My Experiences SATHYA SAI BABA ( & his Devotees)
Howdy: Attached are some segments of my book "Masters and Miracles".
1) Please feel free to edit or shorten or do whatever you need for efficacy...Anything for Swami. I herein electronically sign release to you to do whatever you feel is best for your efforts.
2) I would not be alive without Swami. I am eternally grateful for the unbelievable good grace and fortune to even know his name.
3) I have seen and experienced more miracles and wonders than any person should have a right to.
Sathya Sai Baba was born November 23, 1926 to a saintly Hindu family in a very small India town called Puttaparthi, in the Province of Andhra Pradesh, about 120 miles north of Bangalore.
The day after his birth, on Novermber 24, it is reputed that the great holy man, Sri Aurobindo, broke his customary silence and announced that “…Lord Krishna has reentered the body…”/
The town of Puttaparthis was and is very remote. You could not drive to the town by car until 1965! When little Sathya was born, there were less than 200 people living in the town. It was excruciatingly poor and primitive. Nothing grew very well there. There were many cobras, scorpions, and other unappealing features.
Then came this little boy who amazed the villagers with a continuous series of miracles. Even his birth was remarkable. A cobra appeared under the baby and musical instruments played on their own accord. As a very little child, he materialized gifts for his schoolmates, food for hungry people, including out of season fruits, and including different fruits from the SAME tree!
Sathya refused to eat meat or participate in any activity harmful to animals. He invited beggars and poor people home for his mother and sister to feed.
He also had a remarkable talent for music and writing plays. He has been continually writing music for 70 years. He could be the most prolific songwriter in history.
On October 20, 1940, at the age of 14, Sathya announced to his family, “ I am no longer yours. I do not belong to you. My devotees are calling and I have work to do.” He left his home and began gathering disciples. They came to him, one by one, with each of them having some unique and remarkable miracle having been done for them by Sathya Sai. He taught them devotional songs to God and encouraged them to seek the divinity within each of them.
He healed the sick, materialized matter from nothing all day, every day. He appeared to devotees all over the world, although never leaving his isolated location.
He would pass his hand over containers of food, and the food would multiply to be able to feed all the people who had come.
I have a friend from Vancouver, BC, named Bill, who is a medical doctor. In 1995, we were both in India for a few weeks for Swami’s birthday. Bill volunteered in the “medical tent”. One day I stopped by to say hello to him. He said to me, “Where were you yesterday at 7:30 AM?” I thought, and said, “Why, of course, I was in darshan”…because for 50 years, Swami came out every morning at that time to walk through the masses saying hello and “giving darshan”…DARSHAN, being the sight of the Master. Then Bill said, “ Where was Swami?”. Well, I told him that he was just where he normally was at that time, i.e., up on the veranda doing a few things before starting the interview with the fortunate folks who had been selected by him as he walked through the masses. To my total shock, Bill said, “Our group from Vancouver was volunteering at a food distribution point ( maybe a half a mile away ) for the peasants. We had some big pots of food and they ran out. Then, Swami came and cracked two coconuts over the pots and they filled up and the food kept flowing!”
He materialized a grey holy ash called VIBHUTI. It came out of his hands all day long. Nearly everyone who he came in close contact with would receive a little unit of vibhuti. Customarily, we devotees eat this vibhuti immediately upon reception of same, as a talisman, cure, or preventative.
Note: One time, a filmmaker filmed many such disbursements of vibhuti. He thereupon showed this film of these manifestations to magicians and illusionists in Hollywood and Las Vegas. These folks were astonished. Analyzing the film with an editing machine, taking it frame by frame, they deduced that there no magic involved. They were very curious about how this fellow from India could materialize matter from nothing.
I, myself, can attest that I have seen many such materializations, many of them very close up. Sathya Sai Baba materialized a ring for me in 1992 and has materialized vibhuti for me twice. He also healed me of diabetes….story coming…
One of the more remarkable things that happens in conjunction with Baba, is that there are pictures of him all around the world spontaneously emanating vibhuti! ( If the reader would like to know where, please email me and I can send locations you can easily access to see this phenomena first hand ).
I , personally, have spoken with men and women from every European country, every South American country, and many other countries while spending a lot of time in India. Each one of these people detailed and reported at least one remarkable unique personal miracle that had been done for him/her by Baba, either there in India, or by “long distance” back in their home country. I have heard some of the most incredible stories known to mankind. If even a small fraction of these stories were true, Sai Baba has to be regarded as a divine incarnation and a legitimate successor to Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, etc.
Here are a few of the stories I have accumulated from folks from all over the world:
Michael, from Germany
I was sitting next to him in darshan one day in 1987. Michael was a blond, handsome, and congenial fellow. He spoke good English. He let me practice my mediocre German with him. We agreed to meet after darshan for a cup of tea. We walked over to the canteen and had a cup of tea. I asked him where he was from. He said he was from Frieburg, in South Germany, not too far from the Swiss border.
I told him that I lived in St. Paul, Minnesota. He knew where that was. Then I got a serious shock of amazement. I asked him, “How long have you been a Sai Baba devotee?” He said “About seven years”. I asked him how he got interested in Sai Baba. He said, “I was a communist, in the Red Brigades, and sold dope to support the movement.” I just about passed out! “You have to be kidding”, I said…”What happened?” He said, “My girlfriend and I were vacationing on the beach in South India. She had heard about this miracle Swami and I agreed to go along with her to see. I was an atheist, so it didn’t make any difference to me.
We arrived in Bangalore and made our way to Swami’s ashram in Whitefield. (Note: In those days, during afternoon darshan, Swami sat outside in the large courtyard on a big throne-like chair). We entered the main gate and saw Swami sitting in a chair, surrounded by thousands of devotees. He looked my direction for a moment and our eyes connected. I was frozen to the ground. I could not move. The shakti ( kundalaini ) moved up my spine and opened me spiritual eye. I saw the thousand petal lotus…My crown chakra was opened…I felt and saw God….I was still frozen to the ground. Swami left…the people disbanded. I was still frozen. My girlfriend held on to me. I cried and cried. I cried some more. Finally, we moved. I was not the same. I came back in the morning. Swami walked by and smiled at me. I felt total love. We had to go back.
I got back to Germany and quit the communist party. I quit the Red Brigades. I found a spiritual teacher in my hometown. She knew about Sai Baba and we started a small Sai Baba group in Frankfurt. I have been a devotee ever since and I come over here at least once a year”. ( This story reminds me of St. Paul on the road to Damascus ).
Fredrik, from Holland
Fred told me the following remarkable story, which was verified by both the German fellow and the American ( Bill ):
“I was sitting in darshan one day. To my left, was a very friendly and nice American, named Bill. He was an attorney from New York. On his left was a German fellow I knew, named Werner, who was an engineer with Siemens. We were very excited because we were in the front row that morning and knew we had a chance of getting an intervies. At the very least, we would be very close to Swami and something wonderful can always possibly happen under those circumstances.
Then, he came out of his room and slowly and gracefully walked into the Mandir (temple). He slowly approached us. He came up and stood in front of Bill. Bill reached down and took padnamaskar ( i.e., the act of touching the Master’s feet, an ancient Hindu custom ). As Bill sat up, Swami spoke to him…but to my amazement, He was speaking in Dutch! He was looking at Bill, but speaking to ME in Dutch! It was wonderful. Then he walked on.
I started to cry. I told Bill and Werner that Swami had spoken in Dutch. They were shocked, and Bill said that Swami had spoken in English to him…and Werner stated unequivocably that Swami had spoken in German! We all went to have tea after darshan and discussed this for a long time. All three of us heard Swami speak in our own languages AT THE SAME TIME!’
Graciella from Italy
Over the years, I have seen many RINGS materialized by Sai Baba, including one for myself. I have seen many different kinds of rings which Swami has manifested from nothing. It is quite shocking to have a fellow human being materialize a ring for you from nowhere….no magic…materialization of matter from nothing. This is one of my favorite ring stories.
On my 1987 trip, I stayed in Bangalore for a couple of weeks at the Windsor Hotel. It is a very nice hotel and has a lot of the old “British Raj” about it. It had a great buffet and good food in general. Each morning, we would go down to the lobby to get a taxi to go to Baba’s ashram in Whitefield. There were quite a few other devotees in the lobby. One of them was a distinguished older lady from Italy, named Graciella and her family. Her kids would go with her, but her husband was not a big devotee and he mainly stayed at the hotel and did other things.
He was a very nice man and spoke great English. Graciella and I were talking one morning as she and her kids were waiting with me for a taxi. I had noticed that she had very stunning rings on each of her fingers, bracelets, and necklaces. She laughed and told me that she was a jewelry designer. That is what she did back in Italy. She told me about some famous and wealthy people for whom she had designed special jewelry. She showed me each of the rings.
