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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

|| chapter five ||

|| chapter five ||

|| sai baba’s re-appearance in shirdi ||

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

In this chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about the temporary absence of Baba from Shirdi, His reappearance in Shirdi with the marriage party, Baba’s wrestling match with Tamboli, residence in the masjid and other events.

With this the fifth chapter, called Sai’s reappearance, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about the efficacy of Baba’s touch, Sri Ramanavami celebrations and the renovation of the masjid.

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

Monday, June 21, 2010

|| chapter four ||

|| chapter four ||

|| sai baba’s advent in shirdi ||

|| 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’s advent in Shirdi, appearance of Vithal, Ganga and Yamuna sprouting from Baba’s toes, about the three Wadas in Shirdi and other events.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa worked as a poojari at Jhoompukoor in the house of Mitra. Whenever Mahendranath Gupta went through that lane, he would prostrate at the door of the house. To his friends, who were surprised by this gesture, he used to say,”Do you know that anyone who passes in front of this house would become a yogi?!” His daily routine included going to the Mahasamadhi of his Gurudev, and then visit the Dakshineshwar Temple. While returning, he would wet his towel, and then sprinkle the water from it on his friends. His explanation was, “I have brought this water from the place where Gurudev used to bathe regularly.” He also used to say, “There is a great spiritual fire raging at Dakshineshwar. Whoever goes there, would be purified by that fire. The body will not be burnt, but all the impurities of the mind would be cleaned. God in human form had lived there for thirty years. One can clearly experience the spiritual vibrations there.”

Hemad Pant says that Shirdi was endowed with Sai Baba’s powers.


At Gurusthan in Shirdi, Hari Vinayak Sathe built a building in the North-South direction near the sitting place around the neem tree. This building is called as Sathe Wada. On the Southern side of the building, near the steps, there is a beautiful enclosure. Here devotees sit facing north. During sunset on Thursdays and Fridays, if anyone cleans the place and burns incense sticks or dhoop there, it is believed that Sri Hari would bestow his blessings. “I have heard these words from Sai. These are not figment of my imagination. Do not disbelieve them,” says Hemad Pant. Kakasaheb Dixit supports the above statement thus, “Sai has told me personally that this is his father’s place, and by burning incense here on Thursdays and Fridays, only good will happen” The fact that Thursdays are sacred for the Hindus and Fridays for Muslims could be a reason for Sai saying these words.


Hemad Pant says that a visit to the Sai Samadhi in Shirdi will be the consummation of a lifetime ambition. He says, “Sai Samadhi in Shirdi is the meeting place of all saints and sages”


To test Sai’s assurance that his Samadhi would speak, Pandrimalai Swamy of Chennai went to Shirdi. Swamyji was a siddha. He went there in 1979 and began talking to Baba. It was proved during that conversation that Sai was responding. Not only that, in front of everyone, Sai’s Prasadams started coming up from the Samadhi. Swamyji distributed the Prasadam to all.


Ramadas, belonging to Kanhangadh in Kerala, went to Shirdi in 1953. The atmosphere inside the Samadhi Mandir was full of spiritual bliss and peace. He wrote with his experience that it was as if Sai is still alive in that holy place. Further, he says, “Even today, the Samadhi Mandir is a place of utmost power changing the lives of all those spiritually oriented devotees going there to seek Baba’s blessings and guidance”.


“From heaven to earth, I will not, will not descend!!”,

said Ganga to Bhageeratha. She asked him, “How will the sins, accrued by the devotees’ taking bath in me, be cleansed?” Bhageeratha consoled her by saying, “Where is the question of accruing sins when all the saints, wise persons, the great among the mankind, and those who have realized the self take bath in you? O, purest among the pure?” and brought Ganga with him from the heaven to earth, and became immortal.

From then on, Ganga and other rivers were eagerly looking forward to the arrival of the great among mankind, the enlightened and self realized souls.


River Narmada w
as flowing next to Sri Vasudevananda Saraswati’s ashram. A devotee was washing the cooking utensils on the banks of the river, when one of the vessels slipped into the river and was carried away by the current. He rushed to the guru and told him what had happened. Vasudevananda Saraswati came out, got into the river and prayed, “O’ Mother Narmada! What will you do with the vessel? Why create hurdles for your children in cooking?” As he was saying these words, the vessel came floating back and stopped at the feet of the guru. He prostrated to the river.


When he was young, Jagadguru Shankaracharya was living with his mother, Aryamba, far away from the banks of the river Poorna. She used to walk all the way to the river, take bath and return. This journey was good as long as she was young, but was arduous when she became old. One day, she went for a bath and did not return. Those were the summer months, and when Shankaracharya went in search of her, he found her lying unconscious on the way. She had fallen due to the oppressive heat of the summer. Shankaracharya took her home and nursed her. He began thinking of ways to help her and decided on a course of action.

That night there was heavy rain. The Poorna River was in spate. By next mor
ning, it was found that the river had changed its course and was flowing adjacent to Shankaracharya’s house. Even today, the course of the river has remained the same. The rivers are ever anxious to fulfill the requirements of great souls!!


On a Somavaty Amavasya (New Moon day falling on a Monday), Sri Gajanan Maharaj’s disciples insisted on taking bath in the river Narmada. Pointing at a well in Shegaon, the Maharaj said, “Narmada is everywhere. This is Narmada”. The devotees were not convinced. The Maharaj was forced to go with the devotees to Omkareshwar, on the banks of river Narmada. After worshipping Lord Shiva in the form of Omkar, they were crossing the river Narmada on a boat. In the midstream, the boat developed a hole and water gushed into the boat. The boat was about to be capsized. The devotees begged the Maharaj to save them. They had understood, by that time, why the Maharaj had asked them to be in Shegaon. With folded hands, Sri Gajanan Maharaj, prayed Narmada for a safe passage. Suddenly, the water in the boat began draining out, and the hole got covered. The devotees saw that a lady was pushing the boat towards the bank. Her dress was dripping with water They asked, “O Mother! We will get you new clothes, who are you?” The lady replied, “I am the daughter of Omkar, the fisherman. My name is Narmada. I am used to wearing wet clothes and I am always wet. This water is my real form” She then prostrated to the Maharaj and disappeared. All these happened in a lightening moment. The devotees were bewildered and asked their guru who she was. Sri Gajanan Maharaj said, “Omkar, the fisherman, is Lord Shiva. She told you who she was. Her name is Narmada Devi. Seek her blessings” The holy rivers are always eagerly awaiting the call of great saints!!


