SATHYA SAI BABA (1926 - 2011)
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born in the very South of India. He left this world in the spring of 2011 at the age of 84. Sri Sathya Sai was a philosopher, humanist, spiritual Guru, a great healer, clairvoyant and a miracle worker.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was sometimes called Guru or Avatar. The word Guru means spiritual master. An avatar is a divine incarnation, an embodiment that is embodied in this world in order to help all people. Sai Baba preached the interconnectedness and the unity of world spiritual traditions and religions.
Let's look into the meaning of his name. The first word Sri carries several meanings: dear, well-wishes of prosperity, also is the name of the goddess Lakshmi, who is responsible for family, material and financial well-being, self-development. Sathya means the Truth. Baba is a spiritual father, a spiritual mentor.
In his ashram, meditation and mantras were practiced. His blessings transformed the spiritual state of people. He possessed divine powers and healed from ailments. The life and teachings of Sathya Sai generated a lot of discussions during his lifetime, disputes continue even today.
Many world spiritual and religious leaders treated him with great respect, believing that he was a great teacher. Among the admirers of Sathya Sai Baba were politicians from around the world.
Sai Baba's Translator
It was a great honor for me to be Sathya Sai's translator in the period of 1993-1999. I often translated when he invited groups for interviews (personal meetings). I translated for Russian-speaking devotees from different countries, such as Russia and Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania, Latvia and Kazakhstan. I witnessed how Sathya Sai communicated with devotees and visitors.
He gave advice on the practices of meditation and mantra, instructed on the spiritual path, and answered the questions that people asked him. There were numerous cases of healing from diseases and predictions of future events that were fulfilled exactly as he said.
Sathya Sai Baba was the greatest spiritual master, he helped and is still helping his devotees achieve enlightenment. He believed that all the questions that people came to him with were important.
Sai Baba of India
For the first time I was told about Sathya Sai Baba in the early 90s. During that period I met several friends who had already been to the Sai ashram. One of my friends, an entrepreneur, had already been practicing mantras, meditation and yoga. In the early 90s, he was one of the very first Russians who visited the ashram.
At the same time, I met two young Indian students studying in Moscow. They told me about a great saint named Sathya Sai Baba. In the 80s, centers of meditation and yoga had opened in Russia. People could travel abroad, to Europe, the United States, and also to India without any restrictions. Books on meditation and esoteric teachings, such as Buddhism, Vedanta, Kabbalah, began to appear. Among the large amount of information, stories about Sathya Sai Baba were special, they possessed special spiritual power.
When I first found out about him, it became clear to me that he was a special Guru, his great spiritual power was felt. I began to feel his presence. My first trip to Sathya Sai Baba took place in 1993. This was an amazing and unexpected event for me. By that time I had already been practicing meditation and yoga for about ten years. It was difficult for me to assume that one could go to the ashram, to India, to meet Sathya Sai Baba. Such ideas seemed to be fantasies in those days, but it happened.
Unexpected events and circumstances spun around me. Several friends decided to travel to India. A couple of weeks before departure, friends invited me to go with them. So I went to India for the first time for six months.
At the very beginning of the trip, the group visited the ashram of Yogi Ramaiah, a Guru who taught me meditation in the Kriya Yoga tradition for many years. After a seminar at Yogi Ramaiah’s ashram, I went to Sai Baba’s ashram.
"I am the mirror"
In India there are many yogis and spiritual masters, miracle workers, healers, and mystics. Satya Sai Baba was the most famous and the most mysterious Indian guru of the 20th century. How can we understand who he was? A very difficult question, many people have different points of view.
Sathya Sai said: "I am like the mirror in which your thoughts and feelings are reflected." Some saw him as God, and some as a cunning deceiver. Each person understood and saw what he could understand, realize and accept. With the help of intuition each person must feel the answer to the question of who Sathya Sai was and is.
There are sayings of Sathya Sai about his own nature. I heard these amazing and wise words directly from him: “I am God, but you are also Gods. The difference between us is that I remember this, and you forgot.” These famous words exhaustively explain how he perceived himself.
Sai Baba's life was a wonderful example of love and compassion. God is the unity of all souls, for we are one in God. Everyone has the potential of divine consciousness, this great truth Sathya Sai expressed with his life.
Sai Baba Puttaparthi Ashram
When Sathya Sai Baba left this world in the spring of 2011 I realized that I had to tell people about the events that I had witnessed, recall the manifestations of clairvoyance, and the greatest healing powers that I observed. Sai Baba told me once: “Now you are in my room, later this room will be in your heart, you will tell people amazing stories about Sai.”
