Sathya Sai Baba is a highly revered spiritual leader and world teacher, whose life and message are inspiring millions of people throughout the world to turn God-ward and to lead more purposeful and moral lives. His timeless and universal teachings, along with the manner in which he leads his own life, are attracting seekers of Truth from all the religions of the world. Yet, he is not seeking to start a new religion. Nor does he wish to direct followers to any particular religion. Rather, he urges us to continue to follow the religion of our choice and / or upbringing.
Sathya Sai Baba publicly declared his mission in 1940, at the age of 14. Since then, he has daily exhibited in practical and concrete terms the highest ideals of truth, right conduct, peace, love, and nonviolence. He has often stated, "My life is my message." Each day, hundreds of pilgrims make their way to the tiny hamlet in southern India where Sathya Sai Baba's ashram (spiritual headquarters) is located. They come not only from India but from virtually every country of the world. Over the years, followers have organized to foster the construction of a variety of buildings and facilities to house and otherwise accommodate the ever-increasing number of visitors. The name of Sathya Sai Baba's ashram is Prasanthi Nilayam, which means "abode of the highest peace".
Sathya Sai Baba interacts with all people on a heart-to-heart basis. There are no intermediaries between himself and those who yearn for knowledge and experience of God. Every day for more than 50 years, Sathya Sai Baba has walked among and talked with the spiritual pilgrims who gather around him in increasing numbers. He offers solace and inspiration to all sincere seekers of truth.
Sathya Sai Baba places great importance on proper education for young people. Parents and community leaders are urged to concern themselves with the informal
as well as the formal experiences to which their children and young adults are exposed. He has established a model education system, which includes primary schools, secondary schools, and an accredited university with three campuses, offering undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. degrees. No fees are charged to students, and admission is open to all, regardless of race, religion, or economic condition. In addition to emphasizing the pursuit of academic excellence, Sathya Sai Baba's system of "integral education" is designed to foster self-discipline and pro-social conduct. Students are required to take courses on morality and spirituality and to devote several hours each week to some form of community service. Sathya Sai Baba says that "the end of education is character".
Sathya Sai Baba has built an ultra-modern 300-bed hospital close to the university and ashram. Highly specialized operations, including open-heart operations and kidney transplants, are performed routinely. There is absolutely no charge to the patient for professional or hospital expenses. Motivated by the desire to serve humanity, doctors, nurses, and workers in the hospital render extraordinary, compassionate, and loving care to all patients.
Recently, Sathya Sai Baba initiated a project to provide an adequate supply of pure water to 1.5 million inhabitants of the State of Andhra Pradesh (India) who were living in drought conditions. The Prime Minister of India traveled to Prasanthi Nilayam (Sathya Sai Baba's main ashram) in order to inaugurate the project. Sathya Sai Baba demonstrates that it is the duty of society to ensure that all people have access to the basic requirements for the sustenance of human life.
Sathya Sai Baba encourages us to recognize who we are. We are not these minds. We are not these bodies. We are the eternal spirit that temporarily occupies these minds and bodies. We can appreciate and become who we really are by turning inward with faith in God and an intense yearning to know Him. Our conscience is a reflection of the eternal spirit. Sathya Sai Baba tells us that our conscience is our master. When we follow our conscience, our thoughts, words, and deeds will be noble and consistent. Spirituality is having the courage and determination to follow our conscience in all things and at all times. In doing so, we recognize that we are all united in God. We are bound together by divine love.
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