Sai Satcharita – Chapter 14 – Charity and Renunciation

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Value: Charity

Subvalue: Renunciation, Purification

 

Story

Charity to the needy

It is a well-known fact that Baba always asked for Dakshina from people who went to see Him. Somebody may ask a question, “If Baba was a Fakir and perfectly non-attached, why should he ask for Dakshina and care for money?” We shall consider this question broadly now.

First for a long time, Baba did not accept anything. He stored burnt matches and filled His pocket with them. He never asked anything from anybody–whether he be a devotee or otherwise. If anybody placed before Him a pice or two, He purchased oil or tobacco. He was fond of tobacco, for He always smoked a bidi or Chilim (an earthen pipe). Then some persons thought that they could not see the Saints empty-handed, and they, therefore, placed some copper coins before Baba. If a pice was placed before Him. He used to pocket it; if it was a two pice coin, it was returned immediately. Then after Baba’s fame had spread far and wide, people began to flock in numbers; and Baba began to ask Dakshina from them. It is said in the Shruti (veda) that Puja of the Gods is not complete, unless a golden coin was offered. If a coin was necessary in the Puja of the Gods, why should it be not so in the Puja of the Saints also? Ultimately, the Shastras laid it down that, when one goes to see God, King, Saint or Guru, he should not go empty-handed. He should offer something, preferably coin or money. In this connection we may notice the precepts recommended by the Upanishads. The Brihadaranyak Upanishad says that the Lord Prajapati advised the Gods, men and demons by one letter “Da”. The Gods understood by this letter that they should practice (1) “Dama” i.e. self-control; the men thought or understood that they should practice (2) “Dana” i.e. charity; the demons understood that they should practice (3) “Daya” i.e. compassion. To men Charity or giving was recommended. The teacher in the Taittiriya Upanishad exhorts his pupils to practise charity and other virtues. Regarding charity he says, “Give with faith, give with magnanimity, i.e. liberally, give with modesty, with awe and with sympathy. In order to teach the devotees the lesson of charity and to remove their attachment to money and thus to purify their minds, Baba extracted Dakshina from them; but there was this peculiarity, as Baba said, that He had to give back hundred times more of what He received. There are many instances, in which this has happened. To quote an instance, Mr. Ganpatrao Bodas, the famous actor, says in his Marathi autobiography, that on Baba’s pressing him often and often for Dakshina, he emptied his money-bag before Him. The result of this was, as Mr. Bodas says, that in later life he never lacked money, as it came to him abundantly.

There were also secondary meanings of Dakshina, in many cases, in which Baba did not want any pecuniary amount. To quote two instances – (1) Baba asked Rs.15/- as Dakshina from Pro. G.G.Narke, who replied that he did not have even a pie. Then Baba said, “I know you have no money; but you are reading Yoga-Vashistha. Give Me Dakshina from that.” Giving Dakshina in this case meant – `Deriving lessons from the book and lodging them in the heart where Baba resides’. (2) In the second case Baba asked a certain lady (Mrs. R. A. Tarkhad) to give Rs.6/- as Dakshina. The lady felt pained, as she had nothing to give. Then her husband explained to her that Baba wanted six inner enemies (lust, anger, avarice etc.) to be surrendered to Him. Baba agreed with this explanation.

It is to be noted, that though Baba collected a lot of money by Dakshina, He would distribute the whole amount the same day, and the next morning He would become a poor Fakir as usual. When Baba took His Mahasamadhi, after receiving thousands and thousands of Rupees as Dakshina for about ten years, He had only a few Rupees in His possession.

In short, Baba’s main object in taking Dakshina, from His devotees was to teach them the lessons of Renunciation and Purification.

 

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Post-script

Mr. B. V. Deo of Thana, retired Mamlatdar, and a great devotee of Baba, has written an article on this subject (Dakshina) in “Shri Sai Leela” magazine, Vol.VII, P.6-26, in which he says amongst other things, as follows:-

“Baba did not ask Dakshina from all. If some gave Dakshina without being asked, He sometimes accepted it; and at other times He refused it. He asked it from certain devotees only. He never demanded it, from those devotees, who thought in their minds that Baba should ask them for it, and then they should pay it. If anybody offered it against His wish, He never touched it, and if he kept it there, He asked him to take it away. He asked for small or big amounts from devotees, according to their wish, devotion and convenience. He asked it, even from women and children. He never asked all the rich for it, nor from all the poor.”

Essence

Baba tried to make his devotees understand, Charity is one of the virtues which when practiced is a two way benefit for both the person receiving and the person giving. The person receiving feels satisfied as his needs are fulfilled and feels happy and the person giving will become free both from desires and material world.

