October 20, 1940, when Bhagawan
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was only 14 years of age, was the day he
choose. Returning sooner than usual from the school that day, He
threw his books outside the door of his brother's house, and when
his Sister-in-Law came out to discover the cause of the noise, she
was astonished to hear His words:
"I do not belong to you,
I am leaving.
I have work to do.
Those devoted to Me are calling Me.
The task for which I came is yet unfinished.
I am starting now.
The illusion has gone.
I am no more yours,
I am Sai Baba."
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba
"I have not come on any mission
of publicity for any sect, creed or cause; nor have I come to
collect followers for any doctrine.
I have no plans to attract disciples or devotees into My fold or any
fold. I have come to tell you of this unitary faith, this Atmic
principle, this path of love, this duty of love, this obligation to
I have come to inscribe a golden chapter in the history of humanity,
wherein falsehood will fail, truth will triumph, and virtue will
Character will confer power then, not knowledge or inventive skill,
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Declaration of Avataarhood
Excerpt from 'Sathyam Shivam Sundaram'
Vol. 1, page 42
On the 20th of
October, 1940, the day after they all returned from Hampi by
special bus, Satyanarayana started for school as usual. The Excise
Inspector of the place, Sri Anjaneyulu who was very much attached
to the little Baba, accompanied him as far as the school gate and
went home, rather reluctantly. He seemed to see a superb halo
round the face of Baba that day and he could not take his eyes
away from that enchantment. Within a few minutes, Baba too
returned back to the house.
Standing on the outer doorstep, he cast
aside the books he was carrying and called out, "I am no longer
your Sathya. I am Sai." The sister-in-law came from the kitchen
and peeped out; she was almost blinded by the splendour of the
halo, which she saw around Baba's head! She closed her eyes and
shrieked. Baba addressed her, "I am going; I do not belong to you;
maya has gone; my bhaktas are calling me; I have my work; I can't
stay any longer." And, so saying, he turned back and left in spite
of her pleadings.
The brother hurried home on hearing all
this; but, Baba only told him, "Give up all your efforts to 'cure'
me; I am Sai; I do not consider myself related to you." Neighbour
Sri Narayana Sastri heard the noise; he listened and realized that
it was something serious; he ran in; he saw the splendour of the
halo and fell at Baba's feet. He too heard the historic
declaration, "Maya has left; I am going; my work is waiting."
Seshama Raju was non-plussed; he could scarce collect his wits to
meet this new situation. A boy, just fourteen, talking of bhaktas,
work, maya and the philosophy of belonging! He could think of only
one plan: Sathya was entrusted to him by the parents and therefore
it was his task to inform them; Sathya could leave the house, only
after they came to Urvakonda. But, Sathya would not step into that
building again; he moved out into the garden of the Excise
Inspector's bungalow, and sat on a rock, in the midst of the trees.
People came into the garden from all
directions bringing flowers and fruits; the tope resounded to the
voices of hundreds, singing in chorus the lines that Sathya Sai
taught them. The first prayer that he taught them that day was, as
many still remember, Maanasa Bhajare Guru Charanam Dustara Bhava
Saagara Taranam. Meditate in the mind on the Feet of the Guru;
that can take you across the difficult Sea of Samsaara. His
classmates wept when they heard that Sathya will no longer attend
school, that he was much beyond their reach, that his company was
hereafter only for those upon whom he showers his grace. Many came
to the garden with incense and camphor to worship him. Some came
to sympathize with the family, some to congratulate them. Some
came to learn and some, alas, even to laugh! Three days passed
thus in that garden; three days of bhajan and naam sankeertan. A
photographer came with a camera; he wanted Baba to remove a crude
stone that was right in front of him but Baba did not pay heed to
that prayer. He clicked nevertheless and lo! As can be seen from
the picture of that photograph given in this book, the stone had
become an image of Shirdi Sai Baba! but only in the photograph,
not for all assembled there.