Sai Satcharitra Chapter 40

Preliminary

Blessed is Shri Sai Samartha who gives his devotees instructions in both temporal and spiritual matters, and makes them happy by enabling them to achieve the goal of their life.  When Baba places His hand on their heads, He transfers His powers to them and thus destroys the sense of differentiation and makes them attain that Unattainable Thing. He embraces devotees who prostrate themselves before Him, with no sense of duality or difference. He becomes one with devotees, the way the rivers merge with the sea and gives them His power and position.

Mrs.Deo’s Udyapan Ceremony

Mr.B.V.Deo was a Mamlatdar in Dahanu (a town in the Thana District). His mother had observed 25 or 30 different vows and an Udyapan (concluding) ceremony was to be performed. This ceremony included the feeding of about 200 Brahmins. Mr.Deo set a date for the ceremony and wrote a letter to Bapusaheb Jog, asking him to request Sai Baba to attend the ceremony. He wrote that without Baba’s attendance, the ceremony would not be duly completed. Bapusaheb Jog read Baba the letter. Baba carefully noted the pure-hearted invitation and said, “I always think of him who remembers Me; I require no conveyance, carriage, train or aeroplane. I run and manifest myself to anyone who lovingly calls me. Write him a reply that the three of us— you, Me and a third person — will attend.” Mr.Jog informed Deo of what Baba said. The latter was very pleased, but he knew that Baba never went to any place except Rahata, Rui and Nimgaon in person. He also knew that nothing was impossible for Baba, as He was all-pervading and that He might suddenly come, in any form He likes, and fulfill his promise.

A few days before the Udyapan, a Sannyasi, professing to work for the cause of the protection of cows, came to the Station Master at Dahanu to collect subscriptions. The latter told him to go into town and see the Mamlatdar (Mr.Deo) and with his help collect funds. Just then, the Mamlatdar happened to come there. The Station Master introduced the Sannyasi to him, and Mr.Deo and the Sannyasi then sat and talked on the station platform. Mr.Deo told him that a donation list for some other charitable cause had already been started by another prominent citizen, and thus it would not be appropriate to start another donation list right away. He told the Sannyasi that it would be better if he came back after a few months. The Sannyasi left, promising to return.

On the day of the ceremony, the Sannyasi came in a tanga that stopped in front of Mr.Deo’s house at about 10 a.m. Deo thought that he had come to discuss the donations. Seeing him busy with the preparations for the ceremony, the Sannyasi said that he had not come for money but for meals. Deo said, “Alright, we are very glad and you are welcome; the house is yours.” The Sannyasi then said, “There are two lads with me.” Deo, “Please bring them too” As there were still 2 hours till lunch, Deo inquired where he should send for them. The Sannyasi said that it was not necessary, as they would come at the appointed time. Deo asked him to come at noon. Exactly at noon, the Trio arrived, had their meals and left.

After the ceremony was over, Deo wrote a letter to Bapusaheb Jog complaining of Baba’s breach of promise. Jog went to Baba with the letter, but before it was opened, Baba spoke, “Ah! He says that I promised to come but deceived him. Inform him that I did attend his ceremony with two others, but he failed to recognize Me. Then why did he invite me in the first place? Tell him that he thought that the Sannyasi had come to ask for subscription money; Did I not clear his doubts in that respect and did I not say that I would come with two others? And didn’t the Trio come on time and have their meals? See, to keep My word I would even sacrifice my life; I would never be untrue to My words.” This reply gladdened Jog’s heart and he communicated Baba’s entire reply to Deo. As soon as Deo read it, he burst into tears of joy, but he took himself to task mentally, for vainly blaming Baba. He wondered how he was deceived by the Sannyasi’s prior visit and his coming to him for donations, and how he also failed to catch the significance of the Sannyasi’s words− that he would come with two others for meals.

This story clearly shows that when devotees surrender themselves completely to their Sadguru, He sees that the religious ceremonies in their houses are duly executed and completed with all the necessary formalities.

Visiting Hemadpant’s House in the Form of a Picture

Now let us talk about another story which shows how Baba appeared in the form of His picture and fulfilled the desires of His devotee.

One morning in 1917, Hemadpant had a vision; Baba appeared to him in his dreams in the form of a well-dressed Sannyasi, woke him up and said that He would come to Hemadpant’s house for meals that day. When he awoke, he couldn’t see Sai, but he remembered each and every word Baba said in his dream. Though he had been in contact with Baba for seven years and though he always meditated on Baba, he had never expected Baba would come to his house for meals. However, very pleased with Baba’s words, he went to his wife and informed her that since it was Holi, a Sannyasi guest was coming for meals and that some extra rice should be prepared. She asked who the guest was and whence he was coming. Then, so as not to lead her astray and not to cause any misunderstanding, he told her the truth. She doubtingly asked whether it was possible that Baba would come from Shirdi, leaving behind dainty dishes, to accept their coarse food. Hemadpant then assured her that Baba might not come in person, but that He might attend in the form of a guest and that they would lose nothing if they cooked some extra rice.

After this, preparations for lunch continued and it was ready at noon. The Holika-worship was conducted and the leaves (dishes) were spread and arranged with Rangoli marks around them. Two rows of seats were arranged with a central seat between them for the guest. All the members of the family−sons, grandsons, daughters and sons-in-law− came and occupied their proper seats and the serving of the various dishes commenced. Everybody was waiting for the guest, but no one turned up, though it was past noon. Then the door was closed and chained. The anna-shuddhi (ghee) was served. This was a signal to start eating. A formal offering to the Vaishwadeva (Fire) and Naivedya to Shri Krishna were also completed and the family was about to begin eating, when they suddenly heard footsteps in the staircase. Hemadpant went immediately and opened the door and saw two men there— Ali Mahomed and Moulana Ismu Mujavar. These two men, seeing that the whole family was about to begin eating, apologized to Hemadpant and requested him to excuse their interference. They said, “You left your seat and came running to us; your family is waiting for you, so please take this and we shall relate the wonderful tale about it later on, at your convenience.” Saying this, Ali Mahomed took out from under his armpit a packet wrapped in an old newspaper and placed it on the table. Hemadpant unwrapped the packet and saw, to his great wonder and surprise, a nice big picture of Sai Baba. Seeing it, he was moved, tears ran from his eyes and hair stood on end all over his body and he bent and placed his head at Baba’s feet in the picture. He thought that Baba had blessed him by this Leela. Out of curiosity, he asked Ali Mahomed whence he got this picture. He said that he had bought it from a shop and that he would give all the details about it sometime later and wished that Hemadpant should go back and join his family, as they were all waiting for him. Hemadpant thanked him, bade them good-bye and returned to the dining-hall. The picture was placed on the central seat reserved for the guest and after the due offering of Naivedya, the whole family began eating. Seeing the beautiful form in the picture, everybody was extremely pleased and wondered how all this happened.

This is how Sai Baba kept His word to Hemadpant; The story of the picture with all its details, how Ali Mahomed bought it and how he ended up giving it to Hemadpant, is reserved for the next chapter.

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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