For Children

It is a good practice to share your things with your friends and siblings. You will able to see a smile and joy on their face when they receive from you, which in turn will make you happy. So try to inculcate the habit of sharing small things in day to day life and which can bring smiles on many faces and make the day a happier one.

The story below describes the good habit Charity,

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/king-rantideva/

Seek Within

 

Value- Truth

Sub value- Introspection

There was a girl of marriageable age and her parents had selected the groom, who in accordance with ancient customs was first in the line of marriageable relatives. But the girl was determined only to marry a person who was the best among all. So the parents left her alone.

The girl said that the king is higher than everyone else and she will marry none other than the king. And she kept following the King.

The king was riding in a palanquin one day and met a sanyasi on the way. The king got down, made his obeisance to the holy man and then continued on his way.

The girl was watching: “what a fool I am to think that the king is the highest among men. The Sanyasi seems to be higher than the king. I must somehow marry the holy man.” Thinking so, this girl followed the Sanyasi.

One day, when following the Sanyasi, she saw him paying his respects to an idol of Lord Ganesh under a banyan tree. She then changed her opinion and decided to marry Lord Ganesh as she found him higher than the Sanyasi who paid homage to Him. Instead of following this holy man, she sat close to Ganesh.

There were not many who visited the place where the idol was. It was not a temple but merely the foot of a tree. Therefore, a street dog that was passing by emptied its bladder on the idol. The girl then thought that the dog must be higher than the idol and started running after the dog.

An urchin passing by threw a stone at the dog. It howled in pain and ran faster. A young man who was watching this chastised the boy for being unkind to the dumb creature who had done him no harm. The girl ultimately thought that the one who thrashed the boy who beat the dog should be the best. So, she decided to marry that youth. It turned out, at last, that the youth was the one who had been chosen by her parents. Thus, it turned out that the person whom she thought was far away was in fact very close.

You are wandering all over the country in search of God as though he is far away. So long as he is not known, he will certainly be at a distance. All the quest will not reveal him. He stays very close to you. Far away from the far distant but nearer than the nearest” – Shruti

Learning

We always choose to see externally forgetting our own strength which is within us. Once we realise that what we seek is not far away rather very close to us rather within us we will be peaceful, happy, fearless which is our true nature. That is the eternal truth.

 

Charity – A Saint’s Perspective

 

charity

 

Value- Truth, Right conduct

Sub value- Charity, helping the needy

A multi millionaire was travelling in his car. On the way, he was listening to a Satsang of a certain religious Saint. The Saint was preaching that, everyone in the world is after money only. But they are ignorant that they cannot take their money with them after their death.  But Still they  are  after money  only  and  do  whatever  possible  ways  to get the  money.

The millionaire  got annoyed  of  his  statement.

He said to himself  that  since  the  Saint  has  no  money  with  him,  he  is  giving  a lecture  like  this. The next day, the  millionaire  called  all  his  employees  and  advised  them  to  give  him  an  idea  so that he  can  take  all  his  wealth  along with  him  after his  death.

Everyone thought that their boss has gone mad and tried to avoid him. Days passed by.
Suddenly  one day a stranger  approached  the  millionaire  and  informed  him  that  he had heard about his query & he has  one brilliant idea. The  millionaire could  not  believe  his  ears  as  everyone  has  declared  him  “Mad”.

The millionaire was very eager to hear his idea. The stranger first asked him whether he had traveled abroad? The millionaire said that he had visited almost all countries.

Then  the  stranger  asked  him  what  he  had  done  when  he  went  to  the USA? The millionaire  said  that  he  had  converted  the  Indian  rupees  into  American dollars and went  to  the USA.

The  stranger  again  asked  him,  what  he  had  done  when  he  went  to  UK? The  millionaire replied that  he  had  converted  Indian  rupees  into Pounds Sterling and  went  to  England.

The stranger asked him why he did all this? The  millionaire  laughed  and  told  the  stranger  that  our  Indian  rupees  have  no  value  in  USA  and  in  England.

The stranger replied that you are very correct and continued. Mr. Millionaire,  now you  want  to  go  to  the  Heaven  world  after  your  death, correct? Well, in  the  Heaven world,  the  name of  the  currency  is punnya (good merits). So  you  convert  your  entire  Indian rupees into  the  currency  of  Sat Karma/Good Karma so  that  you  can  spend  very  happily  there  after  your  death. The  rich  man  was  convinced and very happy  to  hear  his  idea and  started  doing  Dharma (charity – helping the needy without expecting anything in return)

Learning

We need money to survive and have a comfortable life in this world. However excess money can be used for good purposes to help deserving people. At the time of our passing we cannot carry anything with us. So when alive we can use money for meaningful purposes and earn good karma which will be helpful in our further journey of life.

Courtesy- Whats app forward

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