Little Sathya was a happy and extroverted child. He loved candy and he was chubby. He loved to dance and to sing and to pray. And he loved being generous, especially to the numberless poor that surrounded his village of Puttaparthi in steamy southern India. All of the villagers loved him back. The cowherds and the beggars, the young and the old, the wise and the feeble-minded, his parents grew perturbed at the flow of visitors to the door.
Despite his popularity, Sathya was still just another boy. He’d done nothing remarkable and nothing remarkable had happened to him in his thirteen years. Nothing, that is, until sunset on March 8, 1940.
Sathya was walking with some friends along the crest of Serpent Hill when he suddenly shrieked in pain. His friends turned to find him hopping up and down, holding his foot.
“A black scorpion stung my toe!” Sathya screamed before an abrupt faint took him to the ground.
Some of his friends ran for help while those remaining searched and searched for the culprit. They never found it. It had simply vanished. None had seen the scorpion, none but Sathya.
Over the next two months, Sathya’s parents desperately sought a cure for his newly strange behavior. A line of physicians and exorcists could offer no results. He stopped eating. The once active and boisterous child had become still and silent. His comatose-like meditations were broken only by spontaneous hymns of Sanskrit poetry, a language which he’d never been taught. His recitations of Hindu verse proved flawless and encyclopedic.
When his father became frightened at the boy’s materialization of objects from thin air, he raised a stick to him, “Who are you?!”
“I am Sai Baba,” he answered.
Sai Baba would later reveal himself to his followers as God-incarnate.