Hazrat Tajuddin Baba was one of the five Perfect Masters (Sadgurus) of his Age. Such is the play of nature known as maya (illusion) that this Perfect Master was declared a lunatic and kept in confinement in the Nagpur Lunatic Asylum for more than sixteen years. However, Baba Tajuddin started his divine play from this place and virtually converted the asylum to a place of worship. Baba Tajuddin was born on the 21st of January in the year 1861 at a place called Kamthi situated near Nagpur in the state of Maharastra, India.
From the birth itself, there was something unusual about the child, for the new-born baby would not at all cry. He would, at times, open his eyes and look at people and again go to sleep. All normal methods to induce the child to cry having failed, the parents took recourse to a traditional shock method of touching hot iron to the forehead and ear of the child. With the application of this method the child jerked out of its stupor and started crying. The burnt marks thus made on the head and ears of the child remained on his body till the last.
More often-than-not, it is seen that highly developed souls become orphans in their early childhood so that they become free to operate in their spiritual world. This had happened with Shri Shirdi Sai and this also happened with Baba Tajuddin. His father expired when he was about one year old and his mother expired when he was only nine years old. The care of this orphan was taken over by his maternal grandmother and maternal-uncle Abdul Rahman. As a child, Baba started his education at the age of six in a local madrasa in Kamthi. During this time a spiritually – developed soul, known as Hazrat Abdulla Shah, visited the madrasa and saw the child Tajuddin.
He immediately told the teacher – “Why are you teaching this child. He has got all knowledge from his past life.” Saying thus, he took out a dry fruit (Khumani) from his bag, ate half, and put the other half in the mouth of the child saying “Eat less, sleep less and speak less. Read Quran”.
As soon as the child ate the dry fruit, God – consciousness dawned on him and for about three days he remained in a state of spiritual ecstasy. Obviously Hazrat Abdulla Shah had given Tajuddin the spiritual power or consciousness known as “Shaktipata” in Hindu Yoga system. Thereafter, the child was found to be always in a state of contemplation in secluded places.
At the age of 18, the financial condition of his maternal – uncle’s house deteriorated due to floods. As a result, both Baba and his maternal – uncle searched for a job. In 1881, at the age of 20 Baba joined the Nagpur Army Regiment. Soon a contingent of the Regiment, where Baba was serving, was sent to a place called Sagar. At Sagar, Baba used to manage his duties as an army sepoy (soldier), somehow spending the best of the time in doing namaz and contemplation. Most of the nights he used to spend with a highly developed spiritual soul known as Hazrat Baud Saheb under-going spiritual practices. Hazrat Baud Saheb is, therefore, recognised as one of the spiritual masters of Tajuddin Baba. His absence from the army camp at nights, and his least regard for the service created problems from the higher authorities. One day, in a God-intoxicated state Baba suddenly submitted his resignation from the army and left the camp.
He then roamed about in the streets of Sagar like a mad man; without any sense of body. Soon his maternal grandmother heard of the news and took him away to Kamthi. She tried to get him cured through doctors and Hakims thinking that he was mad. The doctors and Hakims could hardly improve his condition as Baba Tajuddin‘s consciousness had, by that time transcended the gross and subtle body and was floating in the vast ocean of divine consciousness – beyond multiplicism and dualism of Nature. As the destiny of many spiritual seekers, children started throwing stones at him to which he would never react. The society around him discarded him to be useless for their purpose and declared him as mad and, therefore, humiliated him whenever and wherever they could.
However, miracles also started taking place around him. He would suddenly tell people about their past and warn them about future problems. One day in that Videha State (Beyond body state) he went near a British woman in a naked state. The horrified woman complained to the army authorities about such uncivilized behaviour. An army officer caught hold of him and got him admitted in the lunatic asylum of Nagpur on the 16th of August 1892. This is one of the biggest illusions of Nature (Maya) the mad people of the mad world declaring the Knowledge- Incarnate, who had come to redeem them of their worldly madness, as mad. But how could the authorities, confine a soul that is in a state of pure consciousness within the four walls of a lunatic asylum. As was the practice, the inhabitants of the asylum used to be locked up in barracks and cells at night. Similarly, Baba was also put in confinement under strict vigil.
