Avaita (non-dualism), is the first and foremost stage in the process of realization. It is beyond mind and word and can only be experience in the state of yoga samadhi (equanimity), Vishistaadvaita (???) however, can be expressed in a word through the mind and intellect. Life’s ultimate goal is to realize one’s inherent divinity.
-Baba from Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana
Swami gave clear indications to many devotees either directly or through dreams that He was leaving this body and assuming the COSMIC form like all Avatars have done. However many of us chose to deliberately block this knowledge from our minds or could not understand what He actually meant till after the event.
No Avatar leaves till the spiritual tasks they have undertaken are completed. Swami had often indicated that raising the consciousness of humanity is what He has come for. The work was started by Shirdi Sai and will be completed by Prema Sai. Our own Sathya Sai stands in the middle. Our exposure to Swami in different ways surely has transformed us; perhaps we lack the self-confidence to assert it because we are so used to having Him around and we are numbed by our grief. However nurturing the seeds of Consciousness that He sowed within us and watered them into saplings with His Love, is our foremost duty now Swami is not absent, in fact He is now PRESENCE, OMNIPRESENCE. We do miss his physical presence, but His Omnipresence has become more real in many ways. Grief can block this awareness and stop us from experiencing Him.He is also somehow more PRESENT within each one of us now, otherwise how is it that we have all not gone mad ?
The body that He assumed suffered in many ways due to taking on the mass karma of humanity. Do you really want Him to come back in the same body and suffer again for our sakes because we do not choose to truly follow Him? For, that is what all Avatars do. They endlessly sacrifice and humanity carelessly laps it all up. Wanting Him to come back in the same body is selfish in one sense. When we truly love, we do not want the Beloved to suffer. So let us reflect on this. Were He to ‘come back’ now we will resume what we were mostly doing – disregard Him again.
Let us not postpone our spiritual homework just because we have got so used to Swami doing all our assignments for us and giving us Grace marks. His mission continues and HE will not ‘come back’ because He has not gone anywhere.
When Diana Baskin, a longtime devotee from USA visited Him in 2010, Swami told her the day she was leaving, “I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE” He repeated this to her twice from the car and she did not know then what He meant. The relevance of His words flashed on her when she was grieving for Swami a year later.