The Wave of the Hand
Even as a child, Baba had the
miraculous power of getting things from "nowhere". He surprised
His playmates by taking peppermints and sweets from empty bags. In
spite of His requests to keep this a secret, the news spread among
the elders, and when they inquired how He got them, Baba remained
silent. Later, when pressed by His friends, He said that a certain
angel obeyed His slightest wish. This was, of course, to ward off
further queries, because the villagers were satisfied by such an
answer. They began to admire Him as a specially blessed boy, to be
watched with care and treated with respect. Even at school Baba
helped many classmates with a piece of rubber or pencil which He
materialized by a Wave of the Hand. When any of them complained of
an illness or pain, Baba "got" green leaves "from the Himalayas",
as He told the boys, and made them chew them and swallow the
juice. Some elders called it magic and even characterized it as
black magic, warning the children that they should not have
anything to do with Satyanarayana.
It was only after the Announcement that Baba regularly "took"
Vibhuti and began giving it for a variety of purposes to all who
came to Him. Baba has often spoken of the significance of this
Vibhuti. Since it is materialized out of nothing and since the Ash
is specifically associated with Siva, it is reverentially known by
devotees as Kailasa Vibhuti, the sacred Ash of Siva who resides on
Mount Kailasa. It is named Vibhuti since it endows one with
prosperity; Bhasma - "ashes" because it burns away all sins;
Bhasitam - "brightened" because it increases one's spiritual
splendor; Ksharam - "destruction" since it removes danger; and
Raksha - "protector" for it is an armor against the machinations
of evil spirits. This is how the Vibhuti is praised in the Brihad
Jabala Upanishad, one of the ancient spiritual texts. Baba says
Vibhuti is also a constant reminder of the evanescence of the body
which, ultimately, is reduced in cremation to a potful of ash!
Thousands of devotees and visitors have witnessed the miracle of
the Vibhuti. It is indeed an inexplicable, ultra-scientific
wonder! It is produced so casually, informally, gracefully,
quietly, and so naturally that one might well miss the
significance of the blessing. The right palm of Baba's Hand is
held down on a slight angle - a wave or two, scarcely noticeable ;
the fingers close to arrest the fall of the Vibhuti which has
already materialized. The wonder product is handed to the
recipient, as a token of Baba's blessings, and applied to the
forehead. At an average rate of a minimum of one pound per day,
the quantity of Vibhuti thus produced "out of the elements" by His
Will must now have reached the astounding figure of over five tons
Every idea has an inherent tendency to manifold itself in physical
form. It all depends on the will, whether it is human or divine.
Baba wills; it is done!
The Vibhuti may also be placed on the tongue, mixed with water and
drunk as a specific against illness. It may be carried as a
talisman. A devotee from South America had written that every
night she went to bed with a packet of Vibhuti in her palm.
Invariably she dreamed that her palms were resting at the feet of
Lord Krishna. It is difficult to enumerate all the curative and
alleviatory purposes to which recipients put the Vibhuti which
Baba produces by a Wave of the Hand.
The Vibhuti He gives is also of innumerable kinds, suited to the
purposes for which created. Sometimes it is in the shape of a hard
cube, or often powder, fine, grainy or flaky. It may be fragrant
or pungent, salty, sweet or tasteless, white or blackish, or of
any of the intermediate shades. Sometimes, when He waves His Hand,
it materializes - container and all! When a person left for
England for higher studies, Baba gave him Vibhuti in a silver
container with the additional blessing, "This will never become
exhausted!" His Will, thousands of miles away, can replenish the
Ash in a container by a pre-dated expression of His desire. When
the Vibhuti is to be taken as a medicine for a long period, as
during pregnancy, Baba asks the person to bring a receptacle, and
by a light tap on the surface, the vessel becomes full of Vibhuti.
When he gathers his devotees on the sands, as at Chitravathi or
the river bed of Kaivalya at Venkatagiri, or on the beach at
Kovalam in Kerala, or Kanyakumari in Tamil Nad, or on the river
Godavari, He digs into the sand playfully with His Fingers. A huge
cube of Vibhuti hiding there, He rescues, powders and distributes
to all present. He may take the sand itself in both His Hands and
pour it onto a plate. That which falls on the plate is not sand,
but fine fragrant Vibhuti.
