Sai Satcharitra Chapter 15

The readers may remember that the Rama-Navami Festival in Shirdi was mentioned in Chapter 6. In that chapter, the festival’s origins, the great difficulty in finding a good Haridas to perform the Kirtan in the early years and how Baba permanently entrusted this function (Kirtan) to Dasganu, were mentioned. In this Chapter, we shall describe the manner in which Dasganu performed the Kirtan.

Naradiya Kirtan-Paddhati

Traditionally, a Haridas, while performing the Kirtan, wears a gala and full dress. They wear a head-dress (either a pheta or a turban), a long flowing coat with a shirt inside, an uparane (short dhotar) on the shoulders and the usual long dhotar from below the waist. Dressed in this fashion for some Kirtan in the Shirdi village, Dasganu once went and bowed before Baba. Baba asked him, “Well, bridegroom! Where are you going dressed so handsomely?” “To perform a Kirtan”, came the reply. Then Baba said, “Why do you want all this paraphernalia− coat, uparani and pheta. Do away with all that before Me, why wear them on the body?” Dasganu immediately took them off and placed them at Baba’s Feet. From that time on, Dasganu never wore these things while performing the Kirtan. He was always bare from the waist upwards; A pair of chiplis were in his hands and a garland hung around his neck. This is not in consonance with the practice generally followed by all the Haridasa, but this is the best and the purest method. The sage Narada, from whom the Kirtan-Paddhati originated, wore nothing on his trunk and head. He carried a Veena in his hand and wandered from place to place, singing the glory of the Lord.

Mr. Cholkar’s Sugarless Tea

Initially, Baba was only known in the Pune and Ahmednagar Districts, but Nanasaheb Chandorkar—by his personal talks— and Dasganu— through his splendid Kirtans— spread Baba’s fame in the Bombay Presidency. In fact, it was Dasganu−may God bless him−who, through his beautiful and inimitable Kirtans, made Baba available to so many people there. The audience who came to hear the Kirtans had different tastes; some liked the erudition of the person performing the Kirtan, his gestures, his singing, wit and humor;  while some liked his preliminary dissertation on the Vedanta and others, his main stories. But among them, there were very few who, upon hearing the Kirtan, get faith, devotion and love for God or saints. The effect of Dasganu’s kirtan on the minds of the audience was electric. We give an instance here.

Dasganu was once performing his Kirtan and singing the glory of Sai Baba in the Koupineshwar temple in Thana. Mr. Cholkar, a poor man serving as a candidate in the Civil Courts in Thana, was in the audience. He heard Dasganu’s Kirtan very attentively and was quite moved. He immediately mentally bowed to Baba and took a vow saying, “Baba, I am a poor man, unable to support my family. If by your grace, I pass the departmental examination and get a permanent post, I shall go to Shirdi, fall at Your Feet and distribute sugar-candy in Your name.” Through divine intervention, Mr.Cholkar did pass the examination and did get the permanent post, and now it remained for him to fulfill his vow; the sooner the better. Mr. Cholkar was a poor man with a large family to support and he could not easily afford to pay for the expenses of a Shirdi trip. As is well said, one can easily cross over Nahne ghat in the Thana District or even the Sahyadri Range, but it is very difficult for a poor man to cross the threshold of his own house (afford unexpected expenditures). As Mr. Cholkar was anxious to fulfill his vow as early as possible, he resolved to cut down on his expenses and save money. He was determined not to use sugar in his diet and began to have his tea without it. After he was able to save some money in this way, he came to Shirdi and received Baba’s darshan. Cholkar fell at Baba’s Feet, offered a coconut and distributed it with a clean conscience, along with sugar candy, as per his vow. He said to Baba that he was very pleased with the darshan he received and that his desires had been fulfilled. Mr. Cholkar was in the Masjid with his host, Bapusaheb Jog. When the host and the guest both got up and were about to leave the Masjid, Baba spoke to Jog as follows, “Give him (your guest) cups of tea, fully saturated with Sugar.” Hearing these significant words, Mr. Cholkar was deeply moved, he was wonderstruck, his eyes welled up with tears and he fell at Baba’s Feet again. Mr. Jog was also curious about the instructions regarding the cups of tea to be given to his guest. Baba wanted, through His words, to create faith and devotion in Cholkar’s mind. He hinted that He got the sugar-candy as per Cholkar’s vow and that He knew about his secret determination not to use sugar in his diet. Baba meant to say, “If you spread your palms with devotion before Me, I am immediately with you day and night. Though my body is in Shirdi, I know what you do beyond the seven seas. Go wherever you want and I am with you. My abode is in your heart and I am within you. Always worship Me, Who is seated in your heart as well as in the hearts of all beings; Blessed and fortunate indeed is he who knows Me thus.”

What a beautiful and important lesson was thus imparted by Baba to Mr. Cholkar !

The Story of Two Lizards

Now we close this Chapter with a story of two little lizards. Once, Baba was sitting in the Masjid. A devotee sat in front of Him and a lizard made a ticking sound. Out of curiosity, the devotee asked Baba whether this ticking sound signified anything− was it a good sign or a bad omen? Baba said that the lizard was overjoyed, as her sister from Aurangabad was coming to see her. The devotee did not ask any further questions, as he could not understand the meaning of Baba’s words. Almost immediately, a gentleman from Aurangabad came on horseback to see Baba. He wanted to proceed, but his horse would not go anywhere, as it was hungry and wanted grams. He took a bag of grams and dashed it on the ground to remove dirt. A lizard came out of the bag, and in front of everyone, climbed up the wall. Baba asked the devotee, who had asked the question, to watch her carefully. She at once ran up to her sister; Both sisters met each other after a long time, kissed and embraced each other and whirled round and danced with love! How far apart are Shirdi and Aurangabad? How did the man on horseback come there from Aurangabad with the lizard? And how did Baba predict the meeting of the two sisters? All this is really very wonderful and proves Baba’s omniscience.

Post Script:

He who respectfully reads this Chapter and studies it daily, will get all his miseries removed by the grace of the Sadguru Sai Baba.

Adapted from the original Marathi Book SHRI SAI SATCHARITA By Govind Raghunath Dabholkar alias ‘Hemadpant’

Om Sai Om Sai Sadguru Sai

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