Sai Birthday Celebrations

SAI BABA'S BIRTHDAY




 


Advent of Sathya Sai Baba

"Years later as Swami (Sai Baba) sat one day surrounded by His devotees, there was an abrupt interruption. A pundit, well-versed in the holy Puranas felt a sudden urge to ask a question. "Swami! Was your incarnation a Pravesa (an entrance) or a Prasava (encience)?" I could not quite understand the relevance of the interruption that jolted everybody away from jocular mood of the talk, but Swami knew the reason. Turning to Easwaramma seated in front, He said, "Tell Rama Sarma what happened that day near the well after your mother-in-law had warned you." Mother said, "She had dreamt of Sathya Narayana Deva and He cautioned me that I should not be frightened if something happens to me through the will of God. That morning when I was at the well drawing water, a big ball of blue light came rolling toward me and I fainted and  fell. I felt, it glided into me." Swami turned to Rama Sarma with a smile 'There you have the answer. I was not begotten. It was Pravesa, not Prasava." Sai Baba, SS, 11/96. p: 306

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Meaning Of Sathya

"My name is Sathya (truth). My teaching is truth. My path is truth. I am truth." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. VI. p. 285

"Truth (Sathya) is My nature. My mission. My message. Organizations bearing My Name have to be strictly adhering to truth."Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI. p. 139

"I never deviate from truth. Since I recline on truth, I am called Sathya Sai. Say (as in Seshasayi) means reclining. The name is very appropriate, let Me assure you." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. II, p. 276

"No trace of fear can tarnish the purity of the heart that is shining in the splendour of truth. I am Sathya Sai. Sathya Sai means {like the name Sesha Sai meaning). He who is based on, who reclines on the massive coils of the poisonous snake 'Sesha', or massive coils of objective desires; He who is based on truth, who reclines on truth, which the massive coils of objective desires cannot cntangle.Truth knows no defeat; truth knows no fear. It marches on heedless of acclamation or declamation." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. VIII, p. 163

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Meaning Of Sai

"The significance of the three letters in 'SAI' should be understood. 'S' stands for service. 'A' stands for adoration. 'I' stands for illumination- These three represent Karma (actions), Bhakti (devotion) and Jnana (wisdom), respectively. Sai teaches these three. All three concepts are equally important. Sai is a combination of the three spiritual paths of action, adoration and wisdom. Just as the Pranava sound is made up of three letters: j 'A', 'U', 'M' (OM), 'SAI' stands for the triple forms of spiritual Sadhana. In the Sai] organization, this threefold exercise has to be properly understood." Sai Baba, SS, 11/95. p. 313

"The three-fold transformation is implicit in the term 'SAI'. 'S' stands for 'spiritual'  change. 'A' stands for 'association' change. This is a change in one's relationship with others in society. 'I' stands for 'individual' change. 'SAI' thus signifies changes at all three levels - spiritual, social and individual. This triple transformation is what Sai desires. H When this transformation takes place, the whole world will be prosperous and happy." Sai Baba. SS. 11/95, p. 309

"Sai means Sahasra-padma (thousand-petalled lotus), Saakshaatkaara (interview), etc. 'Aayi' means mother and Baba means father. It means who is both father and mother, and the goal of all Yogic endeavours.." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. II. p. 24

"Consider the meaning of the name. 'Sa' means 'Divine'; 'ai'or 'ayi' means 'mother' and 'Baba' means 'father'. The name indicates the Divine Mother and Father (Saamba-Shiva). Your physical parents exhibit love with a dose of selfishness, but this Sai' Mother and Father' showers affection or reprimands, only for leading you towards victory in the| struggle for self-realisation." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. IX, p. 91

"Sai is Prema-swarupam (Embodiment of Love). 'Sa' means Sarva-shakti (Almighty), the Witness in All; 'Aayi' means mother." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. II, p. 134

"Sai's name is proclaimed by trees when they wave their heads. The birds in their chirping call upon men to remember Sai's name. The flowers in spreading their fragrance declare the glory of Sai. The bees when they hum announce the bliss in Sai's name. 'Sai! Sai!' is the sound that reverberates from the sky to earth. Sai can be experienced everywhere. 'Sai' is not one's name. 'Sai' is the in-dweller reclining in the heart of everyone." Sai Baba, SS. 8/89. p. 200

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Meaning Of Baba

"Baba means father. The Prema of Sai is the Prema (love), the characteristic of the Father and Mother; not earthly-father and mother, but of the (Divine) Father and Mother who are the witness of every thought, word and deed in every being." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. II, pp. 134 & 136

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Meaning Of Sai Maata (Mother)

"Whether you come to Me or not, you are all Mine. This Sai Maata (Mother) has love of a thousand mothers towards Her children. That is why I do so much Laalana (fondling) and Paalana (caressing). Whenever I appear to be angry, remember, it is only love in another form. For, I have not even an atom of anger in Me. I just evince My disappointment that you do not shape up as I direct." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. III. p. 167

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Sathya Sai Name - Its Adoption

"Talking of names, let Me mention this too. Some persons who do not care for truth or righteousness might adopt my name 'Sathya Sai'. They crave only the outer shell of the fame and fortune. But you must know that they are unconnected with Me and are engaged in acts which I have not authorized.' Sai Baba, SSS,Vol. VIII. p. 162

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Sai Baba's Three Phases Of Life

"The first sixteen years of this life have been, as I often told you, the period when Bala-leela (sports during childhood) predominated, and the next (period of) sixteen years is being spent mostly in Mahimas (miracles) in order to give joy to this generation. Joy and contentment are short-lived sensations. You have to catch that mood and make it permanent possession, Ananda or bliss. After the thirty-two years, you will see Me active more and. more in the task of Updesha or teaching erring humanity and directing the world along the path of Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness, Shanti (peace) and Prema (love). Not that I am determined to exclude Leela (play) and Mahima (miracles) from my activity after that. I only mean that reestablishing Dharma (righteousness), correcting the crookedness of the human being and guiding humanity back to Sanathana Dharma (eternal code conduct) will be My task thereafter." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. I, pp.10, 11

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Speaks About His Own Birthday Celebrations

"As I was coming to the (Sai Kulwant) Hall, many devotees greeted me with the words, 'Happy Birthday!' They should wish 'happy birthdays' for those who are not happy. I do not need your birthday greetings. The Divine is perennially in bliss (Nitya-Ananadam). The Divine is ever blissful; confers supreme happiness on others; is the ever embodiment of the highest wisdom; has transcended the opposites; is as vast as space; cloud-like in complexion; with perfect features. Like the lightning in the heart of a cloud, wisdom should illumine your hearts. That wisdom will reveal, the Divine in you." Sai Baba, SS. 12/97, p. 312

"You are celebrating this day as being the birthday of Swami and deriving Ananda (joy) through various programmes here, carried on with enthusiasm by you. But in fact, I have no wish to consider this as a special day because it is the birthday and celebrate it as much. I have come on a purpose to reveal to man the mystery of his reality and the goal of his life. I have not come to set them with the task of celebrating the birthday or to get arranged any pompous and personal festivals. I have no desire, at any time, in this or any other sojourn. On what day do I celebrate My birthday? On that day when all of you experience genuine Ananda (joy), in your hearts. Now, when your hearts are surging with manifold fears and anxieties, and torn by miseries and losses, riven asunder by grief, declaring this day as My birthday seems to be barren of meaning." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. IX. p. 155

