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Chapter 3

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

  • Sai Baba’s Sanction and Promise 

  • Assignment of Work to Devotees

  • Baba’s Stories as a Beacon Light 

  • His Motherly Love 

  • Rohilla’s Story 

  • And His sweet and Nectar-like Words

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Om Shri Sai Nathay Namah

  • Sai Baba’s Sanction and Promise

As described in the previous chapter, Sai Baba gave his complete approval for the writing of the Satcharitra and said, “I fully agree with you regarding the writing of the Satcharitra. You do your duty, don’t be afraid in the least; keep your mind steady and have faith in my words. If my Leelas are written, ignorance will vanish and if they are attentively and devoutly listened to, the consciousness of worldly existence will abate and strong waves of love and devotion will rise. And if one dives deep into My Leelas, he will get precious jewels of knowledge.”

Hearing this, the author was very pleased and he at once became fearless and confident, and thought that his work was bound to be a success. Then turning to Shama (Madhavrao Deshpande) Sai Baba said:

“If a man remembers My name with love, I shall fulfill all his wishes and increase his devotion. And if he sings earnestly my life and my deeds, him I shall beset on all sides. Those devotees who are attached to me, heart and soul, will naturally feel happy when they hear these stories. Believe me, if anybody sings my Leelas, I will give him infinite joy and everlasting contentment. It is my special characteristic to free any person who surrenders completely to me, worships me faithfully, remembers me and meditates on me constantly. How can they who worship me, who think of my stories and my life, and who thus always remember me, be conscious of worldly objects and sensations? I shall save my devotees from the jaws of death. If my stories are listened to, all diseases will be gotten rid of. So hear my stories with respect and think about them, meditate on them and assimilate them. This is the way to happiness and contentment. The pride and egoism of my devotees will vanish, the mind of the listeners will be set at ease and if you have wholehearted and complete faith, you will be one with the Supreme Consciousness. The simple remembrance of the name “Sai” will do away with sins of speech and hearing”.

  • Different Works Assigned to Devotees

The Lord entrusts different tasks to different devotees. Some are given the work of building temples and flights of steps on banks of rivers, while others are made to sing the glories of God; some are sent on pilgrimages and I was allotted the work of writing the Satcharitra. Being a jack of all trades and a master of none, I was quite unqualified for this job. Then why should I undertake such a difficult task? Who can describe the true life of Sai Baba? Sai Baba’s grace alone can enable one to accomplish this difficult work; So, when I picked up my pen, Sai Baba took away my egoism and wrote these stories himself. The credit of relating these stories therefore, goes to him and not to me. Though Brahmin by birth, I lacked the two eyes, (the spiritual vision) of Shruti(that which is revealed) and Smriti(that which is ordinarily remembered) and therefore was not at all capable of writing the Satcharitra. But the grace of the Lord makes a dumb man talk and enables a lame man to climb a mountain, for he alone knows how to get things done according to his wishes. Neither the flute nor the harmonium know how the sounds are produced; it is the musician who controls the sounds they produce. Similarly, we are mere instruments of God’s divine will.

  • Baba’s Stories as a Beacon-Light

Light houses are constructed at various places near the sea to enable sailors to avoid rocks and dangers, and to help them sail safely. Sai Baba’s stories serve a similar purpose in the ocean of worldly existence. They surpass nectar in sweetness and make our worldly path smooth and easy to traverse. Blessed are the stories of the saints; for when they enter our hearts, egoism and the sense of duality vanish and when they are stored in the heart, doubts fly away, pride vanishes and wisdom will be stored in abundance. The description of Baba’s fame and hearing the same with love, will destroy the sins of the devotee. Therefore, this is the simplest Sadhana to attain salvation. The Sadhana for the Krita Age was tranquillity of mind and body; for the Treta Age, sacrifice; for Dwapara, worship; and for the Kali Age(the present), it is singing the glory of the Lord. This last Sadhana is open to all people. The other Sadhanas− Yoga, Yagya (sacrifice), Dhyana (meditation) and Dharana (concentration)− are very difficult to practice. But singing and hearing about the glory of the Lord (Sai Baba) is very easy. We only have to turn our attention towards Him. Singing and listening to these stories will remove our attachment to the senses and their objects and will make devotees dispassionate, and will ultimately lead them to self-realization. With this end in view, Sai Baba made me write his stories, the Sat-Charitamrita. The devotees may now easily read and hear these stories of Sai Baba and while doing so, meditate on his form. Thereby they attain devotion to their Guru and God (Sai Baba), and also attain detachment and self-realization. In the preparation and writing of this work, it is Sai Baba’s grace which accomplished everything, using me as a mere instrument.

