Shraddha and Saburi – Essence in Sai Devotion -

Shraddha and Saburi – Essence in Sai Devotion

There was no knowing, as to when Sai Baba would accept a devotee. That depended on His will. Siddik Falke’s story is to the point. One, gentlemen, by name Siddik Falke of Kalyan, after making pilgrimage to Mecca and Madina, came to Shirdi. He lived in the Chavadi, facing north and sat in the open court-yard of the Masjid. For nine months, Baba ignored him and did not allow him to step in the Masjid. Falke felt disconsolate and did not know what to do. Somebody, advised him to try to approach Baba through Shama, a close and intimate devotee of Baba. Shama on request of Falke spoke to Baba about him thus, “Baba, why don’t you allow the old Haji to step into the Masjid, while so many persons freely come and go, after taking your darshan; why not bless him once?”

Baba replied, “You are immature to understand things. If the Fakir (Allah) does not allow, what can I do? Without His grace, who can climb into the Masjid”? Thereafter, Baba straightaway advanced to the Haji and lifting His Kafni up in arms said, “Why do you brag and pose yourself as an old Haji? Do you read Quran like this? You are proud of your pilgrimage to Mecca; but you do not know Me”. Thereafter, Baba started allowing the Haji into the Masjid. 

As a devotee is resolute and determined, so, is Baba’s immediate response. Sometimes, Baba puts the devotees to severe test and then, gives them “Upadesh” (instructions). As per Shri Sai Satcharita, Shri Sai Baba spoke to Mrs. Radhabai Deshmukh about his experience with his own Guru, when she was fasting to have guru mantra from Sai Baba.

"Oh mother, why are you subjecting yourself to unnecessary tortures and hastening your death? You are really My Mother and I am your child. Take pity on Me and hear Me through. I tell you My own story, which if you listen carefully, will do you good. I had a Guru. He was a great Saint and most merciful. I served him long, very long; still he would not blow any Mantra into My ears. I had a keen desire, never to leave him but to stay with and serve him; and at all costs receive some instructions from him. But he had his own way. He first got my head shaved and asked Me two pice as Dakshina. I gave the same at once. If you say that as My Guru was perfect, why should he ask for money and how should he be called desireless? I replied plainly that he never cared for coins. What had he to do with them? His two pice were (1) Firm Faith and (2) Patience or perseverance. I gave these two pice or things to him, and he was pleased.

"I resorted to My Guru for 12 years. He brought Me up. There was no dearth of food and clothing. He was full of love nay, he was love incarnate. How can I describe it? He loved Me most. Rare is a Guru like him. When I looked at him, he seemed as if he was in deep meditation, and then we both were filled with Bliss. Night and day, I gazed at him with no thought of hunger and thirst. Without him, I felt restless. I had no other object to meditate, nor any other thing than My Guru to attend. He was My sole refuge. My mind was always fixed on him. This is one pice Dakshina. Saburi (Patience or perseverance) is the other pice. I waited patiently and very long on My Guru and served him. This Saburi will ferry you across the sea of this mundane existence. Saburi is manliness in man, it removes all sins and afflictions, gets rid of calamities in various ways, and casts aside all fear, and ultimately gives you success. Saburi is the mine of virtues, consort of good thought. Nishtha (Faith) and Saburi (Patience) are like twin sisters, loving each other very intimately."

"My Guru never expected any other thing from Me. He never neglected Me, but protected Me at all times. I lived with him, and was sometimes away from him; still I never felt the want or absence of his love. He always protected Me by his glance, just as the tortoise feeds her young ones, whether they are near her or away from her on the other side of the river bank, by her loving looks. Oh mother, My Guru never taught Me any Mantra, then how shall I blow any Mantra in your ears? Just remember that Guru's tortoise-like loving glance gives us happiness. Do not try to get Mantra or Upadesh from anybody. Make Me the sole object of your thoughts and actions; and you will, no doubt, attain Paramartha (the spiritual goal of life). Look at Me whole-heartedly, and I in turn look at you similarly. Sitting in this Masjid, I speak the truth, nothing but the truth. No Sadhanas, nor proficiency in the six Shastras, are necessary. Have faith and confidence in your Guru. Believe fully, that Guru is the sole Actor or Doer. Blessed is he who knows the greatness of his Guru and thinks him to be Hari, Hara and Brahma (Trimurti) Incarnate."

Stories from Sai Satcharita indicate that sometimes devotees were put to extreme tests before acceptance. Megha was one such devotee who was severely tested before he was accepted by Shri Sai Baba. Megha was sent to Shirdi by Rao Bahadur H. V. Sathe. He was hesitant to bow down to a Muslim and did not want to go to Shirdi. However, he was compelled by his master to go there. When he reached Shirdi and went to the Masjid, Baba was very indignant and would not allow him to enter, “kick out the rascal” roared Baba and then said to Megha, “You are a high caste Brahmin and I am a low Muslim, you will lose your caste by coming here. Just get away! On hearing these words Megha began to tremble. He was wondering, as to how Baba had come to know about what was passing in his mind. He stayed there for some days serving Baba in his own way but was not convinced. He returned home and from there travelled to Tryambak (Nasik district) and stayed there for a year and a half. Then again he returned to Shirdi. This time at the intercession of Dada Kelkar he was allowed to enter the Masjid and stay in Shirdi. This Megha served Sai Baba till the end of his life. Megha used to worship Shri Sai Baba as Lord Shiva.

It is to be noted here that doubts and difficulties surround us, just to move us and confirm our faith. We are tested as it were. If we only hold on steadily to Shri Sai Baba, with full faith and continue our endeavor, our efforts will be ultimately crowned with success. 

By: Anand Sagar Pathak