Sunday, March 15, 2009

||chapters eighteen and nineteen||

|| sri sai satcharitra ||

|| chapters eighteen and nineteen ||

|| hemad pant recieves baba's grace ||

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

In these two chapters, Hemad Pant tells us about how he was accepted and blessed, and other matters.


In the previous chapter we saw that, the sadguru tests the disciples whether they are eligible to receive what they ask for. The sadguru also tests to what extent they can assimilate his teachings. Based on this, he gives further instructions which they can easily assimilate. The instructions so assimilated would lead the devotees on to the path of self realization. There is a saying that whatever the guru tells the disciple, it is a privileged dialogue and should not be divulged to the others. It is also said that by telling others, the efficacy of guru’s teachings will be ineffective. This is totally baseless. The teaching of a sadguru is meant for the welfare of all. We should completely assimilate guru’s teachings and only then tell others without any reservation. And as sadguru takes care of us at all times, he teaches us also at all times, waking as well as sleeping. One of the earlier rishis, Budhakowshik Rishi wrote his famous work Rama-raksha Stotra, based on the instructions he got in his dreams.

Children usually do not like medicines - syrupy or otherwise. If it is bitter, then they put up all kinds of bad temper. Still, keeping their health in mind, the mother lovingly ensures that the medicines go down their throats. She does not stop administering the medicines because the children do not like bitter medicines. Similarly, Baba also taught spiritual lessons to His devotees. His methods were direct and effective. He did not use any subtle or veiled techniques. There was no way in which the devotees could misunderstand His instructions. The instructions were clear and the devotees understood the objectives immediately. Sadguru Sai Baba’s instructions are always like beacons of light guiding along the dark and difficult path of spiritual progress. He is our living deity. He is Brahma, He is Vishnu and He is Maheshwara. Baba is our mother, He is our father, He is our relative and He alone is our friend. He is the one who protects us even if the entire world is against us. He is the one who gives us Viveka (discrimination) and Vairagya (detachment) by correcting us from the path of desire for sense objects. With Viveka and Vairagya, He ensures that we acquire knowledge. To the sadguru who does so much for us, let us prostrate at His divine feet and serve Him with all our energy and enthusiasm. We should serve Him to such an extent that we become eligible for his love and affection. We should always be after Him, question Him as frequently as we can, and get His blessings. Let us once again fall at His feet so that His tender and loving look falls on us.


Lord Reay was the Governor of Bombay during 1885-1890 AD. He put down the Crawford Regime during his reign. Mr. Sathe (not the Rao Bahadur Sathe, who built Sathe Wada in Shirdi) attained sufficient publicity during the Crawford Regime. He suffered severe losses in his business. Other aspects were also not so very good, with the result that his mental condition became very depressed and dejected. He wanted to leave his family and home and go away to some far off place.

It is usual that when in comfort and happiness, no one thinks of God. When distresses pile up, we remember that God exists and pray for His intervention. It was the effect of some good deed done in the previous life that he had good friends in this life, who advised him to go to Shirdi and fall at the feet of Sai Baba. Sathe did that. Seeing Baba, radiant, self luminous, spotless and pure, his mind became calm and composed. He decided to do parayana saptaha of Sri Gurucharitra for one week. At the end of the week, Sathe had a dream. In that dream, Baba with Sri Gurucharitra in His hand was explaining the same to Sathe who was seated in front of Baba, and attentively listening. When he woke up, Sathe remembered the dream very well and was happy. He considered himself very fortunate that Baba should come in his dream and explain the Sri Gurucharitra in a very mellifluous manner. While talking to Kakasaheb Dixit next day, he narrated his dream and requested Kaka to ask Baba about the meaning of the dream. He also wanted to know if parayana of one week was sufficient or should he continue for one more week.

When a suitable opportunity presented, Kaka told Baba, “Deva, what is the meaning of Sathe’s dream? Should he continue parayana for one more week? Please bless him.” Baba replied that he should continue for one more week. By studying the book carefully, the mind will become pure and he will be benefited. Allah would rescue him from the bondage of this materialistic world. At that time, Hemad Pant was there. He was caressing Baba’s legs and softly massaging them.

