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Hemadpant concludes this chapter with a story of Nanasaheb Chandorkar. When Nanasaheb was once sitting in the Masjid with Mhalasapati and others, a Mahomedan gentlemen from Bijapur came with his family to see Baba. Seeing ghosha (veiled) ladies with him, Nanasaheb wanted to go away, but Baba prevented him from doing so. The ladies came and took the darshan of Baba. When one of the ladies removed her veil in saluting Baba's feet and then resumed it again, Nanasaheb, who saw her face, was so much smitten with her rare beauty that he wished to see her face again.
Knowing Nana's restlessness of mind, Baba spoke to him after the lady had left the place as follows - "Nana, why are you getting agitated in vain? Let the senses do their allotted work, or duty, we should not meddle with their work. God has created this beautiful world and it is our duty to appreciate its beauty. The mind will get steady and calm slowly and gradually. When the front door was open, why go by the back one? When the heart is pure, there is no difficulty, whatsoever. Why should one be afraid of any one if there be no evil thought in us? The eyes may do their work, why should you feel shy and tottering?"
Shama was there and he could not follow the meaning of what Baba said. So he asked Nana about this on their way home. Nana told him about his restlessness at the sight of the beautiful lady, how Baba knew it and advised him about it. Nana explained Baba's meaning as follows - "That our mind is fickle by nature, it should not be allowed to get wild. The senses may get restless, the body, however, should be held in check and not allowed to be impatient. Senses run after objects, but we should not follow them and crave for their objects. By slow and gradual practice restlessness can be conquered. We should not be swayed by the five senses, but they cannot be completely controlled. We should curb them rightly and properly according to the need of the occasion.
Beauty is the subject of sight; we should fearlessly look at the beauty of objects. There is no room for shyness or fear. Only we should never entertain evil thoughts. Making the mind desireless, observe God's works of beauty. In this way the senses will be easily and naturally controlled and even in enjoying objects you will be reminded of God.
If the outer senses are not held in check and if the mind be allowed to run after objects and be attached to them, our cycle of births and deaths will not come to an end. Objects of sense are things harmful. With Viveka (discrimination) as our charioteer, we will control the mind and will not allow the senses to go astray. With such a charioteer we reach the Vishnu-pada, the final abode, our real Home from which there is no return."
Sai Ram. Baba"s teachings were direct and simple and to some extent Nana"s explanation is far more intellectual and pedantic because of Nana Saheb"s study of Gita etc. Baba was simply asking Nanasaheb to adopt the role of a witness to the senses, their inputs and thoughts and be fearless through a pure mind. Baba was also hinting at the uselessness of suppressing desires and forceful observance of austerities. Mind will become pure gradually when the mind gets fed up of enjoying the sensual pleasures – this may take one or more births! Sraddha and Saburi are needed and also are enough. Sai Ram.
Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to all
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 49, beginning talking of the devotees of Baba. This article talks about Baba's advice to Nanasaheb Chandorkar regarding the senses that run after objects.
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.