Life of Baba at Venkusa Ashram
Puttaparthi, Prasanthi Nilayam (Dasara )
The boy stayed for twelve years from 1839 to 1851, in the ashram of Venkusa. Venkusa loved the boy very dearly. He used to give utmost importance to Baba always. This created hatred and jealousy among other residents of the ashram towards Baba. One night, after twelve years of stay at the ashram, Baba left the ashram. He reached Shirdi.
Sacrifice leads to immortality: Story from Shirdi Baba Life Story00:02:47
A rich man once came to Shirdi with his pockets full of five rupee notes which were clearly visible. Baba saw this and asked Dama to get five rupees from a person named Patel. Dama left. In the mean while the rich man asked Baba, “Baba, please give me the knowledge of Self. Give me the divine renunciation.” Baba asked to wait for a while. Dama returned and said, “Swami, the Patel is not at home.” Then Baba asked him to go to another oil merchant in the village and bring five rupees. Dama went to the oil merchant. All the while the rich man was pestering Baba to teach him the knowledge of the self. Dama again returned empty handed and was again asked by Baba to get five rupees from another shop owner in the village. In this way Baba sent Dama four to five times to various persons to procure five rupees. Baba asked Dama to get the five rupees as he was in dire need of the money. Then Baba started telling indirectly to the rich man, “O rich man! Your five rupee notes are clearly visible to me. I sent Dama for the money many times to the city. But did you try to offer the five rupees that were there with you? How can a miser like you expect the knowledge of self? How can a scrooge like you be taught the knowledge of self?” Hence the saying, “tyagenaike amrutatwa maanasuhu”, it is through sacrifice that one attains the knowledge. The knowledge of the self is miles away from the person devoid of the spirit of sacrifice. Hence the vedas too say, “na karmana, na prajaya dhanena tyagenaike amrutatwa maanasuhu!” meaning, one cannot aspire to experience the immortal either by action or by progeny or by wealth but only through renunciation. Today you feel sad to part with five rupees, but you must give up this one day or the other. What can you do then? What is it that you can carry with you? This is the true knowledge of the self, the ‘Atma Gyana’. If you know this truth you will experience all that which has to be experienced in this life itself.”
God is present in everyone: Episode of Lakshmi bai Danghe (Shirdi Baba)00:04:58
Shirdi Baba too taught wisdom on many occasions, in many ways using many examples. God is everywhere, present in every being. “Isa vaasya midam sarvam!” Meaning, God is present everywhere. Lakshmi Bai Danghe was a very rich lady. Though being affluent, she used to come to Shirdi and clean the ashram and serve the devotees coming to Shirdi. One day seeing the opportunity, she fell at the feet of Shirdi Sai Baba. Baba said, “Lakshmi Bai, I am hungry.” Lakshmi Bai thought, “O Baba himself is asking me for food today, how I can bear it?” And asking Baba to wait for a while, she ran to her house to get some food. On the way she was sad, thinking, “I have been offering food to the photos of the Lord which do not ask for food and to the asking Lord I am unable to give food promptly!” So she went and quickly prepared some chapattis. In those days Baba used to eat well. He used to eat a pile of chapattis folding them into quarters and eating them in one go. So she made many chapattis and went to Baba and offered them in a plate. Baba on seeing them exclaimed, “Aha! They are very tasty!” In the meanwhile a black dog came there wagging its tail. Baba called it near and the dog ate all the chapattis while He petted it. Lakshmi Bai Dongle was watching all this and said to Baba, “Baba what is this you do? You said you were hungry. I thought Lord himself is asking for food and prepared chapattis with love and reverence. Right in front of me you are offering the food to this dog. What sin have I committed? What fault lies in me? Did I have any bad thoughts while preparing these chapattis? I prepared these chapattis whole heartedly and with love. Why are you insulting me thus? Is it justified?” In this way Lakshmi Bai talked to Baba with closeness as if she were talking to her father. Baba said, “Lakshmi Bai, sit down. I have eaten all the chapattis. My stomach is full.” Lakshmi Bai said, “Baba, how do I believe you? I saw the dog eating all the chapattis before my very eyes and you say you have eaten them. How can I believe it?” Then Baba said, “Man can ask for food if he is hungry. Animals and birds cannot ask if they are hungry. They too have hunger but cannot express it. They too are the creation of the Lord. Hence isn’t it me who is eating when they eat? Do not think that this body alone is Baba. That dog too is Baba. This bird too is Baba. This buffalo here is also Baba. All the beings are Baba. ‘Isa vaasya midam sarvam’, God is everywhere. ‘Eshwara sarva bhootanam’ God pervades all the beings. Why are you limiting Baba who is present in all? I made you cry thus because of your narrow ideas. Get rid of this narrow mindedness and broaden your vision. Hence develop a broad mind. Whatever others may do take it as the will of the Divine. Think that whatever, good or bad, happens, happens for your good. It is proper when such good thoughts are fostered in the hearts of the devotees.”
Copper coins episode from Shiridi Baba's life00:04:26
Once in Shiridi, Baba, sitting on the steps of Dwarakamayi, was keenly looking at some copper coins. There were a lot of devotees who were waiting for Him but He saw none. He went on watching and shifting the copper coins from one palm to another. Though the devotees waited for long, Baba did not look up to see anyone nor did He talk to anyone. Meanwhile Dama came there. He was the one who was always with Baba. Dama said, “Baba! Look, how many are waiting for you! You seem to be playing with something. What is the secret behind this? Why are you watching the coins so? Are you examining?” Then Baba looked up and said, “O son! See, not even one coin is genuine. On one side the letters are missing and on the other side the image is blurred. Some of them are in pieces, some are disfigured and yet some have cracks in them. I am examining them to find out those that may be useful.” “Throw the useless ones away, why waste time seeing them?” said Dama. Baba said, “O Son! Understand clearly. Many devotees come here. Each one of them has some defect like the coins here. I do not find even one who might be of use to me.” Baba continued, “Some come here with worldly desires. Some students come with a desire to successfully pass in the examinations. Some come with a wish to get married or to have a job or for promotion. Each one comes here with a desire but none comes with a desire to get Atma gyana, the sacred knowledge of the Self. All these people are like these coins and I am just examining who can be useful. There is none in these who obeys me. People say that they want Swami but to what extent are they obeying Swami’s commands? When they do not follow me, where is the devotion?” Shiridi Baba called Dama and pointing to a mango tree, said, “See that mango tree. It is full with flowers. The flowers are countless and they are covering up even the leaves. But at the end how many of these become fruits? How many of those become ripe fruits? All will not. Some flowers fall off due to the dew, some fall due to the wind. Some become small unripe fruits and some fall off while some others grow bigger but some drop to the ground when birds and squirrels bite them. Ultimately only a few become fully ripen fruits. If all flowers turn out into fully ripen fruits, can the tree bear those?”
Swami on Shirdi devotees00:01:34
Dada, Nana, Damu, Abdul Baba, Chandorkar, Mahalsapathi, Shyama were always with Baba. Abdul Baba, who was a great devotee, was alive till recently. Whatever be the religion, devotion is the same in all. Kaka Dikshit was a judge. The son of Kaka Dikshit was in Brindavan for twenty years. His wife too is in Brindavan. Kaka Dikshit recorded in his diary the details of rebirth of Baba. Therefore, it is very difficult to establish and categorise the relationship with divinity; it is the relationship of soul to soul.
How Hemadpant wrote Sri Shirdi Satcharitra00:02:46
One day a learned man came to Baba with a desire to write His biography. His name was Hemad Pant and he is the one who wrote the biography of Baba. He prayed intensely to Baba to know where he was born, what his name was and who his parents were. But Baba did not reveal any of the details. The date of birth was revealed only to Mahalsapathi when he was serving Baba.Mahalsapathi was not a scholar but knew only few hymns for offering worship.Mahalsapathi had written the birth date revealed by Baba on a piece of paper that later fell into the hands of Hemad Pant who wrote the biography of Baba. Nobody knows the essence of Baba’s life. The world only knows about Baba from the age of sixteen. Baba, who was born on 27 September 1838, left His body on the day of Dasara. That is Baba was born in the year 1838 and left his body in the year 1918. In between those years Baba gave many sacred teachings and showed people the divine power and has been worshipped by many as God. Dada, Nana, Damu, Abdul Baba, Chandorkar, Mahalsapathi, Shyama were always with Baba.
