"What is the power which works these miracles in You?" The editor of ‘Nava Kaal’, a regional newspaper of Gujarat, India, asked Bhagavan Baba. The year was 1968, and the date, June 14. It was one of those rare occasions when a journalist had the opportunity to pose a few straight-forward questions to the Avathar. And Bhagavan kindly complied too. He said, “It is wrong to call them miracles or chamatkars, or to say that chamatkars are done in order to earn namaskars (respect and adoration)! It is only nidarsan (evidence) not pradarsan (exhibition). It is just like a play, a sport - My natural behaviour. It is a sign which helps others to turn into faith, devotion, inquiry and realisation of their own atma. As the intention or the will arises in the mind, the thing is made!" Now, the editor was baffled; he wanted to know more.
"It is said that by miracles, things that are already somewhere are transported. Are they moved from somewhere or created?"
Baba calmly answered, "They are all created newly…. Transporting means, they should come from somewhere else, isn't it? That would be deceit. Things are created at the very moment I will them. I give also things that are found nowhere. This Power is impossible to comprehend."
The editor’s mind was now a flood of questions. "From when have you begun to give these signs of Divine Power?", "At what age did you actually acquire this Power?" "From My very Birth," Swami replied instantly, and then, after a pause, added with emphasis, "From before that!" The journalist was now dumbstruck; he exclaimed, "That is to say...?" And Baba continued: "That is to say, I resolved upon My Birth. I decided who should be My Mother. Mere humans can choose only who is to be their wife or husband; the Mother was chosen by the Son in the Rama incarnation and in the case of Lord Krishna. Then too, the task for which the birth was decided upon was, conferring Love on all, and through that Love, fostering righteous living.
"My acts are evidences of Divine Power, signs and signals of Divinity. I am granting things out of Love. My Love will never diminish. I have no desire of any kind. I talk of Love, I guide you along the Path of Love; I am Love."
Can the description of the life and message of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba get anything better than this? Can we identify any event, a single moment or one act of Bhagavan in these eight decades of His divine earthly sojourn that did not have the imprint of His immeasurable Love on it! Be it the time when as a young Sathya, He ran out of the house hearing the call of a beggar to offer His meal at the door, or walked miles with two big pots full of water hanging from a bamboo stem on his shoulders to obey His sister-in-law without even a murmur of protest, or even forgiving the malevolent lady who offered Him vadas that were poisoned, or the crude black magician who tortured His physical frame to death in the name of ‘curing’ Him; to the establishment of ultra-modern institutions of health and education to cater to the cries and needs of the poorest of the poor; to the incessant granting of darshan, sparshan and sambhashan day after day for six decades now, and giving Himself away continuously and completely to save, support, and offer solace to His devotees – every second of His life has been an offering of Love to humanity
In fact, during His 60th Birthday, Bhagavan declared, “Let me tell you that no one else in the world today has as much wealth, property and treasure as I have, not even the World Bank, or even the richest emperors and kings. What is that wealth, that treasure? It is my selfless, Universal Love. That uniquely potent Love has kept this body radiant and young.” He went on to explain how His mission actually operates, and said, “When I decide on a project, the wherewithal for accomplishing it is spontaneously available without any fund raising campaign. My Will has the power to concretize My plan. I willed that a College must rise in Puttaparthi; the Rajmatha of Nawanagar built it. In order to endow it with properly trained boys, I willed a Higher Secondary School; Bozzani from America asked that he be given the chance to build it. I thought that at this place education on Sai lines must be available to children from the Primary stage itself. Craxi, the brother of the Prime Minister of Italy, offered to build the School. At Bangalore, when I decided on a plan for a College and Hostel, Mrs. Elsie Cowan asked that she be given the privilege of completing it. Such is the might of My Will….Man justifies himself and proves his claim to be a worthy individual only though service, undertaken sincerely, selflessly, and with no thought of worldly reward. Seva is the only path to self-realization. It is the highest expression of love and of the sacrifice love involves.”
