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Chapter XVIII & XIX
How Hemadpant was Accepted
Stories of Mr. Sathe
and Mrs. Deshmukh - Encouraging Good Thoughts to Fruition-Variety
in Upadesh-Teachings Readings Slander, and Remuneration for Labour.
In the last two Chapters,
Hemadpant described, how a rich gentleman, aspiring for quick Brahma-Jnana,
was treated by Baba, and now in these two Chapters, he describes
how Hemadpant, himself, was accepted and blessed by Baba, how Baba
encouraged good throughts and fructified them; and gives His teachings
regarding Self-improvement, slander and remuneration for labour.
It is a well-known fact,
that the Sadguru looks first to the qualifications of his disciples;
and then gives them suitable instructions, without unsettling their
minds in the least, and leads them on towards the goal of self-realization.
In this respect, some say that what the Sadguru teaches or instructs,
should not be divulged to others. They think that their instructions,
become useless, if they are published. This view is not correct.
The Sadguru is like a monsoon cloud. He pours down profusely, i.e.,
scatters widely his nectar-like teachings. These, we should enjoy
and assimilate to our heart's content; and then serve others with
them, without any reserve. This rule should apply, not only to what
he teaches in our waking state, but to the visions he gives us in
our dreams. To quote an instance: Budhakowshik Rishi composed his
celebrated Ram-raksha stotra, which he had seen in his dream.
a loving mother forcing bitter but wholesome medicines down the
throats of her children for the sake of their health, Sai Baba imparted
spiritual instructions to His devotees. His method was not veiled
or secret, but quite open. The devotees who followed His instructions
got their object. Sad-gurus like Sai Baba open our (eyes of the)
intellect and show us the divine beauties of the Self, and fulfill
our tender longings of devotion. When this is done, our desire for
sense-objects vanishes, twin fruits of Viveka (discrimination) and
Vairagya (dispassion or non-attachment) come to our hands; and knowledge
sprouts up even in the sleep. All this we get, when we come in contact
with Saints (Sad-guru), serve them and secure their love. The Lord,
who fulfills the desires of His devotees, comes to our aid, removes
our troubles and sufferings, and makes us happy. This progress or
development is entirely due to the help of the Sadguru, who is regarded
as the Lord Himself. Therefore, we should always be after the Sad-guru,
hear His stories, fall at His Feet and serve Him. Now we come to
our main story.
There was a gentleman named
Mr. Sathe, who had attained some publicity many year ago during
Crowford Regime, which was put down by Lord Reay, the then Governor
of Bombay. He suffered servere losses in trade. Other adverse circumstances
gave him much trouble, and made him sad and dejected. Being restless,
he thought of leaving home; and going out to a distant place. Man
does not generally think of God, but when difficulties and calamities
overtake him, he turns to Him and prays for relief. If his evil
actions have come to an end, God arranges his meeting with a Saint,
who gives him proper directions regarding his welfare. Mr. Sathe
had similar experience. His friends advised him to go to Shirdi,
where so many people were flocking to get Sai Baba's darshan, for
getting peace of mind and the satisfaction of their wants. He liked
the idea, and at once came to Shirdi in 1917. Seeing Baba's Form,
which was like Eternal Brahma, Self-luminous, Spotless and Pure,
his mind lost its restlessness and became calm and composed. He
thought, that it was the accumulation of merits in his former births,
that brought him to the Holy Feet of Baba. He was a man of strong
will. He at once started to make a parayana (study) of Guru-charitra.
When the reading was finished in the saptaha (seven days), Baba
gave him a vision that night. It was to this effect: Baba with Guru-charitra
in His hand was explaining its contents to Mr. Sathe, who was sitting
in front and listening carefully. When he woke up, he remembered
the dream and felt very happy. He thought that it was extremely
kind of Baba. Who awakens souls like his that are snoring in ignorance,
and makes them taste the nectar of Guru-charitra. Next day, he informed
Kakasaheb Dixit of this vision, and requested him to consult Sai
Baba regarding its meaning or significance -- whether one saptah
(week's) reading was sufficient or whether he should begin again.
