CONTINUED TO CHAPTER 25
NIRVANA [Merging Into Brahmam]
Everybody was surprised to experience the omnipresence of Baba. All devotees continued with the Japa etc. as decided previously. Baba too got well soon after that and all devotees returned to their towns with peaceful mind. In near future Sadguru Mauli Sai Baba asked Buti to build the Wada and Mandir in it. The sanctum was kept empty for the idol of Krishna. But in His mind He must have chosen the place for His Samadhi. Just before the Nirvana, Baba had spoken to the wife of Marwadi. He had said, “I am fed up of staying in Dwarkamai and Chawadi. Now I will go to Dagdi-Wada (Buti-Wada) and stay there. Brahmins will take care of me”. 4/5 years prior to His Nirvana, (and there was no Wada built then) He had told Tai, (Wife of Bapusaheb Jog) “This place is reserved for Me. There will be a building of stones here and I will sit here”. Baba must have made the Sankalpa in His mind but kept it as a secret.
Baba’s body did not become stiff even after 24 hours. His hands and feet were freely moving. It was not necessary to tear the Kafni to take it off. No unusual signs were seen on the body except a slight oozing of blood through His mouth. On October 15, 1918, Baba left His body in the afternoon. On the same night Laxman Bhat saw a dream. Baba came to him and said, “Tomorrow early morning Bapusaheb Jog will not come for Kakad Aarti. Because he thinks, ‘Baba is dead’. But I am alive. You come at dawn as usual and perform the Kakad-Aarti” (waving of lights at early morning). As per Baba’s command given in the dream, Laxman Bhat went to Dwarkamai as Baba’s body was kept there. He worshipped the body and performed Aarti also. Many people felt that Baba’s hand was showing some movement at the time of Aarti. In the evening the body was shifted to Buti Wada and Shejarti (waving of lights at bed-time) was performed. All the routine rituals were continued from the first day of Baba’s Nirvana. And it is an everyday practice till today.
On October 15, Baba gave an experience to Dasganu Maharaj, who was at Pandharpur that day. Baba told him in symbolic words, “The Masjid has collapsed. Come and place some flowers on My body”. On the third day after Baba took the Samadhi, sister-in-law of Moreshwar Pradhan saw a dream in which Baba commanded, “There is a yellow coloured silk dhoti kept in your bag; send it for spreading on My Samadhi”. She had actually forgotten that she had it. In the morning she went to Pradhan and handed over the silk dhoti (Pitamber) to him for taking it to Shirdi.
October 27, 1918. It was a 13″ day of the Nirvana. Many devotees poured into Shirdi as it was a day of rituals. A contribution of Rs. 2400/- for Bhandara was collected. After RadhaKrishna-Aai, the devotees were running an institution “Kothi”. All devotees used to contribute towards it, and everyday expenses were carried out from it. On that day a temporary committee was set up and Bapusaheb Buti was appointed as the president. When devotees again assembled in Shirdi, to celebrate Christmas, this committee was turned into an authorized body. Laxman Mahajani received an order from Baba in a dream. He said, “Wake up! Today is the thirtieth day of My Nirvana. Do the rituals”. Mahajani was not sure. But when he calculated, he found that it was really the 30th day. Then he called a Purohit, (person who performs rituals), and did the ‘Abhishek’ on Baba’s sandals. He also invited some devotees for lunch. Thus the custom of monthly ‘Shradh’ was observed.
Nephew of Kakasaheb Dixit, who was in Parle, had a dream on the same day of Nirvana; he was told that a great Yogi had taken Samadhi in Nasik. Another devotee in Mumbai, Hanuman Prasad, saw a miracle on the same day. A photo frame of Baba on the wall started swinging suddenly. In this way, through these signs, Baba ‘informed’ many of His devotees about His Samadhi. After Baba’s demise one more issue of dispute came up. It was about the precious articles that the devotees had offered to Baba. Approximate cost of all such things was about Rs. 10,000/- Baba had not appointed anybody as His inheritor or successor. On the basis of the law then, the property belonged to the government. Stating this reason, the Mamlatdar of Kopargaon collected and deposited it in the Govt. treasury.
