Thursday, March 17, 2011


In the 51st chapter of Sai Satcharitra, details about PHALA- SRUTI, reward for reading the Holy Book i.e. SAI SATCHARIRA, with devotion is given. It is said that miseries disappear for those people who read it with full faith and love towards SAI. It is also said that completion of PARAYAN in seven days time and worshipping him there after, all the hurdles disappear and even material desires are fulfilled. It is my routine practice to read one chapter from SATCHARITRA every day. Every time on completion of reading 51 chapters, I experienced a state of mental bliss and some thing or other happening to increase my faith further. This is one such typical and memorable experience of mine.
I was deputed to South Korea on official assignment and the same was mentioned in my first experience already covered. One of the incidents that happened in SOUTH KOREA is described here. It was on 15-05-1991, after the day's routine I completed the reading of the 51st chapter in the city of Changwaan and set out to Mr.Lee's residence as he was hosting that night's dinner. After Dinner, Mr. Lee has come out to drop us at our Hotel in his car. It was around half past nine in the night, I was not contented with the day's routine as nothing specific worth the earlier happenings has taken place after completing reading of 51st chapter this time. My thinking process was nagging me that, perhaps I could not read Satcharitra with the expected devotion or SAI is not accepting my prayers from South Korea. Why has he not heeded and responded to my prayers from a foreign land was the most pre-occupied question in my mind.
All of a sudden as if to make matters light, Mr. Lee came forward, with a proposal and offered to take us to LORD BUDDHA'S TEMPLE located on the hilltop and was seeking our formal permission. I took it as an invitation from LORD SAINATH and readily gave my consent with out any second thought or hesitation. The temple was to close by 10:00 Hrs. in the night. Seeing in me a sudden change and more enthusiastic, he raced the car at a speed of 100 km / Hr., uphill towards the temple in an attempt to reach before it's closure. Approximately it took half an hour for the drive and we were there by 10.15PM fortunately for us that day, the temple has, not yet closed. I felt as if 'LAMA ' of the temple was in wait only for us standing at the main entrance to the temple. Mr. Lee introduced me and other colleague of mine Shri. Sreenivasa Rao to LAMA- the chief priest. He recognized both of us as Indians and traditionally welcomed us. Later on he offered us green Tea. LAMA blessed all the three of us in the presence of LORD BUDDHA and presented us three chains to one each containing a silver dollar. My imagination stretched beyond and I could see SAI in LAMA who was donned in white robes. My eyes got wet and with full devotion I prostrated before him. He helped me up, hugged and embraced me with utmost affection. I felt as if his eyes were questioning me whether I felt happy or not at that particular moment. The silver Dollar, which I consider as a gift from BABA in Lama's form and a precious possession is preserved in my prayer room forever.
In service of Sri Sai, -Saibanisa GopalaraoRavada

