The Vibhuti Box…

When one’s heart is filled with devotion, when every cell of one’s being is pulsating with faith in Him, when He becomes our very breath, to earn Him, to secure His grace one will  do anything, forgetting all handicaps, forgetting the surroundings. The White Ash or Vibhuti is the Divine Panacea for devotees of Bhagawan. Innumerable stories have been heard about the miraculous touch of this Elixir Divine. How would you feel about this priceless possession if it was received directly from the Divine Hands? You are sure to go an ‘extra-mile to safely ‘safeguard’ this priceless possession. Here is a most pulsating account from Ms. Nanda Kishori Saxena of Kanpur depicting “how priceless this Divine Panacea” could be and how many “extra mile” one could go, forgetting the world around pursuing this Elixir Divine…extracted from Sai Spiritual Showers archivals.

The mail brought me a letter from the State President of the U. P. State Sai Organisation informing me that Swami had approved my name to act as the Group teacher of the U. P. girl students selected for the summer course at Brindavan 1978.

The morning session of the Valedictory function started with Swami’s Discourse consisting of references to the ordeals of His student life and ending with His exhorting the students to lead a life of Discipline, Duty and Devotion. Then He graciously allowed all participants the most coveted opportunity of ‘Padanamaskar’, turn by turn, and giving them ‘Vibhuti packets’ with His own hands. When my turn came, I prostrated myself at His feet. As I stood up, I uttered, inadvertently “Swami. Please bless me so that I can translate your ‘Chinna Katha’ in Urdu.” Swami, then looked at me closely for a moment and smiled. He graciously nodded and said, “Yes, Yes, do it.” Then He blessed me with eight packets of Vibhuti. I was too overwhelmed with joy to remember how I walked back to my seat. The fact that Swami spoke to me and blessed me made me feel an inward sense of spiritual wealth. After His Discourse was over, we returned to our dormitory. I carefully preserved this Blessed Vibhuti in an empty yellow tin box and tightly closed its lid.

In the early morning of the 21st June ’78 while the grounds of Brindavan were echoing the holy chantings of the Suprabhatam and the Nagarsankirtan was about to move, we were tearfully boarding the minibus—casting a last lingering look at the Sanctuary of Peace. Hardly had we outgrown our sad farewell sentiment when we found ourselves at Bangalore railway station. Soon we settled down in our seats. We closed the sliding door of the coupe from inside, and set about attending to morning chores.

Around 9 a.m. I remembered it was time I took the morning dose of my Blood Pressure medicine. I looked for it in my box and in my handbag and in my purse but it was nowhere. Perplexed I sat down in my seat next to the window and tried to recall where I could possibly locate it. Then the idea came to my mind that I might have kept it with Baba’s Vibhuti. At once I reached for the yellow tin in my box. Taking it in my hand, I opened the lid carefully but the medicine was not there either. The train had now picked speed and its jerky motion made my hands too shaky to close the lid tightly. I placed the tin on the windowsill of the train and thumped hard on its lid. To my horror, it suddenly slipped from my hand and rolled out of the window, down the railway track and fast faded from view as the train moved on. I was shocked. The world of Bliss seemed to have slipped from my grasp. I became frantic to the consternation of all present. “My Tin, My Tin, My Vibhuti tin—Oh, I have dropped it. I must get it back, I am going”. I shrieked, and rushed towards the sliding door. My frantic behaviour frightened my students. They tried to stop me. “Where are you going? We will give you our Vibhuti—Oh stop—Please don’t go”. But I had no ears for them. I had only one thought; I must get back my Vibhuti tin. It was Swami’s gift. How could I go back leaving it behind? No, I must find it—come what may. In this frenzy I almost forgot that, to open the door it had to be slid. Instead I violently pushed it forward and when it would not open I put all my pressure to break it open. To everyone’s horror the hinges which held the door tight suddenly loosened and the disjointed door fell against the upper berth facing it and I plunged out. The train was running fast and I could have met my death but miraculously I was unhurt.

I had no thought that I was running bare-footed—or that there was no certainty that I would find my precious Vibhuti or that having left my train, how I would return-penniless as I was. I even forgot that I was a woman or that I had left my wards in the train or I was a patient of blood-pressure and was not medically permitted to do hard physical activity; and here I was running fast—gasping for breath, each of which spoke only one prayer: “O Baba, please help me find my Vibhuti”.

I now had arrived on a point where another railway track intersected the one I had been following. “Won’t you show me the correct path O Baba?” I cried, as hot tears rolled down my cheeks. Next moment I was running again. Surely I had made the choice of my course but whither was it leading me? There was no going back now and so I ran on. And lo, suddenly in the green bushes down the railway track, there glittered a small yellow circular thing. It was the Vibhuti tin indeed. Ah, I had found it. I hungrily jumped towards it and picking it I pressed it against my heart and touched it with my head. Overwhelmed with joy I found myself crying again—but now the tears were of Gratitude.

Instinctively then, I wanted to run back to my train to share my Joy with the Sai devotees aboard it. I looked back; but where was the train? Evidently it had travelled far off. From the distance between us it appeared like a small toy-train. But still like one possessed I started running towards it. The return race was an ordeal. My feet seemed to be out of gear. I was panting with fatigue but I had no other way. Presently the train began assuming proportion and it looked larger in size. Had it come to a standstill or had I covered the gaping distance? I wondered. In the next few moments I was in a close range of it. Visibly there was no railway station for its stoppage, and yet the train had stopped, as if only to collect me! How could this be? But before I could think more I almost collapsed. The good doctor and some others helped me get into the train. They laid me on my berth and gave me Vibhuti dissolved in water to drink and also applied some of it on my forehead. Soon I recovered. I needed no more medicine.

II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II