|| Aum Sai Ram || Aum Sai Para Brahmanaa Namah ||
Stealing the Rags and Reading of Jnaneshwari
“Mr. B.V. Dev who was Mamlatdar of Dahanu (Thana District), wished for a long time to read Jnaneshwari – (the well-known Marathi commentary on the Bhagawad-Gita by Jnaneshwar), along with other scriptures. He could read daily one chapter of the Bhagawad-Gita, but when he took Jnaneshwari in hand, some difficulties cropped up and he was precluded from reading it. He took three months leave, went to Shirdi and thence to his home at Poud for rest. He could read there other books but when he opened Jnaneshwari, some evil or stray thoughts came crowding in his mind and stopped him in the effort. Try as much as he could, he was not able to read even a few lines of the book with ease. So he resolved in his mind that when Baba would create love for the book and would order him to read it, he would begin and not till then. Then, in the month of February 1914 he went with his family to Shirdi. There, Jog asked him whether he reads Jnaneshwari daily. Dev replied that, only when Baba would order him to read it, he would commence. Jog then advised him to take a copy of the book and present it to Baba and to start the reading after it was consecrated and returned by Him. Dev replied that, he did not want to resort to this device, as Baba knows his heart. Would He not know his desire and satisfy it by giving him a clear order to read?
Dev, then, saw Baba and offered one rupee as Dakshina. Baba asked for Rs. 20/-, which he gave. At night, he met one Balakram and enquired how he secured Baba’s devotion and grace. Balakram told him that he would communicate everything next day after Arati. When Dev went for darshan next day, Baba asked for Rs.20/- which he gave willingly. As the Masjid was crowded, Dev went aside and sat in a corner. Baba asked him to come closer and sit with a calm mind, which Dev did. Then after the noon-arati was over and after the men dispersed, Dev saw again Balakram and asked him his previous experiences, what Baba told him and how he was taught meditation. While Balakram was going to reply when Baba sent one Chandru, a leper devotee, to call Dev to Him. When Dev went to Baba, the latter asked him, with whom and what he was talking. He said that he was with Balakram and heard from him His fame. Then, Baba asked again Rs.25/- as Dakshina which Dev gladly gave. Then, Baba took him inside and sitting near the post charged him saying, “You stole away My rags without My knowledge.” Deov denied any knowledge of the rags, but Baba asked him to make a search. He searched but found none. Then, Baba got angry and said, “There is nobody here, you are the only thief, grey-haired and old, you came here for stealing.” After this Baba lost His temper, got terribly wild, gave all sorts of abuses and scoldings. Dev remained silent and apprehend that, he might get a beating also. After about an hour or so, Baba asked him to go to the Wada. He returned to the Wada and told Jog and Balakram all that had happened. Then in the after-noon Baba sent for all of them and said that, His words might have pained the old man (Dev) but as he committed the theft, He took him to task. Then, Baba asked again for Rs. 12/- Dev collected the amount, paid it and prostrated himself before Him. Then, Baba said to him, “Go on reading the Pothi (Jnaneshwari) daily, go and sit in the Wada, read regularly every day and while reading, explain the portion read, to all with love and devotion. I am sitting here ready to give you the whole gold-embroidered Shella (valuable Shawl), then, why go to others to steal rags, and why should you get into the habit of stealing?”
Dev was much pleased to hear the words of Baba, for He asked him to start reading Pothi (Jnaneshwari). He thought that he got what he wanted and that he could read the book with ease thenceforth. He again prostrated himself before Baba and said that he surrendered himself to Him and that he should be treated as a child and be helped in his reading. He realized then what Baba meant by ‘stealing the rags’. What he asked Balakram constituted the ‘rags’ and Baba did not like his behaviour in this respect. As He was ready to answer all his questions, He did not like him to ask others and make unnecessary enquiries and therefore He scolded him. Dev thought that He really did not ‘scold’ him but taught that He was ready to fulfil his desires, and there was no use asking others in vain. Dev took these scoldings as flowers and blessings and went home satisfied and contented.
The matter did not end here. Baba did not stop with only issuing an order to read. Within a year He went to Dev and enquired about his progress. On 2nd April 1914, on Thursday morning, Baba gave him a dream. He sat on the upper floor and asked him whether he understood the Pothi. “No”, answered Dev. Baba said, “Then when are you going to understand?” Dev burst into tears and said, “Unless, You shower Your grace, the reading is mere burden and the understanding is still more difficult.” Baba told, “While reading you make haste, read it before Me, in My presence.” Dev, “What shall I read?” Baba said, “Read Adhyatma (spiritualism).” Dev went in to bring the book, when he opened his eyes and was fully awaken. We leave the readers to imagine what ineffable joy and bliss Dev felt after this vision.”
– SHRI SAI SATCHARITRA (Chapter XLI)
|| Aum Sai Sharnam || May Peace Be To All ||