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oneness with God

Oneness with God
Baba was God incarnate. God is only one - really nameless and formless, but he appears in any form which is dear to his bhaktas. This is what Baba also did. Sometimes he appeared as Ram or Krishna, sometimes Vithal, sometimes Akkalkot Swami, sometimes a Moulvi, or a Guru.
When Das Ganu was staying with Baba in Shirdi, he once wished to go to Pandharpur to see Vithal. He asked for Baba's permission. Baba said. "Ganu, for you Shirdi itself is Pandharpur. Why leave Shirdi and go so far ?" Das Ganu had implicit faith in Baba. But he thought, "if Shirdi is Pandharpur, then who is the Vithal here ?" As, with that thought in his mind, he looked up. Baba appeared to him in the form of Vithal. He has composed a beautiful song on this incident.
Gauli Buwa mostly lived at Pandharpur, serving Vithal. But occasionally he used to go on pilgrimage and when he visited Shirdi, Baba would appear to him as Vithal Himself. At Prayag there is a confluence of Ganga and Jamuna. It is considered a very sacred place. Das Ganu once wished to go there. Again Baba said, "Ganu, your Prayag is here." At this, water began trickling down from both thumbs of Baba's feet. Das Ganu had his "Prayag tirth" there and then.
Bapusaheb Jog, a devout bhakta residing at Shirdi, once longed to have a darshan of the late Akkalkot Swami. When he expressed his desire, Baba gave him a darshan in that form. To another Bhakta. Baba appeared as Gopal Krishna - the bhakta's favourite deity.
A doctor from Bombay was a staunch devotee of Ram. He regarded Baba not as a great saint, but rather as a mad fakir. A close friend of his invited the doctor to go to Shirdi with him. The doctor agreed on the express condition that he would come to Shirdi merely as an onlooker, but not bow before Baba. On reaching Shirdi, the very atmosphere there softened' the doctor's resolve. He accompanied his friend who had started to go to Baba, and, on seeing Baba from a distance, the doctor ran towards him and fell at his feet. Smiling meaningfully, Baba blessed him. As they both started to come back, the friend asked, "What happened, doctor ? Did you forget your resolve ?" "As soon as I saw Baba, my resolve vanished, for in Baba's place there appeared Shri Ram of Ayodhya.
Unaware of myself. I ran and fell at his feet," said the doctor with tears of joy. For a long time after this, he was immersed in a state of bliss. A staunch Shastri of Nasik had come to Shirdi with a similar resolve. His devotion was only to his Guru who had passed into Samadhi some time earlier. Baba gave him a darshan in the form of his late Guni, whereby the Shastri was completely transformed. Some students while appearing for their examinations, or even afterwards, ask an astrologer whether they would pass or not. The astrologer tells them some hotch-potch, and the students get uneasy thereby. Sai Baba discouraged such habits. He would advise the students to concentrate on their studies and for the rest put their trust in God. Baba would bless them and apply Udi on their forehead. Such students would always come out with flying colours.

The Powers of Udi

The Powers of Udi
Friends, I have told you what Udi is. It is not the ordinary ash. It is the ash from the dhuni which Baba had lit by his yogic power. Hence the Udi has all the powers of Baba. It has banished the agonies and cured incurable diseases of innumerable persons. Here are a few real instances.
A certain doctor's nephew had bone-cancer. The doctor tried all remedies, including surgical operation, but in vain. With acute pain, the boy cried pitiably. At last the doctor brought the boy to Baba and threw all burden on him. Daily Baba placed a blessing glance on the wound and applied Udi on it. Within a week, the boy was completely cured.
Another doctor had a guinea-worm in his leg, which was terribly swollen and caused intense pain. He approached Baba with a request to release him from his mortal coil and thus end his agony for good. Baba daily applied Udi to his leg and also administered it orally. One day, an attendant inadvertently stepped on the doctor's affected leg with the result that the wound burst open and the guinea-wom was driven out. The doctor was soon cured.
There are countless instances of this kind. But I will tell you one, deserving special mention.
Nanasaheb Chandorkar, one of the earliest devotees of Baba, was a mamlatdar at Jamner, about 24 miles from Jalgaon in Khandesh. One can go upto Jalgaon by railway and then take a tonga.
Nanasabeb's daughter, Maina had come to Jamner for delivery. For fortyeight hours, she was in labour and her very life was in danger. Nanasaheb was appealing to Baba to come to her succour. Sai Baba as if 'heard' it in Shirdi. Ramgir, a resident bhakta, was then inspired to go to his village in Khandesh. He came to ask for Baba's permission. Baba said, "Yes. Start immediately. But first go to Nanasaheb at Jamner, givehim Udi and Arati, and then proceed home". Baba gave him a packet of Udi from the dhuni with his own hands and the Arati on a piece of paper to be recited at Maina's bedside. Ramgir took the two things, but, in a tone of anxiety, he asked, "Baba, I have only two rupees with me. With this much. I can barely go to Jalgaon. But how could I make a detour to Jamner and thence to my place ?" "You need not worry," Said Baba, "You only go to Jalgaon. Everything will be arranged thereafter."
With firm faith in Baba, Ramgir started. He had to pay Rs. 1-14-0 for railwav ticket and only two annas were left with him. About midnight the train reached Jalgaon and Ramgir got down. Just then a sepoy in Khaki uniform approached him and said "Sir, you are Ramgir from Shirdi, I hope". Ramgir said he was. "Then come along," said the sepoy, Nanasaheb has sent me with a tonga for you." Ramgir thought that as Baba had hinted he must have sent a word to Nanasaheb and asked him to make these arrangements. The sepoy gave him a few snacks, which he said, were sent bv Nanasaheb. Then the tonga started and by dawn, it arrived at Jamner. The sepoy, pointing to a distant 'building, said, "That is Nanasaheb's office." Ramgir alighted there to ease himself and went behind a bush. But as he came out, what did he find ? Nothing, no horses, no carriage, no sepoy. All had disappeared. Dumbfounded, he went to Nanasaheb's office and, obtaining Nanasabeb's address, went there. Saluting Nanasaheb, he said, "Baba has sent me here from Shirdi and has given you these things." A thrill went through Nanasaheb on hearing this. He said, 'Oh Baba, Baba! What should I say to you ? I called your name here and hearing my call in Shirdi, you at once ran here in the form of these things. A million pranams to you ! "
Nanasaheb applied the Udi to his daughter and put a little in her mouth too. Then he sat by her bedside, reciting the arati. And would you believe it ? In half an hour, Maina delivered safely. Ramgir was waiting outside. Nanasabeb came out and thanked him profoundly. Eagerly Ramgir asked, "Nana, your tonga brought me to Jamner all right. But then as I got down to ease myself, it suddenly vanished. Where is that tonga ?" "Which tonga ?" asked the puzzled Nana. "Your tonga which you had sent for me to Jalgaon Station. Your sepoy met me there, g;ave me your delicious snacks and brought me here with great speed."
With tears of gratitude, Nanasaheb said, "Ramgir, I had not the faintest idea that you were coming. So how could I have sent the tonga ? This is all no doubt done by Baba. How unbounded is your kripa, Oh mother Sai !"
Later, Nanasaheb himself related this whole incident to the people assembled at Shirdi. It therefore bears a stamp of authority.

