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Volume 5 - Issue 01 JANUARY 2007

Unlocking Our Immense Inner Power…

By Dr. Samuel Sandweiss

Dr. Samuel Sandweiss, an eminent Psychiatrist from California, USA, is one of the early devotees from America to visit Swami and recognize His divinity. He is also the author of widely-read books “Sai Baba: Holy Man and Psychiatrist” and “With Love Man is God”. Here are extracts from the transcription of a talk delivered by him to Sai devotees in Atlanta, USA on June 4, 2005.

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Dr. Samuel Sandweiss' Book

When I was a young psychiatrist (nine years into the practice of psychiatry, which was about thirty three years ago), I wondered, “What is the meaning of this life?” I have always thought of that. In fact, people used to think I was a little strange because I was so taken with being in this life – being born all of a sudden not understanding the rules! You wonder, “Why am I here? What is all of this around me, all of this creation around me? What is it all about? Is it just a social life? Is it a material life?”

Then I thought, perhaps I will learn a little bit more about it in psychiatry, so I went to school and became a psychiatrist. But after nine years into the practice, I realized that the deeper spiritual questions were not going to be solved by psychiatry.

So, why are we born? Who could answer that? What’s the purpose of this life when we all die with nothing in our hands? What’s the purpose when there’s such a brief moment? Look at the stars and the skies. We are here for such a small moment! Why are we here? Just to buy a car, or a big house? What does all that mean? I wonder if there is a person who can actually show me something deeper about the meaning of life.”

I started asking people. When asked, someone said: “Well, I have a martial arts instructor and when he puts his hand near your arm, you feel heat coming from him.” I said, “Well, that’s interesting, but why am I born? Where am I going?” That didn’t do it for me.

The Mesmerising First Encounter

I heard of many people who had a sixth sense and people felt goodness and kindness from them. Then I heard about Sai Baba and the stories were all together of a different dimension! You can’t even measure this dimension.

He knew everybody that came to Him. He knew who they were, all about them and could tell them about themselves. He could materialize what a person was thinking!

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I said, “Wait! I’m from sort of a scientific background. What do you mean He could materialize something that you’re thinking? Or materialize an object?” You know what that means to science if there was really somebody like that! To show that matter comes from Will or Love - or whatever it comes from - that a human has control over doing such a thing.

Some said, “He can cure illnesses, can be at two or more places at once, and even raise the dead!” I didn’t believe a word, but I was interested. How could something like this happen? “Go see Him,” they said, “and when you do, He can change you and then you won’t change back! There is a large group of good people who are interested in Him doing good works. Go see Him.”

So within a month or two, I was there. I landed in Bombay, now called Mumbai. I heard that Sai Baba was going to be at a stadium and fifty thousand people would be there to see Him.

Now that was something for me, being a young psychiatrist. Why would somebody come out to watch another person? He wasn’t going to be playing a guitar, or singing or dancing - none of that. And yet, fifty thousand would come out just to see Him! “I have to see that,” I said.

So I was invited by a devotee to have some lunch and a rest before I was going to go to the stadium. And this was way out in the outskirts of Mumbai. Mumbai is a city of seventeen million! I had some lunch at this apartment house and was resting, and then it was time to go. I walked down the stairs and somebody was rolling out a little red carpet. I said, “What is that for?” He said, “Sai Baba is coming to visit.” I said, “There must be many, many Sai Baba’s. This place must be filled with Sai Baba’s!” You know it’s a funny world, really. As you get into it, it’s a mystery.

I walked out and I was going to the cab-station, and all of a sudden Sai Baba passes me and goes into this very same apartment building. I was stunned! My scientific mind knew this was almost impossible. I mean we were way in the outskirts. It was as if I was going to Rome to see the Pope, and I was in a little coffee shop on the outskirts of Rome and was getting up to go see him at the Vatican, and he walks in and sits in the seat that I am in!

