Taken from an audio-recorded talk given by Al "Seral" Rahm at the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Annual Conference, Mid-Atlantic Region, May 1995. Additionally published in the book "Encounters With Divinity" under the chapter "Happiness Is A Choice" (Reference). Also this same story was recorded on video in 1993 in an interview between Seral Rahm and Rick Raines in a segment entitled "Personal Experiences With Sathya Sai Baba, Volume 1". Mr. Raines said he heard Al Rahm tell this story 3 times before and the "oiling" experience was related in the same way it was related below.
AL RAHM (aka "SERAL RAHM")::
In 1973 Sai Baba appeared in my dream. I was shocked to see Him pull up in an automobile along with my mother; who is a very strict Catholic. He got out, opened the turnk and began picking up the grocery bags. I said, "Swami, let me carry them." "No," He said, "Swami will carry them." He walked inside the house with my motehr and sat at the table, talking with her. I thought to myself, "Now I'm sure He's here to see me, because I'm the only one in our family who believes in Him." So I walked in and Swami said, "Wait, wait." I waited at the door while He finished speaking with my mother, then my father, then my oldest sister. But I was getting very impatient and I said, "Swami, they don't even believe in You!" He said, "Wait, wait." After He spoke with every member of my large family, He walked right past me. "Swami," I said. He stopped, looked over His shoulder and winked. Out of the corner of His mouth, in a soft james Cagney-type voice, He said, "Talk." I woke up.
Soon after that dream, I was in Brindavan. During darshan, Swami walked straight to me. My heart exploded. He stopped in front of me with the most beautiful smile on His face. As I stared into His eyes, my mind went blank. When I handed some letters to Him, He said, "Accha (alright). Very happy." He walked away, but after one step He stopped and something magical happened. He looked back over His shoulder and winked. Out of the corner of His mouth, in a soft James Cagney-type voice, He said, "Talk," exactly as He had done in my dream.
What is a dream? What is reality? It is all reality to Swami, and to Swami it is all a dream. For the next few weeks, Swami paid very little attention to me and I was consumed with the thought of having an interview. The day before I was to leave, as Swami walked by during morning darshan I stood up and said, "Swami, my plane leaves for the Ujnited States tomorrow." He responded brightly. "Yes, yes, very happy." He materialized some vibuthi. Then He walked on. It was the most unique vibuthi I have ever had. It smelled wonderful and was warm, as if it had just come out of an oven.
The next morning, my backpack was in the cab and my driver was waiting to take me to the airport after darshan. Swami walked right past me in spite of my burning desire for an interview. As He walked away, I felt that he had given me some more ash - the smoldering remains of my desire - and I did not relish the taste of it. I said to a friend, "I guess I got my portion of blessing yesterday." "No, you have to go for one more darshan," he said. "Go up to the gate." Thinking I'd surely be stopped by the volunteers, I walked slowly toward the gate. To my surprise, they stopped every single person escept me. I joined the men standing at the gate, watching Swami on the other side, His back toward me. At that moment, I realized I had wasted my time at Brindavan. I had been so consumed with the desire to have an interview that I hadn't fully enjoyed being there with Swami. A tear dripped through my soul and these silent words came into my heart. "Swami, since I have been here, I have deisred so much to speak to You, and I've wasted so much time. These last few seconds are so precious, just to see You...just to be here with You." At that moment, Swami turned and walked to me. "You are leaving today," He said. "You go there."
Inside the gate, I joined a group of Indians with cloth-covered trays in their hands. They looked at me rather oddly. Like a child Swami peeked out from the side door. He said, "Come on, come on." With excitement, everybody headed for the door. I stayed where I was. Swami peeked out again. "Come on, come on." As I came inside, everyone looked at me and I felt as if I were fifteen feet tall, so I sat down in a corner near a wooden table. Swami closed the door, went to the front of the room and sat cross-legged on the red foot stool in front of His chair. He looked around the room, spotted me in theback, and said, "Come here." My heart started pounding. I got up, and all the people in the room turned to look at me again. Swami slapped the floor next to Him, indicating the spot where I was to sit. I sat down and He looked at me with the most mischievous smile I've ever seen. In front of me, lay several trays, containing red and yellow powder, rice and all kinds of little things. Facing Swami, seated in front of Him, were a young man and woman. Swami asked them, "What is marriage?" He was about to perform a wedding ceremony for this Indian couple, and I assumed He would speak in their language. But He started off in English. Swami said, "In marriage, a man and woman become one. The man is the right half of the body, and the woman is the left half of the body." It was then that I realized I was with a private Indian wedding party! When I came to this realization, Swami loooked over at me and giggled. He then shielded His mouth from the women's side and said jokingly to the men, "Never let the left half know what the right half is doing." I started laughing. Sai Baba is a great comedian. But nobody else was laughing. Swami looked at me with a glint in His eye, as if to say, "Aren't we having fun?" The bride was the embodiment of beauty, love, grace and humility. But the room appeared to be having a tough time. Swami materialized two rings. One went on the bride's finger and fit perfectly. The other, for the groom, was huge. Swami said, "Good fit?" The groom responded hesitatingly, "Well, Swami, it's kind of big." In a half-surprised voice, Swami said, "Oh, give it to me, I will fix it." He took the ring into His hands, held it like a pair of dice, shook it and blew on it twice, all the time smiling as if pleased with the way He was entertaining us. Now I was doing all I could to control my laughter. I had the urge to pick Swami up, put Him on my back for a piggy-back ride and start running around the room, or something. Swami then put the ring back on the groom's finger. I think it did change in size; it was bigger. Swami said, "Good fit!" And the groom responded as if half-surrendering his attachment, "Yes, Swami."
Then Swami decided it was my turn. A beautiful, young Indian girl was sitting against the wall. At that time, my body was eighteen years old, and none of the members of my Catholic family were happy that I'd gone to India. Swami looked at the girl and smiled. He turned back to me and motioned with His eyes and head, asking if I liked her. He looked back and her and did the same thing. I started to panic. I had this vision of getting off the plane in the United States with her as the bride and saying, "Hey, Mom, guess what?" Swami looked over at me and laughed as if He got me with a good joke.
Next He asked the groom, "You want photographs? I'll get a photographer," and He went through His house calling aloud for the photographer. Peeking through the curtain at me before He re-entered, He smiled mischievously.
A Polaroid picture wsa taken, but it turned out fuzzy, gray and green - a terrible photo. Swami handed it to the groom and asked, "Good picture?" The groom looked at it, "Swami, it's kind of green and gray." Swami said, "Oh? Not a good picture?" Then He agreed to a second one with the groom's camera. That photo turned out just as bad, and Swami said, "Good picture!" The groom said, "Yes, Swami." That groom taught me wonderful lesson. Being attached to how everything should go, he missed such joy. See, Swami doesn't take any of it seriously. What's important is not whether we get married or whether we get that job. What's important is that we are happy. And I think Sai Baba's greatest teaching is: Be Happy. Happiness is not a condition. Happiness is a choice.
After everyone left, Swami said to me, "For one month, you worried. Would you get to talk to Swami? Would you have an interview with Swami?" He was duplicating the process I had gone through just before He had called me in. "Now, what good did it do you?" I knew it hadn't done me any good, and I clearly saw how precious time had been wasted.
Having seen people bowing and touching Swami's feet, I thought this custom of respect was one I should follow. So I bent down to do the same. Swami asked, "What are you doing?" I didn't really know. He said, "Get up!" So I stood up, feeling I'd done something wrong. Swami consoled me lovingly. "No, no. That body is mine, and this body (pointing to Himself) is yours. No difference. One body. One." He pointed again to Himself. "In this body, there is no entity." I interpreted entity to mean personality, feeling of duality, desires for the worldly possessions, attachments, the feelig that I am the body, the emotions, the ego. So if he has none of that in Him, which is what He was telling me, "then," I thought, "there's nobody home! I was standing in front of a hologram." And as I had that thought, Swami said, "Yes."
