gospel of shri sai baba

of 128 /128

Upload: awanderer

Post on 07-Mar-2015

261 views

Category:

Documents


27 download

TRANSCRIPT

Page 1: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba
Page 2: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Printed: 2005 ISBN No.: 81-87853-13-1 ©MihirD. Desai

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior written consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above. No part of this publication maybe reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. The information contained in this book has been solely provided by author and due care has been taken to ensure that the same is correct. However, the publisher accepts no responsibility for the authenticity, accuracy or completeness of such information.

Printed by:

Published by:

Prime Print, A/103, Ghatkopar Ind. Estate, Off. L. B. S. Marg, Ghatkopar (W), Mumbai-86. Tel: 91-22-55969703 / 9324507393 E-mail: [email protected]

Page 3: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(Dedicated to S I . pi G o p a l k p i s h n a S w a m i

SH PI o a i Ivlandipam

G i p i n a g a p , Banqalope

G a n g a K a v e r i S a n c j a m

Page 4: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

footprints One Night a man had a dream. He dreamed, he was a

walking along the beach with baba. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life for which scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sands one belonging to him, and other to the baba.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back-at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.

This really bothers him and he questioned baba about it. "Baba, you said, that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troubles sometimes in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why, when I needed you most, you would leave me.

Baba replied, "my precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

IV

Page 5: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Gosyei of Shri Sax Baba Biography of Shri Sai Baba

Mihir D. Desai

Page 6: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba
Page 7: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(preface I prostrate before the Satchidananda Swaroop, Sadguru

Shri Sai Baba, who has made me his instrument for writing this divine biography of Sai Baba.

I prostrate before my Guru, Shri Gopalkrishna Swami, who guided me at every lines of this divine book.

I prostrate before the Supreme Being, Lord Shiva, who removed all obstacles and gave me strength to write this divine book.

I have been brought up in a family where the worshipping of Sai Baba was paramount because we have a divine idol of Sai Baba in our home since my childhood. We used to visit my father's family friend, Shri Rameshbhai Vashi and Shrimati SavitabenVashi who are great devotees of Sai Baba. Whenever we used to offer 'Prasadam' in front of the idol of Sai Baba at their house, Baba used to come in invisible form and take some of the 'Prasadam'. Once, we brought a Shivlingam there, Baba put Udi' on the Lingam and blessed us. During Navratri days, Sai Baba gave kumkum instead of Udi and blessed us with devotion.There are so many such experiences, Sai Baba always increase our devotion. There are so many such experiences we have come across on number of occasions. With such experiences, Sai Baba always increase our devotion and made us come closer to Him. With the untimely death of my mother, Kusum Desai, I began to do the 'Pooja' of Baba in our home. With Sai Baba's grace, I happened to meet Shri Gopalkrishna Swami, who acted as my Guru and made me aware of the true aim of human birth. With Sai Baba's unbound grace and my Guru's blessings, I took up this work of writing the leelas of Sai Baba.

One needs no formal introduction about Shirdi Sai Baba's leelas. But, it is also true that a Sai Baba's devotees are never satisfied by hearing or reading the leelas of Sai Baba. Sai Baba's devotees are ever hungry for drinking the nectar of Sai Baba's

V

Page 8: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

leelas to experience the bliss. I too experience great bliss in writing this great work of Sai Baba. I am enlightened by the knowledge with Sai Baba's grace that no spiritual exercise and no spiritual discourses can make one a realised soul. Only a Guru can make. Guru is Parabrahma, Guru is Paramatma, Guru is Sadguru. Without Guru's grace, no one can ever attain realisation. So, fall at the feet of the Sadguru Sai Baba and be blessed with realisation.

This book presents all factual information about Sai Baba's life, ldelas and teachings. It also takes to the journey within where we are constantly pulled towards the Lord with the grace of Sai Baba. Surrender to the feet of Sai Baba and drink this nectar of Sai Baba's leelas which is Bliss, Knowledge and Love. Reading the Leelas of Sai Baba not only makes us know about Sai Baba's life but also makes us more devoted to Him. Our heart gets filled with divine contentment and we realise our true source of bliss. Sai Baba's ways are ever mysterious which devotees adore the most.

However, it goes without saying that Sai Baba's leelas presented in the famous book, "Sai Satcharita" will always be the most inspiring book ever written on Sai Baba. Let us all fall at the feet of Sai Baba for His grace, for we too can get that same bliss while reading this book. I hope that by reading this book, people will be more devoted to Sai Baba irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

Mihir D. Desai G-1, Sunita, Gujar Lane, Opp.Akbarallys,Santacruz (W), Mumbai 400 054. Telefax: (022) 6049712.

VI

Page 9: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Content Chater Page

1. Introduction 1 2. The Birth Of Sai Baba 5 3. Young Sai Baba 14 4. Sai Baba In Shirdi 31 5. Sai Baba With His Devotees 49 6. Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi 92 7. Sai Baba's Nectar Like Words 105

Aarti Sai Baba 109

VII

Page 10: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

G 5 T F i e n ( 5 H [ £ M e

Have faith in me; then tell Me if I don't pull you towards me. Remember me everyday and night; then tell Me if I don't make your life full of happiness. Love everybody equally; then tell Me if I don't fill your heart with bliss. Offer me anything with love; then tell Me if I don't fulfill your desires. Give up false pride; then tell Me if I don't make your life respectful. Listen to bitter words for me; then tell Me if I don't fill your words with love. Give up attachment; then tell Me if I don't give this world to you. Stop hurting others; then tell Me if I don't give you knowledge. Feed the poor and the animals; then tell Me if I don't if I don't take care of you. Respect your parents; then tell Me if I don't make you my child. Spread my message; then tell Me if I don't make you rule people's hearts. Cry for me; then tell Me if I don't give you liberation.

v i n

Page 11: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

i O l

introduction

The earth is only a small planet in this great Universe. On this planet earth, there are numerous rivers, mountains, forests and oceans. Out of 84 lakhs (8.4 million) kinds of insects, birds and animals and other living creatures on this planet, great sages have concluded that the humans are the best living form who can lead a very high form of divine life. But they, without realizing higher form among the living beings, fell prey to arrogance, egoism and ignorance with the result, there is no peace for them, putting the entire creation to chaos and confusion. What is the cause of all this? We must know the answer for this in the first instance.

Man is superior from other forms of animals, in as much as he is endowed with thinking power. He has established a social order in the society where everyone can live happily.Towards this end, certain social orders and regulations have started to come into being. People living in different parts of the earth have formulated their own set of social orders depending on the local conditions. Over a period, these social orders and regulations have strengthened and became the "Religion" of those people. Religion was misinterpreted as caste systems. People used to see only the posture and method of worshipping God. People began to have a lot of misconception about worshipping and religion.

There was mass misunderstanding. People disregarded the importance of religion and put more stress on fulfilling

1

Page 12: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

individual selfish desires. People were worshipping God with selfish motives and ignored the path of righteousness. India has been described by our ancestors as Punya Bhoomi, Karma Bhoomi, Dharma Bhoomi and so on. We will know make an attempt to know how these names were given. Our country's history of the mid-18 t h century reveals how during the British rule, our ancient civilization gradually adopted the modern ways of British Civilization. Under such circumstances, the Adi / Devtas (Celestial Beings), Ashta Dikpalakas who guard our Punya Bhoomi, along with Bhoodevi (Goddess of Earth) went to Lord Vishnu and narrated their woes to him as follows:

"All through the ages, we have been happily discharging the duties allotted by you in Bharat Desh. But under the changing circumstances, the people are preferring worldly comforts to Dharma, wealth to justice, strength to love, bodily happiness to sacrifice, materialism to Godliness. Unless these undesirable qualities are nipped in the bud, it will lead to utter chaos in the near future. So you must take Avatar again in this world to set things right as you have done during your Krishna Avatar in Dwaparayuga and established peace after the Maha Kurukshetra war." After hearing their, appeal, Lord Vishnu replied as follows:

"All of you have discharged your duties properly and established peace, prosperity and happiness in Bharat Desh all these ages. But soon as I finished my Krishna Avatar, Kali entered the earth. Adi Shakti has created this Kali with a purpose and therefore it is not proper to stop her from doing her work. The changes that you are noticing in the people of Bharat Desh are only due to this Kali."

Then they asked Lord Vishnu as to how to save the people from actions of Kali and Lord Vishnu answered them as follows:

"You all know why Bharat Desh is called Punya Bhoomi. There are a number of places on earth this heavy snowfalls and

2

Page 13: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

cold waves. There are several places where you cannot get water for drinking or proper food. There are other places which are very hot. But only in places like Bharat Desh, there are different seasons. There are also number of life giving rivers. Therefore, the people are able to raise good crops and are also happy. They able to take bath regularly and conduct divine activities. The Wind-God gives good air. Only those who are lucky and did good the history of this Punya Bhoomi." Lord Vishnu continued, "Kali came later to our country after showing his effects in other parts of this world. Her effects will be intensified in the near future and then the people of this country also will be subjected to a lot of changes.

Importance of one's own duties will take a back seat while importance to wealth will increase. Everyone desires that others should work for him. But the fruits will be enjoyed by him only. This leads to class conflicts. In the fruits will be enjoyed by him only. This leads to class conflicts. In the name of religion, caste, regions and also sex, people will form into groups and will shed blood. There will be mass corruption where the sole objective of people would be to hoard money. Morals will disappear. People belonging to different religions will pray to their respective Gods but none will follow the teaching of their Gods. Worship will be mechanical and devotion and worship will be separated. There will be hypocrisy everywhere. It is difficult to save mankind from such effects of Kali. This is Yuga dharma. Slowly pious and sincere actions will disappear and there will not be any connection between thoughts and words; deeds will also be entirely different. Even after much efforts made by some Saints to transform the people, they will have to leave this Bhoomi forever and attain liberation. Saints will not be willing to take birth again. There will be mass distortion in education and the youth will go astray.

3

Page 14: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

It is impossible to save such a situation completely from the influence of Kali. But to a certain extent, it can be checked and brought to a balance with Dharma. I am the preserver of this world. My work increases with the selfishness of man.Therefore, I advice you to approach Lord Shiva and put forth your prayers. Then he will come down to this world in the form of Datta Avatar and will impart "Gnana' for mankind and will establish peace by his teachings."

This made the Devtas happy and relieved.Thereupon the Adi Devtas, Dikpalakas and Bhoodevi approached Lord Shiva and put forth their woes. Accepting their pleas, Lord Shiva promised that he would shortly come to Bharat Desh as Datta Avatar. But since it is Kaliyug, where people are more materialistic, he will show more miracles after leaving the physical body. Thus assured by Lord Shiva, they come back to their respective places in this world and await eagerly for the birth of Lord Shiva.

As per his promise, Lord Shiva was waiting for an opportune time for pious parents to whom he would be born on this planet Earth. All the Adi Devtas were eagerly awaiting that the auspicious day when Lord Shiva will come to Earth.

4

Page 15: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

# cffte qjirtlt Qf Sa[ ty^a

In the State of Maharashtra, there was small village named Patri, situated among green fields, trees and others natural settings and taking the villagers to divine heights. The atmosphere was such that even the animals and birds were at peace. The whole region was blessed with divinity. 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.Thye were leading a happy and contended life. They did not have any property worth the name. But they had inner satisfaction.

Ganga Bhavajya used to ferry a boat in the adjoining river and lived on this meager earnings. Though, they were poor in terms of wealth but they were contended, tolerant and peaceful. Ganga Bhavajya used to worship Lord Shiva and Devgiri Amma used to worship Gauri Devi (Parvati). Under any circumstances, the worship of Lord Shiva and Gauri 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 Lord Shiva and Parvati to bless them with children.

One day in Kailash, Shiva told Parvati that the time for him to take birth on Earth has come as promised to Bhoodevi and

5

Page 16: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

other Adi Devatas. Then Parvati pleaded with Lord Shiva that she be allowed to take birth on Earth and assist him in his Avatar. But he did not agree, that in his new Avatar, he proposed to practice strictly what he intended to preach and Parvati would have no role to play in his "Fakir" life. He then showed Parvati, Ganga Bhavajya and Devagiri Amma on the Earth, telling her that they are the couple to whom he would be born.

The Parvati said that since she would not take birth on Earth alofig 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 happy downpour, inundating the village and village surroundings wit water. Fearing that boats will be washed away in the floods, Ganag Bhavajya proceeded to the nearby river to take care of the boats taking his night meal.

At about 9:00p.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 late 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 with curds and served it to the old man and he gracefully ate it. As it was night she then went into her room

6

Page 17: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

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 Goddess Parvathi. She went out through the back door to procure the service of two or three servants for massaging the legs of the old man as she was not willing to do so by herself. She was willing to pay them liberally, but found none. She returned disappointed and wondered what to do now, whether she ought to massage the legs for the old man or not. Who was this old man? She prayed to Parvathi wholeheartedly to show her 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 service?"

Devagiri Amma felt very happy. She presumed that on hearing her prayers, Parvati must have sent the women and she expressed her gratitude to the Goddess Parvati. She sent the women to 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 women sent to massage his legs. But in their place she saw Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Both were standing in a dazzling globe of colorful lights.The whole house was filled with fragrance of flowers. All the Adi Devtas were in the heaven offering celestial

7

Page 18: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

flowers to their lotus feet. 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." She was so wonderstruck that she lost her body consciousness and was in the state of ecstasy. By the time she got up, both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati had disappeared.

She laid awake the whole night, waiting for her husband to return, to break the happy news of the visit of Lord Shiva and Parvati to their house. She remembered only the vision of 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 our 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 after. As the children were born after so many years and that too blessed by Parvati Devi. Ganga Bhavajya started believing the visit of gods to their house and the boons granted to his wife. From then onwards a lot of changes came in 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 forest. As duty bounds, Devagiri Amma followed her husband. Without any money, placing complete faith in Lord Shiva and Parvati, they proceeded towards an unknown destination in thick forest. On one hand

8

Page 19: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

i lie Dii ui wi oai oaua 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 the forests. With these mixed feelings, they continued their journey.

It was 28 t h day of September 1835, Ganga Bhavajya and Devagiri Amma were continuing their journey. The sun was rising throwing light red colored rays on the Earth. Devagiri Amma went into labour paints. She slowly reached a big banyan tree and lay down on its shade. Goddess Parvati was besides her unseen giving her courage. All other Gods were witnessing from above, this unique occasion of Lord Shiva being born in a human form on Earth. This new "Avatar" would put an end to religious fanaticism, jealous, hatred, arrogance, egoism and attachments prevalent in the human and would generate peace, knowledge, love and equality among them.The Adi Devtas showered flowers from heaven 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. The womb of Devagiri Amma was glowing with light and she could feel he infinite divinity within herself. Finally Devagiri Amma delivered a child. The child was glowing. Who can know the Lord? he has taken the human birth to save mankind. 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 from anywhere and anytime, that he would show the way to a number of devotees for attaining salvation by becoming their Sadguru, and even after his Samadhi he would protect his devotees.

Only My devotees love for Me pulls to take a birth. — Sai Baba

9

Page 20: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

ui u i u i uai u a u a 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 for his journey. It was a testing moment for Devagiri Amma. On one side was her husband and she was duty bound to follow her. On the other side, it is 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 new born child on the bed. She began weeping as other mother do and the warm tears began to fall on the child. She wept bitterly for not being in a position to provide food and shelter for her child. Perhaps, she was not aware that Lord Shiva who protects the whole Universe, does not require her protection. Such is the motherly love.

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 forest and do penance. He started to proceed towards his goal, his wife was also following him for every step taken by her, the motherly love towards her new born 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. Though Ganga Bhavajya went with detachment, he observed the physical weakness and helplessness in his wife Devagiri Amma. Sympathy evoked in him, but he thought he should not succumb to such weakness, and so started proceeding further. But Devagiri Amma was too

10

Page 21: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

The Birth Of Sai Baba weak to walk straight and her sight was getting blurred, her tongue drying up with thirst. She had no physical strength at all. But as a devout woman, she followed her husband slowly. With a great difficulty, they moved ahead. Ganga Bhavajya stopped near a freshwater tank. He could not proceed further after seeing the condition of his wife. He tried to suppress his feelings unsuccessfully. All his feelings and sympathies for his wife gushed out and he thought Lord Shiva would not give him Darshan if he left his wife alone and proceeded. He went to her and started attending on her. After quenching her thirst, she went into deep sleep, fully exhausted. In the meantime, a banjara (a nomad) who was passing by saw them and told them that if they did not leave that place before dusk, there was a danger from wild animals. Saying so, he took them along with him for some distance and showed them a hut. He told them that this hut belonged to him and they could rest in it. After sometime, the banjara's wife brought food for them and after serving them all sat together. The banjara couple heard the story of their guests attentively.Then they addressed the guest.

"The norms for leading an ordinary type of life are prescribed in the Vedas.They are four kinds, viz. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Every man should follow these four during his lifetime. The woman, while being the life companion, should assist the man in attaining them. This is the specialty in Hindu culture. But having brought forth three children, you left them mercilessly and took to the forests. Your action goes against the Dharma. It is good to desire a vision of Lord Shiva. If that is life's aim, one should be a sanyasi and not grihastha (family man). But being grihastha, forgetting one's duties towards family, one should not seek God, for this is not correct.

After performing all your duties only you should take to Vanaprastha (retiring to the forests) and then seek God. This is

11

Page 22: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

tjospei or anri aai oaoa Dharma Marga. As you have already abandoned your three children you should know proceed.Though you are husband and wife, in future you should not have any bodily attachments, but concentrate on doing penance for Atma Sakshatkara and then for the Sakshatkara of Lord Shiva. There is a village named Nivasa about 150 miles from here and from there you proceed another 20 miles and do your penance."

The words of the banjara was like the chanting of the Vedas and Bhavajya decided to do penance with his wife for the Sakshatkara of Lord Shiva. In the mean time, the banjara gave them two wild fruits from the forest and made them eat, by which they got rid of all bodily ailments, attaining divine powers necessary for doing penance. Late in the night they slept. When Ganga Bhavajya woke up in the morning, he found neither the banjara couple nor the hut. All that had taken place the previous night appeared to them as a dream.

Devagiri Amma regained her physical health and was happy. After traveling for eleven days, they reached the place on the banks of Godavari river, as indicated by the banjara and started his penance for years. Many used to visit them and learn spiritual lessons from them. The devotees named Devagiri Amma as Dwarakamai. Devagiri means Govardhanagiri, the mountain lifted by Lord Krishna and the place surrounding it is Dwarka, and Aai means mother. Similarly, Ganga Bhavajya was named Gurudhan because he was impairing knowledge to the seekers. So, the names acquired by the parents of Sai Baba, in the Jnana Marga, were Gurudhan and Dwarakamai. As many people started visiting them, it caused disturbance for their penance, and so they shifted into the interior forest. Both used to be in a state of Samadhi for days together.

On the golden Kailash mountain, Lord Shiva should have been in the company of Parvati and other Gods. But in his new

12

Page 23: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

The Birth Of Sai Baba "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 (medicant). When he was walking with his wife, he heard the cries of a small child. As they did not have any child, he picked up the child and gave him to his wife as a gift from "Allah".

13

Page 24: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

il ^oung Qai ^gaba

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 person come together and again get separated is beyond the understanding of common people. The Fakir died one day. His wife brought up the child affectionately as her own.

In those days there were religious clashes between Hindus and Muslims. Under such conditions, the behavior of this boy (Sai Baba as a boy) used to be peculiar. He was handsome and physically strong. His facial expression was very peculiar. He had a strange sparkle in His eyes. His behavior was not normal for the people. He had strange impulses. He would suddenly enter into a temple one day and start yelling, "Rama is God, Shiva is Allah". The Baba used to go into Hindu temples and recite the Quran there. He installed a Lingam in a Mosque and worshipped it there. Such behavior only Lord Shiva can have and not an ordinary mortal. Both Hindus and Muslims used to admonish and punish Him because of breaking the rules and regulations of religious and customs. On seeing this, Roshan Sha's wife used to suffer a lot. She was very much amazed with His devotional behavior and also worried about other people's reactions. One day, Baba was playing marbles with the son of a neighboring Shahukar (wealthy man). The Shahukar's son lost all his marbles

14

Page 25: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Young 5ai -Baba to Baba. Tempted by the game, the Shahukar's son went to his mother's worshipping room, seized a Shaligram (black stone idol used for worshipping Lord Vishnu) and played with it as a marble. The Shahukar's son lost that Shaligram also toBaba; but he thought that Baba had played foul and that Shaligram should be returned to him. Baba refused to part with it. He kept it in his mouth. The Shahukar's son went to his mother, told her how he had taken the Shaligram away from her worship room and played with it as a marble and that Baba had taken it away from him through a foul play. Baba had kept it in His mouth and He was not prepared to return it. Horrified, the Shahukar's wife rushed to her worship room and found that the Shaligram was missing. She ran to Baba standing with her son outside and demanded from him the Shaligram. Baba sat tight-lipped and refused to return it. She then compelled Baba to open his mouth and saw in it what Yashoda had seen in Shri Krishna's the Vishwarupa. But, there was no Shaligram there. Baba laughingly said that the Shaligram was in the worship room. She ran back there and found the Shaligram in its place. She had now realized that He was divine. Thereafter, she went to Baba's house everyday to touch his feet.