Jalaram Bapa, a saint of Virpur in Gujarat and a contemporary of Saibaba, was fond of serving the sadhus and saints. He and his wife used to perform annadanam, 24 hours a day and ensured that whoever visited their place never went without food. Pilgrims, devotees and disciples thronged to serve him. Once, a devotee sought his permission to take bath in the confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna. Bapa smiled and kept quite. One day, the devotee was very insistent. Bapa asked him to have his cot near the main entrance and sleep there that night. He did as told. Around midnight, he was awakened by some sounds. He opened his eyes and saw that two women were carrying water in pots on their heads and entering. The main doors opened on their own, the women came in, poured the water into big containers and went back to get some more water. The doors, again, closed on their own.

In the morning, the devotee narrated the incident to Bapa. He said, “You a
re very fortunate. Holy mothers Ganga and Yamuna gave you darshan. Wherever the saints and sages are worshipped, Ganga and Yamuna go there with holy waters.” The devotee prostrated at the feet of Bapa and said, “All the teerthas are here only. One need not go for any other pilgrimage”.


Devotees were all excited about the forthcoming festival and were eagerly preparing for a bath in the holy river Godavari, near Kopergaon. Bapusaheb Jog couple sought Baba’s permission for the same. “Let us see!” was Baba’s reply. They went everyday and Baba’s reply was same. The festival being next day, Jog couple went again asked for permissi
on. Baba’s reply was same. Then, Jog said,”Baba! Tomorrow is the festival. And it is at 07.00 am. We have to leave at least by 04.00am to be on time at Kopergaon” Baba replied, “Let us see tomorrow”. The couple was disappointed and after offering Shej arati at Chavadi, went home without asking Sai again.

The festival day dawned. Jog went to Chavadi for offering Kakada arati to Baba. Then there was a commotion. He heard people shouting, “Godavari waters have entered Shirdi” The government had already dug channels for bringing Godavari waters to Shirdi from Kopergaon. Though the work was completed, it was expected to take at least a few more months for the waters to begin flowing through the canals. Then, how did the waters come so suddenly? Seeing Jog, Baba said, “You spent the entire night cursing me, isn’t it? See god’s kindness. Holy Ganga (implying Godavari) has come to our doorstep. Take your bath.” It was only then that Jog understood the meaning of Baba saying, “Let us see!”


On a Mahashivaratri day, Ganpatrao Dattatreya Sahasrabuddhe, affectionately
called as ‘Dasganu’ by Baba, wanted to have Gangasnaan (a holy bath in the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna at Prayag) by going to Singaba (about 5kms from Shirdi) and having a dip in Godavari river there. He sought Baba’s permission for the same. “One need not go that far to take a bath. If you have unflinching faith, Ganga and Yamuna will come to you” said Baba. As soon as Dasganu touched the feet of Baba, Ganga and Yamuna sprang into fountains from the toes of Baba. Tears of happiness came down in streams from Dasganu’s eyes. Extemporaneously, Dasganu began to sing the praise of Baba.

Sai is Mahavishnu for the devotees, because, Ganga sprouted from his feet.

Sai is Samartha Sadguru.

“Sapta saagara paryanta teertha snaana phalamtu yat,
guroh paadod bindoscha sahasraamshena tat phalam”

says Gurugeeta. Whatever be the benefit of taking a holy bath in the seven oceans, it is only a thousandth part of the benefit obtained by taking even a drop of the teertham of guru’s feet.

Further, the Gurugeeta says,

“Kashi kshetra nivaasascha Janhavi charanodakam
Gurur Visveswara saakshaat taarakam Brahma nishchayam”

It means that the place where the guru stays is Kashikshetra. The teertham from guru’s feet is river Ganga. Guru is Vishweshwara himself. Sai has shown us that he is Vishnu, Shiva and the Sadguru.


Sai once asked Dasganu to perform Naama Saptaaha. Dasganu agreed on one condition that Lord Vithal should appear during the saptaaha. Then Sai said, “Dakurnaath’s Dankapuri, Pandharinath’s Pandari, Ranchodraiji’s Dwarakanagari are all in this Shirdi itself”. Sai thus indicated to us the significance of Shirdi. Shirdi is the confluence of all the three places.


Sri Krishna killed Kamsa. To take revenge on Sri Krishna, Jarasandha, Kamsa’s father-in-law, invaded Mathura 17 times and got defeated. On the 18th occasion, he collected a very mighty and large force to attack Mathura. He also sought the help of the demon, Kalayavana. Sri Krishna, did not want any further blood shed, and convinced both King Ugrasena and Prince Vasudeva to shift the capital to Dwaraka, in view of its inherent protection. As Sri Krishna avoided the battle, he got the title of “Ranchodji” (Hindi – one who forsakes the battle). Dwaraka is a very sacred place. It is also called “Dwaravati”, “Dwaramati”, and also “Kushasthali”. It is one of the four most sacred places. The other three are Badrinath, Puri, and Rameshwaram. It is also one among the seven places which confer moksha on a devotee. The other six are Ayodhya, Mathura, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika (Ujjain), and Haridwar.

Sai told Balasaheb Mirikar, “This is our Dwarakamai. Do you know? This is our mother Dwaraka. This masjid mother is very kind”. On an another occasion, he told the Malegaon doctor, “This is not masjid. It is Dwaravati”. This also implies that Baba is Dwarakanath. And he has confirmed this belief of his devotees.


