|NA||NA||Introduction, Preface, Forward and About The Second Edition|
|Chapter 1||Part 1||Sai Baba – The Saint of Shirdi|
Sai Baba – The Saint of Shirdi
Sai Baba neither wrote books nor read them. Yet time and again, He was found giving expositions of the Sanskrit and Arabic verses to His devotees. Despite this, He expressed His view point that theoretical knowledge did not help in the understanding of spiritual values. Divine knowledge had to be self-realised and could not be just imparted. To one of His devotees, He said, “In these books they want to find ‘Brahman’ (God). There is, however, only ‘bhram’ (delusion or confusion) in them. You are all right as you are. Do not read books but only keep Me in your heart, and if you harmonise the head and the heart, it is enough”.
He spoke in parables and His teachings were symbolic. He taught in action and not in words. There was nothing secret or mysterious in His ways. Once when a rich man went to Baba and requested Him to give him ‘Brahamjnan’ (ultimate realisation of God), Baba spoke a few words to him on the need for god-realisation and suddenly broke off to call a boy and send him to a local shop-keeper to borrow five rupees. The boy came back as the shop-keeper was not at home. Baba sent the boy to another person and yet another, but without success. Meanwhile the visitor was becoming impatient and asked Baba about Brahamjnan. Shri Sai said to him, “I have been trying to give you Brahmajnan all this while, I want five rupees. That means, I want five things to be surrendered – (a) The five pranas or life forces, (b) The five senses, (c) The mind, (d) The intellect and (e) The ego. Unless you surrender these five, you cannot tread the hard road to Brahmjnan. No one who is attached to things earthly can attain divine knowledge”. Shri Sai told him that though he had Rs. 250/- in his pocket and knew that Baba wanted five rupees, he would not part with this small sum. He wanted the invaluable gift of Brahmajnan free and gratis. His attachment to earthly things stood in his way.
Shri Sai would appear to His devotees in the form worshipped by them. Once a Brahmin doctor, a devotee of Rama, was persuaded to go to Shirdi but he warned his companions that he would not do obeisance to Shri Sai as the latter was a Muslim. When he reached ‘Dwarkamai‘ he was surprised to see Hindu rituals being performed inside. The doctor who had earlier declined to bow to the ‘Muslim’ was suddenly found rushing in and falling at Baba’s feet asked Later to explain his conduct, he said that he did not see Baba but only the form of Rama.
Baba flouted the accepted concept of a saint and asked for Dakshina from His devotees. He started as a pauper in the morning. All day long wealth flowed to Him. But He distributed it all to His devotees and finished up as a pauper again in the evening. He would go begging for His food every morning and did not give up His begging bowl even upto the end. Baba accepted Dakshina to teach His devotees the lesson of charity and to remove their attachment to money and thus to purify their minds.
Baba had an unaccountable and marvellous knowledge of things and events far removed from Him in time and space. Equally remarkable was His power to foretell coming events. He was both Trikal Jnani and Antar Jnani. He could tell all events of the past, present and future and also read the innermost secret thoughts of His devotees.
His approach to the Great Reality was simple and unsophisticated. He preached no rituals in God Realisation. He said, “If you always say ‘Sai Sai’, I shall take you over the seven seas; have faith in these words. I do not want any paraphernalia of worship”.
He came to this world to bear the burden of all those whose burdens were unbearable to them. He was sent to give God Realisation to those that wanted it. “Why should you fear, when I am here; cast all your burdens upon Me and I shall bear them.” He said.
It is only given to divine Prophets of all ages to pass the supreme test of divinity – resurrection. In 1886, Sai Baba left the mortal body but He left words with His pet disciple an friend that His body was not to be buried for three days He was going to Allah and might return. In spite of the insistence of the officer holding the inquest, His body not allowed to be interred. On the fourth day the “corpse”! came back to life.
Evidently, Sai Baba had returned to fulfil the mission for which He had been sent to this world. Before His first Samadhi, He preferred seclusion; but after his resurrection He encouraged disciples to flock round Him and He went on with His divine mission of spreading the word of God for thirty-two more years.
Even in death He lives. In His last moments on earth He assured His devotees, “My Samadhi will answer your prayers when I myself am no more in flesh and blood.” And to-day the ever growing number of millions of His devotees know and experience the efficacy of His words. He lives with them every moment as their friend, guide and protector.
On 15th October 1918, He attained Mahasamadhi. To¬day He is stronger in Nirvana than He was in mortal life.
Om Tat Sat Bow to Sri Sai Baba – Peace and Plenty be to all
This brief sketch of the life and leelas of Shri Sai Baba was written by the author and circulated by the then functioning ‘Delhi Sri Sai Samaj’ on Vijai Dashmi, 1961, with the object of spreading awareness amongst the public of Delhi about the Sage of Shirdi.