Facets of Truth

Baba has, as the main plank of His Mission among men, the revival of Dharma, by which He means the Sanathana Dharma, which is universal and eternal. Baba has come to fuse, not to refuse or confuse! Sanathana Dharma belongs to the whole world; that is why Baba is worshipped by His devotees with the Name, "Sarva Mathasammathaya Namah", "Prostrations to Him to whom all religions are equally acceptable". [see also: The 108 Names of Bhagavân Sri Sathya Sai Baba]

When I approached Him for directions about a cover design for the 1967 Sivarathri Special Number of the Sanathana Sarathi Magazine, Baba seized His pen and drew on a piece of paper a five disked design, with petals in between, enclosing a circle, inside which I could print His own portrait. On the disks, He Himself drew the symbols of the major religions of mankind: The Pranava or Om to indicate the Hindu faith; the Wheel to symbolize the religion taught by the Buddha; A sheaf of flames, the Sacred Fire, which the Zoroastrians worship; the Crescent and the Star, as a reminder of Islam, and the Cross as the symbol of Christianity! He said, "All faiths are facets of the same Truth, which can be spelt as Love or as Purity or as Charity or as Sacrifice or as Surrender of the Will. Even those who deny God or decry morality, love some one or some thing; they speak the truth so that they may be believed; they have to be pure so that they may satisfy their consciences and the conventions of society. They seek peace and joy. That truth, that love, that peace, that joy is God" Baba says. His Grace is so vast and limitless that He claims the whole world to be His mansion, every state being but a hall within it. [See: About Sai Baba]


This is the reason also for the emergence of the 'Linga' from Him at Sivarathri. For, the Linga is the most universal symbol of God, the simplest, the most easy to comprehend and transcend. It is the Form emanating from the Formless. The Linga creates itself in Him; He creates Himself in the Linga! 

That is the miracle at Kothnaghatta, a tiny little Puttaparthi, nestling behind the colossal monolithic image of Gomateswara on Indragiri at Sravanabelagola, in Mysore. Two boys of this village heard of Baba and braved the long journey with borrowed funds. Baba spoke lovingly to them and filled them with cheer. But, He told them, "I am always in your village; you can have Darsan there itself; why should you come here?" The boys went back with sad hearts, saturated with the devotional songs sung during Bhajans at the Nilayam. They collected a few ryots of the village and sang the songs at the village temple. 

That temple had a Linga installed in it, a marble one, brought by a villager of the place who had gone to Kasi, a hundred years ago. He had brought two such from the Narmada river and built temples for them, one in his own village and another at Kantharajapura, nearby. He endowed them with lands, had rest-houses and wells constructed for the use of pilgrims and annuities for the priests. The Linga at Kothnaghatta stands about 12 inches high, over the pedestal. Daily worship is offered on Sastraic lines since the Inauguration, a century ago. When the boys sang, the elders sat on the fringe and wondered who this Sai Baba was. The boys told them about the Sai of Shirdi and the Sai of Puttaparthi and about the peace that one can bring in plenty from Prasanthi Nilayam! Very soon, the priest noticed something inside the image, some new lines and colours, some outline being filled up day by day and the boys wondered what it was to be. Within a week, they saw two pictures, clearly within the marble Linga - we too can see them now - a picture of Sathya Sai Baba, (half-body facing us, with a garland round the neck) and a picture of Sai Baba of Shirdi (side view, sitting at Dwarkamayi, with black beard, and cloth tied round the head)! It is over a year since the transformation came; we can see Them both in that marble home. 

Baba has granted many gem-set rings with the blessing, "You can see Me inside this stone" and, one can take Darsan of Him in those gifts. But, this manifestation is in a public temple where all can see and strive, know and need, the twice-embodied Almighty, for ever and ever! Baba himself has directed many people to go to Kothnaghatta and have Darsan. His Birthday is celebrated there by the villagers in grateful grandeur. To stand before that shrine of Sai-linga is to be confirmed in the Sai Faith; it is a baptism of Bhakthi, for the wavering and the willfully blind. Baba is in every Linga, in every idol that is worshipped by man; all Lingas, all idols worshipped by man are in Him - that is the message that the birds on the temple tower chirp to the pilgrims at Kothnaghatta. 

Sivarathri, 1967, was on the 9th March. Baba said that morning to the huge gathering, "The Ganga is a holy river, every inch of its flow, from Gangothri to the sea; but, some spots along its bank, like Hardwar, Prayag, Varanasi and Dakshineswar are held to be specially holy, on account of association with historical incidents, or installed temples. So too, though every day is holy in this Prasanthi Nilayam (and in the Prasanthi established by you in your own hearts and homes), the Sivarathri is specially so, on account of the emergence of the Linga from the Living Siva". That night, when the hour of emergence was announced by the first sings of cough, 30.000 hearts pounded quicker; they prayed to Siva more intensely, as they watched Baba on the Santhi Vedika. A deep pink oval Linga, four inches in length, the Viswalinga, with the orbits of planets luminous inside it, and a few minutes later, a smaller one the Jyothirlinga, emerged from the mouth of Baba. [ See also: Cities aflame] The celebrations connected with the Festival continued till the 12th, and on the 13th, 14th and 15th, Baba was engaged in healing and attending on the sick, the infirm and the old among the pilgrims who had come. "Endeavor every moment to see good, hear good, speak good and do good", He exhorted. "Practice some Sadhana-Dhyanam, Japam, Bhajan, Namasmaran. Take but one step forward, I shall take ten towards you. Shed but one tear in penitence, I shall wipe hundreds from your eyes". 

The Sathya Sai Seva Samithi, Bombay and the Maharashtra Branch of the Prasanthi Vidwanmahasabha entreated Baba to spend a few days at Bombay and Baba graciously agreed. He reached Bombay on the 16th March, by car. The students of the Sathya Sai Vedasastra Patasala, Prasanthi Nilayam, about 60 little boys, also left in an omnibus. Baba took the same route as the bus, in order to be present wherever the boys halted for food on the way; He caressed them lovingly like a mother and attended to the demands of their curiosity and wonder about the areas through which they passed. They saw the famous ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi, scene of Baba's own boyhood miracles, and the temple of Virupaksha (where Baba had given Darsan to his brother and others as Virupaksha Himself) and the mammoth monolithic images of Ganesa and Narasimha [see also: The Rhythm of His Feet] - all under the guidance of Baba Himself. The boys staged two musical plays at Bombay, plays written by Baba specially for them, full of His own strengthening message of courage, based on the inherent divinity of man. 

