Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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By Purshotam Bargotra

''There is only one Nation, the Nation of Mankind,
There is only one Religion, the Religion of Love;
There is only one Language, the Language of Heart;
There is only one God and He is Omnipresent.''

Several thousands of pairs of open eyes and folded pairs of hands are found directed towards the entry gate from which Bhagwan Baba appears for 'Darshan'. Every devotee stretches himself like a calf to reach udder of its mother for nourishing sustenance. A total calm prevails. The breath stills, body consciousness is lost one-ness of souls is experienced. There is Divinity through and through. Bhagwan showers His grace in abundance on concourse of His devotees.

Four hundred years intensive and incessant study of Vedas could not help sage Bhardwaj's yearning for Supreme Knowledge. Recognizing the saddened Sage's magnificent passion, Indra suggested him to propitiate Mother Parvathi. The sage decided to hold a 'Yajna' and reached the abode of Lord Siva to invite Divine Mother. He stood still in the snow-clad Kailasa for 8 days witnessing Ishwara and His Consort dancing in Ecstacy. Exhausted, the sage suffered paralytic stroke and broke down. Immediately the Divine couple rushed to his help. Lord Siva sprinkled Holy water on Him and cured. Bhardwaja was also granted a boon that Lord Siva himself will incarnate in Kaliyuga thrice. The First Shive Incarnation was born as a third child to a pious couple Devagiriamma and Ganga Bhavida in Village Patri near Manmad (Maharashtra) and He is Sri Baba of Shirdhi. The Third Incarnation will be Prema Sai.

The Second Incarnation is Shiv-Shakti Avtar Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who had chosen Himself Mother Easwaramma and Sri Pedda Venkama Raju as parents of His physical body. Sathya was born as their fourth child on 23rd Nov, 1926, in Ratnakar family in a tiny village known as Puttaparthi (Distt Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh). The village had then a few mud-huts infested with mush-roomed ant-hills and barren land. The child was named Sathya or Raju in His childhood. Beloved of every body in the village, handsome and loving Raju brimmed with compassion and unbounded love. Strict vegetarian and disciplinarian, He felt sad over bull-fights, bull-races, cock-fights and other acts of cruelty to animals. A born scholar with unbounded wisdom, He was proficient in composing and singing 'Bhajans' and poetry. He excelled in dance and drama. Like Yashoda to Krishna, Subamma was to Sathya. Subamma lived in the next house and Sathya spent most of the time in her care. She showered unlimited motherly affection on the child and served Baba till her end. Baba was away when Subamma shed her mortal coils. Just before her cremation, He returned to Puttaparthi and called the dead Subamma! Subamma! and Lo! and Hail! she promptly responded the Divine call, smilingly opened her eyes and feasted her eyes with Baba's 'Darshan' to her fill. Baba poured the sacred water in her mouth as promised and she shut her eyes slowly and peacefully returned to her eternal home. This is how her last wish was fulfilled.

Sathya made declaration of His Avtarhood on 23 May, 1940, saying '' I am Sai Baba'', On 20th Oct, 1940, He threw His school-bag and as Sathya Sai Baba started His Mission of Transformation of Mankind. It is now over 63 years that His Divine Message and Mission have widely spread in every nook and corner of the world.

Baba's Divine-plays are unique. He possesses unlimited powers. From the Chitravathi River Dry-Beds, He would bring out idols of Gods and Goddesses, sweets, brass vessels full of nector and many other objects. Even in His childhood from His school-bag, He would materialize and distribute to His school-mates pencils, note-books and sugar-candies. He materialized all kinds of fruits, from the same Tamarind tree, called it Kalpvriksha (wish -fulfilling tree) and distributed these among His devotees. Baba's abode is Prasanthi Nilayam (the Supreme peace-conferring place) to which millions of devotees from more than 180 countries throng for Divine 'Darshan'. Some of them are interviewed, heard patiently and given Divine counselling. Heaps of mail is received daily from devotees from all over the world. Besides, Baba also receives letters from devotees sitting in the 'Darshan' lines. Prayers of devotees are answered and Grace granted to seekers. He cures deadly diseases, removes pains and sufferings, averts air crashes and fatal accidents. He drives His devotees safely to their destinations who fall asleep at the steering of their motor cars. He makes five elements of nature to obey His command. He materializes chains, rings, pendants, necklaces and idols for the deserving devotees.

Devotees have their own connections with Baba. They have their own experiences. His Vibhuti coupled with unflinching faith in Him can cure and any deadly disease, heal any grievous injury and ward off any evils. Just over a week's time before First Test Match against Australia was to begin, Sunil Gavaskar got his thigh-muscle torn. Physiotherapists had declared that it would take him four weeks to be fit to play. However, Baba's Vibhuti cured him within 3 days. Baba's patting Sachin Tendulkar on the back assuring him that ''I am with you'' worked wonders. Baba visits thousands houses all over the world at any one point of time revealing His omnipresence through Vibhuti, honey, dry fruits which appear before His images and photographs.

The word Sai of three letters has great inner significance for S stands for Service (work). A for Adoration (worship ) and I for Illumination (widsom), that is, Seva or Karma, Bhakti, Gyan leading to Ultimate Liberation. Sai also stands for Tansformation at Spiritual Association and Individual Levels.

Sri Sathya Sai Sewa Organization have three wings, namely, Service Wing, Spiritual Wing and Educational Wing operating throughout the world. His message of manifestation of inherent Human Values, namely, Truth, Right Eousness, Peace, Love and Non-Violence is bringing Transformation all over the world. Love is the sustenance for all the other four values.

Love as thought is Sathya,
Love as action is dharma,
Love as feeling is shanti, and
Love as understanding is Ahimsa.

Man is innately Divine and Bliss is his nature. Divinity is the foundation and source of his existence. ''Promote the religion of Love'', ''Promote Morality'' says Bhagwan Baba. He says Man of three letters stands for Maya, Atma and Nirvana, Overcome MAYA, have the vision of ATMA and attain NIRVANA. He calls ABC of life, Always Be Careful or Avoid Bad Company. ''Love All, Serve All''. ''Help Ever, Hurt Never.' Hands that serve are Holier than the lips that pray''. Atma glows when ego goes.''

The above article has been published in Daily Excelsior on Nov 23, 2003
Source: http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/03nov23/edit.htm#3

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