For years since coming to live in Whitefield in 2003 and later Puttaparthi, I have been telling a small group of people close to me – of which you are one – that I have been experiencing a miracle almost every day, particularly in Puttaparthi. Once again, I have miracles to share with you – about the White Buffalo Calf of Puttaparthi, and the unique graciousness of the Lord Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
For years since coming to live in Whitefield in 2003 – and later – Puttaparthi, I have been telling a small group of people close to me – of which you are one – that I have been experiencing a miracle almost every day, particularly in Puttaparthi.
Since Swami took Samadhi in 2011, the miracles continued and I often wrote of the many miracles I have experienced. Various signs and continuing miracles demonstrated so clearly to me that Swami was as omnipresent as ever. Moreover, after my amazing discoveries in my research into reincarnation, I know that so-called death is only an illusion, that life is eternal and continues beyond this maya in which we are immersed.
Earlier I had reported on this website a story about a white buffalo legend and the White Buffalo Woman legend of the Wolakota people of the Sioux nation in the United States. I have the honour of knowing Chief Looking Horse and his wife Paula, both of the Wolakota tribe, personally. Chief Looking Horse (this is his ceremonial name, the one given at birth being, “Arvol”), told me the story of the White Buffalo Woman years ago and I’ve recounted it at various times in my writings. I have promoted World Peace and Prayer Day led by Chief Arvol Looking Horse on the website and my friend Morelle Foster shared an account of this event, graciously. So I shall not bother you further about the legend here. Yet the story that I am about to tell you relates to that ancient legend.
The Puttaparthi that millions of devotees from all over the world know grew out of a small native village not unlike thousands of others scattered over the rural parts of Andhra Pradesh. When I first came here more than twenty-three years ago, the original village where Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born was still very much unchanged. Surrounding the villages were shady coconut and tamarind groves and numerous vegetable and fruit gardens. The people of Puttaparthi had lived off the land for centuries.
When he announced – while still a teenager – that he was the reincarnation of a holy man called Sai Baba who had lived in the town of Shirdi in Maharashtra early in the 20th century and left his parents’ home, his friends built a rude shelter which miscreants tried to burn down, spectacularly unsuccessfully. A mandir was built down the road from his family home, and in 1950, the hillside behind that first mandir grew into the magnificence that is now Prasanthi Nilayam, “the haven of the greatest peace”.
Over the years, unknown millions of people of all races, creeds and nationalities have found their way from the most remote countries of the world to the nondescript village that was little known even in India at the time when young Satyanarayana took up residence on the hill. As Prasanthi Nilayam grew, many traders and others came to establish themselves on its peripheries. This is been the practice in this land throughout the ages: holy places and people always attracted traders and others who depend on crowds for a living.
The first rude shops and houses exploded within a few brief decades into the present sizeable town of Puttaparthi. The original village, now greatly enlarged, still nestles on its northern fringes. Today Puttaparthi is as well-known as Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca but in a way that it does not share with the last three named. The others attract followers of those particular religions with which their main cities are associated. Puttaparthi does not represent any particular religion or sect.
Here all that matters is that regardless of religious affiliations, those who come to Prasanthi Nilayam are facets of the same One Soul that men call God. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others and even atheists, are equally welcome. Prasanthi Nilayam is probably the only place in the world where people of all religions and denominations pray together every day.
I live not far from the entrance to the town, in an apartment block that would not be out of place in any modern Western city. The land on which it stands was once part of collection of farms and gardens, where people lived as they had always done in this part of the world. There is a perimeter wall around our block. Yet just over the walls, rural India continues in its timeless way.
Two days ago I heard unusually-excited chattering outside my study window. I looked out and saw a group of people standing around a buffalo stable on the side of the dwelling next door, not four yards from where I stood in my study. They were all looking at a calf that had obviously just been born. It was lying where it had been dropped and was still quivering from the experience. The mother, huge and black, was hovering over her baby and licking it, for it was still drenched in amniotic fluid. Then I saw the reason why an ordinary experience in the lives of rural people had attracted an awed audience, many of them children: the calf was as white as its mother was black.
