|Chapter No.||Part No.||Content of the Chapter|
|NA||NA||Introduction (Preface, Foreword, A Devotee Speaks and A Thought)|
Sai! How deftly did you enact the scene of your leaving the human body on that Vijay Dashmi day of October 15, 1918, when you were lying unwell in the Dwarkamai surrounded by your devotees. You had grown weak, having not eaten for the previous two/three days, so much so that you had not even gone on your bhiksha round, which had been your wont all through your life. Suddenly, you chose to make an offering of rupees nine and for this purpose you got up without any help. Looking healthy, you took out rupees nine, in two lots of rupees five and four, from your pocket and gave them to Maa Luxmibai, exclaiming: “I do not now enjoy living in the Masjid. Take me to Butiwada where I shall live happily”. Saying so, you slumped in the lap of Bayaji Appa Kote Patil and gave up the mortal coil.
Baba! This was a mere camouflage of yours to prove that one, who is born of a womb, must shed away his physical frame. In fact, Sai – the Fakir had decided to cast away the sheath of body and in its place was born a Celestial ‘Shuddha Chaitanya’ Sai – Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient, who was to guide the destinies of millions of people who sought His grace to provide them succor from the vicissitudes of life, all over the Globe and who are today experiencing this phenomenon in their lives. In fact, your coming on earth was an illusion and so was your leaving it. You have become more active after shedding away the sheath of body than while in it. Then you provided comfort to hundreds and now to millions.
Sai! You are an eternal entity – the marvel of Nature, the need of the man of today, the hope of the fallen and the wretched. Whosoever and wheresoever irrespective of any boundaries of place of residence, religion, caste, creed and status in life, has surrendered to you and looks up to you for succor and guidance, you come running to help him.
To Death O’ Death! Consider thy existence vis-s-vis that of Sai Thou art merely a particle of dust under his feet For in death, he lives for ever And provides relief from the miseries of life To one and all who take to him Think over! Who is great You - The Annihilator Or Sai - The Creator? You might have perished His body But Sai - The eternal Lives on for ever
Sai! You descended on earth as a ‘Fakir’, lived like a Fakir and left the world as a Fakir. When you took Mahasamadhi, you had no worldly possessions to call your own and yet you were called ‘Rajadhiraj’. Today you are being portrayed as a ‘Rajadhiraj’ both in looks and possessions. People forget that a Fakir has been proclaimed as ‘the emperor of emperors’ all through the ages by the Sages and Saints. Does it not mean that the ignorants are bringing down your status? You yourself had said in your life time: “Fakiri Awwal Padshahi, Garibon Ka Allah Bhai”, implying thereby that the Fakir enjoys a higher status than an emperor.
One day the Apostle of Compassion, my Sai, spoke to me thus: “Running bare-footed to remove the agony of my devotees, my feet have developed sores which give me lot of pain. I run to take them out of their difficulties, at their call, in the hope that a day shall come when they would recognize my true nature and then they would start seeking from me that which I wish to bestow on them. But what can I do? These devotees are lost in the glare of the worldly pleasures and refuse to seek a share from the enormous treasures, I hold for them. They are so much involved in quest of name, fame, prestige and wealth that their souls never feel the urge to rise above these transitory attainments. I had taken birth on this earth in the hope that I shall be able to take them out of the morass in which they are stuck up but the mask they have put on their face refuses to see the truth and they show absolutely no inclination to take to the path of emancipation. Who to should I express this agony of my heart? They have even changed my true image. But I have a firm belief that a day shall come when they would recognize my true nature and take to the path I wish them to tread”.
Listening to the words of Sai, I was lost in myself: Weren’t Baba’s words a pointer towards me? Have I myself been able to rise above all these cravings and attained the purity needed to tread the path shown by Baba!
