Kakasaheb's Doubt and Anandrao's Vision - Wooden
Plank Baba's bed-stead and not Bhagat's.
We have described in the last three chapters Baba's Passing away.
His physical or finite form has no doubt disappeared from our
view; but the infinite or spiritual form (Spirit of Baba) ever
lives. The Leelas which occurred during His lifetime have been
dwelt upon at great length up till now. Ever since His passing
away, fresh Leelas have taken place and are even now happening.
This clearly shows that Baba is ever-living and helping His devotees
as before. The people who got the contact of Baba when He was
living, were indeed very fortunate, but if any of them did not
get a dispassion for the things and enjoyments of the world and
had not their minds turned to the Lord, it was sheerly their ill-luck.
What was then wanted and is now wanted is the whole-hearted devotion
to Baba. All our senses, organs, and mind should co-operate in
worshipping and serving Baba. It is no use in engaging some organs
in the worship and deflecting others. If a thing like worhsip
or meditation is to be done, it ought to be done with all our
mind and soul.
The love that a chaste woman bears to her husband
is sometimes compared to that which a disciple bears to his master
(Guru). Yet the former falls far short of the latter, which is
incomparable. No one, whether he be father, mother, brother or
any other relation, comes to our aid in attaining the goal of
life (self-realization). We have to chalk out and traverse the
path of self-realization ourselves. We have to discriminate between
the Unreal and the Real, renounce the things and enjoyments of
this world and the next, control our senses and mind, and aspire
for liberation only. Instead of depending upon others, we should
have full faith in ourselves. When we begin to practice discrimination,
we come to know, that the world is transient and unreal and our
passion for worldly things becomes less and less, and ultimately
we get dispassion or non-attachment for them. Then we know that
the Brahma which is no other than our Guru is the sole reality
and as It transcends and besets the seeming universe, we begin
to worship It in all creatures. This is the unitive Bhajan or
worship. When we thus worship the Brahma or Guru whole-heartedly,
we become one with Him and attain self-realization. In short,
always chanting the name of the Guru, and meditating on Him enables
us to see Him in all beings, and confers eternal bliss on us.
The following story will illustrate this.
Kakasaheb's Doubt and Anandrao's Vision
It is well-known, that Sai Baba had enjoined Kakasaheb Dixit to
read daily two works of Shri Ekanath: (1) Bhagawat and (2) Bhawartha
Ramayan. Kakasaheb read these daily while Baba was living and
he followed the practice even after Baba's passing away. Once
in Kaka Mahajani's house in Choupati, Bombay, Kakasaheb was reading
Ekanathi Bhagawat in the morning. Madhavarao Deshpande alias Shama
and Kaka Mahajani were then present and listened attentively to
the portion read, viz., the 2nd Chapter, 11th skandha of the book.
Therein the nine Nathas or Siddhas of the Rishabha family, viz.,
Kavi, Hari, Antariksha, Prabuddha, Pippalayan, Avirhotra, Drumil,
Chamas and Karabhajan expounded the principles of the Bhagawat
Dharma to King Janak. The latter asked all the nine Nathas most
important questions and each of them answered them satisfactorily.
The first, i.e., Kavi explained what is Bhagawat Dharma; Hari,
the characteristics of a Bhakta (devotee); Antariksha, what is
Maya; Prabuddha, how to cross Maya; Pippalayan, what is Para-Brahma;
Avirhotra, what is Karma; Drumil, the incarnations of God and
their deeds; Chamas, how a non-devotee fares after death; Karabhajan,
the different modes of worship of God in different ages. The substance
of all the exposition was that in this Kali age, the only means
of liberation was the remembrance of Hari's (Lord's) or Guru's
feet. After the reading was over, Kakasaheb said in a despondent
tone to Madhavarao and others - "How wonderful is the discourse
of the nine Nathas on Bhakti or devotion. But at the same time
how difficult it is to put it into practice! The Nathas were perfect,
but is it possible for fools like us to attain the devotion as
delineated by them? we won't get it even after several births,
then how are we to get salvation? It seems that there is no hope
for us." Madhavarao did not like this pessimistic attitude
of Kakasaheb. He said - "It is a pity that one who by his
good luck got such a jewel (Guru) as Baba, should cry out so disparagingly;
If he has unwavering faith in Baba, why should he feel restless?
The Bhakti of the Nathas may be strong and wonderful, but is not
ours' loving and affectionate? And has not Baba told us authoritatively
that remembering and chanting Hari's and Guru's name confers salvation?
