- Chapter XVI & Chapter XVII
These two Chapters relate the story of a rich gentleman, who wanted
Brahma-Jnana, quickly from Sai Baba.
The last Chapter described how Mr. Cholkar's vow of small offering
was completed and accepted. In that story, Sai Baba showed that
He would accept with appreciation any small thing offered with love
and devotion, but if the same thing was offered with pride and haughtiness,
He would reject it. Being Himself full of Sat-Chit-Anand (Existence,
Knowledge and Bliss) He did not care much for more outward formalities
but if an offering was made in meek and humble spirit, the same
was welcome and He accepted it with pleasure and avidity. In fact
there is no person more liberal and benevolent than a Sadguru, like
Sai Baba. He cannot be compared to the Chintamani jewel (the Philosopher's
stone which satisfies desires), the Kalpataru (the Celestial Tree
which fulfills our desires) or the the Kamadhenu (the Celestial
Cow which yields what we desire), for they give us only what we
desire; but the Sadguru gives us the most precious thing that is
inconceivable and inscrutable (The reality). Now let us hear, how
Sai Baba disposed of a rich man, who came to Him and implored Him
to give him Brahma-Jnana.
These was a rich gentleman (unfortunately his name and whereabouts
are not mentioned) who was very prosperous in his life. He had amassed
a large quantity of wealth, houses, field and lands, and had many
servants and dependents. When Baba's fame reached his ears, he said
to a friend of his, that he was not in want of anything, and so
he would go to Shirdi and ask Baba to give him Brahma-Jnana which,
if he got, would certainly make him more happy. His friend dissuaded
him, saying, "it is not easy to know Brahman, and especially
so for an avaricious man like you, who is always engrossed in wealth,
wife and children. Who will, in your quest of Brahma-Jnana, satisfy
you that won't give away even a pice in charity?"
Not minding his friend's advice, the fellow engaged a return-journey
tanga and came to Shirdi. He went to the Masjid, saw Sai Baba, fell
at His Feet and said, "Baba, hearing that You show the Brahman
to all who come over here without any delay, I have come here all
the way from my distant place. I am much fatigued by the journey
and if I get the Brahman from You, my troubles will be well-paid
and rewarded." Baba then replied, "Oh, My dear friend,
do not be anxious, I shall immediately show you the Brahman; all
My dealings are in cash and never on credit. So many people come
to Me, and ask for wealth, health, power, honour, position, cure
of diseases and other temporal matters. Rare is the person, who
comes here to Me and asks for Brahma-Jnana. There is no dearth of
persons asking for wordly things, but as persons interested in spiritual
matters are very rare, I think it a lucky and auspicious moment,
when persons like you come and press Me for Brahma-Jnana. So I show
to you with pleasure, the Brahman with all its accompaniments and
Saying this, Baba started to show him the Brahman. He made him
sit there and engaged him in some other talk or affair and thus
made him forget his question for the time being. Then He called
a boy and told him to go to one Nandu Marwari, and get from him
a hand-loan of Rs. five. The boy left and returned immediately,
saying that Nandu was absent and his house ws locked. Then Baba
asked him to go to Bala grocer and get from him, the said loan.
This time also, the boy was unsuccessful. This experiment was repeated
again twice or thrice, with the same result.
Sai Baba was, as we know, the living and moving Brahman Incarnate.
Then, some one may ask - "Why did He want the paltry sum of
five rupees, and why did He try hard to get it on loan? Really He
did not want that sum at all. He must have been fully knowing, that
Nandu and Bala were absent, and he seems to have adopted this procedure
as a test for the seeker of Brahman. That gentleman had a roll or
bundle of currency notes in his pocket, and if he was really earnest,
he would not have sat quiet and be a mere onlooker, when Baba was
frantically trying to get a paltry sum of Rs. five. He knew that
Baba would keep His word and repay the debt, and that the sum wanted
was insignificant. Still he could not make up his mind and advance
the sum. Such a man wanted from Baba the greatest thing in the world,
viz., the Brahma-Jnana! Any other man, who really loved Baba, would
have at once given Rs. five, instead of being a mere onlooker. It
was otherwise with this man. He advanced no money nor did he sit
silent, but began to be impatient, as he was in a haste to return
and implored Baba saying- "Oh Baba, please show me the Brahman
soon." Baba replied - "Oh my dear friend, did you not
understand all the procedure that I went through, sitting in this
place, for enabling you to see the Brahman? It is, in short this.
For seeing Brahman one has to give five things, i.e. surrender five
things viz. (1) Five Pranas (vital forces), (2) Five senses (five
of action and five of perception), (3) mind, (4) intellect and (5)
ego. This path of Brahma-Jnana of self-realization is 'as hard as
to tread on the edge of a razor'.
Sai Baba then gave rather a long discourse on the subject, the purport
of which is given below
Qualifications for Brahma-Jnana or Self-Realization
All persons do not see or realize the Brahman in their life-time.
Certain qualifications are absolutely necessary.
(1) Mumuksha or intense desire to get free. He, who thinks that
he is bound and that he should get free from bondage and works earnestly
and resolutely to that end;and who does not care for any other thinks,
is qualified for the spiritual life.
(2) Virakti or a feeling of disgust with the things of this world
and the next. Unless a man feels disgusted with the things, emoluments
and honors, which his action would bring in this world and the next,
he has no right to enter into the spiritual realm.
(3) Antarmukhata (introversion). Our senses have been created by
God with a tendency to move outward and so, man always looks outside
himself and not inside. He who wants self-realization and immortal
life, must turn his gaze inwards, and look to his inner Self.
(4) Catharsis from (Purging away of) sins. Unless a man has turned
away from wickedness, and stopped from doing wrong, and has entirely
composed himself and unless his mind is at rest, he cannot gain
self-realization, even by means of knowledge.
