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Volume 5 - Issue 01 JANUARY 2007


by Air Chief Marshal NC Suri (Retd)

Sri N C Suri served as the Chief of Air Staff of Indian Air Force from Aug 1991 to Ju1y 1993. A long standing devotee of Bhagavan, he was also awarded the "PARAM VISHISHT SEVA MEDAL" for his successful and most competent handling of his assignments at successively higher levels, exceptional devotion to duty and qualities of leadership.


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It is our lack of perception that keeps us away from understanding the reality that encompasses Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It has been often said that spirituality among us humans only rests at the altar of temples, churches, mosques, Gurudwara etc; consequently our understanding of Sri Sathya Sai Baba has large voids. There can be many reasons for this primary among them being that the growth of spirituality is impaired largely because of the contemporary society lacking in-depth understanding and the sensitivity in terms of spiritual matters.  

People who believe in the relevance of values in our educational system and in the dealings in the contemporary world often jump to conclusions without adequate investigation to find out the truth behind their enunciation or the realities which have led to their underscoring a point. Our media, who claim to be champions of ethics and morals, often publish a lot of unauthenticated material under the garb of freedom of press, particularly when it leads to boosting the sale of their magazine, newspaper, periodicals etc. Similarly, some writers for reasons best known to them, write many untruths without any personal knowledge on the subject. In all fairness we cannot merely blame the newspaper or journalist for this inadequacy when our educational and ethical demands of the readers lend itself to the promotion of such garbage. I have no doubt  that what I have said so far in respect of the untruth and irresponsible statements made  about  Sri  Sathya Sai Baba would be voicing the feelings of  nearly 30 million Sai devotees world over.

It is not my intention to say anything adverse about these people even though they may hurt our feelings, primarily because the fundamentals of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Baba’s teachings are “LOVE EVER, HURT NEVER”. However, I do wish to point out that even highly rated journalists like late Mr. R K Karanjia, Senior Editor of Blitz Newsmagazine, who was respected for his journalistic abilities and notorious for seeing the negative side of people and events, never ever articulated his views without thorough investigation and personal knowledge. This then gave him the moral right to express his opinions. Maybe the present journalists could emulate his example.  This would not only be morally correct, but also prevent a human being from casting aspersions on someone who is well beyond their mental and intellectual comprehension. Media personalities may be well advised to read the contents of Mr. Karanjia’s detailed interview with Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in September 1976. This interview contains leading questions on Bhagwan , His mission as an Avatar, His miracles, His work and all question that create a doubt in the minds of mortals.

My Personal Experience

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Air Chief Marshal NC Suri

Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba came to me in my dream in mid-1971 and since then I have been His devotee. In the last two decades I have not only experienced His love & benedictions in great abundance but He has also shown me three of His Divine forms. Apart from this He has manifested twice in human form as Shirdi Baba in front of me and physically blessed me. I have also experienced many of His miracles on which I have written in some of my earlier articles and also lectured on both in England and in India.  I have no hesitation in stating in unequivocal terms that based on my personal experience of Sri Satya Sai Baba Divinity He is God. This culminated in my surrendering to Him at the turn of this century. If I am asked to describe Him in two words, I would state categorically that He is “Prema Swaroopa” or “Embodiment of Love”. He can also be most aptly described as “Love in action for 81 years”. Let it suffice to say that any one who has gone to Him with genuine love in his heart has been rewarded with His loving attention and has more often than not experienced healing of body, mind and soul. 

Quintessence of His Teachings

His teachings do not relate to any specific religion but to Spirituality. This is because religion is merely a system of faith based on a theory or a hypothesis of the creator whilst spirituality is far beyond the limits of religion and is the remedy for all worldly ills. His objective is to install the Vedas in our heart and promote among us Sanathana Dharma which believes in the concept of one God as propogated by the founders of all religions. The Vedas are most relevant today as they enunciate a way of life. This coupled with Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Wisdom) become the basic tenants for survival in an era of Globalization where de-facto there are no boundaries and co-existence is the hallmark for survival. The Vedas are wrongly looked at as of Hindu origin. It is actually the legacy of man and truly universal in character. Its applicability in the world today cannot be over-emphasized.


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Sai Logo

He is the only Avatar who has laid great stress on Universality of Faith and achieved such a great measure of success among His devotees. In fact it has become a commitment by His devotees not only to respect other religions/faiths but also to participate in their festivities. His teachings truly transcend the barriers created by caste, creed, nationality and religion. He lays great emphasis on his devotees becoming noble which implies bringing about harmony of thought, words and deeds. They represent the trinity of Brahma , Vishnu and Maheshwara. In order to achieve purity in terms of thought, word and deed , Bhagwan explains “Take a glass chimney placed over a candle. After some time a thin layer of soot forms over the glass which results in the light becoming dim. It is only when you clean the glass that one can see the light clearly. The soot that one finds can be compared to ego that clouds ones mind. It is because of ego that one is not able to visualize the Divya Gyana Jyoti, or the divine flame of wisdom. Ego enters ones mind when one give up the path of truth. One becomes egoistic when one does not know one’s true self and develops worldly thoughts and feelings. In order to drive away ego one should keep the worldly thoughts and feelings under control”.

