Baba’s 11 Assurances
No harm shall befall him, who steps on the soil of Shirdi.
He who comes to my Samadhi, his sorrow and suffering shall cease.
Though I be no more in flesh and blood, I shall ever protect my devotees.
Trust in me and your prayer shall be answered.
Know that my spirit is immortal, know this for yourself.
Show unto me he who has sought refuge and has been turned away.
In whatever faith men worship me, even so do I render to them.
Not in vain is my promise that I shall ever lighten your burden.
Knock, and the door shall open, ask and it shall be granted.
To him who surrenders unto me totally I shall be ever indebted.
Blessed is he who has become one with me.
Baba’s Stories that teach us valuable lessons
Always Offer Loud Prayers to God
One Rohila, tall, well-built, and strong-as-a-bull came to Shirdi and found himself enamored of Sai (who was staying there). Day and night he used recite, in a loud and harsh tone, the Kalma (verses from the Holy Quran) and shout: "Allah Ho Akbar (God is Great)". This grew to become a great annoyance for the residents of Shirdi, who could get no sleep during the night. After silently bearing with this burden for a few nights, the residents of Shirdi grew restless and requested that Baba stop the Rohila from continuing his recitals.
Baba did not attend to their complaint. He did, however, insist that the villagers mind their own business and know the Rohila's story before making any judgement. He told them of Rohila's troublem marriage and his wife - who tried to trouble the Rohila and Himself. The Rohila learned that, while reciting his prayers, his wife dare not bother him - meaning that they where at peace. What they did not know, however, was that the Rohila had no wife - and that Baba used her as a metaphor for durbuddi (evil thoughts). As baba liked prayers and cries to God better than anything else, He took the said of the Rohilla. Seeing as Baba prefered the sounds of prayers and cries to God to anything else, the villagers were asked by Baba to wait and bear with the nuisance, which would abate in due time.
Offer Worship and Naivaidya to God
Bhagwantrao Kshirsagar’s Story
The father of Bhagwantrao was a devotee of Vithoba, and used to make Varis (annual trips) to Pandharpur. He also had an image of Vithoba at home, which he worshipped. After his death, the son stopped carrying on the traditions of the vari, the worship, the Shraddha ceremony etc. When Bhagwanttao came to Shirdi, Baba, on remembering his father, said “His father was my friend, so I dragged [his son] here. He never offered Naivaidya (offerings of food) and so, he starved Vithal and Me. So I brought him here. I shall remonstrate him now and set him to worship.”
Baba Suffers Pains for His Devotees
Master Khaparde’s Plague Case
Mrs. Khaparde, the wife of Dadasaheb Khaparde of Amaravati, was staying at Shirdi with her young son for some days. One day her son got a high fever, which further developed into the bubonic plague. Mrs. Khaparde was frightened and felt very troubled. She thought of leaving the place for Amaravati, near where Bab was staying at the time. In the evening, when He was by the Wada (now Samadhi Mandir), she informed Him that her young son was diagnosed with the plague. Baba responded kindly and softly to her, he told her that the sky is beset with clouds; and reminded her that they, also, will melt and pass off. He then lifted up His kafni up to his waist and revealed four, fully developed, bubos (swollen lymph nodes, a result of infections like the bubonic plague), as big as eggs and said “See, how I have to suffer for My devotees, their difficulties are Mine.”
Do Not Get Upadesh or Mantra From Anyone, Have Faith In Your Guru
Mrs. Radhabai Deshmukha's Story
An old woman named Radhabai, from Sangamner, came for Baba’s darshan and was much satisfied upon arrival. She was resolved to take Upadesh or Mantra from Baba and was determined to fast unto death - 'till Baba fulfilled her request. When Shama pleaded her case to Baba, he sent for her:
"Oh mother, why are you subjecting yourself to unnecessary tortures and hastening your death? You are really My Mother and I am your child. Take pity on Me and hear Me through. I tell you My own story, which if you listen carefully, will do you good. I had a Guru. He was a great Saint and most merciful. I served him long, very long; still he would not blow any Mantra into My ears. I had a keen desire, never to leave him but to stay with and serve him; and at all costs receive some instructions from him. But he had his own way. He first got my head shaved and asked Me two paise as Dakshina. I gave the same at once. If you say that as My Guru was perfect, why should he ask for money and how should he be called desireless? I replied plainly that he never cared for coins. What had he to do with them? His two paise were (1) Firm Faith and (2) Patience or perseverance. I gave these two paise or things to him, and he was pleased."
