Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sathya Sai Baba discourse giving short account of life of Shirdi Sai Baba

http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume23/sss23-28.pdf, Discourse at Prashaanthi Mandir, on 28-9-1990 by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, gives a short account of Shirdi Sai Baba's life. It covers Pathri, birth place of Shirdi Sai Baba, early years, arrival at Shirdi, H.V. Sathe (Deputy Collector) and Pradhan (judge) interactions with Sai Baba, Shyam's arrival as a 2 year old child, dedication to & love for Sai Baba, and Baba's tears on Shyam's passing away, Baba's way of disciplining devotees, Sai Baba advent mystery - parents Gangabhavadya and Devagiriamma, Difference between devotees and disciples, Shyam being only disciple of Baba, and Baba telling Abdul Baba about Sathya Sai advent.

I have given below a few extracts from the above-mentioned discourse:

There was in the same village a Sufifakir. As he was also childless, he took charge of this child [Ravi: Shirdi Sai Baba as a child] and brought him up in his home. The boy stayed in the Fakir's home for four years (1835 to 1839). The Fakir passed away in the tide of time. The Fakir's wife, who had lavished great affection on the child, was grief-stricken. To add to her worries, the boy was behaving in a troublesome manner. In those days, Hindu-Muslim differences in that area were growing alarmingly. There was considerable bitterness between members of the two communities.

[Ravi: Shirdi Sai as a boy promoting Hindu-Muslim unity in faith in God.]
What the boy used to do was to visit a Hindu temple and sing songs in praise of Allah. "Mein Allah hoo!" ("I am God"). "Allah Malik hai!" ("Allah is the Supreme Lord"). He used to declaim in this manner in the temple. The Hindus used to chastise the boy in various ways for his misbehaviour. Nor was that all. He would enter a mosque and declare: "Rama is God", "Siva is Allah." His behaviour in singing about Allah in a Hindu temple and about Rama and Siva in a mosque was a puzzle to the public. Members belonging to both the communities went to the Fakir's wife and complained about the boy's behaviour. Unable to deal with this situation the Fakir's wife handed over the boy to a high-souled, pious scholar named Venkusa, who was living near her house. The boy stayed in Venkusa's ashram for 12 years from 1839 to 1851. Venkusa was extremely fond of the boy. In every matter, he used to give priority to the young Baba's views. Seeing this, in course of time, members of the ashram developed envy towards the boy.
...
While at Shirdi, Baba used to converse with those coming to him, give advice to them regarding
their problems and offer courage and solace to them with regard to their troubles. In this manner,
Baba's activities came to be known all over the country.
...
[Ravi: Jealousy of do-nothing persons against Baba right-hand man Sathe]
In this way, Baba used Sathe as his instrument. He regarded Sathe as his right hand in regard to all matters. Because Baba was keeping Sathe close to him and relying on him for everything, the residents of Shirdi grew jealous towards him. "Many are content to do nothing themselves, but they cannot bear seeing others do things and will carry tales against them." (A Telugu poem). Several persons used to come to Baba and tell stories against Sathe. What is the appropriate name for such tale-bearers? They should be called "enemies of beggars" (namely, barking dogs).
...
[Ravi: Baba mysteriously interacting with devotees while laughing or talking to himself at night.]
Shyam used to watch Baba at nights through the ventilator. He used to notice Baba talking to himself, getting angry at times, or laughing to himself, or doing other curious things. Baba used to sleep on an eighteen-inch-wide plank suspended from the ceiling. Shyam was apprehensive that Baba might fall off from his lofty but narrow perch during sleep.

Once he mustered courage to ask Baba while massaging his feet: “Swami! You don't seem to sleep at all at nights. You are laughing to yourself or talking. What is the secret of all this?" "You simpleton! Do you imagine you are the only person about whom I am concerned in this world?

There are numerous persons who are praying to me. I am speaking to all of them," replied Baba. "When I turn my finger, I am turning their minds. When I laugh, I am amused at their follies.

These are the things I am doing for my devotees, dear child." Shyam prayed to Baba: "Swami! My classes don't take up much of my time. Let me stay with you during the rest of the time and serve you."

At that time there was a woman called Laxmibai who used to cook the food for Baba. Shyam used to go to her and assist her in the preparation of jowar rotis. Baba had a great liking for brinjals. Shyam went to Laxmibai to learn how to prepare brinjal dishes. Shyam went on serving Baba in this way and he alone knew the joy he derived from such service.
...
[Ravi: Baba throwing stick on someone in anger; That person's life being in Baba's hands and that he can die only when Baba permits him to die.]
Baba often used to fly into a temper. This was only an outward appearance. Sometimes he used to throw a stick at someone ten feet away. Shyam once asked him: “Swami! You are hurling the stick at the man in such a rage. Supposing something happened to him and he died, will you not get a bad name?" Baba replied sharply: "Saithan! [Ravi: Devil!] You keep quiet. That fellow's life is in my hands. He will die only if I permit him. You better mind your business. Why are you bothered about others? That man will come to his senses only if he sees me in this manner. If I am indulgent they will try to ride the high horse." Thus, in this way, Baba used to discipline people by threats and harsh words. "It is only with this aim in view I am displaying anger and not for any other purpose." This secret was revealed by Baba only to Shyam and none else. Baba's life is really a saga of love and nothing else.
...
[Ravi: Difference between disciple and devotee.]
In 1917, Baba once called Abdul Baba, Nana Chandorkar, Mhalsapathi, Das Ganu and others and started asking each of them: "Do you know who you are?" Each of them replied: "I am your sishya (disciple)." Baba said: "Nonsense! Don't use that term any longer. I have no disciples in this world. I have countless devotees. You do not recognise the distinction between a disciple and a devotee. Anyone can be a devotee. But that is not the case with the disciple. A disciple is one who carries out implicitly the commands of the guru (the preceptor). The mark of the sishya is total devotion to the preceptor. Only the man who says, “I have none in the world other than the preceptor is a disciple. How far have you respected my injunctions? How are you entitled to claim that you are my disciples? Only the one who follows me like my shadow can claim to be my disciple. The devotee is one who prays to the Lord wherever he may be. Hence, there is a big difference between a disciple and a devotee. The disciple and the preceptor are like two bodies with one spirit. The disciple should have no sense of separateness from the preceptor. He should feel, 'I and you are one.' There are no such disciples to be found in the world. There are millions of devotees, but no disciples.”
--- end extracts ---

[I thank sssbpt.info and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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