Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Sketches
|Sathya Sai Baabaa|
November 23, 1926 - April 24, 2011 = 84 + yrs
Based on Wikipedia article
His original name was Sathya Naaraayan Raaju. He was born in 1926 in Puttaparthi, Aandhra Pradesh, India. His devotees regarded him as Bhagvaan (god). The apparent appearance of Vibhooti (ash) from him as well as from his photos, and many other things brought forth by him gave him the status of a miracle worker, although some skeptics called all these things a trick. He claimed that he was the reincarnation of Shiradee Sai Baba.
His birth was also said to be heralded by miracles. His mother Eeswarammaa asserted that she had him by miraculous conception. As a child, he was described as "unusually intelligent" and charitable. He was exceptionally talented in drama, music, dance and writing, and was an avid composer of poems and plays. He was said to be capable of materializing objects such as food and sweets out of thin air.
Life of Saai Baabaa
In 1963 (he was then 37 years old), he suffered a stroke and four severe heart attacks. After recovery he announced that he would incarnate as Prem Saai Baabaa in Karnaatak State. He further stated that - "I am Shiv-Shakti, born in the Gotra (lineage) of Bharadwaaj, according to a boon won by that sage from Shiv and Shakti. Shiv was born in the Gotra of that sage as Saai Baabaa of Shiradee; Shiv and Shakti have incarnated as myself in his Gotra now. Shakti alone will incarnate as the third Saai (Prem Saai Baabaa) in the same Gotra in Mandya district of Karnaatak State.
After 2005 (at the age of 79), Saai Baabaa stated using a wheelchair as his health was deteriorating and made fewer public appearances. In 2006 he suffered a fractured hip when a student standing on an iron stool slipped, and both boy and stool fell on Sathya Saai Baabaa. After that, he gave Darshan from a car or his wheelchair. Sathya Sai Baabaa's assertion of divine status was expressed by himself. He stated it boldly and repeatedly - "I am beyond the reach of the most intensive enquiry and the most meticulous measurement. Only those who have recognized my love and experienced that love can assert that they have glimpsed my reality. Do not attempt to know me through the external eyes."
He was admitted to a hospital at Prashaanti Graam at Puttaparthi on 28 March, 2011 following respiration-related problems and died on 24 April at 7:40 IST. His funeral took place on April 27, 2011 at 9.00 AM as, it is said, that No 9 as Baabaa's favorite number.
It is reported that Sathya Saai Baabaa's 80th birthday celebration, was attended by well over a million people, including 13,000 delegates from India and 180 from other countries.
He was also known as a singer, having released several CDs of Bhajan (devotional songs). His organizations support many free educational institutes, medical canters and other charitable works in India and abroad. There are an estimated 1,200 Satya Sai Baba centers in 114 countries. In India itself, Saai Baabaa draws followers from predominantly upper-middle-class, urban sections of society who have the "most wealth, education and exposure to Western ideas. He was a cultural icon in India and drew an audience with presidents and prime ministers from India and beyond. In 2002, he claimed to have followers in 178 countries.
Some of the reported miracles include levitation (both indoors and outdoors), bi-location, physical disappearances, changing granite into sugar candy, changing water into another drink, changing water into gasoline, producing objects on demand, changing the color of his gown while wearing it, multiplying food, healing acute and chronic diseases, appearing in visions and dreams, making different fruits appear on any tree hanging from actual stems, controlling the weather, physically transforming into various deities and physically emitting brilliant light. Haraldsson wrote that the largest allegedly materialized object that he saw was a Mangal Sootra necklace (a golden necklace with black beads worn by married South India women), 32 inches long, 16 inches long on each side. Haraldsson wrote that his some miracles resembled the ones described in the New Testament, but healings certainly increased his reputation. His impression is that healings do not play as prominent a role in Saai Baabaa's activities as in those of Jesus.
Once, in 1976, he was approached by Narasimhaiah, the Vice Chancellor of the Bangalore University to study his miracles under controlled condition. He refused it saying that "Science must confine its inquiry only to things belonging to the human senses, while spiritualism transcends the senses. If you want to understand the nature of spiritual power you can do so only through the path of spirituality and not science. What science has been able to unravel is merely a fraction of the cosmic phenomena ..."
He never went abroad, except to Tanzania and Uganda, in 1954.
(2) A Miracle of Growing Garland in Canada
A year after the inauguration of the school, the miracle of the growing garland was witnessed. Students, staff, volunteers, parents and visitors to the school saw this miracle. During the celebrations in the first year, a lovely garland of fresh flowers was placed on the picture of Sri Sathya Saai Baabaa. Shortly after, the students presented a special program and offered a cake to their beloved Baabaa on his 75th birthday.
Some kindergarteners, however, felt let down because they were expecting Swamee Jee to join the party in person and cut the cake. A little while later, the garland of fresh flowers that had been placed on the picture seemed to have descended and covered the large birthday card the students had made and which the Grade 1 teacher Miss Poddar had placed on the table beneath the picture. She immediately drew the attention of the Principal Mr Pillai who in turn advised caution. Mr. Pillai then measured the garland and waited an hour to watch for any new developments. Lo and behold, the garland grew and grew till it was 75 inches longer. It also happened to be Sri Sathya Saai Baabaa’s 75th birthday then.
Since that time, the garland has grown considerably longer, sometimes more than double its original length, on more than two dozen occasions. During special assemblies to mark Human Values Day, Founder’s Day and during special prayer services by the Sri Sathya Sai Education Trust of Canada, the garland had been growing to remind the school community of Baba’s sacred presence amidst them, leaving everyone in awe of His mystery.
Miracles After Death
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 03/11/14