Guru Poornima 2008

History has shown that the Divine Incarnations (Avataras), Perfect Masters (Sadgurus) and other spiritual personalities are capable of bringing about great and long term social changes at different places and at different times on this earth. Some of them like Lord Buddha, Lord Christ, Prophet Mohammad and Guru Nanak also created new religions. Others have shown new paths for betterment of the human race and spiritual evolution of the souls coming into contact with them. When they carry on their Divine and universal duties as ordained by God the Almighty they are automatically supported by the mighty and unseen powers of nature.

The possession and use of such powers is natural to them. These powers are far superior in nature to the powers that all others species, including human beings, possess. These are called ‘Divya’ (Divine) powers. From the word ‘Divya’ comes the words ‘Devata’ in Hinduism. While working in a human form these spiritual entities display the powers and characteristics of both human beings and Devatas as per their will and requirement. Just as the human beings have superior power and intelligence over all the other species on this earth, so also these powerful divine personalities possess superior intelligence and vast capabilities much beyond the capabilities of human beings.

As a man does not always have to think that he knows veterinary or medical science when treating an animal, similarly these Masters are not aware of their divine powers when they are helping or treating human beings and other species whether in their worldly problems or in their spiritual evolution. They use these powers spontaneously for the benefit of others without expecting any material returns. It is their magnificent quality of kindness that propels them to help others and suffer for them. On the other hand, human beings, when they come face-to-face with such mighty personalities are utterly surprised and moved to see the miraculous play of spiritual powers.

Further, the kindness with which Masters use these powers for their benefit brings forth an emotional upsurge in their hearts. This is beginning point of Bhakti. This is what used to happen to anyone and everyone who came in contact with Shri Shirdi Sai Baba when He was in His human embodiment at Shirdi. Baba’s capabilities to give immediate and long-term redress to any problem of any person (both temporal and spiritual) was so vast and effective, that even the most powerful and capable personalities of that time like Khaparde, Buti, Kaka Saheb Dixit, Chandorkar etc. looked insignificant before Him.

Forgetting their material or social status they had to surrender to Him. Being totally overpowered by the personality of Shri Sai Nath Maharaj and deeply indebted to Him for His kindness, these devotees used to spread His glory. They spread the name of Baba mostly through word of mouth and through varied social interactions, whenever they got a chance to do so. Ardent devotees like Dasganu Maharaj spread His name in the rural areas of Maharashtra through kirtans, ballards and folklores.

During the period when Baba was at Shirdi (between 1860-1918), there were a very small number of newspapers and journals in Maharashtra. Study of such newspapers and magazines shows that during that time, Baba’s name rarely appeared in them. After Baba left His body in 1918 “Sai Leela” an official publication (magazine) of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan came to life and this continues to be published till today. The prominent devotees of Baba like Dasganu, Chandorkar, Kaka Saheb Dixit and many others who were instrumental in spreading the name of Baba were extremely cautious and truthful in uttering or writing anything pertaining to Baba.

The two magazines, Sai Prabha (1915-1919) and Shri Sai Leela (1923 till date) were not commercial ventures. Neither the publishers, nor the editors or the writers had any commercial angle attached to it. It was out of pure love towards Baba and the real life experience they had with Him, that they wrote on their experiences in these magazines for the benefit of other devotees. They did not brag about the information they shared with others or their proximity to Baba. They did not write about any imaginary / concocted miracles. They did not indulge in bringing out competitive marketing serials based on half baked truths or speculations on Baba, as is sometimes being done in audio/video channels of today.

Today nine decades after Baba’s Mahasamadhi, His name continues to spread far and wide in India and abroad. As Baba had forecast, Shirdi is thronging with devotees from all over the globe and the number is ever on the increase. Hundreds of temples have come up in His name in India and abroad. The number of commercial movies, TV serials, magazines, books, audio-video cassettes pertaining to Baba in different languages is too numerous to be listed. Stories on Baba’s life, news and views on activities pertaining to the Sai movement today and experiences of devotees can be seen through these audio/video/print medias. Some of them are good.

However, what is sometimes lacking is a truthful and correct projection of Baba. Some people are perhaps not aware of the fact that a real Spiritual Master like Baba does not need a purely commercial venture to attract His devotees towards Him. By their subtle divine power, Spiritual Masters can draw any soul from any distance by their sheer will. This is what used to happen at Shirdi during Baba’s time. Baba has clearly mentioned that He can draw His devotees even from beyond the seven seas whenever He willed. A true devotee who has full faith in Baba would avoid projecting Baba through imaginary or concocted stories of miracles. Such false projections sends a wrong message to the devotees and works as a hindrance in their correct appreciation of the personality of the Master, His philosophy and His teaching methods.

On this day of Guru Poornima the devotees should pray the Master to give them the correct emotional and mental capabilities to understand Him through their inner perception. The devotees should not condition their mind through whatever they read, see and hear superficially but should read Shri Sai Sat Charitra regularly and concentrate on the divine attributes (qualities) of Baba and meditate on His form.

C. B.. Satpathy
New Delhi ( India )

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