Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Divine mission of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba...!!!

Divine mission of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Chandima DE SILVA

Millions of followers of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba around the world celebrated the birthday of this Divine Master on November 23. Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born on November 23, 1926 in a tiny, hilly, isolated village called Puttaparthi in the Anatapur District of the present Andhra Pradesh State of India.

Not only his father Sri Pedda Venkappa Raju but his grandfather Sri Ratnakaram Kondama Raju and one ancestor Sri Venkavadhoota too had been very pious, religious-minded people belonging to the Raju lineage of the Kshatriyas. The family had rich musical, literary and dramatical traditions. Sri Sathya Sai Baba's mother Srimati Eswaramma was also very religious like her mother-in-law Srimati Lakshmma. Sathya Narayana Raju, now known as Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, or Swami to millions of his devotees, was the fourth child of Sri Pedda Venkappa Raju and Srimati Eswaramma.

In 1940, at the age of 14 Bhagavan declared His mission as "I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre. I have not come to speak on behalf of any teaching, like the Hindu teaching. I have not come on any mission of publicity for any sect or creed or cause; nor have I come to collect the followers for any doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this unitary faith, this Atomic principle, this path of love, this duty to love, this obligation to love."

Each day, hundreds of pilgrims make their way to Puttaparthi, the tiny hamlet in Southern India where Sri Sathya Sai Baba's ashram (spiritual headquarters) is located. They come not only from India but from virtually every country of the world. Over the years, followers have organized to foster the construction of a variety of buildings and facilities to house and otherwise accommodate the ever-increasing number of visitors. The name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba's ashram is Prasanthi Nilayam, which means "abode of the highest peace".

Spirituality, according to Bhagavan Baba, is having the courage and determination to follow our conscience in all things and at all times. In doing so, we recognize that we are all united in God. We are bound together by divine love.

If we may quote Swami: "I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre. I have come to tell you of this universal, unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of love, this duty of love, this obligation to love. Every religion teaches man to fill his being with the glory of God and to evict the pettiness of conceit. It trains him in the methods of non-attachment and discernment, so that he may aim high and attain spiritual liberation. Believe that all hearts are motivated by the one and only God; that all faiths glorify the one and only God; that all names in all languages and all forms man can conceive denote the one and only God. His adoration is best done by means of love. Cultivate that attitude of oneness between men of all creeds and all countries. That is the message of love I bring. That is the message I wish you to take to heart."

With the aid of many thousands of active service workers, Sri Sathya Sai Baba runs major humanitarian projects to help poor and suffering people in India and inspires and supports many others. All this work is done anonymously by members of the organization with no publicity or public fund-raising, which Swami strictly forbids. The Sathya Sai Seva Organization in India and other countries provides free services like village hygiene. sound basic education in human values and home industry etc. Outside India there are well over 1,000 Sathya Sai centres and many thousands more groups spread throughout the world where the organization is represented do selfless service, primarily for the direct benefit of the poor, for refugees, the homeless, the aged and many other kinds of needy and suffering people.

A most significant event for the population of a large part of the poor state of Andhra Pradesh was the inauguration on Sri Sathya Sai Baba's 70th birthday of the enormous Rayalaseema water project. In the presence of a crowd of about 200,000, the President of India officially started the turbines that opened this project, which brings a year-round water supply to each of over 750 villages and several towns in this day state that were often without any water previously, which lack caused much suffering.

Establishment of the most modern and spacious Sri Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospital in Puttaparthi could be undoubtedly described as a milestone in Swami's selfless service to humanity. All services at this hospital, including complicated surgeries, are done free of charge. Leading surgeons from Italy, USA, UK and India work gratis for the hospital. The infection rate at this hospital is reported to be 0.8 percent, which would be quite extraordinary even in Britain or the US. The mortality rate here is less than 2 percent, which is regarded as virtually unprecedented.

Already, more than a dozen Sathya Sai Colleges have been built in India, admitting several thousands of students annually. These are all run through private donations, as are numerous Sathya Sai schools, male and female colleges and one central university, the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. These institutions that offer school education and both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in many disciplines are regarded as foremost seats of learning in a number of Indian States.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba predicted many years ago, when it seemed incredible, that there will eventually be at least one major Sai College in each State of India. This unique education combines the highest technical and scholarly standards with the deposit moral education available anywhere today, requiring through personal commitment to universal truth and goodness in both word and action. Sai Schools and Colleges also exist in other countries, especially Thailand. Another Sathya Sai College in Zambia has been in existence for many years. This well-founded college teaches the unity of religions, charges no fees, is run on donations and serves children from low-income families with scholarships. Sai schools have also been started near Gothenburg, Sweden and in Odense, Denmark. It is worth mentioning here that the first Sri Sathya Sai School in Sri Lanka is presently operating in Manipai, Jaffna.

The Sathya Sai Education in Human values (SSEHV) for young people from 6 to 16 years of age and a trust for that purpose were inaugurated by Sri Sai Baba in 1981. SSEHV is a universal system of spiritual education, not bound specifically to any particular religion, sect, or other single system of moral belief. The five human values truth, right action (righteousness), peace (of mind), love and non-violence, which are the most universal ideals in all world cultures and form the essence of all religions form the basis of SSEHV. SSEHV provides for blossoming of these five human values that are dormant in every human being.

Bhagavan Sri Sai Baba has told His followers that, even though God is in everyone and everything. He is totally aware of His Divinity in a way which others are not.

The breadth and depth of spirituality in India's ancient culture, with its great tolerance and universality, is well reflected in the works and teachings of Sri Sai Baba. Whether Sri Sai Baba is the avataric incarnation of Vishnu come again to save the world from the crisis caused by its periodic decline in righteousness or whether Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is God in human form is a question of personal conviction, for no one can fully perceive and know the true nature of such omniscient and omnipresent divine incarnations.

In conclusion, let us quote Swami: "Service to man may deal with his physical or spiritual needs, but serving him by example is best of all. Do not be a bad example to your neighbours or family members. Be good and radiate goodness. In ancient times, when the education of the pupil was over, the teacher exhorted the pupil to speak the truth and observe righteousness. The truth must be spoken without hypocrisy or deceit; there must be no motive to injure. Acts must be regulated by the overall supremacy or righteousness.

"He is asked not to neglect the knowledge he has acquired but to ruminate on it and cultivate it by putting it into practice. Treat the mother as God; treat the father as God; treat the preceptor as God; treat the guest as God. These important declarations should be honoured. Give in reverence; give in plenty; give with modesty; give as to a friend; give without any thought of reward. Do not give ostentatiously. All has to be done with humility and reverence. Only then will these acts bring about cleansing of the mind, which is the main benefit to be derived from service."

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