Tested And Never Found Wanting
Kaka Mahajani's Friend and Master - Bandra Insomnia Case - Bala Patil Newaskar.
This Chapter also continues the subject of the importance of the Udi; it also gives two cases in which Baba was tested and not found wanting. These cases will be taken up first.
In spiritual matters or endeavours, sectarianism is the greatest bar to our progress. Those, who believe the God is without form, are heard saying that to believe the God is with the form is an illusion and that the Saints are only human beings. Then why should they bend their heads before them and offer Dakshina? Persons belonging to other sects will also raise objections and say, "Why should they bow and offer allegiance to other Saints, leaving their Sadgurus?" Similar objections regarding Sai Baba were heard before and are heard even now. Some said that when they went to Shirdi, Baba asked for Dakshina from them. Is it good that Saints should collect money in this fashion? If they do so, where is their Sainthood? But there are many instances where men went to Shirdi to scoff; but remained there to pray. Two such instances are given below.
Kaka Mahajani's Friend
A friend of Kaka Mahajani was a worshipper of God without form and was averse to idolatry. Out of curiosity he agreed to go to Shirdi with Kaka Mahajani on two conditions, viz., (1) that he would neither bow to Baba, (2) nor pay Him any Dakshina. Kaka agreed to these conditions and they both left Bombay on a Saturday night and reached Shirdi the next morning. As soon as they put their feet on the steps of the Masjid, Baba, looking at the friend from a little distance, addressed him in sweet words as follows, "Oh, welcome sir"*. The tone that uttered these words was a very peculiar one. It exactly resembled the tone of the friend's father. It reminded him of his departed father and sent a thrill of joy through his body. What an enchanting power the tone had! Being surprised the friend said, "This is no doubt the voice of my father". Then he at once up and, forgetting his resolution, placed his head upon Baba's Feet.
Then Baba asked for Dakshina twice, once in the morning and again at noon at the time of their taking leave; but He asked it from Kaka only and not from the friend. The latter whispered to Kaka, "Baba asked for Dakshina from you twice. I am with you, why does He omit me?" You ask Baba Himself" was Kaka's reply. Baba asked Kaka what his friend was whispering, then the friend asked Baba himself whether he should pay any Dakshina. Baba replied, "You had no mind to pay, so you were not asked; but if you want to pay now you may." Then the friend paid Rs.17 as Dakshina, the same amount that Kaka paid. Baba then addressed him a few words of advice, "You do away, destroy the Teli's wall (sense of difference) between us, so that we can see and meet each other face to face". Then Baba allowed them to depart. Thought the weather was cloudy and threatening, Baba assured them of their safe journey and both of them reached Bombay safely. When he reached home and opened the door and windows of his house, he found two sparrows fallen dead on the ground and one just flying out through a window. He thought that if he had left the windows open, two sparrows would have been saved, but thought again, that they had met their lot and that Baba had sent him back soon just to save the third sparrow.
Kaka Mahajani's Master
Kaka was the Manager in the firm of Thakkar Dharmasey Jethabhai, a solicitor of Bombay. Both the Master and the Manager were on intimate terms. Mr. Thakkar knew that Kaka was often going to Shirdi, staying there for some days and returning, when Baba permitted him. Out of curiosity and just to test Baba, Mr. Thakkar decided to go to Shirdi with Kaka during Shimga holidays. As Kaka's return was uncertain, he took another man with him as an associate. The three started together and Kaka bought two seers of raisins (dried grapes with seed) on the way for presentation to Baba. They reached Shirdi in due time, and went to the Masjid for darshan. Then Babasaheb Tarkhad was there, Mr. Thakkar asked him why he came there. "For darshan", Tarkhad replied. Mr. Thakkar asked if miracles took place there. Tarkhad replied that it (to see miracles) was not his attitude, but the earnest intentions of the Bhaktas were satisfied here. Then Kaka prostrated himself before Baba and offered the raisins to Him. Baba ordered them to be distributed. Mr. Thakkar got a few of them. He did not like the raisins and he was advised by his doctor not to eat them without washing and cleaning them. So he was in a fix. He did not like to eat them, nor could he reject them. To keep up formalities, he put them into his mouth, but did not know what to do with the seeds. He could not spit them out on the floor of the Masjid, so he pocketed them against his wish. He then said in his mind that if Baba was a Saint, how could He be ignorant of his dislike for the raisins and could He force them on him. When this thought arose in his mind Baba again gave him some more raisins. He could not eat them, but held them in his hand. Then Baba asked him to eat them up. He obeyed and found, to his surprise, that they were all seedless. He wanted to see miracles and here was one. He knew that Baba read his thought; and as per his wish converted raisins (with seeds) into seedless grapes. What a wonderful power! Again to test further he asked Tarkhad, who was sitting by and who also got some raisins- "What kind of grapes you got?" He replied- "The variety with seeds." Mr. Tharkkar was still more surprised to hear this. Then to confirm his growing faith Thakkar thought in his mind, that if Baba was a real Saint, the raisins should be now given to Kaka first. Reading this thought also, Baba ordered that distribution should be commenced from Kaka. These proofs were sufficient for Thakkar.
