Monthly Archives: February 2013

Baba Knows All Ways, Always

sai_baba_umbrellaA devotee of Baba was bed-ridden with a chronic illness. As she was struggling with her ailing health, doctors were trying their best to revive her vitals and restore her to a state of normalcy. Unfortunately, not much happened in way of progress and one night her body turned blue. It appeared as if she was going to pass away.

Suddenly, Baba and Raghavendra Swami, a divine saint from Mantralaya, appeared by her bedside. Baba gave her a packet of vibhuti and said, “Child, according to your destiny this is your time to leave earth. According to your purva karmas (prior deeds) you have to take birth for another eight lives. Fear not, though, I will save you. I will let you die eight times and resurrect you immediately in this lifetime itself. You will be freed on the eighth time and shall become a guru yourself.”

True to Baba’s words, she did pass away but woke up almost immediately due to Baba’s grace. The process repeated eight consecutive times as predicted by Baba. After the eighth instance, her health was restored and as all her karmic load was burnt to ashes, she herself became a saint, a sadguru in her own right.

She even gave divine experiences to her followers. One of her followers was about to fall once and she appeared on the scene and held her child, leading him to safety. Karmas, destiny, fate — all of them have their place in this universe but faith in God and God’s grace can ferry us through any difficult situation. He knows how to get us out of any trouble.

Baba Reciprocates Love And Only Love

When Baba arrived in Shirdi as a lad of sixteen, He was welcomed with an emotional mix of love, animosity, suspicion, jealousy, anger, and even hatred. Yet, Baba reciprocated love and only love, no matter what was thrown His way.

In fact, some ignorant young children of Shirdi (at the time) would often pelt stones at Baba. Guess how Baba reciprocated this gesture. Baba would go and run to each child who threw a stone at Him and offer sugar candy in return. Yes, even those who threw stones at Baba received sugar candy as a return gift. Baba has repeatedly said that He is pure love and nothing else. In effect, through his loving actions, Baba gave us a practical demonstration of what Lord Buddha had proclaimed during his time:


Needless to say that within a few years, many in the hamlet of Shirdi recognized Baba for who He was and started worshipping Him with utmost love and devotion.

Every avatar is subjected to intense human resistance during the beginning, but eventually the avatar conquers His way toward the fulfillment of His avataric mission. All along, the only unfailing weapon utilized by the avatar is the very potent and effective instrument of LOVE!

When Baba arrived in His form as Sathya Sai, He was subjected to the same initial resistance. The author’s father once shared a wonderful story recounting Baba’s abundant love for everone without exception. Once, the father’s friend visited Puttaparthi to see Baba. The gentleman had no interest in Baba and was apparently pushed to visit Prashanti Nilayam due to pressure from his family. As he was seated in the darshan line, Swami was busy speaking with the crowd of tens of thousands of devotees who had assembled there.

In the darshan line, the man continued staring at Baba. Though externally, he was maintaining calm internally he was abusing Baba with the choicest of volleys. None in the darshan line knew what was going on in this man’s mind but Baba is omniscient. He came straight to this man and looked at Him pointedly. Baba then addressed Him in the most loving fashion as follows:

“Child, you do not like me, isn’t it?” The man was shocked but kept quiet as Baba continued: “It is okay if you don’t like Me. You are hungry, aren’t you? How can I not know when My children are starving?” On saying this, Baba waved His hand and instantly materialized a silver cup that was filled with warm milk. Baba asked the gentleman to drink the milk. He was so shocked by the turn of events that he quietly gulped down the milk with utmost relish. On seeing him satisfied, Baba smiled with divine motherly love and moved away from there.

This was a life-changing lesson for the gentleman who subsequently turned into a very staunch devotee of Baba. It was Baba’s pure love that had transformed him.

The following words of Baba in Tapovanam always give us hope and solace:


 “The Lord of Puttaparthi protects you always; the ever-merciful holds your hand in help, never leaves you abandoned.” –Baba

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You Can’t Hide From Me

parthi_baba_mandirAs most know, Baba runs a free university where students from all walks of life gain access to free education (from kindergarten to Ph.D.). The atmosphere in Baba’s institutions is unique. Students not only gain knowledge, they develop character and become ideal citizens.

As such, smoking is not allowed on the campus. Nearly all students follow Baba’s teachings in a devoted and loving manner. One student, however, was innocently tempted to test the Lord Himself. He bought a cigarette and knowing that smoking is not allowed on the campus went to another village. There, he reached a secluded spot and after ascertaining that no one was watching went behind the bushes to smoke.

