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The Most Intense Form of Goddess: Maa Kaali

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The most ferocious and powerful deity in Hindu mythology is Goddess Kali. Known for the aggression and violence, Goddess Kali is believed to bring peace on earth by destroying the evil forces. The Goddess is also known as the “Dark Mother,” who is believed to be the deity of creation, preservation, and destruction.

Here are some of the facts about Maa Kali.

Significance of the name “Kali”

The word ‘Kali’ has been derived from the Sanskrit word Kaal, means time. The Goddess is believed to be the counterpart of Lord Shiva, the destroyer.  Similar to Lord Shiva, the three eyes of The Goddess represent the three phases of time – past, present, and future. She is a goddess of death, time and doomsday.

A black beauty                                                                                                                            

The dark skin tone of the Goddess symbolizes her persona of all-embracing and transcendental nature. As per Mahanirvana Tantra: “Just as all colors disappear in black, so all names and forms disappear in her”. The skin color of the deity is midnight blue or almost black, which represents the womb of existence.

Maa Kali, originated from Ma Durga

The ferocious deity was born to demolish all the evil power. The Goddess is believed to be originated from the forehead or brow of Goddess Durga.

She is a great protector

The Goddess is often considered as most loving and the kindest of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded as the Mother of the whole Universe. And because of her dreadful form and fury, she is also often considered as a great protector of her devotees.

Significance of Maa Kaali’s four hands         

The two hands of the deity rise to destroy and demolish the demons, while her other two hands bless her devotees. So, basically the two hands of the goddess symbolize destruction and demolishment of evil powers and the other two symbolizes her love towards her children.

Maa Kaali is not only the goddess of death and destruction but represents the complete victory of the overall divine, death, and destruction.

Benefits of chanting Mahamrityunjaya Mantra regularly!

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Sonali Patnaik is majorly into secondary research and report writing. She is an avid reader and reads a variety of novels, a music lover and a movie buff. She also loves to travel and fond of cooking experiments. She expresses her views on various topics and does so through her well-researched articles.



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Mythology

Significance of Mahalaya!

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Mahalaya falls on a new moon day and hence it is also known as the Mahalaya Amavasya. The auspicious day not only marks the end of “Pitr- Paksha” but is also the beginning of “Devi paksha”. This day holds different significance in the different parts of India.

Here are some of the mythological beliefs.

End of Pitr- Paksha

As per the Hindu belief, the phase of Pitri Paksha is considered as an inauspicious period. This is because all the shradhh or death rites are performed during this period.

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The extent of the lunar period comprises of 16 days during which people pay homage to their ancestors by offering food and water.

Beginning of the Journey to Earth

According to Bangalis, Mahalaya also symbolizes the day when Goddess Durga officially began her journey from Mount Kailash along with her husband Lord Shiva to her maternal home on Earth.

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In Eastern India, this day is celebrated with much enthusiasm.

Story from Mahabharata

According to the epic Mahabharata, when Karna reached heaven after his death, his soul was offered jewels and food. He was very much surprised to see all this. Then, Indra, the king of Gods, illuminated him that during his lifetime, Karna never offered anything to his ancestors. To this Maharathi Karna replied, he was actually not aware of it and expressed his wish to offer his dues to his ancestors.

Image result for Karna in offering water to surya

Therefore, he came back to earth for sixteen days and offered foods and other belongings to his ancestors and then returned to heaven.

Beginning of Akal Bodhan

Additionally, it is the beginning of ‘Akal Bodhan’, which means worshipping before time. According to Hindu Mythology, King Suratha worshipped Goddess Durga during the spring.

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However, Lord Ram worshipped Goddess Durga during the autumn season, as he needed her blessings to kill Ravana. Thus this day actually signifies the awakening of Devi Durga.

The Most Intense Form of Goddess: Maa Kaali

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Mythology

Shakuni: The Master Conspirator in Mahabharata

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Shakuni also called as Saubala and well known as Gandhararaja or the king of Gandhara is one of the primary villains in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata. He was the elder brother of Gandhari and hence Duryodhana’s maternal uncle.

Portrayed as an extremely cunning as well as devious character, Shakuni is often credited to be the mastermind behind the great war of Mahabharata. Shakuni was the second greatest illusionist of the then era, next only to Lord Krishna.

Here are some lesser-known facts about the master conspirator in Mahabharata.

