"Of such is the Kingdom of
was Christmas at Puttaparthi. A quiet stillness pervaded the air
as we sat at morning Darshan waiting for Baba to appear. The palm
leaves rustled gently in the breeze. The sky was clear and blue
without any trace of clouds. It had been six years since my
husband and I had visited the ashram. This was the first visit for
our children Aaron, 18 months old, and Heidi, 3 years old.
As if from nowhere
Baba's orange robed figure suddenly appeared. He walked towards
the men's side as if His feet "floated" in the air. Moving among
the crowds, He accepted letters and gave His blessings. A surge of
happiness welled within me as I experienced His profound love,
grace, and compassion. Gradually He moved towards the women's
side. As He neared our place, my heart sank as Aaron began to
fuss. When I looked up, Baba was several rows past us. I hadn't
noticed even a glance in our direction.
we left, Heidi said, "Mommy, He didn't even talk to me or give me
a present!" It then occurred to me that she had expected Baba to
be like a grandfather or Santa Claus, lifting her up in the air
playfully and giving her presents. She had only seen His pictures
at our Cambridge Center meetings and in our home. How could I
explain to her the true nature of an Avatar? "Heidi," I said,
after a few moments of thought, "the only way Baba can hear you is
if you pray to Him in your heart."
During the afternoon
and evening I began to notice her praying with folded hands
whenever she would sit down to rest. Her concentration amazed me.
Even the next morning she remembered to pray.
found us in the third row with our friend Indira beside us. Baba
appeared and walked towards the men's side accepting letters and
blessing various items with a touch of His hand. As He neared the
women's side my heart began to beat faster. He paused a second in
front of us. With a rapid movement of His hand He materialized a
small object which landed with a thud in Indira's lap as she still
held out letters that He never took. It all happened so fast that
by the time we looked up He was several rows down the crowd of
people. Indira picked up the small piece of candy in the wrapper
and looked at Baba with a puzzled expression on her face. He
looked back at us with a playful smile and said in His sweet
sing?song voice, "Not for you, for the little girl." Heidi was
thrilled. Her prayers had been answered. At the age of 3 she had
learned that God hears and answers our prayers. We too can learn
from her faith the importance of becoming like children before
God. "Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
-Cathy Daub (New Jersey)
Radio Sai E-Magazine, December 15, 2003