Beautiful Minds

A Dream to Ponder

Dream State is as relevant as the waking state in one’s total existence.

David woke up from a beautiful, profound dream. It was, in a way, both elevating and disturbing. He saw himself  as a boy, along with his grandfather who is no more, strolling down on the banks of a river. It was evening. Sun was turning red. Birds were flying home after a full day of outing. There was a gentle, cool breeze. The village was very familiar. He has been there before. Grandfather was holding David’s hand and he seemed a bit extra cautious about David’s security. As they walked through the walkway running parallel to the river, they witnessed and experienced many beautiful sights and sounds. What caught David’s attention and his waking memory was a prayer that came floating from one of the small huts, apparently from the throat of some children. It went somewhat like this…

“Different spaces, different times
Oh Lord, thou carried me like a faithful boatman.
Safe and Secure, Safe and Secure…
Through the time and seasons alike

“Different faces, different tunes
Oh Lord, thou protected me like a mother bird, her children.
Safe and Secure, Safe and Secure
Through summer, winter, spring and rain.”

Tradition Nurtures Generations, only if we choose to Listen to it…

A feeling of powerful protection enveloped David. It gave a strong feeling of re-assurance. Grandfather’s hands and the lovely prayer accompanied and re-inforced his feeling of well-being. David called his grand father ‘BABA’. He was deeply connected with his grandfather, to an extent that they knew every subtle vibrations of each other, let alone profound emotions. As they walked on, he asked his beloved grandfather:

“Baba, where are we going?”

Baba smiled and said: “I want to introduce you to my friends. We went to school together, we played in the same team, and grew up together, just like you, Mark and Alf.”

David smiled, “Baba, I cannot imagine you as a young man, let alone a boy”. 🙂

Baba laughed aloud. “I was not born old. 🙂 I was not this old always”. 🙂

Baba was a tall man with slightly drooping shoulders, one side of his shoulder bent slightly to the front and to one side. He was of extraordinary character. He was always in command of every situation. He was never seen emotional. Always jovial, calm and collected.  He always used his intellect and quite knew what he was doing. David has never seen him idle, even at his old age.

Their journey ended at a graveyard in front of a church near the river. David was surprised.

“Where are your friends? Will they come here? Are we meeting them here?” This was indeed an uncommon place for any friendly get-together.

Baba said “No. They are already here”.

Baba took David to a stone which read “William Smith”. Baba said “Will has been my classmate and my best friend. He was the best man at my wedding too. An unshakable strong man, a brave heart. He had worked hard in foreign lands, made his money and returned home after his retirement. We met after a long time. He was a fire-brand in his youth, daring and charming. When he came back after all those years, he looked tired and withdrawn, a bit too distracted. He seemed more interested in isolation and hid himself from the society, as much as he could. I tried to bring him back to some old personal memories to revive his old vigor. But he showed no interest at all. He had three children. They all fought with him at his old age over property and money. They even abused him and never agreed with what ever he told or asked them, or wanted them to do. Finally, he died broken hearted, alone. Will was once a strong man, everybody’s hero. I could not see him so heart-broken and deserted. This is what old age does for some. David, if we are not careful enough to nurture relationships while we can, later on, life could bring isolation and alienation. That can even be called “living in hell”, with no love, warmth and togetherness, exactly the things that one craves for, when one is weak and unprotected.

David said: “Baba, are all your friends dead?”

(The graveyards of farm animals are human stomachs!) Human Graveyard. All of them have had their lives and all of them have had their deaths. Caring for the Living is more important than caring for the dead. Often, we ignore the living and care for our dead. We do things upside down. 🙂 We should certainly respect the dead, but not at the cost of the living..

Baba smiled and said “Not all. Some are still alive. But, they are old, you see. Most cannot move on their own. They need help. They are heavily dependent on others. Old age often makes people invalid and handicapped.”

David felt quite relieved that his grandfather can move on his own and is relatively healthy to that standard. Yet, David experienced a strange kind of uneasiness creeping up his throat. He felt that he would get depressed by meeting all these old friends of his grandfather in the graveyard. Yet, he knew that Baba had a purpose, even though it was not quite entertaining for David. He said: “Baba, let us go home. I am not feeling good.”

Baba said: “David, two more introductions and we shall go home.” Baba tried to cheer David up who was slowly settling into his gloom.

The next tomb stone read “Stephen Summer”. “He has been our pilot man.” Baba spoke as if it was a joke. David was too withdrawn by then, to enjoy any jokes. The whole situation made him extremely uneasy.

“Even when we were young, he wanted to become a pilot and fly aircrafts. He got into the army and moved into the air command segment and became a pilot. He has participated in many wars and bombed many people and places. And that was his deepest regret in his later years. Fighting a nagging cancer in his abdomen, though looked after well by his devoted wife Lisa, whenever we met for a coffee, he would say “How many people have I killed in my young days!!!. Women, Children, Men, Old and Young. I do not know their faces, thank God. But, they haunt me every night. Faceless bodies come forth and ask me “What did we do to you, to destroy our lives? We were just beginning to live, taste the sweet and sour buds of life, you wrenched us out of our beds. How will you pay us back, how will you give us back our lives?”  Regrets were eating into his flesh. Steve repented day and night. He even welcomed death as a solace to his aching conscience. He refused to be treated and used the pain that his illness profusely gave as a kind of purgatorial from his sins. He thought death would finally redeem him. Helplessness tormented him. Finally, he gave up and here he stays”, Baba pointed out at the grave stone.

