Sai Satcharitra Chapter 25

Preliminary

We begin this Chapter with a bow with all our eight limbs to Sai Baba, Who is an ocean of mercy, the God incarnate, the Para-Brahma and the great Yogeshwara (Lord of Yoga). Victory be unto Sai Baba Who is the crest-jewel of the Saints, the home of all auspicious things, our Atmaram (Dear Self) and the able refuge of His devotees. We prostrate ourselves before Him, Who has attained the aim and end of life.

Sai Baba is always full of mercy; What is wanted on our part is wholehearted devotion to Him. When a devotee has got firm faith and devotion, his wishes are soon fulfilled. When the desire arose in Hemadpant’s mind to write the life and Leelas of Sai Baba, Baba immediately got it written by him. When the order “to keep memos” was given, Hemadpant was inspired, his intellect acquired the strength and he had the boldness to undertake and finish the work. He was not, he says, qualified to write the work, but the gracious blessings of Baba enabled him to complete the undertaking and thus you have this Satcharitra which is a Somakant jewel; from this jewel, nectar in the form of Sai Leelas oozes out for the readers to drink to their hearts’ content.

Whenever a devotee has complete and wholehearted devotion to Sai Baba, all his calamities and dangers are warded off and his welfare is attended to by Baba. The story of Damodar Savalaram Resane of Ahmednagar, alias Damu Anna, illustrating the above statement is given below.

Damu Anna

The readers may remember that this gentleman was mentioned in the 6th Chapter with regards to the celebration of the Rama-Navami festival in Shirdi. He went to Shirdi around the year 1895, when the Rama-Navami celebration began and from that time on he provided an ornamental flag for the festival for several years. He also fed the poor who came there for the festival.

His Speculations:

Cotton

A broker who knew Damu Anna wrote to him that they should work in partnership on a cotton-speculation business, which would bring them about two hundred thousand rupees as profit. (Damu Anna says, in his statement made around the year 1936 to Mr. B.V.Narasimha Swami, that the proposal to speculate in cotton was from a broker who was not to be a partner and that he was to be the sole adventurer). The broker wrote that the business was good and involved no risks and that the opportunity should not be lost. Damu Anna was considering this opportunity; He could not at once determine whether to venture into the speculation. He thought about this and as he was a devotee of Baba, he wrote a detailed letter to Shama explaining all the facts and requested him to consult Baba and get His advice in the matter. Shama got the letter the next day and he came with it at noon to the Masjid and placed it before Baba. Baba asked Shama what the matter was and what the letter was about. Shama replied that Damu Anna wanted to consult Him about something. Then Baba said, “What does he write and what does he plan? It seems that he wants to reach the sky and that he is not content with what God has given him; read his letter”. Shama then said, “The letter contains what you just said. Oh Deva, you sit here calm and composed and agitate devotees and when they get restless, you draw them here, some in person and others through letters. If you know the contents of the letter, why do you then press me to read it?” Baba said, “Oh Shama,  please read it. I speak at random and who believes Me.”

Then Shama read the letter and Baba heard it attentively and said with great emotion, “Damu Anna has gone mad. Write him a reply that nothing is wanting in his house; Let him be content with the half-loaf he has now and let him not bother about hundreds of thousands of rupees.” Shama sent the reply which Damu Anna was anxiously waiting for; Upon reading it, he found that all his hopes and prospects about grand profits were dashed. He thought that he had made a mistake in consulting Baba. But as Shama had hinted in the reply, there was always a big difference between seeing and hearing and therefore he should come to Shirdi personally and see Baba. He thought it advisable to go to Shirdi and consult Baba personally about the affair. So he went to Shirdi, saw Baba, prostrated himself before Him and sat shampooing Baba’s legs. He had no courage to ask Baba openly about the speculation, but he thought that it would be better if some share in the business be given to Baba, if Baba were to help him in this transaction. Damu Anna was thus thinking about this and yet nothing was veiled from Baba. Everything about the past, present and future were crystal clear to Him. A child wants sweets, but its mother gives it bitter medicine; the former spoils its health, while the latter improves it. So the mother, looking after the welfare of her infant, coaxes it and gives it medicine. Baba, the kind mother that He was, knew the present and future prospects of His devotees and therefore read Damu Anna’s mind and said, “Bapu, I do not want to be entangled in any such worldly things (sharing profits).” Seeing Baba’s disapproval, Damu Anna dropped the enterprise.

