My internet doesn’t work well. So I am using the Laptop and P.C side by side to do some work. This is the most irritating thing that can happen to me as I can’t be relaxed without internet. I feel really rest less. Anyway, I created StarSai on December 22/23rd 2004. As StarSai approaches completion of 10th year, so does so many other habit of mine. On December 22nd 2004, I gave 1000 posters of Shirdi Saibaba to be printed. I got the 1000 copies on December 24th 2004. From the next day, I started giving these Saibaba photos to devotees who come to Shirdi Saibaba mandir in my hometown. I used to give it to devotees who come around the holy dhuni and only if they seem to be sad or really devoted to Sai.
The next day was Tsunami, on December 26th 2004 and the quotes in the Sai poster was
“Give food to the hungry, Water to the thirsty and clothes to the naked. Then God will be pleased – Shirdi Saibaba”
I went to Saibaba temple in the evening, came around dhuni and gave this picture to few devotees. This habit of printing Shirdi Saibaba photos and giving it to devotees only when I felt they are truly devoted to Saibaba has continued till this day.
Every few month, I used to print 1000 to 2000 Shirdi Saibaba photos and give it to devotees where ever I travel and mostly in Saibaba temple.
I came around holy dhuni – Sacred fire of Shirdi Saibaba from evening 4.30 to approximately 8 o clock for from 2005 to 2007. When ever I am in Coimbatore, this was my usual habit. I have so many experiences during this period in my life.
Some of them were very painful too. Many devotees don’t know my name but they call me as “Photo kudukura payyan” …he he…. ” Theguy who gives Photos” although those days in 2005 very few people comes to Saibaba temple. Even now, when ever there’s rain in Coimbatore and if I am in Dwarakamai, I remember the days in 2005-2007. I have spent several hours coming around dhuni without even a single devotee coming to temple if it rains. Gradually, the crowd started increasing and I started to do other work like cleaning Dhuni and filtering Udi etc. Now a days, even this seva has reduced since I go very late from office to temple and some times I am not able to reach temple. My friends are taking care of Dhuni Seva and am OK with it.
Anyway, Coming back to the days I gave Saibaba photos to devotees, I have a memory of a small incident.
It was sometime in 2005 when there were very few regular devotees who comes to the Saibaba temple. There was this family who comes with their daughter. ( She was in 10th std as some one told me this later). I used to print many photos of Saibaba every 2-3 month. When ever I print a new photo, I used to give this girl. Once her Mom saw me giving this photo to the girl and was very furious with me. I was blinking why she scolds me like this and felt very painful. Then, I realized that she thinks I like her daughter and so trying to speak to her.The painful part was she was still in school and I wondered why on earth will I perceive a girl still in school that way?
Later when ever any girls come into the Dwarakamai to come around dhuni, I decided to move away and stand in the middle of the grill opposite to the entrance of Dwarakamai. This way, I felt no one Aunties and Uncles gets doubt on me because coming around sacred dhuni was more important to me. I also can’t bear these insults.
You know, the Fire in the dhuni at times used to burst and devotees will get scared. I too get scared of the sound but many times, the fire used to fall on me and I take it as Baba’s blessing. Now hardly the fire comes out of Dhuni as the grill does not have opening as before. Some of my shirts got a dot like hole because of such blessing of a Sai’s sacred fire.
Once, the aunty came with her daughter near dhuni and the coconut inside the dhuni was bursting and she got scared and moved to a long distance. I was telling to myself “You hurt me. So Sai don’t want you to come near him.” …he he…But when ever they come, I made sure, that I don’t stay in that place. We must bear it all. Anyone can insult us but we must have patience to bear it all.
It was a day before Ram Navami during April 2005. I was coming around Dhuni. Few days back I did photography of Saibaba with many beautiful Roses. So I was planning to print it in big size and give it to devotees from next day. After the night aarti was over, the watch man came to me and told “Some one gave a complaint against you in temple office and they want you to stop coming around dhuni”.
I felt very painful but I could not guess who did this. They were not willing to tell this to me. Next day, I bought 2 bronze lamps, went to the 2 watch man in the temple and gave them the lamps along with some money as gift.
I told them “I am coming around Dhuni for some good purpose which Saibaba asked me to do. I don’t know why anyone has to give complaint against me but I don’t want that Sin to fall on you because as a watchman you just did your job. So I am giving you this gift of lamp and some money.”
The watch man had tears in his eyes and he knows I did not do anything wrong. I just left the temple.
Next day, The watch man himself came and told me “You can come around the Dhuni as you wish” and I was happy.
The best part is, another watch man told me a strange thing after 2 years. He said that he was having this habit of smoking and it was like a addiction for him. The day I gave him the bronze lamp, he went home and lit it. From that day, he quit smoking forever. I was surprised because he told this to me after 2 years. Many devotees don’t understand why I ask them to light lamps but its very sacred and It can change your life for good.
I had various experiences while coming around dhuni. I learned about my previous birth and so many visions. I was confusing myself and my parents don’t want me to be like this. Hence, I tried to come out of those visions. This is the time, Sai told me about the saint who lived before 6000 years.I faced insult in every single thing I did based on Saibaba’s guidance because I believed Sai wanted me to do it.
