“Miracles are my visiting cards.”
That is all the importance which Swami (Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) gave to miracles. But then, it has been miracles at many levels that have drawn people all around the world to Him. After His physical departure (Mahasamadhi) on the 24th of April 2011, when I returned home, I was witness to a miracle that made my jaw drop open in awe and wonder. And then started a series of manifestations and materializations from a couple of pictures at home. Many times, as I would be working in office, I would get a call from home.
“Aravind! There is vibhuti from Swami’s picture” OR
“Son! Today, kumkum and chandan(sandal powder) have manifested in two separate heaps”
In the beginning, I was so excited and I blogged about how Swami made vibhuti come in the Rava Idly or how it appeared on my bike. I wrote about the latter story in third person. After a while however, I decided that one could not go on blogging about all that was happening at home because how much could one write about? I felt, that the writing would become quite repetitive in the sense that it would be like - “vibhuti came from this or vibhuti came from that.” I also felt that it would probably be monotonous to the reader though it is novel and amazing for the one experiencing it. At the same time was a voice within me that kept reminding me of what Swami had conveyed to me - “The more the experiences are shared, the more will be the joy.”
Today, I decided to write about some of these manifestations at home. I shall not go into each and every episode but a selected few which are really special and unique in terms of how they occurred. And I share this with my world-wide family knowing that it will bring the same joy, faith and love that it brought (and continues to bring) to my heart. Finally, this writing is also to serve as a documentation.
Episode 1 - Sindhoor in 25 seconds
4th of October 2012.
My wife, Pooja, and I woke up in the morning and it was a bit gloomy. The previous night, we had discussed something that had been bothering her a lot. Obviously, the night’s sleep hadn’t erased those thoughts and feelings from either of us. The aftertaste had lingered and there was a low feeling in the morning. And then, I felt that enough was enough. I began to speak to her about Swami saying that whatever was happening was for the best. We just have to trust Him and let go.
At the same time, I told her to go to the altar (which is part of our bedroom itself) and read the Prayer of Surrender (PoS). This prayer is a favorite of mine. It has been written as a ‘piece of advice’ from Swami and has amazing power to calm one down. I don’t know from which discourse it has been taken. I don’t know when or to whom Swami gave this prayer. I simply love it so much that I have laminated a copy of the same for the altar.
Pooja told me to read it out for her. So, I got up from bed, went to the altar, pulled out the laminated text and began to read it out to her. There is a ‘Lakshmi Yantram’, a mystical drawing supposed to propitiate Lakshmi, the Indian Goddess of wealth, placed in front of this laminated PoS. When I took the PoS out, the Yantram began to lean on the wall. I thought I would place it back properly when I replace the PoS behind it. And so, with my back to the altar I started to read out the PoS to Pooja who was lying in bed still.
Within 5 seconds my father walks in with two silver lamps ready to be lit for the altar. He asks me to make space so that he could enter the altar. And even as I make space, he exclaims,
“Aravind!! What is this?”
I look back and what do I see?!
A heap of ‘Sindhur’ had formed right in front of the ‘Lakshmi Yantram’!! Sindhur is a special powder used by ladies as a mark of being married. However, it is rarely used in South India where KumKum does the same job. I have never seen such Sindhur anywhere in Puttaparthi and I had not seen it just 25 seconds before when I took the laminated PoS from behind the Lakshmi Yantram!!!
Episode 2 - The secret vibhuti
31st October 2012.
I walked into the bedroom at 10pm, ready to go to bed when suddenly I ‘smelt’ Swami! It was not a fragrance of vibhuti or incense. It was Swami’s fragrance and I quickly closed my eyes so the I do not lose that experience of Him by my side just because I was unable to see Him! I closed my eyes and the fragrance lingered and I was so thrilled. I asked Pooja whether she was smelling the same but the answer was a negative. Even when she came to where I was standing, she did not get the fragrance.
