I believe there comes a time in ‘everyone’s’ life, sooner or later, that they are prompted in some way to tell of their experiences in life, whether they be spiritual or of a supernatural occurrence. The experiences that I have encountered in my life, rarely have I ever uncovered them to others but only to a minority few who know them to be quite genuine. And as a reminder, my stories are solely for the inspiration of others and nothing more. Below is a number of experiences I have taken out of my diary which I would like to share; I hope they are enjoyed.
In 1999 my wife and I put on a small dinner party for our eldest daughter (Charlene) who turned 21 years old. As I was suffering intense pain due to my bad back in that year, I took some strong pain killers which made me very light headed and brought on a terrible migraine headache. Giving my apologies I had to make a fast exit and head straight to my bedroom for peace and quiet where I could then lay myself down.
My parents came into the room a few minutes later and asked if I was feeling alright… giving them no reason to be concerned I just said that I needed a little rest then I’d be OK. Not accepting this, my mother then said that she was going to ask Sathya Sai Baba to help. I smiled and said thanks mum. (my mother has great faith in Swami and He has never let her down.)
As soon as my parents left the room I pulled myself upright and began to pray, if anyone knows what it’s like to suffer with bad migraines then you would know exactly what I was going through at that time. I sat up and began to cry for Swami in uncontrollable sobs. It seemed that the flood-gates had burst wide open and I could not control the flow of tears….then I lost all awareness of my surroundings, even my pain was gone. I then found myself as an onlooker having Swami’s darshan in Prashanti Nilayam. I’ll describe exactly what I was shown as I have written it all down at that precise time back in 1999.
This beautiful vision opened up as if I was actually in India itself having the Lord’s darshan. He was walking slowly along and in front of all the devotees who were holding up many letters for Him to take. Between Swami and the devotees was a yellow steel fence and many hands were pushing against it trying to get Him to take their letter. As Swami began to walk on further….He quickly stopped and turned His head back to look at a letter in a hand which was pushing up higher than the others. I could see that this letter was a thick white envelope which was pushed over the fence a little, out of reach from the others.
Swami looked at it closely….smiled, then accepted it. Then in slow motion Swami turned the letter over as He withdrew His hand. As the letter turned (in slow motion) I could clearly see on the side of the envelope which had a big (stamp), and under the stamp was my name. Baba began heading to His room in the Mandir…..but before He did He turned and looked directly at me for some long seconds…..and to my surprise Swami was a little over-weight, in other words He was plump. Then I realised what Swami was showing me….He was accepting all the prayers from all those who were praying for me which was like food to Him (Love). True prayer from the HEART is God’s food….He was getting fat on all the love He was accepting from us all. Even now as I write this out I still have trouble controlling my tears…..how the heart pines for the ONE we know as Sai. Now I know why those in spirit often tell me that they try SO HARD to get His glance. Not long after this beautiful vision I joined all those who were singing Happy Birthday to my daughter. But silently I sang to God with all my HEART.
This next story is only short but it tells of an experience which was hilarious and yet at the same time very embarrassing. I say embarrassing only because it brought attention to me from all sides which I did not want, but then again, if I could have constant experiences such as these then embarrassment I would gladly accept with open arms.
It was back in 1996 when in Prashanti Nilayam after having darshan of (Sathya Sai Baba). We, my brother Michael and I, decided to go have dinner at the western cafeteria. While we were sitting and enjoying our hot food, I happen to look down at my mashed potatoes on the plate, there I held the vision of Swami who was staring up at me with great delight. Smiling profusely there was definitely a very mischievous look in His beautiful smile. His orange robe was dazzling bright and His form held a radiantly golden hue which was incredibly beautiful….as it always is.
But with this image, it was much more vibrant in colour, especially when it’s on a white background such as mashed potatoes. I definitely was not expecting anything like this to occur as you could imagine, in fact, I was so lost in the enjoyment of eating my dinner that when I saw Swami in my mashed potatoes I cried out in shock. All present looked in my direction wondering what was wrong with me. There had to be close to sixty who were also having their dinner at the time.
My brother quickly asked with urgency, what’s the matter? I quickly told him I was just about to stick the fork into the mashed potatoes when I saw Swami from the waist up smiling broadly at me. What a beautiful leela my brother said. I then said with Swami we never know when He will make an appearance, this is why we must try hard to always be aware and ready at all times, because no matter where we go, Swami is ever present, the silent witness. Yet sometimes, not so silent!
This experience occurred in August 2010;
When one begins to surrender unto the Lord and adopt a new and proper way of life by doing good, seeing good and speaking good, the Lord then comes to the aid of that one whenever the need arises. I would like to tell of a couple of experiences I had when I was in need of one thing and yet, the other I received when I surrendered and left it to Swami.
My wife and I often go with my brother and his wife on camping trips deep within the Australian forests where clear waters run freely. We each have our own kayak and do travel along rivers which run between mountains. A beautiful sight indeed when the only living species that greets us along the way are kangaroo’s, wombats, possums and birds of all types and colours, not to mention the occasional large reptilian goanna’s (and) snakes.
My brother and I at times when least expecting it are given visions of deities along the way and in truth, these visions are only short lived, glimpses even, but they do leave a long and lasting impression on our mind as well as in our heart. And then there is the beautiful face of Swami which would unexpectedly appear by staring up at us from a reflection in the river waters. I guess He is just reminding us that He is always near.
On this particular trip I forgot to bring along my sunglasses as my eyes are very sensitive to the bright glare of the sun, especially when it reflects off the water.
As it was too far to go back for my sunglasses, I decided to venture on while constantly speaking to Swami in my mind. Lord, please help me with this problem today, take the effects of the glare out of the sun so not to cause pain in my eyes, please Swami otherwise I would end up suffering with headache and this will spoil the trip for the others. (or something to that affect).
About an hour later while travelling up the river my brother points to a clearing on the embankment and says; let’s stop over there and have a cup of tea. All four kayaks pull in at the embankment and we all get out. For some unknown reason I began to walk into the dense bush as if looking for something, for what though I was not sure just a strong urge to enter the bush in which I was compelled to do.
This is the feeling on that day I am experiencing (within). Then all at once I see what I was meant to be looking for, SUNGLASSES - sitting neatly on the dried orange dirt. Here was a perfectly good pair of Polaroid sunglasses, sports style. I quickly walked over and gently picked them up – then slowly I looked them over with amazement, not a scratch on them and in perfect condition. With great gratitude in my heart and a loving smile on my face, I thanked Swami for His grace.
The next wonderful leela was when I had new business brochures made up. When the brochures arrived in the mail I then realised that I now needed to purchase a clear plastic brochure holder for my office. Next day my wife and I went into town to see how much these brochure holders would cost. The one I found was perfect, it had four separate compartments for brochures, pamphlets, flyers and business cards. We looked at the price and walked out without it, $64:90. Too expensive I thought, so I left it to Swami (as always) to help me find one to suit my needs. A few days later on the (17th of April 2011 ) we all decided to go camping for one night only. We travelled for two hours by car until we came to a particular river deep within the rainforest. Unloaded our supplies and neatly packed it into our kayaks.
Then we headed up stream for three and a half hours until finally we saw a beautiful spot where we could pitch our tents and take rest. My wife decided to take a short walk further into the bush, (to relieve herself) - then she called out with such urgency that it did frighten the three of us.
We all raced to where she was and found her standing still in one spot while pointing towards a large tree. Sitting on a branch about six feet high was the very same brochure holder that my wife and I found a few days earlier. We all looked at each other in absolute amazement. I reached for it and looked it over and found it to be near new. It was perfect in condition. What can I say, except Swami takes care of us when we leave it to Him.
Where we were at that time there was not a living human being around for miles and miles. Who in their right mind would bring a new brochure holder out in the middle of the rainforest and place it in a tree. And this one was exactly the same as the one I wanted which was $64:90. I can only imagine Swami’s grin as He watch our emotions with fascination. Thank You again Swami.
I have told in an earlier story how I keep notes of my experiences then file them away hoping to leave something behind for when I leave this world one day. It is by no coincidence when suddenly I will get an urge to open a drawer or pull out a forgotten box or a file that I had misplaced, only to find something I have documented long ago which will cause some tears to flow because of the memory of it. I would like to tell what I wrote down on this little piece of paper which is dated 23-9-2000, and the time was 10:20pm.
As I sat in meditation this night I cried out in frustration because of the struggle I was having not only in my sadhana (spiritual practices) – but also with a certain employment I was involved in. This employment Swami Himself placed me into.
This I may tell in a separate story. But this night in question I called out to Him saying; (SWAMI.....please help me in my sadhana and also with my mind, all its agitations and waywardness, please help me to cleanse it. Also Swami, help me in ridding the fear from my mind which I have when working in such a terrible place as this, give me your protection and that of my family also.) Before I could utter another word Swami's reply came fast and to the point which left me crying in gratitude for the Love of my God.
HE said; In time you will know (Me) better, you will see (Me) in ALL. Even if you come face to face with a murderer and he has his gun in your face, you will know that (I) am his gun, his finger, and also the bullet. Never give way to fear, know that I am always with you then there will never be room for fear.
A true devotee is one who gets on with his life doing seva and offering its fruits to God, sticking to Dharma and surrendering ALL to God without fear of anything. What good is a devotee who says he surrenders but fears.....this devotee has no faith in his God, his guru. Remember, when you surrender (I) take over. Your life is precious to (Me).....nothing can harm you when you surrender, believe that, (I) do not lie. I believe with all my heart that this message, Swami's reply is not for me alone, but for ALL.
This next story is of three young brothers when in Prashanti Nilayam back in 2010.
Swami came out around 6:30pm, many who were sitting all got up and rushed forward on His arrival causing chaos for the sevadals. When Swami comes before us to give His darshan we should always show great respect by remaining where we are and not by rushing forward. Swami knows exactly where we are seated, it’s not necessary for us to try and get His attention, though I do understand some may have a desperate need. It took some time for the sevadals to finally bring order among those standing by getting them to sit. I was sitting in a cramped position before Swami appeared, but after His appearance which caused many men folk to rush forward it left me with plenty of space where I could then stretch out my legs.
I looked to my left and saw three young boys, the older would be about ten years old. He was nursing on his lap a much younger boy probably about three years old. Sitting beside the two boys was yet another boy around five or maybe six. I moved a little closer so I could start a conversation with the older boy, as I did have an inner urge to do so.
Apparently the two smaller boys were his young brothers. He told me he brought his brothers to have Swami's darshan. He asked me where did I come from (what country)..... when I told him he said that he knew much about Australia and he proceeded to tell me all that he knew, which surprised me greatly and I told him so. He asked me if I had children, I told him I had five children, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. ( I have always felt much empathy and love for (all) the children I come across, maybe it’s because I know what little children are feeling and experiencing as I have strong memories of my own childhood experiences, and the empathy within me is very strong.
I believe this is why, whenever I see small children I feel great love and affection for them. Though in this day and age with all that's occurring throughout the world one must be careful in how we approach children. There's just too much of this evil going on and it will be dealt with at the right time, that I am very sure of. I told the young boy how wonderful he was to have so much love for his two little brothers, and how he keeps them close and in order so they don’t stray. He looked at me with a big smile and said: they are my brothers, I love them. His remark struck a deep chord within me where I wanted to give something, so I took out a one hundred rupee note and handed it to him, then I said, when you leave here later I want you to buy yourself and your brothers some sweets. The three boys looked at me with great surprise and BIG smiles, then the older boy said: you don’t have to do this .... I then said.... (and this is where Swami answered me)..... I replied, it’s not me that's giving but Swami.
As soon as I said those words my heart moved in a way which is impossible to describe, and it made me look in Swami’s direction. I looked at Him and noticed He moved forward in His chair, then He looked straight at me and I felt Him in my heart (this is NO imagination) - I then said, look Swami is giving His approval, He hears and sees everything, the young boy looked at Swami and noticed that Swami was looking straight back at him, then he took the money and at that moment Swami brought His darshan to an end. On a last note I just want to say that there was well over 1000 devotees sitting around us that day; when Swami looks at you, you know it!
Author: Rev. Wayne E Farquhar, www.illawarraceremonies.com