The last one was that of Eric. He was an actor. He was after fame and recognition. He became addicted to intoxicants and died quite young. He could not ever find a stable relationships and even though he had many children from different women, there were none to take care of him, or look after him at his death bed. He died alone, in a hospital, with a longing to see his children and experience their love, which he never nurtured when they were young. I tried my best to convince some of them to go and meet their father who was in his death bed. None showed any interest and gave me lame excuses. He never cared for his children when he was young. The children never cared for him when he was old, sick and helpless. Life is like a mirror. You reap what you sow.”

Who has seen the other end of life? A predator could become prey at the flip of a coin..

“As for me, I have been quite mediocre, compared to them all, and I did not go anywhere from this place. They all saw the world outside this village. I did not see much beyond this village. I saw only my inner world. My world has been within me. The whole world was within me. In the end, they could not hold on to their large world, but I could. I am not boasting, but just proving a point. I learned to make buildings and do some farming which made my living. More than grains, I sowed love and I nurtured it. I distributed it in this village itself, as best as I could. Your grandmother was a great soul. She never allowed any visitor to leave our house with an empty stomach. More than the food, our genuine care satisfied our visitors. We have always been quite self-sufficient, yet our neighbors always shared their happiness with us, just like we did. They cared for us, and considered us worthy of their time and space. There is no substitute for HARD WORK. There is no substitute for LOVE.”

“I have been busy and my life has been quite rich and meaningful. As a hobby, I learned astrology. I never practiced astrology for money. I just guided a few who came to me to shed some light on some of their personal confusions. Astrology is ability to read into one’s destiny using the movement pattern of planets and stars. If destiny was a variable, astrology would fail. Fortunately, it is not. Destiny is constant, pre-determined. The science of astrology is based on a definite road map called destiny, a pre-planned journey that one takes in one life time. It is a science. It is sheer mathematics. The element of free will and the element of grace can always alter that to some extent.

Thus, I lived a simple life, away from the rush of the towns and lived long enough to see my wandering friends dead and buried! How many dreams and aspirations we chewed on during our youth! How many dreams we weaved. Some were realized, and some left unfulfilled. I have no regrets. It is time for me to go too. I may not survive this summer. My time is near. Death does not frighten me, nor am I worried about my life after death.”

“I do not know any God. I have not seen God. No God has come to me and guided me, let alone come to criticize me, beat me, or judge me. I believe that for the hungry, God is food and for the cold, God is warmth. In the summer, God comes as a cool breeze and in the spring, God appears as blossoms. I believe there is no God apart from its various forms. I believe God expresses itself through us too, as kindness, compassion and Love, while Devil, if there is one, expresses itself as jealousy, hatred, anger, and revenge. I do not know any grand philosophy nor do I want to know. What is the use of knowing it, if I cannot use it? I do not want anything that I cannot use or practice.”

David then saw his grandfather, grandmother, his parents and all his cousins in an outdoor party near a beautiful river. All were singing and dancing and there was immense love and sense of belonging-ness in the air. David sang many songs and had lots of fun.

It lost its life for us to celebrate an occasion!!!

Be Aware of What you eat. Eat with complete Awareness

There was a lot of food and drinks on the table, and when he touched a piece of bar-be-cued meat of a suckling pig-ling, (a specialty at important gatherings) he heard the voice of his grandfather again, even though he could not see him. “Remember David, that baby pig did not die happy, for you. It was forcefully killed. It was murdered for your enjoyment. Snatched from its mother’s breast while it was drinking its mother’s milk. Its mother is still alive and missing her child. Some of its brothers and sisters are still alive. Eat with clear understanding. Eat with awareness.” David dropped the meat. He could not consume any meat anymore.

He woke up with clear memory of the entire dream and he knew that his dear departed grandfather has just conveyed a very important and life-changing message to him. He had just used the medium of a dream to convey it, because he had already left this world and there was no way he could talk to David.

This was a crucial point in David’s life as he was getting more and more involved in a particular path of education that he chose and he was getting too introverted, indifferent and insensitive towards the outside world because of it. Even though his parents never interfered, he had taken a lot of responsibilities onto himself and was already suffering the pressures, pains and weight of it. Anxiety over possibility of failures or defeats were also affecting his self-esteem. David got a clear remedy to his dilemma from his Grand Father’s message. He decided “LIFE HAS GOT TO BE SIMPLE! Why do we make it complicated? We must definitely work hard. But, we must love our work. Love for work will remove all pressures and pains. If we love what we do, old age cannot make dents in our life.” The life of Baba’s three close friends clearly made David understand the futility of mad pursuits. Everything eventually ends up in the grave. All emotions, ego, ambitions end up at the same place. A life filled with love and laughter is worth more than the millions in the bank. He decided that he should appreciate what has been given to him, rather than be always dissatisfied, focusing on what he could not achieve as yet. He stopped comparing himself with others and judging or criticizing himself. He understood that he has always been in pursuit of something or the other that he did not have, ignoring everything that he already had. He realized that failing to enjoy the available materials or relationships always lead one to permanent disillusionment and eventual depression. He also realized that constant resistance to everything also consumes a lot of energy and it makes one tired. David decided to shift his life in 180 degrees. Love is the remedy. That is all he needed to learn and remember. Love is all one needs. He woke up to a completely new life.

P.S. Sometimes, protecting angels will take you to the astral plane and deliver such experiences. Its memory stays, if it is relevant to your terrestrial life. In order to keep the memories, directions and guidelines would be well engraved in the conscious memory, if that information was expected to be used in one’s life. It would be presented as a dream, even though it is an astral experience, a total communion. This is just for your understanding. Please understand that there are millions of permutations and combinations possible in our existence. So, do not think in terms of any specific patterns. Everything is individualistic and unique. Each moment is unique and each method is unique. One’s food could be another’s poison. So, do not judge experiences, but value them. Everything has relevance in some way, to some one.

