Volume 13 - Issue 01
january 2015
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QUIZ ON SHIRDI SAI SATCHARITRA

Part 02

Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

Go to Part 01

In His twenty second year Swami was in Guindy, Chennai, at the invitation of a devotee to sanctify a temple he had built. When this devotee wanted an impression of His feet in sandal paste on a piece of silk cloth, Baba said, “I shall give you the feet of 'Sai Baba', My previous body” and lo, the impression that the silk cloth received from those lovely tender feet of His was that of a pair of feet nearly double the size of Baba's, and definitely that of a person above sixty years of age! Even today, this silk cloth with this mysterious sandal paste impression is present for all to see and to prove unequivocally that He is the same Baba come again. 

The way Swami made this known to Thammiraju, his childhood companion in Uravakonda, is amazing. The little Sathya gave him a picture of Shirdi Baba in an astoundingly new way - a bumble bee entered his room through an open window, with something rolled held fast by its legs. It dropped it and flew off; the paper was unrolled; it was a picture of Shirdi Lord! A few days later, a monkey perching on the window, outside his room, threw a small bundle of cloth into it; when the bundle was opened, Thammiraju writes, it was found to contain a ball of sweets! And also a letter from Sathya who was away at Puttaparthi. And what did the letter say? "The other day, I sent you with the bumblebee My picture; today, I am sending herewith Prasadam for you."

Well, that is the unmistakable Shirdi Sai-Sathya Sai link. And one of the most glorious sights in yesteryear Prasanthi Nilayam especially during the last day of Dasara celebrations used to be the torrential and unceasing flow of Vibhuti from the upturned empty pot into which Baba slid His hand and then came down a soft and white cascade onto a silver statue of Shirdi Sai... Sathya Sai doing abhishekam of Shirdi Sai! On the Vijayadasami Day in 1918, Shirdi Sai chose to leave His mortal coil.

During Dasara celebrations 2014 we had the first part of this quiz. Now we would like to continue this as there is nothing more satisfying that ruminating on the life and glories of the Lord.

01. In Chapter 18 &19 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant shares a story which later leads to the narration given by Shirdi Baba Himself about His own Guru, which not only teaches us about a true Guru/disciple relationship, but also that, if meditated upon, it can lead to fulfillment of desires:

“There was an old woman by name Radhabai... She loved Baba intimately and resolved in her mind, that she should accept Baba as her Guru. She knew nothing else. She determined to fast herself unto death, so long as Baba did not accept her, and give her any Upadesh or Mantra (initiating message or verse). She stayed in her lodging and refrained from taking any food or water for three days. I was frightened by this ordeal of the old woman, and interceded with Baba on her behalf. I said, 'Deva, what is this You have started? You drag so many persons here. You know that old lady. She is very obstinate and depends on You entirely, she has resolved to fast unto death if You don't accept and instruct her. If any thing worse happens, people will blame You, and say that Baba did not instruct her, and consequently she met her death. So take some mercy on her, bless her and instruct her."

On seeing her determination, Baba sent for her, changed the turn of her mind by addressing her as follows: “Oh mother, why are you subjecting yourself to unnecessary tortures and hastening your death? You are really My Mother and I am your child. Take pity on Me and hear Me through. I tell you My own story, which if you listen carefully, will do you good. I had a Guru. He was a great saint and most merciful. I served him long, very long; still he would not blow any Mantra into My ears. I had a keen desire, never to leave him but to stay with and serve him; and at all costs receive some instructions from him. But he had his own way. He first got my head shaved and asked Me two pice as Dakshina. I gave the same at once. If you say that as My Guru was perfect, why should he ask for money and how should he be called desireless? I replied plainly that he never cared for coins. What had he to do with them? His two pice were (1) Firm Faith and (2) Patience or perseverance. I gave these two pice or things to him, and he was pleased.

"I resorted to My Guru for 12 years. He brought Me up. There was no dearth of food and clothing. He was full of love nay, he was love incarnate. How can I describe it? He loved Me most. Rare is a Guru like him. When I looked at him, he seemed as if he was in deep meditation, and then we both were filled with Bliss. Night and day, I gazed at him with no thought of hunger and thirst. Without him, I felt restless. I had no other object to meditate, nor any other thing than My Guru to attend. He was My sole refuge. My mind was always fixed on him. This is one pice Dakshina. Saburi (Patience or perseverance) is the other pice. I waited patiently and very long on My Guru and served him. This Saburi will ferry you across the sea of this mundane existence. Saburi is manliness in man, it removes all sins and afflictions, gets rid of calamities in various ways, and casts aside all fear, and ultimately gives you success. Saburi is the mine of virtues, consort of good thought. Nishtha (Faith) and Saburi (Patience) are like twin sisters, loving each other very intimately."

Shirdi Baba then revealed: “My Guru never expected any other thing from Me. He never neglected Me, but protected Me at all times...He always protected Me by ________________”

  B. Allowing me to wash his feet everyday


02. In Chapter 24 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant shares how Shirdi Baba taught him to see Guru and God as One:

Unless we surrender our ego to the feet of our Sadguru, we will not succeed in our undertaking. If we become egoless, then our success is assured. By worshipping Sai Baba, we attain both the objects, worldly and spiritual, and are fixed in our true Nature, and get peace and happiness....Generally, all people like wit and humour, but they do not like that jokes should be cut at their expense. But Baba's method was peculiar; when it was accompanied with gestures, it was very interesting and instructive, and the people, therefore, did not mind, if they were held up to the ridicule.

In Shirdi, bazar was held every Sunday, and people from the neighbouring villages came there, erected booths and stalls on the street, and sold their wares and commodities. Every noon, the Masjid was crowded more or less; but on Sunday, it was crowded to suffocation. On one such Sunday, Hemadpant sat in front of Baba, shampooing His legs and muttering God's name. Shama was on Baba's left, Vamanrao to His right - Shriman Booty and Kakasaheb Dixit and others were also present there. Then Shama laughed and said to Annasaheb - “See... some grains seem to have stuck to the sleeve of your coat.” So saying he touched the sleeve and found that there were some grains. Hemadpant straightened his left forearm to see what the matter was, when to the the surprise of all, some grains of gram come rolling down and were picked up by the people who were sitting there.

This incident furnished a subject-matter for joke. Everybody present began to wonder and said something or other as to how the grains found their way into the sleeve of the coat and lodged there so long. Hemadpant also could not guess how they found an entrance and stayed there. When nobody could give any satisfactory explanation in this matter, and everybody was wondering about this mystery, Baba said as follows:

"This fellow (Annasaheb) has got the bad habit of eating alone. Today is a bazar-day and he was here chewing grams. I know his habit and these grams are a proof of it. What wonder is there is this matter?" Hemadpant - "Baba, I never know of eating things alone; then why do you thrust this bad habit on me? I have never yet seen Shirdi bazar. I never went to the bazar today, then how could I buy grams, and how could I eat them if I had not bought them? I never eat anything unless I share it with others present near me".

Baba - "It is true that you give to the persons present; but if none be near-by, what could you or I do? But do you remember Me before eating? Am I not always with you? Then do you offer Me anything before you eat?"

Sri Hemadpant then brings awareness to us: “Let us mark and note carefully, what Baba has taught us, by this incident. He has advised us that _____________________________”

 

03.In Chapter 23 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant shares a story that makes us self-introspect our own faith and devotion:

Once somebody brought a goat to the Masjid. It was weak, old and about to die. At this time Fakir Pir Mohamad of Malegaon alias Bade Baba was near. Sai Baba asked him to behead it with one stroke, and offer it as an oblation. This Bade Baba was much respected by Sai Baba. He always sat on the right hand of Sai Baba. After the chilim (pipe) was first smoked by him, it was then offered to Baba and others. After the dishes were served, at the time of taking meals at noon, Baba respectfully called Bade Baba and made him sit on His left side, and then all partook of food. Baba paid him also daily Rs 50/- out of the amount collected as Dakshina. Baba accompanied him hundred paces whenever he was going away. Such was his position with Baba.

