Sai Baba had emphasised on the oneness of all creation. In his own words, “My abode is in your heart and I am within you. Always worship me, who is seated in your heart, as well as, in the hearts of all beings, blessed and fortunate, indeed, is he who knows me thus.”
Every day several animals were fed from the food that He obtained from begging in about homes. He also told His devotees not to torture/hurt any living creature. If man believes in the Fatherhood of God, then he is bound to follow His precept “All Are One” and acting upon it, by being “Alike to Everyone. It is important to foster the tiny seed of Love in us and let it sprout into Love for the group around us, and grow into Love for all mankind and spread out its branches over animals, birds, and all beings in the entire world.
Once, Mrs Tarkhad was staying in a certain house in Shirdi. At noon, meals were ready and dishes were being served, when a hungry dog turned up there and began to cry. Mrs. Tarkhad got up at once and threw a piece of bread, which the dog gulped with great relish.
In the afternoon, when she went to the Masjid and sat at some distance, Sai Baba said to her, “Mother, you have fed Me sumptuously up to My throat, My afflicted pranas (life-forces) have been satisfied. Always act like this, and this will stand you in good stead. Sitting in this Masjid I shall never, never speak untruth. Take pity on Me like this. First give bread to the hungry, and then eat yourself. Note this well.”
She could not at first understand the meaning of what Baba said. So she replied, “Baba, how could I feed You? I am myself dependent on others and take my food from them on payment.”
Then Baba replied — “Eating that lovely bread I Am heartily contended and I Am still belching. The dog which you saw before meals and to which you gave the piece of bread is one with Me, so also other creatures (cats, pigs, flies, cows etc.) are one with Me. I Am roaming in their forms. He, who sees Me in all these creatures is My beloved. So abandon the sense of duality and distinction and serve Me, as you did today.” Drinking these nectar-like words, she was moved, her eyes were filled with tears, her throat was choked and her joy knew no bounds.
Animals sense and feel energy way beyond what we humans perceive it. At home as pet, they absorb negative energy so that you do not get affected.
Sai Baba said “I am formless and everywhere, I am in everything, I am in everything and beyond, I fill all space. All that you see taken together is Myself. I do not shake or move. All that is seen is my form; ant, fly, prince, pauper. I am in the water, in dry places, in woods, amidst crowds, and in the solitary wilderness. I am in the fire and in ether. I am not limited to any place.
Once Baba said to Laxmi Bai Shinde that He is very Hungry, Laxmi Bai ran post haste and prepared food and brought and gave it to Baba with full of love. Baba immediately feed the food to a Hungry dog. Laxmi Bai got upset and said Baba I prepared the food for you and you feed the dog. Baba then said that the dog was hungry and to feed the dog so He asked Laxmi Bai to go and prepare food. Baba identified Himself with the dog.
Once he went in the form of a pig to Kasinath Govind Upasani Maharaj who lived at Shirdi in 1911-4, Upasani Maharaj prepared food and wanted to offer it to Baba. So he took the food and was walking to the Masjid and saw a black dog was watching. Offering nothing to the dog Upasani Maharaj went to the masjid and offered it to Baba. Baba asked Upsani Maharaj Why did you bring it here. I was there. Upasani Maharaj said that He did not find Baba, Baba said, I was that black dog. So the message Upasani Maharaj learnt was He has to recognize Baba in each form.
Baba also took various forms to help His devotees. Hansraj, an Asthma patient: He was not supposed to take curds or taste sour things. But Hansraj was daily preparing curds overnight to drink it at the noon meal. Daily a cat drank it off. Hansraj decided to punish the cat and one day he beat the cat. Hansraj went to the Masjid and found a fresh weal on Baba’s shoulder.
There are many such stories, we can recollect innumerable of such stories. Sai Satcharitra is full of such stories, we have also read about experiences of various devotees about Baba coming in various forms. If we keep our mind and eyes open we can see and feel Baba in various forms.
From the above stories we learn that Baba was an Incarnation of the Divine. If we identify Baba in every living being and love them and respect them, then His grace will be on us.Compassion was inherent in Sai Baba. His emphasis was to show compassion to anyone who came to your door, be it a human being or an animal since the same Divinity is the in dweller of all beings.