Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi SAI BABA OF SHIRDI – A GOD !

Are the present Gods not enough? (Clarification of doubts)

CHAPTER ONE

In the year 1990 Image,1 had a pleasant encounter one day with a friend of mine. I requested him to subscribe for a spiritual magazine, Saileela being published every month from Shirdi. He disparagingly remarked: ” Is Shirdi Sai Baba also a God? Are the present Gods not enough? I responded furiously by saying “Yes – Sai is God – Present Gods are not enough”.

The words of my friend hurted my ego. I felt that my friend belittled My Sai Baba. My friend’s strange behavior compelled me to introspect. After a while I said to myself: “Why should I be angry with him? I suddenly remembered the episode of the Bandra boy (Master T).”

Once Sai Baba asked the Bandra boy (Master T) to go to Bapu Saheb Jog to fetch Dhakshina. (A small amount of donation as offering to God, Guru or Brahmine etc). When the boy arrived at Sathewada, Jog and some other devotees were having discourse on, Dhruva Charitram-(A book on Dhruva’s devotion to Lord Vishnu) and they indulged in certain critical comments about Saints thus: “Sadhus (Saints) may sometimes imbibe some powers by the grace of God; yet they cannot be considered as Gods or God’s incarnations.”

Listening to these words, the boy returned to Baba in a fit of anguish and questioned him: “Baba! Why have you sent me there? They say that you are not God at all”. Baba replied, “That is the truth; I am a poor fakir (mendicant). God is great! None can equal Him”.

In the meanwhile some devotees arrived and informed the gathering how Baba had saved their child falling down from the top of a building. Baba countered: “What else can I do? Can I be indifferent to my child falling down except to protect him with my four arms”. The Bandra boy, listening to this, suddenly jumped up and questioned: “Baba, you have just told that you are not God! Then how could you have four arms?” Baba did not answer but smiled at him in affirmation.

This incident flashed to my mind. I felt that it was Baba who ordained me to approach my friend and it was he who made my friend to raise certain queries, and thus subjected me to a test.

I felt that one should not to get annoyed or angry with those who question us about some thing? Had there been no such eager seekers, there may not be any Smruties, Sruties or Puranas. Doubts give scope to pertinent questions. Why should we be angry with the person for questioning? Instead let us endeavour to provide a satisfactory reply by giving factual information about which they are ignorant. It is better to keep mum and leave the place if we do not prefer to respond. Let us not lose our temper and peace of mind. We should not be too concerned with the acceptance or rejection of our views. It is foolish to imagine that we can attract everybody by convincing them to our way of thinking. Every one has a right to have his or her own thought and decision. Truth will unfold at an appropriate time.

I know that it is an impossible task for a small and insignificant person like me to detail about Almighty’s real nature. Let the learned pardon me for my audacity. The inspiration to speak comes from Lord Sai himself. I have full faith that He will get the mistakes, if any, suitably corrected.

My friend’s two questions are:

I. Is Shirdi Sai Baba also a God?

II Are the present Gods not enough1?

It is obvious from the questions that my friend is a ‘Theist’ (One who believes in the existence God). I am glad about it.

To the second question: “Are the present Gods not enough?”-My friend seems to be under the impression that as it is there are many Gods in Hinduism. Probably he refers to the various deities that are being worshipped by different sects. He may also be vexed with their antagonisms and quarrels. But one thing is very clear. He is of the firm opinion that God is there. Let us discuss this second question first and then delve into the realm of the first question later.

Who is God?

Who can answer this question truthfully? God only knows he answer. The wise men explain about God from their own personal experiences. Philosophers describe God, and His manifestations. In fact God is very different from what they know and describe. Despite their constant and continuous search no one has been able to know the Infinite and the Absolute. The terms God and Godliness cannot be subjected to arguments and s beyond our comprehension.

The truth that God exists is crystal clear. The opinions and views propounded by various people about God are one only, though the words appear to be different. The ultimate goal is the same. It is to realize God, who is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. To realize Him, different paths have been pounded by the Smruties, Puranas and Itihasas. They are off shoots of the Vedas. Based on these, the founders of different religious sects professed their own theories. Superficially, they may appear as different. But a careful detailed analysis reveals that the essence of all religions is to realize God, and attain a state of Permanent Bliss – Sat – Chit – Ananda state.

No other work in world literature is as ancient as the Vedas The Rigveda says: (8-7-17-3)

“The entire universe was enveloped in utter gloom an darkness before the creation and Swayambhoo (Creator), the embodiment of wisdom, was present both inside and outside that with the naked eye. darkness. He neither had a beginning nor an end. Emerging out’ of the darkness, He created this universe by his unique power and inimitable wisdom.”

“He is the Atman, the Universal Soul, Purana Purusha, and the ever-lasting. Being perfect, incomparable, and imperceptible, He transcends all Maya (illusion) and enjoys beatitude. He is Amruta Purusha (one who gives the sweetness of delight)”. Siva Purana also explains the same graphic description of the Godly form.

How to believe that God exists?

Vedas propound the existence of God and He cannot be seen

“No one can behold God with his eyes, but by removing the impurities in our hearts and minds we can perceive Him with our intellect”

Manu also expresses the same opinion. (Manusmriti, 5-7)

“There was nothing but darkness before this creation. The whole universe seemed to be in a state of sleep. From this Tamas, (Darkness) Bbagawan, the Swayambhoo emerged in divine splendor and effulgence. Gradually, the veil of darkness vanished, God with his own will power manifested himself in an abstract, inexplicable, ancient, indescribable, omnipresent, omniscient form”.

The ‘Vedas’ further say:

“Before the onset of creation, when nothing was there, only I remained. I was beyond description. In the great dissolution and deluge also, only I remained. This visible universe is not different from Me. Ultimately, only I will remain.”

In the Bhagavatha Purana, in the Dasarna (Tenth) Skanda, is said (10-14,23):

In our life from birth to death, we come across several phenomenal changes. Many riddles do appear, grow and vanish in our very presence. The planets like the Sun the Moon and the Stars appear in the sky doing their appropriate functions. Are these an admixure of the five elements moving about because of mutual attractive power? Or is there an Omnipotent Creator or Controller of the universe who conditions and directs them? Our continued search lead us to the inevitable conclusion that there is some unknown, invisible force that guides every thing and to conceive of it may be beyond our comprehension. The Vedas concur with the above.

“God created the Sun, the Moon the Sky and the Earth. We are amazed at the super powers of God when we examine the birth, growth and the death of different species in the universe. It beyond our knowledge and comprehension to know the mystery creation, it’s beginning and the end. We do feel that some mysterious divine force guides this universe since its inception.”

Hence, we feel that there is some primal, ancient, complete, indestructible, all pervasive cause for this creation and that supreme cause is God only, who is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent and an embodiment of Sat-Chit-Ananda (ever lasting bliss). This indescribable power is known by myriad names. He is Parameswara – Parabrahma • Brahma – Narayana-Bhagavan – Vasudeva – Siva • Vishnu – Rama – Krishna -Jahovah-Deva – Khuda – Arha – Buddha – Allah – etc.,

God is one but He is called the Trinity – Brahma – Vishnu -Maheswara, (Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer.)

The Vishnu Purana says:

” Though God is one, He is called Bramha when He creates the universe, Vishnu when He preserves it and Siva, when He destroys it “.

Bhagavatha Purana says:

“Oh! Brahmin! I assume different names when I begin the task of creating this universe, protecting it and annihilating the same”. This proves that Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara are not different and the sum total of the Almighty.

What is that God’s ‘Swarupam*? (form, attributes)

The Vedas say: “God is truth, Gnana (wisdom) and infinite” Bhagavatha Purana says thus:

“God is Parabrahma – embodiment of perfect truth -Omnipotent – Omnipresent – Omniscient – embodiment of knowledge and Wisdom. He is always in eternal bliss. He stage manages this creation through different bodies without himself having any physical form. He is pure – total – and has neither a beginning nor an end. He is second to none – He is one only but appears in different forms.”

In some other context, in the same Purana, it is said: “He shines as Aatman in different bodies. He is Pure – Purana Purusha (unique single minded individual) – Self effulgent – Complete -Parameswara – Narayana – Bhagawan – Vasudeva. He makes every form created by Him to shine with His Yoga Maya (divine illusion).

Again in the same Bhagavatha Purana, in the second skanda, a vivid description of God, the Parabrahma, is given.

Janaka Rajarshi (a saintly person among the kings) pleaded with the seers. “Oh! Great seers! You are all eminent philosophers and seekers. Kindly enlighten me about Narayana, the Parabrahma and His attributes.”

To this, the sage Pippalayana replied:

“Oh King! Know that it is Narayana, the Parabrahma, is beyond the scope of any cause; and yet, He is the cause for the creation, preservation and destruction of this vast universe. Being present both inside and outside, He envigorates these living bodies. They (these bodies) perform various functions through their sense and other organs when the vital power (Prana) dwells with them. God, the premordial force is always present in all these bodies and in all the three stages viz: Swapna (Dream), Jagrit (awaken state) and Sushupta (state of deep sleep). Just as the sparks of fire cannot reach the fire, the five sense elements (Eyes -sight, Ears-hearing, Nose – smell, Mouth – taste, Skin – touch) the organs that perform actions. (Hands, Feet etc), the Mind and Intellect cannot perceive the primordial force. Then how can we describe it? He is without birth and death. He is a witness to all the changing situations. He can exist always and everywhere. He is endless.

He is the sole wisdom. Just as Prana is one, but performs different functions through different organs and appears as a different force the Atman is one, but manifests differently in different bodies, is present in mosquitoes, birds, animals, human beings – in short in all living beings. He is there every where in this universe. He is a silent witness, – to the sushupta state, (a state in which al elements stop functioning temporarily, and body loses its identity of ‘Self’) – and to the awakened state (when we say ‘I had a good sleep’ or ‘I dreamt likes this’). He is always present with us. Thai primordial force ‘Brahmam’ – is God”

Thus Pippalayana described the attributes of God, the Parabrahma, to the King Janaka.

Where God resides?

Svethasvetharopanishad says:

“God is one and unique; He is present in all beings. He in the soul divine in all. He distributes the fruits of all our actions by being an invisible witness. He is devoid of any specific attributes.”

Sruties, Smruties and Puranas emphatically pronounce one single voice that “God permeates in water, fire, air and in the entire universe including bushes creepers and even a blade of grass.

The Sruties further say; “Only those who can see Him in the inner hearts of all beings with a pure, immaculate mind can realize Him and attain eternal bliss.” (Svetasvetharopanishad 4-1′).

There are many such statements, which bear testimony this truth:

“There is no power superior to Him in the universe. No one protects Him. He yearns nothing. He is the primal cause of all ‘our actions. He is the Lord of all. He is not borne to any one. There is no authority over Him”. (Svetasvetharopanishad 6-9)

Lord Sri Krishna in His divine message says:

“Oh Arjuna! The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings (revolving them all by His mysterious power Maya, as if they were objects mounted on a machine” (Bhagavadgita, 18-61)

As Pronounced in Vedas, Yagnavalkya Mahamuni said like this:

“In every man’s heart, there are 1,44,000 Hita-Ahita Nadies [with several branches spread all over the body. In the heart lies ever shining Param Jyoti (Divine light) and our relentless pursuit is to seek that. The one who realizes it knows no birth, no death and attains Mukti (Salvation)"

Veda Vyasa says:

'The divine effulgence shines in us as well as in all other living beings. One can experience this radiance with his inward eye only after controlling his mind and disciplining himself rigorously." Lord Krishna says:

"The light of all lights is beyond the perplexity of Maya who is the knowledge infinite and can only be seen after Sadhana (process of continued practice.), and search with single-minded devotion. He is uniquely seated in the hearts of all."

(Gita 13-18)

Verily he is the seer, who sees the supreme Lord as the only 'Perishable substance abiding equally in all perishable beings",

(Gita 13-28)

Hence let us understand that God is seated in the hearts of all beings.

Sanatana Dharma (Ancient Religion)

The basic theory of Sanatana Dharma (Ancient religion) is to know God, who dwells in the hearts of all living beings. Religion shows a way of leading life. They all profess the same thing but their paths look varied. They firmly believe in the existence of God, and preach different ways to attain Him.

Sage Veda Vyasa in his Brahma Sutras explicitly underlines the essence of all religious tenets and beliefs which are of great interest. Bhagavadgita has provided us a vivid explanation of the Brahma Sutras. What is manifest in different religious practices are varied forms of Religion given in the Brahma Sutras. There cannot be any basic difference between one religion and another. All the religions that prevail now have been expounded, to suit the times and conditions that existed in those countries in order to arrest certain violent trends of behavior in the people and to reform the society. They make the people follow certain codes of conduct and ideals so that contradictory behaviors and conflicting tendencies give way to nobler ways of living. But, in course of time, people forgot the basic principles postulated by the founders and indulged in mutual bickering and developed hatred with vehemence. They, with a closed mind, thought that their religion is the only right one and it only gives salvation. This irrational behaviour of the people is like the old saying 'One blind man leading the other blind man.' Religions are man made. Any religion which preaches that 'God exists' is acceptable to all pious people.

Individual belonging to any nationality has got the liberty to choose his own religion, his God. Others should not have any say in this matter. All the religions in the world can be broadly classified into two categories. Viz.

(1) Following 'Gnana Marga* (realization of God through knowledge)

(2) Following 'Bhakti Marga' (realization of God through prayers, devotion etc)

Similarly the philosophers who seek God also can be classified into two categories.

(1) Dwaita philosophy (Dualistic) -to seek the Parabrahma by the seeker.

(2) Adwaita philosophy (Non dualistic)-Realization of Parabrahma and there by uniting himself with Him (God).

Vedas say essentially these are the two approaches. All other religions preach in between these two schools of thought.

Sage Veda Vyasa says:

"Listen to the principles of Dharma from all the religions and put them into practice. Know that what is harmful and painful to you is equally harmful and painful to others. Therefore do to others what you would like others to do to you. In short this is the essence of 'Dharma'. Any other practice has a shadow of selfishness. How can any one think of killing or harming others, when he himself wants to live happily. You should try to provide others, what you would like to have for yourself."

How to realize God?

In order to realize 'God' one should do 'Sadhana' (particular way of devotion, prayer, meditation tapasya etc.) The sages an philosophers say like this: " A Sadhaka (seeker) may do Sadhana in his own way which is most suitable to him with intense fait and determination. There can not be any mistake in his way Sadhana. When viewed from a different angle with a different notion, one may come across several defects in it. It is, therefore necessary that we should have a clear objective before practice Sadhana and our own goals. It should be remembered that the 'Almighty' may be altogether different from what he perceived about Him. Sadhana is the sole technical path to realize the existence of 'Paramatma'. But let us not think that we should first overcome all our blemishes, doubts before performing an 'Sadhana’. We can rectify our shortcomings later. Truth dawns on us as we relentlessly pursue our path and approach our 'Goals

Let me cite an example to clarify the point. Imagine the way in which one person who witnessed the beauty of the crescent moon, a day after the new moon day, directs his accomplice. He says: "Look at that tree directly and look a little above. You will find the beautiful crescent moon". His accomplice had concentrated as per his directions and felt happy at the sight the crescent moon. Now let us analyse the facts. The moon was not really above the tree. The planet moon was not so small as it appeared to him. Nothing equals to the real form of moon. The moon's actual nature is quite different from what the on looker, behold. No one really understood its true nature and significance The moon, its real glow, real form and nature were not at al present in the crescent moon. Similarly, if realization of God is our Goal, and we concentrate upon Him, we may be able to reach our objective. Like the moon, God is also entirely different from what we perceive him to be. God is not something that can be explained or expressed in words. God or His real form will be known only when we pursue our path with utmost devotion. He is beyond our imagination.

Sruties say: "God is beyond description and imagination and those who make Him their objective and meditate upon Him will attain Him. The seeker need not change his path, once the goal is established in his mind. He has to further strengthen it by his faith and determination".

How to meditate upon God?

If one meditates upon God, in Sahara form (God in a particular form) or Nirakara state (God without any form) the results obtained are the same. The scriptures say that it is difficult to meditate upon God without a form. The two ways of meditation differ only in the way of the Sadhana. He who seeks God in Nirakara state should continue to do so. He who seeks God in Sahara form should continue his Sadhana concentrating upon the form he has chosen. But it is good for him to remember and understand the significance of the Omnipresent state of God. For those who consider the body to be themselves, it will be very difficult to do Sadhana upon God who is Nirguna (without any specific attributes) and Nirakara (form less).

Lord Sri Krishna says in Gita:

“The path of those who seek God in Nirakara state is difficult as such a way of reaching the goal is very hard for those Who have attachment to the body." (Bhagavadgita 12-5)

Some meditate upon God in its pure formless state, while others choose a specific form. Actually, the same God takes the form of 'Sri Maha Vishnu', SriRama 'SriKrishna'. Similarly 'Devi', (Ganesha 'Siva', 'Surya' are also not different from Maha Vishnu'. Sage Veda Vyasa had written the eighteen Parana'

describing acts performed by various Godly forms for those who are interested in them. He has proved that all these Godly forms represent one 'Supreme God* only, the 'Creator', the 'Preserver and the Destroyer. They differ in name and form only. The seeker imagines the name and form of the God to his liking. If one meditates upon a pillar as God, it will become a God only to him, and his meditation will bear the same results as to any other form of God. Only one has to keep full faith and worship upon it.

