Who is Sri Sathya Sai Baba?
“I am God. And you too are God. The only difference between you and Me is that while I am aware of it, you are completely unaware.” This is the answer Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gives to people who query Him about His identity and divinity. This fundamental truth of man’s divine nature is at the heart of His message and mission. Indeed, in His discourses to devotees, He addresses them as “Embodiments of the Divine Atma”. All who experience His pure and selfless love, and benefit from His illuminating counsel, and witness His miraculous nature get a glimpse of the glory and majesty of God, and therefore of what one potentially and inherently is.
I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. I have not come on any mission of publicity for any sect or creed or cause; nor have I come to collect followers for any doctrine. I have come to tell you of this Universal unitary faith, this path of Love. Believe that all Hearts are motivated by the One and Only God, that all names in all languages, and all forms man can conceive denote the one and only God. Cultivate the attitude of oneness between people of all creeds, all countries and all continents. This is the message of Love I bring – Baba
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born as Sathyanarayana Raju on November 23, 1926 in the village of Puttaparthi, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Even as a child, His spiritual inclination and contemplative nature set
him apart from other children of His age, and He was known as ‘Guru’ and “Brahmajnani’ (knower of Brahman or Godhead) among His peers and others in the village. However, it was not until October 20, 1940, the day He made the historic declaration of His Avatarhood, (Avatar – Divinity Incarnate) that the world at large learnt of this divine phenomenon. Today, millions of devotees from all over the world, professing various faiths, and hailing from various walks of life worship Him as an ‘Avatar’, and an incarnation of the Sai Baba of Shirdi. Thousands gather every day at Prasanthi Nilayam, His ashram established beside the village of Puttaparthi, for His Darshan, when He moves among devotees blessing them and providing spiritual succour and solace.
Revealing the purpose of His Advent, Sai Baba has said that He has come to re-establish the rhythm of righteousness in the world and repair the ancient highway to God, which over the years has systematically deteriorated. In His own words, “This Sai has come in order to achieve the supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family through the bond of brotherhood, of affirming and illuminating the Atmic Reality (Atma – The Self) of each being, to reveal the Divine which is the basis on which the entire cosmos rests, and of instructing all to recognise the common Divine Heritage that binds man to man, so that man can rid himself of the animal and rise up to the Divine, which is the goal.”
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is an integral manifestation who combines two very significant roles. Firstly, He is a great spiritual Master, famed for His simple and sweet exposition of the greatest and most intricate of spiritual truths which form the fundamental teachings of all the religions of the world. Elucidating on His mission, Bhagawan declares “I have come not to disturb or destroy any faith, but to confirm each in his own faith, so that the Christian becomes a better Christian, the Muslim a better Muslim and the Hindu a better Hindu.” His formula for man to lead a meaningful life is the five-fold path of Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanthi (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non-Violence). Love for God, fear of sin and morality in society – these are His prescriptions for our ailing world.
Secondly, He is an inexhaustible reservoir of pure love. His numerous service projects, be it free hospitals, free schools and colleges, free drinking water supply or free housing projects, all stand testimony to His selfless love and compassion for the needy and less privileged. True to His declaration – “My Life is My Message”, He has inspired and continues to inspire millions of His devotees worldwide by His personal example to live the ideal that service to man is service to God. The Sri Sathya Sai Organization today has a presence in over 167 countries in the world and members undertake group service activities that benefit their immediate community.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is thus a beacon of hope in a world that is desperately seeking an end to the unrest and sorrow prevalent today. His message of “Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God” is a spiritual salve that will lead mankind from the darkness of ignorance to the light of immortality. Indeed, very rarely does such a divine power walk the earth. As one devotee said, “Bhagawan Baba is nothing but Love walking on two feet”. Mankind must use this golden opportunity to follow in His footsteps. That is the way to its redemption and its salvation.
Spiritual discipline is the cultivation of Love. Be full of Love. taste the exhilaration that Love can confer. Let everyone see your exuberant with light and joy.– Sathya Sai Baba
Baba, a 20 year old boy wrote a letter to His elder brother Sheshama Raju on 25th May 1967 “I have a task :To foster all mankind and ensure for all people lives full of bliss. I have vow: To lead all who stay away from the straight path, back again into goodness and save them. I am attached to a task of love: To remove the suffering of the poor and grant them what they lack. You yourself will see the full glory upholding in the coming years”.
The world applauds Him for His massive social welfare projects – Drinking water schemes, Super Speciality Hospitals, Free education from KG to PG.
The schools and university were a result of the idea that education is a process of drawing out what is already latent in the individual. And that latent treasure is love, truth, right conduct, peace, understanding and compassion which Swami demonstrated in His physical form.
Swami has built healing temples with love at no cost. There are thousands of cardiac, neurological, urology, plastic, eyes, orthopaedic surgeries and free consultation for lacks of patients every year. The entire treatment including diagnosis, the procedure, stay in words, medicines and food is free. In fact hospitals have no bill-collection centres.
Sri Sathya Sai water project had provided water to over a 100 million people in India who had lived all their lives at the edge of drought and despair.
He rebuilt innumerable lives shattered by calamities and above all united people across all faiths, cultures, countries and classes with the universal love and tolerance by Swamis pure and selfless love.
True to His words, the change is there for the world to see. The sleepy ant-hill tiny village infested Puttavardhini to Puttaparthi, a img-20160524-wa0012busting International township – to transform many lives, to serve the helpless, a being who guided millions on the path of selfless service, and teacher whose love and compassion were boundless. No project was impossible, no task was daunting, no cost too high for Swami for benefit of the underprivileged and the helpless.
He stood as Role-Model and taught the way of (Divine Life) LIFE DIVINE. He showed his visiting cards of Leelas and Mahimas, then refining the individuals, by love and services to the society, realising that the “Other is not different from oneself” lead to the ultimate realisation of truth. In fulfilment of His declaration “My Life is my Message” has become true.
Sri Sathya Sai Organizations (India & International) conducts a very effective 9 years model of education (Balvikas or SSE) started by Swami in 1969, for the age group of 5 to 15 years across the world. It is the brain child of Swami, and benefited millions of children. Swami says “Education is for life, not merely for a earning and living” holds solutions to all the present-day problems including religious fanaticism, violence, greed, economic crisis and moral crisis. It has grown into a sturdy tree bearing sweet fruits for mankind and continuous to grow by His Loving and Divine blessings.
There are close to 100 Sri Satya Sai Schools in India and close to 50 in other countries implemented universal human values of Sai education within the framework of the local academic curriculum.
Inspired by Swamis Medicare projects, Sri Sathya Sai Organizations across the world are also deeply committed to the cause of free healthcare to all the needy and poor patients through medical centres, clinics, nursing homes. The organizations also conduct regular medical camps (mobile hospital service) in order to reach out those in the remote areas. They provide Sai Protein food; educate villagers on hygiene, food habits, disease prevention techniques etc. The spiritual component of this service in remote villages has strengthened community bonds and demonstrated how practicing human values leads to positive health and happiness brings in their lives.
The power of Babas unconditional love transformed many in India and other countries to take up mega water projects to serve the needy by providing pure drinking water in remote villages.
Nature’s Fury – God’s Mercy: Be it an earth quake, flood or famine, Sri Sathya Sai Organization, led and guided by Swami, has always been forefront of every disaster relief programme across the world to help the needy. Inspired by Swamis messages and teachings, “Love All – Serve All”, “Service to Man is Service to God”, thousands of volunteers from India and overseas are ever ready for the call of service, and often the first to reach and serve the affected with love and compassion at a high level of discipline.
In the process of Transformation
It is this pure love that distinguishes Swamis Projects and Institutions from others. It was this pure love that drew millions from around the world to his small village and galvanized them to serve their best to the society. Swami advocated the service as the highest form of worship.
The Sri Sathya Sai Organization started by Swami in 1960s stands for service with love, discipline with dignity, charity without publicity, relief beyond costs and help without distinction. Inspired by Swamis messages and living example of selfless love, millions of devotees throughout the world have embarked on the path of self-transformation and realization of their innate divinity through love, right conduct, peace, truth and non-violence.
Swamis recently in His late 80s changed His earlier statement of “My Life is My Message” to “Your Life is My Message”.
He has therefore placed onus on His Property, Who is His Property? – His Students, His Devotees, members of His Organizations from all over the world to practice His teachings through service to mankind. The time has come for each one to live upto the lofty ideals shown and trodden by Bhagawan.
Especially each member of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations -let us re-dedicate ourselves to practise and preach through the multifarious activities of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations and extend the service and our co-operation in the wings of Balavikas, Spiritual, Service, Mahila Vibhag, Youth and IT activities. So that our Master, Guide, Father, Mother and Philosopher, find all of us as befitting instruments in His master plan of rejuvenation of the whole humanity.
All of us in the organization have been personally taught by Him and it’s now our duty to continue His service to society with renewed enthusiasm –Transform self to transform the world.