Day 11 – A Journey of My Spiritual Experiences (Listen while you read)
What a culture shock. I arrived at the ashram wearing a beautiful knitted skirt and top. I was introduced to an Indian woman who took me to a store where I was introduced to a tailor. A few hours later I had two saris with under blouse. I had been assigned a shed, and settled into my small bed area. The shed housed approximately 100 women; it was way different from anything that I’d ever experienced.
I donned a sari as best I could. However, a Sri Lankan woman took pity on me when she saw the untidy way that I’d managed to dress myself. She ever so carefully and gently took the sari off and placed it upon me so delicately; giving me instruction as to how to arrange it so as it would be comfortable and secure. I took careful note and was very pleased with myself when I was able, on future occasions, to don the garb by myself. I learned that very few westerners were allowed to wear the sari whilst staying in the ashram. This humbled me quite considerably.
I immediately took to settling in. I was feeling my old self again. Sai Baba had told me, during my meditations, that I would be free of the effects of the illness during my trip. I wanted so very much to believe this; however, it took a number of days before I had sufficient experience to know that this was indeed the case. I did not experience any numbness or brain fog; what a tremendous relief that was.
During my 17 day stay I visited the hospital that Sai Baba had shown me in my meditation spirit journeys. His ashram was as I’d seen it and, because it was the month of his birthday, November, I also saw the procession of his gaily garbed elephants during the parade.
I wondered if I was going to be called upon to have an audience with him. Whenever I did think upon this, his face would appear with that cheeky smile and I was left wondering. During the stay he often spoke with me telepathically; we had some very lovely conversations; it could be said that I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. I learned a number of his beautiful songs, attended his daily gatherings (getting up at 4am to try to be first in line to enter the gathering place). I so enjoyed the comradery, the Indians themselves, the love, the food, the almost primitive lodgings, and the fact that I couldn’t bathe as I was used to doing.
There was a water shortage and I soon learned to take a bucket full of water into the shower with me after being surprised one day by a water stoppage; just after I’d soaped my body all over. Even the toilets, being a hole in the floor, seemed such a delight to me. Being vegetarian at the time, I reveled in the food that was offered in the canteen; vegetables and other foods that were foreign to me tickled my taste buds and soothed my digestive system, which had been troubled for the past few months.
I was inspired to buy a picture of him, which showed only his eyes. As I stared into them I knew that this was to be special in some way for me. Toward the end of my stay, as I was walking along to take my seat on the earth in the gathering place, Sai Baba looked at me from a distance of perhaps 100 metres. The energy that filled my body made me tremble. I was elated, and quite frightened all at the same time. This happened three times. It was as though all I could see were his eyes. This, I realised at the time, was very strange indeed. He was so far away and yet the whites of his eyes were as clear to me as if he was standing right in front of me. Each time this happened I had the same overpowering energy fill by body. After the third occasion I knew that this was the method of healing that I was to be given. I didn’t have an audience with him, nor was it needed. I asked him, telepathically, if I would ever return to the ashram. He replied that this was not necessary, and called me mother (a term that suggested that I was, in some way, held in high regard).
Sadly I ventured home; it could have been so easy to stay. I was fearful, on the return flight, that I would feel the effects of the illness again once I got home. It took a few days before I was totally convinced that the illness was not returning. I had been cured, so to speak.
During my stay at the ashram I bought two more saris and was a little disappointed, when on the flight home, I remembered that Sai Baba had informed me that I would receive 5 saris in total.
She sat next to me on the plane. She was sick, the flight attendant said, and asked if I would look after her during the flight. Naturally I agreed. We chatted, this lovely Malaysian woman and I. Before we parted at Kuala Lumpur she rifled through her suitcase and handed me a most lovely sari of the most magnificent colours. She said that she was most appreciative of my kindness toward her, and would I please accept her gift. How could I refuse? This was the fifth sari promised. It was a fitting end to a most wonderful experience.
Carolyn Page – ABC of Spirit Talk