Category Archives: Shirdi Sai

All Powers Reign in Baba’s Divine Hands


Baba has repeatedly assured us that He holds the power to transform earth into sky and sky into earth. He has also stated emphatically that He can uplift entire mankind in the wink of an eye, but that if He were to do so, we would fall back quickly and that slow and steady progress under His protection is the proper path for humanity.

Shirdi is a unique place where people from all religious get together and offer their respects to Baba. There are no religious barriers and Baba welcomes everyone.

When Baba assumed His divine form in Shirdi, there were religious factions that often tried to incite differences between Hindus and Muslims. It is Baba’s unique charisma that worshippers from ALL religions adored Baba with absolute faith in His divinity. Each religious group, though, had their own way of approaching Baba. As is the Hindu custom, Baba was worshipped by His Hindu followers and this irked a Pathan who was then residing in Shirdi. Baba loved everyone equally and allowed each individual to worship Him according to their own faith and belief. In His mind there was no religious barrier — all were His own children.

Baba loved this Pathan, too, but he was not aware of the intensity of Baba’s love for him. One night, when everyone was sleeping in Dwarakamai, the Pathan rushed to Baba and said “These Hindus are spoiling you. I want to cut their throats while they are asleep.” Baba understood the Pathan’s heart and said that no one was to be blamed and that if the Pathan wished, He (Baba) should be killed first as He was the cause of everything. The Pathan was not convinced but somehow relented and went back to sleep.

Nevertheless, the misunderstanding still remained in his mind and he made repeated attempts to assasinate many followers of Baba. Of course, he failed in all of them because of Baba’s protection. Baba wanted to protect not only those whom the Pathan wanted to kill, but He also wanted to protect the Pathan from the sin of violence.

As it so happened, the Pathan could not hold his anger any longer and one day he decided to kill Baba and then His followers. As Baba was making His daily rounds in Shirdi, the Pathan sneaked in and lifted a weapon to hit Baba’s head from behind. Little did the Pathan know that Baba has eyes everywhere and that whether one perpetrates wrong from front or back, Baba is aware of everything. When a child is about to commit a major mistake, what can a mother do? She must stop him and correct him. No sooner did the Pathan lift the weapon, Baba turned around and with his little finger, He merely touched the Pathan’s wrist lightly. It wasn’t even a tap … just a light touch.

It was as if a thunderbolt of lightning had hit Pathan and he fell to his knees. The local villagers had to lift him up and help him to his quarters. After some time, the Pathan revived and was repentant of his act. Needless to say, he was transformed and remained humble thereafter.

Baba never cared for His life (for He was aware of His divinity), but in this manner He had saved the local villagers from death and He also saved the Pathan from committing a senseless act.

Baba Humbled a Strongman: What can the Might of Arms do Against the Will of God?

When Baba was in His eighties, a man in Shirdi used to carry Him around with his strong arms. He would gently lift Sai and place Him wherever Baba chose to be seated. As such, he became very proud of his strength and felt that the Lord needed the service of his mighty arms. He fancied that he was strong like Bhima from Mahabharata and went by that name as well.
One day, Baba decided to transform Bhima and as he tried to lift the Lord, he simply could not move Baba, let alone transport Him. Baba’s body had become exponentially heavy and no matter what he tried, Bhima could not move Baba by even a fraction of a millimeter. Bhima stood perplexed. What had happened to his strength? Did the Lord become heavier than He was a few moments back?
The Lord of Shirdi wore a mischievous smile all along but on seeing the helpless condition of His servant, compassion dawned on the Lord and He asked Bhima to try again. On this attempt, Baba became light as a feather and Bhima could easily transport Him.
It was then that the strongman understood that Baba was the Lord of all Siddhis (supernatural powers) and that at His will He could become heavier and lighter. All along Baba was simply giving him an opportunity to serve the Lord.
Baba gives all of us an opportunity to serve Him based on our innate talents, preferences, desires, and previous karmas. Such opportunities are signs of grace and we must serve the Lord humbly knowing fully well that we are but mere instruments.

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If you Look to Me, I Look to you: How Baba Cured a Devotee’s Glaucoma


A Hispanic mother-daughter duo visit Om Sai Mandir every week. They never miss a single week, no matter how the weather may be. With immense faith in Baba, they come and pay their respects at the mandir and are always curious to learn about Baba and implement His teachings. Their humility and devotion are admirable.

Last week, the mother was diagnosed with Glaucoma of the eye. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, it can cause pain and annoyance to the patient and since the mother is in her seventies, it would have been one more condition to manage.

After she was diagnosed she came to Om Sai Mandir and prayed to Baba from the bottom of her heart. In her simple, child-like prayer, she asked Baba to look at her eyes and she, in turn, looked at Baba’s. It was very simple. No complicated rituals were performed. A simple heartfelt prayer was offered to Baba.

A strange miracle happened with that small interaction. She visited her doctor yesterday and the surprised doctor told her that “she was all clear!” No Glaucoma, no eye problem … nothing. She is all clean.

Baba can cure any disease, He can perform what no one can. What is impossible for the creator who made this human form? Nothing! God can do what no one else can.