Baba's entire physical frame seems to be suffused with Vibhuti.
When He is taken in a procession on Vijayadasami, the tenth day of
the light-half of the month Asvina, and other festival days,
thousands have clearly seen fine Vibhuti falling from His brow
onto His eyelids and cheeks. When He leaves the body and goes to
save His devotees. Vibhuti often emanates from His face, mouth,
thumbs, toes or forehead. He merely raises His thumb and makes a
mark on one's forehead, and the Vibhuti is there for all to see.
There have been instances in which devotees have dreamed that Baba
came to them and applied Vibhuti on their brows, and found on
awakening that the Ash was actually there! Some dreamed that Baba
put Vibhuti on their tongues, and when they awakened, they found
Vibhuti in their mouths! Baba signifies His Presence at the
residence of His devotees by scattering the tell-tale Vibhuti on
the floor of the shrine where His picture is kept. When Baba
presents a Vision of Himself to save someone from an impending
calamity, He invariably uses Vibhuti to effect a cure.
Once during a Dasara Festival a certain visitor from Telengana
received an urgent telegram from home, informing him that his
father-in-law had had a stroke and that his condition had created
anxiety. Baba asked him not to worry. A similar wire came the next
day, and Baba agreed to his going alone, leaving his wife to watch
the festivities even though she was the daughter of the stricken
man and the most needed at his bedside. When the son-in-law left,
He gave him Vibhuti to apply to the father-in-law's forehead. He
had materialized it by a Wave of the Hand. About eight o'clock the
next evening, Baba was discussing the timings of the trains by
which the son-in-law was proceeding to the sick-bed. Quite
suddenly He sat up and said, "You have all gone wrong. The train
won't take him fast enough. He will not reach the place before
9:00 p.m. Oh! "What a pity!" Then with a wink of the eye, He
"left" the body and was "gone." He was "away" for about half an
hour. When He "returned," He was so happy that He had applied the
Vibhuti Himself to the sick man in Telangana. "Did you use the
same Vibhuti that the son-in-law was carrying with him?" He was
asked. "Yes, you will know that when he returns," He said. "Ask
him, and he will say that the packet was empty when he went to the
sick man." And so it was. On return, he related the story of his
discomfiture; how he was blamed for being careless; how they
rubbed their fingers over the folded paper in order to collect at
least the tracings of the holy Vibhuti; and how they failed in
that desperate endeavor!
Baba sometimes performs Consecration or ceremonial bath for the
silver figure of His "previous body" which is kept at the temple.
A small wooden pot, artistically carved and painted, is filled
with Vibhuti for this purpose. Holding it overturned above the
image, Baba puts His Hand into the vessel in order to ensure an
even flow of Sacred Ash. By contact with His Hand, the flow of
Vibhuti continues long after the quantity originally produced is
exhausted. Twirl after twirl brings down fresh showers of Vibhuti
from the receptacle until the image is emerged in the fragrant
powder, and the Ash mounts to unexpected heights. Finally Baba
puts the wooden pot away, out of sheer physical exhaustion, so to
Regarding the Sacred Ash, another type of incident often occurs,
although it is not exactly an illustration of the Wave of the
Hand. Whenever a sincere devotee passes away, Baba gives His
Darshan at the last moment and enables the person to enjoy eternal
peace. On such occasions, symbolic of death, destruction, and the
end of the temporary and the evanescent, there issues Vibhuti from
the mouth of the person Baba blesses. On Saturday, November 15,
1958, at 5:20 in the afternoon, Baba was reading from a letter to
those around Him. Suddenly, with a shout meaning, "Yes," He fell
to the floor and was practically lifeless. Ten minutes later He
moved a little and coughed three times, but they were not coughs;
they were three puffs which emanated from His Mouth, bringing out
quantities of Vibhuti to a distance of more than a foot and a
half! Five minutes later, Baba got up, and without any sign of
exhaustion or confusion, resumed the previous conversation. He was
asked to reveal where He had been, and replied, "I have been to
the city of Dehra Dun. The mother of Krishna, the doctor, who
comes here frequently, passed away at 5:30 p.m. Krishna was there
at the bedside. She had placed her fingers on her pulse and
announced to all, 'This is my last breath.' They are singing songs
of God in that room. She had a peaceful death. I gave her Darshan
at her last moment."
