Sai Satcharitra Chapter 22

Preliminary

How does one meditate on Baba? No one has been able to fathom the nature or the form of the Almighty. Even the Vedas and the thousand-tongued Shesha are not able to describe it fully. But the devotees cannot but know and look at the form of the Lord, for they know that His Feet are the only means of their happiness. They know no other method of attaining the supreme goal of life, except meditating on the Holy Feet of the Lord. Hemadpant suggests an easy way of devotion and meditation which is as follows:

Look at Baba’s posture; see how fine it is. He is sitting with His legs folded, the right leg across the left knee; The fingers of His left hand are spread on the right foot. On the right toe are spread His two fingers-the index and middle ones. By this posture, Baba means to say that if anyone wants to see His Light, be ego-less, very humble and meditate on His toe through the opening between the two branches. This is the easiest means of attaining devotion.

Now let us turn for a moment to Baba’s life. Shirdi had become a place of pilgrimage on account of Baba’s stay. People from all quarters flocked there and both the rich and the poor began to be benefited in more ways than one. Who can describe Baba’s boundless love, His wonderful knowledge and His all-pervasiveness? Blessed is he who could experience one or all of these. Sometimes Baba observed long silences which were, in a way, His dissertation on the Brahman. And at other times, He was Consciousness-Bliss Incarnate. Sometimes He spoke in parables and at other times indulged in wit and humor. At times, He was quite unambiguous (clear) and at times He seemed enraged. Sometimes He gave His teachings in a nutshell, while at other times He argued at length. Many a times He was very direct. In this way, He gave varied instructions to people according to their requirements. His life was therefore, inscrutable; beyond the ken of our mind and beyond our intellect and speech. Our longing to see His face, to speak with Him and hear His Leelas was never satisfied and yet we are overflowing with joy. We can count the showers of rain and encircle the wind in a leather bag; but who can gauge or measure His Leelas? Now we deal here with one aspect of them: how He anticipated or forestalled the calamities of His devotees and warded them off in time.

Balasaheb Mirikar

Balasaheb Mirikar, Sirdar Kakasaheb Mirikar’s son, was Mamlatdar of Kopergaon. He was going on tour to Chitali; On the way, he came to Shirdi to see Sai Baba. When he went to the Masjid and prostrated himself before Baba, the usual conversation regarding health and other matters commenced, when Baba suddenly sounded a note of warning as follows, “Do you know our Dwarakamayi?” As Balasaheb did not understand what Baba meant, he kept quiet and Baba continued, “Our Dwarakamayi is where you are seated. She wards off all the dangers and anxieties of Her children who sit on her lap. This Masjidmayi (its presiding Deity) is very merciful. She is the mother of simple devotees, whom she will save in calamities. Once a person sits on her lap, all his troubles are over. He who rests in her shade, gets Bliss”. Then Baba gave him Udi and blessed him by placing His protecting hand on Mirikar’s head. When Balasaheb was about to depart, Baba again said, “Do you know the Lamba Bava (the serpent)?” And then closing His left arm like a fist He brought it near His right elbow, and moving His left arm like the hood of a serpent, He said, “He is so terrible; but what can he do to the children of the Dwarakamayi? When the Dwarakamayi protects, what could the serpent possibly do?”

Everyone who was present there was curious to know the meaning of all this and its reference to Mirikar, but no one had the courage to ask Baba about this. Then Balasaheb bowed before Baba and left the Masjid with Shama. Baba called Shama back and asked him to accompany Balasaheb and enjoy the Chitali trip. Shama went up to Balasaheb and told him that he would travel with him, according to Baba’s orders. Balasaheb replied that he need not come, as it would be inconvenient. Shama returned to Baba and told Him what Balasaheb had said. Baba said, “Alright, do not go; We should mean well and do well. Whatever is destined to happen, will happen”.

In the meanwhile, Balasaheb thought over it again and asked Shama to accompany him. Then Shama went to Baba again and took His leave, and left with Balasaheb in the tanga. They reached Chitali at 9 AM and encamped in the Maruti temple. The office workers had not arrived, so they sat quietly in the temple chatting. Balasaheb was sitting on a mat reading a newspaper. His Uparani (upper dhotar) was spread across his waist and on a part of it, a snake was sitting unobserved. It began to move with a rustling sound, which was heard by the peon. He brought a lantern, saw the snake and raised an alarm. Balasaheb was frightened and began to shiver with fear. Shama was also stunned; Then Shama and the others moved stealthily and picked up sticks and clubs. The snake slithered slowly off Mirikar’s waist and it was immediately done to death. Thus this calamity, which was predicted by Baba, was averted and Balasaheb’s love for Baba increased immensely.

Bapusaheb Booty

A great astrologer, named Nanasaheb Dengale, said to Bapusaheb Booty one day, “Today is an inauspicious day for you; there is a danger to your life”. This made Bapusaheb restless; When Bapusaheb came to the Masjid that day, Baba said to him, “What does this Nana say? He foretells death for you. Well, you need not be afraid; Tell him boldly, ‘Let us see how death kills’.” Then later in the evening, when Bapusaheb went to relieve himself he saw a snake. His servant saw it too and lifted a stone to strike at it. Bapusaheb asked him to get a big stick, but before the servant returned with the stick, the snake was seen slithering away and soon disappeared. Bapusaheb remembered with joy Baba’s words of fearlessness.

Amir Shakkar

Amir Shakkar was a native of the village of Korale. He worked as a commission agent in Bandra and was well-known there. He once suffered from Rheumatism, which gave him a lot of pain. He was then reminded of God, so he left his business and went to Shirdi and prayed to Baba to relieve him from his malady. Baba then stationed him in the Chavadi, which was then a damp, unhealthy place, unfit for such a patient. Any other place in the village would have been better for Amir, but Baba’s word was the deciding factor and the chief medicine. Baba did not allow him to come to the Masjid, but asked him to remain in the Chavadi, where he got the great advantage of Baba’s regular darshan. Baba passed by the Chavadi every morning and evening and stayed there overnight, every alternate day. So Amir received Baba’s contact very often. Amir stayed there for a full nine months and then somehow or the other, he had a disgust for the place; So one night, he stealthily left the place and came to Kopergaon and stayed in a Dharmashala. There, he saw an old dying fakir who asked him for water. Amir brought some water and gave it to the fakir. As soon as the fakir drank it, he passed away. Then Amir was in a fix; He thought that if he went and informed the authorities, he would be held responsible for the death, as he was the first and sole informant. He repented leaving Shirdi without Baba’s leave and prayed to Baba. He then decided to return to Shirdi that same night and ran back to Shirdi, remembering Baba and chanting Baba’s name on the way. Then he lived in the Chavadi, in perfect accordance with Baba’s wishes and orders, and was eventually cured.

One night, it so happened that Baba cried out at midnight, “Oh Abdul, some devilish creature is dashing against the side of My bed”. Abdul came with a lantern and examined Baba’s bed but found nothing. Baba asked him to look carefully and began to strike the ground with His satka. Seeing Baba’s Leela, Amir knew that Baba sensed a serpent had come there. Amir knew, through close and long contact with Baba, the meaning of Baba’s words and actions. Baba then saw something moving near Amir’s pillow. He asked Abdul to bring the light and when he brought it, he saw the coil of a serpent moving its head up and down. The serpent was immediately beaten to death. Thus, Baba gave timely warning and saved Amir.

Hemadpant’s Experience (The Scorpion and Serpent)

At Baba’s recommendation, Kakasaheb Dixit read two works of Shri Eknath Maharaj− the Bhagwat and Bhawartha Ramayana− every day and Hemadpant had the good fortune of being amongst the audience. Once, when a portion from the Ramayana, about Hanuman’s testing Rama’s greatness (according to his mother’s instructions) was being read, all the listeners were spell-bound. Hemadpant was one of them. A big scorpion (no one knew where it came from), sat on his Uparani(upper dhotar) which was on Hemadpant’s right shoulder. At first it was not noticed, but as the Lord protects those who are intent on hearing His stories, Hemadpant casually cast a glance over his right shoulder and noticed it. It was dead silent and did not move at all. It seemed as if it too was enjoying the reading. Then, with the Lord’s grace, Hemadpant stealthily took the two ends of his dhotar, folded them and enclosed the scorpion within. Then he went out and threw it out into the garden.

On another occasion, a few people were sitting on the upper floor of Dixit’s Wada, just before nightfall, when a serpent crept through a hole in the window frame and sat coiled up. A light was brought and the snake was first dazzled by the light. However, it sat still and only moved its head up and down. Then many people rushed there with sticks and cudgels, but as it sat in an awkward place, no blow could be dealt. But upon hearing the commotion, the serpent went out hastily through the same hole. Then everyone there felt relieved.

Baba’s Opinion

A devotee named Muktaram then said that it was good that the poor creature escaped; Hemadpant challenged him saying that serpents should be killed. There was a heated discussion between them−the former contending that serpents and such creatures should not be killed, the latter that they should be. As night fell, the discussion came to an end without any decision being arrived at; The next day, the question was referred to Baba, who gave His opinion which was as follows: “God lives in all beings and creatures, whether they are serpents or scorpions. He is the Master Wire-Puller of the Universe and all beings obey His commands. Unless He wills it, nobody can do any harm unto others. The world is all dependent on Him and no one is independent. So we should take pity on and love all creatures, not engage in adventurous fights and killings and be patient. The Lord (God) protects everyone.”

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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