Saturday, April 4, 2009

||chapter thirty-six||

|| sri sai satcharitra ||

|| chapter thirty - six ||

|| the two wonderful 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 the wonderful stories of two Goa gentlemen, Mrs Aurangabadkar and other matters.


Stories of our beloved Baba, as told in Sri Sai Satcharitra or elsewhere are always very sweet and mellifluous to listen. Listening to each story is like drinking nectar. These stories mitigate the difficulties of the devotees who do parayana of the stories with great devotion and dedication. Those who prefer Shreyas should invariably read Sai stories. Those who tell these stories and those who listen to them are both benefited as both are blessed by our beloved Baba.


As Baba’s name and fame spread far and wide, people came from several places to have darshan of Baba. Some of them came from far off places also. Once, two devotees came from Goa to have darshan of Baba. They reached Shirdi after travelling some distance. They took lodging in the Wada. After completing bath etc, they went to masjid for darshan. They saw Baba and prostrated at the divine feet. Baba asked only one of them to give Rs.15/- as Dakshina and got it. The other man, on his own, offered Rs.35/- as Dakshina, but Baba rejected it. Shyama, who was nearby, was astonished and asked, “Deva! What is this? To one you ask Dakshina, and the other one, even if he gives voluntarily, you reject. Why this discrimination?” Baba replied, “Shamya, you don’t know anything. I don’t take anything from anyone. The Masjid Mayi (the presiding deity of the masjid) asks for debt repayment. The debtor pays and becomes free. I don’t need money. Do I have any home, property or family to look after? I am a free soul. Debt, enmity and murder have to be compensated. There is no way of escape.” Baba then narrated the following story.

“There was a poor man. He took a vow to God that if he got a job, he would pay the first month’s salary to the God. Then he got a job with a monthly salary of Rs.15/-. He steadily got promotions, from Rs.15/- his salary increased to Rs.30, 60, 100, 200 and ultimately Rs.700/- per month. While he was prospering, he forgot his vow. The force of his karma has brought him here, so I asked that amount Rs.15/- from him as Dakshina.”

Then Baba narrated another story. “While wandering on a sea shore, I saw a huge bungalow and sat on its verandah. The owner was a Brahmin and invited Me inside. He gave Me a good reception and fed Me sumptuously. After food, he gave Me a nice place to sleep near a cupboard. As I was tired, I went into deep sleep. When I was thus asleep, the owner removed a slab from the wall and entered into the room. He took away all the money from My pocket. When I woke up I found that all of My Rs.30, 000/- was stolen. I was greatly distressed and sat weeping and moaning. The money was in currency notes and I thought that the owner had stolen it. I lost all interest in food and drink and sat for a fortnight on the verandah. After the fortnight was over, a passing fakir saw Me crying. He asked Me the reason for My crying. I told him everything. He said, ‘If You do what I say, You will recover Your money. Go to a fakir whose whereabouts I will give, and surrender Yourself completely to him. He will get back Your money. Meanwhile, give up one of Your favourite eatable till You recover Your money.’ I followed the fakir’s advice and got My money back. Then I left the Wada and went back to the sea shore. A steamer was there, ready to leave. I could not get into it as it was overcrowded. A good natured peon interceded for Me and I got in luckily. The steamer brought Me to another shore. I caught a train and came to Masjid Mayi.” After completing the story, Baba asked Shyama to take the guests and arrange for their food. All the while, Shyama was perplexed.

He took the guests home and fed them. While they were having their food, he asked them if they understood what Baba told. As far as he was aware, Baba had never gone to a sea shore, never had any money, never travelled by train, never lost any money and never recovered any money. The guests were, however, deeply moved and were in tears. They told Shyama that Baba was a sarvajna, the infinite God, the Parabrahma and was incomparable. What Baba told was their own story and they would tell him the complete story after the meals.

After the meals all the three sat together and were having pan beeda. One of the guests started telling his story. “My native place is a hill station on the ghats. I went to Goa in search of a job. I took a vow in front of God Datta, that if I got a job, I would offer Him my first month’s salary. By His grace, I got a job for a salary of Rs.15/- and then got my promotions regularly as Baba said. I completely forgot my vow. Baba has only reminded me, and recovered the Rs.15/- from me. It is not Dakshina, but a repayment of an old debt and fulfilment of a long forgotten vow.”

Baba never begged for money. He did not allow even His devotees to beg. He considered money a danger to spiritual progress and never allowed His devotees to get into its clutches. To quote an instance, Mhalsapathi was very poor and could hardly make both ends meet. Baba never gave him anything from the Dakshina collected, nor did He allow him to make any money. Once, a kind and liberal merchant named Hansraj gave a large amount of money to Mhalsapathi in Baba’s presence. Baba did not allow him to take it.

After the first guest completed his story, the second one started. “My brahmin cook served me faithfully for 35 years. Then, unfortunately, he fell into bad ways and he robbed me of my treasure. While we were all asleep, he removed a slab from the wall, where my cupboard is fixed, and carried away all accumulated wealth of Rs.30, 000/- in currency notes. I sat crying day and night. All my enquiries ended without any clue. I spent a fortnight in great anxiety. As I was sitting on the verandah, a passing fakir, saw me crying and asked for the reason. I told him everything. He told me that an aulia by name Sai lives in Shirdi, Kopergaon Taluqa. He asked me to take a vow to Him and give up any eatable that I liked best and tell Him, mentally that ‘I have given up eating that food, till I have Your darshan.’ Then I decided to give up eating rice and said, ‘Baba, I will eat rice only after recovering my property and having Your darshan.”

