Sri Shirdi Sai Satcharitra – Chapter 36

Wonderful Stories of (1) Two Goa Gentleman – (2) Mrs Aurangabadkar 

This chapter relates the wonderful stories of two gentlemen from Goa and Mrs Aurangabadkar of Sholapur. 

Two Gentlemen 

Once two gentlemen came from Goa for taking darshan of Sai Baba, and prostrated themselves before Him. Though both came together, Baba asked only one of them to give Him Rs 15/- as Dakshina, which was paid willingly. The other man voluntarily offered Rs 35/-. This sum was rejected by Baba to the astonishment of all. Shama, who was present, asked Baba, “What is this? Both came together, one’s Dakshina You accept, the other, though voluntarily paid, You refuse. Why this distinction?” Baba replied, “Shama, you know nothing. I take nothing from anybody. The Masjidmayi (The presiding Deity of the Masjid) calls for its debt; the donor pays it and becomes free. Do I have any home, property or family to look after? I require nothing. I am ever free. Debt, enmity and murder have to be atoned for, there is no escape.” Baba then continued in His characteristic way as follows: at first, he was poor and took a vow to his God that he would pay his first month’s salary if he got an appointment. He got one on Rs 15/- p.m. Then he steadily got promotions, from Rs 15/- he got Rs 30, 60, 100, 200 and ultimately Rs 700/- per month. But in his prosperity, he completely forgot the vow he took. The force of his karma has driven him here and I asked that amount (Rs 15/-) from him as Dakshina. Another story – while wandering by the sea-side I came to a huge mansion and sat on its veranda. The owner gave me a good reception and fed me sumptuously. He showed me a neat and clean place near a cupboard for sleeping. I slept there. While I was sound asleep, the man removed a laterite slab and broke the wall entered in and stole all the money from my pocket. When I woke up, I found that Rs 30,000/- were stolen. I was greatly distressed and sat weeping and moaning. The money was in currency notes and I thought that the Brahmin had stolen it. I lost all interest in food and drink and sat for a fortnight in the veranda, bemoaning my loss. After the fortnight was over, a passing fakir saw me crying, and made enquiries regarding the cause of my sorrow. I told him everything. He said, “If you act according to my bidding, you will recover your money; go to a fakir, I shall give his whereabouts, surrender yourself to him, he will get your money back; in the meantime, give up your favourite food till you recover your money.” I followed the fakir’s advice; I got my money. Then I left the mansion and went to the sea-shore. There was a steamer, but I could not get into it as it was crowded. There a good-natured peon who interceded for me and I got in luckily. That brought me to another shore, where I caught a train and came to the Masjidmayi. When the story finished, Baba asked Shama to take care of the guests and arrange for their feeding. Then Shama took them home and fed them. At dinner, Shama said to the guests that Baba’s story was rather mysterious, as He had never gone to the sea-side, never had any money (Rs 30,000/-), never travelled, never lost any money and never recovered it, and enquired whether they understood it and caught its significance. The guests were deeply moved and were shedding tears. In a choking voice they said that Baba was Omniscient, Infinite, the One (Para Brahma) without a doubt. The story He gave out is exactly our story, What He spoke has already taken place in our case. How He knew this, is a wonder of wonders! We shall give all the details after the meals. Then after the meals while they were chewing betel-leaves, the guests began to tell their stories. One of them said, “A hill-station on the ghats is my native place. I went to Goa to earn my living by securing a job. I took a vow to God Datta that if I got any job, I would offer Him my first month’s salary. By His grace I got an appointment of Rs 15/- and then I got promotions as described by Baba, but I forgot all about my vow. Baba has just reminded me of it in this way and recovered Rs 15/- from me. It is not Dakshina as one may think it to be, but a repayment of an old debt and fulfilment of a long-forgotten vow.”

Moral 

Baba never, in fact, actually begged any money, nor allowed His Bhaktas to beg. He regarded money as a danger or bar to spiritual progress and did not allow His Bhaktas to fall into its clutches. Bhagat Mhalsapati, is an example to this effect. He was very poor and could hardly make both ends meet. Baba never allowed him to make any money, nor gave him anything from the Dakshina amount. Once a kind and liberal merchant named Hansraj gave a large amount of money to Mhalsapati in Baba’s presence, but Baba did not allow him to accept it. Then the second guest began his tale. “My Brahmin (cook) was serving me faithfully for 35 years. Unfortunately, he fell into bad ways, his mind changed and he robbed me of my treasure. By removing a laterite slab from my wall where my cup-board is fixed, he came in while we were all asleep and took away all my accumulated wealth, Rs 30,000/- in currency notes. I do not know how Baba mentioned the exact amount. I sat crying day and night. My enquiries came to nothing. I spent a fortnight in great anxiety. As I sat in the veranda, sad and dejected, a passing fakir noted my condition and enquired of its cause, and I told him all about it. He told me that an Awalia by name Sai lives in Shirdi, Kopergaon Taluka. Make a vow to Him and give up any food that you like best and say to Him mentally that ‘I have given up eating that food till I take your darshan’. Then I took the vow and gave up eating rice and said, Baba, I will eat it after recovering my money and after taking your darshan. Fifteen days passed after this. The Brahmin, of his own accord, came to me, returned my money and apologized, saying, I went mad and acted thus; I now place my head on your feet, please forgive me. Thus, everything ended well. The fakir that met me and helped me was not seen again. An intensive desire to see Sai Baba, whom the fakir pointed out to me, arose in my mind. I thought that the fakir who came all the way to my house was no other than Sai Baba. Would He, who saw me and helped me to get my lost money ever desire to get Rs 35/-? On the contrary without expecting anything from us, He always tries His best to lead us on the path of spiritual progress. I was overjoyed when I recovered my stolen property and being infatuated, I forgot all about my vow. Then when I was at Colaba, one night I saw Sai Baba in my dream. This reminded me of my promised visit to Shirdi. I went to Goa and from there wanted to start for Shirdi, by taking a steamer to Bombay, en route. But when I came to the harbour, I found that the steamer was crowded and there was no place. The captain did not allow me, but on intercession of a peon, who was stranger to me, I was allowed to get into the steamer which brought me to Bombay. From there, I got in the train and came here. Surely, I think that Baba is All-pervading and All-knowing. What are we and where is our home? How great is our good fortune that Baba got back our money and drew us here to Himself? You Shirdi folk must be infinitely superior and more fortunate than us; for Baba has played, laughed, talked and lived with you for so many years. I think that your store of good merits must be infinite, for it attracted Baba to Shirdi. Sai is our Datta. He ordered the vow. He gave me a seat in the steamer and brought me here and thus gave the proof of His Omniscience and Omnipotence.”

