Sunday, May 24, 2009

Life History of Sai Baba -VII

Please do post some comments on the blog so that i can improve the way i'm presenting.Your comments are very precious to makes me feel that someone is reading my blog! It will be a great source of motivation for me to continue the good work.Your comments will be respected,so if you fell like to suggest anything..please go forward and do it! I'll be a lot lot thankful to you !

Om Shanti! Shanti! Shantihi!

The time-wheel was moving fast. Along with it Sai Baba’s name had spread to all places in Maharashtra. Devotees from different places visited Sai Baba and got solutions to their problems.

In the nights, Mhalsapathi and Tatya slept with Baba in the mosque. They slept in such a way that all their heads were in the centre and their legs stretched in different directions. They discussed several matters. Mostly Baba answered their questions . Sometimes, Baba used to teach them about matters connected with Atma. Now and then Shama also joined them. Sometimes, Baba used to keep Mhalsapathi’s hand on his chest and ask him to put his ear close to the hand and hear the sounds that came from Baba’s heart. Mhalsapathi used to hear God’s "Nama japa" from Baba’s heart. When he slept keeping his hand on Baba’s chest, he woke him up by calling him "Arre Bhagath" and asked him to sleep properly. At any time of the night, if anyone woke up, Baba used to call him by his name. From this it is clear that Baba never slept. Though his eyes were found closed he was having only "Yoga Sleep" as told by Mhalsapathi.

That was in the year 1886 ( full-moon night ) in the month of Margashira. At about ten in the night, Baba and Mhalsapathi were discussing something. Baba was suffering from asthma and he told Mhalsapathi. "Now I will be leaving my physical body and going up. After three days I will re-enter this body. You should take good care of my body for these three days. In case I do not come back after three days, bury my body opposite to the mosque and put two flags on top." So saying Baba put his head on the thigh of Mhalsapathi and left his physical body. Tatya who came just then saw the happening and was surprised. News spread through Shirdi village that Baba died. Many gathered near the mosque. Only Tatya and Shama believed the words of Mhalsapathi who narrated what Baba had told him. Others disbelieved and thought that Baba had really died. Taking this as a good opportunity, the village munsif Bhate began criticising that for a person with so many divine powers, where was the need to die?

By daybreak all the villagers of Shirdi gathered before the mosque. Bhate with his followers tried to move the physical body of Baba from its place. Mhalsapathi opposed the move. Since Baba had promised to come back to his body after three days, the body should not be moved till then. Some villagers agreed with Mhalsapathi and therefore Bhate could not do anything. But he still insisted that a dead person can never come back alive, and that Mhalsapathi, out of his blind faith in Baba, was believing this and it was better to get a doctor and get the body examined. He sent for a doctor from Ahmednagar. The doctor came to Shirdi on the morning of the third day. He examined the body carefully and declared that the dead body was three days old. But there were no such symptoms of a dead body. He cautioned that as there was a plague prevalent in nearby places, it was not advisable to keep the dead body thus. The villagers came to a decision that if life did not return to the body after completion of three days, then the last rites would be performed. But in the early hours of the fourth day, the body started breathing. There was movement of the limbs. In a few minutes Baba sat up . Mhalsapathi, overjoyed, said loudly, "Sri Sainath Maharaj ki Jai"! Tatya and Shama also repeated this. Hearing all this, the villagers came to Dwarakamai and prostrated before Sai Baba.

Seeing Baba moving about, Bhate, who thought Baba to be dead, duly certified by the doctor, was so wonderstruck that he now started fully believing in Baba as the incarnation of God. From that day, he became the greatest devotee of Baba and brought several people to Baba with a request to get salvation.

After this incident in 1886, Baba showed several miracles and drew several persons from far and near to Shirdi. He brought about several changes in his devotees. We shall know more about such leelas as we proceed further.

In fact, the miracles and leelas shown by Sai Baba were more from this time onwards. The life history of Sai Baba from the year 1890 to 1918, for a period of 28 years, is very important for us. All of Baba’s teachings, miracles and leelas occurred only during this period. We pray to Sai to make us continue the Parayana of the remaining life history with great devotion and understanding, in correct perspective.

Life History of Sai Baba -VI

Please do post some comments on the blog so that i can improve the way i'm presenting.Your comments are very precious to makes me feel that someone is reading my blog! It will be a great source of motivation for me to continue the good work.Your comments will be respected,so if you fell like to suggest anything..please go forward and do it! I'll be a lot lot thankful to you !

Om Shanti! Shanti! Shantihi !

After starting Dhuni in Dwarakamai, Baba used to sit leaning on the wall opposite to Dhuni, most of the day. Thus sitting in front of his mother who gave him this physical body, he would tell about his feelings to her. He frequently used to say "Masjid Mai" which meant mosque mother. Now and then he used to convey his feelings to the mother.

As long as the physical body is there, attachments will be there. Once the life leaves the body, then there are no such attachments. For sages, saints and those who want to free themselves from this lifecycle, this state gives them peace and happiness to their soul. But ordinary people after their death, seek rebirth as they are not able to come out of their worldly desires. If you do not have such desires, then there will not be a rebirth or punar janma. This is moksha or mukthi or salvation.

With great detachment, having got moksha, Gurudhan, Dwarakamai and Venkusa in the form of jyotis were in Shirdi only for the welfare and prosperity of the masses and not for the sake of themselves. Under such a state, there would not be any relationship as mother and son. All were equal and in such a state only, all were at Shirdi. Sai was visible in the human form whereas the other three were not - this was the only difference.

After devotees like Mhalsapathi and others worshipped Baba in the morning, he used to sit opposite the Dhuni and do some soul-searching . At about noon, he went into the village for alms. He put solid foods like roti in his bag and the liquid in a small vessel. If his visit was not noticed by someone, he would softly call out "Fakir has come mother" . If some looked into his eyes at the time of giving alms, they used to get full happiness and they desired to have any number of re-births just to look at the eyes of Baba. Such things were experienced only by devotees who realised Sai’s divinity. Persons like Bhate, the village munsif,who never came near Sai or spoke to him used to criticise and abuse him. But Baba, for whom bouquets and brickbats were the same, ignored such things.

He used to take rest in the afternoons. In the evenings, he grew flower plants in the backyard of the mosque and also in the vacant land called Lendi Bagh on the west side of Gurusthan. Tatya, who was a small boy when Baba came to Shirdi, who used to sit on the lap of Baba and played, had now grown up and spent most of his time with Baba. Baba was more precious to him than his own life. They should have been together in the previous birth also. Tatya attended to all the needs of Baba. He kept the mosque clean and attended to all the needs of Baba. He kept the mosque clean and attended to its repairs, bringing firewood for the Dhuni, changing the dress of Baba and watering the flower plants in Lendi Bagh. Mhalsapathi similarly had come close to Baba.

Now and then Baba used to feed the poor with the amount that he received by way of dakshina. On such occasions he went personally to the market and purchased all the required material. Tatya would assist Baba in bringing them to the moque, in cooking and serving the food. Baba used to personally check to see whether the salt etc. were put in the correct proportions in the food. Sometimes Baba cooked and served non-vegetarian food. He put his hand in the vessel to stir the boiling food. But nothing happened to his hand even then.

One day Baba personally cooked food and fed the poor. The food had to be cooked two to three times as hundreds of poor people attended and this went on till sunset. That day for some reason or the other, Tatya did not come to the mosque in the daytime. Baba had to attend to the entire work all alone. Tatya came in the evening and learnt about the feeding of the poor and how Baba had to attend to the work all alone. He regretted very much for not having assisted Baba. He found Baba completely exhausted which worried him. Meanwhile, Mhalsapathi came there. Tatya told him about the condition of Baba and sought his advise as to how to make Baba rest. In spite of tiredness Baba went near the Dhuni and sat there. Mhalsapathi told Tatya that if they could bring a nice big stone and put it outside the mosque, then Baba could take complete rest sitting on the stone in the moonlight and enjoy the cool breeze.

All of them finished taking their night meal and everything was silent. Late in the night, Tatya told Mhalsapathi that he would go to the nearby mountainside and bring a big stone for Baba. But Baba who was hearing their conversation,asked Tatya not to go during the night, but he was stubborn.

