SAI BABA Left No Heir or Disciple - Legitimate revelations from Shri D. Sankaraiah
(Reprinted from SAI LEELA, Nov., Dec., 83)
I happened to see a notice in the Sai Sansthan Office, Shirdi on 27.2.1983. The notice reads "Saibaba left no heir or disciple". I thought over this again and again in the Samadhi Mandir, Dwarakamayi and the Chavadi. The result of my deep thinking is this article.
There is no dearth of Babas, Swamijis and Gurus in India. Let us continue our discussion to Babas', who use Sai Baba's name and do several things. Some Baba claim to be 'Avathars' of Sai Baba, who is immortal, birth less and deathless. Some claim that Sai had given all powers to them so on and so forth. No doubt Sai Baba has blessed / is blessing many devotees according to his or her intensity of devotion and receptivity of His grace. Sai Baba in His own mysterious way gave spiritual uplift to many a devotee, who is silently doing Sai Seva.
Really I wonder how the so-called Avathars of Baba are blind to the naked truth that Sai, the store house of all power is controlling the main switch from the Samadhi itself. As long as He allows the current to flow these Babas can use it in whichever way they like. The moment Sai puts off the main switch the activities of these Babas will come to a halt and they will be exposed to public. Their condition will be like that of a fish out of water, "mis refers to Babas, who have been misusing the blessings of Sai Baba for their selfish ends. Of course there are a good number of devotees rendering valuable Sai service. Some Babas, who are conscious of the fact that real force is Sai Baba, are humbly directing devotees to Shirdi only.
Mhalsapathy, a Khandoba worshipper (later became a staunch devotee of Sai Baba) addressed unintentionally "YA SAI" (Welcome Sai) when he first saw the young Fakir near Khandoba temple along with Chandpatil's marriage party. Thus the young Fakir Sai was called till then. Some Babas of today have prefixed or suffixed 'Sai' to their names given by their parents. I do not mean that naming themselves' as Saibaba is wrong. I feel calling themselves as Sai Avathars is not correct. A man named Rama had different names in each of the ten Avathars. It is not known why the present Avathars of Sai have not changed their names in this Avathar? It is mentioned in Sai Satcharita at P.236 (8th edition) that Sai Baba told some devotees that He would appear in times to come as a lad of eight years. (Please note not after eight years). This assurance of Baba is being misinterpreted by certain Babas and their innocent followers. They say that Sai Baba told some of his devotees he would come again after eight years. Baba took Mahasamad in 1918 and the Babas born in 1926 are Sai Avathars. How ridiculous is it to interpret the above assurance of Baba in such a way?
Are these Babas and their followers so blind to the following assurances of Sai Baba before His Mahasamadhi? "I shall be active and vigorous even from the tomb. My mortal remains would speak from the tomb. I am ever living to help and guide all those who come to me, who surrender to and seek refuge in me". If He were to take the human body at such a short interval of eight years, so many assurances would not have been given by Him to his devotees. If one tries to understand the significance given to 'Samadhi' (tomb) by Baba, one can never believe that so and so Baba is Sai Avathar.
We know that the site on which the Samadhi Mandir is constructed, was once developed by Baba as a flower garden. He planted, watered and nursed the plants some decades before the construction of 'Samadhi'. Thus he sanctified and purified the place. We further know that late Booty of Nagpur constructed a Mandir on the same place for the installation of idol of Muralidhar. When everything was ready our Sai occupied the place as Muralidhar. Let us deeply think what is all this. Then we know "Saints like Baba never die, though they look like men, they are in reality God Himself' (Satcharita P.239). It is said that Raghavendra Swamiji, the immortal saint of Mantralaya declared that His Samadhi would be powerful for about 700 years. Same is the case with Shirdi and Baba's Samadhi.
If a saint lives at a particular place, the place will attract huge crowds and the importance of that place will gradually decrease with the physical disappearance of that saint. This can be observed from the history of many places. But Shirdi is exception to the general rule. The number of pilgrims to Shirdi is increasing by leaps and bounds. The entire appearance of Shirdi is changed in a very remarkable way. The number of Sai temples and the Sai Samajams, all over the globe, is increasing day by day after the year 1918. Is this not a sufficient proof to show that Sai is more ALIVE now than when He was living?