After having satisfied himself that no one saw him, he returned to Puttaparthi and resumed his classes. That same day, Baba visited his campus un-announced and walked into the class where the young boy was seated. As he approached the classroom, students rejoiced to see their beloved Lord in their midst. Swami blessed everyone and looked into the direction of the boy. “Did you smoke today,” The Lord asked.

Unaware of Baba’s vast powers, the boy said, “No Swami. I did not smoke.” Swami smiled and raised his hand toward the blackboard. Lo! A divine picture appeared on the screen displaying every move the lad had made since that morning. The journey to the village, the effort to hide behind the bushes, the act of smoking — all of it appeared minute by minute on the visual. The boy was shocked! Swami made another gesture and the screen vanished as miraculously as it appeared.

The boy was now in tears and fell at Baba’s feet, begging for mercy. Baba, who bears the love of a thousand mothers, immediately forgave the boy and advised him to adopt the path of truth and love. Needless to say, the boy was transformed and went on to become a humble devotee of Baba.

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How Baba Lit Lamps With Water — And Orange Juice

dwarakamai_shirdi_saiBaba provided a brief peek into his divine powers by performing the miracle of lighting lamps with water, instead of oil. They were the early days of Baba’s stay in Shirdi, when many villagers had not recognized His divinity. They considered him to be an ordinary renunciate.

At one point of time, the local merchants of Shirdi formed a pact and decided to cease giving Baba oil gratis. They wanted to see what Baba would do without their favors. Of course, the Lord had his own plans and wanted to use this opportunity to inculcate a few moral lessons in the hearts of his children.

When the grocers refused to provide oil, Sainath left their place unperturbed. The merchants, intent on testing Baba’s greatness, followed Sai to his place of residence, Dwarakamai. From their place of hiding, they witnessed Baba following an unusual course of action. The Lord of Shirdi took some water in his mouth and poured it into a pot, as if sanctifying and consecrating the same. He then filled all the lamps with this water and lit them. Much to the mischief makers’ surprise, the lamps burnt bright all-night.

They later repented for their act and sought Baba’s pardon. The merciful Lord immediately granted His forgiveness but urged them to be truthful in future.

Speaking of lighting lamps, once at Om Sai Mandir, we accidentally filled the lamp with orange juice. It was winter and the juice had thickened to the extent that it appeared like clarified butter (ghee). Needless to say, due to Baba’s grace the lamp kept on burning for several hours.

What is considered a miracle in the realm of mortals was really a manifestation of Baba’s will. For the one who created this universe, transformation from one form of matter (water) to another (oil) is of no significance. Not only water, Lord Sai has transformed countless devotees from ordinary to extraordinary. This, too, poses no difficulty for the all-powerful Lord. He uplifts His children from lower states of existence to saint-like conditions in the wink of an eye. The act is as easy for Him, as it is for a powerful gush of wind to uplift nearly weightless cotton balls.

Baba Always Watches Over His Children

Sri_Sathya_Sai_Baba2After attending the Sunday bhajans at Om Sai Mandir, the author was on his way home when he came across a four-year-old girl running alone on the street. An unseen voice urged the author to help the little child.

The child was very difficult to control and was impatiently hurrying to the main intersection, an area frequented by many speeding vehicles. When he questioned her about her whereabouts she did not give a definite answer and babbled strange words. It was very clear that she was lost.

How was the author to control her? She was unwilling to take his help and was intent on running in an unknown direction. It was a dilemma. If he were to force help on her, people could easily mistake his intentions. Leaving her alone was not an option either. Baba was the only one who could suggest a way out of this dilemma, and so he fervently invoked Baba’s grace.

The invisible voice again drew the writer’s attention to the girl’s forehead. There was a distinct vermillion mark, suggesting that she had just visited the Ganesh temple across the street from Om Sai Mandir. This was a wonderful clue. Next, the voice suggested, “Ask her to run a race with you. That way she won’t resist your help.”

It worked. The girl cheerfully ran in the direction of the temple. When they reached the temple’s cafeteria a group of people were frantically looking for the girl and as soon as they saw her they felt very relieved. It was a wonderful reunion — all hugs and kisses.

How did the author reach the spot just when the girl was lost? Who was the invisible voice guiding him through the entire situation? It was none other than Baba. Were it not for Baba’s help, the innocent child could have fallen in serious danger.

When devotees are in harm’s way, Baba cannot but rush to their help. This has been the experience of countless devotees. When Baba was physically present in Shirdi, a devotee visited the place to seek His blessings. As is normally the case, some villagers misguided the man into visiting a woman who offered her services to travelers.

The two engaged in a conversation and just when the man was to face spiritual downfall, the door slammed open and
he saw Baba physically standing there. Baba made hand gestures, indicating as if that you have come to seek my blessings and is this what you engage in? The devotee immediately left the place and was saved by Baba’s timely warning.

Nanasaheb Chandorkar, too, was saved from physical harm because of Baba’s vigilance. Nana was on a pilgrimage to a shrine that was situated on a hill. When he was climbing the hill, he felt intensely thirsty and extremely weak.

He prayed to Baba and at that very moment a man came to him and offered water. It need not be mentioned that the man was none other than Sainath. In fact, at that very instance, Baba remarked to villagers at Shirdi that he just gone to deliver water to Nana. None understood this comment but when Nana visited Shirdi, the purport of Baba’s remark became clear.

Our beloved Baba keeps an ever-watchful eye on His children and He ensures our safety and welfare in every way possible. He is ever vigilant and ever-ready to help everyone.

The Devotion Of A Little Squirrel

hanuman_lightIn the legend of Ramayana one cannot but help notice the mighty contribution of the little squirrel, the same squirrel that was blessed thrice. First, for being able to make a contribution to the Lord’s cause; second, for being blessed by Lord Rama; and third, for being sanctified by His holy touch, a mark of which is still borne by descendants of the squirrel race.

When in order to reach Lanka Lord Rama was getting a bridge built over the Indian Ocean, millions of members of the monkey army were gathering large stones and mountains for the construction. When the monkeys were busy constructing the bridge, a little squirrel busied itself in carrying small pebbles to the site of construction. It would run and carry small pebbles in its mouth and empty them at the place where huge stones were being assembled. The squirrel’s small size was not a deterrent to its gigantic determination and devotion.

A band of monkeys noticed this unusual behavior and tossed the squirrel out in an act of mockery. Their apparent cruelty turned out to be an act of blessing, a blessing seldom secured by even the greatest of gods, for the squirrel landed straight into the hands of the Lord Himself. [What a beautiful lesson this is. When the world tosses us out, the Lord's ever-protecting hands are always ready to save us.]

The all-knowing, ever-merciful Lord feigned ignorance for the sake of teaching the world and asked the squirrel: “What is it that you were trying to accomplish, my child?” The meek creature humbly replied, “Lord, I am very small in size and I cannot carry big rocks, but I was very eager to contribute to your cause and was therefore carrying these small pebbles in my mouth. I did not want to lose this opportunity to serve you and so I tried performing service in a manner that befits my size, strength, and abilities.”

When the squirrel fell into the hands of the Lord, three beautiful lines were imprinted on its back, and Lord Rama blessed the squirrel with the boon that all its descendants would bear the same three marks on their backs. This act was a beautiful lesson for mankind. The big works being performed by giant, able-bodied monkeys did not catch the Lord’s attention, but this little act of service that was being performed with sincere devotion ultimately won blessings.

The Devotion Of Hanuman

hanuman_lightWhen Lord Rama and Mother Sita returned to their Kingdom of Ayodhya from exile, Rama gave away many gift to all who had assembled in the audience. While giving away numerous gifts, He completely ignored Hanuman — at least that is how it appeared to others.

Mother Sita was perplexed at this apparent indifference. Her motherly heart could not see this and she immediately threw a pearl necklace in the direction of Hanuman. Hanuman, the epitome of devotion, humbly took the necklace and started biting it into pieces.

The courtiers who were present were extremely embarrassed to see Hanuman discard a precious necklace as if was a mere stone. They admonished Hanuman, to which he calmly, but fearlessly, replied: “I am breaking these pearls to see if my Beloved Lord is in them. If not, they are as worthless to me as pebbles.” Everyone was dumbfounded at this response. Hanuman then tore open his heart and to the astonishment of everyone, the image of Lord Rama and Mother Sita was clearly enshrined in his heart.

Lord Hanuman is so pure and devoted, the Lord’s physical manifestation can be viewed in his heart. It is no wonder, to this day he chants Lord Rama’s name ceaselessly. He is indeed an inspiration to countless devotees of God.

God Versus Material Pleasures


After numerous peace attempts, when the war of Mahabharata was finally declared inevitable, both Arjuna and Duryodhana visited Lord Krishna to see his assistance and blessings. When they arrived at Lord Krishna’s palace in Dwaraka, The Lord put on the act of sleeping. Duryodhana, who was arrogant by nature, stood near Lord Krishna’s head while Arjuna who was humble and devoted awaited God at His feet.

