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Sri Sathya Sai Baba a Life

Sri Sathya Sai Baba a Life
$23.50
Item Code: IDG999
Author: Bill Aitken
Publisher: Penguin Books
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 014400061X
Pages: 259 {30 Illustrations in Colour}
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5" X 5.5"
From the Back of the Book

Born into a poor family in the Village of Puttaparthi in southern Andhra Pradesh, Sathyanarayan Raju was a bright, talented and confident boy whose charitable nature and religiosity belied his tender age. Deeply suspicious of his spiritual precociousness, his father made him go through a traumatic exorcism. But the boy already had a devoted band of followers and, when he was thirteen, announced that he was the Shirdi Sai Baba reborn. Today, Sri Sathya Sai Baba has an estimated thirty million followers worldwide.

Acclaimed travel writer and self-described 'spiritual nomad' Bill Aitken tell us why so many-royalty, wealthy industrialists, influential politicians, as well as the poor-flock to Puttaparthi. Sai Baba's message, he reveals, can be summed up in one word: love. It is a simple as it is profound, not unlike how his devotees see the Sai himself- the embodiment of deep spirituality wedded to simplicity, elegance and grace.

Yet, the Sai phenomenon is less about producing vibhuti from thin air and more about modern day miracles. Miracles like free schools and universities, super specialty hospitals which provides free treatment to all and revolutionary projects like the one which has brought drinking water to a million villagers in drought prone Rayalseema.

Aitken's study is neither a hagiographic exercise in myth making nor a dry, objective account of the Sai's life. While never shy of expressing his deep love and reverence for sai Baba, he squarely confronts the controversies and criticism which inevitably dog those who claim acquaintance with the holy.

About the Author

Bill Aitken is Scottish by birth, a naturalized Indian by choice. He studied comparative religion at Leeds University and then hitch-hiked to India in 1959. he has lived in Himalayan ashrams, worked as secretary to a maharani, freelanced under his middle name and undertaken miscellaneous excursions from Nanda Devi to Sabarimala on an old motorbike and by stem railway.

Aitken has written on travel and tourism for newspapers and magazines in India for several years and is the author of the Nanda Devi Affair, Riding the Ranges and Branch Line to Eternity among other Books.

CONTENTS
PREFACE ix
1 A MEANS TO GRACE 1
2 LOVE AS THE GUIDE 15
3 DECCAN SETTING 34
4 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES 49
5 THE REMARKABLE FAKIR OF SHIRDI 66
6 EXALTING THOSE OF LOW ESTATE 77
7 WAXING STRONG IN SPIRIT 91
8 GOD IN THERE PERSONS 108
9 HEAR YE THE WORD 122
10 IN TUNE WITH THE INFINITE 139
11 DAIILY ROUND, COMMON TASK 156
12 FOR MINE EYES HAVE SEEN 173
13 FILLING THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS 191
14 LESSONS ABOVE CONTEMPLATION 207
15 SCATTERING THE PROUD IN HEART 223
EPILOGUE 241
INDEX 253

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