I have seen vibhuti coming out from photographs of Swami. I have heard of it coming out of things like mats and bikes. I have regularly seen magnificent manifestations of vibhuti in Puttaparthi. But what I heard today from a very senior devotee just took my breath away - vibhuti dust materializing spontaneously from mid-air! And now that I have captured your deep interest, let me narrate the happenings in some detail.
It was the concluding session of the summer course in Indian Culture and Spirituality at the Poornachandra auditorium in Prasanthi Nilayam. I had to make a video presentation there. As I sat, awaiting my turn, I met my school Sanskrit teacher, Vedanarayan sir. Vedanarayan sir needs no introduction to those in the Sai world. Swami made him an important instrument in His mission to revive the Vedic study. Vedanarayan sir (How aptly he has been named as a child! His parents never had an idea that their son would be chanting Vedas in front of the Lord, everyday when He granted darshans. Just goes to show that Swami has a masterplan for each and every one of us, even as we are born!) recounted a fantastic experience that he had last month.
This summer, he visited many South American countries and held a Veda retreat too. Some of the things he said about those countries were fascinating. Most of the people there do not know English and they speak either Spanish or Portuguese. To help him and take care of his needs during the tour, there was a jolly guy named Marcos with him. When asked as to what he would need for his daily worship and sadhana, Vedanarayan sir asked him to get a glass, spoon and a plate to do his Sandhya worship. Imagine his pleasant surprise when he was asked back,
“Don’t you use a Panchapatram and Udharani to do it? Ask for them. Why ask for a glass and spoon?”
Vedanarayan sir also made it clear that he would not want to have even egg for he was a strict vegetarian. Again the response was pleasantly shocking,
“ Sir, haven’t the Manusmritis said that meat and eggs should be avoided? Those of us who are practicing Vedas do it with all sincerity. We don’t even eat onions and garlic.”
That really touched me. The only thing these people knew about Vedas was that Swami loves the Vedas. That was enough for them to make sacrifices, learn all the chants and also study them in great detail! (I am myself not that acquainted with the Manusmritis!)
Going ahead with the story, the Veda retreat was followed by a short trip to Trinidad and Guyana. It was in Guyana that the jaw-dropping episode took place. Some of the devotees decided to take Vedanarayan sir for a speedboat ride.
They all got on to the speedboat and began to cruise along one of the tributaries of the mighty Amazon river. The Caribbean islands are part of a huge archipelago that separates the Caribbean sea and the Gulf of Mexico. There are more than 7000 islands, islets and reefs in the region. Though Guyana is one of the few Caribbean countries which is not an island, it has hundreds of islands nearby. It was through these islands that the speedboat skimmed and darted.
After a couple of hours, the party decided to stop for lunch. They stopped at an island nearby. Even as they were walking along, a group of about 20 people accosted them with the greeting,
They were taken by surprise. They did not expect this group nor had they informed anyone that they would be stopping on this island. The stop itself was a decision that had been taken on the boat.
Sairams were exchanged and Vedanarayan sir came to know that this group of 20 consisted of devotees who had never seen Swami, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, even once in their lifetime. He wondered how they became devotees in the first place.
“I mean, if I am born in India and Swami were to take birth in Guyana, would I ever know him?”, he asked me with a smile.
The answer that some of them gave was stunning.
“He is God! He helps us every day.”
“He comes in my dreams and solves all my problems.”
“He sends me gifts and blessings when I need them the most.”
This is not surprising with so many devotees worldwide claiming to have seen Him and experienced Him. It has also been the experience of many tiny tots at Primary School in Puttaparthi!
However, in this particular case, what was even more surprising was that none of them knew about the magnificent social service projects of Swami! They were not well-versed with either His life or His history. But this much they were convinced that Swami was their Lord and God. When they came to know that Vedanarayan sir was from Puttaparthi, they felt as if Swami had visited them. (Their love for Swami was such that they saw Him in anyone from Puttaparthi!) They wanted him to speak and share experiences.
All of them gathered under a nearby roofed area without walls which seemed abandoned. Vedanarayan sir sat on a concrete slab and all others seat on plastic chairs that were hastily procured. He spoke for a while after which they asked him to chant Vedas. Once that was done, they wanted him to sing a bhajan. He began the bhajan and was midway through it when it happened!
Behind the last row of devotees was a huge cloud of dust.
“It was as if open bags of cement had suddenly been dropped. Only that there was no sound.”
Everyone was taken aback and wondered what it was. Their wonder soon gave way to tears of joy when they saw that it was vibhuti. There seemed to have been a cloudburst of vibhuti! ONe lady who works as a maid was fully bathed in that vibhuti shower.
“And this was vibhuti materializing from thin air in front of our eyes. I have never seen such a sight in my life. I was shocked into silence and awe”, Vedanarayan sir said.
“Did you take a photo sir?”, I asked.
“I feel so bad now. But trust me, I was too excited and numbed to even think when it happened!”
And so, I have no photograph to post of that episode. I also feel bad that I have no photo. But I feel even more bad that I do not have a photo of Vedanarayan sir’s face as he narrated the episode to me. It was a face that had seen God!
To conclude, I want to quote the words of a 6 year old girl in Boston. When Vedanarayan sir asked her how she felt about Swami leaving His physical frame, she replied in all sweetness,
“It is only fair that He left the physical frame. He was available only for those at Puttaparthi and those that went to Puttaparthi. Now, in His cosmic form, He is available for all - even those that cannot get to Puttaparthi!”
No wonder that the children share a special bond with Swami
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srinivasan on December 19, 2013:
just go on recollecting the compassionate swami's gracious merciful eyes watching individually on eachone of us all the time previously,, now and ever
sudha satish on July 30, 2013:
thanx aravind, for all the wonderful pictures of vibhuti miracles at ur plaCE and other places....awesome and amazing......sairam
kavir on November 02, 2012:
sairam Aravind, great story! thank you for always inspiring us, you write so well ! may Swami bless the noble work you do
S on September 19, 2012:
Lovely article. Actually, sir was named Vednarayan by Swami, as a matter of fact. :)
saisarannaga on September 17, 2012:
Sairam! I am reading this from the postings of yahoo group, saibaba list. Though i stopped posting in hub pages, i enjoy your articles every now and then which is of great service to all. May Swami bless you all so that you can share more such stories and incidents.
Basanthie Sewsunker on September 16, 2012:
Om Sai Ram
Swami is omnipresent. Sairam. Thanks for shaing.
Jai Sai Ram
VASUDEVAN on September 15, 2012:
ITS HIS USUAL GIMMICKS AND NO DOUBT HE IS ABOVE GOD
AND WE ARE ALL BLESSED TO BE AT PARTHY ALL THESRE YEARS
Prashant Nayampalli on June 17, 2012:
I am sure there will be many more such miracles which we will get to know, experience and enjoy through the great medium of internet.
Martin on June 14, 2012:
My heart is melting; eyes get wet; As the 6 year old girl in Boston smiled and put words of Baba through her tiny tongue; now God omnipresent Sai Baba is felt inside us a lot than when He was with body in Puttaparthy, Martin, Keralite
VSM - TX on June 13, 2012:
Sai Ram --- Swami is the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresence --- I disagree with that little girl - Swami has ALWAYS been available for us all, whether we got a chance to visit Puttapurthi or not. Thankfully I got to see him - it is only by His will I was able too - thank you my love, Swami :)
v sai saraswuthi on June 12, 2012:
beautiful and surprised to know how Vedas have an impact even in far off countries and how they are getting their share of respect in the Universe.
As far as Swamy's miracles are concerned ....they are soo heart touching and inspiring. No one can just predict that it is going to happen the same way every time.
Love you Swamy.
Sunil Teotia on June 12, 2012:
Jai Sai Ram!!!
Padman Pillai on June 11, 2012:
Amazing! All things are possible with GOD! Praise the Lord!
Madhavi Alapaty on June 11, 2012:
Thank you for sharing this article..it is very inspiring..sometimes i feel that i didn't make enough visits to see SWAMI in parthi..but this article gives some feeling that i don't need to make those trips and i can see HIM in my prayer room everyday and every minute of it...when reading this article i felt like my heart is melting and i am able to feel and sense SWAMI in all of them.
Roy Ramesh on June 11, 2012:
That's to tell all of us Swami is watching us all the while in our heart Singapore
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on June 11, 2012:
@ Sai - thank you... I noticed that there are a few more countries too which are not islands. I have made the change in the article accordingly. Thank you so much.
Sai on June 11, 2012:
Suriname is also a Caribbean country that is not an island :D
Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on June 11, 2012:
@ An Impressed reader - You are sharp in noticing subtle trends! :)
You rightly put it... I said that I was no longer amazed at vibhuti materializations and the next day HE presents me with something that makes that statement bite the dust!
You are very right about the ignorance that is prevalent with regard to the Vedas....I have also been inspired to study them more! :)
Thank you for your valuable comment...
An Impressed Reader on June 11, 2012:
Wouldn't agree to be taken as 'usual' would he?
You said you are not surprised at Vibhuthi manifestations and dreams anymore and he provided you with a variant and managed to evoke awe all over again :)
Nice post brother ..
Very heartening to see how Swami has reached out to every corner of the world ..Was amazed at their faith and knowledge in the Vedas ..
It seems to be a rule in the world that we would not realise the value of what we have in hand .. How spartan is our knowledge about the Vedas in spite of it having originated in our country (Of course there are quite a few people who have taken the effort to know about it and learn it ..Am talking about the majority here)
Thanks to Swami, it has been revived .. And going by the fact that nothing initiated by Swami would ever fail, the awareness is sure to spread in times to come ..
Radha Hardin on June 11, 2012:
Swami is GOD. NO DOUBT
Udayasankar, Indonesia on June 11, 2012:
Sairam g8. We believe His Omni Presence hence His Leelas. We do not need photo to prove it. More amazing miracles are bound to happen. Sairam
prashanth on June 10, 2012:
jai sai ram
poornimasrinath from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA on June 10, 2012:
Wow....I am sure that would've been a thrilling experience for your teacher!
Bobby Singh on June 10, 2012:
how on this earth can anyone ever have doubts about Bhagawan Baba as GOD.I have none.
raj ramanan on June 10, 2012:
Swamy has fasttracked our progressby leaving the physical form so that we could cing on the cosmic form and see Him in everyone .Although i miss His sweet smile and energising form lets make our life HIS MESSAGE .we are HIS MISSION .OM SAI RAM /all is one
Aarthi on June 10, 2012:
HImanshu on June 10, 2012:
jolanda on June 10, 2012:
I love HIS Leelas sooo mutch....
Krishna Skr on June 10, 2012:
Swami- The Global Phenomenon. Lord of the Universe.
anonymous on June 10, 2012:
Amazing .. Om Sairam