Shirdi Sai Baba’s Philosophy About Wealth

Shirdi Sai Baba's Philosophy About Wealth

Many instances we find in Sacred Text – Shri Sai Satcharitra where Sai Baba gave us easy and practical teachings to walk on this path of spirituality. Though teachings were given with simple and understandable circumstances and examples, their purpose was to make Baba’s devotees assimilate in their hearts and follow. Material wishes were fulfilled by Baba to open doors for the spiritual advancement of devotees. Every chapter covers Baba’s view regarding wealth, food, speech, bhakti marg (path of devotion), cycles of rebirth, theory of ‘Karma” (one’s deeds), the pleasure of the senses, ‘Maya’ (attachments), egotism, non-violence, good conduct, bliss (perfect joy), firm faith, Saburi (patience), service to the distressed, reading of sacred books, devotion to the Guru, astrology, various religions, etc. All these will be discussed which regard to incidents and examples from Sacred Text – Shri Sai Satcharitra in length in this and subsequent posts.

Different advice was given by Baba about money to His devotees seeking self-realization. His pieces of advice were not plain but preaching in practice. His way of living was itself teaching us about money. He lived in old and dilapidated masjid “Dwarkamai“. His dress was a patched, long robe and a piece of cloth tied on His head. His seat was a torn piece of sack. All His treasure was a tumbler, Satka (short stick), a brick, chillum, pair of tongs. He lived on alms which He begged from a few houses of Shirdi.

Later on, His fame reached far-off places and devotees started flocking in great numbers. Many of them brought costly articles and gifts for Baba, which were refused and thrown away, and devotee who had brought it was scolded. Varieties of food were severed during meal-time, but Baba most of the time distributed among His devotees present. A beautiful palanquin was provided by devotees, but Baba never sat in it for Chavadi Procession. Hundreds of rupees were collected by Baba as Dakshina, but Baba generously gave away all the money thus received to His needy devotees the same day and the next day He again become poor Fakir. Moreover, He never accepted free service from anyone. Baba practiced prompt and on-the-spot payment methods for any work, small or big, He entrusted.

Sai Baba used to say, Poverty is better than Kingship, far better than Lordship. The Lord is always brother (befriender) of the poor.”

Chapters 16 and 17 of Sacred Text – Shri Sai Satcharitra, deals with how a devotee came for seeking Brahma Gyan and how he was treated by Baba. Though promised by Baba to return a small amount of Rs. 5, the miserly visitor cannot make up his mind to part away with it. He had a bundle of currency notes in his pocket which summed up to Rs. 250. Still, he was hesitant and impatient to receive Brahma Gyan which was far more valuable than his note bundle. His mind was not steady, but filled with greed to grab more and more money, then how his aim for real liberation and renunciation be fulfilled by Sai Baba? Baba bid him goodbye with the following words

Roll up your bundle of Brahma viz. Currency notes. Unless you get rid completely of your avarice or greed, your will not get the real Brahma. How can be, whose mind is engrossed in wealth, progeny and prosperity, expect to know the Brahma, without removing away his attachment for the same?

Mhalsapati was Baba’s close and intimate devotee. It was difficult for him to maintain his family out of utter poverty. He never asked for money from Baba although Baba used to give away all His money in his presence. A well-to-do rich gentleman Hansraj wanted to give some cash to Mhlasapati in Baba’s presence, but Baba did not allow him to accept – Chapter 36.

Chapter 29 deals with Madrasi Bhajani Mela who visited Shirdi to satisfy their greed for money. Baba was aware of this and He gave the mistress a vision of Shri Ram and also transformed her husband into a devotee. Their stay in Shirdi became fruitful and greed for money was warded off by devotion and love for Baba.

© Shirdi Sai Baba Life Teachings and Stories
In chapter 35, Baba gave a beautiful message to Kaka Mahajani‘s boss Thakkar Dharmasey Jethabhai about his conduct

There was a fickle-minded gentleman. He had health and wealth and was free from both physical and mental afflictions, but he took on him needless anxieties and burdens and wandered hither and thither, thus losing his peace of mind. Sometimes he dropped the burdens and at other times carried them again. His mind knew no steadiness. Seeing his state, I took pity on him and said, “Now please keep your faith on any one place (point) you like, why roam like this? Stick quietly to one place.

The person took lessons and became free from anxieties.

Baba practiced charity and advised charity to His rich devotees. He tried to make them free from attachment for money. Kakasaheb Dixit, Nanasaheb Chandorkar, etc were a few such devotees who gave up their wealth, and position only to serve Baba.

Dear readers these are a few instances wherein Baba showed His mercy to rid of greed for money. But these instances should also be followed by us to attain blessings from Baba and finally merge with Him.

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Hetal Patil
Hetal Patil
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