|| sri sai satcharitra ||
|| chapter forty-five ||
|| anandrao’s vision ||
|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||
In this chapter, Hemad Pant describes Kakasaheb’s doubt, Anandrao’s vision, wooden plank, Baba’s bedstead and other matters.SADGURU SAI:
We saw how our beloved Baba transcended the three cubits of human form and acquired a form which is not bound by time or space. The Leelas which were described earlier had taken place because of the three cubits of body. After the transformation also, Leelas have been taking place in countless numbers. With devotees multiplying, Leelas also have increased several folds. Baba is always watchful and is protecting His devotees at all places and at all times. People, who were there in Shirdi a hundred years ago, were indeed very fortunate. If any of them did not achieve detachment for the sense objects, it was very unfortunate of them. What is required is hearted devotion to Baba. All our senses, body and mind should be focussed at the divine feet of Baba. It will serve no purpose, if some organs are worshipping and other organs are diverting attention. Meditation should be done with all the senses, body and mind thinking of only Baba.
The relation between a disciple and the Guru is often compared to that of a pativrata with her husband. This is inadequate as the disciple’s relationship far exceeds the other one in scope. The Guru gives the disciple what nobody else can give. Not even mother, father, brother or any other relation can help the disciple in attaining the goal of life, which only a Guru can do. The Guru teaches us to discriminate between the real and the unreal and discard the unreal. He also teaches us to renounce, control the mind and senses and aspire for liberation. When realisation dawns on us that Brahman is none other than the Guru, we begin to worship the Brahman in all the beings, human and otherwise. This is the unifying worship. When we thus worship Brahman or Guru whole heartedly, we become one with Him and attain Self-realization. Chanting the name of the Guru, and meditating Him, enables us to see Him in all beings and confers us eternal bliss.KAKASAHEB’S STORY:
Baba had asked Kakasaheb Dixit to read daily the two works of Sant Eknath, namely: 1. Bhagavat and 2. Bhavartha Ramayana. Kakasaheb followed this practice regularly. Once, Kakasaheb was reading these books in Kaka Mahajani’s house in Chowpati, Bombay. He was reading Bhagavat that day. Shyama (Madhavarao Deshpande) was also there with him. Both Madhavarao Deshpande and Kaka Mahajani were listening very attentively to what Kakasaheb was reading. It was the eleventh skanda and second chapter. The chapter describes how the nine Nathas or Siddhas (Kavi, Hari, Antariksha, Prabuddha, Pippalayana, Avirhotra, Drumil, Chamas and Karabhajan) of the Rishabha family explained the principles of Bhagavat Dharma to King Janaka. King Janaka asked most important questions to all of them and everyone answered satisfactorily. Kavi explained what Bhagavat Dharma was. Hari explained the qualities of a Bhakta. Antariksha defined Maya. Prabuddha told how to overcome Maya. Pippalayana explained Parabrahma. Avirhotra told in detail what Karma was. Then Drumil told Janaka about the incarnations of God and the deeds done in each incarnation. Chamas explained in detail how a non devotee fares after death. Lastly Karabhajan told King Janaka the different ways of worshipping God in different ages. In Kali Yuga, the prescribed form of worship was the chanting of Sri Hari’s or Guru’s name and prostrating at the divine feet.
After reading the above passage, Kakasaheb was in a despondent mood. He told Madhavarao and others, “How wonderful is the discourse of the Nathas on Bhakti! The Nathas were perfect, but is it possible for ignorant people like us to attain the levels described by them? How difficult it is to practice these methods? When we can’t reach those levels of Bhakti, even after several births, how are we to get salvation? It looks like there is no hope for us!” Shyama did not like this pessimistic attitude. He questioned, “Why should we feel dejected, when we have unwavering faith in Baba? The Bhakti of Nathas may be strong and powerful, but so is our love and affection for our Guru. Has not Baba told us authoritatively that remembering and chanting Hari’s and Guru’s name confers salvation? Where is the cause for fear and anxiety? It is a pity that when, by our good luck, we have such a Guru as Baba, we should feel dejected.” Kakasaheb was not satisfied by Madhavarao’s explanation. He continued to be anxious, thinking about how to get the powerful Bhakti of the Nathas. Next morning the following miracle took place.ANANDRAO’S VISION:
A gentleman by name Anandrao Pakhade came in search of Madhavrao. Kakasaheb’s reading of Bhagavat was going on and Anandrao went and sat next to Madhavrao. He was whispering something in low tone to Madhavrao. As this disturbed the concentration of Kakasaheb, he stopped the reading and asked Madhavrao what the matter was. Madhavrao said, “Yesterday you expressed your doubt. Here is the explanation for that. Listen to Mr Pakhade about his vision. It explains the devotion which can save the devotee and tells us that bowing to or worshipping of Guru’s feet is sufficient.” Everyone was very anxious to hear about the vision, particularly Kakasaheb. Anandrao Pakhade started telling about his vision.
