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  Volume 4 - Issue 07 JULY 2006


By Mrs. Poppy Hillcoat
from Brisbane, Australia

This is the transcription of the talk given by Mrs. Poppy Hillcoat at a meeting of Sathya Sai devotees in Ebell Club, Los Angeles, California on the 7th of Sep, 2003. Mrs. Poppy Hillcoat and her husband, Mr. Arthur Hillcoat, have been serving Swami for many years, since 1979. They have been to Israel, Russia and many other countries, spreading Love and the message of Bhagawan. Mr. Arthur was the chairman for the Sathya Sai Council of Australia and later was nominated by Swami to be a central coordinator for the Sathya Sai Organisations.

My loving thoughts and prayers to our beloved Sai for keeping us all safe and well at all times. I’d like to start with a prayer:

Beloved Baba, we are filled with gratitude and joy for all the help and blessings you bestow upon us at all times. You tell us that whoever has the enthusiasm, the steadfastness, and the determination to reach their goal will certainly succeed.

All We Need Is Faith

We should cultivate faith in ultimate success; never to despair, falter or doubt in any way. If we do that, then we know that with His Divine intervention and our faith, everything will turn out well.

Beloved Baba, we know that You are with us every moment of our lives; loving us, guiding us, supporting us and encouraging us to have faith in You and faith in ourselves. And to understand that whatever happens in our lives is for our own spiritual growth. Sweet Lord, we love You and put our trust in You. Sai Ram.

Actually, this is the prayer that Swami gave to the students and He has told us that if we have the steadfastness, the enthusiasm, and the determination to reach our goal, we shall surely succeed.

Now what is our goal? As young people, our goal would be to pass our exams and do well. As we get older, our goals change; and certainly my goal as a mature person is to merge with the Lord. And He says all we need is faith. But, there’s a ‘but’. We have to understand that whatever happens in our lives is for our own spiritual growth. I like that.

Sincere Prayers

Prayer brings man and God closer and closer together; nearer and nearer with every sigh. Prayer must be said sincerely; for our Lord cannot help but respond to our sincere prayers. We should not pray for one thing and practice another; such prayer is only a means of deception. The thoughts we think, the words we utter, the deeds we do, and the prayers we make must all be directed along the same path.

The power of prayer can heal disease. I read somewhere that a survey was done in San Francisco with 400 heart patients who required by-pass surgery. Those that prayed sincerely only needed small amounts of antibiotics after the operation. There is some aspect of the human soul from the subconscious level that responds to prayer. There is something within us that is all knowing and immortal; Baba says it is the God within.


God Calls

It’s amazing how God works in our lives. On a Saturday night some time ago, a minister was working late at the church office getting ready for the next day. He decided he’d call his wife and let her know that he will be home soon. It was about 10 o’ clock. The phone rang and rang but his wife didn’t answer. The minister let the phone ring for quite some time. He thought it was really odd that she didn’t answer the phone. But he decided he would finish his work and he would give her a call again. The next time he called, she answered straight away and he asked her why she hadn’t answered the first time? But she said the phone hadn’t rung at all!

The following Monday, the minister was back in his office again at the church and he received a call. It was the same phone that he had used on that Saturday night. The man that he had spoken with wanted to know why he called him on Saturday night. The minister couldn’t understand what the man was speaking about. But the man said: “The phone rang and rang, but I didn’t answer.” Then the minister remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing the man and said that he had been trying to call his wife.

The man said: “That’s okay. Let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to take my own life Saturday night. But before I did, I prayed. I said: ‘God if you are there, and if you don’t want me to do this, give me a sign now.’ And at that point, my phone rang and rang. And when I looked at the caller ID, it said 'Almighty God'.”

So he was scared and afraid to answer the phone. The reason why the man’s caller ID showed 'Almighty God' was because the church that the minister works at is 'Almighty God, Pebenaco'.


Selfless Sai

Our beloved Baba has recently had an accident (2003) and broken His hip on His femur and He was operated on. And we were told that He was given anesthetic during the operation but it didn’t put Him to sleep; and He was talking to the surgeon all the way through. After that was over, He didn’t give darshan for some time. But we have again recently heard that Swami has fallen over and has again fractured His femur. But this time He has refused any intervention by the doctors.

Swami’s plays are sometimes impossible to understand. But everything He does is perfect and has a reason behind it. He said in the past that while He will never use His powers just to selfishly heal Himself, the Love and prayers of His devotees can help to heal His body. He added that His physical form is for our benefit and therefore, it is our responsibility to look after it through our prayers, positive thoughts and love.

On another occasion during a discourse, He announced: “When I entered the Kulwant Hall today, I felt very tired. I didn’t have any energy to speak. But all your love, faith and prayers have given Me energy, and now I am giving a discourse.”

