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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 7

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SHRI SAI’S GURU, SHRI SAI’S MANIFESTATION IN SHIRDI - Continued

Baba had been suffering from Asthma and He had a very severe attack of it in about the Decembers of 1885. He said to Mhalasapati, "I am going up into a superconscious state for a period of 3 days. Take care of this body exactly for three days, and if by the end of that period I do not return to bodily consciousness, then pointing to a place-a corner of the present chowk have Samadhi prepared, bury me there and put up two flags as a token of my being there. But till then do not disturb me; and do not leave me unguarded, unwatched Saying this, He drew up His breath up to the tabernacle and fell senseless, on the lap of Mhalasapati. It was 10 p.m. He had no breath, no pulsation, the whole body was functionless; people gathered together but finding Baba in a super-conscious state, none said anything at the time; two days after, some Molvi (Mohammedan Fakir), Appa Kulkarni, and Kashinath seeing that life had left Baba’s body entirely, proposed to have a Samadhi built for Him for His burial. Thanks to Mhalasapati he do not change his posture, nor budge an inch lest Baba should get disturbed for three days, without a break and simply heard out the proposals of His body asking them to wait till the time-limit fixed by Baba was over. Pending the discussion about the disposal of Shri's body, the time limit of three painful days had at last expired. On expiry of that period at 3 A.M. life gradually returned to Baba; His eyes also opened bye and bye; breathing started and the belly also moved. His face then appeared to be joyful, winking of the eyes started, stiffness of the limbs had gone and the whole body started working as if nothing had happened. But for Mhalasapati’s firm devotion. Faith in Baba’s words and his marvellous courage in adhering to the same in the face of people’s opposition, the posterity, nay millions of people, would have been deprived of the innumerable benefits that they derived and are deriving from Him.

3. SAIBABA’S MISSION

"But for Guru, who can show the right path? Millions of Suns, Moons and stars may simultaneously put forth their best light. And yet the Darkness, the impenetrable Darkness will be there to block your path, if you have no Guru."

"Know Guru to be God, serve him with all your heart; then the fetters of worldly bonds will fall off and the fruit of absolution will be yours." "Surrender unto the Guru, meditate on God’s reality; obtain release-the all pervading joy" says Brahmananda.

Few seem too have even the faintest ideal of the immense powers of a perfect man, of a man who has by constant meditation wholly identified himself with Brahman. Scholars and Pandits. Teachers and professors of Indian Philosophy particularly of Brahma Sutra know this full well, but immersed in their own worldly affairs they seldom care to look up for a person fully answering the description of such a man.

The last chapter of this Brahma Sutra clearly states that a realised soul has the powers to assume any form he likes, that he may not, if he so wills take any form, that he can by his mere will not only assume one form but as many as he wants, that he will create and uncreated his own world, that by his mere will he will have all he wants, that he can move in the whole of the universe material and spiritual by that power and wherever he goes he will be adored and respected by people.

Sai Baba fully answers to the description of the perfect soul given by Brahma Sutra and this is and was the reason why He could manifest Himself in as many forms as he deemed necessary either to satisfy the loving hearts of His devotees or to show to the real aspirant that he is the same, in no way different from the God. Whom the aspirant worshipped. We shall quote a few experiences of the devotees in illustration of this.

A Sai devotee Mamlatdar was very friendly with a doctor who was a staunch devotee of Shri Ramchandraji. In 1909 Christmas the Mamlatdar informed his doctor friend that he had determined to spend his X’ mas at Shirdi and that he would be very happy to have his company if he could give it. The Doctor was a Brahmin, strictly adhering to the Mandates of scriptures and regularly discharged all the duties enjoined upon Brahimns therein; over and above this, be was staunch devotee of Shri Ram and would never bow to a Mohammedan. The doctor therefore said, he may give his company if he so desired but he would not bow to Baba. The Mamlatdar having assured him that none in Shirdi, nor Baba Himself would ask him to prostrate himself before Baba, the Doctor accompanied the Mamlatdar to Shirdi. On reaching Shirdi both the friends went to Dwarkamayee; the Mamlatdar as usual prostrated himself before Baba and offered Him fruits etc. The doctor stood witnessing all this. When lo! In place of Sai Baba the doctor saw his own deity Shri Ramchandraji. At once he prostrated himself before Baba; on coming out of Dwarkamayee, when Mamlatdar asked the doctor, why he had prostrated himself before Baba though none had asked him to do so, he at once declared that he prostrated because in place of Sai he saw his own deity Shri Ramchandraji. I was lucky enough to have my deity’s Darshan and that was the reason why I lay at the feet of Shri Sai Baba.

Continued...


