Sai and “I” – Shirdi Sai Baba

Sai and “I”
There is nothing apart from Sai. I cannot be separate from Sai. You cannot be separate from Sai either. Sai is pure consciousness. Sai cannot be contained in a form, any form.
I must write this from the angle of an ordinary humble devotee of Bhagawan Shree Shirdi Sai Baba. Baba is an avatar. We mere mortals cannot ever understand the consciousness of such a powerful entity. He is beyond time and space. He gives experience to every true devotee of his, day and night, if the devotee is open to receive it. Most of the time, a miracle is prevented only by lack of faith. Baba is available for any devotee around the clock. But, mostly, people call him only when they need something. This is a sad misuse or under utilization of a great avatar. Inner purity is all you need for materializing miracles. Inner emptiness is all it takes for filling the essence of Sai, the Sai consciousness, into our vessel of existence.
Sai is pure consciousness and cannot be contained in any form, any form. Omniscent, omnipotent and omnipresent.
Sai is pure consciousness and cannot be contained in any one form. Omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.
It was towards the end of 2004 when I had left my job in Iraq and was back in India literally cooling my heels which were quite worn out due to extreme situations that I had faced from almost 1998. I was invited for an interview on the subject of Spirituality and Management. This is way before the meditations came to me and I became known as Mohanji. Those days, I was more recognized in the field of management. The video was shot at a beach in India. And the filming began from the door step of a Sai Temple, close to the beach. That time, even though I had heard the name Sai Baba, I did not quite know anything about Baba, who He was, or where He was or even where Shirdi is. It is my habit to bow down and pay respects to the idols or pictures of any spiritual masters irrespective of religious barriers. That way, I bowed down and touched the feet of the big idol of Baba before I started the interview.
That was the turning point of my life. Soon after the filming, I visited Mumbai. When I visited a book shop, I found myself asking for a Sai Satcharitha. I did not know why I asked for this book. It was not a conscious, pre-planned purchase. Two weeks after I bought the story of Sai, I reached Shirdi. This was indeed His grace, His call.
My first step into the Samadhi Mandir is still like a dream. When we arrived, the night arathi was about to begin. This was in 2004 and the crowd was far less than now. I was not aware of the rituals of Shirdi nor had I heard the Sai Arathi until then. The bells were ringing and I was told the temple will close for public after the night poojas. I ran and reached the samadhi mandir. The arathi had begun. I sat down, looking at the captivating, beautiful statue of Sai.
“Sai, all these people came for your blessings. Please bless everyone!”
It was like a home coming! I felt totally at home, as if I was there always or at least many times in the past. My body started to have a mild tremor. Goose bumps erupted all over. I felt wave after wave of soothing, mild energy flowing over me and into me. I slipped into a trance. Thoughts vanished. Mind became blank. Just one thought appeared in my mind as a prayer. In my mind I said “Baba, all these people have come for your blessing. Please bless everyone”. I could not ask for anything else.
Almost a month later, I came back to Mumbai. A group of people decided to set up a logistic company in Dubai and they asked me to join in as its CEO. The meeting was set in Mumbai. I was living with my parents in India at that time and had not taken up any job after I left the job in Iraq. I had some savings. But, since Ammucare charity activities gained momentum during my stay in India, my entire savings drained rapidly. I was determined to continue with the charity activities, even if I had to work hard more. Almost all that I ever earned, was spent on charity. Fortunately, since I did not have much expenses of my own, since personal requirements were less, it was easier.
I did not have sufficient money to take the flight and arrange a stay in Mumbai. One of the investing partners knew about this and arranged that. I arrived to Mumbai and they received me at the airport. The friend who arranged my travel and stay had arrived from Bahrain. He had changed his foreign currency and was carrying the Indian rupees in a packet. It was inconvenient for him to carry it in hand. So, he asked me if he could put that in my cabin bag. I handed over my bag to him, which contained my passport, a cheque for Rs.100,000/- which I owed to a property dealer, plus my clothes and the Sai Satcharitha. He kept his money on top of everything and we went to a suitable location to sit down and have the preliminary discussion.
We arrived at a hotel, almost 30 minutes away from the airport. We sat in the lounge and had our preliminary discussion. Since I had to meet other people, I left early. My friend who carried my bag promised to deliver the bag, later in the evening because we were staying at the same place. He left with my bag. He told me, he hired a taxi from the road, kept the bag in the boot, reached the destination, forgot the bag in the car and reached his room. He did not remember the face of the taxi driver as he was sitting in the back seat, nor did he notice the number of the car. He called me and told about this incident. It was a bizarre situation. A real test. My passport and everything else lost. It will take some time before we could make another travel document. In the night, we met for dinner. All were perturbed as my travel to Dubai depended on my passport and my passport is lost. Our plan reached a spontaneous snag. But, the place where we sat and discussed, there was a statue of Sai Baba and I felt that he is looking at me and smiling in a meaningful way. It could be a sign that I should not take up this employment? That was indeed the reason which came out true as one of the partners spoiled the broth and the group eventually got scattered. Anyways, that is besides the point.
After dinner, I thought of calling a friend who is a psychic, not because of the lost bag, but one of the group members wanted to talk to him. He asked me “You seem to be perturbed a bit. What is the problem?” I said “Yeah. I lost my bag”. “Is there a picture book of Bhagawan Sai in it?” He asked. I said “Yes. I have Sai Satcharitha in it”. He said “Don’t worry. Sai will bring it back to you”. I thought, ‘Where will I find the taxi in a colossal concrete quagmire like Mumbai? The taxi driver does not know me, nor do we know the taxi driver. How can we file a complaint with the police station without any details?’
Finally, at midnight, all of us decided to go back to the hotel where we sat and discussed first, when we arrived from the airport. My friend had taken the cab from outside that hotel. But, then again, the cab did not belong to the hotel. As expected, the receptionist was blank when we asked if anyone had delivered a bag there. We came out, quite dejected. As we came to the gate, the watchman of the hotel asked “Sir, is there no room?” I said “We did not come here for the room. We lost our bag. We came in search of it”. He asked “what is the color and make of your bag?” I explained the details. He replied “Sir, please see if this is your bag!” He produced my bag from his cabin! We opened and looked inside hoping that we have lost nothing. Everything was intact! And on top of everything was the Sai Satcharitha! In fact the Sai Satcharitha was kept at the very bottom of the bag. Who put it on top, above the money? Baba’s grace is indeed above all material wealth. Quite symbolic indeed. This was Baba’s way of conveying who the wire puller was! He had orchestrated the show. Imagine, if the car driver had not checked the boot of his car! Imagine if he had not delivered the bag at this hotel itself! There are many hotels on both sides of the road. How did he bring the bag to this hotel itself! So many probabilities and questions. Once again, Baba proved his presence in my life in the most emphatic way.
Baba's grace is indeed above all material wealth. He orchestrates the show. He is the wirepuller of all events.
Baba’s grace is indeed above all material wealth. He orchestrates the show. He is the wire puller of all events.
Evolution happens in body, mind, intellect and even spiritual stature of an individual each moment. Each one has the potential to transform overnight. So, when we say we know this person or that person, be careful. The person with the level of awareness that you thought you knew would have transformed into a totally different individual overnight. Hence, we must consider each person as totally different each day. This would also take care of most of our agonies related to expectations. This is the truth of existence.
