"If you are interested in paranormal powers, you must absolutely get to know Sai Baba," a woman botanist told me, whom I had looked up in New Delhi, on account of the medical plants I had gathered in the course of my trip through Asia. She described to me miraculous events which she had witnessed herself, especially miraculous healings of lame persons, of persons born blind, affected with cancer and others who were gravely ill. I had been advised to request a meeting with the famous enigmatic miracle man, even before my departure for my year long study tour through Asia which I undertook together with my husband in our Volkswagen bus. Hardly had I set foot on Indian soil when again and again I met people who had experienced Sai Baba. He is said to be no 'normal saint', but a divine incarnation, possibly of Siva"
"During our stay at Bombay, we visited the lotus temple (Dharmakshetra) of Sai Baba. We arrived just at the time of the evening Puja. The white lotus flower, symbol of purity and spirituality, shone in the evening sun like a golden jewel. Before the clear evening sky and the distant gleaming sea, this temple seemed to lose its earthly heaviness and to transform itself into light and the radiance of the sun. I entered the interior of the temple in a 'lost-to the world' mood. In the flickering light of the candles and oil lamps, one could recognise an altar with the flower bedecked picture of the re incarnated Sai Baba on the right side, that of the Sai Baba of Shirdi on the left, and in front, a devout crowd of followers. The room was filled with spiritual songs and the sound of cymbals. It was an impressive ceremony.
Did the people who gathered there revere a Saint or a Divinity? The present Sai Baba is addressed as Bhagawan (God) and that is also what He calls Himself. As it is, He adds that every one is God, since the Godhead is active in each of us. He travels through the country preaching. He preaches of the love of God in man, of peace, tolerance, and the spiritualization of life. He sees His task in reconnecting men with God, in helping them in their needs and suffering. He is living completely in the service of humanity. I have met persons in India who revere Him as Christ returned to earth."
"I resolved not to leave India without meeting Sai Baba. But, this was easier said than done... Sai Baba is constantly on the move. Not even His closest circle of collaborators and devotees could give definite information on where the Master could be found at any given time, for how long He would be there, or what were His future travel plans...After having been three times in vain at Brindavan, Kadugodi, near Bangalore, I managed at last to speak to a professor of the Arts and Science College founded there by Sai Baba. ....He said, "The only chance you have to meet Swami is come back again—perhaps one day you will be lucky enough to be called by Him.” It took five months of efforts, coupled with many hardships, till we finally had that good fortune.
"There, at last! A slim figure, clad in yellow, slides out of the villa. The gates swing back. For one moment, Sai Baba remains at the gate. We have known Him for a long time from countless pictures... now, the small person starts moving—all concentrated energy and vitality, an impression no photograph can convey. People prostrate before Him; whoever is near enough kisses His feet and the hem of His robe. A biblical scene... Bhagawan jokes and laughs with some persons in the crowd as though they are old friends. Now there lies an atmosphere of relaxed cheerfulness over the scene. Once, Sai Baba cuts through the formation of visitors and makes His way to a lady who tends to Him a child which pulls faces and is obviously mentally disturbed. He caresses the child and seems to speak comforting words. Several times we observe how He produces Vibhuti by making a quick circling movement with His flat outstretched hand. Then He distributes it to some petitioners. Now He is again standing in the midst of the crowd, calmly looking around. The visitors follow each of His movements like spell bound. Again, He shoots like an arrow toward a specific person, or, He moves hesitatingly in a circle.... After His tour among His devotees, Sai Baba proceeded up to the College building. The students listened spell bound to the words of their great Master. Just by the expressive gestures with which He underlined what He said, they had an absolutely convincing effect. Then, Sai Baba disappeared in the interior of the building, where He talked further with His students.”
"Next morning!... opening of the gates: the saffron robed slim figure between the reverently inclined visitors, who were grouped most densely around the tree with the idol of Krishna. Sai Baba jokes; accepts petitions, distributes Vibhuti, and even gives autographs today. The light is favourable; we are taking photographs and are filming somewhat with palpitations. After Sai Baba has once circled the tree with the Darshan craving crowd, He walks toward our VV Bus which is parked near by ....He asks in pure English if we have driven the 'many miles' from Germany to Whitefield in this car. And, He adds, "You come with me!"
"We follow Sai Baba into a small room. He takes His seat on a throne-like armchair covered with red velvet. Aside from us, a young Parsee and two young Indian couples from Bombay with a child each, are among the chosen. We squat in a half circle at the Master, separated according to sex... He nods at me and asks whether the unaccustomed way of squatting does not give me too much trouble; I should not hesitate to stretch my legs.”
"Then, Sai Baba asks us what we want. We pray that He should first consider the other visitors, since we were no `devotees' and had come only out of scientific interest in His much praised paranormal faculties. He cheerfully makes a play of words on 'saintist' and ‘scientist', emphasising that a scientist who only declares as true and valid what is calculable and ponderable, what can be fitted into the accepted so called 'natural laws' can never penetrate into the essence. The most important thing in the world is love. Without love, there is no meaningful existence. At these words, He again makes a movement in the air with His right hand, palm downwards; He now turns it upwards and hands me a small photograph with His picture, which He then dates and signs 'with Love'...
I have with me Murphet's book, “Sai Baba, Man of Miracles" and "PSI" by Ostrander / Schroeder. He holds the first in front of Him and says with a smile, 'Well. Well. Sai Baba—Sai Baba. The author is a good man." Then He turns over the leaves in the PSI book. I described PSI as a collective concept for everything paranormal and as an example, the apparition of Rosenheim and other psychokinetic cases, relating that the Soviets especially are engaged in the investigation of PSI.” …Sai Baba said, "Yes. Every one has these abilities and he can also increase them through training." …I said, “It is to be feared that these forces will be used for strategic purposes, political prestige, therefore for selfish and destructive aims. That is why I was interested in knowing whether all men possess these powers and whether they may be used for good or evil.”
He said in reply, "Whoever intends to bring about evil with His powers will reap evil. Whoever wishes to use them for himself will lose them. Those abilities are often limited to a certain time and a specific mode of operation. Especially, if they are practiced without piety.”...
"The atmosphere was refreshingly cheerful and pleasant. This meeting had nothing solemn or pathetic. His naturalness and high spirits were especially comforting. Once more He began to laugh—His clear and hearty laughter. Anyone may be cheerful who has within him the serenity of Divine Peace."...
After, about one hour's conversation (with the people who were in the room), Sai Baba withdrew to adjacent room with the American lady and the Professor. A volunteer brought us grapes. When the conversation in the adjacent room was over, Sai Baba took leave of us, with the request to visit Him again, "I am very happy that you came. Thank you very much.”
(The above article was culled from an English Translation by Leone Muller of New York of an article in German on "Sai Baba, Godman" by Dr. Sigrid Lechner Knecht of Federal Republic of Germany, published in the October and November issues of the ‘Esotera' magazine, republished in July 1976 issue of Sanathana Sarathi.)