A book on Sai Baba written by a devotee as its visible from the cover - I would have never picked it up in the first place given a choice but as my friend sent it to me - had no option but to read it. I just can't live with a book in my collection which is unread by me so I reluctantly picked it up last week and I am totally glad that I did it. Although wont say it turned me an Atheist into a sort of believer but nevertheless a superb one time read with so much about the great spiritual man (that was an eye opener). The book fortunately or unfortunately kept on reminding me of Neale Donald Walsch's trilogy "Conversations with God" which I finished last year and totally loved it. Exactly like that book this too is a great conversation between Rabda on his death bed right after he gulps down a lot of sleeping pills with a bottle of vodka (reason unknown) and enters a comatose state. Baba comes visiting him and takes his spirit for a time travel and shows him that he was none other than his own companion for last couple of his births and reveals a lot of unknown secrets to him plus answers all his queries (mostly readers too) on lots of topics and life's philosophies. It never gets preachy and actually makes up for a very interesting read I should say.
Initially the way writer has sketched Sai Baba's character was a big turn off for me as I could never believe that he will ever use those choices Hindi cuss words (like literally using BC MC on his most loved devotee) but gradually as the story progresses I realized it wasn't actually the cuss words but his love coming out of his mouth in the shape of those words - and it turns out to be hilariously awesome to know or perceive that Sai Baba actually had a fantastic sense of humor. Rabda is a musician in his present birth and as he thinks his life has no purpose, commits suicide (rather attempts) the way Baba enters into his life and their journey from there onward is too good. I had no idea of his history or story as I am no staunch follower but this book clarifies almost all doubts I had on the great man. Whether he was a Muslim or a Hindu, whether he was an incarnation of Jesus, Lord Ram or Hanuman. Who he followed, what he believed, how he lived his life and how he wanted his shrine or temple to be made and left and the reality as it stands now. I was very glad to know just like Neale Donald Walsch even Ruzbeh Bharucha accepts rather claims that the eternal supreme could be a He or a She. Right like Jesus who was crucified and came back to life after three days and like Gurunanak Dev who entered the great sea to take Jal Samadhi and came back unscathed after three days, I was shocked to know that even Sai Baba took his first samadhi and his body was declared dead by British Doctors for three days before his spirit returned and lived for another couple of years before taking the final samadhi and left for his heavenly abode.
The book covers so much about Sai Baba and his philosophies that its very hard not to get shocked for someone ignorant like me who had no idea. Like he used to live in a Masjid namded "Dwarka Mai". He begged for his food till his very last day in Shirdi but only from five houses from the neighborhood which we fixed. He took the food from them as if he had a right on it. The money and stuff that he received from his devotees during a day he claims made him super rich but by the evening he will distribute every penny to the needy and will only keep a couple of coins for his "Chillam" :) that he used to enjoy with Rabda (in his previous birth) as he was always at Baba's service. His connection with mythological figures that he claimed were real is too good too, like he claimed that Lord Ram was a real man and even Lord Hanuman - their connection I will say, you've got to read the book for - its too good to be disclosed here. I am totally reading this book again to grasp more from it. Also, the way he speaks lovingly with Rabda's spirit and takes him to a journey of a life time - he actually answers all the questions we may ourselves have provided we come face to face with a Godly figure like him and I must say that those are some real satisfactory answers clarifying all the doubts one can have on life and our purpose. It is written in such a lighter tone that mostly it kept me grinning from ear to ear to hear the way Baba speaks to Rabda, calls him so many names, like a demented lamp post to a constipated rat and hundreds of other names. On top of that the way he will also call with funny names lovingly making him laugh and forgive his silly mistakes.
I must say, the way it starts (a turn off) to the way it progresses (an eye opener) and the way it ends (I kept asking for more and never wanted it to end) - this will now be one of my favorites on the great man that I never knew almost nothing about. I do not know its historical accuracy and neither should we care as the message it passes is just, great and very relevant in today's time. Now I am more keen on reading The "Fakir Trilogy" from the same writer. Do let me know your views if you have read any of them.