Yaani Drucker – An Amazing Story Of Fear And The Triumph Of Love

Yaani Drucker – An Amazing Story Of Fear And The Triumph Of Love

A Yaani Drucker Story

A Yaani Drucker Story


The following account by Yaani Drucker is an amazing story about how a brutal, fearful and violent attack took an unexpected “quantum leap” into self-healing, love and compassion through the transformative power & inspiration of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

What Is Real And What Is Unreal?

From the unreal, lead me to the real
From darkness, lead me to the light
From death lead me to Immortality

(Talk presented by Yaani Drucker at the United Kingdom Sai Baba retreat, April, 2000, followed by excerpts from Al Drucker’s talk on the same subject)

I would like to share a story with you that is not real, that never happened, and that had no effect on truth. It did however serve me deeply as a wake-up call, as a classroom for discerning that which is real and eternal from that which is unreal and has no power over me. It revealed to me the truth of who I really am.

Fourteen years ago, I had a most intense experience, first incredibly brutal, and now seen as a true spiritual turning point. Up to that moment I had been Sai Baba’s ardent devotee living a simple life as a Montessori teacher, residing by myself, spending 6 months out of every year in India with Baba. Life was beautiful.Then one night everything changed. It was Mahashivaratri in India, the holiest day of the year. I was staying in a Sai Baba center in California. We were scheduled to celebrate with an all-night bhajan the following evening. I was fast asleep in a room adjoining the bhajan hall. It was 3:00 am. It could not have been a more auspicious time or setting.

Suddenly I am jolted into awakening by a threatening voice ordering, “Scream and I’ll kill you.” I feel a knife at my throat, and see a massive menacing figure looming over me. Still groggy I instinctively scream, and to shut me up he pummels me in the face with his fist. I am drenched in blood. He gags me and ties me up and rips my bedclothes off me. In total terror I cry out to Baba to come and save me. Somehow, in my heart of hearts I fully expect Baba to physically appear and dispel this horrendous nightmare that has suddenly overtaken me. Baba did not come. And yet he did. Even while I was being raped, within me all fear and horror of the situation had left. Quite inexplicably I became very calm and to my astonishment discovered an incredible compassion welling up in my heart.

As he was leaving, I managed a muffled, “God bless you.” He hissed back, “God hates me!” and disappeared into the night. I struggled to untie myself and went to get help. The police were called and the man was caught. He had a long criminal history; he had been in and out of jail. And yet, this time something had changed for him. From his jail cell he made a considerable effort to get a message to me. And that message was, “I feel bad about what I did. I’m real sorry I hurt you. Please pray for me.” So, even in that horrible scene God was present and even the rapist was affected. To my surprise, I could muster no anger toward the man. I found myself focusing not on my personal trauma but on the tragedy of the human condition that could lead to such a desperate state.

Although my body was badly beaten and bruised I remember absolutely no pain. Yet, it was not like I wasn’t traumatized or bewildered. I remember walking outside in the night and feeling afraid that somebody might be lurking behind a bush. When anyone entered my room I was startled and jittery, feelings that were completely uncharacteristic for me. In my being I felt tainted and my familiar sense of security, knowing that I was always in the protective hands of the divine, had been badly shaken. My confusion centered entirely on Sai Baba. In my mind, Baba, in whom I had put complete trust and whom I regarded as my savior, had not helped me, though I had desperately called out to him. Why hadn’t he? I kept praying to Baba, imploring him, “Why did you let this happen to me? Please help me to understand.” As I was praying thus, I distinctly heard Sai Baba’s voice gently asking, “What happened to you?” “I was raped, brutalized, robbed, and my very life was threatened” came my response, “and I called out to you, but you did not come!” Again Baba asked, ever so tenderly, “What happened to you?”

Suddenly, I understood. Nothing had happened to me. I remembered one of my favorite passages in the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna taught Arjuna, “You are not this perishable body. You cannot be destroyed by weapons, you cannot be incinerated by fire, you cannot be drowned by water, you cannot be blown away by the raging tempest. You are the indestructible, eternal Atma, the one Self.” Suddenly this mystical pronouncement of Lord Krishna was no longer a conceptual thought but a direct experience for me. My bewilderment, my fears and feelings of abandonment all dissolved in the light of that incredible realization.

Far from failing me and abandoning me, Baba revealed to me the truth of who I am, the immortal Self, and there is nothing in the whole universe that can ever threaten me. I knew myself to be invulnerable, indestructible, eternal. I exploded in joy and exhilaration. What a surprising outcome for such an intense and fearful happening! It turned out to be the quantum leap into the discovery of who I truly am. I am so very grateful. Thank you God!

Reference

Harmonise your spiritual peace at the Harmony Centre in Bundanoon

Harmonise your spiritual peace at the Harmony Centre in Bundanoon
JACKIE MEYERS
29 Mar, 2010 09:21 AM

A NEW spirit has come to the Southern Highlands with the opening of the Harmony Centre Bundanoon.

