|Chapter No.||Part No.||Content of the Chapter|
|NA||NA||Introduction (Preface, Foreword, A Devotee Speaks and A Thought)|
|Chapter 1||Part 1||In Moments of Ecstasy|
|Chapter 1||Part 2||In Moments of Ecstasy|
|Chapter 1||Part 3||In Moments of Ecstasy|
|Chapter 1||Part 4||In Moments of Ecstasy|
|Chapter 2||Part 1||The Heart Overflows|
|Chapter 2||Part 2||The Heart Overflows|
|Chapter 2||Part 3||The Heart Overflows|
|Chapter 2||Part 4||The Heart Overflows|
|Chapter 2||Part 5||The Heart Overflows|
|Chapter 2||Part 6||The Heart Overflows|
I had started on the path of Sai bhakti in right earnest and with full responsibility, Baba seemed to have entrusted to me. Hardly had I taken a few steps and tasted a few of the innumerable fruits lying scattered on the way, ‘Maya’ came and enticed me into the glitter of this path. At every step, feeling the impact of Baba’s Kripa, an unseen hand would appear and take me further and further. This whole journey has been extremely pleasant, wholesome, and soul-stirring and if I say even blissful, it wouldn’t be incorrect. When I think of it today, I feel surcharged with emotions. On the way, I did encounter thorns, pits, wells, rivers, hillocks and other obstacles but my Sai would provide me the capacity to cross them and take me further. I would often seem to be falling down, then rise up again and made me to shoulder the responsibility of being a partner in the coming up of the first Sai temple in Northern India at Lodi Road, New Delhi. But at this stage my pure ‘Satvik Bhakti’ started getting affected. It started getting lost in the glitter of worldliness. The temple did come up but thereafter the credit for getting the temple constructed, mutual bitterness, feelings of jealousy, all combined to light a fire in which my bhakti started burning. My pure consciousness got injured and I could not take myself out from this catastrophe and it seems that I even lost a part of my hard earned wealth earlier. Today, after having experienced all the pitfalls on the way, when I have returned to myself, ignoring all what happened in the past, an extremely pleasant feeling of self-satisfaction – without any trace of remorse, has entered the portals of my heart and I am awaiting to merge in my Sai.
To-day, the garden of Sai Bhakti Is in full bloom, And the trees are laden with fruits Whosoever desires could pluck them And carry cart loads of them. Baba has made them priceless May be! Never again This opportunity shall come your way Hurry up, hurry up For time waits for no one And your Sai is waiting for you With open arms
Thoughts generated in author’s mind on his last visit to Shirdi on Sept. 15, 2008
Earlier the atmosphere around Baba sitting in Samadhi Mandir reflected serenity and dignity, now after his enthronement on gold throne it generates grandeur and awe. But Baba is as unconcerned with all this as when he sat in simple, unpretentious quietude. I often wonder: would it not have been better if the originality, simplicity and naturalness of the ‘Fakir’ was left untouched?
Truth may appear bitter but the fact is that simplicity generates dignity, closeness and feeling of being one’s own (अपनत्व) while ‘Shahanshahi’ gives birth to grandeur – a feeling of distance from the self within. While grandeur pleases eyes, dignity pleases our heart.
Related: Scribblings of A Shirdi Sai Devotee
To the one who is all pervading ‘Parbraham Parmeshwar’ neither dignity nor grandeur matters a bit. He is ‘Stitha Pragya’ Sat-Chit-Aanand unaffected by externals. Therefore, O’ my visual faculties seek him not in what you see. Look within your heart which infact is the dwelling place of his and which should remain unaffected by either of the two.
We reached Shirdi in the evening at 8:15 P.M., soon after, I was taken to the Samadhi Mandir and made to stand before Baba. All my feelings lying dormant within me for years welled up in my heart and placing my head on the Samadhi, I cried like a child unmindful of the surroundings. When I lifted my head and looked at Baba, I found the glitter of gold had made it difficult to keep on gazing at him intently. Everything had changed. Looking at the grandeur scattered around Baba, I had a feeling of satisfaction but when taken towards the other side of the Samadhi, as I stared into his eyes, I found compassion oozing out of them as before but looking at his face with intensity, I found, Baba looked extremely tired. Within me I inquired the cause of it. He seemed to have replied with grief: “This load of grandeur has been thrust on me. I am unable to bear it. My soul is writhing in pain but what can I do?” My heart was filled with grief and dismay. My eyes got moistened and soon tears started flowing from them. What have we made of the ‘Fakir’?