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1-800-SAI! How to Telephone Baba

No, that’s not His number. It is even easier than that.

Once, Peda Bottu, a devotee of Baba who had the good fortune to live with Shirdi and Sathya Sai Baba was sitting at the verandah in Prashanti Nilayam.
It was her habit to chant Baba’s name constantly. One night, as she was going to bed, she started chanting (mentally) “Om Shri Sai Ram, Om Shri Sai Ram …”
Suddenly, the door opened and Baba came out at that odd hour. She was shocked to see Baba. Baba immediately came to her and said, “Why did you telephone Me?” Peda Bottu was shocked as she did not have a phone. Baba then explained to her that chanting God’s name equals to calling upon Him. If you chant sincerely, He MUST come. He has no choice. That is exactly what happened to Peda Bottu.
What are you waiting for? Let us mass-call Baba’s heart line. There is plenty of bandwidth for ALL of us. His lines are never jammed — always open and awaiting devotees’ calls 24/7. And what’s better? He personally answers EVERY call — instantly!

Return Love for Hatred


When Baba arrived in Shirdi, many did not recognize Him as God. Young kids thought He was a queer person and would often pelt Him with stones. Do you know what Baba would do to those kids? Baba was strong as a wrestler but instead of getting angry with them, He would seek each child out and offer sugar candies. Such was Baba’s love.

In Puttaj_3parthi, too, Bhagwan Shri Sathya Sai Baba taught the same message — the message of love. Once, one of His devotees was traveling by plane and the same was hijacked by terrorists. As bullets were flying across, the devotee nervously connected with Baba in her heart. She asked for Baba’s guidance. Surprisingly, none of the bullets were touching her or her husband. That is the shield of Baba’s protection.

Baba suggested a strange solution. He asked her to look at the terrorists with love. The devotee followed Baba’s instructions and as one of the hijackers came close to her, he pointed his gun toward her. She looked at him with intense love. No sooner did she do so, he became extremely nervous (overpowered with love) and the gun fell off his hand. Needless to say, both husband and wife were unharmed during the entire episode.

Recent Story of how Baba Saved a Helpless Devotee


A woman in her late forties comes to Om Sai Mandir regularly. Due to ailing family members, she is the sole bread winner for the family and was forced to face an impending legal battle with a major organization. The other side had expensive legal counsel but she could not afford lawyers. A law student at the mandir helped her fill out the forms but could not represent her as he was still a student.
As she went for her hearing, the judge called out for her. When the opposing side was called out, they did not respond. How could they? Baba did not let them come on that day.
The judge told her, “Ma’m, you are very lucky! I know this organization for a long time and they have never failed to appear at a hearing. I don’t know what happened today. You win by default.”
Baba knew her condition and the fact that she had done nothing wrong, so He allowed her to win. What’s better? It has been several months and the other side has still not appealed. Jai Sai Ram!
No matter how powerful the opponent, when Sai saves us who can harm us?

Leave your Burdens to Me and be Light like a Feather!

That is what Baba says. Modern life can cause a lot of stress but Baba always assures us that He is the one who is carrying us through life and so there is no need to worry. He gave the following illustration to clarify the concept:
Once, a villager was traveling by train. As soon as he entered the train, he placed all his luggage on his head. One person asked him, “Sir, why are your carrying the luggage on your head? The train is carrying all the weight already.” The innocent villager replied, “I don’t want to trouble the train with the weight of my luggage and so I am carrying it on my own head.”
Baba likens us to the innocent villager. Our worries and anxieties are the heavy luggage we are carrying on our head. The truth is that God is carrying our burdens already so there is no need to place all the worries on our head.
Let us leave all our burdens at His feet. He will take care of everything!

What Should we Ask from Baba?


Baba says that all the treasures in the universe are at His disposal and that we can seek anything we like. What, then, should we ask? The Lord illustrated this with a beautiful story.

Once, a king held an exhibition and put all his treasures there. He then called his subjects and said, “My dear children, you can all come and take anything you like from my treasures. I have given everything to all of you.” No sooner did he make this announcement, all his subjects thronged to the exhibition. Some carried away gold coins, others took furniture, still others took away food and pleasures … each person took all that she/he desired. The king was watching his subjects with great astonishment when an elderly lady came there.

She stood at the entrance of the exhibition and did not appear to be interested in anything that was there. The king was surprised at her behavior and rushed to her. He said, “Why do you not take anything?” The lady replied, “I don’t want all those things.” The king was surprised further and started tempting her with money, lands, servants, elephants, horses, and the like. She refused all those things. Then the king begged her, “Please take something. I really want to give.”

The lady then said, “Do you promise to give me whatever I ask?” By now the king was completely in awe of her detachment and said, “I promise, I will give you whatever you ask.” The old lady then said, “I want you!”

The king was taken aback for a moment, but he had to keep his word and said, “Honorable Lady, I am all yours.” Then the old woman explained that the people who sought small petty treasures were missing out on an important thing — the king with a golden heart. Which king would be so generous and such a king must be a great human being and that is why the lady wanted him. Now that she had him, all the treasures in the kingdom — nay, the entire kingdom — was hers. The king applauded her wisdom and gave her a permanent place in his palace.