Located on the former Quest for Life property, the Harmony Centre is a spiritually based wellness charity open to anyone seeking a space to heal their body, calm their mind and nurture their soul.

The centre, which opened last September, is the third life enrichment facility established by spiritual teacher Shakti Durga and her partner Hugh Keller.

Other centres have been established at Cooranbong on the NSW Central Coast and in Camperdown, Sydney.

Ms Durga was a barrister for 16 years before “giving it all up” to focus full time on teaching and developing the not-for-profit centres.

“As a barrister I naturally came into contact with people dealing with conflict, turmoil and often profound suffering,” she said.

“But it was my own experience of a painful divorce and personal crisis that first propelled me to believe there must be a better way. That’s how my spiritual journey started.”

It was a journey that led her to train under some of the world’s leading spiritual teachers including master Chao Kok Sui in the Philippines, Sri Jaya Shakti in Bali and Sathya Sai Baba in India.

Ms Durga said she learnt about healing the human body and spirit through master Chao and was helped to better understand and experience self-realisation through Sri Jaya.

She said Satya Sai Baba was her inspiration for the Harmony Centres, which she began establishing in Australia in 2004.

“Sai Baba ran centres of spiritual study in India as well as schools, hospitals and programs for feeding the poor,” she said.

“He inspired me to think about how we could bring about positive change through love by bringing together like-minded people. I was inspired by his humanitarian work and while they are still in their infancy I hope the Harmony Centres will achieve something similar. I’m keen to contribute to a healthy community and I believe the Harmony Centres are a different way of having an impact. The centres have become a hub where people can express their beliefs, meet like-minded people and take part in stimulating discussions about the meaning of life and why we are here.”

Ms Durga said her centres catered for any person who would like to improve their health and well-being and get more meaning out of life, regardless of religious affiliation or belief.

She said seminars, which developed life skills in a supportive environment, as well as cleansing and uplifting meditation and chanting practices, were a key part of the spiritual program.

“The programs help people discover how to have more joy and happiness, well being and peace in their lives,” she said.

“A key to this is a form of meditation called Ignite Your Spirit, which releases blockages to peace and harmony.”

Visit The Harmony Centre Foundation Website

Highland News Reference

How Sathya Sai Baba Suffered For A Devotee’s Sake

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


How Sathya Sai Baba Suffered For A Devotee’s Sake

In the December of 1970, Bhagawan travelled to Panaji, the capital city of Goa stopping enroute in the town of Dharwar in Karnataka. In Panaji, a strange and mysterious turn of events took place, which afforded His devotees another glimpse into His Divine nature. In fact, just prior to this incident, Prof. N. Kasturi, Bhagawan’s biographer, was to start for Sri Lanka, as Swami had blessed him earlier to address the Sai Centres there. But, all of a sudden, Bhagawan commanded him to cancel his visit and accompany Him to Goa instead. For what happened next is told in the most wonderful manner by Prof. Kasturi:

At noon the next day, I accompanied Baba on a circuitous journey to Goa. The three cars moved towards Jog Falls. As usual, while leaving Brindavan, devotees lined up on both sides of the road, anxious to get a glimpse of Baba and to see the Hand waving to them.

It was a Fiat 1500 in which Baba, Mr. N.D.M. Appah, Chairman, Mysore State Electricity Board, and myself were traveling. The road was stony and rough, so the drive was full of jerks and bumps – this caused Baba to reprimand the driver for not being circumspect enough. “You do not know how much pain I get in the abdomen when it bumps,” He said. We wondered why Baba who withstood worse roads better, was insisting on slow driving that day….

When the cars reached Goa, it was night. The stars came forth; they came with us, every yard of the road, keeping pace. When the border of Goa was reached, the Lt. Governor of Goa, Sri Nakul Sen, received Baba and let us into a rest house, where china gleamed in the shelves by the wall and geraniums glistened on the window sills. We had coffee; from then on Baba sat in the state car, with the head of the state.

Hurrying around the rambling roads, towards Panaji (the capital of Goa), the cars finally arrived at Raj Nivas, the Palace of the Governors-General of the “Portuguese Possessions in India and the Far East” for many centuries, but now, the official residence of the Lt. Governor. The time was 9.15 p.m. We had motored 385 miles, since morning, over good and bad roads, but Baba as fresh as a lily when He hastened up the red-carpeted flight of steps to the flower-decked apartments, set aside for His stay. Very soon, Baba presided over the dining table to which we were led by the Lt. Governor. He watched with amusement the contingent of waiters, and the beautiful chinaware, which the Portuguese had brought from Macao.

Though Mrs. Sen made bold to remind Him of His duty to Himself, He did not eat anything. He appeared to be anxious to send every one to bed. “Go, go! You are all very much exhausted,” He insisted. I protested that traveling with Him can never exhaust anyone, but He repeated that I was really in immediate need of rest. When we rose Mrs. Sen was informed by Baba that coffee be made ready for Him only at 8 a.m the next day! She knew that at Prasanthi Nilayam, He had His coffee at around 6 a.m., but despite appeals for revising the order, Baba gave instructions that it was to be brought only at 8 o’ clock.
Baba was alone in the suite reserved for Him. Nakul Sen pleaded for permission to be within call, but Baba sent Him away to his own room. We from Bangalore were in rooms on the ground floor.