Once Professor Anil Kumar asked Swami why He cures His devotees’ suffering but Himself undergoes the painful process of illness and disease? Swami replied that when we are sick, we pray with great intensity for a cure but when Swami is sick, we forget to pray. He added: “Through prayer, we can achieve the impossible.” Our prayers do work. Our Ma has taught us this. So I ask you all to please send to Swami from your hearts, your love and prayers and positive thoughts; that’s very important.

Prayer for Peace

The following prayer is for world peace. It was written by two American people - Sai Mela and George Jackson - they were at a workshop in the mountains in California.

Let there be Peace on earth; and let it begin with me.
Let there be Peace on earth; the Peace that was meant to be.
With God as Creator, family all are we.
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.
Let Peace begin with me; let this be the moment now.
With every breath I take, let this be my joyous vow.
To take each moment, and live each moment in Peace eternally.
Let there be Peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Peace can only begin with each one individually. We can find peace - if we can find peace within - then those around us will also experience peace. Visualize a pebble been thrown into a pond; and see how the ripples grow and grow. That is how we can affect others; with our presence, be it peaceful or otherwise.

For me, God is my very best friend and I speak with Him often. When I am happy, grateful, not doing too well, and sometimes when I am sad. The beauty of speaking with God is that we don’t need to pretend.

He knows everything about us; the good things and the not so good things. So I make it a practice to ask for His guidance, no matter what I am doing. So speak with God as you would your very best friend.

Sai Saves

Some years ago, we would go swimming with disabled people. We live on a mountain top in Queensland, Australia. And the drive up and down is quite steep. We had overseas visitors staying with us at this particular time so Arthur stayed behind to take care of them and I went down to the bottom of the mountain on my own.


At that time I owned a little blue sports car. I was very fond of this little blue sports car; and it’s really not good to have attachments like that. I spent a lovely morning with these dear people and it was a joy to be with them in the warm water, helping their bodies to relax. I was with them only for an hour.

On the way home, I did a little shopping and as I was driving up the mountain, I was discussing the events of the morning with the Lord. It was raining lightly. And all of a sudden, the car went into a slide - there must have been some oil on the road. And due to my inexperience, I had the foot on the brake, my hands on the steering wheel and I prayed to Swami:

“Swami, please don’t leave me now.” And over the side of the mountain I went. The car must have been going to go into a roll but instead it crashed into a tree and straightened out and stopped a little while a little further down at a very precarious angle - must have been about sixty degrees.

When the car hit the tree, I must have hit my head and I was unconscious for a little while. After a little while a man called out to me; he must have seen me going on the side. And he said: “Lady are you okay?” And I shook myself. I said: “Swami, am I okay? Yes, I am okay.”

Fortunately I had my seat belt on. I undid the seat belt; turned off the ignition, opened the door; and it just flew open because of the angle that the car was on. And I crawled out of the car and up the side of the mountain.

The man started to come down to give me a hand, and he slipped. And again I prayed to Swami: “Please Swami, don’t let anything happen to him.” And we both reached the roadside very safely. At that time, now I am going back about 12 years or so, the man had a two way radio in his truck and he called the office and the office called Arthur. And the girl said to Arthur: “Your wife’s gone over a cliff.” It was amazing that he didn’t have a heart attack.

But he didn’t and he came and picked me up. The car was a complete write-off. The only safe place was where I was sitting. Because when the car hit the tree, it just fell right in to the driver’s side of the street. So it was really quite an amazing experience. We went home. I rested for a little while, and then I got up and prepared dinner for our guest. So really Swami was with me all the way.


Prayer without faith is absolutely useless. The Lord may not give us what we want, but He will give us what we need. In asking for something for ourselves or for someone else; it’s always good to add: “Let Thy Will be done.”

Are We God?

Prayer is a very useful tool. A lady rang Arthur to ask about prayer. She said: “If we are God, and Swami keeps telling us that we are God, what is the need to pray to God?” When Swami was asked a similar question, He said, “Yes, that’s correct. However, until you realize that you are God, keep praying.”

So talk with God today, speak with Him as your very best friend. Ask God for help, for counsel, and advice; for insight and strength and inner peace and deep wisdom. Ask God to show us how to be in the world; but not of it.

Heart Prints, Not Finger Prints

Whatever our hands touch, we leave our finger prints - we leave them on door knobs, on furniture, on glass; anything - wherever we go, we leave our identity. But how about heart prints? Do we leave our heart prints wherever we go?

Oh God, wherever I go today, help me to leave heart prints. Heart prints of compassion, of understanding and love. Heart prints of kindness and genuine concern. May my heart touch a lonely neighbor, or a run-away daughter, or an anxious mother, or perhaps an aged grandfather. Lord, send me out today to leave heart prints and if someone should say: ‘I felt your touch’, may that one sense Your love touching them through me.

