Sai Humour 5

I would like to share with you three more amusing littles stories from the Sai Humour series of articles.

In the interview room once Sai Baba asked a devotee ”how do you spell wife”?  Before the man could answer Baba said  ”W.I.F.E, Worry Invited For Ever”.  Then seeing the look of disappointment on the face of the man’s wife he corrected himself and very sweetly said ”Wisdom Invited For Ever”.

A young man with long hair was amongst a number of devotees who had been called for a group interview one day.  After teasing the man for looking like a woman Baba told him to get a haircut.  The man said ”will you cut the first lock Swami”.  Shaking his head in mock horror Baba said ”I am Baba not barber”!

The American Dr John Hislop was blessed with having spent a lot of time with Swami before he left this Earth in 1996.  One day Hislop was invited along with Baba and other devotees to the house of a very well meaning devotee for lunch.  On seeing that there was not going to be enough food to go round Baba said to Hislop ”go to the car and bring the food”.  Hislop, knowing that there was no food in the car went anyway, expecting Baba to have performed one of his miracles.  But even he did not expect the sight that greeted him.  He was astounded to see two angels, complete with wings, standing by the car holding trays of food.  He took the trays and went back in the house with his mouth wide open in amazement.  On seeing the look on his face Baba said ”shut your mouth Hislop, they are always there, it’s just that you do not see them”!

Sai Humour 4

Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born Sathya Narayana Raju on November 23 1926 and started performing miracles from the age of three.  His playmates in the village nicknamed him ”Guru” because he held them spellbound with his materializations and stories containing profound spiritual teachings.  As a young schoolboy he would materialise pens, pencils, books and sweets for his schoolmates, who were invariably very poor and whose parents could not afford to buy them.  Of course, as well as winning many friends and admirers, the fact that little Sathya was obviously very special stirred up feelings of envy, suspicion and even hatred in the hearts of those who were jealous of his popularity; there was even two attempts on his life when he was young.  But that will be the subject of another article on another day.

One who succumbed to his own jealousy, and paid the price with his dignity, was none other than one of the teachers at young Raju’s primary school.  This particular teacher was very suspicious of the boy and always assumed that he was up to no good with his so-called materializations.  He had been watching Sathya, and on seeing him giving out pencils and books etc. on this particular day, assumed that he had stolen them.  As a punishment he made the boy stand up on a bench in class.  At the end of the lesson, the sight that beheld the teacher who came to take the next lesson must have been truly something to behold.

On entering the classroom the relief teacher was amazed to see that his colleague was still sitting in his chair with a very embarrassed look on his face, and that young Sathya was standing up on the bench.  However, this particular teacher was one that recognised the boy’s Divinity and he loved Sathya dearly; to the extent that he knew exactly what had happened.  As he approached, his red-faced colleague  explained that he was stuck in the chair and could not move.  Trying to suppress his amusement, the relief teacher explained to his colleague that he had better ask Sathya to step down from the bench.  He did this immediately and found that he was straight away able to stand up from the chair.  Needless to say he never accused the boy of stealing again.

Sai Humour 3

I am prompted today to recall a truly funny prank that Sri Sathya Sai Baba pulled on some of his students some years ago at his mountain ashram in Kodai Kanal.  Swami enjoyed the cooler climate at Kodai and would normally visit late March/early April time.

It is well known that Baba would often use humour in demonstrating spiritual lessons, and on this particular occasion, he had decided that his students at Kodai had been slacking and needed a wake up call.  I am not exactly sure why, but I believe that Baba felt that the students were concentrating too much on his physical form and not on his teachings.  If any reader has heard this story before and has more accurate detail then I would ask you to leave a comment so that I can update the post.

The students were very, very excited, as always, at the prospect of Baba’s visit.  But they were left completely and utterly baffled by Swami’s attitude and manner towards them on his arrival as March was nearing its end.  Instead of greeting them in his usual way with loving smiles and words he completely ignored them; there was not so much as even a glance.  The students couldn’t understand this and were extremely upset; they simply couldn’t understand why their Swami, whom they loved so much, would neither speak to them nor look at them.

