Friday, September 17, 2010

|| chapter eleven ||

|| chapter eleven ||

|| sai as saguna brahma ||

|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Sai as the Saguna Brahman, how He was worshipped, how He controlled the elements and other matters.

With this the eleventh chapter, called Sai as Saguna Brahma, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Sai Leelas, experiences of Kaka Mahajani, Mrs Nimonkar, Moolay Shastri and other matters.

|| Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu || Shubham Bhavatu ||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

|| chapter ten ||

|| chapter ten ||

|| sai baba’s way of living and other stories ||

|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Sai Baba’s way of living, His teachings, His miracles and other matters.

With this the tenth chapter, called Sai Baba’s way of living and other stories, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Sai as the saguna Brahman, how He was worshipped, how He controlled the elements and other matters.

|| Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu || Shubham Bhavatu ||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

|| chapter nine ||

|| shirdi pilgrimage and other stories ||

|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us the effect of compliance and non compliance of Baba’s instructions, pilgrimage to Shirdi, mendicancy and its necessity, Tarkhad’s family and other matters.


“Mahabharata is an ocean of knowledge. Hence, if we have to collect the jewels of knowledge, unless we take our mind deep into the Mahabharata ocean, we cannot acquire the educative gems.” says Sri Nanduru Subrahmanya Sharma. Like Mahabharata, Sri Sai Satcharita is also an ocean. While consenting fully to the writing of Sai Satcharita by Hemad Pant, Baba said, “In the ocean called Sai Satcharita Shravanam, nectar like waves of bhakti and prema are rising and falling. By diving deep, one can easily get plenty of upadesha ratnas.” Sri M Seshu Babu says,

“సాయి సచ్చరిత మననం
అంతులెని సాగర గర్భం
మణిమాణిక్యాలకు తరగని నిలయం
రక్తికి ముక్తికి సింహద్వారం”

A rough translation means that meditation of Sai Satcharita, an endless ocean of everlasting treasury of gems and ratnas, is the gateway to divine love and salvation. Let us now delve deep into the ninth chapter to extract the navaratnas.


“If Body, mind and speech are not coordinated properly, any worship is ineffective. How can there be light if the wick, the oil and the lamp are all in different places?” asks Malayala Yatindra.

Something similar happened to Ramachandra Atmaram Tarkhad. He was an officer of high rank in a big mill. Everyday, he had to go early in the morning. Only when he promised his son that he would not touch food unless he performed Sai Pooja, did the son go with his mother to Shirdi. He performed the Pooja very sincerely for some days. On one day, his body was in front of Sai’s photo, his mouth was reciting Sai namams, but his mind was somewhere else. At that time he did not notice this discrepancy. Pooja was over, but he forgot to offer naivedyam. It meant that the Pooja on that day was perfunctory. Tarkhad never liked doing Pooja in this way. He had prayed Baba that whatever Pooja he does, it should be like his son’s. Maybe because his mind was not under his control, or because of some maya, a minor discrepancy set in during the worship. Baba could have warned him appropriately, but he did not do so, as this worship is a reminder to the devotees that whatever may be the reason, it should not be done perfunctorily.


In this chapter, Hemad Pant narrates Govind Balram Mankar’s story. When he was on his way to Shirdi, Mrs Tarkhad gives a pedha to be offered to Sai. Govind had Sai’s darshan but forgot to offer the pedha. It appeared to be natural as he was mourning his father’s death. He went again in the evening for Sai’s darshan, and once again, he forgot to offer the pedha. Then Sai asked, “Did anyone give me anything?” “No” said Govind, implying that he was still in the state of forgetfulness. Then Sai asked him frankly about the pedha. Govind remembered the pedha, went to his room and penitently offered the pedha to Sai. One should accept responsibility only if it could be discharged properly. Promises should be made if only they are kept . Breaking a promise leads to further karma.

Let us pray that the above two stories will always keep the devotees from forgetfulness and make them alert.

Tarkhad’s perfunctory worship also reminds us of another aspect.


Being a senior officer in a big mill, it was normal that Tarkhad was thinking about the affairs of the mill. It also could have distracted him from the worship. He could have consoled his mind in that way. He could have also comforted from the fact that no one was observing him at that moment. Such things keep happening in life. Had he done any of these things, it would have been a totally different story. The letter he wrote to his son regarding the naivedyam points to his sincerity. By apologizing for the mistake made, rather than covering it up conveniently, Tarkhad behaved as a true devotee should.

Hasn’t this story set an example for all the Sai devotees to follow? Sai needs such devotees and not those who survive moment to moment by giving lame excuses for even trivia.


Occasionally new trends are observed in devotion to Sai. If they are worth applicable, they become traditions. The flags offered on Sri Ramanavami day, the wheat bag which is replaced annually etc are now established traditions.

Whenever someone is served a meal, the tradition is that the first item to be eaten is ghee. Sai also followed this method of taking ghee, offering some ghee to dhuni and then begin his meal. Sri Sai Satcharita says that Ramachandra Tarkhad used to do this in a different way. Everyday, he used to perform Sai Pooja in the Brahmi Muhurtham (an hour and a half before sunrise), offer naivedyam and then go to work. He came in the afternoon and had his meals at that time. The cook would serve the naivedyam in his plate. His first item was the naivedyam offered that morning to Sai. He would then begin his lunch. Though this is not the traditional method, Sai devotees may like to follow this also.


The Pandavas successfully finished the Aswamedha Yagam. Honouring the guests, annadanams and other programmes were on. Yudhishtira donated land as dakshina. There was a shower of flowers. At that time a mongoose came to the yagnashala and began to laugh. Half the body of the mongoose was golden, and the other half was normal. In a human language it began to say, “Is this also a yagam?! It does not come anywhere near the charity of one seer of wheat floor given by Saktuprastha in Kurukshetra". All those assembled there were dumbfounded. They asked the mongoose the reason for its outburst. The mongoose said, “There is nothing wrong in what I said. There was a Brahmin by name Saktuprastha in Kurukshetra. Due to extreme poverty, he and his family could not get anything to eat for several days. After many such days, he got some grains of wheat as alms. One seer of flour was made out of it. After doing Panchayagna, the family got ready to eat the flour.

At that time, an unknown guest arrived. Saktuprastha welcomed the guest and worshiping him duly, offered his share of the flour to the guest as a naivedyam. The guest ate it. Saktuprastha’s wife could understand that the guest’s hunger was not satiated. She offered her share of the flour also. As that was also not enough, the brahmin’s son offered his share. Even then, the guest was hungry. Then, the son’s wife, who was pregnant, also offered her share to the guest. As a pregnant woman, it was not necessary for her to fore go food, but feeling that her father-in-law’s prestige was also her own, she gave her share of the food. The guest’s hunger was fully satiated. The Dharmadevata, who had come in the form of the guest, was fully pleased, and ordering a divine chariot, sent the entire family to the heavens. As I was there at that time, I rolled over in what little flour was left. That part of my body has turned into gold. To turn the other half also to gold, I have gone to all the yagas and rolled over. Now, I tried here also, but without any success. The Aswamedha Yagam, which you are praising so much, can in no way equal the begging brahmin’s one seer of wheat flour.” So saying, the mongoose ran away.

In the above story, there are a few points worth noting.


The Aswamedha Yagam was performed on a lavish scale but without the dedication and love. Charities were given perfunctorily.

In this chapter, Mrs Tarkhad sent brinjals (egg plant) through Mrs Purandare to Baba. Baba asked for it and ate the brinjal curry. Though Sai did not get any information that Mrs Tarkhad had sent the brinjals, he responded to her love and affection.

One more point.

