The Eleven Assurances
has said, not a syllable is empty. His words are
filled with meaning. So did HE exclusively state
eleven points, thus assuring HIS devotees?
His Holiness Narasimha Swamiji, the blessed soul who is revered by many as the Apostle of Baba, and verily deserves the title, is the one, who was instrumental in spreading the truth in the form of books and pamphlets, as much as he could. He has written many books, describing the spiritual life of Baba. Thus, was born, as one among the many books, titled, "Baba's Charter and Sayings" and published as early as 1939. Note that this book, has various sections. They being, Sai Baba's Charters, Moksha Marga, Atma Vichara (Who are you?), What is God, Sadhanas under which there are sections pertaining to the Importance of Faith and Having a Guru, Reading of Holy Books, Naama Japa, Dakshina etcetera. And the other sections include, Baba's Indifference to Wealth, His Hospitality, Transience of Life, death, etcetera. Now, let us consider the first section - Baba's Charter's and Sayings. This consists of the priceless words uttered by the Maha Avatar Shirdi Baba Sai, as mentioned in the Sat Charita itself. THESE ARE NOT ELEVEN IN NUMBER. They are numerous. And this section itself branches out to many.
Baba promising in the Name of Dwarakamayi where is mentioned the wordings appearing in the twenty second chapter of Sat Charita, verses 47 to 55. Where Baba says to Balasaheb Mirikar, assuring and foretelling the impending danger, that was to befall him in the form of a snake. At that time Baba asked Mirikar a curious question: "Oh, this is our Dwarkamayi. Do you know it?" Balasaheb did not understand that question at all. Baba said: "Now look! This is our Dwarkamayi. This is our Dwarkamayi! When sitting in the lap of the Masjid, she safeguards the children and there will never be any question of worrying. This Masjidmai is very kind. She is the Mother of all the innocent and faithful devotees. Anyone may face any difficulty, She will readily protect. Once a person settles in her lap, all his difficulties are solved. He who lies in her shadow, he will be on the throne of happiness. This is that Dwarka, Dwaravati! " Then Baba gave him udi and kept His protective hand on his head, after which Mirikar got up to leave. Baba again thought of putting a question to Mirikar: "Do you know the long 'bava' (serpent)? and its mysterious powers?" Then He closed His fist and took His left arm near the elbow of his right arm, and holding it moved it around and said, "he is terrible like this! But what can he do to us? We are Dwarkamayi's offsprings. Nobody can comprehend her activities. Just quietly watch her wonders. When Dwarkamayi is there to protect, how can the long 'bava' dare to attack? The strength of the attacker is not comparable to that of the savior? How can it be explained! "
And to elucidate on the phrase, Once a person settles in her lap, all his difficulties are solved. He who lies in her shadow, he will be on the throne of happiness. Do you know what it is to settle in the lap of the Masjid Mai? Not merely walking to a building called Dwarakamyi and physically seating yourself there. It is the surrender which a seeker orbs himself with ~ the state of true acceptance, receiving the blows and blessings with simple calmness, striding through the highs and lows of life with absolute faith and serenity, thus surrendering oneself to the Guru and to remain thus, ever after (lying in Her shadow). How many are we who have settled in the lap of Dwarakamayi, let alone lying in her shadow?
The next saying from Chapter thirty four, verses 22 to 25. Where Baba talks to the parents of the boy suffering from tubercular bone abscess, saying, Those who come and resort to this Masjid shall never suffer anything in this life. Now, be carefree. Take udi and apply it on the abscess. Within four to eight days, he will get relief. Have faith in God. This is not a Masjid but Dwaravati. He who steps here will get health and joy, within no time. You also will get this experience. It is impossible that whoever comes here is not relieved. He who climbs the steps of this Masjid will accomplish his objective. Know that. Again, yes, as we had just seen, the one who settles to the Masjid, will be the one who resorts to the Masjid. There shall definitely be no suffering to the one, who leaves it all and goes to the Masjid Mayi. The whole definition of joy shall change. The one who resorts will never go through any pain or suffering. The words of Baba still stand true, and it will, as long as the waves rise in the seas. Our Masjid Mayi is very kind and merciful, as He says. He shall see to it that the devotees get relieved of his concerns in worldly affairs, and thus the one who climbs the steps of the Masjid shall accomplish his objective. The objective of a seeker is always redefined by his Master. We all, by now know the purpose of His avatar. Our Fakir has come to grant each and every seeker of His, the ultimate storehouse of joy, the taste of realization. He grants them their material wants, so that they begin to ask Him what He wants to give them.
And again, in chapter twenty five of the Sat Charita, verses 105 to 108. Even when I pass away, believe in My words. From My tomb My bones will give you assurance. Not only I, but my tomb would be speaking, moving and communicating with those who surrender themselves whole heartedly to me. Do not worry that I shall be hidden from your eyes. You will hear My bones speak and discuss your welfare. Always remember Me only. Believe in Me heart and soul. Pray without selfish motives and you will attain your welfare. Our Lord is ever living and we all know the fact, He is a Teacher par excellence. Like our timeless saint Kabir has said, 'He is a True Teacher Who can bring the vision of the Formless to the vision of these eyes.' And our Baba has time and again proved that true, and lives up to it. To This Samartha Sadguru Who can bring the vision of the Formless to the seeker's eye, He needs no form at all. He requires no physical body to do His work. He has discarded the body at will, and continues to be ever active and vigorous even now and shall be, ever after. The words, 'tomb' and 'bones' in His statement above, are to make the simple devotees cognize His state of living, even after discarding His physical body.
And from Chapter six, verse, 34 Those who whole-heartedly worship Me and lovingly always serve Me, I look after their well-being. This I know to be My motto. And from the same chapter, verses 35 and 36 reads thus: There will never be shortage of food and clothing. Therefore do not hanker after them. One should seek honor at the door of God; and should beg only from God. Ask only for His Blessings. Worldly prestige should be left aside.
Following that verse, is also mentioned in verses 36 to 41, the following. The same is also cited by Narasimha Swamiji in the very same book. One should seek honor at the door of God; and should beg only from God. Ask only for His Blessings. Worldly prestige should be left aside. Why are you satisfied by the honor given to you by society? And why are you infatuated by that? Rather seek through intense devotion to move your chosen deity to compassion and to express your joy through copious streams of satvik bhava. May you find joy in such striving. Let all the faculties be seized with such a devotional urge so that the passions of the senses may be transformed completely and sprout devotional worship. What desire will then remain? May such devotion be your constant pre-occupation leaving no relish for anything else. May the mind be engaged in constant chanting of My name and let everything else be forgotten. Then there will be no thought of body, home and wealth. The heart will be fixed on the infinite happiness. The mind will be balanced and serene; and it will find fulfillment in itself. A contented mind is the surest sign of association with the holy. How can a wandering mind be considered as being surrendered to God? We as humans prone to follies have ignored the complete saying. May the mind be engaged in constant chanting of My name and let everything else be forgotten. Nevertheless, Baba shall never let His children go lacking for food or clothing.
And in Chapter twenty eight, verses 199 and 200, where Baba replies to Mega saying thus. And we all know of Megha's austere devotion. How he had in all entirety placed his burdens on Baba. "I do not need a door to enter. I have no form or dimension. I am always everywhere. For the one who places his burdens on Me and has become one with Me, I manipulate all his actions like the actions of a marionette."
From Chapter forty, verses 31 and 32, where Baba says, in the pretext of asking Shama to communicate to Bapusaheb Jog in response to his invitation. He who remembers me is always in My mind. I need no conveyance – a carriage, or a horse, a plane or a train. I appear without an instant's delay, when I am lovingly called. And there are many and more instances, this day, where our Lord has appeared in some way or form, without an instant's delay.
From Chapter forty four, verses 151 and 152, He, who constantly remembers Me after completely surrendering to me, I owe him a debt which I will repay by uplifting him. I am in bondage to him who does not eat or drink anything without offering it to Me first and who constantly meditates upon Me. I constantly care for him who only longs for Me and for him no one is equal to Me. I act according to his wishes. How many of us are we who long for Him and only Him, and constantly meditate upon Him?
Well, that said, all these and few other verses from the Sat Charita, go to make the first section of the Charters and Sayings, as compiled by honorable Narasimha Swamiji. But, it is only from these above verses, the eleven verses as you get to see, inscribed in most temples and published in booklets, are taken and they were modified when being passed around. If you observe, they are not uniform across all temples. Because, these above verses, were subject to slight changes as with time and as and when handed down, not all retained their original version.
It is wise to self-analyse how qualified a seeker one is. Do we follow word to word of all that Baba said, that one should worry of being not fulfilled yet. Contemplate! Has He not told this?
Along with this, there are several other dictums in the Sat Charita, which when read with faith and taken to heart, will definitely prove useful, in expanding the awareness and thereby, easing the path ahead.