We both agreed that Swami had indeed visited the room and was letting us know about it. Since there had been Vibhuti coming from a couple of pictures, we thought we should check out whether any had manifested as proof of His presence. We went to the altar and scanned all the pictures. There was no vibhuti. We also checked the ‘dinner plate’ which had been placed for Swami for sometimes it appears there. It was not there too. I was a bit puzzled because I could swear that I had ‘smelt’ Him! After about 10 minutes of searching in vain, we went to bed.
The next day morning, I shared the experience with my parents. They enjoyed it. They also told Pooja to clear away Swami’s ‘dinner plate’. She went to do so. When she came back, she told me,
“Swami had come yesterday! We just did not look at all places. Vibhuti had indeed manifested!”
And then, she showed me Swami’s silver tumbler of water. At the bottom, under the water, was a thick layer of vibhuti!!!
Episode 3 - A LIVE demonstration
This has to be one of the most unforgettable episodes and I feel bad that I was not fast enough to shift my phone into ‘video’ camera mode. Maybe, He did not want it captured on video!
13th December 2012.
I was shaving in the bathroom in a happy frame of mind. The reason for my joy was that vibhuti had appeared in from the photograph in the altar and it had collected on the large paper that I had placed under the photo for the same purpose. Even as I continued to shave, I heard a shriek,
“Aravind! Come here fast... FASSSS...SSSSST.”
It was my wife Pooja and I almost cut my chin!
I rushed to the altar where she was and she was pointing out to the photograph. The vibhuti on the paper had increased. She said,
“The vibhuti formed a strip on the photograph and just oozed out right now, in front of my eyes!”
I quickly took a picture with my phone. I told her to inform my parents. She rushed out and even as I stood there, right in front of my eyes, another band of vibhuti formed on the picture and fell out in another heap! A big Vibhuti spot also formed on Swami’s shoulder in the photograph! And by the time my parents came to the altar, they could not see what Pooja was excited about because they were now seeing what I had become so excited about!!
Of course, I showed them the picture I had taken so that they could also see the difference!
Episode 4 - An unexpected manifestation
2nd January 2013
The morning brought a pleasant surprise. The small idol of Lord Hanuman in the altar had a big heap of Vibhuti right in front of it. This idol is of the ‘Monkey God’ in a standing pose tearing apart His chest to reveal Lord Rama and Mother Sita seated in the heart.
Hanuman has always been an ideal for all devotees on how one should love God. He has stated,
“At the level of the body, I am the servant of Rama. At the level of the mind, I am the devotee of Rama. At the level of the spirit, I and Rama are one!”
No wonder that Swami has placed a 65-foot statue of Lord Hanuman on the Vidyagiri hill overlooking all His educational institutions at Puttaparthi.
The vibhuti that had appeared seemed to have emanated from the ‘heart’ of Hanuman. It looked beautiful and we concluded that maybe it had appeared on New Year’s Day, January 1st, as a blessing for the year.
As is the practice, we do not collect the vibhuti that has manifested for at least a day. And so, we decided that we would collect the heap, the next day viz. 3rd January 2013. I finished my bath and went to the altar to clear the vibhuti heap. I made a ‘spoon’ from a piece of fresh paper and started to scoop off the heap. Even as I did so, the paper felt so heavy. The vibhuti I had gathered just fell down from the paper and along with it fell a small metallic object. I looked closely and saw that it was a silver medallion pendant of Lord Ganesha!!!
I shouted out for my father. Pooja and mother had left for the mandir already. He came in and both of us drank in the darshan of this lovely Elephant God who is the remover of all obstacles. Two things struck us which made us so happy.
1. January 1st, the day when we believe the heap of vibhuti manifested, was also Sankashta Chaturthi, a day dedicated to the worship of Lord Ganesha.
2. This Ganesha was not in any traditional pose but in a meditative one! The trunk was not turned to the left as is the usual case but to the right. It is said that the Ganesha whose trunk is turned to the left grants worldly success, name and fame while the one whose trunk is turned to the right grants spiritual success and liberation. We felt happy that the Ganesha on the pendant was ‘Balmuri’ - right-curving and not ‘Edamuri’ - left-curving!
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