Volume 13 - Issue 09
September 2015
Other Articles

'Like' us on Facebook Follow us: facebook twitter vimeo youtube

Posted on: Sept 25, 2015


Divine Snippets from the life of Arthur and Poppy Hillcoat

Part 02


The Divine Partnership

Emanating from the hearts of great souls is a special beat heard and felt by all who come near them. That beat is the rhythm and song of their soul music which is heard far beyond their bodily time on this earth. Arthur and Poppy Hillcoat were two true human beings who touched the lives of many, and the song and dance of them will reside in our hearts and continue to serve the world for many years to come.

Arthur’s Om Shivaya

Ian Abrahams, former Secretary of the Australian National Council, remembers how Poppy’s sister lived in Sydney and this brought them from their Tamborine Mountain home down to Sydney at least once and often twice a year. Arthur and Poppy would usually attend the Gordon Centre meetings whenever their visit spanned a Thursday, and everyone loved hearing about the latest Sai news from them. Arthur and Poppy related events from the many overseas travels they were making, from Eastern Europe, to the South Pacific to North America.

What was striking was the continual evidence of Grace, how the Sai Hand was paving the way for them to meet spiritual seekers that reflected the mission of Swami to transform the world into the golden age, beyond the Kali Yuga. Arthur’s oratory skills in giving talks without referring to prepared notes was a hallmark of the depth of understanding and experiences he had of Sai Baba’s teachings. Many a floor shook in harmony with the beat of Arthur dancing around when singing “Om Shivaya Om Shivaya” and he lighted many hearts with the natural Sai Love that came naturally from him.

Doug Saunders (former National Chair of New Zealand) and his wife, Sieglinde, remember fondly that Arthur’s sense of humour was incredibly infectious: “And I will never forget the look of consternation on Poppy’s face as Arthur ended his many talks with his dancing madly back and forth across the stage whilst singing 'Om Shivaya, Om Shivaya.'”

To Russia with Love

Deputy Chairman IT Committee Zone 8, Oleg Kulakovskiv remembers: “In the course of our personal communication it was revealed that Arthur and I learned about Swami from one and the same person, Alexander Everett from America! I was introduced to Swami in Russia in 1999 when I attended a seminar entitled 'The Way to Oneself', and Arthur – 25 years before, in Australia. Inscrutable are the ways of the Lord!

“One day, after Arthur and Poppy’s talk before devotees, on the program it was planned to make tours around St. Petersburg and Pushkin. But it was raining and I suggested that we should go for lunch to the country house of my wife's parents. Arthur and Poppy happily agreed. The parents of my wife are wonderful people: the father is a scientist, Doctor of Biological Sciences, and the mother is a doctor. They were brought up in a materialistic family in the USSR. At that time, parents were wary of my activities in Sathya Sai Organization.

“I hoped that their meeting with Arthur and Poppy would somewhat dispel their fears. I agreed on our arrival and we were off. After the initial acquaintance, I felt some tension from parents’ side. There were straightforward questions about vegetarianism, 'Indian' religion, and so forth. I started to worry, but then I let the situation go and went for a walk with my little daughter. 'Come what may,' I thought, 'May Swami Himself arrange everything.'

“After 1.5 hours, when we returned, the atmosphere had changed, it was filled with love and goodness. And when it was time to say goodbye, the parents did not want to let Arthur and Poppy go for a long time. They asked them to come again during their next visit. When they were parting, Mom's eyes were full of tears. This is the power of influence of a pure devotee.”

Arthur The Lion, Poppy The Lioness

I heard something mentioned a little while ago about the fact that Swami calls me a ‘lion’ but I don’t want you to have any fears; I am really only a little pussy cat. Arthur Hillcoat

Arthur liked to relate the story of how he became known as a lion, to show the loving fun side of Sai Baba.

On this day He (Sai Baba) was talking to the students inside, and then He came outside where they couldn’t see Him. He called me and I said: “Yes, Swami?”

He said: “The boys just want to see you.”

I said: “See me Swami?”