The students became more and more distraught as the days went by and their beloved Swami continued to ignore them.  When he passed them on campus he simply looked towards the ground and walked by without a word, a glance or a smile.  It got to the point where the students started to argue amongst themselves as they sought an explanation of Baba’s apparently strange behaviour.  Fingers were pointed and accusations flew around as emotions became more and more fraught.  I believe that this went on for around ten days until finally, as March bade its farewell and April descended, the students could take no more and decided to confront Baba.  This was unheard of but they were so desperately distraught that they waited until Swami was walking in the grounds and confronted him.  As they did so Baba, still keeping his head down, raised his eyes in their direction, and with a cheeky grin on his face said ”April fool” and walked off.

Life Is But A Dream

I am so very lucky.  I know that death is nothing more than a figment of the imagination.  I have been out of my body on many occasions and I have interacted with discarnate souls on the astral planes via telepathy.  In my astral form I learned to pass through solid objects and I can also will myself back into my body when I become bored with the experience.  Ah!  I love that word ”experience”, for to experience is to know.  But knowledge without experience is only theory or concept.

Yes, I am so very lucky, for I know from experience that this earthly life is nothing but a dream.


Sailing To Infinity

Looking at this photo reminded me of something.  If you stand looking out to sea it could be that at some stage you will see a ship sailing off into the distance.  “There she goes”.   As the ship continues its journey it appears to get smaller and smaller until it eventually disappears over the horizon.  Now imagine that on a far distant shore there stands someone just like yourself, looking out to sea.  All of a sudden a ship appears on the horizon, ”here she comes”,  and seems to be getting bigger and bigger as it nears the shore.

The ship getting smaller and then bigger again is, of course, an illusion.  At no time during the course of the journey did the size of the ship change.  It may be worth me mentioning to you that what I have just described to you is the cycle of birth and death.  We use our vehilcle, or ship (physical body) to sail from one shore to the other across the ocean of life.  As we leave one dimension with our loved ones seeing us off, ”there he goes”, seemingly diminishing in size, we enter and grow into another, with loved ones welcoming us, ”here he comes”.

At no time during the course of the journey did ”who we really are” grow or diminish in size ; we were always Divine Spirit in all its infinite glory.

The photograph above was very kindly provided by Author and Photographer Janet Beasley of JLB Creatives.  Please follow the link below to access Janet’s blog.  Janet is a featured author at

That Sinking Feeling

A yogi once challenged Sri Sathya Sai Baba to a contest of powers; of course, as you would expect, Baba did not even entertain the yogi and treated the request with the contempt it deserved.  The yogi had organised an event, during which he was going to walk on water, and his thinking was that if he could get Swami to attend, his name would attract huge crowds, thus giving the yogi a chance to make some good money.  The day of the event came, and in front of the gathered crowd, the yogi stepped out onto a large vat of water and promptly sank!  Speaking about this some time later Baba said that the yogi’s downfall was that he allowed his judgement to be swayed by his ego.  Once the ego entered into the equation the yogi was always going to be a loser.  This story prompts me to muse on the powers that yogis have and whether having such powers makes someone a spiritually enlightened person.

I remember reading Autobiography Of A Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.  Yogananda wrote about how he went in search of his guru.  Before he met Sri Yukteshwa Giri, who would evetually become his guru and master, Yogananda encountered several others who seemingly had amazing powers and would have made ideal teachers.  There was the levitating saint and the swami who wrestled with tigers and always won.  But the astute young Yogananda saw all these things for what they really were, which was nothing more than novelty.  he was not interested in showmanship; he was searching for enlightenment.  To us mere mortals a levitating yogi or a tiger wrestling yogi would surely be the ultimate guru.  But in truth, although it takes a great and prolonged period of spiritual discipline before an individual could levitate or walk on water, the yogis who develop these powers are actually quite selfish.

