Sri Sathya Sai Baba - Revered Spiritual Teacher
Sri Sathya Sai Baba is one of the most revered spiritual teachers in the world. He is also known as Sathya Sai Baba, Sai Baba, Swami, Bhagawan or simply as Baba to millions of people in the world. His followers come from all faiths and races and meet regularly for devotional singing, to study His teachings, and to engage in service activities in order to practice His message of Love and Peace to unite all mankind.
I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre…. I have not come on any mission of publicity for any sect or creed or cause; nor have I come to collect followers for any doctrine. … I have come to tell you of this Universal unitary faith,… this path of Love,… this duty of Love, this obligation to Love.
Believe that all hearts are motivated by the One and Only God; that all names in all languages and all forms man can conceive, denote the one and only God. Cultivate the attitude of oneness between people of all creeds, all countries and all continents. This is the message of I wish you to take to heart.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born as Sathyanarayana Raju on 23 November, 1926 in the village of Puttaparthi, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Even as a child, His spiritual inclination, contemplative nature, loving attitude towards the deprived and all beings, and miracles set Him apart from other children of His age, and He was known as ‘Guru’ and knower of Brahman or Godhead (“Brahmajnani’) among His peers and others in the village. However, it was not until 20 October 1940 that he formally proclaimed his message – to bring about the spiritual regeneration of humanity by demonstrating and teaching the highest principles of Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love, and Non-violence. With that announcement, he left his childhood home and began his mission.
His message - Love All
Sri Sathya Sai Baba teaches that man’s basic nature is divine and that the purpose of life is the realisation of this divinity. This will occur, He says, by leading a moral life, by rendering selfless service to those in need, by engaging in devotional practices and by developing love, respect and compassion for all life. As one strives to transform his/her worldly life of self-centred desires and attachments into a higher spiritual life of selflessness and devotion, the foundation is built for receiving God’s Grace. It is this Grace which will reveal our true nature to each of us.
He reminds us that mankind is unique among all of God’s creation; human beings are capable of recognising that they emanate from God. We have the capacity to commune with God by turning inward. Ultimately, it is our destiny to merge with God. Sri Sathya Sai Baba teaches us that all religions are the expressions of these same universal principles.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba does not recommend that we become ascetics and retreat from the world. Instead, he teaches us that the world is our school, The Five Human Values - Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love, and Non-violence are our curriculum, and the realisation of the unity of Godliness in the diversity of Creation is our ultimate lesson.
Love is God, God is Love. Where there is love, there, God is certainly evident. Love more and more people; love them more and more intensely; transform the love into service; transform the service into worship… that is the highest spiritual practice (sadhana). There is no living being without that spark of love; even a mad man loves something or somebody intensely.… You must recognise this love as but a reflection of the embodiment of love (Premaswaroopa) that is your reality, of the God who is residing in your heart. Without that spring of love that bubbles in your heart, you will not be prompted to love at all.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 26 March 1965
His mission – Serve All
By personal example, Sri Sathya Sai Baba has inspired and continues to inspire millions of followers throughout the world to the ideal that service to man is service to God. His numerous service projects - be it free hospitals, free schools and colleges, free drinking water supply projects, or free housing projects, or disaster relief operations, all stand testimony to His selfless love and compassion especially for the needy and less privileged.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba strongly emphasises selfless service to those in need as the highest means for enhancing one’s own spiritual growth and development. He teaches that it is not enough to simply do good work – but of equal importance is one’s attitude during the service activity. The service volunteer must have an attitude of humility and appreciation for the opportunity to do any activity. The opportunity itself is a gift from God. One should not dwell on the good that they are doing, otherwise that activity will strengthen one’s ego rather than help to reduce it.
The Sri Sathya Sai International Organization founded by Sri Sathya Sai Baba has a presence in more than 120 countries and its members undertake many service activities that benefit their immediate communities.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba remains a living presence, an inspiration, a guide, and most of all a cherished, endearing and intimately felt divinity in the hearts of millions who know Him.
You can observe Me and My activities and note how I adhere to righteousness, moral order, truth and universal compassion. That is what I desire you to learn from Me…My Life is My Message.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 17 May 1968
Cultivate love and devotion, then your activities will be saturated with compassion and charity; they will yield the golden harvest of joy and peace. …Love must be unselfish and universal. You judge for yourself whether your love is narrow or broad, whether your devotion is shallow or deep. Are you content with your achievement? Examine it yourself --- pronounce the verdict on yourself, using your own discrimination. Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 13 Jan 1970