Baba told Tatya that a big stone for him to sit in the open yard would come and he need not go to bring it. But Tatya insisted on getting it immediately, saying that he would not have satisfaction if somebody else brought the stone and hence, he himself would bring it. So saying he went out of the mosque. As Baba did not want to give trouble at such an odd hour in the night, he lifted his two hands and made some gestures and talked something to himself. Suddenly, there was a big lightning. Tatya and Mhalsapathi, unable to withstand the lightning, closed their eyes. On opening their eyes, they found a big flat stone with red and white colours in front of the moque. Both were surprised at this. Baba in the moonlight sat on the stone with one leg over the other. Lifting his right hand, he showed them his Abhaya Hastha. Mhalsapathi saw Lord Shiva in Baba, While Tatya saw Maruthi in Baba. Thus Baba appeared to them in two forms simultaneously . Out of joy, Mhalsapathi’s eyes brimmed with tears and he recited some slokas on Shiva. When they came back to their original state, Baba made them sit down and personally served them meals.

He cautioned them not to reveal to anyone what they had seen of the leelas of Baba. He always concentrated on his Guru and got maximum satisfaction loving him. Thus he had the complete blessings of his Guru. He merged himself with him. When one gets into such a state, one can see in one’s Guru, Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Gurudevo Maheshwarah, Guru Sakshat Parabrahma. But if one simply utters "Guruji" without following his teachings, then the word ‘Guru’ will remain only a word used to give respect to the Guru. But such a pupil cannot obtain any benefit from his Guru.

Because of Baba’s state of concentration, all siddhis and aishwaryas (prosperities) came to his feet. These siddhis were capable of misguiding even yogis and destroying them. Hence, Baba discouraged them. He did not even look at them. All those powerful siddhis were lying at Baba’s feet for nearly 30 years. He did not exhibit his extraordinary powers till 1886.

I pray that readers be blessed with devotion, jnana and detachment and that those who read this chapter with devotion be endowed with concentration of their minds.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Life history of Sai Baba-V

keep reading the blog regularly,couldn't post new posts as i was busy on some research work related to after-death of baba for the last three months,got some leisure now and would be posting regularly from now on..Om Sai Ram!

Om Jai Sai Ram!

When our country was under foreign domination, the State of the Nizam with Hyderabad as his capital extended upto Aurangabad, presently in Maharashtra State.

In this State, there is a small village named Patri, situated among green fields, trees and other natural settings and taking the villagers to divine heights.

The water flowing in the rivulet adjoining this village had the effects of the water from river Ganga, curing several ailments. In this village, there lived a pious couple named Ganga Bhavajya and Devagiri Amma. They lead a happy and contented life. They did not have any property worth the name.

Ganga Bhavajya used to ferry a boat in the adjoining river and lived on this meagre earnings. Though, they were poor in terms of wealth, they were contented, tolerant, tactful and had peace. Ganga Bhavajya used to worship Lord Shiva and Devagiri Amma used to worship Gowri Devi. Under any circumstances, the worship of Lord Shiva and Gowri Devi would be done before the couple attended to other items of work for they believed that there was divine presence in their house, protecting them every moment. But sadly they were not blessed with children. So they used to pray to Shiva and Parvathi to bless them with children.

One day in Kailash, Shiva told Parvathi that the time for him to take birth on earth had come as promised to Bhoodevi. Then Parvathi pleaded with Lord Shiva that she be allowed to take birth on earth and assist Shiva in his Avatar. But he did not agree, that in his new Avatar, he proposed to practice strictly what he intended to preach and Parvathi would have no role to play in his ‘Fakir’ life. He then showed Parvathi, Ganga Bhavajya and Devagiri Amma on the earth, telling her that they are the couple to whom he would be born.

Then Parvathi said that since she would not take birth on earth along with Lord Shiva,they should visit Ganga Bhavajya and Devagiri Amma now. He agreed and in the first instance sent Ganga Devi to fill Patri village and its surroundings with water. There was a heavy downpour, inundating the village and surroundings. Fearing that the boats would be washed away in the floods, Ganga Bhavajya proceeded to the nearby river to take care of the boats after taking his night meal.

At about 9.00 p.m. in the night, there was a knock at the door of Ganga Bhavajya’s house. Thinking that her husband had returned, Devagiri Amma opened the door. But it was not her husband. An unknown old man entered the house. In this small village Devagiri Amma knew everyone. But this old man was unknown to her and that too coming at such a later hour. She tried to find out who he was. The old man pleaded with her to allow him to remain inside the house for sometime as it was very cold outside. Being a pious lady,Devagiri Amma asked the old man to sleep in the verandah, while she went inside her room, locking the door from inside. After sometime, the old man knocked at her door. She opened the door. The old man said, "Mother, I am hungry. Please give me some food." She felt helpless since whatever food she had cooked had been eaten and nothing was left . She searched in the house for some eatables but found only a small quantity of flour. She mixed this flour with curds and served it to the old man who gratefully ate it. She then went into her room and prepared to go to sleep, locking the door from inside. Again after sometime there was a knock at her door. She opened the door only to again find the old man standing there. He told her that his legs were paining and requested her to massage them. She was perplexed at the way in which a complete stranger was behaving when her husband was not in the house. She wondered whether the old man was really a human being or whether Lord Shiva had come to test her. Without knowing what to do under such circumstances, she wept and prayed to Parvathi. She went out through the back door to procure the services of two or three servants for massaging the legs of the old man. She was willing to pay them liberally, but found none. She returned home disappoined and wondered what to do now, whether she ought to massage the legs of the old man or not.

Who was this old man ? She prayed to Parvati wholeheartedly to show her a way out of this predicament. The old man knocked at her door again. Just then a woman entered through the back door and addressed Devagiri Amma, "Mother, it seems you came to my house to engage me for massaging the legs of an old man. But at that time I was not in the house. Now I have come, please tell me to whom I should do the service?"

Devagiri Amma felt very happy. She presumed that on hearing her prayers, Parvati must have sent this woman and she expressed her gratitude to the goddess. She sent the woman to the verandah to massage the legs of the old man while she went to her room and shut the door. After some time she opened the door again but she did not find either the old man or the woman sent to massage his legs. But in their place she saw Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Her happiness knew no bounds and she fell at their feet. Then Parvati blessed her, "You shall have one son and one daughter." On hearing this, she again fell at the feet of Lord Shiva who blessed her, "Mother, I am pleased with your devotion, I will myself take birth as your third child." By the time she got up, both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati had disappeared.

She lay awake the whole night, waiting for her husband’s return , to break the happy news of the visit of Lord Shiva and Parvati to their house. She saw only Lord Shiva and Parvati, whether she closed or opened her eyes. At daybreak, her husband returned home and she narrated everything to him. But he did not believe it. He told her sarcastically that she had gone mad or was dreaming. How could the gods come to their house ? However much she tried to convince him about their visit he did not believe her.

In due course, Devagiri Amma gave birth to a male child and a female child a year after. As the children were born after so many years and that too blessed by Parvati Devi, Ganga Bhavajya started believing the visit of the gods to their house and the boons granted to his wife. From then onwards a lot of change came over him and he decided to do penance to have a vision and blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He began to think that family attachments were obstacles for his penance.

While such ideas were taking concrete shape in him, the third child started growing in the womb of Devagiri Amma. One day, Ganga Bhavajya took firm decision and informed his wife that he was retiring to the forests. As duty bound Devagiri Amma followed her husband. Without any money, placing complete faith in Lord Shiva and Parvati, they proceeded towards an unknown destination in thick forests. On one hand Devagiri Amma felt elated that shortly Lord Shiva would be born to her. On the other hand, she was worried and fearful of the aimless journey through forests. With these mixed feelings, they continued their journey.

It was the 28th day of September 1835, Ganga Bhavajya and Devagiri Amma were continuing their journey. The sun was rising throwing light red-coloured rays on the earth. Devagiri Amma went into labour pains. She slowly reached a big banyan tree and lay down on its shade. Goddess Parvati was beside her unseen, giving her courage. All other gods were witnessing from above, this unique occasion of Lord Shiva being born in human form on the earth. This new ‘Avatar’ would put an end to religious fanaticism, jealousies, hatred, arrogance, egoism and attachments prevalent in the humans and would generate peace, jnana , love and equality among them. The gods showered flowers from above, unseen, and jubilant over the occasion. Great sages all over the world, for a moment became still and in that state witnessed the arrival of Lord Shiva in human form as Devagiri Amma’s child. Finally Devagiri Amma delivered the child. No one knew that the new born Avatar of Lord Shiva would one day be known as Shirdi Sai Baba and that he would respond at once to the prayers of devotees, that he would show the way to a number of devotees for attaining salvation by becoming their Sadguru, and that even after his Samadhi he would protect his devotees.

Devagiri Amma was very happy that Lord Shiva himself was born to her. But Ganga Bhavajya was not satisfied by looking at the human child form of Lord Shiva. He was determined to see the real Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, as was seen by his wife. After sometime, he prepared to set out on his journey. It was a testing moment for Devagiri Amma. One one side was her husband and she was duty bound to follow him. On another side, it is the just born child, apart from her weakness due to delivery. Finally, she decided to follow her husband, leaving the child in the forest. She prepared a small bed of leaves and spread a soft cloth over it. She placed her newborn child on the bed. She began weeping as other mothers do and the warm tears began to fall on the child. These tears were the last attachment between mother and child. She wept bitterly for not being in a position to provide food and shelter for her child. Perhaps, she was not aware that Adi Sankara, who can protect all the creations, does not require her protection.

No such thoughts were in Ganga Bhavajya . His aim was to have vision of Lord Shiva only. For achieving this , family bonds and attachments would be hurdles. So he desired to be away from such attachments and go into the forest and do penance. He started to proceed towards his goal, his wife following him. For every step taken by her, the motherly love towards her newborn child began to melt into tears which flowed from her eyes continuously. She kept looking backwards at her child though advancing. The tears blocked her vision and she was able to see only a blurred image of her child. After proceeding for some more distance, she lost sight of her child completely and she followed her husband blindly. In the coming chapters, we shall see where and how their aimless journey ended.

On the golden Kailash mountain, Lord Shiva should have been in the company of Parvathi and other gods. But in his new ‘Avatar’ he was under the banyan tree, as a newborn child, moving his legs and hands playfully and waiting for the person who would find him and look after him. Lord Shiva knew who that person was. That Mahatma named Roshan Sha came in the form of fakir (mendicant). When he was walking with his wife, he heard the cries of a small child. As they did not have any children, he picked up the child and gave him to his wife as a gift from ‘Allah’ .

We find no words to praise Roshan Sha and his wife who bathed Lord Shiva and fed him. The child grew for four years till 1839 in the fakir’s house. The actions of God cannot be gauged. How and when some persons come together and again get separated is beyond the understanding of common people. The fakir died oneday. His wife brought up the child affectionately as her own.

In those days there were clashes between Hindus and Muslims. Under such conditions, the behaviour of this boy used to be peculiar. He would suddenly enter into a temple one day and start yelling, "Rama is God, Shiva is Allah". Both Hindus and Muslims used to admonish and punish him. On seeing this, Roshan Sha’s wife used to suffer a lot. Finally, unable to withstand the complaints against the boy, she decided to hand over the boy to a Sadhu by name Venkusa in a nearby village.

Monday, March 9, 2009

OM JAI SAI RAM-Seek sai Baba's blessings -IV

Read the blog regularly to know more about Sai Baba,the god of all gods..fullfill your desires with His aid

Life History of Shirdi Sai Baba

In the previous chapter we learnt how Baba suffered on account of the selfishness of some devotees, without his close devotees also not knowing about this. Disciples should not go against the wishes of their Guru, even in small matters. Sometimes they may do something out of love for their Guru, even though the Guru tells them not do it. By doing such things, they should know that they are making the Guru suffer. Unfaithfulness to one’s Guru is the same as unfaithfulness to God, since Guru is God.

Tatya’s health deteriorated from the end of July. Ramachander Patil was very much worried about this and was always looking after him. Knowing that Tatya’s death was coming closer, Patil satisfied the tastes of Tatya. Poor Tatya did not know about his impending death! Though he was suffering form ill health, he was cheerful. But Patil was suffering mentally. The month of August was gone and September came. By the end of September Tatya was bedridden. He could not even walk up to Dwarakamai. The tuberculosis from which Tatya was suffering advanced and everyone thought that he would not survive. But Tatya never bothered about his health. He was a single person, a bachelor. With his association with Baba, he lost his attachment to his body and thus he had no fear of death. He was always thinking about changing Baba’s dress and arranging his bed in the nights in his absence.

Reading of Sacred Books

On the first of October, a Brahmin devotee, Vaje , came to Baba and saluted him with folded hands. Baba, while blessing him with udi prasad noticed a book in his hands and asked him what book it was. Vaje said it was Rama Vijayam written by the poet Sreedhar . Baba took it and turned the inner pages several times. After that he asked Vaje to read the book aloud, seated near him. Vaje took Baba’s orders as a great boon and commenced reading immeditely. Now and then in the middle Baba would explain clearly certain matters contained in the book, for the benefit of the devotees who were there. This went on daily in the mornings and evenings. It was the practice to read sacred books before a person who would die soon. Baba kept this also a secret. The book was completely read by Vaje three times in a period of 14 days. Tatya’s ailment was becoming serious day by day. He was vomitting blood. Everyone thought that his days are counted.

On 8 October 1918, Baba became very weak. He sat leaning on the wall of the mosque. Arathis and worship were done as usual. As he was very weak, the devotees were not allowed to go near him and this was ensured by Shama and Nana Chandorkar. Some people with a tiger in the cart were going round places and earning money. They came to Shirdi and brought the tiger near to Dwarakamai. The tiger was suffering from some disease and was weak. On seeing Baba, it stretched its two front legs and lay down. It appeared as if the tiger was saluting Baba. Baba looked into the eyes of the tiger for a long time. The tiger also looked at Baba and shed tears. Seeing Baba thus it breathed its last. There must have been a tie-up in one of its previous births with Baba. Thus Baba helped the tiger to merge with God.

Last Days

Even though Baba became very weak, he gave necessary directions to the devotees.He had taken a human form only to help the devotees. He never did anything for himself. His life’s aim was to provide peace and happiness to all mankind. He worked towards this end, day and night. Even in the middle of the night, he was in solitary meditation and saved many devotees at far and near places. The devotees who noticed Baba’s ill-health and the shrinking of his body due to poor intake of food, thought this to be a strange act but they never thought that his life was ebbing. Bhagoji Shinde, Mhalsapathi, Abdul , Nana Chandorkar, Shama, Lakshmi Bai, Bhate, Dixit and others were looking after Baba day and night. We a view not to cause anxiety to his devotees, he would go up to Lendi Bagh and Butty Wada now and then. The Chavadi procession also was held as usual. Shama’s uncle Laxman Mama cooperated with Jog in giving arathis. Butty and Dixit sat along with Baba and took food. In the absence of Baba, they were not able to relish their food. Baba as usual went out for alms to five houses and after collecting the food, put some in the Dhuni and fed the animals and birds with the remaining food.

Baba’s body looked very weak. The eyes which were shining like fire, were sunken. Even then there was no change in his concentrated looks. He gave proper advice and udi prasad to the devotees who came to him. Das Ganu, with the permission of Baba, had gone to Pandaripur to fulfil certain engagements. From 13 October, Baba stopped going to Lendi Bagh and also for alms. He sat in Dwarakamai and gave courage to the devotees. He had been unwell once in 1916 and recovered. The devotees thought that Baba would recover this time also. But the close associates of Baba were very much worried over his not taking any food. Hence, they stayed in the mosque throughout the night looking after him. On the night of 14 October, even though he was seriously ill, he got up and made loud noise and hit the floor with his sataka. Everyone woke up at the sound. Then Baba explained his action by saying that thieves had come to Khaparde’s house at Amaravathi and he drove them away. In his last hours also, Baba was thinking about his devotees only and not about himself.