Baba was a fakir. He had no attachment for any such things. Devotees used to offer many valuable articles but He cared least for them. He was indifferent about them. Radha Krishna Aai used to take care and manage all the things. It was she, who had floated the Shirdi Sansthan. Therefore the property did not belong to Baba. The Sansthan had all the rights over it. This issue was discussed amongst the important devotees and Kakasaheb Dixit was given the responsibility of further action, as he was a solicitor. He applied in the Nagar District Court and pleaded for the issue. The Court agreed to his point and the property which was collected in treasury, was returned to the Shirdi Sansthan. All the credit in this regard goes to Kakasaheb Dixit.
Satchidanand Sadguru Baba has left the body and He is out of the sight of a common man. But He is immortal. His spirit is in Shirdi and everywhere. He is near to the devotees in the form of reminiscences. Still He appears in the form (Saguna-Rupa) to give darshan to the yearning devotees. Those who love God immensely can experience His Love. This is bliss. It can be enjoyed through Dhyana and Dhyasa (Meditation and Yearning). To enjoy bliss through these two instruments, is nothing but the Sakshatkar, the Realization. When Love and Devotion dawn in the mind, it gets absorbed in singing His glory, chanting His name and memorizing His Leelas. When one meditates on or His Saguna-Rupa, one finds his mind fully concentrated in God. The tendencies then get dissolved in the glamour of love.
Oh Lord, Oh Sai-Sakha, it is only You who will evoke determination for Truth in our minds. You are our Consoler who will not let us waver from the path of The Truth. Your true devotees were those who surrendered to You with love and devotion. They sang Your glory and they spread the stories of Your Leelas. As Bhagirath brought river Ganges to the Earth (as the story goes in the Epics), with great endeavours Your devotees have put in efforts ta convince the people of your Divinity. Oh SaiNatha, Your devotees are afflicted and suffering from agony in this hypocritical, insincere world which is forgetting You and even denying Your Existence.
Oh Sai, where are You? We are floundering and burning in the anguish of Your separation. Bhagwan Sai. You are the life for Your devotees. You have to come back. Manamohana, play Your flute once more. With that divine music the fountain of Love will spring in all our hearts. Let the World be full of Love by Your Divine Grace. Give me this “Pasaya-Daan”. That is my earnest Prayer, Oh SAI.
END OF CHAPTER 25
About The Death-Anniversary Of Sai Baba
It is a supposition that great meritorious men die on the day of Ekadashi, eleventh day of a fortnight according to lunar calendar. Kakasaheb Dixit also had the same belief. Two old devotees of Sai Baba had died on Ekadashi. He considered them to be meritorious and fortunate. Coincidently, Kakasaheb also died on Ekadashi. *
Sai Baba left His mortal coil on the day of ‘Vijaya Dashami’ (Dashahara or Dassera). But according to almanac dashami the tenth day of lunar calendar had ended and Ekadashi had already started. Only for practical purpose it was counted as ‘Vijaya Dashami’ day. But Kakasaheb insisted that the day was Ekadashi. Madhavrao Deshpande supported him.
The question was raised at the time of the first death anniversary of Baba. First ranking devotees like Nanasaheb Chandorkar, Bapusaheb Buti decided to celebrate the anniversary on Dassera. Many devotees participated in the event which was celebrated at Shirdi.
Baba’s devotees were spread all over. To inform them about the celebration, an advertisement was published in prominent news papers. Kakasaheb honestly sticking to his opinion, celebrated the first anniversary on Ekadashi, in his bungalow at Parle, Mumbai. Moreshwar Pradhan of Santacruz also arranged the event on Ekadashi, in ‘SaiPradhan Baug’. In the same news paper “InduPrakash”, there were three advertisements of Baba’s Death Anniversary from Shirdi, Ville Parle and Santacruz. In the first one, the day mentioned was ‘Dassera’ and in the other two, it was Ekadashi. All were confused. Nanasaheb and Bapusaheb felt sorry as that was creating misunderstanding amongst devotees. To avoid such unpleasant situation, both of them came to Parle, to convince Kakasaheb. When he stood firm on his opinion, they decided to check Baba’s omen. Kakasaheb agreed to it. Folded papers were kept before Baba’s photo and the answer was sought. According to Baba’s omen Dassera day was confirmed as Death Anniversary. Till today it is celebrated Dassera only.
*Even the author of this Book, Dr. Keshav B. Gawankar took Samadhi on Aashadi Ekadashi in the year 1985.
In the next chapter the author talks about his Guru - Bhau Maharaj
© Author – Dr. Keshav Bhagwant Gavankar (Annasahib Gavankar) – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)
Love you Deva! Jai Sai Samarth!