Who Am I? Part Twenty Two


You may recall that I shared with you the story surrounding the book, “Discover Your Psychic Powers”, by Tara Ward? Well, what I didn’t say was that when I went to buy it, another book jumped out at me, “Psychic Surgeon”, by Grant Soloman. In fact, this book jumped out at me before I even clapped eyes on the Tara Ward book, so I ended up buying both of them. Hold that thought because I’ll be returning to this in the next post…

Sitting in the development circle run by John Geis was the best thing that happened to me since I found Wood Green Karate Club back in 1974.I became disciplined in daily meditation and I seemed to be going in the right direction. I was now back at work too and I’d moved out of the flat in Gorse Hill. All-in-all life had got much better; there was still the little matter of my drinking but I will also be coming to that in the next post. John’s group sat in the living room, while his wife Sue’s group sat in the healing room. Afterwards the two groups would gather in the healing room and chat over tea and biscuits. The healing room was a wonderful room; it had such a beautiful energy that it was impossible not to feel at peace when you were in there. Around the walls there were various paintings and pictures of holy men and spirit guides etc. We had Christ, the Dalai Lama and also a small picture of an Indian man with hair like Jimi Hendrix. He had one or both of his arms (I can’t remember exactly) raised as if in blessing. I noticed the picture but didn’t pay too much attention to it; I suppose mainly because I didn’t have a clue who it was and I wasn’t inspired to ask about the man’s identity.

many months later, Sue’s group had undergone some changes and she had a new set of people sitting with her. One of these people was a man called John. One night, before group started, myself, John Geis and the other John were standing chatting in the healing room. Somehow, the conversation got around to the Indian man with fuzzy hair in the picture. I said casually, “who’s that, one of them guru blokes”. John Geis looked at me in disgust and said, “that’s God”! I didn’t understand what he meant and I didn’t realise it at the time, but in that moment, Sri Sathya Sai Baba introduced himself to me and it was the start of a great love affair. It was always impossible to describe with words just who or what Baba actually was; he always used to say, “You can never comprehend who I am, so don’t try”. He has been described as a holy man, a saint, God in human form, an Avatar* and much, much more. But for me, the simplest explanation, and what I truly believe in accordance with my actual experiences of Baba, is that he was a ray of light direct from source, in its absolute purest form, that took human birth in a physical body.

The difference between Baba and Christ, for example, is that Baba was a full Avatar, which means that he took birth with all the powers that he displayed (and many more that he didn’t display), and he was performing miracles at the age of three. Whereas Christ, although a highly evolved soul, had to go through an awakening process to realise the truth of his being. I’m not going to go too deeply into all my experiences with Baba, or Swami as I called him, because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, and I’ve already written so much about him in several of my books. Instead, I’m just going to give a bit of an outline and let the reader carry out further research as they wish.

Sai Baba was born in Puttaparthi, a remote village in southern India, on November 23, 1926, and given the family name of Satya Narayana Raju. From a very young age he was materialising books and pencils for his playmates out of thin air, quoting ancient scriptures word for word and composing wonderful music and poetry. He was beaten and even subjected to torture by his family who thought he was possessed by evil spirits. But at the age of 14, after many, many miracles and being hailed as guru by the villagers, Satya Narayana announced his Divinity and his mission for mankind, and was henceforth known as Sai Baba. As word of this incredible God-Man spread, Puttaparthi started to attract visitors from all over India and eventually the whole world. An ashram was built, which after a while simply couldn’t cope with the throngs of visitors from the four corners of the globe. The ashram, known as Prashanthi Nilayam (Abode of The Highest Peace) eventually expanded into a township in its own right, with shops, a post office, a bank, a police station and various other outlets. The darshan* hall alone holds 20,000 people, and every year millions of people pass through Prashanthi hoping for healing and guidance.

I was fortunate enough to visit Prashanthi on two occasions. However, by the time Baba gave me the inner call in 2009, and again in 2010, the ashram was just so busy, that especially during festival times, it made Vatican Square on new Pope day look like an empty room. As you would expect, there was also an element of negative press associated with swami; indeed some horrendous things were written about him over the years that were very upsetting for devotees. But swami just ignored all the negative stuff and quietly went about his mission. The negative press generally came from people who either had no experience of Baba, or who had experience of him but became bitter when he did not give them his undivided attention. The closest I ever managed to get to him was about 4-5 feet. By this time his physical form was very frail and he was in a wheelchair. However, I’ve written this about him so many times in the past and I’m going to write it again. He was an incredibly beautiful being. It was obvious to me that he was not of this world; he had a really dead-pan look on his face, but when he smiled it made your heart melt. He radiated pure love and I am eternally grateful that the Avatar took me under his wing.

For me his two greatest miracles are his fresh drinking water project and his series of Super Speciality Hospitals. Swami’s fresh drinking water project, which is ongoing, started in 1994 and its aim was to supply remote villages in India with potable water. It was the largest project of its kind ever undertaken by mankind, but thanks to Baba over 800 (and counting) villages have been supplied with a fresh supply of drinking water. Also, Swami has built several Super Speciality Hospitals where the poor and needy can get specialist heart and eye treatments completely free of charge. An architect that had undertaken work for the British Royal Family said that the planning alone for such a bold venture would take five years and the building many more years. Yet the plans for the first hospital, erected on the outskirts of Puttaparthi, took just five months, and seven months later no less than three heart procedures were carried out on the day the hospital opened.

I wrote about Baba more extensively in my book, The Amazing Journey, so I’m going to bring this post to a close now. However, Swami will pop up again before I complete my story. Below you will find links to a couple of old blog posts relating to Baba, a you tube video of his famous vibhuti (sacred ash) miracle and to my page on this blog devoted to The Amazing Journey

*Avatar – The descent of God into a physical body. Even though all of us are a descent of God into a physical body, an Avatar is the descent of God in its purest form into a physical body.

*Darshan – Within the sight of a Divine being.

Blog Post It’s All A Matter Of Perspective

Blog Post God Goes Home

The Amazing Journey

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Thought For The Day #168

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Each of us in our own way can try to spread compassion into people’s hearts. Western civilizations these days place great importance on filling the human brain with knowledge, but no one seems to care about filling the human heart with compassion. This is what the real role of religion is – Dalai Lama

They Don’t Call Him The Dalai Lama For Nothing


A few days ago I was idly watching a morning current affairs programme when to my pleasant surprise an interview with the Dalai Lama was shown.  He had been in the UK, and the good old BBC had recorded an interview that he gave with Andrew Marr.  Mr Marr is renowned for taking no prisoners, especially when he is interviewing politicians.

Two things struck me about the Dalai Lama during the course of that brief interview.  Firstly, I was really surprised that his command of the English language was not to the standard that I had assumed it would be.  Having said that, I don’t speak Tibetan, so we can safely say that his English blows my command of his own Mother Tongue completely out of the water.  The other thing was that he didn’t seem to have much of a personality.  These are not judgements you understand, but merely observations.  I was actually a bit disappointed that I could not imagine myself enjoying witty banter with him over a mug of green tea and a plate of Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers.

Andrew Marr seemed to be having difficulty understanding him, and although more restrained than normal, he managed to ask His Holiness one very leading question during this all-too-brief interview.  Well, I suppose he had to, didn’t he?  Otherwise he wouldn’t have been Andrew Marr.  Mr Marr asked His Holiness if it was true that he’d enjoyed a very cordial relationship with the late Mau Tse-Tung (or Chairman Mau as he was know), the Chinese Communist revolutionary and founding father of The People’s Republic of China.   Mr Marr offered that it seemed rather unusual for the Tibetan leader of the Buddhist religion to be “snuggling” up with the leader of a country that was responsible for inflicting such terrible suffering on his own.  I must admit that it certainly was news to me and I also thought it to be strange to say the least.  Unruffled, His Holiness simply answered rather enthusiastically in the affirmative, and then went on to share an anecdote with the now rather bewildered looking Mr Marr.  He went on to say that the relationship between him and Mau was so good in fact that when, on occasion, they met up for meals, he had food served to him by Mau personally.  Not only that, the good Chairman would use his own chopsticks to put food in the Dalai Lama’s bowl.  His Holiness went on to say that in his mind he would be privately horrified that the Chairman might also have been serving up some of his germs too.  This little anecdote was completely lost on Andrew Marr who greeted the revelation with all the enthusiasm of a turkey waiting for Christmas.

……. And then it was all over.  Mr Marr said “thank you” and The Dalai Lama, ever cordial, raised his hands towards him in the namaskar position as they exchanged polite goodbyes.

The whole thing seemed a bit surreal to me, and I actually felt quite disappointed that the holy man was not how I imagined him to be.  Not only that, he was also prone to “doing lunch” with a tyrant.  Let’s face it, China’s record on human rights, to this day, does leave something to be desired.  However, it was either the next day or the day after when I had one of those eureka moments.  The penny dropped!  How could I have been so blind to have missed what was actually going on right before my eyes.  One of the most important and basic fundamental principles of Buddhism is non-judgementalism.  The Dalai Lama was simply demonstrating that he was true to his religion and himself.  It reminded me a bit of what Gandhi said just prior to India gaining independence.  There were those who wanted to go down the terrorist route and were trying to encourage Gandhi to side with them.  But even though he had been beaten and unjustly thrown into jail on countless occasions by the British, he said “no, we want the British to leave as our friends”.

What the Dalai Lama did during that interview was actually to demonstrate why some people (him for instance) are spiritual leaders, and others (me for instance) are spiritual aspirants.  He of course was, and is, well aware of the plight of his country and its people, caused solely by the actions of the Chinese.  But he did not pass judgement on Mau Tse-Tung.  Instead, he accepted the friendship of someone he simply saw as another human being.  Yes, they don’t call him The Dalai Lama for nothing.

If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding – The Dalai Lama

 

 

 

Thought For The Day #70

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I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion, and elimination of ignorance, selfishness, and greed – The Dalai Lama

 

London’s Burning


I saw this quoted by someone on Twitter earlier today, and it does kind of make you wonder what moves people to do the things they do.  For me it just about summed up how people in differnet parts of the world have different priorities.

”The youth in the Middle East are rioting for basic human rights, whilst the youth in London are rioting for a 42” Plasma HD ready TV”