Final Day

The day was Tuesday, the 15th of October, 1918. It was the last day for Baba’s physical body. The sun had risen as usual. That day was Vijayadashami (Dushera) . Baba became bodily very weak. For ordinary persons, it would have been difficult even to get up and sit. But, Baba got up as usual and sat in his place. Devotees came for his darshan as usual. Shama stopped some devotees from coming inside the mosque, as Baba was unwell and advised them to have darshan from outside. But Baba did not agree to this and asked all the devotees to come inside and have his Pada darshan from outside. But Baba did not agree to this and asked all the devotees to come inside and have his Pada darshan. The devotees did so. Baba put his Abhaya Hastha on their heads, blessed them and gave them udi prasad. For unknown reasons, even the close devotees of Baba who were always with him, fell at his feet one after another. Baba gave them necessary advice as per their need. They took them as usual advice which Baba used to give, but failed to think that they were Baba’s last ones to them while in physical body. Baba asked Laxman Mama, who was an astrologer and devotee , to do God’s Namasmaran for some time.

The time was eleven in the morning. Tatya vomitted blood frequently and went into unconscious state. His pulse also became weak. Ramachander Patil and Bala Shimpe feared that Tatya will die that day as per Baba’s prediction. They brought Shama and showed him the condition of Tatya. Thinking that Tatya would die in a few moments, Shama came running to Baba. He explained the condition of Tatya to Baba and prayed him to come to Tatya’s house immediately and save him. Baba consoling Shama told him not to worry and assured him that Tatya would escape death as soon as Ekadasi set in that day. But Shama again requested Baba to come once and see Tatya. Then Baba told Shama, "All of you have the tie of friendship only with Tatya. But for me there is also the responsibility for his welfare. I gave word to his mother Baija Bai at the time of her death, that I would look after Tatya equal to my life. The service rendered by that mother and the word given by me to her cannot be forgotten. So you do not worry at all. To save Tatya, I need not go there, and I can do it sitting here," After hearing this Shama calmed down.

The time was noon. Preparations were being made for noon arathi. It appeared as if some divine light entered Baba. Arathi was started. Throughout the arathi Baba’s facial features were changing every moment. Those who looked at him had peace of mind and felt like looking at him continuously. During that period Baba appeared in different forms to the devotees present there. He appeared in the forms of Maruthi, Vittal, Dattatreya, Rama and to Muslim devotees as Mecca and Medina. For one Christian devotee, he appeared as Jesus. For Butty he appeared as Sri Krishna playing the flute in the Wada built by him. One devotee brought his little son for initiating him to education by Baba, that being Vijayadashami day. To him Baba appeared as Vigneshwara and writing the sanskrit alphabet ‘OM’ showed it to the boy and blessed him. In this manner Baba, during arathi time that day, had shown his divine form to the devotees as per their thoughts.

Arathi was over. The time was one hour past noon. Baba ordered all the devotees to go away quickly. With joy at Baba’s divine darshan, all of them went away to their houses and wadas. Suddenly Baba had a severe cough and he vomitted blood. There, Tatya recovered and his pulse came to normal. Some new strength entered his body. He stood up and could walk also. He cried out of joy. He could not understand from where he got this new energy all of a sudden. The onlookers were also surprised. Before he recovered from his surprise, he remembered Baba. Thinking that Baba had given him another lease of life, he went running to the mosque.

By that time Baba leaned on Baija Appaji Patil and was telling him something secretly. Saying this, he warned him not to reveal this to others, otherwise, he would die. Tatya heard these last words. Baba was getting severe cough and was heaving. Whenever he coughed, blood poured out through his mouth and fell all over Dwarakamai. Beforehand Baba had asked his devotees to be without fear and sent them for their meals. But a few devotees refused to leave Baba. Lakshmi Bai, Bhagoji, Appaji, Laxman, Bala Shimpe were sitting near Baba. When Tatya saluted Baba, he asked Shama to take Tatya and leave him in his house. Shama returned after leaving Tatya in his house. The time was two o’ clock in the afternoon. Baba sent away the others also for meals.

Charity of Nine Rupees

Lakshmi Bai Shinde and Bayyaji were the only ones remaining. She was near Baba’s feet. Baba put his right hand in his shirt pocket twice, took out Rs.5 and Rs.4 and gave them as charity to Lakshmi Bai. Baba explained the significance of these nine rupees as the nine qualities a devotee should have (1)Absence of egoism (2) Absence of jealousy (3) Untiring service (4) Absence of worldly desires (5) Complete faith in Guru (6) Peaceful nature (7) Desire to know the truth (8) Absence of envy, and (9) Absence of self-boasting and finding faults in others. Unless a devotee improved these nine qualities, he could not have true devotion to reach God. Thus Baba taught to Lakshmi Bai even in his last moments.

Baba’s Mahasamadhi

Dashami ended and Ekadashi came. The time was 2.30 in the afternoon. Baba told Bayyaji that he was leaving this world and his body was to be kept in Butty Wada, assuring him that from there, he would be protecting his devotees at all times. So saying, Baba leaned on the body of Bayyaji. He did not fall on the floor, or his bed. He breathed his last giving charity and teaching Jnana to his children. This is the way the king of yogis - Yogiraja - attained Samadhi. Lord Shiva who is capable of commanding death, and who was born as human, invited death. The divine light which came out of the body of Baba, joined Gurudhan, Dwarakamai and Venkusa, who were already in the form of divine lights (jyotis) and all the four jyotis combined into one as Sai’s divine power. It again divided into four parts. One part went to Gurusthan. The second part when to Chavadi and settled there. The third part merged in Dwarakamai, and the fourth part went into Butty Wada. These four powers represent the four Vedas. These are the proofs of Sai Power which can command and control the whole world. The Shivashakti from Kailash came and stayed in Shirdi. In this way Shirdi became a holy place. The body of Sai who exhibited supernatural powers and saved several devotees, was lying in Dwarakamai.

The physical body of Sai Baba, lying in Dwarakamai, cannot be seen again. So let us imagine ourselves to be in Dwarakamai and touch the holy feet of Sai Baba and make our life meaningful.

"Om Shanti! Shanti! Shantihi"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

OM JAI SAI RAM-seek sai baba blessings 3

If you continue reading the posts regularly,it is damn sure that SAI BABA will gift you with all that you wanted

Life History of Shirdi Sai Baba-3

Sugunameru Naik

Naik owned a shop at Shirdi. The devotees who came to Shirdi visited his shop for making purchases. One day, when a devotee named Madhuradas went to the shop, he found Naik and some others talking ill of a lady devotee who came to see Baba. Madhuradas also joined them in the evil talk. When he came to Dwarakamai, Baba said to him, "What is Naik telling? One must utilise the time given by God in a beneficial way and should not indulge in criticising others. All kinds of devotees come here, both good and bad. Why should you discuss about their character and others?"

Who is God?

One day a person from Kopargaon came to Baba and sought answers for his doubts. Baba wanted to know his doubts. Then the person asked, "Who is God? How will He be? Where will He be? How to see God?" Baba understood the mentality of the person and did not reply to him . Instead he called a devotee and asked him to go to the marwari Chagchand and told him that Baba wanted a loan of Rs.100 . The devotee went to the marwari and came back empty-handed saying that the marwari told him he had no money and sent his salutations. Then Baba sent for Nana Chandorkar and asked for Rs.100. Since he had no money, Nana sent a written request to the same marwari Chagchand for a loan of Rs.100. Nana received the amount immediately through the messenger. This he gave it to Baba. The person who questioned Baba about God, asked Das Ganu as to why Baba, without answering his questions was trying for a loan of Rs.100. Das Ganu told him that Baba was doing all that for his sake. The marwari, while he declined to give loan to Baba, gave it readily to Nana Chandorkar. Similarly, if one wants to know about God, he should have the capacity to understand. Otherwise, he cannot understand whatever is said about God.

