Shri Sai Baba – Essence of Universal Brotherhood -

Shri Sai Baba – Essence of Universal Brotherhood

The world has always witnessed communal and religion based tensions. There have always been instances of sabotaging properties and harming the followers of different faiths in the history of mankind. Saints have always realized that such attempts to undermine other faiths are a futile exercise. God is one in the true sense of the term.

Ram Krishna Paramhansa realized the Oneness of God in all faiths and emphasized the truth in a simple, significant simile as follows:-

“As one and the same material viz., water is called by different people by different names – one calling it water, another ‘vari’ a third ‘Aqua’ and another ‘Pani’ the one Sat-chit-Anand (Existence – Knowledge – Bliss Absolute); is invoked by some as ‘God’ by some as ‘Allah’, by some as ‘Hari’ and by others as ‘Brahman’ etc; (vide Life and Teachings of Sri Rama Krishna by Prof. Max Muller). 

In this 20th century Shri Sai Baba proved the same by his practical life of his earthly sojourn of 60 years at Shirdi and declared, ‘Sab ka Malik Ek Hai’. For fuller account regarding this caption ample evidence is given in simplest way in parable and instances in Sai Satcharita which is like Bible and Quran to Sai devotees.

Shri Sai Baba was revered by Hindus and Muslims alike:-

Devout Muslims like Anwar Khan got guidance from Sai Baba. He was initiated with Arabic prayers from the Holy Quran. Yakul of Delhi stayed on his holy place and recited the Quran in the mosque in which he lived. Muslim saints like Hazrat Darvesh of Aurangabad and Amiruddin of Nanded used to send their devotees for spiritual training and blessings. 

The Hindus like Sri Kasi Upasani Sastry, Nanasaheb Borkar and others visited Baba and he guided them along Hindu spiritual tradition. Nana Saheb was proud of his edge of the Bhagavat Gita and principle commentaries. Baba went on putting questions to him on one of the Gita verses (No. 34 of Chapter IV). Nanasaheb had to shed his pride of learning and then Baba gave an exposition of the verse which is unparallel.

Baba encouraged Hindu devotees to celebrate festivals like Ramnavami and Guru-Purnima at the Masjid while he encouraged Muslim devotees to celebrate their festivals like Muharram. The unique feature of these celebrations was that both Hindus and Muslims joined heartily together.

To Muslims, he was a Muslim fakir, who lived in the dilapidated mosque on alms always uttering “Allah Malik” or assuring his devotees “Allah Accha Karega”. He told them that one of his Gurus as one Roshan Shah. To an orthodox Muslim who asked him why he tolerated Hindu ways of worship he said ‘Jaisa desh taisa vesh’ (‘be a Roman while in Rome’).

To Hindus he is a Sadguru an Avatar of Lord Dattatreya. He named the Mosque as Dwarakamayi. He kept a perpetual holy fire (dhuni) burning in front of him. He told them that his Guru was one Venkusa, that he kept repeating the name of Lord Hari till he became one with Him. He often asked his devotees to study holy books like the Bhagavat Gita, the Bhagavate, Vishnu Saharshnama and the ‘Guru Charita’.

Shri Sai Baba was against religious conversion:-

When a Muslim devotee once brought a young man to him and proudly declared that he had changed his religion to Islam. Baba slapped the convert saying ‘did you change your father’? The spiritual masters never encourage anyone to change his religion. They only see the theme of humanism which is the basis of all religions.

Shri Sai Baba promoted co-operation between religions:-

A Hindu devotee once gave stones for the reconstruction of His mosque. Baba gifted them all for reconstruction of Hindu temples in the village. The Hindus later collected thousands of rupees and reconstructed his mosque. 

Pooja and Koran:-

The building in which Baba resided was the ‘masjid’ of the Muslims; but it was styled ‘Dwarka-Mai’ by Baba himself and the Hindus. It contained the niche in the western wall called ‘mimber’ representing the caaba of Mecca, to which all orthodox Muslims should turn at times of prayer, and also a perpetual fire, with its sacred tulasi for Pradakshina, and a garlanded portrait of Baba for pooja. Hindu scriptures were read there by day and the Koran by night. And at noon, worship of Baba was carried on with Hindu hymns to the accompaniment of deafening music. Fully, justified was Baba’s remark – “This is Brahmin’s mosque”.

Shri Sai Baba had great reverence for Jesus Christ. Once, a devotee spoke ill about Christianity and Jesus Christ. Baba refused to take any service from that devotee and asked him to get out. He allowed him service only after he repented and asked for forgiveness.

Shri Sai Baba treated all religions with equal respect and tried to bring unity in followers of different religions. Only a genuine Universal Master such as Shri Sai Baba could bring Hindus, Muslims, Parsees, Christians and followers of other religions to such an ultimate and supreme realization that all are essentially one and that is the very basis of intrinsic unity and integration among all people.

Shri Sai Baba called devotees coming in his Masjid as ‘children of Dwarkamayee’. The devotees of different faith were treated by Him as His own family members. Shri Sai Baba can surely be considered the epitome of “universal brotherhood”.

By: Anand Sagar Pathak