A Prayer Answered

Sathya Sai Baba Hands

Sathya Sai Baba Hands

A Prayer Answered

Hospitals may provide the facilities for treating a patient but in the ultimate analysis, it is God who really cures. There are innumerable instances of how Sathya Sai Baba intervenes, when the doctor feels that the situation is hopeless. Here is just one example, an episode narrated by Ravi Mariwala, which proves the point. Ravi Mariwala is one of Sathya Sai Baba‘s students; a graduate of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration. The Super Speciality Hospital in Puttaparthi came into existence just at the time he was graduating. Many boys, especially with MBA degrees, volunteered to serve in the hospital, and Ravi was one of them. Ravi Mariwala operates the Heart-Lung machine, the vital instrument in cardiac surgery. This is what he had to say:

A patient being operated for a congenital defect was unable to recover heart function sufficiently, to come off the heart-lung machine and generate adequate systemic pressure. We tried everything but nothing seemed to work. Everyone was beginning to despair. We discussed the matter, rested the heart again, and added some more drugs. We only failed once more. We were absolutely helpless. It occurred to me that we had tried everything but prayer.

Prayer for a person not known to me? Would it work? I think that is why it did.

As I had been in the theatre for five hours already, I was briefly relieved by a colleague. I came into the corridor outside the theatre and stood silently for a minute, trying to recollect Sai’s face in my mind’s eye. I said a silent prayer for the patient’s recovery.

Immediately thereafter, I returned to the theatre. The situation had changed completely. The blood pressure had improved, and the heart had recovered! Strangely, no one knew how or why; I did not say anything to anyone.

The incident passed. The patient’s recovery was smooth. On the Sunday that followed, Swami came to me, created vibhuti, put it into my hands and lovingly said, “This is for the prayer that you said for that patient.” He then proceeded to describe the incident to others. Here was Sathya Sai Baba rewarding me for the miracle.

Sai Miracle Children

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sai Miracle Children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mystery Of Vibhuti

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

The Mystery Of Vibhuti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh Ye Of Little Faith!

Sathya Sai Baba Distributing Vibuthi

Sathya Sai Baba Distributing Vibuthi

The Bible speaks about faith and greater faith. Quoting Jesus, It says, “… if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20) This faith is not the realm of the ordinary, though it is not reserved exclusively for the explicitly ecclesiastical ones. Interestingly, at times one could see absolute, unqualified faith mushrooming in unexpected quarters. Read on for such a powerful instance as chronicled by John Eversole, Santa Barbara, Calif., U.S.A., published in Sanathana Sarathi, April 1978.

Oh, Ye of Little Faith!
A friend with whom I work has listened to my endless tales of Sathya Sai Baba‘s miracles and power, with doubt and teasing. But, he did not scoff or deny and even asked me for some of Bhagawan’s Vibhuti, when his mother was ill. His name is Tony De Paco, and his mother recovered at the time, but, made her transition, a year later.

One night, Tony asked me if I would drive him to where his auto had stalled. The starter was quite active, but, the motor was not responsive. I suggested we sprinkle some Vibhuti on the motor.

Tony said that the electricity or the petrol was not reaching the motor, and, he would just leave it, until he could return and fix it.

But, I prevailed and Tony allowed me to place Vibhuti on the motor, before he tried again to start the obstinate auto which was vary old and worn. The motor started, much to our delight, and Tony started the many miles home, while I followed, in my car.

We finally arrived where I should turn to go to my home, and Tony wanted me to turn off and he would continue the two miles further, to his residence.

But, Tony is a good man. I decided I would follow him, in case the auto stopped again. I was very grateful for this decision of mine, when I saw Tony’s auto stopped dead, a short distance further:

I stopped and went towards Tony. I was expecting his gratitude for my gesture, when I was dismayed to hear him say, in disgust, “Now, see what you have done! You have stopped this motor again. Baba’s Vibhuti had it running and you did not have the faith to turn off. So, your lack of faith has stopped the motor.”

While I was towing him home, I thought, “I talk like the devotee—but, it is Tony who has the faith. How wrong I was, to feel superior!”


