Saturday, May 9, 2009

||chapter fifty||

|| sri sai satcharitra ||

|| chapter fifty ||

|| the story of three devotees ||

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

Chapter 50 of the original Marathi version of the Satcharita has been incorporated in chapter 39, as it dealt with the same subject. Chapter 51 of Satcharita is presented here as Chapter 50. In this chapter, Hemad Pant describes stories of Kakasaheb Dixit, Sri Tembe Swamy, Balaram Dhurandhar and other matters.


Hey Sadguru Sai! You are our Sadguru and our mainstay! You give us strength by teaching us the dharma prescribed in the Gita. Kindly bless us by bestowing on us Your benign look. Just as the chandana trees in the Malayagiri ward off all the heat or just as the clouds provide coolness and pleasure by dispersing water, or just as the flowers blooming in the spring season are useful for worship of God, Your stories provide strength and solace to the readers and listeners. Blessed are both the teller and the listener. Both the mouth, by telling the stories, and the ear, by listening, become pure. Sadguru’s blessings are obtained simply by listening to His stories. It is universally accepted that even if we practice hundreds of sadhanas, none of them will take us to our spiritual destination as long as the blessing of the Sadguru is not available to us. The following stories reveal the part played by the blessings of our Sadguru.


Sri Hari Sitaram Dixit, also known as Kakasaheb Dixit was born in the year 1864 AD in a Naagar Brahmin family of Vadanagar at Khandwa. His primary education was in Khandwa and Hinganghat. After completing the secondary education at Nagpur with distinction, he went to Bombay for higher education. He studied first in Wilson College and then in Elphinstone College. In 1883 AD, after obtaining his graduation, he completed his degree in law (LL.B) and passed the examination of legal advisor (Solicitor). Then he started working in the Government firm of Messrs Little and Company. Subsequently, he started his own firm as a Solicitor.

Prior to 1909 AD, he had not heard of Baba’s fame, but subsequently he became a very staunch and intimate devotee of Baba. When he was staying in Lonavala, by a strange coincidence, he met his old friend, Nanasaheb Chandorkar. They spent their time talking about various topics of the earlier days. During one of those conversations, Kakasaheb told his friend in detail how he slipped from a train in London, how his foot was injured and how the pain persisted. He also told Nanasaheb how he tried various treatments and how none of them proved effective. Then Nanasaheb told him that if he wanted relief from lameness and pain, he should meet his Sadguru - Sri Sai Baba. He gave Kakasaheb all the particulars of Baba and repeated what Baba had told, “I will pull My devotees, like pulling a sparrow with a string fastened to its feet, even if they are across the seven seas.” Nanasaheb also explained that if one is not Baba’s own person, then he will neither be attracted by Baba, nor can he have Baba’s darshan. Kakasaheb was very much pleased by this and said that he would go to Shirdi and pray to Baba that instead of treating his lame leg, he would be very happy if Baba could make his mind lame, which was always wandering.

Few days later, in connection with securing votes for the Legislative Assembly, Kakasaheb Dixit went to Ahmednagar and stayed with Sardar Kakasaheb Mirikar. Sri Balasaheb Mirikar, who was son of Kakasaheb Mirikar and also Mamlatdar of Kopergaon, was also in Ahmednagar to watch an exhibition of horses. Kakasaheb Dixit expressed that after the election work was over, he was very eager to go to Shirdi and have darshan of Baba. Both the father and the son were thinking in the house about whom to send to Shirdi with Kakasaheb Dixit. Baba also had his own thoughts about bringing him to Shirdi. Shyama got a telegram that his mother in law was seriously ill and that he should come immediately to Ahmednagar with his wife. Obtaining Baba’s permission, Shyama went there and saw that there was an improvement in his mother in law’s health.

By a strange coincidence, both Nanasaheb Panshe and Appasaheb Gadre spotted Shyama near the station. They met him and told him to go to Mirikar’s house and take Kakasaheb Dixit with him to Shirdi. They also informed Mirikar and Kakasaheb Dixit about Shyama’s presence in Ahmednagar. Shyama went to Mirikar’s house in the evening. Mirikar introduced him to Kakasaheb Dixit and it was decided that Kakasaheb will go with him in the night 10.00 O’clock train to Kopergaon. It was only after this decision was taken that an unusual event took place.