About what occurred that night, Baba wrote later to Dr. S. Bhagavantham, in a letter I carried to him on the 12th December, “On the night of the 7th, strange events happened. I could not lie in bed, I could not sit upon it, nor turn, from one side to another. Nor could I speak or call. I did not like to cause anxiety or trouble to anyone. So I kept silent, pretending that all was well with Me!”

Next morning when the Sens grew aware of the truth it became clear, why He had abstained from dinner, and postponed the coffee hour, wanting only to hurry away to bed! I too began to understand why He had come away from Dharwar, and why He had taken the driver to task. Obviously, He had been ‘ill’ when He started out from Dharwar!

Mrs. Sen felt that Raj Nivas was an ‘unlucky’ place since He had fallen ‘ill’ there, but Baba immediately corrected her. “No, it is a house of good luck! I brought the ‘illness’ with Me to Cabo, so that I could get rid of it here.”

By daybreak on the 8th, Baba appeared to be in great pain and Nakul Sen called in doctors from the Medical College at Goa, and some leading physicians of the City. Soon an imposing medical team surrounded the sick bed; their report read as follows, “history of pain in right lower quadrant of the abdomen since 3 p.m. on the 7th December. To begin with, the pain was all over the abdomen, progressive in intensity; towards the night, it localized in the umbilical region, and the right lower quadrant. Had difficulty in extending the right lower limb. Pain is exaggerated by movement. 8th December morning, had nausea and fever.” No one could be definite about the illness; there were too many experts and Baba was amused at the clash of their conclusions. The Sens were aghast at the turn of events for, among other reasons, the local Sathya Sai Seva Samithi had announced, that He would deliver a discourse at the large Maidan in the heart of the city, at 5 p.m. that evening.

Meanwhile, pain, nausea and fever kept Baba in bed all day. Information came that 20,000 people crowded the Maidan, awaiting Baba; and half the number had come from far off villages. Baba endeavoured to rise and don fresh clothes to keep the appointment, and not disappoint thousands of people. But Cabo Raj Nivas had no lift; for reaching the Maidan, Baba would have had to get down 28 steps and walk up some distance in order to give Darshan to the people. And then, climb the 28th steps back to His room!

Baba directed me to tell the assembly to disperse quietly, and to assure them that He will be addressing them in a few days at the same place. I was to tell them that He had taken over the illness of a devotee, for I had witnessed such instances of healing and saving in the past years.

At 8 o’clock that night, the doctors reported, “Lying supine in bed, with legs drawn up. On examination, the right side of the abdomen not moving with respiration; abdomen tender on the right side, and the lower flank…, point of maximum tenderness in lower flank…, no rebound tenderness.. . guarding present over right lower quadrant, with rigidity of flank. Temperature 100 F; pulse 100 /m; respiration 16/m. Total blood count 22,000; neutrophils 88%. A diagnosis of acute paracolic appendicitis was made. Unwillingness for surgical intervention.”

Pressmen approached the doctors, anxious to report the reason for the postponement of the announced public meeting, alarmed at the news of the illness of the world-renowned personality. The doctors told them that Baba was suffering from an acute attack of appendicitis. This news was flashed all over India and spread through the early morning editions and the papers issued from Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore and Madurai.

Telegrams and telephone calls poured in from all over the country, praying and pleading, and denying – disbelieving, hoping, weeping and wailing. There were many offers to accept the ‘illness’ from Baba; some devotees said they would fast until Baba was free from the illness. Devotees having firm faith in His Divinity were convinced that just as the illness had been taken on miraculously, it would be thrown off miraculously, too.

The doctors told us Baba must be suffering excruciating pain, but He said, “I have taken it on upon Myself with Love and Love knows no pain!”

Ms. June Schuyler, a school teacher who was accompanying the party writes: “I had once asked Baba a question, and I now remembered His answer. ‘Baba, why did Jesus allow Himself to be crucified?’ ‘Because the Great Ones never use spiritual power for themselves.” Ah! Baba had not set the car right on Saturday night because it was not imperative for the good of someone other than Baba. “Baba! Baba!,” I exclaimed, “I adore you; I utterly love you. Imperfect as I am, I give my heart to you completely!”

Precisely at this very moment I became aware that Mr. Nakul Sen was motioning to Mrs. Rajagopalan, Indra Devi and myself to step inside the doorway of Baba’s room. I could not believe it was true. We crossed the threshold half expectant, fixing our eyes on the bedstead where the Master was suffering for His dear devotee. He was not there! He was standing before us, feeble and frail, with eyes full of love and mercy – charming in spite of it all.

He drew back the orange robe, and permitted us to touch those precious feet. The lovely feet were warm because of the fever. The beloved face was pale and etched with pain. The cheeks had been hollowed for want of sleep and refreshment. But He stood there for our sake. ‘Do not worry’, He said tenderly, in a soft, soothing voice, ‘It is a little upset, that is all,’ indicating the right side of the body.

