Category Archives: Devotees Experiences

How Baba Resolves Conflicts


By The Editor, Sai Sandesh, Om Sai Mandir, Sai Mandir in Queens, Flushing, NY

Baba is the Master of the Universe and whenever He does something, it is always very simple, loving, and inspirational. In His own unique way, He establishes conciliation between two individuals even if they were at war with one another just a few moments back. Basically, Baba’s message is very simple: He wants us to love and serve everyone without any form of discrimination. Love and serve everyone! That is all He wants us to do. The rest He will handle.

We are humans, though, and differences inevitably crop up between individuals and even an avatar has to handle such issues. Talk about conflict resolution. Baba resolves conflicts in a witty, gentle, and yet masterful manner. Doing so, He brings out beautiful moral lessons for all to follow. We are presenting four real-life examples wherein Baba tactfully diffused conflicts among His children.

Treat women with respect, love them as receptacles of the Divine Mother’s energy

Once, mavsibai, anĀ  elderly lady in Shirdi, and Anna, a senior male were both massaging Baba as a form of seva. The lady was on the right side of the Lord, while Anna was on the left. As it so happened while shampooing Baba’s hands, they were both in close proximity and mavsibai, being humorous by nature, made a casual remark: “Oh, this Anna is a lewd (bad) fellow, he wants to kiss me. Even being so old with grey hair he feels no shame in kissing me.” This remark enraged Anna and he started screaming at the elderly lady. Baba did not lose the opportunity to pacify both of them and said, “Oh Anna, why are you unnecessarily raising this hue and cry? I do not understand what harm or impropriety is there, when the mother is kissed?”

Not only did Baba pacify both parties, He also brought out a beautiful lesson. It is only right to treat women with respect and adoration. If men learn to view women as their own mothers and treat them with respect, many of the modern world’s problems will be eliminated.

Do not have attachment to things; attach yourself only to God

Ramadasi was a follower of the saint Ramadas and Baba. During his visit to Shirdi, he would often sit in one place and read holy books. Despite his practices, his mind was constantly agitated and he was very attached to his earthly possessions. Baba wanted to set him right and benefit both him and others and so once Baba devised a strange play. As the Ramadasi sat to read his scriptures in Baba’s presence, Baba said that He was having intense stomach pain and therefore the Ramadasi should go to the market and fetch a certain herb (Senna Pods). The Ramadasi rushed to get the medicine. As he left, Baba took one of the books on Vishnu Sahasranam and granted them to Shama, another devotee of Baba. When Ramadasi returned, he learnt about what had transpired and flew into a rage. He took Shama to task and blamed him for using Baba as an instrument to acquire one of his favorite books. Nothing appeared to pacify him when Baba spoke calmly: “Oh Ramadasi, what is the matter with you? Why are you so turbulent? Is not Shama our boy? Why do you scold him unnecessarily. How is it that you are so quarrelsome? Can you not speak soft and sweet words? You read daily these sacred books and still your mind is impure and your passions uncontrolled. What sort of a Ramadasi you are! You ought to be indifferent to all things. Is it not strange that you should covet this book so strongly? A true Ramadasi should have no ‘mamata’ (attachment) but have ‘samata’ (equality) towards all. You are now quarreling with the boy Shama for a mere book. Go, take your seat, books can be had in plenty for money, but not men; think well and be considerate. What worth is your book? Shama had no concern with it. I took it up Myself and gave it to him. You know it by heart. I thought Shama might read it and profit thereby, and so I gave to it him.”

Baba’s words had a magical effect and the Ramadasi calmed down instantly.

Not only did Baba benefit Shama by granting him a very precious scripture, He also taught the Ramadasi to be detached, calm, and devoted. How remarkable were Baba’s methods of correcting His beloved children.

Learn to get along

When we go to a holy place, we often forget the very reason why we went there. Our purpose should be to focus on God, but inevitably we get entangled in human follies. The same happened to a lady in Puttaparthi. As she was seated in the darshan line, she was treated rudely by one of the volunteers at the ashram. The volunteer was simply trying to manage the large crowd but this devotee was sensitive and took the admonishment to heart. She wanted to react but didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, she was called for an interview that day and as soon as she was in Baba’s presence, she wanted to complain about that rude volunteer’s behavior.

