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I often tell you not to identify even me with this particular body. You do not understand. You call me by only one name and believe I have only one form, but there is no name I do not bear and there is no form which is not mine.

Sathya Sai Baba

Kalki Avatar - the Prediction Just before the beginning of the current age in which we are living (known in the East as the Kali or Iron age), the sage Markandeya recorded a conversation he had with God Vishnu (the embodiment of the preserver aspect of the trinity). In a passage in the Mahabharata text, it is recorded that Vishnu spoke of a time during the darkest period of the Kali Age when human values would deteriorate, violence and injustice would be widespread, falsehood would triumph over truth, oppression and crime would be prevalent. Vishnu told how he would take a human birth in order to intervene and set the world on a new course. Here is the text of that statement.

When evil is rampant upon this earth, I will take birth in the family of a virtuous man, and assume a human body to restore tranquility by the extermination of all evils. For the preservation of rectitude and morality, I will assume an inconceivable human form when the season for action comes. In the Kali Age of sin I will assume an Avatar form that is dark in color. I will be born in a family in south India. This Avatar will possess great energy, great intelligence and great powers. Material objects needed for this Avatar's mission will be at his disposal as soon as He will think of them. He will be victorious with the strength of virtue. He will restore order and peace in the world. This Avatar will inaugurate a new era of truth, and will be surrounded by spiritual people. He will roam over the earth adored by the spiritual people.

The people of the earth will imitate this Avatar's conduct, and there will be prosperity and peace. Men will once more betake themselves to the practice of religious rites. Educational centers for the cultivation of Brahmic lore, and temples, will reappear again everywhere. Ashrams will be filled with men of truth. Rulers of the earth will govern their kingdoms virtuously. The Avatar will have an illustrious reputation.

The Avatar mentioned in this text is referred to as the Kalki Avatar. The advent of this Avatar has been known of and predicted for thousands of years in various holy books and obscure texts including the Book of Revelations, Nostradamus in his book Centuries, The Ocean of Light (an ancient Persian manuscript of the revelations of Prophet Mohammed),and the Shuka Naadi Granthi - containing detailed prophecies of the Kalki Avatar written on hundreds of palm leaf manuscripts by Sage Shuka over 5000 years ago. The time of great evil mentioned in the prophecies corresponds to the Twentieth Century with its World Wars, regimes of mad dictators and authoritarian rulers, nuclear weapons, famines, diseases, pollution, crime, violence, catastrophes, and worldwide decline of morality.

Mystery of the Avatar The Western mind is capable of believing in Jesus as the Son of God, at least on the part of some of the population, but seems unable or unwilling to grasp the concept of the Avatar as an incarnation of God. By contrast, the average Indian is aware of historical Divine personalities and Eastern literature is full of descriptions of the various Avatars. The Bhagavata text is precisely about the various Descents of the Divine on Earth.

Millions of people around the world accept Sathya Sai Baba as the Avatar of this age. How do we know that Sathya Sai Baba is truly an Avatar? This question must be answered by each person individually. Skepticism is natural and must be overcome by evidence and intuition. The important thing is to make a proper investigation. Sai Baba himself says:

No one can understand my Mystery. The best you can do is to get immersed in it. It is no use your arguing about pros and cons; dive and know the depth; eat and know the taste. You must dive deep into the sea to get the pearls. What good is it to dabble among the waves near the shore, and swear that the sea has no pearls in it and that all tales about them are false? So also if you must realise the full fruit of this Avathar, dive deep and get immersed in Sai Baba. Half-heartedness, hesitation, doubt, cynicism, listening to tales, all are of no avail. Concentrated complete faith - that alone can bring victory. In truth you cannot understand the nature of My Reality, either today, or even after a thousand years of steady austerity or ardent inquiry, even if all mankind joins in that effort. But, in a short time, you will become cognizant of the Bliss showered by the Divine Principle which has taken upon itself this sacred body and this sacred Name. Your good fortune, which will provide you this chance, is greater than that which was available for anchorites, monks, sages, saints, and even personalities embodying facets of Divine Glory. Do not allow doubt to distract you; if only you will install in the altar of your heart steady faith in My Divinity, you can win a vision of My Reality.

The Divine in Human Form When Krishna lived on the Earth, few were aware of his divinity although he successfully accomplished his mission of ridding the earth of many powerful and evil personalities. Shirdi Sai Baba was an incarnation of God Shiva but most regarded him as a very great saint. Only a few of his closest devotees knew him to be an incarnation. It is difficult to grasp the implications of the Divine in human form. If we accept the Advaitha philosophy that there is One only without a second; nothing but God throughout the manifested universe and beyond, then logically we are in God, God is in us, we ARE God. The Atma within us - our innermost awareness is the Eternal Witness, a spark of the Eternal Flame. God enjoys the play of this universe by sporting inside the various manifested forms as the Atmic awareness of each. All this apparent diversity is the only the illusion of Maya - the formless taking on form, the Eternal manifesting in time and space and then indwelling each form as the Atmic spark within. Thus He sees all, knows all, is all. Really the form of the Avatar is like a focal point wherein this colossal Divine force can contact the human in the tiny knot of energy that is our Earth, on the fleeting time scale that is a human lifetime. But the Avatar is in no way limited by the constriction of bodily confinement because He is one with the source of all.

The Avatar takes the human form and behaves in a human way so that humanity can feel kinship with the divinity. At the same time he rises to godly heights so that mankind also can aspire to reach God. People could not stand the Lord in super-human form. ... If the Lord came in all His majesty people would be afraid and would have no opportunity to know and love him. It is only when the Lord comes in a human body that people are able to approach him and learn to love him and know him even a little bit. But one should not make the mistake of thinking that is all there is. ... For instance, the airplane flying high in the sky descends to the airport. But one should not make the mistake of thinking that the plane is a ground machine because they see it on the ground. In like fashion, although the Lord has made a landing here on earth, so to speak, He is not limited to His human form. I am new and ever ancient. I come always for the restoration of Dharma (righteousness), for tending the virtuous and ensuring them conditions congenial for progress, and for educating the "blind" who miss the way and wander into the wilderness. Some doubters might ask, can Parabrahman assume human form? Well, man can derive joy only through the human frame; he can receive instruction, inspiration, illumination only through human language and human communication.

The Divine Lives in the Hearts of All The Avatar appears to be human and we are misled into thinking of him in these terms but the Avatar himself warns us against this error. Sathya Sai Baba once responded to a devotee who asked when he should return for another visit: "First understand that you do not need to come back to see this little body", he said pointing to himself. Then he added - "Find me in your heart".

In his previous embodiment as Shirdi Sai Baba (1835 - 1918) he made a similar statement to his devotees:

"Though, I am here bodily, still I know what you do; beyond the seven seas. Go wherever you will, over the wide world, I am with you. My abode is in your heart and I am within you. Always worship Me, Who is seated in your heart, as well as in the hearts of all beings." Shirdi Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba, who is Shirdi Sai Baba come again, echoes this thought in many of his statements:

You may be seeing me today for the first time, but you are all old acquaintances for Me. I know you through and through. My task is the spiritual regeneration of Humanity through Truth and Love. If you approach one step nearer to me, I shall advance three steps towards you. Wherever you walk, I am there. Whomsoever you contact, I am in that person. I am in each. From each, I will respond. You can see Me in one place and miss Me in another. You cannot escape Me or do anything in secret.

Reason for the Divine's Descent into Matter In past ages, when the power of evil reached a certain stage, the Divine descended into form to suppress the evil and to foster the good. In the Kali age in which we are living, evil has reached new depths. Of all the various ages - each with its own characteristics, the Kali age is the age of the deepest descent into matter and form, away from spirit. We have passed through the lowest point of the pendulum, the dark times of this 20th century and are now beginning the upward climb. The appearance of the Avatar coincides with the darkest hour of the Kali Yuga.

People tell me that mankind is on the brink of destruction, that the forces of hypocrisy and hate are fast prevailing on all continents, and that anxiety and fear are stalking the streets of every city and village in the world; there is no need to tell me this, for I have come precisely for this reason. When the world is on the verge of chaos, the Avatar comes to still the storm raging in the hearts of men. Prasanthi, the higher Peace, will be established soon; the demonic deviations from the straight Divine Path will be corrected. Dharma will be revived and re-vitalised in every human community. God incarnates for the revival of Dharma (Righteousness) which includes morality, truth, virtue, love and a host of other qualities that uphold the communities of man as well as the individual. The other purposes usually given - serving the devoted, destroying the wicked, re-establishing the sacred tradition - these are all secondary. For, he who is righteous will be guarded from harm, by righteousness itself; he who is unrighteous will fall into disaster through the evil that he perpetrates. The one task includes all else. For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of evil-doers and for establishing righteousness on a firm footing, I incarnate from age to age. Whenever asanthi, or disharmony, overwhelms the world, the Lord will incarnate in human form to establish the modes of earning prasanthi, or peace, and to re-educate the human community in the paths of peace.

Mission of the Avatar The Avatar comes to transform humanity but this must take place through the transformation of individuals making up humanity. To raise bread we mix a pinch of yeast into the dough and the action of the yeast spreads throughout the mix, eventually leavening the entire loaf. So the Avatar works through individuals, transforming them into the divinity they essentially are. The light from the many individuals gradually dispells the darkness of ignorance, impacting all of humanity.

Through interviews with devotees who come to see him Sai Baba reveals that he knows intimate details of their lives including physical problems and issues dominating their lives, sometimes even events they themselves have long forgotten. Though he left school at the age of fourteen saying "My devotees are calling me" and never read a book, he has been known to speak to people from all over the world using words from their own language. Though he never read the Indian classics he liberally sprinkles appropriate stories from them in his talks. He quotes long passages in the ancient mother language Sanskrit, and assists Brahmic priests in correctly carrying out elaborate Vedic rituals. He tells of undocumented events and conversations in the lives of sages, holy persons, and historic persons as if he were there at the time of their happening. To all who come to him he makes them feel as if he were their own. He constantly exudes bliss and love and all who come to him regard him as they would a loving parent.

Sai Baba never appears rushed or hurried and yet he accomplishes more than ten or even a hundred humans ever could. He is in constant motion from early morning until night greeting visitors, going over plans, giving darshan (sight of a holy person) and interviews, taking letters, attending bhajans (religious singing), taking part in and planning ceremonial events. He dedicates his entire life to his devotees and his mission with absolutely no attachment to possessions, personal time, or ordinary human pursuits.

My work is ceaseless and so your work, too, is without end. Know that I am within you and without you. There is no difference. Rid yourselves of petty matters for ever more. You are now ME and I am now THEE. There is no difference. My Darshan will pour forth from ME to and through you. You may be unaware of this constant action. Be ever pure in heart and soul, and mankind in your lifetime will benefit from your unique qualities. This is a great chance. Be confident that you will all be liberated. Know that you are saved. Many hesitate to believe that things will improve, that life will be happy for all and full of joy, and that the golden age will recur. Let me assure you that this dharmaswarupa, that this divine body, has not come in vain. It will succeed in averting the crisis that has come upon humanity. In my present Avatar, I have come armed with the fullness of the power of formless God to correct mankind, raise human consciousness and put people back on the right path of truth, righteousness, peace and love to divinity.

In this avathar [Divine Incarnation], the wicked will not be destroyed; they will be corrected and reformed and educated and led back to the path from which they have strayed.

Our Part in the Mission We have a unique opportunity to take part in the transformation of our planet during this time of great change. We must start by transforming ourselves.

I have come to give you the key to the treasure of ananda, or bliss, to teach you how to tap that spring, for you have forgotten the way to blessedness. If you waste this time of saving yourselves, it is just your fate. You have come to get from me tinsel and trash, the petty little cures and promotions, worldly joys and comforts. Very few of you desire to get from me the thing that I have come to give you: namely, liberation itself. Even among these few, those who stick to the path of sadhana, or spiritual practice, and succeed are a handful.