Sathya Sai Baba, Bill Aitken And The Vibuthi Covered Pick

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba, Bill Aitken And The Vibuthi Covered Pick

On 14th June 1980 I was lucky enough to be present in a house visited by Sathya Sai Baba in New Delhi after His Divine visit to Kashmir. I was preparing to go on a pilgrimage to the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, one of the most difficult treks in the Himalayas. I took my high altitude equipment with me, including ropes, pitons (rock clamps) and my trusted ice-axe, an indispensable tool for negotiating precipitous icy terrain in the high mountains.

Sathya Sai Baba graciously asked after my welfare and I said I would like Him to bless my adventure. My hostess suggested I give Baba my ice-axe to bless. He smiled, took it and began to ask some searching questions about the composition of the steel used in its making. His students knew more about this than I did. Suddenly He produced Vibhuti from thin air (without the usual circular movements I had seen in public) and proceeded to rub it with great intensity on one side, the pick side, of the ice-axe only. He didn’t put any Vibhuti on the other parts. Then with an air of finality He said, “You will be successful,” and handed back the ice-axe.

I do not know what constitutes a miracle but I do know that a month later, on 26th July, while climbing into the Sanctuary, the pick of the ice-axe saved my life.

Traversing some tricky wet slabs of rockcut croppings above the Rishi Ganga gorge at Rhamani I was aided by two excellent Garhwali porters. They were so skillful and daring that they disdained to use any rope and would cross the wet slabs sloping out over the edge of the gorge in their bare feet. They would go ahead fixing rope, then sit on their haunches and wait for me with all my climbing regalia to haul myself up.

We began up a narrow earth gully which was particularly slippery and treacherous. There were no reliable footholds anywhere and we had to make them as we went. I looked back into the yawning chasm that led a thousand feet straight down into the huge gorge carved out by the rushing river below.

I kicked a toehold in the damp earth and reaching up whacked the pick of the ice-axe into the earth above. To my dismay the six inch pick clanged against rock after it had gone in only three inches, not enough to hold much weight. At the same moment the earth under my toehold crumbled away and I felt myself sinking gently with the earth until I was dangling above the gorge supported only by the Vibhuti covered pick. For the agonising moment my full weight came on the axe; my thoughts were more of self disgust at my incompetence than fear of hurtling a thousand feet to certain death.

Somehow that three inches of steel didn’t slice through the soft earth but held me long enough for the porters to back down and grab me. After a few more close shaves we were successful and got to our destination, the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, reaching that holy place on Gurupurnima. There were other hair raising incidents on our return trip, but thanks to Baba’s Divine Grace, we came through all right and I am alive today to narrate this story.

– Bill Aitken
(William McKay Aitken, also known as Bill Aitken is a Scottish born naturalised Indian writer and traveller)


How Smt. Shyamala Devi’s Nephew Was Saved From Death By Satya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

How Smt. Shyamala Devi’s Nephew Was Saved From Death By Satya Sai Baba

Smt. I. Shyamala Devi is the daughter of late Sri Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, the former Chief Minister of the old Hyderabad State in 1950s and and later Governor of Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, India.

In 1980, Sathya Sai Baba saved the grandson of Mr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao from imminent death. Smt. Shyamala Devi recounts this incident in the book, “Sathya Sai – The Avatar of Love”:

My brother, Burgula Lakshmi Narayana Rao, was blessed with a son on 29th May, 1980. On the very second day of his coming into the world, he was afflicted with some illness. He started crying incessantly from the second day afternoon onwards till midnight.

Two child specialists examined the baby; the baby had become pale and unconscious. Milk was given through the nostrils with the aid of a tube. Breathing stopped in between and doctors even had to revive the breath by artificial means. Gradually the baby turned blue in color due to frequent failures of breathing and the lengthy process of reviving. Seeing this, doctors came to the conclusion that it would be difficult for the baby to survive. They also pleaded their inability saying “Neither you nor we doctors can do anything”.