Radhabhakthi is an elevating play, full of popular lilts and folk dances, which delineate the pure devotion of the simple cowherds towards Krishna who had captured their hearts to the exclusion of everything else. It rescues the reputation of Radha from the absurd erotic calumny to which low tastes have subjected her. The play centers round the Festival organized at Brindavan to celebrate the raising of the Govardan Peak by Krishna in His boyhood. Krishna accepts the invitation of the cowherds who yearn to see Him and pay homage to Him. Nanda and Yasoda, His foster-parents are also happy that they can feast their eyes on Him. Preparations are made by the cowherds to receive Krishna, who brings the noble Rukmini with Him, but, not the other Queen, Sathyabhama. She is too jealous of the attachment that Radha has for her own Lord. At Brindavan Radha is forced to remain indoors, for she was a wild sprite, running hither and thither in search of a treasure she has lost! But, Krishna halts before her door and, when she is brought before Him, He elucidates the true nature of Divine Love, of which she was the purest representative. 

Baba does the task of Dharma-sthapana through many channels: direct teaching, writing, discoursing, exhorting, explaining, strengthening props of Dharma (like temples, holy places and pundits) cleansing the ancient texts which have been tarnished by the slush of time and by the touch of slimy pens. Radhabhakthi is an instance of this expurgation. The Bhagavatha Vahini He is writing in the Sanathana Sarathi, gives the pellucid curative stream which the Bhagavatha originally was, before it received the contaminating inflow of interpolations. 

The play on Sakku Bai which the boys enacted at Bombay was also a pleasant surprise, for, Baba has depicted in it, through dance drama and song, the message of 'grief being the kindest Guru'. The scene where the 'idols' of Panduranga and Rukmayi come alive and converse on the plight of Sakku and the implications of her sufferings is a fine lesson in the Philosophy of Grace. His Excellency the Governor of Maharashtra said, while congratulating the little boys on their creditable performance, "You are the emissaries of the great culture of this land". 

Baba addressed mammoth gatherings at King's Circle and at the Vallabhabhai Patel Stadium, and, lit in the hearts of all who heard Him, the lamp of Jnana. "Fire and Water, in conjunction, produce steam, which can haul heavy wagons along. Karma and Upasana, likewise, produce Jnana, which can haul you, with the heavy load of the consequences of the thoughts, deeds, and words of many previous careers on earth, to the Lord within." 

Students predominated at the Stadium on the 21st March and Baba gave them good advice. "Like the tiger which refuses grass, however hungry it may be, man must refuse to descend to the low levels of scandal, cruelty, and miserliness. The greed and selfishness that are infecting this country are tragedies for humanity, for, India has the role of guiding and leading mankind to the goal of Self-realization. Youth in India is growing up in the hot-house of faction and passion, not as in the past, in the cool bowers of reverence and humility. Elders indulge in fratricidal fights, vengeful litigation, corrupt means of earning money and cut-throat competition; their low behavior in the home, in the village, in the clubs, in the civic bodies, in the legislatures, in all walks of life sets the standard for youth! Indian culture, which is really international in its outlook, has to be taught and lived in the schools and colleges of India, so that India and the world can be happy and content", Baba said. 

Baba takes special interest in youth, for, on them rests the burden of upholding dharma. Keeping them close to Him, He moulds them into instruments of service and images of sadhana. He grants them Grace and wins their loyalty. Then, He tells them, out of His unbounded Love, "You are all My limbs, nourished by Me. You constitute the Sai Body. Sai will send you sustenance, wherever you are, whatever your function, provided you give Sai the things Sai considers desirable, like virtue, faith, discipline, humility, reverence." It is difficult to resist this call. 

Baba has planned study circles in schools and colleges for the study of the scriptures and sacred texts, in the context of present aspirations and handicaps; He has advised the recruitment and training of groups of young men and women in the disciplines of Japam and Dhyanam as well as the technique of tending and nourishing the sick and the distressed. "Members of this Sathya Sai Seva Dal must be saturated with devotion to God and service to Man, the 'Terminus' and the 'Starting point' of the pilgrimage called life. The Dal must be eager to serve, and able to serve intelligently, sincerely and gladly", He advised. Baba encourages devotees to arrange for religious and moral instruction classes in schools, on the wide bases of Sanathana Dharma; He recommends the establishment of hostels where students can imbibe the disciplines of Yoga and Sadhana, while prosecuting their studies in an atmosphere of silence and serenity.


At King's Circle, the Stadium, and at the Bungalow where He stayed at Andheri, Baba ceaselessly carried on His Mission of Mercy, showering His Grace on the sick, the old, the mentally deranged, the social outcast, the froth and the dregs of this civilized age. He stepped down from the decorated dais and the silver chair and moved slowly along the passages, in between the seated men and women, seeking out those who needed His attention and acknowledging by the Abhayahastha, the homage of the people. He also found time to solve the spiritual problems and even personal tangles of persons who approached Him for guidance and blessings. He graciously responded and sanctified the homes of devotees; the homes were often on the upper floors of liftless chawls [tenement] or mansions but, He climbed up and descended many stairs a day, with the alacrity springing out of unbounded Love. Entering the home, Baba joked and laughed, appreciated and warned, fondled and gave gifts to every member of the family, for He is friend and father, teacher and mother, guardian and God for the households that seek Him. 

On the 27th March, Baba left by plane for Jamnagar, Saurashtra. This was a welcome chance to the airport staff at Bombay and Jamnagar to touch the Feet which millions covet to hold. On the flight, Baba drew the attention of persons who were with Him, to the charming scenes on sea and land, painted by the Master-artist for His own delectation. Saurashtra is studded with Sathya Sai Study Circles and Bhajana Mandalis; Baba had showered His Grace on that land even when He was at Shirdi, and now that He has come again, He had drawn the people in cities and villages so close to Him, by concrete evidence of His Presence and Benevolence, that it was fast changing into Sairashtra. When I asked some one at Jamnagar the reason for the unprecedented streams of men and women that flooded the area where the Public Meeting was to be held, he answered, "In every village, here-abouts, Baba has announced His Presence and Grace by indisputable signs, like the spontaneous appearance of Vibhuti showers in the shrines where He is worshipped!" 

