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Friday, July 31, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 12

© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading
5. KNOWLEDGE OF PREVIOUS BIRTHS

"I and you have passed through many rounds of births; I remember them all, but you do not know them."
Bhagawad geeta IV-5.

The difference between an ordinary man and a Superman usually consists in the latter’s having a knowledge to the past births of all creatures. Once while Baba was returning from Lendi, His eyes fell on a flock of goats. From out of them, He purchased two Shi-goats for Rs. 32/- in all, inspite of the protests of the near-bye devotees, who informed Baba, that the price he paid for the she-goat was extravagant as ordinarily a she-goat can be had for Rs.2/- only, and at the most Rs. 4/- may be paid for each. Hearing this Baba said, "Go to that shopkeeper, purchase two seers (about 1.87Kg,) of Chani pulse and feed each with one seer and return the she goats to the vendor." The transaction angered; those worldly minded devotees, when Baba told them the following history of the past births of these goats. "These goats were human beings and used to be with me always. They were two brothers. At; the start they had great affection for each other and were joint; but thereafter the greed of money made them hostile; the younger worked hard and earned a lot but the elder could not earn being idle; becoming jealous of the younger, he hatched a plot to murder the other; the plot however leaked out and this resulted in a scuffle in which each killed the other. A few days after their death they were born as she-goats. Recognising them, I thought of purchasing them and providing them with a life of ease, but as their ill-luck would have it, you protested and so I had to return these goats to their owners."

Another time Baba revealed His Knowledge of the past births stating "After breakfast I stirred out and when walking fatigued me I came upon a river bank. The river was small but was full; I had a bath in it, and the scenery round about cheered me up. I was thinking of having my chillam puff when I heard the painful croaking of a frog. Taking such sound to be the usual feature of watery places, I made my chillam ready when a traveller came to me and bowed to me. I shared my chillam up with him and he invited me to his house with a request that I should have my noon-meal with him,; and them return after resting. In the mean while the frogs croaking grew louder and louder; so the traveller said, "I will just go and see what this is". The traveller said on return, "a big black serpent; has caught a frog and will soon swallow it", Baba said, "Do you think I have come all this distance for nothing? I shall see that the frog is saved." We then went to the spot where the serpent was, when Baba nearing the serpent said, "Oh Virabhadrappa, this Chanbasappa your enemy has been born a frog and you a serpent to wreak your vengeance on him’ Shame! Shame upon you, now at least give up; hostility and rest in peace." So soon as these words were uttered by Baba the serpent gave up the frog and each went its own way. Seeing this the traveller requested me to tell him who these Virabhadrappa and Chanbasappa were.

Baba thereupon said, "Four or five miles away from my residence was a Shankar’s temple; it required repairs; so a fund was started and the subscribers appointed one of them a Banker as their Manager to get this work done. The Banker was honest but was miserly; he did not misappropriate the fund but he did not spend a single farthing of his own; so though the repair work was started it remained incomplete; a second time the fund was therefore collected; but the Banker would not get the repairs resumed. His wife in the meanwhile had two dreams in which Shankar asked her to contribute her mite for the repairs, saying, "As she sincerely loved him (Shankar) even one pice contribution of hers would be taken by him worth a lac of Rupees." Determining therefore to sell off her ornaments, she requested her husband to sell away her ornaments and carry out the temple repairs from the sale proceeds thereof. The Banker instead of selling his wife’s ornaments purchased these ornaments himself for a sum of Rs. 1,000/- and in lieu of that consideration he conveyed to his wife a piece of land mortgaged to him by a helpless widow (for only Rs. 200) and advised his we to donate that land to the temple priest as a gift. The wife accordingly made a gift or that land to the temple priest. The Banker, his wife as also the helpless widow mortgagor all died in due course.

