Sathya Sai Baba - Revered Spiritual Teacher
I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. 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. 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 Love I bring.
Sathya Sai Baba is one of the most revered spiritual teachers in the world. He is also known as Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Sai Baba, Swami, Bhagavan 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.
Sathya Sai Baba was born as Sathyanarayana Raju on November 23, 1926 in the village of Puttaparthi, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Even as a child, His spiritual inclination, contemplative nature and miracles set Him apart from other children of His age, and He was known as ‘Guru’ and “Brahmajnani’ (knower of Brahman or Godhead) among His peers and others in the village. However, it was not until October 20, 1940, the day He made the historic declaration of His Avatarhood, (Avatar - Divinity Incarnate) that the world at large learnt of this divine phenomenon. He 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 Nonviolence. With that announcement, he left his childhood home and began his mission.
His message - Love All
Sathya Sai Baba teaches that man’s basic nature is divine and that the purpose of life is the realization 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 centered 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 Creations; human being are capable of recognizing 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. Sathya Sai Baba teaches us that all religions are the expressions of these same universal principles.
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 Nonviolence) are our curriculum, and the realization of the unity of Godliness in the diversity of Creation is our ultimate lesson.
Sathya Sai Baba began his role as a spiritual/universal teacher at a very young age through folk songs, theater, exposition from scriptures and personal example the virtues of living a purposeful life. His family, classmates, teachers and others in the village were astounded by the extraordinary simplicity and clarity of His message. For more than five decades, Sathya Sai Baba communicated His message of love, universality and spirituality to a diverse audience from different faiths, countries, culture and traditions. The uniqueness of His style was that He explained age old concepts with new insights and examples that addressed the needs of the modern society. He repeatedly emphasized that He had come to reconstruct the ancient highway to spirituality and not to found a new religion or cult. His writings and discourses have been carefully documented.
The official record of thousands of public discourses made by Bhagavan Baba from 1953 through 2009 are contained in 42 volumes of Sathya Sai Speaks. The public discourses were given in various cities of India and where-ever available an audio recording has been included. Vahinis (in English and other languages) are a collection of essays that were penned by Bhagawan Baba and published in the monthly magazine, Sanathana Sarathi (The Eternal Charioteer) under the auspices of Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust (Ltd). During summer, Bhagawan Baba would conduct a month long course for students and youth on Indian culture and spirituality. He would also give a discourse at the end of each day. These discourses have been compiled under the series “Summer Showers.” Finally, “Letters” are a collection of correspondence between Bhagawan Baba with His students, followers or officers in the Organization.