5th Day – Chapter 29-35
Sai Satcharitra Chapter-29
Stories of (1) Madrasi Bhajani Mela – (2) Tendulkars (Father and son) – (3) Dr. Captain Hate – (4) Waman Narvekar.
This Chapter described other interesting and wonderful stories of Sai Baba.
(1) Madrasi Bhajani Mela
It was in the year 1916 that a Madrasi Bhajani Mela (Party of the Ramadasi Panth) started on a Pilgrimage to the holy city of Banaras. The Party consisted of a man, his wife, daughter and sister-in-law. Unfortunately their names are not mentioned. On their way, the party heard that there lived at Shirdi in Kopergaon Taluka, Ahmednagar District, a great sage named Sai Baba, who was calm and composed, and who was very liberal and who distributed money every day to His Bhaktas and to skilful persons, who went and showed their skill there. A lot of money in the form of Dakshina was collected daily by Sai Baba and out of this amount, He gave daily one rupee to a three year old girl Amani, the daughter of a Bhakta Kondaji and Rs. 2 to 5 to some, Rs. 6 to Jamali, the mother of Amani and Rs. 10 to 20 and even Rs. 50 to other Bhaktas as He pleased. On hearing all this the party came to Shirdi and stayed there. The Mela did very good bhajan and sang very good songs, but inwardly they craved for money. Three of the party were full of avarice, but the chief lady or mistress was of a very different nature. She had a regard and love for Baba. Once it so happened, that when the noon-day Arati was going on, Baba was much pleased with her faith and devotion, and was pleased to give her darshan of her Ishtam (Beloved Deity). To her Baba appeared as Sitanath (Rama) while to all the others the usual Sainath. On seeing her beloved Deity, she was very much moved. Tears began to flow from her eyes and she clapped her hands in joy.he people began to wonder at her joyful mood; but were not able to guess its cause. Late in the afternoon she disclosed everything to her husband. She told him how shesaw Shri Rama in Sai Baba. He thought that she was very simple and devout, and her seeing Rama might be a hallucination of her mind. He poohpoohed her, saying that it was not possible, that she alone should see Rama
while they all saw Sai Baba. She did not resent this remark, as she was fortunate enough to get Ramadarshan now and then, when her mind was calm and composed and free from avarice.
Things were going on like this, when the husband got a wonderful vision in his dream one night as follows :- He was in a big city, the police there had arrested him, tied his hands with a rope, and put him up in a cage (lock-up). As the police were tightening the grip, he saw Sai Baba standing quiet outside, near the cage. On seeing Baba so near,he said in a plaintive tone – “Hearing Your fame I came to Your Feet and why should a calamity befall me when You are standing here in person?” Baba said – “You must suffer the consequences of your action” He said – “I have not done anything in this life which would bring such a misfortune on me.” Baba said – “If not in this life, you must have committed some sin in your past life.” He replied, “I do not know anything of my past life, but assuming that I did commit some sin then, why should it not be burnt and destroyed in Your presence, as dry grass before fire? “Baba – “Have you got such faith?” He – “Yes.” Baba then asked him to close his eyes. No sooner did he shut them than he heard a thumping sound of something falling down, and opening his eyes, he saw that he was free and the police had fallen down, bleeding. Being much frightened he began to look at Baba who said – “Now you are well caught, officers will now come and arrest you.” Then he begged – “There is no other saviour except You, save me anyhow.” Then Baba again asked him to close his eyes. He did so and when he opened them, he saw that he was free, out of the cage and that Baba was by his side. He then fell at Baba’s Feet. Baba then asked him – “Is there any difference between this namaskar and your previous ones? Think well and reply.” He said “There is a lot of difference; my former namaskaras were offered with the object of getting money from You, but the present namaskar is one offered to You as God; besides, formerly I thought resentfully that you, being a Mahomendan, were spoiling us, the Hindus”. Baba “Do you not believe in your mind in Mahomendan Gods?” He said “No”. Then Baba said – “Have you not got a Panja (Emblem of Hand) in your house and do you not worship the same in Tabut, i.e. Moharum festival? Also there is in your house another Mahomedan Deity by name Kadbibi, whom you propitiate and appease on your marriage and other festivals. Is it not so?” He admitted all this. Then Baba said,”What more do you want?” Then a desire arose in his mind to get the darshan of his Guru Ramdas, when Baba asked him to turn back and see. And when he turned, lo, Ramadas was in front of him. No sooner did he begin to fall at His Feet, Ramadas vanished. Then he inquisitively asked Baba,”You look old. Do You know Your age?” Baba – “What! Do you say I am old! just run a race with Me and see.” Saying this Baba began to run and he too followed. Baba disappeared in the dust raised by His footsteps while running and the man was awakened. After awakening he began to think seriously about the dream-vision. His mental attitude was completely changed and he realised the greatness of Baba. After this, his grabbing and doubting tendencies disappeared and true devotion to Baba’s Feet sprang in his mind. The vision was a mere dream, but the questions and answers therein were most significant and interesting. Next morning when all the persons assembled in the Masjid for the Arati, Baba gave him as prasad two rupees’ worth sweetmeats and also two rupees from His pocket and blessed him. He made him stay there for a few more days and gave him His blessing, saying,”Allah (God) will give you plenty and He will do you all good”. He did not get more money there, but he got far better things viz. Baba’s blessing which stood him in good stead all along. The party got plenty of money afterwards and their pilgrimage was successful as they had not to suffer any trouble or inconvenience during their journey. They all returned home safe and sound, thinking of Baba’s words and blessings and the Anand(Bliss) they experienced by His grace. This story illustrates one of the methods, which Baba followed (and is following even now) in some cases to improve and reform His devotees.
(2) Tendulkar family
There lived in Bandra (a suburb of Bombay) a Tendalkar family, all the members of which were devoted to Baba. Mrs. Savitribai Tendulkar has published a Marathi book named “Shri Sainath Bhajan Mala” containing 800 abhangas and padas describing the Leelas of Baba. It is a book worth reading by those who are interested in Baba. The son, Babu Tendulkar was studying hard day and night and wanted to appear for the medical examination. He consulted some astrologers. Examining his horoscope they told him that the stars were not favourable that year and that he should appear for the examination next year, when he would be certainly successful. This cast a gloom over
him and made him restless. A few days afterwards his mother went to Shirdi and saw Baba. Amongst other things she mentioned the gloomy and morose condition of her son, who was to appear for the examination in a few days. Hearing this Baba said to her,”Tell your son to believe in Me, to throw aside horoscopes and predictions of astrologers and palmists and go on with his studies. Let him appear for the examination with a calm mind, he is sure to pass this year. Ask him to trust in Me and not to get disappointed”. The mother returned home and communicated Baba’s message to her son. Then he studied hard and in due course appeared for the examination. In the written papers he did well, but being overwhelmed by doubts he thought that he would not secure sufficient marks for passing. So he did not care to appear for the oral examination. But the examiner was after him. He sent word through a fellow- student, stating that he had passed in the written examination and that he should appear for the oral. The son being thus encouraged appeared for the oral examination and was successful in both. Thus he got through the examination that year successfully by Baba’s grace, though the stars were against him. It is to be noted here that doubts and difficulties surround us just to move us and confirm our faith. We are tested as it were. If we only hold on steadily to Baba with full faith and continue our endeavours, our efforts will be ultimately crowned with success.
The father of this boy, Raghunathrao was serving in some foreign mercantile firm in Bombay. As he grew old, he was not able to attend to his work properly and so he had to take leave and rest. As he did not improve during the period of leave a further extension of leave or retirement from service was inevitable. The Chief Manager of the firm
decided to retire him on pension as he was an old and a reliable servant. The question regarding the amount of pension to be given was under consideration. He was getting Rs.150/- p.m. and his pension i.e. half the amount viz. Rs. 75/- would not be enough to meet the expenses of the family. So they were all anxious about this matter. Fifteen days before the final settlement, Baba appeared to Mrs. Tendulkar in her dream and said, “I wish that Rs. 100/- should be paid (settled) as pension, will this satisfy you?” She replied “Baba, why ask me this? We fully trust in You”. Though Baba said Rs.100/- still he was given ten Rupees more i.e. Rs.110/- as a special case. Such wonderful love and care did Baba exhibit for His Bhaktas.
(3) Captain Hate
Captain Hate, who was staying in Bikaner, was a great devotee of Baba. Once Baba appeared to him in his dream and said “Did you forget Me?” Hate then immediately held Baba’s Feet and replied, “If a child forgets his mother, how could it be saved?” Then Hate went into the garden and took out fresh walpapadi vegetables, and arranging
‘shidha’ (ghee, wheat-flour and dal etc.) and Dakshina, was about to offer all this to Baba when he was awakened and came to know that the whole thing was a dream. Then he decided to send all these things to Baba at Shirdi. When he came to Gwalior some days afterwards, he sent Rs.12/- by money order to a friend, with instructions that Rs. 2 should be spent in buying shidha articles and walpapadi vegetables, and those should be offered to Baba with Rs. 10 as Dakshina. The friend went to Shirdi and purchased the things mentioned, but walpapadi was not available. In a short time a woman turned up with a basket on her head, which curiously enough contained the vegetables. It was purchased and then all the things were offered to Baba on behalf of Captain hate. Mr. Nimonkar prepared the ‘naivedya’ (rice and walpapadi vegetables) next day and offered the same to Baba. All the people were surprised to see that Baba while dining, took and ate walpapadi, and did not touch rice and other things. Hate’s joy knew no bounds when he heard of this from his friend.