I have been in corporate world for too long and too much. I have worked from a sales executive to the General Manager, Country Manager and CEO in corporate business for close to 24 years in the Middle East. I always had a problem in dealing with treacherous individuals, those who lie, cheat and make everyone’s life miserable. I always believed in truthfulness and straight-forwardness. Many times, I entered into traps of treachery and somehow got out of it without many wounds. This also is true with relationships. Falling in is easy, falling out is painful. The snares of terrestrial relationships have always been difficult for me to handle – being connected to the truthful relationships with the higher. This is also why I could easily see through the core of pseudo spiritualists and could run away from them as fast as I could. I would like to attribute all the effective escapes to the grace of Sai Baba. He has been looking after the formation years of my life and even now. Formation years are times of extreme vulnerability. When you cross over, since visibility is much better, the vulnerability is much lesser, even though the possibility cannot be completely discounted. Often, I found it better to play dumb and totally ignorant in egoistic groups where the pseudo intellectual discussions had no aim and value except pampering someone’s ego. Here, the hand of a higher master becomes very helpful. And Baba is always available to help and guide any sincere devotee. But, who goes to him for the highest?! Most go to Him seeking terrestrial favors! This is the tragedy of human existence. We do not know what we need and what to seek. We do not know what we are and where we are going! We cannot understand a true master from a pseudo master. We worship the priest instead of the God. We think that material richness can make us happy. With material richness, many become spiritually weak. They become mere watchmen of their own wealth and shun even God, developing insecurities of losing the matter! Matter has validity and specific longevity; ignorance makes us crave for permanence. Contamination of existence is nothing else. Great masters of high repute were ridiculed time and again. Those with pomposity and higher visibility were respected. Money became the criterion for respect even in the terrestrial spiritual world. People respect those who spoke well and not those who existed in silence. Again, the higher the noise, the better the acceptance. All masters who existed in silence found it difficult to “speak”. The same was with Baba. Hence Baba was also ridiculed by many during his physical times.
I always wonder about the state of people who steal others’ wealth and possessions and live without any qualms. I have also seen many people who refused to re-pay or pay back their debts, suffering huge losses in life. Many such matters of human existence including cheating, stealing, hoarding, killing, harming helpless beings, victimization – including production of meat, affected me and compelled me from detaching myself from these aspects of the world. What can a super subtle man who only knew to love do in a gross world of in-sensitiveness and deceit? But, as if to test and transform, I was put back into the commercial world, either due to lack of money or due to compulsion from friends which I could not deny. Many times I declared myself as a misfit in the commercial world even though the organizations that I managed achieved good success. I felt that my vulnerability – being in subtlety was increasing day by day.
Many times in between, I left employment and went through situations of no money, no shelter and no food. All these strengthened my faith in God. I never complained. I found the deeper purpose of heating the iron into melting point and also beating it when most vulnerable. A powerful spiritual sword was taking shape. Will of steel probably needed tough hammering indeed to become! During those times of test, even relatives stay away and criticize So, indirectly, it helped me to shed all expectations from everyone. It also helped me to stand on my own feet especially during crisis and also it removed the fears of having to walk alone. The will was perhaps more from the side of God than this puny, highly perishable individual, I suppose. 🙂 I realized that the capacity for people to see the truth is limited to their senses and predominantly mind. The highest is probably the intellect – the analyzing capacity. These faculties could only deliver relative truths and not real truth. I wanted nothing except the real truth. And I was willing to give anything for that. Nothing else satisfied me. Hence, when I started conducting meditation programs, I used to dedicate them to Baba and use His name as the source. People who could not understand my reason behind this action blamed me of trying to become another “Baba” or claiming that I am Him. Then, in one of the communions, Baba asked me to stop the dedication and use my own name. A saint also said, during the same time “You will be known in your own name.” I attribute this message also to Bhagawan. I would like to believe that He orchestrated everything so that nothing remains mine and I can enjoy my emptiness to the fullest.
It was through Baba that I also came into the roots of the Datta tradition. I also understood the relevance of my gothra when I became aware of the Datta path. This body is born in Bharadwaja Gothra. The same gothra (clan) of almost all the Datta Avatars. I again felt the hands of Baba for putting this soul in this Gothra. Bhagawan Datta, Shiva, Babaji, and Shirdi Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba are all one. I cannot see any difference in them. In fact I cannot see any difference in anyone.
Mohanji (1)
I shall conclude this with one more incident which provoked a real shift in my consciousness. I was working as the General Manager of a Logistic Company in Dubai in 2006. I had to attend a conference in Mumbai. Since I had to fly to Mumbai, I decided to also visit Shirdi – quickly before the conference and come back to Mumbai in time for the conference. While waiting for the flight, I thought of calling a friend of mine in India who has psychic abilities. It was late at night. When he picked up my call he smiled and said “Another trip! Eternal journey continues.” I also laughed at the truth in his joke. He asked “This time to see the God?” I said “yes, going to Shirdi as well”. He said “expect a big and life changing miracle. This conference is organized by Him to get you there to give you something precious. He knows that you have no money in your pocket, O man of charity!, with this conference, your company will pay.” I laughed at his good-hearted tease.
When such a thought is put in your mind, that would dominate our thought process. This happened to me too. I started looking for miracles. I had hired a cab to take me from Mumbai airport to Shirdi and bring me back. When I reached Shirdi, after the darshan at Samadhi Mandir, I always like to sit and meditate at Dwarakamai. I love Dwarakamai. It feels like old times always even though I would not want to think about me in another body and my connection with Baba while in that body, if at all. Baba always warns “The urge to know the past in order to re-inforce the present is a clear sign of insecurity. No true devotee should have that. If the past has to be revealed, it will be”. I also wanted to offer some quality materials to the Dhuni of Baba inside Dwarakamai. I requested the taxi driver to get me some good material for the fire place, and waited outside Dwarakamai. When he brought the materials, we went inside. The entry and exit were demarcated and guards watched both the doors. Once entered, one has to keep moving. Crowd was huge. I decided that I will not be able to sit inside and meditate in this trip, which made me a bit sad. We offered the materials to the fire and started to come out. The driver of cab was behind me. As I moved closer to the door, an old man came through the exit entrance with a child, grabbed my hand over my biceps and commanded “Sar idhar rakho” (Put your head here) and pointed at a small pillar. Baba used to sit leaning against that pillar when he used to live in Dwarakamai. I spontaneously obeyed. I was already in a thoughtless state. I knelt down and touched my head on the pillar and got up. There were many people behind me, in the queue. I was worried that the guards will shove us out. But, none seemed to notice the incident. Even the cab driver went past me. Then I got up. The old man patted on my back and said “Abhi Jao” (Go now). I obeyed without thinking. I came out and was a bit disturbed because I could not sit and meditate in Dwarakamai. Nevertheless, we started on our return journey to Mumbai and I called my psychic friend. As soon as he got my call, he asked “So, Bhagawan came and met you! Isn’t it a BIG Miracle?”. You could imagine my situation. “Oh my God. In that confusion, I forgot about the miracle and also did not think it would be Baba himself. He also had a child with him and then I realized that it was Ammu, my daughter whom I lost in 2000 in a tragic road accident. I did not look at the child at all. So many people and confusions and the setting was well made by Baba to avoid all my distractions and thoughts! I told my friend “Oh, I should not touch His feet”. He said “Oh you did. When you touched your head on the pillar at His command, you have touched the feet of the tradition. Good enough. Go on now. Life will never be the same again.”
Further to this, I have had many experiences and many of my followers also had many experiences, which I would presume that they themselves would narrate and share with you, if they liked to do so. I cannot and should not do that on their behalf. I would like to conclude this humble narration with my most humble prostrations at the Lotus feet of the Great Avatar Sai Baba. I can write a book about Him. I have done three blogs about Him and no words can ever explain Him.
I would also like to thank Swami Govindananda of Himalayas who gave me a picture of Baba from his altar and said “Mohan, Sai Baba lives in your third eye”. And to Bala Sai who delivered Baba’s message to me to return back to India and His promise that He will live with me! I consider this as a priceless message and confirmation. Sai temple will come up in Datta Tapovan if He so wills. The late Sri Balachandran, while coming back after Darsan at Shirdi and while entering his car, a man came and delivered a heavy packet and said “This is for the Sai temple that will be built. Sai sent this for you”. He turned to offer some money to the messenger of Baba, he had already vanished. He opened the packet and saw that they were marble feet of Baba. We were getting ready to build a Sai temple at Ammucare village site in Kerala. Due to financial deficiency, it did not happen. Now, most probably, the feet of Baba will decorate Datta Tapovan.

