I first learned about Sathya Sai Baba in the very beginning of the 90s. At that time, I made several friends who had already visited Sai Baba's ashram. One of them was a successful Moscow businessman who had been interested in yoga for many years, and in the very beginning of the 90s he was one of the first Russians to go Sathya Sai Baba’s Ashram in India.
In addition, I met two Indian students of a medical institute, who also told me about Sathya Sai Baba, an amazing Guru from India who preached deep philosophy and worked amazing miracles.
In the late 80s and early 90s, yoga groups and meditation centers began to be organized in Russia. At the same time, it became possible to freely travel abroad, including to India, information about various esoteric traditions openly appeared. Amid a large stream of new information, information about Sathya Sai Baba was especially attractive.
My first trip to India took place in 1993. This trip was completely spontaneous. At that time, I had been studying yoga, meditation and Vedic philosophy for more than ten years. I could not even imagine that I could easily go to India and meet Sathya Sai Baba, all this seemed unbelievable to me.
Suddenly, circumstances literally swirled around me, several of my friends unexpectedly went to India and two weeks before the departure they invited me to join them. Hence, I first came to this fabulous country for six months. At the beginning of the trip, we visited the ashram of Yogi Ramaiah, a unique Guru of Kriya Yoga, who lived in the very South of India. After staying there for a while, I moved to Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram.
"I am the mirror"
There are a lot of spiritual teachers in India, yogis, wonderworkers, gurus and mystics. Sathya Sai Baba was the most famous and at the same time the most mysterious Indian Guru of the 20th century. Who was Sathya Sai Baba? This is a very difficult question - so many men, so many opinions. People sometimes gave him the qualities and attributes that they wanted to see in him.
Sathya Sai Baba often said - "I am the mirror in which your inner world is reflected." Beautiful and comprehensive words. Someone saw him as God, while another as an ingenious magician. Everyone saw what he was ready to understand and accept. I don’t think I would like to fantasize on this difficult topic, let everyone follow his intuitive feeling and find his own answer to the question “Who was Sathya Sai Baba?” It is hardly possible to understand this with the mind, for this you need to go to the depths of your spiritual heart and gain understanding there.
It’s not important for me who Sathya Sai Baba was, more important was what I could learn from him. There is a famous statement of Sathya Sai Baba, which is given in his books, and I was lucky enough to directly hear these wise words from his lips several times: “Yes, I am God, but you are also Gods, the difference is that I remember that I am God, and you have forgotten about it. Every person is God, the only difference is to what extent you are aware of your true divine nature.” These words of Sathya Sai Baba clarify most comprehensively how he perceived himself and all the people.
There is an ancient Japanese proverb that states that "Buddha is not a rice cake drawn on a picture, but Buddha is like a real cake that can satisfy hunger." I think this wisdom is perfectly applicable to the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba. The important thing is not worshiping him externally as a great philosopher and miracle worker, but to carefully study his life, which contains a magnificent message that can change the life of each of us.
His life is a great illustration of the manifestation of the endless creative potentials that are in everyone's heart. God is the totality of all individual souls; we are all one in God. Each person carries the great potential of divine creativity, Sathya Sai Baba perfectly embodied this truth in his life.
Who is the “one” who asks the question? Who is the “one” who requests the answer?
After Sathya Sai Baba left his body in 2011, I felt the need to tell some stories that I was fortunate enough to witness, as well as to recall the numerous manifestations of his miraculous power that I experienced.
Sathya Sai Baba is a world Teacher who is outside of any tradition, school and trend. In his teaching, he unites all religions and philosophical systems. He founded his ashram in Southern India. His ashram has been and remains a unique spiritual space of unity and love. This is a place where people of different worldviews can come.
I think it’s hard to imagine any other ashram in which divine love, openness and universality would be manifested to such an explicit degree. In the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba, the unity of all mankind, the brotherhood and sisterhood of all people were especially felt.
The essence of Sathya Sai Baba's philosophy is the study of the spiritual world of the Soul. The only obvious thing is that - "I" exist”, a deep sense of self-existence is a completely obvious and universal experience of everyone.
Self-existence does not require any evidence or beliefs; it is an experience inherent to everyone regardless of gender, age, nationality, ethnic culture, social status, level of education or religiosity.
Who is the “one” who meditates? Who is the “one” who speaks? Who is the “one” who performs actions? Who perceives the outside world? People say that they are happy or suffering, but often forget to determine who this mysterious “I” is, who experiences happiness and suffering.
The question of who is the “I” always precedes any other question. Who is the “one” who asks the question? Who is the “one” who requests the answer? Who is the “one” who wants to free himself from suffering and find happiness? Who is the “one” who seeks to know the truth? People focus on the goal that they want to achieve, but often forget to find out who is the "I" who wants to achieve a particular goal.
Sathya Sai Baba taught meditation practices, he told amazing and instructive stories from the ancient Vedic scriptures, but all this was devoted to the main issue: an in-depth study of the nature of the soul and awareness of the original unity of the soul and God.