EXPERIENCES OF DEVOTEES AS PUBLISHED IN
SRI SAILEELA MAGAZINE (OF SHIRDI SANSTHAN)

1.      MY VISION Z.M.Rao (May 1973)

2.      EXPERIENCE   OF   DARSHAN BY V.B.NANDWANI (DECEMBER 1973)

3.      MY EXPERIENCE ABOUT SAI BABA BY Y NAGARJUNA RAO (DECEMBER 1973)

4.      HOW I BECAME A SAI DEVOTEE — Shri B. R. Kakade, (SPECIAL 1973)

5.      HOW I BECAME A SAI DEVOTEE — Shri A. J. Mehta, (SPECIAL 1973)

6.      A DEVOTEE'S EXPERIENCE Mrs Sita Shri  (FEBRUARY 1974)

7.      THE MIRACLE OF SACRED ASHES FROM SHIRDI By : Shri Anil Pandit (APRIL 1974)

8.      "HOW I BECAME A SAI DEVOTEE'! By—B. K. DUBE (May 1974)

9.      THE DIVINE VISION  (A DEVOTEE'S EXPERIENCE.) —Sri N. Purnachandra Rao, B. A. (June 1974)

10. The Miracle of Sai Baba's Udi By:- Mahesh Chandra Srivastava (August 1974)

11. CONTROL OF ELEMENTS P. V. Satyanarayana Sastry, (November 1974)

12. MY EXPERIENCE AT SHIRDI  C.   K. Ramanatha Chetty  (November 1974)

13. SAI’S APPEARANCE IN DREAM K.R.Gopinath (February 1975)

14. "SAI ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE" P.V.SATYANARAYANA SASTRY (May 1975)

15.  BABA'S BLESSINGS (M.GANGA REDDY) (May 1975)

16. My Reappointment Beyond the Age of 60 Years  B.Ramanadha Rao (June 1975)

17. BABA'S MAYA Ananthula Padmaja (June 1975)

18.  BABA'S HELPING HAND A.NEERAJA (July 1975)

19.  BABA'S   BLESSINGS M.GANGA REDDY (September 1975)

20. BABA - THE OMNIPRESENT ! A Srinivasulu (September 1975)

21. SHRI BABA CONVERTS ‘NO’ INTO ‘YES’ Anil Keshavrao Rasal (FEBRUARY 1979)

22. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN S.N.Awachat (July 1983)

23. SAI SAVES THE SURRENDERED D.L.Kanta Rao (July 1983)

24. THE THOUGHT THAT MATERIALISED K.Rama Prasad (July 1983)

25. SHRI SAI’S BLESSINGS  S.K.Gupta (August 1983)

26. BABA COMES TO OUR RESCUE Kumar Usha (August 1983)

27.  SHIRDI SAI VIBHUTI LEELA Dr.K.Ramakumar (August 1983)

28.  AN APOSTLE OF SHRI SAI BABA Dr.P.S.R.Swami (August 1983)

29. CONSCIENCE IS GOD K.Navinchander (August 1983)

30. UDHI CURES THE INCURABLE D.L.Kanta Rao (August 1983)

31. KINDNESS Kashinath Lakkewar(August 1983)

32. BELIEVE IT OR NOT B.Advani(August 1983)

33. SHIRDI SAI BABA FINDS LOST PROPERTY Miss Madhu Sadhwani(September 1983)

34. COMPASSIONATE MOTHER SAI B.G.Das(September 1983)

35. SAI LEELAS V.K.S.Unni (September 1983)

36. SHRI SAI THE GUIDING FORCE  Pradeep K.Ghai (September 1983)

37. SAI KRIPA K.L.V.S.Sharma (September 1983)

38.  THE MYSTERY OF MISSING TRIP TO SHIRDI (October 1983)

39.  MIRACULOUS RECOVERY Nita N.Parikh(October 1983)

40. MERCIFUL SAI BABA D.Shankariah(October 1983)

41. SAI MIRACLE A.S.Menon (October 1983)

42. SABURI IS REWARDED Mrs.P.V.Kochhar (October 1983)

43.  MY EXPERIENCE WITH LORD SAI K.Vasudev (October 1983)

44.  SAI LEELA R.Gopal Singh (October 1983)

45. GRACE ON KAKA DIXIT REPEATED Dr.G.R.Vijayakumar (November 1983)

46.  SAI KRIPA K.Ramakrishna Sastri(November 1983)

47.  UDI MAHIMA Neelam B.Sanglikar (November 1983)

48.  OUR BABA :  OUR SAINATH : OUR GOD M.R.Chakravarthi (November 1983)

49.  SAI CHARNON MEIN WOH  DO DIN K.B.Grover (November 1983)

50. SADGATI R.Radhakrishna (November 1983)

51. SAI, PEERLESS SAVIOUR P.K.Kapoor  (December 1983)

52. BABA – A SAVIOUR B.S.Tatapudi(December 1983)

53. TUNE IN SAI Dr.G.R.Vijayakumar (December 1983)

54. SHIRDI  SAI  VIBHUTHI  LEELA Dr.K.Ram Kumar (December 1983)

55. SAI KRIPA K.Ramakrishna Sastri(December 1983)

56. SAI’S GREATNESS  R. Radha Krishanan (December 1983)

57. SHIRDI  KE  SAI  BABA N.Machender Das (December 1983)

58. BABA  CAME  TO  ME Mrs.Usha Ranganathan (December 1983)

59. THE  EVER  LOVING  AND  OMNIPRESENT  SAI  BABA N.R.Goodwala (December 1983)

60. SHREE  SAI  KRIPA  M.Narasimha Rao(December 1983)

61.  MIRACLES OF SHRI SAI BABA Swamy Sanjayanand (December 1983)

62.  BABA’S BLESSINGS C.M. Chandawarkar (December 1983)

63. THE LIGHT OF FAITH (SHRADDHA) Mrs. H.K. Chhapgar (December 1983)

64. Sai Baba - The Financier P.S.R.Vijaya Bhaskar (January 1984)

65. Faith Can Move Mountains Mrs.H.K,Chhapgar (January 1984)

66.  FAITH AND PATIENCE  A.N.RAMESH (MAY 1984)

67.  Sai's Sudha T.R.ANAND (May 1984)

68.  Bow to Thy Holy Feet our Sainath  M.R.CHAKRAWARTI (May 1984)

69.  My Experiences with  Shri Sai Baba V.K.THAKUR (May 1984)

70.  Visions And Dreams  SHRI. M.MENON (May 1984)

71.   Sai Baba accepted our Gayatri Yagna  SHRI NIVINCHANDRA D.PANDYA (May 1984)

72.  JAPNAAM  K.L.SHARMA (May 1984)

73.  The Magnanimous Sai Baba  M.VENKATESWARA RAO(May 1984)

74.  Baba - A Successful Physician J.R.Laroiya (May 1984)

75. The Infinite Grace M.R.Kannan  (July 1985)

76. BABA IS ALWAYS WITH ME (Madhukar Wakhare) (September 1985)

77. SADGURU SAI BABA - OUR SHELTER Lt.Col.R.Rajamani (September 1985)

78. WHAT A MERCY PROF P.R.MENON (SEPTEMBER 1985)

79. AN OASIS IN THE DESERT  S.Sreenath (September 1985)

80. POTENCY OF DIVINE PRESENCE Dr.G.R.Vijayakumar (SEPTEMBER 1985)

81. THE MAGIC OF UDI R.Kapur (SEPTEMBER 1985)

82. THE KIND HEARTED SAIBABA Manesh V.Vaghela (SEPTEMBER 1985)

83. SHRI SAI BABA'S GRACE S.THYAGARAJAN (October  1975)

84. HOW SHRI SAI BABA SAVED US FROM AN ACCIDENT Mathurbhai A.Patel (November 1985)

85. CURATIVE QUALITY OF BABA'S UDI Mrs.Santha sankar (November 1985)

86. SRI SAINATH PRATHYAKSHA DEVAM  D.L.Kanta Rao (November 1985)

87. AN ATHEIST TURNS DEVOTEE Mrs.Anuradha (November 1985)

88. THE MERCIFUL SAI BABA  T.R.Anand (November 1985)

89. SAI THE PROTECTOR Ms.Jyoti Premamurthi (November 1985)

90. A MIRACLE  R.Ramachandra Rao (November 1985)

91. SAI BABA DISAPPROVES OF FASTING Gopesh Behari (March 1986)

92. BLESSINGS OF SAI BABA Megh Raj(March 1986)

93. Vigilant Swamiji Anil Rasal (March 1986)

94. SAIBABA'S KINDNESS B.Devdass (March 1986)

95. SRI SAI BABA  -  MY FATHER M.K.Roop Kumar (March 1986)

96. MERCIFUL SAIBABA M.Nemichand Jain(March 1986)

97. BABA KEEPS UP THE PRESTIGE OF HIS DEVOTEES! J.R. Laroiya (March 1986)

98. SAI'S GRACE G.Nagaraja Rao (March 1986)

99. BABA PROTECTS TWO CHILDREN S.R.Joshi (March 1986)

100.                     SAVIOUR SHIRDI SAI Ravindra Choudhary (April 1986)

101.                     IF YOU LOOK UP TO ME, I LOOK AFTER YOU Col G.N.Gopalkrishnaan(April 1986)

102.                     IF YOU CAST YOUR BURDEN R.Venkat Rao(April 1986)

103.                     TOUCH OF THE MASTER'S HAND Dr.G.R.Vijaykumar (April 1986)

104.                     UNUSUAL DIWALI AT SHIRDI (April 1986)

105.                     BUT FOR SAI BABA'S DARSHAN (April 1986)

106.                     HOW BABA HELPS HIS DEVOTEES Y.C.Subba Rao (June 1986)

107.                     BABA'S UDI MIRACLES Mrs.Uma Das (June 1986)

108.                     THAT ACCIDENT....! T.A.RAM NATHEN (June 1986)

109.                     SRI SAI BABA'S GRACE  DR.A.R.GOVIND RAO (JUNE 1986)

110.                     HOW LORD 'SAI' HELPED US. VEENA PRABHAKAR PAI(June 1986)

111.                     FAITH CONQUERS AND DEVOTION PAYS Ms.Madhu Sharma (June 1986)

112.                     SHIRDI SAIBABA -  Our Protector R.Radhakrishnan (June 1986)

113.                     AFFECTION OF SRI SAI BABA Omprakash S.Mehta (June 1986)

114.                      

115.                     SHRI SAI BABA, THE GUIDE TO THE UNKNOWN  S.B.Hosgoudar (July 1986)

116.                     HOW I BECAME A SAI DEVOTEE Mrs.Prabha (August 1986)

117.                     "AN IMPOSSIBLE BECAME POSSIBLE"  M.Chidambaram (August 1986)

118.                     SAI KRUPA Kamala Ramachander (August 1986)

119.                     THE SAI TIE  P.K.Kapoor (August 1986)

120.                     MY FIRST VISIT TO SHIRDI Mrs. Jayanthi Subramaniam (September 1986)

121.                     SAI BABA MY SAVIOUR AND PROTECTOR R.R.Kansal (September 1986)

122.                     THE GREATNESS OF UDI Jayashree P.U (September 1986)

123.                     SAI'S AFFECTION TOWARDS US G.Nagaraja Rao(September 1986)

124.                     A DEVOTION ACCEPTED AND BLESSED (September 1986)

125.                      MY SHIRDI YATRA C.P.Nambiar (September 1986)

126.                      AM I NOT TAKING CARE OF YOU?  S.Sreenath (September 1986)

127.                      SAI BABA SAVED ME  D.G.Ghag (September 1986)

128.                      CURATIVE POWER OF BABA'S UDI (September 1986)

129.                      WHEN TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION Dr.P.S.R.Ramaswami (September 1986)

130.                      SAIKEKARSHMAE N.Machander Das (September 1986)

131.                      NOT MERE COINCIDENCE  R.Ramachandra Rao (September 1986)

132.                     THE MESSAGE OF SAI BABA  M.Rama Rao (October 1986)

133.                     MEMORABLE TRAIN JOURNEY FROM MANMAD TO HAZRAT NIZAMUDDIN .A.Subramanyam (October 1986)

134.                     HOW BABA GRANTS ANTICIPATORY BAIL TO HIS DEVOTEES IN DIRE NEED  Dr.P.S.Ramaswami (October 1986)

135.                     OUR FIRST DARSHAN OF A GREAT SAINT K.S.Ramaswamy  (April 1987)

136.                     OMSAIRAM A.Sambasiva Rao (April 1987)

137.                     SRI BABA'S GRACE V.V.K.Basu  (April 1987)

138.                     SAI KE KARSHME N.Manchander Das (April 1987)

139.                     THE STRANGER AT MY DOOR Seetha Vijayakumar (April 1987)

140.                     SRI SAI IS OUR ANTARY AMI D.L.Kanta Rao (April 1987)

141.                     A LETTER OF GRATITUDE TO MY BELOVED SAI BABA Mrs.K.J.Driver (April 1987)

142.                     A LETTER OF GRATITUDE TO MY BELOVED SAI BABA Mrs.Rekha Raju Whabi (April 1987)

143.                     AN UNIQUE EXPERIENCE Amarnath Bararia (April 1987)

144.                     BELIEVE IT OR NOT S.Sainath (April 1987)

145.                     MY EXPERIENCE OF THE BLESSINGS OF SRI SAI BABA  Smt.Sita Iyer (April 1987)

146.                     SHRI SAI BABA » THE FRIEND, PHILOSOPHER AND GUIDE G.M.Dhunjibhoy (September 1990

147.                     WHEN BABA BLESSED ME IN PERSON K.M.Bhagvati (September 1990)

148.                     SAI DARSHAN AT BADRINATH – KEDARNATH Lt.Col M.B.Nimbalkar (Retd) (July August 1991)

149.                     I am not alone-Baba is with Me K. S. Shenoy (MAY - JUNE 2000)

 

 

 

EXPERIENCE OF DARSHAN

V. B. Nandwani,

Mahim: Bombay 16-

Dear Sir,

Below, I give a recent experience of my son at Shirdi. If you find it upto the mark, please publish it in Sai Leela.

On 7th of May 1973, I reached Shirdi with my son, aged 14 years. Expecting heavy rush due to vacation, I had written in advance to the Sansthan asking for reservation of a particular room for us. Although, the letter had not yet been passed on to the accommodation Incharge, he offered me the same room, I wanted. He was also kind enough to invite us both for lunch that day at about 2 pm. However, for some reasons, it was little after 3 p.m. that he came to call us for lunch at the Bhojan Griha. By then, my son had gone to sleep hungry. I had earlier asked him to go and eat something but he did not agree. Now, when we both asked him to get up for meals, he refused to eat anything, in anger. Knowing his nature and habit of eating earlier, I left him and went for lunch with that Sansthan Officer. My son got up at about 4 p.m. and said angrily " I would not go to Samadhi Mandir. I will not bow before Baba. I do not want to stay here. I will go back to Bombay even if I have to go alone. " I knew all this outburst was due to hunger and anger and so kept quiet.

A little while later, he got up and went out to eat something. Instead of eating in the hotel, he brought four " Dosas " and asked me also to have one. To please him I did. He could eat only two. The one left un-touched, he gave to a beggar.

We were in the room on ground floor touching the road inside Sansthan compound and parallel to Accommodation Office. Guru Padika Sthan. There is an L shaped passage between the two rows of rooms. The entrance is from longer leg of L.     The shorter leg has the bath rooms and is closed at the other end. Thus anybody going in or coming out must be seen by us if the door of our room is open.

After eating the " Dosas " my son went to wash the plate at the open tap fixed in the line of bath rooms. Suddenly he rushed back to the room and said that someone looking just like Baba was standing in the passage outside the bathrooms with a stick in his hand and that he got frightened. He talked to me all this standing on the threshold of the room, keeping the door  open. I was sitting in such a position that any body coming in or going out must be visible to me. I got up immediately and went with him  to the bathrooms' side and found none there.  I feel it was Shri SAI HIMSELF who gave him darshan. I did not see any one going out of the passage. How could someone vanish like that, in thin air.   None dressed like that was staying in the other rooms.!

On questioning, my son told me that Kafni was torn on one arm and lower ends of it were frayed  badly.   He was pointing with the stick (satka) towards the Samadhi Mandir.

Then, afterwards at about 6 p.m. my son quietly accompanied me to Samadhi Mandir, Dwarkamai and Chawri and everywhere he bowed to Baba, as I did. During rest of the seven days stay he was extremely happy and made many friends.

 

MY EXPERIENCE ABOUT SAI BABA

By : — Shri Y. Nagarjuna Rao Hyderabad.

For the protection of the virtuous and for the destruction of the evil, the Almighty manifests Himself in a form and a name chosen by Him.   Bhagawan Sai Baba of Shirdi is one of such manifestations of the Divine who has descended on the earth to save humanity from moral decay.   The Divine Will was evidenced right from the very inception of the Avatar i.e. the secrecy of His birth.   No body can vouch safe Baba's caste or the place of his birth excepting several vague theories put forward by some of his contemporaries.     He was loved and worshipped by Hindus and  Muslims alike.   People coming from all areas and from all faiths flocked to Shirdi to prostrate at His holy feet for their salvation.   He was a Hindu living in Masjid.   He was a Muslim for whom the Mosque was " Dwaraka Mayi ".   He is a servant to his devotees having no limitations of caste, creed or religion. Everyone has a right to demand anything he wants from Him for, He is father, mother and Sadguru to the entire humanity. Every minute aspect of this Avatar was so precisely moulded with meticulous care by Baba Himself, with a specific mission of esta­blishing harmony among Muslims and Hindus.   He is an incar­nation of the Supreme Power reflected in different faiths.     His teachings represent the gist of different faiths.   Any attempt to describe this Deva and His glory can only be a part of it and not  the whole.

"If a man utters my name with love I shall fulfill all wishes increase his devotion and if he sings earnestly my life and my deeds him I shall beset in front and back and all sides " — Shri Sai Satcharita.

The above assurance of Baba is a matter of personal experience for several thousands of devotees, who look to Him and who are looked after by Him. In this connection I wanted to narrate my own humble experience with the blessings of Sai Baba which I think will appeal to all those who admire the supremacy of any faith by scientific reasoning or logic.

It was in the year 1970 that I happened to go to Bombay on some personal work.   As it happened to be my first visit I went for sight-seeing to several places in and around Bombay. Suddenly I felt that I should go to Shirdi and visit the Mahasamadhi of Sai Baba   more out of curiosity rather than devotion.   But the visit was to be put off because of my brother-in-law's arrival from the United States.    I was very much disappointed and silently prayed to Baba that if He were to be a God, He should bless me with an opportunity to go to Shirdi.   In the meanwhile   a very interesting thing happened.   We received a cable that my brother-in-law's scheduled arrival had to be postponed on account of his prolonged stay enroute.   Thus the seeds of faith were sowed in my heart   by an unexpected accomplishment of my desire. Immediately I was in search of a person who could, help me with the details of the pilgrimage.   When I was proceeding from Andheri to Dadar by electric train   I surprisingly came across a devotee of SaiBaba who guided me with minute details.   Thus  the very first visit to the Shrine proved to be a preplanned sankalpa of Baba Himself to draw    me towards Him. After taking a bath I went for a darshan which made me extremely happy.   For a moment there appeared nothing but SaiBaba's form   in every thing I saw in Shirdi. I prayed to Baba that He should help me with His Grace and give me solace and comfort throughout my life.   I happened to make a study of several books available at Shirdi  which makes one  to feel that He is not merely a super­human form     but the Omnipotent God Himself.  Since then my faith in Baba was steadily growing.   One of my close friends was blessed with a daughter. Unfortunately she had an attack of paralysis  and as a result of which  she was not in a position to move her hands. My friend felt very unhappy, as the treatment given by doctors did not produce the desired results.   He had lost all hopes  of recovery and felt dejected. I gave him a little Vibhuti which I brought from Shirdi and asked him to apply it to the affected hand with complete faith in Baba's mercy. Though he was not personally a believer in Sai Baba, he consented to do it on my persistence. He told me that he would worship Baba as God if the Vibhuti helped the recovery of his child in any way. With the application of Vibhuti there was a tremendous improve­ment and very soon the baby recovered responding very well to the medical treatment which was a big surprise even to the Physician as he himself was not quite confident about the outcome of his trial. The grateful father of the child has become an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. Such was the kindness of the Saint who responds to the call of humanity if only the persons look to Him.

Sai Baba's life and teachings are beneficial to the entire humanity. Baba never discouraged anybody from following his own faith and customs, on the other hand, He used to allow everyone to have his own way, but correct them only when they go wrong. He is moved by true, sincere devotion, simple living and sincere effort to lead a good life. There are no restrictions for any one to join the family of Sai Baba if only he surrenders his ego at His feet. Baba preached to everyone who was near and dear to Him to see Him in all the human beings and thus advocated universal love. Baba's participation in Sri Rama Navami on one hand and in Ramzan on the other indicates that no one should draw a clear line of distinction between one faith and another. He allowed people to perform 'arti' in a Masjid with equal affection as he allowed Muslims to perform sandal procession. The follow­ing advice of Baba, as sung by Hemadpant in his famous Satcharita would indicate Baba's stature.

" Be wherever you like, do whatever you choose, remember this well, that all what you do is known to Me. I am the inner ruler of all and seated in their hearts. I envelope all the creatures, movable and immovable world. I am the controller, the wire puller of this show of this universe. I am the mother origin of all beings ".

The above words of Baba reveal his Omnipotent and Omniscient nature of Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi.

May His form, which destroys our ignorance and sin, be ever fixed in our eyes. .

 

HOW I BECAME A SAI DEVOTEE

—Shri B. R. Kakade,

Dahisar (West)

How I became a Sai Devotee will mean explaining one's own experiences in one's own point of view. However, the result of such writing will lead the readers to the path of Sai devotion. I have full faith in Sai.

I was not believing in God in my childhood, but my father never got angry with me nor used any wild words for my peculiar thinking about God. However, he used his intellect to change my mind towards the belief in God; and that too through his good colleagues who made a fine friendship with me by requesting me by honouring me to read some religious books for them as they were old and could not pay attention to reading. This made me change my views about God in "Sagun" and "Nirgun" aspects i.e. the formed and formless aspects. The marble idols of God in whom people believe which were mere STONES for me in the beginning of my life—now became practical observances in my daily life and the source of inspiration.

In my school days in 1927, when I was only 16 years of age, I was trapped in the big flood of Gujarat. I was at Baroda with my father at that time. Heavy flood waters divided the city into two parts and both of us were in one part and my younger brother and grandmother were in the other. We tried to cross the river bridge of high level water but the police objected to this. However, we tried to enter the water on the bridge travelling upto my neck,

We failed to return and thus were trapped by waters of the flood. At this critical time of life and death, one tall man of about 7 feet in height, having beard and Roomal on head shouted loudly directing us both to stand at the same place and he came through water, got both of us in his own hands and took us to the other side of the roaring river where my brother and grandmother were anxiously waiting for us. I inquired about the person who saved us and it is a wonder to note that he was not there. I tried to find him out but in vain. This was the first devotional darshan of Shri Sai in my life in 1927.

"How I became a Sai Devotee" will require me to explain some more facts as I am happy in these days of my life at the age of 63 years and that Shri Sai is always with us as I feel how my spiritual life is holy and perfect in the end of my life. For this I was required to follow Shri Sai Baba through my impulse and the quickening im­pulse which came from outside cannot be received from books. The 'soul' can only receive impulse from another soul and from nothing else. In my views, I can say that we can read books all our lives, we can become very intellectual and in the end we find that we have not developed at all spiritually. This type of study will not be equivalent in development of the spiritual side of a man. On the other hand, we find cases almost every day when the intellect has become very highly developed at the expense of the spirit. In intellectual development, we can get much help from books, but in spiritual development almost nothing.

In studying books, sometimes we feel that we are developed in "thinking" and that we are spiritually helped but if we analyze ourselves, we will find that only our intellect has been helped and not the spirit. This is the reason why almost everyone of us can speak most wonderfully on spiritual subjects but when SAI came, we found ourselves so woefully deficient. This is because books cannot give us that "impulse" from outside. This should come from another soul from which this impulse comes is called the "Guru”, "The Teacher"—and the soul to which this impulse is conveyed is called the "Shishya", "The student". In order to convey this power of transmission of messages from the Guru to the Shishya and vice versa, will require to plough the field of living seed and when both these conditions are fulfilled, a wonderful growth of religion takes place. And this happened practically in my life in 1943 when my eldest daughter was ill by double typhoid fever for 42 days (Relapsed case). A committee of 3 doctors declared her case as "Fatal" one on the 41st day of her illness and asked me to leave this case to God. The same day, it happened so, that one old man (with beard) from Madras had come to us through one of my friends in Baroda and when that bearded old man saw my daughter, he told me not to fear. I was surprised in listening to him when I was actually facing a critical moment in life, but the old man had convinced me in such a way that I became fearless when I came to know that the man was not present at night when my daughter got a dream of Sai Baba. I had inquired with my friend about the old man but in vain. His advice was nothing but the devotional Darshan for the second time in my life. When I was only 32 years old, this happened.

This all happened in my life which gave me the direction to follow the devotional side of Shri Sai Baba to understand that we must first try to get the 'idea' that is conveyed through "Inherent Tendency" i.e. Sanskara.

Here I can see a fine example of a lake for the mind. It can be said that every ripple or wave that rises on the surface of the lake; does not die out entirely when it subsides, but leaves a "mark" behind or a future possibility of the rising of similar waves on it. Whatever may be its nature, this mark of the possibility of the wave re-appearing is what is called "Sanskar" or "Inherent Tendency'. Every work that we do even to every moment of the time and every movement of the body, every thought that we think, leaves such an "Impression" on the mind stuff and even when such impressions of obvious on the surface, they are sufficiently strong to work beneath the surface subconsciously. What we are every moment is determined by the sum total of such previous impressions on the mind.

What I am just at this moment when I am writing on this subject is the effect of the sum total of all the impressions that have been left in my mind by each and all the works that I have done in my pastlife and that is why I experience Sadguru Sai in my practical life without having a blind faith. Sadguru Sai always teaches me to look to Him and naturally He looks to me and I say:

In Matavaley Do Nayanomayn Kya Jadu Hain!

Jadu Hain! Jadu Hain!

Dil Poochh  Rahaa  Hain  Ab  Muzasey——

Nainone   Kahaa   Hain   Kya   Tuzasey——

Jub Naina Miley, Nainone Kahaaa—— :

Ab Nain Basengey Naino Mein——

Jadu Hain! Jadu Hain! Jadu Hain!

 

HOW I BECAME A SAI DEVOTEE"

—Shri A. J. Mehta,

Santa cruz (W.)

From 1956-1960 I was at Surat in service with Divisional Office of Life Insurance Corporation of India. By the end of the year 1958 I got a severe heart attack due to overwork in the Office. After a treatment of about three months my health became almost normal. However, nervousness and lack of self-confidence, which are the after-effects of any illness, persisted. Though in the morning, I would feel that I was quite normal, after my morning meals at about 9-30 a.m. I always felt that I was getting severe pain in my heart and on most off the days I would avoid attending my office. Since this became almost a daily affair, my wife used to become nervous on account of my health and she did not know how to help me to get over my nervousness and my lack of self-confidence. By God's grace during that time she happened to meet a friend of ours, and she confided in him about my illness especially with regard to my nervousness and lack of my self-confidence and how my persistence in this was affecting her health too. That friend happen­ed to be a great devotee of our Sai Baba and he advised her im­mediately to get a tasvir (framed picture) of Sai Baba and asked her to advise me to simply look at HIM in the morning after waking and at night before going to bed and HE would take care of my well-being. Sai Baba's one of the sayings being "If you look at me, I look at you". We got our BABA's taswir and began looking at HIM in the morning and in the night as per our friend's advice from that day. Believe me from that day onwards our BABA's grace fell on us and I began overcoming my nervousness and lack of self-confidence and within a fortnight I became a normal human being. Since then I have become a SAI devotee.

A DEVOTEE'S EXPERIENCE (JANUARY 1974)

By Saisudha

Sai Baba of Shirdi is not merely a Sadguru but verily Sri Rama. He has not only been guiding me in both official and domestic work but has saved my life on two occasions.

It was in 1954, when I was in my early twenties I was under­taking a trip to Tirupati from Madras by the morning passenger train. My uncle, the then Post Master General of Madras Presidency, asked one of his clerks to book my ticket and see that I boarded the train. It was a Saturday, and though I did not wish to start from home at Rahu Kal—it was about 9.30 a. m. I had no other choice. When I arrived at the station with Mr. Nair, the clerk, said the train was almost about to leave. Somehow he managed to push my big box in the nearest third class carriage and waved good bye and left. The guard had blown the whistle. When I was about to settle my things, I was horrified at the sight of four gamb­lers sitting in the compartment which was otherwise empty. They were busy playing cards and obviously did not notice my presence. Young as I was, with no other lady passenger in the train, I was at my wits end. I came and stood at the doorstep praying intently to Shri Ram. I could not get down from the train, nor could I stay within for fear of the gamblers. God verily sends help to those in distress.

The train had just started moving when a young couple was rushing towards me to board the train. I helped them with their - luggage. After a few minutes by which time I had gathered a little courage I surveyed the compartment again, for the fear had not totally left me. Lo ! Baba's miracle, the suspicious elements had already disappeared. I then relaxed after sending heartfelt thanks to Baba for thus protecting my life from the goondas.

The second incident took place in June 1971.   I was making an air dash from Delhi to Bhopal to meet my husband, who was about to leave for Hyderabad. I had despatched a telegram 24 hours in advance informing of my arrival by the Fokker Friend— ship. The plane, already delayed by three hours, took off at about. 1.30 p. m. I was just trying to relax with Sai Charita in my hands, for it was my wish to read one chapter daily from the book. As I had not done it earlier, I wished to complete my reading in the plane itself. Hardly twenty minutes had passed since the flight started, I could feel the air getting hotter under my feet. The two air hostesses rushed to the cock-pit. Seeing them emotionally dis­turbed, I started feeling nervous. My heart began to beat faster when the air hostesses rolled the carpet covering the passage and the co-passengers were busy preparing themselves for any emergency. I was the only lady passenger and I started chanting Sai Ram loudly ! I moved to a front seat, for the tension within me was increasing. After about ten minutes of hard work when the co-pilot, steward and air hostesses rectified the defect, which they alone knew, I could see the crew heaving a big sigh of relief. To relieve the passengers' anxiety soft drinks were supplied to us. It was smooth going afterwards. The plane touched Gwalior and finally Bhopal. With fond hopes of meeting my husband, I emerged from the plane. Imagine my confusion when I saw no signs of my husband. The Indian Airlines Office staff was kind enough to contact my husband. When he received the telephone call, he rushed to the air-port. He was worried that something had gone amiss, for he felt I could not have otherwise undertaken such a sudden trip. Obviously my telegram did not reach him. It reached after my arrival, i. e. after 30 hours !

I once again thanked my beloved Sai Baba for not only saving my life but the lives of all the passengers. But for this divine help, there could have been a major air-disaster.

Mrs Sita Shri

New Delhi-55.

THE MIRACLE OF SACRED ASHES FROM SHIRDI

By : Shri Anil Pandit B. Sc., Indore (APRIL 1974)

I am a devotee of Shri Sai Baba for the last about 13 years. I always worship Him. During this period I have had many mira­culous experiences, of which some were published in Marathi issue of Shri Sai Leela in the past. But, what we experienced in April, 1972 has left us wondering about the miraculous powers of Shri Sai Baba and the sacred Ashes from Shirdi. I would like to give an account of the experience for the information of Sai Devotees.

The daughter of my elder son, by name Bhavana, whom we used to call Sanjeevani, as a nick-name, fell sick all of a sudden in April, 1972. It was summer season and our family doctor opined that it may be a case of mild sun-stroke or the sickness may be due to very hot climate. The fever was constant and she was not taking any food. Her belly was distended but unfortunately our family doctor did not appreciate its seriousness. He continued his treatment according to his primary diagnosis. The girl however conti­nued to be worse day by day. Her eyes were drawn in, and the peritonitis was such that it was painful by touch. We at last decided to transfer her to a bigger hospital in Indore. It was Sunday night when we shifted the little girl to the hospital. The chief medico was having his holiday. We put a pinch of ashes from Shirdi upon her forehead before taking her to the hospital. Next day, the chief medico examined her and diagnosed the case as of Typhoid with intestinal perforation. He said that peritonitis was due to perfora­tion of the intestinal wall. He said that the cases of this type are so severe that generally operation is resorted to, but the patient was too delicate for it. Glucose Saline and Infusion were advised. We were all in a very anxious mood. The family people were very much afraid for the life of the young one. The treatment from the hospital started. Before this thing happened, I was continuously reading the Marathi Sai Satcharita daily. I had by that time, finished the 8th Canto and had come to the 9th. I have faith in Shri Sai Baba. I appealed to Him : "O ! Baba, What is this new calamity be fallen us ! It is only You who can take us out of this !"

I had been to Shirdi earlier in the month of March and had brought some photographs of Shri Sai Baba from the Sansthan office. The Ashirwad pose in that picture is such that we feel Baba is looking at us and assuring us not to worry and promising that everything will be all right. I felt that I should take that photo to the hospital. I took it and also took some quantity of Ashes with me. I put the photo under the pillow of the girl Bhavana and besmirched her body with the Ashes. Emotions were so deep at that time, that I could not help crying. In front of many family persons present at that time, I uttered 'O ! Baba ! If this little girl Bhavana is not cured in this sickness, I will not read your Charitra further." My complete surrender to Him and appeal was really-similar to Shama and who said that he would break a coconut on His Head if some lady could not get a child !

In the meanwhile, I continued to read the book 'Sai Satcharita.' Every Thursday, the Aarti and worship was also continued. Bhavna, to the surprise of the doctors, survived that ailment with­out operation. That was a feat on the part of the patient - nay, it was the miraculous powers of Sai Baba and the sacred Ashes. Gradually her fever came down and peritonitis subsided, and within a period of 2-3 weeks, she was allowed to return home.

Really, I feel, the miracle of Faith on Sai Baba is extra-ordi­nary, but we fail to take advantage of the great Grace available. The grace of Isa or Sai-as you may call it. Sai Baba is no less than God the Protector Incarnate !

(Adopted from Marathi from July, 1973 issue)

"HOW I BECAME A SAI DEVOTEE'! (May 1974)

By—B. K. DUBE

District Small Savings Officer,  (Government of M.P.) At & Post. Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh)

I take this opportunity to narrate my own heart-felt experience of Sai Bliss, Sai-Help, temporal and spiritual both.

It was some-time in the year 1957 when (then I was a lad of 29 years), I was suffering from stomach disease and its further effect, I was bodily weakened, and mentally perturbed and disheartened. Losing all hope with the medical treatment, my whole inner and outer senses were linked with God "Krishna", praying for cure of disease and recovery of mental peace.    Un-knowingly, with a continued practice, I always remained in solitude praying Lord Krishna for immediate recovery.   Every day my practice was to remember and utter His name loudly at the time of going to bed and at the time of awakening in the early morn.

One night, without any previous reference or even knowing who is Sai Baba (of course till August 72 I could not find out Baba, His Avatar, Teachings etc.) during morning hours, I had a dream. What I saw is that-there was a Saint having his head covered with a white cloth duly tied at the neck; with a small mustache and beard on the face and a Kupani (Angarkha as we call here in Madhya Pradesh on the body in sitting position, appeared on the vision.   Suddenly I woke up and uttered, "Oh !   He is my Guru."   "Here is my Guru. It was an instantaneous vision.   The image disappeared soon and the dream was over.

The darkness was vanishing the day dawning, the birds cheering with the first joy of the day; and I was thinking as to who this Saint was ! and where can I find him ? Since I was living more lonely, did not even tell this dream-story to my family members.

The days, months and the years passed on wherein I was very often recalling the  SAINT, His Image, and  the   dream-history, trying to go through all possible religious books and yearly issues of "Kalyan"Patrika to find out at least something about the Saint-of-the-Dream.   The days took turn, and after completing gradua­tion, I was married in the year 1964.

In the year 1970, I again came to Hoshangabad on transfer, having joined a new department of Government.   Here at one shop, while I was purchasing some things, I saw a garlanded picture of the same Saint-of-Dream.   I enquired of the shop-keeper and he replied "Sai Baba of Shirdi." By further putting some more questions, he could only say-Shirdi is located in Ahmednagar Dist : of Maharashtra State. But this could not satisfy me. I became much more anxious to know more.   But who could tell ?   I could do nothing except to wait and pray God for early discovery and darshan of "Saint Guru."    Since then the desire to have darshan and know more about "GURU" increased more profoundly.    Mean-while search through books and religious friends-circle continued.

It was in August 1972, that during my tour of Piparia town (within Hoshangabad District) one of my friends invited me to his home.

I accompanied him. Having reached his house, he asked me to have Darshan of Sai Baba first. I questioned -Which Sai Baba ? and he replied "Sai Baba of Shirdi." With a thrilling heart and wonder-struck mind I got in the Puja-Graha. And Lo ! Here is Sai Baba !! I was then perceiving the same Saint of my Dream. I took Darshan with the heart beating heavily, lips stunned, and eyes wide-open. After some minutes, it came to my mind that at least with the Grace of Guru Himself, I could find Him out. With great joy and heart-felt cheerfulness I prostrated before my "Shri Guru Maharaj." And with this my heart was filled with immense joy happiness, slight satisfaction and mind full of curiosity and eager| to know more. My friend-Sai-Devotee-then gave me some Vibhuti and Prasad and we came out. Then held an hour long narration about Shri Sai Baba, Shirdi. The Sansthan and the way to reach; I also had a chance to go through rapidly, some of old magazine Sai Leela and Shri Sai Satcharita. We concluded with full content His content was to have made known something about SAI BAI to the most needy-A Devotee-and mine was to have known about Him and that I was brought on the right path by the Grace of Satguru. We then departed.

The next day I returned to Hoshangabad (head quarters) and I the first time told the story of "Sai Baba in Dream" to my wife and expressed my innate desire to visit Shirdi Tirtha.   Also that I ha come to know Sai Baba,   My wife at first did not take it so serious and was also not knowing what can be the emotional desires of devotee.   Again  there was a discussion about Shirdi visit and she expressed her intention also to accompany me.   I urged the need of first visiting myself and afterwards with all members of our family. I was very earnestly bowing and praying BABA whole-heartedly, to permit me to visit Shirdi and have Darshan there.   The love for Baba, the devotion, the zeal and force of desire cannot be expressed in words.   It can be felt only.

It was with the grace of Sai that I started for journey on Tuesday from Hoshangabad in October 1972 and next day very comfortable

I reached Shirdi. It was my first experience and I was observing minutely nearness of Shirdi with great curiosity.  There I was allotted a room to stay with a partner. I took bath and went in for Darshan with coconut prasad and garlands. The statue of Sai Baba was before me.   Again with thrilling heart filled with joy and greatest gratitude I prostrated before Baba and presented Prasad Coconut.

Feelings were whirling in my mind that it was only with the grace of Baba that this fortunate day could be seen after a lapse of about 15 years of Baba's first vision.

Because none could visit Shirdi if it is not allowed by Baba Himself.

In the evening I went on to have Darshan of Baba's Lila-places-Chawadi, Dwarkamai, Lendi Bag etc. to my fullest satisfaction. This day and the next day I joined the mid-day and evening Arti in which my room partner was a guide for me. He visited Shirdi several times. Since it was revealed by the room-partner; I stayed on for Thursday and got the un-matchable opportunity to join the "Palki-procession" from Samadhi Mandir to Chawadi in which I was also given the chance to lift up Baba's Palki and to carry it to some steps. The whole procession and its performance fully bathed in utmost Devotion and surrender towards "SAI BABA" (as I felt it) attracted me to such an extent that I forgot myself for some time. During my past life nothing could be so alive a juncture than this Shirdi-Visit (nearness of Sai Baba).

While again prostrating before Him I prayed and requested Baba relieve me of mental worries.   I also prayed to bestow me with a male child (son).   If this could be fulfilled I shall bring him (son) to place him at His feet.    This day I took prasad and lunch in Common Bhojan-Graha. Next day  was last darshan of Sai Baba (of this Shirdi visit). I prayed Him to grant me permission for return journey and took Udi and Tirth. The given "Boon Flower" was also taken from me. Meanwhile I purchased "Shri Sai Satcharita" (Hindi version and other available literature written by Shri Das Ganu Maharaj and Shri Narsingha Swamiji. Photographs of Baba were also brought home. From the day I returned home, we have started worshipping Sai Baba with full faith in Him as "God Almighty." Since then every morning and evening Puja is performed by either of us. I studied the books brought from Shirdi. Shri SaiSatcharita is a holy book for us and is regarded and read out with the same spirit and devotion as Shri Ramcharitmanas in our family, (in this part of northen India.)

Within two months my wife became pregnant. She then urged to visit Shirdi and have darshan of Sai Baba.    Meanwhile my father in-law, through us knew about "Baba and His Grace" and he desired to accompany us, if we might go to Shirdi.     It is with His Grace that we started for second visit- wife, two daughters, father in-law and mother-in-law and myself in the month of April 1973.

This trip was also full of joy satisfaction and bliss as was previous one for me. My both daughters were impressed much and some times (now) the elder one performs Puja in our home with joy. Father-in-Law has also brought a photograph of Sai Baba and "Sai Satcharita" and they have also started worshipping Him.

This time I became a subscriber of “Sai Leela” monthly magazine. We also had darshan of Bhagwan Khandoba and Samadhi Graha of Bhagat Mhalsapathi during this trip.

This all made my whole family “Sai Devotees”. We have often been talking and discussing Sai Leelas and the teachings hidden behind. The day of Baba’s boon was nearing and we were waiting anxiously.

At last the day dawned and my wife gave birth to a male child (son) on 12th September 1973.   He did not come alone, but brought promotion.   I got the order of promotion before his birth and with easy terms to join at the present place of posting.   The whole family and the relatives were filled with immense joy and satisfaction which was all showered by Shri Samarth Sadguru Sai Nath Maharaj.

My heart immensely contented, filled with over-whelming feeling of experience of Sai-Grace, was re-calling: the beginning of devotion in the past, and further developments, the mightiness of Baba to confer temporal wants, giving opportunity to emerge with full devotion, to those whom He deems fit. For us Sri Sai Baba is still mercifully active in His form of Omnipotent Omniscient, and Omnipresent. We are happy and pray Him to confer us spiritual uplift when we deserve it.

May all get what they deserve, from Sri Sai Ram ! : (Shri Samarth Sadguru Sai Natharpanmastu)

THE DIVINE VISION (June 1974)

(A DEVOTEE'S EXPERIENCE.)

—Sri N. Purnachandra Rao, B. A.

It so happened unexpectedly during the year 1955 that I followed a friend of mine to SHRI SAI BABA'S TEMPLE at Bhimavaram, West Godavari District on a Thursday. Till then I was not aware of the worship of Shri Sai Baba. During my first darshan at Sanctuary of the said temple the Murty of Sai Baba attracted me most and since then I used to adore Sai Baba daily at my house and also visit His temple on almost every Thursday till I left the said place in the year 1959.

My faith in Sai Baba developed gradually and I adore Him daily wherever I am. During the year 1964 Sai Baba blessed me with a male child. It was my longing to visit Sai Baba's temple at Shirdi but as it is situated at a far off place I could not fulfil my desire. On one occasion during the early period of 1967 an offer came to me to visit Poona and stay there for eight weeks. Then I felt very happy to avail of this opportunity to visit Shirdi from Poona during holidays.

But due to some inexplicable reasons this programme was can­celled. Again during October, 1967 I was suddenly called on to proceed to Poona, to stay there for eight weeks, During this period, I was having some family worries due to shifting of my family to a strange place to which place I was transferred and I had to leave my family members alone, if I were to go over to Poona. I could not decide whether to proceed to Poona leaving my children alone at a strange place for a period of 2 months or apply for leave thereby losing the opportunity of visiting Poona.

There was no time left to think over and decide and I had to either proceed to Poona within 24 hours i.e., the very next day or to apply for leave. Throughout the day I was worrying mentally as I did not like to lose the opportunity to proceed to Poona so that I could visit Shirdi and at the same time I could not venture to leave my family members alone as there were no adult male members in my family to look after the needs of my family members during the period of my absence. On the night of that critical day, I could not have sound sleep on account of mental worry due to my indecision in the matter. At midnight during sleep I had suddenly seen a vision of Shirdi Sai Baba surrounded by great brilliance of white light the intensity of which was beyond my power of expression. I trust that this brilliance cannot be described and explained by any person with an exception of some great spiritual masters. In the midst of this white, brilliant, divine and powerful light I have seen Murty of Shri Sai Baba in pure white form from head to foot with living eyes looking towards me. I could not withstand with the divine vision as I did not have much experience on any previous occasion and I suddenly woke up from sleep with shock and fear. Taking rest for five minutes, I again went to bed. Again within half an hour I had seen the same divine vision and again I woke up with nervous tension as I was not able to withstand the brilliance of this vision. In the morning I thought over the matter coolly, and my conscience prompted me that Shri Sai Baba desired me to avail the opportunity of deputation to Poona so that I could visit Shirdi also from Poona and have the darshan of Shri Sai Baba for which I was longing since a long time.

Leaving all my family worries to the care of Shri Sai Baba, I left for Poona the very next day. During my stay at Poona on one occasion, 3 consecutive public holidays occurred and I proceeded to Shirdi. There is a problem of language in interior places of Maharashtra State as most of the people talk either Hindi or Marathi. But without any difficulty at any stage I performed journey to Shirdi more happily than expected due to the kind blessings of Shri Sai Baba. In this connection, I furnish below detailed particulars of my journey to Shirdi so as to explain myself more clearly how Shri Sai Baba helps his devotees. When I was waiting for a Government Transport Bus at Poona Bus Stand at 2 a. m. to go to Shirdi, a stranger who was tall and stout in stature with a beard, pursued me like anything, offer­ing a lift in his car upto Ahmadnagar for a fare equivalent to bus fare. I was hesitant and fearing to get into a stranger's car as he could speak only Hindi and Marathi and did not know English and offered to provide lift to only one person as the entire balance of space in the car had to be utilised to stock News Paper Bundles. I know Hindi but cannot express fluently. Even though I avoided to give him any answer, when he enquired with me in Hindi the place to which I had to go after enquiring with the other nearby passengers waiting there he again came to me expressing in Hindi that he was confident that I had to go to Shirdi and assured me that there would be no harm in getting into his car. He had practically compelled me to get into his car. Most unwillingly, I got into his car as I did not know whether to believe his version or not. After I got into his car he had taken me to Ahmadnagar in a very short time. The journey was very pleasant He had also shown me Bus Stand at Ahmadnagar to continue my journey to Shirdi. At Ahmadnagar I could easily secure accomodation in Government Transport Bus to go to Shirdi.

After I got into Bus at Ahmadnagar I was enquiring with 'my co-passengers wherever Bus stopped at different stages whether Shirdi arrived, due to my anxiety that I might miss the stage of stoppage of Shirdi and thus face some trouble and difficulty in travel. At that time one gentleman came to me and after inquiring with me he told me not to worry and that he was the Inspecting Officer of the bus and assured me that he would get down along with me at Shirdi and show me the temple of Shri Sai Baba. After I arrived at Shirdi this gentle­man had taken me to the temple of Shri Sai Baba and also explained to me the other important particulars of the place. I thanked him for his help and took leave of him at the temple.

When I entered the temple of Shri Sai Baba I was thunder struck to notice that this was the same image of Shirdi Sai Baba which I had seen earlier in a dream, as explained above, surrounded by inexpli­cable divine brilliance. Here I desire to make myself more clear. Formerly I visited temples of Shri Sai Baba situated at Bhimavaram and Eluru in West Godavari District. In both these temples, the image of the Shri Sai Baba is of different colours i.e. white beard safforn clothes and red complexion. I was therefore not aware of adoration of image of Shri Sai Baba in pure white form. After seeing the image of Shri Sai Baba at Shirdi I recollected and satisfied myself that Shri Sai Baba was kind enough to grant me His divine darshan, which I could not withstand.

            Ever since this occurrence, my belief in Shri Sai Baba became thousand fold and I pray Him daily and eagerly wait to receive "OODI PRASADA'' by post every month.

 

The Miracle of Sai Baba's Udi (August 1974)

By:- Mahesh Chandra Srivastava

Inscrutable are the ways of Providence.   To get the blessings of choicest Heaven is the rare bliss.

Since October, 1973, I have the privilege of enjoying Baba's blessings in various ways and find Him guiding my darkened path, everyday, specially when I am in difficulty. Whenever my thoughts go to Him, irrespective of where I am, I find His Photograph, before me, conveying His blessings.

A day earlier than the fall of KOJAGIRI POORNIMA, it was Wednesday and I was bound for Shirdi the very night. At 10.30 a. m, a thought came to my mind that while at Shirdi, I should buy a silver ring with  'Baba's Emblem' over it. At about 1.30 pm, the same day, I called on a friend of mine, who deals in diamonds, with a mind to have lunch with him and also to inform him of my inten­ding visit to Shirdi, since I would not be able to see him for a couple of days. After finishing the lunch, he got up and at his own accord, came out with an offer of a platinum ring with 'Baba's Emblem' over it. The ring could be classed as one of the rarest mould of its kind.   Even  after spending a fortune,  I could not have made this precious ring. It has got a beautiful emblem of Baba in 'Gold' on it, and is made of platinum, silver and a couple of other hardening metals. The ring consists of five elements which is supposed to be 'THE MOST SACRED'. Since Baba  never wanted me to  wear a silver ring, that is why, He arranged, its presentation to fulfil my thoughts.

My friend was just an instrument in its presentation, since this ring came to him from someone.   Though this friend of mine used to meet me everyday for the past one month or so, still the thought of presenting this sacred ring came to his mind only that day, when Baba wanted my desire to be cherished. My friend made this offer of his own accord. With the ring on my finger, Baba brought me to His Lotus feet on 'KOJAGIRI POORNIMA' day which luckily was Thursday, at His shrine at Shirdi.

But the miracle that I am going to narrate to my brother devotees, has its own significance and characteristic meaning. It has brought a great change in my life and has left a rich imprint on my mind, which no word can express. L am overwhelmed with His benign blessings, which He has been gracious enough to shower upon this humble self.

On the morning of 23rd February, 1974, I reached the holy place, named Shirdi with my few friends, all intending to stay to­gether. Somehow, on reaching Shirdi, I decided to stay separately, and I did. After finishing the morning rituals, I went to my friend's place with a mind to go with them to 'Maha Samadhi Mandir' for ABHISHEK. Since they were not ready, I told them to meet me at Samadhi Mandir, where I would be awaiting them.

While buying garlands for Baba, a vibration came to my mind as if Baba was instructing me in person, saying "Go to Dwarka Mai first, then to Chawadi and then to Samadhi Mandir. I am still alive”.

After prostrating on His Lotus feet and garlanding His Portraits at Dwarka mai and Chawadi, I came to Samadhi Mandir for 'ABHISHEK' and to attend the noon arti.

No sooner the noon arti was finished, at Samadhi Mandir, I retired to my room with a mind to get up at 4 p. m. or 4.30 p. m. to go to Dwarkamai for reading the religious books at His Lotus feet. But some unknown force woke me up at about 3.00 p.m, and directed me to get ready and go to Dwarkamai. It was about 3. 30 p.m, when I reached at the 'Sacred Place' where I was asked by the 'Blessed Attendant' to serve Baba by cleaning and wiping His two portraits and five Padukas, which adore the holy shrine. My joy knew no bounds, while serving Baba this way, since I never expected this service to come at that hour. The privilege to serve Baba this way, was just due to His kind mercy showered upon me.

After rendering this service to Baba at Dwarkamai, I bowed before Him and started reading the religious books named SAI-CHALISA - DURGA CHALISA - HANUMAN- CHALISA AND SHRI SAI SATCHARITA.

The Maharaj (who looks after Chawadi Mandir) came unexpect­edly from somewhere and saw me with a book named 'Incredible Sai Baba' by Mr. Arthur Osborne. On seeing this book, he sat next to me and started discussing various miracles and leelas performed by Baba, as narrated by Mr, Arthur Osborne, in his book.

During the discussion, I heard myself saying to him 'who says Baba is dead. He is still alive. His body has only been merged with holy earth, which has to be since He was in human form. He is on the planet guiding our destiny. He is Omnipotent, Incarnate, never dies. Dwarkamai is the place where one should come first to pay His respects, since this Sacred Soil has been blessed by Him, all His life. From this place, He blessed His devotees to achieve their spiri­tual as well as materialistic goal. This entire place is surcharged with His 'Divine Fragrance and reminds His devotees, the memories of His past leelas'. While expressing these sentiments to Maharaj, I turned my eyes towards His Padukas and saw that the entire Padukas had been smeared with Udi. I could not understand this phenomena of nature at that time. But it did coincide with the arrival of two devotees, who whispered between themselves in Marathi, and left the shrine. Later on, Maharaj translated the same to me, which reads as follows :

'Look,   at  Baba's   Padukas, with Udi' How beautifully   they are smeared

After their departure, no devotee came to this holy shrine for darshan for another ten to fifteen minutes, though usually this place is always filled with a number of devotees. Probably, Baba with His bizzar way did not permit any of the devotees to enter in Dwarkamai, since the sacred Udi which was miraculously smeared on His Padukas was only meant for me. At 4-55 p. m., I suggested to Maharaj to go to Chawadi and sit there for a while on getting up, he drew my attention to the sacred Udi smeared so scientifically on the Padukas (looking as snowed) which a short while ago, my hands had the privilege of cleaning and washing. It appeared that the whole of that Udi will make a good quantity, but when it was collected by Maharaj, it turned out to be just a pinch. It was brownish in colour and glittering like a diamond with its divine lustre. It was Baba's Prasad for me, in appreciation of my ardent faith bestowed in His Omnipresence.

I now wear as an armlet filled with this precious, holy of holy, and most sacred Udi which sanctifies my thoughts, kindles my day to day's darkened path and guides my destiny. It inspires me to cherish the desire of my life's goal and fills my heart with reverence. The very thought that He is associated with my destiny enriches the aura of my life with His divine fragrance.

CONTROL OF ELEMENTS (November 1974)

BHISHASMAD VATAH PAVATE, BHEESHMODETISURYAH,

BHISHAASMADA- GRISCHENDRASCHA MRITYUR

DHAVATI PANCHAMA ITI.

(TAITTEREEYA UPANISHAD )

Through fear of Him blows the wind. Through fear of Him rises the Sun. Through fear of Him again Fire and Moon shine. Fifthly, Death runs to fulfil its duties.

In canto XVI and XVII of Srimad Bhagavata, we read that after driving Kaliya Nag from the waters of the Yamuna, Lord Krishna and the inhabitants of Braja with their cows spent that night near the bank of Kalindi, oppressed with hunger and thirst and worn out with fatigue. While they were all asleep fire broke out in the forest, dried with summer heat and began to burn down Braja. The fire surrounded the sleeping inhabitants. The inhabitants found themselves helpless and sought refuge at the feet of their Lord Bala Gopala. Observing the perturbation and helplessness of His people, the Lord, in the abundance of His compassion for His devotees, immediately swallowed up that fierce conflagaration, possessed as He was of unlimited energy (Anantha Sakthi dhrity)- It is no wonder that as the creater of the universe and the elements, Lord Krishna had controlled and swallowed the encircling forest fire.

