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Bhagawan Baba: The Embodiment of Love in Thought, Action, Feeling and Understanding

"Do not merely talk about truth, righteousness, peace, love, and non-violence (sathya, dharma, santhi, prema, and ahimsa). Instead. awaken these values in your heart. Arise, awake, go to noble men and learn from them the secret of attaining Divinity (Uttishtha, Jagratha, Prapya Varannibodhata). You should awaken the values of truth, righteousness, and peace that are lying dormant in your heart. Why are they lying dormant? They are lying dormant because you are not putting them to any use. On the other hand, you are putting all your worldly feelings and tendencies into action. Since you are not putting these values to use, they are lying dormant. Put them to use. Then all your worldly tendencies will be subdued and the values will be awakened.”
Divine Discourse 26 July 1996

Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s universal message of truth, right conduct, peace, love, and non-violence has travelled across the globe and has influenced the lives of millions. He embodied these values and inspired millions to practise them by His example.

His mission was to enable mankind to manifest their inherent divine qualities and values, expand their hearts and develop a broad minded vision through service to fellow beings, and thereby realise their full potential. He taught that all human beings are equal and that all faiths were universal in the principles that they promoted. His message and mission have inspired people around the world to undertake voluntary service in their local communities.

His name was Sathya (Truth).

“Truth is My nature, My Mission, My Message. Organisations bearing My Name have to be strictly adhering to Truth.” Sathya Sai Speaks/Volume 07/46

God descends in human form, so that humanity can learn from His Example. Bhagawan exemplified His teachings in His daily life, in interactions with millions of devotees and in various Service projects He undertook . His Will, His Word and His Work were always in unison. Whilst there are numerous incidents where Baba has demonstrated this, one that comes to my mind is the Chennai Water Project. Baba was very disturbed when he had observed people contracting diseases and dying due to lack of clean drinking water. In one of the public discourses, He pledged to provide water within a year although the costs were quite considerable, but which He delivered as promised! Even His most ardent devotees in the Ashram were stunned by this declaration which wasn’t a small feat to accomplish in such a short duration. But this stupendous task was completed by the date He had announced! Bhagawan always maintained His word to the devotees as His bond. His Truth was held on a high pedestal at all times. He encouraged everyone to speak the truth, to speak it pleasantly and not to speak unpalatable truth.

Ever since His birth, He sacrificed every moment of His Life for the welfare and spiritual uplift of fellow beings. He constantly reminded everyone to lead lives around God centeredness. He showed by His example, that the best way to Love God is by serving fellow beings. He declared that His mission was to establish on earth the brotherhood of man based upon Love which He demonstrated every moment of His Life.

“The establishment of righteousness (Dharma): that is my aim. The teaching of dharma, the spread of dharma: that is my object.” Divine Discourse 23 November 1968

Dharma (Right Conduct) is what Baba had come to establish. How can one decide in any particular case what is dharma and what is not?

“I shall tell you some principles which you can use on such occasions. That which does not inflict pain on you and on others - that is dharma. So act in such a way that you get joy and others to get joy. Or, take another standard for your actions: Make the manas, the vaak and the kaayam (thought, word and deed) agree in harmony. That is to say, act as you speak, speak as you feel; do not play false to your own conscience; do not cover your thoughts in a cloak of falsehood; do not suppress your conscience by forcibly enslaving it and embarking on actions not approved by it.”
Sathya Sai Speaks /Volume 02/44

His every action was imbued with Truth. Millions of spiritual seekers were attracted to Him drawn from diverse races, castes, beliefs and religions and from different age groups inspired by His sense of kinship and Love towards everyone without any distinction.

Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs and people from other religions came to Him. He didn’t establish a new religion but brought everyone together to make us understand that there was only one caste, the caste of humanity and that there was only one religion, the religion of Love. He exhorted everyone to become better in the practise of their respective religions.

