Devotee readers who have missed earlier chapters can read from the links below.
|Introduction & Preface
|Sai Baba – The Saint of Shirdi
|Sai Baba – The Saint of Shirdi
|Understanding Shirdi Sai In Baba’s Own Words
|Building Up Of Lodi Road Temple, New Delhi
|Urge to Know Baba
|First Visit to Shirdi
|Meeting with Sri Satya Sai Baba
|Paramhamsa Omkara Swamy
|Functioning of Delhi Sri Sai Samaj
|Building of Lodi Road Temple in New Delhi
|Commencement Of Puja At The Temple
|Stray Thought! On Bhakti
|Stray Thought! On Bhakti
|Stray Thought! On Bhakti
Stray Thought – On Miracles
Most devotees of Baba and almost every one who has known Baba from a distance, consider Him a Miracle Man. It hurts me to portray Baba as such. Calling Baba a Miracle Man is like calling the Sun, a Deepak.
For a God-realised soul, all barriers of Time and Space come to an end. Even the elements of Nature accept its command. This has amply been demonstrated, time and again, by events in Baba’s life as well as in the lives of all great Saints.
Miracles take place in the following circumstances in a saint’s life:-
a) According to Ramana Maharishi, “It is enough for the thoughts of a Gyani to be turned in any direction and the automatic divine activity begins”, and seems to have caused a miracle.
b) As stated above, all forces of Nature are at the command of the saint and whatever he utters becomes a reality. He need not employ any medium to achieve His purpose.
c) When a devotee recites to a saint his tale of woe, its mere narration creates a feeling of compassion in him, resultantiy the devotee may be relieved of his misery.
d) The Saint performs a miracle for a purpose. This may be to provide an impetus to the devotee to continue tread the path of Godliness still more steadfastly or to draw a person towards God.
Generally a sage or saint does not show a miracle just with the swing of His hand or merely for the purpose of impressing the onlookers. Rather they have decried the use of miracles on the path of divinity.
Of course, sages and saints have shown miracles but always for a purpose. This is true of our Baba also. Baba used the vehicle of miracles always for some specific purpose.
When a person starts treading the path of Sadhana as he reaches the fourth chakra, the ‘Riddhies’ and ‘Sidhhies’ come to him and confer on him the particular boon asked for by him. Some ask for wealth, some for power to cure diseases, some for writing books on spirituality, some for foretelling events in life, some for ‘Vaksiddhi’ and the like. On attainment of any such power, they use it indiscriminately and get lost in its charm and make it a means to attract people to themselves and earn name, fame and wealth in life. Their further progress on the spiritual path comes to an end. Those Sadhaks who do not fall a prey to such an attainment and continue to tread the path of spirituality steadfastly and assiduously continue to make progress for the attainment of the Truth.
There are two schools of thought according to our scriptures with regard to whether one can create something out of nothing or merely use occult powers to materialize a thing which has existed somewhere. Most thinkers have supported the latter theory. According to it, some unseen power, at his command, is employed by the media to bring a thing which has existed somewhere. Two such experiences of my life are narrated in the succeeding paragraphs.
I was a student of class X in Gwalior in the year 1940. My friends asked me to join them at a particular place where a person was to demonstrate that he could produce whatever one desired. Some six to seven students collected at that place in the afternoon, where a rustic was sitting wrapped in a sheet of cloth. All of us sat on either side of him on the floor. This gentleman told us that he could produce whatever we desired to eat. After deliberations amongst us, we asked him to produce ‘Pedas’ (a particular sweet) of Mathura. Let me clarify that this particular sweet made in Mathura is of a smaller size and has a different taste than the one made by the sweet-sellers of Gwalior which is much bigger in size and is wrapped in sugar. The gentleman brought out two packets – one in each hand, containing Mathura Pedas. We ate them to our satisfaction. We were amazed at his skill. Next we asked him to produce two orange like fruits, which I had seen in the garden on the dam built on a local river, a day before. He produced them – one in each hand. All of us decided to ask him for something unique. We told him to show us the gold coins of Emperor Ashoka’s time. He said that we should refrain from insisting on him to do so as if he produced them and we touched the coins, we would start bleeding. We did not, however, yield to his pressure. He attempted to do so but could not produce any gold coins. He merely made us to hear the tinkering sound of gold coins. Whatever he predicted about us was all totally incorrect.