On the ring finger on her right hand, was a massive diamond and gold ring. It was the most impressive ring on her hands. I said to her, “That is the most remarkable ring. Did you make that? She said “Oh, no…Swami made that one. HE told me he would make me the BEST ring on my hands!”
“A.”, from the United States
One time, “A” told this story at a large Sai Baba convocation:
“Many of my friends had rings made by Swami. I loved all those rings. I loved all the stories that went with the rings. I wanted a ring from Swami so badly. Then, it worked out that my husband and I were getting to go to India for the first time. We were so excited. We spoke with Dr. Bill Harvey, one of the major figures in the Sai Baba Organization in the United States.
He advised me that if we got an interview with Swami and if Swami asked me what I wanted ( which he does in a lot of cases….he asked me that one time ) to be sure to say “Devotion, Swami, devotion’. Well, I thought about that…devotion was o.k., but what I really wanted was a ring. I was in a quandary whether to ask for devotion or a ring if it so came up. Well, we got an interview, and sure enough, Swami said to me, ‘What do you wnnt?’ I said, aginst my better judgement, ‘devotion, Swami, devotion’.
‘Very good’, he said, and then he materialized a ring FOR MY HUSBAND!”
She brought down the house with that story. Everyone truly laughed and sympathized with her.
Robert from Ireland
One day in 1992 in India, I was sitting in darshan early one morning. I am a pretty talkative soul ( Big mouth, you might say ). I especially love to talk with people from all over the earth at Swami’s ashram. This particular morning, I was sitting next to an older fellow from Ireland, identified by his emerald green scarf ( I had a red, white and blue American scarf ). He told me that his name was Robert.
Then he told me that he had congestive heart failure, and was not expected to live much longer, He said that the doctors in Ireland could do nothing for him. He further told me that he was actually born in Calcutta, India back when England still owned India and his dad worked for the British Raj. When finding out his imminent mortality, he decided to come to India and die at the feet of the Great One, Sai Baba.
Thereupon, we both started to meditate in anticipation of Swami’s arrival for darshan that morning.
A few days later, I was walking along the main street of the ashram, and here came Robert with some friends looking very fit and hearty. I said “Robert…remember me, I am Sam from Minnesota”. He happily acknowledged me and told me an amazing story: “Sam…after that darshan, I started to feel better. I went back to my room and rested. I felt Swami’s love going through me. Then, that afternoon, in darshan, I went into an altered state, and I saw a very small SWAMI driving a very small BULLDOZER through my veins and arteries! He was cleaning everything out! After darshan, I have been feeling fantastic and I know Swami has healed me!”
I really enjoyed that story and told it for years to Sai Baba people. Everyone really enjoyed that story. Then, in 1995, I was back in India. Who should I see, but Robert! We hugged and talked and I asked him how he was. He said, “Sam…I have been fantastic. The doctors gave me clearance and I have just recently been hiking in the Himalayas with some friends” I was amazed and subsequently added that new bit to the earlier story!
Thereupon, whenever I met any Sai devotee from Ireland or the UK, I found out that nearly all of them had heard the story about Robert and the small bulldozer through his veins! It was a popular story in certain circles.
Then, in 1999, I was back in India. I saw some folks with emerald green scarfs from Ireland. One day, I sat near a couple of Irish guys and asked them if they knew Robert. They said, “Oh, yeah, the guy with the bulldozer through his veins”…I said that’s the guy. They said they had heard all about him, but did not know where he was or anything specific. He was from a different part of Ireland.
A few days later, I ran into a few other guys from Ireland. I asked them the same question. They said, “Oh yeah, the guy with the bulldozer through his veins”…but they didn’t know much either. Then, one day, I was sitting way back, having drawn a high chit, and was just being quiet, when a fellow with an Irish scarf plopped himself down in the middle of the crowd next to me. He smiled and I said hello. We talked for a bit and then I asked him about Robert. He said, “Yes, I knew Robert very well. I am from his town. I was going to sit way over there ( He pointed to the opposite side of the Mandir ) where I normally sit, but something told me to come here. It must be so I can tell you this story:
A few months ago, Robert had a dream. Swami came to him in the dream and said, ‘Robert, I have given you seven more years. It is now time to go. I have a question for you. In your next embodiment, do you want a wealthy body or a spiritual body? Robert said, in the dream, ‘Swami, I want a spiritual body’. Swami said ‘Very good. Now, Robert, you will remember this dream very well when you wake up and I want you to tell everyone in your Sai Center about this dream…and do not fear, for I am here.’ Well, Sam, Robert woke up and remembered the dream. He told us all and we cried and prayed and laughed and sang.
Then, a few days later, Robert peacefully died in his sleep!”
That, dear reader, is one of my favorite Sai Baba stories.
Brian, from Australia
Brian was a young man in his late 20’s who I met in India in 1995 at the
celebration of Sai Baba’s birthday in November. He played the guitar and we got recruited into the same music group to play for the ceremonies. He had a little boy named Joel, who was about five years old at the time.
Joel had a pendant with a silver chain and a copper pendant, with Baba’s face on it, similar to my ring. I asked about it and Brian told me the following interesting story: “When Joel was two years old, we came to India to see Baba. Joel had been having a lot of mysterious health problems. We were hoping that Baba could help.
We got an interview, and Swami materialized this chain and pendant for Joel. It was entirely silver. We got back to Australia…and one night, the pendant TURNED COPPER! We showed all our friends and all agreed that it was one of Swami’s “leelas”.
We all laughed and marveled at how Swami could turn something silver into copper all the way from India…and we wondered why…and we wondered why not the chain too? Then, we took Joel to a homeopathic physician. He did tests and said, “Your son has a severe COPPER SHORTAGE”\. He recommended some supplements. Joel’s health problems were solved very quickly and he has been extremely healthy ever since”.
John, from Seattle
John was a very large man from Seattle. He told me this remarkable story in 1995 in India: I was sitting in darshan in India one day. There was a Hindu man on my left and a Hindu man on my right. (They were collectively probably not as big as John). Each of them had a letter to give to Swami. The man on my left ( Number One ) said regarding his letter, in a very serious manner, ‘I have financial problems which are so great, I may have to commit suicide unless Swami can help me’…Boy, I was concerned for him…then the guy on my right ( Number Two ) said, ‘My personal problems are greater than your financial problems!’
Now, I was really concerned for both of those guys. Then, Swami came out and looked so wondrous. He stopped in front of Number Two, and took his letter. Then, he smiled at me, patted me on the head and blessed me. Then he stopped in front of Number One, and thoughtfully threw Number Two’s letter into Number One’s lap. Then he went on and finished darshan. After it was over, we stood up. Number Two angrily looked at Number One and said, ‘You have MY letter!” Number One said, ‘No, Swami gave it to me!’ I was trying to calm them down. We called over the head Seva Dal ( Ashram Security Guy ). Each fellow pled his case.
The head Seva Dal said, ‘I will open the letter. If it is personal stuff from you, Number Two, I will give it to you. If it is anything else, I will give it to you, Number One.’ They all agreed. He opened the letter. To my total shock, in front of my eyes, it was 50,000 Rupees and a blank paper! Number One had his financial problems solved and by the blank paper, I inferred that somehow, Number Two had his personal problems solved!”
The family from Bombay
In 1992, I met a family from Bombay. The mom and dad were both medical doctors. Many of the peripheral family were professionals. The Mam and dad had two twin boys, who were about 4 year old. They were blind. They had no eyeballs in their sockets. The mom and dad and family had heard about all the amazing miracles that Baba had been doing for years. They came down with the hope that Swami could heal their boys. They told me the following story:
“We got an interview with Sai Baba. We were so thrilled. We were filled with great expectations. We entered the small interview room and sat down. As usual, Baba materialized vibhuti for all of the women in the room. (I have seen that three times when I have been in interviews. One time, as Swami completed materializing vibhuti for all the ladies in our interview, he frisked his hands, looked at me and said “Just enough!”,,,which totally cracked me up and I laughed out loud!)
Then, he sat down and looked at us and said, ‘Yes, I know you want me to heal these boys…However, watch’. Then Swami pointed at the wall and the wall became a motion picture! We were in shock and we saw the two boys in their past incarnation. They were Dacoits ( Robbers ). We saw how they robbed a wealthy man and proceeded to poke his eyes out so he couldn’t identify them! Then Swami turned to us and said, ‘You see…I could heal them, but by the laws of God, they would soon become blind again. Let me tell you further…later in that life, they repented from their evil ways and tried to restore money to the people they robbed.
