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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Children's Stories (Chapter 28 & 29)

Chapter 28
Did Sri Sai Baba have only a single human form? He has himself answered this question in various instances. Children! Baba was not only kind and affectionate towards human beings but he also loved animals, birds, flowers and other various creations of this universe. In fact, this universe was a part of Him and will always remain a part of Him.
Usually it used to be crowded in the Masjid. Devotees and their children would encircle Baba and sit around Him. Some devotees stared at His face and would start crying out of devotion. The children would climb Baba's shoulders and would play with His hands and feet.
Sri Sai was omniscient and a perfect God and His divine acts speak of it. He surprised everybody around by telling the people stories of their previous birth. One such story which Baba narrated Himself is given below:
"One day in the morning, after having breakfast I went outside for a walk. While I was wandering I came upon a river. I was really tired so I decided to take rest near the river. The water looked refreshingly tempting so I took a bath in the river and all my tiredness was gone. There were trees on the banks of the river. A slow breeze was blowing and its touch cooled the body. I sat down to prepare the Chillum when suddenly I heard the croaking of a frog. I continued lighting the Chillum using two stones. Suddenly a stranger came to me and invited me to have food in his house. He lit the Chillum and passed it to me. He was talking to me when again the frog croaked bitterly. The man looked at me curiously. I answered his querying glance by telling him that this particular frog was in pain and was suffering the sins of his previous birth. Everyone has to suffer the sins of their previous birth, so there is no vise crying. He enjoyed a puff and offered the Chillum to me while deciding to go ahead to find out why the frog was crying. Upon moving forward he found that a snake had caught the frog in its mouth. He returned immediately and told me that a snake was about to swallow the frog. I at once said that it couldn't happen because I am his protector as well as his Father. I went forward and upon reaching near the snake I said, 'Oh! Veerbhadrappa now give up your enmity and start living peacefully. You haven't changed a bit even after all this suffering.' Hearing my words the snake left the frog and slid into the river. The poor frog also went away and hid in the bushes. The man, who was watching all this quite keenly was amazed at how the snake left the frog after hearing My words and wondered who Veerbhadrappa was? What was the reason of their fight? I returned along with him and sat under the tree and started narrating him the story of Veerbhadrappa.
About 4-5 miles away from my house, there was a holy place where a temple of Lord Shiva was made. The temple was not in a good condition and so the people of that place decided to rebuild it.
They started collecting donations for this noble work and the Seth of that place was appointed as the treasurer. The Seth was a great miser and was also extremely greedy. He cunningly grabbed all the donations without anyone's knowledge. The temple remained in its former condition. Once again the villagers went to the Seth and urged him to expedite the reconstruction of the temple. The Seth convinced the people to give him more money to start the work. But his intentions were still not right and he again acted deceitfully. He took the money and again kept quiet about the whole issue.
After some days, Lord Shiva Himself appeared in the dream of the Seih's wife and said, 'Offer a Kalash in the temple. Whatever expenses you incur for this, I shall give you back a hundred times of that/ The wife informed her husband about the dream. After hearing her story the Seth said, 'Is it actually possible? Well, if God really wants us to donate a Kalash, He can come and tell me to do so in my dream too. This dream is not correct and you just forget about it. God is never interested in the gift, which is offered without the devotee's wish. God is more appreciative of love and devotion. To Him even a very small thing given as a token of love is more precious than any riches. Lord Shiva again appeared in the dream of the Sethani and said, 'Don't listen to your husband. Start collecting the money yourself for making the Kalash. I am fond of your love & devotion. Whatever you want to spend, spend from your own side. After this dream she decided to sell her ornaments in order to obtain money for the Kalash. When the Seth got to know of his wife's plan he purchased all the ornaments from her for a thousand rupees. The Seth then took those thousand rupees in lieu of the land, which he sold to his wife for making temple. However in reality this was not the Seth's own land. The land belonged to Dnbki, a poor lady who had mortgaged it with the Seth. Dubki had not repaid the Seth's loan and taking advantage of that, the Seth disposed of her land. The Seth gave this stony infertile land to the Pujari (caretaker of the temple) to build the temple.
After a few days a strange incident occurred. An extremely powerful storm broke out and it was accompanied by terrifying lightning. Unfortunately a bolt of lightning fell on the Seth's house he and his wife died. As more time passed Dubki, who was quite old, also died. In his next birth, the Seth was born in Mathura in a Brahmin family and his name was Veerbhadrappa. His wife of the previous birth was born in the house of a Pujari and her name was Gouri. Dubki was born as a male in the Sevak community of the temple and his name was Chenbasappa. The Pujari was my friend and he used to come to my house and have Chillim with me. We would smoke and gossip for hours. His daughter Gouri was also my devotee. Gouri was growing older therefore the Pujari was worried about her marriage. He consulted me on this matter and I told him not to worry, as a suitable match would come to his house when the time is right. A few days later a boy of their caste, whose name was Veerbhadrappa, came to their house asking for alms and in the process he also demanded Gouri's hand for marriage. After taking my permission Gouri was married to Veerbhadrappa. Initially Veerbhadrappa was my devotee but later on his intentions were more inclined to the material comforts of life. His greed for money had still not finished and he asked me to suggest him some business. Once again a mysterious incident happened and suddenly prices of everything rose. In this financial upheaval Gouri's luck shone and the price of her land (which was bought by Gouri. in her previous birth as the Seth's wife for a thousand rupees) shot up to one lakh rupees. The land was sold for one lakh rupees and it was decided that Rs. 50,000 would be paid in cash and Rs 2,000 per year as installment. Everyone liked this proposal but as it often happens, money matters give rise to conflicts. They came to me for taking the decision and my reply was that the land belonged to Gouri so the money also belonged to Gouri. It would not be correct to spend even a single against Gouri's wishes. Hearing this Veerbhadrappa became very angry and started abusing me. Gouri didn't like her husband's behaviour so she came to me and apologized on his behalf and requested me to continue to bless her and her family in the future also. I assured her that I would stand by her whenever and wherever required. On that night only, Gouri had a dream. Lord Shiva came Himself and said, 'It is your own property and do not give anything to anybody. Take Chenbasappa's advice and spend a part of it for temple work. If you would like to spend it on anything else, you can take my advice by speaking to Baba as you will find me in Him. The next day Gouri narrated her dream to me and I suggested that she should keep the principal amount herself and pay half of the interest earned to Chenbasappa. Veerbhadrappa had no right on this amount. When I was telling this to her, Veerbhadrappa and Chenbasappa entered and it was obvious that they had been fighting with each other. I pacified both of them and narrated Gouri's dream to them. On hearing about the dream, Veerbhadrappa lost his temper and threatened to kill Chenbasappa. Chenbasappa was a coward and when he thought about being killed he started crying for help by holding My feet. I made sure that he was in my protective shield. After some time passed both of them died. Veerbhadrappa became a snake and Chenbasappa became a frog. Today when I heard Chenbasappa's voice, it reminded Me of my promise and I saved him. All this is God's miracle.

