Doubting the Avatar....The Choice is Ours


One of the greatest Saints of this century was a woman named Anandamoyi Ma. (The name translates as 'Bliss-permeated Mother.' There's a photo of her, standing next to Paramahansa Yogananda, in Autobiography of a Yogi.) She was so pure and filled with God that she was widely considered to be a Divine Incarnation herself: there seemed to be nothing in her but God, and her words were Truth itself. According to one of her closest Western devotees, over the years she had often been asked, "Who is this Sathya Sai Baba we keep hearing about?" But for many years she never gave an answer. In the last year of her life, however, the question came up again, and this time she gave the following response: "This body will speak on this question only once; don't ask again. Sathya Sai Baba is the most powerful incarnation of God ever to come to the Earth. And there won't be another at His level for another sixty centuries."

After 85 years of touching the lives of His followers with His message of pure Love for all, spiritual Master and humanitarian, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba left His earthly body on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011.

As a proclaimed Avatar (an incarnation of God), Sai Baba had many messages of hope and Love for all who followed Him, as well as for all of mankind. “My objective is to establish unity in mankind, to reveal the aspect of the Divinity latent in man, and that God must be the only goal in life,” said Sai Baba. “It is also my duty to make you realize the kind of relationship that should exist between fellow human beings.” This is a powerful and inspiring message no matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs may be. In fact, Sai Baba spoke of his acceptance of all religions and incorporated fundamental beliefs of all religions of the world into his teachings. He explained, “I have come not to disturb or destroy any faith, but to confirm each in his own faith, so that the Christian becomes a better Christian; the Muslim, a better Muslim; and the Hindu, a better Hindu.”

In his physical presence on Earth, Sai Baba provided many philanthropic services to carry out His own message and beliefs. He did everything from establishing free hospitals and schools to creating free drinking water supply projects and housing projects. By devoting His time and selfless passion to deliver these acts of Love and service, he followed his own ideal that “service to man is service to God” and to “Love All Serve All—Help Ever Hurt Never.”

It is incredible to realize the sheer magnitude of the number of people who worshipped Sai Baba and His beliefs. Millions worldwide have held bhajans (devotional songs), service activities, and spiritual sadhana, showing their devotion for Him. And although Sai Baba is physically no longer with us here on Earth, His spiritual, immortal presence is still here in the hearts and minds of all who knew of and worshipped Him.

Nothing but Divinity will be found in a place where the Avatar resides. He is the Creator of the Universe and wealth is nothing for HIM but a glazing metal – but for us human being we think it as very precious.

In decades of darshans, dream visitations, manifestations and more, Swami's compassion, love and grace knew no boundaries. Now, when Swami has shed his physical form, we feel the need to question/analyse the findings in His chambers.

In 170 countries in the world today, Baba is hailed as an apostle of love, "Love all - Serve all" and "Hands that serve are holier than the lips that pray" epitomise His core philosophy.

True to His declaration "My Life is My Message", He stirred and inspired millions of His followers to turn role-model ambassadors in His "dharma sthapana" movement. He declared that "I have come not to disturb or destroy any faith, but to make the Christian a better Christian, the Muslim a better Muslim and the Hindu a better Hindu".

Baba was an inexhaustible reservoir of pure love who tried to kindle the "lamp of love" in every heart. Prof. Baranowski, a regression therapist and bio-magnetic specialist from Arizona University, who captured radiations of various hues, flowing from Baba's persona, with "Kirlin" camera, declared Him as "Love" walking on two feet.

Baba inspired His followers to reach out to the poorest of the poor and wipe every tear from every eye as idealised by Mahatma Gandhi. This concept has been described as "spiritual socialism" by critic-turned-believer RK Karanjia in his book "God Lives in India". Baba re-defined the psychology of human personality; chemistry of human rhythm; physics of gravitational force of love; sociology of inter-human contours and philosophy of life.

In Abdul Kalam's own words about Baba - "I admire Bhagawan Satya Sai Baba for his selfless work and contributions to the welfare of the people by providing drinking water for the rural population, free healthcare facilities for the rural poor and free higher education.

The major factors in human resource development are value based education and quality healthcare. In addition, the infrastructural requirement like availability of potable water is an essential need of the human resource. While the government is actively engaged in providing these resources to the citizens, Baba has been sensitive to these essential needs of the Indian population, particularly of the people living in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, for over four decades.