I knew that it was unusual. I turn around and I start to run, but stopped myself and said, “Why are you running, you are not devoted to Him or anything?” But I knew I had to find out about Him. This was so unusual!

So I quickly went to the apartment that He was at – it was on the ninth floor. He was in a room with the people who owned this apartment. He came out. I wasn’t really struck by Him that much; He was a little over five feet tall, about a hundred eight pounds, and He greeted people and then walked out.

I raced towards the stadium. It was a big football field. When I got there, it was too late to get in. I was at a gate maybe ten-fifteen rows back and He was way in the distance. I just watched Him, and as I watched, this small little figure turned and started walking towards me! It was the distance of an entire football field, and He came slowly, slowly, slowly, right up to the gate where I was, and just stood there in Bliss!


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This was my first introduction to Sai Baba and I didn’t understand what was happening. That was that. I could feel something stir inside; some connection with Him. How could you not feel something if you had that kind of a “Hallo!”

Visiting Swami in Whitefield

I went to Bangalore – five hundred miles south-east of Mumbai – to His ashram. He was having a summer school in Indian Culture and Spirituality.  And there were about thousand students on the grounds. Other people were there: professors from around India; yogis from around India; people from other parts of the world were there to speak to youngsters. He would speak every evening. So I was going to see Him in that setting.

I was sitting fairly close-up one day when He was honoring one of the Professors who had come along and had just given a couple of talks. He moved His hand in the air like this <<makes swirling hand gesture>> and this Big necklace came out of His hand! I was very close and shaken, because something inside me broke.

Now you know that we have seen magicians, but I knew this was really happening; I knew it wasn’t a magic trick. And I got very frightened, actually. I went back to my little hotel room and I looked into the closets and under the bed, making sure that the boogie man wasn’t around! I didn’t know my reality system was beginning to crumble!

But I said, “Nothing hurt me!” I went back and He was sweet and my fear left. And then I began to listen to what He had to say. What He said was something that I didn’t like very much. And it’s strange that I didn’t like it. He said, “Why don’t you try to be good?” The reason I didn’t like it was because it was too simplistic! I was a psychiatrist and I wanted to hear some complex theory about the meaning of life and the nature of life and all of that and how spirit evolves and He said, “Be good. And why are you wearing tight pants and long hair, looking like a monkey?”

And the students liked it! They were dressed nicely in white and they had their hair cut short, they were all washed and they looked very clean.


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I said, “This is too simplistic.” For some reason, it really upset me. It was at the end of the day, Swami had just given a talk and I was at a distance from Him. A wall separated us; a whole house separated me from where He was at the back of this big backyard to the front of the house. I was sitting very dejected and all of a sudden, He came around the corner and came right up to me with His eyes beaming!

He gave me two little pieces of candy and said, “Sweets! Sweets! Eat!” He came right up to me! It was the first time He made this kind of a contact. He came up to me with this knowingness in His eyes, and with joy and love, He gave me these two little pieces of candy and I became a little baby, just giggling.

I saw two things: one was how rather weak our feeling-system is. Even our anxiety or depression that we think is so overpowering. Of course, when we are in the midst of it, it feels so very strong; but when you see a person like this, with His energy and His love and His Bliss radiating into you, it washes it away in a minute – in a second! The mind is nothing in the face of this force. I have never seen anybody have that effect on me, or have that Bliss and that Love penetrate me.

And then I recognized that it’s probably something that all of us are capable of: great inner power. But how do you find that power? That’s really something.

So I was sitting on the ashram grounds, deep in thought; all of these things happening to this poor little beggar psychiatrist. My eyes were closed and I was thinking, “Gosh, the laws that govern spiritual growth are more real than the laws of physics!” I was a scientific guy and this was more real than the laws that I knew of.

There was some rustling in the front and I opened my eyes to Swami standing in front of me. I thought He was responding to my thought - and you can never know when you see Swami - but there He was. It was very unusual, and the second time He made such contact with me. I thought, “I better start thinking about the laws that are more real than the laws of physics, because there must be laws that govern spiritual development.”

