The Sai Satcharitra: Simplified!
This chapter will start with the previous discussion about return of Sai Baba to Shirdi after his first appearance as a young boy of sixteen.
Sai’s Return to Shirdi – Absolutely, The Permanent Stay
Once a man named Chand Patil was returning to his home town in Aurangabad District, Maharashtra, but lost his mare en-route. He searched for it for about two months but got no luck. Disappointed, he put the saddle on his back and started for return journey. Upon walking a couple of miles, he saw a surprising fellow sitting under a mango tree, preparing to smoke chilim (sort of makeshift cigar), wearing a robe, cap and holding a small stick under his armpit (seemed to be a magician). When he saw Chand Patil, he called for him and offered him to take some puffs and rest for a while. Later he asked about the saddle. Then Chand told him about his misery and diligent search for the mare. The fellow asked him to check near the bank of the canal nearby. Chand went up there and got surprised to see the mare there. Suddenly a thought came to his mind that this odd fellow isn’t an ordinary man, but a great saint.
When he returned to the other fellow, he saw that the chilim was ready to be smoked, but water and fire were required to complete the process. With the blink of an eye, the ‘fakir’ (staunch fellow) dashed his stick forcibly on the ground, out came an ignited piece of coal and on the other hand water started to ooze out. All process set up, fakir smoked the chilim and offered it to Chand who was already wonder stuck and puzzled.
Chand made a request to fakir to accompany him to his home and accept his hospitality. During fakir’s stay at his place, preparations were going on for the wedding of Chand’s nephew and the bride was from Shirdi. Fakir was also invited to the wedding, he went along with them, wedding ceremony happened happily, everyone returned back except the fakir, who remained there, forever…
Once I (author) was going to Sai Baba Temple in my locality. I parked the car, stepped out of it and saw a man dressed up exactly like Sai sitting on the bench. I mentally started to think that how these beggars dress up like Sai to fetch money from devotees coming to visit the temple. While this thought was going on in my mind, I got a feeling, it could be Sai himself waiting to bless me, and when I turned back after convincing myself, poof…there was no one on the bench..that fellow was gone….Till date I feel bad about my ill feelings and I am sure in my heart (at least) that the guy was Sai himself and I misled myself into ill thoughts…I repent that event, I missed the chance…May Sai forgive me for that.
Sai is present in everyone, Sai is the energy, maybe you want to name this energy by any other name, maybe your idol, the form of lord you believe in…but the bottom line is to Believe!
Believe in your instincts, believe in the unseen and have unwavering faith in the merciful Lord who is the super power and the equilibrium of all stable/unstable energies of the world!
You shall find him in any form, any where, any day…May be today…So, Believe!!!
The Name: SAI
When Chand Patil’s marriage party reached Shirdi, they initially rested near a Banyan tree in Bhagat Mhalsapati’s field near Khandoba’s Temple (Village Deity). All the people alighted and while the fakir was getting down, Mhalsapati extended his hand and said “Ya Sai” (welcome Sai), others also addressed him as ‘Sai’. Since then the young fakir became Sai and later, Sai Baba.
Sai Baba & other Saints
When baba started to live in Shirdi, he came in contact with many saints. He liked to talk to them, share experiences and even stayed at their places and vice versa. Many a saints used to frequent Shirdi, one named Gangagir and another named Anandnath (disciple of Akkalkot Maharaj) upon seeing Sai Baba even in his young age testified about him to people of Shirdi, that their Shirdi is blessed to have this gem of gems, a precious jewel. He is no ordinary man and people of Shirdi will realize this in near future.
Sai Baba’s Dress & Daily Routine as Youngster
When Sai Baba was young he had long hair and never used to cut them. He dressed up like an athlete. Daily he went to Rahata (nearby place, around 3 miles from Shirdi) and brought some flowers with them , whom he later cleaned and planted. A man named Vaman Tatya provided him with two earthen pitchers which were used to water the flowers. These pitchers were raw and not baked, thus got broke by evening and next day that guy provided him with two more earthen pitchers. This episode went on for 3 years and with Sai Baba’s untiring efforts, there grew a beautiful flower garden. Presently on this site, stands tall the Samadhi Mandir (Sai Baba’s shrine of worship in Shirdi).
Seems as if all was preplanned by Sai Baba and of course he is the doer, the driving force of all the universe, sure he would have foreseen the future events and till the end of time will keep an eye on his beloved children and their future.
Sometimes a difficult situation seems to be the end of the world but we must keep ‘Shraddha’ & ‘Saburi” (Devotion & Patience) to see what god has availed for us in near future. We as humans only think inside the box or may be outside the box but merciful Sai sees the panorama view of our life, wide and large and knows what is best for us.
The Story of Paduka (Foot Prints) Under the Neem Tree
Assuming, that you will surely visit Shirdi soon, I must tell you that the most talked about Neem tree stands tall right behind the Samadhi Mandir. Also below this tree, you will find holy foot prints of lord are installed. This story is about those foot prints.
Interesting point to note here is that, this neem tree’s leaves are surprisingly sweet and have been blessed by god himself as they have extra ordinary medicinal values. So on your trip to Shirdi, don’t forget to look for fallen tree leaves, if you find one, then eat a portion yourself and divide rest amongst family members. Never try to pluck the leaves directly from the tree.
Once the devotee of Akkalkot Maharaj ( one famous saint) by name Bhai Krishnaji Alibaghkar planned to visit Akkalkot to worship his guru’s padukas (foot prints) but even before he could plan, he got a vision in which Maharaj appeared and told to him that now Shirdi is his resting place and he must go there to take his darshan. Bhai changed his plan as per guru’s instructions, visited Shirdi and became very happy. He got inspired by his vision and planned to install paduka’s in Shirdi which will become a memorial of Sai Baba’s first visit to Shirdi and sitting under the holy neem tree. A plan was made and final corrections were made by Upasani Maharaj of Khandoba Temple. He suggested that a Shloka (verse) shall be inscribed telling the greatness of the Neem tree and Yogi powers of Sai Baba, the verse goes as follows,
“Sada NimbarVrikshasya Mooladhiwasat,
SudhaSravinam Tiktamapi-Apriyam Tam,
Tarum Kalpavrikshadhikam Sadhyantam,
Namameeshwaram Sadgurum Sai Natham”
Those padukas were then made beautifully out of stone and were blessed by Baba’s touch (Baba said for those padukas, that these are god’s foot prints themselves). Then they were installed on an auspicious day under the neem tree, they are still worshipped by all devotees who visit there. It is believed that lighting up incense sticks brings peace and happiness the person who does it.
Later Bhai asked Baba to go to Akkalkot, then Baba told him, “what’s there in Akkalkot, the Maharaj is here in Shirdi, Myself.” Since then he kept coming back to Shirdi and not to Akkalkot as Shirdi became his Akkalkot. Such is Baba’s wondrous form.
Wrestling with Mohdin Tamboli & Change in Life
For bringing about some changes in life we need an excuse. Like wise Sai got a major shift in life in human form after the event described here.
There was a wrestler in Shirdi whose name was Mohdin Tamboli. He and baba didn’t agree on something someday and picked up a fight, baba got defeated.
Since then, he changed his dress and mode of living (Don’t know why but I think a turning point was required by him to get into action and fulfill his duties in human form as prescribed to him by the supreme lord).
Sai Baba donned a Kafni (long robe), a Langot (waist band) and covered his head with a piece of cloth.
He took a sack cloth for his seat and bed. He felt content in worn out rags and used to say, “Poverty is better than Kingship, far better than Lordship. Lord is always caretaker of the poor”.
Baba did not mix up with people and used to answer if asked by someone. During day, sat under the neem tree and in afternoon used to walk at random, sometimes to Nimgaon. In Nimgaon, he used to visit Balasaheb Dengale. This man’s younger brother had no kid, even after his second marriage. Upon Sai’s darshan and blessing he got a son. Since then Baba started to get famous in lot of places and many people started to visit him. He used to sit in a dilapidated Masjid (Mosque) and slept there too.
Baba’s possessions at that time consisted of a Chilim, tobacco and a tin pot. He wore a cloth on his head whose long edge used to hang like hair along is shoulder via left ear. He wore no sandals and didn’t wash those clothes for weeks. To ward off cold, he used a coupin (waist band cloth) and sat always ear the sacred fire (Dhuni) that he lit in the Masjid. In that Dhuni he offered his egoism, desires and thoughts as offering and had “Allah Maalik (God is the Sole Owner)” on his lips.
Before Baba came to live in this Masjid, he used to live in a place Takia where he used to sing and dance wearing Ghungroo (Dancer’s Jewel wore on legs with small bells inside for music).
Believe it or not – Turning Water Into Oil
Sai Baba was very fond of lights. In those times, the only source of good lighting in a village was oil wick lamps (Diya in Hindi Language). For this purpose, baba used to borrow some oil from the local shopkeepers. Once these Baniyas (Shop Keepers) decided that we will stop giving free oil to Sai Baba. When baba approached them, he got a big NO for oil. Unperturbed, Baba returned to Masjid and picked up the tin pot which had a few drops of oil left (while baba was making arrangements, the Baniyas were hiding in nearby bushes to make fun and to see how dare he light the lamps without oil). With those oil drops, he added some water and drank all of it at once, within few seconds, he spit out all water into the tin pot forcefully. Now he put this liquid into the lamps, lighted them up, wonder of wonders the lamps lit brightly throughout the night. The Baniyas felt ashamed and realized the powers of Sai Baba, that he is no ordinary man, but God Incarnate. They apologized and prostrated in front of Baba, he excused them and asked to be truthful in future.
This and many more stories might seem unbelievable, you might seek a logical or scientific explanations for them. May be you would try to ignore them assuming to be things of fancy and exaggeration of an event, but I would like to realize you that there are still immeasurable things that science has not been able to explain. Reason being that scientific researches are origin of human mind. The human mind thinks finitely when it comes to the cosmic level. We think that we have achieved everything from Science, but there a lot more to go, a lot more to know…To quote an example, we still don’t even know the number of planets in our solar system, never been able to even approach pluto, birth cycle of a baby is such a complex natural process that no science have ever been and never will be able to simulate that!
All this is by the grace of the Supreme Power, the merciful Lord and our Sai Baba is our messenger to god or the navigation light which takes us through the right path and not let us lose our way.
False Guru – Jawahar Ali
Once a saint named Jawar Ali came from Ahmadnagar to stay in Rahata (nearby place to Shirdi) with his disciples. He was a learned man and could repeat the whole Quran (Holy Book of Muslims) with his sweet voice. People started to visit him and with their help he planned to create an Idgah ( A wall for prayer used by Muslims) near a temple. Quarreled by this decision, he was forced to leave Rahata. Later he came to Shirdi and started to live with Sai Baba in Masjid. Soon he started to call Sai as his disciple (chela). Also he told to people that he is Sai Baba’s Guru, to this Sai didn’t react at all and started to behave as his disciple and served the Guru in many ways. Sai baba knew the faults of Guru (Pseudo) but the Guru didn’t recognize the powers of the Disciple. This episode went on for long time and in between this period he along with Sai went to live in Rahata, but Shirdi people out of Sai’s love went there to call him back. This guy, didn’t acknowledge that and got angry on Shirdi people, later it was decided that both Guru Chela will go and live in Shirdi.
There in Shirdi, was another Gyani (Learned) man named Devidas. He took this Jawahar Ali to task and testified him in public, in which Jawahar Ali failed badly and literally had to run away from Shirdi out of guilt. Stupid fellow was so egoistic, but Devidas’s test shook his ego to pieces.
Twelve years later, he came back to Shirdi and pleaded for forgiveness while prostrating before Sai Baba. Baba, ever merciful, forgave him and treated him with respect.
Here, Baba in his human form, showcased a perfect example of being ‘Egoless’ and ‘Humble’. Egoism is a waste of energy. It must be get rid of. It is evil part of human nature. Baba in many ways always tried to set best practical examples for us (his disciples) to follow in our day to day life. With teachings in these forms, he gives us strength to deal with situations, face consequences of our acts and to take corrective measures for them.
He makes us realize that when no one’s watching, ‘Karma’ is keeping an eye on you and your present is the result of your past actions. It is also stated in the ‘law of attraction’, you bring about what you think about. If you think good thoughts, you receive good state of mind and vice versa.
So better be watchful of your actions today, in order to avoid the heat soon not later!
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all!!!