Swami’s Vibhuti was kept under the baby’s head and a little of it was applied on its chest. Doctors had come to the conclusion that there was nothing they could do except praying to God. On that very day, we learnt that Swami was going from Bangalore to Delhi via Hyderabad. The plane would stop for a brief period of about 40 minutes before leaving for Delhi. Arrangements were made and pandals erected near airport.

Devotees gathered there to have Darshan of Swami. Bhajans were being sung. Doctors who were attending on the baby themselves advised us to go and have the Darshan of Baba. Hanging between hope and despair, I along with my brother and mother (Smt. Anantha Lakshmi) went to the place where Swami was staying. Baba who was about to enter the room specially arranged for Him looked at us and inquired saying “Ananthalakshmamma, How is your grandson?”

My mother with full of tears in her eyes full of sorrow, pleaded “Swami ma Narayana Babu ku putra biksha pettandi. Na manuvadu mrithyu mukham lo unnadu. Bratike avaskasam ledu. Doctorlu kuda aasa vadulu kunnaru”. (Swami, save the life of my Narayana Babu’s son. My grand son is in the throes of death; there is no hope of his survival. Even the doctors have given up hope.)

Then Swami kept His hand on my mother’s head and blessed her saying “Your grandson has a full life span. He will become healthy.” With that assurance Swami left for the airport.

From the mood of despondency, we came back into this world. With anxious thoughts, we went to hospital fearing what kind of news was awaiting us. The doctors in the hospital reported that ever since we had gone to airport for Swami’s Darshan, the baby’s frequency of the stoppage of respiration had become lesser. Even the doctor’s hope was kindled. From then onwards the baby’s health improved gradually.

Now (1992) the boy is aged twelve years, quite healthy and is studying in the eight standard in Kendriya Vidyalaya. Swami himself had named the boy as “Sai Rama Krishna”. Baba had saved my grand son from the jaws of death. Later we had learnt that Swami told some of the devotees that he had instructed for the diversion of Delhi trip enroute Hyderabad, only to save the ailing grand son of Ramakrishana Rao.

Reference: “Sathya Sai – The Avatar of Love” Page: 69-70. Published by Sai Prasanthi Society, Hyderabad under the auspices of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Andhra Pradesh on His 67th Birthday, 23rd November 1992.

How Sathya Sai Baba Cured The Cancer Of A Devout Christian

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

How Sathya Sai Baba Cured The Cancer Of A Devout Christian

Prof. H.S. Bhat is an eminent Urologist and is hailed as the ‘Father of Urology’ in India. A distinguished surgeon with a long and rich experience in various hospitals in India and abroad, he has been serving in the Department of Urology at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram since 1992. An ardent devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, he has had many experiences and witnessed many miracle cures. Below, he describes one of them concerning one of his close relatives:

My son-in-law’s mother is a devout Christian and the wife of a pastor. At the age of seventy six, she developed breast cancer. It was very advanced, ulcerated, and quite smelly. Without revealing her agony to anyone, she endured great pain and spent sleepless nights.

Baba not only told my son-in-law about his mother’s problem, but also gave him Vibhuti and a Lingam. Swami told my son-in-law to give both to his mother, and instructed that the lady be given everyday water first poured over the Lingam.

Although her religious beliefs did not tune her to Baba’s miracles, she agreed as a last resort to do what Baba had advised. Swami told Francis (my son-in-law) that He would help his mother to live happily despite the disease.

It was only a matter of weeks before the ulcer started healing and normal skin began to cover the lesion. The foul odour disappeared forthwith. Her appetite improved and her pain got markedly diminished. She was also able to sleep well.
She became involved with the activities of the family and played with her grandchildren.

Her consultant oncologist was awestruck to see her looking well, when she went for the follow up. He regretted not taking a clinical photograph of the lesion before Baba’s salve was administered.

Reference: “Love All Serve All” published by Sathya Sai Publications of New Zealand. Page: 301.