When she was in Shirdi, Tarkhad’s wife fed a roti to a hungry dog. She fed it without any preconceived notion that she is feeding another being. It means that she did not feel that she was feeding it nor that the dog accepted the roti from her, and consequently she did not have any egoism in this act. It was this selfless offering which pleased Sai.


Is it possible to describe the items prepared for the annadanam in the Aswamedha Yagam? Had it been one or two items, one could easily narrate in detail. The items would have been countless. Still, all that put together could not equal the worth of one seer of wheat flour. Tarkhad’s wife gave only one roti to the dog. That single roti alone satisfied Sai, the Vishwatma. .

Kakasaheb Dixit once traveled from Nagpur to Shirdi. As he was in a hurry, he could not bring anything to offer to Sai and he was feeling shy of it. Still, he went ahead and had Sai’s darshan. Just then, a devotee offered grapes to Baba. Baba gave some to Kakasaheb also. Kakasaheb immediately offered some to Sai. In other words, what was once offered to Sai was once again offered to him. Sai did not refuse, he accepted them and ate also. This made Kakasaheb very happy.

Even though the same item is offered a second time, Sai accepted as long as the offering was made with devotion. Mrs Tarkhad sent a pedha which had already been offered, through Govind, and Baba without any hesitation accepted it. In fact, he asked for it and ate it with relish. There is nothing which cannot be offered to Sai, as long as we do it with love and affection.


In the eighth chapter there was a description of Bayajabai. Even before he was well known, she used to take food to Sai deep in the jungles and fed him with love and affection. She was a dedicated devotee. It was explained in that chapter that such unexplainable attachment could be the result of the good deeds done in previous births. In another chapter, Sitabai Tendulkar’s devotion was described. She came to Shirdi for Sai’s darshan. While taking food in a hotel, she threw a roti, without even moving, to a dog which strayed there. The dog ate the roti. Sai was pleased. Bayajabai’s love was unexplainable. Sitabai’s was selfless love. Sai approved both these types. Further, he said that he is in all those beings which come to us with hunger. Sai advised us to feed him through those hungry beings. This was not to proclaim his omnipresence. It was meant only to impress on us that we can satisfy him just by feeding the hungry beings which come to us, without our going far and wide. The only condition was that it should be done without ever thinking that it is I who is giving the food and thus doing a favour to the other being. We have to help every being but, without the thought of expecting any returns now or later. Hence it would be ideal to embark on service to those beings which are in no position to return our services. Sai, thus, has helped us to serve him without any effort on our part.

Sai is always ready to accept our devotion and love. Is there any place where he is not there? Saidas says

సాయినాథుడు షిరిడీలోనే
ఉన్నాడనుకొని తలచకురా
ఎక్కడ తలచిన అగుపింతుననే
సాయిమాట మరవకురా

“Don’t think that Sainath is in Shirdi only. Don’t forget Sai’s saying that he is there wherever you think of him”. Chapter nine is an example of the above couplet.

Ramachandra Atmaram Tarkhad’s wife, with her son went to Shirdi for Sai darshan. The boy was still very young. In the beginning he refused to accompany his mother. Not because he did not like to see Sai, but he was not sure that the daily Pooja and naivedyam to Sai’s photo that he was doing, would be done by his father. He preferred to do Pooja to Sai in photo rather than see Sai in person. It is not difficult to find the reason. Even at that young age, he had understood that there is no difference between Sai in the photo at Bandra and the Sai in Shirdi. Sai also said on various occasions that there is no difference between him and his photo. If the boy had heard these sayings, he would have been a model devotee who had implemented Sai’s sayings. Even though he did not know this, it is really amazing that he could acquire such proficiency in spirituality.


Having chosen Shirdi as his Karmabhoomi, Sai rarely went to any other place. However, there are several instances of his being physically in Shirdi and, at the same time, at other places also. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it was the devotees love and affection which pulled him to those places.

Sai told Tarkhad’s wife and son, “Mother! Like everyday, today also I went to Bhau’s place in Bandra”. In May 1914, he told the same thing on a different occasion. The conversation is as follows:

Sai: Mother! I have to go to your house three times every day.
Tarkhad’s wife: Yes! Baba!

A lady from Shirdi, who was seeing Baba everyday at the masjid, was surprised to hear Baba’s saying and asked, “Baba! Why are you talking so strangely today?”

Sai: I never tell lies. I am Mahalakshmi. Mother! I am coming to your house. You are giving something for me to eat. Is it not true?”
Tarkhad’s wife: Yes! Baba!
Sai told the Shirdi lady: Yes, mother! I go very easily to her house in Bandra. There is a wall in between. There is a railway line after the wall. Then, there is her house. (Sai was describing the route as the crow flies from Shirdi to Bandra) I have to fly over the walls and the excavations”

This was Sai’s trip to Bandra, that too three times a day. Tarkhad family’s love and the devotees rinanubandham is the reason for those trips. Let us pray that we also develop such a relationship with Baba.


Who can dispute the fact that Sai knew the past, present and the future! Still, for various reasons, there were several occasions when Sai’s words were ignored. If someone takes a decision without trusting Sai’s words, then a price has to be paid for that.

Once, Mhalsapathi had to go to a village called as Arthangon and do paraayana of Malhari Mahatyam. Sai had told him not to go there. Still, he had to go as the programme was already arranged. While the parayana was going on, some boys had some problems and fighting began. Soon it flared up and the elders also joined the fight. Mhalsapathi had no option but to return. If we get Sai’s instructions, in any form, it is better to follow them.


Sai’s love towards his devotees is like the love of a father towards the children. It is true that a father uses harsh words, but they are meant only to inculcate discipline in the children. And in addition to being a father, Sai is also our mother. The mother’s love reduces the severity of the blow – instead of using a cane, a mild slap on the back is administered. That is what happened to Mhalsapathi. Sai, no doubt, pulled him out of the fierce fighting and saved him from getting any blows, but had Mhalsapathi heeded to Baba’s advice, the discomfiture could have been avoided.

The same thing happened to the European also. Had he heeded Baba’s words and stayed for a day more at Shirdi, not only his desire of kissing Baba’s hand would have materialized, but the needless suffering and subsequent hospitalization could have been avoided.


Imambhai came to Shirdi. After staying for some time, he wanted to go back. Then Sai said, “No one need go. If anyone goes, then storms, fireballs and difficulties will follow”. Imambhai ignored Sai’s warning and left Shirdi. By sunset, he reached a village. The villagers told him that he should stay for the night and in the sunlight he could continue his journey. They specifically asked him not to travel in the night as it was dangerous. Imambhai ignored their advice also and continued. After some distance, it began to drizzle and then rained heavily with lightening and thunder. A few feet away from him, a tree split into two because of lightening. Imambhai was frightened. He dared to turn back and see. Sai Baba was standing there with two black dogs. Imambhai prostrated to Baba. Sai disappeared. Rain stopped. Without knowing the depth of the river flowing near the town, he jumped into it and swam across to the other shore. When he turned around to see, the scene terrified him. The bunds of the river were breached and the river was overflowing. He could not understand how he swam across a river whose depths could easily have been at least twenty feet. Sai protects even those who ignore his advice.

Though the words and actions are harsh, the motherly affection of Sai will always be with the devotees and will be protecting them. We need not assume that as Sai did not fulfill our wishes, he is cruel. The real reason would be known later.


