|Introduction||NA||Introduction & Preface|
|Chapter 1||Part 1||Sai Baba – The Saint of Shirdi|
|Chapter 1||Part 2||Sai Baba – The Saint of Shirdi|
|Chapter 2||NA||Understanding Shirdi Sai In Baba’s Own Words|
|Chapter 3||Part 1||Building Up Of Lodi Road Temple, New Delhi|
|Chapter 3||Part 2||Urge to Know Baba|
|Chapter 3||Part 3||First Visit to Shirdi|
Meeting with Sri Satya Sai Baba
It was in June 1961, that I got a ring from one Shri N.G.K.Murthy, an Executive Engineer in CPWD and a devotee of Baba, asking me if I knew that Shri Satya Sai Baba was in the town. I told him that I had no knowledge of it, but if he was in Delhi, I shall soon find out. After making a number of phone calls to various persons, I came to know that Shri Satya Sai Baba had come to Delhi along with Shri B.Ramakrishna Rao, the then Governor of U.P, on his way back from Badrinath and was staying with Shri Venugopal, then Chairman, Railway Board in Canning Lane, New Delhi rang up my friends Shri C.S. Rao, Shri A.K. Gavaskar and Shri J.M. Gupta and all of us reached Canning Lane in at about 11.30 a.m. We found Shri Satya Sai Baba sitting on a chair in the main hall of the house singing bhajans before a gathering of some 30/35 persons, squatting on the floor. In our presence, he sang two bhajans in a melodious voice one of which was as under:
Radhey Radhey, Radhey Radhey, Radhey Govinda,
Anatha Natha Deen Bandhu, Radhey Govinda….
After the bhajans, the gathering was asked to disperse and to return in the evening at 5.30 p.m. when Baba would again give darshan and hold bhajans. All present left the room. Outside in the verandah, I found Shri Ramakrishana Rao sitting. I ventured to approach him and told him that we were doing Sai Baba’s work in Delhi and if we could meet Shri Satya Sai Baba. He asked his ADC to go to Baba and ask him if he would like to meet us. The ADC came back in no time and told us to accompany him to the room of Baba who was waiting to meet us. Shri Satya Sai Baba came to the door to receive us. Three of my friends who entered the room ahead of me were given Udi, materialised by Baba, on their palms. When my turn came, Baba chose to apply Udi on my forehead as also tapped my forehead thrice. It was an experience of sorts for me. As we sat down on the carpet. Baba wanted to know in which language should he talk to us. It was agreed that he would talk in Telugu and our friend Shri Rao, would translate it into English for our benefit. For 20 minutes or so, Baba gave us a discourse in an ecstatic and beautiful language. After the talk, I requested Baba to undertake a trip to Delhi some time to bless Sai devotees here. Making a count on his fingers, he told us that it would be possible for him to visit Delhi after 9 months and that I should write to him well in time to enable him to plan his visit. While parting also, he gave us Udi. All of us prostrated before him. In the evening, I again went to attend his bhajans and felt tremendous impact of his personality.
Soon after Shri Satya Sai Baba left, I acquired a then recently published book on his leelas entitled ‘Satyam, Shivam, Sundararri. I was thrilled to read it. I started thinking of arrangements for his forthcoming visit to Delhi nine months later. In Baba’s name, I had by then acquired friendship with a Maharaja who was staying in a big bungalow in Friends Colony. I put to him the proposal to agree to Shri Satya Sai Baba staying with him. He not only accepted my request but also agreed to meet all expenses of his visit. Within 2-1/2 months of Shri Satya Sai Baba’s leaving Delhi, it dawned somehow on me that I was a devotee of my Baba who lived like a Fakir amongst the poorest of the poor, wore a torn kafni, slept with a brick under his head and spent all His life in a dilapidated mosque. Why shall I now change my faith and take to a Baba, who wore silken clothes, rode limousines and gave preference to the rich and the high. I suddenly decided to let my father remain my father and not to change him by another one for whatever worth it was. I gave up the idea of inviting Shri Satya Sai Baba to Delhi. I understand that later when some devotees from Delhi met him, he told them that somebody in Delhi had met him and invited him to visit Delhi but hadn’t written to him. It was several years later that Shri Satya Sai Baba visited Delhi.
Some months later I also had the chance to meet one Shri Neel Kantha Baba who also claimed to be an Avtar’ of our Baba. I don’t know what happened to him later, but did not hear any news about him.
Fragrance of Bhakti
I had by now fully dedicated myself to Baba and it seemed that I had surrendered to Him heart and soul. At all hours of the day and night, I had a strange feeling of ecstasy engulfing my soul. Incessant tears of love and joy flowed from my eyes. Even the mention of the word ‘Sai’ was enough to fill my eyes with tears. I started thinking that Baba’s bhakti was extremely easy and blissful. I lived every moment of my life with Baba. As mentioned earlier, my body emitted electricity currents, whenever anybody touched it. Every night, in my dream, I would be taken to one temple or the other, be in the presence of some God or the other of our pantheon, and made to visit hills, forests and rivers. On seeing these sites, I would often cry in ecstasy. Where these sites exist, I do not know even today. Even now when I recall these dreams, I feel thrilled. In my dreams, I have been to two Mother temples. In the first case, Mother emerged out of the idol wearing a white Saree and lifting a handful of rose flowers lying in front of the statue, handed over, the flowers to me. In the second case, Mother threw the ‘Palloo’ of her Saree to cover my head while I was standing with other devotees on; the lower platform of a peculiar shaped temple. Surely, these; were Baba’s blessings, in the form of Mother, on a child.
The strangest dream that I saw was when on a cloudy day, I was taken to a hill. On this hill a few soldiers were camping, wearing steel helmets with spears in their hands; along with their mounted horses. Suddenly from some where the sound of the ringing of bells was heard. Every one including the soldiers ran towards an old stone building where an arti was being performed. After the arti was over, I asked the priest performing the arti as to whose puja was being held as I could see no idol there. Pointing to a big stone fish on the top of a niche in the wall, he told me that it was the Matsya Avtar of Vishnu which was being worshipped. Till then I was not aware of the fact that there had been a Matsya Avtar of Lord Vishnu.
In another dream, traveling in a bus, after a long journey, I was taken to a town where there was a unique temple of Lord Siva and Parvati. On reaching the temple, I found that the idols of Siva and Parvati were in a reclining posture. Parvati was on the right and Siva to Her left and water was oozing out from the mouths of both. Before leaving the temple, I was given the ‘Prasad’ of Misri (Sweet) and Makkhan (White Butter). I went seeking for a place to stay over night in this town. In the process I reached a huge Dharmshala, on the first floor of which, I found a large number of people engaged in chanting the name of Lord Krishna before a picture of Lord Krishna, in standing pose with a cow on the back. Just then I saw a person standing before me with a dark complexioned beautiful child of about four years of age in His lap. The child was so charming that I felt like taking him into my lap. Suddenly the child started laughing with a full open mouth wherein I saw a big blue ball inside. I came to know later that Lord Krishna had shown His ‘Vishva Swaroop’ in His childhood.
In another dream, I saw two sadhus coming from the opposite direction in a jungle. The short statured sadhu was in the front and the tall one, who seemed to be the disciple of the sadhu in the front, on his back. The Guru told his disciple “You see this person coming from the opposite direction. He is always in ‘Bhav Samadhi. Much later, I came to know what ‘Bhav Samadhi’ meant.
In one dream, I saw a big procession of sages and saints along with caparisoned elephants, decorated horses, chariots and lots of people in front. Some of them were carrying big Plaques of gold, silver and copper in their hands on long sticks with Sanskrit shlokas inscribed on them. I tried to remember two of the smaller inscriptions by heart but by morning, I had forgotten the same.