The modus operandi of Bhagavan has been simple – To overwhelm every heart that comes to Him with His unconditional love. But how does Bhagavan Baba manage to melt the hearts of millions, individually? Every person who loves Him, experiences Him, feels His love, is guided by Him and fills their life with His bliss. This is the most beautiful aspect of Divinity – the One in fact becomes the ‘Many’ and all the ‘Many’ feel like the One. Bhagavan says, “I separated Myself from Myself so that I can love Myself.” How this supreme Love actually plays out in the life of every individual, is in fact, the most fantastic love-tale in the world. And in this month of November, when we celebrate the Advent of the Love Incarnate on earth, what else can be more soul-filling than sharing and dwelling on these incredible manifestations of His magnificent love. Therefore, we have the cover story “Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Pure Love Unparalleled.”
In part one of this story you will find how the Divine Magnet works His magic of Pure Love, and people from near and across oceans, belonging to different cultures, with allegiance to varied faiths, from the ruler of a land to the tiller of the soil, are drawn to Him, some slowly, others suddenly; some accidentally, others gradually. And what happens next, once they know Him and experience His love first hand? That story is even more exciting, because then starts the real thrills of this glorious adventure. “Well, all these might be fabulous stories, but how does it help the world?” One might ask. Does it have an answer to terrorism? Can it solve the problem of poverty? Can it prevent a bloodbath in some of the world’s most respected financial behemoths? The answer to this is an emphatic ‘yes’. But how does it work? Read part two of our cover story.
There is no mission that is impossible for Pure Love, Bhagavan has demonstrated this in His life, time and again. During His 70th Birthday Celebrations in 1990, He proclaimed, “We have decided to establish a 100-crore hospital here in Prasanthi Nilayam itself! There are few who are ready to set up such institutions to provide free facilities for the poor. Just as higher education is free here, ‘higher medicine’ too will be free! The Hospital will be opened on November 22, 1991.”
In this month, the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram, celebrates its 17th Anniversary. Yes, every detail about this Hospital is extraordinary - be it Bhagavan’s out-of-the-blue announcement, or its incredibly short 5-month construction time, or its amazing architecture and soothing ambience. But what’s truly moving and mystifying is the miracle of love that happens literally everyday inside its holy premises. When you read the story of Chand Mohammad, a simple tailor who needed Rs 3 lakhs (US $ 7500) for a cardiac operation to restore the health of his ailing wife in Jamshedpur, and how Bhagavan Himself beckoned, blessed and assured Him, you will know what is it that makes this Hospital truly one-of-its-kind. Or, in the same Healing Touch section read the life-altering tale of Jehangir. He was bed-ridden for life when he accidentally fell from a multistoried building while doing his masonry job, and doctors in most hospitals did not even entertain his case given the complexity involved; and when a few did, they asked for the moon as the price. But today, Jehangir’s status in his community is like that of a phoenix. The Orthopaedic surgeon who operated on him in SSSIHMS, Puttaparthi, says, “ I have never seen or read anything such as this anywhere! One will not find such a case even in the medical journals anywhere in the world…. All I can say is in Bhagavan's temple of healing, miracles happen time and again….”
There is a beautiful instance in Baba’s biography, Sathyam Shivam Sundaram, where, during the 1950s, devotees one day pleaded with Bhagavan to visit the sands of Chitravathi in the evening, as He used to do often in those days, so that Baba would be prompted to perform some ‘miracles’. When their requests become too persistent, Baba, who was gently pacing up and down the corridor, stopped, turned around and said, “You are My Miracle!”
Truly, we are His miracles because we have been touched by Him, we are fortunate to be born at a time when He is on earth, we can see Him, cherish Him, love Him and live for Him. Two weeks from now, Puttaparthi will witness a celebration that the world has never seen before. Multitudes will be at His Lotus Feet to savour His blessing on the occasion of Sahasra Poorna Chandra Darshanam Mahotsavam – celebrating the life of one who has completed witnessing a thousand full moons. But how can we celebrate the birthday of the One who has Himself created the moon? On the final day of Dasara this year (2008), Swami said, “I truly have no desire, expect one. And that is Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu – Let every being in every world be happy.”
The message for us is very clear. Let us live to sacrifice, to give a part of ourselves to another so that someone else too can lead a fuller life. If, at least, in a small measure, our lives can become a saga of love and selfless service, just as His has been for eight long decades now, we would have truly given Him a birthday gift that He would surely relish.
Let Love take a new birth in our lives to lighten and brighten lives around us!