Then Shama introduced Mr. Thakkar as the master of Kaka, upon which Baba said, "How could he be his master? He has got a different Master altogether". Kaka appreciated this reply. Forgetting his resolve, Thakkar saluted Baba and returned to the Wada.
After the noon-Arati was over, they all went to the Masjid for taking Baba's leave for their departure. Sharma spoke for them. Baba then spoke as follows:-
"There was a fickle-minded gentleman. He had health and wealth and was free from both physical and mental afflictions, but he took on him needless anxieties and burdens and wandered hither and thither, thus losing his peace of mind. Sometimes he dropped the burdens and at other times carried them again. His mind knew no steadiness. Seeing his state, I took pity on him and said, "Now please keep your faith on any one place (point) you like, why roam like this? Stick quietly to one place.
Thakkar at once came to know that, that was an exact description of himself. He wished that Kaka should also return with him but no one expected that Kaka would be allowed to leave Shirdi so soon. Baba read also this thought to his and permitted Kaka to return with his master. Thakkar got one more proof of Baba's capacity to read another's mind.
Then Baba asked Kaka for Rs. 15/- as Dakshina and received it. To Kaka He said, "If I take one rupee as Dakshina from anybody I have to return it tenfold to him. I never take anything gratis. I never ask any one indiscriminately. I only ask and take from him whom the Fakir (My Guru) points out. If any one is indebted formerly to the Fakir money is received from him. The donor gives, i.e. sows his seeds, only to reap a rich harvest in future. Wealth should be the means to work out Dharma. If it is used for personal enjoyment, it is wasted. Unless you have given it before, you do not get it now. So the best way to receive is to give. The giving of Dakshina advances Vairagya (Non-attachment) and thereby Bhakti and Jnana. Give one and receive tenfold".
On hearing these words Mr. Thakkar himself gave Rs.15/- in Baba's hand, forgetting his resolve not to do so. He thought he did well in coming to Shirdi as all his doubts were solved and he learnt so much.
Baba's skill in handling such cases was unique. Though He did all those things He was totally non-attached to them. Whether anybody saluted Him or not, or whether anybody gave Him Dakshina or not, it was the same to Him. None He disrespected. He felt no pleasure because He was worshipped and no pain because He was disregarded. He transcended the pairs of opposites, viz. pleasure and pain, etc.
A Kayastha Prabhu gentleman of Bandra suffered from Insomnia for long. As soon as he laid himself down for sleep, his departed father appeared to him in his dream, and abused and scolded him severely. This broke his sleep and made him restless the whole night. Every night this went on and the man did not know what to do. One day he consulted a devotee of Baba in this respect. He recommended the Udi as the only infallible remedy he knew. He gave him some Udi and asked him to apply a little of it to his forehead before going to bed and keep the Udipacket under the pillow. He tried this remedy and found, to his great surprise and joy, that he got sound sleep and that there was no disturbance of any kind. He continued the remedy and always remembered Sai. Then he got a picture of Sai Baba which he hung on the wall near his pillow and started worshipping it daily and on Thursdays, offering garland, naivedya etc. Then he got on well and forgot altogether his past trouble.
Balaji Patil Newaskar
This man was a great devotee of Baba. He rendered most excellent and disinterested service. Every day he swept and kept clean all the passages and streets in Shirdi through which Baba passed in His daily routine. This work was, after him, equally well-done by another female devotee named Rahda-Krishna-Mai, and after her by Abdoola. When Balaji reaped his corn every year, he brought the whole quantity and presented it to Baba. He returned with what Baba gave him and maintained himself and his family with it. This course was followed by him for many years and after him by his son.
Power and Efficacy of Udi
Once it happened that at Balaji's death anniversary day, a certain number of guests were invited and the dinner was prepared for them. But at the dinner-time it was found that thrice the number of people invited had turned up. Mrs. Newaskar was in a fix. She thought that the food would not suffice for the people assembled and that if it fell short, the honour of the family would be at stake. Her mother-in-law comforted her by saying, "Don't be afraid, it is not ours, but Sai's food; cover every vessel with cloth, putting some Udi in it, and serve from the same without opening it : Sai will save us from ignominy." She did as she was advised and it was found to their surprise and joy that not only did the food suffice for all, but plenty of it remained after serving. "As one feels intently, so he realizes accordingly" was proved in this case.
Sai Appearing as Serpent
Once Raghu Patil of Shirdi went to Balaji Patil at Newase. That evening he found that a serpent entered the cowshed hissing. All the cattle were afraid and began to move. The immates of the house were frightened, but Balaji thought that it was Sai Who appreared in his house as a serpent. Without being afraid in the least he brought a cup of milk and placing it before the serpent said, "Baba, why do you miss and make noise? Do you want to frighten us? Take this cup of milk and drink it with a calm mind". Saying this, he sat close by unperturbed. The other members were frightened and did not know what to do. In a short time the serpent disappeared. Nobody knew where it went. It was not found though a search was made in the cowshed.
Balaji had two wives and some children. They sometimes went to Shirdi from Newase for taking Baba's darshana. Then Baba bought saris and other clothes which were given to them with His blessings.