"I act and move only for the sake of mankind."
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
At the age of 21, Sri Sathya Sai Baba made what has become an historic reply to a letter of counsel that his brother had written to him. His brothers missive was sent out of general love and concern for the controversial phenomenon that the young Baba then was. It cautioned young Sathya against the wily ways of the world and the evils attendant to name and fame.
In this historic reply to His brother, Sri Sathya Sai Baba said: "I have a Task: to foster all mankind and ensure for all of them lives full of Ananda (bliss). I have a Vow: to lead all those who stray away from the straight path again into goodness and save them. I am attached to a Work that I love: to remove the sufferings of the poor and grant them what they lack."
In 1953, Sathya Sai Baba laid bare His intentions in a talk delivered on Vijaya Dasami day in His ashram, Prasanthi Nilayam. He said, "The first sixteen years of my life were spent more in play and pranks; the next sixteen have seen, much more than in previous years, mahimas (signs and wonders) which arouse spiritual yearning and devotion to God and award delight. After the thirty-second year, I have resolved to grant mankind upadesa (lessons) on Truth, Morality, Equanimity and Love (Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema)."
Further He said, "When the Abstract concretises, the Impersonal is personalised and the Nirakara (formless) assumes akara (form of man). It has to fulfil Its mission—the unmaking and remaking of man into the Divine." The life of Sri Sathya Sai Baba has been a testimony of these pronouncements.
This biographical series aims to document and record facts and events for posterity on the Life, Works and Teachings of the most extraordinary being to walk the earth in modern times—Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Scholars, critics, researchers and devotees will find in these volumes photographs, documents, maps, interviews and first hand experiences of the signs and wonders, immense mystical powers, super-consciousness and continuous inner communication ascribed to Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
In His teens, He proclaimed Himself the equivalent of "I am ‘That’ I am." Soon after, He announced that He was Sai Baba, the incarnation of the Muslim/Hindu saint, Sai Baba of Shirdi (1835-1918). Troubled times followed in setting the stage for family and friends to realise and accept this reality.
Known for His miraculous powers and His ability to transform and heal the hearts of people, Baba’s central message is based on the Unity of Faiths, a revival of Vedic life and the importance of Love as the principal human value for all mankind to live by. Free education (from primary to university level), free medical aid (from primary to tertiary levels) and safe drinking water for the arid districts of Andhra Pradesh state have been a few of Baba’s gifts of love to mankind, on the community scale. On the societal scale, the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation today has 3050 centres in 167 countries, dedicated to contributing to the social and spiritual upliftment of man. Instead of migrating to the nearby urban jungle, He persevered to transform the village of Puttaparthi into the Model Township of Prasanthi Nilayam and to place it on the world map.
His educational philosophy centres on knowing the true purpose of life and today has evolved into dynamic models for education in Human Values from primary to university levels. Sai Baba’s education programmes embrace values education for the entire world.
His devotees adore Him; His critics abhor Him and the masses that know Him, respect Him. He is regarded by many Hindus as the Kalki Avatar of the Kali Yuga (Iron Age of unrighteousness), second of a tri-incarnation—the first being Sai Baba of Shirdi. Prema Sai Baba, the third incarnation, is predicted to come after Sathya Sai Baba. To some, He is God incarnate. To others, He is the Christ consciousness, come again of Christianity; the Prophet-to-come of Islam; the Messiah of the Jews, the Sarvadaivathwa Swaroopam (a form which is all forms of all Gods) of Vedanta, the perennial philosophy.
Baba’s tremendous power of love has touched the hearts of even those who do not proclaim any particular faith to be their own. He says, ‘The good-hearted man who professes no religion is the truly religious man.’ He also says, ‘Start the day with love; fill the day with love; end the day with love; that is the way to God.’ About religion, He says, ‘There is only one religion—the religion of Love. There is only one language—the language of the Heart. There is only one caste—the caste of Humanity. There is only one God—and He is Omnipresent.’ Often he has said, "Sathya is my prachaar, Dharma is my achaar, Santhi is my swabhava and Prema is my swaroopa."–"Truth is what I say, Righteousness is what I do, Peace is my nature and Love is my form."
The series title ‘Love Is My Form’ is taken from the first line of a song about Baba that He Himself taught to a group of Western musical devotees, Lightstorm, in 1972:
Love is My form
Truth is My breath
Bliss is My food….
Moreover, the volumes also provide testimony to the sentiment behind the title expression: all that Baba does exudes love. At once, either in His physical presence or in remembrance of His enchanting form and personality, one is filled with peace and love.
Although Volume I in this series covers the first 25 years of his life, subsequent volumes will deal with ten to fifteen-year spans, as the amount of material concerning Baba seems to grow exponentially. It is intended that Volumes II and III be published concurrently, followed by Volumes IV and V, then Volume VI, etc. In their quests, the volumes will also explore the impact of His life, works and teachings on the masses, worldwide.
Love Is My FormSeries Publication Schedule
I. The Advent, 1926 - 1950(In Preparation Projected):
II. 1951 - 1960 VII. 2001 - 2010
III. 1961 - 1970 VIII.
IV. 1971 - 1980 IX.
V. 1981 - 1990 X
VI. 1991 - 2000
The text of Love Is My Form weaves together recorded history, interviews of contemporaries, narrations of landmark events and personal experiences with an album of photographs, letters and other authenticated documents to reveal the most thrilling and enchanting of life stories—that of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The series will serve future generations for millennia to come.