In 2007, I printed little Photos of Saibaba in a visiting card size. It wrote the quotes “Give food to the hunger and chant Sai Sai Sai as much as you can. Sai will fulfill your wishes”. Below that you can see “StarSai.com” printed on it. When ever I give the picture to anyone I know from office, I tear the StarSai.com part and give them the rest as I don’t want anyone at work place to know about it.
I used to take 2-3 photos of this little card in my pocket and give to devotees very rarely.
I don’t easily give and will ask Saibaba 2-3 times before I give it to someone.
The reason I wrote this article now is that there are only handful of such little Sai baba photos with me. I searched and found 10 of them today. But I treasure all these 10 photos and wanted to give it to devotees whom Saibaba wants to show his presence.
Now a days, I sit in the corner of Dwarakamai infront of the Dhuni when ever I am able to make it to the Saibaba temple. I found a Man coming with his child regularly for shej aarti. He falls down in the surface and does namaskar to Saibaba portrait. The little boy keeps looking at what his father does and repeats the same thing. He falls down the surface and bows to Saibaba. I liked the devotion of this little boy. So I gave him a Saibaba picture.
On Friday night, I started from office to Saibaba temple and was standing infront of the Mandir to cross the road. There was this girl, standing near me and I told myself, ‘If this girl comes to Saibaba temple, I shall give her Saibaba photo”. Then, As I crossed, I found this girl too came to Saibaba temple.
So I gave the Photo to her and told her “I have been giving Saibaba photos for the past 10 years…”. She got it and walked inside.
I never said this way to anyone. I simply give photos and move away. Now a days, I am speaking to everyone about past memories because its unbelievable. I can’t believe that I have been doing all this for the past 10 years. Then, I went to Dwarakamai, lit 3 lamps and kept kumkum on the holy dhuni. I was speaking to Dhuni priest and told him. I am remembering the days I used to stand near this grill before 10 years and he too told me “Yes…Time has passed so fast”
Then I went to the place where my friends were arranging prasad. I told him “You know, Its been 10 years, I have been giving Saibaba photos to devotees and made them happy?”
He looked at me and I knew what he meant because he has been sweeping the main hall of the temple for almost 20 years now. We can’t count the years in Sai Seva. I belong to him and Sai has all rights to make me an instrument to bring happiness in others life.
My friend immediately told me the quotes I printed in the first Sai poster and said “Why don’t you print again and start it all again?”
I laughed to him and said “Its all over..My life is Over….I just have memories”
The reason I don’t want to print more Saibaba photos and give devotees is that, Sai devotion is already spread across South India too. People have good photos of Sai and they can even download from internet and use it to worship. Times have changed and I think the last 10 photos with me will soon find its hand in few more weeks.
Its a beautiful experience. Many times, I wanted to sell my Saibaba photos online but I never did that. Something stopped me in doing so especially because I have this habit of giving Sai photos as gift.
If you live in Coimbatore, drop me a mail, If I have time to write you back, I shall give these pictures. Honestly, I am fed up with my life and wish I could rewind these 10 years once again and start it all again in a much better way.
I wish Sai blesses me with a time machine and takes me back …Am I asking for more? Its just 10 years back.
My parents were more healthy..
No body asked me to get married and my parents were much happy than they are today.
I had enough time to do what I wish do in my life.
Now I can’t be like that. I am trying to convince everyone that Sai will take care of my life. In doing so, I also get insulted.
Sai, What more do I have in this life?
If you have any experiences after getting Sai photo from me, so share it here. Actually, there’s a leela during Baba’s life time which proves Sai lives in his photo.
Once there was a huge crowd to see Saibaba. Saibaba was sitting inside Dwarakamai and many devotees were outside it in the Sabha Mandap. Suddenly, Sai started shouting “Save me..Save me…Someone is stamping their feet on my body. I can’t bear this pain.”
A very ardent devotee of Saibaba went to help him but Sai was suffering more, Sai pointed him towards a corner in the Sabha Mandap. So he went there and found there was a painting of Saibaba laying in the ground and many devotees unknowingly were passing by it.
He took that Sai painting, cleaned it and gave it to Saibaba.
Sai then gave it as a gift to a devotee and asked him to take care of it properly.
We can understand from this Sai leela that Its not just a Saibaba photo. Sai really lives in every single statue or photo you have with you and you come across.
Sai really lives.
Take care of him
Edit: After writing this article, I went to Saibaba temple. I heard some one chanting aloud Sai’s name and went out to see. Some of my friends and devotees were carrying Saibaba’s palki. I went further, stood in the car parking and watched it from distance. Few years back, My friends used to call me to let me join to carry the palki. I have watched that they do not call me for the past 2 years.
I have seen it all over the years. One of my other friend saw me watching from parking lot and both of them waved their hand to join. Somehow, I immediately waved back asking them to carry on. It was a instant behavior with out my knowledge and I know its Sai’s will. I preferred to keep distance. My other friends came near me and one of them said “Baba is in our heart”. So that’s enough for us”.
I do not want to stay in Temple for long. So I left. While walking out, another friend of mine asked if I took Saibaba’s photo in my mobile phone so that I can send it through bluetooth to his mobile. I told him that I did not take but there are many who took.
As I walked, I realized its digital era and people carry Sai photos in their mobile. They send it to their friends any where in the world. Even if you have Sai’s photo in your mobile or any other gadget, Sai really lives in it. So respect him and keep him safe and happy.