He designated 2005 as the year of Unity, Purity and Divinity. This was to make us conscious of the fact that Unity implied oneness or one Atma. In other words the concept of brotherhood and camaraderie. Emphasis was laid on the fact that although Unity, Purity & Divinity appear to be three different words they are interlinked and interdependent. For instance – Unity cannot exist without Purity and Purity cannot sustain itself without Divinity and vice-versa. However, the starting point is Unity and the devotees need to address themselves to this in all sincerity. Unity is the prime moving force in many aspects inclusive of thought, word and deed

Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Cosmic Powers

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Every Avatar and Prophet has performed miracles primarily for drawing the non-believers towards spirituality and inducing the believers in promoting greater humility and devotion to God within themselves. Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Zoraster etc are a case in point. Since we mortals are subjected to the severe limitations of our mind and intellect, we are not able to comprehend their powers. This resulted in them becoming subject of sceptism and ridicule. History bears testimony to this. Similarly doubts created on Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s divine powers is a projection of this syndrome

Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s powers to protect, heal, save people and materialize objects flow from His cosmic power which is manifest only in Avatars. However, to the ignorant or the ones who lack perception, the cosmic power of Swami is taken as a magical discipline. Some have even gone to the ridiculous extent of comparing this power as being also manifest in the case of magicians.  This is particularly so in the case of materializing watches and pieces of jewelry.  Sai Baba has time and again told His devotees that the talisman that He materializes and gives them is in fact His calling card. More specifically, these are symbolic of His protection to those he gives them to. Bhagwan says that when these people are in trouble or sense danger they grip the talisman and call out to him for protection. The call of the devotees comes to Him as if by wireless, and He comes to their rescue instantly. There are cases replete of devotees testifying their personal experience in this context and I am one of them.

It is unfortunate that people do not speak of the greatest divine magic that he performs in terms of His devotees. A Chinese proverb is possibly most appropriate in this case “It is not a miracle to fly in the sky like a bird. It is not a miracle to walk on water. It is a miracle to walk on earth.”  Bhagwan   teaches His devotees how to walk on earth, as a human being rather than  like an animal, not only through the teachings of the Vedas, but more importantly through His personal guidance and attention whereby He transforms an individual to follow the correct path. This is very pertinent as transformation implies not merely a change away from ills of society but more importantly a change towards God. This transformation becomes very pertinent in the case of the rich as they are victims of desire and thus generally tend to be poor spiritually. On the other hand, the poor have limited desires and thus generally are rich spiritually. Thus the former need more time than the latter for transformation. This seems to be misunderstood by some as Swami devoting more time to the rich and powerful. More over attention given by Swami to the rich is easily noticed whilst sadly the time and energy that He spends on the poor some how goes un-noticed.

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The Vibhuti that Sri Sathya Sai Baba materializes is a manifestation of His Divinity. This Holy Ash has a much deeper significance than being a Blessing or a cure for illness. Firstly it is symbolic as it reflects the cycle of life and death highlighting that every thing turns eventually into ash with no further change thereafter. Secondly it has a spiritual dimension to it wherein it is cautioning those who receive it to give up all worldly desires and attachment by burning it in the fire of worship and thus attain purity of thought, word and deed. Swami says “ It is in order to press home the lesson that people should shed their desires that I materialize Vibhuti for those who come to me with love and devotion. Like the other materializations, it also acts as a talisman healing the sick and giving protection to those who need it.”  

Sai Baba’s Benevolence for the Poor & Needy

Swami repeatedly tells us “Serve the poor with love, which alone can redeem you. Service to the poor is service to God. Sacrifice your life for the cause of the poor. Service to the poor is my only motto. I have no other desire. Be compassionate and considerate to the poor”.

He has continually demonstrated His commitment to the service of the poor by instituting much needed measures to alleviate their misery and suffering. The projects and activities promoted by Him are innumerable both on a daily and long term basis. It is unfortunate that those who are His detractors conveniently overlook these. I intend to briefly highlight only a few of the project promoted for the needy. These include:

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Sri Sathya Sai Insitute of Higher Learning

* Education. Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning is among the very few  institutions in the world  which blends character building  with academic excellence. This University is a non-profit & autonomous institution which serves students from all over India and also other countries. It offers full fledged undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes free of cost. In addition there are a number of Sathya  Sai schools in the world which are based on the guidelines of Swami’s educational institutions.

* Sri Sathya Sai Youth Programmes. This seeks to harness the energy and initiative of youth towards constructive and socially beneficial activities and projects. This has now become international in stature and is emulated by many countries the world over. Briefly, these programmes include visiting villages , organizing medical and sanitation camps, mobile clinics, adult education, etc.

* Medical Care. Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. This briefly is oriented towards globalization of medicine, de-commercialization of medicine, human values in medical care and spiritual well being irrespective of cast, creed , religion and nationality. In addition medical-care  is free for all.

* Super Speciality Hospitals in Puttaparthi and Bangalore. These are multi- speciality hospitals which provide the best medical care free of cost and comparable to any in the world. 

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Super Specialty Hospital, Prasanthi Nilayam

*Sri Sathya Sai Rural Service Programme Mobile Dispensaries. These include pulse polio programme, cataract detection, detection of cardio- vascular problems, leprosy detection, childhood disabilities etc.

*Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project. This was a prayer answered not only for 700 villages in Andra Pradesh but also for people in Chennai. These projects helped remove the misery of a million people in distress.


I as a mortal am in no way capable of judging   the magnitude of  benevolence bestowed on us by  Bhagwan Sri Sathya Baba. I am therefore merely highlighting a very small segment of the same not only for the consumption of the recent devotees but also for those who are delightfully ignorant of His mission, accomplishment and following. I would like to conclude this article by imploring the devotees to make it a New Year commitment to educate those who are not aware of Bhagwan’s relevance and benevolence in this materialistic world that has largely distanced itself from Sathya, Dharma, Prema and Shanti which is, Truth, Righteousness, Love and Peace.


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Vol 5 Issue 01 - JANUARY 2007
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