To a spiritual aspirant, He is the divine master par excellence; to a rationalist, He is the greatest humanitarian on earth; to thousands of modern youth, He is the leader with a dynamic vision and a colossus of inspiration; to a devotee, He is simply divinity in human form; and to everyone who has had the opportunity to behold Him, He is Pure Love Walking on Two Feet.
Ask Bhagavan Baba, “Are you God?” And He says:
“Yes, I am God and so are you. The only difference between you and I is that while I am aware of this fact, you are not.”
And this is no casual remark. Indeed, inherent in this small, but extremely significant statement, is the fundamental truth of humanity’s divine nature - its true reality; and revivifying the heart of every human being to this salient truth is the mission and message of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Very aptly, Baba begins His every discourse, addressing the gathering as, “Embodiments of the Divine Atma”.
All who listen to Him, experience His unconditional love, benefit from His caring counsel and witness His supernormal supremacy over mind and matter, get a real glimpse of the glory and majesty of God, and therefore, of the infinity that each human potentially and inherently is.
His Birth and Childhood
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’ means ‘Divinity Incarnate in Human Form’) that the world at large learnt of this divine phenomenon.
To read in more detail about Baba’s early life, click below:
The Intent of His Advent
Today, millions from all over the world, professing various faiths and hailing from all walks of life, worship Bhagavan Baba as an ‘Avatar’, and the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi. Thousands gather every day at Prasanthi Nilayam, His spiritual headquarters established beside the village of Puttaparthi, for His darshan (the act of beholding His sacred form), when He moves among devotees, blessing them and uplifting them by 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 Divine 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.”
To read more about what Baba has said of Himself, His mission and His manifestations, click below:
His Glorious Mission
Bhagavan 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, Bhagavan 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 humanity to lead a meaningful life is the five-fold path of:
Prema (Love), and
“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 projects, 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 Seva Organization today has a presence in hundreds of nations in the world, and its members undertake any number of service activities that benefit their immediate community. And they do it selflessly and spontaneously.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has thus emerged as a beacon of hope in a world that is desperately seeking an end to the unrest and sorrow prevalent today. His message of “Love All Serve All – Help Ever Hurt Never” is a spiritual salve that will lead mankind from the pain of darkness and ignorance and to the light and bliss of immortality.
Indeed, once in a millennium does such a Divine Being walk the earth. For you and I, and all humanity, in spite of the dark clouds hovering on the world’s horizon today, there is a silver lining - nay, a golden one. If we seize this rarest of rare opportunities, world peace and harmony, along with our individual emancipation, will no longer be a utopia. It will become as real and universal as the morning Sun.