Lord Krishna says:

"I consider him a great Yogi (sage) who reposes supreme faith on Me, ever united with Me through prayer and worship and keeps Me always in his mind". (Gita 12-2)

The best and the easiest path to attain God is to meditate upon Him in Sahara state with unflinching devotion ant dedication and also with a total awareness of his Nirakara state. The fruits are same in any type of meditation.

Adisankara brought out the secret nature of God and his relationship with His devotees in a nutshell as:

"Oh! God! I am your servant as long as I have the feeling that the Body is mine. Once I get off this feeling of Body Consciousness and realize the Consciousness of the Jiva in me, You are the whole and I am a part of it. If I get rid off the Consciousness of the Jiva also and reach the Soul Consciousness. I am one with You; You and I are the same. This is my firm belief. " The readers should realize that this is the essence of Advaita philosophy as preached by Sri Sankaracharya.

Why does God become Sakara?

(Having a physical form for the sake of his devotees)

God is the embodiment of Eternal Bliss and pervades in the entire universe. Fire, in the form of Nirakara, spreads in all things. It manifests only when certain essential materials are assembled at one place and ignited. The fire so manifested assumes gigantic proportions, depending on the quantity and quality of the fuel. But the Paramatma (God Divine) spreads even beyond air and ether manifests Himself to the seeker as Sahara in the form he desires. God's all pervasiveness is greater than that of Agni (Fire) or Vaayu (Air), as there is no place without His presence. The entire universe is enveloped with His May a (illusion). As said in the Gita -"The creation of Maya around us, is only God's will." Hence it is not at all difficult for Him to manifest Himself before the seeker, when he comes out of Maya. The happiness to the seeker is at His will. God's pervasiveness all over as Nirakara is possible always, but He reveals Himself to the seeker, who is an ardent devotee. That God is Omnipotent can be seen as One in Many and Many in One. That is His wish, which is pure and noble. The wish of a devotee will also depend on the wish of God.

Lord Sri Krishna says to Narada:

Oh! Narada! When ever my devotee sings of me, I shall be present there". He further says "The hearts of the Sadhus are mine and I am in them". This is absolutely true. Just as the fire is present everywhere in an abstract state, so also God is present in the hearts of all in a blissful and unique form. He manifests himself in the inner recesses of the hearts of all devotees.

Sri Sankaracharya says in Prabhoda Sudhakaram:

"God is equally present in all. The devotees experience blessings and benign looks. They exist with nobler feelings and communication with the Almighty and enjoy the eternal bliss'

The Sun's rays fall equally on wood, stone and mirror, but the mirror only gives the accurate reflection. The Sun's image, not seen on wood or stone. Like wise, though God is present ii every one, He is not seen in the stony, impure hearts of an atheist or a non-believer but is seen only in the pure heart of devotee God dwells in the hearts of devotees in the form in which the Worship Him.

While meditating, we should think of God to be universal , Many founders of religions have taught us about the Sagunopasana (meditating upon God possessing all attributes) The seeker should realize that rewards are the same, whatever path he follows.

The Supreme God is worshipped as Siva by the Saivites Vishnu by the Vaishnavites, the Brahmam by all the Philosophers, Buddha by the Buddhists, Karta (the sole doer] by Vaiyayikas the Karma by the followers of Mimamsa, Allah by the Muslims and Arhat by Jains.

I will worship the Lord Sai Prabhu who protects the pious poor and weak, easy to attain representing all forms of God.

CHAPTER TWO

It is now established after a review of the issues dealt with in detail in the earlier chapter that the Supreme God is only one; He is the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer of the entire universe and that He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent and the ‘Inner Self’ of all living beings.

My friend might have felt that Hindu Gods like Sri Vishnu, Sri Krishna, Sri Sankara, Parvati, Sri Rama, Satyanarayana, Ganapati etc., are worshiped as separate Gods when he enquired “Are the present Gods not enough”? We now realize that all these forms represent One and Only God but are known by different names and different forms. The devotees worship them according to their liking. The term God is beyond our comprehension and is inexplicable. God is nameless, formless, and He is Infinite. The God perceived by our senses is the form we imagine Him to be. Let us realise that Vishnu, Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Parvati, Sankara, Ganapati, Buddha, etc., are all the incarnations of the Almighty, in varied forms.

Avatars (Incarnations)

God who is endless, imperceptible and beyond the comprehension of the mind and word, becomes the one who settles down at a place with a definite objective in an Incarnation. The form, so assumed can be within the powers of mind. An Avatara or Incarnation is the expressive form of an inexpressive state. He is all pervasive, yet He steps down from the formless state (Nirakara) to a definite form (Sahara) in order to uplift the demoralised, the oppressed and the suffering people. This does confine to a particular place or time alone.

Lord Sri Krishna says:

Whenever there is decay of Dharma (righteousness) and rise of Adharma (wickedness and cruelty) and people are tormented! God embodies himself and takes birth age after age for the protection of the good and for the annihilation of the evil”,

(Gita 4.7.8)

These Incarnations of God are known differently by different people, in view of the prevailing times, locations, and conditions: We cannot think of one incarnation to be either superior of inferior to the other. Each Avatara has a specific role to play andonce its objective is achieved, it disappears from the scene paving way for the other.

Bhagavatha Purana says:

“Every Avatara or Incarnation has had a value, impeccable prowess, fame, richness, wisdom and detachments in all actions’)

In every Incarnation, God has exhibited Himself in all hid actions to prove the validity and supreme nature of the Avatara} for which he was born like a mortal. We have to take it for granted that God’s divine powers in a small or large measure are always manifested in the particular person or individual.

Our ancestors worshipped the five elements Earth, Air, Sky, Fire, Water the Sun, the Moon, the Animals and even the Birds-on par with God. Even today, certain people indulge in such worship.

Sri Krishna says to Arjuna about His divine manifestation in Gita thus: (10-41)

“Know that all that is glorious, brilliant or powerful is only a manifestation of My effulgence, and splendour’.

A doubt may arise as to why a person is considered to be an ordinary one, if the Supreme God is present in the hearts of all.

The Vedas say; “Narayana is present everywhere and in all the objects”.

Fire is inherent in wood but cannot be seen as it is intrinsic and spread all over. When it is burnt the fire is seen, till then it is wood only but not fire.

Similarly a human being also will be considered as ordinary until Self Realization comes to him

It is said in ‘Prabhoda Sudhakaram': (Advaita chapter 192, 193).

“A piece of wood whether straight or crooked becomes fire when it is ignited. The burning wood may retain its shape, straight or crooked, but we cannot hold it in our hands. Likewise, a realised, Self, may appear outwardly as a normal human being, but he is truly ‘God’, in the form of ‘Aatman* dwelling in the body.”

Lord Krishna says: (Gita, 7-8) It is my opinion that a Gnani (wiseman) is Aatman only”

Sruties say: “Gnanies who know about Brahmam ‘are Brahmam themselves.”

Narada Bhakti sutras say : (14) There is no difference between God and his Real Devotee”

Saint Tukaram says; “The Saint is God and God is Saint, Both are the same”.

There is no difference between a Gnani (the wise), the Seeker and the knower of Brahmam, a Real Devotee, a holy Saint, and Supreme God. Among the holy Saints, there are some who always immersed in the ‘Self’ (Aatman) and are in a state Nirvikalpa Samadhi (constant bliss}. We find some Saints very benevolent. They constantly endeavour to uplift the poor and downtrodden. Some possess all types of wealth and are capable of achieving anything they wish. Verily, one who knows God shall be the perfect embodiment of the Brahmam. Wherever he is and whatever he speaks in any language, becomes Vedas only

Shri Shirdi Sai Baba’s Incarnation – Reasons:

There are two important religions in our subcontinent Hinduism and Islam. Due to mutual animosity, several quarrel involving God took place between the people of the two religious sects. Lord took the form of Sri Sai Baba to preach his message of ‘Prema Tatoam’ (Love towards all human beings) and even extended this to all other living beings.

In the noon ‘Aarati’ (Prayer) at Shirdi, “JayaDevaJayaDeva”-* it is said: “Both religions (Hinduism and Islam) are the same There is no difference between them -1 am the God for both This is the truth – Don’t’ quarrel among yourselves by, misunderstandings.” Thus he corrected the behaviour of the people around him.

Great saints belonging to different religious sects always have; the welfare of the people uppermost in their minds. It is believed by the devotees that Kasi Ramananda Yogi and Kabir were reborn. as Gopalarao Deshmukh (Venkusa) and Sai Baba respectively. One! need not doubt the veracity of it. A Godly person, if his mission on this earth is not completed during his lifetime, will be born to complete it. A review of our Vedas and Puranas bring out this truth. The unbroken relationship of God and His devotees is seen in all incarnations. We call those individuals (Holy saints) as God who brings peace and tranquility to the agitated soul and inspire the people up the path of Dharma. The sole objective of Sais incarnation is to rectify the evil minded hearts rather than to kill the wicked and destroy them. The message of Sai is to “Attain the Heavenly Bliss u sing Love and Faith as Tools” using Love and Faith as tools. There is nothing wrong in worshiping God in any form and calling Him by any name, or in following any religion. We need not change our religion. All religions lead us to the same God. It is necessary for us to have, adaptability and coordination in our efforts, failing which the fall is imminent. The people of different sects/religions can go forward according to their beliefs, leaving their hatred, and shunning ill- will and jealousy towards others. “Ram, Rahim, Krishna, Christ are all one and the same; they should not be considered as different”. Thus Sai made it very clear to us that One can see the different forms of God in Him only. Blessed are those people like Rege Maharaj who witnessed Sri Sai Baba’s divine acts and had first hand experience.

Second reason:

There is another reason for Sai’s incarnation during our times. Let us keep aside the practices and beliefs of other religions for a while. In our country we are aware that the Vedas, Puranas, itihasas are the ancient scriptures and have been the standard works for ages together. We imagine God as Sri Narayana with a conch (Sankhu)- wheel (Chakra)- mace (Gada); lotus in hand, wearing crown with precious jewels, clad in ‘Pitambaram’ (golden yellow doth) seated on ‘Garuda’ (a carrier of Lord Vishnu);or as Sri Sankara – with the ‘Ganges’ in his matted hair, wearing serpents as ‘Bhushanas’ (the ornaments) with trident and ‘Dhamaruka’ (a musical instrument) in hands seated ‘Vrushaba’ Sacred Bull, (a carrier of Lord Sankara), wearing the skin of ‘Gajasura’ (demon). Further we could never imagine the God can who appear as a poor ‘Fakir’ (mendicant) with a ‘Kupni’ and head gear. God’s in carnation as Sai Baba is only underline the fact to the world that God has no specific for: that He can take any form, exhibit divine miracles and bring solace to the sufferers. He, who sees God in Sai Baba shall never resent even a beggar in the street. He feels only Love for all living beings. The incarnation of Sai is to inculcate the true Spirit love and to remove the false pride because of wealth, power education, sense of belonging to higher caste, and attachment. material things due to influence of western culture and civilization.

We should not think that all these things have already been taught to us by Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, and Goutam Buddha and that there is nothing new in His preachings. It may be see: that different people taught the same things, that are already in our ancient Sruties and Smrities, again and again. If good righteous things are repeated, it is neither defective nor does it any way belittle others. Out of our ignorance we still grope darkness even after studying, listening and experiencing. God ever merciful and has immense love for His children. In order’ bring them to the right path, He cajoles them, teaches then brow beats them, pretends anger and subjects them in many ways to constant introspection. God takes the physical form, whenever there is a need. We see every now and then God’s ‘Abhaya Hast (the posture of the hand giving assurance) protecting blessing guiding us with His invisible hands. Knowing fully well, we still succumb to the temptations of ‘Eswara Maya’ (Illusion created by God).

‘Sai showed his wonderful divine powers in all his actions during the last 18 years of his life (1900-1918). Even the great scholars knelt before-Him in awe and humility. All those, who – tried to test Baba, failed miserably. Those, who came under his spell realized the truth that He was their Antaryami (Inner Soul). He appeared to them in the form, they used to worship Him. Baba was neither angry nor annoyed at the ignorance of the people who prostrated before Him. Sai was full of love and compassion. If He was angry with some one for some reason, it was only to make them realize their mistakes. He always drew them nearer to him. Baba had eyes on all those who took refuge at his feet as the ‘Divine Father’. Haunted by their past evil deeds and actions, some had condemned Baba and propagated that all His actions were only the sleight of the hand and a magician’s tricks. During the time of Lord Krishna also, it is said in Puranas, that the people whose minds were filled with Asura Bhavas (evil thoughts), resented miracles performed by the Bbagawan in a similar manner. They could not understand that his birth was only to establish Dharma and justice in all walks of life.

Sri Krishna says to Arjuna: (Bhagavadgita 9-10)

“Fools, not knowing my supreme nature spread over the entire universe, think low of Me. They do not know that / am the Creator, in human form”.

It is very difficult for the common people to understand the secrets of an Incarnation and of God in its totality. The minds of people cannot visualise the real truth as their minds are polluted with the ephemeral, earthly things. They do not even care to know the truth. We cannot obtain the divine grace, unless we have the fruits of our good deeds carried over from past births. our noble actions will beget the blessings of noble saints. We get liberated from the cycle of births and deaths only when we have the blessings of the saints.

Third reason :

Kabir spoke thus: “Our path is not known without the mercy of Sadguru (noble teacher)”. In some other context, he says,: “He, who obtains the mercy of his Guru (teacher), imbibe the wealth of knowledge and wisdom. Even though., human he understands the divinity o Narayana with His grace, and becomes one with Him just like a small creature like a worm transforms itself into a bee”.

Adi Sankaracharya says :”Jiva is the reflection of Brahmam”.

On any matter we should first practice before we preach others and relate our experiences by actions and not by words This has been well demonstrated in the incarnation of God Sai Baba. From an ordinary person He attained the state divinity by His actions. He practiced first before preaching others. God, in the Avatara of Sri Rama followed a Dharma (Deeds based on certain principles) and this Dharma only taught in the Avatara of Sri Krishna. If some one tries to preach before putting into practice he should be considered a cheat a deceitful person.

Let us observe one thing. With fire beneath and water above we cannot boil water without the help of a container. Fire extinguished if the water is more. If the fire rises high, water evaporated. Like wise, a good Guru is the main prop between man and God. Only a Sadguru, nearer to the man by humanism, close to God by his divinity, can improve the lot mankind. By removing them from static state he can elevate them to a higher sphere of life. The incarnation of Sai is to make world know this truth. It will be further clear if we follow the world the Iife history of Sai from the beginning to the end.

Baba said to his disciples: “My methods are unique I have nothing to speak into the ears of my devotees”.

Baba in all his discourses and deliberations revealed the truth that he had attained his present state only because of the bountiful mercy of his Guru.

At first we must realize the great potentialities of a Samardha Sadguru (able, efficient teacher). We should get the idea of seeking such a Guru. In fact a strange fear sets in at the sight of such a person. This fear (fear of God) gradually develops into a feeling of devotion. This devotion in turn becomes mutual love and affection As it grows, they come closer. Finally the Seeker and the Guru unite with each other. This is the greatest secret revealed in the incarnation of Sai. He preached it after practicing the same in the service of his Guru. A living being, who has been blessed with the good and noble actions of his previous life, attains ‘Mukti’ (Salvation), when he seeks refuge in Baba.

Sai desires from his children two qualities only -

(1) Nishta (Intense Faith)

(2) ‘Saburi} (Patience with Courage).

If one offers these two coins as ‘Dakshina (offering of a disciple to his Guru) and completely surrenders to Him, He will take care of all his burdens and leads him in the safest manner to his ultimate goal.

 

CHAPTER THREE

Before dwelling upon the second question, “Is Sai Baba, a God? “, it is essential for us to know briefly about the life history and the mission of Sri Sai Baba.

We are not exactly aware of the actual details of the birth Sri Sai Baba. But according to the information given by Sri Baba himself to his close confederate devotee, Sri Mahalsapati during his last phase of life (in the year 1910 or about) and also as per the writings of other devotees like Das Ganu Maharaj; Hemad Pant, Kaparde etc., the following details emerge.

Baba was born to a Brahmin couple in 1838 in a village Pa near Manwath in Parbhani taluq in the erstwhile Nizam state (A historian wrote that Jamuna Bai and Nandalal were the names of Baba’s parents – how far this is reliable, is not known). The parents entrusted the child in his second year to a fakir (mendicant). The fakir and his wife brought up the child for years. In their custody, Baba learnt good conduct and discipline The fakir, before breathing his last, asked his wife to entrust the care of the boy to Sri Gopal Rao Deshmukh of Selu village.

Sri Gopal Rao was then the Zamindar of the Jintur Paragana appointed by the Pishwas of Maharastra around 1800 AD. was a staunch devotee of Lord Venkateswara. And he, being perfect embodiment of divine wisdom and detachment, endowed with all Siddhies (super natural powers). The people served him as the incarnation of Lord Venkateswara and fondly called him Venkusa.

As directed by her husband, the fakir’s wife brought the six year-old boy to Selu and entrusted him to the care of Sri Gopj Rao Deshmukh. Baba served him as his Guru for twelve years with utmost faith, veneration and devotion. It was only by the grace of Venkusa that Baba inherited all the divine qualities and super natural powers. This is called Saktinipatha, the transfer of super natural powers from the teacher to the disciple.

