Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born Sathya Narayana Raju on November 23 1926 and started performing miracles from the age of three. His playmates in the village nicknamed him ”Guru” because he held them spellbound with his materializations and stories containing profound spiritual teachings. As a young schoolboy he would materialise pens, pencils, books and sweets for his schoolmates, who were invariably very poor and whose parents could not afford to buy them. Of course, as well as winning many friends and admirers, the fact that little Sathya was obviously very special stirred up feelings of envy, suspicion and even hatred in the hearts of those who were jealous of his popularity; there was even two attempts on his life when he was young. But that will be the subject of another article on another day.
One who succumbed to his own jealousy, and paid the price with his dignity, was none other than one of the teachers at young Raju’s primary school. This particular teacher was very suspicious of the boy and always assumed that he was up to no good with his so-called materializations. He had been watching Sathya, and on seeing him giving out pencils and books etc. on this particular day, assumed that he had stolen them. As a punishment he made the boy stand up on a bench in class. At the end of the lesson, the sight that beheld the teacher who came to take the next lesson must have been truly something to behold.
On entering the classroom the relief teacher was amazed to see that his colleague was still sitting in his chair with a very embarrassed look on his face, and that young Sathya was standing up on the bench. However, this particular teacher was one that recognised the boy’s Divinity and he loved Sathya dearly; to the extent that he knew exactly what had happened. As he approached, his red-faced colleague explained that he was stuck in the chair and could not move. Trying to suppress his amusement, the relief teacher explained to his colleague that he had better ask Sathya to step down from the bench. He did this immediately and found that he was straight away able to stand up from the chair. Needless to say he never accused the boy of stealing again.