A lot has been written about Shri Shirdi Sai Baba, the Master of the Age. Here is a book that explains His teachings and lessons in a rational and sagacious manger. Spiritual philosophies are explained logically and in a simple language. The author also introduces the concept of Sai-ism in the book.
The book contains thoughts and messages from the author which have been published in magazines like The Heritage of Shri Shirdi Sai and others. These articles, in quintessence, are based on the spiritual precepts of Baba, which are further elucidated from a devotee’s perspective. Some of the articles relate to different concepts of religion and spiritualism for proper appreciation of the divine ole of Sadguru Shri Sai Baba. Each concept is explained in a elucidative and lucid style for the easy understanding of the readers. The excellent clarity and presentation of the thoughts indicate the author’s immense popularity as a guru, guide, speaker and a leader of the global Sai movement.
A must-read for all those who want to understand Shirdi Sai Baba.
Dr Chandra Bhanu Satpathy born on 14th of January, 1948, in Cuttack, Cuttack, Odisha, India, is a prolific writer, philanthropist, and a world renowned devotee of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba. For his outstanding contribution in the field of Philanthropy, literature, he has been conferred with D.Litt. (Honoris de Causa) by Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, LI.D. by Berhampur University, Vachaspati (D.Litt) by Rashtriya Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, Tirupati, and D.Sc. by SOA University, Bhubaneswar, He is a multi-lingual writer in English, Hindi, and Odia.
Dr. Satpathy received a Post-Graduate degree in Political Science from Delhi University in 1970 and joined the Indian Police Service in 1972 having served in a college in Delhi for two years lecturer. He retired at the rank of Director General of Police from the state of U.P After retirement, he has undertaken the mission to propagating the philosophy and divine role of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba’s all over the world in various ways. So far, he has been instrumental in the construction of over two hundred temples in India and other countries, the creation of more than sixty charitable and other trusts in the name of Shirdi Sai. He has written a number of books related to Shri Sai and on allied spiritual subjects in English, Hindi and Odia. He has also been regularly contributing messages in five magazine on Baba. has created public schools and provide medical care to the poor.
His book Shri Sai Baba and Other Perfect Masters has been translated into eight Indian languages and three foreign languages. Baba, May I Answer has been translated into eight Indian languages. His magnum opus, Shri Guru Bhagavat, is originally written in Odia- has been published in five volumes of which various volumes have been translated into Hindi, English, Telugu, Bengali, and Assamese. His book Gopyaru Agopya, a treatise on the cosmology and cosmogony of Hinduism, has been translated into Sanskrit under the title of Srushtitattwanuchintanam. He has also authored many other books on Shirdi Sai Baba.
Further, a number of CD’s of his lyrics and music on Baba have been released by companies Times Music, SaReGaMa, and T-Series. He has written lyrics and composed music in Hindi which have been sung by many famous singers from all over the country.
Travelling from place to place in India and abroad, he addresses thousands of people on the life and teachings of Baba.
Howsoever I desist from introducing Shirdi Sai Baba, the Spiritual Master, in a language full of oriental hyperbole, it taxes my vocabulary when I attempt to write on Him. It is easy to overstate His miracles, as has generally been the practice, but difficult to relate His miracles, as has generally been the practice, but difficult to relate His magnificence and hyper-kinetic influence on people over the past few decades.
By the fifteenth of October 1918, when Shri Sai completed His earthly sojourn, Shirdi had turned from an insignificant village of Maharashtra into a spiritual haven, teeming with devotees, spiritual seekers, mendicants of different religions, celebrities like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, curious onlookers, government officials, psalm and hymn singers, rural acrobats, British government officials and spies, traders and even beggars. Shri Sai Baba the Sadguru to the Hindus and a Fakir (dervish) to the Muslims, was the axis (the word axis is like the word Qutab in Sufi parlance and usually refers to Sufi saints) around which the life of His devotees revolved. Many people, who have recorded their first encounter with Shirdi Sai Baba in books and personal diaries, are unequivocal in their opinion - they were captivated by His divine charm and overcome by His compassion. He was the divine protector of all those who visited Him, having accepted Him as their spiritual guide. To Sai Baba, differentiation in fate and pedigree of the devotees made no difference. Visitors were at a loss to decide if His divine personality, full of miracles or His humaneness, full of compassion, was the more imposing, as He simultaneously displayed a surfeit of both.
As a result of His multi-dimensional activities - both temporal and spiritual- for the amelioration of his proteges, music, literature, folklore, drama and even some amount of gossip filled the social environment of the village. It is said that' not a leaf moves without His desire'. This is what used to happen at Shirdi. Be it the construction of a temple or a house, the sickness of an individual, the spread of cholera in the village, the education or rearing of children, the celebration of any religious or social festival, or the settlement of conflict, the Master's decision was the final word of wisdom and judgement. He stood between His devotees and suffering. Most of the villagers and the visiting populace willingly followed this way of living with Baba. Those who failed to do so experienced that any deviation from such practices and procedures - even if not obligatory - became a risky adventure. They misunderstood the actual as plausible.
Shirdi Sai Baba was the soul of the village, which had a population of a few hundred at the time of His first appearance and expanded to a few thousand by 1918. After His departure, the splendour and ongoing festive environment of Shirdi vanished. No more was there the hustle and bustle of religious activities, the palanquin procession on Thursdays from Dwarakamai to Chavadi, the compassionate and stately demeanour of Baba and the mirthful singing of devotional songs reverberating in the courtyard of Dwarakamai, the dilapidated mosque which Baba used to regard as a 'home to Him and to His devotees'.
After His departure, intense yearning for Baba by the devotees translated into a multitude of symbols. A great void had been created in their lives, which they painfully sought to fill up. Like the resurrection of Christ, they used to pray to Him to revisit them. They used to console themselves by remembering the promise that Baba had made to His devotees - the bones of His body would listen to their prayers and woes and help them even after He went into a Samadhi.
For about 3 years, Shirdi village had a lifeless existence, with minimal activities covering the daily puja at His Samadhi. Since 1920, after the formation of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi, worship of the Samadhi was followed through the creation and enforcement of certain rules, regulations and practices. This was followed by the publication of the first issue of the magazine Sai Leela, in Marathi in the year 1923, which has, since, become the official publication of the Sansthan. Later, the magazine started being published in. three languages - English, Hindi and Marathi - for the propagation of the philosophy, divine activities and the name of Shri Sai beyond the village of Shirdi and the state of Maharashtra. In the year 1954, a marble statue of Baba was installed inside Butiwada at Shirdi, about which Baba had given prior indication. The installation of Baba's statue and the regular running of this temple gave a fillip to the Sai movement and the number of visitors to Shirdi increased manifold.
During my visits to Shirdi, I take the opportunity to discuss, with a number of devotees and trustees, about the ever-increasing number of Sai devotees to Shirdi from all over the globe and the feelings and ideas they express about Shri Shirdi Sai Baba. My first visit to Shirdi, in the last quarter of 1989, was 'not pre-planned. I was at Mumbai on official duty and, on request, visited Shirdi with a friend on a Thursday. Baba's tomb, His marble statue in Butiwada and other important places connected with Him, and the entire ambience of Shirdi gave me a feeling of belonging, protection and euphoria, which I had not experienced in any other holy place. From that time till now, the same feeling endures in me and inspires me to work towards the propagation of His thoughts arid values. Even when passing through the most difficult phases of life, the feelings of the first day do not get diluted.
My personal experience of about twenty five years, and being privy to similar experiences of thousands of other devotees coming from different backgrounds and cultural groups, has convinced me that a mighty divine stream of consciousness is attracting these human souls and propelling them to undertake certain noble activities with a definite purpose. I have also experienced that during the last quarter of a century, millions of people, not only in India but also in other countries have, consciously or unconsciously, played their role as tiny actors in this divine drama brought about by Shri Shirdi Sai Baba, the Divine Incarnation of the age.
During this period, I have observed with awe and surprise the evolution and exponential growth of this Sai phenomena all over the world. This can be seen in many different facts. First, the manifold growth in the number of Sai devotees and their visits to Shirdi, which has reportedly increased from an average of about five thousand visitors a day in 1990 to about sixty thousand as on today. This includes a large number of international travellers and dignitaries. Secondly, the creation of a huge number of registered and unregistered, charitable and non-charitable, trusts or other organizations in India and abroad. Thirdly, the construction of a large number of temples in India and abroad. Thousands of temples have come up, even in the remotest areas of Assam and Sikkim in India. Besides, in many existing temples in India and abroad, dedicated to the worship of other deities of the Hindu pantheon, Baba's statues have been installed. As per available information, more than a thousand temples are under construction in India and a few in other countries. Sai Baba temples have come up in different cities of US, Canada, UK, Australia, Africa, Europe, Singapore, Thailand and many more places. Being associated with this international Sai movement, I have the information of temples coming up in countries like New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Fiji and elsewhere. These temples are neither financed nor controlled by Sai Baba Sansthan, Shirdi. They are built by self-motivated devotees who, individually and in groups, are trying to propagate the name and teachings of Baba, wherever they live.
Besides the temples and trusts which are devoted to the cause of Shirdi Sai Baba, devotees have created a number of social service groups to help the poor in distress on a regular basis and also ,during natural disasters. Some NGOs, named after Him, are busy providing healthcare and creating excellent educational institutions.
Hundreds of books on Baba and His teachings, in most of the Indian languages and a few foreign languages, are available. A large number of magazines and journals are published in different Indian languages. The audio-video market is full of devotional music on Sai Baba, with songs sung by the best singers of India. Finally, the love towards Shri Sai Baba has so filled the devotees that a large number of them have named their homes, businesses, products and even children after Sai Baba. These are all too numerous to be mentioned - information is readily available on the internet.
Why do the devotees do so much for the cause of Shri Sai, so intensely? Why do they accept Him as an essential part of their existence? The devotees, born after the Samadhi of Baba, have only read about Him" visited Shirdi, prayed at His tomb and some other places related to Him. Yet, to them Baba truly exists and helps them in many ways. They get from Him a lot of solace, courage and help, at times unexpectedly, almost bordering on miracle.
The word for God in Sanskrit language is Bramha. Etymologically, the word Bramha means 'that which expands automatically'. Any place or any person who is imbued with divine power will automatically attract devotees and visitors from near and far. Anyone meeting such a person will be automatically drawn towards Him, remain attached with Him till his end and would attribute divinity to Him. This is the reflection of the divinity in Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi. Such a powerful spiritual personality rarely advents on earth and, as some believe, only once in a seven hundred year cycle of time does such a power incarnate on earth and becomes the Master of the Age, as ordained by God. During that age or period, He is responsible for the spiritual evolution of all human beings on earth. Since He acts as the agent of God during that period of time, His spiritual personality looms large. As the present century advances, the whole world and humanity will experience the influence of this old Fakir.
One day at Shirdi, Baba, in a state of spiritual ecstasy, had revealed, 'Main guli guli mein rahene wala hun,' He uttered it in rustic Marathi language, which means 'I shall be there in every lane.' Today, if one visits even Delhi, the capital of India, one will be surprised to see Baba's statues not only in temples, but under trees and every nook and corner. This is the Sai Age, which has made its advent with full glory.
Generally, myth surrounds divine personalities. However, the history of Shri Sai Baba has been recorded, during the period of His physical embodiment, by persons who had long association with Him. Any researcher can find a treasure of primary data if He wishes to delve into the depths of this compassionate and divine being. It is interesting to note that words like 'Sai-ism' can be used to define the spiritual path shown by Baba to His devotees.
This book is a compilation of articles, written by me and published in magazines like The Heritage of Shri Shirdi Sai and others. The articles could have been arranged chronologically, but have been deliberately arranged topic-wise for convenience of the readers. These articles, in quintessence, are based on the spiritual precepts of Baba, which has been further elucidated from a devotee's perspective. Some of the articles relate to different concepts of religion and spiritualism that are required to be understood in order to properly value the divine role of the Sadguru Shri Sai Baba.
I thank Ms Shipra Shukla for helping me in the preparatory work in arrangement of the manuscript. A word of appreciation for my son Arunabh, who collated and edited the articles with due diligence. I thank Mr Surinder Kumar Ghai, the Managing Director of Sterling Publishers, who has done yeoman service in publishing and popularising Sai literature, for publishing this book.
My reward for this work lies in the fact that the book goes into the hands of the devotees of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba.
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