We come to the next story, which shows how Saints love each other with fraternal affection. Once Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati, known as Shri Tembe Swami encamped, at Rajamahendri (present Rajamahendravaram or Rajamundry of Andhra Pradesh), on the banks of Godavari. He was a devout, orthodox, Jnani and Yogi Bhakta of God Dattatreya. One, Mr. Pundalikrao, pleader of Nanded (Nizam State, now in Maharashtra) went to see Him, with some friends. While they were talking with him, the names of Shirdi and Sai Baba were casually mentioned. Hearing Baba's name, the Swami bowed with his hands; and taking a coconut gave it to Pundalikrao, and said to him, "Offer this to my brother Sai, with my pranam and request Him not to forget me, but ever love me." He also added that the Swamis do not generally bow to others, but in this case an exception had to be made. Mr. Pundalikrao consented to take the coconut and His message to Baba. The Swami was right in calling Baba a brother, for as he maintained an Agnihotra (Sacred fire) day and night, in his orthodox fashion; Baba too kept His Agnihotra, i.e., Dhuni ever burning in the Masjid.
Sai Ram. Both were humble, both were Jnanis and always remembered God, Allah, Datta. Thus they are indeed brothers. Sai Ram.
After one month Pundalikrao and others left for Shirdi with the coconut, and reached Manmad, and as they felt thirsty they went to a rivulet for drinking water. As water should not be drunk on an empty stomach, they took out some refreshments, i.e., Chivda (flattened rice mixed with spice). The Chivda tasted pungent and in order to soften it, someone suggested and broke the coconut and mixed its scrapings with it. Thus they made the Chivda more tasty and palatable. Unfortunately the coconut broken, turned out to be the same, that was entrusted to Pundalikrao. As they neared Shirdi, Pundalikrao remembered the trust, i.e., the coconut and was very sorry to learn that it was broken and utilized. Fearing and trembling, he came to Shirdi and saw Baba. Baba had already received a wireless message, regarding the coconut, from Tembe Swami, and Himself asked Pundalikrao first to give the thing sent by His brother. He held fast Baba's Feet, confessed his guilt and negligence, repented and asked for Baba's pardon. He offered to give another cocnut as a substitute, but Baba refused to accept it saying that the worth of that coconut was by far, many times more, than an ordinary one and that it could not be replaced by another one. Baba also added- "Now you need not worry yourself any more about the matter. It was on account of my wish that the coconut was entrusted to you, and ultimately broken on the way; why should you take the responsibility of the actions on you? Do not entertain the sense of doership in doing good, as well as for bad deeds; be entirely prideless and egoless in all things and thus your spiritual progress will be rapid." What a beautiful spiritual instruction Baba gave!
Sai Ram. Baba, the Sadguru is giving a great lesson here. Either we feel that we are the doer, the deed and the act of doing (that is we are the very Parmatma and not the ego) or we accept that God (Paramatma, Iswara) is the real doer and we are but mere puppets, instruments in His hands. Here, Baba being the Sadguru, is identifying Himself with Paramatma, (at other places, He describes Himself as a mere servant of Allah, when He speaks from the ego plane). Thus, He is indicating that we should be servants at the ego level and thus attain the purity to attain the oneness with the SUPREME SELF. Sai Ram.
Sai Satcharitra, a spiritual text, is the reflection of the story of Shirdi Sai (baba), a noted Indian Saint and His teachings, written by Hemadpant, a direct devotee and disciple of Shirdi Sai. This article is an excerpt from Sai Satcharitra-Chapter 48, begining with 'Warding off devotees' calamities'. This article an introduction to Ch 48, reveals the difference between a Satguru and a Guru.
About the author
S V Swamy
Swarna Venkateswara Swamy, (also known as Venkateswara Swamy Swarna, S.V.Swamy or simply Swamy) is a physicist and a metallurgist by education. He considers Sai Baba of Shirdi as his Sadguru but respects all Gurus. He is an avid reader, a book reviewer and an editor. He has an abiding interest in holistic health systems.