Henriette Schakel had a prophetic dream about Swami’s passing away, three months before He was hospitalized. In her own words:
We were in a big hall singing bhajans when Swami was brought in and placed on a throne with wheelchair and all on the dais. Before Him was a small table with a golden chalice on it, covered with a golden saucer. It was said, that Swami would disappear after the last bhajan was sung and nobody was to know where He had gone and whether He was still alive or not. We sang on and on trying to prolong the time, but finally that last note had to be sung and then I saw the golden saucer slipping off the golden chalice, which turned out to be empty and... Swami was gone. There was a loud wailing among His devotees and I felt like a dagger had pierced my heart, knowing that I just wanted to follow Him, to be with His Essence and nothing else. Even His whole beautiful creation had lost its meaning for me. I just wanted to be with His Essence only. I woke up sobbing and crying being in a terrible state of shock, for I knew that something like that was going to happen...and it did...
Since His disappearance, I couldn't really recover from this terrible blow. Unable to cope with it, I was slowly sinking away into a depression, until...I read Sai Thy Kingdom Come!
When I came to read Sai Thy Kingdom Come on internet, I read it in one go, ending in the early morning-hours, and immediately I knew, that this book had to be spread, also here with Swami's permission. As soon as I got the permission from Sreejith, I started the translation work. With Swami’s Grace, in just two weeks it was done, apart from picking out the typing-errors. I couldn't stop!! I worked almost day and night, ignoring physical exhaustion. I felt all the time Swami's Presence so strong, hurrying me up like a kind of slave-driver. But oh, how I enjoyed that! I hardly needed a dictionary, for when I couldn't find the right translation quickly enough, I just waited a few seconds and...there it was! I felt highly responsible towards Swami, like when I was illustrating His version of the Rama-story. That was also great to do. Working with Him is highly exiting and I hope that will happen more often. After the job was done I realized, that my depression, caused by Swami's early disappearance, was over, or better, it had found a place somewhere in my heart where it was resting on a bed of sweet divine Love, covered with hope.
Now life has a meaning again and I am sure that Swami wanted me to translate it for those around me who don't speak or read enough English. I felt that for a devotee like me who is 86 years old, it could be an act of Seva towards my Sai-friends, who would welcome it with great joy. I feel Swami has guided me like He has guided Sreejith and I am extremely grateful for that.
I come from a very old family (our family-tree goes back to the year 641 AD), full of kings, knights etc. but also full of multi-talented artists, mainly portrait-painters. Some were Christian spiritual leaders, or musicians, writers, actors, architects etc. Today all that 'high-society-stuff’ is long gone but the talents are still there.
My father was a captain in the commercial navy and my mother was a qualified artist. They lived and worked mainly in Indonesia and it was there, that I was born in a small village on the island East-Java. Although my parents pretended to be non-believers, I went to a RK. School, the only one there was. There I learned about the life and mission of Jesus Christ, which impressed me deeply for the rest of my life.
My father became a prisoner of war in Indonesia during the Japanese occupation when I was 14 years old. Many very difficult years followed full of threat, cruelty, injustice and starvation but also of intense spiritual growth. Later in my life I read a lot of books about spiritual topics and in 1990 I found Swami. I knew that He was the One I had been searching for all my life...GOD!
I wrote Swami a letter and within 14 days the first miracle happened. I came to read two books on Swami: one by Howard Murphet and one by Samuel Sandweiss, both on their first encounters with Swami. In both books I found some addresses: one in Holland of a Sai-group in Amsterdam and one old address of Swami. I decided to write a letter to Him to this address, as I was already convinced that He was the One for Whom I had been waiting since 2000 years, referring to Jesus. I wrote about all the troubles in our family and also about my many spiritual questions, as I believed that He was the same God to whom I always turned with my doubts, questions and problems. Well, I sent the letter to that old address, knowing that it could take two weeks before it arrived.
Meanwhile I called one of these Sai-groups in my neighborhood for some information and learned that there was an information-evening nearby. When I showed some interest, they organized some transport for me, as I don't have that myself. When I saw Swami the first time moving on the video and heard about the experiences of others, who had already been to India, I was deeply moved and knew, that this was really God...There was no need any more to envy the disciples of Jesus, who could ask Him whatever they wanted and got the answer directly from Him. I couldn't speak as I had tears in my eyes.