"Thereafter the banker’s wife was born as a daughter to the temple priest of Shankar’s temple and was benamed Gauri and the helpless widow mortgagor was born as a son also to the same Shankar’s temple priest and was named Chanbasappa. The banker was born as the son of a poor Brahmin and was named Virbhadrappa. To make a living, Virbhadrappa left his home and moved about from one village to another eking out his living by begging, working as a cooly etc. During these peregrinations he came to this Shankar’s temple and put up there. As God would have it, the priest and the inmates of his house liked him and with My consent Gouri was married to him. The priest was so fond of Gouri that he put Gouri in the sole possession of that (mortgaged) land with rights to enjoy the income thereof in perpetuity. Through God’s grace that fallow land had purchaser and he bought it for a lac of rupees paying half the amount of Rs. 50,000/- on the spot and agreeing to pay the balance by installments of Rs. 2,000/- each. All liked the idea except Gouri’s brother Chanbasapa, who demanded half the sum agreed upon as the legal heir of the priest, on the ground that his father the priest was the real owner of that land. Virbhadrappa opposed this demand of Chandbasappa. On their referring this dispute to Me I said that sole owner of that land is Shanker. All this money therefore should be spent for Shankar. Gouri alone is the sole and rightful owner; Virbhadrappa and he abused me. The same night Shankar appeared before Gouri in a dream and as to the appropriation of this amount I have full trust in Chanbasappa and so pay him such sum as he demands for the temple management and the balance should be appropriated as per Baba’s (my) instruction." When therefore she came to Me for advice, I told her to have the whole amount for herself and to pay half and to pay half of the interest on that sum to Chanbasappa. The account of the dream, his wife had told had no effect on Virbhadrappa. He abused every body and then went mad. In a fit of insanity he very often threatened Chanbasappa that whenever he found Chanbasappa alone he would cut him to pieces. This threatening haunted Chanbasappa day and night and allowed him no peace of mind, though I very often told him, "he has nothing to fear about." Both died thereafter Virbhadrappa was born a serpent to wreak his vengeance and Chanbasappa was born a frog, for though he was my devotee, he had no faith in Me and stood in constant dread of Virbhadrappa, inspite of My assurance to him."

Continued...


© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 11

© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading
4. SUPERNATURAL POWERS - Continued

Hindu metaphysics states that a human body has in it everything that the universe has; this seems to be true in the case of soul who has been in unison with Brahman or God. When Das Ganu asked Baba for permission to go on a pilgrimage to Singaba for a bath in the holy Godavari, Baba did not permit him saying, "the Godavari is here". But Das Ganu could not feel so. Hence Baba asked him to draw near and to hold out his joint palms near His feet. So soon as he did this, water trickled down Baba’s feet and within a few minutes, his palms were filled overflowing with water. He was over-joyed, he sprinkled this water on his head and on the heads of those other who were there, and composed a song narrating this incidents. This incident clearly indicates what the body of a realised soul is or contains.

At times Baba gave to his devotees dreams the veracity of which the devotee could not doubt. Thus being pleased with the devotion of a childless woman, Baba appeared in her dream, blessed her and banded her a coconut saying, "Take this, eat it, and you will have a child". On waking in the morning, she found the coconut on her bed and was very pleased to eat it. As per Baba’s words she had a son within 12 months thereafter. Another devotee Megha was in his bed one morning half awake, half asleep, when he saw Baba throwing rice grains on him and asking him to draw a Trident on the wall of his temple. He was wondering as to how Baba could have entered his premises when all doors were closed; but then his eyes caught the rice grains scattered on his bed. This convinced him that Baba had actually come and ordered him to draw the Trident in precedence of the Shanker he was to receive from Baba the next day.

Baba wanted His old pupil Abdul to come to Him and so He appeared in his Guru’s dream, gave him two mangoes and asked him to send Abdul to Him immediately. The Guru found the two mangoes on his bed. He therefore called Abdul to him, delivered the two mangoes and asked him to go to Baba.

There are numerous instances of persons having had a comfortable journey home when they strictly followed Baba’s directions when leaving Shirdi and also of persons who had suffered on account of their failure to do so. Even in the mater of the Court cases, office leaves, etc. persons obeying and overstaying the periods fixed by courts or of leaves and departing from Shirdi on the days fixed by Him have never suffered.