Next, He asked, "You want to be a guru?" I said, "Guru, Swami?" He said, "Oh, you're already a guru." As He spoke, I was aware of another level of undersatnding in me. Since I was receiving both His verbal messages and non-verbal communication, intuition, I sometimes got dual meanings. When He said, "You're already a guru," I simultaneously heard, "You've already played the guru ego trip in a past life," and "There's only one guru and you are it. Everyone and everything is it." So who was standing in front of me? Everyone and everything!
[Ref #1] He asked me, "You want to know how to materialize? It's easy. I'll teach you. All you have to do is control the mind. Meditate, meditate, meditate. It's easy, you can do it. Picture the object, size, weight, shape, color, density, Every detail." He held His hand out in front of me. "Hold that image for a moment and focus your will power into it." He turned His hand over so I could see this pool of clear oil form in the palm of His hand. Then He looked at me and said that I had a mistake in my body. I wondered what that was. Swami's timing was perfect as He would wait for me to finish a thought or feeling and then would immeidately respond as if I had physically asked the question. "You've got a digestive problem, burning; it makes a funny noise sometimes." Then it hit me that for the past year, after eating, I would have this unsettled feeling in my stomach. Food wasn't digesting properly, and I would feel a burning, gurgling sensation. He rubbed the oil on my solar plexus, saying, "Swami will fix it. No more problem. Anytime you call Swami, anytime you think of Swami, I will come, give you darshan." As I was thinking, "Really?" He responded, "Yes."
[Webmaster Comments: Al Rahm related his oiling experience much differently at Sai Conferences than he did in his talks with Mick Brown and Tanya Datta. Although Al Rahm never explicitly stated that Sathya Sai Baba rubbed his genitals with oil, it was undeniably implied. Even Anti-Sai Activists claim that Al Rahm had his genitals rubbed with oil.
For example, Sanjay Dadlani (the current mouthpiece for the Anti-Sai Movement) said, "It is only when you consider a similar case like Alaya Rahm's, where it transpires that Al Rahm (Alaya's father) was also a victim of Sai Baba's genital oilings..." (Reference).
In the Divine Downfall Interview, the following was related: "In 1995, Alaya had come to his father (Al). In a private interview, he said, Sai Baba had 'materialised' some oil in his hand, unbuttoned Alaya's trousers and rubbed his genitals. Al told his son he had had a similar experience when he first met Sai Baba at 18. Al: 'I said to Alaya, what did you think about it? He said he didn't feel there was anything sexual about it; it was like Sai Baba was doing his job. And I'd kind of had that experience. A doctor gives a boy an exam. I'd taken it as some kind of healing."
In the Secret Swami Programme, Alaya and Al both contradicted the previous story told in the Divine Downfall interview. In the Divine Downfall interview, Alaya approached his father and openly discussed the oiling. In the Secret Swami, Alaya said he was not allowed to speak about it. In the Secret Swami, Alaya Rahm claimed that Sathya Sai Baba rubbed his gentials with oil. Al Rahm said, "I said; so tell me about, you know, your interview. And he said; well I'm not supposed to tell anybody, Baba told me not to tell anybody and I looked at him and I said; did he make oil for you? And his eyes got kind of big and he said; how did you know? And I said; did he rub it on you? And he said; yeah. He said; how did you know? And I said; because it happened to me." Tanya Datta then said, "To Alaya's surprise his father had had the same oiling experience when he first visited Sai Baba aged eighteen. The guru had told him it was a ritual healing process. Al accepted this and when it happened to Alaya he saw nothing wrong."
