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Guru Purnima Message 1997
Devotees of Shri Shirdi Sai often ask me a question – “How to be in closer relationship with Baba?” I have seen them striving in their own way to be close to Sri Sai, even if they are not aware as to what it would mean to be close to Sri Sai. Basically, it is an emotional rapport they would like to develop. The various methods they adopt, according to their stages of consciousness, strength of will, inborn and acquired qualities and faith in Baba, immensely vary. It is true that the relationship of each disciple with Baba i.e., God, will be unique, and there cannot be an exact second relationship. However, in all such relationship it is seen that the existence of certain common denominators and qualities are a prerequisite. If the devotees understand these qualitative prerequisites, which would entail them to be closely drawn by Baba, then the treading of the path would be simpler.

The first such quality as I feel is faith in Him. Mere intellectual faith acquired over a period of time by reading books, discussions etc., may develop certain amount of conviction in Him but this level of faith is not enough, even though at the earlier stages it may be necessary. People are often seen saying, even publicly, that “I can sacrifice my life for Baba” or that “In this world I can depend on nobody except Him fully”. However, if we closely observe their lifestyle, the way they interact with people, their reaction to adversities of others, their reaction to individuals and groups around them in the society, one would find that their proclaimed convictions are a mere exercise in substance‐less assertiveness. If the faith in Baba is genuine, they would not be indulging in the manipulations they do in relation to other people being fully aware that Baba many times forbade people, and reprimanded devotees for committing such acts to satisfy their smallest of interest. We have to watch whether we are acting truthfully, howsoever difficult it may be, according to the advice of Baba. Faith reflects in everyday reality. It is not a mental luxury or a philosophical dream. Therefore, on this Gurupurnima Day besides the celebration, that we would be observing, let us seriously think about this strength of our faith in Baba.

Revered Shri C B Satpathy Ji is known to one and all as "Guruji" or to some, simply the ever forgiving and protecting father. He is an ardent devotee of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba, and for him, Shri Shirdi Sai Baba is the ultimate reality.

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