Sathya Sai Baba



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Fast Facts
sai_baba.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Sathyanarayana Raju Pundek, Satya Sai Baba
Function: 
Avatar
Traditions: 
Hinduism
Main Countries of Activity: 
India
Date of Birth: 
November 23, 1926
Place of Birth: 
Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
April 24, 2011 7:40AM

Biography

Sathyanarayana Raju Pundek was born to Peddavenkappa and Easwaramma Raju in a poor agrarian family in the remote village of Puttaparthi, located in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. It is believed that instruments played on their own accord in his household. His mother found herself pregnant after dreaming of the Hindu Lord Sathyanarayana Swamy and after a huge sphere of blue light rolled in and made her faint.

The young Sathyanarayana was a vegetarian and was known for his aversion to animal cruelty and for his compassion for the poor, disabled and elderly. The young Sathya is reported to have composed bhajans spontaneously.

On March 8, 1940, he started behaving as if a scorpion had stung in his foot. He exhibited strange behavior after this and entered a coma state. After some time, he got up and his behavior worried his parents - he didn't want to eat, he would often keep silent for a long time, recited ancient shlokas or elaborated on holy Hindu scriptures. In May 1940, he proclaimed himself to be a reincarnation of the fakir and Saint Sai Baba of Shirdi (d. 1918) and subsequently took the fakir's name, Sai Baba.

On 20 October 1940 at the age of 14, Sai Baba threw away his books and announced, "My devotees are calling me. I have my work." He then spent the next three days under a tree in the garden of an excise inspector (government officer) and many people gathered around him. Sai Baba taught them bhajans. From then on Sai Baba claimed to be the avatar of the age, i.e. a divine incarnation of god sent to Earth to bring about spiritual renewal. He has consistently maintained this position ever since.

In 1963, during a discourse, Sai Baba made statements claiming to be a reincarnation of Shiva and Shakti. He also claimed that Sai Baba of Shirdi was an incarnation of Shiva and that his future reincarnation, Prema Sai Baba, would be a reincarnation of Shakti. He publicly repeated this claim in 1976. Sai Baba states that Prema Sai Baba will be born in Mysore State.

In the late 1960s Sathya Sai Baba began to gain popularity among Western spiritual seekers. He traveled only once outside India to visit North East Africa in 1968.

In 1960, Sathya Sai Baba said that he would be in this mortal Human form for another 59 years.

On April 24, 2011, at 7:40 in the morning, Sai Baba left his body at the age of 86. He had spent more than three weeks on breathing support and dialysis while struggling with multiple-organ failure at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences near his ashram in Puttaparti.

Teachings

Sathya Sai Baba advocates the following five basic human values: sathya (truth), dharma (right conduct, living in accordance with natural law), ahimsa (non-violence), prema (love for God and all his creatures) and shantih (peace).

Other primary teachings are:

* Service and charity (seva) to others.
* Love for all creatures and objects.
* Putting a ceiling (limit) on one's desires.
* Sadhana (Spiritual discipline).
* Celibacy after age of fifty.
* Everything that has been created is maya (illusion), only God is real.
* Every creature and object is God in form, though most do not experience this as their reality.
* Vegetarianism, moderate and sattvik diet.
* Abstinence from drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and taking drugs.
* Detachment from the material world.
* Meditation, preferably at 3:00 or 4:00 A.M.
* Meditation (dhyan). Sai Baba teaches four techniques: repetition of the name of God, visualizing the form of God, sitting in silence, and jyoti (Flame/Light meditation).
* Inclusive acceptance of all religions as paths to realizing the One (God).
* Importance of bhakti (devotion) to God.
* Developing virtues (prashanti) and eschewing vices of character.
* Japa and other sadhana (spiritual exercise) to foster devotion.
* Reverence for parents, teachers and elders.
* Sense control
* Highly committed devotees use the phrase "Sai Ram" as a salutation.
* Women should strive to realize stri-dharma, the inherent virtues of womanhood.
* Altruism

Sathya Sai Baba's teachings are said to be realized by observing the following four principles:

* There is only one Caste, the Caste of Humanity;
* There is only one Religion, the Religion of Love;
* There is only one Language, the Language of the Heart;
* There is only One God and He is Omnipresent

Miracles & Healing

Sathya Sai Baba's followers report miracles and healings of various kinds tperformed by him. Sathya Sai Baba's devotees believe that he relieves his devotees by transfering their pain to himself. Daily, he is observed to manifest vibuthi (holy ash), and sometimes food and small objects such as rings, necklaces and watches.

In devotees' houses all around the world, there are claims from observers, journalists and devotees that vibuthi, kumkum, turmeric powder, holy water, Siva lingams, statues of deities (brass and gold), Sugar Candy, fruits, herbs, amrita (a fragrant, nectar-like honey), gems, colored string, writings in ash and various other substances spontaneously manifest and materialize on the walls, furniture, pictures and altars of Sathya Sai Baba.

Photos

Locations

Sathya Sai Baba had 3 ashrams in which he stayed in diffrent times of the year. The main and biggest ashram is Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram located in Puttaparthy (he usually stayed there between July and January), the other two are Brindavan Ashram located in Whitefield on the outskirts of Bangalore (he usually stayed there between February and June) and in Kodai Kanal, a hill station in the south of India in which he usually stayed for short visits during the hot season (April to June).

Check here right before you travel to his ashrams to see in which of theem he is currently.

Note that there is no much point in visiting an ashram of him when he is not there.

Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram
Type: 
Ashram
Details: 

This is the main and biggest ashram of Sai Baba. It is located in Puttaparthy, the hometown of Sai Baba. Puttparthy is nowadays the Sai Baba town, everything in the town relates to and revolves around Sai Baba, all businesses have "Sai" in their names, people greet each other with "Sai Ram", Sai Baba's pictures are all around the town and dare you say something bad about Sai Baba aloud in town.

Address: 
Prashanti Nilayam
Poornachandra Hall,
Puttaparthi, Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh 515134, India
About 125 kilometres northnortheast of Bangalore
Directions: 

The Ashram is merely a "city within a city" - the center core of this simple village (now a city) Puttaparthy.

Best major city to go from to Puttaparthy is Banglore, which is 120 KM from Puttaparthy. You can easily get to Banglore by air or by train from any other location in India.

From Banglore by Taxi -
A taxi from the Bangalore airport to Prasanthi Nilayam takes 3 to 3.5 hours. You can ask your travel agent to reserve a taxi ahead of time. However, it is possible to get a taxi at the airport itself, there are lots of taxi drivers waiting there. The cost is around 1000-1300 rupees.

From Banglore by Bus -
Buses leave the Bangalore main bus terminal to Puttaparthy regularly. To reach the terminal, take a taxi or a local bus from the airport. This is the most recommended and economic way to reach Puttaparthy.

From Banglore by Train -
Several regular trains connect Puttaparthy and Banglore. These include:

2429 Rajadhani Express Bangalore-Nizamuddin 9.10 PM 9.15 PM
2430 Rajadhani Express Nizamuddin-Bangalore 4.20 AM 4.25 AM
6529 Udyan Express Mumbai CST-Bangalore 4.40 AM 4.45 AM
6530 Udyan Express Bangalore-Mumbai CST 11.10 PM 11.15 PM
8564 Prasanthi Express Bangalore-Visakhapatnam 5.30 PM 5.35 PM
8563 Prasanthi Express Visakhapatnam-Bangalore 5.35 AM 5.40 AM
7604 Express Kacheguda-Prasanthi Nilayam 8.35 AM --
7605 Express Prasanthi Nilayam - Kacheguda -- 6.40 PM
434 Passenger Guntur - Bangalore 1.05 PM 1.10 PM
433 Passenger Bangalore - Guntur 12.10 PM 12.15 PM

Check in the train station for the one suitable for you and for the exact timing.

Daily Schedule & Opening Hours: 

It is nowadays practically impossible to meet Sai Baba for a private interview, you need to be some celebrity or some other big VIP. During the ceremonies, expect to not be able to stand/sit close to Sai Baba but watch him from a long distance.

5.00.a.m. Temple bell rings 9 times
5.10.a.m. Temple bell rings 5 times
5.20.a.m. One temple bell
21 Aumkars, Suprabhatham
5.40.a.m. Veda chanting around the ashram, nagarSankirtan
Between 6.45.a.m. - 9:00.a.m. Morning darshan
darshan music being played
9.00.a.m. Bhajans
Around 9.30.a.m. Arati
Between 3.00.p.m. - 5:00.p.m. Evening darshan
Darshan music being played
5.30.p.m. Bhajans
Around 6.00.p.m. Arati
6.10.p.m - 6.20.p.m. Meditation for overseas devotees

When to Go: 

Visit the ashram only when Sai Baba is there. While there is a lot of activity and liveliness in town and ashram when Sai baba is in town, Puttaparthy is turning into ghost town when he is not there.

Sai Baba is usually in Puttaparthy between July and January.

Check here right before you travel to make sure Sai Baba is in Puttaparthy.

Attractions, activities, and more to see: 

Worthwhile to visit are the Sai Baba gigantic stadium and museum (located within the stadium). Not far from the stadium, on the same main road, are several institutes donated by Sai Baba including a hospital, music college and more.

Within the market tiny streets you will find the Samadhi area of Sai Baba's parents.

Etiquette: 
Wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts within the ashram is strictly prohibited. White cloths are mostly preferred for men. "Hardcore" devotees (which constitute the major part) wear white pants and shirt. The shirt is usually worn outside the pants. You can wear whatever other color you like as long as your dressing is decent. Smoking is not allowed within the ashram boundaries. People in Puttaparthy greet each other with "Sai Ram"
Registration: 
It is not required nor possible to register in advance. For accomodation within the ashram, just get to the Public Relations Office table in North Building 8 in the ashram when you arrive.
Services in Location: 

The ashram is a "city within a city" offering all necessary services in substantially discounted fares. These services include: dinning rooms, bank services, laundry, cantines, shops, bookstore and more.

You can find all types of services in Puttaparthy itself outside the boundaries of the ashram including a great variety of western food restaurants and coffee shops.

Accomodation: 

The ashram provides several options for very inexpensive accommodation. Main option is dormitories.

Outside the ashram compound, in town, are many guest houses, hotels and rented apartments options of different levels from basic to luxurious. Staying in town is much more recommended and convenient. The town is small and surrounded around the ashram so it takes no time to get from the guest houses and hotels to the ashram.

Maps and Pictures of Location: 
prasanthi1.jpg
puttaparthy_main_road.jpg

View Video

Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

A Compendium of the Teachings of Sathya Sai Baba

by Charlene Leslie-Chaden

(Hardcover)

A compilation of Sathya Sai Baba\'s significant statements on more than 1,100 different subjects, including many taken from His recent discourses. The source of each quote is documented. Sathya Sai Baba declared it was a \"Very Good Book!\"; then He signed and blessed the manuscript, and materialized a three diamond ring for the author.

The subjects are presented in an easy to read format, and arranged in alphabetical order, from Aarthi to Zoroastrianism, to facilitate accesability. An extensive Sanskrit-to-English Glossary/Dictionary is appended.

This is an invaluable resource book of Sathya Sai Baba\'s Teachings placed at the service of students, teachers, research scholars, study groups and casual readers.

Cover image

Modern Miracles: An Investigative Report on These Psychic Phenomena Associated With Sathya Sai Baba

by Erlendur Haraldsson

(Paperback)

Describes paranormal phenomena of extraordinary variety and strength attributed to one of the most remarkable men of the century, Sathya Sai Baba, whose position is unique among India\'s holy men.

Cover image

Sai Baba Man of Miracles

by Howard Murphet

(Paperback)

India has always nurtured true yogins--those who have transcended the lower self, those in whom wonder-working powers of siddhis have flourished. These powers, or some of them, have been brought into the research laboratories of the para-psychologists who call them extra-sensory perception and psycho-kinesis. Others call them miracles. Whatever the terminology, such powers and their practitioners demand sensible attention. This account relates some of the achievements of one of the most impressive men of miracles to appear in centuries. Satya Sai Baba--his followers believe him to be a reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi who died in 1918--appears to have been born with phenomenal powers, which he used in childhood and has employed constantly and openly ever since. They include all the varieties of E.S.P. and P.K. known to psychic science and more besides. The author, a Westerner devoted to science and logic, spent many months with Satya Said Baba; he claims to have found that his \"unscientific,\" \"illogical\" miracles were, in fact, genuine yogic siddhis. He found, too, that along with Christ-like miraculous powers went a Christ-like love, compassion and the God-knowledge that opens the door to a new vision of life.

Recommended DVD & Video: 
Cover image

Sathya Sai Baba: Man of Miracles

(DVD)

Hosted by Rod Serling

You are about to witness the apparently spontaneous manifestation of objects from thin air or, perhaps, another dimension.This particular phenomenon is only one among many attributed by his followers to a man of extraordinary mystical powers, an Indian mystic and guru known throughout the world as Sathya Sai Baba.

Some of the psychic powers reported by his followers are the ability to read minds and see into the future, to cure disease by miraculous means, to project his astral body anywhere in the world and to adopt other forms, both human and animal.

In this film you will witness events which may be unbelievable. However, try to keep an open mind, for some of this man’s feats have been captured on film, and you will see them now as they actually happened.

Pro Opinions

I am Grateful to Him

archana.anchal's picture

I was never grateful Towards Shri Sathya Sai Baba, but recently i have been to a friends place who is a devotee of Baba..........

hello dear people of world,

pradeepku21's picture

I am a strong devotee of Bhagwan Sathye Sai baba. Now you read what made me come close to him. He is multi-regional god. He says religion is one and its true.

Take a deeper look.

paulkelly's picture

A cursory web search will pull up a ton of information on Sathya Sai Baba. Often the most salacious information is the most eye catching.

george's picture

I took a deeper look

I took a deeper look and soon enough hit the rock bottom. You can play with "what you see is not what is" or "actual meaning" about everything - every guru, every man, criminals, bad people and so on - the inner is not disconnected from the outer, the only thing you can and should count on is your instincts.

george | Sat, 12/25/2010 - 09:01

MANIFESTING THE SATGURU

MAI's picture

The external GURU pushes you in and the internal SATGURU pulls you in- TILL CENTERING HAPPENS !!!
SAMATA-The state of stability.

Beloved Sai Baba

Tao of Jonathon's picture

I AM my own GURU. I do not need any master, however, when I became aware of him 12 years ago, he began appearing in my dreams as a teacher to a student. He asked me to learn the Gayathri.

Master of the masses

santthosh kumaar's picture

Without giving much importance to his miracle powers,everyone appreciate his human concern by providing, free medical care in his super specialty hospitals to the mass, and drinking water projects t

shond's picture

santthosh, i appreciate your

santthosh, i appreciate your opinion based on past comments so i wonder if you really appreciate sathya sai baba?

i will appreciate if you elaborate about your experience with him.

Frankly, i think philanthropy and sidhis are not enough and my impression in putaparthy and from reading some books was not that positive. Also there are these rumors about certain illegal activities.

shond | Tue, 09/16/2008 - 16:17
paulkelly's picture

Sathya Sai Baba

Hi Santthosh, The negative media on Sathya Sai Baba has come from unsubstantiated accusations. No charges have ever been filed. All the folks making negative claims have been shown to have personal agendas of their own. Philanthropy and siddhis used for good are good things. If you're looking for more, Sathya Sai Baba certainly has that as well. His ability to address spiritual concerns for people at all levels of awareness. His knowledge of each individual's personal history which he uses to inspire further spiritual development. If you want to investigate, check out this site saisathyasai.com The author of this site has addressed every negative claim and shown them to be false. Also its good to remember that not all devotees are able to apply the teachings. Hopefully all are trying to some extent, but each is at a different point on the path. May the veil be lifted for all asap. Take Care, Paul

paulkelly | Fri, 12/17/2010 - 03:47
chetankumar's picture

When someone does good people try to defame him.

