Describes how I met my Guru from my immediate past life in India, in His current Incarnation as the Avathar, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I describe some of the yogic experiences I underwent while living in His Ashram, Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, India.
LIVING IN THE DIVINE PRESENCE--MY ONGOING LIFE WITH SAI BABA~by SaiVahni (Ashtar-Athena SherAn)
It was a lovely day in Santa Barbara California that Fall of 1969 as I sat quietly enjoying it—when suddenly a blue orb streaked across the room entering my third eye-sending me reeling in surprise! Krishna flashed in my mind as I swooned in bliss! The phone rang-it was a Theosophist who'd been attending my weekly Esoteric classes inviting me to a film about a “Young Indian Holy man called Sai Baba." The film confirmed the fact that the same Divine Spirit that had appeared on Earth as the ancient Avathars Rama and Krishna had come again as Sathya Sai Baba! My heart leapt in instant recognition!
He was calling me again--filling my heart-my mind with such ecstatic love that the veils of forgetfulness had lifted--revealing the Divine Presence in all things! I staggered out of that gathering stunned to mute silence—seeing with new vision, a Divine world overflowing with love. That awareness of the Divine Presence and pure love in which we all exist like fish in the sea, has remained constant ever since.
At that time I was 28, happily married, with a young Daughter, well established I assumed, in my life's work as an Esoteric teacher, writer and lecturer and a student in the Arcane School,founded in 1922 by Alice Bailey under the guidance of the Trans-Himalayan Adepts of Shambhala. The emphasis of the teaching was the preparation of Humanity for the eminent “reappearance” of the World Teacher-and the “externalization” into the outer world of the Masters of Wisdom.
It was apparent to me that Sathya Sai Baba was that World Teacher long anticipated by every world religion under a variety names and descriptions. At that time I was alone in that recognition as far as my Esoteric circle of friends was concerned. However I had found the Master—or rather He had come for me--and my heart had already taken flight—followed in 1972 by my body as I made my first of many trips to India to live in His Ashram, Prasanthi Nilayam, The Abode of Supreme Peace.
Thus was I called as one of Sai Baba's earliest American devotees, Bhajan (Sacred chant)leaders and the one who served in announcing His Presence to the Western Esoteric Community and countless others since. My first taste of Vibuthi, the sacred ash that Baba produces with a wave of His hand—initiated my first dream of Him. In the dream Sai Baba and I were seated on a bench. He leaned toward me and I leaned toward Him thinking He was going to kiss me—when He and I both transformed into orbs of white Light merging into one. Little did I realize at the time that by His entering my third eye as that blue orb along with this “dream”experience of our merging, Sai Baba had granted me Spiritual liberation and Divine merger. He had just fulfilled His promise made to me during our previous lifetime together when He was Shirdi Sai Baba and I His Brahmin Disciple.
Before Shirdi Sai's passing in Oct. 1918 He had told me, “You will be an American woman next lifetime, married, with a Daughter. You will come to Me as Sathya Sai Baba at age 28— Liberation at that time—no more births!" This was revealed to me when I had my Brighu Nadis read in 1973 after my initial four months living in Sai Baba's Presence. The Brighu Nadis are Sanskrit prophecies written by the enlightened Sage Brighu 5000 years ago.
Within the various sacred Nadis are prophecies written by the illustrious Saptha Rishis, Brighu, Shuka, Agasthya and others, of one's past,present and future. Therein the life, mission and accomplishments of the Divine Avathar, Sri Sathya Sai Baba is described in great detail, along with those who are destined to be instrumental in fulfilling the task for which He has come; namely to restore peace and righteousness throughout the Earth, avert global destruction, correct our wayward minds,foster Spiritual realization and usher us into a Golden Age of Truth.
We are living in the time when we shall witness the Lord cause every vestige of evil,crime, hatred and warring to vanish from Earth—-replacing it with love, global harmony and peace. Everything will be entirely transformed between now and the arrival of the next Avathar,Prema Sai Baba expected around 2022 to 2024 who will preside over this Golden Age. Prema means love and everywhere there will be only love according to Sai Baba; Prema will conclude the series of three Sai Avathars.
Sai Baba has emphatically stated that everyone on Earth has a part to play in this grand drama of which He is the Playwright, be it the role of villain or saint. Each enters the stage on cue, in character and costume to enact their scene and deliver their lines. Nevertheless,regardless of our enactment in this charade of good and evil, we remain ever perfect and pure embodiments of one Divine Atma. This is the ultimate Truth being revealed to one and all by Sai Baba, that we are God. In this lifetime my role as a Server and Mystic really began just prior to my 6th birthday when I offered my life to God to serve Him. His response was to “Help troubled people find God”--so from that early age onward that's been my mission.
I've felt God's hand upon my head ever since, knowing I was being watched over, guided and protected. My Brighu Nadis read,"You have a Guru, Sai Baba is your Guru, His hand is upon your head, blessing you. You have His Grace, He is granting you Liberation in this lifetime—Atmic realization age 42—from age 60 on you will be in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, total fulfillment-peace of entire being, no more births." It is now 2014 and everything foretold for my life has occurred.