At another time Captain Hate wished that he should have in his house a coin of rupee consecrated by Baba with His touch. He came across a friend who was bound for Shirdi. With him Hate sent his rupee. The friend went to Shirdi and after the usual saluation gave first his Dakshina which Baba pocketed. Then he gave Hate’s rupee, which Baba
took in His hand and began to stare at it. He held it in front, tossed it up with His right thumb and played with it. Then He said to the friend, “Return this to its owner with the Prasad of Udi, tell him that I want nothing from him, ask him to live in peace and contentment.” The friend returned to Gwalior, handed over the consecrated rupee to Hate, and told him all the h0appened at Shirdi. This time Hate was much pleased and realised that Baba always encouraged good thoughts, and as he wished intently, Baba fulfilled the same accordingly.
(4) Waman Narvekar
Now let the readers hear a different story. A gentleman, named Waman Narvekar loved Baba very much. He once brought a rupee. On one said (obverse) of it were engraved the figures of Rama, Laxman and Sita and on the other (reverse) side was engraved the figure of Maruti, with folded hands. He offered it to Baba with a hope that He should
consecrate it with His touch and return it to him with Udi. But Baba immediately pocketed it. Then Shama spoke to Baba, regarding Womanrao’s intention and requested Him to return it. Then Baba spoke in the presence of Wamanrao as follows :- “Why should it be returned to him? We should keep it ourselves. If he gives Rs.25/- for it, it will be returned.” Then, for the sake of that rupee, Wamanrao collected Rs.25/- and placed them before Baba. Then Baba said, “The value of that rupee far exceeds 25 Rupees. Shama, take this rupee, let us have it in our store, keep this in your shrine and worship it.” No one had the courage to ask Baba why He followed this particular action. He only knows what is best and most suitable to each and all.
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all
Sai Satcharitra Chapter-30
Drawn To Shirdi
(1) Kakaji Vaidya of Vani – (2) Punjabi Ramalal of Bombay.
In this Chapter the story of two more devotees that were drawn to Shirdi, is narrated.
Bow to the Kind Sai Who is the Abode of Mercy and Who is affectionate towards His devotees. By His mere darshan, He does away with their fear of this ‘bhava’ (samsar) and destroys their calamities. He was first Nirgun (formless), but on account of the devotion of His Bhaktas, He was obliged to take a form. To give liberation – selfrealisation to the Bhaktas is the mission of the saints, and for Sai – the Chief of them, that mission is inevitable. Those who take refuge in His Feet have all their sins destroyed and their progress is certain. Remembering His Feet, Brahmins from holy places come to Him and read scriptures and chant the Gayatri mantra in His presence. We, who are weak and without any merits, do not know what Bhakti is but we know this much, that though all others may leave us, Sai won’t forsake us. Those whom He favours get enormous strength, discrimination between the Unreal and the Real and knowledge.
Sai knows fully the desire of His devotees and fulfills the same. Hence they get what they want and are grateful. So we invoke Him and prostrate ourselves before Him. Forgetting all our faults let Him free us from all anxieties. He who being overcome with calamities remembers and prays Sai thus, will get his mind calmed and pacified through
His grace. This Sai – the ocean of mercy, says Hemadpant, favoured him and the result of this, is the present work – Sai-Satcharia. Otherwise what qualifications had he and who would undertake this enterprise? But as Sai took all the responsibility, Hemadpant felt no burden, nor any care about this.
When the powerful Light of knowledge was there to inspire his speech and pen, why should he entertain any doubt or feel any anxiety? Sai got the service in the form of this book done by him; this is due to the accumulation of his merits in the past births and, therefore, he thinks himself fortunate and blessed. The following story is not a mere tale, but pure nectar. He who drinks it will realise Sai’s greatness and all-pervasiveness. Those who want to argue and criticise, should not go in for these stories. What is wanted here, is not discussion but unlimited love and devotion. Learned, devout and faithful believers or those, who consider themselves as servants of the Saints, will like and appreciate these stories, others will take them to be fables. The fortunate Bhaktas of Sai, will find the Sai-leelas as the Kalpataru (Wishfulfilling Tree). Drinking this nectar of Sai-leelas, will give liberation to the ignorant Jivas, satisfaction to the house-holders and a sadhana to the aspirants. Now to the story of this Chapter.
There lived in Vani, Nasik District, a man named Kakaji Vaidya. He was the priest of the Goodness Sapta-Shringi there. He was so much overwhelmed with adverse circumstances and calamities that he lost peace of mind and became quite restless. Under such circumstances one evening he went into the temple of the Goodess and prayed unto Her from the bottom of his heart and invoked Her aid to free him from anxeity. The Goddess was pleased with his devotion and the same night appeared to him in his dream and said to him, “You go to Baba and then your mind will become calm and composed”. Kakaji was anxious to know from Her who that Baba was, but before he could get any explanation, he was awakened. Then he began to think as to who might be that Baba, to whom the Goodess has asked him to go. After some thinking, he resolved that this Baba might be ‘Tryambakeshwar’ (Lord Shiva). So he went to the holy place ‘Tryambak’ (Nasik District) and stayed there for ten days. During this period, he bathed early in the morning, chanted the ‘Rudra’ hymns, did the ‘Abhishekam’ (pouring unceasingly fresh cold water over the Pindi) and did other religious rites; but with all that, he was as restless as before. Then he returned to his place and again invoked the Goddess most pitifully. They night She again appeared in his dream and said – “Why did you go to Tryambakeshwar in vain?
I mean by Baba – Shri Sai Samarth of Shirdi.”
The question before Kakaji now was ‘How and when to go to Shirdi and how to see Baba? If anybody is in real earnest to see a Saint, not only the Saint but God also, fulfills his wish. In fact the ‘Sant’ (Saint) and the ‘Anant’ (God) are one and the same; there is not the least difference between them. If anybody thinks that he will go himself and see a Saint, that will be a mere boast. Unless the Saint wills it, who is able to go and see him? Even the leaf of the tree won’t move without his bidding. The more anxious a Bhakta is for the saint’s visit, the more devout anf faithful he is, the more speedily and effectively is his wish satisfied to his heart’s content. He who invites anybody for a visit, also arranges everything for his reception, and so it happened with Kakaji.
When Kakaji was thinking his visit to Shirdi, a guest came to him at his place to take him to Shirdi. He was no other than Shama, a very close and intimate devotee of Baba. How he came to Vani at this juncture, we shall just see. Shama was severely ill when he was very young and his mother had taken a vow to her family Goddess Sapta-Shringi at Vani, that if the son got well, she would bring and dedicate him at Her feet. Then after some years the mother herself suffered much from ring-worms on her breasts. At that time she again took another vow to her Deity that if she got all right, she would offer Her two silver breasts. These two vows remained unfulfilled. At her death-bed she called her son Shama to her and drew his attention to the vows and after taking a promise from him that he would fulfills them, she breathed her last. After some time, Shama quite forgot about these vows and thus 30 years elapsed. About this time a famous astrologer had come to Shirdi and stayed there for a month. His predictions in the case of Shriman Booty and others came true and everybody was satisfied. Shama’s younger brother Bapaji consulted him and was told that his mother’s vows, which his elder brother promised to fulfill at her death-bed, were not yet fulfilled; hence the Goddess was displeased with them and bringing troubles on them. Bapaji told this to his brother Shama who was then reminded of the unfulfilled vows. Thinking that any further delay would be dangerous, he called a goldsmith and got a pair of silver breast prepared. Then he went to the Masjid, prostrated himself before Baba and, placing before Him the two silver breath, requested Him to accept them and free him from the vows as He was to him his Sapta-Shringi Goddess. Then Baba insisted upon him to go himself to the temple of Sapta-Shringi and offer them in person at the feet of the Goddess.
Then after taking Baba’s permission and Udi, he left for Vani and searching for the priest came to Kakaji’s house. Kakaji was then very anxious to visit Baba and Shama went there to see him at that very time. What a wonderful coincidence is this! Kakaji asked him who he was and whence he had come, and on learning that he came from Shirdi, he at once embraced him. So overpowered was he with love! Then they talked about Sai-leelas and after finishing the rites of Shama’s vows, they both started for Shirdi. On reaching the place, Kakaji went to the Masjid, and fell at Baba’s Feet. His eyes were soon bedewed with tears, and his mind attained calmness. According to the
vision of the Goddess, no sooner did he see Baba, that his mind lost all its restlessness and it became calm and composed. Kakaji began to think, in his mind, “What a wonderful power is this! Baba spoke nothing, there was no question and answer, no benediction pronounced; the mere darshana itself was so conducive to happiness; the restlessness of my mind disappeared by His mere darshan, consciousness of joy came upon me – this is what is called ‘the greatness of darshan’.” His vision was fixed on Sai’s feet and he could utter no word. Hearing Baba’s Leelas, his joy knew no bounds. He surrendered himself completely to Baba, forgot his anxiety and cares and got undiluted happiness. He lived happily there for twelve days and after taking Baba’s leave, Udi and blessings returned home.
