|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|
All other devotees used to worship Baba and offer him Naivedyam frequently. But Madhavrao never did so. Even then he was a staunch devotee of Baba. He had unwavering devotion and love for Baba. Constantly he contemplated on his Sri Sai. Towards all other things he had a blind eye! He had full faith that his Sai God was doing everything. Sai was the Doer and he was just an instrument in His hands. (Lady saint Janabai’s thoughts were the same) When devotee’s mind overflows with devotion, compassionate Mother-God showers Her grace on him.
According to Baba’s command, Madhavrao begged alms for eighteen long years! In early years Madhavrao did not accept Baba even as a saint. But later he was convinced that Baba was Poorna-Brahma and that He was Sagun Sakar-Rupa of ShriKrishna! His lips constantly recited Baba’s name. He had highest respect, total faith and immense love for Baba. There were nine kinds of devotion. Madhavrao was an ideal example of Sakhya-Bhakti. (Friend to God) As Arjuna was friend devotee to ShriKrishna, Madhavrao was to Baba, in these modern times.
Baba did not favour Madhavrao with ample wealth, but His love for him was undescribable. Chakravarti Shyamsundar Sri Krishna was showering love and grace on Madhavrao in the form of Sai. Where there is Nirmal Bhava, (purity of heart), Lord manifests Himself and when the intellect is firmly stabilized in Chid-Aakash, the devotee finds the Divine Light.
From among the different kinds of things offered to Baba by other devotees, Baba would sometimes give those to Shamya, saying, “This is for you” e.g. Sandals (Padukas) of silver, Eknathi Bhagwat Grantha, Shri Vishnusahastra Namavali, idol of Baba, and many other things. Baba knew that Madhavrao would not eat the ‘Kala‘ (mixed food-Naivedyam.) because he was a puritan and moralistic Brahmin. So Baba would give him a dish of alphonso mango or other seasonal fruits when mango was not available.
Baba did not directly give money to Madhavrao, but he arranged to place him in the company of millionaire devotees. With them Madhavrao had chances to go on pilgrimage to all important cities and sacred places like Dwarka, Rameshwar, Puri, Badrinath and Kedarnath, Gangotri-Jamnotri, Kashi, Ayodhya, Gokul, Vrindavan, Mathura, Gaya, Haridwar, Prayag, Girnar, Nasik, Tryambakeshwar, Akkalkot, Devgiri, Pandharpur, Balaji, Shrirangpattan, Kanchi, Kamakshamadhur, Meenakshi, Pakshatirtha etc. Madhavrao enjoyed the pilgrimage without spending anything from his pocket.
Once Madhavrao was given special honour of being centre big procession. He sit ‘Ambari’ i.e. canopy, which was placed back of an elephant. All aristocrats prostrated before Madhavrao embraced him with love. Everything happened as per the wishes of Baba. Madhavrao was received pompously to whichever town he went. Best arrangements were made for his stay and food etc. Always there was a congregation around him. He did not give lectures (Pravachans) but used to talk Baba’s ‘Leelas’ in his lucid and engaging style and people around him were spellbound and experienced happiness, listening to the glory of Baba. Baba became more and more known to the people and His popularity was multiplied because of Madhavrao’s campaign. This was a great contribution for spreading Baba’s name and fame, as there were no multimedia equipments or even radio for propagation of such things. From Ramsetu to Himalaya and Dwarawati to Jagannathpuri Baba was accepted as an Avatar, all over by the people. Thus Madhavrao, a great devotee, supported Baba’s mission by being instrumental in spreading Baba’s fame as an Avatar, which inspired the people to come for His darshan and follow His precepts. That way he brought about transformation in devotees. It was a great and praiseworthy activity.
Madhavrao and (Dr. Gawankar, author of this book) had close ties between us. Madhavrao himself took me to Baba and kept me at His Lotus feet. It was year 1918 and I was a boy of only twelve! Baba demanded two paisa from me. I did not know what to do. Madhavrao came forward. Holding my hand he put it in Baba’s hand. He asked me to say ‘Diya’ (Given). I did as he told me. To me Baba said ‘Liya’ means ‘taken’, whatever was given. That was my first darshan of Baba. This fortune came to me because of Madhavrao. After that, wheneverI I went to Shirdi I used to stay at Madhavrao’s house. I never missed Baba’s darshan on Ramnavami Day. In Madhavrao’s company, I could hear many “Leelas’ of Baba. I used to get immersed in his talk. Once I asked him, “Did you get “Anugraha’ (grace) from Baba?”
Madhavrao said, “I am a simpleton and naïve villager. But I remember one instance. Once Baba gave me a sacred book of Vishnu-Sahastra-Namavali, which He had taken from a Ramdasi. He commanded me to read it everyday. I said to Him, “Baba, I do not know Sanskrit at all. How can I read this tongue-twisting language of this book?” Baba insisted, “Go, go and start reading; you can do it”. I trusted in Baba’s words. I went to a Sanskrit scholar to learn the proper pronounciations and toiled hard to imbibe the matter. According to Baba’s command I am reading it everyday, till today. You can call this as ‘Anugraha’ or Ordain”.
Madhavrao further added, “I was very very close to Baba that is why I failed to recognize His Divinity, and behaved with Him as if He was an ordinary human being. Sometimes I got angry with Him, blamed Him, called Him a liar, callous, vicious, and what not.” Remembering this, Madhavrao used to cry with utter repentance. Tears rolling down his cheeks would not stop for a long time. With a heavy heart and choked throat he said, “I have made unlimited offences by not recognizing His Divinity. You will never see such an all pervading, omniscient God in this world again”. After Baba left His body, Madhavrao would every moment remain engrossed in His memories and always prayed to Baba to pardon him for his offences. Madhavrao’s love, affection and devotion for Baba were unparalleled. Without Baba’s consent He would never do anything.
One day, he was making a preparation for worship of deities in his home altar. Baba was there in Dwarkamai. For that he was taking out some apparatus from a niche (Konada) in a wall. A coiled snake was hidden there, which bit Madhavrao suddenly and unexpectedly (Few days before this event Baba had warned him not to put his hand in any nook or corner). The snake was poisonous. Poison started spreading through Madhavrao’s body and he was writhing in agony. People nearby started running around in panic. Madhavrao’s condition worsened with convulsions. He somehow said, “Take me to my Guru-Mauli, take me to Dwarkamai“. People brought him to the pavilion of Dwarkamai Masjid.
At the first glance of the approaching people Baba shouted, “Stop, stay, do not climb, get down.” Madhavrao and others were surprised. Why Baba had become so callous? Madhavrao thought, “All the time he allowed me to come near Him. But, why at this time of death He is behaving like this?“
No one understands His Leelas. “Stop, stay do not climb, get down” was an order given to the poison, which was rising in Madharao’s body. People prayed to Baba for Madhavrao’s well-being. He said, “Take him to his house. Allah will make him alright“. People turned back from Dwarkamai. Baba told Kaka (Dixit) and Prof. Narke not to allow Madhavrao to sleep after reaching home. Madhavrao got some relief. Effect of the poison started subsiding and the next day he recovered completely, as Baba had said. But his bitten finger remained blue-green for next two months.
Madhavrao had gone to Nagpur, once. After coming back to Shirdi he went for Baba’s darshan. Many people were sitting there. Baba asked him “Shamrao, which places did you visit?” Madhavrao answered, “Deva, I had been to Nagpur and other nearby places“.
“To Nagpur? Then, have you seen a golden tree in the south of Nagpur?” Baba asked. Madhavrao could gather that Baba was referring to the then famous Avaliya Tajuddinbaba, who was in Nagpur, in His metaphoric language. “Yes Baba, I had been to the Garden of Raghoji Raje Bhosale, especially for the darshan of Tajuddinbaba. And the garden is in the south Nagpur. I went in the car with Keshavrao and Bhayasaheb“.
“Okay and where did you go after that?“
“Then I went Amarawati. Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon had come there. I took his darshan also. Many people go for His darshan. Deva, What do you think of Narayan Maharaj?“
Baba did not attention to this question. Waiting for the answer Madhavrao asked the same question again. Still Baba was quiet. After 5-10 minutes He said, “Shamya, your father is after all your father. Howsoever he may beat you, or scold you he will be kind and compassionate to you again. No one else will show that of love. Do you understand? And listen, I am your father in that sense. Why do you want to go after someone else?”
Madharao faithfully practiced Baba’s precept. “Never look at anybody with a fault-finding attitude. If a person has recognition as a noble saint, then you should be very careful. Do not make any irresponsible statement against him. If you do so our whole tradition is blamed for that. You should respect your father meaning your Guru. You should steadfastly confide in him. At the same time treat others with respect also“. This was Baba’s precept.
Sai Baba used to talk about Babajan and Baba Tajuddin. One day, while sitting in Dwarkamai, Baba broke an earthen water-pot with a wooden stick (Satka). He kept hitting the pieces again again for a long time. Shama other devotees asked Him why He was doing so. He said, “Tajuddin Baba’s tomb (Durga) has caught fire. I am extinguishing it”.
Next there was a letter informing us of the news of fire. The Lord was doing Leelas in Vaikunth and He and was doing the same in Shirdi, for His dear devotees. An inner sight with devotion is needed, to appreciate and assimilate such acts.
END OF CHAPTER 3
© Author – Dr. Keshav Bhagwant Gavankar (Annasahib Gavankar) – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)