‘Swami! accept what the doctors prescribe,’ we prayed. ‘What do the doctors know? What can they prescribe? I only want your Love’, He said, quietly, almost wistfully. He stepped out of the room into the adjacent drawing room where several others anxiously waited. He stood for a few minutes, looking languidly, lovingly, at them all, reassuring the timid and charging them with courage. Then He returned to the bed. None of us knew that the appendix was very near bursting point, and the doctors had said that He must not rise from his bed at any cost.

Later in Bombay, on Christmas Day, Baba referred to the “illness He had taken on at Goa” and the suffering it caused to many…

“The other day, a serious illness came upon this body in Goa. Many who are devoted to Me were plunged into anxiety and despair when they learnt of it. Illness can never afflict this Body. It cannot even approach it! If it should come sometime – believe this – it belongs to someone; not Myself. And it goes just as it came, of My free Will. I have no contact with it; I am not affected by it.”

On 9th December, the doctors decided to put tubes down the nose to relieve the hiccough, which was complicating matters, for taking the gas out of the stomach. They talked also of the urgent need that had arisen to puncture the lump and syringe off the pus from the abscess. It must indeed have given a terrible gash of pain for Baba, every time the hiccough pulled the muscle tight and affected the lump round the inflamed appendix! But eventually the doctors left the Raj Nivas with their tubes and bottles, as Baba refused to accept their proposals.

On the 10th, a Bhajan meeting had been announced at Government House, and word had gone round indicating that Baba would attend the meeting! Baba too said “Yes! Arrange it.” The doctors could not believe their ears. They did not foresee any possibility of a public appearance that day. There was doubt, wonder and amazement in the minds of various people, but a few of them were convinced that whatever He says will come to pass.

At tea time Mrs. Sen looked rather serious, as time was running out and already people were streaming towards the meeting place. Goa, which had been previously shocked by the news of the agonizing illness, was now jolted by the impact of such good news.

Baba’s condition may be described in His own words: “The doctors were unanimous that an immediate operation was necessary, or they would not be held responsible for what might happen. They said the inflamed appendix had burst, and the pus had entered the blood – a situation that is fatal for all mortals!”

Baba had to move across His own room, across the drawing room, walk along the veranda, ascend a low step, get across to the doorstep of the hall which He had selected for Bhajan, traverse its length, reach the dais, climb two low steps – and finally sit upon the chair placed there. A total distance of 200 feet! A floral carpet stretched all this length.

Sri Nakul Sen spoke later during the Bhajan sessions. “The doctors became panicky, and I could feel that they were absolutely against what Bhagawan had said to me. My sixth sense somehow assured me that Bhagawan was showing one of His Leelas in Goa and that through His Sankalpa (will) He would get rid of this trouble as quickly as He had assumed it.”

Dr. Varma, the chief of team of doctors came at about 4 p.m and finding a floral carpet covering a distance of 200 feet, protested that it was too long a walk. He suggested some short cuts through other doors and passages making the journey a distance of only 40 feet. He said, “The dais itself will have to go; let the chair be on the floor, for He cannot get up the steps however low they may be – and please, have the dais on the near side, not at the farthermost end of the hall.”

At 5 p.m. Baba was led into the bathroom, and twenty minutes later He came out of it, clean shaven, wearing a new robe! Fresh as a new blossomed rose.

When the doctors examined Him again, they could not locate any abscess, nor could they find any trace of big lump of flesh near it. The whole area of the appendix was as soft and as normal as it could be.

“Lo and behold!,” said Nakul Sen, in the speech he delivered as soon as Baba sat on the dais at 6 p.m., “Bhagawan walked from His bedroom to the dais, a distance of about 200 feet without any aid. He sat down erect on an office chair.”

Ms. June writes about that historic moment of ecstasy: “Bhajan began, and my heart was pounding a joyous tune of expectancy. Love for Baba filled the hall. Ah! There He was, moving majestically down the hall, although He had required the assistance of two men all day. He now moved as if nothing had ever happened. His steps were as sure and graceful as ever. The cheeks which had been hollow when I last saw them were completely filled out. His Love flooded the hall. It was overpowering. He swung into the room, and when He saw someone leaning against the wall with a sick child beside him, the Hand began the familiar circular motion to create the cure.

Baba’s eyes which plumb the depths, His eyes which pour out love and compassion, His eyes which flash when he speaks of cruelty, falsehood, hypocrisy and injustice, eyes which can be full of quips, were as eloquent as ever. He took His place on the divan in front of the gathering and began keeping rhythm with the Bhajan being sung, with His head and hand. Mrs. Rajagopal whispered in my ear, “Look! Those eyes are more beautiful than ever. There is an ethereal expression, not of this world in them; a look of radiant joy and adoration.”

Baba’s eyes caressed the gathering, which was watching Him without even a wink, apprehensive that the cure He had effected on Himself, might be only partial or temporary.

