Journey to Croatia
by Peter Kingsley-Ducane


 

To anyone reading this article, I can assure you that these events took place. I do not understand them or the reason they should happen to me. The majority of my working life has been spent as an ambulance service officer in a disciplined environment, retiring at the age of 55 as a manager of the London Ambulance Service emergency control-room in charge of the ambulance-cover for the 644 square miles which this service covers. My purpose in telling you this is to illustrate that I have held a responsible position and am used to dealing with facts.

In 1970 I was a sick, broken man, having lost my home, family, and business. I moved to London and became an ambulanceman. For the next 22 years I suffered severe unremitting pain that never left me, that no doctor or medicine could cure.
In 1981 I first heard of Sai Baba when I read a book. After just a few pages I inwardly "knew" that what I was reading was total truth, Sai Baba was a "Divine Being". I prayed to him to take away the extreme pain I continued to suffer pain which was to continue for another 10 years.

In 1991 I could stand the pain no longer. I prayed to Sai Baba: "Swami, take away this pain and I will spend the rest of my life in your service to help others, or take my life now." Three months later I was free from pain for the first time in 21 years.
By this time I was a junior officer in the ambulance service. Within six months I was promoted to a very senior position, bypassing three ranks.

It was at this time that the war was taking place in the former Yugoslavia and the television was full of the terrible pictures of the suffering children. I went to Tesco's store with my wife to do the grocery shopping. Usually I push the trolley, but for some reason I was left to wander around on my own. Stopping by the babyfood counter a sudden irresistible impulse that I couldn't control prompted me to purchase three small tins of babyfood my aid-convoys to the children of Croatia and Bosnia had started but I didn't know. Four years later many hundreds of tons of aid have been taken of every possible commodity, and the aid programme has spread to help the children in seven countries "God's miracle".

During the aid convoys I've had many instances of guidance and insight. The following occurred on an aid convoy to Croatia in 1994 but it will ever live in my memory as fresh as on the day that it happened.

In Croatia we were staying at the Zagreb Sathya Sai Centre. I was alone in my room sitting on the bed. All the other aid-workers had gone out for the evening. Slowly I became aware that the atmosphere in the room had changed. It was as if the air had become purified and the light had changed. As I looked up, the room became suffused in beautiful pink light that permeated through the very fabric of everything. A total peace enfolded me and I became one with all Love. Total bliss and understanding came into my very being, and an all-knowing completeness with no separation from all living things; time stood still; there was no time or distance; everything was understood.
I stood up and walked around the room. All the articles were radiating with this beautiful pink glow, the very air I breathed was full of little globules of light, an overwhelming feeling of a Loving Presence held me, was in me; all was one. Sitting back on my bed I watched for a further five minutes, basking in the most wonderful feeling of utter bliss and tranquility until the beautiful translucent pink glow slowly faded and was gone.

Looking at my wristwatch I was amazed to discover that time had stood still and two hours had passed, instead of the 10 minutes I'd thought.


Metamorphosis
On this same aid-convoy a few days later we were asked to visit a mental hospital in Zagreb this wasn't on our agenda but we were pleased to go.

On entering the dilapidated ward I noticed a very elderly man standing at the end of the long corridor. He had a long white beard and shoulder-length hair and was wearing a long nightshirt. As he looked up our eyes met, and gesticulating wildly with his hands, and shouting strange noises, he ran down the corridor towards me. When he was a few feet away he stopped and his whole demeanor changed. His wild look had gone and he became calm and gentle. Clasping his hands together he prostrated himself in front of me and kissed my feet.

At first I'd been shocked by this poor man's appearance and actions, but as I looked down at him I was overcome with compassion for his situation, and bending down I grasped him by the shoulders to help him up and said: "Come, come." As I did so he turned his face towards me and I found myself looking into the face of Sai Baba. Emotion overwhelmed me and I was choked and unable to speak. The elderly man was again as he was before. Slowly and quietly he walked away and I never saw him again. It was some time before I recovered, and I had to go out and walk around the hospital grounds.


Columns of light
In Croatia we deliver aid to refugee camps, orphanages, children's hospitals and institutions, and have done many such aid-convoys.

Among the children's hospitals which we deliver aid to is the Gornji-Bistra Children's Hospital which is situated some 30 miles from Zagreb, hidden away in a wood. This old dilapidated old chateau-type building is home to 158 very severely disabled and deformed children.

In resources these children receive very little consideration. They are just shut away from society without medicines or means of treatment; our aid-convoys provide some of these requirements. To promote aid from the UK for the children, it has always been my practice to photograph them during the four years of aid-convoys I've taken thousands of photographs. But this trip was different. All the events that I have previously described took place, and it felt as if an unseen presence was guiding us in all we did, at all times.

I took photographs of the children. Those I took in the ward housing the worst-affected children had a strange phenomenon on them: columns and strange patterns of light, though not all the photographs on the same film were affected. I used the same camera to take many rolls of film none of which were affected, only those which were taken in this particular ward, and not all of them; I also had the camera checked for any faults. It was in perfect working order.

It is extremely hard to describe the atmosphere within this ward when these photographs were taken; it was as if we were "standing on holy ground". Subsequent events were also absolutely amazing. We were able to have an appeal for these children on German Television which was broadcast all over Europe. The response was enormous and provided these children with everything they so urgently needed.

For information, contact: International Children's Aid, Peace House, 51 Star Lane, St Mary Cray, Orpington, Kent, BR5 3LJ, UK. Tel: 01689 835823.

Comment - according to Benjamin Creme the rose-coloured light, the "unseen presence" and the columns of light on the photographs were manifestations of the Master Jesus, a frequent visitor to this (and other) hospitals in the region, as is Sai Baba. Maitreya, too, visits as opportunity permits.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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