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Love and Light

My Sai and I

Dear Readers! It is well known that the Infinite Majesty and Glory of the Lord cannot be captured in full measure by the human mind. However, the sweetness of His Glory can be instantly enjoyed by recounting the experiences of devotees who have contacted God, have been blessed by His Grace and chosen as His Instruments. Bhagawan Baba also says that such an exercise fosters a taste for Godward thoughts in us, and thus brings us ‘nearer ‘ and makes us ‘dearer’ to God. This Special Feature contains articles written by ardent devotees of Bhagawan describing their Experiences with Divinity, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, especially narrating ‘how’ they first came to Him! Rather more aptly, how they received His Divine Intimation! His Divine Call! We pray to our beloved Bhagawan Baba to keep us strongly connected with Him always.
Love & Light Team

Jesus has come down and is walking the earth in India

Mr. Kishin J Khubchandani

Mr. Kishin Khubchandani is a businessman and a longstanding, ardent devotee of Bhagawan Baba. He has been blessed to serve in Bhagawan’s Divine Mission for many years, and has done so tirelessly with immense love and devotion. In his role as the Zonal Chairman for Zone 9A of the Sathya Sai International Organisation, he travels extensively around 26 countries including UK, overseeing the Sai activities in this Zone. He is also the Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Charitable Trust, UK.

In 1972, there was a Coup d’état in Ghana and a young Army Officer Col. I. K. Acheampong took over the Government and became the Head of State of Ghana.

In those days due to foreign exchange difficulties, it was difficult to buy some of the household articles locally. I happened to know the family of Col. I. K. Acheampong, and during my business trips I was able to bring for his family medicines etc..

On one such trip to India, I was requested by Col. I. K. Acheampong to bring for him a ‘Taveez’ (amulet)- a locket usually made of brass or copper, that is then filled with wax. And many Muslims read the holy Quran while the Taveez is kept open with great faith, and then seal it. It is supposed to help keep the evil sprits away and protect the person wearing it. I bought this from a Mosque in Bombay and presented it to the Head of State, Col. I. K. Acheampong on my return to Ghana. But to my chagrin, Acheampong wanted to know if the Quran was read hundreds of times before the Taveez was sealed!

So, on my next trip to India, I was requested to bring another Taveez, but this time, to make sure that the Quran was read five hundred times before the Taveez was sealed. He said that he was having difficulties in managing the country!

I was told in India that I could really not know how many times say how many times the Quran had been read. But there would be no way to corroborate his claim. Naturally, I bought the Taveez which was supposed to have been sanctified by five hundred times of Quoran reading, and again presented it to Col. I. K. Acheampong on my return to Ghana.

August 1974, I was planning to travel to India again, and I informed the President’s secretary about this as I could not get him directly on the phone. Very soon the secretary returned my call and said that I must not leave Ghana until I met President Acheampong, although this might take a few days, as this was an important issue!

After a few days, one morning whilst I was in the Office, I received a message that the President wished to see me immediately. When I went to his Office at the Castle Osu, Accra, I could smell incense and I heard Sanskrit Mantras in the background in his office! I was surprised because he had asked me to bring Taveez from India, which meant that he believed and trusted in Islam and the Taveez! I wondered what had brought about this sudden change! The President then came in with a white envelope in his hand and said, “I wanted to send this message to India when I heard you were going, I thought you were the right person, that is why I asked you to wait and take the message”.

He then asked me if I knew SAI BABA! And, I was a little concerned. First, he wanted Taveez with Quran read hundred times; then he wanted a Taveez with Quran read five hundred times and now he wants me to carry a message to some BABA. I told him that there were many SAIs and BABAs in every village and town in India and he should not waste his time!

He got very upset and angry and his words were, “Jesus has come down and is walking the earth in India! And, you being an Indian do not know this?”. When I saw him so upset, I agreed to carry his message. I took the envelope from him and realised that it had the word “SRI SATHYA SAI BABA - INDIA”. I remarked that there was no address for me to find this man. He told me it might take me a few days to find him, but there was somebody by this name in India.