They also turned to God and tried their best to practice devotion to God. Because of that , they were accorded a beneficial birth in a good family like yours’. We were stunned and shocked into reality and understood the meaning of their handicap. We asked what we should do. Swami said, ‘Teach them to Love All, Serve All…and one day, their sight will be restored’.
Diane, from Wisconsin
A lady from Madison, Wisconsin told this story in 1986 at the Sai Conference in St. Louis, Mo. I do not know how she got through this story without breaking down. This is essentially what she said:
“My father had cancer. He was beginning to suffer badly. He was in the hospital. I went to India to see Baba. I was wondering whether I should pray for a healing for my dad or whether I should surrender to the Lord’s will. It was on my mind all the time as we traveled to Puttaparthi and all the time I was there.
Then, one day, we got an interview. I was very expectant. Much to my surprise, Baba motioned me over and materialized a special allotment of vibhuti for me. He said ‘This is very special vibhuti, very good for cancer!”…then he said, ‘Do not fear, your father will be with me’. I saved the vibhuti for my dad. I wondered how I would get him to take it, because he didn’t really believe in Sai Baba and wasn’t that religious, in general.
Much to my surprise, when I got back home and went to the hospital, he took it very willingly and smiled. Just a few hours later, he quietly passed away. The doctors said that it was a blessing, because that type of cancer could have lasted a long time and was brutally painful in its last stages. I thanked Sai Baba inwardly. He saved my dad much pain.
Then, some months later, I had a vivid Sai Baba dream. (Note: Sai Baba says that you cannot have a dream of him unless he so wills it. He has also said in answer to a devotee questioning whether it was real when she had a dream of Swami, “What difference which dream world I come to you in?” ). In that dream, Swami came to me with a big smile. He motioned me to follow him. We came into his small room on the ashram. He pointed out the window at a young Hindu couple with a brand new baby. He pointed at the baby and said, ‘That’s your father!’
My dad was with him…he had reincarnated in India.
Pierre, the Frenchman
One of my good buddies a number of trips to India was a French fellow, appropriately named Pierre. He was from Paris and spent a lot of his vacations in Puttaparthi with Swami. Some years before, Swami had materialized a simple silver ring with an OM sign on it for Pierre. Pierre wore it all the time and it was literally falling apart. He kept it together with tape sometimes.
Then, one day, he got into an interview with Swami. I saw him not too long after he came out of the interview and he was ecstatic, with a big smile on his face and a brand new gold and emerald ring that Baba had materialized for him! He showed the ring to everybody and I was truly happy for him.
The Magic House in London
There is a wonderful Hindu couple in Kingsbury, a suburb of London, UK, named Hemma and Boskar. They are truly delightful and generous people. They have a house about five minutes from the Kingsbury train station. When I was in London in the Fall of 2005, I went to ther house a number of times. The reason, beside the fact that they are very special people, is that they have the most incredible miracles going on all the time in their house.
They have over 40 pictures and statues of Swami, Shiva, Krishna, et al with Vibhuti, Amritha, kum kum, red stuff, and many other things flowing out of them! Anyone who goes to London should definitely make their way to this house. Every night, for the past 12 years, they open their house to any devotee at 7:00 PM. If they do not happen to be there, friends or relatives handle the house. They do a little prayer and music session each night. Upstairs, is a little chapel with MORE such pictures and statues, emanating Swami’s magic stuff.
On Sai Baba’s birthday Nov. 23, 2005, we had a special singing session. We put 9 coconuts on the alter. During the chanting, the coconuts all burst open and the red powder came out of all the cocnonuts! What a miracle!
Non-believer in Australia
In 1994, I was speaking with a woman from Australia who lived in New York. She was a long-time Sai Baba devotee. I asked her if sshe had any good Swami miracle stories for me. She told me this remarkable story about her sister, who was not a believer in Sai Baba:
“My sister lived near Melbourne in a patio home around a swimming pool. She has a 10 year-old daughter. She was into meditation, namely Vedanta, but was skeptical of Sai Baba. She didn’t really understand the miracles. She was kind and loving toward me, and neither of us ever tried to push the other into any spiritual trip of any kind.
However, she kept asking me about Swami. She was real curious. I told her that being a good meditator, that she should ask Swami to come to her and prove himself to her in her own way. She said she would do that. So, on a regular basis, as she meditated, she said, ‘Swami, show me that you are real’.
One day, her daughter and friends were cavorting in the swimming pool. The glass patio door was closed. Somehow, because of the lighting, and youthful exuberance, her daughter came running toward the door and didn’t realize that the door was closed. To my sister’s shock, her daughter crashed right through the glass and fell onto the shattered glass on the floor.
My sister shrieked in horror, went to her daughter’s aid and found two remarkable things: 1) Her daughter was totally untouched, the glass notwithstanding, and 2) There was a perfectly formed hole in the glass door of the very shape of Sai Baba, complete with his afro and robe!
Now, she believed that Swami was real. However, she still was hesitant about becoming an actual devotee or student of Sa Baba.
Then one night, in deep meditation, Baba came to her as Great Beings do to deep meditators, and said to my sister, ‘Oh beloved manifestation of God…I do not care whether you believe in this form of divinity or any other form…You follow your heart. I will bless you no matter what path you are on. Love all, Serve all. My love is with you always’.
Within a few months, her sister went to India to see Sai Baba.
Danny from Tel Aviv
In 1995, while in India, I met this fellow named Danny from Israel. He was very pushy and had an attitude. Noon liked him too much. I found him interesting and hung out with him a bit. He just didn’t seem to fit in too much with anyone.
Then, one day, he got an interview with Sai Baba. One of his Tel Aviv group told me that when they got into the interview, Swami motioned for Danny to sit by him. Swami never said a word to Danny. He just held his hand lightly while he spoke with all the other folks in the interview. Then, he materialized a beautiful ring for Danny.
I am telling you…you have never seen such a change in one human being in your life! For the rest of the weeks we were in India, Danny and I hung out all the time. He was totally changed. He invited me to come to Israel and stay with him anytime. It was like the character in the Wizard of Oz was suddenly implanted with a heart filled with love, compassion, and humility. I was truly shocked by this event. I send Danny good thoughts and hope he is well.
Lady from Chicago, “G”
I am not allowed to mention her name, for privacy, but his is an interesting Swami miracle. The following is a summary of G.’s talk at a Sai Conference in St. Louis, Mo in 1987:
“I am a nurse. I was coming home from work. I got off the train and was walking to my flat. As I was walking, suddenly, this long-haired, orange-robed ‘brother’ appeared in front of me. He looked at me and said to me, ‘Why aren’t you looking for me?’ I was shocked and wondered ‘who was that crazy brother?’ ( Needless to say, this comment brought down the whole place in great laughter ). I was really puzzled about this. Then, I kind of forgot about it…but a few weeks later, again, almost in the same place at the same time on my way home, again, this wild fellow with the afro and the orange robe was suddenly in front of me…and this time, he said ‘You are not looking hard enough!’
Now, I was really thinking about this guy. I truly couldn’t figure out what was going on.
Then, one day, I was in a used bookstore, and saw a copy of Sam Sandweiss’ book ‘The Holy Man and the Psychiatrist’ (Which I totally recommend to everyone…it is one of the best books on Sai Baba). On the cover was a picture of that wild fellow…He was SAI BABA!
I found out everything I could about him. I found out that there was a Sai Center in Chicago. I visited it and found out that they were sending a group to India. I signed up and bought my ticket.
On the way to India. The only thought on my mind was to somehow find out if Swami could confirm to me that he actually materialized himself in front of me in Chicago two different times.
Fortunately, we got an interview. We entered the small interview room with Swami. He welcomed us and materialized vibhuti for the ladies in the room. Then he sat down and looked at me and said very firmly (addressing my thoughts()…’Yes, Yes, I was there!’
One of my own Sai Baba stories
This is my personal story. I still do not understand how this happened, but it did.
I had been to India before, but in 1992, I took five of my close spiritual fiends with me on a trip to see Sai Baba.. We flew from Minneapolis to London and then to Bombay on Air India. We landed at the Bombay airport, which was TOTAL CHAOS and bedlam.
We had never seen anything like this in all of our lives. This was major “India shock”. It seemed like there were more people of all shapes and kinds at that airport then there were in the rest of the world, all of them pushing, yelling, and trying to get something from you, whether it was to carry your bags, provide transportation, begging, or whatever. Of course, we all considered it a major miracle that our bags actually got through and that we actually got through customs.
