Saturday, July 8, 2017

Shirdi Sai Baba as Guru and his words on relation between Guru and disciples

As tomorrow (9th July 2017) is Gurupurnima, I felt it appropriate to share some words about Guru from (Shirdi) Sai Satcharita.


Above pic: Bhagavan Sri Shirdi Sai Baba

Given below are extracts (slightly edited to fix what seems to be typo type errors) from Chapter 18 & 19 of Shri (Shirdi) Sai Satcharita, http://www.saibaba.org/satcharitra/sai18_19.html, dealing with Guru.

[Hemadpant's (Govind Raghunath Dabholkar, author of Shri (Shirdi) Sai Satcharita) words about sharing Shirdi Sai Baba's teachings:] The Sadguru is like a monsoon cloud. He pours down profusely, i.e., scatters widely his nectar-like teachings. These, we should enjoy and assimilate to our heart's content; and then serve others with them, without any reserve.
...
[Hemadpant's words again:] Like a loving mother forcing bitter but wholesome medicines down the throats of her children for the sake of their health, Sai Baba imparted spiritual instructions to His devotees. His method was not veiled or secret, but quite open. The devotees who followed His instructions got their object. Sad-gurus like Sai Baba open our (eyes of the) intellect and show us the divine beauties of the Self, and fulfill our tender longings of devotion. When this is done, our desire for sense-objects vanishes, twin fruits of Viveka (discrimination) and Vairagya (dispassion or non-attachment) come to our hands; and knowledge sprouts up even in the sleep. All this we get, when we come in contact with Saints (Sad-guru), serve them and secure their love. The Lord, who fulfills the desires of His devotees, comes to our aid, removes our troubles and sufferings, and makes us happy. This progress or development is entirely due to the help of the Sadguru, who is regarded as the Lord Himself. Therefore, we should always be after the Sad-guru, hear His stories, fall at His Feet and serve Him.
...

[These are words of Shama (Madhavrao Deshpande) as described by Hemadpant:]
There was an old woman by name Radhabai, She was the mother of one Khashaba Deshmukh. Hearing Baba's fame, she came to Shirdi with the people of Sangamner. She took Baba's darshan and was much satisfied. She loved Baba intimately and resolved in her mind, that She should accept Baba as her Guru, and take some Upadesh from Him. She knew nothing else. She determined to fast herself unto death, so long as Baba did not accept her, and give her any Upadesh or Mantra. She stayed in her lodging and left off taking any food or water for three days. I was frightened by this ordeal of the old woman, and interceded with Baba on her behalf. I said, "Deva, what is this You have started? You drag so many persons here. You know that old lady. She is very obstinate and depends on You entirely, She has resolved to fast unto death, if You don't accept and instruct her. If any thing worse happens, people will blame You, and say that Baba did not instruct her, and consequently she met her death. So take some mercy on her, bless her and instruct her."
[Ravi: Having seen how some sad incidents in Prasanthi Nilayam over the years (I have lived in Puttaparthi since Oct. 2002) became an excuse for some people to viciously criticize Prasanthi Nilayam and Sathya Sai, I can well imagine how tense Shama, a close servitor of Shirdi Sai Baba, would have been on knowing this already three day old fast unto death or Baba mantra upadesh, undertaken by this old lady. If the old lady had died on this fast, critics of Shirdi Sai Baba then, of whom there would have been quite a few, would have put the whole blame of the death of the old lady not only on Shirdi Sai Baba but also on his close servitors like Shama! This is how unpredictable and, at times, tense, life has been for close servitors of Shirdi and Sathya Sai Baba.]
On seeing her determination, Baba sent for her, changed the turn of her mind by addressing her as follows:-

"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 [Ravi: pice is like a penny or cent]. 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? The reply is 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."

Instructed in this way, the old lady was convinced; she bowed to Baba and gave up her fast.
[Ravi: Shirdi Sai Baba calls the old lady, 'mother', and says he is her child. Then he asks her to take pity on him! My God! What extraordinary love Shirdi Baba had for his devotees! What is it that he would not do for his devotees! The Avatar is saying, "Take pity on me"! Just blows my mind. This is like how Krishna became the charioteer of Arjuna and like how Krishna carried the footwear of Draupadi!
And then Shirdi Baba gave his strong logic to the mother, "Oh mother, My Guru never taught Me any Mantra, then how shall I blow any Mantra in your ears?"
How well Shirdi Baba (as related by Shama-Hemadpant) speaks about the loving looks of the Guru! "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.".."Just remember that Guru's tortoise-like loving glance gives us happiness. Do not try to get Mantra or Upadesh from anybody."
Then his clear instructions to the 'mother' devotee: "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."
What a way to teach the 'mother' devotee! What assurance he gives to his devotee!]
...
[Shirdi Sai Baba says the following to Hemadpant (so this is directly from Baba to the writer of Shri (Shirdi) Sai Satcharita):]
 "My method is quite unique. Remember well, this one story, and it will be very useful. To get the knowledge (realization) of the Self, Dhyana (meditation) is necessary. If you practice it continuously, the Vrittis (thoughts) will be pacified. Being quite desireless, you should meditate on the Lord, Who is in all the creatures, and when the mind is concentrated, the goal will be achieved. Meditate always on My formless nature, which is knowledge incarnate, consciousness and bliss. If you cannot do this, meditate on My Form from top to toe as you see here night and day. As you go on doing this, your Vrittis will concentrate on one point and the distinction between the Dhyata (meditator), Dhyana (act of meditation), Dhyeya (this meditated upon) will be lost and the meditator will be one with the Consciousness and be merged in the Brahman. The (mother) tortoise is on one bank of the river, and her young ones are on the other side. She gives neither milk, nor warmth to them. Her mere glance gives them nutrition. The young ones do nothing, but remember (meditate upon) their mother. The tortoise glance is, to the young ones, a down-pour of nectar, the only source of sustenance and happiness. Similar is the relation, between the Guru and disciples."

[I thank saibaba.org, 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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