Sri Nakul Sen was full of gratitude and wonder! While welcoming Baba, and introducing the gathering to Him as convention demanded, he said, “Bhagawan lives in the inner recesses of the hearts of His devotees; there is nothing He would not do for them. He has simultaneously appeared in this Form at different places, to help His devotees in distress, or to save them from impending calamities, of which He alone has the precognition! Through His Sankalpa or Will, He has assumed the illness of His devotees and suffered it from them, because they would have succumbed to it, if left alone.

We have witnessed this now, a Leela which has greatly perplexed the medical experts of Goa. It leaves no doubt in our minds that there is nothing on this earth which is beyond Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. His Leela is Adbhut – unprecedented; it is Romancha Kari – exhilarating; it is Madhumaya – sweet in memory; Mangalamayi – promoting the happiness and welfare of mankind; Manoharini – overpowering the mind and turning it to truth, beauty and goodness. It gives Ananda – bliss!…”

Nakul Sen concluded his descriptions of the ancient glories of Goa and its sacred contacts with Shiva, Rama, Krishna, and Parasurama, the Divine Avatars, with these words: “No wonder the Lord decided to visit this ancient and sacred land again, in the form which He has assumed now, with the name of Sathya Sai Baba; He has loved Goa in His previous incarnations and Goa continues to be dear to Him even now.”

Baba spoke for over forty minutes with His usual emphasis and élan. The gathering listened spellbound, for it was a message of triumph, benevolence, and benediction.

The illness that had vanished an hour ago was still uppermost in the minds of all, and so, Baba spoke of the significance of its ‘entrance and exit’ and its place in the scheme of the Avatar’s activities.

“There are many who doubt the existence of God or deny Him, or dismiss the idea of God as a silly outworn superstition. To make them discard their conceit, the Divine, out of Its Innate Grace, reveals its superhuman glory. The doubters receive the reply without asking, the door is opened without even a knock; for those who deny will not knock at all. The ‘superstition’ will be illumined into divine status by a concrete experience, an indisputable fact.

The human body generates diseases as a result of faulty food or frivolous habits, or foolish rashness or fanatic emotions. The illness that was witnessed by you during the last two days was quite different. That was an illness taken over by Me, voluntarily put on, in order to save a victim who could not have survived it! His continued existence, in good health is desirable for the task dear to Me. Pouring Grace on the devout is one of the functions of the Avatar. The appendix was inflamed, it turned into an abscess which the doctors could cure only by removal… He could not have survived it, I know. I have come with this Body in order to save ‘other bodies’ from pain. This Body is ever free from pain. Disease can never affect it.

I had to go to the rescue of a person who had surrendered to Me – even his judgment. I took over his illness and went through it. It shall not recur again in him. You refer to this incident as a miracle, but remember – every breath is a proof of the Providence of God. Every event is the consequence of Divine Omnipotence.

Wherever you find truth, beauty, goodness, justice, wisdom, compassion – God is present, and active. An atheist denies God, with the very breath that God has given him! He closes the eyes that God has opened in Him, and declares that there he could see no God. Therefore, such amazing events have to be accomplished and made known to man everywhere, so that mankind can be saved from over-fond involvement with the world, and lovingly drawn towards the Master of the World.”

Reference: “Sathyam Shivam Sundaram” Vol – III by Prof. N Kasturi. Page: 227-246. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.

Seeing Sai Baba

Seeing Sai Baba
VASTHU SASTRA
By T.SELVA

Our columnist has a spiritual time in a remote village in India.

INTRIGUED by his teachings on human values and the fact that he has followers in 170 countries, I travelled to Puttaparthi, India, last weekend to experience Sathya Sai Baba’s darshan (blessings).

Puttaparthi is a remote village in Andhra Pradesh state in India’s south-east that has been placed on the world map as a top pilgrimage centre owing to the presence there of Baba, who is considered a living god by more than 100 million followers worldwide.

The shops, hotels, banks and other business outlets in the village all depend on the floating population of thousands who come there from all over the world throughout the year to seek Baba’s blessing and peace of mind.

My first glimpse of Sathya Sai Baba is when shopkeepers rush out of their stores to join the crowds lining the main street – Baba is passing by in a car escorted by police and volunteers, returning to his abode.

He’s returning from a visit to the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, which treats the poor for free and also handles cases related to cardiology, urology, nephrology and ophthalmology.

I later discover that to get into Baba’s Prasanthi Nilayam (Abode of Peace), one must go through airport-style security checks, including going through a metal detector and being frisked. And just like on an airplane, cameras, mobile phones, pens and sharp objects were prohibited. Men and women are separated to opposite sides of the huge hall.

The day that I’m here, Nov 7, is special because on the second Saturday of November every year, devotees in Puttaparthi and at Sai Baba centres worldwide sing bhajans (devotional chants) continuously for 24 hours to confer peace, joy, harmony and bliss to all of mankind.

Thousands of vocalists sing with full devotion and the divine vibration is said to have the power to remove negative thoughts, soothe the nerves, purify the mind and heal those within earshot.

