Chapter : PROLOGUE

Baba Sai stepped into my life like a breath of fresh air. His coming marked the birth of ‘a new me'. I changed, my world changed and the world around me changed too. Everything else ceased to exist… all that remained was Baba and I. His divine love was so overpowering, so abundant that I was completely soaked in it. (I still am and I shall continue to be.) J Every new day brought into my life new miracles and new stories of Baba. I felt so full of Baba that soon every tiny cell of my being was overflowing with His love and His presence, and so was all of me. I was overwhelmed with a fullness I had never known before. It was beautiful… I was full to the brim with my Baba's love and now this ‘fullness' needed an outlet. All I wanted to do was talk about Him, read about Him, sing His praise, serve Him in whatever ways possible, act in accordance with His teachings, or just sit for hours at length and look at Him. But even then, all this taken together did not provide outlet enough for my brewing emotions. So one day I decided to write every story that I heard of Baba and praise Him to my heart's content. And this finally proved to be the best and most fruitful vent for my locked-up love and emotions. Whatever I felt, I wrote… whenever I felt like it, I wrote. Every word of my writing was a celebration of my Baba's love. It made my heart lighter and, soon, I no longer felt that sensation of choking for lack of an orifice. Whenever anyone shared Baba's grace, I put it into words. I knew not day or night. I remember getting up in the middle of dark, stormy nights, sitting next to the open window and while the clouds poured as rain onto nature, my emotions poured as words onto paper.
In a few years, I realized, I had quite a huge collection of Baba's stories in my hands. My near ones suggested I bring it into a book, so that all of Baba's devotees could guzzle the nectar of His love to their heart's content. But I was very apprehensive, very unsure. So I prayed to my darling Baba for His blessings and also for an indication that He wanted this book — His book — to come through me. For this, I especially planned a visit to Shirdi and, with many questions to be answered, I met dear Baba. I loved what had been written. My heart knew that they were Baba's words, not mine. But then, I had been writing for the sheer joy of writing, for the love of Baba. Bringing out a book, well, that was the big question mark, as I had never thought of that option.
I reached Shirdi and secured Baba's blessings at the Samadhi Mandir. I prayed to Baba in all earnestness; if He desired that my writings take the form of a book, He must give me a clear indication.
“Tell me, Baba, if You want me to go on writing and give my writings the shape of a book. I will only do so if it is Your wish. Else I am happy just writing and collecting Your stories.”
After praying to Baba, still teary eyed and deeply emotional after seeing His blissful form in the Samadhi Mandir, I reached Baba's Dwarkamai to seek His blessings. I love the Dwarkamai: every stone, every wall, every breath of air that we breathe in the Dwarkamai is alive with Baba's Soul. A place where Baba lived for sixty long years naturally vibrates with His Divine Presence. I can sit for hours in the Dwarkamai and read the Shri Sai Satcharita (Baba's biography, His life & His teachings) untiringly, if I get an opportunity.
On that day, the Dwarkamai was overcrowded. There was a long queue for darshan. I was lost in Baba, as I walked up the steps, towards the holy asan (seat), on which Baba would sit each day, His left arm resting on the side railing. I bowed before Baba's beautiful picture, which now rests on that holy asan and placed my offering of flowers and sweets at His feet. Then, as I closed my eyes in prayer, I had a beautiful vision of Baba… He was sitting right in front of me, smiling at me and blessing me with His raised right hand. I felt as though I had transitioned in time, back to the Shirdi when Baba was alive. It was like having a darshan of Baba in His physical form, after almost a hundred years of His having taken samadhi. I was in a state of absolute, divine bliss. At that, I opened my eyes with a big smile, bowed before Baba's picture and again prayed before Him that I was still awaiting His indication. Saying this, I picked up the consecrated basket of my offerings from Baba's feet and started walking out. As I slowly walked towards the exit, I felt something piercing my finger and hurting my hand, under the basket that I was carrying. Still wondering, I lifted the basket with my left hand… and… voilà!! J in my right palm was Baba's blessing — in my right palm was Baba's answer — a golden ‘pen', which strangely enough had ‘Baba' written on it. J I know not to this day, where it came from. But I look upon it as my most precious belonging. I wanted an indication ‘to write the book' and what more could Baba give me than a ‘Golden Pen' in His Dwarkamai, that too inscribed with His very own name? So, Baba placed the pen in my hands and I in turn place this book in your hands. Such is His grace, His love… “You look to me, I look to you”.
I know that Baba's treasury is ever full and overflowing, but we must prove our worth before we seek the wealth of His treasury of abundance. My worth was my love for my Baba… that is my only qualification or asset. I am nothing, no one. But His love places me at the pinnacle of His crown and brings out words that only He writes. I am only the instrument: He writes, He tells His own stories. Only I know the secret that after writing pages and pages, when I stop, I am compelled to refer to the dictionary to check the meaning of words written by my very own hands…. Words that I have never read or known before but strangely enough words that I have appropriately used in my book. What bigger proof can I give that each word, each lesson, each teaching comes from Baba and only from Baba? I am like the sunflower that moves in whatever direction the sun moves. And Baba is my sun… I just follow Him, my eyes closed, my heart open.
Aum Sai Shri Sai Jaya Jaya Sai