A Cosmic Portrait
This is another episode I
received from one of the devotees from India. This
is collected from "The Living Divinity" written vu Shakuntala Balu.
few stories like this, which I promised to tell to you people in the
week Bhajan. This is one of those incidents, which talk about Bhagawan
is different from what we see with naked eye.
Signor Dante Bighi is a
photographer and graphic artist from Italy. He learnt of Sri Sai
Baba from friends.
The first time he went to Parthi was for a week in November, for
Baba's birthday. The day he arrived at Parthi, Baba was celebrating
a mass wedding for a hundred and fifty couples who could not have
afforded grand weddings. That evening, when Baba came near to him,
Sr.Bighi experienced "powerful spiritual vibrations." He felt a
strange new peace and knew himself in the presence of a superior
power. Baba materialized vibuthi for him. He accepted gratefully and
expressed a birthday greeting. Baba smiled and said, "What is a
birthday? The soul has no birthday. It is only the body."
A few months later, he again journeyed to India. His only aim was to
meet and photograph Baba. His first meeting had given him so much
joy. He arrived in Bangalore with an Italian friend, Sr.Craxi, a
businessman and an ardent Sai devotee. Sr.Bighi had the great good
fortune to have several interviews with Baba and many opportunities
of photographing him. He specializes in outdoor photography using
natural light and likes to have unusual and exotic effects.
"I want to take a divine picture of Swami." Sr.Bighi told over and
over again to Shakuntala Balu. "Divine picture? You can only
photograph Swami as he is. Don't tell me you will photograph a cross
on him with your lens and get a divine Jesus photograph of Sai
Baba," said Balu's husband. But Sr.Bighi brushed aside this
pleasantry and said, "No, Mr. Balu, I will get my divine picture of
Baba and you will see it. I want to photograph the sun and Swami,
Oh, it will be fantastic. Swami has such a fantastic personality.
Everything about him is captivating to me as a photographer. He is
the ideal subject for any photographer, even as he is, but the
sunlight streaming down on him, on his crown of hair ... Ah! That
will be truly fantastic." Sr.Bighi was imagining how wonderful the
photographs would be if only he could take some shots of Baba in The
Sun and against the light.
His determination made us to pray that Baba would grant him his wish
and pose for him in the Sun. Baba smilingly obliged. Sr.Bighi knelt
and crawled to get his shots. He rolled from side to side, made
various uncomfortable movements on the ground and carried on ,
clicking away happily. Baba, seeing his performance, asked, "Is
there film in the camera? Everyone heard and laughed except for Sr.Bighi
who had forgotten everything except " The Sun and Swami."
Baba granted two interviews to Sr.bighi and went over his whole life
and Career with him. He materialized vibhuti and a locket for him.
Sr.Bighi then asked for his robe and Baba said,"Yes." Sr.Craxi and
Sr.Bighi were invited to attend an exclusive celebration at the
Cowan Hostel (Hostel for Brindavan students) on Yugadi's Day. Baba,
on that occasion, materialized the fabulous Kosala ring, a precious
stone dating from the age of Sri Rama.
Before Sr.Bighi left, Baba gave him one of his robes. Sr.Bighi was
overjoyed by the gesture. Once back in Milan, he made a special
glass case in which to exhibit the robe. He calls it his portrait of
Baba and what he means to him. The poem also explains the meaning
and different aspects of the "portrait" in the glass case. Sr.Bighi
says that whoever visits his studio finds the "portrait" too
powerful. Some have even said, "Take it away, it is too strong, too
much for me." Sr.Bighi is certain that some of Baba's extraordinary
vibrations radiate from his "portrait."
Mrs. Balu protested," How can it be a portrait? It is only Swami's
robe. You haven't even used some of your photographs to make up the
head and limbs. One copy is sent to Mr.Balu, he exclaimed "This is
unbelievable. Look! Bighi has got the cross on Swami's heart." In
another one, Sr. Bighi had Lord Shiva's crescent moon in his hair
and a luminous circle in the middle of his forehead where the third
eye is thought to be.
Sr.Bighi would like to photograph Baba again and again. Asked why,
he sighs, "I cannot explain. It is something I feel deep within me
and I cannot express it in words. There is no personality like him
Some of the
photographs which he clicked are still available in Parthi.