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Saibaba The Master
Pujya Acharya Sri Ekkirala Bharadwaja

 
 
Sai Baba The Man and The Master « Previous |  Index |  Next »
 
 

Sai Baba was about five and a half feet tall, neither stout nor lean. His complexion was golden yellow; his eyes were bluish and shone most mysteriously even in darkness. Indeed, they were the object of the devotee’s wonder. The portrait now available to us in shops, with him seated on the stone, seems to show a slight squint in his left eye but indeed, there was no such thing. His nostrils were prominent. At the time when Sri Sai Sharananandaji had seen him, Baba had some of his teeth missing and the rest were not pure white in colour. He never brushed them but only rinsed his mouth with a little water every morning. He never drank either coffee or tea but he never told anyone to abstain from the same. He never told anyone how he contracted the habit of smoking chilim. He always used the same clay-pipe for the purpose. Devotees used to offer him many pipes but he never used them. He stacked them in the hollow of the musjid wall.

Baba always wore garments made of coarse whitish cloth. He never disclosed to anyone why he wore a small piece of cloth around his head. Except when he washed himself, Baba was never seen without this long shirt (kufni). At bathing time he wore a langoti (a wrestler’s underwear). However, he never took a daily bath. He used to do so as and when he had the whim. Sometimes he did not bathe for even six weeks.

Very rarely, Baba tied a green lungi around his waist, and after washing his kufni in water, dried it above the sacred fire and wore it. The piece of cloth around his head too was very rarely changed and was never washed. When he decided to change his kufni, Baba sent for a tailor and told him “Get me a kufni”. When it was brought, he always paid the tailor more than its worth. Usually he changed it every two or three months. When he did, he threw the old kufni in the sacred fire and did namaskar to it. Sometimes, when he changed his kufni he used to distribute a few more to some of his devotees.

Left to himself, Baba spoke very little. Mostly he was calm and quiet, speaking only when it was absolutely necessary. He never laughed loudly but smiled gently. Most of the time he used to sit with his eyes closed. When a devotee approached him for darshan, he used to glance at him. Sometimes he did not do even that. Yet he was always playful in the presence of children.

The most surprising thing is that Baba never sat leaning against the wall in the mosque. Even when he sat with his legs outstretched,he always sat a few inches away from the wall. Besides, he never lay down during the day. He hardly visited any temple at Shirdi.


Sri Marthand, the son of Mahalsapathy had watched Baba and his ways quite closely. He told me that at certain times Baba used to send for a barber named Balanai and used to have his head shaved. Balanai used to trim Baba’s moustache so that its ends looked pointed. After the haircut Baba used to thrust his hand into the pocket of his kufni and pay the barber whatever came to his hand. But it was always much in excess of the normal payment due for a shave.

There are a few characteristic gestures and actions of Baba. Every morning he used to walk down to and from the mosque to the cross roads in front of the neem tree or what is now called the Gurusthan. Then he used to stand infront of the musjid and wave his hands towards the cardinal points repeatedly as though he beckoned to some invisible entities. Then he used to turn to his seat in the musjid.

One Hardwar Bua came to Shirdi. He always used to sit near the pillar at the corner of the sacred fire in the musjid. One day a girl sat in that place. Hardwar Bua soon came there and commanded her to get up and sat there. Baba flew into a rage and ordered all to clear out from the musjid and to sit in the frontyard. After some time Hardwar Bua again entered the musjid and sat in his usual place. But Baba again drove him out. Then the Bua realized that Baba was displeased with what he did to the girl. When everything belongs to God how can anyone claim anything as his own, including the sitting place?

We have noted in another chapter that on a holy Diwali day Baba had thrust his hand in the burning fire (dhuni) to save the child of a blacksmith who slipped accidentally and fell in the fire at a far off village. The burns on Baba’s hand were terrible to look at. When devotees suggested that he should get his forearm treated by a doctor, Baba smiled and said, “Even if this body is kept on a pile of 2000 dung cakes and burnt up, we must be able to look on it unperturbed, and see what happens. That is the real evidence of jnana (Self-realization)”.

