Sunrays: Remembering Sathya Sai on Aradhana Day

ByPriya S Tandon
Apr 16, 2023 03:08 AM IST

As Aradhana Day approaches, devotees remember Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who taught to live with awareness of God, self-improvement, and righteousness. Baba's life was a lesson in boundless love and compassion, and his teachings continue through free education and medical care provided by his institutions. Baba's devotees strive to live up to his message and feel his presence even after his physical absence.

As April 24, Aradhana Day, draws closer, memories of the Mahasamadhi of my beloved guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba are rekindled. The pain of losing him, who has been more than a mother, father or guru is inexplicable. After the initial sense of loss and grief, I slowly started accepting the void created by his physical absence. I started understanding his words, “I am in you, with you, around you, below you, above you … I am always with you!”

As April 24, Aradhana Day, draws closer, memories of the Mahasamadhi of my beloved guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba are rekindled. (HT File)
As April 24, Aradhana Day, draws closer, memories of the Mahasamadhi of my beloved guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba are rekindled. (HT File)

Kabirji said, “Guru Govind dono khade, kaake laagoon paye?

Balihari Guru aapki, jin Govind diyo milaye! (Both God and my Guru are standing before me, whom should I bow to first?” Let me bow to my Guru, for he has made me meet the Lord!)

For me, Baba is my guru and God! All my salutations and prayers are directed to him. Whenever God incarnates, not everyone is fortunate enough to know that he is God in human form. All who experienced the divinity of Sai while he walked the Earth, were blessed indeed. He taught us to live in the awareness of God. This entails doing, speaking, walking, talking, working… with the awareness that God is watching you each moment. When this feeling permeates into the consciousness, one is wary of doing anything wrong. As humans, we are susceptible to vices like anger, greed, jealousy, laziness, falsehood etc. Baba stressed upon self-improvement. Each person is a sample of society. If each one self-improves, the society would definitely improve.

Baba said, “If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character. If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” So for peace in the world, each one has to be righteous.

Earlier, Baba would say, “My life is my message.” His life was a lesson for all. He showered everyone with boundless love. A glance from him was like receiving the love of a thousand mothers. So potent and piercing was his gaze that one would feel that he was seeing through not only this lifetime but many past lives too.

Out of sheer love and compassion, he provided piped drinking water to 750 plus villages, in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. Two super speciality hospitals in Puttaparthi and Bangalore provide free treatment to those who can’t afford medicare.

The Sathya Sai University, colleges and schools offer free education. They focus on holistic development and character building of the students. My sons studied there in Class 11 and 12. It made men out of them! I offer seva, along with 1,500 plus volunteers, at Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini. We upload free, value-based educational content onto the PM’s Diksha portal.

Lord Rama said, “Janani Janmabhumishcha Swargadapi Gariyasi (Mother and motherland are superior even to heaven.)” Offering seva to make value-based educational content that aims at building men and women of sterling character, gives me the opportunity to serve both my SaiMa and my Motherland.

Some years before Baba left the body, he started saying to his devotees, “Your life is my message.” It was an indicator that anyone who claims to be his devotee has to tweak his personal conduct and lifestyle to match up.

I strive each day to be worthy of being his devotee. It is a great comfort to belong to the Lord; to have someone to offload all your problems to. It is great to surrender to him and say, “It is your problem; you think of it!” Twelve years have passed since Baba merged his form into the formless. But I can feel him in me, around me, with me … just as he had promised!

(The writer is a Chandigarh-based freelance contributor. Views expressed are personal.)

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