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 6

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SHRI SAI’S GURU, SHRI SAI’S MANIFESTATION IN SHIRDI - Continued

Baba did not accept any money gift from any body these days; so when Kashinath offered Him some money-gift. He flatly refused to receive it. This refusal brought tears in the eyes of Kashinath. Moved by this He started taking money gifts (Dakshina) from him; at first He increased that sum. However, from the day Baba started accepting His Dakshina, Kashinath’s financial position grew weak and weak till he became abjectly poor and people refused to give him even a loan. This set Kashinath thinking. He asked himself. "How could charity made to the most holy and the pure reduce him to such a miserable state?" Then after a little introspection he found that it was not his Charity that reduced him to this miserable state but it was his pride that blinded him to the fact that the giver was not he but God Himself; Unless God gives who can dole out Charity? In fact as he knew Baba to be God; he now understood that the truth lying under this unhappy event of his life was that both the giver of Charity and receivers of Charity were one viz; God Himself. From the day he realised this true state of affairs, his condition started improving; and very soon he regained his lost wealth and reputation.

This Kashinath dealt in cloth and wherever weekly bazaars were held, he would go and put up a temporary shop. Once when he was returning from some such Bazaar of Naur he was accosted by a band of armed dacoits. Kashinath handed over to them all the cash that he had, but he would not part with a small bag. Dacoits thought the little bag contained some more precious article and so they demanded the delivery of the said bag. He refused and so the dacoits tried to snatch it away from him but he opposed and so a tussle ensued. Taking the sward of one of the dacoits which lay there he killed two of them and so the third one coming from behind dealt on Kashinath’s head an axe-blow. This blow stunned Kashinath and he lay prostrate on earth as if dead. Taking Kashinath to be dead the other dacoits escaped leaving Kashinath there. After some time Kashinath regained his consciousness and people pressed him that he be allowed to be taken to a hospital. But his faith in Baba was so unshakeable that he refused and returned to Shirdi in that condition and recovered under Baba’s care. The Government was pleased to award him a sward for the valour he had shown in facing these dacoits and while the fray between the dacoits and Kashinath was going on, Baba at Shirdi had been shouting, abusing bawling aloud. People accustomed to Baba’s way at once understood that some dear devotee of Baba had been in some trouble and to tide over the calamity of that devotee He was roaring, shouting, abusing etc. Kashinath lived long after this and passed away on the 11th day of the lunar month which is considered to be very auspicious for death. Appa Jogle also passed away on the same day some time after this, enjoying a long lease of a happy life.

The third of the trio Mhalasapati worked as goldsmith but was not so financially happy as the other two; he was abjectly poor and it seems Baba did not want that he should have affluence or plenty of riches. Once a rich person presented to Baba a dish filled with Gold and silver coins. Baba returned it to the donor in tact. Mahalasapati was percent there at the time for his daily worship of Baba. The donor seeing Mahalasapati desired that he be permitted by Baba to give over dish of coins to Mahalasapati. Baba emphatically disallowed it, saying, "Real royalty is renunciation. That alone lasts for ever. Riches (or Plenty) are evanscent."

Though unlucky in money-matters Shri Mhalasapati was very lucky in having Baba’s constant company on every alternate night at the Dwarkamai. Both of them then kept as it were night vigil but mainly it was Baba who would be awake all night, not allowing Mhalasapati and Tatya (when the latter also attended the Dwarkamayi to go to sleep by night. He would very often ask Mhalasapati to keep his hand on His (Baba’s) heart and see that His utterance of the holy name did not stop, that as soon as it stopped he was asked to wake Him up; but Baba very often complained that instead of watching the sound of the holy name emerging from His Heart, he himself would fall asleep, his hand would become heavy and He was required to wake him up feeling the heaviness of his hand. This clearly shows what the object of Baba in not allowing Mhalasapati (and Tatya) to sleep in the Dwarkamayi was, that He wanted them to chant the holy name by keeping awake.

We have already mentioned that it was Mhalasapati who dubbed Shri with the name of Sai Baba and Sai Baba also willingly retained it till He left His body. But Mhalasapati had to his credit a still greater service to posterity of which we shall now speak.

Continued...


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Monday, June 22, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 5

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SHRI SAI’S GURU, SHRI SAI’S MANIFESTATION IN SHIRDI - Continued

Accordingly one should not to be astonished if we say that Roshan Shah spoken of by Baba did exit in flesh and blood and Baba strenuously served him for over twelve years. It seems Roshan Shah thereafter cast off his mortal coil-his-body-and Baba entombed him under or near the nimb tree at present found in Shirdi Navalkar’s Vada. When the previous owner of this Wada B.S. Sathe wanted to put up a story and terrace, at the time of putting a stair case he unearthed a tomb with and under-ground cellar or a cave under the tree, Baba was asked as to what should be done about the tomb and the cave? Baba said that, ‘that place belonged to His elders and it should neither be disturbed nor opened but it should be covered up with a stone as before." Persons and some boys playing a hide and seek game removed the stone and found under it several steps leading further down. They said that the cave was dark but rather long; Baba once told the writer pointing to a pillar near His Dhuni (the sacred fire) in the Dwarkamai, "that there was a cave there; He always confined Himself to that cave; that once his beard had grown so long that it reached the ground and swept; that He never came out of the cave unless to meet some holy and religious man" It seems this cellar or cave referred to by Baba started from under the nimb tree and extended up to and even beyond the Chawdi. This cave was in fact Baba’s place of penance. After years of such penance in the cave, people caught sight of him one day when He had come out for water. It seems He had finished His term of penance then, for thereafter He did not return to the cave; but made the nimb tree His abode. And what an abode it was! Situate on the outskirts of the village in the debris of the old village wall, where people used to help their rubbish, where a stream of village filthy stinking water ran and the thorny cactus abounded uncheked, Baba stayed uncared for and unnoticed by the people of the village for about a year or two. With only a Kafni on the body and rag covering the head He lived on. Digging a pit He slept in it. How he fed himself on one knows bur from the admonition He had once administered to Sagunrao M. Naik—it appears He had lived only on Margosa leaves for than 12 years. He had said to Sagun, "What! You can’t put up with a day or two days’ starvation? I myself had lived on Margosa leaves for as many as twelve years."

