Sai Baba (of Shirdi)

It is not known when Sai Baba was born, where he came from, or who his parents were. The term Sai Baba means simply, Saintly Father. He appeared in Shirdi, which is a little village in India, at about the age of sixteen, and stayed there till the end of his physical life in 1918.

Between the years of his appearance at Shirdi, and his transition, his life was an extraordinary succession of miracles and deep communion with his pupils. Like Ramana, he had no need to enter a trance to experience the Unconditional state, but was constantly aware of all things. Through this he would often describe a stranger’s whole life in detail. As the Unconditional is in all things, so Sai Baba was in all life. As an example of this, there is the experience of Adam Dalali, a pupil of Sai Baba. “Some time previously a poor Malwari had come to his house to ask for food and he gave him four annas and sent him to a Malwari hotel. When he went to Shirdi, Sai Baba immediately said ‘I went to this man’s house and he sent me to a Malwari hotel.’” (From “The Incredible Sai Baba” by A. Osborne. Rider & Co.) In such cases he usually spoke in the first person as if physically involved in the incident. His life illustrated the saying of Christ, “Inasmuch as you do it to one of the least of these, you do it also to me.”

One day a lady asked Sai Baba to come and eat with her. Having prepared special dishes with all her love and capability, she was horrified to see a stray dog just about to eat from the table. She drove it away and left to tell Sai Baba the meal was ready. When she asked him to come he said, “No, you drove me away when I wanted it; now I don’t want it.”

Curing the sick and childless in miraculous ways happened constantly. One old man, grandfather of a pupil, when led before Sai Baba bowed and said, “Baba, I can’t see.” “You will,” Sai Baba replied. He laid his hands on the old man’s head and he could immediately see.

He would, and still does, appear to people in their dreams, either requesting them to visit him at Shirdi, or giving them spiritual instruction. Often these people had never seen or heard of him before, yet came under his influence. As his consciousness had realised its timeless eternal nature, he is still as powerful to help those who turn to him today, as he ever was in his physical body. But the Master, whether in the body or out of it, demands something of us—namely surrender of self to his divine will. Very often, in curing people, he would ask them to let go of their prejudices or self-will. One colourful illustration of this is the experience of Dada Kelkar. Being a strict Brahmin he would not touch onions. Not only this, he hated the sight of them. Having visited Shirdi with a party of people, Dada became enraged when one lady began to cut up onions for her meal. This very much upset the woman. Some hours later Dada’s granddaughter developed a pain in her eyes, and began to cry. Dada immediately went to Sai Baba and asked him to cure it. Sai Baba, who knew nothing of the argument, told him to rub the girl’s eyes with onion. When he asked where he could get the onion from, Sai Baba pointed to the woman he had argued with.

To Sai Baba, however, his miracles were only a means of developing trust and faith in people. He said, “I give people what they want in the hope that they will begin to want what I want to give them.” These other gifts, were of the Spirit. Mrs Manager, one of his devotees, says of him;” One’s first impression of Sai Baba was of his eyes. There was such a power and penetration in his gaze that no one could long look him in the eyes. One felt that he was reading one through and through. Soon one lowered one’s eyes and bowed down. One felt that he was not only in one’s heart but in every atom of one’s body. A few words or a gesture would reveal to one that Sai Baba knew all about the past and present and even the future and about everything else. There was nothing else to do but to submit trustfully and surrender oneself to him.”

As one was not bowing down to a man, but to the divine acting through a man, one was thus relating to God. Sai Baba said, “I shall remain active and vigorous even after leaving this earthly body. I am ever living to help those who come to me and surrender, and seek refuge in me. If you cast your burden on me I will bear it.”

Life and Teaching of Sai Baba of Shirdi; Shirdi Websitee.


-Rudra Mukherjee 2015-02-24 1:06:06

Very inspirational, thanks for writing this. I often return to this article to reread it from time to time.

-SUMATHI JAYARAJ 2014-10-16 10:18:10

Dream of shridi sai baba idol breaking

    -Tony Crisp 2014-10-22 8:01:13

    Sumathi – A great dream of instruction. Idols need to be broken. It is the formless living spirit that needs to be idolised.

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