O’ Sai! When I have caught hold of your hand firmly And surrendered to you heart and soul How can the vessel within me remain empty? It is another thing The vessel is unaware of this fact I am the Supreme Master, I am the ‘Truth’ Incarnate, I am Pure Consciousness, I am ‘Bliss’ Incarnate, I am Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram, Sat - Chita - Anand, The Parbraham Parmeshwar am I, The whole Existence is in me And I am in Existence I am the Yug Purusha, Shuddha Chaitanya, The currents of joy flow from me And my whole being emits the rays of Bliss. Around me flows the ocean of Peace. I am Love, I am the Peace, I am the Supreme Light, I am Purna Purusha The glory of the self am I All are in me The ‘Punya’ I am, the ‘Paap’ I am I am ‘Sadgati’, I am ‘Durgati’ Beyond me exists Nothing I have recognized the Self in me I am ‘Sai – The Sat-Chita-Anand’,
I beseech you O’ my Sai, To come and occupy the seat In the temple of my heart. My eyes have hardened like stone Awaiting your arrival.
Sai! Since the day you entered my life and caught hold of my hand, you have provided solace to my soul. I carry a feeling that my life has acquired fullness. I have found a source of strength in whatever I do. In happiness and adversity, in good times or bad times, you have always and in all situations stood beside me. You have filled my heart with feelings to do good and be of use to others. If I ask you O’ my Sai! What is it that which you haven’t bestowed on me, it would not be inappropriate. But my Baba! You have not made me a perfect man, who has risen above weaknesses. Even in my dreams. I haven’t ever felt that I have acquired something special which a common man does not possess. I am a person full of weaknesses. Baba! You shall laugh at me. You know it full well that I haven’t ever read in full Ramayana or Mahabharat, though the cupboards in my house are full of commentaries on Shri Bhagavad Gita by different writers, both in Hindi and English, I haven’t read even Bhagavad Gita in full. Therefore, whatever little I have been able to achieve thus far is more than what I deserved and which you have bestowed on me in your mercy.
Related: Scribblings of A Shirdi Sai Devotee by Suresh Chandra Gupta
Baba! You know full well that there could be no person more unfortunate than I, who though living in a diamond mine, does not understand the value of a diamond. But Baba tell me; Haven’t I tried to go into the depth of Bhagavad Gita again and again? Haven’t you made my mind stuck up on one Shloka only and not allowed me to proceed further, making my consciousness lose into the depth of that Shloka and not allowed me to proceed further? In such a situation what could I do? I ask you sincerely; have you not given me the feeling; ‘what shall you do by reading it? Even if you adopt one line of it in your life, you shall have no need to know more than that’. Tell me what could I do then? And my Baba, you know it full well that a few words that I have read in life or heard in life, the depth hidden in those words has influenced me so much that you have made my inner self repeat them within me for a long time. On repeating those words within me, you have provided me a blissful feeling which has become ingrained within every nook and corner of my heart. You know for certain that for a long time, I have been repeating the under-mentioned lines of the Ramayana within me: “It is only the guileless who are able to reach me. I do not like the wicked, the mean and those devoid of principles”:
“निर्मल मन जन सो मोहे पावा ,
मोहे कपट, छल, छिद्र न भावा”
“Nirmal Man Jan So Mohe Pava,
Mohe Kapat, Chhal, Chidra Na Bhava”
Chanting these lines within me, haven’t my eyes often moistened with tears? You have filled my heart with the feeling that if one’s heart gets filIed with purity (निर्मलता), he shall have no need to acquire more. Wasn’t the same feeling generated while reciting the under-mentioned lines:
“दया धर्म का मूल है, पाप मूल अभिमान,
तुलसी दया ना छोड़िये, जब लग घट में प्राण”
“Daya Dharm Ka Mool Hai, Paap Mool Abhimaan,
Tulsi Daya Na Chhoriye, Jab Lag Ghat Mein Pran”
“Compassion is the root of spirituality, as pride is the root of wicked acts (पाप). Tulsidas (the poet), says do not give up piety till you have life vibrating within you”.