How Shiv Kumar Regained His Sight, Speech And Movement

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

How Shiv Kumar Regained His Sight, Speech And Movement
Howard Murphet records this miracle in his book “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles” thus:

A remarkable case involving the use of Vibhuti at a distance concerns a fourteen year old boy named Shiva Kumar who suffered from heart trouble. In November 1964, when Shiva Kumar was staying with his uncle Dr. M. D. V. Raman in Bombay, he developed cerebrospinal meningitis, with partial paralysis of the left side, and loss of both sight and speech.

On November 30th he became unconscious, and at 11.45 that morning cyanosis intervened and the boy turned blue. The Doctors gave him only a few hours to live.

But at noon he seemed to be making signs as if he wanted something. The people present interpreted his signs to mean that he would like a bath and some of the Vibhuti, which had been brought by a friend from Puttaparti that morning. They did as he requested, bathing him and applying the consecrated ash.

Next, he made signs that he wanted a photograph of Sathya Sai Baba. This was brought, and set in front of him. Then Shiva rubbed his paralysed left leg and arm with his good right hand. Suddenly, he got off the bed and walked, albeit falteringly, and with assistance, into the family puja room.

There he sat near the altar and seemed to go into a state of meditation. This went on for about two hours; then Shiva walked from the puja room, this time unaided, looked about, went over to a chair and sat in it. Evidently his eyesight had returned; and then he spoke!

He told those present that Sai Baba had appeared to him in a vision, saying that his life would be saved. Shiva had begged to have his sight and speech back too, and Baba had granted the prayer, telling him just what to do. Soon afterwards, Shiva was able to return to school and the studies he loved.

When these facts were reported, over a year after the miracle cure took place, Shiva was still in the best of health. This story was first published in the magazine, Sanathana Sarathi (The monthly magazine published by Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust)

Reference: “Sai Baba: Man of Miracles” by Mr. Howard Murphet. Page: 120 (Paperback Edition). Published by Macmillan India Ltd, 1972.

It’s A Miracle!

Sai Baba Manifestations Miracle Vibuthi Rudraksha
Miracle Within A Miracle – Rudrakshas Materialize From Vibuthi
Manifesting From Sathya Sai Baba’s Picture

It’s A Miracle!
Do you believe in miracles? A simple question. But, for the vast majority of humanity who fall somewhere in between staunch believer and die-hard sceptics, the answer isnt. Veena Pradeep & Chethana Dinesh attempt the answers nonetheless.

Statues shed tears of blood, drink milk and open their eyes in benign blessing. Crosses of light inexplicably appear around many parts of the world. Sea water in a muddy creek turns sweet. The faithful flock in piety and amazement while sceptics pull out their hair in desperation, crying foul.

Do you believe in miracles? The question is as simple as that. But, for the vast majority of humanity who fall somewhere in between staunch believer and die-hard sceptics, the answer isn’t.

From time immemorial, there’s been a miracle for every season and every reason. If only our senses were open to perceive it! On a hot summer afternoon, sitting in a garden, under the cool shade of a peepal tree, soaking in the beautiful sight of colourful flowers, you close your eyes and take a deep breath, saying a silent prayer to the Almighty for a spell of rain. Voila! It actually starts raining. If this isn’t a miracle, what is?

For Tarun Cherian, a well-known spiritual healer, based in Bangalore, everything is a miracle. The blink of an eye, the blooming of a flower, the flight of a butterfly, the existence of the universe itself is no less miraculous than statues of gods and goddesses drinking milk or opening an eye.

Yet, we take the former for granted because our brains have understood the mystery behind these natural phenomena. Innumerable instances of mysterious things have been recorded, so nobody can discount the fact that miracles happen, he says. Tarun said:

“For example, auras around humans have been photographed, so nobody can deny their existence.

What we know about the universe is only the tip of an iceberg. We can just see that wee bit above the water, and a little bit below it. What lies underneath, unknown, is bigger than what most of us can even imagine.”

On the other hand, for miracle buster Sanal Edamarakku, president of the Indian Rationalist’s Association based in Delhi which has been fighting for inculcating scientific temper among people and exposing superstition, blind belief, obscurantism and paranormal claims among other things, all miraculous events can be explained.

