SB's Wolf Messing Stories Revisited

Brian Steel  March 2003

Copyright © Brian Steel 2003

I am grateful to my friend Serguei Badaev for spotting and passing on to me an important additional link to the (unfinished) account of SB's stories about (and fascination with) the famous Polish psychic, Wolf Messing.

This is an interactive posting. If the reader is really interested, (s)he must make a slight effort, which should be rewarded ...

The basic references are to my previous pieces on the subject: 'Paranormal References : Wolf Messing and Kirlian (Revised) and 'More Messing' ......

But the additional material below (apparently not from the official sources) also has a bearing on my revelations on 'The Packaging of SB's Discourses' .

Minimal reminders:

On different occasions SB has told stories about his alleged meetings with Wolf Messing. As is not unusual in some of SB's exotic stories, the details differ from version to version and some of them seem improbable or are incorrect.

The bare bones from other factual sources:

Messing is known to have met Freud and Einstein in Vienna in 1915 as a teenage paranormal prodigy (i.e. eleven or fourteen years before SB's birth). He is known to have travelled to India in 1927 (when SB was either 1 years old - or possibly minus two years old) and to have met Gandhi then. I have not been able to find any independent reference to a later visit to India after Wolf settled in Moscow in 1939 (until his death in 1974).

Furthermore, Messing is not known to have had any religious or spiritual beliefs, but is quoted as considering his powers as 'natural'.

Messing fled to Poland in 1939 to escape from the wrath of Hitler whose death in 1945 he had prophesied. He did NOT meet Hitler, nor was he sent to him for punishment by Stalin - on the contrary, he was able to impress Stalin with his paranormal powers, and he remained in the USSR throughout the rest of his and Stalin's lives as a psychic entertainer. He is also alleged to have worked on secret Soviet military research into the paranormal.

According to school registers, SB was not in Kamalapuram until 1940-1941.


The new evidence pointed out by Serguei Badaev is that Samuel Sandweiss in his well known book, Spirit and Mind (pp. 227-228), refers to one of the versions of SB's stories about Messing.

In fact, Sandweiss and his family were present in Puttaparthi at the World Conference in late November 1980. He reports the following and then QUOTES SB's translated words (bold type added):

"At times Baba would make sudden changes in the direction of his talk, as if responding to a devotee's need - or sensing the time right for a certain teaching. During an especially memorable discourse, he made such a sudden change to reveal some interesting historical and spiritual information. Perhaps it was because several groups of Russians and Chinese were present for the first time. At any rate Baba suddenly began:

"At about the year 1917 Stalin was coming into power in Russia. There was a great change in the social order. A man by the name of Wolf Messing came to Stalin to tell him of the reality of the atma, the unseen basis, the real self, the infinite divine aspect of man. Stalin could not understand Wolf Messing and his message, and what followed was hardship and suffering in Russia. Wolf Messing went to Vienna. He met with Freud who seemed interested and wanted to study him but Messing was not interested and moved on. In 1937, when this body was 11 years old, I was walking near a train station. [Note that SB does not mention the town.] On the platform was a lone man awaiting a train. He had come to India to see the great saints and to find further evidence of his vision of the atma. When I came closer, his eyes looked into mine and filled with tears. He became excited and joyful beyond bounds and began rushing toward me. Reaching out to me, he cried, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you."

"And as Baba said this he welled up in exquisite joy himself, sending waves of excitement and love into the audience. We sat electrified as Baba continued.

"This man rushed to me and took my hand. He was filled with joy - with ecstasy. My friends were frightened, thinking that he would take me away. They grabbed me and began pulling me from his grip. They took me from the train platform. Although this man lost hold of this body, his eyes never left sight of me until I was out of range. This was Wolf Messing. He had seen the atma."


Unfortunately, but characteristically in the SB literature, Sandweiss gives no source for his reference, whether it is a verbatim translation from the Telugu (as sounds very plausible), or a summary of the English interpretation, but the official edited version, in Sathya Sai Speaks (XIV, 57: 364-5), is longer and significantly different. (This is where the reader must make his/her own comparisons of the different versions and conclusions about SB's story and the possible contributions of his editors.)

"From 1917, materialism and atheism were promoted in Russia, mainly by Stalin. But, he could not suppress the opposing forces completely. A powerful spiritual personality named Wolfe [sic] Messing arose, exhibiting a purified consciousness and an insight marked by Divine characteristics. Stalin planned to put him down and sent him into Hitler's presence. Messing prayed, "Lord! I seek only to spread Your Glory on earth; hence I am not frightened at the tactics of these evil men."

(Followed by the Sathya Sai Speaks Editorial sub-heading: 'An Incident Revealed for the First Time')

"On his way to Hitler [supposedly in 1939], he encountered Einstein at Vienna and Freud [actually in 1915], a scientist engaged in research on the human mind. Freud was surprised at Messing and his powers; he realised that his own researches were shallow and turned his attention to the search for the highest level of consciousness in man. Stalin was caught between Freud and Messing but he dare not give up the image he had once built up. He continued the easier path of establishing the materialistic and atheistic state and implanting irreligion in the hearts of youth.

"The age of this body reaches 55 tomorrow. I have not until today revealed this incident anywhere to anyone. It was 1937. This body was then 11 years of age. I was then moving the whole day with groups of boys who gathered around me. I was then at Kamalapur in Cudappah District. I was one day near the station at Kamalapur with the boys. On seeing me, one person ran up to me, took me in his arms and kissed me, with tears pouring down his cheeks and uttering the words, 'I'm so happy. I am so happy.' He was also madly dancing with joy repeating, ' I love you. I love you.'My companions who were watching all this wondered, 'Who is this white man? He looks like a lunatic. Evidently, he is planning to kidnap him.' As we moved off, he was standing riveted to the spot, wistfully watching me until I disappeared from view. It was Messing."

"Messing came to India in order to identify and realise the Aathma principle. He undertook a variety of spiritual exercises with this end in view. As a result, he acquired Divine Vision. He met Gandhi [in 1927] and many holy persons engaged in ascetic practices on the Himalayas and returned to his country gratified that he had won what he was yearning for." (Sathya Sai Speaks, XIV, 57: 364-365)

The versions may differ, but the inconsistencies and doubts remain. As for the special excitement felt by SB for Wolf Messing in Sandweiss' version (and apparently mentioned by other eye-witnesses), perhaps someone else may care to enlighten us.

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