The Miraculous Vibhuti
A Child Shall
How the faith of little Mayan gave
her a new life
Howard Murphet and his wife Iris met the
Harrison family in 1976 and through them could see the unfolding
of ‘a great Australian miracle’. For a detailed
account of this incident, over to Howard Murphet:
Early in 1976 in Australia my wife and I
became acquainted with Pearl Harrison, a retired secretary
of the medical faculty of a university in Sydney. At first
we thought this seemed to be just a chance meeting, but later
At that time the manuscript of my book ‘Sai
Baba Avatar’, after much rewriting, was ready for the
final, publisher's draft. Pearl, although busy with volunteer
welfare work, expressed a desire to type the manuscript. Why
she should have this desire she did not understand, but she
Anyway, arrangements were made for her to
do the typing, and thus she was introduced to the miracles
of Sathya Sai Baba. One of her two grand daughters, eight-year-old
Mayan Waynberg would, at times, help Pearl by reading aloud
the material to be typed. While the grandmother felt sceptical
about the miracles, the granddaughter accepted them without
question. To the child they seemed quite natural.
The typing of the first few chapters had
been completed when Mayan, who had lately been looking very
pale and had been bruising too easily, was taken to a doctor
for a blood test. The doctor was appalled at the results.
He phoned Mayan's mother, Helen Waynberg, and strongly advised
that the child should be collected from her school and taken
home to rest without delay. He also made immediate arrangements
for her to be given a bone-marrow test at the Prince of Wales
Hospital in Sydney.
At this stage the family became very worried
indeed. Pearl told me about it when I called to find out how
the typing was progressing. I could see she was afraid, very
afraid, that her little granddaughter might have some drastic,
killer disease, like leukemia. It proved not to be leukemia,
but something equally lethal - aplastic anaemia, in which
the bone-marrow fails to produce the vital blood components
in sufficient quantity to maintain health and life.
Her blood picture at that time showed the
haemoglobin count at less than half normality, the white components
of the blood about a third the normal level and the platelets
way down to one-fifteenth of the normal count. Mayan was put
under the care of a specialist who told her mother that the
only treatment was the use of certain drugs, one a male hormone
named Prednisolone and another, Fluoxymesterone.
From both of these, distressing side effects
could be expected, such as stunting the child's growth, causing
puffiness and obesity, hair growth on the face while causing
baldness on the head. The patient would need to have constant
blood and bone marrow tests to monitor her condition. As Mayan
had a deep phobia about needles piercing her skin and blood
vessels, this was a frightful ordeal for her and everyone
But the most tragic part of the situation
was that, after going through this treatment and suffering
its side effects, she would still not be cured. The best that
could be expected was a few more years of life, with very
limited activity. The drug therapy was not a cure, the elders
were told; all it could do was to delay the inevitable for
a time. No one could say how long that period would be.
In this sad situation Pearl thought about
the Sai miracles she had been typing. She writes:
“I must admit to complete lack of faith
in religion, considering myself a Jewess by tradition but
not by observance. I had typed about many miracles that Sai
Baba had performed, and had thought how interesting it all
sounded intellectually, but had not this dreadful illness
occurred to my own granddaughter, I might have let it go at
Then it was as if my mind suddenly opened
with a jerk, and I began to think that perhaps there was something
real in all I had typed. Howard and Iris Murphet were most
concerned when I told, them about Mayan. They said they would
bring some Vibhuti over and Mayan could start taking it immediately.”
It has often been said and written that Sai
Baba is specially interested in anyone in whom his devotees
are interested. So the link was there. Yet, I remembered him
saying emphatically that two necessary ingredients of divine
healing are faith and surrender. Could we find such ingredients
in this Sydney suburban home, where no one seemed to have
religious or spiritual interests, and Sai Baba was a remote,
almost fictional, figure in a far-off foreign country?
Well, we could but try. To Mayan I said earnestly,
'You must really and truly believe in the power of Sai Baba!'
'Oh, but I do', she replied, and in the way
she said it I sensed the simple, child-like faith that Christ
had put of first importance.
A little later, Grandfather Jack Harrison
made me feel that he too may be fertile soil for faith. He
said, standing in the garden of their home, 'I am going to
India as soon as I can to thank Sai Baba for curing Mayan.'
He did not say, 'If he cures her.' The Sai treatment had hardly
begun, yet he seemed to have no doubts about its effectiveness.
We may be born with faith, that inner certainty
of the omnipotent Supreme, or we may acquire it, but we can
never acquire it through reasoning and logic. In fact, the
reasoning mind can be a handicap, blocking the birth of the
deeper knowledge that men call faith.
Grandmother Pearl had her intellectual barriers but a very
warm heart. Mother Helen was non-committal. Judging by her
talk, she was atheistic but she was willing to try the Vibhuti
treatment. We kept assuring the family of the importance of
prayer - constant prayer. They agreed to pray to Swami for
His help. My wife and I prayed to Him fervently and regularly.
There was, however, an urgent question to
be answered. We knew from studying many cases that Swami sometimes
cures people through drugs prescribed by doctors, while preventing
any bad side effects. Sometimes, on the other hand, He will
not let drugs be used at all. What would be His Will in the
case of Mayan?
