Sai Baba - Howard Murphet – Dr Bhagavantam, Director of the All India Institute of Science and Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence in Delhi, witnesses the materialisation of the Bhagavad Gita
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Sai Baba Man of Miracles – Howard Murphet
It may be surprising to many people - though in fact it should not be - to find that a scientist of the calibre of Dr. S. Bhagavantam, M.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., is a devoted follower of an Adept in that field of high transcendental magic which science tends to scorn.
Dr Bhagavantam, formerly Director of the All India Institute of Science, holds the prominent position of Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence in Delhi, and is well-known in scientific circles outside India.
When I met him at Prasanti Nilayam he was occupying a room furnished only with two bed-rolls and a few cushions on the floor. Like all good Indians he was quite happy to use the tiled floor as bedstead, chair and table. With him in the same room was one of his sons, Dr. S. Balakrishna, Assistant Director of the National Geophysical Research Institute of India. Both were visiting the ashram for a few days.
I sat on the floor with these two cultured scientists and charming gentlemen, anxious to hear of their experiences with Sai Baba. Outside the open door and windows the July sun gleamed on the sandy soil, white buildings and rocky hills. Inside Dr. Bhagavantam spoke in is quiet, friendly, concise way, while his son confirmed many of the strange events which he too had witnessed. Dr. Balakrishna has had some wonderful experiences of his own with Baba, but here we are concerned with the remarkable reports from his eminent father.
At Dr. Bhagavantam's first meeting with Sai Baba, which was in the year 1959, they went for a walk on the sands of the Chitravati river. Others were present, but Bhagavantam was walking by the side of Baba.
After a while Swami asked him to select a place on the sands for sitting down. When the doctor hesitated, Baba insisted, explaining that only in this way could Bhagavantam's scientific mind be quite sure that Baba had not led him to a spot where an object had been "planted" in the sands.
After the scientist had chosen an area and the party was seated on the sands, Baba began to tease the doctor a little; he made fun of the complacent "all-knowing" attitude of many men of science, and deplored their ignorance of or indifference to the ancient wisdom to be found in the great Hindu scriptures.
The doctor’s pride was stung. He retorted that not all scientists were of this materialistic outlook. He himself, as an example, had a family tradition of Sanskrit learning and a deep interest in the spiritual classics of India.
Then in an endeavour to establish the bona fides of his scientific colleagues he told Baba that when Oppenheimer, after exploding the first atom bomb, was asked by the press representatives what his reactions were, he replied by quoting a verse from the Bhagavad Gita, thus showing that he was a student of that great work.
"Would you like a copy of the Bhagavad Gita?" Baba asked him suddenly, scooping up a handful of sand as he spoke. "Here it is," he continued, "hold out your hands."
Bhagavantam cupped his hands to catch the sand as Baba dropped it into them. But when it reached the scientist's waiting palms, it was no longer the golden sand of the Chitravati. It was a red-covered book.
Opening it in stunned silence, the doctor found that it was a copy of the Bhagavad Gita printed in Telegu script. Baba remarked that he could have presented the doctor with one printed in Sanskrit, but as the latter read Sanskrit script with some difficulty, Baba had given him one in Telegu, Bhagavantam's native tongue. Bhagavantam had not mentioned his limited proficiency in Sanskrit, this was something that Baba just knew.
As soon as he could, Bhagavantam examined this miraculously produced volume closely. It appeared to be quite new and was well-printed, but where? The names of printer and publisher, always given in the normal way, were nowhere to be found.