You don’t develop such powers by devoting your life to others, you develop them by devoting your life, by and large, to yourself.  As Baba always said, in this age of vast change the simplest and most effective way to reach God (enlightenment) is to engage in the selfless service of others; for to serve others is to serve God; God being present in all human beings.  This action of selfless service is called Karma Yoga; yoga meaning union with God.  It is said that those who use their precious time here on the Earth to develop amazing yogic powers without giving of their time in service to humanity do not become truly enlightened.  To devote so much time in developing powers of showmanship would imply that there is always going to be an attachment to the ego-self.  A truly enlightened being, Buddha for example, would have been in a permanent state of bliss because he transcended the ego.  Whereas the yogis in question would merely have flitted in and out of a blissful state.

What we feel as individuals on this subject of course depends on our own perception of what is ”fantastic” and what isn’t.  Swami himself used to say that his miracles of manifestation etc. were only for the purpose of grabbing people’s attention, and did not in any way represent his true mission here on Earth.  For examples of Swami’s true miracles we need look no further than his fresh drinking water projects, his Super Speciality Hospitals, his hospitals, schools and universities; and of course the way his very name united millions and millions of people from all over the globe and from all walks of life.


Ahh sunset; that beautiful crossover point between day and night.  Two polarities in perfect paradox to each other; that cannot exist simultaneously but at the same time cannot exist without each other.  Indeed they only exist BECAUSE of each other.  For if there were no day it would be impossible for night to follow.  Indeed, how do we know when it is night time?  Because we have EXPERIENCED day time, and when the sun sets on the horizon we know that the day we have just experienced will be replaced by the night.  But wait!  There is a further paradox here.  Because we also have sunrise which exists in juxtaposition to sunset, and everything just stated about sunset also applies to sunrise.  Just one example of how the whole of creation exists as a perfect paradox.

Have you ever considered this….. How lucky we are that we are able to experience pain?  You see, pleasure and pain go hand in hand and you cannot have one without the other.  Consider further, that if we were to live our lives in a permanent state of bliss, it would be so boring.  Why?  I hear you ask.  Because if there were no pain and we lived our lives in a permanent state of bliss, we would never know we were happy because there would be nothing to compare our bliss with.  It’s like prefering to taste the sweet juice of an orange as opposed to the bitter because we have tried sour fruits and concluded that we do not like them.

Think about all the trials and tribulatioons that you have faced in this life and it will be difficult for you not to feel that you have gained great strength from them.  It’s also true to say that we learn so much about ourselves by experiencing life’s ups and downs.  Think about who you are today and it will again be difficult not to acknowledge that you are who you are BECAUSE of your experiences and NOT in spite of them.  Externally you may perceive yourself to be weak when faced with adversity, but you always manage to delve into that infinite ocean of inner strength and pull out something extra when the need arises.  This is because you actually ARE a being of infinite bliss, and it is the ”inner” that is your truth and not the ”outer”.  The external world of paradox is simply an arena where we play the game of life; a stage, where as actors we take part in each scene of the play in accordance with our choices.

Choices?  That is also a difficult one, because none of us would consciously choose pain over pleasure.  But what we can choose is how we deal with the experiences that come our way.  That is the beauty of relativity; one man’s success is another man’s failure.  What makes me laugh may make you cry.

Once descended into flesh our sun rises through infancy, adolesence, adulthood and old age until it eventually sets on the dreamland stage of this earthly life, only to rise once more in glorious, glorious light; a perfect paradox…. a truly perfect paradox.

All is perfect, so perfectly perfect

Whatever being lives, moves and breathes on Earth

At every level from atom to galaxy

Is absolutely perfect in its place.

The Isa Upanishad



Sri Sathya Sai Baba Never Forgets His Children Part Two (Updated)

This is a wonderful story I heard just a few days ago.