H. H. B. V. Narasimhaswamiji of revered memory, in his Preface to Vol. II of Life of Sai Baba observed "WHAT SRI KRISHNA WAS AND WHAT HE SAID PUZZLED THIS AUTHOR AND PUZZLED SO MANY OTHER PERSONS; AND AFTER SEEING WHAT SAI BABA SAID AND DID, ALL THESE PUZZLES DISAPPEARED AND CLEAR LIGHT DAW­NED UPON EVERY ONE" etc. When that is the case with a devout and religious minded soul like our Swamiji it can better be imagined how the sceptics and atheists respect the above mentioned incident in the life of Lord Krishna as unbelievable and as a figment of the imagination of the author, sage Veda Vyasa. Let us now see how Lord Sai in his own ingenious way proved the veracity of the above phenomenon.

One day at noon the fire in the dhuni began to burn brightly and the flames were seen to be reaching the rafters of the mosque. The people who were sitting in Dwarkamai did not know what to do. It was not for them to ask the Omniscent and Omnipotent Baba to do something to quell the rising flames. Baba was then evidently in a transcendental mood. But the feelings of the devotees reacted on Him and He came to His normal condition. He immediately went to the Dhuni and with His Satka (Small stick) struck on the pillar nearby saying "Get down, Be calm" several times. The fire obeyed immediately and resumed its normal condition.

Commenting on this incident in his Sri Sai Satcharita, that great devotee Sri Hemadpant says "This is our Sai, an incarnation of God. He will bless any man who will prostrate and surrender himself, to Him" as did the inhabitants of Vraja on that fateful night referred to above.

Again on a midsummer day one of the hayricks at Shirdi caught fire through accident. There were many hayricks nearby. The wind was blowing fiercely and the other ricks were in the imminent danger of being caught fire and reduced to ashes. One of the residents ran up to Baba and craved to save them and their cattle. Baba immediately went to the burning stack and drew a thin line with water round that stack and said "Only this stack will be burnt, and no others". Only that stack was burnt, though other stacks were near and a wind was blowing.

( B. C, S. 342 )

Baba was occasionally preparing Meetha Chaval (Sweet Rice) or Pulava and feeding the people that came to Him. He used to personally attend to the cooking business. To test whether the food was properly boiled or not and to ensure for its proper condition, jaba used to thrust His bare hand into the boiling cauldran and churn the whole mess from side to side and up and down. Strange to say that Baba's hand was never burnt in the process. This fact also evidences His absolute control over the fire and its attributes.

In this connection, it is worthwhile recollecting what Sri Sai Saran Ananda Swami (Vamanrao P. Patel in his poorva Ashram) says on this aspect of Baba's supernatural powers, in his "Shri Sai, the Superman". "The idea that He is an entity apart from God has entirely left Him. He lives, moves and acts in God and when any of the Supernatural Powers is being exercised or used by Him He never thinks that He has been doing anything extraordinary, the exercise of these Powers being so natural to Him".

In St. Mathew, Chapter 8, verses 24-27 it is stated that when Jesus the Christ was asleep in the ship, there arose a great tempest in the sea and the ship was tossed up and down with the winds and waves. Then the disciples woke up Jesus and implored Him to save them. Jesus then rebuked the winds and the Sea and there was a great calm. The men marvelled saying "What manner of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him".

We find a similar incident in the life of Sai Baba. Rao Bahadur Moreswar V. Pradhan, B. A. L L. B. recounts in his statements of experiences how in 1910, there was a severe storm and heavy down pour of rain in Shirdi and how Baba controlled it saying., "O God! Enough, stop the rain. My children have to go back home. Let them go back without difficulty". Immediately the storm  stopped and Mr. Pradhan   was enabled to  return home that, night.

,           Similarly in 1914 Baba controlled a fierce storm through His divine powers. He continues to exercise His supernatural powers for the benefit of His devotees, which evidences His God-head. Here is an instance.

In 1951, I was working as Stationary Sub-Magistrate, Kai-kalur. There is a Sanskrit school there. As a devotee of Sanskrit Language, I was closely associated with the activities of the School. The teachers arranged literary meetings on 13th and 14th October, 1951 in consultation with me. I attended the Mahasamadhi Day on 10-10-1951 at the Sai Mandir, Ventrapragada. At the time of departure on 11-10-51, I earnestly prayed Baba to make the function a success.

Kavi Samrat, Padma Bhushan, Kala Prapoorna Sri Viswanatha Satyanarayana Garu (Recipient of Jnana Peetam Award of Rs. One Lakh) Kalaprapoorna, Pandit Penumatsa Satyanarayana Raju garu and some ten eminent scholars were invited and they attended the conference.

The opening session was held on the morning of 13-10-1951. At 3 pm the evening session began. Soon there was a gale and drizzle. The sky was cast with clouds and was threatening. The Pandal appeared to be in danger of being blown off by the wind. I felt nervous and mentally prayed to Baba. Soon the gale and drizzle subsided. Everything went on well according to schedule. When we returned home the court yard of my house was very damp and wet. When questioned I was told there was a heavy downpour of rain at 4 pm that day as a result of which the side canals were flooded. And the whole area overflowed with water. My further enquiries revealed that beyond a radius of 2 furlongs from the meeting place there was fierce gale and heavy downpour of rain. The absence of gale and rain near and at the meeting place was entirely due to the kripa (mercy) and divine powers of prabhu Sainath. This happened thirty three years after the Mahasamadhi of Baba which confirms the following assurances given by the benign Sai.

BABA'S CHARTERS

& SAYINGS.

50.       I shall be active and vigorous from the t9mb also.

51.       Even after my Mahasamadhi, I shall be with you the moment you think of me, at  any place.

52.       As soon as a devotee calls unto me with love, I will appear. I require no train to travel.

This is our Sai who is Krishna and Jesus rolled into one. The same divinity indeed. It is due to accumulation of merit of several births that we have become the children of Mother Sai and receive His constant care and protection. Let us repay our debit to our Prabhu through constant remembrance of HIM and through repeating His Holy Name 'SAI' always.

P. V. Satyanarayana Sastry, B. A.

Retired Thasildar,

Krishna Lanka,

Vijayawada - 2 (A. P.)

 

SAI’S APPEARANCE IN DREAM (February 1975)

 

It was in December 1967, I began Sai Pooja as initiated by a close Brahmin friend of mine with whom I was staying at HIDKAL DAM near Belgaum.

At first I did a Sai Saptaha “reading of Guru Charitra” in a week and concluded on Thursday as desired. The same night Sai appeared in dream and directed me to attend an interview the next day. This dream was in acceptance of my worship and faith in Sai Nath. The following day being Friday, as usual after my morning rituals when I returned from Shivalaya, a person was waiting for me with an introduction letter to appear for an interview. I was offered the job without many formalities. The new assignment was not much appealing to me in the beginning when compared to my previous post. My mind was therefore not at rest. I prayed to Sainath for His grace in meeting these challenges. My course of worship was very simple, restricted to always remembering Sai’s name and form. This process slowly purified my mind and redressed my mental state.

At the inspiration of Sai I devoted my whole hearted attention to my new task, casting aside all my doubts. My ceaseless efforts in introducing a better pattern of accounting  system paved way for my initial success and due recognition in the organization.

Sai’s acceptance of Naivedya and appearance as a black cat.

After about three months I had been to Kerala for my marriage. Just prior to my marriage I performed another Saptaha in my home town where many friends and relatives were present on the seventh day. When preparations for arati were being made a black cat turned up before Sai’s photo and gulped at once the naivedya offered to Sai and disappeared. This miracle of Sai surprised those who were present there. They all shared this spiritual feast for the first time and kept wondering at the glory and significance of Sai, who is present in all beings.

Sai’s appearance as serpent on my birthday

My faith in Sai grew day by day. In the year 1969 on my birthday I was reciting Sai mantra and offering arati before Sai’s photo along with my wife, when I felt the presence of Sai Nath there. At the very moment our attention was drawn to a shining piece of gold in front of Sai’s photo. Soon we realized it as a living serpent of 6 inches in length. My joy knew no bound. My wife was dumbfounded with this Sai leela. At my instruction milk was brought and offered. In a few minutes it had disappeared. My faith and devotion was thus acknowledged. By this time my little pooja room became a place of worship for many simple devotees of Sai Nath. One of these days a saint who came to perform yagnya to this place revealed these sequences as rare glories of Sai Nath.

                                K.R.Gopinath B.Com

      Hubli-22 Karnatak State.

The Infinite Grace (July 1985)

 

            I grew up in my aunt’s house in a village since I was 2 years old.  There I used to watch my niece perform Aarti with a child’s curiosity.  When she reached 16 she was married.  Her first delivery was a difficult one.  In villages in those only the barber’s wife did the mid-wifery and she said that my niece has to be taken to Hospital as her acute labour pains continued unabated.  The nearest town was 6 miles away and the available conveyance was by bullock-cart and the road was bumpy, uneven and katcha.  Not a recommendable proposition.  So all were worried.  Meantime hearing our conversation, amidst her labour pains, she said that Baba will protect her.  So saying she cried aloud “Baba, Baba, Baba”.  At the doorway of the room where she was lying, there appeared a hand in abhaya mudra and soon after she delivered a baby without any difficulty.  This happened in 1939 on an evening at about 6.45.  That was my first conscious introduction to Baba’s leelas.  Later in the company of my mother, who used to observe a vow on Thursdays and perform Aarti, my faith in the Almighty was developed and sealed.

            I used to write songs in praise of the Lord whenever I was in distress and sing them.  I have composed so far more than 4000 songs.  I was and I am worshipping Balaji of Tirupathi, our family diety and also Lord Subrahmanya, Goddess Mahalakshmi and Rajarajeswari Devi.  I observe a vow on Saturdays and Krithiga days.  I have Baba’s photo in my pooja room.  A day before Krithiga I used to have dream when a big cobra used to come and dance on my chest.  This was just a reminder to me that the next day was Krithiga, the day of Lord Subrahmanya.  I started my Saturday vow when I was in an acute difficult situation.  I took a vow that I will write 108 songs - one each day - on Lord Balaji and my troubles must be over before I complete 108.  Graciously enough my trouble was over soon after.

            Once I was virtually on death-bed because of severe jaundice.  I was then just 32 years old with a young wife and two kids.  I left hope of my life as the doctors numbered my days.  My people were all weeping by my bed-side when my old main servant came and said to my wife, “Take a vow to deposit your mangala-sutra in Balaji’s Hundi, if he became alright”.  Hearing this, I gathered all my feeble strength and shouted at her stating that I have no more belief in Balaji, who could not help my recovery.  At this the maid servant became unconscious suddenly and Balaji possed her and said “Dear child I have been protecting you from long (instances were quoted here).  Why do you lose confidence in me now?  You will be cured by a doctor who will come today from south.  Apologise for your words”.  My maid servant did not know any of the incidents in my life; but she quoted them all correct.  Later the doctor came as prophesied, cured me and I bear witness to this.

            When I was in India I used to attend bhajans on Thursdays.  I went to Mbeya in Tanzania and there I used to conduct bhajans on Monday in temple and Thursdays in my house regularly.  Recently in Oman I had occasion to meet one gentleman named Saibaba whose office is next to mine.  When he was introduced to me I nearly picked up a quarrel with him questioning how he can have his name as “Saibaba”.  Now he is a very good friend of mine and he took me to Dr.Homi Kaikobad’s house, where I was since then attending Sai Satsangh and Aarti regularly.

            A couple of months back I had a dream.  I was on the last step of a staircase in a Railway station.  An old lady in mid - 50’s was sitting in a wheel-chair.  She was wearing a red saree, red blouse, red kumkum, and her jewels were shining most radiantly.  Next to her an old man, in torn clothes, was also standing with a rickshaw who asked me, “My son, tell me where you want to go?  I will take you.  This lady also follows me in her wheel-chair”.  I was then worried about my job opportunities and was praying to Goddess Rajarajeshwari and Baba to show me a right place.  The result was the dream.  It was a symbolic assurance of help which I got quickly later!  I always get answers in my dreams, and my dreams come true.

            I am a Tamil Brahmin and Civil Engineer.  My family is in Madras.  I am 50 years old now and have one son and 4 daughters.  Three of them are married all within a range of 45 days.  It is all His grace.  I always find His hand and guidance and feel His presence in everything.  I do not see any difference between Lord Venkateshwara (Venkusa?) and Shirdi Baba.  I don’t know why but Dr. Homi took a special liking for me and I am grateful to him.  He was the leading light in Sai devotion in Muscat.  I am nothing when compared to his revelations.  He is utterly a Sai diwana with Sai perpetually on his lips and in his heart.  He always had an irresistible urge to meet the echoes of his inner call.  Answering this call, one day he suddenly left Muscat, God knows where, without a word to anybody, in search of the Greater Self, throwing away a flourishing practice, his many-sided popularity, his ever-widening circle of friends and well-wishers.  I am sure he left to find a place of solitude in some unknown and obscure corner of the world where, without any disturbance from devotees or patients, he can pursue this spiritual urge which became a magnificent obsession for him.  But the imprint that he left in Muscat is too deep to be erased or forgotten.  We miss him like the Gopis of Vrindavana in the absence of their Krishna, the Eternal Flute Player.

 

M.R.Kannan

Ruwi-Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

(Article based on a letter received by

Shri K.Navin Chander from Hyderabad)

 

AN OASIS IN THE DESERT (October 1985)

It is not a marvel if I say that many know the three sweet and enchanting letters “SAI”.  Though I heard of SAI much earlier, I could come to Him only in my third year. When I happened to go through Sri Sai Satcharita, published by Sri Shirdi Sai Samsthan casually some unknown change in my thoughts took place and I experienced peace of mind. Attracted  by His Grace, my devotion towards SAI has gradually increased after studying  “ The Experiences of Devotees “ Telugu Version by late Sri Bapatla Hanumantha Rao. I continued the Parayana with interest and devotion and a strong desire developed in my heart to purchase a photograph of SAI. Then I started my actual meaningful life.

Though I used to pray to the Lord in different forms earlier with desires and when in distress. I could be consoled only by SAI. Hence it made me to conclude that my prayers to the Lord should be directed to Baba SAI alone.

In January 1982, I fortunately saw the move Shri Shirdi Saibaba. The picture left an indelible impression on me. This movie reinforced my faith and devotion for SAI. Prior to May 1982, I was seriously indisposed. The doctor could not diagnose my disease even after giving treatment for a month. At that time. I was inspired to go to Sri Sai Karunalayam. After sitting there for some time, suddenly an idea came to my mind that I should undergo blood test. The blood test revealed that I was suffering from diabetes. Without reservations, I  prayed to Baba for His help and used UDHI regularly along with other medicines. Miraculously the disease disappeared completely to the astonishment of the doctors within three months. This gave me enormous relief and strengthened my belief in Baba. The OASIS OF BABA’S GRACE is helping me in living my life with peace of mind. I am convinced that nothing can equal the grace and kindness of SAI. I am also of the strong opinion and confirmed faith that I am directed by Sri Sai Baba at every moment.

Through this I am sincerely appeal to Sai devotees to pray to SAI to have firm faith in HIM perpetually and to utter the holy name of SAI with love.

MAY BABA BLESS ALL

JAI BOLO SATCHINDANANDA SADGURU SAINATH MAHARAJ KI JAI

SHRI GURU DEVA DATTA

 

S.Sreenath

Lecturer,

Kurnool.

 

I am not alone-Baba is with Me (MAY - JUNE 2000)
I am pleased to share my following glorious experience with innumerable Sai devotees.

It was during November, 1997, my wife and myself went to our daughter's home in the United States. I am a diabetic patient and I also had an attack of severe bronchitis before we left India. The doctors here had prescribed medication to be taken during our stay in the US. We reached US on schedule and continued to stay with our daughter comfortably.

As per our routine, we used to worship our beloved deity Sri Sainath by chanting the usual prayers everyday. We had planned our sojourn for three months. On the thirtieth day after our arrival in US, I suddenly had severe cramps in the chest. I could not bear the pain or breath. I lied down wherever I was. We were alone in the house with the infant kids of our daughter, as our daughter and son-in-law had left for their work. I was alone in the drawing room when I had these cramps. I somehow beckoned my wife who was in the kitchen. She was shocked when she saw my plight and immediately phoned my daughter at the office. It was snowing at the time and there was eighteen inches of snow on the road and approach to our home.

Temperature outside was below zero. On hearing about my condition at home one of her senior colleague helped her drive through the snow and they rushed to the house within fifteen minutes.

When my daughter saw my distressed state, she did not waste time pondering. She called the emergency service and explained to them of our predicament. Within ten minutes, the emergency squad arrived at our place fully equipped. There were two doctors too in the squad. They checked my condition, took ECG on the spot and decided that it was a stroke and that I have to be immediately admitted to a hospital having facility to perform a heart surgery. There were two hospitals nearby who could perform the surgery. As it was heavily snowing, most of the roads were blocked. I was physically immobile but I was in senses. I pleaded that "I need not be taken to any hospital and I will be all right soon and that I can get necessary medical aid in India." The emergency squad insisted that I should be taken to the hospital and specialist doctors will decide the future course. They asked for our preference of hospital, and my son-in-law suggested a name known to him, where there was a specialist Indian doctor attached to them. They then put me on the stretcher and we waded through snow on the way to the hospital

Within 30 minutes we reached the place. On arrival, the staff took me to the emergency cell. I distinctly remember that, lying on the stretcher on way to emergency room, I was continuously chanting and remembering Lord Sainath's name. Silently chanting his name I may have lapsed into an unconscious state Within an hour I understand that they conducted various tests including catheterization. The tests suggested that there were four blocks in the arteries. A conference was held among various doctors and surgeons and it was decided that an open heart bypass surgery has to be conducted without delay.

Hospital authorities summoned the anesthetist and within two hours of arriving at the hospital the surgery was commenced. I was not aware of anything that was being performed on my physical body. I was gleefully wandering somewhere in the most pleasant gardens and lawns in a serene atmosphere. I was aware that 'I' was not alone and Lord Sainath was with me.

It nearly took five hours for the surgeon and his assistants, to complete the task of cutting the veins from my calves and thighs and plant them firmly in place in the arteries. The operation was successful. Probably it took another six hours for me to regain my consciousness. My wife, it seems was continuously praying Baba for the success of the surgery and for my speedy recovery. Her prayers were answered. She was there to give me an assuring smile although in tears of joy.

I came to senses all right! But I was trying to find me! I was neither there nor here! It took me some time. May be a minute or two, I am not sure! Suddenly I realized that I was with Baba, and I was walking down from the inside of His heart back to my bed. I was in a state of confusion! I did not for a moment understand why I had to leave Baba and that beautiful garden and walk down to this miserable place. I started looking for Him. I could not find! Then after some time, I concluded that He had walked along with me and may have entered my heart! Yes, He is still there! Always there! I am not sure when I will have another opportunity roaming those gardens with Him! Why should I worry? Let Him decide. One thing that has entered my heart now after the surgery is not the new veins 'but that' I am not alone and Baba is always with me! He loves, provides and protects. "I am not alone, Baba is with me" is not an exclusive privilege of mine. It is a fact decreed for every devotee. We have to be aware of His presence. He is with us hearing and looking at everything we say and do. He is witnessing our every speech and actions. The moment the awareness of His continuous presence is felt, we get transformed. The thoughts which are the cause of our speech and actions will naturally get oriented to speak and do things which have His approval. Our ego the 'I' will get a knock and a slap. Our speech will get changed to be very courteous and polite. We start appreciating others. We will start saying "Oh! You have done a great job".

This is because we also feel the Lord's presence in the person, whom we are addressing. We shall start saying, "I admit I was wrong". I know how difficult it is to admit our inadequacies. But with the awareness of his presence in us it is easy. The 'I' becomes a non-entity. When the 'I' gives room for 'We' the life turns out to be a happy passing phase.

One more thing we normally say "I did this, I said this, I did that, I said that" etc. We should make it a habit to say "Let us do this, let us do that" etc. Let us include Him also in whatever we say or do. I am a non-entity without Him. It is He who does everything and we are only His instruments. 

The eight words "I am not alone, Baba is with me" is a mantra that we have to repeat daily and at all times and feel His presence with us! –

K. S. Shenoy
Kothrud, Pune.

SAI DARSHAN AT BADRINATH – KEDARNATH

Lt.Col M.B.Nimbalkar (Retd)

Pune

I have been reading one Chapter of Shri Sai Satcharita serially everyday regularly for the last 24 years and my experience is that as the years pass by one gets exactly the same experiences as narrated in the Shri Sai Satcharita e.g. cure of diseases with application of Udi, overcoming calamities on reciting Baba's arati 'Arati Sai Baba', all the obstacles cleared for journey to Shirdi and back etc. But some years back, I had a very remarkable experience Sai Baba appearing in the form of a picture at a very distance and difficult place exactly as experienced by Shama (Madhavrao Deshpande) at Gaya in Chapter 46, which I am narrating now.

In 1982 myself and my wife had gone to Meerut (U.P.) where my son, then a lieutenant Colonel in The Indian Army, was posted. During our stay, he offered to take us on a pilgrimage to Badrinath and Kedarnath in Garhwal district, since the area came under his official jurisdiction and facilities were available for comfortable slay on the way. Badrinath is 3110 mtrs. (10200 ft.) and Kedarnath 3583 mtrs. (11752 ft.) above sea-level. The journey through mountains is very tough, especially to Kedarnath where the last 15 kms. One has to go on foot or on a horse-back only. It was the end of October, so at that height there would be terrible cold and a snowfall also likely. However we both decided not to miss the opportunity and fixed 28th October (Thursday) as the day of our move.

On the day of our move, as per my routine after bath etc., I opened Shri Sai Saicharita and started reading the Chapter as per serial order. The Chapter was 46th and I came across the following lines in it:

"If Baba accepts a devotee, He follows him and stands by him, day and night, at his home or abroad. Let the devotee go anywhere he likes, Baba is there ahead of him in some form in an inconceivable manner."

Then further on I read Baba's words to Nanasaheb Chandorkar and Kakasaheb Dixit that "after doing Banares and Prayag, I would be ahead of Shama" and how Baba was already actually present in the form of a picture at Gaya ahead of Shama.

On reading this, suddenly a thought came to my mind "would Baba favour me with such 'darshan' either at Badrinath or Kedarnath and prove His promise of accompanying His devotee everywhere? I am a very small fry as compared to Shama, but would I be honoured with such a favour?" Anyway I forgot all about this after we commenced our journey with our son from Meerut in a bus later.

We reached Rudra Prayag at 7 p.m. that day and halted for the night. Prayag means confluence of two or more rivers. Rudra Prayag is the con­fluence of Mandakini and Alakananda rivers. Here the road bifurcates — one going to Kedarnath and other to Badrinath. At our night-resort, we met some 10-15 pilgrims from Nagpur-Bombay side. They had just returned from Kedarnath. They had come back from Kedarnath without laking the 'darshan' as there was 3-4 ft. of snow for the last 7 kms. of journey. We thanked Baba for inspiring us to take the first journey to Badrinath which is at lower height. We hoped that by the time we return, the snow at Kedarnath would subside.

Next morning we started for Badrinath again in a bus. Climbing along the winding road, looking down on our left at the running waters of Alaka­nanda throughout and crossing many a confluences such as Kama Prayag, Nanda Prayag, it was a great pleasure. Indeed I thought I was passing through the land of Gods (Deva Bhoomi) as described in various Puranas. We reached Joshi Math at about 4 p.m. Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharya's famous Math is located here. We were comfortably accom­modated in an Army mess through my son. Next morning we started in a jeep for Badrinath about 48 kms. away. Two days ago the road was blocked due to snow but now it was clear. We stopped the jeep on this side of the foot-bridge over Mandakini river and started walking. With the white snow on the hills behind the Badrinath temple and the clear water of Mandakini river running below the bridge, the sight was really thrilling and awe-inspiring. After a bath in the hot-water spring (tapta-kunda), we had a very satisfying darshan of Lord Badri-narayana. Our Shastras say that no pilgrimage would be complete unless a pilgrim paid a visit to Badrinath.

After some shopping, we returned to our jeep, when my son suggested to have a cup of tea. In that severe cold who would refuse tea! We walked into a nice restaurant nearby and sitting on a table ordered tea. At that time, I inadvertently turned round and lo! I saw Sai Baba smiling at me from behind the owner's counter with a raised hand of blessing. My eyes could not believe it. Immediately I got up and going near the counter, bowed lo the big picture hanging there with a garland and a lighted lamp. My eyes were full of tears of joy. What a favour my Sai showered on this humble soul! Could I ever be compared with Shama! But my Sai is great. He would favour equally even lowliest of His devotees. I then talked to the Sikh owner who told me that he usually visited Shirdi near Manmad in Maharashtra.

In this great joy, we returned to Joshi Math and next morning, started back for Rudra Prayag in order to take up the other route lo Kedarnalh. By ill-luck, we missed the bus and hence reaching late at Rudra Prayag, we had to catch another bus which took us only upto Sonaprayag - 5 kms. short of Gauri Kund from where the tough climbing starts for Kedarnath. We reached Sonaprayag at 7-30 p.m. and since at that time no transport was available to go to Gauri Kund, we spent the night there only in a small hotel. Kedarnath temple closes daily at 12 p.m. In addition to likely snow-capped route near the temple, this 5 kms. journey from Sonaprayag was an additional delay. My wife had suddenly caught severe cold and fever at Joshi Math and was too weak to take up the journey uphill even on a horse-back. Luckily we had brought with us a Garhawali servant along with us. Therefore my son and myself started for Kedarnath on horse-back very early next morning asking my wife and the servant to go in a bus to Gauri Kund later in the day and selecting a comfortable room there, wait for our return in the evening.

We reached Gauri Kund in an hour. There is a hot-water spring of Parvati Devi (Consort of Lord Shiva) at this place. We had a quick dip in it and started for the darshan of Lord Shiva at Kedarnath. From now on the climb was very steep (5000 ft. in 15 kms. distance) but we had no trouble. The view of snow-capped mountains high above and running water of Mandakini deep below, was beautiful and thrilling. However at about 11 a.m. when we reached a distance of 3 kms. short of Kedarnath, we saw all the ponies and horses coming from Gauri Kund halted there. On inquiry, we were told that due to snow ahead the horsemen had refused to go ahead asking the pilgrims to go walking. Our horsemen had assured us that we would have to walk only about 1 km. distance. So we had a bit of tussle with them and ultimately they took us up another 1 km. ahead.

Here I would like to inform the readers that I have been suffering from Ischaemic heart disease since 1967 and has been admitted in hospital 2-3 times. At Pune I cannot walk even 1 km. of flat road without a pain in the chest. So my son requested me not to go ahead and return back to Gauri Kund. But I had full faith in my Sadguru Shri Sai Nath and started walking ahead resolutely in the snow. In few moments I met a pilgrim returning from Kedarnath and he wished me with the words 'Jai Kedar'. That inspired me and I started moving faster with 'Jai Sai - Jai Kedar' on my lips. Al last we reached Kedarnath temple on the top. We had a very satisfying darshan of Lord Shiva with pooja and abhishek and started on our journey back first on foot and then on horseback. Kedamalh is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The legend goes that the temple was built by the Pandavas to atone for their sins after the great war of Mahabharata.

When we reached Gauri Kund at about 5 p.m., my wife and the servant were waiting for us. First question my wife asked me as to how was our trip? I told her, "quite successful". Then with a smile on her face, she said to me, "Come to the room, I shall show you something interesting." I followed her to the room and she pointed at a picture hanging right next to our bed. What a sweet surprise! My Sai was again there - with the same smile and the same hand raised in blessing as at Badrinath! The picture was garlanded also and hanging next to our bed as if to protect us. Tears of joy burst out of my eyes and my heart swelled with gratitude lo dear Sai! I was quite satisfied by His favour once at Badrinath and considered myself very fortunate. I had forgotten all about it. And now He was here again as if to tell me that "Look! Here am I before you to make arrangements for your comfortable stay!" The wonder of wonders was that my wife had made a search of all other rooms also but the picture was found in our room only. Naturally we slept that night soundly listening to the musical sound of the water of Mandakini close by.

Next morning we started, back by bus straight  for Rishikesh. My wife's health was also now better. On the way we passed through Deva Prayag, where Alakananda meets Bhagirathi and the river gets the name 'Ganges'. We reached Rishikesh at 4 p.m. and stayed there for the night. In the evening we went for dinner in a restaurant called 'Chotiwala'. As we entered, lo my great surprise, I saw my Sai again for the third lime. Behind the manager's counter, there was Shri Sai Baba's large picture — exactly as seen al Badrinath and Gouri Kund. I went near and bowed down with great joy and gratitude. It may be clarified here that the pictures at all the three places were exactly the same in pose, colour and size. Also all the pictures were especially obtained by the devotees concerned, as nowhere in the local bazars we came across any picture of Shri Sai Baba for sale. Next morning we had a dip in the Ganges river and left back for Meerut with a greatly satisfied heart.

Thus Sadguru Sai Baba not only successfully completed my pilgrimage to one of the most difficult but very important place, but fulfilled my desire to see His picture at that distant place not only once but three times successively. As stated by Bala Buva Sular of Bombay in Chapter 33, "seeing Baba's photo is equivalent to seeing Him in person", therefore I feel doubly blessed. Indeed when Sadguru is pleased, His favours do not drizzle but pour until the devotee is completely drenched in bliss.

JAI BADRI! JAY KEDAR! JAI SAI!

 

 

MY VISION

(From Shri Sai Leela, May 1973)

Z.M.Rao

Jabalpur

I am at the fag end of my life. Before I leave this mortal body I want to release my experience for the benefit of the true devotees of Sri Sai Nath, though I have kept it as a sacred secret for many long years.

It was the end of the year 1947. I casually came to know that there was a Saint in SHIRDI. Haphazardly I made arrangements to go to Shirdi. Neither I knew the way to Shirdi, nor have I seen Baba previously. At that time, I was staying at Dehu Road, near Poona. The quarters in which I lived had two rooms. The night before starting for Shirdi I slept in one room and in the other room my father and brother slept. Unexpectedly my sleep was broken early in the morning and I was rolling in the cot in the darkness. Suddenly I saw this vision :-

I was in front of a big 'KUTI'. It had one matted door, a thatched roof and broad varandah, with two steps in front. I was standing at the steps. All of a sudden the door was opened and from the door black person came naked and wearing a garland of human skulls and he stood holding the top comer of the door with his right hand. At his mere presence, I shook and shivered with great terror and a flick of thought crossed my mind as to who was this devil who came here to finish and eat me up when I came here for the darshan of Babaji. Simultaneously at this moment I saw Babaji coming through the door and at His very presence my mind became calm and I was happy that He had come to save me from that devil.

Immediately I ran up the stairs, bowed before Him and asked Him, "Babaji! The worldly people say there is no God. Is there God or not?" Babaji bent forward, put His right hand palm on my head and said, "Yes." And at the same time both of them vanished.

As scheduled, I started for Shirdi next morning and reached in time and the first thing I saw as a surprise was a clay model of Babaji which was exactly like the one whom I saw in the vision. Immediately I purchased the clay model and brought it home .and ever since that time I have preserved it carefully. It has become my real Baba in the House.

I am still unable to make out who was this black person, naked and having a garland of human skulls. In due course of time when I read a descrip­tion of Lord Shankara in Tulsi-Ramayana, it has exactly tallied with Him. Hence I understood that He is none other than (the great Deity Bhagwan Shankara).

Both of them were so immensely merciful towards me and I am ever and ever greatly eager for their darshan.

So one can imagine when Lord Shankara attended in Sai Baba as a humble servant, how great should be our devotion and service to Sri Sai Baba who is none other than the great LORD ALMIGHTY SRI MAHA VISHNU.

I hope this my vision will clear the doubts about the existence of God and about Sri Sai Nath as the incarnation of God.

 

"SAI ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE"(May 1975)

The devotees could never approach Baba unless He meant to receive them. If their turn did not come, Baba did not remember them. ('SRI SAI SATCHARITA') Saint Purandaradas is a household name in South India. He is the grand father of Karnatak Music, while Saint Thyaga raju is considered the father of that form of music.

The original name of Purandaradas was Srinivas Nayakar. He was a multi-millionaire carrying on business in gold and dia­monds. He was a confirmed miser. He spent his life in business and never for a second thought of God. By the accumulation of merit of many previous births, his turn for acceptance by the Lord came. Panduranga (Vithal) of Pandharapur came to him, one day, as a Brahmin and requested him for charity for perfor­ming the marriage of his daughter. Srinivas asked him to come the next day. When the Brahmin turned up the next day, Srinivas asked him to come on the morrow. Thus the Brahmin was made to come daily to Srinivas for six months- The Brahmin at last approached the wife • of Srinivas and told her of his plight. The generous wife presented the Brahmin with her diamond nose-ring worth some thousands of rupees. The Brahmin took the nose-ring to Srinivas and offered it for sale. Srinivas immediately recognised it as his wife's and striking the bargain asked the Brahmin to come the next day for the money. He kept the nose ring in his iron safe and locked it up and went home and asked his wife for the nose-ring. The wife, who knew the temperament of her husband, went inside a room and wanted to end her life by taking diamond poison. Accordingly she prepared the poison and was on the point of swallowing it, when Lo! something fell into the cup making sound. When she put her hand into the cup, she found her own nose-ring. Tears of gratitude flowed from her eyes profusely and she heartily thanked the Lord for the timely succour. She took the nose-ring and gave it to her husband. The husband was frightened. He immediately ran to his shop, opened the iron safe and found the nose-ring missing. He was all the more dumb founded. He went home and asked his wife to tell the truth. The wife narrated everything in detail. The mental eye of Srinivas was opened. He now realized that the Lord himself came in the form of the Brahmin to redeem him. He recollected how he spent this precious human life in fleeting pleasures of the flesh and money. He was now a changed man by the grace of the Lord. He gave away his enormous wealth in charity to the poor and became a begger. He, with his wife, wandered from place to place singing the glory of Lord Vithal living on a begger's food. He brought the Lord numerous homes and created spiritual atmosphere wherever he went. He occupies a prominent place in the galaxy of the devotees of Lord Panduranga (Vithal.)

Balasaheb Bhate spent his life even as a student in a wild manner. He was a confirmed "Charvaka" (atheist) hating the motto "Eat, drink and make merry for, tomorrow we may die" which happens to be the essence of Charvaka Philosophy. He became, in course of time, the Mamlatdar of Kopergoan and earned the reputation of an honest and efficient officer. He was loved by the English Collectors and Commissioners of the day. Several friends of his, became devotees of Sainath. On their way to Shirdi, they used to stay with Bhate for the night or for a day. Bhate used to scoff at them for their devotion to Sai. The fri­ends used to remonstrate. "If you only go to Sai, you will come to know what he is. Without seeing Him, without knowing Him, why should you criticise Sai and laugh at us". Bhate never took their okemonstrance’s seriously and indulged in revealing Sai and His devotees whenever an opportunity afforded. Things were going on like this for sometime. Curing the course of his official tour of his Taluq, Bhate; once happened to camp at Shirdi. Out of curiosity, with no serious purpose, he went to Dwarakamai  and sat before Sai. Sai, all of a sudden, covered His head with cloth. Bhate was at once transformed. All his savannas and cascaras (Latencies) were completely eradicated. He became a devotee of Baba and spent his life at the feet of Baba. As he was affected by religious melancholia, he was prematurely retired and granted a pension by the then ruling Britishers. It is this Bhate that argued with Hemadpant of pre-destination as against free will. Bhate performed the obsequies of Baba along with Upasani Baba, after his Mahasamadhi. Every friend and acquaintance of Bhate was surprised at the transformation of this virtual Charvaka into a great and staunch devotee of Baba. This transfor­mation took place while Baba was in His mortal soil

Baba similarly effected transformation in the case of a con­firmed atheist some thirty six years after his Mahasamadhi.

Gopichand is a famous man of letters in Telugu. His father was too well known as an athiest and he continued to walk in the foot prints of his father. In 1954, he was working as Direc­tor of Publicity in the Government of Andhra at Kurnool. His wife was admitted to the Govt. Hospital for confinement and it was found to be a case of hard labour. Three days passed and there was no relief. Gopichand spent restless days and sleepless nights. On the third day, he chanced to pass by the side of the Sai Baba Mandir constructed on the bank of Thungabhadra. In his deep anguish and distressed state, he addressed Sai, "people say You are God, You possess vast powers and that You come to the rescue of the distressed If this is true, then come to my aid now and see that my wife has a safe and painless delivery. Then I will believe in your Omnipotence". So thinking he wended his way to the hospital.

By the time he reached the hospital he found that his wife had an easy and safe delivery. She gave birth to a male child. A little later, when he met his wife in the confinement room, she told him that an old man with a beard and angarkha and a satka came and sat on her bed and said "My dear child, don't worry, I have come to give you relief. You will have a painless delivery here and now". "So saying he applied Udi on my forehead & made me drink water mixed with Udi. No sooner did I drink the water than I delivered this child. I have no pains now. I am now safe and alright." Gopichand asked the time when the old man came to her. She told him of the time, Gopichand was then convinced that Sai appeared before his wife immediately after he threw the challenge mentally and was con­vinced of the Omnipotence of Lord Sai. He mentally bowed and thanked Sai for the timely succour given to his wife. The great-ul father named that child as Sai Baba. All those who knew him felt the shock of this tremendous transformation. Gopichand passed away a few years back, his son, Sai Baba is now a grown up young man.

The spiritual history of India is replete with such conversions and transformation. No body knows when the grace of the Lord descends on man and effects the transformation. Without His grace, no spiritual progress can be achieved. It is because of everflowing grace of Sainath that we have become His devotees. Let us, therefore, strive hard to merit His grace and progress further on the spiritual path till the goal of self-realization is reached.

Let me conclude with what Hemadpant says in his '*Sai Satcharita". "Baba's speech established its efficacy or greatness while He was living in the flesh, but wonder of wonders, it did the same even after His passing”. Baba said, "Believe me, though I pass away, my bones in my tomb will give you hope and con­fidence. Not only myself but my tomb would be speaking, mov­ing and communicating with those who would surrender them­selves wholeheartedly to me. Do not be anxious that I would be absent from you. You will hear my bones speaking and discussing your welfare. But remember me always, believe in me heart and soul and then you will be most benefitted".

P. V. Satyanarayan Sastry    B. A.

Retired Tahsildar, GUNTUR 1 (A. P.)

 

BABA'S BLESSINGS (May 1975)

 

TRUELY speaking I did not know much about Baba until 1956 except hearing casually regarding greatness of Baba through a very close friend of mine, whose grandfather, being a staunch devotee, had been fortunate to be blessed with the Baba's darshan in his life time. In 1956 I was convalescing after I suffered badly from T. B. for about 11 years. I had in my flat a small portrait of Baba. I do not remember as to who brought it and placed it there. I used to glance atthe portrait but not with much devotion. At the beginning of 1957, I had a vision of an old person with features quite similar to those of Baba, who was moving up and down on a small plank in a dilapidated house. There from a sort of feeling leading to devotion started developing in course of time. In 1958 (during Holi vacation), as a result of inner urge, I visited Shirdi. It was rather unprecedented to find that nobody connected with the establishment of the temple demanded or accepted, even if offered, money from devotees and that there were no thefts of the sort generally expected at such places. I found the employees of the temple advising the devotees to put money, which they offered to them as a token of courtesy, into the boxes meant for the purpose. I feel that this was unusual and uncommon manifestation of integrity imbibed in them by the grace of Baba.

I did not start regular worship of Baba till late 1959. An interesting instance occured then. My wife lost her gold earring in my apartment. She rummaged the entire house thrice but in vain. She suspected the maidservant in the usual way. But she restrained herself from making any wild allegation against her openly, except mentioning to her about the missing earring in a casual manner. I and my wife could come to firm conclusion that the earring was lost once for all. At that stage, we both, in ourselves, thought of testing the grace of Baba. Next day morning, the maid-servant, while cleaning the house, restored the earring to our utmost astonishment. I have no comments as to how and wherefrom she could get it after about a week since it was lost. Thenceforth Baba instilled unwavering faith in me. So, as a weak human being, I started regular worship of Baba, which I continue to do till to-date with all devotion and faith.

In 1961, Baba created an urge to visit Shirdi. I started for Shirdi with an idea that I should come back to Hyderabad before rush of people for Ram Navami festival starts at Shirdi. I completed my pooja on Thursday. On Friday I participated in Noon-Arati and went to the Chief Executive to take leave of him formally. By that time, some people from Bombay and other places, started arriving for the festival. The Chief Executive instead of formally permitting me to leave Shirdi, insisted on me to stay over for the festival. I took it as the order of Baba through the Chief Executive and stayed over for the great festival. Although there was a great rush of people, I was accommodated comfortably in the guest house by the grace of Baba. There was a gathering of more than 50,000 people belonging to different faiths viz., Sikhs, Jains, Zorastrians, Muslims, Christians apart from Hindus who were found eager and enthusiastic to partici­pate in all phases of the festival and offer prayers in the Samadhi Mandir according to their wish and vow. Of all the aspects of the Festival, the most spectacular and significant was giving bath to Baba with sacred Godavari water carried by thousands of devotees individually on their head. Among these devotees were even children of 10 to 12 years, women and men, old in age, besides a multitude of others. After Baba was thus given bath of devotion, the devotees, started getting ready to offer garlands. At that curious juncture, I just looked around at other devotees, who were holding very costly and grand garlands and wished in myself that I would be fortunate if Baba accepted my garland first before that of any one else, although mine was not so grand as those of some others nearby the rostrum. The very moment, the pujari made a gesture towards me and took my garland and offered it to Baba as the first one of that great festival. Belive me, I became so overwhelmed with joy that I have no words to express it. Thus Baba blessed me.

 

M.Ganga Reddy B.Com

Hyderabad

 

 

My Reappointment Beyond the Age of 60 Years (June 1975)

After I retired in 1973, I reverted to Sri Sai's work, the whole day being at my disposal to serve, think and feel about Sri Sai. I did not think of taking up a job as my attempts immediately after retirement did not succeed. I thought it was Sri Sai's will that I should dedicate and devote my time to HIM. So, I kept myself engaged in writing something on Sri Sai, my experience perceptibly felt, in which how the unseen miraculous hand of the mystic saint plays the role to help his Bhaktas, as such experience of a devotee if published will attract Sai devotees more than publishing philosophy or scriptures.

It is not exaggerating, if I should say, how the wonderous saint is keeping His constant contact and vigil on His dedicated Bhakta is impressively explained by this unexpected miracle of mine in this article.

With   prostrations to   Sri Sai I start   to say it   was in the 2nd week of December 73,   while I was to sit for Sri Sai Pooja at   HIS   LOTUS   FEET, I had a call from CSO's office by Shri V P. S. Chellappa,   IPS,   CSO.    I sent a word that I will see him  after Pooja.    It appears I was wondering as to how   I could sit for Pooja even unmindful of the appointment he was offering me.

As usual after pooja I went and saw CSO. My impression was that Mrs. CSO Madam being a staunch devotee of Sri Sai might have wanted me for any clarification or literature on Sri Sai Baba. I could not even think or imagine of any appointment since it was a closed chapter to me as I was beyond 60 years of age.

As soon as I entered CSO's room, he sarcastically asked me, "Even when an appointment is offered, you do not seem to be curious about it, but are more interested in Sai Pooja." I humbly and   coolly replied   that CSO   knows   it is Sri Sai   who continued   me in service   beyond 58 years and it is Sri Sai who worked the miracle of my commutation, so CSO will kindly agree   that Pooja first, the rest next   and CSO will excuse me. Then CSO said Yes, You are right and got my application for   appointment   as a clerk   under   him   in the   same   office   in connection   with the   implementation of the   revised pay scale of the Railway   Employees-    This was really surprising to me since while I did not aim at a job, an appointment was being offered   to me   by the same   Officer and in the same office from where I     retired.    I could think of   CSO directing me for an appointment to some firm or   company   since he is sympathetic with me,   but Lo! He was   offering me a   Central Govt,   job with   all benefits, privileges and   facilities as that of   regular appointment and that too under his direct   control in his own office, naturally a thing not expected nor imagined.

A further wonder is that I was sent for medical examination as due for fresh appointment on 10-1-74, a THURSDAY - Note Thursday - more   wonderful and   surprising   is that   my   anxiety was to   finish medical   examination   on 10-1-74,   so that   I could join duty on 11-1-74 _ Friday, when I will be able to earn wages for 4 days   with   intervening   holidays - 12th   Saturday,   13th   Sunday,  14th Monday,   PONGAL and 15th Tuesday - Bhogi Festival - If I don't join on Friday the 11th, I will be a loser of 4  ' days wages - otherwise a heavy loss of 5 days wages, as I could join duty only after holidays on the 16th.

To my surprise as I wished, my medical examination was over by about 10.30 am on 10-1 -74 and I rushed to CSO's office, handed over the fitness certificate and wonder of wonders is that I was made to join duty then and there on the same day (Thursday) itself. Thus Sri Sai made me eligible for one additional day's wages, as it was only 11a.m, when I handed over the fitness Certificate. Orders were immediately issued to me from 10-1-74 Thursday itself   contrary to   my thinking   that I   can join duty on Friday.  Lt thus teamed 6 days wages instead of 5 days, an expected thing I never   dreamt of.    Here I must   acknowledge my   indebtedness and express my   gratitude to   Sri S. Ganesan,   Assistant Security officer, for   his kind   help,   who likes me   and bears a soft corner for me.    Is it not clear that these developments at each stage are by the unseen miraculous   hand of the Mystic Saint Sri Sai towards His bhakta who is, dedicated and devoted to HIM? Thus   Sri   Sai bestowed   and   blessed me   with   this   unexpected appointment   and the   benefit of   earning   nearly   Rs. 400/- per month with all privileges of pass, leave holidays etc. for one full year from 10-1-74 to 9-1-75, on reappointment in the same office and under   the same Officer   Sri P. S. Chellappa,   IPS, who was my boss when I retired in 1973.

What I wish   to impress on   Sri Sai devotees   is not that I got   reappointment, but   how I got it without   thought or effort. Many   learned Senior   and more   ardent   bhaktas   than   me   may contribute   articles on philosophy,   slogans on Sri Sai. But it is my humble   opinion that   Sai bhaktas will   admire and they will be more   attracted by personal   experiences of bhaktas in which the miraculous hand of the Mystic Saint has been playing a role, in their daily life and who are at His LOTUS FEET day in and day out, dedicated and devoted to   HIM with their faith firm as that of HIS rock seat at Shirdi.     It is my forgone conclusion that HIS   grace   will be   showered   on   those devotees   and they will enjoy the fruits of HIS Bliss.

To sum up my   experience   in   this   particular   instance,   I place before you the   following miraculous   points as to how Sri Sai weilded the affairs to help His bhaktas.

1.         A bhakta who never thought of an appointment beyond 60 years, which he felt as a closed chapter, was voluntarily offered the reappointment.

2.         That Shri   P.   S    Chellappa,   IPS,   the Chief Security Officer should remember me even 9 months after my retirement, send    for me and offer me this reappointment,   to whom I am ever grateful and highly indebted.

3.         That the appointment is under the same Officer and in the same office, from where I retired in 1973.

4.         That the Medical Examination should be over within hours on 10-1-74 (Thursday) and I joined duty the same day thus making me earn 6 days wages as against 5 days, which I aimed at.

5.         That how Sri Sai, in order to help His bhakta, who surren­dered to HIM, goes to Railway Board at Delhi, interfere, with the orders for reappointment from the age of 58 to 60 and extends them to the age of 60 to 62 years, which the Railway Board itself did not contemplate.

NOTE;    Anything   that happens   to   me through   Sri Sai Baba, occurs only   on Thursdays.    Even   my reappointment, for which I joined   on Thursday,   was terminated also - on Thursday.

Till this day Sri Sai Baba has kept me in good health, money and comforts, in that, I should say that HE has blessed me with two square meals a day, a shelter to live in and a cloth to wear, without ever feeling the dirt, and enough and more to attend to visitors to my abode HIS KUTIR. Like Annapurna (Akshaya-patra) I am satisfied and contented with this and I ask for no more but salvation at HIS LOTUS FEET,

Bow to Sri Sai!    Peace to all!    MAY HE BLESS ALL!

B.  Ramanadha Rao

Sri Sai Kutir

Madras

BABA'S MAYA (June 1975)

It was near midnight.    Dark and gloomy.   Chilly breezes of January   welcomed   us when our train   steamed into   Kopargaon station.   The   platform looked   deserted.   Flickering   light of the oil lamps was   peeping at us from   the corners of the platform. As the train halted, we hurried to the platform with our belong­ings.    We   came   here on   our   second visit   to  saint Sai   Baba's shrine.    It was just before independence and Seenu was an eleven year old boy, the only child of his parents   This visit is of special significance to   Seenu's parents, who had a great   desire to   have another child.    During   the last   decade they   have been   visiting numerous holy   places right   from   Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Bengal   to   Bombay.   The   middle   aged   parents   of Seenu  have prostrated before many a deity and just prayed for another child. Patiently   waiting for a reply   from God they have been visiting temples wherever the   bells tolled.   Their   fervent hope in having a child was fulfilled when they first visited Shri Sai Baba's shrine   just an   year after World   War  II .   But this  visit bore a disappointment   for   Seenu's   mother,   as she   could not have the 'darshan' of the shrine since she was on her period.     The husband having come on a short leave   could not oblige the wife with an extension in   their   stay.    Seenu's   mother,   with tearful eyes and disappointed   heart   returned   home without   'darshan'.    But  this was the end of their long awaited worry.    The saint has answered their prayers and Seenu's mother bore signs of motherhood.   This visit was to give first 'darshan'   to the mother and the child.

The miracle happened. All got down on the curved plat­form hurriedly. The train puffed out. Seenu's granny with his infant sister in her arms was still in the train, ‘Pull the chain', 'pull the chain' shouted Seenu's father- The train gained speed and the old lady baled out of the train without pulling the alarm chain. Someone snatched the baby from her arms. Seenu's father tried to give his helping hand and both slipped under the train. Some bogies were still behind and all of us waited with a heavy breath. Seenu's lean and sickly mother ran along the train and pulled out her hefty husband in the next few seconds. Then what happened to Seenu's grannie? Two more carriages were still to pass and every one of us thought that she is ‘cut'. As the complete train passed we all went with utmost anxiety to peep under the platform. 'The devil is alive', I said. The old lady stood straight and complained of no injury. What a miracle? A double miracle indeed!!

Seenu's mother was asked as to how she could pull out a 240 Ibs. hefty man within seconds and with such ease although she was weak and sickly, who in the normal course would not lift even a 10 Ib. weight with such ease.

Pat came the reply - "It is Baba's Maya".

Ananthula Padmaja

Secunderabad-500025

BABA'S HELPING HAND (July 1975)

During the 'Ashadh' month of 1949, a batch of devotees from Hyderabad   left   for the   darshan   of   Shri Sai Baba's   shrine at Shirdi.    Being monsoon season, the journey was an ordeal.    After a 20-hour   dusty train   journey,   the  party   reached   the   railway station of   the jaggery   town of Kopargaon.    The tired   members of the party had their luncheon before they set out on a journey by bullock cart to the town.    There were no buses in those days from   Kopargaon   railway   station.   One   had   to cross the   river Godavari,  that   runs majestically   through   the town,   to   catch a bus to Shirdi.    The present   road - over - bridge   was under cons­truction at that time.    The three   mile journey   to the shore was arduous, since the road was neither metalled nor asphalted.  Due to rain, the black cotton pathway became slushy.    This gave more strain   to the   bullocks.    On   reaching the shore, the party found that the low level   bridge across the   river Godavari   was almost about to submerge into   water. A ferry boat was plying from one shore to another over which the people with their belongings were crossing the   beautiful river.   The party   wanted to  do the same thing. But the  cart-man   suggested that he would take the party by his cart to   the other   shore through the low-ebb bridge across the river.   The party agreed in order to avoid transhipment by the boat.    The   cart   restarted the   journey   over the low-ebb bridge.    When the   cart was half way through,   there was down pour.   The   river   became   furious.   The   water   level   was rising very fast.   The cartman lost his   control of the bullocks.   The  bullocks   missed   their stride   and   were virtually   floating on the water.    The   water   current   was   very   heavy.    One   of the cart wheels got   stuck   to a boulder.    There   was no parapet   wall to the   low-ebb bridge   and the water   force   was pushing the cart, endangering it to fall   into the river.    The members of the party were chanting the name of Shri Sai Baba in chorus.    They almost lost the hope of survival   and were prepared to meet the watery grave with the Lord's name on the lips. Chanting of Sai's name in high pitched tones by the  party rent the air.    Suddenly   from nowhere,    a middle aged   man appeared   before the bullocks and voluntarily assumed control over the bullock cart.   The cartman removed the boulder and   the   stranger   piloted  the cart   slowly towards the other   shore.   The chanting of Sai's  name was continuous.    The   water   subdued   as   the   stranger   drew   the   cart cautiously to the other shore.    The clouds cleared and there was sun-shine.   The crowds, that were   watching from   the shore the party's plight, rejoiced with joy and shouts of *'Sai Baba ki Jai" rent the air.

Mr. Baliah, the head of the party was so immensely happy that he took out a ten rupee note to be presented to the stranger, who helped the party to safety. But lo! the stranger disappeared. The searching eyes of Baliah and other members of the party could not locate him. The baffled Mr. Baliah   put a   question to himself as to who was that stranger. WAS HE BABA HIMSELF?

After the evening   'darshan' of the shrine, the party retired to the cottage.    Mr. Baliah   fell asleep and a gentleman appeared in his dream, who told him that  he erred in the accounts of the 'hundi for the   Shrine of  Shri Sai   Baba.   Mr. Baliah got up in excitement   and   calculated the   accounts on   paper.   And to his shocking surprise,   he discovered   the error to   the correct pie as  -pointed out by the gentleman in his dream.

It was divine!

Ananthula Neeraja

Secunderabad (A. P.)

BABA'S   BLESSINGS (September 1975)

Again as a result of inner urge, I had to visit Shirdi in 1966. But this time, I went with my family and the families of my both the brothers. We were all sixteen in number. Yet our journey and sojourn at Shirdi and Pandharpur were quite pleasant and exhilarating.

Since we went with families, we carried all articles with us for preparation of food. We spent two days at Shirdi. There­after my brother suggested that we may visit Pandharpur. Before leaving for Pandharpur, when we estimated our requirements of food provisions, we found some rice and other articles in surplus. In that area scarcity of rice was so much that it was a problem for people to secure rice even for important festivals. Having come to know about such a situation, I offered, as a token of courtesy, surplus rice of 3 Kgs. to an attendant in the 'Maha-Samadhi Mandir"; but very politely he refused to accept. Here is an example of a high sense of honesty and integrity, which employees of the Samsthan imbibed with the grace of Baba.

