Sai Baba on mystical experiences

What, exactly, is a mystical experience?  Simply put, it is when you feel merged with the God of your understanding. You need not even believe in God to enjoy the bliss of union with the Great Unknown, the Cosmos, or the Energy of Life. A mystical experience could be the peace that passes understanding when we witness a beautiful sunset.

According to Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, “From ancient times, sages and saints enjoyed the experience of communion with the Divine and gave expression to their experiences in different ways. Such experiences are common to people of all faiths. In Christianity, there are records of such spiritual experiences. Similar experiences are to be found among Muslims. The principles and rituals of different religions may vary. But the experience of union with the Divine is common to believers in any faith. If persons are not able to attain to this state, it is due to their inadequacy and not because the grace of the Divine is lacking or partial.”

The inadequacy that blocks one from union arises, perhaps, due to disinterest, an attitude of superiority or failure to lead a pure and simple life. Many impediments stand in the way of achieving ananda that comes from union with the Divine.

Before I found out about the Purnaavatara living in Puttaparthi, I was sceptical of God. Who was this formless Benefactor?  The deep devotional aspect of my spiritual practices did not come into flower until I was able to meet God face to face. But through Swami Sai I learned that God is indeed without form but takes form when needed to rescue devotees.

Throughout my life I’ve had mystical experiences such as sitting by the seaside and actually feeling merged with the ocean, climbing mountains and knowing that I was one with the mountain. But the lasting ever present experience of union with God came to me after being in the divine Presence at Puttaparthi on a daily basis for years.

Bhagawan Sai insisted, “The Lord’s grace is available in abundance everywhere. But people are not making their hearts fit receptacles for receiving the grace. Their hearts are not pure. They are racked with constant doubts. Man has lost confidence in himself. One who cannot trust another human being for a few minutes, how can he develop faith in God? Firm faith is the primary need.”

“Do not walk in front of Me,” Charming Sathya said, “I may not follow you. Don’t walk behind Me. I may not lead you. Walk beside Me and be My friend. If you attempt to walk in front of Me, you may be taking the wrong path. If you walk behind Me, you may possibly desert Me. Walk abreast of Me. Then there is no chance of your going astray or away from Me, because I am with you. The inner meaning of this is: You and I are one.”

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