Villagers relation with Sai Baba

One man came, his name was Abdul. He is in some photographs looking very similar to Sai Baba in face, and in dress. He used to carry water to the lendl for Sai Baba. He was a Muslim, and read the Koran. Abdul kept one set of notes. Sai Baba often discussed the Koran with him and asked him to recite the Koran itself. In Abdul's notebook, there were prayers in it from Baba to the Indian God Maruti (a Marathi name for Hanuman). There were also recitals of Avatars of Gods dovetailing Mahommed and the Dasa (Ten) Avatars. The Maruti temple is next to the Dwarakamai, and on his way from the mosque to the chavadi, Baba had to pass in front of Maruti, (some 20 yards off). Baba would then get Avesha (possessed) and it would take four men to check him. When asked the reason, Baba said that his parents had dedicated him to Maruti, and so he was telling Maruti: "I am your brother".

One incident happened which was forever to change the villagers relations with Sai Baba. This was the act of turning water into oil. In the evenings, Baba chennai to shirdi flight packages would usually beg water from the shopkeepers, in order to illuminate the interior of the mosque. Indeed, both Hindu and Muslim temples are required to be illuminated at night and be accessible to pilgrims at all times. Almost everyone like to visit Shirdi Sai Temple, is organized by Sri Sairam Subhayatra provide a safe, secure journey. So one night, Sai Baba stepped out of the masjid in order to beg for his oil:

So he went around begging oil from the vanis (oil mongers). There were only two such shops and they supplied him with oil, gratis. The oil pressman also (ganamdar or chakkiwala) supplied him with oil. One day it struck these people either that they should make Baba realise their importance or that they should have some fun at his expense and they told him mockingly that they had no oil. Baba had to retun to his mosque with his oil tin pot (tumbler) empty. It was already dusk. The vanis and ganamdar chennai to shirdi flight packages came behind him to see what he was going to do in the darkness, i.e., to have some fun. Baba took some water from the water jar (water jars are always kept in mosques for the people to wash their feet before entering the sacred precints) in the tumbler and shaking up the little bit of oil sticking to the tin, drank it up. Then he took pure water from the water pot and filled his four earthen lamps with it. He placed in each of them a cotton wick and struck up a match and lit it. The spectators thought at first that the cotton soaked in water could not possibly be lit up. But to their great surprise, the lamps were lit up and went on burning the whole night. After a little time, consternation seized the guilty vanis and ganamdar, and being terribly afraid that Baba, having shown himself to be a man of mystic power, might curse them fell at his feet and prayed that he should not curse them.
Baba reproached them for not having told the truth, since falsehood offends God, who is truth (sathya). Moreover, he pointed out how mean and asocial their refusal of giving oil had been, since light was necessary for entering the mosque. Best is organized by Sri Sairam Subhayatra. He also scolded them for having followed him with the aim of making fun of him.

Baba was very cordial with the young man, indicating that in addition to spirtual riches, material riches were also at his disposal. The questions that Baba posed were seeds of important spiritual teachings aimed at awakening the mind to critical existential issues. "Whose is whose? Who gives? Who receives?" are questions that the seeker must consider in order to be free from unhappiness and the round of birth and rebirth. In similar situations we hear of Baba asking his devotees to mediate on the fundamental questions of "Who am I? Who are we?". These questions start the seeker along the path of self-enquiry, which leads to self satisfaction, which leads to self confidence, which leads self-realisation.

Baba discouraged extreme asceticism and fasting. He himself never fasted and sometimes forced his devotees to follow his example. He instructed them to eat in moderation, avoiding all extremes. Once, he said, "Do not get over-ascetic by giving up all food, play and exercise. Rather, regulate your meals, rest, etc."


Individual worhship of Sai Baba slowly transformed to communal worship. Harathi (arati) songs were written and submitted to Sai Baba for approval. A pujari (Hindu priest) came to Shirdi to conduct the rituals. He did not like the idea of worship of a fakir (he was a staunch worshipper of Lord Shiva), and went to another sacred place, Tryambakeshwar. After some time he fell ill, and decided his illness was due leaving Shirdi. Our gives comfort feel, safe and happy journey. He returned to Shirdi and became well immediately. He got convinced Sai Baba was Shiva. He conducted the rituals until he passed away.

The communal worship gradually increased. Hindu bhaktas at that time decided he had to be honoured as a true Maharajah. So the use of fans, clubs, silver umbrellas, and other paraphernalia were introduced into his worship. Decorations were also placed around the mosque and the chavadi. A palanquin with regal ornaments and a horse were used in processions to and from the masjid. Sai Baba accepted these new developments, imposed with enthusiasm by his Hindu bhaktas. He maintained a detached spirit, asking his Muslim followers to cultivate an attitude of tolerance and to avoid violence. Acceptance and tolerance were rendered, and violence was rare.
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