On Monday, when the postman came to Prasanthi Nilayam, he had with
him a letter from Krishna to Baba. Krishna wrote, "My mother drew
her last breath on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. We were chanting during
her last hours, which was her wish. She was remembering you
constantly!" What a miracle this! Baba anticipated the moment of
death, answered the prayers of a panting soul, described at the
Nilayam 1500 miles away the happenings in the Dehra Dun room
within minutes; even the emanation of Vibhuti, symbolic of the
destruction of the evanescent material of the physical body when
the soul is freed from bondage!
The Vibhuti is but the continuation in this incarnation of the Udi
or Ash which Sai Baba of Shirdi gave as His boon to those who went
to Him. Sai Baba of Shirdi used to take the ash from the hearth
fed perpetually with fuel, so that He could have live cinders for
the Udi, says Sathya Sai Baba.
Baba materializes whatever He wills by a Wave of His Hand. He says
that what He produces is already in "Sai Stores," and that His
"workmen" are so quick, they manufacture in the fraction of a
moment even the most complicated artistry He thinks of and deliver
it into His Hand!
Once Baba materialized a gold medal to be given to an accomplished
violinist whose recital was just concluding. Baba showed the medal
to those around Him. Even as they were admiring its size, beauty
and shine, He said, "Oh, the name has to be inscribed," and He
closed His Palm. Opening it immediately, He showed the medal to
all. They were amazed at the miracle. The inscription, "Presented
by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to Vidwan T. Chowdian," was deeply
engraved thereon in English, complete with the day and the date.
Showing the medal to us, Baba said, "See how quick are my
Baba blesses artists who perform at the Nilayam during festivals
and other occasions with gifts such as rings, necklaces, medals,
and brooches. With the Wave of His Hand, there is a special
appropriateness in the gifts. Nadaswaram Vidwan, a piper, was
given a ring with an inset picture of Siva. It was found that his
ancestors for many generations had been temple musicians, that his
family had been given certain lands in perpetuity in return for
their services, and that the form of the Lord worshiped in that
temple was Siva. The Siva on the ring was a replica of the icon in
"I shall give you a Ganesa figurine; take it home and worship it,"
He told a visitor. It was an image of Ganesa, the God who removes
obstacles, in the standing posture. "You have this form of Ganesa
in your shrine room, is it not?" Baba asked as He handed it to
him. The man answered, "Yes, it is".
It is not proper for the recipients to weigh or evaluate the
gifts. for they are not of the earth at all. Once a musician who
received a necklace studded with precious stones started on his
way home to discuss its value and decide its worth. It was lost
mysteriously; it simply was not around his neck! Chastened by the
experience, he returned immediately to Prasanthi Nilayam. Chiding
him gently, Baba "took" before his eyes the self-same necklace and
presented it again to him.
Things that Baba gives can never be lost. A devotee, while
returning to Hyderabad from Puttaparthi, discovered her luggage
had been stolen at night, somewhere near Mahbubnagar. She reported
this to the railway police. Two days later she was called upon to
identify her belongings, for the thief had been apprehended and
the luggage recovered. Imagine her surprise when she found every
article intact except the rosary Baba had materialized and given
her! She sent a message to Baba by wire. Baba replied that the
rosary had come to His possession, because it could not be stolen!
Who can describe her joy at getting the same rosary a second time
from Baba's Hands!
