Who is Sri Sathya Sai Baba?
“Sri Sathya Sai Baba is Supreme God in human form”. This is the conviction of everyone who has come to experience His Divinity. The name “Sri Sathya Sai Baba” means “Divine Auspicious True Mother and Father”. God descends in human form, time and again, to kindle the divinity latent in every human being. Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the “Avatar” (Divine Descent) of the present age, descended on Earth to guide the world.
“Love is My Form, Truth is My Name”, says Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He is the personification of pure, selfless love. His entire life was dedicated to demonstrating the motto, “Love All; Serve All”. He taught His devotees that manifesting the purest form of selfless love, is the highest state of evolution for which human beings should strive. “Love is Divinity itself” is the message brought to humanity by every Divine Guide belonging to all spiritual or religious traditions on Earth.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba demonstrated in His life, how every thought, word and action should keep in mind the wellbeing of all living beings on this earth. He became a refuge to all those who sought relief from the problems of life, be it physical, mental or spiritual. He inspired and guided initiatives, small and grand around the world, in the fields of education, healthcare and social upliftment. He termed these as educare, medicare and sociocare, respectively. His emphasis was on the spirit of caring which underlined these activities and not the scale of the activity.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born in a tiny, remote Indian village called Puttaparthi, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, on 23 November 1926. He was given the name Sathyanarayana Raju by His parents. Unusual miraculous events preceded His birth and filled His childhood days. He began the work of instilling love and compassion in the human heart by exhibiting these qualities in His behaviour from toddler days. He urged peers and fellow villagers to do the same, earning the titles of adoration, “Guru” and “Wise One” from them.
He left home, before turning fourteen, telling His family members that the task for which He had come awaited and that he did not belong to them alone. On 20 October 1940, He declared that He belonged to the entire humanity. In a historic letter to His brother in 1947, He reveals the intent of His Divine Advent:
For seven decades, since leaving home, until He shed his physical form in April 2011, Sri Sathya Sai Baba touched and transformed the lives of millions. Even though He did not travel abroad except for a visit to East Africa in 1968, His influence reached distant countries. Many have experienced His presence and protection in distant lands, in spite of having never heard of Him. His followers span more than 120 countries around the world. His teachings have guided their lives, inspiring them to dedicate their lives for the well-being of all.
He taught that striving to manifest divinity is the fundamental goal of all religious and spiritual endeavours. He said, “A Muslim should become a true Muslim. A Christian should become a true Christian. A Hindu should become a true Hindu”. He declared that in reality, “There is only one Religion, the Religion of Love”. All religions are but facets of this “eternal seeking of Truth”, the Sanathana Dharma.
The teachings imparted by Sri Sathya Sai Baba are available in the form of fifteen books penned by Him called the “Vahini Series” and thousands of discourses delivered by Him on various occasions published as 40 volumes titled “Sri Sathya Sai Speaks”.
A few of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings include:
Practice constant remembrance of God and look upon all creation as only a manifestation of Divinity in different forms and shapes.
When bearing upon life’s problems, have an attitude flowing from Divine Love, such as understanding, compassion, tolerance, and helpfulness.
Base all actions on Love of Divinity, fear of sin, and steadfast observance of morality in society.
Love All, Serve All. Help Ever, Hurt Never.
There is only ONE Religion, the religion of Love.
There is only ONE Language, the language of Heart.
There is only ONE Caste, the caste of Humanity.
There is only ONE God, He is Omnipresent.
Engage in spiritual, educational, and service activities both at the individual and the community level, in an organised and systematic manner, without expecting any material reward or appreciation, but solely as a means of winning God’s Love and Grace.