"This year (1975) you have named My birthday the' Golden Jubilee' of the Avatar, and gathered in vast numbers from all parts of the world. I am sure you have benefited by the Satsang. I do not accost one particular date in the calendar as My birthday, for I consider the day when Divinity blossoms

in your heart as My birthday in you. Therefore:, each of you should individually celebrate such a day as My birthday. The day when you resolve to practise My advice, to follow My directives, to translate My message into acts of service, and to engage in Sadhana - that day is My birthday for you. The 23d day of, November, which you now honour as the day on which I was born, is only like any other day if you celebrate in a routine, ritual fashion. Adore man; the adoration reaches Me.) Neglect man; you neglect Me. Of what avail is it to worship the Lord and to suppress | man. His counterpart? Love for God must be manifested as love for man, and love must express itself as service." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. X, pp. 41 & 42

"Swami does not rejoice in the celebration of birthdays. Since all of you have come for this celebration, I am obliged to give you satisfaction. I have no wants. Whatever I do, is for your sake. Recognise this truth." Sai Baba. SS, 12/97, p. 315

"I do not relish the celebration of My birthday or pompous decorations for the purpose. Such ostentation is not good for anyone. Adopt a practical attitude towards the spiritual life. With the holy thoughts in you on this auspicious day, you must go out into the world and spread your sacred feelings among others. Do not confine your feelings to yourselves or retain them only during your stay here (at Prasanthi Nilayam)."Sai Baba. SS, 12/97, p. 315.

"Embodiments of love! You are experiencing great joy in feeling that you are celebrating today as My birthday. For Me, there is no birthday to be celebrated. It is for your happiness, for your sake and to fulfill your wishes that I have agreed to take part in various programmes arranged for today (23 November 1980. Prasanthi Nilayam). If one has no birth, there is no death. If there is death, then one must have been born. Birth and death are action and reaction. I am beyond both." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. XI. p. 62

"Have Ananda (joy) in your heart. Ananda comes from pure sight, pure hearing, pure speech and pure actions. The day you establish yourselves in this Ananda, that day will be My Birthday for joy. I must tell you another fact. Swami's Birthday is being celebrated at Puttaparthi because so many thousands come here from far-off places, in spite of me huge expense and great difficulty during me journey. Do not be under impression that because it is Swami's Birthday, therefore, you must come. I have no desire to have My Birthday celebrated. Such trivial thoughts can never enter Me. My only desire is to share my Ananda with you, to encourage you to lead lives full of Ananda. My Birthday is when you get Ananda." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. X. p. 229

"Bairagi Shastri said that this is an auspicious day for you because this is My Birthday. But let Me tell you, I have many birthdays like this. The auspicious day for you, is the day on which your mind is cleansed and not the day on which I took this Human Form. I am ever new and ever ancient." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. II, p. 11

"Since this morning many people have greeted Me ''Happy Birthday!" No need wish happiness for Me, since I am always happy, everywhere. For Ananda-Swarupa (embodiment of bliss/ happiness), why talk of happy birthday? You too. must be ever happy and not wait for the birthday to recur every year to accumulate Ananda." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. X, p. 229

"Many of the devotees from foreign lands wish Me 'happy Birthday'. I tell them 'I am always happy. Wish happiness for those who are unhappy.' There is no need to wish that I may have Ananda or happiness. I am happy at all time?. Cultivate faith in God and love toward all beings. Always follow the directives I have been emphasizing." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. XI, p. 208

"Realise that true happiness consists in union with God- You need not wish 'Happy Birthday'-1 am always happy. I am a tank of happiness. Draw from it as much as you wish. Drink that water and sanctify your life. It was the thirst for Divine bliss that drew you here. Drink deep and experience that bliss." Sai Baba, SS, 1/96. p. 28

"Of what use is it to honour the Avatar and hold the day when the Avatar took human form as sacred? The message of the Avatar must be born, must become alive, must grow in you, your heart; that is the birthday, you have to celebrate. Celebrate the birthday in your own village. You need not travel long distance to where I am physically present. Plant the seeds of-love in your hearts. Let them grow into trees of service and shower the sweet fruits of Ananda. Share the Ananda with all. That is the proper way to celebrate the Birthday." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. VIII . p. 124

"All who come embodied are Avatars, that is to say, advents of the Divine, Manifestations of God. What, then, is the special feature of Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Christ? Why do you celebrate their Birthdays with such reverential enthusiasm? The specialty is this: they are aware; you are unaware of the Atma (soul) which is the Truth. Awareness confers grace, glory, majesty, might, splendour. Awareness confers liberation." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VIII, pp. 123 & 124

"Embodiment of Love! The Divine has no special day, earmarked as (His) birthday " The day when you cultivate holy thoughts, attitudes and modes of behaviour in your hearts, the day when you decide upon some activity of pure unselfish service, that is the Day of Birth of the Divine for you. From this day, you can celebrate the birthday as a festival" Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. XI. p. 221

"Although all Avatars have been preaching only good things, men today are content to observe their birthdays without following their precepts." Sai Baba, SS, 6/97. p. 146                                                   

"Men today celebrate the, birthdays of great holy men but they do not follow the teachings of the masters. There is nothing great about the celebration of birthdays. People must resolve to uphold their ideals and act up to their teachings." 5a; Baba, SS, 1/97, p. 2

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Sri Sai Baba Proclaims His True Identity

"I am a man amongst men. When they see me I appear as a man. Among women I am a woman. Among children I am a child. When I am alone I am God. This is the truth about Me." Sai Baba, SS, 8/96, p. 197

"The same Divine Compassion that blessed Dhruva, saved Gajendra, restored Kuchela and stood by Prahlada, has come to the earth as the Refuge of the refugeless, asj the Lord of peace, harmony and righteousness, as the Lord of all the worlds, as the Sat-Chit-Anandamurti, as Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Sath-chakravarti (Truth of all truths), the King of all kings." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. X. p.'226

In the poem that Sai Baba composed Himself and sang on His birthday on 23| November 1979, revealed His own true identity as follows:

" When the Dharma of the age is laid aside.

To establish it anew through loving means:

When the world is polluted by conflict and confusion,

To restore the path of virtue and peace:

When good men caught in cruel coils wail,

To save them from pain and shame;

When sacred texts are not grasped aright,

To proclaim the message they teach mankind;

To relieve the earth of the burden of vice,

To fulfill the promise made in Treta Age. Achyuta has incarnated on this earth, Vasudeva, Srihari, has come into the world. " Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. X. p. 291

"In the poem that Sai Baba composed impromptu and sang before commencing His speech. He announced Himself as "Srinatha, Lokanatha and AnandaNaatha, the same He, who saved Gajendra, boy Dhruva, poor Kuchela and helpless Prahlada." Sai Baba, SSS. IV, p. 159, sang on 23 -11-1964 & 1986. at Prasanthi Nilayam

Sai Baba on His birthday, the 23d November 1979, revealed His true identity as follows:

"This body might have a birthday, but I have no birth. You say I am fifty-four years old, but I have no age which can be counted." Then Sai Baba composed the following poem and sang:

"The Eternal, with neither entrance nor exit;

The One who neither Was nor Is or Will be;

