MAHA SAMADHI MESSAGE
This year, in the month of October, it will be one hundred years since Sai Baba’s Maha Samadhi. The beginning of the year witnessed lots of celebrations in different forms all over India and in some countries abroad. Activities like construction of temples, inauguration of temples and other socially helpful organisations, release of new books, CDs, magazines and other Saibaba related products, conferences, seminars and meetings, humanitarian activities, poor feeding on a very large scale, medical camps, support to children for education, help to the poor and neglected sections of the society, Palki procession, bhajan evenings (Sandhya), Sai naam Parayan and the like, were undertaken by the devotees.
Thus, it can be seen that the rate of growth in the number of devotees and institutions related to Sai Baba has been exponential, during the last few decades. If the Maha Samadhi celebrations worldwide are an indicator, then one can foresee that during the years to come, the Sai movement will escalate into a much larger movement not only in India but across the globe.
A few indicators of such examples are mentioned below:
- Sai Baba’s approach to people - big or small – was without any differentiation on the basis of religion, caste, creed, sex, temporal status and pedigree.
- Sai Baba did more for the welfare and spiritual development of His devotees than He spoke. Unlike the Gurus of the classical or even text book standards, all His actions/speeches were spontaneous and direct to all. The devotees could appeal to Him directly and He would respond with equal ease. He had a one to one relationship with His devotees.
- He not only played His role as a spiritual or religious preceptor for all those who came to meet Him, but He became a man of hearts of the entire existence at Shirdi. Sai Baba could touch lofty spiritual heights as also the sordid mundane realities in dealing with His devotees, as the situation demanded. Thus, He was a major factor in the decision making of different aspects affecting the life of His devotees, like religious practices, education, health, marriage of children, management of emergent situations in the village like cholera, plague, settlement of disputes amongst devotees, rendering financial help, food, clothes and other items of daily requirement and many more. He became a major part of the life of each one whom He met.
- Sai Baba sought no return for the services He rendered because He experienced God in the soul of all, including human beings, animals and birds. His philosophy was God or Allah gives and He only acts as a servant to fulfill the divine will.
- Adapting to the basic religious practices of His devotees, He did not deter them to carry on with their traditional religious practices. Throughout His life He stood for humanism, humanitarianism and not exclusively for religion, as is understood in the common perspective of the true matter.
- Neither did He possess, nor did He try to possess, property, money, land or any material items. Whatever He received from the devotees, He gave away. He came as a ‘faquir’ and entered His Maha Samadhi empty handed. He never created an heir apparent or an ashram. The only thing He received was love from His devotees.
- The simplicity of His approach to create good human beings through various methods over a few decades, without strict ritualistic compulsions, especially appeals to all and sundry in modern living.
- He would often say, ‘hold Me in your heart and follow My advice to became a good human being and become more relevant to the society.’ In the process of evolving His disciples, He took lot of pain on Himself and helped all, including some of His adversaries, who later came under His benevolent influence.
One can write volumes on Sai Baba, but it is worthwhile to realize His precepts and practices as much as one can, cutting across the place, station or moorings of life.
A complex society needs simple answers to its problems and therefore, Sai Baba’s preachings are relevant today.
Jai Shri Sai.
Dr. C.B. Satpathy, Gurugram