ALL ABOUT HIS PHOTOGRAPHS
“Wherever I go, I see only Sri Hari . Everywhere in the Universe there is none other than Him”. This state of mind is the Spiritual Knowledge. Sri Hari and Knowledge are one. This union is attained not because the transitory objects of the universe have vanished. But when one gets ‘knowledge’ he transcends the attachment to the objects. This is Samadhi in awakened state When Awareness is stabilized in Sri Hari, then the objects may come in the imagination and go, but the inner bliss will not get disturbed. Samadhi attained unnaturally by suppressing the desires for objects, with efforts, will come to an end some time or the other. Awakened Samadhi is not attained by such suppression. It is naturally accepted in Sri Hari Swarupa. Sri Hari pervades thoughts, imagination and every cell. This sort of Samadhi never ends.
For a devotee in Awake-Samadhi state, the world is not a Bhava-sagar which is hard to cross. Meera is the example. She says, “Bhava-sagar (the world) is pleasantly lush green, it is Hara-Bhara. It can be construed as Hari-Bhara. Filled with Hari”.
Everybody’s Bhava-sagar is different. That means, everybody’s difficulties are different. Some are compelled to carry out the task, in which they have no interest or liking; some have to toil excessively to get minimum earnings to sustain; or some are very rich and therefore are vexed by the relatives. These are some examples of different ‘Bhava-sagars’. For them, who have dissolved their Vasanas (desires) in the Love for God, life is not a Bhava-sagar, but an Anand-Sagar (Ocean of Bliss). To make the life an Anand-sagar, one’s heart should be full of love and devotion. If the heart is clean, pure and unalloyed, one can easily experience the Atmanand without waiting for long.
Once there was a king. He wanted two walls of his palace to be painted with beautiful pictures. He called two artists and handed over the job. The artists began to work on the two opposite walls. One painting was showing a scene of Vrundavan. It showed the banks of river Yamuna, where there were beautiful green pastures and Lord Krishna playing His flute standing on the grass. Cows and calves, looking at Lord’s face lovingly, were also shown. There was a curtain draped between the two walls so that one painter should not know what the other was painting. The first painter completed his work. The King and all his courtiers were very pleased to see the painting. It was not a mere colour work but it reflected the emotions of the characters in it. Everybody admired the artist. Then the curtain in-between the two walls was lifted and all of them glanced at the opposite wall. All were simply wonderstruck. They were seeing the same picture but with a smooth fine texture and the therefore comparatively more beautiful. How did it happen? Because the second artist had just made the wall finely smooth by only rubbing and cleaning it. The result was, ‘a mirror’ and the wonderful image of the opposite wall was reproduced in that glossy and sleek background. On it, the same picture appeared more elegant and stunning.
The story reveals that when the Antahkaran (mind, chitta and intellect) is pure and unsullied (which can be attained through righteous behaviour and devotion) then the divinity manifests on that sacred background. If one was righteous in his behaviour, Baba would attract him towards Himself and offer him a chance of His darshan. Vasudev Sadashiv Joshi was the person who had that experience. He had an ascetic attitude since his youth. During the period of over thiryfive years he met with many people on the spiritual path. Some of them were aspirants, some Sadhakas and some Mumukshus (Yearning for knowledge, practising spirituality, and yearning for Moksha, respectively). Some were bound by the worldly matters and very few Siddhas (who have attained knowledge). He used to happily say that Sai Baba was the first such ‘Siddha-Purush’ he had met. Baba used to say, “Even if My devotee is thousand miles away from Me, I will pull him towards Me”.
Such was His love and His power. When a child sees it’s mother it runs to her and she also hugs it to her bosom. In the same way Lord hugs His devotee who has infinite love for Him. He becomes his companion and protects him all through his life. Mother feeds the child; but does she have a control over the process of digestion and assimilation of milk? Also, the activation of milk in mammary glands is not her creativity. It is the Divine Love, which flows in Jiva, that does these miracles. For Jiva He has made all these provisions. Flow of that Divine Love comforts and pleases Jiva. When Jiva become aware of it, he accepts that Mighty Authority. This awareness can be gotten from Saints only.
V. S. Joshi was a manager in Satya Narayan Company at Sholapur Peth. Chidambar Keshav Gadgil, Retired Mamalatdar, Ghodnadi, happened to meet Joshi and they became friends. Once Gadgil (alias Annasaheb) wrote a letter to Joshi. He had written, “I am in Shirdi. This week is a special week of ‘Nama-Saptah’ which is being celebrated here. You too come and join. Take Sai Baba’s darshan. I know, you will have to spend ten rupees for fare. But you can somehow earn it later. Do not miss this chance”.
Joshi was very happy with the idea of going to Shirdi. Even though he had monetary problems, he decided to go for Sai’s darshan. He reached Sathe-Wada in Shirdi, where Gadgil was staying. Both of them went to Dwarkamai. When he saw Baba’s Divine form, His resplendent face which was overflowing with love, he felt that he has achieved everything in life. He experienced the Divine brilliance as if it was a Sakshatkar through his eyes.
In the evening, Joshi was present for Aarti which was being offered to Sai Baba’s photo in Sathe-wada. He had concentrated fully on Baba’s face, when he saw Baba in Nara-Simha-Rupa. He felt that the Divine Krishna principle was flowing through his body. He was in the state of bliss. He was in a trance, even after the Aarti was over. Gadgil tried to make him conscious. When Joshi had the same experience for three consecutive evenings, he told Gadgil about it. He said, “It is all Baba’s Leela”.
Joshi had realized that Adi-Narayan was present in every being and in every atom of the matter. He was convinced that it was nothing but a cosmic drama being played by the Creator Himself. Therefore he had no worldly desires such as name and fame etc. He was honestly carrying out his duties on the body level without any attachment. By thorough practice he had attained equanimity of mind so he never got disturbed by the swings of pain or pleasure. He would offer all his actions together with their fruits, at the Feet of the Lord. He only wished to be in the service of the society as he knew that Manav-seva is Madhav-seva. (to serve a human being is to serve the God.)
After a long stay in Shirdi, Joshi wanted to go back to Sholapur. Sathe asked him to take Baba’s permission. Another devotee suggested, ‘Baba will fulfill your desire if you ask for something’. Joshi had no desires except having darshan of Baba; and it was already fulfilled. So he told that person, ‘If you insist so much, you ask Baba on my behalf”. The person prayed to Him. Baba said, “He (Joshi) is satisfied with whatever he has. He does not want anything; then why you people insist?” All were surprised that Baba already knew what they talked about. Someone said, “Baba, Joshi wants Your permission to leave Shirdi”.
Baba replied, “He is disinterested and selfless. He doesn’t require My permission. He can come and go whenever he wants”. Gadgil reminded him to take some Prasadam from Shirdi. Joshi turned to go and buy some Burphy (sweets). Just then a devotee came from Dwarkamai with a dish full of Burphy, He gave it to Gadgil and said, “Baba has sent this Prasadam for your guest”. Again all were astonished to experience Baba’s omnipresence. Gadgil and Joshi were in tears of joy. Then there was no need to go and buy Burphy.
In the next chapter we shall see how Sai Baba was convinced posing for a photograph which was against His pattern like what we have already read in previous chapters.
© Author – Dr. Keshav Bhagwant Gavankar (Annasahib Gavankar) – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)