get sucked into buying them because of heavy advertisement. OK, suppose we stop buying all sorts of video games, I-pods and so on; so what? Well, that would immediately decrease the demand for mercury, cadmium, copper-beryllium, lead etc., which go into all electronic gadgets. All these are deadly materials, when they get into the environment.

Take, for example, cell phones. There are nearly a billion of them; and the models change so often. What happens to old discarded phones? They end up in India, China, Vietnam and so on, where they are dismantled by unskilled people, in the process spreading a lot of pollution into the environment. There are so many of today’s evils that get automatically eliminated, once we cap our desires. Of course, the more important thing is that people who curb desires, develop detachment and get closer to God.

Sceptics would shake their heads and say, ‘This is stupid. Consumerism is the engine that drives the modern world. If we curb desires, markets would collapse, unemployment would shoot up, and there would be disaster everywhere. Ceiling on desires may be nice to be talk about but it will not work; in any case, we cannot give it up. In any event, what other alternative is there?’

We will not get into a debate here about the virtues of consumerism but focus instead on the alternative. To appreciate the significance of that alternative, we must realise that in a consumerist society, products are often created using mass-production technology. Superficially this might make sense but it leads to unemployment. In decades past, when the economy grew, it also meant increased employment. But these days, economists are talking of ‘jobless growth of economy’. In turn this leads to a huge gap between the haves and the have-nots, as is being seen today not only in China and India, but even in the United States. So what are we to do? We have to switch from mass production to production by the masses, and anchor social life to sharing and caring rather than competition and exploitation.

This is where an important teaching of Sathya Sai Baba comes into the picture. Sathya Sai Baba often says: ‘The proper study of mankind is man.’ This means that mankind must follow the same rules that Lord God has ordained for the human body. In the human body, there is no organ that is selfish. All organs perform their functions in a co-operative manner and in harmony with all the other organs rather than competing with each other and in being selfish. As Swami says, when a sweet is put in the mouth, the tongue tastes it but does not keep it to itself; it sends the sweet to the stomach. The stomach digests and send the digested matter to the intestines. The intestines allow the nutrition to leak to the blood vessels, which carry the nutrients to the muscles all over the body and so on. One can give any number of such illustrations.

So the main lesson that our body teaches us loud and clear is that individuals in society must care for and co-operate with each other instead of being ruthlessly competitive and selfish. Next, they must function in harmony for a common goal, the welfare of Society as a whole or mankind, even as the organs of the body function for the benefit of the body as a whole.

This is where the concept of Trusteeship comes into the picture. In essence, what it means is that individuals as well as groups function as Trustees of God. Both individuals and groups must take the following view: ‘Every skill and resource we have belongs really to God and has been given to us to be used judiciously for and on His behalf. In that sense, we are Trustees of God.’

And this is how the Trusteeship idea works. A doctor uses his medical knowledge to relieve suffering and NOT for making money. This does not mean he should not charge fees. He could and should, especially if he is engaged in private practice. However, he does not overcharge and treats for free, those who cannot afford. Whatever he does, he offers to God, as recognition of his role as a Trustee of God. Corporations too must operate in the same spirit. Thus, drug companies would focus on saving lives rather than maximizing profit as they do these days [with good PR to cover up the anti-social behaviour]. One can develop the idea in extenso, and we shall do so in Heart2Heart later.

One might ask: ‘But what happens to jobs?’ Presently, globalisation-driven economy tends to ‘improve’ the economy while decreasing the number of jobs at the same time. In the Trusteeship regime, mass production is replaced by production by the masses. Some might wonder: ‘Will this work?’ It does, and the Milk Revolution in Gujarat is proof of that. Here, thousands of dairy farmers joined together to form a successful milk co-operative. So successful has this co-operative movement been that India, which once used to import milk powder from Denmark has now become the largest producer of milk in the world; and the venture has given employment to thousands and thousands of people.

If we think carefully about it, mankind DOES have an alternative to the present consumerist way of life, which is wasteful and is leading us straight to disaster. That alternative of course demands the price of simple living and a spirit of cooperation, with people caring for each other and sharing with each other, exactly as the organs in a healthy body do.

Many dismiss such an idea with the comment: ‘All this is nice in theory but will not work.’ Well, it all depends on what people want. People go to great extent to make money, to take care of their children, to be successful in life and so on. That is because, they value the end objective. In every case, sacrifice is involved and success represents the triumph of will power, which is the key to discipline. If in the same way we attach great importance to the real purpose of human birth and life, then there should really be no difficulty in practicing a ceiling on desires and letting life be guided by the principle of Trusteeship. This principle calls for detachment and actually, in many things we do, we are detached without being aware of it. A cashier in a bank handles everyday, huge sums of money; yet he does not ever imagine it is his money. A taxi driver working for a cab company, does not think he owns the cab; and so on, there are many examples one could think of. With effort, one could extend this idea to things that one believes belongs to the person concerned. In the trusteeship regime, a rich man would regard the wealth he has as given to him by God for being used for Divine purposes.

