At the abode of Baba

Dear friends,

Today is a very special day – the 85th birthday of a living Poorna Avatar, Sathya Sai Baba. A few days ago, I was very fortunate to spend 3,5 days in Baba’s abode, Prashanti Nilayam in Puttaparthy – I would like to share some of my experiences with you, simply for the sake of Love…

 

The grand Baba, and small Biba... :-)

 

As it always happens with Baba, one can never be sure until the last moment whether the trip will really happen (as per the testimonials of many, only those who are invited to visit Baba actually manage to come), and when the trip does happen, the experiences are difficult to frame into the usual logic – however, the experiential effect is always profound as we are given exactly that what we need at this point of our spiritual evolution

This time I had no specific reason why I wanted to visit Baba – we had a few days of Eid holidays in Oman, and I simply wanted to use that opportunity to have his Darshan and express my gratitude for all the life-transformative blessings (the biggest one being Mohanji’s presence in my life) that he showered me with since 2006 when I first met him (in this life).

I had no idea just how crowded Puttaparthy would be days before Baba’s birthday celebrations – I assumed that, as always, I could get a small hotel room at a walking distance from the Darshan hall. Interestingly enough, when I accompanied Mohanji for a weekend trip to Dubai and BTW meditation on Nov 5th, I entered into a casual conversation with a sweet lady called Anitha who attended the meditation. During our bubbly post-meditation chatting, I mentioned my intention to visit Baba for a few days. To my great surprise, she instantly offered me to stay in her apartment, which is at a walking distance from Baba and happens to be empty during those days. I was overjoyed and deeply touched – not because I will get to save some money, but because I understood this was Baba’s loving invitation, his way of saying that I am welcome. My joy knew no bounds two days later, when I found out that, due to the high demand, hotel rooms are no longer available, except at a 5 times higher price and a down payment for a minimum of one week. Agh, what an amazing Master!

 

In deep gratitude...

 

If you ever visited Baba’s abode, you will surely agree that, during any visit to Puttaparthy, one undergoes a certain degree of ‘tapas’ simply to test our own determination, purity and equanimity – long lines are a perfect chance to witness our inner chatter and the games our mind likes to play. But no matter what our lesson may be, no matter what kind of discomfort we experience, the moment Baba enters the hall and his aura lightens up the place like a huge Sun, all is forgotten… At those moments, I always experience a great surge of energy and inevitably cry as my heart chakra expands into deep gratitude and purest love. The purity of Baba’s energy is just overwhelming, beyond description – and its cleansing/transformative effect is felt for a long time…

During my last full day in Puttaparthy (Nov 19th), I went through the tapas of walking on a mid day Sun for more than an hour, literally like a headless chicken, trying to figure out the modified way to Baba’s museum and deal with the dust, crowds, heat and noise from the rickshaws and cars. Everything was blocked and routes were changed due to the visit of President of India. I finally arrived to the Museum entrance, just to learn that it has been closed 10 min. prior to my delayed arrival…

For some reason, at that moment, the visit to that museum meant the whole world to me – the feeling of great injustice, of being denied something that belongs to me, of being disrespected and humiliated, suddenly flooded my inner space. I witnessed the uncontrollable tears bursting out of my eyes as all the ‘poor me’ feelings and subtle impressions that were obviously still hiding in my system since the days of war in my country in early 1990’s and my refugee experience, surfaced out. As insane as it may sound, I cried during the entire walk back to the main Mandir area – until I finally found a quiet spot in a shade, just near the Western Canteen, and sat down to rest and just be. It was then that a great feeling of equanimity, peace and loving serenity descended upon me as I watched the crowds passing me by. I felt that something heavy left my system and got washed away through those tears – I remained so light and filled with nothing but purest Love… Then one Seva dal (a man who volunteers as a security guard) approached me and, for no reason, gave me a card with Baba’s photo and the following words written on it: “Only in Divine proximity, will you find absolute purity.

That evening, just before leaving the Darshan area, I felt like visiting the area close to Baba’s residence. There was a slight hope of seeing Baba before he returns to his residence after giving Darshan in the hall, but it soon became obvious that he must have entered through another route. I suddenly felt how silly it was to search/wait so desperately for the physical Darshan of Baba, when he is omnipresent… I found a quiet spot and sat there to meditate. That was my best experience of Puttaparthy during this visit! I connected with Mohanji’s third eye, and simply sat there in surrender. Soon enough, I clearly felt Baba’s presence, I felt his warm hand caressing my face several times, felt his immense Love holding me in a Divine parental embrace, recognized the same unique sensation of His presence on my Sahasrara that I felt many times during our BTW meditations… I had no close Darshan of Baba this time, but He gave me the blessing of detachment from the need to see him physically, blessing of connecting with him/Divinity at a subtle level instead. And I understood even deeper the greatness of the blessing of Mohanji’s presence in my life…

 

Connecting from within...

 

My last night in Puttaparthy was filled with bliss. One amazing holistic doctor from Croatia, Baba’s sincere devotee Dr. Maya (who first took me to see Baba in 2006), arrived to Puttaparthy that night. I was overjoyed that, 4 years later, I had the opportunity to meet and greet her, to share my accommodation with her, to be in her presence and imbibe as much of her wisdom as I possibly could. The next day, before my departure, she showed me a special oil she made through combination of different herbs, essential oils, and the precious oil of Mary Magdalene which she managed to receive from Jerusalem. This oil is all she applies on her face as she uses no make up, but her radiance is unmistakable. While giving me a goodbye hug, the unique scent of that oil remained with me for a long time. I spent quite some time figuring out where I felt that most beautiful smell before. It was then that I remembered the experience when Amrit (nectar of Immortality) once flowed from Mohanji’s Sahasrara – it was a yellowish oily paste with absolutely Divine smell which no perfume can match. That, indeed, was the same smell that I felt while leaving Puttaparthy, totally blissed out…

Moreover, during my short stay in Baba’s abode, I gained one deep insight about Seva - through other people, and several situations I experienced in Puttaparthy: when people approach us for help at the time of great need (which often only their heart knows – just like in my situation with the Museum), that is the time when a real Seva opportunity presents itself to us, the time our spirituality is truly tested… It is then that we should give spontaneously, without hesitation, give fully from the heart – for it is during those precious moments that we receive really big blessings from the recipient’s side; those are the golden moments when many of our karmas are being deleted. I experienced that kind of blessing from an old man who was begging on the road this time in Puttaparthy – I was in a hurry and  just passed him by. But then, something deep within me rebelled as I simply couldn’t go eat my breakfast knowing he would remain hungry. I returned, walking fast to catch up with him, tapped him on the shoulder, and gave him 10 rupees. And what an amazing toothless smile he gave me – I never expected that such great excitement, great joy would emerge from his being!!! He kept blessing me as I continued walking towards the restaurant, floating in bliss.

Indeed, there are times when we decide to do Seva but the intensity at the side of the recipient may not be there fully… We should be attentive/aware enough to recognize those moments in our daily life and give spontaneously, from the heart… – for it is nothing but Divine in us that is expanding in Love while connecting with the Divine in the other being.

 

The object of one such special act of giving - when I was the recipient who blessed the givers, my Bangalore hosts Mr. and Mrs. Varshneya, deep from the heart...

 

Love all, Serve all! Aum Sri Sai Ram.

Nothing but Love,

your Biba

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