Ram Navmi-2014 Message

394825_10200367398934116_1667126986_nDevotees of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba often ask  a question, “why is it that even though I have surrendered to Baba, my financial, physical, social, and official situation has not improved?” Or that “I have prayed to Baba to cure my son every day for the last week. Why is he not getting cured?” Some of them even say that they would visit Shirdi or a temple of Baba if their wishes are fulfilled.

The main problem lies in the conviction of people about their faith/surrender to Baba. They do not have the noble qualities, sacrifices and the period of time required to establish closer contact with a Sadguru. While social relationships vary from one society to another and from time to time, most social relationships are based on prior caculations about mutual benefit. Such considerations apply even within families. Any deviation from expectations or non-fulfillment of anticipated results from the other side easily spoil these relationships. But when these norms are applied in relation to the Spiritual World or in relation to a Sadguru, it becomes a non­-starter from the beginning.

Bhakti Marg at its highest point leads to ‘surrender’. Surrender means sacrificing every thing – our mind, body and soul to the God or Sadguru whom we worship. Once he surrenders the devotee has to think that his body, mind will and soul belong to God/Sadguru and not to him. Also, he has to utilize these for the cause of the Sadguru. Since everything belongs to the Sadguru, he has nothing to be happy about, nothing to be sorry about, nothing to complain against and nothing to desire for himself – materially, mentally or spiritually. Such a state of total surrender can be achieved only by a few from among millions of spiritual aspirants who have received the kindness and support of a Sadguru.

How many of the people, who claim to have surrendered to Baba, have truly surrendered? Once Baba told his devotees that in order to test him, His Guru once hung him upside down in a wall with a rope for a few hours. When the Guru returned he asked Baba how He felt. Baba replied that He was in an ecstatic mood, had no complaints and was happy about what the Guru had done to him. Having said this, Baba asked the devotees sitting around Him in Dwarka Mayee Masjid as to how many of them had this level of faith. None had the courage to come up to Him.

Therefore, simply to say, feel or show that one has surrendered is not correct because a surrendered man will have no desires or will of his own and therefore no complaints. He would only follow the two prescriptions given by Baba i.e. Shraddha (faith) and Saburi (patience)

The word ‘Shraddha’ means:

  • Genuine  devotional faith in the Master i.e., Baba for the Sai devotees;
  • An intrinsic faith that Baba is in a God state and is his Protector;
  • Knowing that the past, present and future of the devotee are known to Him and are controlled by Him, from near and far;
  • Ability to tolerate all vicissitudes of life with patience and equanimity;
  • The realization that Baba is always with His devotees and watching over their welfare;
  • To follow the dictates of the Master in letter and spirit, without being concerned or worried about  the consequences thereof;
  • To hold on to Baba and not run to different deities/temples for different purposes.

The word ‘Saburi’ means :

  • Tolerance and  patience, both physical and mental, under all circumstances with faith in Baba.
  • In the spiritual sense it has a wider and subtler connotation of natural acceptance of all problems of life with equanimity. It is not mere tolerance of something wily-nilly.

How many people have this attitude of mind? Each devotee should examine his thought process to find-out where exactly he stands. Then only one would he understand whether or not he has surrendered in the real sense of the term.

If anyone wants to establish perfect association with a Perfect Master, then he should, at first, become a perfect devotee. Baba used to say that a devotee will experience Him according to his ‘bhava’. An imperfect mind will reflect an imperfect image of the Sadguru and the person will get imperfect results. It is not easy to surrender the state of mind so easily without understanding its full implications. The better path would be to develop the qualities prescribed by the Sadguru gradually, while living in the world like an ordinary man – enjoying happiness and suffering unhappiness – while keeping the Guru in one’s heart.

Shri C.B. Satpathy, New Delhi

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