Sunday, March 8, 2009

|| chapter twelve ||

|| sri sai satcharitra ||

|| chapter twelve ||

|| sai leelas ||

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

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Sai Leelas, experiences of Kaka Mahajani, Mrs Nimonkar, Moolay Shastri and other matters.


As seen earlier, incarnation of God takes place on this earth, whenever righteousness dwindles and unrighteousness reigns supreme. Whenever the people deviate from the righteous path of offering pooja and sacrifices to the gods, whenever they start believing that wife, progeny and wealth are the objectives of life, anarchy begins. As Sri Krishna said,

Yada yada hi dharmasya glaanirbhavati Bhaarata
Abhyuthanam adharmasya tadaatmaanam srujamyaham
Ch.4 Sl.7
Whenever there is a decline of righteousness, O descendent of the Bharata race, and rise of unrighteousness, then I manifest myself!

Paritraanaaya saadhunaam vinaashaayacha dushkrutaam
Dharma samsthaapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge
Ch.4 Sl.8
For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness, I take birth age after age.

To save the righteous from the tyranny of the wicked and to destroy the unrighteous or the evil doers, God manifests again and again. When the incarnation of God takes place, it is an indication that all other methods of correcting the wicked and bringing them on to the path of righteousness have failed. Destruction is the only option left. To weed out the evil doers and to establish peace and tranquility on earth, God comes.

Destruction, however, is not the mission of a saint’s life. For a saint, the options are still open. He tries to bring the wicked by all possible methods to the path of righteousness. It is only when the saint fails, and becomes a victim himself, God incarnates and destroys evil.

The saint is like the boatman who takes us from one shore to the other of this endless ocean of samsara. He does not discriminate between the good and the bad. He feels for the wicked and uses several methods to set them on to the path of righteousness. Just as sunrays drive away the darkness, however dark it may be, the saints dispel the ignorance of their devotees. They are the repository of knowledge.

In this firmament of saints, none shines brighter than Baba. Supreme in knowledge, enshrined with divine lustre, Baba incarnated for the welfare of the devotees. Ever loving, always forgiving, never irritable, soft and contented beyond comparison, Baba gave His everything for His devotees. He still does. In spite of His extreme attachment to His devotees, they can never approach Him without His willingness. He doesn’t even hear their ardent prayers, if He does not want to. If their turn did not come, Baba did not even remember them. Some wanted to have Baba’s darshan, they waited their entire lifetime but could not come anywhere near Shirdi as He did not want them. Such devotees can only listen to His Leelas and quench their thirst.

Even the other devotees, who are lucky to have His darshan, can not stay as long as they desire. Nobody could go there without His willingness. Nobody could stay longer without His willingness and nobody could come and go back whenever they wanted without His consent. Being with Baba happens only with His will and pleasure. One can only wait for an opportune moment to arrive and make the best use of it. For that opportune moment to come at the earliest, let us prostrate at the divine feet of our beloved Baba.


Kaka Mahajani was one of Baba’s intimate devotees. Once he came from Bombay to Shirdi to stay for a week so that he could participate in the Sri Krishna Janmashtami celebrations.

On the Sri Krishna Janmashtami day, the Chavadi is decorated tastefully and a cradle is arranged for putting the child Krishna in the cradle and rocking it. All the devotees assembled there would sing songs in praise of Sri Krishna and dance around the swing. All this would be done with Baba present for the celebrations. Kaka Mahajani wanted to enjoy all these celebrations.

As usual, he went for Baba’s darshan as soon as he set his foot in Shirdi. The moment He saw him, Baba asked him, “When are you going back?” Kaka was taken aback and crestfallen, he told, “Whenever You want me to”. Without wasting any time Baba said, “Tomorrow morning”. Baba’s words were commands to the devotees. So next day Kaka returned to Bombay. To his surprise he found that his employer was anxiously waiting for him. Not only that. The employer had written a letter to Shirdi asking Kaka to come back immediately, but the letter had not reached. The manager was ill and Kaka’s presence was required. The letter reached him in Bombay. Inscrutable are the ways in which Baba takes care of His devotees.


Bhausaheb Dhumal was working in Nasik. Once, he had to go to Niphad on an official work. As Shirdi was on the way, he planned to get down there to get Baba’s blessings and then immediately to proceed onwards to Niphad. After getting Baba’s blessings and the vibhuti prasadam, he sought Baba’s permission to leave. Baba asked him to stay for some more time. Every time he went to Baba for permission to leave, Baba simply asked him to stay for some more time. Finally, when Baba agreed for his departure, a week or more had already passed. Bhausaheb Dhumal reached Niphad anxiously. To his surprise he found that the magistrate whom he was supposed to meet had intense abdominal pain and had adjourned the hearing of the case. This went on for some months and the case was tried by four different magistrates. Finally, Bhausaheb Dhumal won the case with Baba’s blessings.

This was another example of how a devotee could not leave Shirdi, even if he wanted to, as Baba was not willing to allow him to go. In both the cases, it was in the interests of the devotees only that Baba behaved as He did.


Nanasaheb Nimonkar was another of Baba’s intimate devotees. He was a landlord of Nimon and an Honorary Magistrate there. He was elder brother of Shyama’s father and aged also. Once, he had come with his wife to Shirdi for Baba’s darshan. Both the husband and wife used to spend the entire day serving Baba in one way or the other. It so happened that when they were in Shirdi, their son fell ill at Belapur. With Baba’s consent, the mother decided to visit Belapur and spend some time there visiting other relatives. Her husband, however, did not like her to be away from him for a long time and asked her to return the next day. Mrs Nimonkar did not know what to do. While she was preparing to leave, she found that Baba was talking to her husband in front of Sathe Wada. She immediately went to Baba and fell at His feet. Baba told her, “Mai, do not worry. Be calm, go to Belapur, stay comfortably there for four days, see all your relatives and then come back here.” Baba’s words were music to her ears. He had pleasantly overruled Nanasaheb’s orders to his wife.


Moolay Shastri was an orthodox, agnihotri Brahmin of Nasik. He had studied the six sastras and was proficient in astrology and palmistry. He had some work with Bapusaheb Booty in Shirdi and so he went there. After the work was done, both of them with others went to the masjid to have darshan of Baba. Baba bought various fruits, with His own money, and distributed to all those present in the masjid. Baba used to soften the mangoes so skillfully that those who sucked it got the entire pulp easily. The seed and the skin were thrown away. Baba used to peel the bananas, give the fruit to others and retain the skin for Himself to eat.

As Moolay Shastri was proficient in both astrology and palmistry, he wanted to see Baba’s palm and feet. He was curious as it is said that the signs of a flag, a diamond (Indra’s weapon), and a goading instrument would be found in the feet of an incarnated person. It was well known that Baba was incarnated form of God. So, Moolay Shastri requested Baba to extend His palm so that he could examine it. Baba feigned that He did not hear him and instead gave him four bananas. Then they all left for Wada. Moolay Shastri took his bath, wore sacred saffron coloured cloths and sat down to perform his daily routine of agnihotri. As per His routine, Baba left for Lendi garden and told those who followed, “Dye our clothes, we will wear saffron today.” No one understood what Baba meant by what He said.

After His return to masjid, preparations for the noon aarathi began. At the Wada, Bapusaheb Jog asked Moolay Shastri whether he would come for the noon aarathi. Shastri told him that he would meet Baba later that afternoon.

At the masjid, Baba occupied His seat, was worshipped by the devotees and the noon aarathi started. Suddenly, Baba said, “Get some Dakshina from the new Nasik Brahmin.” As Baba’s words were commands for His devotees, Booty himself ran to Wada. When he saw Shastri, he told him about Baba’s message. Moolay Shastri was perplexed. Though he knew that Baba was a great saint, Shastri still felt that Baba was a Muslim living in a masjid. He thought, “I am a pure agnihotri Brahmin, why should I give Dakshina? Baba may be a great saint, but I am not dependant on Him”. He did not dare refuse as the person who asked for Dakshina is a great saint, and the person who has come to collect that Dakshina is a millionaire. So, Moolay Shastri decided to go personally with Booty to masjid and find out the actual fact. They left the Wada for the masjid. Moolay Shastri had left with his work unfinished and still in his saffron clothes.