Baba arrived at Shirdi for the first time in the year 1854. With face glowing bright with divinity, Baba, then an young lad of eighteen, always used to sit and meditate under a sweet neem tree. He left the place after a few days, wandering here and there, details of which were not known.

The Naming of Sai-Baba

Baba again reached Shirdi for the second time in 1857 from the village, Dhoopkeda along with a marriage party consisting of the relatives of Chand Bhai Patil. The marriage party stopped their carts under a Banyan tree outside the village of Shirdi. The temple priest Mahalsapathi (Khandoba temple), noticed Chand Bai and the young lad getting down from the cart. On looking at the boy with a divine aura around him, Mahalsapathi was astound. The handsome appearance of Baba struck a wonderful impression on him. He first thought him to be a Muslim Iad as he was wearing a Kupni and a piece of cloth around his head .He addressed him: Ya! Sai! Baba! Ya! Sai Baba!” (Welcome Sai Baba welcome Sai Baba). This is the will of God. How powerful that great name Sai Baba is to be! This name’ given by Mahalsapathi has become a Mahamantra for the millions of people in the world and the very name provides solace to all the troubled, depressed people in their day-to-day life. Sayee or Sai is the Hindi form of Sanskrit swamy. So, the words Gosai, Goswami have become popular. Mahalsapathi who named the incarnation of Samardha Sadguru as Sai Baba is worthy of our veneration and we salute He is worthy to be remembered at every dawn. The people then started calling the (Siddha Purusha* as Sai Baba from that moment onwards, Sai Baba’s name has gradually spread to surrounding areas. The word Sai (Swamy) signifies the lord the universe: and Baba means father of the universe. It may noted by the readers that the name Sai Baba, Lord and father of the universe, has great significance.

Name-Named

All the incarnations of God are great, but each incarnation has its own specific purpose. The name and the form of that incarnation are of paramount importance to us. In the incarnation of Sai, the Name and the Named have great distinction, as in case of Lord Sri Rama and Sri Krishna.

The incarnation is not the work of anybody, but is the will of God only. The Name has greater power than the Named. What can not be bestowed by the Named, can be achieved by his Name. Sakara Brahmam (God with certain physical form) vanishes after fulfilling its mission, but the Name remains forever. The Named is attached by the force of the Name and the Name itself will take us across the ocean of this mundane life. If we observe the Sahara Mantras (holy words), we do not understand any meaning; but they have wonderful significance. The arrangements or order of the prime letters (Beejakshara) is very great and its fruits wonderful.

We fail to understand the reason for the magnificence of. Sri Sai Baba, whether it is due to special nature of the incarnation or the wonderful powers transmitted to him by His Guru Venkusa, The name Sai Baba has greater powers than the form manifested at Shirdi. Those, who drink the nectar of significance of the Name, can only understand its real greatness

Named-Form

Generally, the form, incarnation of God, in which the divine powers (Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Omniscience) were exhibited is worthy of our worship. In that form, God had established Dharma and saved the poor, weak and oppressed from evil forces. He showed his love and affection to all and granted many rewards to his devotees. That form is pious and worthy of our adoration (Puja) from top to toe. We can worship that form as a photo or as an idol. The results are the same even if we had worshipped Him, when he was physically present He will grant the fruits we deserve in whatever form we seek Him. People should understand the preachings of Sri Sai Baba, try to see Him in all living beings and show love and affection to all in practice in their day to day life. They will surely get his Divine grace and reach nearer to their Goals.

Sai Baba’s arrival at the Masjid – Naming it Dwarakamayee

Sai Baba wanted to stay at Khandoba temple, located at the outskirts of Shirdi. As he was about to enter the precincts of the temple, Mahalsapathi objected to it considering him to be a Muslim. Baba paid respects to Khandoba from outside, and left the place to take refuge in a dilapidated Masjid on the other side of Shirdi .In its front yard, there existed a neem tree which was the seating place of Baba four years ago when he had first arrived The Masjid was the living place of Baba and he named it Dwarakamayee (the mother, named Dwaraka). Baba used to spend some time in the masjid and some time under the neem tree. The Dwarakamayee had its doors open to all at all times. It became a famous place for all devotees to visit and pay respects, as it gave shelter to Sri Krishna Sai (Baba). Baba identifying himself with it (Dwarakamayee -Divine mother), gave his assurances and blessings to the devotees.

Bhagavatha Purana Says: (Skanda 10 – 11 to 17)

“The seer who is engrossed wholly in God (Atma) wanders like a foolish person”.

Always in meditation, Baba used to wander about in the near by forests without caring for food and sleep. Some villagers considered Baba to be a mad man. Some even hurled stones him. Baba received the praises and condemnations with equanimity and behaved exactly like the Bikshu as mentioned in the Bikshu Gita.

The headman of the village Shirdi, Ganapathirao Patel Kote and his wife Bayaji Bai were attracted by Baba’s divine form. Mahalsapathi, who initially objected Baba from entering the Khandoba temple, became his first disciple. His two friends Tukaram Darge and Appa Bhil showed utmost devotion to Baba. Others treated Baba as a mad fakir.

Baba, used to wander in the forest without food. Bayyaji B; (Patel’s wife) used to search for and feed him with great affection Baba reciprocated it in a similar manner stating that she was hi sister in her earlier birth. Her son Tatya Patel used to address Baba as uncle. Mahalsapathi and Tatya are said to be the twoarms of Sai Baba.

Baba stopped wandering in the forests almost after a year and started collecting alms from five fixed houses Shirdi. Whatever was given, he would eat a little and share it with others. He went on curing the patients suffering from diseases without accepting anything in return. The medicines given . the patients were prepared from herbs. Baba used to grow flower plants at Tulasi Brundavan (the place where the present Samadhi mandir is located.) He dug a well near the masjid, and used to water the plants.

Baba used to keep the Dbuni (sacred fire) always in the Dwaraka mayee masjid. He used to light the lamps in the Mosque at night with the oil given to him by some merchants. One day the merchants had refused to give oil to Baba. He filled the earthen lamps with water, soaked the wicks in it and lighted them. Lo! The lights shone more brightly with water than in oil. The merchants were aghast at the miracle and prostrated at his feet. Baba forgave them. He told them not to be liars and warned them that if they utter false hood they would be away from God.

The Hindus worshiped Baba, considering him to be a great Siddha Purusha and Chalte Bolte Dev (walking and talking God). The Muslims loved him, believing him to be a Avalia and Pygambar (prophet). Mahalsapathi first worshiped Baba with sandal paste, flowers, and with the sacred rice thinking him to be Sadguru. The other Hindus followed him but Baba never showed any liking to it. What else could he do? He is the saviour of his devotees, as well as their follower. He consented to their worship. The ritual continued. Some Muslims did not relish the way the Hindus worshiped him and they were bent upon harming the worshipers in the Masjid. Soon they changed their minds, fearing that they might incur the wrath of Baba and walked away from the Masjid.

Baba a Hindu or a Muslim!

This question has often been tormenting the minds of the people who gathered around Baba. From the information available Baba was born to a Hindu couple. As a proof of this fact, his ears were pierced in the early years. (Piercing the ears is a custom of the Hindus but not that of the Muslims).

Baba came into contact with a Muslim Fakir when he two years old. The fakir’s name was not known to us. It is difficult for us to infer the nature of the Fakir who might h belonged to the village Manwat near Patri. Baba used to refer the Fakir in some important contexts and often repeat his words. We can very well understand that Baba, imbibed exemplary conduct and discipline with the close association he had with his mentor, the Fakir, in the formative years. He (Fakir) seemed to be a noble and saintly person who had conquered his senses, an embodiment of pure dispassion, and above all a faithful devotee of the Almighty.

Baba acquired qualities necessary to realize God from the training he had received from the Fakir. (Second to sixth year) Infact the Fakir was his first Guru. The Fakir must have belonged to the Sufi sect. Sufies often attain a state of Samadhi (deep meditation) and utter in Arabic Anal Haque (Aham Brahmasmi), indicating the state of mind that realizes the Ultimate within them. Several followers of Baba heard him repeating the words Anal Haque – (Mai Allah Hum – I am God) every now and then. He revealed himself to the devotees in the form of Lakshmi Narayana – Ganapathi-Dutta-Maruthi-Vittal-Sri Rama-Sri Krishna, and said all those are the forms of Allah and that He Himself was in all such forms.

Baba often uttered Arabic and Parsi words in the beginning when he arrived at Shirdi and was singing lyrics especially that – of Sant Kabir. He used to sing and dance in ecstasy with Chiru in hands (wooden pieces with metal that produces rhythmic sounds) and Gajjalu (anklets with bells).

It is stated in the Sufi religion: 1) It is our ignorance alone that leads us astray. 2) Only God is the doer; our minds and should be absorbed in God, and He does all his deeds through us..3) All we need is only a “Guru”, who elevates us not only with preachings but also with the message, showing his wonderful powers of affection and love. The Guru transmits His wonderful spiritual powers to his disciple. He merges the soul of his disciple with his own and transforms him to his state of divinity.

These qualities are revealed in Baba’s behaviour towards his devotees like Nana Chandorkar and Upasini Baba (His contemporaries) whom he set on the right path. The Fakir carved Baba into a perfect person of good qualities and made him a deserving disciple to seek the shelter of Gopal Rao Deshmukh (Venkusa). How fortunate Baba was! Baba reached the hands of a Sufi saint from Hindu parents and came back to the tender care of a Hindu saint from a Muslim saint. No wonder, Baba was the culmination of two different religions; Baba assimilated the great ideologies of the two great religions and then started preaching socio unity between the Hindus and Muslims.

The Islam religion believes in one Nirakara God where as the Hindu religion has many Godly forms in it and we see the pictures of them like Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Venkateswara, Lakshmi Narayana, Datta, Ganapati etc., in their dwellings. They worship them on several occasions, with a belief as per the Puranic stories. Yet, all these are the many forms of the Infinite and the Absolute Brahmam, In Islam, God is one, and the prophet comes next. They have none other than these two.

Our vedas and Vedantas proclaim ‘Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma, -‘Angaananya Devataa’ (every thing in the form of Brahmamn and all the Devatas are parts of limbs of that absolute self) In the Hymns it is said “Surya (Sun God) Agni (God of Fire) Varun (Rain God) are all considered to be godly forms.

The non-Hindus fail to understand the messages from ‘Upanisbads’ like ‘Matru-Devo-Bhava’, lPitru-Devo-Bbava’ and ‘Atbidbi-Devo-Bhava’ (consider your mother to be Godyour father to be God; and your unexpected guest to be God Even the Muslims agree to some extent with the Hindus on the statement ‘Acharya-Devo-Bhava (consider your Guru to be God). The Sufi sect underlines this truth only, ‘Guru is God and he is to be placed in the hearts of the seekers. Their basic principles are- loving their Guru, meditating upon Guru and seeking union of their soul with the ‘Guru’. The principle of Acharya-Devo Bhava’ is propounded in the ‘Taittaireya Upanisbad.

Having gone to seek refuge under Venkusa from the Sufi fakir, Baba followed the basic tenet ‘Acharya-Devo-Bbava’ which laid unshakable foundation for Baba’s spiritual advancement. Baba revealed how he had spent twelve years of life in the holy presence of Venkusa. His Guru wanted from him his Love only. The Guru wanted Love and Baba wanted Guru only. This is the concept of Sufi culture. Baba served his Guru with Love forgetting every thing in the world. This is what the followers of the path of devotion (Bhakti Marga) like Sri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu have propounded. The single-minded devotion to the Guru will yield unparallel results. Baba, therefore, faced no hindrances in spiritual development when he was transferred to the care of Guru Venkusa from his first Guru Fakir. The path is the same-the objective and the result are also the same .The final result to merge into the ocean of love of the Guru. This principle of love, which Baba imbibed at a tender age under the service Fakir, reached its zenith under the care of Venkusa. Thus the principle of Hindu-Muslim unity bore excellent fruits in Baba

The essence of the principle of these two religions is to reach the goal of perfect blissful state by decisively following the path of pure unbridled love towards all living beings.

The concept of Hindu -Muslim unity found its full expression – in Baba. He often used to utter the words Allah, Fakir or Hari while referring to God. For him chanting of Allah is synonymous with chanting of Hari. In Saint Kabir, who became the Guru of Sufies, one can observe this harmomousness and unity. Baba pronounced once that Kabir was his Guru. In one context he said: “I had heart trouble, I started chanting the name of Hari and Allah. I placed the book Vishnu Sahasra Namam (thousand names of Lord Vishnu) on my heart. Hari alone occupied my mind and heart. Soon I recovered from the ailment.” On another occasion he said: “I started reciting the name of Hari along with Kaka Dikshit. In my recitation, I forgot everything and saw the form of Hari (Lord Narayana). Since then I stopped giving medicines to the sufferers. Instead I give only the Udhi (ash from sacred fire in Dwaraka mayee)”.

We infer, therefore, that Hari and Allah are one and the same. All those seekers who are under the protection of Baba should have the same concept of unity of religion and God.

72 Hours Of Samadhi

In the year 1886, an unique incident happened. With the grace of his Guru (Venkusa), Sri Sai Baba imbibed all the yogic Powers of his Guru without seeking them. He never craved for powers, paid no attention to them and never tested their efficacy It is observed that many great Yogies succumb to such powers All these supernatural powers resided with Sainath for 30-35 years waiting for his grace.

Baba had the habit of chanting the name of Hari with greatlove and devotion and without caring for the powers he posses, like the sage Rishabha – (Bhagavatha Purana – Fifth Skanda). The elders say that our mind cannot be trusted. Just as a small amount: of rawness in the seed makes it capable of germenation, similarly if the mind is not ripe enough, it can be the cause of Karma and lead us astray. Unless the seed is thoroughly fried, it will not lose its power of germination. So also, mind should be purified. Wit the most miraculous incident in 1886, Baba transformed himself from the state of divine appearance to the state of Absoluteness, (from the state of Sakshatkara to Parabrahma state), the state of Universal Pervasiveness. (Omnipresence and Omniscience),

Baba wanted to do Seemollanghanam (crossing the boundaries of this mortal coil) in 1886, 32 years before his Maha Samadhi”. (1918) It was a full moon day in Margasira (December), Baba was suffering from an attack of Asthma (he might have suffered for the sake of some devotee); He determined to regulate his Prana (life force) and attain Samadhi state . He informed Mahalsapathi, “I am going to see Allah. Protect my body for three days; if I return, it is alright. If I do not come back, bury my body at that place outside (pointing to a particular spot), and have two flags fixed in the ground as a sign of the burial”. So saying Baba fell to the ground at lO’o clock in the night. His breathing stopped his pulse also came down, it seemed as if the life force had left the body.

The people of Shirdi, who gathered thought him to be dead and bury his body but Mahalsapathi objected to this and did not allow anyone to touch the body. He protected it for three day and nights keeping the head on his lap. On the fourth day at about 4’o clock at dawn, there appeared some signs of life in theBaba’s body. Soon Baba started breathing. The movements of his stomach were noticed while breathing. Baba opened his eyes and touched his hands and legs. Baba woke up to full life again!

Baba informed Mahalsapathi that he had seen God, but will main in his present body for some more years to fulfill the tasks assigned to him and that he will assist the people -in their welfare.

There are two kinds of Saints in the world.

First category : He relinquishes all the mundane bonds and stays in a state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, enjoying the bliss of the Aatma (inner soul). Such a person may not have any direct contact with the people in the world, but their Universal Love spreads all over. He blesses the people who tread in the right-path. His very presence encourages Dharma (righteousness) (as demonstrated in Ramayana) and Satyam (truthfulness) (as preached in Gita)

Second Category : It is said in the “Narada Bhakti Sutras” that some saints attain salvation and enjoy the bliss and also make others attain the same. Such Samardha Sadguru is called Adhikari, the chief Purusba, or Avatar (incarnation). (Sutras 3-32)

Such persons mingle with the people in the world, but never swerve from their Brahma Nista (steadfast nature in the Brahman) . Nothing attracts or casts any spell over them. This Sadguru behaves as the ‘Inner Self of the universe. This great soul outwardly does not appear to be performing anything, but really is the cause of every thing.

Lord Krishna says: (Gita: 3-22)

- Arjuna there is nothing in these three worlds for Me to do nor is there anything worth attaining; yet I continue to work”

Hence, all that is done by the great saints and seers is only for the welfare, and upliftment of the people and nothing for themselves. They are the veritable fountains of love. They appear and move in this world only to elevate all those people, who tread in the wrong paths. They have compassion and love for every one without any exception.

Saint Kabir says: ” Like the water ponds, the trees, the saints exist only for others. The ponds and rivers give water to the thirsty but do not drink. The trees satisfy the hungry ones with its fruits but do not eat any. Likewise, the saints perform everything for the good of others. They never think about themselves”.

CHAPTER-FOUR

A detailed and attentive study of the life of Sri Sai Baba reveals , fact that his State before and after the 72 hours of Samadhi {the year 1886) were altogether different. He informed Mahalsapathi while leaving his mortal body “I am going to see Allah (God)”. On the fourth day he reentered the body proclaiming “I saw Allah”. * Seeing Allah’ means ‘Assuming the form of Allah’. He who realizes Brahmam becomes Brahmam himself. It is the state of all pervasiveness and becoming the ‘Inner Self of all living beings.

Sri Krishna says about such a person as follows: (Gita 13-14)

“He is all pervading with hands, feet, eyes, ears and mouth spreading everywhere in this universe.”

