7. MATERIAL GAINS
Necessities have to low.
"Aged parents, Chaste wife, infant son must be maintained at any cost"….Manu.
I take upon myself the burden of getting and protecting the wealth of those who worship me meditate on me and see nothing but myself I this world… B. Gita-IX-22
It seems Baba did not like that any of His able-bodied devotees should remain idle and be a burden on society or his kith and kin. He always preached, "A man should always be doing something." He Himself never sat idle but was always busy doing something. In the noon when no work was at hand He would just take a needle and repair His torn out Dhoti or His robe etc. and if at such a time somebody would turn up and question Baba, "Why should you take this trouble when we all are ready and willing to do this for you?" He would at once reply, "One has to be always busy doing something and so far as possible he should avoid troubling others for his own piece of work."
How a man seeking to escape the discharge of his worldly duties by running away for good from it on the excuse of going on a pilgrimage, was persuaded by Baba to return home and to shoulder his responsibilities like a man, is best seen in the life of one Janardan Moreshwer Fanse alias Haribhau Fanse. Wearied with carrying on the burden of his worldly cares, informing his mother Haribhau left his home for Rameshwar; however as Shirdi was on the way to Rameshwar, with a view to have the blessings of the far famed Shri Baba he came to Shirdi and felt so much attracted by Baba,. That he stayed at Shirdi for a week. When thereafter he asked Baba’s permission to go to Rameshwar. He ordered him to go home, saying his mother had abstained from food since the day he had left home and if he failed to return home she might die. The mother was very much pleased t see her son back at home and was convinced that Baba was omniscient. In the meanwhile a person of his village being attacked with Cholera approached him; he administered to him Shri Baba’s holy ashes and he was cured. This led the people to believe that he was a physician. The holy ashes were however soon exhausted and so Haribhau was embarrassed as to how he should deal with another Cholera case, if he got one. But luckily for him Cholera left his village since that day. Thereafter he happened to go to a nearby village and casually met some Marwadi merchant known to him. The merchant seeing that a simple devotee had come to meet him, told Haribhau," Look here, my brother is seriously ill, all physicians, doctors have tried their utmost to cure him but they have all failed; now since you are Shri Sai Baba’s devotee, if your Sai Baba is really a saint, He must cure my brother through you." Haribhau saw the patient found the case to be serious, was therefore anxious to slip away but as it was night, he could not leave for home. At night when Haribhau’s Bhajan (prayer) time became due, the patient himself made the necessary preparations for Bhajan and throughout the Bhajan sat concentration on Baba’s Photo. This surprised all and the Marwadi now said," Whether the patient dies or survives I will have his medicine form none but you." To shirk the responsibility Haribhau purposely quoted his fees in excess of those of the Civil Surgeon, at Rs.200/-. The Marwadi agreed to that. That night Baba appeared in Haribhau’s dream and told him what the disease was and the medicine to be prescribed for it. Haribhau prescribed the said medicine and the patient started taking this medicine; the patient full recovered after a time and so the Marwadi offered Rs.200/- the stipulated fees to Haribhau, but Haribhau would not accept it stating he had done nothing, it was his Guru’s work. Marwadi could not rest satisfied till he requited Haribhau’s labour in some form or other so he bought a scarf worth Rs.200/- and going to Haribhau’s house when he was out, left it there. Haribhau could not now refuse the acceptance but he felt that the price-amount of the scarf should be sent to Baba. However as he was penniless and Baba had also left off His body in the meanwhile, while offering his usual night prayers, tears rolled down his eyes. That very night Baba appeared to him in his dream and said, "There is famine all round at present, so sell off the scarf and purchase rice from this amount of Rs.200/-, sell it at under price for the present; carry on this rice business till this amount of Rs.200/- runs out. Then sell rice at profit and you will be able to make a living." Following these instructions Haribhau prospered, became happy and then never thought of deserting home.
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