The Immortal Person free from birth and death

The ever-effulgent Atman is SAI for ever. " Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. X, p. 296

Swami sang a Telugu song which proclaimed that "All is Brahman -the stars, the sun, the moon, heaven, the Lord's abode 'Vaikunta', the mother and father, the words in a speech, the discussions in debate, life itself, birth, growth and death, the wife, the time that passes, the body, the whole of nature, the love you bear to others - all is Brahman. This assemblage is Brahman, THIS SAI WHO PROCLAIMS THIS TRUTH IS VERILY BRAHMAN. What more can I tell you, Oh good people gathered here? Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. XI, p. 198

"This is a human form in which every Divine Entity, every Divine Principle, mat is to say, all the Names and Forms ascribed by man to God, are manifested. Do not allow doubt to distract you." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. VI, p. 226

"In order that you may attain the only goal of human life, namely, realising the Divine and becoming the Divine, the ETERNAL has limited itself and come in human form. It will reveal the ideals again, and re-establish them among men. Of course, it is difficult for those who are unacquainted with the scriptures to grasp the mystery of this advent." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI, p. 354

"The rules of discipline and Sadhana laid down in the Bhagawad, the Ramayana, the Bhagawat Gita, the Mahabharata are not heeded, though they are read and learnt by heart since centuries. Now that the Niraakaara- the Formless, Attributeless Principle-has come.

Be earnest to observe the orders given for your own liberation. Do not cast away the nectar of grace when it is offered." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. VI, p. 298

"In each Yuga, you have the Avatar of the Lord come to redeem, revive and rebuild. At present time, Mahashakti (Supreme Power), Mayashakti (the Power of Delusion) and Yoga-shakti (Spiritual Power) have come, all together, in one human form. Your endeavours should be to draw near Him and earn grace there from." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI. p. 74

"In the Hindu mythology, there are four Yugas (aeons): Krita, Treta, Dwapara, Kali. At present we are passing through Kali. The incarnations of the Lord were not accepted by many (in the past). Even their parents, kinsmen, and comrades hesitated to adore them. Only a few sages, who cultivated the inner vision through study (of scriptures) and Sadhana (spiritual practice), knew their reality. But today, while the currents of contradiction and controversy are undermining faith and adoration, the good fortune that has brought face to face with Me is something for which you must thank your merits won through many lives. This is no ordinary good fortune. This incarnation is moving with you, singing with you, talking with you, sharing with you, your joy and grief in order to console, encourage and cure. This relationship is something unique. It has to be kept unbroken until the goal is reached." ' Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. VI, p. 360

"This speech today is a new experience for you. I am addressing a gathering today. But even though it may be new to you, for Me it is not new. I have given advice to large gatherings before, though not in this appearance. Whenever Niraakaar (Formless) becomes Saakaara (assumes a Form), it has to fulfill the mission. It does so in various ways. But one purpose, the re-education of man persists, whatever the Yuga or the era." Sai Baba, SSS; Vol. I, p. 10

On 23 November 1964, at 8:00 p.m., Prasanthi Nilayam, after the song with which Sai Baba opened His discourse. He thrilled everyone by singing the two lines from the Bhagawat Gita, which declare:" 

Whenever Dharma declines, I restore it and put down the forces which cause the decline, by assuming a form. and I am born again and again in every crisis in order to protect the good, punish the wicked and restore Dharma." He began His discourse after this announcement of His Identity with the source of all Avatars. Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. IV. p. 62

"Of all the Avatars, some are for a definite limited purpose, like Vamana or Narasimha. They are just manifestations, to counter some particular evils. They are not full-fledged, long lasting, expansive, like Rama aid Krishna. The Lord lias no hate in His composition. He is all mercy. That is why Krishna proceeded to the Kaurava court, as a messenger of peace, with compromise proposals. He showed man how patient he should be in spite of provocation, how self-control win; in the end. Krishna demonstrated that if you practise the Sadhana of the constant presence of God, you are bound to achieve victory. Take Him as the charioteer. He will steer you through the heaviest odds. He has no favourites or rivals. Like fire. He spreads warmth to all who are near Him. If you do not feel warmth, do not blame Him. Hiranyakashipu said: "He is no where." and so. He was no where for him. Prahlada asserted: "He is everywhere." He (God) appeared from the pillar to prove him true. God did not have to run into the pillar in order to come out of it, to reply to the challenge of the father (Hiranyakashipu). He was there all along, just as in everything else. He had only to make Himseif" visible. I TOOK LIKE THAT. IF YOU ACCEPT ME AND SAY YES, I TOO RESPOND AND SAY "YES, YES, YES"! IF YOU DENY AND SAY "NO". I ALSO ECHO. "NO". COME, EXAMINE, EXPERIENCE AND HAVE FAITH; THAT IS THE METHOD OF UTILIZING ME." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. IV. p. 165

"When Dharma (righteousness) declines or rather when those who have a duty to regulate their lives according to Dharma lose faith in it. then its restoration cannot be taken up by all and sundry. A broken bridge on a highway cannot be set right by the amateur skill and momentary enthusiasm of the villages around. The very authority, which laid down the road and planned the bridge, has :o initiate the repair. THE LORD HAS COME AGAIN FOR THIS MISSION. He has collected the engineers, contractors and the labour for this purpose. He is now set on the task." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. Ill, p. 106

"The 'miracles and wonders', which cannot be explained by the categories of science, are so natural to Me that I am amused when you label them as miracles. The Lord had announced that He would assume human form so that all might gather around Him and feel the thrill of companionship and conversation- And the Lord has come as announced." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. I, p. 153

"Avatars choose the time and the mode of announcement of their advent and their glory. Even in this Avatar, such miracles had to be done when I decided that the time was opportune for taking the people into My Secret" Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. III, p. 53

"On Krishna's bare chest, there was a mole which could be seen, an inevitable mark of all Avatars, including SAI'S." Sai Baba SSS, Vol. III. p. 51

"Nothing can stand in the way once I have decided on any step. When the Paramatma-Tatva (Godhead) assumes human form and appears, not with Maha-Shakti (Supreme Power) and Maha Swarupa (Mighty Form), but with Maya-Shakti (delusion) and Maya-Swarupa (Embodiment of Delusion). It is difficult to comprehend especially when you are in uncertain vacillating mood. Once you understand the purpose and the procedure, all doubts will cease." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. II, p. 149

"When someone asks you in great eamestness, where the Lord is to be found, do not try to dodge the question. Give them answer that rises up to your tongue from your heart. Direct them that He is here in Prasanthi Nilayam." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. H, p. 276

"God is Mahashakti (Supreme Power) and Jiva (individual) is Mayasfaakti (delusion). He (God) is genuine, the Jiva is but shadow, the appearance, the delusion. Even I have to put on Mayashakti to come into your midst, like the policeman who is compelled to wear the dress of the thief so that he can get entry into the gang of thieves to apprehend them and bring them to book. The Lord cannot come with His Mahashakti unimpaired. He has to come with diminished splendour and limited effulgence, so that He can become the object of Bhakti (devotion) and dedicated service." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. I. p. 24

"Many are drawn away by the outer signs of sainthood- the long-grown beard, the rosaries, the matted hair (etc.). It is very difficult to demarcate clearly the manifestation of the Lord. So, I am announcing Myself and Myself describing My mission, the task, the characteristics, the qualities which (distinctively) mark out the Avatar from the rest." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. IV, p. 22

