Scribblings of A Shirdi Sai Devotee - Chapter 1
Chapter 1 : Sai Baba - The Saint of Shirdi
"Sri Sai Baba is the master of Existence, the Sat Guru, the bosom of Bliss, the ocean
of Peace, the store-house of Power, the revealer of Truth, the master-being sporting
the hearts of all beings mobile and immobile................ Take refuge in His
oceanic compassion and be at perfect ease, leading care-free life. Remember the
words of Sai who scattered the bread of Grace even to the poor, the wretched, the
lowliest and the lost.
"Why should you fear when l am here. Cast all your burdens upon me and I shall bear
- Swami Sivananda Saraswati.
Sai Baba is not a myth or a non-historic personality. The Saint lived with us in
flesh and blood till 15 Oct. 1918 - the Vijai Dashmi Day on which He took His
Mahasamadhi. He has been and still is the all pervading living force that moulds and
transforms the lives of million of His devotees regardless of their religion-Hindus,
Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Parsees alike.
Who was Sai Baba? What was He? What did He live for?
In fact Baba had no name. Mahalsapati, a
devout Brahmin, when first saw Him, accosted Him as 'Sai' - a name by which he came
to be known. His origin is unknown. As a young man about sixteen, He came to the
village of Shirdi in the Ahmednagar district
of Maharashtra near about 1854 and made His abode under a Neem Tree. Day in and day
out people saw Him sitting on a rock talking
little, meditating much. To many of the simple
folk who passed that way, He appeared to be mad. It was not given to them to
recognise His greatness, let alone divinity when they saw it. All the same, in
thesimple ways of villagers, they tried to give Him alms; He neither refused nor did
He accept them.
He lived within Himself. There was not much give and take between Him and the
villagers. He did go out amongst them to take what was given, but never asked for
more. Many times He came back empty handed. He held communion only with Himself and
The first realisation that He was something out of the ordinary came when a miracle
was seen. A few shepherd boys were playing near the 'Neem' tree under which He was
sitting, and suddenly they saw a fullgrown cobra with raised hood,moving from the
under-bush towards one of their playmates. There was pandemonium, each child trying
to get away from the danger spot except the one for whom the cobra was making a
bee-line; he was too paralyzed with fear to move or to cry. Shri Sai saw the danger
and in a split second before the cobra could strike, He gently unbraided the snake
for trying to harm an innocent child. "Why do you want to harm an innocent child?
Please go back," He told the snake. Poised to strike, the snake turned in its track
and moved to where Shri Sai was sitting, touched His feet with its head and
penitently moved away. These children and one or two elderly shepherds who hadseen
the whole incident, quite naturally went and spread the tale round the village.
While there was no marked change after this in the general attitude towards Him, the
villagers now looked upon Him with new respect, as one who was somewhat different
from them. By ones and twos they came to Him, sometimes with wonder in their hearts
but mostly out of curiosity. The Neem tree no longer gave Him the seclusion that He
wanted and so Shri Sai moved into the quiet corner of a dilapidated old mosque which
He called "Dwarkamai". He lived amongst its crumbling walls with only snakes, bats
and owls as company.
From one of the worm-eaten rafters He suspended a plank six feet above the ground
where He used to sleep.: How He got up on the plank unaided remained a mystery, as
much of a mystery- as how the torn rags with which He suspended it could hold His
weight. But, all the same, He could still beseen sitting under the 'Neem'
where-under he said, was enshrined His Guru's place. When dug up, two rooms
with lights burning were found under the
One day, He went into the village and as usual asked for a little oil to burn lamps
at His 'Dwarkamai'. But the shopkeepers had by then got tired of giving oil free to
Him and after conferring with one another finally decided not to oblige Him any
more. Empty handed but quite unperturbed, SaiBaba went back to His dilapidated old
abode, to His snakes, and His owls and His bats, followed at a respectful distance
by a few people of the village . They saw Him put some water in the lamps, place
cotton wicks in them and set aflame and lo, not only were the lamps lit but they
remained alight spreading a heavenly glow throughout the night.
It was then that realisation dawned on the people that here was not an ordinary
mortal, nor a saint or fakir but some one divine, who had come to sanctify their
village. From then onwards, like the fragrance of spring flowers, His fame wafted
round and spread in the village, in the taluka, in the district and then in the
Baba never preached any religion. He never even interfered in the religious
practices of His devotees. Whatever religion they belonged to, it was all the same
to Him. Caste, creed, colour or status of His devotees never mattered to Him, He
only believed in thedivine law of love and the attainment of Godliness through faith
and love. He did not, therefore, found a new creed or a new sect. His 'Dwarkamai'
was a meeting place of all religions. He gave His blessings in the form of 'Udi'
(ashes) from the Sacred fire burning in the 'Dwarkamai' accompanied by the vocal
blessing 'Allah Bhala Karega'. To Him the rich and poor, the high and the low, the
learned and the ignorant, the Brahmins and the Sudras, the sick and the healthy were
all alike. He was the embodiment of the concept of universal love of God, given by
Bhagwan Krishna in Gita -
समोअहम् सर्वभूतेषु न मे द्वेष्योअस्ति न प्रियः
ये भजन्ति तु माँ भक्त्याँ मयि ते तेषु चाप्यहम
(I am the same to all beings. To Me there is none hateful nor dear. But
those who worship Me with devotion, are in Me, and I too am in them.)
Sai Baba was a 'Siddha Purusha'. He had command not only over the bodies and
minds of people but even over the five elements. Once some people who had come to
see Him were prevented from catching the night train for Bombay by a terrific storm
which was raging. Without being told,Baba , who knew their difficulties, looked up
towards the sky and said "Hey : enough of that, stop it now; My children have to go
back". The storm abated.
Sai Baba taught His devotees the value of truth, the value of faith and the value of
love for attaining eternal salvation. He did perform miracles, not because He wanted
to impress thepeople with His powers, but because He sometimes found it was the
simplest way to lead a non-believer to become a believer in God and His powers. He
showed miracles, so that 'those who came to scoff may remain to pray". He showed
them favours. He fulfilled their desires. He showered His blessings on all those who
came to Him beaten and battered by life's buffets; so that through Him and His
actions they could see the love and mercy of God. OutwardlyBaba bestowed temporal
benefits on His devotees but inwardly these were designed to lead them on to the
path of spiritual progress. The sick were healed, the childless couples were blessed
with children, the doubting acquired faith, the blind got eyes through His Grace.
There was only a single thread running through all His actions, all His decisions,
all His words; His efforts to help His devotees to rise above their ephemeral lives
and to bathe in the immortal consciousness of the Inner Divine.
Source: Posted By Ms Hetal Patil to SBOI GROUP.