Sai Baba's incidents with Shama (Madhavrao Deshpande) sheds light on the amazing relationship of Sakha (friendship), of God and the devotee. This paradox of knowing the one with God as God, and behaving with Him as an intimate friend are very rare to find, comparing to other forms of devotion.
India, has a rich spiritual background, and perhaps no other country, since centuries have so many individuals totally dedicated to spirituality and search of God, on varied paths. That is one of the reasons for what is called tolerance in Indians for any religion or paths that leads to God. Most often the stubbornness that only my religion is true and the other religion or other paths leading to God, or other theories leading to God are wrong is not found. The other religions and paths leading to God are accepted and revered same as their own paths.
In Indian scriptures is the mention of Trilok (three divine worlds). Each attributed to the trinity of Gods. Bhrahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva). Bhrahma being the God of creation, Vishnu being the God of preservation and Shiv or Mahesh the God of destruction. All the Loks (divine worlds) are described with affluent with wealth and grandeur, and the way these God resides. Kailash Lok, the world of Lord Shiva is however described with the affluence of meditation, Tapa(penance) and spiritual attributes.
Shama having read these descriptions in scriptures, once asked Sai Baba that whether there was a Trilok. It feels nice to read the question in his characteristic way of Shakha Bhav (sense of friendship). " Deva, is there a Bhrahma Lok, Vishnu Lok and Shiva Lok Re?" 'Re' suggests a sense on deep friendship.
Sai Baba replied in affirmation.
Shama was quick to respond, " Are(pronounced A ray) Deva, Why don't you show it to me?"
This reminds me of a wonderful book, "God lived with them", that contains the life stories of sixteen monastic disciple of Sri RamaKrishna Paramhamsha. The first chapter deals wit the life of Narendra, famous as Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda would have done just this, he was never satisfied with the explanations of God or Spirituality, rather he demanded direct experience. Even we should not be easily satisfied with mere explanations and demand or ask Sai Baba or God for the direct experience, with Shraddha (Faith) and Saburi(Patience) to ask him to make us capable for the same.
Sai Baba explained him that all the grandeur and opulence and wealth had little meaning for Gods and this kind of wealth was not for them. He said in Marathi language, "Yahek Ishwaraya pramane hey Devache Aishwarya hey tooch aah hey."
Shama like a close friend insisted on seeing it. And Sai Baba like a true friend asked him to close his eyes and then open them, to gratify his spiritual demand.
Shama just did that, and wonders, he could see Brahma Lok. He saw most beautiful, ornate diamond studded throne on which Lord Bhrahma was sitting. He was holding court with his ministers. They too were sitting on beautiful gem studded chairs made from gold. There was so much gems and gold that Shama felt it was indescribable. Sai Baba said, "Shama this is Satya Lok, and this is Bhrahma Dev."
Then Sai Baba asked Shama to close open his eyes again. This time Shama could see Vishnu Lok. Sai Baba again explained whatever Shama saw and same was repeated for Shiva Lok or Kailash Lok.
Shama was overwhelmed by what he saw. He was frightened at the same time joyful to see the abundance of wealth and opulence. This reminds me of how the greatest of the warriors, Arjuna, was frightened after watching the Godly form of his Sakha God, 'Sri Krishna', when Lord Krishna showed him his Godly nature during the explanations greatly revered as sacred text, called "Gita".
After showing the three Lokas, Saibaba again emphasized, "Shama all this is not for us, our goal is quiet unusual."
Read more - Stories of Shama – Madhavrao Deshpande
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