He said: “Yes, they want to see you. Go inside!” and so I stepped inside.

There was a great roar from the students - hilarious; and then I knew that Swami had been up to mischief.

When I saw one of the students later I asked: “What was the roar about when I came in?”

He said: “Oh, Swami was teasing us.”

I said: “What do you mean teasing?”

He said: “Swami pulled up His sleeve, and started to move His hand and said: “Would you like to see a lion?”

And the students said: ‘Yes Swami!’

So He called me.

You see, our Lord has a beautiful sense of humour and He teases the students and you become a part of it, and it’s wonderful!

While Arthur was a lion, his Poppy was a lioness, sweetly standing beside him - both exemplar pillars of love, peace and Truth. In the words of Prabhu Basavalingam from Brisbane, speaking on this relationship:

“In spite of being Pa’s great Greek Goddess, Ma led a very simple life, embracing everyone as her own. She was the fearless lioness roaring alongside the mighty lion - and in the highest Truth, not just in words but in action.”

Arthur And Poppy on True Love and Understanding

Following a visit to Bosnia, Arthur and Poppy were at Puttaparthi when they learned a great deal of their retirement fund had been stolen by their financial advisor back home. They greeted this news with equanimity - they had God in their hearts, why fear? They had an interview before leaving for home, and Swami made it clear that they were to carry on, and help would come to support their work. They continued on, and years later Arthur related that they did not have one unhappy day over this incident of loss, because of their understanding that this was simply something in their lives that had come to them and needed to be.

Understanding was something that Arthur talked about as a key to Truth. Arthur drove home the point every time he spoke that the duty of a human being is to realise who you truly are.

So what is it that is the most important thing to search for? In my mind it’s your search for understanding. Understanding what life is all about. Understanding what steps one has to take to come to know the Truth. The more one understands, the more simple life becomes. We must continue to search to understand so that the time will come when we are open to the total Truth.

The search we have must come from an understanding. We must continue to search, make the effort till we reach the point when we realize that even the effort is a stumbling block - because there is nothing to reach! You are that at this moment; but don’t know it. Most misery is caused because one has forgotten who one really is.

Swami tells us over and over again: 'Embodiments of Love.' Swami tells us that we are Divine. But do we really listen to Swami? Swami tells us beautiful words and they are lovely; and we get a good feeling about it but when we leave, do we think about that? Do we take time to search for understanding? Without that, without the understanding, how can we ever know the Truth? What are the things that get in the way? Things that get in the way are facts like we believe we are separate, or that we have free will and that we can do things and we can achieve things. How sad it is that we think that!

Poppy spoke sublimely on Love.

We must get to the point where we can love everybody. Love is not something that is a commodity that you can grab a piece and hand it to somebody! When you search within yourself and continue that search until you can sit in true silence; after some time you will come face to face with God and then you will see your Self for the very first time. Love is not something that is apart. Love is your own true nature. You are the Love itself! Why does one deny seeing that, experiencing that and being that Love? It’s there already - we don’t have to make it happen. We just have to get to the point of realizing that one’s true nature is Love itself.


Arthur suffered several life-threatening illnesses and came through those almost, if not altogether unaffected. On at least three different occasions, Arthur suffered the symptoms of blood clots which would send him into a coma. On one such occasion he was in intensive care in hospital, and Poppy was impelled to speak out, “Arthur Hillcoat, if you die now I will never speak to you again!”  And a short-while later Arthur came to normal consciousness, none the worse for what was a serious episode.

In the period 2012 to 2013 Arthur had two episodes of strokes, yet the typical after-effects were not to be found in him. There was only one explanation, the Grace of Sai came to protect Arthur from what would otherwise have been to decease. Rather, Swami increased Arthur’s life.  Arthur knew this and showed gratitude by continuing to share Swami’s Love and what it meant for many others that came into contact with Arthur. He finally passed from a stroke in August 2014.