Soon after he was locked up in the asylum that a strange incident took place that spread Baba’s name far and wide. Baba was admitted in the lunatic asylum on the 26th August 1892. On the same day many people saw him moving freely in the streets of Kamthi, even after he was locked up. On the next day i.e. 27th an army sepoy, who, under the orders of the magistrate had brought Baba to the lunatic asylum the previous day, saw Baba roaming in the street. The shocked sepoy ran back and informed the British officer of the regiment, about it. The officer immediately rode his horse and searched for Baba. He ultimately found him sitting under a tree smiling at him. British officer was so enraged at seeing him moving freely that he straight away rode to the lunatic asylum at Nagpur situated at half an hour distance from Kamthi. He asked the doctor on duty “Where is that insane whom I sent here yesterday?” The doctor informed that he was in a locked room and also showed the officer where Baba was locked, and behold, the officer found the Baba Tajuddin was sitting inside the room in the same posture in which he had seen sitting under the tree only half on hour back smiling at him. On seeing the officer, Baba said. ” Brother, you are doing your work and I am doing my work”. The officer was so influenced by the divine personality of Baba that he instantly became his disciple and started visiting Baba on every Sunday with his family members. Thereafter, the asylum authorities were reconciled with Baba moving at various places inside the asylum compound and outside. Gradually, Baba’s name became so famous that thousands of people from near and far started lining up before the lunatic asylum everyday to have Baba’s darshan, blessing and help.
During his 16 years stay in the asylum, Baba cured thousands of people of diseases , granted children to the childless and took on his shoulders the responsibilities (both temporal and spiritual) of lakhs of his devotees.
Miracles are the way of functioning of the Masters. Since more often, they work through the subtle and mental mediums than in gross which ordinary mortals cannot perform, they are termed as miracles. The forces creating miracles are subtle forces of nature not yet discovered. Since the work of the Perfect Master precipitates hundreds and thousands of actions at different place at the same time, they employ the subtle methods. Those who have become mediums of miracles know for sure that there are definite principles on which the so called miracles operate. For them they are not miracles but a normal way of functioning at their levels of consciousness.
The Perfect Master are not confined by any religion, any creed, caste or even by scriptural injunctions or prescribed methods of worship etc. They are in a state of total ‘freewill’ without any limitations of nature. This is not to be misunderstood, as a negative state of assertion for free will. Baba’s fame and love for people had been drawing thousands of people daily to the lunatic asylum. Even the staffs of the asylum including the doctors were his devotees.
The doctor gave report that Baba was not mad but a person of unusual qualities which medical science cannot explain. In the meantime, Maharaja Bahadur Shrimant Raghoji Rao Bhonsle, the Maharaja of Nagpur had become an ardent devotee of Baba and started visiting him regularly. One day, in the evening, he thought of getting Baba released from the lunatic asylum and bring him to his palace at Shakardara. The same night, he saw a vision in the dream in which Baba appeared and pointing towards Red Palace said “Oh, elder brother, let me stay here.” It was early morning- (3.00 AM) of 9th July 1908, a Thursday. The Maharaja immediately called his officials and discussed about the steps to be taken to get Baba released. The Council decided that the Maharaja should immediately make an application for release to the Governor, Central Provinces. Ultimately after depositing a security money of rupees two thousands, the Maharaja secured the release of Baba on the 21st of September 1908 and brought him to his palace. From his palace Baba started his divine work.
Once Baba was lying down on the sands of the river Kanhan when two ladies by the name of Shantabai and Subhadrabai from Amaravati, approached him. While touching the feet of Baba they mentally prayed to him for children, as they were childless. The omniscient (Pragyan Ritambhara) Baba heard their inner prayers and gave a ladoo (a type of sweetmeat) to each after testing them. He blessed them to have sons. While they were returning, Shantabai ate the ladoo as a blessed prasad, but Subhadrabai did not because Baba had tasted the ladoo and was Muslim by birth. She quietly got the ladoo buried in the sand. As the Divine Will could have it, Shantabai got a son nine months later. When the child was about two-month-old, she came to Baba with the child for his blessings. Subhadra, who had not conceived even by that time, accompanied her. When Shantabai put her child at the feet of Baba, Subhadra could not control herself. She fell at the feet of Baba and cried -”Baba where is my child?” Baba told her to search the child from beneath the sand (indicating that he knew where the ladoo was) Subhadra immediately realised her mistake and repented profusely before Baba. The Perfect masters are incarnation of kindness. Her repentance and plight moved Baba. He blessed her to have a son, which she got after a year. The perfect master is a wish- fulfilling tree Kalpvriksha who even shower unconditional grace (Ahetuk Kripa).