I shall show God to those who desire earnestly with a pure heart.

— Sai Baba But Baba's disturbing acts continued to irritate the

people. Finally, unable to withstand the complaints against the boy, Roshan Sha's wife decided to hand over Baba to a Sadhu (sage) by name Venkusa in a nearby village. ButVenkusa was on a pilgrimage. He did not practice discrimination on account of religion, caste or creed. All were equal to him. He used to visit not only temples but also the dargahs and gurudwaras while on pilgrimage.

15

Page 26: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba Once, he visited the Sawaghahi Dargah in Ahemdabad,

he heard the following words coming from there: "Salaam alekum Maharaj! You are born with a purpose. A hundred miles from Selu Village, there is a another village by name Manwat. There Allah, who is born for setting this world right, is being brought up in a fakir's house. After you go back to Selu from your pilgrimage, the boy will be brought to you. You must accept this boy as your pupil and teach him. This is God's work. The boy will grow up in your care and will become 'Guru' for the entire world."

,, Venkusa returned to Selu after the pilgrimage. Roshan Sha's wife brought the boy and handed Him over to Venkusa. Venkusa was aware of the boy's infinite divinity and he was determined of his role to play. Thus Baba came under the care of Venkusa in his fifth year. Roshan Sha named the boy as Majida and there were proofs that the boy grew Venkusa with the name Majida.

Venkusa was very fond of Baba. Venkusa's love for Baba cannot be expressed in words. Other boys were jealous of Baba and one morning they got an opportunity. Venkusa sent Baba to bring some Bilva leaves for worship. As Baba went into the wood, He was overtaken by a group of the other boys. They beat Him and threw a brick at Him. It hit Him on the forehead. He bled profusely. Baba did not say a word. He picked up the brick which had same blood on it and returned to Venkusa. Venkusa was deeply grieved to see Baba in this plight. He tore his own dhoti and dressed on his forehead-wound. Venkusa was crying. His tears fell on the brick that hit Baba. He kept it with himself for it stained with the blood of the Lord Himself. After some time Venkusa taught Baba all kinds of Shastras. Baba who was born with natural Godliness learnt all of them in His early age. Venkusa took Baba along with him to other villages. In the year 1842,

16

Page 27: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Young 5ai -Baba during summer, they both came to Shirdi village and they stayed there for 7 days. They took their food in the house of Bayajabai and slept in the small temples of the village. This means Baba came to Shirdi first in the year 1842. Perhaps because of the food provided to Him by Bayajabai, Baba used to call her Sister.

Baba in His young age came into contact with Nanavali. Nanavali was younger than Baba. He used to do service at the Samadhi of a great person by Nanavali, near Aurangabad. Hence, he got the name of Nanavali and was known only by this name. During the tours of Venkusa along with Baba, they met Nanavali for the first time in 1849. Nanavali used to address Baba as uncle. Having been brought up by Roshan Sha who was a Sufi saint, and later by Venkusa who was a devotee of Lord Venkateswara, Baba understood the important aspects of Islam and Hinduism and also the blind customs in both. Though Venkusa was a Hindu, he used to take Baba to the Samadhis of great persons of both the religions and explained their teachings and theories in detail.

Years rolled by.Young Baba who was born with a purpose, the incarnation of Lord Shiva, learnt everything related with physical, philosophical and other fields. He also learnt about "Pancha Bhutas" and the importance of the eight directions. He was able to feel the divine power which created this universe, and notice the unstable condition of life, soul and mind. He also learnt the connection between these and the sensory organs and how to control desires and command the divine power in the body. A divine light in His eyes, sensibility in talk, calmness in His actions and mature thinking were found in Him. For Venkusa, his joy knew no bounds, for Baba whom he brought up acquired so many divine powers. He used to stare at Baba motionless and tears would roll down from his eyes. Night and day he would keep Baba with him. He used to bathe him, dress him, feed him and

17

Page 28: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba put him to sleep. If sometimes he could not attend to Baba personally, he would suffer mentally. It was natural love for Baba and also it was the effect of the incarnation of Lord Shiva in the form of a boy. Whatever it was, Venkusa's life was blessed as he acted as Baba's guru, protector, friend, mother, and father. Though we do not know what Venkusa looked like, let us imagine and prostrate at his feet for having brought up our Sai Baba, for having moulded Him and presented Him to crores of devotees throughout the world, let us prostrate at his feet for the second time. Sai Baba is not merely a Guru. He is Samarth Sadguru. For having acted as Guru for such a Samarth Sadguru, let us prostrate at the feet of Venkusa for the third time.

The Guru is the mediator. He takes man to God. If you are in right earnest to be good and pure. God will send you a Sadguru, the right teacher. Earnestness is the one thing necessary. As when going to a strange country, one must abide by the directions of one who knows the road, while taking the advice of many would lead to confusion, so in trying to reach God one should follow completely the advice of a single Guru, who know the way to God. The Guru should be only one, but Upaguru, secondary Gurus, may be many. He from whom, anything whatsoever is learnt is a Upaguru. The great Avadhuta (Dattatreya) had twenty four such Upagurus.

Surrender to your Guru and He will take you across the ocean of worldliness to the other side of the shore.

—Sai Baba Since Venkusa was teaching Baba the secrets of shastras, •

the other ashramites posed unnecessary and irrelevant questions which diverted the attention of Guru Venkusa. As he was not able to pay proper attention under such disturbed conditions, he took Baba into the forest and taught him in the different fields of

18

Page 29: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Young 5ai -Baba education. The ashramites discovered the place where Venkusa was and sent a few disciples to bring him back to Selu. Suspecting that they were jealous of Baba and hated Him, probably might harm Him, without loss of time he inducted into Baba some of his powers on Suddha Dashmi day of the month of Asween. Baba who was just completing 16 years of age appeared fully mature with his divine powers.

Venkusa told Baba that he had done his duty as per God's decision and the day was not far off when they would be separated. He also told Him that having achieved his goal, He would go into Samadhi. As per the Shastras, a disciple should not witness his Guru attaining Samadhi, but if he went back to Selu or the neighboring villages, the people who were jealous of them would be haunting them. Therefore, it was necessary that they be separated. On the full-moon day,Venkusa inducted into Baba all his remaining powers. It was decided that Venkusa would return to Selu and Baba would proceed along the shores of Godavari river. The plan was found out by some spies from Selu and the news were carried over to Selu. From Selu, Venkusa's successors secretly came to the forest and watched their movements. The people of Selu, thinking that Venkusa had left his family, ashram and properties for the sake of Baba, planned to kidnap Baba, they decided to kill Him.

That night was Chaturdasi, a day prior to full moon. The conspirators were discussing the methods of killing Baba. They had brought knives or sticks with them.There were no big stones near by. While this was the situation, Venkusa and Baba prepared to go to sleep. Baba had peaceful sleep, whereas Venkusa could not sleep as he was preoccupied with thoughts of Baba. One of the conspirators, with a view not to delay their plan further, took a brick which was lying near by and wanting to kill Baba at one stroke, proceeded towards him. Venkusa who was half asleep,

19

Page 30: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba suddenly opened his eyes and found the brick coming towards Baba's head. He at once put his own head at the path of the brick which hit his forehead and caused bleeding. With blazing eyes, Venkusa cursed one of the conspirator and he fell dead the next moment. Hearing the commotion Baba woke up from His sleep and observed everything. The other two conspirators who were at a distance ran away, lest they also died by the curse ofVenkusa.

Hurt nobody and you will be protected by Me. —Sai Baba

Baba tore off a piece of cloth from his dress and cleaned the injury suffered by Venkusa. They were staring at each other with different thoughts in their minds. While Venkusa was thinking that even at the risk of losing his life, he would hand over Baba as Guru to posterity, Baba was thinking how to repay the debt of His Guru for having protected Him. Thus the hearts of Guru and his disciple became one, ideas became one, with love and affection in harmony. Such should be the binding force between Guru and disciple.

Then sun began to rise in the East with the red rays spreading over the sky. Venkusa and Baba both took their bath in the river. Venkusa milked a nearby cow and pouring the milk into the hands of Baba, imparted all the remaining powers he had and commanded Baba to bring to life one of the conspirators who lay dead due to the curse given by Venkusa. Baba washed the toe of the right foot of the Guru Venkusa and sprinkled this water on the dead person. The person became alive, saying he regretted his attempt to kill Baba and sought his pardon.

He who thinks his Guru a mere man, cannot make much progress in the spiritual life. Lord Shiva, the Supreme Lord of the universe, he has completely surrendered to the will of his Guru Venkusa. Lord Rama also surrendered and obeyed each and

20

Page 31: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Young 5ai -Baba every orders of his GuruVashishta.

Surrender to Me and I will take care of you as a mother takes care of a little child.

Sai Baba Venkusa wanted to give Baba all the valuable ornaments

he was wearing but Baba declined to have them. Instead He requested Venkusa to give Him the brick which had hit him on his forehead while saving Him from the murderous attack. Overwhelmed by His request and with tears rolling down from his eyes, Venkusa gave Him the brick along with his blessings. He wished that the brick always be Baba's companion and life partner. Baba also requested Guru Venkusa to give Him the piece of cloth drenched with blood while cleaning his injury. Moved emotionally by such a request Venkusa tied the cloth piece around the forehead of Baba and declared that it would protect Him at all times. Such was the divine relationship between a Guru and a Disciple. He told him to proceed along the banks of river Godavari and the place where He found complete peace and decided to make His abode. He also advised Him to keep away from women and wealth. Afterwards Venkusa proceeded to Selu along with the revived person.

The relationship between a Guru and a disciples is out of this world. It is even beyond relationship . they have two bodies, but their soul is one. Such be their soul is one. Such should be the relations with a Guru. Lord never comes to those who has a strong ego. Guru burns the ego of his disciples into ashes so that he can realize the infinite. Complete surrender to the will of the Guru is surrendering to the Lord.

When a Guru gives an initiation, the body, mind and soul of the disciple becomes the possession of the Guru.

—Sai Baba 21

Page 32: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

yjospei 01 a n n aai papa After walking for three days along the banks of River

Godavari, Baba reached a place called Kopargaon in the year 1854, Margahira month on the third day after full moon. After taking rest for a day, He again proceeded and reached the village of Shirdi by evening. Not willing to approach anyone for shelter, He began to live under the shade of a big Neem tree. He used to sit under the Neem tree and meditated for long hours. Some villagers with their unnecessary talk, were disturbing Baba's meditation. But He never used to talk to anybody in Shirdi in the beginning. For a long time, He used to go into the nearby forest and remain there all the day, eating fruits and other things available in the forest. After a certain period, some of the villagers noticed this boy who used to sit under the Neem tree under all extreme climatic conditions, and always meditating. Some of them asked the same question direct to Baba, thereby disturbing His meditation. While this was so, some people who were carefully observing Him recognized Him as a boy with unusual divine powers. But many used to talk about Him critically and used to poke fun at Him. Nobody was aware who He was.

In the beginning, a man should choose lonely places, in which to try to concentrate his mind, otherwise many things may distract him. If we keep milk and water together, they mix, but if the milk be changed into butter by churning, the transformed milk, instead of mixing with the water, will float upon it. So when by constant practice a man is able to effect mental concentration, wherever he may be, his mind will always rise above his environment and rest in God.

Practice My teachings. Only if you have a strong desire topractice,I willhelpyou.

— Sai Baba One day a blind person came and sat in the shade of the

22

Page 33: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

ipung aai m o a Neem tree. Some rowdies abused him and threw him aside and went away. This commotion disturbed the meditation of Baba. He found out the reason for the commotion. Feeling pity for the blind person, Baba with His divine hands, cleaned the eyes and catching the eyelids firmly with His hands passed His divine rays from His eyes into those of the blind man. Unable to bear the agony of burning eyes, the blind man cried aloud and fainted. The rowdies who had ill-treated the blind man earlier assembled there with some others. After a short time, the blind man regained his consciousness and found that he was no longer blind. Seeing this, the people assembled there were wonderstruck. From then onwards not only the villagers of Shirdi but also those from neighboring villagers started coming to Baba to get their ailments cured.This miracle was just the beginning.

Thus, a year passed. Sometimes, Baba used to take the juice of any leaf found nearby and gave it as medicine to the people. Whatever seed He found, He used to ask the patient to make a paste of it as medicine. His knowledge about ailments and their cure was unique. If he touched the ailing limb of the body, the ailment would disappear. People were very much astonished with the powers of this little boy. Slowly, people recognized Him as a great physician. The entire day time He used to treat the patients. Many people used to ask questions about his identity. In the nights also some persons used to come and disturb Him with unnecessary questions. People's curiosity increased. As He was not able to meditate properly due to the conditions prevailing, one night He left Shirdi and proceeded eastwards along the bank of River Godavari. He reached Triambakeswar and finding the high mountains suitable for His meditation, He started doing penance. Most of the time was spent in meditation.

The brick given to Him by Guru Venkusa was His only companion, and the piece of cloth soaked with the blood of His

23

Page 34: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Guru was His protector. He did penance for a year. Afterwards, He turned by the same route along the banks of River Godavari via Kopargaon and reached the place where He and His Guru Venkusa has parted on exactly on the same month. As two years had lapsed since then, He found that many trees had come up around the place like a thick forest. He found it difficult to exactly pinpoint the place. Then He took out the brick and tied it in the blood-soaked piece of cloth and prayed to His Guru. Immediately, the entire area became as it was two years back. Instantly, He recognized the spot where His Guru had saved Him from an attack to kill Him. He prayed: 'Oh Guruji! You shed your blood to save Me! I want to have your Darshan'. Venkusa's voice said, "But my powers will always be protecting you."Then Baba said, "I do not have parents, brothers and other relatives. You are the only person for Me. I must have your darshan today as you have saved My life. Otherwise, I do not want to live further." Venkusa's voice, "Because of your faith and gratitude towards me I had to get up from my Samadhi and come to you. I appreciate your devotion for your Guru. You will become Guru for the entire world. Like me you will also bless your devotees from your Samadhi." Saying so Venkusa appeared before Baba and said, "I am giving this boon to you. You have descended from Lord Shiva. The boon I give you now is only symbolic. Even after you attain Samadhi you will be saving your devotees from the Maya of Kali. As I have come out of Samadhi, I will be with you for two in an invisible form. Continue your penance." So saying Guru Venkusa disappeared. The Baba remained in the same place for two years doing penance. Whenever necessary, Guru Venkusa used to advice Him in the invisible form. Even after Guru's death, he will always be with his disciple.

In the year 1858, again on a full-moon day in the month of Margashira, he gave Him darshan and told Him to go back to

24

Page 35: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

ipung oai caoa Shirdi. He further told Him that he would also be there in the form of a jyoti (burning light) near the Neem tree in an underground structure.

Your faith in Me will protect you. — Sai Baba

Once, the Devas and the Asuras had a formidable fight for a very long period. Many Devas and Asuras died in the fight. The Devas thought that they should prolong their lives by drinking nectar and then continue the war. They approached Lord Brahma with the desire in view. Lord Brahma said: "This work cannot be done by me. It can be done only by Lord Vishnu." Thereupon, Lord Brahma and the Devas approached Lord Vishnu in Kshirasagara (the ocean of milk).

Lord Vishnu asked the Devas and Asuras to churn the Ocean with the help of Mandaragiri as churning-rod and Vasuki, the serpent, as the rope. As they went on churning, poison (Halahal) came out from the Ocean.The terrible poison began to burn the people into ashes. The Devas, the Asuras and the Rishis began to fly away. LordVishnu was not able to destroy the poison. His body also became very black. He ran to Kailash along with the Devas and Lord Brahma to see Lord Shiva. He reported to Lord Shiva all that happened. Thereupon Lord Shiva collected the poison and kept it as a drop in the palm of His hand and swallowed it. Then Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma requested Lord Shiva to keep it in His neck as a mark of their protection. Lord Shiva did it accordingly. Due to the effect of the poison. His throat became blue. From that day onwards Lord Shiva is also called by the name TSTilakanth' (blue-necked one) or 'Kalakantha Murti'. Then Lord Shiva said to them: "If you churn again, you will get nectar and several other things." They all started the churning of the Ocean and obtained nectar and many other

25

Page 36: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

vjusjjci ui oiJLii j m u a u a things. All the Devas drank the nectar and rejoiced heartily.

This is possible only for Lord Shiva who drank poison and kept in his throat. Baba also came to drink the poison of worldliness and give the nectar of realization to His devotees. Baba's life is bliss incarnate. He gave them various stories that were related to duties and actions, which ultimately led them to true religion. His object may be that, people should live happily in this world, but they should ever be cautious and gain the object of their life, viz., self-realization. We get human body as a result of merits in past births; and it is worth-while that, with its aid, we attain devotion and liberation in this life. So, we should never be lazy; but always be on the alert to gain our end and aim in life. If you daily hear the Leelas (stories) of Baba, you will always see Him. Day and Night you will remember Him in your mind. When you assimilate Baba in this way, your mind will lose its fickleness and if you go in this manner, it will finally be merged in Pure Consciousness.

Now, let us see what happened with the parents of Sai Baba. Then penance undertaken by Gurudhan (Ganga Bhavajya) and Dwarakamai (Devagiri Amma) reached the climax stage. Pleased with their penance Shiva and Parvati appeared before them. Overjoyed at the Sakshatkar, they pleaded with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to give them Moksha (salvation). Agreeing to this, Lord Shiva sold them, "You will get Moksha as desired by you. But you two, in the form of jyotis (burning lights) will remain permanently in the underground structure near the Neem tree at Shirdi. Another Mahatma by name Venkusa will also be there with you as jyoti. Gurudhan will remain there permanently. In the coming days, I will keep Dwarakamai in a nearby place in the form of Dhuni. Similarly, I shall arrange a suitable place for Venkusa. After my present 'Avatar' comes to an end, I will get the physical remains of my

26

Page 37: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Young 5ai -Baba body placed in between you two. In this way, Shirdi will be the adobe of four divine powers, and for the coming 500 years it will grow day by day and will be Kailash for the devotees." So saying Lord Shiva put his hand (Abhay Hastha) towards them. Immediately, two dazzling light rays emerged from the hand and entered the bodies of Gurudhan and Dwarakamai, bringing out their inner life (prana shakti) in the form of jyotis and coming out from their upper skull. In an invisible form these jyotis reached Shirdi village and under the Neem tree in an underground structure remained there doing penance. Similarly Venkusa came out from his Samadhi at Selu and came to Shirdi in the form of jyoti and joined the other two in the underground structure near the Neem tree.

There Baba, after having darshan of Venkusa, proceeded till He reached a village called Dhoop near Aurangabad by Sunset and took rest near a big boulder. At the same time, the Patel (munsif) of Dhoop village, Chand Bhai, having lost his horse, started searching for it with the saddle on his shoulder. Having roamed for the horse, he became tired and wanted to relax and so came to the place where Baba was taking rest.

Baba noticing Chand Bhai under a tree relaxing, He questioned him, "What Chand Bhai! You seem to be tired after searching for your horse." Chand Bhai was surprised at how this stranger knew his name and about the missing horse. Baba replied that He knew everything and there was nothing He did not know. Then Chand Bhai asked Baba to tell him where to find his lost horse named Bijli. Baba asked Chand Bhai to proceed on the right side for some distance and there would be a small pond where he could find his horse Bijli gazing. Chand Bhai said that he had come from that side and had not found his horse there and there was no use asking there again. To this Baba replied that His words would not go in vain and one should have complete faith to

27

Page 38: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

have results. No one can get the results with a doubtful mind. He asked to go and get the horse. But this appeared unbelievable truth for Chand Bhai. He was surprised to see the young boy's profound statement.

