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….
“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 – ”
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.