As we begin our discussion on the main topic of this post, which we were inspired to write during this Ramanavami, we would like to share a captivating story of Shri Sai Sarovar. This story has already been chronicled in chapter 29 of Shri Sai Satcharitra. During an arti in Dwarkamai, a lady devotee from Madrasi Bhajani Mela witnessed Lord Rama instead of Sai Baba.
Once upon a time, in the bustling city of Sangli in Madras, there resided a man named Murugan. He was a Madrasi and a devout believer in Lord Ramchandraji. Murugan and his wife, Lakshmibai, had been married for several years but had yet to be blessed with children. Despite their differences in character, the couple shared one common desire – to have children of their own.
The couple had tried everything to conceive a child, but all their efforts had been in vain. They were desperate and didn’t know what else to do. That’s when they turned to their beloved Lord Ramchandraji and offered a humble prayer. They prayed, “O Lord if You fulfill our wish, we will walk till Kashi and bathe in the holy waters of the Ganges.
Lord Rama is known to be the embodiment of kindness and compassion. He is like a dream come true for His devotees. To those who seek His blessings, He is the benefactor of the suffering and the ocean of grace. His abode is filled with happiness and contentment, and His presence can bring peace to troubled hearts.
For those who worship Lord Ramachandraji with a pure and sincere heart, He is the fulfiller of all their desires. His blessings can bring happiness and success in all aspects of life. He is believed to be the ultimate source of all wisdom and knowledge, and His teachings are followed by millions of people all over the world.
Lord Rama’s life is a testament to His greatness and divine nature. His unwavering devotion to truth and righteousness has inspired generations of people to lead a life of virtue and morality. His love and compassion for all living beings have made him the most beloved deity among Hindus.
The stories of Lord Rama and His heroic deeds have been passed down from generation to generation, inspiring people to strive for excellence and to always choose the path of righteousness.
After years of fervent prayers to Lord Ramchandraji, the Madrasi devotee Murugan and his wife Lakshmi were finally blessed with a child – a son whom they named Dukhaiya. The couple was overjoyed with the arrival of their bundle of joy and raised him with love and care.
However, Murugan and Lakshmi had made a promise to the Lord that if they were blessed with a child, they would fulfill their vow of walking to Kashi and taking a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges. When Dukhaiya turned three years old, they decided that it was time to fulfill their promise.
Murugan, Lakshmi, Dukhaiya, and Murugan’s sister-in-law Parvati set out on foot from Sangli to Kashi, a journey that spanned several hundred kilometers. Along the way, they begged for alms and subsisted on meager meals to honor their vow to the Lord.
Despite the hardships of their journey, the family remained steadfast in their devotion to Lord Ramchandraji. They walked for days and nights, crossing rivers and valleys, and enduring the scorching heat and bone-chilling cold.
Murugan would play the dholak, a traditional drum, while Parvati would strum the Ektara, a stringed instrument. Lakshmibai’s melodious voice would harmonize with the rhythm of the Manjira, small cymbals that added an element of joy to their music. The family’s daily living was sustained by the alms they received while performing bhajans or devotional songs. They lived a simple life, traveling from place to place, and spreading the message of love and devotion through their music. As they continued on their journey, the family became known as Ramdasis or Varkaris, a term used to describe the devotees who traveled on foot to various holy places in Marathi, singing devotional songs in praise of the Lord.
Lakshmibai was not only known for her beautiful voice but also for her unwavering devotion to Lord Ramachandraji. Her love for him was reflected in every note of her bhajans. When she sang, it was as if she was singing directly to the Lord himself.
During her bhajan sessions, Lakshmibai would lose all sense of time and space, completely immersed in her love for Lord Rama. She would forget her own existence and become one with the music, allowing the name of Lord Rama to wash over her like a gentle wave.
Her devotion was so deep that she would often break down in tears while singing, overwhelmed by the grace and love of Lord Rama. To Lakshmibai, singing bhajans was not just a way of praising the Lord but also a way of surrendering herself completely to him.
People who heard her sing were moved by the depth of her devotion. The journey of the Ramdasi family was not an easy one, but her faith and devotion sustained them through every hardship. As they traveled from place to place, their music and devotion touched the hearts of many, spreading the message of love and compassion.
Lakshmibai’s voice, in particular, had a magical effect on people, as it conveyed the purest form of devotion and love. Her bhajans would often bring tears to the eyes of listeners, moved by the depth of her love for Lord Rama.
