On the 8th of March, 1940, Sathya gave a piercing scream and fell down unconscious. He tightly held His right toe with his hand and so, friends and relatives around concluded that a scorpion had bitten him. Satya, however, had actually left his physical frame to save some devotee far away. The people around him did not realize this, as Satya had never done such a thing in the presence of others before. They continued to look for the scorpion, which was nowhere to be found. To everyone’s relief, Satya opened his eyes after some time and was as calm as before. The next day, the incident recurred with Satya falling down unconscious once again. Later, when he regained consciousness, he advised the people around him, “the village Goddess Muthyalamma is angry for some reason. So one of you break a coconut and light some camphor at her shrine.” When the coconut was broken at the temple, little Satya at home announced that the coconut had broken into three pieces. On checking it was found that it was indeed so. The above incidents drew various reactions from the people in the village. Some people thought that Satya was possessed by ghosts and started treating him with all sorts of medicines and herbs while others concluded that he had gone ‘mad’ and sent for his parents to come and fetch him. Satya’s parents, when they arrived, were shocked to see their darling son in such a state. However, even they, did not know what to do and so took him to an excorcist, known to be very powerful in the region. The excorcist used cruel methods for supposedly ‘driving away the ghosts.’ He cut darling Satya’s tender scalp with a sharp knife and squeezed some lime juice into it. He also added some very pungent powder, which resulted in sweet Satya’s face bulging to abnormal proportions. His eyes, too, swelled to an enormous size, causing much agony and distress to His mother and sister who could not bear to see His condition. They were, however, helpless in the situation, as they had handed over Satya to the excorcist. Seeing their plight, Satya beckoned His sister and asked her to get a particular herb that was available nearby and squeeze some of it’s juice into His eyes. The mother and sister then pleaded with the exorcist to leave Satya alone, promising that they would bring Him back once He was better and more fit. The Exorcist let Satya go with great reluctance. The sister then put the suggested herbal juice into Satya’s eyes and before long, his eyes were back to normal and sparkling with mischief. Explaining the above incidents, Baba has subsequently stated that He endured this period of torture to demonstrate that He is beyond pleasure and pain and beyond duality (ref: page 95 the Holy man and the Psychiatrist by Samuel H. Sandweiss). Days passed with Satya extolling high Vedic Philosophy (Indian scriptures, the 4 Vedas) to the village urchins. He even started talking about a saint called SAI BABA. The father, Sri Pedda Venkappa Raju, could not stand this turn of events any longer. One day he approached his son with a stick in his hand, with the intention of beating the devil out of him. In frustration, he queried, ‘who are you? Tell me the truth.” Unflustered, Satya calmly replied with love and authority, “I am SAI BABA. Keep your houses clean and your minds clean and I will dwell in them forever.” The stick in the father’s hand fell down. He was dumbfounded but further commanded, “if you are Sai Baba, show us proof.” Bala Narayana (little Narayana) took a handful of jasmine flowers in his hands and threw them on the floor. The flowers fell forming the letters SAI BABA in Telegu (the local language). From that day onwards, people in the village as well as those in the surrounding villages started calling Satya, Sai Baba or Swami (master). They started worshipping Him with great devotion and offered Bala Sai special pujas (prayers) on Thursdays.