Devotee readers who have missed earlier chapters can read from the links below. Devotee readers who have missed earlier chapters can read from the links below.
|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|
|Chapter 3||Part 4||Meeting with Sri Satya Sai Baba|
|Chapter 3||Part 5||Paramhamsa Omkara Swamy|
|Chapter 3||Part 6||Functioning of Delhi Sri Sai Samaj|
|Chapter 3||Part 7||Building of Lodi Road Temple in New Delhi|
|Chapter 3||Part 8||Commencement Of Puja At The Temple|
|Chapter 4||Part 1||Stray Thought! On Bhakti|
|Chapter 4||Part 2||Stray Thought – On Gurus and the Path of Baba|
|Chapter 4||Part 3||Stray Thought – On Building Temples|
|Chapter 4||Part 4||Stray Thought! On Bhakti|
|Chapter 4||Part 5||Stray Thought on Receiving Messages from Baba|
|Chapter 4||Part 6||Stray Thought on Foretelling Events|
Stray Thought on Literature on Shirdi Sai Baba
Till about fifteen years back, there was not much literature available on Baba, particularly in languages other than Marathi. Whatever available, was based on Sri Sai Satcharita or on the personal experiences of devotees, either on their contact with Baba in their life time or on the testimony given by devotees who had experienced Baba’s Grace in some form or the other after Baba had taken Mahasamadhi.
During the last few years, as more and more people are being drawn to the Sage of Shirdi, the demand for Sai literature has grown immensely. Whatever has been printed, has found a market instantaneously. The publishers who fought out books on Baba became rich overnight as many editions of their book were sold in no time. A stage has now come, when anything and everything written on Baba has a publisher. Some writers have made book writing on profession and found this an easy way to earn name, fame and money. Writing on Baba without caring the truths or the sentiments of Baba’s devotees, has become a way of life with some publishers and writers, their quest for easy money. A number of so called research have sprung up who have earned name and fame for writing on Baba after presenting truths and half truths and even heresys and stories. They have proved beyond doubt Baba sacred words,”If you shall look for Brahm (God) in books you shall only find ‘Bhram” (Delusion).
The whole of His life after the age of adolescence, Baba spent in a small village named ‘Shirdi’, amongst the poor and illiterate villagers. He followed a peculiar technique to convey to His devotees the deep and hidden truths of ‘Brahma Gyan’ (knowledge of the Supreme) in a simple and easy to understand language and by living in practice a life symbolising what He preached. He never employed the medium of lectures, discussions and discourses for this purpose. The result was that beyond Sai Satcharitra (which was also published after Baba took Mahasamadi), and Das Ganu’s renderings, almost no other authentic literatuii became available in His life-time. Of course after His leaving His mortal coil, some of His devotees, prominent amonst them being Shri B.V Narasimha Swamy and Swami Sharananand, wrote down about His life and times. Shri B.V Narasimha Swamy spent quite a few years of his life in contacting Baba’s devotees, visiting the places associated wit His name, and collecting the devotees’ experiences first hand The efforts made by Shri Narasimha Swamy, the labour put in by him and Sai literature produced as a result thereof will ever remain a land-mark in the history of Baba and Sai literature.
During the last ten years or so, some good literature come out on Baba, such as
a) The God who walked on Earth by Shri Rangaswami Parthasarathy.
b) Shirdi Sai Baba by Shri Basavaraj Gunaki.
c) Shirdi Sai Baba by Shri M. V. Kamath and Shri B. V. Kher.
Of course the book written by Arthur Osborne earlier entitled ‘The Incredible Sai Baba’ was a great work on Baba. In a few pages, this author has presented a synopsis of Baba’s life and teachings admirably well, particularly for the Western world. Some other writers have also put in commendable efforts, such as Shri E. Bharadwaj, Shri M.V. Pradhan and Mrs Mani Sahukar. Some Western writers have also produced treatises on Baba based on their research work but because of their different background, they do not seem to have caught the depth of Baba’s teachings and way of life.
But along with these serious minded writers, a number of guileless mushroom writers have also come up who have made writing on Baba by presenting facts or fiction, on His life and leelas, their profession and producing books on Baba and getting these published by cheap publishers their mode of sustenance. It is a well known fact that Baba did not reveal certain truths about His coming into the world, such as who His parents were, where and when He was born, what His caste or religion was and how and where He spent His childhood, and the like. He allowed them to remain hidden in the veil of secrecy. He did not even encourage people to talk about them. Surely there must have been a purpose rather some spiritual need for Him to do so, unknown to us and which we are refusing to accept today. Did Baba know better what and when to reveal or are these modern researchers more knowledgeable than Baba Himself. One who was aware of the past, present and future of all living beings, would He not know what was necessary to reveal and what was not? I fail to understand what useful purpose served by excavating or bringing out these facts or fiction into the open? Will the knowledge of these facts in any measure add to the number of devotees of Baba or make them better devotees and make them experience His Grace in greater measure? Do these so called researchers have a greater understanding of Baba and His leelas, which Baba was Himself unable to understand and appreciate? Will such knowledgeable person make an ordinary devotee like me, understand the logic behind such actions and the purpose these seek to serve? I have a definite feeling that these researchers have only succeeded in creating confusion in the minds of devotees. In times to come their so called researches and the literature produced by them will become the subject of controversy for future generations, far from doing any creative work.
I have come across four different dates on which Baba is supposed to have been born. These are: 1828, 1835,1831 and 1838. Every writer has claimed authenticity for the date of birth brought out by him. How shall a devotee determine which date he should accept and which to reject? I have also come across the horoscopes of Baba. Based on what fact the date of birth and the life story of Baba and the new facts brought out by the researchers should be accepted by an ordinary devotee? With my limited knowledge and vision, I fail to appreciate these stories (even if these are facts) which are capable of distracting the minds of a sincere and ardent devotee.
Most present day literature on Baba, particularly in Hindi, which has come to my notice, is based on facts narrated in Sai Satcharit and other available books. To date no literature has come to my notice, which reveals the philosophy behind Baba’s actions and words; His way of and living; and their analysis. Certainly there is a need for writers, philosophers and researchers to delve deep into life and leelas of Baba; the experiencing of Baba’s Grace by unkown persons all over the world; and the like. A mere narration of the miracles of Baba and and the experiences devotees will not suffice.
I am certain, in time to come, the devotees will take to serious and deeper study of Baba and His leelas and produce literature giving deeper significance of His actions and words.
Continued…Part 8 of Chapter 4
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