By : — Shri Y. Nagarjuna Rao Hyderabad.
For the protection of the virtuous and for the destruction of the evil, the Almighty manifests Himself in a form and a name chosen by Him. Bhagawan Sai Baba of Shirdi is one of such manifestations of the Divine who has descended on the earth to save humanity from moral decay. The Divine Will was evidenced right from the very inception of the Avatar i.e. the secrecy of His birth. No body can vouch safe Baba's caste or the place of his birth excepting several vague theories put forward by some of his contemporaries. He was loved and worshipped by Hindus and Muslims alike. People coming from all areas and from all faiths flocked to Shirdi to prostrate at His holy feet for their salvation. He was a Hindu living in Masjid. He was a Muslim for whom the Mosque was " Dwaraka Mayi ". He is a servant to his devotees having no limitations of caste, creed or religion. Everyone has a right to demand anything he wants from Him for, He is father, mother and Sadguru to the entire humanity. Every minute aspect of this Avatar was so precisely moulded with meticulous care by Baba Himself, with a specific mission of establishing harmony among Muslims and Hindus. He is an incarnation of the Supreme Power reflected in different faiths. His teachings represent the gist of different faiths. Any attempt to describe this Deva and His glory can only be a part of it and not the whole.
"If a man utters my name with love I shall fulfill all wishes increase his devotion and if he sings earnestly my life and my deeds him I shall beset in front and back and all sides " — Shri Sai Satcharita.
The above assurance of Baba is a matter of personal experience for several thousands of devotees, who look to Him and who are looked after by Him. In this connection I wanted to narrate my own humble experience with the blessings of Sai Baba which I think will appeal to all those who admire the supremacy of any faith by scientific reasoning or logic.
It was in the year 1970 that I happened to go to Bombay on some personal work. As it happened to be my first visit I went for sight-seeing to several places in and around Bombay. Suddenly I felt that I should go to Shirdi and visit the Mahasamadhi of Sai Baba more out of curiosity rather than devotion. But the visit was to be put off because of my brother-in-law's arrival from the United States. I was very much disappointed and silently prayed to Baba that if He were to be a God, He should bless me with an opportunity to go to Shirdi. In the meanwhile a very interesting thing happened. We received a cable that my brother-in-law's scheduled arrival had to be postponed on account of his prolonged stay enroute. Thus the seeds of faith were sowed in my heart by an unexpected accomplishment of my desire. Immediately I was in search of a person who could, help me with the details of the pilgrimage. When I was proceeding from Andheri to Dadar by electric train I surprisingly came across a devotee of SaiBaba who guided me with minute details. Thus the very first visit to the Shrine proved to be a preplanned sankalpa of Baba Himself to draw me towards Him. After taking a bath I went for a darshan which made me extremely happy. For a moment there appeared nothing but SaiBaba's form in every thing I saw in Shirdi. I prayed to Baba that He should help me with His Grace and give me solace and comfort throughout my life. I happened to make a study of several books available at Shirdi which makes one to feel that He is not merely a superhuman form but the Omnipotent God Himself. Since then my faith in Baba was steadily growing. One of my close friends was blessed with a daughter. Unfortunately she had an attack of paralysis and as a result of which she was not in a position to move her hands. My friend felt very unhappy, as the treatment given by doctors did not produce the desired results. He had lost all hopes of recovery and felt dejected. I gave him a little Vibhuti which I brought from Shirdi and asked him to apply it to the affected hand with complete faith in Baba's mercy. Though he was not personally a believer in Sai Baba, he consented to do it on my persistence. He told me that he would worship Baba as God if the Vibhuti helped the recovery of his child in any way. With the application of Vibhuti there was a tremendous improvement and very soon the baby recovered responding very well to the medical treatment which was a big surprise even to the Physician as he himself was not quite confident about the outcome of his trial. The grateful father of the child has become an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. Such was the kindness of the Saint who responds to the call of humanity if only the persons look to Him.
Sai Baba's life and teachings are beneficial to the entire humanity. Baba never discouraged anybody from following his own faith and customs, on the other hand, He used to allow everyone to have his own way, but correct them only when they go wrong. He is moved by true, sincere devotion, simple living and sincere effort to lead a good life. There are no restrictions for any one to join the family of Sai Baba if only he surrenders his ego at His feet. Baba preached to everyone who was near and dear to Him to see Him in all the human beings and thus advocated universal love. Baba's participation in Sri Rama Navami on one hand and in Ramzan on the other indicates that no one should draw a clear line of distinction between one faith and another. He allowed people to perform 'arti' in a Masjid with equal affection as he allowed Muslims to perform sandal procession. The following advice of Baba, as sung by Hemadpant in his famous Satcharita would indicate Baba's stature.
" Be wherever you like, do whatever you choose, remember this well, that all what you do is known to Me. I am the inner ruler of all and seated in their hearts. I envelope all the creatures, movable and immovable world. I am the controller, the wire puller of this show of this universe. I am the mother origin of all beings ".
The above words of Baba reveal his Omnipotent and Omniscient nature of Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi.