Sri Sathya Sai On: Shirdi Sai Baba (Actions, Miracles and Message)

Shirdi Sai Baba with Mhalsapati, Lakshmibai and Kaka Dikshit


In My previous body (as Shirdi Sai Baba), everyone was taught through actions. For example Damu and Nana were rendering service to the Lord (Shirdi Baba). Baba collected a few copper coins and was playing with them, by tossing them from one hand to another and also testing them in various ways. He appeared to examine them individually. He did not exchange a word with Damu and Nana. He went on playing with the coins for half an hour in this manner. Curious to know what Baba was doing, Nana asked Him why He was scrutinising the same coins again and again. Baba replied, “Baba (Dear Son), it is true that I (Shirdi Sai) am repeating the same action again and again, repeating the same words. Look at that mango tree in front of you. It is in full bloom. The leaves are hardly visible. If all the flowers in the tree were to become fruits, will the branch be able to bear the weight? But, it does not happen that way. Most of the flowers are swept away by the wind. Many others drop of their own accord. Only some of them become fruits; of these, some are eaten by squirrels, birds or monkeys. In this way, ninety percent of the flowers do not result in fruits. Only ten percent remain on the tree. Is it not so?” They agreed, that it was so. “In the same manner thousands of devotees are coming to Me. Are they all ripening into good devotees? Many drop away in the middle. Some come for getting their desires fulfilled. Some seek wealth. Many are coming either for study or in connection with jobs or marriage or other personal desires of their own. In each of them there is some defect or other. No one comes for My sake. I have a precious thing to offer in my coffers. But no one seeks it. It is for this reason that I am examining them (coins). Among these coins there are some which are worn out, some which are debased and some which are twisted and worthless”.

“Just as I am examining the defects in these coins, I am also looking for the defects among the devotees who come to Me. I am trying to find out what defects are there in these people and whether, with those defects, they can really comprehend My Truth. They want Me, but all their desires are related to mundane objects. How can they attain Me with this attitude? How can you reach your destination if you get into a wrong train going in some other direction? They want Me, but they don’t make efforts for realising Me. Among the many who come to Me, it is only one in a thousand who really makes the effort to realise Me”.

“The minds of the so-called devotees are turned in the wrong directions. If their desires are fulfilled, they praise Me. But, once a desire is not realised they go to the extent of even reviling Me. Even while they are attempting to understand Me, they harbour doubts from head to foot. Some even leave Me when their worldly desires are not fulfilled. These are not sincere devotees at all. They are in fact the worst sinners. How can they reach Me?” said Baba.
Shirdi Sai Baba begging alms in Shirdi
At one time a wealthy man came with a lot of money to Shirdi Baba with the object of gaining Brahma Jnana (Supreme Wisdom). He boasted about his wealth. Baba asked him: “How long will you be here?” He replied that he had come by a taxi fixing to and fro charges and had to return in a day or two. Baba said: “When you have greed for wealth, how can you realise God? It is not a goal that can be accomplished in a fixed time. Get away”. Baba noticed that he was still sitting and became furious. He chased him out, wielding a stick.

To one who sought His grace with purity of heart and selfless devotion, Baba conferred His grace abundantly. Mataji Krishna Priya was one such devotee. Living in Nagpur, she used to worship Krishna and considered Baba also as another form of Krishna. She frequently visited Shirdi to seek Baba’s blessings with genuine devotion. Once, Dada’s wife brought her child to Baba with the intention of staying for some time in Shirdi. She got her husband’s reluctant approval for the visit. At that time plague was rampant in Shirdi. On the second day of her arrival the child developed fever and boils all over the body. The mother felt sorry that she had not acted on her husband’s advice and lamented who would protect her child from the affliction. She immediately rushed to Baba and cried aloud: “Baba! Baba!” Baba asked her why she had come. “Is your child having fever? Are there boils on his body? Not only the child but I am also having boils. You look at them”. So saying, He lifted His Kafni (coveting garment) and showed the boil on His body. Mahalaspati, who was standing near, exclaimed: “Swami! What large boils are these?” He touched Baba’s body and found that He was having high fever. The temperature might be as high as 105° or 106° F. The mother cried: “Oh Baba! Has the disease affected not only my son, but You also? Who will protect You?” She was in deep distress. Baba said: “Is there any other to protect the One who is the protector of all?” The mother immediately begged for Baba’s forgiveness. A short while thereafter, Baba’s fever came down. The mother returned home feeling happy. She saw that the fever and the boils had vanished from the child. She exclaimed: “Baba! Did You take on my child’s illness?” In this manner, Shirdi Baba used to demonstrate His powers as and when the occasion arose. What was the reason for this? It was solely due to Paripoorna Viswaasam (total faith) which people had in Baba. The devotees followed implicitly whatever Baba directed them to do.
Shirdi Sai Baba at the Dwarkamai Mosque


