1.Dream of grassy area with park bench:
Several years back, I had a dream that I was sitting on a park bench in a grassy area right in front of the large, high wall that is in back of Sai Kulwant Hall at Prasanthi. Baba walked out of the gate in the wall and turning to His right, walked over to the park bench and sat down next to me. I put my arm around him. He kissed me on the cheek.
At the time that I had that dream, there was no grassy area in front of the wall. In fact, the year before, I had been in Prasanthi and that area was quite sandy. I know that for sure because that is where we men would queue up to get ready to go into Sai Kulwant Hall.
The following year after I had the dream, I went to Puttaparthi again. The men no longer lined up in that area near the high wall. The queues were now on the other side behind the mandir on the concrete. I didn’t notice that the sand in front of the high wall had been planted over with grass. I also didn’t notice that there was a park bench on the grass. Then one day, after I had been in the ashram for several days, I exited the mandir area in the rear and walked behind the high wall. Suddenly I realized that there was grass where there had been sand and, yes, there was a park bench, placed on the grass just like in my dream. I realized that Baba was letting me know that my dream was true.
2.Baba blesses Draft of Apollonius Book:
I had written a book about Apollonius of Tyana. Apollonius had traveled to India and came back to the west espousing unity of religion. He traveled the Mediterranean area re-consecrating temples to different Graeco-Roman Gods. Because he essentially was a vedantist, as I wrote the dialogue and message of the book, I put Baba’s words in his mouth.
I went to Puttaparthi with the manuscript. I wanted Baba to bless it. My son Gar arrived in Puttaparthi a couple of days after my wife Patty and I had arrived. On that day, I was in the middle of the men’s side sitting before the Mandir. Sai Kulwant hall was packed. There were thousands of people sitting under the ornate roof. I was seated 20 rows back in all directions from the path that Baba would follow from his room in the Poornachandra building on his way to the Mandir. There were so many people between me and the lanes where Baba would walk, there was no way I could give the draft to Him.
Suddenly Gar showed up and squeezed in next to me. I couldn’t figure out how he managed to find me in that mass of humanity, let alone wind his way to my side, but he did. When I told him that I had the draft that I wanted to give to Baba, he asked me if he could give it to Him. Of course I said that would be okay but I told him that I didn’t want him to jump over all those people. There were just too many between Baba and us. I told him we would wait for another day, another darshan.
Then Baba appeared and came down the main path into Sai Kulwant Hall. After walking the length of the hall, he, took a right toward the Mandir. The people between us and Baba turned to our right to follow His every step. As they moved, a three-foot path suddenly just opened up. Where that space came from for that path is inexplicable. It was like the parting of the Red Sea! Gar just got up, walked unobstructed directly to Baba and handed Him the manuscript! Baba put his hand on it in blessing. As Baba moved on, Gar returned to where I sat. As he approached me, the path so recently created, folded in and disappeared, filled in by the mass of humanity seated there.
When Gar reached me, he threw the Apollonius manuscript at me, and sat down in a state of Samadhi. I couldn’t wake him up. He sat in front of me, eyes closed, and seemed to be unconscious. After darshan, I waited about 10 minutes for him to awaken. Finally a Seva Dal Leader asked me to leave Sai Kulwant hall because Darshan was over. However, he let Gar stay. Later, as Gar came out of Samadhi, the Seva Dal approached him and told him that he was blessed! Later, Gar found his mother, my wife Patty, while she was reading the posted “thought for the day.” He came up behind her, put his arms around her and he was shaking. Patty asked him why. He said that Baba had “zapped “him.
Later that night, as we were lying on our cots in our room, I asked him why he had thrown the manuscript at me when he came back from Baba. He said “because it was so hot.” I was shocked! I hadn’t felt any heat coming from the book. My feeling is that Baba blessed the manuscript, yes, but more importantly, He had graced Gar with great spiritual energy.
3.Vibhuthi from Baba’s Hand: I was at Puttaparthi sitting in Darshan with two friends from back home. Baba came up in front of us and waved his hand in a circle right in front of me. I believe that I saw the vibhuthi coming out of His hand. As it did, His hand swooped down on the vibhuthi and caught it in mid-air. None fell on the ground!! When He placed it in my hand, it was warm! I couldn’t believe it. No ash hit the ground and it was warm in my hand as if it was ash from an oven or a fire. I feel very strongly that the ash represents His Grace and that it was a symbol of His blessing and gracing me.