Keeping this in mind, he has created vast infrastructure for providing value-based quality education to children from primary to university level, established super specialty hospitals in rural areas - as early as 1991 when there were no corporate hospitals in such interior regions - and worked on a project to provide potable safe drinking water for people of Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. I would like to discuss the unique characteristics of these institutions.

Value-Based Education

The best part of a young person is his or her childhood in school and the best time spent is 8am to 4 pm each day in the school. This is applicable for all children in the age group of five to 20 living in both urban and rural areas.

Baba has realised the problems of the rural poor and has made it a point that education is absolutely free in all the schools and colleges established by the Sathya Sai Trust.

Interestingly, the Sathya Sai Educational Institutions cater equally to the development of the mind, heart and the body. This is achieved through integrated education, which lays equal emphasis on keeping the body healthy, the mind active and sharp and the heart pure. Baba, being the Chancellor of the institute, spends substantial amount of time with the students to groom them into ideal citizens.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, "Students are the foundation of the nation, the only wealth that I cherish.  Students are my all; my entire property consists of students. I have offered myself to them." He also says, "The end of education is character and the end of knowledge is love." This is the reason why Sri Sathya Sai Institute of higher learning emphasises character building as an important component of education apart from acquiring academic excellence.

Nobility in character comes out of humility, generosity, compassion, helpfulness and respect for moral values. The single thread that runs through all the activities of the institute, curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular is that education is for life and not for mere living. Experience has shown that leading organisations and companies in the country absorb Sai students. It is claimed that the students so recruited bring about a quiet change in work ethics and inject team spirit as well as a value-based approach to all aspects of organisational activity.

Water Mission

In 1994, Baba made a moving reference to the difficulties experienced by the people of Rayalaseema region in getting safe drinking water and suggested that the century-old problem needed urgent attention. In 1995, he added a new dimension to his societal mission by the trust, undertaking work to provide good and safe drinking water to as many people of Anantapur district as possible in the shortest possible time, irrespective of the difficulties experienced and the cost.

Tapping ground water was considered as an option, but was ruled out because of the fluoride problem. It was decided to use rainwater by drawing water during the monsoon and storing in special reservoirs.

Most of the water sources were in the northern part of Anantapur district and the terrain to the south sloped upwards. Hence, bringing water to the southern region needed creation of large number of pumping stations to pump water against gravity. This called for extensive civil and engineering work. In spite of all the difficulties, the water was made available to Anantapur district in 18 months. After a year of regular operation, the entire water works was handed over to the people of the state as a gift. The scheme covers 750 villages and provides water to over one million people.

India needs a thousand such organisations to provide cost effective potable drinking water to the billion people spread in different parts of the country.


During the 1980s, a substantial number of super specialty corporate hospitals came into being in our urban areas. However, due to commercialisation, they could cater only to the needs of urban rich people. There was wide gap in the availability of medicare for the rich and poor and between rural and urban population. Keeping this in mind, Baba declared on November 23, 1990, there would be a world-class hospital in Puttaparthi area within a year and it would offer free treatment to everyone who come there, especially the poor.

This hospital was inaugurated on November 22, 1991. After its inauguration, the super specialty hospital has conducted many major heart surgeries and catheterisation procedures. Specialist surgeons from reputed hospitals, both from India and abroad, voluntarily take leave from their regular work and come to Puttaparthi and perform operations free of cost. Same is the case with nursing services.

I understand the convalescing patients provide voluntary help to the new patients who come to the hospitals for operation. Also the hospital premises are maintained in a clean, calm, serene and divine atmosphere. We can see the power of service consciousness flowing in the entire hospital environment.

Project Management

Whether it be a super specialty hospital at Puttaparthi or provision of safe drinking water for Anantapur or provision of drinking water to Chennai by solving the problems associated with Kandaleru reservoir, all projects have been completed to meet the specified objective within the prescribed time and cost. How this has been possible? I was thinking about it.  

The major reason appears to be that the projects have been entrusted to socially committed project managers, contractors and sub-contractors. They have executed the project with a spirit of co-operation, the spirit of sacrifice and dedication.  The programme chiefs have followed the five core human values - truth, right conduct, non-violence, love and peace -while executing the projects.  Can there be a better role model than this for promoting a nationwide selfless, societal transformation mission?"

