NAVAMI MESSAGE OF SHRI SATPATHYJI
Sai Baba, at the earliest period of His settlement at
Shirdi, had undertaken the onerous task of creating a
flower garden. This flower garden was on a piece of land
on which the Sathe-wada, Buti-wada and Dixit-wada have
been built. Within the Sathe-wada enclosure, there exists
the famous Gurusthan, where the Margosa tree (Neem tree)
is located. According to Baba, in his previous Incarnation,
He had performed His Tapasya / Guru Sadhana inside a cavern
located at this spot inside which four burning lamps were
discovered. He used to refer to it as His Guru’s
place. Hence, the name ‘GURUSTHAN’.
used to provide water to the plants with two earthen pitchers
which were supplied to him by a devotee by name of Vaman
Tatya, everyday. With these, Baba used to water the plants
on a daily basis. He used to draw water from the well
and carry the pitchers on His shoulders in the evening.
He would place the pitchers at the foot of the Neem tree.
As soon as they were placed, the pitchers would break,
as they were made of raw earth and not baked. Next day,
Tatya would supply two fresh pitchers. Such an arduous
exercise went on for 3 years. With Sai Baba’s concern
and toil, there gradually grew a flower-garden. Presently,
a huge mansion, known as the Samadhi Mandir of Baba, stands
with all its majesty on this site.
creating the flower garden, Baba had also planted many
medicinal and fruit bearing trees like Margosa, Mango
and Guava trees. Baba used to sit under the Margosa tree
(Neem tree) for long hours in meditation. He used to practice
herbal medicine in the village. For that He used to go
out in search of medicinal herbs in the forest area surrounding
the Shirdi village. To some, He used to give the leaves
of the Neem tree for cure of certain diseases. It is mentioned
in Shri Sai Satcharita that He applied a paste of Beeba
(Semicarpus Anacardium) having an anti-inflammatory effect.
He was fully conversant with the medicinal effect of herbs.
His devotees used to fondly address Him as Hakim (Doctor).
Even when He was extremely busy with the welfare of the
people of Shirdi and His visiting devotees, Baba took
care to ensure that plants and trees were protected in
Shirdi and planted many trees. He behaved like a traditional
environmentalist of His time. Many of the Vedic Rishis
and Saints of yore, in the past, had propagated the theme
of environmental protection because they used to stay
in jungles and knew the value of the nature surrounding
them. The theme is that ‘if you protect the jungle,
the jungle protects you’. It is a matter of give
and take between the human race and the bountiful nature.
is basically, an attempt to balance the multi-faceted
relations between humans, other living species and the
various aspects of nature on which they mutually depend.
It advocates the lawful preservation, restoration and/or
improvement of the natural environment, and may be referred
to as a movement to control pollution or protect plant
and animal diversity.
of the environment has become a concern with the human
society today. Unnecessary felling of trees in the forest
and environmental pollution are increasing with every
passing year and this is causing grave and irreparable
damage to the eco-system of the earth. There are hundreds
of factors that contaminate the environment like the use
of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, herbicides,
mis-management of the sanitary system, contamination of
the river water (effluence from industries, exuding of
toxin gases), non-biodegradable litter and many more,
resulting in adverse health diseases like lung cancer,
asthma, loss of life expectancy, skin diseases, also doing
harm to the flora and fauna.
and protecting our environment should be one of our main
concerns as it was with Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi. From
among all the species, only humans can think and act to
make positive contribution towards the maintenance of
a healthy environment. Therefore, we must make a resolve
to give priority to this vital issue. It will not only
help us survive but also the other species at large.
C. B. Satpathy, New Delhi