Sai Satcharitra Chapter 46

Hindu gods and goddesses statues

Preliminary

Blessed, Oh Sai, are Your Feet; blessed is Your remembrance and blessed is Your darshana which frees us from the bondage of Karma. Though Your Form is not visible to us now, if devotees believe in You, they receive divine experiences from You. By an invisible and subtle thread, You draw Your devotees from far and near to Your Feet and embrace them like a kind and loving mother. The devotees do not know where You are or what You want to accomplish, but You skillfully pull the wires so they ultimately realize that You are behind them to help and support them. The intelligent, wise and learned folk fall into the pit of samsar, on account of their egoism. But You save, through Your power, simple and devout persons. You invisibly play games but show that you are not concerned with them. You do things and yet pose as a spectator. Nobody can ever figure out reasons for Your actions; The best course therefore, is for us to surrender our body, speech and mind at Your Feet and always chant Your name, so as to destroy our sins. You fulfill the wishes of Your devotees and for those who are without any desires, You give bliss supreme. Chanting Your sweet name is the easiest means of salvation for Your devotees. Through this, our sins vanish, the Sattwa qualities and righteousness gain predominance. And discrimination, dispassion and knowledge are also attained. Thereby, we abide in our Self and our Guru (who are one and the same). This is what is called complete surrender to the Guru. The only sure sign of this is that our mind becomes calm and peaceful. The greatness of this surrender, devotion and knowledge is unique− for peace, non-attachment, fame and salvation follow it.

If Baba accepts a devotee, He follows him and stands by him, day and night. Let the devotee go anywhere he likes, Baba is there ahead of him in some form and in an inconceivable manner. The following story illustrates this.

Sometime after Kakasaheb Dixit was introduced to Sai Baba, he decided to perform the thread (Upanayan) ceremony of his eldest son, Babu, at Nagpur. At about the same time, Nanasaheb Chandorkar’s eldest son was getting married at Gwalior. Both Dixit and Chandorkar came to Shirdi and lovingly invited Baba for these events. Baba asked them to take Shama as His representative. When He was pressed to come in person, Baba told them to take Shama with them and said, “after visiting Banares and Prayag, I will be ahead of Shama.” Now mark these words, for they show Baba’s all-pervasiveness.

With Baba’s permission, Shama decided to go to Nagpur and Gwalior for these ceremonies and from there to Kashi, Prayag and Gaya. Appa Kote decided to accompany him. They both went first to Nagpur for the thread ceremony. Kakasaheb Dixit gave Shama 200 rupees for his expenses. Then they went to Gwalior for the marriage. There, Nanasaheb Chandorkar gave Shama 100 rupees and his relative, Mr.Jather, also gave him 100 rupees. Their next stop was Kashi and then Ayodhya, where they were well received in Jather’s beautiful temple of Laxmi-Narayan at Varanasi and in the Rama-Mandir at Ayodhya, by Jather’s manager. They stayed for 21 days in Ayodhya and two months in Banares. Then they left for Gaya; On the train, they were a little uneasy upon hearing that plague was raging in Gaya. At night, they alighted at the Gaya station and stayed in the local boarding house. In the morning, the Gayawala (the Priest who arranges and provides for the lodging and boarding of the pilgrims) came there and said, “The pilgrims have already started, you better come soon.” Shama casually asked him whether there was plague in Gaya. “No” said the Gayawala. “Please come without any fear or anxiety and see for yourself.” Then they went with him and stayed in his house which was a big and commodious Wada. Shama was pleased with the accommodation provided for him. However, what pleased him the most, was the large, beautiful portrait of Baba fixed in the central portion of the building. Seeing this portrait, Shama was overwhelmed with emotions. He remembered Baba’s words, “After visiting Kashi and Prayag, I will be ahead of Shama” and burst into tears. His hairs stood on end, his throat was choked and he began to sob. The Gayawala thought that Shama was afraid of the plague and was therefore crying. But Shama asked where he had got Baba’s portrait. He replied that he had 200 or 300 agents working at Manmad and Punatambe, to look after the convenience of the pilgrims to Gaya. And it was from them that he had heard about Baba’s fame. Then about 12 years ago, he went to Shirdi and received Baba’s darshana. While in Shirdi, he wanted Baba’s portrait which was hung in Shama’s house, and with Baba’s permission, Shama gave it to him. This was that very portrait; Shama then remembered this incident. The Gayawala’s joy knew no bounds when he learnt that the same Shama who had obliged him before was his guest. Then they were both very delighted. The Gayawala gave him a royal welcome, as He was a very rich man. He treated Shama to a ride on an elephant and attended to all his comforts and conveniences.

The moral of the story is that Baba’s words came true to the letter and unbounded was His love for His devotees. He also loves all creatures equally, for He is one with them. The following story will illustrate this.

The Two Goats

Baba was once returning from the Lendi, when He saw a herd of goats. Two of them attracted His attention; He went to them, caressed and petted them and bought them for 32 rupees. The devotees who were with Him were surprised at Baba’s conduct. They thought that Baba had been duped in this deal, as the goats would fetch two rupees each or at the most 3 or 4 rupees each (8 rupees at most for both). They began to take Baba to task for this, but Baba remained calm. Shama and Tatya Kote asked Baba for an explanation. He said He did not need to save money as He had no home or family to look after. He asked them to purchase, at His expense, 4 seers of lentils and feed the goats. After this was done, Baba returned the goats to the owner of the flock and told the story of the two goats.

“My dear Shama and Tatya, you think that I have been deceived in this bargain; I haven’t. In their former birth, these goats were human beings and had the good fortune to be My companions. They were uterine brothers who loved each other at first, but later on they became enemies. The elder brother was an idle fellow, while the younger one was an active chap and earned a lot of money. The former became greedy and jealous and wanted to kill his brother and take his money. They forgot their fraternal relationship and began to quarrel with each other. The elder brother resorted to many devices to kill his younger brother, but all of his attempts failed. Thus, they became deadly enemies and finally on one occasion the elder dealt a deadly blow with a big stick on the latter’s head while the latter struck the former with an axe. They both fell dead on the spot. As a result of their actions, they were both born as goats. As they passed by me, I at once recognized them and remembered their past. Taking pity on them, I wanted to feed them and give them some rest and comfort. It is for this reason that I spent all the money for which you reproach me. As you did not like the deal, I sent them back to their shepherd.” Such was Sai’s love for the goats.

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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