By reading these accounts, one is left with the impression that Al Rahm's oiling experience was exactly the same as the one Alaya Rahm allegedly received, i.e., on the genitals. This is not the case and one is left to wonder why Al Rahm never told his oiling experience as he did in past talks at Sai Conferences. Sathya Sai Baba never told Al Rahm that the oiling was a "ritual healing process". Sathya Sai Baba specifically told Al Rahm the oiling was for his digestive problems and the oil was rubbed on his "solar plexus" (the area just below the sternum). More proof that Al Rahm purposely misrepresented the facts about his oiling experience to further his vindictive campaign against Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.]
Next, He held open His arms and gave me a hug. He said, "Swami is your pleasure. It's your good luck day, your golden opportunity. Meditate, meditate, meditate." While hugging Him, I remembered a profound experience where I'd left my body and merged into white light, and I felt I could just merge into this nonentity space. Then a thought crossed my mind, "What am I doing hugging Swami?" As soon as I had that thought, Swami puled back and said, "Does Swami frighten you?" I said, "No, Swami." He said, "Oh, good." And He hugged me again. I felt so much bliss, I just wanted to lie down, hang on to His feet and let the world go away. He lifted His robe without me saying anything and I went down and held on to His feet. I closed my eyes and drifted until I felt a gentle patting on my back and hear Swami saying, "Very happy, very happy." After He left, I could hear a bird singing outside. It felt as if the song was traveling right through the wall and through my body. The sound came from experience. I felt peace unmatched by anything I'd every experienced before.
[Webmaster Comments: The comments "Swami is your pleasure, it's your good luck day, your golden opportunity" are significant because other alleged victims claimed that Sathya Sai Baba said this (almost verbatim) to them before and during allegedly engaging in inappropriate behavior with them. Since Al Rahm contended he was never sexually abused or fondled by Sathya Sai Baba, the utterances "Swami is your pleasure, it's your good luck day, your golden opportunity" are not sexual innuendo as Anti-Sai Activists and alleged victims erroneously contend. Here is a source (dating back to 1995) where these comments could have been taken from.]
Everyone of us is sharing the same dream. If a person says "Oh, I've known Sai Baba for thirty years," what does that man? Or "Oh, I've only just met Sai Baba; I'm just a nobody." We are all nobodies. Swami's a nobody! He told me, "There is no entity." There's nobody home! It's a dream. When we're napping and having a dream, we don't decide when to wake up. We just do it. Well, no rules say we have to dream for so long, go to so many retreats, or make "x" number of trips to India to wake up. In fact, the dream is not about who Sai Baba is; it's about who we are.
And the reason why we are all here is to remember. Swami has said over and over again that our basic nature is happiness, bliss, consciousness. He says that when people are happy, we don't inquire into what is wrong with them. It's when they're unhappy or sick that we inquire. So when we're in a really great dream and as we see people, let's look for the significance the experience has to offer us. Let's look for the symbolism the dream has to offer for our awakening. Even the most difficult situations are easy to endure when we become the watcher. Swami is constantly telling us, "You are not the body."
Many stories tell of Swami knowing the results of our actions before we even make the first decision. A friend once asked Swami, "Do we have any free will?" Swami said, "Not really. But you're supposed to act as if you do." When we are the witness, there's a certain attitude and energy with which we act, and we can feel the flow of life's blessings. But remember to watch, to step back, to be the witness of the dream. When we are conscious of ourself in the dream and we're aware of ourself dreaming, we are in two places at once. Swami proved to me the very first time I met Him that He knew the dream I'd had in the United States. It is no different for the rest of us. Swami says, "You are God. you are the God of this universe; you are creating the whole universe and drawing it in." The only one holding us back from that realization is ourselves. Let us live as God. Let us be conscious of the dream. Let us keep our focus on love and the awakening. There's a place in our being where we can step back, watch and enjoy the show.
Swami says, "Let your thougths go where they want, only don't go with them." Any time we catch ourselves being attached - in the middle of a heated argument, in the rush hour in New York traffic, or whatever - if we can just sit back and remember it's a dream, we can live as conscious being of light.