Sai Baba on Jesus the Christ

The Christmas story I grew up on was Baby Jesus was born in a manger. His parents were on the way to pay their taxes when Mary’s time came for the baby to be born. This was a side story in our home; it was Santa Claus who was the main star.

By the time I arrived at Sai Baba’s ashram, Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi in 1990, I had given up on Santa Claus and had distanced myself from my religious roots. However, it is Sai Baba who brought me to a deeper awareness of Lord Jesus, the Christ. He led me to see a common theme in the stories of great masters, spiritual leaders, and saints.

At some point in their lives, they turn their backs on the worldly life. They walk away from the mundane to demonstrate the power of the Divine within themselves. Eventually, these spiritual revolutionaries become our guides and gurus through the challenging labyrinth of life. Even St Nicholas who became known as Santa Claus was a very rich man who spent his life serving the poor. But frequently, because they step outside of the box of convention, spiritual revolutionaries are defamed.

According to Sai Baba, “As the name and fame of Jesus spread, opposition to him developed among a section of Jews.” Later that opposition grew beyond his homeland and he was viewed as a dangerous radical by many. Nevertheless, multitudes began to follow his teachings and the world welcomed a Saving Light. “After his father’s death, young Jesus considered it his duty to help his mother and revere her as Divine,” Puttaparthi Swami taught. He said, “Jesus preached the primary obligation of everyone is to show one’s gratitude to the parents. Jesus came with his mother to Jerusalem when he was 11 years old. His mother was worried about the activities of Jesus.” Our Beloved Baba explained, “Jesus was critical of the ways of the Jews in the temple in Jerusalem.

He came out against the harmful practices in the temple and preached the omnipresence of God. He exhorted the people not to cause harm to anyone.” That an uneducated son of a carpenter would speak with such authority on matters going on in the temple infuriated many elders. Yet the words he spoke were also what so many others would have liked to have said themselves. But they feared what they would reap from the “Big People” who ran and controlled their lives. “Little people” had no say. Jesus became a spokesperson for the poor, the oppressed, the sick and the suffering. “What he preached was in accord with the basic teachings of all religions.” Sathya Sai said. “He engaged himself in a mission of mercy to the sick and the poor. He offered food to the hungry. Seeing his acts of love and kindness, people declared that he was a Messenger of God.”

In his short 33 years on earth, Jesus changed from a kind-hearted, responsible son to someone who recognised the God within himself, that which is also known as The Christ. Christmas, according to Sai Baba, is more than a season; it is a way of life.

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