Then where is the cause for fear and anxiety? Kakasaheb was not
satisfied with Madhavarao's explanation. He continued to be anxious
and restless, the whole day, thinking and brooding over how to
get the powerful Bhakti of the Nathas. Next morning, the following
miracle took place.
One gentleman, named Anandrao Pakhade came there in search of
Madhavarao. The reading of the Bhagawat was then going on. Mr.Pakhade
sat near Madhavarao and was whispering something to him. He was
mentioning in low tone his dream-vision. As there was some interruption
in the reading by this whispering, Kakasaheb stopped the reading,
and asked Madhavarao what the matter was. The latter said - "Yesterday
you expressed your doubt, now here is the explanation of it; hear
Mr.Pakhade's vision which Baba gave him, explaining the characteristic
of 'saving' devotion and showing that the devotion in the form
of bow to, or worship of, Guru's feet is sufficient." All
were anxious to hear the vision specially Kakasaheb. At their
Mr.Pakhade began to relate the vision
I was standing in a deep sea in waist-deep water. There I saw
Sai Baba all of a sudden. He was sitting on a beautiful throne
studded with diamonds, with His Feet in water. I was most pleased
and satisfied with the Form of Baba. The vision was so realistic
that I never thought that it was a dream. Curiously enough Madhavarao
was also standing there. He said to me feelingly - 'Anandrao,
fall at Baba's Feet.' I rejoined - "I also wish to do so,
but His Feet are in water, how can I place my head on them? I
am helpless." Hearing this he said to Baba - "Oh Deva,
take out Your Feet which are under water." Then Baba immediately
took out His feet. I caught them without delay and bowed to them.
On seeing this Baba blessed me saying - Go now, you will attain
your welfare, there is no cause for fear and anxiety. He also
added - "Give a silk-bordered dhotar to my Shama, you will
In compliance with Baba's order, Mr.Pakhade brought
the dhotar and requested Kakasaheb to hand it over to Madhavarao;
but the latter refused to accept it, saying that unless Baba gave
a hint or suggestion for acceptance, he would not accept it. Then
after some discussion Kakasaheb decided to cast lots. It was the
invariable practice of Kakasaheb to cast lots in all dubious matters
and to abide by the decision as shown by the picked up chit or
lot. In this particular case two chits, on one of which was written
'To accept' and on another 'To reject', were placed at the feet
of Baba's picture and an infant was asked to pick one of them.
The 'To accept' chit was picked up and the dhotar was handed over
to, and accepted by, Madhavarao. In this way both Anandrao and
Madhavarao were satisfied and Kakasaheb's difficulty was solved.
This story exhorts us to give respect to the
words of other saints, but at the same time asks us to have full
faith in our Mother, i.e., the Guru, and abide by His instructions:
for he knows our welfare better than any other person. Carve out
on your heart, the following words of Baba - "There are innumerable
saints in this world, but 'Our father' (Guru) is the Father (Real
Guru). Others might say many good things, but we should never
forget our Guru's words. In short, love your Guru whole-heartedly,
surrender to Him completely and prostrate yourselves before Him
reverentially and then you will see that there is no sea of the
mundane existence before you to cross, there is no darkness before
Wooden plank Baba's Bed-Stead, and not
In His earlier days, Baba slept on a wooden plank, 4 arms in length
and only a span in breadth with panatis (earthen lamps) burning
at the four corners. Later on He broke the plank into pieces and
threw it away (Vide Chapter X). Once Baba was describing the greatness
or importance of this plank to Kakasaheb. Hearing this the latter
said to Baba - "If You still love the wooden plank, I will
again suspend or hang up one in the Masjid again for You to sleep
at ease." Baba replied - "I won't like to sleep up,
leaving Mhalasapati down on the ground." Then Kakasaheb said
- "I will provide another plank for Mhalasapati." Baba
- "How can he sleep on the plank? It is not easy to sleep
up on the plank. He who has many good qualities in him can do
so. He who can sleep 'with his eyes wide open' can effect that.
When I go to sleep I ask often Mhalasapati to sit by My side,
place his hand on My heart and watch the 'chanting of the Lord's
name' there, and if he finds Me sleepy, wake Me up. He can't do
even this. He himself gets drowsy and begins to nod his head.
When I feel his hand heavy as a stone on My heart and cry out
- 'Oh Bhagat', he moves and opens his eyes. How can he, who can't
sit and sleep well on the ground and whose asana (posture) is
not steady and who is a slave to sleep, sleep high up on a plank?
On many other occasions Baba said, out of love for His devotees
- "What (whether good or bad) is ours, is with us, and what
is another's is with him."