Tuesday, March 24, 2009

||chapter twenty-seven||

|| sri sai satcharitra ||

|| chapter twenty-seven ||

|| mamata and samata ||

|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Bhagavat, Vishnu Sahasranama, Geeta Rahasya and other matters.


All the sacred rivers ultimately end up in the sea. When a man takes a plunge in the sea, he gets the benefit of having taken a bath in all of those rivers. Similarly, if we bow at the feet of the sadguru, we get the benefit of prostrating at the feet of the Trimurthis - Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. Whenever we prostrate at the feet of our sadguru, Sri Sai Baba, we not only get the benefit of prostrating at the feet of the Trimurthis, but we also get the benefit of being guided by the sadguru. He will lead us into the path of spiritual progress. By careful methods, He will take us through a path which does not have any pot holes or thorny bushes. With Him holding our hand, we will definitely reach our destination of self realization. The kalpavriksha of the devotees, the jnanasamudra of all the knowledge in the universe, Sainath Maharaj has shown us the easiest way of approaching Him - by reading and listening to His Leelas as described in the Satcharitra. Just as the Chataka bird anxiously waits for the first drop of rain, and then devours it the moment it falls, we also are eager to listen to Baba’s stories. While listening to each of the stories, we get all the true emotions. Our mind will be full of joy, our eyes will swell up with tears, our body will perspire, and we forget all our hostilities and distinctions. Hemad Pant says that when these things happen, it is a sign of grace of the guru dawning on us. When these things happen, the guru is very near us and waiting eagerly to help us. Once He is there, the shackles with which Maya is strangling us are broken to pieces, and we are on our way to fulfill the mission of our life.


Baba adopted various methods of imparting spiritual knowledge to His devotees, depending on their capabilities. Some of these methods we have seen in the earlier chapters. We will see Baba adopt a different method here. Devotees came to Baba with various wishes. Some came for progeny, some for cure from diseases and some others, seeking success in their ventures. However some, who were in the habit of reading spiritual books daily, came for a different purpose. They used to bring books which they intended to read, give it to Baba for His blessing and then after Baba touched them, used to take the book back from Baba. It was their faith and belief that if Baba touched the book, it was consecrated, and thus holy. They also felt that because of this, when they were reading the book, Baba was with them.

Once, Kaka Mahajani brought a copy of Eknathi Bhagavat to the masjid, as he liked Bhagavat very much and read it regularly every morning. Shyama was also there in the masjid at that time. When he saw the book, he took it from Kaka and was going through it. Baba saw this, took the book from Shyama, turned a few pages and gave it back to him. He asked Shyama to keep the book with himself. Shyama did not understand the logic. He told Baba that the book belonged to Kaka and had to be returned to him. Baba said, “No, no. I gave the book to you, you keep it. It will be useful to you.” Like this, Baba gave many books to Shyama for safe keeping. Kaka, who knew Baba’s methods, did not say anything. When he came next, he brought another copy of the same book and gave it to Baba. Baba blessed the book, and asked Kaka to preserve it. He assured that the book will be of immense help to Kaka. Kaka gracefully accepted the book and prostrated at the feet of Baba.


Once, Ramdas Buva, a follower of Saint Ramadas, came to Shirdi. Followers of Saint Ramadas were also called as Ramadasis. This Ramdas Buva used to get up early in the morning, take bath, wear saffron coloured clothes, apply vibhuti to his forehead and then perform sandhyavandanam. He performed Archana also. After that he would study Sri Vishnu Sahasranama and Adhyatma Ramayana with great devotion and dedication. Sri Vishnu Sahasranama contains one thousand names glorifying God Vishnu. It is held in high esteem by the devotees and is considered to be next in importance to only Bhagavad Gita. Regular recitation of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama is believed to fulfill all the desires of the devotees. He continued this practice in Shirdi also. He read these devotional books in the masjid. Baba was watching Ramdas Buva everyday. One day, He called him and told, “I am suffering from severe stomach pain. Unless I take Sona Mukhi, this pain will not subside. Please get Me the medicine from Bazar.” Ramdas Buva closed the book he was reading, kept it aside and went to get the medicine. Baba got down from His seat, went to where Buva was sitting, took the book with Him to His seat. After sitting down, He turned a few pages and called Shyama. When Shyama came near Him, Baba said, “Shamya, this book is very valuable and efficacious. I am giving it to you to read it. Once, I suffered intensely and My heart began to palpitate. My life was in danger. At that critical time, I hugged this book to My heart. Shamya, what a relief it gave Me! I thought that Allah had come down and saved Me. So, I am giving this to you. Read it slowly, little by little. Read at least one name daily and it will do you good.” Shyama was scared, as Ramdas Buva had the reputation of being, obstinate, irritable and picking up quarrels at the slightest provocation. He told Baba that he did not want the book as a rustic like him could not read Sanskrit properly. He also told Baba about Buva.

Shyama was under the impression that Baba wanted to set him up against Buva and watch the fun. He could never imagine the esteem in which Baba held him. As Shyama was His intimate devotee, He wanted to save him from the miseries of the worldly existence. Baba would have thought that reciting at least one name of God everyday would benefit Shyama much more. The efficacy of reciting God’s name is well known. There is no better method than this of purifying one’s mind. There is no easier sadhana than this. There is no paraphernalia, nor any restrictions. Baba wanted to give this sadhana to Shyama as it saves one from the cycle of repeated birth and death. Recitation of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama would also save us from all sins and bad behaviour. With all this in mind, Baba forced Shyama to accept the book.

Eknath Maharaj also did a similar thing. He had a Brahmin neighbour who had forgotten all the ways of worship and was virtually doomed. Eknath Maharaj caught hold of him, in spite of his reluctance, forced him to learn at least one name per day and finally made him proficient in reciting all the thousand names fluently. The Brahmin was totally grateful to Eknath Maharaj for showing him the path to self realization.

By this time, Ramdas Buva returned from Bazar with the medicine and gave it to Baba. Anna Chinchinikar who had witnessed all that had happened between Baba and Shyama was waiting for an opportunity to tell everything to Buva. Narada, the great rishi who was known to set up quarrels even among friends, had perfected this art. He used to do this at the behest of Sri Vishnu for the benefit of all concerned - loka kalyana arthaaya. As soon as Anna saw Buva, he recited everything to him. It was like adding ghee to Agni. Buva flared up and started blaming Shyama. He told him that it was Shyama who had set Baba to send him away under the pretext of getting medicine for stomach pain and as soon as he had gone, to take away the book. He scolded Shyama to his heart’s content and told him that if the book was not returned to him, he would break his head then and there. Shyama did not know what to say, but still made a valiant effort to convince Buva, which was in vain. Then Baba called Ramdas Buva to Him and spoke very kindly, “Oh Ramdasi, what happened? Isn’t Shyama our boy? Why do you scold him unnecessarily? Speak soft and sweet words. Though you read these books, your mind is still impure and passions are uncontrolled. Being a Ramdasi, you should be indifferent to all these petty things. Why do you covet this book? A true Ramdasi should have only ‘samata’ and no ‘mamata’. You are now quarreling with Shyama for a book. Books can be had in plenty, but not men. Shyama did not ask the book. I took it Myself and gave it to him. I thought Shyama might read it and benefit. You know it in your heart.” This was how Baba taught the concepts of samata and mamata to Ramdas Buva. Baba conceptualized the entire philosophy of detachment in to this simple episode and made it easy to understand for everyone. We should practice letting go all those objects which we desire most. These words of sweetness, like nectar, had immediate effect on Buva. He calmed down and told that Shyama could keep Sri Vishnu Sahasranama with him and he would take ‘Panchratni’ Gita in return. Shyama was also happy that everything ended peacefully and agreed to give Buva, Panchratni Gita.

Some of the questions that arise from this episode are - why did Buva ask for Panchratni Gita, the God in which he never cared to know, and why should he come to masjid and read religious books in front of Baba, if he had to quarrel with Shyama in front of Baba? It is difficult to find answers to these questions, but two distinct effects could be observed. One was that Ramdas Buva understood the meaning of mamata and samata. The second was that Shyama also understood the importance of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama. He studied the book and mastered it to such an extent that he was able to explain it to Prof. Ganesh Govind Narke, son in law of Bapusaheb Booty, and a professor in the College of Engineering at Poona.


After his morning bath, Kakasaheb used to meditate in his Wada at Shirdi. One day, during the meditation, he saw a vision of god Vithal. When he went to Baba, later on, Baba asked him, “Vithal Patil had come. Did you see Him? He is likely to vanish. Tie Him up securely. Even if you are slightly careless, He will escape.” Baba knew everything. Same day about 25 pictures of Vithal were for sale. Seeing the same posture in the picture as in his morning meditation, Kakasaheb was simply stunned. He bought one picture and securely tied it in his pooja mandir.


