Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Offerings to Shirdi Sai Baba
Few days back there where news in the newspaper, that a Chennai based devotee of Sai Baba have donated Rs. 200 crores. A Bhakt Niwas ( Staying place for devotees) will be built by the money. This is the largest amount donated by a single devotee until now. About 14,000 devotees would be accommodated in this new building with good facilities for the devotees staying there.
Another news few days back was about a devotee, wanting to make the throne on which Sai Baba sits a golden one. All the money required for the golden throne would be donated by an individual devotee. The cost estimates to Rs. 6 Crores approximately $ 15,00,0000/-.
Just two examples of how Sai Baba of Shirdi touches the life of his devotees, and that the capable devotees are ready to do for their dear Sai.
Incidentally, when Sai Baba was in physical form, staying in Shirdi, even then lot of money and other articles where offered to him. All the offerings where immediately given away to other devotees and poor. Large amount of money came to him and everything was given away, next morning he woke up as beggar again. Beggar in the sense of material possession, otherwise the spiritual treasures he had and has is everlasting, inexhaustible.
If one have read the Sacred book Sri Sai SatCharitra, One must be aware that Sai Baba used to accept all kind of offerings, offered with love and devotion. Sai Baba even showed that he accept the offerings made with devotion in front of his pictures and idols, and that they are always accepted by him. He also knew about the offerings sent by devotees with other devotees, who were visiting Shirdi, and if the visitor forgot he would ask for the particular offering sent to him. Was it food, flowers, incense, money or pranams or anything else.
These are the gross offerings we make to Sai Baba and are pretty very much seen as offerings.
Other offering that comes to my mind is about the story of the author of Sri Sai SatCharitra, in Chapter number 24, how Sai Baba indicated the mental offerings should be made to him before eating.
Yes there are offerings prior to these offerings, made out of love and gratitude, and most of us do not see them as offerings. More subtle offerings. When we are in trouble we remember Sai Baba and ask him to take us out of our troubles, we seldom see them as offerings of our troubles to Sai Baba, when we see and feel that Sai Baba has taken our troubles, then we offer him money, garlands, flowers, prasad (food), seva (service) that we see as offerings. Yes Sai Baba loves and appreciate these offerings, as he says he ever hungers for love and devotion from his devotees.
In article Meditation on Sai Baba of Shirdi the mention of " He buys our dirty bag of goods, and in return gives us an inner light that borrows from His splendor " is made. Yes he is ever taking the disturbance of our mind, emotions etc, setting it right. These are the offerings we make the the most and tend to forget to offer the good times, the undisturbed mind. We should remember Sai Baba also in good times, when the mind is undisturbed it should be offered to Sai Baba. Close our eyes or our attention on our mind or Sai Baba's picture or idol and surrender it to him and we are sure to see or feel a miracle. Feeling a miracle is better than seeing a miracle.