Bow to Sri Sai - Peace be to all
Chapter 29
Children! On the afternoon of the Dussehra day, the 15th of October 1918, at 2:30 PM Baba left His body. This event is explained at length in our book titled "Karunamai Sri Sai Baba".
All living beings, whether man or animal, take birth in one form or another to complete the duties they are destined to perform. This cycle of rebirth continues till the time one is not able to balance his sins with his good deeds. When God takes the form of a living being, He does so to teach us the righteous path. It is for our benefit that God appears in a living form. It is only for this reason that it is said that saintly people should be immortalized so that they can continue to shower this world with their blessings. The various experiences of the devotees indicate that Baba lives amongst us and will continue to bless us and protect us. Baba Himself has said to His great devotee Madhav Rao Deshpande, "Shama, you have been with Me for the past 72 births. You are my own child.”
People of Shirdl said that Baba had given up His life in order to save Tatya Patil. At one time Tatya Patil was seriously ill and it was quite certain that he was going to die. Baba had told Ramchandra Dada Patil that in 1918, on the day of Dussehra, Tatya would die. But on that day of VijayadasJimi (Dussehra) Tatya seemed absolutely hale and hearty but Baba left His body at 2.30 PM by taking Samadhi. It is obvious that Baba took it upon Himself to change the destiny of Tatya. He can sacrifice anything for the well being of His devotees.
Before giving up His body on 28th September 1918, Baba had high fever and He had stopped taking food. He was becoming weaker and weaker day by day. Fifteen days before taking Samadhi, Baba called His devotee Shri Vajhe and asked him to read 'Ram Vijay'. Shri Vajhe continuously read for 6 days and then Baba gave him permission to take rest. 10-12 days before Dussehra, Madhav Fasle accidently broke Baba's 'Sangati' (a brick) while cleaning the Masjid. On returning from Lendi Bagh, Baba saw the broken brick and at once said, "My luck has left me. 'Saubat Tootlee'' This was the same brick which Baba brought with Him when He came to Shirdi and He would always keep it under His head in the Masjid or the Chavadi. Next day Kaka Saheb Dixit asked Baba to give him permission to have the brick fixed by putting silver screws. Baba replied that it would be of no use now. A few days before the brick broke, Baba had called Mhalsapati and said, "Bhakt! I am going to go somewhere within a few days time, but you must keep on coming to Dwarkamai for the next two to four years. Exactly four years after Baba's Samadhi, Shri Mhalsapati also passed away
Seven days before Baba's Samadhi, some hunters brought a lion, tied up in chains, in front of Baba. The lion was quite seriously injured and he looked pleadingly at Sri Sai Baba who looked back at him. Baba said to the hunters, "He has repaid your debts. You should let go of him immediately." As soon as Baba said this, the lion slumped to the ground and died. Baba relieved the poor creature from his pain and suffering and ended his misery.
On 15th October 1918, on the day of Dussehra, Sri Sai Baba gave nine coins as Nav Bhakti to Lakshmi Bai and at 2.30 pm, He gave up His body in Bayaji's lap. Baba's body was kept in a temple made by Shri Booti Saheb and the Samadhi was constructed over it. Today millions of people come to see Baba's Samadhi and Baba continues to help His devotees just as He always used to promise.
Bow to Sri Sai - Peace be to all

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