My humble prostrations at the feet of the grand Datta Tradition and the glorious gothra of Sage Bharadwaja to which I am lucky to belong.

My only prayer to Baba is “Bless All, Baba, for all are seeking your grace, knowingly or unknowingly.”
Aum Sai Ram
M
There is no existence apart from Sai. Sai Protect All the beings who walk on Earth. AUM SAI RAM.
There is no existence apart from Sai. Sai Protect All the beings who walk on Earth. AUM SAI RAM.

Great Masters – Shirdi Sai Baba – Part 2

The Great Avatar Sai Baba of Shirdi

Sai Baba lived a simple life, in a dilapidated mosque. He used the same set of clothes till it became obscenely torn and useless. He never cared for fancy clothes, which was always available, as his popularity rose. Many people brought many goodies to Baba. He immediately distributed them to who ever was around at that time. Very few things did he ask Shama to keep, such as some pictures of his that devotees gave, some vegetables, wood for dhuni etc. Many times, Baba appeared to people as very ordinary. He used to smoke chillum – and even suffered breathlessness and asthma at times. He would ask very basic ordinary questions to devotees which would make them wonder if Baba was indeed a true master or actually an ordinary man. Baba always behaved like an ordinary man to confuse his visitors. Those who could not see beyond his simplicity and natural behavior, left him with a confused mind. Some came back again, some never returned back to him.  Some others who saw the fire inside the ashes, never left.

A master should be internally felt and absorbed, not heard or seen. What you see or hear could be very ordinary stuff. The true master hides behind this ordinary matter. A true master may look too ordinary and simple. People who are used to spiritual pomposity will easily get confused. They may even consider the shallow pompous as real and the true but ordinary master as unreal. Nevertheless, masters always served their purpose of assuming their gross body precisely and with commitment. They always gave forth what each deserved, instead of what each desired. In this chapter, we shall see how he bestowed blessings on some of His closest disciples.

Sai Baba Deluded His Devotees with His simplicity

Status and stature are two entirely different things. Status can be conferred while stature needs to be earned. Status can be created while stature has to happen. There are many acharyas, Gurus and philosophers. Some have only book knowledge and borrowed experiences. They have read enough books to know how each situation in spirituality feels, including the state of enlightenment. They have only theoretical knowledge and they depend on books to deliver knowledge to seekers. They can never impart experiences. It is important that we develop our sixth sense, enough to identify these acharyas who pretend to be Gurus, and avoid them as much as possible.

Shirdi Sai Baba once entertained such a man called Javhar Ali, brimming with knowledge, but with no stature. Baba seemingly respected and obeyed Javhar Ali and confused those who respected or worshiped Baba. Was Javhar Ali indeed superior in stature to Baba? Baba was playing a game to make Javhar Ali humble and also make His devotees sharper in their awareness and understanding. Stature always comes out into the open and wins, sooner or later. As is the case here, Shirdi Sai eventually proved to be much more superior and a true master than the egoistic Javhar Ali. This is how Great Masters operate. They convey messages and teachings quite implicitly. Only those who have developed the faculty of keen observation will know the difference and truth between the real and the glamorous.

A Great Master is a True Expression of Divinity

In His early days at Shirdi, Sai Baba used to have long hair, unshaven or cut. He was a strange, but handsome boy. He used to dress like an athlete.After His wrestling bout and defeat at the hands of Mohiddeen Tamboli, Baba changed His attire completely and started dressing up like a Muslim Fakir. He did not even have a name, when He came to Shirdi. The name Sai Baba was a spontaneous expression from the mouth of the priest of Khandoba temple, Mhalsapati. Mhalsapati recognized the master inside the ordinary man; he felt the stature of Baba. He spent all his life with Baba. He always used to sit with his eyes closed near Baba. He became blind soon after Baba left His body, because he wanted to only see Baba and nothing else. Baba never allowed Mhalsapati to accept any money or gifts that devotees who came to see Baba showered on him. Baba kept him poor in kind, but rich in his  spiritual heart. Baba gifted him the supreme bliss, much more valuable than any physical and transitory richness.

Mhalsapati named this Young Avadhoota, SAI BABA

Kasinath Govind Upasani Sashtry  was born on 5th May 1870 in a family of Brahmin priests. He was a spiritual renegade. He had no interest in academics and practiced chanting, Yoga and Meditation rigorously. His spiritual practices were often extreme. He used to even meditate in Burial grounds on Lord Shiva. Even though he married thrice and tried his luck in medicine and other means of livelihood, he always went back to his supreme aim – spiritual growth. He stayed in Nasik and Pune at times, and even begged for a living. He resorted to extreme penance without food or water and attained great spiritual powers. It was Shirdi Sai Baba who finally converted Kasinath into Upasani Maharaj, a true master. He left his physical frame in 1941. Even now, Sakori (near Shirdi), where Upasani Maharaj lived the latter part of his life, is a shrine frequented by many. He continues to guide many, even after his physical exit.

Sai Baba and Upasani Maharaj

Baba had a unique connection with Upasani Maharaj. Upasani Maharaj used to know every thing happening in Dwarakamai, sitting in Khandoba temple. Whenever Upasani Maharaj left Shirdi on his own, Baba brought him back. This is the love of the master. Remember the famous lines of Ramana Maharshi ” He who has earned the grace of his Guru will undoubtedly be saved and never forsaken, just as the prey that has fallen into the tiger’s jaw will never be allowed to escape.” Baba protected him, elevated him, empowered him and made him in His own spiritual image. After meeting Baba and connecting with Him, Upasani Maharaj stayed in Khandoba Temple, alone. He cooked his own food and contemplated on Lord Shiva all the time. Baba told Upasani Maharaj ” You must sit quiet in the temple and do nothing. Have nothing to do with anybody. You have great (spiritual) future”. When ever Upasani Maharaj requested through Shama for Baba’s permission to go from Shirdi, Baba said “He has to clear his account. This is a connection of many lifetimes. Our families have been connected for thousands of years. So, we are one.” Finally Baba said “Everything I have got has been completely given to him”. When his third wife died and Maharaj became sad, Baba consoled him and said ” I myself have taken care of the welfare of her soul. I am fully responsible for you”.

Upasani Maharaj

Sai Baba did test Upasani Maharaj in many ways. Baba visited Maharaj in the form of a dog during lunch time. He also visited Maharaj who was a staunch Brahmin in the form of a lower caste man, and later scolded him for not caring for Baba. Baba also took away most of the money that Maharaj had, in the form of dakshina and even did not allow Maharaj to wear new clothes sent by his elder brother on religious occasions. Thus, Baba taught him detachment to worldly matters, increased his sensitiveness to see Baba in everything, a dog, a poor man, a bird, and established Maharaj in supreme spiritual well-being.

It was Upasani Maharaj who wrote the famous verse on the occasion of the installation of Sai Paadukaas (Holy footwear representing the feet of the master), under the neem tree where Baba appeared first in Shirdi. The lines that Upasani Maharaj wrote are chanted everyday as part of the Arathi. It goes like this:

“Sada Nimba Vrikshasya Mooladhiwasat

Sudhaastravinam tiktamapyapriyamtam

Tarum Kalpavrikshadhikam Saadhyayantam

Namaameeswaram Sadgurum Sai Naatham”
(I bow at the feet of Sadguru Lord Sai Nath who, by His Divine presence, made the bitter Neem tree into a tree oozing with life-giving nectar, much greater than Kalpavriksha, the celestial wish-fulfilling tree)

Madhavrao Deshpande – SHAMA

Madhavrao Deshpande alias Shama was “Baba’s Boy”. He used to be a teacher in the neighborhood of the masjid where Baba stayed. He used to observe Baba’s mannerisms very closely and used to get bewildered. Is this a saint or a mad man? Later, wisdom dawned on him and he came closer to Baba. Baba took care of him. Shama used to be like a personal assistant to Baba. They used to chat informally in the quiet hours of the days, during the times when Baba’s popularity was relatively less. Once Shama asked Baba: “Does Brahma Loka and Vishnu Loka exist?”  Baba replied: “Yes, they do, but, what have you got to do with it?” Shama had a wish to see these lokas. Baba asked him to close his eyes and enabled him to see these lokas as clearly as he would see the outside world with his eyes open. Baba said: “Understand that these lokas are also as illusory as earth. We must go well beyond all these illusions and merge into the supreme, non-dual world.”

Shama: “Did Rama and Krishna really exist?”

Baba: “Indeed, they did.”

Shama: “Is it true that all the monkey squads helped Rama?”

Baba: “It is true. I myself saw innumerable monkeys assembling and them climbing one on top of another like ants.”

Shama: “How can you see them? You are not that old. This happened centuries ago”.

Baba: ” I was as I am now. We have lived numerous lives. You do not know that, but I do.”