While waiting for my transport back home, somebody gave me a small package of vibhuti, which he had received directly from Swami Himself. Back home I lit a candle and tasted the new vibhuti. Then it happened (exactly two weeks after sending the letter!)...Swami's feet were on the table before me...I embraces them, crying loudly, beseeching Him never to be separated from me again, to accept me and to be one with Him for ever and ever...I have been crying and crying, sometimes even screaming for three days and nights nonstop. All the pain and misery of a whole life came out...All the time I have been holding His feet...When I finally managed to pull myself together again, I called that nearby group and joined them. Within three months I was in India, where I got a very serious eye-hemorrhage from which Swami cured me, which couldn't be explained by the Dutch doctors. According to them it was incurable.
Since this extraordinary experience with Swami, nobody can come between us anymore...It is Him for ever and ever...
I joined a Bhajan-group in which I was very active for some years, but finally it expanded so fast and became so big, that we had to split up and that was the end of our group. Then I was asked to lead a meditation-group, spread all over the country. Each of us sent in turn every month a topic for meditation to me and everybody got a kind of 'guidance' from me in return. Each time I was aware of Swami's Presence, when I was typing out these guidances. It was clearly He who whispered in my ears what to write.
I also illustrated during 10 years the Dutch version of Sanathana Sarathi, which was highly appreciated. Meanwhile I met Joyce Moller-Barker for whom I also illustrated books (she is on Souljourns). I have also written about 40 songs for Swami, expressing my love for Him.
My dreams on Golden Age and Swami’s Reappearance
When I got a vision of the 'New World', a few months before the birth of our first child (I didn't know Swami at all in those days), I saw a beautiful city descending from heaven, full of wonderful colors, giving light from within, but at the same time I knew, that this vision was actually a symbol for divinity, coming down on earth. Visions are timeless, they contain a message and taking place on the spot where you are, inside you. Yet they are different from dreams, much clearer, and usually they come true. If more people get the same vision it can be possible, that there will be differences in descriptions, because they are adapted to the individual perception. But the message is the same.
During my first visit to Swami in 1991 He came in my dream, showing me the future through a window in the desert. What I saw was horrifying and I sighed: "Swami, do we really have to go through all this? I experienced already a gruesome war, I just don't have the courage to experience again so much demonic darkness..." Then Swami put His arm around my shoulder, smiled lovingly and said: "I don't want this either, but people are walking straight towards their own destruction with open eyes, because they can't deny themselves any of their worldly pleasures..." Seeing my distress He then showed me a glimpse of the Golden Age, which was so beautiful and peaceful that I surrendered and accepted what had to come before that. The world looked cleansed, the colors were refreshed, all sorts of plants and animals which were supposed to be extinguished were there again and there was room enough for everybody to live. Work was a pleasure, because nobody destroyed anymore what others had built up. This was the dream and during Darshan that morning Swami turned on His heels, gave me the first straight look, smiled bewitchingly at me and then I saw His eyes turning deep blue for a while. He looked somewhat pensive at me like He had something in mind for me (I still don't know what!).
After Swami’s disappearance, I had a few dreams on His return:
Baba was back, healthy and strong. He appeared on a wall-size screen and suddenly I was 'in' that screen, walking behind Him. People had organized a huge banquet to honor Him and I happened to sit next Swami. Our conversation was very informal, like before, and He didn't pay heed to my touching His arm or shoulder, while talking. Everything was so natural, no distance at all between us, like old friends. Suddenly He asked me: "Do you want a talk with Me, one day, about your love for Me?" I was silent for a moment and then I said whispering: "Yes, Swami..." End of the dream.
Baba was back, walking around surrounded by many people. Suddenly He discovered me and walked towards me with outstretched arms, taking my head in His hands, caressing my face, asking me: "When do you come?" ...
I had a very serious conversation with the Pope about the developments in the world. In the end I asked him whether we would see each other again to continue this talk, but he said: "No, you won't see me anymore". Then I said trembling: "I am very old now, so I don't think I will ever see Baba again, whom I love beyond words...". I was still trembling when the Pope said after a short silence: "Yes, you will see Him once more". I took leave from the Pope. I was so ecstatic about his last words, that I passed out...
These days I feel strong and joyful again, able to meet the last hurdles before the Golden Age is coming. Sreejith, I feel very clearly, that you as the author of this book and we as the translators, are now mysteriously transferred to another 'dimension' if I may call it so, and I am looking forward to hear how the others feel about this.
Well, anyhow, I am convinced that we will see the great Event very soon. I am not afraid, despite all the horror around us. It is heralding Swami's glorious Come Back!
I hope Swami will inspire you again to write some more of such wonderful books, I wish you good luck and Swami's boundless blessings.
With Sai-Love, yours sincerely
Henriette N.M. Schakel