Just as devotees in the South visit Tirupati, those in Gujarat visit Dakordwaraka. Dakor is 43 kms northeast of Anand in Gujarat. Dakor is also called as Dankor.

In times of Mahabharata, the surrounding area of Dakor constituted the 'Hidamba' van (jungle). It was a very dense jungle, pleasant and rich with streams and lakes. It had become an attraction for the sages to establish their hermitage for penance. Likewise, Dank Rishi had his hermitage (ashram) in this area. During penance, Lord Shiva was pleased with him and asked him to demand something. Thereupon, Dank Rishi requested Lord Shiva to remain permanently in his hermitage. Lord Shiva agreed to his request. He disappeared and left behind him His replica in the form of Ban (Linga), which is known as Danknath Mahadev. Thus in ancient times, Dakor was known as 'Dankor' after the name of Dankanth Mahadev. It was also known as khakhariya because of many khakhra (palash) trees in the vicinity.

Once, Lord Krishna and Bhima went to the hermitage of Dank Rishi for darshan. Dank Rishi received them. Lord Krishna, gracious as he was to his devotees, rendered homage to Dan
k Rishi and being pleased with his penance asked him to demand something from Him by way of blessings. Dank Rishi requested him to stay in his hermitage permanently along with Lord Shiva. For a while Lord Krishna remained silent, pondering over the demand of Dank Rishi and finally, while consenting to his request, he promised that in Kaliyuga after staying in Dwaraka for 4225 years, he would come to reside in this land permanently. Thus, Lord Krishna was invited to come to Dakor.

It is said that Vijayanand Bodana, a rajput of Dakor, became a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna. He used to let the Tulsi plants grow in an earthen pot with him on his palm and used to go every six months to Dwaraka to worship Lord Krishna with the said Tulsi leaves. He did this continuously, unfailingly and untiringly till he was 72 years. He t
hen began to find it increasingly difficult to pursue this ritual. Seeing his plight, Lord Krishna told him that on his ensuing visit to Dwaraka, he should bring a bullock-cart with him and Lord Krishna would accompany him to Dakor as he was exceedingly pleased with his devotion. Accordingly, Bodana went with bullock-cart to Dwaraka. The hereditary priests of Dwaraka (Gugli brahmins) asked him why he had brought a cart with him. Whereupon, Bodana replied that he had done so to take away Lord Krishna. Looking to the ramshackle cart, they did not believe him but nevertheless locked and sealed the sanctum sanctorum of Dwaraka Temple for the night. At midnight, Lord Krishna broke open all the doors, awoke Bodana and told him to take him to Dakor. Shortly afterwards, Lord Krishna called upon Bodana to rest in the bullock-cart and drove the cart himself till they reached the vicinity of Dakor. Here (near Bileshwar Mahadev on Dakor-Nadiad road) they rested for some time, touching and holding a branch of neem tree. Sri Krishna woke up Bodana and asked him to take over. Since that day, this neem tree is found to have one sweet branch though the rest of the branches are bitter and it forms the subject of a well-known Gujarati bhajan.

In Dwaraka, the
Gugli brahmins finding the image missing, chased Bodana and came to Dakor in pursuit. Bodana was frightened but Lord Krishna told him to hide the idol of the Deity in the Gomti tank and meet the Guglis. Accordingly, Bodana hid the idol and went to meet the Guglis with a pot of curd to pacify them. They became angry and one of them threw a spear at him. He fell down dead. While hurting Bodana, the spear also hurt the image of the Deity hidden in Gomti tank and the water turned red with Lord Krishna's (Ranchhodraiji's) blood. It is said that even today the earth of Gomti tank where the image lay is red, while rest of the tank is of brown mud. In the midst of Gomti tank, over the place where Lord Krishna was hidden, a small temple having the Lord's footprints is constructed and this temple is linked with the bank of Gomti Tank by a bridge.

Even with the death of Bodana, the
Guglis were not appeased. Requesting Lord Krishna to return to Dwaraka, they sat on the bank of Gomti tank and went on a hunger strike. At last, Lord Ranchhodraiji (Krishna) directed Gangabai, wife of Bodana, to give gold equivalent of his weight and ask the Guglis to return to Dwaraka. Poor lady, the widow of Bodana, was a pauper and could not afford doing so. By a miracle, the idol became as light as a golden nose-ring (1, 1/4 val i.e.1/2 gram in weight) which was all that the widow of Bodana, Gangabai, had. The Guglis were disappointed but the Lord mercifully directed that they would find after six months an exact replica of the idol in Sevaradhan Vav (a well with steps) at Dwaraka. The impatient Guglis looked for the idol sometime earlier than they were told and as a result, found an idol which, though similar to the original one, was smaller.

Sai said that Shirdi itself is the Dankapuri of Dakornath.


Once, Sri Krishna’s consort, Rukmini Devi was annoyed with him and went away. He went in search of her and after finding her in Dandrivanam, he cajoled her to come back and they were returning. Sri Krishna and his consort reached Pundalik’s house and knocked on his door but he was serving food to his parents. Pundalik saw the Lord at his door but his devotion to his parents was so intense that he wanted to finish his duties first and then attend to his guest. It didn’t matter to him whether the guest was a mere mortal or God.

Pundalik gave the Lord a brick to stand on and asked Him to wait until his duty was completed. The ever-loving Lord was so pleased with his devotee that He waited for him. When Pundalik came out, he asked God’s forgiveness for neglecting Him, but the Lord instead asked him to request a boon. What more could a devotee ask when his Lord was standing right in front of him? Pundalik asked that He should remain on earth and bless all His devotees. His wish was granted and the Lord remained behind and is known as Vithoba or the Lord who stands on a brick. The word “Vitthala” or “Vithoba” is said to be derived from the Marathi word “Vit”, meaning brick. “Ba
” denotes “father” in Marathi. This form of the Lord is Swayambhu which means that His idol has not been carved or etched but it came into existence on its own. He is accompanied by His consort Rakhumai or Rukmini. . That place is today called Pandharpur.

