Athithi Devo Bhava – Saibaba takes care of his guests in shirdi
I woke up next morning listening to the distant sound of Vishnu Sahasranamam sung in the Samadhi Mandhir of Sai baba. “Shree Guru ” Sir was sleeping down on the floor . He could hardly stretch his legs in the little matchbox room.
I was upset since i had no dream from Sai to write the book. This chapter explains how Shirdi Sai baba takes care of each and everyone who comes to shirdi like his own guests. Yes we are his children and when we go to shirdi with pure devotion, Sai has his own way of protecting and comforting us.
3 :02 : 2009 – Starting to write the book somewhere outside dwarakamai
Its 12.40 Indian standard time according to what my mobile shows. I sit some where outside Dwarakamai and listening to afternoon Aarti . Behind me is “Shree Guru ‘ Sir reading a book about Sai baba and infront of me few laborers digging the platform. We were actually sitting on the steel ladder which leads to a hotel.
As you know , it was my wish that Sai must appear in dream and clearly guide me to write this book . As a ordinary Sai devotee i am ignorant of many good aspects about sai baba and his life. My language is so poor to the extent that i write with grammer and spelling mistakes. The most important fact being i first have to know if Sai Baba approves my service of writing a book. Thats why i requested sai to appear in dream and guide me.
Sai Baba din’t appear in dream – I was upset :
This morning i woke up at 4. A.M realizing that i din’t got any dream yet. I slept again hugging a book of Sai requesting sai to guide me in a dream indicating his approval to write the book. I can also express to all Sai devotees that this book is so special to saibaba that it was written by his dream vision.
I tried to sleep again hoping to be blessed with a dream. Ha ha … I was sleeping and i know i am sleeping which means that i tried to sleep only expecting to have a dream of Sainath. How foolish i am to expect things from Saint who knows what to do and what not to.
I was deeply hurt that sai baba has not blessed me in dream. Soon i heared Kakad aarti started followed by Vishnu sahasranamam which can be heared from this little out house of size 10 feet by 5 feet where Shree Guru sir stays for rent . Finally i woke up at 7.45 A.M really upset that sai baba doesn’t want me to write a Book. Probably Sai thinks that trace of my pride that i am writing the book for Sai and ego that “I” am writing the book is there in me. I even realized Sai knows this book will be a big failure and no sai devotee will be interested in reading it or even if some one reads, they might find it too childish or showing off of my devotion.
Bucket of Sai Ganga – Bathing in Cold water :
I wanted to spread some good message about Sai baba and also generally for welfare of the world. Vow …Here comes the first lesson Sai taught me. Shree Guru sir lives in shirdi for over 20 years from 1986 .He is a simple human being and all his life he has been a pure sai servant of Saibaba. What i like about him is his simplicity. He doesn’t show off his knowledge about Sai .Takes every Sai devotee and sai leela as a surprise . These qualities makes him someone adorable.
He stays in a small out house which has a attached bath room. When ever i go he used to sleep on the chill cement floor and allow me to sleep on his cart. He says
“Athithi devo bhava – Guest is God and must be treated with love and respect “
Its a part of indian culture which is why some kings gave respect to the British authorities even when they harmed many indians.
In the small room he worships tiny statue of Sai , a Ayyapa , Mahalakshmi , Hanuman and ofcourse our sweet Lord Ganesha and my family god Murugan.
When i stay in this small 10 x 5 feet room i learnt simplicity which actually is comfort for me compared to the expensive hotels around shirdi. Even when i started to Shirdi from Mumbai, i told my friend Ashish ” I have to take bath in cold water ”
This path ( spiritual ) is not easy :
The first mug of cold water made me shiver and all i could do is to call my Sai. Baba………..Saiiiiiiiiii…Baba……saaayeeeeeeee…Yes..i was shouting, screaming and singing and experiencing the first lesson sai taught me .
“If you have to grow in spirituality don’t go behind comforts and sense objects “
No one goes to Sai seeking self realization but thats what Saints do. They bless you with materialistic benefits , hook you in the path of devotion and gradually help you lead a spiritual life and also do your responsibility for family and society.
The Sai who gave me good parents, sweet sister , sisters baby who’s close to me and wonderful sai devotees as friends can give me Hot water if he wants to. He din’t because he knows “Venkat” Came here to get what Sai wants to give him.
I told Sai as the Cold water made me shiver.
“Baba…you want to make me happy. The fear i have before i poured the first mug of cold water on my body is the fear any one has to face problems in life. Once we pour the first mug of cold water accepting it as Sai Baba’s gift for us, we get used to it.
The second…third …mugs of cold water makes us shiver but as they call it as reflex action for any sai devotee his names comes to mind ” baba…..Sai…baba….Sairammmmm” . I was really happy for this single bucket of cold water made me learn life as if its a bath in Holy Ganga river.
The reason lesson is that Sai baba wants to give everything we desire. Some times we have a habit of complaining Sai no matter what happens. Let us tell our discomfort to Sai but try to see positively the benefits of accepting what ever happens in life as Sai Baba’s way of taking us one steap ahead towards God…Towards better thoughts and habits . Sai is making you a better person.