People today might be very sceptical about such an attitude to life but you would be surprised to learn that when late Prof. Kasturi (Baba’s biographer) was born, his parents took the baby to the local Siva temple, placed the baby before the idol and prayed, ‘Oh Lord, You have given this child of Yours to us for looking after and bringing up. Please give us all that we need to do Your duty as best as we can.’

If we want, if we love God, if we want to avoid inflicting more wounds on Mother Earth, then we can and ought to be able to change our mindset. If we fail to do that, and want the present untenable life style then we must also get ready to pay the price for it. Scientists are very much concerned by the rapid melting of Arctic ice, and if the same happens with the ice in Antarctica also, then terrible things can happen, like half of Bangladesh getting swallowed by the sea. Experts say that even if humanity stops consuming oil today, it is not possible to stop global warming. The process started will stabilise at best; all that one can hope for is preventing of still further rises in the long term.

The bottom line is simply this: If we want to eat the cake, then it would disappear and we cannot have it! The options are clear and the time to decide is NOW. Tomorrow may be too late!

What do you think? Do you agree?

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team

You Cannot Always Oblige, But You Can Speak Obligingly

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

You Cannot Always Oblige, But You Can Speak Obligingly

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Gandhi often said that he wanted to live till 120 but he died much before that, not due to natural causes but due to assassination. Gandhi preached and practiced non-violence, peace and love; but ironically, he died on account of the anger and hate in the mind of the assassin. Gandhi is remembered for many things but today, we would like to dwell briefly upon a few aspects most important for our times.

If there is anything that stands above everything else in the personality of Gandhi, it is his firm commitment to Sathya and Dharma. Where these two were concerned, Gandhi took no orders from anyone except his Conscience. As Sathya Sai Baba often reminds us, Conscience is our true Master. Even recently, Satya SaiBaba was telling a couple of people from overseas, ‘People worship my Form but that is not enough; God is Inside and they should listen to His voice which is always speaking and giving good advice.’

Getting back to Gandhi, one might ask: ‘We all have Conscience; God is in all of us; then how come we are not able to do what Gandhi did?’ This is a question we really ought to be asking ourselves all the time, especially when Sri Sathya Sai Baba often tells that we are very deficient when it comes to following His teachings. The answer to the question we have posed is simple: Gandhi practiced many of the things that Swami teaches even though he never met Swami and had never even seen Him – remember Gandhi died on 30th January 1948, when very few people in this country knew about Swamiji. We, on the other hand, pride ourselves in listening and reading Swami’s Discourses, but avoid practice.

Gandhi took God seriously, indeed far more seriously than most of us do, and that is what made him so very different. Now what are those things that Gandhi did that gave him such towering Inner strength? Firstly, he was always chanting the Name of the Lord so much so he literally died with God’s Name on his lips. Next, he tried his best to remain true to his Conscience, indeed even in politics. Chanting the Name and being true to one’s Conscience are precisely the things that Swami wants from all of us; yet we consistently deny exactly those two to Swami whereas Gandhi gave just Him that; and that is because he really loved God.

Gandhi was called Mahatma; what does that mean? All of us are embodiments of the Divine Atma, as Sathya Sai Baba often reminds us; but Gandhi made that embodiment come ALIVE, and that is why he was called Mahatma, which means a great Atma. Gandhi was not born a Mahatma but by strictly adhering to the command of God, he became one.

Sathya Sai Baba often talks of bookish knowledge and practical knowledge. Gandhi is a good example of a man who translated bookish knowledge into brilliant practical knowledge. And this is something we should pay careful attention to. Today, if anyone were to say that Sathya and Dharma are very essential in national and international politics, people would dismiss that person as a bloody fool. Gandhi showed, however, that indeed even politics must be pursued keeping in mind all the time, what we call human values.

When Gandhi launched the famous Sathyagraha [non-violent, civil disobedience] movement as a part of the freedom struggle in India, he made it very clear that the struggle would be non-violent. However, some misguided people let their passions run away and burnt a Police Station, which resulted in the death of many Policemen. Gandhi was stunned; he did not expect this. Promptly he suspended the Sathyagraha, publicly declared that he had made a huge mistake – a Himalayan blunder as he called it – and then went on a fast to purify himself.