Situated on the banks of river Chandrabhaga, the temple has six entrances. The main entrance on the east is called Namadeva Dwar. Multitudes of devotees, scholars, yogis and saints have served Lord Vithoba in Pandharpur. Pandharinatha is the household deity for the people of Maharashtra. It is not only a great place for the devotees, it has also become a way of life for millions.

Sai has said that Shirdi is Pandharpur.


In 1913, Raghuveer Bhaskar Purandare visited Shirdi with his family for Baba’s darshan. Purandare’s mother had a long standing ambition to see Panduranga at Pandharpur. She and her daughter-in-law sought Baba’s permission. Surprisingly, as soon as they entered Dwarakamai, they saw both Panduranga Vithala and his consort Rukmabai in Baba. They were thrilled. They had Pandarinath’s darshan in Shirdi itself. They changed their mind about going to Pandharpur. Then Sai asked, “Mother! When are you going to Pandharpur?” The lady replied, “My god is here itself. Shirdi is my Pandhari”.

Even though he was old, Gaulibuva went every year to Pandharpur. When he came to Shirdi and saw Sai, he exclaimed, “Saibaba himself is the compassionate and merciful Pandharinatha. He is Pandharinatha. This world is stupid. Recognize his divinity and seek his protection” In the hearts of his devotees, Baba is Panduranga. Both are same. It is one of the reasons for the Shirdi aratis to be modeled after Tukaram, Namdev, and Janabai’s songs and made applicable to Sai. Dasganu has said, “
Shirdi maajhe Pandharpur, Saibaba ramaavar…” Truly, the Panduranga there is here also!


Carrying a book of Bhagavad Gita with him, Gopal Hora was climbing the steps of Dwarakamai to have darshan of Sai. He was very anxious to have a darshan of Balakrishna (child Krishna). Seeing Sai, he stopped on the steps and thought, as Sai was a Muslim, taking Gita to Sai would be desecrating it. Sai saw his dilemma and said, “You may lose your purity but not Gita”. Then Sai asked, “Can you recite Gita?” to which Hora replied, “I have been reading Gita for the past 26 years. I know it by rote!” Then Sai asked him to recite some slokas from the middle of the book. Gopal was unable to do so. Then Baba said, “I will give you that power. Now, you can recite.” The moment Baba said these words, Gopal began to recite effortlessly many of the slokas. Baba said, “You wanted to have darshan of Balakrishna. I will show you the grownup Krishna”. Gopal heard the melodious sounds of the flute, the tinkling sounds of the metallic chains around the neck of cows, and instead of Sai, he saw the beautiful Sri Krishna standing there. Gopal Hora was in a state of ecstasy and fell at the feet of Baba.

People have established that physically, mythologically and historically, Shirdi is Dwaraka. BV Deo has proved the physical aspect of it; Nagesh Vasudev Gunaji has done it mythologically.

Chaturnaarapi varnaanaam yata dwaaraani sarvataha
Ato dwaaraavatityuktaa vidvadbhis tatva vedibhihi

So says Skandapurana. The place which always keeps its door open for conferring the four purusharthas – Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha – to the four categories of devotees belonging to Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Shoodra, is called as Dwaaraavati or Dwaraka – so say the scholarly pundits. The dilapidated masjid in Shirdi, in which Sai stays, gives shelter to all the four categories of devotees. Dwarakamai does not discriminate between the devotees.


In the fourth chapter, Hemad Pant has described many stories accentuating devotion. While approving the devotional path for the devotees, Baba also indicates how it can be used as an effective device for achieving better results.

Going on a pilgrimage is one of the established traditions for the devotees. Sai knew that even 95 year old Gauli Buva was regularly visiting Pandharpur, Kashi and Shirdi. There is no mention anywhere about Baba telling him to stop his visits because of old age. Sai was of the opinion that, as long as someone is capable of withstanding the financial and physical strain of such visits, the visits should be continued.

Namasmarana is the easiest device among the nine types of bhakti. Even greeting with folded hands, one of the navavidha bhaktis, requires bringing both the hands together. Namasmarana does not need even that much of effort. We have to just think of our god. If namasmarana is a personal form, its public counterpart is known as Namasaptaaham. This is a collective effort of likeminded devotees. There are incidents when Sai encouraged many times the performance of Namasaptaaham. Will god manifest before us if we do Namasaptaaham – Sai’s answer is applicable to all, “If the faith is unflinching, God will certainly come to us!!”


We are not doing any great favour to the god or the guru by worshipping them. They are in no way benefited by our worship either. Even if do not worship them, they are not going to lose anything. It is only the devotees who will be deprived of an opportunity to progress further in the path of spirituality. Devotees may forget this aspect. But Baba always brought it to the notice of the devotees. This is what Sai explained to Bhagavantrao Ksheersagar in this chapter and to Harishchandra Pitale in chapter 26.

Baba revealed that Bhagavantrao Ksheerasagar stopped performing the annual ceremonies for his father. Sai never stopped any religious rituals. He, in fact, encouraged them. He himself performed the monthly ceremonies of Dhumal’s wife in Shirdi. Sai, in a different form, got the ceremonies done by Nachne, with the help of other purohits. When Gopal Bhaskar Datar knew about these events, he also revived the ceremonies he had stopped long back.


Sai mentions about some of his friends from previous incarnations. He maintained relationship with them even in the current avatar. They are Shayma, Kakasaheb Dixit, Jog, Kelkar and Khaparde. Baba included Bhagavantrao Ksheerasagar’s father’s name also in that list. He was Baba’s friend in an earlier life. When his friend’s son forgot his duties, Sai intervened and made the son perform his duties. It implies that when our friends or their sons are deviating from their normal duties, we should try to bring them back to the correct path. Sai reminds us that friendship does not end with the friend.


Hemad Pant has described sprouting of Ganga from the toes of Baba as, “We need not seek Ganga or Godavari anywhere other than Sri Sai Baba’s divine feet. Praising the glory of great saints or listening to their stories, is more than sufficient”

Sri Vissapragada Somaraju says that not only the slokam, even the scene itself is very devine, in Telugu,

చేసిన పాపము గంగలో కలుప
తలచిన జనులు నీ దరినే
బొటన వ్రేలిలో పావనగంగను
కని తరించే ఆ దృశ్యం
తలచిన కొలది చమరును దేహం
సర్వం సాయీ నీ శక్తి
జయ జయహే సకాలగమ సన్నుత
సద్గురునాథా సాయీశా

People, who thought of drowning their sins in the pavana Ganga, were blessed seeing Ganga sprout from your toes themselves. The more that scene is visualized, more is the being thrilled. Everything is O Sai, your own divine power. Jai ho!

Was it Dasganu alone who got Sai’s blessings?

నీదు లీలలు పాడినందుకు
దాసగణు కేమిచ్చినావో
మాకు కూడా అట్టి ఫలితము
నీయవయ్యా సాయిదేవా!

Says Sri Moparti Gopalarao. It means, “Whatever you have bestowed on Dasganu for singing your praise, give us the same blessings, Saidevaa!”. After doing parayana of this chapter, let us pray, like Sri Chillara Bhavanarayana,

“ధరలో క్షేత్రము లెల్లగ్రమ్మరుచు నిన్దర్శింపగా
నా జరాభారమౌ దేహము, విత్తలోపము సదా బాధించె,
సర్వత్ర నీ పరమానంద విభూతి నిండెనను
తద్వాక్యార్థముల్ నిత్యమై వరలన్ నిల్చిన చోట
నిన్గనెడి సద్భక్తిన్ ప్రసాదింపుమా”

“Having wandered all over the pilgrim centres on earth in seeing you, my body is now burdened by old age and perennial shortage of money. Confirming the statement that your blissful being is everywhere, bless me with the sadbhakti which will make me see you wherever I am!”

With this the fourth chapter, called Sai Baba’s advent in Shirdi, is complete. In the next chapter, Hemad Pant tells us about the temporary absence of Baba from Shirdi, His reappearance in Shirdi with the marriage party, Baba’s wrestling match with Tamboli, residence in the masjid and other events.

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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

|| chapter three ||

|| chapter three ||

|| baba’s assurances ||

|| 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 permission and assurance, assignment of work to other devotees and other matters.

Once while talking to his friend, Harmohan Mitra, Swamy Vivekananda said, “Several shelf loads of books can be written on every sentence uttered by Sri Ramakrishna.” It was just an observation and in no way meant to boost up Sri Ramakrishna. Harmohan was surprised and said, “Is it so?! We never fathomed so deep. Please tell us the parable of ‘elephant god; and mahout god’ so that we can learn to see god in all beings”. Obviously, it was neither a challenge to Sri Ramakrishna’s greatness nor to Swamy Vivekananda’s earlier assertion.

Taking this opportunity, Swamy Vivekananda explained his friend for three days in simple and lucid language, quoting all the relevant scriptural authorities, that Sri Ramakrishna’s parable regarding the elephant god as the remarkable solution to the ever inconclusive argument raging between the scholars of east and west regarding “desire and fate”, “human effort and destiny”.

Sri Ramakrishna says, "Let me tell you a story. In a forest there lived a holy man who had many disciples. One day he taught them to see God in all beings and, knowing this, to bow low before them all. A disciple went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly he heard an outcry: 'Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming!'
All but the disciple of the holy man took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its praises. The mahout of the elephant was shouting: 'Run away! Run away!' But the disciple didn't move.

The animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its way. Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage.

With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Someone asked him, 'You knew the elephant was coming – why didn't you leave the place?' 'But', he said, 'our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn't run away.'

At this the teacher said: 'Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but the mahout God forbade you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn't you trust the mahout’s words? You should have heeded the words of the mahut God.' (Laughter)

"It is said in the scriptures that water is a form of God. But some water is fit to be used for worship, some water for washing the face, and some only for washing plates or dirty linen. This last sort cannot be used for drinking or for a holy purpose.

In like manner, God undoubtedly dwells in the hearts of all – holy and unholy, righteous and unrighteous; but a man should not have dealings with the unholy, the wicked, the impure. He must not be intimate with them. With some of them he may exchange words, but with others he shouldn't go even that far. He should keep aloof from such people." (Source: From ‘Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’)

Regarding Baba, multiple connotations could be attributed to not only his words, but his postures, his body language and even his looks. In this chapter, Sai says, “I am the one who creates, sustains and destroys this creation” That one statement is more than enough for us. We can delve deep into that statement and find many invaluable gems and that one statement is sufficient to create belief in the nonbelievers and to confirm faith in believers.


Sai used to say that his father is Brahma and Maya is his mother. He always urged his devotees to become children worthy of his mother. Sai had the power to decide who was to be born when. In this aspect he was Sai the creator.

Moreshwar Vishwanath Pradhan, a Sai devotee went to Shirdi with his wife, Chotu Bai, and sister-in-law. They prostrated at the feet of Baba. Sai told all assembled there, “She will be the mother of my Babu”. Nanasaheb Chandorkar, who was present there, showed Pradhan’s sister-in-law, who was pregnant, and asked, “Is she the one you mean?” Baba said, “No, the other one” and pointed at Pradhan’s wife, who was not even pregnant then. Subsequently, she became pregnant. Sai had also said that she would deliver two babies, one of whom would die, and proved right. Sai made Babu take birth in the noble family of Pradhans. Omniscient Baba displayed the first aspect of the Trinity in controlling not only the destinies but also the destinations of souls. Then comes the second aspect of the Trinity.


Uddhavesh Buva was a Sai devotee. He was on a pilgrimage with some of his friends. As part of that tour, he was on the way to Dwaraka. Accidentally, his purse fell into the sea. He had no money. Finding no other way, he prayed Sai. Within two days of his reaching Dwaraka, he received money order from his son. He was surprised and could not understand how his son came to know about his requirement. After going home, he asked his son about the money order. His son gave him the details.