It is irrelevant to debate whether Baba was God or not. There is no need either. Nobody would, however, be able to ever counter what Baba did for redeeming the mankind was surely godly.

For all that Swami has done for humanity, the least we can do is get on with His message of loving and serving all.

NOT belittle His organisation by trivial slander.

We must try to understand and learn the lessons in each case. Swami does not make mistakes! Love his uncertainty.

Let us never forget that Swami was no ordinary soul. He was an Avatar...

"You must have not only freedom from fear but freedom from hope and expectation. Trust in My wisdom, I do not make mistakes. Love my uncertainty! For it is not a mistake. It is my intent and will. Remember, nothing happens without My will. Be still. Do not want to understand, do not ask to understand. Relinquish understanding. Relinquish the imperative that demands understanding."
Sanathana Sarathi Aug. 1984

We all have an option - believe what we want to. Does it make a difference what they found in Swami's chambers?

Our Love is with Swami. There is no world leader who has achieved anything near to what Swami has achieved and no world leader ever will.

And this is only in one life span.

We are in no position to question the Avatar so forget what they find and not find. Let's concentrate on Baba's message and carry out the tasks set upon us. If one does not do that then they have learnt nothing from Swami.

Swami never needs anything from us, as HE is the giver HIMSELF. But Swami accepted gifts rarely, and as 'gifts' to HIM are form of surrendering our ego to HIM, but not because HE needs it..

If we all believe that God is the Supreme Master and Our Bhagawan Is the God the Supreme Master...He is the Lord of the universe...why are we accounting this wealth... He is the Lord of the entire universe. And why are we worrying of what people have to say or why these things now...don't we believe that even a leaf wont move without His consent.

Well believe that this is also the Divine Leela. Do not divert your attention to all this, Please have faith in Our beloved Bhagawan.

We should be thankful to our Dear Bhagawan for all the development He has done for us all over the world since all the years and the development that will take place by Him still.

What about the millions of people whom He had transformed, cured and have bought them back to the sacred path of spirituality.

Development needs money so is the answer to clear all the doubts that devotees have in the mind.

Bhagawan never accept any donation directly. But devotee send money through courier or cover with his personal letter. GOD knows everything. He does not use this money for his private work like shopping, travels or family because he has nothing private he has no family we are his family and second thing he is travel very few times.

All the Bhagawan's activities are free of cost for all, Bhagawan has only one as his own property and that is we devotee. So as a devotee I request to devotee do not discuss how much gold, silver or cash there - discuss his valuable service to mankind. Gold Silver and Money are in residence that is true  but my dear brother or sister this is very big organization for free service activity and activity need money .

Bhagawan never ask for donation to his devotee, devotee give donation to his beloved Sai Maa. This all money or gold or silver etc are used for free service activity.

However, even in worldly term to run the complex Prashanti Niliyam Ashram like a mini world and many other activity needs money in cash, which could have been given to authority time as routine affair as per requirement like running the Canteen ( Minimum amount of 6 Rs / Maintenance of Ashram / decoration.

Regarding Gold and other article, Swami might accept for out of love by devotee. There is list of RAJA /MAHARAJA/Rich devotee who might have given to swami is last 70/80 year of his life span .No wonder at all similar to people giving at Shirdi and Tirupati .

Why is so much time being wasted in analysing these matters?

The Electronic Media , newspapers, etc are diverting and confusing the public/devotees in this unworthy matter. Only Faith and Belief will solve this disturbance.

For some of us, this is a non-event though for media it is one through which they seek to generate gossip, gain commercially and have tongues wagging. Let us recall the recent noble speech by Sri Narasimhamurthy where he spoke of the dichotomy in thinking and reaction towards Swami on the event of his Mahasamadhi. he had mentioned about the perception of the glory of the Avatar versus the focus on the "temporary tinsel". Isn't this just another example of it ?

Rules such as what one should possess, what mode of transportation to to use, what places to visit, what to eat, what to wear, what kind of living establishment to reside or occupy etc. may apply to Sages,

Sanyasis and other categories of people but not to Avatars like Rama, Krishna and Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The Avatars cannot be circumscribed by the limited boundaries of our mind and intellect.

For us Swami and His message and the work he gave us is the most important task. What He is expecting from is different from what we are thinking now. It is irrelevant what is there in building now when what we want is not there physically. Out of their devotion and as gesture of Gratitude many devotees like us might have sent so many articles to Swami for the past 60 years. Its foolish to probe all the reasons now.

