- Chapter XXII
Rescues from Serpent-bites - (1) Balasaheb Mirikar (2) Bapusaheb
Booty (3) Amir Shakkar (4) Hemadpant - Baba's Opinion Regarding
Killing of Serpents.
How to meditate on Baba? No one has been able to fathom the nature
or the form of the Almighty. Even the Vedas and the thousand-tongued
Shesha are not able to describe it fully; but the devotees cannot
but know and look at the form of the Lord, for they know that His
Feet are the only means of their happiness. They know no other method
of attaining the supreme goal of life, except meditating on the
Holy Feet. Hemadpant suggests an easy way of devotion and meditation
As the dark fortnight of every month wears out gradually, the moonlight
also wanes in the same degree and on the newmoon day, we do not
see the moon at all, nor do we get her light. Therefore, when the
bright fortnight begins, people are very anxious to see the moon.
On the first day, the moon is not seen and on the second day also
she is not clearly visible. Then the people are asked to see the
moon through an opening between the two branches of a tree, and
when they begin to see through this aperture eagerly and after concentratedly,
the distant small crescent of the moon comes, to their great delight,
within their ken. Following this clue, let us try to see Baba's
Light. Look at Baba's posture, how fine it is! He is sitting with
His legs folded,the right leg held across the left knee. The fingers
of His left hand are spread on the right-foot. On the right toe
are spread His two fingers-the index and middle ones. By this posture
Baba means to say, as it were-if you want to see My Light, be egoless
and most humble and meditate on My toe through the opening between
the two branches-index and middle fingers-and then you will be able
to see My Light. This is the easiest means of attaining devotion.
Now let us turn for a moment to Baba's life. Shirdi had become
a place of pilgrimage on account of Baba's stay. People from all
quarters began to flock there, and both the rich and the poor began
to be benefited in more ways than one and in some form or other.
Who can describe Baba's boundless love and His wonderful natural
knowledge and His all-pervasiveness? Blessed is he, who could experience
one or all of these. Sometimes Baba observed long silence which
was, in a way, His dissertation on Brahman; at other times He was
Consciousness-Bliss Incarnate, surrounded by His devotees. Sometimes
He spoke in parables, and at other times indulged in wit and humour.
At times, He was quite unambiguous (clear) and at times He seemed
enraged. Sometimes He gave His teachings in a nut-shell, at other
times He argued at length. Many a time He was very plain. In this
way, He gave varied instructions to many, according to their requirements.
His life was, therefore, inscrutable, beyond the ken of our mind,
beyond our intellect and speech. Our longing to see His face, to
talk with Him and hear His Leelas was never satisfied; still we
were overflowing with joy. We can count the showers of rain, encircle
(tie) the wind in a leather bag, but who can gauge or measure His
Leelas? Now we deal here with one aspect of them, viz. how He anticipated
or forestalled the calamities of His devotees and warded them off
Balasaheb Mirikar, son of Sirdar Kakasaheb Mirikar was Mamlatdar
of Kopergaon. He was going on tour to Chitali. On the way he came
to Shirdi to see Sai Baba. When he went to the Masjid and prostrated
himself before Baba, usual conversation regarding health and other
matters commenced, when Baba sounded a note of warning as follows:-"Do
you know our Dwarakamayi?" As Balasaheb did not understand
he kept quiet, Baba continued - "This is our Dwarakamayi, where
you are sitting. She wards off all dangers and anxieties of the
children, who sit on her lap.
This Masjidmayi (its presiding Deity) is very merciful, she is
the mother of the simple devotees, whom she will save in calamities.
Once a person sits on her lap, all his troubles are over. He, who
rests in her shade, gets Bliss". Then Baba gave him Udi, and
placed His protecting hand on his head. When Balasaheb was about
to depart, He again said- "Do you know the "Lamba Bava"
(long gentleman), Viz. serpent?" And then closing the left
arm like fist He brought it near the right elbow, and moving His
left arm like the hood of a serpent, He said- "He is so terrible,
but what can he do to the children of Dwarakamayi: When the Dwarakamayi
(its presiding deity) protects, what can the serpent do?"
All who were present there, were curious to know the meaning of
all this and its reference to Mirikar, but none had the courage
to ask Baba about this. Then Balasaheb saluted Baba and left the
Masjid with Shama. Baba called Shama back and asked him to accompany
Balasaheb, and enjoy the Chitali trip. Shama came to Balasaheb,
and told him that he would go with him according to Baba's wish.
Balasaheb replied that he need not come as it would be inconvenient.
Sharma returned to Baba and told Him what Balasaheb said to him.
Baba said, "Alright, do not go. We should mean well and do
well. Whatever is destined to happen, will happen".
In the meanwhile Balasaheb thought over again, and calling Shama
asked him to accompany him. Then Shama going again to Baba and taking
His leave started with Balasaheb in the tanga. They reached Chitali
at 9 P.M. and encamped in the Maruti temple. The office-people had
not come; so they sat quiet in the temple, talking and chitchating.
