Sathya Sai Baba (often called Swami) is one of the most revered spiritual masters of contemporary times. During His life, His mission was the transformation of the world by re-establishing the eternal values of Truth, Love, Righteousness, Peace and Non-Violence in everyday living.
‘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.’
Sathya Sai Baba was born on November 23, 1926, in Puttaparthi, 160 km from Bangalore in India. He has established an Ashram (spiritual retreat) there, which is now called Prasanthi Nilayam (the abode of Highest Peace). It has schools, colleges, a university and a super specialty hospital.
Since childhood, Sathya Sai Baba has demonstrated the virtues of compassion, selfless service, humility and respect for elders. Although He does not have any schooling beyond Grade VIII, He does have unparalleled knowledge of all fields, be it science, spirituality or philosophy.
The teachings of Sai Baba are universal. He has declared, “The entire Mankind is my Family. There is no one in the world who does not belong to Me. I shall not give you up even if you keep afar. I will not forsake even those who deny Me. Those who stay, as well as those who stay away will be drawn near and saved”.
Pure, Selfless Love
Sathya Sai Baba can only be described as the personification of pure, selfless love, the embodiment of peace and bliss, the essence of all goodness. In his teachings he befriends all faiths and emphasises the unity of all religions in the oneness of Divinity. In His personal manner, Sathya Sai Baba displays a majestic grace, and at the same time, an exquisite joyfulness.
Sathya Sai Baba says “Love is God, God is love.” Love more and more people, transform love into Service, into Worship; that is the highest spiritual practice. Swami’s basic teachings can be summarised in eight words, as follows:
“Love All, Serve All,
Help Ever, Hurt Never.”
Sathya Sai Baba has emphasised the supreme importance of pure love. He says, “I have come to light the lamp of Love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre. Cultivate the attitude of oneness between people of all creeds and all continents to establish world peace.”
His mission – Serve All
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.
By personal example, 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.
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 works – but of equal importance is one’s attitude during the service activity. The service worker must have an attitude of humility and appreciation for the opportunity to do any service activity. The opportunity itself is a gift from God. One should not dwell on the good that they are doing, or that activity will strengthen one’s ego rather than help to reduce it.