Mahlsapathi was probably the first to introduce himself to Shri Baba; he was so much impressed with conversation he had with Baba that he thereafter saw Him daily and introduced Baba to his other friends Kashinath tailor and Appa Jogle, saying that a Fakir Sai Baba has made a sudden appearance o the outskirts of the village near the debris of village wall, that He is far above the common average man, a pure and holy man worth paying respects; from that time onward He came to be known as Sai Baba. This trio-of Mhalasapati, Kashinath and Jogle-daily visited him and paid their respects to Him and supplied whatever little requirements He had. The news that one Sai Baba had manifested Him-self near the nimb tree o the outskitrts of the village, reached the ears of the late Appa Patil Kote and one day he with his wife went to Baba to pay respects. It is said that when Baba saw them coming He left His seat, got up and cordially welcomed Appa and told his wife that she had been veritably His sister. The lady his wife that she had been veritably His sister. The lady Bayjabai, on seeing Baba was so much impressed that she there and then resolved never to take her food without first feeding Baba.

At the start Sai Baba prescribed and gave medicine but never charged nor accepted any money for the same. Not only that, but if he found that there was none to look after or nurse His patient, He would himself be his nurse and serve him. Once it so happened that His patient failed to observe the rules of diet etc. He had prescribed and as a result thereof he died. Since that day Baba gave up administering medicine and gave only His Udi-holy ashes for their. In this connection Baba once said, I used to give medicine before but thereafter giving up everything I went on chanting (taking) the name of Hari; and by a ceaseless muttering of that holy name I actually became Hari."

After giving up the physician ship, Baba was seldom found at his abode under the nimb tree; He moved about in the village fields in the jungle amidst thrones etc. apparently idling away His time but virtually utilising each minute of His time in remembering and meditating on God. He was in rags and village people looked upon Him as and called Him a mad Fakir. He begged His food once, twice or at times even a dozen times in a day. Without caring for the adverse opinion of the village folks Bayjabai however never failed to give alms whenever Baba went to her for the purpose and never failed to observe herself imposed rule of feeding Baba before she fed herself. and for the observance of this rule she had at time with a basket on her head to wander in fields and jungle for hours to find Him out and if she found Baba was merged in mediation, she would slowly wake up, serve the dish, persuade him to take a morsel of two (if not more) return home and then take her meals. Baba in turn amply rewarded her services by doing everything in His power for her welfare and the welfare of her whole family. In particular. Baba treated her son Tatya Patil with tender care and affection, regularly paid him to took after His requirements, and even after the educated, the cultured, the rich and the wealthy, multi-millionaire came to Him, He would not give over his charge to any one else, nor would He ever leave for Chawdi unless and until this Tatya came and accompanied Him; but as if all this was not enough return for the services rendered by Bayjabai. He cast off even His body to save this Tatya.

As Shirdi was on the way to many places of pilgrimage of southern India such as Rameshwar, Pandharpur etc. several saints visited Shirdi and amongst them there were two, who ultimately though it fit to settle down in Shirdi. One of them was Devdas who came to Shirdi when he was only 10-11 years old. He was well built and had lustrous eyes. He had put up in Maruti Temple. He was man of knowledge. Shirdi people looked upon him with respect. Appa, Mhalasapati, Kashinath and others were his daily visitors and they supplied all His wants. Kashinath and Tatya Patil had accepted him as their Guru (Religious master). He usually taught Vyankatesh Stotra (a composition of hymns on God Vyankatesh) Ten-Eleven years after he came Baba appeared in Shirdi. Baba saw him from time to time. Another Saint Jankidas, highly advanced, had also come and settled down before Baba’s appearance. When Baba came He spent long long hours in the company of this Jankidas.


