The Sai Satcharitra: Simplified!
Hemadpant has beautifully described many ways to imagine and visualize Sai Baba, blessing his children in various forms. These sweet visualizations will literally conquer your mind and will bring the scene live into your imagination. These can be found in start of many Chapters, one is described below.
When Sad Guru is the helmsman of our worldly boat, he is sure to carry us safely to the destination avoiding terrible weather and rough seas. When word Sad Guru is called, only Sai Baba comes to our mind. He appears to me as if standing near the Dwarka Mai and applying Udi (Sacred Ashes) on my fore head, then placing his hand on my forehead in order to give blessings. Thinking about this brings joy to me and tears of happiness come rolling down my cheeks. Wonderful is the power of touch of Guru’s hands. Sins of many past births are washed away. Even an atheist’s heart becomes full of devotion. Upon seeing Sai’s handsome form our eyes fill with tears, throat is choked with joy, overwhelms heart with joy. “I am He”, consciousness is awakened in our minds, that we are one with god and god resides in us. This makes us one with the Supreme.
The author explains that, when he starts to read any holy book the beautiful form of Sai takes the form of the form of God in that context. When he reads Ramayana, Sai becomes Rama, when he reads Quran, Sai takes form of Prophet Mohammad explaining verses of Quran. When he reads Gita, Sai turns out to be Shri Krishna himself. When I set to write something and am short of words and phrases, Sai at once himself inspires to write the appropriate content. Sai helps a devotee to supress his ego and become one with him, by giving him his own power.
I one prostrates before Sai with love, surrenders his heart and soul, then all the chief object of life, viz. Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desire) and Moksha (Liberation), are easily attained.
Out of four defined paths to reach God, viz. Karma, Gyana, Yoga, Bhakti, Bhakti is the most difficult path full of thorns and pits. But if hands of Sadguru are held firmly, then safe maneuver is easily possible to attain goal.
Now quoting Sai Baba’s words for the love of Bhaktas,
“There will never be any scarcity of food and clothes, in any devotees home. It is my special characteristic, that I always look upon, and provide, for the welfare of those devotees, who worship me whole heartedly with their minds ever fixed upon me. Lord Krishna has also said same thing in Gita. Therefore, strive not much for food and clothes. If you want anything, beg of the lord, leave worldly honours, try to get lord’s grace and blessings, and be honored in his court. Do not be deluded by worldly honour. Form of the deity should be firmly fixed in the mind. Let all the senses and mind be ever devoted to the worship of the lord, let there be no attraction for any other thing. Fix the mind in remembering Me always, so that it will not wander elsewhere, towards body, wealth and home. Then it will be calm, peaceful and carefree. This is the sign of the mind, being well engaged in good company. If the mind wanders, it cannot be called well merged.”
Origin Of the festival of Rama Navmi
|Once there was a man named Gopal Rao Gund. He was very anxious in life as he had no child. For that matter he had three wives but still of no luck (funny). He was a great devotee of Sai. By Sai’s blessings he got a son. Impressed, he wanted to celebrate in the name of Sai, thus, proposed an idea of having a fair (Urus as they said. Urus is name given to fair by Muslim Community) in Shirdi to other Sai devotees. Also, one man Amir Shhakar Dalal (a Muslim devotee) proposed idea of sandal (chandan)
|| procession to be added in the honor of Muslim saints. In this event, sandal paste is decorated in thali (flat dish) and incense sticks are lighted up while going around the village. This idea was approved by all and later they got a green signal from Sai too. An attempt was made to get approval from the authorities, which after little difficulties got permitted. Later the day of the fest was decided by Sai Baba, it was fixed on Rama Navmi Day (Hindu festival). It seems as if Sai wanted unification of the two communities, viz. hindus and muslims on this day. For this reason, Sai chose to merge Muslim’s Urus (fest or fair) with Hindu’s Rama Navmi.
As future events came into sight, this estimate came out to be true. It is beautiful to believe that till date Hindus and Muslims are celebrating this day peacefully. Such is my Baba’s blessings.
