|| sri sai satcharitra ||
|| chapter three ||
|| baba’s permission and assurance ||
|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||
In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Sai Baba’s permission and assurance, assignment of work to other devotees and other matters.
SAI BABA’S PERMISSION AND ASSURANCE:
Sai baba encouraged Hemad Pant and told “Do your work sincerely. Don’t be scared. Write My life story. By writing My Leelas, ignorance will vanish. By listening to My Leelas with devotion and dedication, all worldly attachments will go. Those who delve deep into My Leelas will be blessed with pearls of wisdom.” When Hemad Pant heard these encouraging words from Baba, he was pacified, prostrated at the feet of Baba and started writing Satcharitra. He was now confident that his task would be completed satisfactorily. God is always subservient to his devotees. He longs for the love and affection of the innocent. He never goes near the proud and haughty.
About His assurances to His devotees, Baba explained Shyama thus, “Fix your thoughts on Me; I will at all times protect you. To those who meditate My name with love, I will fulfill all their desires and enhance their love. To those who sing My Leelas and My story, I will bless them with unending bliss. To those who surrender to Me completely, I will give them peace and prosperity. I will uplift those who prostrate to Me and sing My devotional songs. How can those who always think of Me with devotion be distracted by worldly ways? All diseases will be cured by listening to My stories. I will protect My devotees even from death. Those who are dedicated and think of Me will always have a very pleasant countenance. By listening, meditating and thinking about Me, peace will dawn on them. All those sins accrued by speaking evil or listening to evil will be purified by reciting “Sai” namams. A single prostration will wash away all the sins”.
BABA ASSIGNS VARIOUS TASKS TO HIS DEVOTEES:
Being a sadguru, Baba assigned various tasks to His devotees so that they could earn His blessings. Baba got the Temple constructed through Bapusaheb Booty. He made Dasganu sing devotional songs. He asked Shyama to go on a pilgrimage. He decided that Hemad Pant should write His story. All these are examples of the guru kripa - blessings of the Guru. It was Baba’s blessings alone which gave Hemad Pant the courage to undertake such an arduous task. It was Baba who dispelled the haughtiness of Hemad Pant and made him write about His devotees and His Leelas. There is no exaggeration in saying that Baba Himself wrote the story. What could be attained in Krita yugam by Dhyanam; by Yagna and Yagas in Treta Yugam; and by Archanas in Dwapara Yugam, could be attained in Kali Yugam by singing devotional songs of the Guru. (Krita Yugam or Satya Yugam or Swarna Yugam consists of 17, 28, 000 years. Treta Yugam consists of 12, 96, 000 years and Dwapara Yugam consists of 8, 64, 000 years. Kali Yugam or the Iron Yugam consists of 4, 32, 000 years.) Hemad Pant’s thoughts ran like this, “I am an incompetent person. I undertake a work but cannot complete it properly. If I do not make any attempt, I will be disobeying Baba’s commands. If I want to follow His orders, I am afraid that I may not be competent. Unless Sai showers His mercy on Me, I may not be able to complete this task. Baba should accept this task Himself and complete it also by Himself.”
He further thought that though a Brahmin by birth, he was blind without the enlightening vision of Sruti and Smriti. He was a useless fellow and hence needs to be pitied. That was the reason why he was not able to write the Satcharitra. Why should he be scared? Baba is like a supporting stick to the blind. With the grace of God, a dumb person can talk like Bruhaspati. Even a lame person can cross a mountain. Baba will grant him sufficient wisdom to get his job done. Hemad Pant also prayed that as long as he was alive he would live by doing Baba’s work. Lifeless musical instruments like the harmonium or the flute come to life with melodious music because of the player. The waves that rise in sea are due not to the sea but to the moon. Like them, Hemad Pant thought that he was only an instrument and the actual person writing the Satcharitra was Baba Himself.