I am overwhelmed by the vibrations of the sacred sounds the moment I step foot into the holy space.

Seated in a lotus pose in silence, I feel a sudden surge of energy rushing into my body when Satya Sai Baba arrives in a wheel chair.

Wearing a saffron coloured robe, Baba seems, to me, electrifying – so much so that I feel goose pimples, and tears well up in my eyes.

Some of his devotees tell me later that such experiences are common in the presence of a “realised master” because his mind is saturated with “God consciousness” and a great ecstasy will develop within any individual close by, without any mental or intellectual effort.

Sathya Sai Baba is pushed slowly along an aisle lined on both sides by over 10,000 devotees; he stops occasionally to receive letters and wedding invitation cards from his followers, and some cry with love and joy when he’s close.

He does not speak but gazes deeply into the eyes of everyone he comes into contact with; when he reaches the dais in front, he sweeps his eyes over all his devotees. His disciples clasp their hands in prayer and bow, while the crowd basks in the peace he is emanating.

Sathya SaiBaba was born on Nov 23, 1926, and, right from his childhood, there were consistent manifestations of his divinity. For instance, his birth was accompanied by strange phenomena – like the musical instruments in his house playing on their own and a cobra lying unthreateningly under his bed.

Even as a small child, he was against violence and refused to touch meat; by the age of four, when most children have not learnt to share yet, he began displaying compassion and generosity.

At the age of 14, he declared to his family that he did not belong only to them and set out with others who believed in him to launch his divine mission in the service of mankind.

He would enchant his followers by doing things like distributing sweets from an empty bag, plucking a variety of fruits from a tamarind tree, and creating holy ash in his hand.

One of his strongest messages then was to surrender completely to him, that he would take over his followers’ worries and fears.

According to Baba, surrender means not having expectations, not being upset if the outcome of events is different than anticipated. He says he can only help when an individual completely entrusts him or herself to him totally.

Baba says energy passes from him to devotees in his presence, and that whatever his eyes see will be vitalised.

In the meeting hall, I am five rows away from Sathya Sai Baba and cannot pass him the letter I am carrying for a Malaysian devotee – but Baba stares at me and then at the letter I am holding, and, somehow, I feel that he knows its contents.

Baba does not perform any miracles that day but some of his devotees experience visions and say they feel a sensation of relief and contentment in his presence.

I feel lighter and almost blissful after the two hour session in Sathya Sai Baba’s company.

Many who arrive there come “expecting” but return “accepting” the true purpose of life and of the power of love and compassion.

Vasthu talk
The columnist will present a talk on how to choose an auspicious property and create a happy home following Vasthu Sastra principles at 2pm on Nov 27 at The Star Property Fair at Hall 4, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Admission to the talk is free. To register, call 012-329 9713.

Senior News Editor T. Selva has spent years researching and writing about the ancient Indian science of construction, better known as ‘Indian feng shui’. He is the first disciple of 7th generation Vasthu Sastra Master Yuvaraj Sowma from Chennai, India.

The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.

The Star Reference

There is never a dull moment with Sai Baba

There is never a dull moment with Sai Baba
14/11/2009 14:00:00
Venkat Raman

I have often heard some people say that they visit Sri Satya Sai Baba in Puttaparthi (Andhra Pradesh) or Whitefield (near Bangalore) expecting him to materialise a gold chain, a wristwatch or at least vibhuthi (sacred ash).

Baba rarely obliges them.

For, his objective is to draw people into a world of piety, chastity, righteousness and good behaviour, and not to show them ‘miracles.’

“Then why do you do it?” I used to ask him.

“One day you would be writing impressive headlines to draw the attention of people to read your stories,” he prophesied.

“Why are there rewards for achievers?” he said, hoping that I would understand the import of his thoughts.

I have had the honour and privilege of knowing Baba since I was a teenager and learnt from him about life in all its vicissitudes over countless meetings and discussions.

I have also met people who used to arrive at the ‘Prashanti Nilayam’ in Puttaparthi just to have a glimpse of their favourite Bhagawan (God).

I distinctly remember a great writer and editor of a magazine telling Sathya Sai Baba 30 years ago, “I Want Peace.”

Lofty, meaningful goals
Instant came the reply, “Remove I (ego) and Want (desire) and you will have Peace.” Then turning to me, he said, “Just like all the wealth that one has, just like what you call, ‘miracles,’ everything is illusion. What is ultimate is the truth – of who you are and what you do.”

Sathya Sai Baba also used to tell me time and again, “Do not just to strive to raise your Standard of Living. You should lift the your Standard of Life. The former is material but the latter is eternal.”

My career has taken me to many countries around the world, I have spent more years living elsewhere than in the land of my birth, but I have never lost touch with the Greatest Teacher that I have ever had in life.

I also remember many world leaders, celebrities and people who you read about in newspapers or watch on television preferring to wait along with the crowd, rather than seek a special audience (not that he would always oblige) with Baba.

“Everyone is important for Baba and everyone is equal before my eyes,” he would say and then invite the least expected person and his family for a special meeting.

