As a boy of fourteen, when Baba was still at the Uravakonda High School, every Thursday evening, between about 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. He became Shirdi Sai Baba and gave Darshan to hundreds of devotees and answered their prayers. I was a teacher in the High School then and I too took advantage of those Thursdays. “My student” Sathya used to take even then as He does now, Vibhuti by a wave of the hand! My 22-year-old daughter had died sometime previously and my wife was in great distress. Sathya used to come to my residence and give her long discourses on the problem of life and death, and, thanks to His wise ministration, she became normal soon, His words full of Prema pacified the agitations of her mind, and restored her devotion to the Lord. On the second Thursday that she offered worship He gave her “the vibhuti” and said, ” Ammayi! I appreciate your Bhakti; I am pleased; next week, come, I shall give you a gift.”
That day, He asked her to rise from His Feet when she prostrated. He said, “Ammayi! I am giving you a piece of the gerua I wore when I entered Samadhi at Shirdi for the last time” and closing his Palm for an instant, He opened it to show us a piece of cloth 4 inches square. “Take this and do Puja to My Name; come next week, I shall give you something more.” He said and sent us away, in great joy, for, while we took leave, He added: “Be happy henceforth for, I shall carry all your burdens for you.”
The next Thursday, we both went to Him and did Namaskar. That day he closed His Palm and when He opened It, there had materialised a quantity of Akshatha or rice grains. “Tie this in the cloth given last week and worship It. You will get mental quiet,” He blessed. You will not have any cause for grief; I am conferring on you full Bhakti.”
The 5th Thursday, too, another miracle happened. He told my wife, “Ammayi! Keep a Peetha (seat) in your house, in the Puja Room, and I shall be giving you Darshan there itself,” and He made us do it immediately.
We have all read how Krishna with His brother Balarama went to the house of Arjuna and granted Darshan to him and his consort and also showered blessings on them. This Sathya Sai too, Who is the same Krishna and the same Shirdi Sai came to the house of this poor bhakta and blessed us with a vision of His Mahima; we can never forget the exquisite thrill of that experience. He came on two consecutive days, the Krishna Janmashtami and the Rohini Day. The wonderful experiences of those days have been described by my wife in a poem published over her name Kamesvaramma in the “Sai Sudha” of April 1944 printed by the All India Sai Samaj, Madras. I have also put them in verse and included it in the “Sainatha Sathakam” I published as a separate book in 1944.
He came and sat on the Peetha in the Puja room and asked us to come in and sit by His side; He then asked us whether we did not desire to see the various leelas of previous Births. When we welcomed the idea enthusiastically, He agreed to show them to us and all the family collected around. He ordered us to watch Him and, (Would you believe it? You may not, until you yourself experience the same or similar miracles of Baba) we were thrilled by the Form of Narayana on the Ocean of Milk, reclining on the Vatapathra. We heard only word after word, announcing the next Form. The Forms changed from one surprise to another in quick succession. We were given enough time to imbibe the beauty and splendour of each form and to be struck by the instantaneous power of Baba’s Sankalpa!
And where was Baba, our Sathya, all the time? He became Gajendra raising his trunk to greet Vishnu on the horizon, Krishna the cowherd boy leaning on a tree and playing the flute, Gopala on the awe-inspiring Kalinga Serpent, Radha-Krishna, Lakshmi-Narayana, Parvati-Parameswara and Saraswati-Brahma too; then, we saw Him as Sita-Rama and lo! we heard the name Sathyabhama and saw Her; we were blessed by a vision at Baba’s invisible call, of Mohini the Form that Vishnu once assumed, of Prahlada yearning for Narayana, and immediately thereafter, of Narasimha killing Hiranyakasipu, also of Vamana, Parasurama, and Buddha too; Baba showed us the killing of Sisupala, Saindhava, and of the Rakshasas, there was the scene of the Lord bringing the parijatha flowers; the picture then changed to one of Panduranga and then Narada and his ecstatic praise of the Lord; the next one was of Navaneethachora, the Balakrishna stealing butter; and after that, the killing of Abhimanyu by the wicked Kaurava chiefs and, last, there was the magnificent Murthi of Shirdi Baba Himself! How can we ever forget those shining Forms, so full of vitality and life, that glowed before our eyes on those two sacred days?