My Experience with Sathya Sai Baba in Darshan
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A couple of years ago, in 2009, a young girl from the Central American country – Costa Rica shared the dais in Prasanthi Nilayam, speaking in His Divine Presence on the Christmas evening. That evening Yuliana Pulgar spoke of her life with Bhagwan narrating how Bhagawan made it possible for her to travel to India, against oddities, to be in His physical presence for Christmas. Read on Yuliana Pulgar’s narrative of her life with Beloved Bhagawan…
Overwhelmed and in awe of that enchanting grace of the Lord, I returned to Costa Rica enveloped in blissful memories of Prasanthi Nilayam. Upon my return to Costa Rica, I attended a Satsang to narrate my experience with Beloved Bhagawan during Christmas 2009. While the Satsang was in session a devotee most unexpectedly raised his hand, intervening and saying ,“Sorry Yuli, I need to say this…when you were talking I had a vision of Bhagawan, telling me that He wants you to write about your experiences with Him and the title is ‘My Experience With Sathya Sai Baba in Darshan’…!
I was surprised at this because I had never told anyone in Costa Rica till then about a request from the Web Team at the Book Trust to pen an article about my experience with Bhagawan. When I heard this I knew that this was what Bhagawan wanted.
I am 19 years old, (in 2009) married to a Hatha
Yoga teacher but most importantly I am a humble devotee of the Lord.
I was invited to give a speech in front of Bhagawan on 25th December 2009, during the time of Christmas celebrations. I received this invitation two years ago, so I worked intensely upon the text of the speech. My mind was talking a lot, telling me what to write, I didn’t know where to start, but when I asked Swami to inspire me, everything changed. The words now began to flow easily and I was no longer worried about making mistakes, because I was confident that Baba had this work in His Divine Hands.
In the beginning of 2009, I had a beautiful dream in which Swami told me that I will be going to Prasanti Nilayam this year. I was really happy with this wonderful news as this was the year I had been invited to give a speech in His Divine Presence.
A few months prior to my journey to India I began to face harsh complications in certain areas of my life. My relationship with my husband wasn’t strong and I didn’t have enough money to come to India, but I maintained the faith that Swami would provide. I was also extremely shocked upon being diagnosed with Displacia, an illness that could lead to cancer, if not treated in time.
I really identified with my physical body and in my mind I couldn’t believe that I was sick. I was also grateful to Beloved Swami for making me aware of this situation, because it has made me reflect upon the mystery of life and death. We identify ourselves with this physical body which includes health, material possessions, relationships and everything else that combines to make a picture that we refer to as ‘life’.
For me, my identity was tied up in my hair. I had very beautiful hair and I felt great pride in it. This false identity makes us suffer and have moments of despair, which I have been going through. This complete experience about the hair wasn’t easy for me.
When I had to decide to cut my hair, inside of me, my mind kept up a non-stop chatter, taking courage away from me. Sometimes I even cried, while facing thoughts like – “You will not look pretty”, which often came to my head. My mother didn’t understand my decision, it was difficult enough for her to know that her oldest daughter was sick and on top of that, she had to now watch her going almost bald. It was too much for her, but I knew Swami would give her the strength to cope with the situation.
When I cut my hair I felt an experience of freedom. I was so grateful to Swami for His immense love to me. When we are young we think that we are going to live with this physical body for ever, also we think that illness is for old people, but this is not the truth. Illness, loss of possession, everything can come at any time in our lives, without making distinctions of wealth, race or age.
Having this experience has made me aware of just how temporary life is and how we should do everything to make maximum use of our time in our lives. Swami, you are helping me lift this veil of maya and making me look more and more inside to discover my true self.
Two months were left before the speech, and I didn’t have the ticket for the journey as yet. The tickets were very expensive for me, so I began praying to Swami to give me a sign that He was indeed waiting for me.
Swami answered with love.
A few days later I had a dream.
In the dream, I was near Ganesh Gate in Prashanthi Nilayam. I saw people in the normal rush of India, walking from one place to another. And in the next instance I saw a ‘Lady’, Whom I instinctively knew to be Swami and so I ran in the direction of this Lady. I went down on my knees and I kissed Her Feet. The Lady made a few circular motions with Her hands and the physical body of Swami appeared at that very moment.
Swami gently asked me, “How is your speech going?”
I answered, “Oh, Swami, it is going good, I am still working on it…”
Then Swami continued, “I am waiting for you.”
I replied, “Swami, I don’t know if I will be able to come to India this year, I don’t have enough money to make it true…”
He repeated His statement, “I am waiting for you.”
In the dream I saw the Ashram like in a big ball of light, so I asked Swami why the ashram had this light around it.
He just replied, “Do not go out of the Ganesh Door .”