(5) Right Conduct. Unless, a man leads a life of truth, penance
and insight, a life of celibacy, he cannot get God-realization.
(6) Preferring Shreyas, (the Good) to Preyas (the Pleasant). There
are two sorts of things viz., the Good and the Pleasant; the former
deals with spiritual affairs, and the latter with mundane matters.
Both these approach man for acceptance. He has to think and choose
one of them. The wise man prefers the Good to the Pleasant; but
the unwise, through greed and attachment, chooses the Pleasant.
(7) Control of the mind and the senses.
The body is the chariot and the Self is its master; intellect is
the charioteer and the mind is the reins; the senses are the horses
and sense-objects their paths. He who has no understanding and whose
mind is unrestrained, his senses unmanageable like the vicious horses
of a charioteer, does not reach his destination (get realization),
but goes through the round of births and deaths; but he who has
understanding and whose mind is restrained, his senses being under
control, like the good horse of a charioteer, reaches that place,
i.e., the state of self-realization, when he is not born again.
The man, who has understanding as his charioteer (guide) and is
able to rein his mind, reaches the end of the journey, which is
the supreme abode of the all-pervading, Vishnu (lord).
(8) Purification of the mind. Unless a man discharges satisfactorily
and disinterestedly the duties of his station in life, his mind
will not be purified and, unless his mind is purified, he cannot
get self-realization. It is only in the purified mind that Viveka
(discrimination between the Unreal and the Real), and Vairagya (Non-attachment
to the unreal) crop up and lead on the self-realization. Unless
egoism is dropped, avarice got rid of, and the mind made desireless
(pure), self-realization is not possible. The idea that 'I am the
body' is a great delusion, and attachment to this idea is the cause
of bondage. Leave off this idea and attachment therefore, if you
want to get to the Self-realization.
(9) The necessity of a Guru. The knowledge of the self is so subtle
and mystic, that no one could, by his own individual effort ever
hope to attain it. So the help of another person-Teacher, who has
himself got self-realization is absolutely necessary. What others
cannot give with great labour and pains, can be easily gained with
the help of such a Teacher; for he has walked on the path himself
and can easily take the disciple, step by step on the ladder of
(10) and lastly the Lord's Grace is the most essential thing. When
the Lord is pleased with any body, He gives him Viveka and Vairagya;
and takes him safe beyond the ocean of mundane existence, "The
Self cannot be gained by the study of Vedas, nor by intellect, nor
by much learning. He, whom the Self chooses, by him It is gained.
To him the Self reveals Its nature", says the Katha Upanishad.
After the dissertation was over, Baba turned to the gentleman and
said - "Well sir, there is in your pocket the Brahma (or Mammon)
in the form of fifty-times five(Rs.250/-) rupees; please take that
out." The gentleman took out from his pocket the bundle of
currency notes, and to his great surprise found, on counting them,
that there were 25 notes of 10 rupees each, Seeing this ominiscience
of Baba, he was moved and fell at Baba's Feet and craved for His
blessings. Then Baba said to him, "Roll up your bundle of Brahma
viz. Currency notes. Unless you get rid completely of your avarice
or greed, your will not get the real Brahma. How can be, whose mind
is engrossed in wealth, progeny and prosperity, expect to know the
Brahma, without removing away his attachment for the same?
The illusion of attachment or the love for money is a deep eddy
(whirlpool) of pain full of crocodiles in the form of conceit and
jealousy. He, who is desireless, can alone cross this whirlpool.
Greed and Brahma are as poles asunder, they are eternally opposed
to each other. Where there is greed, there is no room for thought
or meditation of the Brahma. Then how can a greedy man get dispassion
and salvation? For a greedy man there is no peace, neither contentment,
nor certainty (steadiness). If there be even a little trace of greed
in mind, all the Sadhanas (spiritual endeavors) are of no avail.
Even the knowledge of a well-read man, who is not free from the
desire of the fruit or reward of his actions, and who has got no
disgust for the same, is useless and can't help him in getting self-realization.
The teachings of a Guru are of no use to a man, who is full of
egoism, and who always thinks about the sense-objects. Purification
of mind is absolutely necessary; without it, all our spiritual endeavors
are nothing, but useless show and pomp. It is, therefore, better
for one to take only what he can digest and assimilate. My treasury
is full, and I can give anyone, what he wants, but I have to see
whether he is qualified to receive what I give. If you listen to
Me carefully, you will be certainly benefited. Sitting in this Masjid,
I never speak any untruth."
When a guest is invited to a house, all the members of the household
and other friends and relations that happen to be present, are entertained,
along with the guest. So all those that were present in the Masjid
at this time, could partake of the spiritual feast, that was served
by Baba for the rich gentleman. After getting Baba's blessings,
one and all, including the gentleman left the place quite happy
Special Characteristic of Baba
There are many Saints, who leaving their houses, stay in forest,
caves or hermitages and remaining in solitude, try to get liberation
or salvation for themselves. They do not care for other people,
and are always self-absorbed. Sai Baba was not of such a type. He
had no home, no wife, no progency, nor any relations, near or distant.
Still, He lived in the world (society). He begged His bread from
four or five houses, always lived at the foot of the (Neem) tree,
carried on wordly dealings, and taught all the people how to act.
and behave in this world. Rare are the Sadhus and Saints who, after
attaining God-vision, strive for the welfare of the people. Sai
Baba was the foremost of these and, therefore, says Hemadpant.
"Blessed is the country, blessed is the family, and blessed
are the chaste parents where This extraordinary, transcendent, precious
and pure jewel (Sai Baba) was born."
Bow to Shri Sai - Peace be to all