|NA||NA||Introduction, Preface, Forward and About The Second Edition|
|Chapter 1||Part 1||Sai Baba – The Saint of Shirdi|
Understanding Shirdi Sai In Baba’s Own Words
Certain truths were uttered by Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi in His life time during His talks with various persons on different occasions. These reflect on His ‘Sat-Chit-Anand’ Swarupa and His omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient character. These truths apart from revealing different aspects of Baba’s philosophy and method of functioning, also convey the assurances given by Baba to His devotees: how one should take to Him; what Baba expects from His devotees and finally how one can merge in Him and become one with Him. A study of these passages again and again, reflecting on them in calmer moments and imbibing them in one’s own life would certainly help an aspirant onto the path of Sai bhakti as also remove the doubts lurking in his mind. Selections from these utterances are reproduced below for the benefit of the aspirants:
1. I am God. I am Mahalaxmi. I speak the truth sitting as I do in this Dwarkamayee. I am Vithoba. I am Ganapati. All offerings made to Ganapati have reached me. I am Dattatraya. I am Laxmi Narayan. Why go for Ganga elsewhere. Hold your palm at my feet, Ganga flows here. I am Maruti.
2. I am the attributeless ‘Nirguna’. I have no name and no residence.
3. I embroiled myself in ‘Karma’ and got this body. ‘Brahman’ is my father and ‘Maya’ is my mother. I am formless and in everything. I fill all spaces and solitary wilderness. I am in the fire and ether.
4. I am not the body or the senses. I am the eternal ‘Sakshi'(witness).
5. I require no doors to enter. I have no form nor do I have any limitations. I am always existent in all animate and inanimate objects. I am the wire puller of all actions of the man who trusts me and merges in Me and ultimately provide him Liberation.
6. 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 Mm seated in theii hearts.
7. I need no paraphernalia of worship either eight-fold or sixteen-fold. I dwell where there is full devotion.
8. Meditate always on my formless nature, which is Existence, Consciousness and Bliss Absolute. If you cannot do this, meditate on My form, from head to toe, as you see Me here night and day. As you go on doing this, your ‘Vrattis’ (thoughts) will become one pointed and the distinction between the ‘dhyata’ (meditated upon) ‘Dhyari, (meditation) and ‘dhaya’ (object) will be lost and the meditator will become one with consciousness and be merged in ‘Brahma’.
9. Those who are fortunate and whose sins have been washed away turn to My worship. If you always utter ‘Sai, Sai’, I shall lake you beyond the Seven Seas.
10. My master told me to give bounteously to all that ask. People come to Me asking for the petty things of life such as wealth, children, promotion and the like; but nobody comes to ask for the real treasures, I hold. My treasury is full; take away cartloads of it. Be the true sons of the Divine Mother and fully stock yourself. What is to become of us? This body will return to earth and the air we breathe will melt into air. This opportunity will not return.
11. There shall be no dearth of food and clothing in the houses of My devotees. It is my special characteristic that I always look and provide for the welfare of those devotees, who worship Me wholeaheartedly. If you want to beg anything, beg for the Lord Himself.
12. Howsoever oppressed and troubled one, may be, as soon as he ascends the steps of the Dwarkamayee, he is on the pathway to happiness. The ‘Fakir‘ here is very merciful He provides protection to all with love and kindness.
13. The Dwarkamayee’ wards off all dangers and anxieties of its children Once a persons is in its lap all his miseries come to an end. He who rests on its shade, gets bliss.
14. Let anybody speak hundreds of thingr against you, do not express resentment by giving a bitter reply. If you always tolerate such things, you will certainly be happy.
15. I am the bonded slave of My devotee. I Iove devotion. He who withdraws his heart from the world and loves Me, is My true lover and he merges in Me like a river in the sea.
16. All creatures (such as; dogs, cats, flies, and pigs) ard My own form. He who seas Me in them, is My belowed. So abondoning the sense of duality and distinction, continue to serve Me.
17. If any one does any evil unto you, do not retaliate. If you wish to do anything, do only good acts unto others.
18. He, who carps and cavils at others, pierces Me in the chest and injures Me, but he who suffers and endurer, pleases Me mort.
19. Do not entertain the sense of doer ship in performing good or bad act; be entirely free from pride and ego in all actions.
20. I feel in debted to him who surrenders himself completely to Me and always remembers Me. I shall repay his debt by giving him salvation. I belong to him vho thinks of Me hungers after me and does not do anything without first offering to Me. Leaving aside pride and egotism completely, you should surrender to Me – Who is seated in your heart.
21. Mysterious is the path of action. Though I do nothing, people hold Me responsible for their actions, which take place on account of destiny. I am merely an observer. The Lord is the sole doer and inspirer.
22. How can the worldly desire and impure inclinations come near persons who remember Me in their everyday life, worship Me and lovingly listen to and brood over My life stories. I shall draw them out from the jaws of death.
23. Keeping your mind steady, continue to do your duty fearlessly and have faith in My words. If My ‘Leelas’ (deeds) are written, ‘avidya’ (nescience/ignorance) will vanish and if these are attentively and devotedly listened to, the consciousness of the worldly existence will abate, and strong waves of devotion will arise. If one dives deep into My ‘Leelas’, he shall obtain precious jewels of knowledge.
24. My Guru never taught Me any Mantra, how could I then blow any Mantra in your ears? Just remember that Guru’s tortoise like loving glance gives us happiness. Do not, therefore, try to get Mantra or sermon (Updesh) from any body. Make Me the sole object of your thoughts and actions and you will, no doubt attain ‘Parmartha’- the spiritual goal of life. Look at Me whole heartedly and I, in turn, will look at you similarly.
25. Give (Charity) with faith and magnanimity (liberally); give with modesty, sympathy and respectfully.
26. He who loves me most, always experiences my presence. The whole world is desolate to him without Me.
27. If you spread your palms with devotion before Me, I shall immediately be with you at any time of the day and night. Though I am here physically yet I know all that happens beyond the seven seas. Seated in your heart, I am in fact your Inner Self. Always worship Him alone who is seated in your heart as well as in the hearts of all beings. Blessed and fortunate indeed is he, who is aware of My omnipresent and omniscient form.
28. If I accept one rupee from anyone as ‘dakshina’, I have to return many more times of it. I never accept anything gratis from anybody nor do I ask for ‘dakshina’ indiscriminately. I only ask and take from him towards whom the ‘Fakir’ (God) points out. If anyone is indebted in his previous birth to the ‘Fakir”, then only ‘dakshina’ is received from him. The donor gives and sows the seeds to reap a rich harvest in future. Wealth should only be used to earn ‘Dharma’. If it is used for personal enjoyment, it is wasted. Unless you have given charity before, you cannot, get it now. So, the best way to receive is to give. The giving of’dakshina’ leads to Vairagya’ (non-attachment) and thereby to ‘Bhakti and’ Gyan.
29. Why should any fear when I am there. Cast all burdens on Me, I shall bear them.
30. Have faith in Me. Even though I give up this body, My bones in My Samadhi will give you hope and confidence. Not only I but My Samadhi would be speaking, moving and communicating with those who surrender to Me whole heartedly. Do not feel disappointed that I would be away from you. You will hear my bones speaking and discussing your welfare. If you remember Me constantly and have faith in Me, heart and soul, you shall be greatly benefited.
From the assurances and commitments given by Baba the following facts emerge:-
(a) Baba is an Avtar of Love and Compassion. If one learn to have unflinching faith in Him, Baba shall assume full responsibility to look after him and provide him succour at every step in his life. In fact, His devotees have abundant experience of the truth of this commitment.
(b) He has prescribed a code of conduct for His devotees which is simple and easy to follow, yet capable of taking one to the supreme goal of ‘Parmarth’. He doesn’t want His devotees to take to assiduous practices such as observing fasts, going on pilgrimages, practising ‘Ashtang Yoga’ and the like. He lives in Bhakti alone.
(c) Baba’s Samadhi is an ever living phenomenon. Baba may not be there in His physical form today but His Samadhi actively lives, moves about, and answers the questions of His devotees. They need not seek answers to they problems elsewhere.
(d) Baba communicates directly with His devotees who have completely surrendered to Him. He gives them guidance answers their questions and comes to their help in times of need in some way or the other, either in their waking or sleeping state. One surely need not seek Baba’s Grace through intermediaries, as is being claimed and observed all around.
(e) Baba wants His devotees to demolish the wall of discrimination in every walk of life which would facilitate their becoming one with Him.
(f) Baba has given great stress on ‘Shrawari (hearing), and ‘Manana’ (contemplation) of His leelas (deeds). He has again and again said that if His leelas are listened to and meditated upon, purity of head and heart will follow and the seeker will acquire oneness with Him.
(g) Baba had said, “I give to My devotees what they want, so that they may learn to want what I want to give to them.” Let us, therefore, refrain from asking from Baba the mundane things of life for which he has already taken responsibility and develop an urge to ask for a little chunk out of that great and sacred treasure, which He is holding and wants to share with us.
(h) Let us not allow ourselves to be distracted from the path shown by Baba by taking to and seeking the help of persons claiming nearness to Him. Baba is omnipotent and omnipresent and if He can hear the movement of even an ant, surely He can hear the voice of my and your heart and scatter on us the bread of His Grace, provided we have taken to Him heart and soul.
Brothers and Sisters! Baba is an ever living phenomenon. Let us learn to make Baba the focal point of all our thoughts and actions. Baba is our God; Baba is our Guru. Let us learn to live in Baba, think of Baba, breathe of Baba, dream of Baba, read of Baba, eat with Baba and become one with Him. Let us seek His Grace to make every pore of our body emit the fragrance of His love and bhakti. Whosoever smells it, should feel drawn to Him and in ecstasy exclaim, “Baba! You are indeed wonderful, great and unique. You are Love and Compassion Incarnate. It is only because of our ‘Prarabdha’ and Your Grace that we have come in your Sharan’. Make us, your children surrender whole heartedly at Your Lotus Feet in this life and in lives hereafter, if any.