Wednesday, March 4, 2009

||chapter eight||

|| sri sai satcharitra ||

|| chapter eight ||

|| importance of human birth ||

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

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us the importance of human life, Sai Baba’s taking alms, Bayajabai’s service, His love for Khushalchand, and other matters.


It is man’s firm belief that there is a heaven above and a hell below the earth on which he lives. God has created the earth as a karmabhoomi and those who do good deeds on this earth go to heaven and those who do evil deeds go below to the hell. In this wonderful universe of heaven, earth and hell, God has created billions of beings, which are in continuous state of transmigration. The people, who do good work on earth, create a punya account and start enjoying from that account in the heaven. Once the balance of their account becomes zero, they come back to earth and once again indulge in doing karma. Similarly those who do evil deeds create a paapa account and spend this account in hell. Once the balance of this account also reaches zero, they come back to earth and indulge in doing karma. The transmigration of souls is dependent on the karma they do on this karmabhoomi. Hence that part of the life spent on the earth is of utmost importance.

As said earlier, there are billions of beings in this universe. All the beings have four things in common - food, sleep, fear and sexual union. Man also shares these with the other beings. But, what separates him from others is the invaluable thing he possesses - knowledge. It is this knowledge, which can transform him to a state of godliness. Hence it is important that man should use his knowledge properly.

Knowledge tells a man that his life on this earth is limited. He has to face death at the end of his life. The time between birth and death has to be utilized sagaciously. In spite of this awareness, half the lifetime is spent in sleep. In other words, if a man lives for 100 years, 50 years are spent in sleep. Even the remaining 50 years are not spent wisely. The first 15 years are lost in childhood. The last 15 years are spent in diseases and infirmity. The remaining 20 years are spent in procreation and protecting the creation. Where, then, is the time for God or self-realization? This is where the necessity of a sadguru arises. Only he can guide us through this maze and take us to our ultimate destination.

Knowledge also tells us that the human body is perishable. After death, it is consumed by flames. Even during lifetime, it houses various disease worms, filth, urine, pus and many undesirable elements. It also decays with time. With all these drawbacks, it is still the only vehicle through which God can be realized. This is the only vehicle, which gives us knowledge. Hence this human body should be taken care of properly and utilized properly.

We have to use this vehicle as a skilled rider would use his horse to reach his destination. It should neither be ignored because of its undesirable contents, nor should it be pampered too much so as to forget its purpose. The human body, which is obtained after several good deeds in earlier births, should be used to realize God and to see that we escape from this eternal cycle of punarapi jananam punarapi maranam punarapi janani jathare shayanam. This effort has to be made in this life itself. To think that it could be done in the next life would be foolish. There is no certainty that we will be granted a human body in the next life. The next life depends on the knowledge acquired in this life and the use to which that knowledge is applied.

“Yatha praajnaam hi sambhavaha”
Birth depends on the knowledge acquired (in the previous birth).

Knowledge can be properly acquired with the guidance of a sadguru. There is no other sadguru than Sri Sai Baba.

God first created this universe with sun, moon, stars and other beings. But none of them could either understand or appreciate His play or Him. So, He created a human being and endowed him with knowledge in order to understand Him. His objective was to create a universe which could be understood by an intelligent being and admire His immense powers and creative abilities.

Hence, this life should be used to acquire that understanding. One should not strive for the gratification of sensory organs alone. Earning money is not the only goal of life. With Bhakti one comes to know that Guru and Brahman are not separate. Only such persons have an opportunity to escape from the grip of maya. There is no better vehicle other than human body to achieve the four purusharthas - dharma, artha, kaama and moksha. Till the time the body decays and disintegrates, we should strive only for self-realization. Only a sadguru, to whom we should submit totally, can help. Only when the sadguru accepts the responsibility, does our life realize its goal.


Our aim should be to surrender absolutely to the sadguru, who has realized God. A sadguru can do what preaching, scriptures, discussions and others cannot do. Any number of stars in the sky cannot produce the same illumination, as does a sun. That is the importance of a guru. Among the sadgurus, Sai Baba is the foremost. To get a sadguru like Sai Baba is our fortune. Baba had all the virtues of a sadguru like compassion, piety, humility and detachment. He treated both the prince and the pauper alike. He also treated comfort and discomfort alike.


Baba went for collecting alms daily. He carried with Him a tin pot and a jholi (a rectangular piece of cloth with all the four corners tied together in a knot) hung over His shoulder. He stood before each door and shouted, “Maayi (mother), roti de (give me roti - a circular eatable prepared with wheat flour)”. All those householders in front of whose thresholds Baba shouted like that were indeed very blessed. He collected all the dry items in the jholi and the wet items like soup, milk or buttermilk in the tin pot. The food collected thus, He used to throw in an earthen pot. Baba did not follow any particular schedule. Some days He went only for a few rounds, and on some other days He used to beg till 12.0 noon.

