Since its inception in February 1994, when Baba conferred His blessings on its first issue
and graced it with His signature, Sai Sarathi, newsletter of the Sathya Sai Baba
Organization's Mid-Atlantic Region, has helped to enrich the lives of its staff and readers
alike. For the staff, Sai Sarathi has been a means of personal growth and a form of selfless
service that has allowed them to remember their place in the cosmos. For the readers, the
newsletter has served as a vehicle for bringing them devotional stories that restore an open
heart and renew faith in divinity.
Looking at the pages of Sai Sarathi, readers can see that devotees of the Lord have
powerful stories to tell-of life-changing experiences and lesions learned. Rich in their
message, these stories are original, honest and sometimes hilarious. Whether transcribed
from talks or contributed as original writings, the articles appearing in the newsletter's
monthly issues have meaning for both new and long-time devotees. The writers of these
articles come from all walks of life, from television journalists and film directors to
housewives and businessmen. But all share the same yearning for the Lord.
In selecting articles for this volume, the compilers have tried to include a broad
range of topics. Many aspects of a spiritual aspirant's dilemmas and joys are contained in
these articles, which feature examples of surrender, Sai Baba's omnipresence, faith,
confidence, self-inquiry, devotion, karma, the nature of awareness, right action..
Sathya Sai Baba's quintessential message is I am god and so are you. The only
difference is I know it and you don't As spiritual seekers strive to know who they are, it
often reinforces their efforts to share the lesions they learn with others traversing the
same path. It is in this spirit that we have put Encounters with Divinity together.
Finally, this book would not have been possible without the sincere and loving
effort of all fellow devotees who helped with various stages of the project, right from
transcribing, editing and proofreading the talks to the final stages of printing the book.
We hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed publishing it.
Sathya Sai Baba is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, as the accounts of personal
experiences contained in this book clearly convey. But how can we believe such a description
of an entity that walks the surface of the earth in human form just like us? Our mental
faculties are indeed incapable of understanding Sai Baba's attributes because we judge
according to who we think we are. Our imagination can only extend to the boundary of our own
limited awareness. Hence we question, doubt and disbelieve. Sai Baba cannot be understood by
the intellect or the mind. He has to be experienced with the heart. That experience expands
our consciousness and allows us to have a different understanding of ourselves. Once we
receive a new perspective on who we really are, we can also understand who Sai Baba is.
Until then we can only guess and any guess will fall short of the mark.
Sathya Sai Baba was born on November 23, 1926, in a remote village in South India.
From early childhood, he demonstrated unusual wisdom, compassion and concern for the poor
and suffering. His knowledge of ancient scriptures, which He had never read, and His ability
to materialize gifts for the village children made it clear that He had extraordinary
powers. When He was 14 years old, He announced to his parents and fellow villagers that His
mission was to bring about the spiritual regeneration of humanity by demonstrating and
teaching the highest principles of truth, right action, peace, love and nonviolence. Today,
in the same village, Puttaparthi his main ashram-Prasanthi Nilayam, meaning the "abode of
supreme peace"-is a spiritual haven for people from all religions, cultures and countries.
He is also often in residence at nearby Brindavan, His ashram in Whitefield, a suburb of
Sathya Sai Baba is the living example of who we really are. The epitome of truth,
love, wisdom, humour and selfless service- Sai Baba's life is His message. He works
tirelessly for the spiritual and moral upliftment of humanity. Stressing true education as,
"That which liberates
education must liberate man from the shackles of cowardice, pettiness,
greed, and hatred and from the limitations of 'I' and 'mine." Baba has established schools
and colleges that integrate a rigorous program of academic studies with character education.
His system of education is unique-it is heart to heart and the emphasis is always on
transformation, not information. He has also established hospitals to serve the poor and
needy, primary among which is a Superspecialty hospital that provides care and surgery in
several medical specialties free of charge.
Sai Baba is not here to start a new religion; His religion is the religion of love.
As the embodiment of perfection on earth, Sai Baba walks, talks and interacts with us as a
human being but the magic of His love transforms us bringing us closer and closer to the
same perfection. We move from being ordinary humans to extraordinary souls in human bodies
and revel in our own expanded reality as divine beings. We all rejoice as we come closer to
our true nature. This joy is unsur-passed by any worldly pleasure. It is the feeling of
coming home. Sai Baba says, "Your bliss is my food." He rejoices too as we come home.
Sathya Sai Baba is the embodiment of love. He stirs in our hearts the understanding
of what divine love is. Divine love is pure, unsullied, unconditional, unchanging and
permanent. Through the experience of this love, we grow and expand from human to divine.
This is the secret of transformation-growing from I to we, from mine to thine. "To grasp My
meaning, you have to tear into tatters the doubts and theories you now have and cultivate
prema [divine love], for the embodiment of prema can be understood only through prema." Our
responsibility then is to open our minds and hearts to His love and receive what he has come
to give u. our responsibility is to set aside preconceived notions of who we are and who He
is; to listen, reflect and act in accordance with His word; to bring about unity in thought,
word and deed-the ultimate goal of all spiritual practice. No grace comes without effort.
Our responsibility is to make steady, consistent, sincere effort without imposing conditions
on the results
He tells us, "Be Happy." Let us be happy, but first let us want happiness that is
permanent, unchanging and eternal. Yes, it is possible, Even in our wildest dreams we cannot
conceive of the nature of this happiness that is our birthright. Let us open ourselves to
one who knows this happiness and, in fact, waits to endow us with it.
As we read through these personal encounters with Sathya Sai Baba, let's leave
ourselves open to the wonders of His live, His mystery and His magic. These articles clearly
demonstrate that the first step in expansion is to acknowledge our own lack of understanding
about our lives and ourselves. The second step is to ask divinity for help. When asked for
sincerely and intensely, help comes invariably and often miraculously. Slowly but surely,
this leads us to believe in the power of God. Then movement in our own consciousness beings
to happen. Believe in the truth of these accounts and allow yourself to experience the
reality of your fellow beings. As Sai Baba says, "A time will come when the whole of this
dream will vanish. To every one of us there must come a time when the whole universe will be
found to have been a mere dream, when we shall find that the soul is infinitely better than
its surroundings. In this struggle through what we call environments, there will come a time
when we shall find that these environments were almost zero in comparison with the power of
the soul. It is only a question of time, and time is nothing in the infinite. It is a drop
in the ocean. We can afford to wait and be calm."
Back of the Book
This collection of true stories opens up a world of boundless possibilities for the human
mind. Light, human mind. Light, humorous and yet deeply profound, Encounters with Divinity
contains articles by people from all walks of life who share their personal experiences with
Sri Sathya Sai Baba and His message to them. it is clear from these stories that as we come
into Baba's orbit we begin to discover another realm of our existence that of who we
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