Same is the case with Shri Sathya Sai Baba.
He has some powers which he shows in His regular Life.
Many are not able to digest it and try their best to defame Him.
Their attempts have been far successful as Shri Satya Sai Baba shows no interest in answering them and why should He?
Its the role of the devotee to understand His Guru and His ways. No one ever try to study Him everyone just comments on Him. Rumors are a part of the attempts. I have been To puttaparthy and I in no way found any negativity as such. Everything was More positive than normal. A pessimist always finds the world negative. Some poeple talk about some illegal activities, I'll ask them to name some and throw clear light on them. Its not good to follow rumors try to study and experience and then comment. God Bless.

chetankumar | Wed, 11/05/2008 - 07:06

Con Opinions

Fake sidhis and nothing more

nalabonga's picture

Satya Sai Baba is a classical example for a faked guru if someone is looking for signs: too much sidhis, too mucg rumors about child molestations and crimes and above all too much popularity.

Ramana sai's picture

sathya sai is your true self

Dear brother Sathya sai is one of the name given to one of the form of almighty..he is love incarnated and i would like to tell you that even you are God..sathya sai reminds his devotees that each and every one is an avathar..there is nothing to hate him..when one becomes pure he wont be able to see impurity in others

take care lots of lovzz

Rakesh

Ramana sai | Sun, 12/06/2009 - 19:35
nalabonga's picture

Simplistic

Oh thank you but no, sathya sai baba is defiantly not my true self, almost everyone ever walked on earth may be considered to represent my true self but not this man. Sorry if it offends you. His ways, his deeds, his words decently do not echo mine.

And another correction - Sathya sai is not a name given but a name taken by the one behind this name.

And I'm talking about this man, not about his name, not about anything paranormal or metaphysical, not about souls, not about selves, not about oneness or God - these all in this context serve only to escape from truth and self honesty.

nalabonga | Mon, 12/07/2009 - 17:41
Ramana sai's picture

Dust you think dust you are God you think God you are

Dust you think dust you are God you think God you are...

Ramana sai | Mon, 12/07/2009 - 23:54
harish_hhh's picture

OH GOD...

so you are god.. everything is god... So why you are giving more importance to a particular entity as a god.

So give the same importance to everyone in this world.. Give the same respect what you are giving to the baba to everyone.

If you think deeply it's impossible to do this for a person who is in the grip in the maya.. So we need a guru. But we need to choose a guru who is enlightened and who sees himself and others as god(like sri ramana maharshi, Sri Rama Krisna paramahamsa).

Swami Vivekananda enlightened in the presence of the enlightened only. I didn't see even a single person who came out as an enlightened person from the presence of satya sai baba(because he is not an enlightened one).. Just I'm trying to help you people... Ask your intuition who is right what is right.

I'm not blamming him(baba).. He is also in the grip of maya(ego).

harish_hhh | Sat, 10/09/2010 - 16:08
paulkelly's picture

Gurus come in different shapes and sizes.

Harish, I too put Rama Krishna and Ramana Maharshi way up on the list. But even if you compare these two they were very different from each other. Also, it would be impossible to say that none associated with Sathya Sai Baba have become enlightened. The numbers that have visited him over the course of his life are vast. Not all who are realized become known by the public at large. And on your request to use my intuition, I have along with my intelligence and yes common sense. There is no way to explain the phenomena of Sathya Sai Baba other than avatar. If you seriously investigate for yourself by communicating with actual devotees and observing the works accomplished by the organization and you explore the myriad miraculous occurrences surrounding Sathya Sai Baba I don't think your initial conclusions will hold up.

paulkelly | Fri, 12/17/2010 - 04:05
paulkelly's picture

Look thoroughly before passing judgment.

