Exit of Sri Satya Sai Baba : the end of an era

published on April 26, 2011

Divinity manifests in its own unpredictable ways. Ordinary people are often at a loss in understanding the varied nature in which the great gurus conduct themselves in earthly life. Bhagwan Krishna chose to have his ascent to heaven when he was hit by the arrow of a hunter. Apparently a hunter is too insignificant an opponent for Krishna who led the Pandava army to victory without ever using any weapon in the Mahabharata battle. Similarly, fending off the vagaries of old age and diseases is not a big deal for a great yogi like Satya Sai Baba if he had chosen to do it, but Baba willed otherwise.

Every action of a great guru like Srikrishna or Satya Sai Baba is prompted by a proper reason. This probably explains the prolonged illness of Sri Satya Sai Baba and the seemingly helpless surrender to multi-organ failure. Great gurus like Satya Sai Baba use their entire life to alleviate the sufferings and miseries of ordinary people. In the process they take a lot of miseries unto themselves. The physical body of a self-realized master can endure enormous amounts of sufferings and diseases and the common man, even with a fraction of such sufferings, die very quickly. Great gurus, like Sai Baba, have the ability to transcend the barriers of time and space. Numerous incidents narrated from time to time by Sai devotees about Baba’s intervention at crucial moments in their life are testimony to the mystic power of the great yogi. The entire life of Sri Satya Sai Baba is a veritable chronicle of how he cured people of deadly diseases like cancer, heart ailments etc. Many a childless couple have been blessed with children and many innocent people who were at the crossroads of job, business and financial losses have been brought back to peaceful and successful life – all with Sai Baba’s infinite love and mercy.

Talking about Sri Satya Sai Baba, it is unavoidable that we try to understand the nature of his miracles. In the science of yoga, a sadhak who advances steadily in the quest of self realization, at certain stages of his sadhana practices, gets the ability to perform miracles. But it is said that the sidhis turn out to be distractions which divert the sadhak’s attention from the ultimate goal which is self-realization. The above mentioned is applicable to ordinary sadhaks. But in case of Sri Satya Sai Baba who is a divine incarnation, all the sidhis were available to him from childhood. He didn’t have to perform any sadhana as he was an incarnation, not an ordinary mortal who has to perform intense sadhana to realize the self. Satya Sai Baba has blessed thousands of people from all walks of life by handing out various things like vibhuti, wristwatches and rings, which he would materialize from thin air – a feat which is a natural accomplishment to a great yogi. To one who has realized Brahman or one who is always in communion with the ultimate reality, pulling off a miracle is a quite common thing.

Of the miracles performed by Baba, it is interesting to note what Baba himself has said about them. Baba used to say that “these miracles are like my visiting cards.” Once a person is awestruck by a miracle, Baba would take him to the wonderful world of spirituality with his timely advices and interventions. In essence, the teachings of Sri Satya Sai Baba are the great ideals espoused by the Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita. Once Sai Baba said “we all are gods in human form, but I realize that whereas others don’t.” Here we cannot miss the striking resonance of Baba’s words with what Krishna told Arjuna in Bhagawad Gita. Krishna said, “Oh Arjuna, you and I have had many births and I fully know all these whereas you are unaware of them.” A god-realized master is fully aware of the divinity inherent in entire creation whereas the mortals get entangled in body consciousness.

If the entire nation and many people across the world mourns Sai Baba’s exit it is also due to the vast amount of exemplary humanitarian activities carried out by the Sathya Sai Trust. The superspeciality hospital at Puttaparthi treats patients, especially the poor, absolutely free of cost. The drinking water projects successfully executed by Sathya Sai Trust in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have benefitted millions of poor people, who otherwise had been struggling to get good drinking water. The Sathya Sai Mission has successfully completed many projects earlier abandoned by government authorities or considered altogether impossible by the government.

The life of Sathya Sai Baba has been a testimony to the values cherished by the sages of India for thousands of years. Though Baba’s teachings have been universal in nature, cutting across the divisive barriers of religions and other limitations, when one looks deeper into them, one can see the glow of the same wisdom enshrined in the vedas and upanishads.

The so-called rationalists who spent decades in exposing the miracles of Baba stand exposed themselves. Modern physics says that on deeper analysis, the entire cosmos is pervaded by the same energy. Same principle is mentioned in the Bhagawad Gita and again the same idea has been expounded by Sai Baba. It is a fact that a person who has realized God has control over the fundamental elements and forces that constitute the phenomenal world. At his will, he or she can pull off miracles. Self-styled rationalists and communists have always criticized Baba as a charlatan and magician who cheats people. Last week one column titled “India Circus” authored by C.P. Surendran appeared in the Times of India. The readers would be interested to know who is this C.P. Surendran. He is none other than the son of old time Malayali rationalist Pavanan who spent his entire life defaming and criticizing Hindu beliefs and practices. It is disgusting to note that even after great scientists, academics, technocrats and other educated people accepting the glory and truth of an incarnation like Sri Satya Sai Baba, these self-styled rationalists hesitate to roll back their spurious propaganda. Just before Sai Baba attained Mahasamadhi, Surendran unleashed his vitriolic attack on Baba through his column. And in the end, he got a truckload of angry and denouncing response from the readers. Yet again, if one sees the reportage of the mainstream media on Sai Baba – be it the usage of the very term ‘godman’ or the media’s unseemly references to the ‘40,000 crore worth assets of the trust’ – and the response one can find on social networking sites, one can clearly gauge the disconnect between the reality and the views of the leading newspapers and TV channels.

The mahasamadhi of Sri Satya Sai Baba is an irreparable loss to India and the world. Baba has promised that he would reincarnate as Prem Sai in Mandya district of Karnataka in future. So, just as Krishna proclaims in the Gita, the great Gurus and divine incarnations will continue to bless India with their illuminating presence .

This author can be contacted at [email protected]

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