Bhagawan Baba was born in the early hours of the morning (at sunrise) on 23rd November 1926, in Puttaparthi. Given the name Sathyanarayana Raju, He was the fourth child of Pedda Venkappa Raju and Eswaramma. His birth was presaged by the extraordinary phenomenon of musical instruments in His parents’ house playing on their own in the middle of the night. A few days after, a cobra was also found lying under the bed of the new-born Sathya, shielding Him. Sathya was an angelic child. He displayed extreme compassion and was very generous. He would freely give food and clothes to the needy poor, often at the risk of parental displeasure. Once when He had resourcefully managed to give a beggar something to eat from the scarce stock at home, His annoyed mother angrily exclaimed that He should go hungry, since He had given away his share. So Sathya refused to take food for a few days after the incident. Similarly, He would not eat in His home whenever a non-vegetarian meal was prepared. Such joyous self-sacrifice was typical. At the age of eight, He organised groups of boys of His age to sing the glory of God through Bhajans (sacred congregational songs). In addition, His inherent Divine power were displayed to His schoolmates by distributing sweets and other objects materialised from His schoolbag. At the age of thirteen, fearing that He was possessed by some evil spirit, His parents took Him to a village doctor who tortured His body to drive the entity away. Young Sathyanarayana suffered all this torture with serenity. He then declared that He was Shirdi Sai Baba reborn. Shirdi is a village in Maharastra, 1000kms away from Puttaparthi. Shirdi Sai Baba was Lord Shiva incarnated in human form. He left His mortal body in 1918. At that time, very few people knew about Shirdi, or Sai Baba for that matter. At the age of fourteen, Bhagawan dissociated Himself from His family stating that He was going to His devotees who were calling Him to launch His Divine Mission. From that time on He gave all of Himself to His devotees performing incredible miracles for their joy and benefit. Devotees have increased day by day, and are now spread all over the world, numbering many millions. They experience Baba as omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, guiding their lives in amazing ways. Devotees refer to Bhagawan as ‘Swami’ or ‘Baba’.

Bhagawan Baba exhorts us to become aware of the innate Divinity in all of us and to achieve the goal of human life: union with the Divine within. Human relations are to be governed by Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanthi (Peace), Prema (Love), and Ahimsa (Non-violence), fostered in all earnestness. A sincere application of the truth of these values will manifest as Bhagawan’s popular teachings: ‘Love All, Serve All,’ and ‘Work is Worship,’ leading finally to the realisation that ‘You are God.’ He encourages devotees of all faiths to genuinely practise their own religion by understanding the true spirit behind it. He exhorts everyone to develop the proper understanding that all religions are based on love. Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s mission is not to propagate any new cult or religion, but to seek to confirm and improve the individual – whichever faith he or she follows. He wants everyone and everything to be filled with Divine Love.

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