While they were discussing thus, Baba took out a smoking pipe and tobacco from his bag.To use the pipe for smoking, water was required and to light the tobacco, fire was required. Chand Bhai asked Baba, "Where is water and fire." Baba, with His metal rod-like instrument (Sataka) struck the ground before him. Immediately water came out in the form of a jet. After preparing the pipe by filling it with tobacco, he struck for the second time at the same place on the ground with His Sataka and fire came out this time. Chand Bhai in his mind was convinced that this young boy is not an ordinary Fakir. He must be a divine boy. He had never seen such a miracle in his life time. Baba then lighted the tobacco with this fire. He smoked from the pipe and passed it to Chand Bhai for smoking. After some time, Chand Bhai ran towards the direction given by the divine boy earlier and found his horse 'Bijli' grazing near the pond. He came back with the horse and prostrated before Baba. He invited him to come along with him to his house. Baba agreed. With great devotion he made Baba sit on the horse and he walked along beside the horse.

Chand Bhai was thinking that if this divine boy with such divine powers step into his house, all the evils haunting would go away and peace and happiness would come to the place. Baba remained as guest of Chand Bhai for 35 days, Baba was received with reverence introduced to others. Chand Bhai was astonished with Baba's lifestyle.Though his divine power was unlimited but His lifestyle was as simple as an ordinary person. Afterwards, on a request from Chand Bhai, Baba accompanied the marriage party of Chand Bhai's brother-in-law and came in a bullock cart to Shirdi, which was the bride's place. Chand Bhai thought that if

28

Page 39: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Young 5ai -Baba they took this boy with the divine powers along with them there would not be any obstacles and the marriage celebration would go on peacefully.

The bullock carts of the marriage party were proceeding towards Shirdi. In the evening cool winds started blowing started blowing and the bells tied round the necks of the bullocks were giving rhythmic sounds mingled with the singing of the birds. At dusk, the red rays from the setting Sun from the West began to fall on the white clouds in the East and the scene was pleasing to the eyes. As if welcoming Baba sitting in front in the bullock cart, the birds started chirping and flying before the cart. From a distance the Koel (Nightingle) was singing as if saying: "God is coming to Shirdi personally to settle down here. Do not think under the influence of Maya that he is only an ordinary person. So you all please recognize him as God."The moon appeared on the East as if to give light to Baba. The entire marriage party was full of joy and enjoying peace every moment. Thus the marriage party proceeded towards Shirdi.

The entire nature was blooming to welcome Baba, the incarnation from Kailash. Those of the marriage party who witnessed this were really lucky. This was the day when Baba entered in Shirdi never to leave.

Devotion to the Lord dawns in the heart of a man who has done virtuous actions in his previous births without expectation of fruits and egoism or the idea of agency. Devotion leads to knowledge of the Self (Gnana) and through Gnana, he attains Moksha or the final emancipation.

Unless, you get rid completely of your avarice or greed, you will not get the real Brahman. How can he, whose mind is engrossed in wealth, progeny and prosperity, expect to know the Brahman, without removing away his attachment for the same? He who is desire less, can alone cross the Ocean of Sorrow. Greed

29

Page 40: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Vjruspci Ui. OliJ. I oai Xjai^a and Brahman are as pole as under; they eternally opposed to each other. Where there is greed, there is no room for thought or meditation of the Brahman. Then, how can a greedy man, get dispassion and salvation? For a greedy man, there is no peace, neither contentment, nor certainty. If there be any trace of greed in the mind, all the Sadhana (Spiritual endeavors) are of no avail. The teachings of Guru are of no use to a man, who is full of egoism and who always thinks about the sense-objects. Purification of mind is absolutely necessary; without it, all our spiritual endeavors are nothing but unless show and pomp.

30

Page 41: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Maya is of two kinds one leading towards God (Vidya-Maya) and the other leading away from God (Avidya-Maya). The former consists of discrimination and non-attachment. With the help of these the individual soul surrenders themselves to the mercy of the Lord. Avidya-Maya consists of lust, anger, avarice, inordinate, attachment, pride and envy. This kind of Maya gives rise to the sense of "I and Mine" and serves to keep men chained to the world. But as on Vidya-Maya manifest herself, all Avidya-Maya is totally destroyed. Baba came only to destroy this Avidya-Maya from His devotees so that everybody can realize the reality of the true Self.

The cart was stopped near a Khandoba temple, where Mhalasapti was then standing. Mhalsapti, who was the 'Pujari' of Khandoba temple, on seeing the young Fakir, came out of the temple and with folded hands addressed him as 'Welcome Sai'. In this way, Baba got the name as 'Sai' from Mhalsapti. Afterwards he became famous as 'Sai Baba'.

Sai Baba was wearing a white long robe with a cap on the head and stick in His hand. The people of Shirdi thought that He was a Muslim Fakir. Even Mhalsapti thought he was a Muslim Fakir. But when Lord Shiva has come down only to establish 'Sarva Dharma' (Universal Religion) how can anybody say that He was a Muslim or a Hindu.

Sai Baba wanted to sit in the verandah of the temple and 31

Page 42: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba smoke His pipe. But Mhalsapti did not permit Him to do so, because he thought that entering of a Muslim Fakir will pollute the sacred atmosphere of the temple. He disallowed Him to sit in the verandah of the temple. Such was the ignorance of the people of Shirdi in the beginning. Sai Baba smiled and sat under a banyan tree and lighted His clay pipe. He rested there for sometime.

He was feeling hungry so He went in house to take food where Chand Bhai's relatives wedding was taking place. After having food, He walked towards the vacant 'Chavadi' which existed at the fringe of the village and kept His belongings in it and made His habitation. He began to beg alms from few houses and live quietly in that Chavadi. After this Sai Baba became the resident of Shirdi on some day in 1858. He spent few days in the Chavadi and abandoned it and settle down in the Masjid existing within the heart of the village. This small Masjid became His permanent place of habitation. Nobody minded his presence in the Masjid He dug a pit at the southern end and began to burn faggot of dry wood in it and thus converted the pit into a 'Dhuni'. People were protesting against such acts. But He continued to burn the Dhuni.

As He became the permanent resident of the Masjid, He used to beg articles of food from a few selected houses. While walking in the villages and sitting under the roof of the Masjid He used to utter the words 'Allah Malik' (Allah is Lord). His behavior was strange for the villagers. Nobody had any idea of who He was. He knew the past and future of everyone who lived there.

One day a Muslim wrestler visited Shirdi and entered Sai Baba's Masjid and wanted to camp there. The name of the Muslim wrestler was Mohadin Tamboli. There was quarrel between them. He was physically more stronger than Sai Baba. But yet Sai Baba fought with him in order to settle the quarrel. In

32

Page 43: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

"Sai Baba In Shirdi that fight Sai Baba was defeated. But Mohadin left the place and went away. Nobody knows the purpose of this mysterious fight. How can Lord Shiva be ever defeated by any mortal. This will remain a mystery.

After few days He changed His outfit. He started wearing a langoti and wore a dhoti beneath His waist. He discarded His cap. He tied a cloth on His head and tied a knot to that cloth on the left side of the face. The usual white open necked robe adorned His figure as before. He threw away His white chaddar (bed sheet), which He was still then using as a cover when He slept. He began to cover Himself with a torn sack cloth to suit the same to sit on it. With his appearance He sat in the Masjid alone or roamed here and there along the nalla of Shirdi. He wore a peculiar kind of footwear His stout stick, a tumbler and a packet of loose tobacco, which He carried at all times, formed part of His movable property. Thus, His outward appearance was unconventional.

He avoided talking to people. When anybody came to talk to Him, He would not pay any attention and ignored them. He used to burn Earthen lamps in the Masjid in the nights. He begged oil-mongers of Shirdi to give Him free supply of oil and they obliged Him by filling His tumbler with groundnut oil. At noon, He would leave the Masjid holding a tin in His right hand and with the bag hung on His left shoulder. He kept on saying "Allah Malik" while begging. He stood in the road facing the door and cried out thus: - "Give Me bread; give Me two rotis". If the mistress of the house came out and offered him anything, He would humbly receive it by opening the bag hung on His shoulder. If any liquid food was offered, He would receive it in the tin, which was called 'tumbler'. People were convinced that He is a lover of God and that He completely depended on Allah for His livelihood. After collecting alms in this manner, Sai Baba walked

33

Page 44: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba back to his Masjid and mixed all the articles of food for pouring them into a broken earthen pot. After feeding the animals and birds, He ate the food silently. He then sat on His usual seat near the entrance of the Masjid and smoke His pipe leisurely without being disturbed by anything taking place around Him. He was treated as a Saint by Hindus and a Fakir by Muslims. Sai Baba was respected equally by Hindus and Muslims.

Humility andforbearance is the sign of a good character. —Sai Baba

This continued for sometime. But a great event was going to take place in Shirdi. All people of Shirdi were dumbstruck with the miracle that Sai Baba performed one day. Baba had an habit to light some oil lamps in the Masjid and under the Neem tree. He had no money to buy the oil so he begged oil from the oil shops. But there were three oil-mongers who used to give oil to Baba freely. But one day, the oil-mongers discussed amongst themselves about the daily giving of oil to Sai Baba.They thought that it is incurring a loss due to free giving of oil. They jointly decided to refuse giving oil to Sai Baba.The next day when Baba went to the nearest oil-monger, and said, 'Please give Me some oil'. The oil-monger replied, 'Baba, I have no oil at all in my pots'. Baba without saying anything walked away. He went to other oil-monger and made the same request for oil. He also replied that he did not have a drop of oil in his pot. Baba walked away.

The oil-mongers were happy that Baba was not able to compel them to give oil. But they wanted to see how Baba will solve the problem. They followed Baba and stood outside the Masjid. He took a big pot kept in the corner. He filled the pot with water. He drank mouthful of water from the pot.The oil-mongers were watching what Baba is trying to do. They were astounded to see that the remaining water in the pot turned into oil. He poured

34

Page 45: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

"Sai Baba In Shirdi the oil into oil lamp pots and lighted them. All the oil lamps were glowing with lights.The oil-mongers fell at the feet of Baba. Baba told them politely with a soft voice, "Do not tell a lie to any one in the future".They promised Baba. After this incident the people of Shirdi were convinced of the divinity of Baba. People used to come to Him with some problems and Baba used to give guidance to them. People were treating Him as a teacher including Mhalsapti. Like a loving mother forcing bitter, but wholesome medicines down the throat of her children for the sake of their health. Baba as our Sadguru imparted spiritual instructions to His devotees. His method was not veiled or secret, but quite open. Sadguru Sai Baba open our intellect and show us the divine beauties of the self and fulfill our tender longings of devotion. When this is done, our desires for sense objects vanishes, twin fruits of Vivek (discrimination) and Vairagya (dispassion) come to our hands; and knowledge sprouts up even in the sleep. Baba fulfills the desires of His devotees, come to our aid, removes our troubles and sufferings, and make us happy. His fame was slowly spreading. But this was just the beginning.

Keep your heart clean with truthfulness, lam residing in your heart.

—Sai Baba Anoth6r incident took place where Baba's fame increased

ten-fold. Nobody can understand His leelas'. He is the Sad-Guru of all.This happened just after the above incident occurred. A old Muslim Fakir lived at the Masjid in Rahata three miles away. The old Fakir's name was Javhar Ali. He was well versed with the Holy Quran. He had memorized the whole Quran. At the request of the people, Javhar Ali came from Rahata to Shirdi. He began to live in the Masjid with Sai Baba. They began to love each other. Sai Baba respected the old Fakir. He showed a lot of humility

35

Page 46: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba towards Javhar Ali. With this behaviour of Baba he treated Baba as his disciple. Sai Baba learnt few Islamic practice from him. But Baba's admirers, such as Mhalsapti was not happy. He advised Baba not to treat him as His Guru. But Baba did not listen to him. They lived together for few months. After few months Javhar Ali prevailed upon Sai Baba to migrate to Rahata. They lived together in the Masjid in the village of Rahata. Javhar Ali continued to play the role of Guru and Baba continued to play the role of disciple. They twice visited Shirdi and camped there in the same old Masjid and returned to Rahata after Javhar Ali's business in Shirdi was finished. The people of Shirdi were upset to see the drama being played by Sai Baba. They went to Rahata and tried to persuade Baba to return to Shirdi. But Baba did not pay any attention. After few days Javhar Ali decided to settle in Shirdi. They came back to Shirdi. Sai Baba ignored people's views about Javhar Ali's delusion. But this long drama was about to finish. There was a Hindu saint by name Devidas living at MarutiTemple of Shirdi at that time. Devidas and Javhar Ali were one day engaged in a general spiritual conversation. At the end of the discussion Javhar Ali admitted that his argument was wrong or illogical. He felt that he can no longer reside in Shirdi. Javhar Ali left Shirdi and went away to live in Bijapur. Thereafter Sai Baba lived alone in the Masjid of Shirdi. After few days Sai Baba's reputation as a genuine Saint increased slowly. Long afterwards Javhar Ali came to the old Masjid of Shirdi. He could not believe his eyes. All classes of people were falling at the feet of Sai Baba praying for His grace. In the end Javhar Ali too prostrated to Sai Baba wit humility. Baba's leelas are ever mysterious. Baba's ways to purifying and removing a person's ego is unique.

Humility is the jewel of My devotees. Humility is the first step of devotion.

—Sai Baba 36

Page 47: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

"Sai Baba In Shirdi What we can learn from this long drama that Sai Baba

played. It was His humility, love and respect for all human beings. He had no sense of superiority at all. His ways should be taken as a lesson by everybody. One must learn this kind of humility. One must respect all without any prejudice. A man goes to the temple, but he is not qualified to absorb the grace of the Lord if he is filled with pride and arrogance. Baba's word were sometimes very bitter to teach a lesson to His devotees. Baba knows who is doing what. People used to come to the temple with a prayers, complains, desires etc., but, the moment you leave the temple, you repeat the same wrong thinking again and again. Baba always reminded His devotees to be very careful. He wanted His devotees to be polite to all. Without humility, one will always show off his pride and arrogance.

During the early years of Sai Baba in Shirdi, He used to take alms from few selected houses. Among the ladies who gave alms to Sai Baba, the name of the Bayajabai finds a prominent place. He went to her door of his own accord because He had discovered some relationship of a former incarnation.

Sometimes He would not go to collect alms. The reason was that he would spend his time in meditation sitting alone in the jungle. One such days, Bayajabai would feel sad. Bayajabai would guess that he had gone on that he was enduring hunger and thirst. So, she would carry water, roti and some vegetables to the jungle and wander here and there and discover Baba whereabouts. Sai Baba told her that she was His own sister in a former incarnation and that her motherly love towards Him in the present birth was due to previous relationship. Her husband's name was Ganpatrao. Their son was Tatya. Tatya also began to feel much love towards Sai Baba.

37

Page 48: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

"Sai Baba In Shirdi and white colours in front of the Masjid. 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 Abhay Hastha. Mhalsapti saw Lord Shiva in Baba, while Tatya saw Maruthi (Hanuman) in Baba. Thus Baba appeared to them in two forms simultaneously. Out of joy, Mhalsapti's eyes brimmed with tears and he recited some slokas on Shiva. Tatya was wonder struck with the vision of Lord Hanuman. Both, then fell at Baba's feet and ask His blessing.

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. 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, Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar, and Sakshat Parabrahma. But if one simply utters "Guruji" without following his teachings, then the word 'Guru' will remain only a word. But such a pupil cannot obtain any benefit from his Guru.

You will never know as a disciple what your Guru does for you. Surrender to your Guru and he blessed.

—Sai Baba Baba once said, "I resorted to My Guru for 12 years. He

brought Me up. There was no dearth of food and clothing. He was full of love or say, he was love incarnate. How can I describe it. He loved Me most. Rare is a Guru like him. When I looked at him, he seemed as if he was in deep meditation, and then, We both were filled with bliss. Night and day, I gazed at him, with no thought of hunger and thirst, without him, I felt restless and had no other subject to meditate, nor any other living than My Guru to attend. He was My sole refuge. My mind was always fixed on

48

Page 49: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba Any spiritual or religious practice begins with a loving heart.

Only when there is love, there is no pride. —Sai Baba

Baba personally cooked food and fed the poor. The food had to be cooked two to three times as hundred of poor people attended and this went on till sunset. That day for some reason or other,Tatya did not come to the Masjid 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, Mhalsapti came there.Tatya told him about the condition of Baba and sought his advice as to how to make Baba rest. In spite of tiredness Baba went near the Dhuni and sat there. Mhalsapti told Tatya that if they could bring a nice big stone and put it outside the Masjid, 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 Mhalsapti that he would go to the near by mountain side 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 wouild bring it. So saying he went out of the Masjid. As Baba did not want to 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 lightening.Tatya and Mhalsapti unable to withstand the lightning, closed their eyes. On opening their eyes, they found a big flat stone with red

49

Page 50: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba him. This Shraddha (faith) is one Paisa of Dakshina. Saburi (Patience) is the other paisa.This Saburi will ferry you across the sea of this mundane existence. Saburi removes all sins and afflictions, gets rid of calamities in various ways, and casts aside all fear, and ultimately gives you success. Saburi is the mind of virtues, consort of good thought. Shraddha (faith) and Saburi (patience) are like twin sisters, living each others very intimately."

"My Guru never expected any other thing from Me. He never neglected Me, but protected Me at all times. I lived with him and was sometimes away from him; still never felt the want or absence of his love. He always protected Me by his glance, just as the tortoise feeds her young ones, whether they are near or far from her on the other side of the bank, by her loving looks. Oh mother, Guru never taught Me any Mantra; then, how shall I blow any Mantra in your ears? Remember that Guru's tortoise like loving glance gives us happiness. Do not try to get Mantra or Updesh (discourse) from anybody. Make Me the sole object of your thoughts and actions; and you will, no doubt attain Paramartha (the highest goal of life). Look at Me wholeheartedly; and I, in turn, look at you similarly. Sitting in the Masjid, I speak the truth, nothing but the truth. No Sadhanas, nor proficiency in the six Shastras, are necessary. Have faith and confidence in your Guru. Believe fully that, Guru is the sole Actor or Doer. Blessed is he, who knows the greatness of his Guru and thinks him to be Supreme Lord." Baba's nectar like words fills our heart with bliss. We all must pray to Baba, "Oh, Baba, I do not know what is realization or liberation, I only know that I long to pray to you for Shraddha and Saburi, so that I can always meditate on your lotus feet."

Both Mhalsapti and Tatya spent much of their time in the company of Sai Baba. Though he was married man, yet

40

Page 51: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

"Sai Baba In Shirdi Mhalsapti slept during nights at the Masjid. Tatya was a young boy and his parents allowed him to sleep with Baba the Masjid. It was unique relationship that developed between Sai Baba on the one hand Mhalsapti and Tatya on the other hand. During nights, they spread their old bed-sheets 9n the floor of the Masjid and lay down to sleep. But, they spent much time in talking with one another till sleep overtook them. It is amazing to reflect that such intimacy existed between Sai Baba and the two humble residents of Shirdi. It was only when his father died and Tatya stopped sleeping in the Masjid. Mhalsapti did not desire to sleep with his wife and daughter under his own roof. He preferred to sleep in the Masjid and serve Baba. After few months, Mhalsapti told Baba that he had no son born to him. He expressed his desire to beget a son.

Baba told Mhalsapti that he would become a father of a son. He then started living in his own house. As foretold by Baba, Mhalsapti's wife became pregnant. In due course of time, she gave birth to a son. The child Martand grew up and, he too became an attendant of Baba and an intimate devotee of Baba just like his father.

Among such incidents in the early career of Sai Baba, His grace shown to two Muslims must be described. The names shown to two Muslims devotees are Rohilla and Nanvalli. Rohilla was a tall muscular Fakir, wearing usual Tcurta' as his apparel. He loved Sai Baba and often sat in the Masjid in the presence of Sai Baba. He always uttered Allah Ho Akbar, even when he was in Baba's presence and felt peace of mind when he sat at the Masjid. During nights he walked in the streets of Shirdi shouting Allah Ho Akbar. He thus disturbed the sleep of householders who went to Sai Baba and complained to him about Rohilla's shouting and begged Baba to direct Rohilla not to pray so loudly during nights. Sai Baba told that they should not interfere with Rohilla. He said,

41

Page 52: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba "Rohilla gets bad thoughts during nights. In order to drive them away he prays to God and utter the words Allah Ho Akbar loudly. That is his way of driving out wicked thoughts. So I will not ask him to stop his mode of praying. You must bear with the trouble which he might cause by his loud prayer." Rohilla was very delighted at the mercy shown by Sai Baba.

