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VI. Power over Nature

“Now, please go back, Ganga!"
How the river rushed to seek Baba’s Blessings

Smt. Vijayakumari, who came to Baba when Baba just a teenager, was privileged to witness amazing miracles of the Lord in the early years of Baba’s Avatarhood. Here is one such thrilling episode, in her words:

The New Year (1948) arrived in colourful glory. As our family awaited the New Year greetings, the postman came and gave us the auspicious letter from our Swami.

It was a beautiful greeting card. In it, He had written the names of each of us and, after sending us all blessings and good wishes in plenty, He asked us all to visit Him soon. We landed near His feet on the 10th.

One day, after the bhajan was over, we were all sitting round Him stringing flowers into garlands. Along with us, He too was stringing the flowers. At this work, none of the ladies could equal Him! Is there any art that He is not proficient in? He was making the garlands charmingly thick. He got up suddenly and said, "Come on! Come on! Mother Ganga is coming to visit us."

He stood near the huge main gate. After opening the gates, He stood at the centre with outstretched hands, and said, "All of you stand back. None of you should go even one inch beyond these outstretched hands of mine. See there. Ganga is rushing here."

With great ferocity, its waves rising high in the sky, the river was approaching us, fuming and frothing with a roaring noise. It came quite near. "Oh, God! It may swallow us!" We children felt scared. The river came very near to Swami. It was touching the hem of His robe.

Except the roaring water, we could not see any trees or shrubs that were there till then. Sai Maa (Mother) extended His hands forward and touched the river. The stretch of water under His hands immediately became serene. The river water beyond His outstretched hands was still frighteningly turbulent. Swami glanced at us and said, "Go inside, and bring flowers, coconuts, turmeric powder and kumkum (vermillion)."

After we brought them, we offered the flowers, turmeric powder and kumkum to the River Goddess. We were still nervous. Swami broke the coconuts, offered them to Mother Ganga and, keeping His palms on the surface of the river, said, "We are very happy that you came to visit us. Now, please go back, Ganga!"

While saying this, He affectionately patted the waves with both His hands. As if placated by His gentle touch, its fury subsided, and it receded completely. We rubbed our eyes and gazed in disbelief in all four directions. The river had gone back as suddenly as it had come Not even a drop of water was to be seen anywhere around. There was no trace of water on the ground. Swami's robe too was dry. A great wonder!

We were baffled. Because Swami was still standing, we felt worried that the river might come back! The Director of these marvellous miracles laughed out loud and pointed His feet to us.

A garland of big jasmine flowers was woven around His Feet! He took it into His hands, smelled it, and distributed the flowers from it to everyone. Each jasmine flower was almost the size of a rose, and was softer to touch than cotton. Its sweet fragrance soon spread in all directions. We reverentially placed those flowers on our closed eyes and then wore them in our hair. We could not understand this miracle, however hard we tried!

Reference: “Anyatha Sharanam Nasthi – Other Than You Refuge There is None” by Smt. Vijaya Kumari. Page: 121-122. Published by the Author, 1999.

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