He continued his story further. “Fifteen days later, the brahmin, of his own wish came to me, returned my money and apologized, saying, ‘I went mad and acted in that way. I am at your feet now; please forgive me.’ Everything ended well. I could not see again the fakir who helped me. But an intense desire arose in me to see Sai Baba. I thought that it was Sai Baba Himself who had come to my house and helped me. It was only natural that when I offered a Dakshina of Rs.35/- Baba rejected it. He, who has done so much to His devotees, would He ever take Rs.35/-? He always thinks of only the welfare of His devotees without expecting anything in return.

When I recovered my money I was very happy and in that frame of mind, forgot all about my vow. One night, when I was in Colaba, I saw Baba in my dream. I was reminded of my promised visit to Shirdi. I went to Goa and from there wanted to take a steamer to Bombay and come to Shirdi. When I came to the harbour, the steamer was crowded. There was no place for me. Because of the intervention of a peon, who was a stranger to me, I was allowed to get into the steamer. From Bombay I came by train. Baba is all pervading and all knowing. What are we? Because of what relationship between Him and us, should He come to our rescue? Baba is indeed the incarnation of God. We did not even utter His name. Still, He took pity on us and came to help us. How great is our good fortune that He has drawn us here to Himself? You in Shirdi must be infinitely great as Baba has lived with you, played here and talked with all of you for so many years. Sai is our Datta. He ordered the vow; He gave me a seat in the steamer, and brought me here, and thus giving ample proof that He is omniscient and omnipotent.”


Sakharam Aurangabadkar stayed in Sholapur. His wife, though married for 27 years, could not conceive. There were no issues. She had prayed to almost all the gods and taken all kinds of vows. Still nothing happened. When she had almost lost all her hope, someone suggested that she should visit a saint in Shirdi who had created hope for so many of His devotees. Thinking that it was the last attempt she would ever make, she went to Shirdi with her step son Vishwanath and stayed there for two months. During this period, she served Baba to her satisfaction. Her only complaint was that she wanted to narrate her woes to Baba when he was alone and in all these two months, she did not get a single occasion for this purpose. Every time she wanted to go near Baba, He was surrounded by several devotees. When she could not contain herself anymore, she requested Shyama to intervene on her behalf and help her. He did not give any promise but said that he would definitely make an attempt. On one day, he asked her to be ready, during Baba’s meals, with a coconut and joss sticks. He told her that whenever he beckoned, she should come.

As soon as Baba completed His meals and washed His hands, Shyama was wiping the wet hands of Baba. Then playfully, Baba pinched Shyama’s cheeks. Pretending to be angry, Shyama said, “Deva! Is it proper for You to pinch like this? We don’t want a mischievous God who pinches us.” Baba replied, “Oh Shamya, for the last 72 generations that you were with Me, I never pinched you. It is only now that I have touched you. Are you finding fault with Me for that?” Then Shyama said, “We want a God who will give us sweets to eat and kiss us. We don’t want any respect from You. Allow us to have our faith in Your divine feet always.” Baba affectionately replied, “Yes, I have indeed come for that. I have been feeding and nursing you and have love and affection for you.” Then, Baba went and sat on His seat.

Shyama beckoned the lady to come up. She came, presented the coconut and the joss sticks. Baba took the coconut and shook it. The coconut was dry and the kernel inside rolled and made noise. Baba said, “Shamya, see what the kernel says.” Shyama who was waiting for an opportunity, grabbed it instantly and said, “The woman prays that a child should similarly roll and make noise in her womb. So, give her the coconut with Your blessing.” Baba asked, “Will the coconut give her any child? How people are foolish and fancy such things!” Shyama was not to be shrugged off so easily. He said, “I know the power of Your word and blessing. Your word will give her a string of children. You are simply haggling instead of giving Your blessing.” This continued for some more time with Baba asking Shyama to break the coconut and Shyama pleading for giving the entire coconut to the lady with the blessing. Finally, Baba yielded and said, “She will have a child.” Shyama did not let Him go at that. He asked, “When?” Baba replied, “In 12 months”. At this Shyama broke the coconut into two parts, one was eaten by Shyama and Baba, and the other was given to the lady.

Then, Shyama turned to the lady and said, “Mayi, you are a witness to my words. If you do not beget any child within 12 months, I will break a coconut against this Deva’s head and drive Him out of this masjid. If I fail in this, my name will not be Madhav.”

She delivered a child in one year’s time. She brought the child in its fifth month to Baba. Both the husband and the wife prostrated at the divine feet of Baba and placed the child at Baba’s feet to be blessed. The husband also gave a Dakshina of Rs.500/-. It was spent in constructing a shed for Baba’s horse ‘Shyama-karna’. Let us prostrate once again at the divine feet of our beloved Baba and pray that His blessings should with us always.

With this, the thirty sixth chapter, called as The Two Wonderful Stories, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about the Chavadi Procession and other matters.

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

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