  1. It is well-known that Shakuni had 100 nephews but fewer people are aware of the fact that he was the 100th son of King Subala. He was the cleverest among all his brothers and therefore chosen to survive when the entire family starved to death.
  2. Shakuni had two sons namely, Uluka and Vrikasura. Once his son Uluka requested Shakuni to return to Gandhara and live in peace and harmony but Shakuni refused because he had promised his father to destroy Bheeshma and the Kuru dynasty at any cost.
  3. Shakuni had no hard feelings for the Pandavas but his biggest enemy was Bheeshma Pitamah. The reason behind the enmity was the anger caused by a Bheeshma’s act. Bheeshma had made his sister Gandhari marry Dhritarashtra, who was visually challenged from birth.
  4. Shakuni was a master dice player and there are many tales about the content of his dice. According to some, the dice were made of bones from his father’s ankle while others believe that the dice contained his father’s Asthi.
  5. Shakuni was a master illusionist. He had the talent to fetch any number at any moment in the dice game. This was one of the greatest talents of Shakuni due to which the eldest of the Pandavas, Yudhishthira lost everything to Duryodhana in the dice game.
  6. On the 18th day of the Great War of Mahabharata, Shakuni was killed by Sahadeva, the youngest of the Pandava brothers. As per Sahadeva, Shakuni was the root cause behind the insult of Draupadi. Shakuni was the root cause for attempting to malign the honor and self-respect of Draupadi. Therefore Sahadeva had taken an oath to kill Shakuni.

Draupadi: Ten Interesting facts!!!

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Mythology

Krishna-Karna Conversation: A Beautiful Lesson About Life!

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A nice fact about the value of life. This will definitely impact all of us.

In Mahabharat, Karna asks Lord Krishna –

“My mother left me the moment I was born. Is it my fault I was born an illegitimate child?

I did not get the education from Dhronacharya because I was considered as not a Kshatriya but a Shudra.

Parsuraam taught me but then gave me the curse to forget everything when he came to know I was Son of Kunti and was a Kshatriya.

A cow was accidentally hit by my arrow & its owner cursed me for no fault of mine.

I was disgraced in Draupadi’s Swayamvar.

Even Mother Kunti finally told me the truth only to save her other sons.

Whatever I received was through Duryodhana’s charity.

So how am I wrong in taking his side ???”

**Lord Krishna replied, “Karna, I was born in a jail.

Death was waiting for me even before my birth.

The night I was born I was separated from my birth parents.

From childhood, you grew up hearing the noise of swords, chariots, horses, bow, and arrows. I got only cow herd’s shed, dung, and multiple attacks on my life even before I could walk!

No Army, No Education. I could hear people say that I was the reason for all their problems.

When all of you were being appreciated for your valour by your teachers, I had not even received any education. I joined Gurukula of Rishi Sandipani only at the age of 16!

You are married to a girl of your choice. I didn’t get the girl I loved & rather ended up marrying those who wanted me or the ones I rescued from demons.

I had to move my whole community from the banks of Yamuna to far off Sea shore to save them from Jarasandh. I was called a coward for running away!!

If Duryodhana wins the war you will get a lot of credit. What do I get if Dharmaraja wins the war? Only the blame for the war and all the related problems…

Remember one thing, Karna. Everybody has Challenges in life to face.

LIFE IS NOT FAIR & EASY ON ANYBODY!!!

But what is Right (Dharma) is known to your Mind (conscience). No matter how much unfairness we get, how many times we were disgraced, how many times we Fall, what is important is how we have REACTED at that time.

Life’s unfairness does not give us the license to walk the wrong path…

Always remember, Life may be tough at a few points, but DESTINY is not created by the SHOES we wear but by the STEPS we take…

Draupadi: Ten Interesting facts!!!

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Holy Scriptures

Ramayana Vs RamCharitManas: The Difference!

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Ramayana is one of the greatest Indian epics amongst all the Vedic scriptures. Most people use the words, Ramayana and RamCharitManas interchangeably. Although both the books describe the journey of Rama, the Lord Vishnu’s incarnate on Earth, only a few know that both the books are different versions presented by different authors in different eras.

In fact, there are many differences between Ramayana and RamCharitManas. Here are some of the important differences.