We found out that we had landed at the International Airport and to continue on our journey to Puttaparthi, we had to first make our way to the Domestic Airport. This was a huge challenge in and of itself. We landed in the middle of the night after about 20 hours in the air. Finally, after a total chaotic hour, we made it to the Domestic Airport.
We sat there all night and got on Jet Airways to Bangalore at about 9 AM. This trip was pleasant and easy. We arrived in Bangalore, got our bags, and found a hotel in Bangalore. Fortunately, Swami was in his Whitefield ashram ( near Bangalore ) and not in Puttaprthi ( four hours away by taxi ). We also noted that it was very easy to find out where Sai Baba was. All you had to do was just about ask any person on the street or in a hotel or taxi or whatever. That was truly remarkable in our eyes.
We took a taxi the next morning to see Swami and had our first darshan. It was truly spiritual uplifting and was everything we had expected and traveled 34 hours around the world to experience. We had a lot of fun and met many people from many countries. We were surprised that there were so many people form the following countries: Germany, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Holland, and other South American countries, and so few from the United States.
After a few days in Whitefield, Swami moved back to Puttaparthi. We followed along and got rooms at the ashram. These were spartan rooms, with two beds, a sink, toilet, and cold shower. We had to buy mattresses in the village.
Every morning and every afternoon, we went to darshan. We got up at about 3:30 in the morning and went over to line up to see where we would be sitting in the mandir. With so many people there, we lined up in many lines. The head person of each line pulled a numbered chit from a bag holding them.
We discovered that if the head of your line picked chits 1-3, you could get a seat in the first row and have a chance to get an interview or some remarkable interaction with Swami as he walked through darshan. If you got chits 4-6, you were in the second row, which wasn’t too bad.
SEVA DALS: Seva Dals were volunteers from various parts of India who handled security. They certainly needed to have some order there. We discovered that Westerners ( except Italians ) generally were pretty orderly, and didn’t leap up, didn’t try to pile over people as Swami walked by, etc. In contrast, there were many folks from India, God Bless their souls, who did not have too much respect for those around them and without the Seva Dals to effect order, could have made a shambles out of a deep spiritual experience for the rest of us.
One day, I was in a line that got a good chit. I staked out a front row position. Swami came by and came right up to me. He said, “How many?”, meaning how many in the group. I said “Six”. He said, “Go”, meaning go up to the veranda and wait for him to finish and we had a very coveted interview! I stood up, and waved to all the rest of our group. They all saw me and they, too, headed up to the front on the veranda. We sat for a while as Swami finished darshan.
We came into the small interview room. There were six of us from St. Paul, MN, a Hindu couple, and six ladies from Chile. We sat down and waited in great expectation.
The first thing Swami did was manifest vibhuti for all the ladies. Jannie, my significant other, was sitting in the back next to me. As he poured the vibhuti from his hand into hers, he wiped his hands together and looked at me and said, “Just enough!” I was caught so much by surprise, having waited to see God in human form, and then having him make a joke about his own miracle absolutely cracked me up. I was so surprised, and when I am caught with humor by surprise, I always laugh right out loud. I did just that and laughed so loud that Swami looked at me and said “ Loud laugh”. I was embarrassed to be told that by the Lord of the Universe.
Many wonderful things happen in an interview. I have heard marvelous stories about many people’s interviews with Swami. Our first one was no exception.
I had a Buddha ring, made of silver, gold, and some stones, with little elephants around the side. It was a very big ring. My spiritual teacher, Dr. George, had given me the ring in 1976. He told me “I am giving you this ring for your protection. You will keep it as long as you need it and then it will disappear”.
Well, Swami motioned at the ring. I took it off my finger and handed it to him. He looked at the ring and said, “Whose face on ring?” I said “Buddha”, pronouncing it the customary way with the accent on the first syllable. He said, “No, Budd-ha’, Buddh-a’”, with the accent on the second syllable. He went on to say, “Face not clear…ring too big”. I said, “Swami, I would like YOUR face on the ring”, He smiled, and held the ring between his first and second finger right out in front of all of us, and blew on the old ring, and miraculously, it became the ring I have now, with his likeness on the face of the ring.
He put it on my pinkie finger and it fit! I was ecstatic! I have never tired in 19 years of looking at the ring. I am so grateful for him doing this for me.
Later in the interview, he did some entertainment for us. First, he spoke with the ladies from Chile. There was one older lady, who spoke English and Spanish. The other five younger ladies spoke only Spanish. Then, he materialized a beautiful LINGAM (see section on Lingams) for them and told them, “This is a special Lingam for Chile”. He handed it to the older lady and gave her instructions what to do with it, i.e., what ceremonies to use with it.
Then, he asked the older lady in English if they had any questions for him. Here is where the fun began. The younger ladies asked him a question in Spanish. The older lady would translate into English. Swami would answer in English. Then, as the older lady was translating into Spanish, each time she tried, Swami would interrupt her and say, “Bad translation, Bad translation”. She would start again, and he would then say, “Better, Better”. We really got a kick out of that and the Chilean ladies were really moved that Swami apparently understood their language.
BOAC Pilot acts like a kid
In 1995, we went to India twice. The first time, in January, we stayed on the ashram near a husband, wife, and son from England. The husband, David, was a BOAC pilot and had the normal English upper class air about him, though a very nice fellow. David and his wife were veterans of the spiritual path and India and Sai Baba. Their son, however, was on his first trip to India.
One day, they got an interview in the afternoon. We saw them by their room later. They were so happy, because Swami had manifested a ring for their son. It was a silver Krishna ring…having a raised image of Lord Krishna on the face of the ring. Krishna had his eyes closed. Early the next morning, they were knocking on our door, and I will never forget the Aristocratic and top professional BOAC pilot as happy as a little kid, because overnight, Lord Krishna’s eyes on the ring OPENED!
This is what is called a Leela…the sport of the Gods. Always remember, that the Great Ones have great and generous senses of humor!
Swami’s Sense of Humor
We had an interview in 1995. During that interview, Swami held out his hand and asked softly, “What’s in my hand?” Stupidly, we said, “Nothing, Swami”. He pulled his hand back, and said, “No…EVERYTHING”.
Well, we thought about that.and discussed it and agreed that Swami indeed had the entire creation in his hand, reflecting his status as a full avatar.
Then, two years later, essentially the same group of us got another interview. During this interview, again, Swami held out his hand and said, “What’s in my hand?” This time, a little bit smarter, we confidently said, ‘EVERYTHING, Swami”. He looked at us in surprise and said, “No, NOTHING!”
We really laughed about that. We realized that Swami had pulled a little joke on us after two years! We accepted it as awareness of his omnipresence and awareness of who we were.
During that trip, there was a young Dutch boy named Johannes, about 14 years old who adopted us. He liked to hang out with us Americans and we liked him. He heard me tell this story. He enjoyed it and all stories about Swami. Then, one day, Johannes and his family got an interview. He and his dad could not wait to tell us this story:
“We got into the interview, and the first thing Swami did was hold out his empty hand and say, ‘What’s in my hand?’ Before anyone could say anything, Johannes here said ‘BOTH EVERYTHING AND NOTHING, SWAMI’. Swami looked at him in mock surprise…and said ‘Smart boy’…then he playfully slapped him across the face and materialized a gold chain and pendant for him!”
The Chain was beautiful and of a special type of “woven gold”. One of our English chums explained to us the unique difficulties involved in creating such a chain. We really got a lot of laughs about that story.
An Indian Coincidence
One of our friends from Minnesota is named Susan. She and her husband and child were in India seeing Swami some years ago. She was feeling a little blue and was not too happy that they did not get an interview with Swami that trip. Then, a funny thing happened, which could probably only happen in India:
Susan was sitting in a hotel lobby in Bangalore. She was reading a book, waiting for her family to come back. She heard a woman sitting nearby speak in English. She said, “Oh, are your from the United States?” The woman said, “Yes I am”. Susan said , “Where are you from?” The woman said, “I am from Minnesota”. Susan went on to say, “Where in Minnesota?” The woman said, “The Twin Cities”. Susan said, “Where in the Twin Cities?” The woman said, “Plymouth”. Susan said, “Where in Plymouth?” The woman explained, and Susan then confirmed to her that she could literally walk a few blocks to the woman’s house! The woman turned out to be named Valerie and she and Susan became friends after returning to Plymouth, MN.
One of Joel Riordan’s Tales
Please note that I have never been able to verify this story from any other source, but to my knowledge, Joel never fibbed to me about Sai Baba and he had no reason to fib to me about this story. You may take issue with me on this story, but I am going to tell you it the way Joel told it to me in May of 1976 in Los Angeles:
“I was sitting with Swami one day in Whitefield. There were a few of us around. Swami announced to us that there were some undercover people from the Treasury Department of India in darshan that afternoon. We sat around while Swami went out and walked around. He made sure that he called these undercover men in for an interview. One of them was the number three man in the department.
