Documented accounts of Sai Baba's powers must number in the
thousands. Many have been collected in Howard Murphet's exciting and
informative book "Man of Miracles". Following is one of the most
dramatic stories that I have heard, related here because of its
uniqueness and its bearing on what happened to me later. It concerns
the reported resurrection of Walter Cowan, allegedly brought back from
the dead on Christmas Day in 1971. Dr. John Hislop, a former professor
and corporate executive, now retired and living in Mexico, was a
witness to this extraordinary drama. Here is a summary of his account:
"Early Christmas morning, news spread among devotees gathered about
Baba that an elderly American had suffered a fatal heart attack. Upon
hearing the rumor my wife and I at once went to the Cowans hotel,
where Elsie confirmed that her husband Walter had died. She had prayed
to Sai Baba for help and with great self-control and recollection of
human mortality had ended the prayer with, 'Let God's will be done.'
"Walter's body was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Later that
day, when Elsie and her friend Mrs. Ratan Lal went to the hospital,
they found that Sai Baba had already been there as well. To their
utter amazement they found Walter alive."
Recognizing the need for documentation of Walter's death in the
form of medical reports and witnesses' testimony, Dr. Hislop
investigated the matter fully. "At my request, Judge Damadar Rao of
Madras interviewed the doctor who had attended Walter when he arrived
at the hospital. The doctor's statement was that Walter was indeed
dead when he examined him, shortly after the ambulance arrived at the
hospital. There was no sign of life.
"He pronounced Walter dead, then stuffed his ears and nose with
cotton. The body was covered with a sheet and moved to an empty room.
The doctor then left the hospital and missed seeing Sai Baba while he
was there. Upon returning to the hospital after Sai Baba had left, the
doctor found Walter alive. He was unable to explain this.
"Later that day Sai Baba informed his devotees that he had indeed
brought Waiter back to life. He did not disclose the reasons for doing
so, however; this remains a mystery he has not yet chosen to explain.
" There were two or three subsequent occasions on which Baba
attended to Walter's health in an extraordinary manner. Dr. Hislop
describes Baba's delivering a spiritual discourse and giving out
awards at a meeting which he attended. After the meeting, Baba turned
to Hislop and said, While I was talking in the meeting, Mrs. Cowan
called me. I at once went to the hospital and did what was necessary.
Mr. Cowan's health had taken a bad turn.
Hislop continues: "So even while busy on the speaker's platform,
Sai Baba had gone to the hospital and performed what was necessary.
Yet to the eyes of my friends and myself he had continued in speech
and action on the platform the whole time. How does one explain this
When Walter had recovered sufficiently to be moved from Madras to
Bangalore, he was described by Hislop as appearing extraordinarily
well. "Dr. Gnaneswaran, with whom my wife and I had been acquainted
for several years, was the Cowans' attending physician in Bangalore.
He had obtained Walter's medical history, with its specific laboratory
tests showing severe diabetes of long standing and various other
diseased conditions. He compared it with his own laboratory tests and
could scarcely believe the results. Not only were the diabetic
symptoms now completely absent, but the tests for other diseased
conditions proved to be negative as well. He claimed in amazement,
'Only the Divine Baba, only God himself, could do this.' "
The following is an account by Waiter Cowan himself of his apparent
death and resurrection under the grace of Sai Baba:
"While in the Connemara Hotel in Madras, two days after I arrived,
I was taken very sick with pneumonia. As I gasped for breath. suddenly
all the body struggle was over, and I died. I found myself very calm,
in a state of wonderful bliss; and the Lord, Sai Baba, was by my side.
"Even though my body lay on the bed. dead, my mind kept working
throughout the entire period of time until Baba brought me back. There
was no anxiety or fear, but a tremendous sense of well-being, for I
had lost all fear of death.
"Then Baba took me to a very large hall where there were hundreds
of people milling around. This was the hall where the records of all
of my previous lives were kept. Baba and I stood before the Court of
Justice. The person in charge knew Baba very well, and he asked for
the records of all my lives. He was very kind, and I had the feeling
that whatever was decided would be the best for my soul.
"The records were brought into the hall: armloads of scrolls, all
of which seemed to be in different languages. As they were read, Baba
interpreted them. In the beginning they told of countries that have
not existed for thousands of years, and I could not recall them. When
they reached the time of King David, the reading of my lives became
more exciting. I could hardly believe how great I apparently was in
each life that followed.
"As the reading of my lives continued, it seemed that what really
counted were my motives and character, as I had stood for outstanding
peaceful, spiritual and political activity. I do not remember all the
names, but I am included in almost all of the history books of the
world from the beginning of time. As I incarnated in the different
countries, I carried out my mission--which was peace and spirituality.
"After about two hours, they finished reading the scrolls, and the
Lord, Sai Baba, said that I had not completed the work that I was born
to do and asked the judge that I be turned over to him to complete my
mission of spreading the truth. He requested that my soul be returned
to my body, under his grace. The judge said, 'So be it.'
"The case was dismissed and I left with Baba to return to my body.
I hesitated to leave this wonderful bliss. I looked at my body and
thought that it would be like stepping into a cesspool to return to
it, but I knew that it was best to complete my mission so that I could
eventually merge with the Lord, Sai Baba. So I stepped back into my
body ... and that very instant it started all over again - trying to
get my breath, being as sick as you can be and still be alive. I
opened my eyes and looked at my wife and said, 'You sure look
beautiful in pink....'