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Early in the afternoon on 9th May, 1970, Baba left Brindavan for Bombay. Three cars formed the 'Caravan' the last one being a carefully reconditioned one, brought by two members of the Seva Samithi, who had come to escort Baba and his party. I was in that car and I was a victim of the poor quality of that reconditioning process! Baba had questioned the Samithi members, at more then usual length, on the details of the repairs done, and the two had assured Him that all was well.
When about 30 miles had been traversed, something from the car fell on the road with a thud: the vigilant chauffeur stopped the car, retrieved the part and quietly put it under his feet, as if it was a superfluous gadget! Fifty miles off, he heard a squeak; he stopped and lifted the bonnet to peep inside and assured himself that all was well. A few miles off, he stopped again and sniffed a little. He got out of the car and went around it, and with an expression of audacious courage, hopped in again and started off! The friends from Bombay who were with me were unconcerned. But, my nervousness increased with every interruption.
Very near the seventy-fourth mile, he stopped again! The bonnet was lifted for another casual examination and I could see the man recovering a 'something' that had got loose and quietly putting it under his foot inside the car! My fears mounted. A little distance away luckily for me, we found Baba parked at a lonely spot by the side of the road, awaiting us. I ran forward and pleaded with Him that I may be shifted to another car, for, the car carrying me seemed to be fast disintegrating. Baba replied with a chuckle of amusement. He described an item given by the clowns in circuses where as they go round and round the ring in a car, the parts fall off one by one until they find themselves squatting happily on the ground!
I looked pathetically at Him so that He might take pity on me; but, the only remedy He proposed was: "Don't worry! If you fall out, we shall ensure that some one picks you up and puts you in!" We reached Dharwar, 250 miles further off, at 1 a.m. The car behaved well. We drove merrily through the evening hours into the hours of dusk and darkness, between avenues of trees until midnight came, when we found the trees relaxed and rested, in profound silence.
At the bungalow of Vice-chancellor Adke, Baba asked me, "After you reported to Me, was there any trouble?" I answered, "How could there be, Swami!" Thereafter we proceeded in the same car to Poona and thence to Bombay, without a squeak or a spasm! At Bombay, when it was sent to the workshop for servicing, the mechanic asked the chauffeur, "How did those who came in this car reach Bombay alive? The spring plates of the front wheels are cracked!" While relating this miracle to Baba, the owner Java said, "The driver is a devotee," and I added, "The occupants are also devotees, Swami!" But Baba said, "Not you; the car is the devotee, a great devotee!"
That car had a personality and it prayed for Grace and got it! In fact, every artifact has human feelings Baba announced so. He affirms, what Jagdish Chandra Bose discovered, that machines get tired. He goes further and asserts that mountains weep. And that 'Saris' weep! At Bombay, later, he asked some one to bring for His selection and purchase, some saris to be given as gifts to the women labourers, who helped build the Sathya Sai College at Anantapur. He selected 96 and rejected four! He kept the rejected ones apart, so that they could be returned!
When Baba returned an hour later, to the table on which they were kept, he found signs of tears. Calling our attention to this He said, "Poor things! They are sorry I kept them aside! All right. I shall take them also to Anantapur with Me." Months later, He repeated this incident at a meeting at Prasanthi Nilayam, when He was describing the Puranic story of Govardhana Hill. When Rama decided to build a bridge over the sea towards Lanka, the Divine monkeys in His army pulled huge mountain peaks up by their roots and passed them along the conveyor belt from shoulder to shoulder, until they were finally dropped into the sea. After the construction of the bridge, the mountains were not required any more. At this, each monkey kept aside whatever peak it had with it, and hurried to the bridge head, with the result that one mountain that had been plucked from its native spot and brought pretty far, started weeping!
Rama heard its wail and consoled it, saying, "Stay! I shall use you when I incarnate next, and hold you as an umbrella to save the Yadavas from the anger of God Indra." "The hill that wept was Govardhan," Baba announced.
At Dharwar, Baba expressed concern that a large number of persons were waiting until the small hours of the next day to have His Darsan. He moved among them, and quenched their thirst with a gentle glance, an affectionate pat, a word scarcely heard or a look of recognition, a questioning brow, and sometimes, a pinch of ash created on the spot for a person found ill; or the acceptance of a bow, or letter, a flower or prayer.
That night people slept on ground that had been consecrated by His Feet. Dawn found them at Bhajan or with rosaries. Baba spoke to the Office Bearers of the Seva Samithi Units about the immense significance of Nagara Sankirtan. I felt that this choir movement was really more profound than the Dandi march to the sea, for, the imperialism of the six passions that rule over men is much more insidious than the imperialism that the Salt Satyagraha was designed to destroy. This movement where good men march into the nooks of hate and greed in every village with the name of God on their lips, along every lane polluted by anger and avarice, was the thin end of the wedge, destined to put a stop to the decline of Dharma among mankind.
Baba was present at the dais in the Shamiana for some time during the noon Bhajan, and, started off towards Poona, soon after lunch. Passing through Belgaum and Satara, where devotees had Darsan, the cars sped on, Baba keeping every one fresh and happy! Baba stayed at Jamnagar House, on the outskirts of the city of Poona, but that did not discourage those who had tasted the sweetness of the Sai Name. The lawn of the house was dotted with devoted groups sitting in meditation during the early hours of the next day, and by about 7, it was no longer lawn! It was a multicoloured flower-bed of bright eyes, looking up in ardent plaint, towards a room on the first floor, where they knew Baba was. Baba went down among them and rewarded them for their earnestness.
Dr. Adke and his son Manohar, an engineer at Bhadravati, accompanied Him to Poona. Baba was conferring on the son, signs of His Grace at Bhadravati itself for, Vibhuti was showering from the portrait of Baba which he worshipped at home! While father and son were taking leave of Baba, Manohar held before Him the ring He had materialised for him, months back, at the end of the unforgettable Karnataka tour. Its yellow gem was a little chipped in one corner. "Do you require me to repair it? O, you want My Form on it, is that it?" He said, taking it in His hands. "No! You are an engineer. Your hands are ever busy handling machinery, or ought to be. If I give you My Form on it , it will get scarred, and grated. Poor fellow, you will have no peace then. I shall give you my My Form on the ring when you go for higher studies overseas." With that, He held the ring between the thumb and forefinger, high for all to see and blew on it once, a little hard. "You are lucky." Baba said.
Yes, indeed! His ring had disappeared. In its place shining in Baba's hand was a brilliant ring of burnished gold, with no gem, but with the letter M embossed most charmingly, by some skilled artist. "You get more gold now." Baba said, putting it on his finger, "And it is not Morarji gold." That is to say, it is not 14 carat, as Morarji Desai wanted all ornaments of gold to be, when he was Finance Minister of the Government of India! It was 22 carat gold! Related link: Sacred Past main Index
Source: N. Kasturi - Sathyam Sivam Sundaram - "Unearthing the Light"
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