2-SAI BABA. THE FAKIR OF ALLAH
Sai Baba of Shirdi
“Allah is the protector of the poor. There is nothing besides Him. The name of Allah is All-in-all!”
Over the years thousands flocked to Sai Baba — many with material gain on their minds. Sometimes Sai Baba would ask people for all of their money and by the end of the day distribute it to the poor. Sai Baba once remarked about those who sought his blessing: “It is I who seek them out and bring them to me; they do not come by their own volition. Even though some may be hundreds of miles away, I draw them to me like sparrows with strings tied to their feet.”
Babajan often repeated to Merwan, “My son, the treasure which you seek and the key to that treasure are not with me! I am not the one to give it to you. The treasure is yours — it is for you alone — there is no doubt about that, the treasure is yours! But my son, you must have the key … You must take the key!”
Babajan would always speak about this in a cryptic fashion — it seemed unclear what she meant. Then one night she spoke in a very clear manner, “the treasure is yours to have now! The key is there; go to Shirdi, My son. There is a Sai — a holy one there. Go and see the Sai. See if he will give you the key now. Take the key from Sai!”
After a difficult journey to Shirdi, the villagers there refused to allow Merwan to see Sai Baba. Merwan spent the night under a tree and the following day Sai Baba sent for Merwan.
Sai Baba was then seventy-seven years old, white-bearded with a head of snow-white hair, dressed in a white kafni gown. Khodu who was with Merwan, nervously walked up and bowed at Sai Baba’s feet and when he did, the old fakir slapped him on the back so hard that it knocked the breath out of him! Khodu was startled, and then Sai Baba inquired, “Who is your friend? What does he want?”
“His name is Merwan … Merwan Sheriar Irani; he is very devotional and eagerly desires your darshan, holy one. Babajan, in Poona, has told us about you, Sai.”
The old fakir’s eyes were aflamed. “Oh, No!” Sai Baba suddenly cried. “No, I won’t … I won’t allow him to see me! I won’t let him come!” The old fakir’s eyes then gazed upon Khodu and he said, “Give me all your money, all of it!” Khodu did and then Sai Baba said, “Now go and tell your friend I won’t see Him, He cannot come to Me!”
Khodu left and reported to Merwan, who shook his head and said, “No!” Let us just wait. I must see him and I will.”
Later, Sai Baba was on his way after performing his lendi in a field with a large procession following, a band playing and the atmosphere very joyful though at the same time solemn with reverence. Contrary to what Khodu had said, Sai Baba now appeared to be in very good mood. As Sai Baba was about to pass him, Merwan stretched himself full length on the ground in front of his feet. Seeing him in the shashtang namaskar — bowing at full length to the Master’s feet — in a deep, deep voice as if rising from the very depths of the ocean, Sai Baba uttered one majestic word, the Mohammedan name for Lord Vishnu, “PARVARDIGAR!” — meaning GOD-THE-ALMIGHTY-SUSTAINER! Sai Baba’s eyes were lustrous with universes shining out of them as he conveyed this holy word! The old fakir’s lustrous eyes were sending a message to Merwan but to the ignorant, his word was inexplicable. For at the instant when Sai Baba had spoken, Merwan had become all powerful — Sai Baba had given him infinite power!