Baba's effort in bringing muslims and hindus together00:05:57
A number of controversies arose when people could not decide if He was a Brahmin, a Hindu or a Musalman. One moment Baba used to say, “Allah Malik!” and at other times He used to cry out, “Ram Malik, Krishna Malik, Dattatreya Malik.” It aroused doubts in villagers about the religion of Baba. When he said, “Allah Malik.”, muslims used to gather in large numbers in the masjid. In appearance too Baba looked a muslim and so a number of muslims came to him. Hindus too worshiped him with Hindu rituals of lighting the lamp, offerings etc. When things were so, the Muslims did not approve of the worship rituals of Hindus and vice versa. Enmity developed greatly between the two clans. One day Mahalsapathi was sitting near Baba and was serving him.Mahalsapathi was priest in the temple of Khandoba. The Muslims on seeing a Hindu priest sit near Baba, were angered and gathered in the masjid and beat Mahalsapathi with staffs. For every blow of the staff,Mahalsapathi cried out, “Baba! Baba!” The moment Mahalsapathi cried out so, the blows were felt by Baba!!Mahalsapathi fell down and Baba came out. Mohammedans had great faith in Baba. Baba came out and roared, “Devils! On one hand you pray and on the other you hit and torment me. Is this your devotion?” The Mohammedans saw Baba bleeding from the blows and came running to Baba, “Baba, who did this? Who hit you?” Baba showed them saying, “Was it not you who hit me?” The Mohammedans replied, “We never came near you. We only beat Mahalsapathi.” Baba said, “Who do you think in there in Mahalsapathi? I am there, in him. He had surrendered himself to me, therefore his troubles are mine!” Hearing this, the Mohammedans asked for forgiveness at the feet of Baba. Baba then gathered the Hindus and the Musalmans and told them, “You are the children of one mother.” And He showed to the proof of brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God. “You should not breed the differences of caste, creed and religion. For humanity, heart is important. Lord cannot be found by the person who searches for Him in religion. One should find the Lord in one’s own mind and heart for He is found there. All the differences of caste, creed and religion pertain to the body. These are all worldly affairs. One has to search for God in the heart that is beyond the worldly affairs.” Baba who had come to Shirdi in the year 1858 along with Chand Bhai Patel did not leave Shirdi till 1918. When He entered Shirdi He was 16 years old, in the year 1854. Baba lived for eighty years.
Shiridi Baba manifesting as Dattatreya00:03:55
Many doubted his divinity. The birthday of Dattatreya is celebrated on the tenth day of the bright fortnight that is the ‘Suddha Dasami’ of the Hindu month of Margashira. On this auspicious occasion a number of devotees gathered in Shiridi. In that gathering was also present a wealthy and great scholar by name ‘Kaijak’. His name was ‘Balwant Kaijak’. When Kaijak came to Baba, he saw Baba hitting everybody with a stick shouting, “Devil, go away!” Nobody knew why Baba did so. Baba shouted loudly, “I am in labour and have delivery pains. Get away from here, all of you.” In those days Baba not only shouted loudly at the villagers but even beating with a stick was common if the situation so demanded and if anybody tried to escape he would throw a stick at him. So, everybody was afraid of him. So, the villagers ran away from that place. After some time Baba again called them back, “Come here.” He also called Balwant Kaijak,”Balwant Kaijak, come on here, come inside.” And Baba went inside. When Balwant Kaijak followed Baba inside, he could not find Him there. He saw a three headed baby there!! Earlier Baba had said that he was in labour and now there was a baby inside!! And the small baby had three heads!! That baby looked like Dattatreya with many hands. Kaijak saw this form of Dattatreya and he called the others inside. The other villagers went inside, saw and closed their eyes. After a while they found Baba sitting there. From that time onwards the villagers started calling Baba as ‘Bhagawan’ and as an ‘Avatar of Dattatreya’.
Magistrate enquiring Shirdi Baba00:04:11
After a few years there a magistrate case filed on Baba. Sai Baba had to offer witness in that particular case. What was the witness he had to give? Some thieves were carrying away the stolen things from a wealthy person. The police caught them in the village of Pehelgaon. When the police asked them, “Where did you get these things?” they out of fear replied, “That fakir gave us these things.” And the police asked them to show the fakir who gave them those things. The thieves brought them to Sai Baba. The police asked Baba, “Fakir, did you give them those things?” Sai Baba said, “Yes, I gave them.” The police: “From where did you get these?” Sai Baba: “From the same source from which everything comes!” The police: “Who gave them to you?” Sai Baba: “I gave them.” Baba gave such vague and mysterious answers that the police could not understand. They were in the worldly plane and Baba was always in the spiritual plane. From the worldly outlook one cannot understand Baba. Baba: “It is me who gives to everyone. Who can take them or earn them without me?” The police felt that it was no use talking to Baba and went to the magistrate and wrote a report. Summons came from the office of the magistrate and Baba had to go to the office of the magistrate. Chand Bhai Patel was not ready to send Baba to the magistrate. He talked to the magistrate and higher officials and as a result a commission was deployed to Shirdi to take the statement of Baba. The commission started to question Baba, Commission: “What is your father’s name?” Sai Baba: “Baba.” For ‘baba’ means father. Commission: “To which religion do you belong?” Sai Baba: “The religion of God.” Commission: “From where have you come?” Sai Baba: “From Atma!” Commission: “To which caste to you belong to?” Sai Baba: “The caste of Divinity.” In this way Baba answered the commission.Mahalsapathi hailed Him as Sai and Baba called his father as ‘Baba’; so he became ‘Sai Baba’. Nobody knew the place of birth or the year of birth or who named him so.