We reached Pandharpur. I had an inspiration of Vitthal as a result of many stories I read and bhajans I heard about ardent devotees of Vitthal. While we entered the temple, a "Pandya" approached us and guided us as to what we should do to perform Pooja of Vitthal. We purchased all Pooja material. The Pandya took us to main diety, "Vitthal", where another Pandya was already conducting Pooja by some other devotees. The moment our Pandya started conducting our Pooja, the other Pandya discontinued the Pooja and picked up a quarrel with our Pandya. There was exchange of words between both the Pandyas in utter disregard to Vitthal. Such a behaviour of the Pandyas disturbed the serene mental atmosphere of the devotees present in front of the deity. All this quarrel was, I was told, about the "Dakshina" to be shared by them. After Pooja, I, along with other members, left Pandharpur with a confused mind.

After 1966,   for   about   eight   years till 1974,   I could not visit Shirdi,   although I often   tried in vain to   have the darshan of Baba.    For this,   I do not find any explicable   reasons except that I had, all the while, to encounter several  vicissitudes of life. With the blessings   of   Baba I had to sail through good and bad weather.   The sense of gratitude compels me to confess that Baba always saved me   whenever I was to be   caught in a whirlpool. Instance of perilous sickness of my lone son, who had meritorious academic career, is to   the point.    My son,   who passed M. Tech in 1st division, suddenly took ill in the 3rd week of October 1972. A band of renowned medical specialists,   who spared no pains to treat him, lost every hope and became rather frustrated, as there was swift deterioration in his condition.    It was at about 2 a. m. when one of the doctors at last gave tongue to their helplessness. Then I had   nothing in this world   except the grace of Baba,   to invoke as a last resort.    Believe me, from the very moment the sign of improvement   started appearing   to   the   utter astonishment of alt the doctors.

In March 1974, I paid my overdue visit along with my son, who with the blessings of Baba, could recover by then.    After we both completed   "Abhishek"   Pooja on Thursday, we went to the office of  the Receiver   to ascertain about the   feasibility for performing "Archana" and offering "Arati" on Friday.   The gentle­man in the office informed, to our disappointment, that it would not be possible for issue of tickets for "Archana" and 'Arati’ on Friday in view of the heavy rush of devotees.    Further,   he indi­rectly expressed his   mind that   we   need not   stay on Friday for such purpose.    But we stayed   as per our   programme.   The very evening,   I suddenly   fell sick.    Another   devotee   from  Bombay, finding me in a bad condition,   got me admitted to Sainath Hos­pital and helped me by all   means.    I find no appropriate words to express my heartfelt gratitude to him.    After two days of my stay in the hospital,   the Doctor   advised me   that I could  travel safely to Hyderabad.

Difficulty in getting reservation of berths at Manmad  Junction is  known to   all.    But   by the   time, we   reached Manmad all the berths except only two, were already reserved, in advance. Thus we secured, with the    blessings   of   Baba, accommodation and could come back  safely.

Quite unexpectedly and to the utter surprise of all, my son got an employment in April 1974, on a temporary basis. Soon after the temporary employment was over, he got a regular employment with Baba's Blessings.

M. Ganga Reddy

Hyderabad

 

BABA - THE OMNIPRESENT ! (September 1975)

He is   present here,   He is   present there,   He   is   present everywhere.   Yes, He is   Omnipresent.

During September   1969,  I   was going from Hyderabad to Bhusawal to attend a  training camp.    I alighted from the train at Manmad  in  the morning at 9 a.  m.    As I  was  required to be at   my   camp   only   next   morning,   I   took an  on-the-spot decision  to visit  Shirdi. I dumped  my baggage in the cloak room and took bus to  Shirdi. The   weather   was dull  with thick   black  clouds   over   our   heads threatening  heavy  showers. I  prayed   in myself   that   I   should  reach   the   Shrine   for   the mid-day   'pooja’.   The bus was  passing through the slushy roads. The   drizzling   weather   added   feast   to   the   eye.    We   passed through  many   sugarcane   fields,   various   fruit   gardens,   villages and bazaars and  finally reached the Shrine by  11-30 a. m.    And He   helped   me   in   taking to   His   abode   in time.   Yes,   He answered  my  prayers.     After  a  hurried  bath I joined  the congregation   in   the   temple   hall.    I   felt  at   ease and  immensely happy   for  He   afforded  me  His  'darshan’  at the 'pooja'  time. After  receiving the  'prasad'   I  dined  in  the  lunch home,  run by the  Sansthan authorities.    After  a hearty and sumptuous lunch, I   retired to the   cottage.    At 3  p. m.   I took leave of   BABA and   boarded  the  bus  for   Manmad at 4 p.   m.    It   was  raining at the time  with loud thunders.   The main road  suffered   heavy damage  requiring urgent  repairs.    We  passed  through an  ordeal and  bone-shaking journey  and  finally reached   to  a place some three  Kilometers  away  from  Kopargaon town.

A patch of about 500 yards road was completely washed away which made a big ditch. The scene was so bad that it was impossible for heavy vehicles to cross the area. Even the di­version was not possible as both sides of the affected area had many diches with water filled in. The slippery black cotton soil was not fit even for walking over to the other end. We were stranded. It was growing dark. It looked all wilderness. Passengers were shivering due to shock and wet atmosphere. There were no signs of rescue operations. Some passengers had taken the Lord's name and were uttering it in queer sounds. I was chanting ‘Sai nama' in myself. I had to reach Manmad to catch a train to Bhusawal to be in time for duty next morning. That was my chief worry. But how to overcome the present debacle?

After about 7 p. m. a jeep belonging to P. W. D. depart­ment arrived there. It looked like a circus vehicle and of course it had to do the circus tricks even to reach that spot. The driver approached me and asked me to get in. He took a few more passengers and drove cautiously to the town. We arrived by this jeep at the Kopargaon bus stand. The driver refused to accept tips when he was offered and left with the words 'BABA WILL BLESS YOU'. This baffled me. Who was this man? WAS HE BABA HIMSELF?

I took another bus for Manmad, which took me in time connecting an express train bound for Bhusawal. And I reached my place of duty quite in time.

Isn't it divine?

A.   Srinivasulu

SECUNDERABAD – 500025

SHRI SAI BABA'S GRACE (December 1975)

Our land, 'Bharath' has been the seat of Bhakthi from time immemorial. The Puranas, Vedas and all scriptures speak of the Almighty descending to Earth and appearing in different forms and names-only in Bharath and not elsewhere. The question 'why’ arises in every mind. The answer is India-Bharath is known as Yoga Bhoomi, Karma Bhoomi and other parts of the world are known as Bhoga Bhoomi. That is why even in this atomic age, when man has landed on the moon, we see so many foreigners who are affluent and who rather suffer from plenty in every aspect of life come to our land in search of that one thing which is not available elsewhere and which cannot be purchased for all the money in the world. What is that thing sought for by every-one-the rich and the poor alike ? It is Mental peace. How could our land alone offer it for nothing ? Simple-any human being seeks God only in distress and when every effort has failed, he looks up in despair and tries to communicate with the Almighty all his suffering. One should not rush to conclude that our land is a place of distress and nothing else Human nature being what it is, God is sought after when one is helpless and God showers all His blessings not immediately. He knows when to give, what and in what measure, through whom and how to make the man feel that it was only through God's Grace that he was relieved of his suffering and to be relieved of all his sufferings he should invoke the blessings of the Almighty for ever-till the end of his life. 'Through whom' is the most important factor here, because to get at anything, there should be three parties, The giver, the receiver and the mediator. Even for mundane things like getting a travel ticket, there have to be three persons involved-the traveller, the travel organisation and the mediator is the travel agent or the booking clerk. The travel organisation-the Railways, Airways or the Shippers do not issue the ticket straight to the traveller. There are appointed agents to issue tickets to the travellers and these agents would render every help and guidance to the intending traveller to make his travel comfortable and enjoyable and to reach his destination happily.

This   sort of   mediation is necessary   not only   for material things but   spiritual thinking   too. Who   will be the   mediator for spiritualism ?   This   is a   pertinent   question   and   the   answer is Avatara Purushas, who live a life   of dedication and   who   guide all those who seek   their   advice   and   see  that   the   seekers   are benefitted to the maximum in this world   and the other   world as well. Mundane benefits are very   limited if one only  realizes that they are only   means to an end and not   the end itself.   Once the mundane benefits are derived   and you are almost   saturated with them, automatically your mind   thinks of the other   world where you may have to answer   ever so many questions and   satisfy the Supreme Power to give you a place there forever. The fundamen­tal   question would   be what were you doing all your life in this world   except   to   seek   material   pleasures   and   rejoice   yourself? You may have to say when you were almost bored with material things, you sought after spiritualism and before you could actually make a beginning you were called   away to the other   world and you couldn't do   anything   worth   the name.   So, lack of  time is the only excuse you could offer to God when you are faced with the problem of finding a place at His Feet. That is why   Avatara Purushas are sent to this world by the   Almighty. These   Avatara Purushas put you in the proper   way, guide you   almost in every minute thing and   teach you how to be   'attached  and   detached' at   the   same   time,   which   makes   you   seek   the   Grace of   the Almighty every moment of your life,   though you may be working hard for your existence   and enjoying   all the material   benefits-as your job, your family,   your possessions  and so on but yet always think of God.    How could this be possible when elders have said, "One   thing   at a time   and   that   should   be   done   well" ? It is possible   and easily   practicable   when   you   firmly resolve to  feel  that every movement of yours, every at of yours and the result of your every effort be it success or failure is dedicated to Him and He is responsible for what all happens or is caused to be happen to you.

            Such a feeling of total dedication could be instilled in you by Avatara Purushas only and the Great Mystic of Shirdi Sri Sai Baba was one such. He instilled bhakthi in everyone – be it a Hindu, Muslim, Parsee, or Christian – poor or rich, male or female. He had no distinction of caste, creed, colour or calling. He never professed to have any Supernatural Powers but every act of His proved beyond doubt that He was not a person endowed with supernatural powers but He was another Avatara Purusha, who had come down to earth to help mankind and make them feel the essentiality of having a Guru and the essense of Bhakti in the right manner and lead them to God through a peaceful and smooth path all the time discharging their day to day duties without immersing oneself completely in material benefits. He lived, guided thousands of devotees who came to Him for advice and drew innumerable ones from far off places not through direct communication but through helping them tide over crises and making them realize later that it was He who had helped them. He never blew any Manthra into anyones ears nor did He advise undertaking fast, doing penance, changing to orchre robes or renouncing family life. He advised everyone to stick on to family life with the singular condition that one should take it as one of the primary duties to raise and run a family but never take it as the end of everything. The goal should be God Realization. But it is not possible to reach the goal after finishing one’s earthly duties towards onself and one’s family. So He preached the easiest of all Sadhanaas- that is seeing God in everything not only in human beings but in animals, insects, trees and flowers so one may not try or even think to do any harm to anything since it will be harming God Himself.  Service to mankind is service to God. Service should be sincere and truthful and anything offered should be spontaneous and come from the bottom of one's heart. Such a service to mankind will definitely take you nearer and nearer to God and ultimately the day will dawn when you and God will become inseparable-viz. you become one with Him.

He lived for a number   of years doing such yeoman  service to mankind and brought about a new conception of Devotion-Guru Bhakthi.  It has   been laid down  that  one   should pay   obeisance in the following orders, to,Mata, Pita, Guru Divam -Thus, the Guru comes between the parents and God. And that Guru could also be only one as are   your   parents   and  God is always   one,   by whatever name you call Him   and in whichever  form He is.   Sri Sai Baba  by this unique method   established Hindu-Muslim   unity in a land of varied   castes, communities, religions and languages.   When  He actually left this mortal coil, He took it upon  Himself to render the same   kind of help and   service from   His Samadhi   and even to-day, after fifty six years of His attaining Samadhi, He is keeping up His word and rushes to anyone to help him in difficulties, the moment one utters His name and   passes on the  burden to Him. But the subtle difference lies in the depth of sincerity with which you feel His presence.  Your faith in Him should be implicit and unassailable. Even if all the world   were to say anything   against    your Guru, you should not be shaken and  become doubtful. You should be bold   enough to face   any odd situation   with the only belief that Sri Sai Baba knows when to solve your problem. Such courage of  conviction   and implicit   faith in Him   were the   two pieces of Guru Dakshina He demanded from His devotees.

As Jesus had His Apostles, Sri Sai Baba also sent into this world His chosen Devotees to propogate His cult and guide people through sincere service and lead them in the path of righteousness and mental renunciation.

One of His chosen Devotees  is Sri Swami  Keshavaiahji of Shenoynagar, who after having served as a Sub-Registrar in the compo­site State of Madras, is doing yeoman service to humanity for the past forty   years  and more,   helping   the needy,   healing the   sick and solving so many   problems every one has to face in these  days of   stresses and strains in all spheres   of one's   life. He has   cured so many diseases which  have been finally  diagnosed as incurable   by eminent  doctors   and   relieved   so   many   people   of  their   acute sufferings   be it mental,   physical,   financial,   legal or official.   He does not   give any  medicine   nor money  nor deputes anybody to fight a case in Court or to mediate in any dispute. All He does is only giving   the   sacred   Udhi and   touching the   sufferer   on   the forehead with His   healing palm and.-giving golden   advice to take such and such  steps to get   relieved of one's   suffering.   What do you think He takes as Dakshina or fees for all this valuable service rendered ? Money,   clothes,   fruits-anything in kind-No, No, No. He takes   nothing   from you,   sheer nothing.   Do you   wonder or doubt to believe this ? It is the   truth and nothing   but the truth that He takes nothing from anyone for having helped him or her. Then why does He   take so much   pains doing   Puja all the time and   answering   every   question   put to him   on   Thursdays   from 6.00 p.m. The last devotee  only  knows  the closing  time-may be even 1.00 A.M. or 2 a.m. (Fridays). He only expects the devotees to be sincere, truthful   and grateful   to Sri Sai Baba.   That is all. When anyone tells Him that such  and such a thing was  achieved by   him only   through His   blessings, He   hastens   to correct   the devotee telling him that it was Sri Sai Baba in His infinite mercy who had done it and not Swami Keshavaiah, who is only another devotee of Sri Sai Baba.   He looks at the Shrine and   directs the devotees to  look to Him   for help and   Grace. Whom   else could you find in this world, who after having helped you through and through would take nothing in return,   not even a word of thanks except your continued and sincere devotion towards Sri Sai Baba ? I am doubly sure that you cannot find   another person   like Him. There is no   equal or sequel to Him. He is unique,   His methods are unique and everything He does is unique. He is an ideal Guru who will not take Dakshina. No wonder then innumerable devotees throng in front of Sri Sai Nilayam on Thursdays, wait patiently for their turn to have Dharshan and go back with immeasurable - peace of mind and solace, almost relieved of their burden and feeling bodily lighter than when they entered.

Such has been my own experience and there are ever so many people who have had the same experience once they came into contact with Sri Swamiji.

I became His devotee in 1952 and to relate all my experiences through which I've had material benefits and mental solace, it would take volumes to put them on paper. I shall narrate two of the most important occasions in my life when Sri Swamiji had intervened and saved us to be able to write them now.

My son aged 20 years survived a major accident which should've been fatal but for the Grace of Sri Swamiji. The day was Thursday, the 8th of July, 1971. It was the very memorable day of the year since it was Guru Poornima Day. My wife and I had done Padha Puja to Sri Swamiji as usual and took Prasad and Blessings from Him and left for our house to make arrangements for our proposed trip on 10. 7. 71 to Nagpur to finalise an alliance for my only daughter.

My son left the   house at   9.10 p. m. to Shenoy   Nagar to receive Guruji's   Blessings.    He was cycling at moderate speed on the main road when a State Transport bus coming in the opposite direction hit at his cycle and threw him off about forty feet away. The cycle was twisted beyond recognition and he was unconscious. We heard  the   news by 9.30 p. m.   and my wife   and I rushed to the spot with Sri Sai Baba's   name on our lips to see the boy on the   road   smearedall over with blood and groaning with pain. A case was booked by the police and he was admitted to hospital. The blood   pressure   and pulse rate were going down and down and any amount of glucose administered intravenously would not improve his pulse. The doctors were puzzled and said they could say something hopeful only the next day. One thing was sure. Haemorrhage was somewhere in the system but they could not locate the exact spot even after taking X-Rays of all the possible spots of haemorrhage. Next day the Chief said that an exploratory operation had to be done and only after opening they would be able to locate the spot from which blood was draining so fast.

I did not want to disturb Sri Swamiji early in the morning since I knew what a great strain He should have had the previous day (Guru Poornima). I wrote about the accident on a piece of paper and sent it to Him through my second son about 10 a. m. seeking His blessings. The boy was asked to meet Him at 3 p m. By that time the doctors proceeded with the operation and instead of exploring part by part, they opened up right from the chest down to the naval and at last found his liver was ruptured very badly and about 3 litres of blood out of the total 5 litres of blood in the human body had been drained. The Chief came out of the theatre, summoned me and said all that is humanly possible would be done and that he could assure survival upto 30% and for the rest 70% I should look upto God.

At about 4.30 p. m. my second son returned from Sri Sai Nilayam with two packets of Udhi and said one of them should be placed under the patient's pillow and the other should be opened and the Udhi applied all over the body and administered within with a little water. He said Sri Swamiji was actually weeping before Sri Sai Baba all the time muttering something and that Sri Swamiji told him that He had appealed to Sri Sai Baba to save the boy and that He hoped He would definitely do it.

The    operation    over,    the    patient was    brought    to   the post-operative   ward and the   doctors said very  plainly that they could give any hope only after sun-rise on Monday, the 12th July  1974.    My   wife and I were simply   shedding tears   unable to see our first-born   suffer hell.    We   were only   praying to Sri Swamiji and Sri   Sai   Baba to   spare   us the   irreparable   loss of the   boy. As instructed we were giving the Udhi and when it was exhausted we got   some   more from   Sri  Swamiji.   All   injections, medicines and tablets   given by the doctors had any effect or   not, we don't know.    But we are sure it was only the sacred Udhi given by Sri Swamiji   that had the   desired  effect and   the boy   after a lot of suffering upto Sunday midnight, could sleep for a while and Monday dawned on us quite   happily!    The   boy   opened   his eyes,   asked for   something to   drink   and wished   good morning to the   Chief when he visited at 8 a. m.    The Chief himself said the following:-"I am very   happy   the  boy has   survived such a major   accident. The   workshop   of the   human   body- the   liver   was   very   badly ruptured   and if   we   had   delayed the operation   by a few   more minutes the last drop of blood would have been drained from the system.    This is the first case in this hospital where a patient has survived this major operation.   This is a fit case   to be presented in our   Clinical meeting   next   month.    I don't   know which God or Devi you worship;   but I am sure it is only due to the Grace of God, the boy has   been spared  and not due to   our treatment. I was doing Puja in my house on Friday  and something told me to go   ahead with  the operation   and I followed   the advice that came from the invisible.    God is Great and He has helped you."

Immediately I told him about our devotion to Sri Swamiji and the efficacy of the Udhi He had given to be applied and administered orally. The Chief was not very much surprised because he said he had heard about Sri Swamiji's healing powers many a time from his patients.

How could I thank Him for His infinite mercy on us and how could we exist without Him!

My daughter was married in January 1972 and had come down from Delhi for her first delivery in November 1972. She was admitted to a Nursing Home under the care of an expert obstetrician. Ten days had passed after the expected date of delivery and she was having continuous pain and allied indications, but there was no sign of the baby being delivered. The doctor herself was puzzled and advised that if she did dot deliver for another four days, she whould have to be operated upon and the baby taken out.

She was just nineteen years old and we were very much worried whether she would survive the surgery and even if she survived she would be alright for the rest of her life.

Whom could we consult for advice? Naturally Sri Swamiji, who has been our Saviour all these years. I rushed to Sri Sai Nilayam and explained the situation. He said there was some difficulty due to certain latent forces working against her and that if He were to touch her and apply Udhi, Sri Baba may help her. She was not in a fit condition to be moved out of the Nursing home. I could not think of requesting Swamiji to accompany me to the Nursing Home. I returned with the Udhi given by Sri Swamiji and told my wife who was also perplexed about the next course of action. Suddenly I thought out a plan and asked permission of the doctor to take my daughter out for half an hour. The doctor said she would not be responsible if anything untoward happened to the would-be mother. Braving the risk involved, I went in search of a taxi, only to learn that due to some bandh, observed in the City no mode of transport was available. When I was about to break down, there came a person asking what I was in search of. I told him my miserable plight and he said he would ply his taxi and that I should pay him thrice the normal fare. I agreed and took my wife and daughter in the taxi to Sri Sai Nilayam. Ours was the only taxi on the road and we realised that it was Sri Swamiji's grace which had made the driver heed to my request. Sri Swamiji was a bit annoyed since I had taken the risk of taking my daughter, who was in a precarious condition of health. He applied Udhi on her forehead and gave a packet of Udhi and a generous quantity of Udhi and said she would deliver a boy before Friday morning and she would be alright thereafter. The Udhi had to be applied externally and '- taken orally with water. We returned with lighter hearts to the Nursing home. After applying the Udhi several times, my wife told me that my daughter had developed real labour. It was 10.30. p. m. The doctor examined her and said she would deliver any moment after 8 a. m. the next morning.

At last she delivered a boy around 8 p. m. on Thursday. I sent word of this glad news to Sri Swamiji along with our heartfelt thanks.

I could meet Sri Swamiji the following Sunday after the period of pollution was over and then He disclosed that my daughter should have actually passed away without delivering the baby but for Sri Sai Baba's Grace, because certain hidden powers not known to us had been working against her. In his infinite Mercy Sri Baba saved our daughter as usual through His chosen Apostle Sri Swamiji.

Sri Swamiji's assurance that she would deliver a boy before  Friday morning came true to the last syllable. Whatever Sri Swamiji utters is the whole truth and His words always come to pass exactly as He had foreseen. As I put it in the beginning, there are innumerable instances in our family when Sri Swamiji's comforting words, His packets of Udhi and His healing touch had helped us overcome severe crises and I won't be able to write all of them nor words will be found to express our sincere gratitude to Him, whose only expectation from us is Truth and Faith in the Grace of Sri Sai Baba.

The   maximum we   could do   in   return for   all the  favours received   from   Sri Swamiji   is to pray for His long and peaceful life and be true and sincere to Him and dedicate ourselves to the services of Sri Sai Baba and Sri Swamiji and do our little mite towards the successful inauguration of the Mandap coming up in front of Sri Sai Nilayam and the enshirnement of Sri Sai Baba in the Sanctum Sanctorum. Even today Shenoy Nagar is the Shirdi of Madras and when the temple is inaugurated, it will be a real Devalokam on earth because Sri Sai Baba will be present in the temple in the form of Sri Swami Keshaviahji.

 

S.Thyagarajan

Faith and Patience Pay (May 1984)

There must be ample instances in the lives of 'Shri Sai Leela' readers, when they would have realized that faith in Baba and a patient wait has given them the results that they had been craving for. There also would be ample instances when Baba has showered His blessings even unsought for. In the following instance Baba's blessings came our way only after a patient wait and firm faith in Him.

On May 24, 1983 there was a very heavy downpour in Bangalore. We have a pharmacy in Basavewaranagar, a developing layout. My wife and I were at the shop. It was raining still when two men came to the shop and asked for some cough drops and Bandaids which I gave them the time was around 8-45 pm. The two men remained at the shop for a few more minutes and then left. Immediately after, the lights also went off. Earlier at about 8 p.m. the lights had gone off and so I had lighted a kerosene lamp and it had been burning still. As it had been nearing 9 p.m. we got ready to leave. As I bent down to collect my helmet I  heard footsteps and I stood up. The same two men had returned and one of them poked a knife on to my side and told me not to make any noise. The other man pulled down the rolling shutter and took out from his shoulder bag a chopper and waving it in front of my wife demanded that she should hand over the gold chain she was wearing. Looking at me she said "Jai Sai Ram, let us give them what they want". She took off the chain from her neck and asked the fellow whether she could take out the mangalyam at least, the man saying no, almost snatched the chain from her hand. This was followed by the two bangles and wrist watch she was wearing. Then the man demanded cash from me. I dipped my hand into the cash box and gave off whatever money that came in my hand. Then they lifted the shutter, went out and closed it behind them. Soon after I lifted the shutter and came out to see which way they went; but they had vanished into the darkness. A complaint was lodged with the police and investigations were started. No apparent results came our way. However I wish to add here that though we had lost around 13 tolas of gold our minds were not that depressed and there was this feeling that Baba would help us to retrieve the stolen property.

On the first Thursday of every month, we go to the Shirdi Sai Mandir at Thyagarajanagar, which is founded by His Holiness Shri Radhakrishna Swamiji. This has been the practice with us for the last two years. It was nearly four months since the robbery. We got a new mangalyam made and on our visit to the Mandir in October we got it blessed by Baba and my wife wore the same in His presence. In the first week of December a Police Inspector, Shri Gangi Reddy, called on us and informed that the two culprits had been arrested and that we should go to his office and identify them. Accordingly we went to his office and identified them. Afterwards they were asked to narrate the incident, which they did. Later I was asked to give an application in the court requesting for release of the items pending finalisation of the case. Accordingly, I gave the application on January 02, 1984 and the next day I collected from the Police Station whatever had been recovered, which was about sixty percent of that which we had lost. We took the items to the Mandir on January 05. 1984 and got them blessed by Baba and took them home as His prasada. We are certain that it is only by Baba's grace that we could get back even this much after the lapse of nearly seven months.

A.  N. Ramesh

Bangalore 55

Sai's Sudha (May 1984)

I started belief in Sai Baba from the year 1972. Since then I rely on Him and accept His advice in my day to day life. My father Shri T. A. Ram Nathen also follows His footsteps sincerely.

My wife Mrs. Lalitha Anand conceived our second baby in the month of April '84. As she had no responsible family member to take care of her delivery, I took charge of the total responsibility.

On hearing from my father, Dr. Vijaykumar of Karnataka, who is also a close devotee of Sai Baba, I felt that I may pass through some problem due to callous treatment of doctors in Calcutta hospitals. I replied back to him, saying that Sai Baba is always everywhere. He will never allow His devotee to get drowned; but instead He will save him at the final hour.

I admitted my wife in "Lake View Nursing Home" under Dr. Thampi's supervision on 3rd February 1984. Luckily the owner of the nursing home was also a Baba's devotee. Dr. Thampi too believed in Sai Baba right from her 29th year of age. Sai has even directed some of the patients through dreams to Dr. Thampi. I was relieved very much with the Sai relations and felt that the delivery will be most normal.

Dr. Thampi started administering saline water right from 9.15 a.m. as my wife had no labour pains till I admitted her in the nursing home. At 3 p.m. on 3rd February ‘84 she slowly felt the pains and around 4 p.m. the pains became severe. I was waiting outside the lobby for hours together and felt restless and returned back home at Wederburn road with my Sai daughter, Sai Deepa. I switched on our lamp kept above the photo of Sai Baba and lit sandal wood sticks with sincere prayers to Him to release the baby at the earliest. It was 4.15 p.m. when I was requesting at our prayer room.

Lo ! Sai Baba answered my prayer immediately as my wife delivered a female baby exactly at 4.15 p.m'….'the time of my prayer’. The star was Avittam and Lagnam Kumbha. I profusely thanked the Almighty for answering our prayers. My Father had a sigh of relief on hearing the news and also thanked Sai in answering his 6 week old prayer to Him.

Now the naming problem arose as we were not ready with suitable names. Myself suggested to my father that “Sai Sudha" would be apt, which was immediately accepted. My mother Mrs. Vijyem Ram Nathen and younger sister Miss. T.R Geeta also were finalising the same name “Sai Sudha" at Budge.! Budge was 18 Kms away from our Calcutta residence.

I am very much indebted to Lord Sai for blessing our family with Sai Deepa and Sai Sudha both in  an auspicious time.

R. Anand

Calcutta

 

 

Bow to Thy Holy Feet our Sainath (May 1984)

BABA said to Megha "I carry on as a wirepuller of all the activities of the men who trusts ME and merges in ME" (Sai Satcharita, cb: 2S p. 155). Yes, our SAINATH is Antharyami. HE is all pervading, Omniscient and Omnipresent. BABA said "My eye is ever on those who love ME. Whatever you do, wherever you may be, bear this in mind that I am always aware of everything you do."

In this communication I shall narrate some of my recent experiences. I accepted the outcome of all my attempts very boldly and with a smiling face, because " I surrendered myself with body and soul at HIS lotus feet."

I quite often, am criticized and questioned by my close associates on the question of my absolute surrender and steady devotion to BABA. This arises especially when I attempt to explain to them that each small event which occurs has something to do with HIS wishes and desire. Yes, I always examine even a small matter as BABA'S wish, irrespective of my success or failure and I feel extremely contented with this act. Let me first confess that it was BABA who has been constantly encou­raging me to apply for some academic distinctions and honour since I was summoned by HIM to Pune to my present assign­ment. Prior to my coming over to Pune I was never thinking of going for such academic competitive attainments for which one has to be in the run always in the national field related to science and technology. After working for about a year and preparing the needed foundation to succeed in an academic race, I could see that my papers did not reach concerned person although sufficient precaution was taken care of and with ade­quate margin before the dead line, in order to satisfy myself I went to SHIRDI during this Diwali and again I prayed to HIM with my desire. In a closed envelope my feelings were also narrated and placed over BABA'S tomb. I was satisfied with this ritual. When the deadline for the academic race came very near I could learn that I was out of the competition since my papers did not reach the person concerned as informed by the person to me. My wife informed me of this news from New Delhi first and it was only a few moments, I came to my cons­ciousness and replied to her that it was HIS desire and I am not at all sad about this. Since then a few months have elapsed and I could find out that the person who had denied that the papers did not reach her was interested in her own candidate and had not cared for my candidature. BABA had saved me because if I would have remained as a candidate f would not have succeeded since the person is politically and bureaucratically very powerful.

In another event in this connection I got defeated and soon after the result was out, I told my wife that probably BABA has something in HIS mind since HE only knows when the time is ripe for accomplishment. Anyhow, I was encouraged by HIM only and it was HE only who took me with HIM for this exercise.

But these two failures have opened one more avenue. BABA has been again encouraging me to go for another larger academic race and this is having more distinction and honour in Indian academic circle. I am getting ready because it is HIS desire that I should try. I am least concerned about the failure since I fully believe that BABA takes me with HIM to give me an opportunity to experience and at the same time generates strength to gain confidence and this is much more valuable to me than that of these materialistic distinctions. So let all of us make attempt to fix our eyes on HIM so that we should never feel pleasure or pain. Let our mind get rest at YOUR lotus feet our SAINATH.

This materialistic world does not or cannot bring happiness to us and having disgusted and   frustrated we should   not   move. But why not explore that the eternal peace and well as solace with bliss exist only in HIS DARBAR.

M. R. Chakravartti

Poona 411004

My Experiences with  Shri Sai Baba (May 1984)

In 1969, winter days when my baby was one year old, she had repeated attacks of bronchitis and fever, followed by tonsi-litis infection. Of course medicines were administered to her but there had been no permanent relief.

A distant relative of mine, Mr. Manoranjan Mazumdar, R.T.O. Agent, who is a 'Sai devotee', advised me to go to 'Sai Baba Darbar". In our Town, Baba's Darbar meets at Mr. H. R. Kichlu's Bunglow, located at Wright Town, Jabalpur. This place had been near my residence but I had never gone there before.

On advice of Mr. Mazumdar, accompanied by my mother-in-law, wife, baby, and I went there. I remember it was Thurs­day, when I entered the room. I could see that the walls of the room were decorated with Sai Baba's photographs, hanged on the wall each of which had a red rose offered to them. The hall was packed to the capacity. The surroundings were filled with the fragrance of scented sticks and lobhan. Baba's idol was covered with the smoke of lobhan.

While sitting, there I could learn that 'Sai Baba' is a 'power' who knows our inner heart. I decided to keep fast, on every 'Thursday', in the name of Baba. This my family still continues. We take our dinner only after evening prayer of Sai Baba, after that date.

With blessings of Sai Baba my baby is away from illness, quite healthy and intelligent. At present she is 14 and is studying in the VIII standard.

On 19th June 1970, in the early hours, my wife had pre­natal pains. We had been living at a great distance from the maternity home. There was no conveyance readily available. Even there nobody was near my wife. I rushed to the nearest telephone, and contacted the 'taxi stand', During this time, all the way, I had been praying to 'Baba' for help.

My wife, accompanied by a neighbouring lady, reached the maternity home in the Taxi. I followed the Taxi on a Scooterette. On the way, I had been praying to 'Baba' for help to my wife, who was in quite serious condition, owing to severe pain.

After 3 minutes of reaching the maternity home, she delivered a male child. Thus 'Baba' heard my prayer, and extended timely help.

This incident occurred in July '71, I was returning from my office. On the main road of M. P. Electricity Board, there are 'C’ Type Residential Quarters where there is a blind turning on account of the Quarters constructed in round shape. While overtaking a bullock cart there a 'Leyland tractor trolly' came on the way speedily from the front, leaving very marginal distance and my scooter came in between these two. I applied the brake, but it had failed.

I don't know how I could be saved at this crucial moment. When I stopped my scooter, and took a clear breath, I saw that Baba's locket fixed in the key ring, installed in the ignition hole of the scooter, was separated from its original place and was lying on the foot-board of the scooter. I am very sure that the locket was tightly fixed in the key ring and how it came out of it was a question. 'Baba’, who saved me, can only reply.

In August 1977, I was admitted to M. P. Electricity Board Hospital for treatment of low blood pressure. I came back after 'X.Ray’ of 'KUB region' at about 1 p. m., from the Medical College. I saw my wife sitting on the bench at the hospital entrance. She was quite nervous. I asked her, whether all was well.

She said, "Neeta, who had high temperature last night, is having urinary trouble. She has not passed urine for the last 24 hours."

By this time I saw Dr. G. L. Goswami and lady Medical Officer Mrs. S. B. Jain, coming hastily towards my wife.

Dr. Goswami told us that the baby was not permitting to insert tube, to outlet the urine accumulation. If this stage con­tinues, urinary bladder is likely to burst. Mrs. Jain advised us to take her to the Medical College Hospital in the ambulance.

On way to Medical College   when   the ambulance,   stopped for fuel at the petrol pump,   I prayed to 'Baba*   "What you are

doing Baba?   On the one hand, I am under treatment, feeling too weak,   and   this baby...   Baba shower mercy on us,   "kripa karo

Guru Dev."

I keep Baba's ‘Udi’ in my purse all the time. I dropped a little of 'Udi' in the mouth of my daughter and also put it on her forehead, praying to Baba, to save her.

When we reached the Medical College Hospital, the lady doctor on duty in the emergency room listened to us patiently, and took my baby to the attached bathroom. The baby was asked to keep her hands in water in a ‘tub’ and try to pass urine. She passed the urine without any trouble. Was it not, that Baba's 'Udi' saved her at that crucial juncture?" Since then she has no trouble, and is well with the blessings of Shri Sai Baba.

V. K. Thakur

Jabalpur (M. P.)

Visions And Dreams (May 1984)

Some time back I happened to see in 'Sai Leela magazine (English) about favours received from Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi and along with it the writer has remarked that ‘Visions and Dreams can be had to exceptional few only.

Then I  remembered   the   Vision   I   had   of "Shri  Sai Baba of Shirdi".

In the "Sai Leela Magazine11 of April 1983 the Editor has written that "it is dedicated to the spiritual uplift and that is done by publishing articles relating to sages past and present etc.” This induced me to write this article.

I would like to share exhilarating experiences of my Vision and dreams and its materialization with the readers and hence this article.

By the end of 1984 I joined the Seva Samathi of Ernakulam and regularly attended the Bhajans on Thursdays and Sundays. After some years. Shri Govinda Bharatan started a Samathi near Kacherippadi,Ernakulam and kept a small library consisting of books on Sai Baba of Shirdi. He was also getting Sai Leela Magazine in English. After some months he discontinued getting the magazines when I became a subscriber Shri Govinda Bharatan presented me a photo of Sai Baba of Shirdi and I got it framed and kept it in the Puja room.

I was staying at Ernakulam for the past 40 years. On 15-10-‘75 after my bath in the morning I entered the Puja room, stood in front of the pictures and was meditating. Suddenly I had a vision of Bhagavan Sai Baba of Shirdi standing in front of a house at the end of a small road having small terraced houses on both sides. Bhagavan was wearing a Kafni very bright and dazzling in the bright Sun, upto his knee. His legs were black. In the brightness the image melted and a bright light slowly merged in the picture of Bhagavan Shirdi Sai Baba in the Puja room and the Vision closed and all this happended in a few seconds.

M.Menon

Palghat

Kerala

Sai Baba accepted our Gayatri Yagna (May 1984)

In   Jamnagar,   there   is a fine Sai   Temple   in Gandbinagar area.    The inaugural   rituals and  ceremonies   were performed by Late Swami  Sai   Sharananand   Maharaj   of Ahmedabad on Ram Navami   day of 1958.    The   idol   is so   life-like   and  living that many   devotees   have   experienced   that   Baba spoke and smiled with   them.    Many   spiritual    activities   are   done   under   divine guidance   of Baba   i.e.   Rudra-dhyan,   Chandi  path etc.   On one occasion,   I had   proposed   to perform a Gayatri Yagna on one Sunday.   On Saturday night   (previous day) I had gone to invite my doctor friend.   This doctor friend   informed me that his son, who is a Sai devotee, had gone to Bombay   and he is expected to return on Sunday (very next day). Exactly when the ceremony of Yagna started my doctor friend arrived and informed us that his son had arrived that day  from Shirdi  and handed over 'Udi’ and   prasad   from   Shirdi.    The   chief   priest   of  the yagna,   was pleased with Baba's  leela of arranging to send ‘Udi’ at the hour when the   Yagna started.   The receipt of Udi and prasad at the exact juncture of starting  Yagna is Baba's leela.

Navinchandra D. Pandya

Bombay-400079

JAPNAAM (May 1984)

In our religious holy books certain manners have been introduced for devotion and can be achieved by following them rigidly. The main intention to introduce these systems was preferably for the persons who used to do meditation, sandhya, yoga, tap, tantra, sadhna and kirtans. In that time devotion was in it's full existence and therefore, it was possible to do them. Now a days there is a mass change in people, atmosphere and living standard. There is therefore seldom attraction towards religion and devotion. At present our life is fast running having enough responsibilities. One cannot spare himself for meditation, asans, pranayam, yog, tap etc. In these circumstances a short way to worship is "Japnaam". There are no specific instructions any­where to do Japnaam at a particular time, manner and place. Thus ''Japnaam" can be done anywhere and at any time. Besides, other works can also be carried over. Japnaam is only possible if there is devotion. It is stressed upon in the books to have full faith and surrender first and then to have devotion, a devotee shirks his responsibility on the Almighty. If we fully surrender to Sai Baba, then there remains no doubt that He takes our all responsibilities upon Him. The only thing is that we must always remember and keep ourself bowed before Him.

Such an incident took place with me and now when I recollect it I feel that our life was saved by Lord Sai Baba as He saved a child from burning fire and put his own band in the Dhooni at Dwarkamai.

On 2nd July, 1981, after summer vacations were over, I, with my family, was returning by bus from Jaipur. The bus left Jaipur at it's scheduled time at 5. 00 a.m. and was driven speedily. In the way Japnaam "Shri Sai Ram Shri Sai Shyam" was being chanted by me continuously. At about 7.00 a.m. the bus was passing through a village where a man riding a cycle came from another side and tried to cross the road. Since the bus was running in speed, it was rather difficult to control it at the very same time and hence the bus driver took turn to the left side where an electric pole was installed near a big well, having no wall above the ground, at a distance of about fifteen feet. Since the bus was in speed and moved to the left side the balance was lost and it then dashed directly on the electric pole and stopped. Had it not been stopped by the electric pole it was sure that it would have fallen in the well, and none of us could have been saved. Surely, Lord Sai saved our life when we were in danger.

If we remember our beloved Sai, He removes our danger and turns the grief into pleasure. His 'Japnaam' is so powerful as is evident from the above instance that one can remain safe from troubles coming ahead in life, Sai Baba thus takes all responsibility of his devotees upon Him provided we fully surrender to Him.

K. L   Sharma

Indore

The Magnanimous Sai Baba (May 1984)

Sai's grace   is infallible   and unfathomable.    I shall narrate a few of my own experiences to illustrate this point,

In July, 1982, I happened to visit Pune on some official work along with a colleague of mine. While we were half way through our work, there was an interruption, since Thursday was a holiday for most of the factories in the industrial belt including the place of our visit. So, we decided to pay a visit to Shirdi to have darshan of Sai Baba. This opportunity was quite unexpected and I was simply thrilled at the prospect of visiting the holy place for the first time.

We packed a few essential things in a brief case and took a night bus from Pune on Wednesday, We reached Shirdi at about 3.30 a.m. on Thursday and straightway made a dash to Sai Sansthan where huge crowds of devotees were already getting ready for the worship of Sai Baba.

After the ablutions, we went to Sai Mandir just before 5.00 a.m holding some flowers in our hands which we purchased on the way. Sai Baba gave me the privilege of standing very close to His majestic statue during the Kakad Aarti -and enjoying the ecstacy of the divine atmosphere which prevailed during the bhajan. It was such a rapturous experience that we decided to stay back for the afternoon bhajan also. This time we appeared before Sai with a garland of flowers and offerings of coconut and sweets.

The second darshan of Sai made me feel as if I met a bosom friend or a close relative with whom I could frankly discuss my personal problems. I took liberty to ask Sai Baba to grant me a wish namely an opportunity to go abroad to brighten my prospects. It might be an innocent longing or it could be a foolish wish arising out of ignorance, but Sai Baba has fulfilled the same with such promptitude that I shall ever remain grateful to Him.

In March, 1983, the company where I am employed as an Engineer, decided to send me to West Germany in connection with purchase of a certain machinery, I set off on a three-week trip to Europe and by the grace of Lord Sainath everything went on well. He came to my rescue at my every beck and call and protected me throughout my sojourn there.

Thus, within one year of my visit to Shirdi, my longcherished desire has been fulfilled. A miracle was performed in a way exemplified by Sai Baba, the magnanimous.

M. Venkateswara Rao

Madras-600080

Baba - A Successful Physician (May 1984)

It is said that whosoever puts his feet on the soil of Shirdi his sufferings would come to an end. This universal fact was experienced very recently by us.

Dear readers, my wife had been suffering from throat trouble for the last many years. It started as an ordinary 'cough & cold' problem; but it went on increasing day by day inspite of usual medical treatment. During my service as a Pay & Accounts Officer in the Central Excise, Indore, I consulted many physicians of repute but there was hardly any improvement. At time she was very miserable when she could not even eat or drink properly.

Apart from the treatment from various doctors, she had to take many   precautionary   steps like avoiding quite a large number food items.

Recently, when we had the invitation to attend the Annual Gathering of Writers   at Shirdi,   we were in a fix whether to go or not due to her ailment.    It, however  appears that Baba issued latent instructions   to   my   wife,   who suddenly   insisted that we must attend despite her   problem.    Immediately after we reached the pious city of Shirdi, both of us presented ourselves before the Lotus feet of Sai Baba   and   submitted our prayer to Him to rid her of her long suffering.

Dear readers, you will be glad to know that before leaving Shirdi after the 'Summelcn,? surprisingly, my wife felt that had no throat trouble at all. Lest it should be only a temporary relief, we did not mention it to anybody then and there. Will the passage of so many days now, we are able to openly tell that she has completely recovered from her long outstanding throat trouble. Not only that, she has since given up the various precautionary steps and is able to take anything she normal likes to take.

The   miraculous   recovery   is simply  on account of   Baba super-human powers as a successful physician,

J. R. Laroiyi

Noida,

 

THE MESSAGE OF SAI BABA (October 1986)

"The mind is like the stomach. It is not how much you put into it counts, but how much it digests. "

— Albert Jay Nock

My grand daughter, 3 years old Aswini is a true child of Sai Baba. She is a pure soul — pure as a pearl. Fair is her face and charming is her figure, and regal is her bearing. She lives and moves as a princess — a child of the Eternal King — Sai Baba. And out of her exudes a wondrous influence which casts a spell on anyone who sees her.

She is very fond of eating Sai-Udhi. She always bows to Sai Baba saying 'Thatha — Mami' etc. My daughter is married into a family who are quite conservative and are strict followers of Madhwa-philosophy. As such on one fine morning, when my wife asked me to bring a talisman from Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, somehow I felt like leaving the young kid to the wholesome care of Sai Baba and went on postponing to get a talisman from Raghave­ndra Mutt.

But ultimately on the 4th March '86, I was forced to bring a 'Navagraha talisman' from the Mutt. On the 5th morning, when I sat for my morning 'communion' with Lord Sainath, my mind posed a question: 'How is it that I lost faith in Sai Baba? Why did I yield to the proposal of bringing a talisman from Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, when I knew very well that we are safe in the hands of Sai Baba. Lo! Sai Baba suddenly answered my doubt: 'Remember that I am Omnipresent and Omniscient and Omni­potent. Don't show any disrespect to any saint. I am in everything.' This made me recapitulate: 'You will never be able to understand thoroughly how great Sai Baba is. He is the very personification of perfection. If you know Him as I know Him, you would call Him the Master of Creation.'

The whole day, my mind was full of Baba's advice to Bhai Krishnaji when the latter intended to visit Akkalkot for 'darshan of padukas. How Mule Shastry was granted darshan of Gholap Maharaj by Sai Baba! Sai Baba also fulfilled the desire of Shiva-worship by Megha. I was reminded of many more incidents in Sai Satcharita to the effect that all saints operate at the same wavelength and there is no difference between them.

I recalled the unique incident when H.H. Jagadguru Chandra Sekhara Bharathi Swamiji — the 34th pontiff of Sringeri Mutt dissuaded a learned Christian-brother from embracing Hinduism. The Shankaracharya then told him: "If you are a true Christian you are a true Hindu and vice versa.

My mind also mused over what the Kanchi Pontiff advised devout Hindus recently when they planned to boycott the visit of Pope John Paul II: "Show no disrespect to the Pope, the Head of an organized world-wide God-fearing sect. Organized conversion should be met by equally organized spiritual discipline among us."

On the 5th March,'86, I disclosed my dilemma to my Sai-brother Shri T.K. lyengar, who stays close to my residence. After a patient hearing what he told me, made me feel as if Lord Sainath was clarifying my doubt.

Shri lyengar brought to my notice the end of Shri Madhwa-Charya. As he was about to merge in the eternity, Madhwa Charya said to his disciples: "Throughout my life I have been advocating the principle of DWAITA, but now I am wondering whether 'God is Dwaita or Adwaita'. The disciples first gave him some pure water to drink and then some quantity of sugar to eat. He ate the sugar. Afterwards they gave him water mixed with sugar to drink and asked him to find out the result himself — whether God is Dwaita or Adwaita. After drinking this sugared water he left his mortal coil peacefully.

Shri lyengar and myself also discussed as to how the divine singer Purandaradasa, though belonging to Saiva-sect danced to glorify Lord Hari, and as to how Vijayadasa, a Madhwa-saint sang the glory of Lord Shiva!

A Mohamedan Nawab offered meat to Raghavendra Swamiji, which by the latter's benign grace was converted into fruits and flowers. H.H. Narasimha Swamiji has narrated in his Biography of Sainath as to how Mother Krishnabai of Ramachandrapuram — a known devotee of Raghavendra Swamiji — was blessed by Sai in a unique manner.

After recalling several incidents which show us that all saints are one, my mind became still and I offered my prayers to Lord Sainath: "Lord Sainath, I sailed on the wings of thought

Crossing many deep streams where

My feet would have sunk in weight

But the wings of thought carried me to the

unwonted shores of life where I found Thee,

And in Thee I found my rest."

M. Rama Rao

Bangalore.

MEMORABLE TRAIN JOURNEY FROM MANMAD TO HAZRAT NIZAMUDDIN (N. DELHI). (October 1986)

Reading various articles written by Sai devotees depicting their experience in Sai Leela Magazine prompted me to write my experi­ence as to how our Sai Sadguru helped me when I prayed for His help,

I left Delhi on Tuesday the 29th April.1986 for going to Shirdi. I was planning to return by Friday the 2nd May, 1986 from Shirdi. I had requested my office people to book my return ticket in 3 tier compartment in the Bangalore-Nizamuddin Express on Friday the 2nd May, '86 leaving Manmad Junction that evening. On my arrival at Manmad Junction on the morning of 30th April, '86 I enquired about my reservation for the return journey and I was informed that the quota of berths intended for Manmad was full and hence they could not make my reservation.  I went to the reserva­tion office and asked them to put my name on the waiting list and I was third on the waiting list. The quota of berths for passengers entraining at Manmad by this train was 8. On the day of departure, i.e., after visiting Shirdi, ie. Friday the 2nd May, when I came to the station at 7 p.m., I enquired whether any drop-outs were there. The ticket examiner told me that there was no chance of my getting the berth reservation. Further when the train arrived, I found that each and every coach was over-crowded and in fact the passengers were squatting on the floor. Somehow I got in the coach 'I’ meant for the passengers travelling from Manmad Junction. Since there was hardly any space left, I decided to try my luck in the adjacent compartment, ie in 'H' coach. There also the position was equally bad. Still I decided that I would somehow travel and pass the night. I then just sat in the little space available in the lower berth near the door where a passenger was already sleeping. I had never travelled without proper reservation and this was the first occasion. I was then praying to Sai Baba saying that probably I would have to travel the whole night in that sitting position. Just at that moment a gentleman who was occupying the upper berth called me and enquired as to where I was proceeding., I replied that I was going to New Delhi. Immediately he told me that he was having an extra berth available with him, and that berth would become vacant after about an hour's time and that I could occupy that berth after an hour. Further, he asked me that I could just go up and sit comfortably with him as he was not going to sleep because of the disturban­ce of the light in the corridor. Then we started conversing for some time. I then told him I was returning from Shirdi and how Sai Baba helped me in getting the berth. By that time the train came to a halt for 2 minutes at a station and five passengers got down. Then I occupied one of the berths vacated by the passengers. This happened even before I could occupy the berth promised by that gentleman. This is how I received our Sai Sadguru's help., which made my travel very comfortable. For me this is nothing but a miracle.

A. Subramamam

New Delhi.

HOW BABA GRANTS ANTICIPATORY BAIL TO HIS DEVOTEES IN DIRE NEED (October 1986)

The following occurrence took place in the winter of '57 or '58. It concerns a friend of mine, Shri A.K. Kumthekar by name, aged about 40 at the time and employed as an Asst. Foreman in the Inspectorate of Armaments in the Ordnance Factory at Khamaria, Jabalpur. He was a highly principled brahmin hailing from Pune greatly devoted to his parents. His first concern in life was about his aged and bed-ridden father, and he could not think in terms of living away from the old gentleman leaving him to be looked after by others. It was in these circumstances that one fine morning his boss, a hard-boiled Lt. Colonel notified him to be ready to go and attend an 18 week Senior Armament Examiner's Course at Kirkee, Pune.

The above order acted as a bomb-shell on Shri Kumthekar and he found himself in a quandary. For one thing, the passing of the Course was in the nature of a qualification for promotion and no option was allowed. For another, it would mean being away from his father for the period or shifting him to and fro which would jeopardise his health. So, he put up his request to be exempted from the Course, or alternatively to be transferred to Kirkee on compassionate grounds. He then rushed to me for solace and advice. He was on the verge of tears. He had heard from me many an account of the incredible miracles worked by Sri Sai Baba in my life and how He came to be the Sheet Anchor of my existence. I instinctively felt that Baba's sanction was there in his coming to me and His intercession and protection to enable him to fulfil his filial obligation. I told him accordingly beseeching him to rest assured that no power on earth could come in the way of Baba's children discharging their duty conscientiously. Only, from that moment, he should without question put his faith in Baba knowing HIM to be but the incarnation of Datta worshipped by him in his family. These words had the desired effect on him and cleared the gloom of despair.

Personally I had no qualms about Shri Kumthekar being enabled to surmount the seemingly insurmountable obstacle in his way for, this was not the first time that I had been impelled, sub­consciously or super-consciously as the case might be, by Baba to hold out similar guarantees in cases of illness considered to be hopeless but by His Infinite Mercy happily ending in complete recovery in due course.

Hardly a week had passed when my friend came to me with a crest-fallen, countenance with the Lt. Colonel's reply summarily rejecting his request and peremptorily telling him to obey the order. He was given a week's time to collect the T.A. and leave the station. He understandably felt that Baba was not acting in his behalf as expected. I however, was not at all perturbed knowing Baba's inscrutable Wisdom and Methods. I therefore encouraged him to be hopeful. I assured him that not unoften Baba acts in the last split second when all help disappears. This had some effect and he left.

In the next two weeks I was so completely occupied with the work on hand that I clean forgot about the affair. Then one afternoon I rang up my friend's office to know the situation. To my pleasant surprise Shri Kumthekar himself answered the call. Murmuring some apology, he said he was coming straight to meet me. And so he did. He was sorry he could not see me earlier due to an urgent time-bound assignment, he said.

It seems, that submitting to the inevitable, he collected his T.A. and was planning to travel with the whole family to Kirkee by the end of the stipulated week. Then TO HIS ASTONISHMENT, ON THE EVENING PRIOR TO THE DAY INTENDED FOR THE JOURNEY, A LETTER FROM HIS BOSS WAS DELIVERED TO HIM CANCELLING THE ORIGINAL ORDER! It left him speechless and overwhelmed at the INCREDIBLY WONDERFUL MANNER IN WHICH BABA HAD ACTED. THE REALLY THRILLING PART OF THE WHOLE AFFAIR FOLLOWED. THE NEXT MORNING, ABOUT 11 a.m. AS SHRI KUMTHEKAR WAS ABOUT TO START HIS MEAL A FAKIR DRESSED LIKE BABA CAME AND STOOD AT THE DOOR. WHEN SOME COINS WERE OFFERED TO HIM IN THE USUAL WAY, HE DECLINED SAYING HE WANTED FOOD WHICH WAS READILY OFFERED. ACCEPTING IT, HE GAVE A SMALL PACKET OF UDHI TO SHRI KUMTHEKAR ASKING HIM TO KEEP IT BEFORE DATTA'S PORTRAIT, OFFER 'AARTI' AND THEN OPEN IT. ACCORDINGLY, IT WAS DONE. WHEN THE PACKET WAS OPENED, INSTEAD OF THE UDHI, THERE WERE FIVE MINIATURE CONCH SHELLS. SHRI KUMTHEKAR HASTENED BACK TO THE DOOR ONLY TO FIND THE FAKIR GONE. ONLY THEN DID IT DAWN UPON HIS MIND THAT THE FAKIR WAS NONE OTHER THAN BABA HIMSELF. The conch shells were kept as objects of Baba’s Heavenly Prasad.(need to be filled)

Dr. P.S. Ramaswami

Hyderabad

 

MY FIRST VISIT TO SHIRDI (September 1986)

It was in the year 1980 February, I happened to go with my husband to Shirdi soon after my marriage. My visit was purely out of interest to see a new place. Soon after reaching Shirdi, we took a room in "BHAKTHA NIWAS". After a bath we went to the Samadhi Mandir and I had the darshan of Baba for the first time. The next day we took a receipt for the Pooja and stood in queue waiting for our turn which was to come only after an hour or so.