“There are three kinds of miracles,” he says. One is purely the outcome of people’s ignorance. Sanal quotes the example of a Sai Baba ke roti miracle doing the rounds in some parts of the country where you place a piece of roti in a container, add tea leaves, a little sugar and water and leave it covered for seven days in front of a Sai Baba idol. On the seventh day, a whole roti forms.

Sanal says this is because of the formation of something called the Manchurian algae. “Even if you were to place the same ingredients in front of your own photograph, the roti would form,” he says. At the height of the Ganesha milk-drinking episode, he had demonstrated how it happened, feeding a little coffee to a statue of Jawaharlal Nehru, and “this may sound blasphemous, but also a little beer to a statue of Gandhi,” he laughs. According to him, every instance of a miracle can be explained in scientific terms.

The second kind of miracles are special phenomena such as people suddenly speaking in the voice of a dead person. These are mental illnesses which any psychiatrist can explain, he says. The third kind are pure deceit where charlatans use sleight of hand to take advantage of people’s gullibility, like conjuring vibhuti out of the air, making things disappear or appear, etc. “Whenever a miracle takes place, there is an economic or social beneficiary,” says Sanal.

“Obviously some miracles are manufactured,” counters Tarun. “But where are there no scams? Science has clear biases, ignores inconvenient facts, and has its share of utter frauds.”

All of us may pooh-pooh the mass hysteria whipped up either by a statue of Sai Baba opening his eye or Ganesha idols drinking milk, but, deep down don’t we want to be a part of the crowd that firmly believes in such miracles? Says Prof C R Chandrashekar, Department of Psychiatry, Nimhans:

“All of us love miracles, irrespective of our community and religion. In fact, we long for them. Being born and brought up to believe that miracles do happen, we accept anything that’s even mildly suggestive of a miracle. Our lives revolve around expectations that miracles can happen.

For instance, take the recent case of the statue of Shirdi Sai Baba opening his eye in Bangalore. People thronged the place to witness it. That’s human weakness. At the same time, not all of them who went there believed in it. Most of them were driven to do it only out of curiosity. But, the very fact that they wanted to be a part of the whole episode illustrates how a human mind works. They went there out of expectations — they wanted to believe that the miracle had indeed happened.”

It’s true. Caught in the rigours of this world, all of us yearn for miracles in some form or the other. And again, who can doubt this longing for miracles when it’s being felt in various pockets all over the world?

There have been instances of miracles quoted in every religious text and in the history books of every civilization. Circles of Light, Crosses of Light, Healing Waters, Signs of Allah, The Holy Mother, Buddhist Miracles, Christ Encounters… the list can be endless.

An oft-quoted instance is that of the sighting of angelic warriors by Israeli soldiers in all of Israel’s wars. And in every war, there were reports from both sides of angelic intervention on Israel’s behalf. Though some rationalists attempted to term it as battle fatigue, believers didn’t buy the argument, considering that the angels were seen by both sides in the war.

Surprisingly, while many today believe in miracles, no modern historian fills his or her books with accounts of miraculous events. For, they are considered incredulous and nothing more than a case of collective hallucination. Experts in human psychology think otherwise.

“It is basic human tendency to desire the marvellous and the wondrous, to be deluded about them, to fabricate them, embellish them and to exaggerate them. It is a manifestation of our dislike for the mundane and the ordinary. Hence we lap up anything that is different from the ordinary,” explains Prof Chandrashekar.

However, there are many philosophers and anti-supernatural thinkers like David Hume (1711-1776) and Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677) who argue against this belief in miracles. While Hume terms it an act of faith and not of reason, Spinoza says that the belief in miracles and a commitment to modern scientific methodology are incompatible.

Another much widely neglected argument against miracles is put forth by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) in his book Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone. According to Kant, miracles never occur! In other words, miracles are theoretically possible but practically impossible.