The food in the mud pot could be taken by anyone. Crows, cats and dogs used to eat freely. The maid who cleaned the masjid took 10 to 12 rotis with her. Baba never stopped anyone from the food. How would He stop a poor servant maid, when He did not mind dogs eating from His own plate? The mixed up food had a different taste altogether. But as Baba had controlled the sense of taste, He never bothered about it.

Initially, the people of Shirdi thought that He was a mad fakir, going from house to house begging for food. Soon they realized that He was far from being mad and what He was doing was also far from begging. They realized that He was a mahatma and what He was doing was collecting the sins, committed by them, in the form of begging. By giving Him alms, they were not doing any favour but freeing themselves of the many sins they committed in their previous lives.


Bayajabai, Tatya Kote Patil’s mother, showered love and affection for young Baba from the time she saw Him underneath the neem tree. She used to go to the woods every noon with a basket on her head containing roti and vegetables. She roamed in the jungles koss (about 3 miles) after koss, trampling over bushes and shrubs in search of the mad fakir. Still, because of the immense love she had for Baba, she did not mind her own discomfort. The mad fakir sat somewhere in the forest and was in deep meditation. After locating the fakir, she used to spread the eatables on a leaf, pampered Baba to eat and forcibly fed Him. She gave Him bhakari (roti prepared from jowar) and salty smash of chana dal (Jhunka) and onion and chilly - simple food items which Baba cherished most. Probably to relieve her of her discomfort in walking up the forest area, Baba stopped going there and took His food in masjid itself. Her service was indeed great.

Bayajabai's house was one of the selected houses to which Baba used to go for bhiksha. He would stand outside the gate and say loudly "Abade Ajaad Bayaja mami, roti lao" (God bless you Mother Bayaja, please give roti). Then Bayaja Bai used to invite him into the house but Baba sat in the veranda only. Tatya used to play with Baba.

When Bayajabai became physically weak due to old age and was not in a condition even to get up from bed, Baba asked Tatya to remain at the bedside of his mother and serve her. When she was nearing her end, she wanted to see Baba. Baba appeared near her head. His appearance at the last moment gave her divine bliss. She wanted to say something but words did not come out of her. She took her son Tatya's hand and put it on Baba's hand. Having understood her thoughts, Baba assured her that He would look after Tatya from that moment more than His life. She knew that his words were God's words. After hearing those words from Baba, she passed away in peace. Her service was never forgotten by Baba till his Mahasamadhi. Both the mother and the son believed that Baba was their God. Baba often told them that "Fakiri (Mendicancy) was the real Lordship as it was everlasting, and the so called Lordship (riches) was transient".

The present generation of Patil family, still follow - meticulously and very religiously - the ritual of giving offerings of Thali (Naivedya) containing the above mentioned food items to Baba at Dwarakamayi.


Blessed are the devotees who get the good fortune of the companionship of the great saints. Blessed indeed were Tatya and Mhalsapathi who had the companionship of Baba. Baba immensely loved both of them. All the three used to sleep in the masjid. Each one of them had their heads in the north, east and west, so that their feet touched at the centre. If Baba had His head in the north direction, Tatya slept with his head in the east and Mhalsapathi with his head in the west. They spent their time in discussions and disturb the sleep of the other two. If Tatya started snoring, both Baba and Mhalsapathi woke him up. If Mhalsapathi slept then the other two woke Him. Baba used to pull him to His side, press his legs softly with both hands to give him comfort, and then gently massage his back. How happy they were in each other’s company! For 14 years, Tatya did not go to his house at all for sleeping. Such was his love for Baba. He used to sleep in the masjid, till 1912 when his father passed away. From then on, as he had to shoulder the responsibility of the family, he slept in the house. To those who have dedication, Baba’s grace will always be there. To such people, Baba used to go even if not invited.


Chandrabhan Seth was a rich man in Rahata. Baba loved him very much. When he passed away in Dec 1911, his nephew Khushalchand became dearer to Baba. In fact He loved him as much as Tatya Kote Patil of Shirdi. Baba used to visit him in Rahata, going at times by a bullock cart and at other times in a Tonga - a cart pulled by a horse. People of Rahata used to come with all the pomp of band, music and receive Baba at the outskirts of Rahata. Then Khushalchand took Baba to his house. Baba used to have His food, spend some time discussing about his welfare and return back to Shirdi. Shirdi is midway and equidistant from Rahata in the south and Nimgaon in the north. Sai Baba never went beyond these two places throughout His life. Baba did not ever travel by train. In fact, He had not even seen one.

Still, whenever any devotee wanted to leave Shirdi to distant places, Baba used to tell them the arrival and departure timings of the train. Whenever some one was in a hurry to catch a train, He used to say, “There is no hurry, have some food and go”. Those who heeded His words were happy and those who ignored did so at their own peril.

With this the eighth chapter, called importance of human birth, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us the effect of compliance and non-compliance of Baba’s instructions, mendicancy and its necessity, Tarkhad’s family and other matters.

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

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