It is a relative existence. Only Love is Real…

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Great Masters – Shirdi Sai Baba – Part 2

The Great Avatar Sai Baba of Shirdi

Sai Baba lived a simple life, in a dilapidated mosque. He used the same set of clothes till it became obscenely torn and useless. He never cared for fancy clothes, which was always available, as his popularity rose. Many people brought many goodies to Baba. He immediately distributed them to who ever was around at that time. Very few things did he ask Shama to keep, such as some pictures of his that devotees gave, some vegetables, wood for dhuni etc. Many times, Baba appeared to people as very ordinary. He used to smoke chillum – and even suffered breathlessness and asthma at times. He would ask very basic ordinary questions to devotees which would make them wonder if Baba was indeed a true master or actually an ordinary man. Baba always behaved like an ordinary man to confuse his visitors. Those who could not see beyond his simplicity and natural behavior, left him with a confused mind. Some came back again, some never returned back to him.  Some others who saw the fire inside the ashes, never left.

A master should be internally felt and absorbed, not heard or seen. What you see or hear could be very ordinary stuff. The true master hides behind this ordinary matter. A true master may look too ordinary and simple. People who are used to spiritual pomposity will easily get confused. They may even consider the shallow pompous as real and the true but ordinary master as unreal. Nevertheless, masters always served their purpose of assuming their gross body precisely and with commitment. They always gave forth what each deserved, instead of what each desired. In this chapter, we shall see how he bestowed blessings on some of His closest disciples.

Sai Baba Deluded His Devotees with His simplicity

Status and stature are two entirely different things. Status can be conferred while stature needs to be earned. Status can be created while stature has to happen. There are many acharyas, Gurus and philosophers. Some have only book knowledge and borrowed experiences. They have read enough books to know how each situation in spirituality feels, including the state of enlightenment. They have only theoretical knowledge and they depend on books to deliver knowledge to seekers. They can never impart experiences. It is important that we develop our sixth sense, enough to identify these acharyas who pretend to be Gurus, and avoid them as much as possible.

Shirdi Sai Baba once entertained such a man called Javhar Ali, brimming with knowledge, but with no stature. Baba seemingly respected and obeyed Javhar Ali and confused those who respected or worshiped Baba. Was Javhar Ali indeed superior in stature to Baba? Baba was playing a game to make Javhar Ali humble and also make His devotees sharper in their awareness and understanding. Stature always comes out into the open and wins, sooner or later. As is the case here, Shirdi Sai eventually proved to be much more superior and a true master than the egoistic Javhar Ali. This is how Great Masters operate. They convey messages and teachings quite implicitly. Only those who have developed the faculty of keen observation will know the difference and truth between the real and the glamorous.

A Great Master is a True Expression of Divinity

In His early days at Shirdi, Sai Baba used to have long hair, unshaven or cut. He was a strange, but handsome boy. He used to dress like an athlete.After His wrestling bout and defeat at the hands of Mohiddeen Tamboli, Baba changed His attire completely and started dressing up like a Muslim Fakir. He did not even have a name, when He came to Shirdi. The name Sai Baba was a spontaneous expression from the mouth of the priest of Khandoba temple, Mhalsapati. Mhalsapati recognized the master inside the ordinary man; he felt the stature of Baba. He spent all his life with Baba. He always used to sit with his eyes closed near Baba. He became blind soon after Baba left His body, because he wanted to only see Baba and nothing else. Baba never allowed Mhalsapati to accept any money or gifts that devotees who came to see Baba showered on him. Baba kept him poor in kind, but rich in his  spiritual heart. Baba gifted him the supreme bliss, much more valuable than any physical and transitory richness.

Mhalsapati named this Young Avadhoota, SAI BABA

Kasinath Govind Upasani Sashtry  was born on 5th May 1870 in a family of Brahmin priests. He was a spiritual renegade. He had no interest in academics and practiced chanting, Yoga and Meditation rigorously. His spiritual practices were often extreme. He used to even meditate in Burial grounds on Lord Shiva. Even though he married thrice and tried his luck in medicine and other means of livelihood, he always went back to his supreme aim – spiritual growth. He stayed in Nasik and Pune at times, and even begged for a living. He resorted to extreme penance without food or water and attained great spiritual powers. It was Shirdi Sai Baba who finally converted Kasinath into Upasani Maharaj, a true master. He left his physical frame in 1941. Even now, Sakori (near Shirdi), where Upasani Maharaj lived the latter part of his life, is a shrine frequented by many. He continues to guide many, even after his physical exit.

Sai Baba and Upasani Maharaj

Baba had a unique connection with Upasani Maharaj. Upasani Maharaj used to know every thing happening in Dwarakamai, sitting in Khandoba temple. Whenever Upasani Maharaj left Shirdi on his own, Baba brought him back. This is the love of the master. Remember the famous lines of Ramana Maharshi ” He who has earned the grace of his Guru will undoubtedly be saved and never forsaken, just as the prey that has fallen into the tiger’s jaw will never be allowed to escape.” Baba protected him, elevated him, empowered him and made him in His own spiritual image. After meeting Baba and connecting with Him, Upasani Maharaj stayed in Khandoba Temple, alone. He cooked his own food and contemplated on Lord Shiva all the time. Baba told Upasani Maharaj ” You must sit quiet in the temple and do nothing. Have nothing to do with anybody. You have great (spiritual) future”. When ever Upasani Maharaj requested through Shama for Baba’s permission to go from Shirdi, Baba said “He has to clear his account. This is a connection of many lifetimes. Our families have been connected for thousands of years. So, we are one.” Finally Baba said “Everything I have got has been completely given to him”. When his third wife died and Maharaj became sad, Baba consoled him and said ” I myself have taken care of the welfare of her soul. I am fully responsible for you”.

