Shirdi Sai Baba’s Philosophy about Deeds (Karma)

The theory of Karma (our deeds) is difficult to comprehend. We can recall the scientific principle of ‘Action and Reaction’. The theory of karma is of a similar type. We have to bear the consequences of our deeds whether immediately or later. But there is no escape from it. If we touch fire, our hands will burn immediately. On the other hand, if we smoke our bodies will diminish slowly. Following the same principle, whatever outcome of our good or bad actions performed in the last births has to experience in the following births to come. There is no way out of it.

One has to reap what one sows and there is no escape unless one suffers and squares up one’s old debts and dealings with others – Chapter 47 of Sacred Text Sai Satcharitra.

Always Do Good Act

While doing any good deed, it must not be done because some other person is doing it. It must be according to one’s physical, financial and spiritual capacity.

This was put into action by Sai Baba when He rejected an offer for another wooden plank to be hung on the ceiling for Mhlasapati by Kakasaheb Dixit in chapter 45 of Sacred Text – Sai Satcharitra.

In the same chapter, we have seen what Baba has said about running around and trying the advice of various Gurus, “There are innumerable saints in the world, but our father (Guru) is the real father (Real Guru). Others might say many good things, but we should never forget our Guru’s advice because he knows what is best for us.”

Seek Company of Saints

Sai Baba advised His devotees to shun company of atheists, irreligious and wicked persons altogether.

Instead, He used to ask His devotees to seek the company of saints, “The importance of the company of Saints is very great. It removes our body consciousness and egoism, destroys completely the chain of our birth and death, cuts asunder all the knots of the heart, and takes us to God, Who is pure Consciousness. It certainly increases our non-attachment to sense objects, and makes us quite indifferent to pleasures and pains, and leads us on the spiritual path. If you have no other Sadhana, such as uttering God’s name, worship or devotion, etc., but if you take refuge in them (Saints) wholeheartedly, they will carry you off safely across the ocean of worldly existence. It is for this reason that the Saint manifest themselves in this world. even sacred rivers such as the Ganges, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri, etc., which wash away the sins of the world, desire that the Saints should come to them, for a bath and purify them. Such is the grandeur of the Saints”Chapter 10.

Even hearing the stories of saints or reading the books, written by them, is in a way, keeping them company.

Avoid Bad Deeds

It may happen that even if a person wishes to do good acts and walk on the path of teachings prescribed in the scriptures, he is not able to do so which leads him to the evil path. What can be the reason behind this? It is because of deeds in past life and his nature framed accordingly.

Also sometimes it also happens that it is difficult in deciding to perform a good act. Some other person of evil nature may advise not to proceed with a good act. Thus this time is testing for the good person as he has to distinguish between good and bad deeds. Being firm in his decision and taking action accordingly, he can certainly reach his goal of avoiding evil advice.

Devotees were often helped by Sai Baba in their good determinations. In chapter 19, we read that Sai Baba encouraged the thought Hemadpant to sing unceasingly Rama’s name on Thursday, by arranging the coincidence of making Dabholkar listen to a song sung by one Aurangabadkar on Rama.

It was the regret of Baba that very few devotees come to Him for spiritual upliftment. He says in Chapter 32, “My Sircar’s treasury (spiritual wealth) is full, it is overflowing. I say, “Dig out and take away this wealth in cartloads, the blessed son of a true mother should fill himself with this wealth. The skill of my Fakir, the Leela of my Bhagwan, and the aptitude of my Sircar are quite unique. What about Me? The body (earth) will mix with the earth, and breathe with air. This time won’t come again.”

Doership of Deeds

This is very well explained by Sai Baba in chapter 50 of the following story. Once Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati, known as Shri Tembye Swami encamped, at Rajamahendri (Andhra Country), on the banks of Godavari. One, Mr. Pundalikrao, a pleader of Nanded (Nizam State) went to see him, with some friends. While they were talking with him, the names of Shirdi and Sai Baba were casually mentioned. Hearing Baba’s name, the Swami bowed with his hands; and taking a coconut gave it to Pundalikrao, and said to him, “Offer this to my brother Sai, with my pranam and request Him not to forget me, but ever love me.” After one month Pundalikrao and others left for Shirdi with the coconut. Unfortunately, the fruit was broken that was entrusted to Pundalikrao. Fearing and trembling, he came to Shirdi and saw Baba. Baba had already received a wireless message, regarding the coconut, from the Tembye Swami, as He asked Pundalikrao first to give the things sent by His brother. He held fast to Baba’s Feet, confessed his guilt and negligence, repented, and asked for Baba’s pardon. He offered to give another fruit as a substitute, but Baba refused to accept it saying that the worth of that coconut was by far, many times more, than an ordinary one and that it could not be replaced by another one. Baba also added- “Now you need not worry yourself anymore about the matter. It was on account of my wish that the coconut was entrusted to you, and ultimately broken on the way; why should you take responsibility for the actions you? Do not entertain the sense of doership in doing good, as well as for bad deeds; be entirely prideless and egoless in all things and thus your spiritual progress will be rapid.” What a beautiful spiritual instruction Baba gave!

List of Devotees of Sai Baba of Shirdi

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Hetal Patil
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