Sathya Sai Baba. Supernatural Experiences and Divine Transformation. Book One
Memories and Experiences of a Russian Devotee
The Life and Teachings of Sathya Sai Baba
Before you is a book of memoirs about the greatest Indian mystic and miracle worker Sathya Sai Baba. He was born in the very south of India in 1926 and left his body in 2011 at the age of eighty-four. He was known as a philosopher, humanist, spiritual teacher, and the most significant miracle worker of our time.
Sathya Sai Baba preached the unity of all religions, taught meditation practices, and spiritually transformed people with his blessings. With the help of his supernatural abilities, he healed people from diseases and changed the destinies of his followers. The life and teachings of Sathya Sai Baba have caused heated debates and discussions for many years, even now these disputes do not subside.
Some spiritual leaders of India and the West treated him with the deepest reverence and considered him the most divine teacher of mankind. Among the followers and disciples of Sathya Sai Baba were the most prominent politicians and businessmen from around the world.
Sathya Sai Baba’s translator
I was fortunate to be Sathya Sai Baba's interpreter from 1993 to 1999. I translated conversations from English into Russian during Sathya Sai Baba's personal meetings with Russian-speaking groups from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, and Kazakhstan. I watched how Sathya Sai Baba communicated directly with followers and visitors, gave spiritual instructions, answered urgent questions, healed people from illnesses, and changed people's lives.
For me, Sathya Sai Baba is a divine teacher who helped people at all levels of being, from the highest levels of spiritual enlightenment to the most acute problems related to health, family life, and business. For Sathya Sai Baba, there were no unimportant questions. Everything that worried people was important for him. He communicated with each person according to their needs and his level of perception.
The birth of this book
After Sathya Sai Baba passed away in 2011, many people asked me to write about the amazing stories I witnessed. Feeling the need to share my memories with a wide range of readers, I sat down to work, inspired. I remembered how Sathya Sai Baba was during his informal meetings, including his amazing sense of humor and deep insight, while reflecting on the significance of his spiritual heritage.
This book is not just a fascinating story about the life of Sathya Sai Baba and his many miracles; it can also be used as a practical guide on the path of life. The book contains a lot of Sathya Sai Baba's advice on working with the subconscious, meditation techniques and self-healing practices, as well as important recommendations on how to consciously work with the circumstances of life.
The book deals with many interesting and important topics: the relationship between man and God, the harmony of the spiritual path and social success, the right balance between religious practices and financial well-being, meditation practices, and a happy family life.
Creativity of the Author as an Artist
Many years of communication with Sathya Sai Baba completely transformed my soul. His blessings touched literally every aspect of my life. As a professional artist, I am grateful to Sathya Sai Baba for helping me realize that fine art is one of the greatest methods of spiritual self-knowledge and self-improvement.
I studied professional painting skills at an art college and institute, but I draw inspiration and ideas for my paintings from the infinite energy of Divine Love. My task as an artist is to use bright color combinations and unusual compositional solutions to create paintings that help the viewer experience a state of harmony, joy, and happiness. When I paint, I often feel the presence of Sathya Sai Baba, who blessed me in the work of the artist, for which I am eternally grateful to him.
Unity of the Spiritual and the Material
Sathya Sai Baba is an Avatar incarnated in our era; he is the eternal Divine Spirit, who is beyond time and space. Reason and logic are powerless to comprehend the infinity of Sathya Sai Baba's Consciousness. At the same time, Sathya Sai Baba was born in the human world, he lived a wonderful and perfect human life. His life is the greatest example of the manifestation of the infinite creative potential that resides in the heart of every human being.
This book will be of interest to both those who are already familiar with Sathya Sai Baba and to readers beginning to acquaint themselves with his life and teachings. The book shows Sathya Sai Baba as a universal teacher who combines the wisdom of all human civilization and guides everyone on the path of harmonious development of Spirit and Matter.
I express my deepest gratitude to all my friends and relatives who took an active part in the work on this book. Thank you all for your kind and helpful advice, valuable information, technical, and financial support.
Special thanks to my wife Svetlana Dubyanskaya, as well as to my parents Igor Grigoryevich and Tamara Alekseevna.
