SHRI SAI SATCHARITRA - Ch.XLIX and L
- Om Sri Sai RamSHRI SAI SATCHARITRAChapter XLIXStories of (1) Hari Kanoba - (2) Somadeva Swami - (3) Nanasaheb ChandorkarPreliminaryThe Vedas and the Puranas cannot sufficiently praise (describe) Brahma or Sad-guru; then how can we, who are ignorant, describe our Sad-guru Shri Sai Baba? We think that it is better for us to keep quiet in this matter. In reality the observance of the vow of silence is the best way of praising the Sad-guru; but the good qualities of Sai Baba make us forget our vow of silence and inspire us to open our mouth. Good dishes taste flat if there be no company of friends and relations to partake of the dishes with us, but when they join us, the dishes acquire additional flavors. The same is the case with the Sai Leelamrit - the nectar in the form of Sai's leelas. This nectar we cannot partake alone. Friends and brothers have to join us - the more the better.It is Sai Baba Himself that inspires these stories and gets them written, as He desires. Our duty is to surrender completely to Him and meditate on Him. Practicing penance is better than pilgrimage, vow, sacrifice, and charity. Worshipping Hari (Lord) is better than penance, and meditation on the Sad-guru is the best of all. We have, therefore, to chant Sai's name by mouth, think over His sayings in our mind, meditate on His form, feel real love for Him in our heart and do all our actions for His sake. There is no better means than this for snapping the bondage of samsar. If we can do our duty on our part as stated above, Sai is bound to help and liberate us. Now we revert to the stories of this chapter.Hari KanobaA gentleman of Bombay named Hari Kanoba heard from his friends and relations many Leelas of Baba. He did not believe in them, as he was a doubting Thomas. He wanted to test Baba himself. So he came to Shirdi with some Bombay friends. He wore a lace-bordered turban on his head and a new pair of sandals on his feet. Seeing Baba from a distance he thought of going to Him and prostrating himself before Him. He did not know what to do with his new sandals. Still going to some corner outside in the open courtyard, he placed them there and went in the Masjid and took Baba's Darshan. He made a reverential bow to Baba, took udi and prasad from Baba and returned. When he reached the corner he found that his sandals had disappeared. He searched for them in vain and returned to his lodging very much dejected.He bathed, offered worship and naivedya and sat for meals, but all the while he was thinking about nothing but his sandals. After finishing his meals, he came out to wash his hands when he saw a Maratha boy coming towards him. He had in his hand a stick, on the top of which was suspended a pair of new sandals. He said to the men who had come out to wash their hands that Baba sent him with this stick in hand and asked him to go on the streets crying Hari Ka Beta. Jari Ka Pheta" and told him that If anybody claims these sandals, first assure yourself that his name is Hari and that he is the son of Ka, i.e., Kanoba, and that he wears a lace-bordered turban and then give them to him." Hearing this, Hari Kanoba was pleasantly surprised. He went ahead to the boy and claimed the sandals as his own. He said to the boy that his name was Hari and that he was the son of Ka (Kanoba) and showed him his lace-bordered turban. The boy was satisfied and returned the sandals to him. Hari Kanoba wondered in his mind saying that his lace-bordered turban was visible to all and Baba might have seen it, but how could he know his name Hari and that he was the son of Kanoba, as this was his first trip to Shirdi. He came there with the sole object of testing Baba and with no other motive. He came to know by this incident that Baba was a great Satpurush. He got what he wanted and returned home well pleased.Somadeva SwamiNow hear the story of another man who came to try Baba. Bhaiji, brother of Kakasaheb Dixit was staying at Nagpur. When he had gone to the Himalayas in 1906 A.D., he made an acquaintance with one Somadeva Swami of Haradwar at Uttarkashi down the Gangotri valley. Both took down each other's names in their diaries. Five years afterwards Somadeva Swami came to Nagpur and was Bhaiji's guest. There he was pleased to hear the Leelas of Baba and a strong desire arose in his mind to go to Shirdi and see Him. He got a letter of introduction from Bhaiji and left for Shirdi. After passing Manmad and Kopergaon, he