Upasani Maharaj

Sai Baba did test Upasani Maharaj in many ways. Baba visited Maharaj in the form of a dog during lunch time. He also visited Maharaj who was a staunch Brahmin in the form of a lower caste man, and later scolded him for not caring for Baba. Baba also took away most of the money that Maharaj had, in the form of dakshina and even did not allow Maharaj to wear new clothes sent by his elder brother on religious occasions. Thus, Baba taught him detachment to worldly matters, increased his sensitiveness to see Baba in everything, a dog, a poor man, a bird, and established Maharaj in supreme spiritual well-being.

It was Upasani Maharaj who wrote the famous verse on the occasion of the installation of Sai Paadukaas (Holy footwear representing the feet of the master), under the neem tree where Baba appeared first in Shirdi. The lines that Upasani Maharaj wrote are chanted everyday as part of the Arathi. It goes like this:

“Sada Nimba Vrikshasya Mooladhiwasat

Sudhaastravinam tiktamapyapriyamtam

Tarum Kalpavrikshadhikam Saadhyayantam

Namaameeswaram Sadgurum Sai Naatham”
(I bow at the feet of Sadguru Lord Sai Nath who, by His Divine presence, made the bitter Neem tree into a tree oozing with life-giving nectar, much greater than Kalpavriksha, the celestial wish-fulfilling tree)

Madhavrao Deshpande – SHAMA

Madhavrao Deshpande alias Shama was “Baba’s Boy”. He used to be a teacher in the neighborhood of the masjid where Baba stayed. He used to observe Baba’s mannerisms very closely and used to get bewildered. Is this a saint or a mad man? Later, wisdom dawned on him and he came closer to Baba. Baba took care of him. Shama used to be like a personal assistant to Baba. They used to chat informally in the quiet hours of the days, during the times when Baba’s popularity was relatively less. Once Shama asked Baba: “Does Brahma Loka and Vishnu Loka exist?”  Baba replied: “Yes, they do, but, what have you got to do with it?” Shama had a wish to see these lokas. Baba asked him to close his eyes and enabled him to see these lokas as clearly as he would see the outside world with his eyes open. Baba said: “Understand that these lokas are also as illusory as earth. We must go well beyond all these illusions and merge into the supreme, non-dual world.”

Shama: “Did Rama and Krishna really exist?”

Baba: “Indeed, they did.”

Shama: “Is it true that all the monkey squads helped Rama?”

Baba: “It is true. I myself saw innumerable monkeys assembling and them climbing one on top of another like ants.”

Shama: “How can you see them? You are not that old. This happened centuries ago”.

Baba: ” I was as I am now. We have lived numerous lives. You do not know that, but I do.”

Baba always used to treat Shama with kindness and love, and hardly used to display anger on him, even when he used to display it to his other close followers like Tatya Kote Patil. Shama had the freedom to question and even challenge Baba and Baba never minded it. His bhaav (feeling and devotion) towards Baba was pure and innocent with zero demands and expectations.
One day, a man came to Baba and requested for some money as he was in deep debt. Shama knew that the amount he requested was indeed available in Baba’s pocket. But, Baba replied to him that he has no money on him. The man left sad and gloomy. While pouring water to Baba to wash his hands after a meal, Shama asked Baba why he lied to the poor man and sent him empty handed, who came seeking for some solace, despite him having the required amount in his pocket. Baba always used to tell people not to lie and not to promise what one cannot deliver. Baba replied;
“It is in his karma that he must experience this state. It is not yet time to change it. People experience poverty because of their inherent miserliness and poverty of the mind. If he is relieved of it now, he will not transform. Every experience is a result of past actions, words and thoughts. It must be experienced to the fullest. Nobody can cut it short. A rich and generous heart will only reap richness and generosity in life. Selfishness breeds selfishness. Greed breeds greed. Intolerance about anything breeds the same towards you from others. Understand this my boy Shama, you will not understand my ways. When one lies to people that one has no money, despite having it, invariably experiences the same situation in life. One must share whatever one has, and stay rich inside always.”
Shama fell quiet. One thing struck his mind hard – Baba is unfathomable. It is not easy to understand even the seeming casual actions of Baba. His mind is too small to contain this ocean called Shirdi Sai Baba.

Shirdi Sai Baba and Shama, original photo

Shirdi Sai Baba and Shama, original photo

Baba gave short cut remedies to people. He was a practical Guru. When Mr. Pradhan wanted to go home and heavy down pours were dampening his hope, Baba read his mind and said “Are Allah Abhi Barasat Purakar. Mere balbacche ghar janewala hai. Usko sukhse jane de”. (Oh God, Stop the rain now, my children need to return home. Let them go back in comfort.) The rain stopped soon and Mr.M.W.Pradhan was given permission to leave.

Mr.Narke saw Sai Baba in the heighth of His anger. He was fuming and full of passion and anger. That was Narke’s first experience and he was confused. “Is this a saint or a mad man?” That evening, when Narke went to Baba and, while massaging His feet, Baba stroked Narke’s head and said “I am not mad.” Baba knew Narke’s innermost thought!!!

As we know, Baba had power over elements. Once a severe storm lashed Shirdi, along with rain and thunder. Baba stepped on to the edge of Dwarakamai and shouted. “Jara Dhav” (Stop Little). The storm abated quickly.

Abdullah who served Baba with devotion and faith had seen many strange behaviors of Baba. Everyday, He used to stare at east, west, north and south and talk something, and even wave his stick at some invisible entities. Das Ganu Maharaj also observed Baba vigorously rubbing coins between 1PM and 2PM – almost everyday, when He was alone. Everything had a purpose – He was liberating body-less entities from terrestrial bounds, and also liberating embodied entities like Abdullah, Shama and Das Ganu from emotional bondage.

Some people are never satisfied with anything. They habitually complain and see something lacking always. They can never be truly happy. To one such woman, Baba said “why do you constantly complain about things big and small? Chant the following mantra many times everyday and be happy”. He asked her to chant

“Sree Raama Raama Ramethi

Rame Raame Manorame

Sahasranaama Tathulyam

Raama Naama Varaanane”

She found peace within and Baba warded off all internal and external evils from her with this “manthropadesh.” Even if someone asked, Baba never used to give a mantra. In this case, even without asking, He gave one. Such is the style of Great Masters. The nature of Shiva is “Kshipra Kopa” Easy to get angry and “Kshipra Prasaada” easy to be happy or bless. This is why even Raavana and such others pleased Shiva and got many boons. In both these states, Shiva removed heavy karmas of devotees. Shirdi Sai Baba was also very famous for his anger and also for his deep compassion and kindness. He was easy to be pleased. There were occasions where he was violently displeased with the rich and tasty gifts offered by a rich merchant and very much pleased with a small banana offered by an old woman.

Words cannot explain the truth of Baba’s existence. He blessed us by his visit on earth. What a master!!! A master par excellence  indeed!!! The story will continue, as long as Baba wants it to. I wish all of you Blessings from Sai Baba.

Sai Ram

M

The Light of Shree Sai Leads us all…

Tribute to Shirdi Sai Baba

Thus Spake Sai Baba of Shirdi

Supreme Avatar – SAI BABA

  • Allah is the protector of the poor. There is nothing besides Him.
  • Look at me and I will look to you. Trust the Guru fully. That is the only sadhana. Guru is all the Gods.
  • Sit quiet. I will do the needful.I will take you to the goal.
  • I will not allow my devotees to fall. Night and day, I think of my people.
  • My tomb will speak and move with those who make their sole refuge. I shall be active and vigorous from the tomb also.
  • My name will speak. My mutti (dust) will reply.
  • If one meditates on Me, repeats My name, sings My deeds, and is thus transformed into Me, his karma is destroyed. I will stay by his side always.
  • I draw My devotee to Me at the time of his death, though he may die a thousand miles away.
  • If one sees Me only, always listens to talk about Me, and perpetually repeats “ Sai Sai”, with a heart overflowing with devotion, and is devoted to Me alone, he will reach God; he need not fear or worry for his body and soul.
  • If one never tastes food before offering it to Me, I am his slave.
  • I will never leave anyone in the middle.
  • In the abode of my devotees, there will be no dearth of food and clothing.How can I allow my children to fast or starve?
  • I will not allow my men to get away from Me.

Baba about Himself

Beyond all Dualities exist a Sadguru

  • Iam the slave of God. God is the Lord and the Master
  • This is a Brahmin, a white Brahmin, a pure Brahmin. This Brahmin will lead lakhs of people to the subhra marga (White path or path to Self Realisation) and take them to the goal, right up to the end. This is a Brahmin Masjid.
  • Brahman is my father and Maya is my mother. As they interlocked, I got this body. I am Parvardigar ( God). I live in Shirdi and everywhere.
  • All things are mine, I give everything to everyone.
  • All this universe is in me.
  • All that you see taken together is Myself. He who thinks that Baba is only at Shirdi has totally failed to see Baba.
  • I look on all equally. Not a leaf moves except by My grace.
  • I get angry with none. Will a mother get angry with her kids? Will the ocean send back the water to the several rivers?
  • I do not instruct (anyone) through the ear. Our traditions are different.

Baba’s Teachings

A Sadguru’s Life itself is His Teaching

  • Be the real and true sons of the mother ( Dwarakamai). And fully stock your magazine. What is to become of us? Earth will return to earth, and air ( breath) will return to the air. This opportunity will not return.
  • Give up all desires and dwell in your mind upon God-in-all. If the mind is thus concentrated, the goal is achieved.
  • For Dhyana ( Meditation), meditate on me as formless, mere Ananda. If that is hard, then think of my form, just as, you see it here. Think of it night and day. With such meditation, the mind dissolves into unity. The difference between the subject, object and the act of contemplation  will be lost. This results in Chaithanya Ghanatha ie, Brahma Samarasata.The Guru’s glance is bread and milk for the desciple.
  • If you make me the sole object of your thoughts and aims, you will attain paramartha, the supreme goal.Look at me with undivided attention; so will I look at you. This is the only truth that my Guru had taught me. The four sadhanas and the six sastras are not necessary. With entire confidence, trust your Guru. That is enough.
  • Stick to your Guru with unabated faith, what ever the merits of other Gurus and however little the merits of your own.
  • It is not the Guru that makes himself your Guru. It is you who must regard him as your Guru., ie, place faith in him. Take a postherd and regard it as your Guru and see if your goal or aim is reached or not!
  • My Guru, after depriving me of everything, asked me for two paise. I gave them to him. He did not want metallic gifts. What he asked for was 1.Faith ( Nishta) and 2. Saburi ( Patience or cheerful endurance.)
  • One should not stay in any place where saints (or one’s Guru) are spoken ill of.
  • If anybody is angry with another, he wounds me to the quick. If anyone abuses another, I feel pain. If anyone bravely endures abuse, I feel highly pleased.
  • If anybody comes and abuses you or punishes you, do not quarrel with him. If you cannot endure it, speak a simple word or two, or else leave the place. But, do not battle with him and give tit for tat. I feel sick and disgusted when you quarrel with others….Do not fight with any; nor scandalize any. When one talks ill of you, pass on unperturbed. His words cannot pierce your body. Others acts will affect only them and not you. Its only your acts that will affect you. If others hate us, let us take to Nama Japa ( Chanting God’s name) and avoid them…..Do not bark at people; do not be pugnacious. Bear with other’s reproach….This is the way to happiness. Let others and the world turn topsy-turvy, but do not mind that; keep on to your own straight course. The world maintains a wall…..between oneself and others. Destroy this wall. Allah Malik (God is the supreme Lord.)
  • Have regard to Rinanubandha. Who ever or what ever creature comes to you, do not drive it away, but receive it with due consideration. Give food to the hungry, water to the thirsty and clothes to the naked. Then  God will be pleased.
  • If anyone begs anything of you, if you can grant the request or get it granted, do so, Don’t say ‘No”. If you have nothing to give, give a suave ‘no’; do not get angry with him. If you do not like to part with what you have, do not say falsely that you have nothing to give. Decline to give it in polite terms and say circumstances and desires stand in the way.
  • Work, utter God’s name, read scriptures. If you avoid rivalries and bickerings, God will protect you.
  • We should never kill a snake.Because it will never kill us unless it is ordered to do so, by God. If  God has so ordered it, we cannot avoid it.
  • If anyone talks ten words to us, let us answer with one word, if we reply at all. Do not battle with any…. Who is whose enemy? Do not say anyone that he is your enemy. All are one and the same.
  • Among the six vikaras (feelings) jealousy is the easiest to conquer. In this vikara, there is no question of (actual) gain or loss to ourselves. Jealousy ( Matsara) is the inability to endure another’s profit and prosperity. If another gets fortune and power, we cannot put up with it; we scandalize him. When he meets with a loss, we rejoice.But, is this good? When that man attains prosperity, what loss have we really suffered? But, people do not consider this point. If he benefits, let us consider ourselves benefited; or let us strive to attain equal good. That should be our desire and determination. What has he taken away of ours? Nothing! He received the prosperity that is the result of his Karma.
  • Never accept gratis, the labour (or property) of others. This should be the rule of your life.
  • You must always adhere to truth and fulfil all the promises you make.Have faith and patience. Then, I will be always with you wherever you are.
  • What ever you do, do thoroughly. Else, do not undertake.
  • Adhere to vairagya (dispassion). Women are a great danger to an ascetic.Think of God and kill out the ego. A person that has not overcome lust cannot see God.
  • Do not borrow for celebrating a feast or festival, or for pilgrimage.
  • Athithi (guest) is what ever creature is hungry and comes to you  at  the lunch time, whether it is human being or a bird, beast or an insect. All these seek food. The real athithi that you get, that you do not regard as such ….At Kakabali (offering food to crows) time, take plenty of boiled rice outside the house and leave it there. Do not shout or call for any creature nor drive any away. Whatever the creature that comes to eat, let not that disturb your mind. You get – thus – the merit of feeding lakhs of guests!
  • Eat very little. Do not go for a variety of eatables. A single sort, ie, dish will suffice.
  • The earth bears seeds. Clouds rain on them. The sun sends his rays, and makes them sprout. When these sprout, earth, clouds and sun keep on their happy course in all directions. They neither exult at the growth nor deject at the destruction of the sprouts. You should be unaffected like these.If you are, when can sorrow come to you? Mukti ( liberation) is this absence of sorrow.
  • We are not to bother ourselves about the beauty or ugliness of the person, but to concentrate solely on God underlying that form.
  • What God gives is never lost and what man gives never lasts.
  • People wrongly think they are different from one another.  Iam inside you and you are inside me. You continue to think in this way. Then you will realize it.

Miscellaneous

A True Master Remains Simple and unassuming

  • Never argue. Reply to 10 words with one.
  • God is afraid of evil and evil is afraid of God.
  • Whenever 10 persons join, there is a rub.
  • Money says, “ If you use me well, I shall serve you well.”
  • Food (meal) says , “ Cook me well and I shall serve you well.”
  • A Yogi is always better than a bhogi.
  • He who, being a king, wears a beggar’s robe is good.
  • People have a house each – I have none.
  • The fruit of good is great; of evil, very little.
  • I travel thousands of  kos ( 1Kos = approx 3miles) to protect thousands of people.
  • This ( Baba himself) is no servant of anyone; this is the slave of Allah only.
  • One should be content to remain as God keeps him.
  • One should know the Master. Or else, Why have you come?To collect dung cakes?
  • One should know the inmates of Wada ( lodge)
  • The name of Allah is eternal; Allah is all-in-all.
  • Once the strings are entrusted to the Sadguru ( Absolute Master), there is no cause for grief.
  • There is a low-born one ( Mahar) in the body; he should be evicted.
  • Either we must resort to someone or we must show the path to others.

Golden Words of Sai Baba ( Excerpts from Baba – The Master by Acharya E. Bharadwaja. Deepest Pranaams to Sri Bharadwaja, the self-realized one.)

Another Excerpt – Relevant for all times:

Curious to know what Baba was doing, Nana asked him why he was scrutinizing the same coins again and again. Baba replied, “Beta (dear son), it is true I am repeating the same action again and again, repeating the same words. Look at the mango tree in front of you. It is in full bloom. The leaves are hardly visible. If all the flowers in the tree were to become fruits, will the branches be able to bear the weight? But it does not happen that way. Most of the flowers are swept away by the wind. Many others drop of their own account. Only some of them become fruits. Of these some are eaten by squirrels, birds, or monkeys. In this way ninety percent of the flowers do not result in fruits. Only ten percent remain in the tree. Is it not so?” They agreed, that it was so.
Baba continued, “In the same manner thousands of devotees are coming to me. Are they all ripening into good devotees? Many drop away in the middle. Some come for getting their desires fulfilled. Some seek wealth. Many are coming either for study or in connection with jobs, marriage or other personal desires of their own. In each of them, there is some defect or other. No one comes for My sake. I have a precious thing to offer in my coffers. But no one seeks it. It is for this reason that I am examining them (coins). Among these coins there are some which are worn out, some which are debased, and some which are twisted and worthless.”
“Just as I am examining the defects in these coins, I am also looking for the defects among the devotees who come to Me. I am trying to find out what defects are there in these people and whether, with those defects; they can really comprehend My Truth. They want Me, but all their desires are related to mundane objects. How can they attain Me with this attitude? How can you reach your destination if you get into a wrong train going in some other direction? They want Me, but they don’t make efforts for realizing Me. Among those who come to Me, it is only one in a thousand who really makes the efforts to realize Me.”
“The minds of the “so called” devotees are turned in the wrong directions. If their desires are fulfilled, they praise Me. But, once a desire is not realized they go to the extent of even reviling Me. Even while they are attempting to understand Me, they harbor doubts from head to foot. Some even leave Me, when their worldly desires are not fulfilled. These are not sincere devotees at all. They are in fact worst sinners. How can they reach Me?” said Baba.

I surrender all my sundry expressions at the feet of Lord Sai Bhagawan

Great Masters – Shirdi Sai Baba

A Master Beyond Comparisons

Nobody knows where He came from. Everybody knows that He is still very much Alive and Omnipresent. He answers to people’s calls. He still appears in physical form. He instantaneously grants boons and blessings. He conveys messages through dreams as well as through various mouths of His. A true master of masters. Words cannot justifiably explain the phenomenon called Shirdi Sai Baba. I humbly bow to this avatar. I prostrate at His feet.

A True Avadhootha – A True Avatar

He lived in a dilapidated mosque in a village called Shirdi in Maharashtra, constantly attributed everything to the Lord by repeating “Allah Maalik” and never took any ownership. The whole ownership, of every thought, word, action and miracles always stayed with Allah. He never had anything to do with it. He was an avadhootha – a renunciate who always reveled in his omnipresence and was always in tune with the Universal consciousness. They are born to bless the world. Baba explicitly conveyed His universality while He existed in His physical body and even more, after exiting it. He never bothered to explain where He came from and what His mission was. His pedigree was immaterial to the brilliance of His stature. He confused many people with His ordinary, unassuming fakir looks, yet extra ordinary presence. His major mission seemed to be to unite the warring Hindus and Muslims, while the British policy was to divide and rule. In that sense, he was uniting what the British were separating. He worked in a subtle, but sure way. Like any great master ahead of his time, He was also misunderstood by the then society. Many considered him as mad. Many thought He was fake. Many objected to Him collecting dakshina (offering or donation to express gratitude to Guru or Lord, in the micro sense). The fact remained that what ever He collected each day, was distributed on the same day. He never saved anything. He never accumulated wealth. He mostly took from the rich and distributed to the poor. He took money and removed karmas of seekers. In the end, all that remained in His pocket was sufficient money to bury His body. He only kept that saving always. He saved nothing else. Just like any true master, He had no needs of His own.

Baba Lives in All Beings. By feeding an animal, we are feeding Baba.

Baba is not to be understood intellectually nor to be worshiped mechanically. Baba has to be felt. Baba works subtly through many bodies or takes any form at will. He gets the show moving in the most unexpected way, and keeps His devotees guessing. His purpose is to destroy expectations and increase faith. To many, at the most unexpected moment, Baba has appeared as a beggar, a wandering monk, a fakir, a dog, a cat, a pigeon, a crow or even a snake. Nobody can say in which form He will appear and when. Baba wants us to respect all creation. We should not kill either. We should be compassionate to all beings. We should share our food with other beings. Blessings happen through various bodies. We should never underestimate any creation of God. Baba always teaches us love and compassion. He lives and works through many creatures so that we always stay benevolent for His sake. Life cannot be taken for granted.

Significance of Dakshina (Offering/Donation to express gratitude)

As mentioned earlier, Shirdi Sai Baba used to collect donations and distribute it to the needy on the same day. He never stored any money, except what was required for his funeral. He also over-paid for all services rendered to him. He never ever bargained. Those who tried to cheat him, used to experience great difficulties in their life ahead. This is the same with all spiritual masters. All those who hurt, cheated or harmed spiritual masters, suffered many troubles over lifetimes. They accumulated huge karma by such deeds. Masters were not perturbed by any wrong doings nor took any revenge against anyone.

Through his action, Baba was teaching us that accumulation of anything is bad, including karma. Money becomes alive when it is transacted. Stagnant money is of no use for anyone. This was one significant lesson that he wanted us to learn. When accumulated, it is a burden and when released, it liberates us. When we try to accumulate, we distance from God because tendency for accumulation is a result of our insecurity. A man with firm faith is never insecure. When our faith increases, accumulation decreases. It liberates us. Liberation is the sign of proximity to God. In the same way, a person with his eyes constantly focused on future is prone to tremendous insecurity. Astrologers and fortune tellers will be ruling his life. Pardon the slight deviation. So, we should keep sufficient money for our purposes and use the rest for the good of others, including environment, animals and birds.  Thus we stay light and liberated. I am sure you would have read in Sai Satcharitra about the rich man who came for moksha and, even though he had plenty of money in his pocket, he was not willing to share a fraction of it with Baba. Baba then tested him by pretending to be in urgent need of money. How can such binding to money help moksha or liberation? Look into ourselves, most of us are of the same nature. We do not care about others. Our comfort is the only important thing for us. Some people do not even care for their families. That again, is besides the point, but we definitely need to be aware.

On a physical level, what ever calories you accumulate need to be burned or else, obesity and disease will happen. What ever we eat also should be excreted on the same day or else constipation will happen and toxins will be released into our system, which in turn, could get blocked. The water that we drink goes out of our body as sweat or urine without much delay. But if it stagnates?  Thus, in physical level, we are constantly accumulating and releasing. We have to, or else, we will die. Body does not allow health and accumulation together. Either good health or accumulation. Internal accumulation of food becomes fat.Weight is a problem for many. We are constantly told to watch our weight. However, even if nobody reminds us, we become watchmen to our own wealth, afraid to spend and afraid of theft. The same way we crave for money, we crave for food. We eat emotionally. We accumulate emotionally. Only when intellect takes over, we become moderate. BUT, when do we allow intellect to function??? So, just like Baba collected Dakshina and distributed it on the same day, we have to eat only what we need and burn it out on the same day. Unemotional eating habits and limited consumption will ensure and maintain good health.

Similarly, on the emotional plane, we accumulate a lot of emotional garbage while experiencing various situations during our waking hours. Emotion plus thought, word or action creates karma. Hence, we have to trash all emotions that we accumulate each day, on the same day itself. How do we do it? Through replaying incidents and forgiving, meditating, chanting mantras, or attending bhajans or poojas. This is why traditionally, people were asked to wake up in the most subtlest of times of the day – Brahma Muhoortha – between 3 and 6AM – and do yoga, chant mantras and meditate. This will strengthen their minds, reinforce it and make it impregnable for emotions to easily penetrate and establish within. When we do that, there will not be much accumulation of  emotional trash each day. Hence, before going to bed, it is enough to forgive and forget and surrender all thoughts, words and actions at the feet of the Lord. We will then get emotionally purified. This is like an internal bathing or cleansing. Since through everyday life,  we allow emotions to run wild quite unconsciously and we create emotional trash as we live an emotional existence, the  elimination of it is equally important. If this cleansing is not done regularly, just like we stink if we do not take bath twice a day, our mind will become contaminated with emotional filth. This increases our karma and invites catastrophes. Moreover, it ensures confusion in our life. Hence, it is important to trash all emotions each day and cleanse ourselves internally.

On the intellectual plane, we accumulate knowledge each day. It also has to be converted into purposeful and benevolent action immediately. Knowledge is raw dough until it is baked and made usable. So, intellectual knowledge, if it remains like unused wealth, becomes a burden. This burden can also be called EGO. Ego beyond a reasonable limit is useless as well as dangerous. It distances us from God. Faith and surrender takes us closer to God, while ego separates us from God. So, a man who is proud of his intellect and knowledge is like a prisoner who is proud of his prison cell. These are words of Fr. Anthony D’Mello.  Therefore, what ever intellectual matter we accumulate each day, it must be processed and made useful for others on the same day. Otherwise, it contaminates and isolates us. This adds to repeated births and deaths, until ego is broken and nullified like a coconut at the feet of the Lord, through various hardships of life. Ego is the shell of the coconut. Only once it is broken can we taste the sweet kernel and nourishing water of divinity. So, Baba shows us how we should also take care of our intellect. Baba is a supreme master and His ways of teaching are quite unique and inimitable.

Reality Stays Well Beyond Senses. A Master should be Felt, not just looked at

Grace is not easy. It needs perfect surrender. Once Grace flows, life becomes very easy. We have heard many lectures where people talk about awareness. What is awareness? How does one become aware? It is easy. Look at the children. Small children. They start their life through feeling. They feel the ground, they feel their mother, father, a flower, a comb, a brush; they feel heat, cold, clothes, bed, etc, etc. When they grow older and their senses starts to co-ordinate with their mind, they start forming concepts. Then, they detach from feeling to knowing. We have to get back to feeling first. Become a child. Feel everything. Feel food, feel relationships, feel weather, feel sunshine, feel flowers, birds, animals or their behaviorism. When we start feeling, our mind is in the present – because, you need your conscious mind to feel. When you establish in feeling, emotions are at check. You will start accepting realities as they are, without resistance. Resistance breeds emotions. Emotions breed karma. So, when we shift ourselves to the feeling mode, we shift to the non-karmic existence mode which is quite liberating. When we are well established in the feeling mode, we will be “wonder-fueled”, like a child. And this helps awareness. Feeling will lead to awareness. It expands our consciousness to that level where we feel rather than depending on our senses to know. Dependency on senses is quite limiting. Awareness makes us unlimited. Please understand that those who talk about awareness are sometimes only aware of their wallet. Hence, do understand that this is a self-help path. Nobody else can increase or reduce your level of awareness. The benefits of “feeling” are aplenty. By feeling, I do not mean emotions. If you feel and become emotional, it is anti liberation. This feeling is the feeling related to wonder. This is how the child feels the world. When emotions are overflowing with feeling, understand that mind is having a field day. It is dragging you with it. So, use the wonder aspect in you and feel everything. Even feel happiness or sorrow. Do not get drowned in both. If you are constantly operating in the feeling mode, even negativity will not stay within your mind. Hope I have clarified it enough. If not, please ask. I shall try to explain differently. This was an excerpt from one of my communions with Baba.

There is much more to talk about Sai. A life time will not be sufficient. I shall narrate my experiences later. If you have a Sai Satcharitra with you, please read it everyday, at least one chapter per day, and surrender your thoughts, words and actions at His feet. If you do not have a copy, please buy one and start reading it. May Sai Bless You with Deep Peace, Prosperity and Strength to make your world a better place. Sai Bless YOU.

My Sai Experiences will Follow

Aum Sai Ram

M

 

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