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Sathya Sai Baba was born as Sathya Narayana Raju (Sathyanarayana Rahu) in 1926 or nearby, and passed away in 1911. He was a popular Indian guru, spiritual figure and educator, and described by his devotees as an avatar, godman, spiritual teacher and miracle worker.

Wikipedia (WP) writes of him:

On 8 March 1940, . . . Sathya was apparently stung by a scorpion. He lost consciousness for several hours. Within the next few days there . . . were "symptoms of laughing and weeping, eloquence and silence." "He began to sing Sanskrit verses." Doctors believed his behavior to be hysteria. His parents brought Sathya home . . . Concerned, they took him to many priests, "doctors" and exorcists.

On 23 May 1940, Sathya called household members and reputedly materialised prasad and flowers for his family members. His father became furious at seeing this, thinking his son was bewitched. He took a stick and asked him who he was [and his son] proclaimed himself to be a reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi. [Wikipedia, s.v. "Sathya Sai Baba"]

Sathya took the name of Sai Baba, and claimed to be an avatar (divine descent).

He lived in the village of Puttaparthi in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. He was confined to a wheelchair since 2005 and reportedly his failing health forced him to make fewer public appearances in the following years.

The number of active Sathya Sai Baba adherents was estimated in 1999 to be around 6 million. Estimates range from 6 million to 100 million followers. However, there are no formal ties of membership, so the actual figure may never be known. He attracted presidents and prime ministers from India and beyond to become devotees of his.

From Sai Baba's teaching: "My objective is the establishment of sanatana dharma [i.e., eternal, righteous fare], which believes in one God." There is no published formal doctrine or set of rules for the Sai Baba movement, although the guru's organisation holds up five values: truth (integrity), proper conduct, non-violence, allround love, and peace.

Sai Baba taught four meditation techniques: mantra repetition; visualising something good; sitting in silence, and jyoti (a method for seeing subtle light).

Conditions around him on earth were not always heavenly; in 1993 four young devotees, all close to him, entered the ashram armed with knives. Six persons were killed, but Sai Baba escaped through a back stairway. The police soon came, and afterwards the four young devotees were all shot dead. According to The Times, "Suicides and suspicious deaths have long marred his reputation. Still, many around the world believe in miraculous powers of Sai Baba." And the guru himself said that fortunate ones are not detracted from sensing his inward reality by displays of miracles. He told the role of miracles is trivial as compared to his subtle majesty. "Therefore, when you speak about these 'miracles,' I laugh within myself out of pity that you allow yourself so easily to lose the precious awareness of my reality," said Sai Baba.

The Sathya Sai Organisation was founded by Sathya Sai Baba "to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement", and has over 1,200 Sathya Sai Centres (branches) in 126 countries. Through the organisation, Sathya Sai Baba established a network of free hospitals, clinics, drinking water projects and schools. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from followers from a broad spectre in society. Most remembered him as one who worked to help others with the billions of dollars donated to his charitable trust. India's Prime Minister at the time, Manmohan Singh, said the country would remember Sathya Sai Baba as someone who "inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life."

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Teachings of Sai Baba

It is your very own life you are.

THERE ARE not many! The one spirit remains the one tall self forever. You mistake it as many. The fault is in you. Remove your delusion. In the dark you mistook the rope to be a snake but it remains a rope.

I often tell you not to identify even me with this particular frame. There's no name I don't bear and there is no body which isn't mine.

AFTER long searches here and there at last you come back completing the circle from where you started, and find that what you were looking on as the mystery of all mysteries, is your very self and the reality of your own life. Manifest it!

YOU AS frame, soul are a dream. But you are the spirit of this world. You're creating this whole world and drawing it in. Follow the heart.

A pure heart seeks beyond the intellect. The body, the mind, the intellect. All these are simply manifestations. Above all these you are. You appear as the smiling flower, as the twinkling stars.

[Based on sayings in the Sai Baba Gita [◦Compare]. Abridged teachings involving some substite keywords as substitute hints.]

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Earn money and don't get cut down

YOU CAN earn money, you can gain wealth and property, you can attain honour and prestige, you can gain position and power. All these are rewards you can attain from your worldly endeavours. But . . . these are but temporary fruits. They . . . have no lasting value." [Sai Baba]

Suppose good, blessed wealth helps you against floundering and falling - thus you may escape derangements and hell - even tortures and death in that place - that is from things the fisher-fond Jesus said. Further, what if prestige and position do follow some to the other side and are carried along somehow? Have such stuff now, just in case - put that to use. You know what the fisher-fond Jesus said?

  • Make good and fit use of your predominant talents.
  • Bear fruit so as not to be cut down.
  • One is to gather riches in heaven through temporary situations on earth.

Do what you can.

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The apparently gentle cult teacher served downfalls of minds

FAR away there was once a government officer who did not believe in the power of big words to transform minds, especially not dwarfing teachings and religious-looking humbug. One day he visited a school where a teacher was teaching scriptures to his pupils. The teacher gave them apparently deep thoughts to think over. The officer developed a headache while sitting and listening in. Finally, he said as gently as he could,

"There is no need to burden small children with deep-ploughing lectures. They must be useless to them and can hardly be grasped well enough by small ones. Tell some fairy tales instead."

The teacher replied that when the pupils were young and tender, his faith could be instilled in to them, and later the mind sort of closed up around that faith, however wrong, awkward or bizarre it was. He thought that his own stuff was good for anyone else.

The officer,

"Good people shouldn't believe that mere words and some canonical duping can develop a mind sanely or rise into the power to really transform it in worthwhile manner."

The stubborn teacher at once got red-hot angry, and asked a pupil to get up and throw the officer out of the room. "Do it at once!" he ordered.

The officer got angry back and sneered,

"Where has all the good-will gone? Wasn't it more stable and handy? Misusing a child to send me out like your slave or what?"

The teacher mocked too,

"I mentally beat you up by making you very upset and by using a proxy figure."

That was how a government officer in Faroffistan saw that the gentle teacher was just faking gentleness to have his way with others that he duped. The officer also noted how bigoted teachings might form cults by dwarfing sanity and polite manners ever so often, and some cult and sect bosses can gain an enormous and prestigious influence - at times for too much bad.

Cf. Sai Baba Gita, "Restraining the tongue in both food and speech": "The story of the officer and the preceptor"


Sathya Sai Baba sayings, tales, Literature  

Drucker, Al, comp. Sai Baba Gita: The Way to Self-Realization and Liberation in this Age. Crestone: Atma Press, 2000.

Pasti, Stefan, comp. Quotations from Sathya Sai Speaks, Vols. 1-15. Rev. and enl. eds. (1997). Prashanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1997. —— The quotations are from discourses by Sathya Sai Baba during the years 1953-1982.

Sai Baba. Sathya Sai Speaks: Discourses by Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Vols. 1-42. Prashanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1953-2009. —— All the volumes are on-line : [◦42 volumes]

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