At age 14 Sathya Sai Baba declared His mission as Avatar on October 20, 1940. Long before Avatar Day was celebrated annually by the Sri Sathya Sai International Organization, before Swami formed the Sai Organizations, before even the ashram was established in its current location, His stream of miracles and loving playful pranks were experienced by those fortunate to be called to Him. Beginning in 1945 one such fortunate family from Kuppam village would spend months at a time in His lively Presence. Swami named them the “Kuppam family”. One of the Kuppam daughters Vijayakumari later compiled these experiences with Swami in a book “Anyatha Sharanam Nasthi – Other Than You Refuge there is None” What follows is a miraculous event during those early days. Gracious permission has been granted to SSSIO by Smt. Vijayakumari to reprint this story. The full book is available at Kindle Publications.
A Rare Miracle
One day, when we were all walking towards the Chitravati, Swami suddenly disappeared. While we were searching for Him, we heard a clapping sound and, looking up, we found Swami alerting us, “I am on top of the hill.” It was six in the evening. The sun had softened the streams of its rays and was sinking towards the west. The sky was filled with black clouds, as if it were wrapping itself in a thick blanket. Swami said, “You all look at me. I shall show you the sun.”
Even as we were thinking, “how can the sun come back after it has already set?” we saw newly rising rays behind Swami’s head. The whole sky was filled with blue clouds. The rays began to turn red till they looked fiery and exuded so much heat as to make us all sweat profusely. The rays were intensely hot as if coming from the scorching midday sun. Unable to bear the heat we all made loud appeals, “Swami! It is too hot”. The heat subsided.
We were just settling down, when Swami’s voice came down to us from the top of the hill, “I shall show you the Moon”. We saw behind Swami’s head, the half-unfolded honey-coloured rays of the moon. They soon turned white – whiter and whiter still. That was that. We began shivering in the cold. Our bodies became stiff. Our teeth began to chatter. “Swami! Cold! It’s very cold, Swami!” As we were imploring Him thus, the cold slowly subsided.
While we were wondering what other miracle He would perform, He announced, “I shall show you the Third Eye. Watch it very carefully and attentively”. “Third eye! How does it look?” we wondered. Swami’s body was not visible. But His head appeared gigantic, as if it were stretched across the entire sky. Stupefied, great bewilderment filling our minds, we stared at the sky.
On Swami’s forehead, between His two eyebrows, an orifice appeared. Fiery, fuming sparks began to come out of the opening. Our eyes were dazzled by the brilliance of those sparks. We were scared. More than fear for ourselves, we were worried about what might be happening to Swami.
The sparks continued to gush out. When we looked back, we found that many had fallen down, unconscious. We did not know what made them faint. That scared us further. We looked up but could not find Swami anywhere. Feeling lost and not knowing what to do, we began weeping. Suddenly, we found Swami standing in our midst.
“What happened?” He asked us, patting us on our shoulders. “Why are you weeping? Why have these persons fainted?” Not knowing what answer to give to these questions, we just hugged Him and continued weeping.
As one or two of those who had fainted recovered and got up, we mustered a little strength and, in one voice, we all asked Him, “Swami! Are you alright? How come we did not see You there?” While asking these questions, we patted His face and body to reassure ourselves that He was really with us. Swami laughed heartily and, reassuring us that He was all right, He created Vibhuti with a wave of His hand, and He Himself put it on our foreheads.
One by one, those who had fallen unconscious persons began to stir. It was a strange experience. We felt as if our bodies were moving unsteadily hither and thither. We felt as if we were floating on air. Some inexpressible joy seemed to pervade our entire being. It was some sweet surge of affection. We did not understand its nature. Though we were keeping pace with Swami, it seemed to us that our feet were not touching the ground. Some were walking unsteadily, as if drunk. We all felt we were in some other strange world. It was a peculiar state of mind. We all reached the Mandir and sat down for bhajans.
We could not sing properly. We felt dizzy. That whole evening was spent in that state. When we found ourselves in a similar state the next day also, we asked Swami about it.
He said with a smile, “You have been praying to have a glimpse of this Third Eye for many past lives. In answer to your prayers, today, I gave you darshan of it. But I did not show you even a thousandth part of its brilliance. You could not withstand even that. Your present state is the result of that spectacle.”
Overwhelmed by this revelation, we all broke down and wept. We washed His lotus feet with our tears and told Him, “Swami, if only we had known this before, maybe we would have enjoyed the Darshan more. We could not fully utilize the divine boon You so kindly granted us. Really, we could not endure its profound impact. We got scared when we could not see Your physical form. We felt very anxious about You when we saw the orifice on Your forehead”.
Sathya Sai Baba just continued to look at us with great compassion and love and, feeling overwhelmed by the shower of His affection soothing us like moonlight, and with tear-filled eyes, we offered our lives at His feet. He again created Vibhuti and placed it on each of our foreheads. We gained a semblance of normalcy thereafter. We felt ecstatic inwardly, dwelling on this rare golden opportunity, this reward for some devotion in past lives, for some prayer we must have said with golden flowers, or some luck we got because of the good deeds done by our elders.
Beneath the golden temples of our hearts we etched, in golden letters, what we saw was a unique vision granted to us by our good fortune, to give us liberation. More than anything else, just to be near this Loving Father, and to get a golden opportunity like this, is a significant event, a culmination of the merit of many previous lives.
Excerpt from “Anyatha Sharanam Nasthi – Other Than You Refuge There Is None” by Smt. Vijayakumari. Page: 58-61. Published by the Author, 1999.