Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba - a most compassionate healer
Island Lanka Newspaper
by C. Shanmuganayagam
February 20th 2001
Apropos the recent statement published in the magazine ‘India Today’ about Sri Sathya Sai’s spiritual ministration, and Baba’s indirect reference to it, is his New Year message, there is an important aspect of the matter which needs to be considered, for a correct understanding of the situation.
The writer of this article was a founder-member and office-bearer of the original Sri Sathya Sai Samithi established in Colombo in 1967 and had the opportunity to attend the First World Conference of Sai Samithis held in Bombay in 1968 and had a personal interview with Bhagavan along with the writer’s family members. The writer also met in Bombay Kulapathi K. M. Munshi, former Union Minister and Governor of UP, in whose Bhavan’s campus the conference was held, and several other devotees of Baba at that time.
Sri K. M. Munshi thereafter made available to the writer, inter alia, for publication in a booklet about Baba which the writer published in Colombo, a detailed account, in his own words, of the remarkable healing effected by Baba in respect of the Parkinson’s disease that he was suffering from at that time, by materializing holy ash and applying it casually to his right hand which was subject to the usual tremor.
To quote his own words "Babe rose from his seat, took my fingers, covered them with his own fingers and rubbed them with sacred ashes which came out of his hand. I immediately perceived that the stiffness of the fingers of my right hand considerably disappeared, so had the slight trembling in the right arm and leg."
It is a well-known fact that Saint Thirugnana Sambandar, one of the four major saints of the Hindu Saiva Sidhanta tradition, miraculously healed a Pandyan king who was suffering from a raging fever, which could not be cured by his royal physicians, by applying holy ash on the king’s body with his own hands.
Likewise, Bhagavan blesses his devotees and effects a healing where necessary by materializing and applying holy ash to any affected part of the devotee’s body. The writer had, during the course of his administration of the affairs of the Colombo Sai Samithi as an office-bearer in the early years, met a youth who disclosed that he had a compulsive urge to frequent night clubs and squander his energy and that he was fully cured of the urge after he was granted an interview by Baba and medically treated by the application of holy ash on the appropriate part of his body.
There is no justification in viewing such treatments with a misguided sense of prudishness, as even ordinary medical doctors, and male gynaecologists in particular, are obliged to handle and treat the appropriate parts of the patient’s body to effect a cure. Baba is basically a most compassionate Divinely inspired Healer as evidenced by his invisible presence beside every patient who is being operated on at the massive Super Speciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, where even by-pass heart surgeries are carried out free of charge.
There is another aspect of the matter that needs to be considered namely the well-established practice among spiritual Gurus, out of compassion for their devotees, to take on to themselves the semblance of a bad reputation, to work out some of the negative karma of their devotees, as an act of vicarious suffering, as exemplified in the story of Jesus himself when he physically laid hands on and blessed Mary Magdalene and changed her life for the better.
A messenger of the Divine, whether he is considered as an Avatar or a self-realised Guru, is not affected by public praise or blame and acts according to the dictates of a higher consciousness for the benefit of humanity. Sri Aurobindo the well-known sage of Pondichery, has commented comprehensively on the traits of an Avatar. He says "The Avatar acts according to the need of the Lila or material manifestation, not according to man’s ideas of what He should do or not do. When men think of an Avatar, they think He must have an extraordinary perfection in doing ordinary human things, not undergoing any defeat or failure etc. These human ideas are false. What if failure (or baseless blame) suits Him better and serves better the ultimate purpose? What rigid primitive notions are these about the Divine! An Avatar acts according to the consciousness of the Truth above with which he feels identified inwardly, and is not concerned with morality or immorality, perfection or imperfection according to small human standards."
The writer of this article had also incorporated some of these statements of Sri Aurobindo in an article which he had written about Avatarhood and was published several years ago in the ‘Sanathana Sarathi’ by Sri Kasturi, who was Baba’s secretary at that time.
It is fit and proper that we ignore all trivialities and take to heart the deep significance of Baba’s unique teachings and mission which he has expressed in his own words as follows: ‘My task is the spiritual regeneration of Humanity through Truth and Love’ .... ‘You have come, most of you, 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 I have come to give, namely Liberation itself; and even among these few, those who stick to the path of Sadhana and succeed are a handful" ... ‘God is the unseen everpresent immanent energy in all things; this has to be realized by every aspirant, or else his aspiration can never be fulfilled.’Reference
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