8.11.2007

Faith - my spirituality

I am not one of the greatest devotees of Sai Baba but he is my greatest God along with Ganesha.
Today I got a calling to visit Them and off I went to the temple complex in Domlur. I reached there only by 12:30 in the afternoon and the sanctum sanctorum doors were just about being shut. I could just manage a fleeting glimpse of the main God Shani before the doors were shut leaving me very disappointed and seeking just one full glimpse of the Lord. As I stood in such a state a priest emerged through the door and I requested him to open the door just a crack so that I can get a quick glimpse of the Lord. But that man looked through me as if I was thin air and kept walking on. I was so furious that I would probably have hit him on his head and told him a word or two about being decently behaved. How can a priest who is considered next only to God in our temples be so insolent? How can he not see the desperation in my eyes? Forget that, how can he not even acknowledge that a living breathing person is talking to him? Such were the angry questions running through my head. As I walked around the temple performing my Pradakshina (circumambulation around the Lord) I saw him being equally rude to an old lady. If looks could hurt my scorching gaze would surely have left him with a headache. I finished my prayers and left the temple in a big huff after saying sorry to the God for not being able to see him. I then walked to the nearby Sai Baba temple. I reached the temple and as I was leaving my footwear outside the temple I felt this impulse to talk to the priest there and get my mind cleared of this anger. But my innate shyness took over and when I entered I dint say a word to him. I silently started praying with my eyes closed. As I finished asking Sai Baba what I had come for (yes there is always something to ask isn’t it?) I heard a small bell ringing and upon opening my eyes I saw the priest doing an Arathi to the God. I felt joyous. Then the priest gave me the Aarthi and the Theertha and the Prasad. As he handed out the Prasad to me he stuck up a conversation with me. I felt very strange indeed that he chose to talk to me. The more he talked to me the calmer I felt. My anger just dissolved. I realized that the priest in the other temple was only doing his job and I was the one at fault for arriving late. I was just trying to find a scape goat to direct the anger I had for myself. I took leave of this wonderful priest and started walking back when I realized that I hadn’t sat down at the Shani temple at all. In our culture it’s a must that one has to sit down in the temple before leaving it. When I went back to the Shani temple and sat down I noticed a few people standing in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum door. I rushed towards it and to my delight the door was open and I could see the God albeit without his Alankaara (dress). The priests had already started changing the dress of the Lord for the evening prayers. Saturday is a very special day for Shani so the temple is thronged by people. I understood why the priest behaved in the way he did. I thanked Him profusely for giving me the right mind to come back once again and obtain his Darshan (glimpse). On my way back home I sat back and thought about al that happened. I can only summarise as below :

Anybody who goes to a Sai Baba temple comes out happy and optimistic. Any premises that he resides in drapes a net of calm. He has the capacity to instill patience and tolerance towards each other. Sai Baba is not about extreme religion or overt devotion. He stands for faith. Faith in one self and faith in the super power to guide us. But moreso faith in one self that we can achieve what we have set out to. People from every religious beliefs are welcomed here.
Some people call him Sathya Sai Baba or Shirdi Sai Baba to distinguish him from the Sai Baba at Puttaparthi. But I only know him as my Sai Baba. He is the one along with Ganesha that have an instant recall for. He has always been there for me.
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