The origins of Ganga are divine. When Lord Vishnu assumed the Vamana Avatar (a short Brahmin child-like incarnation), he visited Emperor Bali and asked for land that he could occupy with just three steps. The emperor was very proud of his accomplishments and mocked the folly of the Brahmin for requesting such a trifle. Little did He know that the person asking for the gift was none other than God. Bali consented and, lo, the Brahmin child started growing to gigantic proportions. Within just a few seconds, He occupied all the three worlds. With His gigantic form, the Lord placed one foot on earth and the second in the heavens. With just two steps He reclaimed all that belonged to the Emperor.
When the Lord asked Bali to live up to his promise of giving land equivalent to three steps, Bali placed his head in obeisance and asked the Lord to bless him.
When the Lord’s feet were in the heavens, Lord Brahma (creator) rushed to the place and bathed Vishnu’s feet with water. It is said that this holy, sanctified water assumed the form of Ganga and now runs through earth to purify countless individuals every single day.
While she has the ability to sanctify millions of sinners, she herself washes Baba’s feet. In both Shirdi and Parthi Sai avatars, Baba demonstrated this truth.
Once, Das Ganu, a follower of Baba, wanted to visit Prayag to bathe in the holy river. As he requested Baba’s permission, the latter said, “Our Prayag is here, believe me.” As soon as Ganu placed his head at Baba’s feet, streams of Ganga and Yamuna miraculously started flowing from Baba’s feet.
Ocean welcomed Baba with a garland
When Swami was on a tour to Kanyakumari, Baba was at the shore with a band of followers. As Baba stood there looking glorious like a million suns, He stood facing the waters and made an emphatic declaration: “See, the ocean is welcoming me with a garland.”
Almost immediately, a wave moved swiftly toward the shore, touched Baba’s feet humbly, and receded as soon as it had performed its worship. When everyone looked at Baba’s feet, an exquisite and extremely beautiful pearl necklace was encircling Baba’s holy feet.