I am determined to correct you only after informing you of my credentials. That is why I am now and then announcing my Nature by means of miracles, that is, acts which are beyond human capacity and human understanding. Not that I am anxious to show off my Powers. The object is do draw you closer to me, to cement your hearts to me.

I ask only that you turn to me when your mind drags you into grief or pride or envy. Bring me the depths of your mind, no matter how grotesque, how cruelly ravaged by doubts or disappointments. I know how to treat them. I will not reject you. I am your mother.

Why fear when I am here? Put all your faith in Me. I shall guide and guard you. The godliness which is present in everybody in the form of a little spark exists in me as the full flame, and it is my mission to develop every little spark of God in everyone to the fullness of the divine flame.

Where there is a desire for mental tranquility, I hurry to grant tranquility. Where there is dispiritedness, I hasten to raise the drooping heart. Where there is no mental trust, I rush to restore trust. I am ever on the move to fulfill the mission for which I have come.

I never utter a word that does not have significance, or do a deed without beneficial consequence.

What I will, must take place; what I plan must succeed. Transformation must begin with the individual. When the individual changes, the world will change. This transformation has to take place in the minds of men. Right thoughts will lead to right actions.

Do not bother about what has happened in the past. Get immersed in the tasks of the present. Render service with a pure and selfless heart. The delight of the individual gladdens the Divine. Equally the Divine esteems you. Do everything with the Lord's name on your lips. Develop all that is good in you and share that goodness with one and all.

The Dawn of a Golden Age Everything points to the terror of conflagration coming; and my mission is to preempt the fires by reestablishing dharma and the spiritual law of one God, one religion, one language [of the heart] embracing one humanity. ... I want to build one humanity without any religious, caste or other barriers in a universal empire of love which could enable my devotees to feel the whole world as their family. If God Himself is here to foster Dharma, and you engage yourself in the same task, then you are worshiping Him. Then you are near and dear to Him, for you are serving Him, His devotees, and yourself.

My Mission has now reached that point in time when each one of you now has work to do. This planet has a purpose in the great galaxy in which it is held. That purpose is now unfolding before your eyes. I call upon you to radiate the Devotion within you so that its unseen power will envelop all who come into your orbit. To successfully perform your part always remain centered upon me. Allow yourself to impart that purity of heart within you towards all human beings and all living creatures and do not reach for the fruits of your work. This part of My Mission is performed in absolute silence. You are My instruments from whom My love will pour. Be always aware that the moment you let your ego descend upon you, My work ceases. When you have overcome your negative unmindfulness you will again become My source. The multiplication of My Love will be felt throughout the world. I have drawn you to Me. I have made great steps in My Mission over these past Incarnations.

So, in your lives, by your examples, live and practise My message, knowing that some will understand and others will not. Have no concern with the outcome of your efforts, for some people are ready and others are not. Each one is free to go his own way in his own time. Many will choose to remain in darkness with all the attachments that hold them back from the true path. But, eventually, their time will come and, one day, all will be re-united in the Kingdom of God.

Sathya Sai Baba No Fee Institute of Higher Learning Today the seeds are still in the ground, slowly germinating, as the teachings of the Lord begin to spread throughout the world and infiltrate the mind of man. Soon those seeds will begin to grow, and what emerges will brighten the world as the beauty of the absolute truth begins to reach so many people. It is a process which takes time and the new Golden Age will evolve gradually.

So you should live in hope.... Let the divinity within shine forth and become one of the great beacons to light up the world and hasten the arrival of the new Golden Age. It is there now for some, those enlightened souls who have already reached the state of God realisation. It is that awakened state that will lead to the new age.

Sathya Sai Baba No Fee Super Specialty Hospital Puttaparthi, India

There is only one nation, - the nation of humanity There is only one religion, - the religion of love There is only on language, - the language of the heart There is only one God And He is Omnipresent



More Devotee's Stories

More Devotee's Stories of Sathya Sai Baba On This Page: Russian Devotee Instructed in a Dream Vijay's Tumor Cured Miraculously From Nuclear Physicist to Renowned Musician Dr. Bronkey's Mysterious Phone Call Della Meridith Gets a Ticket to India Saved from an Awkward Situation Deer Released From Its "Cage" Russian Devotee Instructed in a Dream A Russian devotee, Alexander, had been to see Sathya Sai Baba and when he returned he excitedly told all his friends about the phenomenal occurrences that were going on in Puttaparthi, India. He told them an Avatar was on the Earth and discussed many of the details of his visit with them. But all listened mildly and had no interest in finding out anything further about this.

He started to plan a return trip and wanted to take at least one other person with him. He had previously given several book in Russian to his friend "Mikhail", but Mikhail would not read them. Although the two had been friends since they were students and Mikhail knew his friend was credible, still he had no interest in Sai Baba. Alexander could not understand this as Mikhail was a well educated man, a professor and well known scientist with many achievements to his name.

Alexander had resigned himself to going alone back to India, but unexpectedly, Mikhail had called and told him he had decided to go. He had told his wife that he might stop drinking if he went and so he got her support. He thought he might pay for the trip by the savings from refraining from alcohol for six months. Alexander explained to him that no one was allowed to have meat or alcohol or tobacco in Prasanthi Nilayam and Mikhail agreed to these conditions. But, even though he had decided to go, Mikhail still refused to read any of the books about Sai Baba.

They arrived at the Ashram and were given a room to share with other international visitors. On the third day Alexander gave his friend three issues of the quarterly magazine, "Divine Love" and Mikhail started reading only those articles where Swami himself speaks. He was transfixed by what he read and continued reading into the night.

The next day, Alexander got up to attend darshan as usual but did not see his friend Mikhail so he saved a place for him in the darshan lines even though the Seva Dal volunteer told him this was usually not allowed. Finally, a half hour before darshan time, Mikhail showed up and joined Alexander and they settled down to wait for a glimpse of Swami. At last he appeared and slowly, gracefully floated through the crowds until he approached to where the two Russian visitors were. As he went by them, Sai Baba looked directly at Alexander and Mikhail and made a sign with his hands three times. Alexander was thrilled as it is an unusual occurrence to receive some kind of sign or attention from Swami.

