The Blessing Palm That Protected

The Blessing Palm That Protected

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Everything was unusually quiet; we were speeding towards the City of Kano in Nigeria, late in the night on the 22nd of December 1980. When we were just entering the City, suddenly I saw a crowd standing in the middle of the main road, about 100 metres away. Can they be armed robbers? The Nigerian driver managed to stop. He tried to reverse as fast as possible before we could be seen or trapped but it was too late. The crowd came shouting at us to stop. Then only the news headlines in the morning paper I had bought on the way flashed across my mind. There was widespread disturbance in the city and a number of people had been killed on the previous day.

I told the driver to stop, because running away may cause unpredictable damage to the car and life. I had a picture of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Baba, with the car documents and the passport. I collected them in my hands. The Blessing Palm of Bhagawan appeared to infuse some strength into me. Within seconds we were surrounded by the people who were fully armed.

Two of them, with two heavy iron crowbars, came and stood on either side of the car and brought their instruments to rest on either side of the bonnet making two deep dents on it. An elderly man who came shouting at me with a volley of questions both in Hausa and in English, cooled down when I told him that I had come to receive my wife and children, who were expected to arrive at the Aminu Kano International Airport on the next day. He waved his hands, indicating to the others around the car not to do any further damage.

We were driving slowly only to face another crowd at the junction 75 metres away. They also stopped us in spite of the shouting and waving of hands from those who had allowed us to proceed. This group examined the empty boot of the car thoroughly.

After this, they told us not to proceed on our journey, because they knew that the other groups waiting all along the roads will not permit any car to pass. They advised us to go to the Central Hotel or to the Daula Hotel to spend the night. Since these hotels were also far away from that place, an old man volunteered to take us to a safe place. His fete was painted white. We hesitated to give any answer. Without waiting for any reply from us, he simply pushed the driver to one side and took the wheel. Before we could realise what was happening, he turned the car from the main road and we were moving into the bush through narrow lanes and villages.

Finally the car stopped under a (Margosa/Neem) tree, in front of a Hausa pattern mud house. The man who was driving appeared to be the owner of the house. He got down from the car. Although it was midnight, the area appeared to be fully active and awake. Even children were around the car and were curious to find out more about us.

I took out the licence book with Baba’s picture and started sending an S.O.S. to Bhagawan. In this way I could shut out torturing thoughts presented by the unexpected train of events. Further, I assured my friend (who was highly upset) that Bhagawan Baba was with us and that there was nothing to worry.

The man who went inside the house, brought out two mats and requested us to relax under the tree. We thanked him for the kind gesture and told him to give a place for our driver to sleep somewhere inside.

Soon afterwards, a man came out from one side. He was commanding the respect of all the people present there. He spoke a few words with the owner of the house. Then he came straight to us and said: “You appear to be worried. Would you like to spend the rest of the night at the police station?” We gladly accepted and he offered to take us to the police station. He took the front seat and asked our driver to drive. The crowd that came with him were marching in procession in front of the car and were removing all the obstacles on the path to allow our car to pass.

This procession continued through the bush roads for about a mile and took about 30 minutes. At the police station the man introduced us to the officer in charge who was standing outside with a gun in his hand. We greeted the officer and turned round to thank the man who brought us safely up to that place. But the man was not there; we also never had any chance to meet him again.

The police officer pointed to a human body lying in the darkness at a short distance and said that he had to shoot him only a few minutes back. He was trying to run away inspite of the order to stop and surrender.

Our driver slept in the officer’s room and we managed to relax inside the car till 6.00 a.m. next day. We hurried out early in the morning and were shocked to see burnt cars and charred human bodies, some of which were still burning on the roadside.

The morning papers carried the news of a foreign reporter who was killed by a poisoned arrow on that night. The two dents on the bonnet of my car are there to this day; I treasure them as marks of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Grace that protected us all through.

Reference

How Does God’s Insurance Office Work?

Sathya Sai Baba Vibuthi

Sathya Sai Baba Vibuthi


How Does God’s Insurance Office Work?

