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Legend of Sai Baba's Life & Leelas
Each saint or prophet, in his time has
manifested some particular aspect of
Godliness; But hardly has there been one so
richly endowed, as Shri Sai Baba, in
presenting to the human consciousness the
versatility of God, if we may so express it, Shri
Sai Baba has satisfied the exacting human
instinct in men of expecting perfection in
those whom they seek to adore. Not only in
one particular aspect is this perfection sought,
but in manifold spheres, .such as the
intellectual, the aesthetic and the spiritual.
Man is a complex being, and
paradoxical in his complexity. Full of
imperfections himself, and poorly endowed,
he, nevertheless, looks up to the Divine, with a
compelling anticipation, for a harmonious
fulfilment. An Incarnation who could appeal to
the varied imagination of the people was a
necessity that Sai Baba fulfilled. Here, at last,
was a saint who could appeal to the moral, the
artistic and the intellectual instincts of
Though a historical chronicle of a great man's
life is accepted as an authoritative account, an
artistic presentation has its own place and
The entire legend of Shri Sai Baba's life and
Leelas is indeed an epic which can be effectively
projected through the medium of art, so as to
satisfy our instinct for visual perception. Beauty
and Truth are abstract sublimations, nevertheless
they are not independent of man's perceptive
imagination. When the world of beautiful ideas
and ideals is presented to us through visual art,
their appeal is often enhanced.
Thus by presenting a pictorial word story
of this great incarnation of Love, we feel that his
lovely life and Leelas will become more intense,
alive and enduring. Shri Sai Baba's life was not
one of ascetic monotony; it was a life rich in
variety, a dynamic manifestation in creative
activity of all that he stood for. As such, Baba's
Leelas lend themselves beautifully to this kind of
presentation. Pictures repainted by Shri
Pednekar whose imagination has captured the
many moods of Shri Baba's doings, these
drawings are not to be appraised as work of art.
They are just a dedicated outpouring through the
brush, of a devoted Bhakta, and a labour of love.
commentaries attached to each, will I am sure, lift
the bhakta to the transcendental symbolism of a
rich spiritual experience.
53-A, Hill Road, Bombay-400 050.
20th Sept., 1968
Layout & Presentation in Acrobat by Balbir S. Sidhu - Singapore
Mani Sahukar
Within a very short time of Sai Baba’s arrival
at Shirdi, the villagers pointing ot him called
him ‘Sai’ – which being interpreted in ‘God
with us”. These simple folk also hailed him as
an Avatar of the age. Thus, in a moment was
resurrected the immortal Saint of Shirdi – -Shri Sai Baba, the great apostle of love
In the very beginning, Sai Baba was in the
habit of going to a few houses in the
neighbourhood to beg for food. At times
Baba would scold a grudging housewife by
saying – “Mother you have so many
Chapaties, so much rice and this or that
vegetable in your pots, why refuse a bit of
food to a fakir”! This gentle chastisement
and the accuracy of the strange fakir’s
pronouncement would remove the veil of
maya from these women who would then
rush to put their all at his feet, as an
offering of love.
The hunger of a Guru’s heart for the love of
his bhaktas is not sufficiently recognized.
Here is one such instance of a devotee’s
burning love for the master. Baijabai daily
sought out Baba in the forest where he lived
in the early days, in order to bring him food
which she lovingly prepared for him. Baba
raises his hand in a gesture of blessing and
his eyes light up with gratitude. The Guru has
his needs and longings too, and this is an
alluring facet of the Guru Bhakta ------------relationship.
Layout & Presentation in Acrobat by Balbir S. Sidhu - Singapore
There is an interesting story of one of Baba’s
many miracles.
Chandpatil was once riding through the
forest when suddenly he felt an acute urge to
smoke. To his great dismay he found that he
did not have the wherewithal to ignite a fire
to light his Chelum with. Seeing Sai Baba
seated under a tree, the rider approached
him for a match. Baba had no matches, but
just for thrusting the tongs nearly, he
produced a flame. The rider witnessing the
miracle, realizes and recognises Baba’s
divine stature and kneels to the Saint in
Service is the badge of God’s kingdom.
Radha Krishna Mai, a lady of good family
voluntarily assumed the duty of sweeping
the ashram compound daily. This was her
way of showing her adoration for her
Master Sai Baba.
Shri Sai Baba was very found of children.
He used to spend part of his day in playing,
chit chatting or humouring with them.
Sai Baba often cooked a hotch-potch of
vegetables, rice and spices all mixed together
in this ‘magic’ earthen pot. The food that
Baba made seemed to grow in abundance
and there was always enough for everyone.
Verily, the touch of a sat-purusha unlocks the
storehouse of the Goddess Annapoorna’s
unlimited resources.
Layout & Presentation in Acrobat by Balbir S. Sidhu - Singapore
Sai Baba abandons himself to the mood of
divine ecstasy through music. Like the lord
of dancers Nataraja, Baba too loses himself
in the Cosmic dance, symbolizing the
primal rhythmic energy of life.
Sai Baba knowledge of the Shastras, the
Geeta, the Quran and other scriptures was
phenomenal. He was indeed Wisdom
incarnate! Without studying or reading
books, Baba possessed a rare proficiency
in all scriptures, and he could quote from
verse and line to show where a particular
truth lay embedded, to the sheer
amazement of the Pandits who went to him
Here Sai Baba is seen sitting on the steps of
the famous Dwara Mayee mosque at Shirdi,
absorbed in the divine thralldom of music.
Baba’s appreciation of talent, and the warm
encouragement he gave to those who had
talent were priceless gifts from his --------immeasurable divinity.
“They that are whole need not a physician,
but they that are sick” Sai Baba’s profound
love and compassion for suffering
humanity are manifested here, as he gently
tends a lepers sores.
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Sai Baba distributing the holy ‘udhi’ – the
panacea for all troubles – to his bhaktas.
‘Udhi’ is the ash that drops from the holy
fire kindled by Baba a hundred years ago.
The great master was wont to use this ash
for healing the sick, thus investing the udhi
with great power by this gesture. Even now
the sick and the unhappy alike are healed if
they take this divine medicine with faith.
The Saint of Shirdi had ‘green’ fingers, for
all that he sowed and planted would
blossom forth into fruit and flower. Here
the divine gardener is seen tending and
watering the plants in the Lendi Gardens.
All the pictures with the Sansthan are
repainted by Shri Pendekar.
Sai Baba is going in procession from the
Dwarka Mayee to the Chavadi, according by
this veteran devotees, Bhaktas thus
escorted Baba to his destination with all the
ceremonial honours due to a king – for, was
he not in fact the king of kings?
Layout & Presentation in Acrobat by Balbir S. Sidhu - Singapore
The 15th of October 1918 was a sorrowful and
fateful day for the little village of Shirdi, for in the
heavy hours of the noon, the beloved Master
suddenly breathed his last. Quietly and
unobtrusively, Baba, gave up his body, and let his
head fall gently on the shoulders of a near disciple.
The great “Avtar’s” glorious period of --------Messiahship, his self allotted labour of love, came
to an abrupt end. All the magic light seemed to
have died out that erstwhile had given to
thousands of seekers ……… courage, hope and
inspiration in a moment all the chambers of the
ashram seemed emptied of delight and a strange
desolation filled each heart. But not for long ..…
for, resurrection ever keeps pace with and outlives
the forces of death and destruction. The great
Avtar of Love and Compassion gave up his body
so that his spirit may be resurrected in the hearts
of thousands of his ever growing Bhaktas.
Layout & Presentation in Acrobat by Balbir S. Sidhu - Singapore