Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
is in Dharmakshetra, Mumbai.
|Power over Nature
The Skies at His Command
How Baba cleared the cloudy skies over Bangalore with one wave of His hand
Sri Indulal Shah, formerly the Chairman of the International Sathya Sai Organization, recounts his first Darshan of Bhagawan in his book “Sixteen Spiritual Summers”:
In the summer of 1965, which, to me, was the first of my sixteen spiritual summers, I was in Bangalore once to visit a friend. During an informal conversation one morning, my host asked me whether I would like to see Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who was to address a meeting at Malleswaram, in the heart of Bangalore city, the same evening.
I had heard about Sri Sathya Sai Baba and also read about Him in some Bombay newspapers, but had never seen Him before. I had, till then, no particular urge to read either His biography or discourses. My immediate response to the question from my host, therefore, was somewhat casual and uncertain.
However, on second thoughts, I felt that I should attend the meeting and so, later in the day, accompanied by my wife, Sarla, I went to Malleswaram where a mammoth gathering was listening to Baba with rapt attention. We sat in a remote corner of the big maidan (ground). I was swayed by a nameless feeling, a strange inquisitiveness or curiosity, as though I was adventuring into the unknown.
Then suddenly, the sky became rather dark with thick clouds fast gathering overhead. The large crowd became visibly restless, as people feared an impending rain. We ourselves were in a quandary and my host hastened to take us back to his car.
Just then, we saw Sri Sathya Sai raising His hand and saying something aloud to the crowd in the local South Indian language which, however, I could not grasp.
My friend said that He was asking the crowd to sit down and that He was assuring them that it would not rain. As He said this, we saw that the rain clouds started disappearing and the gathering darkness was giving way to bright sunshine. I remained spell-bound!
I could not believe that anyone could disperse moisture-laden heavy clouds by a mere wave of the hand. And yet, our eyes were a witness to this strange phenomenon, the likes of which I had read about only in Puranic (Hindu legends) stories.
The clouds are sent away in Mumbai
While the previous incident happened in Bangalore, Sri Indulal Shah was a fortunate witness to a similar and equally astounding event, but this time it in Mumbai (then Bombay) and the year, 1967.
This time, it was in Dharmakshetra in Bombay. The month was July, the monsoon time in Bombay, and Baba was paying a visit to Maharashtra State. The Bombay Samithi had arranged a public meeting of devotees in honour of Baba at Dharmakshetra.
I remember that it was a Sunday evening. In Bombay, in the month of July, a heavy downpour can be expected any time. That being a Sunday, a large crowd was expected to attend, regardless of the possibility of rain. The Samithi had taken all precautions to provide shelter to the devotees from showers. The large pandal at Dharmakshetra was packed with people to the full. The meeting was to commence at 6 p.m.
But at about 5.15 p.m., the sky was overcast and we feared that the rains would lash down any time. We were anxious to save the devotees from getting drenched in heavy rains. Some of the office-bearers felt that we should request Bhagavan Baba to start the meeting a little early, say at 5.30 p.m. I felt that Baba might not accede to this as there was 'Rahu Kal' (inauspicious time) upto 6 p.m., but my colleagues insisted that there was nothing like 'Rahu Kal' for Bhagawan.
Accordingly, I went up to Bhagavan and prayed: "Baba, could we start the meeting a little early?"
"Why?" asked Baba in a tone, which, by itself, was an answer to the question. But we did not understand this then, as our mind was also clouded like the overcast sky that evening.
I pleaded: 'Bhagavan, it is likely to rain, the meeting may be disrupted, the devotees may suffer'.
In answer to this Baba smiled and that benign smile remains imprinted in my mind even to this day - as bewitching as the smile that we see in the picture of Lord Krishna.
He then held my hand and took me to the nearby window where I saw that a drizzle had already started. Those who have seen Dharmakshetra know that Baba lives in a lotus-shaped mandir on top of a hillock and that the windows from His room open out westward. So, we could see through them the entire crowd gathered below and the dark expanse of the cloudy sky above.
Standing near the window, Baba said: 'Yes, yes, it will rain, and it will rain very heavily'.
This statement put me out completely. I could see from the window, devotees holding open umbrellas in an effort to protect themselves from the impending showers. I was searching for words to pray to Baba.
Meanwhile, Bhagawan raised His hand through the window and, in a moment, we saw the drizzle stopped and clouds dispersed in the sky!
In that moment of anxiety, the full import of what Baba had done did not strike me. Baba said that the meeting should commence as scheduled and I rushed out to convey Baba's decision to my colleagues outside.
The meeting started at 6 p.m. and, by then, the sky had brightened enough to dispel all our fears about the rains. It was during the meeting that I realised what a great blunder I had made in praying to Baba to commence the proceedings a little early. During those few minutes, I had forgotten that Baba is God and that He had absolute command over 'Prakriti' (nature).
When the meeting concluded and my colleagues were saying happily that the meeting went off very well, I shed some tears of joy and rushed to see Baba and fell at His Lotus Feet.
Baba, then, smiled and said: 'You forgot'.
When the heart is full, words are few. I had no words to convey my gratitude. I was in an ecstatic thrill. That was an unforgettable moment and I cherish the thought that it was Bhagawan Himself who reminded me that I had forgotten that He is God!
This incident is a conclusive proof that Baba is Omnipotent, that He can control nature and that He is an Avatar, God come in human form to bless all mankind.
Reference: “Sixteen Spiritual Summers” by Sri Indulal Shah. Page: 1-2 and 16-18. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam in 1980.