When Sai inspired me to create StarSai.com in december 2004, the caption for starsai was
“Giving alone can change your life”
I used to think people are devoted to God/Guru. They go to temple and do pooja but they don’t actually have helping tendency.So i wished to promote this message. Gradually i realized many sai devotees do have habit of giving food to poor etc .But the problem again is we must not stop with giving food to people sitting outside temple and donating for annadhan in temples.
We can go beyond this and can help our friends or relatives kids in their education. Even a good career guidance is a good habit. Anyway, gradually as starsai had other articles to help shirdi sai baba devotees, i realized, its high time i again write about Shirdi Sai baba’s love for cooking food by himself and feeding his devotees with affection.
There’s a reason i would like to say saint “Shirdi Sai baba ” as
Sri Guru Shirdi Sai Baba.
Sri , i personally feel means prosperity , blessings of Goddess Mahalakshmi and Shirdi Sai baba has given food and fulfilled the hunger of thousands of his devotees even today after his samadhi in 1918. Food is considered as Mahalakshmi , Prosperity and obtained by grace of Goddess Annapurani.
Hence calling call affectionately as
“Sri Guru Shirdi Sai Baba ” suits the message to be conveyed .
Sai baba who lived approximately between 1835 to 1918 leading a saintly life in a village called shirdi , in maharasratra, india did not teach or preach anything directly to his devotees.
Most of Shirdi Sai baba’s ways are practical in nature and what ever Sai Baba wants his devotees to follow he practiced it himself.
Humanity of Sri Guru Shirdi Sai Baba:
Begging Alms and Cooking food himself for devotees :
I wonder if there can be a saint as pure and simple as Sai baba of shirdi. Well, in modern days there are people who has ashrams, call them self as guru , run a charity etc and arrange few people to make food for guests. But rare is a saint like Sai, who himself goes to the market, collects wooden logs, sticks to create fire , keeps the huge pot over the earthern stove and starts to cook himself.
Sai baba being a Saint who has command over nature at times even inserts his hand inside the food being cooked and mixes it.
Shirdi Sai Baba’s Assurances :
One of the greatest thing of being a Shirdi Sai baba devotee is that Sai has assured the 3 basic needs to his devotees .
2. Clothing and
I have come across numerous incidents when shirdi sai baba devotees who are suffering financially surely get these 3 , atleast these 3 basic needs always and all life.
Even today Shirdi Sai baba temples across india and abroad offer Aannadhan to millions of Sai devotees.
Sai baba used to purchase items to cook for by himself :
Sai never troubles any of his devotees to buy the items required to cook food friends. Sai himself goes to the market and buys the required items happily. Then he comes to the sabha mandap outside dwarakamai where the huge pots are kept, lights fire using woods and cooks the food. At times saibaba used to leave the entire hand inside the burning food and stir it. How beautiful it would have been for devotees to see their own Guru cooking food for them like a mother.
What motivated me to write this article ?
In december 2004, i realized the need to spread the message of “Giving ” and launched
Gradually StarSai.com became a website where Sai devotees look for other things like Sai Baba bhajans, Shirdi Sai Baba photos , Aarti etc. I also had to write other articles which will make Saibaba devotees go in the path of light and lead a devoted life.
My prominent goal when i made StarSai.com was to promote the message of Giving but gradually i started writing other articles which helps sai devotees. I still hold the caption of StarSai.com as “Giving alone can change your life”
This not only means giving food but also giving education and also any kind of small favours you can do for people whom you trust.
Understanding Giving Food :
Annadhanam – The greatest Dharma of Giving Food is today misused than anything else. There are few temples, charity organisations and even NGO’s collecting funds in the name of Giving Food to poor and we never know if the money really is served as Food to some one hungry.
I never argue that ever pie must go for giving food but the when it becomes a way to get money easily , it gets ruined completely.
Our goal is to spread the message of Giving in day to day life :
You have to donate food directly which is the best thing to do, if not try to see the credibility of anyone or any organisation . Obviously donating to temple is auspicious but lets also remember , when you make or get food on your own and give to few who are hungry its truly a blessing.
If you live abroad or even in india, We dont get chance to Give Food to poor easily , i mean to the one who really needs and respects Food. In some times especially the shirdi saibaba temple in my home town , only on thursdays , many people give food to poor who sit outside temple. They get numerous packets and who knows if all the food is consumed or not.
Best way to follow Giving habit :
Even offering food to relatives and friends who visit your house is a habit one has to follow. Its a part of our culture. Apart from this…
please don’t stop with donating money to charity or temples or even directly giving food to few in temple etc. Follow the giving Concept internally and apply it in day to day life.
Example , When one of your friend is hospitalized ,ask him/her if they want you to bring food , My sister never prays saibaba too much like me but if one of her friend is pregnant and has pain , she takes food to her house with care .
Even inviting friends to have food in home is a blessing . The difference is we give food to people who can have food even if we don’t offer. But this too is a good deed. What you learn from this is you are inspiring your children and family members with a message of ” Humanity and friendship ” – Being good to each other.
When you keep practicing “Giving Food ” in little ways like helping some one to choose a proper education, career etc, we actually follow shirdi saibaba’s teaching.
In the end of the show, I am a person who can’t bear hunger. At times when ever its getting late to have food and finally when i have food, i thank saibaba so much. Once when my mother went to relatives place, i had to take a bus and walk 2 kms to get food parcel ,take another bus and walk back home to have Food. Finally when i reach home i used to be so hungry and used to think ” How much my mother is doing for me”
So StarSai is to inspire everyone to respect anyone who cooks for you, be it your mother, wife, friend , husband or room mate.
The moment you are hungry , if someone gives you food , Trust me they are Sai himself. Lord Shiva and Annapurani lives in the one who gives Food when you are hungry.
With lots more to write in the days and years to come