Deo Mamledar

Deo Mamledar
Balasabeb Deo, an enlightened Sai Bhakta was a magistrate at Dahanu. His mother had observed cer tain vows, at the conclusion of which a thousand Brahmins were to be fed in the month of Shravan. Balasaheb earnestly wished Baba to attend this function. So two months ahead, he sent a cordial invitation to Baba, who replied that he would attend along with two others.
In Ashadh, the month before Shravan, a Sanyasi (recluse) came to Balasaheb and asked for his help to collect a fund for cow-protection. But as another fund had recently been collected in Dahanu, Balasabeb told the sanyasi to come to him in the Diwali season (four months later).
The sanyasi went away, but appeared again exactly on the day of the concluding function. Seeing him, Balasaheb suspected that he had come for the fund too soon, and was about to rebuke him for his impatience. Anticipating what Balasabeb would say, the Sanyasi hastened to explain that he had not come for the fund, but for a square meal.
"Oh, that's very fine," said Balasabeb almost apologetically, "We are feeding the Brahmins today. So it will be a pleasure to have you amongst us."
But I have two others with me, waiting in the dharam-shala."
"Bring them too ! It will add to our pleasure." The Sanyasi brought the two along with him and, after a hearty meal, they blessed Balasaheb and went away.
The function was over, but Balasabeb thought that Baba had not come as promised. So he wrote to Baba expressing his displeasure and put in a mild hint that Baba had deceived him.
Baba wrote back, "Your doubts have deceived you, not I. As promised, I came along with two others and we took meals at your place. But your mind was clouded with the doubt that it was the Sanyasi coming for funds. So your own doubt deceived you and in that state you did not recognise me." Balasaheb felt intense anguish and remorse that, though Baba had visited his place, yet he did not recognise the saint and had lost the opportunity of a life-time of surrendering at his feet.

