Sunday, April 12, 2009

||chapter forty-one||

|| sri sai satcharitra ||

|| chapter forty - one ||

|| the story of a picture ||

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

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Story of a picture, Stealing the Rags, Reading of Jnaneshwari and other matters.


The effects of good or bad deeds, accrued because of the karma done by this body, do not disappear with the perishing of the body. The effects persist long after the doer disappears. To escape from this, one should realise that Jiva is not the body. Once this realisation is attained, the effects of karma do not bind the Jiva as Jiva is not the doer. For this realisation to dawn, one must surrender at the divine feet of Baba. Once this is done, the Sadguru will lift us and make us go through such divine experiences which we can never even imagine. The easiest way to get the Sadguru’s blessings is by repeated parayana of Satcharitra. We should forget our egoism and bow at the feet of Baba, endowed with the divine Shadgunas - Fame, Affluence, Munificence, Knowledge, Detachment, and Tranquillity. Baba is always kind. Even if we are not devoted to Him, even if we do not worship Him, if we just call Him once, He will respond immediately.


We saw how Baba kept up His promise to His devotees and made them happy. To Hemad Pant, He told in the dream that He would come for lunch. At the stroke of the time for lunch, He appeared as a portrait and accepted Hemad Pant’s pooja and naivedyam. Hemad Pant was curious to know how Ali Mohammad came to know of him and how he got the photograph of Baba. Ali Mohammad had told him that he would tell the story when they next meet. That meeting occurred nine years later.

Once, when Ali Mohammad was going through the streets of Bombay, he saw the big portrait of Baba with a hawker. As he was a devotee of Baba, he liked the photograph immensely, bought it and framed it. He took the framed picture to his home in Bandra and hung it on a wall. Everyday he used to bow to the portrait. Three months before he visited Hemad Pant, he developed an abscess on his leg and suffered acute pain. The doctors suggested that surgery was necessary. He duly got operated and stayed in the house of his brother-in-law, Noor Mohammad Peerbhoy for post operative care. Ali Mohammad stayed there for three months.

During these three months, nobody took care of his house in Bandra. His home contained the photographs of famous saints like Baba Abdul Rahman, Moulanasaheb Mahomed Hussain, Baba Tajuddin, Sai Baba and few others. The way in which Ali Mohammad got the photograph of Baba Abdul Rahman was also strange. Ali Mohammad had obtained a small picture of Baba Abdul Rahman from Mahomed Hussain Thariyatopan some years ago. Hoping that it would bring good luck, he gave the picture to his brother-in-law, Noor Mohammed. The picture was lying in the drawer of Noor Mohammad’s table for eight years. One day, he saw it and then took it to a photographer, got it enlarged to life size, made several copies of it, framed them and distributed them to his relatives and friends. He gave one photograph to Ali Mohammad also. Noor Mohammed was a disciple of Baba Abdul Rahman and wanted to give one photograph to his guru in an open durbar. The moment the guru saw his own photograph in the hands of Noor Mohammad, he was wild with anger, ran to beat him and drove him away. Baba Abdul Rahman did not like image worship.

Noor Mohammad felt very sorry and dejected. In addition to losing so much money in making enlarged copies and framing them, he had lost the confidence of his guru and also incurred his wrath and displeasure. Following his guru’s belief, he took the big photograph with him to Apollo Bunder (in Bombay), hired a boat and drowned it in the sea. He asked his friends also to return the photographs, six in number, and when he got them, gave it to a fisherman to throw them in the Bandra sea. Ali Mohammad was convalescing in Noor Mohammad’s house. Ali Mohammad was told that all his suffering would come to an end if he also took the photographs of all the saints in his house and drowned them in sea. On hearing this, Ali Mohammad sent his manager to his house in Bandra and asked him to drown all the photographs in the sea.

