Friday, April 10, 2009

||chapter forty||

|| sri sai satcharitra ||

|| chapter forty ||

|| udyapana and other stories ||

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

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Stories of Baba - attending Mrs Deo’s Udyapana, Hemad Pant’s house and other matters.


Blessed are the devotees who prostrate at the divine feet of our beloved Baba. The moment we place our head at His feet, He caresses our head lovingly with His hand and lifts us up. By placing His hand on our head, Baba transfers His powers to us, destroying the ignorance that Jiva and the world are separate. The sense of duality is removed for ever. Sai becomes one with us and we become one with Sai. It is like the sea welcoming the rivers. When rivers join the sea, the river and the sea become indistinguishable. To become one with Baba and to get the immense powers, we do not have to labour very hard. Listening to Baba’s stories is enough to make us attain the unattainable. Nothing pleases Baba more than the devotees singing songs of these stories. The God likes those who sing the praise of His devotees more than Himself. By listening to these stories and describing them to others, various sins accrued from the misdeeds of all previous lives will be washed away.


BV Deo was a Mamlatdar in Dahanu (Thana District). His mother was a religious lady. She had taken 25 to 30 different vows and performed all the poojas. It is a tradition that with the successful completion of a vow and the pooja, an Udyapana has to be performed. This includes feeding the Brahmins and all the other invited guests. Deo’s mother combined all the 25 to 30 Udyapanas into a single one and invited about 100 to 200 guests for the lunch. Deo, who was a staunch devotee of Baba, felt that it would be nice if Baba would also attend the lunch. He knew that Baba always stayed in Shirdi and never went anywhere except Rahata, Rui and Nimgaon in person. Still, his love for Baba was such that he desired His presence on that happy occasion. So, he wrote a letter to Bapusaheb Jog, to request Baba on his behalf to attend the ceremony. He also wrote that without Baba’s presence, the function would remain incomplete. Bapusaheb Jog duly read out the letter to Baba. Baba said, “I always think of him who remembers Me. I don’t need any conveyance like tanga, train or airplane to go from one place to another. I manifest Myself to him who calls Me lovingly. Write to him a pleasing reply that the three of us (Myself, yourself and a third) will attend the function.” Deo was immensely happy to read the letter. He knew that Baba would not come in person. Still, he thought that nothing was impossible for Baba and He may suddenly turn up in any form He likes and fulfil His promises.

A few days earlier to the Udyapana day, a sanyasi dressed like a Bengali got down from a train and went to the station master at Dahanu. He introduced himself as a volunteer working for the promotion of welfare of cows. He wanted to know if the station master could help him in collecting donations for this noble purpose. The station master felt that he was not the competent person for this and suggested that the gentleman should contact the mamlatdar of the place. By a coincidence, Deo who was also the mamlatdar, walked into the station master’s room. The station master introduced the sanyasi to Deo. Both of them discussed about the welfare of cows. Deo liked the idea very much and really wanted to help. He told the sanyasi that as Rao Saheb Narotham Shetty was collecting donations for some other purpose, it would be better to wait for a couple of months and then start the movement on cow welfare. Sanyasi agreed and told him that he would come back after some time and left.

On the day of Udyapana, the sanyasi dressed as before, came in a Tonga, got down in front of Deo’s house. The time then was about 10.0 AM in the morning. Deo was very busy organizing the Udyapana. Seeing him again within such short notice, Deo felt that he had come for the charity work, and was slightly irritated. Reading Deo’s expression on his face the sanyasi said, “Sir, I did not come for charity. I want to take food in your house today.” Deo was immensely happy as uninvited guests are treated as God. He said, “Please come. It is my good fortune that you have come today to my house. Please treat this as your own home.” The sanyasi told him that two of his friends were also with him. Deo replied, “Please tell me where they are staying. I will bring them here.” The sanyasi told him not to bother and that all the three of them would come exactly at the time of lunch. Deo told him that food would be ready to be served around noon. Exactly at noon, the trio came and joined others for the Udyapana meals. Deo served them as though he was offering naivedyam to the God. After completing the lunch, the three accepted tambulam from Deo and left. Deo waited the entire day for Baba, and at the end of the day when Baba did not turn up, he felt very unhappy.

