……“While at Shirdi, Baba used to mutter something occasionally, a sort of loud-thinking, which only He understood. At times, He would say astounding things either completely out of context for the listeners or out of reach of their imagination. On one such occasion, He was heard telling a devotee that in future big buildings would come up in Shirdi, big people would visit the place and also that people would make a bee-line there. The meaning of His divine utterances was not understood then. Today a crowd - at average of about thirty thousand, is visiting Shirdi every day. People from all parts of India, both the richest and the poorest, are visiting Shirdi. Baba can never be wrong as He had knowledge of the past and future, not only of the individuals meeting Him but also about events before and after the duration of His physical existence.

Incarnations like Baba play a role, both at micro and macro levels. At the micro-level, they take care of the individual souls, not only of human beings but also of other species, who are drawn to them by their mighty will like chained birds, as Baba used to say. Baba used to recall His past life relationships with many of them, in one case, stretching as far back as seventy-two lives. He also spoke about the past lives of other species. At a macro-level, Baba once commented that during 1854 and 1858, He was busy with Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, thereby, indicating his role in the transitional phase of Indian history. Earlier, Baba had spoken about Mughal Emperor Humayun and the birth of Akbar in which he had a role to play.

Limited human intelligence can only perceive the activities at micro-level of the Perfect Masters; it can never perceive their role at the macro-level. History, therefore, is a limited projection of human activities at micro-level. No historian so far, has been able to bring about the hidden game of the Perfect Masters behind all the temporal powers on this earth.”…….


……“Prayer saves. But what are prayers but thoughts? Many a person fancies that he must put forward a definite demand in prayer to the ‘highest’ powers and get it granted by force of prayer. There is some truth in this mixed up with much error and confusion. What comes often after prayer and is supposed to be the result of prayer is very often something fixed up by a higher power which, as part of its plan, produces the thought of prayer first. Prayer often proves to be the immediate predecessor, but not the efficient and direct cause of the result. ‘Post hoc, ergo propter hoc’ (i.e. ‘after that; therefore due to that’) is what we frequently say and believe. Many a man says ‘I prayed; I got it. So it is prayer that got it’. But this is neither logically nor theologically sound. The fact is that prayer is a means of placing one in contact with higher beneficent powers and there it serves its primary purpose. Incidentally when a devout soul is deeply concentrating on God, what happens is that the soul gets so thoroughly saturated with the divine that divine power infiltrates into the Jiva and the combined power or the higher power (both are the same, despite difference in names) produces certain results. It is the man of prayer that draws down divinity, i,e. turns divine at the moment of intense prayer and is responsible for certain results (Etad hyeva aksharam jnaatwa yo yad ichchati tasya tatkhat, i.e. Having realised the Imperishable, if one has desire, that is fulfilled, even when the results have not been previously fixed up, as the result of previous karma.

It is always good to pray, because it brings one in contact with God. The prayer, however, that is found most common in society is occasional prayer for a definite material object, and there it stops. It is always advisable to avoid the commercial spirit when dealing with God. We should not bargain with God. Nor should we say, ‘I will pray to you only for such and such an object being gained’. The thought of God purifies the soul, and the purified soul gets power to draw God more and more into it. The commercialised soul, if too much oppressed with the contemplation of the worldly benefit is handicapping itself and preventing its purification, that is, saturation with God idea (purity means having God-idea and impurity is lack of God or God-idea). The very idea of material objects may so obsess a mind as practically to obliterate the thought of God. God then becomes only a secondary consideration, a sort of side element, a weak coloration when the main object before the mind’s eye is worldly gain. Such approaches are deplorable, however attractive the object to be gained by prayer may be. One ought to have prayer without concentrating too much on worldly gains. Concentration on God alone is purity. Purity means power, and when a soul is thoroughly pure, then the objects entertained in the mind of the prayerful soul some time previously, that is even before the prayer began, remain in the subconscious, i.e. at the back of the praying party’s mind and may come to fruition by the power of the purified and strengthened soul. This is an incidental benefit which ought not to turn the scales when one considers how he should pray. Prayer is primarily and essentially only an affair of the soul with God. All intervention of outside objects is an interference with the soul’s concentration on God. Prayer must be purified by very keen practice - i.e., it must be shorn of all undesirable gross elements just as we keep off the floating moss repeatedly when we bathe in a tank. In cases where however one is in dire extremity and prayer comes out from him for a much needed object, in spite of oneself, then prayer cannot be condemned at all. Prayer is a natural vent for the heart. We leap out at what we want on the wings of prayer. It is God Himself that has implanted this tendency to seek God’s help to attain objects of great importance to one’s material or spiritual life and each time we so seek, we should stress in our mind that God is our first and final object and that other objects form a temporary and partial diversion or screen.”……



Decisions, Choices and Hardships

If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed.
If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.
If you are thinking a hundred years ahead, educate the people.

