Thoughts on Sai Baba was subject of the email which i received from Sai brother Bharath ji. From this subject i guessed that the email contained gratitude of devotee of Lord Sai Baba on some random wish fulfillment. On going through it i realised it contained much more than i had initially guessed. It can be taken as an irony of the modern prayer system which we so called advanced souls have adopted. Examples given in between this write up makes one understand in a better way. Its essence lies in understanding Lord Sai Baba through medium of our soul and serve Him the way He has directed the soul to. Thanks Brother Bharath ji for this beautiful write up.
Sai Baba’s Shirdi is a thriving pilgrimage today with tens of thousands visiting His samadhi mandir daily. Many fulfill their vows here and end their fasts that they had been observing at their homes here. However, the key to worshiping Sai Baba is He was not that interested in the items we bring Him, our money offerings, or the religious rituals we offer Him as He is more interested in your sincere surrender to Him and intensity of your love towards Him.
Even during His lifetime in the flesh about a hundred years back, He took money offerings only from selected devotees for amounts astonishingly correct to the extent to fulfil their vows made earlier. He redistributed all amounts of money back to deserving people then and there. He also turned back a caravan-load of jewels and gold that a princess offered Him. Nor did He wear costly dress items that wealthy people showered on Him. He considered money and attachment to it as a serious obstacle to spiritual progress.
As our Samarth Sadguru, Sai expects us to remove untruth from our personalities, become moderate in our materialistic goals of life and always keep God realisation as our real life-goal. As He told KakaSaheb Dixit when he asked Baba if he was on the right track, Baba replied that He will consider Kaka as being on the right track only when he sheds all materials possessions down to two shoulder bags and becomes a sanyasin like Him in the end. While what He said above to Kaka Saheb Dixit may not be at all possible for householders especially today, Sai Baba certainly would expect us to maintain a householder’s life devoid of attachments to those possessions that we accumulate or maintain.
He would expect us to curb our outgoing senses always so that we do not succumb to worldly desires or the ever-increasing temptations easily. Only then, we can work out our “prarabdha karma” – our balance-sheet of sins and merits (“paap” and “punya” respectively) which resulted in this human birth. As He advised Nana Saheb Chandorkar once, we should let the five senses do their allotted duties but be always alert so that we do not become enslaved by the objects that these senses seek and recognize that these are all God’s creations and should remain unattached to them.
Complete Trust in God (“Shraddha’ or faith that Baba advised) is diminishing today in the fast-track world with professional organizations everywhere gifting customers and the general public whatever they wish. All previously whatever Baba or God fulfilled, such as a promotion, a job, etc. are satisfied through networks and modern mechanisms today. Moreover, pressured devotees expect Him to fulfill their materialistic wishes at the speed of emails/couriers resulting in reduction of “Saburi” (patience) advised by Baba.
Unless we thank Sai Baba (or God) for whatever good results we get by whichever means it comes to us, a feeling of divergence and dualism is bound to increase between the “real world” and “Baba’s world”, so to speak. As Baba advised Mrs. Tarkhad, one of His sincere and favorite devotees, “Always feed the hungry before you eat and remember to offer Me anything before you eat” advising all of us of the fact that we owe our daily bread to God no matter how wealthy or successful we are or even if food had become so easy to get anywhere these days. He often commented that more people came to Him just for all these mundane materialistic items but very few for true spiritual progress that He really wanted to assist with.
Surrendering to Baba works better if besides prayer alone, we also make constant efforts to reduce complexities in our life, maintain well the relationships that matter most, constantly sift/discriminate between the real and unreal, keep charity alive in our hearts so that when the right occasions come, we give without any resistance from inside us, and keeping aside time for doing spiritual reading, prayer, meditation – things that matter in our God-ward journey of life.
Sai Baba performed superhuman miracles during His time and even today as being witnessed by thousands of believers around the globe. We need to sincerely believe that a small essence of infinite presence of Sai Baba is there within each of our bodies. This spark of Baba – when it cries out like a child to its mother – will be heard by Baba or through our favorite God (the specific God’s name at this point does not really matter). An example of this was in Baba’s lifetime was when Nana Saheb Chandorkar desperately cried for water while walking in a lonely forest area to Baba who was miles away in Shirdi. Baba (sitting in Shirdi) arranged for water through a forest-dweller who showed water beneath a rock!
Realizing this fact will take us to the essence of Vedanta Advaita that Sai Baba, our Samarth Sadguru is with us in every heart, in all creatures, all the time – as Vedanta Advaita tells. We should not allot or partition Him only for an hour’s visit in Sai temples alone! He is there as witness to all our actions – the good and the bad. Unless we accept that, our worldly life develops a “shadow” which will contain memories and “footprints” accumulated during the course of our daily life that we may “hide” from Sai when we “visit” Him. This “shadow” soon develops a life of its own that hinders our true spiritual progress by darkening the god-given spark of our inner soul that every soul is given. The more we hold Baba physically and mentally in our heart and mind everywhere we go, the more we can feel Him guiding our every action throughout life! (we can try imagining Baba residing in our heart area).
We must also remember that there is a world beyond the physically observable world that Sai Baba travelled to during His lifetime and still does. This “beyond-world” (other-world) continues to exist – no matter whatever change modern technology will bring out in future. So, Sai does not become “obsolete” or outdated EVER, even if every passing day brings previously unimaginable gadgets, conveniences or machines globally. Worshipping Sai Baba is essentially equivalent to acknowledging and nurturing the God within ourselves – by moving away from the word of gross fleshy matter to the subtle world of spirit. All other chants, rituals, praying arrangements, etc., are next in importance to this essential truth.