Shirdi Sai Baba was an epitome of Unity of God, Divine Love and Brotherhood of Man. He was against all barriers of caste, creed and religion against all persecution based on caste or religious orthodoxy. In his personal spiritual practice, Sai Baba observed both the Hindu and Muslim worship procedures. that was most prevalent then. He advised his devotees and followers to keep performing their worldly duties, without being attached to them, and to keep being content, regardless of the life situation they had to face.
Sai Baba stressed upon his devotees to lead a life based on ethics and morality, help others and love everyone without discrimination. He also advocated Nishtha (perseverance), Shraddha (dedication) and Saburi (patience). He encouraged charity and placed great importance on the act of giving and sharing. It was his view that everyone should keep aside a sum for charity and give it away to the poor and the needy.
The main teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba were Shraddha and Saburi. While Shraddha implied faith with love and reverence, Saburi meant patience and forebearance.He always looked for these qualities in His devotees. According to Him, steadfast faith and love for God was the gateway to eternity. Saburi was an inherent quality of a seeker to be steady in his pursuit of realising the ultimate goal of life and face all situations with equanimity. A test may come in the form of frustration, distress, agony, illness, mishaps, prolonged wait or a loss. In such moments we should seek support from the Master and hold on to him. If patience means anything it should last till the end, and faith will ferry us through every turmoil of life.
Inner purity was of prime importance to Sai Baba.According to Him, impurities in the heart and mind created a barrier to progress on the path of spirituality. He maintained that there should be harmony of thought, word and deed. Baba never preached in this regard but He radiated such influence that absorbed the impure tendencies and prepared the aspirant to keep himself chaste, pure, simple and upright, so as to be fit to receive His Grace.
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. He demonstrated through several instances that the same consciousness is present in all creatures of the universe.
Shirdi Sai Baba used Udi (sacred ash) for the physical and spiritual well being of His devotees.However, the profound teaching through the medium of Udi was the transient aspect of the phenomenal world. In other words, Vivek provided the insight to discriminate between the real and the unreal.
Similarly through the medium of Dakshina, He highlighted the sense of non-attachment to the objects of the mundane world. Therefore, Dakshina personified Vairagya.
Sai Baba was the living example of Service to the Guru through Complete Surrender of the body, mind and soul. He made the ‘Guru’ (the Master), a profound base of the path of devotion. He used the analogy of mother tortoise to illustrate this point. The mother – tortoise may be on the other side of the river, whereas her children are on the far side. Yet, her loving looks are enough to protect the children. The significant feature stressed by Sai Baba in his own example and words is the great importance of developing this devotion to one’s Guru. It is seeing God in the Guru. This was a self-projected ideal of a ‘Guru’ that motivated innumerable seekers who came in contact with Sai Baba.
The advent of Sai Baba of Shirdi on the earth was to reiterate steadfast love for God to lead mankind to the realm of eternity. As the divine mother He gave his immense love and as the divine father He gave direction to our search for truth. His mission was to make people conscious of their divine nature. The people who follow His teachings and preaching are drenched with eternal bliss and are indeed blessed souls.
Rajiv Kaicker, New Delhi