  • Sai Baba’s Motherly Love

Everybody knows how much a cow loves her infant calf; Her udder is always full and when the calf wants milk and approaches the udder, out comes the milk in an incessant flow. Similarly, a human mother knows the needs of her child and feeds it on time. When it comes to dressing the child, the mother takes particular care to see that this is well done. The child knows nothing about this, but the mother’s joy knows no bounds when she sees her child beautifully dressed. The love of a mother is peculiar, extraordinary, disinterested and has no parallel. Sadgurus feel this motherly love towards their disciples and Sai Baba had this same love towards me. Here is an instance of this:

In 1916, I retired from Government Service. The pension that was settled in my case was not sufficient to maintain my family decently. On the Guru-Pournima day of that year, I went to Shirdi with a few other devotees. There, Mr. Anna Chinchanikar, of his own accord, prayed to Baba for me as follows, “Please look kindly upon him; the pension he gets is quite insufficient and his family is growing. Give him some other appointment, remove his anxiety and make him happy.” Baba replied, “He will get some other job, but now he should serve me and be happy. His dishes will always be full and never empty. He should turn all his attention towards Me and avoid the company of atheists, irreligious and wicked people. He should be meek and humble towards everyone and worship me heart and soul. If he does this, he will get eternal happiness”.

  • Rohilla’s Story

 

Rohilla’s story illustrates Sai Baba’s all-embracing love. A man named Rohilla— tall, well-built and as strong as a bull— came to Shirdi wearing a long Kafni (robe) and was enamored by Baba. All day, he would recite, in a loud and harsh tone, the Kalma (verses from the Holy Koran) and shout out loud, “ALLAH HO AKBAR!” (God is Great).

The residents of Shirdi, who worked in their fields during the day, were welcomed with the Rohilla’s harsh cries and shouts when they returned home. Their sleep was severely disturbed and they felt very inconvenienced. They suffered in silence for a few days and when they could stand it no longer, they approached Baba and requested Him to speak to the Rohilla and stop the nuisance. Baba did not attend to their complaint; On the contrary, Baba took the villagers to task and asked them to mind their own business. He said to them that the Rohilla had a very bad wife, a Zantippi, who tried to come in and trouble the Rohilla; But hearing the Rohilla’s prayers, she did not dare to trouble him. In fact, the Rohilla had no wife, and by his wife Baba meant bad thoughts. As Baba liked prayers and cries to God better than anything else, he took the side of the Rohilla and asked the villagers to wait and suffer the nuisance, which would abate in due course.

  • Baba’s Sweet and Nectar-like Words

One day at noon, after the Arti, devotees were returning to their homes, when Baba gave the following beautiful advice:

“Be wherever you like, do whatever you choose; but remember this well, that all you do is known to me. I am the Inner Ruler of everyone and I am seated in their hearts. I envelope all creatures− in the movable and the immovable world. I am the Controller − the master wire-puller of the show of this Universe; I am the mother – the origin of all beings − the Harmony of three Gunas, the propeller of all senses, the Creator, Preserver and the Destroyer. Nothing will harm him who turns his attention towards me, but Maya will lash or whip him who forgets me. All beings-the visible, movable and immovable world- are My Body or Form”.

Hearing these beautiful and precious words, I at once decided in my mind to serve no man henceforth but my Guru. But Baba’s reply to Anna Chinchanikar’s query (which was really my query) worried me greatly. As future events showed, Baba’s words came true and I got a Government job; but that was of short duration. Then I became free and solely devoted myself to the service of my Guru− Sai Baba.

Before concluding this Chapter, I request the readers to overcome various hindrances − indolence, sleep, wandering of mind, attachments to senses− and turn their whole and undivided attention to these stories of Sai Baba. Let their love be natural, let them know the secret of devotion, let them not exhaust themselves through other Sadhanas and let them stick to this simple remedy − listening to Sai Baba’s stories. This will destroy their ignorance and will secure them salvation. So let Sai Baba be enthroned in everyone’s hearts.

In the next chapter, I shall speak of Sai Baba’s arrival in Shirdi.

Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all!

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