took a tanga and drove to Shirdi. As he came near Shirdi he saw two high flags floating over the Masjid in Shirdi. Generally we find different ways of behaviour, different modes of living and different outward paraphernalia with different saints. But these outward signs should never be our standards to judge the worth of the saints. But with Somadeva Swami it was different. As soon as he saw the flags flying, he thought Why should a saint take a liking for the flags, does this denote sainthood? It implies the saint's hankering after fame." Thinking thus he wished to cancel his Shirdi trip and said to his fellow travelers that he would go back. They said to him Then why did you come so long? If your mind gets restless by the sight of the flags, how much more agitated would you be on seeing in Shirdi the Ratha (car), the palanquin, the horse and all other paraphernalia?" The Swami got more confounded and said Not a few such Sadhus, with horses, palanquins and tom-toms have I seen and it is better for me to return than see such Sadhus." Saying this he started to return. The fellow travellers pressed him not to do so, but to proceed. They asked him to stop his crooked way of thinking and told him that the Sadhu, i.e., Baba did not care a bit for the flags and other paraphernalia, nor for fame. It was the people, His devotees that kept up all this paraphernalia out of love and devotion to Him. Finally he was persuaded to continue his journey, go to Shirdi and see Baba. When he went and saw Baba from the courtyard, he was melted inside, his eyes were full of tears, his throat was choked and all his evil and crooked thoughts vanished. He remembered his Guru's saying that - 'that is our abode and place of rest where the mind is most pleased and charmed.' He wished to roll himself in the dust of Baba's Feet and when he approached Baba, the latter got wild and cried aloud Let all our humbug (paraphernalia) be with us, you go back to your home, beware if you come back to this Masjid. Why take the Darshan of one who flies a flag over his Masjid? Is this a sign of sainthood? Remain here not a moment." The Swami was taken aback by surprise. He realized that Baba read his heart and spoke it out. How omniscient He was! He knew that he was least intelligent and that Baba was noble and pure. He saw Baba embracing somebody, touching someone with his hand, comforting others, staring kindly at some, laughing at others, giving udi prasad to some and thus pleasing and satisfying all. Why should he alone be dealt with so harshly? Thinking seriously he came to realize that Baba's conduct responded exactly to his inner thought and that he should take a lesson from this and improve; and that Baba's wrath was a blessing in disguise. It is needless to say that later on, his faith in Baba was confirmed and he became a staunch devotee of Baba.
Nanasaheb ChandorkarHemadpant concludes this chapter with a story of Nanasaheb Chandorkar. When Nanasaheb was once sitting in the Masjid with Mhalasapati and others, Mohammedan gentlemen from Bijapur came with his family to see Baba. Seeing gosha (veiled) ladies with him, Nanasaheb wanted to go away, but Baba prevented him from doing so. The ladies came and took the Darshan of Baba. When one of the ladies removed her veil in saluting Baba's feet and then resumed it again, Nanasaheb, who saw her face, was so much smitten with her rare beauty that he wished to see her face again. Knowing Nana's restlessness of mind, Baba spoke to him after the lady had left the place as follows Nana, why are you getting agitated in vain? Let the senses do their allotted work, or duty; we should not meddle with their work. God has created this beautiful world and it is our duty to appreciate its beauty. The mind will get steady and calm slowly and gradually. When the front door was open, why go by the back one? When the heart is pure, there is no difficulty, whatsoever. Why should one be afraid of any one if there be no evil thought in us? The eyes may do their work, why should you feel shy and tottering?"Shama was there and he could not follow the meaning of what Baba said. So he asked Nana about this on their way home. Nana told him about his restlessness at the sight of the beautiful lady, how Baba knew it and advised him about it. Nana explained Baba's meaning as follows That our mind is fickle by nature, it should not be allowed to get wild. The senses may get restless, the body, however, should be held in check