4. Dream about Leslie and Griffin: When my daughter Leslie called us in November of 2008 that our grandson, Griffin was diagnosed with cancer, Patty and I flew into Norfolk (Virginia Beach) that same day. That night in our hotel room, I had a dream. I was sitting next to a slightly raised stage (2 ½ feet high or so). Baba was sitting cross-legged on the stage near the edge. He leaned over and down toward me and said: “There is a woman inside the gate of the ashram. She is asking that people sign a petition. Tell her to leave the ashram. You can’t take petitions here.” I said “Baba, how am I going to tell her to leave?”
I was nervous about hurting her feelings. Baba said: “Go, tell her to leave!” I did as I was told and asked the woman to leave as petitions were not allowed inside the ashram. I went Back to Baba who was sitting in the passenger side of a Stutz Bearcat type convertible car. I got on the running board and told Baba that I had done as he had asked. Baba leaned over and started the car and drove off steering it from the passenger side, laughing out loud while I hung on for dear life standing on the running board.
My interpretation of the dream: Leslie wouldn’t rely just on praying to Baba. She wanted help for her son and so she prayed (petitioned) many divine beings and saints including Jesus, Padre Pio, Mother Mary and others in addition to Baba. So, Baba was telling me, that it was okay. Leslie would go outside the ashram and ask (petition) everyone she knew about, all the saints, Jesus, Buddha, Baba everyone to help Griffin. And, that was okay for Leslie. Baba’s driving of the car and laughing while I hung on for dear life was Baba’s message that He was in charge or driving the show no matter that Leslie prayed to everyone. He was in charge of Griffin. My standing on the running board while Baba drove madly forward meant that I had to stay focused on Baba for Griffin’s healing.
Baba did take six letters on Griffin’s behalf into His hands, and Griffin is now cancer free. You see, Baba is in charge
5.Trip to Dubai and Puttaparthi: My employer, Naeem Khalid asked me to go to Dubai to represent him on business. I thought that if I went that far East, I’d like to go on to India to see Baba in Puttaparthi. Since I only had one week of vacation left for the year, I thought that if I went to see Baba, I’d have to take vacation time and that would have been unfair to my wife Patty as she wouldn’t be sharing the vacation. I knew if I asked Naeem if I could have the extra days, he would have said yes with no problem, but I didn’t think that fair to him. Plus Baba had told me on an earlier visit in 2001: “You don’t have to come here anymore.” So, after kicking all that around in my mind, I said to Baba: “If you want me to come, you have to tell Naeem to tell me that I should go on to India. I thought that was a stringent test because Naeem didn’t know much about Baba and certainly didn’t accept Him as an avatar. Well, a couple of days later, Naeem called me into his room and said, “Chuck, since you’re going all the way to Dubai, why don’t you go on to visit Sai Baba in India for a couple of days.” I was floored!! I stammered that I’d look into it. When I told Patty, I asked her if she would come with me. She said “Yes.”
- The next day I told Naeem that I would pay for Patty’s trip and I would pay for my part of the trip from Dubai to India and back to Dubai. He could just pay for my Dubai business portion of the trip. He said that was fair and asked me to call the travel agent to see what the costs would be for the different legs of the trip. When I did call the agent, he said that he couldn’t break it down that way. I asked why. He said, “because it costs $1800.00 to go from JFK to Dubai and back, but it only costs $1200 to go from JFK to Dubai, then on to India, back to Dubai and then on to JFK! In other words, my trip to Baba would be for free!! Not only did Baba arrange for Naeem to tell me to go on to India, He arranged that the trip would be for free!! My Divine travel agent!
6. Kidney Stone in Puttaparthi: Patty and I left Dubai and went to Puttaparthi. The first night in Puttaparthi, I went to bed with a pain in my left side. Around 10:00, I couldn’t stand it. The pain was so intense. I told Patty we had to go to the Sai General Hospital. Patty went with me. We woke up the doctor on duty that night. She diagnosed my problem immediately as a kidney stone although she didn’t tell me. She gave me a morphine shot. Within 15 minutes, I was pain free and able to go back to our room and bed. Everything was fine the next day until about 8:00 p.m. Then the pain returned. I went back to the hospital. The Doctor told me it was a kidney stone but she was reluctant to give me another shot. She did give me a chit to go to the Sai Baba Super Specialty Hospital, which had a renal department. However, that night, the pain really intensified as the morphine wore off. At around 11:30, I couldn’t stand it. I got up to go back to the hospital. I had to have another shot. The pain was so intense! As I got dressed, I was upset with Baba and in my mind said: “Baba why are you allowing this? I have come all this way for just 2 ½ days and a few darshans. If I wind up in the hospital, I’ll miss those darshans. That’s not right.” Instantly, I felt no pain!! I couldn’t believe it. I stood in the middle of the room for a few moments. The pain was gone, totally gone! I felt normal. Gingerly, I undressed, sat on the edge of the bed for a few moments hoping not to jar the pain back into existence. After a few minutes, I gently reclined down on to the bed and actually fell asleep. I slept soundly.
It was obvious to me that because of my complaint the prior night, Baba took the pain. The next morning I went to darshan feeling no pain in my side. After darshan, the pain started to flair up. Patty and I and Shaker (an Indian boy that we had brought with us from Swamini Lalitananda’s orphanage in Bangalore) and the young man who was his chaperone, all piled in together in a motorized rickshaw and headed out to the Super Specialty Hospital. By the time I got there, I was really in pain. The staff immediately put me in a room and administered another morphine shot.
I spoke to a doctor and told him we were leaving after darshan in the evening to begin our journey home to the USA. He gave me prescriptions for medication that he said would take us back to America with no pain. I made the afternoon darshan and then we headed back to Bangalore. The entire rest of the trip, I had no pain. When I got home, I had an ultra sound and an MRI and no kidney stones were found.
I believe that having a kidney stone was karmic. However, because I was more concerned about not being able to attend darshans than I was about the medical problem, I think Baba took the pain that second night and arranged it so that I could get home with no pain.
When we were in Dubai, we were told that if we had a medical emergency, we would have to pay as there was no government funded medical insurance for foreigners visiting the country. If the kidney stone problem had happened in Dubai, it would have been very costly. I guess I had to have the stone but Baba kept me painless without cost.
7. Be Happy: From 2007 through 2011, I have been the Devotions’ Coordinator for the Northeast Region. In that capacity, I visited and spoke to every center in the region during my first two (2) year term. The main thrust of my talks was that Baba exhorts us to “be happy.” And so, I discussed what we could do in our lives to “be happy.”
In December of 2010, as we have each year for several years, our Glastonbury Sai Center took up a coat/sweater/boots collection for the poor. Every year, we bring the collection to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which has a distribution center giving clothes to the needy. A lady named Marilyn was in charge and she would meet me at the distribution center and I would give her the collection. This year, Linda Clark, a center member, brought coats to the center but I forgot to take them with me for delivery to St Mary’s. The next day, Friday, I called Linda on her cell phone to see when I could visit her home to pick up the clothing. She said she wouldn’t be home for a couple of hours, but she had the clothes in the trunk of her car. I asked her where she was at that moment. She said “in Rocky Hill.” I said, “my office is in Rocky Hill. Where in Rocky Hill are you?” She said, “on the Silas Deane Highway.” I said, “I’m on the Silas Deane Highway. What number Silas Deane Highway?” She said # 2120 next to the “Sai” (named afer Shirdi Baba) Grocery Store.” I said “I’m at 2138 on the other side of the Sai Grocery Store!” She immediately came over and dropped off the coats. I brought the coats to St Mary’s and gave Marilyn the coats. As I was leaving, she turned to me and said: “Mr. DiFazio, Be Happy!!” I drove out of there with a smile on face. I felt, with certainty that Baba had orchestrated the whole episode. It seemed he was saying I’m right nearby and I’m in charge of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to make things happen and, by the way, you spoke to the centers on my message, “Be Happy,” well, you should take that lesson to heart yourself and BE HAPPY!”
8. Accident story on Rte. 84 and at Puttaparthi: One evening after sunset, I was driving toward Hartford Connecticut on Rte 84 eastbound. I was in the left lane. The car in front of me was a few car-lengths in front of me. All of a sudden, that car stopped cold in our lane. I started yelling, “Baba, Baba” and pulled the car to the right. There was a car coming up on that side. I thought I was a goner, but in a flash, I saw myself passing the car on the left. It appeared that you could have placed a piece of paper between that car and my driver’s side door. I fully expected the car on the right to squish me too. Then as quickly as it started, I was free, never hitting the stopped car on my left and never struck by the car coming on my right. I instantly understood that my calling “Baba” brought His Grace and miraculous “save.”
