Sai Baba – 82 years of love in action

~ A birthday tribute
By Dr. (Mrs) T. Dharma

In his Christmas divine discourse Sai Baba once declared, “Love must take the form of Service Seva; Seva must take the form of food for the hungry, solace for the forlorn, consolation for the suffering.” He exhorted us to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ on Christmas day. His teachings were a command for all to work, worship and love humanity with a heart full of compassion, selflessness and purity. This type of love manifested by mankind he declared as the way to God.

Show love for humanity in god actions declared the Swami.Mother Ishwaramma once pleaded with Swami when he was revealing his divine power to grant her three boons: (i) provide a small dispensary for the benefit of the poor villagers and residents of Puttaparthi. (ii)build a small school for the children of Parthi who were deprived of any type of education, (iii) provide drinking water facility for the villagers. None of these was available for the Puttaparthi villagers. Mother Ishwaramma prayed for these needs with a purity of heart and compassion for the needy, unmindful of her own needs.

As we now realize Baba’s ways are unfathomable! He says neither “Yes” nor “No”. One has to wait for the ‘Time’. Time is timeless eternity. So Mother Ishwaramma had to wait till the reality of time. Today, Mother Ishwaramma is no more but what she prayed for has been fulfilled. All her three boons have been fructified by Baba. They are divine manifestations of love in action. In place of a small humble dispensary, which was Mother’s first prayer, there now stand magnificent hospitals. These are the hospitals of higher medical sciences. Several lamps light up these architecturally brilliant edifices epitomizing Swami’s love in action.Villagers who were earlier unable to get any kind of treatment now receive free medical treatment and free education of superior quality.

The Sathya Sai University is a ‘wonder’ monument, the answer to Mother’s second prayer for education. It is a true revelation of the almighty will and love in action.This unique University does not merely provide a ‘bookish’ education and knowledge but, as Baba reiterates, it also teaches both students and professors discipline and devotion. Education at the Sai University promotes the integration of all personalities in students and helps them to evolve towards the attainment of the highest goal of education – namely, character (through the practice of the highest human values – Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Shanthi (peace), Prema (love), and Ahimsa (non-violence).

Swami expects students who pass out of the university to be ‘Embodiments of natural sweetness’. His wisdom disintegrates the mental make up of the students and of the falsities hitherto acquired, (knowledge) of the objective world, and arouses instead an awareness that radiates their inner spirits to a wisdom underlying the nature of the Universe – that it is not the ‘padartha’ but it is also the ‘parartha’ – the non-material world.

Thus, Baba’s university does not merely confer degrees and academic qualifications. Rather he upholds an education based on right-living and good actions, thereby conferring faith, character and confidence. Education is to awaken the student towards attainment of the highest goal of life.

Baba’s acts of love are constant reminders of our own latent inner reality love. Baba’s love in action reveals the truth that our body, soul and mind are mere ‘vestures’ concealing the true reality of our being. This abiding principle of love he declares should be the ‘prompting’ principle of all our actions. From Baba granting of the humblest gift to his creation of gigantic architectural structures we see this prompting principle in action……a substantial verification of his love in action.

Speaking about one’s performance of duty, Baba insists that we must do our duty without hope of being entitled to fruits thereof. Duty should be performed with selfless love. Prema-sadhana alone should be our motivating principle. His service to mankind is a form of devotion. We should therefore perform all actions as a form of service with devotion, surrendering them with love for God.

Thus says the Gita; “A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad reactions.” (Gita ii:51) Such a service alone can show him the differences between service done with devotion and that which is done for fruitive results or with a desire of ‘proprietorship’.

Baba’s love in action demonstrates a kind of transcendental knowledge of the ‘personality’ of God, an imperishable science of yoga. As it is declared in the Gita by Sri Krishna, Baba is ‘identifiable’ with the same declaration.

“Although I am unborn and my transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am Lord of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium” (Gita; iv6.) Through love in action Baba shows us the way to serve mankind without attachment to the modes of material nature. Transcendental knowledge is sought through love in action.

(The writer is Former Head of the Dept. of Philosophy, Sri Sathya Sai University, Anantapur Campus)

Reference

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