Sai Satcharitra – Chapter 37 – Love

 

Value: Love

Sub value: care

Chavadi Procession

Baba’s dormitory has been already described. One day He slept in the Masjid and on the next, in the Chavadi (a small building containing a room or two near the Masjid). This alternate sleeping in both these buildings went on till Baba’s Mahasamadhi. From 10th December 1909 devotees began to offer regular worship to Baba in the Chavadi. This we will now describe with His grace. When the turn of retiring to the Chavadi came, people flocked to the Masjid and made bhajan in the mandap (courtyard) for a few hours. Behind them was a beautiful Ratha (small car), to the right a Tulsi-vrindavan and in front Baba, and between these the devotees fond of bhajan. Men and women who had a liking for the bhajan came in time. Some took Tal, Chiplis and Kartal, Mridang, Khanjiri and Ghol (all musical instruments) in their hands and conducted the bhajan. Sai Baba was the Magnet Who drew all the devotees to Him there. Outside in the open, some trimmed their divatyas, (torches), some decorated the palanquin, some stood with cane-sticks in their hands and uttered cries of victory to Baba. The corner was decorated with buntings. Round about the Masjid, rows of burning lamps shed their light. Baba’s horse ‘Shyamakarna’ stood fully decorated outside. Then Tatya Patil came with a party of men to Baba and asked Him to be ready. Baba sat quiet in his place till Tatya came and helped Him to get up by putting his arm under Baba’s arm-pit. Tatya called Baba by the name of Mama. Really their relationship was extremely intimate. Baba wore on his body the usual kafni, took His satka (short stick) under His arm-pit and after taking His chilim (tobacco-pipe) and tobacco and placing a cloth over His shoulder became ready to start. Then Tatya threw a golden-embroidered beautiful Shela (Shawl) over His body. After this Baba, moving a little the bundle of fuel-sticks lying behind with His right toe and then extinguishing the burning lamp with His right hand, started for the Chavadi. Then all sorts of muscial instruments, tashe, band and horns and mridang, gave out their different sounds; and fire-works exhibited their different and various coloured views. Men and women singing Baba’s name started walking, making bhajan to the accompaniment of mridang and veena. Some danced with joy and some carried various flags and standards. The Bhaldars announced Baba’s name when He came on the steps of the Masjid. On the two sides of Baba stood persons, who held chavaris and others who fanned Baba. On the way were spread folds of cloth on which Baba walked on, being supported by devotees’ hands. Tatyaba held the left hand and Mhalasapati the right and Bapusaheb Jog held the chhatra (umbrella) over His head. In this fashion Baba marched on to the Chavadi. The fully decorated red horse, named Shyamakarna led the way and behind him were all the carriers, waiters, musical players and the crowd of devotees. Hari-nama (the name of the Lord) chanted to the accompaniment of music rent the skies as also the name of Sai. In this manner the procession reached the corner when all the persons that joined this party seemed well-pleased and delighted.

On coming to this corner Baba stood facing the Chavadi and shone with a peculiar lustre. It seemed, as if the face of Baba glittered like dawn, or like the glory of the rising sun. Baba stood there with a concentrated mind, facing the north, as if He was calling somebody. All the instruments played their music while Baba moved His right arm up and down for some time. Kakasaheb Dixit at this time came forward with a silver plate containing flowers besmeared with gulal (red powder) and threw them on Baba’s body off and on. The musical instruments played their best at this juncture and Baba’s face beamed with steady and added radiance and beauty, and all the persons drank this lustre to their hearts’ content. To witness this, men and women, poor and rich, flocked together there. Baba walked very slow. Bhaktas followed on both sides with love and devotion. With joy pervading the whole atmosphere of the place, the procession reached the Chavadi.

Essence:

Have faith on the Guru, ever serve Him with whole-hearted devotion to His feet. Let us see Him (God) in all beings and let us ever love His name.

For Children:

In everyday life let us cultivate and make it a habit to see God in all beings and show love and care to all the beings around us, irrespective of cast, color, status or religion. If this value is inculcated we can see the future generation  blossom into peaceful human beings and this make the earth a peaceful place to live in.

The story below depicts the love and devotion for God

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/story-of-a-great-devotee-nandanar-2/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most precious jewels one should possess

 

Value:  Right conduct

Sub value: Honesty, Awareness

This story is for all of us…..

As an old Irish saying goes….

“Three apples fell from the tree. One for he who tells the story, one for he who reads/listens to the story and one for he who understands.”

