The Infinite Journey
By: Sonal Srivastava
March 12, 2011

Ruzbeh N Bharucha talks to Sonal Srivastava about Sai Baba of Shirdi and how he came to write the book The Fakir and its sequel. Are the books autobiographical? 

Most of the experiences that characters in the books go through are my own; I just attributed it to them. I discussed the idea of writing the book with my friends and they suggested I write a non-fictional account. But I didn’t want my ego to be reflected in my work, so I wrote it as a novel. I have been channeling for many years, connecting with the Sai Baba of Shirdi. To begin with, I was extremely skeptical; I thought it was coming from my subconscious mind. The first book, The Fakir, was the result of all the messages I ‘received’ from Sai Baba, so it is meaty. The second includes my tryst with Sai Baba and experiences people have had with him. I still turn the pages of the book and think there’s no way I could have written it on my own; it’s all Baba’s grace. 

What led you to write these books? 
There was a time when my career was going nowhere. I’d fallen out with my employers and I invested along with a friend in the stock market. That, too, was a disaster. I was bringing out a magazine on alcohol. A publisher asked me if I was interested in writing a book; he wanted me to write about spirits. I thought he meant ‘spirit communication’. I asked him, why he wanted me to write such a book. He said: “Who better than you Ruzbeh”. 

There we were, discussing the book for 15 minutes; he was talking about alcohol while I was thinking about spirituality. He said that the book should have a chapter on hangover and I said: ‘Wow even spirits have hangovers!’ That’s when the penny dropped. But he liked my idea. I wasn’t at all sure if I was the right person to do it. But he was insistent.

My journey began…. People told me I was the ‘medium’. I didn’t believe them. But the spiritual message kept coming. I sat holding the pen waiting for it to move. For three days nothing happened. Gradually I could feel the energy in my hand; the pen began to move, almost automatically. I asked who was prodding me and Sai Baba’s name came through. People told me that the Baba was communicating with me. 

Did the experience transform you in any way?
It changed my philosophy about life; I used to think that the good thing about life is that it ends. But after my spiritual experiences, I started thinking that the good thing about life is that it never ends. It also made me a more responsible person.

Do we have to be with the master all the time to stay connected with him? 
I know that I have to make my master happy; nothing else matters. I keep striving to make him happy, through word and deed. When you love your guru, you make a conscious effort to make him proud. You ask yourself: am I living for my master or for myself. If you are living for your master, there is a shift in your consciousness. 

What do you mean when you say ‘nothingness’?
You have to get to a state of nothingness; it also means being centered. Earlier, they used to call it shunya. To achieve the state of shunyata you need to be in complete surrender. When you are in surrender, you are centered. You do what is the right thing to do in that moment. 

“The Fakir tells you not only how to live but also how to die.” Tell us more.
I met quite a few Buddhist, Sufis and yogis and they all told me that if you want to live ‘properly’ learn to die ‘properly’. I read somewhere that every day when you get up, you should meditate on death. Imagine that you are dead; you can’t take anything with you. When you start meditating on death, you shed a lot of baggage.

Copyright 2014 Ruzbeh N. Bharucha.