Baba’s words set off a train of thoughts in Hemad Pant’s mind and made him dejected. He thought, “I have been reading the book for forty years and nothing has happened. This Sathe comes here and reads the same book for a week and gets rewarded. I am here for the last seven years doing Seva and waiting like a Chataka pakshi for Baba’s blessings. Still Baba has not blessed me with His instructions. He comes here only for a week, reads a book and is rewarded.” As soon as these thoughts crossed his mind, Baba read his thoughts. Being a sarvajna, He understood everything. Baba’s devotees knew very well that Baba could read their thoughts and guide them properly.

Baba told Hemad Pant, “Go to Shyama’s place immediately, get Rs.15/- as Dakshina from him. And don’t return immediately. Talk with him for some time, and only then, come back.” In the guise of Dakshina, Baba sent Hemad Pant to Shyama only to bless him. And Baba’s words were commands for the devotees.

Hemad Pant followed Baba’s instructions and went to Shyama’s house. Shyama had just then completed his bath. He was adjusting his dhoti and chanting Hari’s name. Seeing Hemad Pant, he was surprised and asked, “How is it that you are here? You seem to have come from masjid but look very restless and dejected. Why are you alone? Please sit down and relax. Have paan-beeda (betel leaves and nuts). Meanwhile I will complete my pooja and then we can sit and talk.” He went inside and began his pooja. Hemad Pant was alone in the verandah.

While he was strolling in the verandah, he saw a Marathi book ‘Nath Bhagavat’. Nath-Bhagavat is a commentary by Sant Eknath on the eleventh skanda (chapter) of Srimad Bhagavatam in Sanskrit.

Baba had suggested Bapusaheb Jog and Kakasaheb Dixit to read the following books in Shirdi:

Bhavartha Deepika - a commentary in Marathi on Bhagavad-Gita
Jnaneshwari (A dialogue between Sri Krishna and His friend and devotee Arjuna)
Nath-Bhagavat (A dialogue between Sri Krishna and His servant and devotee Uddhava)
and Bhavartha Ramayana by Sant Eknath

Kakasaheb was a great devotee of Baba. Every morning he performed pooja of Baba and other deities. After naivedyam, he used to take some milk and then sit for reading the above scriptures. He read Nath Bhagavat in the morning and Bhavartha Ramayana in the night. Bhavartha Ramayana is said to be the second great book in Marathi after Jnandev’s Jnaneshwari. It is said that Sant Tukaram read Bhavartha Ramayana one thousand times on top of mountain Bhandara.

When devotees came to Baba and asked questions, at times He used to give complete answers and at other times He used to give partial answers and ask the devotees to read the above books. With the matter given in the above books, the devotees got completely satisfactory replies for their questions. Hemad Pant also was reading Nath-Bhagavat every day. He had not finished that day’s apportioned part completely as he had to accompany some devotees to the masjid.

Hemad Pant picked up the book and as soon as he opened it, the unfinished part came up. He thought that Baba had sent him very kindly to Shyama’s house so that he could complete his daily reading. As soon as he completed reading, Shyama also completed his pooja and came out.

Hemad Pant told him, “Baba has asked me to get Rs.15/- as Dakshina from you. He also asked to spend some time talking to you and then return to masjid with you.”

Shyama said with surprise, “I don’t have any money. Instead of that, please take my 15 namaskaras (prostrations) as Dakshina to Baba.”

Hemad Pant said, “Alright, your 15 namaskaras are accepted as Dakshina. Tell me some Leelas of Baba, so that our sins are washed away.”

Shyama told him, “Wonderful are the Leelas of Baba. Most of them, you already know. Some Leelas you have seen after coming here. You are an enlightened person. I am a village rustic. How can I describe them to you? Please take these betel leaves, nuts, chunam (lime) and eat pan-beeda. Meanwhile I will change my dress and we can go back to masjid.”

