Highlights of this chapter:
- Several short stories.
Was Shri Sai a Hindu or Muslim ? Where was he born and who were his parents. These questions remains unanswered till today, never did Shri Sai himself spoke about it and no one could ever find it. Lot of people used to come to Shirdi, look at his ways but could never determine his religion or origin. They used to get awestruck on seeing Shri Sai and used to forget all the things going in their mind and with all respect revered Shri Sai. Shri Sai during his entire lifetime never made any distinction between Hindu, Muslim or followers of any religion. He supported and allowed his Hindu devotees to celebrate various festivals like Ramnavami, Gopal kala etc. He allowed the devotees to wash his legs, bow before him, perform aarati in the masjid and supported all the other rituals which any ardent Hindu devotee would follow in those time. However in the similar way he had a large followers from Muslim religion and they too celebrated their festivals like Id, Muharram etc with Shri Sai. For instance, on the day of Ramnavami there were celebrations throughout day like singing of God Ram's song and stories; Shri Sai even allowed to tie a cradle in front of the masjid to enact the birth of Sri Ram. At the same evening there were Sandal procession throughout the village by the Muslim devotees which culminates in Masjid. Here the devotees used to dip their hands in the sandal paste and imprint it on the walls of the masjid. This was the tradition then and till this day its been followed through out the temples of Shri Sai.
Shri Sai used to always utter "Allah Malik", he totally detested the qualities of arguments and fights. He used to be always in a sublime state and his presence inspired good qualities in all the people around him. He speech used to recite all that is Vedant. He never differentiated a bit between a rich and a poor, an educated and ignorant, he always saw them with equanamity and treated everyone with equal measure. He knew the thoughts of all and everyone was pleasantly delighted when he spoke to them about it in his own cryptic way. He was never interested in any high rank or social standing or following. He set up an example to the worldly people on how to live a god centered life. So whats the point in putting a religion tag on such a great soul. Shri Sai taught us the universal qualities of love, equality, non-hatredness towards our fellow being, care and support.
No wonders his teachings are so relevant in our time, it gives us so much hope and solace in reading his stories and following the path he laid down during his entire life time. One thing which stands out is he never preached anyone, he lead by examples and helped enormous amount of people in his life time and beyond.