Volume 11 - Issue 10
October 2013
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Posted on: Oct 21, 2013

My Sai, My Love, My Puttaparthi

By Ms. Nooshin Mehrabani

Ms. Nooshin Mehrabani was born in Iran and worked as a reporter for Iranian National Radio and Television. She continued her career with an Iranian TV station after moving to Los Angeles, USA. Since 1991, when she first heard about Sai Baba, she has made many trips to India and has been blessed with several chances of interaction with Bhagawan. She now lives in Puttaparthi which she calls as her 'home'. She has also authored the book “Love and Suffering” which is the telling story of her journey to Swami.


Being two and a half months away from Puttaparthi visiting my family in USA made me homesick and I couldn’t wait to come to Puttaparthi. It was a strange feeling – maybe for some it is the other way around, considering I am alone in India.

Nooshin Mehrabani

Home Sweet Home - My Prasanthi

During the time I spent with my family, this question came up time and again: “When are you coming back to USA and living with the rest of the family, especially since Baba is gone now?”

I accepted this question from my family, none of whom are Sai devotees. For the last twenty-two years they were wishing I would someday become their ‘normal’ daughter, sister and mother again. My son even offered to buy me an apartment so I would move back to USA permanently.

I was silent for a few minutes and then he told me, “Mom, nothing ever makes you excited or happy.”

They do not understand that I have found my source of happiness inside and it has nothing to do with the material of this world. I left these family discussions not being able to explain to them how my only home is India and how I want to live in Puttaparthi for the rest of my life to serve Swamiji.

My Satsang with Sufi Ladies in USA

In the middle of my USA trip, at one of the Iranian gatherings, I was introduced to a lady who was following Sufism. After she found out I was living in a small village in India near my guru’s ashram she insisted that I share my experiences with a group of Sufi ladies at a weekly meeting they were holding in a member’s home. This group had a study circle wherein they discussed not only about Q’uran, the Muslim holy book, but also spirituality in general. They believed that religion without spirituality is like a body without a soul.

Seeing the real interest these Sufi ladies had to know about my guru in India, I attended one of their meetings to share my experience of our Beloved Sathya Sai Baba. After listening to my talk, they became even more eager to know about Swami’s teachings and I was happy to share what I had learned from the greatest master who has ever walked the earth. This has been a prayer of mine, that Swami should always bless me with the opportunity to talk, hear and reflect His love wherever I go.

 

In my interaction with them, I did not emphasize about Baba’s miracles, instead focused on how He guides all to live in truth, love and unity in our daily life. However since manifestation of vibhuti was part of my experience, I included this.

After hearing of this sacred ash and how it cured many people, some of the ladies asked if I had some to give. As Swami plans everything in advance, I had brought with me to USA a packet of vibhuti that Swami had given at the end of an interview. I promised the ladies I would bring it next time we met.

The next week’s discussion was about purity of the mind and heart and how to reflect this purity in our daily life. After each conversation they wanted to know more of Sai Baba’s teaching on a particular subject.

The Sufi ladies were amazed to discover that there isn’t any difference between Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings and what has come to us in Q’uran. I was happy to see the way they interpreted Q’uran with open minds. An expansion of the mind and heart often comes to the person who shares her knowledge and understanding of a sacred text.

At the end of the discussion I distributed vibhuti to twenty ladies. They loved to receive this sacred ash that had been blessed by such a sacred being as Swami. A few ladies saved this for their families. I was amazed how our Swamiji made himself known to these faithful ladies without much effort on my part.

Before leaving USA I attended a last meeting to say good-bye. I enjoyed hearing their discussion of unity of thought, word and action – which is an important aspect of Swami’s teachings too. At the end, some of the ladies let me know that the vibhuti had helped some sick people in their families.

On my way home that night I reflected on my interaction with these Sufis. Swami, by creating this small drama, opened another door for them and I understood that if there is strong faith and devotion towards God, all the barriers disappear and all apparent differences become only unity. Unconditional love for God always plays a big part in uniting people. These Muslim Sufis could see the possibility of a God in human form. Recently this group gave me the news that they were making arrangements to travel to India to visit Prasanthi Nilayam.

Swami says …


My Meeting with Sai Devotees in USA

In this trip I was also blessed to see members of our Sai Family. Some of them were interested to know how many people had been coming to Puttaparthi. “Was it crowded? Were foreigners still coming to Prasanthi Nilayam?” they wondered. These questions from non-devotees are normal, but why should Sai devotees be concerned about comings and goings? When your mother invites you to visit her home, you don’t ask if somebody else is coming. The greatness of your mother is not measured by the number of visitors to her home.

For me, Puttaparthi is my mother’s home. Life here is still magical and I am grateful to live in this holy land where the Avatar was born and lived for eighty-five years. For ordinary people, decisions in life are based on preference, but Swami’s Grace helps us to walk a path based on wisdom not desire. Swami’s active energy is still bringing the faithful devotees as well as new ones, like the Sufi ladies.

Why I Love My Puttaparthi

Another new devotee was a lady from Hong Kong who was working as a judge. I had just returned from my trip when I met her. This year she used her short holiday time to come to feel Swami’s energy, although she had only one day to spend in India. She had come to know of Baba two years ago, after His Mahasamadhi. It was not important to her how many people were in the ashram. She was content and happy believing that Sai Baba had made it possible for her to come to India. Like her, I do not care how many devotees are visiting in Puttaparthi.

Swami’s relationship with His devotees is always one to one and heart to heart. When He left His body, devotees from all parts of India rushed to Puttaparthi to pay their respects to the Avatar. The local people spent three days preparing free food for thousands of people. In every narrow pathway of this village, in front of small rooms mineral water was given to hot and thirsty people. This display of love and service by the devotees was one of the most important of Swami’s teachings of selflessness. I am happy to live among these people and call myself a villager.

How lucky we all are to be part of the history of this Avatar. My Swamiji is highest among all the avatars who came to help the people of this earth. No other incarnation had this close relationship with His devotees, giving them the chance to experience His omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. These manifest as LOVE and inspire many of us to live in His birthplace and dedicate our life to serve Him in all.

Swami, being Our Divine Mother, always cares for the well-being of His children. When He calls us to His home we run and come to visit His ashram, because we are aware of the importance of the experience that Avatar gave to humanity in this holy place.

In Puttaparthi, it is easier to be reminded of Him and focus our love on Him with whole heart, not the head. The body of Swami is gone, but the treasure of His teaching is with us. But, if our love and devotion was towards Swami’s form only, then it could not be permanent. That’s why some devotees are concerned and want to see if others are still faithful to Bhagwan Baba and visiting His ashram. The answer is, “Yes, they do come, and they drink from His Divine Energy.”

Swami manifests vibhuti in many places in Puttaparthi and around India and the world. His real devotees are stronger than ever and don’t analyze all the time. They just love. It doesn’t matter when and how long ago we came to Swami. Blessed are those who with one-pointed devotion continue their journey with Him and finish the game.

Swami says …



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