Swami tells us: ‘When is Sri Sathya Sai’s Real Birthday?’

Sri Sathya Sai on His Birthday at Poornachandra Auditorium at Prasanthi Nilayam

Why are Avataric Birthdays celebrated?

Bharatiya festivals and holy days are designed to reveal the greatness and integrity of Indian culture. All these festivals have a profound meaning and purpose. These holy days and festivals are intended to celebrate the birthdays of Avatars and to mark the destruction of evil and wicked forces. The ancients observed these occasions to honour the memory of the great souls and to remember how the demonic forces were vanquished.
The advent of Sri Rama, the embodiment of Dharma, occurred on the Shuddha Navami in the Chaitra month. That day is observed as the sacred birthday of Rama. The Bahula Ashtami in the month of Shravana is observed as the sacred day on which Sri Krishna made His advent for the establishment of Dharma and propagating Dharma as the Gitacharya (the teacher of the Bhagavad Gita). 
- November 09, 1988, Prasanthi Nilayam

Whose Birthday are we trying to celebrate on November 23rd?

You are singing with Me, conversing with Me and filling your eyes, ears and hearts with My utterances and activities. This is not a mere physical body composed of the five elements, nor is this day My Birthday though you may call it thus this body might have a birthday, but I have no birth. You say I am 54 years old. But I have no age that can be counted. 
The Eternal, with neither entrance nor exit;
The One who neither Was nor Is nor Will be;
The Immortal Person free from birth and death
That Ever-effulgent Atman is Sai for ever.
- November 23, 1979, Prasanthi Nilayam

The evening Jhoola function in the Poornachandra Auditorium

When is Sri Sathya Sai’s real Birthday?

You are celebrating this day as the Birthday of Swami, and deriving Ananda through various programmes carried on with enthusiasm by you. But, in fact, I have no wish to consider this as a special day. I have come on a purpose to reveal to man the mystery of his reality and the goal of his life. I have not come to set them to the task of celebrating Birthday or to arrange any pompous or personal festivals. I have no such desire at any time, in this or any sojourn. On what day do I celebrate My birthday? On that day when all of you experience genuine Ananda, in your hearts! Now, when your hearts are surging with manifold fears and anxieties, and torn by miseries and losses, and riven as under of grief, declaring this day as My birthday seems to be barren of meaning!

While on this subject, it is essential that I warn you of another subject also. Do not spend your time to understand Me. Do no waste time in that attempt. The reason why I am saying this is, it is beyond anyone’s capacity to understand Me. Therefore, in trying to do the impossible, you are also wasting your time and your effort. It is only when you succeed in knowing yourself that you can know Me. I need nothing, however great or small, in this Universe. At no moment has desire affected Me for anything. I am the person who has come to give, not to receive. What you can offer Me is just this: pure, unadulterated Love. When you offer Me that, I derive Ananda. 
- November 23, 1974, Prasanthi Nilayam

Source: Sathya Sai Baba, Chapter 8, Sai Vani: Avatar on Avatar Purushas

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