On arrival in India, I asked from one of my friends Mr. Asawani, whether he knew somebody called SRI SATHYA SAI BABA. His immediate reaction was, “Is he the man with the afro hair?”. I said I did not know. He advised me that I should go to the bookshop as he felt that there were some books with such a name that he had seen there recently. In this bookshop in Bombay, I found the book: “Man of Miracles” with the name “SRI SATHYA SAI BABA”, and for the first time I saw the photograph of the man with the afro hair! I bought the book and took it to the office and for the next few days my father, Mr. Asawani and myself went through the pages of the book. And suddenly it dawned on us that there may be some Truth in what Col. I. K. Acheampong has said to me.

I then went back to the bookshop to enquire for the address. The information I got was that the Managing Director of Jolly Ice Creams was his devotee and he may have the address. On contacting Jolly Ice Creams, I got the information that he lived in an Ashram, somewhere in South India, and that the best way to look for him was to start from Bangalore. My father and Mr. Asawani got very much interested. Both said that they had been looking for a Master all their lives and perhaps now they have found one! They both decided to join me and we proceeded to Bangalore.

On arrival at the Bangalore Airport, we were surrounded by taxi drivers and one of them shouted “SAI BABA”. We immediately got hold of him and he explained that there was SRI SATHYA SAI BABA at the Ashram in Puttaparthi, about hundred and sixty miles away from Bangalore. He confirmed that he was there the day before and had seen Baba. We were convinced and decided to hire him to proceed to Puttaparthi after leaving the baggage at the Ashoka Hotel in Bangalore.

We arrived in Puttaparthi around 1:30 pm; I started to enquire about the Secretary to SAI BABA in order to arrange delivery of the envelope with the Presidential Message. I was directed to a room where I found Mr. Kutumba Rao; I enquired how to deliver the message.

Mr. Rao appeared quite upset by my query, and directed that I should go and sit down in the yard outside SAI BABA’S house. He said BABA will come out at 4:00 pm and I should hold the letter in my hand stretched out for him to see the envelope. He may then accept the message from me. We followed his guidance and truly BABA did come out at 4:00 pm.

I held the envelope up with his name written in green ink. He passed me by and after a few steps turned around, took the letter from me and flipped his hand indicating that I should go towards the area where he had pointed.

There was excitement around me and I was confused. Then someone explained that not only he has accepted the message but has called me for an interview. At first I did not understand what an “Interview” was. I was asked to sit outside his interview room together with my father and Mr. Asawani.

After going around the devotees blessing them, SWAMI came to us and directed us to follow him into the room. Together with the three of us was also one other couple. All five of us sat on the floor while SWAMI sat on the chair under the picture of Lord Krishna. The Lady started to get some photographs from her hand bag for SWAMI to bless those whilst her husband sat next to her looking dazed. I sat next to the husband, and after some time SWAMI raised his arm, pulled back the sleeve of his gown, and his hand circled a few times. Suddenly, a ring appeared in his hand which he placed in the hands of the husband of the lady blessing him!

Since I was sitting next to this gentleman, I could clearly see that his fingers were long and slim but the size of the ring was very large. And I realised that the ring will not fit him. At that moment, SWAMI looked at me and smiled, picked up the ring and the man’s hand, put the ring on the man’s finger, and showed his finger to me indicating a perfect fit!

Three things happened within a minute for me:

1. A ring was materialized by SWAMI from thin air.
2. He read my thoughts on the size of the ring.
3. He definitely ‘adjusted’ the size to fit the finger of the gentleman.

Naturally, I was dazed and could not think of anything except the words of Col. I. K. Acheampong, “Jesus has come down and is walking the earth in India!”.

This was my first encounter with my LORD Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He did not give any answer to the letter, said it was enough that I had come, and “HE will see me from time to time”. We spent about 30 minutes talking about his visit to Uganda.

It would be true to say my life changed that moment. Slowly but gradually, I entered the orbit around HIM and every day that has passed by, I feel I am getting near and nearer to HIM. Soon I hope to reach the center of that orbit.