You will have one apple when you read this…..I hope you receive two!!!

JEWELS UNDER THE SADDLE

Once upon a time, what happened did happen…..or you wouldn’t be hearing this story!!

A merchant on a casual jaunt through a market, came across a fine specimen of a camel for sale.

The merchant and the camel seller, both skilled negotiators, struck a hard bargain. The camel seller pleased with his skill of worming out what he felt was a very good price, parted with his camel and the merchant chuffed that he had struck a fantastic bargain, proudly walked home with the latest addition to his large livestock.

On arriving home, the merchant called to his servant to come and help him take out the camel’s saddle. The unwieldy heavily padded saddle being too difficult for the servant to manage on his own.

Hidden under the saddle, the servant found a small velvet pouch which on opening he discovered to be filled with precious jewels!!

The servant was overexcited!!! “Master you bought a camel…..but see what came FREE along with it!!!”

The merchant was astonished as he looked at the jewels in his servants’ palm. They were of extraordinary quality sparkling and twinkling in the sunlight.

“I bought the camel” he said, “not the jewels. I must return them to the camel seller immediately.”

The servant was aghast…..his master was really foolish. “Master…..no one will know.”

But the merchant headed right back to the market and handed over the velvet pouch back to the camel seller.

The camel seller was very happy, “I had forgotten that I hid these jewels in the saddle for safe keeping.”

“Here, choose one of the jewels for yourself, as a reward.”

The merchant said “I paid a fair price for the camel and the camel only, so NO thank you, I do not need any reward.”

But as much as the merchant refused, the camel seller insisted.

Finally the merchant said, sheepishly smiling, “Actually when I decided to bring the pouch back to you, I already took two of the most precious jewels and kept them for myself.”

At this confession the camel seller was a bit flabbergasted and quickly emptied the pouch to count the jewels. However he was very confused.

“All my jewels are here. What jewels did you keep?

“The two most precious” said the camel seller.

“My INTEGRITY and my SELF-RESPECT.”

How would you explain integrity to a young child?

Roger Jenkins explained it as “The ability to do the right thing or choosing to do the right thing when you could get away with doing the wrong thing.”

Learning:

We must always be aware and make conscious decisions in every aspect of life. Our approach to the situation will bring out the good qualities we possess, this will gradually develop into habit. Therefore let us always be aware when we respond to situation and bring out the good qualities which is hidden in all of us. These good qualities will gradually develop into good habits and help us blossom into a good human being.

 

 

Sai Satcharitra – Chapter 36 – Devotion and faith

 

Value: Truth

Sub value: Faith and devotion

Two Gentlemen

Once two gentlemen came from Goa for taking darshan of Sai Baba, and prostrated themselves before him. Though both came together, Baba asked only one them to give Him Rs.15/- as Dakshina which was paid willingly. The other man voluntarily offered Rs. 35/-. This sum was rejected by Baba to the astonishment of all. Shama, who was present, asked Baba, “What is this? Both came together, one’s Dakshina you accept, the other, though voluntarly paid, you refuse. Why this distinction? Baba replied, “Shama, you know nothing. I take nothing from anybody. The Masjidmayi (The presiding Deity of the Masjid) calls for the debt, the donor pays it and becomes free. Have I any home, property or family to look after? I require nothing. I am ever free. Debt, enmity and murder have to be atoned for, there is not escape”. Baba then continued in His characteristic way as follows:- As first he was poor and took a vow to his God that he would pay his first month’s salary if he got an appointment. He got one on Rs.15/- p.m. Then he steadily got promotions, from Rs.15/- he got Rs. 30, 60, 100, 200 and ultimately Rs.700/- per month. But in his prosperity he forgot clean the vow he took. The force of his karma has driven him here and I asked that amount (Rs.15/-) from him as Dakshina.

Another story, While wandering by the sea-side I came to a huge mansion and sat on its verandah. The owner gave me a good reception and fed me sumptuously. He showed me a neat and clean place near a cupboard for sleeping. I slept there. While I was sound asleep, the man removed a literite slab and broke the wall entered in and scissored off all the money from my pocket. When I woke up, I found that Rs.30,000/- were stolen. I was greatly distressed and sat weeping and moaning. The money was in currency notes and I thought that the Brahmin had stolen it. I lost all interest in food and drink and sat for a fortnight on the verandah, bemoaning my loss. After the fortnight was over, a passing fakir saw me crying, and made enquiries regarding the cause of my sorrow. I told him everything. He said, “If you act according to my bidding, you will recover your money; go to a fakir, I shall give his whereabouts, surrender yourself to him, he will get back your money; in the meanwhile give up your favourite food till you recover your money.” I followed the fakir’s advice and got my money. Then I left the Wada and went to the sea-shore. There was a steamer, but I could not get into it as it was crowded. There a good-natured peon interceded for me and I got in luckily. That brought me to another shore, where I caught a train and came to the Masjidmayi.