Only I know your inner most thoughts. —Sai Baba

The story of Nanavalli who was another poor Fakir is also significant. Nanavalli stayed at the Masjid and served Sai Baba as an attendant during the latter's early days. After attending his duties, he sat in the Masjid and listened to the talks of Sai Baba which he gave now and then. Many other visitors would also assemble to hear Baba's talks. One day, Nanavalli and many devotees of Baba sat in his presence and they were listening to his utterances. Baba was sitting on his sack cloth seat at that time and talking. Suddenly, Nanavalli stood up and approached Baba and said, "Baba, you get up from your seat and sit elsewhere. I want to sit on your sack-cloth seat." The other devotees were shocked at the rudeness of Nanavalli. But Baba was not disturbed by the words and command of Nanavalli. Baba got up from His seat sat on the other side. After an interval Nanavalli got up from the seat and went near Baba and said, "You may now reoccupy your seat." Sai Baba obeyed Nanavalli and acted accordingly. Then, Nanavalli was pleased. After this incident, Nanavalli did not behave again in such a manner. However, he continued his service to Sai Baba. Baba had a very unique way of removing impurities from his devotees. Nanavalli had some pride.. With such incident, Nanavalli's pride was completely eradicated by Baba's grace. Nobody knew why Nanavalli behaved in such a manner. This incident demonstrates Baba's love and concern for

42

Page 53: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

"Sai Baba In Shirdi His devotees inner purity.

Pride begets delusion. Remove this pride with humility and compassion.

—Sai Baba In this context, Sai Baba's uttered words on another

occasion deserves to be recorded. On one occasion, His devotees praised Him for his graciousness. On listening to such words of praise, Sai Baba said to his humble devotees as follows:- "Oh, devotees, listen to Me. I am not at all great, I am your salve. I am your debtor too. I derive satisfaction getting your satisfaction by getting your darshan. It is favour done to Me if you show Me your feet, I am blessed by seeing your feet." Such humble words uttered by Him teaches all of us a very great lesson. If those words uttered are recollected along with the episode connected with Nanavalli, we are sure to conclude and learn that Sai Baba was an embodiment of great humility. That trait of humility was discernable in every act done by Him. When He gave Udi' (vibhuti divine ash) to devotees for curing their troubles, He did so witft humility and He always emphasized that Allah was the real bestower of health and happiness to man. He advised His devotees to read the lives of other Saints. He exhorted them to study the lives of all Saints, of all countries and of all times and of all religions.

Those who are humble, truthful and devoted to Me, I bless them with realization.

—Sai Baba There is one unforgettable incident in the year 1910 A.D.

Baba was sitting near the Dhuni on Diwali Holiday and warming Himself. He was pushing fire-woods into the Dhuni, which was brightly. A little later, instead of pushing logs of woods, Baba

43

Page 54: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba pushed his arm into the Dhuni; the arm was scorched and burnt immediately. This was noticed by the servant Madhav and Madhavrao Deshpande (Shama).They at once ran to Baba and Madhavrao clasped Baba by his waist from behind and dragged Him forcibly backward and asked, "Deva, for what have you done this?"Then, Baba came to his senses and replied, "The wife of a blacksmith at some distant place was working the bellows of a furnace; her husband called her. Forgetting that her child was on her waist, she ran hastily and the child slipped into the furnace. I immediately put My hand into the furnace and saved the child." Such acts of Baba cannot be comprehended by any one of His devotees. Baba's all pervading mercy was proved on that particular incident. Baba's leelas are just like the nectar that eternal joy and peace.

Only your faith pulls Me towards you. I love to protect My devotees who surrender to Me.

— Sai Baba Once, at evening time, there was a terrible storm at Shirdi.

The sky was overcast with thick black clouds.The winds began to blow forcibly, the clouds. The winds began to blow forcibly, the clouds roared and the lightening began to flash, and the rain began to descend in torrents. In a short time the whole place was flooded with water. All the creatures, birds, beasts and men got terribly frightened and the all flocked to the Masjid for shelter. They all prayed to Baba with great devotion. Baba was much moved. He came out and standing at the edge of the Masjid, addressed the storm in a loud and thunderous voice, "Stop, stop your fury and be calm!" In a few minutes, the rains subsided, the winds ceased to blow, and the storm came to a stop. Then, the moon rose in the sky, and the people rejoiced over Baba's miracle. Only the Lord can have such divine powers and authority to

44

Page 55: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

"Sai Baba In Shirdi control the creation of the World. With such miracle, devotees were convinced that if Baba wishes anything can happen. Devotees completely surrendered to the feet of Baba for His grace.

Once a lizard, perched on a wall in the Dwarkamai, began chirping vigorously. This is considered to be an ill-omen. So a devotee asked Baba what evil is portended. Baba said, "There is no evil portend in this. The lizard's sister will shortly come here from Aurangabad to meet her. So she is singing in joy." The devotees smiled and thought that Baba was joking. But, very soon

. a devotee arrived from Baba's darshan. And as she opened his sack, a lizard jumped out. Straightaway she scaled the wall and embraced her sister. Their movements definitely showed that they were overjoyed to meet each other. How could Baba know all this before hand? All were wonderstruck with Baba's words.They prostrated before Baba and apologized for their thinking. Baba said, "Believe in my words, nothing can harm you."

Nobody can hide anything from Me. Even if I am not physically present, I know everything

—Sai Baba On other occasion at noon the fire in the Dhuni began to

burn brightly, its flames were seen to be reaching the rafters above.The people, who were sitting in the Masjid, did not know what to do. They dares not to ask Baba to pour ^vater or do anything to quench the flames. But, Baba soon realize, what was happening. He took up His Sataka (short stock) and dashed it against a pillar in front saying, "Get down, be calm!" At each Stroke of the Sataka, the flames began to lower and slow down; and in a few minutes the Dhuni became calm and normal. Devotees were overjoyed with Baba's control over fire. The devotees witnessed some miracle in a day.

45

Page 56: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba Religious is righteousness and not rituals

and monotonous prayers. —Sai Baba

On other occasion at noon the fire in the Dhuni began to burn brightly, its flames were seen to be reaching the rafters above. The people, who were sitting in the Masjid, did not know what to do. They dares not to ask Baba to pour water or do anything to quench the flames. But, Baba soon realise, what was happening. He took up His Sataka (short stock) and dashed it against a pillar in front saying, "Get down, be calm!" At each stroke of the Sataka, the flames began to lower and slow down; and in a few minutes the Dhuni became calm and normal. Devotees were enjoyed with Baba's control over fire. The devotees witnessed some miracle in a day.

Religion is righteousness and not rituals and monotonous prayers.

—Sai Baba Another extraordinary incident connected with the early

days of Sai Baba at Shirdi has to be mentioned. One early morning, a resident of Shirdi went near the Masjid, where Sai Baba was living. He entered the Masjid to see what Sai Baba was doing at that time. To this dismay, he saw Sai Baba's limbs and head lying scattered here and there and he thought that some unknown enemy of Sai Baba had hacked the latter into pieces. He then ran out in a state of fear that he should run to the police station and report what he had seen. But, he feared that he would himself be suspected of that crime, if he resorted what he had seen. So, he continued to sit for a while. Afterwards, he stood and looked into the Masjid once again. What he then saw amazed him. II> saw Baba sitting on his usual seat and staring at him. He would not believe his own eyes. He did not have the courage to go

46

Page 57: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

"Sai Baba In Shirdi in and tell Baba what he had seen a few minutes previously. He went away and told other residents of Shirdi about the strange spectacle, which he had seen at the Masjid on that morning. Those people who heard the story from him, guessed that Sai Baba was a 'Siddha-Purusha', possessing unusual powers.

Another yogic 'Siddhi1, possessed by Sai Baba came to light almost by accident a few months after he had settled down at the Masjid of Shirdi. Baba generally bathed alone near a well far away from the Masjid. He would not allow any one to be present near him when he was engaged in bathing. He used to shout and drive away people who went near him when he was bathing. He used to drive water from a well and wash his robe and clothes and then bath. One afternoon, some persons, filled with curiosity, hide themselves behind the hedge and watched his movements. They saw Him extracting His intestines from inside His body and washing them with cold water and drying them in the Sun. the persons, who saw this act of His, were amazed at it. They ran away and told their friends about it. In this way Sai Baba's 'Siddhi' came to light. Devotees could not believe the powers of Baba.

Another curious and interesting episode, which happened during the early days of Sai Baba need to be mentioned. One of his early devotees known as Nanasaheb Dengle gave Him a wooden plank to sleep upon. The plank was about fifteen inches wide and about five feet in length. Dengle's idea was that Sai Baba would lie down on the plank with the cloth spread in it. Baba used that plank in a manner which puzzled everyone of His immediate attendants, when served Him at that time. With His own hands, Sai Baba suspended that planks, about six feet above the level of the floor by typing its four corners to the wooden rafters of the roof. The material, with which He tied the plank, was nothing but thin string of old cloth. The string and cloth were not strong enough to bear the weight of the plank.

47

Page 58: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba Having made a contrivance of this kind, Sai Baba slept on the suspended plank during the nights. A few of His attendants saw Him lying on the plank. They could not understand how He jumped down from it on the morning. He would not allow any one to touch the plank or to examine the contrivance by going near it. He would sleep on the plank after making the body weight-less. His devotees thus came to know that He possessed many kinds of'siddhi, including the 'siddhi' of levitation.

He who sees the Lord (Narayana) in all movable and immovable things of this world, the Lord manifests Himself in Him. This is possible only when there is a loving devotion towards the Guru's feet. Sai Baba has transformed His devotees into Himself. Pray to Baba for having such a devotion for our Sadguru Sai Baba alone can bless us.

48

Page 59: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

i l Qai q$aba WitFi <His ©cvotecs

Long before 1910 A.D., Sai Baba converted a small village like Shirdi into a divine spiritual centre and He Himself was the Divinity presiding there. Every day, hundreds of men and women, surrounded Him and prayed for His benediction and got what they desired.Those who went there, resided in small wadas hoping to earn Baba's Grace. They kept themselves busy from morning to night in performing some kind of'Sadhana'. In such an assemblage of Sai-devotees, there was no difference made on the ground of caste, community, race, religion or sex.

Sai Baba knew all Hindu yogic secrets and practices and He allowed Hindu mode of worship on Himself. But, His outwards appearance was that of a Muslim. When He blessed devotees, He would say that Allah Malik would grant their prayer, he encouraged Muslims to gather round Him and recited Holy Quran. Sai Baba's ears foun pierced at the lobes.The holes in the lobes of a Baba were visible and so it was guessed that He had Hindu parents. Piercing the lobes of a child is a Hindu custom. He allowed His Hindu devotees to worship him as a God or Lord Shiva or as Lord Krishna. Those who worshipped Baba in the Masjid were not ordinary simple village folks but pious, orthodox and learned Barhmins.Those Brahmins worshipped Baba in the customary Hindu pooja consisted of 'Ardhyam', 'Vandanam', 'Pada-Sevanam', TSTaivedyam', and 'Karpoora-Aarti' as a final act ofworship.

49

Page 60: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba The most common idea about Him was that He was an

incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. But, few devotees considered spiritual qualities mentioned in the sacred Hindu books. His extraordinary power of omniscience and His love of all human beings and animals and His utter sense of resignation to the will of God, whom he called Allah malik confirmed this view about Him. He asked learned Brahmins, who visited Him, to study such books as Bhagvatam, Bhagwat geeta, Panchadasi, Ramayana, Vashishta Ramayana. He advised them to study those books in their lodging after observing customary rules cleanliness and rituals. He also preached those Brahmins about inner purity. He emphasized that wearing a robe does not make a person Saint. Inner purity is a must. Rituals when performed with selfish motives bear no fruits.

Always keep a check on your thoughts and actions; impure thoughts can rule over you anytime.

Serenity and compassion is the key. —Sai Baba

Sai Baba sat on a thick seat and leaned on a bolster. His old sack-cloth seat had been abandoned. He sat very near to the entrance of the Masjid, close to the 'Dhuni'. His attendants now and then fed that fire by putting pieces of dry wood into it. Devotees would be sitting around Him and some of them would fall at His feet in veneration and beg for His grace. He would then pick up a little ash or 'Udi' from the fringe of the 'Dhuni' and give it to the supplicant and say that Allah Malik would cure all troubles of the supplicant. The 'Udi' thus gifted by Baba was considered by every recipient to be a real medicine. It was deemed to be so effective that it cured all physical diseases with a little of it swallowed with some w?ter..

Devotees invariably presented Baba such articles as 50

Page 61: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees garlands, fruits, pieces of fine cloth, sugarcane stick. Sai Baba welcomed all persons with a smile indicating endless patience and universal benevolence. His 'Sankalpam' or desire was to assuage the grief of all men and women who approached Him for relief. Baba welcomed all devotees with such love and grace that the devotees would just feel like falling at the feet of Baba. Since His 'Darbar' was open to all, without any distinction, there was no doorkeeper to prevent anyone from entering. Thus was Baba a spiritual King holding His Darbar in the Masjid.

Sai Baba's Darbar began very early in the day. Sai Baba got up from His bed long before day break. It appeared that He never slept at all in the usual sense of the world. The assembled devotees would cry Jai Jai' and entre the Masjid or the chavadi as the case may be. According to the story narrated in Sai Satcharita, the worship of Baba began at the chavadi also on the 10 th December 1909 and it was continued till He passes away. The early morning 'Aarti' of Baba was called 'Kaakad-Aarti'.We may understand it to have been a form of 'Suprabhatam' ritual done in many famous temples. 'Kaakad-Aarti', consisted of doing 'Pranams' (salvations) and praises to Sai Baba and of giving to His hands a few fresh flowers and then waving lighted lamps or camphor in front of Him. Though two or three long standing devotees alone took part in doing 'Kaakad-Aarti', yet all others stood around and raised shouts of'Jai Jai'. Their joy considered of seeing him and obtaining hid 'Darshan' at the day break of a new day.That was the beauty of Kaakad-Aarti'.

Then, Baba slowly got up from his seat, holding the arms of immediate attendants by way of support. He had become a heavy figure in 1910 and his legs seemed to have lost muscular strength by that time. He therefore required the supplementary support of his attendants to stand up from His sitting position.

51

Page 62: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba He would slowly walk out and go to the Masjid, if He had started on that morning from the Chavadi. If, on that particular morning, He started from the Masjid, He would slowly walk to the Lendi garden, which was situated at some distance. When Baba walked towards the garden He had to pass through some lanes. His devotees followed Him. The devotees held an ornamental umbrella over Baba's head. This umbrella was called 'Chhatra'. Another devotee held a Silver mace and walked in front. Another attendant held a similar mace and walked behind Baba. Some others held, 'Chamara' (peacock feather fan) and waved it now and then on Baba toward off the heat. Some would take incense and spread the fragnance around Baba. Casual visitors and some residents of the locality would also join the procession. If Baba had started on that morning from the Chavadi, His destination would be the Masjid. Though the distance between the Chavadi and the Masjid was just forty yards, yet His devotees took Him in slow regal procession and frequently shouted Jai Jai\ Sai Baba did not wear foot-wear that time. He walked barefoot, and some ahead of Him and some behind Him. Everybody were singing praises of Baba in great joy. Some were dancing, some were cry in joy and some were simply witnessing the gracious form of Baba. Bhajans and Kirtans were performed only to bring up the mind that has a tendency to go downwards. As long as the mind is the slave of external objects, it cannot rise above the physical level and will never be able to experience the divinity of God.

There were houses and wadas between the Chavadi and the masjid. Men and women residing in the adjacent tenements came out of their dwelling when Baba's morning procession passed by. They saluted Baba with great devotion, calling him 'Deva Deva' and touch His feet and offer Him flowers and waving oil lamps. In addition to such daily morning procession also.

52

Page 63: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees Those occasional processions of Baba gave great delight not merely to devotees taking active part in them but also to the entire neighbouring villages. All communities of the people rejoiced to see Him walking in such a royal and majestic way. On some rare days, Baba would be carried in a Silver Palaquin (Palakhi) by His devotees along the lanes of Shirdi. The Palaquin was decorated with flowers and cushioned for Baba's seat. Sai Baba too seemed to enjoy the simple but devoted enthusiasm of His humble devotees. It appeared that He desired thereby to enhance their 'Bhakti-Bhava' towards Him. Devotion is never alone. It is accompanied with knowledge. When a person attains devotion with the grace of Baba, he will lose all attachment and be free from His own impurities and merge into the bliss of Baba. Baba's all pervading love for His devotees can never be expressed in words. It can only be experienced personally. Though Baba was walking through the stress of Shirdi with many devotees, but he is residing in everybody's heart.

The aim of every religious practice is to increase devotion and not just to consume time.

—Sai Baba We have already become aware of the names of

Mhalsapti,Tatya, Ganpatrao, Lakshmi, Dengle and others.There is another lady bearing the same name of Lakshmibai. She is other than whom Sai Baba affectionately called Shama. The narratives associated with the said Lakskmibai and Shama are of interesting to all devotees of Sai Baba.

Lakshmibai was also a native of Shirdi and she was fairly well-to-do person, owning a house. Her full name was Lakshmibai Shinde. Her house was one of those in front of which Sai Baba used to stand and beg for alms during the early years. After He became well-known as a Saint, residents of Shirdi began

53

Page 64: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba to take food to the Masjid and beg Him to eat it. Lakshmibai was one of those devotees who started this practice. Lakshmibai's devotion and purity of motive were so obvious that Sai Baba was pleased with her desire to supply food to Him at His sitting place. He was not willing to allow all men and women to approach Him or talk with Him or disturb Him in any ways during the early days. He made a expectation in the case of Lakshmibai and He told that she might enter the Masjid at any time and go.

Sai Baba permitted only two more person to enter the Masjid at all hours convient to them. Their names are appaji Patil and Mhalsapti. Long afterwards, that is to say round about itself by his devotees.This worship took the Hindu form of ceremonies 'Pooja'. As part of such Pooja, articles of food were kept near Baba as 'Naivedyam'. Such articles of 'Naivedyam' were also called 'Bhiksha' near Him. Privileged devotees alone could fetch cooked food from their houses and keep it near Him at the masjid as on offering. Among those devotees, Lakshmibai was one of them. One day,she entered the Masjid in the evening and sat down among other devotees, who had assembled there by then. Suddenly, Baba turned to Lakshmi and said, "Oh mother Lakshmi, I am very hungry now. Please go home and fetch some food for Me". She ran home and prepared rotis and vegetables quickly and came back to the Masjid carrying her food basket on her head. She ran home and prepared rotis and vegetables quickly and came back to the Masjid carrying her food basket on her head. She spread a leaf in front of Baba and served on it rotis and vegetables, which she had brought. Sai Baba got up from His seat and picked up that food laden leaf and carried it to the courtyard. He called a dog, which was standing there and kept the leaf in front of the dog. The dog ate the food so offered by Baba and ran away. On seeing what Baba had done, Lakshmi protested mildly and said, "Baba, what have you done? On

54

Page 65: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees listening to Lakshmi's protest, Sai Baba smiled at her and said, by way of instruction, "On mother, listen to Me. Do not get angry with Me. By feeding this dog in this manner, you have appeased My hunger too. You have done a meritorious act.The same 'Atma' dwells in Me and in the dog also. Learn this truth from today. Be happy with this knowledge." Baba's way of teaching His devotees was very unique. With such words of Baba, devotees were filled with joy and contentment. With Baba's grace, even a not-so-learned person can also realise God. I always pray to Baba to show me the way by which I can always meditate on Baba's lotus feet. I pray to Baba to remove all impurities from my mind and give me knowledge so that I can serve Baba in every living being.

Iam residing in every creature. t When you feed these creatures,you feed Me.

Be compassionate to these creatures. —Sai Baba

Such was the grace of Baba towards Lakshmi and He taught her 'Atma-Gnana" by enacting the drama. On some days, Baba would enter her humble abode and say, "Mother, I want to eat 'Paysam' today. Can you prepare it and feed Me?" She would prepare it with pleasure and give it to Him. It should be known that Sai Baba did not enter the house of anyone at Shirdi except Lakshmibai's house. It was Lakshmibai, that Sai Baba gave His last 'Dakshina' of nine silver coins a few hours before He passed away. Many other devotees witnessed this gracious act of Baba and congratulated Lakshmibai Shinde on her special divine fortune.