Around the time when Sathe left Shirdi, the parents of Shyam came to Shirdi with a two-year old child. Shyam’s father had just retired from service and decided to settle down in Shirdi. The boy’s name was Mohan Shyam. The parents called him Mohan, while others called him ‘Shyam’. The boy was put to school at Shirdi and in due course he completed his studies and received training as a teacher. He was appointed as a teacher at Shirdi. The school adjoined Baba’s room. During the day, Shyam would be teaching at school. There was a ventilator in the wall separating Baba’s room and the classroom. Shyam used to watch Baba at nights through the ventilator. He used to notice Baba talking to Himself, getting angry at times, or laughing to Himself, or doing other curious things. Baba used to sleep on an eighteen-inch wide plank suspended from the ceiling. Shyam was apprehensive that Baba might fall from His lofty, but narrow perch during sleep. 

Once he mustered courage to ask Baba while massaging His feet, “Swami! You don’t seem to sleep at all at nights. You are laughing to Yourself or talking; what is the secret of all this?” “You simpleton! Do you imagine you are the only person about whom I am concerned in this world? There are numerous persons who are praying to Me. I am speaking to all of them,” replied Baba. “When I turn my finger, I am turning their minds. When I move my lips, I am talking to them. When I laugh, I am amused at their follies. These are the things I am doing for my devotees, dear child”. 

Shyam prayed to Baba, “Swami! My classes don’t take up much of my time. Let me stay with you during the rest of the time and serve You”. At that time, there was a woman called Lakshmi Bai who used to cook food for Baba. Shyam used to go to her and assist her in the preparation of Jowhar (a kind of flour) Rotis. Baba had a great liking for brinjals. Shyam went to Lakshmi Bai to learn how to prepare brinjal dishes. Shyam went on serving Baba in this way and he alone knew the joy he derived from such service. 

Baba often used to fly into temper. This was only an outward appearance. Sometimes He used to throw a stick at someone ten feet away. Shyam once asked Him, “Swami! You are hurling the stick at the man in such a rage. Supposing something happened to him and he died, will You not get a bad name?” Baba replied sharply, “Shaitan! You keep quiet. That fellow’s life is in My hands. He will die only if I permit him. You better mind your business. Why are you bothered about others? That man will come to his senses only if he sees Me in this manner. If am indulgent they will try to ride the high horse”. Thus, in this way, Baba used to discipline people by threats and harsh words. It is only with this aim and not for any other purpose. This secret was revealed by Baba only to Shyam and none else. Baba’s life was really a saga of love and nothing else.

Keeping Shyam near Him and allowing him to serve Him, Baba spent many years. One day, Baba called Pradhan and asked him to construct a small tank. Pradhan was thus the first to be involved in the building of a Samadhi for Baba. 
Shirdi Sai Baba with devotees


The Lord is all Prema. He has no Dwesha (hatred) in Him. Once at Shirdhi, a certain Dr. Pillai came with much suffering, and he prayed that he might be given ten births with the chance of dividing the pain into ten parts, so that he could suffer a little each time and pay off his Karmic debt, without being hard put to it having to pay it all off in one! He was informed through Kaka Saheb that he should fall at the feet of Baba and as he did so, Baba got the pain transferred to Himself. For 10 minutes, Baba suffered, at the rate of one minute for each Janma (birth), and thus he rid Dr. Pillai of his obligation. Baba was quite normal, as soon as the 10 minutes were over. 
The Two Sais


In 1917, Baba once called Abdul Baba, Nana Chandorkar, Mahalsapati, Das Ganu and others and started asking each of them: “Do you know who you are?” Each of them replied: “I am your Sishya (disciple)”. Baba said: “Nonsense! Don’t use that term any longer. I have no disciples in this world. I have countless devotees. You do not recognise the distinction between a disciple and a devotee. Anyone can be a devotee. But that is not the case with the disciple. A disciple is one who carries out implicitly the commands of the Guru (the preceptor). The mark of the Sishya is total devotion to the preceptor. Only the man who says, “I have none in the world other than the preceptor is a disciple”. How far have you respected My injunctions? How are you entitled to claim that you are My disciples? Only the one who follows Me like My shadow can claim to be My disciple. The devotee is one who prays to the Lord wherever he may be. Hence, there is a big difference between a disciple and a devotee. The disciple and the preceptor are like two bodies with one spirit. The disciple should have no sense of separateness from the preceptor. He should feel, ‘I and You are one’. There are no such disciples to be found in the world. There are millions of devotees, but no disciples”. 

On hearing this, Shyam was in deep pain. He felt within himself: “Apart from serving at Your feet, I have no other concern”. Baba then went into another room and called Shyam inside. “In this entire world, for Me you are the only disciple. All others are only devotees”. At that moment, Shyam fell at the feet of Baba, and cried out, “You alone, You alone” (are my refuge) and breathed his last.

In all His life of over 82 years, Baba had never shed a tear in the presence of devotees. When Shyam passed away, He shed three drops of tears. The devotees present there said: “Swami! Why do you feel so grieved? All are in Your hands”. Baba replied, “Dear boys! I am not grieving at all. Almost all his sins had been wiped out already. By the three tear drops I shed, the remaining sins (of Shyam) have been washed away”.

All that Baba said or did was for the good of the devotees alone. Towards the end, Abdul Baba came to Baba. Baba told him: “I shall appear again and give you Darshan”. “When will that be?” asked Abdul. Baba told him: “It will be after eight years”. “The first advent of Sai was in Maharashtra. The second advent will be in Madras,” Baba said. It should be noted that when this form (Sathya Sai) made Its advent, Andhra Pradesh was part of Madras Presidency.

When He was asked, in what form the next advent would take place, Shirdi Baba told Abdul Baba alone: “I will give Darshan in the name of Sathya for upholding Truth”. That is the present advent. The two bodies are different, but the Divinity is one. The first advent was for revealing Divinity. The second advent is to awaken the Divinity (in human beings). The next advent is for propagating Divinity. The three Sais are Shirdi Sai, Sathya Sai and Prema Sai.

Source: Shirdi Sai Baba, Chapter 7, Sai Vani: Avatar on Avatar Purushas


  1. Awesome compilation!
    I remember once it was at Trayee Brindavan…
    Swami was invariably speaking every evening about Shiridi Baba. It was almost like a daily routine that month! 2 interesting episodes I remember that’s worth mentioning:

    Once he came to the center hall of Trayee and asked (after having spoken once at length about Shiridi Baba). It was returning to his room to retire for the day. He was moving in between the boys. Stopped at once and asked (as usual, in his simple style) "Boys, how was it? “ Everyone replied in one voice "It was really nice swami. Thank you" and next - "Tell us more swami". He was like "ay!”... Signaling "Enough..!”. Then he paused for a moment and said something that still reverberates in my mind "First Enjoy this form amidst you. Then you can think of that Old Man!”
    Now... when i think about it... it feels like... "Why not more swami..... "!!!! 

    Anyways, the other one I remember well at the same time frame is- We have heard that swami used to like the Fried Peanuts. And in a silver bowl the fried peanuts was offered to him. Usually, he just blesses it with his palm and moves on. But that day, he bent down... Sniffed it and remarked “SHIRIDI SMELL”. We all asked "Swami?”. He said, "when you move in the streets of Shiridi this is the same aroma over there .....”

  2. Dear Brother Venkat,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your personal experiences in Swami's proximity at Trayee.

    We are sure a lot of devotees would have felt like being in Trayee while reading your write up!

    Warm Regards
    SSwS Team

    1. Thank you for sharing this.
      Now I know why Swamy used to get tears when those children from deena janodharana pathakam came to visit him and sang the following folk song:
      "Dandalayya dandalayya koti dandalu
      andanenunnanane mathokate chaalu mee matokate chalu"

  3. O' How to find my way in this order of truth.

  4. Thankfulness to my father who told me concerning this web site,
    this blog is really remarkable.

  5. Thanks Venkat for sharing the event where Swami reveals his oneness with Shirdi Baba.

  6. அருமையான பயனுள்ள பதிவுகள். சுவாமியை நேரடியாகப் பார்த்ததுபோல் உள்ளது, இதனைப் படிக்கும் போது1 சாயிராம். சுவாமியின் அருள் இவர்களின்மேல் பொழிவதாக.

  7. 1-Rishi Aurobindo on 24.11.1926 said Krishna has incarnated in physical form( Swami dob 23,11.26).His disciples attach no importance to this statement lest Hos followers start taking interest in Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
    2-Shirdi devotees deny Sathya Sai for same reason:even though 1st Shirdi temple for Shirdi Sai in guindy Chennai was made at instance of Sathya Sai & before he announced that I am a avtar of Shirdi Sai hardly anyone had heard of Shirdi Sai.1st movie on Shirdi baba was made by Indu Lal shah-a prominent devotee of Sathya Sai.
    3-do Sivanand google & wont find a line on Sathya Sai,but check Sathya Sai there are pictures & detail accounts of his visit to Sivanand ashram & their meeting & conversation
    4-We should stick to paramBramh poornavtar Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai baba exclusively


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