The story finished and Baba asked Shama to take the guests and arrange for their feeding. Then Shama took them home and fed them. At dinner, Shama said to the guests that Baba’s story was rather mysterious, as He had never gone to the sea-side, never had any money (Rs.30,000/-), never travelled, never lost any money and never recovered it, and enquired whether they understood it and caught its significance. The guests were deeply moved and were shedding tears. In a choking voice they said that Baba was omniscient, infinite, the One (Para Brahma) without a second. The story He gave out is exactly our story, What He spoke has already taken place in our case. How He knew this, is a wonder of wonders! We shall give all the details after the meals.

Then after the meals while they were chewing betel-leaves,the guests began to tell their stories. One of them said:-
“A hill-station on the ghats is my native place. I went to Goa to earn my living by securing a job. I took a vow to God Datta that if I got any service, I would offer Him my first month’s salary. By His grace I got an appointment of Rs.15/- and then I got promotions as described by Baba. I did forget all about my vow. Baba has just reminded me of it in this way and recovered Rs. 15/- from me. It is not Dakshina as one may think it to be, but a repayment of an old debt and fulfillment of long forgotten vow”.

Moral

Baba never, in fact, actually begged any money, nor allowed His Bhaktas to beg. He regarded money as a danger or bar to spiritual progress and did not allow His Bhaktas to fall into its clutches.

Then the second guest began his tale. “My Brahmin (cook) was serving me faithfully for 35 years. Unfortunately he fell into bad ways, his mind changed and he robbed me of my treasure. By removing a laterite slab from my wall where my cup-board is fixed, he came in while we were all asleep and carried away all my accumulated wealth, Rs. 30,000/- in currency notes. I know not how Baba mentioned the exact amount. I sat crying day and night. My enquiries came to nothing. I spent a fortnight in great anxiety. As I sat on the verandah, sad and dejected, a passing fakir noted my condition and enquired of its cause, and I told him all about it. He told me that an Avalia by name Sai lives in Shirdi, Kopergaon Taluka. Make vow to Him and give up any food that you like best and say to Him mentally that ‘I have given up eating that food till I take your darshan’. Then I took the vow and gave up eating rice and s0aid, “Baba, I will eat it after recovering my property and after taking your darshan”.

Fifteen days passed after this. The Brahmin, of his own accord, came to me, returned my money and apologized, saying, “I went mad and acted thus; I now place my head on your feet, please forgive me”. Thus everything ended well. The fakir that met me and helped me, was not seen again. An intensive desire to see Sai Baba, whom the fakir pointed out to me, arose in my mind. I thought that the fakir who came all the way to my house was no other than Sai Baba. Would He, who saw me and helped me to get my lost money ever covet to get Rs.35/-? On the contrary without expecting anything from us, He always tries His best to lead us on the path of spiritual progress.

I was overjoyed when I recovered my stolen property and being infatuated, I forgot all about my vow. Then when I was at Colaba, one night I saw Sai Baba in my dream. This reminded me of my promised visit to Shirdi. I went to Goa and from there wanted to start for Shirdi, by taking a steamer to Bombay, en route. But when I came to the harbour, I found that the steamer was crowded and there was no place. The captain did not allow me, but on the intercession of a peon, who was stranger to me, I was allowed to get into the steamer which brought me to Bombay. From there, I got in the train and came here. Surely I think that Baba is all-pervading and all-knowing. What are we and where is our home? How great our good fortune that Baba got back our money and drew us here to Himself? You Shirdi folk must be infinitely superior and more fortunate than we; for Baba has played, laughed, talked and lived with you for so many years. I think that your store of good merits must be infinite, for it attracted Baba into Shirdi. Sai is our Datta. He ordered the vow. He gave me a seat in the steamer and brought me here and thus gave proof of His omniscience and omnipotence”.

Essence:

The experiences of the two gentlemen, shows the omniscience of Baba. So let us do our best and pray with faith and devotion, Baba will surely guide us to move forward in the right direction.

For Children:

We must always put in our best efforts in whatever we do and pray for guidance to move forward in the right direction. Then definitely we will be guided in form or the other to make the right move. Therefore let us put in our best efforts when we take up a task to do.