I must now pause my narrative to go back in time some three months to early in October or perhaps even a week or two before that. My fellow expatriate and countryman Don McDonough has taken care of my computer problems in the years that I’ve lived in Puttaparthi. Some five or six years ago, we put together our talents in IT and writing to help people to publish on the Internet their works relating to Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
We published two separate works for two well-known Sai devotees and were to have followed these with one of mine. Before this plan could be put into effect, however, I had to travel urgently to South Africa on instructions from Sai Baba. It turned out that I had to have a multiple by-pass cardiac operation. I stayed in South Africa for two years to recuperate and returned to India just over a year ago. Reunited after that separation, Don and I decided to re-activate our publishing program.
In September last year Don told me about a certain Internet publishing methodology being marketed by one of the most successful Internet publishing experts in the USA. Don explained that the course being offered by the American over the Internet was second to none. He suggested buying the program. I agreed and we purchased it over the Internet in three instalments using my credit card.
The course was delivered instantly and I passed it over to Don who handles all our computer work. It was of no personal interest to me because my hands are full with writing. A month later, I found out that the second payment which was due had not gone through.
Meanwhile, some weeks before, I had mentioned the course that I had purchased to my friend, fellow writer Prof Vinod Huria. We were planning to write a book together on the medicinal value of traditional Indian cooking in an attempt to help people caught up in the world epidemic of obesity. Vinod said it was only proper that he should pay half the cost of the course and promptly sent me his portion of the purchase price.
Don immediately wrote to the American expert, explaining that the people who had purchased the program were two retired specialists who simply wanted to help people. He wrote that they were anxious to settle the amount and asked for his banking details so that we could make a bank-to-bank deposit. In return, we received a letter from him reducing the price, together with a PayPal form which could be paid by credit card.
Although I took immediate steps to settle the PayPal amount, I found that it was impossible for various technical reasons. I tried numerous alternative methods of payment but all were futile. Time was flying and I was extremely concerned that we had received the product months earlier but could not pay for reasons beyond our control. Yet all our attempts to contact the American were fruitless.
The day after the White Buffalo calf was born, I telephoned Don to ask him to make another attempt to contact the American before I deposited the money from Vinod back into his account. I felt that I would be more comfortable if the money should be back in his account while Don and I made one last attempt to resolve the impasse.
Among the emails I sent out that day was one informing my friends of the birth of the white buffalo calf. Don, meanwhile, had written to the US expert telling him how anxious the two men were to settle their account.
The same evening, I received a mail from Bob Maharaj, a friend who lives in London. He thanked me for the good news about the white calf and sent a covering article of an interview with a Native American chief on the spiritual implications of the return of the White Buffalo. The Chief was talking about American buffaloes of course, but I saw no reason to split hairs over whether it was an American or an South Indian buffalo. What was important is that the Native Americans consider the birth of the White Buffalo to be a great spiritual event and a sign of wonderful times to come.
This morning, I received Don’s mail to the American copied to me. As I was reading Don’s letter, another downloaded into my mailbox. It was from the American himself. He said simply that I should consider the matter closed and that I did not have to pay anything further.
When I spoke with Donald yesterday, he said he would pop into my flat in the morning. He had been at the morning darshan at Prashanti Nilayam and when he came to my flat, and had not yet opened his computer. I asked him to look in my in-box. His face lit up when he saw the reply from the American. He knew how heavily the issue had weighed on my mind, so he jumped up and shook my hand.
I asked, “Is this just another coincidence? Or is it that God saw our distress and gave us a helping hand?”
Whatever it was, I am mindful of the synchronicity of events since the birth of our white Indian buffalo calf two days ago and my mail announcing its birth to my friends around the world, including Arvol Chief Looking Horse who first told me of the legend, and his wife Paula in South Dakota.
I am also aware, more than ever, that God is alive and well and watching over this abused planet and His creatures, including you and me, and the beings of all the lokas of the universe, wherever they might be. Nothing, but nothing escapes his scrutiny. Nothing, but nothing, can eventuate or exist except through His will.
I observe these amazing events around me and all I can think of is the Lord’s Prayer and to say, ❝Thy will be done, Amen❞.
With light and love,
Om Nama Shivaya,
Om Sai Ram
On a pleasantly cold and delightfully wet morning in a normally dry Puttaparthi,