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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 4

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SHRI SAI’S GURU, SHRI SAI’S MANIFESTATION IN SHIRDI

(1) I manifest myself in every age, for the protection of the good destruction of the wicked and the foundation of religion. (Bh. Gita, Ch. 4-8)

(3) Little in stature, great in valour. Subdued terrible Cobra Kali, held aloft a week the Goverdhan Mount and saved people from the fury of God Indra. (Bhalan)

(4) Some are born Great.
"I was only eight years old when I left my parents and came to the Ganges (Baba always named the Godavari as the Ganges). Then I came to Shirdi," This was what Baba said (unasked) to the writer.

He continued, "I found my master in the Chawdi here. His calm, peaceful, Cheerful and meditative face attracted me, charmed me, almost bewitched me so much so that my eyes, were ever rivetted on his face and that even a moment’s separation from him made me uneasy. In his company I used to forget all my hunger and thirst. I served him with all my heart for years together for more than 12 years. The duties I had imposed on myself for him were very arduous. He never left his seat for any purpose, not even to answer calls of nature. Merged in meditation for ever, he entirely forgot that he had a body, mind etc. He ate, passed urine and stool etc. there and there on his seat. I fed him, changed his clothes, Swept and kept his seat always clean. As a reward of this he awarded me his blessings saying, "Wherever you are, here or even beyond the, seven sea’s, I will be ever with you to guard and protect you." Right at the start he had asked me to pay his fees; and on my asking what his fees were. He coolly said "his fees were only two pice", and these pice were not the government currency I had been using but his two pice fees consisted of two things Nishta faith-absolute faith and Saboori-patience. I readily gave him these two pice and though I was very eager to obtain from his holy mouth some holy spell or formula which I could go on chanting and repeating, he uttered nothing into ears. He simply said, "I shall ever be with you. Protecting you by my mere loving glance in the manner of a tortoise protecting his young ones by mere glance. The entire credit of all this glory of mine goes to this Guru master. It is the outcome of his blessing." On another occasion He said to this writer "My Guru’s (master’s) name is Roshan she Mian" When Baba uttered these words, I took them as advising me to take to the sun Worship, as I am by caste a Brahmin and Brahmins are by their scriptures required to worships the Sun, three times a day-at sunrise, at noon and Sunset and repeat the Sun’s Gayatri formula for at least 324 times a day. Subsequently Baba made me repeat this Gayatri several thousands times for expiation of certain sins committed by me in the past and also asked me to offer a few rise oblations in the fire and set apart certain portion for gods. guests cow, dogs etc. by performing "the Vaishwdeva ceremony before taking dinner. All this confirmed me in my belief that Baba’s intention in telling me the name of His Guru was to impress on me the necessity of performing the six duties enjoined on Brahmins by scriptures. Subsequently I marked that Shri Baba was from time to time also using the word ‘Roshan.’ He used it particularly when he told some parables. Then he had used that word in the sense of ‘light’ meaning knowledge as opposed to (the darkness of) ignorance. In the In Shrimad Bhagwat Gita, the Celestial Song of Lord Shri Krishna Gnan is described as "Jyotisham apitadjyoti" The light of all the luminous. And Upanishadic prayers also reads, "Tamaso ma jyotirgamay," "-Lead me to light from darkness" uses this word Jyoti or Roshan in the sense of knowledge, Applying the same sense to ‘Roshan in Roshan Sha.’ The name Roshan Shah would mean the Lord of Knowledge, the Universal Soul, self luminous, Self-evident, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient as the only Truth, the only Reality, the only (root of) knowledge properly understood, the world being Its evanescent reflection. Saints aspire to attain oneness with this Absolute truth or Lord God in order to be of some help to the suffering humanity and in their efforts to do so they even sacrifice their body. Sai Baba thus cast off His body to save Tatya Patil to whom He was indebted for the rendered by, him his mother and father. Jesus Christ’s and Lord Krishna sacrificed themselves to save the erring humanity from since. Thus Shri Sai Baba by His sacrificed taught humanity that the beauty of life consists in submitting or sacrificing the Lowerself for the Higherself. Latterly these words reminded me of what the Lord Shri Krishna said to His pet disciple Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuru Kshetra (Panipat) embodied by Shri Vyas in Bhagvad Gita or the Celestial song of Shri Lord Krishna. The first line of the Fourth Chapter of that book says that the Lord taught this method of realisation to Vaivaswat, meaning the Sun. As the giver of light to the world Baba must have called him Roshan Shah. Lord Krishna recites in this line the geneology of the disciple and states the order in which He taught this way of realisation. The first to receive this instruction from Him was the Sun, He said, and as the Sun or the Roshan Shahmia was Sai Baba’s instruction (as in the case of the well-known Shri Yagnya Valkya) Sai Baba received all knowledge from lord Krisha through His first disciple the Sun.

We do not however mean to suggest by above interpretations that a person of the name Roshan Shahmia did not materially exist, on the contrary we, by these nterpretations desire to draw the attention to the peculiar characteristic of the life events of such a superman as Shri Sai Baba. This peculiarity is that all the events of Supermen’s life can always be interpreted metaphorically as well as literally. As examples of this we may draw the attention of the readers to the various biographies of Shri Ram and Shri Krishna, some of which have always shown the philosophical (metaphorical) significance (aspect) of almost all the incidents of the lives of these supermen.

Continued...


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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 3

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1. BIRTH, RACE AND FAMILY - CONTINUED

Shri Sai Baba’s own utterances in this respect should also be considered.

(1) The oldest, most pious and revered devotee of Shri Sai Baba the late Shri Mahlasapati, who had the unique honour of sleeping with Baba on every alternate night for 30 to 40 years in the Dwarkamayi said that Baba had once told him. "I am a Brahmin of Pathri and when, young, my parents gave me over to a Fakir for being trained under him."

(2) In December 1912 when the writer went to Shirdi, he was anxious about his father’s life, as the father had dropsy and dropsy was in those days considered to be a fatal disease. Unasked Baba said, "Bring that big bellied man here." I said to myself. "Bring that big bellied man here." I said to myself. "How is it possible when he takes you to be a Mussalman?" This clearly shows Baba considered himself to be a Brahmin.

Another time in 1916 when one Shantaram Nachne Dehnukar went to Shirdi and he forgot to pay to Baba a two-anna paisa that his friend V.S Samant had given for Baba along with a coconut etc., and he asked Baba’s permission to return home giving him coconut etc., Baba had reminded him of the said two anna paisa by saying, "You may go, but why have you been retaining the two anna paisa of this poor Brahmin?" Whereupon Dehnukar at once paid the two-anna piece requesting Baba to pardon him for the lapse of his memory.

When on the behest of his master Shri H.V. Sathe one Megha came to Baba, taking Baba to be a Mohammedan, Baba became angry on seeing him and did not allow him to mount up the steps of the Dwarkamayee threatening him with a stone, that if he came up to see Him, He would assured kill him with the stone, and bawled out, "I am the lowest of the low, a Yawan (Mohammedan) and you are a Brahmin of the highest caste." This clearly shows Baba’s dislike for those who considered him to be Mohammedan.

Baba putting His hand on His chest said to Mrs. Kashibai Kanitkar of Poona. "This is Brahmin. This Brahmin will lead lacks of people to the Shubhra Marga (The White Path as opposed to the Black Path of demons and take them to the goal right up to the end. This is a Brahmin’s Masjid." (Baba Charters and Sayings Page 57. B. V. Narasimha Swami.)

All this clearly shows that if Baba was really born, He was born in a Brahmin family. Born or unborn Baba thought He was Brahmin and got offended with all those who thought He was Mohammedan.

We may therefore say with the late Shri Narasimha Swami "The birth and parentage of Sai Baba are wrapped in mystery. We have not come across a single person who has any direct knowledge of them."

It is however common knowledge that the people of all castes, creeds, races and religions Hindus, Mussalmans, Parsis, Christians and other come to Baba and soon become attached to Him. They all gradually recognise him to be their long-lost philosopher, friend and guide. They see in Him their God, their Prophet, their Son of God, their Saviour or their best and dearest friend. They realise that Sai Baba is always present. He controls their hearts and knows all their actions good bad or indifferent. They are also convinced that He knows their most secret thoughts and their wicked actions and yet He is full of mercy and never gives up those who remember him. He cares not to look at the family, caste creed or religion even the action of His devotees; but as soon as the devotees remember Him, he runs up at once with or without assuming a forms and defends them against fell diseases, calamities, worldly difficulties, ill-repute etc. etc. For instance, He assumed the form of a farmer for His devotee Balakram Mankar and banded over to him a rail ticket for his destination-Poona. For another devotee Nanasaheb Chandorkar, He became (assumed the form of) a tanga, horses and a coach-man, when Shri Sai Himself dispatched His Udi with one Ramgir. He had taken that Ramgir to Nana’s house and saved by that Udi Nana Saheb’s daughter from a mortal delivery. Even after He left His body, He has been helping devotees in the same way. Thus he put Dhumal’s hand-hand-signature on about a thousand municipal papers one night when Dhumal was unable to find time for the purpose. For another devotee Nachne, of Prabhu caste, he assumed the form of a peon called Himself Ganpatishankar. Attended on him till he reached Nasik and thereafter also he helped him in the performance of the obsequial ceremonies of his wife for three days and as soon as the ceremonies were over, He left him saving Him services were wanted by His Master. Persons visiting Shirdi have known that if only they would remember him, he would without fail stretch His helping hand and render such help as they would require. These devotees look upon Sai Baba as their own god, prophet, Saviour and as such they try their utmost to draw or attract Him to them by propitiating Him and by rendering such services as they can. They sole yearning of these devotees is to obtain His grace, for they know that therein only lies their material and spiritual welfare; they little care to know His parentage, family, race or His guru. They have ever believed that the kind and merciful God though ever formless has for their benefit assumed a form and so if they are wise they should without delay try their level best to obtain His grace, the root cause of all earthly and heavenly happiness, leaving all other matters about His family etc. to logicians, the worldly wise and wiseacres. They definitely believe and assert-God is only one; there are no separate Gods for the various races, castes and creeds and yet He has powers to assume such forms. as His devotees yearn for and ardently desire to behold with their material eyes. And the living testimony of this is Shree Sai Baba.


