DR. R. M. HARI
(30 April, 1912—21 March, 1980)
A Brief Life Sketch
DR R.M. HARI was born at Rohri, Sind, Pakistan on 30 April, 1912. His father Sai (Dr) Rochaldas Sahib was a saint of a very high realisation. The atmosphere at home was pious and holy. Sadhus and fakirs were frequent visitors at home and they were always treated and served with respect. Dr Hari, therefore, had the privilege of being in holy environments since his birth.
He had his schooling at Municipal High School, Rohri. He then passed the examinations in Homoeopathy and became a qualified homoeopath physician. Following in the footsteps of his father and preceptor, Sai (Dr) Rochaldas Sahib, Dr Hari also decided to do free charitable homoeopathic service. He never invited donations or subscriptions for his living or the dispensary. He fully surrendered himself to the Lord, and the Lord took care of him throughout his life. He always helped the needy.
Out of love and respect, he was also addressed as Dada Sai.
The life of Dada Sai is a unique example. His basic approach was 'evolution, progress and enlightenment within and secrecy and anonymity outside'. He always concealed himself and avoided display and ostentation. He would not hesitate in inviting criticism to safeguard spiritual secrecy and anonymity. He never sat down as a head of a congregation to deliver a sermon.
At times Dada Sai chose to live in an aristocratic manner and had the experience of everything in the world. He had a very fine taste and liked everything in a gracious and exquisite manner. He visited many countries in the world. Those who saw him were astonished. On the other hand he also lived such a simple and austere life totally devoid of material comforts and in great anonymity that those around him were dumbfounded. For him all states were alike, he was even-minded in all conditions. For him, joy and sorrow, and acceptance and rejection, were all alike. He never approached anybody for help, and yet he was always helpful and generous to others. He was humble and free from ego. He never spoke ill of anybody.
Dada Sai lived a full life as a householder. He was very meticulous in everything he did. He was always engrossed in activities of one kind or another — medical practice, reading and writing books, housekeeping, attending to family members and guests, extensive tours at home and abroad, visiting saints and places of pilgrimage, innovation and experimentation in herbal medicines, magnetic therapy, and gems therapy. He took personal interest in raising and care of birds and bushes. Every action was done with a keen sense of beauty, etiquette, orderliness and discipline, and yet devoid of any attachment. All his children received proper university education and were fixed in different vocations in life in India and outside India.
Dada Sai was specially interested in extensive tours. Since his childhood he had accompanied his father to various places of pilgrimage, shrines and abodes of saints and holy persons. He was always fearless. He toured the jungles of Himalayas alone on foot. One day while he was resting under a tree in a jungle in the Himalayas, a huge wild bear came up to him and was about to attack him. Dada Sai remained calm and unmoved. He just fixed his gaze in the eyes of the wild bear. The bear too kept gazing at him, at a distance of only a few feet. Dada Sai showed no signs of fear. After about 15 minutes when the bear got tired and Dada Sai made no movement of eyes, it turned its back and went away.
Once Dada Sai went unarmed into a habitation of aggressive tribals in the mountains in Baluchistan. At first, the tribals attacked him and were about to kill him. But Dada Sai attracted and befriended them so well that he was made to live as their guest for many a day.
Dada Sai was always cheerful, smiling and contended. There was a special attraction on his face. He was tall, fair and well-built. He always dressed as a simple ordinary man and did not put on a saintly garb, or dressed himself as a priest or a monk. His dwelling place was very simple and had no semblance of a shrine or a temple. He was a man of few words and spoke very little. He was a very good listener. When engaged informally in a discussion, he would become very lively and the whole room would echo with fun and laughter.
When anybody approached him with a personal problem, Dada Sai would engage him in fun and laughter and discuss matters so indirectly by quoting other examples, etc that the person would feel lighter and get necessary advice without Dada Sai making it explicit. Dada Sai would help others without allowing his ego to arise in any manner.
Dada Sai was a voracious reader. He had a very good collection of holy books of all religions including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Sufism, and also biographies of saints and fakirs etc. He was also familiar with various branches of knowledge. If someone talked to him on a topic on engineering, science, trade, commerce, music, art, etc he could discuss these with ease and great understanding.
Though he was familiar with various branches of knowledge, Dada Sai maintained a different faith. This he expressed in a letter to one of his children saying, "One has to forget everything and only remember God. Only remembrance is the worship. The mind must be directed to the Lord. All else is perishable and transitory. Only that which helps in attainment of the goal is useful. The cycle of the universe keeps moving. One has to seek liberation by one's endeavour or purushartha. Let the body be with the world, but the mind must be directed to the Lord." His life was a practical demonstration of his faith. Living in the world, he was inwardly different from the world. Once one of his children complained to him that on account of excessive preoccupation with family obligations and official duties, he did not get time for the spiritual pursuits. In reply, Dada Sai said, "Neither office nor family are the obstacles on the spiritual path. Forgetfulness is the only obstacle." He used to advise that a seeker must cooperate and be one with nature. Once a person left his home and put on ochre clothes. Dada Sai did not approve of it and advised that person to return home. The person obeyed Dada Sai and returned to his family.
Dada Sai apparently led a quiet life. Nevertheless he felt greatly concerned with the conditions in the world and how the people were dragged away from spiritual pursuits. After the passing away of Sai (Dr) Rochaldas Sahib, Dada Sai devoted himself largely to writing. He first collected from the disciples the notes of the dialogues of his father and Master, Sai (Dr) Rochaldas Sahib, edited them and got them published in six volumes in Sindhi. Thereafter, he wrote in Sindhi a commentary on Shrimad Bhagwad Gita. Then, he prepared in Sindhi a simplified abridged version of Sri Yoga Vasishtha in the form of questions and answers.
Dada Sai had a special purpose in preparing the commentary on Shrimad Bhagwad Gita. He believed that Gita Gyan (Atmagyan) was the remedy to the problems of the man. He wanted to establish that there is no distinction between Vedanta and Sufism and said, "Truth is one and the same everywhere, at all times and in all religions, because Truth is that which has no changeableness. The apparent differences between various religions are because of semantic reasons." While explaining the various shlokas in the Gita, he has cited couplets of Sindhi Sufi saints with identical purport. The commentary is based on the personal experiences and realisations of Dada Sai. Because he had himself traversed the various paths, and attained the highest realisation, he was competent to guide others. He believed that Self-realisation is the true goal of human life and no efforts should be spared in this regard. It is a great folly and a misfortune to be oblivious of the true goal. The methods for attaining the goal are given in the Gita and a sincere and earnest seeker endeavouring honestly under the guidance of a preceptor will attain the goal. It requires a constant devoted endeavour for spiritual progress. The goal is to attain the state of 'oneness'. It signifies absorption in Atma, Haq or Allah. He believed that unless a seeker goes beyond the realm of duality and attains to non-duality or oneness, his claims to Self-realisation or realisation of Atma or Haq are in vain.
Once a seeker approached Dada Sai and requested him for grace. With great love, Dada Sai replied in a sweet tone, "It is not at all necessary for a seeker to request a fakir for grace, because a fakir is a fountain of grace out of which grace spouts without a break. All that is needed is that the seeker becomes fit to receive grace and benefit by that. If the seeker is fit, the fakir will force his grace upon him, because that is the nature of a fakir. A seeker must have full faith in his satguru and be obedient to him."
He prepared an English translation of his commentary on Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, the work which he completed in January, 1980. Then he initiated work on translation of the abridged edition of Sri Yoga Vasishtha from Sindhi to English. By this time, his health received a severe set-back.
Dada Sai developed heart trouble in February 1980. He had treatment for some time but that did not help. He left his mortal frame on 21 March, 1980. Thereafter, his eldest son, Sri H. M. Damodar was consecrated to the spiritual seat. The ceremony was performed by Syed Hazrat Noor Hussain Shah, sajjadah-nashin, Dargah Sahib Sai Qutab Ali Shah, Tando Jahanya, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan.
A simple samadhi of Dada Sai has been set up at the place where he lived, along with the samadhi of Sai Rochaldas Sahib at Barrack No. 1194, Shanti Nagar, Ulhas Nagar-3, Dist. Thane (near Bombay), Maharashtra State.