They sat down and Swami told them that he knew who they were and they could ask questions. They apologized and said to Swami, ‘We apologize, but there have been rumors that you have been materializing money…i.e., counterfeiting money, and as you know, the economy of India is fragile and we had to investigate the rumors’. Swami was very sympathetic and said he totally understood their concerns. He put them totally at ease and manifested some vibhuti and jewelry for them.
Then, he explained to them that he did NOT materialize any money, per se, but that he did ‘APPORT” money from where it had been lost.
(“APPORTING” is the unique India technique as used by many fakirs and yogis over the centuries to transport objects from one place to another with no visible means of said transportation…i.e., through the unseen ). Well, these undercover guys felt a lot better, because apporting was something well within their experience in Indian culture. Swami went on to say that when there were shipwrecks, plane crashes, earthquakes, etc. where money was lost, or when folks put money “down the slot” in Hindu temples all over India, he apported it to the ashram there for his work. Now, the undercover guys were more comfortable. This was something pretty safe and proven ( in India, anyway ). Then, Swami materialized vibhuti and rings and stuff for each of them
Then, he summoned me, saying “Rowdy!” ( Note: Swami addressed Joel for many years as “Rowdy” ). I stood at attention, and he handed to a Hindu fellow and me a set of keys and directed us to a small building a little ways away. We led the undercover guys over to the building. We used the keys to unlock the door and entered. I got the shock of my life and so did the other guys, because the entire building was filled from floor to roof with orderly stacks of CUURENCIES!...Rupees, Dollars, Pounds, Francs, Marks, etc….We walked in the aisles amidst the stacks of all these currencies in total disbelief. The undercover guys absently took a sample bill here and there and looked at them. We were stunned.
We exited, locked the building, and raced back to Swami. He was smiling at our return. The undercover guys said excitedly, “Swami….we have to do an audit and check the serial numbers” Swami totally agreed with them and said “Big job…Very big job…better start right away”. The undercover guys agreed, and we returned to the building. We unlocked the door, and entered….and NOTHING! The building was completely empty! The undercover guys looked helplessly at the sample bills they still clutched in their hands. We exited the building again, locked the door, and went back to Swami. The undercover guys all threw themselves on the floor in front of Swami and bowed at his feet! They all became his disciples and never again was Swami investigated by the Treasury Department of India!”
Colonel Rashid, From India
In 1987, I had a good talk with a Colonel Rashid, from the Indian Special Forces. He was in charge of a detail which was providing security for a visit by the Vice-President of India to Swami ( Note: Nearly all major politicians going back to Indira Ghandi in India have been Swami devotees or at least pay lip service to same ). He was a very smart and good man. He told me, “I took my platoon to be blessed by Swami when I was a Lieutenant; I took my company to be blessed by Swami when I made captain; and I took my regiment to be blessed by Swami when I made colonel!” I thought to myself at the time, “ It would be great if every officer in every army on earth brought his unit to be blessed by Swami…we probably would have a lot less wars!” He thereupon told me a story of one of his former commanding officers when he was a captain and an aide to this general:
“My commanding general was an atheist and a Marxist. He was very close to the Russians…it was a time in the history of India where India was flirting with Marxism and was very close to the Russians and at odds with the United States. The general had worked with the British during World War II. A British officer had given him a gift of a beautiful pistol, with a white pearl handle. The general kept this pistol in his safe at home in New Delhi, over a thousand miles from Puttaparthi.
The general did not like “holy men” and considered them all fakes and leaches. He did not like religion in general and thought that India should implement the Soviet model of operating, including banning religions.
Then, he was really furious, when he found out that his wife and daughters had become Sai Baba devotees right under his nose! He was truly mad. He told me to organize a detail to go down to this place called Puttaparthi and we were going to end this stupidity.
I organized the trip, and we took a small detail to Prasanthi Nilayam, The Abode of the Highest Peace, Swami’s Ashram in Puttaparthi, AP, India.
We barged right in and pushed the pitiful security aside. We were all armed with side arms. We pushed our way into Swami’s modest private room. He smiled at us benignly. The general pulled out his service revolver, and pointed it at Swami, and said, “You will not steal my wife and daughters. One less holy man here or there will never be noticed. I am going to kill you right now!” Swami said to him, in the sweetest calm voice, “Oh, you are going to shoot me? Maybe you should use a better pistol”. Then, to the general’s ( and my ) total shock, Swami handed him the pearl-handled special pistol from the general’s safe back in New Delhi. The general held the pistol…visibly melted in front of my eyes…and totally change, knelt before Swami, kissed his feet and repented of his thoughts and ways. He begged Swami to accept him as a disciple Swami held his head gently and blessed him. Then, he asked us to leave and spent some time alone with the general.
The general did not say another word all the way back to New Delhi. For the rest of his life, he and his family were Sai Baba devotees!”
A combination Master George and Swani Miracle
When I first heard about Sai Baba in Los Angeles in 1975, I came back to see Dr. George in Wisconsin. I showed him a Sai Baba book with Swami’s picture on it. I asked him what he thought of Sai. His eyes gleamed, and he said “Wonderful”. Later, Dr. George encouraged some of his students to set up a Sai Baba center in his ( Dr. George’s) church in Milwaukee. This center still meets at Dr. George’s old church over thirty years later!
Some of the Sai people in Los Angeles considered Dr. George the Great American Yogi. They came out from L.A. to see Dr. George on a regular basis. On one such trip, Sylvia, Merry Dee, Bill, and his son were with Dr. George in George’s car en route from Milwaukee to The Farm ( about three hour drive ).
They were having troubles with the car. When they reached the town of Wisconsin Dells, they stopped to use the rest rooms. When they got back in the car, they couldn’t get the car started. Sylvia said that whenever she had problems with her car at home, she just threw a little Sai Baba vibhuti on the engine and it would run. So, Dr. George agreed with her, and she got out of the car, threw some vibhuti on the engine, and the car started!
They drove to Friendship, Wis. Thereupon, they stopped to get some lunch. As they got out of the car, Dr. George left it running and told Bill to go over to the gas station across the road, fill it with gas, and have the guy check it out to be sure everything was alright.
Dr. George and the two ladies went into the café and Bill drove the car to the station. He had the guy fill it. He asked him to check under the hood. The guy said the oil is fine, but HOW IN THE HECK DID YOU GET HERE? Bill said what are you talking about? The guy said, come here and look. Note: Bill was a graduate mechanical engineer and knew all about cars. The guy pointed to the ground from the battery…there was a three inch gap and no ground! Bill knew that it was physically impossible for the car to run….but it did! Bill and I laughed for quite a while when he told me this story. We figured that it was a “joint” miracle by Swami and Dr. George. Bill said that when he got to the café, Dr. George said with a twinkle in his eye, “How’s the car, Bill?”
In this little one-horse agricultural town about an hour north of Sacramento, lives a humble Hindu man from FIJI, of all places, who has never been to India. His name is Ammi Chand Magru. He has a wife and some nice kids and a modest house in Colusa. He worked a series of relatively humble jobs most of his life.
Then, one day his house became a Magic Swami Ashram. When I came by to visit the first time in 1994, there was an alter with over twenty pictures and statues emanating vibhuti, kum-kum, and other stuff. There was one picture of Swami’s feet which emanated HONEY. When we chanted, the stuff really came out. The kicker was a glass of water, out of which water kept coming with NO DISCERNABLE SOURCE. So much water came out, that Ammi had to put a bowl underneath the glass to handle the overdraft…and then a bigger bowl to cover the overdraft of the smaller bowl…and then a real big bowl handling that overflow! This holy water would really come out when we chanted. Ammi gave this water generously to all the folks who came to the twice a week chanting sessions.
On the wall opposite the alter, was a glossy paper picture of Jesus with the red heart ( the common picture that we have all seen ). I had my guitar along and Ammi asked me if I would lead our group and a few other folks who were there in Western devotional music ( since I do not do too well with the Hindu music, although I love to listen to it ). I started in leading everyone in English chants, and while we were doing this, THE PICTURE OF JESUS STARTED EMANATING HONEY!...right from the heart of Jesus on the paper picture flat on the wall, with no frame and nothing above, below, or behind it or around it! Just honey coming out of the picture. I have seen some remarkable things in my life and that was sure one of them.
Some years later, in 1998, we came by again, and the honey was still coming out of that picture….and the water kept flowing…and the vibhuti kept flowing out of pictures.
One sad note: For many years, the Sai organization in the U.S. did not allow Ammi’s house and group to be an “official” Sai center. This, I guess, is another case where organizations just do not understand saints and miracles.
My Ring, Phase Two
I told you about 1992 when Swami materialized the ring for me. Well, push it forward three years to 1995. Jannie and I were living in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. We were leaving for India in another week. It was early January, 1995.
One morning, I was sitting on our couch in the living room. I was watching Sports Center, getting the basketball scores from the night before in college and the NBA. I went over to the rest room adjacent to the living room. Then, I went to my little office adjacent the other way and sent a fax. Then, I went into the kitchen, adjacent back of the couch…got a cup of coffee, and went back to work on the phone on the couch. I looked at my finger where my Swami Ring was….It was gone.
I went into total panic! I dug the whole house up where I had walked. I thought that the ring must have fallen off my finger somehow while I was either in the rest room, the fax send or the coffee. Wrong…the ring was nowhere. Jannie came home later. She couldn’t find it either. She is very clairvoyant and we got quiet. We both realized that the ring had disappeared…dematerialized. I figured that I had done something wrong. I tried to figure out what it was and try to ask God to forgive me and get back in his good graces….to no avail.
We got to India, and the only thing on my mind was trying to get to Swami and ask him about the ring. Day after day went by. I would be in first row in darshan and he would walk by as if I didn’t exist. Then, after weeks of stewing and praying and thinking about the ring, one day, between afternoon darshan and afternoon bhajans, I was just sitting doing nothing relaxing. Then, to my total surprise, out walked Swami and he came right over to me and stood over me. He said, “What do you want?” Well, dear reader, I had been thinking of nothing other than that ring and why it had gone missing. I had spent weeks sitting there in India waiting and trying to get close to Swami…to no avail…to ask him about the ring…and suddenly there he was right in front of me asking what I wanted…and my mind went totally blank! I looked into his eyes and I couldn’t think a thought.
He pointed at his feet and said very sternly, “PADNAMSKAR!” I reached down and hugged and kissed his feet. He WHOPPED me on the top of the head. Then he turned and left. I learned later that by that little ceremony he had promised me to take me across the Seas of Samsara…past the state of delusion to liberation and oneness with God! I was ecstatic. I forgot about the ring and getting access to Swami. I also couldn’t figure out why in the heck I didn’t ask him about the ring. Oh well, you can’t have everything.
Then, a few days later, when I was least expecting it, we got an interview! I had tears of joy streaming down my cheeks as I sat up on the Veranda waiting for Swami to complete the darshan.
We entered the interview room and I moved right up to the front and sat right next to his chair, the closest person to him. I was literally inches away. He materialized vibhuti for the women in the interview. Then he sat down. Before he could do anything, I said quickly to him, “ Swami…what happened to the ring you made me?” Whap, whap…he hit me real hard on both cheeks!
The shakti went right up my spine and for a moment , I was in the state of Nirbikalpa Samadhi….the dream of my life since I read Yogananda’s book at age 16…My true goal. I was there for a short period of time…then, I floated back down into the room. As I regained my normal consciousness, I thought to myself, “Oh well, I don’t care if he gave me an entire jewelry store…the bliss of God is what I have sought and reached for my entire life”.
Then, after the interview was over, I was the last person out of the small room. He stopped me, put his hand on my shoulder, and looked me in the eye, and said, “Good man, good man…Don’t worry, I will get your ring back to you one of these days”.
I felt tremendous peace. I literally floated out of that interview and knew that Swami had my ring safe and sound and would give it to me whenever, even if in another lifetime or another dimension. Happy, happy, happy!
The Rest of the Story:
Please bear with me with this seemingly uninteresting detail…it is important: I had a little nylon bag in which I kept about 20 golf balls, tees, gloves, etc. specifically to throw in my suitcase when I traveled. In case I had the time and the opportunity to play a little golf when I was on the road, all I had to do was show up at the course, rent a set of clubs and play. During the six months after we got back from India, I can document NINE airplane trips plus one two week auto trip in which I threw the NYLON BAG in my suitcase or garment bag.
It was now August, 1995, and I was in Irvine, CA at some meetings. It was later in the evening and I called Jannie. She was very quiet and then she said, “I FOUND THE RING!” I couldn’t believe it. I said “How? Where?”….Well, if ever you needed physical proof of Swami’s omnipresence, this was it: 1) While cleaning out our big walk-in closet, and preparing to vacuum it, she removed all the stuff on the floor. As she reached the last corner, there was the RING…but, here is the kicker…it was sitting right on top of the NYLON BAG! 2) You could say, well, the ring walked way down the hall, past one bedroom, past another bedroom and bathroom, and around two corners into the closet….but there is absolutely no way you can say it could be on top of the NYLON BAG.
This story was so meaningful to me, because the next ten years were total disaster for me in the outer. Every possible bad thing that could happen did. I made every possible mistake and stupid move that I could. The things that got me through were my lifetime of meditating, my sense of humor, a few good friends who stuck by me through it all, and THE RING…symbolizing Swami’s omnipresence.
This story was told by a lady from Indiana at the Sai Conference in St. Louis, Mo in the late 1980’s. Unfortunately, I do not remember her name. However, I took these notes at the conference and can summarize her story with the essential details:
The lady was a little girl in Indiana and got polio back in the days when it was so prevalent and before they came up with the vaccine. I remember the sad cases of kids my age back then who had the misfortune of being afflicted with that terrible desires. The little girl was in an iron lung. Her prognosis was not good. She was probably going to be paralyzed the rest of her life. However, While in the hospital, she heard a divine voice assuring her that HE was with her…and against all odds, she recovered about 95%. She still had a few small leftovers from the disease….but not much. Many years later, when she heard Swmi’s voice, she realized that it was Him. She became a devotee and He, indeed, verified to her that it was Him.
There is an older gentleman in the Midwest, named Paul, who could not make it to India to see Swami in person. However, there was a lady from the Sai Center in his community who was going over soon. Paul spoke with her and asked her if she could hand-deliver a letter to Swami in darshan, if he would email it to her. She said , yes, she would print it out and deliver it. However, as we all know, sometimes when you are going on a trip for a month, and have so many details to deal with, things can get forgotten. The lady forgot to print out the letter and was unable to deliver it to Swami. She apologized to Paul and he understoon.
Then, he went onto his computer and opened the file where he had typed the letter. There, on the bottom of the letter, Swami had answered all his questions! Note: I am not saying that the Avatar of the Age is a computer hacker…just a kindly prankster now and then.
We spoke in 1992 with an older Hindu gentleman who was retired from India Civil Service and lived at the ashram. He told us this story about his sheepish brother:
“My brother liked to smoke. We all asked him to stop, because it offended everyone in the family. He was stubborn and kept this bad habit nonetheless. Then, one day , he got an interview with Swami.
Baba chastised him about his smoking. My brother said, “Okay, Swami, Okay, I will stop and never smoke again”
Well, he did his best, but fell off the wagon periodically. Then one day, Swami summoned him. Swami said to him that he had suspicions of my brother smoking again. My brother denied it vociferously. Then Swami held out his open palm…had my brother look into the palm, and to his shock, he saw a small motion picture with the visual evidence…i.e., a FILM of my brother hiding out behind a building and having a puff!
Needless to say, my brother has not smoked since”.
The Watch that Worked with no Workings
In 1987, some friends of mine from Australia which I had met at the ashram introduced me to an older Hindu gentleman living there. He was a very nice fellow and asked politely where I was from. He said he knew someone from India who had worked in Minneapolis. We did some more small talk. I noticed that he had s “Baba wristwatch” with a leather band. It was the Sai Babsa equivalent of a “mickey-mouse” watch…i.e., it had Swami’s smiling face on it and was made of plastic. There was one small difference: IT HAD NO INTERNAL WORKINGS! Yes, it had no mechanical or electrical movements. It had run continuously for FIFTEEN YEARS. Swami had materialized it for this fellow. Everyone had heard about it and the poor fellow had to show everyone who came by.
Some years later, I heard that Swami had relieved him of the responsibility and de-materialized it and the man did not have to show everyone the watch that worked with no workings.
How’s Your Smoking?
In an interview with Sai Baba, he looked at me and said, “How’s your smoking?” I was shocked. I never smoked in my life. I can’t stand it. I am a militant non-smoker. I have asked many people to put out their smokes. I do not allow smoking in my car or my house or my office…never have.
Thus, I blurted out in shock, “ Swami…I don’t smoke, I never smoked in my life!” He looked at me kindly and said, “Oh yes you did…you were about 15…you picked up one of your uncle’s cigarettes…tried a puff…and said, ‘Nah; “. The memory suddenly came back to me. Again, I blurted out, “How did you know?” He smiled lovingly and said simply, I was there”.
I can assure you dear reader that I never ever told anyone that story in my life and had totally forgotten about it myself until that moment.
Miracle for My Mother
My mom became paralyzed in 1974 when she was 56 years old. It was an inflammation of the spinal cord and got progressively worse over the years. She had a lot of pain and her paralysis got worse and worse as the years went on. She was able to remain home and not go into a nursing home thanks to a support group of all of us plus a remarkable invention by my uncle which enabled her to bathe herself…getting from her walker or wheelchair by a hydraulic device.
We were going to India in Jan., 1992. I was thinking that while there, I would ask Swami to do a small miracle for my mother, as in maybe healing her, or at the least, having one of the pictures in her home manifest vibhuti as many Swami pictures do for devotees all over the world.
On a separate track, I had been diagnosed as a diabetic. My blood sugar was off the map…normal was 60-120, and mine was over 400. My vision was blurred. I went to an eye specialist, Dr. Rice, in St. Paul, MN, who informed me that I had irretrievable eye damage from blood sugar and gave me a prescription for glasses. I could seem to see well at distances, but had to wear the glasses to read a newspaper or a book. My mother was really concerned about my diabetes. I was concerned about her.
We got to India, and I wrote a letter to Swami. It is the customary practice in India to give Swami letters, if you can…( Much of the time, even if you are in the front row in darshan, he will somehow manage to escape your letter handing tactics! ). It is always a good thing to be able to get your letter to Swami. I had this letter in my pocket for weeks and could not seem to get it to Swami. Even when we got an interview, I was so blown away that I forgot to ask him verbally or give him the letter, which said “Dear Swami, please do a small miracle for my mother!”
Finally, the last day we were there, I got front row in darshan. I was sitting next to some young soldier boys from an Indian Army unit who had come to receive blessing from Swami. They were nice young guys and very eager. Swami came out and stopped in front of the boys. They took padnamaskar and he materialized them all a bit of vibhuti for each of them. Then he stopped in front of me. I handed him the envelope, FINALLY. He held it, smiled, looked at me and held up his hand and said “WAIT”, and then walked on.
I was ecstatic. I KNEW that he would do a miracle for my Mom!
We headed back to Minnesota. My friend Bob and my partner, Jannie were on the plane with me as we were leaving Bombay. I leaned back in the seat, and started to read a Louis L’Amour small print paperback. Bob and Jannie both said simultaneously, “Where are your GLASSES?” To my shock, I was reading that small print paperback with NO GLASSES! It continued all the way back.
I tested my blood sugar. It was normal! I went to see Dr. Rice. He checked my eyes and said there was no damage or flaws whatsoever! I was really happy. I went to see my mom. I told her that apparently, Sai Baba had cured me of diabetes! She started to cry…tears of happiness…then she said to my shock, as she pointed to the picture of Sai Baba on her dresser, “I told him every day, ‘YOU HEAL MY SON’!
So, Swami DID do a small miracle for my mother…he cured ME!
For the reader, it has been 19 years since Swami healed me. I am now 67 years old. Because of unbelievable stress and problems in my outer life, my blood sugar rose again…and technically, I still am a diabetic, but I keep it under control by diet and exercise. My vision is still good. I can read normal print like a newspaper with good light. In poor light, or very small print, I use 1.25 magnifying reading glasses I get from the Dollar Store for one dollar. I am truly thankful to my mom and Sai Baba. There aren’t many 67 year old people on this earth who can read anything without glasses. My long-range vision is very good.
This story comes from our interview in 1995. We had a number of different people in this interview. There were five of us from Minnesota, some ladies from Canada, and some ladies from Poland.
I was sitting right next to Swami, within inches. He looked at one of the Canadian women and motioned her to hand her ring to him. She handed it to him. It was a very ornate gold, diamond, and ruby ring, exquisitely designed. Swami held it out to show me and said sweetly, “I made this one for her”.
I looked at her and she nodded assent. Swami looked at her and said gently, “I will make you a new ring…Nine Jewels”! She looked suspicious. She really liked the ring she had. Swami held the ruby ring inches from my face between his right thumb and right forefinger. With his left hand, he counted as he did Nine blows of his breath on the ruby ring. There, right before my eyes, the ring had transformed into a completely different ring, namely a NINE JEWEL ring! He showed it to me and said, “Nine Jewels”. Then, he handed it to her. He said to her, “You like?” She said, “Swami, I liked the other ring better”.
He said, “Oh”, very kindly, and retrieved the nine jewel ring, holding it with his right forefinger and thumb in front of my face again. He looked at me and counted with his left hand, and made one, two, three blows…the paused and looked at me and said “Enough”….and sure enough, there was the original ring back, with ONLY THREE BLOWS! Swami showed it to me and then handed it back to her. She was really happy. She liked that ring.
Solace for Lady from Poland
In that same interview, as I was sitting watching Swami doing his thing, I couldn’t help notice the face of a young woman from Poland. She was very sad. I did not know her. I never saw her again. However, I could see that she was hurting badly inwardly about something. I sent a small prayer her way.
Then, suddenly, without warning, Swami literally waved his hand and arm right in front of my face…almost hit my face again in that interview….adn he manifested from nothing a beautiful JAPAMALA…108 PRAYER BEADS on a string. The beads were light blue, gold, and white…just like UCLA’s school colors….and he reached over to the aforementioned Polish woman and put the Japamala over her head onto her neck! She burst into tears of joy. She cried and cried and said something I didn’t understand. She knelt down and hugged and kissed His feet! She stayed down there for a while. Swami paused, looked down at her and said, “You’re not falling asleep down there, are you?”
As usual, when Swami catches me by surprise, I burst out laughing!...too loud.... Swami looked at me.
My friend Stan’s Ring
We were lucky enough to get an interview in 1997. This time, there were ten of us, plus two young Italian men, and some other folks. One of us was my good friend Stan Brainin, from Santa Barbara, CA. Stan was the same age as me, born in 1944. He and I also had the same sense of humor, which meant that we spent most of our time laughing and making jokes about the planet earth in general, and everything else in specific, ourselves included.
In this interview, I saw something I had never seen when Swami materialized something…when Swami made a silver ring for Stan, as He moved his hand quickly and the ring came out, I saw what was like a small lightning bolt, in the act of creation. Others in the interview confirmed this, as well.
It was ( is ) a great ring and Stan was very moved.
Shirley MacLaine Story
In 1998, I walked on the beach for three hours in North Carolina telling Shirley MacLaine Sai Baba stories. She was very curious about Him and wanted to know all about him. She had asked me to come down to Capra’s studio in Wilmington, NC to assist her raise capital for a movie called “Bruno”, which was to be her directorial debut. She got a number of famous folks an dacademy award winners to play in the movie, including Penny Marshal, Cathy Bates, Gary Sinise, and others.
She is a very brilliant person, as well as a very down-to-earth good and kind person. She is far different from other “famous” people I have met and didn’t have that “famous” person ego and veneer.
We walked a long ways and I told her story after story. In fact, we walked for over 2 hours and I never repeated myself with wondrous Swami stories…. Then, she told me one:
She knew a lawyer from Los Angeles who was a film nut and went to see Sai Baba. He was able to take many pictures with his camera, but ran out of film. He got an interview. As Swami sat down, after materializing vibhuti for all the women in the room, he looked at Shirley’s friend, and said, “You’re out of film”. The fellow was shocked. He asked Swami how he knew that, and Swami dismissed the question and said, “What kind of film?” The fellow had an empty canister in his pocket. He pulled it out and handed it to Swami. Swami took it, looked at it, and went out of the room for a few minutes. When he returned, he handed the fellow a whole pile of nice new film! The fellow couldn’t believe it! He was ecstatic and told everyone about it.
When he got back to Los Angeles, he went to his photography shop and had the film developed. Later, when he came to pick up the photos, the man from the photography shop pointed at the pictures and said, “SAY…THAT FRIZZY-HAIRED, ORANGE-ROBED BUDDY OF YOURS WAS HERE A FEW WEEKS AGO BUYING FILM FOR YOU”!
You can think of all the implications of that story!
Swami Saves Folks from the IRS
I knew a couple in Chicago named Tom and Janice. They had a very interesting story…actually, quite remarkable in Swami miracle annals. One interesting thing…we met Janice in India, where she and her two kids traveled all over India by themselves. Janice was blonde, and both her kids ( age 4 & 7 ) at the time were blonde as well. We found it amazing that she and her kids traveled all over the world like that with such courage and no troubles.
