Life’s true purpose and its supreme goal are to regain our lost identity as a Soul. From this experience flows profound peace that is eternal and is not dependent on life’s circumstances. This experience is the true source of the happiness that we all crave since ages.
Peace within one’s own self brings about the peace in the society at large.
Sadguru…?…Who or what?
Shree Ramakrishna Paramhans said, Sadguru is a person who is like a thread that leads the seeker to the God. According to Osho, a Sadguru is not a person of flesh and blood, nor is he an individual, but a philosophy, a flow, a medium of the almighty.
In spite of our studying the books, gathering information and speaking eloquently on spiritual matters, we are awfully deficient to meet the challenges and problems that life is posing all the time in its very living. Therefore a dry intellectual approach to spirituality does not bring about any real transformation in living. Help from a Sadguru, who transmits the understanding through his grace, enable us to live spiritual life.
A Sadguru is the one who leads the created to the creator. Their actions are universal in nature cutting across religions, nations and all divisions of society. In fact the descent of the Divine in human form is to create conditions for the human to ascend to his Divine essence.
Need of Sadguru:
Each individual is openly or secretly craving for the ultimate understanding and joy of life, without which life is miserable and meaningless. And each individual is destined to be liberated and has a natural urge to reach upon that state, the state of total understanding of life. One passes through a life according to his past acts and thoughts (Law of Karma) and in the same way shapes his future life according to the present living.
Datta Guru Parampara
Aadi Guru, Smartugami, Sri Guru Deva Datta … Lord Dattatreya is a manifestation of the trinity Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva and tri-murthy-swarupini, Sri Anagha Devi is his consort. He is Guru of Gurus and an ever living incarnation.
Sages and Seers of Datta Guru Parampara have a great common heritage. They are Sadgurus (Perfect Masters) who have realized the Absolute, have reached the highest realm of spiritual attainment, are present for ever in the whole universe whether in an embodied or in an un-embodied state. They operate in gross, subtle, or mental world. They have been actually chosen to execute the Divine Mission.
In Datta parampara … Sri Sripada Sri Vallabha, Sri Nrisimha Saraswati Swami, Manika Prabhu, Swami of Akkalkot, Samartha Sadguru Sai Baba and Sri Sathya Sai Baba are the most prominent.
1. Sri Sripada Sri Vallabha (1300 A.D)
The child with emblems of Shanka and Chakra in his feet, hence called Sripada, born to a learned Brahmin Appala Raja and great Sati Sumati in Sri Kshetra Pithapuram on the east coast of Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. Lord Dattatreya reincarnated as Sripada as a result of his boon to Sumathi.
After Upanayana in his seventh year, Sripada started learning and became master in Veda Sastras by the age of sixteen. By learning the intention of his parents to perform his marriage, Sripada told them that he was an ascetic, already married to renunciation and, to be in Nivrithi Marg for rest of his life. He left for pilgrimage, went to Kasi, Badrinath and Kedarnath in Himalayas, guiding and imparting Jnana to the Saints. Then coming down visited all the pilgrim centers on the west coast, reached Gokarna and finally retired to Kuruvapur, an island in river Krishna.
Sripada enlightened and gave solace to people wherever he went. He dispensed happiness to one and all, by freeing them from the shackles of worldly attachment and disappointments. He promised Ambika, mother of a mentally retarded child, to born as her son in her next Janma.
On the twelfth day of the dark half of month Ashwin, of Margasira Constellation on Thursday, saluted mother Ganga and sat for Samadhi on river-water and disappeared and got merged into Brahman.
2. Sri Nrisimha Saraswati Swami
Sri Nrisimha Saraswathi Swami, named as Saligrama on birth, born to a Brahmin couple Madhav and Amba of Karanjananagar in the Varad district of Maharastra. Until the time of his sacred thread ceremony he uttered only “OM” but he recited the sacred hymns from Vedas at the time of Upanayana.
Promising his parents to return after twenty years, he went away from home on his life mission. He came to Banaras and was immersed in practice of Yoga and penance. He never stayed for more than a couple of days in a particular place. He preached that the grace of God is always there for the good and it does not discriminate between the rich and the poor and explained the real meaning behind the external practices prescribed in the scriptures in relation to mundane and spiritual life. He encouraged the performance of Yagnas (sacrifices), gave life to dead, and glorified the power of Bhasma through a Chandala defeating two learned but arrogant Brahmins.
Sri Nrisimha Saraswati always emphasized that the pleasures and pains of life are inevitable and are of no value but only the real value lies in attaining the ultimate goal of life, self-realization, and the final emancipation. The self alone is real and all actions are meant for purifying mind.
