Sai Satchritra - Chapter XLIII &
Preparation - Samadhi-Mandir - Breaking of the
Brick - 72 Hours' Samadhi - Jog's Sannyas - Baba's Nectar-like
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is read out to him with the object that his mind should be withdrawn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.
The news of Baba's passing away spread like a wild fire in the
village of Shirdi and all people, men, women and children ran
to the Masjid and began to mourn this loss in various ways. Some
cried out loudly, some wallowed on in the streets and some fell
down senseless. Tears ran down from the eyes of all and every
one was smitten with sorrow.
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
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
Some days before Baba's departure, there occurred an ominous sign
foreboding the event. There was, in the Masjid an old brick on
which Baba rested His hand and sat. At night time He leaned against
it and had His asan. This went on for many years. One day, during
Baba's absence, a boy who was sweeping the floor, took it up in
his hand, and unfortunately it slipped from thence fell down broken
into two pieces. When Baba came to know about this, He bemoaned
its loss, crying - "It is not the brick but My fate that
has been broken into pieces. It was My life-long companion, with
it I always meditated on the Self, it was as dear to Me as My
life, it has left Me to-day." Some may raise here a question
- "Why should Baba express this sorrow for such an inanimate
thing as a brick?" To this Hemadpant replies that saints
incarnate in this world with the express mission of saving the
poor helpless people, and when they embody themselves and mix
and act with the people, they act like them, i.e., outwardly laugh,
play and cry like all other people, but inwardly they are wide
awake to their duties and mission.
72 Hours' Samadhi
Thirty two years before this, i.e., in 1886 A.D., Baba made an
attempt to cross the border line. On a Margashirsha Pournima (Full
moon) day, Baba suffered from a severe attack of asthma. To get
rid of it Baba decided to take His prana high up and go into samadhi.
He said to Bhagat Mhalasapti - "Protect My body for three
days. If I return, it will be alright; if I do not, bury My body
in that open land (pointing to it) and fix two flags there as
a mark." Saying this, Baba fell down at about 10 P.M. His
breathing stopped, as well as His pulse. It seemed as if His prana
left the body. All the people including the villagers came there
and wanted to hold an inquest and bury the body in the place pointed
by Baba. But Mhalasapati prevented this. With Baba's body on his
lap he sat full three days guarding it. After three days passed,
Baba showed signs of life at 3 A.M. His breathing commenced, the
abdomen began to move. His eyes opened and stretching His limbs,
Baba returned to consciousness (life) again.
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
Though it is not possible for us to see Baba's form now, still
if we go to Shirdi, we shall find His beautiful life-like portrait
adorning the masjid. This has been drawn by Shamrao Jaykar, a
famous artist and well-known devotee of Baba. To an imaginative
and devout spectator this portrait can give even to-day the satisfaction
of taking Baba's darshana. Though Baba has no body now, He lives
there and everywhere, and will effect the welfare of the devotees
even now as He was doing before when He was embodied. Saints like
Baba never die, though they look like men, they are in reality
Bapusaheb Jog's Sannyas
Hemadpant closes this chapter with the account of Jog's sannyas.
Sakharam Hari alias Bapusaheb Jog was the uncle of the famous
Varkari Vishnubuva Jog of Poona. After his retirement from Govt.
Service (He was a Supervisor in the P.W. Department) in 1909 A.D.,
he came and lived in Shirdi with his wife. He had no issue. Both
husband and wife loved Baba and spent all their time in worshipping
and serving Baba. After Megha's death, Bapusaheb daily did the
arati ceremony in the Masjid and Chavadi till Baba's maha-samadhi.
He was also entrusted with the work of reading and explaining
Jnaneshwari and Ekanathi Bhagawat in Sathe's Wada to the audience.
After serving for many years, Jog asked Baba - "I have served
you so long, my mind is not yet calm and composed, how is it that
my contact with Saints has not improved me? When will You bless
me?" - Hearing the Bhakta's prayer Baba replied - "In
due time your bad actions (their fruit or result) will be destroyed,
your merits and demerits will be reduced to ashes, and I shall
consider you blessed, when you will renounce all attachments,
conquer lust and palate, and getting rid of all impediments, serve
God whole-heartedly and resort to the begging bowl (accept sannyas)."
After some time, Baba's words came true. His wife predeceased
him and as he had no other attachment, he became free and accepted
sannyas before his death and realized the goal of his life.
Baba's Nectar-like words
The kind and merciful Sai Baba, said many a time the following
sweet words in the Masjid - "He who loves Me most, always
sees Me. The whole world is desolate to him without Me, he tells
no stories but Mine. He ceaselessly meditates upon Me and always
chants My name. I feel indebted to him who surrenders himself
completely to Me and ever remembers Me. I shall repay his debt
by giving him salvation (self-realization). I am dependent on
him who thinks and hungers after Me and who does not eat anything
without first offering it to Me. He who thus comes to Me, becomes
one with Me, just as a river gets to the sea and becomes merged
(one) with it. So leaving out pride and egoism and with no trace
of them, you should surrender yourself to Me Who am seated in
Who is this ME?
Sai Baba expounded many a time Who this ME (or I) is. He said
"You need not go far or anywhere in search of Me. Barring
your name and form, there exists in you, as well as in all beings,
a sense of Being or Consciousness of Existence. That is Myself.
Knowing this, you see Me inside yourself, as well as in all beings.
If you practise this, you will realize all-pervasiveness, and
thus attain oneness with Me."
Hemadpant, therefore, makes a bow to the readers and requests
them humbly and lovingly that they should love and respect all
Gods, saints and devotees. Has not Baba often said "He who
carps and cavils at others, pierces Me in the heart and injures
Me, but he that suffers and endures, pleases Me most." Baba
thus pervades all beings and creatures and besets them on all
sides. He likes nothing but love to all beings. Such nectar, pure
auspicious ambrosia always flowed from Baba's lips. He therefore,
concludes - Those who lovingly sing Baba's fame and those who
hear the same with devotion, both become one with Sai.
Bow to Shri Sai - Peace be to all