Jaya Wahi talks to Padeep Krishnan about how Shirdi Sai Baba miraculously came into her life and transformed her into a bhakta, a healer, and a writer propagating His message
It was a hot Sunday evening in May 2017. While at home, for no particular reason, I was feeling bored and unhappy. All of a sudden, I felt like visiting the Shirdi Sai mandir situated about four km away. Soon, my wife and I reached the temple, and after the Aarati, we spent some time in prayer and meditation. While we were coming out of the temple, feeling relaxed and happy, a banner with a picture of Sai Baba on the left corner announcing, “SAI BABA IS STILL ALIVE” at once caught my attention. Out of curiosity, I rang up the number mentioned therein and came to know that Ms. Jaya Wahi, author of the much-acclaimed book, Sai Baba is Still Alive, published by Times Group Books, is visiting the city soon. Immediately, I ordered the book online.
I read the book in one sitting. Real-life incidents narrated in the book deeply touched my heart and soul. The book, a national bestseller, describes the miracles of Sai Baba, ranging from simple stories to life-altering ones that have saved lives. Adorned with Baba’s words of wisdom, quotes and incidents from his life really helped me to understand practical spirituality in a better way. The author describes how having faith in Sai Baba can change one’s life and it serves as a guide to living a life filled with meaning and positive karma. I longed to meet the author. About the book, Jaya Wahi says, “Baba used me as an instrument of His love to create this book for His children. My hands did move but the words were Baba’s. He smiled and my pen smiled; He narrated and my hand-typed; He cried and I soaked the paper; He blessed and the book reached your hands. This book is, therefore, authored by Baba Himself.”
On May 16, my wife Sreelakshmi and I met Ms. Jaya Wahi at her friend Dr. Priya’s house in Trivandrum. Dressed in an artistically designed white churidar and yellow shawl, Jaya Wahi opened the door of her apartment with a warm smile and greeted us with folded hands. Born to Col. Rajkumar Wahi and Smt. Sharda Wahi, Jaya’s spiritual journey flowered when she was just 29, in a Shirdi Sai temple at Delhi. About that fateful day’s experience, she says, “Baba Sai stepped into my life like a breath of fresh air. His coming marked the birth of a ‘new me.’ I changed, my world changed, and the world around me changed too. Everything else ceased to exist…all that remained was Baba and I. I was completely soaked in it. I still am and I shall continue to be.”
Her miraculous transformation that day paved the way, opening up all her hidden spiritual powers. She became a healer, writer, NLP practitioner, reiki master, life coach, and philanthropist, all rolled into one and had formed the NGO called ‘Divatyas’ to educate poor girls, help victims of child abuse, and aid those who are affected with a terminal illness. Sitting in front of a picture of Sai Baba adorned with a beautiful yellow jamanthi garland, Jaya Wahi spoke to us about her vision and mission in life. As soon as the conversation commenced, a red flower (hibiscus) fell from the Baba’s photo to the ground and Jaya Wahi quipped, "It is auspicious, signaling His presence. He gives his blessing to us. This morning I had told Him, 'Baba, I do not know anything. You please speak.' "
Tell us about your spiritual journey. How did it flower?
Spirituality has been a part of me since I was three or four. When I grew up and started asking questions, my father, recognizing my earnest quest, told me, “You do not have to acquire wisdom from the outer world; you just have to tune inward.” He also told me that, to be wise, one need not have to study the scriptures as we carry everything within from our previous births. I am what I am today, thanks to the goodness that my parents had taught me. In their life, the greatest miracles were the births of my little sister and me, that too after losing three sons in the first five years of their marriage and doctors warning that they should never take the risk of having a baby ever again. Then Kambli Vaale Babaji, a saint always wrapped only in a blanket, who had almost no vision and could only walk with support, entered their life and declared that they surely will have a baby soon. Hearing this incident from my parents had reaffirmed my faith that God does indeed listen to sincere prayers. Thereafter, I always felt connected to God and started speaking to God.
Then how did you become a disciple of Shirdi Sai Baba?
My father was working in the Army, a transferable job. Strangely, my parents had only a short period of association with Kambli Vaale Babaji, who was 90 at that time. When I was born, he came to our house with fruits, sweets, and biscuits, and held me in his arms. That was very odd as he never stepped out of his place. Holding me, I do not know what magic he had done. Soon, my father was transferred, and all communication with Babaji ended. When I was 29, just 15 years back, Shirdi Baba miraculously came into my life. At that time, I had no idea about Sai Baba. On March 10, 2002, Sunday morning, while I was facing the worst difficulty in my life and was absolutely depressed, I just stepped out of the house and drove aimlessly through the streets of Delhi. On seeing a huge white building, prompted by an inner urge, I stopped my car and stepped in. It was the Shirdi Sai Temple, Sector 40, Noida. Sitting in front of the idol, my eyes were captivated by His eyes, and my heart entwined with His gracious, blissful smile. Immediately, tears started rolling down my cheeks, and I cried aloud for about half an hour. This incident had completely changed my life, and I was in a state of perfect peace and bliss which I had never experienced. After that, my life, my world, changed. Pain no longer has the slightest dispiriting impact on me and joy no longer elates me beyond a certain comfort level. I live in bliss and calmness. I have since then lived a halcyon existence; my soul has been touched, cleansed, awakened, and has fallen in love. A love that connects with the soul of my Guru, my God—Sai Baba. It was probably because of my intense calling that He set me on my journey.
What prompted you to write the book, ‘Sai Baba is Still Alive?
I was immersed completely in the love of Baba, always talking, reading, hearing experiences of devotees, and listening to His bhajans. When you experience any emotion at its optimum, it overflows. Then I prayed to Baba to show me the way to express my love. One day, I just picked up a pen and notebook, and started writing. It went on for two years; pages after pages poured out of my pen. It was never meant to be published. I just wanted to write. I was sceptical about publishing the book. I told Baba, "This is only for you." Then, one day while at Shirdi, He gave me a golden pen through the priest. Afterwards, in a vision, I saw Baba himself transforming as a book, indicating to me to publish the book. Thus, the book was born. It is not a book; it is Baba Himself.
Many have stated that by reading your book they became very close to Baba. Your comments?
I am feeling thrilled and overwhelmed. The book has helped many to get rid of problems and difficulties. Those who are suffering have felt relief holding the book. The book has been a major reason for strength to one and all. I can only thank Baba. I also hold him (the book) whenever I feel weak.
What were the changes in you before and after writing the book?
Before writing the book, I was a little girl with my Baba. After writing the book, I started experiencing tremendous energy within and love and compassion started pouring out of me. Many started addressing me as Ma. Initially, I was annoyed at people calling me Ma. It took me some time to understand that the most beautiful relationship in the world is that of a mother and child.
How did you receive the ability to heal people?
I had never thought of healing anyone in my life. About a decade ago, in a deep trance, I got the message: “Put your hands on anybody; he/she will be healed.” One day, when my mom had a severe backache and was wriggling in pain, I thought of putting the message into practice. I just put my hands on her back and said, "Baba, whatever you want to do, do it through my hands." Soon, I was surprised to note that my palms just started heating. Ma felt comfortable; gradually her pain reduced and she became calm. Later she told me that the hot water bag that I had placed on her back had helped her a lot! I then revealed to her about getting the message from Baba. That is how it started. This incident happened much before I learned Reiki.
How did you become a reiki healer?
After successfully healing Ma, I used to help people with small ailments: cough, cold, headache, etc. At that time, I was managing an HR firm. In the evenings, when I returned from work, people would be waiting with requests to heal. I found it difficult to balance my profession and the life of a healer. The confusion prevailed for a few days and then one day, I prayed to Baba to show me away. That same evening, all of a sudden, the word 'reiki' appeared in my mind. Until that moment, I had never heard about reiki. Subsequently, I searched desperately for a reiki teacher. I went to several teachers in vain. At last, I found my reiki Guru, Dr. (Mrs.) Sharma, who had been practising reiki for many years and had been waiting for me. A few days before our meeting, she got a message from her masters that, soon, one girl would come to her and would start healing through Sai Baba’s energy and that it would be her last student. She had told me that I carry the wisdom from my previous births. Apart from healing, I initiate people into sakthipath, a process by which one is attuned to Baba’s energy so that he/she can heal others. Presently, 671 such Baba reiki healers have been healing people through this method.
What is the connection between suffering and healing?
The scriptures and, now, medical journals, discuss a lot about reincarnation. The Hindu scriptures are of the view that every soul, chooses a new body to finish of its accumulated karma. So the problems and sufferings that we undergo wipe out the accumulated karma. That is why babes of just one or two years get terminal diseases and die. As healers, we take away some baggage of accumulated karma. By this process, we do not transfer the remaining karma to the next birth; rather, with the help of Baba, we cleanse the soul. How much a soul can receive depends on the recipient and his faith.
What according to you are the causes of human suffering?
The causes of suffering are two: the karma one carries and the mind’s belief that one is meant to suffer. I have gone through very hard experiences in life, but those periods were my transformational phase. Thank God for your misery and sorrow. Otherwise, you will never grow in your life, will never get connected to life, will never experience God. Bhikshu Gita says that when God loves somebody immensely, he takes away all his material possessions and makes him into a bhikshu. That is the time when He is expressing love and cleansing you to transform you into gold. It is really a time of strength.
What is true spirituality?
Spirituality is not the same as religion. It is not about making a big drama out of divinity. It is finding one's purpose: why we are sent to earth. It is about spreading love and light all around. Nowadays, one's purpose in life is totally material: work, family, earning money, holidaying, partying, etc. God has not sent us to do this. Baba has always said that the purpose of life is to find one’s own purpose. People have not found that purpose. Spread love, take away pain. I tell everyone that Baba is inside you. Become little children and do at least a portion of what He did.
How to overcome challenges and difficulties in life?
Believe in yourself, your Guru, and in God. Pain and pleasure, ups and downs will always be part of life. It is good to go through all the experiences. Unless you have experienced darkness, you will never know the value of light. Like the toy that is filled with air bounces back at every hit, bounce back in life and never give up. Nowadays, even children commit suicide due to depression! People hold on to small problems and make them big. Whatever be the situation, accept it as part of one’s journey and live through it. The choice is ours: live cheerfully with a smile and do not beg and cry before God. If crying would have helped, our seers would have advised us to hold collective crying sessions all over the world! The ideal way is to change your perception of life. Read His book and chant His name—He will be compelled to help you. Even during the worst period, with whatever little money you can spare, help the poor and needy. It will help you to erase your karma.
Your message to the readers?
Though we do not know anything about our past or future life, it is not just one life that we all have. Give the present life meaning and do not waste it. Realize that when you leave this world, you cannot take back any of your material possessions: bungalow, car, bank balance, etc. How you have helped the needy, fed the poor, blessed the suffering—that you can dedicate to your Guru. When you go to the other side, take the treasures of goodness with you.
Sreelakshmi sang a beautiful Sai bhajan and then after offering pranams, we bid goodbye to Ms. Jaya Wahi, her smiling face still lingering in our mind.
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