|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|
|Chapter 2||Part 2||Arrival Of Sai Baba In Shirdi|
|Chapter 3||Part 1||Shama|
|Chapter 3||Part 2||Shama|
|Chapter 3||Part 3||Shama|
|Chapter 4||Part 1||Baba’s Dakshina|
Baba’s Dakshina – Continued
Madhavrao came out, finishing his ‘puja’. Anna told him about dakshina, and asked to give fifteen rupees. Instead of giving money, he replied, “Convey my fifteen prostrations to Baba place rupees. That is my dakshina”.
Annasaheb smiled and further, “Baba has asked me sit your presence chat for sometime. So please tell me some divine stories (regarding Baba) and consecrate mind”. Madhavrao said, “As you also know, this is nothing but His divine play. We have seen so many leelas, since He has come to Shirdi. But I am an ordinary villager. How shall I be able to describe His leelas to a wise, urban person like you? Baba has sent you to me! His acts are really inscrutable. But He know what the best is for us. I will tell you a story of Radhabai Deshmukh”.
Madhavrao continued with the story or experience, to put it correctly. Radhabai Deshukh (mother of Khashaba), came to Shirdi, when she heard of Baba. She was very happy after His darshan. Deep devotion and faith awakened in her mind. It came to her mind that Baba should be her Guru; give her mantra (verse/shloka for chanting) and accept her as His disciple. Then she took a vow and remained on fast. Unless Baba would do that favour, she would stop food intake or even water intake. She started continuous Japa (chanting God’s name). Three days passed. I was worried. I went to Baba. “Is everything alright?” He asked.
I described Radhabai’s condition and requested Him to be compassionate about her and to give her mantra. Baba sent for her. When she came, He said to her lovingly, “Mother, Why are you doing all this? If you are adamant you are likely to die. Now listen to Me and break your vow. I will tell you an amazing story of My Guru. If you listen to it carefully, it will stabilize your mind and all commotions will to come an end.”
“My Guru was an ocean of mercy. For a long long time, I engaged Myself in His service with the hope that He will initiate Me. But He did not give Me any ‘mantra’ though I was striving for it. When I showed My eagerness, He asked for two paise. My Guru was a pure soul. He was desireless. But You will have doubts in your mind. Why should Guru ask His disciple for money? That is why I want to make it clear that, by paise. He meant Faith and Patience (Shraddha and Saburi).”
“From My tender age, I stayed in His proximity for nearly twelve years. He has raised Me like a mother. He provided food and clothing to Me. He had abundant love for Me. His affection was indescribable. I used to constantly look at Him and forget everything else. I always meditated upon Him. This kind of faith I had in My Guru. I had patience also. I gave Him these two paise. He did not expect anything else other than these two things from Me. He always protected Me, like a Mother-tortoise. She loves and protects her progeny only through her loving glance, even if she is at a distance. My Guru was like that. I am telling you the truth. Sitting in this Masjid-mai, how can I lie? See, My Guru never whispered any ‘mantra’ in My ears; then how can I give it to you? So, do not insist.”
“Now go and break your fast. Eat something. Do not trouble your body. Keep a firm faith in Me and I will look after you. This is the only precept My Guru has given to Me”. This was a true story of Radhabai Deshmukh. Shama told this to Annasaheb Dabholkar. The latter was convinced that it was quite appropriate and meaningful and Baba wanted him to learn a proper lesson from it.
When the conversation was going on they heard the temple bells. It was the indication of Aarti. Annasaheb and Madhavrao hurried to Dwarkamai. The temple was crowded with the devotees but they steered their way through. When they reached Baba, He asked the details of their conversation. When Dabholkar referred to the story of the old woman, Radhabai, Baba said, “Have you caught the moral of the story? Imprint it on your mind properly”. Annasaheb said, “Baba, all the restlessness in my mind have calmed down. I have gained true peace, now”. Then Baba gave him advice, which Annasaheb has included in his book ‘Sai Sat Charitra’, in chapter 19. It is given below in brief:
Baba says, “Aatmadnyana is a complete and real knowledge. To gain this knowledge and attain realization, you must meditate. Meditate on the Aatmik Principle, which is inherent in all beings. For successful meditation, your mind must be free from all sorts of desires. Then you can achieve Me. Afterall, I am that knowledge. I am the Chaitanya. I am the Bliss.”
“If you find it difficult to meditate on my ‘Nirgunaswarupa‘ (Formless), then concentrate on my ‘Sagunarupa‘ (name and form). Every moment, day and night, meditate on my rupa. When you practice it, your vruttis (tendencies) will become centred towards Me. You will then forget meditation and also your ultimate goal. At this stage, your body, mind and intellect will get dissolved and you will merge into and be one with the Chaitanya. This is the ultimate aim of meditation”. Baba advised Dabholkar while Aarti was going on. Jog then came to them and distributed prasadam. Baba gave some crystals of sugar to Annasaheb and blessed him saying, “Your life will be sweet like this sugar. All your desires will be fulfilled and you will enjoy happiness and prosperity”.
Annasaheb paid his obeisance and prayed for His grace. Baba granted him what he wanted. (The famous biography of Sai Baba “Sai Sat Charitra” is written by Annasaheb Dabholkar) Another well known devotee of Baba was Kashiram Shimpi. When Anand Jivan Sai first came to Shirdi, it was Kashiram who served Baba wholeheartedly. He offered Him everything. ‘Tana Mana Dhana’. (Body, Mind and Wealth). Baba was not accepting dakshina in His early days in Shirdi, but Kashiram was lucky that his dakshina was always accepted. Baba would take two paise from him. He used to provide Him tobacco, wood for sacred fire and whatever money Baba wanted. He had given a green Kafni and a headscarf to Baba, though Baba, always wore a white Kafni. Kashiram would keep his open wallet in front of Baba and request Him to take as much money as He wished.
Kashiram was very keen about giving dakshina to Baba everyday. So much so that if He would refuse someday, Kashiram would become sad. This sort of sorrow is not advisable when you are on a spiritual path. Because the person feels, why is it not accepted? I have a capacity to give and I wish to give! Thus the ego enters the mind, and it is the greatest obstacle in the progress on this path. The same thing happened with Kashiram, though unknowingly.
Baba used to be vigilant about the devotee’s progress. He would save him from such pitfalls. Baba then planned to expunge pride from Kashiram’s mind. Kashiram’s monetary condition declined very fast. In a few days it went from bad to worse. Exactly, in the same period Baba started asking for more and more money from him. He had to say then, “Baba, I have no money. How can I meet your demands?”
Baba would sternly say, “If you do not have, borrow from that grocer and give Me”. Kashiram tapped that source and fulfilled Baba’s need. But shortly, grocer stopped lending money to him. Kashiram understood why Baba had put him in that difficulty. He repented for his egoistic mind and then surrendered to Baba unconditionally. Thereafter his monetary position slowly improved and his worries ended. He never again thought of offering Baba any dakshina. Baba had dissolved his ego finally. He was always under Baba’s protection thereafter. Constant flow of his devotion was streaming to Lord Sai Baba, just as river Ganges continuously flows to the ocean without any interruption. Kashiram used to go to nearby villages for his business. But his mind would always linger in Shirdi, around the Lotus feet of his beloved God.
One day he was returning from a village bazaar, when he had to encounter some dacoits. They robbed him of everything. But a small bag was still left with Kashiram. When the dacoits tried to snatch it, he resisted stubbornly. Dacoits then were sure that the bag definitely contained some valuables. Actually, the bag was full of ground sugar, which Kashiram would always carry. Saint Janakidas had advised him to feed the ants with that sugar. He had taken a vow to follow the advice. So he was not ready to lose the sugar bag.
He saw a sword lying at a distance. It belonged to one of the dacoits. Kashiram did not miss a chance. He picked up the sword and killed two of the four thieves. One of the two came from behind and hit him hard on his head. He became unconscious and fell to the ground as if dead. Thinking him to be dead, the dacoits ran away. After sometime he gained consciousness. Other people rashed to the spot and tried to take him to a hospital. But he refused and requested them to take him to Shirdi, and to Baba. They brought him to Shirdi, as per his wish. Baba saw him and instructed Shama to treat him. Baba’s medicines made him fit in a short time (Kashiram was felicitated by Mumbai British Government for his bravery in fighting against the dacoits).
When Kashiram was fighting with those thieves, Baba Who was in Shirdi, had become violent. He was shouting, abusing and pacing up and down Dwarkamai. The devotees around Him realized that one of His devotees must be in grave danger. All that rage was not meaningless.
Omniscient Sai thus protected Kashiram when he was in danger. Kashiram was without any weapon. But he handled the situation courageously and survived. How anyone can harm him, who is protected by God Himself? If God be with us, who can be against us? Kashiram enjoyed Baba’s grace till the end of his life. On eleventh day of lunar calendar, in 1908, A.D., he passed away peacefully.
END OF CHAPTER 4
© Author – Dr. Keshav Bhagwant Gavankar (Annasahib Gavankar) – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)