Baba stayed at the Amar Vilas Palace Guest House and was welcomed there by the Raja Matha of Jamnagar. He came out on to the porch many times until long after midnight in order to give Darsan to hundreds who surged around. At Jamnagar, Baba opened a spacious building which will serve as the headquarters of the Sathya Sai Seva Samithi; He then moved into the vast pandal which was filled to overflowing, devotees spilling on to the fields for furlongs on all sides. Noticing some sick children, Baba created the Vibhuti Panacea for them and thrilled the assembly by this evidence of His Mercy and Power. He returned to the dais and sang a few Namavalis which the people repeated after Him. [Listen to this prayer sung by Baba: Anthuleka MP3 / Text Prayer] He spoke to them about the need to feed the spirit, as they feed the body; the food of the spirit is 'Japam, Dhyanam, Nama-smarana', He said. After the meeting, Baba met the members of the Seva Samithi, and directed them to work in unison, without any sense of ego. "No man can claim to have achieved this or that, for all are but instruments in the hands of the Lord," He said. 

At dawn on the 28th, Baba left Jamnagar by car for Bhavnagar, stopping at Rajkot on the way, to give Darsan to thousands who had assembled there. He sang a few Bhajans and spotting some sick people, Mercy induced Him to give them Vibhuthi, created on the spot. The dailis Jai Hind and Phul Chhab had taken the news of Baba's journey to all the wayside villages before the sun rose that day and so Baba had to halt every few miles to enable the villagers to feast their eyes on the Lord they adored. Baba's hand was waving Abhayam all the way from start to finish. 

Baba reached the outskirts of Bhavnagar at about 11 A.M. The citizens had planned to take Him in procession in a floral car through streets bedecked with floral arches and flanked by school children and eager multitudes. But, since the town was already too full of visitors, Baba saw that a procession would add to the traffic problems of the organizers. He announced that Darsan would be given in an additional place, namely at the Town Hall. We have often seen Baba taking charge of such situations during His tours, when the organizers are too overwhelmed by the magnitude of the gathering to think calmly of the next step. Baba stayed in the bungalow of Abdulla Noor Mahomed at Takheswar. Baba gave Darsan to the multitudes from the roof of the bungalow. He came among them at 5 P.M., and addressed them for over an hour. "Do not fall in love with the world so much that you bring yourself again and again into this delusive amalgam of grief and joy" He said. You take up a newspaper and read it; you find that the world is mad and foolish, full of crooks and cranks; it is being made every day safe only, only for hypocrisy; heroism is futile and fame is momentary; you throw it away, in disgust. So too, you must deal with life. Realize that it is all a fantasy, a play, a pantomime. Use the world as an instrument, as a training ground for service, sacrifice and winning liberation. Stand a little apart and watch both the play and the Director who produces it." Later, Baba laid the foundation for the Sai Mandir of Bhavnagar City. On the 29th, Baba left by plane for Bombay, to return again by car to Navsari, in Gujarat, on the 30th March. 

Navsari had four times her population concentrated at the place of the meeting! There was scarce standing room for the masses, anxious to secure Darsan and hear the Discourse of Baba. Baba moved along the furlong long alleys between the thick crowds to give them Darsan, but, devotion could not keep the people in their compartments; they moved forward to the dais, in order to have nearer Darsan and could not be quietened into the silence, needed for Bhajan

So, Baba proceeded to Baroda, to save the people from the consequences of the stampede which they were about to create. Twenty miles away, when His car drove along, Baba heard Bhajan songs from about 4000 people sitting in an open space adjoining the road. The devotees of Ubel had taken a vow that they would be engaged in continuous Bhajan for 12 hours, and they prayed that Baba should come amidst them, of His own unsolicited Grace. And, the vow yielded fruit. Baba was pleased at their exemplary discipline; He alighted from the car, moved among them and gave Vibhuti to a few; He ascended the dais, sat for about twenty minutes, and sang a few Namavalis for them to repeat after Him; and, then, He walked back to the car, unhampered by anyone trying to fall at His Feet, and drove away. The Bhajan was continued by the gathering until the determined hour! 

Baba spent the night at Baroda. On the 31st March, He met the members of the Baroda Sathya Sai Seva Samithi and of the study circles of Jambusar and other nearby villages. About 200 people had His Darsan and quite a few, His gracious Gift-Vibhuthi-created on the spot. 

Back on the Bombay road the next day, the cars passed Navsari and towards early afternoon, members of the party were scanning the precincts of the road for a mango tope, or a cluster of other trees, where lunch could be spread and taken. Baba seemed uninterested. He was signing to the cars to move forward, until they came to a school building, when Baba stopped and wanted inquiries to be made, whether the school was working. It was not; it had a hostel where some students who had taken Agriculture as their special subject, lived. Baba had the cars turned into the hostel gates and He showered His Grace upon the boarders. He gave to each of them His photograph, Vibhuthi, and enough money for a new set of clothes; meanwhile, students, members of the staff, and villagers from miles around gathered there and Baba spoke to them for about half an hour. They all had the unique pleasure of Darsan, Sparsan and Sambhashana! Baba later said, that He knew there was a school, where He could give joy to many. Baba says, no word of His is without significance; no act of His is without benefit. 

On the second day of April, Baba was at Poona, where He addressed a gathering of 20.000 on the grounds of the M.E.S. College. On the 3rd, Bhajan was held at the riverside bungalow (of Mr. Banatwala) where He granted interviews to many officers of the Armed Forces; the Andhra Association welcomed Him in the evening, gave a Discourse in their premises. He disclosed there, what had transpired earlier. "I had a talk with the headmasters of Poona, about moral and spiritual training for boys and girls. An institution will soon come up in Poona, where parents, teachers and student leaders will be trained to guide children along the right lines through the teaching of the fundamental principles of religion and morality; students too will be trained there in yoga and dhyana so that they will grow strong and straight." 

Baba left Poona on the 4th April and reached Prasanthi Nilayam on the 7th, after a short stay at Hyderabad. On the 10th April addressing the devotees gathered to receive His new year message and blessings, Baba declared that the tour of Maharashtra and Saurashtra saw an unprecedented flow of spiritual delight. 

On the 20th and 21st days of April an All India Conference of the office bearers of all organizations bearing Baba's name was held at Abbotsbury, Madras, in the immediate presence of Baba. This was a historic event, pregnant with tremendous potentiality for the uplift of Dharma. Nearly a thousand delegates from all the states of India, (and many countries overseas) gladly took part in the conference. Basking for two days in the sun of Baba's Glory they returned home charged with a new enthusiasm and a strange thrill. Representatives from each state came before the gathering, at the request of Dr. B. Ramakrishna Rao (President, All India Prasanthi Vidwanmahasabha and formerly Governor of Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh), who presided, and gave their reports revealing the varied ways in which devotion to Baba and His teachings was being expressed, to suit the needs and solve the problems of the people. Group meetings to sing in chorus the glory of God was a common feature; there were study circles to learn about Baba's message and teachings, and attempts to bring Indian culture and Sanathana Dharma to the doors of the common man by means of discourses by pundits; there was a traveling pictorial exhibition depicting the illustrative parables and metaphors which Baba uses to clarify knotty problems in philosophy or Sadhana, also three-day seminars on the 'winning of Prasanthi in the context of the modern world', which was held in more than five towns in Mysore State. 

The President, All-India Prasanthi Vidwanmahasabha,
Dr. B. Ramakrishna Rao addressing a Session.

Baba directed that delegates from overseas also express their views. The delegate from Hongkong said that the group attending Bhajan and study sittings there, was a miniature U.N.O. (United Nations Organization) and that he had found great enthusiasm for Yoga and Sadhana as well as Namajapa in Japan. He said that the yearning for God is still dormant and powerful in the Chinese Republic and pressed for the translation of books by Baba and on Baba into Chinese and Japanese. The delegate from East Africa described how the groups there had both congregational prayer in the Prasanthi Nilayam style and the study of Baba's works, as part of their Sadhana. The delegate from Ceylon gave instances of Baba's gracious presence in Ceylon, as evidenced by indisputable experiences of devotees and delighted the gathering by declaring that Baba was in Ceylon as much as anywhere else. The delegate from Norway described the plight of people who have lost faith in God and not acquired faith in man; he spoke of his own hesitation to accept various dogmas and of his study of Indian yoga and philosophy. "On 25th February, 1965, when I was sitting in front of the Samadhi at Shirdi, a strange man in a blue shirt approached me with the question, "Have you seen Sathya Sai Baba? If there is God on earth, it is He. He is coming to Bombay on the 14th March. You must see Him. This is Vibhuthi from His Hand. This is His Picture." That was how Baba called me towards Him, for, as I knew later, on February 25th, the date of Baba's reaching Bombay was known only to Him!" 

"When I sent in a letter to Baba on the 14th March, when He was in Gwalior Palace, Bombay, Mr. L.C. Java took the letter quick and fast, saying, "Baba told me an hour ago that a foreigner will come with a letter which I should take to Him, without delay!" 'We are all blessed', he said, 'for we have been selected to spread the news of His advent and His message allover the world'." 

Dr. Ramakrishna Rao said that the rapid advance in science and technology with no corresponding advance in moral strength (in fact, with a rapid decline in morality and virtue), is posing a crucial problem before mankind - the problem of survival. The intelligentsia of India are unaware of the roots of their culture and are apologetic when confronted by ardent inquires or purblind slanderers. Baba's insistence on Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema is the only cure for the ailing world. Those who have heard and understood His call have formed in their own neighborhoods, associations and societies, institutes and institutions to bring together kindred minds for mutual inspiration. But, this has happened in a haphazard manner and so, Baba has brought us all together, so that we do not stray away from the path of Sadhana; we have to follow certain basic principles of efficient and exemplary organization. Baba declared that the most efficient publicity for the Advent is done by the man who practices His teachings and proves by his thoughts, words and deeds that he is experiencing peace and joy thereby. Just as the waters of a raging river are regulated by the banks, the enthusiasm of devotion has to be regulated by certain accepted principles. But, in the framing of rules and regulations, Baba said, people should not ignore the raison d'etre of Sathya Sai Organizations - making everyone aware of the joy, peace and wisdom, that he truly has and is! 

A Sathya Sai Organization is only the reflection in the members of the One Sai whom all adore. The more clearly He is reflected, the greater the service one can do. The conference appointed committees, listened to the summaries of their deliberations, and decided to follow certain general guidelines - but, these were not its chief gains. The chief gain was - Baba. He persuaded, convinced, counseled, conversed and, like a close comrade, conferred; He sat among the delegates during breakfast, lunch and dinner; He met them as district groups; He had a solution ready for every difficulty; His smile was coveted by all and was awarded to all. He sat with them for photographs. He entered into the heart of each. The universality and innate validity of His teaching won enthusiastic welcome. 

"You must serve others, because you can have no peace so long as another is denied peace; you have to make every heart, including yours, into a Prasanthi Nilayam; work without despondency or pride; cooperate with all who are good and selfless. Keep in touch with all persons who trudge along the pilgrim road to God, whatever the Name by which they know Him, whatever the Form which they attribute to Him, until they reach Him, and know that He is all Names and Forms!" Baba exhorted them. The delegates departed with the Blessings of Baba reverberating in their ears, "March forward as one united courageous band, searching for the God who resides in every being and worshipping Him by devoted service." 

On 22, 23, and 24 April, tens of thousands of people heard Baba and a few scholars spoke at the Prasanthi Vidwanmahasabha Sessions held in Madras. Dr. V.K. Gokak, D. Litt., addressed Baba as a 'world redeemer' and as a 'savior whose mercy beckons every son of earth to God.' "The world has ignored the unity of spirit and matter, it believes that nothing matters, more than matter. Real progress can come only when man seeks, not information, but, transformation, and discovers his own reality lying under thick layers of error and illusion." [see also: Cities Aflame, for a song by Dr. Gokak] On the 24th, Dr. S. Bhagavantham, D. Sc., Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, spoke. He said, "It is a rare privilege that anyone can get, to be invited in whatever capacity to be on the same platform as Bhagavân Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Baba has put me into many tribulations, even in the province of science. Years ago, in one of my first confrontations with Him, Baba said, 'Scientists have no faith in God, is it not? You, in particular, have you any respect for the ancient texts of this country? The Bhagavad Gita, for example'? [See: Geetha Vahini] It hurt my pride. To establish the bona fides of our tribe, I told Him of Oppenheimer and his exclamation when the first experimental atom bomb was exploded, "Divisurya sahasrasya...", (*see the complete sanskrit verses*) which he had learnt from the Bhagavad Gita. The truly learned among the scientists, I said, are aware of the wisdom of the ancient texts, the Upanishads and the Gita". "Do you like to have one?", He asked me and took with His fingers some particles of sand from the bed of the Chitravathi river, where we were seated around Him; the sand turned into a text of the Bhagavad Gita, which He placed in my hands. I examined it later to discover the name of the press, where it was printed; needless to say, there was no name on it. This was an utter denunciation of the laws of physics for which I stand. He performed a surgical operation before me, creating knife, needle, bandage - all that was needed. I was a fairly lost person at that time"! 

