|The Mission Begun|
The thousands who attended the Dasara Celebrations of 1960 must be even now remembering the thrilling declarations that Baba made in His Discourses, about Himself and His Mission. On the very first day, during the Hospital Day Celebrations, Baba said that it is waste of time and energy to force incomprehensibly abstruse Vedanthic doctrines down the throats of simple unlearned folk; it is foolish to recommend to them exhausting fasts and vigils. Teachers and gurus must urge them slowly forward, from where they are, encouraging them to take one step at a time, to give up one evil habit after another, and to lengthen the period of Japam and meditation.
Baba spoke on three successive days about Himself and His Mission, for the recitation and explanation of the Telugu poem, 'Sri Sathya Sai Githa' by Vidwan Doopati Thirumalacharlu on those days, provided Him with necessary cue and background. He declared that He had come again to proclaim the same doctrine of Karmasanyasa and Saranagathi. 'Just as the clouds hide the glory of the Sun, the clouds of doubt and delusion hide My Glory from your understanding', He said. He wanted that like Arjuna, all men should now give up the Moha born out of Ajnana and gets released from the shackles of 'I' and 'Mine'. 'Prema is the seed, Bhakthi the sprout, Faith the manure, Sathsanga the rain, Surrender the flower and merging with the Lord the Fruit,' He declared.
'You are all more fortunate,' He said, 'than men of previous generations for you have Me as your guide and guardian, watching over you and warning you when your steps go wrong. Make the best use of the rare chance; do not leap about like frogs, ignoring the lotus that blooms by their side, but be like the bees that swarm from far and near to drink the nectar in plenty.' Words such as these, resonant with the authority of the Lord, who called upon all to take refuge in Him, came plentifully from Baba in every discourse. 'Faith is its own reward: it will reveal Truth. If you consider that Krishna was a cowherd, you reduce not only Krishna but yourselves too to the level of the cowherd boy. Take Him to be the Lord residing in the shrine of your heart and He acts as your Charioteer.' 'Do not deny or doubt, or hesitate to acknowledge the Lord, when He has made Himself available so easily to your prayers,' He said.
'You cannot grasp the full significance of the Avatar or stand the full splendor without a period of preparedness and hence, I reveal to you only small installments of the glory, like the creation of Vibhuthi, etc.' He said one day. 'NO, it is not in My Nature to scatter attractions to draw people towards Me; I shower joy, without any purpose; it is on account of this, that I revel in Mahimas.' Lifting the screen that hides His Divinity from us, He declared another day, 'Some ignorant people commenting on Me say that I have a double personality, Daivathwam or Divinity most of the time but Manushyathwam or Humanity the rest of the time. But, have faith in this, I am ever and always, of the 'Thwam,' of the 'Divinity' only. God does not change, or get transformed. I am telling you this because there is a superior spiritual attachment between us, not the mere casual connection of visitor and visited.'
He announced, on Guru Pournami Day, 1961, at Mysore City, Baba called upon the devotees and followers to keep a strict watch over the class of Gurus and warn them against the slightest tinge of greed, egoism, pride, envy, and hypocrisy.
The same Sankalpa was ringing in the discourses that Baba gave during the Birthday Celebrations, in November. Addressing the vast gathering of the villagers of Puttaparthi, He said, "For more than twenty years now, you have been seeing only the light not benefiting by the warmth, for you did not care to come near. But I knew that this day would come and that you would all one day give up doubt and delusion and recognize the way to peace and happiness. Believe me, this Puttaparthi is soon to become a Tirupathi. Thousands of Yogis, Sadhus and aspirants are coming here in future years and deriving Solace and Salvation. The reestablishment of Sanathana Dharma will emanate from here".
On Mahasivarathri Day, He emphasized the Universal Aspect of His Message and declared that it was for all Humanity that He had come. "There is no one in this World who does not belong to Me; all are Mine; they may not call out My name or any Name; but, still they are Mine".
The meaning and significance of these profound utterances became evident only at Coimbatore, where Baba installed the marble image of the Previous Sairam; the former Avatar, Shirdi Sai Baba at the famous Naga Sai Mandir. Truly, it was a historic occasion that function on the 26th day of February 1961. The Naga Sai Mandir is so called because Shirdi Sai Baba had given Darshan to countless devotees there as a Naga or Cobra, which rose up from the heap of flowers, listened to the Bhajan for hours together and even posed for a photograph, before finally disappearing. This miracle took place seventeen years ago and the Mandir has since then served the spiritual needs of thousands from the city of Coimbatore and the surrounding areas. This was the first occasion on which Baba was formally installing for daily worship an idol of His Previous Manifestation, and, so, devotees were eagerly expecting some important pronouncement from Baba that day.
Nor were they disappointed! Baba said, "It is really amusing, is it not, that I should install this idol of Myself in another manifestation. I am doing so for a very valid reason. This day deserves to be inscribed in letters of gold, for this function is the beginning of a new era, the Sathya Sai Era, when Saayi will become the Hrudayasthayi, the Inner Motive Force, of all. The only other instance of a similar kind, of an Avatar installing an idol of the Lord, is that of Rama installing the Iswaralinga at Rameswaram. That was done as a preliminary to the Destruction of Ravana and the Rakshasas, to the Divine task of Dushtanigraha. Now, I am doing this as a preliminary to the other task of all Avatars, Dharmasthapana, the Establishment of Dharma in the world."
An Epoch-making Declaration, indeed! Words ushering in the New Age of Love and Justice, of Peace and Unity! Clarion Call for Humanity to gather under the Sathya Sai Banner!