"I am always of one Twam (the Basic Truth) only. The Lord will never undergo change. The essence will be the same. There will not be any decline in value, like becoming human for sometime etc. The Lord will be characterized by unbounded Prema (love) and unsullied sweetness." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. 1, p. 183

"God alone is 'Anaatha' (without master), as there is no 'Naatha' (master) above Him. Everyone has a master. God alone has no one above Him. Some people come to Swami (Sri Sathya Sai Baba Himself) and say 'Swami! Don't make us 'Anaathas.' I used to tell them: 'It is not you who are 'Anaathas', I am the 'Anaatha'. Never consider yourself' Anaatha'. Sai Baba, SS, 9/96, p. 247

"God has incarnated in human form, in order to inspire man to follow higher ideals

not only in India but foreign countries also. Men may have different languages and life styles but God is One and He is present everywhere. All religions speak of Him as Love and is attainable through love. Forms of worshipping God differ, for they are shaped by time and place, but love is the basic content of all the Forms. The language of love is understood and spoken by all hearts. There is only one race really, and that is the race of mankind. We now consider petty distinctions of nationality, race, religion and language as vital and hold back love, which must flow to everyone from the heart. That was the life and message of Jesus. Nurture it in your hearts. Experience Jesus as your Messenger sent from God." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. XI, p. 14. discourse on 25-12-79.

 "This day is unique because it is rare that an Avatar installs the idol of another. I Myself find it rather amusing. Of course, Rama installed the Shiva-Linga at Rameshwaram before He started out for Lanka for the extermination o evildoers. Now, there is no question of extermination. My task is Dhanna (righteouness) Samsthapanam (establishment). Now I am entering on that Avatar-kaarya (Incarnation's task). I am too installing this idol prior to that task." Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. II. p. 23

"You need not stretch your hands before Government. You have Kalpa-vriksha - (wish-fulfilling tree) ready to give you all that you want. You have the Lord (God), who protects and promotes all." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. II. p. 3

"Really speaking, this (Sai) Avatar is itself acting a part. It is' putting on' a function and 'assuming' a role, by the Function-less and the Role-less. As far as the Yajna is concerned, I shall give the Darshan of the Veda-swarupa before you disperse. Be assured." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. II. p. 237

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Sai Birthday Gift

"Embodiments of the Divine! I must ask you to give me as a birthday offering, only one thing - REDUCE YOUR SELFISHNESS; abate your wrong desires; foster your spirit of sacrifice and grow into noble human beings. If you dedicate yourself to these objects, you will have realised the purpose for which you attended this great World Conference, this birthday celebration (on 23 November 1980, Prasanthi Nilayam) and derived immeasurable bliss." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. XI. p. 63

"You must be thinking about the gift you have to offer to Swami on this birthday. You can be happy that you have given Swami a proper gift only when you love your fellow-men, share their sufferings, and engage yourselves in serving them. That is the only gift I wish for. The present given to God has to be pure, steady and selfless love." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. XI, p. 291

"There is one thing which you have to offer as a birthday gift Develop love and live fraternally. Banish hatred and jealousy. Set an example to the world." Sai Baba, SS. 11/95. p. 290

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Sai Baba's Birthday Desire

"On this birthday (of Mine), I have only one desire. I desire this only to promote your Ananda. You are planning programmes for the coming 60th birthday. Even before the 60th birthday, you must adopt at least 6000 villages and improve them through proper means into ideal villages. Rich people and people in power have plentiful servants. But the distressed, the poverty-stricken, those who suffer have no one to serve them. Go to such people and be their friends, their kith and kin, and their closest well wishers. Let them welcome you as such. If you pour spirituality into the ears of those who are tortured  by hunger, it will not be assimilated.... Therefore, units of our (Sai) Organization have to  provide and increase in those 6000 villages, education, medical service, and communication facilities. There are villages, where people struggle for want of water to drink. Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. XI, p. 29 

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The Time Factor For The Sai Avatar

"Men are failing to recognise the nature of the Divine. Even though the Divine  (God) has come down as an actor on the world stage, He is biding for the proper time to play His full role. A fruit takes time to ripen. When the fruit is ripe, it falls down of its own accord Sai Baba, SS. 12/94, p. 312.

"Like all Avatars, Krishna announced his advent to the world, bit by bit, step by step, testing every time how far the Reality will be accepted by the masses. The signs and miracles were intended, then as now, to proclaim the Avatar." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. VI, p. 72

"The Patashala (school) is started here (Prasanthi Nilayam) today (23 November 1962). I announced this in October (1962) and it is being started in November. With' Me, the resolution and the realisation coincide in time. There is no time-lag." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. II, p. 256

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Sai's Powers

"There can be no limit for Sai Shakti (strength), no hindrance, no opposition or obstacle. You may believe it or not, but Sai Shakti (power) can transform earth into sky, the sky into earth. Only, there is no call for that transformation. This Divine Behaviour is a far distinct from mean exhibitionistic tricks of the inferior Shakti (forces). This is the spontaneous manifestation; those are calculated to collect customers and exploit the. ignorant. The inferior Shakti may imitate the dress or the gestures, for imitation cannot be prevented. But you have to ask yourselves this question: "Can all green-feathered birds be parrots? Or, call all worms on petals turn into butterflies? Or, can a donkey wearing a tiger skin become a tiger, or can an overgrown boar be honoured as an elephant?" Beware of being cheated by dress or speech or by tricks. For, truth is ever truth. Falsehood can never become truth, whatever its tactics. This (Sai) is the very embodiment of truth. It has no unreality or falsehood in its composition." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. VII. pp. 394 & 395

"I might change earth into sky or sky into earth, but that power is nothing before the power of love that can bind the world and rule the world. Love; do not hate or harm" Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VIII, p. 53

"My power is immeasurable; My truth is inexplicable, unfathomable. I am announcing this about Me, for, the need has arisen." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. IX, p. 89

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Avatar

Meaning Of Avatarana

"Generally, Avatarana, or the process of Incarnation is described as a "coming down" from a higher status to a lower one. But, no! When the baby in the cradle weeps, wails and clamours for help, the mother stoops and takes it up in her arms. Her stoop is not to be described as a "coming down". If you earn the necessary credentials, the Incarnation will come and save you. If, on the other hand, you multiply your demerits and descend lower and lower, how can you be saved?" Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. X, p. 229

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Sai Avatar

Understanding The Reality Of The Sai Avatar

"No one can understand My mystery. The best you can do is to get immersed in it. It is of no use of arguing about pros and cons. Dive deep and know the depth; eat and know the taste. Then you can discuss Me to my heart's content. Develop Sathya (truth) and Prema (love), and then you need not even pray to Me to grant you this and that. Everything will be added unto you unasked. Nara (man) and Narayana (God) are two wires, the positive and the negative, which are combined to bring electricity through. Nara (man) will cooperate with Narayana (God) and become the vehicle of Divine power, if he has acquired the two qualities - Sathya and Prema." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. 1, p. 72

"Do not seek to measure Me or evaluate Me. I am beyond understanding. Pray or worship for your own satisfaction and contentment." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. Ill, p. 59

"(Sai) Baba is beyond the keenest intellect, the sharpest brain. Why,even the Sapta (seven) Rishis (sages) failed to grasp the sublimity of Godhead. So, do not try to delve into Me. Develop faith (Shraddha) and derive Ananda (joy) through Prema (love); that is utmost you can do. Do that and benefit." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. II. p. 25

"You will not know me in a trice, or even in days. It is something that has to be realised by stages, in due course, through Viveka (discrimination), Vairagya (detachment) and Vichakshana (intellect)." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. IV, p. 36

Do not spend you: time in trying to understand Me. Do not waste your time in this attempt. The reason why I am saying this is: It is beyond anyone's capacity to understand Me. So, trying to do the impossible, you are wasting your time and effort. It is only when you succeed in knowing yourselves then you can know Me." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. IX,p. 170

"Let Me tell you that you cannot understand Me and My secret without understanding yourselves. For, if you are too weak to grasp your own reality, how can you hope to fathom the much grander Reality of My Advent. To grasp My meaning, you have to tear into tatters the doubts and theories you now have and cultivate Prema (love), for the Embodiment of Prema can be understood only through Prema." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. I, p. 153

"You need not waste time in trying to discover Me and My nature. Understand what I teach, not 'Who is the teacher?', for I am beyond your intellect and your Shakti (power). You will underhand Me only through My work. That is why sometimes in order to reveal who I am, I Myself show you my 'visiting card', something that you call a miracle. Know this mystery and carry out the duty I assign to you." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. I. p. 116

"Why argue over Me this point or that (point) concerning Me? Who is exactly Baba?

You discuss and debate. What does it matter to you what I happen to be? You are concerned about your goal, your ideal, your experience, and your effort; is it not? Why then worry about My origin. My nature. My mystery. My miracle? When you cannot reach down to your basic reality, why waste time in exploring the essence of Godhead? As a matter of fact, you understand Me only when you have understood yourself, your own basic truth. Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. II, p. 152

"My mystery can be known only by traversing My path that I have here laid down. Understand yourself and that will reveal Me to you, for I am you and you are all 'I', Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. I, p.94.

"Persons who have seen Me are many, but those who have understood My significance are a few.'' Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. I. p. 171

"In truth, you cannot understand the nature of My Reality either today, or even after a thousand years of steady or ardent inquiry even if all mankind joins in that effort. But in a short time, you will become cognizant of the bliss showered by the Divine Principle, which has taken upon itself this sacred body and this sacred Name." Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. VI, pp. 225 & 226

"There is no use simply coming one day and going away the next day, saying 'I have seen Sathya Sai Baba. Me wears a fine long gown and he has wonderful hair.' If you spend the time lounging in the hotels here or playing cards, or listening to the tales, how can you understand? Determine to discover, decide to learn, dive deep, and then you will know. Prema (love) can understand Prema." Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. III. p. 117

"Do not attempt to know Me through the external eyes. When you go to a temple and stand before the image of God, you pray with closed eyes, don't you? Why? Because you feel that the Inner Eye of Wisdom alone can reveal Him to you." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. IX. p. 90

"To understand anyone, you must be with them and near them. You must approach them, not with hatred or anger, but in friendship and love. So too is in my case. How can you know Me if you do not come near Me and unto Me." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. IV, p. 265

"For those who are drawn by the pulls of the mind, the intellect and ego, things beyond these three are inscrutable. There is a limit beyond which the mind and intellect cannot traverse. That is why the Mahashkti (Supreme Power) has to envelop itself with Maya (delusion) and come down to the level of human comprehension." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. I, p. 153

"Unless you know yourself, you cannot know Me. you cannot know Me. When you see a plane above, you know that it must have a pilot. But, if you want to see him, you have to get into it and be in the plane after purchasing the requisite ticket. Earn the qualification; win the visualization. Vivekananda once said that no Aviveki ( a person devoid of the sense of discrimination and sharp intelligence) can understand him and his mission." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. VI. pp. 321 & 322

"If you wish to know Me, you have to first know what you really are. Look into yourselves. Without understanding who you really are, how can you seek and understand Me? When your vision is concentrated on the external, how can you understand the inner being." Sai Baba. SS, 4/89, p. 89

"Though lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of people have seen Me, those who have understood My nature are very few. This is because the simple exercises of Shravana (hearing God's Glory), Manana (contemplation of God) and Nididhyasana (putting into practice) are not practised by people. They do not know how to recognise Divinity in themselves or others. They simply prod and exhort each other to serve all as God's own Forms. This has become mere conventional talk devoid of inspiration or meaning." Sen Baba. SSS. Vol. II. p. 138

"Balarama who came as His (Krishna) own brother could not fathom His (Krishna's) personality. How then can you grasp My mystery? Yet, I know some here who sold away their faith to hollow men and started talking about My dress and hair. If you dare seek My truth, come surrender unto Me." Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. II. p. 83

"Let Me tell you, it is only those who know the Shastras (scriptures) can understand Me." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. II, p. 129

"Getting to know Me is also part of  your destiny." Sai  Baba, SSS, Vol. II. p: 130

"My purpose can be understood in a general way only by sitting through the entire film, watching earnestly and vigilantly and trying to get the meaning of every word and act with patient attention. As a matter of fact, language is an impediment in dealing with Me. All languages have a place in the concourse of men, bringing out their feelings, holding their weakness, shaping their thoughts, etc. But I speak the language of soul" Sai Baba, SS. Vol. II, p. 154

"I know that you have not understood Me yet. You only see Me from a distance. See Me through the thousands who pass through your town to come to Me. If you. only ^ catch a little of their faith and joy, you will be amply rewarded'' Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. Ill, p. 180

"You must see, hear, study, observe, experience, reflect then only you can understand Me. You will learn then that I am Prema - I give only one thing, Ananda (b!iss): Ananda through that Prema." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. II, p. 153

"Have your Prema (love) fixed on the Lord, whether your pretty wishes are fulfilled or not. When Sai Baba confers success after success on you, you are foremost in singing 'Sai Shankara, Sai Shankara.' But let the shadow of disappointment fall on you, immediately you turn round and declare, 'This Sai is not God.' Your worldly intelligence cannot fathom the ways of God. He (God) cannot be recognised by mere cleverness, which is what your intelligence mostly is. You may benefit from God, but you cannot explain Him. You may benefit from electricity, but you cannot explore and explain its mystery. How it works so; why it works so and not in any other way." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. VI. p. 113

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Sai's Reality

"Seeing this human form, you may be tempted to treat it casually or view it with love as an embodiment in human form. This is not correct. I am not the body. 1 am not the mind. I am not me intellect (Buddhi). I am not me will (Chitta). I am not the inner motivator (Antaha Parana). I am not any specific object. This body has been assumed for your sake.... You have not known even a small fragment about My reality. My full nature of this reality can never be understood by anyone. I am a man amongst men. When they see Me I appear as a man. Amongst women, I am woman. Among children, I am a child. WHEN I AM ALONE, I AM GOD." Sai Baba. SS. 8/96. p. 197

"I am neither man, nor god nor an aerial spirit. I am neither a Brahmin, nor a Kshatriya, or a householder, or a recluse, or a monk. Describe Me as Teacher of Truth, as Sathyam (Truth), Shivam (goodness) and Sundram (beauty)." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. 5 & Sathyam Sivam Sundaram, part III pp. 138 & 139

