Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sai Baba and Me

"Love all, serve all; help ever, hurt never." 
~ Sathya Sai Baba

On Easter Sunday morning, many around the world woke up to the joy of  the knowledge of the Resurrection of their Lord and Saviour. Many around the world got dressed in their finest clothes to attend services in their
Sathya Sai Baba
local churches celebrating the life and the works of Jesus the Christ. It was a day of celebration, it was a day of renewal, a day of life, and a day of rebirth.

During this same time, many people around the world awoke to the sad news that their beloved Swami Sathya Sai Baba had passed from this incarnation in India.

It was news that saddened me also. And it was me who would have to break this news to my already grieving mother.

Sai Baba has featured largely in my life  for my entire life. My mother became a devotee of his back in the 1970s when I was still a little girl. I have memories of Thursday evening bhajan's (type of Indian devotional song) at the Sai Center in Tsim Sha Tsui (Hong Kong), a tiny apartment with all the bedroom walls knocked out to make a "hall" of types where we sat, women on one side of the room, and men on the other, singing, chanting, meditating, clapping, laughing, and "feeling".

I remember afterwards receiving little candies that Baba had materialized and someone had brought back from a recent trip to his Ashram in Puttaparthi, or other little sweet delights that just brought a delightful end to a meaningful prayer session.

It was a life in which I grew up, and it fit in perfectly with every other aspect of my life.

Sai Baba's photos were found throughout our home, to the degree that sometimes I'd bring a new friend home, and they would ask if he was my father!

Sai Baba's teachings were not of religion, or which religion was "right" and which was "wrong" as so often we encounter within the bonds of religion. His was a teaching of peace, of love, of acceptance of all human beings regardless of colour, religion, society status, sexual orientation, it was not about the mundane things of the world that so many of us hold to, it was higher, deeper, elevated. He taught that he was God as we are all God; "I am God. You too are God. The only difference between you and me is that while I am aware of it, you are completely unaware." It is something that I have taught often.

And it was because of these teachings that people from all walks of life, from all over the world, celebrity (the likes of Goldie Hawn, Ricky Martin, Issac Tigrett [founder of The Hard Rock Cafe], cricket champion Sachin Tendulkar, to name only a few) and common-man alike, turned to him and learned from him, and enriched their lives because of applying his teachings.

Baba said “Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is Love, enjoy it!” It was under this mantra, that I grew up, I learned, and I lived; and I continue to do so to this day, and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

He truly was a miracle man and did perform many miracles. Two very dear friends of my Mum and avid-devotees had experiences that were almost unbelievable had I not witnessed them with my own eyes. Knowing these women, I knew them to be honest, upstanding, and absolute in their faith.

One friend was lent a photo of Baba from another friend who had recently been to his ashram and who had received a materialized medallion (a blessing) from Baba. The photo was framed and at the time, the lady to
whom this photo was lent was praying for a miracle to occur. Each night she prayed and each morning she prayed. One day she found that on the photo itself (inside the glass) was forming the holy ash that Sai Baba is known to materialize, vibhuti. By the time I saw the photo, the ash was thick under the glass and was covering most of the photo. It was truly an amazing miracle.

An example of the miracle of Sai Baba's vibhuti manifesting
in photos
After returning that particular photo to the original owner, she purchased another photo and she has had the new photo continuing to manifest vibhuti on it, under the glass.

When I wrote to inform her of Baba's passing, she told me that that very morning, the vibhuti  from Baba's head on her photo had disappeared and she had wondered why.

Another friend, we knew in Malaysia, was also a devout devotee. She woke up one morning to find ash all through her house, the more she swept and cleaned, the more materialized. Once again, if I had not seen it for myself and with my own eyes, I would not have believed it, or at least questioned it.

Baba manifesting vibhuti
Baba was a huge part of my life. He still is. I have experienced my own miracles with him, those that I still hold close to me. This week, Baba left this incarnation. While he left this physical presence, he is closer to us now than he was ever before. His miracles will continue. His life will continue in all of us who are devotees of his message, his works, and his life. He can never die, as long as we continue.

It is said he will return, be reincarnated as Prema Sai Baba which will be the third and last of the triple Avatar incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba.

Prema Sai Baba
"Sathya Sai Baba made several claims about when Prema Sai Baba will be born - estimates range from one year after his death (which would mean 2012) to eight years after (which would mean 2019). Prema Sai "will be born in Karnataka (the old Mysore State), at a place between Bangalore and the city of Mysore". Some of Sai Baba's devotees add that he once said that Prema Sai Baba will be born and/or live in or near Srirangapatna. Sathya Sai Baba died on April 24, 2011 at age 84 (though he considered himself to be 85 as he was in his 85th year)." [Source]

I believe he lives on. I continue to live by his teachings, they make sense, they traverse the bounds of religion and apply to all mankind. While my tears fall at his passing from this physical incarnation, I do take comfort in the knowing that he was such a great part of my life and that much of my life and how I live it, is because of his teachings of peace and love.

On the day that many around the Christian-world celebrated the Resurrection and eternal life of their Saviour, we mark the life and journey of Sathya Sai Baba, and his entrance in to eternal life. It was an auspicious day for his departure from this incarnation, and lends many devotees to the belief that he truly was an incarnation of Jesus who returned Home, chosen on that specific day.

Whatever the truth behind it is, he no longer walks among us in the physical, and many over time have chosen their own beliefs about Sai Baba, but those of us who knew, who love, and who believe, all we can do is repeat back to you the words of this great Avatar “Before you speak, think -Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on the silence?”

Jai Sai Ram. Om Sai Ram. Sri Sai Ram. Shanti, Shanti Om.

©Leyla Hur
All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.


  1. Beautifully written Leyla - thanks for sharing. Sai Ram _/|\_

  2. Thank you Dina for your kind words.
    Sai Ram _/ ॐ \_

  3. Leyla, I began this blog in 2010, but quickly abandoned it. Recently, I was guided to revive it. So many years have passed that I had trouble remembering how to to log in, but here I am. What a gift to find your lovely post on Thanksgiving Day! Tears are flowing! Thank you!