Grain

Then he thought of trading in rice, wheat and other grains. Baba read this thought too and said to him, “You will be buying at five seers and selling at seven seers a rupee”. So this business was also abandoned. The rise in the prices of grain was kept up for some time and Baba’s prophecy seemed to be false. But in a month or two, there was abundant rain everywhere and the prices suddenly fell. Therefore, those who stored grains suffered a severe loss. Damu Anna was saved from this fate. Needless to say, the cotton speculation, which was conducted by the broker with the help of another merchant, also collapsed with a severe loss to the investors. After seeing that Baba had saved him from two severe losses in cotton and grain speculations, Damu Anna’s faith in Baba grew strong and he remained a true devotee.

Amra-Leela (The Miracle of the Mangoes)

Once, a parcel of about 300 good mangoes was received at Shirdi. It was sent from Goa by a Mamlatdar named Rale to Sai Baba and the package was addressed to Shama. When it was opened, all the mangoes were found to be in good condition. They were left in Shama’s charge and only four were retained and placed in a pot by Baba. He then said, “These four fruits are for Damu Anna; let them remain here”.

Damu Anna had two wives and had no children at that point. He had consulted many astrologers, studied astrology to some extent and found that, as there was an inauspicious planet in his horoscope, there was no prospect of having children in this life. But he had great faith in Baba. When he went to Shirdi, two hours after the receipt of the mango parcel, Baba said, “Though other people are looking for the mangoes, they are Dammya’s (Damu Anna’s). The person whom they are meant for should eat them and die.” Damu Anna, on hearing these words, was first shocked; But when Mhalsapati (a prominent Shirdi devotee) explained to him that death meant the death of the little self or ego, he said that he would accept the fruits and eat them. But Baba said to him, “Do not eat them alone; share them with your youngest wife. This Amra-Leela (miracle of 4 mangoes) will give her four sons and four daughters.” This was done and ultimately it was found that Baba’s words turned out true and not those of the astrologers.

Baba’s speech established its efficacy while He was living in the flesh; but it also did the same even after His passing away. Baba said, “Believe Me, that though I will pass away, the bones in My tomb will give you hope and confidence. My tomb will be speaking, moving and communicating with those who surrender themselves wholeheartedly to Me. Do not be anxious that I will be absent from your life. You will hear My bones speaking about and discussing your welfare. But remember Me always, believe in Me, heart and soul, and then you will benefit greatly.”

In this regard, the following extract from Damu Anna’s statement is worth reading, (Page 76):

“Once, when I sat at His Feet, I had two questions in my mind and He gave answers to both:

There are so many who come to see Sai Baba. Are they all benefited from seeing Him?

To this, He replied, ‘Look at the mango tree in blossom. If all the flowers bore fruit, what a splendid crop it would be. But do they? Most fall off (either as flowers or as unripe fruits). Very few remain.’

The second question was about myself. If Baba were to pass away, how hopelessly adrift would I be and how am I to fare then?

To this, Baba answered that He would be with me whenever and wherever I thought of Him. That is a promise He kept up before 1918 and has been keeping up after 1918. He is still with me; He is still guiding me. This was about 1910-11, when my brothers separated from me, my sister died, there was a theft in my house and a resulting police enquiry, all of which upset me very much.

I was most upset when my sister died; I did not care for life and enjoyments. When I went to Baba, He pacified me with His Upadesh and made me eat a feast of Pooran Poli at Appa Kulkarni’s house and had sandal paste applied to my body.

Then there was a theft in my house; A close friend of mine stole my wife’s jewelry box, including her auspicious nose-ring. I wept before Baba’s photo. The next day, the man returned the jewelry box and prayed for forgiveness.

Prayer

Hemadpant closes this Chapter with a prayer: “Oh Sai Sad-guru, the wish-fulfilling tree of the Bhaktas; Let us never forget and lose sight of Your Feet. We have been troubled by the ins and outs (births and deaths) in this samsara. Now free us from this cycle of births and deaths. Restrain us from the outgoing nature of our senses to their objects and introvert us and bring us face to face with the Atma (Self). As long as this outgoing tendency of the senses and the mind is not checked, there is no prospect of self-realization. Neither son, wife nor friend will be of any use in the end; It is only You Who will give us salvation and happiness. Destroy completely our tendency for discussions and other evil matters, and let our tongue get a passion for chanting Your name. Drive out our thoughts, good or otherwise, make us forget our bodies and houses and do away with our egoism. Make us always remember Your name and forget all other things. Remove the restlessness of our mind and make it steady and calm. If you clasp us, the darkness of our ignorance will vanish and we shall live happily in Your light. The fact that You made us drink the nectar of Your Leelas and awakened us from our slumber, is due to Your grace and our store of merits in our past births”.

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

Om Sai Om Sai Sadguru Sai

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *