True Short Stories from India (A search for the purpose of Life)

By PF Sloan

Story 13: Earth Day

I was told in a dream that Baba spoke and appeared in, that after I had gotten offstage, I would meet a long, silver-haired lady. Baba said I was to give her one packet of Vibuthi (ash that He produces by the wave of His hand). He was aware she had developed colon cancer and this ‘medicine’ would heal her of it.

I had been invited to perform on Earth Day in Santa Barbara, 1990.
I turned it down at the time because I was going thru a bad break up in a romantic relationship. She was involved in this event. So much so, that she would be taking me to the event. I wanted to keep my distance. But I called her and accepted the date. I rehearsed my band for a week or so and we looked forward to playing.

The show went off without a hitch, and the band and I enjoyed ourselves, as well as the crowd of 2,000 people strewn across a large grassy lawn. I wanted to announce over the mike that if there was a lady who fit the description, would she meet me backstage? But I didn’t. Instead, I seemed to have forgotten about it completely! I went out into the audience and spread a blanket and waited for the next performance, which was to be Jackson Browne.

On my little finger I wore a small silver ring with the image of Shirdi Sai Baba given to me by Vince. It was very small and His features hardly distinguishable!
When this woman sitting behind me asked, "Is that a picture of Shirdi Sai Baba?" I turned around to see a woman with long, flowing, silver hair and the dream I had a few nights before poured back into my mind. "Yes", I said, "It is. How did you know?"

She told me that ten years ago she had gone to India to see Sai Baba. She had stayed a few weeks and found Him to be wonderful! But when she had related some miraculous stories that she had heard and experienced there, her friends let it be known that they felt she was anti-christian and mentally deranged. They told her Sai Baba is the antichrist! And after a number of years, she came to believe them! She didn’t want to mention his name anymore, and she moved back to her own blanket.

I could see she was very frightened. That even saying she knew Sai Baba was tantamount to devil worship in her mind. So I didn’t know how to bring up the idea that Baba had told me she was diagnosed with cancer, and how to get her to take this packet of Vibuthi I had been given personally by Baba.

I asked her how her health was. She said "Fine." I said "Really?" She said "Yes."
So I just came out with it. I said, "Look, I don’t know how to tell you this. So, I’m just going to have to tell you this." I told her the dream I had had with Baba.
She looked very pale suddenly! And she confessed to me in a whisper that the other day her doctor had told her the news of her cancer. Nobody else knew yet. I could see the wheels turning in her eyes. "What do you think I should do?" she asked me.
"Okay", I said, "Look, I don’t know if this Vibuthi is going to work. I’m just the messenger today, okay? But if you take it like Baba has suggested….", but she refused to. Loggerheads…..

I turned back around to hear Jackson singing 'Doctor My Eyes have seen the years….'
I couldn’t get her out of my mind, and by the end of Jackson’s set, I felt suddenly very physically attracted to her. She, on the other hand, moved onto my blanket.
I promised to come see her the next week and spend the weekend, if she would take the Vibuthi from me, and put it into a glass of water, and drink it down.
She said she would!

I called her the next week to find out how she was, and she told me the doctors had told her after another examination that they had made a mistake. She didn’t have any cancer, and that they were very sorry for mis-diagnosis and the pain it might have caused. I said to her, "Do you believe that?" She said she didn’t know what to believe! And did I think that the Vibuthi had worked and they couldn’t or wouldn’t accept that? I said, "Yes! I believe that, unfortunately."

We couldn’t seem to work out a weekend when I would drive up and weeks turned into months and we lost contact with each other. But that’s what happened at the Earth Day show, 1990!