Voila! What an opportunity! She decided to let it all out, forgetting completely that she was in God’s presence. What a precious chance to seek liberation, but instead she decided to express how she was treated rudely. So, when she got the opportunity, she rushed to Baba and told Him everything about the volunteer. Baba was very calm. On one hand was a daughter who was visiting Him and on the other hand was a volunteer who was residing in the ashram. Could the Lord take sides? Nay! So, what could He do to pacify both His daughters. Baba handled the situation in His own unique way and whispered in the lady’s ears, “I too am afraid of her.” What could the complainant do? She burst into laughter and realized her folly.

We are all different as human beings. Each has their own personality. When possible, we must learn to get along with each other. If not possible, then simply avoid the other person’s presence. Why quarrel and upset ourselves?

Don’t speak bad about others

We often forget that there is God in everyone. As it so happened, two brothers developed differences between each other and their dislike turned into intense hatred toward each other. On one occasion, one of the brothers spoke the most horrible things about his brethren. Baba, who was passing that way, pointed to a pig and said, “Behold how, with what relish it is gorging dung. Your conduct is similar. You go on reviling your own brethren to your heart’s content. After performing many deeds of merit, you are born a man, and if you act like this, will Shirdi help you in any way?”

It is true. Whenever someone speaks ill about us, they eat away our karmas with their own tongue. Why should we get the same bad karma by talking ill about others. Leave others to their own means and let us focus on the Lord Himself. He will surely liberate us.

Baba’s Will Prevails: Baba Cured Paralysis With a Glance


By The Editor, Sai Sandesh, Om Sai Mandir – Sai Baba’s Temple in Flushing, NY

Once, a student of Swami was seated at His feet. Although fortunate to be a student in the Lord’s educational institution, he was young and had been influenced by the ways and claims of modern education. He had heard that without God’s will even a leaf will not move. This is an ancient adage, but he wanted concrete proof of the same and so he put forward a question to Swami. The essence of his conversation was as follows:

“Swami, you say that not even a leaf will move without God’s permission. Here, I place a pen on the floor. Move it and prove this Supreme Will to me.” Baba has His own ways of teaching all of us, His children, and could He lose the opportunity to give a real life experience to one of His beloved students. Nay. Swami responded in His own way and told the child to lift the pen. He did so effortlessly. Swami then said “Ok, place it back.” The student obeyed and put the pen back on the floor.

Baba then looked at him and said, “Now lift the pen.” Much to the student’s astonishment, his arm simply did not move. He could not move his arm at all, let alone lift the pen. He had tears in his eyes as he feared that he would remain in the frozen state for a long time. With tear-filled eyes, he looked at the Lord, who was all compassion and love. The Lord said, “Ok, now lift the pen again!” Much to the young man’s delight, he could effortlessly move his arm and lift the pen.

It was then that he understood that the Lord does indeed control the entire universe and everything is His will. We may not understand His ways, but they are always beneficial for us.

A similar incidence occurred in the 90′s. A great saint-devotee of Baba, Late Dr. Rao, used to reside in Hyderabad, India. Due to a stroke, one of his hands had become paralyzed and it was very difficult for him to manage his daily chores with just one hand. Yet, with implicit surrender in Baba, he used to carry on with his routine duties without complaining. Even with that ailment, he would pray for all the Sai devotees who would rush to him for guidance and succor. Whenever he would pray to Baba for someone’s benefit, that person would definitely receive divine grace. Such was his relationship with Baba. Whenever he would sit in his meditation room, the Lord would appear in His physical form and converse with this saint-child of His. Despite his close proximity to the Lord, Raoji never requested Baba to heal him and instead continued praying for the benefit of all mankind.

One day, his family asked Raoji to pray to Baba to heal his hand and cure the paralysis. He was reluctant but upon repeated entreaties by his family, he finally conceded. That day, when he sat for prayers, the Lord appeared as usual. After the prayers, Raoji reluctantly told Sai about his paralyzed hand and conveyed the prayers of his family members. Did the Lord not know? Of course, He knew. Baba looked in the other direction as if He had not heard anything and continued conversing like the mischievous baby Krishna of yore. Raoji thought that Baba did not want to grant his request and so he kept quiet out of much respect toward Baba. Baba then suddenly said, “Look at my picture there. It is covered with dust. Go and clean it first and then continue your prayers.”

Raoji was in his late sixties and so he slowly got up and went toward the picture. He picked a piece of cloth and swiped the picture clean. It was then that he realized that he had cleaned the picture with his paralyzed hand. Baba had healed him instantly and the order to clean the picture was just a naughty play of the Lord.