After two months, when he returned back to his house, Ali Mohammad had a surprise waiting for him. The moment he opened the doors and entered inside, he saw the photograph of Baba looking at him. He was surprised how his manager could have missed Baba’s picture. Afraid that if Noor Mohammad saw it, he would take it and dump it in the sea, he immediately removed it and kept it in his cupboard. Ali Mohammad had a special love for Baba’s portrait. He was now in a dilemma as he could neither hang it on the wall, nor throw it away. While he was worried about what to do, Baba inspired an idea that he should meet Moulana Ismu Mujavar and follow his advice.

Next day he met the Moulana and told him the complete story about the photograph. After mature consideration, the Moulana suggested that the photograph should be given to Annasaheb Dabholkar (Hemad Pant) who would protect it well. Then both went to Hemad Pant’s house and presented him with Baba’s photograph at the most opportune time.

The above story shows how carefully Baba interlaced the lives of His devotees and brought happiness and cheer to every one of them. Such interaction is possible only for someone who knows the past, present and the future. For Baba, time and space were no constraints.


Sant Jnaneshwar, the well-known saint of Maharashtra, was not only a realised soul but a gifted poet. At a very early age (around 19 years), he wrote his masterpiece, ‘Jnaneshwari’, a commentary on the Gita in Marathi in exquisite poetry. He has explained the Gita not by recourse to rational arguments but by the profuse use of similes, metaphors and illustrations. ‘Jnaneshwari’ was one of Baba’s favourite books. He called it ‘Pothi’. Balakrishna Vishvanath Deo, (BV Deo or Balasaheb Deo as he was affectionately called) the Mamlatdar of Dahanu, wanted to read ‘Jnaneshwari’ from a long time. He was able to read completely one chapter of Bhagavad-Gita and some parts of other scriptures every day, but when he took up ‘Jnaneshwari’ for reading, some difficulties always cropped up and he was prevented from reading further. He took three months’ leave and went to Shirdi and then to Poud for taking rest. In Poud also, he was able to read other books but not ‘Jnaneshwari’. Whenever he opened the book, some evil or stray thoughts came crowding in his mind and stopped him from further reading. However hard he tried, he just could not make any progress. Finally, he decided that he would read ‘Jnaneshwari’ only when Baba created some love for it and ordered him to read it. He had visited Baba for the first time in 1910 at the insistence of Nanasaheb Chandorkar.

In 1914 AD he went with his family to Shirdi. When he met Bapusaheb Jog, on his way to the masjid for Baba’s darshan, Jog asked him whether he read ‘Jnaneshwari’ daily. Deo told his story to Jog. He told him of the innumerable attempts he made to read the book, but his inability to read. He also told that he would read the book only after Baba orders him to read. Jog advised him to take a copy of the book and present it to Baba, so that He would consecrate and give it back. Then he could start reading it. Deo told him that he did not want to do like that as Baba knew his desire and would wait till Baba ordered him to read.

Subsequently, Deo had darshan of Baba and offered Re 1/- as Dakshina to Baba. Baba asked him Rs.20/- as Dakshina which Deo gave happily. That night, he met one Balakram and asked him how he became a devotee of Baba and how he was able to secure the confidence of Baba. Balakram told him to wait till aarati next day, when he would tell him everything. As usual, Deo went for Baba’s darshan next day. Baba asked him a Dakshina of Rs.20/- which he gave willingly. It was aarati time and the masjid was overcrowded, so Deo went to a corner and sat there. Baba called him to come closer and sit with peace of mind. Deo followed his instructions.

Noon aarati was over and people had dispersed. The masjid was almost empty. Deo saw Balakram there and asked him the same questions again. When Balakram was about to answer, Baba sent Chandru, a leper devotee, to bring Deo to Him. Deo went to Baba with all submissiveness. Baba asked him what he was talking, with whom and when. Deo told him that he was talking with Balakram and heard from him about Baba’s fame. Then Baba asked for a Dakshina of Rs.25/-. Deo gave it happily. Baba took him inside and sitting near the post, charged him, “You stole My rags, without My knowledge.” Deo, who was shocked with this allegation, denied all knowledge of any rags. Baba asked him to make a search. He searched and found nothing. Baba was getting increasingly angry and shouted, “There is nobody here. You are the thief. You are grey haired and old; still you come here for stealing.” After that Baba lost his temper totally, gave all sorts of abuses and was about to beat him. Some time later, Baba cooled down and asked him to go to Wada.