When he approached the masjid he realized that he still had his saffron clothes on and hence was holy. The masjid was not. So, he stood at a distance and after joining both his palms in veneration, he threw flowers at Baba’s feet. For a second he closed his eyes in reverence and when he opened them again, he could not see Baba. Sitting in Baba’s seat was his Guru late Gholap Swami in saffron clothes. Moolay Shastri was simply bewildered. How could the late Guru come here? Shastri checked himself to see if he was daydreaming. No, he was not. He was wide awake. For quite some time he was speechless. Then, casting off all doubts, he went to his Guru and fell at his feet. He got up, folded his hands and started chanting his Guru’s name. All the others around were singing the noon aarathi. At the end of his chanting, he once again fell at the feet of his Guru and out of reverence for the Guru closed his eyes once again.

When Moolay Shastri opened his eyes again, he found that his Guru had vanished. With outstretched hand asking for Dakshina, and with a broad smile on His benign face, Baba was sitting in front of him. Seeing the blissful figure of Baba, experiencing His inconceivable power, Moolay Shastri was overwhelmed with emotion. Tears rolled down from his eyes. He prostrated at Baba’s feet and offered the Dakshina. Moolay Shastri confessed that all his doubts were cleared when he saw his Guru Gholap Swami. Those who went with Baba to Lendi gardens now understood what Baba had said about wearing saffron coloured clothes. They, and all those around, were also thrilled to watch Baba performing the Leelas. Blessed indeed were those who witnessed this miracle, blessed indeed are those who described it for us to experience this bliss once again, and once again let us prostrate ourselves at the divine feet of Baba.


Among Baba’s various devotees, there was a mamlatdar (revenue officer). He wanted to have Baba’s blessings and hence wanted to go to Shirdi. He asked his doctor friend also to accompany him. The doctor did not want to bow before a mohemmadan and hence refused to go to Shirdi. The mamlatdar told him that no one would force him to do anything which he did not want to do, but he could travel up to Shirdi with him, so that the mamlatdar had company. They both went to Shirdi and there also the doctor told everyone about his condition. No one forced him.

Both of them were going near the masjid when suddenly the doctor went inside and fell at the feet of Baba of his own accord. The mamlatdar as well as the friends around could not believe what they saw. For a few moments they were speechless. Then they asked the doctor why he fell at the feet of Baba. Now it was the turn of the doctor to be stunned. He told them that he saw his favorite deity Sri Rama and fell at Sri Rama’s feet.

When the doctor turned around and saw again, he saw Baba smiling with his benign smile. The doctor could not contain his emotion and exclaimed, “How could He be a Muslim? He must be a Yoga sampanna avatara!”

Next day the doctor put himself to a severe test. He decided that until he got Baba’s blessings, he would not take any food. That day passed without any thing happening. The next day and the day after that also passed. The doctor continued to be firm and did not take any food. On the fourth day, one of his friends came to see him from Khandesh. Seeing his friend after nine long years, the doctor was very happy and took his friend to the masjid for Baba’s darshan. Both fell at Baba’s feet. Then Baba asked the doctor, “How did you come here? Did anybody bring you here?” The doctor was overwhelmed with emotion. That night, in his sleep, he was blessed by Baba. The doctor experienced a kind of bliss which he had not experienced anytime earlier.

Next day, after getting Baba’s consent, the doctor left for his village. There also he experienced the same bliss for another fortnight. His devotion to Baba increased several times.

The moral of all these Leelas of Baba, specially the story of Moolay Shastri, is that we must have unwavering faith in our guru, whoever he may be. That guru, in turn, must have love and affection for the disciples. He should know our shortcomings and should be able to guide us in a way we can understand. Baba taught us all those things which are already there in the scriptures, nothing new. The difference was that He did not preach, but made us learn by live examples. Let us prostrate once again at the feet of such a kind and loving Guru, Sri Sai Baba.

With this the twelfth chapter, called as Sai Leelas, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us some more Sai Leelas, experiences of Bhimaji Patil, Bala Shimpe, Bapusaheb Booty, Kaka Mahajani and other matters.

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

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