Extraordinary Evidence > Watching a Baseball Game with Adi Da

Watching a Baseball Game
with Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj

James Steinberg

Jame Steinberg is a religious scholar. He has been a devotee of Avatar Adi Da Samraj since 1973. He has been personally schooled by Adi Da in the entire Great Tradition of humankind's religious and spiritual literature. He is a sought-after speaker and radio program guest. He is also the author of the books, Love of the God-Man and Divine Distraction, both about the Guru-devotee relationship (on which he is a world authority). James has been Graced to live with Adi Da Samraj in His Island Hermitage, Adi Da Samrajashram in Fiji, and at The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in California. He has represented Adi Da Samraj in meetings with spiritual luminaries worldwide, and is a regular visitor to India in completion of a variety of Sacred projects. James attended Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1972. He has two daughters and lives in California.

This story was originally published on James Steinberg's website, Divine Distraction.

One day in late July of 1975, I asked Bhagavan Adi Da if He would like to go to a baseball game. The conversation began while we were down at the swimming pool below Holy Cat Grotto at The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary. It was a Sunday afternoon. We continued talking as we walked up the hill, and the conversation lasted until we got up to Adi Da's residence, The Manner of Flowers. We sat down in the living room and finished the discussion there with Bhagavan Adi Da sitting on the couch and myself kneeling next to Him.

Adi Da was very enthusiastic and happy about the plan to go to a baseball game with a group of devotees. I found out how many tickets He wanted me to get, which was about 15. The team in the Bay Area to see in those days was the Oakland Athletics. They had made the playoffs every year from 1971 on and would also this year, 1975. Their team included stars like Reggie Jackson. So at that moment it was definitely the A's that we wanted to see, rather than the San Francisco Giants. And the best team of course to see them play would be the New York Yankees. Adi Da was a New Yorker, of course, that was the team of His childhood. So, based on my discussion with Adi Da that Sunday, that was the series I bought tickets for.

I went to the Oakland Coliseum advance ticket office and got the best seats I could find. They were on the first base side, about half way between home plate and first base, maybe twenty rows up from the field. It was still several weeks until the game, but I was so excited. I could hardly believe that we would all be going to the baseball game with the Divine Realizer.

The day of the game was August 14, 1975, a Thursday. Adi Da had come down from The Mountain of Attention and spent the night at a devotee's house in Mill Valley. Early in the morning I arrived there with another devotee (Godfree Roberts) in Bhagavan Adi Da's white Mercedes 450 SEL. When we all got into the car to leave for the game, I was given Beloved Bhagavan's wallet to carry for Him. It was "my day" to be with Beloved Bhagavan. I sat in the back seat, Adi Da was in the front in the passenger's seat. Aniello Panico was next to me in the back. Godfree Roberts was driving.

Game time that day was 1:30 PM at the Oakland Coliseum. Dick Bosman was pitching for the Athletics, and he pitched a complete game. Rudy May was the starting pitcher for the Yankees, and he pitched into the 8th inning. I remember that it was a hot day, and we were drinking beer in the stands, and eating these large hot dogs called "foot longs" or Collosals. Because it was hot outside, we did not realize how tipsy we were getting from the beer.

Aniello Panico
Aniello Panico
Aniello, who was sitting just in front of Adi Da in the next row closest to the field, was rooting for the New York Yankees, and Beloved Adi Da was rooting for the local team: the Oakland Athletics. I was sitting about three seats to Bhagavan Adi Das left, towards home plate in the same row as Beloved Bhagavan. Two ladies sat between myself and Beloved. The game started out with Oakland getting the first run in the bottom of the first, but then the Yankees tied it up in the top of the fourth. And then there was no scoring at all. When it got to the eighth inning, New York was threatening to score with two players on base. Aniello started to tease Adi Da. He began to rub it in to Beloved Bhagavan that His team was going to lose, and that the Yankees were going to win. He was really teasing Bhagavan. There was just enough tipsiness that the interaction between Aniello and Bhagavan got a little charged, and everyone else was listening and adding to the moment and the drama. We all were involved and wondering what would happen next. It was all in good fun, but there was some machismo coming from Aniello.

Suddenly the Yankees were retired, and now the A's were up. In what had been a completely tight and well-played game, the Yankees started making errors. It made no sense. . . suddenly the Yankees were falling apart! To all the devotees who were present, it was completely obvious that Beloved Bhagavan was affecting the game. For no reason, the Yankees made two fielding errors on consecutive plays. First the center fielder made an error, which I dont remember too well. But I remember that Stanley, the shortstop for the Yankees unaccountably dropped the ball. As this happened, there was Beloved Bhagavan just smiling, and Aniello looking a little resentfully at Adi Da and just shaking his head. He realized that there was nothing that he could do. A little later the Yankees pitcher threw a wild pitch. The inning went on and on, with Oakland scoring four runs. Suddenly, Oakland was ahead, not to lose again. All His devotees there were suddenly aware that Beloved Bhagavan was Divinely Willing Oakland to win!

In the top of the ninth, the Yankees went out, 1, 2, 3.

It was pretty amazing to us all, but we kind of took it in stride, because it was the kind of thing that we had come to expect from Adi Da. In 1975, Bhagavan Adi Da was more active with Yogic Siddhis, rather than simply remaining present in the Heart (as He would most of the time in later years). However, usually we witnessed His miraculous impact at the Ashram and The Mountain Of Attention. But here we — and 20,000 other (completely unaware) people — were witnessing the effects of His Siddhis in the middle of the Oakland Coliseum!

In the hot sun, we walked back to the car, which was in the middle of the parking lot. I remember it took a long time to get out of the parking lot because of all of the traffic in the parking lot, and it was pretty quiet in terms of conversation.

This day with Adi Da continued, with a trip to Japantown in San Francisco, a brief visit to the movies, and then a gathering in a devotee's house on 28th Avenue in the Sunset area of San Francisco. But what happened in those occasions will have to be the subject of other leelas.


This story appears in
Extraordinary Evidence

Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
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