  1. Ramayana is written by sage Valmiki in Treta Yuga in the Sanskrit language. On the contrary, RamCharitManas was written by the great poet Goswami Tulsidas in Kaliyuga in the Awadhi language in the 15th century AD (1511–1623).
  2. The word Ramayana is comprised of two words Ram and Aayanam (Story), which means Ram’s story, while the word RamCharitManas is derived from three words Ram, Charita (good deeds) and Manas (lake) which mean Lake of good deeds of Ram.
  3. Ramayana is composed of seven chapters or Kandams, namely, Bala Kandam, Ayodhya Kandam, Aranya Kandam, Kishkinda Kandam, Sundara Kandam, Yuddha Kandam, and Uttara Kandam. RamCharitManas also consists of seven chapters; however, there is a difference that Tulsidas named the Yuddha Kandam as Lanka Kand.
  4. Ramayana has been written in a format of ‘Slokas’ while RamCharitManas has been described in ‘Chaupais’ format. Ramayana is considered as the original story of Lord Ram and his journey, while RamCharitManas is the retelling of the Ramayana in which Tulsidas has acknowledged Valmiki in the epic manuscript.
  5. According to Ramayana, King Dasaratha had 350 wives out of which only three were considered as his principal wives, namely, Kausalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra. However, RamCharitManas mentions the King had only three wives.
  6. Ramayana depicts Lord Hanuman as a human being who belongs to the Vanar tribe. Here, Vanar is a tribe living in the forest. The word Vanar was derived from words — Van (forest) and Nar (man). On the other hand, in RamCharitManas he is depicted as a monkey and ‘Vanar’ is refer to species of Monkeys.
  7. As per Ramayana King Janaka had never arranged Sita Swayamvar as a mass function. It is mentioned in Ramayana that whenever any mighty individual used to visit Janaka, he used to show them the Bow of Shiva or Shiva Dhanusha and asked them to lift it. Therefore, when Vishwamitra visited Janaka along with Rama and Lakshmana, Janaka showed them the bow and asked Lord Rama to lift the bow. To Janaka’s surprise, Rama lifted the bow and hence Janaka proposed Rama to marry Sita.

On the contrary, in RamCharitManas, a Sita Swayamvar was organized by King Janaka and there was a competition to lift the bow of Shiva and Sita would marry the person who could lift the bow without breaking it. Nobody could lift the bow except Rama. However, Rama lifted it but broke it in the process.

  1. Ramayana depicts the abduction of Sita was real. She was captured forcefully by Ravana and Rama rescued Sita and she was asked to prove her purity to the world by taking the Agni Pariksha. On the contrary, RamCharitManas stated that Sita was never kidnapped. However, Rama predicted the kidnapping of Sita and created a clone of Sita. The real Sita was sent to Agni Deva and the Agni Pariksha was just a way to exchange clone of Sita with real Sita.
  2. As per Ramayana, Ravana came to fight Rama on the battlefield twice. First, he came at the beginning of the war and was humiliated by Rama but left alive. The second time, he came at the end of the war and was killed by Rama. On the other hand, in RamCharitManas, Ravana came to the battlefield only once at the end of the war.
  3. In Ramayana, Rama is portrayed as “Maryada Purushottam” which means a man with exceptional virtues or the best of men with excellent conduct. However, in RamCharitManas, Rama is depicted as Supreme Being, the incarnation of God and possessed a divine touch in his deeds. His actions were depicted as the Lord’s righteous ways to destroy evils and establish Dharma.
  4. Ramayana ends when Rama completed the journey of his mortal body by drowning himself in the Saryu river after he was saddened by the absence of Sita and Lakshmana. Sita had disappeared into mother Earth and Lakshmana had drowned himself in the Saryu river. But RamCharitManas ended with the birth of the twin sons Lava and Kusha to Ram and Sita and there was no mention of the death of Lakshmana or How Sita disappeared.
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Mythology

Essence of Shankh or Conch in Hinduism…

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Scientifically, conch is nothing but a shell of a tropical marine mollusk or large snail. However, in Vedic culture, a conch or Shankh holds a significant value. In Hinduism, the Shankh is considered as Lord Vishnu’s emblem and believed that Shanknaad or the vibrations that occur on blowing through the Shankh exterminate negative energy.

In Hindu mythology, it is mentioned that Lord Vishnu, in many of his avatars, blows through the Shankh or conch to destroy the negative power around the world. Therefore, the Shankh is considered to be Lord Vishnu’s sacred symbol and holds the highest significance in both Hinduism and Buddhism.

Shankh is considered to be Lord Vishnu’s sacred symbol and holds the highest significance in both Hinduism and Buddhism.

As per Vedic scriptures, there are two types of Shankh; one for blowing sound and another for worshiping purpose. It is also believed that one who blows into the Shankh regularly is protected against heart disease.

A Shankh, when kept at home, must be worshiped diligently by the family members and must be blown into at least twice a day in the morning and evening. Here are some Vastu tips that one must take care of while bringing home a Shankh.

  • If you are keen to bring Shankh to your home, then bring at least two and they must be kept in separate rooms.
  • The Shankh, used for blowing purposes must not be offered water or rituals or any of the religious chants or mantras. It must be placed on a yellow cloth.
  • The Shankh, used for worshiping purposes must be cleansed with milk or Gangajal or Panchaamrit and be draped in sacred white cloth.

