Volume 9 - Issue 10
October 2011
Other Articles

Posted on : Oct 04, 2011



Right answer on your 1st attempt
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Right answer on your 2nd attempt
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Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

“Vijayadasami (the last day of Dasara celebrations) is a festival day for all but for a few it is also a very sad day; because on this day the old body was given up.” As Baba spoke these words on October 21, 2007 He was overwhelmed with emotion; He was referring to the passing of His previous incarnation, Shirdi Sai. In the same discourse Swami continued to narrate how Shirdi Sai, in His final moments, exhorted all to have not His body but the virtue of Love and Truth as the basis of their lives as the deha (body) is impermanent but God truly is the Dehi (Eternal Indweller). Swami on this occasion also created two gold coins that Shirdi Baba had gifted to Laxmibai and explained that they represented Truth and Righteousness. Like this several times Swami shared many aspects of the life and teachings of His earlier incarnation which were hitherto unknown. In fact no one knew about the birth and parents of Shirdi Sai until Swami solved this mystery in a discourse in 1990.

The present quiz is a collection of such revealing insights and elevating tales about the Shirdi Sai Avatar. “The Vijayadasami Day is one to begin a new life,” Baba said in the same discourse in 2007. As we celebrate the final day of the Dasara festival, lets ruminate on these divine principles of the Sai Avatar and determine to lead a life suffused with His Love and His Glory.



1. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1990, Swami revealed the mystery behind Shirdi Baba’s birth:

Baba's life-story is known only from the time of His arrival in Shirdi. On account of the passage of time and circumstances, no one knew the exact dates of Baba's birth and passing.... When Gangabhavadya and Devagiriamma were living in the village of Pathri, they were worshipers of Iswara and Parvathi. They had no offspring for a long time. They intensified their prayers. Gangabhavadya used to ply boats near the village for a living. One night, when it was raining heavily, Gangabhavadya left his house to take care of the boats, telling his wife that he would not be returning in the night…At 9 p.m. there was a knock on the door. Devagiriamma opened the door, expecting the likely return of her husband. But a very old man entered the house and pleaded: ‘It is very cold outside. Please permit me, mother, to stay here.’ As a pious woman, she allowed him to stay in the inside verandah and went in after bolting the inner door.

“A little while later, there was a knock on the inner door. When she opened, the old man said: ‘I am feeling hungry; give me some food.’ Finding that there was no food, the woman mixed some flour with curds and gave it to him. After a while there was another knock and this time the old man said: ‘My legs are aching. Mother, will you massage them?’”

Bhagawan then went on to narrate how the lady prays to the Divine Mother for help and a mysterious woman knocks at the back door and offers her service. Then the couple who were verily Parvati and Parameshwara, reveal their identities by blessing the woman with Their darshan.

The Divine couple then blessed them with three children. Where was Shirdi Baba, the third child, born?

At home
In their very helpful neighbour's house
In a forest
On one of Gangabhavadya’s boat when they were going to town

2. During a Divine Discourse given in 1990, Swami revealed Shirdi Baba’s boyhood days until when He was ten years old: “There was in the same village a Sufi fakir. As he was also childless, he took charge of this child and brought him up in his home. The boy stayed in the fakir's home for four years (1835 to 1839). In those days, Hindu-Muslim differences in that area were growing alarmingly. There was considerable bitterness between the two communities. The boy would visit a Hindu temple and sing songs in praise of Allah. ‘Mein Allah hoon!’ (‘I am God’), ‘Allah Malik hai!’ (Allah is the Supreme Lord) and so on. The Hindus used to chastise the boy for his misbehaviour. Then He would also enter a mosque and declare: ‘Rama is God’, ‘Siva is Allah’, etc. 

Bhagawan explained how the people in the community were puzzled by the boy's behaviour and also despised these actions. With time the young boy was entrusted to a highly evolved, pious scholar named Venkusa. He accepted the boy as one of his disciples. With time the guru grew extremely fond of the boy.

Seeing this the other students of Venkusa developed envy towards the boy.

Bhagawan on another occasion revealed that, it was during the days that Baba spent under the tutelage of Venkusa, that He performed His very first miracle. What was it?

Baba revived one of the boys who passed away after he tried to kill Him out of jealousy.
Venkusa fell and broke his leg and Baba healed him by creating vibhuti.
Baba saved the village from getting burnt down by His mere command to the Fire God!
Baba lit a lot of lamps with water!

3. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1992, Swami spoke about Shirdi Baba’s early years in Shirdi. “He was sixteen years old at the time. No one knew then what His name was. If anyone asked for His name, He would give no answer; sometimes He would retort saying, 'Why do you want to know My name?'

“Some villagers from nearby places used to visit Him under the tree and get relief for their ailments. He would take out some leaves, crush them and give it to the ailing person as a medicine. In this manner He cured many. News of His healing powers spread to all the surrounding villages. As a result a large number of people came to Him. Suddenly, one morning He disappeared. A futile search was made in the nearby areas to trace Him. After three years, in 1858 He came to Shirdi again.”

According to Swami, who brought Baba back to Shirdi after His three years of disappearance?