LISTENING TO BABA’S STORY - MEANS TO SALVATION:
In order to help the ships to find their way while traveling in sea, lighthouses are constructed. Lighthouses prevent ships from losing their way. Similarly, Sai Baba’s stories help us in effectively crossing the deep ocean of Samsara. Baba’s Leelas and stories remove the feeling of duality in us. By listening to them, enlightenment dawns on us. By devotedly listening to Baba’s stories, salvation is provided by burning away all the sins. The easiest way to achieve salvation in Kali Yugam is by Sankeertanam. Anyone can follow this path. Listening to Guru Katha is the easiest way for all. Only those who are really blessed can do this. Other Methods of Yogam, Yaagam, Dhyanam and Reading are all difficult to follow. For Katha Shravanam, except attentive listening, nothing else is required. The ill effects of the five great sins - Consuming Liquor, Stealing Gold, Killing a Brahmin, Sleeping with Gurupatni (wife of guru is treated like one’s mother), association with any one of these - are removed and peace of mind is restored. By studying with devotion and attention, Sai’s image will be etched in the mind and it will remain calm and peaceful. The mind will remain still and undisturbed resulting in Self realization. That was why with Hemad Pant as the instrument, Sai wrote His story Himself.
BABA’S LOVE IS LIKE MOTHER’S LOVE:
Sai Baba’s love towards His devotees is like a mother’s love towards its child. Only a mother knows her child’s hunger even before it cries for food, and feeds it. Who else can feed a child without its asking for food? When the child grows up, the mother feels happy and satisfied by properly dressing the child with fancy clothes and ornaments. When the child comes of age, only the mother can understand its youthful ambitions. Like a mother, a sadguru also loves and cares for his devotees.
Hemad Pant narrates an example from his own experience about Baba’s motherly affection towards his devotees. He retired from government service in 1916 and after taking his pension, went to Shirdi. That was on a Guru Poornima day. All the devotees had thronged to perform Guru Pooja. Anna Chinchinikar, a devotee of Baba, suddenly felt that he should talk to Baba about Annasaheb. He said, “Deva, this Annasaheb has to shoulder the responsibility of a large family. The pension he gets is not sufficient for this purpose. Kindly get him a job”. Baba replied, “He will get another job. He will never suffer from shortage of food. All his difficulties will be solved if he continues to be under My shelter. He will get permanent happiness if he foregoes the company of bad people.”
SAI BABA’S ADVICE:
Talking to Chinchinikar about Hemad Pant, Baba continued, “Nobody will come to us without any Rinanubandha. If you do My Pooja with devotion, God will grant you an akshayapaatra. This body is perishable. Brahman alone is imperishable, immortal. Worship only Brahman. That alone is the real Guru Pooja. In Geeta, Sri Krishna Bhagavan tells Arjuna the same thing. “I am pervading the entire universe in eight different forms,
Bhoomir apo analo vayuh kham mano buddhirevacha
Ahankara itiyam me bhinnaa prakritir ashtadaa
Ahankara itiyam me bhinnaa prakritir ashtadaa
This Prakriti of Mine is divided eight-fold thus: earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect and also egoism.
Different forms, different names all mean only Me. I am present in all things of this world. I am omniscient. I am the pranava ‘OM’. I am the all pervading Atman. Why desire other things when I am the Omnipotent? Desire for Me. Like the mist melting with the sun rays, all other desires will melt away with self realization. I am not the gross material body, nor am I the tiniest of the particles. I am only the ancient witness. I am beyond the trigunas and the sensory organs. There is no place, where I am not present. I do not do anything Myself. Nor do I make anyone do anything. I am the eternal bliss. I am the truthful form of Brahman. Understand that I am the Vasudeva who is eternal, pure and liberated. When the mind realizes that it is not bound by activity, and then turns towards God, that state of mind is called Bhakti. This alone is My pooja with devotion and dedication. Realize who I am, surrender to Me and become one with Me. Where will be the egoism if the mind is devoid of all activities and constantly thinks only of ‘Allah Malik’? Such a mind will always be balanced and will be completely at peace. To know that I am all pervading and then discard one’s pride at My feet is the only pooja that anyone can do. Those who surrender to Me, become one with Me. Thinking of the Guru constantly, singing songs in praise of the Guru makes one on par with the Guru. There cannot be a Guru without a Sishya, nor a Sishya without a Guru. They cannot live in isolation.” Both Chinchinikar and Hemad Pant were greatly satisfied by listening to this discourse. Sai Baba did not have any thought other than that of Allah Malik. And Sai never had any egoism. Sri Krishna has said that those who serve Him and those who surrender totally to Him would become one with Him. Thinking about that, Hemad Pant once again surrendered himself to Baba.
Ruhullah - one of Baba’s devotees - was strong and tall. He dressed in long shirts. He was attracted by Baba’s teachings and became a permanent resident in Shirdi’s Masjid. He never cared for anyone. Day and night he used to recite the kalmas in Quran very loudly, disturbing everyone. The villagers of Shirdi, having worked very hard in the fields during daytime, could not get any sleep in the night because of Ruhullah’s loud prayers. Baba never admonished him for anything. Because of Baba’s backing, Ruhullah used to pick up quarrels with the villagers. When they could no longer bear the loud prayers, all the villagers approached Baba and asked Him to stop this. Contrary to all expectations, Baba pacified them and said, “Don’t bother about Ruhullah. You continue with your own work”. Baba used to say that Ruhullah had a very unfortunate wife. Being a termagant she used to trouble not only Ruhullah but Himself also. She kept quite only because of Ruhullah’s loud prayers. He told the villagers that Ruhullah will become quiet once he gets tired and their problem would be solved. The villagers thought that if Baba could tolerate him being so near, they could as well reconcile.
In reality, Ruhullah never had a wife. He was one of the many wandering Sufi fakirs who came to Baba for spiritual guidance. He sang the kalmas as prescribed, and Baba had plenty of affection for him. Baba listened to Ruhullah’s kalmas attentively. He kept his company because He liked kalmas.
BABA’S APPEALING DISCOURSES:
One afternoon, after the aarathi, when the devotees were getting ready to leave for their homes, Baba told them, “Remember, wherever you are, I know what you are doing. I am present in all of you. I pervade this universe. I am the one who is running this world. I am the mother of all. I control the sensory organs. I am the creator, destroyer and the preserver. Those who contemplate Me will never have any problems. Maya will consume those who forget Me. This entire universe is only one of My forms”. Thus Baba indicated that He was God.
There is no difference between a saint and God. Sai is in every being in this universe. This universe is the other form of Sai. His incarnation was only to uplift this world. To get immersed in Guru Tatvam one has to praise the Guru, sing his songs, and listen to him devotedly. With these, plenty of good takes place. Devotees can experience these personally. After listening to Baba, Hemad Pant decided to devote his entire time in serving the Guru.
Baba’s words to Chinchinikar materialized shortly, and Hemad Pant got another government job. However, this was only for a short duration. Subsequently, he became free and devoted his entire life in the service of Baba.
This world is one of the forms of God. He is beyond everything. There are eight ways of worshipping Him. They are idol, sacrificing post, fire, heart, sun, water, Brahmin and the teacher. Of these, the worship of the teacher is superior. Sri Krishna had told, “Contemplating Sadguru’s words will please Me. I will be happy to listen to the praise of a Sadguru rather than praise of Me.”
Listen to these stories and ennoble your life. They will see you through many difficulties of life. Ponder over them repeatedly. It was the inscrutable destiny which dragged Hemad Pant to Baba. Their meeting was also one of Baba’s Leelas. Those who read this Satcharitra and those who meditate on it are indeed blessed. Udyapanas, Vratas and Upavasams are all unnecessary. Reading Sri Sai Satcharitra alone is sufficient. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, fix your mind on Sai.
With this the third chapter of Sri Sai Satcharitra called as Sai Baba’s permission and assurance is complete. In the next chapter Hemad Pant tells us about Sai’s advent in Shirdi, appearance of Vithal, Dasganu’s bath in Prayag, about the three Wadas in Shirdi and other events
|| Sri Sadguru Sainatha arpanamasthu | Shubam Bhavatu ||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti