Guru in His Different Names
We are aware of the instance from ŚrīSai Satcharita, where Baba questions a devotee saying how could he ignore visiting, when a venerated Deity as Datta Himself was enshrined.
His sports are innumerable and the lesson is brought home in stark clarity.
A small experience is what we are inspired to mention here. When the first year anniversary of Śrīpada Swamy's Padukka Prathishta here was celeberated, when the 'worship' which was planned for Sainath Maharaj was ommitted (not intentionally, but due to the non-availability of priests and their time constraints), Sripada 'chose' NOT to receive HIS worship as well. HE conveyed the same by the following factors:
- The 53 litres of freshy bought cow's milk for Padukka-abhisheka, was spoilt for no reason within no time.
- The 'special' naivedya of the day, Wheat Halwa, turned out to be inedible. The point to note here is, the professional cook who is generally hired by the temple for such special occassions, is expertised in making wheat-halwa, was himself perplexed that day, as everything came out well, until he got them transferred from the cooking vessel, after which it was discovered that it had turned as hard as a rock, that the whole lot had to be discarded.
- The bulk of fresh fruits and flowers bought for the worship, were missed out as well.
Despite all sincere efforts, it was a clear indication that the whole process wasn't agreeable to Śrī Śrīpada. HE did not receive the worship. HE made it clear, that when the 'worship' to be accorded to the Guru is missed, even if you bend mountains or touch the skies, Shankara (Lord Shiva) will not be pleased.
Of course, HE is the same in the form of Sripada and Sai Baba. Yet, just as HE has Himself stated in the Charithamrutham, When the primary nature manifests with form and attributes, appropriate courtesies, worldly observances and restrictions should be invariably followed. "It is said that the courtesies and rules prescribed by vidhi; the decencies and limitations of the forms with attributes are to be strictly followed."
Though, 'They' are One and the Same, when manifested with forms and attributes, the due respect ought to be accorded to the respective form(s). When one Form is worshipped and the other Form is ignored, due to whatever the valid reason, it is not acceptable. While at the same time, HE did not ask for eight-fold or sixteen-fold worship, but sincere and earnest love and unconditional devotion from the heart.
By this simple sport, Śrī Śrīpada taught a priceless lesson. HIS subtle sports are endless..