i had briefly mentioned in the Sanathana Sarathi, one of the earlier issues, that about 50 people had made a trip to come with me to India, into the physical Presence of Bhagawan. Bhagawan's Leela! Some of them had already experienced His Grace, even before they met Him. Lila Young, for example, was determined to see Him and had ready her passport, visa, and vaccination certificates. The only missing item was money! How could she travel? But, she felt sure that Bhagawan would answer her ardent prayers. And so it happened!
Later, when Bhagawan called the group into the Interview Room, that could hardly hold so many people, while talking kindly to us, He produced suddenly, by that quick wave of His Hand a crystal japmala, and without a word, He threw it round Lila's neck!
A few days before we were scheduled to depart, a neighbour offered her 2000 dollars, without being asked for it! For, her husband, an inventor, suddenly received a fine offer for one of his inventions, some luck that didn't happen in the last ten years. "We did not have even five dollars in the house," Lila told us, when relating this Leela, with tears in her eyes.
While hearing this story, i was reminded of one of my own experiences.
In 1969 i had not planned to go for Baba's Birthday as I was due to visit India a little later. All the same one evening, after meditation, looking at His picture, I found myself saying: 'Bhagawan, take me to Puttaparthi for Your Birthday.' Two days later, I received a phone call from Chuck Wein, a young man who used to come to our Sai Baba Centre in Los Angeles. He was calling from the Warner Brothers Motion Picture Studio.
'Mataji, can you go to India tomorrow? Warner Brothers will pay your passage if you will go to ask Sai Baba's permission to make a documentary film on His life...' Somehow, I wasn't even surprised and answered very calmly, 'Tomorrow is Sunday and all the offices are closed, but I can leave on Tuesday.'
'Who is paying for my ticket?' I asked the Air India manager in Los Angeles.
'Warner Brothers,' he replied.
I arrived just in time for the celebrations which began early in the morning when Bhagawan hoisted the Prasanthi flag on the roof of the temple. He then declared that He was Shiva-Shakti incarnated in human form, in order to lead men towards God. He exhorted people to cleanse and purify their hearts - to make Discrimination (Viveka) their flag post, unfurl the flag of Love in and let it flutter joyfully in the wind of Grace. He also said that He is born in each of us as Love.
'Only that day, when love is born in you, can it be My Birthday.'
At eleven o'clock Swami went from the temple to the auditorium in a procession. The ceremony began with Mother Easwaramma first garlanding Bhagawan, then anointing Him, on His head, with a flower dipped into a cup of fragrant oil. She was followed by several others chosen by Bhagawan rom among His old devotees. The procession then moved, headed by the temple elephant Sai Gita.
The day before I was ready to return home, Bhagawan called me in to give His blessing. At parting He produced, with the familiar circling motion of His hand, a beautiful golden medallion of the Goddess Lakshmi.
'I don't want anything, Bhagawan,' I pleaded.
'This is not for you... for the protection of the house - no more fires.'
I did not know at that moment how badly we would need His protection a few months later when we were about to loose the ranch.
After returning from India, I went to the Warner Brothers Studio, but not a single soul there had ever heard of Sai Baba, let alone my trip to Him!
'Another leela of Baba?' wondered Dick Bock when I told him about it.