Dr. Gokak said yesterday that Baba 'defied' the laws of physics and chemistry! "He does not defy the laws; He 'transcends' them. He is transcendental. He is a Phenomenon. He is Divine. This is the right way, the safe way for me to get out of the dilemma. We scientists are a very humble lot; every time we have added a little to what we already know, we have known that there are more things that we have yet to know. Adding to knowledge is but another name for adding to the area of ignorance. As I am speaking, a man-made contraption is digging into the moon, 90 million miles away, a trench 18" long and 9" deep! We know that only knowledge can be acquired, but wisdom? That has to be got from Baba! Bhagavan is our nearest kith and kin; turn to Him for the eternal message. That alone will save us". 

During the discourses that He gave on the three evenings, Baba emphasized the importance of dedication, so that activity may become meaningful and conducive of happiness. He said that man must be reminding himself of his essential Divinity, so that he may not slide into the beast which terrifies and gets terror-stricken. Fear is something that can never afflict the man who knows he is a spark of the Divine, He said.

From Madras, Baba proceeded to the Nilgiri Hills, and after a short visit to Calicut on the Arabian Sea Coast, He proceeded to the Annamalai Hills, the home of coffee and tea plantations, to inaugurate a High School there, and reached Prasanthi Nilayam for the Guru Pournima festival, which after the unforgettable Siva-Sakthi miracle, has acquired an epochal charisma! A week later, Baba left for Whitefield and from there, He went up the Horsley Hills, with a few devotees, to spend some time in that quiet Hill Station, 4000 feet above the sea level. It did not take long for the people of the valleys all around to know that Baba was shedding His luster in their midst; they went up to Him in large numbers, during the fourteen days of His stay and they were amply rewarded at the Bhajan Sessions with Vibhuthi from His hand. The small group of aspirants that Baba brought with Him could get from Him, elucidation for the many Gordian problems of Sadhana which they placed before Him. 

"You call them miracles, but, for Me, they are just My way; you cannot solve the mystery; for Me, they are no mystery, they are part of My essential Miraculousness", Baba says. Devotees at Horsley Hills had many chances of experiencing the Divine Mystery. While walking along a footpath among the trees, Baba saw a jasmine creeper, and plucking a flower, He breathed on it, became a diamond of exceeding brilliance! 

Another day, He gave a piece of granite, picked from the ground to a devotee at hand; but, it was not the stone that he received! The stone had turned into sugar candy! Another day He created rosaries and other sacred articles and gifted them to the Sadhaks. He materialized a 'silver' vessel full of the precious nectar, that He alone knows how and when to 'prepare' and gave each one a few drops of that Grace. Howard Murphet of the Theosophical Society with Mrs. Murphet were with Baba at the Hills. He writes, "I was not a cynic when I came to India. I know that I was a skeptic, but, not an incurable one. My approach has always been the cautious scientific one. I needed to see and touch for myself, in order to believe. Through a strange network of circumstances, (which, I can only say, was due to the Grace of Baba), I met Sai Baba! Baba was kind to me. I saw and touched miraculous incredible things; I have established to the satisfaction of my critical self, that miracles do take place. Actions speak louder than words. The Word is powerful but, in the 'Word made Flesh, we see its power dramatically. Then it becomes a strong buttress for our tottering faith." 

While exhorting the devotees one day, as Murphet writes: 

To reach beyond the portals, 
To where the Part is Whole, 
Beyond all thought, all feeling, 
Beyond the stars and sun,
Beyond the Cosmic Zero
To where all things are One. 

Baba created a picture, which He gave to one devotee, of the Cosmic Purusha, the Universe as a Person (the Virat Swarupa) [See: SB, Canto 2, Chapter 1] incorporating all gods and demons, all stars and skies, all beings and becomings, including Himself and the Previous Shirdi Body! 

Murphet writes, "In all these, we must not lose sight of the greatest miracle of all! This is the miracle of His Prema - His Divine Love. While Universal (going out to all men) it is at the same time Individual. You feel it, beamed directly and blissfully on You. As one of his Bhakthas put it, 'Every person thinks that Baba loves him most'. Yes. This pure love-universal, yet individualized - is the central miracle, from which all others come, as by-products. The main end-product of this stream of Prema is to raise us to a knowledge of our true spiritual Selves, to a realization of our oneness with all life, with the Author of all life. How few there have been, through whom has flowed this miraculous river of pure egoless love, with its attendant whirls and eddies of lesser miracles! How lucky, how blessed we are, to have known such a one on earth and to be with Him still!" 

Baba says that the world is not an empty, meaningless dream; it is a purposeful play, with the plots within plot. God plays the roles and so, be on the watch! Recognize Him when you see majesty, beauty, order, harmony, melody on the stage. He wears many masks to hide Himself. He says that His is also a role now and that He plays it of His own free Will! 

Baba reached Prasanthi Nilayam from Brindavan, Whitefield, on the third day of July; the Murphets accompanied Him thither, drawn by the Love that He showered on them. Howard Murphet spoke on Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam on the 21st and on the 23rd. Dr. Judith (Jyothi- priya) Tybarg of the East-West Cultural Center, Los Angeles addressed the residents; she had a long talk with Baba, during which she asked Baba, whether movie films of His miracles can be taken and shown, to convince people of their authenticity. Baba replied that doubts would still persist. It is only by strengthening one's own faith, by clearing the doubts in one's own mind, that one can convince others. "Faith travels from one mind to another." Baba then created some sweets for the group, demonstrating that He had nothing in His hand or up His sleeve. They came, through His "Sankalpa, Resolve". They were not in the hand, but, "in the head", He said. He revealed Himself thus to Dr. Judith, for, she was an earnest Sadhaka, soaked in devotion and scholarship. Her arthritis had been miraculously mitigated by Baba, who sent a few packets of Vibhuthi for her use through a person who returned to the U.S.A. from His Presence. He told her, "I am in all hearts. I am one with all. But, yet I never share their pain or their joy. I never experience sorrow or anger. I am Anandaswarupa (embodiment of bliss) and Premaswarupa (embodiment of Love)". No wonder that Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, the chief proponent of transcendental meditation, the holy man who has cast a powerful spell over the youth of the West, ("We who are tired of dead and decayed Western Culture will follow His Holiness, our Master, to the grave," say, the hippies to him) wanted that Baba should bless the leaders of the youth of the world who are training themselves at Sankaracharya Nagar, Hrishikesh, to become the guides of Youth! 