“I was standing in a deep sea at a place where the water was waist deep. All of a sudden, I saw Sai Baba. He was sitting on a beautiful throne studded with diamonds. His feet were in water. This form of Baba was most satisfying and pleasing to me. The vision was so real that I never thought that it was a dream. Curiously enough, Madhavrao was also standing there. With feeling, he told me, ‘Anandrao, fall at Baba’s feet.’ I replied, ‘I also wish to do so, but His feet are in water. How can I place my head on them? I am helpless.’ Hearing this, Madhavrao told Baba, ‘Oh Deva, please take out Your feet which are in water.’ Then Baba immediately took out His feet. I caught them immediately and bowed to them. On seeing this, Baba blessed me and said, ‘Go now. You will attain your welfare. There is no cause for fear and anxiety.’ He also said, ‘Give a silk bordered dhoti to my Shyama. You will benefit.’”
In compliance with Baba’s order, Anandrao had brought the dhoti and requested Kakasaheb to give it to Madhavarao. Madhavarao refused to accept it saying that unless Baba asked him to take it, he would not accept. After some discussion, Kakasaheb decided to cast lots. Kakasaheb invariably followed the practice of casting lots in all doubtful matters and to follow the decision as shown by the picked up chit or lot. In this case, two chits were written, ‘Accept’ and ‘Reject’. Both the chits were placed at the feet of Baba’s picture and a child was asked to pick one of them. The ‘Accept’ chit was picked up. The dhoti was handed over to Madhavrao. Thus both Anandrao and Madhavrao were satisfied. Kakasaheb’s doubts were also clarified.
This story tells us to give respect to the sayings of other saints, but at the same time we must have full faith in our Guru and follow his instructions. This is because only he knows our welfare better than any other person. The following words of Baba should be etched in our hearts, “There are innumerable saints in this world. But, our Guru is the Father (real Guru). Others may say many good things, but we should never forget our Guru’s words. In short, love your Guru whole heartedly, surrender to him completely, and prostrate before Him reverentially. Then you will see that there is no Bhavasagara for you to cross, just as there is no darkness for the Sun.”STORY OF THE WOODEN PLANK:
As we saw earlier, in Chapter 10, Baba slept on a wooden plank, four arms in length and only a span in breadth with small diyas (earthen lamps) glowing brightly at the four corners of the plank. Later on, He broke it into pieces and threw it away. Some time later, Baba was describing the importance of the plank to Kakasaheb. After hearing it, Kakasaheb said, “If You still love the wooden plank, I will again suspend one in the masjid, so that You can sleep comfortably.” Baba replied, “I don’t like to sleep above, leaving Mhalsapathi lying down on the ground.” Then Kakasaheb said, “I will provide a plank for Mhalsapathi also.” Baba said, “How can he sleep on the plank? It is not easy to sleep on the plank high above. Only he, who has many good qualities in him, can do that. He, who can sleep with his eyes wide open, can do that. When I go to sleep, I often ask Mhalsapathi to sit by My side, place his hand on My heart and watch the chanting of the Lord’s name there. If he finds Me sleepy, I told him to wake Me up. He can’t do even this. He gets drowsy and begins to nod his head. When I feel his hand becoming heavy as a stone on My heart and cry out, ‘Oh Bhagat’, he moves and opens his eyes. How can he, who can’t sit and sleep well on the ground, and whose asana (posture) is not steady; and a slave to sleep, can sleep high up on a plank?” On other occasions Baba, out of love for His devotees, used to say, “What is ours (good or bad) is with us, and what is another’s is with him.”
With this, the forty fifth chapter, called as Anandrao’s vision, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant describes Baba’s Gaya trip, story of the goats and other matters.
||Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu || Shubham Bhavatu||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti