Part 2 – Chapter 1 – Our Anna – ShirdiChe Sai Baba

Previously Posted

Chapter NoPart NoContents of the Chapter
NANANote By G.P.Sinha
NA NA Publisher’s & Translator’s Note
NA NA Foreword
NA NA About The Author
NA NA Preface
NA NA Introduction
Chapter 1Part 1Our Anna
Part 2 - Chapter 1 – Our Anna – ShirdiChe Sai Baba

In the last chapter we read about an interesting conversation going on between the Saint and the author when He visits his house at midnight while the food is being prepared. In this chapter the conversation continues and see how interesting it grows. I had goosebumps when i first read the book about ten years back and again i am in the same state of overwhelming emotions.

“I had heard that you are very generous. That is why I came here. But I have already finished my dinner. I am satisfied”. Without any relevance he added “I don’t object if you eat fish. But never indulge. Do not keep ‘fish’ in your mind. Contemplate on Sadguru. Try to be firm. Choose one single path. Do not go this way or that way with a flickering mind”.

Then He started uttering some sacred names one by one. “Sri Ganesh, Sri Gajanan, Trimbak, Ganaraj, Gana Trimbak, Ganesh” (He repeated the names thrice. My guru’s name was Trimbak. Trimbak Vitthal Samant, alias Bhau Maharaj, from Kurla, a suburb of Mumbai. He was a devotee of Ganesh. He was a celibate). The Sadhu further advised, “To serve is the best Sadhana (Seva). Always feed those who are hungry. If you feed those who are underprivileged to their heart’s content, I feel that I have eaten my bellyful!”

Anna (Kamat), I am giving you the full details about the Sadhu, who I believe was Baba Himself. (Anna, his limbs were showing uncontrolled movements; as if trembling, especially left hand and left leg were showing paralytic signs. He was trying to hide his legs in a cloth which was green in colour. His head also was wrapped, but in orange coloured cloth. He could not sit stable at all).

“I am very much exhausted” he continued, “My mother troubled and forced me so I came here. I have troubled you”. Just then the wall clock struck twelve. He said, “Oh! It is twelve. Monday is over and Tuesday has commenced. Tuesday! It is a day of worshipping Mata (Devi). It’s mother’s day a very auspicious day”.

Next moment without telling anything to anybody He got up and went downstairs but returned back in five minutes. Sri Sai Baba had passed away on Dassera Day in 1918 and it was Tuesday and the time was 2:35 p.m. afternoon. May be the Sadhu wanted to show this significance of Tuesday. On Baba’s death anniversary, we always prepare Bajra-roti and Besan (Zunka Bhakar) as Naivedyam and then eat that as Prasadam. We had observed this rule since 1939. Baba Himself had instructed me to do so via dreams. He had said “Bhikshechi bhakar layee goad” which means the Bhakar obtained from Bhiksha (begging) is very sweet.

After coming upstairs He said, “Let us dine together; come!” Then He cut the rotis in pieces, put the chutney on each piece and gave one to each of us present myself, Sushila (my wife), Dinu and Moreshwar (my sons) and Madhu Shirodkar (another devotee). I asked him with surprise, “Why? You have not taken even a single piece.”

He answered, “When all of you eat, I feel my belly is full”. Just then my eldest son Bhai arrived. He had gone to see a movie. Sadhu asked him, “Oh! You have come! But where are the other two, who were with you?” (Bhai had gone with two of his friends. Surprisingly he knew it!)

The Sadhu said, “Nothing is left for you” (Rotis were finished). So he gave ‘Udi’ to Bhai, but Appa (Moreshwar) offered a piece from his roti to Bhai. We all finished our eating. He said, “Have water; then I will have some“. He belched after having water. “See, I am full! I feel contented when you people eat“.

“I am going to remain awake tonight. Tomorrow I will go to twelve different houses for alms”, he added. “But tomorrow eclipse is going to occur” I said, “So what? It does not affect us,” he reacted.

He then asked Shirodkar as to what his name was. Same question he asked Dinu also. “All of you have some names. But I do not have any. My mother did not perform name ceremony. She does not even tell me my father’s name. My mother is Dwarkamai”. After a pause he added “Pleasure and pain are the two sides of a coin of life. You should welcome both… pain and pleasure”.

I told him, “I will now make arrangements for a bed etc. for you to sleep”. “No need” he promptly said, “You sleep inside. I will take rest here in balcony. This ‘Satka’ (a wooden stick) is sufficient for me to rest my head on”. He demonstrated by leaning on that stick. It was an hour past midnight; and was very cold. But we were experiencing warmth of his presence. He said “I don’t feel cold. I am comfortable here”. We all went to bed at one a.m.

Even without sufficient sleep, I got up early in the morning, as usual. From 5:20 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. I was seated before the altar in my house and was doing ‘Nama-Smaran’ (Japa i.e. chanting of the God’s name). The sadhu was still sitting in the balcony. He told Dinu, my son, “See, your father is chanting my name. My mother is doing Japa for me”. My son Harish had a fever that day. He was sleeping inside. Madhu Shirodkar took him to the sadhu in balcony. “He is suffering from fever” said Madhu.

“Don’t worry. Take this medicine. My medicine is Udi!” Saying so, he applied some sacred ash on Harish’s forehead. I finished my daily rituals (puja, japa, etc.) and went to sit before him. I expressed my worry to him. “I am in debt. I don’t understand what to do. How to repay the loan now? I am very anxious about it”.

“Loan it is ok! I will ask ‘Him’ to take care of it. You give me one of your sons. I will look after your welfare.” I said, “Whatever I had I have given it to Sai Baba. You yourself ask my sons; and if they agree to your proposal, I have no objection whatsoever”.

“Don’t leave it like that. Go and bring a coconut”. I did as he asked me and while handing over the coconut, I pointed my finger at Dinu and I informed him that he is going to appear for the examination of Inter Science. He must get through this time. For last two years he has failed. Then he gave the coconut to Dinu. He called out for all my sons and advised, “You need not come with me. No need to serve Sai Baba. Serve your parents. Only those who have parted with their parents should serve Sai Baba. Service to parents has prime importance”.

“And you”, He addressed to Dinu, “Never cheat your parents. Never speak untruth. Always speak the truth, but no harm in talking untruth to those who are not honest”. (Note: Dinu was not a liar. Once he wanted to participate in a college drama, for which we had opposed. Still he took part and did not inform us about it. That way he lied to us. Because of the waste of time in drama practice, he failed in the exams that year. The sadhu was referring to that incidence. He knew everything, it was surprising.)

He said to Dinu, “I have given you a coconut. Don’t try to become like me. You cannot constantly carry on with me. You may bear with me for one day at the most. I am not taking any of you with me. But study hard and get through”. He turned to me and asked, “Tell me, what do you want?”

“Nothing?” He said in response to my gesture. “You want nothing for yourself? But you need many things for your children. You need land, a bungalow…! You will get it. You will be able to pay off your loans and be carefree. But do not claim your right on anything. There is no need of keeping fast. Don’t trouble your body. Sleep on the cot, not on the floor. I am here to toil for you. My mother asks me to work hard. You enjoy the Kingdom of Heaven. I am here to take care of you. I will be here for the whole month. You take those rings off that you are wearing. Give it to me”. I removed both the rings from my fingers. He said, “Let one be with you. I started putting on one of the rings, which had Sai Baba’s picture”. He objected, saying, “Don’t wear Baba’s ring. Is Baba a simple toy to play with? So wear it around your neck, not on the finger”.

He spread his right palm and showed the fingers one by one. This right hand belongs to God. It represents God. Thumb is the earth; this pointing finger (Sanskrit name, Tarjani) is Sadguru. Middle finger (Madhyama) is Brahma. The third finger (Anamika) is Vishnu; and the last finger (Karanguli) represents Shiva. “Remember these relations. That is why, while putting a morsel in your mouth (eating), use all your five fingers. A morsel is “Govind.” If any of the fingers is set aside; ‘Govind’ will fall down. Always concentrate on Sadguru while eating.” He continued, always be humble keeping subordinate feeling and humility in mind. This is your real dignity”.

Casually he put forth his feet. I did not miss the opportunity and prostrated by keeping my head on his feet. He tried to stop me and shouted, “What is this? Prostrate before your Sadguru”. He withdrew his feet and held his hand out. Everybody present there greeted and paid obeisance to his hand. I again got a chance to touch his feet. He smiled and did not prevent me. (His feet were so beautiful, tender and pink as those of new born babies. His soles were without any crack or chink, and were soft to touch.)

He hurriedly covered his feet in the same green cloth, and he uttered “Dwarkamai, my mother!”. I remembered Nathu, our servant and called him out to pay his obeisance to him. I introduced Nathu, “He is our poor servant.”

“Nothing matters”. He said, “God meets everyone; one may be righteous or a sinner; may be poor or wealthy; He looks upon everyone with the same uniform love. Is there anything special about a wealthy person? Does he possess three or more hands? He is similar to anybody else! Nathu is poor! So what? See, my wooden stick is very small; my pipe (chillum) also is very small. I wish that the stick should grow; but it does not. What should I do then? You should have patience (Saburi). Everyone’s wishes will be fulfilled. You must have steadfast faith. Forbearance is also necessary. Have you considered Baba? How tolerant He was! Pebbles and stones at times were hurled at Him (He has suffered a lot but shown patience). So hold yourself against all adversities. That will pay you in the long run. My mother does not spare me. She beats me! I cannot violate her orders.”

He further continued his advice. “You have served Baba! So He will have to be born again. But what can He give you? He has got nothing. Absolutely nothing. To give you something He will have to borrow or steal it from Sadguru. Be satisfied with what you get. Humility will give you greatness. Suddenly, he asked me, “When are you coming to Sadguru?”

I said, “Send him here; can’t you?” He kept quiet for a moment, and then added, “Come on! Take everything that I have. Rob me, plunder me. Take everything”. He gave us ‘Udi’. Only this much I will give you Ash and Soil. Only Mother earth and stones will be of your help. Now-a-days, I remain starved in Shirdi. I am here where I get bellyful food. I bless you. Prosper and be happy. Always serve fakirs. He muttered ‘Sri Ganesh-Sri Gajanan Trimbak – Gajanan – Gana Trimbak….

He repeated the names thrice. He reminded me of my duty by saying, “Now go to your dispensary. I will take leave you”. Choked with emotions my wife Sushila said, “Baba, you haven’t eaten house! least have cup tea; will specially prepare for You”.

“I do not take tea”, he said. Therefore, she requested him agree for at least cup of milk. He nodded. When milk was put before him, he added some Udi (sacred ash) and told us drink. repeated, “When you or drink something, contented”. Immediately He rose his feet and unveiled his face by removing cloth wrapped around face. We were stunned and astonished. He was Baba, our Sai Baba! We had recognized him earlier, but now it was confirmed. Joyfully I exclaimed “Baba..” Till then He had gone away by about two meters or so. But He turned back, and lifting his head scarf said lovingly, “Take darshan”. We could see Him in His usual Form. He was, Himself Sachidanand Sadguru Sai Baba.

He hurriedly turned and walked away briskly, as if floating few centimeters above the earth. In just one or two minutes He vanished. We stood dumbfounded with contentment and bliss! With His holy darshan, that thrilling and exciting event came to end!

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Hetal Patil
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