Imposing the glorious grandiosity around Baba, we have made ourselves happy but in return have snatched away the ever flowing smile from his face.
Get up and girdle your loins. Destroy the wall of duality standing between you and your Sai which is serving as an obstruction. Burn the lamp of bhakti in your heart and in its flicker shall burn all vices slowly and slowly and the self in you shall emerge as pure sparking gold.
Standing at my door, Full of agony, My Sai, spoke to me, thus: “In what a pitiable condition have my devotees brought me to? Everyone and at all times Only seeks favours from me Big or small, To keep himself happy Little realizing, What all trouble have I to take To fulfill their never ending demands. A peace loving Sanyasi that I am Who wishes to remain lost in his ‘Fakir’* all the time Has to come running bare footed To fulfill their demands, And in return they load me with gold, silver and diamonds In the hope, I shall shower more benedictions on them Why don’t they understand? For a Fakir it is all a heap of dust, And of no consequence to him Seeing the grandeur in all places of my worship My soul writhes in pain But what could I do, I am helpless I have to come running To fulfill the assurances given in my life time To my devotees Otherwise the whole world will accuse me Of not keeping my words, And the prestige of my Fakir* shall be damaged People will call me names The faith with which my devotees come to me Shall stand shattered”.
(*Note: Baba addressed His Master – God as ‘Fakir’)
That which provides satisfaction to the senses, how could it be the food of the ‘Aatma’? The simplicity, the naturalness (सहजता), the beauty, the affection, discernable in the atmosphere of the Samadhi to my Aatma in 1960, on my first visit to Shirdi, seems to have been lost in the wilderness of the grandeur of the place today. Baba is the same – ‘The Apostle of Compassion and Love’. But the grandeur reigning around him seems to be changing his originality and throttling the atmosphere around him.
Let us learn to make Sai the centre of all our thoughts, our actions, our aspirations, our achievements – in fact the be-all and end-all of our whole existence. Let us learn to live in Baba, breathe in Baba, think of Baba, dream of Baba and feel his living presence in everything. Let us experience his grace in every situation of our life, in all our joys and sorrows and in all our appreciations and condemnations. Every particle of our body, in fact our whole existence, should be saturated with Sai love and emit the fragrance of his bliss. Blessed shall then we be and blessed shall be our parents who have been instrumental in bringing us on this earth and blessed shall be the land on which we have lived and grown. The iron in us would then have turned into pure sparkling gold.
I pray, seek not Sai in glorious gatherings wasting huge amounts of money, where high sounding deafening music is played in Baba’s name and one is made to dance with gusto, where guests are honoured with precious shawls and flowers and in return they themselves get honoured, where high quality food of large varieties is served to the rich and mighty in the garb of Baba’s Bhandaras.
Seek Baba in melodious, rhythmic music flowing out of the deeps of hearts, sung in sweet and soft tones, creating ripples of joy in every heart both in the singers and listeners and moistening their eyes and take them towards Baba. Seek Baba in bhandaras prepared with utmost humility and feelings and shared alike with the rich and the poorest of the poor. Remember! Baba is the sole assessor of the depth of bhakti of every devotee. Let us leave the task of honouring his devotees to him. Baba is where the ocean of bhakti flows. The sole criterion of his worship should be bhakti based on love and feelings and not show off.
It is an incident that happened in August, 1960 when the gentleman who introduced me to Baba, had visited Delhi for performing the first public ‘Puja’ of Baba. He noticed me wearing two rings on the fingers of my right hand. He asked me as to for what purpose had I put on those rings? I told him that, on one finger I was wearing Emerald (पन्ना) and on the other Blue Sapphire (नीलम) which had been prescribed for wearing by me by an astrologer. He observed: “Are you a devotee of Sai and do you have full faith in him?” I answered in the affirmative. He then said: “When Baba has given you an assurance that the burden of your life is his responsibility, then why should you seek the help of these stones?” That very moment I took off both rings and after that have never again put them on. Today, when I find a large number of Sai devotees wearing Baba like ‘Kafni’ on their body with ‘Patka’ on head, beads of various stones adoring their neck and rings studded with different types of stones on each finger, I am reminded of the words of my mentor on the path of Sai bhakti: Are these people really the devotees of Baba?
More poems and thoughts in coming part of the chapter
© Author – Late Shri. Suresh Chandra Gupta – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)