Guru taking the Dakshina from his disciple is a great blessing for the disciple. Guru never takes anything. He only gives. He makes His disciples realise the reality of His own true Self. Surrendering to our Guru is the first step. Give up false

55

Page 66: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba pride. Always remember your Guru and He will protect you from falling down into the ocean of worldliness. I will surrender to my Sadguru Sainath who fills my heart with love for Him.

Remember always. To purity your meal with divinity, Offer it to Me first. When a poor man, hungry animal or a bird

comes; feed them first. You are directly feeding Me. —Sai Baba

Nanasaheb Chandorkar, one of the earliest devotee of Baba, was a Mamlatdar at Jamner, about 24 miles from Jalgaon in Khandesh. One can go up to Jalgaon by railway and then reach Jamner by tanga (horse-cart). Nanasaheb's daughter, Maina had come to Jamner for delivery. For forty eight hours she was in labour and her very life was in danger. Nanasaheb was appealing tb Baba to come to her succor. Baba as if heard it in Shirdi. Ramgir, a resident devotee, was then inspired to go to his village in Khandesh. He came to ask Baba's permission. Baba said, "Yes, start immediately. But, first go to Nanasaheb at Jamner, give him Udi' and Aarti and then proceed home." Baba gave him a packet of 'Udi' from the Dhuni with His own hands and Aarti on a piece of paper to be recited at Maina's bedside. Ramgir took the two things, but, in a tone of anxiety, he asked, "Baba, I have only two rupees with me. With this much, I can barely go to Jalagaon. But how could I make a detour to Jamner and then to any place?" Baba replied, "You need not worry, You only go to Jalagaon. Everything will be arranged thereafter." With firm faith in Baba, Ramgir started. He had to pay for the railway ticket and only two annas were left with him. About midnight the train reached Jalagaon and Ramigir got down. Just then a Sepoy (Havaldar) in Khaki uniform approached him and said, "Sir, you are Ramgir from Shirdi, I hope." Ramgir said he was. "Then come along, Nanasaheb has sent me with a tanga for you" said the Sepoy.

56

Page 67: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees Ramgir thought that as Baba had hinted He must have sent a word to Nanasaheb and asked him to make this arrangement. Then the tanga started and by dawn it arrived at Jamner.

The Sepoy, pointing to a distant building, said, "That is Nanasaheb's office." Ramgir alighted there to ease himself and went behind a bush. But as he came out, what did he find? Nothing. No horse, no carriage, no Sepoy. All had disappeared. He became Dumbfound, he went Nanasaheb's office and obtaining Nanasaheb's address and went there. After reaching his house he saluted Nanasaheb, he said, "Baba has sent me here from Shirdi and has given you these things." A thrill went through Nanasaheb on hearing this. He said, "Oh Baba, Baba! What should I say to you? I called your name here and hearing my call in Shirdi you at once ran in the form of these things. A million pranams to you!" Nanasaheb applied the Udi to his daughter and put a little in her mouth too. Then he sat by her bedside reciting the Aarti. Maina then delivered safely.

Nanasaheb came out and thanked Ramgir for his service. Eagerly Ramgir asked, "Nana, your tanga brought me to Jamner alright. But then as I got down to ease myself, ir suddenly vanished. Where is that tanga?" "Which tanga?" asked the puzzled Nana. "Your tanga which you had sent for me to Jalgaon Station.Your Sepoy met me there and brought me here with great speed." With tears of gratitude, Nanasaheb said, "Ramgir, I had no idea that you were coming. So how could I have, sent the tanga? This is all no doubt done by Baba." With the understanding that Baba had played the entire role of the horse cart and the Sepoy, both, Ramgir and Nanasaheb shed tears out of love for Baba. With such incidents, Baba's devotee's faith gets more and more stronger. How Baba protects His devotees is indescribeable. Baba with His omnipresence, knows everything. I fall at the feet of Baba with great love, who is always there to

57

Page 68: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba protect Me. Hearing such incidents, I lose all attachments of the world and experience Baba's bliss and love for me in my heart.

Wherever and whenever My devotees call Me, I immediately come to rescue them.

—Sai Baba The longstanding devotee of Sai Baba, whose contact

with Baba got to be traced from the beginning, is Madhavrao Deshpande. His wonderful story is worthy of our respectful study. Among those who had the good fortune of receiving Baba's grace for four or five decade, Madhavrao Deshpande must be mentioned as the most outstanding. Sai Baba began to live in the Masjid of Shirdi on some day in 1858 A.D. From that very day, Madhavrao Deshpande had the occasions to see Sai Baba and watch his movements. He lived in a room of an adjacent school, where he worked as one of several teachers. He was then a Bachelor and he had newly joined the school as a teacher. He was not able to find a residential house for dwelling so he lived in one of the vacant rooms of the school building and cooked his meal there. He was a Brahmin. So, he did not go into the Masjid to get acquainted with Sai Baba. Sai Baba too did not, of His own accord, tried to have any contact with Madhavrao though He had chance of meeting the latter often near the Masjid.

But, Sai Baba, in His omnipresence must have known who Madhavrao was. Madhavrao Deshapande did not know that he was destined to become an intimate devotee of Sai Baba. He considered Baba to be Muslim Saint of little or no significance to him. Slowly but surely, destiny worked. For about six months Deshpande saw and watched the movements of Baba. He saw Baba walking in the narrow streets of Shirdi. He often heard Baba uttered the words Allah Malik loudly standing in the courtyard of the Masjid.

58

Page 69: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees After few days, Madhavrao observed that Baba gave

herbs to sick people and cured their diseases. His interest in Baba slowly increased. After a few more weeks, Baba began giving 'Udi' to sick people and curing all their physical troubles. Baba uttered the words Allah Malik often and often, in the loud tone and Madhavrao sitting in his room could easily hear it. One some other occasion, Baba recited some Sanskrit verses, which could be heard by Madhavrao. Madhavrao guessed it that Baba was a learned man. On other occasion, he saw Baba feeding poor beggars and dogs in the courtyard of the Masjid. For about six months after Sai Baba settled down in the Masjid, Madhavrao could no longer resist the desire to enter the Masjid and introduce himself to the saintly Muslim fakir.

One morning of an auspicious day, Madhavrao Deshpande entered the Masjid and saw Sai Baba sitting alone with the words Allah Malik on His lips. As he entered the entered the Masjid saw into the eyes of Baba, he fell at Baba's feet shed tears of joy. He was overcome by feeling of devotion towards Sai Baba. Sai Baba smiled graciously and asked him to sit down and ask any boon. Such reception enhanced the sense of happiness, which had taken birth in Deshpande's mind. Sai Baba began to talk to him in a most familiar manner and he indicated thereby that he knew every details of madhavrao. He was amazed with this. He was convinced himself that Sai Baba was a 'Mahatma', worthy of veneration. So, he decided to come and visit Baba regularly. After sometime he saluted Baba once again and asked permission to visit Him often. Sai Baba asked him to come whenever he was inclined to do so.

Remember Me, chant My name with love and you will be free from delusion.

—Sai Baba

59

Page 70: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba One day when Madhavrao entered the Masjid, he saw Sai

Baba was washing His feet with water kept in a big pot. Madhavrao got a desire to wash Baba's feet. So, he took water from the pot and washed Baba's feet with great emotions. Madhavrao prostrated to Sai Baba and said, "Baba, please teach and sat down. He addressed Baba gave him a surorising reply. "Madhavrao, Oh Shama, I have come to Shirdi with the object of showing you God. I have no other purpose. You and I have been connected with each otherfor the past seventy incarnations. You are not a new man to Me. Though you did not come to see Me, I was daily watching you. I knew the thoughts that passes through your mind. You must now transcend your pride of having taken a Brahmin birth. By Allah's grace, you have secured my friendship. I will certainly show you God. That is my passion". Sai Baba's utterance delighted Madhavrao. He felt that he had met his Guru. He fell at Baba's feet and shed tears of joy and his throat was choked with emotions. Listening to Baba words, all his pride disappeared and became a humble disciple of Baba. Let us all surrender to our Sai Baba for we all our ignorant of our own mistakes and wrong thinking. With Baba's grace, we will be devoted to Baba just like the devotees of Shirdi were.

Only when a person is burning with the desire to realise God, he will be introduced with a Guru with the blessings of God. God wants His devotees to be guided. Guru guides the devotees with God's grace. Guru should be taken as the first God. See God within you. It is Baba's grace that He shows the Supreme Lord to his devotees acting as their Guru. But, Baba is also the Sadguru,The Supreme Lord Himself.

One incident has to be mentioned here about Baba's grace on his devotees. Once, Shama was bitten by a poisonous snake. His little finger of the hand was stung and the poison began to spread into the body. The pain was severe and Shama thought

60

Page 71: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees that he would die soon. He remembered Baba and ran to the Masjid. When Baba saw him, He scolded and said, "Go, get away, Come down!" Shama was puzzled to see Baba's behaviour. He came out of the Masjid. After a few second, he went inside and sat beside Baba. Baba then spoke, "Don't be afraid. Go and sit quite at home, do not worry at all." Shama was relieved with Baba's words. With complete faith, he went home and sat calmly. Immediately afterwards, Baba sentTatya and Kakasaheb Dixit to him with instructions to the effect, that, he should eat what he liked, should move in the home; but should in no case lie down and sleep. Needless to say that these instructions were acted upon and Shama got all right in a short time. The only thing to be remembered in this connection is this-the words of Baba, "Go, get away, Come down" were not addressed to Shama; but they were a direct order to snake's poison not to go up and circulate through Shama's body. Baba's each and every words are ever mysterious. Devotees were very confused about Baba's miracles.

Nothing moves with My wish, not even a leaf of a tree. Know My wish and you will become instrument.

—Sai Baba As years rolled on Madhavrao Deshpande (whom Sai

Baba always called Shama) became the most important man in the spiritual kingdom which Sai Baba had established.

The year of 1900 A.D. was a year of spiritual development for India. Three great incarnations of God were walking on the soil of India at the same time. Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi settled down at Arunachala Hill and then his fame as a great Saintof India began to spread from then. He was the master of Avaita Philosophy just like Jagadguru Shri Adi Shankaracharya. In the East of India, Ramkrishna Paramhansa was playing His divine play with his close disciples and devotees. He had

61

Page 72: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba developed devotion towards Goddess Kali to a grand heights. He taught all the necessary spiritual instructions to his disciples and devotees. SwamiVivekanand, the crown of Ramakrishna set out to spread out the glory of Ramakrishna around the whole world. The greatness of Sai Baba became well-known in Maharashtra long before 1900 A.D.There were many other saints who lived in India in those times whose contribution to the welfare of humanity cannot be expressed in words.

Great spiritual is the work of a special devotees of the Lord. Everybody cannot engage in such endeavors. But, everybody has a path to follow. The path of Karma Yoga. Shri Krishna says, "Nobody can live without performing actions. But, when actions are performed by offering Me the fruits, you will be free from the binding laws of actions." But, rarely do we find person who really offers his Karma to the Lord. But, Baba teaches that performing action with love and you will naturally offer the Lord your Karmas. Actions done without love, is binding actions. Sacrifice is the first step. Sacrifice your work for the Lord is the highest worship.

Offer Me your good deeds andbefreefrom raga-Dwesha. (attraction - repulsion)

—Sai Baba Sai Baba required no special place, nor any special time

for giving instructions. Whenever any occasion demanded, He gave them freely. He who wants to get rid of the cycle of births and deaths, should lead a righteous life, with his mind calm and composed. He should not speak harshly to anyone, so as to hurt anybody. He should always engage himself in good conduct and should do his duties and surrender himself, heart and soul, to Baba. Baba says, "He, who trust Me entirely, hears and expounds My leelas and does not think of anything else, is sure to attain self-

62

Page 73: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees realization." He advised Shravan (study) and Manan (meditation). To some he advised remembering God's name, to others, to some reading scripture. Some, He made sit near His feet; to some He advised the repetition of the thousand names of Vishnu; and some the study of Upanishad and Gita. Baba also guided His devotees to engage in 'Seva' selfless service. Baba was a divine doctor for his devotees. Baba warned the devotees not to go into too much details in rituals. Baba was very particular that whenever a worship is performed, instead of mechanical, it should be coming from the heart.

There are Gurus and Gurus. There are many so-called Gurus, who go about from house to house with cyambals and Veena in their hands, and make a show of their spirituality. They blow mantras into the ears of their disciples and extract money from them. They profess to teach piety and religion to their disciples; but are themselves impious and irreligious. Sai Baba never thought of making the least show of His worth. There are two kinds of Gurus (1) 'Niyat' (appointed or fixed) and (2) 'Aniyat' (unappointed or general). The latter by their advice develop the good qualities in us, purify our hearts and set us on the path of salvation; but contact with the former, dispels our quality (sense of difference); and establishes us in Unity by making us realise Thou art that'. There are various Guru's imparting to us various kinds of worldly knowledge; but he who fixes us in our Nature (Self) and carries us beyond the ocean of worldly existence, is the Sadguru. If anybody went to take His darshan, He, without being asked, would give every details of his past, present and future.

Blessed are the people of Shirdi who worshipped Baba as their God. While eating, drinking, working in their backyards and fields and doing various household works, they always remembered Baba and sang His glory. What to speak of the love,

63

Page 74: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba the sweetness of the love, that Baba used to give to His devotees. Only a little glance of Baba would make His devotees cry out of joy.

Selfless service is a sure way to Me. 1Seva'is what I want and not mechanical rituals.

—Sai Baba By then the leelas of Baba were being sung and

propagated. Among the singers or propagators of Baba's glory, the name of Das Ganu Mahara must be mentioned at the outset. The full name of Das Ganu was Ganpatrao Dattatreya Sahasrabudhe. Das Ganu Maharaj was the name or title bestowed on him by Sai Baba Himself. Das ganu was about 42 years old, when he first obtained darshan of Sai Baba at the masjid in the year 1896 or so. He was introduced by an earlier Sai Devotee called Chandorkar. In the lifetime of Baba Himself, Das Ganu published a small book called 'Kathamrutha' in which he has given an account of his contacts with Baba. Das Ganu was working in a police department as a humble Constable and his ambition was to rise higher in rank and become a Havaldar. It was when he was in such a situation that he had the good fortune of being introduced by Nanasaheb Chandorkar to Sai Baba, who asked him to retire from service and spend his time and energy in spiritual pursuits.

Egoism is the cause of sorrow. Remove your ego by surrendering to Me. Give upfalse pride. Live in My bliss and be free.

—Sai Baba Sai Baba received Das Ganu very graciously and told him

that He (Baba) knew everything about him. Baba assured him of his protection. Such words amazed Das Ganu. Sai Baba's words uttered on the very first day were, "Listen Ganpat, to Me. I tell you that you will come to grief if you continue to serve in the

64

Page 75: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devo t e e e s

police department. I ask you to give up service. That is the fir*st thing to do. Secondly, I know you are often engaged in taking pa*-t in open-air night dramas enacted in villages. Such activity jis obstructing your spiritual advancement. You must give up such jis obstructing your spiritual advancement. You must give up su c ;h activities."

Ganapat left the Masjid receiving such instructions froj-n the benevolent Saint. He did not act according to the advice c r f Baba at all. Because he had no other means of livelihood, he coy, d not resign his job as a Constable. For seven years after tyis meeting, Ganapat continued darshan of Sai Baba frequently ^ t the masjid and on each occasion, Baba gave him the same kind cof advice. Baba told him that He (Baba) would protect if he giveUjp the government service. On account of his delay in resigning t^e job, he suffered troubles from his superiors as foretold by Baba. Finally, Ganapat obeyed the counsel of Baba and joineod the band of Sai-devotees and began to reside at Shirdi itself a od perform 'Kirtan' there at the bidding of Baba. When Ramnavat^ii celebration started at the Masjid, Sai Baba asked him to doo Tartan' and tell the story or Rama in marathi language. Sai B^-a put a garland on Ganapatrao's neck in appreciation and gaVee Him the title of Das Ganu Maharaj. From that day, he became famous among the Sai devotees as kirtan-kar'. Baba Himself us e od to refer to Him as Das Ganu or as 'kirtan-kar'.

For understanding the glory of the Lord, this story of L^v Rishi Narada has been mentioned. Dev Rishi Narada is a gi;a-it devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once he was overwhelmed with a strojigg desire to know from the Lord Vishnu the Glory of the n a m e of ^ Lord. Lord Vishnu told him to go to the earth and ask others. L e v v Rishi asked sparrow, "Oh, dear sparrow, please tell me the gltryy of the name of the Lord." By finishing His question, the s p a r r y fell down of the tree and died. Dev Rishi could not unders ta^

65

Page 76: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba the phenomenon. He then decided to ask a cow. He asked, "Oh, dear holy cow, Please impart this knowledge to Me about the glory of the Name of the Lord." By saying so, the cow too died and fell on the ground. He was very much worried about the death of the cow. He went to Lord Vishnu and asked Him the cause. Lord Vishnu said, "There is a King who begot a child after a very long period, you must ask the child about the glory of the Name of the Lord. Dev Rishi Narada obeyed the Lord's order and went to the King. The king seeing Dev Rishi Narada became very happy and prostrated before Him. Dev Rishi Narada wanted to see the child of the king and ask him about the glory of the name of the Lord. Dev Rishi Narada went alone in the room of the child and asked him, "Oh My child, tell Me the glory of the Name of the Lord." Saying this, the child who had not learnt to speak, spoke, "I am that same sparrow, and I am that same cow. Because you uttered the name of the Lord, I finally attained the human birth so that I can be liberated." Hearing this, Dev Rishi Narada was filled with divine bliss and prostrated before Lord Vishnu and sang praises of Lord Vishnu.

There is no difference between Me and My name. —Sai Baba

On one occasion, the feast day of Shivratri arrived. On that day, Das Ganu wanted to do 'Abhisheka' and 'Pooja' of Baba in the Masjid. For that purpose he felt that he would walk three miles to the Godavari River and fetch river-water. He approached Sai Baba and told the latter about his intention to fetch river-water. Sai Baba then said, "Das Ganu, why should you walk three or four miles to fetch river-water. Ganga is at my feet. Hold your palm at My toe. Collect as much Ganga-water as you want from My toes." He was astound on the miracle Baba performed in front of him. The Ganga water was pouring out of

66

Page 77: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees Baba's toe. Das Ganu sprinkled it on his head as a mark of reverence and cried out at Baba's grace and sang kirtan. Everybody around prostrated before and sang bhajans with Das Ganu. With every miracle Baba performed, devotees were filled with devotion.

When Das Ganu was staying with Baba in Shirdi, he once wished to go to Pandharpur to see Lord Vithal. He asked for Baba's permission. Baba said, "Ganu, for you Shirdi itself is Pandharpur. Why leave Shirdi and go so far?" Baba's loving words overwhelmed Das Ganu and he fell at His feet. When he looked up at Baba, Baba appeared to him in the form of Lord Vithal. He lost His body consciousness and fell at the feet of Baba and cried. When he saw again, it was Baba surrounded with dazzling colourful lights, tears were rolling down his cheeks for Baba's infinite grace. He composed a beautiful song on the greatness of Baba. Baba's love for His devotees cannot be expressed in words.

Purify your self by remembering Me,you will not gain My blessing but also known My divinity.

—SaiBaba Generally our Haridas, while making the kirtan, wear a

Gala and full dress.They put on a head-dress, either a Pheta or a turban a long flowing coat with a shirt inside on the shoulders and usual long Dhoti from the waist below. After dressing himself in this fashion for some kirtan in the Shirdi, Das Ganu once went to Baba for making a bow. Baba asked him, "Well bridgegroom! Where are you going, dressed so beautifully like this?" "For making a kirtan", was the reply. Then Baba said, "Why do you want all that before Me, why wear them on the body?" Das Ganu immediately took them off and placed them at the Baba's feet. Henceforth, Das Ganu never wore these things, while making the

67

Page 78: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba kirtan. He was always bare from waist upwards, a pair of 'Shilpis' was in his hand and a garland round his neck. This is not in consonance with practice, generally followed by all the Haridasas. The sage Narada from whom the Kirtan Paddhati originated, wore nothing on his trunk and head. He carried a 'Veena' in his hand, and wandered from place to place, everywhere singing the glory of Lord Vishnu (Narayana).

