The year 1926 was known as Akshaya, meaning the "Never-declining, Ever-full" year, and November 23 (the day Sathya Sai Baba was born) is always a day to be devoted to the worship of Shiva. Moreover in this year a certain positioning of the stars made the day even more auspicious. The villagers were out chanting the names of Shiva when the rising sun climbed over the Chitravati River. Satyanarayan was born at this moment.
Soon after Satya's birth the baby was placed on the floor on top of some bedclothes. The cloth around the baby began to move in a peculiar way. The women attending his mother immediately looked under the cloth -- there was a live cobra! But the snake did not harm the child. Sai Baba of Shirdi (the previous incarnation of Satya Sai Baba) often appeared to his followers in the form of a cobra. The cobra also is one of the many symbols of Shiva.
As happens with many Hindu families, some of the members of the family are not vegetarian. Satya was a natural vegetarian with a tender heart for all living things. He even objected to the local yearly bull races where the animals were pushed beyond endurance and sometimes broke their legs trying to run on sandy soil during the competition.
Satya never turned any beggars away from his mother's house. He would see to it that they always got something to eat.
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