Hemad Pant says, “Begging is most appropriate for Baba”. He elaborates this by saying, “Those who have the firm belief that they are Vasudeva, Vishwambhara and the imperishable parabrahma and that the entire universe is their dwelling place, are only eligible to beg”. Sri Sai Satcharitra is the essence of all the Upanishads. Narada Parivrajaka Upanishad says,

paramatmani yo rakto virakto'paramatmani
sarvaishanavinirmuktah sa bhaiksham bhoktumarhati
He who is attached to the supreme Self (Paramatman), is detached from things other than that (Paramatman); freed from all desires it behoves on his part to eat food given as alms.

pujito vanditashcaiva suprasanno yatha bhavet
tatha cettadyamanastu tada bhavati bhaikshabhuk
When a person, who becomes very pleased when he is honoured and respectfully saluted, becomes similarly (very pleased) when he is being beaten, then he is a (true) mendicant monk (subsisting on alms).

ahamevaksharam brahma vasudevakhyamadvayam
iti bhavo dhruvo yasya tada bhavati bhaikshabhuk
‘I am the indestructible non-dual Brahman alone, called Vasudeva (Lord Vishnu)’ – he whose firm attitude is thus (established) becomes a (true) mendicant monk.

Sri Sai Satcharitra is the gem among Upanishads. It is the practical guide to the Upanishad Sutras.


It was the transitional period between Treta Yugam and Dwapara Yugam. During that period, the entire world was undergoing never before heard of drought. There were no rains for 12 years. People had degenerated to such an extent that they did not mind eating the flesh of other human beings.

It had become difficult even for sage Vishwamitra to maintain his family. The family was living in a forest. In a nearby cremation ground, at midnight, the flesh of a dog was left hanging in front of a house. Unable to bear the pangs of hunger, Vishwamitra decided to steal the dog flesh. Just then, a dog barked and the owner came out, saw Vishwamitra and asked who he was. Being new to theft, Vishwamitra revealed everything about himself. The owner then asked him, “Is there no way, other than stealing?” Viswamitra explained the finer points of dharma and convinced the owner that there was no alternative.

Viswamitra took the dog meat home and offered some part of it to the devatas, and pitrudevatas, through the Pancha Mahayagna. Devendra was pleased with the offering and immediately rained the land to such an extent that all the drought was wiped out. Bhishma narrated this story to Yudhistira on the bed of arrows, to show the importance of the Pancha Mahayagna.

Hemad Pant says that, “The gruhasthas are prohibited from partaking their food before performing the Pancha Mahayagana. Sai used to perform this Yagna everyday in Shirdi and only then allow others to take their food. The individual components of Pancha Mahayagna are Deva, Rushi, Pitru, Bhoota, and Manushya Yagnas. Baba always encouraged the devotees to perform these Yagnas.


Study of Vedas, or Vedadhyayana, is called as the Brahma Yagna. The scriptures say that study of sacred religious texts is also Brahma Yagna. Vedas, Upanishads, and Gayatri were always studied at Dwarakamai by eminent Veda Pandits and devoted Vaishnavites. The most effective Eknath Bhagavat, Vishnu Sahasranamam, Jnaneshwari, Panchadasi, were some of the books that were used for daily parayanam. Baba used to listen to the devotees do the parayanam and then clarify any doubts they had.


Pitru Yagna is performed to satisfy pitru devatas. The scriptures say that if an atmajnani is born in a family, then all the preceding generations in the family are liberated. Sai gave sadgati to so many who had surrendered to him. Bhagavanta Rao Ksheerasagar had discontinued performing shraaddhas to his ancestors. Baba reminded that fact to him, scolded him for ignoring it and then made him resume the performance of shraaddhas.

Those who are involved in social activities do not believe in performing shraaddha karmas to the dead. Gopal Bhaskar Datar was one among them. He came to know that Baba helped his devotee Nachne, being with him, in performing the shraaddha karmas of Nachne’s wife. Datar says, “I also felt that it is beneficial to do such karmas. From the time I came to know about Nachne’s case, I am also doing these karmas”.


Deva Yagna is performed to please the Devas. Sai would get the food prepared with ghee, and offer it first to dhuni. Every day at 11.30 am, Vaishwadeva Pooja is performed by offering cooked rice and ghee to dhuni. On behalf of all the devotees, Shirdi Sansthan is conducting this pooja even now.

Sai attached great importance to the worship of gods. He scolded Nanasaheb Chandorkar for not visiting the Datta Mandir, on the way to Shirdi, while coming for his darshan.

Sai compelled Shama to go to Vani in the Nasik District and thus fulfill his mother’s promise to the goddess there.

Sai sent back Meghashyam to do archana at Khandoba temple, as he had come without doing the same.


Satisfying all the beings by feeding them is Bhoota Yagna. Bhoota here is used to mean the being. Sai fed birds and animals during his mendicancy. When he returned to Dwarakamai, he would dump all the eatables obtained from begging into a kolamba. The animals would then eat from the kolamba. Sai’s generosity did not end there. He gave even the rotis he got made from Lakshmibai Shinde to a hungry dog. Sai told her that that was the way to follow.


This is also called as Atithi Yagna. Sai always treated Bade Baba as an Atithi (guest) and took meals with him. If Bade Baba did not eat, Sai also did not eat. Sai explained Nanasaheb Chandorkar that Atithis need not be human beings. Any hungry being is an Atithi. Sai told Tendulkar that at least a piece of jaggery should be given to the hungry instead of rudely turning them out.

If we are able to follow at least some of the Pancha Yagnas that Sai practiced daily, we can feel happy that we are in the right path.


For those who want to understand the omnipresence of Sai, continuous parayana of this chapter will help greatly.

Let us pray that Sai will grant us the necessary resources to perform the Pancha Yagnas, by doing parayana of this chapter.

Let us pray that Sai will enhance our love for all the beings by doing parayana of this chapter.

With this the ninth chapter, called the importance of Shirdi pilgrimage and other stories, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about Sai Baba’s mode of life, His teachings, His miracles and other matters.

|| Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu || Shubham Bhavatu ||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Friday, July 9, 2010

|| chapter eight ||

|| chapter eight ||

|| importance of human birth ||

|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us the importance of human life, Sai Baba’s taking alms, Bayajabai’s service, His love for Khushalchand, and other matters.

With this the eighth chapter, called importance of human birth, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us the effect of compliance and non-compliance of Baba’s instructions, mendicancy and its necessity, Tarkhad’s family and other matters.

|| Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu || Shubham Bhavatu ||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

|| chapter seven ||

|| chapter seven ||

|| wonderful incarnation ||

|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||

In this chapter, Hemad Pant discusses the point about Baba being a Hindu or a Muslim. He also tells us about Baba’s Yogic Practices, His powers and other matters.

Sri BV Narasimha Swamy, in his “Sahasra Naama Archana”, praises Sai as,”Om Sri Lakshmin
arayanaya Namaha”. Comparing Sai to Lakshminarayana, Sri Narasimha Swamy further says that Sai is,”Avyaaja Karuna Sindhuve” and”Ahetuka Krupa Sindhave”. To come to the rescue of a devotee who is desperately praying for redemption is an overwhelming aspect in both Sai and Lakshminarayana.

The Telugu and Sanskrit poet Bommera Pothana (1450-1510), says, “సిరికింజెప్పడు శంఖు చక్రయుగముం చేదోయి సంధింపడు”. A rough translation means that whenever Mahavishnu is in a hurry to rescue his devotee, he does not tell even his consort Lakshmi (Siri) where he is going and does not even carry his Shanku and Chakram. Of course, as he is Mahavishnu, his weapon chakram follows him like a shadow wherever he goes. It was this chakram which saved the famed elephant Gajendra.