Baba had a special love for those who studied about Brahma Jnana. He always encouraged them. Bapusaheb Jog, like Kakasaheb was in the habit of studying spiritual books in the morning every day. He once ordered by post, Lokamanya Tilak’s Gita Rahasya. He received the post while he was on his way to the masjid. So, he kept it under his armpit, entered masjid, and prostrated at Baba’s feet. When he bent for touching Baba’s feet, the parcel fell down on Baba’s feet. Baba asked him what it was. Bapusaheb opened the parcel and gave the book to Baba. He turned some pages for a few minutes. Then He took out a rupee from His pocket, placed it in the book and gave the book back to Bapusaheb. Then He said, “Read this completely. You will be benefited.”


Hon’ble Sri Ganesh Srikrishna Khaparde, whom Baba used to call as Dadasaheb Khaparde was not an ordinary man. He was the richest and most famous advocate of Amaraoti (Berar) and was a member of the Council of State, Delhi. He was very intelligent and a very good speaker also. He first visited Shirdi on 05 Dec 1910 AD. He had Baba’s darshan and became a devotee. He next came to Shirdi exactly a year later, with family, and stayed for some months. The diary of his stay has been published in English, in a book form, by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan, Shirdi. Though he was intelligent and well read, he never opened his mouth in front of Baba. Along with Noolkar and Booty, he formed a trio who never talked in front of Baba. All the three were meek, humble and good natured.

Dadasaheb Khaparde could expound Panchadasi (a well known Sanskrit treatise on Advaita philosophy by the famous Vidyaranya) to others. But before Baba, he was like a dumb person, capable of only hearing. Any amount of learning cannot equal the brilliance of self realization. Dadasaheb stayed for four months, but his wife stayed for seven months. She was very devoted to Baba, loved Him very much and was very loyal to Him. Every noon she brought naivedyam to the masjid herself, and after it was accepted by Baba, she went back to have her meals. On seeing her unwavering devotion, Baba wanted to show it to the other devotees.

The next day, as usual, Mrs Khaparde brought Sanza (wheat pudding), puris, rice, soup, kheer and other sundry items in a plate covered with a cloth for naivedyam. All the other days, Baba used to delay eating and would get up only when others forced Him to. On this day, the moment He saw Mrs Khaparde keeping the plate on the table, Baba went there, removed the outer covering and started eating the items, one by one. Everyone who was observing this was amazed. Shyama said, “Why this partiality? You simply throw away the food given by others, without caring even to look at them. And now You are eating all alone, not giving even a small piece to any of us. What is so special about this lady’s preparations?” Baba replied, “I saw her after a long time. In one of her former births, she was a merchant’s fat cow yielding abundant milk. Then she took birth in a gardener’s family. After that she was born in a Kshatriya family and married a merchant. Later on she took birth in a Brahmin family. Let me taste the sweets of love and devotion she has prepared so affectionately.” So saying, Baba completed eating all the dishes, washed His mouth and hands. Then He gave out a belch to indicate that He was happy with the food and resumed His seat.

Mrs Khaparde sat near Baba’s feet and softly and caressingly massaged His legs. As she was pressing Baba’s feet, Baba also started pressing and kneading her arms. Shyama saw this and was greatly amused. He said, “What a sight to see! God and the devotee are serving one another!” Baba was immensely pleased with her devotion and told her in her ears, “Chant ‘Rajarama, Rajarama’ always. Your life’s object will be achieved. You will get peace of mind and you will be immensely benefited.” Those who are not familiar with spiritual matters, and whose thinking is still immature may construe this episode as something other than a Guru and Sishya relationship. It was a case of ‘shaktipat’ - transfer of power from guru to the disciple. Baba’s words were so powerful that the words immediately lodged in Mrs Khaparde’s heart.

This is the type of relationship that should exist between a guru and a disciple. Both should love and serve each other. There is no difference between the two. They are not mutually exclusive. The disciple places his head at the feet of the guru and the guru bends and places his hands on the head of the disciple, thus completing the circle of power transfer.

With this, the twenty-seventh chapter called as Mamata and Samata is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Lakhamichand, the Burhanpore lady, Megha and other matters.

||Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu ||Shubham Bhavatu||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

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