Athithi Devo Bhava – Practically shown by Shirdi Sai Baba

Nanasaheb Chandorkar was a strict devotee. He observed all rituals. It was his practice that he gave offering first to Agni Dev (i.e. God of fire), then he waited for some guest to come and served him food. After that only he took his meals. He used to read many sacred books. During one of his reading, he came across a story of Seth Sagaalsha. No guest came to the house of Seth Sagaalsha for many days, so he had to observe fast, as it was his practice to © Shirdi Sai Baba Life Teachings and Storiestake his lunch after feeding some guests.

After reading the above incident, a doubt aroused in Nanasaheb’s mind regarding such principles written in Shastras. He thought that if such things are difficult to follow do Shastras comply to follow them? Sai Baba knows all Shastras and so my doubts would be clarified by Him only. so I must leave the matter to Him.

One day when Nanasaheb sat massaging Sai Baba’s legs in Dwarkamai, Sai Baba Himself started speaking. He said, ‘Nana! All the Shastras are correct. Shastras never speak useless things, and not even impure things. The definition of human may be different, the thoughts of human may be narrow, but it cannot be said that Shastras are useless. Guests would surely come!

Nanasaheb was not reminded that Sai Baba is clearing his doubt regarding Seth Sagaalsha which aroused while reading.

Sai Baba further explained, ‘Can a man of three and half cubits can only be your guest? Can other living beings can’t be your guests? Just see here and there. You will find many hungry living beings ready to eat the food given by you. Crores of living beings like ants, housefly, crow, dog, goat, cow, rat, etc. roam near you to satisfy their hunger, so are they not your guests? So if you give them a dish full of eatables, they would consume it with love. After satisfying their hunger, those dumb animals will give you blessings and in turn God will be happy with you.’

So dear readers, whosoever comes to us for satisfying its hunger, we must be ever ready to do so. Sai Baba had said that satisfying one’s hunger is equal to doing a Yagna. Simplifying further Sai Baba compared hunger with Yagna and thus it means if we satisfy one’s hunger, we would get blessings and Punya of doing a Yagna. What a simple method our beloved Sai has given us!

Source : Translated from Gujarati Book “Sai Sarovar

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Hetal Patil
Hetal Patil
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