Soon he came out and sat with Hemad Pant. He started telling Hemad Pant, “Inscrutable are the ways of this God (Baba). His Leelas are never ending. He plays the Leela, yet is unaffected by it. Take this example itself. Why should Baba send a learned man like you to a village rustic like me? What do I know so as to tell you? Baba Himself could have told the stories. His ways are inconceivable. I can only say that His methods are divine.” With this introduction, Shyama continued, “I will now tell you a story which I remember. I know it personally. If the devotee is determined and resolute, Baba’s response is immediate. At other times, Baba subjects the devotees to severe tests. After they are thoroughly tested, then He gives them the ‘Upadesh’ (instruction).” As soon as he heard the word ‘Upadesh’, a flash of lightening crossed Hemad Pant’s mind. He remembered the entire episode of Sathe’s parayana and Baba’s advise. He also recollected his own thoughts at that time. Then he realized that Baba had read his thoughts and had sent him to Shyama in order to pacify his restless mind. He, however, kept these thoughts to himself and listened to Shyama’s stories. All of Shyama’s stories told one thing - Baba’s intense love for his devotees. Hemad Pant felt great happiness by listening to those stories. Shyama’s first story was that of Mrs. Radhabai Desmukh.


Mrs Radhabai Desmukh was Khashaba Desmukh’s mother. She was an old lady and when she heard Baba’s name and fame, she came with the people of Sangamner to Shirdi. She had Baba’s darshan and was very happy. From that moment onwards she developed a love for Baba and decided that He will be her guru. As she had accepted Him as her guru, she also decided to take ‘Upadesh’ from Him. She decided not take any food or water till Baba gave her Upadesh. She stayed in her lodging and did not take any food or water on the first day. Nothing happened. Second day also she continued her fast. Still nothing happened. This went on for the third day. The old lady was becoming weak. I was frightened by her condition and went to Baba and sat next to Him. Baba said, “What is the news, Shyama? That Narayan Teli (oil merchant) is troubling Me.” But I was not in a mood for the general talk. My mind was thinking of only the old lady and her condition. My anxiety increased with every moment. Finally, I could not contain myself and blurted out, “What is this Deva! You drag people from far off places and then ask us about their welfare. No one can understand Your Leelas. You have dragged that old woman Mrs. Radhabai Desmukh from her place to here. She is very firm and determined and not taken any food or water for the last three days. Why are You troubling her like this? She may even lose her life. Then people will say that Baba killed her when she went to get His Upadesh. Kindly give her Upadesh and bless her. I am unable to see her plight. Please take mercy on her and give her Upadesh.”

Seeing the firmness of her resolve, Baba sent for her and gave her Upadesh as follows.

“Oh Maayi, you are My mother and I am really your child. Please take pity on Me and listen to Me. I will tell you My own experience. Listening to this will do you good. I had a guru. He was a great saint and very merciful. I served him long, very long; still he did not utter any secret mantra in My ears. I had made up My mind to be with him and serve him; and at any cost, receive Upadesh from him. But, he had his own methods. He first got My head shaved. Then he asked Me two pice (64 pice = Re.1/- in those days) as Dakshina. I gave them at once. You may ask Me, You say Your guru is perfect then why does he ask for money? How can he be desire less, if he asks for money? I tell you that he never cared for money. His two pice were 1. Firm Faith and 2. Perseverance or patience. I gave these two pice to him and he was pleased.

“I served My guru for 12 years. He brought Me up from My childhood. There was no shortage of food or clothing at any time. He was full of love. I can say he was love incarnate. How can I describe? He loved Me most. Rare is a guru like him. Whenever I looked at him, he was in deep meditation, and then we both were filled with bliss. Day and night I gazed at him without hunger or thirst. Without him, I was restless. I had no other subject for meditation except My guru. Nor did I have anything to attend to except My guru. He was My sole refuge and My mind was totally fixed on Him. This was the first pice of the Dakshina.

Saburi (perseverance or patience) was the second pice. I waited patiently and for very long on My guru and served him. Saburi will take you across this mundane existence. Saburi is the manliness in man, removes all sins and afflictions, gets rid of calamities in various ways, dispels all fears and ultimately gives you all successes. Saburi is the mine of all virtues and consort of good thought. Nishta (Faith) and Saburi (perseverance) are like twin sisters, loving each other very intimately.

