Although most of us know that Baba is Bhagawan and nothing is impossible for Him, still we like to hear about His Mahimas (miracles), marvelling at them, all over again, as if they were not a self understood matter, when He is concerned, writes Indra Devi, Tecate, Mexico illustrating some of her experiences, as chronicled in Sanathana Sarathi, Feb, 1971.
While addressing the Fourth All India Conference of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations at Prasanthi Nilayam on November 21, I preferred to share with the delegates some of my experiences, rather than bore them with a lengthy report of the activities of the Sai Family in California where we have several centers, the Sathya Sai Society of America, the Sathya Sai Book Center, and the recently formed Sai Foundation (in place of the Indra Devi Yoga Foundation) which maintains a Center on 2720 Sunset Boulevard, and Sai Nilayam, a retreat in Tecate, California, especially popular with long haired and big bearded youngsters, who are prevented from crossing the border into Tecate, Mexico, the home of our main center.
A recent fire, the biggest ever in that area, had destroyed 3000 homes and thousands of acres of forest. It was threatening to burn down both our branches on the Mexican and USA sides. The devotees in Sai Nilayam (the American Retreat) had no time even to save their belongings from a tent pitched near the house; the fire was spreading so fast. They all fled in cars to the top of Mount Chuchuma, where they had to spend our hours, between life and death in a small cement building, praying to BABA. The entire mountain caught fire and was engulfed in a blaze of flame. After the fire subsided and when they were able to come down, they found, to their amazement, that though the truck was destroyed by the fire, the house had remained intact! Inside, it was covered by a thick layer of soot except for the Meditation Room which had the picture of Bhagawan! In that room, the carpet had remained white! Baba must have been here, protecting the place, some one suggested.
This fire broke out, when i was away in Chicago, lecturing on Bhagawan. So, when i saw it on television, and read in the papers that it was raging 200 feet away from the Indra Devi Yoga Foundation, to my own surprise, the news didn't touch me in the least bit. To the suggestion that i should fly home immediately, i answered, "What for? It is Bhagawan's place. If He wants to protect it, He will. If He thinks it should be destroyed, let it be". They asked, "What! So much faith you have in Him?" i answered, "Yes. i do".
I then told the delegates to the Conference that there were many more things happening to me, but, i didn't want to take up their time. But, a "PARVA NAI” (does not matter) from BABA encouraged me. So, i told another miraculous happening that occurred several months ago, when i was driving alone at midnight, from Los Angeles to San Diego, where i was to give a lecture at the University the next morning.
It was raining heavily and i was tired. So i must have dozed off at the wheel for a moment, when suddenly my car skidded, and making a swift turn, swerved across to the other side of the Freeway, where cars were dashing into the opposite direction at a speed of 65 -70 miles per hour! The Freeways have eight lanes four on each side, and no traffic (except motor vehicles) is allowed on them. Having lost control of the steering wheel, i was awaiting the unavoidable crash, as the car kept on circling from one side of the Freeway to the other, like a merry go-round!
Luckily there was a narrow strip of grass there, as the dividing line between the two halves of the Freeway, instead of the usual iron grilles. "Stop, Stop, Stop!" i finally pleaded with the car, in despair. At that moment, my eyes, fell on Bhagawan's photograph. i realised only then that my right foot was still on the gas pedal!
Afterwards, when the police came to my rescue, (i had a flat tire), and told the officers what had happened, they simply could not understand how i did not meet with a fatal accident. "You must have a special guardian angel", one of them said. "A very special one", i answered, without mentioning Bhagawan, lest they would take me for treatment against hallucinations into a mental hospital!
Once on this subject of car accidents, i briefly described to the audience another incident which took place when i was about to get on the Freeway from a lower road and make a turn, when a passenger bus speeded by in front of me (!) like a hurricane, narrowly missing the nose of my car! Completely flabbergasted, I stopped with an open mouth in the middle of `Govinda Krishna Jai' and after a deep breath, i continued `Gopala Krishna jai' singing to Bhagawan a praise of gratitude for saving me from being run over by that flying giant of a bus (which i did not see comning behind a parked lorry that had obstructed it when i looked whether the highway was clear.)
i ended my talk, saying that many miraculous things were happening to me during this past year which was a very trying one for me. i said, if it were not for Bhagawan's help and guidance, i don't know how i could get through it safe and sane, since the most incredible situations were involved, including the use of witchcraft and black magic, to do away with me.
"Tell them about the ring!" urged Bhagawan, as soon as i concluded the talk.
So, i resumed and told about the ring which Bhagawan had given to me about three years ago, pleased with the Yogasanas i had been teaching the boys of the Sanskrit Patasala at Prasanthi Nilayam. Actually, He had first given me a different one He created. "Sadguna!" He said "Rays of Virtue!" He explained, while He gave it to me. When i came to my room i didn’t feel too happy about it, because it didn't have His image and i had given up wearing jewels ever since starting to teach Yoga in 1939.
The next morning, when we were all called back into the `interview room' the first thing Bhagawan told, turning to me was, "Give me the ring: Accha nahi hai (it is not good)" Then, taking it by the hand, He merely, blew on it, there by transforming it into a ring set with a single diamond. "You wanted to see My image in it?" He smiled, knowing my thoughts. "You will see it whenever you want, but, no one else will". With these words, He placed the ring on my finger. "Wear it, especially when going out", Bhagawan instructed, "it will let me know when you are in danger so that I can protect you."
Once when i was in far-off California, i looked at the ring and clearly saw in it Baba sitting in a white car! "He must be going somewhere", i figured and wrote down the date in the calendar. On another occasion, i saw Him addressing a crowd that was sitting in a semicircle. It did not look like Prasanthi Nilayam. Again, i made a note of the date and on my next pilgrimage to Prasanthi Nilayam, i checked the dates with Brother Kasturi. He attested that on the first occasion, Bhagawan had gone on tour on the date i saw Him. "I saw Him in a white car, whereas His car is a dark one". i argued! "He has now a white one", replied Brother. He also verified that on the second occasion Bhagavan was addressing a gathering in Kerala, where people sat in a semicircle!
"Are you spying on Him?" Brother Kasturi asked me, jokingly! When i quoted this remark of Brother Kasturi, Bhagawan and with Him, the entire audience broke into laughter. i felt that that was the best time for me to end my talk.