Tuesday, December 31, 2019

British filmmaker Jeff Grant corroborates Aug. 2019 Sanathana Sarathi article paragraph about his mid 1970s film capturing Sathya Sai Baba's materialization of a necklace, though film is lost now

Mr. Jeff Grant is a former film director and now professional writer who lives in London, UK. I came to know about him through an article carrying his name that appeared in Sanathana Sarathi of August 2019. This article was excerpted from an article by Jeff Grant in "Encounters with Divinity" book, as per Sanathana Sarathi. I have given below a pic of one page of that article, followed by a zoomed in pic of a paragraph in it that caught my attention.

[To open pic in larger resolution, right-click on pic followed by open link (NOT image) in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]

This is the text in the above zoomed-in pic:
In the film, our group made, was one shot that showed Him materialising a silver necklace. He did that typical whirling motion with His hands and out from His palm appeared a necklace. When we were editing the film, we examined this shot frame by frame. In one frame, nothing showed but His palm. In the next, a 25th of a second later, two or three links of a chain were there, more in the next, and so on.
--- end text of zoomed-in pic ---

[I thank Sanathana Sarathi and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above pics and extract(s) of their Aug. 2019 English issue on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Note that this Aug. 2019 English issue PDF is available for free download from this page:  https://saireflections.org/journals/PastEditions.php.]

I searched on the net for a free download version of the book, "Encounters with Divinity", but could not find it. Even paperback versions for sale were not easy to find on the net.

However, I was able to come across a blog of Jeff Grant - https://besonian.wordpress.com/ - which carried his public contact email id of sullivancortez@zoho.com [from http://en.gravatar.com/besonian]. I wrote him for corroboration of the above. Corroboration of information helps in making accounts more credible for current and future historians of Sathya Sai Baba Avatar.

Note that this film made by Jeff Grant on Sathya Sai Baba was made in mid 1970s and it was then that the film captured Sathya Sai Baba materializing a necklace. Reference: Filming Sai Baba, https://besonian.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/filming-sai-baba/.

Jeff Grant responded confirming it and also permitted me to share his response text and screenshot. Relevant parts of our mail exchange are given below in screenshot and text form:

Above pic: My query to Jeff Grant screenshot

The main part of my query to him gave the Sanathana Sarathi article extract about the film capturing Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba materializing a necklace, mentioned above, and then I asked him (text): Do you think the above paragraph correctly captures your view? Please feel free to let me know if you feel that it does not.

Above pic: Jeff Grant's corroboration response screenshot

The text of his above response:
Anyway - to answer it - yes, the paragraph you quote represents what happened and what we saw in the cutting rooms in London when we were editing the film. As I remember it we had a pretty close shot of his hands and arms as he produced the necklace. Having examined it as we did, the editor and myself just looked at each other in silence. Although I'd experienced a  number of Swami's manifestations, it was the first time the editor had seen anything like it - and had no idea what to make of it, apart from being utterly perplexed by what appeared to be amazing sleight of hand! Not feeling in a position to commit himself one way or the other I think his view was much as mine had been the first time I encountered such a thing in Puttaparthi - i.e. what he'd seen didn't seem to make sense, but he'd seen what he'd seen - more than that he couldn't way. But again - yes, that paragraph 'captures my view'. So please feel free to use it in your blog.
--- end Jeff Grant corroboration response text---

I was overjoyed to receive this clear and unambiguous corroboration from Jeff Grant, and thanked him profusely for it.

What I realized, a few years after Sathya Sai Mahasamadhi (bodily passing away) in April 2011, by which time I had become a blogger on Sathya Sai Baba and also on spirituality & religion in general, is that the material that is written about Sathya Sai experiences (of his divinity), especially by persons who get regarded as unbiased people who are worldly wise and not naive, will be treasured by posterity, like experiences of divinity of Shirdi Sai Baba and experiences of divinity of Lord Jesus Christ, are treasured by many people of our generation (including me).

The four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament, are wonderful chronicles about Lord Jesus Christ, which have benefited great number of people over the ages, including Hindus like me who revere Jesus Christ as a divine being, like we Hindus revere other divine beings in Hinduism. Note that Paul who is a very big figure in organized Christian religion did not have such experiences with Lord Jesus Christ before Christ's crucifixion. But he had a great experience of Christ's divinity when he was on the way to Damascus to persecute early Christians there **after** Christ's crucifixion which transformed him from being a persecutor of early Christians to becoming a great apostle of Christ.

Jeff Grant's confirmation of the paragraph about his film capturing Sathya Sai Baba's materialization of a necklace is a vital contribution, IMHO, to chronicling the materialization power that Sathya Sai Baba had. Yes, the scientific community will not accept it as scientific evidence as the film is not available now! What a pity that is! C'est la vie! [That is life!]

But it is eyewitness evidence (as the four canonical gospels recording the miracles of Lord Jesus Christ are), which is very valuable to readers of such scripture/such chronicles.

Readers may know of Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson of the University of Iceland, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erlendur_Haraldsson, https://notendur.hi.is/erlendur/english/, who has been an unbiased parapsychology investigator of miracles of Sathya Sai.

The last edition of Haraldsson's book on investigation of Sathya Sai miracles is titled "Modern Miracles: The Story of Sathya Sai Baba: A Modern Day Prophet", which was released in July 2013, http://whitecrowbooks.com/books/page/modern_miraclesthe_story_of_sathya_sai_baba_a_modern_day_prophet/. I reviewed the book here: http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2013/09/review-of-modern-miracles-story-of.html, and have given below an extract from the concluding part of it:

In the penultimate chapter of the book, Haraldsson examines "THE QUESTION OF PROOF". He writes that science traditionally uses experiments to confirm that phenomena are genuine. As Sai Baba did not permit experiments that path was closed. However judicial systems "have evolved interrogation and corroboration of witnesses, investigating relevant contemporary documents and so on, as ways of accruing evidence". But human testimony does have weaknesses due to which courts "rely primarily on the quantity of testimony and on consensus of witnesses". That has been "our" approach, Haraldsson writes.

Haraldsson states that numerous followers including ex-devotees who have extensively observed Sai Baba give a general consensus about the genuineness "of the frequent appearance of objects in his presence, or on his body on certain occasions".

In the concluding chapter of the book, Haraldsson puts forward "a few speculative hypotheses regarding the causes and nature of the mysterious phenomena around Sai Baba" and examines their validity. Haraldsson writes that some of the phenomena could have a "normal explanation" but not the bulk of them. Haraldsson states that the hypothesis that Baba had psychic powers which allowed him to "produce various phenomena when he wants to" is supported by an "endless number of observations and experiences" and so has to be accepted for bulk of the phenomena.

Prof. Haraldsson, in my humble opinion, has been a truth-seeker and has spoken the truth about paranormal phenomena associated with Sri Sathya Sai Baba, despite many powerful people in the media and scientific circles not wanting to hear and know such science shaking truth (to be more precise, current mainstream science shaking truth).

--- end extract from my review ---
[BTW my review is also on amazon.com and goodreads.com]

I do not recall reading about this (Jeff Grant) film capturing materialization of necklace by Sathya Sai Baba in Haraldsson's book. Maybe it is mentioned in the book but I do not remember it.

Note that in this post, the focus is on the film clip which captured Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's materialization of a necklace, and not on much larger aspects of Bhagavan's spiritual persona and his teachings. A future post which will refer to posts in Jeff Grant's blog on Sathya Sai Baba will cover those aspects.

By providing his corroboration and permission to share it publicly without any charge, Mr. Jeff Grant has contributed to the truth about his very interesting experience of divine (supernatural/paranormal) materialization power of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba being captured on film (though film is lost now), being perhaps more acceptable to current and future historians of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I again thank Mr. Jeff Grant profusely for this corroboration that he has provided, even though he is busy with other engagements/work.

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