Sai Satchritra - Chapter XLVII
Story of Veerbhadrappa and Chenbassappa (Snake
The last chapter described Baba's reminiscences about two goats.
This describes more such reminiscences and relates the story of
Veerbhadrappa and Chenbassappa.
Blessed is the face of Sai. If we cast a glance at Him for a moment,
He destroys the sorrow of many past births and confers great bliss
on us; and if He looks at us with grace, our bondage of Karma
is immediately snapped away and we are led to happiness. The river
Ganges washes away the dirt and sins of all people who go to her
for a bath; but she intently longs for the saints to come to her
and bless her with their feet and remove all the dirt (sins) accumulated
in her. She knows for certain that this accumulation can only
be removed by the holy feet of the saints. Sai is the crest-jewel
of the saints, and now hear from Him the following purifying story.
The Snake and the Frog
Sai Baba said - "One morning after taking My breakfast I
strolled along till I came to a small river bank. As I was tired,
I rested there, washed My hands and feet and had a bath and felt
refreshed. There was a foot-path and a cart-track sheltered by
shady trees. The breeze was also blowing gently. As I was preparing
to smoke chillim (pipe), I heard the croaking of a frog. I was
striking the flint and lighting the fire, when a traveller turned
up, sat by My side, bowed to Me and politely invited Me to his
house for meals and rest. He lit up the pipe and handed it over
to Me. The croaking was heard again and he wanted to know what
it was. I told him that a frog was in trouble and was tasting
the bitter fruit of its own karma. We have to reap now the fruit
of what we sow (do) in our past life, and there is no use in crying
about it. Then he smoked and handed over the pipe to Me and said
that he would go there in person and see for himself. I told him
that a frog was caught by a big snake and was crying. Both were
very wicked in their past life and were now reaping the fruit
of their actions in these bodies. He went out and found that a
huge black serpent was holding a big frog in its mouth.
He turned to Me and said that in about 10 or
12 minutes the frog would be eaten up by the snake. I said, "No,
this can't be. I am its father (protector) and I am here now.
How shall I allow the snake to eat it up, am I here for nothing?
Just see how I release it."
After smoking again, we walked on to the place.
He was afraid and asked Me not to proceed further as the snake
might attack us. Not minding him, I went ahead and addressed the
creatures thus:- "Oh Veerbhadrappa, has not your enemy Bassappa
yet repented though he has been born as a frog, and you too, though
born as a serpent, still maintain bitter enmity against him? Fie
upon you, be ashamed, give up your hatred now and rest in peace."
Hearing these words, the snake left the frog
quickly and dived into the river and disappeared. The frog also
jumped away and hid itself in the bushes.
The traveller was much surprised; he said that
he could not understand how the snake dropped the frog and disappeared
at the words uttered, who was Veerbhadrappa and who was Basssappa,
and what was the cause of their enmity. I returned with him to
the foot of the tree and after sharing a few puffs of smoke with
him I explained the whole mystery to his as follows:-
There was ancient holy place sanctified by a
temple of Mahadev about 4 or 5 miles from My place. The temple
was old and dilapidated. The residents of the place collected
funds for its repairs. After a large amount was collected, arrangement
for worship was made and plans with estimates for repairs were
prepared. A rich local man was appointed the Treasurer and the
whole work was entrusted to him. He was to keep regular accounts
and be honest in all his dealings. He was a first class miser
and spent very little for the repairs, which consequently made
very little progress. He spent all the funds, swallowed some amount
himself and spent nothing from his pocket. He had a sweet tongue
and was very clever in offering plausible explanations regarding
the poor and tardy progress of the work. The people again went
to him and said that unless he lent his helping hand and tried
his best, the work would not be complete. They requested him to
work out the scheme and again collected subscriptions and sent
the amount to him. He received it, but sat as quiet as before
without making any progress. After some days, God (Mahadev) appeared
in his wife's dream and said to her - "You get up, build
the dome of the temple, I will give you a hundred-fold of what
you spend." She told this vision to her husband. He was afraid
that it would involve him in some expenses and therefore laughed
it out saying that it was a mere dream, a thing not to be relied
and acted upon, or else why did not God appear to him and tell
him? Was he far off from her? This looks like a bad dream, having
for its object the creation of ill feeling between husband and
wife. She had to remain quiet.
