We are dedicating today’s post to one of the Perfect Masters of the modern age – Hazrat Baba Tajuddin of Nagpur whose birthday is celebrated on January 27th*. He is an Indian Sufi master who is considered by some followers as the Qutb. (*note: some sources mention Jan 21st as birth date).
As mentioned in an earlier post, Lord Dattatreya descends on Earth in the form of Avatar or Perfect Master. Hazrat Baba Tajuddin is also a form of Lord Dattatreya. He was the contemporary of Samarth Sadguru Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi. Baba Taj used to regard Baba Sai as his elder brother. His photograph is placed on the ground floor of the museum at Shirdi in the section of contemporary saints of Sai Baba.
Avatar Meher Baba called Samarth Sadguru Sai Baba (Shirdi), Hazrat Baba Jaan (Pune), Shri Narayan Maharaj (Bet, Kedgaon), Hazrat Baba Tajuddin (Nagpur) and Sadguru Upasani Maharaj (Sakori) as five perfect masters of the modern age with Samarth Sadguru Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi as chief of the hierarchy. All perfect masters work in unity to uplift humanity and are aware of each other’s work, even if they are hundreds of miles apart. Hazrat Baba Tajuddin and Sri Sai Baba acted in the tacit union in the shaping of several spiritual giants. For example, Saduguru Upasani Baba and Avatar Mehar Baba are the products of their united efforts.
Shri Sai Baba Connection With Hazrat Baba Tajuddin
Following leelas clearly show the mutual respect and love of both Sadgurus.
Leela 1: Once Mahabhakta Madhavrao (Shama) had gone to Nagpur. After coming back to Shirdi he went for Sai Baba’s darshan. Many people were sitting there. Baba asked him “Shamrao, which places did you visit?”
Madhavrao answered, “Deva, I had been to Nagpur and other nearby places“.
“To Nagpur? Then, have you seen a golden tree in the south of Nagpur?” Sai Baba asked.
Madhavrao could gather that Baba was referring to the then famous Avaliya Tajuddinbaba, who was in Nagpur, in His metaphoric language. “Yes Baba, I had been to the Garden of Raghoji Raje Bhosale, especially for the darshan of Tajuddinbaba. And the garden is in the south Nagpur. I went in the car with Keshavrao and Bhayasaheb“.
Leela 2: Sai Baba used to talk about Babajan and Baba Tajuddin. One day, while sitting in Dwarkamai, Baba broke an earthen water-pot with a wooden stick (Satka). He kept hitting the pieces again and again for a long time. Shama other devotees asked Him why He was doing so. He said, “Tajuddin Baba’s tomb (Durga) has caught fire. I am extinguishing it”.
Next, there was a letter informing us of the news of the fire. The Lord was doing Leelas in Vaikunth and He was doing the same in Shirdi, for His dear devotees. An inner sight with devotion is needed, to appreciate and assimilate such acts.
Birth and Early life of Hazrat Baba Tajuddin
Birth name: Syed Mohammad Baba Tajuddin (also called Tajuddin Muhammad Badruddin)
Birth date/year: January 27, 1861
Birthplace: Gora Bazar, Kamptee (https://goo.gl/maps/43eyk6hBCbkiP3QX9)
Father’s name: Hazrat Syed (Sayyad) Badruddin
Mother’s name: Makhdooma Mohtarma Syeda Amma Maryam Bibi Saheba (also known as Mariam Bee or Mariyambi Saheba Guddanbi)
Mahasamadhi/Disappearance date: August 17, 1925
Mahasamadhi (Dargah) Place: Shahenshah-E-Hafte Aklim Hazrat Baba Tajuddin Dargah, Nagpur https://goo.gl/maps/sC1wigST2nYcsqBx9
Hazrat Tajuddin Baba was born in 1861 (1277 AH) to the family of Hazrat Imam Hassan, being a tenth-generation descendant of the founder of the world Sufi Naqshbandi order, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari, and a 22nd-generation descendant of the eleventh Imam, Hasan al-Askari. Baba’s forefathers had migrated from Mecca and settled down in Madras, India. His father’s name is Syed Badruddin, who was Subedar in the army – Madras Platoon no. 32 and live in Kamptee. He married Mariam Bee, the daughter of one Sheikh Miraan Saheb.
Baba Hujur was thought to be a stillborn child. However, when a heated coin was stuck in his temple, as per the prevalent customs, Baba Hujur opened his eyes with loud shirk and started looking around. The child then cried for only a little while but almost immediately stopped and kept gazing intently in all directions. The marks of that branding remained forever on the forehead and temples of the pious child.
More often than not, it is seen that highly developed souls become orphans in their early childhood so that they become free to operate in their spiritual world. This had happened with Shri Shirdi Sai and this also happened with Baba Tajuddin. His father expired when he was about one year old and his mother expired when he was only nine years old. The care of this orphan was taken over by his maternal grandmother and maternal-uncle Abdul Rahman. As a child, Baba started his education at the age of six in a local madrasa in Kamptee (Kamthi). During this time a spiritually – developed soul, known as Hazrat Abdulla Shah, visited the madrasa and saw the child Tajuddin. He immediately told the teacher – “Why are you teaching this child? He has got all the knowledge from his past life.” Saying thus, he took out a dry fruit (Khumani) from his bag, ate half, and put the other half in the mouth of the child saying “Eat less, sleep less, speak less and read Qur’an. While reading the Qur’an, read as though the holy Prophet Mohammed has descended upon you.”
As soon as the child ate the dry fruit, God-consciousness dawned on him and for about three days he remained in a state of spiritual ecstasy. Obviously, Hazrat Abdulla Shah had given Tajuddin the spiritual power or consciousness known as “Shaktipat” in the Hindu Yoga system. Thereafter, the child was found to be always in a state of contemplation in secluded places.
Later at the age of 20, in 1881, He joined the Nagpur Army Regiment as a sepoy (Soldier). The gift of the Master was in His heart and He hardly found any solace in the day-to-day working of the Army. After this regiment was posted to Sagar, Baba spent most of His time with Hazrat Baud Saheb, a very well-known spiritual person of Sagar. This Hazrat Baud Saheb thus became a spiritual Guru of Hazrat Tajuddin Baba. With more and more time being spent with Hazrat Baud Saheb, His official work suffered and ultimately he tendered resignation to become free, which He already was.
His oneness with God made Him unaware of the world around Him and He started roaming in the streets of Sagar naked like a Mast. Gradually His relatives and friends came to know about this and they called Him back to Kampti near Nagpur. All medicines and various Doctors were tried but of no avail, Hazrat Tajuddin Baba remained in His state of absolute forgetfulness of the world (the high mystical-state-of-all-existence in which one forgets self). But the people generally took him for a mad man. Children flocked around him and threw stones at him. But he always smiled and was never offended by them. On the contrary, he encouraged them by heaping the stones they needed at the place, ready for their use. If people dissuaded the children from stoning him, he would get angry with them for their interference.
Hazrat Baba Tajuddin lived under bridges and in ruins, caring little for sun and rain. When it rained, he stood under some tree or the other. Now he was completely naked and hardly had any inclination for food or drink. When anyone gave him anything to eat, he gave it away to the stray dogs on the road.
Within a short period, Hazrat Baba Tajuddin reached the zenith of spirituality and miracles started manifesting themselves through Him. One of such examples is stated here. One day Hazrat Tajuddin Baba briskly walked to the house of a goldsmith in Kamptee and told him: ” Vacate your building, remove your belongings as soon as you can.” The goldsmith who had already heard of the Baba and revered him immediately obeyed his order. The same night the building collapsed. The goldsmith and his family were saved and they became Baba Tajuddin’s staunch devotees.
News of Tajuddin Baba’s miraculous powers spread like wildfire and crowds always thronged around him, seeking his blessings for each and every kind of their wishes and endeavors. When Hazrat Baba noticed many people coming there with not the right mentality and just to gain material things without any spiritual interest, He decided to limit his accessibility.
Hazrat Baba Tajuddin Goes To The Lunatic Asylum
Accordingly, at one stage, Tajuddin Baba got fed up with this unworthy demand for miracles and, one day, he declared: ” Tomorrow I shall enter the Lunatic Asylum.” And the next day he did what he said. But the way he did it was very strange and funny. The next day at dawn, Tajuddin Baba stood stark naked in front of the European ladies Tennis club. The English ladies naturally got enraged at his unbecoming conduct and approached the police to put him in the lunatic asylum in Nagpur. And the order was, accordingly, issued by the District Magistrate of Kamptee Cantonment on 26th of August, 1892 A.D.
A few days after he was put by the police in the asylum, the English ladies, whose wrath had earned Tajuddin Baba this reward, saw him walking on the road towards his house at Kamptee. They suspected some intrigue on the part of the police about their complaint. They proceeded straight to the asylum to blame the police for setting the mad fakir free. But their amazement knew no bounds when they found that he was not let off but was very much in the cell, securely locked up in the asylum.
This, however, was not to be a stray incident or the only one of the kind reported of Tajuddin Baba’s strange powers. At that time, the Chief Doctor of the asylum was Dr. Abdul Mjid. One night, when he went around the hospital, he found that while all other lunatics were locked up in their cells, Tajuddin Baba was loitering in the verandah of the cell. The doctor quietly went to the attendant on duty and took him to task for his negligence, for leaving that one lunatic free. But the surprised attendant assured Dr. Abdul Majid that he did lock in every lunatic securely. He personally led the doctor to the particular cell of Baba Tajuddin to prove his claim. Dr. Abdul Majid was stunned to see that this time Tajuddin Baba was inside the cell, securely locked up. This miraculous incident convinced the doctor of the real nature of Baba Tajuddin’s madness and henceforth Dr. Abdul Majid lived only as his devotee, seeking his blessings and guidance in everything he did. Later on, his experiences of Baba’s divine powers were numerous.
Every day crowds of devotees and visitors queued up at the asylum to have Baba Tajuddin’s darshan and receive his infallible blessings. They offered him new clothes, fruits, sweets, beedies and snuff. But he only touched and returned them or gave them away to anyone he pleased in the crowd. The strange powers of the saint had won the doctors and all the authorities of the asylum so much that they were soon obliged to permit him from all manual work which the other inmates had to perform compulsorily and later they left even his cell unlocked. But Tajuddin Baba insisted on his being treated on equal footing with the rest of the inmates and did all the work and always insisted upon being locked up in his cell.
Numerous are the leelas of Hazrat Baba Tajuddin that it’s impossible to cover here. Hence we humbly request readers and devotees to follow the resources listed below and consider taking up reading the book -”The Life And Teachings of Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur by Acharya Ekkirala Bharadwaja”; to make yourself more familiar.
References and Resources
The content of this blog post is based on the following resources
- Book: The Life And Teachings of Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur – by Acharya Ekkirala Bharadwaja https://saibharadwaja.org/books/readhtb.aspx
- ShreeSwami.org https://www.shreeswami.org/avatars/hazrat-tajuddin-baba-of-nagpur/
Youtube Resources: Please find a playlist with history and Aartis about Hazrat Baba Tajuddin
The life story of Hazrat Baba Tajuddin is covered in two videos on youtube, links are shared below
Credits: Concept and draft by Sai Sewak Rohit