Today August 17th 2014 is Sri Krishna Janmastami. May Sri Krishna bless us with peace and happiness. If you are looking for articles related to Lord Krishna, please have a look at links below.
As you know, I am writing imaginary stories about what would have happened during Sai’s life time. Am thankful to Sai for making me an instrument to do this work. To write stories, its not enough to imagine things but I had to do some research to structure the events and environment in the story.
I was telling the story I wrote to my friend Ramanujam in Nagasai Mandhir and he said that its beautiful story but questioned about the girl characters name. So I came home, thought over it and by Sai grace changed the name to Komal. I am not going to tell you why I named her Komal.
Journey of Shirdi Sai Baba
Initially, we shall cover the well know facts about how we got a Diamond like Sai?
We all know from Sai Satcharitra that Sai was found in Shirdi as a 16 year old lad under the Neem tree. He never minded the heat and cold. He remained there for few days until the villagers got doubt in him and hurt him. He was harassed a lot and had to leave Shirdi.
Many years later, in the village Dhoop Khed, a patil named Chadpatil was searching his lost horse. He saw a fakir under a tree and asked him to look for the horse in the bushes near by and surprisingly the horse was exactly in the place Sai showed. Chadpatil realized Sai is a great auwlia – A enlightened person.
They decided to smoke. To make the smoking instrument to work, fire and water was required. Sai hit his satka on surface of Earth creating fire and also water. Chandpatil was surprised by all this act of the fakir and requested Sai to come to his home as a guest.
Chandpatil’s family was celebrating marriage of his relative. The bride was from Shirdi. Hence all of them traveled in a cart from their village to Shirdi. The cart stopped in front of Khandobha temple where Mahalsapati was a priest. When the fakir stepped down the cart, Mahalsapati welcomed him saying ‘Aao Sai”
meaning Welcome Sai.
This time Sai remained in Shirdi village forever until his samadhi in 1918 for approximately 60 years.
So that’s what we know about how Sai came to Shirdi.
Now, lets see the unknown and unproven facts about Sai’s guru, his parents, childhood, religion…
Various close devotees of Saibaba like Hamadpant, Das Ganu Maharaj and others had their own version of Sai’s childhood.
Some say that Sai was born to Brahmin couples and later adopted by a sufi saint who made him practice meditation and other spiritual activities. Sai has himself said at one point that “I have left my parents when I was 8”.
People who wish to relate Sai as Hindu believe that Guru of Saibaba must be a saint named Vengusha and people who like to relate him as Sufi saint say that his Guru’s name ends with the word “Shah”.
Honestly speaking, all of us, Including myself portray Sai with a religious flavor and Myself following orthodox Hindu traditions, relate him to Hindu Gods and culture. Yesterday, I realized that its my own perception and Sai accepts my way of devotion.
At the same time, We must not ignore the fact that Sai was not allowed to Stay in Kandhoba temple when he initially came to Shirdi. Why? Because he was considered as a fakir (Poor man who has no materialistic desires and considers God as his treasure). So Sai chose to stay in a dilapidated Masjid. I am pretty sure, few years from now all the Sai Satcharitra printed may not even have the term “Masjid, Allah, Fakir” etc because we are trying to destroy the basic philosophy of Saibaba.
People from all religion must live in harmony and follow their own path and tradition.
This is the most important principle of Sai. I agree majority of Hindu’s believe in Sai baba but we must ever remember to see him as belonging to no religion. Sai belongs to no caste, creed or sect. Sai belongs to all of us from any religion, caste, creed. Poor or rich. This is the God of Masses and Classes.
Sai does not belong to any religion. Sai is an enlightened soul and supports people to follow traditions of their own religion.
Sai always used to say, “Sabka Maalik Ek – Allah Maalik”
That can’t make him a Islamic saint.
Because like a Hindu Saadhu, he used to take care of the sacred fire Dhuni – Like an Agni hotri.
Now lets see other conceptions about Sai’s journey to Shirdi.
Some say that the facial features of Saibaba is not Aryan, Drawadian etc. They believe Sai must be of Persian origin.
My personal view:
My personal view which is also believed by millions of other Sai devotees is that Sai is not born to anyone. He is an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. This incarnation must have been decided to happen in 18th century even before several thousand years. Example – Saibaba himself said that I have been in Shirdi before 8000 to 10,000 years. He has showed his Guru’s place and said he was doing penance there for 12 years.
May be this incarnation itself is to show spiritual path to people of all religion and also unite them to live in harmony.
Das Ganu was ardent Sai devotee but he was very staunch believer of Pandurang of Pandharpur. He does not drink the thirtha coming from Sai’s holy feet but just sprinkled on his head. He was very orthodox and Sai allowed Ganu to do as he wishes even when others complained Sai about the way he behaves.
From this incident, we can understand that Saibaba never interferes with one’s religious believes and orthodoxy.
Sai realized people from various religion are associating him to theirs and creating conflict:
A year before Sai’s Mahasamadhi, Baba was enraged because his devotees started associating Saibaba to their own religion and they also had misunderstanding among themselves. In 1917, Baba removed all his clothes – The kafni and throw it in the holy fire of Dhuni. No one was able to go near baba as his eyes were burning red like a hot coal. Sai wanted people to leave him alone and not associate him with any religion.
Sai yelled at his devotees “Now look at me and tell what religion I belong to?”
Later he calmed down and wore his Kafni. Can’t we see how far Sai has to go to prove his philosophy? He wants to belong to everyone.
The reason Baba did this leela is that he wants us to perceive people of all religion with humanity and live in peace. But we never did. Ram Navami was celebrated along with Mohram festival in Shirdi during Baba’s life time. I am not sure if its followed to this day. We can’t question anyone because we are ordinary people.
Each one of us can perceive Sai as we wish and saibaba will give us experiences relating to that but he gives experiences based on individuals perception and faith.
Entire life of Saibaba was spend during British era. The Britishers used our hatred towards other religion and created communal violence purposely. Saibaba silently contributed in uniting people of various religion as brothers and sister.
One of the best principles of Saibaba which I really like is that Sai don’t like his devotees changing religion. If you are a Hindu be a Hindu for life time. Sai used to say one has to follow his ancestors tradition and lead a simple life.
So who really is Saibaba of Shirdi and what’s is real journey?
Listen to all the stories everyone writes, speaks or proves but do not believe in anything because its not at all necessary. Sai would have told everything about his Guru, Childhood and other information if he wanted to reveal it. He don’t want us to know.
The reason is that saints are considered to have a new birth once they got self realization. So before they attained this Brahma Gyan, they would have lived a life as normal human being. Apart from this, many consider Sai as an incarnation.
There’s an old proverb.
“We must not try to search for origin of River and Saints ( Saadhus)”
Sai’s journey has no road, map or origin. Sai’s journey is the journey to your soul and life. Sai hooked you to do good to you. Sai pulled you like a sparrow and takes care of you like a mother.
Sai’s journey is all about Love.
Sai loves you.
Little Servant of Shirdi Saibaba
Note – I don’t encourage any comments with conflicting views in this article. I just want to admit to the truth that I associate Sai with Gods and Goddess I love. This only a personal view because to me, Sai gives such experiences and to others with different believes Sai gives experiences that suits them.
Sai treats each individual exclusively. Every single devotee of his is special to him. He knows what to do to whom. I don’t want to know anything about origin or Shirdi Saibaba and I just listen to all stories. Personally, Sai is Sai as its portrayed in the 2005 edition of Sai Satcharitra I have with me.