Man Of Miracles
When I was 25 years old my father gave me three books written by Howard Murphet. He told me to read the books before I boarded the plane to take me back to Japan where I had made my home. It would take me another five years before I would read those books and my life changed forever.
The books written by Howard Murphet were written about the author's experiences with the recently deceased spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba. After I had read the first book I was informed by a friend that the school I had come to Japan originally to teach in, St Maur International School in Yokohama, was being used to host a Sai Baba Convention. I was very excited at the idea of meeting people who knew about this amazing individual as I was hungry to know more. “Man of Miracles”
It was at this convention that I was introduced to meditation. I walked in late to an old classroom where I once taught Algebra, Geometry and Calculus. I was greeted by Art Ong Jumsai, a NASA Scientist, Former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, in Thailand and Director of Institute for Sathya Sai Education, also in Thailand.
He was dressed in a traditional navy blue suit and he spoke to me in a soft caring voice that made me feel at ease. He spoke about his life and how he learned to meditate before inviting us to join him. Little did I know but two years later my wife and I would be invited by him to teach at the Sathya Sai school in Thailand. This school was the first EHV school outside of India. EHV stands for Education in Human Values. In that school meditation would become part of my daily life as I would start and end every day with at least 30 minutes meditation.
Art Ong Jumsai and the Power of Meditation
During his talk he told us a story that impressed me greatly. NASA were having difficulty designing landing gear for their Viking mission to Mars. Mars was too far away for the landing gear to be operated remotely from earth so the signals from earth would take too long to reach the craft as it descended to the surface of the planet.
NASA issued an invitation to scientists all over the world who thought they could solve the problem and Art Ong Jumsai was one of the scientists who was invited to join this team of elite scientists. When he arrived he spent little time on the project and more time enjoying his holiday to to the USA.
As the deadline approached for him to return he decided to put his mind to the problem and he went to the top of a secluded hill and meditated for three days and nights. When he came down he brought with him a sketch he had made of the electronic circuitry for the new landing gear on a piece of paper. Viking successfully landed on Mars as result of Art Ong's meditation.
Art Ong Jumsai
During the convention in that school in Yokohama I heard the name Sai Baba being mentioned and everyone spoke about him very reverently. I was hearing things that went against everything I had been brought up to believe but it all made perfect sense.
Sai Baba had my attention and I was very interested in what this very strange looking man had to say. After the convention I sent away for more books and I read everything I could find about him. I longed to go and see him but that was not to be for at least another five years. During those five years I changed my life completely. I sold my business in Japan and I returned to my homeland, Ireland, to start again.
Sai Baba's Ashram in Puttaparthi
Not long after I returned to Ireland I met Mary, my childhood sweet heart from age ten and we were married soon after. Five years later I was on a plane to Sai Baba's ashram in Puttaparthi, India to see the man who had instigated all the changes in my life.
When I arrived I was exhausted by the very long journey but set about putting up mosquito netting around a fold up wooded bed pitched in a large building that resembled an aircraft hangar. That little space was to be my home for the next 10 days.
When I was there over 70,000 people were converging on this small ashram in Puttaparthi everyday to see the man I had come to meet. It was an amazing sight but very orderly and very serene.
The ritual was the same every day. I woke up at 4am, washed and meditated before joining the queue to enter the great area where Sai Baba gave darshan, which means where he emerged and showed himself to the people and walked amongst them.
It was a very exciting time for me and I learned patience as I waited every morning for at least 3 hours sitting cross legged on the hard ground just to see my Baba. He gave another darshan in the afternoon and the ritual was always the same. He would emerge and walk as if floating on air through the crowds of people who sat reverently watching his every movement afraid to miss anything.
He would stop from time to time and speak to someone and then walk on. He would sometimes wave his hand in the air in small circular movements and ash would stream from his hand to the people he wanted to give it to. Sometimes he would produce sweets and throw them to the people.
When I describe it now it might seem very mundane but the atmosphere was anything but mundane. In the crowd were people from all walks of life. There were paupers and kings sitting there waiting like everyone else and we all shared something very special and we were all reduced to a common denominator, an experience I shall never forget.
"Love All, Serve All."
During my ten days there I found a peace I had never experienced before. The atmosphere of this mystical tranquil oasis of love allowed me to experience my natural state of being. I felt happy and content.
I attended talks given by my teacher Sai Baba and just soaked up the energy he seemed to be giving to everyone there. I joined in the bajans that were sung and I felt like a child again.
His message was very simple and he kept saying it in many different ways: “Love all, serve all.”
Interview With My Baba
Half way during my stay in the ashram I was sitting watching Sai Baba walk amongst the crowd when he turned and beckoned the group I was with to join him for a private interview after darshan.
I was very excited at the prospect of meeting my guru and actually speaking to him. To be chosen out of all these people was a miracle in itself and I felt very grateful as I went into a small room and waited for him.
When he arrived in the room my mind went still. It is hard to explain. He sat in a chair 4 or 5 metres from where I sat against a wall at the back of the room. The others in the group sat closer and he spoke to them individually. He then turned to me and asked me what I did. I had been seriously considering a career change at the time as I was disillusioned by my profession and how bureaucratic it had become. I had spent most of my life as a high school teacher and only the day before I had decided to quit teaching.
I told him without any hesitation that I was a teacher. He said that it was a noble profession but asked if I knew how many kinds of teacher there were. I looked blankly at him and he answered for me. “There are three types of teacher. Those who explain, those who complain and those who inspire.” I had planned to ask him so many questions but sitting there in his presence I could think of nothing to ask. My mind was empty of all thought but I felt more alive and present than I had ever felt in my life. He then asked me what kind of teacher I was. I didn't answer but in my heart I vowed that I would strive to be an inspiration to every one of my students from that day onwards.
There was a woman in the group who felt guilty to be there as she was christian and was torn by feelings of guilt that she was betraying her faith by coming to see an Indian guru. Baba went to this woman who was sobbing and asked her to put out her hand. When she did he made some circular movements with his hand and I saw ash stream from his hand, at least a meter above hers, and it made a perfect cross on the palm of her hand.
He said some more things to me and I witnessed some amazing miracles there in that room and around the ashram during my stay there. But the biggest miracle for me was my inner transformation which he initiated that day in that small room.
It was a wonderful experience and I feel very lucky to have had to opportunity not just to know about such a great man and his teachings but to have been given the opportunity to actually meet him and speak with him.
When I returned to Ireland I was met at the airport by my wife who announced that she was pregnant with our third child. My daughter Rebecca is pure love and a constant reminder of the power of love in all our lives.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was more than an inspirational teacher to me. He was a physical manifestation of my soul and now that his body is dead he symbolises for me the indestructible spirit or atma that I am. Our bodies die but our spirit lives on forever. Sai Baba reminded me of who I am and for this I am eternally grateful to my teacher, my Baba.
Sai Baba left his body on Easter Sunday 2011 but his spirit lives on in my heart.
A fellow hubber aravindb1982 wrote a series of beautiful articles about Sai Baba which also describes his own personal experiences with "The Man of Miracles".
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- Introduction to A Course in Miracles
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I have included here a very special link to what I consider to be one of the best articles I have read giving very practical valuable guidelines to the anyone who sincerely seeks truth. Not the truth we each make up but truth that is independent of the observer.
The writer is Slarty O'Brian and the hub is titled The Road To Becoming A Warrior.
It is writing like this that one someday cause the walls of Jericho to crumble and we will see the truth that lies behind the veil we call reality.
Thank you Slarty and I hope that more readers will join me in spreading your your wonderful message.
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