Preparation - Samadhi-Mandir - Breaking of the Brick - 72 Hours' Samadhi - Jog's Sannyas - Baba's Nectar-like Words.
Chapters 43 and 44 continue the story of Baba's
Passing away, and therefore they are taken together.
It is the general practice amongst the Hindus that when a man is about to die, some good religious scripture is read out to him with the object that his mind should be withdrawn from worldly things and fixed in matters spiritual, so that his future progress should be natural and easy. Everybody knows that when king Parikshiti was cursed by the son of a Brahmin Rishi and was about to die after a week, the great sage Shuka expounded to him the famous Bahagwat Puran in that week. This practice is followed even now and Gita, Bhagawat and other sacred books are read out to dying persons. Baba being an incarnation of God needed no such help, but just to set an example to the people, He followed this practice. When He knew that He was to pass away soon, He ordered one Mr.Vaze to read Ramavijaya to Him. Mr.Vaze read the book once in the week. Then Baba asked him to read the same again day and night and he finished the second reading in three days. Thus eleven days passed. Then again he read for three days and was exhausted. So Baba let him go and kept Himself quiet. He abided on His Self and was waiting for the last moment.
Two or three days previous, Baba had stopped
His morning peregrinations and begging rounds and sat in the Masjid.
He was conscious to the last and was advising the devotees not
to lose heart. He let nobody know the exact time of His departure.
Kakasaheb Dixit and Shriman Booty were dining daily with Him in
the Masjid. That day (15th October) after arati, He asked them
to go to their residence for dining. Still a few, viz., Laxmibai
Shinde, Bhagoji Shinde, Bayaji, Laxman Bala Shimpi and Nanasaheb
Nimonkar remained there. Shama was sitting down on the steps.
After giving Rs. 9/- to Laxmibai Shinde, Baba said that He did
not feel well there (in the Masjid) and that He should be taken
to the Dagadi (stone) Wada of Booty, where He would be alright.
Saying these last words, He leaned on Bayaji's body and breathed
His last. Bhagoji noticed that His breathing had stopped and he
immediately told this to Nanasaheb Nimonkar who was sitting below.
Nanasaheb brought some water and poured it in Baba's mouth. It
came out. Then he cried out loudly 'Oh Deva.' Baba seemed just
to open His eyes and say 'Ah' in a low tone. But it soon become
evident that Baba had left His body for good.
Then the question arose - How to dispose off Baba's body? Some (Mahomedans) said that the body should be interred in an open space and a tomb built over it. Even Khushalchand and Amir Shakkar shared this opinion. But Ramachandra Patil, the village officer said to the villagers with a firm and determined voice, "Your thought is not acceptable to us. Baba's body should be nowhere placed except in the Wada." Thus people were divided on this point and discussion regarding this point went on for 36 hours.
On Wednesday morning Baba appeared to Laxman Mama Joshi in his dream and drawing him by His hand said - "Get up soon; Bapusaheb thinks that I am dead and so he won't come; you do the worship and the Kakad (morning) arati." Laxman Mama was the village astrologer and was the maternal uncle of Shama. He was an orthodox Brahmin and daily first worshipped Baba in the morning and then all the village deities. He had full faith in Baba. After the vision he came with all the pooja materials and not minding the protests of the moulvis, did the Pooja and the Kakad arati with all due formalities and went away. Then at noon Bapusaheb Jog came with all others and went through the noon-arati ceremony as usual.
Paying due respect to Baba's words the people decided to place His body in the Wada and started digging the central portion there. In the evening of Tuesday the Sub-Inspector came from Rahata and others from other places turned up and they all agreed to the proposal. Next morning Amirbhai came from Bombay and the Mamlatdar from Kopergaon. The people seemed divided in their opinion. Some insisted on interring His body in the open field. The Mamlatdar therefore took a general plebiscite and found that the proposal to use the Wada secured double the number of votes. He, however, wanted to refer the matter to the Collector and Kakasaheb Dixit got himself ready to go to Ahmednagar. In the meanwhile, by Baba's inspiration there was a change in the opinion of the other people and all the people unanimously voted for the proposal. On Wednesday evening Baba's body was taken in procession and brought to the Wada and was interred there with due formalities in the garbha, i.e., the central portion reserved for Murlidhar. In fact Baba became the Murlidhar and the Wada became a temple and a holy shrine, where so many devotees went and are going now to find rest and peace. All the obsequies of Baba were duly performed by Balasaheb Bhate and Upasani, a great devotee of Baba.
Breaking of the Brick
72 Hours' Samadhi
From this and other accounts, let the readers
consider whether Sai Baba was the three and a half cubits' body
that He occupied for some years and that He left thereafter or
He was the Self inside. The body, composed of the five elements
is perishable and transient, but the Self within is the thing
- Absolute Reality which is immortal and intransient. The pure
Being, Consciousness or Brahma, the Ruler and Controller of the
senses and mind is the thing Sai. This pervades all things in
the universe and there is no space without it. For fulfilling
His mission He assumed the body and after it was fulfilled, He
threw away the body (the finite aspect), and assumed His infinite
aspect. Sai ever lives, as also the previous Incarnation of God
Datta, Shri Narsimha Saraswati of Ganagapur. His Passing away
is only an outward aspect, but really He pervades all animate
and inanimate things and is their Inner Controller and Ruler.
This can be, and is even now experienced by many who surrender
themselves completely to Him and worship Him with whole-hearted
Bapusaheb Jog's Sannyas
Baba's Nectar-like words
Who is this ME?
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