Kakasaheb Dixit, when got a suitable opportunity, asked Baba- "Deva
(Oh God), what did you suggest to Mr.Sathe by this vision? Whether
he should stop or continue the saptah? He is a simple devotee, his
desire should be fulfilled and the vision explained to him and he
should be blessed." Then Baba replied - ‘He should make one more
saptah of the book; if the work be studied carefully, the devotee
will become pure and will be benefited, the Lord will be pleased
and will rescue him from the bondage of the mundane existence."
At this time, Hemadpant
was present there. He was shampooing Baba's Legs. When he heard
Baba's words, he thought in his mind as follows - "What! Mr. Sathe
read for a week only and got a reward; and I am reading it for forty
years with no result! His seven days' stay here becomes fruitful
while my seven years' stay (1910 to m1917) goes for nothing. Like
a Chatak bird I am ever waiting for the Merciful Cloud (Baba) to
pour its nectar on me; and bless me with His instructions." No sooner
did this thought cross his mind, Baba knew it then and there. It
was the experience of the Bhaktas that Baba read and understood
all their thoughts, and that He suppressed the evil thoughts and
encouraged the good ones. Reading Hemadpant's mind Baba at once
asked him to get up, go to Shama (Madhavrao Deshpande), get from
him Rs. 15/- as Dakshina, sit and chitchat with him for a while
and then return. Mercy dawned in Baba's mind, and so he issued this
order. And who could disobey Baba's order?
immediately left the Masjid and came to Shama's house. He had just
bathed, and was wearing a dhotar. He came out and asked Hemadpant
- "How is it that you are here now? It seems that you have come
from the Masjid. Why do you look restless and dejected? Why are
you alone? Please sit and rest, while I shall just do my worship
and return: in the meanwhile you please take pan-vida (leaves and
betel nuts etc.) let us then have a pleasant chat." After saying
his, he went inside and Hemadpant sat alone in the front varandah.
He saw in the window a wellknown Marathi book named 'Nath-Bhagwat.'
This is a commentary by the Saint Ekanath, on the eleventh Skandha
(chapter) of the bigger Sanskrit work, the Bhagwat. At the suggestion
or recommendation of Sai Baba, Messrs. Bapusaheb Jog and Kakasaheb
Dixit read daily in Shirdi, BhagwadGeeta with its Marathi commentary
named Bhawartha-Deepika or Jnaneshwari (A dialogue between Krishna
and His friend devotee Arjuna) and Nath Bhagwat (A dialogue between
Krishna and His servant devotee Uddhava) and also Ekanath's othe
big work, viz. Bhawartha Ramayana. When devotees came to Baba and
asked Him certain questions. He sometimes answered them in part,
and asked them to go and listen to the readings of the above-mentioned
works, which are the main treatises of Bhagwat Dharma. When the
devotes went and listened, they got full and satisfactory replies
to their questions. Hemadpant also used to read daily some portions
of the book Nath-Bhagwat.
That day, he did not complete the daily
portion of his reading, but had left it unfinished in order to accompany
certain devotees, who were going to the Masjid. When he took up
the book from Shama's window and casually opened, it, he found,
to his surprise, that the unfinished portion turned up. He thought
that Baba sent him very kindly to Shama's house for enabling him
to complete his daily reading. So he went throught the unfinished
portion and completed it. As soon as this was over, Shama, after
doing his worship came out, and the following conversation took
place between them.
Hemadpant :- I have come with a message
from Baba. He has asked me to return with Rs. 15/- as Dakshina from
you, also to sit with you for a while and have a pleasant chitchat
and then return to the Masjid with you.
Shama (with surprise):- I have no money
to give. Take my 15 Namaskaras (bows) in lieu of rupees as Dakshina,
Hemadpant:- Alright, your Namaskaras
are accepted. Now let us have some chitchat. tell me some stories
and Leelas of Baba, which will destroy our sins.
Shama:- Then sit here for a while. Wonderful
is the sport (Leela) of this God (Baba). You know it already. I
am a village rustic, while you are an enlightened citizen. You have
seen some more Leelas since your coming here. How should I describe
them before you? Well, take these leaves, betel nut and chunam and
eat the pan-vida; while I go in, dress myself and come out.
In a few minutes Shama come out and sat
talking with Hemadpant. He said - "The Leela of this God (Baba)
is inscrutable; there is no end to His Leelas. Who can see them?
He plays or sports with His Leelas, still He is outside of (unaffected
by) them. What do we rustics know? Why does not Baba Himself tell
stories? Why does He send learned men like you to fools like me?
His ways are inconceivable. I can only say, that they are not human."
With this preface Shama added, - "I now remember a story, which
I shall relate to you. I know it personally. As a devotee is resolute
and determined, so is Baba's immediate response. Sometimes Baba
puts the devotees to sereve test; and then gives them 'Upadesh'
As soon as Hemadpant heard the word 'Upadesh',
a flash of lightning crossed, through his mind. He at once remembered
the story of Mr. Sathe's Guru-charitra reading and thought that
Baba might have sent him to Shama, in order to give peace to his
restless mind. However, he curbed this feeling, and began to listen
to Shama's stories. They all showed how kind and affectionate Baba
was to His devotees. Hemadpant began to feel a sort of joy while
hearing them. Then Shama began to tell the following story.
Mrs. Radhabai Deshmukh
There was an old woman by name Radhabai,
She was the mother of one Khashaba Deshmukh. Hearing Baba's fame,
she came to Shirdi with the people of Sangamner. She took Baba's
darshan and was much satisfied. She loved Baba intimately and resolved
in her mind, that She should accept Baba as her Guru, and take some
Upadesh from Him. She knew nothing else. She determined to fast
herself unto death, so long as Baba did not accept her, and give
her any Upadesh or Mantra. She stayed in her lodging and left off
taking any food or water for three days. I was frightened by this
ordeal of the old woman, and interceded with Baba on her behalf.
I said, "Deva, what is this You have started? You drag so many persons
here. You know that old lady. She is very obstinate and depends
on You entirely, She has resolved to fast unto death, if You don't
accept and instruct her. If any thing worse happens, people will
blame You, and say that Baba did not instruct her, and consequently
she met her death. So take some mercy on her, bless her and instruct
her." On seeing her determination, Baba sent for her, changed the
turn of her mind by addressing her as follows:-
"Oh mother, why are you subjecting yourself
to unnecessary tortures and hastening your death? You are really
My Mother and I am your child. Take pity on Me and hear Me through.
I tell you My own story, which if you listen carefully, will do
you good. I had a Guru. He was a great Saint and most merciful.
I served him long, very long; still he would not blow any Mantra
into My ears. I had a keen desire, never to leave him but to stay
with and serve him; and at all costs receive some instructions from
him. But he had his own way. He first got my head shaved and asked
Me two pice as Dakshina. I gave the same at once. If you say that
as My Guru was perfect, why should he ask for money and how should
he be called desireless? I replied plainly that he never cared for
coins. What had he to do with them? His two pice were (1) Firm Faith
and (2) Patience or perseverance. I gave these two pice or things
to him, and he was pleased.
"I resorted to My Guru for 12 years.
He brought Me up. There was no dearth of food and clothing. He was
full of love nay, he was love incarnate. How can I describe it?
He loved Me most. Rare is a Guru like him. When I looked at him,
he seemed as if he was in deep meditation, and then we both were
filled with Bliss. Night and day, I gazed at him with no thought
of hunger and thirst. Without him, I felt restless. I had no other
object to meditate, nor any other thing than My Guru to attend.
He was My sole refuge. My mind was always fixed on him. This is
one pice Dakshina. Saburi (Patience or perseverance) is the other
pice. I waited patiently and very long on My Guru and served him.
This Saburi will ferry you across the sea of this mundane existence.
Saburi is manliness in man, it removes all sins and afflictions,
gets rid of calamities in various ways, and casts aside all fear,
and ultimately gives you success. Saburi is the mine of virtues,
consort of good thought. Nishtha (Faith) and Saburi (Patience) are
like twin sisters, loving each other very intimately."
"My Guru never expected any other thing
from Me. He never neglected Me, but protected Me at all times. I
lived with him, and was sometimes away from him; still I never felt
the want or absence of his love. He always protected Me by his glance,
just as the tortoise feeds her young ones, whether they are near
her or away from her on the other side of the river bank, by her
loving looks. Oh mother, My Guru never taught Me any Mantra, then
how shall I blow any Mantra in your ears? Just remember that Guru's
tortoise-like loving glance gives us happiness. Do not try to get
Mantra or Upadesh from anybody. Make Me the sole object of your
thoughts and actions; and you will, no doubt, attain Paramartha
(the spiritual goal of life). Look at Me whole-heartedly, and I
in turn look at you similarly. Sitting in this Masjid, I speak the
truth, nothing but the truth. No Sadhanas, nor proficiency in the
six Shastras, are necessary. Have faith and confidence in your Guru.
Believe fully, that Guru is the sole Actor or Doer. Blessed is he
who knows the greatness of his Guru and thinks him to be Hari, Hara
and Brahma (Trimurti) Incarnate."
Instructed in this way, the old lady
was convinced; she bowed to Baba and gave up her fast.
Hearing this story carefully and attentively,
and marking its significance and appropriateness, Hemadpant was
most agreeably surprised. Seeing this wonderful Leela of Baba, he
was moved from top to toe, he was overflowing with joy, his throat
was choked, and he was not able to utter a single word. Shama, on
seeing him in this condition asked him, - "What is the matter with
you, why are you silent? How many innumerable Leelas of Baba shall
Just at that time the bell in the Masjid
began to ring, proclaiming that the noon-worship and Arati ceremony
had begun. Therefore, Shama and Hemadpant hurried to the Masjid.
Bapusaheb Jog had just started the worship. Women were up in the
Masjid, and men were standing below in the open courtyard and they
were all loudly singing the Arati in chorus to the accompaniment
of drums. Shama went up, pulling Hemadpant with him. He sat to the
right and Hemadpant in front of Baba. On seeing them, Baba asked
Hemadpant to give the Dakshina brought from Shama. He replied that
Shama gave Namaskaras in lieu of Rupees and that he was there in
person. Baba said, "Alright, now let Me know whether you both had
a chitchat, and if so, tell Me all that you talked about." Not minding
the sounds of the bell, the drum and the chorus songs, Hemadpant
was eager to tells what they had talked and started to narrate it.
Baba was also anxious to hear, and so He left the bolster and leaned
forward. Hemadpant said all that they talked about was very pleasant,
and that specially the story of the old lady was most wonderful
and that on hearing it, he thought that His Leela was inexplicable,
and under the guise of that story, He really blessed him. Baba then
said - "Wonderful is the story. How were you blessed? I would like
to know everything in detail from you, so tell Me all about it."
Then Hemadpant related in full the story which he had heard a little
while before, and which had made a lasting impression on his mind.
Hearing this Baba was much pleased and asked him - "Did the story
strike you and did you catch its significance?" He replied - "Yes,
Baba the restlessness of my mind has vanished and I have got true
peace and rest, and come to know the true path."
Then Baba spoke as follows:- "My method
is quite unique. Remember well, this one story, and it will be very
useful. To get the knowledge (realization) of the Self, Dhyana (meditation)
is necessary. If you practice it continuously, the Vrittis (thoughts)
will be pacified. Being quite desireless, you should meditate on
the Lord, Who is in all the creatures, and when the mind is concentrated,
the goal will be achieved. Meditate always on My formless nature,
which is knowledge incarnate, consciousness and bliss. If you cannot
do this, meditate on My Form from top to toe as you see here night
and day. As you go on doing this, your Vrittis will concentrate
on one point and the distinction between the Dhyata (meditator),
Dhyana (act of meditation), Dhyeya (this meditated upon) will be
lost and the meditator will be one with the Consciousness and be
merged in the Brahman. The (mother) tortoise is on one bank of the
river, and her young ones are on the other side. She gives neither
milk, nor warmth to them. Her mere glance gives them nutrition.
The young ones do nothing, but remember (meditate upon) their mother.
The tortoise glance is, to the young ones, a downpour of nectar,
the only source of sustenance and happiness. Similar is the relation,
between the Guru and disciples."
When Baba uttered these last words, the
chorus of the Arati songs stopped and all cried out loudly in one
voice: "Victory be to our Sadguru Sai Maharaj, Who is Existence,
Knowledge and Bliss." Dear readers, let us imagine, that we are
at this time, standing amongst the crowd in the Masjid; and let
us join them in this Jayajayakar.