Everything has already been Divinely bestowed to each one of us, yet within the dream-spell of time-space we seem to each be on a journey of awakening, overcoming,progressive unfoldment and realization. That sense of lack and separation is all an illusion.
Oct,16, 1972 found me enroute to India with a group of other Americans-- on my first of many trips to Sai Baba. Throughout the long flight and four hour taxi ride to Prasanthi Nilayam it felt like my heart was tethered to His and I was being strongly drawn to Him. We arrived at Prasanthi Nilayam which was very sparely developed in 1972. The little green and white Mandir stood alone in a sandy expanse, dotted with flowering trees,with a few huts for the Indian residents and a canteen.
A newly constructed row of cement rooms with western flush toilets had been constructed in anticipation of our arrival. I had come with Indra Devi, my yoga teacher and her group,so we were crowded, several women to a room. However none of that mattered as I was beside myself with anticipation at seeing my Lord-face to face We sat under the right side of the Mandir balcony for our first Darshan. A devotee nudged me to look up and there He stood looking over the balcony right into my eyes! I felt a powerful thud impact my heart—as if it had received a blow-and next it was as if my eyes had become uncorked and a torrent of tears gushed out so profusely the front of my clothing was entirely drenched.
I must have gone into such an altered state that for some time afterward I only vaguely remember being led around by the hand—and nothing else. The next day I was being draped in a white and gold silk sari as we were being called in for a private interview with Sai Baba. My eyes never moved from His wonderful face--I was drinking in every feature, inhaling His sweet Vibuthi like fragrance I was in ecstatic bliss in the Presence of the Creator of all Life—I was with GOD!
My first feeling regarding Sai Baba,was that I had emerged from Him—that He was my Creator and Source of origin. Sai Baba is what is known as a “Sarva Daivi Swarupam”-the embodiment of every Name and Form of God ever worshipped. When you see Him He can and often does appear as your most Beloved one. For me He became Jesus the Christ, my Lord.
He teaches that we are to continue worshipping as we are accustomed to, that it is not necessary to change our
Name and Form of God once we have seen Him for all Names and Forms are His including yours and mine! As we
draw near to the Lord by which ever religious tradition, we'll discover that we are drawing nearer to Him.
He said in our describing Him we could say that He is simply the form Divine Love has taken as a Teacher of Truth.
When He asked why we had come? I spontaneously spoke up–“We've come for you my Lord.”I was expecting that He—being the Lord- would assign us tasks in His mission right then and there. Instead He spoke softly, sweetly and simply like, “Start the day with love, fill the day with love, end the day with love, that's the way to God.”
He told us to do our duty—dedicating all our actions to God, and to “Love all and serve all”, that all life was One.
He sang us little songs and laughed joked, and played with us with obvious delight. I was seated on His left side where I could see under His hand as He materialized various “tokens of His love”--a rosary, several rings, Vibuthhi, sweets, fruits and such.
I watched as Sai Baba circled His down turned palm a few times,how a little white ball of Light would appear for a flash and then quickly manifest into form. He would quickly grab it as it materialized—or sometimes the object would hover in mid air and He would gently take it.
He knew what each one wanted-the preferred image of God, the exact ring size-every detail. Sometimes Baba would change what He had materialized to something else by blowing on it if He noted any dissatisfaction. He explained that these were not Yogic Siddhis (powers) but were simply His “nature” and occurred spontaneously as expressions of His love and desire to impart joy to us. He was at once childlike, soft spoken and sweet and at the same time the Magnificent, Omnipresent, Omnipotent Almighty Father of us all.
When asked if He was God, He replied, “Yes I am God—and you are also God, the only difference is that I am aware that I am God whereas you are not.” He would continually assure us that we would all come to realize that we we are also God—that in reality God alone existed in all, as all.
While Sai Baba never materialized a ring for me in an interview-- He had in 1969 manifested out of each of His 10 fingers, 10 small enameled portraits of Himself for the devotees in Santa Barbara and I was given one that I later had made into a ring.
In 1975 I received the gift of one of His Orange silk robes, which I have since carried all over the USA and the world, including Belfast which brought to an end the 27 year conflict in Ireland. Baba's robe has been carried up the Egyptian Nile, into the Giza Pyramid King's chamber, for 9 days on a catamaran in the Bermuda Triangle,throughout the Yucatan, twice to Israel, and to all of the sacred sites throughout the USA, Hawaii, Canada, the Mexican Riviera,India,throughout the UK etc.
His robe has been with me during every conference I've spoken at and every workshop I've given. When I was invited to speak at the United Nations in 1997 Sai Baba's robe was there. For over 7 years He has inspired my weekly BBS Radio show seminars, His robe by my chair.
