|| sri sai satcharitra ||
|| chapter twenty-nine ||
|| wonderful visions ||
|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||
In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Madrasi Bhajan Mela, Tendulkars, Dr Captain Hate, Waman Narvekar and other matters.
We saw earlier that Baba collected Dakshina from devotees. Almost all the amount He collected was distributed among the devotees only. After He had something to eat in the morning, Baba used to sit near the Dhuni, reclining against a nearby post. At that time, a small girl aged three years used to come to Him and sit in His lap. Her name was Amani and she was the daughter of a devotee, Bhakta Kondaji. She had a small tin box and pestered Baba to put some coin in that box. After playing with her for some time, Baba used to drop a rupee coin in the box and close its lid. Then the girl happily took the box and went home. Again, when Baba went to Lendi, He gave her another rupee coin. Thus, He was giving her two rupees every day. In addition to Amani, Baba gave Rs.6 to her mother Jamali, Rs. 2 to 5 to some, Rs. 10 to 20, and at times Rs.50 also, to some other Bhaktas who were in need of money. By the end of the day, He was hardly left with any money. Baba used to encourage artists also. Whenever some one gave a good performance, either music or dance, Baba gave them some money to encourage them. Gradually this aspect of Baba’s personality also gained wide currency. Before we embark on some more Leelas of Baba, let us prostrate at the divine feet of this benevolent, charitable Sadguru.
MADRASI BHAJAN MELA:
It was in the year 1915 AD. Samarth Ramdas’s disciples were spread throughout the length and breadth of the country. Some of the followers were in the South also. People had also heard about a great sage, who lived at Shirdi in Kopergaon Taluqa of Ahmednagar District, by name Sri Sai Baba. It was also known that this sage was very calm and composed, was very liberal and distributed money to all His devotees and also to the people who exhibited some skill of their own in the field of fine arts. So, a party consisting of a man, by name Govind Swamy, his wife Adilakshmiammal, daughter and sister-in -law started out on a pilgrimage to Kashi (Varanasi) and decided to visit Shirdi on the way, and have darshan of the great sage. Because of their performances, this group was called as the Madrasi Bhajan Mela. As planned, they came to Shirdi on 23. August 1915 and stayed there for some time. They sang Bhajans very well and people were appreciative of their songs also. The Mela wanted recognition and money. Three, of the party, were very greedy, but the lady, Adilakshmiammal, was of a different type. She had love and devotion for Baba.
Once it so happened that during the noon aarati, tears were rolling down the eyes of this lady when everyone was chanting Baba’s namavali. She was loudly chanting the names of Sitapati Sri Rama. People all around were perplexed. They did not know what had happened to her. They were wondering at her joyful mood. Later on in the afternoon, she told all, that when they were singing Baba’s name and seeing Him, Baba had appeared to her like Siyavar Sri Ramachandra. Sri Rama was her favourite deity. Seeing her beloved god in person, she was delighted and tears of joy were flowing from her eyes and she was chanting Sri Rama’s name. She told this vision of hers to her husband also. Being a man of the world and thinking only of money, he did not believe her story. He thought that as women are usually sentimental she was imagining things, otherwise, when everyone was seeing Baba, how could she alone see Sri Rama? The lady however did not resent his belittling her vision. She knew that Baba had graced her with the darshan of her beloved deity. From that day her mind became even more composed and free from avarice.
Few days later, when he was fast asleep, the man had a dream he would never forget. He was in a big city. The police had just arrested him, tied his hands behind with a rope and took him to a lock-up room in a nearby police station. The police tightened the grip and were about to start softening him. The man looked outside the cage and was surprised to find Baba standing there and looking at him with very kind eyes.
Being very cunning, he told Baba, “Deva, it was because of your fame that I came to visit You. Why should this calamity fall on me when You are standing so near me?”
Baba smiled and said, “You cannot escape from the consequences of your actions.”
The man was surprised, “I have not done anything now, so why this misfortune?”
Baba, still smiling, said, “If not now, you must have committed some sin in your previous life.”
The man was becoming desperate. He said, “I don’t know anything about my previous life. Even if I have done some wrong, why the consequences are not burnt away and destroyed because of Your presence? Like a dry grass burning in the fire.”
Then Baba smiled some more and asked, “Do you have that much faith in Me?”
The man had to reply, “Yes”.
Then Baba asked him to close his eyes and think of Him. As soon as he closed his eyes, he heard a thumping sound of something falling down. He opened his eyes and saw that he was free. He also saw that the police constable who had held him had fallen down and was bleeding. The man was frightened and looked at Baba.
Baba was still smiling, He said, “Now you are well caught. The officers will take good care of you!”
This time, the man’s intention was very clear. He prayed Baba to pardon all his sins and save him. He said, “You are my only saviour. There is no one else. Please save me”. Baba asked him to close his eyes once again. The man obeyed His instructions.
When he did open his eyes, he found that he was free; there was neither the police nor the police station. Only he and Baba were standing in space. He fell at Baba’s feet.
Then Baba asked him, “Is there any difference between this namaskara and the earlier ones? Think well and then reply.”
The man replied, “My earlier namaskaras were with the intention of getting money from You. The present one is because You are god. Besides, I thought earlier that You, being a Muslim, were spoiling us, the Hindus.”
Then Baba asked him, “Do you believe in Mohemmadan gods?”
The man was honest enough to say, “No”.
Baba, who is a sarvajna, one who knows everything, then asked him, “Don’t you have a panja in your house? Don’t you worship the same during Tabut in your house? Don’t you have another deity, Kadbibi, in your house whom you worship on marriages and other festivals? Don’t you appease her also?”
The man admitted all these.
Then Baba smilingly and conclusively asked him, “What more do you want?” The man, being a follower of Saint Ramadas, was thinking of seeing his guru. Baba read his thoughts and said, “Look behind”. To his amazement he saw his guru standing behind him. As soon as he tried to prostrate at the feet of his guru, Samarth Ramadas vanished. Then the man turned around. He had a doubt.
He asked Baba, “You look to be old. How old are You?”
Laughingly Baba said, “You say that I am old! Just run a race with Me and see who wins!” Saying thus, Baba started running and vanished in the dust raised by His foot steps.
The man woke up from his dream.
The man woke up from his dream.
After waking up from the dream, he started thinking seriously about the dream and particularly about the questions and answers. His attitude changed and started realizing how great Baba was. The mind which was seeking external objects turned to inner peace and calmness. The man realized that this peace and equanimity could be obtained only at the divine feet of Baba. Next morning when he went to the masjid for the aarati and had Baba’s darshan, Baba gave him sweets worth Rs.2/- and also Rs.2/- from His pocket. He asked them to stay for some more time. When the time came for them to leave, He blessed them by saying, “Allah will give you plenty and He will do you good.” Though the man did not get any more money, he got far better things than money, namely, Baba’s blessings. This alone helped the party in completing successfully their pilgrimage. Later on, they got plenty of money also. They always thought of Baba’s words and the bliss they enjoyed at His feet.
The Tendulkar family lived in Bandra (a suburb of Bombay). All the members of the family were very staunch devotees of Baba. Mrs Savitribai Tendulkar has published a Marathi book named ‘Shri Sainath Bhajan Maala’ consisting of 825 abhangs and padas, describing Baba’s Leelas. This is a book which gives immense delight to all the Sai devotees. The son, Babu Tendulkar was studying very hard day and night for his medical examinations. One day, somehow, he consulted some astrologers. They checked his horoscope and told him that the planets were not favourable to him that year and he may not pass the examination. Next year, however, would be favourable to him and he would definitely be successful. He was disheartened and became restless.
Few days later, his mother went to Shirdi and had darshan of Baba. She prostrated at the feet of Baba and told Him about the condition of her son and the astrologers’ prediction. She also told Him about her son being very morose and gloomy. Then Baba told her, “Tell your son to believe in Me. Ask him to throw aside all the horoscopes and the predictions of astrologers and palmists. Ask him to study well, write the examination with a calm mind. He will surely pass this year. Ask him to trust Me and study.” The mother went home and conveyed Baba’s message. Heeding to Baba’s advice, he studied well and did his written examinations very well. By the time he completed the written examinations, his earlier doubts started haunting him. Thinking that he may not pass the written examinations, he did not appear for the oral examinations. But Baba’s will was something totally different. The examiner did not leave him. He sent a message through his class mate that he had passed the written examinations and as such he should appear for the oral examinations also. Having been encouraged thus, Babu Tendulkar appeared for the examinations and passed with credit, by Baba’s grace. Baba proved astrologers wrong time and again.
We are engulfed with doubts and uncertainties only during difficult periods. It is to overcome these doubts that we go to astrologers and palmists. Baba taught us here that whatever may be the compulsions, we should never lose faith in Him. As long as we are doing something good, we should have complete faith in Him and proceed. The difficulties surrounding us will disappear like the mist as soon as the sun warms up. Both the mist and the darkness will vanish with the sun’s first rays.