A devotee, C. N. Padma, writes, "It was twelve years ago. One
evening Baba took all those who were at the old temple to the
sands of the river. After the chanting He called me, and while
consoling me about my personal problems, He materialized a rosary
and handed it to me. He had already given me one, and I kept it at
my home in a silver box. When He gave me another, I was alarmed
that my situation may have worsened, since He felt I needed
additional protection. So I asked Him, 'Why, Baba, why a second
rosary for me?' He said, 'This is the one I gave you last! You
left it at home in that silver box; it was 'stolen' yesterday.
Here, keep this safe!' It was true. When I went home, I found the
house broken into and the Silver box gone."
There was the incident of Srimati Sakamma's diamond ring. Some
years ago she had hurried to Puttaparthi for the Dasara Festival.
In the confusion of packing, she misplaced a seven-stone diamond
ring. Discovering its absence too late for any search to be made,
she informed Baba about it. Baba simply made fun of the whole
affair, cracked a joke or two, and heartily laughed at her loss.
Months later Baba was visiting her coffee-seed-curing factory.
Sitting in the kitchen of a small house behind it, and while
sipping coffee, He said, "Oh, Sakamma, you want that diamond ring,
don't you? Well, here it is!" With those words, He patted the
wall, and lo, the ring was there in that Hand! That Hand is
Sometimes that Hand is dipped in water, and the water becomes
gasoline on which a car can be driven for miles. Once while
motoring to Bangalore, the gasoline tank became empty near
Chicballapur. Baba sent one of the men in the party to a water
tank by the side of the road. He returned with mere H2O! Baba
dipped His Finger into the can and stirred it a bit. The contents
were emptied into the gas tank. The car was driven merrily along
mile after mile, the engine not recognizing any difference at all.
On another occasion when the diesel oil supply ran short for the
dynamo which produced electric power for illumination during
festivals, and when it was too late to send anyone for diesel oil
twenty miles away, He dipped His Hand in water, and diesel oil was
Another miracle of the same nature was performed at Horsley Hills
where a few devotees spent several wondrous days in His august
company. Every morning Baba went into the jungle to a flat-topped
boulder upon which He sat and discoursed. One day, as He walked
there, He picked up a piece of rock of a peculiar geological
formation; it looked more like a closely packed bundle of dry
macaroni. He had the stone in front of Him while discoursing. When
He concluded, He said, "I shall sweeten your tongues a bit." He
took the stone in His Hand. Amazingly, it had become a lump of
sugar-candy, a closely packed bundle of dry macaroni-like
sugar-candy. It was as if every molecule of that stone had been
transformed by His Will into a molecule of sugar. No one has ever
seen sugar crystallizing in long thread-like bits! But this was
not chemistry! This was Divine Alchemistry!!
Srimati Sakamma once broke her eyeglasses at Puttaparthi and was
having great difficulty. Baba materialized a pair of the same
prescription for her.
It was Sri Krishna's birthday festival, a day which is considered
specially auspicious. Baba was with devotees at Madras who were
making elaborate preparations. The hall was decorated and
invitations were sent to nearby friends. Baba came and sat on a
special seat, temporarily erected at one end of the hall, near the
shrine during the worship. Just before the close, He stood up, and
everyone rose with Him. He lifted both Hands above His Head. The
throng of devotees was expectantly watching His Hands, for they
had not seen Him in that pose during a festival. It appeared
rather strange, but before they had time to wonder, He was holding
in His Hands a huge glass bowl beautifully designed with birds
spreading their wings. Baba placed the heavy bowl near the shrine
on the platform. "Special sweets from Brindavan, the birthplace of
Krishna," He announced. In that bowl were forty-three different
varieties of sweets!
One day Baba crossed the Chitravathi River in two jeeps filled
with devotees and drove into the reserve forest. When the jeep
failed to climb the road, Baba walked with the party for about six
miles along the upper reaches of the river. At last they came to a
beautiful area, right in the midst of the forest. There were steep
rocky banks on three sides, a large flat slab of rock to sit upon,
and the river gurgled merrily along. All partook of the food they
brought and drank tea prepared by some enterprising young men.
Baba "made" a big piece of sugar-candy to sweeten their mouths.
Then He waved His Hand, and all present opened their eyes wide to
a miracle. He manifested a packet of photographs of Himself and
proceeded to give one to each. There were exactly sixteen photos
and sixteen men! Occasionally He has manifested larger packets for
larger parties, and always the numbers agree!
Another incident that illustrates the divine in Baba happened at
Cape Comorin in 1958. Sitting on the beach with a small group of
devotees, Baba asked a person who had earlier in the day purchased
and perused a book on the pilgrim center, what the book said about
the local temple. He related the story of a diamond which once
upon a time adomed the nose-stud of the Goddess in the temple. The
diamond shone so brightly that pirates could see it from the sea!
He described the pirates' greed and how they carried off the
diamond during a raid. Baba asked, "Do you want to see it? It is
just a matter of minutes and I can send it back before its absence
is noticed." He patted the sand in front of Him - there appeared a
huge diamond in His Hand! It was shown to everyone present, then
just disappeared from the Hand to which it had come! Every miracle
of His is done so unostentatiously, with a smile of surprise
lighting up His Face as the object materializes.
A devotee had a rupee note which he had kept because it contained
the autograph of a friend. One day, through sheer carelessness, he
mixed it up with his other rupees and inadvertently spent it in
Bangalore. The discovery of his loss made him morose. A week
later, when Baba learned about this, He said, "Don't worry; it has
not reached Bombay. I can see where it lies. I shall get it for
you." The Hand waved; the rupee note, the same one, was handed
over to the young man at Puttaparthi.
Baba bas materialized copies of the Gita and given them to
devotees. When He made a copy for an old nearsighted devotee, He
said, "See, it is printed specially for your sake in big bold
letters," and it was! Giving a visitor, a professor who was a
doctor of science, a copy of the Gita "from the sands," He said,
"You do not know the Devanagari script, and so it is in Telugu.
Take it." He has given for daily worship emblems of Siva and
images of Lord Krishna, also images of other forms of God
worshipped in Hindu homes. He also produces crucifixes and plates
with mystic markings, all iconologically and artistically perfect,
and all made by a Wave of the Hand!
He gives photographs of Himself - alone or with Sai Baba of Shirdi
- or of the chosen Deity of devotees. Some of these photographs
are very unique. There was once materialized a photograph of Sri
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa with four Sai Baba of Shirdi pictures on a
square in the region of his heart and Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the
center of that form! Once Baba gave a devotee a pair of silver
sandals which materialized miraculously on His Feet.
Baba takes delight in recommending to inquirers that they chant
the Name and meditate on the Form of the Lord which most appeals
to them. He has come not to supplant or destroy but to implement
One evening on the river sands a visitor was wearing a badge
bearing a representation of a saintly couple, Kusuma and Haranath.
Baba gave a short account of their lives and said they spread the
message of holy chanting. Even as He was speaking, He "took" from
the sands a lovely silver icon, Kusuma and Haranath, standing on a
coiled serpent under its spread hood! There was a dot of actual
saffron on the brow of Kusuma. On another occasion He gave a
devotee who worshiped Him as Siva, a large colored shell with the
word Siva-sayi carved on it! Baba also expresses His love and
wisdom by encouraging everyone to march bravely along the path he
has chosen for himself.
Sandalwood images, silver icons, silver sandals, ivory figures,
idols in the sacred alloy of five metals, emblems of Siva in
blood-red stone, green or blue topaz or sapphire have all been
created and given. He has also given gem-set rings and lockets of
different varieties as the need or mood of the moment dictates.
Very often when he sees a devotee wearing a gem-set ring, he
laughs at him for bearing the burden of a stone without asking for
wages! Taking such a ring in His Hand, He strokes it with His
Palm. The gem vanishes, and left in its place is a portrait of Sai
Baba of Shirdi, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, or both. Or it may be Sri
Rama, Sri Krishna, or any of the other Forms of God.
