|| sri sai satcharitra ||
|| chapter forty-seven ||
|| baba’s reminiscences ||
|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||
In this chapter, Hemad Pant describes the story of Veerabhadrappa and Chennabasappa and other matters.SADGURU SAI:
Hey Jnanavatar Sri Sai! Beyond the reach of trigunas, how magnificent and beautiful is Your form! Hey Antaryami! We are ever grateful to your form. By a mere glance at Your form, all our karmaphalas of the previous lives will be destroyed and the doors of permanent happiness will be wide open! But, Oh our beloved Sai! This can happen only if You direct Your natural benign look over us. By Your look alone, all our bondages are broken loose and happiness accrues to us. By taking bath in river Ganga, all our sins will be washed away, but, Ganga Mayi will also be eagerly awaiting the coming of great saints with the hope that they would come and purify her with the touch of their holy feet. And Sai is the crown jewel among the saints.SERPENT AND THE FROG:
Once, Baba was sitting in the masjid amidst devotees. Thinking of some recent events, Baba started telling the following story. Let us hear the story in Baba’s words.
“One day around 8.00 in the morning, after finishing My morning nourishment, I went for a stroll. Walking along, I reached the banks of a small river. As I was tired, I sat there and rested awhile. After some time, I washed My hands and feet and then took bath. Only then, My fatigue vanished and I was feeling refreshed. A track for carts and a small foot path for walkers passed from there. Both sides of this road were covered by dense and huge trees. Cool breeze was flowing gently. While I was filling up the chillum, I heard the wailing sound of a frog. When I was about to ignite the chillum, a passerby saw Me. He came near and sat beside Me. He bowed to Me and then started insisting that I should go to his house, have food and rest. He ignited the chillum and extended it to Me. The wailing sound of the frog was heard once again. The frog was no where in sight and the stranger was curious to know its significance. I told him that the frog was in trouble and was experiencing the karmaphala of its previous life. I also told him that it had to undergo the karmaphala and there was no use of wailing. He took one puff from the chillum and said, “Let me go and see what the matter is.” When he wanted to go in search of the frog, I told him that the frog was wailing as a huge serpent had held it in its mouth. Both were very wicked in the previous life and are reaping the benefits of their past life now. He went in search of the frog and saw that a huge serpent had indeed held it in its mouth.
He came back and informed Me that in about 10 or 12 minutes, the serpent would swallow the frog. I said, “No. This can never happen. I am its protector and present here. How dare the serpent swallow the frog? Come and see how I will protect it.” After having a second puff, we both went to the place where the serpent and the frog were there. The stranger was scared that the serpent may attack us and tried to prevent Me going further. Ignoring him, I went near the two and said, “Arey Veerabhadrappa! Has not your enmity ended even after you have become a snake and Chennabassappa has become a frog? At least now shrug off your hatred. This is very shameful. Discard your jealousy and leave in peace.” Hearing this, the serpent let off the frog and slid into the river. The frog also jumped into the nearby bushes.
The stranger was very much surprised and several questions arose in his mind. He did not understand why the serpent let off the frog after listening to Me and who were Veerabhadrappa and Chennabassappa. What was the reason for their rivalry? I took him back to the same tree where we had sat earlier and made him sit. It was the same river bank and cool breeze was flowing slowly. I started telling him.
‘About 4 to 5 miles from My residence, there was a holy temple of Mahadev. The temple was old and dilapidated and the local residents had started a charity collection for the renovation of the temple. After enough money was collected, arrangements for daily pooja were made initially and then plans with estimates were prepared for the reconstruction of the building. A rich local man was made treasurer and entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the entire project. The treasurer had to keep an account of the progress, expenses and was expected to be honest in all his dealings. The man selected was a great miser. He spent minimum amount for the repairs of the building because of which the renovation was also of a very poor quality. The man showed that the entire collected amount was spent, usurped enough funds and did not spend anything from his own purse. He was a glib talker and some how or other convinced the residents that everything was alright. The temple, however, remained more or less as it was before. The residents were worried. They again went to the rich man and said, “Seth saheb, without your efforts, this work can never be completed. Please make fresh plans for the temple. We will collect some more money.” The seth took the collected money, but remained without doing anything. The temple, even after the second charity collections, remained more or less as it was before.
After some days, his wife had a vision. Lord Shankara appeared in her dream and said, “Get up and build the Kalash on the temple. Whatever money you spend for this purpose, I will give you hundred times that amount.” The wife was a simple lady. Next morning she told her husband about the vision. The seth was scared that this would involve more money and expenses, so he laughed and told his wife, “It is only a dream. Does anyone believe in dreams? If it was true, Lord Mahadev would have appeared before me and told me the same. Was I far away from you? This dream does not augur well for us. It is meant only to disrupt the relationship between the husband and wife. So be completely at peace. After all, where is the necessity of such money to God, which has been collected against the wishes of the giver? God always hungers after love and will gladly accept even a small copper coin offered with love and devotion.”