Several months later, I was in Puttaparthi. I had walked down to where Baba had lived as a child and visited the graves (Samadhi) of His parents. I was walking back up the main street with two other Americans. We were about 50 yards from where the road took a 90 degree left turn. We were all walking in the street. I was closest to the center of the road. A large tractor pulling a huge trailer fully lalden came up behind me. The trailer’s width extended out on either side of the tractor. The tractor went by me, but the extended front left corner of the trailer struck my right shoulder, spinning me around. I started to fall and was thrown back-side first into the side of the large left back wheel of the trailer and then I was thrown forward. When I hit the ground, I took immediate inventory and I realized that I was bruised and had pain, but nothing was broken. In fact, I was more concerned for the young man driving the tractor who was shocked by the accident.
Much later, I had an insight that I was supposed to have an accident that day on Rte. 84. When I called His Name, his Grace saved me but, I still had karma to face. I had to have an accident and that was taken care of by the accident in Puttaparthi. His Grace spared me death or serious injury but I still had to have an accident.
9. Fr. Diorio: Four years ago, my grandson Griffin, my daughter, Leslie, son-in-law Louis, and my wife Patty drove up to Massachusetts to see Fr. Diorio, a loving Catholic priest who has the spiritual gift of healing. Louis was driving. I was in the back seat prayerfully talking to Baba in my mind. I told Baba that some day I would like the grace to be able kiss the palm of His hand. In my head, I heard the words: “If you want to kiss the palm of My Hand, kiss Father Diorio’s Hand.” I knew it was Baba talking to me and so I resolved to try, somehow, to kiss Fr. Diorio’s hand.
Now, I had to figure out how to do that. When we arrived, Fr Diorio started to say Mass. I thought that if I went to communion, I could ask him then, but I thought better of that as it wouldn’t have been fair to others who would be taking communion from Father’s hand after me. I sat in the 2nd or 3rd. row on the far right side of the church facing the altar. I thought that if, after saying Mass, Farther walked around the whole church and stopped right in front of me, I would take that as a sign that I should ask him if I could kiss the palm of his hand.
Sure enough, after mass, he walked around the church healing people, first up the left aisle, across the back and then down toward the altar between the center pews and the right hand pews. He was soon directly in front of me, with his back to me as he blessed someone in the center section. Then, suddenly, he turned and looked right at me. He was standing only a couple of feet from me. I leaned forward and said: “Father, may I kiss the palm of your hand?” He looked at me for several long seconds and then said “Yes.” I think he was getting a message spiritually that it was okay. He offered his palm and I kissed it thankfully, saying inwardly: “Baba, I kiss the palm of your hand.”
Then, with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, Fr. Diorio offered his other hand to me and said:“you can kiss this one too!” I was elated! My feeling was that Baba had controlled the entire episode and was teaching me that He is everywhere, in everyone. He showed me that if I kissed Fr. Diorio’s hand with loving intent that I was kissing Baba’s hand, then that is exactly what I was doing. He and Fr. Diorio, and in fact, He and all souls are one.
10. Karuna Mayi: Many years ago, I went to New Jersey to see Karuna Mayi, a woman from India who is considered by many to be a great saint or a partial Avatar. She was visiting the United States. I was concerned about going to see her as I was a Baba devotee. I was afraid that by visiting her, I was somehow being disloyal to Baba.
When she entered the room where we had been waiting for her, she sat down and smiled. I loved her smile and instantly felt comfortable in her presence. She picked up her cowl and put it over her head. I was looking at her profile. Suddenly, I realized that it wasn’t her face that I was looking at. It was Baba’s! I closed my eyes for several seconds. When I opened them again and looked at her, the face of Baba was still apparent.
Many years later (in Nov. 2011), I visited Ted Henry’s site, “Souljourns” on the internet. Ted had put up a new video of his interview of Karuna Mayi. As I watched that video my eyes narrowed and all of a sudden, I felt I was looking at Baba. In that moment, Karuna Mayi became Baba.
That night I had a dream of Baba. In the dream, Baba drove up in a car. I looked into the car at Him and although it was Baba, dressed as Baba etc., His face looked like Karuna Mayi! What did all this mean? Upon reflection, the lesson He was teaching me is that All is One. He is in everyone. All forms are His.