Hanuman was blessed with the vision of God, both Sakara (with form) and Nirakara (without form). But he retained the ego of the servant of God. Such was the case with Narada, Sanaka, Sananda and Sanatkumara. Narada and others had attained the highest knowledge (Brahmagnana). But still they went on like murmuring waters of the rivulet talking and singing. This shows that they too kept this ego of knowledge-slight trace of individuality to mark their separate from the Lord, for the purpose of teachings others the truth of religion. Religion is not rituals. Religion is devotion, knowledge and righteousness.

There are few particular incident with Sai Baba Muslims. One day, some local Muslims asked Sai Baba to go with them to offer Kutb-prayer, which they wanted to do in an open field. He refused to accompany them and so they became angry with Him. Baba did not care about their feelings at all. On another occasion, some Muslims brought a Tajia' and left it in the Masjid though Sai Baba asked them not to do so. Sai Baba kept quite for two days. On the third day, He dragged the Tajia' and put it into the burning Dhuni, where it caught fire and was converted to ashes. On another day, a Muslim brought a garland of artificial flowers into the Masjid and wanted to put it on the niche of the western wall of the Masjid. Baba asked that man to take it away and put it on the idol of Hanuman in the Maruti temple.That man retorted that he was not a worshipper of Hindu idols. Baba always taught universal religion, but still few devotees were very obstinate

68

Page 79: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees about their own religious concepts. As a toy fruits or s toy elephant reminds one of the real fruits and the living animal, so do images worshipped remind one of God who is formless and eternal. Sai Baba is also the form of that formless Supreme Lord.

Baba used to say, "Ram (God of the Hindus) and Rahim (God of the Mohammedian) were one and the same; there was not the slightest difference between them: then, why should people fall out and quarrel among themselves? You ignorant children, join hands and bring both the communities together; act sanely and thus, you will gain your object of national unity. It is not good to dispute and argue. So, don't argue, don't emulate others. Yoga, sacrifice, penance and knowledge are the means to attain God. If you do not succeed in this by any means, in vain is your birth. If anyone does any evil unto you, do not retaliate, If you can do anything do some good unto others."

The faith and devotion that havefor Me in the temple, This faith and devotion should remain the whole day.

Iam aware of your each and every thoughts Sai Baba

Das Ganu observed that Sai Baba often raised his hands in hands in veneration whenever he passed in front of Hanuman temple. Baba never approved Muslims converting Hindus into Muslims. On one occasion, a newly converting Muslim was brought into the Masjid, Sai Baba gave a slap on his cheeks and

*

said, "This man has changed his father." On some occasion a few dancing girls used to assemble at the Masjid and dance in Sai Baba's presence. Baba was indifferent to their display. But, he would send them away with flowers and fruits as 'Prasadam' from Him. With such incidents people became very particular about what Baba likes and dislikes.

A doctor from Bombay heard the leelas of Baba from a 69

Page 80: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba friend and was curious to see Baba, but he did not believe in Baba's divinity. But he was a staunch devotee of Lord Rama. He regarded Baba as an ordinary Fakir. On reaching Shirdi, the very atmosphere soften the Doctor's mind. He accompanied his friend who had started to go to Baba, and, on seeing Baba from a distance, the Doctor ran towards Him and fell at His feet. Smiling lovingly, Baba blessed him. As they both started to come back, the friends asked the doctor, "What happened Doctor? You did not believe in Baba so much!" Doctor replied, "As soon as I saw Baba, I saw my Lord Rama in the place of Baba and ran and fell at his feet." Saying this he was shedding tears of joy. His life's goal is attained. The Doctor remained in the state of bliss for the rest of his life. Baba's leelas cannot be interpreted with intelligence. Only a loving heart can express Baba's divine leelas and remain in bliss. Put aside your ego and cleverness, just hear Baba's leelas with devotion and you will be filled woth great joy.

Baba's love for His devotees cannot be comprehended by those are filled with egoism and lack humility. Worshipping with selfish motives begets egoism. Worshipping done out of love is the true worshipping. Remove this selfish motive. People are offering flowers to the Lord as a liberty and not out of love. They only want to get things done through Lord's blessings. People only want to make the Lord happy with these temporary articles to gain worldly happiness and comforts. Nobody is ready to give up these selfish thinking and develop selfless devotion. Make the Lord happy with a loving heart and offer Him good deeds. Show humility to the Lord, He will bless us with devotion. Baba knows who is doing what. But Baba's love for his devotees is so much that He forgets all the impurities of His devotees and bless, them with happiness. But, Baba longs for selfless devotees. Baba always gives chance to all for developing devotion. Only when a devotee really cries for Baba, Baba immediately comes to rescue

70

Page 81: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees him from his impure thoughts that stop him from being devoted to Him. Baba's grace has no boundary or limitation. Only a devotee who yearns for devotion, Baba with his loving hand blesses the devotee with selfless devotion.The devotees heart gets filled with bliss when Baba blesses him with devotion. Baba says, "I give chance to everybody, every time. If you need Me alone, I will pull you towards Me with great force. All your sorrow will come to an end." With such words of Baba, any devotee would be filled with love for Baba.

"Those who love Me alone, I bless them with liberation" —Sai Baba

During the afternoon, Das Guna often saw Sai Baba rubbing old coins, uttering "This is Kaka's coin', 'this is Nana's coins', 'this is Bapu's coin" and so on. Das Guna says that Sai Baba was thus remembering the special devotees and sending His blessing them by telepathy. When any one observed Baba doing so, He would hide the bag of coins and stop in the presence of Das Ganu; but the latter was not able to comprehend their significance. However, Das Ganu understood what Baba wanted to convey by such exclamation as Who am I?' 'What is this wealth?' What is this strange struggle of men and women for worldly happiness ?' 'When did my mother bigoted me?' 'was I really begotten at all?' 'Have I not been existed at all times?' Why do you people rejoice over birth?' By way of imparting these spiritual knowledge to Das Ganu Maharaj, who was dull of understanding, the merciful Saint addressed him and said, "Das Ganu, why do you not listen to Me? Why do you want to ponder over what I utter in your presence? Think who gives what to whom. Think who eats what. Such questions must be thought of. You must not say that he is your enemy. On the other hand, think who is whose enemy. I say to you that you should not entertain any ill feelings towards anyone. All are one." Such direct

71

Page 82: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba utterances helped a great deal. Das Ganu became an enlightened man after listening to such words from Sai Baba. Such is the long story of the spiritual profits which Das Ganu Maharaj obtained through the grace of the benevolent Sai Baba.

It seems that Sai Baba was very concerned in giving spiritual knowledge to His devotees. His focus was the realization of His devotees. Give up everything to Baba, resign yourself to Baba, and your troubles and sorrow will come to an end. Then you will come to know that everything is done by His will alone. Spiritual practice are absolutely necessary for Self knowledge, but if there be perfect faith in your Sadguru, then a little practice is enough. It is faith and in the name of the Lord that works wonders, for faith is life and doubt is death. We all must pray to Baba for increasing devotion to His lotus feet. Pray to Him from your heart. He is sure to hear even the football of an art.

I want My devotees to realise the Truth. You are the pure unchanging, eternal, ever blissfulAtma.

—Sai Baba Now it is time to mention a well-known Sai-devotee

named Abdul lived at Nanded during his boyhood and he was a servant of a Muslim Fakir called Amiruddin, whom Sai Baba knew for a long time. Baba gave a direction to Amiruddin through a dream asking him to send Abdul to Shirdi for doing personal service to Himself. Accordingly, Abdul was sent from there. Abdul arrived in Shirdi in 1889 A.D. and presented himself before Sai Baba at the Masjid. Baba greeted him by calling him by nickname of 1 Kavala1, which means a crow. Abdul was then about 20 years old. Baba asked him to attend to the work of lighting every perpetual lamps which Baba Himself was till then lighting every evening near the Neem tree. Abdul attended the work in addition to the sweeping the Masjid, the Lendi Baug and the

72

Page 83: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees premises of the Neem tree. He washed the clothes of Baba. Baba did not make any provision for feeding abdul, who therefore made his own arrangement for his two meals. When he was not engaged in any work, Abdul used to sit in the Masjid near Baba. Baba used to give instructions to him and to implant desirelessness in him. Baba also taught him to read the Quran. Baba's special instruction to Abdul was that he should lead a pure life and eat little and conquer sleep. Baba encouraged him by saying that He had enabled him to become a 'Mukta'. Baba's actual words of blessing uttered in front of Abdul were these "Abdul, I have helped you to cross the ocean of birth and death." Abdul's previous master once came to Shirdi to take him away to Nanded. But, Baba did not send him back. So, he continued to serve Baba till the latter passed away. Like Baba, Abdul too believed in the 'Avatar' of Shri Rama and Shri Krishna. Baba often asked Abdul to raise the question "Who am I?' within his own mind and solve that question by doing 'Vichar' or 'Dhyan' (contemplation). Abdul had became an enlightened soul and died peacefully at Shirdi in his nineties.

Viveka (discrimination) and Vairagya (dispassion) are the two great purifying agent for the soul. It is of no use to read the scriptures without Viveka and Vairagya. Without Viveka and Vairagya there is no attainment of spirituality. Baba says, "Mere hearing and reading My leelas and teachings, your mind will be purified. Practice My teachings. Karma Bhoomi (the Earth) is the learning ground."

Every action is governed with thoughts. When the thoughts are not pure, actions cannot be pure either. Purity of thoughts is a must. Anger, greed, hatred, jealousy, pride and lust are impure thoughts. With anger, hatred and jealousy, you are hurting yourself rather than others. Feeling proud only creates a delusion. Know your inner self. Greed only brings frustration

73

Page 84: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba and sadness. Be ever contended.Your conscience is suffering due to these impure thoughts. Control your thinking with introspection and meditation. These impure thoughts make others and yourself unhappy. Purify your actions with pure sacred thoughts.Think good about others. Bad is not outside, it is inside. Only when you have certain impurities, you would reflect on others and feel that everybody is impure. Purify yourself with 'Seva' selfless service.

Sanctify your mind by remembering Me. —Sai Baba

The next story of Bayajabai and her sonTatya illustrates the same point about Sai Baba's grace. Bayajabai Patil was a native of Shirdi. Bayajabai's house was one of the few houses in Shirdi at the door of which Baba used to stand and beg for alms. For about three years after Baba had settled down at Shirdi, he begged at Bayajabai's door four times a day and received whatever was put into His bag by Bayajabai. Her devotion, her penance was never forgotten by Baba till the death. Remembering fully, what service she rendered, Baba benefited her son magnificently. Both the son and the mother had great faith in Baba. Whoever keeps utmost faith in Baba, Baba will take full care of him just like a child.

After Tatya became old enough, it was Tatya's pleasant duty to run to the door whenever Baba was noticed outside and out either roti or vegetables into the latter's bag. According to Tatya's memory, he was about seven years old, when 'Urus-procession' was converted into Ramnavami Feast. It is stated by Tatya that Baba himself gave the suggestion for converting the Urus' into Ramnavami Feast. This change began in 1896 A.D. and Nanasaheb Chandorkar and many other rich devotees of Sai Baba contributed funds for the proper celebration of

74

Page 85: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees Ramnavami Feast. Sai Baba desired to encourage the growth of 'Bhakti-Bahva' in the minds of the devotees. He allowed them to worship Him personally in the usual Hindu manner. He allowed his devotees to apply sandal-paste-marks on the forehead and arms of His close devotees, while other devotees stood and watched the proceedings. This was the way on which worship of Sai Baba was started at the Masjid 1896. A few minutes after Baba had been thus worshipped by Hindu devotees on the Ramnavami Feast Day, His Muslim devotees entered the Masjid and offered 'Namaz' in the usual Islamic manner. When they were doing 'Namaz', the Hindu devotees of Baba sat silently and watched the proceedings. In this manner the Hindus and Muslims of the locality. He Himself disturbed the consecrated food as His 'Prasad' among His devotees and told them that they were all His children and that they should establish brotherly feelings among themselves.

Baba's infinite love for His devotees can only be experienced and not expressed. Baba's leelas are so mysterious that devotees used to stop thinking and surrender to His feet. Some devotees were confused about the divinity and omnipresence of Baba. Baba never liked those who try to understand Baba's leelas with scientific thinking. Baba always said, "Just surrender to Me, do what I tell you to do and you will always be with Me."

An ordinary person is not able to surrender to the Lord. Egoism is very deep rooted in people. They want everything. They want to enjoy the worldly happiness as well as God. Either can choose to be worldly and experience the uncertain ups and down of life or surrender to Baba and live in bliss. Our thinking has become very comparative. We always compare ourselves or others with us in terms of riches, fame, powers, personality and leadership. These qualities bring jealousy. Jealousy begets hatred

75

Page 86: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba and hatred begets misery. Eradicate the roots of jealousy and be ever pure. People filled with desires always live like beggars. They are never satisfied. Satisfaction is a must for a happy life. Only when you give up creating desires, you will become selfless. Only when selfless comes in, selfless devotion will dawn with in your heart.

Let the world go topsy-turvy,you remain where you are; Standing in your place watching the show of the world.

—Sai Baba One day, when Tatya was about twelve years old, Sai Baba

met him on the road, while he was leading his cattle into the fields for grazing. Sai Baba stopped him and said, "Tatya, do not go out with your cattle today. Stay at home." Baba made some other signs and gestures by way of warning Tatya. So, Tatya inferred that some calamity would occur on that day. He tied his cattle and stayed at home. A few hours later, a relative of Tatya died and he was sent for the proceedings. Tatya guessed why Baba had prevented father became bedridden with paralysis. Tatya rari to the Masjid and fell at Sai Baba's feet and said, "Baba my father has fallen sick. Please save him."To his amazement, Baba did not give any 'Udi' for being applied to his sick father. Baba sent away Tatya by simply remarking that Allah Malik would take care of every one. So, Tatya left the Masjid in a state of sorrow. On the third day, his father died and Tatya performed the obsequies of the dead man. Some days thereafter, Tatya went to the Masjid as usual and fell at Baba's feet. Baba received him affectionately and said, "Tatya, massage My legs today." When Tatya sat and massaged Baba's legs, he began to weep and shed tears on account of his father's death. On seeing Tatya shedding tears, Baba consoled him by saying, "Tatya, why should you weep over your father's death? Do not weep. I tell you that your father will

76

Page 87: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees come back again. Be comforted." After receiving such words of advice, Tatya left the Masjid and went home. About two years thereafter, a son was born to Tatya. Tatya then guessed that his deceased father had, as told by Baba taken a fresh birth as his (Tatya's) son.

Shri Krishna says, "As you change your clothes everyday, your soul changes the body in every new life."

Iam all-pervading and omnipresent. Nothing can be hiddenfrom me. Iam the ruler of your heart.

—Sai Baba One extraordinary act of mercy was done to Tatya by Sai

Baba. Calling Tatya to sit close to him, Baba said, "Tatya, I will give you my final words of instruction. Listen." After saying so, Baba uttered some words of advice in a soft tone.Those words of advice were related to Tatya's spiritual awakening. After conferring such a great favour, addressed him and said, "Tatya do not tell anyone what I have taught you just now. If you do, you will die." It seems that Baba had given some special advice by which his spiritual growth would boost. However, it is true that there were hundreds of devotees whose spiritual growth had been boosted only with the darshan of Baba.

People are only concerned with their own comforts and happiness. Nobody wants to know the truth that gives them pain. Truth for them has become painful because of their own impure thoughts and actions. With selfish desires, they only want to know what is pleasing to them. Truth can never change as per anybody's likes and dislikes. Truth will always remain the same. Selfishness is the cause of this behaviour of not accepting the truth. Show your love for the Lord by practicing His teachings and you will be blessed. Baba is our Sadguru.Take shelter under Baba's grace and you will be blessed with pure devotion.

77

Page 88: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba Knowledge and devotion is not for impure minds.

Selfish desire is the clothes of impure minds. Knowledge And devotion is the jewel of my devotees.

—Sai Baba There are many incident where Baba had cured deadly

diseases and preserved death of His devotees. We shall make an account of it briefly.

A devotee of Baba, by name Bala Ganpat Shimpi, once suffered much from a malignant type of Malaria. He tried all sorts of medicines and decoctions; but in vain. So, he ran to Shirdi and fell on Baba's feet. Baba gave him a strange recipe, He said, "Give a black dog some morsels of rice mixed with curds in front of the Laxmi temple!" Bala did not know how to execute this recipe, but no sooner he went home, then, he found rice and curds. After mixing them together, he brought the mixture, near the Laxmi temple, when he found there was a black dog, waving its tail. He placed the curds and rice before the dog.The dog ate it and, strange to say, Bala got rid of his Malaria. Baba's recipes were always unique and effective. Baba says, "Only your faith in Me will protect you."

I am your only true friend. —Sai Baba

Shriman Bapusaheb Butty suffered once from dysentry and vomiting. His cupboard was full of patent drugs and medicines; but none of them had any effect. Bapusaheb got very weak, on account of purgings and vomiting and, therefore, was not able to go the masjid for Baba's darshan. Baba, then made him sit before Him and said, "Now, take care, you should not purge any more," Now, look at the force of Baba's words. Both the maladies disappeared and Butty felt well. On other occasion, he had an attack of Cholera, and suffered from severe thirst. Dr.

78

Page 89: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees Pillai tried all sorts of remedies; but could not give him any relief. Then, he went to Baba and consulted Him as what to drink that would allay his thirst and cure the diseases. Baba prescribed an infusion of almonds, walnuts, pistachio, boiled in sugared milk. This would be considered as a fatal aggravations of the diseases by any other Doctor or Physician; but in great faith in Baba, the infusion was administered and strange to say, the disease was cured. Baba then said, "faith can cure everything."

Faith is independent of external condition. Faith will bear fruits only when it is unconditional. Such faith is the strength that holds Baba to his devotees. People are very choosy.They want to have faith because they are helpless. They want to take pride in themselves and want to look good in the world. But, Baba as the Sadguru teaches them the lessons of being humble and kind to all. Baba likes devotees who are devoid of pride. Pride is a very dangerous quality. It create a delusion making you go away from the divinity. Baba's name should be chanted daily so that no pride can enter your mind. Baba's grace flows continuously for those who whole-heartedly surrender to Him.

Let us mark and note carefully, what Baba has caught us. He has advised us that, before the senses, mind and intellect enjoy their objects. Baba should first be remembered, and if this be done it is on a way by making their objects; but if those objects are first offered to the Guru, the attachments for them will naturally vanish. In this way, all the thoughts regarding desire, anger, avarice etc should first be offered and directed to the Guru and if this practice be followed, the Lord will help you, in eradicating all the impure thoughts. When before enjoyment of the objects, you think that Baba is close by or present, the question, whether the object is fit to be enjoyed or not, will at once arise. Then the objects that is not fit to be enjoyed will be shunned; and in this way our vicious habits or voices will disappear, and our character

79

Page 90: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba will improve.Then, the love for Guru grows, and pure knowledge will sprout up.

Why worry when lam with you. Have faith and I patience and I will do the rest.

—Sai Baba A Swami from Alandi, wishing to take Baba's darshan

came to Shirdi. He suffered from a severe pain in his ear, which prevented him from getting the sleep. He was operated for this but it served no purpose. The pain was severe and he did not know what to do. While he was returning, he came to take Baba's leave, when Madhavrao Deshpande requested Baba to do something for the pain in Swami's ear. Baba comforted him saying, "Allah will do good." Swami then returned to Pune, after a week sent a letter to Shirdi, stating that the pain in his ears had subsided, though swelling was there, and in order to get the swelling removed, he went to Mumbai for operation; but the Surgeon on examining the ear said that no operation was then necessary. Such was the wonderful effect of Baba's words!

Have faith in My words. Practice what I teachg and you will easily cross the ocean ofworldliness.

—Sai Baba Another devotee, named Kaka Mahajani, suffered once

from Diarrhoea. In order that, there should be no break in his service to Baba. Kaka kept a Tambya (pot) with water in the corner of the Masjid and whenever there was a call, he would go out. As Sai Baba knew everything, Kaka did not inform Him of his disease, thinking that, Baba would on His own cure it soon. The work of constructing the pavement in front of the Masjid was permitted by Baba; but when the actual work was begun, Baba got angry and shouted out loudly. Everybody ran away; and

80

Page 91: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees as Kaka was alone doing the same, Baba caught hold of him and made him sit there. In the confusion that followed, somebody left there a small bag of groundnuts, Baba took a handful of groundnuts rubbed them in His hands, blew away the skins and gave the clean nuts to Kaka and made him eat them. Scoulding and cleaning the nuts went on simultaneously. When the bagful of nuts were finished, Baba asked him to fetch water, as He felt thirsty. Kaka brought a pitcher, full of water. Then, Baba drank some water and made Kaka to drink it. Baba, then said, "Now your Diarrhoea has stopped; and you may attend to the work of the pavement." Baba's love for His devotees should be experienced by all. Only faith can bring closer to us.

