Sai Baba - Howard Murphet – Mrs. Nagamani Pourniya witnesses the healing of a man’s stomach growth
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Sai Baba Man of Miracles – Howard Murphet
A man and his wife came to stay at Puttaparti. Nagamani observed that the man had a bulbous, tremendously swollen stomach. He spent all his time lying down, either in his room near the old Mandir or outside in the open. She heard that he was not able to eat anything, nor even to take coffee. This latter seemed the "last straw" to Nagamani, who loved her coffee. She went to Baba and asked him to cure the man.
But the days passed and nothing happened, so she said again: "Please do something for that poor man, Baba!" He smiled and answered: "Do you think this place is a hospital?"
Then one evening all the devotees were going with Baba to the sands of the river bed. It was not a very large party, and each of the women decided to take some item of food for a picnic. Nagamani took the coffee. She also left a pot of water on an outside wood fire, not far from the Mandir. With this warm water, she said, she was hoping to bathe Baba's feet on their return from the sands.
At the river bed they all had a wonderful time singing songs. Baba told them beautiful stories about the gods, occasionally producing some appropriate object from the sand. All this kept their spirits at a high level, so that when three wild cheetahs came near them to drink at the stream they felt no fear whatever. The cheetahs seemed to regard them as friends and went about their business unperturbed.
When they returned to the Mandir, Nagamani went to stir up the fire under the pot and Baba disappeared into the room of the sick man.
After a while he came running towards the fire, asking her for some warm water to wash his hand. She looked and saw that his right hand was all red.
"Have you been painting, or something?" she asked in fun.
"lt's blood," he replied.
Then peering closer in the fading light she saw that he carried in the blood-smeared hand something that looked like "a dirty-coloured ball of old banana leaf." This he tossed away, and then washed the blood from his hand in the water she gave him. "Well," he said teasingly, "you've been insisting that I turn this place into a hospital, so I've just done the necessary operation on the man."
Was he joking? She had seen blood and something horrible that he had thrown away. Had he removed a growth from the man? Sai Baba, apparently reading the queries in her mind, handed her a roll of cotton-wool and said: "Take this and help the man's wife put a fresh bandage on him."
She went to the door but remained outside. She wanted very much to see what had happened but somehow felt afraid to go in. Presently Sai Baba came and took her into the room. The man was still lying down, his wife sitting beside him. Baba went and pulled up the man's shirt to show her the operation. There was no bandage, but across the stomach was a thin mark, like a cut that had already healed, and the stomach was no longer large and swollen. Both the man and woman were looking silently at Sai Baba as if he were God. No word was spoken.
Baba led Nagagamani out again, and finally permitted her to bathe his feet.
Next morning, dying to know just what had taken place, she returned to enquire about the health of the patient. He was sitting up eating a hearty breakfast. He told her that Sai Baba had come into the room on the previous evening; and waving his hand, produced from the air a knife and some other instrument. Next he produced some ash and rubbed it on the sufferer's forehead. This seemed to act as an anaesthetic because the man lost consciousness and knew no more until the operation was over, and Baba was telling him that all was well. The cut had felt just a little sore, but now it was quite normal.
Nagamani wanted to know how it had healed so quickly. The wife told her that Baba had simply held the opening together with his fingers and it had healed up immediately. Then he had smeared some vibhuti on the wound, held his hand there for a while, assured the patient that he would be all right, and left.
Nagamani realised that Baba's instructions to her the evening before about a bandage were simply to give her an excuse for going to see the patient. She was surprised that he had been pleased to satisfy her curiosity, but perhaps it was because she had shown concern for the sick man. She felt no amazement, only awe, at the discovery of this new wonder. Nothing Baba ever did surprised her any more; everything simply added to her profound love of him.