|| Aum Sai Ram || Aum Sai Para Brahmanaa Namah ||
Mr. Cholkar’s Sugarless Tea
“Initially, Baba was known in Poona and Ahmednagar districts, but Nanasaheb Chandorkar, by his word of mouth and Das Ganu, by his splendid Kirtans spread the fame of Baba in the Konkan (Mumbai Presidency). In fact, it was Das Ganu – May God bless him-who, by his beautiful and inimitable Kirtans, made Baba available to so many people there. The audience, who come to hear the Kirtans, have different tastes. Some like the erudition or learning of the Haridas, some his gestures, some his singing, some his wit and humour, some his preliminary dissertation on Vedanta, and some his main theme and so on; but among them there are very few who, by hearing the Kirtan get faith and devotion or love for God or saints. The effect of hearing Das Ganu’s Kirtan on the minds of audience was however electric, as it were. We give an instance here:
Das Ganu was once performing his Kirtan and singing the glory of Sai Baba, in the Koupineshwar temple in Thana. One Mr. Cholkar, a poor man serving as a temporary employee in the Civil Courts in Thana, was amongst the audience. He heard Das Ganu’s Kirtan most attentively and was much moved. He there and then mentally bowed and vowed to Baba saying, “Baba, I am a poor man, unable to support my family. If by your grace, I pass the departmental examination, and get a permanent post, I shall go to Shirdi, fall at Your Feet and distribute sugar-candy in Your name.” As good luck would have it, Mr. Cholkar did pass the examination and did get the permanent post and now it remained for him to fulfil his vow, the sooner the better.
Mr. Cholkar was a poor man with a large family to support; and he could not afford to pay for the expenses of a Shirdi trip. As is well said, one can easily cross over Nahne Ghat in Thana District or even the Sahyadri Range, but it is very difficult for a poor man to cross Umbar Ghat, i.e., the threshold of his house. As Mr. Cholkar was anxious to fulfill his vow as early as possible, he resolved to economise, cut down his expenses, and save money. He determined not to use sugar in his diet and began to take his tea without it. After he was able to save some money in this way, he came to Shirdi, took Baba’s darshan, fell at His Feet, offered a coconut, distributed it with a clean conscience along with sugar-candy as per his vow and said to Baba that he was much pleased with His darshan and that his desires were fulfilled that day.
Mr. Cholkar was in the Masjid with his host Bapusaheb Jog. When the host and the guest both got up and were about to leave the Masjid, Baba spoke to Jog as follows, “Give him (your guest) cups of tea, fully saturated with sugar.” Hearing these significant words, Mr. Cholkar was much moved, he was wonderstruck, his eyes were bedewed with tears, and he fell at Baba’s Feet again. Mr. Jog was also curious about this direction. Baba wanted by His words to create faith and devotion in Cholkar’s mind. He hinted as it were that, He got the sugar-candy as per his vow and that He knew full well his secret determination not to use sugar in his diet. Baba meant to say, “If you spread your palms with devotion before Me, I am immediately with you, day and night. Though, I am here physically, still I know what you do beyond the seven seas. Go wherever you will, over the wide world, I am with you. My abode is in your heart and I am within you. Always worship Me, Who is seated in your heart, as well as, in the hearts of all beings. Blessed and fortunate, indeed, is he who knows Me thus.”
What a beautiful and important lesson Baba had, thus imparted to Mr. Cholkar !”
– SHRI SAI SATCHARITA (Chapter XV)
|| Aum Sai Sharnam || May Peace Be To All ||