A group of 60 Americans, educators, anthropologists and other professionals, most of them ladies, studying the ancient mysteries of the East, with Jean Houston, an eminent American scholar of ancient cultures, came on an all India tour to experience the rich culture of Bharat and its ancient wisdom. A visit to Prasanthi Nilayam to have the Darshan of Sai Baba was on the itinerary and they arrived on January 13th.
At 3.30 in the afternoon I was walking out of Sai Sadan on my way to the canteen and I was greeted by two members of the group whom I had met in America, last summer. They asked for directions and I soon became involved with a few other hastily recruited residents of the Ashram, in arranging for the comforts of these 60 souls. We arranged to bring the whole group together for Darshan but Swami was leaving the Mandir grounds in His car. It turned out that Swami was going to the Hill View Stadium.
The 60 confused and disappointed individuals were unable to decide whether to return immediately to Bangalore, without seeing Swami, or to go to the Stadium on the off chance that they might get Darshan there as they would have been more than satisfied with getting just one short glimpse of this world acclaimed Person. It seems they had started from Bangalore, packed into two small tourist buses. At the Andhra Karnataka border, one of the buses was found to be without the proper permit. So all the 60 had to crowd themselves into the other bus, to continue the journey.
Now, they learned that the Darshan had been cancelled. It started to rain, first in an intermittent drizzle and then in a steady fall.
"Can't we follow where Sai Baba went? We will go any place for just one distant look at Him."
So they all drove to the Stadium, where a volleyball game was in progress with the Brindavan team pitted against the Prasanthi Nilayam team. Swami's grace allowed us and the 60 to be in His presence for about 20 minutes.
Moving this large body of people quickly took a long time. When the bus unloaded again in Prasanthi Nilayam, we discovered that Swami had arrived 20 minutes earlier. Luckily almost the whole group got seats in choice positions, directly across the temple. No better seats could have been obtained. The Divine Director provided for all.
Swami walked out of the Mandir heading for the flower encircled lotus and suddenly walked straight to where the ladies of the group were seated. He made some Vibhuti for Dr. Houston, the group leader, and another. He also materialized rock candy for a member and took a few letters from some people in the group. Moving several steps along the Darshan line He materialized Vibhuti and rock candy for three other members of the group.
At this point, I offered Swami a handkerchief to wipe His Vibhuti filled hands. He called me out of the Darshan line to come close to Him to bring the kerchief, which He then used to wipe His fingers. Swami uses us as His instruments to serve Him by serving others, and in the process He fills us with His sweet Love and Bliss. Swami tossed the handkerchief back to me. I returned to my seat. A member of the group, sitting directly behind me, asked to touch the kerchief, which she did with deep reverence. I told her she could keep it. Instantly, tears started streaming down her face. It seems that in Vancouver, Canada, this woman had a very dear friend, who had fallen ill with polio. The patient had made one request of her friend, that if she had a chance to visit Sai Baba on her trip to India, would she please try to bring back something that Baba had touched, something that she could wear on her person. Every tiny detail of Swami's activity is part of His Divine Play.
After bhajans, the professors (as Swami referred to them) were taken by bus to the Lecture Hall. People who had received Vibhuti shared it with others. Supreme happiness was felt by all, even the gents in the group whom Swami had not approached. When the group settled down, Sri Drucker answered questions and gave a brief talk about the Path to God involving Service, Devotion and Wisdom. The joyous group of 60 professors boarded the bus for their return journey to Bangalore, and on to Delhi, the next morning.
In five hours, Swami performed what turned out to be a major transformation, in His incomparably loving way.