On 30th July, Baba visited the College of Engineering at Anantapur, about 60 miles distant from the Nilayam. Baba pointed out to the vast gathering of students and teachers that education has degenerated into a course of training for mere living, not for reaching the goal of life. It teaches skills, confers scholarship, but, it does not concern itself with the resources, latent in the deeper levels of consciousness, the springs of sympathy, service and renunciation, the urge to return to the haven of joy from which one has come away. Baba said that man is being influenced by mass hysteria in all countries, so that he is becoming hard in heart, wooden in intelligence, and mechanical in mind. Students must be taught the disciplines which will enable them to encounter the stress of life and struggle with the inner adversaries of lust, greed, malice and hate. Baba stayed on for three more days at Anantapur, presiding over the Sessions of the Prasanthi Vidwanmahasabha. 

The fifth day of August 1967, is a note worthy date in the history of Prasanthi Nilayam, for, that day, it was formally constituted into a separate township with the Chairman and Members of a Committee which will manage its civic administration. Speaking about the village of Puttaparthi from which the Township area was separated that day, Baba said that there will never be any trace of 'apartness' in the mind, so far as He or the devotees were concerned. "Brindavan belongs to all; Govinda is everybody's God", He said. He exhorted the chairman and members to serve the residents, as well as the other members of the Sai family who come to the place, with love and care. 

Baba went to Mandya (known as Sugar Town) at the invitation of the Minister of Education of the State of Mysore, on 20th August. There were at least a hundred thousand villagers gathered in the vast open spaces in and round the stadium. The Minister said that he was happy that "so many of my fellow-countrymen are enthusiastic to have the Darsan of Bhagavan and to listen to His message. It augurs well for the future of this nation". "You are legitimately proud of the great temples in your district built by great architects and sculptors and master craftsman. But, you must remember that these heights of artistic excellence were reached by men in music, sculpture, painting, poetry, drama, architecture etc. only when skill was dedicated to the God in man", Baba told them, in reply to their welcome address. 

During the first week of September, Baba was so moved by Prema that He drove 400 miles by car to the bedside of Dr. Ramakrishna Rao at Hyderabad, to confer on him, during his critical illness, the inestimable boons of Darsan, Sparsan and Sambhashana. The last function Ramakrishna Rao attended at the Prasanthi Nilayam (where his heart always was) was the inauguration of the Township. He was nominated by Baba as the President of the All India Prasanthi Vidwanmahasabha, for he was a scholar and poet in many languages, and an ardent devotee. While Governor of Kerala, he had the honour of receiving Baba in that state more than once; as Governor of Uttar Pradesh, he was happy to accompany Baba to Ayodhya, Kasi, Prayag, and Badrinath. He used to translate Baba's Telugu discourses quickly and correctly into Hindi. 

Baba granted him supreme contentment and joy, during the last phase of his life. "I have got what I yearned for", he repeated, when Baba came away from his bedside. On 14th September, after midnight, a few minutes before the end, he assured the members of his family, "Baba will guard you, as He has done so long". Then he uttered from the depths of his heart, the sacred mantra, "Sriman Narayana Charanou Saranam Prapadye (I take refuge in the Feet of the Lord)", and attained peace and liberation! Truly, a great Karmayogi, who as the Gita teaches had through Upasana attained Kaivalya (Liberation) by the Jnana he earned! 

It will be a thrilling chapter, if one could collect and compile the events of the last days of the devotees of Baba, who have merged in Him. They die in silent serenity, in prayerful surrender, or in the midst of the Bhajan (see also: Sai Baba on Sankirtana) they share, or during the recitation of Pranava; they get Amrita from nowhere and sip it as they die; they see Baba before them with their departing sight and leave, after prostrating to Him; they have Vibhuthi emanating from their heads, in token of His blessings! O, it is amazingly sweet and heartening - the way in which Baba showers His grace, when His devotees bid farewell, to the bodies wherein they dwelt! 

"I had read of the great miracle-workers and teachers of India's past; I hoped that some might still exist today; Yet, hardly dared to hope, that I might even meet one. For, underneath, like all men, I longed for the 'many- splendoured thing' that Francis Thompson says;  the "estranged faces miss", says Murphet". Among the many who came to India from foreign lands on this search were the Raymers, husband and wife, who heard of Baba and came to the Nilayam and stayed there continuously for over six months engaged in Sadhana. When they went back, persons who had already come under the influence of Indian yoga and thought, through the teachings and inspiration of Maharshi Ramana, Aurobindo, Yoganandaji, and Ramakrishna-Vivekananda gathered at their place or drew inspiration from their example, to study Baba's work and do Sadhana according to His directions. A large number of people have come into his Sathya Sai Satsang; a few have come over to India to have Baba's Darsan and Blessings. Charles Penn is singularly fortunate, because though he has not yet come, he is able to feel the constant Presence of Baba, whether up in the sky searching for fallen aircraft or down on the sea shore collecting shells, or in his prayer room picturing His Form in his heart! Baba sits before him, converses with him, teaches him, answers his questions, as clearly as if He is concretely present, across the seven seas! The lessons are so characteristic of Baba that their authenticity is clear to all who know how Baba elucidates. Moreover, when Penn sends the typescripts to me for perusal or publication, I have often asked Baba for further clarification and never once has He disavowed His authorship; in fact, He has justified certain new examples and parables that He has told Penn at Los Angeles, on the score that He had to explain things that way, since the background of Penn differs from that of His Indian listeners. "I give him the example of daffodils, because there is a bed of daffodils outside the shrine there", He said once. "I tell him about strong breezes and sails and ships because he knows about them, not you", He said to me. 