Baba always used to treat Shama with kindness and love, and hardly used to display anger on him, even when he used to display it to his other close followers like Tatya Kote Patil. Shama had the freedom to question and even challenge Baba and Baba never minded it. His bhaav (feeling and devotion) towards Baba was pure and innocent with zero demands and expectations.
One day, a man came to Baba and requested for some money as he was in deep debt. Shama knew that the amount he requested was indeed available in Baba’s pocket. But, Baba replied to him that he has no money on him. The man left sad and gloomy. While pouring water to Baba to wash his hands after a meal, Shama asked Baba why he lied to the poor man and sent him empty handed, who came seeking for some solace, despite him having the required amount in his pocket. Baba always used to tell people not to lie and not to promise what one cannot deliver. Baba replied;
“It is in his karma that he must experience this state. It is not yet time to change it. People experience poverty because of their inherent miserliness and poverty of the mind. If he is relieved of it now, he will not transform. Every experience is a result of past actions, words and thoughts. It must be experienced to the fullest. Nobody can cut it short. A rich and generous heart will only reap richness and generosity in life. Selfishness breeds selfishness. Greed breeds greed. Intolerance about anything breeds the same towards you from others. Understand this my boy Shama, you will not understand my ways. When one lies to people that one has no money, despite having it, invariably experiences the same situation in life. One must share whatever one has, and stay rich inside always.”
Shama fell quiet. One thing struck his mind hard – Baba is unfathomable. It is not easy to understand even the seeming casual actions of Baba. His mind is too small to contain this ocean called Shirdi Sai Baba.

Shirdi Sai Baba and Shama, original photo
Shirdi Sai Baba and Shama, original photo

Baba gave short cut remedies to people. He was a practical Guru. When Mr. Pradhan wanted to go home and heavy down pours were dampening his hope, Baba read his mind and said “Are Allah Abhi Barasat Purakar. Mere balbacche ghar janewala hai. Usko sukhse jane de”. (Oh God, Stop the rain now, my children need to return home. Let them go back in comfort.) The rain stopped soon and Mr.M.W.Pradhan was given permission to leave.

Mr.Narke saw Sai Baba in the heighth of His anger. He was fuming and full of passion and anger. That was Narke’s first experience and he was confused. “Is this a saint or a mad man?” That evening, when Narke went to Baba and, while massaging His feet, Baba stroked Narke’s head and said “I am not mad.” Baba knew Narke’s innermost thought!!!

As we know, Baba had power over elements. Once a severe storm lashed Shirdi, along with rain and thunder. Baba stepped on to the edge of Dwarakamai and shouted. “Jara Dhav” (Stop Little). The storm abated quickly.

Abdullah who served Baba with devotion and faith had seen many strange behaviors of Baba. Everyday, He used to stare at east, west, north and south and talk something, and even wave his stick at some invisible entities. Das Ganu Maharaj also observed Baba vigorously rubbing coins between 1PM and 2PM – almost everyday, when He was alone. Everything had a purpose – He was liberating body-less entities from terrestrial bounds, and also liberating embodied entities like Abdullah, Shama and Das Ganu from emotional bondage.

Some people are never satisfied with anything. They habitually complain and see something lacking always. They can never be truly happy. To one such woman, Baba said “why do you constantly complain about things big and small? Chant the following mantra many times everyday and be happy”. He asked her to chant

“Sree Raama Raama Ramethi

Rame Raame Manorame

Sahasranaama Tathulyam

Raama Naama Varaanane”

She found peace within and Baba warded off all internal and external evils from her with this “manthropadesh.” Even if someone asked, Baba never used to give a mantra. In this case, even without asking, He gave one. Such is the style of Great Masters. The nature of Shiva is “Kshipra Kopa” Easy to get angry and “Kshipra Prasaada” easy to be happy or bless. This is why even Raavana and such others pleased Shiva and got many boons. In both these states, Shiva removed heavy karmas of devotees. Shirdi Sai Baba was also very famous for his anger and also for his deep compassion and kindness. He was easy to be pleased. There were occasions where he was violently displeased with the rich and tasty gifts offered by a rich merchant and very much pleased with a small banana offered by an old woman.

Words cannot explain the truth of Baba’s existence. He blessed us by his visit on earth. What a master!!! A master par excellence  indeed!!! The story will continue, as long as Baba wants it to. I wish all of you Blessings from Sai Baba.

Sai Ram

M

The Light of Shree Sai Leads us all…

Tribute to Shirdi Sai Baba

Thus Spake Sai Baba of Shirdi

Supreme Avatar – SAI BABA
  • Allah is the protector of the poor. There is nothing besides Him.
  • Look at me and I will look to you. Trust the Guru fully. That is the only sadhana. Guru is all the Gods.
  • Sit quiet. I will do the needful.I will take you to the goal.
  • I will not allow my devotees to fall. Night and day, I think of my people.
  • My tomb will speak and move with those who make their sole refuge. I shall be active and vigorous from the tomb also.
  • My name will speak. My mutti (dust) will reply.
  • If one meditates on Me, repeats My name, sings My deeds, and is thus transformed into Me, his karma is destroyed. I will stay by his side always.
  • I draw My devotee to Me at the time of his death, though he may die a thousand miles away.
  • If one sees Me only, always listens to talk about Me, and perpetually repeats “ Sai Sai”, with a heart overflowing with devotion, and is devoted to Me alone, he will reach God; he need not fear or worry for his body and soul.
  • If one never tastes food before offering it to Me, I am his slave.
  • I will never leave anyone in the middle.
  • In the abode of my devotees, there will be no dearth of food and clothing.How can I allow my children to fast or starve?
  • I will not allow my men to get away from Me.

Baba about Himself

Beyond all Dualities exist a Sadguru
  • Iam the slave of God. God is the Lord and the Master
  • This is a Brahmin, a white Brahmin, a pure Brahmin. This Brahmin will lead lakhs of people to the subhra marga (White path or path to Self Realisation) and take them to the goal, right up to the end. This is a Brahmin Masjid.
  • Brahman is my father and Maya is my mother. As they interlocked, I got this body. I am Parvardigar ( God). I live in Shirdi and everywhere.
  • All things are mine, I give everything to everyone.
  • All this universe is in me.
  • All that you see taken together is Myself. He who thinks that Baba is only at Shirdi has totally failed to see Baba.
  • I look on all equally. Not a leaf moves except by My grace.
  • I get angry with none. Will a mother get angry with her kids? Will the ocean send back the water to the several rivers?
  • I do not instruct (anyone) through the ear. Our traditions are different.

Baba’s Teachings

A Sadguru’s Life itself is His Teaching
  • Be the real and true sons of the mother ( Dwarakamai). And fully stock your magazine. What is to become of us? Earth will return to earth, and air ( breath) will return to the air. This opportunity will not return.
  • Give up all desires and dwell in your mind upon God-in-all. If the mind is thus concentrated, the goal is achieved.
  • For Dhyana ( Meditation), meditate on me as formless, mere Ananda. If that is hard, then think of my form, just as, you see it here. Think of it night and day. With such meditation, the mind dissolves into unity. The difference between the subject, object and the act of contemplation  will be lost. This results in Chaithanya Ghanatha ie, Brahma Samarasata.The Guru’s glance is bread and milk for the desciple.
  • If you make me the sole object of your thoughts and aims, you will attain paramartha, the supreme goal.Look at me with undivided attention; so will I look at you. This is the only truth that my Guru had taught me. The four sadhanas and the six sastras are not necessary. With entire confidence, trust your Guru. That is enough.
  • Stick to your Guru with unabated faith, what ever the merits of other Gurus and however little the merits of your own.
  • It is not the Guru that makes himself your Guru. It is you who must regard him as your Guru., ie, place faith in him. Take a postherd and regard it as your Guru and see if your goal or aim is reached or not!
  • My Guru, after depriving me of everything, asked me for two paise. I gave them to him. He did not want metallic gifts. What he asked for was 1.Faith ( Nishta) and 2. Saburi ( Patience or cheerful endurance.)
  • One should not stay in any place where saints (or one’s Guru) are spoken ill of.
  • If anybody is angry with another, he wounds me to the quick. If anyone abuses another, I feel pain. If anyone bravely endures abuse, I feel highly pleased.
  • If anybody comes and abuses you or punishes you, do not quarrel with him. If you cannot endure it, speak a simple word or two, or else leave the place. But, do not battle with him and give tit for tat. I feel sick and disgusted when you quarrel with others….Do not fight with any; nor scandalize any. When one talks ill of you, pass on unperturbed. His words cannot pierce your body. Others acts will affect only them and not you. Its only your acts that will affect you. If others hate us, let us take to Nama Japa ( Chanting God’s name) and avoid them…..Do not bark at people; do not be pugnacious. Bear with other’s reproach….This is the way to happiness. Let others and the world turn topsy-turvy, but do not mind that; keep on to your own straight course. The world maintains a wall…..between oneself and others. Destroy this wall. Allah Malik (God is the supreme Lord.)
  • Have regard to Rinanubandha. Who ever or what ever creature comes to you, do not drive it away, but receive it with due consideration. Give food to the hungry, water to the thirsty and clothes to the naked. Then  God will be pleased.
  • If anyone begs anything of you, if you can grant the request or get it granted, do so, Don’t say ‘No”. If you have nothing to give, give a suave ‘no’; do not get angry with him. If you do not like to part with what you have, do not say falsely that you have nothing to give. Decline to give it in polite terms and say circumstances and desires stand in the way.
  • Work, utter God’s name, read scriptures. If you avoid rivalries and bickerings, God will protect you.
  • We should never kill a snake.Because it will never kill us unless it is ordered to do so, by God. If  God has so ordered it, we cannot avoid it.
  • If anyone talks ten words to us, let us answer with one word, if we reply at all. Do not battle with any…. Who is whose enemy? Do not say anyone that he is your enemy. All are one and the same.
  • Among the six vikaras (feelings) jealousy is the easiest to conquer. In this vikara, there is no question of (actual) gain or loss to ourselves. Jealousy ( Matsara) is the inability to endure another’s profit and prosperity. If another gets fortune and power, we cannot put up with it; we scandalize him. When he meets with a loss, we rejoice.But, is this good? When that man attains prosperity, what loss have we really suffered? But, people do not consider this point. If he benefits, let us consider ourselves benefited; or let us strive to attain equal good. That should be our desire and determination. What has he taken away of ours? Nothing! He received the prosperity that is the result of his Karma.
  • Never accept gratis, the labour (or property) of others. This should be the rule of your life.
  • You must always adhere to truth and fulfil all the promises you make.Have faith and patience. Then, I will be always with you wherever you are.
  • What ever you do, do thoroughly. Else, do not undertake.
  • Adhere to vairagya (dispassion). Women are a great danger to an ascetic.Think of God and kill out the ego. A person that has not overcome lust cannot see God.
  • Do not borrow for celebrating a feast or festival, or for pilgrimage.
  • Athithi (guest) is what ever creature is hungry and comes to you  at  the lunch time, whether it is human being or a bird, beast or an insect. All these seek food. The real athithi that you get, that you do not regard as such ….At Kakabali (offering food to crows) time, take plenty of boiled rice outside the house and leave it there. Do not shout or call for any creature nor drive any away. Whatever the creature that comes to eat, let not that disturb your mind. You get – thus – the merit of feeding lakhs of guests!
  • Eat very little. Do not go for a variety of eatables. A single sort, ie, dish will suffice.
  • The earth bears seeds. Clouds rain on them. The sun sends his rays, and makes them sprout. When these sprout, earth, clouds and sun keep on their happy course in all directions. They neither exult at the growth nor deject at the destruction of the sprouts. You should be unaffected like these.If you are, when can sorrow come to you? Mukti ( liberation) is this absence of sorrow.
  • We are not to bother ourselves about the beauty or ugliness of the person, but to concentrate solely on God underlying that form.
  • What God gives is never lost and what man gives never lasts.
  • People wrongly think they are different from one another.  Iam inside you and you are inside me. You continue to think in this way. Then you will realize it.

Miscellaneous

A True Master Remains Simple and unassuming
  • Never argue. Reply to 10 words with one.
  • God is afraid of evil and evil is afraid of God.
  • Whenever 10 persons join, there is a rub.
  • Money says, “ If you use me well, I shall serve you well.”
  • Food (meal) says , “ Cook me well and I shall serve you well.”
  • A Yogi is always better than a bhogi.
  • He who, being a king, wears a beggar’s robe is good.
  • People have a house each – I have none.
  • The fruit of good is great; of evil, very little.
  • I travel thousands of  kos ( 1Kos = approx 3miles) to protect thousands of people.
  • This ( Baba himself) is no servant of anyone; this is the slave of Allah only.
  • One should be content to remain as God keeps him.
  • One should know the Master. Or else, Why have you come?To collect dung cakes?
  • One should know the inmates of Wada ( lodge)
  • The name of Allah is eternal; Allah is all-in-all.
  • Once the strings are entrusted to the Sadguru ( Absolute Master), there is no cause for grief.
  • There is a low-born one ( Mahar) in the body; he should be evicted.
  • Either we must resort to someone or we must show the path to others.