Balasaheb Mirikar brought a big portrait to show to all of them and then gradually removed the cloth covering the portrait. It was a portrait of Baba. Kakasaheb Dixit was surprised that the one whom he wanted to meet in Shirdi was already there to welcome him. Kakasaheb became emotional after seeing the portrait and tears started rolling. He prostrated at Baba then and there. That portrait was Megha’s and was brought there for mounting a new glass sheet as the earlier one was broken. Mirikar got the new glass sheet mounted and made arrangements for it to be taken to Shirdi with Kakasaheb and Shyama.

Both Shyama and Kakasaheb reached the station much before 10.00 pm and bought second class tickets. When the train arrived on the platform, they found that the second class compartment was overcrowded and there was absolutely no space even to enter the compartment. Fortunately, the guard of the train was known to Kakasaheb and he took both of them to a first class compartment and made them sit there. They travelled comfortably to Kopergaon and got down from the train. There was another surprise awaiting them on the platform. They were immensely happy to see Nanasaheb Chandorkar also there and going to Shirdi. Kakasaheb and Nanasaheb embraced each other. After taking a bath in the Godavari, they started for Shirdi. They engaged a Tonga and reached Shirdi.

In the masjid, they had darshan of Baba. All the three of them prostrated at the divine feet of Baba. Then Baba said, “I was waiting for you from a long time. I sent Shyama to bring you.” Kakasaheb was filled with deep emotion. Tears rolled down, uncontrolled, over his cheeks. His throat was choked and he could not say anything. His mind was overflowing with joy, the like of which he had never experienced before. After this, Kakasaheb spent several happy and memorable years serving Baba. He built a Wada (Dixit Wada) in Shirdi which became, more or less, his permanent residence. The experiences he had with Baba are so many and so varied that it is very difficult to recount all of them here. The readers are requested to read the Special (Kakasaheb Dixit) Issue of Sri Sai Leela magazine Vol.12 No. 6 to 9. Only one example to illustrate the abundant and very special love Baba had for Kakasaheb is narrated here. Baba had assured him that when the time came, He would take him in an airplane. On 5 July 1926, Kakasaheb was travelling with Hemad Pant in a train. Both were discussing matters related to Baba. Kakasaheb was deeply immersed in Baba’s thoughts, when suddenly his head rested peacefully on Hemad Pant’s shoulders. Without any trace of fear or pain, Kakasaheb Dixit had breathed his last. One of Baba’s most intimate devotees became one with Baba.


Once, Sri Vasudevananda Saraswati, also known as Sri Tembe Swamy, came to Rajahmundry (in Andhra Pradesh), on the banks of Godavari, and camped there for some time. He was a ritualistic, jnani and yogic devotee of Lord Dattatreya. During the year 1908, Pundaleeka Rao, a lawyer from Nanded (in Maharashtra State) came with his friends for the darshan of Tembe Swamy. During their conversation, the topic of Sri Sai Baba also came up. The moment Sri Sai Baba’s name was mentioned, Tembe Swamy folded both his hands with reverence, gave a coconut to Pundaleeka Rao and said, “Please go to my brother Sri Sai and offer Him this Sriphala with my respectful pranamas. Please request Him not to be angry, but always be kind to me.” Tembe Swamy later explained that generally one saint does not offer pranamas to the other saint. Sri Sai Baba’s case was unique. Pundaleeka Rao accepted the coconut and assured Tembe Swamy that he would definitely have darshan of Sri Sai Baba and offer Him the coconut and the message of Tembe Swamy. It was only appropriate that Tembe Swamy called Baba as his brother. Being a ritualistic devotee, Tembe Swamy maintained the Agnihotra (fire) burning day and night. Baba also always kept the Dhuni fire burning day and night.

A month later, Pundaleeka Rao with his friends left for Shirdi along with the coconut. When they reached Manmad, being very thirsty, they took water from a canal. It is often said that one should not drink water on an empty stomach. So, they ate some chivda. May be because of some added masala, the chivda was quite hot. To make it less hot, somebody broke a coconut and added the scrapings to the chivda, making it tastier. Unfortunately, the coconut that was broken was the coconut given by Tembe Swamy to be offered to Baba. They realised this fact when they were approaching Shirdi and were very repentant. They were scared of the consequences.

However, they had the darshan of Baba and all of them prostrated at the feet of Baba. Meanwhile, Baba had already known about the coconut. The saints have their own means of communication. The first thing He asked Pundaleeka Rao was, “Give Me what My brother has sent.” Pundaleeka Rao caught hold of Baba’s feet and told Him that they had committed a mistake and that the coconut was broken. He expressed repentance and asked Baba to pardon him. He then offered, if Baba permitted, to replace it with a new coconut. Baba said, “The value of that coconut is several times more than that of a coconut and an ordinary coconut can never replace that coconut.” After some time Baba consoled them saying, “Don’t worry now. Because of My own wish to see you, the coconut was given to you and was broken on the way. Why are you trying to own the responsibility? Whenever you are doing a big or small task, don’t think of yourselves as the doer. Discard pride and egoism and then perform the action. Then your spiritual progress will be rapid.” How beautiful was Baba’s spiritual advice!


Balaram Dhurandhar, of Santa Cruz (Bombay) was a gentleman of a community called Pathare Prabhu. He was an advocate of Bombay High Court and also had been Principal of Government Law School. His entire family was very religious and satvic. He served his community well and published a book also in this connection. After this, his mind turned towards religious and spiritual topics. With great devotion he read Bhagavad Gita and its commentary, Jnaneshwari, and several other philosophical books. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Vittoba of Pandharpur. During the year 1912 AD he was fortunate to have the darshan of Baba.

Six months earlier, his brothers Babulji and Vaman Rao had come to Shirdi and had darshan of Baba. They had gone back and explained their pleasant experiences to their family. Balaram and family were thrilled by the narration and the entire family decided to go to Shirdi and have Baba’s darshan. Even before they reached Shirdi, Baba told, “Many members of My durbar are coming today.” The Dhurandhar family was astounded to hear this from others. They had not given any intimation of their coming to Shirdi to anyone. All the family members prostrated at the divine feet of Baba and sat around Him. Baba introduced them as “These are the members of My durbar, about whom I told earlier.” Then He turned to the family and said, “The relationship between you and Me goes back to the previous 60 lives.” Every one of the family was gentle and polite, and with folded hands were looking at Baba. All of the satvic feelings like welling up of tears, excitement, choking of the throat etc began to manifest in them and they were very happy. Then they went to their lodging for taking meals.

They returned to the masjid after meals, and tenderly massaged Baba’s legs. Baba was having His chillum. He gave the chillum to Balaram and insisted on him having a puff. Balaram had never tasted tobacco till now. With great difficulty, he took a puff and reverentially handed the chillum back to Baba. This was the most auspicious experience for Balaram. He was suffering from asthma for the last six years. The moment he took the puff from the chillum, he was relieved of his disease. He never faced the problem again. Six years later, he once again had this problem. That was the day of Baba’s Mahasamadhi. Balaram had come to Shirdi on a Thursday. Fortunately for him, he was able to see the Chavadi Procession that night. During Arati at the Chavadi, Baba’s face appeared to him like Lord Panduranga. He once again saw his favourite God Panduranga on the face of Baba next morning during the Kakad Arati.

Sri Balaram Dhurandhar wrote a book in Marathi about the life story of the great Maharashtrian Saint Sant Tukaram. Unfortunately, he did not survive to see the book published. His relatives published the book in 1928 AD. In a short note on Balaram’s life, given in the beginning of the book on page 6, there is a complete account of his visit to Shirdi. Let us all once again submit ourselves at the divine feet of our beloved Baba and prostrate at His feet. Satchidananda Sadguru Sainath Maharaj Ki Jai!!!!

With this, the fiftieth chapter, called as The story of three devotees, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant describes greatness of Sadguru Sai Baba, Phala-Shruti and other matters.

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

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