Mrs Aurangabadkar 

A lady from Sholapur, wife of Sakharam Aurangabadkar had no issue for a long period of 27 years. She had taken a number of vows to Gods and Goddesses for an issue, but was not successful. She then became almost hopeless. To make a last attempt in this matter, she came to Shirdi with her step-son Vishwanath and stayed there for two months, serving Baba. Whenever she went to the Masjid, she found it full and Baba surrounded by devotees. She wanted to see Baba alone, fall at His feet and open her heart and pray for an issue, but she got no suitable opportunity. Ultimately, she requested Shama to intercede with Baba for her when He was alone. Shama said to her that Baba’s Darbar was open, still he would try for her and that the Lord might bless her. He asked her to sit ready with a coconut and joss-sticks in the open courtyard at the time of Baba’s meals and that when he beckoned to her, she should come up. One day after meals, Shama was wiping Baba’s wet hands with a towel when the latter pinched Shama’s cheek. Shama feigning anger said, “Deva, is it proper for You to pinch me like this? We don’t want such a mischievous God who pinches us thus. Are we Your dependents, is this the fruit of our intimacy?” Baba replied, “Oh Shama, during the 72 generations that you were with Me, I never pinched you till now and now you resent My touching you.” Shama replied, “We want a God that will give us ever kisses and sweets to eat; we do not want any respect from You, or heaven, balloon etc. Let our faith unto Your Feet be ever wide-awake.” Baba said, “Yes, I have indeed come for that. I have been feeding and nursing you and have got love and affection for you.” Then Baba went up and took his seat. Shama beckoned to the lady. She came up, bowed and presented the coconut and joss-sticks. Baba shook the coconut which was dry. The Kernel within rolled and made a sound; Baba said, “Shama, this is rolling, see what it says.” Shama replied, “The woman prays that a child might be similarly rolling and playing in the womb. So, give her the coconut with Your blessings.” Then Baba said, “Will the coconut give her any issue? How people are foolish and fancy such things!” Shama responded, “I know the power of Your words and blessing. Your word will give her a string or series of children. You are wrangling and not giving real blessing.” The parley went on for a while. Baba repeatedly ordering to break the coconut and Shama pleading for gift of the unbroken fruit to the lady. Finally, Baba yielded and said, “She will have an issue.” “When?” asked Shama. “In 12 months,” Baba replied. The coconut was therefore broken into two part, one was eaten by the two, the other was given to the lady. The Shama turned to the lady and said, “Dear madam, you are a witness to my words. If within 12 months you do not get any issue, I will break a coconut against this Deva’s head and drive Him out of this Masjid. If I fail in this, I will not call myself Madhav. You will soon realize what I say.” She delivered a son in one year’s time and the son was brought to Baba in his fifth month. Both husband and wife prostrated themselves before Baba and the grateful father (Mr Aurangabadkar) paid a sum of Rs 500/- which was spent in constructing a shed for Baba’s horse, “Shyamakarna (Shyam Sunder).”


Shirdi sai baba original rare photo[1]imagesCAVAALU6

Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all

Observations – Chapter 36

A thought that comes to my mind is whenever we are in trouble we observe everything with utmost care, take vows, offer prayers like never before etc, but as soon as our wishes are fulfilled, we start slacking and procrastinating – Baba’s way of reminding His devotees of their vows are countless – other than reminders in dreams, one may get some trouble temporarily, prompting one to go back and pray to Baba for help. Shama’s vow to fulfil his mother’s promise to Kuldevi (Shaptshringi Devi) is yet another example in which 30 years lapsed before it was fulfilled. The beautiful thing to observe is that if you are in Baba’s care, He oversees all your affairs and gets all such vows fulfilled. So, don’t lose faith in Baba if your troubles are not ending, rather take this to be an opportunity or a signal from Baba reminding you of Him. Many of the close devotees of Baba (when He was in human form) has had fair share of troubles, but Baba helped them all along.

The Goa man gave Rs 2,000 to Brahmin out of the recovered Rs 30,000 – mentioned on pg. 82 of Sai Baba’s Charters and Sayings.

Hansraj, a merchant, mentioned here is the same person who is mentioned in chapter 9 also.

Sri Satchit Anand Satguru Sainath Maharaj ki Jai!

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