Shankh or Conch

  • The Shankh for worshipping purpose must be placed above or at a high place of the one being used for blowing purpose.
  • The two Shankhs should not be used for similar purposes (either blowing or worshiping) in the same puja room or temple at home.
  • The Shankh must not be placed above the Shivling or should never touch the Shiv Pindi during any religious ritual.
  • The Shankh must not be used for offering water to either Lord Shiva or Lord Sun.
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Mythology

Is it Inauspicious to Look at the Moon on Ganesh Chaturthi?

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Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chavithi is considered to be one of the biggest festivals in India. The festival is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm, devotion and austerity. According to Vedic belief, the Lord Ganesha is considered as the symbol of wisdom, knowledge, fortune and prosperity. People worship Lord Ganesha before starting any important or auspicious work or event to ensure success in the same.

Many people believe that we should not look at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. The interesting story behind this In case you are not aware of the reason, read this interesting story below.

According to Vedic belief, it is said that the God Chandra, Moon, who is considered to be very handsome and proud of his looks, once tried to make fun of Lord Vighnaharta by doing mockery of his appearance. All these made the Lord Ganesha to punish Chandra, the moon to make him realize his fault and be polite and humble. Therefore, Lord Lambodara cursed Chandra saying that he will not be worshipped by anyone and if anyone will look at the Chandra or the moon, he has to face false allegations and may lose peace of mind.

By hearing this curse, Chandra got devastated and started worshiping Lord Ganesha along with other Gods to appease him. Finally, Lord Ganesha was pleased and relieved him from the curse but with a condition. So, he said people can look at the moon on any day except that day of ‘Bhadrapada Chaturthi’. If anyone dares to look the moon on that particular day, he will have to face the wrath of Lord Ganesha.

Since that day, ‘Bhadrapada Chaturthi’ is celebrated as Vinayak Chavithi or Ganesh Chaturthi. Anyone who looks at the moon on the very auspicious day of Bhadrapada Chaturthi even by mistake, it is advised to worship Lord Ganesha and observe the holy rituals and recite the story of Ganesh Chaturthi in order to get rid of the curse.

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Mythology

Draupadi: Ten Interesting facts!!!

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Draupadi is the most significant woman in the Hindu classic, Mahabharata.

As depicted in the Mahabharata, Draupadi was the daughter of Drupada, the king of Panchala, which is now known located somewhere in Bareilly. Drupada had been defeated by the Arjuna, on behalf of Guru Dronacharya. Latter, in order to gain revenge on Guru Dronacharya, Drupada performed a Putrakameshti yajna. From that sacrificial yajna kund, appeared a beautiful dark-skinned young woman Draupadi. When she emerged from the fire, a heavenly voice (aakaashvaani) said that she would bring about the destruction of the Kuruvansh.

Here are some interesting facts about Draupadi, the Paanchaali.

It is believed by some people that Draupadi, in her previous birth, was Indrasena the wife of great saint Moudgalya, who died in early age due to leprosy. In order to fulfill her own desires, Indrasena worshiped Lord Shiva and asked for a husband. However, she asked the same for five times in a rush.

There is another version of Mahabharata, where it is mentioned that Draupadi was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, and had always wished to marry someone with five qualities including Righteousness, Mighty, Archery Skills, Handsome and Tolerant. However, Lord Shiva misinterpreted her to wish and blessed her to have five husbands with each personality.

In South India, it is believed that Draupadi was an incarnation of Goddess Maha Kali, who was born to help Lord Krishna to abolish the arrogant Kauravas.

Draupadi agreed to become the wife of five Pandavas on one condition, i.e. she would never share her household with any other women, which means the Pandavas had no right to bring their other wives to Indraprastha.

Pandavas also decided that Draupadi would stay with each of the brothers for a year and then would move to next brother. This shrewd decision was taken to prevent distrust and to identify paternity of Draupadi’s children.

As agreed between Pandavas and Draupadi, only one brother was permissible to enter her chamber at a time and was supposed to keep his shoes outside as a mark of indication but one day, a dog took away Yudhishthira’s shoes then Draupadi cursed dogs by saying: “All the world will see you copulate in public, stripped of all shame.

Before Draupadi moved from one husband to another, she walked through fiery fire to recapture her purity and virginity.

Draupadi had one son each from each of the Pandava brothers. They were known as Uppanadavas.

