It was on my second visit to see Sai Baba that I was granted a private conversation with Him. These are called interviews. Almost everyday Baba would choose a group of people to talk to in a small room. Baba chose all kinds of people from all walks of life and all different countries. You couldn’t make an appointment to speak with Him. Presidents and movie stars. He did the choosing! Everyone wanted this interview, but I was very frightened by the thought of it.
Baba usually asked people, “What do you want?” and I really didn’t know. I knew I didn’t want to be forced into a situation where I would talk like a parrot out of fear and say “I want Enlightenment! Enlightenment over good health or wealth.” I didn’t know what I wanted. That night he came to me in a dream and said “I know you’re frightened, don’t be. I will show you right now everything that will take place in the interview. And I won’t ask you any questions!” He told me two people were flying in from Los Angeles, Dave and Barbra Lambert. After they had been there for a few days, he would ask our group in for a talk!
True to the dream – that’s what took place.
I held the door open to His little room and let everyone in the group go in first. It numbered around forty or so. I sat in the back of the small room, hiding myself. He sat on a chair and sang a song to us, ‘Love is my Form, Truth is my name, Bliss is my food’. He called me to come sit in front of Him. Then He asked me if I would please massage His feet for Him. I began to gently massage His feet while He told stories and asked questions of certain people. I watched as He waved His hand and a gold pen appeared. He showed it to me and asked if I liked it. I said it looked like good workmanship. He agreed. He gave it to an Indian student that sat at His left, and smacked him on the face. He ‘created’ a packet of blue pills that he threw to one of the ladies in our group. He told me she didn’t know it, but she was going to have terrible stomach pains later in the day, and we should give her these pills along with fresh mango. “After 3 days she will be alright”, He told me. About ten minutes after the interview, Jenny collapsed.
He invited a small group of 6 people, not including myself, to go into another adjoining room. While the larger group waited, Baba pulled open a curtain and we sat down in a smaller room. He sat on an old chair, and this was where He usually asked people what they wanted. The group, 3 women and 3 men, sat quietly. I suddenly remembered this part in my dream that I had had with Baba. He was staring at me like an impatient schoolteacher waiting for me to say something!
I asked Baba, “May I ask you a question?” He said, “Yes, what is it?” It looked like relief flashed across the expression on His face. Like he was saying to me, “It’s about time, Phil!”
“What do You see when You see me?”, I asked.
Baba looked at all the people sitting there in a state of semi-frozenness and said, “I see only Light and Love”. His reply seemed to warm everyone up and I went into another state of mind, and didn’t hear anything else till we rejoined the larger group.
Baba gave me 18 packets of Vibuthi, and everyone else received handfuls of it. Everyone walked out the door but me. I stood there alone with Baba. I was just looking into His eyes and He into mine. When suddenly he said, “Yes, what is it?”
I didn’t want any material thing from Baba at that moment, I realized. I just wanted to know He was for real! “Yes,” He said to me. I smiled and showed him this small silver ring of Shirdi Sai Baba that had recently broken.
Not knowing how to ask him directly if He would fix it for me, I said instead, “Baba, look at this ring, what shall I do with it?” He looked at it and delivered a punch line I never expected. “If I were you I’d keep it”, He said.
I nearly exploded in laughter, but contained myself as He walked me out the door, and I felt the warm sunlight disappear into a greater sunlight within me