Question: How can one be consistent with their devotion to Sri Shirdi Sai baba?
Answer: by Saurabh
I was trying to find an answer for this in Shri Sai Satcharita and Baba made me stop at the right place as the puzzle seems to be solved through this page. I have found an answer to this question on page 112 of Shri Sai Satcharita in English (parable of Nine Balls of Stool (Nava-vidha Bhakti).
“Consistency” in Devotion is our Goal, so when I analyze, the main question that comes to my mind is “What really causes inconsistency in our devotion?” For me the answer comes as, Impatience, Restlessness or the opposite of Saburi. Impatience is through no “Peace of Mind”.
Thus, to have peace of mind is to have consistency with our devotion to Sri Saibaba, and how to have this “Stability and Peace of mind” is explained by Baba himself on page 112 to Mr. Patankar, key sentence there is “Consider yourself as the merchant or seeker after the truth, and be anxious and eager like him to collect the nine types of devotion. Then you will attain “Stability and Peace of mind.” Please mark that Baba has advised us to be restless, anxious and eager to remove our restlessness, anxiousness and eagerness (or impatience) in general.
However, this restlessness, anxiousness and eagerness is to be used for our benefit in no other area except in cultivating the “Nine types of devotion” (Nava-vidha Bhakti). Nine types of devotion being (1) Shravan (hearing); (2) Kirtan (praying); (3) Smaran (remembering); (4) Padasevan (resorting to the feet); (5) Archan (worship); (6) Namaskar (bowing); (7) Dasya (service); (8) Sakhyam (friendship); (9) Atmanivedan (Surrender of the self). Please note that the question assumes that one has Devotion and only “Consistency” was required so all this is to be added to our Full devotion without which everything else is useless (as Baba says)
Answer: by Rehana
Living our daily life in total surrender to Baba in itself is a continuous and a consistent devotion. The experiences in my life by Baba’s grace have taught me that by living and accepting life as it comes is His blessing. He is a silent worker and works within us to turn our lives towards Him. Once we accept Him as our Lord and Master we need not fear anything, although we in our ignorance may think that we have forgotten Him, but strangely enough life will always help us remember Him. For me Baba is very vibrant and sensitive!
Answer: by Nainesh
What does consistent mean but same as reliable, steady, dependable etc. We should always be this in our worship of Baba. In whatever form we worship Sai we have to be consistent in it until we become one with Him. So whether you do naam japa or read Sai Satcharita be always consistent.
Answer: by Vandana
Shraddha and Saburi are the keywords for a Sai devotee. So, if we wait with faith and utmost patience, we are definitely sure to achieve our goals. So these two keywords can make a devotee be consistent in devotion towards his guru. Each and every devotee should follow this Sai mantra. The ups and downs in our life are His tokens of love. So bear them with patience, you will see Baba’s leelas in your life. If this is followed where is the doubt of consistency in every Sai devotee.
Answer: by Lorraine Walshe-Ryan
Baba has thankfully been in my life for the last 10 years now. As humans we constantly falter in most areas of our lives, Baba is my life. Baba is my everything and I have completely surrendered to Him. Initially He was hard to understand, but if we go back to Baba’s two words Shraddha and Saburi, with Baba’s grace, and His grace alone and with Baba’s help, we begin to have faith only in Him and patience, even much harder to practice than faith. I feel I have reached the stage in my life that I never ever doubt Baba. He knows all, He does all. Still a little impatient but getting there and if He and I are one, well, life has become a breeze with Him inside directing me. Suffer the ups and downs in life, you are just eliminating the bad karma but be consistent with your faith and love in Baba as He is with you, remember the patience thing though.
Answer: by Neha
One can be consistent with the devotion to Baba by always following the path, which he has been guiding us. Baba never believed in fasting as he said that if his devotees are hungry, how could they remember him with full peace in their mind. All he wants is the genuine remembrance of Baba, belief in his 2 golden words – Shraddha (faith) and Saburi (patience). One should always realize or feel the presence of Baba in every creature on this planet including trees, animals, humans and no discrimination should be made between the rich and the poor. Everyone is equal in the eyes of Baba. Keep repeating Baba’s name. Sai Satcharitra is the answer to all the worries and the way to attaining peace of mind and therefore, peaceful and full devotion to dear Baba.
Answer: by Pratyusha
First of all, one should have faith in Saibaba .No matter whatever one faces in the day to day life, one must have strong belief that Sri Saibaba is there to protect and the consequences are definitely for ones own good. When one cultivates this belief that Baba will always protect us, and that the inconveniences one faces in life are only for a small period and that these are the consequences of ones own mistakes, definitely one can become consistent with their devotion to Baba. We don’t bring anything when we are born, we don’t take anything when we pass away, only thing remains is the salvation we get by always remembering and devoting ourselves to Saibaba
Answer: by Ravin
Whether it is a simple curiosity about Saibaba or an experience of His magnanimity, the first experience of Saibaba for anybody is a matter of heart. However, intellect takes over immediately trying to validate that experience. With that comes everything else from outside, all religions, rituals, people and the hearsay. Saibaba becomes a Guru, Sadguru or Paramaguru and all concepts about his incarnation and avatar and other denominations.
Truly, if one would question the above then it becomes clear to one that all these are not their experiences but attempts to live others experiences. All “conditions” to reach Saibaba, know Saibaba, worship Saibaba start from this point, which were not present before. The first as well as the last step towards alienation from Saibaba begins here. If one would honestly question themselves, it will be known that no religion or path has brought them to Saibaba and in reality, the religions and paths came after the individual experience of Saibaba!
One easily forgets that no religion or path can teach one to love his or her mother or take care of one’s child. It is an instinct honed in us before any religion or outside influences takes over. Others experiences are not ours however grand they may be. One’s own experience is closest to the truth and none else’s. If one would stay with that first experience of Saibaba, live it, re-live it everyday, it will be easily understood that the question of consistency with Sai devotion or alienation from Saibaba doesn’t arise at all and Saibaba becomes a life long love affair. Every external activity is only to strengthen that inner experience. If one understands the true role of that external activity, then that becomes the true religion for a Sai child.
Answer. by Achuta Ramaiah
I wonder why even put such a question to you? The fact is you are unlike other saints. You give answers to all our prayers and counseling as well. The fact is devotion to you should be like Hanuman’s devotion to Rama and no less. One should carry on doing arati and mumbling his name come what may. It has been my experience that if all your actions normal or otherwise are attributed to Sai by remembering Sai then the actions are fruitful and if not the burden of proof is not on you but on Saibaba who has in his wisdom has done otherwise for your help in future. Remember his words always and carry on doing good. One way to check whether you are on the right path or not is to appeal to him to provide you some signal in a dream or in a Sai mandir. I do get the right message in Sai mandir like offer of Sai neck flowered malas once in a while. But pray to him at all times and get heavenly bliss afterwards.
This question and answer series first started to appear in Sai Vichaar Jul 19, 2007 Volume 10, Issue 10.