Baba's return to Shirdi; Chand bhai patel episode00:06:13
After three years, He came back to Shirdi in the year 1858. There was a village by name Dhoop in the district of Aurangabad. There lived a person belonging to a middle class in that village by name Chand Bhai Patel. There were limited facilities for travel in those days; trains, buses, planes etc were unheard of in those days. They used to keep a horse for the purpose of travel. On a particular day Chand Bhai Patel came to Aurangabad on his horse for some urgent work. He was attending to his work for which he came and was occupied with work for two to three days and meanwhile the horse which was unattended to, escaped. Chand Bhai searched everywhere for his lost horse but was unable to find it. Disappointed, he was returning to Dhoop. There is a dense forest on the way from Aurangabad to Dhoop. There were dense forests surrounding the villages in those days. There was beggar sitting under a Mango tree in the dense forest lost in his thoughts. Chand Bhai Patel was passing by that way, disappointed at not finding his horse anywhere. The fakir called out to him, “Hey! Patel! Come here.” Patel said, “How do you know my name?” The Fakir said, “I know everything! You are very worried about your horse. You are searching for your horse keeping your eyes on your head. When you keep your eyes on the head you can see only the horizon, so how can you look around? Fool! Go to that tree and you will find your horse grazing there.” He looked that side and found his horse under the tree. Chand Bhai had had the same area searched by servants for the horse. The horse which was not found even after severe searching was found right at the tree near which he was sitting. The miraculous deeds of finding the lost horse and of getting fire and water by mere beating a stick on the ground were observed by Patel who said, “Swamiji, you have helped me a lot. Please come to my place and accept my hospitality.” Fakir said, “Alright, let us go.” And both of them started to Dhoop. Meanwhile the marriage of Chand Bhai Patel’s nephew was settled. The bride belonged to Shirdi. Therefore they had to go to Shirdi. Then Chand Bhai Patel requested the fakir to go along with them to Shirdi. They travelled to Shirdi in carts and when they entered Shirdi, the fakir sawMahalsapathi. Mahalsapathi said, “Aayiye Baba, Sai! (Come baba, Sai.) O You have come Baba!” The name ‘Sai’ was given to the fakir by Mahalsapathi; until then the fakir did not have a name whatsoever.
Baba's early life in Shirdi00:03:17
In the year 1854 Baba reached Shirdi. Mahalsapathi saw him as Baba reached Shirdi. When Baba was about to enter the temple, Mahalsapathi thinking him to be a muslim fakir who weren’t allowed into the temple, drove Him away from the temple. Then Baba went and sat under a neem tree on the outskirts of the village. He was then sixteen years old. The villagers did not know the details about the boy and Baba did not give any reply to their questions. When the villagers asked, “From which place do you come?” Baba used to answer, “Why are you bothered about from which place I come from?” Villagers: “What is your name?” Baba: “Why do you want the name?” As he began replying in this manner, the villagers could not get any details about Baba. He stayed under the tree for some time. Many people suffering from ailments used to rest awhile under tree and go their way. To such people Baba used to crumple some leaves and give it to them to eat and this cured them of their ailments. This news spread very fast among the villages. A number of people began to come to Baba to cure their diseases and to them Baba used to give some juice from the leaves and cure them of their diseases. Suddenly one day Baba disappeared from Shirdi. The villagers searched for Him but were disappointed at not finding Him anywhere. After three years, He came back to Shirdi in the year 1858.
Pradhan constructing Baba's Samadhi00:02:51
Baba called Pradhan after a few days and asked him to build a small tank in a certain place. It was Pradhan who first built Baba’s Samadhi. It was the year of 1918. The wife of Pradhan used to stay in their village. She had a dream in which she saw Baba’s death. Pradhan was in Shirdi. She got up and started crying telling her children that she dreamt of Baba and saw Him dead in the dream. Immediately she heard a voice from inside the house saying, “Do not use the word “Baba has died.”Instead use “Baba is in Samadhi”. Samadhi means one who has an equanimous mind. He considers birth and death as equal; joy and sorrow as equal; loss and gain as equal. So there is no death for Baba.” As she was searching for the whereabouts of the voice she had heard, she received a letter sent by husband. The letter stated that Baba had left the mortal coils. It was on the day of Vijaya dashami. He was born on the 28th of September and Vijaya dashami is the day Baba left His mortal coils. According to the Hindu calendar, Vijaya dashami did not fall on 28th September in the year 1918. That year Vijaya dashami happened in the month of August itself.
The entry of Shyama into Shirdi: Story of Shyama and his experiences with Baba00:07:33
Shyam’s parents brought him to Shirdi after their retirement. He was two years old at that time. His name was Mohan Shyam. Parents used to call him Mohan. Baba always used to call him Shyam. After retirement his parents settled in Shirdi and Shyam pursued his studies in Shirdi. After the departure of Sathe, Baba gradually began to care deeply for Shyam. Shyam eventually completed the teacher’s training programme and was appointed as a teacher in a local school in Shirdi. During the day Shyam would teach the students while Baba stayed in an adjacent room. By night he used to sleep in the class room. Only a small ventilator separated the Baba’s room and Shyam’s classroom. Shyam used to look into Baba’s room during the night through the small ventilator. He often saw Baba speaking to himself, laughing by himself, and scolding by himself. The room in which Baba slept had a foot and a half wide plank which was held in place by two ropes from the ceiling. Baba used to swing and sleep on the plank. Shyam feared that Baba might fall off the narrow plank in his sleep and used to see through the ventilator. So one day while pressing Baba’s feet, he took courage and asked Baba, “Swami, you are not sleeping in the nights. You laugh by yourself, talk to yourself. What is the meaning and significance of your actions? Please tell me.” Baba replied, “O Madcap! Are you the only one in this world? There are many who pray to me for help in this universe. I am talking to them. When I write something in the air, I am turning their minds. When I move my lips, I am talking to them. It is my taste to laugh at their madness. Child, all these actions are for my devotees.” Gradually, Shyam began to pray to swami, “Swami, I have less number of classes. I want to serve you and stay with you.” Lakshmi Bai was the lady who used to cook food for Swami. “Even I want to serve Baba.” thinking so Shyama used to go to Lakshmi Bai and help her in making Jowar rotis for Baba. Baba was very fond of Brinjal. Shyama used to go to Lakshmi Bai and learn to make various items with Brinjal. Shyama used to serve Baba in this way. Only he knew the tremendous happiness he derived in serving Baba so. In those days, Baba used to get angry a lot; however it stayed only for very short intervals. When angry Baba used to throw a stick that was ten feet away. Shyama used to say, “Swami, you are throwing sticks like that out of anger. If somebody were to die getting hurt by it, you would get a bad name.” Baba used to reply, “O Satan, sit down. That life is in my hands. It will go only when I let it go. I will see to it he does not lose his life. Go and do your work. Why are you so much worried about it? He will mend his ways only when I show my anger in that manner. People will sit on my head if I tell them mildly. Hence to make people do their work properly, sometimes harsh words and actions are needed.” Baba revealed the secret only to Shyama, “I only pretend to be angry to put people on the right path. Inwardly I do not have anger.” Baba’s actions emanated out of love and love alone and had no other motive behind them. In this manner Baba gave an opportunity to Shyam to be close to Him and serve Him.
HV Sathe moved out of Shirdi because of people in Shirdi00:02:43
The residents of Shirdi resolved to take revenge on Sathe. Sathe wanted to preserve the money collected as dakshina and utilise it for the construction work in Shirdi. This irked the residents and made them go against Sathe. There was a silver chariot with the silver horses in Shirdi. Thieves stole this chariot. Sathe was the chief secretary of the Shirdi trust then. People blamed Sathe for the theft of the chariot as they thought that he had a hand in the theft. One day a person stood in the path of Sathe with an axe in his hand. His maternal uncle saw this and said, “Sathe, you need no longer stay here. You can stay anywhere and be devoted to Baba. Please leave Shirdi immediately.” Then Sathe left Shirdi very reluctantly. Baba repeatedly called out Sathe’s name but Sathe was not there to answer. Baba pretended to be very sad. Sathe was very near and dear to Baba. The devotees began talking among themselves that the departure of Sathe, who was dear to Baba, has made Him unhappy.
