On one occasion, Shri Shirdi Sai Baba advised one of His devotees working as a
Magistrate, to maintain 'probity' in personal and professional life. The word 'probity'
means a high standard of moral behaviour or adherence to the highest principles
and ideals or in short, uprightness. People from all walks of life, such as government
servants like magistrates, revenue officials, tehsildars, mamlatdars, police officials to
lawyers, artists, pilgrims, used to flock around Baba at Shirdi, seeking His divine
blessings, help and guidance, both mundane and spiritual. Baba helped everyone as
and when required, without any considerations of religion, caste, creed, temporal
status or varied social differentiation.
Of all the advice that Shri Sainath Maharaj rendered, the most important and
common advice was to maintain uprightness and honesty in all aspects of life
religious, social, professional or personal. By asking the Magistrate to exhibit moral
conduct in his profession, Baba gave the message that demonstrating the quality of
righteousness in only one sphere of life, is not conducive to spiritual growth of an
individual. It has to be practiced or adhered to in every sphere of life.
In our ordinary life, we come across many people, who demonstrate their quality of
piety by donating lots of money to the temples, but shirk away in providing any
such help to their poor domestic servant, even if he or she may be in dire stress due
to any number of reasons such as the sickness of his or her child. There are others
who spend lots of money and time on the rearing of their pet dogs, but do not think
twice before hurling abuses and even beat up urchins begging on the street. Such
examples are too numerous to be described within the limited space of this article.
Such people show contradiction between their thought, intent and action, where
they display virtuosity selectively, sometimes simply for their personal gains. Thus,
the quality of uprightness, probity and honesty are applied as utilitarian principles.
One need not be surprised at such examples, because to be successful in the worldly
life, most people take recourse to such a formula. However, such an approach is not
conducive for those desirous of their inner evolution. The formula that Shri Sai Baba
of Shirdi prescribed, was upholding the qualities of tolerance, compassion,
uprightness, sacrifice and non-attachment to be practiced resolutely in every station
of life be it professional, personal, religious or social.
Those who followed Baba's teaching in letter and spirit gained spiritual progress
much faster than those who did not follow. Shri Sai Satcharitra cites stories of many
such evolved souls during Baba's lifetime, such as, Megha, who maintained his
simplicity till his demise, Bala Saheb Bhate and Kaka Saheb Dixit who renounced
worldly life entirely on the bidding of Baba, while Mahalsapati maintained his nonattachment
to materialism. These exalted and noble souls, and many others, who
never faltered in sustaining their qualities under the guidance of the Master of
Shirdi, have been praised in Shri Sat Charitra and elsewhere.
Therefore, it behoves the true Sai devotees to consciously try to evolve the best
qualities in them, in all the activities they undertake. No doubt, this is not at all easy
to achieve, but steadfast love, devotion and unwavering faith towards Baba will
gradually bring out the best qualities in them. May Shri Sai bless us all, to be able to
follow the path of righteousness and uprightness.