Mahalsapati, the priest of the Khandoba temple in Shirdi.
A devotee by name Chandhubhai Patel.
It was Shirdi Baba's Guru's wish before passing away.
The village-head of Shirdi.

4. During a Divine Discourse given in 1992, Swami shared the moments when Shirdi Baba acted in mysterious ways: “Once Baba was involved in a criminal case. He had to give evidence in a case, which related to the theft of some valuables from a rich man's house by a gang of thieves. The police caught the thieves and questioned them about the stolen articles. The culprits said that the valuables had been given to them by a fakir. Searching for the fakir, they came to Baba. They asked Him, ‘Fakir, did you give these articles to them?’ ‘Yes,’ He said. ‘Wherefrom did You get them?’ was the next question. Baba replied: ‘They have come from the same place from which all things come.’ ‘Who gave them to You?’ ‘I gave them to Myself.’

“Baba gave such intriguing answers which the police could not understand. 'I am the giver of everything. How can anyone get anything without My sanction?’ declared Baba. Feeling that it was futile to question Him further, the police prepared a report. Baba received a summon from the magistrate to give evidence in the case. Chandhubhai Patel did not want Baba to go to the magistrate and so arranged for Baba being examined on commission (in Shirdi itself).”

According to Swami, when Shirdi Baba was asked to give His father’s name, what name did He give?

Sai Baba

5. During a Divine Discourse given in 1990, Swami talked about the sweet relationship Shirdi Baba had with one of His dear devotees Shyama: “Shyama used to watch Baba at nights through the ventilator. He used to notice Him talking to Himself, getting angry at times, or laughing to Himself, or doing other curious things. Baba used to sleep on an eighteen-inch-wide plank suspended from the ceiling. Shyama was apprehensive that Baba might fall off from His lofty but narrow perch during sleep. Once he mustered courage to ask Baba while massaging His feet: ‘Swami! You don't seem to sleep at all at nights. You are laughing to Yourself or talking. What is the secret of all this?’ ‘You simpleton! Do you imagine you are the only person about whom I am concerned in this world? There are numerous persons who are praying to Me. I am speaking to all of them,’ replied Baba. ‘When I turn My finger, I am turning their minds. When I laugh, I am amused at their follies. These are the things I am doing for My devotees, dear child.”

Swami then shared how Shirdi Baba enlightened His other followers too with the knowledge of the difference between a devotee and a disciple: “Baba once called Abdul Baba, Nana Chandorkar, Mahalsapathi, Das Ganu and others and started asking each of them: ‘Do you know who you are?’ Each of them replied: ‘I am your sishya (disciple).’ Baba said: ‘Nonsense! Don't use that term any longer. I have no disciples in this world. I have countless devotees. You do not recognize the distinction between a disciple and a devotee. Anyone can be a devotee. But that is not the case with the disciple. A disciple is one who carries out implicitly the commands of the guru (the preceptor). The mark of the sishya is total devotion to the preceptor. Only the man who says, ‘I have none in the world other than the preceptor’ is a disciple. How far have you respected My injunctions? How are you entitled to claim that you are My disciples?’

According to Shirdi Baba, what should be a true disciple’s feeling?

“I will always speak the truth!”
“Your happiness is my happiness!”
“All I want is Your Darshan daily!”
“I and You are one!”


6.During a Divine Discourse in 1990, Swami explained the mystery behind Baba's ‘asking’: “At Shirdi, Baba used to do two notable things. One was to receive money from whoever came to Him. He used to ask for dakshina (cash offering). He did not ask for large sums. It was two rupees or five rupees.”

What would Shirdi Baba do with all this collected money?

Give it to His very close devotees for the expenses of the temple.
Give it to the ones who abided by taking up a sadhana (spiritual exercise).
Give it away to the needy.
Gave it to the Trust to buy blankets for the homeless outside the temple.

7. During a Divine Discourse given in1992, Swami revealed how Shirdi Baba tested His devotees and in the process, taught so much through His actions! “In My previous body (as Shirdi Sai Baba) everyone was taught through actions. For example, Dhamu and Naana were rendering service to the Lord (Shirdi Baba). Baba collected a few copper coins and was playing with them by tossing them from one hand to another and also testing them in various ways. He appeared to examine them individually. He did not exchange a word with Dhamu and Naana. He went on playing with the coins for half an hour in this manner. Curious to know what Baba was doing, Naana asked him why He was scrutinizing the same coins, again and again.

“Baba replied, ‘Beta (Dear Son), it is true I am repeating the same action again and again, repeating the same words. Look at that mango tree in front of you. It is in full bloom. The leaves are hardly visible. If all the flowers in the tree were to become fruits, will the branches be able to bear the weight? But it does not happen that way. Most of the flowers are swept away by the wind. Many others drop of their own accord. Only some of them become fruits. Of these some are eaten by squirrels, birds or monkeys. In this way ninety percent of the flowers do not result in fruits. Only ten percent remain in the tree. Is it not so?’ They agreed.”

So exactly what lesson was Shirdi Baba trying to convey to Dhamu and Naana?

There are only one in a thousand who is a real devotee.
Only a handful of devotees are worthy of serving Baba.
Only Baba can remove our defects.
Nothing lasts forever.