My tongue on the prompting of my ‘Aatma’ has been repeating these lines for innumerable days at a time and which have become ingrained on the tablet of my heart. And yes, when I heard the under-mentioned couplets of Kabir, did I not go deep into the message these couplets conveyed and made them a part of my own being:
“चाह गयी चिंता मिटी, मनवा बेपरवाह,
जा को कछु नहीं चाहिए, सो ही शहनशाह”
“Chah Gayi Chinta Miti, Manva Be-Parwah,
Jaa Ko Kachhu Nahin Chahiye, So Hi Shahanshah”
“When desires stop arising, all worries are over. The one, who needs nothing, is indeed a Shahanshah (Emperor)”.
And the other,
“जा मरने से जग डरे, मेरे मन आनंद,
जब मैं जाऊं जगत से, पाऊं परमानंद”
“Jaa Marne Se Jag Darey, Mere Man Aanand,
Jab Main Jaaun Jagat Se, Paaun Parmanand”
“The fear of death of which the world is gripped with,
Provides joy to my soul
When I leave the sheath of body,
I shall attain Divine bliss (परमानंद)”
Baba! If I am able to cross the sea of ‘desires’ and become fearless, nothing more would seem to be left for me to attain. Tell me what more shall I need to know through the medium of reading books. And it is you, who said: “If you look for Brahm (ब्रह्म) in books, you shall merely find Bhram (भ्रम)”. Can your words ever go wrong? Then history is the witness: almost all sages and saints reached the pinnacle of Truth not by reading books. I end here, O’ my Sai. Do excuse me for my impertinence taking me as an ignorant child of yours – uncouth and unlettered.
Baba, today in my advanced age, I find myself unable to sit cross-legged in front of your picture and keep starring at you endlessly. Neither am I able to concentrate on you nor do Japa of your name. Leave aside anything, I am even unable to sit before your picture and burn incense sticks. Within me, I feel an agony. The sort of your worship, I have been doing for years, why should I give it up now? It seems that, I have lost the track of my ‘Sadhana’. I hope I have not got caught in some illusion. Who to ask and who shall provide me the answers, except you O’ my Baba who is the sole occupant of my heart. If no one else, you know full well of what material this body is made of, what heights this ‘Aatma’ has achieved? How could you make me to act in a manner which may not be a mile stone on your path and which could make me lose my track? My Baba do place your hand of Grace on my head and proclaim that I am your very own. No power on earth could make me swerve from my path. Do remove all doubts from my mind for all times to come and make my faith unshakable. I should continue to stick to your path with full faith. I am sure that my destination cannot be far off when my Sai has caught hold of my hand.
Baba! Why do you carry so much love and compassion for me in your bosom? After all, I have done nothing to earn it. I have done no hard penances in your name, no deep meditation, no concentration, no pure ‘Satvik’ puja, no feeding of the poor, no ‘Daan, Punya’ nor any worthwhile service to humanity. I have merely taken to you as a guileless child with purity of heart and intentions. How could merely my child-like approach be enough to earn the magnificent benevolence you have showered on me? Surely there is some earning of my lives past. Baba, tell me what is the link which has bound me so firmly to you? Can it be anything other than your mere love and grace? Oh yes, my Baba! I now recollect as to what could be the cause of it? Probably you have been influenced by the pitcher-full of tears my eyes have shed on the mere mention of your name and while thinking of you and talking of you. But if shedding tears could be the criterion of bhakti, the beggar asking for alms in severe winter on the road outside my house with choked throat and eyes shedding drops of the liquid, would perhaps qualify to be a better devotee of yours!! But this is not the case. It is merely your bountiful ‘Kripa’ on me and my guileless approach to you, which has made us come so close. I would rather say that it’s your grace only which has bestowed on me this munificence.
Baba your ‘ananaya bhakta’, Madhav Rao Deshpande (Shama) had lived with you for 72 births past, so you said. Surely my Deva! I too have had some past links with you otherwise, how could you be so merciful to me in this birth? Baba let this all remain a secret. What shall I do to know it! You are mine and so shall you always be mine. No power on earth can mar our relationship. This is enough for me in this birth.
