Miracles in Pathoda Village

Pathoda Village in Maharasthra India – has experienced miracles.

And while there yesterday I was privileged to witness three of them.

The first and most astounding happens nightly in a small corrugated iron house in this remote village. Here there is an altar dedicated to the late Satya Sai Baba where there are several big photographs of the holy man. When one of Sai Baba’s photographs suddenly began to produce copious amounts of vibhuti (holy ash) each night, the humble home was dedicated to the Master – and the family moved to another small place nearby. From that time, the small house, little more than a shed – became a shrine to Sai Baba and regular Bhajans (sacred singing) are held there.

Yesterday as we visited on our Road Trip for Water I saw for myself the clear evidence of the vibhuti almost covering the photograph of Sai Baba. There was plenty of it in a bowl as well, placed in front of the photo, freely available to any who wished to connect with it. During the lifetime of Satya Sai Baba this grey powdery holy ash used to fall from his hands.

This was the first miracle.

Drinking Tea at the Sai Baba Miracle House

The second involves water.

Two years ago – Sankalpa Rural Development Society did some work with recharging the dried up bore wells in the village. This work was funded by the Satya Sai Baba Trust, so also carried the blessing of Sai Baba. Sikandar Meeranayak of SRDS carried out the implementation of his technology together with some labourers and villagers.

The second bore well sprang to life

They worked on an almost dry bore well within the compound of the local Hindu Mandir (temple) and directed the rooftop rainwater run off through piping to channel it into an existing bore well. The village area has little rain, but what did come went directly into the aquifer below the ground through the bore well recharge. Until that time, the villagers relied on erratic water supply and expensive tanker water during the dry hot summer months.
There are 7000 people in this village – and today 1000 of those people are supplied by this now fully flowing bore well and here is the miracle.. just outside the fence – a second totally dried up bore well suddenly sprang to life – recharged by the very same system from the first bore well.

Village kids checking the fish in the holding pond

Another nearby bore well was also implemented with a recharge system – but until now the people have had no need to use that water – even though it brims close to the top as there is plenty from the first two which are producing well.

Close by, just outside the village of Bharangou a third bore well next to a small river was also recharged. This was done with the help of a check dam on the stream and is a briliant success giving heaps of water and the recharge has even affected the three nearby bore wells which began to produce much more water than before.

A miracle?  I certainly thought so!

The miracle baby calf.

And now for the third miracle.

This pure white calf just born appeared as a miracle to me – so sweet – so quiet, so clean. Is it not true that all babies born are miracles in their own right?

Pathoda – the village of miracles!


Clicking Like doesn’t change our world

I have been having a meltdown this morning –
With some help from my friends, I came to understand what this ‘meltdown’ has been about and what it has shown me.

Simply – I need to “let go of outcomes” – and do what I do do simply because it is mine to do. And as I move through my life, that which is mine to do gives me great satisfaction and joy. This is the outcome.

However it remains to be said – what I saw this morning is relevant for us to ‘get’. And as I write this I see also that I need to let go of the outcome of wanting everyone to ‘get’ what I am realising.

So it is this: we can spend much time and energy trolling through Facebook, seeing the posts that Facebook has deemed important for us to read, vicariously enjoying the adventures and the ups and downs of our ‘friends’ lives and sometimes re-posting something that touches our heart or our intellectual selves – or even says Hooray for our favourite team.

But in the scheme of things, what does clicking a like
really do?

I have to look at it from my point of view as that is really all I have. “ I did a post – and I got 103 likes .. and 4 comments.  Success.”

What? what success? what is that? a small massage to my ego.. this many people see what I write.. this many people like it .. share it and spread the word. And then…….

and then…..

what changed?


This morning as I woke up I saw myself tomorrow heading off on my road trip – this road trip I have been so excited about .. that seemed like an idea born from inspiration – a way to inspire many people to put their hand up.. or rather perhaps in their pocket to support our work here. A way to bring water to our thirsty planet. And I realised that despite the hours I have spent writing, connecting, speaking, organising – creating videos, that in fact the real result so far has been very small in relation to the effort expended.