An extremely thrilling dream, I saw in Oct. 1964, on the day on which ladies keep fast for the longevity of life of their husband. I had shifted to my present newly built residence (F-5, Green Park) on 7th March 1964. The ‘Grah Pravesh’ of this house was performed by a Sidhha Saint of about 150 years of age known as ‘Maharaj Ji’. While the house was under construction, an opening had been left on the back of the house which opened on a vacant plot where construction material was stored. On completion of the house this opening had been closed. On 4th Oct. 1964,1 had fallen asleep with the newly acquired book ‘Gospels of Rama Krishna’ on my chest In the dream, I saw that it was a cloudy morning. I was in the bath room when I heard the voice of a Fakir asking for alms in the back lane of the house. I felt attracted towards this voice and had a feeling that if I were outside, I would have given some money to this Fakir. I decided within me that if by the time I came out of the bath-room, this Fakir was available, I shall certainly give him some money.
As I came out of the bath room, I found this Fakir passing from in front of the corner of the vacant plot on the back. I rushed out and shouted for him. He came back to the vacant plot. As I looked up at the face of this fakir, I cried in ecstasy, “Oh Baba, it is you who has come today”. In that ecstatic state, I laid down with my back on the floor and my hands and feet extending up like a dog which lies down on his back before its master, with love. Baba was wrapped in a white single piece cloth. He was having penetrating eyes and a white beard. He commanded me to get up and pick up a stone and write on the wall what he dictated. It was a sort of a couplet, which He asked me to write with the stone on the wall and instructed me to keep on reciting it, whenever I found time. I wrote down the couplet as He told me to do. Baba went away. I got up from my sleep immediately and tried to jot down what Baba had dictated but unfortunately, I forgot the first few words. A few days later, Baba again appeared in the dream and completed the couplet.
Almost every night for 2/3 years, I kept on experiencing this sleeping state. Innumerable dreams, I saw but a few of those which have left a deep impression on my mind have been recounted here.
At this stage of my spiritual journey, I read a few books of some saints. Ramakrishna Paramhamsa has said that a person who develops a deep yearning for God can realise Him merely in three days’ time. I had a strong feeling that, by my Baba’s Grace, I could realise Him only in three hours, if I could sit down in a quiet corner to do so. Shri Yagnik had entrusted to me the sacred work of spreading Baba’s name and leelas. Where was the time available to me for this self seeking? Moreover, I had family commitments to fulfill. Ramakrishna has also said that once God is realised, it becomes difficult for the seeker to remain in this world to fulfill family commitments.
I developed a strong feeling at this stage by personal experience that Baba does confer supernatural powers on His devotees. I, however, begged Him of two boons, as under:
(a) Never to confer supernatural powers on me because if I misused them even once, the shame that would accrue to me will be too much to bear and at the same time be unworthy of a devotee.
b) Never to test me, for I am a weak person and would surely fail in that test. Baba seems to have accepted both of my prayers. But, and again, whenever there has been a need for me to seek His mercy, He has never faltered. Many a time when of my own or for the benefit of a troubled devotee, I have been forced to seek His Grace, it seems to have descended in torrents.
As the number of devotees thronging for Baba’s Pujas kept on increasing, my activities and responsibilities as a devotee also increased. In this process, I took the following steps :-
1. Started writing to Shirdi Sansthan off and on to send to me copies of the Sai Satcharita and other books as also pictures of Baba for distribution to devotees in the North.
2. Write to different Sai Samajams such as All India Sai Samaj, Madras; Sri Sai Samaj, Calcutta and other institutions, connected with Baba’s name and for copies of Souvenirs issued by different Samajams, at some time or other. A copy of a letter received from the Secretary All India Sai Samaj Madras in March 1961 is at exhibit-IV.
3. Became a member of Sai Leela magazine brought out by Shirdi Sansthan and Sai Sudha by All India Sai Samaj, Madras.
4. Publish the following books/articles on the platform of Delhi Sri Sai Samaj:-
(a) First Puja book printed in 1961, alongwith the English synopsis of the verses.
(b) An Article in English on the life and teachings of Baba. This article entiled as ‘Sai Baba – the Saint of Shirdi’ is reproduced as Chapter-I of this book.
(c) Issue the reprint of an article entitled, “Shirdi-Ka-Sai Durbar” in Hindi. This is reproduced as Chapter VI (III)
Continued to Chapter 3 Part 4
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