The other incident is of January 1983, after I had retired from service and had gone to stay for a few days at Ajmer with my brother-in-law, a doctor in the railways. One morning when I was having a walk on the lawns of his bungalow along with my father-in-law, he told me that he would have liked to show me the skills of one Nanaji who could produce anything desired from nowhere. I had already heard the story that when one of our relation’s marriage was to be settled, this very Nanaji got both the boy and the girl garlanded from the space, which helped the boy and his father to accept this match. While we were still walking, I saw a lean and thin old man, wearing a ‘dhoti’ and a coat over it, walking into the house. My father-in-law accosted him saying that only a few minutes earlier he had been talking to me about him and requested him to show his skills to me. I found that Nanaji had met almost all V.I.Ps of the day and was carrying in his pocket the testimonials given to him by them. He also showed to me the paper cuttings from the then popular Journal ‘Blitz’ of articles written by its Editor, Shri Karanjia, about the miracles shown by Nanaji.
Nanaji made us all sit on the carpet and chant a particular kirtan. He first produced two garlands, one for me and the other for my wife. These, he said, had been procured from the local Govindji Temple. Since we were eight persons sitting in the room, he next produced eight bananas for us to eat. He then asked me to name anything and that he would produce the same but suggested that it may not be costly since somebody has to pay for it. He then produced a big lock, which we still have in our possession.
The two incidents narrated above amply prove that the adepts of occultism who perform miracles merely utilize laws which are not known to common people.
I shall end this narration by quoting a story from Shri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa’s Gospels. A youngman from a village left his house to become a sanyasi. He returned to his village after doing sadhana for twelve years. The villagers asked him as to what he had achieved after doing Tapasya for twelve long years. He invited them all to come to the local river bank the next morning when he would show to them his attainments. People gathered on the river bank next morning. This Sanyasi came with his wooden slippers on and walked over the waters of the river as if he was walking on the road. Another Sadhak who was watching the scene came there and calling the boat-man crossed the river, paying one anna coin to the boat-man. He told the Sanyasi that it a pity that he had taken twelve long years to learn an art worth one anna only.
The miracles performed by Baba were of a different type and reflected His omnipotent omnipresent and omniscient nature which a Brahm Gyani possesses. The miracles performed by Him fall in the following categories:-
a) Reflect His command over the elements of Nature.
b) Sitting in the Dwarkamayee, He could appear in some form or the other whenever and wherever a devotee was in trouble and needed His help.
c) Baba knew the past, present and future of all living beings and His approach towards a devotee was based on this knowledge.
d) A few instances also exist in which He would use His powers to show some pranks to His devotees to provide them humour and make them laugh.
Baba’s devotees must not, therefore, encourage the projection of Baba’s leelas as miracles as it will be far away from His true nature.
No instance has come to notice in which Baba produced something with the wave of His hands. Baba was a Tatva-Gyani. Although apparently He did produce some miracles, behind every action of His there was a deeper purpose and a significance which became visible as the subsequent events unfolded.
Some excerpts from my diary on the subject of miracles are reproduced below which may help the reader to make a correct appraisal of this phenomenon:
What is a miracle? Certain actions produce effects that are not rationally readily accountable because they do not fall into the usual pattern.
2. On the path of Gyan, preoccupation and practice acquiring psychic powers are not favoured by true masters.
3. During Sadhana psychic powers may manifest spontaneously as a result of practice performed previous lives but care should be taken not to them to impress an audience.
4. Sri Ramana Maharishi: Self Realization may or not be accompanied by occult powers depending whether the person concerned had sought these power before realization. They may also be sought and gained after realization for a definite purpose, if called for by circumstances.
5. The greatest miracle is brought about when through sadhana we conquer all desires including those for siddhis and endeavour to get pure consciousness which is the sub-stratum of the eternal miracle of creation.
6. Sri Ramana Maharishi: The spiritual force is far more powerful than the use of all occult powers.
7. Realization comprises everything and a realized will not waste a thought on powers.
8. What is acquired is also lost in due course.
9. A genuine devotee wants nothing else except His feet.
10. The greatest attainment is pure Existence, Knowledge and Bliss.
11. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa had said that a man cannot realize God if he possesses one of the eight occult powers. Bhagwad Gita says: “Occult power is sure beget pride and pride makes one forget God”.
12. What greater siddhi is there than that of the sage, who merely sitting on his couch, attracts thousands from four corners of the earth, hundreds of whom change their old mode of life and some even attain Godhood.
13. In these days of scientific inquiry and rationalism, God has to be proved. “Except ye signs and wonders, ye will not believe”, said Christ. This is what Siddha Prushas occasionally do. Through such deeds, they inspire the sceptics and scoffers with faith in God.
14. Performance of miracles should not be questioned as the display of miracles is meant to create and does create faith in the faithless. The faith, if thus created, would not be long lasting.
15. Psychic powers are obstacles to Samadhi, but these are powers in the worldly state.
Continued…Part 5 of Chapter 4 Continued…Part 4 of Chapter 4
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