The only way to be sure was to ask Him. In
the meantime, we thought, it would be best to let the child
start the drug therapy, particularly as the doctors had said
that no side-effects would become evident for about three
months. We had to find some way of asking Swami the vital
question as soon as possible. He must be asked directly.
By a stroke of good fortune, our friend Lynette
Penrose was about to set off on a visit to Sai Baba. Incidentally,
it had been in Lynette's home in Balmain that we first began
Sai meetings in Sydney. Lynette agreed to take to Swami a
photograph of Mayan, and letters asking the vital question
about drug treatment. We hoped, moreover, that she would have
the opportunity of asking Him this question, herself, orally.
She went off to India, and we all eagerly awaited word from
her. It was not long before an airmail letter arrived.
Lynette told us that she had been granted
an interview and had given the photograph and letters to Swami.
When He looked at the photograph, she wrote, 'His face had
become very, very soft and compassionate.' About the drug
therapy His reply was, 'No, no drugs, just Vibhuti
in water twice a day.'
Pearl Harrison writes: 'When this message
came back, we had to decide whether to take her off the drugs
and give her Vibhuti only.'
Mayan made up our minds for us. She said,
'If Sai Baba says I should not take drugs, then I won't take
So after just three weeks on the drugs, she
went off them and took nothing but Vibhuti from then on. This
was putting complete faith in the healing power of someone
no member of the family had ever seen, except in photographs.
We felt some responsibility as we had been
the channel through which they had heard of Sai Baba. All
we could do was to hold fast to our own trust and faith in
the Lord. Then we thought of something that might help at
the receiving end of the divine healing ray. We suggested
that they start holding Sathya Sai meetings at the Harrison
home in Greenacre. They readily agreed to this, and their
house in Latvia Street became the second centre opened in
Sydney for Bhajans and study.
The meetings were a success from the start,
people coming from all parts of the metropolitan area, and
from distant places in the Blue Mountains and the south coast.
Soon Jack Harrison decided to convert his large garage into
a Sai temple, buying a new carport to shelter his car. Within
the Sai temple, lined and decorated with the help of devotees,
a beautiful shrine was erected. The place acquired a sacred
atmosphere and the size of the group expanded. It was surprising
to see, both at the Greenacre temple and at Balmain, how quickly
and wholeheartedly the Australians took to singing Bhajans.
Many learned to lead (the Bhajans), the
child Mayan being one of them. Mayan's health was soon showing
a steady improvement. The family decided it might be better
to let the doctors think, for the time being, that Mayan was
taking their drugs. Every two weeks she was given a blood
test at the hospital, and the medical people were delighted
at the results. No doubt they were surprised too.
There was a dramatic rise in her red blood
cell count, a good improvement in the number of white cells,
and the platelet count was creeping upwards. After a few months
of the Sai Vibhuti treatment, with no medical assistance whatever,
the red and white cell count was back to normal. The doctors
then decided that tests could be taken every two months only,
instead of every two weeks as before.
Her platelets, in these tests, showed a rise
of about 10,000 every two months. The doctors had earlier
examined Mayan's sister, Alona, who is about a year the senior,
for bone-marrow compatibility with that of Mayan. When the
results were known, and it was found that the sister's bone-marrow
was compatible, they advised a bone-marrow graft.
Even though Mayan's condition was showing
satisfactory improvement, the platelets were still far from
normal, and it was felt that such a graft would help in arresting
the disease. Thus another question was posed to the family
and to us - should the operation be performed?
Fortunately another Australian devotee, just
leaving at this time for Puttaparti, was able to ask Swami
directly if the operation should be done or not. Swami's reply
was definite: 'She is getting better and will soon
be completely well. There is no need for such an operation.'
The news came back to Greenacre quickly,
and immediately it was decided, to the great relief of Mayan,
and indeed to all concerned, that there would be no operation.
The family felt confident now that nothing was needed but
Swami's power, coming through the Vibhuti, to bring Mayan's
platelets up to normal, and so create a perfectly healthy
But though climbing, the platelets were not
normal when my wife and I left for India early in 1978. However,
before we had an opportunity to speak to Swami about the case,
we received a letter from grandmother Pearl, telling us that
Mayan's last blood test, given after we left had shown her
platelet count up to normal - in fact, at 174,000, it was
better than normal.
The child was completely cured of her 'incurable'
disease. Early the next year Jack and Pearl did what he had
declared he would do even before the treatment had begun.
They came, bringing the two granddaughters, to thank Swami
personally for the wonderful, miraculous cure. The family
also, at the end, told the specialist in charge of the case
that sacred Vibhuti had been substituted for the drugs he
had prescribed. He was not so shocked as they had expected.
In fact, he said: 'I thought it must be something
like that as there were no side-effects.' Then he added, 'My
mother believes in spiritual healing.' The doctor kindly gave
the family all the figures of Mayan's blood tests as documentary
evidence. He also agreed to accept a copy of the book, ‘SaiBaba:
Man of Miracles’.
When Pearl handed it to him, she said: 'now
don't let it just lie on the shelf; read it, and then pass
it on to somebody else. If you feel you don't want to read
it, please send it back to me.' It has never come back.
Reference: “Sai Baba:
Invitation To Glory” by Mr. Howard Murphet. Page: 33-41.
Published by Macmillan India Ltd, 1982.