Lord Shankara again appeared in her dream and said, “Don’t listen to your husband’s idle talk. Don’t think of the collected money and don’t insist on him to renovate the temple. I am indeed thirsty of your love and devotion. Whatever you want to spend, do it from your own money.” The lady decided to talk to her husband and use the ornaments her father had given her for this noble purpose. The husband became restless and this time decided to cheat the God also. He bought the complete set of his wife’s ornaments for an undervalued price of Rs.1, 000/- and in lieu of the amount gave part of a barren land for the temple as endowment or security. The wife agreed to this without any complaint. The land which the seth had given was not his own. It belonged to a poor lady ‘Dubaki’ who had mortgaged it to the seth for Rs.200/-. That lady could not repay the amount and get her mortgage released. The seth thus cheated his wife, Dubaki and even God. As the land was full of boulders, even at the best of times, nothing could be cultivated there. Thus the transaction ended. The land was given to the pujari of the temple who was happy with getting it as endowment.
After some time a miracle took place. There was torrential rain with lightening and thunderstorms. A bolt of lightening fell on the Seth’s house. Both the husband and wife died instantly. Dubaki also died. Subsequently, the seth was born to a brahmin couple in Mathura. The baby was named ‘Veerabhadrappa’. The wife was born as a daughter to the pujari of the temple and was named ‘Gauri’. Dubaki took birth as a baby boy in the Gurav family of the servant of the temple and was named ‘Chennabasappa’. The pujari was a friend of Mine. He often came to Me for discussions and shared chillum with Me. His daughter was also a devotee of Mine. The girl was growing up fast and the parents were worried about finding a suitable groom for her. I told them that they need not worry as the groom will come to their doorstep asking for the bride. Few days later a boy of their sect by name Veerabhadrappa came begging to their house. With My approval Gauri’s marriage was fixed with Veerabhadrappa. Earlier, he was also My devotee, but subsequently he became very ungrateful. His lust for money did not subside in his new birth also.
As he was married, he asked Me to suggest a livelihood for him. Then another miracle happened. Suddenly the prices of commodities began to rise. Because of Gauri’s fortune, the prices of the lands also shot up. The entire land she inherited from her father was sold for Rs. 1, 00,000/- which was nearly 100 times the value of her ornaments in her earlier life. It was decided that Rs. 50,000/- would be paid in cash immediately and the remaining in 25 instalments of Rs.2, 000/- each. Though the transaction was agreeable to all, division of the funds raised problems. The husband wanted a greater share. Then they came to Me for advice. I told them that the land belonged to the God and was given to the pujari as endowment. The real owner of the land is Gauri and not even a pice could be spent against her wishes. I also told them that the husband had no right over the funds. Veerabhadrappa was angry with Me and commented that I wanted to embezzle the money by being soft to Gauri. I closed My ears, took God’s name and remained silent. The husband beat Gauri severely.
One afternoon, Gauri came to Me and said, “Please don’t get offended by their words. I am after all your daughter. Please have a benign look on me.” When she said this and surrendered to Me, I promised her that even if I had to cross the seven seas, I would protect her all the times. That night she had a vision. Lord Shankara appeared in her dream and said, “All the money is yours. Don’t give anything to anyone. With Chennabasappa’s advice, spend some money for the temple. If you want to spend for some other purpose, go to masjid and seek Baba’s advice.” Gauri told Me about her vision. I advised her to keep the principal amount with her and give a part of the interest amount to Chennabasappa. I also told her that Veerabhadrappa does not have any share in this. When we were talking these things, both Veerabhadrappa and Chennabasappa came there quarrelling with each other. I tried to pacify both of them and explained them about Gauri’s vision.
Veerabhadrappa was mad with anger and threatened that he would slice Chennabasappa to pieces. Chennabasappa was timid. He caught hold of My feet and begged for protection. Then I got him released from his enemy. Some time later, both of them died. Veerabhadrappa was reborn as the serpent and Chennabasappa was born as the frog. Hearing Chennabasappa’s wailing for help, and remembering My earlier assurance; I came here and kept up My word by saving him from the serpent. In times of his distress, God always speeds to the rescue of His devotees. By sending Me here, God has saved Chennabasappa. All these are God’s Leelas.’”MORAL:
The moral of the story is that ‘As you sow, so you reap till the harvest is exhausted.’ Until all the balance of payments and dealings with others are satisfactorily completed, there is no possibility of redemption. Lust for money pulls a man down to the lowest level and destroys him ultimately.
With this, the forty seventh chapter, called as Baba’s Reminiscences, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant describes stories of Shevade and Sapatnekar and other matters.
|| Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu | Shubham Bhavatu ||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti