On judging Saints – Blessed Gyan 234

|| Aum Sai Ram || Aum Sai Para Brahmanaa Namah ||

Somadev Swami

“Now, hear the story of another man, who came to try Baba. Bhaiji, brother of Kakasaheb Dixit was staying at Nagpur. When he had gone to the Himalayas in 1906, he made an acquaintance with one Somadev Swami of Hardwar at Uttar Kashi, down the Gangotri valley. Both took down each other’s names in their diaries. Five years later Somadev Swami came to Nagpur and was Bhaiji’s guest. There, he was pleased to hear the Leelas of Baba, and a strong desire arose in his mind to go to Shirdi and see Him.

He got a letter of introduction from Bhaiji and left for Shirdi. After passing Manmad and Kopergaon, he took a Tonga and drove to Shirdi. As he came near Shirdi, he saw two flags floating high over the Masjid in Shirdi. Generally, we find different behaviour, different mode of living and different outward paraphernalia with different saints. But, these outward signs should never be our standards to judge the worth of a saint. But, with Somadev Swami it was different. As soon as, he saw the flags flying, he thought, “Why should a saint take a liking for the flags? Does this denote saint-hood? It implies the saint’s hankering after fame.” Thinking thus, he wished to cancel his Shirdi trip and said to his fellow travellers that he would go back. They said to him, “Then, why did you come so far? If your mind became restless by the mere sight of the flags, how much more agitated would you be on seeing the Ratha, the palanquin, the horse and all other paraphernalia in Shirdi?” The Swami got more confounded and said, “Not Sadhus, with horses, palanquins and tom-toms have I seen, and it is better for me to return than visit such a Sadhu.” After saying this he started to return.

The fellow-travellers pressed him not to do so but to proceed. They asked him to stop his inconsistent way of thinking and told him that the Sadhu, i.e., Baba did not care a bit for the flags and other paraphernalia, nor for the name. It was the people, His devotees who, kept up all this paraphernalia out of love and devotion to Him. Finally, he was persuaded to continue his journey, go to Shirdi and see Baba.

When he went and saw Baba from the courtyard, he was melted inside, his eyes were full of tears, his throat was choked, and all his evil and crooked thoughts vanished. He remembered his Guru’s saying that, That is our abode and place of rest, where the mind is most pleased and settled.” He wished to roll himself in the dust at Baba’s Feet and when he approached Baba, the latter got wild and cried aloud, “Let all our humbug (paraphernalia) be with us, you go back to your home, beware! if you come back to this Masjid. Why take the darshan of One, Who flies a flag over His Masjid? Is this a sign of sainthood? Remain here not a moment.” The Swami was taken aback by surprise. He realised that, Baba read his heart and spoke it out. How Omniscient He was! He knew that, he was least intelligent, and that, Baba was noble and pure. He saw Baba embracing somebody, touching someone with his hand, comforting others, staring kindly at some, laughing at others, giving Udi-Prasad to some, and thus pleasing and satisfying all. Why should he alone be dealt with so harshly? After thinking seriously, he came to realise that, Baba’s conduct responded exactly to his inner thought; and that, he should take a lesson from this and improve; and that Baba’s wrath was a blessing in disguise. It is needless to say that later on, his faith in Baba was confirmed, and he became a staunch devotee of Baba.”

– SHRI SAI SATCHARITRA (Chapter XLIX)

|| Aum Sai Sharnam || May Peace Be To All ||

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