Sai Baba of Shirdi on Importance of Guru Shishya Tradition

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Whenword “Guru” is uttered, devotees of Lord Sai Baba very well understand its importance. At various instances during His lifetime in Shirdi, He was seen praising His Guru and narrating incidents and how He spent time with Him. An intimate devotee and goldsmith cum priest of Khandoba temple of Shirdi – Mhlsapati says what Lord Baba had once told him, “I was born in Pathri village (A village in former Nizam’s dominions). When I was of eight years my parents gave my custody to a fakir to train Me. Later on I came to Shirdi”. A fuller account of Lord Sai Baba being in company of His Guru and His experiences were posted long back on this blog. Kindly refer following links:

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Sri Shirdi Sai Baba placed a very high regard for the Guru”s role in one’s life. He often narrated the story of His own Guru and how loving he was and how Sai spent 12 years serving his guru without any complaints – living merely on neem leaves, cleaning him and changing his clothes, etc. His Guru asked him only two things as Guru dakshina (tuition fees) namely – Faith (Shraddha) and Patience (Saburi).

Sai Baba’s constant advice to His devotees was to follow their Guru (if they had a guru) with total faith and love to realise the goal of human birth. Sai Baba showed all the humility, egolessness and true service mindset needed for a good disciple by agreeing to serve Javhar Ali, an ambitious Muslim Fakir/priest as his disciple for several months. Javhar Ali who lost in a spiritual debate with a saint Devidas left the place after defeat. He eventually realized the true greatness of Sai Baba and after many years returned to Shirdi and surrendered at his feet finally.

Sai Baba never intruded on an existing Guru-Shishya relationship in any way. He encouraged the devotee to follow his present Guru sincerely and cleared their doubts and urgent life’s needs. He welcomed devotees visiting Shirdi from Akkalkot who were disciples of Sri Akkalkot Maharaj addressing them as His brothers.

Sai Baba cautioned people against following phony Gurus offering upadesh (spiritual advice), mantras etc. and exhorted people who came to Shirdi seeking His advice to keep only Him (Sai) in their minds and hearts always and avoid artificial forms of Upadesh, mantras etc.

He advised Sri Hemad Pant who had a debate with people on whether a Guru was necessary at all by telling him that the path through life was filled with ditches, thorns, dangers, and wild animals. Only with a guide (Guru) can one pass through life safely and successfully, He advised.

Sai Baba told him the story of Sai’s earlier years when He and three intellectually-oriented friends were wandering a forest in quest of God. Of these four only Sai was of the opinion that Guru was God and essential for life. They came across a forest dweller, who full of love offered to guide their way after offering food and water. Sai accepted the offering humbly and found His Guru there itself after a while. Sai’s haughty friends who refused the hospitality and left had to wander more in their quest. Through this story, Sai Baba stressed that the Guru was invaluable in life and leads us to God quicker and surer than any other means.

By Bharath Kumar K.

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