Give up pride, egoism andarrogance. Surrender to Me and live in My love.

—Sai Baba Madhavrao Deshpande once suffered from piles. Baba

gave him decoctions of Sonamukhi (nenna pods).This relieved him. Then after two years the trouble again recurred Baba. The result was that, the disease aggravated; but later on it was cured by Baba's grace. Kaka Mahajani's elder brother, Gangadhar Pant, suffered for many years stomach-pain. Hearing Baba's fame he came to Shirdi and requested Baba to cure him. Baba touched his belly and said, "God will cure." From that time, there was, no stomach-pain; and he was completely cured. Nanasaheb Chandorkar also once suffered from intense stomach-pain; he was restless the whole day and night. Doctors administered syringes, which produced no effects.Then, he approached Baba, who told him to eat Burfi (a kind of sweetment), mixed with ghee. This recipe gave him complete relief. With such incidents in the life of Baba's devotees, it fills our heart with great devotion and love for Baba.

81

Page 92: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba Once, Mr. Tarkhad was staying in a house in Shirdi. At

noon, meals were ready and dishes were being served, when a hungry dog turned up there and began to bark. Airs. Tarkhad got up at once and threw a piece of bread, which the dog gulped with great relish. In the afternoon, when she went to the Masjid an sat at some distance, Sai Baba said, to her, "Mother, you have fed Me magnificently up to My throat, My afflicted Prana (life-force) have been satisfied. Ever act like this, and you will stand in good stead. Sitting in this Masjid, I shall never, never speak untruth. Take pity in Me like this! First give bread to the hungry, and then eat yourself. Note this well!" she could not at first understand the meaning of what Baba said. So, she replied, "Baba, how could I feed You? I am myself dependent on others and take my food from them on the pavement." Then Baba replied, "Eating that lovely bread, I am heartily contended and I am still belching. The dog, which you saw before meals and to which you gave the piece of bread, is one with Me so also other creature (cats, pigs, cows, flies etc.) are one with Me, I am roaming in their forms. He, who sees Me in all creatures, is My beloved. So, abandon the sense of duality and distinction, and serve Me, as you did today." Drinking these nectar like words, she was moved, her eyes were wet with tears and her throat was choked with emotions and her joy knew no bounds. Baba's way of giving realisation to His devotees is unique.

Whenever you feel any hungry person, animal or a bird, I become very happy. I am residingin them. Remember always.

—Sai Baba There are many who spend long hours in meditation,

rituals, discourses, but they are not able to purify themselves. Purity is not doing long hours of rituals. Purity is compassion towards all. Everybody desires for liberation, but nobody wants

82

Page 93: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees to pay the price. Everybody are holding to their selfish desires and wanting liberation. Be compassionate to all is the teachings of each and every religion. What is the use of reading so many religious books, doing these rituals, listening to discourses when you have no compassion. What is the use of these when you cannot feel the hungry animal. What is the use of this when you cannot feel the pain of others. Religion is to wlak on the path of righteousness. Righteousness is to be compassionate and truthful to all.You go to the temples with folded hands and pray to the lord for more happiness, comforts and success. The moment you leave the temple, you are ready to fight with people for reputation, success and money. You are fighting with your family members, this is not religion. Religion is to know your true Self. Have a loving heart and pure motives.

There were many devotees who regularly came to Baba to take His blessings. There were many incidents where a devotee comes to Baba to take His blessings and Baba come to know that he has done something bad. Baba immediately makes his devotees realise about his mistakes and warns him not to repeat it again. There were many devotees who misbehaved with beggars and animals and tired to look good before Baba. Baba never spared anyone. Baba made them realise that He knows everything. Once Baba said, "I am within your heart, so you cannot hide anything from Me." Baba disliked hypocrisy. Baba was very happy with devotees who surrendered to His feet and practiced whatever Baba said.

Never hurt anybody. Never use words that hurt others. Never thinks bad about others. He who hurts none is My true devotee

—Sai Baba There is a wonderful leela of Baba when Mrs Khaprade,

the wife of Mr. Dadasaheb Khaprade of Amravati was staying at 83

Page 94: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba Shirdi, with her young son, for some days. One day the son got high fever, which further developed into a bubonic plague the mother thought of leaving the place for Amravati, and went near Sai Baba in the evening. When Baba was coming near the wada in His evening rounds, for asking His permission, she informed Baba in a trembling tone, that her dear young son was down with plague. Baba spoke kindly and softly to her, saying that the sky is beset with clouds; but they will melt and pass off and everything will be smooth and clear. After Baba came back to the Masjid, He called His close devotees and lifted up His Kurta up to the waist and showed to all present, four fully developed bubos, as big as eggs, and added, "See, how I suffer for My devotees, their difficulties are Mine." Seeing this unique grace, the people were convinced, as to how Baba suffered for His devotees. Devotees were crying with such acts of Baba. Devotees who are close to Baba, tried to stop Baba to take pain of others, but, Baba said, "They are not strangers, they are My children.The Mother has to take care of her child." With such words devotees fell at Baba's feet and cried.

Baba's grace cannot be known even to His close devotees. Baba's love for His devotees has no boundary. Baba took pains for His devotees so that his devotees can perform their work and become happy. A true devotees can always remember Baba as their only mother and father. Just like a mother takes care of her child, Baba takes care of His devotees.

Offer Me a flower with love,I will gladly accept it. —Sai Baba

The interesting story of Annasaheb Dabholkar (Gobindrao Raghunath Dabholkar), whom Sai Baba was pleased to address as Hemadpant, is the most important episode, which is intended to describe the steady growth of the spiritual

84

Page 95: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees mission of the Saint of Shirdi.The devotee of the great Saint was so captivated by the spiritual uniqueness of Sai Baba that he conceived the ardent desire to write the latter's biography. Such a desire arose in him as soon as he had his first darshan of Baba in 1910 A.D.Till then, no devotee of Sai Baba had ever thought of such an undertaking Annasaheb Dhabolkar was desired to undertake this historic task and so, he conceived the idea of writing the biography as soon as he saw and admired the Saint. He felt that he would be doing 'Guru-Seva' if he writes the Baba's biography.

He asked Sai Baba to give him necessary permission. When Sai Baba heard this request, He was moved and blessed him by giving him His 'Udi' and placed His boon-bestowing hand on his head and said to other devotees, "Let him make a collection of stories and experiences, keep notes and memos; I will help him. He is only an outward instrument. I should write Myself My autobiography and satisfy the wishes of My devotees. He should get rid of his ego, place it at My feet. He, who acts like this in life, I help him the most." With such words of encouragement, Hemadpant was overflowed with joy and fell at Baba's feet. Baba is Satchitananda Sadguru. Baba's presence itself made the devotees experience the bliss and love. So many devotees were visiting the Masjid to have the darshan of Baba. Each one had their own spiritual development. Some devotees, just having darshan of Baba, start shedding tears of joy, some were wonderstruck by experiencing the Ananda Swaroop of Baba, some were attentively to each and every word of Baba.

These who come to Shirdi with a loving heartfilled with faith, I immediately put an end to his troubles.

—Sai Baba

85

Page 96: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba Annasaheb was born in 1859 A.D. at Kelwa, Mahim in

Thana district. When he obtained Sai Baba's grace in 1910, he was resident of Bandra in Bombay he was working there as a Resident-Megistrate. He was a scholar too. He retired from government service in 1916 and frequently visited Sai Baba thereafter. For some years, he managed the affairs of Sai Baba Samsthanam and resided at Shirdi. He died in 1922 A.D. All these details relating to Hemadpant are important, because he alone obtained the Baba's sanction to write the biography. He was about fifty years old, when he secured Baba's darshan at the old Masjid.

Those who spread My leelas, sing My glory and chant My name with utmost love andfaith, I shall remove all his sins

Andfree him from the bounds of the world. —Sai Baba

Hemadpant began to write Sai Baba's biography only in 1922. but he had been collecting material from 1910, when he obtained the Saints permission to start that delightful task. Between 1922 and 1930, his articles about the 'Leelas of Sai Baba' subsequently published in the form of a book and it became famous as 'Sri Sai Satcharita'. During his collection of various notes about Baba's miracles and grace on His devotees, he was always overjoyed with emotions and would cry every now and then. He would cry loudly seeing Baba's grace that He was allowed to write Baba's biography. He had become completely devoid of ego. He had become an enlightened soul by then.

Those who read My leelas everyday, those who concentrate on My leelas, will be freed from attachments.

—Sai Baba

86

Page 97: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees In the first and second chapter of 'Sri Sai Sat char ita',

Hemadpant has given a picturesque account of how he became an ardent devotees of Sai Baba of Shirdi. He has also told how he got a command from Sai Baba to write the biography. The circumstances connected with those two events are of historic importance and they are also very instructive.

On the day which Hemadpant went to the Masjid to obtain his first darshan of Baba, he saw as unusal sight. He noticed that Sai Baba washed His hands and feet leisurely and sat down to grind wheat in a grind stone kept inside. He saw Baba taking handful of wheat from a winnowing bamboo pan and putting it into the stone slowly grinding it into the flour. He was amazed to see the Saint employed in such hard labour. After a short interval, four women-devotees of Baba entered but Baba scolded them for entering the Masjid without permission. Those women were not afraid of Him at all. They held Baba's hand and pushed Him aside and sat down and began to grind the wheat. Sai Baba smiled and indicated that He appreciated the spirit of devotion exhibited by those four women-devotees. But, Baba did not allow anyone to grind the wheat. Hemadpant watched this event from where he stood. Within a short time, Baba ground into flour all the wheat contained in the pan. The four women collected the flour and made a heap of it. Sai Baba silently watched their acts. They imagined that Baba would charitably give wheat flour to them, because He did not need it at all. So, they divided the wheat powder into four equal parts and looked at Him. He said, "Oh mother, what are you doing? Whose property are you stealing? You have not given Me the wheat. I have borrowed this wheat from you. This heap of wheat flour does not belong to you. Now, take this wheat and scatter it to the four corners of Shirdi. This is what I want you to do." They were puzzled with such a instruction of Baba.

87

Page 98: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba But, having faith in Baba, they accordingly went out of the

Masjid and walked in different directions and blowed away the wheat powder into the winds. Hemadpant who saw this occurrences could not understand the significance of Baba's acts and words. Being a stranger of Shirdi, he asked those who stood near him explained the secret of Baba's doings. They said, 'Cholera is spreading around. Sai Baba does not want Cholera to afflict the resident of the Shirdi." Hearing this he felt great love and admiration towards the Saint of Shirdi and decided to become a devotee at once. His friend Madhavrao Despande took him into the Masjid and introduced him to Baba who was then sitting serenely on his accustomed seat. Baba received him graciously and blessed him.Then he told Baba about his desire to write His biography. Sai Baba readily gave Him permission and promised to help him.

Baba got the work done through His devotees. Baba's omnipresence cannot be known. He knows the past and the future of all. Only with His wish, His devotees can come closer to Him. Only with His wish His devotees can be devoted to Him. Pray to Baba that we all gain devotion to His lotus feet. "Oh, Baba I do not know anything but my desire to love you. I do not know how to love you, but I cannot live without loving you. All I want that I always be devoted to You."

I only want to do good for My devotees. Iam here to cure their problems and give them realization.

—Sai Baba It was under that name that he subsequently composed

Baba's biography in Marathi language after collecting materials from several men and women, who had known the Saint from the year 1854 or so. He succeeded in describing the leelas' of Sai Baba is an appealing manner. Hemadpant has, in his 'Sai

88

Page 99: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees Satcharita' tried to explain the leela of wheat grinding in the following way. Apart from the meaning, which the villagers of Shirdi gave of Baba's act of wheat grinding, there is a philosophical significance also. Sai Baba lived in Shirdi for about sixty years and during that period, He did the business of grinding and destroying the sins and miseries of His numerous devotees.The two stone of His grinding mill consisted of'Gnana'. It was the firm conviction of Baba that knowledge of the 'Self or Atma is not possible unless we grind and destroy our sins, caused by the three gunas; Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Baba taught that, Atmagnana cannot take birth in a man unless evil ego 'Vasanas' or 'Ahamkara' are get rid of. Sai Baba, as the Knower of Brahman (or Atma or Self) earnestly desired that His devotees should all realise the same truth by destroying their 'egoism'.

lam. always with My devotees. My presence will be felt where My devotees call Me with love.

—Sai Baba Egoism is like a cloud that keeps God hidden from our

sight. If by the mercy of Guru, egoism vanishes, God is seen in His full glory. The sun can give heat and light to the whole world, but it can do nothing when the clouds shut out its rays. Similarly, so long as egoism is in the heart, God cannot shine upon it. Though God is nearer to you than anything else, yet because of the screen of egoism you cannot see him.

Hemadpant taught us with the spiritual lfesson that without Knowledge, devotion and good deeds cannot take place. Knowledge is like a butterfly, when we try to catch it, it flies away. But, when the mind is devoid of selfish desires, knowledge will manifest itself in your thoughts and actions. In this Kali-yug, Karma is indispensable. Karma performed with Knowledge, devotion increases ten-fold.

89

Page 100: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba Knowledge is the understanding of our goal, of our duties

and the reality of our existence. We are not this body. We are the eternal, unchanging, blissful 'Atma'. We are encircled with various levels and qualities of consciousness. This consciousness is covered with our past Karmas. When with the sword of knowledge we cut these layers into pieces, the true self, the 'Atma' is recognized as one with 'Paramatma'. But, to reach such a state, one has to a lot of efforts to gain such knowledge. It is also true that without the grace of a Guru, no one can achieve this state. Baba is our Sadguru. We all must pray to Him for giving this knowledge to us so that we can work for Baba and be ever detached and blissful.

Shriman Bapusaheb Butty, the famous multi-millionaire of Nagpur, lived in Shirdi, with his family. Once, an idea arose in his mind that, he should have a building of his own there. Some times after this, while he was sleeping in Dixit's wada, he got a vision. Baba appeared in his dream; and ordered him to build a wada of his own with a temple. Shama, who was sleeping there, got also a similar vision. When Bapusaheb was awakened, he saw, Shama crying and asked the latter, as to why he was doing so. The latter replied that in his vision Baba came close to him, and ordered distinctly, "Build the wada with a temple! I shall fulfill the desires of all. On hearing the sweet and loving words of Baba. I was overpowered with emotion, my throat was choked, my eyes were overflowing with tears, and I began to cry." Bapusaheb was surprised to see that, both their visions tallied. By being a rich and capable man, he decided to build a wada there and drew up a plan with Shama. Kakasaheb Dixit also approved of it. And when it was placed before Baba, He also sanctioned it immediately.

The connection work was duly started and under the supervisor of Shama, the ground floor, the cellar and the well were completed. Baba also, while on his way to and from Lendi

90

Page 101: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba With His Devoteees Bagh suggested some improvements. Further work was entrusted to Bapusaheb Jog; and when it was going on, an idea struck Bapusaheb Butty's mind that there should be an open room or platform; and in the centre, the idol of Shri Krishna with a flute be installed. He asked Shama to refer this manner to Baba. Baba gave his consent saying, "After the temple is complete, I will come there to stay." Then, Shama got a broken there and started the work. In due time the work was completed; and an order was also given for making a good idol of Shri Krishna. But, before it was ready a new thing turned up. Baba became seriously ill and was about to pass away. Bapusaheb became very sad and dejected. But, the words, "Place or keep Me in the Wada", which came out of Baba's mouth just before His passing away, consoled not only Bapusaheb, but not one and all. In due time, Baba's holy body was placed and preserved in the central shrine meant or designed for Shri Krishna and Baba Himself became Krishan and the Wada thus became the Samadhi Mandir of Sai Baba.

91

Page 102: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

i i f e w Sa i Cgaba s S^aRasamacffii

When Baba became very weak. He gave necessary directions to the devotees. He had taken a human form only to help His 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, Mhalsapti, Abdul, Nana Chandorkar, Shama, Lakshmi Bai, Bhate, Dixit and others were looking after Baba day and night. With 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. Baba as usual went out for alms to five houses and after collecting the food, put some in the Dhuni and fed the devotees, 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' and 'Prasad' to the devotees who came to Him. Das Ganu, with the permission of Baba, had gone to Pandharipur to fulfill certain engagements. From 13 October 1918, Baba stopped going to Lendi Bagh and also for alms. He sat in Dwarkamai and gave

92

Page 103: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi courage to His 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 Masjid throughout the night looking after Him. On the night of 14 th 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 the thieves had come to Khaparde's house at Amravati and He drove them away. In His last hours also Baba was thinking about His devotees only and not about Himself. All the devotees who used to take darshan of Baba only on Thursday during 'Kaakad Aarti' were regularly coming to Baba for important spiritual instructions. Devotees began to gossip about Baba's ill health that He might have taken some devotees illness on Himself. But, nobody came forward and ask Baba the reason of His illness.

The time was Eleven in the morning.Tatya vomited blood frequently and went into unconscious state, his pulse also became weak. Ramchandra Patil and Bala Shimpi feared that Tatya will die that day. They brought Shama and showed him the condition of Tatya. Thinking that Tatya would die in 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 sets 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 with Tatya. But for Me there is also the responsibility for his welfare. I gave to his mother Bayajabai at the time of her death, that I would look after Tatya equal to my life. The service rendered by his mother and the word given by Me to

93

Page 104: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba her cannot be forgotten. So you do not worry at all.To save Tatya, I need not go there." After hearing this, Shama calmed down.

The day was Tuesday, the 15 th of October, 1918. It was the last day for Baba's physical body.The sun had risen as usual.That day was Vijayadashami (Dashera). Baba became bodily very weak. For ordinary person, 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 Masjid, as Baba was unwell and advised them to darshan from outside. But, Baba did not agree to this and asked all the devotees to come inside and have His darshan. Baba put His 'Abhay Hastha1 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. Cose devotees were crying seeing the condition of Baba. Bab' gave them necessary advice as per their needs. 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 aske Laxman Mama, who was an astrologer in physical body. Baba asked Laxman Mama, who was an astrologer and devotee, to do God's Namasmaran for sometime. Everybody were silently looking at Baba and crying.

The time was noon. Preparation were being made for noon Aarti. Throughout the Aarti Baba's facial features were changing every moment. During that period Baba appeared in different forms of the devotees present there. He appeared in the forms of Maruti (Hanuman), Vittal, Dattatreya, Rama and to Muslims devotees as Mecca and Madina. For one Christian devotee, he appeared as Jesus. There were also some Sikh devotees who saw the vision of Guru Nanak in Baba. For Bunty, he appeared Shri Krishna as playing the flute in the Wada built by

94

Page 105: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

oai tsaoa s ivianasamaani him. One devotee brought his little son for initiating him to education by Baba, that being Vijayadashmi 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 Aarti time that day, had shown His divine form to the devotees as per their thoughts. Some devotees present there were crying out of Baba's grace of giving vision of the Lord. Baba, our Sadguru Sainath, gave spiritual medicine that is most perfect for the devotees. The love of His devotees. With Baba's grace alone, devotee can be dear to Him. Baba alone makes His devotees transform and make them good deeds. On that day, every devotes were filled with mixed emotions they were crying out of joy for making them have the vision of the Lord, and they were crying out of sorrow for Baba's weak health.

Aarti was over. The time was one hour past noon. Baba ordered all the devotees to go quickly. With joy at Baba's divine darshan, all of them went away to their houses and wadas. Suddenly Baba has a severe cough and He vomited 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. Ho 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 Masjid.

By that time Baba leaned on 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. Tatya was not able to control his emotions. He was furiously crying.Tatya fell at Baba's feet and cried for a long time. Baba had

95

Page 106: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

vjospe i or a n r i aa i r>aoa 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 Shimpi were sitting near Baba. When Tatya was at the feet of Baba crying. 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.

Lakshmi Bai Shinde and Appaji Patil were the only ones remaining. She was near Baba's feet. Baba put His right hand in His shirt pocket twice, took nine coins of one rupee and gave them as charity to Lakshmi Bai. Baba explained the significance of those nine coins as the nine qualities of a devotee. He said, "My devotees should possess these qualities. (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 developed these nine qualities, he cannot have true devotion to reach God." Thus Baba taught Lakshmi Bai even in His last moments. Lakshmi Bai was overwhelmed with emotions and cried out.

As, even in worldliness, there are shades of Satva, Rajas and Tamas, so also Bhakti has its corresponding aspects. The Satvic devotee performs his devotion in secret. Perhaps he meditates on his bed during the night inside his mosquito-curtain, and therefore rises late in the morning. Or his care for his body ends with the first thing that he comes across a little rice and vegetables. Of luxury he has none, either in the food or dress, no show in his house of furniture and fittings, and never seeks to rise in the world by flattery.

The Rajasic devotee may perhaps wear on him the distinctive marks of his religion. He may carry his beads very

96

Page 107: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi likely with a few golden ones interspersed. He is particular about outward observance, such as wearing silk at the time of worship, and celebrating religious ceremonies with pomp and spendour.

TheTamasic devotee has a fiery faith. He employs force with God, like a robber seizing things by force. "What, I have uttered His name and yet I am to remain sinful! But I am His son! I am duly entitle to the in heritance of His wealth!" such is his vehement ardour!

Devotion cannot be developed if a person is having anger, greed, jealousy, lust and pride.The impure qualities get dissolved only with selfless service at the feet of the Lord. We always ask Baba what we want, but we never ask Baba what He wants. Baba wants only love. He wants that all devotees should live happily and peacefully, with knowledge, devotion and good deeds. Devotion comes only when give up over desire to His feet. We all need to perform actions to make Him happy and not to satisfy our selfish desires. Offer our actions to Baba and be ever near and dear to Baba.

Some days before Baba's departure, there occurred an ominous sign foreboding the event. The Holy Brick on which Baba rested His hand and sat. One day, during Baba's absence, Abdul, who was sweeping the floor, took it up in his hand and unfortunately it slipped from his hand and was broken into two pieces. When Baba came to know about this, He said, "It is not the bricks; but My fate, that was been broken into pieces. It was My life-long compassion, with it I always meditated on the Self, it was as dear to Me as My life, it has left Me today." It appeared that it was the sign of Baba'a departure.

Dashmi ended and Ekadashi came.The time was 2.30 in the afternoon. He breathed His last giving charity and teaching (Gnana) to His devotees. This is the way the King of Yogis Yogiraja- attained Samadhi. Lord shiva who is capable of

97

Page 108: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba commanding death, and who took the human birth only to establish Universal Religion of knowledge and love, 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 went to Chavadi and settled there.The third part merged in Dwarakamai, and the fourth part went into Bunty 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 news of Baba's Mahasamadhi spread throughout Shirdi and the neighbouring villages like a fire. People came along with women and children to Dwarakamai. They wept uncontrollably they saw the lifeless body of Sai Baba, and felt as if the entire world had to come standstill. There was not a single family either in Shirdi or in the neighbouring places which had not experienced Baba's leelas and greatness. They cried loudly, recollecting the good things Baba had done to them. Some fell down unconscious after seeing Baba's body. Some were weeping and running on the streets. There was none who did not shed tears. Some said that Baba had indicated that He would be born again after eight years, in South India. Some imagined that what Baba had told Appaji secretly must be about his future birth. Since He had warned Appaji not to reveal anything to others, he kept silent in spite of so many people questioning him.

After a few hours, the question as to what to do with Baba's mortal remains arose. Some Muslims requested that the body of Sai Baba must be kept in Samadhi, outside the Masjid in the open space. Khusal Chand and Amir Shakkar also supported

98

Page 109: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi this. But the village Munsif, Ramachander Patil took a firm decision that Baba's Samadhi should be in Butty Wada and nowhere else. Thus people were divided on this point, and discussion regarding this point went on for 36 hours.

In the evening of Wednesday at about 4 o'clock they wanted to bath the body of Baba. After that they spread a white cloth on the body. They put flowers, sandal and akshat (rice) over the cloth. For the last time everyone had the darshan of Baba's body to their hearts content. A grave, 6 feet in length was dug in Butty Wada's underground structure, enough for keeping his body. The body was taken into Butty Wada in procession to the Baba was broken into smaller pieces and put in the grave, over that soft beds were spread. Dixit, Butty, Shama and Mhalsapti slowly lifted the body. The thought that in a few moments the body would be hidden from their view, gripped the devotees present there and all of them burst into tears. There was a complete silence. A few of them got into the grave and from below caught the body and it was slowly lowered. The head side went down first. Someone cried aloud that Baba was going away. The devotees surrounding the grave tried to catch a glimpse of the body for the last time.The entire body was lowered and rested on the soft bed. Rose water and perfumes were sprayed on the body. When they started putting earth on the body, the people wept and rolled on the floor, crying.

After the Samadhi, Bapu Saheb Jog and Laxman Mama gave Sandhya aarti in Butty temple for the first time on 16 October 1918. Thousands of people from other villages were present there for the Aarti. The celestial Gods from the sky were also present, offering celestial flowers to the lotus feet of Baba. The Sai leelas with His physical body had come to an end, but His leelas cannot end. He infinite and Supreme lord of the Universe. From that day onwards till date, four Aartis are given to Baba

99

Page 110: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba daily. Nanavalli, who was like Baba's life, watched the Samadhi from a distance. He stopped taking food from that day and died on the 13 th day.

Das Ganu, after reaching Shirdi on Thursday morning, did Sankeertan for two days near the Samadhi of Baba. In the name of Baba, he fed a large number of people. Baba sahib Bhate and Upasini Maharaj (a great devotee of Sai Baba) of Sakori Ashram performed the last rites of Baba. Where Butty wanted to install the idol of Sri Krishna, Baba's Samadhi came up. The temple with Baba's Samadhi in it had become the holiest of the holy places, giving millions of devotees peace and happiness.

As told by Baba to Laxman Mama, Das Ganu and Pradhan's wife in their dreams on the next day of his Samadhi, He did not die. He only left the body.The divine Sai Power from that day till date alert, protecting the devotees. There are numerous incidents in support of this. Though Shirdi is the centre of the divine power of Sai Baba, the entire world is filled with this divine power. That is why Baba gives sakshatkar whenever and wherever his true devotees call Him with devotion. In fact, the divine power of Sai Baba is experienced more after Samadhi and there are several incidents to prove this fact. Some devotees may entertain doubts as to how to see Baba, how to hear His words and how to have His Grace, if He is alive. One with a pure heart should have a complete faith in Baba. His leelas should be read with devotion frequently. From the moment a person wakes up in the morning, he should be informed of all the jobs to be done during the day should be offered at the feet of Baba.

There is again the kind of Bhakti which is called Vaidhi Bhakti or devotion as enjoyed by the scriptures. Repeating the name of the God, fasting on certain occasions, making pilgrimages to certain shrines, worshipping with certain articles,

100

Page 111: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi all these constitute Vaidhi Bhakti. Practice of this for a long time leads to the higher devotion of love, Raga-Bhakti, as it is called. In any case, love is the one thing needful. Wordly ideas must go completely, the mind must be wholly fixed on Him, and then alone you can reach God. Without Raga-Bhakti one cannot attain Him. Prema, the ecstatic love of God, is attainable only by a few. Prema, is like a string in the hands of the Bhakta, binding to him that Satchidanand which is God. The devotee hold the Lord, so to speak, under his control. God comes to him whenever he calls. Baba is the giver of Bhakti. Baba is Bhakti and Shakti Swaroop.

Butty's life was blessed. The wada built by him became Baba's Samadhi. If Baba's photo is in the house, he should think that He is one of the family members, only then Baba will definitely reside in the house. This is cent percent true. Worship with pomp and show is not required. He should install Sai Baba in his heart and merge in him. For such pious-devotees, Baba will be in his heart. His love for His devotees is so great that wherever His devotees are Baba's presence always remains with them. Those who have experienced Baba's love and affection will not hesitate to offer their lives at the feet of Sai Baba. His love cannot be explained in words. To experience Baba's love, our intellect is not enough.

Increase faith and devotion and you will be Mineforever. —Sai Baba

Countless miracles Baba performed in front of His devotees in Shirdi. Another countless miracles Baba performed that were not known to His devotees. Upto what extent Baba in His omnipresence has conquered the whole world with His Supreme divinity. Millions devotees around the world have experienced the grace of Baba. What should be possible, when the Supreme Lord of the universe, Lord Shiva incarnates, the

101

Page 112: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba troubles of devotees will at once come to an end by calling Baba with devotion. Baba is still living in the hearts of the devotees. Millions of people visit Samadhi Mandir in Shirdi to take His blessings. There are several photographs to those immortal devotees of Baba in the Samadhi Mandir who served Baba day and night. Now, when the 'Abhishekam' is performed on Baba, all the devotees rush in to gather few drops of (Tirth) water used in 'Abhishekam'. Devotees have faith that whoever drinks the 'Tirth' will be cured from any ailments.The 'Dhuni' that Baba lighted in Shirdi is still burning. Baba said, "As long as the world exist, this Dhuni will go on." Devotees also visit the Neem tree where Baba used to sit and meditate. The big idol of Sai Baba in front of the Baba's Samadhi, is one wonder of the world. Not many but all the devotees who come there, feel the life in that divine idol.The idol is just as live as Baba in our heart. People say that the idol is made as per Baba's divine will. Whenever, one sees into the eyes of Baba in the idol, one surely feels that Baba is talking to them. Presently, the photographs of Baba are found everywhere. Not only homes, but vehicles, shops, rings and pendants, Baba photographs are used irrespective of religion and caste. With such bonds of love and blessing with the devotees, Baba lives in the hearts of the devotees.

Countless incidents have occurred where devotees have been protected by Baba while going to Shirdi by road. Now also whenever a devotee calls Baba for help, Baba immediately comes to protect him. There are many devotees home where Baba's presence is felt. Baba still gives the 'Udi' from His photo or idol at the homes of His dear devotees. The devotees get cured from their ailments by having Baba's 'Udi'. They are many devotees who get answers from Baba in their dreams. Now some rare devotees who are considered to reincarnation of the devotees of Baba in Shirdi, talk to Baba. They see Baba just like a man sees

102

Page 113: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi another man on the streets. With such devotion, with such love for Baba, these enlightened souls take birth just to lead us towards Baba's abode.There is no doubts, that Baba is living in the hearts of His devotees. Whenever and wherever a devotee calls Baba, He immediately responds.

Thousands of temples have been constructed of Sai Baba by His devotees. Almost in every corner of the street in Maharashtra, you will find a temple of Sai Baba. Millions visit the Samadhi Mandir and the number is increasing every year. Te moment one steps onto the soil of Shirdi, devotees are no longer known as Hindus or Muslims or Sikhs or Christians. They are all one. There is no specific style of rituals or worshipping Baba. Baba only wants devotion and surrendering of our ego. Baba says, "Even if you cannot offer Me flowers or incense, offer Me your heart.Your heart is very precious to Me." Baba does not pay attention to those who make a show of rituals. Baba only wants devotion. Baba need not see the body movements, Baba only sees the heart. Baba, who is seated in our heart, knows everything. So, let us all surrender our ego and ever devoted to Baba. I pray to Baba, "I do not want worldly enjoyment, I only want devotion. Help Me be devoted to you so that I can always remember and serve you in every creatures."

I will always live in the hearts of My devotees. —Sai Baba

Bhakti is the sole aim of Baba's devotees. Wef should keep away from envy, hatred, ego and attachments and be helpful to the poor and needy. Then Baba in Guru form will carry our burden and carry our burden and guide us on to the proper path to reach our life's goal. This was the aim of Sai Baba. The greatness of Sai Baba is spreading day by day not only in our country but to all corners of the world.The Baba's divinity will be

103

Page 114: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba there for the next 500 years and a Universal family will be established. As mentioned earlier, Sai Baba had indicated that He would appear as a lad of eight years. These are the words of Baba and nobody should take doubt about His words. Krishna appeared before Dewaki in the person as a lad of eight years. In that incarnation (Lord Krishna) lighted the burden of the Earth. This incarnation (Sai Baba) was for the uplift of His devotees. Generating such ties of love, it appears that, Baba had gone for a tour and the devotees had a firm belief that, He will return soon as Sai Avatar.

Though this mortal body lam leaving Yet for Bhaktas, I will come running.

Take my words, I am ever living, You'll know this by experiencing.

—Sai Baba

104

Page 115: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

i f f ! Qax Cga&a s ^cctar cJjkc Words

Be wherever you like, do whatever you choose, remember this well that, all what you do is known to Me. I am the inner ruler of all and seated in your heart. I envelop all the creatures, the movable and immoveable world. I am the controller the wirepuller of the show of this Universe. I am the mother origin of all beings the harmony of the three gunas, the propeller of all senses, the creator, preserver and the destroyer. Nothing will harm him who turns his attention towards Me; but Maya will lash or whip him, who forgets Me. All the insects, ants, the visible, movable and immoveable world is My body or form.

I am roaming in all forms. He who sees Me in all these creatures, is My beloved. So, abandon the sense of duality and distinction, and serve Me.

Those who are fortunate and whose demerits have vanished, take to My worship. If you always say, "SAI, SAI", I shall take you over the seven seas; believe in these words, and you will be certainly benefited. I do not need any paraphernalia of worship either eight-fold or sixteen-fold. I rest there,where there is full devotion.

The whole world is desolate o him without Me, he who tells no stories but Mine; he ceaselessly meditates upon Me and always chants My name. I feel indebted to him who surrenders himself completely to Me, and ever remember Me. I shall repay his debt by giving him salvation (self-realisation). I am

105

Page 116: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba dependent on him, who thinks and hungers after Me and who does not eat anything, without first offering it to Me. He who thus comes to becomes merged (one) with it. So, leaving out pride and egoism and with no trace of them, you should surrender yourself to Me, who is seated in your heart.

If a man utters My name with love, I shall fulfill all his desires, increase his devotion, and if he sings earnestly My life and My deeds, him I shall beset in front and back and on all sides. Those devotees, who are attracted to Me, heart and soul, will naturally feel happiness, when they hear the stories. Believe Me that, if anybody sings My leelas, I will give him infinite joy and ever lasting contentment. It is My special characteristics to free any person, who surrenders completely to Me, and who does worship Me faithfully, and remembers Me and meditates on Me constantly. How can they be conscious of worldly objects and sensations, who utters My name, who worship Me, who think of My stories and My life and who, thus, always remembers Me! So hear My stories with respect; and think and meditate on them, assimilate them. This is the way of happiness and contentment. The pride and egoism of My devotees will vanish the mind of the hearers will beset at rest; and if it has wholehearted and complete faith, it will be one with supreme consciousness. The simple remembrance of My name as "Sai, Sai" will do away with sins of speech and hearing.

There will never be any dearth or scarcity, regarding food and clothes, in any devotees homes. It is My special characteristics, that I always look to and provide, for the welfare of those devotees, who worship Me wholehearted with their minds ever fixed on Me. Lord Krishna has also said the same .in the Gita. Therefore, strive not much for food and clothes. If you want anything, beg to the Lord, leave worldly honours, try to get Lord's grace and blessings, and be honoured in His court. Do not

106

Page 117: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

Sai Baba's Nectar Like Words be deluded by worldly honours. The form of the deity should be firmly fixed in the mind. Let all the senses and mind be ever devoted to the worship of the Lord. Let there be no attraction for any other thing; fix the mind in remembering Me always, so that it will not wander elsewhere, towards body wealth and home. Then, it will be calm, peaceful and carefree. This is the thing of the mind, being well engaged in good company. If the mind is vagrant, it cannot be called well-merged.

My method is quite unique. Remember well, this one story, and it will be very useful, to get knowledge (self-realisation) of the Self, Dhyan (Meditation) is necessary. If you practice it continuously, the thoughts will be pacified. Being quite desireless you should meditate on the Lord, who is in all the creatures, and when the mind is concentrated, the goal will be achieved. Meditate always on My formless nature, which is knowledge incarnate, consciousness and bliss. If you cannot do this meditate on My form from top to toe, as you see here night and day. As you go on doing this, your thoughts will be one-pointed and the distinction between mediator, act of meditation, thing mediated upon will be lost; and the mediator will be one with the consciousness and be merged in the Brahma. The Mother tortoise is on the bank of the river, and her young ones are on the other side. She gives neither milk, nor warmth to are on the other side. She gives neither milk, nor warmth to them. Her mere glance give them nutrition the young ones do thing; but remember (meditated upon) their Mother.The tortoise glance is to the young ones, a down pour of the nectar, the only source and happiness. Similar is the relation between the Guru and disciples.

Believe Me, though I passed away, My bones in My tomb will give you hope and confidence. Not only Myself but My tomb would be speaking, moving and communicating with those, who would surrender themselves wholeheartedly to Me. Do not be

107

Page 118: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba anxious that, I would be absent from you. You will hear Mt bones speaking and discussing your welfare. But, remember Me always believe in Me heart and soul, and then you will be most benefited.

Unless there is some relationship or connection, nobody goes anywhere. If any men or creatures come to you, do not discourteously drive them away; but receive them well and treat them with due respect. Shri Hari (Lord Narayana) will certainly be pleased, if you give water to the thirst, bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked, and your verandah to strangers for sitting and resting. If anybody wants any money from you and you are not inclined to give, do not give; do not bark at him like dogs. Let anybody speak hundred things against you, do not resent by giving any bitter reply. If you always tolerate such things, you will certainly be happy. Let the world topsy-tury, you remain where you are, standing or staying in your own place, look carefully at the show of all things, passing before you. Demolish the wall of difference that separates you from Me, and then the road for our meeting will be clear and open. The sense of differentiation, as I and you is the barrier that keeps away the disciple from his master, and unless that is destroyed the state of union or atonement is not possible.

108

Page 119: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

.dSife.

sireft ^mf^RT

3TR<ft «|£<4MI I "q fe rWR I I

wraT ^mf ftrarar, vwzi fW^r *T^cft I W ^ T , 3fTRft *n£<4MI I H I I

^TefffW 3TTT I WW^fl ^x | ^left I t^f? •slafll SfttT

-gfm 3TR<ft «|£<IMI I R I I

"RT ^hn i W^IT s r j ^ i ^qfERT I ^Eft ^pft ^t TTR

l i f t ^t inw, 3TRcft I H I I

cpNf szrraf 1 i t y^rdo^Ti 1 3RTO ^ ^ n f t I npf ^Tfatft 3HI«TT

3RT«H, srreft mfsrai n^ t i

• f a^ i l 1 W^R I 3TWH I ^ m t ^af ft'in ^crf 3iroft «|£<4MI I I K I I

109

Page 120: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

(jospel ot Shri Sai Baba 3TT3T foTOt 'J^lO | W5T ^ftcft ^Rt I

•qfmT i twrt Iwrt, 3TTTcft yi^NI IKII

TTTTT I ^ I "rffI ifg 3TOt i

cuRj cii, arroff iivsii

^ VTTcF, STTTcfr yi^NI ll^ll

110

Page 121: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

^ 6 o u t Q)\\C ^ u t R o r

At the age of 24 years, Graduated in Business Administration and studying Banking, Mihir has written more than fifty poetries, twenty five stories, three hundred proverbs and a book with title, "How to live in the Workshop of God".

The book was well appreciated by all, as it was very simple, focusing on practical spirituality and not high philosophies. The response of the book was overwhelming. So, He is coming up with the second version with more strength and emphasis on knowledge, devotion, actions, rituals, righteousness, religion and spirituality. The second version will be translated in more than two languages. With the desire to give knowledge about true spirituality, Mihir came up with an idea of writing the biography of Shirdi Sai Baba. This book with title, "Gospel of Shirdi Sai Baba", is an event-wise biography that touches the heart of the devotees and develops devotion towards Sai Baba. Mihir has been writing since four years, so he would soon come up in the future with new books that gives knowledge, devotion and a path of righteousness to the people in this world.

Page 122: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba
Page 123: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba
Page 124: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba
Page 125: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba
Page 126: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba
Page 127: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba
Page 128: Gospel of Shri Sai Baba

If you look to me, Ilook to you

Be wherever you like, do whatever you choose, remember this well, that all what you do is known to Me. I am the inner ruler of all, and seated in your heart. I am the controller of this Universe. I am the creator, preserver and destroyer. Nothing will harm him who turns his attention to Me. He, who sees Me in all creatures, is My beloved. If man utters My name with love, I shall fulfill all his wishes and increase his devotion. Devotees, who are attached to Me, heart and soul, I give them realization and infinite joy.

I S B N : 81-87853-13-1