The Unique Saint of Shirdi
Each Saint or prophet during his lifetime has manifested some aspect of Godliness. But hardly has there been one so richly endowed as Sri Sai Baba in presenting to the world of human consciousness the versatility of God. Sai Baba is a unique JEWEL on the horizon of spirituality. Sitting on a rugged stone with an innocent face, eyes full of compassion and deeply concerned for the sufferings of the humanity, with a torn Kafni on His body. He is a unique Saint who had descended on this Holy Earth to shoulder the burdens and sufferings and answer the calls of His innumerable devotees, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion.
Nobody knew the parentage, birth or place of birth of Sri Sai Baba. Many queries were put to Him but none got a satisfactory reply or answer. Those who tried were dumbfounded and were captured by His unique and splendid personality. Nobody could get or gather any authentic information as to the caste, creed or religion to which He belonged. It is no wonder that He who had completely surrendered Himself to the Lord by getting rid of His egotism and thus became one with Him had nothing to do with the question of caste, creed or religion. For His food, He begged only from a few houses and shared it with both human beings and animals without any difference.
Sai Baba preached and practiced Harmony, Love and Universal Brotherhood. He had descended on this earth to bridge the gap between the various communities. He preached that God in whatever form worshipped was one and the same. When it is so, then why should we quarrel among ourselves? He celebrated the festivals of the Hindus and Muslims alike.
The life and teachings of Sai Baba is wide and deep as the infinite ocean in which all can dive deep into it and take out precious gems of knowledge and bhakti. The teachings of Sai Baba give peace and happiness to the people who are afflicted with sorrows and miseries. If these interesting teachings and leelas of Sai Baba which are instructive as the Vedic lore when listened to and meditated upon, the devotees shall get what they long for i.e., bliss supreme, peace and eternal union with the Brahman.
People who saw Him derived immense benefits (both spiritual and temporal). He is known for answering to the prayers of His devotees by granting them boons and satisfying their wishes. He comes to the aid of His sorrowing and distressed devotees when in dire need and calls Him through pure devotion and saves them from all impending calamities.
For this Kaliyuga, Sai Baba's Name should be recited by every religious minded person for salvation from the impending perils which are causing great concern for our very survival.
Sai Baba always sat near the Dhuni that was lit when He was in flesh and blood and continues to burn even to this day and shall continue to burn till such time He wants it. The Dhuni yields the sacred ash - Udi/Vibhuti which is all 'powerful' due to the grace and omnipresence of Sai Baba.
In our land there are many holy places, which were treaded by Saints during their lifetime. But all these holy places do not get sanctified even if the Lord wants it, because only a few such Saints get the land in which they treaded and sanctified, one such is Shirdi.
Sai Baba is God incarnate for this Kaliyuga and He will protect all His devotees from the Samadhi. All our relatives and friends will forsake us at some point of time, especially when calamities knock at our doorstep, but never will Sai Baba forsake us. Sri Sai Baba tests us as to how much Shraddha and Saburi have we attained during adverse times by chanting and reciting His names and singing His glory.
We should remember Sai's commitment and promise to His devotees "Why fear when I am Here" and lead a life by surrendering ourselves to His Holy Feet as Sai Baba is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient.
-By M Krishna Kumar