In May 1972, Della Meridith was in a deep quandary. Her close friends who had been Sai Devotees for some time were planning a return trip to see Sai Baba. In her heart she felt a desperate longing to join them. But she could not do so because of lack of money for the plane fare.
That night she sat meditating, and she prayed with great sincerity: “Dear Baba, all the money, everything in the universe, is Yours. Your are the master of all. If it be your Divine Will, please make a way where there seems to be none.” Suddenly she had a vision that Baba was standing beside her. He raised his hand and poured silver dollars into her lap from a horn of plenty. When she returned to normal consciousness, he was gone. She could not control her joyful weeping at the vision of love and mercy she had just experienced.
That night as she was drifting off into sleep, a bright light suddenly filled the room. There a few feet away stood Sathya Sai Baba with outstretched arms trying to hand her a small slip of paper. She was spellbound by the vision and did not even try to bend forward to take the piece of paper. Sai Baba smiled at her and then he disappeared.
The next morning a close friend called and told her: “Della, Baba appeared to me last night, and told me to make arrangements for you to go to India.” It was then that she realized that the slip of paper he was trying to hand her the night before had been an airline ticket.
departure to India
On May 27 Della received a letter in the mail with the ticket and the instructions to meet her friends in New York for departure to India. Two weeks later they arrived in India and proceeded to Bangalore. There they met an Indian woman who was going to Puttaparthi to see Sai Baba. So, they all shared a taxi and soon arrived at Sai Baba’s residence.
The next morning they were eager to join the lines of devotees waiting for darshan. When Della was about to sit on the ground to wait, she seemed to lose control of her legs. Her knees would not bend. Her friends finally could get her seated. Again she cried out inwardly to Baba for help not wanting to think she was being a burden to her friends. For a while she sat with eyes closed aware of the pain in her legs.
seeing baba for the first time
Suddenly she felt a cool breeze surrounding her. She opened her eyes to see Sai Baba smiling warmly at her. With a wave of his hand he materialized Vibhuti into her hand. She sat there motionless with tears flowing down her face, holding the precious gift, trying hard to control her joyful tears. Then he came back and with a look of infinite tenderness showed the Vibhuti in her hand and told her: “Eat – for your health”. As she ate the Vibhuti, she felt her body filling with renewed energy. It was a divine healing of love and mercy.
On the last day of their stay they got their greatest blessing of all. Sai Baba invited them to spend the rest of the day with him and some Indian devotees. They got lunch. Then each of them got a private interview. In her interview with him, Della Meredith cannot forget his parting words to her:
“Do what your heart tells you to do, and remember, I am always in your heart wherever you are, whatever you do.”
Since then she has always felt Sai Baba was there guiding her life with love and teaching her as she travels the return path.
From Sai Ram, Experiencing the Love and Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba by Faith and Charles Penn. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.