8. During a Divine Discourse given in 1992, Swami shared a story that revealed how Shirdi Baba demonstrated the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man: “A controversy arose among the local people as to whether Baba was a Muslim or a Hindu. At one time he used to say: ‘Allah Malik! Allah Malik!’ At other times, He would say ‘Datthaathreya Malik’! Whenever He shouted ‘Allah Malik!’ Muslims used to come to Him in the masjid. His appearance was very much like that of a Muslim. Hence many Muslims used to come to Him. Hindus also used to come and offer incense to Him. The Muslims did not approve of what the Hindus were doing. And the Hindus did not like the way Muslims revered Baba.

“Consequently, bitterness developed between the two communities. One day the muslims saw Mahalsapati sitting near Baba and serving Him. Mahalsapati was the priest in the Khandoba temple. The Muslims, who were opposed to the presence of a Hindu priest near Baba, later came with sticks and beat up Mahalsapati. At every stroke, Mahalsapati cried out: ‘Baba!’ ‘Baba!’ Each time he shouted the name of Baba, the blow was borne by Baba. Mahalsapati fell to the ground and Baba came out.”

What explanation did Shirdi Baba give as to why He bore Mahalspathi’s blows on Himself?

“Because he has served Me food every single day!”
“Because he never complains whenever I don't talk to him!”
“Because I want to prove to everyone that I love all My devotees!”
“Because he has surrendered to Me!”


9. During a Divine Discourse given in 1990, Swami shared the Divine prophecy that Shirdi Baba had made once: “Towards the end, Baba told Abdul: ‘I shall appear again and give you darshan.’ ‘When will that be?’ asked Abdul. Baba told him: ‘It will be after eight years.’ ‘The first advent of Sai was in Maharashtra. The second advent will be in Madras,’ Baba declared.

“It should be noted that when this form (Sathya Sai) made the advent, Andhra Pradesh was part of the Madras Presidency. When He was asked, in what form the next advent would take place, Shirdi Baba told Abdul alone: ‘I will give darshan in the name of Sathya for upholding Truth.’

“That is the present advent. The two bodies are different, but the Divinity is one. The first advent was for revealing Divinity. The second advent is to awaken the Divinity (in human beings). The next advent is for propagating Divinity. The three Sais are Shirdi Sai, Sathya Sai and Prema Sai.”

During a Divine Discourse given in 1996, Swami shared how the devotees panicked when Shirdi Baba disappeared that led them to believe that He passed away: “The facts relating to His passing need to be understood. On September 28, 1918, Baba developed fever. For seventeen days thereafter He was quite well. On October 15, Baba was not to be found anywhere. Naana, Kaaka, Dhaas and Lakshman Rao made a search for Him all over the place. There was a small well nearby and they went to see whether He had fallen there. When they returned to Baba's abode, they found Him standing near the door. Baba told them: ‘Where are you searching for Me? I am in one place and you search for Me elsewhere. I am in all pure hearts. You are searching for Me in all polluted places. How can you find Me?" He then sat down.

According to Swami, when later that very same day, Shirdi Baba did leave His body, what controversy arose?

They couldn’t decide where He should be buried.
They were in a dilemma as to how the last rites should be done.
Some wanted to keep the body for 15 more days.
They didn’t know who should keep His personal items.


10. During a Divine Discourse given in 1992, Swami shared more on the last moments of Shirdi Baba: “Two days earlier, He had collected food by seeking alms in some houses. He took that food and at noon, He expressed His wish to His devotees that He should be taken from the choultry to Buty wada. He hoped to have a quiet time there. In that ward, a Muraleedhar temple had been built by a devotee by name Buty. He wanted Baba to install the idol of Krishna in the temple. But Baba was putting off the installation on one pretext or other. Buty did not want to install the idol without the blessings of Baba. Until His end Baba did not say anything about installation of the idol. He directed Buty and Kaakaji to go and take their lunch. Feeling that Baba was better, they went out…Then Baba summoned Shyama to come near Him. Shyama sat close to Baba. Baba then reclined on Shyam's shoulders and passed away.”

During a Divine Discourse given in 2007, Swami narrates the story of the two gold coins that Shirdi Baba once had: “Baba gave Lakshmibai two gold coins and told her, 'Lakshmi, keep these two with you. Preserve them carefully.” The date of Baba’s departure from this mortal world was imprinted on the two coins. (Swami at this point created two gold coins with His Divine hands). Showing them to the devotees sitting in the Sai Kulwant Hall, Swami said, “Look, here are those two coins.” The two gold coins gifted by Shirdi Baba to Lakshmibai represent Sathya (Truth) and Dharma (Righteousness) that help the spiritual progress of human.”

Swami said, Lakshmibai refused to part with her very own daughter the two coins that Shirdi Baba gave her. What lesson does Swami teach us from narrating this story?

Mothers should teach daughters to put God ahead of everything
Never break a commitment given to God!
Always follow an Avathaar!
No one is related to the other. Each one is for himself or herself only!


Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? Would you like more such quizzes? Please help us in serving you better by writing to h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team


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