We were to leave Puttaparthi that evening. I suggested to my father that they carry on, as I would like to stay on for a day or so more, hoping HE will speak to me again. My father was advised by Mr. Asawani not to leave me alone in Puttaparthi, since he felt I was under a ‘shock’ and anything could happen. So, I had to go back to Bangalore with them. All the way to Bangalore, I was in a daze and could not believe what I had gone through. I kept wondering, ‘How can someone materialize a Ring from thin air under my very nose, read my mind and then change the size of the ring’. That night we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner; I could hardly eat….and I refused to touch alcohol and non vegetarian food!

All night the interview was going through my mind. Early in the morning, I told my father I was going back to Puttaparthi. Mr. Asawani told my father not to allow me as I may not come back! Therefore it was decided that all of us go back together. On our return to Puttaparthi, we were told that SWAMI had asked of me when HE came out for the morning Darshan. We stayed in Puttaparthi for two days, but HE never called us. We had missed the Golden Opportunity!

When I returned to Ghana, I told Col. I K Acheampong everything adding that SWAMI had send his blessings. He said he wanted to invite SWAMI to come to Ghana to bless Ghana and the Ghanains.

Since then I have been a regular visitor to Puttaparthi, sometimes three or four times a year. I have leant to admire SWAMI for the love he has for mankind. No other Avatar has come twice a day everyday for so long to BLESS , GUIDE and bring GOD closer to mankind. I do believe HE is Always with us and so is His Love.


At the Lotus Feet of Sathya Sai Baba

Mrs. Rajes Sivayogan, Bromley, UK.

Mrs. Rajes Sivayogan is a retired barrister. She is an ardent devotee of Bhagawan Baba and has served the Sathya Sai Service Organisation UK in various capacities, including as the Chairperson of its Central Council.

I heard of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in 1972. I was in the office opening my correspondence. A photograph of Swami, in the blessing pose, popped out of a white envelope. There was no sender’s name or note with it. I had, until then, never heard of Him. His radiant face and piercing eyes appealed to me but not His mop of hair! I remember looking at the photograph and exclaiming, ‘Who is this man with this funny mop of hair?’ As I was busy with my office work, I put the envelope and photograph in one of the desk drawers but was astonished to find that every now and then I opened the drawer and looked at the photograph. I found Him irresistible.

Shortly afterwards, my husband, my two sons and I visited Southern India and were on a pilgrimage to visit the six temples of Lord Subramanyam. I was brought up in an orthodox and religious Hindu family and had believed in God from my childhood. Just before our departure to India, I had found out that the photograph I had received was that of Sathya Sai Baba. I was curious to see Him but had no faith in Him at that time. I tried to find out who He was but did not succeed that time.

In 1973, a friend of mine came to stay with me. She asked if she could put a photograph of a deity in my shrine room during her stay, to which I readily agreed. Imagine my surprise when it turned out that the photograph was that of Sathya Sai Baba and identical to the one I had received in the post. She told me all about Swami and gave me some books to read, including ’Man of Miracles’, by Howard Murphet.

I avidly read several books of Sathya Sai Baba and His teachings. I realised and believed that He was a unique saint but was unable to accept Him as God. Lord Subramanyam was my God. However, I found that whenever I prayed, Sathya Sai Baba also came into my mind. I was very confused and reprimanded myself, telling myself that there was only one God and that I could not have dual loyalties. I lost sleep over this. Then Sathya Sai Baba appeared to me in a dream and I clearly heard Him telling me, “Continue to pray to your chosen God.” I was very happy when I woke up and felt a deep love for Sathya Sai Baba for putting my mind at rest and not trying to convert me. I admired and respected Him for that. However, as time went by, I started to believe in Sathya Sai Baba and prayed to Him fervently to reveal Himself to me.

I started listening to bhajans and in 1974 went to a Sai Centre and became an Office Bearer. I wanted to see Baba in the flesh and found myself often in tears wanting His Darshan in person. In August 1975 I decided to go and see Swami with my youngest son, who was then a little boy. My husband was unable to go with me but realising how anxious I was to see Baba, made all the arrangements with a friend of his in India. We flew to Tiruchirapalli (Trichinopoly) in South India and were met by our friends. They had not heard of Baba and made enquiries, but were unable to obtain directions for me.