Sai Baba

In Maharashtra,  there is a district named Aurangabad, in which there is a village named Dhoopkhede. Chandbhai was the patel of that village. Once he lost his horse. Chandbhai searched and searched, but to no avail. A week after, while he was on the search, he noticed by the roadside a young lad of sixteen, having sedate looks and wearing the garb of a fakir. This beautiful boy with lustrous eyes at once captured Chandbhai's heart. Reading, as if the onlooker's mind, the fakir beckoned Chandbhai and asked, "What are you looking for, patel?
 I have lost my horse "I have lost my horse. For this whole week, I am searching him," said Chand, approaching the fakir, with folded hands. "Then why go further? Your animal is grazing beyond that hedge, there, look!" told the fakir, with. a gentle smile, pointing to a thick hedge beyond which nothing could really be seen. Chandbhai went and saw, and Io! The horse was found quietly grazing there.
Chandbhai was awe-struck. How did this fakir recognise him as the patel, how did the boy know that there, was a horse beyond the hedge and that it belonged to him all this struck him with wonder. He was convinced that the boy had a spark of Divinity in him. As Chandbhai related this incident among his friends and neighbours, the boy's fame spread like a drop of oil on the surface of water.
A few months later, a marriage procession went from Dhoopkhede to Shirdi. The boy fakir also accompanied it. When the procession reached the outskirts of Shirdi, Ya Sai it stopped to pay homage to God Khandoba. Mhalsapati, the priest of Khandoba temple, eyed the fakir, and out of spontaneous admiration, exclaimed, "Welcome, ye Sai Baba". It was as if the Divine Will that had given the boy this name, for that very naw stuck to him all his life. From that day (1854), the boy stayed in Shirdi. But what was his real name and his native place none ever came to know.
People at Shirdi soon discovered the perfect Saintliness of the fakir and by and by, many of them became his devotees (bhaktas). A few, however, who were themselves of a saintly nature, saw the real worth of this Godly person. Sadhu Gangagir said, "This is a gem. By your great good luck, you have got him." Anandnath said, "This is a jewel you will know its worth in the immediate future."
From places like Bombay and Poona, you can now go to Shirdi directly by State Transport  buses. You can also travel upto Manmad or Kopargaon by Central Rly and then take a bus to Shirdi.
When Sai Baba first came to Shirdi, it was a little known, underdeveloped village. But as Baba came and his fame spread in all quarters, Shirdi also grew and improved. Like Pandharpur, it is now a great place of pilgrimage. Thousands and thousands go there everv year to have a darshan of Baba's, Samadhi (Tomb). Devotees still get the same experiences of Baba as they did when Baba lived in flesh. Baba entered Samadhi in 1918.
Now let us see Wherein lay Baba's greatness and read the Bhaktas' actual experiences about Baba.

Baba and Vasudevanand

Baba and Vasudevanand
Vasudevanand, a contemporary of Baba, was a staunch fire-worshipper and a rigid observer of religious practices. He had also perfect command over several mantras. Baba too, was a fire-worshipper. Hence these two saints regarded each other as brothers.
When Vasudevanand was at Rajmahendry, Pundalikrao, a lawyer from Nanded and friends came for his darshan. Pundalikrao was a Sai Bhakta. So in the course of conversation, Baba's name came up. Hearing it, Vasudevanand was overwheImed with a feeling of reverence and folding his hands, inquired, "when are you going to Shirdi?"
"Right from here, I am going to Baba,"said Pundalikrao.
Vasudevanand picked up a coconut, held it near his heart and, handing it over to Pundalikrao, said, "Then, please give this to my brother."
Soon Pundalikrao and his friends started for Shirdi. They took with them flowers, fruits, coconuts etc. to offer to Baba, and a few eatables for themselves. On their journey, they ate some chivada, which tasted very hot. To appease the heat, one of them suggested that coconut be mixed with it. So a fruit was broken and, mixing it with chivada, they ate it with pleasure. Then it struck them that the coconut they broke was the same which Vasudevanand had given for Baba. They all felt very sorry. What could they tell Baba ? No hatched up account would do, for Baba would already be knowing everything. So Pundalikrao went and sat with his head hung down. Baba slyly asked, "Pundalikrao, where is the present from my brother?"
Pundalikrao confessed everything and said he would go and bring another coconut.
"No other coconut would do," Baba intervened. "That coconut cannot be replaced by a thousand others; for it was not a mere coconut; it was the very heart of my dear brother. Remember, how my brother had given it to you ?"
Pundalikrao recollected that Vasudevanand had held the cocoanut near his heart and said, "Give this to my brother." He had put his very heart in the coconut before handing it to Pundalikrao.
Highly developed souls like Vasudevanand and Sai Baba can communicate with each other by means of their psychic powers. That is how Vasudevanand had informed Sai Baba about the coconut he was sending. Baba too had immediately received that message. This is called telepathy (communicating mentally over long distance).