Six years have passed since my beloved Lord, Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, moved on from the form to the formless on 24th April 2011. As He shed the mortal coil, He left millions of devotees who loved Him and who He loved more, in tears. The moment in time, when I came to know that He had left us, was easily the most painful moment in my life. Later, I lost my mother and father too, but nothing compares to the pain of having lost Him who gave us the love of a thousand mothers.
But, looking within, isn’t this the path for every soul that takes up a human body? He the supreme soul, had assumed a physical form, so He too had to shed it, it was inevitable. His smile could make a million hearts turn over in their chest. One look from Him, could make time stand still. A nod from Him, could cause a flutter and make our hearts beat like a drum. A pat on the back or a touch on the cheek would cause a tremor and feel like our whole being had been divinised. Oh! How I miss those golden moments! How I miss seeing Him walk through the crowds congregated to have a mere glimpse of Him! How I miss His gentle smile and Oh so caring glances! I miss His laughter and His love! I miss His stern look and His admonition too! I miss Him! I miss Him! I miss Him!
He was my God as well as my Guru. How, lucky we have been to be born at a time when Divinity walked the earth in human form; to have breathed the same air that He breathed; to have had His Darshan (seeing Him), sparshan (touching Him) and Sambhashanam (hearing His discourses). Come to think of it, when Lord Rama was born, there were the likes of Ravana who chose to abduct His wife Sita and fought a war with Him. When Krishna walked the earth, there were the likes of Kansa and Shishupala who had endless enmity with Him. Then too, there were many who did not know that God had assumed human form and did not get to partake of the bliss. Whenever God has taken birth in Human form, be it in any part of the world, there have always been devotees galore but at the same time there have been non-believers too. So, are we not blessed to be amongst those who were able to recognise Divinity in human form? Thankfully we were not amongst those who jeered or remained oblivious. Not only that, we were blessed to spend time in close proximity with Him and enjoy Him. The memories are golden and are an immense source of comfort and strength.
During the last part of His sojourn on Earth He had become physically very ill and weak. For the last few days He was in a ‘Coma’. Looking back, I realise that the period of ‘Coma’ was the time He had given to His devotees to pause and detach themselves from His physical form. He gave us time to prepare. He gave us time to introspect. For years He had been telling us to look within and find Him enshrined in our hearts. But, we were so much in love with His form, His endearing smile, His soft touch, His loving looks and His caring words that we could not bear to close our eyes and look for Him within.
During those days when He was hospitalised, our emotions were on tenterhooks. We knew what was coming but we didn’t want to admit it. And then He snapped the cord and set us free! The death of any mortal sets him free; free from the constraints of the five elements, free from pain, bondage and all things worldly. But, when He shed the mortal coil, He set us free. How and why? Because He had no bonds. He was pure, unsullied and detached. We were the ones attached to His form. And He cut the ties that bound us to His physicality. He freed us, such that we could connect with Him not just by yearning for Darshan, but by simply looking within!
In the years gone by, we would often go to the Puttaparthi Ashram. He would be in the Mandir, in the residence, the boys’ school or at the University, or just anywhere. Now, He is everywhere. Not that He was not omnipresent then too, but the realization became more real after He left the precincts of His five feet frame.
He would often tell us that a Guru is the dispeller of darkness. He is the one who reveals the eternal truth to the disciple. When we became too attached to His physical form, He decided to remove that obstacle too so that we could understand the eternal truth. The form dissolved into the formless. Our Lord and Guru became omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Today, each one of us has our own personal Lord. He is resident in our hearts. He is immanent in us; in each one of us! All we need to do is to remove the dust and the rust from our hearts and He shall shine forth!
The Sri Sathya Sai International Organisation observes the 24th of April (the day He left the mortal coil) as Aradhna Day. It is also being celebrated as World Human Values Day, the world over. As homage to Him, who taught us the true meaning of life, the period from March 24th to April 27th is being observed as the ‘Month of Giving and Forgiving’ by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.
‘Walk for Values’ is an initiative of the Sri Sathya Sai International Organisation that is being taken up on a massive scale in Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. What exactly are the values that we are walking for? They are the five human values — Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Right conduct), Shanti (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non-violence).
These have been the cardinal points or the values on which are based the teachings of Bhagwan Baba. The importance of these values cannot be undermined. For the world to become a better place; for people to prosper and live in harmony; for humanity to be in communion with nature; for all forms of life including the flora and fauna to prosper; what is it that we can do? All we need to do is to work on ourselves to make ourselves better human beings. If each one of us, does only that which is right, then how can anything ever go wrong? And how does one decide what is right? The answer is in living the Human values in their true sense. It is the practise and sharing of these human values that can be our sincere and loving homage to our beloved Lord that and it shall go a long way to make a difference to the world.
The values are the same, whether on a personal level or at the level of a family, a community, a society, a nation or the world at large; only the dimensions change. Deep down it’s the little things in life that go to make big things. In the earlier years, Baba used to say, “My life is my message.” In the later years he went on to tell us, “Your life is my message.” To make our lives speak His message, we shall have to internalise these values.
It’s the human values, which if put into conscious practice by us all, would make valuable human beings out of us. And is so doing, we too would be able to realise our innate divinity besides doing our bit to make the world a better place to live in!
“These five values are verily the five life breaths of man. One who considers human values as his life-breath alone is a true human being. These five values are the fundamental powers of human life. Forgetting these fundamental powers, man relies more on worldly power. Our ancients realized that these five values are meant for the peace and prosperity of the world. Without understanding the significance of these values, one cannot understand humanness at all.” -Sathya Sai Baba, September 26, 2000
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Originally published at priya.tandonindia.com.
Originally published at medium.com