In 1977 Sai Baba had given me the name SaiVahni and told me to use it,for it means to be a carrier of the Lord-Sai and His message—and part of that has been carrying His robe throughout the world. In 1978 I was one of a few "foreign nationals" privileged to attend Baba's Summer Course of Indian Culture and Spirituality in which Sai Baba-the same Rama and Krishna Himself-spoke on the Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita. Daily I'd open the Bhagavad Gita asking Him what He wanted me to focus upon-- it was always the chapter on the Cosmic vision Krishna had given to Arjuna; His message was clear—see only God as everyone and every thing.
That first trip in 1972 most left the ashram after a few days but I was able to stay on-experiencing so many mystical visions, realizations and transcendental states that I'll only be able to share a few in this article.
One day I was sitting all alone under one of the many flowering trees, a few feet away from the Mandir reading His book, Jnana Vahini (wisdom stream). When the realization hit that Sai Baba and I were one and the same Divine Atma! The instant that awareness arose, Sai Baba immediately emerged heading straight toward me; “Acha!” (Good) He said, as He slapped the open book with His hand covering it with Vibuthi ash! Then without further word He turned and walked back into the Mandir.
In this simple exchange He had granted me a direct experience of Self Realization along with His confirmation and blessing.
(Jnana is the highest wisdom, called Adwaitha—the ultimate teaching that God alone exists-any difference is illusion.)
I wept torrents during those four months, as lifetimes of karma and trauma were being released. There were
also tears of joy, ecstasy, gratitude and devotion, which made me wonder if I'd end up with cheek “erosion”!
I relieved my life at the time of Jesus during which I had been severely traumatized by His crucifixion.
Sai Baba was now healing that deep seated grief and agony. Like a Biblical character I went about in a brown caftan my head covered with a shall. The entire surroundings had transformed into Judea. I'd be drawing water at the near by well, and seeing Baba
approach I'd drop my bucket and run to fall at His feet as I must have done with Jesus.
I was living in the alternate realities of different times and places. The lifetime with Jesus was followed by an abrupt shift into a life as a Shavite Yogi—a worshipper of Lord Shiva. Now adorned in saffron, Vibuthi, Rudraksha beads, I'd climb the rocky hills above the ashram and meditate atop a huge boulder-seated on my tiger print blanket.
One day in a “Shiva” mood of detachment, I observed the Ashram far below as devotees clustered around Baba's
small orange form—--while beyond-stretched the vast expanse of ancient hills and landscape—of a land untouched by time. It began to rain, absorbed in mindless Samadhi-from my half lidded trance, Baba was seen approaching— floating in the air; He merged into my third eye-that's all I remember.
As there was so little bodily identification it was easy sitting for many hours without thought of attending to the usual physical demands. I understand this now as one of many yogic states and Divine “bhavas” or moods that were manifesting at the time. This inter-play with Sai Baba was intense, multi-dimensional—like being immersed in living fire-Holy Light.
I panted for His Presence as one desperate for air. He was immediately fulfilling the slightest desire that arose in my mind—
burning all my samskaras (ingrained habits/ tendencies) from all previous lives- granting the Spiritual fulfillment longed and prayed for over many lifetimes. He was granting me what He has come to give us all—liberation from our mental identifications.
He knows every thing about every person—what each is thinking and feeling for , as He states, “ I am the Dweller in every heart.” There have since been many subsequent trips to Prasanthi Nilayam and personal interviews, each with more fine tuning being done on this instrument-the most recent being from 2006-to 2007, Thus I was present Aug. 2006 for the rare Maha-Rudra Yagna—which had a powerful liberating effect for all beings within the 14 "Lokas"/worlds.
He continues blessing us with His ongoing Presence, appearing throughout the world today in visions, dreams and by assuming multiple forms and various guises through which He interacts with us. The inner awareness and realization continues to deepen and expand--that there is but One Divine Life animating all forms.
This is the Divine Gift that the Avathar appears in Human form to confer upon all. Everyone will ultimately arrive at His Lotus feet—if not now surely in the next few lifetimes. It is inevitable this return of our awareness to our inherent Divinity -our perfect and holy nature that is indistinguishable from Sai Baba—from God--however envisioned-- That One in Whom we all live, move and have our being.
We are–each and every one of us-immortal embodiments of Divine Love—of Sat-Chit-Ananda--Existence-Awareness-Bliss. We will all witness many wonders,signs and miracles from now on for the Golden Age of Sathya Sai—the age of Truth was born as of 2012. Within the next few years we will witness every Human heart and mind transformed from within, by that One Divine Spirit.
From age to age the One Divine Spirit comes in Human form to re-establish righteousness upon a firm footing—to reawaken the slumbering to their forgotten Divinity and Divine inheritance-to liberate consciousness from the illusions of limitation and separation.
May each one who reads this be blessed by Lord Sai with the fulfillment of your heart's deepest longing.
May all Divine Blessings, Love and Grace abound in your life.
Aum Sai Ram,
SaiVahni / Ashtar-Athena Sheran
Los Angeles, California Oct.8, 2015