Indra Devi, a Russian-born American citizen living in Mexico with an Indian name, was directed to Baba by a clairvoyant and later, more directly, by the Murphets. She had learnt yoga in Mysore, from Yogi Krishnamacharya; later she has lived in Shanghai and given demonstrations of yoga in Moscow; she has a yoga foundation at Tecate, Mexico. She was to be introduced to President Kennedy at Dallas, Texas, so that she could present her books on yoga to him and tell him about a few Asanas and deep-breathing exercises which would make him physically fit for the strain of the extraordinarily heavy presidential schedule. But, she was shocked, along with the entire world, when he was shot dead, a few hours before the engagement! In order to exorcise hatred from the human heart, she devised that day a "Meditation crusade for light in darkness", and came to India, where she had learnt the elements of yoga and meditation. She met the Murphets in April, 1966 and they sent her to Prasanthi Nilayam! Baba gave her, as she says, "more than kindness, more than goodness, more than grace: Refuge: Abhaya," "Call Me whenever you need Me; I shall be with you". "I felt a stream of brilliant light pouring on me, giving me a tremendous sense of joy and happiness, which filled my entire being". 'Thank you, Baba', I whispered, in gratitude. Carrying this radiant light, I returned to Los Angeles and Tecate", she wrote. 

She was back again in February, 1967, full of enthusiasm and devotion for yoga, as a cure for the frustrations of the world. Baba encouraged her to train men and women residents of the Nilayam, as well as the boys of the Vedasastra Patasala in the Asanas of yoga and the technique of meditation. He was Himself present on the two days, ready to elaborate the reasons she gave for choosing the Flame as the focus of meditation and to elucidate other points which she felt essential for the course. Contemplation on the Flame is the ancient Vedic prescription, where the Lord is described as a "straight streak of lightning brilliance, in the center of the heart"; Baba has the Param-jyothi or the Supreme Light, as the crest and crown of the yoga-danda on the Prasanthi Flag. In the Nilayam, during the pre-dawn hours of meditation, a lamp, with its steady flame, clear and bright, is used for concentration. In the Dhyana Vahini written by Baba, He describes the Atma as, "the Sun of Suns, the Effulgence of Effulgences; it is the Supreme Light, the Swayamjyothi, the Self-effulgent". Therefore, Baba appreciated the crusade of Indra Devi and blessed it. He told her of its implications and possibilities in the context of the ancient Vedic prayer, "Thamaso Ma Jyothir Gamaya; From darkness, lead me to light". In the book, Prasanthi Vahini, written by Him years ago, He had explained it thus: "O Lord, when the objects of the world attract me, remove the darkness which hides from me the all-pervading all constituting Atma, which every object really is." 

Dasara, 1967 began with the dawn of October, 4th. Dr. K. Bhaskaran Nair, D.Sc., writes, "Life in India today is like a lotus flower at night. It is downcast with the burden of dew and the petals are closed in suffering. It droops with pain and privation, and waits in agony for the dawn. Will the dawn ever come?... Let us not despair. The crimson rays have broken the veil of night. Very soon, it will be day! This is the hope Puttaparthy holds out to us." After the dawn, Baba gave Darsan to the thousands waiting for it and hoisted the flag of peace on the hearts of all, making each heart a Prasanthi Nilayam. The Lotus bloomed. In His discourse during the Hospital Day celebrations, Baba said that concern about the future, contrition about the past, and castles planned to be constructed in the future, cause most mental illnesses; "men are not brave enough to forget the past, to look the present boldly in the face and to plan sensibly for the future", He said. On the 6th, about 10.000 hungry people were fed sumptuously, people whom Baba would refuse to call 'poor', for, many of them as He says are "rich" in spirit. He also gave thousands of saris and dhothis, with the affection and care that no parent evinces towards his children. The Veda-purusha-sapthahayajna which has become an annual feature, highlighting Baba's Mission of Vedic Revival, started on the 7th. That evening, when the 4th Anniversary Celebrations of the Prasanthi Vidwanmahasabha were inaugurated, everyone became aware of the vacuum left behind by Dr. Ramakrishna Rao. 

Dasara is above all the worship of the Mother, as the Goddess of Learning, of Wealth, of Food, of Beauty, of Art. So, Baba admits into the program music recitals, musical discourses, dramas, folk plays, recitations, readings from their poems by poets, etc, as offerings at the feet of the Mother. The Yajna was successfully accomplished on Vijaya-dasami Day (the Day of Victory). Baba gave Darsan that day wearing the resplendent robe of goldthread woven by a devotee who had himself woven the mantra, Sairam,1008 times into it, reciting it throughout the process of weaving. When Baba came that morning wearing that unique robe, devotees felt a thrill that wakened all levels of their consciousness in bliss, as if the Lord extolled in the Vedas had presented Himself before them in His full Glory! They remembered the song that Baba had sung, during the Inaugural Discourse of Dasara: 

When man is bogged in wrong and hate,
lost in error, afar from era's mores, 
to lead him right, in love ... 
When world does writhe in agony, 
at thirst of blood and loot, 
to cleanse the heart, of hate, 
when trampled under heavy hoof.
The good, as orphans, grieve, 
to fondle, foster, free ... 
When the Word of God is twisted,
by petty putrid tongues, 
to reveal, unfold, proclaim ... 
To lighten burden of the earth, 
to keep the troth He plighted.
God has come, as man midst men! 
Can call be clarioned, clearer? 
Drawn in and tossed on the waves of birth and death, 
you sigh and groan in pain, O Man! 
Be steady a moment; watch, catch, within reach,
the life-boat floats: Sathya Sai! 

The confidence which that assurance gave, the joy imparted by those tidings, devotees desired to share with the people of their towns and villages, as early as possible. 


Listen to: 'Children' - MP3 / Lyrics

Baba too left for Hyderabad, so as to be there on Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, commemorating the victory of the uplifting faculties of man over his down dragging tendencies. While driving along the trunk road, Baba granted shepherd boys, men behind the plough, women with babies in arms trudging home in the hot sun and boys watching buffaloes wallowing in the pools, gifts of fruit, sweets and cash, ensuring for each of them a Happy Deepavali! One fortunate woman received a bagful of sweets, a jar of pickles, a tin of biscuits, and enough money for a fine Sari; besides, Baba asked the old lady, "Do you know who I am?" She confessed she did not! Baba asked her whether she had heard of Sai Baba. She had! She said, the Karnam of her village had gone on pilgrimage to a place called Puttaparthi and seen Him. Baba, embodiment of Prema that He is, stood before her and said, "See! I am that Sai Baba". The lady fell at His feet. "Go, have a happy holy day," He said. 


