Continued CHAPTER 16
The Method Of Baba’s Instructions
 One day Neelkantha Ramchandra Sahastrabuddhe went to Dwarkamai. Baba called him over as ‘come, Ramayya’. After a few days, while distributing Udi He accepted his (Sahastrabuddhe’s) salutations and said, “Ramarami lo” (Take Ramrami). He put his blessing hand on his head.
One day Sahastrabuddhe was contemplating on a maxim written by a saint. The maxim said, “Saints and Mahatmas transform the people. They bless them, with knowledge (realization) within no time” (Aapanasarikhe Kariti tatkal in Marathi). He must have thought in his mind, “If this maxim is true, why Baba does not confer the knowledge on me, and make me like Himself?” When Sahastrabuddhe and Madhavrao went to Baba, Madhavrao asked on behalf of Sahastrabuddhe, as to when would he get the permission to return? Baba directly told Madhavrao, “He (Sahastrabuddhe) wants to displace Me and grab My seat instantly. Then what should I do? He should know that it needs patience (Saburi)”.
On hearing this Sahastrabuddhe was taken aback. He knew Baba had gathered his thoughts by intuition.
Steadfast faith and patience are the two important possessions in the path of spirituality. Baba used to ask for ‘two paise’ to the devotees. It did not mean money but these two attributes, that Baba expected.
Whenever Sahastrabuddhe went to Shirdi, Baba always asked for Rupees Fifteen as Dakshina from him. On all such visits he gave the money to Baba as asked for. There was an exceptional occasion. Sahastrabuddhe had no money. There was no other go but to tell the fact to Baba. Baba then said, “If you don’t have money, borrow from Kaka Dixit or Bapusaheb Jog and give it to Me”.
First he went to Bapusaheb but he was not there. So he went to Dixit who said, “I don’t know Baba is asking for rupees or something else. I will unwrap this sacred book (Pothi which was wrapped in a silk cloth) and see if you find ‘your rupees’ in it”. Sahastrabuddhe neglected Kaka Dixit’s words. He straight way went to Baba. Telling Him what happened, he requested Him to explain the meaning of “Fifteen rupees”.
Baba asked him to relax. He said, “Forget about money we would see to it later. Let us not make haste”.
He then sat relaxed, browsing through the pages of a note book which was lying there. He happened to read the two stanzas from Eknathi-Bhagwat. They carried the meaning as follows:- the Lord says (to a devotee), “Your Vacha’ (Voice or tongue) should be engaged in chanting my name. Engage your mind in contemplation on Me. Meditate on Me. Ordain ‘Prana’ to Pranayam. Appoint your senses to right job and keep them under control. Assign the work of discrimination to your intellect; and prescribe only ‘Paramatma Sukh’ to Jiva. When you shall do only these (few) things, you will definitely merge in Me.”
In the above stanza, five Paths of yoga (union with God) are given. The ways (Paths) are the instruments by which union can be achieved. Control of ten senses is also advised. Thus five and ten make fifteen. With the help of these fifteen one can reach the stage of realization (Atmadnyana). Baba asked for fifteen rupees. This meant, He wanted you to yearn for these fifteen things.
Sahastrabuddhe was happy that the riddle was solved. A thought came to his mind that because of deep faith (Shraddha) in Baba, he got the knowledge (Shraddhawan labhate dnyanam).
 A devotee R. B. Ghaisas had a dream in which Baba asked him to give Dakshina of “53“. He thought Baba was asking for fifty three rupees. His monetary condition was not so good. So he started to save sixtythree paise every month. But due to some unforeseen reasons he was forced to spend the saved amount. This happened for 3-4 months.
After a few days he happened to meet Annasaheb Dabholkar, the author of ‘Sai Sat Charitra‘. Ghaisas told him about the dream and his efforts. Dabholkar guessed according to his experience and told Ghaisas, “Baba asked for fiftythree; but I think He does not want rupees or paise. He wants you to read Guru Charitra which has 53 chapters. That must be the meaning of fifty three”.
Ghaisas was convinced. He immediately bought the book “Sai Sat Charitra” (A sacred book on Life and Teaching of Sri Sai Baba). When he started reading the book, his son Sakharam also started reading the well known Gurucharitra. That night Ghaisas again had a dream in which he saw a thief entering his house by making a hole in the wall. Ghaisas woke up shouting from the sleep. The other family members also woke up and asked him what frightened him. When he told about the dream, they were confused but thought that Baba was giving some message through it. After a long discussion they decided, that Sakharam should continue his reading of Gurucharitra and complete it in a week as per the vow taken (Saptaha Vrata). Mr Ghaisas decided to read Sai Sat Charitra every day but not as a ‘week vow’ (Saptaha).
Baba always asked His devotees to continue with whatever Sadhana they have been doing, and not to switchover and adopt some other method.
 One of the hands of Baba was wounded. Every morning He used to fasten a cloth to cover the wound. He used to tie it so tightly that it would have been unbearable for anybody else. He was not ready to accept any remedy suggested by devotees. When one of the devotees was insisting on cure of the wound. He said “I wish to bring at least two thousand dung-cakes (govarya, i.e. dried cow-dung used as a fuel) ignite them and throw this body into it, just to enjoy the fun standing outside.” This is what is called ‘Vyatirek Dnyana’.
In short, there were not thousands but lacs of examples of Baba curing His devotees from diseases or protecting them in all possible ways. The only pre-condition was that the devotees must fully surrender.
Be it in worldly affairs or be it in spirituality, one is not going to get rewarded unless he has full faith in his efforts. If you have full faith then God will definitely help you. The other side of the coin of faith is patience. Both these things are of special importance in both, temporal and spiritual achievements.
Baba always emphasized on these two, Faith and Patience (Shraddha and Saburi).
Baba’s advice can briefly be stated as follows:- “God exists, and nobody is superior to Him. His Leela is fathomless. He is the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer. Whatever He wills, accept it with pleasure. Do not be restless. Be satisfied in His Will. Always believe in saying, “Thy Will be done”. Even a leaf of a tree does not move unless He wishes so. Always be honest in every act. You must keep your power of discrimination alert. Carry out your duties without fail. But do not think that ‘you’ are doing anything. Because He is the doer. So do not be proud. You are only an instrument. Offer all fruits of your actions to Him. Then the actions will not bind you. Love all living and non-living things. Behave lovingly with all others. Do not feel hurt even if anybobdy talks rubbish with you or abuses you. Do not try to equate yourself with others and that way get rid of malice and jealousy. Always engage yourself in hard work. Do not sit idle. Keep chanting God’s name all the time. Read the sacred books. You need not get retired from your daily routine but observe discipline in everything”.
Baba gave His advice in the form of stories. Every one understood the meaning and found the moral according to his own ability. No doubt that everyone was benefited.
© Author – Dr. Keshav Bhagwant Gavankar (Annasahib Gavankar) – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)