But when Baba asked him to behead the goat, he flatly refused, saying, "Why should it be killed for nothing?" Then Baba asked Shama to kill it. He went to Radha-Krishna-Mai and brought a knife from her and placed it before Baba. Knowing the purpose for which the knife was taken, she recalled it. Then Shama went to bring another knife, but stayed in the Wada, and did not return soon.

Then came the turn of Kakasaheb Dixit. He was 'good gold' no doubt, but had to be tested. Baba asked him to get a knife and kill the goat. He went to Sathe's Wada and returned with a knife. He was ready to kill it at Baba's bidding. He was born in a pure Brahmin family and never in his life knew killing. Though quite averse to do any act of violence, he made himself bold to kill the goat. All the people wondered to see that Bade Baba, a Mahomedan was unwilling to kill it while this pure Brahmin was making preparations to do so. He tightened his dhotar (garment) and with a semicircular motion raised his hand with the knife and looked at Baba for the final signal. Baba said, "What are you thinking of? Go on, strike". Then, when the hand was just about to come down, Baba said, "Stop, how cruel you are! Being a Brahmin, you are killing a goat?"

Kakasaheb obeyed and kept the knife down and said to Baba: “Your nectar-like word _________ , we do not know any other ordinance.”

 

04. In Chapter 18-19 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant shares a story to bring home the lesson of the importance of self-effort to attain Self-Realization:

Once it so happened that a devotee of Baba reviled another behind his back, before other people. Leaving aside merits, he dwelt on the faults of his brother, and spoke so sarcastically that the hearers were disgusted. Generally, we see that people have a tendency to scandalize others unnecessarily, and this brings on hatred and ill-will.

Saints see scandal in another light. They say that there are various ways of cleansing or removing dirt, viz. by means of earth, water and soap etc., but a scandal-monger has got a way of his own. He removes the dirt (faults) of others by his tongue; so in a way he obliges the person whom he reviles and for this he is to be thanked. Sai Baba had His own method of correcting the scandal-monger. He knew by His Omniscience what the slanderer had done and when He met him at noon near the Lendi, Baba pointed out to him a pig that was eating filth near the fence and said to him - "Behold how, with what relish it is gorging dung. Your conduct is similar. You go on reviling your own brethren to your heart's content. After performing many deeds of merit, you are born a man, and if you act like this, will Shirdi help you in any way?" Needless to say, the devotee took the lesson to his heart, and went away.

In this way Baba went on giving instructions whenever necessary. If these are borne in our minds and acted upon, the spiritual goal (realization) is not far off. There is a proverb which says - "If there be my Hari (Lord), He will feed me on my cot." This proverb is only true in respect of food and clothing, but if anyone trusting in this, sits quiet and does nothing in spiritual matters, he will be ruined.

Sri Hemadpant then concluded: “One has to ______________ for attaining self-realization."


 

05. In Chapter 39 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant reveals Shirdi Baba’s Divine Nature of an All-Knowing Brahman: Nobody believed that Baba knew Sanskrit. One day He surprised all by giving a good interpretation of a verse from the Gita to Nanasaheb Chandorkar. Nanasaheb Chandorkar was a good student of Vedanta. He had read Gita with commentaries and prided himself on his knowledge of all that. He fancied that Baba knew nothing of all this or of Sanskrit. So Baba one day pricked the bubble. These were the days before crowds flocked to Baba, when Baba had solitary talks at the Mosque with such devotees. Nana was sitting near Baba and massaging His legs and muttering something.

Baba - “Nana, what are you mumbling yourself?” Nana - “I am reciting a shloka (verse) from Sanskrit.”

Baba - “What shloka?”

Nana - “From Bhagawad-Gita.”

Baba - “Utter it loudly.”

Nana then recited B.G.IV-34 which is as follows :- Tadviddhi Pranipatena Pariprashnena Sevaya, Upadekshyanti Te Jnanam Jnaninastattwadarshinah

Baba - “Nana, do you understand it?” Nana - “Yes.”