Another interesting thing, I would like to highlight here, Sai never revealed his religion to any one, but he was believer of ” Sabka Maalik Ek“ (Meaning: The lord is one for all beings, no matter what religion one chooses to follow, he or she will be praying to that one supreme power). He loved Unification.
Sometimes he did things being done by hindus, such as keeping the holy fire burning whereas on the other hand he lived in a Masjid (Mosque). Sandal procession is a Muslim custom whereas flag hoisting is hindu act, both were merged by Sai on one single day, such were his wonderful thoughts.
And many such instances can be related while going through this endless journey of Sai’s love.
Shirdi being a small village, had scarcity of water for such a huge event. Thus, special arrangements were made by Tatya Patil to get sufficient water. There were two wells in Shirdi, one was all dried up and other’s water was salty, which was brought to Sai’s notice and he made it sweet by putting flowers in it. Seems unbelievable??? Read on to get startled by many such experiences through out the book. Point to be noted here is that practically all things are possible in this world, its just one must attain the path to that. Many technological advancements were a miracle until we got certain scientific explanations to it. Thus, not necessarily what science cannot explain is false or impossible. The knowledge of science also comes from this universe. Every thing is here and now, near to us, we just need to find it, catch it, embrace it….We must visualize (imagine how you would feel upon achieving that thing) to achieve it and soon it will manifest itself in our lives. But one needs firm determination and guidance. For guidance, we must follow Sai Baba’s teachings merged with the power of Gratitude (being thankful for everything in life) along with handful of common sense.
Many people were blessed by Sai Baba and they all wanted to contribute in various ways, two of them contributed beautifully designed flags which were used in the procession and erected on two corners of the Dwarkamai. These all activities are done till now by the loving devotees and the “Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan”.
The event was much talked about and dear to the devotees. Large number of people turned up for the event and the management was well watched. Outer management was taken care by Tatya Kote Patil and in-house management was looked after by loving devotee named Radha Krishna Mai. All the lodging and preparation of food on the large scale was managed by her and the rich & wealthy people contributed generously for that matter. Feeding the poor was very dear to Sai Baba and thus it was essential part of the fair.
Radha Krishna Mai was very devout and did a special task of cleaning the Dwarkamai on the night when Sai went to sleep to Chavdi every alternate day. She used to take out all the things from the masjid, even the Sai’s ever burning Dhuni which caused blackening of the ceiling and the walls. All this was cleaned and white washed by her. Later she used to keep back every thing intact.
Transformation or Merger of Urus into Rama Navmi Festival
This festival was very dear to the people of Shirdi. On one occasion, before the fair, one devotee had this idea in his mind that there must be some special reason for celebration of Urus on the Rama Navmi day. He thought, why not celebrate birth of Shri Rama as it is very dear to the Hindus. He shared the idea with other devotees and went to acquire Baba’s permit upon this idea. Baba who is omnipresent, knew their intent, thus he asked what was the matter they were discussing. They told about their idea and Baba gladly granted permission.
A ‘Haridas’ was appointed for singing Lord’s glory on this day.’Prasad’ (Holy sweetmeat) was prepared by Radha Krishna Mai, it was ‘Sunthavada’ (Ginger powder mixed with sugar). Next day Masjid was decorated beautifully and a cradle (supplied by Radha Krishna Mai) was placed near Baba’ s seat. Kirtan (singing lord’s glory) was going on with music being played by Kaka Mahajani on Harmonium.
All this went on with great enthusiasm, and when it was about to conclude, sounds of “Victory of Rama” went up and ‘Gulal’ (Red powder used in festival of colours) was thrown up all around. With loud sounds of band and music, and suddenly, a loud Roar was heard. The ‘gulal’ somehow entered Baba’s eyes, he got enraged and began to scold & abuse loudly. His eyes red. Most people got frightened by this scene, but the ones who knew Baba well understood that Baba’s scolding are blessings in disguise.
It was celebration of birth of Rama, thus, its inevitable for Baba to get enraged to kill the Ravana and his demons in the form of Ego, selfishness and bad thoughts.
It was well known to intimate devotees of baba that when ever something new or auspicious used to happen in Shirdi, then he used to get enraged as if he took any evil eye on himself to dismiss it for the benefit of his beloved devotees.
On this site, Radha Krishna Mai was rather afraid to loose her cradle as she thought that Baba might break it. When Kaka Mahajani on her request went to remove the cradle, baba stopped him and became normal after some time. Later Aarti and other formalities concluded the day. But, Baba said that the festival was not yet over and next day a special event that Shri Krishna used to do was observed.
An earthen pot filled with dry rice mixed with curd and hung high above the ground. It is meant to be broken after the Kirtan and team of players gather and rise up making a human ladder. The guy at the top breaks it and then contents are distributed amongst all.
Thus sandal procession and flag hoisting both went hand in hand all throughout and this festival of Baba turned into ‘Rama Navmi’ festival.
Each passing year festival was attracting huge crowd to Shirdi and number of items that were included also grew. Radha Krishna Mai started ‘NamaSaptah’ (as explained in previous chapters, it is singing of lords’ glory for continuois seven days, even by the night).
Shops increased, wrestling bouts arranged, feeding of the poor started to happen on a grand scale. Radha Krishna Mai is of significant importance here, as her sincere efforts made Shirdi a Sansthan. I hope that was the beginning phase of the ‘Shri Sai Baba Sansthan’ that we have now in Shirdi.
A lot of things increased such as horses,elephants and other items to be noted, but one thing never changed and remained calm and stable all through out, Sai Baba…He always remained away from worldly objects and was ever calm from the inside even when so much show was going on around him.
He was always at peace from inner self and was dedicated to do his duty diligently in the human form for the benefit of the world.
Until now, Hindus and Muslims work together to make this event a success, and never ever an event of quarrel occurred among the two communities that are considered to be distinct by some, thing to be noted here is that Baba always looked upon unison of people and not division on the basis of religion, caste or social status. He used to treat Kings and Beggars in similar way, for him all men and women were equal and gift of lord.
Restoration of Masjid (Dwarka Mai)
As it was described earlier that when Baba came to Shirdi, he started to live in a dilapidated Mosque (Masjid) or Dwarka Mai (as Baba used to call).
Devotees visited this home of Sai Baba day and night and knew the difficulty of having a dilapidated Masjid and small verandah without any roofing.
They sought Sai’s permit to repair the Masjid and create a better space outside it for the huge number of devotees coming every now and then.
Initially Baba was not interested in any kind of repair but later on Mhalsapati (very dear to Sai) intervened and attained Sai permission for the same.
The pavement was completed, since then Baba ditched the sack cloth he used to sit always, instead he got himself a small cushion for that matter.
In 1911, Sabha Mandap (seating area) was constructed with lot of effort and also verandah’s roofing was being done at the same time. Kakasaheb Dixit got iron posts for the same. It incurred huge personal cost to him.
These posts were installed at night and next day Baba used to uproot them. Once he got enraged and held one of the iron post in order to uproot it, but with other hand held Tatya Patil’s neck. He took away his Pheta (cloth worn on head) and threw it in fire. Also threw a rupee coin as if he was offering something on auspicious occasion. No one knew what was going on and didn’t had courage to intervene Baba’s act as he was in total anger with eye red. Who so ever tried to come in between, was pushed away. Soon his anger calmed down and he resumed back to normal. Then he himself got a beautiful embroidered Pheta and tied it on Tatya’s head as if he was honoring him for something.
Everyone was shocked to see this strange behavior and was wondering why he did all that, the ones who knew Baba closely would suffice with the explanation provided here,
Sai Baba’s unusual behavior at times was part of his Sadhna. Or in broader sense one can call it as taking up other’s calamities on himself and absorbing them unto his form. This was out of pure love of Sai for his devotees. At once, one might feel that he did bad behavior and did not suit a Saint to do such things. But, if one looks into the spiritual aspect of this, then it could be easily understood that as water absorbs all the heat and gets hot in order to suppress the fire, similarly Baba used to absorb any calamity on his devotees and take it up all upon himself.
Such was his love for the devotees!
Sometimes Baba was as calm as Ice and sometimes as turbulent as Ocean. But all for love!!!
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all!