5. KNOWLEDGE OF PREVIOUS BIRTHS - Continued
Over and above the knowledge that Baba had of the past births of human beings, He had also full knowledge of the births and activities of beasts, animals, insects etc.: and took care to see that they did not unjustly suffer at the hands of the wicked.
Once while a devotee was seated near Baba, a lizard went chirping so loudly that the devotee asked Baba, "what made the lizard chirp so loud and whether it foreboded some evil." Baba told him not to entertain any fear of it, and that her chirping was simply an expression of her joy, for she knows her sister was coming from Aurangabad to meet her. The devotee thought Baba had simply humoured him by that reply and so he attached no importance to what Baba had said. Soon however he was disillusioned. A gentleman on horsebacks came to Shirdi from Aurangabad to meet Baba but Baba was taking His bath and he had therefore to wait outside for about half an hour. As he had to proceed farther from Shirdi, he thought of utilising his time by feeding his hungry horse with grams. He therefore took his small gunny bag, whipped it twice or thrice and then turned its inside out to clean it properly, when a small lizard fell down from the bag. Frightened as she was by her being thrown down like that, she heard her sister’s chirping so she was put at ease; she therefore strutted in eclat and pomp to meet her sister. The sisters had met after a long time, so both were overwhelmed with joy, they kissed and caressed each other and had a very happy time. The questioning devotee who was watching all this was amazed at the supernatural oneness of Baba with such little creatures as the lizard even.
Another day at breakfast time Baba said to Mrs. Jog, "Mother prepare to-day plenty of pulse puddings, apply plenty of clarified butter to them, and after the noon arti (waving of lights) feed with them the buffalo whom you will find at your back door." She was overjoyed at this and fed the buffalo with those puddings. The buffalo heartily enjoyed this meal and doing justice to them, rested there with ease. Strangely enough however the buffalo soon died. This frightened the lady devotee, who looked up all the vessels used in the preparation of the puddings to assure herself that no poisonous substance had, without he knowledge, found its way into the cooking utensils. She stood aghast at the idea that she had been instrumental in bringing about the buffalo’s death and that not only she had committed a sin this way but she had made herself liable to a prosecution by the buffalo owner. Terrified at this idea she rushed to Baba and narrated to Him how unhappy she was at what had happened. Baba emphatically told her, "Mother, you have done no wrong; the only desire that the buffalo had in that body was, this eating of the sweet pudding; in satisfying this desire of hers you have earned religious merit, since she has now obtained a released from the animal body. She has now gone into a superior body; so do not worry and as to your fear of prosecution, rest assured, no one is going to come to claim, this buffalo at all. This was enough to set at rest the troubled mind of that lady devotee Mrs. Jog.
Next time Baba saved a bull from a butcher’s hand. Once it so happened in Shirdi that a bull dedicated to God Shivaji roamed about in the Village gardens and fields and destroyed the plants, standing crops etc. so people met together and decided to send away the bull to Panjra Pole (an asylum for old beasts) at Yeola and collected some fund for the purpose. They entrusted this work to Bhikhoo Marwadi of Shirdi, in all good faith; but the said Bhikhoo proved treacherous he did go to Yeola as directed, but instead of taking the bull to that asylum he sold it to a butcher for a sum of Rs. 14/-. Returning to Shirdi however he calmly reported that he had taken the bull to Panjra Pole and kept him there. Baba knew how the bull was dealt with, so He appeared in one Bayoji’s dream and said, "You have been enjoying sound sleep of rest. Haven’t you placed me in a butcher’s hand?" Bayoji reported this to the village people, who growing suspicious of the bonafides of the Marwadi deputed Bayoji to Yeola for investigation. Bayoji went to Yeola Panjra Pole book full and complete search of it. Not finding the bull there, he went to the butcher’s lane and looked about here and there. Fortuitously a this very time the bull had raised up its head above a butcher’s compound wall; Bayoji saw this, he at once recognized the bull; so he approached the butcher and requested him to return the bull, but he would not part with it, as he had purchased it for Rs. 14/- cash. Bayoji thereupon got the bull released by paying to the butcher Rs. 14/- and then took him to the old beasts asylum and kept him there. On his return to Shirdi he acquainted the people with what Bhikhoo had done so to set a lesson to such sinful, faithless people as Bhikhoo, Baba inspired them to prosecute him and Bhikhoo had to rot in Jail for two months for his heinous act.
These instances show that Baba had His benign protective eyes not only on the people of Shirdi but also on all creatures, large, and small bull, buffalo, lizard etc. of Shirdi.
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