Draupadi’s Vessel, which means her kitchen that, had an abundant stock of food. It was considered as a mark of a great homemaker and Draupadi was surely one. She never let anyone sleep empty stomach in her palace or those who came for alms.

Draupadi had always considered Lord Krishna as her true friend, Sakhaa. Lord Krishna was the only who came to her rescue whenever she had found herself in awful situations.

Draupadi was never responsible for the Mahabharata war, however, most of the people do believe that she was the one who provoked for the war. That is absolutely incorrect. Of course she had always encouraged Yudhishthir and Arjun to fight against wrong, however, the issue still remains debatable based on people’s perceptions.

Krishna-Karna Conversation: A Beautiful Lesson About Life!

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Mythology

Sai Baba devotees donate in excess of 5 crores on Guru Purnima

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Sai Baba of Shridhi and donated currency
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Shirdi Sai Baba is considered world over as the last walking God on earth. He took salvation in 1919 in Shirdi, a small and modest village in Maharashtra. He was worshipped by over 1.8 lakh devotees on Guru Purnima festival with ardent Sai bhaktas thronging the historic temple in thousands from various parts of India. Some even visited him barefoot and the total donation amounted to INR 5.62 crores.
A “Jatha” of 1500 Sai devotees also arrived in Shirdi from Pune barefooted after having covered the long and arduous distance in several days. Such is the blind faith of ardent Sai devotees.
Sai Baba is considered as a God of miracles. He more than 175 years ago, while still, a child had visited the modest village of Shirdi in a marriage party. He finally settled there in a dilapidated mosque for his entire life. He helped the poor and all the sects irrespective of their caste and religion, he even cured them with His supernatural powers. Thus he always there to rescue the needy.
Sai Baba was considered as a God of miracles. He begged door to door leading a modest life in tatters. He was initially even stoned by naughty children of Shirdi.
It is said that after Baba started living in Shirdi,  his miraculous feats, gradually impressed the local inhabitants of the village. They gradually recognized his greatness and his supernatural powers and started worshipping him.
Once while begging for mustard oil for lighting lamps, he was refused oil by a local shopkeeper. After the shopkeeper even insulted Sai Baba, he returned to his mosque disappointed. It was the day of Ram Navmi and he had to light the earthen lamps in the mosque he lived in. As he had no oil, he poured water in all the earthen lamps and had them lighted.
Those present there were shocked to see the lamps lighted with water. Soon his miraculous feats spread to the nearby villages and people started thronging Shirdi for his obeisance, finally, according to him the status of God.
Today, after hundred years Shirdi Sai Baba Trust managing the historic Shirdi temple is the richest shrine in India. It has a total deposit of nearly INR 2400 crores, donated by Sai bhaktas from all over the world in Indian and foreign currencies. The donations also include gold, silver, diamonds and even lands.
According to sources, about  70000 devotees visit Sai Temple every day. The annual income of Shirdi Sai Baba Trust is Rs 700 crores.
About 3.5 lakh devotees visit the historic temple during festivals, as during the three days of Guru Purnima festival from 15th to 17th July. About INR 5.62 crores had been received as Guru Dakshina during these three days. Sai Baba Trust has a whopping Rs. 2330 crores deposit to date.
The Sai Sansthan has 500 crores with 443 kilograms Gold and 5368 kg silver annual donations. The trust has an annual income of INR 700 crores.
About 1.75  lakh devotees sought Baba’s darshan on Gurupurnima day. The total collection included Hundi of Rs. 2 crores 12 lakh, 1.7 crores on donation counter and 1 crore 8.49 lakh through foreign currency contributions.
The report says that about INR 2 crores are acknowledged as a donation from ardent Sai devotees from different parts of the country and globe. The major part of the donation collected is used for the construction of hospitals and modern Dharamshalalas in Shirdi. These donations are also used for meals etc at subsidized rates to lakhs of devotees visiting the historic temple.
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Mythology

SAI BABA ! The last walking God on earth

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The Sai Baba Of Shirdhi who is considered to be the last walking God on earth and worshipped by billions around the globe always believed in simplicity and had no greed for any material gains but instead had only one objective in mind and that was service to the poor and needy and make them self sufficed by all means. For Sai Baba Guru is God and the one who surrenders to his or her Guru in totality is considered the true disciple who can ultimately reap the real fruits of the Guru’s blessings.The Guru will take care of such disciples, protect them and finally lead them to salvation.

It should be complete and total surrender on the Guru’s feet with special emphasis on “total” and any doubt or mental reservation on the part of the disciple will not only be unproductive but will also render him as a non- achiever. Sai Baba who reigned as a spiritual leader, the greatest saints of all times finally became God who walked on earth by his infinite miracles for the welfare of the hapless, poor and needy including the lepers who not only became economically self reliant and got cured from the dreaded diseases but also achieved salvation by His grace and ever lasting divinity.