Sai! When my inner and outer self shall have become one, when I shall have developed the habit of seeing you in the whole of animate and inanimate existence, when the happiness and pain of every soul shall become mine, at that stage, my soul shall get submerged in ‘Parmanand’ and then alone I shall acquire the qualification to be called your devotee. Then the difference between myself and you shall gradually diminish and in course of time we shall become one – the Infinite, Indivisible consciousness, which you are and which is imminent in the whole universe. Sai! When I come down from the heights of the skies onto the realities of the earth, I get lost in the distinction of pleasure and pain. Then we become two. This ‘I’ in me returns to itself, which infact is the reality and is in front of the whole universe!
A devotee’s intimate talk with Baba
What a wonderful luck did you possess, O’ my Baba! You were indeed fortunate, for nobody knew where and when were you born and who your parents were. When your mother at the tender age of eight took you to Venkusha’s house and entrusted you to his care, surely you must have been in a very deplorable condition as no mother would normally part with its child thus, in the normal condition. And the fact, as we know, is that almost all your life you spent in not very comfortable circumstances. To live in a dilapidated mosque, wearing a torn Kafni, sleeping with a brick under head as pillow, was ordained by God for you. You didn’t change your style of living and dressing even when thousands of rupees flowed to you in the form of ‘Dakshina’ from your devotees. This you gave away to the devotees around. Isn’t it true that all your life you begged for alms? And just look at your ways of today!! Covered in valuable clothes, wearing a diamond crown on your head and heavy gold chain studded with diamonds around your neck, with what splendour you occupy your golden throne!! This shows that even you haven’t been able to keep yourself aloof from the imprint of the changing times. You are served meals in gold/silver plates and thousands of people are always in attendance around you at all hours. And over and above it all, you who skipped taking baths daily, with what a splendour are you now given daily baths and that too in various courses and with different ingredients, looking at which even emperors lying in their graves would be feeling envious and blush. The one who was unable to get even enough water to bathe is now being given a bath by innumerable persons with both hot and cold water mixed with Kewara, rose and other expensive scents and they consider themselves lucky to get this opportunity. And you keep on watching this game sitting quietly. Don’t you ever feel that these devotees of yours have to undergo lot of difficulties to reach you and have a glimpse of yours after spending huge sums of money on travel? And they have to take their place in the queue at 2 A.M. and even then they consider themselves extremely blessed to having given you a bath. Don’t you feel distressed looking at their troubles? You are known as the Apostle of Love and Compassion. Is this your compassion and love for them? I am an ‘Agyani’. Do make me understand this mystery. Tell me where do you want to take us to after showing such colourful toys?
Baba! It appears that you have now accepted to be the friend of the rich and are no longer the friend of the poor. Huge amount of money is being spent on your ‘Bhajan Sandhayas’ and ‘Bhandaras’ and on ‘Palki’s’ taken out with Elephants, Horses, bands and various other paraphernalia forming part of it. Have you now changed your ways? Do come to me tonight and tell me this mystery in my ears. I am your child!
Sai! The day you touched the chords of the Veena (a musical instrument) of my heart, the Veena started ringing automatically and its vibrations continue unabated. The sweet tones coming out of the Veena show me your path and provide the inspiration to continue to tread thereon firmly. It is only due to the continuous flow of these strains that I have been able to reach here where I stand today. What is my destination, when would it be possible for me to reach there; whether or not shall I ever be able to reach there, are the questions, the answers to which neither do I know, nor do I seek. A complete sense of satisfaction towards all that is happening around me has got deeply entrenched in my heart and provides me the feeling of ‘Aatmanand’ (bliss). You have caught hold of my hand firmly and are ever with me. I seek no other support nor do I carry any worry concerning my life hereafter. Baba! I pray to you to let me remain in my ‘Masti’ (state of care freeness). “My ‘masti’ is dear to me. I exist along with my Sai and seek nothing beyond it”.
In the next post, we shall read what the author wants to share in the moments of ecstacy.
© Author – Late Shri. Suresh Chandra Gupta – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)