Samsara (Worldly Life) is Fearful

One’s closeness to Baba was the resut of good deeds over many births, and such a person was Nana Chandorkar. He learnt many things from Baba. He found his Samsara (Worldly life) to be like a fearful ocean. The samsara appeared to him like an obstacle for spiritual progress. He learnt this truth by practical experience. In the year 1918, one day when Baba was alone, Nana Chandorkar said to him, "Baba, I am finding the samsara very fearful. My mind is not interested in the worldly affairs. Somehow give me salvation from these attachments. "On hearing this Baba smiled and said, "There is truth in what you said. But the remaining is untruth and meaningless. You are under the impression that by taking to forests, one can escape from the trials and tribulations of the samsara. But this is not correct. It is only an illusion, because wherever you go, your body and mind are with you only. They will never leave you but will be giving you some kind of happiness. Our past actions are the basis for our present troubles and happiness. They should be faced courageously and with tact, and you should lead a family life in the proper way. By getting away from samsara,one cannot attain happiness . Everyone who proceeds in the spritual way will have to face all these problems, and to think of vairagya (renunciation), as a solution, is not correct." This is the message of Sai Baba.

Pandaripur Lawyer

There was a lawyer Deshpande, at Pandaripur. The subjudge of this place was Noolkar, who was suffering from ill-health. He stayed at Shirdi for some days to get Baba’s blessings. There was some discussion that one should take proper medicines for ill-health instead of going to fakirs. Deshpande partook in the discussions and he too blamed Sai Baba. He came to Shirdi many years after this incident. After touching the feet of Baba, he sat in a corner of Dwarakamai.

Baba turned towards him and said, "People are cunning. They fall at the feet and give dakshina, but abuse behind his back." Deshpande understood to whom Baba intended his words. He was surprised as to how Baba could know about this which had happened some years before at Pandaripur which was 300 miles from Shirdi. He wondered at the omniscience of Baba. From that day, he resolved not to talk ill of others and not to participate in such discussions . In this way Baba’s darshan had put him in the right path.

Periods of Deeksha (Vow)

Baba used to give deeksha to the devotees who came to him. The deekshas were prescribed by Baba depending on the stages of the devotees, and during this period he moulded them. Baba prescribed Brahmacharya Deeksha (celibacy) to Tatya, Hari Seetharam Dixit and Kaka Dixit were given nine months period of vanaprastha ( away from wife and children ) at Shirdi. Baba prescribed four years deeksha period to Upasini Baba who left Shirdi without completing the deeksha period. Similarly, Baba used to prescribe deeksha periods for some to do Parayana of holy books, and to some to do Nama Sankeertan (chanting of Names). The devotees were very much benefited by the deeksha periods prescribed by Baba.

Khaparde’ Son - Plague

Khaparde’s wife with her son stayed at Shirdi for some days. While there the boy had an attack of bubonic plague. She feared very much for his life. She talked to Dixit and Shama and wanted to take her son to a good doctor. But there was no allopathic doctor at Shirdi. She wanted to take him to their native place Amaravathi, but lacked courage to take him on such a long distance. She was weeping bitterly fearing what would happen to her son. Shama, consoling her, said that there was nothing to fear when Sai Baba was there and advised her to take her son to Baba and put him at his feet.

That evening while Baba was on his way to Lendi Bagh, she ran towards him and fell at his feet, washing them with her tears. She became speechless because of her suffering and could not even get up. Noticing her condition, Baba lifted her up and said, "Mother, the sky is overcast with dark clouds. But shortly the clouds will disperse and the sky will become clear." So saying he lifted his kafni (shirt) and showed four egg-sized buboes. He told her how he would suffer for his real devotees. Who is more to us than Baba who takes on him the sufferings of his devotees. In two days, the boy regained complete health.

Breaking of Baba’s Brick

Baba looked after the brick given by his Guru Venkusa more than his life. While sleeping he kept it under his head. While sitting he put the brick beside him and put one hand on it. He used to say that the brick was a form of his Guru.

It was the month of August in 1918. One Thursday, Abdul who used to clean the lanterns and keep the mosque tidy, took the brick in his hand. It fell down and broke into two pieces. Baba, who came afterwards, saw it and bemoaned its loss. He cried, "It is not the brick that is broken but my fate is broken into pieces. This way my life’s companion all these years. With it I always meditated on the self and it is equal to my life. It has left me today." Through this incident also Baba indirectly indicated his impending ‘Nirvana’ .

Shamshuddin Miya

Even prior to the above incident, in June 1918, Baba made some arrangements, according to Muslim customs, which are done previous to the death of a person. He sent Rs.250 to Shamshuddin Miya, a Muslim fakir at Aurangabad through Khasim, son of Bade Baba of Shirdi, and also sent a garland for arranging Moul, Qawali and Nyas. He then sent the following message. "On ninth day of the ninth month Allah would be taking away the lamp he lit. This is the grace of Allah." Next day when Khasim reached Aurangabad and met Shamshuddin, without his telling him, Shamshuddin told the contents of Baba’s message As per Baba’s wish he arranged in the name of Baba recitation about Paigambar, drums were played for Muslim saints. He spent all the money sent by Baba by arranging feeding of all who were present. Next day Khasim and Shamshuddin went to the great Muslim saint, Banne Mia, and found him standing in a peculiar position. When anyone went near him, he got angry and scolded and hit them. Everyone was cautioned not to go near him But Shamshuddin without fear went near him and after putting the garland sent by Baba around his neck, conveyed the message sent by him. On hearing the message Banne Miya wept, since Baba would be leaving his mortal body. The Ninth day of the ninth month in Urdu and Arabic calendars were equivalent to 15 October, 1918 Ekadasi.

To Die at Will

As all the above actions of Baba were in secrecy no one had any idea that he would leave his body soon. Therefore all the routine things went on as usual. Baba took good care in not creating any kind of suspicion in his devotees about it. Only Dwarakamai, Gurudhan and Venkusa who were in an invisible form knew about Baba’s ‘Nirvana’ . The devotees were worshipping Baba as usual.

The month of September came. The local merchants and those who came from outside Shirdi, were praying to Baba for more profits in their business. Baba was pained at the desire for money of such devotees. In the nights, Baba used to discuss with Gurudhan, Dwarakamai and Venkusa the selfish desires of such devotees and the way they were pestering him. Since Sai Baba had no negative answers or actions in response to his devotees’ prayers, he had to fulfil their desires atleast to a certain extent, even though the recipients did not deserve it. If this went on like this, it would be against the laws of creation. Therefore, they decided that the only solution to this was that Baba should leave his body. Even taking into consideration the 83 years age of the body, it was time for leaving the body. Though Baba would leave his body, his power would be there . It was decided to spread sai Philosophy and to remove the ajnana (nescience) and blind beliefs in the people and make the people lead peaceful and happy lives.

Towards this goal, they decided to fill this world with love for the next 500 years. They decided that Sai Baba might take another form according to the need and orders of God. Since Baba had the ability to lay down his life at his will, he was setting the time for his leaving the human body. The day was the 28th September. The noon arathi was going on. One group of merchants from Bombay entered Dwarakamai. Baba felt pained on seeing them. The merchants came here after hoarding essential foodgrains in godowns with a prayer to Baba to see that they got double the rates. They brought with them large amounts of money to give Baba as dakshina. Having understood the purpose of their visit, Baba told those who were there that there would not be any darshan after arathi was over. The merchants approached Shama and Nana Chandorkar and pleaded with them for arranging an interview with Baba, as they had to return to Bombay urgently. Shama innocently took them inside Dwarakamai, convincing Baba. Seeing the situation, Baba understood that the time had come for him to leave the body. From that day Baba increased the temperature of his body which appeared as if he had fever. Unable to bear the mental suffering caused to him by the devotees, Baba wanted to lay down his life at will. He stopped taking food, thereby shrinking his body and to making his death appear like a natural one. Usually death comes due to ill-health, accidents or old age. But Sai Baba had to leave the body only for the sake of his devotees. In this way he who worked throughout his lifetime for his devotees, had to leave the mortal body at his will, for the sake of devotees only.

"Om Shanti! Shanti! Shantihi"

OM JAI SAI RAM-seek His blessings -2

I am glad that you are reading this post,SAI BABA will recognise your effort to reach him

Life History of Shirdi Sai Baba-2

Bala Shimpe was doing tailoring work in Shirdi. Tatya got Baba’s clothes stitched by him. Now and then devotees from Bombay and Poona brought long coats and presented them to Baba. For the satisfaction of the devotees Baba kept the clothes with him for a few days and later on gave them away to devotees who were dependent on him. Some sent big shoes, chillum pipes,satakas and sweets from different places. Whenever sweets were offered by the devotees in large quantities, Baba called the village children and making them sit on his lap, offered them sweets. These children who sat on Baba’s lap were very lucky!

The following facts about Sai Baba spread through the length and breadth of Maharashtra just like the smell of scent spreading through air.

i) If one steps into Shirdi, all the sufferings will disappear.

ii) If one steps into the mosque (Dwarakamai)one will have happiness & wealth.

iii)Whatever words come out of Baba’s mouth, will prove true and,

iv)By touching Baba’s feet one’s desires will be fulfilled.

Several devotees came and worshipped Sai Baba and sought only materialistic benefits. Though they were taught in several ways by Baba that their desires were temporary again their minds got entangled in worldly objects. Shirdi Sai Baba who was the incarnation of God was pained at the desires of the devotees. Noticing the day-to-day increase in the number of such devotees, he said, "I have been seeing since a long time. All are thieves. I have to move with such persons. I am struggling day and night to get right such persons. I am also praying to Allah in this matter. But Allah, is not accepting my prayer. Whether I am alive or not my prayer will be accepted. I will not pray for others. The people are generally not of good behaviour. They are not gentle. They are fickle minded. Very few have shown interest in spiritual matters and spiritual practices. People are becoming mean-minded and causing me pain. Always they are pestering me for materialistic benefits." This way Baba indicated in the beginning of the year 1918, that it had become imperative to end his Avatar.

Sai Baba frequently used the Arabic word, "Allah Malik". If any of the devotees referred to him as a great person, Baba said, "God is the greatest of all. He is the Master of all. None equals God. Just imagine how powerful is God who has created this Universe, sustaining it and finally merging it in Him. Such a powerful God had given us certain stages in this birth, and we should be content with that and be happy. How God wanted us to be, we will be and whatever pleasures and sufferings He gives us, we shall be content with that. Only God has full freedom. All the human beings should work with a feeling that they are acting as per the orders of God and offer their all to Him without caring for loss or gain. Only then will we get salvation or moksha. On the other hand, if we go against God’s orders due to nescience (ajnana) and delusion (moha) we have to take several births to wipe off these actions. Jnana is the way to attain moksha, and ajnana will lead us to the cycle of death and re-birth. Therefore, we must obtain Jnana from Sadguru, and get over the cycle of death and rebirth and desire no other thing from him." Thus Sai Baba himself told us what to ask and what not to ask from Him.

In the same manner Sai Baba told several times how our behaviour should be in the world. "Never hate anyone. Do not quarrel with anyone. Love all living beings. Do not have revengeful attitude. Do not insult anyone. If anyone talks about you in hard words, get away from there without getting offended. Then their hard words will not affect you. Avoid laziness. Always be doing good work. If there is no work to do, read holy books or repeat God’s name (Namasmaran) . Do not develop hatred or jealousy for others. Children should obey their parents . They should assist their parents in work. They should always speak only the truth. If someone talks to us in ten words, we should reply in one word, that is easily understandable. Do not have a tit-for-tat attitude. Do good to those who did bad to you."

For those on the spiritual path, Baba advised as follows. "Eat little. Sleep less. Do not go after several tastes of food. Be content with one or two tastes. Do not indulge in finding faults in others and cruelty to living things. For self-realisation, meditation is important. Meditation keeps the mind in peace. The peaceful mind will attain the state of Samadhi ( spiritual superconsciousness ). Unless you discard your desires, it is not possible to meditate by keeping the mind stable. Without attachment in the previous birth, none will come to you. Therefore, do not drive away any living being that comes to you."

In this manner, Baba advised his devotees. With arathis three times a day and with a large number of devotees attending, Dwarakamai wore a festive look every day. Butty was anxious to install Sree Krishna’s idol in the Wada built by him. As he did not have the courage to ask Baba for his permission, he kept his desire in his heart . Ramachander Patil and Bala Shimpe were fearing the impending death of Tatya. Nana Chandorkar, whenever he got an opportunity, was explaining the greatness of Baba to the people. Das Ganu through his Hari Kathas was spreading Baba’s leelas in the entire Maharashtra. Bapu Saheb Jog was serving Baba by giving arathis regularly everyday. Close devotees like Mhalsapathi were enjoying the love of Baba to their heart’s content by way of his darshan, touch and nectar-like words. Thousands of devotees came to Shirdi, worshipped Baba, and had their desires fulfilled. Tatya who was not aware of his impending death, was serving Baba with a pure heart like a lotus flower floating on the surface of the water. In this manner, Baba had already decided as to the duties of each devotee and all was going on well.

Anand Rao’s Dream Vision

According to Baba’s orders, Kaka Saheb Dixit was reading Bhavardha Ramayan daily and explaining it to the others. One day he was explaining about the Navya Nathas’ elucidation of the characteristics of devotees, contained in the eleventh Skandha of the second chapter of the book. The substance of all the exposition of the Nava Nathas was that in this age of Kali, the only means of liberation was the remembrance of Hari’s (Lord’s) or Guru’s feet. After reading this, Kaka Saheb entertained a doubt as to how to reach the devotional path indicated by the Nava Nathas, saying that it would be difficult to put that into practice. Shama did not agree with the thinking of Kaka Saheb and argued that their devotion to Baba was no less than that expounded by the Nava Nathas. The same night Anandrao Pakhde, who had partaken in the above discussions, had a dream, in which Baba gave him the following vision, as narrated by Anandrao Pakhde: "I was standing waist-deep in a very deep sea and I saw Sai Baba all of a sudden. He was sitting on a gold throne studded with diamonds. His feet were in the water. The vision was like a real one, very unlike a dream. Shama was there by the side of me. He asked me to fall at Baba’s feet. I asked him how it was possible since Baba’s feet were below the water. Then Shama requested Baba to raise his feet above the water and Baba did so. Then I put my head on his feet. Baba blessed me and told me that I would benefit by this and should not have anxiety and fear. Baba asked me to present a silk dhoti to Shama."

By saying that Baba’s feet were inside water, the actual meaning is that due to an unstable mind, we are unable to see our Guru’s feet. By moving in the company of devotees whose minds are stable, one can get a Guru and that was the real meaning of Shama requesting Baba to raise his feet above the water. By asking Anandrao to present a silk dhoti to Shama, he meant that one would benefit by serving a devotee who had complete faith in the Guru. As per Baba’s order in the vision, Anandrao bought a silk dhoti and requested Kaka Saheb to give it to Shama. As Shama did not accept it, they put two slips near Baba’s padukas, one had the words "accept" and the other "do not accept" written on them. When one of the slips was picked up, it contained the word "accept". Then Shama accepted it.

Tilak’s Secrets of the Gita

Baba encouraged devotees who read holy books and Brahmavidya (Metaphysics). One day Bapu Saheb Jog received a book by post. He came to Baba to have his darshan and when he bent before him in salutation, the book fell from his armpit. Baba asked for it and turned a few pages. It was the book titled Gita Rahasya (Secrets of Gita) written by Tilak. Baba took out a rupee from his pocket and put it on the book and returned the book along with the coin to Jog with an advice to read it carefully and completely which will benefit him. Because Baba had consecrated the book by his touch, Jog benefited a lot from Parayana of the book.

Killing of Poisonous Creatures - Baba’s opinion

One day Dixit and his friends were talking on the first floor of Dixit Wada. A snake entered through the window. When an attempt was made to kill it with sticks, it went away. While one devotee Muktaram opined that it was good that the snake went away, Hemadpant differed and said it was good to kill poisonous snakes. The whole day both of them argued over this and finally they asked Baba about it. Baba replied, "God only is the preserver of this entire universe which includes poisonous creatures like scorpions, snakes, etc. Without His permission no harm can come to anyone from them. None of the living beings in this world have any freedon of action. So we should take pity and love all creatures and abstain ourselves from quarrels, killings, etc. God is the protector of all."