and not allowed to be impatient. Senses run after objects, but we should not follow them and crave for their objects. By slow and gradual practice restlessness can be conquered. We should not be swayed by the senses, but they cannot be completely controlled. We should curb them rightly and properly according to the need of the occasion. Beauty is the subject of sight; we should fearlessly look at the beauty of objects. There is no room for shyness or fear. Only we should never entertain evil thoughts. Making the mind desireless, observe God's works of beauty. In this way the senses will be easily and naturally controlled and even in enjoying objects you will be reminded of God. If the outer senses are not held in check and if the mind be allowed to run after objects and be attached to them, our cycle of births and deaths will not come to an end. Objects of sense are things harmful. With Viveka (discrimination) as our charioteer, we will control the mind and will not allow the senses to go astray. With such a charioteer we reach the Vishnu-pada, the final abode, our real Home from which there is no return."Bow to Shri Sai - Peace be to allChapter LStories of - (1) Kakasaheb Dixit (2) Shri Tembye Swami (3) Balaram DhurandharChapter 50 of the original Satcharitra has been incorporated in Chapter 39, as it dealt with the same subject matter. Now, Chapter 51 of the Satcharitra has been treated here as Chapter 50. This Chapter gives the stories of (1) Kakasaheb Dixit, (2) Shri Tembye Swami and (3) Balaram Dhurandhar.PreliminaryVictory be unto Sai Who is the main-stay of the Bhaktas, Who is our Sadguru, Who expounds the meaning of the Gita. Who gives us all powers? Oh Sai, look favorably on us and bless us all.The sandalwood trees grow on the Malaya Mountains and, ward off heat. The clouds pour their rainwater and thereby, cool and refresh all the people. The flowers, blossom in the spring and enable us to worship God, therewith. So the stories of Sai Baba come forth, in order to give solace and comfort to the readers. Both, those, who tell; and those, who hear the stories of Baba, are blessed and holy, as also the mouths of the former and the ears of the latter.It is a well-established fact, that though we try hundreds of means or sadhanas, we do not attain the spiritual goal of life, unless a Sadguru blesses us with his Grace. Hear the following story in illustration of this statement.Kakasaheb Dixit (1864-1926)Mr. Hari Sitaram alias Kakasaheb Dixit was born in 1864 A.D., in Vadnagara Nagar - Brahmin-family, Khandwa (C.P.). His primary education was done at Khandwa, Hinganghat, and secondary education at Nagpur. He came to Bombay for higher education and studied first in the Wilson College and then in the Elphinstone College. After graduation in 1883 A.D., he passed his LL.B. and solicitor's examinations; and then served in the firm of the Govt. Solicitors, Messrs Little and Co., and then, after sometime started a solicitors' firm of his own.Before 1909 A.D., Sai Baba's name was not familiar to Kakasaheb, but after that he soon became His great devotee. While he was staying at Lonavla, he happened to see his old friend, Mr. Nanasaheb Chandorkar. Both spent some time, in talking about many things. Kakasaheb described to him, how when he was boarding a train in London, he met with an accident, in which his foot slipped and was injured. Hundreds of remedies gave him no relief. Nanasaheb then told him that if he wished to get rid of the pain and lameness of his leg, he should go to his Sadguru-Sai Baba. He also gave him all the particulars of Sai Baba and mentioned to him Sai Baba's dictum - "I draw to Me My man from far off, or even across the seven seas, like a sparrow with a string fastened to its feet". He also made it clear to him that if he be not Baba's man, he would not be attracted to Him and given a Darshan. Kakasaheb was pleased to hear all this, and said to Nanasaheb that he would go to Baba, see Him and pray to Him to cure not so much his lame leg, but bring around his lame, fickle mind and give him eternal Bliss.Some time after, Kakasaheb went to Ahmednagar, and stayed with Sirdar Kakasaheb Mirikar in connection with securing votes for a seat, in the Bombay Legislative Council. Mr. Balasaheb Mirikar, son of Kakasaheb Mirikar, who was a Mamalatdar of Kopergaon, also came at that time to Ahmednagar in connection with a Horse-Exhibition there. After the election business was over, Kakasaheb Dixit wanted to go to Shirdi and the Mirikars, father and son were also thinking in their house about a fit and proper person, as a guide, with whom he should be sent there. There Sai Baba was arranging things for his reception. Shama got a telegram from his father-in-law at Ahmednagar, stating that his wife was seriously ill, and that he should come to see her with his wife. Shama with Baba's permission went there, and saw his mother-in-law and found her improving and better. Nanasaheb Panshe and Appasaheb Gadre happened to see Shama, on their way to the Exhibition and they told him to go to Mirikar's house, see Kakasaheb Dixit there and take him to Shirdi along with him. Kakasaheb Dixit and the Mirikars were also informed of Shama's arrival. In the evening Shama came to Mirikars, who introduced him to Kakasaheb. They arranged that Shama should leave for Kopergaon with Kakasaheb by the 10 o'clock night train. After this was settled, a curious thing happened. Balasaheb Mirikar threw aside the veil or covering on Baba's big portrait and showed the same to Kakasaheb. He was surprised to see that He, Whom he was going to meet at Shirdi, was already there in the form of His portrait to greet him, at this juncture. He was much moved and made his prostration before the portrait. This portrait belonged to Megha. The glass over it was broken and it was sent to Mirikars for repairs. The necessary repairs had been already made; and it was decided to return the portrait with Kakasaheb and Shama.Before ten o'clock, they went to the station and booked their passage; but when the train arrived, they found that the second class was overcrowded; and that there was no room for them. Fortunately, the guard of the train turned out to be an acquaintance of Kakasaheb; and he put them up in the first class. Thus, they traveled comfortably and alighted at Kopergaon. Their joy knew no bounds when they saw there Nanasaheb Chandorkar, who was also bound for Shirdi. Kakasaheb and Nanasaheb embraced each other, and then after bathing in the sacred Godavari River they started for Shirdi. After coming there and getting Baba's Darshan, Kakasaheb's mind was melted, his eyes were full of tears and he was overflowing with joy. Baba said to him, that He was also waiting for him; and had sent Shama ahead to receive him.Kakasaheb then passed many happy years in Baba's company. He built a Wada in Shirdi, which he made as his, more or less, permanent home. The experiences he got from Baba are so manifold, that it is not possible to relate them all here. The readers are advised to read a Special (Kakasaheb Dixit) No. of 'Shri Sai Leela' magazine, Vol. 12, No. 6-9. We close this account with the mention of one fact only. Baba had comforted him by saying that in the end; He will take him in air coach (Viman), (i.e., secure him a happy death). This came out true. On the 5th July 1926 A.D., he was traveling in the train with Hemadpant and talking about Sai Baba; he seemed deeply engrossed in Sai Baba. All of a sudden he threw his neck on Hemadpant's shoulder, and breathed his last with no trace of pain and uneasiness.Shri Tembye SwamiWe come to the next story, which shows how Saints love each other with fraternal affection. Once Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati, known as Shri Tembye Swami encamped at Rajamahendri (Andhra Country), on the banks of the Godavari. He was devout, orthodox, Jnani and Yogi Bhakta of the God Dattatreya. One, Mr. Pundalikrao, pleader of Nanded (Nizam State) went to see him, with some friends. While they were talking with him, the names of Shirdi and Sai Baba were casually mentioned. Hearing Baba's name, the Swami bowed with his hands; and taking a coconut gave it to Pundalikrao, and said to him - "Offer this to my brother Sai, with my pranam and request Him not to forget me, but ever love me". He also added that Swamis do not generally bow to others, but in this case an exception had to be made. Mr. Pundalikrao consented to take the fruit and his message to Baba. The Swami was right in calling Baba a brother, for as he maintained an Agnihotra (sacred fire) day and night, in his orthodox fashion; Baba too kept His Agnihotra, i.e., Dhuni ever burning in the Masjid.After one month Pundalikrao and others left for Shirdi with the coconut, and reached Manmad, and as they felt thirsty they went to a rivulet for drinking water. As water should not be drunk on an empty stomach, they took out some refreshment, i.e., Chivda (Flattened rice mixed with spice). The Chivda tasted most pungent and in order to soften it, some one suggested and broke the coconut and mixed its scrapings with it. That then made the Chivda more tasty and palatable. Unfortunately the fruit broken, turned out to be the same, that was entrusted to Pundalikrao. As they neared Shirdi, Pundalikrao remembered the trust, i.e., the coconut and was very sorry to learn that it was broken and utilized. Fearing and trembling, he came to Shirdi and saw Baba. Baba had already received a wireless message, regarding the coconut, from the Tembye Swami, and Himself asked Pundalikrao first to give the thing sent by His brother. He held fast Baba's Feet, confessed his guilt and negligence, repented and asked for Baba's pardon. He offered to give another fruit as a substitute, but Baba refused to accept it saying that the worth of that coconut was by far, many times more, than an ordinary one and that it could not be replaced by another. Baba also added - "Now you need not worry yourself any more about the matter. It was on account of my wish that the coconut was entrusted to you, and ultimately broken on the way; why should you take the responsibility of the actions on you? Do not entertain the sense of doership in doing good, as well as for bad deeds; be entirely prattleless and egoless in all things and thus your spiritual progress will be rapid." What a beautiful spiritual instruction Baba gave!Balaram Dhurandhar (1878-1925)Mr. Balaram Dhurandhar belonged to the Pathare Prabhu community, of Santacruz, Bombay. He was an advocate of the Bombay High Court and sometime Principal of the Government Law School, Bombay. The whole Dhurandhar family was pious and religious. Mr. Balaram served his community, and wrote and published an account of it. He then turned his attention to spiritual and religious matters. He studied carefully Gita, and its commentary Jnaneshwari; and other philosophical and metaphysical works. He was a devotee of Vithoba of Pandharpur. He came in contact with Sai Baba in 1912 A.D., Six months previous; his brothers Babulji and Vamanrao came to Shirdi and took Baba's Darshan. They returned home, and mentioned their sweet experiences to Balaram and other members. Then they all decided to see Sai Baba. Before they came to Shirdi, Baba declared openly that - "Today many of my Darbar people are coming". The Dhurandhar brothers were astonished to hear this remark of Baba, from others; as they had not given any previous intimation of their trip. All the other people prostrated themselves before Baba, and sat talking with Him. Baba said to them - These are my Darbar people to whom I referred before and said to the Dhurandhar brothers - We are acquainted with each other for the last sixty generations. All the brothers were meek and modest; they stood with joined hands, staring at Baba's Feet. All the Satwic emotions such as tears, horripilation, choking etc., moved them and they were all happy. Then they went to their lodging, took their meals and after taking a little rest again came to the Masjid. Balaram sat near Baba, massaging His legs. Baba who was smoking the chillim advanced it towards him and beckoned him to smoke it. Balaram was not accustomed to smoking, still he accepted the pipe, smoked it with great difficulty; and returned it reverentially with a bow. This was the most auspicious moment for Balaram. He was suffering from Asthma for six years. This smoke completely cured him of the disease, which never troubled him again. Some six years later, on a particular day, he again got an attack of Asthma. This was precisely the time when Baba took His Mahasamadhi.The day of this visit was a Thursday; and the Dhurandhar brothers had the good fortune of witnessing the Chavadi procession that night. At the Arti function in the Chavadi, Balaram saw the luster of Pandurang on Baba's face and next morning at the Kakad Arti time, the same phenomenon - the same lustre of his Beloved Deity-Pandurang was visible again on Baba's face.Mr. Balaram Dhurandhar wrote, in Marathi, the life of the Maharashtra Saint Tukaram, but he did not survive to see its publication. His brothers published it, later on, in 1928. In a short note on Balaram's life given in the beginning of the book, the above account of Balaram's visit has been fully corroborated therein (Vide page 6 of the book).Bow to Shri Sai - Peace be to all
TO BE CONTINUED
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