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Friday, June 19, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 2

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1. BIRTH, RACE AND FAMILY - CONTINUED

Most of the devotees of Shri Sai Baba fall under this class. The late Hon'ble Hari Sitaram Dixit B. A., LL.B., solicitor, the late Shri Nana Saheb Chandorkar, B. A., EX-District Deputy Collector, the late Shri Anna Saheb Dabholkar, the learned author of Shri Sai Satcharitra, the late Rao Bahadur Moreshwar Pradhan, J.P., ex-member of the Bombay Legislative Council, the late Shri G.S. Khaparde, B. A., LL.B., ex-member of the Bombay Legislative Assembly, the late Rao Saheb Yashvantrao G. Galvankar B. A. Shri M.B. Rege. Indore judge as also the Sai Baba Sansthan Committee members of 1953 held and hold and hold this view.

There are other devotees who have been worshipping some other deities or are followers of some other religious teachers-all these seen in Sai Baba their own deity, or their own religious teacher and worship Him for the realisation of truth through Him, Sai Baba. Worshippers of Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Vithal, Pandurang, Ramchandra, Goddesses, Guru Dattatraya, Swami Akkalkot Gholap etc. all come under this category, Baba actually assumed the form of these gods and goddesses. And satisfied the devotees of these gods & goddesses. For the disciple of Gholap Swami, he assumed the form of the Sanyasi Gholap Swami and of that intent of His. He gave an inkling to his other devotees by asking them to fetch for Him (Gerua) redochre Clay, Devotees of Swami Akkalkot identify Him with Akkalkot Swami from what He said to Shri Pitale of Bombay, "I have already given you Rs.2, take these three more, keep them safe.’ Pitale’s father had been given Rs.2/- by Akkalkot Swami; and so the reference that Baba gave those two rupees, unequivocally stating that He Himself had given him those two rupees, clearly goes to indicate that He Himself was none other than the Swami of Akkalkot. Some Devotees of Guru Dattartraya trace the pedigree of Akkalkot. Some Devotees of Guru Dattartraya trace the pedigree of Akkalkot. Some Swami to Guru Dattatraya through Nirsinha Swami, the last incarnation of Guru Dattatraya. Other devotees of Guru Dattatraya state that Shri Akkalkot Swami was the contemporary of Shri Manik Prabhu, the well-known incarnation of Guru Dattatraya and that it is an undisputed fact that Shri Sai Baba was none other that Swami Shri of Akkalkot. Shri Baba was therefore an incarnation of Shri Guru Dattatraya. We have nothing to state against this theory of Shri Baba being an incarnation of Dattatraya but we simply state that a person is what he is not because he can be shown to be a member of the high pedigree of certain Gods or gurus, since they are born great, the high pedigree could not in any way go to make them greater. Apart from this as well they are great, not only great but none in human form could be greater, none can surpass them. These remarks equally apply to devotees who trace Sai Baba to the Nine Masters, Matsyendranath, Gorakhanath and others. Some of Baba’s prominent devotees hold the same view.

(1) One Shri Ganpatrao Dattarya Sahasrabuddhe alias Das Ganu actually seeing the holy Ganges trickling down from Shri Sai’s feet in a small stream, just when he desired to have a dip in the holy river, in the fervour of his love for Baba, composed a prayer describing Baba as Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh (i.e. Gods of creation, protection and destruction).

(2) Another personage of this class is the great Upasani Maharaj. In the course of his three years’ stay at Shirdi, he was fully convinced that Shri Baba had not only realised Brahman but had been (become) perfect Brahman and so in the fervour of that enthusiasm he composed a prayer of several hymns on Sai Baba; the first verse of which said, "’Baba was the original Sat Chit Anand Swarup, the primordial cause of original existence and destruction of the Universe and that Baba had appeared (Manifested Himself) as human being as the outcome of the ardent desire of His devotees to see Him as such." The recurring burthen of the eight verses of this prayer is, "I bow to that God-Sadguru Sai Baba.’ In the eighth verse of the said prayer he declares Sai Baba to be "The unborn, The veritable Brahman.’ Looking to the most important task of moulding and regenerating the lives of thousands of males and females (by imparting to them godly knowledge) That awaited him in future Shri Sai Baba got him to practise severe penance for three years at Shirdi and awarded him in return powers of clairvoyance, assuming all forms at will becoming invisible at will etc. which subsequently drew to him people in thousands. He did appreciate all this and to show this, going to Benaras with his devotees he performed the obsequial ceremony of Baba and other bygone saints spending thousands of rupees.

(3) Another great devotee is the late lamented Shri B.V. Narasimha Swamiji, a law graduate and an ex-member of the Legislative Council, author of the lives of several saints, who had dedicated the last 29 years of his life to spreading the name and fame of Shri Sai Baba throughout the length and breadth of Madras. He declares that Baba was born of Brahmin parents of Pathri-a village of Nizam Hyderabad and then he was given over to a Fakir for being trained.

