MY GREAT ADVENTURE STARTED IN 1940 when I was born in Bangkok, Thailand, at the beginning of the Second World War. My parents’ home at that time was in a military area surrounded by military barracks and supply depots. Japanese soldiers soon occupied the country. The Allies were bombing the military installations, and the area surrounding our house was among the main targets. My mother related to me that one day, someone dressed in a yellow-orange robe like a Buddhist monk came and knocked on the door of our house. My mother did not know who this person was. The monk then gave a packet of fine sand and instructed her to spread the sand over the roof. He said that the house would then be safe from bombing. My mother did as instructed, but when she came back to thank the monk, he was gone. Only a few days later, there was a heavy bombardment of the area, which destroyed all the buildings around us. But our house remained unscathed!

Decades later, during the Summer Course in Brindavan (1990), when I narrated this incident, Swami said to a few devotees sitting around Him that He gave vibhuti, and not sand, to my mother!

My Eternal Companion

So, it was only by Bhagawan’s grace that I survived the war. In my young days, I became very naughty and was also a good boxer. Having learned Thai boxing, I was able to compete and, on occasion, beat my school friends. Soon, I also became a champion boxer in the boxing ring. By then, I was transformed by His grace!

When I was a 15-year-old boy studying in an English public school, I woke up in the middle of the night in my dormitory, where many boys were also sleeping. I heard a resounding voice,
“Art-Ong, Art-Ong, Art-Ong–why are you doing this?” There was also a bright light shining everywhere. I became very frightened as I thought that it was a ghost. This was repeated the next night and the night after that. Slowly, my fear transformed into introspection. I realized that it was my conscience, God within me, correcting me. I became determined to change my life. I took up meditation and started to study the holy scriptures. I read about the Gurus of India and prayed that I may meet my Guru. I prayed and lamented, asking God why I was not born at the time of Lord Buddha or Jesus.

Finally, in my dreams, I received the answer from an unknown saint dressed in a white robe sitting under a big tree. He told me to be patient and that I would soon meet my Guru. However, I was restless and continued the search by studying the teachings of Paramahamsa Yogananda, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and Swami Vivekananda, as well as by meeting leaders of various religious organizations in England at that time.

Despite my sincere efforts, there was always something that kept eluding me. I was not satisfied, and the search continued. After completing my studies in England, I returned to Thailand and worked professionally as an educator, a scientist, an engineer, and finally, a businessman. There were many ups and downs in my life’s journey, but somehow, I felt a strong, invisible hand guiding and saving me whenever I was about to fall. Thus, 42 years of my life passed.

“I thought that if He was so great, He should call me. As the thought entered my mind, a strange thing happened. I felt a strong surge of energy enter my body, so I shivered and shook. Tears rolled down from my eyes, and I started to cry with joy for no apparent reason.”

When I Went to Sai…

One day, in 1982, a friend asked me if I would like to go and see Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I had heard about the miracle man called Sai Baba. So, I thought that if He was so great, He should call me. As the thought entered my mind, a strange thing happened. I felt a strong surge of energy enter my body, so I shivered and shook. Tears rolled down from my eyes, and I started to cry with joy for no apparent reason. I surmised that this was His call! So, I decided to join my friend and go and see Bhagawan immediately.

We traveled from Thailand together as a group of five, including my mother. We finally arrived in Puttaparthi on November 21, 1982. There was a crowd of about 250,000 people as it was the time of Swami’s Birthday celebrations. We joined the crowd. Then, a figure dressed in an orange robe appeared at a distance and started walking toward us. My body was shivering and shaking again, and I was in tears. It was the very same experience as the call from Him! I was full of joy because I knew then and there that this was the moment I had been waiting for all my life. I knew this was verily the Guru that I had been searching for.

The search ended, but the great adventure had only just begun!

Dr. Art-Ong Jumsai  



Dr. Art-Ong Jumsai has been a devotee of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for over four decades. He obtained his M.A. in Mechanical Sciences from Cambridge University and D.I.C. and Ph.D. in Communications from London University in the U.K. He also holds a Ph.D. in Education from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. He has been elected three times as a Member of Parliament and was a Member of the House of Senate. Dr. Jumsai has received royal decorations and distinguished awards in Thailand as a scientist, philosopher, and teacher. He has authored several books on human values. He is the Director of the Institute of Sathya Sai Education and the C.E.O. of the Sri Sathya Sai School in Thailand.


First published in Eternal Companion Vol. 3, Iss. 4



God is the refuge for the poor and the forlorn. He is always with them through all the vicissitudes of life. Do not think that God is in some distant land. God is by your side always. In fact, He is present in the inner recesses of your heart. Never think that God is away from you at any point of time. Neither friends nor relatives can come to your rescue. God is your sole refuge. He will protect you under all circumstances.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, August 23, 2004