I had no Indian currency on me as they were to give me some next morning. I was very upset and cried. I knew I had to go to Bangalore and decided to set off the next morning. Our friends were not happy but the lady decided that she wanted to accompany us, to which I agreed.

Before going to bed that night, I placed a photograph of Baba on my suitcase and prayed to Him with all my heart to show me the way to reach Puttaparthi. I remembered His saying, ‘Take one step towards me and I will take 100 steps towards you.’ Emotions got the better of me and I wept like a child. I spoke to Baba thus: “I have come halfway round the world. I have no Indian rupees on me just now and I am unable to find my way – please help me.” When I stopped crying and opened my eyes, the photograph of Baba was covered in honey. I was thoroughly excited – I had read of His leelas but could it happen to me? Next to the photograph I found an Indian rupee note and although I firmly believed He had put it there, I took it to the lady of the house. She refused to accept it, saying it was my money. The next morning my little son prayed and found a 10 rupee note. I now had 11 rupees and knew in my heart that this was Swami’s leela.

The three of us went to the bus stop to take the bus to Bangalore. My friend went ahead of me and when it was my turn to pay the bus conductor, for my son and me, he said “Eleven rupees.” The exact amount Baba had left for me! I was shocked and must have fainted for a second when my son shook me and asked me to pay the fare. I cried all the way to Bangalore.

When we reached Bangalore it was raining heavily. A rickshaw pulled up and asked us to get in. We got in and my friend said three cannot travel in one rickshaw. The vehicle sped on its way to a hotel the rickshaw man recommended and did not stop, in spite of a policeman blowing his whistle. I thanked the rickshaw man profusely and asked him the amount of the fare. He replied, “Pay me whatever you like.” I thought it was strange as I had heard of being ripped off in India, but paid him well. I entered the hotel and looked back to find no trace of the man or his carriage. I knew it was Baba in disguise and thanked Him.

We reached Prashanti Nilayam by car the next day. To my dismay there was a board saying ‘Accommodation Full’. The queue for accommodation was long as I joined it. I prayed desperately to Swami. An officer came out and asked us to find accommodation outside. As he passed me, he threw a key into my hand, saying there was one room. My Lord had heard my sincere prayer and had answered. I invited a few young girls in the queue to join us and we slept on the veranda. It was late and I had no mattress or sheets but used my saris. I was unable to sleep and kept thinking, “Will Swami see me?”

In the morning, my son and I were late for darshan, having allowed the others to use the bathroom. We got as far as the Poornachandra Hall and were asked to sit down there, as Swami was already giving darshan. We were outside the ashram premises. Swami gave darshan and then walked across to inspect the row of shops being built at that time. Suddenly He turned, saw us and walked 200 yards towards us. I fell at His Lotus Feet and burst into tears. Baba stood in front of us and said, “Do not cry – I will see you.” I did not realise at that moment that He meant He would grant us an interview. That same afternoon He sent for us for an interview before darshan.

We entered the room and Swami was standing up. I took padanamaskar. Swami looked at me, lifted me up, held my hands and said, “You have come from such a distance with so much of love. Last night you lay awake saying, ‘Will Swami see me?’ When you have come with so much of love, surely Swami will see you!” This was my first lesson of His omnipresence. He added, “You are always worried about your husband and your two sons. Do not worry. Leave all your problems here and now. I will take care of your family.

This was my first interview. I had several interviews thereafter and firmly believed that He is God and he His omnipresent. I started working actively for Baba.

Many years back my husband met with a bad car accident. The car was a write-off. The police were baffled that he was alive. They carried him out of the wreckage and apart from shock, there was not a scratch on him. My sons brought him home but told me only after I got home from work. My husband said to me, “I had a car accident and your Baba saved me.”

I went to Prashanti Nilayam to thank Swami in person. He had kept His word – He had said He will take care of my family. I was called for an interview. In the inner room I flung myself at His Holy Feet and sobbed loudly, saying, “Swami, thank you for saving my husband’s life.” He picked me up and, with the love of a thousand mothers, looked into my eyes and said, “That is my duty! That is my duty.”

I believe Baba is God and I believe in His omnipresence. I am grateful to Him for all the love and blessings that He has bestowed on me and my family.