One day when Baba was having lunch, a dog entered Dwarakamai and put its snout in the can containing buttermilk. Bade Baba who saw it at once ordered another devotee present to throw away the polluted buttermilk. Baba said, ‘Why’? He then gave it to one Babu and got a dish prepared with it which he ate at night.

Sri Marthand, son of late Sri Mahalsapathi, has recounted to me the following characteristic incident :

One day a palanquin was carried to and set down in front of Dwarakamai by a band of attendants. It was curtained on all sides so that the inmates of it could not be seen. One of the attendants accompanying the palanquin carried a big vessel with its opening secured by a piece of a cloth into the mosque and kept it before Baba. Baba brusquely said, “Who has come (in the palanquin)?….. Whoever it is, remove the curtains!” The curtains were removed. The person in the palanquin was the princess Chimnabai, one of the then princely States of India. Baba told Mahalsapathy to see what the vessel contained. The latter looked up and said, ‘It contains gold!’ Baba, pointing at himself, said to Mahalaspathy ‘Is this (i.e. Baba’s form) the real gold or is that ?’ “You are the treasure!” said Mahalsapathy. “Then send the vessel back to her!”, ordered Baba. The vessel was promptly returned to the palanquin. Who is the prince of givers and who the receiver ?

During the holy nine-day festival (Navaratri) one Hariseetharam Dixit came to Shirdi from Nagpur. He saw everyone offering various fruits to Baba on the holy day and was sad that he had not the sense to do so. Just at that moment a devotee was distributing grapes that Baba had given him for the purpose to all the devotees present. Dixit too was given one. He atonce offered it to Baba and the latter ate it up. Dixit was immensely happy at Baba’s gesture. For anyone else in Baba’s place would have found fault with him for offering again what had already been offered once. But Baba responded to Dixit’s yearning to offer something to him. Indeed, what is involved in the gesture of offering something to god or guru ? One can only offer what god had given him!

* * *

One day a certain devotee was pressing Baba’s feet. Sai Baba suddenly ordered him to stop doing so. The devotee felt dejected and appealed to Baba, with tears in his eyes, to accept his service. But it was of no avail. At first he could not understand why Baba had so suddenly reacted like that. But on cool introspection, he realized that some unworthy thought had passed his mind just at that moment. Baba was only responding to that!

* * *

Bhausaheb Pradhan was a devotee of saint Madhavanath, a contemporary of Sai Baba. Pradhan was sent to Baba by his guru to secure his blessings for the ear-holing ceremony of a boy. He also wanted to know whether only a goldsmith should do the job.

Pradhan arrived at Dwarakamai and sat among the rest of the devotees. No one had introduced him to Baba. Baba suddenly said, “Brother Madhavanath’s (spiritual) son has come here today. We shall partake of Madhavanath’s prasad…… I had a sack of gold on the back of an ass. But thieves had stolen it away… A hole in the ear has to be pierced only by a goldsmith….. It is very difficult to pull on in this naughty world…. You have been sent here only to know all this! Tell this much to my brother Madhavanath”

* * *

Devotee Purandhare had a very bad headache. He sent word to Baba through Dr. Pillay that it would be better for him to end his life than be subject to such a pain. Baba had sent him a snuff-like substance which immediately relieved Purandhare of his headache.

* * *

In 1918, on the eve of the holy day of Sri Ramanavami, Namasaptaha (incessant chanting of divine name for seven days) was going on. Several devotees were seated in Dwarakamai. Baba called Shama and told him, “Go out and fetch the candy which the old man standing outside has brought for me.” Shama went out and did find a very old man standing there. He looked senile owing to age. Saliva was dripping from his parted lips and flies were swarming all over his face. Shama led the old man by the hand into Baba’s presence. Baba then kept his hand on the old man’s head in blessing, took a little candy from a small bundle in his garment and gave the rest to him as prasad.

