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Shri Sai Satcharitra-Chapter 43 And 44 Part II

Continued From Part I

Two or three days previous, Baba had stopped His morning peregrinations and begging rounds and sat in the Masjid. He was conscious to the last and was advising the devotees not to lose heart. He let nobody know the exact time of His departure. Kakasaheb Dixit and Shriman Booty were dining daily with Him in the Masjid. That day (15th October) after arati, He asked them to go to their residence for dining. Still a few, viz., Laxmibai Shinde, Bhagoji Shinde, Bayaji, Laxman Bala Shimpi and Nanasaheb Nimonkar remained there.

Shama was sitting down on the steps. After giving Rs. 9/- to Laxmibai Shinde, Baba said that He did not feel well there (in the Masjid) and that He should be taken to the Dagadi (stone) Wada of Booty, where He would be alright. Saying these last words, He leaned on Bayaji's body and breathed His last. Bhagoji noticed that His breathing had stopped and he immediately told this to Nanasaheb Nimonkar who was sitting below. Nanasaheb brought some water and poured it in Baba's mouth. It came out. Then he cried out loudly 'Oh Deva.' Baba seemed just to open His eyes and say 'Ah' in a low tone. But it soon become evident that Baba had left His body for good.

Sai Ram. Life and death are just two phases of existence in the continuum of consciousness and for a realised Sage / Saint, physical death is just a transition, like stepping out from one room into another. Since the Saint attaches no special significance to the body, He may choose any time or method for the transition. Sai indicated that His time in the physical body was over and it was time for the transition to the higher planes from where He can continue to guide us. His words that He did not feel well there (in the Masjid) and that He should be taken to the Dagadi (Stone) Wada of Booty, where He would be alright are significant.

We have seen that He prepared the site of that Wada many many decades ago by removing all the weeds, by planting beautiful flowering plants and watering them etc. Since He is the Kshetrajna, knower of the field, He prepared the Kshetra, the field, properly and of course the highest flower plant (His own sacred body) was planted there so that the flagrant flowers of Bliss can grow and spread their fragrance from there for ages! Sai Ram.

The news of Baba's passing away spread like a wild fire in the village of Shirdi and all people, men, women and children ran to the Masjid and began to mourn this loss in various ways. Some cried out loudly, some wallowed on in the streets and some fell down senseless. Tears ran down from the eyes of all and every one was smitten by sorrow.

The news of Baba's passing away spread like a wild fire in the village of Shirdi and all people, men, women and children ran to the Masjid and began to mourn this loss in various ways. Some cried out loudly, some wallowed on in the streets and some fell down senseless. Tears ran down from the eyes of all and every one was smitten by sorrow.

Sai Ram. Though Sai tried His level best to teach them to look beyond His physical body, the power of Maya is so great that they developed attachments to Him. Attachments lead to grief and Sai Sadguru was teaching that great spiritual lesson even at that instant! His repeated requests to them not to lose heart is significant since the Lord / Sadguru Sai is seated in the heart and they should not lose their heart and their spiritual knowledge through momentary grief and attachments, however noble the emotions are. Golden chains are also chains only and need to be severed! Sai Ram.

To be continued

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.

Story first published: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 12:01 [IST]
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