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  Volume 4 - Issue 03
MARCH 2006

By Sonja Engman Wilson

This is a wonderful account from a reader which will touch your heart as you read how Swami transforms a lady’s sorrow in a far away land into service.

It has taken me five years to consider telling this story. It is just one among so many stories about how the Sweet Lord Sai Baba calls you into His light and love, but for each and one of us, Swami chooses the time and the circumstances to do so. It is a story about how Bhagavan Baba drew me to His Lotus Feet at a time when I was in deep sorrow during my husband’s illness and later death. I did not know anything about Sai Baba at that period nor had I ever seen a picture of Him. It is also a story about all the lovely blessings Swami showered on me and how He tried my faith when I decided to go and see Him in person.

In The beginning… Deep Sorrow

But let me start with the beginning. In January 2000, my husband was diagnosed with cancer and he was slowly dying. I was in deep sorrow and prayed much to God for help. I told God I would help other people if only He would let my husband live. I was very desperate over the whole situation, and I could not sleep at night. I read a lot of spiritual books and often went to the small library in our village in which we lived in New Zealand .

The Scent of Sai

One day at the library I was looking at the bookshelves in the spiritual section, and my eyes caught sight of a book called A Catholic Priest Meets Sai Baba. I read a few pages and decided it was worth taking home. Next to it was another book Sai Baba - The Holy Man and Psychiatrist by Dr. Samuel H. Sandweiss. Again I skimmed through the book and found it worth reading. Strangely both the books smelled of incense, and I thought some hippies had read them, who had used incense sticks. I felt attracted by the fragrance and did not give it any more thought.

I first read A Catholic Priest Meets Sai Baba and understood his doubt about the catholic faith. Then I started reading Samuel Sandweiss’ book, and I was fascinated about what Sai Baba could do. Many years ago I had read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, so I knew in my heart without doubt, that man can develop supernatural abilities through divine love and understanding. When I finished the second book the incense fragrance vanished. I suddenly remembered that Samuel Sandweiss had written that Sai Baba could contact you wherever you lived in the world by scents of vibhuti, kumkum and sweet amritha.

I wondered if He had contacted me? I was unsure about it but at the same time I felt a great truth coming to me, as if I had found something I had been searching and longing for my whole life.

“My Faith Grew Stronger Everyday”

I started to meditate on Swami in my morning meditations and very soon I had strong faith in Him. Strangely He seemed to give me the necessary peace and strength to help my husband every day. My husband told me he felt totally at peace and his eyes were so beautifully clear.

My husband’s health deteriorated quickly and in desperation I wrote a letter to Sai Baba. In anguish I poured my heart out and talked to Sai Baba as God and as a dear, close friend. Every day I prayed and talked with Swami. I promised Swami to take care of elderly people, to help anybody, wherever I could, to change myself - just would He let my husband live. I was really bargaining with God. As if I did not know, it was of no avail. In the end I prayed to Baba, “If it was the karmic will that my husband’s time was up, please do not let my sweet husband have any pain.” It was a painful and confused letter.

One day, maybe one week before my husband passed away something very strange happened. I was with my husband and suddenly felt a very wonderful feeling in my hands. I looked down at them, and it was as if they were not my hands. I was amazed over this feeling, and let this love pour into my husband. A slow stream of peace and love out of my control poured to him.

He looked at me and said, “ Puska, your hands are so filled with love.” Tears ran down my face and the strange beautiful feeling of love coming from another source was at this moment so divine. I silently thanked Sai Baba, because I had been praying how could I show my husband my deep love for him, not only by the help I gave him everyday, but on a very deep soul level. Swami heard my prayer. How immense is His grace and love for us!

I knew in my heart without doubt that it was Bhagavan Sai Baba that showered my husband with divine love through me, and that He was in us and around us. My husband died a few days later in our home and I helped him over, telling his soul to go towards the love and light and his death was peaceful.

The next morning when family and friends were gathered beside my husband’s body to say a last good-bye, another strange and beautiful incident happened to me. I was alone by my husband’s body and suddenly I felt so much anguish. In great agony I called out to God. Suddenly, I felt my husband’s voice tell me “Puska, this is not my body I am here, I am here”. Then I experienced a feeling of great ecstasy so strong that I could hardly stand. I am sure it was Bhagavan’s grace reassuring me that there is no death.

As time went by, people with problems started coming to me and I tried to help them as well as I could as I had promised Swami. My faith in Bhagavan Baba was very strong, like a rock. I felt I had been given a purpose in life and I grew stronger every day.

Journey to Joy With No Visa!

I now started trying to find more information about Swami and read everything that I could get my hands on. Two years after my husband’s death, I decided to go back to Denmark, where I was born to see where life would take me from there. In April 2003, I booked a flight to take me to India to Bhagavan on my way back to Denmark. I wanted to see Him, to feel His Love and thank Him from my heart for all that He had done for me. At that stage I did not know that Sai Baba would try my faith in Him.