A guru or realized soul can use siddhis or not depending on the needs of the devotee. Miracles of the kind that transcend accepted scientific law are viewed with great skepticism these days. This doesn't mean that they don't occur. The classic texts advise that there are many paths. Jnana, Bhakti, Seva. The greatest gurus are not stuck in one frame. Sathya Sai Baba moves effortlessly between these different approaches depending on what is best for given circumstances. The fact that he is able to do this speaks volumes. He can on the one hand correct an 80 year old Hindu priest on the subtleties of a Hindu Ceremony. He can inspire a householder to move beyond selfishness and serve. He can clarify the path for a devotee that seeks advaita. Some need miracles for inspiration, others don't. God doesn't mind either way. God just does what works though it may not be easy for us to discern God's method. May the veil be lifted for all asap.

paulkelly | Fri, 12/17/2010 - 04:19

Investigate yourself about this FAKE baba

harish_hhh's picture

If you investigate anything then you will know the truth.. because the truth lies within you. So just think about this baba for while...

valkyrie | Thu, 07/28/2011 - 03:59
Thelightwithin's picture

God is not a stereotype

God does not need to be defended, but I need to share with your a very small part of my experience. I visited Baba´s ashram in 1985, stayed there for a month, and without talking to anyone, experienced what I think the first christians felt when Jesus Christ walked among them.
I had innumerable experiences that taught me very profound teachings, and learned that we cannot grasp what God is, even when He/She comes in human form.
You seem certain about what "enlightened" people can or cannot do (like bearing extreme hot or cold), but, can you be certain about what God would do and why?
In August, I saw Baba walking barefoot on the sands of Prashanti Nilayam, I saw him doing daily miracles, I received miracles from Him. None of them was fake. My life changed and has been blessed by the opportunity of knowing Him in this lifetime.
God, being omnipresent, omnipotent, and all-knowing, can do whatever He/She wants/likes in order to teach humanity: even, incarnate in what seems to be a common man or woman. If He/She would not be able to, He/She would not be God.
Do not try to measure God by your limited mind, He/She will always be much more than what all humans can imagine.

Thelightwithin | Fri, 03/16/2012 - 09:22
sribonatar's picture

Will you use the same argument and eat a stinking dish?

According to your thesis, Hitler can be an avatar as well. The argument that separates between the inner (is he an avatar?) and the outer (his behavior) is ridiculous and is always used by devotees of gurus that have problematic behavior. The inner and the outer are not separate disconnected entities.

These same people will never use that argument for instance when selecting a surgeon to operate on them or a nanny to take care of their son or regarding a potential spouse or regarding a stinking dish that is suspected as rotten.

sribonatar | Fri, 03/16/2012 - 19:01

Complete Projection Of Ego

Nathyogi's picture

Satya Sai was a nigura. He did not serve a Guru.
A fool comes and says that he is an incarnation of God or some famous saint. Only fools believe.

hugo's picture

So what if he didn't serve a guru?

As in many of your opinions and posts, you make one personal baseless assumption and then derives from your own assumption baseless conclusions.

So he did not serve a guru? so what? Many if not most of the great true masters didn't have a guru. The fact that in some Indian traditions it's advised to have a guru doesn't say that it's true or mandatory or anything, it's just a religious assumption.

Also you assume that he was fool with no supporting arguments and then concludes that he was a fool. What a great job!

The same goes regarding his ego.

Going all through the gurus here and smearing them just because you believe that a guru is needed is ignorance and pride.

Judge people according to their essence, not through your beliefs and circumstances.

Sathya Sai Baba may be a fool but certainly not because of your baseless arguments.

hugo | Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:18
Nathyogi's picture

Re: So what if he didn't serve a guru?

This is what I expect from his followers and disciples.
I have never asked you or anybody to accept my assumption. Judge yourself and find out truth. Truth is beyond what is my/your/her/his/their assumptions.
You cannot deny that he has not served a Guru. This is truth and proof of my argument.
Self proclaimed Gurus and incarnations of God are projected and propelled by their egos and nothing more.
For your information, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna and other saints and sages served Their respective Gurus. This is truth and the wise are aware of it. Do you think They were fools to serve Their Gurus?
I judged according to his essence that he was a nigura. I am sure that your beliefs are not truthful.
If my arguments are baseless, then there is no need for you to reply.

Nathyogi | Mon, 08/04/2014 - 08:05