By sowing a seed, you will harvest once.
By planting a tree, you will harvest ten folds.
By educating people, you will harvest hundred fold.

(Written by an anonymous 6th Century BC Chinese poet and cited in John White, The Meeting of Science and Spirit, HarperCollins India Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, 1997, p. 191.)

I have ventured to approach this subject with gratitude to all my Gurus, Parental, Spiritual and Academic, who have hand-held me through the journey of life.

At different stages of our lives we are confronted with different choices and options. In making important decisions for ourselves and for the people we love, we try our best to take these decisions based on as much information as we can possibly get. Each decision we take involves making a choice and for every choice we make, there are roads or options not taken.

Some of the decisions we take in the course of our lives are routine and minor. Should I spend my time at play or study? Chat with friends or read a book? Listen to a boring lecture or bunk it? Study hard or have a good time? Spend my pocket money on another new dress or buy another book? What films to see or not see, what to cook for dinner, and so on are marginal and mundane decisions that we take on a daily basis. Other decisions are major and can have long term ramifications or effects. What subject to study, what career to choose, where to study, where to work, whether to live in my own country or abroad, and most important of all whether to be kind and helpful to others or uncaring and self centred.

The decisions we take depend on:
• our aims or objectives,
• the knowledge set or information available to us and
• the time horizon over which we plan. In other words are we planning for long run or the short run.

If any of these change, very often the decisions we take will change as well. So if a person's time horizon is one year sow a seed, if ten years plant a tree and if a hundred years, educate the people. For the returns or harvest that will accrue be different and will depend on the investment or decision or actions that we take.

Courses on optimal decision making use techniques such as static, linear, non linear, recursive and dynamic modeling and are taught over several semesters in the University. However the logic on which these models are based is simple and given below and has been extended to apply to the choices we make in our lives.

Suppose there is a farmer who has a few acres of land and he has to decide what crop to grow on it. Assume that his sole objective is to maximize his profits or income from the crop he grows. His decision regarding his optimal crop mix or best combination of crops to grow or optimal crop mix decision will be based on information available to him regarding:
• prices and yields of different crops,
• the amount of inputs such as irrigation, pesticides, labour, tractor time, etc. required by each crop
• the prices of each of these inputs.
In addition he will also take into consideration constraints such as suitability of climate, soil conditions and his own preferences.

If the farmer has a one year time horizon, he will only be concerned with maximizing profits this year and so will choose the crop mix that will give him the highest possible income this year. If his time of horizon extends over several years, he will be concerned with the long term effects of growing different crops on his farm. For instance different crops have different varying effects on soil erosion and soil productivity. He may find that growing wheat in the rabi season followed by rice in the kharif season is extremely profitable for the first few years but may need high pesticide usage and reduce soil productivity, and therefore income, in the long run. Planning for the long haul or thinking about returns that will accrue to his children and grandchildren from the same farm or even to himself in his old age could change his crop mix decisions completely. Therefore as the time over which we plan changes and as new information is made available to us, the choices we make change as well.

Let us examine how our Sadguru Baba looked at these issues. In Sai Satcharitra, Shri Hemadpant relates an incident in this regard. A friend of Damu Anna wrote to him from Mumbai about the possibility of a profitable partnership in cotton trading/speculation. Damu Anna was vacillating and wrote to his friend Shama at Shirdi, requesting him to ask Sai Baba for His advice in the matter. Damu Anna's objective was to get rich but he wanted to hedge his risks by checking with Baba whether the business would be profitable. He wanted his life to chart a certain course. But Baba's objective was to help him evolve spiritually, and Baba's reaction was “it seems Damu Anna wants to reach the sky and is not content with what God has given him.” And further that the "sheth has gone mad; write to him in reply that nothing is wanting in his house, let him be content with the half loaf that he has now, and let him not bother himself about lakhs." (Hemadpant, Shri Sai Satcharitra, Shri SaiBaba Sansthan, Shirdi, 1999, P. 131)

The cotton business failed and Damu Anna was saved from suffering losses by listening to Baba's advice. But even if the business had been profitable, Baba's objective function was different from Damu Anna's. Damu Anna was concerned with maximizing his material prosperity (a harvest that you reap just once), while Baba was concerned with the spiritual evolution of His disciples (a harvest that you reap over many lifetimes).