Simply through Baba’s grace numerous devotees have obtained male issues though their wives had long since passed child bearing age and doctors had declared its impossibility. The names of a few out of the many such devotees are:- Nana Saheb Dengle, Gopalrao Gund, Damodar Savlaram Rasne, Rao Sahed H.V. Sathe, Sakharam Aurangbadker, Narayan Govind Shinde of Harda, Rao Bahadur Moreshwerrao Pradhan, Saptnekar Vakil and others.

But the greatest of all great supernatural powers Baba had was the one of restoring to life a dead persons He exercised this power in the case of the late Mrs. Malanbai the late D. R. Joshi Devgaonkar’s daughter and a close relative of V.S. Ratanjanker. She suffered from T.B. but all medicines having failed, she insisted on her being taken to Shirdi. When brought to Shirdi Baba asked her to lie down on a blanket and take nothing but water. She carefully followed these instructions but after a week or so she died one early morning. Baba was then in the Chowdi; and for the first time in Shirdi history Baba did not leave Chowdi though it was past 8 A.M. The daughter’s parents, with heavy hearts were preparing for the funeral when Malanbai appeared to breathe opened her eyes and looked round about, as if much frightened. Then she said, "A black person had been carrying me away; very much frightened, I cried out to Baba for help; Baba took His staff and gave him good cudegelling, snatched me away from his hand and carried me to Chowdi." Without seeing Chowdi she gave a correct description of the Chowdi. Just at this time Baba left His Chowdi bed bawling out, striking his staff against the ground and came shouting to Dixit’s Vada where the girl had put up. Seeing Malanbai restored to life there was joy all round.

Continued...


© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 10

© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading
4. SUPERNATURAL POWERS

Seekers of God rightly suppose that, if they use such supernatural powers as they have, their spiritual progress would, for ever, be retarded. Shri Sai Baba stands far above the category of seekers. He has already reached the goal. Not only He has realised God; He has by His constant meditation attained oneness with God. The idea that He is an entity apart from God has entirely left Him. He lives, moves and acts in God and when any of the super natural powers is being exercised or used by Him, he never thinks that He has been going anything extraordinary, the exercise of these powers being so natural to Him. We shall recount here a few of such incidents for the enlightenment of our readers.

Baba had all the eight great powers a Yogi possesses. He can become small, big, light, heavy assume any form, go and move without barriers, control, fire, air, earth, water rains, storms etc. Once he hung up to the worn out Masjid’s ceiling pillars a plank 2 Ft. long and 1/ 2 Ft. broad with rags. He appeared to be sitting on that plank with his head bent down or sleeping on it, with lamps burning both near the head and the feet. No one saw Him Climbing up or going down this plank and all wondered now He managed to pass His nights comfortably over that small plank supported only by thread-bare rags. Seeing that people crowded there to see Him aloft on the plank. He removed the plank and again started sleeping on the floor.

Shirdi people first came to know of this mad fakir’s super-natural powers, when shopkeepers untidily refused to dole out oil for his lamps and He kept the lamps at the Dwarkamayee burning for the whole night with water in place of oil. The shop-keepers and Shirdi people stood amaze and this new spread like wild fire in the whole of the Ahmednagar District.

Next time when hay stacks in a Shirdi field caught fire and the crops of Shirdi people, massed in that place, were in danger of being burnt down, at the earnest entreaties of the Shirdi farmers, Baba went there and drew round the burning hay-stack a circle of water, stating, the fire would not then spread beyond that line, the farmers found that Baba’s control of fire was unique for the fire stopped so soon as they hay stack marked by Baba was burnt down.

Thereafter people also marked that whenever Baba prepared some medicinal decoction. He dipped His hand in the burning liquid and nerve used a spoon for the purpose.

Another instance of His control over elements occurred when one day He was taking His meals at the Dwarkamayee and some persons were sitting by, He bawled out "Stop" and when after finishing His meals He had all His belongings removed outside the Dwarkamayi the ceiling cracked and at once came down with a crash, spreading mortar bricks etc. all over the Dwarkamayi.

More than once Baba at the request of people or for the safe retreat home of His devotees stopped the fierce winded ceaseless out-pouring of rains.

Thrice were devotees’ little girls saved from being drowned in the waterfull foundations of some Shirdi buildings.

When Baba gave permission for holding annual Ramnavmi Fair, water problem was the stiffest for solution and so when the management committee requested Baba to help them in the matter, He ask them to take away, after He had finished His meals the leaf-dish used by Him for His meals and throw the same in the dried up well So soon as that was done, water streamed into the well and since that day this well has been serving the needs of the people of Shirdi.

Continued...


© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 9

© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading
SHRI SAI’S GURU, SHRI SAI’S MANIFESTATION IN SHIRDI - Continued

With this object in view, when therefore the leaders of Shirdi village Gopalrao Gunde and others approached Baba with a request to fix a day for holding annual fare at Shirdi, He said, "fix up Ramnavmi, the birth day (date) of Shri Ramchandra;" for He knew that it being a Hindu holy day they would surely run upto Shirdi to attend the fare and as to Mohammedan, they would also come, as this was the only day fixed for annual fare; the object of their common worship being Baba in order to please Him at any rate, they would sink all their differences of non-essentials, methods of worship and meet as friends or brother-sons of a common father-and for ever forget their pristine animosity, hatred, antipathy, In due course this hope was fulfilled, though at first fanaticism of one party took an ugly form and might have burst out in undesirable feuds and fights or riots but for Baba’s holy and powerful presence. The narration of a few of such incidents would not be out of place here.

The difference in the forms of worship of one and the same God between Hindus and Muslims coupled with ignorance of His real nature and want of toleration is the root cause of all their dissensions, disputes, strife’s etc.; Liberal minded educated Muslims understand this and they therefore do not join their orthodox section which cannot look upon Hindu ways of worship with the equanimity and toleration of really educated cultured men. In Shirdi as well, the orthodox Muslims believed that Hindus by their anointing Baba with sandal pastes, ceremonial worship and the noisy waving of lights before Him were compelling "the Mohammedan" Baba to commit what they thought to be a ‘Sin’ according to the tenets of Muslim religion. If therefore these Hindus were stopped from coming to Baba all this irreligion would be checked for ever. They therefore many a times spoke to Baba, tried to persuade Him to prevent Hindus from carrying out such noisy programmes before Him but Baba seemed to turn a deaf ear to all that they said. In the year 1894 therefore the ignorant Shirdi Muslims brought to Shirdi a Kazi (a religious teacher) from Sangamner (of Ahmednagar) and arming themselves with canes and Lathis under the leadership of that Kazi, stood at the Masjid entrance to prevent all Hindus from approaching Baba and worshiping Him with their materials of worship, such as sandal paste, flower, lamps etc. As per his daily routine, Mhalasapati came there to offer his worship to Baba but seeing the mob armed with lethal weapons at the gate of the Masjid he stood at a distances, mentally offered Him his Pooja and was just retracing his steps home when Baba Himself called him and asked him to carry out to finish his daily worship. The Muslims stood aghast; and could do nothing; they then slowly dispersed and since then never though of obstructing Hindus from worshipping Baba in their own way.

Twenty years after, a Pathan fanatic of the same orthodox, ignorant section came to Shirdi. He hated the Hindus for the same reason as above mentioned and so one mid-night when some Hindus were sleeping by his side in Chawdi, he said to Baba, "If you are being spoilt, it is because of these sleeping Hindus. I will make short work of them (kill them) if only you will permit me to do so,’ Baba replied, "the fault, if any, is not theirs but mine; instead of Killing them, therefore kill me so that all the things you hate would end.'’ But the Pathan could not muster courage to do that and so the sleeping Hindus were also saved.

Another Pathan, whom, on account of his bustling shouting prayers and wild manners people called Rohilla, worshipped Baba as his prophet and adored Him as such. But one day in the fit of his fanaticism, he forgot all this and thinking that he should stop Baba once for all from going astray in the way that He did by allowing Hindus to anoint him, worship him in the noisy way, he rushed upon Baba with a big stick to murder Him. Baba simply cast a glance at him and caught his wrist. This slight gesture of resistance of Baba rendered him powerless and he fell to the ground and was able to get up only with the help of two persons. The wonderful strength that Baba showed in resisting him fully convinced the Rohilla that Baba was the real prophet and thereafter let off examining the propriety or impropriety of Baba’s actions.

A much respected Mohammedan Fakir was in Baba’s constant company but was ignorant of the principles of true religion. One day the thought of converting Baba’s Hindu Devotees to Mahomedanism; so when Baba went out to Lendi as per His daily routine. He polluted the water kept ready for Hindu drink by dropping in each tumbler the residue of the water he had drunk. In his ignorance he thought that the conversion of the Hindus would be complete so soon as they drink the residue of the water drunk by him; he never thought that for real conversion of religion the heart has got to be converted. However that may be, by His omniscience Baba knew the trick the Fakir had played to carry out his programmer of conversion of Hindus in a mass; so on his return from Lendi he became mighty angry and his anger reached the highest peak; he broke the earthen drinking pot, threw away all the tumblers filled with polluted water and went on abusing for a long long time say an hour or two. At last the Fakir’s conspiracy of the conversion of Hindus in a mass leaked out and the Fakir got ashamed of the childish ignorance he had shown.

But the above unpleasant incidents of Muslim fanaticism were not thereafter repeated at all; for the annual fair of Ramnavmi gave the Muslims and Hindus an opportunity to meet and to understand one another and as a result thereof each gave up the disgust and hatred he had for the other and looked upon each other’s way of worship with eyes of equanimity and toleration. When therefore the Hindus started celebrating the Ramnavmi Festival by Katha, Kirtan, Arti with Band, Drums, Cymbals etc.; and Mohammedan took out their sandal procession the same day and went to the Dwarkamayee, each party joined the other in their worship of Baba. Thus Hindus joined the sandal procession and Muslims also took part in the celebration of Ramnavmi-festival. Particularly when in the evening two big flags were taken in procession and jointly hailed the putting up of these flags on the Dwarkamayee. The flags that were and are being so put up annually seem to be a standing testimony of the Hindu-Muslim unity at least in Shirdi, and, if we may say so, amongst Baba’s devotees of the whole of India.

Continued...


© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading

Monday, July 27, 2009

Shri Sai The Superman By Swami Sai Sharan Anand-Part 8

© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading
SHRI SAI’S GURU, SHRI SAI’S MANIFESTATION IN SHIRDI - Continued

Another man Mule Shastri, a palmist also got a similar experience. The Shastri was a disciple of one Gholap Swami-a Sanyasi, and he never bowed to any one else but his master Gholap Swami. During the Shastri’s stay in Shirdi one day Baba called him at the arti (The Waving of lights) ceremony; fearing pollution he stood at a distance and threw some flowers on Baba from there; but to his great surprise he saw in Baba’s place is own Guru Gholap Swami in his usual Bhagwa (redochre) coloured dress; so he at once rushed to Baba and while Sai devotees were reciting at the time Shri Sai’s Arti he recited his Gholap Swami’s Arti; when he finished arti recitation he opened his eyes and saw Sai Baba seated in his usual place demanding some Dakshina from his. Mule Shastri prostrated himself before Sai Baba as if to thank Him for the favour He had shown in procuring for him his Guru’s Darshana after a lapse of many years.

Shri Sai Baba convinced one Harichandra Pitale of Bombay that He was the Swami of Akkalkot, by giving him three rupees at the time of his departure from Shirdi and asking him to deposit and worship them with the two rupees He had previously given him. Pitale visiting Baba for the first time could not understand when the said two rupees were given to him; but subsequently on enquiring of his mother he learnt that Swami of Akkalkot had given his father Rs. 2/- spoken of by Baba. In this way Baba clearly told him, He was none else but the Swami of Akkalkot.

For another staunch devotee of Shanker named Megha He assumed the form of Shanker, Shanker, when that devotee went to a Shanker’s temple of his native country and convinced him that He was veritably his own deity Shanker in the form of Sai Baba.

The priest of the goddess Sapt Shrangi temple, also was shown that his goddess and Baba were one. He was directed in a dream by his goddess to go to "Baba" in reply to his fervent prayer for relief from worries he suffered on account of worldly calamities. Misunderstanding the word "Baba" used by the goddess the priest went to Trambakeshwar and staying there for ten days tried to propitiate Shanker by constant prayer etc; but he found no improvement in his harrowed (troubled) mind. Returning home, he rebuked the goddess that she had sent him to Trambakeshwar without any purpose and again prayed her for relief. The goddess again appeared in the priest’s dream and said "by ‘Baba’ I meant ‘Baba of Shirdi,’ Why did you run up to Trambakeshwar in vain?" The priest was altogether ignorant of the where about of Shirdi; nor had he heard of Sai Baba. While he was in this embarrassed predicament. Baba asked one of his favourite devotee Madhavrao to go to that Sapt Shrangi temple and fulfil the vow of giving tow gold teats long since outstanding in respect of his mother’s illness. The priest was very much pleased to see Madhavrao of Shirdi, for from him he got all the information about Shirdi and Sai Baba; so when Madhavrao had finished his work of fulfilling the vow and prepared to return to Shirdi the priest of the Sapt Shrangi temple accompanied him. So as soon as the priest prostrated himself before Baba his worries left him; his ruffled mind calmed down; and he enjoyed peace. Neither the priest spoke nor Baba; mere sight of Baba sufficed to supply what he wanted; this convinced the priest that Shri Sai Baba was in charge of Sapt Shrangi’s work then.

Even after he left His body, in response to the earnest prayer of one Mrs. Kumudben B. Raval (of Bhau’s Pole, Ahmedabad Maha Gujarat) Baba manifested Himself in the form of Goddess Ambika.

Similarly all such prayers of devotees of Mohammedan and Parsis were responded to by Baba by manifestations of such forms as the devotees worshipped. Very lately for a Parsi doctor of Kopergaon (Dist. Ahmednagar Maharashtra) He assumed the form of his Paygamber Zarthostra. To another Mohammedan devotee named Gulam Hussein Jaffarally Surendranagar (Maha Gujarat) He was please to appear as his Prophet Ali on horse. To native Christians He showed that He had that heavenly divine power which they believed in. Thus Chakranarayan, a Police constable, who kept an eye on the income and outgoings of Baba expressed his wonder saying, "Baba distributed hundreds of rupees per day and yet very often. He received a much lesser amount. Really he has got the divine power". A native Christian nurse yearning to go to Shirdi after His Maha-Samadhi, was at first refused leave by the head-nurse but on the first one'’ constant chanting of Baba'’ name, she was able to bring about a change in the mind of the latter as a result of which she sanctioned her leave and enabled the first one to fulfil her wish. Another Christian Miss Meerabai Satyavir, a teacher in Baroda Methodist school, says that this (the writer’s) book inspired in her an unshakeable faith, and in the course of her reading she had Sai Baba’s vision in the form of a globe of Light and thereafter she has visited Shirdi more than once; Baba is her only refuge or shelter. He has been helping her and always saving her from irreparable losses. It is therefore clear that rendering of help in all matters material, spiritual to every person irrespective of his caste, creed, race, merits or demerits has been Sai Baba’s daily routine, His very nature, His joy.

He knew that amongst the people of the various races, who visited Him, something like hereditary antipathy subsisted particularly between two major races, Hindus and Muslims and this very often burst out in riots, murders, arson. Loot and it seems that if He had elected to adopt some of both their ways of life and religion, His object was to draw to Him people of both these races, to provide for them a common ground for meeting and worship so that all mis-understandings would vanish and their attention would be drawn and fixed on the one universal feature of devotion, common to both religions, that differences between them in the forms and formalities of the religions of both would not be made much of, would be tolerated with a liberal mind on both sides, that strifes and feuds would give place to unity and friendly feelings and relations.

Continued...


© Online Shirdi Sai Baba Book Reading
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