Sathya Sai Baba, Revered Hindu 'Living God,' Mourned In India After Death At 84

Sai Baba’s passing mark the end of one era, the beginning of another

It is the passing of an era. Sathya Sai Baba, the focus of millions of devotees around the world, has left His body. Sai Baba died at 7.40am local time on Sunday at the Super Speciality Hospital which he had built for the poor. He had been on life support for a few weeks.

It is the passing of an era and the making way for a new one. For devotees, history has marked its path. We devotees need to look forward to the coming of the next sad guru, Prema Sai within eight years of this time in history.

The passing away of Sai Baba falls short of the time frame we devotees have been told of – He was supposed to leave his body in 2020 at the age of 96. But recently Sai Baba has been talking of leaving earlier as he felt his mission was nearing completion. This he has been saying for the past few year so it does not come as a surprise that he has left his mortal coil now.

The message of Sai Baba far superseded the many social works he was involved in. The unity that he proclaimed inspired millions around the world to work towards free education (with character); free medical and health services (with compassion); and commerce with conscience.

Working off the blueprint of free schools, free hospitals and free water supply that Sai Baba has in India, ardent devotees around the world put together similar programmes in the country of their origin. Even a small nation like Fiji has a free Sai school in Lautoka, passing many benefits to a nearby Fijian village.

Class, creed. colour did not matter to Sai Baba. I have celebrated Christmas with over 20,000 Christian followers at Puttaparthi, and enjoyed Eid, celebrated the Chinese New Year and Buddhist festivals there also. Sai Baba’s message of universal brotherhood/sisterhood remains true and has remained true for the past 60 plus years.

In many ways Prashanti Nilayam, in the village of Puttaparthi, was a United Nation of sorts. It is a place of which mixes humanity, almost like a cauldron in which gold is purified. Prashanti Nilayam teems with such a cross-section of people, of so many languages and so much culture it is hard to think of another similar place elsewhere.

While many will remember him for his miracles, Sai Baba himself paid little heed to that. His greatest achievement, he said, was the transformation of the human psyche, the real mission he said he was here for.

His lessons are well documented, in almost all languages. The scope of these lessons is what makes Sai Baba truly awesome – he had a true grasp of all the scriptures and made these easily available to all, including women.

Women, it is apparent, have a place of importance in Sai Baba’s teachings. His first school was for girls as he felt women needed that education to be able to make the right decisions. Women, he said time and again, were ready to lead the world. But he also demanded a lot of the women who followed his teachings – fortitude, compassion and understanding.

Sai Baba placed his faith in children for a better world. His organisation has a special wing where child development was taught. This wing is integral to the mission of service, devotion and education that he proclaimed around the world. The students from his various schools are making an impact worldwide, in various organisations, both commercial and social.

In the end his messages of Help Ever, Hurt Never; Love All, Serve All will be legacy he leaves behind.

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