Sometimes, we understand what God’s will is and yet like a naughty child, we want to have it our own way. If it is not to our benefit, the Lord will not allow us to do it. The story of Upasani Baba is a case in point. Upasani came to Lord Sai when he was forty one years old. He was in awe of Baba, but did not desire to live in Shirdi. Baba, on the other hand, wanted him to stay in Shirdi and progress spiritually under Baba’s direct guidance. Upasani wouldn’t listen, though, and left Shirdi. Baba then said, “Okay, go. I will do what needs to be done. You will be back in eight days.”

Upasani, however, had no intention to come back. He started walking away from Shirdi and continued walking for eight days. On the eighth day, he met some individuals who asked him to join them on their visit to Shirdi. By then, Upasani, had forgotten about his intention to stay away from Shirdi and he joined them. When he touched Baba’s feet, the latter joked “See, he came back in eight days.” Upasani was surprised because despite walking for eight days, he was still within the vicinity of Shirdi. How could that be possible. He thought he had walked so many miles. How did he not reach farther? It was then that he realized that it was Baba’s will that did not let him go far.

Such is the power of Baba. With His will, even the impossible becomes possible. One may ask, “What is the role of free will in our lives? What about God’s will? Are they both separate?”

These are difficult questions that only the Lord can answer best. We surmise, however, with our own understanding. It is very true that the Supreme Will moves the universe and the overall direction of our lives, but at the same time there is free will too. Let us explain our understanding further. When the owner of a pet ties a leash around the neck of the dog and takes it for a walk, the owner constantly controls the direction the dog has to walk in, yet, the dog has free will to play around within the length of the leash. He can step on the grass, tease other dogs on the road, play in the dust a little, and have some fun. But, despite this freedom, it is the owner who decides the overall direction in which the pet has to walk (in our case, toward God). This is analogous to the Supreme Will.

Finally, we do have complete free will with our reactions. If an event occurs in our life, we are hundred percent free to react to the event with happiness or sorrow. This reaction is of our own making and determines our future karma. If we accept the Lord’s will in every event in our lives, we transform our reaction into unconditional surrender and no further karma accrues. We are then completely free and on the road to unlimited, eternal bliss.

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It May be Good for Us


Sometimes, life throws unexpected tribulations at us. It is very easy to question our faith during these trying times, but we seldom reflect on the fact that our earthly journey is but a small sojourn during our vast eternal life. While God’s plan is to get us to the shores of eternity, we are comfortable with our physical form and temporary stay on this earth and remain oblivious to our real nature.

The editor is reminded of a story. A man had been through intense suffering during a certain phase in his life. At the end of his life, he was given a review of the events that had transpired during his earthly journey and the blueprint of his life appeared on sand. He was surprised to see that during most of his life, there were two sets of foot prints but during hist most difficult times, he had just one. Being a devotee of Lord Jesus, he wondered why the Lord had abandoned him during these difficult times, especially when He had promised to never abandon us. Pat came the answer, “My child, the reason you see just one set of footprints during your difficult times is because it was then that I carried you on my shoulders.” How beautiful! So much love!

It is said that if we were to lose our hand, God’s grace would change thatĀ  so that we would just lose a small piece of our nail instead.

A guru-disciple pair, too, experienced this love from Baba. Both guru and the disciple are followers of Baba. The guru was suffering from a chronic (but manageable) ailment and was patiently bearing all the associated suffering that came with the disease. The disciple was young, though, and was chiding Baba for not curing his guru in a trice, as Baba normally does. The disciple had personally experienced Baba’s powers and had witnessed Baba heal so many people. Why then was the guru not healing? he thought. Baba immediately appeared to the guru and told the saint to explain to the disciple that if He (Baba) willed, He could reverse the disease in a small fraction of a second, but that wouldn’t be good for the guru because it would cause rebirth and other karmic effects that would be harmful in the long run. Despite that, Baba had kept the disease under check and it was not progressing beyond the initial stages. It was in complete control and that, too, was a medical miracle.

The disciple then understood the message and realized that Baba always does what is good for us. Even during our periods of suffering, he eases them immensely and makes our journey as smooth as possible. He does eventually cure all our suffering, but He waits for the right time to do so and does it in a manner that benefits us. During our challenging times, it would be good to assure ourselves with the following affirmation: “It may be good for me!”

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All Powers Reign in Baba’s Divine Hands


Baba has repeatedly assured us that He holds the power to transform earth into sky and sky into earth. He has also stated emphatically that He can uplift entire mankind in the wink of an eye, but that if He were to do so, we would fall back quickly and that slow and steady progress under His protection is the proper path for humanity.

Shirdi is a unique place where people from all religious get together and offer their respects to Baba. There are no religious barriers and Baba welcomes everyone.

When Baba assumed His divine form in Shirdi, there were religious factions that often tried to incite differences between Hindus and Muslims. It is Baba’s unique charisma that worshippers from ALL religions adored Baba with absolute faith in His divinity. Each religious group, though, had their own way of approaching Baba. As is the Hindu custom, Baba was worshipped by His Hindu followers and this irked a Pathan who was then residing in Shirdi. Baba loved everyone equally and allowed each individual to worship Him according to their own faith and belief. In His mind there was no religious barrier — all were His own children.

Baba loved this Pathan, too, but he was not aware of the intensity of Baba’s love for him. One night, when everyone was sleeping in Dwarakamai, the Pathan rushed to Baba and said “These Hindus are spoiling you. I want to cut their throats while they are asleep.” Baba understood the Pathan’s heart and said that no one was to be blamed and that if the Pathan wished, He (Baba) should be killed first as He was the cause of everything. The Pathan was not convinced but somehow relented and went back to sleep.

Nevertheless, the misunderstanding still remained in his mind and he made repeated attempts to assasinate many followers of Baba. Of course, he failed in all of them because of Baba’s protection. Baba wanted to protect not only those whom the Pathan wanted to kill, but He also wanted to protect the Pathan from the sin of violence.

As it so happened, the Pathan could not hold his anger any longer and one day he decided to kill Baba and then His followers. As Baba was making His daily rounds in Shirdi, the Pathan sneaked in and lifted a weapon to hit Baba’s head from behind. Little did the Pathan know that Baba has eyes everywhere and that whether one perpetrates wrong from front or back, Baba is aware of everything. When a child is about to commit a major mistake, what can a mother do? She must stop him and correct him. No sooner did the Pathan lift the weapon, Baba turned around and with his little finger, He merely touched the Pathan’s wrist lightly. It wasn’t even a tap … just a light touch.

It was as if a thunderbolt of lightning had hit Pathan and he fell to his knees. The local villagers had to lift him up and help him to his quarters. After some time, the Pathan revived and was repentant of his act. Needless to say, he was transformed and remained humble thereafter.

Baba never cared for His life (for He was aware of His divinity), but in this manner He had saved the local villagers from death and He also saved the Pathan from committing a senseless act.

Baba Humbled a Strongman: What can the Might of Arms do Against the Will of God?

When Baba was in His eighties, a man in Shirdi used to carry Him around with his strong arms. He would gently lift Sai and place Him wherever Baba chose to be seated. As such, he became very proud of his strength and felt that the Lord needed the service of his mighty arms. He fancied that he was strong like Bhima from Mahabharata and went by that name as well.
One day, Baba decided to transform Bhima and as he tried to lift the Lord, he simply could not move Baba, let alone transport Him. Baba’s body had become exponentially heavy and no matter what he tried, Bhima could not move Baba by even a fraction of a millimeter. Bhima stood perplexed. What had happened to his strength? Did the Lord become heavier than He was a few moments back?
The Lord of Shirdi wore a mischievous smile all along but on seeing the helpless condition of His servant, compassion dawned on the Lord and He asked Bhima to try again. On this attempt, Baba became light as a feather and Bhima could easily transport Him.
It was then that the strongman understood that Baba was the Lord of all Siddhis (supernatural powers) and that at His will He could become heavier and lighter. All along Baba was simply giving him an opportunity to serve the Lord.
Baba gives all of us an opportunity to serve Him based on our innate talents, preferences, desires, and previous karmas. Such opportunities are signs of grace and we must serve the Lord humbly knowing fully well that we are but mere instruments.

If you Look to Me, I Look to you: How Baba Cured a Devotee’s Glaucoma


A Hispanic mother-daughter duo visit Om Sai Mandir every week. They never miss a single week, no matter how the weather may be. With immense faith in Baba, they come and pay their respects at the mandir and are always curious to learn about Baba and implement His teachings. Their humility and devotion are admirable.

Last week, the mother was diagnosed with Glaucoma of the eye. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, it can cause pain and annoyance to the patient and since the mother is in her seventies, it would have been one more condition to manage.

After she was diagnosed she came to Om Sai Mandir and prayed to Baba from the bottom of her heart. In her simple, child-like prayer, she asked Baba to look at her eyes and she, in turn, looked at Baba’s. It was very simple. No complicated rituals were performed. A simple heartfelt prayer was offered to Baba.