"I resorted to My Guru for 12 years. He brought Me up. There was no dearth of food and clothing. He was full of love nay, he was love incarnate. How can I describe it? He loved Me most. Rare is a Guru like him. When I looked at him, he seemed as if he was in deep meditation, and then we both were filled with Bliss. Night and day, I gazed at him with no thought of hunger and thirst. Without him, I felt restless. I had no other object to meditate, nor any other thing than My Guru to attend. He was My sole refuge. My mind was always fixed on him. This is one pice Dakshina. Saburi (Patience or perseverance) is the other pice. I waited patiently and very long on My Guru and served him. This Saburi will ferry you across the sea of this mundane existence. Saburi is manliness in man, it removes all sins and afflictions, gets rid of calamities in various ways, and casts aside all fear, and ultimately gives you success. Saburi is the mine of virtues, consort of good thought. Nishtha (Faith) and Saburi (Patience) are like twin sisters, loving each other very intimately."
"My Guru never expected any other thing from Me. He never neglected Me, but protected Me at all times. I lived with him, and was sometimes away from him; still I never felt the want or absence of his love. He always protected Me by his glance, just as the tortoise feeds her young ones, whether they are near her or away from her on the other side of the river bank, by her loving looks. Oh mother, My Guru never taught Me any Mantra, then how shall I blow any Mantra in your ears? Just remember that Guru's tortoise-like loving glance gives us happiness. Do not try to get Mantra or Upadesh from anybody. Make Me the sole object of your thoughts and actions; and you will, no doubt, attain Paramartha (the spiritual goal of life). Look at Me whole-heartedly, and I in turn look at you similarly. Sitting in this Masjid, I speak the truth, nothing but the truth. No Sadhanas, nor proficiency in the six Shastras, are necessary. Have faith and confidence in your Guru. Believe fully, that Guru is the sole Actor or Doer. Blessed is he who knows the greatness of his Guru and thinks him to be Hari, Hara and Brahma (Trimurti) Incarnate."
Instructed in this way, the old lady was convinced; she bowed to Baba and gave up her fast.
Never Speak Ill of Anyone
Once it so happened that a Bhakta of Baba, openly spoke-ill of another man behind his back. By not speaking of his merits and only dwelling on the faults of his brother so sarcastically, he disgusted those who heard him. Sai Baba had his own method of correcting the scandal-monger. When He met him at noon near the Lendi, Baba pointed out to him that a pig that was eating filth near the fence and said to him "Behold how, with what relish it is gorging dung. Your conduct is similar. You go on reviling your own brethren to your heart's content. After performing many deeds of merit, you are born a man, and if you act like this, will Shirdi help you in any way?" Needless to say, that the Bhakta took the lesson to his heart, and went away.
Contentment With One's Own Lot
A Poor Girl's New Sari
Das Ganu once wanted to understand the essence of the Ishopanishad and consulted Baba when no one else could help him. Sai Baba blessed him and said "You need not be anxious, there is no difficulty about the matter, the mind-servant of Kaka (Kakasaheb Dixit) will solve your doubts at Vile Parle, on your way home.".