* * *

There were occasional flashes of lighter moods in Baba. At such times, he used to play with his devotees. For instance, he used to hide the turban of a devotee like Tatya and enjoy the fun. Sometimes he put Tatya’s turban on his own head, and used to mimic Tatya’s manner and walk. Again, when Mahalasapathy was alone with him, Baba used to press Mahalsapathy’s feet! When the latter protested, Baba used to say “Don’t mind this. We are the same. People might say great things of me. But I am no such.”

Sathe writes: “On several occasions I was invited to get upadesh (initiation) from others like Upasani Baba, Mrs. Athabai of Sangola, Phatak Maharaj of Moregaon. In each case, I referred the question to Sai. His response was negative. Though there was no formal initiation by Baba he wished me to look to him alone with undeviating attention and he was powerful enough and willing to look after my interests, temporal and spiritual.”

An Anglo-Indian once visited Baba, not out of faith but idle curiosity. Baba emptied the pots in the mosque, of water and placed them inverted. The visitor thought the fakir was crazy and enquired, mockingly, what he did. Sharp came the reply, “Some pots (i.e., individuals) come to me like that. What can I do for them?”

B.A. Patel, an athlete used to demonstrate his physical power by forcefully massaging Sai’s body, lifting him up and carrying him to his seat. One day he tried his utmost to do so but could not lift Sai up. The latter laughed mockingly. ‘Baba taught me not to be proud of my physical strength. For it is nothing before spiritual strength,’ Patel says.

Sai once repeatedly asked a sadhu for dakshina of Rs.5/-. The latter said, in a temper, “You know that I have no money. Why do you ask me still?” Sai smiled sportively and said, “You may have nothing to give, but why lose your composure?” What a practical method of teaching!

The Master

Though clothed in the human frame Sai Baba is essentially a mystic, a saint. That was how everyone treated and approached him; and the very name which they tagged on to him reveals that. If he lived and moved amidst the frail mortals, it is chiefly as a missionary of God and of the life divine. “I am the slave of God”, he said. “Allah Malik” is his constant thought. “This is a brahmin, a white brahmin, a pure brahmin. This brahmin will lead lakhs of people to the subhra marga (the path of purity) and take them to the goal right up to the end. This is a brahmin musjid” – That sums up the essence of Sai Baba in his relation to the people amidst whom he lived. But what was he, as viewed by himself, and his relation to the rest of the creation? For that alone ultimately decides whether he was chiefly a man or a mystic. In different contexts he said, “I live at Shirdi and everywhere. I am Parvardigar (God)” “I am formless and everywhere!” “I am in everything and beyond.” “I fill all space. All that you see taken together is Myself. I do not stir.” “All the Universe is in Me.”

It would be utter perversion to identify Sai Baba with the physical frame, to look upon him as a mere human being in the light of what we have noted in the earlier chapters. This, no doubt, was the significance of the cryptic words which Baba, in a vision, once uttered to Das Ganu Maharaj: “All the oil men and grocers of Shirdi teased me a lot; so I left the place.” This is, of course, his characteristic way of referring to the lower propensities of the people as though he was referring to certain individuals.

The most succinct of Baba’s recipes for spiritual perfection is, “People think they are all different from one another. But in this they are wrong. (For example) I am inside you and you are inside me. You should continue to think in this way. Then you will realize it.” Baba embodies this outlook and the ultimate state of this realization. And he prescribes the same to us. That was how he could say, “Feeding the hungry bitch is feeding Me.” Or “I am also in the mire-besmeared pig.” He said, “This body is but my house. My murshad (guru) has long ago taken me away from this.”

Still, nearly sixty years after Baba’s mahasamadhi, people try to trace Baba’s parentage, name, religion and caste as though they are inescapable, hard, objective realities! They try to investigate the place of birth, guru and other details of one who is not his body and who never was in one place. If Baba appeared as a sadhu in one place and a bhil (a tribesman) in another then, is Sai to be regarded as a bhil or a sadhu? However, the name that people tagged to him seems to have been specially ordained for him by god and no other word can so aptly sum up his name, quality, creed, parentage and caste. He is ‘Sai Baba’. Just that! He was in all and He is All. A more complete embodiment of Christ’s injunction, “Love thy neighbour as thyself” cannot be found than he. For ‘neighbour’ to Baba meant the whole of existence with all its creatures; and he loved them as himself, as his own Self, and not as anyone would love himself. If this be the basis of Baba’s infinite, love for all creatures, what fuller fulfillment of the Buddha’s doctrine of compassion for all creatures and ahimsa can be found than in this ‘Saint-father’?

Inspite of their recurring errors, how the devotees of Sai were constantly made aware of Sai Baba’s perfection can best be seen in Mrs. Manager’s account :

“One’s first impression of Sai Baba was derived from his eyes. There was such power and penetration in his glance that none could continue to look at his eyes. One felt that Sai Baba was reading him, or her, through and through. Soon one lowered one’s eyes and bowed down. One felt that he (Sai) was not only in one’s heart, but in every atom of one’s body. A few words, a gesture, would reveal to one that Sai Baba knew all about the past, present and even future and about everything else. There was nothing else to do for one except to submit trustfully and to surrender oneself to him. And there he was to look after every minute detail, and guide one safe through every turn and vicissitude of life. He was the Antaryamin, call him God or Satpurusha (One who is in the Absolute state of Being) in sahaja sthiti (the original state) or what you like. But the overpowering personality was there, and in his presence no fears, no questionings had any place and one resigned oneself and that was the only course, the safest and the best course…”

“One noticeable difference between Sri Sai Baba and other saints struck me. I have moved with other notable saints also. I have seen them in high samadhi or trance condition, entirely forgetting their body, and in its course effacing the narrow notion of the ‘self confined to the body; and I have seen them later getting conscious of their surroundings, knowing what is in our hearts and replying to us. But with Sri Sai Baba, there was this peculiar feature: He had not to go into trance to achieve anything, or to reach any higher position or knowledge. He was every moment exercising a double consciousness, one actively utilizing the ego called ‘Sri Sai Baba’ and dealing with other egos in temporal or spiritual affairs, and the other-entirely superseding all egos and resting in the position of the Universal Soul or Ego; he was exercising and manifesting all the powers and features incidental to both the states of consciousness. Other saints would forget their body and surroundings and then return to it. But Sri Sai Baba was always in and outside the material world. Others seemed to take pains and by effort to trace the contents of other’s minds and read their past history. But with Sri Sai Baba this was not a matter of effort. He was in the all-knowing state always…..”

“It is not merely his power that endeared him to his devotees. His loving care combined with those powers made Shirdi a veritable paradise to the devotees who went there. Directly we went there, we felt safe, that nothing could harm us. When I went and sat in his presence, I always forget my pain, nay the body itself with all mundane concerns and anxieties.”

“His accessibility to all and at all hours practically was a remarkable feature of his, ‘My darbar (royal assembly) is always open’, he used to say, ‘at all hours’. He had nothing to fear from scrutiny, and nothing shameful to conceal. All his actions were open and above board.”

“Another distinguishing feature of his life was freedom from care and anxiety. He had no interests to serve or protect, no institution to seek support for or maintain, no acquisitions to safeguard; no private property to feel anxious about.”

Though most of Sai Baba’s devotees had this insight, only some of them could be careful enough not to lose sight of it under the blunting effect of familiarity and prolonged contact. Not that it would lessen Baba’s influence. Only they are likely to miss the joy of it and the real significance of their life’s precious contact with him. To draw a parallel, Jesus told his apostles of his being the Christ and of the power of their faith in him. Yet when their boat was tossed by a stormy sea they panicked and Jesus Christ rebuked them as men ‘of little faith’. His appearance in flesh and blood made them confuse the Christ with Jesus, the son of Mary. So too inspite of several insights into Lord Krishna’s divinity, Arjuna, repeatedly erred into treating him just as a human comrade, a mere friend of yadava clan, for which he apologizes in “The Bhagavadgita”. Such a view is presented by some accounts of Baba. Most surprisingly, this too comes from one of Baba’s most intimate devotees, Madhavarao Deshpande whom Baba called ‘Shama’. And Shama did repent, when Baba took samadhi, that he did not make the best use of that contact. Except on rare occasions like the cure of a snake bite, Baba rarely graced him with miraculous experiences. Once Shama even asked him, perhaps in a light-hearted way, “Baba, you have granted so much of wealth, property and position to so many of your devotees, but why haven’t you given me anything? You are a fakir wearing rags, sleeping on a gunny (or sack cloth) in this old, dilapidated mosque. You are too miserly and you even beg your food from others. But everyone calls you ‘God’. And it is we that made you one. If we deny that, who can question us?” Baba smiled very charmingly, cast a long, loving glance at his beloved child and said, “Money and wealth are not for you. Something else is in store for you.”

On one occasion a Sindhi merchant offered to give golden sovereigns to this ‘dearest of devotees to Sai’ (i.e., Shama) but Sai Baba objected to it and did not allow him to give. Instead of giving money to Shama, as he gave to others, Baba gave him always sacred books like ‘Eknath Bhagawatha’, ‘Vishnu Sahasranama.’ (The Thousand Divine Names of Lord Vishnu), and silver padukas (holy feet). Even among the dishes offered to him, Baba knew that Shama did not relish savouries. So he never gave them to Shama and when all other devotees left him, Baba gave him a mango or some sweet. Perhaps, this very humanity of Baba was an obstacle to Shama to have faith in him as a Sadguru par excellence.

As Shama kept closest to Baba, he had such closer glimpses of Baba’s greatness as others were apt to miss. For instance, one day someone approached Baba for money. Shama knew that Baba hid it in his pocket. But Baba told the man a lie and said that he had no money with him. Later, when the man had left the mosque, Shama frankly asked him, “You are a fakir with no attachment for money and wedded to truthfulness. Why did you tell him a lie? Do you not always exhort us to be truthful?” Baba replied that as it was not good for him to be given the money, and he would not heed Baba’s words if he were to tell the truth, and thus, for his own good, the man had to be so treated.

As we have not yet transcended the identification of our selves with our bodies, we cannot help associating our idea of Baba’s greatness with his physical form. For, after all, we know him first and foremost in that form; and, without it, we would never, know of him;and to love him with all our heart, to impress it indelibly on our minds, it is very essential for our progress. For Jesus the Christ too, like Baba, though he was ‘the word’ he was ‘Word made flesh’ in order to be known to us.

Dr. Gawanker records in his book how once a few visitors requested Baba to permit them to photograph him. At first Baba refused. However, on persuasion he agreed to get only his feet photographed. But they tried to take an unfair advantage of it by taking a full picture. To their astonishment only Baba’s legs came off in the photograph! When yet another took a photograph without his consent, the picture that came off was that of the photographer’s own guru and not that of Sai Baba! Besides, Baba attended the dinner in Hemadpant’s house only in the form of his picture. When Bapusaheb Tarkhad forgot to offer naivedya to Baba’s picture in his shrine in Bandra, Sai Baba referred to the matter at Shirdi to Mrs. Tarkhad and her son precisely at the same hour. That is the relationship between Sai Baba and his picture. Thus, we should look upon it as Baba himself who came to us in the form of the photograph. The remarkable rewards of such an attitude on our part are its ultimate justification.

A close study of Baba and his ways as were noted by his immediate devotees would help us to picturise Sai as a living force. We shall note, then, a few of this most distinct and striking aspects:-

What struck his devotees most and baffled them were his cryptic words and parables which few could understand besides the one to whom they were intended. Reference was already made to it in the earlier part of this book. Such were the strange, sudden and ungovernable flashes of Baba’s anger for no reason whatsoever.