(4) Shri Sathya-Sai-Baba, who claims to be reincarnation of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi, states that as Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi, he was born at Pathri on the banks of the Godavari of very pious parents and that as a result of Shri Shanker’s boon they got Him; but that at the time He was, born, both the parents had got so much detached from the world that they left the Sai Baba child under a tree to the mercy of God and went away to practise penance. A childless Fakir couple passing by the way picked up and brought Him up as their child. When however the little Sai Baba grew up, He was found so much attached to the worship of Shanker’s Shivalinga that the Fakir drove him away; so he came to Shirdi and settled down there. (Life of Shri Sathya Sai Baba Part I by N. Kasturi; Pages 210 to 216, 2nd edition.)

(5) Another personage Madhvnath a great saint also told his disciple that Shri Sai Baba was the eldest of the three sons of a Yajurvedi Deshasth Brahmin of Pathri and that he was handed over to a Fakir, for the parents thought that the sons born to them were the outcome of the blessings that the then childless parents had received from that Fakir in lieu of the services rendered by them for him.


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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand - Part 1

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1. BIRTH, RACE AND FAMILY

Though I am unborn, whole soul, Lord of all creatures, taking to my life-nature, I manifest myself by my powers. (Bh. Gita 4-6.)

The self same soul has transformed himself principally into the Sun, the Moon, Brahma the creator, Vishnu the protector, Shiva Shakti the Destroyers with his Goddess. I bow to that excellent light of lights.

My salutations to that Bhagwant, Lord who is free from anger, attachment, above Maya and devoid of three states of wakefulness, dream and sleep. The best of gods, ascetics do not know the farther end of your Maya Power. The demons were most powerful; you forced them to give up their egotism when the world is beset with worst calamities, you manifest yourself and come upon the earth, Oh Lord.

Vallabh Bhagwat IV, VIII Chs. 7&17.

The Primordial, original, perfect Reality, the thing In-itself beyond name and from inspired by the force of devotee’s religious merit automatically manifested itself as Sai Nath, Sai Baba for the purpose of leading the lost souls to the path of Truth. When asked, His only reply was "Brahma is my father, Maya is my mother and this Universe is my house." That He descended on this earth through some human mortals has not yet been established through reliable source. No conflict of opinion exists however as to His being an extra-ordinary incarnation of God or the highest of perfect beings.

Brahman by His Maya Power manifests itself as human being, when irreligion stalks unchecked in this world. He comes and places religion on sound foundations dispelling the clouds of doubts and dogmatism. He descends in particular to protect the good, the saintly and to destroy the bad and the wicked.

Though beyond (above) limitations of time, space, causation, body, mind, intellect etc. pure Brahman, has by Maya power the capacity of assuming such form male or female-as would satisfy the devotees’ desires and their ideals. It is ever ready to please its real devotee in this respect and even serves him incognito, Saints who have attained oneness with this Brahman that is who have ceased to be bodily minded, who have without their knowledge transformed themselves into Brahman by constant meditation on the same are Brahman with all its Powers. Etc. (Mundak UP. 3-2-9)

Shri Sai Baba falls in this category and so His devotees have seen in Him their ideal of God realised and so they have described Him in many different ways as their ideals of Guru or God have differed. To staunch devotees of Shri Ram, Shri Sai appeared as Ram, to those of Shanker, Maruti, Krishna, Vithoba, Akkalkot Swami, Gholap Swami and Ali irrespective of their race, caste, creed or religion. They all look upon Sai as their God, Saviour, or Prophet and worship Him as such in their own way, propitiate Him and crave blessings from Him. As an out-come of this propitiation each one of them feels and realises that he has been lucky enough to find in Him his benign father, protector, benefactor, a helper in distress, a safe refuge amidst the turbulent waters of this world. Each one has realised He is omnipresent, omniscient omnipotent.

Recipients of such experiences seldom care to ascertain how and whence this rarity descended upon this earth, who His blessed parents were, who His master or teacher was and yet there are amongst intelligent educated devotees some persons who have bestowed much labour and done a deal of research to hit upon proper and satisfactory answers on these points.