As the Ramdasi family continued their journey, they were sustained by the alms they received from people. However, over time, the money they received began to have a negative impact on Murugan’s faith in God. The more money they received, the more he became focused on the material aspects of their journey, rather than the spiritual ones.
The once humble and devoted Murugan began to succumb to the temptations of greed and materialism. His mind became clouded by thoughts of money, and his faith in God began to wane.
We remembered the old saying about Swati Nakshatra, which states that when a raindrop falls in this particular constellation, it can produce either poison or pearls depending on where it lands.
As Murugan and his Ramdasi troupe traveled on their pilgrimage from Sangli to Kashi, they heard of a village called Shirdi where a fakir named Saibaba resided. According to the people there, Sai Baba donated large sums of money every day and no one left His court empty-handed. Despite initially being hesitant to visit a Muslim mosque on their Hindu pilgrimage, Murugan’s greed for money overcame his religious biases. He convinced himself that the relationship between money and religion was separate and that the giver’s religion did not matter as long as they received the money.
With these thoughts in mind, Murugan and his group arrived in Shirdi in 1916. They would attend Sai Baba’s court every afternoon, singing bhajans to entertain the crowd. Despite He is the knower of events status, Sai Baba was merciful to all, including Murugan and his group. He would even reach into the deep groove of His Kafni and give as much money as He could find to Murugan’s congregation.
For Murugan, seeing the money in the Kafni brought him immense joy, further fueling his greed. But as it is said in the Gita, greed leads to stupidity, and stupidity defeats memory. Despite being blinded by his desire for wealth, Murugan failed to recognize the true value of Sai Baba’s teachings and the importance of genuine devotion.
It was a typical afternoon at Saibaba’s court, filled with devotees who had come to seek blessings and guidance from their beloved Baba. Among them was Lakshmibai, who took up a bhajan in Hindi, the lines of which were so divine that it took her into a trance. As Lakshmibai finished singing, she forgot all about her body and became completely absorbed in Brahmanand. Suddenly, something miraculous happened. Instead of seeing Sai Baba on his throne, Lakshmi saw Lord Ramchandraji, the embodiment of divinity and grace.
Ramachandraji’s body was dark like the blue lotus, emerald, and blue cloud. His face was charming like the autumn moon, with beautiful cheeks, a throat like a conch, red lips, teeth like a pomegranate bud, a very beautiful nose, and a bright smile that put the moonlight to shame. Lord Shri Ramchandraji’s beauty was like a blooming lotus, and His brow put the beauty of Kamadeva’s bow to shame.
Ramachandraji wore Makrakriti earrings in both ears, and His huge forehead was adorned with a beautiful tilak. Curly hair hung between the ornaments of the crown on His head, and diamond-ruby studded gems were worn on the eight limbs. He was clad in yellow from His waist down.
Lakshmibai lost consciousness of her body in the ecstasy of seeing Lord Ramchandraji. Overwhelmed, she started dancing in the courtyard of Dwarikamai with the Ektara in her hand. Even after the aarti was over, Lakshmibai kept dancing and dancing. It was only later that she came to her senses, but the vibrations of Brahmananda’s bliss continued to resonate within her.
Murugan was curious about Lakshmibai’s unusual behavior during the aarti at Dwarikamai. As they walked towards their place, he asked her, “What happened to you today in Dwarikamai?”
Lakshmibai, still in a state of euphoria, replied with childlike innocence, “I saw Lord Ramchandraji on the throne of Lord Shri Saibaba. Lord Rama appeared in person“.
Murugan was taken aback by her words. He had heard many miraculous stories about Sai Baba but had never heard of such a divine appearance. He asked her to describe what she had seen.
Lakshmibai went on to describe the Lord’s appearance in detail. She spoke of His dark blue body, His charming smile, and His beautiful ornaments. She described His curly hair and the diamond-ruby studded gems He wore on His eight limbs. She also mentioned the yellow cloth He wore from his waist down.
Murgan listened to her with rapt attention, amazed at the vividness of her description. He could see the joy and excitement in her eyes as she spoke of the divine vision she had experienced. However, Murugan, a person with strong beliefs, responded with disdain, “Oh, come on! Everyone used to witness the Fakir seated on the throne, and you claim to have seen Lord Rama in this age of chaos. Nothing extraordinary occurred! You saw Rama in a mosque, a place of worship for Muslims. This obsession of yours is pointless! Focus on earning a livelihood, or else you might end up starving to death!”
This story reveals the contrasting personalities of Murugan and Laxmibai. While Murugan prioritized survival, Laxmibai was a devout and spiritually evolved woman. In a previous post on MahaShivratri, we discussed how the Jivatma can transit to the Paramatma. Laxmibai’s advanced level of consciousness allowed her to achieve the darshan of Shri Rama, while her husband did not.
This story highlights the importance of spiritual growth and evolution. It shows that individuals who are more spiritually inclined are able to experience higher levels of consciousness and connect with divine entities like Shri Rama. On the other hand, those who are solely focused on survival may miss out on these spiritual experiences.
Ultimately, this story emphasizes the significance of balancing our material needs with our spiritual growth. While it is important to prioritize our basic survival needs, we should also strive to develop our spiritual consciousness and connect with higher realms of existence. This balance can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Devotion and spirituality are often mistaken for the same thing, but they are actually distinct concepts. Devotion is the first step towards spirituality, as it allows us to form a connection with our chosen Guru or Deity. This connection forms a karmic bond or Rinanubandh that is essential for spiritual growth.
The Guru or Deity serves as a guide for our spiritual journey and helps us evolve into higher states of consciousness. As we progress on our spiritual path, the karmic bond between us and our chosen guide becomes stronger.
The transition from Jivatma to a higher level of consciousness is directly linked to our devotion and connection with our chosen guide. The point of transition from Jivatama to one level up has roots attached to their Aradhya.
As we delve deeper into the question “Who is Sai Baba?”, it becomes clear that He is none other than Parabrahm, personified for us in a form and lived in an old, dilapidated mosque known as Dwarakamai in Shirdi. When His devotees visit Dwarakamai, some see Baba as He is, while others see their Guru or beloved deity. Yet Baba remains unchanged. It is the highest intensity of the Rinanubandh of the devotee with their devout Guru or deity, that gets replicated in Baba and they can see their respective Aradhya in Him.
To understand this, let’s use the example of looking into a mirror. When we look into a mirror, we see our reflection at the first glance and even after repeated glances, we see ourselves. We cannot see the mirror itself because we are rooted in ourselves and identify with our physical form. Similarly, Sai Baba is like a mirror that reflects the chosen Aradhya of each devotee. The Rinanubandh, or karmic bond, with the chosen Aradhya is the reflection, while the devotee is like the body. With a stronger Rinanubandh, devotees can see their beloved Guru or deity in Sai Baba, as He replicates it as Parabrahm. In simpler words, when devotees meet Sai Baba, He reflects and replicates their Rinanubandh, just like a mirror reflects our image.
In conclusion, this story and discussion on spirituality highlight the importance of balancing our material needs with our spiritual growth. Devotion and spiritual consciousness are essential for experiencing higher levels of consciousness and connecting with divine entities. The karmic bond between us and our chosen guide, whether it be a Guru or Deity, is the key to our spiritual evolution. Ultimately, Sai Baba represents the highest level of spiritual consciousness and reflects the chosen Aradhya of each devotee. By striving for spiritual growth and developing our connection with our chosen guide, we can achieve a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
- Understanding Karma: Insights from Sai Baba’s Teachings
- Karma – Categories and Types Explained
- Why is Guru Necessary on Spiritual Path
- Embracing Eternal Lessons: Reading Sai Satcharitra Again and Again
- The Quadruple Entanglement on the Spiritual Wisdom of Kabir Das, Shri Krishna, Modern Science and Sai Baba
- The Art of Complete Surrender
- Sai Baba Answers Yes Or No
- Discovering Oneness Through The MahaVakya, Ekam Sat & Sab Ka Malik Ek
- Why Sai Baba Doesn’t Answer My Prayer – An Ice Breaker
- What Makes Us Sai Devotees?
- Perfect Way To Do Naam Jaap
- Who Is Sai Baba’s Fakir?
- There Are Two Shirdi(s)
- Shirdi Sai Baba & Anger
- Shirdi Sai Baba And Yoga
- Dhuni in Dwarkamai – Spiritual Significance
- Sai Baba’s Leela – Lighting Lamps With Water – Significance
- What Is The Meaning Of “Sai”?