India lost one of its most revered Gods, Bhagawan Sri Satya Saibaba on 24th April 2011 and his absence will be very much felt in the days to come. There is only one all pervasive Ishwar, but we have several Gods reflecting and reminding us of the presence of Ishwar in everything. Indians have always recognized the Gods in our midst at all times. It is the presence of these Gods which makes the Indian nation a unique one with heights of philosophy and lows of poverty co-existing side-by-side within a vast population of over one billion. It is very much easier to satisfy our innate rationality when we have faith in an all pervasive entity whose net quality is in favour of sustaining this universe by natural evolution depending upon the cause and effect of individual actions. The concept of an Ishwar who is ‘wasting’ all ‘his’ time in ‘making’ humans, monitoring, punishing and rewarding us is alien to Indian philosophy. It is almost absurd to even imagine one like that. Ishwar is more of a logical energy and it must be its reflections in the form of Gods who interact with us.
Saibaba was truly such a God who interacted with millions and millions of people directly and indirectly. He could achieve much more for ordinary humans than even governments with huge resources at their disposal. His only asset was love and his only investment was again love. Even his arch detractors have nothing to say when it comes to his unique contributions in the field of health and community welfare. Without any outside support he brought drinking water to many districts in Andhra Pradesh. Compare this with governmental efforts in states like Kerala, with 40 odd rivers and one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world, struggling to provide drinking water even 60 years after liberation from British rule. And Satya Sai superspeciality hospital is perhaps the only hospital in the world which does not have a billing section at all. Those who criticize him must now show the moral courage in trying to do something of social significance in their own neighbourhoods.
More than a social worker, it is the presence of Ishwar in abundance that stood out in Saibaba during his lifetime. Stories and anecdotes from his early childhood days are plenty. It is upto individual followers to believe or not to believe in them. For his arch detractors, it may be cooked up stories, just like the ‘magic’ he used to exhibit in producing various gifts out of thin air. Some of his bitter rivals have even brought out documentary films to highlight his gimmicks in their never ending attempts to expose him. But all such attempts have failed again and again. More their opposition, more became the number of people who came to see him and even worship him. Thousands flocked to him to get a glimpse of him and listen to him when he used to talk. And when he became physically weak even to talk, the number of people flocking to Puttapurthi became unbelievably high. There is a big lesson for the so called ‘rationalists’ in this. Man is intrinsically rational and a Rationalist Association can never replace the individuals’ rationality. They should leave it to the individuals to believe or not to believe.
But even those (like me) who have not seen the Bhagawan can easily vouch for his divinity. The sthayi (stable) form in his face and monotonous stability in his actions for the past several years are proof enough of his divinity. Try doing nothing for a few days and you will soon realize the greatness of such Indian Rishis. Deep meditation and Samadhi are the next steps in this path to absolutely stability. The inherent entropy (measure of disorder) has to be brought down to the levels of absolute permanence to achieve oneness with the all pervading, indifferent and immovable Ishwar. By his grace of absolute stability he was providing the sense of stability to millions of his believers who are constantly agitated and unstable under the influence of their own worldly problems. The so-called atheists and rationalists cannot provide such solace to the agitated minds who are constantly perturbed by misfortunes, misery and man-made disasters. Saibaba was definitely not an ordinary mortal and the truly rational believers do not need any more proof regarding this. His was a divine birth meant for bringing solace to millions.
The controversies regarding Saibaba’s successor smell of a deep rooted conspiracy. His was a divine presence and it is not possible to elect or nominate the next Saibaba. He will come in due course. He will establish his presence and command his acceptability over a period of time just like his predecessors. All that we have to do is to wait for the next incarnation to take place. Unlike temple idols we cannot install a new idol and continue the worship. Exactly like his predecessors, the new Saibaba (Premsai as he will be called) will come and establish his divinity within a few decades. Those who are controlling the reigns of Saibaba Trust must show the sagacity to understand their role. None of those who constitute it have the required divinity and it is not expected also. Those who clamor for action by the Trust are more interested in seeing the end of Saibaba’s legacy, rather than the incidence of Premsai in a much more apt form.
There should not be even an iota of doubt in the minds of ardent Sai devotees that the lineage of Saibabas will continue. Spirituality of Hindu Sanatana Dharma needs the presence of such individuals of heightened divinity to provide guidance. Thousands of such individuals with heightened divinity are already in our midst and the true Premsai shall definitely show up at the appropriate time. No amount of impersonation or false claims is going to succeed in the case of Godmen, as they are called. We have seen umpteen cases where the likes of Premanandas have miserably failed. We all have the divine spark within us and we will always realize the truly divine avatars in a short time. And only those who can offer the much needed spiritual solace in the midst of ever growing human misery can sustain their status in the long run.
Exit of Saibaba is no doubt a tragedy for us, but an end for everything but Ishwar is inevitable. Born of ordinary parents in a nondescript environment, the achievements of Saibaba make his life truly remarkable. What more proof is required for his status than this? He not only radiated divinity, but also attracted some of the most creative minds into the field of service for humanity. His absence in our midst will be felt for a long time to come. But the simple fact that such an exalted soul lived among us and he did bring about lot of changes in our society is enough to make us nearer to Ishwar. His dawn in post-1947 India itself was a great boon for us and his messages have highlighted the relevance of Hindu Sanatana Dharma to an international audience. Legends about Saibaba will continue to inspire generations in the path of doing service to the needy.