Mention must be made of the strange mystical rites which Baba was seen to perform sometimes. For instance, Mrs. Manager writes, “He would sit in the mornings near his dhuni (i.e., sacred fire) and wave his arms and fingers about, making gestures which conveyed no meaning to us and saying ‘Haq’ (i.e., God)”. Balakrishna Upasani Sastri records: “1910:- I went to the mosque and found Sai Baba at the dhuni in the mosque. He was standing close to the fire and occasionally turning round himself.” B. N. Chandorkar noted that all mantras that Baba muttered were either in Arabic or Persian but not in Sanskrit.

Das Ganu Maharaj mentions another interesting fact of Baba’s odd conduct: “Baba was occasionally doing something strange between 1 and 2 p.m. at the mosque with a cloth screen in front of him and when he was alone. He would take out of a pouch 10 or 15 old coins of different denominations and rub his fingertips constantly.

Abdullah who served Baba with devotion and faith describes the mystic rites which Baba undertook in the Lendi garden and we have noted them elsewhere.

We have already noted how, during the chavadi procession, Baba used to pause for a little while opposite the Maruthi temple and mutter something and make gestures to Maruthi, the deity in it. Again, on certain occasions, Baba was seen intensely gazing at the four cardinal directions by turns and muttering something and even waving his staff as though commanding some invisible entities. One devotee records that one day he found Baba, alone in the mosque, picking up a stone from the ground and threatening to throw it at some invisible entity without actually doing so.

G. G. Narke writes : “At an arti on my early visit, Sai Baba was in a towering passion. He fumed, cursed and threatened for no visible cause. I doubted if he was a madman. That was a passing thought. The arti was completed in the usual way. In the afternoon I went and massaged his legs. Then he stroked my head and said. ‘I am not mad’. Lo! He was seeing my heart”!.

Some of these gestures and words were indeed used by Baba for commanding the forces of nature. One Jaiker writes, for instance, “Once when I was in the musjid with him, there was a severe storm, howling; the wind and rain were fierce. After a few minutes Baba stepped on to the edge of the premises and cried out (evidently to the storm) as did Christ in his time, ‘Jara dhav’ i.e., ‘Stop little.’ Then the storm abated very quickly”.

M. W. Pradhan, the then High Court lawyer too says. “At my first visit there was severe storm and rain for a quarter of an hour, when I was with Baba at the musjid. I then thought that if the rain continued a little longer like that streams would swell, and getting back to my place at Bombay would be difficult and Baba would not grant me early leave to go away. Baba then looked at the sky and said, “Are Allah! Abhi barasat purakar ! Mere balbache ghar Janewale hain. Unko sukhse janede” which means, ‘Oh God! Enough, stop the rain, my children have to return home. Let them go back in comfort.’ As he spoke, the rain became gentler and feebler. I felt that Baba knew my innermost thoughts. Then he gave me leave to go.”

Sometimes his words were less intelligible. For instance, ‘One day Sai Baba who was sitting in his usual place in the mosque suddenly bawled out, “Oh!” for no apparent reason. The next moment his head-dress and his kufni were suddenly found drenched with water and water was dripping from them for more than half an hour. The little space in the Dwarakamai became a pool of water. The devotees were amazed, and silently swept out the water and dried Baba’s clothes. Neither Baba told them anything about it nor had they the boldness to ask him. On the third day Baba received a telegram from one of his devotees, Jahangirji Framji Daruwala, who offered his thanks to Baba for saving him.

