As devotees of Baba, Dusshera (Vijayadashmi) day holds a special place in the hearts of all. It marks a remembrance of Baba’s simple life-leading techniques. By crossing the border of life (Seemollanghan) He transited to a form where He will be more vigilant and responsive to His devotees. He always cared for the welfare of His devotees. First He drew them towards Him, taught them the Bhakti Marg, and worked on the path of salvation. He has provided worldly pleasures and joys to His devotees readily so that they can concentrate on the ultimate goal of liberation. He gave lessons of complete surrender to Guru by following Shraddha and Saburi. He showed miracles to make His devotees understand what they should thrive from Him. He tried to open our eyes to offer them Mukti, resorting to various unique methods. Every incident or story in Sai Satcharitra has narrated some extraordinary deed of Baba, the hidden agenda of the same was to assist ignorant souls to wake up and start working towards the mission where there is Oneness With Sai. No Sadhna, Hath Yog, or any other prescribed method is needed when the grace of Sadguru is with a devotee. What is expected from a devotee, is true devotion backed up by Shraddha and Saburi?
Devotees then, were fortunate (great souls) that they got Baba’s first-hand instructions. For us, He has left Sai Satcharitra. Even after reading the Holy book for more than 15 years now, it gives me directions as per my situation. Being in human form, I have to face challenges on life verges which are unavoidable. The statements which once conveyed a solution to any situation that I was facing now make a lot of sense when I try to seek guidance from Him on the spiritual path. Just think, the statements are the same but they convey different meanings at different points of time to the same person. As the Holy Book talks with its readers based on its mindset. There are gems for all in the book, that’s the real treasure that Baba has left for us and we can dig out any number or quality of it and it solely depends on the level of our Shraddha Saburi.
A devotee of Baba always yearns to meet Him in person someday. Those times devotees traveled from near and far to reach Shirdi and meet Him in Dwarkamai but now it is not required. All we need to do is keep the fire burning in us by adding fuel of Shraddha Saburi and fan it with deep-rooted devotion. Many devotee readers must be wondering that Oh Baba has given us darshan in the form of a human but when He was in front of me, I failed to recognize Him. That’s because of our limited human intellect as well as we are not ripe yet to get darshan from Him in His Roop which we have known and recognized Him. There’s a picture of His appearance that we all have in our minds and so it works as a mirage for us. However, with utmost devotion and steadfast perseverance, we can surely have His darshan because the way we are yearning for Him, He is also yearning to meet us. There are no standard eligibility criteria for this but there are a few basic qualities that we need to cultivate in ourselves. If they are already present then we need to hold and stick to them.
We all casually read, write or mention Baba took MahaSamadhi on October 15, 1918, wherein we emphasize easy-to-understand words like Baba and the date while the technical word “MahaSamadhi” is absolutely ignored. Baba is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent and He is with us even after 100 years of shedding bodily cloak and will always be. Anyday in which He chose to shed the body, would be well remembered by His devotees. But He chose Dussehra with a purpose. The day marks the victory of good over evil and it is celebrated in different ways in all parts of the country. In Maharashtra, during ancient times the emperors crossed village borders to fight against their rivals after having the feast of Dussehra and singing their victory and glory. Baba, RajaDhiRaj, chose this day to cross the border of His life and set an example for us to thrive for victory over the cycle of births and deaths. After passing through many births we are fortunate to be born as humans with intellect and this intellect helps us to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad. The soul that we are carrying in this body has traveled a lot and now it needs some rest. Being born as humans we are fortunate to help the soul to stop the transition of bodies. It can be in the union to the Ultimate, for us Baba and this is the path that He has shown us. He has simplified the path of self-realization by giving us a few techniques. There are no hard and fast rules to worship Baba, whatever we do with our heart and will as per our devotion, is acceptable to Him. He craves for our love but at the same time, He makes way for us to reach Him. The cycle of birth and death is difficult to traverse for a human being, ironically the soul wants to reach its goal as soon as possible. Baba is taking the soul towards its goal but it’s only possible through certain deeds in the human cloak and the use of intellect.
Sai Satcharitra sings the importance of self-realization in almost all places, the question is are we able to dig out the main purport? A few hints that I figured out with my intellect are listed below
Nav Vidha Bhakti
(1) Shravana (Hearing) – listening to Bhajans, spiritual discourses that will help to distract the mind from the materialistic world and transit to the spiritual one
(2) Kirtana (Praying) – praying is a way to communicate with God (for us Baba), it does not necessarily mean to ask something, pure gratitude for whatever we have should be conveyed in the prayer
(3) Smarana (Remembering) – remembering God (for us Baba) in every action helps us to stop, think and check whether any action is good or bad
(4) Padasevana (resorting to the feet) – Baba’s Lotus Feet is our refuge, we should always be surrendered to His Feet and allow our ego to be crushed underneath Them
(5) Archana (Worship) – no compulsive rules for doing physical worship of Baba, but we can always resort to mental worship, which again means communication with HIm
(6) Namaskara (Bowing) – the act is again to show respect to Baba and refute the ego we possess
(7) Dasya (Service) – try to serve Baba Who never wished anything from His devotees, but ideal compliance of His teachings and living by them is the true service to Him which includes helping the needy (in all means not just financially), food donation, reading spiritual scriptures, and much more
(8) Sakhyatva (Friendship) – cultivating a feeling of friendship with God (for us Baba) will help open our hearts and get answers from Him
(9) Atmanivedana (surrender of the self) – all the above eight points, in a nutshell, takes us to this level of complete surrender to Baba.
How To Observe The Day
All the branches of Nav Vidha Bhakti can be followed all year long in day-to-day routine and also on special days. The below can be additionally followed and emphasized on Dussehra day because Baba when in flesh and blood asked many of His devotees to do
Naam Smaran: Baba many times has advised His devotees to just chant Sai Sai and He will take care of the rest. So on this special day, we can do Naam Smaran the whole day even while carrying on other duties and remember Him for what He has bestowed on us
Annadan: Baba regarded Annadan as the highest form of donation and we can observe the day in an optimum way by feeding the poor which was so dear to Baba
Offering Dakshina: Wealth should be the means to work out dharma and Baba asked for Dakshina from His devotees who came to see Him. The Dakshina was not necessarily in monetary terms but also in reading and explaining spiritual readings. There is another unique method of offering Dakshina through Global MahaParayan, you may like to read this post as well “Sai Baba’s Guidance For Dakshina Of Nine Coins This Dusshera”
Lastly sharing a wonderful quote that I found on Facebook
Eagle does not fight the snake on the ground. It picks it up into the sky and changes the battle ground, and then it releases the snake into the sky.
The snake has no stamina, no power and no balance in the air. It is useless, weak and vulnerable unlike on the ground where it is powerful wise and deadly.
Take your fight into the spiritual realm by “Shradha” and “Saburi” and when you are in the spiritual realm Shirdi Sai Baba takes over your battles.
Don’t fight with the enemy in their comfort zone, change the battle grounds like the Eagle and let Baba take charge through your earnest devotion. You’ll be assured of clean victory.