|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|
|Chapter 3||Part 1||Listen O’ Fellow Travellers|
Thus goes an old proverb: ‘An empty vessel makes much noise’, (थोथा चना बाजे घना – Thotha Chana Baaje Ghana). When the vessel gets full, it stops making noise. So is the case with Bhakti (devotion). When a person takes to Baba and takes a few steps towards Him and experiences a bit of His Grace, he does not cease to sing the praises of His Grace and proclaims his devotion for Him from roof-top and sings his own attainments. But as soon as his devotion attains stability, he realizes that the path he is treading on is not a bed of roses and he has to go far to become entitled to be called a devotee. ‘Shraddha’ (Faith) and ‘Saburi’ (Patience) the twin requirement of the path advocated by Baba, have of necessity to be attained for wearing the ‘Chadar’ (sheet) of bhakti.
Sai spoke to me thus: “You have built several temples is a great achievement. But when you shall have built a temple in the deep of your heart and installed your Sai therein, you shall know the reality: how hollow your claims had been. And ultimately you shall have to remove even the idol of Sai from the temple of the heart and shall have to fill your soul with Sai ‘Tatva’. You shall then yourself become Sai and shall not then have to look for him in temples or mosques. O’ the ignorant fool! Give up your desires, your aimless wanderings and recognize your own potential and that of your Sai in the little time left at your disposal”.
Related: Scribblings of A Shirdi Sai Devotee
The ‘Amrit’ (Elixir) oozing out from the churning of the sea, I have tasted not but the ‘amrit’ which I have tasted in life in abundance on the continuous repetition of the name of ‘Sai’ has been my treasure during the last 50 years of my life. As per my definition, the elixir is that which makes our life happy, healthy, full of sweetness and leads us to desirelessness, and which provides our ‘Aatma’ (Soul) the feeling of completeness (पूर्णता) in all respects, as also solace to the souls of all those who come into contact with us in this vast arena of the universe. Along with experiencing joy within, it enables us to scatter it all around ourselves.
A devotee’s relationship with his deity extends from birth after birth. Death puts an end to this relationship but it gets entwined with each other again in the next birth. Such is my experience. It’s in this chain alone that the Great Sage of Shirdi came into my life in 1960 and from that day onwards, he has become the be – all and end of – all of my life. It is my firm faith that till my soul gets merged in Him, Baba shall remain the Brahma (The Creator), the Vishnu (The Sustainer) and the Maheshwar (The Annihilator) of my life.
Baba always cared for the feelings of his devotees. When on the Ram Navmi festival day, a huge crowd had assembled at the Dwarkamai for the ‘darshan’ of Baba and a poor old lady who was finding it difficult to reach Baba was heard entreating to the crowd to let her also have the privilege of Baba’s darshan, her request fell into the ears of Baba. He sent Madhavrao Deshpande (Shama) to escort her. Looking at her, Baba exclaimed, “O, Mother, I am sitting hungry since morning and have been waiting for you to arrive. Take out what all you have brought for me to eat”. And on the old lady’s taking out one ‘Chapati’ (piece of bread) and half an onion untying her ‘Palloo’ (on her way feeling hungry she had eaten away one ‘Chapati’ and half onion herself) placed these on Baba’s hand. Baba devouring it with great relish and belching exclaimed, “Mother what a tasty food have you brought for me to eat. My belly is full upto the neck”. Let us look within ourselves and think: Have we been able to imbibe such compassion and love for the poor within us?
Pointing his finger at the pig eating excreta, Baba said, “Look! With what relish is it eating the filth? You always keep on talking ill of your kith and kin. Your conduct is also just like that of this pig. It is due to the noble actions performed by you, in lives past, that you have taken birth in human form and if you keep on behaving in this manner, what help could Shirdi then render to you?” Let us look within ourselves and determine: how far have we been able to learn from this scolding of Baba and adopt it in our lives? Do we not relishingly hear the bad words used by others about our fellow devotees and behave the same way!!
When the barren wife of the commissioner of Bombay Presidency came to Shirdi along with her retinue, to seek the boon of a child for herself from Baba, what to talk of giving her extra attention and honour, Baba did not even look at her and as per his routine got up to go to Lendi Baugh, asking her to wait. When after waiting for Baba for a long time, Baba did not attend to her, she got up to leave taking Baba to be a mad Fakir. After she left, Baba exclaimed: “If she was destined to have a child, wouldn’t she have waited for me?” Let us ponder over: Have we too been able to shed away from our mind the differentiation between the rich and the poor, the high and the low and made this ideal the guiding principle of our life? Do we not give more respect and attention to the rich than the poor? Should we not shed away such distinctions, if we claim to be a Sai devotee?
Before we call ourselves Sai devotees we shall have to imbibe in ourselves the traits of life lived by Baba while in flesh and blood. Baba lived every moment of his life with extreme simplicity. He lived in profound nearness to nature and wore on his body only one long ‘Choga’; his food was beyond taste; he displayed no difference between man and man, laid stress on the unity of life and living, and lived a guileless life beyond any sort of cleverness. Let us ponder: Have we even attempted to transform our life according to how Baba lived? And if so, how much?
When compassion takes deep roots within, the body starts feeling the currents of joy at times. The eyes often get moistened with tears of love. In this state the devotee may have a feeling that Sai’s grace has started acting on the canvas of his head and heart. Allow not your ego to raise its head in those moments and surrender to Baba with more intensity. The divine grace your soul shall then feel is what you have been yearning for.
During the last few days a feeling has creeped within you to find out whether you have been able to transform yourself in the true image of a Sai bhakt. Hearing words of praises all around, you have been forced to look within yourself deeply and seek an answer. The feeling of looking for a Guru has also often cropped up within you. The Sai sitting in your heart spoke thus: “Come my child come. Today I shall provide a reply to your question. Onto the path of ‘Sadhana’, your heart is your own Guru. To seek an answer peep within but with perfect honesty, you shall find all answers within you. I ask you while treading the path of bhakti, have you been able to conquer the self in you? Have you been able to rise above the ego nurturing in your heart? Have you been able to subdue the feelings of hatred, jealousy, confrontation, attachment, arising within you, in the true sense? Have you been able to make those whom you call others, your very own and a part of your own existence? Have the currents of supreme love, oneness with one and all, started rising in your heart? Perhaps not! Therefore, the Guru of your heart, my child, tells you what the ears hear, what the eyes see, the thoughts arising in the heart, is all ‘Maya’. Stop accepting it in your heart what to talk of thinking about it. The compassion which arises in your heart, the exactitude of words which is discernible in you at times, is merely the play of my grace on you. I am aware full well that you have loved me with whole heart but you haven’t been able to give up your narrow mindedness, you haven’t been able to rise above the feelings of love and hatred (राग – द्वेष). Having firm faith in me, keep treading on and on and a day shall come when you would have achieved completeness (पूर्णता). Even today a feeling is lurking in your mind that death is the end of life. A thought has taken deep roots in you that whatever is to be achieved should be achieved soon. Life, death and then re-birth are a never ending process. Have firm faith that your Sai who is in fact sitting in your heart is fully capable to get your ‘Aatma’ fullness (पूर्णत्व). Leave all doubts whether or not you are on the right path and be not in quest of a Guru elsewhere. The Guru sitting in your heart is waiting for you to attain completeness. Sit quietly and dive deep into the sea of ‘Atamanand’. All your doubts shall leave you. Have an unshakable faith, your Sai is constantly engaged in the task of your purification. And you are constantly proceeding ahead towards the goal”.
© Author – Late Shri. Suresh Chandra Gupta – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)