God does not like big subscriptions and donations
collected against the wishes of the donors, but He likes ever
trifling amounts given with love, devotion and appreciation. Some
days after, God again appeared in her dream and said - "Do
not bother yourself about your husband and the collections with
him. Don't press him to spend any amount for the temple. What
I want is, feeling and devotion. So give, if you like, anything
of your own." She consulted her husband about this vision
and decided to give God her ornaments given by her father. The
miser felt disconcerted and decided to cheat even God in this
item. He undervalued the ornaments at Rs.1,000/- and bought them
himself and in lieu of the amount gave a field to God as endowment
or security. The wife agreed to this. The field or land was not
his own, it belonged to one poor woman named Dubaki who mortgaged
it to him for Rs.200/-. She was not able to redeem it for long.
So the cunning miser cheated all, his wife, Dubaki and even God.
The land was sterile, uncultivated and worth nothing and yielded
nothing, even in best seasons.
Thus ended this transaction and the land was
given in the possession of the poor priest who was pleased with
the endowment. Sometime later on, strange things happened. There
was a terrific storm and heavy down-pour of rain; lightning struck
the house of the miser, when he and his wife both died. Dubaki
also breathed her last.
In the next life, the rich miser was born at Mathura in a Brahmin
family and was named Veerbhadrappa. His devout wife was born as
the daughter of the priest of the temple and was named Gouri.
The woman Dubaki (the mortgagor) was born as a male in the family
of the Gurav (attendent) of the the temple and was named Chenbassappa.
The priest was a friend of Mine, He often came to Me, chatted
and smoked with Me. His daughter Gouri was also devoted to Me.
She was growing fast and her father was seeking a good husband
for her. I told him not to worry about this as the bridegroom
himself would come seeking her. Then there came a poor boy named
Veerbhadrappa of their caste, wandering and begging his bread
to the priest's house. With My consent Gouri was given in marriage
to him. He was also at first devoted to Me as I recommended his
marriage with Gouri. Even in this new life he was hankering after
money and asked Me to help him to get it as he was leading a married
Strange things happened. There was a sudden rise
in prices. By Gouri's good luck, there was a great demand for
land and the endowment land was sold for one lakh of rupees (100
times the worth of her ornaments). Half the amount was paid in
cash and the remaining was to be paid in 25 instalments of Rs.
2,000/- each. All agreed to this transaction, but began to quarrel
over the money. They came to Me for consultation. I told them
that the property belonged to God and was vested in the priest
and Gouri was his sole heiress and proprietress and no amount
should be spent without her consent and that her husband had no
right whatsoever to the amount. Hearing my opinion Veerbhadrappa
was wroth with Me and said that I wanted to establish Gouri's
claim and embezzle her property. Hearing his words, I remembered
God and kept quiet. Veerbhadrappa scolded his wife (Gouri) and
she came to Me at noon and requested Me not to mind the words
of others and not to discard her as she was My daughter. As she
thus sought My protection I gave her a pledge that I would cross
seven seas to help her. Then that night Gouri had a vision. Mahadev
appeared in her dream and said - "The whole money is yours,
do not give anything to anybody, spend some amount for temple
purposes in consultation with Chenbassappa and if you want to
use it for some other purpose, consult Baba in the Masjid (Myself)."
Gouri told Me the vision and I gave her the proper advice in the
matter. I told her to take the principal or capital amount to
herself, give half the amount of interest to Chenbassappa and
that Veerbhadrappa had nothing to do in the matter. While I was
thus talking, both Veerbhadrappa and Chenbassappa came there quarreling.
I tried My best to appease them and told them God's vision to
Gouri. Veerbhadrappa got wild and angry and threatened to kill
Chenbassappa cutting him to pieces. The latter was timid, he caught
my feet and sought my refuge. I pledged Myself to save him from
the wrath of his foe. Then after some time Veerbhadrappa died
and was born as a snake and Chenbassappa died and was born as
a frog. Hearing the croaking of Chenbassappa and remembering my
pledge, I came here, saved him and kept My word. God runs to His
devotees for help in times of danger. He saved Chenbassappa (the
frog) by sending Me here. All this is God's Leela or sport."
The moral of the story is that one has to reap what one sows,
and there is no escape unless one suffers and squares up one's
old debts and dealings with others, and that greed for money drags
the greedy man to the lowest level and ultimately brings destruction
on him and others.
Bow to Shri Sai - Peace be to all