In 2010, Poppy suffered a stroke which left her blind in one eye, so she was unable to continue to drive. It was after the stroke that cancer was discovered. She underwent treatment and the cancer went into remission, but in 2014 it reappeared, and she allowed it to take its course. Throughout this time she maintained her great dignity, shining her inner light and joy. Before Arthur passed she was ill, but friends tell that she said she couldn’t leave her body yet as she had to look after Arthur, her beloved husband. If friends asked about her health, she would sweetly reply smiling, “It’s just the body,” or, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Miracle In The Rain

Poppy Speaks:

On Christmas eve afternoon I witnessed my first miracle. It looked like it was going to rain, and I had dreaded getting caught in the rain at darshan. I had heard that Swami would stop the rain for darshan. He would come out onto the veranda of the mandir, look up at the sky and presumably speak to Lord Indra and then the clouds would disperse and Swami would give darshan. On this afternoon, sure enough, Swami came out and looked up at the sky. However instead of the clouds dispersing, it began to rain hard! Swami simply came out and gave darshan in the pouring rain. I sat there in my sari, slowly getting waterlogged, with my hair plastered to my head. Swami's hair however, was as full and as curly as ever and as He came close to me, I saw that not a drop of rain was falling on Him!


1. Remember my boy! Everything is perfect!

2. Be the Love that you are!

3. To a complete stranger: “Ah, I’ve been waiting for you!”

4. Waiting for liberation? “Do nothing. Softly, softly, catchee monkey.”

5. “Ronny, I’m just a simple man. I’m not one for big words and complicated ideas. I just tell people the Truth as I see it. I always say the same thing, but nobody seems to mind.”

6. On Christmas dramas: “Tom, my boy, I think we’ll do something else.”

7. Play the role He has assigned and have fun. All that is, is perfect.

8. Swami calls me a ‘lion’ but I don’t want you to have any fears; I am really only a little pussy cat.”

9. I move with the speed and grace of a thousand gazelles.

On Visiting the United States:

1. Swami, when we were planning to come away on this journey, said to talk about Unity and Love. So that’s something that I have to do.

2. Once you start searching, then you will start to see changes.

3. You know, life is very beautiful. Wherever we go in the world, we find love.

4. You see, only God exists. It’s very simple; only God exists.

5. The body must remain until its appointed time to leave. The body must still carry out the role that it has been given in this lifetime.

6. The sleeping dream and the waking dream are only different in the fact that the waking dream seems longer.

7. Nothing is as it appears to be - absolutely nothing.

8. You see, it’s so simple. Be loving to everybody - and I mean everybody!

Arthur’s Food Prayer

With the ringing of gratitude in our hearts, we remember Arthur Hillcoat’s Food Prayer, recited at most meals he and Poppy attended - and it's food itself for the soul:

Dear Lord, You are the provider of the food, the consumer of the food, the very food itself.

We make this offering back to you now,

As indeed we offer all our words, thoughts and deeds of this day.

Lord, may all the people everywhere be happy.

May there be enough food to eat, enough water to drink,

And may all have shelter from the elements.

May all hearts be filled with love and compassion and minds be at rest.

We have no complaints whatsoever Lord,

And, above all, we ask that you draw each and every so called individual

To become aware of the Truth,

To live the Truth and thus, be free.

Poppy’s Heart Prints Prayer

Whatever our hands touch, we leave our finger prints - we leave them on door knobs, on furniture, on glass; anything - wherever we go, we leave our identity. But how about heart prints? Do we leave our heart prints wherever we go?

Oh God, wherever I go today, help me to leave heart prints.

Heart prints of compassion, of understanding and love.

Heart prints of kindness and genuine concern.

May my heart touch
a lonely neighbour,

or a run-away daughter,

or an anxious mother,

or perhaps an aged grandfather.

Lord, send me out today to leave heart prints and if someone should say:

‘I felt your touch’,

May that one sense Your love touching them through me.

Radio Sai Team

What are your impressions about the Article? Please let us know by writing in to [email protected] or you may leave your thoughts in the comments section. Do not forget to mention your name and country.

comments powered by Disqus
counter for wordpress