“My guru never expected anything else from Me. He never neglected Me and protected Me at all times. Most of the times I lived with him, sometimes away from him; still I never felt the want or absence of his love. He always protected Me by his glance. Just as the mother tortoise feeds her young ones by her loving looks, whether they are near her or away from her on the other side of the bank of the river.

“Oh, Maayi, when My guru did not give Me any mantra, how can I utter any mantra in your ears? Just remember that guru’s tortoise like loving glance gives us happiness. Don’t try to get mantra or Upadesh from anybody. Make Me the sole object of your thoughts and actions; and you will attain Paramartha (the spiritual goal of life). Look at Me whole heartedly and I will, in turn, look at you similarly. I speak the truth and nothing but the truth. No sadhanas, nor proficiency in six Shastras, are required. Have faith and confidence in your guru. Believe fully that guru is the sole actor and doer. Blessed is he who knows the greatness of his guru and thinks him to be Hari, Hara and Brahma incarnate.”

Radhabai Desmukh was convinced, prostrated at Baba’s feet and gave up her fast.”

After listening to the story, Hemad Pant started recollecting all the incidents that happened on that day and tried to correlate this story with what happened earlier. He recollected Kakasaheb Dixit telling Baba about Sathe and his parayana; then he recollected his own anguish after hearing Baba’s words; then he recollected Baba reading his thoughts and asking him to go to Shyama; and he also recollected Baba’s insistence that he should spend some time talking to Shyama and then return, not before. Finally, he recollected the story of Radhabai Desmukh. Putting all these events together, he got a clear picture of one of the most wonderful Leelas of Baba which had just unfolded in front of his own eyes. Reading Hemad Pant’s thoughts and understanding that his mind had become restless, Baba got the story of Radhabai Desmukh told to him through Shyama. It was actually Baba’s story only which He had told Radhabai. On understanding the complete implications, Hemad Pant was filled with joy and his eyes overflowed with tears at the love and affection Baba had shown him. Shyama, on seeing Hemad Pant in this condition, asked him, “What happened? Why are you silently crying? Shall I tell you some more of Baba’s innumerable Leelas?”

Just at that time, the bell in the masjid started ringing. It was an indication that time for noon worship had come and that arati had begun. Both Shyama and Hemad Pant hurried to the masjid, lest they miss the arati. Bapusaheb Jog had already started the worship. Women were up in the masjid and men were in the open courtyard below. Shyama sat to the right of Baba and Hemad Pant in front of Him. On seeing Hemad Pant, Baba asked him for the Dakshina he was to collect from Shyama. Hemad Pant told Baba that Shyama gave namaskaras instead of the money and he was present personally for any further enquiry. Then Baba asked, “Now tell Me if you had a talk with him. If so, tell Me all about it.” Hemad Pant was anxious to tell Baba what had transpired and when Baba Himself asked, he was in great joy. So, in spite of the heavy sounds of the bell and the loud prayers sung by the devotees, Hemad Pant narrated the complete sequence of events. Baba was also anxious, so He left the bolster, bent forward and listened attentively. Hemad Pant told Him all that happened and said, “The story of the old lady was wonderful. Your Leelas are inexplicable. Under the guise of that story, I thought You have blessed me.” Baba replied, “That story is wonderful. How were you blessed? Tell Me in detail.” Hemad Pant told Him the complete story which had made a deep impact on his mind. Then Baba asked him whether he could catch the significance of the story. Hemad Pant told Him, “Yes, Baba, the restlessness of my mind has gone. I have peace of mind now, and have come to know the true path.”

Then Baba told him, “My methods are unique. Remember this one story very well. It will be very useful. For self realization, Dhyana (meditation) is necessary. Practice it continuously and thoughts will subside. Become desireless and meditate on the Lord who is in all beings. When the mind is focused, goals will be achieved. Always meditate on My formless nature. It is the knowledge, consciousness and bliss. If you cannot do this, meditate on My form from top to toe as you see Me here day and night. As you do this, all your thoughts will focus into a single point and the distinction between, the Dhyata (meditator), the Dhyana (act of meditation) and the Dheya (the object of meditation) will vanish. The Dhyata will become one with the consciousness and merge with Brahman. The young ones of a tortoise do nothing but meditate on their mother. The mother tortoise may be on the other bank of the river and unable to give milk or even warmth. Her glances alone are sufficient to give nutrition to the young ones. For them that glance alone is a down pour of nectar, only source of sustenance and happiness. Similar is the relation between a guru and his disciples.”

Exactly at that time, the aarathi songs had come to an end and every one shouted in a chorus, “Sri Satchidananda Sadguru Sri Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai.” Let us all imagine that we are in Shirdi, participating in that aarathi and let us also say loudly, “Sri Satchidananda Sadguru Sri Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai.”

After the aarathi, prasadam was distributed. Bapusaheb Jog went to Baba, prostrated at His feet and gave Him a fistful of sugar-candy. Baba took it and then gave all of it to Hemad Pant. He told him, “Remember this story well, your state will be as sweet as this sugar-candy. All your desires will be fulfilled and you will be happy.” Hemad Pant was overwhelmed with emotion and with tears streaming down, he begged, “Baba, please favor me always like this. Kindly bless me and protect me always”. Baba assured him, “Remember this story, contemplate on it and assimilate. Then you will always remember and meditate the Lord. He will appear before you.”

The sugar-candy he got then, Hemad Pant has distributed to all of us in the Satcharitra. Let us all drink this nectar of happiness and follow Baba’s instructions - remember this story, meditate on it and assimilate it. Let us all prostrate at the divine feet of our beloved sadguru Sai Baba.


For our good conduct and behaviour, Baba has further said, “Nobody goes to anyone unless there is some relationship or connection. If some being comes to you, receive them well and treat them with respect. Do not drive them away. Give water to the thirsty; food to the hungry; clothes to the naked and your verandah to the strangers for sitting and taking rest. God will be pleased. If some one comes to you for money, and you do not want to give, don’t give; but don’t bark at them like a dog. Don’t react to adverse comments. Tolerate them and you will be happy. Stand firmly wherever you are and witness the show of all things passing before you. Demolish the wall of difference between you and Me, and then the path for our meeting will be clear. The sense of differentiation, as I and you, is the barrier that keeps away the disciple from the Master. Once that wall is destroyed, union can take place.

‘Allah Malik’ - God is the only Master, no one else. Inscrutable, invaluable and extraordinary are His ways. He knows how to implement His will; He will show us the way and fulfill our heartfelt desires. Rinanubandha (former allegiance) brings us together; let us love, serve each other and be happy. He who attains the supreme goal of life is immortal and happy. All others live so long as they breathe.”


Some saint has said that if you get a good thought immediately after you awaken from sleep, and if it is developed during the day, your intellect will unfold and the mind will attain calmness. Hemad Pant wanted to try this. On a Wednesday night he thought, “Tomorrow is Thursday, an auspicious day. And Shirdi is a holy place. Let me spend the entire day in chanting Rama Naama.” With this noble thought in mind, he slept. When he woke up the next morning, he remembered Rama’s name. He was happy.

After finishing his morning duties, he collected some flowers for offering to Baba and left for masjid. On his way he heard a beautiful song sung by one Aurangabadkar. He was singing in front of Baba in the masjid. The song was, “Guru Kripanjan payo mere bhai” by Eknath. In this song Eknath says:

Guru Kripanjan payo mere bhai | Ram bina kachu maanat naahi |
Andar Rama, bahar Rama | sapneme dekhat Seetarama ||
Jaagat Rama, sovat Rama | jaha dekho vaha pooran Rama ||
Eka Janardan anubhav aneka | jaha dekhe vaha Ram sarikha||

He could see Rama here, there, everywhere, in sleep and in waking state, only because of the anjan (a lotion applied to the eyes) called guru kripa (guru’s grace) that he had applied to his eyes. Then, he urges others also to get this anjan. When there are so many songs, why did Aurangabadkar chose this song only? He chose it because Baba wanted to encourage the determination of Hemad Pant to sing Rama Naama the entire day. One has only to surrender oneself to Baba, with love and devotion, to see in how many ways He will help us even in small things.


Once, a devotee of Baba was talking ill of his brother in a gathering. Instead of telling the nice qualities of his brother, he was pointing out only the mistakes, that too, when the brother was not present there to defend himself. Up to a certain extent the onlookers enjoyed the show and then they were also fed up. Scandalizing others in public is a common tendency which should be avoided. It breeds ill-will and hatred. The saints view it differently. They say that there are several ways of removing dirt, say, by water, soap etc; the scandal monger uses his tongue to clean the dirt of the other person. In this way, he is doing a service to the other person and hence should be thanked. Baba had his own method. He knew what the scandal monger had said. When He met him near Lendi, Baba showed a pig which was eating filth near the fence and told him, “See, how gladly it is eating dung. Are you any better than that? It is only after performing many good deeds in the past that you are born as a man. By reviling your brother, are you in any better condition? Use this life for doing something good. Don’t waste it.” The devotee was immediately corrected and never made the same mistake again.

Baba’s teachings were always aimed at making us realize the usefulness of the human life and to see that we do not fritter away this opportunity by doing irrelevant things. By keeping his sayings in mind and acting upon them, we will be that many steps nearer self realization. In the spiritual path, the more effort we put in, nearer will we be to our goal.

Baba is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. He pervades this entire space - land, air and sea. He is present at all times - past, present and future. He knows everything - past, present and future. Anyone meditating on Him with complete submission will experience total bliss of being one with Him, just as sweetness is of sugar, waves are of ocean, and lustre is of the eye. He, who wants to escape from the eternal cycle of birth and death, should lead a righteous life. His mind should be calm and composed. He should not hurt others by Kaaya, Vaacha or Manasa. He should always engage himself in good deeds. He should do his duties and surrender himself to Him. He, who trusts Him entirely, listens and expounds His Leelas, and does not think of anything else, is sure to attain self realization.

Baba guided His devotees in a number of ways on to the path of spiritualism. To some, He advised chanting His name; to some, he advised Shravanam (study) and mananam (meditation); to some others, He advised worship of His feet; to some, He advised studying Adhyatma Ramayana, Jnaneshwari and other sacred scriptures; to some others, He advised visiting Khandoba temple; to some He advised study of Chandogya Upanishad and Gita; to some others, He advised chanting Vishnu Sahasranamams. Many of the instructions, He gave in person; some in dreams. To some one who was addicted to drinking, He appeared in a dream, sat on his chest and started pressing it hard. He did not leave until the person promised that he would not touch liquor in future. To some, He gave the meaning of the mantra, ‘Gurur Brahma’ in a dream. One of His devotees was practicing Hatha Yoga, got a message from Baba to stop immediately and wait with saburi. Innumerable are the ways in which He interacted with His devotees, all for their own welfare and progress.


Radhakrishna Mai was, once, down with malaria. Baba was passing through her house one afternoon. He immediately asked someone to bring a ladder. It was brought and set against a house as directed by Baba. He climbed up on to the roof of Vaman Gondkar’s house, passed the roof of Radhakrishna Mai’s house and then got down on the other side. Nobody could understand why Baba did like that. It could possibly have been to drive away the malaria from which Mai was suffering. As soon as He got down, He paid Rs.2/- to the persons who had brought the ladder. Usually, no one had the courage to ask Baba anything, but this time some one asked Him why He paid so much. Baba replied that no one should take other’s labour free of cost. The worker should be paid his dues promptly and liberally. By following Baba’s principle, one can ensure that workers will turn out better work and both the workers and their employers would be benefitted. There will not be any ill feeling between the Labour and the Capital.

With this the two chapters - eighteenth and nineteenth, called as Acceptance of Hemad Pant, are complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about how Dasganu’s problem was solved, and other matters.

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

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