Ah – but what am I trying to say for this post is not for you dear reader.. but for me. As is all that I do. It may look like I am doing work for Mother Earth and yes I am.. but in fact I am doing this and writing this for me.

But I am going to say it again.

Clicking Like does not change the world. Clicking like does not make a difference. Clicking Like is a form of voyeurism with no effect. Clicking like sends a hollow message that “I stand with you.”

How many likes will we click before we really see what is happening on our planet and get up and take action? Taking action is the crucial key to the creation cycle. Inspiration, ideas – action – result. No action no result.

And interestingly enough, despite all those who advocate the visualisation of the result – and focus on that – the most important aspect is to “yes – see the result but then let go of it”.. let go of the outcome – simply initiate the action and continue to take the steps that are revealed to you as you move forward – but let go in every moment because when I hold on to the result – what comes is not the joy in my life – but the pain of disappointment – the worry of not acheiving the result, the disturbance in the flow of energy and blocking the flow of allowing of the next move in this game to show itself – for it is not me that is in control – if I try to control – all is lost.

And… I want to shout at us all.. stop clicking likes and get on with it.. take action for nothing can happen unless we do.

It’s time to move, it’s time to act, it’s time to get up out of the chair and join the dance of life.


Evolution – or re-volution cometh – as it must…

I am taking the liberty of offering these words of wisdom from a friend and exceptionally well informed and thoughtful person Vishwanath Srikantaiah.  His writing and photography documenting the situation with the water crisis here in India is profound – please read and comment if you wish.  The facebook link to his photographs which accompany the  original post is here.


He said:

A way of life ends. It does so sometimes subtly, sometimes brutally . Rural India as I see it is in profound crisis. There is great hunger even now. Land reforms never really took off and much of the people are therefore landless labourers and small farmers. Especially in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh , Madhya pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and West Bengal. There is no living to be made in small farming and none whatsoever for landless labourers. NREGA (Government scheme for employing labour in the rural sector) was a salve and just that. The only escape route is the city , de-humanising, brutal and insensitive but all the young men have left , the young women will follow and the children too. Brazil went from 30 – 70 urban rural mix to 80-20 in about 30 years.

China is following perhaps not at the same pace and India too will follow. The industrialization-urbanization-make in India model , the 7.50 % GDP model.
Profound inequity, wealth in the hands of a few, ecological degradation , scarce resources and even scarcer opportunities , great swathes of people are moving – out of Syria, Libya , Yemen , Iraq, Afghanistan to avoid war brought about by either water as a resource running out or too much oil.

In India , the movement is relatively peaceful yet not as brutal. 40 million or thereabouts displaced by dams, mining and so it goes. Then the great dependence on groundwater. 33 million bore-wells pumping out 250 cu.km. of groundwater , reaching depths of 2000 feet . When groundwater runs out , farming is simply impossible. Now the fight over river waters …inexorable the lure of the city and the desperation of the village.
Here are people, technologies and water struggling to remain relevant . In a span of 24 years liberalization of the economy has done what 5000 years of history had not done. The changes are profound and searing . We must get our cities to become more welcoming to the people who will arrive mostly in distress , mostly without a safety net , mostly working in the informal sector, mostly occupying slums .

There are 3 people whose idea of India is under test Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar. Gandhiji is losing . It is an Ambedkar victory through and through. (http://www.allresearchjournal.com/archives/2016/vol2issue6/PartF/2-6-32-147.pdf )

Nostalgia is not what it used to be.

When I read his post I cried.

Is that helpful? No – I do not believe so.. but emotion is a real response and frankly unless at some point we feel the situation deeply enough to elicit tears, we are unlikely to act.  As Spiritual Teacher Andrew Harvey has said – out of heartbreak is born: “Sacred Activism – the fusion of the deepest mystical knowledge, peace, strength, and stamina with calm focused and radical action”.