Baba - “If you do, then tell me.”

Nana - “It means this - ‘Making Sashtanga Namaskar, i.e., prostration, questioning the Guru, serving him, learn what this Jnana (wisdom) is. Then, those Jnanis that have attained the real knowledge of the Sad-Vastu (Brahma) will give you upadesha (instruction) of Jnana." Baba - “Nana, I do not want this sort of collected purport of the whole stanza. Give me each word, its grammatical force and meaning.” Then Nana explained it word by word.

Baba - “Nana, is it enough to make prostration merely?” Nana - “I do not know any other meaning for the word 'pranipata' than 'making prostration'.

Baba - “What is 'pariprashna'? Nana - “Asking questions.” Baba - What does 'Prashna' mean? Nana - “The same (questioning).”

Baba - “If 'pariprashna' means the same as prashna (question), why did Vyasa add the prefix 'pari'? Was Vyasa off his head?” Nana - “I do not know of any other meaning for the word 'pariprashna'.”

Baba - “Seva, what sort of 'seva' is meant?” Nana - “Just what we are doing always.” Baba - “Is it enough to render such service?” Nana - “I do not know what more is signified by the word 'seva'.”

Baba explained how one must truly serve a Guru: “One must feel that he is not the master of the body, that the body ___________”


06. In continuance of the Chapter 39 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant shares some more nectarous words of wisdom that Shirdi Baba imparted to the blessed souls present there as Nana did not understand what is meant by saying that a Guru teaches ajnana.

Baba - “How is Jnana Upadesh, i.e., imparting of realization to be effected? Destroying ignorance is Jnana....Expelling darkness means light. Destroying duality (dwaita) means non-duality (adwaita). Whenever we speak of destroying Dwaita, we speak of Adwaita. Whenever we talk of destroying darkness, we talk of light. If we have to realize the Adwaita state, the feeling of Dwaita in ourselves has to be removed. That is the realization of the Adwaita state. Who can speak of Adwaita while remaining in Dwaita? If one did, unless one gets into that state, how can one know it and realize it?

“Again, the Shishya (disciple) like the Sadguru is really embodiment of Jnana. The difference between the two lies in the attitude, high realization, marvelous super-human Sattva (beingness) and unrivaled capacity and Aishwarya Yoga (divine powers). The Sadguru is Nirguna (beyond attributes), Sat-Chit-Ananda. He has indeed taken human form to elevate mankind and raise the world. But his real Nirguna nature is not destroyed thereby, even a bit. His beingness (or reality), divine power and wisdom remain undiminished. The disciple also is in fact of the same swarupa (form). But, it is overlaid by the effect of the samskaras of innumerable births in the shape of ignorance, which hides from his view that he is Shuddha Chaitanya (Pure Consciousness). As stated therein, he gets the impressions - "I am Jiva, a creature, humble and poor."

“The Guru has to root out these off-shoots of ignorance and has to give upadesh or instruction. To the disciple, held spell-bound for endless generations by the ideas of his being a creature, humble and poor, the Guru imparts in hundreds of births the teaching - ‘You are God, you are mighty and opulent.’ Then, he realizes a bit that he is God really.

“The perpetual delusion under which the disciple is labouring, that he is the body, that he is a creature (jiva) or ego, that God (Paramatma) and the world are different from him, is an error inherited from innumerable past births. From actions based on it, he has derived his joy, sorrows and mixtures of both. To remove this delusion or error or root ignorance, he must start the inquiry. How did the ignorance arise? Where is it? And to show him this, is called the Guru's upadesh.”

Shirdi Baba further added: “Pranipata implies _______________”


07. In Chapter 16-17 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant shares with us how Shirdi Baba straightened a rich man, who came to Him and implored Him to give him Brahma-Jnana (highest wisdom).

