Coming to Baba & Guruji - Experience with Baba’s Photo

This is Yvonne Aunty's experience about how she came to Baba and Daddy. 

When I look back I can see that the first time Baba came into my life was in January 1993, in Switzerland, when my brother gave me a pocket calendar with Baba's picture. It was the first darshan of the great saint, one could say, which I received quite unknowingly. Over the following weeks and months I started to discover his sacred company in my life, which led me into the presence of my beloved Guruji.

The day Carlos and I were leaving for India, my brother gave us both a little Baba pocket calendar as a farewell token. I kept it in my handbag and took it as a good start of our journey.
We arrived in India and spent the first few days in Delhi. As we went for a stroll in the Lakshmi Narayan Temple garden a photographer called us to his stall. He was taking photos of people and making compositions with a background photo of one's choice: movie stars, saints, gods, politicians etc. I was reluctant to have my picture taken, but Carlos thought it would be fun and persuaded me to have a go. As I was flipping through the hundreds of picture cards I came across the Baba from my pocket calendar. Recognizing him with delight I chose him to be my backdrop. It was Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi in Abhayasta pose. 

The photographer asked me to pose joining my hands in namaskar. Afterwards, he fused my picture with the one of Baba. When I saw the photo of me doing namaskar infront of the great blessing Baba, I liked it a lot and felt it emanated a sense of protection. But I did not give it any special importance. I received two copies. One I kept in my handbag, the other I sent to my brother.

A few weeks later we left for Tiruvannamalai, where we had stayed during previous visits to India. We occupied one of the cottages at Varunachalam, a peaceful estate off the Giripradakshina Road, suitable for our purpose of spending time in meditation and contemplation. The cottage right next to ours was also occupied, but  nobody was around for several days. One day I decided to go and have a closer look. Maybe I would find some signs as to who was occupying the cottage. The door was locked with a padlock and all the windows were closed. Only one small window behind a hibiscus bush was left a little bit open. I peeped through - and - what I caught sight of was a big Sai Baba picture which was placed on the floor. It looked as if Baba was sitting right there in the room! Wow! Astonished I thought to myself, "What is happening? This old holy man is following me everywhere!".

A few days later we heard sounds from next door, voices and laughter. Our neighbors had returned! Very soon Hamsa, the elderly dutchman in charge of the estate (President of Kanvashrama Trust who owns the Varunachalam property), came by and told us that a swami was staying in the cottage next door and that he had arranged for us and some other foreigners to take the swami's darshan in the evening. In fact, I was not so enthusiastic or even interested in seeing a swami, yet felt a great curiosity to see who our neighbor with the big Baba photo was, and so agreed to come. 

Along with a group of about twenty people Hamsa took us to see the swami. One by one we entered and went up to Sri Babuji, paying our respects. He was dressed in plain white and was sitting on the floor next to Baba's photo. His figure expressed a sense of naturalness, simplicity and silence . We sat in silence with him for some time, and then asked some questions about spiritual matters. Guruji's answers were refreshing and challenging in their radical aliveness, immediacy and direct relevance. There was nothing one had to believe in or take on. Rather was there plenty to drop. But what drew my attention more than the spoken words and what completely captivated me was the vast silence, the infinite stillness, the deep peace, that I perceived in his presence. 

Who was this extraordinary person? What was clear to me was, that this was a real and authentic jewel, one of the highest order, a most rare and precious one!! 

Days graced with overwhelming bliss and with many wondrous experiences followed this first darshan and led me into a life in Sri Babuji's proximity. 

- Yvonne Weier