Khushalchand of Rahata
It is said that a dream, which we get in the small hours of the morning, generally comes out true in the walking state. This may be so, but regarding Baba’s dreams there is no restriction of time. To quote an instance :- Baba told Kakasaheb Dixit one afternoon to go to Rahata and fetch Khushalchand to Shirdi, as He had not seen him since long. Kakasaheb accordingly took a tanga and went to Rahata. He saw Khushalchand and gave him Baba’s message. Hearing it, Khushalchand was surprised and said that he was taking a noon nap after meals when Baba appeared in his dream and asked him to come to Shirdi immediately and that he was anxious to go. As he had no horse of his own nearby, he had sent his son to inform Baba; when his son was just out of the village-border, Dixit’s tanga turned up. Dixit then said that he was sent specially to bring him. Then they both went in the tanga back to Shirdi. Khushalchand saw Baba and all were pleased. Seeing this Leela of Baba, Khushalchand was much moved.
Punjabi Ramalal of Bombay
Once a Punjabi Brahmin of Bombay named Ramalal got a dream in which Baba appeared and asked him to come to Shirdi. Baba appeared to him as a Mahant (Saint), but he did not know His whereabouts. He thought that he should go and see Him, but as he knew not His address, he did not know what to do. But He Who calls anybody for an interview makes the necessary arrangements for the same. The same happened in this case. The same afternoon when he was strolling in the streets, he saw a picture of Baba in a shop. The features of the Mahant, he saw in the dream, exactly tallied with those of the picture. Then making enquiries, he came to know that the picture was of Sai Baba of Shirdi. He then went soon after to Shirdi and stayed there till his death. In this way Baba brought His devotees to Shirdi for darshan and satisfied their wants, material as well as spiritual.
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all
Sai Satcharitra Chapter-31
The Passing Away In Baba’s Presence of – (1) Sannyasi Vijayanand – (2) Balaram
Mankar – (3) Noolkar – (4) Megha – and (5) The Tiger.
The last wish or thought that a man has at the hour of death, determines his future course. Shri Krishna has said in Gita (VIII-5-6) that “he who remembers Me in his last moments, comes verily to Me, and he that meditates otherwise at that time goes to what he looks for.” We cannot be certain that we can entertain a particular good thought at our
last moment, for, more often than not, we are more likely to be frightened and terrified by many causes. Hence constant practice is necessary for enabling us to fix our mind on any desired good thought at any or the last moment. All Saints, therefore, recommended us to always remember God and chant His name always, so that we may not be puzzled when the time for departure comes. The devotees on their part surrender themselves completely to the Saints, fully believing that the all-knowing Saints would guide and help them in their last moments. A few such cases will be noted here.
A Madrasi Sannyasi named Vijayanand started on a pilgrimage to Manasa-Sarovar. En route, hearing Baba’s fame, he halted at Shirdi. There he met one Somadevaji Swami of Hardwar and enquired of him about the particulars of the Manasa-Sarovar trip. The Swami told him that the Sarovar was 500 miles above the Gangotri and described to him the difficulties of the journey, viz. plenty of snow and the change of dialect every 50 koss and the suspicious nature of the people of Bhutan who give a lost of trouble to the pilgrims on the way. Hearing this, the Sannyasi was dejected and cancelled the trip. Then when he went to Baba and prostrated himself before Him, Baba got enraged and said, “Drive out this useless Sannyasi, his company is of no use”. The Sannyasi did not know Baba’s nature. He felt discomforted, but sat there watching things that were going on. It was the morning Darbar and the Masjid was overcrowded. Baba was being worshipped in various ways. Some were washing His Feet, some taking the Tirth (holy water) from His toe and drinking it heartily and some touching their eyes with it, some were applying sandal-paste, and some scents to His body. And all were doing these things forgetting the distinction of caste and creed. Though Baba got enraged with him, he was filled with affection for Baba and he did not like to leave the place.
He stayed in Shirdi for two days when he got a letter from Madras stating that his mother was very ill. He felt very dejected and wanted to be by his mother’s side; but he could not leave without Baba’s permission. So he saw Baba with the letter in hand and asked for His permission to return home. The omniscient Baba knowing the future said to him – “If you so loved your mother, why did you take Sannayasa? Fondness or attachment ill becomes an ochre garb. Go and sit quiet at your lodging, wait with patience for a few days. In the Wada there are many robbers, bolt your doors, be very vigilant, the thieves will carry everything. Wealth and prosperity are transient and the body is subject to decay and death. Knowing this, do your duty, leaving all attachment to the things of this world and next. He who does this and surrenders himself to the Feet of Hari (Lord) will get free from all troubles and attain bliss. The Lord runs and helps him who remembers and meditates on Him with love and affection. Your store of past merits is considerable, so you have come here. Now attend to what I say and realise the end of your life. Being desireless, begin from tomorrow the study of Bhagwat. Do three ‘saptahas’ i.e. three reading during three weeks, conscientiously. The Lord will be pleased with you and destroy your sorrows, your illusions will vanish and you will get peace.” Seeing that his end was approaching, Baba prescribed that remedy and made him read ‘Ramavijaya’
which pleases the God of death. Next morning after bathing and other purifying rites he commenced to read Bhagwat in a secluded part in the Lendi garden. He completed two readings and thereafter felt much exhausted. He returned to the Wada and stayed in his lodging for two days and on the third day he breathed his last on Fakir Bade) Baba’s lap. Baba asked the people to preserve the body for a day for a good reason. The police afterwards came and on making proper enquiries gave permission for the disposal of the body. It was buried in a proper place with due rites. In this way Baba helped the Sannyasi and ensured him Sadgati (salvation).
(2) Balaram Mankar
There was a house-holder devotee of Baba by name Balaram Mankar. When his wife passed away, he got dejected and entrusting his household to his son, left his home and came to Shirdi and lived with Baba. Being pleased with his devotion, Baba wanted to give a good turn to his life and He did this in this wise. He gave him Rs. 12/- and asked
him to go and live in Macchindragad (District Satara). Mankar was first unwilling to go and stay away from Baba, but Baba convinced him that he was giving the best course for him and asked him to practise mediation thrice a day on the Gad. Believing in Baba’s words, Mankar came to the Gad. He was much pleased with the lovely sight, pure water, healthy air and the surroundings of the place, and began to practice assiduously the meditations as recommended by Baba. After some days he got a revelation. Generally Bhaktas get revelation in their Samadhi or trance states, but in Mankar’s case he got it, when he came down to his ordinary consciousness from his trance. Baba appeared to him in person. Not only that Mankar saw Him, but he also asked Him why he was sent there. Baba replied – “In Shirdi many thoughts and ideas began to rise in your mind and I sent you here to rest your unsteady mind. You thought that I was in Shirdi with a body composed of the five elements and three and a half cubits in length, and not outside of it. Now you see and determine for yourself whether the person you see here now is the same you saw at Shirdi. It is for this reason that I sent you here.” Then after the period was over, Mankar left the Gada and proceeded to his native place Bandra. He wanted to travel by rail from Poona to Dadar, but when he went to the booking office to get a ticket, he found it very much crowded. He could not get his ticket soon, when, a villager with a langoti (piece of cloth) on his waist and kambali on his shoulder turned up and said – “Where are your going?” “To Dadar.” replied Mankar. Then he said – “Please take this Dadar ticket of mine; as I have some urgent business here, I have cancelled my Dadar trip.” Mankar was very glad to receive the ticket and was just taking out money from his pocket, when the rustic disappeared in the crowd. Mankar tried to find him out in the crowd, but it was in vain. He waited for him till the train left the station but found no trace of him. This was the second revelation Mankar got in a strange form. Then Mankar after visiting his home, again returned to Shirdi and remained there at Baba’s feet, always following His biddings and advice. In the end, he was very fortunate to leave this world in the presence, and with the blessings of Baba.
(3) Tatyasaheb Noolkar
Hemadpant gives no particulars regarding Tatyasaheb Noolkar, except the bare mention of the fact that he up his ghost in Shirdi. A brief summary of his account that appeared in the Sai Leela magazine is given here.
Tatyasaheb was a Sub-Judge at Pandharpur in 1909, when Nanasaheb Chandorkar was Mamalatdar there. Both met often and exchanged talks. Tatyasaheb did not believe in saints, while Nanasaheb loved them. Nanasaheb often told him the Leelas of Sai Baba and pressed him to go to Shirdi and see Baba. He finally agreed to go to Shirdi on two conditions:- (1) he must get a Brahmin cook, and (2) must get good Nagpur oranges for the presentation. Both these conditions were providentially fulfilled. A Brahmin came to Nanasaheb for service and he was sent to Tatyasaheb and a fruit parcel containing 100 beautiful oranges was received by Tatyasaheb, the consigner being not known. As
the conditions were fulfilled, Tatyasaheb had to go to Shirdi. At first Baba was much enraged with him. But by and by Tatyasaheb got such experiences that he was convinced that Baba was God incarnate. So he was enamoured of Baba and stayed there till his death. As his end was approaching, sacred literature was read out to him and at the last hour Baba’s Pada-tirth was brought and given to him for drinking. Baba on hearing of his death, said, “Oh, Tatya went ahead of us, he won’t be reborn.”