Golden Words of Sai Baba ( Excerpts from Baba – The Master by Acharya E. Bharadwaja. Deepest Pranaams to Sri Bharadwaja, the self-realized one.)

Another Excerpt – Relevant for all times:

Curious to know what Baba was doing, Nana asked him why he was scrutinizing the same coins again and again. Baba replied, “Beta (dear son), it is true I am repeating the same action again and again, repeating the same words. Look at the mango tree in front of you. It is in full bloom. The leaves are hardly visible. If all the flowers in the tree were to become fruits, will the branches be able to bear the weight? But it does not happen that way. Most of the flowers are swept away by the wind. Many others drop of their own account. Only some of them become fruits. Of these some are eaten by squirrels, birds, or monkeys. In this way ninety percent of the flowers do not result in fruits. Only ten percent remain in the tree. Is it not so?” They agreed, that it was so.
Baba continued, “In the same manner thousands of devotees are coming to me. Are they all ripening into good devotees? Many drop away in the middle. Some come for getting their desires fulfilled. Some seek wealth. Many are coming either for study or in connection with jobs, marriage or other personal desires of their own. In each of them, there is some defect or other. No one comes for My sake. I have a precious thing to offer in my coffers. But no one seeks it. It is for this reason that I am examining them (coins). Among these coins there are some which are worn out, some which are debased, and some which are twisted and worthless.”
“Just as I am examining the defects in these coins, I am also looking for the defects among the devotees who come to Me. I am trying to find out what defects are there in these people and whether, with those defects; they can really comprehend My Truth. They want Me, but all their desires are related to mundane objects. How can they attain Me with this attitude? How can you reach your destination if you get into a wrong train going in some other direction? They want Me, but they don’t make efforts for realizing Me. Among those who come to Me, it is only one in a thousand who really makes the efforts to realize Me.”
“The minds of the “so called” devotees are turned in the wrong directions. If their desires are fulfilled, they praise Me. But, once a desire is not realized they go to the extent of even reviling Me. Even while they are attempting to understand Me, they harbor doubts from head to foot. Some even leave Me, when their worldly desires are not fulfilled. These are not sincere devotees at all. They are in fact worst sinners. How can they reach Me?” said Baba.

I surrender all my sundry expressions at the feet of Lord Sai Bhagawan

Great Masters – Shirdi Sai Baba

A Master Beyond Comparisons

Nobody knows where He came from. Everybody knows that He is still very much Alive and Omnipresent. He answers to people’s calls. He still appears in physical form. He instantaneously grants boons and blessings. He conveys messages through dreams as well as through various mouths of His. A true master of masters. Words cannot justifiably explain the phenomenon called Shirdi Sai Baba. I humbly bow to this avatar. I prostrate at His feet.

A True Avadhootha – A True Avatar

He lived in a dilapidated mosque in a village called Shirdi in Maharashtra, constantly attributed everything to the Lord by repeating “Allah Maalik” and never took any ownership. The whole ownership, of every thought, word, action and miracles always stayed with Allah. He never had anything to do with it. He was an avadhootha – a renunciate who always reveled in his omnipresence and was always in tune with the Universal consciousness. They are born to bless the world. Baba explicitly conveyed His universality while He existed in His physical body and even more, after exiting it. He never bothered to explain where He came from and what His mission was. His pedigree was immaterial to the brilliance of His stature. He confused many people with His ordinary, unassuming fakir looks, yet extra ordinary presence. His major mission seemed to be to unite the warring Hindus and Muslims, while the British policy was to divide and rule. In that sense, he was uniting what the British were separating. He worked in a subtle, but sure way. Like any great master ahead of his time, He was also misunderstood by the then society. Many considered him as mad. Many thought He was fake. Many objected to Him collecting dakshina (offering or donation to express gratitude to Guru or Lord, in the micro sense). The fact remained that what ever He collected each day, was distributed on the same day. He never saved anything. He never accumulated wealth. He mostly took from the rich and distributed to the poor. He took money and removed karmas of seekers. In the end, all that remained in His pocket was sufficient money to bury His body. He only kept that saving always. He saved nothing else. Just like any true master, He had no needs of His own.

Baba Lives in All Beings. By feeding an animal, we are feeding Baba.

Baba is not to be understood intellectually nor to be worshiped mechanically. Baba has to be felt. Baba works subtly through many bodies or takes any form at will. He gets the show moving in the most unexpected way, and keeps His devotees guessing. His purpose is to destroy expectations and increase faith. To many, at the most unexpected moment, Baba has appeared as a beggar, a wandering monk, a fakir, a dog, a cat, a pigeon, a crow or even a snake. Nobody can say in which form He will appear and when. Baba wants us to respect all creation. We should not kill either. We should be compassionate to all beings. We should share our food with other beings. Blessings happen through various bodies. We should never underestimate any creation of God. Baba always teaches us love and compassion. He lives and works through many creatures so that we always stay benevolent for His sake. Life cannot be taken for granted.

Significance of Dakshina (Offering/Donation to express gratitude)

As mentioned earlier, Shirdi Sai Baba used to collect donations and distribute it to the needy on the same day. He never stored any money, except what was required for his funeral. He also over-paid for all services rendered to him. He never ever bargained. Those who tried to cheat him, used to experience great difficulties in their life ahead. This is the same with all spiritual masters. All those who hurt, cheated or harmed spiritual masters, suffered many troubles over lifetimes. They accumulated huge karma by such deeds. Masters were not perturbed by any wrong doings nor took any revenge against anyone.

