The Sacred ‘Lingodbhavam’
How Baba materializes and brings
forth Lingas from His mouth
During the festival of Maha Shivaratri, the
festival dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, Baba usually
performs the sacred miracle of Lingodbhavam, the emergence
of the Linga (an ellipsoid object symbolizing divinity) from
Him. Howard Murphet, who had the privilege of witnessing the
event from close quarters, gives a detailed account of this
awe-inspiring miracle in his book “Sai Baba: Man of
I had been told that every year, one or
more Shivalingams have materialised in Baba's body at this
sacred period of Shivaratri. He ejects the lingams through
His mouth for all to observe. They are always hard, being
made of crystal clear or coloured stone and sometimes of metals
like gold or silver.
At six o'clock Sai Baba, accompanied by a
small group of disciples, came onto the Shanti Vedika and
soon after that the speeches began. It was about eight-thirty,
powerful electric lights illuminating the group on the platform,
when Sai Baba rose to His feet. First He sang a sacred song
in His sweet celestial voice that touches the heart. Then
He began His discourse speaking, as He always does on such
public occasions, in the Telugu tongue.
On the platform Mr. Kasturi was busy making
notes of the address which would be published later in both
Telugu and English. Sai Baba's eloquence had been flowing
in a steady stream for some half-hour when suddenly His voice
broke. He tried again but only a husky squeak came. Bhajan
leaders among the devotees, knowing what was happening, immediately
gave voice to a well-known bhajan and then the great crowd
Baba sat down and drank from a flask of water.
Several times He tried to sing, but it was impossible. Now
He began to show signs of real pain. He twisted and turned,
placed His hand on His chest, buried His head in His hands,
plucked at His hair. Then He sipped some more water and tried
to smile reassuringly at the crowd.
Some men around me were weeping unashamedly
and I myself felt a flow of tenderness towards the being suffering
there before us. I could not grasp the full significance of
the event that caused the agony, nor perhaps could most of
the great crowd watching, but to understand a thing with the
mind is one matter and to feel its meaning in the bones and
blood is another. Inwardly I felt that I was sitting at the
very heart of something profoundly significant to mankind.
So, instead of blurring my eyes with the
tears of sympathy, I kept them fixed on Baba's mouth; my whole
attention was glued to that point so that I would not miss
the exit of the lingam.
After about twenty minutes, I was rewarded.
I saw a flash of green light shoot from His mouth and with
it an object, which He caught in His hands cupped below. Immediately,
He held the object high between His thumb and forefinger so
that all could see it.
A breath of profound joy passed through the
crowd. It was a beautiful green lingam, and certainly much
bigger than any ordinary man could bring up through his throat.
Sai Baba placed it on the top of a large torch so that the
light shone through its glowing emerald-like translucency.
Then, leaving it there, He retired from the scene.
Mr. Kasturi, who had been present on the
platform of the Shanti Vedika when it was produced, described
it thus later, in print: "An emerald lingam, three inches
high and fixed on a pedestal five inches broad that had formed
itself in Him (Baba), emerged from his mouth to the unspeakable
joy and relief of the huge gathering."
Reference: “Sai Baba:
Man of Miracles” by Mr. Howard
Murphet. Page: 43-49 (Paperback Edition). Published
by Macmillan India Ltd, 1972.