Antar Gyani Baba
One who knows the inside (of a man or a beast or even an ant) is called Antar-gyani. I will tell you a story which will show you how Baba was such a one.
Once Baba was walking along a road, by the side of which there flowed a rivulet. A serpent there was trying to swallow a frog which was piteously droning. A passer-by, hearing the cry, inquired, "What sound is this, Baba ?" "A serpent is swallowing a frog who is crying with fright of death. Now come with me and see how I save the frog."
So saying, Baba took the passer-by down to the stream and, addressing the serpent, be said in a stern voice, "Oh you, Virabhadra, are you still continuing your enmity with this Basappa even in this birth ? Shameless that you are, leave him at once and go away, I bid you."
Hearing these words, the serpent released the frog and humbly went away. The frog leapt in joy at Baba's feet and then took a dive into the water.
Said the passer-by. "Oh Baba, who are these Virabhadra and Basappa ? And what does vour rebuke signify "Oh, it's a pretty long tale" said Baba. "Now light the chillum (a clay-pipe) and while smoking I will tell you everything."
And taking a puff. Baba began- "In the village where I stayed formerly, there was an old Shiva temple. In order to renovate it, the villagers collected a fund and placed it in the hands of a rich sahukar. Their intention was that the sahukar will make up the shortfall and complete the renovation. But the sahukar, true to his clan, was a miser. Whatever work could be done out of the villagers' fund, he did and kept quiet. The villagers told him to be generous and finish the work on his own. But he would not budge an inch.
God Shiva then appeared in the dream of sahukar's wife. He told her to complete the work and promised that whatever she spent for the temple, He would give her a hundredfold in return.
She told this dream to her husband who merely laughed at it in derision.
She then decided to sell the ornaments which her father had given her and utilize the amount for the temple's renovation.
Coming to know of this, the sahukar said to his wife, "Well, a piece of land is in mortgage with me for a thousand rupees. This is exactly the worth of your ornaments. So give me the ornaments and I will give you the land which you may dedicate to Shiva."
In fact the land was barren. Dubki, a helpless woman, to whom it belonged, had mortgaged it to the sahukar for Rs. 200/- and had died. The rogue grabbed his wife's valuable ornaments and, in return, had given her that barren land to be offered to the God.
Poor wife, she fell a victim to this chicanery. She sold her ornaments and gave the land to Lord Shiva.
By custom, the ownership of the land vested in the pujari and the gurav (care taker) was supposed to look after it. Some time later, the sahukar and his wife both died by a stroke of lightening. The sahukar was reborn as a Brahmin in Mathura and was named Virbhadra. His wife was born as the daughter of Shiva's pujari and was named Gauri. Dubki was born as the son of the gurav and was named Basappa.
When Gauri came Of age, her father, the pujari, was anxious about her marriage. He approached me and I told her, "you need not worry; this girl is fortunate A suitable boy will come here and woo her."
As it happened, Virbhadra, while on business tour, visited the pujari's house. He came to like Gauri and the match was arranged with my approval.
After a few vears, the barren land was purchased by a housing colony for the fabulous sum of Rs. one Lakh and as, in the mean time, the pujari had died, the sum now belonged to his daughter Gauri, and so by implication, to her husband Virbbadra.
Gauri was the Sahakar's wife in former birth. She had bought' the land for Rs. 1000/- in lieu of her ornaments and dedicated it to Lord Shiva. Now in return, according to Shiva's promise, she had obtained a hundred fold i.e. one lakh. Thus Shiva's words had come true.
But now Basappa, the Gurav's son and heir, argued that the temple's gurav has a claim on half the 'produce' of the land. So he claimed half of the lakh of rupees which the land had yielded.
This brought him at logger heads with Virbhadra who would not entertain the gurav's claim. At last Virbhadra threatened to kill Basappa who came to my shelter and I promised to save him.
Tempers rose so high that both of them died in fits of delirium. Virbhadra is now born as a serpent and Basappa as a frog --- the very same you saw a little while back. And, according, to my promise, I have saved Basappa from the jaws of Virbhadra.
This is the story of the three births of these two souls.