When Prof. Frank Baronowski saw Sri Sathya Sai's Aura...

July, 1978

Professor Frank Baranowski, a psychologist and regression therapist, specializes in research on auras, the energy patterns that surround all living beings, and works at the University of Arizona. He is an expert in bio-magnetic field radiation photography. He has photographed and interpreted the auras for numerous men and women using the ultra-sensitive Kirlian camera.

Professor Baranowski had read several books about Sri Sathya Sai Baba, including Samuel Sandweiss’ 'Sai Baba, the Holy man and the Psychiatrist'. He wondered whether such a person could really exist and whether all that was written about him was factual. As he was, at that time, writing a book on reincarnation based on case studies and other findings, he was interested in Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s claim of being a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba.

During Christmas 1977, Professor Baranowski was a guest at a home where a Bhajan (devotional songs) session was in progress. A stranger to this form of worship, he withdrew to a room upstairs. He was resting there quietly in the dark room when, to his astonishment, a candle on the table suddenly burst into flames. The bright flame illuminated a nearby picture of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He could not understand who could have lighted the candle. He was alone in the room. There had not been any sound and no one had come in. How could a flame appear all of a sudden on the wick of the candle? He stared at the picture and it did many things to him. It seemed to penetrate into him and to beckon to him. To a man of science, this occurrence was totally inexplicable.

The thought of Sri Sathya Sai Baba lingered in him long after the candle experience. He decided to go to India and visit Sai Baba. Here is the account of his encounter with Baba for the first time, in his own words:

“Sathya Sai Baba? Yes, I had heard of Him but with a lot of mixed emotions. The stories that were attributed to this man bordered on the incredible. As a man of science, I am aware of psychosomatic healings, and I have seen miraculous healings done by such notable personalities as Olga Worrell, and at such famous places as Lourdes. Yet, here were rumours of a man from India who could heal people by His mere touch. The story hinged on the unbelievable.

In July of 1978, I found myself at the first World Peace Conference at Bangalore. I had heard that Sathya Sai Baba resided in a place called Whitefield. This small community boasts of a college founded by Sathya Sai Baba and dedicated to science and commerce. As I arrived by taxicab, the first thing I noticed was the refreshing cleanliness of the area.

Though hot and stiflingly humid, hundreds of Indians and foreigners crowded the grounds surrounding Sathya Sai Baba's ‘Ashram’ or residence. I joined the patient assemblage, sitting squat-legged among the Eastern visages. I didn't have to wait long until Sathya Sai Baba appeared. I must confess, this first time I saw Him I was not impressed.
Sri Sathya Sai Darshan at Brindavan
He was of small stature and walked among the people as if He were distracted. He would hardly take the time to look at a person or to talk with them - then He would suddenly turn His head as if looking for someone else. It wasn't until the next morning that I realized I was seeing an individual who possessed gifts beyond description.

It was about five o'clock in the morning, and the followers had been singing their devotional songs and chanting during a parade around the compound at Whitefield, when Sathya Sai Baba came out of His residence.

Now, I have always been able to see the human aura. The auras around average people extend as much as three to five feet. Auras are composed of every imaginable colour and these colours change as a person's emotional, physical and mental states change. In general, whenever the colour blue is evident in a person's aura, it is an indication of deep spirituality; green is a healing color; yellow indicates high intelligence; and red means anger or frustration.

The colour pink, which is rarely seen, typifies a person capable of selfless love, and this was the colour that Sathya Sai Baba had around Him. The aura around Sathya Sai Baba went beyond the building reaching thirty or forty feet in all directions. Never having seen any aura like this before, my first reaction was to look for fluorescent lights, which may have been shining on Him. But as I watched, the beautiful pink energy pattern moved as He moved; there was no doubt that this was His aura.
Sri Sathya Sai Darshan atop the Brindavan Bungalow in the early-1970s
Entranced by this remarkable sight, I barely heard the devotional songs that were being sung, and before I knew it, Sathya Sai Baba had gone. The crowd settled in the now-familiar cross-legged positions and prepared themselves to wait until Sathya Sai Baba's next appearance, four hours later.

I have had the pleasure of meeting such personalities as ex-president Gerald Ford, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, and Pope John Paul II, and I have studied their auras as well as tens of thousands of others, I say this not as a testimonial but as a fact; not one person I have ever seen has an aura to compare to the size and colour of Sathya Sai Baba's aura. 

The heat was remarkable; the humidity hung like a wet cloth over the gathering. Amid chanting, a few anxious eyes watched the threatening skies, Dark clouds gave foreboding signs of torrential storms, but all around me devotees were assuring each other "Sathya Sai Baba won't allow it to rain".
Then, there He was again, I felt my heartbeat quicken as He turned in my direction. Soon He stepped beside me, looked at me, and then made a quick motion to the man seated beside me. Suddenly crushed lilies began to appear in the palms of His hands, and as they poured forth, the petals filled the cupped hands of the seated man. But the flower petals didn't stop coming; they went on to fill the waiting hands of a second, a third and then a fourth person!

As this great man turned away, He glanced in my direction as if to say, "Have you noticed what I have just done?" I couldn't have helped witnessing what had happened. To answer possible arguments, Sathya Sai Baba's sleeves reached His elbows. So it was not by magic tricks that these petals appeared. And I was not hypnotized into believing I was seeing them, for I am a licensed hypnotist myself and am very difficult to hypnotize. Within my limited understanding, it was difficult to believe I had just witnessed this miraculous demonstration. I sat there, in that same position, for a very long time, dumbfounded by what I had seen.

The very next morning I felt myself drawn back to the very same compound, sitting in the lotus position and waiting for Sathya Sai Baba to appear once again. As I sat quietly, I heard a voice in my mind tell me that I must cross the field, walk through the area where the women were standing and talk to a man who was standing against a building there. I did not feel comfortable approaching a stranger, especially in a strange country where there is a language barrier, but I could no longer ignore the voice in my mind. I went across the field and found a man standing against the building. I spoke to him.

"I hope you speak English. I have a voice in my mind that says I must speak to you”. He introduced himself as Prof. Narender, and he said, "You must be the lecturer Sathya Sai Baba said would speak to me today." I am a lecturer; I have given approximately 9,000 lectures all over the world. But how did this man know that?

In the next four days I watched Sathya Sai Baba with His people. He calmed them; He gave them hope. As He walked among them, the beautiful pink colour in His aura permeated the violent red colours in the crowd. His selfless love transcended their fears and worries. Perhaps you have to meet this man to understand His gifts. He gives of Himself to thousands of people from all around the world who await His blessings.
Sri Sathya Sai Darshan at the Sai Ram Shed in Brindavan
Prof. Narender's message to me proved to be that I was to speak to Sathya Sai Baba's College on Friday afternoon. 800 students and later 100 teachers listened to my lecture. As I stood next to Sathya Sai Baba, I could see His aura reach beyond the platform. It surrounded all the people in the room. Soon His love - and that's the only word I can use for the warm, buoyant, totally immersing emotion we experienced that evening - reached each and every person in that room and they began to sing and chant devotions to this man.

The word 'Avatar' is often used when referring to Sathya Sai Baba, meaning one who has Christ-like powers, or God-like power and one who may even be God Himself. Now, I am a devout Catholic. Yet I would be a fool if I did not recognize the powers this man has. Amidst the singing and chanting, the Avatar turned to me and said, 'Because you are a man of such great love….' and He showed me the empty palm of His hand. He circled His hand in the air three times and produced a ring with the nine precious gems of the world embedded in gold. He said, "It will only fit the first finger of the right hand." And indeed, that is the only finger it fits. It's magnificent! It's a beautiful ring! But it holds special meaning to me because this great man, this Avatar, graced me with His words: "Because you are a man of such great love…. " 
Sri Sathya Sai with Professor Frank Baronowski

The next day I was once again honoured by Sathya Sai Baba as I was granted a private audience with Him. I was anxious to discuss not only reincarnation with Him, but also my grandson. The boy was born with a heart defect. At the age of one year he weighed slightly less than seven pounds. Numerous operations left him with little hope for a normal life, even if he survived at all. But before I could mention this to Sathya Sai Baba, He told me that there would be an operation on the day I arrived home (in Arizona) and that the baby would be well. I said, "You must be wrong. The baby is not old enough to have this operation. The physicians said the minimum age for the operation would be at age two, even two and a half." Sathya Sai Baba just smiled, and said, "No, it will be on the day you arrive home."

He was right. On the day I arrived in Arizona, the baby was operated on. The doctor who performed the surgery gave my grandson little hope of survival. When my daughter introduced the doctor to me, I discovered he was from India. I told him I had just returned from there, and mentioned some of the places I'd been to. When I mentioned Whitefield he interrupted me and asked, "That's Sathya Sai Baba's country, isn't it?"

I said yes, and showed him the ring I had been blessed with. The doctor looked at me with the eyes glowing, and said, "The child will live," as if all that was needed was the mention of Sathya Sai Baba's name.

The child did survive. Perhaps of all the miracles I witnessed in my ten days in India, no miracle is as great as the miracle of one man giving so much love to so many people. In my estimation and experimentation, Sri Sathya Sai Baba is, aura-wise, exactly what He says He is and what He asks everyone to be. He is love, pure and simple. He is love walking on two legs. Such unselfish love is nothing other than Divinity. 

His own words say it best: "Love. Continue to love and all will be well."

A Video based on Dr. Frank Baranowski’s Experiences can be viewed at:

“Living Divinity” by Shakuntala Balu, Page: 47-50. Publisher: S B Publications, Bangalore, 1983.


  1. Sai Ram, thank you for your great work in general, such an inspiration.
    However, I do have to comment on Baranowski story, especially since everyone is repeating it ad nauseam. Just a quick research on internet will show you that Frank Baranowski has never worked at University of Arizona nor Arizona State University as some Sai websites and stories claim. He only studied at Arizona State University and other local colleges for his BA degree in education, which there is not even proof that he finished it. So for all intended purposes he can be a high school graduate.
    It is true that later in life he taught at four community colleges, but only teaching non-credit courses. I am sure that this does not qualify someone as being a scientist or a doctor of a particular field. I know we can tachnically call him a professor, but surely not a scientist or a doctor. Frank Baranowski died in 2002, so he is not here to defend himself, and I do not argue that he cannot see auras or has seen Swami's aura. But Kirlian photography, you claim, he is an expert in has been found not to capture auras nor has anything to do with the metaphysical. It is merely a natural reaction of photographic film to the corona effect of high voltage electrical energy, which makes it a simple, but impressive, light trick.

  2. Sai Ram. Que relato más lindo. El amor infinito de baba

  3. We are so blessed to have had Him among us.

  4. To be true I should confess I had unimaginable divine moments at shirdi sathya sai baba temple at Guindy Chennai 27 years ago for which I am grateful till this day. It was life changing. I can be contacted at bhavani. bhk@gmail.com


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