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Features | Experience of the Divinity of Bhagavan by Devotees | Group III | Dr. John Hislop

Dr. John Hislop,
California, USA.

Dr. John Hislop was a very intimate devotee of and personal friend to Bhagavan. He worked as a college professor in the USA. He authored several books on Bhagavan such as ‘My Baba and I’, ‘Conversations with Sathya Sai Baba’, etc. He was the Central Coordinator (Overseas), Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, USA for several years. Recently he passed away.

‘Baba had reached a decision to halt the yearly public viewing of the birth of the Lingam (on the Mahasivarathri Day, 1973), as it flashes from his mouth and comes to rest in his hands, cushioned by a silk handkerchief. Although that public portion of the holy festival of Mahasivaratri was now terminated, nevertheless the lingam would be created by Baba each year again and again, for it is a principal sign by which we may know the Avatar. In respect to the oval, egg shaped lingam which Baba produces from within his body on Mahasivaratri night, he says, ‘it is not possible for you to understand the divine purpose and gauge its potential or to know the significance of its manifestation. In order to bear witness to the fact that Divinity is among you, it becomes necessary for me to express this attitude of mine. Otherwise the atmosphere of hatred, greed, envy, cruelty, violence, and irreverence will overwhelm the good, the humble, and the pious. The lingam is a symbol of the beginning-less and endless of the infinite… It is the most fitting symbol of the Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent Lord. Everything starts from it and everything is subsumed in it.’

We may also know the Avatar by the sixteen signs that accompany him: creation, preservation, dissolution, knowledge of incarnations, special Grace and the power to bestow it; each of these in the past, the present, and the future, thus totalling fifteen, with the sixteenth being Paramatma, the Divine, resident in the heart of each being. To these sixteen signs of the divine incarnation of the Avatar, Baba adds another sign, which he terms the most significant of all – divine love, universal and impersonal, yet personal.

The lingam has been seen by the writer a number of times. On the occasion of one Mahasivaratri night, I was sitting quite close to Baba. When the moment came, I saw a flash of gold come from His mouth and saw the lingam caught in the silk handkerchief held by His hands. It was of gold. How an object that size came up Sri Baba’s throat cannot be explained. At another Mahasivaratri, the lingam was translucent, and there was a clearly visible flame in the centre of the lingam.

On the Mahasivaratri Day, 1973, we (a small group of devotees accompanying Baba) continued down to the riverbed (in the Bandipur sanctuary in the Bandipur forest), and Baba seated us in a rectangle, with himself at the head. It could be seen that Swami’s body was already in labour, and the group at once started singing bhajans (sacred songs of devotion and praise to the Divine). This continued without interruption until the lingam came out from Baba’s throat and was caught by Him in a silk handkerchief. After the lingam had been admired by everyone, Swami put it aside. He then raised a small heap of sand in front of His knees, and with His finger sketched an outline on it. Then in a moment or two, He dug His hand into the sand and brought forth a silver flask filled with amrit. Then he moved His hand and created a small silver cup. Everyone, from his hand, was then given a portion of the amrit, nectar of the Gods. How delicate and delicious was the taste! It is unique. There is no other taste to compare to it.’

-- -- Dr. John Hislop

(Source: The article is extracted from the book ‘Baba is God in Human Form’ by Mr. Prem Luthra – Serial No. 47.)