By Tina Sadhwani
He is never born, and he never dies. He is in Eternity: he is for evermore. Never-born and eternal, beyond times gone or to come, he does not die when the body dies…
When one sees this Eternity in things that pass away and Infinity in the finite things, then one has pure knowledge.
(Bhagavad Gita 2:20, 18:20)
It is on this sacred premise that Hinduism builds its conception of reality wherein the boundless chain of life there exists neither birth nor death, only endless cycles of transmutation and regeneration, culminating in the evolution of consciousness and dynamic unfolding of the Divine Intelligence in man. With a mind that thus peered eternity, the ancient Hindus, it is said, had inexorably unlocked such secrets and mysteries of existence pertaining to creation, manifestation, the universal order and human evolution, converging in the supramental vision of Sanatan Dharma- the Eternal Truth and Divine Process that has over many cycles of time revealed itself to us through the mystical life and evolutionary work of many ascended gurus, rishis, yogis, seers and avatars, all of whom have ushered in a higher world-order of love, peace, righteousness and truth, sowing within us the seeds for a greater life and a unified existence.
The intervention of these world teachers and avatars has always appeared during a planetary crisis for the restoration of Dharma, which is an ascension and expansion of all human consciousness as much as it is the external obliteration of social evil and unrighteousness, thus effecting a profound change in the material and spiritual world. Mystic-Sage Sri Aurobindo had once said that “The Divine is not only Transcendent but also Cosmic and finally Individual. Its power and force must be brought down into the world in order to effect any real transformation in the earth-consciousness.” And so it has been with the descent and manifestation of the sacred lineage and unbroken chain of the Divine Sai Consciousness that has unfolded at the outset in the physicality of Shirdi Sai Baba whose influence has initially been known to pervade all of India, successively extending itself in the form of Sathya Sai Baba whose presence has wielded a wider global influence, reaching out to and transforming millions of lives in the world and which will now continue in the extended physical form and presence of the future Prema Sai.
This far-reaching magical web of the Sai Consciousness has indeed powerfully transmuted and effectively empowered individual souls as well as the world-soul in the last few hundred years. As incarnations of the Shiva and Shakti principles, the Sai Avatars have been dynamically and unfailingly productive and acutely conscious of their grand purpose and mission on the planet. “I have a Task,” as Sathya Sai Baba wrote in 1947, “to foster all mankind and ensure for all of them lives full of bliss (ananda). I have a Vow: to lead all who stray away from the straight path again into goodness and save them. To remove the sufferings of the poor and grant them what they lack… I will not give up my mission, nor my determination. I know I will carry them out. I treat the honor and dishonor, the fame and blame that may be the consequence, with equal equanimity. Internally, I am unconcerned. I act but in the outer world; I talk and move about for the sake of the outer world… else I have no concern even with these…I do not belong to any place; I am not attached to any name. I answer whatever the name you use. I go wherever I am taken. I act and move only for the sake of Mankind”.
True to his word and vision, and carrying forward the work of his avataric predecessor Shirdi Sai, Sathya Sai Baba has progressively uplifted millions of poor, inspired humanity and brought back into our lives the beneficence, power and truth of Sanatan Dharma. With relentless determination, unconditional love and powerful resolve Baba has continued to uphold his mission and his message even after the passing of his body, as millions around the world still continue to experience his miracles.
This superhuman power of the avatarhood, according to the Hindu conception, is not a dividing element or a sign of man’s difference or separation from them but is instead a tangible precursor of the enfolded godhead inherent in every individual and a concrete expression of that same godhead awakening in the field of human consciousness. The divine manifestation of a Ram, a Krishna or a Buddha (or myriad other avatars of Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti) in external humanity is indeed a reflection of the underlying unity between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul. It is a cosmic marker of the immanent avataric power that pulses within the heart and soul of every man. “Come back into My Consciousness, which is your own true Consciousness,” as Sathya Sai Baba says, “Let your petty human self fade away as you come to Me, who am your Inner Self. You are My radiant glorious Self… not separate from Me… Merge with Me, Become Me”.
Prema Sai, the third in the line of this divine Sai lineage has been prophesized to incarnate somewhere in South India in the coming years. His birth and his life it is said, will complete the circle of cosmic manifestation and descent that generates a quantum leap beyond the present limitations of this Kali Yuga, ushering in a new world order that accelerates the long overdue restoration of Sanatan Dharma, the Eternal Truth of life.
However, when and how the Divine Beings and Divine Events unfold within the matrix of space and the mysterious movements of time, manifesting within creation, is considered one of the biggest puzzles and enigmas of the universe, for the Supreme Reality it is said functions with an intelligence and cosmic order of its own (unfathomable by the human mind) that shapes and organizes the universe and all its events and processes in ways that reveals itself to us only at the ‘right time’, which is in fact considered the ‘divine timing’ and grand synchronistic scheming of all the Shakti-laden forces and rhythmic currents of Nature.
Yet, regardless of prophesies, timelines, events, dates or their physical form, the truth, supreme secrets and mysteries of the Avatars are absorbed more through their continually unfolding work and through their message which expresses itself in their lives and in the personal realization and direct experiences of those who connect with them and their mission on a deeper level.
For of what use is it to passively admire and honour these Divine Beings if we cannot actively work towards and serve the mission for which they have come into this world? The grand mission and collective undertaking which indeed links man’s higher life-purpose to that of the Avatars themselves. Hence to rise above our ego-bound needs and petty concerns, to cognize our greater destiny in this universe, to widen our vision and embrace all of existence so that we may become the blazing sparks of that one Supreme fire, the illuminating emblems of that one Absolute reality and dynamic instruments of that one Divine Will is indeed the true fulfilment and realization of Dharma on earth.
As Sathya Sai Baba says in his own words, “I have come to give you the key of the treasure of ananda (immortal bliss), to teach you how to tap that spring, for you have forgotten the way to blessedness…You have come to get from me tinsel and trash, the petty little cures and promotions, worldly joys and comforts. Very few of you desire to get from me the thing that I have come to give you: namely, liberation itself”.
Considering the grand purpose for which the Sai Avatars have been appearing and the dharmic mission towards which they have been uncompromisingly dedicated, every Sai devotee bears a greater responsibility now in joining forces for upholding and carrying forward this majestic vision and world-transforming mission. “I want you in this world. I want beacons of light in the world,” said Sathya Sai Baba once to Isaac Tigrett, “the world must be purified in this age… this wonderful age that we are blessed to have been born into”.
Just as Ayodhya once waited eagerly for the return of its dharmic hero Lord Ram, the Sai devotees wait patiently, and through continuing dedicated work prepare the stage for the arrival of Prema Sai whose extended mission and dharmic journey will now continue in the years to come to uplift mankind in the dawning of the new golden age.
Though I am unborn, though I am imperishable in my self-existence, though I am the Lord of all existences, yet I stand upon my own Nature and I come into birth by my internal potency. Whenever and wherever there is a decline of righteousness and the uprising of unrighteousness, at that time I manifest personally. For the deliverance of the good and the annihilation of evil and to fully establish Dharma, I appear millennium after millennium.
(Bhagavad Gita 4.6-8)