The story below depicts the importance of pure intention and devotion:

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/shaluks-victory-devotion-value-love/

 

Sai Satcharitra – Chapter 35– Greatness of Udi and Baba’s omniscience

 

Value: Truth

Sub value: Faith and surrender

Story 1

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

Story 2

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.

Story 3

Insomnia Case 

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 Udi-packet 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.

Essence:

When we make it a habit to pray every day, we experience faith developing in us. Faith and surrender is a good virtue one should possess that helps us to face difficult situations with positive approach.

For children:

Let us make it a habit to pray every day and gradually we can see us bloom as  a better human being.

A story which depicts the essence of the above:

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/tales-of-ramanuja-lord-as-the-mother-who-feeds/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The greatest sacrifice

 

 

Value: Truth

Sub value: Empathy, caring

Buddha used to keep with him always a rattle-drum. His disciples once asked him: “Master! Why are you always keeping this rattle-drum by your side?” Buddha replied: “I shall play on this drum the day a person who has made the greatest sacrifice approaches me.” Everyone was eager to know who this person would be. Wishing to attain this distinction, a Maharaja loaded his elephants with considerable treasure and went to Buddha. He hoped to offer the treasure to Buddha and earn his praise.

On the way, an old woman greeted the Maharaja and pleaded: “I am hungry. Will you give me some food?” The Maharaja took out a pomegranate fruit from his palanquin and gave it to the old woman. The old woman came to Buddha with the fruit.

By then, the Maharaja had also come to Buddha and was eagerly waiting to see when Buddha would sound the rattle-drum. For a long time Buddha did not use it. The Maharaja stayed on. The old woman approached Buddha staggering on her legs, and offered him the pomegranate fruit. Buddha took it immediately and sounded the little drum.

The Maharaja asked Buddha: “I offered so much wealth to you. You did not sound the drum. But you rattled it after receiving a small fruit. Is this a great sacrifice. Buddha replied: “Maharaja! In sacrifice, it is not quantity that counts. It is the quality of sacrifice that matters. It is natural for a Maharaja to offer gold. But what great sacrifice is made when a hungry old women offers the pomegranate fruit to the Guru despite her hunger. She did not care even for her life and gave the fruit. What greater sacrifice can there be? It is not sacrifice to offer what is superfluous for you. True sacrifice means giving up that which is most dear to you, that which you value most.”

Learning:

Caring and sharing is good virtue one should possess. When we share our things with others, we can experience immense joy when we see the happiness and smile on the face of the person who received it. Let us make it a habit  to care and share with our friends and family.

 

Adapted from:

http://www.saibaba.ws/stories/thegreatestsacrifice.htm

 

Sai Satcharitra – Chapter 33 – Greatness of Udi

 

Value: Truth

Sub value: Faith, Surrender

Udi 

It is well-known that Baba took Dakshina from all, and out of the amount thus collected, He spent a lot on charity and purchased fuel with the balance left with Him. This fuel He threw in the Dhuni – the sacred fire, which he kept ever burning. The ash from this fire was called Udi and it was freely distributed to the devotees at the time of their departure from Shirdi.

Story 1

Scorpion-Sting
Narayan Motiram Jani of Nasik was a devotee of Baba. He was serving under another devotee of Baba, by name Ramachandra Vaman Modak. Once he went to Shirdi with his mother and saw Baba. Then Baba Himself told her that he (her son) should serve no more, but start independent business. Some days after, this prophecy turned true. Narayan Jani left service and started a boarding house ‘Anandashram’ which thrived well. Once a friend of this Narayanrao was stung by a scorpion and the pain caused by it, was servere and unbearable. Udi is most efficacious in such cases; it is to be applied on the seat of pain, and so Narayanrao searched for it, but found none. Then he stood before Baba’s picture and invoked Baba’s aid, chanted Baba’s name and taking out a pinch of the ashes of the joss-stick burning in front of Baba’s picture and thinking it to be Baba’s Udi, applied it on the seat of pain and the sting. As soon as he took out his fingers, the pain vanished and both the person were moved and felt delighted.

Story 2

Bubonic Plague Case 

Once a devotee in Bandra came to know that his daughter, who was staying in another place was down with bubonic plague. He had no Udi with him; so he sent word to Nanasaheb Chandorkar to send the same. Nanasaheb got this message on a road near the Thana Railway Station when he was travelling with his wife to Kalyan. He had no Udi with him at that time. He, therefore, took up some earth from the road, meditated upon Sai Baba, invoked His aid and applied it on the forehead of his wife. The devotee saw all this and when he went to his daughter’s house he was very glad to learn that his daughter, who was suffering for three days, began to improve from the very moment Nanasaheb invoked Baba’s aid near the Thana Railway Station.