In August 1947, the British partitioned the subcontinent into two countries, India and Pakistan. All the assets of British India were divided between these two new countries – the railways, the Central Bank [called the Reserve Bank], and so on. It so happened that as a part of this division, India had to pay Pakistan 550 million rupees [or 55 crores as we would say in India]. Immediately after partition, there was an armed conflict between the two countries and on that basis, India withheld the 55 crores. Gandhi criticised that action as being morally incorrect; the word having been given, must be kept, politics or no politics. Such was the respect that Gandhi commanded, that the Government of India yielded and did precisely what Gandhi advised.

Gandhi started off as like most of us, as an ordinary person. He was not a scholar of the scriptures, the Vedas and the Upanishads. But one thing he knew – in life, Truth and Righteousness are always of paramount importance. And he resolved that never would he compromise on these, even if it meant death. That is what firm faith is all about. In other words, Gandhi demonstrated beyond doubt that with firm faith and deep love for God, one can develop so much self-confidence that one can face any adverse situation.

It is no surprise that Gandhi attracted and continues to attract admirers and even followers. Speaking on the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s 85th Birthday, President Clinton said that in politics he admired no one more than Gandhi. Martin Luther King never saw Gandhi but he showed that Gandhi’s principle of non-violence works even in modern times. And, in his own way, Nelson Mandela too demonstrated that non-violence is superior to violence.

These are days when people tend to dismiss Sathya and Dharma rather quickly, claiming that they won’t work in the age of globalisation. This is a myth and it is tragic that such falsehood is being actively peddled amongst the gullible.

If we concede that it is God who has created the Universe of which we are a part, and that God is Sathya, Dharma and Prema, then we too must have those genes of basic values. If we have come from the Creator, how can we not have at least some of the ‘Divine genes’. Under the circumstances, to deny Sathya and Dharma is to deny ourselves as well as God. Nothing could be more foolish. Today’s generation might tend to dismiss Gandhi but, as Einstein said of him, centuries hence people would wonder whether such a man did really walk on earth.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

When Sathya Sai Baba talks of values like Prema, Ahimsa etc., we nod our heads and clap but later dismiss them as irrelevant for this age. That is not true; as long as there are humans on earth, values are a MUST, and instead of dismissing them because we are too weak to follow them, we must take courage from the shining example of Gandhi and try to emulate him, in at least a small measure, by listening to our Conscience, for example.

Jai Sai Ram.
With Love and Regards,
RadioSai’s e-Journal Team,
In Sai Service

Sathya Sai Baba To Hand Over Houses To Flood-Hit On Ram Navami

Sathya Sai Baba To Hand Over Houses To Flood-Hit On Ram Navami
PNS | Cuttack

Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba will offer keys of the newly-constructed houses under the Sai Kutir Yojana to the families which were severely affected by the devastating floods in the State last year.

He will hand over the keys of these housed on the occasion of the Ram Navami on April 3 at Puttaparti in Andhra Pradesh.

Six hundred two families of 14 villages in Cuttack, Puri and Kendrapara districts are included under the Yojna. Out of these, 200 families will be rehabilitated in the first phase. About Rs 6 crore is estimated to be spent in the construction of these 602 houses. Construction company L&T under the super vision of Chalpati Prusti and Ramkrushna Prusty, the engineers of the Prasanti Nilayam, is constructing these houses.

Heads of these 200 families along with their wives are invited to Puttaparti. Expenditure of transporting and lodging will be bore by the Satya Sai Sangathan.

They will get the blessings of Baba, besides new clothes and home appliances. The family members led by Sangathan’s State wing president Prof Harikrushna Das will start their journey on March 30.

The members in support of the Sangathan will present a cultural programme on their miserable conditions after the devastation by the flood and the grace of Baba.

In another programme, these beneficiaries through a song-drama based on the life of the Mythological character Sabari will request Baba to come to Orissa.

The Pioneer Reference

I Am Involved

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

I Am Involved

Fatal fate stared at her for a moment in a car accident before she was miraculously saved by men who responded to an ‘anonymous’ call…a thrilling account by Muriel J Engle of Santa Barbara (from Sanathana Sarathi 1979)

Once again, my humble thanks to Sathya Sai Baba for Life, for preservation, and for the miracle of close protection. A midnight return from visiting a friend brought me down mountain Drive, just up beyond the Mission in Santa Barbara, a very narrow road, a dark night and a light drizzle: An unyielding wall made of huge rocks rose sheer on my left, black limbo down the canyon on my right. The car was moving too fast; I geared down. Still too fast, approaching a spot known as “suicide curve”. Not enough rain to wash off the slick, I noted. I touched the brakes, and the car skidded. Heavier braking, wheels seemed to lock, as if no brakes at all! I could not believe what was happening. Over the curb, and then time slowed as motion accelerated. Everything in me screamed, “No, No! No… Baba!”