An elderly couple in their eighties, Valerie and Maurice Allen, enlisted the help of a young couple to carry out some work in the rather large garden of their house in Surrey.  Valerie and Maurice had come to Swami relatively late in life; they were in their sixties when they first heard of Baba through their son, who had been a principal architect for one of Swami’s Super Speciality Hospitals.  But, as we know, age is but a number and has no meaning beyond this realm of illusion.

They went 12 times to Puttaparthi, and were blessed with 12 interviews.   During one of these interviews Swami manifested a huge diamond ring for Maurice, which he wears all the time.  I should also mention at this stage that the elderly couple had a large picture of Swami hanging up in their hallway; this is very significant.

When the work was done the two youngsters went on their way, but later that night there was a knock at the door.  Maurice answered, leaving the security chain on the door, and found the young couple standing there.  The young man said they had a problem with the car radiator and could they have some water.  Maurice was a bit suspicious and told the young man that there was a tap around the side of the house and that he should help himself.   But the young man said they had no container and asked to borrow a jug.  Maurice went and got a jug from the kitchen but when he took the chain off the door to pass it to the young man the couple forced their way in.  The young man then wrestled Maurice, who was quite frail, to the floor whilst shouting at his girlfriend ”get the ring, get the ring!”  At this point Valerie, thinking some noisy visitors had arrived, came out of the living room to see what all the fuss was about.  The young man then turned his attention towards her.  He was in the process of lunging at her when he was stopped in his tracks.  He stood for at least a full minute staring transfixed at the picture of Swami hanging in the hallway behind where Valerie was standing; it was as though time had stood still.  Suddenly, forgetting about the ring, he grabbed his girlfriend and they fled into the night, never to be seen again.

This is just one of literally thousands of examples of how Omnipresent Sri Sathya Sai Baba comes to the aid of his children when misfortune comes calling.


Unity In Diversity

Today, 10 September 2011, I attended a fantastic event in Bath that was organised by Region 7 of The Sri Sathya Sai Organisation here in the UK.  The event was an interfaith prayer meeting and it was attended by representatives of the Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Bahai and Jewish communities of Bath, and of course, devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

It was a very harmoneous event with some wonderful devotional singing and an amazingly inspirational video; we were also graced with the presence of The Mayor of Bath himself.  But for me the highlight of the afternoon was one hilarious moment when a man called Peter, representing the Jewish community, roped his son, James, into joining him on stage.  Then in the middle of trying to teach the audience to sing in Jewish, he grabbed his son for an inpromtu Jewish dance.   The hall errupted in laughter…..ahh that wonderful thing, laughter; the universal language that everyone understands; that great bringer together of people.  That particular moment along with the afternoon’s events in general proved once again that race, colour, creed, sect and/or religion are no barrier to people coming together in love and harmony.

For me the event summed up what Swami’s teachings have always been about.  He never preached religion, instead he encouraged people to always do their best in whatever religion they were born into.  He always said that people should simply strive to be good Hindus, Christians or Jews etc. and that we should never criticise the faith of another.  As ever Swami’s presence was very strong in the hall and I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.  To finish I will share with you a poem by an Irish poet called John O’Donohue, which was read to the group by the minister representing the Christian Community of Bath.

On Meeting A Stranger

With respect

And reverence

That the unknown

Between us

Might flower

Into discovery

And lead us


That familiar field

Blind with the weed

Of weariness

And the old walls

Of Habit.




Sri Sathya Sai Baba Never Forgets His Children Part One

It’s going to give me great pleasure writing this article because I’m going to tell you a true story about about how Swami bestowed his loving grace onto a truly wonderful man.  A man that I have great pleasure in being aquainted with; and a man who was truly deserving of Swami’s grace.