After Darshan, Mikhail excitedly told his friend Alexander that last night he had had a dream in which Swami came to him and had a long conversation with him. Mikhail was confused because the dream had seemed completely real to him and he could see and remember everything just as when he was awake so he didn't know whether to take it as a dream or a real event that actually happened.

Then Mikhail narrated to his friend from memory, the following conversation from his "dream". In the dream he found himself in the very same lecture hall in Russia where he normally delivers lectures to his students. But instead, Swami was at the rostrum where Mikhail usually lectures and Mikhail was sitting at a table like one of the students.

Sai: "You wanted an interview - you will have it now. You always liked double lectures (two 45 minute periods without a break): you will now have such a period yourself. You may ask me any questions."

Mikhail: "Not everything is clear in religions. They divide"

Sai: "Religions were written for the time when people were primitive and so they were expounded in the language and concepts of that period. A blind belief and miracles were required. Look at Moses who was taking Jews from Egypt showing miracles. Each time requires its form. Temples were constructed but the real temple must be in one's soul. You did not want to read books about me, but you studied mathematics: first 2 X 2, then further, then physics. From the simple to the complex, but all the knowledge is held up by the highest knowledge which is God. Gradually one goes from intellect to spirituality; one needs intellect to live in the world. You started reading about me for the sake of your friend. Your friend is my channel. He brought you here and did it selflessly. Do not worry about material things - You have a good intellect. Just imagine that man's life in a cosmic scale lasts only one hundredth part of a second, so what difference does it make where you live: in a palace or in a hut?"

Mikhail: Where can I find strength?

Sai: "If you have spiritual strength, then physical strength is not important. Your program was to go swimming in the sea (this is exactly what Mikhail and Alexander had agreed upon). Go or you will be sorry. One must do everything sincerely, nothing should be done out of compulsion. You have a good intellect and it's not necessary for you to stay here long. You have to decide."

Mikhail: "How shall I live now? Maybe I should become a monk or work out an algorithm for my future actions?"

Sai: "If you put bread into the mouth of a hungry man then he will never learn to earn it himself. One can't work out algorithms for the whole of one's future. That is why you are given a choice in your life. I give you a trial and watch what choice you will take. on that depends whether you pass your test or not. If there was no choice, you would be slaves, and I don't need slaves. You should find a spiritual path by yourself, everything depends on you. You should not expect any gratitude for whatever you give."

Mikhail: "What concrete steps should I take to come to spirituality?"

Sai: "Let us take an example of water - it is a substance. One may pour it into a vessel; they may bring it to you in a restaurant in a crystal glass or you may pour it into a gold goblet. But the best of all is to go to the source, the spring, and drink it from there. The spring is in your heart. it is forgotten; you must yourself converse with God. What should you do? You must gradually change yourself morally for the better. You have bad habits. Start with getting rid of them. You have already become better; less proud. Pride is making you blind. Alcohol dries up your brain - that is the worst. It's an obstacle to God. Smoking dries up your body. It hinders your development."

Mikhail: "What then?"

Sai: "Act according to the criteria of Truth. One can clean the puss out of the wounds like Mother Teresa or help people, but if you are proud then everything is in vain. If you want you may bring people the knowledge about me, but do not be a lecturer. Nothing should be done without sincerity, one should not be lazy. Your wife is more spiritual than you, she is more compassionate. Both of you still have an opportunity to come to me - your life span is not finished yet."

Mikhail: "I can't understand: is it a dream or not? I am waiting with my group for an interview."

Sai: "The cleverer a man is, the less faith he has. There are no miracles in the world, only a level of knowledge. For you to believe, tomorrow morning at Darshan I'll make this sign by moving my hand three times like that (and Swami showed how he would do it). That's the end of your double time."

And after the dream ended, Mikhail attended darshan where Swami confirmed the truth of the meeting by making the sign with his hand three times. He has repeatedly said that no one can see him in a dream without his willing it. He chose this extraordinary way to help Mikhail in his spiritual growth at just the right moment in his life. As always he showers his love on all.

From the March 1998 issue of Sanathani Sarathi. Published by Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust

The spiritually realized person will recognize the permanent that subsumes the changing entity. Such a realization can only come when a person is pure in thought, word and deed. Purity must express itself in loving service. Help to the needy has been described as the highest virtue. Harming others has been condemned as a sin. Devotees must engage themselves in acts of service, which will sanctify their lives. Do not posit distance between you and me; do not interpose the formalities of the guru-friend relationship, or even the attitudinal distinctions of the God-devotee relationship, between you and me. I am neither Guru nor God; I am you; you are I; that is the truth. There is no distinction. That which appears so is the delusion. You are waves; I am the ocean. Know this and be free, be divine.

Vijay's Tumor Cured Miraculously My son Vijay had been complaining of severe headaches since the beginning of 1997. The intensity and frequency increased by the summer and the headaches were sometimes accompanied by vomiting. In August, an eye specialist was consulted and he immediately suspected something seriously wrong and advised a C.T. scan of the brain. After much testing the diagnosis of a brain tumor was confirmed and the Neurosurgeon recommended surgery as soon as possible.

Vijay was admitted on August 21 with the operation scheduled for 2 days later. Nearly 40 years ago my mother's younger sister was operated on for a benign brain tumor but she was not cured and died within three years. This thought was uppermost in my mind and I was not at all happy about the operation, but the diagnosis was unanimous so there was nothing else to be done.

The morning of the operation I went into the prayer hall at the hospital along with a portrait of Sathya Sai Baba and started praying intensely. Although it was not logical, I prayed repeatedly that the operation should go well but that there should be no tumor.

The team of doctors came out at 1:30 p.m. and the chief Neurosurgeon looked perplexed. He said the operation was successful but he was surprised to see no tumor where there ought to be one but instead he found a legion which he scraped and sent a sample off for biopsy. I was the only believer of Sathya Sai Baba amongst my relatives. My wife believed only in Shirdi Sai Baba. I know for sure that Baba had answered my prayers. It must have been He who had removed the tumor, the presence of which had been confirmed by all scan reports and doctors.

