Volume 11 - Issue 08
AUGUST 2013
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Posted on: Aug 15, 2013

 

Freedom Struggle and the Struggle for True Freedom

by Mr. Sairam Radhakrishnamurthy

 

 

The Divine picked a man of such a sterling character as Gandhiji to be at the forefront of India's freedom struggle. He preached and practiced the Oneness of God, the value of service, sacrifice and self-restraint, yet this message was being constantly ignored.

The Lord now came again as Sri Sathya Sai in 1926.

The Red Letter Day Dawns

Years rolled by and Gandhiji succeeded at what history records as the most memorable event in the mind of every Indian, the Independence of India – August 15, 1947. It was the midnight of August 14, 1947, when the first Prime Minister of independent India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, rose from his seat and addressed the first parliament session. He said:

 

The whole of India rejoiced but God through Gandhiji said, “Freedom means responsibility”.

It is almost as if to reiterate this that in the same year, on October 25, 1947, Baba delivered his maiden Divine discourse at Karur. Now if you decipher the speech of Nehruji from this perspective and using the Sai lens, it would read something like this:

Since yugas we have been making a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of this twilight hour, when the whole world is sheeping away, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the new to the old, when an age commences and when the soul of a being, long suppressed, gives deliverance.... We begin today a period of life’s eternal sojourn, and man is to discover his self again.

The Avatar Outlines His Mission to Free All

Baba, who invisibly inspired freedom fighters until then, now demonstrated those values in His own earthly sojourn. He gave up His physical family and in that year wrote a letter to His elder brother, Sri Seshama Raju which clearly spelt out His mission.


1947 therefore is not only the year of India's Independence but also the year the lord decided to unravel Himself to help us march towards real freedom.

The next year, January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi rested forever. Now Baba started raising His army to fulfill this task. Global awakening was needed. Hence He laid the foundation for Prashanti Nilayam in the same year i.e. 1948 itself.

1950 became another landmark year in Indian history when India became a sovereign socialist secular democratic Republic on January 26. By Baba's Divine will Prasanthi Nilayam was inaugurated on November 23 of that year commemorating Baba’s 25th Birthday. While India boasted of becoming an independent country, Prasanthi Nilayam was thrown open to the global community to make them eternally free.

The Mighty Sweep of His Mission

But is becoming independent so easy? No. It is an ardrous task, rather a penance. But penance does not mean going to the forest. It means to be away from worldliness and one such place in every region is the Sri Sathya Sai Samithi, the building block of the Sri Sathya Sai Organizations. Hence the Sai Organization is like a banyan tree providing shelter to people of nearly 125 countries to take solace in Sai and find real freedom - salvation.

Indeed people of today are most fortunate having been contemporaries of the Avatar. But who is going to guide the coming generations? Hence in 1997, when the Golden Jubilee of Indian Independence was being celebrated all over this country, Baba conducted the First World Youth Conference. In July that year thousands of delegates representing 100 countries converged in Prasanthi. The strong message to the world was this - they are the torch bearers for His mission and world need not wait for yet another Avatar to guide them.

With this army Baba decided to go to the villages and in 2003 Baba brought in the Grama Seva programme wherein the adopted villages were now made into model villages.

Intensifying this programme, in commemoration of the 60th year of India's Independence, in 2007, on the Telugu New year's Day, Baba announced the launch of the new service initiative - Sri Sathya Sai Village Integrated programme (SSSVIP) directed solely towards holistic development and transformation of villages. This is absolutely significant as villagers truly are the backbone of this huge nation.

Again in the same year to energize the masses towards this goal of being eternally free, Baba celebrated the event – Athi Rudra Maha Yajnam (ARMY) in Chennai. This was a grand follow-up to the similar function in Prasanthi Nilayam the year before. And all these events and many others rights from schools and colleges to hospitals and water projects to round-the-globe thousands of service activities – all these are directed towards that very mission of blessing man with real freedom.

One coveted gift He gave to humanity so that His presence can be felt eternally is on the occasion of His 85th Birthday when He blessed the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini programme. Future generations will now feel Him through the power and practice of human values. This will make them truly free.

Thanks to so many amazing happenings orchestrated personally by the Divine, today India still continues to be the spiritual capital of the world. It is to this land that people from all corners of the earth come when they seek true freedom – freedom of the Self. Prasanthi Nilayam is a live demonstration of this every single day.


 

Graphics: Mohan Dora (Radio Sai team)

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