The story of Megha has been already described in Chapter 28. When Megha died, all the villagers followed the funeral procession. Baba also accompanied them and showered flowers on Megha’s body. After the obsequies were performed, tears flowed from Baba’s eyes and like an ordinary mortal, Baba showed Himself overcome with grief and sorrow. Then covering the body with flowers and crying like a near relation, Baba returned to the Masjid.
Many Saints have been seen giving Sadgati to men, but Baba’s greatness is unique. Even a cruel animal like a tiger came to Baba’s feet for being saved. It is this story which will be narrated now.
Seven days before Baba passed away, a wonderful incident occured at Shirdi. There came a country-cart and stopped in front of the Masjid. A tiger was on the cart, fastened with iron chains, with its fierce face turned to the rear. It was suffering from some pain or agony. Its keepers – three Derveshis – were taking it from place to place and making money by exhibiting it. It was the means of their subsistence. They tried all sorts of remedies to cure it from the malady it was suffering from, but all was in vain. Then they heard of Baba’s fame and came to Him with the animal. They got it down the chains in their hands and made it stand at the door. It was naturally fierce, besides, disease ridden. So it was restless. The people began to look at it with fear and amazement. The Derveshies went in, told Baba everything about the animal and with His consent, brought it before Him. As it approached the steps, it was taken aback on account of the lustre of Baba and hung its head down. When both saw each other, it got on the step and looked at Baba with affection. Immediately it moved the tuft of its tail and dashed it thrice against the ground and then fell down senseless. On seeing it dead the Derveshis were first much dejected and full of sorrow, but on mature thought they came to their senses. They considered that as the animal was diseased and nearing its end, it was very meritorious on its part that it should meet its death at the feet and in the presence of Baba. It was their debtor, and when the debt was paid off it was free and met its end at Sai’s Feet. When any creatures bow down their heads at saints’ feet and meet death, they are saved; and unless they have got a good store of merit on their account, How could they get such a happy end?
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all
Sai Satcharitra Chapter-32
In Quest of Guru and God – Fasting Disapproved.
In this Chapter Hemadpant describes two things:- (1) How Baba met His Guru in the woods, and through him God; and (2) How Baba made one Mrs. Ghokhale, who had made up her mind to fast for three days, eat Puran-Polis.
In the beginning, Hemadpant describes the samsara (visible world) by the allegory of Ashvattha (Banyan) tree which has, in the phraseology of the Geeta, roots above and branches below. Its branches are spread downwards and upwards and are nourished by the gunas (qualities), and its sprouts are the objects of the senses. Its roots, leading to actions, are extended downwards to this world of men. Its form cannot be known in this world, nor its end, its beginning nor its support. Cutting this Ashvattha tree of strong roots with the sharp weapon of non-attachment, one should seek the path beyond, treading which there is no return.
For traversing this path, the help of a good guide (Guru) is absolutely necessary. However learned a man may be, or however deep his study of Vedas and Vedangas (sacred literature) may be, he cannot go to his destination safely. If the guide be there to help him and show him the right way, he would avoid the pitfalls and the wild beasts on the journey, and everything will be smooth-sailing.
Baba’s experience in this matter, the story which He gave out Himself, is really wonderful, which, when attended to, will give you faith, devotion and salvation.
Once four of us were studying religious scriptures and other books and, being thus enlightened, we began to discuss the nature of the Brahman. One of us said that we should raise the self by the Self and not depend on others. To this the second replied that he who controls his mind is blessed; we should be free from thoughts and ideas and there is nothing in the world without us. The third said that the world (phenomenon) is always changing, the formless is eternal; so we should discriminate between the Unreal and the Real. And the fourth (Baba Himself) urged that bookish knowledge is worthless and added, “Let us do our prescribed duty and surrender our body, mind and five pranas (life) to the Guru’s feet. Guru is God, all pervading. To get this conviction, strong unbounded faith is necessary.” Discussing in this wise, we four learned men began to ramble through the woods in the quest of God. The three wanted to make the quest with their free and unaided intellect. On the way a Vanjari (a man who trades in certain things, such as grain etc. by carrying them on bullock) met us and asked us, “It is hot now, where and how far are you going?”. “To search the woods”, we replied. He enquired, “On what quest are you bound?” We gave him an ambiguous and evasive reply. Seeing us rambling aimlessly, he was moved and said, “Without knowing the woods fully, you should not wander at random. If you want to walk through forests and jungles, you should take a guide with you. Why do you exert youselves unnecessarily at this sultry noon-time? You may not give out to me your secret quest; still you can sit down, eat bread, drink water, take rest and then go. Be always patient at heart.” Though he spoke so tenderly, we discarded his request and marched on. We thought that we were self-contained men and needed nobody’s help. The woods were vast and trackless, the trees therein grew so close and tall, that the sun’s rays could not penetrate through them; so we lost our way and wandered here and there for a long time. Ultimately through sheer good luck, we came back to the place from were we started. The Vanjari met us again and said, “Relying on your own cleverness you missed your way; a guide is always necessary to show us the right way in small or great matters; and no quest can be successfully carried out on an empty stomach. Unless God wills it, no one meets us on the way. Do not discard offers of food; served dish should not be thrust away. Offers of bread and food should be regarded as auspicious signs of success.” Saying this he again offered us food and asked us to be calm and patient. Again we did not like this good hospitality and discarded his offer and went away. Without doing any quest and without taking any food, the three began to move out. So obstinate were they. I was hungry and thirsty and I was moved with the Vanjari’s extraordinary love; we thought ourselves very learned but were
quite strangers to pity and kindness.
The Vanjari was a quite illiterate and unqualified fellow and belonged to a low caste. Still he had love in his heart and asked us to eat the bread. In this way he who loves others disinterestedly is really enlightened and I thought acceptance of his hospitality was the best beginning of getting knowledge. So very respectfully I accepted the loaf of bread offered, ate it and drank water.
Then to! The Guru at once came and stood before us, “What was the dispute about?” He asked and I told him everything that had happened. Then he said, “Would you like to come with me? I will show you what you want; but he alone, who believes in what I say, will be successful.” The others did not agree to what he said and left him; but I bowed to him reverently and accepted his dictum. Then he took me to a well, tied my feet with a rope and hung me – head downwards and feet up – from a tree near the well. I was suspended three feet above the water, which I could not reach with My hands, nor which could go into my mouth. Suspending me in this manner he went away, no one knew where. After 10 or 12 ghatakas (4 or 5 hours) he returned and taking me out quickly asked me how I fared. “In Bliss supreme, I was. How can a fool like me describe the joy I experienced?” I replied. On hearing my answer the Guru was much pleased with me, drew me near him and stroking my body with his hand kept me with him. He took care of me as tenderly as a mother-bird does of her young ones. He put me into his school; how beautiful it was! There I forgot my parents, all my attachment was snapped and I was liberated easily. I thought that I should embrace his neck and remain staring at him always. If his image were not fixed in my pupils, I would like better to be blind. Such was the school! No one, who entered it once, could return empty-handed. My Guru became my all-in-all, my home and property, mother and father, everything. All my senses left their places and concentrated themselves in my eyes, and my sight was centred on him. Thus was my Guru, the sole object of my meditation and I was conscious of none else. While meditating on him my mind and intellect were stunned and I had thus to keep quiet
and bow to him in silence.
There are other schools where you see an altogether different spectacle. The disciples go there to seek knowledge and spend their money, time and labour; but ultimately they have to repent. The Guru there boasts of his secret knowledge and his straightforwardness. He makes a show of his sacredness and holiness, but he is not tender at
heart. He speaks a lot and sings his own glory; but his own words do not touch the disciples’ hearts and they are not convinced.
So far as Self-realization is concerned, he has none. How can such schools be of any use to the disciples and how can they be benefited? The master (Guru) mentioned above was of different type. By his grace, realization flashed upon me of itself, without effort or study. I had not to seek anything, but everything became clear to me as broad day-light. The Guru alone knows how the topsy-turvy Suspension, ‘with head down and feet up’ can give happiness!
Among the four, one was a Karmatha (Ritualistic) who only knew how to observe, and abstain from, certain rites; the second was a Jnani, who was puffed up with pride of knowledge and the third was a Bhakta who surrendered himself completely to God, believing that he was the sole Doer. When they were discussing and arguing, the question of God turned up, and they, depending on their unaided knowledge, went in search of Him. Sai, who was Discrimination and Dispassion incarnate, was one of the four. Being Himself Brahman Incarnate, some may ask, “Why did He mix with them and act foolishly?” He did this for attaining the good of the public, and setting them an example to follow. Though an incarnation Himself, He respected a low Vanjari, by accpeting his food with the firm belief that “Food is Brahman” and showed how those who rejected Vanjari’s hospitable offer suffered and how it was impossible to get Jnana without a Guru. The Shruti (Taittiriya Upanishad) exhorts us to honour and worship mother, father and preceptor, and to study (learn and teach) the sacred scriptures. These are the means of purifying our minds and unless this purification is effected, selfrealization is not possible. Neither the senses, nor the mind and intellect reach the Self. Modes of proof, such as Perception and Inference will not help us in the matter. It is the grace of the Guru that counts. The objects of our life such as Dharma, Artha and Kama are attainable with our effort, but the fourth object, Moksha (liberation) can only he had with the help of the Guru.
