Sri Shirdi Sai Baba
Spiritual Masters

Sri Shirdi Sai Baba

Elevated Souls like His are blissfully free from the bondage of re-incarnation or Karmic commitments.

Purvang P Thakkar

‘‘These men do never die,

They become the Praised Ones,

They shed mercy on the world with myriad hands,

They help the helpless,

They aid the depressed,

They leave not those that follow them when the time of danger comes,

They are men, only in name,

In reality, they are God Himself,

These solitary ones are marvellous.’’

--Bedil, the Sufi Of Sina

TRENDS in science, political economy and literature disclose the very interesting stages through which the earth has passed until it has attained to the condition in which we find it today. Geological forces have at the different periods changed the map of the world. There was a time when the Mediterranean Sea was covered by land mass and Australia, Ceylon, The East Indies and Africa were connected with the mainland of India and the entire continent was called Lemuria. The Atlantic Ocean was also covered by land; that was the scene of the Atlantean Civilization.

Later on, Judaea became the centre of intense spiritual activity and this happened to be situated almost equidistant to the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. These had not happened by mere accident. Similarly, historical forces have tended to bring into prominence, or overthrow great empires, like the Egyptian, Assyrian, Phoenician, Median and other empires. Economic forces have contributed to phenomenal prosperity, or abject poverty, of the nations. Cultural trends have revolutionized the very outlook of the nations of the world.

In a strange manner, all these forces are linked to and are controlled by certain Powers which remain too subtle for human understanding or perception. Their existence is at times felt and experienced and is sometimes disclosed to us directly or in veiled language by seers, poets and God- realised persons.

We obtain glimpses of these agents who pass for ordinary people and are but rarely distinguishable in everyday life. We come in for a wealth of details about them in the teachings of a contemporary Silent perfect Master, Avatar Meher Baba.

They are referred to as Perfect Masters and are believed to be working for the welfare of the entire universe. They are blissfully free from the bondage of re-incarnation or Karmic commitments. They are at perfect liberty to remain in their most exalted state of eternal bliss, but they have chosen to bear the Cross on our behalf and share in our joys and sorrows and labour ceaselessly for our uplift.

Although they have passed the stage of Illusion and have become one with God, there Perfect Masters remain surrounded by Illusion and carry on their work through the Universal Mind.

‘‘………. These Perfect Ones or God-realized Ones are fifty-six in number in the world at all times and this number includes five Perfect Masters who come out in the open and are ever present. They are always one in consciousness although they are different in function…………. ’’ as per Avatar Meher Baba.

While ‘Avatar’ means the incarnation of God as Man, ‘‘Perfect Master’’ (Sadguru) is a human being who has attained to God-realization. Of the five Perfect Masters stated above, in our Age, SRI SAI BABA holds the highest place. He, along with the other four, is even now directing the forces of the Universe in its different spheres and is actually moulding and shaping the fortunes alike of nations and individuals.

‘‘…………….There are five Perfect Masters who are God-personified and who control and look after the affairs of the Universe…………’’ as per Avatar Meher Baba.

The Avatars and the Perfect Masters always function in co-operation with a band of workers and this varies in number. It may be interesting to recall on this occasion how before He incarnated as Sri Ramachandra, Lord Vishnu wanted the Devas to incarnate as Vanaras to assist Him in His mission on earth. In much the same way, Lord Krishna had worked in co-operation with the Gopis of Brindavan and the Gopalas of Gokula who had in their previous incarnation served the world as greatest rishis.

Lord Jesus the Christ carried on His ministry with the aid of His twelve apostles. Lord Buddha had His own band of missionaries and we may cite similar examples in regard to Avatars in various ages. Besides these workers, the Avatars and Perfect Masters reach individuals in distant places through local agents called ‘‘Chargemen’’.

These Chargemen have attained to different planes of consciousness and they in their turn take the assistance of local devotees through whom they distribute the grace which they have obtained from the Avatar of the Age or the Perfect Masters.

The spiritual administration of the Universe is thus being carried on by a regular hierarchy of beings who are charged with unlimited power, of course, for doing good to the denizens of the different spheres in creation.

It is proposed to discuss in detail the personalities and functions of the different Perfect Masters. While already plenty of literature is available concerning the life of Sai Baba, certain peculiar features are alone being discussed here. As Sai Baba Himself deposed before a commissioner’s court, His mission was to serve the Universe and His age unlimited.

He was given to apparent fits of temper and what He did invariably in the towering rage was to bless, although the result of His blessing could be experienced only long afterwards. He gives rather than promises.

He is not interested in what we possess but in what we surrender to Him. He was particularly interested in the sick, His special favourites being the lepers and the needy.

Although revered as a God, he unblushingly demanded cash repeatedly from some who had brought the barest minimum required until He had drained them of the last pie and left them to face the problem of the return journey. But He spent whatever He had obtained by distributing the amount immediately amongst others.

He did accept cash, food, sweets and other gifts, but He received them from particular persons. What He takes He returns a million-fold. Sometimes He shocked the orthodox- minded by asking them to eat prohibited articles, like onions, etc. He used to make serious gestures in the air in different directions, and it was later on found that by means of these gestures He had actually rescued individuals from grave mishaps and saved critical situations in the world.

He bade the recitation of the Koran in the Hindu temple and the performance of Puja and Arathi in the mosque. An outstanding achievement of Sri Sai Nath is the communal harmony that He had been able to bring about among all His devotees in Shirdi while He was in the flesh and everywhere in the world in our own times. He manifested His divine nature by being present simultaneously in different places. A peculiar statement of His, namely, ‘‘Those who see Baba in Shirdi have not seen Him at all’’ is very significant.

More details concerning SAI BABA will be given while discussing the other Perfect Masters.

(The Source of this Article is From Sri Sai Samaj 120-B, Rash Behari Avenue, Calcutta-29)

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