Saturday, March 21, 2009

||chapter twenty - five||

|| sri sai satcharitra ||

|| chapter twenty-five ||

|| amra leela ||

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

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Damu Anna Kasar of Ahmednagar, the mango miracle and other matters.


Ever forgiving, omnibenevolent Sai Baba is God incarnate. He is the Poorna Parabrahma. To this compassionate God, let us do Saashtaanga Pranamam. Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai ho! As we have seen so many times in this Satcharitra, Baba is the ultimate refuge of His devotees. Baba is always full of compassion, mercy and kindness. He is always willing and eager to fulfill the desires of His devotees, whatever they may be. To be eligible to get our desires fulfilled by Him, to become eligible for His kindness, compassion and mercy, we must have complete faith and devotion in Him. When he saw Baba driving away the cholera epidemic by grinding wheat grains, a desire arose in Hemad Pant’s mind to chronicle Baba’s Leelas for the benefit of Baba’s devotees; Baba immediately got it written by him. When Baba blessed him, Hemad Pant was inspired; words started flowing from his pen like an unending stream of nectar. Because of Baba’s blessing, Hemad Pant could summon all his reserve strengths and boldness to undertake and complete this divine akshaya patra full of amrita, called as Satcharitra. Any number of devotees can draw from this immortal nectar storehouse any number of times. It will never get emptied. There will always be some divine nectar left for the next person.

Let us see once again, how Baba stood by the devotee who had shown complete faith in Him and had surrendered to Him totally.


Damodar Savalaram Rasane Kasar, Damu Anna’s complete name, belonged to Ahmednagar. Subsequently he shifted to Poona. We already know him, in chapter six, during the Sri Ramanavami celebrations. Damu Anna went to Shirdi in the year 1895 AD. From then on he was a staunch devotee of Sai Baba. Though he married thrice, he did not have any progeny. With Baba’s blessings he had a son. In 1897 AD when the Sri Ramanavami celebrations were started, he sent an ornamental flag for the procession. Since that time he has been providing an ornamental flag for every Sri Ramanavami celebrations. He also fed the poor and the fakirs who came there for the festival.

Once, a friend of his wrote from Bombay that they should do some speculation business in cotton in partnership. He also suggested that they may get a profit of about Rs. Two lakhs. (Subsequently in an interview in 1936 AD, to Poojya Sri BV Narasimha Swami, Damu Anna said that the proposal was from a broker. In that proposal, Damu Anna was to be the sole investor and there was no talk of any partnership. Vide p.75 of Devotees’ Experience, Part II). The broker assured him that it was a very safe deal, no risk was involved and that such a great opportunity should not be lost. As the investment was heavy, Damu Anna could not blindly plunge into dark waters. He thought a great deal about it and being a staunch devotee of Baba, decided at last to seek Baba’s advice. He wrote a detailed letter to Shyama and requested him to seek Baba’s opinion in this regard. Next day, after he got the letter, Shyama read it and went to the masjid with the letter. Seeing him with the letter, Baba asked him what was the matter and what did that letter contain. Shyama told Him that Damu Anna wants to consult Him about something. Then Baba said, “He is not content with what God has given him. He wants to reach the sky. What has he written? Read the letter.” Shyama was surprised. He said, “The letter contains what you have told. Deva, if You know the contents, why do You ask me to read it? You sit here calm and composed; and agitate the devotees. When they get restless, You drag them here.” Baba said, “Shyama, please, read the letter. I am an old man and speak randomly. Who will believe Me?”

After Shyama read the letter, Baba said with feeling, “The seth (Damu Anna) has gone mad. Write to him that nothing is wanting in his house. Let him be content with the half loaf of bread he has and not bother about lakhs.” Shyama conveyed the same to Damu Anna. He hinted in his letter that there could be communication gap between what Baba said and what he had written, suggesting further that Damu Anna could personally come and talk to Baba. When he read the letter, Damu Anna’s hopes of making a profit of two lakhs were dashed to the ground. After thinking coolly, he felt that Shyama’s advice of going over to Shirdi and talking to Baba personally was to be followed. He immediately went to Shirdi, saw Baba and prostrated at His divine feet. He started slowly massaging Baba’s legs.

Damu Anna did not have the courage to ask Baba directly regarding his problem. Instead, he thought that it would be better if he could assign some part of the business to Baba. In case Baba agreed, he also wanted to give some share of the profits to Baba. Baba, as we all know, is a sarvajna and even before Damu Anna could complete his thoughts, Baba had read his thoughts fully. Reading other’s thoughts was karatalaamalaka (embolic fruit in the palm) for Baba. He told Damu Anna, “Damya, I don’t want to be involved in worldly things (sharing profits)”. Hearing Baba’s words, Damu Anna reluctantly dropped the proposal.