In the Darbar of Shri Sai, many personalities appear and play their part; astrologers come and give out their predicitions; princes, noblemen, ordinary and poor men, Sannyasis, Yogis songsters and others come for darshan. Even a mahar comes and, making a Johar (his salutation), says this Sai is the Mai-Baap (True parents), Who will
do away with our rounds of births and deaths. So many others such as Jugglers, Gondhalis, the blind and the lame, Nath-panthis, dancers and other players come and are given suitable reception. Biding his own time, the Vanjari also appeared, and played the part assigned to him. Let us now revert to the other story.
Fasting and Mrs. Gokhale
Baba never fasted Himself, nor did He allow others to do so. The mind of the faster is never at ease, then how could he attain his Paramartha (goal of life)? God is not attained on an empty stomach; first the soul has to be appeased. If there is no moisture of food in the stomach and nutrition, with what eyes should we see God, with what tongue should we describe His greatness and with what ears should we hear the same? In short, when all our organs get their proper nutrition and are sound, we can practise devotion and other sadhanas to attain God. Therefore, neither fasting nor overeating is good. Moderation in diet is really wholesome both to the body and mind.
One Mrs. Gokhale came to Shirdi with an introductory letter from Mrs. Kashibai Kanitkar (a devotee of Baba) to Dada Kelkar. She came to Baba with a determination to sit at Baba’s Feet observing a three days fast. The day previous, Baba said to Dada Kelkar, that He would not allow his children to starve during the Shimga, i.e., Holi holidays, and that if they had to starve, why was He there? Next day when the woman went with Dada Kelkar and sat at Baba’s Feet, Baba at once said to her, “Where is the necessity of fasting? Go to Dadabhat’s house, prepare the dish of Puran POlis (wheat rotis with gram-flour and jaggery), feed his children and yourself too.” Shimga holidays were on. Mrs. Kelkar was then in her menses and there was nobody to cook in Dadabhat’s house. So Baba’s advice was very timely. Then Mrs. Gokhale had to go to Dadabhat’s house and prepare the dish as directed. She cooked that day, fed others and herself. What a good story and how beautiful its import!
Baba gave a story of his boyhood as follows:- “When I was a youngester, I was in search of bread and went to Beedgaum. There I got embroidery work. I worked hard, sparing no pains. The employer was very much pleased with Me. Three other boys worked before Me. The first got Rs. 50/- the second Rs. 100/- and the third Rs. 150/-. And I was given twice the whole of this amount, viz. Rs. 600/-. After seeing my cleverness, the employer loved me, praised me and honoured me with a full dress, a turban for the head and a shell a for the body, etc. I kept this dress intact withoutusing it. I thought that what a man might give does not last long and it is always imperfect. But what My Sircar (God) gives, lasts to the end of time. No other gift from any man can be compared to His. My Sircar says “Take, take,” but everybody comes to me and says ‘Give, give.’ Nobody attends carefully to the meaning of what I say. My Sircar’s treasury (spiritual wealth) is full, it is overflowing. I say, “Dig out and take away this wealth in cartloads, the blessed son of a true mother should fill himself with this wealth. The skill of my Fakir, the Leela of my
Bhagwan, the aptitude of my Sircar is quite unique. What about Me? Body (earth) will mix with earth, breath with air. This time won’t come again. I go somewhere, sit somewhere; the hard Maya troubles Me much, still I feel always anxiety for My men. He who does anything (spiritual endeavour) will reap its fruit and he who remembers these
words of Mine will get invaluable happiness.”
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all
Sai Satcharitra Chapter-33
Greatness of Udi
Scorpion Sting and Plague Cases Cured – Jamner Miracle – Narayanarao’s Sickness Balabuva sutar – Appasaheb Kulkarni – Haribhau Karnik.
Let us bow now before the great saints. Their merciful glances will destroy mountains of sins and do away with all the evil taints of our character. Their casual talk gives us good teachings and confers on us imperishable happiness. Their minds do not know any difference such as ‘This is ours and that is yours.’ Such differentiation never arises in
their minds. Their debts (obligations) will never be repaid by us in this birth as well as in many future births.
It is well-known that Baba took Dakshina from all, and out of the amount thus collected, He spent a lot on charity and purchased fuel with the balance left with Him. This fuel He threw in the Dhuni – the sacred fire, which he kept ever burning. The ash from this fire /was called Udi and it was freely distributed to the devotees at the time of their departure from Shirdi.
What did Baba teach or hint by this Udi? Baba taught by His Udi that all the visible phenomena in the universe are as transient as the ash. Our bodies composed of wood or matter of the five elements, will fall down, after all their enjoyments are over, and be reduced to ashes. In order to remind the devotees of the fact that their bodies will be
reduced to ashes, Baba distributed Udi to them.
Baba also taught by the Udi that the Brahman is the only Reality and the universe is ephemeral and that no one in this world, be he a son, father or wife, is really ours. We come here (in this world) alone and we have to go out alone. It was found and is even now found out, that the Udi cured many physical and mental maladies, but Baba wanted to din into the devotee’s ears the principles of discrimination between the Unreal and the Real, non-attachment for the Unreal, by His Udi and Dakshina. The former (Udi) taught us discrimination and the latter (Dakshina) taught us non-attachment. Unless we have these two things, it is not possible for us to cross over the sea of the mundane existence. So Baba asked for and took Dakshina, and while the devotees took leave, He gave Udi as Prasad, besmeared some of it on the Bhaktas’ foreheads and placed His boonconferring hand on their heads. When Baba was in a cheerful mood, He used to sing merrily. One such song was about Udi. The burden of the Udi song was this,”Oh, playful Rama, come, come, and bring with you sacks of Udi.” Baba used to sing in very clear
and sweet tones.
So much about the spiritual implication of Udi. It had also its material significance. It conferred health, prosperity, freedom from anxiety, and many other worldly gains. So the Udi has helped us to gain both our ends – material as well as spiritual. We shall now begin with the stories about the Udi.
Narayan Motiram Jani of Nasik was a devotee of Baba. He was serving under another devotee of Baba, by name Ramachandra Vaman Modak. Once he went to Shirdi with his mother and saw Baba. Then Baba Himself told her that he (her son) should serve no more, but start independent business. Some days after, this prophecy turned true.
Narayan Jani left service and started a boarding house ‘Anandashram’ which thrived well. Once a friend of this Narayanrao was stung by a scorpion and the pain caused by it, was servere and unbearable. Udi is most efficacious in such cases; it is to be applied on the seat of pain, and so Narayanrao searched for it, but found none. Then he stood before Baba’s picture and invoked Baba’s aid, chanted Baba’s name and taking out a pinch of the ashes of the joss-stick burning in front of Baba’s picture and thinking it to be Baba’s Udi, applied it on the seat of pain and the sting. As soon as he took out his fingers, the pain vanished and both the person were moved and felt delighted.
Bubonic Plague Case
Once a devotee in Bandra came to know that his daughter, who was staying in another place was down with bubonic plague. He had no Udi with him; so he sent word to Nanasaheb Chandorkar to send the same. Nanasaheb got this message on a road near the Thana Railway Station when he was travelling with his wife to Kalyan. He had no Udi with him at that time. He, therefore, took up some earth from the road, meditated upon Sai Baba, invoked His aid and applied it on the forehead of his wife. The devotee saw all this and when he went to his daughter’s house he was very glad to learn that his daughter, who was suffering for three days, began to improve from the very moment
Nanasaheb invoked Baba’s aid near the Thana Railway Station.
The Jamner Miracle
About 1904-05 Nanasaheb Chandorkar was Mamlatdar at Jamner, in the Khandesh District, which is more that 100 miles distant from Shirdi. His daughter Mainatai was pregnant and was about to deliver. He case was very serious and she was suffering from labour pains for the last two or three days. Nanasaheb tried all remedies but they proved in vain; he then remembered Baba and invoked His aid. There in Shirdi, one Ramgirbuva, whom Baba called Bapugirbuva, wanted at this time to go to his native place in Khandesh. Baba called him and told him to take a little rest and stop at Jamner on his way home and give the Udi and Arati to Nanasaheb. Ramgirbuva said that he had
only two rupees with him and that amount was barely sufficient for the railway fare upto Jalgaon and it was not possible for him to go from jalgaon to Jamner, a distance of about 30 miles. Baba assured him that he need not worry, as everything would be provided for him. Then Baba asked Shama to write the well-known Arati composed by Madhav Adkar (a translation of this is given at the end of this work) and give a copy of it with Udi to Ramgirbuva to be delivered to Nanasaheb. Then relying on Baba’s words, Ramgirbuva left Shirdi and reached Jalgaon at about 2-45 a.m. He had only two annas left with him and was in a hard plight. To his great relief he heard somebody calling out “Who is Bapugirbuva of Shirdi?” He went to him and told him that he was the person Bapugirbuva. Then the peon, professing to be sent by Nanasaheb, took him out to an excellent tanga with a good pair of horses. They both drove in it. The tanga ran fast and early in the morning they came to a brooklet.
The drive took the horses for watering them and the peon asked Ramgirbuva to partake of some eatables. On seeing the beard, moustache and the livery of the peon, Rangirbuva suspected him to be a Moslem and was unwilling to take any refreshments from him, but the peon satisfied him by saying that he was a Hindu, a Kshatriya of
Garhwal and that Nanasaheb had sent these refreshments and that there should be no difficulty, nor any doubt about acceptance. Then both of them took the refreshments and started again. They reached Jamner at dawn. Ramgirbuva alighted to attend a call of nature (passing urine) and returned within a few minutes, but found that there was no tanga, no driver and no peon. He was dumbfounded. Then he went to the neighbouring Katcheri and making enquiries, learnt that the Mamlatdar was at home. He went to Nanasaheb’s house, and announced himself and gave to Nanasaheb, Baba’s Udi and Arati. At this time, Mainatai’s case was most serious and all were in deep anxiety about her. Nanasaheb called out his wife and asked her to give the Udi, mixed with water, to their daughter to drink, and sing Baba’s Arati. He throught that Baba’s help was most opportune. In a few minutes came the news that the delivery was safe and that the crisis had passed away. When Ramgirbuva thanked Nanasaheb for the peon, tanga and the refreshments etc. the latter was greatly surprised as he had sent none to the station, and was not aware of any person coming from Shirdi.
Mr. B.V. Deo of Thana, Retired Mamlatdar, made enquiries about this matter with Bapurao Chandorkar, son of Nanasaheb and Ramgirbuva of Shirdi and after satisfying himself wrote an elaborate article – part prose and part poetry – in Shri Sai Leela magazine (Vol. 13 Nos. 11, 12 and 13). Brother B.V. Narsimhswami has also taken
down the statements of (1) Mainatai (No. V page 14) and (2) Bapusaheb Chandorkar (No. XX page 50) and (3) Ramgirbuva (No. XXVII, Page 83) dated Ist June 1936, 16th September 1936 and Ist December 1936 respectively and published them in his “Devotees’ Experiences, Part III.” The following is quoted from Ramgirbuva’s statement.
“One day Baba called me to him and gave me a packet of Udi and a copy of Baba’s Arati. I had to go to Khandesh at the time. Baba directed me to go to Jamner and told me to deliver the Arati and Udi to Nanasaheb Chandorkar, at Jamner. I said to Baba that all I had was Rs. 2, and asked Him how that could take me by train from Kopergaon to
Jalgaon and next by cart from Jalgaon to Jamner. Baba said,”God will give.” That was Friday and I started at once. I reached Manmad at 7-30 p.m. and Jalgaon at 2-45 a.m. At that time plague regulations were enforced and I had much trouble.
I was to discover what I should do to get to Jamner. At about 3 a.m. a peon in boots, turban and well equipped with other details of good dress came to me and took me to a tanga and drove me on. I was in terror. On the way at Bhaghoor, I took refreshments. We reached Jamner early in the morning and by the time I attended my call of nature the tanga and its driver had disappeared (page 83).”
Bhakta Narayanrao (father’s name and surname are not given) had the good fortune to see Baba twice during the Latter’s lifetime. Three years after the passing away of Baba in 1918, he wanted to come to Shirdi, but he could not come. Within a year of Baba’s Mahasamadhi he fell sick and suffered much. All ordinary remedies gave him no relief. So he meditated on Baba day and night. One night he had a vision in his dream. Baba coming to him through a cellar, comforted him saying, “Don’t be anxious, you will be improving from tommorrow, and within a week you will be on your legs.” Narayanrao got perfectly well within the time mentioned in the vision. Now the point for consideration is this:- Was Baba living because he had the body, and was He dead because He left it? No, Baba is ever alive, for He transcends both life and death. He who loved Him once whole-heartedly gets response from Him at any time and at any place. He is always by our side and will take any form and appear before the devout Bhakta and satisfy him.
In 1917 the chance of one Appasaheb Kulkarni came. He was transferred to Thana and began to worship Baba’s picture presented to him by Balasaheb Bhate. In real earnest he did the worship. He offered flowers, sandal-paste, and naivedya daily to Baba in the picture and longed intently to see Him. In this connection it may be remarked that seeing Baba’s picture earnestly is equivalent to seeing Him in person. The following story illustrates this statement.
A Saint of Bombay named Balabuva Sutar, who on account of his piety, devotion and bhajan, was called “Modern Tukaram”, came to Shirdi for the first time in 1917. When be bowed before Baba, the latter said “I know this man since four years”. Balabuva wondered and thought, how could that be, as that was his first trip to Shirdi. But thinking
about it seriously he recollected that he had prostrated himself four years ago before Baba’s portrait at Bombay and was convinced about the significance of Baba’s words. He said to himself,”How omniscient and all-pervading are the Saints and how kind are they to their Bhaktas! I merely bowed to His photo, this fact was noticed by Baba and in
due time He made me realize that seeing His photo is equivalent to seeing Him in person!”
To return to Appasaheb’s story. While he was in Thana, he had to go on tour to Bhivandi and was not expected to return within a week. In his absence, the following wonderful thing took place on the third day. At noon a fakir turned up at Appasaheb’s house. His features resembled exactly those of Baba’s photo. Mrs. Kulkarni and the children all
asked him whether he was Sai Baba of Shirdi. He said ‘No’, but that he was an obedient servant of His and came there at His order to enquire after the health of the family. Then he asked for Dakshina. The lady gave him a rupee. He gave her a small packet of Udi, and asked her to keep this in the shrine along with the photo for worship. Then he left the house and went away. Now hear the wonderful Leela of Sai. Appasaheb could not proceed with his tour as his horse fell sick at Bhivandi. He returned home that afternoon and learnt from his wife about fakir’s visit. He smarted in his mind as he did not get the darshan of the fakir and he did not like that only one rupee was paid as Dakshina. He said that had he been present, he would have offered not less than rupees ten. Then he immediately started in quest of the fakir and searched for him in the Masjid and other places, without taking any food. His search was in vain. He then returned home and took his food. The reader may remember here Baba’s dictum in Chapter 32 that God’s quest should not be made on an empty belly. Appasaheb got a lesson, here about this. Then after meals he went out for a walk with a friend Mr. Chitre. Going some distance they saw a man approaching them rapidly. Appasaheb though that he must be the fakir that came to his house at noon, as his features tallied with those of
baba in the photo. The fakir immediately put forth his hand and asked for Dakshina. Appasaheb gave him a rupee. He demanded again and again and so Appasaheb gave him two more. Still he was not satisfied. Then he borrowed Rs. three from Mr. Chitre and gave them to him. He wanted still more. Appasaheb asked him to accompany him to his home. Then they all returned home and Appasaheb then gave him again three rupees, in all nine. He looked unsatisfied and demanded again. Then he told him that he had a currency of Rs. ten. The fakir asked for the same and took it and returned the nine rupees in cash and went away.
Appasaheb had said that he would pay Rs. ten and that sum was taken from him and nine rupees, consecrated by Baba’s touch, were returned to him. The figure 9 is significant. It denotes the nine types of devotion (vide Chapter 21). It may also be noted here that Baba gave Rs. nine to one Laxmibai Shinde at His last moment. Appasaheb examined the Udi-packet and found that it contained some flower-petals and Akshata. Then some time afterwards he got hair from Baba when he saw Him at Shirdi. He put the Udi-packet and the hair in a talisman and always wore it on his arm. Appasaheb realized the power of the Udi. Though he was very clever he got Rs. 40/- as pay in the beginning, but after he secured Baba’s photo and His Udi, he got many times forty rupees per month and also got much power and influence; and along with these temporal benefits, his spiritual progress was also rapid. So those who are fortune enough to get Baba’s Udi should, after bath, apply it on the forehead and take some little of it mixed with water in the mouth as holy Tirth.
In 1917 Haribhau Karnik of Dahanu (Thana District) came to Shirdi on the Gurupournima day (in the month of Ashadha) and worshipped Baba with all formality. He offered clothes and Dakshina, and after taking Baba’s leave through Sharma, got down the steps of the Masjid. Then he thought that he should offer one more rupee to Baba and was just turning to get up when Shama informed him by signs that as he had got Baba’s leave, he should go and not return. So he started home. On his way, when he went into the temple of Kala Rama at Nasik for darshan, the Saint Narsing Maharaj who used to sit just inside the big door of the temple, left his Bhaktas there came to Haribhau, caught his wrist and said,”Give me my one rupee”. Karnik was surprised. He paid the rupee most willingly and thought that Sai Baba recovered the rupee, which he intended in his mind to give, through saint Narsing Maharaj. This shows how the saints work in unison.
This story illustrates the fact that all saints are one and shows how they work in unison.
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all
Sai Satcharitra Chapter-34
(1) Doctor’s Nephew – (2) Dr. Pillay – (3) Shama’s Siste-in-Law – (4) Irani Girl – (5) Harda Gentleman – (6) Bombay Lady.
This Chapter continues the subject “Greatness of Udi” and describes cases in which the application of Udi was most efficacious.
At Malegaon (Dt. Nasik) there lived a doctor (qualified and degree-holder). His nephew suffered from an incurable disease – Tubercular bone-abcess. The doctor himself and his brothers, the medical practitioners, tried all sorts of remedies and even an operation. There was no relief and there was no end to the little boy’s suffering. Friends and
relations advised the parents of the boy to seek divine aid and recommended them to try Sai Baba, who was known to have cured such incurable cases by His mere glance. The parents, therefore, came to Shirdi. They prostrated themselves before Baba, placed the boy before Him and pleaded humbly and respectfully, and implored Him to save their son. The merciful Baba comforted them saying “Those who resort to this Masjid shall never suffer anything in this life and to the end of time. Be now care-free. Apply Udi on the abcess and within one week he will recover. Believe in God. This is no Masjid, but Dwarawati. He who steps here will soon get health and happiness and his sufferings will come to an end”. The boy was made to sit before Baba, Who moved his hands on the affected part and cast His loving glances on him. The patient was pleased and with the application of the Udi, he began to recover, and was all right after some days. The parents then left Shirdi with their son, thanking Baba for the cure, which was effected by Udi and Baba’s gracious looks.
After knowing this, the doctor, the uncle of the boy became wonder-struck and desired to see Baba while he was on his way to Bombay for some business; but at Malegaon and Manmad somebody spoke to him against Baba and poisoned his ears. He therefore, dropped the idea of visiting Shirdi and went to Bombay direct. He wanted to spend the rest of his leave at Alibag, but at Bombay he heard three successive nights, a voice crying out,”Still you disbelieve me?”. Then the doctor changed his mind and resolved to go to Shirdi. He had to attend in Bombay to a case of Infectious Fever, which showed no signs of abatement soon. So he thought that his Shirdi trip would be postponed. He however proposed a test in his mind and said,”If the patient gets all right today, I start for Shirdi tomorrow.” The wonder is that exactly at the time when the determination was taken, the fever began to abate and the temperature became normal. Then he went to Shirdi as per his determination, took Baba’s darshan and prostrated himself before Him.
Baba gave him such experiences that he became His devotee. He stayed there for four days and returned home with Baba’s Udi and blessings. Within a fortnight he was transferred on promotion to Bijapur. His nephew’s case gave him an opportunity for seeing Baba and this visit engendered in him a neverfailing love for the Saint’s feet.
One Dr. Pillay was an intimate Bhakta of Baba. He was much liked by Baba, Who always called him Bhau (brother). Baba talked with him off and on and consulted him in all matters and wanted him always at His side. This Pillay suffered once very badly from guinea-worms. He said to Kakasaheb Dixit, “The pain is most excruciating and
unbearable. I prefer death to it. This pain, I know, is for repaying past Karma, but go to Baba and tell Him to stop the pain and transfer the working of my past Karma to ten future births of mine.” Mr. Dixit went to Baba and told Him his request. Then Baba, being moved by his request, said to Dixit,”Tell him to be fearless. Why should he suffer for ten
births? In ten days he can work out the sufferings and consequences of his past Karma. While I am here to give him temporal and spiritual welfare, why should he pray for death? Bring him here on somebody’s back and let us work and finish his sufferings once for all”.
The doctor was brought in that condition and was seated on Baba’s right side,where Fakir Baba always sat. Baba gave him His bolster and said,”Lie calmly here and be at ease. The true remedy is, that the result of past actions has to be suffered and got over. Our Karma is the cause of our happiness and sorrow; therefore put up with whatever
comes to you. Allah (God) is the sole Dispenser and Protector, always think of Him. He will take care of you. Surrender to His feet with body, mind, wealth and speech, i.e. completely and then see what He does.” Dr. Pillay said in return that Nanasaheb had put a bandage over the leg, but he found no relief. “Nana is a fool” replied Baba. “Take off that bandage or else you will die. Now a crow will come and peck you, and then you will recover.”
While this conversation was going on, one Abdul, who always cleaned the Masjid and trimmed the lamps, turned up. While he was attending to his work of training, his foot accidentally fell upon the stretched leg of Dr. Pillay. The leg was already swollen and when Abdul’s foot fell upon it and pressed it, all the seven guinea-worms were squeezed
out at once. The pain was unbearable and Dr. Pillay bawled out loudly. After some time, he calmed down and began to sing and cry alternately. Then Pillay enquired when the crow was coming and peeking. Baba said, “Did you not see the crow? He won’t come again. Abdul was the crow. Now go and rest yourself in the Wada and you will be soon allright.”
By application of the Udi and by taking it in the stomach with water, and without taking any other treatment or medicine, the disease was completely cured in ten days as predicted by Baba.
Shama’s younger brother Bapaji was staying near Sawool well. Once his wife was attacked with Bubonic plague. She had high fever and two bubos in her groins. Bapaji rushed to Shama at Shirdi and asked him to come and help. Shama was frightened, but according to his wont, he went to Baba, prostrated himself before Him, invoked His aid,
and requested Him to cure the case. He also asked His permission to go to his brother’s house. Then Baba said, “Don’t go there at this late hour (night), send her Udi. Why care for the fever and bubos? God is our father and master; she will be alright easily. Do not go now, but go there in the morning and return immediately.” Shama had full faith in Baba’s Udi. It was sent with Bapaji. It was applied on the bubos and some of it was mixed with water and was given to the patient for drinking. No sooner was it taken in, than perspiration set in profusely, the fever abated and the patient had a good sleep. Next morning Bapaji was surprised to see his wife alright and refreshed with no fever and bubos. When Shama went there next morning with Baba’s permission he was also surprised to see her at the hearth and preparing tea. On questioning his brother, he learnt that Baba’s Udi cured her completely in one night. Then Shama realized the significance of Baba’s words. “Go there in the morning and return immediately.
After taking tea, Sharma returned and after saluting Baba said,”Deva, what is this play of Yours? You first raise a storm and make us restless and then calm it down and ease us”.
Baba replied “You see mysterious is the path of action. Though I do nothing, they hold Me resonsible for the actions which take place on account of Adrista (destiny). I am only their witness. The Lord is the sole Doer and Inspirer. He is also most merciful. Neither I am God nor Lord. I am His obedient servant and remember Him often. He, who casts
aside his egoism, thanks Him and he, who trusts Him entirely, will have his shackles removed and will obtain liberation”.
Now read the experience of an Irani gentleman. His young daughter got fits every hour. When the convulsion came she lost her power of speech, her limbs got shrunk and contracted and she fell down senseless. No remedy gave her any relief. Some friend recommended Baba’s Udi to her father and asked him to get it from Kakasaheb Dixit at
Vile Parle (suburb of Bombay). Then the Irani gentleman got the Udi and gave it mixed with water to his daughter daily for drinking. In the beginning the convulsions, which were coming on hourly, came every seven hours and after a few days the daughter recovered completely.
An old gentleman of Harda (C.P) was suffering from a stone in his bladder. Such stones are generally removed by surgical operations and people recomended him to undergo one. He was old and weak, lacked strength of mind and could not think of submitting himself to surgical treatment. His suffering was soon to end in another way. The Inamdar (City Officer) of that town happened to come there at this time. He was a devotee of Baba and had always a stock of Udi with him. On the recommendation of friends, his son got some Udi from and mixing it with water, gave it to his old father to drink Within five minutes the Udi was assimilated, the stone was dissolved and came out through his urine and old man was soon relieved.
A woman of the Kayastha Prabhu caste in Bombay always suffered terrible pain at her delivery. She was very much frightened each time she became pregnant and did not know what to do. Shri Rama-Maruti of Kalyan, who was a devotee of Baba advised her husband to take her to Shirdi for a painless delivery. When she next became pregnant,
both husband and wife came to Shirdi, stayed there for some months and worshipped Baba and got all the benefit of His company. After some time the hour of delivery came and as usual there was obstruction in the passage from the womb. She began to suffer labour pains, did not know what to do, but began to pray to Baba for relief. In the meantime, some neighbouring women turned up and after invoking Baba’s aid, gave her Udi-mixture to drink. In five minutes, the woman delivered safely and painlessly. The issue was still-born according to its fate; but the mother who got rid of the anxiety and pain, thanked Baba for the safe delivery and ever remained grateful to Him.
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace to be all
Sai Satcharitra Chapter-35
Kaka Mahajani’s Friend and Master – Bandra Insomnia Case – Bala Patil Newaskar. This Chapter also continues the subject of the importance of the Udi; it also gives two cases in which Baba was tested and not found wanting. These cases will be taken up first.
In spiritual matters or endeavours, sectarianism is the greatest bar to our progress. Those, who believe the God is without form, are heard saying that to believe the God is with the form is an illusion and that the Saints are only human beings. Then why should they bend their heads before them and offer Dakshina? Persons belonging to other
sects will also raise objections and say, “Why should they bow and offer allegiance to other Saints, leaving their Sadgurus?” Similar objections regarding Sai Baba were heard before and are heard even now. Some said that when they went to Shirdi, Baba asked for Dakshina from them. Is it good that Saints should collect money in this fashion? If they do so, where is their Sainthood? But there are many instances where men went to Shirdi to scoff; but remained there to pray. Two such instances are given below.