Usually we go to church, temples, or mosques to pray. However, God can’t be confined to four walls. We can pray wherever we are. God is within us, and all around us. We are like fish in a bowl and God is the water. We cannot limit God; but we do limit ourselves. So when we pray, God is right there with us, listening to every word.

I can tell you a little story of when we were home and we have been doing a lot of traveling. We’d been invited to go to Indonesia . When we were planning our travels, Arthur said: “I don’t think we will go to Indonesia. We’ve been doing a lot of traveling, and we have spent a lot of money. We’ll just go to India to see Swami.” And I said: “That’s fine”, I didn’t have a problem in that at all.

When we arrived in India, Swami took us in for an interview and when we went to the private interview room, the first thing He said to us was: “Don’t worry about your traveling expenses; there will always be enough.” So we’d take Him on His word on that one.

When we speak to God, it’s preferable to speak to Him as our very best friend. Pray to Him in pictures; visualize the scenario that you are praying about. See yourself helping a friend or how you can do selfless service into the community.

The Test Of Faith

Here’s one of Swami’s stories story of faith - or rather lack of faith. Once a village in India was inflicted with severe famine. The rivers were dried up; the trees were reduced to branches and twigs. And there was no sign of any greenery anywhere. The villagers were in torment. A solution had to be found. The elders of the village discussed the matter over and over again. But couldn’t come up with a solution.

At last, they met a sage in a nearby village. Hearing their sufferings, the sage replied: “I shall come to your village. Instruct all the villagers to assemble at the village square this coming Thursday at five p.m. We’ll pray to get the rains; it is sure such a collective prayer will be answered.”

Hearing this, the people were overjoyed. Everyone anxiously waited for the day. At last the day arrived. Even before five o’ clock the ground was full. The sage arrived, ascended on to the stage, and looked around. He looked around for quite some time. And then he said. “However loud you pray, there is going to be no positive result!”

It was unbearable for the villagers. They had expected so much! But now the sage continued: “You have no faith! All of you have come to pray for rains haven’t you? But not even one amongst you has bought an umbrella!”

What message was the sage conveying here? In prayer, faith is a must. Only prayer with faith will work. “More things are brought by prayer than this world dreams of.” said Lord Tennyson. Make prayer a part and parcel of your life. “Prayer is the key of the dawn and the bolt of the dusk.” said Gandhi.


What Can We Do?

Start the day with prayer, and end the day with prayer. Pray in between whenever possible. You can ask the Lord for anything at anytime, in any manner. The mental peace that you acquire from this is beyond words. Can you be happy when the people around you are suffering or in distress? Pray for all - your parents; don’t forget your grandparents, brothers and sisters, relatives, friends and enemies; and above all pray for the world at large.

Jesus said: “Love ye one another as I love thee.” He also said: “Love your enemies.” Once I thought that was impossible. But that’s not so. We can and we must.

Today every human being should ask the question: “What can I do to preserve the beauty and the wonder of our world? And eliminate the anger and hatred and the inequality that causes that hatred and anger in that part of the world which I touched?”

We are in troubled times; and it is only through prayer and loving thoughts with compassion in our hearts, that we can help those in need. Love and prayer is the answer, not revenge and hate.


This is one of Swami’s thoughts of the day from Prashanti Nilayam.

The whole world is in the throes of anxiety and fear. But I assure you that very soon the dark clouds will be scattered, and you will witness a happy era all over the world. Right will be restored and evil put down. Your duty is to yearn for the attainment of consciousness of the one beyond the multiplicity. Be centers of love, compassion, service and mutual tolerance. And be happy, very happy. Very, very happy.

When we stand before God to give our final account, He will not ask how popular you were during life. How many parties you went to? How well-dressed you were? How many clubs you belonged to? How big was your bank account? But He will ask what did you do for others? What service have you done?

We need to enlarge our definition of self with a capital S. When we believe our self to be One with everything - with the trees, the earth, animals and all people - to be One with God, then we will behave differently. And we will change our thinking and our beliefs. This will change our lives and those around us. We are free to love God, to love ourselves and all others and all things.

Remember, God is in everything. God wants nothing from us except our love. We can speak with Him as our very best friend, confidante, teacher and healer. God does not want us to suffer. He loves us, He tells us: “Be happy!” A smile, a touch, a decision to forgive, willingness to share, and the choice to live as One - these are the short steps to the Golden Age.

On a tablet in the grounds of Brindavan campus, are the words: “Man was born to learn not to be born again.” Please let this be our goal in life, which has been given to us by none other than God.

Thank you. Sairam.

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 4 Issue 07 - JULY 2006
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