Sri Indulal Shah, formerly the Chairman of the International Sathya Sai Organization, recounts his experiences with Bhagawan in his book “Sixteen Spiritual Summers”. Such is the beauty of the relationship between the Peerless Master and His Excemplary Devotee that one finds drops of Immortality dripping from his accounts of Bhagawan’s Omnipotence. Read on for an extract from Sixteen Spiritual Summers... Avatar stands unique in the spiritual domain in His ability to command and control the 5 elements constituting ‘Prakriti’. During my first darshan of Bhagawan in Bangalore, I had seen Bhagawan warding off impending rain by dispersing thick, dark clouds merely by raising His hand, but this appeared then only as a spectacle of wonder as I had, till then, not pondered over the unique attributes that an Avatar had as distinct from a Sidha Purusha. If I had probed into it then itself, that phenomenon would have instantly revealed to me Baba’s Avatarhood. Be that as it may, I was soon to witness another astonishing event.

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 samiti had arranged a public meeting of devotees in honour of Baba at Dharmakshetra. I remember vividly that it was a Sunday evening. In Bombay, in the month of July, a heavy downpour could be expected at any time. That being a Sunday, a large crowd was expected to attend, regardless of the probability of rain. The samiti had taken all precautions to provide shelter to the devotees from the showers. The large pandal at Dharmakshetra was packed with people to the full. The meeting was to commence at 6.00 pm. But at about 5.15 pm, the sky was overcast and we feared that the rains would lash out any time. We all were anxious to save the devotees from getting drenched in heavy rains. Some of the office bearers felt that we should request Bhagawan Baba to start the meeting early, say at 5.30 pm. I felt that Baba might not accede to this as there was ‘Rahu Kal’ upto 6.00 pm, but my colleagues insisted that there was nothing like ‘Rahu Kal’ for Bhagawan and that we should try our luck with Him. Accordingly, I went up to Bhagawan and prayed “Baba, could we start the meeting a little early?” “Why?” asked Baba in a tone, which was an answer to the question.

But we did not understand that then, as our mind was also clouded like the overcast sky that evening. I pleaded: ‘Bhagawan, 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 drizzling had already started. Those who have seen Dharmakshetra know that Bhagawan 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 for praying 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, what Baba did then bore no impact on me. Baba said that the meeting should commence as scheduled at 6 o’ clock and I rushed out to convey Baba’s decision to my colleagues outside.

The meeting started at 6 and, by then, the sky had brightened enough to dispel all our fears about the rains. It was during the meeting that I realized that a great blunder I had made in praying to Baba to commence the proceedings a little early. Evidently, during those few minutes, I had forgotten that Baba is God and that He had command over ‘Prakriti’. 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 omnipresent, that He can control nature and that He is an Avatar, God come in human form to bless all mankind.

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