Balasaheb was sitting on a mat reading a newspaper. His Uparani
(upper dhotar) was spread across his waist and on a part of it a
snake was sitting unobserved. It began to move with a rustling sound
which was heard by the peon. He brought a lantern, saw the snake
and raised an alarm- 'serpent, serpent'. Balasaheb was frightened
and began to quiver. Shama was also amazed. Then he and others moved
noiselessly and took sticks and clubs in their hands. The snake
got down slowly from the waist and it moved away from Balasaheb;
it was immediately done to death. Thus this calamity, which was
prophesied by Baba, was averted and Balasaheb's love for Baba was
A great astrologer named Nanasaheb Dengale told one day Bapusaheb
Booty, who was then in Shirdi, "To-day is an inauspicious day
for you, there is a danger to your life". This made Bapusaheb
restless. When they, as usual, came to Masjid, Baba said to Bapusaheb-
"What does this Nana say? He foretells death for you. Well,
you need not be afraid. Tell him boldly "Let us see how death
kills." Then later in the evening Bapusaheb went to his privy
for easing himself where he saw a snake. His servant saw it and
lifted a stone to strike at it. Bapusaheb asked him to get a big
stick, but before the servant returned with the stick, the snake
was seen moving away and soon disappeared. Bapusaheb remembered
with joy Baba's words of fearlessness.
Amir Shankar was a native of the village Korale, in Kopergaon Taluka.
he belonged to the butcher caste. He worked as a commission agent
in Bandra, and was well-known there. He once suffered from Rheumatism,
which gave him much pain. He was then reminded of God, and so, he
left his business and went to Shirdi, and prayed to Baba to relieve
him from his malady. Baba then stationed him in the Chavadi, which
was then a damp unhealthy place, unfit for such a patient. Any other
place in the village, or Korale itself would have been better for
Amir, but Baba's word was the deciding factor and the chief medicine.
Baba did not allow him to come to the Masjid, but fixed him in the
Chavadi, where he got very great advantage. Baba passed via Chavadi
every morning and evening; and every alternate day Baba went to
the Chavadi in a procession and slept there. So Amir got Baba's
contact very often easily. Amir stayed there for full nine months,
and then, somehow or other, he got a disgust for the place. So one
night he stealthily left the place and came to Kopergaon and stayed
in a Dharmashala.
There he saw an old dying Fakir, who asked him for water. Amir
brought it and gave it to him. As soon as he drank it, he passed
away. Then Amir was in a fix. He thought that if he went and informed
the authorities, he would be held responsible for the death as he
was the first and sole informant, and knew something about it. He
repented for his action, viz. leaving Shirdi without Baba's leave,
and prayed to Baba. He then determined to return to Shirdi, and
that same night he ran back, remembering and muttering Baba's name
on the way, and reached Shirdi before day-break, and became free
from anxiety. Then he lived in the Chavadi in perfect accordance
with Baba's wishes and orders, and got himself cured. One night
it so happened that Baba cried at midnight- "Oh Abdul, some
devilish creature is dashing against the side of My bed".
Abdul came with a latern, examined Baba's bed but found nothing,
Baba asked him to examine carefully all the place and began to strike
ground with His satka. Seeing this Leela of Baba, Amir thought that
Baba might have suspected some serpent had come there. Amir could
know by close and long contact the meaning of Baba's words and actions.
Baba then saw near Amir's cushion something moving. He asked Abdul
to bring in the light, and when he brought it, he saw the coil of
a serpent there, moving its head up and down. Thereupon the serpent
was immediately beaten to death. Thus Baba gave timely warning and
Hemadpant (Scorpion and Serpent)
(1) At Baba's recommendation Kakasaheb Dixit was daily reading the
two works of Shri Eknath Maharaj, viz., Bhagwat and Bhawartha Ramayana
and Hemadpant had the good forturne to be one of the audience when
the reading of the works was going on. Once when a portion from
the Ramayana relating to Hanuman's testing Rama's greatness, according
to his mother's instructions, was being read, all the listeners
were spell-bound. Hemadpant was one of them. A big scorpion (none
knew where it came from), jumped and sat on the right shoulder of
Hemadpant, on his Uparani (upper dhotar). First it was not noticed,
but as the Lord protects those, who are intent on hearing His stories,
he casually cast a glance over his right shoulder and noticed it.
It was dead silence, not a bit moved here or there. It seemed as
if, it also enjoyed the reading.
Then by the Lord's grace, Hemadpant without disturbing the audience,
took the two ends of his dhotar, folded them, and brought them together,
enclosing the scorpion within. Then he went out, and threw it in
the garden. (2) On another occasion some persons were sitting in
the upper floor of Kakasaheb's Wada, just before nightfall, when
a serpent crept through a hole in the window frame and sat coiled
up. A light was brought. Though it was first dazzled, yet it sat
still and only moved its head up and down. Then many persons rushed
there with sticks and cudgels, but as it sat in an awakward place,
no blow could be dealt. But hearing the noises of men, the serpent
went out hastily through the same hole. Then all the persons there
One devotee named Muktaram, then said that it was good that the
poor creature escaped. Hemadpant challenged him saying that serpents
should better be killed. There was a hot discussion between them
- the former contending that serpents, and such creatures, should
not be killed, the latter that they should be. As night came on,
the discussion came to an end, without any decision being arrived
at. Next day, the question was reffered to Baba, who gave His settled
opinion as follows:- "God lives in all beings and creatures,
whether they be serpents or scorpions. He is the Great Wirepuller
of the world, and all beings, serpents, scorpions etc., obey His
command. Unless He will it, nobody can do any harm to others. The
world is all dependent on Him, and no one is independent. So we
should take pity and love all creatures, leave off adventurous fights
and killings and be patient. The Lord (God) is the Protector of
Bow to Shri Sai - Peace be to all