In the Gita, the Lord says that from time to time when righteousness is on the decline He incarnates. Swami has added that He has come to save scriptural knowledge and to protect devotees of the Lord. This raises the question: ‘Who exactly is a devotee of the Lord?’ Operationally, any one who has devotion for the Lord might be described as a devotee. However, as we all know, there are all kinds of devotees; in fact, five thousand years ago, Krishna identified four major categories.

They are:

  1. those who come to the Lord because they want their personal problems solved,
  2. those who want the Lord to grant them wealth and prosperity,
  3. those who would like the Lord to guide them in acquiring Wisdom, and finally
  4. those who want nothing whatsoever and are content to enjoy Bliss immersed in God.

This was the classification given five thousand years ago and it still holds. The question now is: Which of these categories of devotees is eligible for protection? This in turn raises another question as to what exactly we mean by protection. But meanwhile, it is useful for us to note that Lord Krishna has said that He relates to devotees the very same way they relate to Him. Swami has amplified this with the remark that to a child He is a child; to a man He is a man, and so on. In other words, Swami is to us, what we think Him to be.

What has all this got to do with God’s protection? We are coming to that. Let us start with the question, whom does God protect? He certainly responds to prayers and offers His protection in some measure, but only to the extent we are eligible. Devotees often forget this aspect of eligibility and imagine God to be something like a slot machine. We pray and God has to respond – that is the way people think God should operate. Is that correct? Let us take the slot machine. When we insert a coin into a slot machine and press the button, the machine delivers a chocolate bar or whatever. But when the stock of the goodies is over, even if one inserts a coin, one would get nothing. The same is true of God’s Grace. When one has limited credit and that credit runs out, then prayers will not provide the protection one prays for. So it boils down to how to build up a good credit.

Lord Krishna and Sathya Sai Baba have made one thing very clear. God’s insurance office is open 24/7 and is accessible in all parts of the world from the North Pole to the South Pole. But if one wants comprehensive coverage, and God does have that plan, then one has to make proper payment of premium. And what exactly is the premium? Sathya Sai Baba has indicated that. Basically, it consists of two words: Aushadam and Pathyam. Aushadam means medicine and Pathyam means diet restrictions. Swami says that when one goes to a doctor with an illness like stomach upset, for example, the doctor prescribes medicines and also diet restrictions; the same is true of the Divine Doctor, says Swami.

What exactly does Sathya Sai Baba mean by these two words? Swami has explained that also. He says that the medicine is the constant chanting of the Name. OK, but what about the Pathyam or so-called diet restrictions? Swami says the Pathyam is TOTAL obedience of Swami’s commands.

We would now like to make some comments about the latter. From time to time, we get reports that Sai devotees in some place or the other, are actively playing host to a person, sometimes male and sometimes female, who claims that Swami has sent him or her, creates vibhuti or whatever, and ends up collecting money, of course, for some cause authorised by Swami – that is what the self-appointed agent says. This sort of thing seems to happen in all parts of the world the East to the West.

Times without number, Satya Sai Baba has declared openly in so many Discourses that He has no middlemen. Times without number, Sanathana Sarathi has published warnings about specific persons going round claiming to act for and on behalf of Swami. The Organisation too has sent circulars asking Centres and Office Bearers to stay clear of such self-appointed ‘messengers’. And yet, people seem to be drawn to such ‘messengers’. Not only that, devotees invite them to Sai Centres, make them sit on Swami’s Chair and even offer Aarathi to them.

Jesus once said, ‘Why call ye me Lord, when thou does’t not follow what I say?’ One can similarly ask: What is the meaning of we calling Swami God and all that, when we are bent on ignoring His emphatic declaration that He has no middle persons.

If this were an isolated phenomenon, we would not write about it. But we are constantly getting reports about such people from all over. That such people exist should not surprise us; the world is full of who would like to take advantage of the gullible. But what we find astonishing is that people who claim to be devotees of Sathya Sai Baba insist on violating His command.

People are free to follow whom they want, but they should be aware of the consequences. In the Gita, Krishna makes it very clear that those who follow the manes go to the manes; those who follow the deities, go the deities; but those who follow Him, go only to Him. Could anything be clearer? Think about it!

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart”
RadioSai e-Journal Team
In Sai Service