|Chapter No||Part No||Contents of the Chapter|
|NA||NA||Note By G.P.Sinha|
|NA||NA||Publisher’s & Translator’s Note|
|NA||NA||About The Author|
|Chapter 1||Part 1||Our Anna|
|Chapter 1||Part 2||Our Anna|
|Chapter 1||Part 3||Our Anna|
|Chapter 2||Part 1||Arrival Of Sai Baba In Shirdi|
Prior to this incident, many people had troubled Baba for no reason. But all the people were then convinced about Baba’s greatness. They felt scared that Baba might punish them. But He was an embodiment of love and compassion. He always cared for the welfare of the people. How could He punish those whom He loved? People then started following His instructions and behaving as per His guidance.
Pandurang Shyam Sai had come to Shirdi village on Godavari river banks, to teach the Bhagwat Dharma to His devotees and to save them from the calamities. To attract the attention of the people He performed many Leelas (miracles). This way He tried to convince the people of His superiority above normal human beings. Baba presented Himself as a little harsh person to avoid unwanted closeness with the people. They did not dare to establish intimacy with Baba and remained at a distance. They, therefore, would rarely go to Dwarkamai. Only one person, Madhav Balwant Deshpande, (Shama) was allowed to visit the masjid and meet Baba anytime.
Baba seldom left Shirdi to visit other places. Sometimes He used to go to Nimgaon, a village where His devotee, Babasaheb Dengle resided. Sometimes He would go to Chandrabhan Marwadi, staying at Rahata, another village near Shirdi. Chandrabhan Marwadi was running a shop there. The shop was then taken over by Khushalchand. Baba occasionally used to invite Kushalchand to Shirdi. When any other person would come from Rahata, to meet Baba, He would surely ask him about Khushalchand’s well-being. Such was the grace of Baba on him.
Baba’s name and fame started spreading over gradually. It had to happen. Baba was a powerful source of supreme energy and intelligence. He always cared for His devotee’s well-being. He was embodiment of bliss, so bliss had pervaded the region around Sai, and was spreading in all directions. People started pouring into Shirdi from all over in great numbers. There was no sufficient accommodation for them to stay. But compassionate Sai solved this difficulty. He inspired one of His devotees, Rao Bahadur Hari Vinayak Sathe, to construct a ‘Wada’ (an old fashioned spacious building with many rooms) for the convenience of the visiting devotees.
Mr. Sathe was the collector of the same district in which Shirdi town was included. He was a Sai devotee. He was a widower without any issue. His friends and relatives insisted him to remarry, but he did not want to do so. Due to their persistent insistence, he decided to go to Shirdi to seek Baba’s advice. Baba told him to remarry and also blessed him that he would have a son. Following Baba’s command, Sathe approved of one girl, daughter of Mr. Ganesh Damodar Kelkar. He requested Mr. Kelkar to take her to Baba and ask for His approval. Kelkar accordingly came to Shirdi alongwith his daughter. Baba put a fruit in her ‘Pallu’ (extended portion of her sari, Indian attire) and applied ‘Kumkum’ (sacred round and red sign on forehead of a Hindu woman) on her forehead. The marriage ceremony was carried out in due course.
A devotee becomes contented and yearns for nothing in this world when he experiences the love of God in his heart. He gets immersed in the Atmik bliss and experiences the shower of love from his Lord in return. All this eventually happened with Mr. Sathe. Lord Sai ascended on the throne of his heart. He purchased a big piece of land around the Neem tree and built a huge wada on the site. Thus the problem of inconvenience of the visiting devotees was solved. Followed by this, one more wada was built by Mr. Hari Sitaram Dixit, a solicitor, after three years; and still one more by Shrimant Gopalrao alias Bapusaheb Buti. Of course, all this came up with the inspiration of Sai Baba.
Baba’s Samadhi today, is in the same Buti wada built then. It is a holy and sacred place for all the pilgrims now. When Sathe-wada was completed and was ready to receive the devotees, people thought that Shirdi should be given a status of Sansthan, an establishment or a state. Devotion and affection towards Baba were increasing day-by-day in the minds of devotees. For them, Shirdi was a Court of King Sai. This thought was put to practice. Certain rituals were regularly observed everyday; such as, ‘Aarti‘ (waving of lights) at both the times, at dawn and at bedtime (Kakadarti and Shejarti). ‘Chhatra‘ (decorated umbrella), Chamar‘ (Decorated poles) and ‘Chavari‘ (device used to fan) were used to comfort Baba. When Baba used to go to Chawadi, people accompanied Him in procession, which would be adorned with ‘Palakhi‘ (palanquin), harnessed and decorated horse, festoons (pataka), and mainly flocks of people singing glory of God (singing bhajans). Chawadi was renovated with tile flooring, walls decorated with mirrors, and ceiling with glass candle holders and chandeliers. Dwarkamai also was renovated with tile flooring. Credit of all these changes for betterment had to be given to Sundrabai Kshirsagar, also known as Radhakrishna-Aai. She used to worship an idol of Radhakrishna from the bottom of her heart. She was a real embodiment of love and devotion. By constant contemplation, one can achieve any goal yearned for. Strongly attached to Baba she always wanted and decorate the place where Baba lived. She successfully accomplished her wish. Thus she changed whole appearance of Dwarkamai and Shirdi Sansthan. She was in Shirdi for about 9 years, and passed away at very early of thirty-five. But whatever she did in those years, no one would have been able to do in twenty-five years. It is because of her, Kakadarti and Shejarti were started, and are still going on.
In the beginning, Baba allowed anybody to worship Him. Mhalsapati first person who could worship Baba and Baba accepted it. After some days Sitaramji Dengle from Nimgaon came to worship Him. Baba got furious at him, but allowed him to complete rituals. Mahadeo alias Bapu, younger son of Nanasaheb Chandorkar, requested for the permission. Baba gave His consent for Puja but did not allow waving lights (Aarti). A few days later Laxman Krishnaji Tatyasaheb Nulkar got the honour waving to Baba. Nulkar was a munsif Pandharpur. had taken sick leave Shirdi. He had decided stay the Lotus remaining With the blessings of wish was fulfilled.
Radhakrishna Mata used serve Baba reverentially. She used sweep the roads by which Baba was likely to pass and remove the garbage by herself. Prior to her, Balaji Patil Nevaskar, had undertaken that job, in fact he was the who started this kind ‘seva’ (service). Cleaning the roads and coating earthen floor of Dwarkamai with cow dung, were his favorite jobs, which him true ‘Anand’ (happiness). He never went very close to Baba for darshan. Water that run over Baba’s body during bath or leftover drinking water from Baba’s glass was the ‘Tirth’ (sacred water) for him. Nevaskar’s relatives came to Shirdi many times. They tried to convince him to return home. But he never agreed. He remained fully detached from all relationships. He was such an ardent devotee. Whatever he earned from agricultural produce, he used to offer it to Baba. He was satisfied with that of it, which Baba would give him. Of course, Baba used to return the whole amount. After two years Baba commanded him to go home and he had to obey. But he kept coming frequently for His darshan, and to offer his earnings to Baba. He continued doing this till the end of his life.
Radhakrishna Mata rendered great service to Baba in all possible ways. She used to encourage others to do so. People of all castes were involved in the service of Baba. Men holding high posts and women from respected families, used to do manual labour like sweeping the streets, washing the floors, cutting the logs, carrying the load of stones, planting seeds, etc. They were happy to have an opportunity of offering services to Baba. They knew that bliss came from love. Therefore, they worked with their hearts overflowing with love. When a devotee immersed in love, he enters the abode of Ananda. He transcends the body consciousness. For him, the world is but nothingness! He reaches beyond the limits of this mundane world. He remains only as a ‘Being’. Clad in yellow silk, adorned with Koustubh-mani (a kind of gem), God showers bliss on everybody. Brahman Principle, Nirguna-Nirakar (without attributes and form), had come to the jungle of Shirdi in the form of Sai, where devotees were overwhelmed with peace and joy at the sight of Sai.
Sai was the Master of the Universe. He was Parabrahma! Still He used to dress in a most simple way. He observed discipline in His day-to-day activities. Early morning He would sit near the ‘Dhuni’ (a sacred fire), for sometime. Then finishing His ablutions, He would sit quietly, when Bhagoji Shinde would come in. He would then remove the bandage tied to Baba’s right hand and massage it with ghee and bandage it again. After that both of them used to enjoy smoking the same tobacco pipe (Chillum). After 5/6 rounds of puffs, Bhagoji used to withdraw. It is necessary to note, that Baba never showed any aversion for Bhagoji though He knew he was a leprosy patient. Other devotees also used to come and spend time with Baba. After taking bath Baba would go to five different houses to ask for ‘Bhiksha’ (alms), which was an approved custom amongst ‘Sanyasis’ (ascetics). A part of food whatever He got was sufficient for His breakfast.
There used to be three meets with the devotees during the whole day. Baba would indirectly advise them, by telling them different stories. Baba never edified His devotees by giving discourses on Vedas or Upanishads. His teachings were on the basis of morality. Before sowing a seed of knowledge, every ‘Sadguru’ (preceptor) seeks for the purification of body, mind and intellect of his disciple. Baba used to do the same thing. That is why His teachings were simple and moral based. That apart, He believed in learning through experiences rather than mere words. The experimental knowledge the devotees got in Baba’s presence, was thousand times more effectual than the verbal advice or ‘pravachan’. Those who came to Him with full faith got the highest benefit. Most of the devotees came to Baba with some or the other worldly desires. (Artharthi bhaktas). Baba, fulfilling their desires, skillfully took them the path of spirituality. And, that was the sole purpose of His incarnation! Baba often said, “I give my devotees all that they want, so that in the end they will want, what I want to give them!”
END OF CHAPTER 2
© Author – Dr. Keshav Bhagwant Gavankar (Annasahib Gavankar) – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)