Moments Memories and Miracles
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by Dr.G.Venkataraman

One day in late May this year when I was in Brindavan, someone told me that there were a couple of people from Iraq. Immediately I became alert. I have seen devotees from Iran regularly, and also from Turkey occasionally. Some years ago, I even saw a group from Egypt. But from Iraq, and that too at the present time? Naturally I was very keen to meet these persons. I contacted a few persons in the Brindavan Ashram, and a couple of days after that around noon time, an elderly looking gentleman accompanied by a lady in a black dress came to the Guest House where I was staying. The conversation started. Soon I was at the edge of my seat. Picture 1Why? Read on!

The gentleman told me that his name was Gen. Yassin Dawood Suleiman. He was from Baghdad, yes Baghdad. He was once the Director of Baghdad Police but resigned from his job in 1977 when he was asked to do something that went against his Conscience. Soon after that he left the country, went first to Turkey and then to Bulgaria. He switched to business and prospered. After the fall of Saddam Hussein he came back to Iraq. He was happy to be back in his country but not at all happy with what was going on, particularly the violence. The Americans, it seems,Picture 2 asked Gen. Yassin to take over once again as the Director of Baghdad Police but he refused, saying he was not prepared to serve under occupation forces. Meanwhile, with each passing day he became more and more troubled by the violence, which showed no signs of declining but only increasing.

And then, about two months ago, in the midst of his constant prayers to Allah for the restoration of Peace in his troubled land, Gen. Yassin felt he was getting some kind of a call from Inside. It was not very clear but some Inner Force was urging him on to do something and go somewhere; but he just could not make out what it was all about; just that he kept on feeling this Inner Urge. Shortly after that he felt he was being told “to go and see a holy man”. A holy man, but where? Some days later he felt that he must go to India in order to see this “holy man.”

Gen. Yassin then told his wife Ameera Ali that they both were going to India.

“What for?”
“I don’t quite know, but I feel I must go to India.”
“But we don’t know anyone there.”
“May be, but I think the holy man is there.”
“Which holy man?”
“I don’t know!”
Picture 3“You mean we should go to India without knowing where and meet someone we don’t know who?”
“May be it sounds like that to you but I strongly feel we must go. Things will work out.”

Reluctantly, the lady agreed to accompany her husband on a truly unknown voyage. Gen Yassin told me that Baghdad airport is closed to civilian traffic and therefore he and his wife had to come to India via the land route – first up to the border between Iraq and Iran, then cross over to Iran, then travel through Iran, then cross over into Pakistan through the border in Baluchistan, travel through Pakistan and then cross over to India. The couple travelled by bus, taxi, and train; all the time the General was sure he would reach his unknown destination while his wife was accompanying him not with any deep faith in this mysterious pilgrimage but out of love and concern for her husband.

It appears that from Pakistan they came to India by bus and landed in Amritsar. In Amritsar someone told him that he must go South. So the Iraqi couple took another bus and landed in Delhi. Someone guided them to the Railway Station. So he landed in the Delhi Railway Station. He now had to buy tickets but where to? He asked for a holy place to go to. Looks like someone then told him to buy tickets to Dharmavaram. When I talked to him, Gen. Yassin could not quite pronounce the name Dharmavaram. He was struggling with the word but was sure it started with D. He then said, “You know the girl at the ticketing counter said, ‘Why do you want to buy a ticket to Dharmavaram? I shall give you tickets for a train that goes direct to Puttaparthi!’ I said, OK. That is how I landed in Puttaparthi Railway Station. And when I got out I saw Baba’s picture. Immediately my Heart jumped for I knewPicture 4 this was whom I wanted to see!”

So from the station the couple came to the Ashram but were disappointed to hear that Swami was not there; He was away in Whitefield? Now where was that? Meanwhile he decided he would worry about that later; he was happy he knew whom he was seeking. He told me that he went to the Ashram and prayed. He added that he was quite used to praying in Churches during his exile. In Delhi, he visited a Buddhist temple and prayed there.

By the way, it took Yassin only TWENTY FOUR DAYS to reach Puttaparthi from Baghdad! Twenty four days, can you believe that?! Amazing is it not? What faith! To complete the story, Yassin met a German devotee in the Ashram, an old hand apparently, and hearing this remarkable tale from Yassin, he said, “Listen, I am going to Whitefield tomorrow. You can come with me.”

And thus it was that Yassin and his wife finally landed in Brindavan. By Swami’s Grace, they were accommodated in the Ashram, and when I met him, he had already been there for several days. And how happy he was! His eyes were shining and his voice was full of joy. And while he was speaking to me, his wife was often praying. He was constantly telling me about how wonderful it was to see BABA SWAMI, as he referred to our beloved Swami. The General was constantly telling me that Baba should save his people and bring peace to his conflict-torn land. He was really feeling for his people.

By sheer luck, we managed to video tape the entire conversation. In a recent broadcast over Radio Sai, we played the audio part. I hope you were able to listen to the story as he told me. I cannot obviously show you the video here but you can see video stills of my meeting with this gentleman who was led by a ‘Hidden Hand’. That is God and that is His Attractive Power or Aakarshana Shakti, as Swami refers to it.

Quietly he performs His wonders, while most of us try to excel each other in trivializing Him in incredible ways! Should we do that? By the way, let me tell you that this is not an isolated incident. Let me conclude by narrating an incident about which I heard from Mr. Tajmool Hussein of Trinidad.

One day some years ago, a rich man in Trinidad [of African descent] was driving very fast in his Mercedes. It was not just fast driving but absolutely rash driving. He wanted to crash and die! Obviously, serious problems. Just then he heard a voice saying, “Come to Prashanti.” The man was startled, and slowed down slightly. He was all alone in the car and yet he heard a clear voice speaking to him. Even as he was wondering, he heard the voice giving the same message a second and then a third time. The man now stopped and pondered. There sure was something in what he heard. He did not quite know what the message meant but he decided then and there that suicide could wait.

Prashanti !! Now what on earth was that and where was it? He didn’t know of course, but the One who was pulling him, would He leave a loose end like that? As is to be expected, when this man began to make enquiries, one thing led to another – he met some Sai devotees, heard about Prashanti Nilayam and Swami. So there really was a Prashanti Nilayam. And there was someone there calling him. So he came to Prashanti, saw Swami, and not only had His Darshan, but even got an interview.

Those of you who listen to our broadcasts would recall an interview in which Mr. V.Srinivasan describes how he was guided by Swami to go to a country in the Far East and stop a suicide there, a suicide about which Mr. Srinivasan knew nothing about!

Swami has saved so many from self destruction in this manner. It is just amazing how He calls people to himself just at the right time. The question is how many of us respond to it and redeem ourselves.

Jai Sai Ram.


Volume - 2 Issue - 13 Radiosai Journal - PSN 2004