Now let us see what had happened immediately after Baba left His mortal coil. There was some problem regarding the disposal of His mortal remains. The body did not get stiff even after a lapse of 36 hours; all limbs were elastic; His Kafni could be taken out without being torn to pieces. The author of Sai Satcharita has aptly stated "This pure being; the ruler and controller of the senses and mind is the Things Sai", On one occasion Baba advised His devotees "Meditate always on my formless nature which is knowledge incarnate, consciousness and bliss". Thus Baba is not the person possessing only three and a half cubits body.
Baba appeared to Laxman Mama Joshi in his dream on 16.10.18 in early hours and said "get up soon; Bapusaheb thinks that I am dead and so he won't come; you do the worship' and the Kakad Arati", Accordngly Joshi did the morning Pooja and Aarati. Bapusaheb did noon arati as usual. Thus Baba maintained the continuity of daily Pujas and Aratis as usual irrespective of the condition of His body and confusion in the minds of His devotees. He appeared in Dasganu Maharaj's dream on 16.10.1918 at Pandharpur and informed that the masjid collapsed and that he should cover His body with ample flowers. Dasganu covered the Samadhi with "Harerama Malikas". We further learn from Shri M. W. Pradhan's statement to Shri B.V. Narasimha Swamy author of "Devotees' Experiences" that Baba appeared in his dream on 18.10.1918 in a dying condition, Baba replied "People do not talk of saints as dying, but as taking Samadhi". Again on 19.10.1918 Baba gave him three rupees in a dream. When he refused to take money thinking that it was inauspicious to receive money in dream, Baba said, "Receive it and give me all the money you have stored up in your box." The same night Baba appeared in Pradhan's sister-in-law's dream and asked her to send a yellow Pitamber to be placed on the Samadhi. Of course all these instructions were complied with by late Shri Pradhan. Are these incidents not sufficient indications of Baba's immortality? Then why talk of His 'Avathars"?
Baba lived like a beggar (Fakir) begging His food. He used to collect all solids in a zoli and liquids in a tin pot from four or five houses every day. He put the entire thing in a kundi or (earthen pot) and allowed cats, dogs, crows to take from the Kundi. How liberal was he? Though rich and delicious food was at His command, he preferred to have His food from the begging bowl only. This practice He continued till His Mahasamadhi. Let us know whether the so-called Sai Avathars and disciples are doing the same now regarding their food. I doubt whether they accept the food touched by animals, leave alone begging their food. How simple His bed was! He used to sleep on a wooden plank four cubits in length and only a span in breadth with panatis (earthen lamps) burning at the four comers of the plank. This plank was tied to the rafters of Dwarakamai with old rags. Nobody knew how He got up and down that plank. Baba explained to Kakasaheb "He who can sleep with his eyes wide open only can do like that". Later the plank was broken into pieces when devotees wanted to see how he got up and down the plank. May we know whether the present Sai Avathars sleep 'eyes wide open' even on cushioned beds?
Baba did not prefer saffron color dress to white dress. But now-a-days Babas wear saffron dress only (silk or cotton). Perhaps they want to be recognized as Baba's by their external appearance. That is why it is said, 'Don't be a yogi of body; but become a yogi of mind', though He was a perfect master of Yogas and Siddhis. He never exhibited them for attracting crowds or for developing His guru-ship. He used to vomit His intestines and keep them on a tree for drying. He used to sever His limbs from the body. This was how He used to dean the body. We know many Babas are accustomed to rose water bath for cleaning their bodies.
We learn that Siddhis can be acquired by trance, pooja, japa and also with the help of spirits. A true saint will never bother or care for these powers. Swami Vivekananda warned that these miracles are obstacles in the path of spiritual progress of a sadhaka. Yet some Babas / Gurus appear to have become slaves to these miracles and they neither proceed to further stage nor take the devotees further except showing their miracles. I have not heard or read that Sai Baba created Vibhuti, gold ornaments, watches, photos, lockets, idols through empty hands. Perhaps because of this, Sai was not challenged by scientists, magicians and atheists. Now we hear or read that so and so Baba was challenged to show his miracles before them for scientific study. Of course those Babas ignored these challenges. The question is not whether challenges have been accepted or ignoered; but why to give room for such criticism at all. Having given the chance, it is better to accept it and show to the world that so and so is God incarnate or Bhagawan! This is not being done.
When Baba was seen, certain Hindus hesitated to bend their heads before Him, thinking that He was a Muslim. Similarly certain Muslims felt that Baba was spoiling the sanctity of the Masjid by allowing the Hindu mode of worship in it. That was the only criticism against Baba. However nobody could challenge Baba. Those who had doubts and reservations had to fall at His feet when they saw Him. A Rama devotee could see Rama in Baba, a Vitthal devotee could find Vitthal in Sai Rupa. That was His power.
Nobody knows the birthday of Baba Thus there was no occasion for devotees to present "Guru-Dakshina" to Him which might have run to several lakhs of Rupees as we are observing in the case of some Babas. These Babas say that this money will be utilized for a noble cause; I do not understand whether there will be any nobler cause than a wakening the latent powers in every man, who is a moving temple of God. Let them use all their creative powers for destroying the ignorance of their devotees. A spiritual master should impart spiritual knowledge to the devotees, who come to his feet Sai never thought of building Ashrams / Maths / Nilayams. He lived in a dilapidated Masjid. Of course certain repairs were done to the Masjid. He depended on nature only. He was not provided with air-conditioners, fans etc., as is in the case of many Babas of today. No doubt Baba demanded 'dakshina' from certain devotees pointed out to Him by Fakir (God). He never opened Bank Account or stored money. Baba's main object in taking dakshina from His devotees was to teach them the lessons of renunciation and purification. He disbursed the money, received by Him during the day, by the same night. We all read that only Rs.16/- were found on His body at the time of His Mahasamadhi, which were utilized for His funeral ceremony.
That was how Baba lived for about 60 years in finite form at Shirdi. If one wants to know Baba's Leelas after His Mahasamadhi, one should read "Shree Sai Leela" an official organ of Sai Baba Sansthan, why to satisfy with others' experiences? You can also have experience of Baba's leelas by surrendering your egoism at His Holy Feet.
It is the tradition with pertain established Maths / Ashrams to appoint a successor to the 'Gadi'. Sometimes the Head of the Ashram nominates his successor. Our Sai has neither appointed any devotee as His successor nor allowed anybody to claim as His direct disciple. This rare privilege was not given to anybody however elevated He may be.
I may be permitted to suggest that all Gurus / Babas / Swamiji's, who think that they are Avathars and sole successors to Sai Baba should give serious thought to the above facts and gather on the sacred soil of Shirdi and bum their 'magical' powers in the ever burning Dhuni of Dwarkamai and start afresh their spiritual life by spreading Saism among the masses. I am sure one day or other Sai wields His Satka and puts the mis-user in their proper place. Let us wait and see!
Perhaps it is because of the unfounded claims of certain persons that they are successors, heirs, disciples and Avatharas of Sai Baba that the Sai Samasthan has displayed a notice "Sai has left no heir or disciple".
I read the punch-packed scholarly article, "Sai Baba Left No Heir or Disciple" penned by Sai-Brother D. Sankariah in the issues of Shri Sai Leela for the months of November and December 1983.
It naturally revived my memory of Kusha Bhau, who had magically materialized sweetmeats just to tickle his ego and to entertain his audience,
Our Heavenly Father Shirdi Sai Baba reprimanded him and at the same time consoled him. Our Sai had placed His large palm on Kusha Bhau's head and blessed him thus - "I bless you. Think of Me and hold forth your palms. You will have my prasad" From that moment onwards, he could materialize Dwarakamayi. Sai udhi only at his Saiwill. Again this evil-desire-subduing act performed on him by our Sai brings to my mind Sai Baba's childlike innocent explanation given to His devotees on the Sai miracles. "I say here; they happen there." All these go to prove that our Shirdi Sai was against use and abuse of magical/occult/spiritual powers egoistically. One more point to note is that one retains his atmic trait for several births. Let our Sai speak:
"I have known you for 2000 years and you were always obstinate and up to monkey tricks." That the present-day Baba's do not reveal any Atmic trait of our Sainath is abundantly clear. Once Sai taunted: "who can speak Adwarta while remaining in Dwaita?" Only a saint knows another saint best. Swami Muktananda Maharaj (Ganeshpuri) is thus amply qualified to speak on the subject. Here is what he said, "He (Shirdi Sai Baba) is continuing His Mission as a Living Presence even now. So where is the need for rebirth?"