A poor scheduled- caste woman called Tara once wished to feed Baba but since Baba was staying in the palace. Tara did not know how to approach him and was also afraid that some people may not take it kindly. So, she cooked the food and tied the food in a piece of cloth with a tree near the palace. Sometime later, people from high classes kept the best of dishes before Baba for his lunch. Baba Said, ” I will not eat all these. Get my food tied in the Jamun tree”. Everybody started searching but could not find the food. Ultimately Baba got up from his seat, brought the food from the tree and ate only that with utter satisfaction. The Perfect Master are hungry not for the food offered by the people but for the love behind such offer. The spiritual masters never encourage anyone to change his religion. They are above all religions. They only see the theme of humanism, which is the basis of all religions.
There was a prostitute by the name of Giriji who was a devotee of Baba. Suddenly, she caught some disease and remained sick for long. Another devotee of Baba, Kashinath Patel, one day sent a person to the house of Giriji to enquire about her health. The man came and found Giriji dead and informed Kashinath accordingly. Kashinath directed him to go and ask Tajuddin Baba whether to bury the body of Giriji or to burn it. On his way to Baba’s place, he found a close attendant of Baba carrying tea in a pot. During discussion, Patel’s man told the attendant of Baba that Giriji is dead. When Baba’s attendant heard that Giriji is dead he told the other persons that Baba has asked him to ensure that Giriji drinks that tea. Therefore, he insisted on carrying the tea to Giriji, Both of them reached Giriji house and found her body surrounded by mourning women. The attendant of Baba, said in a loud voice – “Giriji, Hazur has sent tea for you. Take it.” He repeated the sentence thrice. After the third time Giriji opened her mouth and little by little tea was poured in. After taking the tea, she came back to life and lived for a few years more.
The love of a Perfect Master for his devotees is somewhat like but more than the love of the mother towards the child. Whosoever surrenders to him, he takes care of his biggest and even the smallest problems. Since his words are the ultimate truth, whatever they promise is fulfilled, even after they have left their body. Let us see one example. Sometimes, Baba used to travel in a horse-driven cart to distant places. One devotee named Hiralal used to be his driver (coachman). When Baba once declared that he would leave his body in few days (he left the body on the 17th of August 1925), Hiralal started crying. He asked Baba “Huzur, under whose protection are you leaving us and going”. Baba told him “you always stay in front of me (the driver sits at the front in a horse cart) and I will always stay behind you”.
It so happened that in 1965, on the day of the Moharram, the annual procession i.e. Baba’s Tazia started from Baba’s place by now name as Tazabaad and moving towards the main square (called Jhad Square) with people shouting ‘Allah ho Akbar’. Suddenly the people carrying the Tazia heard the cry ‘Ram naam satya hai’ from another procession moving in front of them. Those who knew what Baba had told Hiralal during his last days, found that the procession in the front was carrying the dead body of Hiralal. Tears rolled down from their eyes when they saw Hiralal’s body going in front and Baba’s Tazia following a promise kept by Baba forty years after his departure. One of the main functions of a Sadguru is to stand by his devotees at the times of their death, in gross or subtle form, to lead the soul towards further evolutions. None else – i.e. no other Guru, parents, relatives, or even yogis have the power to render such help to the souls once they have left the body.
By 1925, Baba had completed his 64th year. In the month of August his health started deteriorating. Maharaja Raghoji Rao pressed the best doctors for service, but which doctor could cure Baba who only had decided about his departure. Raghoji Rao understood that Baba is getting ready to depart. He asked Baba to allow people to have darshan even if medical advice did not permit. The ever-benevolent Baba just smiled and agreed. As the news spread thousands of people came to the king’s palace and had last sight of their beloved master who had served and protected them for decades. The stream of visitors continued till the last moment of Baba’s departure on the 17th August 1925. On that Monday, Baba lifted his hand as blessing to all, looking at them lovingly and quietly laid his body on the bed. By the time doctors could check him he had already left the gross body for its universal abode. But, today the experience of people visiting the Samadhi of Baba establishes the truth that the Perfect Masters always exist, in whatever form, in the time continuum for they are in the Beyond state.
Dattavtars: Shripad SriVallabh Sri Narasimha Saraswati Shree Swami Samarth Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi
The Perfect Masters :
Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon , Shankar Maharaj , Hazrat Babajan , Narayan Maharaj , Meher Baba
Shri Upasani (Baba) Maharaj , Shri Manik Prabhu Maharaj , ParamSadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj of Akkalkot
Shri Krishna Saraswati Swami, Swami Swaroopanad of Pawas, Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati Swami Maharaj