Aarti Natarajan Sharma
One of the most famous works containing incidents from Sai Baba’s life is the Sai Sacharitra written by Govindrao Raghunath Dabholkar, a.k.a. Hemadpant. This book gives examples of how Sai Baba taught his devotees various life lessons and the importance of his twin tenets of Faith (shraddha) and Patience (saburi).
Mr Sathe was a staunch devotee of Sai Baba. He came to Shirdi and finished one reading of the book Guru Charitra in seven days (saptah). That night Baba gave him a vision while he was asleep wherein Baba was explaining portions of the Guru Charitra to Mr Sathe. On waking up, Mr Sathe was keen to know the meaning of this vision. He consulted another devote,e Kakasaheb Dixit. He, in turn, asked Sai Baba. Baba told him that Mr Sathe should do one more saptah and if he did his mind would be calm and the Lord would be pleased.
Hemadpant was sitting shampooing Baba’s legs during this time. On hearing Baba’s words, his mind became restless and the thought crossed his mind that how come his seven years stay in Shirdi hadn’t got him this blessing when Mr Sathe’s seven days stay proved to be so fruitful. As soon as this thought crossed Hemadpant’s mind, Baba knew of it. He asked him to get up and go to Madhavrao Deshpande’s (Shama) house. He asked them to sit with Shama and do a little chit-chat.
After reaching Shama’s house, Hemadpant asked Shama to narrate some stories of Sai Baba and Shama obliged.
The Importance of Patience
There was once a lady called Mrs Radhabai Deshmukh. She decided to fast unto death till Sai Baba blessed her and gave her some Updesh or mantra. Seeing this, Baba called her and told her to stop the fast and gave the example of his own guru. Baba said that He served his guru for a long time, yet his guru refused to blow any mantra into his ears. When pressed, his guru asked Sai Baba for two coins: one was faith (shraddha), the other patience (saburi).
The moment Hemadpant heard this story and the word Updesh, he realised why Baba had sent him to Shama’s house. He understood Sai Baba’s message that a devotee needed to hold onto faith and patience where worship was concerned and eventually the fruits of his prayers would be delivered.
Sai Baba has said that cultivating a sense of Saburi will remove all sins and afflictions and get rid of calamities from his devotees’ lives. As human beings, we are always in a hurry to get quick results. But God works in mysterious ways. It is He alone who knows what is required for us and at which stage it needs to be bestowed on us.
Faith and patience are two of the most difficult qualities to live by. It is our tendency to despair when things go wrong. Obstacles and difficulties come in our life with the sole aim of testing us. Holding onto our faith at such times is the only way to get through the dark days. Whichever higher power one believes in, one should have the faith that no tough time will last forever and that eventually there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Similarly, when we aspire for something, we should be prepared that it will not happen exactly when we want it. Waiting for something we want desperately helps us develop the trait of patience.
Sai Baba said that faith and patience are like two sides of the same coin; each incomplete without the other.