I honestly consider my good luck and feel it my proud privilege for having been able to compile articles on Sai Baba, the real incarnation of Lord Shiva and Vishnu Who not only provide me special potential to do so but also gives enough knowledge to be able to pen my inner feelings about Baba. Baba was and is so great, omnipresent and omniscient that storehouse of knowledge and senior journalist like Rangaswamy Parthasarthy has also written lot about HIM and shed special light on Baba’s karmas for the welfare and upliftment of the poorest sections of the society during His lifetime.

Lot and lot has been written about Baba and His miraculous feats for the last hundred years which has not only benefited billions of His ardent devotees world over to follow His most precious sermons and religious discourses and imbibe them within themselves for attaining purity of mind, heart and soul but Baba’s blessing and divinity has also given complete BLISS to them who pray in veneration at HIS pious feet in total surrender.

Let’s therefore know about Baba’s actual existence as a HUMAN and his various feats and miracles during his lifetime in Shridhi where he came as a fakir through a marriage party(Baraat), was teased by children and frowned upon by sceptically villagers initially and later on remained to reign as a spiritual leader thus finally becoming the most sought after and adoring spiritual leader of all times.
It is said that Sai Baba was five feet six inches tall, neither stout nor lean. His complexion was Golden yellow, his eyes bluish, which shone bright mysteriously in darkness.

Indeed His eyes were the object of wonder to the devotees. His nostrils were prominent. At the time when Sai Shradhanandji, who has given the above description of Baba in the book titled, God Who Walked On Earth- The Life and Times of Shridhi Sai Baba,authered by Mr. Rangachari, Sai Baba had some of His teeth missing and the rest were not pure white, rather pale.He never brushed His teeth but only rinsed His mouth with a little water every morning. He did not drink tea but did not ask His devotees to abstain from them. He never disclosed anyone how and when He got into the habit of smoking a pipe. He always used the same clay pipe although devotees often offered Him many pipes which he did not use but stocked them in the hollow portion of the Masjid Wall.
The piece of cloth tied around His head called Kafni was very rarely changed and never washed. Whenever Sai Baba decided to change His Kafni, He sent for the local tailor and said, Get me a Kafni,. When it was given to Him He always paid the tailor more than its worth. Left to Himself Baba spoke very little. He always preferred to be a silent spectator than to be talkative. He was more at the receiving end, always chanting God’s name within Himself. Baba usually remained calm and quite and spoke only when absolutely necessary. He never laughed loudly but smiled quietly. Whenever a devotee approached to Him for Darshan, He glanced at him. Sometimes He did not even do that.

He adored children very much and whenever got the opportunity, played with them merrily. He never sat leaning against the wall in the mosque. Even when he sat with His legs outstretched, He always sat a few feet away from the wall. He never slept during the day and seldom visited any temple in Shridhi during his lifetime, may be because since He Himself was the God in Himself, the real an true incarnation of Lord Shiva,Rama, and Vishnu.

Sai Baba used to usually get His head shaved. Marthand son of Mhalsapati said that on certain occassions Baba sent for a barber, Balanari and had His head shaved completely. After the haircut Baba used to put His hand into His pocket and pay the barber whatever came to his hands. But it was always much in excess of the normal payment for a shave. Baba maintained a small beard. He had a wide forehead and always wore a plain Kafni. The clay pipe was often renewed by His devotees who used to encircle Him whenever the pipe smoking session was in process by passing the rustic pipe to each other one by one. Baba never had any reservation of sharing the pipe though it was also smoked by one of the lepers’.

In one of the notings in his diary by his devotee Kharparde, it is revealed thus,” Today I have shampooed the legs of Sai Baba. The softness of His limbs is wonderful. This example shows how privileged His devotees felt by washing his legs”.

Similarly a woman devotee of Baba has also recorded her emotions and impressions about Baba’s personality,:” There was such power and penetration in His glance that none could continue to look into His eyes.One felt that Sai Baba was reading Him or her mind through and through. Soon one lowered one’s eyes and bowed to Him. One felt that He was not only in one’s heart but in every atom of one’s body. A few words or a gesture would reveal that Baba knew all about everything else.

