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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Avatar

  Shirdi Sai and Sathya Sai Connection

That Baba knows our thoughts - indeed our past as well as future, has been repeatedly attested to by a large number of devotees. Just one such example from this writer's own experience is recounted here.

For many years, I developed a deep yearning to visit Shirdi. I made several attempts to pay my respects at Shirdi Sai shrine at Shirdi itself but to no avail. The closest I could come to the point of realizing this dream was in 1983, when I planned on my home-leave trip from New York to India to visit Shirdi after our landing in Bombay. Unfortunately, the whole family developed a stomach virus after our first meal in India at a Santa Cruz airport five-star hotel - precluding any extensive surface travel all the way to Shirdi. It was once again a great disappointment.

I was thinking of this escapade while intensely gazing at Shirdi Sai's shining silver idol and his giant size picture in the background of the Prashanti Mandir Bhajan hall, and also wondering about the connection of Shirdi Baba with Parthi Baba, about which I found numerous references in the Sai Literature. I closed my eyes, with Shirdi Baba in my mind, when to my utter amazement Parthi Baba stood right in front of me while I continued in my reverie. Swami waited till I fully opened my eyes, when with a burst of bliss I clasped His soft lotus feet and hung on to them like a child. Swami beckoned me inside the interview room and materialized a rather large silver ring with an inlaid multi-colored enamel picture of Shirdi Sai - saying that 'I am He'. I was stunned and electrified and I blurted out that at long last my long-cherished desire was fulfilled now! The shining large Shirdi ring on my finger used to attract the attention of my diplomatic acquaintances during my frequent elevator rides in the forty-story UN headquarters building in New York, leading to many inquisitive queries on the strange-looking personality on the ring-face. One thing led to another and before long I found myself presenting Sathya Sai literature to the UN Secretary General in his office!

Sri Sathya Sai Study Circle at the UN

Sensing the growing interest in the story of the glory of Baba, we had founded, with Baba's blessings, a Study Circle at the United Nations headquarters, with regular Thursday gatherings in delegates' meeting rooms situated right underneath the UN General Assembly Hall, and sometimes under the Security Council Chamber. Before long, Sai Bhajans began to reverberate in the after-office hours in the United Nations! The annual celebrations of the Study Circle attracted a large number of UN staff members and country delegates. I remember the occasion when the president of the International Court of Justice came rushing along with a couple of delegates seeking Sai Vibhuthi (sacred ash). He proudly showed me a picture of Baba in his wallet!

Shirdi Ring replaced by Sathya Sai Ring

A few years after Baba gave me the Shirdi Baba ring, Swami called me again for a brief interview, and suddenly inquired of me whether I still wanted the old man or was now ready for the younger man! I then replied that having lived with the old man till then, I would welcome the change into company of the younger man! Swami graciously took out the somewhat worn-out big Shirdi ring which then disappeared right in front of my eyes and, then and there, materialized a well-fitting similar silver enameled ring with a picture of Swami showing His Abhaya Hastham - a raised palm assuring protection. This creative gesture and gift signified to me my spiritual (mental) journey from Shirdi to Parthi guided by Bhagavan Sathya Sai Himself. As a result, I found myself and family settling at Baba's Lotus Feet in Prashanthi Nilayam - indeed the very abode of peace.


From the article "Mind boggling miracles of Sathya Sai" by Sri Ghandikota V. Subba Rao:

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