1) He was born in a poor family, in a nondescript hamlet of South India, Puttaparthi, on 23rd November 1926. On the following day, 24th November 1926, Sri Aurobindo, a revered saint, went into mystic seclusion, declaring the descent into the physical of a 'Power infallible,' that shall lead the thought and in earthly hearts kindle the spiritual fire and noble impulse.
2)At 14 years of age, Sathya, as he was called, cast aside his school books, left home and declared his mission had begun. His distraught parents, simple pious souls, sought an explanation. Little Sathya answered in an unusual manner. He flung a handful of jasmine flowers onto the ground. The flowers arranged themselves into the word ... SAI BABA ... This confused the village folk even more. Later he clarified that he was a reincarnation of the Saint of Shirdi called Sai Baba. To prove his point he described Shirdi in detail as also incidents from that time, and also gave a graphic 'vision' to three persons simultaneously including his sceptical father, of the holy shrine at Shirdi.
3) By virtue of his pure saintly nature, as a child, and the performing of some extraordinary feats beyond logic or reason, in his growing up years, as also, the extraordinary knowledge and wisdom he spouted, he was given the title of Guru and Brahm-gnani (Knower of transcendental knowledge). He converted a tree in his village into a kalpavriksha ... a wish-fulfilling tree traditionally meant to give you whatever you desire. He would ask his little band of friends to name a fruit of their choice and then pluck it from the selfsame tree for each ... mango, apple, pear ... out of season. These acts were the first ''lilas'' (inexplicable acts of divine sport) 'midst the thousands that would follow in the coming years...
Word spread and people started flocking to the village of Puttaparthi. There were miraculous healings, cures and an indefinable magnetism about the holy boy which drew increasing numbers of people ... People came, saw, experienced, believed. As always, there were the detractors too, who scoffed and spread malicious rumours. But truth prevails over falsehood and nothing could stop the onward march of dharma (righteousness) led by a boy called Sathya (Truth) from the village of Puttaparthi. By and by, the little hamlet grew into a spiritual center extraordinary, that drew devotees in millions, from every corner of the world.
4) Visions and dreams were some of the ways by which Baba entered into the lives of people he wished to draw. Many countless had astounding experiences, in faraway countries, which pulled them to Puttaparthi. (All stories related to such experiences are authenticated and available online, with the names of the persons concerned). The amazing thing is that every single devotee has a story.
5) Baba knew everything about everybody who came to visit him. People came with loads of problems, and even before they could open their mouth, Baba had enumerated the entire list. This proved to be stunning because, many private matters known only to the person concerned, were sometimes revealed by Baba. Also, Baba's gifts of materialised protective talismans, which later on ''proved'' their worth, by protecting the recipient, in unlikely ways, built faith and trust. Baba ''proved'' his omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, to his devotees only a million times ...
6) People came to Baba, to get what they wanted, till, by association with Baba's extraordinary love, they started wanting what Baba had come to give. The precious knowledge that raises life to it's highest expression, and helps one attain self realisation, is what Baba wished to give every single human being. This knowledge was disseminated by Baba all his life through his teachings, which are available in the series of books, titled Sathya Sai Speaks. "My life is My message'', he declared. His life was an exemplary saga of selfless service to humanity.
7) The good works done by Baba to benefit the weaker and deprived sections of society, are mind-boggling and defy enumeration or description. What governments can't achieve in decades, he achieved in a trice. (Super Speciality Hospitals equipped with the latest state of art technology and facilities), Water Projects for entire villages, deemed Universities - all entirely free of cost ... to name a few). The good work is continuing today with free services in departments of 'medicare, sociocare and educare', being made available to the masses, in every corner of the world.
8) Baba is a unique phenomenon in the saga of gurus and avatars that periodically take birth in India. However, this - the uniqueness of the Sai Phenomenon - is something that cannot be 'told', only experienced, by those who are ready and willing to investigate. The doors are open to all - take one step, Baba says, and I will take ten steps towards you. This is foolproof.
9) Though Baba left his physical body in April 2011, he continues to guide, guard and give visitations, visions and dreams to his devotees (and non devotees too ) worldwide. Since he advocated the validity of all religions and the unity of all peoples', his message of universal love resonated with all creeds. Many new aspirarnts are discovering Baba now and flocking to Puttaparthi and other holy places associated with him, to draw succor and peace from the spiritual energy and partake in the good works for humanity, being carried out on a mammoth scale.
It is an ongoing saga of love and service ... that is silently helping millions and healing humanity.
'Love all, serve all' - the time was never more right to put this maxim of Baba's, into practice, in our beleaguered world.