Four days later the report came back from the biopsy and it said that the sample was unsufficient and that further investigation should be done. Meanwhile Vijay started getting headaches again and he started pestering me to take him to Baba at Puttaparthi which I decided to do. This was apparently Baba's decision as well because events started going in my favor. My cousin, Sri K. V. Krishnamurthy who was an ardent devotee of Baba and a Seva Dal service worker, set up an appointment with a specialist, Dr Verma. My cousin was going to Puttaparthi and so it was decided we would go with them.

After an exhausting drive we reached Puttaparthi but we had just missed the morning darshan and so it appeared we would have to wait until 4 p.m. However a Seva Dal worker known to my cousin suggested that I stand along with my son Vijay (who was at that time suffering from headache) at the exit point through which Baba might come out for going to the cricket ground which was under preparation at that time. Within ten minutes Baba came out and as he came near the place where we were standing, He looked up with his hand in a blessing posture and particularly smiled at my son Vijay. I could feel the enormity and intensity of the love in his face and that very instant my child Vijay shouted in joy, saying "Papa, my headache is gone!" There was no physical touching for my son. His direct eye to eye contact was all that happened and the miracle indeed worked. Of course the real miracle had already happened at the hospital. This was only a confirmation of that.

In the evening when we went for darshan, my son had a letter for Baba in which he had requested to cure him of his headache. After collecting a few letters from some of the women devotees, He came straight to where we were seated as if He knew we were there and collected my son's letter through me. My cousins were immensely delighted, because my visit to Puttaparthi had proved fruitful. We returned the same day to Bengalore.

Two days later when we attended the appointment with Dr Verma as arranged by my cousin he examined Vijay thoroughly and said these exact words: "Baba is the Greatest of all Surgeons. He has cured this young child. The child will not have problems any more. Even if headache does come sometimes, ignore it as a common headache."

My son Vijay at that time was only 13. He never spoke of Sathya Sai Baba before. Yet now he does not leave for school without lighting up a stick of agarbatti incense before Baba's portrait. Even though he had missed three months of school, he has caught up with his studies and whenever he smiles, I can see Baba's smile through him.

What other proof is needed to show Baba loves and cares even when we do not think of Him but do our duties with utmost devotion?

From a story in April 1998 issue of Sanathani Sarathi (the Eternal Charioteer) magazine. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.

The Lord is the Kalpatharu, the Divine Tree that gives whatever is asked. But you have to go near the tree and ask for what you want. Many people speak about getting a vision of God. This is a naive desire. They do not realize that the Divine is present in everything they see. The Vedas declared that man fails to see the Divine though the Divine is manifest in everything he sees. The Vedas declare such a person a complete fool. Everything in the universe is permeated by the Divine. Everyone should seek to realize his/her divinity and recognize the divinity in all beings.

From Nuclear Physicist to Renowned Musician A brilliant Indian student by the name of Vemu Mukunda had taken science courses at universities in India. Then he left his motherland to conduct post graduate research in Scotland. He took a job in England working in the field of nuclear science. Although outwardly he seemed to have successfully established himself in his chosen field, yet he was not happy. He had left his family, friends, and culture behind and now found himself living in an environment where the advancements in technology were considered the highest goal and his only social life consisted of attending endless rounds of cocktail parties. He felt his life was empty and without purpose and this feeling came to a crisis point when his brother and sister both died back in India. Furthermore the negative use of nuclear science to build weapons of mass destruction weighed on his conscience and made him question his choice of career. He began to sink into a state of chronic depression which was only briefly relieved by the release he felt when he made music on the Indian stringed Veena that he had played since childhood.

It was during that period of black despair that a series of strange incidents occurred to bring a new influence into his life. By coincidence, a mutual friend in London had a veena at home that was badly damaged and when he heard of Vemu's skill with the instrument he invited him to his home to see if he might be able to repair the instrument. Vemu went to the home along with some friends and indeed found the instrument so badly damaged that he was completely unable to get any pleasant sounds out of it at all. However he agreed to take the instrument back to his home and see if he could repair it.

On the way home, the friends who had brought him wanted to stop at a house where they knew the residents were conducting Sai Baba bhajan sessions (sacred singing). Though Vemu had no special interest in doing so, since he was riding with them he went along with the plan.

When they arrived at the house and went in, he saw a picture of Sathya Sai Baba on the wall and immediately had the thought: "Oh, no not him". His parents had been followers of Shirdi Sai Baba and they felt that Sathya Sai Baba, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, was an imposter and so Vemu had also taken on this attitude. Shirdi Sai Baba left his body in 1918 and many of his original followers were unwilling to believe that he had taken on the Sathya Sai form eight years later (Sathya Sai was born in 1926) even though Shirdi Sai Baba had told his followers just before his death that he would take birth again eight years hence.

Vemu had no interest in the bhajans and so he sat behind the other singers and took no part in the singing. However during a lull in the bhajans the hostess put a veena in his hands and asked him to play something. In an abstracted mood he began to strum the instrument and presently a tune came into his head and he began to play. The others very much enjoyed his playing and when the song ended they asked him to play another song. He agreed, playing the first tune that came to mind. At the end of the second song, he suddenly realized that the two songs he had just played had been composed by two different Indian Saints but the titles of the songs had the same meaning in the respective languages of the composers: "No One is Equal to You".

Now Vemu looked down at the veena he had been playing and realized that it was the badly damaged one he had been taking home to repair. But mysteriously, every note he had played on it had been completely harmonious. Now he tried to play it consciously and not a single harmonious note would come out of it. He began to feel as if something miraculous had occurred and he felt the hair on his head standing on end.

He thought to himself: "Sai Baba! What power. Is he a black magician?"

After this incident Vemu began to get invitations to play professionally. He accepted whenever it fit into his schedule and strangely, wherever he played he would run into someone who would talk about Sathya Sai Baba. At home his friends in London kept pressing him to attend Sai Baba bhajan sessions. He began to feel that he was being pursued by Sai Baba!