“You are Pure Love”

So, thirty three years later, here I am with as much questioning as ever! But I came up with a few things to tell you about Sai Baba’s teachings. His message: “Man has immense Inner Power and Love.”

You know when somebody comes up to you and radiates this bliss, all of a sudden you become part of this bliss and you’re giggling like a child.

One time I was in Russia trying to find a publisher for the book that I wrote about Sai Baba, Sai Baba: The Holy Man And The Psychiatrist (I am the Psychiatrist, Swami is the Holy Man.) It was 1989-90, and Russia and the U.S had not been real pals. I was sitting there wondering why I was not scared. I think that my room was bugged, but besides that, I felt pretty comfortable there. I picked up a journal that comes out of Sai Baba’s ashram once a month. In it were His Discourses. I read the first paragraph, stopped, and couldn’t read any further, because all psychiatry and spirituality was held in there!

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It read: ‘A man or a woman filled with love has great peace of mind, is pure of heart and is unaffected by adverse conditions, failures and losses.’ A person filled with love – what is that love? Has great peace of mind? Some people think that if we get peace of mind in our lifetime, we have made a great leap in Consciousness. If we just have great peace of mind, we are not frightened, worried, upset and depressed. A man filled with love has great peace of mind, is pure of heart, unpretentious, simple, and humble, without a big attitude. He is not pompous, but pure, simple and selfless – pure of heart, unaffected by adverse conditions, failures and losses.

Who of us can be unaffected if somebody cheats us or is angry with us and uses a bad word? What if we have drug problems in our family or our spouse is upset with us or leaves us? What if we get into drugs, or our children get into problems? If we lose power in our arms or we go blind or we have cancer? What if we know we’re going to die? Who can be above that - unaffected? Who can find that Power? Where does it come from?

This Power is gained from the love of the Lord! That is God Loving you and you Loving God. The secret is in Loving God, which gives self-confidence. This self-confidence generates immense Inner-Power. But first we have to find that connection with Him.

I thought, “My goodness, how do you find that Love? How do you find God?”

One time I heard a story from a person who works for the U.S council. This lady came from South Africa and went into the book store inside the ashram. There are hundreds of titles in forty or more languages – it’s huge book store - and she bought a book, went outside and opened it. Inside was a letter to her from Sai Baba! And the letter was written in German, which was a language that she knew and it made her feel very close to this letter. It read, “You are living your life on a small beam of light. You’re playing the funny game between the elephant and the mouse. The elephant looks at the mouse and thinks it’s the mouse. But you’re not a mouse, and you’re not an elephant; you’re not even a human being: you are God! You’re the All-Embracing Light that lights the entire Universe! You’re All-Knowing power – you’re Pure Love!”

The letter was dated in the future – about a week in the future. And on that day, Sai Baba picked her out of the crowd and brought her into the interview room and told her the same thing: “You’re the All-Embracing Light that lights the entire Universe! You’re All-Knowing Power - you’re Pure Love!”

Well, is that who we really are? Most of us think that we are the body! But we actually are the All-Embracing Light that lights the entire Universe! I have heard Swami say, “I have come to show you who you are. I can do all of these things, because I have no limitations. And that’s who you really are! I have come to stand in front of you to show you that.”

“Swami, are You Divine?” He says, “Yes, I am. And so are you! You’re not a lowly little person. You’re actually Divine. To rise up and find out, that’s the purpose of your life!”

We have immense Inner Power in our Love.

It is all in the Mind

Why is it that we don’t know this? Why do we think we are groveling around in the swamps? How do we get out of this? We don’t know it because of ignorance. The key is to understand the mind. I was a psychiatrist, and I thought I knew something about the mind. The mind has a lot of powers and it’s great; it gives us the amenities of life – we can buy a house and we can learn how to drive a car and we can do wonderful things for ourselves. But there is a problem in terms of our mind and our spirituality. We should understand its weakness, because the mind can be an obstacle.

Now, the mind is a very good thing and we don’t want to destroy it, but we have to understand its weaknesses also – its central weaknesses. The mind thinks that the outside world, or the objects in the outside world, brings happiness. That just isn’t so! It brings happiness for a short time, but it doesn’t bring outside happiness. We think it does, and so we look outside.

I will use a simple illustration of a psychiatrist sitting with a patient. The patient is upset because they don’t have enough money to buy a nice chair - all the cotton is coming out of the chair. The color is faded and so they don’t like the chair. And the psychiatrist says, “You’re sitting on a wonderful, beautiful chair – just the one you want.” The person is filled with joy and is very, very happy. Yet, the chair didn’t change. Something inside the patient changed. The patient found an inside place that was all happiness - infinite bliss and unending happiness.

Develop an inner Relationship with God sai-bless

So if it’s inside, how do we start looking for it? We have to show restrain from letting the senses run wild into the world. First of all, don’t jump into the world too fast! Swami has given us a little program called, Ceiling on Desires. You have to watch how much you get involved in food, energy, time and money, even knowledge. You have to restrain your senses a little bit so they can go inside.

Now, where do we go inside to develop a relationship with God? How do we do that? First, if you’re lucky to have some devotion – this is a Universal teaching – and if there’s a precept, principle, scripture or a God-man or a God-informed man; if there’s something that can catch us and bring us inside with some love and some awe of our creation, then we should hold on to that. We have to hold on to it by saying a special name or hearing stories. We have to hold on to it, because that’s the dawning of devotion and love.

And one good way of fanning this love is to bring the cold ember next to the live ember, so it could also become a live ember. That’s what Swami says. You have to bring your own Consciousness towards the highest point; the highest level of spiritual contact that we have: the Higher Self or that devotional phrase that makes us realize the mystery of it all.

Act Through Selfless Service

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We then have to offer some kind of activity - to offer some service. We have to actually act! And the way we do this is to act with the kind of enquiry: “I want to do something. I want to give something precious.” This means we have to sacrifice something; to do it without selfishness, without any self-interest for fulfilling a desire and without all of the unwavering desires that get us into trouble: lust, anger, pride, greed, envy or jealousy. We have to try to make this as Pure as possible!  

When we offer ourselves like this – with devotion as pure as we can get - then something opens up inside of us! This is the mystery of Swami’s great humanitarian programs. We bring this devotion and self-enquiry into service towards the community. And then this happens! <<Pointing toward the slide of the Super Specialty Hospital>> When this happens, when you see these wonderful buildings and these wonderful programs (Swami’s service projects), what is the meaning of it? It means that there’s going to be freedom for the people that come - free services.

But for the people that work these programs, they are working this devotion and this service and what they are looking for is freedom inside. When we detach from the selfishness and from wanting extra applause; when we detach, evidently the consciousness is freed. It’s freed into some kind of a love state! I don’t know if this sounds a little strange, but this is sort of like fundamental spirituality: to bring ourselves a little away from being attached; to bring ourselves into the love state through service, to make ourselves as selfless as possible. Then this happens!

The Way to Liberation

What is the meaning? The meaning is an age-old teaching! The teaching is now being generated from Swami and vibrated off from Swami and radiating from Swami - this great vigor and vitality. That’s why we should turn our attention just to see what’s happening! And what is He saying? He says, “Look! Go to your own tradition and religion; follow this Loving God, fearing sin, and serve society, bringing the morality back into society!”

Do this with intensity, with great vigor and with great focus – this is the way to your own liberation. Liberation for the people that are coming – they get free service – and liberation from your own heart!

And so He is telling all of us, whether we follow Sai Baba or we are Christian, Jew or Muslim: get involved in your religion, because it is the way to Expansion, Love, Consciousness, Service and Love of all humanity. Love all and Serve all!

Thank you very much!

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Vol 5 Issue 01 - JANUARY 2007
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