SHRI SAI’S GURU, SHRI SAI’S MANIFESTATION IN SHIRDI - Continued
Baba did not accept any money gift from any body these days; so when Kashinath offered Him some money-gift. He flatly refused to receive it. This refusal brought tears in the eyes of Kashinath. Moved by this He started taking money gifts (Dakshina) from him; at first He increased that sum. However, from the day Baba started accepting His Dakshina, Kashinath’s financial position grew weak and weak till he became abjectly poor and people refused to give him even a loan. This set Kashinath thinking. He asked himself. "How could charity made to the most holy and the pure reduce him to such a miserable state?" Then after a little introspection he found that it was not his Charity that reduced him to this miserable state but it was his pride that blinded him to the fact that the giver was not he but God Himself; Unless God gives who can dole out Charity? In fact as he knew Baba to be God; he now understood that the truth lying under this unhappy event of his life was that both the giver of Charity and receivers of Charity were one viz; God Himself. From the day he realised this true state of affairs, his condition started improving; and very soon he regained his lost wealth and reputation.
This Kashinath dealt in cloth and wherever weekly bazaars were held, he would go and put up a temporary shop. Once when he was returning from some such Bazaar of Naur he was accosted by a band of armed dacoits. Kashinath handed over to them all the cash that he had, but he would not part with a small bag. Dacoits thought the little bag contained some more precious article and so they demanded the delivery of the said bag. He refused and so the dacoits tried to snatch it away from him but he opposed and so a tussle ensued. Taking the sward of one of the dacoits which lay there he killed two of them and so the third one coming from behind dealt on Kashinath’s head an axe-blow. This blow stunned Kashinath and he lay prostrate on earth as if dead. Taking Kashinath to be dead the other dacoits escaped leaving Kashinath there. After some time Kashinath regained his consciousness and people pressed him that he be allowed to be taken to a hospital. But his faith in Baba was so unshakeable that he refused and returned to Shirdi in that condition and recovered under Baba’s care. The Government was pleased to award him a sward for the valour he had shown in facing these dacoits and while the fray between the dacoits and Kashinath was going on, Baba at Shirdi had been shouting, abusing bawling aloud. People accustomed to Baba’s way at once understood that some dear devotee of Baba had been in some trouble and to tide over the calamity of that devotee He was roaring, shouting, abusing etc. Kashinath lived long after this and passed away on the 11th day of the lunar month which is considered to be very auspicious for death. Appa Jogle also passed away on the same day some time after this, enjoying a long lease of a happy life.
The third of the trio Mhalasapati worked as goldsmith but was not so financially happy as the other two; he was abjectly poor and it seems Baba did not want that he should have affluence or plenty of riches. Once a rich person presented to Baba a dish filled with Gold and silver coins. Baba returned it to the donor in tact. Mahalasapati was percent there at the time for his daily worship of Baba. The donor seeing Mahalasapati desired that he be permitted by Baba to give over dish of coins to Mahalasapati. Baba emphatically disallowed it, saying, "Real royalty is renunciation. That alone lasts for ever. Riches (or Plenty) are evanscent."
Though unlucky in money-matters Shri Mhalasapati was very lucky in having Baba’s constant company on every alternate night at the Dwarkamai. Both of them then kept as it were night vigil but mainly it was Baba who would be awake all night, not allowing Mhalasapati and Tatya (when the latter also attended the Dwarkamayi to go to sleep by night. He would very often ask Mhalasapati to keep his hand on His (Baba’s) heart and see that His utterance of the holy name did not stop, that as soon as it stopped he was asked to wake Him up; but Baba very often complained that instead of watching the sound of the holy name emerging from His Heart, he himself would fall asleep, his hand would become heavy and He was required to wake him up feeling the heaviness of his hand. This clearly shows what the object of Baba in not allowing Mhalasapati (and Tatya) to sleep in the Dwarkamayi was, that He wanted them to chant the holy name by keeping awake.
We have already mentioned that it was Mhalasapati who dubbed Shri with the name of Sai Baba and Sai Baba also willingly retained it till He left His body. But Mhalasapati had to his credit a still greater service to posterity of which we shall now speak.
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