He is God only. He is the perfect being possessing wealth of all sorts. He is Omnipotent – Omniscient – Omnipresent and dictates terms to all. He can do anything, anywhere and at any time. He dwells in the hearts of all. He is beyond the purview of five elements (Earth, Water, Air, Fire & Sky). He is their Lord. He knows everything – Past – Present – and future. He is the embodiment of Love – Universal Father – Universal Mother. He is the only person who can listen to the prayers of all and competent enough to bless them. He is God, Almighty.

Baba Saguna and Nirguna Brahmam

(With and without specific attributes, form etc)

After attaining the state of Omnipresence and Omniscience, Baba entered his body consisting of five elements. If it is so, “Can we call him God?” This doubt may arise to some. After reaching that state, mere possession of a mortal body is immaterial Baba once said: “The body you see is only an abode. With love my Guru had already taken me (my Self) away from it long back”. Baba is everywhere even if we see him talking to devotees or doing his routine works. He sees and knows everything even if we are thousands of miles away. With his protective he looks after his children and saves them. Baba has become Sagun.. Nirguna Brahmam. (with and without specific attributes form etc) A layman may not grasp its full significance easily. Even though He possesses a form, He is formless. While performing Karma, (actions), He is not bound by it.

It is said in Prabhoda Sudhakaram:

“The Sun shines brilliantly all over the universe. Though is one, it appears differently to people at different places. Similarly God is one, but appears as different to different beings”

Thus, Sri Sal Baba is not at Shirdi alone, though he appeared to be there. Although we see him in the physical form, He is not bound by it. He is present in all. He answers to the mere call of his devotees. He is beside us even as we think of him. Such a State is possible only to God who is Omnipresent.

“Yemee Ninnupekshintuna?” (What! do I ignore you?) book written by the author, (in Telugu) describes in detail varied experiences of several devotees of Baba and how he is present with them in their hours of distress and moments of gloom how he transformed their lives. It will become voluminous if the details are narrated here. We may not be able to convince a sceptic about Baba’s real nature, even if we cite thousands instances proving his capabilities.

Lord Sri Krishna says: “The man of faith, the devoted, the master of his senses, obtains true knowledge. Having gained it, he at once attains supreme peace (realizing God). The ignorant, one who lacks faith, the doubting self who is led astray from spiritual path will not have any happiness in this world or in his next birth.” (Bhagavadgita 4-39,40)

We should know the incarnation of the Almighty, Samardha Sadguru by our own experience. No one can induce faith in others.

The essence of all religions is found in the maxim: “Holy scriptures – Teachings of Guru – Your own experience. These three should form a basis and combining them suitably, one should carefully formulate his ideals and practices to be followed by him to lead his life. He should adhere to them. It will be the greatest and best support for him to over come the obstacles, and difficulties in life and finally attain his objective”. All those belonging to different religious sects, and seeking Baba’s blessings, firmly believed that they were before a Divine Presence, a Samardha Sadguru with whose grace only they could realize God. They felt that religious intolerance was ridiculous and should be detested at all costs. They considered Baba as their Guru, worshipped Him and secured his blessings. Baba inculcated the feeling of mutual respect and love among the people of different religions. He accepted their worship and showed them a path to follow, acceptable to all religions. He fostered in them noble qualities such as truthfulness, compassion, and good behaviour.

A Sai s devotee should keep away from the eight vices viz. Desire Envy, Greed, Hypocrisy, Falsehood, Blame Lust and Anger. Devotion to Sai Baba Means – following the basic tenets of all religions, equal feeling towards all, and unflinching faith in Sadguru, Sri Sai Baba. The devotees always felt that they before a Divine Form (God Incarnate) who is an embodiment Love, Holiness. Often, Baba used to say to them; “As I love you. you should love each other”. Before him there were no rein barriers. The feeling of Love is, enduring, universal indescribable. As the Inner Self of all, He was able to know and everything happening around the world and rescued his children. With his grace, he made impossible things happen. They in turn loved him madly.

Baba clearly stated that he reached his present unique state only due to his Guru’s blessings and the root cause for it is the intense Love towards him. Every one wants removal of the difficulties and fulfillment of their desires. Such things are possible through Love only. At Baba’s feet, they can get their wish granted; now and in future also. Religious faiths do not pose problems to them.

The sanctity of Hinduism – its unity

Baba decided to bring about unity among the followers different sects of Hinduism. The tenet: “There is only one Universal God” was well entrenched in the mind of Baba, during his childhood, when he was under the care of Fakir, a Sufi Saint. Guru Venkusa imbibed in him (between 6 to 18 years) a thorough-understanding as to the Nature of God and his manifestation He felt that Lord Venkateswara, worshipped by his Guru, is no other than ‘Allah’ (Supreme God) – All other forms of God, worshipped by his Guru during pilgrimages, are different formsof the same God and are called by different names.

It is mentioned in the Sruties “The truth is only one but learned express it in different ways”. Baba understood this truth of the scriptural saying at a very tender age. Baba preached this to all his devotees. Let every Hindu realize this truth and inculcate in their minds that God and Allah are one and the same. Baba is another incarnation of God.

Thaittereya Upanishad says: “All forms of God Are different parts of the Absolute.”

Possessing supernatural powers, Baba, is the embodiment of divinity and total perfection. Baba is always in Eternal bliss, – a state of ‘Sat-Chit-Ananda*. As a perfect Guru, he has the capacity to lead his devotees on the right path. He is the embodiment of pure truth, real knowledge. He is the goal of all religions. Every aspirant should strive to attain this goal. All Sadgurus are different forms of God. Love is the fundamental principle of all religions. The essence of Baba’s preaching is to realize this truth. This only brings unity among all religious sects.

The Hindu devotees are able to see their endearing forms of God in Baba.

* A physician from South Africa, who was a devotee of Lord Sri Rama, was able to see Rama only in Sai Baba. Baba granted Love and Bliss to him.

* Baba appeared as Lord Hanuman to M.S. Nimonkar, a inspector, and ‘Bhakta’ of Hanuman’.

* A relative of Nana Saheb Chandorkar called Binnewal who was a devotee of Lord Dattatreya saw that form in Baba.

* To Megha Syam, Baba appeared as Lord Siva. Sri Prathan and family could see Pandu Ranga Vittal in Baba.

* The brother of Bal Dev beheld in Baba, his favorite Lord Ganapathi

Krishna says in the Gita (4- 11):

“Oh! whoever seeks protection from Me and worships in whatever form, I will accept them in that form. All men follow my path.”

It is sung in the Aarati (noon prayer) of Baba:

“Oh! Sai! You will give Darshan (appearance) to every one in the form they perceive you.”

Baba showers motherly affection to a person who seeks protection. He promises to save anyone who merely prays to him He drives away their difficulties. He is kind to all without discrimination. Baba is never angry with the devotees for mistakes committed by them. On the contrary, he tries to rectify them by removing their deficiencies. He shows them the most beneficial path, which is inaccessible to many. Hence, Sai is only source of solace in the present times. The devotees like Chanarkar, Mirikar, Nachne, Narke, Nulkar bear testimony the above facts (For details please refer to the Telugu Book by author ‘Saimananam’ Second Chapter) Those who knew Baba well and those who had close association with him believed to be the incarnation of God only.

* Hon’ble judge of Indore High court Mr. M.B.Rege, B., L.L.B., firmly opines, “Sai is the incarnation of God, who took this physical form to brighten the lives of his devotees with words and deeds. Baba as the indestructible Soul (Aatman) still exists, even though he is not physically present before the eyes thousands of his devotees. He grants their prayers, even better now, than when he was physically present at Shirdi.

Another judge of the High court says, “I find Baba to be the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer. In my view he has not gone here He still resides there where He had stayed before Mahasamadhi?. He is unlimited and beyond our imagination. His physical form is felt by devotees every now and then even today. I consider Baba to be the Supreme Embodiment of spirituality. Both the Saguna and Nirguna Tatvas are well established in Baba. Since the body, the physical form (Saguna nature) has been cast off, the Infinite (Nirguna) alone remains”.

* Prof. G.Narke, M. A, M.Sc., Principal of Pune engineering college and members of his family served Baba believing him to be God. Narke expressed his valuable opinion, when he arrived at the Dwarakamayee on the occasion of offering Aarati (Prayer). “In my earlier visit, I found Baba in a fit of rage. He cursed and threatened me for no reason. I thought in my mind, Is he mad? When I was massaging his feet in the evening, he stroked my head gently and said; ‘I am not mad’. What a wonderful experience! Baba read my inner thoughts. Nothing could be hidden from him. He is my Antaryami (the inner self). He spoke as if he was seated in my heart and knew all my intentions and thoughts. This feeling remained in all my experiences with Baba my faith grew further and is more deep-rooted now. I do not hesitate to say that Baba is Bbagawan, and is capable of doing any thing. He is Omniscient. He can make everyone move according to his will. He is all-powerful!!”