Story 3

Haribhau Karnik 

In 1917 Haribhau Karnik of Dahanu (Thana District) came to Shirdi on the Guru-pournima day (in the month of Ashadha) and worshipped Baba with all formality. He offered clothes and Dakshina, and after taking Baba’s leave through Sharma, got down the steps of the Masjid. Then he thought that he should offer one more rupee to Baba and was just turning to get up when Shama informed him by signs that as he had got Baba’s leave, he should go and not return. So he started home. On his way, when he went into the temple of Kala Rama at Nasik for darshan, the Saint Narsing Maharaj who used to sit just inside the big door of the temple, left his Bhaktas there came to Haribhau, caught his wrist and said,”Give me my one rupee”. Karnik was surprised. He paid the rupee most willingly and thought that Sai Baba recovered the rupee, which he intended in his mind to give, through saint Narsing  Maharaj. This shows how the saints work in unison.

This story illustrates the fact that all saints are one and shows how they work in unison.

Essence:

If we have love and faith on our Guru, their merciful glances will destroy mountains of sins and do away with all the evil taints of our character. Their debts (obligations) will never be repaid by us in this birth as well as in many future births.

For Children:

Let us have faith that our Guru is constantly taking care of us and guiding us, let us surrender our thoughts and deeds at his feet. When we surrender with faith at the feet of the Guru we can observe the change in us and gradually evolve and blossom into a better human being.

A story  below depicts the power of faith;

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/hold-my-hand-faith/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Narada Muni get his guru?

Value: Truth

Sub value: Devotion, Faith

Did you know that at one time Narada Muni did not have a Guru?

At one time, when he was  travelling the Three Worlds; Narada Muni happened to attend an assembly at Heaven or Svarga loka, where all Devas and Devis are present. (The Hindu pantheon has all 33 crores devatas and all the Nine Planets.) At the assembly, there was a sacred fire  ritual or Homa going on,  and Vedic rites being conducted. Narada was  given a seat in the lowest category  amongst  the seating arrangement available, far away from the homa.

When Narada questioned Brahma,  being Brahma’s own child, why was Narada given such a lowly place to sit? Brahma told him, it was because Narada  never had a Guru.  Narada considered this, and realized he did not have a Guru or a gurumantra.

In other words, although he  sang the Lord Narayanas name, and repeated Gods name as a mantra, He had never taken a mantra as initiated by a Guru. So with a firm resolution, Narada declared to the Devatas or Gods in the assembly that ,  Whoever I see first at dawn, I will take that person as my Guru. Narada Muni then left the assembly with the promise to return soon.

Soon it was at dawn and Narada saw an old fisherman with his fishing net on the shoulder, both walking and weaving his net. Narada ran to the fisherman and declared to the old man that the fisherman was  his Guru and begged for initiation from the old man.

The old man said he was not worthy and that he had never himself taken initiation from a Guru so  he didnt have any mantra to give. Nevertheless, Narada requested from the old man to speak whatever was in his mind at that very moment.  At Narada’s relentless insistence, the fisherman said “Hari Bol”! Having received gurumantra,   an ecstatic Narada returned to the assembly of Devatas and asked for a seat in front of the Assembly , as now he had both a Guru and a Mantra.

The assembly demanded to meet His Guru, upon which Narada returned to the Fisherman and requested the old man to come. As the old man was partially lame, so Narada  had to carry the old man on his back. Narada presented the old man to the assembly and then gave His full pranam, prostrating completely down before His Guru.

The 33 crores of Gods or Devatas were surprised.

At that moment the old man transformed into Shiva before all of them.

For Shiva was not at that Assembly.

And so, what kind of Assembly was it?

And so we now  understand, the Guru of Narada is Shiva Himself.

Lord Brahma, father of Narada Muni is also his Guru because Lord Brahma had given him knowledge of Srimad Bhagavatam.

Learning:

This story illustrate how everyone should have proper guidance from spiritual teacher on his path of bhakti.

Guru often can manifest to us in a ways which we often cannot recognize.

Guru who direct us to Krishna may not be always Swami with long beard. Krishna can manifest throw everyone and help us advance.

Source  adapted from bhagavatam-katha.com

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