Sai Satcharitra Chapter 36

The Two Gentlemen

Two men came from Goa to receive Baba’s darshan and prostrated themselves before him. Though both came together, Baba asked only one of them to give Him 15 rupees as Dakshina, which was paid willingly. The other man voluntarily offered 35 rupees and this sum was rejected by Baba, to everyone’s astonishment. Shama, who was present, asked Baba, “What is this? Both came together, one’s Dakshina you accept, the other, though voluntarily paid, you refuse; Why this distinction?” Baba replied, “Shama, you know nothing. I take nothing from anybody. The Masjidmayi (The presiding Deity of the Masjid) calls for the debt and the donor pays it and becomes free. Have I any home, property or family to look after? I require nothing and am always free. Debt, enmity and murder have to be atoned for; there is no escaping them”. Baba then continued to tell a story in His characteristic way:

“At first he was poor and vowed to his God that he would give away his first month’s salary if he got hired. He got a job which paid 15 rupees per month. Then he steadily got promotions; he later earned Rupees 30, 60, 100, 200 and ultimately 700 per month. But amidst his prosperity, he completely forgot the vow. The force of his karma has driven him here and thus I asked for that amount (15 rupees) from him as Dakshina.”

“Another story: While wandering by the sea-side, I came to a huge mansion and sat on its verandah. The owner was hospitable and fed me sumptuously. He gave me a neat and clean place near a cupboard to sleep and I slept there. While I was sound asleep, the man removed a slab and broke the wall, entered my room and stole all the money in my pocket. When I woke up, I found that 30,000 rupees had been stolen from my pocket. I was very distressed and sat weeping and moaning. The money was in currency notes and I knew the man had stolen it. I lost all interest in food and sat for a fortnight on the verandah, bemoaning my loss. After a fortnight, a passing fakir saw me crying and asked me why I was crying. I told him everything; He said, ‘If you act according to what I tell you, you will recover your money. Go to a fakir, I shall give you his whereabouts, surrender yourself to him; he will get your money back. In the meanwhile, give up your favorite food till you recover your money.’ I followed the fakir’s advice and got my money back. Then I left the mansion and went to the sea-shore. I found a steamer that was ready to leave, but I could not get into it as it was crowded. Then, a good-natured peon interceded for me and I was luckily able to board it. That brought me to another shore, where I boarded a train and came to the Masjidmayi.”

Baba finished telling the story and asked Shama to take the guests and arrange for their meals. Then Shama took them home and served them dinner. At dinner, Shama said that Baba’s story was rather mysterious, as He had never been to the sea, never had any money, never traveled, never lost any money or recovered it, and enquired whether they had understood it and caught its significance. The guests were deeply moved and were shedding tears. In a choking voice, they said that Baba was omniscient, infinite and the One (Para Brahma). They said that the stories He told were their stories; What He spoke had already taken place in their case. How Baba knew all this was truly divine!

Then after the meal, while they were chewing betel-leaves, the guests began to tell their stories. The first one said,

“A hill-station on the ghats is my native place. I went to Goa to earn a living and I took a vow to God Datta, that if I got a job I would offer Him my first month’s salary. By His grace, I got a job that paid 15 rupees and then steadily got promotions as described by Baba. I forgot all about my vow. Baba has just reminded me of it in this way and recovered 15 rupees from me. It is not Dakshina as one may think it to be, but repayment of an old debt and fulfillment of a long-forgotten vow”

Baba never actually begged for any money or allowed His Bhaktas to beg. He regarded money as a danger or bar to spiritual progress and did not allow His Bhaktas to fall into its clutches. Bhagat Mhalsapati is an example of this; He was very poor and could hardly make both ends meet. Yet, Baba never allowed him to make any money, nor gave him anything from the Dakshina collected. Once, a kind and liberal merchant named Hansaraj gave a large amount of money to Mhalsapati, in Baba’s presence, but Baba would not allow him to accept it.

Then the second guest began his tale, “My cook had been working for me faithfully for 35 years. Unfortunately he fell into bad ways, his mind changed and he robbed me of my wealth. By removing a slab from the wall of my cupboard, he came in while we were all asleep and stole all my accumulated wealth; 30,000 rupees in currency notes. I do not know how Baba knew the exact amount. I sat crying day and night. My enquiries came to nothing and I spent a fortnight in great anxiety. As I sat on the verandah, sad and dejected, a passing fakir saw my condition and enquired of its cause. I told him all about it; He told me that a Great Saint named Sai lives in Shirdi. ‘Make a vow to Him and give up any food that you like best and tell Him that “I have given up eating that food till I receive your darshan”,‘ he said. Then I took the vow and gave up eating rice and said, ‘Baba, I will eat it after recovering my property and after receiving your darshan.’ ”

“Fifteen days after this, my cook, of his own accord, came to me, returned my money and apologized saying, ‘I went mad and acted thus; I now place my head at your feet, please forgive me.’ Thus, everything ended well. The fakir that met and helped me was not seen again. An intense desire to see Sai Baba arose. I thought that the fakir who came all the way to my house was no other than Sai Baba himself. Would He, who saw me and helped me to get my lost money ever covet 35 rupees? On the contrary, without expecting anything from us, He always tries His best to lead us on the path of spiritual progress.”

“I was overjoyed when I recovered my stolen property and thus being infatuated, forgot all about my vow. Then when I was at Colaba one night, I saw Sai Baba in my dreams. This reminded me of my promised visit to Shirdi. I went to Goa and from there wanted to leave for Shirdi by taking a steamer to Bombay. But when I came to the harbor, I found that the steamer was crowded and there was no space in it. The captain would not allow me to board, but on the intercession of a peon (who was a stranger to me) I was allowed to board the steamer which brought me to Bombay. From there, I got on a train and came here; I definitely think Baba is all-pervading and omniscient. Who are we and where is our home? Great indeed is our good fortune that Baba helped us get our money back and drew us here to Him. You Shirdi folk must be infinitely superior and more fortunate than us, for Baba has played, laughed, talked and lived with you for so many years. I think that your store of merits must be infinite, for it attracted Baba to Shirdi. Sai is our Datta; He ordered the vow, gave me a seat in the steamer and brought me here and thus gave proof of His omniscience and omnipotence”.

Mrs. Aurangabadkar

A lady from Sholapur, Mrs. Aurangabadkar, had no children in 27 years of married life. She had made a number of vows to Gods and Goddesses for a child, but was not successful. She then felt almost hopeless; As a last attempt in this matter, she came to Shirdi with her step-son and stayed there for two months and served Baba with devotion. Whenever she went to the Masjid, she found it full and found Baba surrounded by devotees. She wanted to see Baba alone, fall at His feet and pray that she may have a child. But she was unable to find a suitable opportunity to speak to Baba. Ultimately, she requested Shama to intercede with Baba when He was alone. Shama said to her that though Baba’s Darbar was open, he would try for her and that the Lord might bless her. He asked her to wait with a coconut and incense in the open courtyard, when Baba was having his meals. And when he beckoned her, she should come up. One day after dinner, Shama was wiping Baba’s wet hands with a towel, when the latter pinched Shama’s cheek. Shama feigning anger said, “Deva, is it proper for you to pinch me like this? We don’t want such a mischievous God who pinches us like this. Are we Your dependents? Is this the fruit of our devotion?” Baba replied, “Oh Shama, during the 72 generations that you were with me, I have never pinched you till now and now you resent my touching you?” Shama, “We want a God that will always give us kisses and sweets to eat and we do not want any respect from You. Let our faith unto Your Feet always be strong”. Baba, “Yes, I have indeed come for that and have been feeding and nursing you, and have lots of love and affection for you.”

Then Baba went and sat down. Shama beckoned the lady; She came up, bowed and presented the coconut and incense-sticks. Baba shook the coconut which was dry. The kernel within it rolled and made a noise. Baba said, “Shama, this is rolling; see what it says.” Shama, “The woman prays that a child might similarly roll and grow in her womb. Please give her the coconut with Your blessings.”

Baba, “Will the coconut give her a child? Its so foolish that people fancy such things!”

Shama, “I know the power of Your words and blessings. Your words will give her a string of children. You are wrangling and not giving real blessings.”

The parley went on for a while; Baba, repeatedly ordering to break the coconut and Shama pleading for the gift of the unbroken fruit for the lady. Finally, Baba yielded and said, “She will have a child.” “When?” asked Shama. “In 12 months” was the reply. The coconut was therefore broken into two parts, one was eaten by the two and the other was given to the lady.

Then Shama turned to the lady and said, “Madam, you are a witness to my words. If, within 12 months, you do not have a child, I will break a coconut against this Deva’s head and drive him out of this Masjid. If I fail in this, I will not call myself Madhav. You will soon realize what I say.”

A year later, she gave birth to a boy and the son was brought to Baba in his fifth month. Both husband and wife prostrated themselves before Baba and the grateful father (Mr. Aurangabadkar) paid a sum of 500 rupees, which was spent in constructing a shed for Baba’s horse, “Shyamakarna”.

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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