At Venkatagiri there is a sheet of postage stamps which underwent
this miraculous transformation many years ago. Seeing the sheet
with the earthly emperor, Baba said in fun, "Why do you have a set
of such things?" Even as He was making the remark, His Hand gently
passed over the paper, and as He lifted it, every figure
miraculously changed; the illustration and the price vanished; the
picture of Baba was imprinted on every stamp, and the inscription
was "Sri Sathya Sai." If He gets the idea of initiating an
aspirant with a sacred mantra, He just rolls a piece of paper,
handy at the moment, into a sharp pointed needle-like instrument.
In a second it is transformed into silver or ivory, with the added
decoration of the image of the Deity invoked by the mantra. He
proceeds to write on the tongue of the aspirant the mystic
syllables and then presents the instrument to the person to be
kept as a reminder of the Grace of the Guru!
His Hands have another miraculous power, to increase and multiply
whatever He wants by mere contact. For instance, Baba multiplies
food when the quantity is insufficient for the people present. He
wills; He contacts; the vessel becomes full. One such scene was on
Vijayadasami Day in 1950, which is the last day of Dasara. From
the town of Anathapur several devotees had brought with them two
baskets of freshly plucked Tulsi leaves. They were sitting around
the baskets, making long thick garlands with the leaves. Baba
passed that way when their work was almost finished and the
containers almost empty. He asked the group, half in fun and half
in earnest, "Exhausted? Are you game for another two baskets of
Tulsi?" They jumped at the idea. He bent down and placed His Hands
within each basket. When He stood erect, the baskets were
miraculously filled to overflowing with fresh green Tulsi leaves!
It becomes clear why Baba Himself serves sweets and other items on
occasions when thousands visit and are fed at Prasanthi Nilayam.
He gives food plentifully, and there is always an abundance.
Plenty is the hallmark of that Hand.
While on processions, Baba, seated on the flower-bedecked
palanquin, takes in His Hand the petals of flowers from the
garlands offered Him and throws them over the heads of the
devotees. What falls on the ground below? Peppermints, one time;
coins, another time; portraits of Sai Baba of Shirdi or Sathya Sai
Baba, or of both, another time. One cannot predict what or when!
Such is the mystery of that Hand. A number of devotees still
possess the articles they collected on November twenty-third,
1950, during the procession from the Old Temple to Prasanthi
Nilayam, inaugurated that day. These articles remain unsullied and
bright for generations, since they are as substantial as other
The monk Amritananda related that he was suffering from chronic
asthma, an illness which Baba diagnosed was caused and aggravated
by incorrect practice of Hatha Yoga. During the months he remained
at Puttaparthi, the drugs Baba gave him kept away the spasms and
the Swami was practically freed from the dread affliction.
Referring to these drugs, the Swami said, "The first two days He
gave me Ash which He 'took' by a Wave of the Hand. 0n the third
day there came into His Hand a golden-colored heavy powder which
He put into my mouth. Then He turned to the four quarters, and
with each Wave of the Hand, He 'manifested' quantities of a
copper-colored powder which He applied to my back and chest.
Afterwards He 'took' Ash and poured it into my hand, asking me to
swallow a little when the spasm occurred. Another day He 'took'
tender, soft, hairy roots of a plant and asked me to chew and
On another day He gave me a midget version of banana which I had
never seen before in India, Ceylon, Malaya, or in the Himalayas.
He gave me a date fruit without seed! He 'took' a handful of
leaves which He squeezed. He collected the juice in a vessel He
materialized, then commanded me to drink it.
"Another time He waved His Hand, and I saw a bundle of greenish
leaves. He passed them to me with a twinkle in His eyes and asked
me to eat all of them. I was shocked to find that the underneath
of the leaves had small sharp thorns. When I looked at Him
imploringly, thinking, 'do you really want me to eat all this,
thorns included?' He melted a little and stretched out His Hand,
saying, 'Give them back to me.' I placed the leaves in His Hand;
He gave them again to me. There was not a single thorn! Not even a
vestage or indication that the plant was of such species.
Gleefully, I ate it all. A few days later He called me into His
room, and when He waved His Hand, a sizeable quantity of green
leaves again appeared. 'A very good specific,' He said, 'coming
straight from the Himalayas.' Keeping half of them, He placed the
other half in my hand, saying, 'Come on! Chew and swallow.' They
were terribly bitter, and I had to draw on all my ascetic strength
to perform the task allotted me. Oh, how I prayed in my heart that
He would stop with that and not force me to eat the horrible half
portion He had kept in reserve! But He showed no kindness and gave
me the balance of the leaves, commanding, 'Finish this also.'
Reinforcing myself with all my courage, I placed in my mouth the
second installment. Could one believe - by longer contact with His
Divine Hand the second half had become inexpressibly sweet,
sweeter than sugar cane or honey! He laughed at my joy and relief,
and I came to know that the ways of the Lord are truly
inscrutable." This genuine report is from an aged renunciate, who
was long with Ramana Maharshi and who was learned in Veda and
Whenever Baba elects to give patients a medicine or curative drug,
He waves His Hand and procures pills, powders, bottles of
mixtures, ointments, syrups, oils, or fruits. Sometimes out of
sheer fun, He might throw a fruit toward one, and when the happy
recipient actually catches the gift, another species of fruit
might arrive in his hand! He might make a gesture of throwing
without anything seemingly in His Hand. The person to whom the
throw is directed must be wary, for a fruit is on its way! When
someone was seized with a sneezing bout, He called him to His side
and "took" some sweets which He gave him to swallow. When another
was suffering from fever for quite a long time, Baba, nearing the
bedside, waved His Hand and "took" something which He deliberately
placed in the hand of the patient who sat up reverentially to
receive it. It was a big bumble bee which flew away, along with
When a devotee asked for permission to leave Puttaparthi early so
that he might attend a convocation to receive a diploma, Baba
said, "I shall give it to you now here!" and waved His Hand. A
miniature diploma, exactly reproducing all the details of the
actual one awaiting him at Madras, was in His Hand!
A Mysore devotee had arranged for family worship of Baba at
Puttaparthi on the day of the festival of Gowri in 1961. He
searched the village and also Bukkapatnam for all the auspicious
articles the worship required. He was able to secure everything
except black beads. Baba came for the worship, and the overjoyed
couple was immersed in the worship of His Feet. They did not
notice a large black ant running over the heap of flowers around
His Feet. He saw it, lifted it up gently, and held it between His
Fingers. "What, are you offering worship with ants instead of
flowers?" He asked in fun. He handed the ant to the mistress of
the family; she held out her palm to receive it, but what she
received was not a black ant. Instead, through His Grace, from
that Hand were given two black beads!
Another astounding example of the divinity of that Hand occurred
one evening when Baba casually approached a half-open window in
His room. He noticed an electric table lamp on the sill. No one
was aware of His intentions. Those present saw Baba wave His Hand.
When they rushed near to see what was emanating, He showed them
His Palm in which rested a color film portrait of Himself!
Evidently, He willed for something transparent to be a part of the
lamp shade. He held it up to the light. Some remarked that the
background of the picture could have been a little more prominent;
some said that the hair was a little awry; one remarked that the
face was not freshly shaven! He silenced all such comments by
declaring, "My dear fellows, you don't see, it is my photo, just
as I am now, with this dress, this background, this half-open
window, this door, this door curtain, this switch." As they
watched, the wonder grew! It was as if in the millionth of a
second, someone had come with a camera, focused it, and snapped a
color film photograph, developed, washed and dried it, and
delivered it into the Hands of Baba!
One evening at Prasanthi Nilayam, while talking about the kinship
between man and other animals, and about the various theories of
the origin of man, Baba said that the human animal is more related
to tree dwelling apes than to the ground dwelling varieties. He
spoke of a tailless, hairless, tree dwelling Simian. When an
interested listener, a professor of anthropology, could not quite
grasp the type, Baba waved His Hand, and there was a small model
of the Simian to which He had referred. The miniature, a work of
art and scientific accuracy, is with Him now.
At Thippegondanahalli, the lake near Bangalore, some devotees had
enjoyed a quiet morning with Baba. After a long discussion on the
doctrine of rebirth and the nature of the soul, Baba materialized
a small silver screw-top vessel full of amrita and distributed it
to the group. He then gave the container to a man and his wife who
were shortly leaving for England. When He noticed the
disappointment of the couple at receiving only an empty vessel, He
took it from them, and without even the Wave of the Hand, gave it
back. It was full of the precious nectar!
Afterwards the party went to the reservoir which supplies water to
Bangalore. While the engineer was describing the history of the
project and pointing out the two rivers which joined at the spot
and the pinnacle of the temple which had been sunk in the lake
created by the dam, Baba stood listening at the water's edge.
Suddenly He dipped His Hand in the water and then held up His Palm
containing some of it. To everyone's surprise, Baba's Palm held a
lingam, shining in the sun, with sandal paste and bilva leaf on
it, as if He had taken it from a shrine where worship was being
offered it! He turned to a member of the group: "Take this and
worship it every day. You worship Siva, do you not?" Indeed the
man was a member of the sect which worshiped the form of Siva as
represented in the temple at the confluence of the rivers.
When Baba blesses His devotees and agrees to their arranging the
marriage of their children at Prasanthi Nilayam in His immediate
presence, He sometimes creates a golden disc and gives it to the
bridegroom to be auspiciously tied around the neck of the
fortunate bride. A Wave of the Hand, and the disc strung on a
saffron-colored string is there in a moment. Sometimes when the
ear-piercing ceremony is performed, Baba even materializes a sharp
pointed bent gold wire with which the ear lobe is pierced and
which serves as an earring for the child. It is impossible to
enumerate all the capabilities of the Wave of that Hand!
When Baba decides to resort to surgery to cure an illness or
defect, He waves His Hand, and the instruments needed are there in
Another incident shows how the Wave of the Hand can transmit this
miraculous Divine Power - to another person's hand. It happened
some years ago when Baba was in His teens. With a large number of
devotees He had gone across the river to a garden near Saheb Tank.
Food was prepared and eaten. The party was returning to the
village as darkness was fast falling on the river banks. Suddenly,
while they were passing a bush, Baba ahead of the others,
something streaked across the sands and coiled itself around
Baba's right foot! "A snake, a snake!" arose the cry. A cobra bit
Baba's right toe, uncoiled itself in an instant, and fled like an
arrow along the sands. Baba said, "Let it go," but those who were
angry at the cobra pursued it, desiring to kill it. Baba shouted,
"Go," in a commanding tone, and the snake sped into the darkness
and was seen no more. Meanwhile the effects of the bite were
becoming apparent. Baba appeared faint and fell to the ground.
Some men ran to the village to inform Pedda Venkapa Raju. Another,
who knew the address of a magician residing a mile away, ran to
get his help. Baba made some gestures to one of the two devotees
trying to render first aid, to wave his hand. The devotee did so,
and felt a thrust inside his palm. There emerged a talisman. Baba
signaled to him to apply it, together with the froth from His
Lips, to the wound. He did as ordered. Within a matter of seconds
a "well" Baba got up, to the intense relief of every one, and
began to talk as though nothing had happened to break the bliss of
that happy day.
Just then, the parents and others came running with a huge armory
of drugs, magic rites, roots, pieces of gramophone records,
bottles of specifics sold in village fairs, and last but not
least, the celebrated magician who lived a mile away. Baba
jokingly greeted them all.
Baba later explained He could have "taken" the talisman, but since
He never uses for His own benefit anything He materializes out of
His own Hand, He had to convey His Grace to another hand.
It has been said about Sai Baba of Shirdi, "While the devotees
took leave, Baba gave Ash as Prasad, besmeared some of it on the
foreheads of the devotees, and placed His boon-conferring Hand on
their heads." Sri Sathya Sai Baba also does this. His Hands confer
the boons the devotees deserve, and have the healing touch to wipe
out disease, ward off evil, and rewrite destiny!
From: Sathyam Shivam Sundaram, The Life of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba - Part I
By Prof. N. Kasturi M.A., B.L.