My wife Marsha returned from her first trip to Swami in 1977. She had been present at the last public Maha Shivaratri, during which our beloved Swami manifested Vibhuti, showered the audience with Ram Tirth, and produced what Prof. Kasturi was later to describe as a "self illumining crystal lingam".
Soon after her return, Marsha and I were on a visit to my father and step-mother. When they asked her, "Tell us about your trip in India," she proceeded to do just that, with all the enthusiasm of one who had just returned from her first three months with the Avatar.
Producing photographs of Swami holding up the glowing lingam, Marsha excitedly explained to this senior medical man how Sai Baba produced this unidentifiable object in His body, and then brought it forth from His mouth every year to the delight of His devotees. This was, to say the least, very difficult for my father to grasp or accept.
We did not know it at the time, but this conversation was a turning point in our relationship with our folks. Being so unfamiliar with anyone even remotely like Sai Baba they felt sure that we were being taken in by a master magician, and "feared for our sanity". As the years passed however, their fears abated when they perceived we had not given up personal control over our lives, and continued to develop as human beings.
Three years after this visit we were back again, talking in that room where the fateful exchange had taken place. I was browsing in the kitchen cabinets when I spied a set of goblets I had never seen before—of clear heavy crystal. "Hey Nona!" I called to my step-mother with mild curiosity, "where did you get the crystal goblets?" "Oh, those were a gift to your father from Dr. Sivalingam." "Oh." I replied.
So, the sceptical doctor who so profoundly doubted Lord Siva's ability to produce a lingam of crystal, had himself received crystal from a doctor named Sivalingam! And unknowingly participated in an exquisite first hand experience of what Einstein might have meant when he proclaimed, in referring to how "nature conceals her sublimity": "SUBTLE IS THE LORD, (but not malicious)..."
In August 1989 Bhagawan invited our group of twenty one Americans for an interview. I resolved that, with His Grace, I would leave it knowing more about my connection to Einstein.
During the interview Baba gave everyone private time, answered questions on all aspects of personal life, and blessed Marsha's and my entry into advanced studies in psychology. He materialized a diamond pendent for her, and a red, white and blue on gold pendent for my daughter Nilima. I was sitting next to Baba in the same position as in 1978 and was filled to overflowing.
Again, I had an opportunity to pose my question about the meaning of my relationship to Einstein. I took the opportunity, and Swami revealed some personal information that I will ponder for some time to come.
Swami then went on to say the following to the group:
"Einstein is a body. That body is dead. He was a very good man. Einstein was very patient. Peace, Peace, Peace. He was always thinking of Bhagawan."
Swami, in an apparent reference to Einstein's pain that his work laid the foundation for nuclear weapons, said "Einstein made 'gunpowder' and felt bad at the end (of his life), —he said: I have made a mistake, this was a mistake.”
Swami: "What is a scientist? Science is the study of creation. Spirituality is studying the Creator."
[Swami draws a circle with His finger on the wall:] "Man as scientist works from senses down. Man as Spirit works from senses up." [Points to top of circle] "See, science is only a ' C,' (tracing one half of a circle) but Spirit is full circle. It is the difference between this and that."
Swami concluded by saying: "If science were more spiritual, it would know more. Science is no love. Science tries to get the exact truth but has no goal; it is random. Always in the laboratory. There is no love in science. Study Spirit! Spirit has a goal. Know yourself and you know everything.”
What about the Future?
To Einstein's sadness, a major response to his discoveries about relativity has been fear about the future of the planet itself.
A question arises: Dose a means exist to view or make use of Einstein's insights in a positive way—one that will truly be a "blessing to mankind, and not a curse?”
I am not a physicist or mathematician; but I offer several thoughts about this question.
I believe that not only can the example of Einstein's life stand as a blessing to humankind, but that one of the most profound expressions of his work can serve as well: the formula E = mc² (energy equals mass into the velocity of light squared).
We are accustomed to think of this formula in primarily negative terms, the unleashing of the atom's destructive potential. Paradoxically, I feel that it embodies something of a most heartening spiritual nature as well.
E = mc² mathematically expresses the unity to which Swami frequently refers, through its having scientifically established that matter and energy—the tangible and the invisible—are wholly equivalent and interchangeable i.e., that mass is simply concentrated energy; and that energy is mass minus form.
To expand: Starting with denser forms of energy, we might consider Einstein's discovery E = mc² as a metaphorical “two sided coin", with one side dark, the other light.
We are quite familiar with the "dark side"—nuclear fission. The concept of a "light" side could be considered along the following lines of thought
On the "dark" side, it seems that by tracing matter, visible and tangible, to its most extreme potentiality, we observe that it transmutes into energy, having a destructive effect upon other matter (nuclear fission).
If we do the reverse, and trace energy, diffuse and invisible, back through its various forms; from radiation, combustion, electricity, and human thought, we come to its ultimate state, Divine Thought, which we know can exert a most constructive influence upon matter.
Einstein's formula accomplishes two things: It teaches the fundamental truth that "All" is in fact "One", and that the various forms of this One can be used either for our annihilation or for our highest good, depending on the consciousness with which it is used.
Paradoxically, E = mc² provides both the means to destroy the world, and scientific validation of liberating truth that everything is interconnected and stems from one source. (The threat of the former perhaps also motivating us to seek the latter). That Source, Reality which Einstein laboured to discover, has come among us in the form of Bhagawan Baba.
While the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, granted Albert Einstein rare insight into some of the workings of His creation, and though Einstein revolutionised science and our perception of reality, like any of us, he was not fully able to grasp all aspects of his favourite subject of study.
Like Spinoza, Einstein asserted his belief in an impersonal God saying, "I can't believe in a God who gets involved in the affairs of men." Ironically, though he helped in preparing us for the Presence by demonstrating the essential unity of all creation, like Moses, Albert Einstein glimpsed but did not enter the Promised Land: he died never knowing that the Eternal Principle he sought had actually come among us.
Interestingly, and consistent with many aspects of both physics and spirituality, an element of paradox exists regarding this question. As those who have come into the orbit of Sri Sathya Sai Baba can well attest, the Creator is infinitely multi faceted and unpredictable; at one moment seemingly detached and remote "from the affairs of men” while at another (if not simultaneously) intimately involved with them, down the minutest details of their lives...
Baba's Presence here among us perhaps the greatest expression of His love, and far transcending our limits knowledge, represents the perfect synthesis of energy and matter, time an space. To gaze upon Him is in fact to see energy and matter combined in their most mysterious and perfect form.
When we consider the fact the Baba has given us His personal assurance that the world will not end in nuclear annihilation, we can know that we are beyond the shadow of the fearful implications of E = mc² and in the light of His Divine Presence, which beckon us to realize that energy, as Light, Love—God—is our only Reality. Firmly rooted in this truth, we can confidently proceed with our individual roles in Swami's transformation of the present era into a Golden Age of Divine Consciousness, utterly permeated by His Love.
May Sai bless us with the faith ant skill to traverse this world always remembering who He declares we are true synthesis of matter and Diving Energy.
"The world was created by the word of God so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.” — Saint Paul.