Satya Sai Baba is a worldwide Guru. His philosophy unites world religions and spiritual systems. His ashram is located in the South of India, this is a unique place, a space for meditation and love. People come from all over the world, representatives of various worldviews, all those who come feel at home.
It is difficult to imagine an ashram where the universality is observed so intensely. In his ashram, the unity of all people, the interconnection of all cultures and religious systems is felt.
People who came to his ashram began to feel a special divine energy along the road for another 50 kilometers. There was a feeling that something amazing was happening. The divine vibration of love was felt everywhere.
It became obvious that you were moving to a holy place, thoughts were pacified. The closer the pilgrims approached the ashram, the more intense the sensations of love and bliss. When the pilgrims drove into Puttaparthi, the village where the ashram was located, a sense of divine presence manifested itself very clearly. There was a feeling that you were in heaven, it was difficult to imagine that you were on the Earth.
After Sathya Sai left in 2011, a tomb was built in the center of the ashram. The ashram continues to function today, you can come here any time.
You can stay at a hotel outside the ashram, it’s more comfortable. The program in the ashram at the tomb of Sathya Sai Baba is held twice a day, in the morning from 8.00 until 11.00 and in the evening from 16.00 until 18.00. Food in the ashram and nearby can be found for every taste, spicy and non-spicy, Indian and Western, all vegetarian.
Remember that in the ashram there are special rules for clothes, no shorts, mini skirts, swimwear. On the territory of the ashram there are many cafes, shops with various goods, as well as bookstores where you can buy books about Sai Baba.
The teachings of Sathya Sai Baba
The basis of the Sai philosophy is self-development, service to people. The fact that you exist is obvious and does not require any evidence or faith. The fact that you exist is everyone’s experience regardless of gender and age, nationality and social status.
Who thinks and speaks? Who is acting? Who perceives? Who is happy and suffering? People feel happy and suffer, while forgetting to understand who is the “I” that is experiencing various conditions, such as suffering and happiness.
Who is that "I"? Who asks a question and who wants an answer? Who wants to free himself from problems and suffering, and achieve happiness? Who seeks to know the truth and gain enlightenment?
Sometimes people concentrate on goals and plans, but miss to reflect on who is the "I" who seeks to find and achieve goals. Sai Baba taught his devotees meditation. He was commenting on philosophical teachings and stories from Vedic texts. His instructions were aimed at drawing people's attention to the main issue of studying the essence of the soul, the realization of the unity of the soul and God.
Sathya Sai Baba and Steps on the Spiritual Path
Sathya Sai Baba was a spiritual teacher, a miracle worker, a philosopher who preached the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and the Bible, he helped us understand the teachings of Krishna, Christ and Buddha. In India and in all countries, there are many spiritual masters who teach to hundreds, sometimes even thousands of followers. Sai’s spiritual power was huge, he could help millions of disciples and devotees, each person felt a personal inner connection with him.
His help in the form of blessings transformed the circumstances of people's lives, their thoughts and character. He transformed all aspects of the inner world of people. Devotees felt spiritual states and received divine insights. His blessings were manifested in healings and transformation of life.
It is not necessary to be a hermit to gain a spiritual experience; a person can walk the spiritual path in harmony and balance of meditation and have a family life. Sometimes people perceive the spiritual path solely as a practice of prayer. All that happens to you are stages and steps on the path of spiritual evolution. Good health, family and children, a successful career, prosperity in business, science and art, are all elements of the evolution of your consciousness.
Sometimes people mistakenly split into spirituality and materiality. Satya Sai Baba preached the unity of human existence, he blessed all aspects of human life: spirituality, intellectual knowledge, good health, family, financial abundance. This was the manifestation of his teaching.
"My life is my message"
Sathya Sai Baba said: "My life is my message." It is vital that he preached to his devotees during personal meetings and lectures. His life was an important illustration for us to learn from exploring his biography - how Sai lived his whole life, what he was able to demonstrate to humanity.
His birth in the small and poor village of Puttaparthi is the lesson he gives us an important example. Sai Baba completely transformed Puttaparthi with his birth, from a small poor village it turned into a growing beautiful city.
It is not so important how you start your life, but who you gradually become in the process of your development. Sai incarnated in adverse circumstances. By the power of his spirit and divine energy, he transformed the space in which he was born and grew up. At the beginning of the 20th century, when Sai was born, Puttaparthi was a very small village with a couple of streets. In order to purchase the simplest and the most necessary items, local residents had to travel long distances to the neighboring village.
The suurounding nature of the village Puttaparthi is beautiful with mountains and the fast flowing river Chitravati. The highest mountain in the area is called Sai Kailash, having three large peaks it has the shape of a natural trident. There are many lakes and ponds in the neighborhood.