Vedanti devotees of Baba Shri Sai look upon Him as the manifestation of knowledge incarnate, the joyful Brahman, the giver of highest happiness, free from dualities, ether like knowable by the four Maha Vakyas (key-sentences) of Vedas, the sole, the permanent, the pure, non-changing, the Universal witnessing Intellect, the one beyond emotions and the three gunas-pure, mixed, and impure-tendencies, the Master, teacher of Reality. The non-Mohammedan devotees of this class firmly, believe that if Shri Sai Baba had adopted Hindu Mohammedan mixed ways of life and prayers it was simply for the purpose of drawing the attention of these devotees to the cardinal truth, the soul has no caste of race; that their object of proper worship is not of any caste; and what are castes? They are not skin, blood, flesh nor bones; but these castes are fixed for the purpose of the smooth running of this world. Hindu devotees of Baba particularly, Brahmins and other Dwijas believe that if Baba had donned Mohammedan garb and adopted some Mohammedan ways of worship (without giving of the ways of the purest of pure Brahmin sages) it was for the purpose of killing or removing the wrong interpretation of Veda and drawing attention to the truth that everything all without exception-is Brahman; that difference of diversity or duality does not exist; that if Veda says that Brahmins are God’s mouth, Kshatriyas His hands, Vaishyas his body and Shudras His legs, the intention of the Vedas is not to show the inferiority or superiority of any one of these castes but to draw attention to the fact, that each is these castes but to draw attention to the fact, that each is a part and parcel of the same Holy body of God. Similarly about the genesis of races’ if one Upanishad states that Non-Aryans came from the nether part of God, it is to root out the hatred and bitterness that might have been raging between these races and to rivet the attention on the oneness of the Holy Body from whom the Non-Aryans have also emerged. Vedas and Upanishads teach us to look at the unity in diversity and preach only oneness of soul, no difference, dissention. Discord but unity. Peace and accord is the burthen of the Veda, Upanishad and Vedanta. Veda and Upanishads have no doubt prescribed worships of different God’s but these are only for persons who hanker after material happiness and are not satisfied with mere realisation of Truth. Baba called upon persons of the latter class to follow His directions to achieve the ends of their material desires and they had their desires fulfilled. His guidance and His sole worship have obtained for these devotees what they desired and in this way also He encouraged one worship and not multiple worship, Viewing Vedas. Upanishads and Baba’s ways, Vedanti devotees have always believed that to root out the ego of castes pride and to teach them the oneness off all pervading all-knowing, all powerful god, irrespective of race, caste, or creed, Baba adopted the special ways of life that he did. In fact His life laid stress on the essentials of religions, discarding the non-essential parts thereof.


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Monday, June 1, 2009

Shirdi Diary by Shri G.S.Khaparde - Part 43

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1915 December 29 Wednesday
Shirdi

I was awakened about 3.30 A.m. at Manmad and put into the train for Kopargaon. I prayed in the train & on getting down at Kopergaon before day break met Dr Deshpande who is in charge at the Dispensary at Kopergaon. I did not know him before. I gave him &his son a lift up to his Dispensary and he gave me a hot cup of tea & something to eat. There was a great mist & I drove in it to Kopargaon reaching it about 9 A.m. My wife and children were there. I went to the Masjid with Madhavarao Deshpande and made my Namaskar to Sayin Maharaj. His health is very poor. He is much bothered by cough. I got the Morchal at Puja. The day here passes very easy. G.M.Bootee alias Bapusaheb is here with his master & Gurashta. Kakasaheb Dixit, Bapusaheb Jog, Balasaheb Bhate & all old friends are here, & I am exceedingly happy.

1915 December 30 Thursday
Shirdi

I got up as usual in the morning, prayed and sat talking with one Karnik who turned out to be related to the late Amrit Rao Abaji. I sat talking with Fakir Baba who has advanced wonderfully and appears to be on the point of being permanently admitted to the spiritual hierarchy. I sat talking with him. Sayin Maharaj is getting slightly better. I did the Naivedya and Puja today. There were about a hundred people invited to breakfast which was very late. In fact we finished about 4 P.M. MadhavaRao Deshpande was as usual very useful. Bapu Saheb Bootee ’s Wada is progressing beautifully. It is a stone building & very strong & very convenient for occupation. There was Chavadhi today & I attended it with Morchal. Ayisaheb is also unwell. Mr P.Haté went today to Kalyana as his son in law is said to be unwell. Sayin Baba gave him a full coconut. So I think the young man will recover.

1915 December 31 Friday
Shirdi – Bhusaval

I wished to go to Masjid for Kakad Arti but felt disinclined at the last moment &did not go. After morning prayer when I was going to the Masjid Rao Bahadur Sathé got hold of me & took me to his Madi. There some eight gentlemen assembled & told me that the arrangements they wished to make for the Samsthana of Sayin Baba. They have a good scheme & I made the suggestion that they should make no endeavour to collect monies from those whom Sayin Baba gave them. They approved of my advise. All this took time & we were late for Arti, but we went in time and I had the chavari or rather mayur piccha. After food I went with Madhava Rao Deshpande and got permission without any difficulty for returning. My wife, Manu Tai, Uma & children will remain behind. In the compound of the Masjid I met Wassudeorao Dada Piriplekar of Malkapur & Mr Bhagavat Executive Enquirer of Kopargaon. I made ready and left by Balabhau ’s Tonga, reached Kopargaon had a talk with the station master. His assistant was at one time at Amravati. I got into 6.30 P.M. train reached Manmad & got into the passenger that leaves at 8.30 P.M. I had a compartment all the way to myself and reached Bhusaval about 4 a.m. & put up in the waiting room.


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