Swami – In Reverential Remembrance

Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away peacefully at 7. 40 AM on the morning of Easter Sunday, 24th April, 2011.

Born in 1926 in Puttaparthi, Baba was given the name Sathya Narayana Raju, Raju being the family name. Excelled as He did in studies, everyone predicted a great career for young Sathya. However, He had other plans. In late October, 1940, Sathya stunned everyone by leaving home, family and school, declaring that His mission in life was to serve humanity and help those in distress and pain. Given that World War II was raging fiercely, affecting in its own way even far-off India, young Sathya’s objective seemed an impossible and meaningless dream; but He proved it to be otherwise.

Abiding by the promise given to His mother, Baba as He was now known made Puttaparthi His base and quietly laid the foundations for launching His missions. Drawing liberally from ancient wisdom and tradition, Baba began opening the hearts of one and all, allowing the love and compassion latent within to flow out freely. By further channelling this love to make a powerful, coherent current, Bhagawan Baba made things happen that not only fulfilled His vow in full measure but also on a scale that defy comprehension.

Just to cite a few examples, Baba established in 1981 in Puttaparthi (which still remained largely a village), the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning with Deemed University status, that not only offers free education (unique for a private university) but also gives the highest priority to character development. In 1991, Baba established, once again in Puttaparthi, a world-class Super Speciality Hospital offering tertiary medical care, absolutely free to all, without any distinction of caste, creed, race, colour or religion. This was followed by a second such hospital in 2001, this one in Bangalore. And then there are the half a dozen Safe Drinking Water Projects, spread not only across many arid districts of Andhra Pradesh but covering also the Metro city of Chennai, benefitting in all, close to ten million people.

Baba was, first and foremost, a powerful spiritual beacon. For Him, spirituality was meaningless unless it was practical and helped the poor as well as the needy, in as many ways as possible. He always stressed that since God was Omnipresent, the best way of serving God was to serve humanity and indeed all living beings. Again and again, Baba would emphasise that God being Love, selfless Love was the best pathway for achieving true peace, global harmony and bringing joy to one and all. Love knows no borders and it is no surprise that Baba was universally loved, admired, respected and revered.

Great souls dot human history, using their presence on earth to uplift humanity and helping it to move closer towards global harmony. Avatars do the same, but they incarnate ever so rarely. Blessed are we that God came in human form as Sri Sathya Sai Avatar, to be with us at a most critical time in history. As humanity grapples with complex and difficult problems, the best way of expressing our gratitude to Bhagawan Baba would be to follow the path of Selfless Love that He personally lead us along, till He gave up His mortal frame.