Sai Satchritra - Chapter
The Passing Away In Baba's Presence of - (1) Sannyasi Vijayanand
- (2) Balaram Mankar - (3) Noolkar - (4) Megha - and (5) The Tiger.
In this Chapter Hemadpant describes the passing away of certain
persons and a tiger in Baba's presence.
The last wish or thought that a man has at the hour of death, determines
his future course. Shri Krishna has said in Gita (VIII-5-6) that
"he who remembers Me in his last moments, comes verily to Me,
and he that meditates otherwise at that time goes to what he looks
for." We cannot be certain that we can entertain a particular
good thought at our last moment, for, more often than not, we are
more likely to be frightened and terrified by many causes. Hence
constant practice is necessary for enabling us to fix our mind on
any desired good thought at any or the last moment. All Saints,
therefore, recommended us to always remember God and chant His name
always, so that we may not be puzzled when the time for departure
comes. The devotees on their part surrender themselves completely
to the Saints, fully believing that the all-knowing Saints would
guide and help them in their last moments. A few such cases will
be noted here.
A Madrasi Sannyasi named Vijayanand started on a pilgrimage to Manasa-Sarovar.
En route, hearing Baba's fame, he halted at Shirdi. There he met
one Somadevaji Swami of Hardwar and enquired of him about the particulars
of the Manasa-Sarovar trip. The Swami told him that the Sarovar
was 500 miles above the Gangotri and described to him the difficulties
of the journey, viz. plenty of snow and the change of dialect every
50 koss and the suspicious nature of the people of Bhutan who give
a lost of trouble to the pilgrims on the way. Hearing this, the
Sannyasi was dejected and cancelled the trip. Then when he went
to Baba and prostrated himself before Him, Baba got enraged and
said, "Drive out this useless Sannyasi, his company is of no
The Sannyasi did not know Baba's nature. He felt discomforted,
but sat there watching things that were going on. It was the morning
Darbar and the Masjid was overcrowded. Baba was being worshipped
in various ways. Some were washing His Feet, some taking the Tirth
(holy water) from His toe and drinking it heartily and some touching
their eyes with it, some were applying sandal-paste, and some scents
to His body. And all were doing these things forgetting the distinction
of caste and creed. Though Baba got enraged with him, he was filled
with affection for Baba and he did not like to leave the place.
He stayed in Shirdi for two days when he got a letter from Madras
stating that his mother was very ill. He felt very dejected and
wanted to be by his mother's side; but he could not leave without
Baba's permission. So he saw Baba with the letter in hand and asked
for His permission to return home. The omniscient Baba knowing the
future said to him - "If you so loved your mother, why did
you take Sannayasa? Fondness or attachment ill becomes an ochre
garb. Go and sit quiet at your lodging, wait with patience for a
few days. In the Wada there are many robbers, bolt your doors, be
very vigilant, the thieves will carry everything. Wealth and prosperity
are transient and the body is subject to decay and death. Knowing
this, do your duty, leaving all attachment to the things of this
world and next. He who does this and surrenders himself to the Feet
of Hari (Lord) will get free from all troubles and attain bliss.
The Lord runs and helps him who remembers and meditates on Him with
love and affection. Your store of past merits is considerable, so
you have come here. Now attend to what I say and realise the end
of your life. Being desireless, begin from tomorrow the study of
Bhagwat. Do three 'saptahas' i.e. three reading during three weeks,
The Lord will be pleased with you and destroy your sorrows, your
illusions will vanish and you will get peace." Seeing that
his end was approaching, Baba prescribed that remedy and made him
read 'Ramavijaya' which pleases the God of death. Next morning after
bathing and other purifying rites he commenced to read Bhagwat in
a secluded part in the Lendi garden. He completed two readings and
thereafter felt much exhausted. He returned to the Wada and stayed
in his lodging for two days and on the third day he breathed his
last on Fakir (Bade) Baba's lap. Baba asked the people to preserve
the body for a day for a good reason. The police afterwards came
and on making proper enquiries gave permission for the disposal
of the body. It was buried in a proper place with due rites. In
this way Baba helped the Sannyasi and ensured him Sadgati (salvation).
(2) Balaram Mankar
There was a house-holder devotee of Baba by name Balaram Mankar.
When his wife passed away, he got dejected and entrusting his household
to his son, left his home and came to Shirdi and lived with Baba.
Being pleased with his devotion, Baba wanted to give a good turn
to his life and He did this in this wise. He gave him Rs. 12/- and
asked him to go and live in Macchindragad (District Satara). Mankar
was first unwilling to go and stay away from Baba, but Baba convinced
him that he was giving the best course for him and asked him to
practise mediation thrice a day on the Gad. Believing in Baba's
words, Mankar came to the Gad. He was much pleased with the lovely
sight, pure water, healthy air and the surroundings of the place,
and began to practice assiduously the meditations as recommended
by Baba. After some days he got a revelation. Generally Bhaktas
get revelation in their Samadhi or trance states, but in Mankar's
case he got it, when he came down to his ordinary consciousness
from his trance.
