Sai Katha Sagar, a compilation of Shirdi Sai Baba’s Leelas by Shamshaad Ali Baig, offers one more fresh ground to savour the Grace of the venerable saint of Shirdi.
rapidly growing number of Sai devotees worldwide, every whiff of Sai Grace
is rejuvenating with Divine indulgence.
Sai Katha Sagar, undoubtedly showers this Grace, and
Shamshad’s inimitable reader- friendly writing skill provokes repeated
reading, though the compilation is from episodes, written and read several
times before, particularly by Sai devotees.
The book deserves to be strongly recommended for
everyone reeling under stress, striving for success or craving for higher
pursuits in this world and beyond.
The subject-wise compilation of Shirdi Sai Baba’s Leelas
provides a fresh dose of inspirational potency for right thinking, leading
to the path of spiritual fulfillment.
example the chapter - ‘Health well being and Udi miracles’,
recounts how Baba kept a Dhuni (fire) burning in the mosque and its
ashes were distributed as Udi, which had miraculous curative
The second chapter ‘Baba’s advent in Shirdi, His
stay there and related stories’, details His arrival in Shirdi. Baba was
of medium built and His height was about five feet six inches. His
complexion was golden yellow. Baba never brushed His teeth, only rinsed
His mouth, He never drank tea or coffee; but did not dissuade others from
drinking tea or coffee.
third chapter – ‘Hemadpant’s meeting with Baba and inspiration for
writing Shri Sai Satcharita’ describes Govind Dabholkar’s (Hemadpant’s)
views on Guru and how these views were transformed after he met
Baba, leading to his desire to write the Satcharita. Hemadpant doubted his
writing abilities; but with Baba’s Grace was able to write 9,308 verses
(ovis) describing Baba’s life, Leelas and teachings.
‘Travel tales’ highlights, how Baba guided
devotees during their travel. Those who followed Baba’s advice sometimes
even caught a train, which was unscheduled ! Those who didn’t
underwent sufferings, right from missing a meal (Dasganu) to meeting with
There were some who thought, they would never get
leave to visit Shirdi as the schedule at their office was very hectic, but
miraculously leaves got sanctioned. And after coming to Shirdi, those who
overstayed, never ran into any trouble with their employers.
‘Food tales’ describes some more of Baba’s Leelas
like Baba’s preparations in the Handi and turning the food with
Baba also taught important lessons through His Leelas.
Once, Baba asked Kushabhau to eat onions on Ekadashi. Not
wishing to displease Baba, he said, he would eat it, if Baba ate it first.
Baba and Kushabhau ate some onions. Baba then jestingly told others that
Kushabhau had eaten onions on Ekadashi day.
Kushabhau in self-defense said that even Baba has
eaten them. Baba refuted this and said that He had eaten sweet potatoes
and to prove His words, He vomited pieces of sweet potatoes !
also taught that feeding living being is like feeding Him; even when you
make offering to idols it reaches Him.
and related stories’ highlights, how Dakshina encourages non-
attachment, which is essential in spiritual upliftment. The Dakshina,
that Baba demanded from certain devotees, was the debt, they were clearing
of the Mashidmayi (mosque). There are some Leelas, where
Baba gave important lessons through Dakshina.
Baba always asked for Rs. 2 from
R. B. Purandare of Mumbai. Once, he enquired from Baba, why He
asked only Rs. 2 from him. Baba said, “It is not money I want. It
is Shraddha (faith) and Saburi (patience).”
Baba - one with divinity, through His Leelas
brings in sharp focus the Real knowledge - God is the same in
Keshav Naik, a devotee of Akkalkot Maharaj
(after Akkalkot Maharaj’s Mahasamadhi) went to meet Sai
Baba along with his son and two Brahmins. The Brahmins had
negative thoughts about Baba. Baba gave them all margosa leaves. The Brahmins
discovered that the leaves were bitter; but the Naiks found them sweet.
In ‘Guru - Baba’s view’ Baba’s
narration on Guru is highlighted – ‘My Guru became my
mother, father, everything. All my senses were focused on my eyes and my
sight only on Him. Thus he became my single focus of meditation. Then the
knowledge dawned on me without any effort’; this is what Guru’s
Grace is !
‘Reptilian tales’ highlights, how Baba saved His
devotees from reptiles. He also taught, “God lives in all. He controls
everything, and until He wills, no one can come to any harm. Hence, love
all creatures. Have patience and give up killing. God is Protector of
‘Dreams and visions’ is again very interesting;
because here are Kathas of how Baba, through dreams, guided and
helped devotees. Like His appearing in Uddhavesh’s son’s vision and
asking him to send money to his father (who had lost his money); Baba was
able to help Uddhavesh in completing his pilgrimage of Dwarka.
‘Things consecrated by Baba and related stories’
is like nectar, sweetening the readers’ mouth. Mrs. Krishna Prabhakar,
once by mistake, gave away a four - anna coin, consecrated by
Baba to a vegetable vendor. The latter returned the coin in the evening,
putting Mrs. Prabhakar’s mind at ease.
‘Laugh and learn’ highlights that Baba did
indulge in playing pranks on devotees. But, it was always to teach them
some important lesson in life.
‘Teachings’ the next chapter clearly enumerates,
how Baba’s life was itself a teaching to His devotees. He sometimes
narrated a story, whose significance would be caught by the devotee for
whom it was meant.
Through His Leelas He made an avaricious
seeker understand that Brahma Gyan was not meant for those still
desiring material riches.
Baba had told Kakasaheb Dixit that a serpent would
not bite till ordained by God, and he never killed snakes, scorpions, ants
or even bugs. Once, He explained, “The bugs drank only an ounce of
blood, and the loss is easily made up by the body. Is not God also in the
The rest of the book has Leelas in categories
like – ‘Baba blessed them with children’, ‘Extraordinary
stories’, ‘Leelas about Baba’s photo’, ‘Past life
tales’, ‘Ramnavami and Urus celebrated together’ and ‘Devotees
- Vishwarath Nayar
sai katha sagar
by Shamshad Ali Baig
by Prasaar Communication
CHS., 1-B-5, Sector 10, Koparkhairane, Navi Mumbai - 400 709, Maharashtra.
of pages - 224 Price Rs.
at ‘Sai Prem’, Plot 13 A, Sector 10 A, Balaji Rd., Next to Balaji
temple, Navi Mumbai - 400 703, Maharashtra.