When it comes to the protection of a devotee, Sai is no less, even more than Mahavishnu. In protecting the blacksmith’s child, like Mahavishnu, Sai also forgot everything and just thrust his hand into the burning fire, without caring f
or the fact that his hand would get burnt, and scooped out the child. However, there are points of difference in Mahavishnu rescuing Gajendra and Sai pulling out the blacksmith’s child. Before Mahavishnu came to the rescue of Gajendra, the elephant had to keep on praying till some action was taken. Initially, Mahavishnu was very calm and aloof. He took his own time to respond. It was only when Gajendra became skeptical about Mahavishnu’s existence that the latter hurriedly went for his rescue. In Sai’s case, nobody asked him to rescue. The child, who was in the fire, could not even talk. He might not even be aware that he should pray. That could be the reason for Sai to act like lightening. Maybe, in an earlier life, the child might have worshipped Sai with golden flowers.

Though we may not have that child’s devotion, let us pray Sai that he should not forget us!!

Was it not in Dwapara Yuga that a similar incident took place?!!


The day Kaliya Mardana took place, Sri Krishna, Yashoda and other gopis and gopikas were still on the banks of Yamuna River. It was mid night. Then, suddenly, a forest fire began engulfing all the greenery around. It was fast approaching the sleeping people in Gokula. People had assumed,”Where is the disaster when we are at Sri Krishna’s feet?!” and slept peacefully. Sri Krishna understood the situation in an instant. Raging in front was the forest fire, and Yamuna River made any retreat impossible. Donning his Universal form, he swallowed the entire forest fire as if a thirsty person quenches his deep thirst by drinking even the last drop of water. That is, he undertook on himself the tribulations of all those who would otherwise had been burnt by the fire, and gave them the comfort he was enjoying!!!


The children of two sisters decided to churn the ocean. Mount Mandara was used as churning
rod and Vasuki, the King of Serpents, became the churning rope. When the Mountain began to sink, Mahavishnu assumed the form of Kurma, went underneath it and lifted it. Due to the friction of the Mountain and Vasuki, the serpent king began to emit deadly poison. The effect of the poison was so toxic that it would have destroyed the entire creation. When there was no one to counter the poison and save the innocent, everyone sought the shelter of Parameshwara. Assuming that Paropakaaram is the ultimate dharma - and out of compassion for all living beings - Parameshwara drank all the poison, like a syrupy fruit juice. However, Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort, pressed his neck so that the poison did not reach his stomach. Thus, it stayed in his throat neither going up nor going down and Shiva remained unharmed. The poison was so potent that it changed the color of Parameshwara’s neck to blue, and it became an abharana for him.

That was in Kruta Yuga. To Sai – who is called as Kaliyuga Parameshwara – protecting devotees in need of help is but an ordinary task. To the Parameshwara who drank poison his throat had an abharana, and to the present day Parameshwara, the bandage on his right hand for eight years was a decoration. Ages may pass by, but Sai never forgets his dharma of helping the devotees in distress.


In Gajendra Moksham, Mahavishnu’s responsibility ended with rescuing Gajendra from the crocodile. In rescuing the child from fire, Sai’s Leela did not end. That single act, gave way to multiple results.

One of them was to grant the favour of seva. The luck of serving a divine incarnation does not befall on everyone. Though the scarred hand would have set right in a few weeks, Bhagoji Shinde’s dedicated service impressed Sai to such an extent that he allowed Bhagoji to caress his hand for eight years. People called Bhagoji as “Bhagya” and Sai really made him the fortunate one!!!

When Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was suffering from throat cancer
, Doctor Mahendralal Sarkar treated him. He did not like Sri Ramakrishna being called as an Avatarapurusha by his devotees. He used to smile in a careless way and kept quite, but he loved Sri Ramakrishna very much. The devotees visited the doctor everyday and got medicines for Sri Ramakrishna. The disease did not abate. On one morning, the doctor told the devotees that he spent the entire night thinking of their guru and what medicine to give him. The devotees took the medicine he gave and told what the doctor told to Sri Ramakrishna. He just smiled and said that he was taking medicines from the doctor only to make him think of him. Sri Ramakrishna had bestowed on the doctor the blessing of darshana and smarana.

Doctor Paramananda also had similar blessing of having Sai’s darshan for four days. The doctor came from Bombay exclusively to treat Sai’s scarred hand. Sai, however, never took any medicine from him. Darshan, of incarnations like Sai, by itself is a great blessing. How can one imagine the wealth of spiritual experiences brought about by that darshan?!!!


Sai Baba never gave any speeches. He did not write any books. He did not build any buildings. As long as he was in Shirdi, he did not construct any temple (except participating in the Paduka Pratishta). Sai’s building activity did not include construction of new buildings but renovation of old and dilapidated temples. He involved himself in the renovation of Ganapati, Umamaheshwara and Maruti temples in Shirdi. Hemad Pant calls it “Jeernoddharana Yoga”.

Was it only the renovation of dilapidated Hindu temples?!


Anwar Khan was aged 65-70 years. He wanted to renovate the masjid at Teli Ka Koot. He came to Baba and asked for funds. Sai refused to give him any money. He said, “Masjid does not accept money either from me or from anyone. It creates whatever money it requires”. A doubt may arise as to how a masjid can create its own money, and if nobody contributes, how can the renovation work go on?! Sai immediately clarified,”There is a treasure, 3 feet below the nimbar. Use that treasure”. Anwar Khan went back and after digging underneath the nimbar for exactly 3 feet, he found the treasure. The renovation work of masjid went on smoothly.


A mad person b
y name Marthaand broke the Paadukas in Gurusthan. The devotees thought that the broken Padukas were unsuitable for worshipping and sought Baba’s permission to make new ones. Baba refused to agree with their proposal and said that doing shanti with annadanam would be enough. Sai’s method of renovation was not confined to temples alone.


Ramachandra Atmaram Tarkhad and his family worshiped the idols of gods in their home. Once, the Ganesha idol was found to have a broken arm. Traditionally, such an idol is considered unsuitable for worship. The family went to Shirdi to consult Baba on this issue. Sai said, “Come near. Let us say, the arm of our child is fractured. We do not throw away the child. Do we?! In fact, we look after the child with greater care and affection.” Sai’s words were like command to the listeners. The family is worshiping the same idol even to this day. How can the one who is infinite, one who is an integrated whole, break? It is only our concept that needs repair.

Let us also utilize any occasion, if it arises, of renovating dilapidated temples in the footsteps of our beloved Baba.


Baba Madhav Das was a follower of Chaithanya Mahaprabhu. With rigorous discipline, he survived only on mirchi and ghee for 12 long years, at the end of which he acquired rare powers. He was also called as Mirchi Baba. Ramachandra Atmaram Tarkhad visited him frequently to have his darshan.

On one such occasion when Tarkhad was with Mirchi Baba, a female devotee came. Tarkhad saw that instantaneously Mirchi Baba converted himself to a woman. After the devotee left, Mirchi Baba once again reverted back to his original self. “How did this happen?” asked Tarkhad. Mirchi Baba did not evade his question. He told him that by pulling a particular muscle in the thigh, a person could change his sex. Tarkhad then asked him about Khanda Yoga. Mirchi Baba replied that it does exist and that it was not possible for him to attain that level in this life and that he has to wait for the next one. Tarkhad told him about Sai’s Khanda Yoga.

When Sai was practicing Khanda Yoga, Tarkhad was not present to witness that wonderful act. Appa Bhil and Shivamma Tayi were fortunate enough to see. We may ask whether Baba was practicing Khanda Yoga only to amaze the devotees. There are reasons also for that. We have seen earlier that to get moksham devotees could follow one of the three ways – karma, bhakti and jnana. We have also seen that there is one more way – yoga – which is difficult. Though Sai advised only the earlier three ways, there were some devotees who wanted to follow the fourth way, though it was difficult. In order to guide them properly, Sai had perfected this technique also. This is evident in the chapter 23 of Sri Sai Satcharitra, wherein Hemad Pant explains that Sai removed the doubts of a Yoga follower. There could be another reason also.