My personal sacred activism takes the form of Service to Mother Earth and in particular that of bringing water.  This work has arisen from heartbreak as I looked around me with clear eyes and began to see what is really happening on our beautiful planet.

The heartbreaks do not stop – they come in waves – and will continue to do so until such time as we wake up and together initiate profound change in the way we treat our world and our neighbours and those who are members of this vast sea of humanity – all who are our brothers and sisters.

There are times when I feel the desperation of how may it ever be possible to stem the tide of the take-over by the corporations and the greedy and the manipulation of our lives at all levels – and I ask that painful question: “Why am I bothering to do what I do? What is the point of these infinitesimal actions against the power and the strength of those who would swallow our freedoms?” –  but deep inside me I know that each small action can initiate a ripple that spreads we know not where.  So I keep on throwing the pebble into the proverbial pond and trust that what I have been asked to do has meaning beyond all that I see.

So too I ask of you – take heart – know that you are only asked to do what is possible – never more – and know also that when you are on purpose and are clear in your actions, your work has meaning and power far beyond that which you see.  Don’t stop, don’t give up – hold the hand of your friends seen and unseen and move forward in gratitude and trust.

Our planet may choose for us – but change will come – the pendulum must swing – the laws of the Universe (and physics) will not allow this state of imbalance and destruction for very much longer.  Stay awake – for the change is close at hand.

Another world is not only possible. She is on her way.  On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.
– Arundhati Roy


Been Wandering

I’ve been around and back again – doing my annual wander with my Soul Journey friends – this year the journey was called Ancient Masters – Modern Prosperity and we went to Italy and Greece.

But first we did an incredible cooking class in a Tuscan Villa – what a gift that was and especially for me as I had the opportunity to revisit my ability with Italian – talking to the chef! That was fun and very surprising for me that I recalled as much as I did.  But the brain is strange as once I got into the groove of it suddenly I could understand so much more.. and when I first entered the kitchen in the morning – there was nothing there! Go figure how do our brains really work?

img_0490-smallAfter those days we met with the rest of the group and started the adventure – Rome – Vatican – Pompeii – Amalfi Coast – but it wasn’t until we reached Athens and visited the Poseiden Temple perched high up on the cliffs that I really entered the Soul of the Journey.

poseiden-templeBeing in Greece we were immensely fortunate to have a guide who had a real understanding of the difficulty that the people there are facing in this time.  She clearly enunciated a saga of attack on their economy and their way of life – orchestrated by those in power who would create a One World Order and chip away at our rights and lives.  It distressed me greatly to hear the depth to which this has gone in Greece – and to see as she was telling her story – that this was a plan that encompassed all of us, not just the Greek people but also those of us living in the so-called Lucky Country of Australia.

But I have to say that as the journey progressed and we were shown the glories of the past of Greece that it seems to me that this spirit that the Greek people have shown so many times in the past can rise again. Seeing their triumphs and their glorious acheivements only serves to show the resilience of our Spirit and the possiblity that we have to be strong in the face of any and all adversity.

So I would call on us all to open our eyes, and look truthfully at what is happening in our own lands, make the stand for freedom in all respects, and be very aware of the insidious means of control that is being perpetrated on us all.   Turn off your tv, cancel the daily newspaper, don’t get sucked in to the fear mongers and the nay sayers.  Let’s live our lives and take a lesson from the wondrous spirit of the ancient culture of Greece and hold the hands of their famous and all powerful Gods as we walk into our future with our heads held high.

 I stand for freedom and for being a Citizen of this incredible Planet Earth – and for building our community at a local level so we may have friends to support our vision.  Will you stand with me?