As I stood uttering the Sai Name, I thought if Baba could read His devotee's mind the next chance of getting in near the Samadhi should be ours. Lo! to my utter astonishment we were called by the men clad in red dress who were controlling the queue. I was overwhelmed with joy. From thence, I have surrendered myself to HIS LOTUS FEET always uttering His Name.

At that movement of ecstasy, I thought the rose kept on Baba's head should be given to me as a blessing of Baba and that too happened. I was thrilled when I got the same flower from Baba's head. I was overwhelmed and extremely gratified. I am fortunate that I could receive Baba's grace in full measure from then on.

Mrs, Jayanthi Subramaniam

Hyderabad 500 040.

SAI BABA MY SAVIOUR AND PROTECTOR (September 1986)

I had never heard the name of Sai Baba nor of the town of Shirdi. It appeared as if Sai Baba was Himself calling me towards Him. One day He sent to me one of His devotees whom I had never known before, who told me that I should visit Shirdi along with him. I replied to him that I had not heard the name of Shirdi and Shirdi Sai Baba and therefore was totally ignorant about His name and place. He then brought some books of Baba in Hindi and English for me. When I read through these books, I was much impressed by the incidents narrated in these books. Then I decided to visit Shirdi. Before my visit to Shirdi I had been having so many personal problems which were solved by Him on my praying, I give below details of some of the incidents of my protection and His grace for the benefit of other devotees.

1.         In November, 1984, I started from my Bank at Chandni Chowk, Delhi to my residence along with my brief-case containing valuable documents, keys etc. valuing about Rs. 2 lacs. My car was parked in front of the Red Fort (Delhi) and before opening the lock of the car, I left the brief-case on the ground and forgot to lift it and keep in the car. I immediately started the car and reached near the Samadhi of Mr. Sanjay Gandhi i.e. about 1 km. from Red Fort, when I noticed that my brief-case was not in the car. I at once realized the misfortune and disaster which I was facing. I was totally perplexed and was about to weep. I stopped my car and prayed to Sai Baba. After a moment a divine voice came that I should go back to the place where I had parked my car. I immediately rushed to the Red Fort and it took me about 30 minutes to reach there because of heavy rush of traffic at 7.00 p.m. With great difficulty I reached the place where my car was parked. To my great astonishment my brief-case was lying there intact as I had left it, without any article missing. Tears of joy flowed from my eyes. I went to Sai Baba temple at Lodhi Road (New Delhi) to thank Him for His kind protection and mercy upon me.

2.         Udi of Sai Baba: I was suffering from Cervical Spondylosis for the last 3-4 years. When I went to Shirdi I brought, back Sai Baba's Vibhuti (Udi) and then began to apply it on my neck, forehead and heart. Since then I have no complaint of Spondylosis. One day while I was sitting in my office I had a severe pain in my left arm, which became unbearable. I immediately applied Udi and took some in the water. I was thinking of going to the Doctor in the evening, but after taking a pinch of Udi in water the pain totally disappeared by the evening and thereafter I did not go to the Doctor.

3.         Recently my younger sister Lakshmi was suffering from cancer which was in an advanced stage. I gave her Udi in water twice or thrice daily and she died a very peaceful death without any suffering.

4.         I myself and my wife had been to U.S.A. in May, 1985. There my younger son Shri V.C. Kansal was having some problem in his factory where he was employed, and similarly his wife was also having some trouble in the Hospital where she was employed. They both prayed to Sai Baba and after few days their problems were solved entirely to their satisfaction.

5.         My eldest son Shri K.C. Kansal took us in his car to Geeta Temple in New York. I was astonished to see Sai Baba's statue installed in the temple. We never expected to see it in New York! It was all His grace that we had His darshan in New York also.

I have narrated the above instances for the benefit of other devotees, so that they may pray to Sai Baba for any problem or difficulty, which may arise in their life.

R.R.

Delhi-110 092.

THE GREATNESS OF UDI (September 1986)

Believe me, though I pass away, My bones in my tomb will give you hope and confidence. Do not be anxious that I would be absent from you. Remember me always, believe in Me, heart and soul and then you will be most benefited.

With salutation to Sai Baba's lotus feet I would like to narrate one of my experiences.

This incident took place in April,1974. My brother Sainath was one year old then. After having had our lunch we all were resting. Baby Sainath was playing with a big bucket full of water. No one had noticed him. After some time when my mother went to look for him he had fallen into the bucket. Only his legs could be seen. A lot of water had entered his body and all types of artificial respiration was given to him. But it was of no use. We all had given up hopes.

My grandparents then placed him in front of Baba's photo and they put some Udi into his mouth and applied it all over his body. Immediately he started crying. Dear readers, you all can imagine how happy we all were! This incident brought our family very close to Sai Baba.

Now Master Sainath is hale and hearty and is studying in 6th standard. We all visited Shirdi in April, 1980.

Bow to Shri Sai — Peace be to all.

Jayashree P. U.

Bangalore.

SAI'S AFFECTION TOWARDS US (September 1986)

On 30th January, 1986, one of my colleagues in the office approached me and offered "SAI PRASADAM", as she had per­formed "SAI POOJA" on that day being Thursday. I never knew her as a Sai devotee, until the day when she gave me the Sai Prasadam. I asked her where she performed the pooja. She replied that she had performed the pooja in Gestetner Operators Room, where a calender with Sai's photo was hung on the wall. I enquired with her, why she could not do pooja at home? She said that she had no picture of Sai. I at once decided to give her one photograph of Sai for her pooja.

In the evening, after returning home, I told my wife to pack the Sai photo in our home for presenting it to my colleague. My wife did not agree with me. She objected to giving the photo from the house. She advised me to give a new photo, if at all I desired to give. I did not listen to my wife and decided to give the photo, which I kept last time for my "SAPTHAHAM POOJA".

As usual, I performed Sai Bhajan with my family members in the night and distributed the prasadam. This was completed by 8 p.m. At about 8.30 p.. my temperature rose upto 102°F. My wife gave me some medicine and also Baba's UDI. Inspite of all these, my temperature did not come down.

My wife was very much worried. Suddenly, in high fever, I thought that it would be better to listen to my wife's advice. Immediately I told my wife that I do not want to give Sai's photo from the house to anybody, as SAI PRABHU does not like to leave us. I prayed to Sai with a request to excuse me for entertaining the idea of parting with His Photo. Immediately after the prayer, within minutes, my temperature came down to normal. I was able to converse with my people as usual. By next Thursday, I purchased a "SAI PHOTO" from a shop and gave it to my colleague for her pooja. I am reminded here of how Baba admoni­shed his devotee Kaka Mahajani for parting with a holy book given to him by Baba and giving it away to Madhavrao Deshpande. This teaches us a lesson that any photograph or book of Saibaba which we use for our daily worship should not be given away, no matter who asks for it.

G. Nagaraja Rao,

Hyderabad 500 012.

A DEVOTION ACCEPTED AND BLESSED (September 1986)

It was a cold winter morning in the month of January 1984. We were at Shirdi. The time was 5 a.m. The Kakkad Arathi to Sri Sai Baba was about to commence. Hurriedly, we made our way to the Samadhi Mandir.

A crowd of devotees had already gathered in the spacious hall of the Mandir. We could see, straight ahead of us, the majestic marble Murthy of Sri Sainath. On either side of the Murthy and Samadhi of Baba, stood men and women in queues, awaiting their turn for worship. They had flowers, milk, rose-water and incense with them. The air was filled with the fragrance of the flowers and incense. The devotional atmosphere, early in the morning, was so blissful and serene.

During our previous visits to Shirdi I had noticed only Zendu or Marigold flowers on the Samadhi of Baba. Now, beautiful, large roses formed a magnificent carpet on the Samadhi. I observed ladies reverently placing bunches of roses on the holy Samadhi and take back a few as prasad. I blamed myself for not getting even a single rose flower for Baba and wondered from where they secured those lovely flowers — uneasy, disappointed and sad, I moved forward for worship. After my turn, I stood aside near the back door, waiting for my husband.

Just then a young boy with a broad smile approached me with a bunch of roses and offered it to me. I did not know the boy and was taken by surprise. I thought he had mistaken me for somebody else and hesitated to accept the flowers — Almost simultaneously my husband approached me with quick steps and said "Take them, take them, they are Baba's prasad. I saw the boy asking the Poojari and removing the flowers from the Samadhi.” Thrilled with joy, I accepted the flowers and thanked the boy for his gesture. Baba had, read my thoughts and sent them!

"Baba, as one feels intently you give him experiences and realizations accordingly"!

Back in our room I recollected a small event. Before leaving Mysore, when we were dressed and waiting for an auto-rickshaw my neighbour's son came to me and offered a beautiful rose flower. I chided him for plucking such a good flower for me.

"Aunty, you are going away now, please have it", he said. But I went inside to our pooja room and placed the flower on Baba's small silver padukas.

In Chapter IX Sri Sai Satchritha Page 52, it is given under the heading 'Devotees experiences', the Bhagavatgita sloka.

"Whosoever devoutly offers to me a leaf, a flower, or a fruit or water, of that pure hearted man I accept the offering". In the case of Sai Baba, if a devotee intended really to offer anything to Sai Baba, and if he afterwards forgot to offer the same, Baba reminded him or his friend about the offering and made him present it to Him and then accepted it and blessed the devotee."

I intended at Shirdi to offer roses to Baba and felt sad I had none with me. But Baba reminded me about the offering at Mysore accepted and blessed me.

I offered only one, but He blessed me with many. Like Dakshina (Page 81 Sai Satcharitha) He blessed me with more than what He had received!

Smt. Vijaya Gopalakrishna

Mysore 570 002.

MY SHIRDI YATRA (September 1986)

From 1978 onwards I had been going to Bombay a number of times every year, but my desire to go to Shirdi somehow could not be fulfilled. It is rightly said that nobody can go to Shirdi on his own accord, unless Baba wills it. It proved to be so in my case also. Last year, when my tour to Bombay was finalised, I had an over­whelming desire to make use of the opportunity to go to Shirdi but I was in a dilemma as to how I could go there being a new place and the route unknown to me. All the same, I felt that I would be able to make it this time. When I approached my superior officer with a request for leave, he readily agreed. On that day, when I came home another surprise awaited me. My nephew, an ardent Sai devotee came via Mangalore using his student concession ticket by Indian Airlines. He was leaving for Bombay on 11th of that month whereas I was to leave for Bombay the next day. I was so happy at this turn of event and told him of my plan to visit Shirdi. He in turn promised me that he would make necessary booking for both of us from Bombay Central by bus on the following Saturday night and he would accompany me to Shirdi as it was vacation for him. On reaching Bombay I went to Ambarnath which is  my sister's place and to my surprise I found my father there. He also wanted me to take him to Shirdi. Subsequently, on Sunday morning of that week, we three reached Shirdi at 6 O'clock without any trouble. I felt so light-hearted on stepping on the holy soil of Shirdi. I forgot all about my sleep, fatigue and tiredness of the journey. My nephew took me straight to Sansthan for booking the accommodation but we were told that we would have to wait upto 8 O'clock. As we were standing there undecided, an employee of Sansthan in uniform suggested to us to take a locker for keeping our belongings on payment of 50 paise. He showed us the way behind the Sansthan building where we could get water etc. There we found a number of people having their bath sitting on a stone with one bucket of water, which was served to them by some women on duty for Rs,2/-. As we were waiting there a muslim boy standing nearby volunteered to take us to a building nearby where there was plenty of water as well as bathroom, lavatory etc. Being Keralites, a fresh cold water bath was what we wanted. We had a good bath by the grace of Baba and left for Samadhi Mandir. On the way, we bought garlands, flowers, naivedya etc. from a shop nearby. The shop­keeper led us to the main queue, which was very long. When we were nearing the Mahasamadhi, we observed that we could not ourselves garland Baba's Samadhi and had to hand over the pooja materials and garlands to the Poojari waiting for that purpose. We handed over the pooja materials to the Poojari and on getting the prasad, we came out. Just then new abhisheka coupons were being issued from the counter nearby. Without losing time we joined the queue. As we were reaching almost near the counter the sale of coupons stopped and they told us to wait there for one hour or so for the next batch. Then we realised that since morning we had not taken any food. We were all quite hungry and remembered Baba's dictum that one should not seek Baba on an empty stomach. So we decided to partake the prasad available with us. As we were waiting I observed that all people in the queue had garland in their hands and also pooja materials, whereas we had already offered the same to the poojary. I had a keen desire to buy a garland which I had bought earlier and asked the watchman standing nearby from where I could get a garland. He gave me the direction to the nearby shop and allowed me to go. I went to the shop asked for the garland which I wanted. The shop-keeper told me that it would cost Rs.25/-whereas I had bought it for Rs.5/- in the morning. As I was standing undecided, another shop-keeper a few yards away called me from behind and shouted that he would give the garland for Rs.5/- which was a great surprise to me. I bought the garland, ran back and joined the queue and after getting coupon, we were directed to go to Samadhi Mandir. There, we were allowed to go one by one and garland Baba's Moorthi which was a great experience. As soon as I stepped on the Samadhi, a stillness took control of me and I offered dakshina as per my vow and also sat near the Baba's Samadhi and touched the Samadhi with my forehead and finally garlanded Baba's moorthi and made pranams to the holy feet of Baba's moorthy. Then we went to Dwaraka-mayee. There we saw Baba's beautiful life like oil painting where I did Namaskar and sat near the dhuni where some mud pots are kept. Some people there were reciting slokas from Bagavat Geetha. I also felt an inner urge to recite Vishnu Sahasranama as I do every day morning at 5°clock regularly, which is dear to Baba. My nephew agreed to wait outside Dwarakamayee for me to finish the recitation. As I started my recitation I proposed a test in my mind that before I complete my recitation if Dr. Babaji happens to come there, it is an indication that Baba had accepted my humble offering. While standing in the queue I had heard earlier from somebody that Dr. Babaji was camping at Shirdi. I had only read about Dr. Babaji but had not seen him in person. As I was just finishing my recitation of Vishnu Sahasra Nama, a tall fair looking gentleman came there, wearing a white pyjama and kurta and with a japamala in his hand. He climbed up and went near Baba's portrait and did Namaskar and touched the nimbar and slowly went back. I also completed my recitation and my inner sense told me that this tall looking gentleman was Dr. Babaji. After complet­ing my recitation I came down and asked my nephew whether the gentleman going down was Dr. Babaji. He said, 'May be'. So we decided to go and ask Dr. Babaji himself who was walking slowly towards Samadhi Mandir. On asking the gentleman whether he was Dr. Babaji, he curtly replied that he was not. I felt dejected and went back. Then we thought of taking a pradikshina covering Baba's chavadi building and Gurusthan etc. As I went to Chavadi we saw Baba's dormitory as well as the cot in which Baba’s holy body was kept and had bath, last time. We asked the Sanyasins there whether we could see Dr. Babaji and he directed us near a bookstall and told us that Dr. Babaji stayed there. As we went in front of the bookstall, we saw the same gentleman who told us that he was not Dr. Babaji, sitting inside. The shop-keeper prevented us from going near him as he came out after finishing his meal we bowed to him. Dr. Babaji said that he was coming to Samadhi Mandir for noon Aarti and then we could see him there. It was just 12°clock. We hurried to Samadhi Mandir. There were a lot of people and there was heavy rush. Somehow, I got standing room at the farther end of the Samadhi Mandir hall. I stood holding the rope tied in the centre. As I was trying to have a view of the Aarti I was disappointed. Then I bent down like a child and then I could see the entire Samadhi and Aarti that was going on there. The Aarti ceremony was something beyond my imagination. During the Aarti we could feel the presence of real Sakti there. The whole place was vibrating with the spiritual power. Something powerful was pulling us towards the Samadhi. The experience is inexplicable and beyond words and as soon as the Aarti ceremony was over we saw Dr. Babaji going into a room along with other sanyasins. We rushed in through the crowd and touched the feet of Dr. Babaji. I wanted to talk to him and he asked to come at 3 °clock. Then he just tapped my forehead. So we left him and went for meals.

As we had booked our journey back to Bombay at 2.30 p.m. by state transport bus, it was difficult to meet Dr. Babaji at 3°clock. 1 was sad that I could not meet him. After seeing Lendibaug etc. we got into our bus at 2.30 p.m. Next to me was sitting a Gujarati Engineer turned businessman. While talking about his business he suddenly took his purse and presented to me a picture which he had made in his factory. It was a beautiful card size photo of Balagopala. I felt this is Baba's prasad to me as I had recited Vishnu Sahasra Nama in Dwarakamayee. Throughout our journey, we had no problem and we reached safely Bombay and then returned to our town, after I had completed my work at Bombay.

C.P. Nambiar,

Kerala.

AM I NOT TAKING CARE OF YOU? (September 1986)

"Rush to Kurnool Medical College Hospital at once. You have become almost blind. Why have you delayed so long?" Said the doctor to my wife after examining her eyes.

My wife, a diabetic, was losing eye sight fast. She became unable to see objects which were very near. We immediately went to Kurnool as per the doctor’ s advice.

The eye specialists at Kurnool Medical College examined her eyes and said that it was a very serious case. They wanted her to take medicines and injections to the eyes for atleast six months and then have a surgical operation, if necessary. My wife started taking the medicines and injections.

We are Sai devotees. We became despondent on hearing the medical opinion; we prayed to Sai. We were blessed by our Guruji, Sri Sri Sri Shyama Charan Baba of Sri Sai Karunalayam, Nandyal. A few days later, at dead of night, my wife, who was sleeping, got up and said, "Open the door, Sai is coming" I switched on the lights. A small picture of Sai, which was on the switch Board, had fallen on her bed by her side.

In three weeks the doctors found dramatic improvement in the condition of the patient. The treatment continued. The Chief Medical Officer, himself a Sai devotee, after coming to know that his patient was also a Sai devotee, openly stated, "The progress is unbelievable. It is Sai who is curing you. This amazing progress in such a hopeless case can not be due to our efforts and medicines."

A few days later my wife had a dream that she underwent a surgical operation to her eyes. After one and a half months, the doctors at the Kurnool Hospital told my wife "You can stop the treatment. You are completely cured. All Baba's Grace."

The same doctors conducted an eye camp at Mahanandi. The Doctors sent for my wife to see the devotee who was miraculously cured by Saibaba. In gratitude to Sai, my wife worked as a volunteer at the eye camp under the guidance of the Doctors and Sri Sri Sri Shyam Charan Baba Guru. Now she is almost free from Diabetic complaint also, even without taking medicines.

This experience reminds us that our Lord SRI SAINATH MAHARAJ will never let His devotees down and will protect them always in all ways.

JAI     BOLO     SRI     SATCHIDANANDA SAINATH MAHARAJ KI JAI

SRI GURU DEV DATTA

SADGURU

S. Sreenath M.I.E.

NANDYAL (A.P.)

 

SAI BABA SAVED ME (September 1986)

During the last week of March, 1986 two of my colleagues working in Air-India went to Shirdi. On their return, they gave me Udhi and Prasad on 30th March, 1986, for my use. The very next day, I had some urgent work in the afternoon. I took leave and came to the Santa Cruz Railway Station and was waiting for the train to come. I occupied a seat on the bench at the platform. Within a few seconds, the ceiling fan fitted onto the roof of the platform above the bench suddenly fell off with a thud very near me. I was so dazed at the event that I could not imagine what would have been my fate had the heavy object fallen on me! Soon I realised at this crucial time that the Baba's Udhi carried by me had saved me from the calamity. It is only Baba's blessings which had saved me; I firmly believe that His grace and the power of His Udhi averted a major accident in my life.

D.G. Ghag,

Bombay-4.

CURATIVE POWER OF BABA'S UDI (September 1986)

I have experienced many leelas of Sai Baba, but the one I am relating now is exceptionally wonderful. Since 1980, whenever we are in doubt or whenever we undertake a journey we always first seek guidance from Sai Baba by putting marked chits before Him. My husband this time asked whether we should undertake a journey to Shirdi-Pandharpur-Mahabaleshwar and back to Bombay. With Baba's blessings, the chit was of 'Yes' so we started our journey on 2nd November 1985. We had a nice and comfortable stay at Shirdi. On 5th morning we started for Pandharpur by bus.

My husband booked and reserved for our stay through out in advance. We had a beautiful darshan of Vithal of Pandharpur. On the morning of 7th we had to start for Mahabaleshwar from Pandharpur by bus; it was an 8 hours journey. On the night of 6th I started having suddenly acute diarrhoea and vomiting. I was purging and vomiting after every five minutes. My husband started worrying and even thought of calling a doctor at about 1 a.m. That place was completely unknown to us. We prayed to Sai Baba who was sitting there in our room in blessing posture. We told Him frankly that with His blessings we started this journey, and He was sitting there and watching! Then my husband, who always carries, Udi with him, put some Udi in a glass and mixing it with water asked me to drink with SAI BABA's blessing. Mean­while we were continuously chanting, His name. My husband gave the mixture of UDI at about 2 a.m. My vomiting and diarrhoea continued upto 4 a.m. Till then I was not able to control myself. At about 4 a.m. I had sleep. About 6 a.m. I suddenly woke up and my husband asked me how I was feeling. Since 4 a.m. I did not have any vomiting and motion. Our bus departure time was 7 a.m. With Baba's Udi I was feeling O.K. so we started journey to Mahabaleshwar, with Baba's blessing, as scheduled.

Till we reached Mahabaleshwar I didn't have any type of discomfort. Even in Mahabaleshwar I didn't have any attack of diarrhoea; I was completely normal. Now just think how Udi had cured such an acute diarrhoea. It is another leela of SAI BABA. His Udi has again proved to be a miracle medicine!

I pray to SAI always to protect His devotees and guide them at every stage.

Mrs. Madhur Mathur,

Bombay-77.

WHEN TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION (September 1986)

Behold, it came to pass that the dumb spoke and the dead came back to life.

- The Bible

Yes, there He stood at the gate, with His serene indulgent face and benevolent eyes, clothed in 'Kupni' with the cloth over the head falling loosely over the shoulders, the 'Biksha-paatra' held in the right hand with the left folded and resting over the right shoulder, exactly as in the portrait facing P. 112 of the Satcharita (Eng. edn.). I was stunned with amazement. It was INCREDIBLE!

Only a moment before, in my frenzied despair at the passing away of my first-born son aged 10 years, I had denied Him, His Divinity and His Omnipresence testified again and again by His devotees experiences both before and after His 'Mahaasamadhi'. I had declared Him to be a false deity and beseeched my wife to throw His portrait on the dung-hill. But, here He stood to prove the TRUTH OF HIS ETERNAL EXISTENCE.

You see, the medicine I poured into the mouth of my semi­conscious son remained there. I shouted to him to swallow it but the mouth remained open. I became frantic and tried to close it. No, the jaws had become rigid, I checked the pulse. It too had stopped. It was then that I called out my wife from the kitchen and spoke those blasphemous words. She just sat by the bed, head bent and tears trickling down, as much hurt by my profanity no doubt as by the bereavement.

I had come to the end of my tether spiritually. I was not myself for the nonce. Thus I had the brutal impudence to ask my grieving wife whether she had cooked adding, "He has anyway gone. I don't want to die, too- I shall go and eat."

Imagine the father, however forlorn, to be so devoid of all feeling as to put such an inhuman question to the mother just bereaved.

There is no limit to which human nature can sink though thank God it can also soar to Elysian heights. Here I must say that my wife's faith unlike mine has throughout been unflickering, standing 'foursquare to all the winds that blow'. Whenever my mind harks back to that scene, I cannot help wondering how I escaped her righteous indignation for my frenzied out-burst. Where else except in this land hallowed by Sita and Savitri, Damayanti and Mandodhari, Nalaayini and Renuka Devi can one meet with such phenomenal forbearance? It is not far fetched to say that it is for such paragons of virtue that the Sun shines, it rains and Mother Earth continues to yield her bounty. It has been said that the greatness of a man does not consist in never falling but rising every time he falls. Indeed, it is by the magnetic charm of their devotion the 'homo sapiens' are not completely debased.

In her own gentle manner she said, "I just finished cooking rice for the children. Pray, serve yourself for this once", and lapsed into what I know now in retrospect to have been prayer to Baba.

You see, there were four younger children, two of them twins hardly six months old. But my mind and heart had become dry, no thought or feeling for any one, not even Baba!

So I betook myself to the kitchen to eat! I sat with a Thali' before me and mechanically served myself some rice. Before I could bring myself to eat, while sitting and staring at the rice vacantly, I became schizophrenic, as it were, one part of me questioning the other, "Look, what are you trying to do? There lies your first born son dead and you are going to gorge your self." This shocked me into realising how perfectly horrid of me it was. I turned to look in the direction of the bed in the front-room which was in line with the kitchen. It was then that my eyes behold the wonderful, form of Baba. Was it a mere vision, a figment of my imagination? I shouted to my wife with head still bent, "Kamu, look out and see who has come". Reacting to the frantic urgency in my voice, she looked up and glanced at the gate. At once, as if touched by a live wire, she sprang up; and as if that was the consummation she was devoutly praying for she exclaimed, "Amma Naayana! Baba Vachcheru!" (Oh! at long last Baba has come!)

Actually, neither of us had seen the Satcharita portrait of Baba by then. Our puja portrait showed Him sitting cross-legged. However, in His Inscrutable Wisdom, He had led us into buying at a 'mela' a few months earlier a wood-cut portraying Him in five different poses including this one. Thus we were able to recognise Him at once.

Now I felt sure it was indeed HE. I was back in my senses. My heart was full of gratitude to Him for coming in the nick of time, and saving the situation. Else, in my forsaken condition, with no thought of Him or for Him I might have polluted the food before me. In this new found happiness, I reverentially took the thali up to Him and put the rice in the lifted "Biksha-paatra", He received it with His beautific face and went away. No word was spoken. Indeed there was no need for any. My heart was too full for it, too. There was 'peace that passeth understanding'.

As I stepped into the house, my son opened his eyes and said, "Father, I am thirsty. Give me some water."!!! This occured in March 1944, twenty six years after Baba's Mahasamadhi.

The humanly impossible had come to pass!

Dr. P.S.R. Swami

Hyderabad-500 457.

SAIKEKARSHMAE (September 1986)

SAI miracles for the last three years are many with me but special mention may be made of the following few worth record­ing.

It is in the month of June, 1982 the matrimonial issue of my only daughter was decided. The betrothal ceremoney was performed. The match settled down got perturbed beyond our imagination when knotty problems and wide difference arose between the bride groom and my family. We lost mental peace and our cup of sorrow was indeed full. What is to be done at this stage and what is the alternative I prayed LORD SAI NATH with a heavy but sincere heart. Suddenly SAI came to my rescue. My own brother-in-law's son gladly accepted my daughter in marriage to him and this match was unanimously agreed upon by my relatives and friends. What ever happens is for our good.

I was told to perform the marriage ceremony by December 1982. I had no sufficient money to meet the expenditure. Again SAI helped me by managing the money through my relatives and closest friends. Accordingly the marriage was celebrated splendidly on 31 -12-1982 with the grace of SAI.

Another worth recording SAI KARSHMA occured when my daughter went to Hyderabad in the month of March, 1985 for the purpose of first delivery. In the month of February 1985. I predicted that my daughter would deliver a child on Thursday i.e. 9-5-1985 and the baby will be named SAI KRISHNA SURI. The doctors and my relatives laughed at me and did not believe my words. My daughter was hospitalized in the last week of April, 1985 for delivery. The operation was postponed thrice. What a great astonishment. She underwent major operation on Thursday 9-5-1985 and delivered a very handsome male child by SAI KRUPA. As usual I performed SAI pooja on Thursday i.e. on 9-5-1985 at my house but this time with tears of joy and distri­buted sweet.

There is no end to SAI miracles. The new born child was kept in emergency. The baby neither wept nor consumed even a drop of milk. 13th May, 1985 was the most hopeless day for the specialist with the best medical aid failed and declared no ray of hope. My wife wept bitterly. The doctors consoled her by saying that God alone can save the baby. My co-son-in-law came to Warangal on 13-5-1985 to take me to Secunderabad M.G.M. Hospital so that I could see the baby once for all. I visited the hospital the same day. What could I do except shedding tears, applying UDI and praying Lord SAI. The Almighty heard my voice. On 14-5-1985, the baby opened eyes and started bodily move­ments. All including the doctors were taken by surprise. The baby started weeping and consuming milk. The cradle ceremony was performed with great enthusiasm and happiness on 6-10-1985 and as vowed I named my grand son SAI KRISHNA SURI. Now the baby is perfectly alright and I have decided to put my grand son on the Lotus Feet of Lord of Events at SHIRIDI.

SAI showered the fifth KARSHMA after fifteen days of the birth of my grand son. I received telegram in the last week of June, 1985 from the Government in Planning and Finance Depart­ment, Government of Andhra Pradesh nominating me to undergo training on Evaluation for 3 weeks commencing from 11-6-1985 at PUNE. I was the only one to represent Andhra Pradesh. My joy knew no bounds. During the training course at Pune I left for SHIRDI on 22-6-1985 and paid my homage. As per the orders of SAI BABA I visited SHIRDI twice in the year 1985, once for Annual gathering in the last week of January, 1985 and the second in June, 1985.

The last SAI LEELA occured on 5-1-1986 when I was invited to attend the meeting convened at Thousand Pillars temple, Hanamkonda, Warangal, A.P. The Chief purpose of the meeting is to consider the proposals for constructing SAI Mandir. As expected the SAI devotees assembled. I was introduced for the first time to the convenor and to the great surprise of one and all, I was proposed to preside over the meeting. I hesitated for a while but was told that it is the cherished desire of SAIBABA. On hearing these words I whole heartedly accepted the proposal. The devotees delivered speeches in the local languages i.e. Telugu. In the last I was requested to offer my presidential remarks. The pity is that I know English better than Telugu. I was doubtful whether I could explain my views in local language. SAI made me to speak boldly in Telugu. I advised the devotees to utilize the accumulated money through donations and contributions for the noble purpose of constructing SAI Temple and not even a single naye paise should be used by any one for personal ends.

N. Machander Das

Warangal (A.P.)

NOT MERE COINCIDENCE (September 1986)

Our Baba's ways of helping His devotees are really wonder­ful. The experiences of His devotees are not mere coincidences in life. They are beyond the reach of science. I reiterate that they are miracles. I firmly believe that if we have the unswerving faith in Baba, His presence is always felt by us. Many times Baba answered my prayers whenever I was in difficulties. I narrate an incident — one of many happened in my life — which proves that Baba is always kind to those who utter His name whole heartedly. My wife was admitted to a hospital and the specialist doctor thought that the caesarian operation had to be performed on my wife as the delivery in the normal way appeared to be very difficult. Baba answered my prayer and my wife was brought to bed of a child normally, much to the astonishment of the doctor. Then my mother in-law used to bring food to my wife in the new food carrier of their neighbour. As all had gone well, she went to Baba's temple to have a pooja performed in gratitude. After taking the prasad, she went home late in the night. In her haste to attend to the needs of her waiting husband, she had forgotten the bag — which had the carrier and the prasad of Baba — in the rickshaw. A few minutes later she realised her mistake. My father-in-law and brothers-in-law searched for that rickshaw puller in that night, but in vain. Everyone lost hopes. At that time they were in financial difficulties and the cost of that new carrier was a big amount to them then. My mother-in-law prayed to Baba to show His kindness to her. We know that Baba is a synonym for kind­ness. The next day in the early morning the rickshaw puller came enquiring about my mother-in-law. He searched for her, lane after lane. He said that the bag in the rickshaw made him restless in the night. Something in him told him to give it back to its owner. He waited for the morning and went out at the very first ray of the sun. My eyes were filled with tears for the kindness of Baba.

R. Ramachandra Rao,

Prakasam (Dist)

HOW I BECAME A SAI DEVOTEE (August 1986)

I became a devotee of Lord Sai Nath in the year 1982. I have experienced many of his leelas since then. Here I am going to narrate my first experience as to how I became a devotee of Baba. My husband is an army officer. After finishing his tenure at Jamnagar, we wanted a posting in the South since we belong to that place and  wanted a good place so that my daughter could get admission in a good school. My husband was due for his posting. During our stay at Jamnagar, we came into contact with one Mr. Nair who is a great devotee of Baba. We heard many of His leelas from Mr. Nair and were very keen to go to Shirdi before we left that place. We requested our friend and he agreed to take us along with him. So in the month of June 1982 we went with him in his ambassador car comfortably to Shirdi and came back after a good darshan. After a week, my husband got his posting to a remote corner of Punjab. We became very upset and never wanted to go to that place due to the unfavourable conditions prevailing there during that period. I told my husband to meet the higher authorities and try to get his posting changed. He went to Delhi and met all the concerned persons but they expressed their inability to do anything in this case since the posting order had been already issued. He came back very dejected and sad. I also became worried and I thought of Baba and said in my mind, Baba, we have been to Shirdi only last week and if you want to strengthen our faith in you, you should change the place of our posting. I knew it was not possible as my husband had already knocked at all possible doors for help. My husband brought our train tickets and we packed all our things. Meanwhile we went to the headquarters for a farewell party. The Chief Engineer who is a kind hearted person told my husband that he would try to help him. During our stay there, one senior-most officer came there for an inspection unexpectedly. Meanwhile one of the civilian officer's premature retirement came through, creating a vacancy there. So the Chief Engineer requested the General to have my husband at the headquarters itself. The General readily agreed and my husband's posting order got changed. This all happened within a week. So we came to the headquarters with bag and baggage. We stayed there for 2 years. During this time my hus­band's promotion also came. We had a wonderful stay there and our faith in Lord Sai has strengthened after this episode. Our family, my husband, myself and our daughter became ardent devotees of Baba after this experience. My husband's articles have already come in the Sai Leela magazine and two of my experiences had already been published in the magazine two years back. When I write my experiences, tears well up in my eyes and my throat gets choked with emotion. There is a considerable change in me after I became a devotee. Earlier I used to get upset and worried for small things. Now I leave everything to Sai and know He is there to guide us and pull us through our trying times, pray to Lord Sai to protect His children and shower His blessings on all His bhaktas.

Prabha Gopalkrishnan

Srinagar

 

"AN IMPOSSIBLE BECAME POSSIBLE" (August 1986)

I am serving a private firm that operates all over the country. Hundreds of employees in the Sales Division of the firm are normally posted in their choice-headquarters. Transfers are rare and are effected to far-off states only to express the displeasure of the immediate higher-ups. In other words, it is always a "penalty".

It was very much true that I  joined the firm some 18 years ago, looking out for a rewarding future. Though I did not rise over the years there was nothing to grumble about too.

But for certain unknown reasons the rapport between my immediate boss and myself started deteriorating some 7 years ago and I was penalised with a transfer outside Karnataka. The transfer was a total shock to me because the whole ten long years of my hard work were just reduced to nothing but bleak future. While all my teammates were being promoted, I was being penalised. I could not console myself in any other fashion except silently suffering the immense mental and emotional stress on the domestic and professional fronts. What cannot be cured has to be endured. So, I alone moved from Bangalore to Nanded in Maharashtra without disturbing the family. Since my mind was burdened with a sense of shame, the much needed self confidence and positive attitude for sales force, was quite missing in me. I was a bitter, withdrawn person and had decided not to seek or accept any relief from other human-beings. But, what was to be done then?

Many names of Saints and temples were mentioned to me as remedy. After visiting many of them, my mind invariably used to reject not allowing to conceive any hope. However, I visited Shirdi one day and found my mind was a bit calmed. The amount of devotion and faith on the faces of devotees fed slowly confidence in me. I repeated my visit monthly once for a year, I should say by now, I became a believer in Baba Sai Ram. Since I believed myself innocent of any crime, I thought He should sort out my case in my favour. But, nothing really happened.

In one of the visits in the second year, I casually bought a copy of Sai Leela, for the first time. I was virtually taken aback to read an article by a devotee — a Railway Official. He was trans­ferred to some place in Maharashtra from Hubli in Karnataka on account of his immediate boss. While all his efforts, prayers to known, unknown holy men failed, he finally started lighting incense-sticks to Baba's photo and got his retransfer. The whole story was in line with my past. I too, was transferred from Karnataka to Maharashtra, on account of displeasure of my higher-up. My re-transfer appeared bleak because he had many years of service to go and definitely would block all my attempts. If Sai Ram could fulfil the wishes of that Railway Official, why not mine? I too would write my experience in Sai Leela if he showed solution to my problem. It was a vow then.

Then the mind started working faster. If my surrender to Him was total and He accepted my prayer, then why this miracle should not take place before closing of the very financial year. I myself marked March 30 as the final day for Baba to rescue me. Human nature being what it is, I should say, I am rather ambitious.

Nine months passed and January too, was born and over. Though my visits continued month after month, some uneasy feeling started surfacing in me. In the month of February, I heard my immediate boss over there, asking me to send a polite request to top management as two new vacancies were being created at Bangalore, I promptly obliged. A reply too came promptly stat­ing that they would consider my request for any headquarters in Karnataka but not for Bangalore. What a pity!

In the meanwhile, I went to Bangalore on leave and learnt reliably that the boss over there was not keen on accepting me in Bangalore. Since he was the Manager-in-Charge for the State, his clearance was very much a MUST and basically that was my problem. So, where was the answer to my prayer? My heart sank again.

During my March visit to Shirdi, I just prayed "Baba, Baba this is going to be the last visit to your temple. I am going to accept any place in Karnataka and proceed. If I do not get re­entry to Bangalore, it is evident that all my prayers to you have gone waste. If I get Bangalore, I will certainly come to you.” Wrte a letter conveying my acceptance to any place in Karnataka and kept it at the feet of Sai Ram and posted in Shirdi itself.

I worked for some days and went on leave for sometime.

When I resumed duty on 27th March, a telegram awaited me. The message demanded me to meet the top management immediately. I rushed and met them on 29th instant in Bombay. It was a wonder which words may fail to express properly. I was served with my transfer orders back to Bangalore. — JAl SAI RAM. While I gave a deadline of March 30th, Baba had done it a day ahead. It is all His grace. Yes "The impossible became possible". Thanks to Baba.

The purpose of this article is not only the fulfilment of my earlier vow, but also to tell the latter part. Though the following two years were not so comfortable, I got my promotion this year. But promotion proved to be a penalty again because I was posted outside Bangalore. Though I stayed three days at Shirdi for all Arthis before accepting my promotion orders, Baba gave me rather shock with transfer. I was the only candidate posted outside. I was under confusion until I read "Ambrosia" book. Now I understood that Baba is asking His dakshina. I submit this article at the lotus feet of Sai Ram as part of my commitment and pray for His mercy.

M. Chidambaram

Bangalore-560 001.

 

SAI KRUPA (August 1986)

My aged parents are at Vijayawada. There was a heavy downpour of rain and too cloudy on a certain day in August1984. My mother as usual was attending her Puja karyakram in Puja-mandir which is at the rear side of the house and my father was in front room going through a newspaper. Few moments after starting her Puja my mother heard a voice cautioning her to look back. Without paying any attention she concentrated on BABA's Puja. Again the same caution was heard for the second time. Though surprised a bit, she ignored it and continued the Puja. Again the same was heard for the third time also and out of curiosity she looked at her back and found a dark male figure with a good physique and height standing. The very sight sent shiver down her spine. Yet overcome by that she started to think who this man could be and how did he manage to come to Puja-mandir without the notice of her husband and neighbours. In the Puja mandir there is an almirah which was kept open and there were valuable silver articles, cash etc., in it. These were visible from outside and also gold ornaments on my mother. Grasping the situation my mother in a bold manner scolded the stranger by bawling out "Rascal, You get out from here and how did you come over here". But the stranger did not move and started mur­muring within himself. Sensing the danger my mother took a stick and beat the stranger on his legs with all her might. Immediately the stranger left the place and my mother fell on the floor out of exhaustion. In the extraordinary circumstances also my mother could not have acted so boldly and it is beyond her capacity to drive away the stranger lonely without raising any alarm, nor can we dream of such a dramatic act of her.

It is all but for Lord Sainath's timely action and exemplary courage that He bestowed on her, otherwise things would have taken an adverse course to anybody's guess.

Thus Lord Sainath's Krupa is always available to His devotees whether you seek it or not.

Smt. Kamala Ramchander,

Hyderabad-47.

THE SAI TIE (August 1986)

The tie that binds us all together so closely, even more than family ties, is divine Sai-love. The longer I love, the more I realise that this is the only force that can hold Sai-bandhus together. To receive and communicate Sai-love is our duty in life. That love is already inborn, in our souls; and just as it is natural for the rose to give off a sweet fragrance, so it is natural for the soul to emanate the sweet fragrance of divine love.

In July 1985, I received a letter from Sai Brother Dr. G.R. Vijayakumar of Balanoor Estate, Durgadabetta in Karnataka that he would be reaching New Delhi on the 23rd July 1985 in order to participate in an International Conference in Family Planning. Though I have been in touch with this Sai-bandhu since 1983 through exchange of affectionate letters, I had not had the oppor­tunity to physically meet him, nor had seen his photograph. I was really happy that I would be meeting this Sai-brother at last through Saigrace.

On the night of 22nd July 1985, I had a unique and thrilling dream. I saw my Guru Deva His Holiness Ganapathi Sachidanandaji seated on a dias and nearby Swamiji my daughter Chi. Rachna. Swamiji took a brasspot of water which he poured on my daughter. He told me: Don't think it is ordinary water. It is holy water collected from different holy spots'. Soon after this vision, I saw a couple dressed in 'Adivasi' — style — the male only wearing white loin cloth and the female dressed in 'bikni' dhoti was covering the body. The couple was dancing on a wall which is slightly slanting with chanting of 'JAYA GURU DATTAH, SHRI GURU DATTAH'. After the dance, the couple stood on the ground and Guru Deva applied vermilion tilak to the male.

I could not understand the significance of this dream vision. My mind mused over H.S. Dixit's dream vision of Vittal. At least Sai Baba guided him then: 'Did not Vittal come? Have you not seen him? That Vittal is very elusive. Tie him fast. If by inadver­tence you lose sight of him, he will vanish in a second.' I too prayed to Lord Sainath — our eternal guide — to explain the significance of this dream I had on the night of 22nd July 1985.

On the evening of 23rd July I went to Hotel Ashok Yatri Nivas to physically meet Dr. Vijayakumar, who must have reached New Delhi on that morning according to his letter. What a miracle I experienced when the door opened as soon as I rang the bell in the hotel room of Dr. Vijayakumar.

He had just taken his bath and had covered his loin with a white towel. He was chanting 'Om Shri Sai Jai Sai Jai Jai Sai'. This was the first time I was meeting Dr. Vijayakumar and his features exactly resembled the male of the couple I had seen dancing in my dream vision.

My joy knew no bounds. Tears of Sai-joy gushed out of my eyes. Even before my formal physical introduction, Lord Sainath, in a unique manner had introduced Dr. Vijayakumar to me in a dream.

I can only conclude:

"May that one from whom nothing is hidden. May He — Lord Sainath — surround me with His blessings, and guide me by His wise and unfailing hand. May He give me strength and wisdom to follow Sai path through His grace. May I learn to be Sai-abiding in all my thoughts, words and deeds."

P.K. Kapoor, ,

 Delhi

SHRI SAI BABA, THE GUIDE TO THE UNKNOWN (July 1986)

I had an occasion to attend the Ramanavami Festival at the house of my friend, where a photo (of H.H. Sai Baba) was placed for the puja, a cradle was also there. I did not know whose photo­graph it was but I was told that the photo was of H.H. Sai Baba, a saint of Shirdi and stories of Him were narrated. One fine morning in November 1956, I decided to have the darshan of Baba at Shirdi only and was waiting for the opportunity. My friend who was working in Postal Department at Bombay was inviting me to come to Bombay. I decided to go to Bombay during November 1956. I stayed at Bombay for about 12 days. I had told my friend about my intended visit to Shirdi and had requested him to accompany me as I did not know the route to Shirdi. My friend told me that he would accompany me provided the leave was granted to him. My friend did not get leave, which put me in difficult position as to how to fulfil my desire to visit Shirdi. My friend informed me about the route and the train by which I should leave Bombay etc. I got some courage and decided to go alone to Shirdi.

The seats in the Railway compartment even in Class III are usually reserved a week ahead and there are few seats without reser­vation for which there is much rush. Since I had decided to go, I purchased ticket to Kopergaon by Madras Mail. All the class III compartments were over crowded. However I entered one such compartment with the assistance of a porter. I could not stand holding my bag. This situation made me think as to how I would reach Shirdi and have darshan of Baba. There was a problem for me about the Marathi language, which was widely spoken there and I did not understand or speak Marathi; I was in helpless position. Seeing my position, an old man sitting infront of me made enquiry about the destination of my journey. As I could speak English, Hindi and Kannada, I told him in Hindi that I was going to Shirdi for Sai Baba's darshan. In no time, he managed to have space for me to sit by his side. This man having beard appeared to me as a Mohammedan. The Train left V.T. station at about 10.30 p.m. In the course of my journey I could not see the old man, who managed to secure a place for me to sit, even after the train left Bombay.

At Ahmednagar which is popularly called Nagar, the train stopped for some time. I got down from the train to have a cup of tea. By the same train, some 4 persons had come from Hubli and I was recognised by them at the platform. I came to know that they were also on way to Shirdi and I was much relieved of difficulty about the further journey as I became their co-traveller. We reached Shirdi by bus at about 8.30 a.m. or so. I was with them till my return journey. Being the first visit of mine to Shirdi, I was much impressed with the pooja that was being performed at the Samadhi Mandir of Shri Baba. The Abhishek to the Samadhi of H.H. Sai Baba was to be done personally as per instructions of the pujaries. As we all the five persons who were at that time conversing in Kannada about the nice arrangements made by the Samsthan Authorities, the pujari on duty, to the surprise of all, began to speak in Kannada to us. This made me very happy. He also gave hints about the places which we should visit. Accordingly we did visit all the sacred places. The pujari was stated to be from Karnatak.

During the course of my journey to Shirdi and back to my place, I have come to the following conclusion viz. (1) By the grace of H.H. Sai Baba, I was given a place to sit in the compartment wherein only a place to stand was hardly possible (2) that a person not knowing the language of the place was guided properly and surprisingly by giving him the company of four persons from region (3) that I was given proper guidance to pay visit to the sacred places in Shirdi particularly having come in contact with Sai Baba in His life time, without which my journey would have been incomplete, (4) that I decided to have a photo of H.H. Sai Baba for being kept in my house and to perform pooja every day (5) that I was fortunate to have darshan of Sai Baba as without His grace no  person can have a chance to touch His lotus feet.

While returning to my native place I prayed to Sai Baba to give me an opportunity to have darshan of His again very early. The H.H. Sai Baba is a guide to the unknown in every field of once life.

S.B. Hosgoudar

Dharwad-4

SAVIOUR SHIRDI SAI (April 1986)

"I DO NOT MIND SUFFERING BECAUSE I CARE MORE FOR MY PEOPLE  THAN FOR MY OWN LIFE."

Shirdi SAI BABA

14th January, '86 was a sunlit cold "Maha Sankranthi" day. We commute between our offices and homes by BUDGE. BUDGE DAILY PASSENGERS' CO-OPERATIVE BUS (WBU 1872) SERVICE is actively managed by Anil Babu. While I was waiting for our bus at 0820 Hrs. at our Estate Gate, my 62 years old genuine SAI Bro. T.A. Ram Nathen also joined me wishing me, "SAI-Ram". Sri Ram Nathan (hereinafter referred to as "TAR") avails this bus only in the evening. But, on this day, he skipped his part-time office and naturally decided to avail of this bus in the morning also this day. When he joined me, I pulled out of my wallet my playing card-size colour photo of Shirdi SAI BABA of Shamdasani Foundation and related to him as to how SAI saved me on many occasions. He saluted Sai, our bus pulled to our side and all of us boarded it. Our bus was plying at high speed. At MEMINPUR, near BATA nagar, at 0940 hrs, a fully overloaded Punjab truck moving (unaided by its helper) in REVERSE gear from a lane to the busiest Budge Trunk Road hit our bus exactly at the right side of its body where TAR and self were seated. Its impact was like that of a thunderbolt and jolted all of us. Had our bus been plying at snail-pace, it would have turned turtle, killed a few, incapacitated a few more and injured many. Geographically one may be far away from SHIRDI SAI SAMADHI Shrine, it does not matter. What matters is for one to be ONE in SAI-Spirit to save himself from the tragedies of life. Saviour Shirdi SAI BABA saved all of us from the icy hands of Yama. This was TAR's 4th major accident with innumerable minor skirmishes to his debit side and Shirdi SAI's credit-side. The damage done to the bus body was extensive and it was sent to the workshop promptly by its Manager for repairs on the afternoon of 17-l-'86. It was put on the road on the morning of 20-l-'86. By SAI grace, the only smalt price we had to pay was to bear the extra conveyance expense on 17th and 18th January '86 and the discomfort of travelling by overcrowded public buses. I being a Central Government employee to be superannuated soon was saved of a day's ordeal on 18th January being a holiday by Rajiv Gandhi's grace. Was it not the smallest price to pay to the DESTINY in honour of our Sadguru Shirdi SAI BABA as He cared more for His children and neutralised our negative destiny by His Mystic Powers? All tissues of our bodies shall eternally sing the seraphic strains of "Aum SAI, Sri SAI, Jaya JayaSAI!"

Ravindra Chandra Thakur Choudhary B.A. LL.B,

Sarangabad 743319, (West Bengal),

IF YOU LOOK UP TO ME, I LOOK AFTER YOU (April 1986)

I want to narrate this Sai Leela which took place recently in my case through which Baba reaffirmed the enternal truth of His saying "If you look to me, I look after you".

I had received a letter of notice from Sai devotees of Vijayawada that they were organising a "Akanda Sai Nama Sapthaha" from last week of Dec. '85 to first week of Jan. '86. They had through this letter invited every Sai devotee to join the Sai Nama Sapthaha and also to contribute financial help to organise and conduct the Nama Sapthaha.

My first impression when I read through this notice was that what a wonderful way it is to sing Sai Nam as the year passes out and to enter the New Year. I thought there cannot be anything better to do during the New Year eve than to join such a most auspicious endeavor of doing Sai Nama Sapthaha. This will be far better than the normal New Year eve revelries. I also knew that I could not join the Sai devotees of Vijayawada as I was stationed far away from there. Therefore I resolved that what I could do to join this auspicious endeavor was to send a Money Order and I should be contented that way in joining the Sai Nama Sapthaha.

Lo! our Samartha Sad Guru Sri Sai Nath cannot forget His devotees. On 1 Jan. '86 Sri Sai Nath gave His darshan to me in the form of His picture in a beautiful date calendar. One of my subordinate officer belongs to Gadkhal (Kasoli). He had recently gone there and also visited the Sai Mandir there. In a most surprising way he walked into my office on 1 Jan. '86 to convey the New Year greetings and wonder of wonders he gave me a Sai Natha's picture calender, My pen is feeble to describe my feeling when I received the Sai calender on the New Year day itself, I humbly thought "Baba how I longed to join in your prayers of Nama Sapthaha on the New Year eve and how you have recipro­cated by coming to me in the form of a picture calender of yours".

As narrated in chapter III of Sai Satcharita, Baba one day after the noon Arti gave the following advice "Be wherever you like, do whatever you choose but remember this well that all what you do is known to me". I can only say this with humble pranams at the feet of Sai Nath that Baba heard my thought and reciprocated immediately. Shri Sai thus proved to me the eternal truth of His saying "If you look up to me, I look after you."

Col. G.N. Gopalkrishnan

Srinagar 190 004.

 

IF YOU CAST YOUR BURDEN.....(April 1986)

Reading various articles written by Sai devotees depicting their experience in Sai Leela Magazine, prompted me to write my experience as to how our Sai Sadguru helped me when 1Icast my burden to Him. Since I am not a prolific writer, I sought His help to put before the readers the following incident.

Actually this episode started in March 1983, when I was sponsored for a business trip to Paris by our Department. After learning about this I took this order and went to Shirdi and thanked Baba for his blessings. But to my surprise the trip materialised only in March 1984. Though I was frustrated, I always had faith that our Lord Sai would do everything in the interest of His devotee and for his welfare. Later events proved that the delay helped me monetarily. I prayed and thanked Baba silently for His blessing. Before I actually left for Paris, I prayed and cast my burden on Baba and sought His guidance and help in discharging my official duties in a foreign land. In fact everything went off well much beyond my comprehension. Who else could help but our Sai Nath.

Now, I am narrating a miraculous event at Paris and how Baba readily came to my rescue and saved me of danger in the following manner.

I was staying with two more colleagues in a flat near our working place. My colleagues proposed that we should visit Geneva on one of the weekends. Since I had already visited that place, they left for Geneva on 3rd March 1984. They were to return only on Monday morning. On 4th March i.e. on Sunday I was enjoying my holiday in my room and performed my daily chores and prayers to Sri Sai Baba leisurely. After my break fast, I entered the bathroom and inadvertently closed the door with some force. Since the door had a self locking system it got locked and I don't know how, but to my surprise and despair, the handle inside the bath room fell down and the outer handle fell in the hall. This meant I had been trapped in the bathroom. I got really panicky and did not know what to do. I tried several methods to unlock but in vain. In the process the key also broke due to my meddling. There was no way to communicate either with the Hotel Manager or friends. Readers can imagine my plight at this juncture! My friends who had keys with them would come only the next day morning. As time passed by, I was getting suffocated and losing hope of getting out. Then whom should I appeal to? In utter distress we turn only to God and so I fervently started pray­ing to our Lord Sai Nath to come to my rescue and prayed thus "Baba! you have promised: If you cast your burden on me, I shall surely bear it". Now is the time for You to rescue me since I am casting my burden on You. I know You know everything beyond the seven seas". Like this, I prayed in several ways and invoked His sure help, at the same time meddling with the system. And lo! to my surprise and  relief one of the latches which was very difficult to come to my hand came through the hole of the system so easily as if somebody was infact pushing from out side to help me only. The moment it fell in my hands, I struck the square latch in to the handle and turned it and the door got opened! I passed through this tension for at least one hour and the moment I came into the hall. I telephoned my friend in another flat and also the care taker of the Hotel.  When they heard what  I  told,  they realized the gravity of the situation and they at once said in unison only a miracle could bring me out of the bath room and only God could have saved my life!

I went to my bed room and kneeled down at Baba's photo and thanked Him profusely for saving my life. I took Udhi (which I carry always in my pocket) to calm myself. My faith in Baba was strengthened many fold and after I returned to India, I went to Shirdi with my family with an humble prayer in gratitude.

R. Venkata Rao

Bombay.