Through his action, Baba was teaching us that accumulation of anything is bad, including karma. Money becomes alive when it is transacted. Stagnant money is of no use for anyone. This was one significant lesson that he wanted us to learn. When accumulated, it is a burden and when released, it liberates us. When we try to accumulate, we distance from God because tendency for accumulation is a result of our insecurity. A man with firm faith is never insecure. When our faith increases, accumulation decreases. It liberates us. Liberation is the sign of proximity to God. In the same way, a person with his eyes constantly focused on future is prone to tremendous insecurity. Astrologers and fortune tellers will be ruling his life. Pardon the slight deviation. So, we should keep sufficient money for our purposes and use the rest for the good of others, including environment, animals and birds.  Thus we stay light and liberated. I am sure you would have read in Sai Satcharitra about the rich man who came for moksha and, even though he had plenty of money in his pocket, he was not willing to share a fraction of it with Baba. Baba then tested him by pretending to be in urgent need of money. How can such binding to money help moksha or liberation? Look into ourselves, most of us are of the same nature. We do not care about others. Our comfort is the only important thing for us. Some people do not even care for their families. That again, is besides the point, but we definitely need to be aware.

On a physical level, what ever calories you accumulate need to be burned or else, obesity and disease will happen. What ever we eat also should be excreted on the same day or else constipation will happen and toxins will be released into our system, which in turn, could get blocked. The water that we drink goes out of our body as sweat or urine without much delay. But if it stagnates?  Thus, in physical level, we are constantly accumulating and releasing. We have to, or else, we will die. Body does not allow health and accumulation together. Either good health or accumulation. Internal accumulation of food becomes fat.Weight is a problem for many. We are constantly told to watch our weight. However, even if nobody reminds us, we become watchmen to our own wealth, afraid to spend and afraid of theft. The same way we crave for money, we crave for food. We eat emotionally. We accumulate emotionally. Only when intellect takes over, we become moderate. BUT, when do we allow intellect to function??? So, just like Baba collected Dakshina and distributed it on the same day, we have to eat only what we need and burn it out on the same day. Unemotional eating habits and limited consumption will ensure and maintain good health.

Similarly, on the emotional plane, we accumulate a lot of emotional garbage while experiencing various situations during our waking hours. Emotion plus thought, word or action creates karma. Hence, we have to trash all emotions that we accumulate each day, on the same day itself. How do we do it? Through replaying incidents and forgiving, meditating, chanting mantras, or attending bhajans or poojas. This is why traditionally, people were asked to wake up in the most subtlest of times of the day – Brahma Muhoortha – between 3 and 6AM – and do yoga, chant mantras and meditate. This will strengthen their minds, reinforce it and make it impregnable for emotions to easily penetrate and establish within. When we do that, there will not be much accumulation of  emotional trash each day. Hence, before going to bed, it is enough to forgive and forget and surrender all thoughts, words and actions at the feet of the Lord. We will then get emotionally purified. This is like an internal bathing or cleansing. Since through everyday life,  we allow emotions to run wild quite unconsciously and we create emotional trash as we live an emotional existence, the  elimination of it is equally important. If this cleansing is not done regularly, just like we stink if we do not take bath twice a day, our mind will become contaminated with emotional filth. This increases our karma and invites catastrophes. Moreover, it ensures confusion in our life. Hence, it is important to trash all emotions each day and cleanse ourselves internally.

On the intellectual plane, we accumulate knowledge each day. It also has to be converted into purposeful and benevolent action immediately. Knowledge is raw dough until it is baked and made usable. So, intellectual knowledge, if it remains like unused wealth, becomes a burden. This burden can also be called EGO. Ego beyond a reasonable limit is useless as well as dangerous. It distances us from God. Faith and surrender takes us closer to God, while ego separates us from God. So, a man who is proud of his intellect and knowledge is like a prisoner who is proud of his prison cell. These are words of Fr. Anthony D’Mello.  Therefore, what ever intellectual matter we accumulate each day, it must be processed and made useful for others on the same day. Otherwise, it contaminates and isolates us. This adds to repeated births and deaths, until ego is broken and nullified like a coconut at the feet of the Lord, through various hardships of life. Ego is the shell of the coconut. Only once it is broken can we taste the sweet kernel and nourishing water of divinity. So, Baba shows us how we should also take care of our intellect. Baba is a supreme master and His ways of teaching are quite unique and inimitable.

Reality Stays Well Beyond Senses. A Master should be Felt, not just looked at

Grace is not easy. It needs perfect surrender. Once Grace flows, life becomes very easy. We have heard many lectures where people talk about awareness. What is awareness? How does one become aware? It is easy. Look at the children. Small children. They start their life through feeling. They feel the ground, they feel their mother, father, a flower, a comb, a brush; they feel heat, cold, clothes, bed, etc, etc. When they grow older and their senses starts to co-ordinate with their mind, they start forming concepts. Then, they detach from feeling to knowing. We have to get back to feeling first. Become a child. Feel everything. Feel food, feel relationships, feel weather, feel sunshine, feel flowers, birds, animals or their behaviorism. When we start feeling, our mind is in the present – because, you need your conscious mind to feel. When you establish in feeling, emotions are at check. You will start accepting realities as they are, without resistance. Resistance breeds emotions. Emotions breed karma. So, when we shift ourselves to the feeling mode, we shift to the non-karmic existence mode which is quite liberating. When we are well established in the feeling mode, we will be “wonder-fueled”, like a child. And this helps awareness. Feeling will lead to awareness. It expands our consciousness to that level where we feel rather than depending on our senses to know. Dependency on senses is quite limiting. Awareness makes us unlimited. Please understand that those who talk about awareness are sometimes only aware of their wallet. Hence, do understand that this is a self-help path. Nobody else can increase or reduce your level of awareness. The benefits of “feeling” are aplenty. By feeling, I do not mean emotions. If you feel and become emotional, it is anti liberation. This feeling is the feeling related to wonder. This is how the child feels the world. When emotions are overflowing with feeling, understand that mind is having a field day. It is dragging you with it. So, use the wonder aspect in you and feel everything. Even feel happiness or sorrow. Do not get drowned in both. If you are constantly operating in the feeling mode, even negativity will not stay within your mind. Hope I have clarified it enough. If not, please ask. I shall try to explain differently. This was an excerpt from one of my communions with Baba.

There is much more to talk about Sai. A life time will not be sufficient. I shall narrate my experiences later. If you have a Sai Satcharitra with you, please read it everyday, at least one chapter per day, and surrender your thoughts, words and actions at His feet. If you do not have a copy, please buy one and start reading it. May Sai Bless You with Deep Peace, Prosperity and Strength to make your world a better place. Sai Bless YOU.

My Sai Experiences will Follow

Aum Sai Ram

M

 

LOOK WITHIN to see BABA