“I am the embodiment of bliss (Anandaswarupa). Come, take bliss (ananda) from me, dwell on that bliss, and be full of peace (santhi).” Divine Discourse 23 November 1968

“Where there is righteousness, there is virtue, Where there is virtue, there is discipline, Where there is discipline, there is peace.” Divine Discourse 26 July 1996

He radiated happiness on everyone that came to Him and derived joy by doing so. His day was spent only in doing this. He was ever blissful and at peace. He demonstrated equal-mindedness on all occasions, whether it was praise or blame. He was never affected by criticism out of ill-will, envy or hatred. One recollects in the early 1970’s when Baba was criticised, ridiculed, belittled and defamed by Mr Karanjia, the editor of the Blitz magazine which at the time was very popular in India. Baba used to enquire about what was published this time around in the magazine, and He would just laugh it away but not react, ignoring the baseless criticism. When Mr Karanjia came to Brindavan (Bangalore), Baba called him for an interview and Mr Karanjia was a transformed man after this! The next edition of Blitz carried the headline: “God is an Indian”!

Baba manifested purity from within and spread bliss all around, something that the fortunate witnessed and experienced which can’t be expressed in mere words. To whomsoever He spoke, He did it sweetly and lovingly and always reminded devotees that you may not be able to oblige everyone at all times, but you can speak obligingly always! Baba was spontaneous and selfless in expressing His love towards anyone that came to His fold, for He was the very embodiment of Love and used that as an instrument for the transformation of mankind. It was His Divine Love that drew masses of people to the portals of Prasanthi Nilayam.

He encouraged everyone to develop the consciousness of the one Spirit in all being and promoted universal brotherhood. He reminded us, ”True Love should express itself in the awareness of the presence of the Divine in one and all. Names and forms may differ but the indwelling Spirit is the same in all.” Sathya Sai Speaks / Volume 29/ 22

His Mission was Brotherhood of Man. He had developed kinship with fellow beings and felt one with everyone. The welfare projects that He had undertaken are beyond anyone’s imagination both in terms of scale and time – free education, free medical aid with state of the art facilities, drinking water schemes, serving the poor and many others which had far reaching impact upon the masses of people. These were just a reflection of His compassion and His Love for fellow beings.

“There are any number of preachers in the world. There are equally numerous scholars. But there are few who practise what they preach and make others do likewise. Here alone there is a power that simultaneously preaches and practises. Whatever I say, I practise. I speak only on what I am doing. The students present here know this well. Love, love, love. I love all and I ask all to love. My greatest wealth is love. People speak about My powers and My miracles, but My Love is My greatest miracle. All should share in this love. Only then there will be oneness.” Sathya Sai Speaks /Volume23/35

Bhagawan has given a wider context to the practise of Non-Violence in our daily lives. Whilst avoiding causing harm to fellow humans is important, He advises us to also pay particular attention against harming animals and trees, polluting our atmosphere, and misuse of natural resources like rivers, energy, food etc. He used to ensure that ceiling fans or lights were turned off when the room wasn’t occupied. There was an incident when Baba was walking and observed a trail of ants on the ground. He alerted people walking behind Him to take note and avoid. His personal food habits too were very moderate so as to not cause harm to His body.

“When you are able to develop love, non-violence will come to you of its own accord. Where there is love, there can be no trace of violence.” Sathya Sai Speaks/Volume 39/15

Everyone should act up to the motto - "Help ever- hurt never." Sathya Sai Speaks/ Volume/27/16

Obeying my instructions is enough; it will benefit you more than the most rigorous asceticism. Practice sathya, dharma, santhi and prema, which are dear to me; resolve to keep those ideals before you ever, in all your thoughts, words and deeds. That can confer on you the summum bonum of mergence in the supreme substance of Divinity. Sathya Sai Speaks /Volume 6/ 210-213

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is an eternally inspiring example of Human Values. It is for this reason that the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation (UK) is celebrating the Sathya Sai National Human Values Day on the 26th of April this year, as an offering of Love and Gratitude on His Mahasamadhi. Let us all join in this programme enthusiastically. Please refer to the attached flyer in this newsletter for the details of registration.

Dr. Kiran Patel