Suppose I assume that I have only one life to live and in this life my objective is get rich as quickly as possible and live as comfortably as possible regardless of how corrupt I am and what unfair means I use to accumulate my wealth. Change the picture and assume I now know that:
• I will be born again and again and the only possessions that I can take with me from one life to the next are the consequences of my actions, both good and bad.
• Each decision or choice involves certain actions and every action has a reaction that determines the suffering or happiness that accrues to me in this or some other life.
• Each hardship that I face can be traced back to a mistake that I made in this or some other life.
This information set changes the rules of the game completely.

Looked at in this light, suddenly money or property or name or fame that is acquired unethically becomes a serious and long term liability. Prosperity based on corruption or theft or acquired by grabbing what was not my just share, becomes a source of suffering that will affect me and and/or those I love in this or in future lives. Every unethical action, every harsh word, every selfish act, every dowry demand, every exploitative transaction, every seeming success based on treading on other people's toes acquires the ability to damage not just the intended adversary but myself at some or many points of time in the near or distant future. The inequalities between and within countries created by unfair exchange, diversion of funds that should have been used to alleviate hunger and suffering, senseless hurt inflicted on people in the name of religion, aggression, exploitation and subjugation, are actions with potential monstrous ramifications.

The connection remains blurred for most of us for the damage to me from such actions may occur years later or lifetimes later. But once the veil is lifted and my knowledge set expands to include the reality that the connection between the action as a cause and the suffering as its consequence or effect is an essential "law of nature" my world view changes. And with the perception of this reality should come an automatic change in every decision that we take. The entire teaching and experiences of the Sadguru is this.

Baba's life provides innumerable instances of His efforts at promoting unity between Hindus and Muslims, of Sabka Malik Ek, of love for all of God's creatures, of caring for and loving those who are vulnerable or deprived and of even begging to collect food to feed the hungry. We have a wealth of knowledge available to us in Baba's teachings in the Shri Sai Satcharitra. Using or not using that knowledge in our daily lives are options available to us. The choice decision and the reactions or debits and credits of our choices and actions are ours. For in the final 'analysis, the responsibility for our karma is ours.

Aasha Kapur Mehta

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Conversation With God

Of blessings You've given me, Lord,
I thank You each day as I kneel and adore.
Such pain as there is in this earthly life;
Heartaches, sorrow and, O Lord, the strife.
These blur my vision of Your kingdom above
And make me doubt that I've ever known love.

It's hard to imagine the plan of Your Hands
When life has me trapped by its many demands.
I worry and fret; I'm plagued by concern
To the point I don't know which way to turn.

What is the reason, why am I here?
What am I to be, for those I hold dear?
Will the pain go away if I just understand?
Speak to me, Lord! I'll do all I can.

Guide me when I lose Your way,
Guard my tongue in all I say;
Speak to me, Lord! I need much more
So I don't lose Your way, I humbly implore.
And while I'm so bold, each one of the needs
Of family and friends, grant them, Lord, please!

Author unknown

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On Vijaya Dashami Day in October 2001, I was to undergo surgery on medical advice in Re-union Island, which is a Prefect of France and is a small island (near Mauritius) in the Indian Ocean. The chief surgeon, cardiologist and anesthetist advised administration of "fraxiparine" for a week prior to the surgery. This was to be continued for a fortnight after the operation to prevent the onset of phlebitis or a pulmonary embolism in the post operation period.

I was admitted to Saint Clotilde Clinic a day prior to the surgery. The medical staff visited my room and scrutinized my medical reports and advised me to be prepared for the surgery the next morning, which was Vijaya Dashami Day. In response to my query regarding the administration of "fraxiparine" I was told it would be given by the medical staff at the appropriate time. Early in the morning of the following day, a staff member of the hospital came and prepared me for the surgery and I was taken to the operation theatre where the designated surgeon along with other medical staff successfully conducted the operation. After 3 hours I was brought back to room No. 338 where my wife had placed a photograph of Baba on the side table of the hospital bed. The next 24 hours were painful and I was on a drip without any food. Despite administration of pain killers, I suffered that night and did not get proper sleep.

The next morning, at about 10.00 a.m. the Chief Surgeon came to monitor my progress. After examining me he was satisfied with my progress and the healing process. He recommended that I could take only half cup of tea during the day and very light dinner in the evening. After wishing me a speedy recovery he left the room to attend to other patients in the adjoining room. I requested my wife to check with the surgeon if I could drink water as I was very thirsty -and had a strong urge to quench my thirst from time to time. My wife went to the other room to consult the surgeon. The corridor was crowded and the cleaning personnel and nursing staff had already started their daily routine job of cleaning, distributing medicines etc.

In this hustle bustle, a man of medium height, square face, bespectacled, with a necklace of beads with sharp features and small beard entered my room. He was wearing the hospital uniform and gave the impression that he was a doctor at the hospital. He pronounced my name and came straight to my bed and announced time for "fraxiparine." He administered it with perfect efficiency at the appropriate place at the bottom of the abdomen as was normally done by the trained staff. Unlike earlier occasions, the injection was painless and did not even leave any mark on the body. "Fraxiparine" was injected after two days. And the gentleman left the room abruptly with a smile. My wife then entered the room and enquired about the purpose of the doctor’s visit. I explained to her that he came to inject "fraxiparine". I was relieved to learn that the surgeon had permitted me to drink small quantities of water for a day or two. We talked about the children and future plans while the medical staff visited the room for various purposes. They were curious about the photograph of Baba in the room.

In the afternoon at about 4.00 p.m. the nurse on duty came to check my progress and informed me that in the evening a staff member would come to inject "fraxiparine" essential for post operation treatment. I was surprised and informed her about the visit of a male doctor in the morning who administered "fraxiparine" and questioned the need for another in the same day. Intrigued, she checked her record and stressed that it did not indicate any such injection. Besides, there was no male nurse on the staff of the hospital and added that no one was authorized to do this without the approval of the control room as also ensuring that it was mentioned in the medical record of the patient. Both my wife and I insisted that a doctor had visited and injected "fraxiparine." I described the colour of the pack of the injection, which the doctor took out of his uniform pocket before injecting it at the appropriate place. This created panic and the Nurse was genuinely worried. I advised her to contact the surgeon and inform the hospital authorities. Her report of the incident was received with disbelief. An emergency meeting was called and preliminary enquiries revealed that no staff member was authorized to inject "fraxiparine" that morning.

On my advice the police were informed as this was around the time of the Anthrax menace in the USA. The police came and took a statement from me and drew computer images for identification of the culprit. The hospital authorities conducted an internal enquiry. The Prefect or the head of the government on the island handed over the investigation of the case to the police and judiciary. The border was sealed, all the exit points were guarded and security arrangements were strengthened, with special arrangements in the hospital and at airports to monitor the movement of people. Authorities in Paris were contacted and their assistance was solicited for the investigation. My blood samples were sent to Paris for examination. The local security agencies worked on several theories - namely it was job of an outsider, possible terrorist act, personal enmity or work of a person of unsound mind.

All the investigations were inconclusive and led nowhere. No one from the hospital staff admitted that they administered the injection on that day. No one on the staff resembled the person who administered the injection. In the parade for identification on the basis of computer images, I could not identify the person. Terrorism was ruled out since I was admitted to the hospital with anonymity and discretion. Even my presence in the island was unknown to important authorities. That it was a work of a person of unsound mind was also doubtful since the injection was administered at the appropriate place with perfect professional efficiency. The results of several biological tests also did not reveal anything unusual. Everything was normal. For six months authorities in the island and in France investigated the case but they remained clueless and had to close the case as they were not successful in identifying the person involved in the incident.

I returned to Madagascar, a nearby country, where I was posted on a diplomatic assignment. Life continued normally. No one could give a satisfactory answer as to why "fraxiparine" was not administered on the day prior to the operation and on the day of operation. One month after the incident we told our relations in Myanmar about it. They consulted our revered family guru who after meditation disclosed that a saint who has blessings for the family had saved me from calamity that would have resulted from the negligence by staff during my illness. He further added that I was fortunate to have a Darshan of the great saint and attributed this to my good Karma in the past. It was then that the mystery was solved and we realized the kindness of Baba who guarded me all through the medical crisis. I remember the smile on his face at the time of his visit and the photograph that we placed in the hospital room.

A.Beuria, Bhubaneswar

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God's Smoke Signal

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. "God, how could you do this to me?" he cried.

Early the next day he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.

"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, with us even in the midst of pain, and suffering.

Remember that, the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

Shreya, Delhi

Thank you for sending BABA and HIS grace to me. You are indeed fortunate to be serving HIM by doing this. You do not know how much of solace I got seeing HIM. Especially in this hour of need when we recently came to know that my husband has a massive decrease in his kidney's function.

I have spent sleepless nights asking HIM if HE has forgotten me, for HE does not visit me the way HE used to. I can never finish thru the SAI SAT CHARITA Parayan. But HE stays with me in my heart, HE is there next to me when I am about to do something I shouldn't be and HE stops me from sinning.

We live in a suburb, Hoffman Estates, in Chicago. Please tell me where you live, and is there any way I could help serve Baba.

Geeta Bhatia, Chicago USA

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I am receiving this Sai Heritage E-Zine newsletter since last week through my friend. I asked for direct subscription of the newsletter on my email id. I got it today and I am really thankful. The last article in today’s newsletter given by a child of 7 years regarding Baba not liking people who cheat and lie during exams answered questions going on in my mind. I have my exams coming and I was really worried about it. Thanks so much for boosting my morale.

Geeta Nair, Mumbai

I am really grateful to all those who made the magazine Heritage of Shirdi Sai and the website possible. I have no words to express my feelings that arise when I read the experiences of other devotees. Please do continue to share such experiences with us as it guides us to lead a happy life and reminds us to just think of our Great Baba at all times. SAI RAM

Ashalatha Raja Shekhar, Texas, USA

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Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada holds Satsang on Thursdays and the 3rd Sunday of every month at Gur Mandir, 207 Queen’s plate Toronto (Etobicoke). For details other activities and the Resource Centre please visit or call 416-294-4804


Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan, Canada is pleased to announce the establishment of it's first Resource Centre in Woodbridge, Toronto. All visits are by appointment only. Shri Sai Satcharita is available in all languages. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Friday between 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Location: Maple Crest Private School - 28 Roytech Rd. Woodbridge, On L4L 8E4 Ph: 905 - 652-6666. For other Details call 416-294-4804 or visit



The Shirdi Sai Mandir located at 2721 Markham Road, Toronto, Ontario, M1X 1L5 (Intersection of Markham and Nashdene) is open through out the day on Saturday, Sunday and holidays and in the morning and evenings on all weekdays. Baba's Kakad Aarti, Abhishek Puja, Madhyan Aarti, Dhoop Aarti, Satcharita Reading and Shej Aarti are performed every day. Bhajans and Sai Naam Sankirtan in the evening on Thursday and Saturday. For information regarding the daily schedule, temple activities and events please visit Mandir's website: or send an email to or call 647-444-4724.


I belong to the Shirdi Sai Group (registered as Persatuan Shirdi Sai Baba, Selangor), Malaysia. Sai Ram everybody. This to inform Baba’s devotees in Malaysia and Singapore that every Thursday we conduct prayers in the morning at 9.00 am and bhajans and satsang in the evenings from 7.30 pm onwards. Anyone who is interested in joining us may please contact SP Kannan at 012-2739486; or Usha at 012-2392911; or Res: 03-33717540. Also if you come across any Malaysian devotees, please direct them to us. Thank you and Sai Ram.


Shri Shirdi Sai Sansthan Los Angeles

By the grace of our Shirdi Sai we are happy to announce the inauguration of Shri Shirdi Sai Temple in LA region in the city of Montebello. We need the support of all Sai Devotees. For more information please email


Shirdi Sai Center, Bay Area, California

Location: 897-B E. Kifer Rd, Sunnyvale, CA - 94086

Daily timings and activities:

6:15 am – 7:40 am: Abhishekam and Kakad Arathi at 6:30 am
11.45 am – 12:30 pm: Madhyan Arathi at 12:00 pm
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm: Dhoop Arathi at 6:30 pm and Shej Arathi at 8:30 pm

6:15 am – 7:40 am: Kakad Arathi at 6:30 am
11:00 am – 9:30 pm: Madhyan Arathi at 12:00 pm, Dhoop Arathi at 6:30 pm and Shej Arathi at 8:30 pm

Every Thursday:
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Shirdi Sai Bhajans

For more information please call 408-705-7904 / 408-564-6704 or send email to or visit our website at

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