By: Druga Sanatkumar
In 1917, When Sai Baba could have been around 80 years, one day he was very sick and he knew he wouldn’t live much longer. He spent his time visiting his devotees in Shiridi, giving them assurances of eternal divinity. He said: ‘We should not take refuge in anything except in ourselves. There is an island, very safe, very peaceful, within every one of us and we should go back to ourselves and take refuge on that island. Don’t take refuge in anyone, anything else but yourself, and take refuge on the island within yourself.’
Sai Baba repeated righteous living. He knew that his devotees relied too much on him and there will be one day when his physical presence is no longer available and his devotees will feel lost if they count too much on him. So, he gave that teaching for his devotees to learn right living and rely on the Sai Baba in their thoughts with “Shraddha” and “Saburi”.
So, Sai Baba is available within you, if you go home to the island of self. You have Sainath in you. It is in your capacity to wake up, to understand, to love. If someone has plenty of these things, he is divinity himself, and we want to have as many Sai Babas as possible. You have the religion in you.
There must be a method to produce compassion, understanding, and freedom. That is the religion of Sai Baba. The religion in you may be weak or strong, according to your practice. Then, to produce the powerful energy of enlightenment, compassion, and understanding, you need ‘Nama Smaran’ and ‘Satsang’. You build a Sai family and together you help each other nourish the Sai Baba and Sai consciousness in you.
Sai Baba and his associates and recapitulation of their life through Sai Satcharitha are the jewels that are concrete. They are not objects of belief. They are not something outside of you. Sai Baba is not on a cloud. Sai Baba is awakening, understanding, and compassion, and you have ‘Sai nature’. Practice helps Sai nature grow and that protects you. That is your refuge.
If you know how to listen to Sai Baba within you, Sai Baba never stops guiding you. The earth is a beautiful expression of his teachings. The wind, flowers, and trees continue to teach impermanence and no-self. If you have mindful eyes and ears, you continue to see Lord Sainath.
In our society today, it feels like everything’s speeding up and people are feeling overwhelmed. The problem is that people believe that happiness is in the future. But if you stop speeding and running, you can find happiness right in the here and now. There is no true happiness without peace. If you continue to run, how can you have peace? We are running away from ourselves, our families, and nature. We are afraid of going home and taking care of ourselves. We do not have the time to take care of our beloved ones. And we do not allow Mother Earth to heal us.
Worshipping Sai Baba and following his tenets is the teaching of waking up. Our society needs a collective awakening to save ourselves from our crises. So, the practice is that awakening should take place in every step, everywhere. If you have an awakening, you know that you have a path to happiness. You stop suffering, and you can help many other people do the same.