WHO IS SAI BABA?
There are three views regarding the question ‘Who is Sai Baba?’
1) Many people who are accustomed to perceiving things and people superficially, said that Shirdi Sai Baba was a mad fakir who lived for many years in a worn out and dilapidated masjid in Shirdi, and who talked at random and extracted money in the form of dakshina from people who went to see Him.
This view is quite wrong. To a friend of Mr. R.A.Tarkhadkar who was full of tears when he was taking Sai Baba’s leave at the time of leaving for Bombay, Baba said, “Why do you behave like a madman? Am I not with you there in Bombay?” The friend said, “I know that, but I have no experience of Your being with me there in Bombay.” Thereupon, Shirdi Sai Baba said that the person who thinks that Baba is in Shirdi only, has yet to understand Baba. Vide p. 308 of ‘Sai Leela’ magazine, dated January 15, 1925.
2) Some people said that Shirdi Sai Baba was a saint. The Mohammedans took Him for one of their pirs and the Hindus regarded Him as one of their saints. The managers of the festivals celebrated annually at Shirdi refer to Sai Baba in their announcements as the crest jewel of the saints. This view is also not correct, because:
3) Those who knew Sai Baba intimately regarded Him, and regard Him still, as God incarnate. The following are a few examples:
i. Hon. Mr. Justice M.B. Rege, B.A., L.A.B., High Court Judge, Indore, in his forward to Sai Baba’s Sayings and Charters by B.V. Narashimhaswami (page 1-2) says: Baba in the flesh was to his devotees, the embodiment of the supreme spirit, lighting the sadhakas’ path by His words and actions. The mortal body has passed away, but the “Baba” once abiding in it, now lives in the spirit eternal, helping in a silent way. He often helped and gave solace to myriads of His devotees who sought His help while He was in His physical body.
ii. A High Court judge from a state in the north made the following statement quoted on page 1 in Devotees’ Experiences by B.V. Narasimhaswami:I look upon Shri Sai Baba as the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. I did so before His mahasamadhi in 1918 and do so now. To me, He is not gone. He exists even now. To me, He had no limitations. Of course, when He was with us, there was the fleshy tabernacle. That was prominently brought to our attention at times. But mostly, the infinite aspect of His was what remained before me. I thought of Him as a mental or spiritual image in which the finite and infinite blended quite perfectly - yet allowing the finite to appear before us at times. Now that the body has been cast off, the infinite Sai Baba alone remains.
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