Special thanks to Anupriya Wijayaweera for arranging the publication of this book. Thanks go to Alexander Bukreev for the cover design.
1. Dreams come true, I went to India and met Sathya Sai Baba
I first learned about Sathya Sai Baba at the very beginning of the ‘90s. At that time, I made several friends who had already been able to visit the Sai Baba's ashram. One of them was a successful Moscow businessman, who had been interested in yoga for many years, and at the very beginning of the ‘90s, was one of the first Russians who went to India to see Sathya Sai Baba.
In addition, I met two Hindu medical students who also told me about Sathya Sai Baba. They said he was an amazing teacher from India who preaches deep philosophy and performs amazing miracles. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, open yoga groups and meditation centers began to be organized in Russia. At the same time, as information about various esoteric traditions and directions appeared openly, it became possible to freely travel abroad, including to India. Among the great flow of new information, information about Sathya Sai Baba was especially attractive. I felt his amazing spiritual power and began to feel his invisible presence in my life. With eyes closed in meditation, I felt he was the one to hear all my thoughts and know all my feelings.
My first trip to India took place in 1993. This trip was completely spontaneous. At that time, I had been studying yoga, meditation, and Vedic philosophy for more than ten years. I could not even imagine that one could easily go to India and meet Sathya Sai Baba; it all seemed too fantastic.
Suddenly, circumstances literally spun around me. Several of my acquaintances, unexpectedly, decided to go to India and two weeks before their departure they invited me to join them. I first came to this fabulous country for six months. At the beginning of the journey, we visited the ashram of Yogi Ramaiah, a unique teacher of Kriya Yoga, who lived in the very south of India. After living there for some time, I moved to Sathya Sai Baba's ashram.
2. "I am a mirror"
There are a lot of spiritual teachers, yogis, miracle workers, gurus, and mystics in India. Sathya Sai Baba is the most famous and, at the same time, the most mysterious Indian guru of the twentieth century. Who is this Sai Baba? This is a very difficult question to answer as many people have many opinions. I’ve noticed people sometimes like to attribute the qualities and properties that they want to see or can hold with their intellectual understanding.
Sathya Sai Baba often said: "I am a mirror that reflects your inner world." Such excellent and perfect words. Some saw him as God, and some as a cunning magician; each one saw only what he or she was ready to understand and accept. I do not wish to fantasize about this complex topic, instead, let everyone follow their own intuitive feeling; let everyone find their own answer, for themselves, to the question: who is Sathya Sai Baba? It is hardly possible to understand this with the mind, for this you need to go into the depths of your spiritual heart and gain understanding there.
It is not so important for me who Sathya Sai Baba is, but what I can learn from him. There is a famous saying of Sathya Sai Baba’s, which is written in his books, and I was lucky, several times, to directly hear these wise words from his mouth: “Yes, I am God, but you are also Gods, the difference is that I remember that I am God, and you forgot. Every person is God, the difference is only in the degree to which you realize your true, divine nature.” These words of Sathya Sai Baba most exhaustively clarify how he perceived himself and all people.
There is an ancient Japanese proverb which says: "Buddha is not like a rice cake in a picture, but Buddha is like a real cake that can satisfy your hunger." I think this wisdom is perfectly applicable to the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba. What is important is not outward worship of him as a great philosopher and miracle worker, but a careful study of his life, which contains a magnificent message that can change the life of each of us.
His life is a great example of the manifestation of the infinite creative potential that resides in the heart of everyone. God is the totality of all individual souls; we are all one in God. Each person carries a great potential for divine creativity. It is this truth that Sathya Sai Baba perfectly embodied in his own life.
3. Who is the "one" who asks the question? Who is the "one" who wants the answer?
After Sathya Sai Baba left his body in 2011, I felt compelled to share some of the stories, which I’d been fortunate enough to witness, as well as recall the many manifestations of his miraculous power, which I’ve experienced first-hand.
Sathya Sai Baba once told me: “Now you are sitting in my room, but the time will come when this room will be inside your heart, and you will tell other people about our communication.”
Sathya Sai Baba is a world teacher outside of any traditions, schools, and trends. His teachings unite all world religions and philosophical systems. He established his ashram in southern India, and today the ashram remains a unique spiritual space of unity and love. This is a place where people of different worldviews can come. All visitors feel completely comfortable, like they would at home.
I think it's hard to even imagine any other ashram in which divine love, openness and universality would be manifested to such a clear degree. In the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba, the unity of all mankind, the brotherhood and sisterhood of all people is especially felt.
The essence of Sai Baba's philosophy is the study of the richest spiritual world of the soul. The only obvious thing is that the "I" exists, the deep sense of self-existence is a completely obvious and universal experience for everyone.
Self-existence does not require any evidence or beliefs, it is an experience that is fully inherent in everyone, regardless of gender, age, nationality, ethnic culture, social status, level of education or religiosity.
Who is the "one" who thinks? Who is the "one" who speaks? Who is the "one" who does the action? Who perceives the world around them? People talk about being happy or suffering, but they often forget to define who this mysterious “I” is that experiences happiness and suffering.
The question of who "I" am always precedes any other question. Who is the "one" who asks the question? Who is the "one" who wants the answer? Who is the "one" who wants to be free from suffering and find happiness? Who is the "one" who seeks to know the truth? People focus their attention on the goal they want to achieve, but often forget to find out who the “I” is that is wanting to achieve this or that goal.
Sathya Sai Baba taught meditation practices, he told amazing and instructive stories from the ancient Vedic scriptures, but all this was devoted to the main issue: a deep study of the nature of the soul and awareness of the primordial unity of the soul and God.
4. Everything we do and everything that happens to us are steps on the spiritual path
Sathya Sai Baba is one of the greatest miracle workers ever known. He was not just a philosopher who commented on the Bhagavad Gita and the New Testament, or talked about the teachings of Krishna, Christ, and Buddha. Sathya Sai Baba possessed tremendous superhuman strength. The scale of his energy was so great that people approaching the ashram, already forty kilometers away, could begin to feel his special energy.
A common feeling among new arrivals was that something unusual was beginning to happen, they could already feel their soul being filled with joy and peace. It was a truly unique experience reminisced by many. This divine vibration permeated through travelers, and people felt they were entering a special sacred place where thoughts calmed down and the whole space was filled with light.
The closer people came to the ashram, the more intense the feeling of joy and bliss became. Finally, when travelers arrived at Puttaparthi, itself, their sense of wonder reached its peak. The feeling seemed to be that this place is somewhere far away in heaven, so far it was hard to believe you were even on earth.
In India and elsewhere in the world, there are spiritual teachers who can work with hundreds and sometimes several thousands of students. As the energy power of Sathya Sai Baba is so enormous, he was able to help tens of millions of people, and in such a way that everyone felt a personal spiritual connection with him.
Sathya Sai Baba was able to change the most diverse situations and circumstances of people's lives with the help of his miraculous power. He transformed all levels of human existence. Being in close proximity with Sathya Sai Baba, people experienced subtle spiritual states. His blessings also manifested themselves quite physically: healing from serious illnesses, protection in dangerous situations, finding a happy family life, building successful business projects etc.
Sathya Sai Baba taught a person's spiritual quest must be in harmony with successful material circumstances. Very often people view the spiritual path only as a practice of prayer and meditation. In fact, everything that happens in life and everything we do are steps on the spiritual path. Good health, a happy family, taking care of one's parents and children, a successful career and business, scientific research and artistic creation are all integral parts of the spiritual evolution of man.
Unfortunately, some erroneously and artificially divide life into two separate means of existing: “spirituality” and “materiality.” Sathya Sai Baba perceived life in unity, therefore his blessings affected all levels and aspects of human existence, including, spiritual and intellectual development, as well as good health, family well-being, and financial abundance. This was also his uniqueness.
5. "My life is my message"
Sathya Sai Baba was born on November 23, 1926, in the south of India, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in a small village called Puttaparthi. During his long life, he regularly visited various major cities in India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, but he preferred to spend most of his time in his native village.
Sathya Sai Baba often repeated the phrase: "My life is my message." Of course, what Sathya Sai Baba said to visitors during personal communication, or in his lectures, is very important, but the most important aspect to me is his life, itself. It is important to understand how Sathya Sai Baba lived his life and what we can learn from him by studying his long and bright life path.
His very birth in a tiny remote Indian village is a great lesson that he gives to the whole world and to each of us. Sathya Sai Baba was born in very unfavorable conditions, but by the power of his divine energy he was able to transform everything around. Thanks to Sathya Sai Baba, Puttaparthi, a small, impoverished village eventually turned into a beautiful oriental oasis. Puttaparthi in the twenties, at the time of Sathya Sai Baba's birth, was a tiny village with a few small streets and a small population. In order to buy the most necessary things, such as a jug for water or a cauldron for cooking, local residents had to walk several kilometers to a neighboring village, which was located on the other side of the stormy and full-flowing Chitravati River. In the neighboring village there was a market on Sundays and the locals waded across the river to buy the most basic things. At that time there was not even a bridge across the river.
The nature of Puttaparthi is famous for its magnificence. The village is surrounded by mountains of extraordinary beauty. The highest mountain in the area is called Sai Kailash, which has three peaks. Dense vegetation is everywhere, and the Chitravati River flows through the picturesque valley where there are many small reservoirs and springs. It is a truly fertile land.
I think any person who comes to Puttaparthi immediately notices the stunning beauty of this place. Half of the villagers were Muslims, and the other half were Hindus. In the middle of the village was a tiny square, which has survived to this day. There were also several tiny old Hindu temples in the square. In the Islamic part of the village there was a small mosque, which has also been preserved.
I met devotees of Sai Baba who came to Puttaparthi in the fifties. They told me about how this place looked in those distant times. Almost everyone mentioned that it was extremely difficult to get from the nearest city to Puttaparthi, the wagons drove slowly along narrow and broken roads.
It does not matter where and how we begin our life path, but it is important who we are in essence.
6. Where Sathya Sai Baba is born and lives, everything begins to flourish and grow in prosperity.
Sathya Sai Baba incarnates where he sees fit. I thought a lot about this. Why did he decide to be born in Puttaparthi, in a place so unfavorable for fulfilling his great world spiritual mission? At first glance, it would be much more correct to be born in any large city, in a rich and influential family, but Sathya Sai Baba chose a different path. His parents were outwardly quite ordinary people, but appearances can sometimes be deceiving.
Sathya Sai Baba's mother, whose name was Easwaramma, dreamed of having a son and, in accordance with the tradition of her family, took a vow to perform the daily practice of the ancient Vedic ritual called Sathya Narayana Vrata, the ancient worship of the god Vishnu and the goddess Lakshmi. She performed a ritual every day in order to beg the Lord for a blessing on the birth of her son.
Subsequently, Sathya Sai Baba said that when he considered his incarnation on earth, he decided to be born in the family of Easwaramma, only for the reason that Easwaramma practiced Sathya Narayana Vrata with the deepest devotion. He saw the greatest spiritual power of this woman and her devotion with which she performed worship, and so decided to incarnate in her family.
People perform various spiritual practices, such as meditation and prayer, which no one may know about, even neighbors and relatives. Higher teachers, on the subtle plane, know about all the prayers that people perform in the depths of their hearts. What can be hidden from human eyes is revealed to the Lord, for the human heart is like an open book to God. The story of the incarnation of Sathya Sai Baba is one such example.
Sathya Sai Baba gives us the most important lesson in the history of his birth in Puttaparthi. This village was one of the poorest and most inaccessible places on earth. Any person born in such a place would be doomed to poverty and oblivion. People who are born and live in such conditions live their whole lives without any prospect of getting a good education and achieving social success. In Puttaparthi there was nothing but the most beautiful nature. The maximum that a person born in this area could count on, if he was lucky, was to get an elementary education and work all his life in rice fields or in petty trade.
Sathya Sai Baba, only due to his great divine power, became a strong magnet and attracted a huge number of people, many spiritual seekers, and gigantic financial resources. All this made it possible to build in his village the largest ashram in India, the best Indian university, a huge stadium, a modern hospital, an international airport, as well as supply drinking water to all neighboring villages. Truly, where Sathya Sai Baba is born and lives, everything begins to flourish and to flourish and prosper.