After completion of the function, Deo wrote a letter to Bapusaheb Jog, complaining of the way in which Baba disappointed him. Jog went to Baba with the letter. Even before he could read the letter, Baba said, “He says that I promised him to come, but deceived him. Write to him that I did attend the Udyapana lunch with two others. He didn’t recognize Me. He thought that the sanyasi had come for the charity. I told him that I did not come for charity, but for lunch. I also told him that there were two more with Me. All the three of us came in time and took our lunch. Look, to keep up My promise, I would even sacrifice My life. I am never untrue to My words.”

Jog was very happy with Baba’s reply and wrote the entire conversation to Deo. As soon as he read the letter, Deo was extremely happy that Baba did visit his house and had food. He also cursed himself for not recognizing Baba in spite of all the indications provided. He was also unhappy that he wrote very uncharitable words about Baba to Jog. Whenever someone calls Baba affectionately and lovingly, He never disappoints. He would go to any extent to make them happy. To such a benign God, let us prostrate once again and invite Him to visit our houses.


In Deo’s story, Deo invited Baba for lunch; Baba accepted the invitation and attended the lunch. Here is a slightly different variation. On a full moon morning in 1917 AD, when Hemad Pant was in Bandra, he had a vision. In that vision, he found himself fast asleep. Baba appeared in the dream, in the form of a well dressed sanyasi, woke him up and told him that he would come to him for meals that day. When he finally woke up, he could not find either the Sanyasi or Sai. What surprised Hemad Pant most was that he could remember every word spoken in the dream very distinctly. Another surprise for him was that, though he was with Baba for the past seven years, Baba never expressed any desire to come to his house and Hemad Pant also never expected that Baba would come for meals. Those were the Shimga days. So, he went to his wife and told her that being the Shimga day, a sanyasi guest was coming for meals and that she should prepare sufficient food items. Being curious, she asked him who the guest was and wherefrom was he coming. Not to create any misunderstanding, he told her the entire story of his dream. She doubted if Baba would leave the nice dishes at Shirdi and come to Bandra to take the ordinary food they were preparing. Hemad Pant told her that Baba may not come in person, but may attend in any other form as a guest. They would lose nothing by preparing additional food items.

All the food items were prepared with great care and were ready for serving by noon. The Holika pooja was also over and plantain leaves were spread for taking food. Rangoli was drawn around the leaves. Two rows with a central seat for the guest were arranged. All the family members - daughters, their husbands, grandsons - came and occupied their respective places. Serving of food also commenced. Still there was no trace of the guest. Naivedyam was also offered to Sri Krishna. When they were about to begin, foot steps were heard near the door and someone knocked on the door. Hemad Pant anxiously went to the door and opened it. He found that two persons, Ali Mohammad and Moulana Ismu Mujavar, were standing near the door with a packet in their hand. They saw that meals were served and that everyone was ready to begin. They immediately apologized to Hemad Pant and said, “Pardon us for disturbing you like this when you are about to begin eating. Others are also waiting. Please take your packet and open it immediately. We will tell you about it afterwards, at your convenience. Please go and have your food.” Ali Mohammad took out a packet wrapped in an old news paper and placed it on the table.

Hemad Pant opened the packet immediately and to his great surprise and wonder, found that it was a nice, big portrait of Baba. Hemad Pant was so much moved by seeing the picture that tears rolled down his eyes and without wasting any time, he prostrated at the divine feet of Baba. He thought that Baba was true to His word and came there to bless him. Unable to contain his curiosity, he asked Ali Mohammad how he got that picture. Ali Mohammad was already feeling guilty for having disturbed their lunch. He said that he would tell him all the details at a later date, and that they should continue with their lunch. Hemad Pant thanked them, bade them good bye and joined other for the lunch. The picture was placed in the seat reserved for the guest. After offering naivedyam to the guest, Hemad Pant and others commenced their lunch. Everyone was extremely pleased and wondered at the miracle wherein Baba told in advance that He would come for lunch and at the correct time, appeared as a picture and accepted the pooja and naivedyam. From then on, Hemad Pant kept that photograph in his pooja room along with the photographs of other gods and goddesses. On every subsequent Holi day, he used to offer special pooja to Baba’s portrait.

Whether in dream or in reality, Baba always kept up His promise to the devotees and made them happy. To that beloved Baba, our beloved Baba, let us prostrate again.

With this, the fortieth chapter, called as Udyapana and other stories, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Story of a picture, Stealing the Rags, Reading of Jnaneshwari and other matters.

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

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