Top 10 Teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba

Shirdi Sai Baba was an Indian spiritual master and fakir, who is revered by both Hindu and Muslim devotees. He lived in the 19th and early 20th century in the town of Shirdi in Maharashtra. He is considered to be a saint by many, and his teachings have inspired millions of people to follow the path of love, service, and devotion. Here are some of his most important teachings that can guide us in our daily lives.

1. Shraddha (Faith)

Shraddha means faith with love and reverence. It is the foundation of Sai Baba's teachings. He said that without faith, nothing can be achieved. He asked his devotees to have steadfast love in God and trust in his grace. He said, "Look to me, and I shall look to you". He also said, "Whosoever offers to me with love or devotion, a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, that offering of pure love is readily accepted by me".

2. Saburi (Patience)

Saburi means patience and perseverance. It is the quality that helps us to overcome the obstacles and challenges in our spiritual journey. Sai Baba said that patience is essential for attaining the goal of self-realization. He said, "Be contented and cheerful with what comes your way". He also said, "Do not be anxious, the Lord will take care of your welfare".

3. Purity

Sai Baba emphasized the importance of inner purity over external cleanliness. He said that no amount of physical and external cleansing would serve any purpose if the mind and heart remained impure. He advised his devotees to purify their thoughts, words, and deeds by following the moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and Guru. He said, "The mind is like a mirror; it shows what is reflected in it".

4. Compassion

Sai Baba was an epitome of compassion and love. He cared for all living beings, human or animal, and treated them with respect and kindness. He said, "Never turn away anybody from your door, be it a human being or animal". He also said, "The best way to find God is to serve his creatures". He demonstrated his compassion by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting the distressed, and granting the wishes of his devotees.

Top 10 Teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba

5. Surrender

Sai Baba taught his devotees to surrender their ego and will to the Guru or God. He said that surrender is the ultimate expression of devotion and faith. He said, "This body is my house; I am not here; my Guru has taken me away". He also said, "Why fear when I am here? I am your refuge and your shelter". He assured his devotees that he would always protect them and guide them if they surrendered to him completely.

6. Udi (Sacred Ash)

Udi or sacred ash was produced from the perpetual fire called dhuni lit by Sai Baba in Dwarkamai at Shirdi. Udi had miraculous healing powers and was distributed by Sai Baba to his devotees as a blessing. Udi also symbolized the spiritual lesson of detachment and discrimination. Sai Baba taught that like Udi, all the visible phenomena in the world are transient and impermanent. He urged his devotees to focus on the eternal reality behind the changing appearances.

7. Dakshina (Offering)

Sai Baba would demand dakshina or offering from those who visited him. Dakshina was not just a monetary donation but a sign of respect and gratitude towards the Guru. It also represented the surrender of one's ego and attachment to worldly things. Sai Baba would use dakshina for various purposes such as charity, feeding the poor, or returning it back to the donor as per his divine will.

8. Harmony

Sai Baba gave no distinction based on religion or caste. He had both Hindu and Muslim followers, but when pressed on his own religious affiliations, he refused to identify himself with one to the exclusion of the other. His teachings combined elements of Hinduism and Islam: he gave the Hindu name Dwarakamayi to the mosque in which he lived; he practiced both Hindu and Muslim rituals; and he taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions. He said, "Sabka Malik Ek" (Everyone's master is one). He promoted harmony and tolerance among different faiths and communities.

9. Simplicity

Sai Baba lived a simple and humble life. He had no love for perishable things and his sole concern was realization of the self. He wore a torn kafni (robe), slept on a wooden plank, and begged for his food. He did not seek any fame or fortune, but only wished to serve his devotees and help them in their spiritual progress. He said, "I have no desire for anything; I am just a slave of God". He also said, "I am the servant of the poor".

10. Miracles

Sai Baba performed many miracles during his lifetime and even after his death. He could read the minds and hearts of his devotees; he could appear in different places at the same time; he could control the elements of nature; he could revive the dead; he could materialize objects out of thin air; and he could grant any boon to his devotees. However, Sai Baba did not perform miracles for show or entertainment, but only for the benefit of his devotees and to increase their faith and devotion. He said, "My treasury is open but no one brings carts to take from it. I say, \"Dig!\" but no one bothers".