Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba passed away this Sunday. My mother was an ardent follower. She has told me instances of when she had got surprise darshans of him and at times when she least expected. I believe my sister was also named Shanti after his influence. Though, its another story that she is anything but "Shanti" (or "peace" in english) ... :)

I am not much of his devotee. But I believe that he is doing a lot of good for the society as a whole. Be it his Super-specialty hospitals that serve the poor for free or be it the water-irrigation and other projects that he has single-handedly funded or be it the wonderful initiation that a child gets to good things in life by attending his Balavikas initiatives that are run all over the country.
This Balavikas initiative is a very interesting initiative that is being run by the disciples of Saibaba. They teach children basic values of life with content drawn from ancient scriptures, through the methodology of story telling, enacting plays and singing Bhajans etc. I have attended these classes as a kid and in fact when one gets a good teacher, the whole experience turns out to be good fun, as well as makes for well-rounded learning experience.
Many of my relatives are staunch disciples of Sathya Sai Baba. Overall, I think he has done enough good to the society and impacted lives of millions of people. I have been to his Ashrams in Whitefield, Bangalore and taken his Darshan and I have seen that there are lots of devotees – who have reshaped their lives to be part of his movement and serve the society in someway. If someone is able to influence so many people in a positive way there is definitely something great about him. I hope that even when he is not there his wonderful work is continued by his disciples.
But then - there are also some people like Taslima Nasreen who want to make a whole mockery of other people’s faiths and beliefs. This is what I think about what she has to say. One should also not make fun of other’s faith and beliefs. Just because one has a pen doesn’t mean someone can go about writing anything that one feels like. I think this only proves that she is not interested in the issue, she is only interested in getting some media limelight and audience’s time-share. And in the end, it comes down to these kinds of cheap tactics. I think, no one forced her into having a belief or a faith about him .. so if she didn’t believe in him then she could just leave it alone and get on with life.

So as I said earlier, I sincerely hope that his devotees take this movement to much greater heights and keep up the great work that has been going on.

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