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Posted on: Oct 11, 2016
Lessons from Then and Now – Shirdi Reminiscences
The Dasara festival is significant for many reasons. It is that time of the year when we worship God as the mother of all beings, showing gratitude for the 'Shaktis' bestowed on man, for the gifts of Nature's bounties, and seeking courage to battle the evil within. In Prasanthi the festival is marked by the grand Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yajna, the Grama Seva and the Prasanthi Vidwan Maha Sabha. In between we also have the festival where the various vehicles blessed to carry our Lord is worshipped. In the years gone by, Swami would come around breaking coconuts before the cars, and even alight the cars and the golden chariot at times. The last day of the Navaratri, Vijayadashami, is celebrated in memory of Rama's victory over evil Ravana and also Goddess Durga's victory over the demon, Mahishasura.
There is one more reason why Vijayadashami is special for devotees of Bhagawan. It was on the Vijayadashami day of the year 1918, Shirdi Baba, the previous incarnation of Bhagawan shed His mortal coil. In that sense, Vijayadashami is the Aradhana Mahotsavam for the Shirdi Avatar. So even as we participate in the Poornahuti of the Yajnam, the final session of Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha (in person or virtually), and pay our obeisance to our all-auspicious Mother Sai, let us also travel back to the holy precincts of Shirdi. There in the dilapidated Dwarakamayi lived Baba, acting as mysteriously as only Divinity can; one moment He was the Mother of all beings, compassionate and caring; the other moment He was Rudra Himself, blazing with rage. He wore a ragged kafni and called Himself a Fakir, but He went out on a royal procession as the devotees extolled Him as 'Sainath Maharaj'. And what better way to make this journey, than to do it with Swami Himself. We offer you through this article, excerpts from Swami's discourses, where He related little stories from His previous incarnation. Please do listen, read, contemplate and offer at the feet of Baba the two coins He ever sought as dakshina - the coins of Shraddha and Saburi (Faith and Patience).
What you offer I accept indeed! (From Discourse delivered on 19 Jun 1996)
At times we go back on our words. There is no greater sin than going back on one’s word. Emperor Bali said: “Can there be a greater sin that failing to keep one’s word?!” Therefore we must keep our word as sacred and protect it.
Just then Baba sent word; by whom? By a person by name Jog. This person Jog was always with Baba. Not 'Joke', Jog! He sent word saying, “There is no need for you to go back. Your father broke his promise, you didn't. Therefore, My immense grace is there on you. You can stay here as long as you want.”
The son stayed but he was full of disappointment and dissatisfaction all the while. After 10 days he returned home. When he returned home, his father apologised to him.
“Though you are young and I am older than you, I request you to forgive me”, said his father. Then the son replied, “Seek forgiveness from Baba, not from me. Whatever community or culture you may belong to, word is a word. You may belong to Brahmo Samaj, I may belong to Arya Samaj, someone else may belong to Daiva Samaj, but promise is one. Truth is one. It is very essential to adhere to truth. You argue in the court for justice. If you yourself do not adhere to truth, you will become the cause of ruin of many individuals and families. So father, you have studied law. But if you do not adhere to truth, all that you have studied in law will become useless.”
On that day the son told the father, “Father, you be a lawyer, not a liar.”
Therefore, when you follow the code of conduct implicitly in your life you can have the direct manifestation of Divinity. To begin with, the body must be sanctified through good actions. It all begins with discipline. From dawn to dusk, all the daily duties must be performed in a highly disciplined manner.
|I shall always follow you (From Discourse delivered on 17 Jun 1996)
God takes a form based on how one prays. For the one who prays saying, “God should always be behind me and protect me”, only the footsteps of the Lord will be heard behind. The one who says, “Oh lord, are my problems not visible to You, is my crying not visible to You?” will have the vision of the eyes alone. “Are my pleas not audible to You, are my prayers not audible to You?” - the one who prays thus, will have only the (vision of the) ears it is said.
The same was said in Shirdi too. Shirdi Baba said, “I am always with you. I am right behind you, following you.” It seems the devotee who heard these words went some distance and turned to look back. When he did not find Baba there, the devotee thought, “What a lie Sai Baba has said. Didn't He say, 'I will be behind you?' How come He is not to be seen behind me?”
He went back to Baba and said, “Baba, You are a great person isn't it? Is it right to lie like this? You said You are right behind me, following me. But when I turned back You were not there.”
“O Shaitan! Is this your intelligence? When you turned, your back turned too, isn't it? When your back turned, I too turned with it!” So when he turned, his back turned and so did Baba; He was right there behind him.
Therefore the words of God are subtle, discreet and mysterious. All cannot understand it. So don't try to understand it. Listen to what is said and follow it. That is your duty. It is not in anyone's ability to comprehend matters pertaining to Divinity. Appears like an ordinary human being, but transcendental powers emanate from Him. So it is not possible for everybody. Do your duty; to clarify your doubts, offer yourself to God. That is your prime duty.
A promise made is a promise kept (From Discourse delivered on 14 Jul 1996)
During the previous Avatar, in a village called Bandra there lived an ardent devotee of Sai Baba by name Hemadpant. His second name was Annasaheb (Dabholkar). He always contemplated on Baba and kept repeating, “Baba, Baba, Baba” all the time. One day he slept and was awakened at night at 3 o’clock. It appeared like a very tall person had come in. The doors too were open. This man came in and patted his back and said, “Annasaheb! Tomorrow I am coming to your house for food.” Annasaheb looked around bewildered and wondered, “Is this my dream or the reality? No, this is no dream. My Baba Himself had come to me. It seems He is coming to my house for food tomorrow.”
He collected the package, and the moment he accepted it, they left. On opening it, he found there Baba's picture.
Why should Baba make us mad this way? He relieves you of the madness for the world and makes you mad after God.
He wipes away worldly tears. But makes us to shed tears only for Him.
But today’s faith is ‘part-time devotion’. When told they are happy, but immediately thereafter they wonder, “Will He really come or not? Maybe He told for my satisfaction.” They begin doubting this way. No opportunity should be given to doubt so. When one has complete faith, the promise certainly comes true. That is the word of God; nectarous word and a divine word that never is false. But because of the flaws in your faith, it fails at times. 'As is the thought, so is the manifestation!' Keep your faith firm. Come what may, never give up your faith under any circumstances. Be it any sort of difficulty, never forget your faith. Just as your breath is constant in all circumstances, faith too should remain constant.
Baba gives a glimpse of His Divinity (From Discourse delivered on 23 Aug 1996)
In this world it’s impossible for anyone to know the Divinity. The one who is bound to follow God’s command in totality will have complete knowledge of Divinity.
“Mad one, did you think that the old rags were bearing My weight? No, No! My power was bearing the weight of My body”, saying so Baba then added, “Do not reveal this to anyone. In Pathri, some people considered Me a Brahmin boy, some thought I am a Mohammedan, some even thought I was a Patel; like this each one thought I belonged to different communities. But I was born in Pathri village to a Brahmin couple Devagiramma and Gangabhavadhyudu.”
“Patri grama samuthbhootam,
‘Born in Patri village,
Baba did not want the secret to be revealed to anybody as in those times in Shirdi and also in Maharashtra, the Hindus and Muslims were at strife and even some were massacring each other. So Baba said, “I am a Mohammedan amongst Mohammedans, a Hindu among Hindus. So do not call Me a Hindu or a Mohammedan.” Thus He took a promise from Mahalsapathi.
The Elements obey His command (From Discourse delivered on 31 Aug 1996)
There in Shirdi, one time in the year 1916, a big cyclone came. The son-in-law of Lakshmi Bai, Buti had constructed a temple in Shirdi. The temple was built to install the idol of Lord Krishna. But Baba kept on postponing the installation function.
Likewise in Shirdi too, in Buti temple there was a fireplace. Many mad devotees, women in particular, used to purchase firewood and put it in the fire without a thought about the effects of such action. Such devotees put the wood in the fire with a satisfying thought that they were offering to the fire god.
Anantakoti Brahmanda Nayak Rajadhiraja Yogiraja Parabrahma
Sri Sachidananda Sadguru Sainath Maharaj ki... Jai!
Radio Sai Team
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