Miracles are ruled out on scientific grounds too. According to the scientific understanding of the universe, no event can be termed rational unless its occurrence is regular and repeatable. Miracles are by nature not regular and repeatable and hence there is no scientific basis for the belief in miracles.
“It’s true that there is no scientific basis to miracles. But, everything cannot be explained by science right?” argues Rachna Chabria, a consultant with a software firm. To support her argument, she narrates a true life experience. She questions:

“My father was a hale and hearty person. One fine morning, we found him dead in his sleep and the doctors attributed it to a massive heart attack. My mother was devastated. Everyday she reported of having his visions, prompting her to take her BP tablets. According to her, she distinctly saw him walking in the house with his familiar and recognisable steady gait. One such day, she told us she had decided to join him. We didn’t take her seriously as we thought it was just another of her emotional outpourings. But, the very same night, to our horror, she too passed away peacefully in her sleep. How do you explain this?”

“Anything we do with intensity can create miracles. When we understand it, it forms the basis of life, when it surprises us, we call it a miracle,” says Tarun.

Miracles are anything that’s beyond our realm of understanding. Nevertheless, they help us get on with our lives with hope. “They are all around us. We just have to ask the universe for it. I have prayed for miracles and they have happened. The universe is very kind. It just gives all that you ask for. You may be gripped by a serious problem and not know how to get out of it. You hope against hope for it to be resolved by itself and it does! That’s a miracle,” says renowned tarot card reader Krishna Nath Malhotra.

A miracle definitely helps ordinary mortals like us to live on, with the fond hope that a miracle will very soon put an end to the suffering in the world.

Says model-actor Nasser Abdullah, a firm believer in miracles:

“About three decades ago, I went with some friends to Satya Sai Baba, hoping to be able to rid myself off a consistently present nervous strain, and fear of living in this world. I was not disappointed, as he did rid me of that, plus a few other disturbing samskaras lurking within my being which I wasn’t even aware of. That was a true miracle for me! I mean, to be able to prevail upon the mind and transform it so completely without appearing to be doing so is a feat worthy of resting foremost in the annals of miracle workings.

“I had also on the same trip witnessed a healing by him on a boy who was afflicted with a disease, which had left him deformed from neck to toe. When Sai Baba whispered something into his ear he dashed off, unaided towards his room, a distance of 15 metres, in a split second, and turned contorted again. A few hours later, I saw this boy walking about awkwardly but proudly around, with the most radiant smile upon his face, unaided, watched by his ecstatic mother! He was not even able to stand up on his own, prior to Sai Baba’s interaction with him, until a few hours earlier! That was the other miracle I witnessed. This is for those who might want to rubbish my earlier claim of my miracle as a psychological abberation or fluke!”

Despite many miracles being explained away by rationalists and scientists, the media continues to report on strange events and happenings around the world and otherwise rational human beings continue to believe in them. “Now miracles happen most when we are desperate or troubled. And indeed we are in trouble today with an imminent collapse of the environment, and a global economy powered by skinny energy resources. Since man’s very survival is threatened, the stakes are raised. Our desperation unleashes immense psychic force, and so miracles and psychic gifts are far easier to receive today than in any point in our history,” says Tarun.

Both miracle-seekers and miracle busters will agree on one thing, however. Miracles are but extensions of one’s belief. You believe and you will be blessed by an experience. You don’t believe and you can explain the experience away. Every now and then, you read newspaper reports of potatoes or eggplants sporting the image of gods. Now, if you’re religious and a believer in miracles you’ll see in these divine vegetables a sign and probably worship them, but if you are a rationalist you’ll just chop that freak vegetable into your curry!


Also see:

Sai Baba Vibuthi Miracle In Australia

Sai Baba Vibuthi Miracle In Australia

Sathya Sai Baba, Erlendur Haraldsson & Robert Priddy

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba, Erlendur Haraldsson & Robert Priddy
Fraudulent And Misleading Claims About Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson By Robert Priddy
Robert Priddy

Robert Priddy

On a couple of Anti-Sai websites, Robert Priddy said:

“Further, just as one more example, my colleague Professor Erlendur Haraldsson of Rekjavik University, who investigated the Sai movement and alleged miracles very widely in the 1970s (though without controlled scientific results), was repeatedly told of Sai Baba’s sexual interest in boys and young men and refers to some of these in his book ‘Modern Miracles’.”