When Krishna woke up, He saw Duryodhana first. He granted both Arjuna and Duryodhana the choice of one of two things: One would get Krishna’s mighty army, full of the most sophisticated weapons and a well-trained force of millions of soldiers while the other would have Lord Krishna alone. Since Lord Krishna’s eyes had fallen on Duryodhana first, He allowed him to make the choice first.

Duryodhana thought, “What will I do with one Lord Krishna alone. I will take His army as it has countless men and women.” Convinced that it was a good idea, he said, “Lord, I choose your powerful army.”

Arjuna, on the other hand said, “Lord, I do not care for pleasures or powers, I need you and you alone.”

The rest is history. Krishna’s presence on Arjuna’s side was the sole reason why Pandavas were able to emerge victorious despite the power and might of Duryodhana’s aides and his army.

Duryodhana chose worldly objects and gains whereas Arjuna decided to follow God Himself. In the end, Arjuna not only won God’s heart, but the rest of the treasures were added on to Him as well.

Baba Gives Demonic Disease A Run


Baba’s Padukas at Om Sai Mandir, Flushing, NY

A young couple was highly devoted to Lord Shiva. They appeased Lord Shiva with intense prayers and austerities. Finally, God appeared to them and offered a boon. The devoted couple said: “Deva, we would like the boon of parent-hood.” Pleased with their request, The Lord said, “Choose whether you would like to have a wise son who will have a short lifespan of sixteen or a dullard son who will live a hundred years.”

The couple unequivocally opted for the wise son. True to God’s words, a divine child was born to the couple. As the child grew, the parents became increasingly concerned about the advent of his sixteenth year. To allay their fears, the young boy said, “Do not worry about me. I have full faith in God. I will perform intense austerities to please Him.” Accordingly, he did intense penance. Finally, when his sixteenth birthday arrived, Yama, God of Death, threw his nooze around the lad.

The boy was not afraid, though. He immediately called out to God, who vanquished Yama. It is for this reason that Baba and Lord Shiva are known as Kaala Kalaya, the one who caused death of the Lord of Death himself. Not only was the boy saved, he was granted the boon of immortality.

A similar incidence happened in Shirdi. One day, Baba called out a boy who was serving Him and said, “Come tomorrow afternoon. When you come hold on to My feet, no matter what you see do not leave My feet.” The following day, the boy came there and followed Baba’s instructions. He was massaging Baba’s feet and held on to them very tightly.

Suddenly, a demonic and ferocious-looking figure appeared on the scene and screamed at Baba: “I want the boy!” Baba responded: “He is under My protection; I won’t let you have him.” She was adamant, though, and made a move to grab the child. Immediately, The Lord of Shirdi kicked her and she flew and landed several feet away from the lad. The demonic form was terrified with Baba’s powers and ran away from there.

Then Baba smiled and told the boy, “The danger has been averted; you can return to your normal duties now.” The demonic figure was a dangerous disease that was about to devour the young child, but because he held on to Baba’s feet with love and faith, the danger was averted.

Baba Made A Young Boy Pass An Important Exam

Sri_Sathya_Sai_Baba2A student in Baba’s university was on his way to appear for an extremely important exam. It was the day of his finals and he had done his very best to prepare for the questions. Little did he know that when he was on the way to the test center, God had arranged for an even tougher exam for him — the test of humanity!

As he was on the way that day, he noticed a man in need of urgent medical attention. The slightest delay in providing emergency medical care would have meant sure death for the person. What was he to do? If he did not reach the exam on time, he would lose one full year for no fault of his own. On the other hand, if he left the man unattended, an innocent life would be lost.

After much internal debate, he decided to follow Baba’s teachings. “Love All, Serve All,” is what Baba has repeatedly taught during His entire avatar. The young boy decided to stake his career to honor Swami’s words and took the man to the hospital. After ensuring the man’s safety, he rushed toward the test center.

Upon reaching the test center, he realized that nearly half of the exam was over and he was late. Despite the setback, the young boy decided to give his best attempt and attended to as many questions as he possibly could. Upon completing the exam, he visited Baba.

In the crowd of thousands of devotees Baba approached this young boy and said, “Child, you passed God’s test today. Don’t worry about your exam. I have attended to the remaining questions Myself. You are sure to pass.” True to Baba’s words, he passed with flying colors, and in fact secured a first class on his exam.

In our daily lives, we always get a set of choices. “Me” versus “We” is often the theme of these choices.