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Sai Baba passes away

Puttaparthi, Apr 24 (): Sai Baba left his physical body at 7.30 am, said a medical bulletin issued by Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. He was 86. Yesterday the usual medical bulletin was not issued leading to the speculation that he would not survive. Reports state that after all organs failed only artificial ventilator was keeping him alive. As per the Supreme Court order the euthanasia was not permissible. The funeral would take place on Wednesday with full State honors. Nearly 40,000 policemen are in the town to control the huge crowds that are pouring in.

“I am God. And you too are God. The only difference between you and Me is that while I am aware of it, you are completely unaware.” This is the answer Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gives to people who query Him about His identity and divinity. This fundamental truth of man’s divine nature is at the heart of His message and mission. Indeed, in His discourses to devotees, He addresses them as “Embodiments of the Divine Atma”. All who experience His pure and selfless love, and benefit from His illuminating counsel, and witness His miraculous nature, get a glimpse of the glory and majesty of God, and therefore of what one potentially and inherently is.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born as Sathyanarayana Raju on November 23, 1926 in the village of Puttaparthi, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Even as a child, His spiritual inclination and contemplative nature set Him apart from other children of His age, and He was known as ‘Guru’ and “Brahmajnani’ (knower of Brahman or Godhead) among His peers and others in the village. However, it was not until October 20, 1940, the day He made the historic declaration of His Avatarhood, (Avatar – Divinity Incarnate) that the world at large learnt of this divine phenomenon. Today, millions of devotees from all over the world, professing various faiths, and hailing from various walks of life worship Him as an ‘Avatar’, and an incarnation of the Sai Baba of Shirdi. Thousands gather every day at Prasanthi Nilayam, His ashram established beside the village of Puttaparthi, for His Darshan, when He moves among devotees blessing them and providing spiritual succour and solace.

The apex body of the organisation is the ‘Prasanthi Council’, headquartered in Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh. It is this body that oversees the functioning of the Sai Organisations worldwide. The Prasanthi council consists of the All-India President, the Chairman of the Overseas Organisations and few other senior members of the Sai Family appointed by Bhagawan Baba Himself.

The policies, decisions and directives of the Prasanthi Council are handed down through the state level units and central coordinators to the entire organisation, right down to the grassroots levels for assimilation and implementation.

The Sai Organisation, from small beginnings in a remote little hamlet, in South India, has grown into a well-knit, purposeful and service-oriented global organisation of dedicated men and women.It has organisational units in all Indian states and over 170 other countries.

In a revealing discourse that Baba delivered on the 23rd of February, 1968 in Prasanthi Nilayam, Baba made the purpose of the organisation very clear when He said,

“The Organisations named after Me are not to be used for publicising My Name, or creating a new cult around My worship. They must try to spread interest in japam (recitation of God’s Name), dhyaanam (meditation) and other sadhanas (spiritual practices), which lead man Godward; they must demonstrate the joy derivable from bhajan (devotional group singing) and Naamasmarana (remembering God’s Name), the Shaanthi (peace) that one can draw from Sathsang (good company).

They must render seva (service) to the helpless, the sick, the distressed, the illiterate and the needy. Their seva (selfless service) should not be exhibitionistic; it must seek no reward, not even gratitude or thanks from the recipients. Seva is sadhana (spiritual exercise), not a pastime of the rich and well placed. Each one must realize this truth.

From: “Sathya Sai Speaks”, Vol. VIII, Chapter

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