Anyone who comes to Puttaparthi notices the uniqueness and the beauty of this place. I knew Indian devotees of Sai who visited his ashram in the 50s. They told me what the village of Puttaparthi looked like in those days. It was difficult to get from the nearest major city to Puttaparthi, the road was very narrow. Everything changed quite rapidly, gradually more and more visitors began to come to see Sai Baba, the village of Puttaparthi turned into a beautiful town with good hotels and shops.
Over the time, two large hospitals appeared in Puttaparthi with modern equipment and excellent specialists. Satya Sai Baba also had founded a large university in his village and built a huge stadium. His ashram constantly publishes a large number of books on Vedic philosophy and self-development practices.
Sai Baba's Incarnation: Transfiguration in Welfare
Why did he decide to be born in Puttaparthi? At first glance this village is not suitable for the worldwide spiritual mission. Some people consider that it would probably be much more logical to incarnate in a large city, in a wealthy family. Satya Sai did the opposite; he was born in a small village, but by the power of his energy he attracted tens of millions of devotees.
The mother of Sathya Sai Baba, Ishvaramma dreamed about the birth of a son. According to the tradition of the family, she took the vow of daily fulfillment of the ancient Vedic ritual, Satya Narayana Vrata. This is a ritual of worship on Vishnu and the goddess Lakshmi. Sai's future mother performed a ritual of worship every day in order to pray for the birth of her son.
Later Sai said that he decided to incarnate on the Earth precisely in this family, because his mother practiced worship of God with sincere devotion. He saw and felt the spiritual strength of the woman, her devotion, hence he decided to incarnate as her son.
You perform spiritual practices, meditations, mantras and prayers, sometimes no one knows about this. But what is hidden from human eyes is obvious for the Lord. The amazing story of the birth of Sai Baba is an example of the omniscience of God.
He gives us a lesson in the story of his incarnation in the village of Puttaparthi. This area was poor and inaccessible for visitors at that time. An ordinary person who is born in such a village is practically doomed to eternal poverty. At the most, a person who is born in such places can count onto receiving primary education and working in agriculture all his life.
With the help of his divine energy Sathya Sai Baba became a magnet attracting millions of devotees. He built the largest ashram in India, a beautiful university, a large stadium, two modern hospitals, an international airport. He brought prosperity and development to the place where he was born.
108 names of Sai Baba
This is a famous and a very powerful mantra which consists of 108 lines, each of which describes the various aspects and qualities of Sathya Sai Baba, his spiritual mission, stories from his unique life. The text of the mantra is published on the Internet and books. There are also many recordings of this mantra performed by wonderful musicians. This long mantra consisting of several pages has significant energy power, heals from diseases and transforms fates.
Sathya Sai Baba's books
During his lifetime Sathya Sai Baba published about a hundred volumes of books, most of which are collections of his lectures. There are a lot of books devoted to Sai Baba, so it is better to start studying his philosophy and spiritual message from several of the most important books. I recommend that you read the series "Summer Showers in Brindavan" and "Sathya Sai speaks."
Sai Baba Shirdi
Sai Baba consciously reincarnates on Earth. We know several of his previous incarnations. In the 19th century his name was Shirdi Sai Baba (1838 - 1918), he lived in the West of India in the small town of Shirdi, from where he got his name. He was a great miracle worker, preached Vedic philosophy, meditation. At the end of his life, he predicted that in a few years he would reincarnate in southern India. Thus, it happened, a few years later in the South of India, he was born as Sathya Sai Baba (1926 - 2011).
Predictions: the new incarnation - Prema Sai Baba
Sathya Sai predicted that he would leave his body at the age of 96, but he left at the age of 84. For some, this fact has become a reason for doubts and discussions. In fact, there is no contradiction. A couple of years before his departure he said many times that his mission was completed. Only Sathya Sai Baba himself could decide when to leave this world and when to reincarnate.
He also talked about his next birth as Prema Sai Baba. So, Prema Sai was born in 2012, in the village of Doddamalur, southern India. Sathya Sai told his close devotees, such as Dr. Kasturi and Mr. Subba Rai, that he would be born in about a year in the village of Doddamalur, in southern India, next to the ancient Krishna temple. When the boy Prema Sai Baba was about three years old (2015) he was found by a holy woman from the Himalayas Bijaya Devi.
She saw numerous mystical dreams in which Sathya Sai indicated his place of birth. Bijaya Devi chose five disciples to go to the state of Karnataka in order to find the divine child Prema Sai. Hence, a group of five, having arrived in southern India, was met by several other devotees, and together this group found the divine child. Prema Sai means divine love, in his current incarnation, he will guide all of humanity on the path of spiritual practices.