Who is Bhagawan
Sri Sathya Sai Baba?
"Who is Mr.Swami?"
An interesting thing happened yesterday. As I was furiously
plodding away at the keyboard, reliving my beautiful
memories with Swami, I got a gentle tap. The tap came in as
a message from Mr.Happy. He wrote in all sincerity and love
- “Thank you for writing this. It was interesting and I can
certainly appreciate your devotion for the Man in Orange. He
does seem to command power.This was a great blog. I am not
sure who Mr. Swami is - that is why I wanted to read part
five because it had his photo and I keep seeing it around
I was very touched with his interest. And I stopped typing,
pausing to think. “I keep writing about the object of my
love, adoration and worship. I bring Him completely into my
conversations with my readers. But I do the error of not
introducing Him! Many do not require an introduction and
still many do need one. I must write about who Mr.Swami (
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) is.” And thus this
venture. It is really so easy to say who He is - God. And
yet so difficult, for the term “God” has different meanings
for different people.
Before I begin, let me tell the readers that due to a wealth
of information that can be provided, I stick to a skeleton
framework providing links wherever necessary. You can, of
your own volition choose to dive to the depths you want!
Happy diving and splashing! Now, let me begin.
Sathya Sai Baba was born as Sathyanarayana Raju as the
eighth child in a poor family in the village of Puttaparthi,
Andhra pradesh, India on the 23rd of November 1926. (He shed
the mortal coil on the 24th of April, 2011.)
His early life was one that was filled with miracles and
Sri Sathya Sai Baba at His Brindavan residence (
Bangalore) in the 1960s
The two voices waiting to talk aloud...
In the 86 years on earth, what He has achieved is monumental
to say the least, Divine to say the Truth. And as I start to
write about Him, I witness
two voices within me. Both want to be heard. And I shall
give them both an opportunity. The first voice is that of
the head and the second is that of the heart.
Over to the head now.
Swami believes in the unity of all religions. He says that
He has come not to start a new religion but to make a Hindu
a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a
better Christian and so on. He says that there is only one
caste, the caste of humanity; only one religion, the
religion of Love; only one language, the language of the
heart and only one God though God responds to whatever name
you call or form you ascribe.
He says that the summation of all the scriptures is
contained in the phrases, “Love All, Serve All” and “Help
ever, Hurt never”. And so, He exhorts one and all to serve
for service to man is service to God. In accordance with
these, He has pioneered some breathtaking service projects.
1) Starting small with
a free general hospital, Swami has started two general
hospitals and two super speciality hospitals which are
absolutely free. The super specialty hospitals in
Bangalore provide tertiary care to one and all -
absolutely free of cost! And the response, especially from
the poorest sections that earn less than a dollar a day has
been one of unimaginable gratitude.
This has inspired medical service activities in over 120
countries of the world and healthcare is being provided to
millions around the world. Some of the most amazing service
has been carried out in the poor
African continent! It has brought light to the dark
But as I said, this is only a drop in the ocean. There is
magnificent service going on in all countries. I have
personally witnessed some, like this mind-blowing and
one in Trinidad and Tobago.
A view of the edifice that the Sri Sathya Sai Institute
of Higher Medical Sciences in Puttaparthi is
The Super Specialties Hospital at Bangalore
Swami has always defined education as
something that brings out from within what is latent in a
person. He says that education is not simply stuffing things
external into a person! To achieve this, Swami has built
schools and a university. And again, from the nursery to
post graduation, the education is offered wholly free of
cost! Mind boggling isn’t it? But Swami says, “When one has
the pure intention to do good, there will be no shortage of
men, materials, resources, money and good wishes. This is
not miracle of God, but the miracle of Love. After all, Love
is god and God is Love!”
temples of Education
that He has started have inspired
many others to do the same in His name and with His
primary and higher secondary school
also have begun at
Puttaparthi. But that is not all!
The philosophy has inspired schools and educational
institutions the world over like in
There are many more and I feel a sample should suffice.
The Puttaparthi Campus of the Sri Sathya Institute of
India is a huge country with many places
lacking access to good drinking water. Swami built
massive water projects
to provide safe drinking water to
over 700 villages in Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh,
spending about 300 crores Indian rupees to millions of
Medak & Mahboobnagar
, to millions in the E and W
drinking water to the entire city of Chennai in India
for which all the citizens and politicians came forward to
express gratitude to Swami.
The pipelines being laid. ( More than 2000 kms of pipes
Water flowing out of the Kandaleru reservoir towards the
city of Chennai.
The grateful villagers - beneficiaries of the massive
Sathya Sai Drinking Water project
4) Service to the villages in making them
self sustaining and happy has been another major effort from
Swami. As in the other projects, starting small, He has
achieved tremendous results. Among the hundreds of success
stories, a sample would suffice to understand this.
That is quite a lot of talk from the head. I request the
head to stop here and allow the heart too a fair share of
talk time. So dear heart, start speaking now...
Talking of Sathya Sai Baba as a great humanitarian is like
calling Lord Krishna a cowherd, Lord Jesus a Shepherd, the
Buddha a prince and Prophet Muhammad a trader! Of course, He
is a humanitarian, but He is much more.
He has taught me the greatest lesson of my life - the
purpose of human life! I went to Swami seeking God. And then
I heard him say, “Yes, I am God and so are you. The only
difference between you and I is that while I am aware of
this fact, you are not. “
I saw Him perform miracles - heal cancer, tuberculosis and
blindness with a mere glance or a touch; create objects from
thin air and heard about how He brought the dead back to
life. But as I pondered on all these, I heard Him say that
His greatest miracle was Love and that if one imbibed pure
selfless love, anyone can do these so called miracles. And
he said that truly everyone is nothing but love. Whenever He
speaks, He addresses all as the embodiments of Love!
I stayed with Him and saw Him daily. Its more than a decade
now and I cross my heart and say that He is my best friend
who has showered on me the love of a mother, father and
teacher, all rolled into one. He taught me that the
individual is a part of society. Society is a part of nature
and nature is the part of God! So if one claims to love God
then one must love one’s fellow beings, serve the society
and preserve nature. Reading what Swami has said about
Himself tells us a lot about who He is.
Whenever I felt
alone and lost, He came to me, not only physically but even
metaphysically too! I have seen so many coincidences in my
life and I know that a coincidence is also a miracle; just
that God chose to remain anonymous! He found for me the love
of my life and He has made me love life to the fullest. He
taught me that Joy and Bliss is the nature of every soul and
so we must be happy always. He made me realize that whatever
is happening to me is for my good alone and therefore there
is never the need for me to be sad. He has filled my life
with love and taught me that everything I encounter in life
is nothing but a reaction, reflection and resound of me. He
has taught me to love me and therefore the whole world along
with that! He is my world, nay my Universe. He embodies the
most powerful force ever - that of Love - and so He is the
most powerful. If you call that God, yes, He is my God!
How much ever I write on what He means to me, I shall never
be satisfied for how can paltry words ever substitute an
experience? But yet, like the salt doll that went to measure
the depths of the ocean, I try to describe who He is with
the hope that like that salt doll, I too shall dissolve in
Millions are the ones who have experienced Him. And a few
eminent people described Him variously. That should be an
inspiring read in itself!