It is well known that Sai was well versed in Sufi tradition. Ghouse Yogis of the Sufi tradition divided their body, during night, into its various components and spread them at various places. Each part would then be chanting the name of Allah independently. This practice was exclusive to India and was prevalent only in some parts of India, like Punjab, Sindh and South India. Sai was an adept in this system also. Sai practiced this technique not to stun the viewers but to chant Allah’s name from each part of his body and that too continuously. It was not with any intention of proclaiming himself as a Yogeeshwara! When viewers were scared by seeing the parts separately, how could they wait and hear the chanting that was going on?

Though we cannot divide our body into its component parts, let us pray that Yogeeshwara, Yogiraj Sri Sai Baba, to make us chant his name at least during the time we are awake!!


Hemad Pant says in this chapter that whoever held Sai’s feet seeking protection, Sai would lift them to his level. This is not an honour conferred by Hemad Pant, it was the reality. Just as a lamp lights another lamp, Sai always encouraged others.


Upasani is considered by many to be the spiritual successor and upholder of the immensely powerful tradition of Sri Sai Baba. In fact Sai himself had told, “There is no difference between you and me” to Upasani. He further said, “What ever I have, has already been given to him” and , “I will come with you personally, buy your ticket, get you into the train and see that you reach your destination” He made these statements many times. He advised Upasani to “Plant 14 aswattha (banyan) trees which would last for centuries” On a Gurupurnima day, Sai even asked his devotees to go and worship Upasani.

The first of the trees planted by Upasani was Meher Baba and the secon
d was Godavari Mata. Though both Upasani and Meher Baba became great spiritual teachers, they never forgot Sai Baba. Upasani said, “Sai is like a huge mountain. I am only a small pebble at the foot of that mountain” and Meher Baba said, “You (devotees) can never estimate how great Sai was. He was personification of spiritual perfection. If you know as much about him as I know, you would say that he is the Universal Master”


In chapter 41, Hemad Pant says that, “Sri Sai Baba was compassion personified. He dedicated his everything in the service of his devotees.” Hemad Pant has given some glimpses of Baba’s benevolence in the present chapter. First of these is getting his hand burnt while protecting the blacksmith’s child. Second was inflicting bubonic plague on himself to give relief to Khaparde’s son.

It is normal to get a doubt at this stage. If Sai Baba was as powerful as is made out, then why did he inflict on himself the sufferings of his devotees rather than just relieving them of the distress? Sai could easily have prevented Khaparde’s son from getting the plague instead of allowing him to get it and then taking it on himself. Sai’s philosophy does not allow anyone to escape from the outcome of their karma. The human body is formed because of the effects of karma. And because of that karma, the body also has to undergo various experie
nces, some pleasant and some unpleasant. Unless the results of karma are experienced, the accumulated karma does not decrease. Though great saints and sages like Sai can eliminate the karma by their will, by doing so, they would be interfering with the implementation of natural justice. The saints out of their overflowing compassion for the devotees take upon themselves the sufferings of their devotees. In stead of the devotees, the saints undergo the sufferings and thus neutralize the effects of the devotees’ karma. This is the most significant and unique feature of Sai Baba, not found in any other Avatar of mythology. Dr. Vimala Sharma says that even mothers do not make such sacrifices for their children.


Sai, once, had a boil on his hip. It was difficult for him to either sit or stand. Mhalsapathi was with him at that time. Baba told him, “Arre Bhagat! Will I allow my devotees to suffer from such a boil? See, how much I am suffering, but, it will heal quickly.” He suffered this pain for another 2, 3 days and then Sai was once again his normal self. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief.

A few days prior to Baba suffering from the boil, Mhalsapathi’s wife went to her brother’s place, at Nandoor Singota. She wrote a letter to her husband from there, saying that she was suffering from intense pain due to a boil on her hip. She also wrote that as soon as she prayed Sai to relive her of the pain, it vanished. The boil, however subsided after another 2, 3 days. It was then that Mhalsapathi understood that Baba was actually suffering the pain to relieve his wife of the pain. Tears flowed from his eyes with the realization that Sai was taking care of not only himself but his family as well.


People could understand only when Sai himself revealed whose distress he had taken on himself. Otherwise no one would know. It would come out only after several days.

In 1915, Sai sent his photograph in Dixitwada to Balakram and Muktaram in Halda. They performed puja to the photograph and organized annadanam. Muktaram wanted to hoist the ochre coloured flag on top of the temple. He climbed the steep climb and was pulling the string containing the flag. Because of the height, pulling was difficult. When he had pulled it half the way, his arms began to pain and he was almost in tears as he felt that he may fall down any moment and break his limbs. Then he prayed Baba to save him. At that time, Baba in Dwarakamai, asked someone sitting next to him to massage his arm as it was aching and said, “Allah is all powerful”. Almost instantaneously, Muktaram’s pain in Halda was relieved and he could easily hoist the flag.


From Akkalkot, Mahadev Vaman Sapatnekar, along with his wife Parvathibai and sister-in-law, came to Shirdi for Sai’s darshan. Baba was returning from Lendi Baug. Parvathibai was stunned to see Baba, as Baba and the fakir, she saw in her dream, were alike. The moment Baba saw her, he held his stomach and cried out, “Mai! Stomach Pain! Back Pain” and began to twist due to the acute pain. Parvathibai was very much upset by Baba’s suffering. The devotees assembled there tried to comfort her by saying that whenever Baba suffered like this, he was taking on th
e pain of others and the devotee suffering from such pain would be relieved of the distress. She was surprised. The way Baba was suffering made her actually laugh, as she assumed that Baba was acting out the pain.

Then they had darshan of Sai, Sai blessed them and they returned to Akkalkot. Time was passing and without their noticing it, three months had passed away. Suddenly, Parvathibai realized that for the last three months, she did not suffer from either stomach pain or back pain during these three months. Then she realized that three months back, what she saw was not an act, but Baba was actually suffering from the stomach and back pain she had endured earlier, and thereby had relieved her of the suffering. She repented for laughing at Sai’s discomfiture. Sai had undertaken her pain and suffering on himself.


Hansraj was an asthmatic patient. While in Shirdi, Sai had warned him not to take sour curds. He was, however, very fond of sour curds and wanted to take it everyday. Every time he went for the arati, a cat would come and eat away the sour curds. One day, Hansraj waited in his room and when the cat came, he beat it violently. That day, when he went to arati, Sai told the devotees assembled there, “There is a stupid fellow here who wants to eat sour curds every day. But, I am trying to take care of him by going as a cat and eating the sour curds. Today, when I was on that job, he not only abused me but beat me with a stick on the shoulder” and bared his shoulder to show the swelling caused by the stick. In addition to protecting his devotees, Sai has to bear with their abuses and beatings!!


By Sai darshan alone, many bad characters got transformed to good beings. It is not wise to categorize someone as totally good or totally bad. By calling someone as bad, it should be understood as having bad character or bad thoughts or bad behaviour, rather than imagining that someone as a snake full of poison. A bad person need not be the personification of all the evil in this world. These bad characters never help the individual either in the spiritual path or in the materialistic world. Sai eradicates the evil thoughts in a person by his very look itself.


Shantaram, Gondu Jagannath Naik’s friend, became alcoholic. Though he knew that drinking alcohol would spoil his health, he could not abstain from it. Once he went to Shirdi for Sai darshan. He went there on a leave of three days. Sai made him stay there for six days. After that he returned to Bombay. From then on, he never touched alcohol. How can one go for alcohol when one has tasted the immortal ambrosia of Sai’s darshan?

Not just that –
Sri Sai Darshan brought about all the wealth one needs. Poor become wealthy, patients recovered their health and in short, Sai brought about transformation not only in the mental outlook but also in the material outlook of a person.


Abdullah Jaan was an Islamic fanatic. When he came to Sai, he believed that H
indus were his enemies. He was with Sai for three years. When he left Shirdi, he was of the opinion that Hindus are his brothers. In Bombay, when Hindus wanted to attack the Muslims and the Muslims wanted to attack the Hindus, when each of them were keen on destroying the religious places of the other, Abdullah Jaan wept for both of them. Abdullah Jaan's is one example sufficient to show how Baba works on the mind of an individual.


He was a poor goldsmith and a great devotee of Baba, and was always with him. His material belongings were very few as he was inclined more towards paramartha rather tha
n artha. Once, someone stole his blanket. Mhalsapathi’s daughter saw the blanket with a poor woman. She went to the village head and complained. As the complaint was found to be justified, efforts were on to put the old woman behind the bars. When Mhalsapathi came to know about this, he went to the village head and said that the blanket was not his and that it belonged to the old woman herself. The poor old woman was saved from the prison life. This is another illustration of the level to which Sai develops an individual’s mind.

In addition to praising the benefits of Sai Darshan, let us also pray that he should eradicate all the evil thoughts from our mind as well.


Swamy Ramdas of Anandashram went to Dakshineshwar and saw the room occ
upied by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. On a cot inside the room, there was bed with two pillows. This was the bed on which Sri Ramakrishna had slept. It was preserved as a sacred relic for the sake of posterity. When Swamy Ramdas touched them with his forehead, as a mark of respect, waves of bliss began to engulf him and he rolled over the entire floor with ecstasy. The floor which was sanctified by the touch of Sri Ramakrishna’s divine feet, kept him in a trance for significant time. When he came out of the trance, his face was radiant with a divine glow.

Hemad Pant wrote that, “Because of the accumulated effect of some good deeds done in the past, these items (the wheat bag, the hand mill, Tulasi Brindavan, the wooden chariot and other items in Dwarakamai) were sanctified by the touch of the god who walked on this earth. If similar items are stored deeply in the treasure chest of our heart, we will not fall short of anything till death”

Sri Sai is sacred.

The place where Sai set his feet is sacred.

Every item used by Sai is sacred.

That is why, Sri Bapatla Hanumantha Rao says,

కర్మధూమ పత్రంబులగాల్చు చిలుము
శతృషట్క భయం బాపజాలు సటక
అక్షయ సిధ్దిని గూర్చు భిక్షపాత్ర
శరణమిడు పాదుకల నెంతు సాయి దేవ?!!!

A rough translation of the above is that, “How do I surrender at the padukas, Saideva, when there is the chillum which burns the karma leaves, when there is satka which spells fear in the hearts of the six enemies, and when there is bhiksha patra which gives never ending siddhis?” To Sai devotees, every item connected with Sai is as sacred as the brick given to Sai by his guru.


The fifth chapter is for kalyanaprapti, sixth is for santanaprapti, and now let us pray that for those who do the parayana of the seventh chapter, Baba should protect their children!

Let us pray that Sai should always be enshrined in our hearts!

Let us pray that Sai should root out all the evil thoughts in us and develop noble thoughts.

With this the seventh chapter, called Wonderful Incarnation, is complete In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us the importance of human life, Sai Baba’s taking alms, Bayajabai’s service and His love for Khushalchand, and other matters.

|| Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu || Shubham Bhavatu ||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

|| chapter six ||

|| chapter six ||

|| sri ramanavami celebrations ||

|| Sri Ganeshaya Namaha || Sri Saraswatye Namaha ||
|| Sri Venkateshaya Namaha || Sri Sai Nathaya Namaha ||
|| Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha ||

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells about Sri Ramanavami celebrations and the renovation of the masjid.

It was the year 1891. Plague was rampant in India. Vaccination had not yet become a way of life. People were scared of vaccination and thought that they would die of fever if vaccinated. When the government urged people to get vaccinated, no one came forward. At a very young age, Narayan Govind Chandorkar had risen to high position in the govern
ment hierarchy. The Collector, Chandorkar’s superior, asked him to get vaccinated and demonstrate that it was safe. That would, at least, induce others to follow him. Chandorkar, or Nana Chandorkar as Baba used to call him, was equally scared of the vaccination. Even though he was highly educated, he also felt that he may be in danger of life. He was in a dilemma – between duty and love of life. He did not know which to choose. After considerable thinking, it occurred to him to seek Baba’s advice. He left for Shirdi.

As soon as Nana fell at Baba’s feet, Sai said, “Nana, get vaccinated. You will not get fever and there is no fear of life”. That Sai should resolve his conflict even before he opened his mouth, made Nana realize that Baba was no ordinary fakir, but a divine
antaryaami. He got vaccinated and became an example for others to follow. Thus, Baba ensured that Nana followed his ordained dharma. Dharma is nothing but adhering to social or religious norms. Nana’s was an example of following the social or professional code of conduct.


Both Sadashiva Tarkhad and his wife were Sai devotees. In 1915, he lost his job. It was difficult to get a job in the higher rungs of management. He remained unemployed. During that period, he stayed in Shirdi with his wife for some time. Then, it was time to leave. He sought Baba’s permission. Baba told him, “Go to Bombay via Poona”. To Bombay via Manmad was cheaper than via Poona. Moreover Tarkhad , because of his unemployment, was not in a position to pay the higher fare. But Sai had told him to go via Poona. Tarkhad was in a dilemma. He could not tell Baba that he did not have sufficient money, nor could he ignore Baba’s advice. However, both husband and wife had total faith in Sai. So, they managed to reach Poona and stayed there with a friend. The owner of a mill there was on the lookout for someone who could manage the labour force in the mill, but could not get any suitable person. Tarkhad let it be known to the management that he could do the job. He was immediately offered the job. Both Tarkhad and his wife expressed their gratitude to Baba for his kindness. Though initially very difficult to implement Baba’s advice, it always yielded maximum benefits when followed. It is to be noted here that Tarkhad never asked Baba for a job.


Kama means desire – desire for sensory, physical or materialistic comforts.

GK Vaidya was a Sai devotee. He was staying in Dahanu with his elder brother and would visit Shirdi regularly for Baba’s darshan. He requested his brother also to visit Shirdi and have Sai’s darshan. His brother, Atmaram, saw Baba but did not talk about his domestic problems. He was married long back. During the marriage there were some disputes which were not resolved amicably, resulting in his wife going back to her parents. Mediation did not help. Did not Sai know this? Sai, directly or indirectly, did not enquire about his conjugal life. Baba gave him
udi and blessed him.

Exactly at the time Baba was giving
udi to Atmaram, his wife inspired by some unknown force, told her parents that she would be going back to her husband’s place and returned to Dahanu. When she returned, Vaidya was at home and was surprised to see his sister-in-law. She told him, “I have realized that this is my home”. Vaidya was very happy and replied, “Who can deny that?” By that time, Atmaram also returned from Shirdi and was immensely happy to see his wife. They thought that all this was due to Baba’s grace and blessings. The family of Sai devotees embraced another couple into their fold.

పరిణయము లేక సహచరి తరుణి
లేక, వేనవేనలుగా బిడ్డల బెంపనేర్చె
అరయగానేని లేక గృహంబు లేక
ఏలికల కేలకయ్యె సాయి విభుండు

says Sri Saisaaraswata Vaachaspati Shri Bapatla Hanumantha Rao. Though he was a bachelor, can’t Sai solve the problems of his children?!!! Should anyone ask for it?