"I am the witness of activity, not a participant. I am like the electric fan; switch it on, it gives cool breeze. Switch it off, it allows you to swelter in the heat. I have no likes or dislikes. Those who talk ill of Me are also remembering My Name and deriving joy therefrom and perhaps earning a few paisas (pennies) thereby. They are happy when they write falsehoods; you are happy singing the truth. I am unconcerned with either. I have come on a task, which I imposed on Myself. That task will go on, from victory to victory, irrespective of praise or blame. It can neither be halted or hindered." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. VIII, p. 163

"When an old man is seen playing with dolls, children would laugh at him. When a young boy is seen walking with a stick, elders will laugh at him. An old man should walk with a stick. Young children should play with dolls. So, when I am with children, I make them happy by giving them playthings and sweets. To the seekers of Vedantic truths, I preach Vedanta. To householders 1 teach the duties of householders. I teach people what is appropriate fort hem. What for do I do all this? So that they may learn from Swami... You will see in due course that even the blind and the ignorant will declare that SWAMI IS COD." Sai Baba, SS, 8/96, p. 198

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Distinctive Features Of The Sai Avatar

"The mysterious indescribable super power has come within (your) reach. It will never engage itself in any task without fruit. I bring tears of joy into your eyes and I wipe out the tears of grief. I am said to make people mad and also to cure madness. Yes, I make them mad about God and about Sadhana (spiritual exercise) needed for that. I cure the madness which makes people run frantically after fleeting pleasures and fall in fits of joy and grief." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. 1, p. 183

"Rama was the representative of the Satyam (truth), Krishna of Prema (love), Buddha of Karma (action). Now if (Sai) is of all the four: Satya, Dharma, Prema and Shanti;' Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. 1. p. 184

"In this Avatar, the wicked will not be destroyed. They will be corrected and reformed and educated and led back to the path from which they have strayed. The white-ant infested tree will not be cut; it will be saved. Again, this Avatar will not select some place other than the place where the nativity took place for the centre of its Leelas (sports), Mahimas (splendour) and Upadesha (teaching). This tree will not be transplanted. It will grow where it first rose from the earth. Another specialty is this: the Avatar has no affinity or attachment in its career to the members of the family wherein it appeared. Unlike the appearances as Rama, Krishna etc, where life was played out mostly among and for the family members, this Avatar is for Bhakta (devotees), the Sadhus (pious) and Sadhakas (spiritual aspirants). It has no Japa (chanting God's Name), Dhyana (meditation) or Yoga. It knows no worship. It will not pray to anything, for it is the highest. It only teaches you to worship and pray." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. I, p. 22

"Rama, Krishna and other Avatars had to kill one or more individuals, who could be identified as enemies of the Dharmic (righteous) way of life, and thus restore the practice of virtue. But now, there is no one fully good. So, who deserves the protection of God? All are tainted by wickedness. So, who will survive, if the Avatar decides to uproot? Therefore, I have to correct the Buddhi (intellect) by various means. I have to counsel, help, command, condemn and stand by as a friend and well-wisher to all, so that they may give up evil propensities and recognise the straight path; tread it and reach the goal. I have to reveal to the people the worth of the Vedas, Shastras and the scriptural texts, which lay down the norms." Sai Baba, SSS, IV, p. 163

"Before every incarnation, two collaborators for the task for which the incarnation comes, also appear- The Mayaashakti (the power of illusion) and Yogashakti (spiritual power). The Maya comes as the elder sister to warn the wicked, the Yoga comes as the elder brother to enthuse and keep constant (good) company." "In this Kali age, the wicked have to be reformed and reconstructed through love and compassion. That is why the Avatar has come unarmed. It has come with the message of love. The only weapon which can transform the vile and the vicious is the Name of the Lord uttered with love." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI, pp. 70 & 71

"When the unmanifested Shakti (power) manifests in an individualized form, it is a source of Ananda (j oy) for those who recognise it." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI, p. 66

"In each Yuga (age), you have the Avatar of the Lord come to redeem, revive and rebuild (mankind). At the present time, Mahaashakti (the Almighty), Maayashakti (illusionary power) and Yogashakti (spiritual power) have come all together in human form." Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. VI. p. 74

"Let me draw your attention to this fact. On previous occasions, when God incarnated on earth, the bliss of recognising Him in the incarnation was vouchsafed only after the Physical Embodiment had left the world, in spite of plenty of potent evidences of His grace. Further, loyalty and devotion, they (Avatars) commanded from men arose through fear and awe at their superhuman powers and skills, or at their imperial and penal authority. But ponder for a moment on this Sathya Sai Manifestation. In this age of rampant materialism, aggressive disbelief and irreverence, what is it that brings to it the adoration of millions from all over the world? You will be convinced that the basic reason for this is the fact that this is. the Supera-Woridly Divinity in human form." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI, p. 227

"In the case of earlier Avatars, their fame grew only long after their passing.  in the case of the present (Sai) Avatar, in His own life-time, a university, a big hospital, an aerodrome and many other things have been established for the benefit of the villagers and many more will follow in the years ahead. Many persons have doubts as to how all these are being accomplished. The advent (of this Sai avatar) took place 64 years ago. All these years, this hand has not been stretched at anytime to seek anything from anyone.

I have not asked anyone. I will never ask anyone and there will never be an occasion for it." Sai Baba, SS, 12/90. p. 315

"World conferences dedicated to religion or spiritual problems have, no doubt, been held before; also, conferences of followers of particular faiths. But these have been held only after the demise of the Founders and Divine Inspirers. This is the very first time that a world conference is held of persons devoted, while the Incarnation is present before everyone, with the body assumed for the purpose, bearing the name that is chosen for it by itself. I must tell you this fact because ninety-nine persons out of hundred among you do not know My Reality." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. VI. p. 225

"Embodiments of Divine Atma! This Bharat (India) is the centre of spiritual progress for ages, and the region where Divine Incarnations re-establish Dharma (righteousness) for the good of humanity. In order to make known My majesty and My glory as the Divine that has incarnated, miraculous happenings of an amazing nature do take place in certain areas." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VII, p. 393

"I shall certainly achieve the purpose of this Avatar. Do not doubt it. I will take My own time to carry out My plan. So far as you are concerned, I cannot hurry because you are hurrying. I may sometimes wait until I can achieve ten things at one stroke. Just as an engine (of railway train) is not used to haul one coach, but awaits until sufficient haulage in proportion to its capacity is ready." Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 1, p. 193

"There is no one who can change My course or affect My conduct to the slightest extent. I AM THE MASTER OF ALL. But let me tell you this. I speak harsh words and 'punish' some persons because I have Prema (love) towards them. I am eager to correct and make them better instruments. If they are not Mine, I would have given them up and not cared to take any notice of their lapses. I have a right to chastise those who I feel are Mine." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. I, p. 185

"I am unaffected by Karma (action), as already mentioned in the Gita. The Mahaashakti puts on the cloak of Maayaashakti in order to fulfill the purpose of contacting and protecting mankind. I have no desire, and so, no binding Karma." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. I. p. 182

"Let Me tell you that no evil can affect Me. Nothing can harm Me. lam the Master,-the Shakti (Divine Power) that overpowers everything else." Sai Baba, SSS. Vol.III. p. 26

"In spite of the declarations, you will notice in the career of Krishna that he underwent defeat in his efforts and endeavours on a few occasions. You must also note that those defeats too were part of the drama, which lie had planned, which he Himself directed. For example, when many kings pleaded with him to avert the war with the Kauravas, he confessed that his mission to the Kaurava Court for ensuring peace had 'failed' but lie had not willed that it should succeed. He had decided that war would be waged. His mission was intended to publish the greed and inequity of the Kauravas and to condemn them before the whole world. Now, I must tell you that during this Sai Avatar, there is no place for even such 'drama' with scenes of failures and defeats. What I will, must take place, what I plan must succeed. I am truth and truth has no need to hesitate, or fear, or bend." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. IX, p. 90

"Prema (love) is My distinctive mark, not the creation of material objects or health and happiness, by sheer exercise of Will. You might consider what you call 'miracles' as the most direct sign of Divinity. But the Prema (love) that welcomes you all, that blesses you all, that makes Me rush to the presence of the seekers, the suffering and the distressed in distant lands or wherever they are, that is the real sign. It is which declares that I am Sai Baba." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI. pp. 91 & 92.'