Baba appeared to him in person. Not only that Mankar saw Him, but
he also asked Him why he was sent there. Baba replied - "In
Shirdi many thoughts and ideas began to rise in your mind and I
sent you here to rest your unsteady mind. You thought that I was
in Shirdi with a body composed of the five elements and three and
a half cubits in length, and not outside of it. Now you see and
determine for yourself whether the person you see here now is the
same you saw at Shirdi. It is for this reason that I sent you here."
Then after the period was over, Mankar left the Gada and proceeded
to his native place Bandra. He wanted to travel by rail from Poona
to Dadar, but when he went to the booking office to get a ticket,
he found it very much crowded. He could not get his ticket soon,
when, a villager with a langoti (piece of cloth) on his waist and
kambali on his shoulder turned up and said - "Where are your
going?" "To Dadar." replied Mankar.
Then he said - "Please take this Dadar ticket of mine; as
I have some urgent business here, I have cancelled my Dadar trip."
Mankar was very glad to receive the ticket and was just taking out
money from his pocket, when the rustic disappeared in the crowd.
Mankar tried to find him out in the crowd, but it was in vain. He
waited for him till the train left the station but found no trace
of him. This was the second revelation Mankar got in a strange form.
Then Mankar after visiting his home, again returned to Shirdi and
remained there at Baba's feet, always following His biddings and
advice. In the end, he was very fortunate to leave this world in
the presence, and with the blessings of Baba.
(3) Tatyasaheb Noolkar
Hemadpant gives no particulars regarding Tatyasaheb Noolkar, except
the bare mention of the fact that he up his ghost in Shirdi. A brief
summary of his account that appeared in the Sai Leela magazine is
Tatyasaheb was a Sub-Judge at Pandharpur in 1909, when Nanasaheb
Chandorkar was Mamalatdar there. Both met often and exchanged talks.
Tatyasaheb did not believe in saints, while Nanasaheb loved them.
Nanasaheb often told him the Leelas of Sai Baba and pressed him
to go to Shirdi and see Baba. He finally agreed to go to Shirdi
on two conditions:- (1) he must get a Brahmin cook, and (2) must
get good Nagpur oranges for the presentation. Both these conditions
were providentially fulfilled. A Brahmin came to Nanasaheb for service
and he was sent to Tatyasaheb and a fruit parcel containing 100
beautiful oranges was received by Tatyasaheb, the consigner being
not known. As the conditions were fulfilled, Tatyasaheb had to go
At first Baba was much enraged with him. But by and by Tatyasaheb
got such experiences that he was convinced that Baba was God incarnate.
So he was enamoured of Baba and stayed there till his death. As
his end was approaching, sacred literature was read out to him and
at the last hour Baba's Pada-tirth was brought and given to him
for drinking. Baba on hearing of his death, said, "Oh, Tatya
went ahead of us, he won't be reborn."
The story of Megha has been already described in Chapter 28. When
Megha died, all the villagers followed the funeral procession. Baba
also accompanied them and showered flowers on Megha's body. After
the obsequies were performed, tears flowed from Baba's eyes and
like an ordinary mortal, Baba showed Himself overcome with grief
and sorrow. Then covering the body with flowers and crying like
a near relation, Baba returned to the Masjid.
Many Saints have been seen giving Sadgati to men, but Baba's greatness
is unique. Even a cruel animal like a tiger came to Baba's feet
for being saved. It is this story which will be narrated now.
Seven days before Baba passed away, a wonderful incident occured
at Shirdi. There came a country-cart and stopped in front of the
Masjid. A tiger was on the cart, fastened with iron chains, with
its fierce face turned to the rear. It was suffering from some pain
or agony. Its keepers - three Derveshis - were taking it from place
to place and making money by exhibiting it. It was the means of
their subsistence. They tried all sorts of remedies to cure it from
the malady it was suffering from, but all was in vain. Then they
heard of Baba's fame and came to Him with the animal. They got it
down the chains in their hands and made it stand at the door. It
was naturally fierce, besides, disease ridden. So it was restless.
The people began to look at it with fear and amazement.
The Derveshies went in, told Baba everything about the animal
and with His consent, brought it before Him. As it approached the
steps, it was taken aback on account of the lustre of Baba and hung
its head down. When both saw each other, it got on the step and
looked at Baba with affection. Immediately it moved the tuft of
its tail and dashed it thrice against the ground and then fell down
senseless. On seeing it dead the Derveshis were first much dejected
and full of sorrow, but on mature thought they came to their senses.
They considered that as the animal was diseased and nearing its
end, it was very meritorious on its part that it should meet its
death at the feet and in the presence of Baba. It was their debtor,
and when the debt was paid off it was free and met its end at Sai's
Feet. When any creatures bow down their heads at saints' feet and
meet death, they are saved; and unless they have got a good store
of merit on their account, How could they get such a happy end?
Bow to Shri Sai - Peace be to all