Vemu had been schooled on the principles of science and so his confidence was more on the field of matter than that of the spirit. He felt that the realm of spirit was only a way by which some people escaped from harsh reality. And yet some part of him wanted to proceed into the spiritual realm while the other part wanted nothing to do with it. His mental torment increased and he felt himself being torn in two different directions. He continued to resist the spiritual impulse and yet, the world of physics and materialism had lost its charm for him.

Finally in a state of complete desperation he sat down and addressed a letter to Sathya Sai Baba at his residence at Prasanthi Nilayam. Although he had heard that Sai Baba does not answer directly by writing back, it was said that he would provide the answer in some more direct form. He poured out his heart's dilemma asking Sai Baba if he should continue in his chosen profession of nuclear engineering, quit and become a full time musician, or renounce the world and become a religious devotee (Sannyasi).

As he boarded a flight to Paris for a Veena concert, he wondered how and in what form he might receive a response to his letter but nothing unusual happened on the trip. On his return to London, he began to feel an inexplicable urge to visit the same home where he had played the damaged veena during the bhajan session. This was curious to him since he didn't even want to go there the first time. He ignored the urge for a while but finally gave in. Approaching the house, he noticed the "Om Sai" written on the front of the house. The owner of the house, Mrs Sitabai, greeted him at the door and told him she was very glad he had come because she had something for him. They went to the shrine room and she handed him a photograph telling him an unknown visitor had attended the last bhajan session and had asked that the picture be given to Vemu as soon as possible. He looked at the photograph and saw that it was a picture of Sathya Sai Baba playing the veena!

He was immediately overcome with emotion and surrendered to Sai Baba by prostrating before the large photo of him on the wall. Tears of emotion ran down his cheeks. He knew now that he had his answer. He soon quit his job and became a full time musician. His reputation as a skilled veena musician spread and he began to get calls from all over Europe, including as far away as Russia. He felt that somehow his sudden success was due in part to the guiding hand of Sathya Sai Baba and he began to feel that he wanted to return to India and visit him. At about this time his mother and father were also asking him to return to India to see them and so he began to think seriously about making the trip home. But at the back of his mind was a fear that all the events were just coincidences and the result of his own imagination and that Sai Baba might refuse to see him. It would be a great disappointment to him if Sai Baba ignored him.

He decided to write to a friend and have him ask if he should come to visit Sai Baba. Soon afterwards he had a vivid dream in which Sai Baba came to him and rubbed his sacred ash (vibhutti) on his left shoulder beneath his shirt and said to him: "Come to India". When he awoke the dream seemed very real but he still felt that it might have been created out of his wish to go to India to see the great teacher. After several days of struggle he made up his mind to go so he canceled all his performance reservations and took a plane to India.

When he arrived at Swami's (i.e. Sai Baba's) residence he took his place on the grounds at the end of a line of men. One of the devotees told him that he had arrived just in time for Darshan, in which Sai Baba circulates among his devotees giving sight of a holy person. Vemu sat quietly enjoying the feeling of peace that emanated from the place and waited patiently. Soon there was a stir at the other end of the lines and he caught sight of the orange colored robe of Sai Baba as he circulated slowly, gracefully among the devotees, stopping briefly to talk to some, to create vibhutti for some lucky ones, or to take letters from others. As Sai Baba got closer, Vemu felt his excitement and anxiety increase. As he saw the robe and delicate feet approach him he could not bear to look directly into his face, encircled with a halo of hair and so he cast his glance downward onto the ground. His heart was in his mouth and his body became rigid as he noticed the feet approach ever closer. Vemu had written a letter to give to Sai Baba but he had completely lost his wits and did not even think to hand it to him. He felt Baba take the letter from his hand and then he raised him up and he heard him say in a quiet voice: "Go inside and wait".

Vemu went inside and when at last he faced Sai Baba alone in the interview room, Sai Baba created vibhutti for him and rubbed it on his left shoulder under his shirt just as he had done in the dream. Then Sai Baba began to discuss the obstacles in his life showing complete familiarity with his career struggle, his desire to play the veena, his depression, and other details of his daily life. As the talk ended, Baba circled his hand and produced out of air a five faced rudraksha bead in a gold setting at the end of a gold chain. He gave it to Vemu to wear constantly and told him that he would have great success both in his new career and in his spiritual progress. He then invited Vemu to play the veena at a musical concert to be held at the Sathya Sai College in Brindavan.

When the time of the concert came, Vemu brought along his eighty year old father who had been a close devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba. His father told the son he would just sit outside on the outer grounds and wait. But when Sai Baba learned the father was present he immediately called him inside and in Vemu's words: "For a whole hour Swami talked to my father like a loving mother to her child. After that my father was a changed man." Now the entire family, Vemu's father, mother, brother and all the other members of the family are followers of Sathya Sai Baba.

From a story that appears in its original form in Sai Baba, Avatar by Howard Murphet. Birth Day Publishing. San Diego, CA. This book contains a whole collection of devotee's stories as well as the personal experiences of the author with Sai Baba.

A mother may forget her child, but God will never forget you. He is closer to you than any mother. Never forget God. The main mission of God is to develop the principle of love in mankind. Only when we get intoxicated and forget ourselves drinking the nectar of Divine love, can we find the path to liberation. Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals; place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work.

Dr. Bronkey's Mysterious Phone Call A woman by the name of Wilma Bronkey had opened her home, "Enchanted Acres", to people with disabilities ranging from children to the very old. Through the years of her personal welfare work she had taken in a total of 280 foster children. One day out of the blue, she received a very strange phone call. The caller said to her: "Dr Bronkey, would you please send as soon as possible, the $200 deposit on your fare to India? Arrangements must be finalized for all those going in Indra Devi's party to see Sai Baba." She tried to tell to tell the person on the other end of the line that she had no plans to go to India and didn't even know of a person known as Sai Baba, but the line had gone dead. She thought it very curious that the person had referred to her as Dr Bronkey since she had no doctorate degree

However she had heard of Indra Devi, a well known yoga teacher, and decided to find out something about Sai Baba. She got her hands on the book "Man of Miracles" and found herself wanting to go see Sai Baba in person. But she felt this was an unworkable idea because of her many responsibilities.

Soon, a strange coincidence made her begin to think more about the trip. She was awarded an honorary doctorate degree. But she still felt she couldn't make the trip and decided there would have to be some unmistakable sign before she would seriously consider going.

Dr. Bronkey (we will call her Wilma) liked to wear rings and was in the habit of wearing many rings but her special favorite was an ordinary and inexpensive ring with a badly scratched blue glass stone given to her by some of her foster children. One day she went out with the rings in her purse and was going to put them on later. She went to see a film on the care of handicapped people but after the film started, she realized she had seen it before and her thoughts began to wander. She took the rings out of her purse and started to put them on. But she couldn't find the blue glass ring which she specially valued. She anxiously started reviewing in her mind all the places she had been to earlier where she might have lost the ring when out of the corner of her eye, she saw a strange stream of colored sparks emanating from her handbag. She felt a vague wind blowing in the theater and heard a voice say to her: "You asked for a sign."

She picked up her handbag and felt inside and there was the missing ring but the metal was very hot to the touch. She quickly picked up the ring and even in the dark light of the theater the stone was sparkling so that her companion said: "Wow, where did you get that?"

Wilma and her companion went to the lobby of the theater to examine the ring in the light. It was the same familiar ring but now it had a sparkling light blue stone set in it. They were highly excited by the strange series of events and so they left the theater and started for home. They decided to stop at a jewelers on the way home to identify the stone. The jeweler greatly admired the stone and informed them it was a very high quality aquamarine and was probably worth about $1000. They were excited but mystified by this so they decided to take it to get a second opinion from another jeweler.

As Wilma handed the ring to the second jeweler she had the impression that the shade of color in the ring had changed slightly from what it was before. The jeweler took the ring and pronounced it to be a sapphire worth between $1000 and $1500 dollars.

Back in the car, Wilma told her friend she was starting to believe in fairies but by then they had guessed that Sai Baba must somehow be behind all the strange happenings. By this point they wondered whether he might once again change the stone for yet another jeweler so they stopped at a third jeweler so see what would happen. Not even looking at the stone, Wilma handed it to the jeweler and requested an appraisal. The jeweler told her it was worth about $1500. Then they asked what type of stone it was he said that it was a diamond and a very nicely cut one at that.

By the time they reached "Enchanted Acres", the ring had turned back to the light blue aquamarine color and it subsequently remained that color. Now Wilma was absolutely convinced that Sai Baba was giving her a sign that he wanted her to visit; but there remained a few obstacles in the way of the trip. Unexpectedly her son and his wife offered to take care of the patients if she made the trip. But Wilma was still lacking the money to purchase plane fare. This was soon solved when two friends she had once healed called to see her. They had suddenly felt that she might be in need of money and offered to loan her $2000 dollars which she could pay back any time with no interest. She found that this was just the amount needed to make the trip so she purchased the tickets and joined Indra Devi's entourage bound for India.

Soon they were at Prasanthi Nilayam sitting on the sandy grounds waiting for Sai Baba to appear. She saw him among the crowds and found herself entranced with his movements, watching as he seemed to float gracefully around the circle. Soon he came near her and then stood right in front of her with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye and asked in a soft voice: "How did you like the ring?"

She has since been an ardent follower and has returned several times with groups of sick people to ask his blessings for them. During a visit in 1978, Sai Baba asked her to expand her humanitarian work and to establish a convalescent center for patients who had been cured of cancer.

Dr. Bronkey had been carrying on her humanitarian welfare work for years before she was called in such a mysterious manner. The strange events leading up to her meeting with Sathya Sai Baba were the highlight of her life and now she continues her expanded works with the inspiration she draws knowing that the love and blessings of Sai Baba are behind her.

Adapted from a story that originally appeared in Walking the Path with Sai Baba by Howard Murphet. Published by Samuel Weiser, Inc.

If you wish to blossom forth as your true Self, your Higher Divine Nature, you must spend the life given you serving humanity with great humility and no concern for selfish gain. God is not involved with either rewards or punishments. He only reflects, resounds, and reacts! He is the eternal unaffected witness! You decide your own fate. Do good, be good, and you get good in return. Be bad, do bad deeds, you reap bad results. Do not thank or blame God. Thank yourself. Blame yourself.

Della Meridith Gets a Ticket to India In May of 1972, Della Meridith was in a deep quandary. Her close friends who had been Sai Devotees for some time were planning a return trip to see Sai Baba. In her heart she felt a desperate longing to join them but was unable to do so because of lack of money for the plane fare.

That night she sat meditating and she prayed with great sincerity: "Dear Baba, all the money, everything in the universe, is Yours. Your are the master of all. If it be your Divine Will, please make a way where there seems to be none." Suddenly she had a vision that Baba was standing beside her. He raised his hand and poured silver dollars into her lap from a horn of plenty. When she returned to normal consciousness he was gone. She could not control her joyful weeping at the vision of love and mercy she had just experienced.

That night as she was drifting off into sleep, a bright light suddenly filled the room. There a few feet away stood Sathya Sai Baba with outstretched arms trying to hand her a small slip of paper. She was spell bound by the vision and did not even try to bend forward to take the piece of paper. Sai Baba smiled at her and then was gone.

The next morning a close friend called and told her: "Della, Baba appeared to me last night, and told me to make arrangements for you to go to India." It was then that she realized that the slip of paper he was trying to hand her the night before had been an airline ticket.

On May 27 Della received a letter in the mail with the ticket and the instructions to meet her friends in New York for departure to India. Two weeks later they arrived in India and proceeded to Bengalore. There they happened to meet an Indian woman who was going to Puttaparthi to see Sai Baba so they all shared a taxi and soon arrived at Sai Baba's residence.

The next morning they were eager to join the lines of devotees waiting for darshan. When Della was about to sit on the ground to wait, she seemed to lose control of her legs. Her knees would not bend. Her friends finally were able to get her seated. Again she cried out inwardly to Baba for help not wanting to think that she was being a burden to her friends. For a while she sat with eyes closed aware of the pain in her legs. Suddenly she felt a cool breeze surrounding her. She opened her eyes to see Sai Baba smiling warmly at her. With a wave of his hand he materialized Vibhutti into her hand. She sat there motionless with tears flowing down her face, holding the precious gift, trying hard to control her joyful tears. Then he came back and with a look of infinite tenderness indicated the vibhutti in her hand and told her: "Eat - for your health". As she ate the vibhutti she felt her body filling with renewed energy. It was a divine healing of love and mercy.

On the last day of their stay they got their greatest blessing of all. Sai Baba invited them to spend the rest of the day with him and some Indian devotees. they were served a lunch and then each of them was given a private interview. In her interview with him, Della Meredith cannot forget his parting words to her, "Do what your heart tells you to do, and remember, I am always in your heart wherever you are, whatever you do."

Since then she has always felt Sai Baba was there guiding her life with love, and teaching her as she travels the return path.

From Sai Ram, Experiencing the Love and Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba by Faith and Charles Penn. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.

God is in your heart. Wherever you go and whatever you do, it is known to God even if you think none has noticed it. People start worrying about petty temporary things which are like passing clouds and sometimes falter in faith and devotion. This is not correct. You should never give up devotion. Your good work will beget God's grace without fail. Sin or merit comes only from your own deeds, not from outside. The unity of mankind will come when man becomes awakened and when he allows love to flow from his heart all the time. Then he will recognize the same love in others and see them as they really are, part of himself, part of God, divine.

Saved from an Awkward Situation Sometimes, the Lord comes to our rescue when we pray incessantly and with devotion. It also happens that Bhagavan Baba acts as a Saviour in times of deep trouble, which we may not even be aware of.

In this context, I would like to narrate an incident about a lady who was saved by Bhagavan. The lady was traveling with a son aged three years and a daughter aged eight, in the Coromandel Express from Calcutta to Madras. It was in the month of May, 1980. The train stopped at Vijayawada station en route to Madras. The son pestered his mother for something to drink since he was thirsty and it was hot. The mother took the child and went to buy some tender coconuts and some magazines to read during the journey. The daughter waited in the train compartment for her mother and brother. The lady was holding a handbag in her hand. Just as she came out of the coconut vendor's shop, the train started moving, and the lady, who was now carrying the child in one arm and with a couple of magazines in the other, managed to get into a compartment. In the confusion that occurred, the lady forgot to retrieve her handbag from the shop. As she was searching her compartment, she suddenly heard a loud clap. The Coromandel Express is one of the fastest trains in the country even today; and it gains speed within minutes after its departure, sometimes even before leaving the platform of the station, as in this case. The clap was heard from the other side of the train, the side where there are no platforms, only railway tracks. The moving train had still not left the station. The lady turned to see a fair hand holding her handbag. She rushed forward to receive it. She was so excited that she forgot to thank the person holding the bag. When she reached her seat, still in a state of excitement,it suddenly dawned on her that the clap was heard from the side of the railway station where there was no platform. When she received her handbag, the train had been in motion. In a flash she realized that Bhagavan had come to save her and her children. The handbag contained their tickets apart from money and other belongings. The ticket examiner was in the bay adjacent to the one in which the lady was traveling. Thus, Bhagavan had saved the lady and her children from the unnecessary trouble and embarrassment. The lady traveling in the train is my mother and I was the three year old child.

From Trayee Saptamayee, the 70th birthday commemorative volume. Story by S.V. Raman.

If a man is to enjoy enduring happiness, he must discover the source of such happiness. That source is love. There is nothing greater than love in this world. Everything has a price. The price to be paid for enduring happiness is Divine Love. Without Love, no object can give you real happiness. Hold all your property and wealth in trust for the Lord who gave them to you. Even you and your family, you must treat as a sacred trust, as persons given to you by the Lord to love, foster and guide. Thus you must elevate your attachment into worship and make it an instrument of spiritual progress.

Deer Released From Its "Cage" In 1976, a small number of deer were brought from the Madhumalai forest to Brindavan, and the grounds were cordoned off for the deer cage. Everyday, Bhagavan Baba would feed the deer with apples. A small cage inside also had a few partridges and parrots. Some students were blessed with the opportunity of maintaining the cages. One day, as Bhagavan was coming towards us after feeding the deer, looking at our faces pressed against the mesh, with a twinkle in His eye He indicated the students and told an elderly devotee, "These are two legged 'dear'. Those are My four legged deer. All are dear to me." We were thrilled by His statement.

Years later, it was a hot summer day in 1988. The time was around 2:30 p.m. In the place of the old bungalow, now stood the new Trayee Brindavan. A few boys observed a strange spectacle. A female deer was looking longingly up at the window of the rooms on the first floor, where Bhagavan lived. There is only one language - the language of the heart. What prayers the deer (which was among the first deer to come to Brindavan) addressed to the Lord, we shall never know. But the response was swift. The doors of Trayee opened, and Sai Baba walked quickly down the marble steps, across the hot marble floor, instructing the students to get some apples. He entered the cage and patted the deer affectionately. As the fruits were brought on a tray, Bhagavan Baba fed the deer with His own hands. The deer ate the apple pieces quickly. Bhagavan finished feeding it, and after patting it lovingly, He left. After a few minutes the deer collapsed. Its hour had come. The Lord had entered the cage to release the soul encaged as a deer. Had he not said, "All are dear to me."

Come just one step towards Me, and I shall take a hundred toward you. Shed just one tear, and I shall wipe a hundred from your eyes. God is love, you are God, and you should awaken to that truth. See the light, live in light, and let love blossom in your hearts so that it lights up the world and cleanses it of the evil and the ignorance of the present age.

God is man and man is God. All of us have something of God, the divine spark, within us. All men are divine like myself, but with the spirit embodied in human flesh and bone. The only difference is that they are unaware of this Godhood. They have come into this karmic prison through the mistakes of many lives. I have taken this mortal form out of my own free will. They are bound to the body, while I am free of this bondage. The main difference is that they are shoved hither and thither by desire but I have no desire except the supreme one to make them desireless.

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