TWENTIETH October is a red lettered day in the lives of the many devotees of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It was on this day
, way back in 1940, that Bhagawan revealed to the world His Divine reality. But if one were to be more truthful, this day has had an impact on the lives of many many more than just those who acknowledge to be His devotees. For He insists that, "
If you Love Me, you have to
Love All and Serve All".
Because of this clarion call, the thousands who are benefiting from the goodness He inspires in His devotees, have a renewed hope in mankind itself. Every patient that has benefited from His hospitals returns home a better person. Students of His schools and colleges spread righteousness in their fields of work. And all of this can be sourced to this day, 20 October 1940, when as a young lad of 14 summers He told His family that He did not belong to them, He had a task much grander than they can envisage, and that 'His people' were waiting for Him.
Who is an Avatar and what is the significance of such an appellation?
Explaining in His inimitable style, Swami says in Telugu:
Avatarinchuta yanutalo Arthamemi?
Janulapai Preethi Vaatsalya Paratha thoda
Vaari Sthaayaiki Daivambu Vachchu Bhuviki
Jeeva prajnatho baatuga Daiva prajna
What does taking an Avatar mean?
Out of love, like that of a mother towards her children,
God descends to the level of humanity, to the earth,
With a perfect amalgamation of human and Divine consciousness!
Bhagawan would say that the mother bends down to the level of the child, and then raises and embraces it. So too God moved by the plea of the pious and the yearning of the deserving, descends to their level to draw and raise them. It is for this purpose that He comes down to the worldly plane in a human garb. Man is floundering hopelessly in the world today because he is unable to recognise the Divinity that lies latent within him. How then will he realise the Presence when the Lord Himself descends in a human form? So out of His immense compassion the Lord Himself declares to the world His reality. Bhagawan Baba, did it on 20th October, the day we fondly remember as Avatar Declaration Day.
On 23 May 1940, Baba declared that He was the Sai Baba of Shirdi; those around had never heard of this 'Baba' or His Shirdi. They thought the little lad was possessed by a ghost; at best a noble one. They tried to 'cure' Him, bring Him to 'normalcy'. And these attempts were brought to an abrupt end when on the Declaration Day,20th October 1940, Baba told those around with finality that He does not belong to them and what they thought was a passing phase His reality had emerged to stay.
THIS WAS THE DAY : T HE AVATAR BEGAN HIS WORK AS THE AVATAR
EVENING SESSION---CELEBRATION OF 'AVATAR DECLARATION DAY ' at SAI KULWANT HALL