Shirdi Baba gives the explanation of who is a true Guru: Kelkar Experience00:04:46
One day Baba called Kelkar and asked him to do “Guru Pooja”, (worship Guru) as it was a Gurupoornima, a day dedicated to the worship of gurus. None of them knew about Guru Pooja. Baba started the tradition of worship of Gurus through Kelkar who was the maternal uncle of Sathe. Kelkar asked, “What is meant by guru Pooja?” Baba said, “Who do you think is a guru? The head of the spiritual organisation is not a guru nor is a sanyasi (a recluse). God alone is Guru. The bliss of Brahma, the “Brahmanandam”, is the highest form of all the happiness that is available in this world. No other person is eligible to have it. “Paramasukhadam”-The worldly pleasures are impermanent. Guru is the paramatma, the Supreme Being, Himself. “Kevalam gnyanamurthim”- He is the very embodiment of knowledge and wisdom. It is not the knowledge of world. The real knowledge is that of adwaitha, non-dualism. The realisation that there is no ‘other’ that pervades this cosmos is the ultimate knowledge. God alone is the embodiment of such knowledge. “Dwandwateetam”- that which is beyond the dualism. It is the ‘tatwa gnyanam’ which pertains to the realisation that one is God, “Aham brahmasmi” which is a statement in Vedas. “Aham brahmasmi” “pragnyanam Brahma”, “Ayamatma Brahma”, “Twamewaham” are the four statements in the Vedas. The principle that is beyond these four statements is the knowledge of Brahman. Brahmanandam, paramasukhadam, Kevalam gnyanamurthim dwandwateetam,” Explaining in this way Baba said, “God alone is the teacher, Guru. Guru is the Creator, the protector and the destroyer. The embodiment of the Brahma (the creator), Vishnu, (the one who sustains) and Maheshwara, (the destroyer) is the Guru in true sense. It implies that God alone is the true teacher.” Kelkar asked Baba, “Please give me directions as to whether I should worship Brahma or Vishnu or Rudra?” Pretending anger, Baba replied, “You Satan, I am here, worship me.” By saying so Baba indicated that He is the embodiment of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. “Twamewaham- I am I. I, who am the very embodiment of such principle, am here so worship Me.” said Baba. All the people who gathered and heard this believed that Shirdi Sai Baba is the very form of Parameshwara, the Supreme Being.
Baba's habit of collecting Dakshina and helping poor ones00:04:14
There were two important tasks that Baba used to do. He used to take dakshina, money, from everyone who came to Shirdi. He used to take only five rupees or two rupees or three rupees and not big amounts. He used to take the money from one and give it to another at the same moment. He never used to keep anything with Himself. One day a person by name Pradhan came to Shirdi. He had planned to give Baba a sum of twenty rupees. In those days there were no rupee notes like one, two or five rupee notes. The currency was mostly in coins. The coins were made of silver unlike the present day coins which are made of alloys of aluminium. They do not even make them of copper anymore. In those days, one rupee coin used to weigh ten grams in silver. He thought, “how can I carry so much of money?!” So thinking, Pradhan gave a sovereign, a gold coin to Baba. Baba saw the coin turning it from side to side in his hand and said, “What is this? I have never it before.” The one sitting beside Baba said, “Swamy, this is a gold coin.” Baba then said, “I do not want this. Give me rupee coins instead of this. How many rupees are equal to this coin?” In those days a sovereign was equal to fifteen rupees. Sathe took the sovereign and gave fifteen rupees to Baba. Then Baba saw Pradhan and said, “Pradhan I still have to get five rupees from you.” Pradhan who was a judge, started thinking, “I have given fifteen rupees equal to a sovereign. And yet Baba is demanding more. He seems to be a greedy man.” Baba said, “Give me five rupees first then you can wonder leisurely.” Pradhan gave five rupees to Baba. Then Baba said, “What did you think while leaving home? You thought of giving twenty rupees to me. You gave only fifteen rupees. Aren’t the five rupees due to me? So give it to me.” The judge was flabbergasted and thought that Sai Baba is the correct judge. It was Baba’s habit to take money from one person and give it to another in their very presence.
Swami on the Shirdi Baba devotee, HV Sathe: Sathe Wada Experience00:08:55
Swami on the Shirdi Baba devotee, HV Sathe: Sathe Wada Experience Gradually the news about this Baba began to spread. There was a person by name Hari Vinayaka Sathe, who was the Deputy Collector and settlement officer in the state of Bombay. He was grief stricken as he had lost his wife. When he was thus immersed in grief, his friend Prof. G. G. Narke came to his house. He consoled his friend and said, “Brother, there is no use grieving the departed. Let us change the place and visit saints and noble people.” So saying his friend took him to Shirdi. The incidents about Sathe are very extraordinary. He went to Shirdi and saw Baba. Baba on number of occasions would look at him, smile and make gestures by waving his hands. Sathe had doubts about Baba as to whether Baba was really a great man or just a mad man. Neither he nor his friend introduced themselves to Baba. They just had the darshan of Baba. Baba said, “Sathe, fikre nayi karo. Sathe, don’t worry. Aren’t the bodies like the water bubbles?!! Don’t develop attachment towards such bodies. Develop attachment towards the in-dweller. Worries are like the passing clouds. Every person faces such situations. Have courage. Take care of your child.” Sathe’s wife died after giving birth to a child and even his friend Prof. Narke didn’t know about the child. Listening to Baba speak so, Sathe said to himself, “He is not a mad man. He is omniscient.” He changed his plans of returning immediately and stayed for another couple of days. He used to come often to Shirdi. He observed that the people travelling to Shirdi did not have proper places to stay. So he built the first building for the accommodation of pilgrims. That building is called ‘Sathewada” even today. Sathe was the first person to build a house for the pilgrims in Shirdi. After some years in the service he felt, “For whom should I earn? All the material possessions are transient.” Thinking in this way he went to Shirdi again. Baba smiled and said, “Sathe, it seems you have developed renunciation towards your job. You are thinking as to whom you should earn for. To whom will you give it?!! Utilize it for good deeds. Construct a fort in Shirdi.” Then Sathe said, “Swami, I am not a millionaire. How can I build such a big fort?” Baba said, “Do it to the extent possible and to your capacity. Why fear when I am here?!” Hearing Baba’s assuring words, Sathe felt courageous and confident. Sathe’s maternal uncle, Dada Revkar, too came to stay permanently in Shirdi. Sathe used to send the money from Pune to his maternal uncle who used it for the construction work in Shirdi. In this way Baba made Sathe, His first instrument. Then onwards Baba considered Sathe as an important person and instrument in all works. The proximity of Sathe to Baba and the importance given to him by Baba, made the villagers of Shirdi jealous of him. “taanu cheyakayunna tagavu puttadu kaani, parulu cheyuta choochi orvaleru.” Daata daggara cheri, tanavuluchedinatlu, Jihvato chaadeelu cheppuchunduru. Itti vaariki ye peru pettavalayu??? Bhikshakunaku shatruvani pettavalayu!! People do not mind if they cannot do a work, but get jealous of others who do it. They gather near a charitable person to gossip and bad mouth the doer. What name can be given to such people? They must be called as the enemies of the beggars. And who are those enemies? Dogs are the enemies!!” Many people complained about Sathe to Baba on many occasions.
Baba's stay at Shirdi after Venkusa Ashram00:01:56
Shirdi was a very small village. He stayed only for two months in Shirdi and there after he went from place to place. After being on the move for few years, Baba reached a village by name Dhoopkheda. The wedding of the nephew of Chand Bhai Patel took place while Baba was staying at Dhoopkheda. Baba came to Shirdi along with the marriage party in the year 1858. After travelling for many years he finally came to Shirdi and never left Shirdi till 1918. He stayed for sixty years in Shirdi. He used to spend time conversing with the villagers, giving solace and courage in times of need, and by giving them tips to solve their problems.
Never doubt Divine: A story from Shirdi Baba's Life00:03:17
God assumes whatever form of God you pray to. Some people pray to God, “Oh God! Be with me and protect me.” They can hear only the steps of God behind them. Those who pray, “Oh God! Can’t You see my difficulties and my crying?” see only the eyes of God. Those who pray, “Can’t You hear my cry and prayers?” can see only His ears, because God has His ears and eyes everywhere. A similar incident happened in Shirdi. Once, Shirdi Sai Baba told a devotee, “Oh madcap! I am always with you and I am always present at your back.” After walking some distance, that devotee turned back and looked, but he did not find Baba there. Then he thought that Baba had told him a lie, “He told me that he would be behind my back. But he is not to be seen.” He went back to Baba and said, “Oh Baba! You are such a great person. How could you tell a lie? You promised that you would be at my back. But when I looked behind me, I did not find you.” Baba replied, “Oh Saitan (devil)! Is this your intelligence? When you looked behind, you turned your back also. Hence, I also turned to be at your back.” See! When the devotee looked behind, his back also turned. That is why he could not see Baba, who was at his back all the time. The words of God are mysterious and wonderful, and they have a deeper meaning. Not all can understand God. So, do not try to understand God. Follow His command. That is your duty. You have to know so much about God. Nobody can completely understand God. Outwardly, God may appear to be an ordinary person, but He can reveal His transcendental powers at any time, which is not possible for ordinary mortals. Therefore, perform your duty. Offer your heart to God. That is your foremost duty. Then all your doubts will be removed.
Following Divine command unquestionably grants the eternal bliss: Story of Nana, the devotee of Shirdi Baba00:03:39
When do you get supreme bliss? It is only when you are able to overcome all the three qualities. What does it mean? We have to obey the divine command. We have to follow the path shown by God. We should be able to comprehend what God likes. Although divinity is there in all, one should be able to visualize God in a specific form always. If one feels that both bodies are identical, it is not possible to visualize God. Feelings are separate in them. God likes your inner feelings and not your outer expressions. Man, however, goes by the outer expressions and not inner senses! Therefore, it is essential for man to reject outer expressions and accept inner feelings. These are the doubts of Nana. Nana never left Baba even for a second. If Baba desires to inhale Hukka, it is Nana who makes it happen. Such is the transformation in Nana who once told that why should he go to mad cap! Baba, practically, became NANA’s sixth life. There will be five life forms for every human being. They are: Prana, Apana, Gyana, Udhana, and Samana. Not only these five lives but Baba has become his life breath. If Baba is not there, he would not take food even. Such an intimate bond grew between Baba and Nana. Ordinary persons cannot fathom the deeper principle that underlies their bond. Some people may even criticize that why can’t he eat if Baba is not there! “It is my will and who are you to ask?” Nana used to retort. We imagine the compassionate God in various forms. It is 100% compassion and 100% love that make God. There is nothing beyond this. Learn the principle of love. Never hate anybody. It rebounds in the form of reaction, resound, and reflection. These three things appear in Divinity.
How Nana Saheb Chadorkar became the devotee of Baba00:08:46
At one time Baba, in a sitting posture, was smiling which no one around could understand! Some people thought that he is a mad person. Some thought that he is a detached human being (Bairagi). Some thought he is a Fakir. Baba looked like a mad person to those who thought so; as a detached person to those who understood so; and as a Fakir to those who surmised so. Smiling thus, he called a person- Oh! Kulkarni- come here. There used to live a person known as Kulkarni. His full name is Appa Kulkarni. He came near Baba and stood in front of him for instructions. Baba gave him two coins and asked him to go to Pankan and bring Nana. Nana was working there as a Tahsildar. In those days, Tahsildar was as powerful as the Collector today. It was a powerful position and all matters were under his control. Not only he had authority but he was also a scholar in Sanskrit. Being highly educated and holding a high position with a good personality, his ego had gone to a higher level! The moment Kulkarni appeared before the Tahsildar, he asked why he had come. Kulkarni responded stating that Baba desires to meet with him and wanted me to escort you. Nana, at once, reprimanded Kulkarni stating that ‘you ask a highly positioned official in me to come to a Fakir’?! Kulkarni returned to Baba and appraised the position. Baba asked him to go again, plead with Nana and bring him along. Repeatedly Baba was exhorting that he must meet with Nana. Kulkarni was aghast as to why Baba was so particular to meet Nana who was adamant to go to Baba. With no option left, Kulkarni went to Nana and touched his feet pleading with him to come along and meet with Baba as he is very insistent to see you. Nana, eventually, yielded to his persuasion and told Kulkarni that he is coming because of his pressure. He has nothing to do with the Fakir. Baba is after all a mad man and a beggar whereas he is rich and powerful. What is there common between us to meet and talk? Speaking thus, he went along with Kulkarni to Shirdi and saw Baba but paid no respects or greeted by folding his hands. Instead he asked Baba as to why he was called to this place? What is the relationship between us? Baba came near Nana and requested him to take his seat. Please calm yourself. Ego is no good. We both may not have any connection now. But we were known to each other in the past life. That’s why I wanted to see you. Nana became more upset and said that we have no connection now and you are talking of a relationship of our past lives! I do not have any faith in such logic. Baba then got up from his seat, came close to Nana, kept his hands on both the eye lids, and asked him to open his eyes and see. Nana opened his eyes and could see all incidents of his past life! He felt that it is all illusion and refused to believe anything. If this was to be right, I must also see your past as well, Nana told Baba. Baba, at one, touched his own eyes and made Nana see the past about their relationship. Nana, instantaneously, knelt before Baba and prostrated saying that out of sheer ignorance, he behaved in a most obnoxious way. We know nothing but pretend to know everything. You know everything but yet behave as though you are not aware of anything. This is the difference between the human and divine. Despite not knowing anything but pretending to know everything is human. Knowing everything but pretending to know nothing is divine. God knows everything. He does everything but looks as if he did nothing. He attracts everything but behaves as if he does not attract anything. This is the difference between divinity and humanity. How to choose the right path of wisdom? We should develop a steady Mind and nurture turbulence-free emotions. Under no circumstances, we should yield to any doubt. We should never shrink ourselves because of doubts. We should try to reach a stage of equanimity and holistic faith to realize the truth.
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