A strange miracle happened with that small interaction. She visited her doctor yesterday and the surprised doctor told her that “she was all clear!” No Glaucoma, no eye problem … nothing. She is all clean.

Baba can cure any disease, He can perform what no one can. What is impossible for the creator who made this human form? Nothing! God can do what no one else can.

A True Story of Transformation

It is very difficult to recognize an avatar. My father’s friend had misunderstood Swami and he had developed intense hatred as a result of his ignorance. Baba has His own ways, though, and it so happened that circumstances forced him to visit Puttaparthi.

As he was seated in the darshan line, he was “mentally” cursing Baba with the choicest of words. Due to the long wait in the darshan line, he was very hungry as well. He was very discrete and had not told anyone about his hatred for Swami. No one knew that he was hungry as well.
There were thousands of people seated in the ashram that day, but Swami came straight to this gentleman and looked at him with intense love. My father’s friend was surprised because he considered himself to be a true hater of Baba, and not a devotee. Baba looked at him with motherly love and said, “My child, you don’t like Me, isn’t it? It’s okay; everyone is My child. I love everyone. I love you.” Then Swami raised His divine hand and a cup of warm milk materialized in His hand. He told my father’s friend to drink the milk. “You are hungry, My child. Drink the milk.” On saying these words, Swami walked away peacefully.
Strange enough, my father’s friend drank every drop of the milk with great relish. Now, He had truly experienced Swami’s love and was surprised as to how Baba could read his thoughts and know that he was hungry as well.
He was so overpowered by Baba’s love that he became a true devotee of Baba thereafter and even started a Sai center.
We may not be able to understand God and His ways, but He knows all of us and loves us dearly.

1-800-SAI! How to Telephone Baba

No, that’s not His number. It is even easier than that.

Once, Peda Bottu, a devotee of Baba who had the good fortune to live with Shirdi and Sathya Sai Baba was sitting at the verandah in Prashanti Nilayam.
It was her habit to chant Baba’s name constantly. One night, as she was going to bed, she started chanting (mentally) “Om Shri Sai Ram, Om Shri Sai Ram …”
Suddenly, the door opened and Baba came out at that odd hour. She was shocked to see Baba. Baba immediately came to her and said, “Why did you telephone Me?” Peda Bottu was shocked as she did not have a phone. Baba then explained to her that chanting God’s name equals to calling upon Him. If you chant sincerely, He MUST come. He has no choice. That is exactly what happened to Peda Bottu.
What are you waiting for? Let us mass-call Baba’s heart line. There is plenty of bandwidth for ALL of us. His lines are never jammed — always open and awaiting devotees’ calls 24/7. And what’s better? He personally answers EVERY call — instantly!

Return Love for Hatred


When Baba arrived in Shirdi, many did not recognize Him as God. Young kids thought He was a queer person and would often pelt Him with stones. Do you know what Baba would do to those kids? Baba was strong as a wrestler but instead of getting angry with them, He would seek each child out and offer sugar candies. Such was Baba’s love.

In Puttaj_3parthi, too, Bhagwan Shri Sathya Sai Baba taught the same message — the message of love. Once, one of His devotees was traveling by plane and the same was hijacked by terrorists. As bullets were flying across, the devotee nervously connected with Baba in her heart. She asked for Baba’s guidance. Surprisingly, none of the bullets were touching her or her husband. That is the shield of Baba’s protection.

Baba suggested a strange solution. He asked her to look at the terrorists with love. The devotee followed Baba’s instructions and as one of the hijackers came close to her, he pointed his gun toward her. She looked at him with intense love. No sooner did she do so, he became extremely nervous (overpowered with love) and the gun fell off his hand. Needless to say, both husband and wife were unharmed during the entire episode.

Recent Story of how Baba Saved a Helpless Devotee


A woman in her late forties comes to Om Sai Mandir regularly. Due to ailing family members, she is the sole bread winner for the family and was forced to face an impending legal battle with a major organization. The other side had expensive legal counsel but she could not afford lawyers. A law student at the mandir helped her fill out the forms but could not represent her as he was still a student.
As she went for her hearing, the judge called out for her. When the opposing side was called out, they did not respond. How could they? Baba did not let them come on that day.
The judge told her, “Ma’m, you are very lucky! I know this organization for a long time and they have never failed to appear at a hearing. I don’t know what happened today. You win by default.”
Baba knew her condition and the fact that she had done nothing wrong, so He allowed her to win. What’s better? It has been several months and the other side has still not appealed. Jai Sai Ram!
No matter how powerful the opponent, when Sai saves us who can harm us?