I booked my flight and confirmed with two travel offices in New Zealand that I did not need a visa to enter India. The plane made a stop-over in Kuala Lumpur and the next evening while I was boarding the flight to Bangalore I saw a woman who I felt was from Scandinavia. She was called Riita and was from Finland, but lived in Bangalore with her son and husband who was working in Bangalore. She told me that she was in Malaysia to have her visa renewed. “I hope you have a proper visa” she said, “if not they won’t let you in.” Very worried I told her that I had no visa and she said that the immigration authorities would not let me in. Then we found our seats and I did not see her anymore.

We landed in Bangalore late at night. Passport control asked me for my visa and I told them that I did not have one and had been misguided in New Zealand. They told me that I had to leave India immediately. During the whole flight I had an A4 size picture of Sai Baba with me. I showed the passport control staff the picture and told them that I had come to see Sai Baba. They repeated that I had to leave but I insisted I had to see Sai Baba to thank Him. They took me into a small office where I told them about my husband’s death and about Sai Baba coming into my life. They listened, but were firm that I could not stay in India as I had no visa.

More airport staff arrived and discussed my case. I was sitting in a chair and all the other passengers had finally gone. Strangely I was at peace, but very sad. The staff would not change their position and I realized that they were only doing their duty. Here was I, a 60 year old lady with white hair, in sorrow over my husband's death, landing in such a pitiful situation and yet so full of hope to see my beloved Swami. I was thinking, “ Why hast thou forsaken me Lord; or are you trying my faith in You?” I just sat there quietly, firm like a rock waiting for a miracle, because I was there to see Swami - and the miracle came in form of a woman.

God Always Sends Help

Suddenly the Finish women Riita returned and showed her visiting card and also some other papers confirming her husband’s work with Volvo in Bangalore to the officials. She asked if she could be of any help. Finally after a long time they agreed to let her take me home and to be my guarantor. I was given a 72 hours ‘Landing Permit’ in my passport so that I could try and arrange for a ‘10 Days Staying Permit’. I thanked them from my heart and went with my new friend Riita into the bustling, hot Bangalore night. Swami had helped me.

Now began three hectic days to get a stamp in my passport for 10 days in India. Everyday we ran from office to office and I do not recall how many places we were sent to. Some offices were closed or open at odd times. We were sent to some places twice and there were a lot of people waiting everywhere. Hour after hour we waited in the hot weather. My mind shut down - I was not there. I dreamed about seeing Sai Baba for the first time as I looked at His picture. I would never have been able to do this by myself, running around in a big city like Bangalore in the heat had it not been for Riita. After three days I had my legal papers and I thanked Riita and her husband profoundly for all the help they had given me. Then it was time to go to Brindavan, Baba’s ashram in Bangalore.

The Reason for Riita’s Return

The last day at Riita’s place I suddenly had a strange feeling and looked at her asking, “Riita, what made you came back into the airport and help me out?”

She said “I was thinking of you in the aeroplane and I felt terribly sorry for you. I knew you were in for a hard time and would be sent out of India, because nobody can enter without a visa. After dinner I listened to some in-flight music in my earphones and I started talking to God. I am a Christian you know. 'God', I said,'if you want me to help this Danish lady then You must play two Finnish songs for me.' And then I heard them! First a classical piece and then followed a Finnish folk song. So God wanted me to help you - that is why I came back!”

“Riita”, I said “are you sure that you heard Finnish songs?” She looked a little hurt and said: “Of course I am sure. I know both these songs.” And she started humming them for me.

I stared at Riita and felt the small hairs on my neck standing up, for I could not believe that during their in-flight music Malaysian Airlines would play two Finnish folksongs!

“Riita,” I said with tears in my eyes, “these are strange and wonderful things Sai Baba does to people to help them all over the world.”

“No,” she said, “it was not that man, it was God who helped you!”

Next day they drove me to Brindavan, where I had my first Darshan with the living, loving Lord Sai. When I saw Him the first time, it was as if someone had poured cups of water down my cheeks. I had never cried so much. It cleaned my heart.

I have been thinking about all this over and over again during the last few years. I even wrote and e-mailed Malaysia Airlines twice, asking them to send their in-flight magazine, so I could check the music but they never replied back. I was never in doubt that Sai Baba was the divine director in the whole play. Swami tells us, that all names are His, Riita prayed to the same Lord. What an incredible play!

Why did He let two travel agencies in New Zealand tell me that I did not need a visa? I also realized later He let me through in Kuala Lumpur Airport with no visa to India! Why did He let me land in India without any visa in the first place? Was it to try my faith? I could have let myself been escorted to an aeroplane to Copenhagen from Bangalore. But I didn’t. I had to see and thank Him.

We all know that Sai Baba sends the right person, when we are in distress. Riita was the one, whom I felt drawn to in Kuala Lumpur ’s departure lounge. He made that happen. Bhagavan let Riita hear what she asked for, namely two Finnish songs. She was then bound by her promise to Him, to go and help me.

In The End… Joy, Strength and Wisdom

In my hardest time of sorrow and tribulations Sri Sathya Sai Baba helped me to overcome it all by trusting in Him. Sai Baba has given me such love, peace and strength that I have never dreamt of. I am still helping people, visiting old people, and comforting and helping people with many different problems. It gives me joy and Bhagavan Baba gives me strength and wisdom. If you are called to His Lotus Feet you never want to let go of them again. We are safe if we “Let go – let God.”

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 4 Issue 03 - March 2006
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