For about the last four years I have been attending, whenever possible, the once- a-month bhajan (devotional songs) sessions at the Claverton Hall in Bath with the Bath Sai Baba group.  Because I live around 25 miles away it is not always possible for me to attend, and take part in the other activities that the group organise.  I am eternally grateful to my wonderful friend and brother, Satyan, for introducing me to this group after I met him for the first time at an event celebrating Swami’s birthday in 2007.  However, I digress slightly.  Whenever I went along I noticed that a man called Patrick was always in attendance, and I also found that he was always one of the first to arrive to help set up, and always one of the last to leave after clearing away and tidying up.  I learned also that Patrick always got involved with the seva (service) activities that the group organised, such as the feeding of the homeless at the hostel in Bath City Centre.  I got to know Patrick after a few visits and quickly became aware that he was a man of great humility with the wisdom of a sage, and I also just assumed that he lived in Bath.  I also just assumed that he had been to Prashanti Nilayam on a number of occasions.

Two things, however, really surprised me.  Firstly, when I was chatting to Patrick just prior to my first visit to Swami in 2009, I was amazed to hear that he’d never actually been himself.  Secondly, I was equally amazed when someone told me that Patrick does not actually live in Bath; he apparently lives in Bradford-On-Avon, which I believe is at least five miles away.  Not only that, he doesn’t drive either; he travels everywhere by pushbike.  Nothing too unusual about that, but not only is the Claverton Hall at the top of a very steep hill, but it’s also a very long hill, and I remember one particularly bitterly cold Thursday night in December when the group held a Christmas Carol service at the hall, Patrick had been there then; helping to set up and pack away.  It’s difficult to believe that someone would be so devoted to Swami that he would go to those lengths to ”do his bit”.  Anyway, that’s the background information, now on to the main point of the story.

As I mentioned in a previous article Swami had invited devotees from all over the world to attend a pilgrimage in 2010.  The UK had been invited, along with several other countries, to attend in August of that year.  Various devotees from Region 7 (of which Bath is a part) were going.  Unfortunately, Patrick, being a family man, didn’t have the spare cash to spend on the cost of the flight.  However, Baba had other ideas.  Because the group booked a bulk ticket the airline offered one free seat for the return journey.  So, it was decided that all the names of people who wanted to go but couldn’t were put into a hat.  Patrick’s name was amongst them, and lo and behold, his name was drawn.  But there was more to come.

I saw Patrick some time after and I was telling him how happy I was for him that he was able to go.  What he told me next left me nigh on gobsmacked.  Patrick said that he had been at Prashanti for a number of days and did not even think that he would get any personal attention from Swami, especially on the day in question, because when he was sitting in darshan he was quite a few rows back and never in a million years even dreamed that Baba would single him out.

Now anyone who is familiar with Baba will know, that during the last few years in his physical form, he was in a wheelchair.  This particular day Patrick was sitting in line with the throngs of people and Swami was being wheeled along in the gangway area specially left clear for his wheelchair (the days when Swami would glide amongst the masses like an orange-robed angel were long since gone).  All of a sudden the wheelchair stopped and Baba looked over towards Patrick.  As he did so a man sitting a few rows in front sat up obscuring Patrick’s view.  Patrick said he quickly moved his head to one side just in time for Swami to make eye contact with him and say ”so you have come at last”.

I was overjoyed to hear this and I can just imagine how he felt.  Out of all the thousands and thousands of people in darshan Baba chose to shower his grace on Patrick.  I was over the moon for him.

I will close by sharing an experience that occurred just six days prior to writing this article.

I had not been to the hall for what must have been over six months and I was having an ”inner calling” to attend.  I wanted to get there at 13:45 in order to take part in the study group prior to bhajans.  But due to circumstances I wasn’t able to get there until the bhajans were about half-way through.  As I entered I noticed empty seats at the front where Patrick was sitting.  I sat down and we acknowledged each other.  Within seconds of sitting down Swami enfolded me in his Omnipresence and I felt my heart bursting with love; my eyes just filled up with tears of joy.  It was as though my loving Father was welcoming me home.  When the bhajans were over I was able to have a brief conversation with Patrick.  As ever I found a few minutes in his company so uplifting and inspirational.  It was like a double whammy for me.  Baba showering me in his love, and words of wisdom from Patrick; a truly perfect afternoon.