Deo returned to Wada. There he met Jog and Balakram. He told them what all had transpired. They also did not understand why Baba got so angry. After some time, Baba sent for all of them. When all reached the masjid and bowed at the feet of Baba, Baba said that his words might have pained the old man (Deo) but as he had committed the theft, He could not keep quiet. He asked him for a Dakshina of Rs.12/-. Deo did not have the two coins. He had only currency notes. He collected the amount and gave it to Baba and prostrated at His feet. Then Baba told him, “Read Pothi (Jnaneshwari) daily. Sit in the Wada and read some part regularly everyday. While reading, explain what you read to all with love and devotion. When I am sitting here to give you gold embroidered Shella (shawl), why go to others to steal rags? And, after all, why should you get into the habit of stealing?”

Deo was immensely pleased with these words, as he got what he wanted. He was happy that Baba had asked him to read ‘Jnaneshwari’. He could now read his favourite book with ease. He again prostrated at the feet of Baba and requested Him to treat him as a child and help him in his reading. Deo surrendered himself totally to Baba. He then understood what Baba had meant by ‘stealing the rags’. What he had asked Balakram constituted ‘rags’. Trying to know about the fame of Baba without His knowledge, was stealing. When Baba was ready to answer any question, He did not like anyone to know about Him through some one else. Hence He had scolded and harassed. Deo realised that it was not really ‘harassing and scolding’, but a lesson taught to him. He learnt that it was useless to ask someone else about Baba, when Baba Himself is present to fulfil all his desires. Deo considered Baba’s scolding as blessings and went home satisfied and contented.

As we have seen in earlier cases, Baba always kept a watch on His devotees. Their welfare was His prime and only concern. Within one year, He went to Deo to find out about the progress made by him in ‘Jnaneshwari’. On 02 April 1914, Thursday morning, Baba appeared in Deo’s dream. He sat on the upper floor and asked him whether he understood the Pothi. Deo told Him that he did not. Baba asked, “Then, when are you going to understand?” Deo was in tears and said, “Unless You shower Your grace, reading it is a problem. Understanding is very difficult.” Then Baba said, “Read slowly. Read it before Me, in My presence.” Deo asked Him, “What shall I read?” Baba told him, “Read Adhyatma.” Deo went to bring the book, Adhyatma Ramayana, but found that he had already opened his eyes and was wide awake. The immense joy and bliss he felt after this is indescribable.

If we surrender to Him, Baba will guide us even in the smallest matter possible. With Sadguru’s guidance and blessings, it is not at all difficult to cross this endless ocean of ‘Bhavasagara’. All the miseries and difficulties will vanish and life will be smooth and happy. By bowing at the divine feet of the Sadguru everyday, all the obstacles will disappear. Sadguru Sai can snatch us even from the jaws of certain death. The power of Sadguru Sai is inestimable. Let us all prostrate at the divine feet of our beloved Sadguru Sai Baba and pray that His blessings should always be with us and that He should protect us from going astray and guide us to our destination. Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai!!!!

With this, the forty first chapter, called as The story of a picture, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Baba’s Mahasamadhi and other matters.

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

1 comment:

  1. Hi I am very very much interested in reading Sai Amritwani but I am confused with the versions. There are different versions of it. Can anyone please help me and direct me to the correct one....I have one which starts as " Sukh Dayak Sidh Sai Ke naam ka amrit Pi, Jo hai vyakul man tera bhatkega na kabhi" If this is the correct one, can I please know where I can find the text of this. Can anyone please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!