The father of the boy, Raghunath Rao was serving in a foreign mercantile firm in Bombay. In due course of time he became old and was unable to continue to work. He took leave of absence for a few days and ultimately had to seek retirement. As he was a very reliable employee who had served the organization for a long time, the chief manager decided to retire him with pension. He was getting a salary of Rs.150/- per month and a pension half that amount, Rs.75/- was hardly sufficient for him to run his family. So the entire family was anxious about the matter. Fifteen days before the final settlement, Baba appeared in Mrs Tendulkar’s dream, and asked, “I wish that the pension be fixed at Rs.100/- per month. Are you happy?” She had immense faith in her god, Sai Baba and knew that somehow He would take care of them. So she replied fittingly, “Deva, why ask me? You are the best judge. Whatever You decide will be in our welfare only.” Though Baba told Rs.100/-, still the firm decided to give him Rs.110/- as a special case. This is another of the several examples of Baba’s intense love and care for His devotees. It is only fitting that we should prostrate at His divine feet and pray that we also become eligible for such affection and love and deserve His blessings.
CAPTAIN HATE’S STORY:
Captain Hate, a resident of Bikaner, was a great devotee of Baba. Once, Baba appeared in his dream and asked him, “Have you forgotten Me?” Hate was surprised and said, “How can a child forget its mother?” Then he went into the garden, picked out fresh walpapdi (flat bean vegetable, chikkuda kayi) arranged ‘shidha’ (ghee, wheat flour, dal etc) and Dakshina and was about to offer as naivedyam to Baba, when he awoke from the sleep. He decided to send all these to Baba. After some days he went to Gwalior. From there he sent a money order to Kakasaheb Dixit with instructions that Rs.2/- should be spent in buying shidha articles and walpapdi and those should be offered to Baba with Rs.10/- as Dakshina. Kakasaheb went to Shirdi and purchased all the items except walpapdi which was not available. When he was about to return disappointed, a lady came with a basket containing only walpapdi. After purchasing it, Kakasaheb offered all these with a Dakshina of Rs.10/- to Baba, on behalf of Captain Hate. Next day Nimonkar prepared the naivedyam with rice, walpapdi etc and offered to Baba. Baba was so pleased that He took only the walpapdi and nothing else. Hate’s joy was unlimited as he came to know of all these things from his friend.
On another occasion, Captain Hate wanted to have a rupee coin consecrated by Baba. He felt that a rupee coin touched by Baba would be very auspicious for him. Just at about that time, one of his friends, Sawal Ram, was going to Shirdi. Hate gave him a rupee coin to his friend and requested him to get it consecrated by Baba. The friend went to the masjid, prostrated at Baba’s feet and gave Dakshina. Baba pocketed the amount. Then the friend gave Hate’s one rupee coin. Baba took the coin, stared at it for some time, tossed it with His right thumb and played with it for some more time. Then He told the friend, “Give it to its owner with the udi prasad. Tell him that I don’t want anything from him. Ask him to live in peace and contentment.”
The friend returned to Gwalior and gave the consecrated coin to Hate. He also gave him Baba’s message. Hate was once again very happy and realized that Baba encouraged good thoughts. Baba had fulfilled Hate’s desire.
WAMAN NARVEKAR’S STORY:
This is a story different from the above. Waman Narvekar was another devotee of Baba. He loved Baba very much. He once brought a rupee coin to Baba. On one side were the engraved figures of Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Sita and on the other side was the engraved figure of Maruti with folded hands. He offered it to Baba with the hope that He would consecrate it and give it back to him. But Baba liked it so much that He pocketed it. Shyama, who was nearby watching all this, requested Baba to return the coin as Narvekar had given it to Him for consecration. Baba said, “Why should it be returned? We will keep it for ourselves. If he gives Rs.25/- for it then it will be returned.” Narvekar somehow managed to collect Rs.25/- and placed them before Baba. Then Baba replied, “The value of that coin far exceeds Rs.25/-. Shyama, take this coin, keep it in your pooja room and worship it daily.” Nobody dared ask Baba why He did like this, but inscrutable are the ways of Baba. He alone knows everything. Let us prostrate at the divine feet of Baba, the ocean of mercy.
With this, the twenty-ninth chapter called as Wonderful Vision is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Kakaji Vaidya of Vani, Punjabi Ramlal of Bombay, and other matters.
|| Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu || Shubham Bhavatu ||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti