SAI DHAM (Nottingham)
Sathya Sai Baba
(back to The Sai Trinity)

This is the story of that same Shirdi Baba come in human form, this time in a quite little village, Puttaparthi, in 1926. As promised to Rishi Bhardwaj, Shiva descended again into human form this time along with Parvati. Born to a quiet, pious and contented couple, Sri Pedda Venkama Raju and Mother Easwaramma.

Sri Pedda Venkama Raju and Mother Easwaramma

Before the birth of Sathya Sai Baba, strange occurrences would transpire in the home of this couple, instruments would start playing themselves, the Tambura (violin like string instrument) would twang and the Maddala (drum) started beating as if someone was playing it. On the 23rd day of November 1926, a son was born to Easwaramma in a small sleeping rural community known as Puttaparthi. It was the time of sunrise and the villagers were chanting the names of Shiva, the day was still Karthika Somavara, a Monday of the Holy Month of Karthika, devoted to the puja and worship of Shiva. That day was made even more auspicious for Shiva worship.

The boy was name Sathyanarayana. The women did not notice it for long, but when the baby, laid on a bed of clothes, was being moved up and down in a peculiar way by something underneath, they watched with amazement and when they searched, they found a cobra below the bed! The snake is a symbol of Shiva. Baba has declared that he knew even prior to his birth where he would be born, he has said that he was born with all the miraculous powers, which he is later out of his own will, manifesting one by one, as and when he feels each could be so announced. Whenever there is decline of righteousness and rise of evil, the Lord incarnates from time to time to uphold righteousness, to protect the virtuous and to uproot evil. The Avatar appears whenever the world is passing through a spiritual and moral crisis. The Avatar comes in order to uphold dharma and to reveal the next evolutionary step in creation. It is easy to see how the modern world, through its moral regress and decline of values, is ripe for an Avatar. There have been many Avatars of the Lord and Sai Baba is none different.

As happens with many Hindu families, some of the members of the family are not vegetarian. Sathya was a natural vegetarian with a tender heart for all living things. He even objected to the local yearly bull races where the animals were pushed beyond endurance and sometimes broke their legs trying to run on sandy soil during the competition. Sathya never turned any beggars away from his mother's house. He would see to it that they always got something to eat.

Sathya began school in his little village and was very bright and quick with learning as well as popular among the other school children. He started to become famous among the other students for helping them with their little day to day needs. As is still true in India, a pen or pencil is a very precious object since it can mean an extra expense for the entire family or even, as is true in the West, something that one's teacher would require for the day. Sathya became well known as a good friend to ask for a new pencil or pen when the original became lost. He would materialise all kinds of items from the palm of his hand. Needless to say, he attracted a gentle crowd of happy children from an early age.

A Young Sathya Sai

Sathya's father expected him to become a government officer, but the events of his life were to take him far beyond that ambition. One day, at dusk, when walking in the school yard, Satyanarayan lept into the air with an exclamation, falling down into the dusk until his friends carried him unconscious to his bed. He remained unconscious for about 24 hours and when he finally awoke he was a changed person. He had become a yogi, fully. He seldom spoke, would go into a deep stiff samadhi, hardly breathing. He would quote long Sanskrit passages from the Vedas and speak on them with wisdom far beyond his young years. He described far off places of pilgrimage to which he had never been.

Then came the time when Satyanarayan become Sathya Sai Baba. Numerous attempts to change him back to the amiable little boy who attended school and was so good at his studies all failed. Satyanarayan stayed home from school, giving darshan in his mother and father's living room. At one point his father, a little disappointed at his son's absence from school, shouted at him, asking what he thought he was.

His son replied, "I am Sai Baba. I have come to ward off your troubles".

His mission was further clarified in a letter he wrote to his brother in 1947, stating, in part "I have a task to foster all mankind and ensure for all of them lives full of bliss. I have a vow, to lead all who stray away from the straight path again into goodness and save them. I am attached to a work that I love, to remove the sufferings of the poor and grant them what they lack".

Today Baba has millions of devotees around the world. His main message is that of truth, right conduct, peace, love, and nonviolence. Sathya Sai Baba regularly holds Bhajans and discourses in his ashram preaching these values and says he is not here to create a new religion but to help each person to realise God in their own means.

One may ask why should the Lord himself incarnate? Why should he not set about the task of restoring Dharma through the many minor gods that he has at his command? King Akbar himself posed this question before his courtiers, for he laughed at the Hindu idea of the formless adopting form and descending into the world, as an Avatar to save Dharma. A subject called Tansen asked for a week's time to explain and got it granted by Akbar. A few days later, when he was in the pleasure boat of the emperor, sailing across the lake with his family, Tansen revealed and threw overboard a doll made to look like the emperor's little son, crying at the same time "O, the prince has fallen into the water!" hearing this, the emperor jumped into the lake to rescue his son!

Tansen then disclosed that it was only a doll and that the son was safe. He allayed the anger of Akbar by explaining that he had perforce to enact this drama, in order to demonstrate the truth of the Hindu belief that God takes human form himself, to save Dharma, without commissioning some other entity to carry out that task. Dharma is like the son, God loves it so dearly. Akbar could have ordered one among the many personnel he had on board, to jump in and rescue his son, but his affection was so great and the urgency so acute that the emperor himself plunged into the lake, to pull out the "son". The decline in Dharma is so acute a tragedy, the intensity of affection that the Lord has for good men is so great, that he himself comes.

Baba says on Avatarhood: "This Avatar has no destructive weapon in his possession, like the Kodanda (bow) of Rama, or the Chakra (discus) of Sri Krishna. He relies on education, rather than elimination, instruction rather than destruction. The good are encouraged to become better, the better to enter the region of the best and the blessed. The bad are encouraged to shed the coil of cowardice, which keeps them in fear "The power of Sai is limitless, it manifests forever. All forms of 'power' are resident in this Sai’s palm". In the time and eras of Rama and Krishna (Treta Yuga and Dwarapa Yuga) there were a few ogres and the Avatars incarnated to remove them. Today in this Kali Yuga (dark age) very few people are perfect and many have evil tendencies in them, to eliminate them all would destroy mankind, so instead it must be educated.

Sri Pedda Venkama Raju and Mother Easwaramma

Sathya Sai Baba In Recent Times
Sathya Sai Baba has setup free hospitals, education centres and ashrams to help the needy and poor and even rich and misdirected. Millions flock every year to visit Puttaparthi, however Baba mentions he is also present in Shirdi, from his previous incarnation. The amount of work Baba has done in such a short space of time is incredible and a true hallmark of his divinity.

Still no Avatar comes without controversy, when Shirdi Baba incarnated there were people who attempted to malign his name as a "mad fakir" and a fake. When Krishna incarnated, Duryodhana and his uncle Shakuni, attempted to smear his name instead of accepting his divine form, the ignoramuses called Krishna a ‘mayavi’ meaning magician. In the same way there are a few anti-Sai people but Baba has said that it has to be in your Karma to see God, some people are not destined to be able to see God in this lifetime due to past sins and are not eligible to see the divine. But those who deride God on top of this, are certainly grave sinners.

Some people attempt to smear his name by creating edited videos of Baba and making up false allegations against him through bribery benefits, these rumours are based on second and third hand accounts with contradictory and anonymous statements. They always miserably fail and usually these people give up after saying the same things over and over again. A perfect example being Alaya Rahm who attempted to take Baba to court then dropped his own case on him, ardent and true devotees realise the divine qualities of Baba some who have had experiences of him before they even meet him such dreams, visions and miracles. Sai Baba has done so much for society for even those people who do not consider him to be God, he has never been convicted of any crime or charged of any crime, has never had even one single complaint lodged against him by anyone first hand in India, usually these made up allegations come from westerners who are out for a mission, either to promote their atheistic views or malign Baba because of their own insecurities in their own religious beliefs.

Despite this, Baba has said nothing will stop his mission, even though Baba is now in his 80’s and so frail he still is there for his devotees, guiding them with his discourses and giving blessings everyday. Now one must ask, would a normal man who has no wife or children and little family of his own look out so much for humanity and his devotees despite being so old now and having a massive organisation that can take care of itself? Purely and simply because he is the Lord himself, he is always there for his devotees. Frank Baranowski, who specialised in Kirlian photography, analysed Sathya Sai Baba's aura and concluded that Baba was not a human being but a divine personality because his aura was unlike anyone he had seen before using a Kirlian camera. Whereas auras normally emanate about 6 inches from the body, Baranowski claimed that Sathya Sai Baba's aura was so extensive, it appeared to extend beyond the horizon and contained silver and gold bands that he had not observed before.

Baba has predicted that over the next few years the his popularity will rise to unprecented levels before passing away and that India is on the verge of becoming a spirtual superpower. We bow down to such a great soul who has selfless love and cares so much for mankind.