Sai Satcharitra Chapter 29

This Chapter describes some more of the interesting and wonderful stories of Sai Baba.

The Madrasi Bhajani Mela

It was in the year 1916 that a Madrasi Bhajan group started on a Pilgrimage to the holy city of Banaras. The group consisted of a man, his wife, daughter and sister-in-law. Unfortunately, their names are not mentioned. On their way, the group heard that there lived in Shirdi a great sage named Sai Baba, who was very liberal. They heard that He distributed money every day to His devotees and to skillful persons who displayed their skill in front of Him. A lot of money in the form of Dakshina was collected daily by Sai Baba; And out of this amount, He gave one rupee daily to a three year old girl Amani (the daughter of a devotee Kondaji), 6 rupees to Jamali (Amani’s mother) and Rupees 10, 20 or even 50 to other devotees. Upon hearing all this, the party came to Shirdi and stayed there. The group sang very good bhajans(devotional songs), but inwardly they craved money. Three of the four people in the party were full of avarice, but the man’s wife was of a very different nature. She had great regard and love for Baba. Once it so happened that when the noon Arati was going on, Baba was very pleased with her faith and devotion and decided to give her darshan of her Beloved Deity. To her, Baba appeared as Rama; On seeing her beloved Deity, she was greatly moved. Tears began to flow from her eyes and she clapped her hands with joy. The people around her began to wonder about the cause of her sudden joyful mood, but were unable to guess its cause. Later in the afternoon, she disclosed everything to her husband. She told him how she saw Shri Rama in place of Sai Baba. He thought that she was very simple and devout, and her seeing Rama might be a hallucination. He made fun of her, saying that it was not possible that she alone would see Rama, while everyone else saw Sai Baba. She did not resent this remark, as she was fortunate enough to receive similar visions when her mind was calm and composed and free from avarice.

The Wonderful Vision

One night, the husband had a wonderful dream:

He was in a big city and the police there had arrested him, tied his hands with a rope and put him in a cage. As the police were closing the door, he saw Sai Baba standing on the other side of the cage. On seeing Baba so close, he said in a plaintive tone, “Hearing of Your fame, I came to Your Feet and why then should a calamity befall me when You are standing here in person?” Baba said, “You must suffer the consequences of your actions” The man answered, “I have not done anything in this life which would bring such misfortune on me.” Baba said, “If not in this life, you must have committed some sin in your past life.” He replied, “I do not know anything about my past life; but assuming that I did commit some sin, shouldn’t it be burnt and destroyed in Your presence−just as dry grass is burnt by fire?” Baba replied, “Have you got such faith?”  “Yes”, said the man. Baba then asked him to close his eyes. As soon as he shut his eyes, he heard the thumping sound of something falling. And upon opening his eyes, he saw that he was free and that the policemen had fallen down and were bleeding. Rather frightened, he began to look at Baba who said, “Now you are truly caught and officers will now come and arrest you.” Then the man begged Baba, “There is no other savior except You; please save me somehow!” Then Baba asked him to close his eyes again. He did so and when he opened them, he saw that he was free, out of the cage and that Baba was by his side. He then fell at Baba’s Feet. Baba asked him, “Is there any difference between this namaskar and your previous ones? Think about it carefully and reply.” The man replied, “There is a lot of difference. My former namaskaras were offered with the aim of getting money from You, but the present namaskar is one offered to You as God. Besides this, I formerly thought resentfully that you, being a Muslim, were ruining us Hindus”. Baba then responded, “Do you not believe in Muslim Gods?” The man replied, “No”. Then Baba said, “Have you not got a Panja (Emblem of a Hand) in your house and do you not worship the same in the Tabut? There is also in your house another Muslim Deity named Kadbibi, whom you propitiate and appease on your marriage and other festivals. Is it not so?” The man admitted to all this. Then Baba said, “What more do you want?” Then a desire arose in the man’s mind; He wanted to receive the darshan of his Guru Ramdas, and then Baba asked him to turn back and look. And when he turned, Ramadas was in front of him. As soon as he began to fall at His Feet, Ramadas vanished. Then he inquisitively asked Baba, “You look old. Do You know Your age?” Baba exclaimed, “What! You say I am old! Just run a race with Me and see!” Saying this, Baba began to run and he too followed. Baba disappeared in the dust raised by His own footsteps and the man was then awakened from his sleep.

After awakening, he began to think seriously about the vision. His attitude was completely changed and he realized Baba’s greatness. After this, his greedy and doubting vices disappeared and true devotion to Baba’s Feet emerged in his mind. The vision was a mere dream, but the questions and answers therein were very significant and interesting. The next morning, when all the devotees were assembled in the Masjid for the Arati, Baba gave the man, as Prasad, sweets and two rupees from His pocket and blessed him. He made him stay there for a few more days and gave him His blessings, saying, “Allah (God) will give you plenty and He will take care of you”. He did not get any more money there, but he got far better things: Baba’s blessings which served him well for the rest of his life. The group got plenty of money afterwards and their pilgrimage was successful, as they did not to suffer any trouble or inconvenience during their journey. They all returned home safe and sound, thinking of Baba’s words and blessings and the bliss they had experienced by His grace.

This story illustrates one of the methods which Baba used in some cases to improve and reform His devotees.

The Tendulkar Family

The Tendulkar family lived in Bandra (a suburb of Bombay). The entire family was devoted to Baba. Mrs. Savitribai Tendulkar wrote and published a Marathi book named “Shri Sainath Bhajan Mala” which describes the Leelas of Baba. It is a book worth reading by those who are interested in Baba. The son, Babu Tendulkar, was studying hard day and night and wanted to appear for the medical entrance examination. He consulted a few astrologers in this regard; Upon examining his horoscope, they told him that the stars were not favorable that year and that he should appear for the examination next year, when he would certainly be successful. This cast gloom over him and made him anxious and restless. A few days after this, his mother went to Shirdi and met Baba. Among other things, she mentioned the gloomy and morose condition of her son, who was to appear for the examination in a few days. Hearing this, Baba said to her, “Tell your son to believe in Me; throw aside horoscopes and predictions of astrologers and palmists and go on with his studies. Let him appear for the examination with a calm mind; he is sure to pass this year. Ask him to trust in Me and not get disappointed”. The mother returned home and communicated Baba’s message to her son. Then he studied hard and in due course appeared for the examination. In the written papers, he did well; But being overwhelmed by doubt, he thought that he would not secure enough marks to pass. So he did not bother to appear for the verbal examination. But the examiner was persistent; He sent word through a fellow student, stating that he had passed in the written examination and that he should appear for the verbal part. The son, being thus encouraged, appeared for the verbal examination and was successful in both. Thus, he got through the examination successfully that year by Baba’s grace, though the stars were supposedly aligned against him. It is to be noted here that doubts and difficulties surround us just to move us and confirm our faith. Difficulties test our faith; It is only if we steadily hold on to Baba with full faith and continue our endeavors, that our efforts will ultimately be crowned with success.

The father of this boy, Raghunathrao, was working in some foreign mercantile firm in Bombay. As he grew old, he was not able to attend to his work properly and so he had to take leave and rest. As he did not improve during the period of leave, a further extension of leave or retirement from service was inevitable. The Manager of the firm decided to retire him on a pension, as he was an old and reliable employee. The manager was considering the amount of pension to be paid; He was making 150 Rupees a month and his pension, half the amount— 75 Rupees, would not have been enough to meet the expenses of the family. So they were all anxious about this matter. Fifteen days before the final settlement, Baba appeared in Mrs. Tendulkar’s dreams and said, “I wish that 100 Rupees be paid as pension; will this satisfy you?” She replied, “Baba, why ask me this? We fully trust in You”. Though Baba said 100 Rupees, he was given ten Rupees more, 110 Rupees, as a special case. Such was Baba’s wonderful love and concern for His devotees.

Captain Hate

Captain Hate, a resident of Bikaner, was a great devotee of Baba. Once, Baba appeared to him in his dreams and said, “Have you forgotten Me?” Hate then immediately held Baba’s Feet and replied, “If a child forgets his mother, how could it be saved?” Then Hate went into the garden, plucked fresh walpapadi vegetables and after arranging for shidha (ghee, wheat-flour and dal etc.) and Dakshina, was about to offer all this to Baba. Suddenly, he was awakened and came to know that the whole thing was a dream. Then he decided to send all these things to Baba at Shirdi. When he went to Gwalior a few days later, he sent 12 Rupees by money-order to a friend, with instructions that 2 Rupees should be spent in buying shidha and walpapadi vegetables, and those should be offered to Baba with 10 Rupees as Dakshina. The friend went to Shirdi and purchased all the other things mentioned, but walpapadi vegetables were not easily available. However, a woman suddenly turned up with a basket on her head, which curiously enough contained the vegetables. They were purchased and then all these things were offered to Baba on behalf of Captain Hate. Mr. Nimonkar prepared the naivedya (rice and walpapadi vegetables) the next day and offered it to Baba. Everyone was surprised to see that Baba only ate the walpapadi vegetables and did not eat the rice and other things on His plate. Hate’s joy knew no bounds when his friend told him about this.

The Consecrated Coin

On another occasion, Captain Hate wanted a coin that had been consecrated by Baba. He came across a friend who was bound for Shirdi and Hate sent his rupee with this friend. The friend went to Shirdi and after the usual salutation, first gave Baba his own Dakshina, which Baba pocketed. Then he gave Baba Hate’s rupee; Baba held it in His hand and began to stare at it. He held it in front of His face, tossed it with His right thumb and played with it. Then He said to the friend, “Return this to its owner with the Prasad of Udi and tell him that I want nothing from him. Ask him to live in peace and contentment.” The friend returned to Gwalior, handed over the consecrated rupee to Hate and told him all that happened at Shirdi. Hate was very pleased and realized that Baba always encouraged good thoughts. As he wished intently, Baba fulfilled the same accordingly.

Waman Narvekar

Now let the readers hear a different story. A gentleman named Waman Narvekar loved Baba very much. He once brought a coin and wanted to have it consecrated by Baba. On one side of it were engraved the figures of Rama, Laxman and Sita and on the other side the figure of Maruti with folded hands. He offered it to Baba in the hopes that He would consecrate it with His touch and return it with Udi. But Baba immediately pocketed it. Then Shama spoke to Baba regarding Wamanrao’s intention and requested Him to return it. Then Baba said, “Why should it be returned to him? We shall keep it ourselves. If he gives 25 rupees for it, it will be returned.” Then, for the sake of that rupee, Wamanrao somehow found 25 rupees and placed it before Baba. Then Baba said, “The value of that rupee far exceeds 25 Rupees. Shama, take this rupee, let us have it in our store; keep this in your shrine and worship it.” No one had the courage to ask Baba why He did this. Only He knows what is best and most suitable for 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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