These pearls of thought in Persian gulfs were bred,
Each softly lucent as a rounded moon;
The diver Omar plucked them from their bed,
FitzGerald strung them on an English thread.
James Russell Lewell
During a visit in 2007, we’d decided to stay in a popular hotel in Puttaparthi for several nights on our arrival. We were tired and went to bed early. I had not removed my pearl necklace. I usually remove all jewellery but that night I had forgotten to.
The next morning while in the hotel room dressing, I noticed the clasp on my necklace was loose. I tried to undo the clasp and as I did, the necklace broke and a few of the pearls fell to the floor. We quickly gathered up the little pearls and put them with the rest of the necklace into a small box. The necklace is precious to me and I wanted to have it repaired as soon as possible.It had been a present from my husband when we had been first married.
After darshan that day, we left the pearls in one of the many jewellery shops for repair. It was soon restored and looked like new. I was happy to have my necklace back intact again. A few days later we rented a flat for the remainder of our stay. We moved in and quickly unpacked. By the time we had arranged all of our belongings, it was already late so we went to bed.
The next morning, my husband was in the kitchen preparing tea. There, by the tea cups, was a tiny shiny pearl. How it got there we do not know. It was one of the pearls from my necklace, that had broken in the hotel a few days earlier. We were both baffled by the unexpected find of this single small pearl. It was too late to add it to my necklace because it had been re-strung.
I am sure the small pearl had dropped somewhere in the hotel room where we had not seen it and as we had no idea how many pearls there were on the necklace, the missing one was lost unbeknown to us. We both pondered on how the single shiny small pearl found itself to the flat!
Sitting in Sai towers a few days later, we told the story of the pearl necklace to some friends. They told us they had had a similar experience with a missing necklace. The story goes like this:
“The necklace was neatly placed at the bottom of a travel bag. It, too, had been a favourite piece of jewellery. My friend had paid particular attention to its safety at all times. On arriving at a hotel in Sri Lanka, she searched through her travel bag, only to find the necklace missing.. She blamed her poor husband for losing it. He swore that he had not. He had taken every care of all of their belongings and especially the necklace. Two weeks later, the necklace turned up again, inside the travel bag……. I can’t remember every detail of this story. However, it was an extraordinary tale.”
Depression Healed by “A Small Bird”
It is frequently, at a time of personal crisis, that circumstances bring the unsuspecting person close to Sai Baba. Such was the case of a mother who’s daughter was about to be married. The daughter was happy, healthy, and beautiful and the wedding seemed to promise continued happiness for all involved. But soon the mother learned to her great horror that her daughter had ended her young life in a drug related suicide. The shock was too much for her. She could not resolve the sudden dramatic turn that life had taken. She sank into a deep depression.
In the depths of her despair she was told of the presence on the earth of a great spiritual healer that some people called an Avatar – Sathya Sai Baba. She learned that he helped people who came to him from all over the world. Although there were no guarantees that he would indeed see her among the thousands of visitors, she decided to take the chance and go to India to see him. When she arrived at the main ashram in Puttaparthi, India she discovered he was not there but that he was a distance away at Kodaikanal. So she proceeded on to the place hoping to get to see him there.
When she arrived she learned that Sai Baba came out twice a day to circulate amongst the devotees giving darshan. She waited for her chance and as soon as he was near enough to speak to she asked for his help. He told her: “I will see you tonight” and then went on to visit with other devotees. She was happy that he had agreed to see her but was confused as to how it would take place. She was staying in a hotel and taking a taxi to and from darshan and it was raining heavily. She had no idea when to come back or where to go to see him since there was no darshan at night and all the entrances were closed. She returned to her hotel room thinking about the things she had heard about various ways devotees had made contact with Sai Baba such as visions, dreams, timely appearances of unknown persons, etc.
She returned to her hotel and as she was walking in, she noticed that the doorman was holding in his hand a small bird thoroughly soaked from rain water. He asked her if she would be willing to take care of the little bird and she readily agreed and took it up to her room. There she placed it on a dry towel and checked it over for injuries. Finding no obvious injury to the bird, she held it in her hands in order to raise its body temperature. After a time it started to revive. She opened her hands and the bird fluttered to the floor and hopped under the bed. She felt that since it was warm and dark under the bed the bird would be well off there so the woman also decided to retire for the night. The next morning she looked for the bird but not finding it anywhere, she looked under the bed. It was still dark under the bed and she didn’t see it so she tried talking to it. After several attempts the bird still did not emerge or respond in any way. So she changed the tone of her voice and said with firmness: “Now you must make an effort to come out of that dark place your are in, so that I can set you free.”
As soon as she spoke there words to the little bird, the very same phrase echoed back to her in Baba’s voice just as if he were present and addressing her. Suddenly she realized the truth of his words: “I will see you tonight”. He had even managed to convey his message to her putting his words into her own mouth.
Then the small bird hopped from under the bed out into the light. She picked it up and released it back into the daylight letting it fly free to the destination of its choosing. The woman too emerged from the darkness of her depression and put herself into the hands of Baba, soaring off into new spiritual heights.
From a story that appeared in its original form in Life is a Challenge, Meet it!, by Joy Thomas. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.
courtesy Cosmic Harmony Website