Tom was in a high level financial business. It turned out that he owed the IRS over $290,000! The debt was growing all the time with interest and fees. They were being pressured and harassed.
What they did was write a letter every three days to India to Swami and mail it and ask for help. After a year of doing this, Tom accidentally got into a business deal that netted him over $500,000! They paid off the IRS and bought a nice house in Chicago which I stayed in.
Another Colusa Story
I told you about Ammi’s magic house in Colusa, CA. This story is a fun thing that happened some years ago regarding a wedding. I heard the story from the young groom and some folks from his Sai Center in the L.A. area:
A young man from California and his betrothed wanted to get married at the sacred Swami house in Colusa. They set the date for 11:00 A.M. on a Saturday morning.
The groom sent an invitation to Swami in India to attend the wedding. Of course, noone really expected Swami to show up in person, but the groom felt that he should invite his Guru to such an important event in his life.
The wedding was set…but as we all know, life comes along and has changes. One of the key participants in the wedding had a delay and the wedding was rescheduled for 1:00 P.M. the same day.
However, the video guy had already set up the video and had it aimed and ready to go. It was running and he forgot to turn it off when he found out about the delay. He went out to have a bit of lunch and came back to find the following VIDEO evidence that Sai Baba actually did appear at the wedding:
The camera was aimed at one of the pictures I told you about on the wall at Ammi’s temple which emanated normally GREY vibhuti all the time. At precisely 11:00 A.M. the original time of the wedding, this normally GREY vibhuti on the picture turned PURPLE!! I , myself, saw the purple vibhuti, and I had also seen the GREY vibhuti earlier.
In 1996, I was invited to play music at a conference in Edmonton, Alberta. One of the other performers was a man from England named David Bailey. He was a pudgy round fellow who played piano. He taught piano and had played music for some important people such as the Royal Family and others back in England.
He and I stayed in the same house in Edmonton for about a week. He had a real good sense of humor and we both told a lot of Sai stories. He told me one of the most interesting ones I ever heard, and as a musician, it was special to me. This is the story as David told it to me. Also, he had a video of the event, and I saw it on video as well:
Swami had a big music festival at the stadium in Puttaparthi where each country could send a musician who was a Sai devotee. David was England’s representative. The U.S. Sai Organization sent a piano player as well.
Now, for those of you who never have been to India, there is a lot of comedy for westerners….as in some very quixotic and strange things that seem to happen there.
For David and the American keyboard players, they were in shock when they came to play music for 250,000 people who had assembled for this event, and found that the “piano” they were supposed to play was an old beat-up 60 key ( i..e., too short!) electric keyboard!
Such world-class musicians normally had a grand piano. The word went out and the staff searched frantically for a real piano. Finally, with time running out, they found an old mothe-eaten STAND-up Piano, which was at a Christian mission not too far away and had to be trucked to the stadium. That was the good news. The bad news was that the piano was woefully out of tune!
It came time for the American to play. He took one look at the piano and refused to play. Swami was sitting on stage as the Master of Ceremonies. He motioned for David to come up and play. David told me that he gulped and went and sat at the piano. I saw him on the video and he and I had a major laugh as he tested the keys….Horrible! We went ahead anyway and played “Claire De Lune” technically perfect, in front of 250,000 people, but it sounded like three cats fighting in the back yard because the piano was totally out of tune.
After the first piece, Swami smiled benignly and waved his hand in blessing at David and the piano…and the piano miraculously went into PERFECT TUNING! David’s second piece was absolutely wonderful.
After hearing that story, I was hoping that maybe Swami would help me keep my voice in tune for the rest of my life.
A Good Birth
We were going to India in January, 1997. My partner, Jannie was concerned because her daughter, Sarah, was in her second pregnancy and not doing well. Her first pregnancy had a lot of troubles and the doctors were not all that enthused about her having another child, but she and her husband really wanted another one. Jannie is very clairvoyant, and she could feel that this new problem was possibly life-threatening.
She was thinking that maybe she should not go to India…but I convinced her that it would be better to be with Sai Baba and maybe He could help Sarah. She agreed and we departed in early January. There was a little complication, because Sarah and her husband were fundamentalist Christians and did not accept anything about Sai Baba or metaphysics, meditation, etc. The husband was exceptionally narrow-minded and totally scared of anything out of his religious frame of reference, especially Sai Baba.
We were there for a few weeks and one day we got an interview.
Swami asked Jannie in the interview, “And how are you?”
Jannie answered, “Very concerned about my daughter, Swami”
Now, remember that there are thousands and thousand of people from every country on earth there and Swami had no OUTER means of knowing the data he came up with as this story progresses here: Swami responded: “Yes, Stomach ( and he rubbed his stomach ).,..How many months?” ( He knew she was pregnant )…and Jannie said, “Two, Swami”…and he said very firmly, “No, Three!” Then he looked over at me and said, “I know!”…Then he said thoughtfully, “She doesn’t think your thoughts”…and then, he wrote in the air ( Quite often, we see Swami “writing” with his hand in the air….it is our thought that somehow he is re-writing the script of God’s great drama to help a devotee….which certainly happened in this case of Jannie’s daughter ). As he was writing in the air, he said softly, “I bless, I bless”… and as he said that and wrote in the air, I knew for sure that he would take care of Sarah and everything would be okay. Jannie felt that too and smiled and said, “Boy or Girl, Swami?”
Swami looked up at the sky so to speak and said, “Your daughter says, ‘If boy, then blah, blah, blah, and If girl, then blah, blah, blah…and her husband says ‘If boy, blah, blah, blah and if girl, then blah, blah, blah’ “… Note: I didn’t hear the exact words because I was so happy when I knew inwardly that Swami was going to heal Sarah that I missed the exact words….however, it didn’t matter, because Jannie remembered!
This interview was on January 28, 1997. We were back sitting in our kitchen on Feb. 5, 1997, about a week later. I was sipping coffee and Jannie was on the phone with Sarah, letting her know that we were back. Here are the fun things:
Sarah was in mint condition! She told Jannie that she had no pain for the past week and that the doc had said that she was in great shape with no problems.
2) Sarah told her mom that she was almost a month ahead of where she thought…like Swami had said. And
Jannie turned white as a ghost and her jaw dropped at least two feet when she heard Sarah say, “Yesterday, I said to Jonathan, ‘if boy, then blah, blah, blah…and if girl, then blah, blah, blah’…and he said, ‘if boy then blah, blah, blah and if girl, then blah, blah, blah’ “….They said the exact words on Feb. 4 that Swami said in India on January 28th!
The other sweet thing about this story is that Swami blessed and healed Sarah even though she had no idea He was doing it and she did not believe in him in the slightest. That was cool.
Swami has been gracious to people of all social and economic levels. He also has ignored people of all such levels. One humorous example is when John Lennon came to the ashram.
A man named Howard, from San Francisco, who is now a CPA, but was, then, a young hippie in India, told us this story. John Lennon came to Sai Baba’s ashram one day. Howard’s friend, a young woman appropriately named India ( who now owns and runs a conference center in Montana ) raced over to Sai Baba, and excitedly informed him that John Lennon was here!
Swami looked at her and Said in his sweet voice, “John LEMON, John LEMON? Who is John Lemon?” She said, “No, John LENNON!...He’s a BEATLE!” Swami looked quizzically down at the ground, as if looking for the insect named “beetle”, and said, “ A BEETLE? Coming to see me?”
Well, poor John Lennon spent a day or two at the ashram, and Sai Baba completely ignored him. He never so much gazed in his direction and John left. We can only surmise as to all the meanings of this
Sai Baba and Music are inseparable. In the middle of a discourse, he will start to sing. His songs are all devotional songs to God, in one form or anoher. Yogananda once stated that in America, songs are dedicated to romance, but in India, songs are to God. Well, Swami has elevated this mode to a new level.
Most likely, he is the most prolific songwriter of all times. He has written many, many songs and taught his devotees to sing them. All over the world, on a weekly basis, little Sai Baba Centers meet and sing devotional songs. In the Sai Baba world, these songs are called “BHAJANS”. It is a custom that everyone in the center leads a Bhajan. The leader sings a line and the rest of the group repeats.
I, personally, because of my American folk music background, and being a guitar and banjo player, have always found it difficult to play or sing bhajans in Telegu, Sanskrit, or Hindi, with the expanded tonal system of Indian music. I find it difficult to sing in a language which I do not understand and I cannot fit the chords to the songs into my parameters. However, there always has occurred a miracle for me, the previous statements notwithstanding: I have never sat in on a bhajan session even if I could not really relate to the words and music WITHOUT receiving a major INNER spiritual blessing!