Sai Baba foar over 30 years kept Haji Abdul Baba strictly on the path of service and renunciation. He never gave any money to Bhagat Mhalsapati and Haji Abdul Baba from the dakshina He was offered and freely distributed to other devotees. Baba kept them strictly on the path of poverty. Sai Baba said Haji Abdul Baba, “I have enabled you to cross the ocean (bhavsagar), your earth (body) has been turned into gold”.
Haji Abdul Baba was told to eat very little and ‘not to go in for a variety of eatables’. He was told to sleep little, read the Holy book Qur’an, be awake all night and not fall asleep over his reading. One night, Haji Abdul Baba was very tired and he tried to control the sleep, and held his palms in front of him to rest his drowsy head. Baba then said, “Are you trying to see the moon?” After sometime Haji Abdul Baba fell asleep, he fell upon Baba and His gaddi. Baba gently stroked his feet to wake him up. The next day when he took water in his palms and looked at it, there was a big moon in that water. It was 2 p.m. This was what Baba had spoken of. Whatever Baba spoke earlier had come out true.
SaiBaba’s Manuscript: How It Came Into Existence And Used For Prophecy
Sai Baba often asked Haji Abdul Baba to read the Holy book Qur’an near him in Dwarkamai. Sai Baba used to open the Holy book and made Abdul Baba read passages of the page which was opened. Haji Abdul Baba noted down what Baba used to utter regularly in a notebook as he had strong faith that everything that comes out from Baba’s lips is sacred and absolute truth.
After Sai Baba’s Mahasamadhi, the notebook manuscript was used as a “Book of Prophecy”, through which Baba’s guidance could be obtained. When devotees wished to know about future events or complex matters, they used to consult Haji Abdul Baba. Haji Abdul Baba consulted this book of Baba’s utterances and the answer that comes out of the page opened comes out corrected many times.
There are multiple instances of such prophetic consultation. In the Sai Mandir, a well was dug but the water was salty. Sai Baba had already taken Mahasamadhi at that time. So, Haji Abdul Baba consulted Baba’s book of sayings. The reply he got was, “If deeper the well is dug the water will become sweeter”. Accordingly the well was dug deeper by two feet, and the water was not salty.
Another instance was this: Barrister Gadgil wanted to know if his son would come back from England and where he would stay then. After consultation, Haji Abdul Baba said, “He will return”. And so, he did return with his English wife and children.
Haji Abdul Baba used this manuscript book as his Qur’an. He used to go on reading reverently, got absorbed in it and rolled beads in his hands at the same time.This gift of prophecy was due to Baba’s grace. This manuscript notebook is given the name Sai Baba’s manuscript to highlight the fact that it contains Baba’s sacred words whereas Haji Abdul Baba played the role of scribe.
Details And Content Of The Sai Baba’s Manuscript
SaiBaba’s manuscript notebook has 137 pages, with 100 pages of readable notes in Urdu (especially Deccani Urdu), rest are not well understood by anyone yet (for example: 25 pages are in scrawly Modi script which are not understood yet). The manuscript is like a student notebook with lots of scribble and half complete sentences. Most of the nature of the manuscript is about Islam and Sufism, including Arabic quotations from Qur’an. It contains basic Islamic History and teachings, such as the reading Namaz five times a day, far, zhur, asr, maghrib and isha. Also included teachings of the Sufi tariqat, the spiritual hierarchy of saints, early Muslim history and its significant founders, Sufi generalogices (silsilas). Some content also covers Hinduism for example mention of Lord Hanuman and Dash Avatars of Lord Vishnu.
Shri Narasimha Swami ji had interviewed Haji Abdul Baba at least two times (Dec 8, 1936 and March 10, 1938) and also have seen part of the notebook which covered about prayer to Lord Maruti (Hanuman) and recitals of avatars of God dovetailing Mahommed and numerous others with the Hindu Das Avatar.
This notebook is now silk-wrapped and had lain in a safe place in the Sansthan after Haji Abdul Baba’s samadhi.
Story Behind Translation In English
Shri V. B. Kher, prominent writer and ex-trustee (1984-89) of the Shri Sai Baba Shirdi Sansthan has used information from the notebook in his co-authored book “Sai Baba of Shirdi, a Unique Saint” with M.V. Kamath. With Baba’s blessings a printer helped to preserve and make multiple photocopies of the book without disintegration.
An attempt was made in 1997 by Marianne Warren and V.B.Kher who tried to translate into English Baba’s utterances as written down in Devanagari and Urdu scripts by Haji Abdul Baba. In this attempt they came to know that the utterances have revealed Baba’s wonderful knowledge of Islam and Sufism. This English translation is now available as book with title “Unravelling the Enigma Shirdi Sai Baba in the Light of Sufism”
Dr. G.V. Divekar has done Marathi translation of the Urdu Manuscript, which also helped a lot in correcting English translation by Marianne and V.B. Kher because of better interpretation of some of the content. There Urdu Specialists also assisted Marianne Warren and have helped to translate it. Dr. Rizwan Malik (Toronto, Canada) made the initial translation, then the effort was taken by Sufi Azam Ali in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, who helped bring more understanding in translation because of command on Deccani Sufi. Shri Azam Ali Sufi’s grandfather is famous Sufi Saint “Syed Azam Ali” with thousands of disciples and was called “Qutb-e-Deccan”. Sufi Syed Azam was known for his miraculous powers similar to Sai Baba. So this clearly shows that Sai Baba himself chose the right persons to translate the notebook from Deccan Urdu to English. Third person was Mr. Amrit Bahal who was working in Law Offices at Toronto and specialized in translation of legal documents in India languages including Urdu.
Each person working on translation felt clearly that Shri Sai Baba is well verse in all religions including Hinduism, Islam, Sufi. One may feel that Baba is just residing in one rural village and interacting with few devotees but actually Sai Baba is constantly working on a global mission to uplift the entire world. Avatar Meher Baba has described Sai’s greatness as “Perfection personified.” He once revealed, “It was Sai Baba Who controlled the whole First World War.”
When Sai Baba walked slowly from the masjid past the Maruti Temple to the “Lendi Bagh (garden)” or the chavadi, his arti would be sung. At that time, his face would illuminate. It was also noticed that he would make strange signs in the air with his fingers. This behavior continued daily for four years, from the start of World War I to its conclusion.
During the war years, Sai Baba would often say:
I am formless and I am everywhere. I am not this body you call Sai. I am the Supreme Soul — the entire creation. I am everything and I am in everyone. I am in saints, criminals, animals and everything else. I pervade the whole universe. It is I who have created God. Nothing happens without my wish.
My light is of God; my religion is Kabiri [Perfect Mastery] and my wealth lies in the blessings I alone can give.
In the next post, some examples of passages from Manuscript, its English translation and its interpretation will be covered.
Om Sai Ram!
Credits: Rohit Setia