After the Arati ceremony was over, Prasad
was distributed. Bapusaheb Jog advanced as usual, and after saluting
Baba, gave into His hand a handful of sugar-candy. Baba pushed all
this quantity into the hands of Hemadpant and said to him, "If you
take this story to heart and remember it well, your state will be
sweet as the sugar-candy, all your desires will be fulfilled and
you will be happy." Hemadpant bowed before Baba and implored, "Do
favour me like this, bless and protect me always." Baba replied
- "Hear this story, meditate on it and assimilate its spirit. Then
you will always remember and meditate on the Lord, Who will manifest
Himself to you."
Dear readers! Hemadpant got Prasad of
sugar-candy then; and we now get the Prasad of sugar-candy or nectar
of this story. Let us drink it to out heart's content, meditate
on it, and assimilate it, and be strong and happy by Baba's grace.
Towards the end of the 19th Chapter Hemapter
Hemadpant had dealt with some other matters which are given below.
Baba's Advice Regarding our Behaviour
The following words of Baba are general
and invaluable. If they are kept in mind and acted upon, they will
always do you good. "Unless there is some relationship or connection,
nobody goes anywhere. If any men or creatures come to you, do not
discourteously drive them away, but receive them well and treat
them, with due respect. Shri Hari (God) will be certainly pleased,
if you give water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, clothes to
the naked, and your verandah to strangers for sitting and resting.
If anybody wants any money from you, and you are not inclined to
give, do not give, but do not bark at him, like a dog. Let anybody
speak hundreds of things against you, do not resent by giving any
bitter reply. If you always tolerate such things, you will certainly
be happy. Let the world go topsy-turvy, you remain where you are.
Standing or staying in your own place, look on calmly at the show
of all things passing before you. Demolish the wall of difference
that separates you from Me; and then the road for our meeting will
be clear and open. The sense of differentiation, as I and thou,
is the barrier that keeps away the disciple from his Master, and
unless that is destroyed the state of union or atonement is not
possible, "Allah Malik" i.e. God is the sole Proprietor, nobody
else is our Protector. His method of work is extra-ordinary, invaluable,
and inscrutable. His will will be done and He will show us the way,
and satisfy our heart's desires. It is on account of Rinaubandh
(former relationship) that we have come together, let us love and
serve each other and be happy. He, who attain the supreme goal of
life, is immortal and happy; all others merely exist, i.e., live
so long as they breathe".
Encouraging Good Thoughts of Fruition
It is interesting to note how Sai Baba
encouraged good thoughts. You have to surrender yourself completely
to Him with love, and devotion, and they you will see how, He helps
you, off and on, in so many things. Some Saint has said, that when
you get a good thought, immediately after awakening from sleep,
and if you develop the same afterwards during the day, your intellect
will be unfolded and your mind will attain calmness. Hemadpant wanted
to try this. On one Wednesday night before going to bed, be thought
- "To-morrow is Thursday - an auspicious day and the place, viz.
Shirdi, is so holy; so let me pass the whole day in remembering
and chanting the Rama-nama, and then he slept. Next morning when
he got up he remembered without any effort the name of Rama and
was much pleased. He then, after finishing his morning duties, went
to see Baba with flowers. When he left Dixit's Wada, and was just
passing Booty's Wada (present Samadhi-mandir) he heard a beautiful
song that was being sung nicely by one Aurangabadkar, in the Masjid
before Baba. The song was Guru - kripanjan payo mere bhai" etc.
by Ekanath, in which he says that he got collyrium in the form of
Guru's grace which opened his vision and made him see Rama, in and
out, in sleep, dream, and waking state and everywhere. There were
so many songs; and why was this song particularly chosen by Aurangabadkar,
a devotee of Baba? Is this not a curious coincidence arranged by
Baba to feed the determination of Hemadpant to sing unceasingly
Rama-nama, during the day?