It really does not matter. Swami would have received donations in his life time in various forms from different kind of devotees.

We all very well know that Swami lived a simple life with little needs.

He who is the master of the universe what does money matter.

We should focus our minds and thoughts on the actions and improve ourselves.

I feel, it is only our belief that should get cleared.

Did Bhagawan accept gift?

Yes He has. When offered from a pure heart. There has been examples of The Golden Chariot etc. Bhagawan cannot deny anything that has been offered to him with pure devotion. I remember reading in one of Howard Murphets book when he gifted Swami a torch. Also Swami's discourse where he mentioned about the hair dryer which was also gifted to him.

Did people sent only through trust?

If money was seen in His room then yes, probably people had given to Swami and He would have accepted. Reasons are his own. Do we understand it?

Now in theory, it can be even that those were created then and there when the room was opened. No one can interpret Swami's actions.

Why do we feel disturbed or bad when we come to know Swami had money in His room? What is wrong if He had? Should He, The Master of Universe, The Lord of all Wealth, Our Bhagawan, be living poor?

Baba told that He has created this universe by Himself, to be Himself , to enjoy Himself and so imagine which will not be created by Him. How can anybody question His authenticity, He is the Supreme Power , He can create anything for the welfare of all beings.

What next for all of us?

In one of the most Inspiring Speeches, Shri.Sanjay Sahani said the following in Kulwanth hall on May 4th 2011 on Aradhana Mahotsavam Day :

"The question arises, What next? What should we do next?. One of our research scholars in his meditation was praying to Swami with this very question: "What next?" Swami said, "The next stage is Saaroopyam." We had Saalokyam - we were in the same Kingdom of the Lord; we had Saameepyam - we enjoyed His proximity. The next stage is Saaroopyam. So what is Saaroopyam? To become like the Lord. From the stage of being like a watchman at the Lord's gate, you become a prince. You look alike to the Lord, the King Himself.

This is what we should strive for. What all of us should aim for, what our Dear Divine Lord wanted us to aim for. It is no good responding to things happening in Yajur Mandiram the other day. Swami always said that "My Devotees are my single possession", if we all believe in this great truth that Swami said then why should we comment at all on things found in Yajur Mandiram and elsewhere in Prasanthi Nilayam. Are these Bhagawan's Possessions?. One must ask ourselves that how many times did Bhagawan respond to people telling and spreading wrong about Him?. What we need is to continue to do His work and spread His Divine Message.”

On May 6th, Shri.Narasimha Murthy gave another memorable speech on Bhagawan and His Divine Mission

There were many such touching scenes outside Kulwanth Hall and Maha Samadhi Darshan. There was a young mother catching the hand of her toddler son, taking him to the photograph of Bhagawan Baba which were put up everywhere, making him touch the feet of the Lord and saying, "Bangaru! Ithadu Bhagawanthudu." (My Golden one! this is God). Another mother carrying another young child was showing a photograph, which was put up at a height and telling him, "Nanna, Itadu Devudu." (My dear son, He is God). This was the real empire of our Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The statement, "My Kingdom is not of this Earth  was once again lost on the deaf ears of mankind with all the hue and cry and the dust raised by the Media; but here was a quiet revelation of what Baba had achieved. He had established Himself in the hearts of billions of people. That is His true achievement; not the institutions He has built; neither the mega projects of service He has undertaken. I am not belittling them.

But more important, His mission was to touch the hearts and enter them and He did it successfully. If He had said at some point of time: "My work is over; I am leaving this world". He meant this - "I have established Myself in millions of hearts once and for all". That is what Rama did; same with Lord Krishna.

He not only preached but lived every moment of His life His message "Love All Serve All".

My dear brothers and sisters, it is time we come forward to carry the burden of His cross.

My only appeal to all the co-pilgrims on the Sai path - Fellow devotees and followers of Sathya Sai, let us unite; we have nothing to lose but bondage to flesh.

Let us continue Swami's Divine Work, Let us spread His Divine Message. He is and will always be among all of us. Let us not waste our time on things that will come as an impediment in our working towards Swami's Divine Mission.

We cannot assess or estimate His capability, we can only accept, admit, admire His greatness and His unconditional Love for all of us .


The choice is Ours.......

Article culled .... inputs collected from devotees of Sai....