Swami also directed me on the color of the sari I should wear in His divine presence, He asked me to wear a Sari with white, pink and purple colors in it. When I started thinking about the colors of the sari, I realized that what Swami really wants for me, didn’t lie in a piece of cloth.
What He really meant was – Peace, as signified by the color white; Pink, the symbol of love, reflecting in ‘love all and serve all’ and Purple culminating in my transformation.
I woke up very happy. A few days later I called a Travel Agency and they found an airplane ticket to India at a very good price, so I immediately bought it.
When I arrived in India I had to straight away start working more and more on the speech. It was hard work but worth it, for it was to please and give the best to our Lord.
During my stay in India, I had some problems in Costa Rica that I had to deal with. I am a yoga teacher so I had left my Hatha Yoga Studio in the hands of a friend who is a yoga teacher also, but things weren’t running in a perfect manner. I had asked my Mother to fill in as the Manager of the Studio, but she was frantic because the studio wasn’t earning us enough money to pay the bills. Whenever I called her from India she would invariably tell me, “Yuli, I need that you come back urgently to Costa Rica and solve this problem about the Yoga studio.”
I accepted the will of Swami, so I prayed to Him, “Oh Lord! If this is Your will I will take an airplane to return to Costa Rica as soon as possible.” I knew that no matter how much I wished to be in front of the Divine presence of Swami, I couldn’t be irresponsible, because Swami, teaches us responsibility. I asked my mother to find the first air ticket so that I could return to Costa Rica. I was really sad, I wished to be in His presence with all my heart, but I accepted the will of Swami. The same night I had a dream with Swami telling me that He was waiting for my speech.
The next day I called my mother and she told me, “No Yuli, I couldn’t find an air ticket for you, there is no space. But my dear, enjoy with Swami, I will take care of everything here.” I knew it was Swami’s play, His leela with me, to test my faith in Him.
A couple of days before the speech, my father had a terrible car accident, but escaped unhurt. I knew Swami was taking care of everything, as He usually does.
The night before the speech I had another dream of Swami.
I was in Darshan and in the dream it was like the day of the speech. I was in the front of the Veranda, ready to start the speech and Swami puts a huge mirror in front of me.
For me the meaning unfolded as – there is nothing to be nervous of, they are you and you are them. There is no difference between them and you, We are One.
The big day dawned finally – it was 25th December 2009. I woke up very happy but nervous to speak in front of so many people. When I was seated in Darshan and Swami was coming in, He never stopped looking at me. He knew it was me who was going to give a speech that day!
When the Chairman asked Swami the permission to allow the speakers for that evening, Swami answered with love, indicating ‘yes’, with that lovely movement of His head.
I was really afraid to make a mistake, but a devotee who was next to me told me – “Don’t be afraid, the only one who is afraid to fall is the ego not your divine soul.”
This helped me a lot. As I was walking up the veranda I had a huge smile on my face. When I finally was in front of Swami, I gave Him a red rose and I asked Him, “Swami, may I do Padanamaskar?”
Once again He did that beautiful movement with His head acquiescing to my request.
At that moment I prayed, “Oh Lord, You know I am afraid, please work through me, make me Your instrument, please surround me with Your peace.”
When I stood up to start the speech, there was no longer any fear or any nervousness. Swami surrounded me with His immense peace and love! When I was talking I felt no difference between the people in front of me and no difference between Swami and us. I felt a complete unity much as He had guided me in my dream. This was beautiful because we have to learn to feel this unity every moment in our lives.
This is the speech I gave:
I offer my humble and loving pranams at the lotus feet of my Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Beloved Swami, dear brothers and sisters. I am deeply grateful to our lord Baba for this miraculous opportunity to be here today, in His divine presence.
When I was working on this talk I wrote everything and erased many times. My mind was talking inside of me telling me what to write. I didn’t know where to start. But when I asked Swami to illuminate my mind, to guide me, He inspired me to share these experiences from the heart.
When I was about six years old, my mother was able to pay for private English lessons for me. It turned out that my English teacher was a Sai devotee. When I saw that glorious picture with Sai Baba’s face, my soul was captivated by His beautiful eyes. From there on, His image stayed in my mind and my heart.
I did not know Him or His name, but I felt Swami’s divine love in my heart so strong, and I compared this love with the love of Jesus Christ.
As I was growing up, my interest in Him also grew. I began to learn about His divine teachings and I felt the guidance of Swami all the time. My soul was being awakened and my transformation process was started.
Since I was a toddler, I felt compassion for all beings and I could not understand the mistreatment of animals. When I found out that Sathya Sai Baba was vegetarian and was teaching us to follow that discipline, I immediately quit eating meat. All the members in my family, as well as my classmates, were against my decision, but I knew that was the right thing to do. My mother didn’t understand at first, but then she started supporting me when she saw my strong conviction, and she learned to cook vegetarian meals for me. I could tell that my mother’s heart was being transformed.
The presence of God is very critical and important in my life as it has opened the door to loving all and serving all. The practice of human values has deepened my understanding of how to relate with others. My parents passed through difficult times in their lives without looking to God for guidance. And this created a situation, which could have been solved by applying Swami’s teachings on human values.
When I was 17, Bhagawan inspired me to start a Hatha Yoga institute. This activity has also provided me with an income to study medicine at the university.
For me teaching Hatha Yoga, has been a beautiful experience and the most gratifying thing is that in my work I have both children and adults classes. I am applying Sathya Sai Baba’s human values with both and seeing the changes in their characters is amazing. After class they stay to listen to stories about Swami. The yoga institute is being transformed in to a Sai Center without deemed as such officially.
I would like to share a beautiful leela that happened at the Yoga studio with the prenatal classes.
It was a really curious thing because, five of my students, all of them married, couldn’t have children. Most of these women had passes trough fertility treatments, but nothing happened. As these five women started receiving normal Yoga classes they told me about their problems with fertility. They also said that after all this time they had lost their faith in miracles. I told them that for God nothing is impossible. I started to pray to Swami for these ladies.
Swami answered with love, because after a few months all of them were pregnant. Medical explanations for these pregnancies were not available. I knew that it was five Sai miracles, and all the kids are already born safely and are healthy. And all the mothers have started studying the teachings of Bhagawan. This is a beautiful experience to let us know that for God nothing is impossible.
In 2007, Swami gave me the divine opportunity to spend Christmas here in heaven. He also let me join the Christmas choir.
This experience made me aware of the necessity to share with others my experiences and good fortune of having been in the divine presence, especially in my own country.
Then I returned to Costa Rica, I began collaborating with Dr. José Cabezas in the creation of a radio program and electronic magazine named Sathya Sai Baba: Amor en Acción. This program is dedicated to disseminate the Presence of Our Beloved Bhagawan here on Earth and to disseminate His teachings. We also include Sai devotee’s experiences of His great care and love in their lives.
The program is now broadcast weekly by Radio Sai Global Harmony, and also from Costa Rica. According to reports, Spanish speaking Sai devotees in 57 countries are listening to the program.
Just before I left for India I received the shocking news, that I have displacia, an illness that if not treated in time can lead to cancer. I am so grateful to Swami for this situation, because it has caused me to reflect on life and death. We identify ourselves with this physical body this includes health, material possessions, relationships and everything that has to do with our lives.
For me my identity was tied up in my hair. It was very beautiful hair and I felt great pride in it. I chose to have my hair cut while it was healthy and beautiful. This was a complete surrender of not only my hair, but of my heart and my self pride, to my beloved Lord Sai. I knew He will carry me through whatever awaited me in my treatment. There is an organization that makes wigs from healthy, and beautiful hair, for ladies who are undergoing cancer treatment and who have lost their hair. Now, someone has my beautiful hair and I am no longer filled with the false identity that I am my hair. Swami teaches that I am Atma, not hair, or body, or material possessions.
This false identity makes us suffer and have moments of despair which I have been going through. When we are young we think that we are going to live with this physical body for ever, also we think that illness is for old people, but this is not true, illness, loss of possessions, everything can come at any time in our lives, without making distinctions of wealth, race or age. Having this experience has made me aware of just how temporary life is and how we should do everything to make maximum use of our time.
Swami, You are helping me lift this veil of maya and making me look more and more inside to discover my true self.
Swami, I give you my life with full devotion to do whatever is Your will.
Just before coming here, I had a wonderful dream with Bhagawan telling me that He was waiting for me. Tears came from my eyes as I was dealing with the illness and with really painful medical treatments. I didn’t have enough money to come to India, but Swami provided. With Him everything is possible. In the dream Swami told me to be in silence and not to go outside the Ashram. I think maybe Swami gives this advice to all of us.
Something funny happened in the dream. I was really nervous about the color of the sari I have to wear to be in front of the Divine Presence. I asked different devotees with experience in this theme and they told me to use any color I liked, but within myself I still had doubts, and in the dream Swami told me the color of the sari. Bhagawan told me to use a sari with white, pink and purple colors, and of course I am using it right now. He is amazing! He looks after the smallest of details. This same principle can be applied in all our lives. We can trust that He is looking after all the details in any endeavor so that it will turn out in the best possible way for us and is pleasing to our Lord.
I am so grateful Bhagawan for always guiding my life and teaching me the path of love and dharma.
Swami I would like to close with a prayer. Please grant to all of us the clarity of mind and heart to live Your message to love and serve all by outstanding practitioners on human values.
We offer our lives to You.
Swami, we love You.
Swami, I love You.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my sisters and brothers gathered here.
II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II