RB Purandare’s wife was also a Sai devotee. She desired to see the
urus celebrations on Sri Ramanavami day at Shirdi. She had become weak because of fever, and was afraid that she may not be able to see those celebrations. Baba appeared in her dream and said, “Mother! Don’t cry. I will take you to the urus celebrations”. She woke up in the morning and told about the dream to her husband. Gradually, her fever also came down. On Sri Ramanavami day, however, she shouted, “Baba! Sai Baba!” and breathed her last. Her soul merged with that of Baba. Urus also means unification of atma with paramatma.

Though she did not desire moksham, Baba granted her one, pleased with her devotion. As Hemad Pant says, “If one surrenders body, mind and speech to Baba,
Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha will follow on their own”


Mahipati was a devotee of Panduranga. He was in the government service as a village revenue officer. One day while he was doing puja, a messenger from his superior came and said that the boss wants to see him immediately. Mahipati told him that he would come immediately after the puja. The messenger insisted that he should come before that. So, very unwillingly, he completed the puja quickly, went to his superior, did what was required and then told him that he is resigning his job. Mahipati came home. Having come home, he took a pledge in front of his deity that henceforth he would use his pen only in the service of god. He also added that not only he, but others from his family also would never go for a government service. And that really proved true over the generations.

His “Bhakta Vijay” became one of the immortal creations which compelled the readers towards spirituality. It is noteworthy that the subsequent generations also did not go for government service. Mahipati had dedicated himself towards writing only about god.


Dasganu got married at the age of 23 years. He did not have any job and spent his time with friends. For some reason, he ran away from the home, and during the wandering period, he met the District Superintendent of Police, Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy appointed him as a constable on a salary of Rs.9 per month. Dasganu took his job seriously and began working sincerely. He developed an ambition of becoming a sub inspector at some point in his career. He passed all the required tests, and carried out his duties very enthusiastically. Sai advised him to leave the constabulary. As his ambition was to become a sub inspector, he ignored the advice and began to dodge Sai. Dasganu was once caught absenting from duty and going on a pilgri
mage. He took a handful of Godavari water, pledged on it, and prayed, “Sai! Save me from this predicament and I will leave the job”. As usual, Sai lent him a helping hand and as usual, Dasganu conveniently forgot his pledge. While he was crossing Shirdi, without meeting Sai, Sai appeared before him and called, “O Ganu, the one who pledged with Godavari waters”. Dasganu calmly said, “What is there in it? I am in the process of leaving the job”. Baba replied, “All right! You will not learn, as long as things are going well”.

Next time, he was caught in a dilemma such that he had no alternative but to resign his job. He was suspended from the job and asked to choose between criminal punishment and resigning the job. He again prayed Baba, “I got into this situation ignoring your advice. Save me from this crisis and I will leave the job” Once again Sai came to the rescue and this time, true to his word, he left the job and dedicated his life in the service of Baba. He performed many
kirtans, all of which were on Baba.

He was a gifted, spontaneous poet. He had the ability to recite small couplets extemporaneously on any subject. He used all his talents in writing many books on the lives of great saints and sages. Many of Dasganu’s writings have stood the test of time. The fame and recognition he got from these works far exceeded what he would have got from being a sub inspector. His was one of the earliest writings on Sai Baba.

Hemad Pant says, “Leave aside whatever this world gives. Bow your head at the feet of god. Beg the god for your needs. Get his blessings.”

It means that the path to fame and recognition is Sai himself. The head is not for wearing the crown but for placing at the divine feet of Sai.


It is laudable that our destination is Sai, but how about the livelihood? Having resigned his job, Dasganu was faced with the same problem. Baba asked him to go to Nanded and stay there. “What about my food?” asked Dasganu. “Why fear when I am here?!” replied Baba. Dasganu went with his wife to Nanded. Some time later, his friend sold his agricultural land to Dasganu at a throwaway price. The earnings on that piece of land was sufficient for Dasganu to maintain himself and his wife. Baba had kept up his assurance.

It was not the livelihood alone. Dasganu earned a great reputation as a
kirtankar. According to the tradition of kirtankars, he also took the arati plate to all the assembled devotees. He specifically told them not to put any money in the plate. Had he collected even the money being put into the arati plate, Dasganu would have become a very rich man. Sai stresses that Sai bhakti should be to evoke devotion in others and not a means for earning money for oneself. Providing food and clothing is Sai’s job, we should not aspire for them.

Sri Venkatanarayana Raju was a poojari in the Sai Mandir at Mysore. In addition to the profession, he was also a great devotee of Sai Baba. Once, his wife had to go to a neighbouring place, on some work. Consequently, there was no provision for cooking food in his house. Added to that, he did not have any money with him. He was very hungry. Thinking that everything is provided by Baba, he tried to take a ten rupee note from the temple funds. Instantly, he felt a hard slap on his cheeks. He was stunned, and refrained from taking the money. Trusting Baba, he went out for a stroll. On the road, he met an old friend, who told him about old days, took him to an eatery and fed him sumptuously. Later on, when Raju made inquiries, he found out that the friend was not at all in town on that day. Raju felt that it is Sai alone who can slap him and also feed him.

To Sai Sevak Sri Sivanesan Swami, Sai was everything. Four annas were more than enough for him to spend for the day. When he could not get even that, he would be content with eating a bun and drinking a cup of tea. On days on which even this was a luxury, he would drink water from the well in Lendi Baug and feel contented. He never beg
ged anyone for money. When he could not control his hunger he used to pray Baba, “Baba! I do not want any wealth. Feed me or free me of hunger”. It is difficult to recount the days on which he starved. Even during those days, he neither stopped his service to Baba, nor did his faith waver in Sai!

Going without any food for many days, once, he suffered from acidity. He knew that taking curds was an antidote, but where was the money for that? He went to Shirdi Sai Stores but found that the regular person was not there that day. Swamyji thought that Sai is the last resort and went back to Lendi Baug and began to wash his face in the canal there. He saw some coins in the stream. He waited for someone to turn up to claim the money. As no one came, Swamyji took the coins and found that they were just sufficient for him to buy curds. Sw
amyji was grateful to Baba, bought curds and consumed it. The burning sensation in his stomach disappeared.

On another occasion, Swamyji’s clothes were all in tatters and he was left with the only cloth he was wearing. Even to wash this, he needed some other cloth. Unwilling to beg, Swamyji thought that Baba is the provider and began to meditate in Lendi Baug. During meditation, he felt that a stranger was presenting him with new clothes. Moments later, after the completion of his meditation, a stranger did come and tell him that Baba appeared in his dream and asked him to present a new set of clothes to the one who is meditating. Consequent to that, he had brought new clothes to give to Swamiji. Swamiji expressed his gratitude to the stranger and accepted the gift as a gift of Baba.

Hemad Pant says, “There is no shortage of food and clothing here”.


In this chapter, Hemad Pant describes three avatars of Sri Vishnu. One of them is the Krishnavataram. He further writes, “When Baba sat for listening Bhagavata, it appeared as though Sri Krishna was delivering Uddhava Gita for the welfare of his devotees.”

Uddhavesh Buva was a devotee of Sai Baba. He asked Baba, “Which book should I read for parayana?” Baba replied, “The one which contains dialogue between you and me”. Uddhavesh did not understand what Baba meant. He assumed that Sai was talking about Jnaneshwari, as it contained the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna. Then Sai told him, “Go to Bapusaheb Jog and get the book he is reading”.

He went to Jog and brought Eknath Bhagavata which he was reading. Sai opened the book at the 11 chapter. It contained the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Uddhava. Sai told Buva, “Read this. Read as it is, and, try to understand it when you are alone. Go now. Do namasmarana daily.” When Baba said earlier, “The one which contains dialogue between you and me”, he had to point out to Uddhavesh, that the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Uddhava was in Eknath Bhagavata and not Jnaneshwari, by asking him to get the book from Bapusaheb Jog. Uddhavesh Bua did not realize that his name was also Uddhava and Baba was none other than Sri Krishna. Realising this, he was in great ecstasy.


The Uddhava Gita forms a part of Bhagavata and is covered between chapters 6 and 29. It is about the dialogue between Sri Krishna and his friend and devotee, Uddhava. Therein, Sri Krishna tells about gurubhakti, divine love, how human beings can overcome their weaknesses, why different scholars have proposed various religions when bhakti alone could secure liberation, how liberation is obtained by following swadharma and many more topics.

Unlike Bhagavad Gita, Uddhava Gita is not a single entity. It is a compilation of four parts. They are

1. Aila Gita: It tells that “Association with bad people results in hell. Only remorse can break such a bondage”
2. Bhikshu Gita: It deals with the final stage of self realization – peace.
3. Hamsa Gita: It tells how Sriman Narayan, in the form of a swan, explained what Brahma could not, on dissociating mind from the sensory objects.
4. Yadu Avadhoota Samvaadam: It tells about the qualities of 24 gurus and why those qualities should be acquired.

For those who want to quench their spiritual thirst, Uddhava Gita is a great retreat. When his devotee, Hemad Pant is studying Uddhava Gita, Sai is none other than Sri Krishna. Hemad Pant has revealed this secret as experienced by him. Let us pray that Sai will grant all the other devotees also similar experience.


“God can be realized through the four ways – Karma, Jnana, Bhakti and Yoga. We can reach the destination from any of these four ways,” says Hemad Pant. Sai himself has said that, “There are many ways to reach god. There is one from here also. Going by other routes, we encounter many pitfalls, cruel animals and several hurdles. If we are complacent we will fall into the adjoining abysses.” Then Kakasaheb Dixit asked, “If we take a guide with us?” Baba said, “If the guide is there, there are no difficulties. The guide will protect us from the cruel animals and take us directly to the destination. Otherwise we may be killed by those cruel animals, or even miss the way.”

Bhavmaharaj Kumbhar was an example of one who attained liberation through the Karma path.

Sri Sai Sharanananda (Waman Pran Govind Patel) attained liberation through the Jnana path.

Meghashyam reached his destination through the Bhakti Path.

Baba normally advised the above three ways for his devotees. To devotees like Rambabu, he was the guide in the Yoga Marga. To BV Deo, he gave instructions on Yoga through the dreams. When there are examples of devotees attaining salvation through the above four ways, what did Sai mean when he said that “There is a way from here also”? Sai devotees have the choice of selecting any of the four ways. They have Sai’s blessings and guidance. To get this guidance, one has to totally surrender to Baba. In effect, whichever path the devotee takes, Sai will take him to his destination.


The three avatars that Hemad Pant mentions in this chapter are Krishnavatar, Ramavatar and Narasimhaavatar. We have already seen the first one. The second and the third are depicted during the Sri Ramanavami celebrations. In addition to these, there was one another occasion when Baba was ferocious like Lord Narasimha. It was when he grabbed the headgear of Tatya and threw it into the fire. Anger was never more ferocious than at that time. No particular cause can be attributed for that anger. Sri Ramanavami day, when gulal fell in his eyes, was the occasion on which Sai was wild with anger.

Sai was not an ordinary person to get wild for such a trivial reason as the gulal falling in his eyes. He was not a taamasi. Anyone reading Sri Sai Satcharitra will understand that Sai was very kindhearted and exhibited divine love towards all beings. He could not endure even the pain of a suffering dog on the road. His love was of such
divine nature that he even took upon himself the impending death of his devotee. All his anger here was thus focused on the evil forces. The masjid is Dwarakamai and it has to be protected from the onslaught of the evil forces. That was the assurance of Baba. The above incident is an example of the care that Baba took of Dwarakamai. This is also one of the points differentiating Shirdi from other pilgrim centres. As soon as the driving force behind any particular pilgrim centre left the scene, the place also gradually lost its aura and became an ordinary place. The aura of Shirdi, on the other hand, is becoming more and more powerful and is drawing millions of devotees day by day. It is also shining brightly like a spiritual beacon for the needy devotees. The steps Baba took during those days are the causes behind this increasing surge of pilgrims to Shirdi with each passing day. Burning of Tatya’s headgear, or getting ferocious when gulal fell in his eyes are only examples of Baba’s brahmastram against evil forces which threatened to attack Dwarakamai.


Gopal Rao Gundu was the first person in Sri Sai Satcharitra to get a son by Baba’s blessings. To express his gratitude to Baba, he wanted to organize celebrations commemorating the event. The celebrations were to take the form of a
urus in the Sufi tradition. However, these celebrations were to be held on Sri Ramanavami day. Gopal Rao consulted other Sai devotees about conducting the urus and they also wholeheartedly agreed.

In the Sufi tradition,
urus means the communion of soul with god. This union of soul with the god takes place at death and hence death is a cause for celebration. It can also be viewed as the marriage of the soul with the god. Thus, urus is usually conducted at the death or on the death anniversary of a great saint or sage following Sufi tradition. Here, the conduct of urus in Shirdi should be taken to mean the marriage of soul with the god, as it is not known whether it was also the day of passing away of any great Sufi saint. With the concurrence of all the devotees of Sai, the first urus was held in Shirdi in the year 1897. The Hindu devotees also participated with equal enthusiasm and hence it can be construed that it was fully a secular function. Secularity implies respect and tolerance to all the religions, which Sai followed and preached.

The poet, Krishnarao Jogeshwar Bhishma, who wrote Sai Sagunopasana, felt that as Sri Ramanavami was celebrated with a
urus, why not celebrate Sri Ram Janmotsavam also, for which actually Sri Ramanavami was famous. When Kaka Mahajani heard that, he liked the idea. While both of them were discussing this, Baba heard them and gave his consent immediately. When the celebrations began, Baba corrected some omissions made by the devotees. He decorated both the kirtankar Bhishma and Kaka Mahajani, who accompanied Bhishma on the musical instrument, with garlands. Though this was not done for the first time, the established tradition is to honour the kirtankar with a garland before the commencement of the kirtan. Baba corrected the error of omission, by the organizers, by garlanding them himself.

The second point is that, Baba indicated that the celebrations should be duly completed and not closed down in the middle. Kaka Mahajani wanted to remove the cradle even before performing “Gopal Kala”. Sai saw to it that the celebrations included “Gopal kala” also.

In a way, though the names are different –
urus and Sri Ramanavami – the essential part or the crux of the celebrations was the marriage. Urus is the marriage of soul with the god. On Sri Ramanavami day also, the marriage of Seeta with Rama is celebrated. Here Seeta is the soul and Rama is the god. Thus, both urus and Sri Ramanavami imply the communion of the soul with the god. On Sri Ramanavami day, the union of the soul and the god takes place physically, and on the urus day, it takes place spiritually after death.


The previous chapter, chapter 5, was
kalyanapradam. Eligible boys and girls seeking matrimony would do well by doing parayana of that chapter. Sai will ensure an early marriage. This chapter is santanapradam. Devotees desirous of issues would do well to do parayana of this chapter. They would be blessed by childbirth. Let us pray that Sai should grant us a mind to do well. Let us pray that there should be no hurdles in the path of any good deed that we may be doing. Hemad Pant says that if it is inspired by Sai, any writing would go on without undue stoppages. Let us pray that Sai grants us that inspiration, always.

With this the sixth chapter, called Sri Ramanavami celebrations, is complete In the next chapter, Hemad Pant discusses the point about Baba being a Hindu or a Muslim He also tells us about Baba’s Yogic Practices, His powers and other matters.

Sri Sadguru Sainathaarpanamasthu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti