Dr. Ron Farmer
My wife and I are both clinical psychologists and feel blessed that we have the extraordinary teachings of Sathya Sai Baba to form the foundation of our psychotherapeutic practices. Ever since we began exploring how the Avatar’s advice can be applied to assist those coming into our clinic rooms, we have been both delighted and humbled at the awesome power of these spiritual principles in our field of work. Many patients recover in just one or two sessions, with problems that have plagued them for months or even years.

To give readers just a small sample of how flexible and far-reaching are Sai’s teachings for psychological problems, we will relate just one example of how repeating the Name of God can be utilised to overcome quite severe emotional problems.

The story concerns a 13 year-old girl whose father was a minister in a Christian church. Her problem was that, whenever it was her turn to stand up in class to read something or give an answer, she would experience hyperventilation, fear, trembling, mental confusion and had to sit down without responding. This had been going on for several months and caused her great embarrassment and anxiety.

After mentally asking Baba to guide me - saying, "I know nothing. I can do nothing. I trust in Your guidance" - I began looking for areas of difficulty in her relationships: self-esteem and so forth, just asking whatever questions came to mind. After 30 minutes or so, the analysis had not produced one lead to follow up on; so, I waited in silence, without thinking, just trusting. Then the thought came and I spoke it to her, "Do you have any recurring dreams?" With a little look of surprise she replied, "Yes I do." "Are they nightmares?" I asked. "Yes," she said, "I keep dreaming that I am falling off a cliff."

I knew we had something here to work with, but still had no idea of what to do. Then I remembered the Name. I knew it would be effective somehow. After all Lord Sai has assured us that holding onto the Name and Form of God is the antidote for all suffering. He says:

To help you to give up fear and doubt, keep the Name of the Lord always on your tongue and in your mind.

(Discourse on 2nd September, 1958)

So, I said to her, "Do you love Jesus?" Enthusiastically she replied, "Oh yes! I love Jesus very much." Here was the Name and Form that would dissolve all fear.

After getting details of the nightmare, I asked her to close her eyes and listen to my voice. I then described her walking along the path to the cliff, stumbling, then falling and, for the next 10 minutes or so I repeated the following words over and over again: "Imagine you are falling and you’re holding the hand of Jesus. You’re falling, holding the hand of Jesus..."

To my delight, I saw her face begin to relax almost immediately, while I used only these words. Soon she was sitting there with eyes closed, smiling as if in a type of loving ecstasy. She remained in this state for some minutes, indicating that the ‘nightmare’ had been transformed into a form of Divine relaxation.

I said to her, "Jesus gave you the nightmare, over and over again, because He wants you to develop a method of dissolving your fear in the classroom." I then briefly guided her imagination so that she was waiting for her turn to stand up and speak in class, all the time instructing her to include the image of falling while holding the hand of Jesus. With that, her fear was gone. In addition, she now had an effective relaxation technique that she could use for the remainder of her life, particularly in any stress situation.

This single session therapy experience made a deep impression on both my wife and me. We believe, as Baba says, that all thoughts come from God. This advice must refer also to those thoughts arising in the dream state. Our nightmares can be seen as symbols given to us by God to ‘save’ us from pressing dilemmas. All we need to do is add the ingredient of the Name and Form, which then act as a catalyst to transform base metal into gold.

Readers might like to experiment with the above self-help therapy technique. If you have experienced a nightmare or vivid disturbing dream, simply replay it in your mind while holding on to the hand of Lord Sai, or other favoured Deity or saint. In particular, if the nightmare has been recurring several times over the past few months or years, you will probably find that the Inner Divinity is seeking to give you the antidote to an ongoing difficulty.

The fear in the nightmare tells us that we are standing with our back to the sun, seeing only our dark shadow. That is, we have been struggling in some aspect of our life, turning our back on the Lord. By adding the Name and Form to the nightmare, we not only transform its recall into a heart-opening experience, but we co-create with God in devising a ‘relaxation response’ that can be used in trying situations.

Adding the Name and Form gives a life-saving rudder to the boat, which is being blown onto the perilous rocks. We can then sail across the sea of life, ever sure that we are in God’s Hands.

When you dwell on the Names of the Lord, His Majesty, His Grace, His Potency, His All-pervasiveness etc., these get fixed in your consciousness and your own capacities and capabilities get eclipsed in the Divine.

(In ‘Namasmarana’, p.28)