Today in Sai Charitha was a chapter that tried to answer whether Sai Baba of Shirdi was Hindu or Muslim. It was simply not possible to determine what He was/is. I am not a guru centric Hindu but I reckon the great spirits born among us as Mahans. Sometimes I think they are the God we are failing to see who live in our own times. Yet I have my doubts at the same time. Whatever, I hold Shirdi Baba and Puttarbarthi Sai Baba in highest esteem because of their humanitarian services where and when they thought of all human beings as equals irrespective of their caste or religion or literacy level or socio-economic status. They were unlike any of the religious gurus such as the Shankaracharyas before them, in bringing humanity together with their selfless services. No Hindu seer until now for that matter, has been capable of such a simple organic initiative for uniting the Hindu community divided on the basis of castes that could have helped Hindu Dharma grow, with conversions going down as a consequence. Perhaps the reason is, Hindu seers are mostly ‘cultivated’ and do not get to become pontiffs without an ulterior motive, which in most cases is casteist. Whereas the Sai Babas are mahans who got their calling that turned them towards spirituality. They became the seekers. They were discovered by the masses. They didn’t need to get appointed in office or introduced. They did not need to be nurtured, fine-tuned. In front of Sai everyone is one and the same.
Reading about the Urs being observed on the day of Sri Rama Navami at Shirdi since the year 1912, moved me. I am no less critical of the so-called ‘peacefuls’ and I mince no words when it comes to calling a spade a space where it concerns their bloody violent ways. But co-existence is the only way out, this i am aware of, for the peace and stability of not just India but this entire world. Nobody was saviour from the start, and it is only centuries before that we had the war of the crusades. If Christianity is indeed so noble and service-oriented, then there would have been no slave trade or apartheid or ethnic cleansing of natives from Africa, Australia and Latin America. Just who are we kidding. What was Hitler and what did he do. To Who. Who bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Where did all Gods go then. Did we have the word ‘terrorism’ at all in the 1940s.
This is why I believe, every religious fold will come around and mature at its own time. The oldest have turned around. We have to give time for the newest to make it at their own convenience. But one day it will happen.
Baba attained Samadhi long before the partition of the nation. I wonder what He would have had to say had He been around until then. Given that He was for holding Urs alongside Sri Ram Navami celebrations, we have to still admit that Baba was non-political. As the chapter detailed, priestly brahmins and agnihotris were His followers who practically resided with Him in the dargah or very closest to Him, even as muslims too sought Him. No human being can turn away from a good soul and at that point of time when you come across a noble soul, you forget to see if He/She is Hindu or Muslim.
My brought-up is such that, inspite of my strong political opinion, I can’t help crossing myself whenever I pass via a church. I also pause for a few seconds if I sight a mosque in India. It doesn’t always have to be a Hindu temple. Even today during Puja i heard a prayer siren. For 30 sec., I observe this silence. Your heart grows still whether you are follower of the alien faith or not. You simply reckon the One Supreme whoever He/She may be wherever from. That is how I was raised. To show respect to all living beings and even inanimate objects. I don’t need reciprocation or approval. I shall continue to be me unconcerned about others’ respect or regard for me, favourable or unfavourable. My happiness, my peace I value more over others’ priorities.
I felt a calm reading this chapter in Thamizh really that spoke of ‘Shanthi’ or peace that is so elusive these days to humankind. Conflict has become our everyday business. We subsist/survive on negativity and pessimism and hatred. Just who are we to condemn or sentence anyone. Who gave us the right to judge others.
I wish the peace of Shirdi in the year 1912 prevails in India today and to eternity.
Why can’t world hope for such a peace and harmony at all times. Hindus and Muslims historically could never live together, yet could live together at the same time. Hindus are a finicky lot I know as a practising Hindu, but Indian muslims must be aware of the Hindu sensitivity because Bharat (India) is home to Dharmic faith and traditions as ancient as the very human civilization. Hindus must not expect from the muslims to prove their patriotism at the drop of their hat. It must hurt horrendously. As for Indian christians, all they have to do is STOP CONVERSIONS using bribes and kick out the foreign missionary mafia, saying a big NO TO EVANGELISM. Indian muslims can try having small families and get better educated. This is all it takes to reassure our Hindu population of one’s good intentions. Hindus must learn to respect and trust both Christians and Muslims. Afterall, if someone left after 1947 it means they found something wanting in Dharma. I am not talking of Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists as they come under the Dharmic fold.
Let us fill our homes and hearts with positive vibes, let us think and speak the best about fellow humans, let us learn to trust each other first. Just go through my old posts. How critical I am about the Abrahamics. But nowhere in my blog have I cheapened anyone or spilled venom or spread the hatred. I have criticized the Abrahamics with due respect to them! I strongly believe that, what we must never wound is, someone’s self-respect and dignity. We don’t have to diminish or demolish someone to establish ourselves. Let go. Like water finds its own surface, Hindu Dharma will find its way through the chaos and mess.
God has no chance with a loveless heart.
Let us give peace a chance. Om Shanti! Om Sai Ram!
What Veda or Upanishad my part-time househelp read. Her raw bhakthi is most appealing to me and I value her as a better Hindu. She who cannot differentiate between Karma and Dharma spreads her goodness and sunshine all around her. Never tarnishes anyone or anything. Wouldn’t invent an excuse for her shortfalls. Resigned to her social status that she is well aware of being a consequence of our cursed caste system. Yet not a single complaint in life. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you are, what is your position. A simple sweet life full of love and affection and hardwork and sincerity and fulfillment and contentment, quality-wise can be so fulfilling and rewarding. That is how I view life. What takeaway can others have from my (insignificant) life. Love or hatred. Positivity or Negativity. Optimism or Pessimism. Cheer & spirit or abusive foul language. Motivation & Inspiration or Despair & Vendetta.