The car lurched, skidded, banged, leaped, but did not roll over. A huge limb loomed, and I thought “decapitation.” But the car slipped under and I heard the heavy branch and leaves brush roughly over the top. Another lurch into black abyss and light showed a great tree coming head on, but a slip to the left which smashed both doors on the driver’s side veered the car slightly to the right to miss the tree and wedge me between the trunk and a large rock. I could hear glass crashing, but it blew out, not in. Just a few very small flying splinters struck my face, to make me aware of my good fortune, I guess, at no disfigurement. A sudden stop, motor still running, full tank of gas under the right side of hood and no explosion.

I turned off the motor; no lights. It was not quiet. All the noises of the night tuned loud and, below, the rush of Mission Creek, the boisterous frogs and the crickets. Gingerly, I moved arms, legs, body. I was shaking, but whole. The door on the driver’s side swung out but I could not tell where I would drop if I stepped out, or whether I would dislodge the car, which now and then shuddered a little. In a quavering voice, I heard myself say aloud, “Oh, Baba, Baba, I can’t handle this myself. What will you do with me?”

The dash clock said one or two minutes after midnight. I could not see any escape, in any direction; no mark where I come down the embankment, or how I could get out; no clue to where the road was which I had left so abruptly. The car was tipped uncomfortably to the left but slowly I reached for my personal things that had been thrown violently around the car, including my slippers which had apparently detached. I could not see or hear any signs of civilisation near me. There had been no other car on Mountain Drive when I went over the edge. I expected, then, to stay there until daylight.

The clock showed almost 12:20, when suddenly a powerful light beamed down from about 45° above me. I moved carefully to the right door, rolled down the window and called for help. I could hear male voices behind that big searchlight and when they had determined that I was alive and uninjured, they identified as police officers and told me the Fire Rescue Team was on the way. I watched the first man come down on a security chain, then three others followed. It took half an hour with a winch and four firemen to bring me up on a safety litter and when they stood me on my feet on the road, no one, including myself, could believe I was intact.

“How did you find me, or even know where or how to look for me?” I asked the officer bringing me home. “I got the radio call from the station at 12:11. Somebody must have called in.” Because I was anxious to personally thank whoever reported the accident, the officer called his headquarters when we arrived at my home. Looking at me, he shook his head, with the telephone in hand, “An anonymous call,” he said. “Man or woman?” I asked. “Couldn’t tell,” and he hung up. “Why, would anyone make an anonymous call in a situation like this?” I queried. The Officer shrugged “Many don’t want to get involved, I guess”. I walked behind the officer to the door, then distinctly heard the words in my head, “I am involved.”

Baba, with all my heart I am grateful, and I thank you. I solemnly pray that for whatever reason you chose to save me, I will cooperate 100%.

Several times since, I have awakened re-living that terror—but the calm comes when, again, I hear the words, “I am involved.”


The Silver Map of India

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

The Silver Map of India

We all caught our breaths, as Sathya Sai Baba created a most powerful object. It had a round black onyx base and on it was a silver map of India. Surrounding the map were 18 jewels that glistened in the dark, from some mysterious inner light.

He said that on the map were inscribed 100 Sanskrit verses giving the history of the Avatar from birth to the time when it leaves the body. He said, “All great works of the Avatar and all leaders chosen from my students are recorded here”.

He took it around for all to see and touch. Spiritually it was very powerful and esthetically very beautiful. The writing was too small to decipher. When asked, He answered, “I will not reveal the future. Everything will be revealed in due time. Why do you hanker after this object when you have its creator? You have Me and I have you. You are all sacred souls and have roles in the mission. No force can delay this mission even by one instant. I will appear in many manifestations of my form. Wherever you are, there I will be”.

He was not just speaking to the students, but to all of us… fortunate souls whom He has gathered in. It continues to be a great wonder to me, that not only is Swami still quite easily accessible, but there are so very few who have committed to become His devotees and live His teachings. Swami said His devotees are one in a hundred thousand. He said that one among ten, you can find one truly good person; one among ten such has some deep feelings for god; one among such ten will yearn for a direct experience; and one out of such ten will be ready to let go totally, to renounce, and surrender completely to God. “That is My devotee, and He is very dear to me”, Swami said.

Al Drucker

From the book: Love in Action, Proceedings of the Meeting of Sai Organisations of Europe, Hamburg, 12-15 May, 1989