|| Aum Sai Ram || Aum Sai Para Brahmanaa Namah ||
Mr. Sathe (contd.)
“At this time, Hemadpant was present there. He was shampooing Baba’s Legs. When he heard Baba’s words, he thought in his mind, “What! Mr. Sathe read for a week only and got a reward and I am reading it for forty years with no result! His seven days stay here becomes fruitful while my seven years’ stay (1910 to 1917) goes for nothing. Like a Chatak bird I am ever waiting for the Merciful Cloud (Baba) to pour its nectar on me; and bless me with His instructions.” No sooner did this thought cross his mind, Baba knew it then and there. It was the experience of the Bhaktas that Baba understood all their thoughts, and that He suppressed the evil thoughts and encouraged the good ones. Reading Hemadpant’s mind, Baba at once asked him to get up, go to Shama (Madhavrao Deshpande), get from him Rs. 15/- as Dakshina, sit and chitchat with him for a while and then return. Mercy dawned in Baba’s mind, and so he issued this order. And who could disobey Baba’s order?
Hemadpant immediately left the Masjid and came to Shama’s house. He had just bathed, and was wearing a Dhotar. He came out and asked Hemadpant, “How is it that you are here now? It seems that you have come from the Masjid. Why do you look restless and dejected? Why are you alone? Please sit and rest, while I shall just do my worship and return. In the meanwhile you please take Paan-Bida (leaves and betal nuts etc.), let us then, have a pleasant chat.” After saying this he went inside and Hemadpant sat alone in the front verandah.
He saw in the window a well-known Marathi book, named ‘Nath-Bhagwat.’ This is a commentary by the Saint Eknath, on the eleventh Skandha (chapter) of the bigger Sanskrit work, the Bhagwat. At the suggestion or recommendation of Sai Baba, Messrs. Bapusaheb Jog and Kakasaheb Dixit read Bhagwad Gita daily, with its Marathi commentary named Bhavartha Deepika or Dnyaneshwari (A dialogue between Krishna and His friend-devotee Arjuna) and Nath Bhagwat (A dialogue between Krishna and His servant devotee Uddhav) and also Eknath’s other big work, viz. Bhavartha Ramayan. When devotees came to Baba and asked Him certain questions, He sometimes answered them in part, and asked them to go and listen to the readings of the above-mentioned works, which are the main treatises of Bhagwat Dharma. When the devotees went and listened, they got full and satisfactory replies to their questions.
Hemadpant also used to read daily some portions of Nath-Bhagwat. That day he did not complete the daily portion of his reading, but had left it unfinished in order to accompany certain devotees, who were going to the Masjid. When he took up the book from Shama’s window and casually opened, it, he found, to his surprise, that the unfinished portion opened up. He thought that Baba sent him very kindly to Shama’s house for enabling him to complete his daily reading. So, he went through the unfinished portion and completed it. As soon as this was over, Shama, after doing his worship came out, and the following conversation took place between them.
Hemadpant : I have come with a message from Baba. He has asked me to return with Rs. 15/- as Dakshina from you, also to sit with you for a while and have a pleasant chitchat and then return to the Masjid with you.
Shama (with surprise): I have no money to give. Take my 15 Namaskaras (prostrations) in lieu of rupees as Dakshina to Baba.
Hemadpant : Alright, your Namaskaras are accepted. Now let us have some chitchat. Tell me some stories and Leelas of Baba, which will destroy our sins.
Shama : Then sit here for a while! Wonderful is the sport (Leela) of this God (Baba). You know it already. I am a village rustic, while you are an enlightened citizen. You have seen some more Leelas since your coming over here. How should I describe them before you? Well, take these leaves, betel nut and chuna and eat the Pan-Bida; while I go in, dress myself and come out.
In a few minutes Shama came out and sat talking with Hemadpant. He said, “The Leela of this God (Baba) is inscrutable; there is no end to His Leelas. Who can see them? He plays or sports with His Leelas, still He is beyond (unaffected by) them. What do we rustics know? Why does not Baba Himself tell stories? Why does He send learned men like you to fools like me? His ways are inconceivable. I can only say that they are not human.” With this preface Shama added, “I now remember a story, which I shall relate to you. I know it personally. As a devotee is resolute and determined, so is Baba’s immediate response. Sometimes Baba puts the devotees to severe test and then gives them ‘Upadesh’ (instructions).”
As soon as Hemadpant heard the word ‘Upadesh’, a flash of lightning crossed, through his mind. He at once remembered the story of Mr. Sathe’s Guru Charitra reading and thought that, Baba might have sent him to Shama, in order to give peace to his restless mind. However, he curbed this feeling, and began to listen to Shama’s stories. They all showed how kind and affectionate Baba was to His devotees. Hemadpant began to feel joy, on hearing all these stories.”
– SHRI SAI SATCHARITRA (Chapters XVIII & XIX)
|| Aum Sai Sharnam || May Peace Be To All ||