Haji Siddique Phalke

As prescribed by his religion, Phalke undertook a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina and returned. Hearing about Baba, he came to Shirdi. But Baba did not allow him to enter the mosque for nine months. He felt discouraged and approached Shama. On behalf of the Haji, Shama intervened and asked, "Baba, You have blessed many who have come to you. But why you are not blessing the old Haji?" Then Baba replied, "What can I do when Allah is not agreeing? Without his permission none can enter the mosque. You go to the Haji and find out whether he could come near the Bharavi Well." Shama went and found out that he was prepared to come there. Baba asked Shama to find out from the Haji whether he was prepared to pay Rs.4000 in four instalments. Shama asked Haji and found out that he was even prepared to pay the sum. Baba again asked Shama to tell the Haji that a goat would be cut in the mosque and whether he wanted its meat or its testicles. Shama got the reply from the Haji that he would be satisfied with a small piece of meat from Baba’s mud pot. Hearing these answers Baba got angry. He went to Chavadi where the Haji was staying and said to him, "Why are you acting like a great man? You are feeling proud of your pilgrimage to Mecca and failed to know who I am." Afterwards Baba took him into his durbar. The condition that the Haji should come to Bharavi Well was a test for the Haji’s egoism. If the Haji would have refused to go to the Bharavi Well, it would indicate his egoism. By asking money, Baba tested his sacrificial quality. By asking whether the Haji wanted meat or the testicles, the sensory tastes were known. After testing the Haji in the three qualities, Baba took him into his durbar.

Abdul Baba (Bade Baba)

Abdul was a resident of Nanded. From his sixteenth year he was serving Fakir Amiruddin, a saint of Nanded. In the year 1889, Baba appeared in a dream of Amiruddin, put two mangoes in his hands and asked him to send Abdul to him. When Amiruddin woke up he really found two mangoes in his hands. He gave them to Abdul, and asked him to go to Shirdi and be in the services of Sai Baba. Abdul came immediately to Shirdi. On seeing him, Baba said that his crow had come. Baba asked him to do his service without any other thoughts. From then onwards Abdul kept the mosque and it’s adjoining places clean and also the paths on which Baba walked. He cleaned the lanterns in the mosque, not forgetting Lendi Bagh. In his leisure time he sat near Baba and read the Quran. He put two big pots of water near the Nanda Deep in Lendi Bagh. Baba set in the evenings daily at a fixed time near Nanda Deep. He took water in his hands from the pots and reading something sprinkled the water on all sides. After that he got up and looked seriously in all the directions in which water was sprinkled.
The devotees used to think that by his actions, Baba was protecting his devotees who were there on all sides. One whole night, Abdul knelt down and put his hands on his head and Baba asked him whether he wanted to see the moon. After remaining in that position for sometime, Abdul fell on Baba sleepy. Baba woke him up and told him that he would show him the moon. Next day afternoon, when Abdul took water in his hands, he found the image of the moon in the water.

Abdul washed the clothes of Baba daily in the nearby rivulet and kept them neat.

Imam Bai Chotekhan

Imam Bai Chotekhan was a sepoy in the government of Nizam. Once he severely beat a Christian teacher for having not cooperated in an investigation. The teacher vomitted blood and became unconscious as a result of the beatings. The sepoy’s superiors advised him to leave the job and get out of the state to escape punishment. Therefore, he resigned his job and came over to Maharashtra State with the intention of escaping the punishment, with the blessings of Shirdi Sai Baba.

When he went to see Baba the next day, Baba assured him saying, "Allah Malik! Do not fear. I will see that no punishment is given to you," He stayed at Shirdi for two months. One day Baba told him, "You can go home. The pending litigation about your lands will be settled in your favour." He had disputes about some lands with his aunt. Though he had not told Baba about this, Baba knew about it and blessed him. Afterwards Chotekhan visited Shirdi several times and took blessings and advice of Baba and progressed in his life.

Butty’s Life in Danger

Once an astrologer named Nana Saheb Dengale came to Shirdi. He told Butty one day that the particular day was inauspicious for him and there was danger to his life. Butty came to Baba and sat at his feet. Baba asked Butty, "What is this Nana telling you? He is telling that there is danger to your life. I will see how death will kill you. You do not fear." That evening when Butty went to answer nature’s call he found there a big snake. Buty called his servant , and by the time the servant came with a stick, the snake had disappeared. He recollected Baba’s assurance and felt happy. Actually that day the poisonous snake might have bitten him as per the prediction of the astrologer, but it could not do anything because of Baba’s words and went away.

Ameer Shakkar

Ameer Shakar was a butcher by caste and belonged to the village Korale near Shirdi. He was doing commission business at Bandra. He suffered from rheumatic pains. Hearing about the greatness of Baba, he left his business and came to Baba. Baba asked him to sit in the Chavadi. In those days, the flooring of the Chavadi was damp. Such a flooring was not suitable for a person suffering from asthma. But none can go against Baba’s words. So he sat in the Chavadi. Baba used to go to the Chavadi in the mornings and evenings. On alternate days, he used to sleep in the Chavadi. Because of this Ameer cultivated a closeness to Baba. His ailment was slowly getting cured.

One night he went to Kopargaon without informing anyone and stayed in a choultry there. There a fakir was about to die and asked for water. Ameer gave him water and the fakir drank a little and died. Fearing that the police may question him regarding the fakir’s death, and regretting for having come without Baba’s permission which had resulted in this situation, he immediately returned to Shirdi , chanting Baba’s name. He stayed in the Chavadi as per Baba’s orders and got cured completely.

One night when Baba was sleeping in the Chavadi, he woke up Abdul in the middle of the night and said that some dangerous creature was coming towards his bed. When Abdul brought the lantern and searched, he found a snake under the pillow of Ameer Shakkar. Baba indicated his own name instead of Ameer’s. This way Baba saved Ameer. Let us pray to Baba to similarly protect the readers of his Life History.

"Om Shanti! Shanti! Shantihi"


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Life History of Shirdi Sai Baba

It was the year 1917. Devotees kept coming to Shirdi in very large numbers like ants. A good number were drawn to Shirdi by Baba in the same manner as a thread is tied to the leg of a sparrow and drawn. The following is the story of one such devotee.

Appa Saheb Kulkarni

One day a fakir resembling Baba came to Kulkarni’s house at about noon. Kulkarni was not in the house. His wife and children asked the fakir whether he was Shirdi Sai Baba. The fakir replied that he was a servant of God and on His orders only he came to enquire about the welfare of Kulkarni’s family. He asked for dakshina . Kulkarni’s wife gave him a rupee. The fakir gave her some udi and asked her to keep it in her puja for worship. That evening when Kulkarni returned home and heard of the fakir’s visit, he felt sorry for not being present at then. He told his family that he would have given ten rupees dakshina. Though he was hungry, he went out in search of the fakir. As he could not find him anywhere, he returned home, had his meal and again started along with a friend in search of the fakir. All of a sudden, the fakir came from behind and extending his hand asked for the dakshina. Kulkarni gave him a rupee. Again the fakir asked dakshina and he gave him one more rupee. When the fakir asked again he took three rupees from his friend and gave it to the fakir. As he found the fakir not fully satisfied, he took him home and gave him another four rupees. When the fakir asked again, he gave him a ten-rupee note. The fakir gave him back nine rupees and went away. Since Kulkarni wanted to give ten rupees as dakshina, the fakir was not satisfied till he got the ten rupees. Kulkarni kept the nine rupees consecrated given back to him by the fakir in his puja room and worshipped them. When once Kulkarni visited Shirdi, he got a strand of Baba’s hair . He put it in a small silver container and tied to his hand. After those two incidents, he got a lot of money and also progressed much spiritually.

It was the talk of those days that Sai Baba’s hand was without bones and he would never send away anyone who approached him empty-handed. Because of this, many people like singers, astrologers and street circus performers came to Baba and exhibited their talents and received presents. When close devotees of Baba visited him along with their family members, Baba gave them clothes. Other than accepting dakshina, Baba never associated himself with any other financial matters. If someone came to Baba with any such proposals, he told them frankly that he did not want to involve himself in such affairs.

Baba not only never yielded to the lure of the lucre but also followed the same principle in respect of ladies. He was an Askalika Brahmachari throughout.

Sai Appearing as a Snake

Raghu Patil, a resident of Shirdi village, would start any work, only after visiting Baba and saluting him. Once, he went to Nevasa village to see his brother-in-law. He went by horse up to Srirampur and from there by tonga to Nevasa. He woke up the next morning and remembered Baba, praying to him with closed eyes. He heard the following words in Baba’s voice, "If I give darshan, do not be frightened." In the meanwhile, a servant working in the cowshed cried, "Snake!Snake!" . All ran there. Raghu Patil thought that Sai had come in that form and put a bowl containing milk in front of the snake, and it drank the milk. The frightened people ran away. While Raghu Patil was watching, the snake crawled for some distance and disappeared. He felt very happy that Sai had given him darshan in the form of a snake.

Feeding Baba

Among the women devotees who served Baba with utmost devotion were Baija Bai, Radhakrishna Mai and Lakshmi Bai Shinde. After the demise of Radhakrishna Mai, Lakshmi Bai Shinde attended personally to the needs of Sai Baba, like a daughter serving her father. In those days she was the richest women in Shirdi village having an exemplary character and serving Baba day and night. In the nights, only Mhalsapathi, Tatya and Lakshmi Bai were permitted into the mosque.

One evening, in 1917, when Baba and Tatya were conversing in the mosque, Lakshmi Bai came and saluted Baba. Baba told her that he was hungry. She told him that she would go home and bring food for him. After a short while, she brought roti ( leavened bread ) and curry. Baba took the food and threw it to the dog which was there. The dog ate the food completely and it wagged its tail out of joy. Then Lakshmi Bai asked Baba why he had given her the trouble to prepare the food, when he did not eat it., but gave it to the dog. Baba replied, "Please do not feel for it. To satisfy the hunger of the dog is the same as satisfying my hunger. Animals also have Atma. Lives may be different but hunger is the same. Humans can speak but animals cannot. Whoever satisfies the hungry will be giving me complete satisfaction. Know this as a great truth." From what Sai said we learn that he is present in all living beings, Omnipresent and Immortal. Let us all recollect what Baba said in such matters, "You need not go to distant places in search of me. If you cast aside your name and body form, Atma remains. This is there in all living beings. I am the Atma. If you can carefully realise this truth, you will know my true form and merge in me."

Bapu Saheb Jog’s Sanyas

After retirement from service in 1909, Bapu Saheb Jog came to Shirdi along with his wife and settled there permanently. They had no children and therefore no family responsibilities. Both of them were completely immersed in the service of Baba. After the death of Megha, Jog gave arathis in the mosque and Chavadi. He did this only till Baba’s Samadhi. He was also called Pujari Jog. In the evenings, he would recite sacred books like Jnaneshwari and Eknath Baghavata and explain them to the devotees who assembled there. But he did not enjoy peace of mind in spite of doing all these.

One day he asked Baba, "Baba, I am fully immersed in your service since so long. But there is no peace of mind for me. Why? When are you going to take pity on me?" Baba replied, "Wait for some more time. The sufferings for your past actions will be over. Your merits and de-merits will be burnt down to ashes. When you renounce all your attachments, conquer your lust and sense of tastes, and overcome all other obstacles, then your life will be a blessed one." After sometime his wife died. As there was no other attachment for him, he took sanyas. We must carefully observe Baba’s message in the above story. After overcoming our weakness like jealousy, selfishness and hatred, the other small enemies like, attachment, lust and tastes will remain and unless we win over these also, there will not be complete peace. The Sadguru teaches such things to his disciples according to their levels, and takes them on the Jnana Marga. But some Gurus who take the status and wealth of the disciples into consideration, cannot understand the level of the disciples. Even suppose such a Guru understands the level of his disciples to a certain extent, he will not teach them the main things for fear that they may leave him. This is the difference between Shirdi Sai Baba and the numerous Gurus that exist nowadays.

Arrival of Bal Gangadhar Tilak at Shirdi

Khaparde came along with Bal Gangadhar Tilak, to Shirdi on 19 May 1917. Khaparde who had come earlier also to Shirdi, had seen the greatness of Baba personally. Hence, he brought Tilak who was the extremist leader in the Indian National Congress and a freedom fighter, to have darshan of Baba and take his advice in the matter of freedom movement. There were proofs that Baba gve Tilak certain advices secretly. According to the then prevailing conditions under British rule, these matters were kept secret. After Tilak left Shirdi, then District Collector of Ahmednagar sent a CID Officer to Shirdi to keep an eye on the activities of Sai Baba and send a confidential report.

There were several proofs to show that Baba predicted that India would certainly become an independent nation, through a non-violent revolution only and not through extremist violent acts. He gave advice to Tilak along the above lines and there were indications that from that day the extremist actions were toned down.

Hindu-Muslim Unity

In those days, to attain independence for our country was the main issue. This was a political problem. The main social problem in the country was religious differences between Hindus and Muslims. The British Government did not try wholeheartedly to remove these differences. They thought that the minds of the people could be diverted from the movement for independence, if the religious differences were encouraged. Religious clashes occurred in the predominantly Muslim populated areas of Aurangabad and nearby places causing much hardship to the ordinary citizen. Unrest, disputes, loss of lives and properties were plaguing the society. Baba found that communal harmony could bring peace and happiness to the people rather than rituals. He also found that in both the religions and religious leaders, the qualities of equality, cooperation and love were completely absent. There was none then to bring peace to the common man in the fields of religion and politics. That was why Sai Baba dedicated himself to the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity and reminded all, that God is one. Sab ka Malik ek hai. The truths in both the religions were same. The gist of the two religions was the same. But the trouble lay with the heads of these two religions and their blind beliefs. The movement started by Baba for Hindu-Muslim unity was found to be necessary for the country’s political future and hence Mahatma Gandhi gave the slogan "Hindu-Muslim Bhai Bhai". The main aim in Sai’s philosophy was to unite all religions. That was why he resided in a mosque where he started the Dhuni which was sacred to the Hindus. In the front side of the mosque, he planted a tulasi plant. The slogans given at the end of arthis Sai Nath Maharaj Ki Jai etc., resemble those recited at the end of the ‘namaz’ by the Muslims, and were prescribed by Sai Baba. In this manner, Shirdi Sai Baba made sincere efforts to unite both the religions.

Before trying to understand Baba’s conception of communal harmony, let us try to know what is religion and how it came into being. Religion was only a set of norms prescribed for the people living in different parts of the world, for their ways of living in relation to their societies. The humans established a society for smooth living, different fron non-humans like animals, etc. When different kinds of people lived together in a society, there would naturally be a clash of behaviours resulting in suffering to some. The living methods were decided keeping in view the climatic conditions of that place and the avaiability of natural resources. Taking into consideration all these aspects, certain experienced people had indicated certain norms to be followed. Some meant for the self and some for his behaviour in a society without causing difficulties to others. In this manner, the social regulations and taboos came into existence and deveoped into religions. So, religion means the regulated behaviour and actions of the people in a society. The aim was to see that all sections of people in a society were happy.

As time passed, such religions developed hatred among societies, leading to bloodshed . The causes for this were not religions or the philosophies, but the religious leaders. We had seen in the story of the ‘Two Goats’ in Chapter 18 that two brothers born to the same mother and belonging to the same religion killed each other. Same blood and same religion could not prevent this. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with religion and if at all there is something, it is only in the people. We should put an end to the hatred towards other religions. Our hearts should be filled with tolerance and love for other religions and equal treatment meted out to people of different religions. This is the philosophy of Sai Baba towards religious harmony. If we look at our country today, with a name like Hindustan, it has a number of people belonging to other religions - Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Jains. Now and then, in the name of religions, atrocities are being committed. The cause for this is not religion but religious leaders. Because of so many religions, India has been declared as a secular country.

If so many religions are there in a country, differences between the religions are bound to be there. Hence, some intellectuals are of the opinion that it would be good to have only one religion in a country. This appears to be a good proposal but it is important to know the methods by which it can be achieved. Violent methods should not be used. We must proceed only in the path shown by Sai Baba - Prema Marga . Marriages between persons belonging to two different religions should be encouraged. In this ways all religions can be intermixed to establish a Sai Religion by which we can forget all religious differences. The politicians and religious heads may take an initiative in this matter, so that there will not be any opposition from others.

Let us pray to Sai Baba that in this Sai Yuga the Sai Religion spreads not only in our country but throughout this world.

"Om Shanti! Shanti! Shantihi"