Das Ganu came to Vile Parle (a suburb in Bombay) and stayed with Kakasaheb Dixit. The next day, when Das Ganu was enjoying his morning nap (some say when he was engaged in worship), he heard a poor girl singing a beautiful song in a clear, melodious tone. The song was about a crimson coloured Sari - how nice it was, how fine was its embroidery, how beautiful were its ends and borders etc.. He liked the song so much that he came out and saw that it was being sung by a young girl - the sister of Namya, who was a servant of Kakasaheb. The girl was cleaning vessels and was wearing only a torn rag. On seeing her impoverished condition and her jovial temperament, Das Ganu felt pity for her and gave a sari to the poor little girl. Rao Bahadur bought a good Chirdi (small Sari) and presented it to her. Like a starving person getting recieving delicious, plentiful foods, her joy knew no bounds. The next day, when she wore the new Sari, she whirled and danced around and played `Fugadi' with other girls out of great joy and merriment. The day following, she kept her new Sari in her box at home and came with the old and torn rags - looking as merry as she did the previous day. On seeing this, Das Ganu's pity was transferred into admiration.
Thus, he realized that all our feelings of pain and pleasure depend upon the attitude of our mind. On thinking deeply over this incident, he realised that a man ought to enjoy whatever God has bestowed upon him in the firm conviction that He besets everything, from behind and before, and on all sides and that whatever is bestowed on him by God must be for his good.
Offer to Me Before You Eat
The Case of The Grains
One bazar Sunday, Hemadpant sat in front of Baba, shampooing His Legs and muttering God's name. Shama was on Baba's left, Vamanrao to His right - Shriman Booty and Kakasaheb Dixit and others were also present. Shama laughed and said to Annasaheb "See that some grains seem to have stuck to the sleeve of your coat.". So saying, he touched his sleeve and found just tht. Hemadpant straightened his left fore-arm to see what the matter was when, to the surprise of all, some grains of gram came rolling down and were picked up by the people who were sitting there. Hemadpant, nor anyone else, could not comprehend how the grains found an entrance and stayed in his sleeve. When nobody could give any satisfactory explanation in this matter, Baba said the following:
"[Annasaheb] has got the bad habit of eating alone. Today is a bazar day and he was here chewing grams. I know his habit and these grams are a proof of it. What wonder is there is this matter?"
Hemadpant responded "Baba, I never know of eating things alone; then why do you thrust this bad habit on me? I have never yet seen Shirdi bazar. I never went to the bazar today, then how could I buy grams, and how could I eat them if I had not bought them? I never eat anything unless I share it with others present near me".
Baba argued "It is true that you give to the persons present; but if none be near-by, what could you or I do But do you remember Me before eating? Am I not always with you? Then do you offer Me anything before you eat?"
Baba has advised us that before the senses, mind and intellect enjoy their objects, he should first be remembered, and if this be done, it is in a way an offering to Him.
Have No Faith In The Horoscopes and Predictions of Astrologers and Palmists
Babu Tendulkar's Medical Examinations
Babu Tendulkar was studying hard day and night for his upcoming medical examination. After consulting some astrologers, he chose not to take exam that year as they concluded, after looking at his horoscope, that the stars were not favorable that year. This cast a gloom over him and made him restless as he was forced to take the test in some coming days. A few days afterwards his mother went to Shirdi and saw Baba. Amongst other things she mentioned the gloomy and morose condition of her son, who was to appear for the examination in a few days. Hearing this, Baba said to her "Tell your son to believe in Me, to throw aside horoscopes and predictions of astrologers and palmists and go on with his studies. Let him appear for the examination with a calm mind, he is sure to pass this year. Ask him to trust in Me and not to get disappointed".
The boy's mother returned home and repeated Baba's message to her son. He then studied hard and, in due course, appeared for his examination. In the written papers he did well, but left the exam overwhelmed by thoughts that he would not secure sufficient marks to pass - so much so tht he did not care to appear for his oral examination. The examiner, however, refused to let him leave so easily and sent word through a fellow-student stating that he had passed his written examination and that he should appear for the oral. Babu Tendulkar, being thus encouraged, appeared for the oral examination and was very successful. Through Baba's grace, he passed the examination with flying colours - despite the stars beings against him.
Baba’s Picture is Equivalent to Him
Balbuva Sutar's Story
A Saint of Bombay named Balbuva Sutar ('Modern Tukaram'), who on account of his piety, devotion and bhajan, was called 'Modern Tukaram', came to Shirdi for the first time in 1917. After bowing before him, Baba said "I know this man since four years". Balabuva wondered and thought how that could be, as that was his first trip to Shirdi. But after thinking about it seriously, he recollected that he had prostrated himself four years ago before Baba's portrait at Bombay and was convinced about the significance of Baba's words.
Udi Is Holi and Possesses Miraculous Properties
The Case of Shama's Younger Brother
Shama's younger brother Bapaji was staying near the Sawool well. His wife later caught the Bubonic plague and had high fever and two bubos in her groins. Upon knowing this, Bapaji rushed to Shama at Shirdi and pleaded his aid. Despite his fright, he went to Baba, prostrated himself before Him, invoked His aid, and requested Him to cure the case as well as requested his permission to go to his brother's house. Baba responded "Don't go there at this late hour (it was night at the time), send her Udi. Why care for the fever and bubos? God is our father and master; she will be alright easily. Do not go now, but go there in the morning and return immediately."
Udi was applied on the bubos and some of it was mixed with water and was given to Bapaji's wife for drinking. The medication was taken and had shown results immediatley - the fever abated and the patient slept well. Next morning, Bapaji was surprised to see his wife alright and refreshed with no fever and bubos.
The Senses Will Do Their Allotted Work Nanasaheb's Encounter
When Nanasaheb was once sitting in the Masjid with Mhalasapati and others, a Mahomedan man from Bijapur came with his family to see Baba. Seeing gosha (veiled) ladies with him, Nanasaheb wanted to leave, but Baba stopped him from doing so. The ladies came and took the darshan of Baba. When one of the ladies repeatedly removed her veil in saluting Baba's feet, Nanasaheb, who saw her face, wished to see it againas he had never seen such beauty. Knowing Nana's restlessness of mind, Baba told him the following after the lady had left the place, "Nana, why are you getting agitated in vain? Let the senses do their allotted work, or duty, we should not meddle with their work. God has created this beautiful world and it is our duty to appreciate its beauty. The mind will get steady and calm slowly and gradually. When the front door was open, why go by the back one? When the heart is pure, there is no difficulty, whatsoever. Why should one be afraid of any one if there be no evil thought in us? The eyes may do their work, why should you feel shy and tottering?"
Do Not Entertain Doership In Doing Good or Bad Deeds
Pundalikrao Unfulfilled Responsibility
Once, Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati, known as Shri Tembye Swami, gave a coconut to Pundalikrao and said to him "Offer this to my brother Sai, with my pranam and request Him not to forget me, but ever love me.". After one month, Pundalikrao and others left for Shirdi with the coconut, and as they felt thirsty, went to a rivulet for drinking water. As water should not be drunk on an empty stomach, they took out some refreshments, i.e., Chivda (flattened rice mixed with spice). The Chivda tasted pungent and, in order to soften it, someone suggested that they break the coconut and mix its scrapings with it. While the was made Chivda more tasty, the fruit broken was the same that was entrusted to Pundalikrao. As they neared Shirdi, Pundalikrao remembered this incident and was devastated to learn that it was broken and consumed. Fearing and trembling, he came to Shirdi and saw Baba. Baba had already known of this incident, through the Tembye Swami, and asked Pundalikrao to give Him the things sent by His brother. He rushed to fall at Baba's feet, confessed his guilt and negligence, repented and asked for Baba's pardon. Pundalikrao offered to give another fruit as a substitute, but Baba refused to accept it saying that the worth of the coconut was by far, many times more than an ordinary one and that it could not be replaced by another one. Baba also added "Now you need not worry yourself any more about the matter. It was on account of my wish that the coconut was entrusted to you, and ultimately broken on the way; why should you take the responsibility of the actions on you? Do not entertain the sense of doership in doing good, as well as for bad deeds; be entirely prideless and egoless in all things and thus your spiritual progress will be rapid."