TOUCH OF THE MASTER'S HAND (April 1986)

It was September 1981. Due to reasons known only to Lord Sainath, a Company for which I was working in Kerala threw me off job. With one strong back and hardly any money, I had returned to my mother at Bangalore.

Even while on job-hunt, to engage myself, I started a small Clinic in a village on the outskirts of Bangalore. It was more a 'seva' than earning any money as the village comprised half-starved agriculturists and factory workers. At that time my spirits were quite low and I used to carry a small tiffin-box to sustain myself in the afternoons. Sometimes I did not even bother to eat anything.

In the very first week after my daily jaunts to that village, one afternoon an old gentleman visited me. He introduced himself as a retired clerk, re-employed as an accountant in the nearby glass factory.

On his very first visit, I heard him muttering: "That darn wife of mine. She must think I am an elephant. I cannot eat all this. Who wants so much food?" I was only too happy to help him out. Every noon thereafter this gentleman would mutter about the food his wife was wasting as he passed the excess along to me.

In the first week of December '81 Sainath, blessed me with a job in a tea-garden in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. As I was leaving Bangalore, I wanted to take leave of the Sai-bandhu who used to feed me daily. He was not to be seen around. So I went to the Glass Factory (where he was reported to be employed) to bid him good bye. The receptionist looked surprised: "Which old man? We do not have any retired hands working in our factory". I took a close look but could not locate the person whose divine hands fed me for a little over two months.

As I am penning this Sai-miracle, I am only reminded of what a great writer once said:

"No person really understands another. The human personality is a mystery fully known to God alone. Love is but the wish to understand."

Dear Sai Brothers and Sai Sisters: Perhaps Sainath wanted me to learn the great truth Jesus taught in the Bible: "When thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee." (Mathew6:2)

Dr. G.R. Vijayakumar

Chikmagatur District.

 

UNUSUAL DIWALI AT SHIRDI (April 1986)

Diwali holidays were fast approaching and I was not sure where and how to spend seven days away from hostel as I required some change from routine very badly. One day, casually, one of my friends offered to do reservation for me which was very unusual, as I always prefer to do all the work personally especially while going to Shirdi. And hence by Sai-grace, I got reservation for Sunday noon S.T. which was also unplanned as I had desired to go by the morning- S.T. which would have reached me to Shirdi as early as possible. Anyway, Baba knew what was in store for me and although I reached Shirdi safely by 6 o'clock in the evening, I could not get room accomodation in Shanti Niwas — Ladies Combine till 11.30 P.M. with two Bombay ladies.

On Narak Chaturdashi, I woke up early at 3.00 a.m. and secured a front number in Abhishek queue and once the Abhishek was performed successfully (in the name of five people including myself) by 8.00 a.m., I was on the top of the world because inpsite of the heavy rush and being alone, Baba saw that every thing went off well, right from getting hot water for bath till packing off the Abhishek Prasad. Later during the day, I was busy with other acti­vities and was in high spirits to attend the Shejarti as it was a very successful day.

On 12th November, I attended the Kakad Arti and Holy Bath which was extremely beautiful, it being Diwali. At noon, as the Bombay ladies took deposit after which the room got transferred on my name, two Bhavnagar sisters approached me for sharing the room to which I readily agreed and thanked Baba several times as I was wondering whether I would have to occupy the room alone for the rest of the days. Out of the two sisters, one had come to Shirdi for the first time and since they were to leave Shirdi the very next day by the 11.30 a.m. by Surat bus, uncon­sciously I took it as my responsibility to show them around Shirdi within their short period of stay, thereby doing Sai seva in my own way. In the evening, it being Laxmi pooja, I was lucky to keep a packet of Rs. 100/- note for the first time in my life during the Laxmi puja and later collected it from the Security office after the Dhuparti.

On Balipratipada,  I woke early at 3.00 a.m. and stood in Abhishek queue for the Bhavnagar sisters, instructing them to be ready before the Samadhi Mandir opened at 5.00 a.m. According­ly, they attended the Kakad Arti and Holy Bath. Once they perfor­med Abhishek, I took them around to places of interest like Lendi Baug,    Gurusthan,    Dwarkamai,    Chawdi,    Abdul    Baba    and Laxmibai's Cottages and had darshan of Shri Martand Baba. After having Puri-bhaji packet as lunch in room itself, I saw them off from the enquiry office from where they collected their deposit. Hardly few minutes must have passed when two ladies from Room No. 30 were shifted to my room as there was heavy rush and the Sansthan people decided to keep all ladies in one room. These Bombay ladies shifted most reluctantly as they were feeling rather   awkward   to   adjust  with   me   as  they  had   refused   to accomodate me in their room on 10th November night under the pretext that some gent relatives were to arrive. Anyway, I forgave them in my heart and considered it as my duty to accept them willingly. After one hour or so, two ladies and three children from Hyderabad were also accomodated in Room No. 23 due to heavy rush of Sai devotees. On the whole, the day passed off nicely.

Thursday was a day to attend all the Artis. I also enjoyed the auction of Baba's clothes and Prasad. Anticipating the heavy rush, I decided to do reservation for Sunday well in advance, which materialised inspite of the unending line. In the noon after the Arti, as if by inspiration, I opened a new account in Shirdi Syndicate Bank with the same Rs. 100/- note kept during Laxmi pooja on that auspicious day. After this, the Sansthan authorities were kind enough to extend permission for two additional days for my stay in Sansthan's quarter. In the evening, it being Bhaubij, I performed the pooja of a Sai brother and the day ended happily after attending the Shejarti.

Friday dawned brightly for me because the Hyderabad ladies had desired to perform Satyanarayan pooja in which they included me of their own accord and we successfully performed the pooja in the first batch at 9.00 a.m. As we had leisure after 10 o'clock for two hours, I took them around Shirdi in the same way as I had shown the Bhavanagar sisters. After we had darshan at Khandoba Mandir, one of the ladies who was Staff Nurse at Hyderabad, automatically walked into the Sainath Hospital for a round, due to which I too got Sai chance to peep into this hospital for the first time. The Hyderabad ladies left the room by 1 o'clock and later in the evening, the Bombay ladies shifted elsewhere as their expected relatives arrived in Shirdi. In the meanwhile, three ladies with three children arrived from Bombay. There was heavy rush during the Shejarti due to which one of my room mate felt giddy in the crowd.

On Saturday morning, again, I stood in the queue for Abhishek for the Bombay ladies and they were extremely contented as they could perform the Satynarayan pooja too about which they learnt from other devotees while standing in the same row. They were really blessed to perform both pooja during their first visit to Shirdi. Before lunch, I showed them around the Mandir. I got again extension for occupation of the room by two days. So in that happy mood, we all went to Sakori by 3.30 p.m. and fortunately our tongawala offered on his own to wait there till 5.30 p.m. so that we could take darshan of Sri Godavari Mata. To my surprise we had a very close darshan for nearly fifteen minutes which was rather a very rare occassion of all my trips to Sakori, and so the day ended happily after attending the Shejarti.

Sunday, being the seventh day of my stay, I took the Bombay ladies and children again around Shirdi; had Saiprasad in Bhojan Graha with them and just when we were about to leave for Noon Arti, seven ladies from Worli, Bombay arrived with their bag and baggage with the intention of staying for seven days. The very thought that the room would be fully occupied even after we left, made me feel very happy. Later, I attended the Noon Arti and gratefully thanked Baba for making my stay comfortable and Diwali extremely enjoyable beyond my expectation and imagi­nation.

Miss Nee/am Sanglikar,

Pune 411 004

BUT FOR SAI BABA'S DARSHAN (April 1986)

In the issue of Saileela of January, 86, a letter from Shri S.B. Hosgoudar on Sai Baba's protection to His devotees was published December last, I had a similar miraculous protection which I wish to recount for the other devotees of Baba.

I was travelling in a bus from Shirdi to Baroda which has no rail connection and I had to catch the only bus which leaves Shirdi at 7 a.m. It was an old bus to start with but I had no option. The driver was also pretty reckless and even in the first 30 k.m., he shook me from the bones. Enroute, near a bridge, he drove fast as he was ????to do. At the bend, it hit against an oncoming tempo. The door of the bus and its side part got unhinged. I was sitting just at the back of the driver's seat and if the tempo had hit the bus just a wee bit closer, I was sure to be hit badly but lo and behold, I did not receive even a scratch. After a wait of another four hours, some of us were transferred to another bus of the Gujarat Roadways and after a change at Surat, I reached Baroda at 2 a.m. but quite safe. I attribute all this to Baba's darshan which I had had just before embarking the 7 a.m. bus. Such is the concern of Baba for His devotees.

May His Soul guide us all.

R.P. Kapurl.C.S. (Retd.)

KarnalDist..

SHRI BABA CONVERTS ‘NO’ INTO ‘YES’ (FEBRUARY 1979)

            Four years preceding 1976,how much I wished to appear for B.A.Examination I could not do so. For some or other urgent domestic problems invariably cropped up at the examination time compelling me to give up the idea of doing the Examination.

Finally, I resolved that come what may, I would do it in October, 1976. Accordingly, I saw my Officer and spoke to him of my plans. He bluntly told me that he would not sanction my leave and advised me to appear in 1977.

Despite my Officer's "No" I made an   application forleave and sincerely prayed Shri Baba to sanction it.

On the day I wrote my application, the Chairman of Bombay Port Trust, visited our Office and was pleased with Work-diary maintained by me. The Officer, who, had declined sanction my leave had accompanied the Chairman with our Head of Department. He too was pleased. Next day, I was informed that my leave was sanctioned by the Officer who had earlier refused to do so.

I thanked Shri Baba for converting "No"  into ''Yes".

Shri Anil Keshavrao Rasal

Bombay

OUR FIRST DARSHAN OF A GREAT SAINT (April 1987)

I was chief inspector in a large public sector undertaking in Bangalore. By then, by the grace of Sai my wife and I had become humble devotees of His. The relations between me and the Officers in the department were extremely good. They would often gather in my room and when the pressure of work was not heavy, we often used to discuss about saints invariably. Very often, we would be talking about Sai Baba and His wonderful miracles and devotees' experiences.

Srimathi Lalithamma was a devout lady inspector in my department and she was held in great respect and esteem. She had often seen us talking about Sai Baba.

One day she informed me of the presence of a great saint in Sai Mandir in Thiagaraja Nagar near Narasimharaja Colony in Bangalore and suggested that I, with my wife, should take darshan of the Swamiji. It was my ill luck that I did not heed her repeated suggestions to me in that regard for some time. She felt exasperated and walking straight into my room one day, she said, 'Sir, one should be lucky in life to get darshan of a saint, and though I have spoken to you a number of times, you have not come. It is only your karma not to have Swamiji's darshan. I can not tell you more than this.'

That was an admonition to me and I deserved it well. It did have its intended effect on me almost immediately. I promised to visit her house with my wife on the succeeding Sunday. She gave me the necessary details to locate her house and promised to take us to Swamiji.

On the promised day, my wife and I went to the pious lady's house. It was around 10.30 in the morning. She was all kindness to us and treated us to good coffee and insisted that we should lunch with her that day. I did not want her to take any trouble on our account and therefore did not agree to her insistence. After Swamiji's darshan, we wanted to return home.

She took us to Sai mandir which was close to her house and in the hall Swamiji was alone. He welcomed us like a very loving father and before long we realised that we were in the immediate presence of a great yogi. He spoke to us so kindly that we felt completely at home with him, though it was only our first visit. When he was talking to us, Smt. Lalithamma informed Swamiji that I had not agreed to lunch with her that day and she was not happy about it. Swamiji continued to talk to us as if he had not heard her. After a few minutes, he got up and beckoned to me to accompany him, saying that the two ladies could be there talking. Outside the hall, in the beautiful garden, Swamiji suddenly asked me to tell him:-1) What would I lose if I and my wife lunched with Smt. Lalithamma. 2) What would be my gain, if we did not lunch with the good lady? The questions were straight, forceful and very purposeful and it became evident later. I had no answers.

Then, Swamiji very kindly spoke to me and advised me to take our lunch with the good lady and to meet him at 2.30 in the afternoon. While tendering that advice, he spoke thus:-

''You have no right to make anyone in the world feel unhappy. Your duty is as far as possible to make everybody you come in contact with due to rinanubandha, feel happy. Then only God will be pleased with you."

This is in brief the teaching of all great saints and prophets of the world.

We obeyed him and lunched with the devout lady. In the after­noon, when we went to mandir, he was again all kindness to us. He gave us the greatest treasure and that he initiated us into Sri Vishnu sahasranama which has protected us throughout ever since.

That day, we had met in our lives, the great saint Parama-poojya Sripadananda Radhakrishna Swamiji, the great apostle of Sri Sai Baba. He became our Guru.

We are greatly indebted to the devout soul Smt. Lalithamma for showing us our Guru.

We have had our share of miraculous experiences of Sainath and the Swamiji as well. By their Grace, I may, in due course, share them with the devotees through the columns of Sri Sai Leela.

K. S. Ramaswamy,

Bangalore 560 003.

OMSAIRAM (April 1987)

It was on 25th December 1985. We were carrying "Lord Sainath's Padukas" brought from SHIRDI. The Padukas were kept in a wooden Pallaki made exclusively for this purpose. The organisers of "OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI" Akhanda Nama Sapta Saptahams from 26-12-1985 to 13-02-1986 at Sri Sai Baba Temple near Maristella College, Ring Road, Vijayawada had brought the 'holy Padukas of Sri Sai Baba' from Sri Marthanda Maharaj of Shirdi. They brought these 'holy Padukas' for darshan at different places of Andhra Pradesh and finally to our Machilipatnam and we decided to carry them by walk from Machilipatnam to Vijayawada. We started on 25-12-1985 with these Padukas at 8.00 a.m. by Padayatra, walking from Vuyyuru to Vijayawada a distance of nearly 40 to 54 kms. nonstop with the above Nama jap.

The wooden Pallaki in which Baba's Padukas were kept was very heavy. Moreover, we had to walk and cover such a long distance before the evening because on the 25th evening the organisers had arranged a procession with these Padukas at Vijayawada. After leaving Vuyyuru town i.e., after walking 2 to 3 kms. with Pallaki on our shoulders we felt very tired and hungry. But every one of us was determined to walk the entire distance with Pallaki on our shoulders with nonstop namajap. One among us who had taken two halves of the coconut offered to Baba before starting, distributed its pieces to all of us. Exactly at that time we saw a Sadhu standing to the left of the road with four to five vibhuthi lines on his fore-head and with Kumkum in between the eye brows. He was short in size. Sri P. Madhava Rao, Manager, Zilla Parishad who was one among us asked me to offer his share of coconut piece to that Sadhu. While giving it I observed his face, which appeared very attractive, calm and peaceful.

We were almost running on the road with a determination to reach Vijayawada before the evening. In such a hurry, we had cover­ed nearly 4 or 5 kms. in half-an-hour. Every body in our group was uttering the above Sai namam loudly with great dedication. To our surprise we saw again the same Sadhu a little ahead of us standing to the left of the road and looking towards us.

All of us were thrilled at this. This old Sadhu, whom we had seen standing still had overtaken us! How did he do this? No bus or any other conveyance had been seen by us in the mean time. How was it possible for him to come before us? In our heart of hearts, every devotee in our group concluded that he was not an ordinary Sadhu but was Lord Sai Himself. With enthusiasm and happiness we proceeded further with the Name of Sai on our lips. At last, we reached Lord Sai Baba Temple in Vijayawada. When we saw the idol in that temple it was short in size and four cross lines decorated its fore-head with a kumkum in between the eye brows. I was the first man to notice this and stood stunned to discover that Baba in the very form of this idol had come to receive us!

In a few minutes, we were directed by the organisers to see an old lady who had brought tea and biscuits for us. She told us that around 3.00 p.m. that day when she was sleeping, Baba told her in a dream to take something to His devotees who were coming completely tired and hungry. She also told us that she didn't know who these devotees were and from where they were coming. She didn't know about the Padukas and Padayatra. She prepared tea at her house, purchased some biscuits and came to Baba's temple by a City Bus. While in the bus she saw all of us coming with Pallaki towards Baba's temple. Then she recognised about whom Baba had told her, earlier in her dream.

Telling this story, she distributed biscuits and handed over a cup of tea to each of us.

Dear Sai Leela Readers! Please try to cast all your burden on Sai and He will look after you just as He followed us from the beginning till the end and also arranged tea and snacks, after our reaching His holy place.

OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI

A. SambasivaRao,

Machilipatnam,

Krishna Dist., (A.P.).

 

SRI BABA'S GRACE (April 1987)

I am one of the innumerable devotees of Sai Baba, who have experienced Baba's Leelas in their daily lives. I would like to narrate here an incident, which has drawn me very closely to Baba.

I was posted to Basanthnagar Branch of our Bank as a Manager in November, 1983. The Branch had been audited earlier in January, 1982. So the branch was due for inspection any time from January, 1984. Days and months were passing by and the auditors did not turn up. In the month of May, 1984, I received a letter from my Regional Office asking me to be in readiness to appear for a written test, likely to be held in June for promotion to Middle Management Cadre through Merit Channel. Since then, I was anxiously looking forward to the date of the written test, wishing that the audit and the promotion test do not clash, with each other. In the month of June, the written test was not held and it was stated to have been postponed. The auditors also did not visit. Hence I decided to take my family to Bombay, Goa and Shirdi on leave travel concession. I was sanctioned 15 days leave from 28th June for this purpose. Just at the time when I was proceeding on leave, I received a communication that the written test would be held on 15th July, '84. My joy knew no bounds because during the leave period I could study and prepare well for the written test. I cut short my pleasure trip just to 4 days. I stayed in Bombay for 1 day and came to Shirdi for 2 day’s stay with my family. This was my first visit to Shirdi and I prayed to Baba for success in my written test. I returned to Hyderabad on 2nd July, 1984 and made intensive preparation for the test and wrote well on 15-7-84. On  16th July,  '84 when I was about to proceed to Basantnagar to resume my duty I got the news that auditors had arrived at the branch, ready to inspect the branch from 16-7-'84. It was really a miraculous happening that the audit which was already over-due, took place only after I took the highly competitive test in a peaceful and undisturbed manner.  Had the auditors arrived before the written test was held, I might have cancelled my leave and faced the audit and as a result of this preoccupation I might not have fared well in the examination. It is only Baba's grace that helped me to avail of the leave at the appropriate time and fare well in the test without any distraction (audit) in my mind. Baba not only helped me in getting selected in the written test but made me successful in the interview also. I was one of the 29 officers successful from the lot of 319 in the Hyderabad circle. I owe my success only to Baba and I have been drawn to Him like a bird pulled with a 'string tied to its leg' since then. I conclude that the existence of Baba on this earth is the greatest thing that has happened in this country as He is giving peace, happiness and solace to millions.

Sri Satchithananda Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai!

V. V.K. Babu

Hyderabad-44. (A.P.).

SAI KE KARSHME (April 1987)

My experiences of SAI miracles for the last three years are many but special mention may be made of the following few worth-recording.

In the month of June, 1982 the matrimonial issue of my only daughter was decided. The betrothal ceremony was performed. The match settled, got perturbed beyond our imagination when knotty problems and wide differences arose between the bride groom's family and my family. We lost mental peace and our cup of sorrow was indeed full. What was to be done at this stage and what was the alternative? I prayed to LORD SAI NATH with a heavy but sincere heart. Suddenly SAI came to my rescue. My own brother-in-law's son gladly accepted my daughter in marriage and this match was unanimously agreed upon by my relatives and friends which proves that whatever happens is for our good.

II

I was told to perform the marriage ceremony by December, 1982. I had no sufficient money to meet the expenditure. Again SAI helped me in managing the money through my relatives and closest friends. Accordingly the marriage was celebrated splendidly on 31-12-1982 with the grace of SAI.

 

Ill

Another worth-recording SAI KARSHMA occurred when my daughter went to Hyderabad in the month of March, 1985 for her first delivery. In the month of Feb., 1985. I predicted that my daughter would deliver a child on Thursday i.e. 9-5-'85 and the baby would be named SAI KRISHNA SURI. The doctors and my relatives laughed at me and did not believe my words. My daughter was hospitalized in the last week of April, 1985 for delivery. The operation was postponed thrice. What a great astonishment! She underwent major operation on Thursday 9-5-1985 and delivered a very handsome male child by SAI KRUPA. As usual I performed SAI pooja on Thursday i.e., on 9-5-1985 at my house but this time with tears of joy and distributed sweets.

IV

There is no end to SAI-miracles. The new born child was kept in emergency ward. The baby neither wept nor consumed even a drop of milk. 13th May, 1985 was the most hopeless day for the specialist as the best medical aid failed and showed no ray of hope. My wife wept bitterly. The doctors consoled her by saying that God alone could save the baby. My co-son-in-law came to Warangal on 13-5-1985 to take me to Secunderabad M.G.M. Hospital so that I could see the baby once for all. I visited the hospital the same day. What could I do except shedding tears, applying UDI and praying to Lord SAI? The Almighty heard my voice. On 14-5-'85, the baby opened its eyes and started bodily movements. All including the doctors were taken by surprise. The baby started weeping and consuming milk. The cradle ceremony was performed with great enthusiasm and happiness on 6-10-1985 and as vowed I named my grand-son SAI KRISHNA SURI. Now the baby is all right and I have decided to put my grand-son at the Lotus Feet of Lord of Events at SHIRDI.

SAI showered the fifth KARSHMA after fifteen days of the birth of my grand-son. I received a telegram in the last week of May 1985 from the Planning and Finance Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh nominating me to undergo training on Evaluation for three weeks commencing from 11-6-1985 at PUNE. I was the only one to represent Andhra Pradesh. My joy knew no bounds. During the training course at Pune I left for SHIRDI on 22-6-1985 and paid my homage. As per the orders of SAIBABA I visited SHIRDI twice in the year 1985, once for Annual gathering in the last week of January, 1985 and the other in June, 1985.

VI

The last SAI LEELA occurred on 5-1-1986 when I was invited to attend the meeting convened at Thousand Pillars temple, Hanamkonda, Warangal, A.P. The chief purpose of the meeting was to consider the proposals for constructing SAI Mandir. As expected the SAI devotees assembled. I was introduced for the first time to the convener and to the great surprise of one and all, my name was proposed for presiding over the meeting. I hesitated for a  while but was told that it was the cherished desire of SAIBABA. On hearing these words I whole-heartedly accepted the proposal. The devotees delivered speeches in the regional language i.e., Telugu. At last I was requested to offer my presidential remarks. The pity is that I know English better than Telugu. I was doubtful whether I could explain my views in the regional language. SAI made me speak boldly in Telugu. I advised the devotees to utilize faithfully and honestly the whole of the money accumulated through donations and contributions for the noble purpose of constructing SAI Temple.

N. MachanderDas

Warangal (A.P.).

 

THE STRANGER AT MY DOOR (April 1987)

"Share with him thy bread of blessing, sorrow's burden share; When thy heart enfolds a brother, God is there. "

I had almost turned the woman away on that bleak, rainy day. She was a bent-over, poorly clad woman who had been slowly walking down our place, going from door to door. I was curious because she only had time to say a few words before the door was shut in her face.

The rain had been falling steadily all day. So had been my spirits. We had little money, (being the month end for a salaried employee) and time hung heavily on my hands and I did not like living in a God-forsaken forest area like ours, while my husband, Dr. G.R. Vijayakumar was on duty in his hospital. At that time, I was so full of doubts and questions that I had no faith in anything or anybody.

Then the woman knocked at my door.

"Madam" she said, trembling with cold, "do you have any house-work that I can do? I can scrub floors or do anything. I have hungry children at home and no money....."

"I am sorry" I stammered, "I wish I could help you but I can't".

"Well, thank you anyway," she said and turned to go.

Immediately I looked at Sai in the big photograph that adorns our drawing room. He looked as if He was making fun of me, as to what kind of a Sai devotee I was.

I ran to the door and called to her "Please come back". She did, wiping the rain water from her face.

"Let me give you hot tea", I heard myself saying.

"Why, God bless you" she said: "You are a good Bhakta of Shirdi Sai Baba".

The words startled me — "a good Bhakta of Shirdi Sai Baba".

I gave something to eat and she ate quickly, in the manner of a person who lives with hunger. Then she looked around the house and spotted my pile of clothes waiting for ironing to be done. Despite my protests, she began to iron.

I gave all the money I had in the house — just some change, and some sweets I had bought for the children. Then we talked about the things that make the world and its people good or bad.

When she left she thanked me for all I had done for her. I watched her begin again her slow measured journey down the street. But she had started me on a journey, too.

I began the journey towards the faith I now have — a faith that has seen me through many crises and made me more aware of others.

Mrs. Seetha Vijayakumar

Nilgris, (T. Nadu).

SRI SAI IS OUR ANTARY AMI (April 1987)

I completed parayana of sacred Gurucharithra on Gurupoornima i.e., on 21-7-1986 commencing on 17-7-1986. My sons Sai Niranjan and Manohar too completed Shri Satcharitha parayana on the same day. We three did parayana strictly observing 'Upavasa' throughout the period, except taking little 'phalahara' in the evening after pooja. At first, we thought of going to Shirdi on 3-8-1986 and later on I decided to start on 4-8-1986 on 'Chaturdasi' before new moon day which is considered as the most inauspicious specially for travel by many people. But, I was quite confident that by Baba's grace all would be well, as our minds were centred in Baba and Baba alone.

We reached Guntakal junction by 2.30 p.m. A train bound for Bombay was ready on the platform. We immediately got into a compartment expecting that the train would start soon and thus hoping to reach Daund junction by 3 a.m. on 5.8.'86. The compartment was fully packed and there was not enough space even to stand. At once we got down expecting to go by the next train at 3.30 p.m. We took tea and were awaiting the departure of the halting train and the arrival of the Navajeevan Express. But Lo! the train at the station did not move at all though it was 4-00 p.m. enquired of the Railway porter who informed that Navajeevan was expected soon. We decided to travel by that train in the hope of securing comfortable seating at least. It was 4.30 p.m. The position remained the same. We again stepped into a compartment of the train already there for Bombay with the same discomfort of the crowd; we again got down expecting to board the next train. It was 4.50 p.m. There was no trace of Navajeevan. The standing train did not move and our anxiety grew worse. With determination to travel by the waiting train alone, we once again stepped into the same compartment and sat down on the floor near the doors as all available space had already been occupied. Immediately a man stepped in and took his seat by our side. He, of his own accord, informed that we had done better in concluding to travel by the same train as no other trains would come from Madras side for Bombay due to derailment of a goods wagon between Madras and Guntakal and the train which we boarded had arrived from Bombay about four hours earlier at Guntakal and the same was being sent back to Bombay instead of to Madras on account of the aforesaid accident ahead. He also emphasized that if we failed to travel by that train, we would have to wait for more than 24 hours at Guntakal itself for any other train bound for Bombay. Had not this stranger come suddenly and informed about the facts, we would have got down again for the third time also. Does this not remind us the scene wherein Shri Hemadripant was informed by a Muslim at Dadar to go to Boribander to catch another train for Shirdi as Manmad Express would not stop at Dadar. Had this miracle not taken place then, Shri Hemadripant would not have reached Shirdi in time as programmed and many a suspicion would have arisen in his mind about Sai Baba's greatness, as it were. Sai leelas are known to Himself alone and He would guide His devotees on the right path readily at all costs. With least difficulty, we reached Shirdi in time by about 7 p.m. on 5-8-'86 and the boys Manohar and Dinakar attended evening arati too.

The Reception Officer at Shirdi was very kind enough to allot us a room in Bhakthinivas on my request and permitted us to stay till 8-8-1986 (Friday). On 7-8-'86 at Dwarakanagar a young man was introduced by Shri Shivanesan swamy. He told us about his pilgrimage to holy places. He asked me to deliver Baba's Udhi, which he would be giving to me on the morning of 8-8-*86 for a particular gentleman at Nandyal, who in turn would deliver the same to a teacher there. I accepted his request. He again, of his own accord, stated that the gentleman at Nandyal to whom Udhi had to be delivered in the first instance was a man of more worldly attach­ments than of Sai devotion, though he styled himself as an ardent Sai devotee. He left me for his prayers. I immediately thought that this young devotee should not hand over Udhi for delivery at Nandyal, and thus avoid contacting him, as in my opinion, also, the so-called Sai devotee was ill-famed. Again in the same evening the young devotee met me in sacred Samadhi Mandir, and informed me that he would be ready by 5 a.m. in Dwarakamayi on 8-8-'86 when he would hand over Udhi along with a garland. At once I prayed to Baba that the young devotee should not hand over Udhi and garland on 8-8-'86 morning for delivery to the gentleman at Nandyal.

At about 4.15 a.m. on 8-8-86, I went to Dwarakamayi for offering prayers and obtaining Baba's permission to leave Shirdi. But the doors were not open. I sat on the steps awaiting the arrival of the priest. The young devotee was also present. He came to me and talked on some matter and never touched the subject of giving Udhi and garland to me of which he had been repeatedly telling me the previous day. Later the doors were opened and myself placing my head at the Lotus feet of Sri Sai prayed to grant me permission to leave Shirdi for home by 6 a.m. bus, when a rose flower fell on my head in token of Baba's permission to go home. My joy knew no bounds and I was filled with mental bliss as a result of this. We came to bus stand at Shirdi and got into a bus at 5.45 a.m. Baba is our Antaryami and He would make things occur as per the wishes of His trusted devotees. I assured my son Sai Niranjan that we would definitely catch the connecting train at Daund by 1.30 p.m. When we reached Daund, it was announced that the train supposed to start at 1.30 p.m. had been cancelled and any other train from Bombay towards Madras was not expected due to the fall of boulders on Railway track near Pune. I was disappointed, but some thing was striking me that the train would definitely come.

At 3.30 p.m. it was again announced that the same 1.30 p.m. train was arriving at Daund by 3.45 p.m. and thus it relieved us of the acute anxiety. If no train from Bombay came on that day as earlier announced, I would not have been in a position to reach Nandyal on 9-8-1986 for fulfilling my promise to my friends at my village to go to a Lawyer on 10-8-86 morning in connection with a case involving an amount of nearly 4 lakhs. My prayers to Baba to have the train come to Daund at least by evening, were fruit­ful. We boarded the train and secured comfortable seats too, quite contrary to our anticipation and information, we reached home safely by 3 p.m. on 9-8-86. But for Sri Sai's grace I would not have returned home on 9-8-86 evening and thus my promise to my friends to meet the lawyer on 10-8-86 morning could not have been kept up. Their trust in me to take them to the lawyer, was thus accomplished.

O! Sai brothers and Sai sisters, Sri Sai is here with us even now, to guide us, satisfy us and to make things take place as per our wishes, provided we completely surrender to Him with devotion, Nishta and Saburi. Sri Sai is our Antaryami and thoughts of us would materialise as Baba hears us being within us.

D.L. KantaRao

Kurnool Dist., (A. P.)

 

A LETTER OF GRATITUDE TO MY BELOVED SAI BABA (April 1987)

Dearest Shri Shirdi Sai Baba,

On innumerable occasions YOU have helped me and saved me, even when I had not been aware of danger. YOU are my Saviour Who is before me to guide me, behind me to guard me and above me to bless me. For that, Dear Baba please accept my humble and deep gratitude and thanks.

Once, when I was leaving for Bombay from Pune I hurriedly went to the bathroom at the last moment as others were waiting for me and getting late. Since I am a person of nervous disposition, my foot suddenly slipped and I would have fallen flat on my face as there was nothing to hold on to, and would have injured myself severely, but I fail to understand how I landed safely on my two feet. At that very moment my thoughts went to YOU, how YOU are always there to take care of me.

There are several such incidents, which might sound trivial and unimportant to others, but to me they are of vital importance. The air I breathe, the thoughts that arise and every small action that takes place in my life, remind me of YOU and YOU alone.

Dear Lord Sai Baba accept my heartfelt and sincere million pranams and ever be with all your devotees.

(Mrs.) K.J. Driver

Bombay 400 014.

THE MIRACLE OF MY MARRIAGE (April 1987)

It was in the year 1980, that I had just finished my B.A. Examinations and was waiting for the results. Those were my anxious days because I did not know what would be my future. I had lost my dear father four years earlier, i.e. in 1975. At home my mother, elder brother and married sisters were looking out for a suitable boy for marrying me. Some how their choice was not to my liking. I had already become a devotee of Sri Sai Baba. Everyday I used to worship Him and do parayana of Sri Sai Satcharita, but I never asked Him for any particular thing. I would always say, 'Sai Baba, do whatever you feel is good for me.' He was like a father to me. I had, naturally, full faith in Him.

It was sometime in June, 1980, that suddenly on one night I dreamt that I was visiting some holy places which looked like temples that I had never seen in my actual life before.

After I woke up in the morning, I strongly felt that it was not a dream but I had really gone to these places and met the people there. I felt sure, also, those places actually existed. I experienced such kind of dream a couple of times. And also whenever I was sleeping, thereafter, I would often hear as though someone was calling out my name 'Rekha'. I was a bit puzzled at this and hence I told of these dreams and voices to my friend, seeking to know from her if such places as I saw in my dream ever existed at all any where. Whenever I dreamt this way, the next morning I used to bow before Sai Baba's picture and say 'Baba, I am dreaming of holy places all the time; I am sure some good thing is on the way'. And I said to myself, 'may be Sai Baba is sending someone with prasad to me'.

Few days passed by; one afternoon I felt like visiting my friend. I went over to her house which was only a few buildings away.

When I went there she told me that her foster brother was coming from Dubai to visit her that day and that she had arranged a meeting of her brother with a girl for marriage and hence she was going out for tea along with her family. She asked if I would like to join them. I said 'No, I have to be back home early'. Just then, the door bell rang and a very bright-eyed tall young man wearing a clean white shirt and dark trousers walked in. Somehow at the very first sight itself, I liked that person. I said to myself in my mind. 'I wish I could get a husband like him'. I was sitting in the hall think­ing all by myself. My friend introduced that person, her foster brother Mr. Raju Whabi to me and left for her room to get ready. We were both left alone in the hall. He asked me my name. I said 'Rekha'. Then, suddenly he got up from his seat and gave me some prasad saying it was from Bhadrinath and Kedarnath. He said he had just returned from a holy place and added 'Have this, you will get married within a year'. As he gave me the prasad, I saw a ring with Sri Sai Baba's picture on one of his fingers. It surprised me for the obvious reason but I held myself without uttering a word. I do not yet know why I began to like him. But, I said to myself, 'No, nowadays, you can not say and decide about boys from abroad'. Moreover he was a Sindhi Bhatia and myself a Maratha. I knew full-well that my people would never approve of such an alliance.

So, I just got up and went home. But my mind was still on him. After two days, my friend came over and told me that her foster brother Mr. Raju wished to propose to me for marriage. I was much surprised and could not believe my ears. She further said that she had already given him my birthday and time and he had found that his and my horoscopes matched very well. I do not know how I felt a sudden faith in Mr. Raju and firmly believed that Sai Baba alone had sent him to me. Later on when we met again, I asked him about my dreams of holy places and temples describing the features of them and queried if he had visited those places. He said 'they are in Badrinath and Kedarnath'. He said that he thought that I had myself visited those places since my descriptions were so exact and accurate. Then I told him it was a dream I had dreamt. Both of us being pious, we got along very well. And we felt sure that Sri Sai Baba had arranged our meeting. But both our families were not in favour of our marriage although we both had faith in ourselves. So we got married. Today with Sri Baba's grace, we are very happy. We have two sons Ravi (51/2 yrs.) and Rajiv (4 yrs.) and a daughter Priya (4 months). Now both our parents have also reconciled very well to our marriage. With Sri Sai Baba's blessings my husband started 'Raviraj Construction Company' and is doing very well. Whatever I am today and whatever we have is all due to Sri Baba's blessings.

Hence I feel that in every house there should be a Sai Satcharita and all must read about Sai Baba everyday. Through the reading of Sri SaiSatcharita only, I learnt to choose the right path in my life.

Soon I propose to construct a Sai Baba Temple in Versova. I hope Sri Sai Baba will make this dream also come true.

Bow to Sai Baba and Peace be to all.

Mrs. RekhaRaju Whabi,

Juhu.

 

AN UNIQUE EXPERIENCE (April 1987)

I cannot call myself as devotee of SAI BABA OF SHIRDI because unless He himself recognises, no one can claim so. At the same time I can't resist my temptation to share with the Sai devotees the experience that I had and which changed my life completely. On June 13th, 1985,I had a very bad time of my life and on 14th June I left for Shirdi and reached there on 15th. I had been going earlier but this was the time when I was completely dejected with the life itself.

By chance, after reaching Shirdi, I went to the Library. Casually I picked up a book written by a South Indian, whose name I do not recollect today. But see the Leela of Sai, the Chapter that I opened in that book said "If anybody is in the whirlpool of life and does not find a way, he should then finish Sai Sat harita in 7 days by reading in front of dhuni of Baba in Shirdi." Immediately I went to the Book Stall and wanted to buy the book but I did not have sufficient money to buy English Edition because I am fluent in English. Hence I bought Hindi Edition. I did not have enough money to last for 3 days stay at Shirdi. Therefore, I chose to complete the reading in just 3 days. Accordingly I started with the prayers that with the end of the reading, my problems should also end, and luckily by the grace of Sai, I did complete the book in 3 days but as I progressed in the reading, I was so much moved that every word shook me to the bottom of my heart. On the final day, as I completed the last Chapter and offered one cocoanut, sugar-candy and flowers in the Dhuni, I felt as if a very heavy burden had been removed from my body and I was fairly composed. The same evening I left for my house and reached the next day, the 18th June, 1985. Wonder of wonders, one of the persons who met me in U.S.A. in 1984, had called at my house and left a word that I should contact him in Hotel Sidhartha. On 19th morning I called him up and he asked me to meet him in the Hotel, where he offered me a job with handsome proposition. 19th June, 1985 changed my life completely and all my financial, domestic and health problems were solved and thereupon, I had recognised that it was the grace of Sai only that had helped me when I could not help myself!

Hence, I feel Shri Baba is alive to a sincere call from His devotee even today and He responds favourably if only the devotee is earnest in his desire and faithful to Sai.

AMAR NATH BARARIA

New Delhi 110 043.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT (April 1987)

I am not telling you a story, but I am just narrating an incident and it is upto the readers to draw their own conclusion.

Both my brothers are doctors. One is a cardiologist and the other is a children's specialist. Both are good and competent in their respective fields, so much so, even their colleagues often take advice from them in complicated cases. About three years back, my brother, the children's specialist got married and was blessed with a son in June, 1984, a boy, so to say, a lovely kid. We were all very happy and most of our relatives were wondering as to how and in what manner my brother would bring up that child. For two months, everything went on smoothly and afterwards the child started crying during night hours. My brother did not have belief in home remedies and hence treated his son himself with utmost care, but the child did not respond favourably. He consulted his brother Doctor who also treated him but in vain. Weeks after weeks were over, my brother and his wife became weak and most worried persons and were spending sleepless nights. Then he took the child to other doctors for their opinion. They also treated but failed to bring about the desired cure. Finally he yielded and started our house-hold remedies but even then with no positive results.

It is at this time, I wanted to utilize my L.T.C. during April, 1985. My wife insisted on our going to Shirdi since it was the first time I was availing of L.T.C. and since also she had not visited Shirdi earlier. I readily agreed. The day before my departure, I received a letter from my brother asking me to bring with me some sacred ash (Udhi) from Shirdi on my return. I was puzzled and was unable to understand as to what for he desired the same. With the blessing of Sri Sai Baba, we visited Shirdi without any problem whatsoever and returned to our place safely, with the sacred ash, the Udhi. I sent it over to my brother accordingly. The next time when I met him, I asked him what for he wanted the sacred ash from Shirdi. He replied, "I tried all methods, consulted many eminent doctors but yet I was not able to find out the reason for the baby's crying at all. Finally I put the sacred Ash in a talisman and tied around the baby's waist. Believe it or not, a miracle happened, the crying stopped right from that day and the child continues to be well ever since."

“My fervent prostrations unto Him, the Ruler of the Universe".

S.Sainath,

Bhadravathi 577302.

MY EXPERIENCE OF THE BLESSINGS OF SRI SAI BABA (April 1987)

Impelled by what I happened to read in Sri Sai Leela magazine, I give below a brief account of my experience of Sri Baba's blessings when I was in a state of restlessness and confusion.

Approximately 30 years ago, I had an opportunity of visiting Shirdi and having darshan of Sai Baba. A Gujarati lady who happened to be a friend, took me along with her relatives. Earlier I had absolutely no idea at all of the great saint of Shirdi.

When we reached, there was not much crowd and we could stay in the Samadhi Mandir itself in a room attached to it. This enabled us to attend 3 Aratis namely kakad, noon and night Aratis. From that time onwards, I have been having full faith in the grace of Sai Baba.

After our return to Bombay, some times I have taken part in Sai Bhajans in the neighbourhood. A few years later, I visited Shirdi with my parents.

In 1979, I had the greatest blessings of Sri Baba through a dream.

My husband, the late Sri K.P. lyer, suffered from a severe illness for about six months which made him feel very un­comfortable owing to the swelling both in the abdominal region and legs. Being himself a religious and God-fearing person, he suffered patiently with the realization that it was due to his past karma. At this hour of difficulty in the family, my daughter's marriage was somehow fixed to be celebrated on the 17th November, 1979, although I was least prepared on account of my husband's illness. As matters thus stood, one day my husband called me and affirmed that the daughter's marriage should be celebrated as fixed despite the odds in the family.

This desire and stand of his threw me into a state of confusion and dilemma as to what to do and where to proceed from without the husband's help in such an important matter. With worry deep-set in my mind and prayers to the Almighty for His guidance and hope, I retired to bed one day and possibly would have slept a little. Suddenly, I had a dream in which I saw the Great Sri Sai Baba with a garland of white flowers in His hand, blessing me and assuring me that everything would pass off well.

I woke up immediately and felt a fresh energy in me and a great relief mentally.

Drawing strength from His blessings, I began the necessary preparations for the marriage and the happy function went off as scheduled. Surprisingly enough, my husband got better and even climbed up to the 2nd floor to witness the holy function, with someone's assistance.

When the newly married couple was away from Bombay on their honey-moon trip, I took a vow that I would visit Shirdi along with my daughter and her husband for darshan. Despite our earnest wishes for the better, my husband's condition took a turn for the worse and he passed away peacefully with the contentment that his daughter's marriage was well celebrated with the blessings of Sri Baba. His soul actually departed on an ekadashi day which fell on a Thursday, too. Who can escape the effect of past karma after all? But, yet, if we live a good and moral life and surrender ourselves to the gracious feet of Sadguru like our Baba, we can be quite sure of mental peace and contentment against all odds in our life.

In March the next year, we went to Shirdi again with my son Chi. Krishna, my daughter and her husband and performed abishekam to Sri Baba's Moorthy and adorned Him with our humble chaddar. This gave us mental peace. I always felt over-whelmed whenever I looked at the statue of Sri Baba as He had appeared in the same posture in my dream to bless my daughter's marriage.

Again after my son's marriage also, we visited Shirdi and obtained Sri Baba's blessings. My grand daughter, Sow. Jyothi too evinces keen interest in hearing the leelas of Sri Baba, which must be due to His Grace only, we believe.

May He continue to bless one and all for peace and bliss.

Smt. Sita Iyer,

Bombay.

BABA IS ALWAYS WITH ME (September 1985)

Saibaba is God, I will say that Shri Saibaba is more than God. I say 'is' because Saibaba still exists in this universe. In ancient time few real devotees of God might have seen God. They did penance for the darshan of God. But Shri Saibaba was staying in Shirdi for some years as a Saint. Many people have seen Shri Saibaba and Saibaba blessed them and consequently they flourished. At present also, those who have full faith in Saibaba, get blessings and help from Baba. Many devotees get real darshan of Shri Saibaba even today. Faith is the most important factor so far as the worship of any God is concerned. There is a saying in Marathi that if you worship any ordinary stone with staunch faith, you can see God in that stone. So one must have full faith while worshipping any deity you like.

I have full faith in Shri Saibaba. He is always with me. Baba helps me in my difficulties. When ever I start for any work, I always remember Baba and pray to Baba that let this work be successful. And my experience is surprisingly good. By the blessings to Baba all my missions have been successfully carried out.

Few days ago, in the last week of June 1985, there was heavy rainfall in Bombay city and suburbs. All local trains were completely disorganised. In the morning the situation was some what better. Therefore, I could manage to come to the office in the fort area (Bombay Port Trust Office) But from 2 'O' clock in the afternoon there was torrential rain pouring in continuously. It resulted in a complete disorganisation of the Central railway local trains. All the local trains were running upto Kurla Station only. Those who were staying beyond Kurla went by local trains upto Kurla and from Kurla they hired a taxi or rikshaw and went to Thane. I stay at Badlapur and Badlapur is far away from Bombay V.T. Now it was a problem for me to reach home. I had no other alternative but to stay in the Bombay city. But due to heavy downpour I became completely upset. In these circumstances I could not go to my relatives. I was praying to Shri Saibaba. And I was sure that Baba will take me home in any condition. This thought came to the mind and Baba led me to .the platform from which the through trains (Mail, Express trains) start. The Deccan queen was standing on Platform No. 9 at V.T. station. It was late by one hour. The Deccan Queen started at 6.10 p.m. from V.T. It stops at Karjat station only I made up my mind to go to Karjat and to come back to Badlapur by local train. Due to heavy rain the Deccan Queen, halted at main stations like Dadar, Thana, Kalyan. From Kalyan the Deccan Queeen would have stopped at Karjat only. But to my surprise, the Deccan Queen halted at Badlapur station. Baba was saying that my dear child, here is your station, get down and go home. I got down at Badlapur station with blessing of Baba. Again Baba was with me here also. I reached safely at 9.30 p.m. at home. My wife and children were in anxiety. They were surprised to see me. Because they knew that the trains were coming upto Kurla station only. I told them that Baba brought me here. I bowed to Baba's photo He is really Almighty and Omni­potent.

    Madhukar Wakhare Badlapur.

 

SADGURU SAI BABA - OUR SHELTER (September 1985)

Our life is like a ship sailing on an ocean with its ebb and flow and facing cyclones and storms on its way from birth to death. Whenever we are faced with difficulties we lose our mental balance and patience and are unable to find a solution to overcome them. Such situations are easily faced by persons who have faith in them­selves and their Sadguru. Sai Baba had emphasised beyond any doubt that He shall forever remain as a guide and protector to all His devotees who totally surrender themselves at His lotus feet. Many Sai brothers and sisters have experienced in their lives Baba's immense love for His devotees. I also experienced His love when faced with an actute problems of not getting a room at Mysore. The problem was solved by our Sadguru and I would like to share my experience with my Sai brothers and sisters.

On 1st June 1985,I had been to Mysore to appear for MA exami­nation which was to be held from 3 June to 12 June 1985. Prior to my departure, I wrote to the university authorities to arrange for a room in the university's guest house for the duration of my stay at Mysore. I never got a confirmation to this effect till the day of my departure from Nasik. However, I left Nasik by Panchwati Express for Bombay and reached Bangalore by the evening flight. From Bangalore I was able to catch the last bus leaving at 9.30 p.m. and reached Mysore at 12.30 a.m. on 2 Jun ‘85. I then went to the University guest house at about 1 a.m. and woke up the room incharge for provision of a room. I received a negative reply from him as all rooms had already been booked or occupied. He however allowed me to occupy the ante-room for the night. By about 10 a.m, I rang up one of my friends stationed at Mysore to arrange a room in the Officer's Mess which did he but only for 4 days i.e. upto 6 June ‘85. The rooms there had also been booked from 6 June ‘85 onwards which meant that after 4 days I would again have to go on a room hunt. This had completely upset me, more so as I needed the room for preparing for the examination. I placed my problems at the lotus feet of our Sadguru to solve them.

The mess where I was staying had no messing facilities and perforce I had to go to a nearby hotel for tiffin and meals. On 3 June 1985, after appearing for the first paper of the examination, I came to my room, had a quick bath and proceeded to the hotel to have a cup of tea. Enroute I was attracted by Lord Shiva's temple where the pooja was in progress. I went inside the temple and noticed that it was kept very neat and tidy and a divine atmosphere was prevailing. I was praying to the creator our Sadguru to help me in solving the room problem and in my writing the examination well. Immediately I heard the temple bell being rung by some body giving indication that my prayers were listened to by our Sadguru. I opened my eyes and thanked the person who tolled the bell. He was rather surprised to hear this compliment from me. However we both quietly finished going round the temple three times and came out. We introduced ourselves to each other. When he gave his name as Dr. P. Sai Baba, I felt as if I was meeting our Sadguru in this form.

Dr. P. Sai Baba by birth is from Andhra. The name Sai Baba normally is not found in the Andhra state. Out of curiosity I asked him how he got his name. He said that his father was a devotee of our Sadguru and was not blessed with any progeny for 12 years of his married life. He once happened to go to Shirdi and prayed to Baba to bless him with a child. He was blessed with not one child but three male children and my friend is the eldest one. The father knowing that the first child was the Gift of our Sadguru christened him as Sai Baba. Tears rolled down my cheeks to hear this deep concern and love that our Sadguru showers on His devotees.

Dr. P. Sai Baba and I became good friends, I narrated my problem to him regarding the non availability of room. He assured me that the some would be arranged by him in CFTRI (Central Food Techno­logical Research Institute) where he is the head of the animal depart­ment. Accordingly, by 8 June ‘85 he got me a room which solved not only the room problem but also the food problem as the canteen of this institution provided all the meals. Thus our Sadguru came and solved all my problems through Dr. P. Sai Baba.

Lt. Col. R. Rajamani .

Nasik

WHAT A MERCY! (September 1985)

My first visit to the Holy Shirdi was some 14 or 15 years ago when I had been to Bombay. From Bombay I went via Manmad upto Kopargaon by rail and then from Kopargaon to Shirdi by road. My joy knew no bounds when I was accommodated in the upper floor attached to the Samadhi Mandir. An impressive peaceful atmos­phere prevailed everywhere and words fail to express the bliss and happiness I felt by the darshan of Shri Sai Baba. I stayed at Shirdi for a day or two and then returned to Palghat, my home town which is in Kerala State.

My second visit to the Holy Shrine at Shirdi was some four years back. This time my wife was also with me and we went by road from Poona to Shirdi. My brother and his family also accompanied us from Poona. We went on a Thursday and had to return the same day. I had some vague recollection of Shirdi, on account of my first visit, but the development and growth of the place was beyond imagination, and I could not identify the location of even Dwarakamai and a guide was required for this purpose. A big township with many shops and buildings had come up. After the noon Aarati we returned. Since I could spend only a very few hours at Shirdi, I was not very happy. But I had to console myself with thinking that it might be Sai Baba's will that I should return on the same day. Baba's golden words came to my mind "I draw to me, my men from far off or even across seven seas like a sparrow with a string fastened to its feet."

My third visit to Shirdi was during March 1984. My son had just finished his S.S.L.C. examination and I wanted to take him also to Shirdi to pray for his success in the examination. My daughter was staying at Bellary and my idea was to go to her first and then from there to Shirdi. Though it was a crowded season, by Baba's grace without any difficulty we got reservation upto Ahamednagar via Dhond. We got down at Ahamednagar at 5 Aam. on Monday 27th March and we reached Shirdi by bus at about 9 a.m. Soon after we got down from the bus, a boy approached us and took us to the enquiry office of the Shirdi Sansthan. He never waited for our thanks and disappeared just in the same way as he appeared. This incident was as if pre arranged by Baba, that is the only explanation. By Baba's grace we were allotted a bath attached double room for two days in Sai Prasad, the building attached to the Bhojanagriha.

After taking bath we hurried to the Mandir. As for my son, it was his first visit and we were very anxious and eager to have the blissful darshan. My heart was bursting with excitement when I entered the Mandir. On looking at the idol of Shri Sai Baba, a thrill went through me and the unique experience of divine bliss is indescribable. My eyes were simply flooded with tears of joy and adoration and I was in a state of supreme happiness. I left the Mandir after the Noon Aarati and I had the feeling of some big load relieved from my head. Baba's words "If you look up to me, I look after you" came to my mind and I had a deep feeling that I had come under the loving protection and care of Sai.

From the Mandir we went to Dwarakamai and were there for some time sitting under Baba's life-like portrait kept there. The ever blazing sacred Dhuni kindled by Baba, the grinding stone and the Big Stone on which Baba used to sit are all there as if in daily use. We drank some holy water kept there in the mud pot and applied "Udi" to our foreheads and put a little in our mouths. While leaving Dwarakamai the divine manthra "Sai Baba" "Sai Baba" was on our lips. A mysterious stream of faith enveloped us and Baba's words "Why fear when I am here" came to our minds.

We also paid a visit to the Khandoba Mandir whose priest was Mahlsapathy. Mahlsapathy was a perfectly pure, righteous and religious minded person who was more or less free from worldly desires. It was Mahlsapathy's good fortune that he could notice young Baba, along with a bride-groom's party of Moslems headed by Chand Bhai Patel of Dhupkeda. The marriage party came to Shirdi in carts and were getting down near the Khandoba temple. Mahlsapathy happened to see this and when Baba got down from the cart he accosted him as "YA SAI" and it is after this that our Lord became known as SAI BABA. After a few minutes when Baba expressed His desire to stay in the Khandoba temple, Mahlsapathy with his conservative outlook of an orthodox Hindu, objected to this proposal of a person staying in a Hindu temple and showed Him the dilapidated and vacant mosque where He could stay. Later, it was this Mahlsapathy who turned into a zealous admirer and an ardent worshipper of Baba. It was this Mahlsapathy who first worshipped Baba with flowers, sandal, milk etc. after getting inside the Mosque. Other devotees were waiting for this chance and in a short time this magnificient growth and development of puja offered to Baba in the mosque turned the mosque finally into a "Dwarakamai". Is not this in itself a wonderful Leela of SAI?

The two days of our stay at Shirdi passed off very pleasantly and we very much wanted to stay for the third day because it happened to be a Thursday, when there would be the spectacular Chavadi pro­cession which we had never seen. But we had accommodation only for 2 days and accommodation for the third day could be made available only with the special permission of the Sansthan Manager. Again by the grace of Baba we could get the permission for the mere asking and we were overwhelmed with joy and pride thinking that Baba is always with us.

Thursday being an auspicious day for Sai devotees there was a huge crowd of pilgrims right from the early morning. The Mandir was fully packed from the Kakad Aarati to the Noon Aarati. We also offered prayers at the Grurpadukasthan and the Mahadev, Shani and Ganesh temples. At night the devotees flocked to see the Chavadi procession. One is really fortunate to witness and participate in this holy procession. We had the feeling that we were transported to the Heaven on Earth.

On the next day early morning we left Shirdi with prayers on our lips for blessings to conduct the Shirdi pilgrimage again and again. My son was an average student and he offered prayers for his success in his S.S.L.C. examination. Now the results have come and he is placed in a creditable First Class. What more do we want? What a Mercy!

Prof. P.R. Menon

KERALA

POTENCY OF DIVINE PRESENCE (SEPTEMBER 1985)

As a Sai devotee, each one of us is a perfect, immortal soul. The imperfections that we express through our habits and moods, through sickness and failure, are not a part of our real nature. We have deeply identified ourselves with mortal consciousness unthink­ingly accepting its limitations.

I begin my day with a prayer, "Oh, Sainath, Help me to realize that I am not this body, not my moods and habits. Make me feel that I am ever Thy child made in Thy flawless image.”

Sai Satcharita is full of incidents describing manifestation of Lord Sainath to many of His devotees, purely out of love for them. When we leave behind all else and take the supreme plunge into infinite Sai bliss, He will manifest Himself in our lives too. Mhalsapathy had vision of Sai when he went to Jejuri on a pilgrimage. Sai Baba appeared as Gholap Maharaj, the Guru of Mule Sastri, to overcome the tatter's prejudice against Baba. We also come across many instances of Baba appearing as or identifying Himself with other saints to B.V. Dev, Mrs. Khaparde and others.

Therefore when we turn our thoughts and love within, we shall find the eternal, loving, jovous Sainath, who is always with us. In every phase of our life — in our work, prayer, struggles with difficult­ies, enjoyment of simple pleasures — we must continually be anchored inwardly to the thought of "Sairam; Sairam; Sairam".

In November 1983, due to some tribulations in my professional life, Lord Sainath kindled in my heart a keen desire to realise His infinite love. He prompted me to undertake a pilgrimage to several shrines and holy rivers. Accordingly I joined a conducted trip of South India.

On the night of 16th November 1983, we reached Tirumalai Hills — the abode of Lord Balaji, The intense cold and chilly weather did not allow me a wink of sleep and in the early hours of 17th November, i.e. around 3 a.m., I left the cottage and went straight to get my beard, moustache and head shaved symbolising self-surrender. After a refreshing bath, I joined the queue for Lord Balaji's darshan with incessant recitation of Vishnu-Sahasra-Namam. As I finished the fifth recitation, I was ushered into the sanctum sanct­orum — the holy presence of Lord Balaji.

As I looked at the magnificient Lord Balaji, an immense flash of light at once manifested to my gaze. Instead of Lord Balaji, I saw Lord Sainath standing in front of me and blessing me. The celestial response is difficult to describe; my heart was thrilled.

"Oh Sainath, Thou art all in all to thy slave. Thou art the sole protector in the world. Men are deluded when they declare — 'I do this, I do that, this is mine, that is mine.' “All is thine Oh, Sai Ram, and all things are done by thee alone. Thy slave's one prayer to thee is to take him under thy complete guidance and remove his ‘I’-ness."

Lord Sainath heard my prayer. My heart heaved a deep sigh. The vision vanished, but the silvery beams expanded in ever widening circles to infinity. With a thrill of inexpressible joy coursing through my spine, which made me quiver like a leaf in the breeze, I returned to the cottage, all the while musing over the incident recorded in the Bible :-

"The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said:- Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart — and God said unto him... Because thou hast asked this thing and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies;..... but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgement;.... Behold, I have done according to thy words; so, I have given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour...." (King 3 : 5-13).

From Tirumalai hills, we left for Kalahasthi, Tiruttani, Madras and Kanchi. We reached Tiruvannamalai, the abode of Bhagawan Ramana on the 20th November 1983. We visited Sri Ramanashram, which is at the foot of Arunachala hills. All of us fell prostrate at Bhagawan Ramana's shrine. It is really a blessed place as Sri Ramana lived there. I joined a group of devotees in the meditation hall. A big photograph of Sri Ramana adorned the platform. In that lively picture, there was on his face a calmness and in his large eyes, a passionless look of tenderness, which cast a spell of peace and joy on all those who come there. I meditated on Bhagawan Ramana.

As I was thus bowing down to him, the sea of the Master's compassion transcended all bounds. Sri Ramana vanished and I had a vision of Lord Sainath there too. I went into a state of divine semi-consciousness and my joy knew no bounds. Unable to utter a single word owing to that wonderful occurrence, I was looking steadfastly at Lord Sainath. Soon the vision of the Master merged in the vision of Bhagawan Ramana who blessed me.

Oh, Sainath, that words can convey thy kindness to me! Ail glory to thee. While returning from Sri Ramanashram, all along, I was immersed in a strange ecstasy, tears flowing down profusely from my eyes. Whay joy undescribable! Oh! One moment of that existance outweighed all the pleasures of the world.

The truth of self-revelation of divine grace became clear to me when I came across the words of Sufi-Saint, Sheikh Sadi of Iran (Sufis, Mystics and Yogis of India by Bankey Behari Pp., 38-39) :-

"Very right is thy faith and pride in His grace,

And true it is that it works,

Like rain shower on a tilled field."

Further, Baba Farid has sung in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib of the Sikhs, as follows:-

"His grace may fall on us at any time. There is no definite rule regulating it. Some do not get it even after performing great austerities and night-long vigils; Whilst it is forced on those who He asleep."

What austerities have I performed to deserve Sai-vision twice? Sainath Himself in His mercy inspired me to perform this pilgrimage for realising His oneness with Lord Balaji and Bhagawan Ramana. After all, who am I — an ordinary mortal — to deserve this grace? It is Sainath's will and power. I am absolutely nothing. Now Sainath is with me evenmore. The world may forsake me but He forsakes me . never.

Dear Devotees, I am sharing this experience with you as there is nothing in this world more thrilling, more intoxicating, more blissful, more satisfying than Lord Sainath — the Beloved Mother, Father, Divine Being, Friend. He is our one and only True Love!

When Lord Sainath is once convinced that it is He alone whom we want, that it is to Him alone that we turn, then He accepts us with all our weakness and shortcomings. Then Sainath takes us by the hand and He walks with us, and He talks with us and He assures us that we are His own.

Dr. C.R. Vijayakumar,

Karnataka.

THE MAGIC OF UDI (SEPTEMBER 1985)

Sai Baba the protector of us all once again came to my rescue and this time I couldn't help putting this experience on paper, may be this too is under His direction and will that I share this with all His devotees.

It was the morning of 8th May that I got up with an unbearable pain in my back. Infact, the moment I sat up, I collapsed unable to breathe. My mother who entered the room saw my condition and panicked as I was gasping for breath and I asked her to call a doctor. I lay back staring at the ceiling and silently praying to Baba saying "how did I come to be in such a condition and that too on a day when I had a shooting for a film, what a loss it would be to the producers if I did not report for work." In my prayer I requested Baba to reduce my pain and help me report for work. As I was doing this, my doctor turned up and he was baffled by my condition, I couldn't even talk and explain to him where and why it was paining me. Between short breaths I gestured to him, he examined me and could not diagnose anything. But in order to reduce the pain he gave me an injection and asked me to take complete rest. After he left I asked my mother to give me Baba's Udi which I ate and applied some to the affected area. I also requested my brother to inform my director that I shall report for the shooting in the afternoon as I was confident that I would be better by then, as Sai was protecting me and He would cure me enough to report to work. I went into a deep sleep as the doctor's sedative started working on me. When I woke up it was 12 noon and I discovered that I was fit enough to work. Quickly I took a bath, said a prayer as is my routine and after a bath left for the shooting. Every one was happy to see me there that I could make it inspite of my being unwell but who would believe me if f told them that it was the hand of Sai that made me fit? Hardly 5 minutes after the pain started again and every body got worried as they saw that I couldn't even breathe. I motioned to them to take me to a bed room and lay me down quickly. I was put on a bed and I whispered to the director that he should not worry and that I shall be alright in an hour's time. He left me in disbelief as to how I could possibly be alright in this short span of time but then who could explain to him that I had a strong faith in Sai Baba. After about an hour or so when I got up and started walking about everyone was aghast to see me smiling and telling them to start my work.

The Kind Hearted Saibaba

Well, if this is not a miracle then what is. ‘Who else but SAI BABA could have brought about this' He always answers a devotee who has full faith in Him and rescues him from any trouble. After all He has promised WHY FEAR WHEN I'AM HERE.

R. Kapur Bombay.

THE KIND HEARTED SAIBABA (September 1985)

With Sai Baba's grace I have got this wonderful opportunity to write His Leela for the first time. Needless to say if I were to write all my experiences of His divine Leelas it would fill many pages of this magazine. But I relate only one striking incident — Leela.

Firstly, it was Sai Baba who reminded me of my vow to write in 'Sai Leela' magazine of His Leela, when I received the August 1985 magazine.

Now to the main story — It was the morning of June 12th 1985, a day before my H.S.C. result. I was to receive a call from my friend about my result but it had not yet come. I was annoyed with Baba, as many of my friends had already known their result. I had just finished reading the 'SAI SATCHARITA' the previous day and I was encouraged by my mother who with her great faith in Sai said that because of the parayana, Sai Baba would surely send help. And then suddenly I received a call from my professor, who was trying to contact me since the previous day but was not able to, as my telephone number had changed. He informed me that I should immediately reach the College where my professor would be waiting with my result. I was overjoyed and took the vow of writing this article. With the divine grace of Shri Sai Baba. I passed with distinction and got admission in a medical college. In fulfilment of my vow I relate this incident of the Divine Grace of Shri Sai Baba.

Monesh V. Vaghela

Bombay-400 008.

 

SAI BABA DISAPPROVES OF FASTING (March 1986)

It is well known and it is also mentioned in 'Shri Sai Satcharita' that Sri Sai Baba of Shridi was not in favour of fasts. He had stated firmly that one cannot concentrate on God by keeping oneself hungry.

That Sai Baba upholds what He said was proved to me by my own experience in Shirdi in September 1980 when after our wedding we visited Shirdi for the first time. It was a Thursday and I was in the habit of fasting on Thursdays those days. I was keeping my fast and was hungry. The whole day I with my wife passed below the holy neem tree below a number of times so that we might get a leaf of it which might per chance fall. Plucking leaves of the holy tree is strictly prohibited. We were disappointed that we could not get that prasad of leaf the whole day.

At night, I took meals breaking my day long fast and we decided to go again to that holy tree. While we were passing I loudly said, 'now Baba we are going'. Soon my wife saw leaf falling on my left shoulder promptly! A leaf actually fell from that holy neem tree only after we took meals proved to me that Baba is not in favour of fasts.

GOPESH BEHARI

Jai Narain Road

Fatehgarh - 209 601 (U.P.)

 

BLESSINGS OF SAI BABA (March 1986)

I was nothing in my career. Luckily, I came in contact with one Maharashtrian, Mr. B.M. Pansare, who was very kind and took me to the shrine of Shirdi Sai Baba alongwith a party of hundred people in the year 1966. At that time, I could pay a visit only to Samadhi Mandir and not to Gurusthan, Dwarka mai, Chawdi and Lendi Bagh- But on that very night, coming back from this visit, I had a dream, in this dream, the idea flashed across my mind that the Shrine I visited is of a great saint and that saint would defini­tely solve my problems of life. In the later stage, this dream has proved to be real in my life.

I made up my mind to visit the Shirdi Sansthan again, but I was so much engrossed in my day to day problems of life that I could only visit the Shrine in the year 1972. From 1966 to 1972, I craved to build a house. Believe it or not, Sai Baba helped me in collecting money for this purpose. This very benevolence of Sai Baba prompted me to pay a visit to Shirdi Sansthan in 1972. This visit strengthened my faith in Sai Baba and I brought back Sai Sat harita in English and Hindi, and also pictures and statue of Shri Sai Baba. I got immense pleasure and happiness during my second visit to Shirdi. I came across very good persons in my journey. This visit widened my vision and my faith in Sai Baba got sufficient strength. Reaching home, I started reading Sai Sat harita daily before my children, who too became Sai devotees to the core of their hearts. I, along with all members of my family, again got the privilege of visiting the Shirdi Shrine in 1978. Members of my family gained much delight and insight by this visit. My wife got another opportunity of visiting the Shirdi Shrine in the year 1985, alongwith her brother, who is residing in Canada. We again pine to pay our obeisances at the Shrine of Shirdi Sai Baba!

Now in my house, every member of my family remembers Sai Baba daily and also reads Sai Leela Magazine with faith and devotion. Every member of my family keeps the motto 'FAITH & PATIENCE' before his or her eyes. With blessings of Shri Sai Baba my son did his Ph.D. in English under the guidance of Dr. Shyam M. Asnani, who too is a Sai devotee. I narrate Sai Baba's miracles to all my near and dear ones and almost all relatives of mine have now become Sai devotees. Sai Baba also helped me in negotiating suitable matches for my son and daughter. All my relatives and men of society remained wonderstruck to see my success in both the cases, but this success I attribute only to Sai Baba!

Sometimes, with the help of Sai Baba, I keep myself prepar­ed to face the world and its problems with the fullest knowledge that I will definitely achieve success. In my day to day activities, I always keep before my eyes Sai Baba and repeat in my mind "BOW TO SHRI SAI, PEACE BE TO ALL!"

Megh Raj,

Jullundur, Punjab - 747 303.

Vigilant Swamiji — (March 1986)

Six years have passed since Shri Radhakrishna Swamiji took Mahasamadhi but He is ever present to look after His sincere devotees. A very recent and a very strange experience I am narrating to prove Swamiji's eternal presence even now.

I was at Bangalore from 22.11.1985 night to 24.11.1985 after­noon to attend Convention of All India Sai Devotees which took place there under the joint auspices of All India Sai Samaj, Madras, and Sri Sai Spiritual Centre, Bangalore. It was a pleasure beyond measure to be away from worldly affairs at least for 2 days. Prior to proceeding to Bangalore, I had visited Dr. V.K. Bhate and his pure hearted wife Smt Chandraben Bhate. During the visit, I had asked Smt. Bhate specifically what she desired to tell to our Swamiji. She had then told me that I should recite Swamiji's name 108 times at the Centre on her behalf and further she said she did not want anything more.

While at the centre, the proceedings engaged my attention so fully that I simply forgot to do what Smt. Bhate had told me. Shri Mudaliarsaheb, President of the Centre handed me a return ticket in the morning for 5.00 p.m. train on 24.11.1985 and told me that since I had to catch a train at 5.00 p.m. I would not be able to attend the post-lunch session. I narrated the experience that Swamiji gave me on 15.4.1984 in the session for devotees experiences to the delegates and thereafter took my seat in the audience. Naturally then I was bit sad at the thought of departing from the Centre and in that mood I took leave of Swamiji's life-sized photograph that was placed on the stage. Suddenly, the photo spoke, "Chandraben's vow!" In a flash, I remembered that I had forgotten to recite Swamiji's name 108 times as told by Smt. Bhate. I, therefore, started recitation and to know that 108 names are counted, I started keeping a mental note of the number as I started reciting and for concentration kept my gaze fixed on photo. I, however, found that simultaneous counting and recitation adversely affected my concentration; still I continued with the recitation when suddenly Swamiji's photo told me "stop counting I will tell you when to stop". After a while He told me to stop and I did stop then. This reminder from Swamiji made me keep a word I had given to a devotee.

The above incident not only highlighted Swamiji's continued presence but brought home the fact that He did attend the Convention and graced it.

Shri Anil Rasal,

Bombay

SAIBABA'S KINDNESS (March 1986)

This incident took place last year around December. I had changed my residential place and bought a new place without my old place being sold. My commitment to the person from whom I had bought the flat was to be met and I was in total financial mess. Sai probably realised my plight and helped me through timely arrival of LIC Claim funds from my wife's uncle who had expired about six months back, nominating my wife as one of his beneficiaries. Thus I could overcome temporarily my financial commitments with the help of this remittance and some loans that I could raise.

Soon thereafter I could get a buyer for my old flat and I approached the Society to admit him as a member so that I could complete the deal. The Society, however had some reservations in admitting him as a member as the proposed member was not a South Indian. The Society only preferred a South Indian and hence the proposed buyer of my flat could not be admitted as a member. My buyer however was prepared to go ahead with the deal and fight out the issue with the society. I was very upset, as when I had a buyer for my flat, the Society was creating problems and I did not wish to create ill feelings with my past neighbours or the members of the Society with whom I had stayed for past 20 years.

I had planned my visit to Shirdi between the period Dec. 21st to 24th and as planned I visited Shirdi and had darshan of BABA. When I returned, I was informed that another party had approached for purchase of my flat and that the other party hailed from South India. The very next day, early in the morning the second party arrived again and wanted to complete the deal as they were very keen to buy my flat. When I approached the Society again with the proposal of the second party's admission as a member, the Society was too glad to accept the second party as a member. The deal then went through very smoothly, without any problems whatsoever. I ascribe the whole incident to BABA'S Kindness but for which I do not know what would have happened.

B. Devdas

Bombay

SRI SAI BABA  -  MY FATHER (March 1986)

Sri Sadguru Sai Baba has helped the needy in so many ways as one of His saying goes "Cast all your responsibilities on me, I am ready to take them". Let me narrate two instances of His help given to my family.

My wife who was conceived by the grace of Sri Sai Baba was staying in here mother's place. During one of my visits there, she expressed her apprehensions about the pain during delivery, I told her not to worry as Baba is there to look after everything. Though she did not reply, she was not convinced. I came to my place and to my pleasant surprise the latest edition of Sai Leela magazine was awaiting my arrival. As I went through the issue, one article under the heading "Udhi Mahima" drew my attention. In that arti­cle it was told how one pregnant woman who was afraid of delivery pain was relieved of the pain and delivery took place within a short span of time. As I read it, I felt that Baba had answered our call by narrating the experience of fellow Sai Bandhu. This may be a coincidence for others who have not tasted the sweetness of Sai's grace, but to the Sai Bandhus, it is certainly Baba's helping Hand to the needy. I sent this article to my wife underlining the heading with Baba's Udhi. She was then convinced. After two months, the delivery pain started and the doctor who examined her told that delivery might take place the next day. My wife was afraid as to how she could bear the pain till next day. Then praying to "Sai Baba", she swallowed some Udhi. Sri Baba stretched His helping Hand. She developed pains and to the surprise of the Doctor and others she gave birth to a male child, the only child I have after eleven years of marriage and that too after surrendering every thing to "Sadguru Sai Baba". He is named after Baba as "Sai Charan".

The other experience I wish to bring to the notice of my fellow Sai devotees is that of my sister-in-law who is also a Sai devotee. She lost her first baby before delivery because of high blood pressure. During her second pregnancy, she developed B.P. and she stayed for 3 months in the hospital during delivery time. Just before the delivery day in the morning, she experienced that the movements of the baby in the womb were coming to a stand still and she was afraid that she might lose the baby as in first case. The Doctor who is known to us for a very long time asked her not to worry and said that everything would go smoothly. She added that she would examine my sister-in-law again in the evening and would then decide. After the evening examination the Doctor told my sister-in-law that she would wait till the next day morning and if the delivery did not take place by that time then she would operate. After telling this she left the place and went home. However as she reached home she felt restless and came back to hospital. She called my brother and told him that she would do caesarean operation to save the baby. She took my brother's permission and did the operation. After operation the Doctor came out with a smile on her face to tell that a baby boy was born. At the same time she explained that she felt somehow that if she had waited for the next day, probably we would have lost the baby. It is to say that Baba doesn't in any way allow his people to suffer. Even though the Doctor first wanted to do the operation next day, Baba did not allow her to wait till the next day. He made her restless and asked her to operate and indirectly he only saved the life of the baby. The baby was named as "Sai Deep" as Sai only gave us light in our lives. As he says "Why do you fear when I am here?" Baba is always there to save us from any bad events. In one way or the other He will see that those who follow hHs teaching should be happy. I conclude by beseeching Bandhu's to bow with reverence to this Eternal Sadguru Sai.

M.K. Roop Kumar,

Davanagere

MERCIFUL SAIBABA (March 1986)

The Leelas of Saibaba who is the ocean of Mercy are many in the lives of His devotees. I wish to share one such Leela with the devotee readers of Shree Sai Leela through this maiden article.

It was on a Tuesday of June, 1960, (I do not remember the exact date) a tall and well built Fakir with a joli stood near our Shri jewellary shop, Pot Market, Secunderabad. He had to wait for more than half an hour as I was busy with the customers. When I was little bit free I asked "What do you want?" "Five annas" was the immediate reply of the Fakir. I searched the cash box but did not find one anna to make "Five annas". He refused to accept either more or less. Suddenly he asked "Are you not suffering from severe stomach pain?" On hearing this I was shocked and surprised for a couple of minutes. I wondered as to how the beggar could know my ailment. It was a fact that I was suffering from pain and no specialist treatment could give me complete relief. He agreed to give me 'medicine' on certain conditions. First, I should stop other medicines. Second, I should start pooja of Shirdi Sai Baba from Thursday after getting relief by that day. He had given some concession regarding pooja. If possible I could offer sweets as naivedya otherwise I should light atleast two agar-batties and offer namaskar. A simple pooja was advised by him. I expressed my willingness to carry out all the conditions. Then he wanted me to spread my palms before him. I obeyed. He put 'Udi' (sacred ash) taking out from his joli into my hands with instruc­tions to take a little quantity inside the mouth and also to apply on forehead. He wanted me to follow this treatment for two days only i.e., on Tuesday and Wednesday. As assured by the Fakir I got complete relief on the third day i.e. Thursday. In this connec­tion we may remember Baba's assurance vide Chapter 13 of Sai Satcharita "If you surrender to Me with devotion, I will ever be with you day and night". As stated in the same chapter of Sai Satcharita, I feel "The real medicine that cured the various dise­ases permanently was Baba's word and grace and not any medicine or drugs".

Regarding his consultation fees, now he enhanced from five annas to one rupee four annas. The four anna bits I was having earlier were now not available (perhaps given to customers) to give one rupee and four annas "fees". He again refused to accept either one pie more or less. While I was searching he slowly slipped away. We made hectic search. But did not find him anywhere. We may here note Sai Baba's declaration to Megha "I require no door to enter. I have no form nor any extension. I always live everywhere" {Chap. 28 of Satcharit) Such being the case how was it possible for a human being like me to find Him.

The readers may note that Baba was always demanding and accepting from certain devotees specified amount only. He was accepting neither less nor more. What Baba demanded from me might not be five annas but (1) five senses (2) five pranas, (3) mind (4) intellect and (5) ego. If it were money He would have accepted whatever was offered by me.

His instruction to put atleast two agarbathis reminds us of the two coins viz., Faith and Patience which Sai demands from the devotees. The emphasis on the word 'atleast' reminds us of His declaration in Chap-13 of Satcharita "I do not need any parapher­nalia of worship either eightfold or sixteen fold. I rest there where there is full devotion".

My beloved parents Late S. Megharaj Jain and Srimathi Keli Bai were devout persons doing regular pooja of our family dieties. Shirdi Sai did not find a place in the Pooja Mandir till this incident. After completely getting relief I started Sai pooja on the very day He wanted me to do. In the month of August, 1960 (date do not remember) we visited Shirdi for the first time. The Fakir clearly told me to worship Shirdi Sai Baba and directed me to go Shirdi only. Dear Readers! The Fakir who came to my shop was found sitting on the throne in the Samadhi Mandir of Shirdi. Perhaps to confirm to me that the Fakir was none else than Sai Baba, He was sitting till I put one rupee four annas in the Hundi and later disappeared I saw the attractive marble statue only in place of the Fakir after offering the dakshina.

The above experience affirms the truth stated by the author of Sai Satcharita vide Chap. 33 "Was Baba living because He was in the body and is He dead because He left it? No, Baba is ever alive, for He transcends both life and death. He who loves Him once whole heartedly gets response from Him at any time and at anyplace."

If Sai permits I shall narrate the Sai Seva I was made to render all these 25 years in due course.

M. Nemichand Fain

Secunderabad-500003.

BABA KEEPS UP THE PRESTIGE OF HIS DEVOTEES! (March 1986)

Innumerable miraculous incidents are experienced daily every moment by Sai-devotees. In fact, life without His gracious favours bestowed directly or indirectly, is difficult to think of. One has only to wonder as to how Baba, the Almighty & Omni­present, comes to the rescue of His bhagtas how-so-ever impossi­ble the situation might be.

A few years back, I was transferred on promotion from Delhi to a more important office at Ajmer. I was attached to a very senior, capable, strict but an honest officer who started liking me and shortly had full confidence in me in his day-to-day work. Everybody in the office carried an impression that Laroiya (myself) by his impact could get anything done from that officer.

As luck would have it, I had to go to Delhi for a few days for some urgent private work within a few months of my posting at Ajmer. There I had the opportunity to meet my old friends. It was natural to talk about my official position in my new office with them. One evening, one of my initmate friends called on me alongwith a middle-aged man, not known to me and said, "Mr. Laroiya, this man who is well educated and qualified, is without a job for the last 2 - 3 years and is in a dire financial set-back. You can help him by getting him suitably employed in your office as your boss is all powerful and listens to you sympathetically." I was in a great fix. On the one hand, I could not disappoint my friend and on the other hand, I knew I couldn't do anything to help him as, in fact, I had no guts to talk to my officer for any personal benefit. However, just to tide over the situation tempor­arily, I suggested to him to post a written application direct to my officer with a copy to me and promised to help him as best as possible. The man went away satisfied and, as per my advice, sent an application for appointment to my officer within the next few days.

Dear readers, I never spoke a word to my officer nor, in fact, to anybody else in the, lower level in this connection as I knew very well that it would have been quite futile to do so. I simply prayed to Baba to settle the matter.

One day, late in the evening, when I was about to go to sleep, my door bell rang up. As soon as I opened the door, I felt a shock when I found the same middle-aged person of Delhi whom I was supposed to have helped and who, as I thought, had come all the way to make enquiries from me about his lot. In a faint and trembling voice, I asked him to step inside when he, with folded hands, said, "Sir, I have no words to thank you for your kind and timely help in getting me the appointment in your office for which I have come here to join tomorrow." He showed me the appointment letter which was issued from the concerned section of my office and duly signed by my officer.

Obviously, it was Baba who had kept the prestige of His humble devotee though this had all along been kept a secret from the benefeciary.

I.R. Laroiya

Noida(U.P.)Pin:201 301.

SAI'S GRACE (March 1986)

My wife and my daughters are Sai devotees. Daily we remember "SAI PRABHU" right from morning till we go to bed. Daily after bath, we pray to SAI PRABHU and take His UDI as prasadam. My daughters are aged 9 years and 6 years. In the midst of their school studies and games, they never forget to pray to SAI PRABHU and take His HOLY UDI. My family is so attached to Him.

My elder daughter, Chi. Santosh Laxmi, aged 9 years, was suffering from severe wounds in her head since 3 months. I had shown her to our family Doctor and given treatment. The Doctor had advised me to take tests of her blood/urine/motion. I got the tests done. Inspite of all these tests and treatment, there was no improvement in her health. My wife and I were very much worried about her health as she developed fever too during nights. The child was becoming weak and inactive. Though every care was taken, there was no improvement at all in her health. Due to her ill health, we had no peace of mind.

One of my friends, Mr. Raja Ram, who is also a Sai devotee, had given "SAI SACHARITRAM" to me and advised me to study it sincerely, as directed in the book. My wife and myself used to read a few pages of the book and discuss about Baba's great miracles and His great affection for His devotees.

One day my wife and myself decided to do 'parayan' of "SAI CHARITRAM", as directed therein. Initially, I was hesitant as I had doubts whether I could complete the parayana as prescribed. However, my wife encouraged me to go-ahead with His Sacharit-ram Pathana. The parayana is to start on a Thursday. I had a dream on the previous night, in which one of my collegues, Mr Jeetharam appeared in my dream and advised me to start reading the Book, with devotion and sincerity. In the early morning of Thursday, I informed my wife of my dream. She encouraged me, saying that Baba had appeared as Seetharam and directed me to go-ahead. Taking her advice, as Baba's direction, I started to read the Book. I had to complete the Book on the next Thursday. My wife would daily ask me, whether Baba has come again in my dream, after I had started to read the Book. Till Wednesday, she enquired daily. I was disappointed, as she was telling me, that I should see Baba before I completed the Seva Pathana, as otherwise, there may not be any use. To my surprise, I saw Baba's Camera Photo, which I have kept on my T.V. on Wednesday night, in a dream. Next morning I told my wife about the dream. She said that it was sufficient that Baba had given me Darshan.

On Thursday, the last day of SAI CHARITRA PATHANA, we performed pooja in the morning and in the evening and distri­buted sweets to all children in our neighbourhood. We were satis­fied with our Pooja, as we had taken the direction of Baba to start Pathana and completed it with HIS DARSHAN and ASHIRWAD.

The very next day, I took my daughter to Dr. Aurangabadkar, a Skin Specialist of repute in the twin cities. I saw the Doctor at about 7 p.m. While the Doctor was examining my daughter, I was explaining the Doctor about the complaint. My daughter noticed and pointed to me a big portrait of Baba, behind the Doctor. We saluted Baba saying "SAI RAM".

Doctor gave a prescription and we returned home. After reaching home, I told my wife that Baba had given the prescription through the Doctor, and that we need not worry from now onwards about her health. Though Dr. Aurangabadkar wrote the prescription sitting before Baba's portrait, we had come to the conclusion that Baba Himself was writing the prescription in flesh and blood. We started the course of treatment on the same day. After 10 days, we found tremendous improvement in her health. All wounds had healed and she is all right. This is nothing but Baba's Grace.

C. Nagaraja Rao

Hyderabad

BABA PROTECTS TWO CHILDREN (March 1986)

There are innumerable leelas of Baba in the lives of our family members.

My son Aditya is a gift of Baba. When he was 16 months old in early 1964, he toppled over the balcony railing from our first floor flat. We took him to the doctor. After a thorough check up, the doctor declared that nothing had happened to the child. To make sure we took the child to another doctor for a thorough checkup. This doctor doubted whether the accident had really occured! There was neither any external or internal injury. It may be concluded from these facts that the merciful Baba virtually held the child in His arms when he fell to the ground.

A similar incident occured after 20 years at the residence of a Sai devotee Shri Praful B. Mehta, Bombay.

Shri Mehta's eldest daughter is Mita Mehta. Her son Aditya who was 15 months old in November, 1983. fell to the ground from their third floor flat; from a height of over 30 feet. The child came with a thud on the concrete flooring of the courtyard. He became unconscious but without signs of a wound or bleeding. He was taken to Nanavati Hospital where he was attended to after about 15 minutes. During this period, Shri Praful Mehta placed Baba's ring on the forehead of the child and prayed for protection. Immediately the child regained consciousness, the doctor detected a minor fracture in his right leg. Plaster was not applied. Child was sent home after 8 days of hospitalisation. The leg was kept bandaged with the support of a steel rod. When I met Shri Praful Mehta at his residence, Aditya's condition had become normal. My head bowed in reverence to our Lord and I could not resist the temptation of talking to my son Aditya on phone.

These two incidents remind us that Baba is ever active for the protection of devotees and their family members who surrender to Him.

S.R.Joshi.

Bombay

Sympathetic  Sai

My friend, a renowned businesss executive and an ardent Sai devotee gave me an interesting account how sympathetically and mercifully Shri Sai Baba responded to the sincere craving of one Mr. 'X’ and blessed him with grace and favour. I herewith take the opportunity of narrating the same for the noble readers of Shri Sai Leela.

It is customary, according to our sanatanist convention, whenever we pray or worship any God or Goddess, we keep in our front the idol or the photograph of the respective deity or saint. In our meditation also we visualize the same figure in our memory with our eyes shut.

But the present illustration is quite a different one, where the person concerned neither had the opportunity of having darshan of Baba in flesh and blood nor he had the chance to see a photograph even. As such he was quite ignorant about Baba's appearance and figure and he was simply praying by repetition of Baba's name only.

Mr. 'X' was a high ranking Government Official. There was no dearth of men and money in his house and he was blessed with all the cherished amenities of life by virtue of his status and assignment. Inspite of all these, he and his wife were not perfectly happy and they were feeling some gross deficiency, which ultimately marred their happy home. It was attributed to the fact that they were without any issue though they were leading conjugal life for quite a pretty long period of about fifteen years or so.

They were practically hankering after a child, as without it their house was appearing absolutely barren and void to them. They were praying to various deities, saints and fakirs and also underwent great penance for being blessed with a child. But every   thing   was fruitless and they  remained as unhappy as ever, inspite of  all other amenities   being so easily  available to them.

At this juncture, they came across some person, who after perusal of their sad discomforture, advised them to come to the shelter of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi and pray to Him. He expressed his strong conviction on Baba and stressed that prayer to Him will never go in vain. He also narrated innumerable instances to his knowledge, where barren couples were blessed with children by Baba's grace and sympathy.

The advice was so appealing to them that they commenced working without spoiling even a single moment. Since the very day they started praying to Baba in right earnest for obtaining His grace. They were not at all knowing what Baba looked like as they did not see even a photograph of Baba.

After some days of such prayer. Baba's grace was showered on them and there prevailed a happy atmosphere as it was known that the lady had conceived in the long run. The news was greeted with great satisfaction and contentment by all of their friends, relatives and well-wishers. In due course of time a healthy baby was born in the house and there was great rejoicing in the family.

About six months after the advent of the new-comer in his house, Mr. 'X' had an occasion to visit the office of my friend, where a lively picture of Shri Baba was hanging on the wail. Mr. 'X' was tempted to know about the name and particulars of the saint.

To his utter surprise, when it was revealed to him that the picture was of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi, he burst into tears with profound gratitude to the great saint and bowed to Him with folded hands again and again. Thereafter he described at length how graciously and sympathetically Shri Baba saved his family from utter frustration.

It may not be out of  place to mention it here that shortly afterwards when I had been to Shirdi to attend the   ninth annual conference this year, (1983) I brought a small ring and a locket with Baba's emblem to be presented to this little "Grace Baby” of Shri Baba on behalf of my friend. Similar rings were presented to the parents of the baby also. It is also a pleasure to note that Mr. 'X’ was so happy to see a copy of Shri Sai Leela that he had immediately sent the requisite amount to the Sansthan for favour of being enrolled as a subscriber of the same.

May Baba grant a long life to the baby.

Dr. B  G. Das

Kanpur-208004 (U. P.)

Baba Loves   His Devotees

When I visited Shirdi in October 1981, I prayed to the Lord that having all the worldly desires, I should visit Shirdi every year as long as I live.

During the year 1982, we had a mind to visit Shirdi in May; but my Lord never permitted, thereafter we tried in October but failed. It appeared that Shri Baba had not listened to my prayers. However His grace showered on me on 20th Nov, 1982, when we proceeded for Shirdi. During the journey I was thinking that there world be a rush of devotees at Shirdi due to Asiad holidays. We had programme to stay there for five days.

My husband is an asthematic patient and I was worrying for accommodation at Shirdi in such a rush. When we got down at Kopargaon, to my astonishment, I met Shri R. S. Sharma, secretary of Delhi Sai Samaj as if Sai had sent him for our help.

At Shirdi by His grace Sharmaji, arranged for our accommodation and helped us in other pujas etc. We were given V.I.P. treatment by the respected head of Sai Sansthan.

Prem Kohli,

New Delhi

How I was Drawn to  Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi

Saints have no hankering for sense pleasures and are embodiments of amiability and all other virtues. They grieve to see others in distress and rejoice at the sight of others joy. They are even-minded and look upon none as their enemy; free from vanity and passion, they are conquerors of greed, selfish joy and fear. Tender of heart and compassionate to the troubled, they cherish full devotion to Me (Shri Rama) in thought, word and deed. Giving honour to all, they are modest themselves"-Tulasidas.

All   the   above sublime   qualities   can   be   safely and aptly applied to Shri Sai Nath.    He is a  saint in the true  sense of the term.    Besides, He is a Samarth Sadguru. I had the good fortune of receiving a photograph of the Samadhi Mandir of Baba from my eldest sister Smt. Ranganayakamma,  two decades ago. She was a victim of sterility for a  long time.    Fortunately she came to know of Baba  through a friend  in   Hyderabad and  began to pray to Him for progeny.    After some time she was blessed with a son by the grace of Baba and the   boy is named Sainath.

Even though the picture of Baba came into my hands twenty years ago, I did not pray to Him or at least remember Him till 1979. I conveniently forgot Him as I was plunged head-long in mundane affairs. I was groping in darkness till the natural calamity of severe cyclone and flash floods of 1979 had opened my eyes and brought me to my senses.

Ten days prior to the occurrence of the devastating cyclone and floods, two big photos of Shri Saibaba were generously given to me by Sai devotee Shri J. V. Subbaiah. I got both of them framed. I kept the Abhayasnatam photo of Baba with me. The sitting posture photo was given to my sister Smt. Varalaxmi according to her wish and choice. Both the photos were displayed in the 2 portions of my residence in Santa pet at conspicuous places. A few days later, the catastrophe occurred. Our Tobacco concern sustained heavy loss as tobacco stocks and buildings were completely destroyed and damaged, I was very much perturbed and the little faith I had in Baba was completely shattered; but I was not aware that one must deserve before one desires. During this crucial period, I was introduced to Acharya Bharadwaj, an Ankita child of Baba and got some mental peace and solace by reading his beautiful biography of Baba written in English and Telugu entitled Sai Leela Amrit Since then Acharya has been a source of mental peace, inspiration and confidence to me. Without any sort of hesitation and reservation, I always think and feel that Shri Bharadwaj is an intellectual and spiritual genius like Swami Vivekananda, an excellent conversationalist and a speaker.

Soon, I was frantically trying to go to Shirdi, but I could not visit that holy place, Baba finally gave His gracious permission only in 1980. Baba's holy Samadhi Mandir is the source of infinite joy and solace to many a depressed and dejected person.

My first visit to Shirdi in 1980 needs further explanation as it involved certain mysterious happenings. In the beginning of 1980, I had to met an official at Guntur concerned with my trade. The gentleman was about to proceed to Hyderabad on official work I thought of accompanying him to Hyderabad, but was held up at Guntur. So I promised to meet him in Hyderabad the next day. While staying in the lodge, suddenly I rang up Mr. G. S. Rao of Ongole to accompany me to Hyderabad and the friend joined me at Guntur the next morning. We reached Hyderabad by evening. During the journey, it flashed upon my mind that I should visit Shirdi. When I put forth the proposal, my friend did not evince any interest owing to his professional inconvenience. But in my heart of hearts, I was strongly desirous of proceeding to Shirdi. During my journey I was reading a book on Sai Baba. A fellow passenger noticed it and asked me whether I was going to Shirdi. I said 'Yes'. The passenger gave me a hundred rupee note and requested me to give it to a devotee at Shirdi for poor feeding. I could not say that my trip to Shirdi was uncertain. I simply took the money and thought it a welcome sign of Baba's call to Shirdi. Then and there I made up my mind to proceed to Shirdi at any cost. My friend was witnessing this strange incident but he could not make up his mind.

The next morning we reached Hyderabad, finished my discussion with the said official and started for Secunderabad in an auto. After travelling a certain distance, my friend informed the auto driver to take a turn from the main road. The driver could not take the turn as directed, the breaks failed, the auto hit against the rear side of the car plying ahead of us and the auto turned turtle. By the sheer grace of Baba what could have proved a major accident, involving loss of either limb or life, had left us unscathed. We were dazed for a few minutes. As soon as we recovered from the shock, my friend decided to visit Shirdi along with me. We immediately telephoned to his son at Ongole to join us on our trip to Shirdi. There is another side to the whole incident. My friend had no son for a long time and his father prayed to Baba to bless him with a grandson and vowed that he would take the latter to Shirdi. Baba answered his prayer but the old man died without fulfilling his vow.

As per, Baba's mysterious design we reached Shirdi, visited all the holy places there and stayed for a day and returned to Ongole.

During 1981, I visited Shirdi twice in the happy company of my music teacher Shri Y. R. Rao of Hyderabad who is also a "friend, philosopher and a guide" to me. Dr. R. P. Rao is my close friend, a talented doctor and an ardent devotee of Baba. My third visit to Shirdi along with Dr. Rao was quite strange and interesting. Together we first proceeded by bus to Manikya Nagar named after Shri Manikya Prabhu (believed to be the fourth incarnation of Lord Datta). Then we reached Pandharpur.

After darshan and pooja in the holy and ancient temple of Vitthal, we were informed by a pilgrim that H. H. Jagadguru Sankaracharya, the senior of Kanchi was camping on the other bank of the sacred Chandra Bhaga river and my joy knew no bounds. I was thrilled at the multiplicity of unexpected blessings which the call of Baba implied. Swamiji is considered to be one of the great living saints and an embodiment of the perennial wisdom of India.

A small group of devotees including us reached the other bank of the Chandra Bhaga river by boat. Then Swamiji was in deep meditation. We were blessed with his holy darshan for a couple of hours and the most generous and gracious blessings.

From Pandharpur we reached Shirdi and spent three days on the sacred soil. During my second and third visits to Shirdi, I visited Sakori, the sacred place of Shri Upasani Baba, a direct disciple of Sai Baba and had the darshan of Sati Godavari Mata, the disciple of Upasani Baba. On our return to Hyderabad, we had the darshan of Shri Samarth Narayana Maharaj, who belongs to the 'Guruparampara’ of Samarth Ramadas (Shivaji's Guru).

My fourth visit to Shirdi in 1982 was the most significant one. On my routine visit to Hyderabad, on July 4. I was inspired to visit Shirdi and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was on time to attend the most auspicious and important Gurupurinama day on the 6th. All this happened without my knowledge but by Baba's grace alone. Most fortunately, the penultimate day (7tb July) of Gurupurnima festival was followed by Thursday which is considered sacred by all the Sai devotees round the world.

During my five days stay at Shirdi one mysterious leela of Baba came to my knowledge. I met one young and energetic Telugu man of Sholapur there. He told me that one of his ancestors suffered like hell from a dreadful disease. He was taken to Bombay for expert medical treatment which proved ineffective. All hopes of his survival were given up. On their way back to Sholapur, the patient's kinsfolk learned about Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi and took him to Sai Nath as a last resort. The patient was put before Baba and His Yogic glances fell upon the diseased. Baba assured the patient that the disease would be cured in a short time. Besides He instructed the patient never to stir out of Shirdi if he wanted to live. The patient became hale and healthy after some time. He was meditating on Baba. To the great misfortune of the patient, certain relatives of his visited Shirdi after some time. They happened to see the man to be alive and also strong and sturdy. He was tempted by his relatives to return to his native place. Having acted contrary to the wishes of Baba, he paid the penalty of his own life after reaching his native place.

I had the immense, pleasure and good fortune of having the holy darshan of Shri Marthand Maharaj, and Shri Rasne Maharaj, the two living contemporaries and devotees of Baba.

Of late, I began to think and feel that I am under the kind care and protection of Baba. This feeling of mine has been duly and rightly confirmed by Shri Rasne Maharaj during my recent meeting with him at Shirdi. He further declared to me that Baba has saved me from certain dangerous situations and averted possible entanglements. What is beyond the ken of knowledge and capacity of Baba ? I was reminded of Oliver Goldsmith's lines.

"OFFENCES ARE EASILY PARDONED   WHERE THERE IS LOVE AT BOTTOMS”

Baba expressly told His devotees that Nishta (implicit faith) and Saburi (courageous patience) will alone lead them to the destination in Spiritual life. Sai Nath is the very embodiment of all saintly virtues. With our tongues let us always chant His name, with the ears hear His glory and with the eyes see His manifestations.

K. C. Pandu Ranga Rao

 Ongole (A. P.)

SAI GRACE

It was February 1979. I was then 30 years and was employed as an estate Medical Officer by an European firm in Kerala. When my wife Seetha conceived for a second time, we were in a dilemma, as our first son was not even a year old. To confirm her pregnancy, I took her to my colleague Dr. Mrs. Devaky Vasudevan, who advised us to continue the pregnancy and calculated the date of confinement as 15tb September 1979.

On that night, my wife was almost in a trance. She is a sincere devotee of Lord Sainath and next morning she told me that she is going to have a son again and that she will name him ‘Sai Prabhu’. I Just smiled and kept quiet.

In July 1979, we went to our hometown - Bangalore. Both of us went to Sai Mandhir to obtain Sai's blessings as well as that of that great apostle of Sai - Shri Radhakrishna Swamiji. Unfortunately he had gone out to perform 'Kumbhabhishekam' in a nearby temple and my wife could have only darshan of Lord Sainath in the mandhir and not that or his apostle. However I met the Swamiji next morning and when I sought his blessings, he stared at me and said, "My child, do not worry. Sai-grace is on you. You shall overcome all your difficulties".

Perhaps Radhakrishna Swamiji foresaw the dangers we were to pass through subsequently. A couple of days later, i.e. on the 5th August 1979, we left Bangalore for going back to our estate. Beyond Mysore, we had to cross a forest full of elephants and tigers. Since we were travelling by day we were confident that we will not have to face any danger. But our car broke down in the middle of the forest and we did not know what to do. Moreover a solitary elephant was grazing nearby. Our only help was 'Sai Ram'. With his grace, all of us hitch-hiked in a lorry back to a nearby town, I arranged for my wife and son to return to Mysore by bus and returned to the forest in a taxi with a few people and a mechanic.    I shuddered at the sight of my car, which was completely damaged.    Somehow we towed it back to Mysore.    I imagined for a while  what our plight would have been if Lord Sainath had not come to our help in the form of a helpful   driver   of a lorry   and   helped  us to escape   death. The   lorry driver refused to accept   money also.  Traffic on that road is almost   nil during daytime. Next   day we returned to the estate by bus.

Exactly twenty days later, i. e. on the 25th August 1979. my wife complained of pain in the abdomen since morning. She wore a desolate look also. I too did not bother much as the expected date of her delivery was only 15th September and on examination, I could not find any signs of delivery. After lunch, while relaxing, I suddenly gazed at the big photograph of Sainath, from which I felt as if Sai Baba is ordering me to take my wife to the nearby Mission Hospital, where facilities for x-ray/Surgery Specialist care were available.

The Lady Obstetrician, Dr. Miss Gesualda received us in the hospital with a big smile. She chided me for being too frantic in bringing my wife earlier. That being a Saturday she was also in a relaxing mood. However for my sake she admitted my wife for observation. She was confident that my wife would not deliver for a couple of weeks more.

It was around 9 p. m. in the night that my wife got into labour pains. Dr. Gesualda and her staff put a valient struggle to get her delivered normally. Ultimately when the mother was exhausted, Dr. Gesualda called me aside and told me that my wife was in danger and that it was the question of either the mother or the child. She had decided caesarean operation for the delivery.

For a moment I was speechless. I was all alone. I had sent back my car with my parents-in-law to the estate which was 10 k.m. away. With no means of communication at that dead night, I had to totally bank upon Lord Sainath. I was brooding over what the learned Obstetrician. Dr. Gesulda said about either the mother or the child could survive. I was recalling those early days of my wife's pregnancy in which she was so confident of Sai Nath's blessings to her for another son.

One more problem arose. The Anaesthetist of the hospital had gone out for a party and she was expected only next morning. When I saw the helpless surgeon. I offered my services to administer anaesthesia to my wife. Reluctantly Dr. Gesualda agreed. As I was getting ready to enter the Operation-Theatre, I was crying for Sai's help. Lo, He did come to our rescue.

We heard the noise of a car and soon from it emerged the Anaesthetist. She told us that some sixth sense prevailed on her to come back to the hospital and she had driven badly.

After an hour's suspense, Dr. Gesualda came out and announced, "Doctor Vijay, you are lucky. Seetha is safe. You are blessed with a bonny son".

This was around 3 a. m. on the 26th August 1979. Fortunately this coincided with the auspicious day of Ganesh Chathurthi and for us it was the birth of Sai-Ganesh. It was late next day that my wife regained consciousness and the first thing she uttered was 'Sai Ram’ as if she was in a dreamy state.

True to Shri Radhakrisnna Swamiji's words, we crossed obstacles through Sai grace and we aptly named our second son ‘Sai Prabhu'. Unfortunately by the time we could take our children to Bangalore to be blessed by that great apostle of love Shri Radhakrishna Swamiji- had given up His mortal coil on the 14th of January 1980- However, on our visit to the Sai mandhir every time, we have felt his ever-blessing spirit there.

May Lord Sainath   bless everyone:

Dr. G. R. Vijayakumar

(Karnataka)

 

 

Baba's  Divine Grace (June 1983)

Shirdi Sai Baba's grace showers on every devotee who surrenders to Him wholeheartedly having full faith in Him. How Baba showered His grace on a friend of mine is narrated below.

Shri Ashok Jadhav is having a laundry shop by name Anand Dry Cleaners at Hubli. In the year 1978 one of his neighbours by name Shri H. R. Naik, Industrial Law adviser, who is also a staunch devotee of Baba gave him Baba's Ashirwad Photo. Ashok framed and installed it in his shop and started worshipping it. From the day he started worshipping Baba, He used to appear in his dream. Immediately Ashok visited Shirdi and offered Pooja etc., Till then Ashok was not knowing anything about Shirdi Sai Baba.

After returning from Shirdi, by the grace of Baba. he was able to purchase a plot of 21/2 guntas in Bhavani nagar for the cheap price of Rs. 6,000/- and also got married within 15 days of his return from Shirdi. Ashok felt like visiting Shirdi again. This time with his wife and his widowed mother, he visited Shirdi. Ashok's mother was suffering from asthma and blood pressure and he was spending Rs. 300/- for her medicines every month. This time Ashok prayed to Baba with trust and faith to cure the disease of his mother.

After returning from Shirdi, Ashok's mother started taking only Udi, twice a day, after doing pooja with trust and faith. By the divine grace, of Baba, gradually her disease disappeared and she says that Baba has cured her disease. After this incident Ashok's family members became staunch devotees of Baba.

In the year 1979 and 1980 Ashok printed Baba's calendars in his name and distributed them to all Sai devotees and to the customers of his shop. He was eager to spread Sai-cult. He used to tell Sai miracles to others and distribute Baba’s photo.

In the year 1980 Ashok approached and requested Shri B. Hulliyappanavar, a contractor, to whom he had already told about Baba's   leelas  and  also  given   one   framed   photo  of  Baba, construct one shed in   the   above said  plot.   The Contractor told him that he would   construct the  house and that the cost would be  approximately 50 thousand  rupees.    Ashok  told him that he was able to pay only 5000 rupees at that time.    But the contract told   him   not   to worry   and that  Baba    would arrange for the amount and   he constructed the house.   Ashok named the house "Om Sai Krupa”.

Ashok Says that within two years he has  paid 30 thousand rupees part by part  to the contractor  who told him not to pay anything further and that   he   had   taken only the   cost of the materials   and labour.   Ashok   says   that   even though be had no money, only by the divine grace of Baba, he was able to construct the   house.   Now-a-days   Ashok   and   his  family members offer pooja etc., daily and conduct weekly  bhajan in their newly build house "Om Sai Krupa".

R. Chandrashekan

Hubli – 580020;

 

 

Baba Comes to the Rescue of The Weak

There are innumerable helpless human beings, in this world who are unable to compete with others who happen to be much more stronger-physically or socially. They generally find that whatever they may try to do, they won't meet with success against such forces. In our day to day affairs, we come across instances where many a bright but poor students are ignored by their class teachers in favour of mediocres who are powerful, physically weaker, law abiding and God-fearing persons have many a time to pocket many insults simply because they lack power to counteract.

What should such persons do ? To whom to look to for relief? The answer is very simple - a complete faith in Lord Shri Sai Baba "Jis Ka Koi Naheen Uskey Main Sai Baba" is not simply a slogan-it is a universal truth. If we care to look around us, we shall come across innumerable examples. During 38 years of my service, I have felt this supernatural force of Baba's kindly coming to rescue of His devotees quite unexpectedly. For example, in the matter of transfers from one place to another, when the resourceful officials managed to get stations of their choice, a helpless and poor friend of mine was virtually thrown out to a most unpopular station which, however, proved to be a real boon to him to the great surprise of one and all. A colleague of mine whose only fault had been straightforwardness and honest work, was falsely implicated in a serious vigilance case which would have resulted in the loss of employment as he, unfortunately was unable to build up a single favourable evidence. He simply depended on prayers to Baba with whose benign favour, he could establish his innocense and came out fully exonerated of all charges. My son, after doing his M. Sc. appeared at a competitive examination. Nobody thought of his success because of the alleged favouritism and vested interest in the administrative setup. The only backing which my son had was of Baba with whose generosity he got it to the astonishment of one and all. A dear friend of mine left for his heavenly abode leaving behind him his wife and two young daughters to look after themselves. The elder daughter had to search some suitable job for the family to make both ends meet; but everywhere she was unsuccessful on account of reasons best known to the employers only; Disgusted she left all the hopes to ever get any job. She was not even a devotee of Shri Sai Baba. Yet one day, she fell at His pious feet in a temple. With tears in her eyes, she begged Him to help her. Within the next few days, she received, unexpectedly, a letter from a private Ltd. Firm (before whom she had unsuccessfully already appeared for interview long back) requesting her to meet the sole proprietor at her earliest. The sole proprietor turned out to be a staunch devotee of Sai Baba who during the meeting always addressed her as "beti" and was so much moved with her plight that he immediately appointed her in his firm against many other more competent and resourceful candidates. It was thus proved beyond doubt that Baba had himself managed to keep the post vacant for her only.

I recollect an incident which involved me quite sometime back when I had to beg Baba for something at the spur of the moment; but after my request was granted, I felt so sorry that I couldn't help blaming Him for His indiscriminate action. I was new to a particular station where, somehow I fell in the clutches of a local evil person through nay sheer simplicity. He was a source of great nuisance to me and had made my life awful. Once, when I was sitting in my house, he suddenly appeared and showed me some evidence he had cooked up to get me involved and threatened me for dire consequences if I did not accept his ill-conceived plans. On my refusal to oblige him, he went away uttering vulgar language. I prayed to the Almighty Baba rather agitatingly as to why he could not check the devil and teach him a lesson. Soon after, I learnt that his only son, about 10 years old, while flying kite fell down from the roof of his house and had been admitted to the hospital in a precarious condition. I could not help crying before Baba apologizing that I had not desired Him to take such a drastic action. Anyway, these are the ways of merciful but strict Baba, the God Almighty, Later, among others I also visited the hospital to see the boy where the same person, the father of the boy, embraced me weeping bitterly and taking a vow to give up wickedness once for all. With Whose instructions, under Whose orders ?

J, R, Laroiya

Indore-452001

Baba's   Blessings

Often it has been the experience of devotees that Baba creates storms and then controls them. Why so ?. Perhaps it may be, each time, an act of testing the depth of devotion of a devotee. For this matter, philosophy of any religion is an endless story of such instances. Every religion is confined to a commu­nity. But Baba's religion embraces entire humanity, nay, even the universe.

Coming to the point as to how Baba created a storm and then controlled it, I try to pen a few lines describing the instances hereunder.

In the last quarter of 1974, my wife, who had been hale and hearty started suffering from menopause. I got her treated by the best available specialists in Allopathy & Homeopathy. But it was all in vain. After treatment for about four months one specialist lady doctor advised her to undergo a minor operation. This minor operation led to a disclosure of a serious ailment. Then for confirmation of that ailment several medical tests were advised to be got conducted. On the basis of these reports, the suspected hazardous ailment was confirmed. The lady Surgeon, who had been very kind, cordial and sympathetic, because of my daughter also being a doctor, who is closely known to her, had been taking every possible care. She referred my wife to the concerned specialist, who is known for his high efficiency and unquestionable integrity. The Doctor went through the medical reports and a detailed note given by the lady Surgeon. Though he did not give tongue to his readings, his countenance did give vent to his reaction. At last, he prescribed a course of treatment to be continued for five weeks. Out of my anxiety, I ascertained about prospective response. He said that he would try his best. Such a serious expression with a perceptible note of uncertainty had acted like adding fuel to the fire. The Doctor, who is highly qualified, is a strong believer in God, the Almighty, Munificent and Merciful. He sounded me an obvious advice to believe in God, as a last resort.

With the expiry of five weeks, the course of the prescribed treatment was over. The Doctor advised me to get her to the hospital after a month for a check up. Even after the course was over the Doctor was not hopeful of fruitful results.

While giving such treatment all the time, I have been relying on the use of sacred " Udi " to her forehead. She used to take for some time a pinch of " Udi " with a little water. After the expiry of one month, when I had taken her to the hospital for a check up by the Doctor, who, after having examined her, felt astonished to notice the unexpected improvement in her. He surprisingly enquired if I administered any other medicines than what he prescribed. Evidently my reply was in the negative from technical view point. But at the heart of my heart, I confessed before the mental image of Baba about the most miraculous effect of * Udi * which is known to all the devotees of Baba, as the most efficacious medicine of all medicines. The Doctor, though reputed for his eminence, had no ego and in his frankness he admitted that the Almighty saved her. My faith in Baba deepened further. Devotion of my wife towards Baba knew no bounds. She maintains normal health with the kind blessings of Baba.

I would like to cite another instance of a storm created and suppressed by Shri Baba. In July 1981 I, along with my wife, started to visit Shirdi. Primarily we thought of getting the tickets reserved at Manmad for return journey to Hyderabad. But we could not however do so because of uncertainty about the date of return from Shirdi. After comfortable stay for three days at Shirdi, we could catch the bus for Manmad. When the bus reached the bridge near the Manmad Railway Station, the Conductor advised us to get down, as the shortest route to the Railway Station started therefrom. But I was hesitant to get for the mere reason that no cooli might   be available at such an odd place.   Nevertheless I just   peeped out and   found some one standing.   So I ventured to alight.   As soon as he found us with our   baggage, he who   was not apparently a cooli,   offered his service   to carry a part of   our baggage to the Railway Station, even without indicating the   charges for   his service.   Since I too did not ascertain  the charges, before we   entrusted him with the baggage to carry, my wife pointed it out as unbusinesslike,   because of her   apprehension that his  demand  would be on the high side. On our way, regardless of what she pointed out, I was   anxious about securing the reservation from Manmad to Hyderabad as it happened to be a night   journey.  The   moment   we   reached the station   premises, I rushed   to the reservation   counter.   To my utter   disappointment, the clerk   at the  counter   told me that all the berths were already reserved.    When  I informed the cooli of this   position, he assured us   that we would get accommodation. He left us at the platform wherefrom the train for Hyderabad was   to   start   in a short while and   went away.    Within   fifteen minutes, he   came   back   and   suggested   that   I  should   meet the Inspector,   who was   standing at a short   distance.    I had heard often from many friends that people generally secured  reservations by resorting helplessly to the Inspector concerned in such situations. Since I have ever neither bribed any body  nor allowed myself to be bribed under any circumstances so far, I got it vividly clarified that I  would not   be required to resort to any   corrupt practice, The cooli then escorted me to the Inspector, to whom I explained my dismal plight and   requested for help.    The   Inspector was so kind and considerate that he immediately asked me to occupy the small compartment with only four berths   exclusively  meant for the Railway employees, with a clear understanding that I should get adjusted with any Railway employees who  might join on the way. For   all   this, I paid   Rupees   five   only   to the cooli who accepted the   amount with pleasure and   heartfelt thanks to the Inspector.  Above all this, only two berths were vacant.  So we comfortably   travelled   from   Manmad   to   Hyderabad    with Shri Baba's blessings.

Towards   my conviction that Shri   Baba is the sole doer in the   lives   of His   devotees, I would very   much like to ventilate another ' storm ', that Baba had caused and overcome.   In January 1982, my wife met with an accident causing major fracture in her right   elbow.    Her condition was so bad  that it   was difficult to move her from the village to Hyderabad,    Unexpectedly I could get conveyance without any difficulty to reach Hyderabad.    When I along   with   my daughter, approached   the Orthopaedic nursing home, the   surgeon told us that   there was no   vacancy to admit my   wife   who was required to undergo a  major  operation. . We therefore approached our relative,  who was also an Orthopaedic surgeon working in a Government Hospital, He got her admitted and   made  arrangements   for the  operation.   The   Civil Surgeon concerned fixed the date for operation and got her fully prepared for   operation.    But   he   could not  conduct operation due to the reasons   not   known   to   me.   I   felt sentimentally   disappointed, though I did not lose my firm faith in Baba.   I was questioning in my   heart, as to why Baba should create   such a storm.   The very evening my son-in-law could arrange the operation by more eminent Surgeon with the assistance of his friend.  By   the grace of Sai, the reputed Surgeon did not charge   even a paisa, though he conducted operation in a Private Nursing Home.   The operation was successful.    With Shri Baba's  blessing my wife is now normal.

Baba always comes to the rescue of His devotees, who sincerely follow the twin path of 'Shraddha' and 'Saburi' as advocated by Him.

M. Ganga Reddy

Hyderabad –27

 

Shri Sai Blesses Those Who Surrender to Him

In the present days, when the people are being more materialistic in nature and are having little or no faith in the existence of God, Shri Sai Leela Magazine is doing the best of the service for the propagation of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba's divinity to various people of different mentalities. Though Shri Sai Baba had left the body in 1918, His devotees are experiencing His leelas even now in times of need and necessity. My entire family is devoted to Shri Sai Baba for more than three decades. With confidence that this simple experience would intensify the existing faith in Sai devotees, I am narrating this in the name of Shri Sai Baba.

My daughter Kum. Niveditha after passing her X Class, discontinued her studies. After a lapse of two years, I got her admitted in Intermediate course. She appeared for the first year Inter Annual examination in March, 1980 along with her dear friend Kum. Sri Devi. The results were published and Lo ! Kum. Niveditha failed in all the five subjects while her friend passed in all the subjects. My daughter with grief and disappointment asked me to allow her to discontinue her studies as she could not face her friends with such a total failure in all subjects. I consoled her and convinced her not to give up studies on the cause of her failure. I encouraged her to go ahead with immense devoted faith in Shri Sai Baba. I assured her of her success in the ensuing examination in September, 1980, in case she cast her burden on the shoulders of Shri Sai Baba with complete surrender coupled with  Nishtha and Saburi, I also advised her to do parayana for seven days as prescribed in the sacred book "Shri Sai Babas, Jeevitha Charitha" in Telugu, readily available in our house. I also assured her that Baba is there to look after the needs and comforts of those who surrender even now.

Kum. Niveditha too is an ardent and sincere devotee of Shri Sai. She made a vow to visit Shirdi in case she passed in the ensuing examinations in September, 1980. Completely surrendering herself to Baba, and with firm belief and confidence in Him, she completed the parayana of the sacred book in seven days as prescribed. She was regularly studying the lessons of all the five subjects in which she failed, in addition to the regular class lessons of the current year.

In September, 1980 on the first day of the examination, casting her burden on Shri Sai, and with sacred Udhi on forehead, she answered the question paper to her satisfaction. This gave her enough of courage to answer the papers on other days.

In was a surprise for her to know that she passed in all the five subjects when the results were published, while many of her friends passed in one or two subjects only, After the Marks list was received, it was noticed that Kum. Niveditha got appreciable marks and in fact more marks than her friend Kum. Sri Devi, who passed in March itself. Our joy knew no bounds and our faith in Baba created abundantly.

To fulfil the promised vow of Kum. Nivedetha, we all the family members made pilgrimage to Shirdi and offered our humble pranaras to Shri Sai Baba for His kindness. Eversince that dayKum. Nivedithas faith in Shri Sai has been boundlessly increased. She is observing a complete fast on Thursdays to her own satisfaction and she is not experiencing any weariness on that day though she is attending the college for a continuous period of five to six hours. Has not Shri Sai come to her rescue and blessed her with a complete success? The consequences of her disappointed failure would have been fatal and quite unexpected. But Baba did not wish that. He never deserts the one who surrenders to Him. He with His ever blessing hands favoured her with a complete success and not only intensified her deep devotion and faith in Him but also made many a devotee of Him to be assured of safe and sure success if one ever casts his entire burden on Him with complete surrender.

Shri Sai   is ready   to   shower   His blessings on the trusted even now   without   any   discrimination   provided the   appeal is sincere and faithful.                                             

D, L-  Kanta Rao,

Nandyal Taluk

Kurnool District.(Andhra Pradesh)

 

MNIPRESENT BABA - A LIVE MIRACLE (March 1975)

The most important question that may arise in our mind, after hearing and realizing Baba's Leelas in mind whether He is still alive and guarding the destiny of His devotees or His Leelas are just due to coincidence of circumstances and time that makes us realise and cherish the same as the evidence of His OMNI­PRESENCE, OMNIPOTENCE AND OMNISCIENCE.

The answer is simple, The truth remains that He is very much alive and much more active, vigilant and limitless in His Power to-day than He was in human body before taking His ---MAHASAMADHl on the 15th of October 1918.

Since we all know that a 'SIDDHA PURUSH' never dies, the question of Baba dying does not arise, because He was 'GOD INCARNATE'. He took birth only with a mind to spread the gospel of love, sense of Brotherhood and equality among His devotees. In His Darbar rich and poor both had their access and were treated without any difference in status. To look after their welfare was the sole responsibility of Baba, irrespective of which school of thought a devotee belonged to. Therefore He is very much on this planet and ruling over the universe and thus guarding over the destiny of His devotees.

To cite one of the sermons which Baba had imparted to Mr. Cholkar on his vow of not taking sugar in the tea since he wanted to save the cost of sugar and made many other economies to save enough money in order to take Baba's darshan which reads as follows:-

If you spread your palm with devotion before Me, I am immediately with you day and night. Though I am here bodily, still I know what you do beyond seven seas. My abode is in your heart and I am within you. Worship Me always, who is seated in your heart as well as in the hearts of all beings — SAI SATCHARITA Chapter XV.

Further if we go through the Charters and Saying of Baba on which Principles even today He stands, then we would find that His Leelas are the result of His Limitless Powers and being the Guardian of the destiny of His devotees. The Sayings of the Charters read as follows:-

9. My eye (of vigilant supervision) is ever on those who love Me. Whatever you do, whatever you may be, ever bear this in mind that I am always aware of everything you do.

10. If one ever meditates on Me, repeats My name, sings My deeds and is thus transformed into Me, His 'Karma' is destroyed. I always stand by his side.

It was 26th April 1974, the date of my departure from Baba's blessed Darbar after staying for ten days with Him. I was feeling very sad with the very thoughts that today I would be leaving His darbar, though in the morning only Baba was kind enough to bless me with 'Tulsi Leaves' as His Prasad, which is very sacred and holy.

At 10-30 a. m. I was being suggested by Mr. Gangwal, Proprietor of SAI Prasad Grab, that it would be better if I go to Baba with a cocoanut to seek His Blessings and thus take His permission to leave since it is a ritual to go to the Sadguru with the cocoanut to take His permission.

Accordingly at 12-40 p. m. no sooner Noon Arti of Baba was performed at His Samadhi Mandir, I made my way to 'Dwarkaayee' with a cocoanut in hand. On reaching Dwarkaayee I prostrated on the lotus feet of the Master and kept the cocoanut on the collection box, with a mind to worship Baba first.

No sooner I lighted the incense sticks and was about to place them in front of Baba, to my surprise and to the surprise of all present at Dwarka ayee at that time I noticed that the two bulbs which are fitted before His portrait started flickering. The flickering of those two bulbs was so fast that it took no time for me to understand that something had gone wrong somewhere and Prabhu is trying to point out through His Omnipresent per­sonality to rectify the same. Since no lights other than those two bulbs were flickering, it was a phenomenon worth-watching.

The sooner I turned my head towards the cash box, I found that the cocoanut was missing. Immediately I shouted in order to find out who had taken away the cocoanut from the cash box.

My shouting and the stopping of the flickering of those two bulbs were simultaneous. On seeing this wonderful Leela of Baba everyone present at that time at Dwarkaayee was spellbound. The gentleman who had taken away that cocoanut immediately returned it to me with a word of apology.

Had Baba not pointed out the missing of the cocoanut at the very time through His Omnipresence, I would have certainly lost that cocoanut which would have been a matter of great regret. In other words it was a lesson to me from my Guide and Benefactor to be watchful at all times.

The above mentioned Leela of Baba is an authentic proof of His Omnipresence and Omnipotence and thus true to His words that "My eyes (of vigilant supervision) are ever on those who love Me".

Whatever you do, wherever you may be, ever bear this in mind that I am always aware of everything you do".

Secondly the flickering of those two powerful bulbs was not due to defect in the electrical lines or loose contact in the switch board, because other bulbs had no effect, as stated earlier. Therefore it is ample proof of Baba's Omniscience since He is the controller of elements as well and needs no switch board or electrical device to control the light.

Thirdly had His mercy not been timely, I would have been the subject of talk of the devotees present at that time at Dwarkaayee, and I would have been feeling bad in my heart of hearts for the loss of that sacred cocoanut.

Bow to Shree SAI Peace be to all!

Mahesh C. Srivastava

A Concrete Example of Mysterious Grace (March 1975)

The way of showering Lord 'Sai's blessings on His devotees is miraculous   beyond any   expectations.    Some times He used to say that  'I am Allah  (Mai Alla Hu),  some times   He used to say          Alla Malik (Alla is Almighty).    "Lo! I am beside   you always".          The following  account will prove how the blessinss are showered by Him on His devotees.

The Bangiya Sai Sangha was established in 1940 as an inevi­table sequel to the miraculous recovery of late Himadri Bose, the thirteen year old son of Sri J.  N. Bose from a critical illness with the   help   of holy   'Udhi'   presented with   a copy   of  Sri   Baba's photo by Sri S. P. R. Naidu, organiser and first President of the Calcutta   Sai Bhakta   Samaj,   to Sri Bose.     This   incident instilled firm faith in Baba in the  minds of members of the family of Sri Bose who started a small association in his house at 15A, Rajani Gupta Row,   Calcutta,   with the   photo  presented   by Sri  Naidu along with the members of the Calcutta Sai Samaj.    In accordance with the instructions of Sri Naidu, daily puja commenced in our house in a very humble way.

In 1941,   His   Holiness   B.   V.   Narasiruha   Swami  came to Calcutta and graced  Sri L N. Bose's house and formally opened the Sangha  at the  above  address   by   worshipping  the  coloured photo of Sri Baba (Dwarka ayee type)  presented by Sri Naidu on the   "Mahasamadhi  Day".    This  photo  is   being   worshipped daily in the  Puja   Mandir of our   Sangha  for  more  than three decades.

In 1942, I got a dream one night that Sri Baba has been guiding me to Shirdi by holding my hand up the steps of Dwarkamayee - I had no idea where Dwarkamayee is and in my busy preoccupations in the office work during the war years, I forgot  all about  it.   But the  dream is  still vividly  remembered by me.

But wonder of wonders; Sri Baba did  not forget it - while staying on my long official tour in Bombay for a month the same S. P. R. Naidu,   who was   transferred from   Calcutta to Bombay exactly  at the time,   arranged for our   trip to Shirdi   along with some other devotees in April 1943.   Before we started for Shirdi, I met Rao Bahadur   M.   W.   Pradhan,   one of the most favourite personal associates   of Sri Baba at his Santa Cruz residence who embraced   me   and made  all arrangements  for   our   comfortable stay at Shirdi   which was at that time,  a village  of mud houses with no facility for food and   accommodation.    We had wonder­ful experience during our trip to Shirdi -

a)    We met Sri Narayan Maharaj, an Avatar and Sri Baba's devotee who blessed us at a roadside station;

b) In the night with storms and rain at Kopergaon Station we were accommodated at the station by one Sri Naidu, the Station Master and receptionist of Sri Baba, of course with-out any food;

c) In the next morning we came to Kopergaon town and met one advocate, a friend of one (Mr. D. K. Deshpande) of the members of our party who gave us tea and enquired about our object of Shirdi trip. He called me "a fool - for coming all the way from Calcutta for visiting Shirdi and advised me to go back to Calcutta".

This is the usual first test of faith of devotees by Baba. Anyhow we did not pay any heed to the advocate's advice and went straight to Shirdi and offered our Puja in the Samadhi Mandir when I placed a big picture, drawn up in black chalk by an inspired devotee of Sri Baba working under Sri Baba's instruction at B B. Dadar, and a silver idol (presented by Sri S P. R. Naidu) which are being daily worshipped in our Mandir since 1943.

Then I went up the steps of Dwarkamayee in the same way as I saw in my dream a year back and prostrated at Sri Baba's feet in the sitting position of photo the type of which was installed in my house in 1941 Naturally I felt a thrill in my mind and remembered Sri Baba's prophetic saying "He who steps up "Dwarkamayee" will have no wants in his life". We visited the Holy Neem tree under which Sri Baba used to sit and were amazed to test the leaves of one branch as sweet and then of another branch of the same tree as bitter.

Then we saw His daily associate, Abdulla Bhai who embra­ced us and blessed us in answer to his query that we were coming from Calcutta. But this visit besides being a profound source of inspiration of Sai faith, has struck me with remarkably won­derful experience by noticing the synthesis of all religions in one place and on one floor of the same Dwarkamayee! Hindus are worshipping freely with bells and cymbals, Muslims are saying their Namaj at the opposite wall; the Parsis are offering their prayers before the ever burning Dhuni. This Dwarkamayee is a place of synthesis of all castes and creeds in the same way Dakhi-neswar of Sri Ramkrishna Paramahansa. We had good fortune to meet and dine with Sri Baba's one of the most favourite associates, Sri Tatya Patil, who blessed us profusely.

We were accommodated as VIPs in the rooms above the Samadhi Mandir and took our meals with the Secretary, Mr. Kharkar. At the time of our departure from Shirdi, the Secretary, Mr. Kharker foretold me "Mr. Bose you will next visit Shirdi with your family" as if Sri Baba spoke through him. I laughed mentally at this apparently impracticable suggestion for the reason that it was physically impossible for me to come again to Shirdi with family. Then afterwards I forgot all about it.

J.  N.  Bose

BLESSINGS OF SHRI SAI BABA (November 1974)

Who is Baba? A very delicate question and an appealing question which is very very difficult to answer. To describe Baba one needs a lot of potentiality and stream of words. Hearing the very word 'BABA' I am not only thrilled but a kind of love is created within me.

It was I think round about in the year 1955 October when I first brought Shri Shiv Samadhi picture and thereafter in the year 1956 or so my daddy brought a picture of Shri Sai Baba. Seeing Baba's picture a kind of love, loyalty and respect was created in me by which I clapped my hands and my parents were overjoyed and praised me for my innocent attitude. I was too young to distinguish between the material and spiritual life because at that time I was only five years old.

My  father is a  devotee   of Baba  and  he  visits yearly His shrine at Shirdi.    Oh yes, now I recollect one small incident that took place  during my  school days when my daddy had booked tickets for us to go to Baba's shrine at Shirdi but ill-luck befell upon  me.   I was down  with high  temperature;  even  then  my daddy proceeded as per his plan  leaving me with my sister and my  mother.   But lo  and  behold; the day  passed into  night.   I was  restless, sleepless  and  tossing about in the bed.   It was, I think mid-night   when I saw a Sadhu,   clad in robe, sitting close to my bed side with a hand raised, I was about to shout due to fear,  but my   throat was  choked  and  I  soon  fell  fast  asleep. Next day my  Mummy was  surprised.    I was well the next day, my fever had  come to normal.    So dear  readers the description given by me must have made your notion clear.   It was no other than our 'Baba'.    I was  asked by my mother to light a Nandadeep to our holy Baba.    It was my  daily work to stand  before his  photo and  to  ask for  forgiveness  for whatever I  do.    His eyes are my destination.   I always take His permission whenever I do anything,   whether good  or bad.    I leave it to Baba,  He is there with  me and is guiding  me in all  my daily   routine.   He smiles when I do good and gets angry when I do a wrong thing.

Oh! No! dear readers it was not I alone who had such an experience; my daddy too had the similar kind. He was blessed by Baba and brought out from a number of difficult circum­stances. My daddy is working as a cost accountant, a middle income man and beside a very holy man. His only say is do your best to others, and harm no one, work hard, blessing will be there.

Prior to the present service my father was working in Poona Mills and he used to join us once in a week, that is, on holidays we were worried about him and he was worried about us. There were often tears when we thought about him. But it was with Baba's grace that after two years or so he got a job in Bombay, our joy knew no bounds. We prayed and thanked God Shri Sai Baba as He heard our prayers, we also offered Him what one could. Baba, helped us in many ways, and the most important one was my sister's marriage. My daddy was financially poor. He got no help from the relatives; but it was thought Shri Sai Baba's grace that he got the aid from his office. The Marriage ceremony was simple and decent. Shri Sai Baba helps those who help themselves and this quotation is best referred to by my daddy. He says "Do your best and leave the rest to Almighty Shri Sai Baba, He is there. He will do the rest.” Shri Sai Baba has helped us in the past and we hope that He helps us in future too I am now studying in Inter Arts, by His grace and hope that His blessings will always befall upon me, to become a gra­duate very soon so that I can thank God one day with tears of joy, hoping also to be blessed throughout my life.

Dear readers, with these words I have expressed my full loyalty, respect and obedience to God Shri Sai Baba. He says, "if you look to me, I shall look to you." This is exactly what Shri Baba has done to us, and is doing at present and will do in future also.

Miss Shobhana Rao.

MY EXPERIENCE AT SHIRDI (November 1974)

During my very first visit to Shirdi (in 1964) how I had the good fortune of having Baba's darshan in live form has been described in my article in Sai Leela (Special 'Experiences' issue-October 72). In this article it is my pleasure to share with co-devotees, how Sai showered His affection on me when I visited Shirdi for the second time.

Round about Diwali 1972 our son became ill and his temperature rose to more than 104° F. It was then that we prayed to Baba to come to our rescue and we also took a vow that we will make a pilgrimage to Shirdi within a year. By Baba's grace our son was soon restored to good health. Due to some reason or the other we could not make a trip to Shirdi. As Diwali ‘73 was approaching we decided to go there as otherwise the stipulated period of one year would be over. Though we were somewhat afraid of undertaking the long journey with our new born 3 month old baby, we put faith in Baba and reserved the tickets ten days in advance. But the baby started suffering from diarrohea and to our great concern she would not respond to the best medication. After waiting for 5 days, as there was no improvement in her condition, I had to cancel the reservations reluctantly and with a heavy heart. Miraculously however, purgings stopped within a couple of days. I once again booked the tickets for the same date and due to Sai's grace we not only had a very comfortable journey to and from Shirdi but also spent the happiest three nights at Shirdi. How much peace of mind we gained there, is not easy to describe

We reached Shirdi on Tuesday.    On Wednesday night before  retired, I prayed to  Baba  that He  should enable  me to wake up at 4 a. m. (Thursday) so that I may finish bath etc , and get ready to go to Samadhi Mandir before 5 a. m. in order to participate in Kakad Arati and Abhishek to Baba's Samadhi. I had most peaceful sleep and I was in deep slumber when all of a sudden I felt somebody's hand pushing my back and made me sit up on the bed. I was amazed and got up from the bed and put on the light. My wife and children were in deep sleep. Then lo! The temple bell struck four!! I checked up my watch and it was exactly 4 a. m. to the minute!!! Who else other than Baba could have waked me up? This experience of mine proved conclusively that, if we sincerely pray and surrender to Him, Baba will personally come down to render any kind of help to devotees. If the readers recall my earlier article, this is the author's second experience to the effect that Baba gives His Darshan in physical form to His devotees even now, 55 years after Maha-Samadhi.

As a further shower of His affection on us, Baba enabled us to secure the very first ticket for Abhishek, that is, we were the first to perform Abhishek and Archanana to Baba's Samadhi on Diwali day. On that night we had the good fortune to partici­pate in Palki Seva (i. e., carrying Baba's Padukas and Satka in a palanquin from Samadhi Mandir to Chavdi and back). It was a wonderful sight to see some young men dancing with ecstacy in Dwarakaayi.

I consider myself to be very fortunate that Baba has been showering His most loving grace on me continually.

C.   K. Ramanatha Chetty

Hyderabad 500027.

 

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN (July 1983)

At an invitation from our close relatives, my father arrived in Avasari Khurd, a remote village in Pune District for a change of climate.   Immediately after his arrival there, he was asked to visit the temple of Bhairavnath, the village deity for darshan as is the custom in the said village.  My father instantly agreed and made his way towards the temple of Bhairavnath.  As he entered the temple premises, he noticed a dying cow near the adjoining hall of the temple.   Some villagers, who were standing nearby, were gossiping and took no notice of the dying cow.   This somewhat irritated my father and he asked one of the villagers as to what had happened to the cow.   He was told by one of them that the cow was bitten by a venomous snake early morning and she was to be revived by performing certain customary rites in the temple.  Amazed at the villager’s statement, my father asked.  “What on earth can now save this dying cow, who is breathing heavily with tongue lolled ?  Is not this an indication of death ?”   The villager asked my father not to argue and urged him to come to the temple as soon as the performance of the rites begins.  Though my father had faith in God, he thought that it was sheer madness to try to revive a cow, which was almost dead as a result of the snake bite.   However, he hurriedly made his way towards our relative’s house and asked one of the respected elders whether it was possible to revive dying cow through performance of rites in Bhairavnath temple.   He was told that the revival of a snake-bite victim was so common an event in their village and in the vicinity that no one takes notice of it.

My father then returned to the temple.  The priest of the temple had arrived and with wet clothes on he entered the inner chamber of the temple, where the idol of Bhairavnath was installed.   The priest went in deep trance while the villagers assembled in the outer hall of the temple and forming two rows, began to ring the bells violently, reciting the incantation “Bhairavnath Changbhale” at the top of their voice to the rhythm of the ringing bells.   After about an hour, the reciting of incantation and ringing of bells reached climax and lo !   The trident erected in front of the temple door moved slightly.   The villagers were jubilant since the moving of the trident was taken to be an indication that the dying cow was sure to be revived.   After a while, the cow got up suddenly as if awakened from sleep.   The owner of the cow, who was among the onlookers came forward, patted the cow affectionately and bowed down before the deity with gratitude and deep reverence.   The villagers then dispersed.

Taken aback, my father made his way towards the house of our relative.   The topic regarding revival of the cow was opened by my father after supper and in the course of the conversation he requested one of the family members to account for the phenomenon.   He explained the phenomenon thus.

“Deity Bhairavnath” is the form of Lord Shiva and exercises control over the reptile world.   In the said village, in case of snake bite, all that we have to do is to take the victim to the temple of Bhairavnath and pray with utmost devotion.   The temple priest plays important role in revival of the victim as you have yourself noticed.   All that I can say is that there is a supreme power which pervades this Universe.   Nothing is impossible if you surrender whole heartedly to the said power with utmost devotion.   The very power violates the limits set out by science and the phenomenon such as described above occurs.

Incidentally, Sai Baba had been preaching to His followers to cultivate in them good qualities, the main quality being ‘devotion’, devotion is the basic principle on which Sai Baba’s philosophy rests.

S.N. Awachat

Bombay – 400 001.

 

SAI SAVES THE SURRENDERED (July 1983)

My daughter kum. Niveditha is an ardent devotee of Shri Sai Baba.   She was studying B.A. 2nd year in Govt.  College, Nandyal in the year 1983.   Her examination commenced from 18-5-1983.  Every day evening, after her return from the college she used to inform me that she fared well in that day’s subject by Baba’s grace.   But on 23rd May, 1983, I observed her returning home in sad and disappointing mood.   On enquiry, she, with tears in her eyes, expressed that her hope of passing the 2nd B.A. had vanished due to her failure to write the correct answers in that day’s paper Economics.  Quite sobbing, she narrated that she answered the minimum number of questions in ‘Economics’ paper, and for one question she wrote an altogether different answer which was incorrect and unconcerned to that given question.   She answered only the minimum number of questions and as she wrote a wrong answer to one question out of that minimum number for which she would get no marks, leaving aside getting minus marks, she was sure of her failure in the 2nd B.A.

I consoled her and definitely assured her that her trusted Baba would never let her down to court failure in the examination.   With tears rolling still from her eyes, she explained that she threw her entire responsibility and burden on Shri Sai Baba in answering all the question papers of previous examinations and similarly on that day too with trusted confidence in Sai Baba, she entered the examination hall and answered the questions in ‘Economics’ paper to the best of her satisfaction thinking that all her answers to the relevant questions were quite correct.  But after friends, she came to know that her answer to a particular questions was incorrect and unconcerned and as such her failure in the examination was definite.

I encouragingly told her that she did not write the wrong answer to that particular question of her own accord.   As she answered all the questions in the previous papers completely relying on Sai Baba’s mercy, she did the same in answering the questions in ‘Economics’ paper of that day and as such there was no need and necessity to discuss at large whether her answer to a particular question in ‘Economics’ paper was correct or incorrect.  Her complete surrender at the lotus feet of Shri Sai Baba alone would make the valuation officer feel that the wrong answer written by her was the correct and appropriate one to give good marks.  I repeatedly assured her of her definite success in the 2nd B.A. irrespective of her correct or incorrect answering of all the papers of 2nd B.A., as those who cast there burden on Shri Sai Baba would never face a mockery in the public.   Then and there, alongwith kum. Niveditha, I vowed to visit Shirdi with my family.   If kum. Niveditha came out successful in her 2nd B.A. examination.

However much I was encouraging and assuring her of success in the examination, as an ordinary student, she had her own doubts about her success, whenever the feeling that she wrote a wrong answer tone question in the minimum question she answered in ‘Economics’ flashed on her mind.

One day, when she went to the college as usual her friend took her to the college office to know their results as the particulars of results of 2nd B.A. were received in the office quite hesitatingly she followed her friends to the office to know the expected doom of her failure.

Lo ! to the surprise of kum. Niveditha and much to the astonishment of all her friends, she was informed of her passing in the examination in all the subjects.

She came home in the evening in the happiest mood and informed me that Baba made her pass in her 2nd B.A. in all the subjects and our joy knew no bounds.  We offered humble pranams to the all merciful Sai Baba, who would reverse any matter to bless.  His trusted devotees.

As per promised vow, we all went to Shirdi and offered our sincere prayers to Shri Sai Baba in the Samadhi Mandir and Dwarakamayi for the kindest blessings that He showered on kum. Niveditha in securing success in 2nd B.A. in all subjects despite a wrong answer to one of the minimum questions in ‘Economics’.

One who surrenders completely to Shri Sai Baba with Nishtha and Saburi, casting the entire burden and responsibility on him, would never face any unpleasantness or failure in any walk of life, irrespective of any odds and inconveniences even to-day after His Mahasamadhi in 1918.

Shri Sai Baba always rushes to rescue His devotee and to crown him with laurels of success in all undertakings, irrespective of time and place provided the devotee completely surrenders to Baba with Nishtha and Saburi.

D.L. Kanta Rao

Nandyal Taluk, Kurnool Dist (A.P)

THE THOUGHT THAT MATERIALISED (July 1983)

Although, all of us in the family are with religious bent of mind, we did not have the tasteful devotion to Shri Sai Baba, till recent times.   First, my father, suddenly with an impulse, became an ardent devotee of Sai Baba and began to perform the SAPTHAHAM (reading of the life history of Sai Baba, in a disciplined manner in seven days).  He purchased a Telugu book by Shri Ekkirala Bharadwaja for the purpose, I don’t know why, but I too got tilted towards the graceful ocean of Sai Baba’s devotion and have done the sapthaham once.   On reading the detailed account of Sai Baba’s grace, very well sketched by Shri Bharadwaja I became an ardent devotee of Shri Sai Baba.   Very recently my father visited Shirdi.   This was so sudden and he divulged his intention to none of us.  I was away at Tirupati, when he left.   On returning from Tirupati, I cursed my ill-luck for not having accompanied him, but I realized and consoled myself that one cannot visit Shirdi if Sai Baba wishes otherwise.   I must wait for the fortunate day.   With this background,   I feel myself fortunate to narrate an event that occurred very recently and wish to share the blissful experience with all the fellow devotees.

I completed the second sapthaham (as explained above) on 1-3-84 which was a Thursday.   Before going to my office, I gave Rs.28 to my father requesting him to send the amount to Shirdi.   This includes apart from three rupees dakshina Rs.25/- being the 25% from proceeds of the cheque given to me by the local All India Radio Station for my talk, which I wished to send.   While returning from office, I was thinking bout the sapthaham just completed in the morning. My father, when I gave him money for sending to Shirdi, told me that he would send it on the next day.   I was thinking about that and felt that the dakshina should be sent on the concluding day of the sapthaham itself and I felt very late, even if it was sent on the next day.  The sub-conscious mind  that was continuously filled with the chain of thoughts on Sai, felt that Sai should show something special today;  but I do not know what exactly I wanted Him to show.

Soon after returning home in the evening, two of my friends came to my home and I was speaking to them in our visitors room.   The room is just two feet away from the main. With medium height, Kashayavasthra and long curled hair man appeared.   I did not remember to have seen him anywhere in the past.   I asked him “who?” He spoke nothing, but entered into the room and handed over a book, containing receipts.   On looking at it I found a book of receipts for the donations being collected for the construction of Shri Dattatreya Ashramam.   My eyes fell at the word “Dattatreya” and felt immensely happy to give some money on this special Thursday.  Immediately I called my wife and sought money from my pocket.   She heard it as two rupees and I nodded, feeling that it would do.   But, even before calling her, I thought of giving Rs.5/-.   My heart began to long for giving five rupees.  Hence, I called my wife again and sought rupees five and handed over the book and money to the standing saint, who left immediately.   Later, when I was narrating the incident to my parents, we felt it quite wonderful.    The Omnipresent Sainath has collected His dakshina very promptly on the concluding day of my sapthaham itself and fulfilled my wish.   Alas I could neither offer the saint a seat nor respects.   The one-minute incident, on reverie, thrilled all of us with perfect devotion.  May Sainath bless all of us.

K. Rama Prasad (Manager)

Cuddapah District (A.P)

SHRI SAI’S BLESSINGS  (August 1983)

In this materialistic world everyone is after the money and none has time to think about God.  One will not face any problem or difficulty in his own life, if one has full faith on Sai Baba.  I am giving below one important event of my life.

My elder brother’s business was not running well.   He was established at Sardhana (Meerut) while I was doing my business at Muzaffarnagar (U.P).   I was doing my business at Muzaffarnagar (U.P.) I was able to recover losses in the business with Shri Sai Baba’s kripa since 1979, so I insisted on him to visit Shirdi.   He agreed, if he would get some business with Shri Sai Kripa.   It happened that I was able to have brick Kiln business at Muzaffarnagar for him with Shri Sai Kripa.   It was also decided that this business will be started by the latest fixed Kiln and chimney instead of a moving chimney, keeping in view the efficiency of the latest techniques; but there was risk in the new technique of total failure it being a new one.   It so happened  in one case .   My eldest brother is a heart patient and he takes failure seriously.   I was very much worried that if the fixed chimney failed what would happen.   I was daily remembering Shri Sai Baba for His blessings.   This brick kiln work was started in September 1981 and the construction was completed in November 1981.    Firing was to start in the second week of December 1981.   Everyone was in suspense about the success of the venture except me.  I was having firm faith in Shri Sai Baba that He cannot do harm to me.   Ultimately the day came and firing was started.  In the night the firing blocked;   but with Shri Sai Kripa the Head Mistry was saved from death.   On the next day, firing did not start.   It was at stand still irrespective of the quantity of coal consumed and the Head Mistry declared that the Chimney was a failure and that he was unable to do the work.   This disturbed all of us and everyone was upset.  I was worried about my elder brother because of his heart disease and was remembering ‘Sai Baba’ all the time with the prayer  give me some hint or clue so that I can do some thing.   I started the prayer and remained in meditation for half an hour and I went to brick kiln afterwards to watch the position.  While I was moving hither and thither, Shri Sai Baba gave me an idea that blocking of fire was due to lack of oxygen.   The Head Mistry did not agree with me.   I remained perturbed and I took decision all of sudden to pass air by opening the holes without the consent of the Head Mistry and watch the result.   The result was a miracle.   Fire started burning immediately with high flames.   I told it to the Mistry afterwards when he was happy as the problem was solved.   Since then work is going on smoothly with ‘Shri Sai Baba’s Kripa.’    In this way ‘Sai Baba’ blessed me.

S.K. Gupta

Muzaffarnagar, 251 002.

BABA COMES TO OUR RESCUE (August 1983)

It is now our experience that Baba’s spirit always follows His sincere devotees.   If the devotees are sick or stranded or needy in other respects, Shri Baba is there to take care of them.  It happened to us in the month of May 1983 when we were returning from Bombay.   The Railway authorities at V.T. issued tickets keeping the passengers in the waiting list and we were a few among them.  We did not ask for it, but having taken full fare even on the berths our names appeared only in the waiting list.   To our disappointment we saw that  we were not allotted any berths in the Madras Mail and somehow we boarded a coach intended for Madras passengers, though we were to go to Sholapur.  

We breathed a sigh of relief that we were at last in a coach; but our happiness was only momentary.   After the train left V.T. station we were informed by the Coach conductor that all berths intended for Madras were full and not a single was available and we should make our arrangements at the next station.   He could not oblige us in any manner.   When the train arrived at Dadar station our option was either to get down at Dadar, where the train halts only for five minutes or to get down at Kalyan where we might have sufficient time to make alternate arrangements.  As Kalyan would be too far, we thought of getting down at Dadar and seek accommodation in other compartments.   Accordingly we got down with out suit cases at Dadar and in a few minutes the train started.   We became panicky and we were almost certain that we would be stranded at Dadar station.   Even when the train had not started, we made an effort to get into another sleeper coach, but the inmates of that coach did not open the door on one side.  When the train left we thought that we would be stranded at midnight and our money paid for the tickets would go waste as we might be required to purchase fresh tickets for another train.  We were remembering Baba in our minds but the train left and we thought that we were rendered helpless.   In the meanwhile a Sikh gentleman opened the other door of the same sleeping coach.   He waved his hand towards us to come immediately and we rushed with our luggage to that door, kept it in a moving train and virtually we were pushed inside the compartment after us and we experienced that the moving train  which was slowly gaining momentum, reduced its speed and it almost came to a halt.   Due to great anxiety and panic I had become restless and when I sat on a seat which was available, the Sikh gentleman consoled me with his palm on my head, addressing me as “Behanji” and asking me not to worry.   The Sikh gentleman and the T.T.I. and two others sat in a part of the same compartment and they walked away at Kalyan, never to be seen again.   Some of the passengers consoled us.   As the compartment was vacant till Poona, from where students had reservations, we had a good sleep in independent berths.   Even at Poona we were not disturbed and we reached Sholapur quite comfortably.

My parents and I started thinking on reaching Sholapur who that Sikh gentleman might be.   We had no occasion to thank him though my father wanted to meet him again and express his thanks.   It is still ringing in our mind.   It must be the great Baba, who came to our rescue at the hour of our need and made us to reach our destination as scheduled and without any discomfort.   Thus we traveled in comfort by His grace and blessings, thought we were not allotted any berths or any seats in the sleeper coaches and entering into the general compartment, as everybody knows, is wholly impossible and insecure in these days.   We offer our ‘Pranams’ to the great Baba.

Kumari Usha

Daughter of D.P. Hiremath,

District Judge, Bijapur.

SHIRDI SAI VIBHUTI LEELA (August 1983)

The holy Ash from the eternal fire at Shirdi is curing many disease miraculously.   The troubles of those, who meditate on Sai Baba with firm faith and great devotion disappear without fail.   An incident is given below showing the miraculous powers of the Vibhuthi of Sai Baba.

Shri Janardhan Reddy a resident of Bolaram, Secunderabad, is a contractor.   At first, he did not believe in Sai Baba; but his wife Sulochana Devi had great devotion and firm faith in Him.   She was daily worshipping Sai Baba with deep reverence.   Janardhan Reddy had the vices of smoking and drinking liquor.   Due to excessive drinking, he had an attack of jaundice.   His kidney was also affected and he developed diabetese, but he did not inform his family members about it.   One day on 14th May, 1965 at 7. am his condition deteriorated.   His family members admitted him in Osmania Hospital.   Janardhan Reddy was only 32 years old at that time. Blood and glucose were transfused to him.   As urine was blocked, it had to be removed through a tube.   His children were terrified at his condition which worsened day by day.   He went into coma and the doctors lost all hopes of saving him.

His wife Sulochana Devi went to Sadguru Dr. Sai Kumar and prayed to him to visit her husband.   Sadguru went to the hospital and examined him and said.   “The chances of his survival are meager.  Only God can save him.”  Sulochana Devi pleaded with Sadguru to save her husband.  Consoling her, Sadguru said “There is nothing in my hands.   May Baba help you”  and gave her a small packet of Vibhuthi.

As directed by Sadguru, Sulochana Devi rubbed the Vibhuthi on her husband’s legs, chest, stomach and waist, chanting the holy words, “Om Sai, Shirdi Sai, Dwarakamai” with devotion.   She repeated by holy words upto 1.00 a.m. as she was determined to save her husband’s life.  But after that she fell fast asleep upto 3.00 a.m.

During this period between 1.00 a.m. and 3.00 a.m. Janardhan Reddy had a strange dream.   Sai Baba appeared in the dream and poured a herbal mixture in both his nostrils.   When Sulochana Devi woke up at 3.00 a.m. she saw the pillow of her husband wet and yellow.  A yellow fluid was flowing from her husband’s nose.  Becoming afraid, Sulochana Devi called the doctors on duty.   They found improvement in Shri Reddy’s pulse; but none of them realized the intervention of Sai Baba.   Next day, Janardhan Reddy regained consciousness for sometime.  Once again, there was yellow fluid oozing from his nose.   The doctors examined the patient; but they were unable to diagnose the case correctly.   On the third night, another strange incident happened.   As usual, Sulochana Devi applied Vibhuthi to her husband’s body and sitting on the edge of the bed she was chanting the holy words “Om Sai, Shirdi Sai, Dwarakamai” At about midnight, Janardhan Reddy was blessed by another strange dream.   Baba appeared in the dream and with His divine hand applied Vibhuthi on Reddy’s body.   Then Baba kicked him with His foot.   Janardhan Reddy fell from the bed with a big sound.   Hearing the noise Sulochana Devi woke up from her meditation and was surprised to see her husband lying on the floor.   The tubes supplying oxygen, glucose and blood to him along with the tubes used to remove urine were all lying on the bed as if some one removed them carefully.   Wishing to know whether her husband was alive or not, Sulochana Devi went near him.   She was pleasantly surprised to hear her husband repeating the name of Sai Baba.   He was saying, “please all of you repeat the name “Om Sai, Shirdi Sai, Dwarakamai”, worship Baba.   Baba !  Baba ! don’t leave me”   Tears rolled down Sulochana Devi’s eyes for she was very much amazed and happy to see her husband chant the name of her Lord Sai, who till that moment did not believe in Baba.  The doctors were surprised to see Janardhan Reddy speaking.   They enquired of Janardhan Reddy, as to who removed the oxygen cylinder, glucose and the blood tubes.   Janardhan Reddy told them, “My Lord, My Baba came last night and removed them.”    The doctors were unable to understand Janardhan Reddy’s words.   The chief doctor was also not able to diagnose the patient’s case correctly.   To his astonishment, he found the patient’s breathing was fast improving and there was no necessity to give him glucose or blood.   In another 14 days, Janardhan Reddy recovered completely.   X-ray, blood and urine tests revealed that everything was normal in his health and was therefore discharged from the hospital.

At last, the day dawned when Janardhan Reddy, who thought Baba to be a mere fakir, prayed to Him with deep reverence and Love.   He became an ardent devotee of Baba and gave up the vices of smoking and drinking.  Sulochana Devi brought him to Sadguru and expressed her gratitude to him.   “I cannot describe the greatness and leelas of Shirdi Sai Baba.   The all merciful Baba answers the call of His pure devotees.   We must pay our respectful thanks to Baba whose Vibhuthi is miraculously curing thousands of devotees”.

Janardhan Reddy, Sulochana Devi and their children are now leading happy lives, leaving everything to the will of the Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Ominiscient Sai Baba.

Dr. K. Ram Kumar

Secretary Sai Kumar, Vyadhi Nivarana Ashram

Secunderabad 25 (A.P)

AN APOSTLE OF SHRI SAI BABA (August 1983)

“Too many a gem of purest ray serene

The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear”

- Thomas Gray

Among the less known apostle of Baba but no means the least important was Shri R. Narayana Swamy Konar of Shri Sai Baba Darbar, Wright Town, Jabalpur. He had been a devotee of Baba for pretty long.  However, the manner in which he came to be known to the general public as a blessed devotee of Baba is itself a ‘Leela’ through which as a first step Baba’s divinity came to be realized in these parts of the country.

Shri Konar was employed as Train Examiner in the S.E. Rly.  at Howbagh, Jabalpur.  One of the conditions of his service was a compulsory medical examination every year to determine physical fitness, especially the eye-sight.  In the winter of 1954, he appeared as usual before the medical board.   When his papers reached the office, it was found that he had failed in the eye-test.  He came to know of it through his friends.   It so happened that the date coincided with the scheduled date for his annual pilgrimage to Shirdi.  He had concluded that in any case, his services would be terminated on medical grounds and he would be pensioned off.  So, without waiting for official intimation and obtaining leave either, he went to Shirdi.

When Shri Konar was away, there was a flutter in the office.   In the first place, his boss was annoyed at the casual manner of his taking law into his own hands and absenting himself as well as leaving the station on his own.  This was strange in the case of a man known for his meticulous adherence to rules.   Now this breach would mean a break in the service and would adversely effect his pension and other benefits later on when he would be retiring in due course.    Such were the officer’s remarks.   Then some one, close to him, observed that the question did not arise, that for all practical purposes, Shri Koner could be considered to have retired from the date of the medical examination which had gone against him and his present breach was purely technical, not worthy taking note of “What the hell are you talking about ?”  flared up the officer.   “Who told you that the medical examination has gone against him ?   I have before me his category ‘A’ report and for aught I know.   Konar is good enough to go on atleast for a year more.    Find out if he has returned and send for him ?”   The clerk concerned and the few officials in the know of things were mystified and could not believe their eyes.    The most surprised was Shri Konar himself on being told that he was placed in category ‘A’ by the board.  Now, it dawned upon his mind that it was a clear case of Baba’s ‘Leela’ and that he had fulfilled Himself according to the shloka.

(He makes the blind see and the fools wise)

The officer was kindness itself to Shri Konar and asked him to put up his application for leave for ex-post facto sanction, and close the whole affair.

This was a turning point in Shri Konar’s life.   From now onwards, he not only became a magnet of Baba for attracting an ever increasing number of devotees of all ages and religions but also His instrument for achieving many miraculous results in the lives of those who sought His help.   It was for getting cured of bodily and mental ills, for success in examination and interviews for promotions, for redress from evils spirits, for getting children, for success in matrimonial affairs, etc.   Hence, one remarkable thing should be noted.    Guruji, as Shri Konar came to be known to one and all later on (some even called him Narayana Baba) continued to possess the clarity of vision of category ‘A’ till the last and never used glasses.  He only put a few drops of the ‘abhisheka thirtham’ in his eyes daily.   It acted as a panaceae for all eye troubles of others too.

As long as he was in service, the enclosed front verandah of the Rly. Quarters served the purpose of a Mandir for Baba’s worship.  A band of devotees, mostly young, helped and took part in the daily ‘aarti’.   Thursdays were of course special days.  Guruji had always a saffron cloth tied over his head during the ‘aarti’ or when giving Udhi to devotees.   He had become a disciple of Abdulla Baba (There is his photo in Abdulla Baba’s cottage at Shirdi) at Shirdi and imbibed from him some incantations which he used along with Udhi to cure ills and for exercising evil spirits.   He was simple and unassuming with a child like nature which put others at ease.   Till his retirement in 1958 he celebrated Ramanavami and Mahasamadhi Day festivals on a modest scale.  For the former, Baba’s idol was taken in procession around the mohalla.   It was during this period one night after ‘aarti (I think it was a Thursday) when Guruji was chatting with one sadhu, he saw a fakir, who had all along been sitting some distance away, entering the enclosure.   As Guruji was welcoming him, the latter turned to the sadhu and blessed him saying that in due course he would become known to the public and his true merit would be recognized by them.   Presently, the latter took leave and went away.   Guruji then offered to massage the legs and thighs of the guest to which the latter did not agree at first, threatening to go away.   However, Guruji’s importunity softened him and he allowed it.   Just then, Guruji’s elder sister, who was keeping house for him, came that side.   Seeing him with a fakir at such late hour, she asked him to tell the fakir to go away.   The latter told her that it was she who would be going away.   As Guruji did not seem to heed her, she locked up all the doors, lest the self-invited guest should disappear with some articles, and went to bed.   The fakir then asked Guruji to make some tea and partook it.   Before retiring, he asked for a ‘lota’ of water to be kept beside him for the night.

Early in the morning, when Guruji woke up, the fakir was not to be seen.  It now became clear to Guruji that it was Baba himself in disguise.   Seeing the locks in position, his sister too was now convinced about it.  The ‘lota’ was half-full with water.   Guruji preserved it carefully, using it for special purpose as a panacea and always kept it filled to the original level with Ganges water.   The lady passed away shortly after this occurrence making Guruji realize that it was to this that the fakir (Baba) had cryptically referred.

Knowing him intimately as I did and having had the privilege of sharing mutual experiences of Baba’s Leelas with him, I can say without hesitation that as a rule, Guruji preferred to treasure them in his heart.

After his retirement in 1958, Guruji had a small house built with the amount of his gratuity supplemented by the financial help of one or two rich devotees.   The front hall with the verandah took up the major portion to serve as Baba’s Mandir.   It is this that latter came to be known as Shri Sai Baba Darbar at Jabalpur.   It began drawing devotees from neighbouring places extending as far as Nepa nagar, especially for the Ramanavami and Samadhi Day celebrations.   He had no issue.  To the best of my knowledge and belief, his relationship with his ‘Sahadharmini’ was platonic, his energy being sublimated in the service of Baba and His devotees.   Now he was available at all times of day and night to answer devotee’s calls and their attendance for the ‘aarti’ continued to increase, overflowing the varandah and spilling over into the street, especially on Thursday.  An hour in the afternoon, usually between 2.00 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. on Thursdays was reserved for the ‘Sumangalis’ ‘Suhasinis’ for the worship of Baba with ‘haldi, kumkum’.  The ‘aarti later in the evening, at 5.30 p.m. during October to March and 6.30 p.m. during April to September was preceded by ‘Ashtothara puja’ in which all, irrespective of caste or creed, took part.  The prasad consisting of a mixture of fried gram and parched rice from the Darbar along with the ‘Naivedya’ offerings of devotees was distributed to all.  It was a pleasant surprise to find the majority belonging to the younger age group.   With more and more persons from the business community, evincing keen interest, the celebrations for Ramanavami came to be an a grander scale than before extending to about a week, with daily cultural programmes and bhajans by various groups.   The main day’s procession with band and fire-works, covered a longer route along main roads, and took 5 to 6 hours to return to the Darbar.   On the final day, virgins were fed on a mass scale and prasadam distributed to be assembled devotees bringing the celebrations to a happy end.

The Mahasamadhi Day’s puja, a whole night function, also attracted a good number of devotees eliciting from them a generous response in terms of service and contributions.   Both the festivals were managed by a committee of responsible men freshly chosen every time.   Guruji made it a point not to handle the cash collections personally.   He also repeatedly turned down requests for creating a kind of trust with monthly contributions of members on the ground that it would inevitably lead to corruption of some kind and would detract from the dedicated approach currently obtaining.   As already indicated, he meticulously forbade the touching of his feet except by a select band of young devotees of transparent sincerity.

At the first meeting, Guruji gave the impression of being quite an ordinary man not worth fussing about.   I have the feeling that he consciously took pains to go unnoticed, as it were.  I myself must plead guilty to the charge of having thought like that in the beginning.   Only to those, who sought him out, attached themselves to him and believed in him did he come to be known by occasional flashes as a chosen agent of Baba.   Indeed, as will be seen from the examples to be set forth by and by, he communed with Baba and worlds emanating from his lips especially at ‘aarti’ time had the sanction of Baba and found fulfillment.   In other words, he was gifted with ‘Vaak Suddhi’  and Baba evidently heard his prayers of intercession on behalf of those in trouble of any kind.   He asked such persons to write out their request ailment on slips of paper which he placed before Baba where they remained till he deemed it necessary.   For each of them he lighted an agarbathi daily and prayed.   In specific cases like an examination, interview, court-case or surgery where obviously there was Baba’s sanction he offered special prayer for success by burning agarbathies continuously for the duration of each as notified in advance.   With all his childlike simplicity he was nobody’s fool.    He could easily see through cant and hypocrisy.   To persons without faith he would not give Udhi but tell them to take if from the receptacle for it before Baba.   For the different ills of persons who sought his help he administered Udhi to be taken with different sorryvehicles like water, milk, honey etc.  or Abhisheka thirtham of Baba’s Padukas with uniformly good results.   He also suggested special observances like fasts and complete reading of Sai Satcharita within a week and distribution of sweets at the end for overcoming obstacles and achieving success.   Where a person was not in a position to carry out the suggestion, he himself offered to do so in lieu.   In rare cases where obviously he did not have Baba’s approval, he declined to interfere.   Friday was the day of silence from 5.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and it was devoted to answering letters of out-of station devotees in which he was prompt.   No letter ever went unanswered.   He was never known to be so sick till the fag-end of his life as to be obliged to avoid Baba’s ‘aarti’ though he was troubled with ailments incidental to the aging of the body.  Only a week or two before the end of his earthly sojourn, he returned from a visit to Nepanagar in response to the wishes of the devotees of that place.   He attained samadhi on 6-7-81 in his 87th year, (28-10-1894 to 6-7-1981).

Dr. P.S.R. Swami

Hyderabad – 500 033 (A.P)

 

CONSCIENCE IS GOD (August 1983)

“There is no substitute for conscience, unless it is living in a small town.”    Thus goes a Danish saying.   One should cultivate to be comfortable with his conscience.  One is on firm ground so long as he could answer his conscience with ease, facility and conviction.   Even a man, doing a righteous thing, may fold up like a rudderless boat tossed about violently on a stormy sea if he were to give in for the pressures of the circumstances.   Success smiles on a man, who takes up the gauntlet and goes into action with the fortress of his own conscience as his armory.   This is what I learnt during Holi this year when I was in Shirdi along with Shri M. Hanumantha Rao, a saintly person and Shri A.V. S. Samba Murthy, a fresher to the holy precincts.

