The other day, here in Prasanthi Nilayam, I was listening to a story about Baba, being told by Mr. Kasturi, to a group of us Westerners. The story related to a cat who called on Baba in distress and how He came to its help. It moved me very much, as I am an animal lover, and especially fond of cats; our family has seven of them. So, I decided to share this animal story of my own, or rather insect story.
About seven years ago, while living in the beautiful mountains of Idylwild, California, this miracle happened. Idylwild is a place that has many bees, especially wasps called yellow backs, a dangerous stinging variety. Most people living in these mountains are dreadfully afraid of them, but I was not; in fact I used to put out every day a plate of left over fruit for them to enjoy a habit my husband did not appreciate! Often he would complain that the plate was too near the house, then I would go out and move it, fruit and bees further away, telling him a little egoistically: "I am not afraid of them, I have contacted their spirit, and they will never sting me. Any way Sai Baba is protecting me!"
Well! When one makes a bold statement like that, better watch out, for the ears of Baba are everywhere, and He might decide to test the statement.
Which is just what He did!
I had known about Baba for two years, but had not yet had the blessed chance to see His physical form. I did, however firmly believe in His Divinity and Omnipresence! Some day later I was invited to a children’s party, to which I went alone. When the festivities were over and I was about to leave, loud terrified screaming was heard from outside the back of the house. Everyone rushed to the wide windows to see what was wrong, and there we saw two small children running to the house pursued and surrounded by a thick cloud of furious bees—yellow backs! There must have been at least two hundred of them.
The children had found and broken open one of their hives and bees were taking their revenge! All the party guests, including myself, seemed to be rooted to the floor.
Only the mother rushed out into the holocaust to save her little ones No one else dared! Then a big man ventured out, coming back almost immediately with several stings. The back door was closed tightly to keep the bees from swarming inside. From the safety of the windows all watched the mother strike out at the bees helplessly, only making them more angry ... Then I heard it, that still small voice inside, which I had come to identify, as Baba. It said, "Go out and help that poor mother and children, I will be with you,” I stared at the scene before me in horror, my faith in having made friends with the spirit of bees having fled. The small Voice insisted, so I found myself opening the door and stepping out into the middle of the flying, buzzing storm. A moment of terror rushed through me from my toes right up and out of the top of my head. I closed my eyes and prayed: "Baba if ever I needed you, it's now, please come here!"
In that very same instant He was there! I felt His cool, peaceful presence surround me, and the whole area! Finding the hysterical mother almost hidden by the swarming wasps I grabbed her wildly flaying arms and shouted, so as to be heard above the ominous droning.
"Be calm now, God is with us, He has come to help us.” I had never met this woman before, nor she me, for all I know.
She stared into my eyes and became calm. Together we caught hold of the children, and began to strip off their clothes, to which dead, half dead and live bees were clinging.
We both spoke gently to the children, and I also talked to the wasps, begging them to be calm and not to sting any more. Their stings had caused numerous ugly swellings on the faces, arms and legs of the children, some of them bleeding badly, and were giving a lot of pain also.
We plucked bees out of their hair, eyes, nose; mouth, somehow getting them cleared enough to enter the house and into the bathroom. As we bathed them, they cried with pain, and indeed their small bodies were a mess!
I prayed again silently to Baba to help the poor little things, and then a great miracle occurred, for, before our astonished eyes all the swellings, the ugly lumps, began to fade away and with them all the pain went too!
The mother and I looked at each other in amazement, neither of us having suffered even one sting ourselves.
When it was all over; and the children, smiling now, were wrapped in towels, I said to the mother, "I believe that your children have had a divine healing, but if you have any doubt at all you'd better take them to a hospital for treatment."
As most of you readers will know, bee stings can be deadly! She answered me, with tears of Joy pouring down her face! "I know I have just seen a miracle, I need no hospital!"
We smiled at each other, simply 'knowing'! Then she said quietly: "I have never met you, but I have heard about you, and that you follow a holy man who lives in India; was it he you prayed to for help?" "Yes, It was," I told her.
"Will you write his name for me and somewhere I can buy books about him; and where I can write to him. I would like to thank him for saving my children." I gave her this information and left through the front door, as the back one was still being guarded by the unsatisfied yellow backs.
Baba, The God of Bees, too had, I am sure, called another devotee; and in his own inimitable way!