3. Manika Prabhu
Manohara Nayaka Harakude and Baya Devi were very pious and did Parayana of Guru Charitra for over sixteen years continuously with rigid observance of the rules of worship indicated in Guru Charitra. Pleased with their dedication, Lord Dattatreya gave darshan to Harakude and Baya Devi and granted them a boon to born as a son to them. Thus the birth of Manika Prabhu came into existence in the year 1817 A.D, an incarnation born in the world for the good of the people.
From the very childhood Manika Prabhu was known for his worth in yoga. In him one could see, the effulgence of a saint with the halo of worldly luxury, completely detached. He treated all religions equal and spent his whole life for the fusion of opposites in faiths and cults and cared for the welfare of one and all.
Manika Prabhu took Samadhi at Manikanagar in 1865 A.D. at the age of 48.
4. Swami of Akkalkot
Swami of Akkalkot is also known as Swami Samrtha. No definite details of his birth are known.
The life of Swami Samartha was full of miracles. Each utterance of the Swami was regarded to contain some deep secret meaning or reference to a certain incident of the future. Swami Samartha emphasized the essentiality of purity of mind and discriminated between a righteous desire and an unrighteous one. He had love and compassion for all creatures without any distinction. By his grace he brought about a fundamental change in the lives of many by influencing their minds and hearts to get over their weaknesses and blemishes.
Many a devotee connected with places sacred to Lord Dattatreya such as Ganagapur, Narsoba Wadi got mysterious calls from their deity to go to Swami at Akkalkot for his blessings.
Swami took Samadhi on April 30, 1878 A.D.
5. Samartha Sadguru Sai Baba
Sai Baba’s parent-hood, place and time of birth are not known. He said “The world was his village, Brahma the father and Maya the Mother”. He was a very mysterious personality whom everybody interpreted in his own way but no interpretation could give a complete picture of this great saint. He was Rama, Krishna, Hanuman, Sankara, Ganapathi, Dattatreya all rolled in one according to the Samskar and desire of different devotees.
Sai was easily accessible equally to the pauper and the prince, the illiterate and the learned, the young and the old, the atheist and the theist. He practiced and preached Mahavrat comprising of Ahimsa, Satya, Astheya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha. He was full of love, compassion and solace.
Sai laid stress on constant faith (Nista) and patience (Saburi) as he demanded always these “two coins” from his devotees. Performance of one’s own duty and worship of one’s own family deity with pure heart had his appreciation. Sai never prescribed a particular mode or method of worship nor initiated with mantra to any one, nor asked to perform any creedal religious rituals.
He considered every one as his child without distinction. To correct, protect and enliven his children was his mission. He finished his work, left his corporeal body on Vijaya Dasami, and entered into Mahasamadhi in 1918, a day which significantly happened to be Bhagawan Buddha’s Nirvana, Muharam and Dassarah, important and significant to Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists alike.
6. Sri Satya Sai Baba (23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011)
Sathya Sai Baba was born to Eswaramma and Peddavenkama Raju Ratnakaram as Sathyanarayana Raju in the village of Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India was an avatar, god man, spiritual teacher and miracle worker.
On 23 May 1940, at the age of 14, Sathya Sai Baba proclaimed himself to be a reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi. http://www.sathyasai.org/images/babatanp.gif He declared to his parents that he had come to this world with a mission to re-establish the principle of righteousness, to motivate love for God and service to fellow man. Since then, he consistently called on all mankind to Love All, Serve All and has repeatedly asserted that the essence of all scriptures is Help Ever, Hurt Never!
Our conscience is a reflection of the eternal spirit. Sathya Sai Baba told us that our conscience is our master. When we follow our conscience, our thoughts, words, and deeds will be noble and consistent. Spirituality is having the courage and determination to follow our conscience in all things and at all times. In doing so, we recognize that we are all united in God. We are bound together by divine love.
Sathya Sai Baba urged mankind to:
- Believe in God –for there is only ONE GOD for all mankind, though He may be called by many names.
- Follow sincerely their respective religions and live their daily lives in consonance with the teachings of good behavior and morality.
- Respect all other religions –for no religion advocates the negative and lower qualities of man.
- Perform selfless service to the poor, the sick, and the needy without thought of reward or fame.
- Cultivate in their lives the values of truth, divine love, right conduct, peace, and nonviolence and promote these values among all.
- Be patriotic and respect the laws of the country in which they live.
Sathya Sai Baba gave his life, selflessly and magnanimously, to the service of mankind.