On November 2, Baba was at Bombay! Next day, Baba drove to the outskirts of Andheri along the Mahakali Caves Road, and reached the site where 30.000 ardent Bhakthas were singing paeans of praise for the glory of God, awaiting the precious moment when He was to consecrate the spot where "Dharmakshethra" was to be built. Baba went up to the topmost terrace on the hill; the ceremonial rites were nearing completion, the trench in which the first row of stones was to rest was ready. Baba waved His Hand and, a 'silver' plate, with the mystic symbols of the presiding deities of the Nine Planets of Vedic Science emanated from it, in full view of all. Baba directed that it be placed underneath the first stone, and Himself laid the mortar with a trowel; then, He hoisted the Prasanthi flag and unveiled the copper plaque, announcing the Inauguration of "Dharmakshethra". 

Addressing the vast gathering of devotees Baba said that the name Dharmakshethra was used for the battlefield, wherein the Gita was taught. Though its real name was 'Kurukshethra', it was referred to as Dharmakshethra, in the Gita, for, it was the field where Dharma won over A-dharma, where Right prevailed over Wrong. This place, this Dharmakshethra too will see that victory, will ensure, through the teaching and learning of a Celestial Song, that victory! Indeed, the body of man is the genuine Dharmakshethra, the battle-field where right fights with wrong for victory. Ksha means that which suffers kshaya, or decay through vice; thra means that which recovers by means of virtue. So, the body which flourishes and perishes through virtue and vice is the kshethra; it has to be made into a Dharma-kshethra, by the discovery of the dweller within the body, the Kshethra-jna, the Atma, the Antharyamin." Hon'ble Sri P.K. Savant, who presided, said that the Dharmakshethra which will rise on that site will be a Prasanthi Nilayam, Home of Highest Peace, and that its radiant rays will scatter and destroy A-santhi from the hearts of men. Baba then met the devotees who have won the privilege of building kuteerams or 'spiritual retreats' for themselves at the Dharmakshethra site. He exhorted them to intensify their yearning and to deepen their faith so that they may be examples to those who doubt or deny the value of spiritual endeavor. 

In the evening, Baba inaugurated the Sathya Sai Seva Dal, an organization of young Sadhakas who strengthen and supplement their Sadhana by efficient and earnest service rendered to the weak, the disabled and the distressed. Baba Himself is, to us, the supreme exemplar of service through love. On 4, 5, and 6 November, Baba gave Darsan at the Dharmakshethra site during Bhajan in the morning; His eyes picked out from the thickly packed masses, sick children, diseased adults and deformed or defective unfortunates; He blessed them with Vibhuthi, created to assuage and assure. 

Baba reached Prasanthi Nilayam on the 14th November, in time for the Birthday Celebrations. "Each year, My Birthday is celebrated in grand style. Thousands come to have My Darsan, the Darsan I brought you too to enjoy, to the Nilayam, on My wings"!, said Baba to Charles Penn in Los Angeles, during one of His supra-corporal visits to him! "But", He cautioned Penn, "but, do not think that it is My Birthday that is celebrated! No. I am a part of each of you; after years of onward movement, you merge in the estuary of My stream". That was what He told Penn! Listen to what He told the thousands who had come on 23rd November to Prasanthi Nilayam: "This is not My Birthday; I have no birth or birthday; I am ageless, eternal. You must celebrate your birthday, when you are born into knowledge, not into bondage. Adore Me, on the day that you are I, on the day when you derive unbounded bliss there from, on the day when you can be full of joy that you are born"! 

During the celebrations, on the 26th November, to be exact, Baba called upon the President of the Sathya Sai Seva Samithi, Bombay to announce to the vast concourse of devotees, that a World Conference of Sevaks and Sadhaks of the Sathya Sai Units will be held at "Dharmakshethra", in May, 1968, an announcement that was welcomed with acclamation and unbounded joy. 

The prospect of sharing with kindred spirits from all over the world the thrill of Baba's Darsan, Sparsan and Sambhashana filled organizations and units in every state, with ardent hope; hence, Baba resolved to hold preliminary conferences of office-bearers of Sathya Sai Organizations in the States of India, to 'confirm and consolidate, collate and coordinate, activities and programs'. The conference was held at Ernakulam in Kerala State on 20th December, at Madras on 24th December, at Brindavan in Mysore State on 30th December, 1967 and at Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra State on 23rd February, 1968. 

Besides emphasizing once again the basic principles of Sadhana-based service to the community, irrespective of the creeds or faiths of the beneficiaries, Baba directed that they should not get enmeshed in organizational entanglements, and the competitive search for donors and financial supporters. Baba had a President chosen for each State and He gave them the task of coordinating and supervising, guiding and counseling, the various groups of Bhakthas who have formed units in His Name. He chose also District Presidents. Unhampered by committees, these presidents will work as a team, under the State President to promote and strengthen the Sevak and Sadhak groups allover the country. Baba advised the workers to start 'group-singing of Bhajans along the streets of the village and town, in the early hours of the day', so that people may waken to the name of God and the atmosphere filled with the fragrance of the Glory of the Lord! He wanted also that the message of Atmic strength and Atmic unity should be sown in the hearts of students. Women devotees were directed to form Samithis to serve their sisters. Thus, the Ganga of Grace flows from the Prasanthi Nilayam, which is Baba. It is restoring health, reviving the drooping, sanctifying every service, fertilizing every noble impulse, clearing the vision and revealing the Godward Path.



  Adhunika Vidya Perigenu Anthuleka
Athma Vidya Kshinininche Avadhileka
Sathya Dharmammulanniyu Samasi Poye
Prema Shanti Ahimsalu Pedabadiye
Prema Shanti Ahimsalu Pedabadiye

Modern learning has grown beyond bounds 
and the learning of the soul has
declined without a bottom.
Truth and righteousness have got effaced 
and Love, Peace and Non-violence have declined.


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Written by N. Kasturi M.A., B.L.