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The text for this story is identical to that which you will find for photograph number 7:
The crucifix in this photograph was materialized by Sai Baba for Dr. John Hislop, a Western devotee who spent more personal time in Sai Baba's immediate presence that perhaps any other Westerner. The late Dr. Hislop was a spiritual giant and a quiet, humble saint. If he were still alive, he would insist that he was not a saint or anything even close.
Before proceeding with the story, notice how small the body of Jesus is - only one inch. The crucifix was materialized in the Spring of 1973, on Mahashivarathri, the night of Shiva. Up until 1973, Sai Baba had materialized, or given birth to a lingham (egg-shaped object) during Mahashivarathri each year. The night before the usual materialization of the lingham in 1973, Sai Baba told Jack Hislop that this year the lingham would be manifested with only a few devotees present.
Early the next morning, Sai Baba, Hislop and a few devotees got in their cars and drove many hours until they reached the Bandipur Forest in the Indian state of Mysore, perhaps a ten hour drive. Hislop was hoping for a repeat performance of a miracle that occured with Sai Baba in the Bandipur Forest previously. On that prior occasion, Sai Baba stood at the edge of the forest and called the elephants to him. An entire herd of elephants came thundering toward Sai Baba. Most of the devotees ran for safety, but Sai Baba calmly stood his ground. The elephants stopped running and one of them slowly approached Sai Baba, knelt on the ground in front of him, and then turned around and walked back into the forest along with the herd.
But in 1973, such was not the case. Sai Baba instructed the driver where to stop the car, and after doing so, walked down the slope of a river until they reached the sandy river bed. As they passed a bush, Sai Baba broke off two twigs and placed them together. "What is this, Hislop?" Sai Baba asked.
"Well, Swami, it's a cross," Hislop replied.
Sai Baba then closed his hand around the two twigs and blew into his fist several times. When he opened his hand, the twigs were no longer present, but instead the crucifix you see in this photograph was. Hislop and the other devotees were stunned by the miraculous crucifix, so small, yet so beautiful and full of detail.
Sai Baba related to Hislop that he had blown several times into his fist in order to create a crucifix out of the original wood on which Jesus was crucified. Baba said, "All of the original wood had returned to the elements, so I had to blow on the twigs several times in order to retrieve the original wood."
Thus, the crucifix you see is made of the 2,000 year old wood that was part of the original crucifix. Hislop, in examining the crucifix more closely, noticed a hole at the top of the cross and asked Baba about it. Sai Baba replied to the effect that the crucifix was not stuck into the ground, but rather was hung on a post. Sai Baba indicated to Hislop that Jesus, as he appears in this small metal sculpture, is the way he actually appeared after his physical death on the cross.
Following the materialization of the crucifix, Sai Baba began walking along the riverbed, then sat in the sand with the others around him. The group could see that Sai Baba was beginning to "give birth" to a lingham, as he always does on Mahashivarathri. They watched until it come out of Sai Baba's throat and was caught by him in a silk handkerchief (see photograph 18 of a lingham).
Several weeks later, Jack Hislop and his wife, Victoria, were back in their home overlooking the ocean in Mexico near Ensenada. A friend of theirs, Walter, had visited them, seen the crucifix and asked if he could photograph it, which he did. Walter and his wife returned a few weeks later, and spread out the photographs alongside the crucifix. At exactly 5 p.m. there was a loud crash of thunder and lightning. A great wind blew through the house and rattled the windows and doors, blowing the curtains around. This was a mystery, as the sky had been completely clear. Even a San Diego newspaper noted the unusual event the following day.
Victoria Hislop immediately commented, "What just happened is described in the Bible. At exactly 5 p.m., Jesus died, and a great wind, a violent storm suddenly descended." Victoria was able to find the Bible passage depicting this event. The Hislops felt they had just witnessed a recapitulation of the actual crucifixion and physical death of Jesus. A couple of years later, Sai Baba confirmed to Hislop that his experience and interpretation of the storm surrounding the crucifix was correct.
A question arises out of this story. Why was the crucifix materialized on Mahashivarathri, the night and morning dedicated to the worship of Shiva, and the dissolution of one's ego and negative qualities? Why the materialization of the Shiva Lingham and crucifix on the same day? There are no readily available answers to these questions.
One thing is certain. This tiny, miraculous crucifix has so much detail that the more you enlarge it, the more detail is revealed. You will see this on the next page in looking at an enlargement of the head of Jesus. At one point, an effort was made to photograph the crucifix with high quality photographic equipment used by opthalmologists. They have equipment that can accurately enlarge an object many times more than a standard camera. However, this was not to be, and with the passing of Hislop, the crucifix was sent back to Prasanthi Nilayam, where it is on display at the museum there.