Good Thoughts and Good Deeds – Early Devotees


Here are a few writings from Charles Penn who visited Sai Baba in the 1960’s. First we have an introduction from Mr. Bozzani who knew The Penn’s and spent time in retreat with them. Then we have several wonderful reflections to pass on to our readers. I hope you enjoy the collection of writings of Charles Penn from that time….

Robert Bozzani

“Charles and Faith Penn were among the most wonderful people I met. I got to know them because they would come to the Sai get-togethers when we would have retreats and conferences. And all they would talk about was Love. They would have a meditation, and then they would get up and talk about the Love of Sathya Sai Baba and the poor.”

“I still remember distinctly, that first time at the retreat. I was very disturbed. I said, ‘What is this talk about love? Let’s get to work and make the changes necessary!’ I really laugh at myself when I think of it now, because I’ve understood over the years that it was the Penns’ message which was the most important of all! Understanding that message of Love was crucial to the perception and implementation of Baba’s teachings. In fact, Charles Penn was really the first in the United States to introduce Sathya Sai Baba to the United States, because he had come to Swami as early as 1969.”

– Mr. Robert A. Bozzani


From the writings of Charles Penn’s book My Beloved

“After reading Sathya Sai Baba’s lifestory and thinking long and deeply about it, I decided to write to Sathya Sai Baba. Imagine my joy in receiving a letter from him directly in response to mine – the letter dated 16 July, 1965 and read in part – ”

Charles Penn
Charles Penn

“Dear Charles

Your letter, good thoughts, good deeds, always yield good fruits. Prayers are always answered – that is the rule. Your earnestness to help all those you meet, your activities, your interest in meditation and mind control have borne fruit. This contact is evidence of it.

The guru need not always come in an actual concrete form. He can prompt the higher impulses and urges through a friend, or a book or an event, which reveals the reality in a flash.  After this awakening, the rest is mostly in the hands of the aspirant. The guru can, at best, watch and guide. Do not get agitated or lose heart. You will be guided. However far you may be, geographically, I am as near to you as you are near to me dear Charles, in your sadhana and you can certainly attain shanthi.

You can prepare the edition of the book, for the american and english readers, whom you desire to serve. Whatever is done with sincere faith has my blessings. You can also keep up this correspondence. This proposal has been blessed, and it can be taken up.

Inform your sadhaka friends that i am with them. When the name is evoked, the name and the form are inseparable. This is the meaning of presence.

With blessings to you,

– Sri Sathya Sai Baba ”


My Journey to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba by Charles Penn

This is the autobiographical account of a devotee of 25 years, who also authored My Beloved and Sai Ram. Here, he relates his lifelong search for God and his road to Sathya Sai Baba. Swami guided the writer through the process of creating this book, and it is studded with many thought-provoking messages from Swami, as well as moving personal stories, such as the time Swami saved Penn from a 20-foot shark and the time Swami miraculously healed one of the author’s co-workers. Perhaps the book is best described by the eloquent title of the final chapter, ‘Yearning for God’s Grace’ – the source of our extract above.

The Night of Sai-lence, A Meditation – Early Devotees

This is delightful and a very special piece, a sort of xmas piece… and here is a Baba xmas photo to go with this.

Swami, Christmas, 2003

I am, at the moment, writing from Bangalore, while taking a small break from my ashram routine in Puttaparthi. Would like to pass on to you all, that the mandir is quite wonderous. The vibes are peaceful and Baba’s vitality is still very much evident there. Morning bhajans, together with the vedas, brings much calm and healing to all those who gather. I am quite amazed as to how much more I enjoy the mandir now that the crowds are gone and the old circus-like atmosphere time has passed. Now we have, at last, many more mediators and others who come here just to be close to Baba on a non physical level. He did say, years ago, that ‘first the brown monkeys will come, then the red monkeys will come, then the worldly people, and lastly the spiritual people. I feel his prophecy in that regard is now complete.

I’ve found or rather re- found the writings of Charles Penn, who was an early devotee of Baba’s. Must say i am enjoying re-reading his meditation’s and have decided to post several here on the blog for those people who cannot visit Puttaparthi or buy the book. I am not even sure the book is still in print.

Charles Penn

This small piece is called “The Night of Sai-lence” – a very poetic piece written sometime in the 1960’s. As an early devotee, Charles Penn enjoyed a closeness to Baba that most of us could only dream of. This ‘writing’ comes from his book “My Beloved“.







The Night of Sai-lence – A Meditation

The lord’s divine temple in the heavens has existed in all of its’ majesty since the beginning of time.

Light from myriads of diamonds in all their brilliance brighten His sky where His lustrous pearl mirrors His gold orb. All are held together by His eternal night of Sailence, His kingdom, so vast, so splendid.god

Within His kingdom lives gods and goddesses created through His divine will, each manifested to His likeness for His joy. To them He gave brightness and He gave them darkness.

His Sailent night is deep, inspirational. It is then we can each become one with Him and He one with us. Sacrifice not even one of these Sailent nights, so filled with His sweet grace.

The nights that give us the chance to glorify Him and have Him open our divine heart to accept the love He showers upon us. Let us feel ourselves wafting freely in His playground where we may adore Him.

Wish not for the light of day to quicken for in it we become blinded to our real self. The ever-sweet Sailent night allows us to go deeper into our soul of souls to receive the stimulus of His awakening within. When we become one with Him, our countenance reveals the inner joy. With its radiance, we banish all fear. Never again can His presence be taken away. His light will burn forever more.

The Sailient night now awaits to caress us, to shower our path to Him with petals from the lotus that blossoms eternally. There within, we are what we truly are. Love. All of our yearnings end, for the wings of that love carry us ever forward to His greater heavens illumined by gems sending forth colours, reflecting from our eyes His wondrous light.

The earthly multitudes need weep no more, for their plight of day vanishes by night. The Sailent night is ours to seek the freedom we so long for in the light of day. As the night approaches, be eager for His hand to lead us to His kingdom. Let us be ever awake in the higher consciousness within, for that is the secret key to our beloved’s doorway to everlasting joy and freedom.






(Amazon Uk shows several used copies as
 title: My Beloved
 Author: Charles Penn
 Date: 1981
 Unknown Binding: 136 pages
 Publisher: Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (1981)
 Language: English
 ASIN: B0007C82QK)