Spiritual leaders: His compassion overcame all
This article was published in the New Straits Times on 9th May 2011
I REFER to the letter “Spiritual leaders: Why the different treatment?” by D. Singh (NST, May 5).
D. Singh asked “how is it that two great spiritual leaders of our time have been accorded different treatment?”, referring to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh (Osho).
To discover the answer, we have to delve into Sai Baba’s life.
During my research into world religions, I found that this great personality had, believe it or not, begun his humanitarian work at the tender age of 4.
He would feed all the beggars in the village even if it meant going hungry himself. He showered compassion on every creature. He made lazy people get up in the morning to pray to God in their respective religions.
Seeing that there was disunity among the Hindus and Muslims in the area, he made them love each other.
He helped everybody, regardless of caste, colour and religion.
The village of Puttaparthi was transformed by him. And he did and all this before his eighth birthday.
On Oct 20, 1940, aged 14, he left home and began to teach people the importance of moral conduct, good habits and spiritual efforts in their own religions.
The fundamental teaching of Sai Baba was love. He taught that humans must cultivate divine feelings and live our lives filled with love.
He instructed people to help others to the best of their capacity with compassion and acts of charity. Developing kindness, forbearance and forgiveness was essential.
He preached that mankind should search and rectify their own faults rather than seeing faults in others.
He taught the message of all the religions, quoting from the Vedas, Quran, Bible, etc.
His contribution to the world was beyond measure.
Sai Baba constructed specialist hospitals, catering to cardiology, cardiothoracic vascular surgery, orthopaedics, urology, ophthalmology and gastrointestinal endoscopy.
All these were provided free of charge to all, irrespective of caste, creed, colour or place of origin.
His drinking water projects quenched the thirst of thousands of people.
From Puttaparthi to Indonesia, clean drinking water was made available to the poor.
Educational institutions were also set up from primary school to university level.
Sai Baba had stated that the sole purpose of setting up Sai educational institutions and imparting education from primary level to the highest postgraduate level was to prepare young people to become qualified educationally and spiritually to serve society, the nation and the world with devotion and dedication.
His works of service to mankind are also carried out by the Sai centres around the world, with food and medical treatment provided free of charge to the poor.
In times of calamity and disaster, Sai Baba followers attend to the needs of victims.
Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists came for his funeral. No man has achieved what Sai Baba has done.
His life is best summarised as one who started his day with love, spent his day with love, filled his day with love and ended his day with love.
Because of his service to mankind, the Indian government granted Sai Baba the honour of a state funeral.
It is my humble opinion, even that state funeral was insignificant compared with his contributions to humankind.