Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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  Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Sri Ramana Maharshi
Sri Ramana Maharshi Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The following excertps are taken from: http://www.saibaba-aclearview.com/contents2.htm - [Copyright 2001. Dated August 2001. This material may be downloaded, reproduced and distributed freely, as long as the source is clearly attributed.] By R. D. Awle

Iíve noticed that many seekers on the jnana path tend to misunderstand Sai Baba, and look down on Him because of His miracles, believing they mean He is merely an un-Self-Realized 'showman' capturing immature hearts with yogic tricks.  I would like to give a brief answer.  If the testimony of Anandamoyi Ma and the other Saints quoted above can be trusted, Sai Baba is a full incarnation of God, the likes of which the world hasnít seen for thousands of years.  Jesus and Sri Krishna also worked miracles frequently, didnít they?  Does anyone imagine that means they werenít Self-Realized?  Simply put, working miracles is one of the fundamental aspects of the Avatar's job.  When God takes birth on Earth, He always comes with a huge mission to accomplish; Babaís mission seems to be to lift the Earth from an age of materialism and nuclear madness into one of divine understanding and peace - and to do this, He must establish faith in God in the hearts of millions of non-believers.  Miracles are simply the most efficient way to accomplish this.  (It is surely as true in todayís world as in the days of Jesus: unless we see signs and wonders, we will not believe!)  If someone miraculously materialized a necklace before your eyes, lovingly put it around your neck, and then told you the innermost secret of your heart - would it ever again be possible for you to doubt the existence of a higher Reality?  Wouldnít those small miracles have gone a long way to proving Godís love for you? [...]

In addition to His role as Incarnation of God, the Avatar is also a Self-Realized Master; in fact, this is the Avatarís primary qualification.  He is the Paramatman, the infinite expanse of pure Awareness in which the whole realm of time and space floats like a tiny bubble - and the Avatar will always be fully aware of His identity as the Paramatman; otherwise He could not be called an Avatar!  I humbly submit that Sathya Sai Baba, miracles and all, is a perfect Jnani, and fully capable of leading a seeker on the jnana path (or any other path, for that matter) all the way to Self-Realization.

Baba and Ramana Maharshi

And speaking of Jnanis, at the moment of the death of Ramana Maharshi (one of the greatest Self-Realized Masters of the last century), and extraordinary event occurred in Baba's ashram, giving us a clue both to Baba's identity and His relationship with Ramana. A Sai devotee named Varadu reported what happened:

"...the night when Ramana Maharshi passed away in Tiruvannamalai [14th April, 1950], I was with Swamiji [Sai Baba].  Krishna [another young devotee] and myself were both there.  That evening, around 9:00, we continued whatever it was we were doing (I think we were doing a puja) when suddenly Swamiji looked up at us.  There was a peculiar way of looking He has which means that He wants to go to His room.  The moment Krishna and I went through the door into the room and closed it, Swami fell down.  I was ready for it.  Krishna and I both held hands, and Swami was lying across them.  Then [He] rose up into the air, from our arms.  He was as stiff as a board.  He started murmuring - something about 'Maharshi has reached my lotus feet.'  And then the sole of His right foot split open, and nearly two kilograms of beautiful, well-scented vibhuti poured out from the sole of His foot.  I collected the vibhuti while [He] was still levitating in the air.

Then [He] came down and returned to [His] senses and asked what [He] had said.  I said, "Swamiji, this is what You said: 'Ramana Maharshi has passed away.'  And this is what came out of Your feet."  He said: "Put it into packets and give it out as prasadam."

A day or two after this incident, we learned from the newspapers that [Ramana] Maharshi had died.  It had been at the time that Swami said Maharshi had reached [His] feet."1

So, at the time of his death, Ramana Maharshi merged in Baba's feet!  Is it not therefore clear that Sai Baba is a full embodiment of the Divine Self, the supreme Atmic Reality that Ramana had realized at the age of 17?

1 Miracles are My Visiting Cards, Erlandur Haraldsson, Sai Towers, Prashanti Nilayam, 1987, pp. 167-168.

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