“Every person aspires for happiness and peace without understanding nature. While we are all a part of nature, why should we differentiate between each other in terms of wealth, community and religion? Though there are many determined men, no one knows the goal of life,” he said, speaking on his birthday recently.

Great social worker
Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday (November 23) has always been a special occasion for me since my formative years. I would be excited to see a few hundred people (compared to tens of thousands today) come together to sing in his praise and do voluntary work.

Sathya Sai Baba is a great social worker.

From building roads and bridges to bringing potable water to the poor people in villages, he has achieved more than what any government anywhere could claim to have done in years.

Education has always been his passion.

“Look at those innocent faces,” he would say, showing me some photographs or pointing to children in an assembly, “they are so impressionable and therefore it is important that they are shaped well. Education without character is useless. It is like chanting a mantra without either understanding its meaning or concentrating on God. We should not let our children go astray.”

The educational institutions that he has built or funded are all today citadels of understanding and appreciating the larger aspects of life, rather than rote learning of arts and science subjects. Students are taught qualitative aspects of life and emerge from these schools and colleges as fine young men and women, without being addicted to alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.

An inimitable Avatar
Those were days of intense curiosity as well. I used to hear from ‘Kasturi Kaka’ that Satya Sai Baba is an Avatar and an actual incarnation of the full power of Divinity, of the Godhead.

The birth of Sathya Sai was an auspicious event, which has not occurred for more than 5000 years. In another major Age of Mankind, Baba was Lord Krishna, he would say.

Baba says that that divine essence has come again, as the prophets have foretold, to guide and uplift Mankind at this critical time in human history.

It is a historical fact that Divinity appears amongst us in order to remind us of our divinity.

“I know who I am. I have come to help you to realise who you are. You are no less. All of us are God Incarnate,” Baba has said on many occasions.

The Bhagavan, the Supreme Being, the Social Worker, the Doctor who cures all ailments and above all, the World’s Greatest Teacher is a class to Himself, attracting people of all religious faiths, income groups and nationalities into his fold. Whether he is an Avatar or not may be a subject of debate but the former is gaining ground.

On the occasion of his Birthday on November 23, Indian Newslink offers its salutations to Sathya Sai Baba on behalf of millions of his devotees all over the world.

Celebrations in New Zealand
Indian Newslink understands that Satya Sai organisations and groupings will mark the 84th Birthday of Satya Sai Baba on November 23 with prayers and other events. The following are some of them:

  • Skiptin Hall, 53 Skipton Road, Mangere, Manukau City from 715 pm to 930 pm
  • Mahatma Gandhi Centre, 145 New North Road, Eden Terrace 7 pm to 9 pm
  • Kelston Community Centre, 126 Awaroa Road, Kelston, Waitakere 630 pm to 945 pm
  • Edgewater College, 32 Edgewater Drive, Pakuranga, Manukau 430 pm to 730 pm

Indian Newslink Reference

New DES More Effective To Reduce Restenosis Than First-Generation Stents: Dr Mitchell Krucoff

New DES More Effective To Reduce Restenosis Than First-Generation Stents: Dr Mitchell Krucoff
Monday, October 26, 2009 08:00 IST
Our Bureau, Bangalore

Newer drug eluting stents (DES) are proving to be significantly more effective and safer compared to the ‘first-generation’ drug eluting stents. DES is developed to reduce incidents of re-blockage or restenosis which occur with bare metal stents and almost all trials showed a marked reduction in restenosis rates. The ideal drug eluting stent is one which demonstrates high efficacy while maintaining excellent safety profile.

The latest stents made of polymer and steel are known for higher biocompatibility. These are thinner in appearance and more flexible. The lower doses of the drug are much preferred as a long treatment option for complex and difficult cases. Another big advantage is the negative side effects. The drug eluting stents reduced the need for a second intervention procedure by about 40 to 50 per cent compared to bare metal stents especially in complex cases where patients reported long blockages in diabetics and those having small blood vessels, according to Dr Mitchell Krucoff, interventional cardiology scientist and advisor to US FDA on medical devices.

Dr Krucoff who is in India to research on medicine, healing and spirituality at the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Bangalore, said that over 75,000 patients are treated with drug eluting stents each year in India. The ideal drug eluting stent is one that has proven in large clinical trials to reduce the chances of reblockage, morbidity and mortality.

According to the recently concluded international congress of interventional cardiology, Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT), in San Francisco, three separate large randomized clinical studies showed that the new generation drug eluting stent Xience V was significantly more effective and safe than the first generation Taxus stent.

India will account for 60 per cent of the global heart disease burden in the next few years, reports a recent study by a team of Indian and Canadian researchers. Indians have a genetic disposition to heart disease and develop disease earlier in their life compared to western population. Already the country set to become the diabetes capital of the world and it is forecasted that it will also be known for the highest incidence of heart disease, said Dr Krucoff.

Due to the effectiveness of stents, angioplasty is becoming the preferred choice of treatment of patients with narrowing of the blood vessels in the heart. These devices have evolved over the last two decades beginning from specialized balloons mounted on catheters to treat the narrowing to bare metal stents to drug coated stents. In India, use of drug eluting stents have increased dramatically since their introduction in 2003.

Going by the economies of scale, DES is being preferred to by-pass surgery in terms of faster recovery and higher productivity for the patient to get back to work at quicker pace, he added.

Interventional cardiology is a super specialty and the need of the hour is adequate number of trained experts. If there are specialists who have ample experience, they are most-sought after experts to implant DES. The number of cath labs should also increase to help specialist carry out the procedure. India is far higher in terms of expertise and use of stents than China. The country has a growing patient population who need DES which are affordable, said Dr Krucoff.

Pharmabiz Reference

Also see:
Official Sathya Sai Baba Website
Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust
Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences Whitefield
Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences Prasanthigram

World Class Healthcare Absolutely Free

World Class Healthcare Absolutely Free
June 7th, 2009 – 1:00 pm ICT by IANS
By K. Jayaraman

Bangalore, June 7 (IANS) A super-speciality hospital here has redefined the approach to healthcare by providing world class treatment completely free.

Patients referred to Sri Satya Sai Institute for Higher Medical Sciences hospital do not have to come in with a credit card or a cheque book.

“Here we don’t charge for anything, whether it is a heart bypass, lung operation, or a brain surgery,” says Satyaranjandas Hegde, a top neurosurgeon and director of the 330-bed hospital. “In fact, we have no cashier or a billing section.”

Treatments, tests, medicines, food and hospital stay are all free, “and if some tests cannot be done here, we get them done outside at our cost,” says Hegde.

On an average day, surgeons here perform six neuro and seven heart surgeries. Together with laboratory tests, X-ray scans and outpatient procedures these are worth over Rs.5 million ($100,000) in commercial terms but done free, says Hegde, who quit his high paying job in another hospital because he did not like the “commercial culture” there.

He was not the only one to make the switch. Kolli Challam, head of anesthesia and critical care, left his flourishing practice in Abu Dhabi two years ago to join Hegde’s team.

Government dispensaries do offer free treatment for minor ailments but tertiary care always involves money, says Hegde. “It is a disaster for a poor family if one of its members requires brain or heart surgery. It means selling family jewels to meet hospital costs or just pray to god and hope for the best.”

For thousands of Indians – as well as patients from neighboring Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka – their god comes in the shape of the Sai hospital. Set up in 2001, it is run by a medical trust created by Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a spiritual leader with a global following.

Built with trust funds, the Rs.200 million that the hospital spends annually on salaries, medicine, equipment and maintenance come entirely from unsolicited donations from his devotees.

“The state government gave us land and the power supply for hospital is free,” Hegde said. “Companies give us medical equipments at discount and one computer firm installed Rs.10 million ($20,000)-worth hospital software at no cost.”

The hospital does not advertise to fill non-clinical positions. Skilled workers queue up to volunteer their services because of their faith in Sathya Sai Baba.

Those who man the gates, serve at the reception and counsel patients are all volunteers inspired by Baba’s philosophy that “seva,” or selfless service, is service to god. People wanting to offer ’seva’ are so many that there is a waiting list for volunteers, says Hegde. “We keep rotating them to give everyone a chance.”

Sai hospital is actually known as a “temple of healing” as it provides medicare in a spiritual ambiance devoid of commercialism, its employees say. “I can see god’s mission being carried out here,” said former president of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam during a visit to the hospital in 2006. “The doctors and staff looked to me as angels.”

Free service does not mean compromising on quality or standards, Hegde points out. “Ours is as well equipped as, or better equipped than, corporate hospitals.”

The hospital, with highly qualified physicians and surgeons, attracts dozens of specialists from India and abroad because they are either devotees of Sathya Sai Baba or “infected by the desire to do seva”, says Hegde.

Sivaraman Yegyaraman, a practising cardiac electro physiologist in Stratford, New Jersey, is one such specialist who comes to Sai hospital twice a year at his own expense. “I had always wanted to place my medical training at the service of the under-privileged and Sai hospital presented me the opportunity,” he told IANS during his recent visit.

Another regular visitor, Ravindra Goyal, chairman of neurosciences at McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, is a Sathya Sai Baba devotee. “Each trip to this facility charges and motivates me to apply the principle of ’selfless service’ to my work back in the US on my return,” he said.

What makes the Sai hospital unique? It is not just the state-of-the-art technology or high quality service but the spiritual ambiance pervading through the campus, says hospital manager Sri Krishna.

“It actually makes me feel I am entering a temple and not a hospital,” said Akella Chendrasekhar, medical director of Wyckoff Medical Center in New York. He was one of three specialists who came from the US spending their own money to conduct a workshop on ‘critical care medicine’ at the Sai hospital last week.

By redefining medical care Sai hospital has clearly shown it is certainly possible to provide the best treatment absolutely free, says Hegde. “There is no reason why this model cannot be replicated in other places in India and even abroad.”

The Indian Reference