Baba says that we must be like the old lady. We must not worry about the trifles in the universe, but rather God (the greatest giver) Himself. Once we have Him, everything in the universe is ours.

What is the Most Important Quality a Sai Devotee Must Have?


Life is an amazing learning experience and Baba is the most magnificent sadguru one can have. Baba does not teach with words, but rather through real life experiences — ones that we can never forget. Often time, Baba will bring forth similar experiences in our life repeatedly until we learn to correct our inner weaknesses. A spiritual aspirant who is prone to anger, for example, may repeatedly find himself in situations that test his patience until the person learns to get control that particular weakness. Once that is done, Baba may choose to work on another aspect of spiritual development. Each one of us has our own journey, though, and only Sai is capable of leading us ALL to ultimate perfection. If we stick with Baba, He will accomplish that without fail.

Baba often says that He is like a jeweler who takes raw gold and molds it into perfect jewels worthy of being worn by God Himself (through life’s experiences). All that is needed on our part is patience and faith in His wisdom.

Once, the author was serving Baba and was marveling at all the transcendental spiritual qualities described by great saints. He was wondering how to gain control over one’s mind and achieve that super-transcendental stage when Baba called for him and asked “What is the most important quality a spiritual aspirant should have?” Baba knows how to prick the bubble at the right time and He does so in His own beautiful way. Along with the question, Baba sent two people to the author. These individuals behaved in a manner that would be enough to elicit an angry response from any reasonable person. With Baba’s grace, the author was able to maintain his composure and he did not respond to their behavior but at the same time, he was strained by the situation.

It was then that he was reminded of Mother Sai’s saying: “One cannot oblige always, but one can always speak obligingly.” As he pondered over this saying, it flashed on him that the most important quality a spiritual aspirant should have is “LOVE!” Isn’t that what Baba teaches us “Love ALL, Serve ALL!” As he conveyed his response to Baba’s question, Swami smiled and agreed. Love is indeed the most important quality a Sai devotee should have.

Why worry about complex spiritual concepts when the simple practice of “love” is enough to help us win Baba’s grace.

The Easiest Way to Win Baba’s Heart


Sometimes, years of penance does not move the Lord even slightly, but the slightest selfless gesture moves Him, the ocean of bliss, into tears. At Om Sai Mandir, we have experienced numerous leelas of Baba and His constant presence and guidance. We are sharing a wonderful experience that left us completely in awe of Baba’s magnificent powers and His boundless love for all of us.

About five years back, Om Sai Mandir received a call from a South Indian school dedicated to blind, orphan children. They were visiting the US for a performance and wanted our assistance with transportation, food, accommodation, and the like. Since the group consisted of small children who had none except Sai, we decided to do our part and serve them in accordance with Baba’s teachings (“Love All, Serve All”). The volunteers at the mandir are ever-eager to render selfless service and so everyone started preparing for the kids’ arrival. We picked them from the airport and arranged for their overnight stay at the local YMCA. In the morning, our volunteers picked them up and brought them to the mandir. During the day, they were served in all possible ways. Some volunteers helped them put on their shoes, others carried their bags around, still others arranged for their food and other comforts. During their stay, we did everything in compliance with Swami’s teachings. We continued serving the children during their stay and finally helped them back to the airport.

The children were treated as we treat our own family members and we could tell they were very happy. Everyone’s eyes were filled with tears because these children were so beautiful and so talented. Their physical challenge did not deter their spirit in the least.

Little did we know (or expect) the big surprise Baba had in store for us. Seva is never rendered with the expectation of any reward or recognition (even by God) and all this was done silently without any public display.

The Thursday immediately after the event is when we discovered the impact of our small seva. That day, we heard literally hundreds of stories of Baba’s intervention, grace, and help to the devotees who come regularly to the mandir. In addition to miracles that happened at the mandir, some recovered from long-term (otherwise incurable) health issues, others told of Baba’s dreams and visions, still others had their legal problems solved … these were not isolated occurrences … every single person who came to the mandir that day — every single person — came with good news. Most talked about “obstacles” that had been nagging them for years and felt that they were miraculously resolved on that particular day.

It is very normal to witness Baba’s leelas at Om Sai Mandir, but what was significant about that day was the collective wave of leelas that every single person had to share. A wise elder then explained that Baba was indeed pleased to see the visiting children happy. These differently-abled children had none except God and since they were served, God, too, was happy and He was displaying His happiness in this manner — by providing grace to His devotees.

We have witnessed many similar incidences when Baba has expressed His happiness with acts of selfless service. His presence is also felt very strongly during group bhajans and devotional gatherings.

During both Sai avatars, Baba has taught us the importance of selfless service. One afternoon, Mrs. Tarkhad, a devotee of Baba saw a hungry dog and felt great mercy for him. She immediately fed him with a piece of bread. When she met Baba that day, He said:

“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.”

God is like a child. He does not need complicated rituals and expensive gifts. What really pleases Him are heartfelt prayers and selfless service. Selfless service is the royal expressway to God!