"This Incarnation has come to uphold the true and suppress the false. I shall scorch the wrongdoer for his wrong and soothe the virtuous for his righteousness. Justice shall be meted out to all." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI, p. 285

"I am the example, the leader, the guide. I have none to compel Me, nor do I profit. Still, I work in order to guide and teach. If I remain inactive, how can the wheels of the world revolve? I attend even to the minutest detail of every arrangement here, the stage, the dais, tarpaulins, sheds, water tanks, pumps, everything I do everything even for Myself. So I do not need your Seva. If you do Seva to those who gather here, that gives Me Ananda (joy). I need no other food than that Ananda." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI, p. 298

"This (Sai) Incarnation is moving with you, singing with you, talking with you, sharing with you, your joy and grief in order to console, encourage and cure." Sai Baba, SSS, Vol. VI, p. 360

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Sai's Mission

"This Sai has come in order to achieve the supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family through the bond of brotherhood, of affirming and illumining the inner reality of each being, which is basis on which the entire cosmos rests, and of instructing all to recognise the common Divine Heritage that binds man to man, so that man can rid himself of the animal (level) and rise to the divine (level), which is his goal" Sai Baba, SS, 12/98. last cover page

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Glimpses Of Sai's Birthday Celebrations At Prasanthi Nilayam (1998)

"Gaiety, pageantry and devotional fervour marked the celebrations of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's 73d birthday, the main function of which was held in the glittering Sai Kulwant Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam on 23 November 1998 in the presence of huge multitude of devotees from India and abroad and amidst a large number of dignitaries, including the Prime Minister, Sri Atal Behari Vajpayee and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Sri Chandrababu Naidu.

Actually, there were week-long celebrations, which commenced on the 18th morning with Rathotsav (car festival) when idols of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna were taken out in a grand procession from the Mandir to the village temple with traditional accompaniments, such as Veda chanting, Bhajan singing and Nadaswaram music. Gloriously caparisoned Sai Geeta led the procession with great glee as it had been fed by Bhagavan's Divine Hands earlier, who blessed the huge gathering assembled in the gorgeously decorated Sai Kulwant Hall with His Divine Darshan. .

At about 10.00 a.m., Bhagavan went to the Hill View Stadium to bless the large concourse of people sitting in several long lines to receive Narayana Seva from the Divine Hands. They were nearly ten thousands in number and were given not only food, but also new clothes. The student who served food and truckloads of clothes to the poor also received Bhagavan's blessing.

In the afternoon, there was interesting programme by Sri Sathya Sai World Bal 337 Vikas students in Sai Kulwant Hall. The first item of the programme was a miniature 'United Nations Assembly' in which representatives from different countries participated in a discussion on the topic 'Restoration of World Peace in 21s* Century'. The students conducted the proceedings in a most exemplary and interesting manner and delineated the fact the Bhagavan Baba's message of love and peace had touched the hearts of millions of people in more than 150 countries of the world and Bhagavan's teachings were the best bet for the world to usher in a golden era of world peace. This programme was followed by folk dances by the Bal Vikas children of several countries in their traditional dresses. In the end, all the children sang a group song on peace, waved paper flags and chanted Shanti Mantra. Bhagavan Baba then gave His first discourse of the Birthday celebrations to the delight of multitude of the devotees. The programme came to a close with Mangala-arati to Bhagavan.

Ladies' Day was celebrated on the 19th November. Right from Suprabhatam at 5.15 a.m., all the programmes during the day were conducted by the ladies. After Suprabhatam, there was a special Nagarsankirtan at 5.30 a.m. in which ladies, in the similar saris, earlier distributed by Bhagavan, went round the Mandir premises singing Bhaj ans. Many of them carried lighted candles in their hands, which presented a beautiful sight.

The main function of Ladies' Day was held in the Sai Kulwant Hall with the arrival of Bhagavan in a procession at 6.45 a.m. led by a Veda chanting group from Sri Sathya Sai Primary School (girls section); bands of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Anantpur Campus) and Sri Sathya Sai Primary School (girls section). The Primary School and Secondary School students in colourful costumes danced all the way in the procession.

Bhagavan inaugurated the programme by lighting the sacred lamp. As soon as Bhagavan took His seat at the artistically decorated semi-circular platform in front of the Mandir", light classical Bhajans started in which many artistes took part. These included the famous maestro Bharat Ratna M.S. Subbalakshmi, who sang a soul-stimng devotional song. Deepika, a child prodigy, then enthralled the audience with her melodious voice. The musical offering to Bhagavan continued with Begum Parveen Sultana, Smt. P. Susheela and P. Leela. One of the enchanting items of the function was Krishna Leela, a dance programme. Bhagavan then distributed chocolates to children of Primary School and others. After Bhajan and Aarati to Bhagavan, the morning session concluded at 10 a.m.

In the afternoon, Bhagavan came to Sai Kulwant Hall at 3.30 p.m. Soon after this, Justice Padma Khastgir offered floral bouquet to Bhagavan on behalf of women devotees of India and Mrs. Sinclair on behalf of overseas devotees. This was followed by group songs by women of 100 countries. The students of Anantpur Campus sang a song in Sanskrit and a Telugu song composed by Bhagavan in His early days.

Mrs. Nandini from Sri Lanka and Dr. Geeta Reddy from Andhra Pradesh spoke about the significance of Ladies' Day, so mercifully and thoughtfully initiated by Bhagavan during His 70th Birthday celebrations.. Dr. Jaylakshmi Gopinath, Warden ofAnantapur Campus, spoke about the infinite power of Bhagavan and His grace towards the establishment ofAnantapur Campus. Mrs. Saria Shall, Editor, "Bal Vikas" spoke about the Divine Principle of Mother Sai. Bhagavan then gave His discourse.

In the evening, there was a very interesting cultural programme in Poornachandra Auditorium in which two bailees 'Sita Swayamvar" and "Bhakti Nritya" were presented. Both the items were widely appreciated by the mammoth gathering. Bhagavan materialized a gold chain for the artiste who played the role of Rama and blessed all the artistes.

On 20th November, thousands of devotees, invitees and delegates from all the countries vended their way to the Hill View Stadium early in the morning to witness a very grand and spectacular pageant in which more than 2500 Bal Vikas students from India and more than 100 overseas countries took part. Bhagavan arrived at the stadium at 7 a.m. and was greeted with prolonged cheers by the huge gathering of devotees who filled all the galleries and open space.

In this International Rally by Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas students thirty floats were arranged by different states of India and overseas countries to depict the theme of' Value through Ages'. It was indeed a magnificent effort by the Sathya Sai Bal Vikas students from 1000 representative towns of die world to bring out the eternal message of scriptures and spiritual masters.

Besides the floats depicting human values, contingents of children carrying placards followed every float giving me teachings of Bhagavan Baba as well as showing of cultural items and dances from all parts of the world. The peace contingent in the end comprising children from 132 countries of the world presented a glimpse of unification of humanity, which is the chief mission of the present Avatar, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The grand spectacle came to a'close after the distribudon ofPrasadam and Aarati to Bhagavan at 9.30 a.m.

In the afternoon of 20th, the inaugural function of the First Convention of Chairpersons of Overseas Sai Centers from more than 150 countries was held in Sai Kulwant Hall. Bhagavan came a; 3.30 p.m. The proceedings commenced with Veda chanting.

Sri Indulal Shah, Chairman of the World Council of Sathya Sai Organizations, thanked Bhagavan for having permitted this convention to be held in His Divine presence and described how the centres in all countries were working for the transformation of individuals by serving mankind according to the teachings of Bhagavan. Dr. Jumsai traced the progress of Education in Human values (E.H.V) in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. He said, Bhagavan Baba had chosen E.H.V. as a means for the transformation of mankind. Central Coordinator of U.S.A., Dr. Goldstein, then addressed the distinguished gathering and emphasized that Centres should put the teachings of Bhagavan Baba into practice. In the end, he prayed to Bhagavan for His blessings for the success of their efforts. Bhagavan Baba then gave His Divine Discourse and concluded it with the Bhajan, "Govindaa Krishna ]ai..." The programme came to a close with Mangala-arati to Bhagavan.

On 20th evening, there was a cultural programme in the Poornachandra Auditorium in which the famous singer of U.K. Dana Gillespie entertained the vast audience with a fine selection of songs rendered in her wonderfully mellifluous voice, which could rise to the highest octave without losing the melody and the beat. The audience responded with appreciative applause for excellent portrayal of even Sanskrit compositions. This was followed by a splendid performance of folk songs and dace by a Folk Group Argentina on the theme "Divine Birth". The programme concluded with a song for peace by all the participants.

On the 21st evening also there was an excellent cultural programme, which presented three items. The first item of the programme was a very interesting drama entitled 'Case No. 999: Man versus God", in which a suit is filed against God by a businessman who had to suffer losses because God did not send rain to his area. The drama showed that God did not punish anybody; any suffering showed to man was the result of his own actions. Then there was a brief but beautiful Austrian Dance. This was followed by an extremely impressive performance by about 300 Bal Vikas children drawn from different countries of the world. The programme presented divine cosmic drama, 'The Eternal Quest' featuring the Cosmic Play of God in Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution. It was depicted as though time was showing to a young student Shyam, the evolution of the world with an interesting episode from various stages of evolution of man on this planet. After the drama, Bhagavan came on the stage, blessed the children and also materialized a gold chain for the boy who played the role of Shyam.

On 22nd November, the XVII Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was held in a glittering function of Sai Kulwant Hall. Precisely at 3.30 p.m. the Academic Procession started from the Poomachandra Auditorium. The dignitaries that formed the part of the procession were: Chancellor of the Institute, Bhagavan Baba, Vice-Chancellor; Sri V. Giri; Chief Guest, Sri Atal Behan Vajpayee, Honourable Prime Minister of India; Sri N. Chandrababu Naidu. Honourablr Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh; Sri Bandaru Dattatreya, Honourable Union Minister for Urban Affairs; Srimati Pratibha Bharati, Honourable Minister for Higher Educason, Andhra Pradesh; Sri S.B. Chavan, former Home Minister, Members of the Institute Trust, Members of the Governing Body, Deans of Faculties and Members of the Academic Council.

The Institute band troupe marched in front playing the fine marching tunes. Registrar of the Institute bearing the Institute mace and two students carrying the emblem of the Institute led the procession. When the procession reached the dais of Sai Kulwant Hall, the audience gave it a rousing welcome with a thunderous applause. After the invocatory chants by students, the revered Chancellor declared the Convocation open.

Professor U.S. Rao, Principal. Prasanthi Nilayam, Campus presented to the Chancellor the candidates for various degrees at the Convocation. The Vice-Chancellor administered the Institute's pledge to all the new graduates. Dr. A.V. Lakshmi Narasimhamam, Registrar of the Institute, presented gold medallists to the Chancellor. Each one of them went to the stage and received his/her degree and the medal from the Chancellor.

Sri Atal Behari Vajpayee, Honourable Prime Minister of India, began his address by expressing his gratitude to Bhagavan Baba for having conferred on him the honour of addressing the Convocation of this unique 'Temple of Learning'. He commended the Institute for imparting holistic education based on a deeper understanding of man and his purpose. He pleaded that everyone must ponder over the question as to how to attain the ideals of education.

After this, Bhagavan delivered His benedictory address. The function came to a close with the singing of national Anthem.

The evening of 22nd November was made lively and bright by a remarkable drama by the students of the Institute in the Divine Presence Bhagavan Baba and other dignitaries. The drama entitled 'Unity in Divinity' showed how the teachings of spiritual masters and Avatars were relevant to real life situations of the present-day-world. At the end, Bhagavan came on the stage and blessed the students who participated in the drama. The programme came to a close with Mangalaarati to Bhagavan.

On the 24th, there was Darshan in the morning. In the afternoon, Bhagavan came at 2.15 p.m. and after going round the vast concourse of people took his seat and signaled the Veda chanting boys to chant the Vedic invocation heralding the commencement of the programme. Sri Indulal Shah, World Council Chairman, in his speech emphasized the necessity for the spirit of unity to be imbibed for realising divinity, which was within everyone. He expressed gratitude to Bhagavan for having blessed them to have the First Convention of Overseas Chairpersons of Sai Centres in His Divine Presence. Dr. Goldstein then introduced Mr. Robert Bozzani of the Book Center of U.S.A, who spoke about the impact of Bhagavan's teachings in U.S.A. In the end, Dr.Goldstein spoke about the great impact that the Sathya Sai EHV programme was creating in more than 150 countries of the world to transform people and bring about spiritual reformation among youth and the old alike. Bhagavan Baba then delivered His Divine Discourse, which went on for nearly two hours as He also answered questions that had been put to Him earlier by the members in the convention. With Aarati to Bhagavan, the function came to a close.

Later in the evening, the second part of the cultural programme by overseas devotees was presented in the Poornachandra Auditorium. Famous Italian singer Antonella Ruggiero sang some soul-stirring songs. This was followed by a grand musical performance by the Russian Folk Group. In the end, all participants singing the prayer song for world peace presented the grand finale in a truly grand style.

Thus, the memorable week-long Birthday Celebrations came to a successful conclusion enthralling the thousands who had gathered from more than 150 countries of the world, resides innumerable devotees from India." Editor, SS, 12/98, pp. 328-336


From the book - "Festivals in Prasanthi Nilayam - An Exposition by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba - Compiled and Edited by Suresh C Bhatnagar.

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