The Mother Divine
Change Font Size 
By Tshering Y Das
Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

Sai Baba had two simple prescriptions Shraddha and Saburi, Faith and Forbearance for spiritual advancement. Baba called Saburi the mine of virtues and consort of good thoughts. He said, “Saburi will ferry you across the sea of mundane existence.” Saburi removes all sins and afflictions and ultimately gives success. ”Such is the nature of Saburi that it puts Shraddha to extreme test. When difficulties come our way we are overcome with doubts and we start questioning the wisdom and justice of Divine will. We who consider ourselves as God’s first born and deserving of all the good things of life suddenly become churlish when things start to turn sour. When problems look black and unending Saburi deserts us.

Overall, man has two levels of aspiration. The first level is at a gross level and manifests as desire for material acquisitions, power, fame, money and success. The other level is subtler and higher and induces in us a desire for spiritual growth, peace and something more lasting. Take the example of the rich man in Sai Satcharita who after acquiring all the temporal trappings comes looking for Brahma Gyan. Sorrow and difficulties come to help us shed and burn the vestiges of our grosser material egos and develop spiritually. Patience is therefore a prerequisite to help us navigate in this period of transition. Only true faith and patience can help withstand the onslaught of unrelenting hardship. All religions extol the virtue of patience. The Bible tells of the inspiring story of the patience of Job. Job was a blameless, wealthy man with many children and good social standing but overnight, he became a pauper and his ten children, who were his pride and joy died one by one. His troubles did not end there. He was visited by severe physical afflictions but he endured and accepted the will of God.  He had some moments of doubt but, all the time he could get glimpses of God’s grace shining through even during the darkest hours. He bore his losses stoically and said,’ “The Lord giveth; the Lord taketh, blessed be the name of the Lord.” He withstood the many trials and tribulations with grace and fortitude and ultimately, God was pleased and   rewarded him and restored his fortunes many times over. Job also lived to see more children and many generations of his children. Job has become a byword for patience and stands as a shining model of endurance.
In   the Shri Sai Satcharita we read about one Dr. Pillai and the excruciating pain he suffered in his leg due to guinea worms. While screaming in pain he said death was preferable to pain and begged that the pain should be spread in ten instalments over ten future lives. But Shri Sai reassured him and asked him why he should prefer death when Sai himself was present to take care of him. He advised him to put up with the pain for just a little while more as help was at hand. True to his word, his pain disappeared shortly after. Although, he was fortunate to suffer under the watchful ministrations of Baba himself yet, he begged for an easy ten instalment repayment schedule. Saburi does not come easily to ordinary mortals. In another incident, Amir Shakkar, who suffered from rheumatism was asked by Sai to stay in the damp and unhealthy Chavadi in the company of beggars and diseased for a year. The only saving grace was that he got to see Shri Sai every alternate day.  Although he tried his best to obey the commands of Sai for nine months the severe duress led him to flee in the dead of the night only to come scurrying back soon after.

How does one fill in the dark hours of endless waiting?  Baba said that our karma is the cause of our happiness and sorrow. The only remedy is that the result of past actions must be suffered and overcome. He said “Put up with whatever comes to you. Allah is the Dispenser and Protector. Surrender to him with body, mind and speech and see what he does.” One would therefore, have to continue attending to our day to day duties with due diligence and try not to lose sight of the grace of Baba. We should pray fervently for guidance and read the Shri Sai Satcharita regularly to understand Baba’s plans for us. Baba may not be here to guide us physically but he has left his enduring legacy in the living words in Shri Sai Satcharita. Words of hope never fail to reassure us that Baba is always watching over us and cares deeply for us. The Gospel of Matthew echoes a similar advice that runs like this, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures we have hope.”

We can always draw strength from the words of Shri Sai who said, “He who endures pleases me most” and “If you spread your palms with devotion, I am immediately with you day and night” and “Don’t worry, don’t worry till the end of time ...”