There was a rich gentleman who was very prosperous in his life. He had amassed a large quantity of wealth, houses, field and lands, and had many servants and dependents. When Baba's fame reached his ears, he said to a friend of his, that he was not in want of anything, and so he would go to Shirdi and ask Baba to give him Brahma-Jnana which, if he got, would certainly make him more happy. His friend dissuaded him, saying, "It is not easy to know Brahman, and especially so for an avaricious man like you, who is always engrossed in wealth, wife and children. Who will, in your quest of Brahma-Jnana, satisfy you when you won't give away even a pice in charity?"

Not minding his friend's advice, the fellow engaged a return-journey tanga and came to Shirdi. He went to the Masjid, saw Sai Baba, fell at His Feet and said, "Baba, hearing that You show the Brahman to all who come over here without any delay, I have come here all the way from my distant place. I am much fatigued by the journey and if I get the Brahman from You, my troubles will be well-paid and rewarded."

Baba then replied, "Oh, My dear friend, do not be anxious, I shall immediately show you the Brahman; all My dealings are in cash and never on credit. So many people come to Me, and ask for wealth, health, power, honour, position, cure of diseases and other temporal matters. Rare is the person, who comes here to Me and asks for Brahma-Jnana....I think it a lucky and auspicious moment, when persons like you come and press Me for Brahma-Jnana. So I show to you with pleasure, the Brahman with all its accompaniments and complications."

Baba told the gentleman: “This path of Brahma-Jnana of self-realization is 'as hard as ___________________'.”


08.In continuance of Chapters 16-17 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant shares with us the qualifications for Brahma-Jnana or Self-Realization and tells us that Sai Baba then gave rather a long discourse on the subject, the purport of which is given below:

“All persons do not see or realize the Brahman in their life-time. Certain qualifications are absolutely necessary. (1) Mumuksha or intense desire to get free. He, who thinks that he is bound and that he should get free from bondage and works earnestly and resolutely to that end; and who does not care for any other things, is qualified for the spiritual life. (2) Virakti or a feeling of disgust with the things of this world and the next. Unless a man feels disgusted with the things, emoluments and honors, which his action would bring in this world and the next, he has no right to enter into the spiritual realm. (3) Antarmukhata (introversion) - Our senses have been created by God with a tendency to move outward and so, man always looks outside himself and not inside. He who wants self-realization and immortal life, must turn his gaze inwards, and look to his inner Self. (4) Catharsis from (Purging away of) sins. Unless a man has turned away from wickedness, and stopped from doing wrong, and has entirely composed himself and unless his mind is at rest, he cannot gain self-realization, even by means of knowledge. (5) Right Conduct. Unless, a man leads a life of truth, penance and insight, a life of celibacy, he cannot get God-realization.

“6) Preferring Shreyas (the Good) to Preyas (the Pleasant). There are two sorts of things viz., the Good and the Pleasant; the former deals with spiritual affairs, and the latter with mundane matters. Both these approach man for acceptance. He has to think and choose one of them. The wise man prefers the Good to the Pleasant; but the unwise, through greed and attachment, chooses the Pleasant. (7) Control of the mind and the senses. The body is the chariot and the Self is its master; intellect is the charioteer and the mind is the reins; the senses are the horses and sense-objects their paths. He who has no understanding and whose mind is unrestrained, his senses unmanageable like the vicious horses of a charioteer, does not reach his destination (get realization), but goes through the round of births and deaths; but he who has understanding and whose mind is restrained, his senses being under control, like the good horse of a charioteer, reaches that place, i.e., the state of self-realization, when he is not born again. The man, who has understanding as his charioteer (guide) and is able to rein his mind, reaches the end of the journey, which is the supreme abode of the all-pervading, Vishnu (lord).

