Thursday, 9 July 2015

Book recommendation: Sai Baba Is Still Alive

Sai Baba Is Still Alive
Jaya Wahi
Times Group Books, 2013

If you are an avid reader, occasionally, there comes a time when you read something for the message of the book, rather than with a critical eye on the content, grammar or style.  This is one such occasion.  There have been very few occasions before this when I have concentrated only on the message; the one that comes to mind is Sri M's autobiography, in which the Subject of this book also makes a memorable cameo appearance.  

Here I would like to address the author of this book directly while I write about her work.

Mrs Jaya Wahi, I have just finished reading your wonderful book.  Even though this is not the first book on Sai Baba that I have read, it is by far, the most awe inspiring, moving and uplifting one.  The combination of miraculous anecdotes, Sai Guruvani, and your interpretations of Sai's messages, works like magic, and it is little wonder that this book is a national best seller.  

My family believes in Sai a lot.  Even though I do too, I have always struggled with having to beseech Him with every trivial, worldly request.  As the wise say, and as you have highlighted in the book yourself, that apart from shraddha and saburi, expression of unconditional love is all that is required for him to take care of you.  I must also confess, that I have not been effusive in my outpouring of this love towards Him, as many of the people in your stories have been.  But after reading this book, I will put in a little more effort.  

The stories and anecdotes recounted in your book are amazing and one feels happy for the people whose prayers have been answered.  However I am convinced, after reading this work, that the most blessed and loved person from among all the people in the stories is you.  

Receiving the right signs at the right times - a pen to indicate that you have His go-ahead to write the book, seeing His image on the wall, the circumstances of your and your sister's births, several visitations from Him in his myriad avatars to bail you out of crises, getting a rose as an expression of His love towards you, and getting a handful of rice to break your rice sacrifice - all indicate the abundance of grace that He has showered on you.  

It may not be wrong to surmise that you were probably one of the near and dear ones that were in His presence at Shirdi during his earthly sojourn.  Perhaps this explains the magnetic pull that Shirdi exerts on you, and the despondency that you experience as you are about leave it.  

You are truly, a precious child; His daughter, His loving child, who can demand His attention and love towards you, just as a child does from her father.  Blessed are those people who have benefited from your love towards Sai.  And we as readers are fortunate to have experienced this unique relationship between you and Him, and in the process, to have inculcated a sense of bhakti in ourselves.

I thank you wholeheartedly for this.

May you, as you say towards the end of the book, merge in Him for ever... and ever. J

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