After few days, Damu Anna got an idea of trading in rice, wheat and other groceries. Baba read these thoughts also and told him, “You will be buying at five seers a rupee and selling at seven seers a rupee.” So, Damu Anna had to forego this idea also. The prices of food grains were rising and profits were increasing. It appeared as if Baba’s words would be proved wrong. After two months, there were abundant rains and the prices crashed. Those who had hoarded grains suffered heavy losses. The speculation deal in cotton, for which the broker hooked some other merchant, also collapsed with severe and irrecoverable losses to the merchant. After being saved from two near disasters, Damu Anna’s faith in Baba increased many folds. The next Leela also pertains to Damu Anna.


Once a mamlatdar, Rale by name, sent a packet of 300 mangoes, from Goa to Shirdi, as an offering to Baba. The packet was sent in the name of Shyama. Shyama collected the packet from Kopergaon, brought it to Shirdi and opened it in front of Baba. All the mangoes were in good condition. Baba retained four mangoes and gave the rest to Shyama for keeping. Baba told Shyama, “These four are for Damu Anna. Let them be here.”

As we know Damu Anna had three wives. (Subsequently, in the above mentioned interview he said that he had only two wives and not three) He did not have any children from any of his wives. He consulted several astrologers, who told him that as there was a malignant planet situated in one of the houses of his kundali, there was no chance at all of his begetting a child in this life. This desire for an offspring was burning within him, but he never showed it outside. He did not even ask Baba for children. Damu Anna went to the masjid a couple of hours after the mangoes were received. As was his normal practice, he prostrated at Baba’s feet and started massaging His legs. Baba lovingly told, “People are asking for these mangoes. But they are Damya’s. He, whom it belongs, should ‘eat and die’”. Damu Anna was shocked. He never expected that Baba would conduct such tests on him. Mhalsapathi, who was near by, explained him that ‘die’ referred to the death of the egoism in him and not himself. He also explained that it was better to shed one’s egoism at the feet of Baba rather than elsewhere. Hearing these soothing words, Damu Anna took the mangoes for eating. Baba however prevented him and told him, “Don’t eat. Give them to your youngest wife. This Amra-Leela (miracle of four mangoes) will give her four sons and four daughters.” Damu Anna followed Baba’s instructions and in due course of time, Baba’s words proved correct, confounding all the astrologers.

Let us now see what Damu Anna told in the interview to Poojya Sri BV Narasimha Swami.

“Once when I sat at His feet along with many others, I had two questions in my mind and He gave answers to both.

1. There are so many crowding to Sai Baba. Do they all get benefit from Him?

To this He replied orally, “Look at the mango tree in blossom. If all the flowers brought fruit, what a splendid crop it would be. But do they? Most fall off (either as flowers or as unripe fruits) by wind etc. Very few remain.”

2. The second question was about me. If Baba were to pass away, how hopelessly adrift I would be and how am I to fare then?

To this Baba answered that He would be with me when and wherever I thought of Him. That promise He had kept up before 1918 and has been keeping up after 1918 also. He is still with me. He is still guiding me. This incident was during 1910-11 when my brothers separated from me and my sister died and there was a theft and police enquiry, all of which upset me very much.

When my sister died, my mind was much upset. I did not care for life and enjoyments. When I went to Baba, He pacified me with His Upadesh and made me eat a feast of Pooran Poli at Appa Kulkarni’s house and get pasted with sandal.

There was a theft in my home. A thirty years' friend of mine stole my wife’s jewel box, including her auspicious Nathi (nose ring). I wept before Baba’s photo. The next day, the man returned the jewel-box and prayed for pardon.”


Baba’s words were effective when He had the human form, and are even more effective when He is formless. His words are, “Believe Me. Even when I am formless, My bones from the Samadhi will give you hope and confidence. Not only Myself, My Samadhi will speak, move and communicate with those who surrender to Me. Don’t worry that I am not with you. My bones will speak and care for your welfare. Remember Me always, believe in Me and you will benefit.”


Let us now pray to Baba. “Oh Sai Sadguru, the Kalpavriksha of the Bhaktas, listen to our prayer. Make us never forget Your divine feet. We have been troubled by the cycle of birth and death. Liberate us from this cycle. Restrain our senses from going out and turn them inwards to see the atman. Neither son, nor wife nor friend will be of any use in the end. Only You can give us salvation and happiness. Grant our tongue the passion of chanting Your name. Drive out our thoughts, make us lose consciousness of our body and remove our egoism. Make us remember only Your name and forget everything else. Remove the restlessness of our minds, make it steady and calm. If You hold our hands and lead us, the darkness of our ignorance will vanish and we will move into the light of wisdom. You made us drink the nectar of Your Leelas, and awakened us from slumber. Forgive our sins and shower Your blessings on us always.”

With this, the twenty-fifth chapter called as Amra Leela is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Bhakta Pant, Harishchandra Pitale, Gopal Ambadekar and other matters.

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

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