Dada Saheb Kaparde, a famous lawyer at Amraoti in Birar made this observation: “Baba knows the inner nature of all beings; He grants the wishes of all; He bestows peace and happiness to all- Sai is the ‘Walking God’ on earth”.

* Das Ganu Maharaj says, “Baba is the primordial cause of the entire universe. He is the pure inner self enveloped with, compassion and love. He is the Absolute Brahman in human form’. He is the embodiment of compassion and love. He, removes at once removes all the difficulties of his devotees. He is the abode of eternal bliss. Oh, God I pray to you in all humility.”

* Hemadri Panth (Anna saheb Dabholkar) considered Baba a holy saint and served him; but finally came to the conclusion that Baba was God only – (Parabrahma).

* The residents of Shirdi, Madharao Desh Pande (Shyama), a close associate of Baba and many others, called Baba as Deva (God).

Baba’s existence still prevails even after his Mabasamadbi (in 1918.) Sai Baba is everywhere controlling, directing, guiding, and protecting all his devotees with vigilance and care. He bestows on them peace and tranquility.

The seers and saints propounded the theories on the incarnations of God in the Upanishads. Bruhadaranyaka, Chandogya, Kata and Swetaswatara Upanishads say: “God’s, pervasiveness is always seen in the animate and inanimate things. in this universe and He lies in the ‘Inner Self, as the controller and protector”. Sai Baba is the ideal example of this truth. [Yemme Ninnupekshintuna’ (What! Do I ignore you?), a book written by the author (in Telugu), describes in detail the varied experiences of several devotees which bears testimony to the above facts.

Today devotion to Sai Baba has gained importance among millions of people all over the world. ‘Saijyothi’ (Light of Sai) isilluminating in all directions and removing the darkness in the minds of the people. Can we afford to ignore it? Sai’s devotion has become the life force – the vital force enlightening force – to many It awakens the minds and guides them in the proper direction to reach their objective. His force continues to work whether any one accepts it or not. That is God’s will. A person who has the good fortune of performing noble deeds in his past births will make the best use of the opportunity provided to him and will attain Salvation (Mukti). He will rejuvenate the society and make it a better place to live.

All the preachers, who advocated the path of reaching God through Bbakti, are generous and broad minded. Their sole aim is to rescue people overwhelmed by Maya and awaken them to realize the Truth. This noble aim is seen in every religion. In course of time, the followers of different religions formulated certain codes of conduct and imperceptibly sowed the seeds of jealousy. This led to mutual hatred and people divided themselves into separate entities, forgetting the basic principles of their religion. They started giving more importance to the outward manifestations of their faiths, customs, dress, manners, and religious practices than the inner values.

It is a Dharma enunciated in our scriptures that “Sweet things should not be taken all alone”. It means all good and beneficial things should be shared with others. Following this, great saints Preached in public what they believed to be the truth to uplift the mankind. Over a period of time the nobler ideas disappeared. Instead they developed a narrow out look, building dividing walls.

Once Ramanuja’s Guru taught him a powerful Mantra and warned him. “This is a powerful Mantra, capable of providing Salvation. It should be kept as a secret. You will go to hell if you this to others” But Ramanuja thought otherwise. If this could lead people to Salvation he was ready to go to hell for their sake. He chanted this Mantra loudly from an elevated platform so that all could hear and attain salvation. Such is the spirit of a noble saint.

Baba made it clear to his children that all incarnations are His and He is in all saints. Akkalkot Maharaj, Nanded Moula Nagpur Tajuddin Baba, Vasudevanandaswamy, and all other have claimed to be one with Baba. The non-dual state of was proved beyond doubt.

Now, to the question, “Is Sai Baba also a God?” asked by my friend, we can say that those who had the experience of Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient nature of Baba will say that Baba certainly is God. He may not be a God to others who never had such an experience. But even they are bound to get good results, if they regard Him as a great saint treat Him with reference. For instance Fire provides relief to all those who are suffering from devastating morning cold in the winter season. For a traveller suffering from severe heat of the Sun, one need not say specifically, to take shelter under a tree. He knows very well where to take shelter and be happy. Similarly everyone knows and decides for himself how to get solace and happiness and takes refuge in it.

To the second question: uAre the existing Gods not enough? God assumed many forms several times out of His boundless Love for His children and taught Dharma and showed right path to them. But people could not grasp this Dharma with their religious intolerances. They lost happiness in this world and also denied salvation in the other world. They were constantly troubled and were unable to have any peace of mind. They lost direction. Under these circumstances God assumed the form Sri Sai Baba to alleviate their sufferings and remove ill will borne out of religious fanaticism. He showed these warring fractions, the right path. He brightened their souls with the truth that “God is only one”. God came into this world as Sai Baba to teach the ‘Prema Tatwam’ (Love towards all). He preached to the followers of different sects in Hinduism that “All forms of Gods are One and the same”. He demonstrated to them by giving Darshan in that form in which they perceived of Him. They could feel from their experiences that Sai Baba is none other than the ‘Godly Form’ which they worship. He could also make them feel that all saints are forms of Him only

‘Sri Krishna’ says in Bhagavadgita:

“Sages look with equal eye on a Brahamine, rich with learning and culture, or a cow, or an elephant or even a dog or an eater of; dogs” (Gita – 5-18)

“He who sees Me in all beings, and all beings in Me – to him I am never lost nor he to me (Gita – 6-30)

Baba had taught this truth, as revealed in the scriptures to his devotees, not as some sacred words, but practically in their day to day experiences. Those who follow the teachings of Baba with infinite faith can attain peace and contentment in their lives. Baba has gone nowhere. Though He left his mortal body in 1918, He is still there, where He had stayed earlier.

It is my friend’s query which prompted me to speak a few good things about Sri Sai Baba. It was the will of Baba instrumental in raising the question – and it was his wish only that made me press some of my thoughts. I bow hundred times to Sai in the form of my friend who has given me this opportunity.

To sum up, I venture to state the following at the cost of repetition.

Sri Sai Baba is truely God. He is an incarnation of God. He knows everything. He dwells in the hearts of every one as the ‘Inner Self. He knows our minds and directs us. He commands the five elements. He leads the entire universe according to his will. Sai’s love is unparalled on all living beings including the mean and low. He is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent. His teachings are all of universal nature. He is the modern prophet. Those who surrender to Him with full faith, look to Him for solutions to their problems, and worship (love) Him with devotion will surely be rewarded. They will be successful ultimately in their pursuits. Their genuine wishes shall always be granted. Sai grace is not confined to persons of any particular sect, caste, religion or nationality.

Sai Baba wants only two things in return from all his devotees.

* Nishta ~ Complete Faith in Him

* Saburi – Patience coupled with Courage

It is beyond man’s intelligence to understand Sai’s mighty powers. He is Samartha Sadguru. He knows what is best for us. We should accept the results with humility and always crave for his love and grace.

Before concluding this booklet I wish to make the following observations:

Even though ‘Paramatma’ is devoid of all attributes – pure -perfect – infallible – immutable – free from defects, failings, passions, emotions, diseases – and is always in eternal bliss, He takes the form from his formless state occassionally for the sake of His devotees because of their ‘Intense Love’ and ‘Faith3 This is the eternal truth and the prime reason for all His incarnations.

It is said in the “Prabhoda Sudhakaram”:

“Though the sky is vacant, it satisfies the wishes of the Chataka Bird in the form of a cloud and that of a Chakora Bird in the form of the moon. Similarly God fills the hearts of the devotees with the nectar ‘Sat-Chit-Ananda’ after showing His ‘Grace’ on them.

To me, Sri Sai Baba is – Hari – Hara – Surya – Dattatreya -Ganesa – Kali – Fate – Brahmam – Christ – Goutam Buddha -Allah- and all other forms of God worshipped in this universe.

May Samartha Sadguru Sri Sai Baba correct our minds and thoughts and give his blessings!

May this be dedicated to Sri Sat Baba!

May all live in Peace and Happiness!

Om Tat Sat


About mohnishahluwalia

I AM PARTNER OF M/S PYARE LAL &SON,IOC DEALERS.PATHANKOT(PANJAB),KANDWAL& DHRAMSALA (HIMACHALPARDESH). I AM INCHARGE OF MARKETING & CUSTOMER CARE. I HAVE LEAD SEVERAL SUCCESSFULL MARKETING THAT HAS LEAD MY OUTLETS TO NO1 IN PANJAB & HIMACHAL PARDESH. MY CUSTOMER CAMPAIGNS HAS LEAD TO OUTLETS TO 60% INCREASE IN SALES WHICH IS HIGEST IN PETROLEUM INDUSTRY.I HAVE WON AWRDS FOR HIGEST SALES & PUBLIC SEVICES MANY TIMES. MOHNISH AHLUWALIA
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