Recently there was much political disturbance in India. It was about the bridge that Lord Rama had built between India and Sri Lanka, on the way to defeat the ruler of Lanka, a demon with immense powers and sena (troops).
Had read it in news papers, without much interest as it was a political subject and not a spiritual one. But since Lord Rama, Ramayana has immense spiritual meaning even to this date (it can never die and so does Shirdi Sai Baba), it was not left merely as a political subject. Lots of devotees made a protest about it.
The spiritual giant or a sadguru of this time Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who leads Art Of Living foundation, criticized it(One can read it here). I was called by parents to watch Sri Sri, Guruji, as he is lovingly called by his devotees, giving a interview on a television news channel. A website was shown which proves the facts of Ramayana actually happened. I could not google find that site shown, while the tv interview, but found this article on a blog which is quite impressive.
Tonight was reading a book i bought from my Shirdi visit a few days ago, Baba's Rinanubandh. The book deals with Rinanubandh, karmic debt of past lives of Shirdi Sai Baba with his many loved devotees. See what Baba says about Rinanubanh in essence of Sai Baba teachings.
One devotee that stands apart in Rinanubandh was Shama. Shama was the closest of Sai Baba, and shared a relationship of a closest friend, with Saibaba, the one with the greatest of the greatest, God. Shama would speak with Sai Baba, as a closest friend speaks, quite knowing the stature of Sai Baba.
Once the following incident took place. Shama asked Sai Baba, " Kaya Re" ( a slang use in Marathi, to address the closest of friends, otherwise it would enrage the other person as a mark of disrespect). "Deva (Shama always use to address Sai Baba by Deva, meaning God) it is written in Ramayana that Lord Rama got a bridge built by 1 crore (10 million) monkeys. This bridge (is called Setu) spanned the sea, so Lord Rama and his troops could cross the sea and reach Lanka. There He waged war with Ravana and vanquished him. Deva, is this true."
Sai Baba replied, "Yes this is true. The sea is real and Lord Rama was really there."
Shama inquired, "Deva, where did so many monkeys sit? And how did they sit?
Sai Baba replied, "They sat on the trees and clung to the branches. They looked like myriads of ants."
Then Shama asked Sai Baba, which perhaps only he could lovingly dare, "Did You see this with your own eyes?"
Sai Baba replied, "Yes, yes I saw them with my own eyes. Alright Shama."
Shama again said what only he could lovingly dare, "When I first saw You, You hardly had a stubble of mustache (a popular way in India to suggest youngsters). Then how and when did You go to see 'Vanar Sena(troops of monkeys) Re.' "
Sai Baba replied, " Shamyaa (as He lovingly called Shama) you and I have been together for many generations. I remember them but you do not."
In wonders Shama asked, "How old were You then?"
Sai Baba, "Just as you see me now."
Shama could not grasp the immensity of this spiritual fact or truth. He persisted, "Is this really true?"
Sai Baba as always, "Have I ever lied sitting here in the Dwarkamai? What I say is true. I swear by you."
Read more - Stories of Shama – Madhavrao Deshpande