Early in the morning while sitting in the Chawdi beside the life-sized Baba’s painted photo, I saw a handsome-looking young man come into the hall with a confident swagger in his gait.   But the moment he came near Baba’s photo there was a marked change in his attitude as though he was hit by some past reminiscences with emotion spilling all over his face, he looked lovingly at the photo for a long time and prostrated himself before Him for what seemed like an eternity.   I was mildly surprised at what I was seeing.   Then I saw his whole body quacking.   When he rose his face was wet with tears.   As he slowly went out, I felt that behind those tears lay a poignant story of tragic implications amicably settled by the indomitable Baba leading to eventual triumph.   A sudden surge of boyish improse in my mind and I felt that Baba should give me too some direct experience this time to feel His living presence to covet that memory as a sacred treasure.   No sooner the thought assailed me I saw a frail-looking old man of over 70 years step in.  He came falteringly to the side of Baba’s photo and tenderly felt with this hands all over it and the surrounding tapestry.   As he did so I saw copious tears roll down his wrinkled cheeks.   Every devotee, young or old, seems to be vulcanized with gratitude no sooner he sees Baba’s photo and spills his joys and tears in spontaneous offering.

Later on we came out for breakfast.   Shri Murthy insisted on South Indian dishes of iddlis and vada.   So we went to the only Madrasi Hotel near Samadhi Mandir.   It was nearly full.   A young man was very busy catering, serving and bill collecting all by himself.   After breakfast we paid the bill, received the change and came out.   In the evening we went to see Shri Shinde in his office and there we saw the old man again.   I learnt that his pocket had been picked containing his money and the return bus passes.   It seems that it was his first visit to Shirdi and that he was a total stranger to the place and its language.   Next day I saw him again in the Dining Hall.   His predicament was much more pitiable this time as he narrated how he lost his spectacles too nearly immobilizing all his activity.   For a first visit, Baba was unjustly putting a severe test on this hapless old man, I thought.

Coming out we saw Swamy Sivaneshji near the Samadhi Mandir.  He accosted us by saying, “The Hotel Manager is on the look out for you.   Go and meet him.”   We went to the Madrasi Hotel.   The Manager said that his son informed him that we have not paid the bill.   He could recognize us because the boy saw Shri Hanumantha Rao several times with Swamy Sivaneshji.  But we were surprised at the accusation.  We explained that we have actually tendered a 10 rupee note for which the boy gave the change and that as he was doing all the odd jobs in the hotel he might not have noticed us in the rush.  He seemed convinced with the explanation and allowed the matter to let go at that.  Next day, however, before returning back, we were passing through the lane to the Chawdi for taking leave from Swamy Sivaneshji.   The Hotel Manage saw us from a distance and shouted for us.   He started straightway with a big sonorous voice before all the customers that his son has stated that he was very much sure that we have not paid the bill.   His tongue whipped like a knife cutting through butter.   We felt thoroughly humiliated.   Reposing greater faith in the infallibility of his son, the thought that he might have made a genuine mistake did not enter his filial mind.   Soon a big crowd gathered and I felt that I was literally put into the ‘dock’.   He no doubt made an offer that it was quite upto me whether to pay up or just walk away.   But that was like a Hobson’s choice and I cannot walk away and give the impression to everybody around that I simply jumped the bill by supinely accepting in what appeared to them like a gallant offer.   My pride hurt me and with a rush of anger I pushed a 20 rupee note on the counter and shouted, “Take this money if money is your primary concern and go to hell.   But I am not paying the bill which was already paid yesterday.”  So saying I rushed to the Chawdi.  The son came behind me and insisted on accepting the change.   The bill was paid all right; there was no doubt about it. But the boy was equally sure it was not paid. Here was a piquant situation.   As he was known around to be a well-behaved boy, I was chagrined to see that he was carrying the day with him seemingly convincing all and that too before the Sai Darbar!   All were looking askance at me and that was the last straw the camel could take.   Sanity taking the wings of flight, righteous anger rose in my throat and shouting all types of innuendoes.   I ordered to put the money in the Hundi if it was a must.   The young man looked at me for a moment and calmly went to the Hundi and dropped the coins into it and went away.

At the bus-stand I saw the old man once again.   Rings began to run circles in my mind.   We seem to be having parallel experiences in situations where Baba alone could have helped.   But while my behaviour was burlesque, this old man was very cool and sang-froid.   For a first visit his faith seemed to be more than a match for me.  In fact Baba seems to have picked him to be used as a scythe to hack through the base of my short-comings and pull away the wool gathered over my eyes.   Taking everything in his stride, the old man looked a picture of serene tranquility even in a situation where there was no hope of help for him.   As I began to see the dawn of light, my infallible companion, Shri Hanumantha Rao, with a subtle gesture approached the old man , took him to the bus conductor, related the whole episode and put him in the bus.  The conductor agreed to take the old man all the way to Secunderabad, 600 kms. away, without a ticket !

I felt perplexed as I could not locate where I went wrong.  I lost my aplomb as my eyes turned wet seeking Baba’s solace.   Suddenly I remembered Emmanuel Swedenborg’s saying “Conscience is God’s present in man.”   From a framed photo from the nearby stall Baba, with a mischievous twinkle in His yes,  seemed to be playfully mocking at me and saying, “You asked for it and got it.  Lessons in life must be learnt the hard way.  Nevertheless make sure your conscience is clear and I shall be always with you.  Be sure of it.  Grieve not even if the rest of the world looks askance at you.”  A very good lesson indeed my Baba taught me this time and certainly I will treasure it till my last breath.

K. Navinchander

Hyderabad – 500 457.

UDHI CURES THE INCURABLE (August 1983)

Many a devotee of Shri Sai Baba are experiencing innumerable miracles of Shri Baba in their day to day life all over the world even now.   To intensify the faith of some of those with wavering faith, I feel it a bounden duty as a devotee of Shri Sai Baba, for the last about four decades, to put forth the simple experience of mine through Shri Sai Leela with good confidence that faith in Shri Sai should be intensified with firmness of devotion.   Though Shri Sai Baba, after his appearance in Shirdi, cured diseases of the local people by using drugs, later on those who approached Him for all their ailments were cured merely by the ashes in His ‘Dhuni’ which was called ‘Udhi’.  Even today, complete surrender to Baba with the application of Udhi is the only remedy for all diseases and discomforts of the trusted.

In February 1982 my last daughter Chi. Srinija began to develop black spots on her face.  She is aged only five years.   The blackish spots were growing in size everyday.  Her charming face was looking ugly from day to day.   My ignorant wife Smt. Bhagyamma was very much worried about the situation.   I prevailed upon her to completely surrender to Shri Sai Baba and apply Udhi to the face of the girl.   She did so for some days; but there was no improvement and on the other hand, the black spots were growing in size and becoming hard to touch.   To satisfy my wife, Chi Srinija was taken to a nursing home, where the doctor is M.D. and his wife is M.B.B.S both the doctors are my close friends from a long time.

Both the doctors keenly examined Chi. Srinija with patience.   They declared that there is no medicine in English medicine to cure the disease and suggested that the only course open was to allow the black spots to grow to a considerable size when they could be operated.   They also advised me not to spend any amount on any medicines as many medicine in medical field cannot cure the disease and make the black spots disappear.   With a heavy and disappointed heart, we returned home.  To satisfy my wife, I purchased an ointment and was applying it to the spots one by one in the very presence of my wife.   After four days of the application of this ointment, we found that the spots were becoming more in number and hard and thorny to touch.   My wife, with tears in her eyes, approached me and asked me to apply Udhi on the spots on the face of the child, She realized that Shri Sai Baba alone can cure the child and surrendered to Him completely.    I assured her that the spots on the face of Chi. Srinija would definitely disappear within a week and asked her to bring the child for application of Udhi after pooja both in the morning and evening.   We prayed to Shri Sai Baba to pardon our faults and cure the child with His sacred Udhi.   We vowed to visit Shirdi in case the child regains her original charm.

Both in the morning and evening, after pooja was over, sacred Udhi of Shirdi, available with us, was being applied on the whole face of the child.   Water with some Udhi too was being given to the child both in the morning and evening.   We noticed that the development of the new spots was arrested and that the hardness of the spots too was being softened.   Lo! It is a wonder of wonders that Chi.  Srinija was with her original charming face, without any single black spot, within a week’s time and our joy know no bounds.   The wavering faith of my wife turned into a complete surrendered faith at the Lotus feet of Shri Sai Baba due to this miracle.

Later when I informed the miraculous disappearance of the black spots, within a week,  without any surgical operation or any other ointment or medicine to my family doctors, they were astonished at the wonderful effect of the sacred Udhi.   We, all the family members made a pilgrimage to Shirdi as per our vow and took darshan of Shri Sai Baba at the Samadhi Mandir and Dwarakami to the best of our satisfaction.

Even today any one, who completely surrender to Shri Sai Baba and casts his burden on Him, and applies the sacred Udhi, for him there would be nothing ‘Incurable’ with this sacred Udhi, provided the appearance is sincere, coupled with undivided attention and devotion.

D.L. Kanta Rao

Kurnool District (A.P)

 

KINDNESS (August 1983)

I feel that I am one of the favourites of my Lord at Shirdi.  As my name is Kashinath, the relation between Lord Sai and my blood has nearest affection as seen in many a cases.   I was not aware of His ‘Leela’ but ‘Leela’ came my way and I was drawn to Him like a bird.   My fate had no support of any elders till now but always I was protected by my favourite Lord.   Few instances will show how Baba loves His followers.

I am a poor clerk in the Bhilai Steel Plant and my salary, during such costly days, is very meager to manage a luxurious life.   My daughter Kum. Vandana, who was studying in Xth standard, was never expected to be married so early.   It is ‘Baba’ who got her married within 15 days, on 28-4-1977.   With a rich family of 4 to 5 lacs property.   Now she is happy at her house with two issues.   Besides this it is miraculous to mention here that at the time of her every delivery my Lord had helped and protected us nicely.   At her first delivery on 15-9-80, I was a usual reading ‘Sai Chartravli’ and while reading I felt that I should finish my reading early to attend the hospital.  And my mind pressed me early to finish my reading.   A baby was born to my daughter on the same day i.e. 15-9-80 at 12.20 p.m.   The timing of the birth was better after 2 minutes only as per our panchang.   Baba wanted me to consume time and continue to read the pothi peacefully, but my haste resulted with the happening mentioned above.

The incident on the Namkaran day also is noteworthy.   There was an accident in the village of my daughter and myson-in-law was injured for which he had to undergo a major operation due to bone fracture.   However, he was protected due to Baba’s kindness.   Let me tell you again that at the time of the second delivery of my daughter, I maintained my mental peace while reading the pothi and the result was wonderful.   On 25-4-1983 at Karnuna Hospital the birth of the child took place when I was reading the pothi at page 502, Adhyaya 36 reading as “Sakharam Aurangabadkar of Solapur had no issues and Shyama tells Baba to give one son to the lady other-wise Shyama will break the same coconut fruit on the fore-head of Baba.”   Baba laughed and promised me so I felt that it was a sign for me also.   It is a wonder that my daughter this time also got a son. My favourite Lord is so deeply looking at every one and giving us life; but in our life we are unable to pay anything to Him.  He is single handed looking every where and at every-body with His only two hands and two eyes; but lot of eyes and hands are unable to trace Him or pay Him SHRADDHA and SABURI ! I cannot express my gratitude in words; but may I tell you sir, that being an ordinary man born in a very poor family, My Lord Shri Sai had given me a melodious voice, which is a gift to me and at a lot of places I had an occasion to sing His songs.   My favourite view is always to read ‘Sai Leela,’ poems and try to sing them.   I was fortunate to sing many a times in Saidarbar Shirdi.   I had earlier written my previous experience also in the Diwali Sai-Leela of NOV – DEC 76 at page 83.

Again with high affection, I request my Lord Shri Sai to excuse us all for any type of mistakes that we may commit and let our Baba remain with us for ever.

Kashinath Lakkewar

Bhilai Nagar (M.P)

 

BELIEVE IT OR NOT (September 1983)

Last December, I and my wife had sorted out a programme to visit Bombay.   Reservations were steered well in advance.  When I was to leave, I simply showed my index finger to a picture of Shri Sai Baba saying, “I am coming to your end”.   With this, I saluated Him in a military manner.

We reached Bombay on the next day.   My brother-in-law, who is a Scientist in the B.A.R.C Bombay, received us at the Dadar station.   From Dadar, we engaged a taxi and reached Anushaktinagar, where my brother-in-law is living.   We unloaded our luggage, carried it to the lift and Lo!  We were at the 12th storey.   Luckily, one of my sister-in-law with her engineer husband and kids had also come from Delhi; other sister-in-law with her engineer husband, working in the B.A.R.C also came there with their folk.   Naturally there was hula gula.    To mention here, we have no issues.  So we passed time in playing with their children.

I asked my brother-in-law to arrange for reservation for our return journey and tickets for Shirdi for a particular date.   My brother-in-law is an influential personality.   He contacted the authorities concerned but he had to cut a sorry figure as the tickets were not available for that particular period.    You may agree with me here or not, I simply asked from within, “Well, Baba, when I have come to Bombay, will you disappoint me ?”.   On the next day, I asked by brother-in-law to try again for reservations.   To our utter surprise, we got the reservations and tickets for Shirdi in a luxury bus for the particular date.

On that appointed date, I and my wife went to Dadar by taxi.    Thereafter we stepped in the luxury bus which moved at 9 p.m.   We were told that we would be able to attend the morning aarti; but unfortunately the bus could not reach in time and by that time aarti was at the final core.

The bus was parked in the Three Star Hotel compound.   We walked a little and came inside the premises of Shri Sai.   I had glanced from every angle.  One phoolwala (flower-seller) approached us.   We hired him as a guide.   To seek an entrance for Abhishek, we were to buy tickets and we had to be in a queue.   Ah !  thank God, we were at No. 25 and 26, I counted it.   In the meantime till the booking office opened, I asked my wife that I would get in and see the temple.   She scolded me (as if I was a child), that I should not go in without taking bath.   I remarked, “Look, my dear Shrimatijee, I am a jat, I know not the ABC of this or that, I am pure and my heart has taken bath.”   So saying I slipped inside the temple.   She remained in the queue.   Ah !  What a beautiful statue of Shri Sai Baba !  I saluted before Him in the same military way.   He laughed at me.   I was so much engrossed in His laugh that I forgot as to what I had to do further.   At that time, pundits were giving Him bath with milk and water.   I went out.  I related this colourful view to my dear wife.   I again offered her to accompany with me inside. She again repeated the same thing.   On my further insistence by the grace of Shri Sai, she agreed.   I requested a man, who was near us in the queue, that we would be coming back soon and kept our air bag in the queue and we went inside again.   My wife agreed with me in all the magnetic cores.   We came out and were in the queue again.

At 7.15 a.m. we got the tickets for Abhishek.   Now the question arose, where to keep our air bag, have bath and change.   All the hotels and sarais were fully packed.    We had to leave Shirdi by 1 p.m. for Bombay.  Again I thought of Shri Sai.  “When we have come over here, why don’t You give us shelter ?”  My goodness, it may be unbelievable to you, no joke, but it is true.  A south Indian couple gestured us from the balcony of the sarai to come over upstairs.   We went up.   They allowed us to share their room; but we asked them to permit us to remain in the Verandah.   Then we took bath and changed and were prepared for Abhishek.   Our guide also brought a tray of miscellaneous articles and a bed sheet of flowers and other garlands for Shri Sai.    We took it and went near the temple for Abhishek.

Here too, being late, we missed the ticket numbers.   I asked the Santriji, wearing a red head gown with a particular type of cap.  “To look at Him and see that Shri Baba is called us to get in.”   A surprise again.   Santriji allowed both of us to get in for Abhishek.

There was an arti.   After arti, persons attending the abhishek were asked to put on the garlands on Shri Sai and on the Samadhi.   For your information, I may state that one devotee brought a big garland from Bangalore.   It was really a rare flower for us at least.   Rather it was our first time to see such a flower.  He put that garland on Shri Sai Baba.   The phool-malas which were put on Shri Sai, were again taken off and the pandit attending and receiving the garlands, threw them to the devotees who had come there for His darshan.

I had a feeling that I must get that particular garland which I have described above.  I did not tell it to anyone.   Will you believe me, the santriji asked the pundit to get that garland along with some other garlands and give it to this sahib i.e. me. Really speaking, I was stunned to know the ways of Shri Sai.   We got the prasad.

After visiting all the places at Shirdi and making some purchases we went to stand in a queue to buy tickets for lunch.  We also got tickets for Satya Narayan prasad.   We enjoyed the lunch.  It was a big hall where I can presume that at a time, some two thousand men can take food sitting on benches besides table.   There they provide food in the stainless steel dishes.

After taking lunch, we came down to our bus which was parked in the three start hotel compound.   We decorated the bus with all the garlands and there was a very sweet smell in the whole bus.   No passenger turned up till then.  For your information let me tell you that I put that particular garland, in my air bag.   Thereafter we roamed here and there.   We talked to villagers and went to see their fields.

At 2 p.m. all passengers came.   They were over-joyed with our decoration and sweet smell of the flowers.   The bus moved.   We were shown other religious places on the way.   We stopped there.   We had tea, snacks  etc.   It was sunset.   The head light of the bus was dim, hence it was running at slow speed.   However, we reached Bombay at 11.45 p.m. at 12.15 a.m. we reached home.   Everybody was waiting for us.   We divided into the dining table and while eating we related the incident to all at home.   The children of my brother-in-law asked us to open the air bag.   They found that particular garland in it.   There was ‘jhapta jhapti’ among bachha log and my goodness, the flowers were scattered all over the house.   So this was an end of our visit and it is true incident, believe it or not.  No body knows the ways of Shri Sai.   Really speaking I don’t know the ABC of worship or pujapath.     The fact is that if you have faith in Him, we can see Him and talk to Him even, like this innocent jat (i.e. me)

B. Advani

Jodhpur, (Rajasthan)

SHIRDI SAI BABA FINDS LOST PROPERTY (September 1983)

I have been a Sai devotee since the last 7 years or so.   He has shown me a lot of His Leelas.   I have been writing the same in my dairy and never had the intention of publishing any one of them.   But this miracle which took place just last month is the one I am sharing with all the Sai devotees, because I had made a vow to my Baba that I wold publish it.   So I must fulfil the vow made to my Father Baba.

I am an advocate.  I am practicing as a junior to Mr. D.S. Aiyar, a senior advocate of the Pune Bar.  Mr. Aiyar is a very kind and religious person.   It is mere Sai Baba’s grace that I have such a nice senior.   We go to court on a scooter.  I either go with him or with his son Shekhar.

On 22-2-1983, Tuesday, as usual, the scooters (his and his son’s) were parked near the Small causes Court building.  (before I continue, I must tell this that on 17-2-1983, being a Thursday, I bought from Sai Baba’s temple at Swar Gate, 2 stickers of Sai Baba and I stuck one on each of the two scooters of Mr. Aiyar)

At 2.30 p.m. Shekhar and myself were coming home and we noticed Mr. Aiyar’s scooter.   It was intact.   In the evening when I went to office I got the news that his scooter MXB 6030 was stolen from the court premises.  I was shocked.   Mr. Aiyar had even noticed the scooter at 3.30 p.m.   While going into small causes court premises.   I was shocked.   I felt very bad.   I said “Sir, (that is the way I address Mr. Aiyar)  don’t worry; Sai Baba will find out the scooter.  I will tell Him.  But the only thing is that after the scooter is found, you will have to give me Rs.2.50 for coconut and flowers.”   Then Mr. Aiyar said, “Is it? “   Do you really think that Sai Baba will find the scooter for me.?”   I Said, “Yes Sir, I have full faith in  Him.  He has done so much for me.   Won’t He do this for me? “ Mr. Aiyar said, “Let us see”.

Police complaint all over the town was made.   I started praying frantically to Sai Baba.  Now my faith in Him and His powers were under test.    I had full faith in Him.  On Thursday, I went to Sai Baba’s temple as usual and prayed.   There I asked the Panditji (Shyam by name) about the scooter.   He said ‘a thing lost on Tuesday is rarely fond.  But by Saturday evening the scooter will be found’.   Then he put two chits before Sai Baba one on which was written “will be found” and on another “will not be found” after sometime the Panditji picked up one chit.  I prayed and opened it.   “Will be found” was the answer.  I was very happy.   I thanked Baba.  I went to office and told Mr. Aiyar everything that happened in the temple.  Then on Saturday there was a small party given by one advocate, who is also junior of Mr. Aiyar.   His wife, his two sons (Raghu and Shekhar) and another advocate, myself and the junior advocate were the ones at the party.  Mrs. Laxmi Aiyar (Mr. Aiyar’s wife), who is a very kind, nice and religious lady was a little disturbed about the scooter being lost.   The cost of the scooter is now nearly Rs.10,000/- or so and Mr. Aiyar was thinking of buying another one.   I said, “Aunty, don’t worry; we will get the scooter back in tact.  Never mind, if we have to pay Rs.100/- or so towards expenses in repairing it.   I am going tomorrow to Shirdi and I will pray.   You don’t worry.  I am sure Baba will find it out.”  She said, “Never mind even if we have to spend about Rs.1,000/- for repairing it.   But I only hope that we find it out.”   Raghu and Shekhar both said that if the scooter is not found within a week then we won’t get it.  (It may be noted here that about 6 to 7 scooters have been stolen from the court premises; but no news of them had still been received)   I told them not to worry for the scooter would definitely be found.   At the dining table the topic of the scooter again came up.  The Junior advocate, who gave us the party, said,  “Maya, you put Sai Baba’s sticker on Thursday and the scooter got lost.”   I was hurt.   I said in my mind, ‘because of Sai Baba’s sticker the scooter will be found’.   I said, “Don’t worry, tomorrow I am going to Shirdi and when I come back the scooter will be found”.   Then the other advocate said, “How are you so sure ?”  I said, “You don’t know my Sai Baba’s superb powers”.

I took Re1.50 from Mr. Aiyar for putting in the box at Shirdi.   The next day I went to Shirdi.   All along I was praying to Baba that whatever time I reach Shirdi, I must get the ticket for doing Abhishek and that the scooter must be found.  Sure enough, through Baba’s grace I got tickets and did Abhishek.   That day the luster and glow that I saw on Baba’s face were really great.   I have been to Shirdi nearly 11 times; but before this I have never seen this glow on His face.   All along I could see His luminous smile.   I prayed for the scooter.   We came back the same day.

Next day (Monday) I went to office.    There will still no news about the scooter.  I was still praying.   When I came back from the court  I started complaining to Baba about the scooter still not being traced.   Then at about 5.30 p.m. I got a call from Shekhar, who told me that the scooter was “found”. My joy knew no bounds.  I told him that it was all Sai Baba’s grace.  He said, “Yes, everyone at home is also saying the same thing”.

I went near Sai Baba’s picture in my room and thanked Him and cried with you at His feet.

In the evening when I went to the office Mr. Aiyar said, “Maya, really within 24 hours of your saying that You’ll go to Shirdi and scooter will be found; the scooter was found.  It is really Sai Baba’s grace.”   The police had found the scooter on Saturday evening near “Wonderland” a building on main street.

I took from Mr. Aiyar Rs.2.50 for Sai Baba.   Everyone was shocked as none of the others, who have lost the scooters, have found them. When the Junior advocate came to office, the next day I said, “The scooter is found.   You said that after sticking Sai Baba’s sticker the scooter was lost, but I say that because of Sai Baba’s sticker the scooter has been traced.”   He kept quiet.

Yes really it is my Baba who found the scooter.  The scooter was found intact only the petrol was over, and above all Sai Baba’s sticker was also intact.

My million pranamas to my wonderful Baba.   “Cast your burden on Him and He will surely bear it for you”.

As Baba fond the mare of Chand Patil (Chapter V of Shri Sai Satcharita when the latter had given up all hopes of finding it)   He found Mr. Aiyar’s scooter for him, when he was nearly losing hopes of getting it back and buying a new one.

I once again prostrate to My Sadguru Sai Baba.

Miss Maya Sadhwani

Pune 411 001.

 

COMPASSIONATE MOTHER SAI (September 1983)

This is an incident, occurring during the terrible cyclone havoc, which rocked Andhra, when the Rail-Link connecting Madras with the capital of India was badly damaged and totally breached in some places.

My Keralite friend, who holds an important office in a famous industrial concern here at Kanpur, is a sincere and saturated devotee of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi.  He is in the practice of visiting Shirdi off and on.

During one of his such visits while he was returning to Kanpur, he could not obtain my prior Railway reservation and was anxiously waiting at the Manmad station to board the train.   After some time, when the train arrived, it was found so over packed that it was beyond any possibility to get into any general compartment.   Over and above, his presence in the office the very next day was essentially needed to attend to some important business.   Consequently there was no other alternative but to board a reserved coach as a last resort, when the train was actually set in motion.

He requested that conductor in the coach to be kind enough to allot him a seat as he was urgently required to reach his destination at the earliest possible time.   But the conductor expressed his inability as there was no vacancy and urged him to get down and he was eventually detrained at Bhusawal.

It was about 9.00 p.m. in the night and he became greatly perturbed and disappointed when he could learn from the Station Enquiry office that there was no other Jhansi-bound train in the night.   As there was no way out, he thought himself destined to spend the night in the station.   In a very depressed mood and with a sad countenance he kept on loitering in order to pass time when he noticed a saffron-clad Mahatma at the distant end of the same platform.

On close approach, he became highly fascinated to mark the most sober and graceful appearance of the Mahatma.  He was all the more attracted to find a majestic photograph of Shri Sai Baba in his possession.  My friend had a spontaneous urge to pay due regards to the Mahatma, which he had complied with in great reverence and took his seat by his side with the intention of spending the night in the ‘August Company’  of the Mahatma, to whom he ultimately narrated his sad plight.

With extreme love and confidence the Mahatma advised my friend to have ‘Saburi’. He assured him that his train would shortly be coming and he would reach his destination much earlier than the previous one, which he had already missed and as such he should have the least worry.

Surprisingly enough, shortly afterwards a through-running train approached the station in a great speed and had an instantaneous and non-scheduled halt at the very platform.   Most lovingly the Mahatma directed my friend to board the train and blessed him for a comfortable journey.   It is extremely miraculous to note that it was the fast running “Tamil-Nadu express” from Madras, which was diverted on account of the Andhra cyclonic disaster on the Bombay route via Dhond to Manmad and thereafter to negotiate the Delhi route.

My friend took leave of the great Mahatma most humbly and respectfully and approached the conductor of the train to enquire if any berth would be available to him His you knew no bounds when he informed that there were innumerable berths vacant, which he could avail with pleasure.

My friend, after being comfortably accommodated inside the train, reviewed the entire antecedents since the evening of that night.   Tears rolled down his cheeks in profound gratitude, love and reverence for the ever-watchful and compassionate mother “Sai”, who comes to the rescue of Her children in appropriate time in some form or the other !

B.G. Das

Kanpur – 208 004 (U.P)

SAI LEELAS (September 1983)

By the divine grace of Sadguru Sai Baba of Shirdi, I have been able to narrate some of my personal experiences of the Leela of the benevolent Baba.  My articles in ‘Sai Leela’ magazine have given me several friends and well-wishers all over India, whom I have never met.   I have also been fortunate to come into contact with Shri R.H. Shamdasani, founder of Shamdasani foundation, who is doing yeomen service to the humanity in the name of the saint of Shirdi.

Miraculous recovery of valuable articles :

This happened in 1981.   I was the manager of Cantonment, Trivandrum branch.   The outward registered mail used to be taken by a peon to the G.P.O for dispatch.   One day, at about 1.30 p.m. the said peon telephoned from State Bank of India where he went to deliver certain instruments on his way to G.P.O that on coming out from S.B.I. he found all the articles kept on his cycle were missing I was shocked.   The cover contained valuable articles, instruments, bonds and even foreign currency.   I asked the peon to make a thorough search in the place where he went and come back.  His search was futile as the articles were not to be found.

It was time for my lunch.   I went home very much disturbed.   In such calamities.   I used to resort to Baba’s feet.   I lighted jos sticks before Baba’s idol in my pooja room and prayed to save me from the situation.   I prayed for myself as well as for the sake of the peon who stood to lose his job on the loss of valuable articles.  I returned to the office at 2.30 p.m. and reported the matter to the higher authorities.   My boss asked me what I was going to do as I will have to answer many customers for this loss of the valuable articles.  I said I have not thought about it.   I would at first try to trace the instruments.   I was very much worried because that was the time for my promotion and this incident could go against my chances.   My colleagues gathered around me and enquired what was to be done.   I looked at Baba’s photo, which I keep on my table, and said, “let us try our best”.

Then I went to the Police station alongwith the peon and reported the loss.  The Asst.  Commissioner of Police was my class-mate.  He pacified me by offering me a cup of tea and assured to do his best; but then he made it clear that I was not going to get back the lost articles for two reasons:-

1.         If they were taken by miscreants, they will keep them for sometime and
then slowly try to make use of the same.

2.         If they were taken by mischievous children and students they will throw away the papers if no currency is found.

He added that he did not have any list of such offenders.  I was very much worried.   I could only make a silent prayer, touching Baba’s ring on my fingers.   Then wonder of wonders the Assistant Police Commissioner’s telephone rang.   He lifted the receiver and listened and said “Unni, your things have been recovered.”   I couldn’t believe my ears.  Minutes ticked and I held my breath till he put down the receiver.   He then told me that a traffic constable has found out a bundle of postal articles on the road and seeing the name of the Bank, he was kept the same for the owner to come and collect it.  The Police constable was trying to locate the owner by telephoning all over branches and at last came to know that I was the person concerned in this matter.

Baba’s hand is evident in the miraculous recovery for the following two reasons:-

1. That the lost articles were found by an honest Policeman.

2. The same Policeman took frantic efforts to trace me out to relieve my tension.

This was nothing but wonderful Sai Leela.

I reported the incident in detail to my higher authorities and with their permission I gave a cash award to the Policeman.   These are all on record.

My Promotion :-

My promotion as Chief Manager was due.   It was to take place in October, 1980.   It did not materialise.   I was much disappointed.  Some of my juniors were promoted.   I was slowly sinking into depression.   Then I was told by my higher authorities that I am one of the four candidates from my zone and the promotion would be announced in October.   My Asst. General Manager even asked me to get ready for a posting outward.   But alas!  When promotion list was announced my name was not there.  It was on a Vijaya Dashami day.   I was very much upset.   I went to Sai Baba Mandir on the day and literally wept.   I asked Baba “I have been worshipping You since long.   Is this the reward ?”   I returned home.   At about 10.30 p.m. on the same day, telephone rang.   My boss, the A.G.M was on the line.   He told me that when he came to know that my name has been dropped, he had contacted the Head office and has been assured that I am placed on the top of the waiting list and that I will be promoted in March, 1981.   Even without a representation from me who prompted my Boss to ring up the Head Office to know about my fate ?   No one other than Baba who cared for me.   This is nothing but a Sai Leela.

The promotion came in March, 81.    I was posted back to Bombay by the end of April.   On reaching Bombay, on 9-5-81 my first duty was to report to my benefactor Baba.   I went to Shirdi on 10-5-82 and prostrated at Baba’s Samadhi Mandir and distributed sugar candy before I took charge on 14th May, 81.  

Baba blesses my daughter :

My daughter had completed 20 yrs and was doing her final B.A.   It was my wish that she should do post-graduate course or appear for I.A.S as she was a bright student.  But, several marriage proposals came though we did not care much.

In March, 1981 our family, friend, Prof.  Gopal Menon, about whom I have mentioned in one of my articles in Sai Leela, brought a proposal for his brother’s son.   But, the horoscopes did not match and the good professor was disappointed.   However, he said that he would certainly find a boy for my daughter.   A few days later, Prof.   Menon told me to my surprise, “Unni, you have an eligible bachelor in your neighbourhood.   So and so’s son has just come from States after his post-doctoral training.   If you are willing, I will try.”  He gave me the boy’s horoscope and next day I got the same examined by a well-known astrologer known to me.  To my disappointment, the astrologer said the horoscopes did not match and advised me not to proceed.   I was returning from the astrologer’s house rather disappointed.   I do not know that power made me to step into the house of a friend of mine, whom I had not met for sometime and tell him what had happened.   Then the wife of that friend told me not to rely on the said astrologer’s verdict and advised me to consult another, for in their case similar thing had happened, I remembered the incident quoted in Sai Leela where Sai Baba had over-ruled the verdict of an astrologer.   Baba consoled Mrs. Tendulkar thus “Tell your son to believe in Me, to throw aside Horoscope and predictions of astrologers and palmists and go on with his studies.  Let him appear for examination with a calm mind.   He is sure to pass this year.   Ask him to trust in me and not to get disappointed (Shri Sai Satcharita Chapter XXIX)”.

I decided to proceed with the proposal and entrusted the horoscopes to Prof.   Menon who consulted another famous astrologer.   The horoscopes were found well-matched by him.   I was happy but my anxiety was not over as I was not sure whether the boy’s people were agreeable.   I remember it was on a Guru pournima day.   I had been to the Sai Baba Mandir at Trivandrum alongwith my wife, son and daughter.   We all prayed for the alliance and returned home at 7.30.   When we were distributing the prasadam, Prof. Menon’s son came from the boy’s house and announced that the boy’s people were happy with the alliance and we can proceed.   The marriage was fixed.

When the invitation cards were ready, I decided to invite Baba first, and went to the Mandir and placed an invitation card at the feet of Baba’s statue alongwith dakshina of Rs.1.25 and prayed for His blessings.    The poojari, as usual, took some vibhoothi from the silver bowl at the feet of Baba, wrapped it in a newspaper and gave it to my wife along with flowers.   When we reached home and opened the prasadam packet, my wife was surprised to find a separate small white paper packet, with the writing ‘Sai Ram’ and on opening the same she found vibhoothi inside.  It was in front of us the poojari packed vibhoothi in the newspaper and it has never been his practice to place any separate packet.   Let alone writing of Sai Ram.   This was nothing but Sai Leela.   Tears rolled down any wife’s eyes and she said Baba has accepted our invitation and everything will go on very well.

New year day at Shirdi:

I had been to Shirdi on the New year Day, 1-1-1982 as I wished to start the New year with darshan at Baba’s Samadhi Mandir.   We proceeded to Shirdi from Bombay at about 5.00 a.m. in a tourist taxi.    The Bombay – Nasik road is very clear straight road and there is no chance of losing the way particularly to a tourist taxi driver.   But, incidentally, the driver lost the way.   He took us through some isolated road via Vada and we were very anxious till we reached Nasik.   This must be only another Sai Leela to suppress my ego as I had developed an ego that I am Baba’s man and Shirdi is my place etc.  When the ego of a devotee crops up, Baba suppresses it and then guides him.   On reaching, Shirdi, I had difficulty in getting a room inspite of an introduction letter to the man-incharge.   Perhaps, Baba did not want devotees to go to Him with recommendations.

I had another experience at Shirdi which I considered as a blessing.  Before returning from Shirdi, I went to Baba’s Samadhi and asked the poojari for some flowers from the Samadhi.   The poojari readily gave.   I offered him one rupee coin as dakshina.   He refused to accept.  Suddenly he asked for the coin, took it from my hand and returned it to me after touching it to Baba’s feet saying, “take this home and worship”.   There was much crowd in the Samadhi Mandir and people were made to pass by quickly.   In this crowd, it was only Baba, who made the poojari to take the coin from my hand and to return it to me after consecrating the same.

V.K.S. Unni

Calicut – 673 –2 (Kerala State)

SHRI SAI THE GUIDING FORCE (September 1983)

“I shall be active and vigorous even from my tomb”, said Shri Baba and the devotees generally happen to find one incident or the other which proves to be very helpful for them in future.

Further, Shri Sainath has said, “I am ever living to help and guide all who come to me, who surrender to me and who seek refuge in me”.   Once you tell Him that it is He who has to do a particular work and you will only be doing whatever He governs, you will only be dancing the way He wants you to, you will find that the work is done without any efforts or hindrances.

I, like other devotees, experience a number of occasion when the timely help by Him proves to be very important for me.  Rather, He is the doer of my every big and small work as I do not believe myself as the doer of any work.   However, I would like to share with the Sai-devotees, what I experienced in connection with Baba’s activity and help.

I was married in December, 1982 and like most of the Sai-devotees, the first thing I wanted to do after my marriage was to visit the biggest shrine, Shirdi alongwith my wife.   So, I chalked out a programme to go to Shirdi and then, to go to Pune, Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar on a pleasure trip.  A suite was booked for me in one of the best hotels at Panchgani and everything else was also settled.

I, alongwith my wife, proceeded for Shirdi as per my programme.   We dropped at Belapur and got a room in a hotel to keep our surplus luggage.  After taking our bath, we went to Shirdi by bus.   Like others, we also went to Dwarkamai.   We had some pooja-rice with us, which we had to offer in the sacred Dhuni.   When we were doing so, a priest came to us and started talking about the ‘Udi’, the remains of Dhuni.   He also advised me to take some Udi with me.   Since, I was having sufficient quantity of it at my house, I told him that I do not need any more of it.   But, as he insisted that we should take some, I picked up some Udi and kept it with me after wrapping it in a piece of paper.

            We returned to Belapur and had to stay there overnight.  Next morning, my wife (who knew very little about Baba before marriage), demanded the Udi which I brought from Shirdi and told me that we had forgotten to bring it from our home.

Had Baba not encouraged the priest to ask us to take Udi, our routine of applying some Udi on our forehead and lips after morning prayers would have been disturbed for fifteen days.

How active and vigorous He is even today !   Baba has said, “My tomb shall bless and speak to the needs of my devotees”.   How much careful He is of the needs of His devotees !

He further said, “if you cast your burden on me, I shall surely bear it.”  Now, let us see how he bore my burden on himself during that journey.

We decided to get reservation for our return journey when we reached Pune.   During our onward journey.  I was told by a fellow passenger at Pune that one can get reservation for Delhi only if the application is made, at least, three weeks in advance.  We were thinking that our programme will be upset if we do not get reservation as per our schedule.  But, I thought that we can’t make any programme ourselves.   It is Lord Sainath who has to do it.

My first work on reaching Pune was to try for our reservation for the return journey and to our surprise, we got it on the date we preferred.   Which was only ten days ahead.

Next afternoon, we reached Panchgani.   When we reached the hotel and contacted the receptionist, he told us that all the suites were pre-occupied and that the suite booked for me was occupied only one hour back.   I could not blame the hotel men since, the suite was allotted to me by my employers, who have booked it for their employees permanently.  There had been double allotment by mistake.   So, I had no alternative, but, to arrange for my accommodation elsewhere.

Here also, Baba came to our rescue.  He did not only arrange good accommodation for us, but, also helped us to get a nice company, the family of a senior of mine, posted at my Head Office.   This family not only helped us in getting a suite in State Tourism Corporation rest house, but, also took us with them to the nearby places worth seeing.   In short, we had a nice stay there by His grace.   We returned to our place as scheduled after experiencing hundreds of Baba’s miracles.

In fact, if one wants to have any type of help, one gets it from Him.

Pradeep K. Ghai

Haryana State.

SAI KRIPA (September 1983)

Shri Sai Baba is watchful on His devotees.   He comes in different forms in order to help His devotees at the time of distress.   I would like to share one such incident that occurred recently.

After attending a marriage at Ongole on 25-7-1982 we had to come back to Nellore on 27-7-1982 in connection with “Sravana Mangala Vara Nomulu” ( a function which is performed by the newly wedded bride for 5 years on all the Tuesdays of  “Sravana Masam”.)   positively.   So, we had to start on 26-7-1982.   As all the buses were heavily crowded we could not catch the bus.   We had to wait upto 9.00 p.m.   My wife and myself could get into the bus when my mother and grandmother could not.   It was decided that they should come on the early hours of 27-7-1982.  They left the bus stand after we boarded the bus.  When the bus was about to start, suddenly my wife asked me to get down the bus as she felt that the others may not able to catch the bus on the next day for attending the programme.   On enquiry at the RTC enquiry office, I was informed that the last bus was at 11.30 p.m and there were no buses till 7.00 a.m.   So, we decided to go to the bride’s house at Kothapet where my mother and grand mother would be staying.   We engaged a rickshaw and went there, where we came to know that they had left for my grand mother’s friend’s house which was nearby.   On hearing the same we rushed to that house in vain.   Then I prayed to Baba that there may not be any difficulty for the next day’s programme.   We came back to the bride’s residence.   As we were engaged in chit chatting, suddenly my mother came there.   We were surprised to see her.

Then we rushed back to the bus stand.   On the way to the bus stand I asked my mother how she could come to know that we were at the bride’s house.   Then she narrated the following incident.   As the bride’s residence was full of relatives, they were in a dilemma whether to go to my grandfather’s house at Ramanagar which is far off.  On their way while they were talking to their friends, a rickshaw wallah came there and asked my mother whether they would like to have a rickshaw.   My mother told him that they did not need him.   He told her that Sundaramma and a man were searching for them and they were at the bride’s residence at Kothapet.   She was surprised to hear the same and thought that he was lying as she saw us boarding the bus.   So saying he went away. She thought it better to go over to the bride’s residence along with the grandmother.   On coming to the bride’s residence, she was surprised to see us.   Our prayer to Shri Sai was fulfilled and we cold catch the bus at 10.30 p.m. and came to Nellore by 1.45 a.m. without any problem.   Everything went well on 27-7-1982.   On Tuesday we went to Shri Sainath Mandhir at Gandhinagar, Nellore.   I was astonished as to how the rickshaw wallah came to guide them to us.   It is still afresh in our memory.

We are sure that it was Shri Sai Baba who inspired the rickshaw wallah to inform my mother about our stay at the bride’s residence; or else we would have been put to a lot of difficulty in searching for each other and could not have reached for the function in time.

            K.L.V.S. SARMA,

Karvetnagar 517 582.

THE MYSTERY OF MISSING TRIP TO SHIRDI (October 1983)

It will be interesting to note how Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi brought me half way back from Shirdi, this year, 1983 when I started as usual for my annual prayer at His lotus feet in the 27th year of my continuous visit to Shirdi, without a break.

This year 1983 I planned to go to Shirdi Shrine; but my route was via Ayodhya, Kurukshetra, Amritsar and Dwaraka as suggested by my younger brother, Shri B. Gundu Rao, retired commercial Inspector of South Central Railway, who wanted to visit these places with his wife Smt. B. Subbalaxmi, along with me.

At Vijayawada while he was getting his railway passes for his journey, as obtained by me, he inadvertently lost one of my very important particular pass, which was due for my return journey to Bangalore from Dwarka via Shirdi, without which I could not reach Bangalore, my final destination.

This loss of my pass crippled our tour programme and therefore we had to abandon our journey in toto.   The distance from Dwaraka to Bangalore is so long and so costly that I could ill-afford it as a fare paying passenger (nearly 1,000 kms and Rs.500/-)

In the circumstances, I requested my office at Madras to issue me a fresh pass in lieu of the lost one; but it was not issued and consequently I had to travel paying a fare of Rs.60/- upto Madras only.

At Madras, I requested my benevolent officer Shri S. Ganesan, the Deputy Chief Security Officer, to issue me a pass to go to Bangalore, and the credit one single pass unused by me, to my account, who magnanimously and very kindly complied with my request, by which is one pass I came to Bangalore and the other

I had to my credit to use for my trip to Shirdi later in 1983, thus to complete my 27th trip to Shirdi without a break.   I am grateful and thankful to Shri S. Ganesan, Deputy Chief Security officer and pray to Shri Sai Baba for his well-being and success.

That I lost the pass and returned to Bangalore is not important, but how and why I lost the pass is worth nothing.

The most important and interesting fact is that at the time when we were to visit Amritsar, there was political turmoil and to avoid any serious troubles or consequences in our journey to Amritsar, which we would have certainly encountered, had we gone, that my savier benevolent lord Shri Sai Baba, rightly in time, made me lose the pass and prevent us from going to Amritsar, being ill-timed and so losing the pass was a forewarner to us, by Shri Sai Baba.

It may be noted here that I am traveling to Shirdi since 26 years and never have I lost a pass and why should I lose it this year and this time ?   Is it not a wonder ?   If not to prevent us from the consequences, can only be realized and experienced only by surrendered Bhaktas.

Miracle 2 is that in this episode Shri Sai Baba has however not stopped me from going to His lotus feet for my annual prayers in 1983, thus by keeping one pass in my reserve for my journey later in 1983 to complete my 27th continuous trip, if all goes well and if He wills it.

Miracle 3 is that Shri Sai Baba took me to Vijayawada to meet a very close, old and dear friend, once a colleague and now an officer Shri L. Ramalingam, Personnel Officer, South Central Railway at Vijayawada, whom I had not met since 20 years.  The meet so arranged was also a miracle, in that, this officer who had recently come from Secunderabad, refused to sign a pass for my brother Gundu Rao and put it off for clarification for the next day.  Disappointed at his not signing the pass, my brother Gundu Rao came and complained to me that one officer by name Shri L. Ramalingam refused to sign a certain pass of his.  The moment I heard the name Ramalingam, I jumped with joy and immediately ran to see him since we had not met for nearly 20 years and we embraced each other.   My friend also was over whelmed with joy to see me and reciprocated the same sentiments.   I enquired his welfare and conveyed him the blessings of Shri Sai Baba.   But for my brother mentioning his name I would not have known nor seen him too.  See how Shri Sai Baba made us meet by not signing the pass.

Miracle 4 is that though I spent Rs.60/- for my train fare to Madras, Shri Sai Baba did not want his poor Bhakta to suffer this loss so He compensated the amount spent by getting me Rs.49/- by way of refund on irregular telegrams delivered to me which were unknown and unexpected to me.

It is thus proved beyond doubt that Shri Sai Baba is always watchful over His surrendered Bhaktas and will come to their rescue just in time of need and protect them with His Abhaya Hasta, shielding them at all times and thus save them in catastrophies, is clearly indicated in this miracle, which I hope every Bhakta will note with keen interest.

Who can know or imagine the ways and doings of Shri Sai Baba our savier, protector, guide and care taker.

B. Ramanandharao

Bangalore 560 023.

MIRACULOUS RECOVERY (October 1983)

I am a devotee of Shri Sai Baba and have read many incidents in Sai-Leela magazine how Lord Sai had helped His devotees.  This had inspired me to narrate an incident which took place recently in my life.

I was not putting on weight and sometimes R.B. cells were passing through my urine.  To find out the reason, many types of urine and blood examinations were done, x-rays were also taken, but everything was found to be normal.  So the doctor advised me to do a test of renal-biopsy which takes 3 to 4 days.   So I was admitted to hospital on 7-1-1983.   On 21-1-83 biopsy was done.   We were told that because of the ‘biopsy’ the colour of the urine may be a little reddish; but in my case, the urine continued to be red for 3 to 4 days.   It was realized then, that while doing the biopsy, the testing needle must have injected on the wrong location, and it must have injured the blood vein, which was the cause of bleeding and so the urine was red.

We were frightened and praying to Lord Sai for His help.  The doctor told that there was no medicine which could stop that bleeding, it will be healed on its own.   Like that another fifteen days passed; but the urine was still red.   Now the doctors were also worried.   It was suggested that if it doesn’t get normal within two to three days, some more tests will be required to trace the exact place of the injury and after that if necessary, surgery should be one to stop the bleeding.

My mind was full of anxiety and tension.   My parents were also much worried.  We all prayed from the bottom of our heart to Shri Sai Baba to help us and do something, so we need not have to undergo the surgery.

It seemed that our prayers were answered and one day to our pleasant surprise the urine became normal.   It was the day, just one day before when the other tests for the decision of surgery were to be done.   The doctors were also surprised, and told that it is not possible, unless it is a miracle.   After this the other test was cancelled.  Upto three to four days everything continued to be normal.  So I was allowed to move.   Unfortunately it was little too early and the injury was not healed completely.   So again the bleeding started.

It was a great shock for me and I thought that if bleeding can occur again, after everything was normal, it is very dangerous and what will happen in future if healing is not complete.   I prayed once again, day and night, with full faith to Shri Sai Baba about 8 bottles of blood and more than 100 bottles of glucose-saline were given to me during the period of one month.   Shri Sai Baba ultimately listened to our prayers and after a week the urine was once again quite clear; but this time, we did not want to take a risk, so after 15 days of bed-rest, I started to move and when I was out of danger, I was discharged from the hospital.

I am working in a bank and to avoid the hardships of traveling, I applied for transfer to the branch near my house.   By Shri Sai’s grace, I got the transfer immediately, to the branch, which is very close to my house.   By His grace I am now alright.

This incident has impressed me a lot and strengthened my faith in Shri Sai Baba even more.   I strongly believe that if you have true faith and if you remember Him from the bottom of your heart, with patience, He will certainly come to your help and fulfill your wishes.   May all have such faith towards Him and may Lord Sai Baba’s grace be showered on them.

Nita N. Parikh

Bombay – 400 019.

MERCIFUL SAI BABA (October 1983)

After Sai Nama Sapthaha at Shirdi (June ’82) the devotees of Guntur, Andhra Pradesh organized Sai Akhanda Nama Sapthaha in the month of December, 82 (11-12-82 to 18-12-82) at Sai Baba Mandir, R. Agraharam, Guntur (A.P).

Sai Baba graced the function and blessed all the devotees according to their intensity of love and devotion for HIM.  Two of such incidents are given below.

One devotee by name Smt. Varalakshmamma of Guntur was regularly participating in the Sapthaha.  She was thinking for herself that Sai should be present there as His Akhanda Nama Sankirtan was going on.  She was reminded of Lord Narayana’s declaration to sage Narada that wherever His devotees sing His name, He would be present there. Our Sai Narayan also proved literally that He was present there.  One day pooja was conducted in the name of the donors and she was given four packets of Sapthaha prasad.  Sai appeared before her and demanded His share of prasad.   She immediately took out one of the four packets from her plastic bag and passed it on to Baba.   She could not talk anything.   Suddenly Sai disappeared.   When She counted in her bag, there were only three packets there.

She immediately rushed to Mathru Shree Poolamma, a Sai Sevika doing lot of Sai Prachar work throughout Andhra Pradesh and narrated the incident to her.  (In Telugu Language “Poolu” means flowers.   Her name is Kameswaramma.  As flowers used to multiply in her hands while doing Sai Pooja, devotees dearly call her as “Poolamma”.   She was constructed a beautiful Sai temple in her native village, Nandur in A.P., Amma told Mrs. Varalakshmamma that Baba appeared to her according to her way of thinking.

Another devotee by name Smt. Kanna Ranganayakamma, Shri Sai Nilaya, Srinivasa Rao, Thota, Guntur (A.P), observed drops of water on one of the Baba’s photos hung on a wall in her residence.  Next day some of us went to her residence and observed water drops between the glass and Baba’s photo.   I asked her what might be the reason.   She replied that they are “Anandabhashpas” (drops of water flown through eyes in moods of ecstacy) as Sai was pleased with the Nama Sapthaha of ‘Om Sai Sri Sai Jaya Jaya Sai’.

I appeal to those devotees, who wish to see Sai Leela as of the above nature, to organize Ekanama Sapthahas in their respective places and see for themselves how Sai manifests Himself during the Sapthaha (seven days).   Please try one “OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI”.

D. Sankaraiah

Hyderabad – 500 004.

SAI MIRACLE (October 1983)

A true devotee of Sai Maharaj need have no fear whatsoever that He will forsake the devotee at any time.  Trials tribulations and ordeals are confronted only to be cleared, like thick fog on sunrise, by His glance and thus confirm His love and benevolence to the devotee and increase His faith.

Sai will neglect the welfare of His devotees only if the sea turned back the rivers, as stated in Sai Satcharita.  My personal experience in this regard I wish to share with my brother devotees.

Certain circumstances developed wherein I had to resign from the public sector organization where I was working for over 14 years.   I owned all the misdemeanors I was accused of, never trying to put the blame on anybody, and also gave statement accepting them.   The great injustice that pained me most was the fact that everything spoken against me was readily accepted or rather swallowed in their entirely without any attempt being made to verify or cross check as to their authenticity or to analyze possible motives which were very obvious to everyone else.  Not that I am perfect and innocent and I do have my share of guilt; but what actually aggravated the situation was not their gravity but systematic, calculated and wilfull vilification made degrade me in order to remove me from the path.   This combined with the witch-hunt of certain other individuals produced the synergestic effect making my exist a must.

The head of the particular division of the company, to which I was attached and the Personnel Manager suggested that I better tender my resignation so that the entire unpleasant episode could be closed.  As I knew the situation was the outcome of the efforts of certain individuals by their vilification, which found easy and willing reception and acceptance to my superiors, my quitting was inevitable.

I was asked to meet the head of the division, who had come down to the place of my posting, at the hotel where he was staying and I was aware of the shape of the things to come.  When I reached the reception counter of the hotel, with fluttering heart, there was the Ashirvad portrait of Baba bestowing His blissful looks down on me.

I endured silently all the humiliations heaped on me.   I could see that the issue was the outcome of personal vendetta basically, eventhough I was also guilty of certain misdeeds.   Since persecution and further witch-hunting and even suspension would be the consequence of any resistance on my part, I tendered my resignation on 31-7-82.   At that time I was assured of satisfactory settlement of my dues such as gratuity, CPF etc.  But on the next working day, which was a pay day, my salary was withheld and I realized that the Management was intending to deprive me of my dues.   I prayed to Baba and left to Him to protect me and my family since we had no savings whatsoever.

After that I made a number of appeals to the company explaining our plight and requesting for early payment and settlement of may claims.   Not a single reply was received for over 8 months.   But I had implict faith that Baba in His inscrutable way shall change the heart of the people concerned and protect us.   Every day and night was spent in agony, tension and fear, because the persons who strove for my downfall and ultimate elimination from the organization were still active and striving their utmost to see that not only that I was deprived of my rights but harass me further, if possible.

But to our surprise and happiness a letter dated 31-3-83 was received from the H.O of the company about release of my July, 1982 salary and stating that my gratuity and CPF will be also paid on receipt of ‘No Demand Certificate’ from the regional office where I was serving.   This downpour of nectar came forth from our God Baba only.   Is it not His mercy and love for His devotee which caused a miraculous and total change of heart of the people to take such a favourable decision even though every thing was against me, which was diametrically opposite to the one they were intending to take ?

Baba is always with me and the interim sufferings and turmoils we underwent were only to test our steadfastness and confirm our faith.  And also a warning and a mild punishment for my misdeeds.   He has opened my eyes and shown the path of rectitude.

Now I have made yet another appeal to the Chief executive of the company to direct revocation of acceptance of my resignation treating the same as withdrawn and re-instate me in service since at the age of 50, I am unable to get another job and the entire family is facing a gloomy future.   I am sure that Sainath shall once again prevail upon the minds of decision makers and make them recall me.  He is the ultimate decision maker.

I shall share the result of my appeal with my co-devotees when I come to know about it.

We have been visiting Shirdi occasionally and every year since 1979.   We had darshan of Baba at Shirdi during the 1st week of May, 1982.  We shall be there after the orders of Baba are received,

Sai is unparallalled.   He is our saviour.

A.S. Menon

Madras 600 031.

SABURI IS REWARDED (October 1983)

Some times, I become impatient and wonder when will my