Kaka Mahajani’s Friend
A friend of Kaka Mahajani was a worshipper of God without form and was averse to idolatry. Out of curiosity he agreed to go to Shirdi with Kaka Mahajani on two conditions, viz., (1) that he would neither bow to Baba, (2) nor pay Him any Dakshina. Kaka agreed to these conditions and they both left Bombay on a Saturday night and reached Shirdi the next morning. As soon as they put their feet on the steps of the Masjid, Baba, looking at the friend from a little distance, addressed him in sweet words as follows, “Oh, welcome sir”. The tone that uttered these words was a very peculiar one. It exactly resembled the tone of the friend’s father. It reminded him of his departed father and sent
a thrill of joy through his body. What an enchanting power the tone had! Being surprised the friend said, “This is no
doubt the voice of my father”. Then he at once up and, forgetting his resolution, placed his head upon Baba’s Feet.
Then Baba asked for Dakshina twice, once in the morning and again at noon at the time of their taking leave; but He asked it from Kaka only and not from the friend. The latter whispered to Kaka, “Baba asked for Dakshina from you twice. I am with you, why does He omit me?” You ask Baba Himself” was Kaka’s reply. Baba asked Kaka what his
friend was whispering, then the friend asked Baba himself whether he should pay any Dakshina. Baba replied, “You had no mind to pay, so you were not asked; but if you want to pay now you may.” Then the friend paid Rs.17 as Dakshina, the same amount that Kaka paid. Baba then addressed him a few words of advice, “You do away, destroy
the Teli’s wall (sense of difference) between us, so that we can see and meet each other face to face”. Then Baba allowed them to depart. Thought the weather was cloudy and threatening, Baba assured them of their safe journey and both of them reached Bombay safely. When he reached home and opened the door and windows of his house, he found two sparrows fallen dead on the ground and one just flying out through a window. He thought that if he had left the windows open, two sparrows would have been saved, but thought again, that they had met their lot and that Baba had sent him back soon just to save the third sparrow.
Kaka Mahajani’s Master
Kaka was the Manager in the firm of Thakkar Dharmasey Jethabhai, a solicitor of Bombay. Both the Master and the Manager were on intimate terms. Mr. Thakkar knew that Kaka was often going to Shirdi, staying there for some days and returning, when Baba permitted him. Out of curiosity and just to test Baba, Mr. Thakkar decided to go to Shirdi with Kaka during Shimga holidays. As Kaka’s return was uncertain, he took another man with him as an associate. The three started together and Kaka bought two seers of raisins (dried grapes with seed) on the way for resentation to Baba. They reached Shirdi in due time, and went to the Masjid for darshan. Then Babasaheb Tarkhad was there, Mr. Thakkar asked him why he came there. “For darshan”, Tarkhad replied. Mr. Thakkar asked if miracles took place there. Tarkhad replied that it (to see miracles) was not his attitude, but the earnest intentions of the Bhaktas were satisfied
here. Then Kaka prostrated himself before Baba and offered the raisins to Him. Baba ordered them to be distributed. Mr. Thakkar got a few of them. He did not like the raisins and he was advised by his doctor not to eat them without
washing and cleaning them. So he was in a fix. He did not like to eat them, nor could he reject them. To keep up formalities, he put them into his mouth, but did not know what to do with the seeds. He could not spit them out on the floor of the Masjid, so he pocketed them against his wish. He then said in his mind that if Baba was a Saint, how could He be ignorant of his dislike for the raisins and could He force them on him. When this thought arose in his mind Baba again gave him some more raisins. He could not eat them, but held them in his hand. Then Baba asked him to eat them up. He obeyed and found, to his surprise, that they were all seedless. He wanted to see miracles and here was one. He knew that Baba read his thought; and as per his wish converted raisins (with seeds) into seedless grapes. What a wonderful power! Again to test further he asked Tarkhad, who was sitting by and who also got some raisins, “What kind of grapes you got?” He replied “They variety with seeds.” Mr. Thakkar was still more surprised to hear this. Then to confirm his growing faith Thakkar thought in his mind that if Baba was a real Saint, the raisins should be now given to Kaka first. Reading this thought also, Baba ordered that distribution should be commenced from Kaka. These proofs were sufficient for Thakkar. Then Shama introduced Mr. Thakkar as the master of Kaka, upon which Baba said, “How could he be his master? He has got a different Master altogether”. Kaka appreciated this reply. Forgetting his resolve, Thakkar saluted Baba and returned to the Wada.
After the noon-Arati was over, they all went to the Masjid for taking Baba’s leave for their departure. Sharma spoke for them. Baba then spoke as follows. “There was a fickle-minded gentleman. He had health and wealth and was free from both physical and mental afflictions, but he took on him needless anxieties and burdens and wandered hither and thither, thus losing his peace of mind. Sometimes he dropped the burdens and at other times carried them again. His mind knew no steadiness. Seeing his state, I took pity on him and said, “Now please keep your faith on any one place (point) you like, why roam like this? Stick quietly to one place.
Thakkar at once came to know that, that was an exact description of himself. He wished that Kaka should also return with him but no one expected that Kaka would be allowed to leave Shirdi so soon. Baba read also this thought to his and permitted Kaka to return with his master. Thakkar got one more proof of Baba’s capacity to read another’s mind.
Then Baba asked Kaka for Rs. 15/- as Dakshina and received it. To Kaka He said, “If I take one rupee as Dakshina from anybody I have to return it tenfold to him. I never take anything gratis. I never ask any one indiscriminately. I only ask and take from him whom the Fakir (My Guru) points out. If any one is indebted formerly to the Fakir money is received from him. The donor gives, i.e. sows his seeds, only to reap a rich harvest in future. Wealth should be the means to work out Dharma. If it is used for personal enjoyment, it is wasted. Unless you have given it before, you do not get it now. So the best way to receive is to give. The giving of Dakshina advances Vairagya (Nonattachment) and thereby Bhakti and Jnana. Give one and receive tenfold”. On hearing these words Mr. Thakkar himself gave Rs.15/- in Baba’s hand, forgetting his resolve not to do so. He thought he did well in coming to Shirdi as all his doubts were solved and he learnt so much.
Baba’s skill in handling such cases was unique. Though He did all those things He was totally non-attached to them. Whether anybody saluted Him or not, or whether anybody gave Him Dakshina or not, it was the same to Him. None He disrespected. He felt no pleasure because He was worshipped and no pain because He was disregarded. He
transcended the pairs of opposites, viz. pleasure and pain, etc.
A Kayastha Prabhu gentleman of Bandra suffered from Insomnia for long. As soon as he laid himself down for sleep, his departed father appeared to him in his dream, and abused and scolded him severely. This broke his sleep and made him restless the whole night. Every night this went on and the man did not know what to do. One day he
consulted a devotee of Baba in this respect. He recommended the Udi as the only infallible remedy he knew. He gave him some Udi and asked him to apply a little of it to his forehead before going to bed and keep the Udi-packet under the pillow. He tried this remedy and found, to his great surprise and joy, that he got sound sleep and that there
was no disturbance of any kind. He continued the remedy and always remembered Sai. Then he got a picture of Sai Baba which he hung on the wall near his pillow and started worshipping it daily and on Thursdays, offering garland, naivedya etc. Then he got on well and forgot altogether his past trouble.
Balaji Patil Newaskar
This man was a great devotee of Baba. He rendered most excellent and disinterested service. Every day he swept and kept clean all the passages and streets in Shirdi through which Baba passed in His daily routine. This work was, after him, equally welldone by another female devotee named Rahda-Krishna-Mai, and after her by Abdoola. When Balaji reaped his corn every year, he brought the whole quantity and presented it to Baba. He returned with what Baba gave him and maintained himself and his family with it. This course was followed by him for many years and after him by his son.
Power and Efficacy of Udi
Once it happened that at Balaji’s death anniversary day, a certain number of guests were invited and the dinner was prepared for them. But at the dinner-time it was found that thrice the number of people invited had turned up. Mrs. Newaskar was in a fix. She thought that the food would not suffice for the people assembled and that if it fell short,
the honour of the family would be at stake. Her mother-in-law comforted her by saying, “Don’t be afraid, it is not ours, but Sai’s food; cover every vessel with cloth, putting some Udi in it, and serve from the same without opening it : Sai will save us from ignominy.” She did as she was advised and it was found to their surprise and joy that not only did the food suffice for all, but plenty of it remained after serving. “As one feels intently, so he realizes accordingly” was proved in this case.
Sai Appearing as Serpent
Once Raghu Patil of Shirdi went to Balaji Patil at Newase. That evening he found that a serpent entered the cowshed hissing. All the cattle were afraid and began to move. The immates of the house were frightened, but Balaji thought that it was Sai Who appreared in his house as a serpent. Without being afraid in the least he brought a cup of milk and placing it before the serpent said, “Baba, why do you miss and make noise? Do you want to frighten us? Take this cup of milk and drink it with a calm mind”. Saying this, he sat close by unperturbed. The other members were frightened and did not know what to do. In a short time the serpent disappeared. Nobody knew where it went. It was not found though a search was made in the cowshed.
Balaji had two wives and some children. They sometimes went to Shirdi from Newase for taking Baba’s darshana. Then Baba bought saris and other clothes which were given to them with His blessings.
Bow to Shri Sai – peace be to all