What I saw on my way to the Wine shop

Tonight is Saturday. . being a well trained Westerner I decided perhaps tonight was the night to enjoy some wine. Those of you who know me well .. also know I appreciate a good red. That’s not so easy to get here in India and requires some intrepid adventuring to arrive at the wine shop.

Quite why it is named the ‘wine shop’ I am unsure.. but that comes a little later in this tale.

It is past sunset .. and the last light is fading as I leave my room in the ‘Scholar House” in the BVB Engineering Campus.. a sprawling campus.. of many buildings and hundreds of students.. the Deshpande Foundation where our office is located forms part of this campus.

As I traverse the way to the main gate I am surprised tonight as there are heaps of labourers scattered all over the place in the fading light cleaning up the gardens, cutting, scraping, digging and even sitting on the roadside painstakingly clearing the weeds from the paved road.
Perhaps a special occasion is on the way.. there are lots of them.. so it will be no surprise. But this seems to be a concerted effort to get the place tidied up in one fell swoop.

I reach the main gate – and here the cacophany really begins.. cars, buses, motorbikes, pushbikes pedestrians .. and down the road a herd of cows. I cross… there is a speed hump just up the main road.. for those in the know it means the vehicles have to slow down so there is time to cross even if it appears they are bearing down on you at a great rate. That’s half way across.. and next is to make it to the other side.. I manage.. I am relatively safe for the moment.. ah here are the cows.. a bit of wide berth is required.. you never quite know when they will toss their head.. if you are in the way – its not advised.

Its been raining today so the road has lots of puddles and its muddy. Another set of obstacles to discern and avoid and of course the cow dung cleverly disguised as small piles of mud.

Now I have reached the back road. .. and here are all the many evening food stalls.. selling anything from chicken biryani to bhel puri to dosas and goodness knows what else. They are doing a roaring trade as the evening traffic passes.

IMG_9968 (1)-small

I have a destination in mind.. there is a small shop on the way that sells things I like.. such as curd (yogurt) in a plastic bag. .. not my favourite way of buying it but its easily available like that.. and a particularly good toothpaste made by a great Ayurvedic company called Patanjali. Even the toothpaste has the name of a saintly enlightened Being on the box. How can you go wrong?

I buy some incense (agarbatti) that turns out to be not to my taste.. – some cracker biscuits – they are found to be quite good and the curd which sits creating a wet spot in my shopping bag. They know me now in that shop… I like to go places I am known.. it helps the stress of being stared at all the way everywhere.

And on up the road – soon to reach the ‘wine shop’. Now here is a challenge. Wine shops are most certainy not frequented by ladies in India. So it is really running the gauntlet to enter. .. I head to the most unoccupied spot on the counter.. and the man tells me: “Yes red wine – other side.” Luckily I am a foreigner and despite the crowd of now staring men, I get served straight away.

After all its not every day an older foreign lady enters the sacrosanct wine shop on her own at night!! The man produces first a bottle of white wine.. “No I want red” I say.. then comes a bottle of port.. “mmm not right sorry.. it looks like that but that is not wine.”

“Oh” he says and out come two small bottles of very dodgy looking pink stuff… “Oh dear .. that’s it?”
“Yes” he says. OK I give up .. “I shall have a small bottle of vodka please.”

and I pay and scurry out.

Made it.. and along the way there is a juice shop. I am heading for a fresh orange.. “Pack please to take away”.. when a motor bike pulls up beside me with two quite okay looking men on it.. “Madam do you need help?” the front guy says.. “No thank you I am OK” I say.. “Oh Madam you are safe.. Hubli is a safe place but if you ever need anything you can call me”.. “Oh thank you” I reply and I begin to walk away.. “Oh madam don’t you want to take my phone number?”…. “No thank you-  I am perfectly fine.. good night.”

and on to the orange juice shop.


The adventures of an evening in Hubli are a little different from a stroll to the corner store in Perth. I hope this small tale inspires you to venture into other lands.. the rewards are often unusual and can shift your point of view in just a moment.