The full story is this. Russo-Japanese war was in its bitterest phase. This devotee was the captain of a ship. “When he found that all his steamers save three were all sunk by the enemy and the rest of them, including his own, would soon meet the same fate, he took out Baba’s photograph from his pocket and, with tears in his eyes, prayed to Baba to save him and his three steamers. Baba at once appeared on the scene and towed all the sinking steamers to the bank.” (from “Sri Sai the Superman”)

M.W.Pradhan also records another instance: “On a Thursday, during that period, Baba was preparing food in a handi i.e., a pot, to feed large numbers. He drove away every one from the musjid and was alone with his handi. At that time, to the great surprise and alarm of the spectators, myself and the two sons of Chandorkar went in. Baba, far from being angry, received us very well, as though for granting wholly private interview. At the handi I noticed with wonder that when the contents of the cauldron were boiling, Baba used his own bare palm and not a spoon or a laddle to stir the contents thoroughly to secure even and uniform consistency in the food or sira. His hand was not scalded or swollen by such use.”

But Baba’s play with fire was not always so harmless and the purpose could be something much more serious. Hemadpant in his “Sai Satcharitra” writes, “In the year 1910, Baba was sitting near the dhuni on the holy day of Diwali and warming himself. He was pushing firewood into the dhuni, which was brightly burning. A little later, instead of pushing logs of wood, Baba pushed his arm into the dhuni; the arm was scorched and burnt immediately. This was noticed by the servant Madhav and also by Madhavarao Deshpande. They at once ran to Baba and Madhavrao at once clasped his waist from behind and dragged him forcibly backward and asked, ‘Deva why have you done this?’ Then Baba came to his senses and replied, ‘The wife of a blacksmith at some distant place was working the bellows of a furnace; her husband called her. Forgetting that her child was borne on her waist, she turned round hastily and the child slipped into the furnace. I immediately thrust my hand into the furnace and saved the child. I do not mind my arm being burnt, but I am glad that the life of the child is saved.”

As Sai Baba himself said, saints exist to give blessings to people both in temporal and spiritual fields, the former being utilized to draw them to the latter. All perfect saints are fishers of men’s souls who use their power to free people from suffering, to bait them into the life eternal. Thus Christ is the one who baptizes with the Holy Ghost. What Christians call Baptism is what Hindus call diksha or Brahmopadesha. Therein man is initiated into or bathed in the mysteries of life whereby he is born again in to the Spirit. Once again even the specific expressions used in this context in the two traditions are literally the same i.e., dying to the earlier life of mere sensuousness through repentance; it consists in action and not mere words. The transformation which almost amounts to the death of the old personality and the emergence, in its place, of another which is sublime is one of the central mysteries of the “inner life” (“The Kingdom of heaven is within”). It is next only to the final consummation of becoming “perfect even as the Father in Heaven is Perfect”, for which the Sadguru (Perfect Master or God come as guru) or the Christ provides the model, both for the Way and the Goal, and Life too. The Perfection of the Godman, call him the Christ (or ‘the word become flesh’) or the Buddha (or ‘the illumined’) or Sadguru (‘the perfect Master’) consists in his effecting this spiritual re-birth among the people whom he ‘fishes’. This is the most mystic of all the mystic’s rites. It is thrilling to see Baba in action in this field.

 
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Index
Introduction  |  1. The Master Calls Me  |  2. Sri Sai Baba – A Sketch of His Life (I)  |  3. A Sketch of His Life (II)   
4. The Call of The Guru  |  5. The Refuge of His Devotees  |  6. I am ever with you  |  7. The Guru Is All Gods   
8. Sai Baba is in all Saints and Sadhus  |  9. Baba is all creatures and things  |  10. Baba’s Omniscience  |  11. Sai Baba’s Daily Life   
12. Sai Baba The Man and The Master  |  13. The Master and His ways of Teaching  |  14. The God-man and Tradition  |  15. Sayings of Sai Baba   
16. At the Threshold of Eternity  |  17. The Off-shoots of Sai Baba  |  18. The Tomb that Speaks and Moves  |  19. The Power of Satsang   
20. The Harbinger of Grace  |  21. Sai Baba the Eternal Symbol  |  22. Appendix I to Appendix VI   

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