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Sai Vichaar a periodic newsletter distributed every Thursday covers the life, philosophy and teachings of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi and His devotees from around the world. Feel free to contribute your articles and forward this newsletter to your interested associates in its original form.

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FEATURE: Gratitude leads to Devotion 

Time and again, it needs to be stressed that mere gratitude to Sainath for what He bestowed on us is not enough. The gratitude must lead to the pure state of devotion. Few are born with the absolute realization of Omniscient and Omnipresent God. For the most, the first encounter with the supreme conscious happens as a result of an event that defies logic. Every one of us stand a testimony to this phenomenon; students getting rewards that they did not expect, hopeless patients whose fortunes were reversed for the better, the jobs that we believe Baba give us, and even the occasional bliss our spiritual pursuits have brought us.

It is also the experience of several that such gratitude fades away slowly with time as other priorities occupy the lives. Although conscious of the never ending chain of wants and desires, the spiritually aspiring mind gives in to what appears as the real happiness. Stages of life according to Hindu scriptures include balya (infancy), kaumarya (youth), grihastha (household), and vanaprastha (retirement). It is thought that vanaprastha is a stage where in, the man proceeds for a recluse in woods and spends time in search of spiritual fulfillment. The myth of life also concocts convenient justifications for waiting for tomorrow, not realizing that tomorrow does not exist for granted. Time is an entity that human life has no control over.

Shri B.V. Hanumantha Rao wrote "Sai Anusaranamu" a great work on Sainath of Shirdi in Telugu, "Time is a valuable commodity. There should be no waiting to initiate any kind of attempt for liberation. It should be done when all our senses are in right order and we have the right physical and mental condition. It is a common practice for man to wait until the earthly life is settled, and it is his tendency to procrastinate until he will be ready for the spiritual journey. In reality, such a day may not come at all. Every stage of life brings with it, its own situations that may demand one’s time and attention. It is very easy to be entangled in the trap of earthly comforts, joy, sorrow, fear, and a myriad of myth. Human life can be short and no one can predict when it will end. On the other hand, leaving everything, our thoughts, deeds, and their consequences at God’s disposal will bring a renewed sense of well-being, happiness and fulfillment that is only perennial. Cultivating the attitude of staying immune to the earthly uncertainty will bring one close to the Lord and assure him of a fruitful spiritual realization"

(Source: Editorial Team)


Most of the Sai devotees are familiar with the spiritual guidance that Bhagawan Sainath extended to His devotees after He reached Shirdi along with Chand Patil’s marriage Party. His activities before His reaching Shridi the second time, remain nebulous and unknown. Many are under the impression that he was in a mission of touring for spiritual purposes during the earlier period of two years following His disappearance from His seat under the famous neem tree as a boy of sixteen years.

It has indeed come to fore that He spread His spiritual glances during the above period for the benefit of some steadfast devotees who approached Him for spiritual guidance. One such case was that of Shri Gadgi Maharaj who attained Samadhi on the banks of holy Narmada River. Shri Gadgi Maharaj himself narrated his experiences with Paramaguru Sainath to none other than Nanaasaheb Rasne son of Dmodar Rasne, a famous devotee who served Sainath during His earthly tenure in Shirdi.

According to the above episode recorded by Acharya Ekkirala Bharadwaja, Gadgi belonging to washermen (dobhi) community worked as a clerk in a cloth shop at Shegaon-Patharthi. During his long travel, Sainath reached the above place and stepped into the cloth shop seeking Biksha. The shop keeper refused to give Him anything; but Gadgi who was there at that time got attracted to Sai by virtue of His spiritual radiance and wanted to offer Him food. He rushed to his home and picked up some rotis and curry and ran back, but Sai had already left the place. After a search Gadgi found Him sitting in a secluded place near a jowar field munching some jowar grain. Looking at Gadgi, Sainath got angry and asked, “Why did you come here?” Gadgi prostrating before Sai, offered the food. Sainath threw a careless glance at Gadgi and asked. “Oh. Would you give me anything that I want?”

The anxious devotee responded, “Yes, Sir. I can give you anything except wealth that I don’t have.” Sai smiled and said, “Give me your life”. Gadgi replied, “Sir, Please take it. I got disgusted with my life!” Sainath threw a bewitching smile at Gadgi and pressed his forehead, following which Gadgi experienced immense Peace. Gadgi informed his people that he found his Sadguru and that he was no longer interested in the worldly life. He went on searching for Sainath and found Him in a grave yard. When Gadgi approached Him, Sai pretending anger said, “Why did you come to me again? Are you not satisfied with what I have given you? Do you want to eat my flesh now?” Gadgi replied, “Sir, I can’t live without you. You are my only refuge.” Sai asked him to dig a pit by the side of a grave and poured two pot-fulls of water into the pit. He drank some water from the pit thrice taking water into the hollow of both the palms joined together and asked Gadgi to do the same. Gadgi obeyed the Master, following which he became unconscious and got into long trance. When he got over the Spell, he ran around and started looking for his Guru, who vanished from that place.

After a long search at several places, finally he found Sainath at Dwarakamayee Masjid at Shirdi. Then Baba was taking bath behind a curtain. Gadgi mustered courage and pulled the curtain aside. Baba got furious and shouted, “You rouge! You have already consumed my flesh and blood. Now, are you after my bones?” He hit Gadgi with a brick on his fore head that caused bleeding. The very moment Baba came over, cajoled him and spoke lovingly, “Gadgi, I have Blessed you totally. You need not come to Me hereafter. Guide devotees in their spiritual pursuits. You will be worshipped.”

Shri Gadgi Maharaj followed the dictates of his Guru Sainath and became very famous spiritual guide. He established several schools and sanctuaries for poor. Large masses of people used to gather to listen to his Sankeertans and participate in his spiritual discourses and bhajans. He visited Shirdi to seek blessings of Sainath for the construction of “VIshwa Mandir” at Nasik. In the year 1927 he was in Shirdi performing sankeertans. He swept the streets of Shirdi and took leave of the devotees who were with him. He reached the banks of Narmada River near Bharroch by foot and attained Samadhi there.

(by This article on Gadgi Maharaj is prepared based on the information published in “Shri Sai Baba Jeevita Charitra- (Shri Sai Leelamrutham) in Telugu language by Acharya Ekkirala Bharadwaja and some information gathered from Late Uddhav Rao Deshpande (s/o Madhav Rao Deshpande) of Shirdi in the year 1992)


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I sent parcel to my in-laws in India and they got one but not the other one. So I was so worried so yesterday was Thursday and pray to Baba if they got it soon then I will submit the article about it and today is Friday and they got it. Thank you Baba. I am so happy they got it and you made my feeling for you strong Baba. Always look at me every single second Sai. I don't have anyone. You are only my mother and father.


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