All Saints agree on and lay stress upon
the efficacy of uttering Rama's (God's) name, in fulfilling the
ambitions of the Bhaktas and in protecting and saving them from
Variety in Upadesh -- Slanderer Condemned
Sai Baba required no special place, nor
any special time for giving instructions. Whenever any occasion
demanded, He gave them freely. Once it so happened that a Bhakta
of Baba, reviled another behind his back, before other people. On
leaving aside merits, he dwelt on the faults of his brother, and
spoke so sarcastically, that the hearers were disgusted. Generally,
we see that people have a tendency to scandalize others, unnecessarily;
and this brings on hatred and ill-will. Saints see scandal, in another
light. They say that there are various ways of cleansing or removing
dirt, viz. by means of earth, water and soap etc., but a scandalmonger
has got a way of his own. He removes the dirt (faults) of others
by his tongue; so in a way of obliges the person, whom he reviles
and for this he is to be thanked. Sai Baba had his own method of
correcting the scandal-monger. He knew by his omniscience what the
slanderer had done and when He met him at noon near the Lendi, Baba
pointed out to him a pig that was eating filth near the fence and
said to him - "Behold how, with what relish it is gorging dung.
Your conduct is similar. You go on reviling your own brethren to
your heart's content. After performing many deeds of merit, you
are born a man, and if you act like this, will Shirdi help you in
any way?" Needless to say, that the Bhakta took the lesson to his
heart, and went away.
In this way Baba went on giving instructions
whenever necessary. If these are borne in our minds and acted upon,
the spiritual goal (realization) is not far off. There is a proverb
which says - "If there be my Hari (Lord), He will feed me on my
cot." This proverb is only true in respect of food and clothing,
but if anyone trusting in this, sits quiet and does nothing in spiritual
matters, he will be ruined. One has to exert himself to his utmost
for attaining self-realization. The more he endeavours, the better
Baba said that He was omnipresent, occupying
land, air, country, world, light and heaven, and that He was not
limited. To remove the misunderstanding of those, who thought that
Baba was only His body - three cubits and a half in length, He incarnated
Himself in this form and if any devotee meditated on Him day and
night with complete self-surrender, he experienced complete union
(without any difference) with Him like sweetness and sugar, waves
and sea, eye and its luster. He, who wants to get rid of the cycle
of births and deaths, should lead a righteous life, with his mind
calm and composed. He should always engage himself in good actions,
should do his duties and surrender himself, heart and soul to Him.
He need not then be afraid of anything. He who trusts Him entirely,
hears and expounds His Leelas and does not think of anything else,
is sure to attain Self-realization. Baba asked many to remember
His name and to surrender to Him, but to those, who wanted to know
who they were ('Who am I' enquiry), He advised Shravanam (study)
and Mananam (meditation). To some, He advised remembering God's
name, to others hearing His Leelas, to some worship of His Feet,
to others reading and studying Adhyatma Ramayan, Jnaneshwari and
other sacred scriptures. Some He made sit near His Feet, some He
sent to Khandoba's temple, and some He advised the repetition of
the thousands names of Vishnu and some the study of Chhandogya Upanishad
and Geeta. There were no limit, nor restriction to His instructions.
To some, He gave them in person. To others by visions in dreams.
To one addicted to drink, He appeared in his dream, sat on his chest,
pressed it and left him, after he gave a promise not to touch liquor
anymore. To some, He explained some Mantras like Gurur Brahma' in
dreams. To some devotee, who was practising Hath-Yoga, He sent word
that he should leave off Hath-Yoga practices, sit quiet and wait
(Saburi). It is impossible to describe all His ways and methods.
In ordinary wordly dealings, He set examples by His actions, one
of which is given below.
Remuneration for Labour
One day at noon, Baba came near Radha-Krishna-Mai's
house and said - "Bring Me a ladder." Some men brought it and set
it against a house as directed by Baba. He climbed up on the roof
of Vaman Gondkar's house, passed the roof of Radha-Krishna-Mai's
house and then got down from the other corner. What object Baba
had, none could know. Radha-Krishna-Mai was, at that time, shivering
with Malaria. It may be to drive off that fever, that He may have
gone there. Immediately after getting down, Baba paid Rupees two
to the persons who brought the ladder. Somebody asked Baba, why
he paid so much for this. He replied that nobody should take the
labour of others, in vain. The worker should be paid, his dues promptly
Bow to Shri Sai
-- Peace be to all