A sadhu came in the dream of the son and told him, “Your father in Dwaraka does not have any money. Send him money immediately”. Waking up, he ignored the dream as of no consequence. On the second night, the sadhu reappeared in the dream and said, “Your father has no money. Send money immediately” Waking up, this time, he sent the money immediately.

A few days later, Uddhavesh went to Shirdi and prostrated at the feet of Sai. Then, Sai told him, “I saw to it that money reached you”. Uddhavesh understood that the sadhu who appeared in his son’s dream was none other than Sai. This illustrates how Sai the sustainer protects his devotees.


Appa Kulkarni was also a Sai devotee. Sai told him one day, “Dacoits have entered the village. They are going to attack you. So, take necessary precautions.” Appa did not understand the import of Sai’s words. He appointed Bhils for his safeguard. That night he contacted cholera. Eyes were sunk deep. His wife ran to Sai in Dwarakamai and begged, “Baba! My husband is the throes of imminent death. Give udi for him to become healthy. Don’t make me a widow”. Sai told her, “Look! Those who are born are sure to die. Why do you grieve? Try to understand. One day you will also die. When a shirt is torn, we throw it away and get a new shirt. Similarly, when the body becomes unusable, the soul discards it and gets a new body. Thus, no one really dies or takes birth. Appa decided to get his body changed earlier than me. He will be liberated. Don’t grieve” Appa died. Sai did not ward off his death. By doing so, it would not have benefited neither his family not anyone else. Thus, Sai showed the third facet of the Trinity – that of a destroyer.


In Sai’s own words, he is not just the Trinity who perform their commissioned duties. He is also the divine mother. Even when the entire world rejects the child, the mother takes it to her and embraces it with affection and love. Sai is the personification of the kindness of Lakshmi, Parvati, Saraswati and Annapoorna.


Sakharam Kapadi was a Sai devotee. Rajaram Kapadi, his brother, would go with Sakharam to Shirdi and have darshan of Sai. Sakharam helped his father in business. Soon, Sakharam died. The father asked Rajaram to help him in his work. Rajaram, however, was deeply interested in pursuing his studies and never wanted to enter into business. He could not make up his mind about his father’s request. He went to Shirdi and asked Sai. Baba told him to continue his studies. Rajaram convinced his father and joined in the MBBS course. By then Mahatma Gandhi had given a call for civil non cooperation. As a patriot, Rajaram discontinued his studies. After the movement was over, he again joined the course. Subsequently he became ill. After overcoming all hurdles, he finally attained his goal – the MBBS degree. Then he worked day and night and without any desire for money, he served the mankind, only because of the encouragement given by Sai.


Patil was a poor man, and a Sai devotee. Sai was pleased with his devotion and in the presence of other devotees, told him, “You will build a big bungalow in Bombay. Don’t forget to invite me!” Considering the existing situation, the other devotees thought that Baba had told those words in a lighter vein. They did not realize that it may take some time, but Sai’s words never go wrong. They are like words engraved on a stone. Several years passed by. The goddess of fortune smiled on him and Patil became wealthy. And one day, he did build a big bungalow in Bombay. A day was fixed for gruhapravesham. Patil forgot to invite Sai. Even when the child forgets, the mother does not forget. On the day of gruhapravesham, a beggar came to the house, and asked for alms. Patil’s wife, however, remembered Sai’s words. She thought that Baba had come in the form of the beggar. The guests had not taken food yet. She ignored several calls from others, prostrated at the feet of the beggar and fed him sumptuously. The beggar then asked for dakshina. She gave it happily. The beggar blessed her and went away. Sai later confirmed that it was indeed he who had visited Patil’s house as a beggar. Sai is the mother Lakshmi – giver of wealth. Mother’s heart is always kind towards the child.


Sadashiv Trayambak Wadhvekar went with his friend to Shirdi for Baba’s darshan. They were sitting in front of Sai in Dwarakamai. Sadashiv was habituated to take food at 09.00 am. The time then was nearing 11.00 am. He was unable to bear the pangs of hunger. At that time, Sai threw a peda offered by someone, in the lap of Sadashiv. As it was Sai’s Prasadam, he wanted to take it home. Sai said, “I did not give it to take home”. Sadashiv understood that Sai had given the peda to satiate his hunger. His hunger reduced to half. Then, Sai threw another peda. Sadashiv thought that at least he could take this peda home. Sai said once again, “It is not for taking home.” Sadashiv ate that peda. His hunger was fully satiated. Mother Sai never keeps the child hungry.

Two pathans came to Shirdi for darshan of Sai. It was a cold morning, and they sat shivering in front of Baba. They thought, “How nice it would be if we can have a hot cup of tea! But, such is not possible in this village!” At that time, Saguna Meru Naik came to Sai and asked him what snacks he should bring. Baba asked him to bring a kettle of tea. Naik was surprised. In all these years, he had never seen Sai take tea. He immediately prepared tea and brought it to Sai. Baba gave the tea to the two pathans. They were totally taken by surprise as to how Sai could know what they were thinking about. They realized that Sai was no ordinary sadhu, but a great aulia! Only Sai Annapoorna can understand the needs of the children and provide without their asking.


Great saints like Sai are never confined to a particular individual, or a group, or place, or community. Sai always emphasized that one should grow above oneself. One should do as much as possible for the welfare of the others. One need not sacrifice oneself, but within the limitations, should help in the form of advice, or money or any other kind.

Chandrabai Borkar did not have any children. Her husband Ramachandra Borkar was an engineer in the railways. Frequent transfers were there. She first saw Sai around 1892 and
since then she was in Shirdi, whenever she could come, and spent her time in the presence of Sai. Tatya Kote Patil was son of Bayajibai, who treated Sai as her own brother. He also did not have any children. He married a second time. That also did not produce any result. Then he married third time. Even then, he got not beget any children. Chandrabai Borkar knew all these. In 1918, she went to the extent of asking Sai, “Can’t you bless Tatya with at least one child?” What is to be appreciated is the fact that she never, even once, asked for an issue for herself, but prayed for another devotee, Tatya. Did not Sai know this? Baba was very happy with Chandrabai and said, “Tatya, and along with him you also, will have a child!” She was stunned by what Sai said, because, she was nearing fifty. It is difficult to believe what Sai says, but they are always true. Chandrabai gave birth to a son three years and two months after Baba’s Mahasamadhi.


Dr. Anil Kumar was paralyzed on the right side of his body, As he was a doctor, he tried treatment in various hospitals. The doctors in the hospitals told him that his disease was incurable and that his end was nearing.

At that time, one of his relatives went to Shirdi and prayed in the Samadhi Mandir that Dr. Anil Kumar should recover from his disease and should become normal like others. Dr. Anil Kumar wrote, “From that moment, my health improved day by day. I recovered control over my body. Sai Baba is doctors’ doctor”. When everyone is busy foregoing food and sleep and praying their own welfare, let us pause for a moment and pray for the welfare of others!

There are many instances in Sri Sai Satcharitra regarding cases wherein someone else prayed, selflessly, about the welfare of others, and Baba granting all those prayers.

Hemad Pant describes Anna Chinchinikar as a rough person. He also wrote that he was Kaliyuga Narada (one who indulges in making persons quarrel). Chinchinikar did not have any children. Still, he understood the problems of household persons. Hemad Pant had five daughters and one son. He had retired from the government service also. Pension was insufficient. Regarding such a big family man, Anna Chinchinikar told Baba, “His family is growing. Please be kind to him. His pension is also insufficient. Kindly place him in some other job and ward off his problems”. Chinchinikar never prayed Baba for children, but he prayed sincerely for Hemad Pant. Sai immediately blessed Chinchinikar, and granted his prayer.


Our life is like an ocean. In that ocean, there is always total darkness. Sai stories appear as beacons of light in this darkness and guide us in our path. All these stories are real life events meant to provide us an insight into the moral, religious and spiritual worlds. In this materialistic world, they teach us how to attain divinity.

There was a pathan living with Sai in Dwarakamai. Irrespective of whether it was day or night, he would loudly recite, with great pleasure, kalmas from Quran. That was disturbing the sleep of the people in Shirdi. They complained about this to Sai. Sai pacified them with suitable explanation.

There are many persons like the pathan in real life. They forget the outside world in their moment of ecstasy. In that excited stage, they do not know what they are doing. During these times, we should just ignore them.

Sai told the people that the pathan had a lover. Devotion was that lover. This devotion enhanced the love of the pathan and made him shout, causing disturbance to others. Baba told that instead of suffering from this ecstasy, it is better to be one with the god. Another interpretation could be that the evil thoughts were the lovers of the pathan. When we meditate with deep concentration, there is no opportunity for the evil thoughts to enter. Once the meditation is stopped, then the evil thoughts take hold of our minds. Hence, those who want to be good should practice concentration.


Baba used to say, “After doing shravanam dedicatedly, one should do mananam and then nidhi dhyaasana. Only then one gets peace of mind”, Shravana, manana and nidhi dhyaasana are the three steps in the path to spirituality.


Listening to the stories of god, listening to the various spiritual discourses and recitals of the names of god, all constitute shravanam. This could be through the guru or someone else. Regarding shravanam, Bhagavata says, “O men, who are suffering from the contamination of materialistic world, why are you wasting your time? Spend at least few moments of your life listening to the nectar like stories told by sage Shuka, in order to get wealth and peace of mind. Shravanam, if done dedicatedly, gives salvation. Maharaja Parikshit is witness to this statement.”

Shravana can also be called as parayana or pathana of the sadgranthas. In the nine fold bhakti marga, there is no separate place for parayana. Parayana is shravana. Some difficulties may arise in this easily approachable path. Becoming sleepy while hearing, diverting one’s mind from the narration are some of these. These are encountered because of lack of interest in the topic being listened to.


To think repeatedly about what has been listened to is called as mananam. Just as a cow masticates its food before digesting it, shravanam has to be ruminated to become mananam. It also means knowing how to implement the lessons learnt from shravanam in in the path to spirituality.

Once, Kakasaheb Dikshit was giving a discourse on an episode in Ekanatha Bhagavata wherein the Nava Nathas explain the nine fold bhakti margas to King Janaka. Later, he began discussing with Shama, about the comprehension of these intricate concepts by the ordinary people. This could be cited as one of the examples of mananam.


Dr. Rajamani Tigunait defines nidhi dhyaasana, in simple words, as the actual implementation of the lessons learnt from shravanam and mananam. For example, Rohilla’s story could be listened to, and it becomes shravanam. To contemplate on that story and prepare ourselves on how to face such a situation, if encountered in real life, is mananam. Finally, the action we take when such a situation is faced, like ignoring the person, is called nidhi dhyaasanam. Three steps help us climb the ladder of spirituality.


Sri Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar was a great exponent of Carnatic Music. He had a great voice and could easily keep the audiences spell bound for hours together. During the later part of his life, he lost his voice. He did not know what to do. All the performances stopped. He went to Guruvaiyur and fell at the feet of Lord Krishna there. He did parayana of Narayaneeyam, a thousand sloka treatise on Guruvayurappan composed by Narayana Bhattu. Within a week, Bhagavatar’s voice was restored. In gratitude for this, he donated half of what he earned from his concerts to the Guruvayurappan Temple. This is the result of parayanam. As a parayana grantha, Sri Sai Satcharitra has some specialties. At the end of almost every chapter, directly or indirectly, phala shruti is mentioned. That the Samartha Sadguru Sainath, about whom Hemad Pant wanted to compose Sri Sai Satcharitra, should mention - even before the Satcharitra was written – the virtues of parayanam, shravanam, mananam and nidhi dhyaasanam, is a rare fact indeed.

More than in any other chapter, chapter three describes the phala shruti very elaborately. While engrossed in the chores of this materialistic world, even if we hear unintentionally the stories of great saints, it does plenty of good. Hemad Pant says that when that is so, imagine the good that will happen if we listen to them intentionally.

Sai says, “By listening to my stories, diseases will be cured”.


Appaji Sutar lived in Shirdi. He suffered eczema in the feet, after the Mahasamadhi of Baba. He went to Kopergaon and spent money for treatment. The disease did not abate. Later, he got himself admitted to a hospital in Nasik. One night Sai appeared in his dream and said, “Return to Shirdi and read scriptures”. Appaji told him that he had come to Nasik for the treatment of eczema. Then Baba said, “Read my stories and apply udi. You will be cured”. As soon as he got down from the bus at Shirdi, he met Vithal Rao Marathe. Marathe told Appaji, “I am urgently going to Siruvel. Conduct parayana of pothi, in Sai’s presence, till I come back”. Appaji agreed. He did the parayana of Jnaneshwari, Ekanatha Bhagavata and Hemad Pant’s Sri Sai Satcharitra and applied udi to his feet. His eczema was cured in seven days.


The Canadian national James Wood was a Christian. Because of a serious disease, both his kidneys stopped functioning. The doctors worked hard to save his life by transplanting artificial kidneys. Wood’s body did not cooperate. He remained in the hospital. It was decided that he had only a few days to live. One day, his friend Leslie Boney came with a Sai devotee to see Wood. The devotee told him, “Don’t panic! Sai Baba is god. Offer him your heartfelt prayer and take this udi. Sai is capable of making your kidneys function without the help of any surgery.” As Wood was a Christian, the devotee suitably modified the Lords Prayer in the bible, wrote it on a paper and gave it to Wood to read. The patient followed the instructions carefully. He read the prayer, took udi and Sai teertham. The doctors were examining the kidneys every half an hour. By the night of the third day, the kidneys began working. The team of doctors were stupefied. A grateful Wood visited Shirdi on February, 23, 1979.


The American national Dr. Chang suffered asthma from his infancy. By the time he reached 35, it had become a part of his life. He had to depend on medicines. He had to keep the spray always with him as it provided some relief. At that age, he wanted to turn to spirituality, but how? Meditation, fasting, exercises, dieting – none of them had any effect. The moment he sat for concentration for meditation, his attack of asthma was there to disturb him!

It so happened, that he had read Arthur Osborne’s “The Incredible Sai Baba”. A description is given therein about the disease of Pradhan’s younger son. The boy was down with fever and was in the second floor. The pujari of the house prayed that if Baba could bring the boy down to the ground floor by 04.00pm, he would accept Baba as an incarnation of Dattatreya. Surprisingly, the boy’s fever took a downward trend and around 04.00 pm, he began to pester his mother that wanted go the ground floor and play. The moment Chang recollected the narrative, he felt the devotional surge in him. He closed his eyes and prayed, “Baba! If you can treat my asthma, I will accept you as god!” From that moment, Chang neither needed spray nor the medicines.


Gopal Bhaskar Datar was reading Hemad Pant’s Sri Sai Satcharitra. A lady in his house was suffering from body pains for a long time. Medical help did not yield any results. Once, Datar was reading the serpent and the frog story from the Satcharitra loudly. The lady heard the story in a drowsy state and prayed, “O Baba! When you can shower such kindness on frogs and other animals, why not on a human being like me?” Then she heard the words, “Will you give me dakshina of rupees five for Dasara?” coming from a wooden nail on the wall. She replied, “Definitely, if I am cured of my pains”. Then she became fully conscious and told the event to Datar. He immediately sent rupees five to Shirdi. Her pains began decreasing from that moment itself and she was totally relieved by that evening.

We need not feel, “Had I been a frog, I would have earned Sai’s mercy”. We have Sri Sai Satcharitra with us and that is more than enough to take us across any calamity.


Sai said, “I will protect, those who lovingly sing my stories, from all directions”.

Dasganu Maharaj got ready to perform keertan in a neighbouring village to Shirdi. He went to Sai and sought his permission. Sai advised him to take Jyothindra Tarkhad, another devote
e, with him. Dasganu did as he was told. He went to the village, placed Baba’s photo on the dais, lighted the lamps, and garlanded the photo. Audiences began to throng and the keertan started. After about an hour of spellbinding narration, Dasganu found that a few Bhils were taking a body for the last rites. Having seen Dasganu, the leader of Bhils came to him and asked whose photograph he had garlanded. Dasganu, in his inimitable style, told him about Baba and all his powers. The Bhil leader said, “In that case, let your Baba revive this dead person. Only then I will accept him as god, otherwise, I will kill all of you here”. Dasganu was taken by surprise by this unexpected turn of the events. He requested Jyothindra Tarkhad to sing, “Raham Nazar Karna”. Every one else there, including Dasganu, joined in singing and the entire atmosphere became very ecstatic. Within an hour, the dead person sat up and also began singing. The Bhils apologized and said that they would shortly have Baba’s darshan. What Baba needs is our love and devotion.


This chapter is one of the most important chapters of Sri Sai Satcharitra. It is in this chapter that Sai explains about who he is and also how he should be worshipped. In his own words,

“I am the mother of all beings”

“I am the creator, sustainer and destroyer”

“The visible universe is my manifestation”

“The pranava known as AUM is my speech”

“If it is borne in mind that I have manifested in this universe as unbounded energy only then pure and total bliss will result”

“The only devotion to me, the only service to me is to turn one’s attention to me”

Let us worship the Sai embedded in our minds without any lapse! For that also, let us take shelter at the divine feet of our beloved Baba!

With this the third chapter of Sri Sai Satcharitra called as Sai Baba’s permission and assurance is complete. In the next chapter Hemad Pant tells us about Sai’s advent in Shirdi, appearance of Vithal, Ganga and Yamuna sprouting from Baba’s toes, about the three Wadas in Shirdi and other events

|| Sri Sadguru Sainatha arpanamasthu | Shubam Bhavatu ||
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti