Wolf Messing Postscript
By: Brian Steel
I think that this story has legs, as journalists say. Two days after posting comments on the SB Discourse story about Wolf Messing, I was informed by Robert Priddy that there was a mention of Messing in a book about Shirdi and Sathya, Shirdi to Puttaparthi (by Drs. R. T. Kakade and A. Veerabhadra Rao, 6th ed., Hyderabad, IRA Publications, 1993). The book has been VERY popular in India, to judge by the number of editions it has gone through and the fact that it has been translated into no less than eleven Indian languages.
Although SB is not responsible for what is printed in the authors book, I will take the liberty of quoting the intriguing little twist that they add to this Messing story - a version of which is available on and on my website. I leave the reader to make his or her own judgement about whether the following report was made by an eye-witness or not. (I shall also add these paragraphs to my website article, for future researchers to take into account.)
One of the authors of the above-mentioned book tells us that he was present at the Conference of 20-23 November 1980 and, without mentioning SBs Discourse of 22 November (during which he revealed the Messing story), he reports the following simplified story, either from one of the Conference days or from a special entertainment programme by SB students ("The Kingdom of Satya Sai") on 24 November. (It is not clear.) If it took place during the entertainment, it may have been just a dramatic re-enactment of the alleged Sathya Narayana-Messing meeting of 1937 - but this had already been revealed by SB on 22 November. As the reader will see (and the audience would surely have understood), the incident is reported as though the "Russian" was really the man involved. (Wolf Messing, born in Poland, died in Russia in 1974.)
"In this connection, I would like to narrate two incidents, which became known to the public, even to the devotees, for the first time. Two gentlemen, one from Russia and the other from Korea, had volunteered to narrate these events, for the delectation of the gathering. Baba had never even mentioned them earlier, as having happened, even though he was very much a part of them.
"The Russian recalled that more than forty years ago when Baba was still a boy, studying in a school in Kamalapur, he had occasion to see the young lad playing on a platform of the Railway station along with the other children. He felt attracted by something unique in the boys personality, even at that tender age, and tried to take him into his arms and enjoy the bliss of communion. He must have felt a divine aura about the boy, which was not obvious to the rest of the children present. They feared this stranger, a foreigner, was trying to whisk away their young friend, a favourite friend. They got concerned and ran to report the matter to Babas elders, who arrived on the scene and took the boy away from the stranger and felt relieved that they had saved their young ward from the clutches of an unknown foreigner. Little did they realise at that time, that their young child would later develop into divine personality and that the foreigner could notice the innate divine spirt, even at that tender age of the boy." (p. 159-160) (The second incident, narrated by the Korean devotee, appears to be from his own life.)