When problems come to us we ask “Why only me Sai ? ” Why God is giving this pains only to me. I only do good to others but why God cant give me peace. While taking bath in cold water i remembered after my stay in Shirdi, i can take bath in warm water but what about Shree Guru Sir ? . He has accepted to bath in the cold water for years to come irrespective of his old age and health issues.
A Saint cannot harm you as his heart melts like wax when you totally surrender to his Holy feet :
The most important lesson from the bucket of Sai Ganga is that , Sai never goes harm to anyone. It is me who choosed to stay in Shree guru sir’s small out house leaving aside the comforts hotels can offer me. Similarly we face pains in life due to our bad actions in previous births and due to our ancestors sins.
Even when a sai devotee does mistakes , Sai only gives him another chance. So let us not misunderstand that Sai is giving us pains . Each one is blessed by Sai baba whole heartedly according to their faith and devotion. Some of us complain Sai when our prayers are not answered . Let us remember there are many good souls who continue to be devoted to Sai baba even they are not provided basic comforts.
The simple way to express is
” A saints heart is like a wax, Sai also is in pain when you face sufferings in life.”
Just that your friend or neighbour might have did some good actions in past births that they are enjoying comforts . But when you suffering being a sai devotee , remember you are in the lap of our Sai Mother and Sai himself is allowing the laws of Karma to wash away your sins.
Have shradha ( Faith ) and Saburi ( Patience ). Surely Sai will bring good health , good career and good relationships, harmony in family , profits in business and peace unlimited.
Learn in Shirdi – Apply for Life time :
Do good where ever you go. Not only in your shirdi pilgrimage.
Flash Back : Lets now move 20 years back . Shree Guru Sir told me that when he first came to shirdi in 1986 , he used to sleep in the streets and have food in Sakori by walking in afternoon a distance of 7 Kilo meters. Other times he has food in shirdi itself. Once when it was raining heavily , Shree Guru sir was shivering and standing in the corner of a street opposite to Dwarakamai . The God of Rain would have tested if there is one Good soul in Shirdi infront of the divine Saints Dwarakamai to help Shree Guru Sir.
Looking at him shivering a person who owns a Shop called him inside the shop and gave him a Cup of Tea . Shree Guru Sir says me ” I will never forget that man all my life. Even today when devotees goes to shirdi, he takes them to this shop to show his gratitude .
I would like to mention this incident for you to realize a beautiful message.
Sai Lived in Shirdi and still living in your own heart as conciousness. I have seen many good devotees of many Gods doing Anna dhan ( offering of Food ) , Give clothes to poor etc only in such pilgrime spots . Doing Good deeds in Shirdi is O.K but any temple and sacred places must be considered as a school of wisdom and we have to learn and apply it where ever we go.
Doing good deeds in Shirdi, Being Good in Shirdi, going back to home, business and being selfish , hurting others is like a student behaving Good in school but behaving rude outside the school.
Further , It is clear that every one had sufferings based on their past births bad deeds no matter where they live. Sai devotees might desire to stay in shirdi for long to make their life peaceful , Some even invest in busing a house in Shirdi but see the example of Shree Guru sir and many like him who has to face problems though they live in Shirdi for years.
Shirdi is for Sai like Kashi is for Lord Shiva :
Where ever we are , what ever we do let us only think Good and do good as per our ability. There can be hundreds of Shirdi Sai baba temple but Shirdi is to Sai like Kashi is for lord Shiva. We have to be a humble child of Sai , come here when ever we have interest and ability to face expenses. When ever you go shirdi and any pilgrimage , learn good things though little experiences and try to practice it for life time.
Om Sri Sai ram
How i wrote this chapter carrying the Note book with me :
I started to write this chapter literally sitting on a iron stair case at a hotel situated between Dwarakamai and Hanuman mandhir. In between i went to a cybercafe where i wrote few words to my sai friends. I took a walk in the Hot Sun at 3 in the afternoon towards Sivanesan swamiji Samadhi and continued to write more. My Sai friend kashyap and Anil ji gave me Tea. I Lit agarbathi in Sivanesan swamiji samadhi . The brand name of Agarbathi is “Kashi ” .
Let us now bow to Sri Sai Baba as Sai to me is Para Brahma Lord Shiva himself. Let me now chant holy “Datta Stavam” praying for Sai child reading this Book .
Sai , This moment please bless your child with good health , prosperity and peace.
After reciting this Datta Stavam written by Saint Vasudevananda Saraswati , i would like to say that you are blessed now. Feel that there’s Shirdi Sai Baba in yourself , Mentally visualize that you have now entered Dwarakamai….
Sai Baba is still living. Sai is affectionately Giving you Udi ( sacred ash ) keeping his holy palm on your head and blessing you, You have closed your eyes and can see Sai as the God of you love the most. Keep chanting Sai…Sai…Sai…
Let the name Sai vibrate in you. Where ever you go Sai follows you .
You are blessed “Silently” :
By the time you turn to next chapter , you are already in Shirdi and entered Sai baba’s holy Dwarakamai and Got Udi from his own hands. Now look into your palm. You can’t see Udi because many times Saibaba’s blessings to you have remained invisible. Now you are blessed invisibly. This is a Saint who works wonders in life of his children. “Silently”.
Sadguru Sainath Maharaj ki jai