The paragraph above is proof that Robert Priddy resorts to blatant exaggerations and complete misrepresentations of facts to mislead and deceive the general public.

First and foremost, Robert Priddy was never a “colleague” (as it is generally understood) of Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson. Although Priddy and Haraldsson worked at universities, they worked in different universities, in different countries, in different faculties (Priddy in Philosophy and Haraldsson in Psychology) and at different times.

“Colleague” is generally defined as:

  1. A fellow member of a profession, staff, or academic faculty; an associate. See synonyms at partner. (Ref)
  2. An associate in a profession or in a civil or ecclesiastical office. (Ref)

Robert Priddy and Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson were:

  • Never fellow members, staff or academic faculty in the same profession.
  • Never fellow members, staff or academic faculty at the same university.

Secondly, Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson was not at the Reykjavik University. He was at the University of Iceland (an important fact that a close “colleague” would not get incorrect).

Lastly, Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson was not “repeatedly told of Sai Baba’s sexual interest in boys and young men” and did not “refer to some of these stories in his book ‘Modern Miracles’”. These claims are bold-faced and gutter untruths.

Erlendur Haraldsson only made one reference to “homosexuality” in his book Modern Miracles in the chapter entitled “The Critics”. The sentence in question said: “One letter accused him of homosexuality.” That’s it!

It is also significant that Dr. Narasimhaiah (a critic of Sai Baba) said the following about the letters he received (among which was the letter alleging homosexuality):

“Dr. Narasimhaiah: ‘I don’t think we can find anything substantial there, otherwise I would certainly have used that material (against Sai Baba).’ According to Dr. Narasimhaiah, there was nothing in the letters indicating fraud by Baba.”

Therefore, the letter alleging homosexuality was dismissed by Narasimhaiah as unsubstantial and unsubstaniated. No where in Haraldsson’s book did he talk about allegations (nor did he relate stories) pertaining to sexual abuse or sexual interest in “boys and young men” against Sathya Sai Baba.

Robert Priddy should immediately retract these fraudulent and incorrect claims from Anti-Sai websites and issue a public apology (as he and other critics can be seen demanding of others).

More Deceptive And Misleading Claims About Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson By Robert Priddy
On Robert Priddy’s Anti-Sai WordPress blog (which contains numerous defamations, libels and slurs against Sathya Sai Baba, Sai Devotees and Sai Proponents), he made highly misleading statements about Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson when he said:

“Professor Erlendur Haraldsson, who my wife and I have known since 1989 and who still visits us, has still not been able to get any evidence of endless vibuthi supplies, despite decades of interest in the matter.”

Although Robert Priddy continually attempts to use Professor Erlendur Haraldsson’s name to push Anti-Sai Material, Erlendur Haraldsson is not Anti-Sai Baba (as confirmed in private email correspondence with Joe Moreno).

Professor Erlendur Haraldsson first met Robert & Reidun Priddy in 1989 at Puttaparthi when Robert & Reidun were both Sai Devotees. Erlendur Haraldsson visits Oslo every two or three years and has met Robert & Reidun Priddy 3-4 times for an hour or two (mostly in restaurants). Erlendur Haraldsson also visits Sai Devotees when he visits Denmark. These visits are not indicative of a Pro-Sai or Anti-Sai position because the people in question are simply friends.

Dr Erlendur Haraldsson personally told Joe Moreno (in a private email correspondence) that Robert Priddy’s statement that he has been unable to obtain any evidence of endless vibuthi supplies was “a bit odd” because he “had a lot of anecdotal evidence but was not able to test the reality of the vibuthi phenomena under controlled conditions” (which he stated in his book).

Consequently, Robert Priddy’s references to Erlendur Haraldsson in his Anti-Sai writings and on his Anti-Sai blog are misleading and deceptive because Erlendur Haraldsson has not given permission to Robert Priddy to use his name to push Anti-Sai material.

Relevant Links:

Erlendur Haraldsson

Erlendur Haraldsson