“8) Purification of the mind. Unless a man discharges satisfactorily and disinterestedly the duties of his station in life, his mind will not be purified and, unless his mind is purified, he cannot get self-realization. It is only in the purified mind that Viveka (discrimination between the Unreal and the Real), and Vairagya (Non-attachment to the unreal) crop up and lead on the self-realization. Unless egoism is dropped, avarice got rid of, and the mind made desireless (pure), self-realization is not possible. The idea that 'I am the body' is a great delusion, and attachment to this idea is the cause of bondage. Leave off this idea and attachment therefore, if you want to get to the Self-realization. (9) The necessity of a Guru. The knowledge of the self is so subtle and mystic, that no one could, by his own individual effort ever hope to attain it. So the help of another person-Teacher, who has himself got self-realization is absolutely necessary. What others cannot give with great labour and pains, can be easily gained with the help of such a Teacher; for he has walked on the path himself and can easily take the disciple, step by step on the ladder of spiritual progress.”

Shirdi Baba then reveals the last qualification to realize Brahman: “And lastly _____________ is the most essential thing.”


09. In Chapter 27 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant shares with us one of Shirdi Baba’s unique methods of teaching and initiating one to the path of spirituality: “It was the habit of some devotees to take some religious books, of which they wanted to make a special study, to Baba and to receive the same back from Him, after they were touched and consecrated by Him. While reading daily such books, they felt that Baba was with them.

“Shama was a very intimate devotee of Baba and Baba wanted to favour him in a particular way by giving him a copy of Vishnu-Sahasra-Nam as Prasad. This was done in the following way.

“Once a Ramadasi (follower of Saint Ramadas) came to Shirdi and stayed for some time. The routine he followed daily was as follows: He got up early in the morning, washed his face, bathed and then after wearing saffron-coloured clothes and besmearing himself with sacred ashes, read Vishnu-Sahasra-Nam (a book giving a thousand names in praise of Vishnu, and held second in importance to Bhagwad Geeta) and Adhyatma-Ramayana (Esoteric version of Rama's story) with faith. He read these books often and often and then after some days Baba thought of favouring and initiating Shama with Vishnu-Sahasra-Nam. He, therefore, called the Ramadasi to Him and said to him that He was suffering from intense stomach-pain and unless He took Senna-pods (Sona-mukhi, a mild purgative drug) the pain would not stop; so he should please go to the bazar and bring the drug. The Ramadasi closed his reading and went to the bazar.

“Then Baba descended from His seat, came to the Ramadasi's place of reading, took out the copy of Vishnu-Sahasra-Nam, and coming to His seat said to Shama - "Oh Shama, this book is very valuable and efficacious, so I present it to you, you read it. Once I suffered intensely and My heart began to palpitate and My life was in danger. At that critical time, I hugged this book to My heart and then, Shama, what a relief it gave me! I thought that Allah Himself came down and saved Me. So I give this to you, read it slowly, little by little, read daily one name at least and it will do you good." Shama replied that he did not want it, and that the owner of it, the Ramadasi who was a mad, obstinate and irritable fellow would certainly pick up a quarrel with him, besides, being a rustic himself, he could not read distinctly the Sanskrit (Devanagari) letters of the book.

“Shama thought that Baba wanted to set him up against the Ramadasi by this act of His, but he had no idea of what Baba felt for him...This sadhana, Baba wanted Shama to practice, though he did not crave for it. So Baba forced this on him. The Ramadasi returned soon with the Seena-pods. Anna Chinchanikar, who was then present and who wanted to play the part of Narada (the Celestial Rishi who was well-known for setting up quarrels between Gods and demons and vice versa), informed him of what had happened.

The Ramadasi at once flared up. He came down at once on Shama with all fury. He said that it was Shama who set Baba to send him away under the pretext of stomach-ache for bringing the medicine and thus got the book. He began to scold and abuse Shama and remarked that if the book be not returned, he would dash his head before him. Shama calmly remonstrated with him, but in vain. Then Baba spoke kindly to him as follows - "Oh Ramadasi, what is the matter with you? Why are you so turbulent? Is not Shama our boy? Why do you scold him unnecessarily. How is it that you are so quarrelsome? Can you not speak soft and sweet words? You read daily these sacred books and still your mind is impure and your passions uncontrolled. What sort of a Ramadasi you are! You ought to be indifferent to all things. Is it not strange that you should covet this book so strongly? A true Ramadasi should have no 'mamata' (attachment) but have 'samata' (equality) towards all. You are now quarreling with the boy Shama for a mere book. Go, take your seat, books can be had in plenty for money, but not men; think well and be considerate. What worth is your book? Shama had no concern with it. I took it up Myself and gave it to him. You know it by heart. I thought Shama might read it and profit thereby, and so I gave to it him."