There was nothing else to do for one except to submit trustfully and to surrender to Him in totality. And then He was to look after every minute detail and guide one safely through every turn and vicissitude of life. He was in real sense an Antaryami, call Him God or Satpurush or a walking humanitarian on earth born for the welfare and well being for the humanity around the globe.
Baba was so reserve from within and completely devoted to GOD that His words were always short, limited, pithy,deep, full of meaning and well balanced. He once said,” Though I have become a fakir, have no house, wife and though devoid of all the material gains, I have stayed at one place, the inevitable Maya teases me often.

Though I forget myself, I cannot forget her. She envelopes me. This maya teases God Brahma and others as well then what to speak of a poor fakir like me? Hence according to Baba, those who take refuge in Lord will definitely be freed from the clutches of Maya with His grace.
An ardent devotee of Baba said : many saints went into a trance or samadhi, forgetting their body and they would display their supernatural powers and knowledge through such feats. But in case of Sai Baba He never had to go into a trance to achieve anything or reach any higher position.

As Baba was always exercising a double consciousness every moment , the ego called Sai Baba and the antaryami, superseding all egos and finally resting in the Lord, the Parmatma. Baba was always in the state of exercising and manifesting the powers and features of both states of consciousness. The devotee says: When I sit in His presence I always forget my pain, nay,the body itself with all its mundane concerns and anxieties. Hours would pass and I would be in a blissful condition unconscious of the time passing. He was all in all for us and we could never think of His having limitations.

One notable instance of Baba’s miracle was when a portion of the mosque which was in a very dilapidated state, started to crumble with a loud noise while Baba and His devotees were taking the afternoon meals,” On seeing this, Baba lifted his hands in anger and said loudly: SAHA, SAHAR,” meaning wait, wait. And suddenly the noise stopped and after the meal was finished and everyone came out comfortably, a big portion of the dilapidated mosque came down with a shattering noise and huge bang, exactly at the place where Baba and his devotees were having the lunch.

Lateron the renovation work of mosque was taken and the dilapidated mosque repaired, forthwith.Similarly Baba used to used His intestines regularly by vomiting them out first and after adequately cleaning them would swallow them again. This miraculous feat is also something never witnessed anywhere in the world. Such supernatural power was He. There are hundreds and thousands of such instances that prove beyond doubt that Sai Baba of Shridhi was not an ordinary saint or a spiritual leader but a God in Him self who till today is providing overall bliss, all round progress and prosperity to billions and billions of his devotees around the globe with His blessings and divinity.OM SAI RAM.

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Mythology

Sai Baba: an embodiment of love, compassion, service to the poor and the hapless

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In chapter 9-26 of revered Bhagwat Gita Lord Krishna says to his devotees, “ Whoever offers to Me, with love or devotion , a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water that offering of love of the pure self-controlled man is willingly and readily accepted by Me.”Similarly , the incarnation of Lord Krishna and Vishnu Sai Baba of Shirdhi is also ambivalent and generous towards his devotees, particularly towards the ones who venerate at his feet every day and make the offering with total dedication and surrender. If we cast a glance at Him for a moment, He destroys the sorrow of our previous births and generously confers immense bliss on one and all and if He looks at us with grace, our bondage of Karma is immediately snapped away and we are led to complete and perfect happiness.

As per Hemad Pant, the author and Baba’s close confident and follower, vide chapter 22 of Sai Sad Charitra , Sai Baba’s everlasting divinity and blessings on his each and every follower without any distinction of stature, caste, creed or religion makes everybody so comfortably relieved from the incessant worries and complexities of life that they feel a sense of everlasting bliss and total security in their respective lives. Sai Baba in short is a quest jewel of the saints, the true people and devotees. We prostrate ourselves before and take refuge at the lotus feet of Sai Baba, Who besets all animate and inanimate things in the universe- Who pervades all creatures equally without any differentiation, to Whom all devotees are alike and Who knows not honor and dishonor, like or dislike. If we remember him with full dedication, honesty, devotion and surrender to HIM,

He fulfils all our wishes and makes us attain our goal by all means. How to meditate on Baba? This is a main question for those who are desirous to be his ardent followers and want to seek his valuable blessings. It’s a hard and true fact that no one has till date been able to fathom the nature or the form of Almighty. Even the Vedas and the thousand tongued Shesha are not able to describe it fully, the devotees also cannot know but only look at the form of Lord, for they know that, HIS FEET are the only refuge for ultimate solace and salvation. They know no other method of attaining the supreme goal of life except meditating on the Holy Feet.

Therefore meditate on Baba but let’s first see His Baba’s form. Look at Baba’s posture, how fine it is. He is peacefully sitting with His legs folded, the right leg held across the left knee. The fingers of His left hand are spread on the right foot. On the toe are spread His two fingers- the index and middle ones. By this posture Baba seems to say- if you want to see my true form, be egoless and most humble, and meditate on My toe through the opening between- index and middle fingers and then you will be able to see my light.
Similarly, now let’s turn to Baba’s life.

Shirdi has become a most significant place of pilgrimage for Sai Bhaktas who come here from all around the globe, on account of the fact that Sai Baba once lived there physically and is even present there today to bless us . People from all quarters began to flock there and both rich and the poor began to be benefitted in more ways than one. Who can describe Baba’s boundless love and His wonderful knowledge including His all pervasiveness? Blessed is he or she who could experience these. Sometimes Baba observed long silence called Maun Vrat which was in a way, His dissertation on Bramha, at other times;

He was Pure Consciousness-Bliss Incarnate, surrounded by His ardent devotees. Sometimes, He spoke in parables and at other times, indulged in wit and humour. At times He was quite peaceful and calm and at time he seemed badly enraged. Sometimes He gave His teachings in nutshell, say precisely while at other times he argued at length. Many a times He was direct. In this way He gave varied instructions to many, according to their requirements. Sai Baba’s life was therefore inscrutable, beyond the ken of our mind, intellect and speech. Our longing to see His face, to talk with Him and hear His Leelaas, was never satisfied; still we were overflowing with joy. We can gauge the showers of rain, capture the wind in the leather bag but who can measure His leelaas?

Now we deal here with one aspect of them viz how He anticipated or forestalled the calamities of His devotees and warned them in time.
Balasaheb Mirikar, son of Sardar Kakasaheb Mirikar was a Mamlatdar of Kopergaon. He was going on the tour of Chitali. On the way he came to Shirdi, to see Sai Baba. When he went to the Masjid and prostrated himself before Baba, the usual conversation, regarding health and other matters commenced, when Baba sounded a note of warning,’’ Do you know our DWARKJAMAYEE?’As Balasaheb did not understand, he kept quiet and Baba continued saying further, “This is our Dwarkamayee where you are sitting.” She wards off all dangers, ill conceived notions and anxieties of the children who sit in her lap.

The Masjid mai ( its presiding Diety) is very merciful , she is the mother of simple devotees whom she will save by all means in calamities. Once a person sits in Her lap, ALL HIS OR HER TROUBLES ARE OVER. He who rests in Her shade, gets bliss. Then Baba gave Him Udi and placed His hand on his head , with the intent to bless Him. When Bala Saheb was about to depart. He again said, “Do you know the “Lamba Baba”,( Long gentleman) viz. serpent?” And then, closing the left fist He brought it under the right elbow and moving His left arm lie the hood of a serpent, said” He is so terrible, but what can he do to the children of Dwarkamayee? When the Dwarkamayee ( its presiding Deity) protects, what can the serpent do?”
All who were present there were curious to know the meaning of all this and its reference to Mirikar, but none had the courage to ask Bab about all this.

Then Balasahe saluted Baba and left the Masjid with Shama. Baba called Shama back and asked him to accompany Balasaheb and enjoy the Chitali trip. Shama came to Balasaheb and told him that he would go with him, according to Baba’s wish. Balasaheb replied that he need not come, as it would be inconvenient to both of them. Shama immediately returned to Baba and told Him what Balasaheb said. Baba said,” Alright, do not go. We should mean well and do well. Whatever is destined to happen, will happen. In the meanwhile , Balasaheb thought it over what Baba had said again and calling Shama, asked him to accompany him. Then Shama went again to Baba and after taking His leave started with Balasaheb on the Tonga. They reached Chitali at 9P.M. and encamped in the Maruti Temple.

The office people had not come so they sat in the temple, talking and chitchatting. Balasaheb was sitting on the mat, reading the newspaper. His Uparani ( upper Dhotar) was spread across his waist and on it a snake was sitting unnoticed. It began to move with a hissing sound, which was heard by the peon sitting there. He got terrified and brought a lantern, saw the snake and raised the alarm,” serpent, serpent.” Balasaheb was badly terrified and frightened. He began to quiver. Shama too was shocked and stunned. Feeling badly feared he and others moved quietly and took sticks, clubs etc. in their hands. The snake, however slowly came down the waist and moved away from Balasaheb sending shivers down his spine. The snake was immediately done to death.

Thus this calamity, which was prophesized by Baba, was averted within no time and Balasahebs’s devotion in Baba confirmed. There are numerous other miracles of Baba in Sai Satcharitra that clearly show how Baba saved His devotees from calamities, danger and adverse situations by coming to their rescue as and when His devotees felt the need for the same by remembering Baba honestly and from the inner core of the pious heart.
SUNIL NEGI

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