Despite our chronological age, spiritually we are all like small infants in front of the Divine Lord. We lack the foresight, vision, and omniscience that God possesses, at least until the time we merge with God and realize our true nature.
Baba is a very benevolent avatar and one of His assurances is that He will give us whatever we ask for. Sometimes, however, Baba firmly denies our requests or postpones them until an appropriate time arrives. Often, we misunderstand this denial to be Baba’s indifference to us. How can that be? Baba is love incarnate. What we perceive as His denials are, however, His acts of true love because He knows the ultimate outcome of what we are asking, even though we may not be able to perceive it in the short run.
Those who abide by Baba’s will fare well in the long run whereas those who disregard His instructions often face unfavorable events. Quoting from the Sai Satcharita:
“Baba gave certain suggestions or hints, when Bhaktas (devotees) went to bid good-bye and take leave. These suggestions had to be followed. If they were not followed or were departed from, accidents were sure to befall them, who acted contrary to Baba’s directions.”
He may deny one request but open doors to so many other opportunities
A friend of mine was applying for a job with a very big company. Despite his qualifications and intense preparation, the job offer did not turn out in his favor and he was dejected. At first we could not understand Baba’s leelas but eventually he received another offer at a much higher salary and was able to progress very quickly in his career. What happened to the first job? Well, the division met with severe financial losses. It was then that we realized why Baba did not allow him to work there in the first place.
Pedda Bottu’s story
Pedda Bottu was an ardent devotee of both avatars of Baba. She was fortunate enough to have witnessed both Shirdi Sai and Parthi Sai avatars and spent a considerable amount of time in His physical proximity. Pedda Bottu was spiritually very advanced but despite her metaphysical accomplishments, she would always behave like a child when it came to Baba.
When she was young, she would often accost Shirdi Baba with a request to initiate her with an upadesh. Baba uses a different way for each devotee and teaches each individual in a manner that befits him/her. Apparently, Baba did not want to initiate her with an upadesh but wanted to teach her in a different way altogether. She was adamant, however, and would repeatedly question Baba.
Finally, one day Baba decided to bless her in a very unique way. When she visited Shirdi Sainath with a request for mantra, Baba kicked her on the chest and said: “You are obsessed with upadesh.” To ordinary mortals, this may appear as a kick but Baba must have awakened her chakras because subsequent to this act of grace, she advanced very, very quickly.
Pedda Bottu was too young to grasp the hidden blessings and walked away dejected and disappointed. She went and lay under a tree. As she was crying, Baba suddenly appeared in front of her and said the following words:
“My child, I could not sleep in Dwaraka Mayi when you were lying here without food since morning. I have brought you here, for, I want to tell you something, but first you must eat.” Saying thus, Baba stretched His hand and materialized food (roti, kheer, and some other items) and water. When she was satiated with food, Baba revealed the secret to her: “Gori, I will appear in Andhra Pradesh with the same name of Sai Baba but in another avatar. Then again you will come to me. I will keep you with me and will give you joy.”
True to Baba’s words, she did experience the opportunity to live with both avatars and made very rapid spiritual progress as well. Although she wanted a verbal upadesh, Baba awakened her to many more divine powers that flowed from within her.