According to Shri Hemadpant, ‘had this procedure been not gone through, the importance of the subject, _____________ and the study of Vishnu-Sahasra-Nam would not have been brought home to Shama.”


10. In Chapter 12 of the Shri Sai Sat Charitra, Sri Hemadpant shares with us the ultimate reward of having firm faith in a Guru: “An orthodox Agnihotri Brahmin of Nasik, by name Moolay Shastri, who had studied the six Shastras and was well-versed in astrology and palmistry, once came to Shirdi to see Mr. Bapusaheb Booty, the famous millionaire of Nagpur. After seeing him, he and others went to see Baba in the Masjid. Baba bought various fruits and other things from vendors with His own money, and distributed them to the persons present in the Masjid. Baba used to press the mango on all sides so skillfully that when any person received it from Baba and sucked it, he got all the pulp at once in his mouth and could throw away the stone and the skin forthwith. Plantains were peeled off by Baba and the kernel was distributed to the devotees, while the skins were retained by Baba for Himself.

Moolay Shastri, as a palmist, wanted to examine Baba's hand or palm and requested Him to extend the same. Baba ignored his request and gave four plantains to him. Then, they all returned to the Wada and Moolay Shastri bathed, wore sacred clothes, and started his routine duties, viz. Agnihotra etc. Then Baba as usual started for Lendi and said - "Take some Geru (i.e. a red miry substance, to dye clothes in saffron-colour), we shall today don saffron-coloured cloth.” None understood what Baba meant. Then after some time when Baba returned, and preparations for the noon-Arati were being made, Bapusaheb Jog asked Moolay Shastri, whether he would accompany him for the Aarti. He replied that he would see Baba in the afternoon. Very soon Baba sat on his seat, was worshipped by the devotees and Aarti commenced. Then Baba said - "Get some Dakshina from the new (Nasik) Brahmin." Booty himself went to get the Dakshina; and when he gave Baba's message to Moolay Shastri, he was sorely perplexed. He thought in his mind thus: "I am a pure Agnihotri Brahmin, why should I pay Dakshina? Baba may be a great Saint. I am not His dependent." But as a great Saint like Sai Baba was asking for Dakshina through a millionaire like Booty, he could not refuse. So leaving his routine unfinished, he forthwith started with Booty to the Masjid. Thinking himself holy and sacred, and the Masjid otherwise, he remained at a distance, and joining his hands threw flowers at Baba. Then lo! all of a sudden, he saw no Baba on the seat, but saw his late Guru Gholap Swami there. He was wonder-struck. Could this be a dream? No, it was not, as he was wide awake; but though awake, how could his late Guru Gholap be there? He was speechless for some time. He pinched himself and thought again, but could not reconcile the fact of his late Guru Gholap being in the Masjid.

Ultimately, leaving all doubt, he went up, fell at his Guru's feet and then getting up stood there with folded hands. Other people sang Baba's Aarti, while Moolay Shastri chanted his Guru's name. Then casting off all pride of caste and ideas about sacredness, he fell flat at his Guru's feet and closed his eyes. When he got up and opened his eyes, he saw Baba asking for Dakshina. Seeing Baba's blissful form, and His inconceivable power, Moolay Shastri forgot himself. He was extremely pleased, his eyes were full of tears of joy. He again saluted Baba and gave the Dakshina. He said that his doubt was removed and that he saw his own Guru. On seeing his wonderful Leela of Baba all the people, including Moolay Shastri, were much moved, and they realized the meaning of Baba's words, "Bring Geru, we shall don saffron-coloured garment." Such is the wonderful Leela of Baba.

By experiencing such Leela’s of Shirdi Baba, what would be the effect on the devotees?



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