One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God. ~Ramakrishna~

Sri Sai Sachcharira - Chapter -9 - Part 2

Dec 3, 2016

Sri Sai Sachcharira - Chapter -9 - Part 1
Effect of touch of Guru's hand and Sai Baba's words, URS on Ramanavami Day, Chandan celebration, Arrangement for the fare, Inter-relatedness of US and Ramanavami, Renovation of mosque.

Inner-relatedness of Ramanavami and URS 

Ramanavami at Shirdi

This idea appealed to Kaka Mahajani. Now the main problem was how to get a 'haridas' who could perform 'sankirtan' chanting glories of God. But Bhishma solved this problem. He told: "the composition on the story of Sri Ram, written by me is complete, in which the birth of Sri Ram is also included. I will do the kirtan of that and you give me company on the 'harmonium'(musical instrument) and Radhakrishna mai would prepare 'Prasad'.

Then both of them went to the mosque to get the approval of Baba. Baba being omniscient knew what was happening in the wada. Baba asked a question to Mahajani:"what was happening there?". Mahajani got dismayed by suddenly asked this question. Then Baba asked Bhishma what is the matter? Bhishma presented the idea of celebrating Ramanavami festival before Baba and requested him for his approval. Baba gave approval with pleasure.The next day the mosque was decorated with colorful buntings. Smt. Radhakrishna mai brought a cradle and put it before Baba and thereafter the celebration commenced. Bhishma stood up to do 'Sankirtan' and Mahajani gave him company on the 'Harmonium'. Then Baba called for Mahajani. Mahajani was bewildered with a doubt whether Baba will allow all this festivity to go on. When he reached near Baba, he put a question to him. Why this cradle is put here?

Mahajani told that the programme of Ramanavami celebration has started, and that is why the cradle has been placed here. Baba took up two garlands, ofwhich one he put around the neck of Kaka and other he sent for Bhishm. Now Sankirtan continued. When 'Sankirtan' ended shouts of glory be to 'Raja ram' were raised aloud and red colored powder was thrown up in the air, a few particles of which fell into the eyes of Baba accidentally. There upon Baba got rage and furious. He began furiuosly to shout unpalatable words. All were fear-stricken by witnessing this sudden turn of pleasant event. The close devotees and those who were well-versed with Baba's such sudden outbursts were not to be upset. They took Baba's outbursts as blessings. They thought that today is the birthday of Lord Ram, therefore it is but natural for Baba to be so enraged for the destruction of Ravana and egoistic tendencies of demonic nature. Therefore they all were amusingly taken aback. Radhakrishna mai too was afraid lest Baba may not break up the cradle. So she told kaka Mahajani to remove away the cradle from there.But Baba stopped him from doing so.after sometime Baba was at peacewith himself and the programme of worship and 'Aarti' of that day was completed without any further interruption. Thereafter kaka Mahajani asked permission to take away the cradle. But Baba declined by saying that the celebration was still not over.

The next day 'Gopal Kala' celebration was held, then afterwards Baba allowed taking away of the cradle. In this celebration curd mixed cooked rice is hung upin earthen pot and after the 'Sankrtan' being over the pot is broken and then is distributed to all as 'prashad'. During the day procession of two flags and at night 'chandan' procession was taken out with great festivity. After this Urs celebration was turned into Ramanavami celebration. From the next year (1912) theschedule of Ramanavami celebrations was expanded to include chandan and Urs processions. Smti Radhakrishna mai started 'Naamsaptah' from the 1st day of 'chaitra'(week long recitation of God's name). All devotees took part in it turn by turn. She too joined them in the morning. Ramanavami celebrations are held in all parts of the country. So the next year also the availability of 'Haridas' to do Sankirtan was faced. But it was solved before the commencement of the celebration. Five-six days before Shri Mahajani incidently met Bala Buva. Bala Buva is famous as the present day Tukaram and this year's Sankirtan was assigned to him.

The next year in 1913, Sri Haridas (Bala Buva of satarkar of Satara District) because of out break of Plague in the Kavate village could not do the job of Haridas in his village. So he came to Shirdi this year. Kaka Saheb got the approval of Baba for Kirtan to be performed by him. Baba too gave adequate reward.In 1914 Baba removed the problem of Haridas forever. He assigned the duty to Dasaganu Maharaj. It is worth noting that the procession and the festivity both Hindus and Muslims worked together. But even till today no controversy took place among them.

Renovation of the Mosque

As the idea of holding Urs or fare came to the mind of Shri Gopal Gund first of all, similarly the idea of renovation of the mosque came to his mind alone. He collected stone for this purpose and cut in rectangular shape. But the credit for this job to be completed was reserved for Nana Saheb Chandrokar and doing the floor work to Kaka Saheb Dixit. At first Baba did not give his approval, but on the intervention of local devotee Mahalsapti his approval was obtained and the entire floor of the mosque was completed in single night. Till now Baba used to sit on a piece of tattared mat. Now by removing it from there a small mattress was placed for him to sit. In 1911, the assembly hall too was diligently repaired.

The courtyard of the mosque was very small and inconvenient. Kaka saheb wanted to raise a roof-cover over it by enlarging it. By spending the required money, he purchased the steel pillars etc.,and the work commenced. By working day and night the devotees raised the pillars. The next day when Baba returned from Chawadi he pulled out those pillars and enraged. He pulle dout the pillars by holding it with one hand and by the other he pulled off the turban of Tatya and put it in fre. Due to rage Baba's eyes appeared as if burning amber. None was able to gather courage to look to him. All were afraid of what may happen next. One of Baba's devotees Bhagoji Shinde got courage to move forward, but Baba pushed him behind. Whosoever tried to make him quiet, something to other happened to him.

On his being quiet and the anger over, he called shopkeeper and purchasing an embroidered piece od cloth tiedit on the head of Tatya himself as if a special honor was done to him, watching this wonderful action devotees were astonished. They were unable to know for what unknown reason Baba was so enraged. Why did he give a beating to Tatyaand laterhis anger was cooled off? Baba at time used to be in very serious moods and sometimes on his own become quiet and held loving conversation. But all of a sudden he also used to be enraged without any apparent reason.

****"Om Sai Ram"****

Benefits of performing Abishekas

Jun 26, 2014

Various types of Abishekam

Abhishekam is the ancient sacred Hindu custom of bathing a deity in water, milk, honey, ghee, fruit juice and other liquids. This resulting mixture is intended to be served as prasadam to the devotees who offer their prayers. The pouring of these liquids symbolizes the pouring of a devotee’s purest love for God.  Performing this ceremony, with a pure mind, faith and conviction, results in washing away of sins, and purification of the devotee’s own heart and mind.  Generation after generation, millions of Hindus continue to perform abhishekam to this very day.
But Atheists may raise many questions like over this ritual.  Why is necessary?  Aren’t we just wasting food? 

We get the answer from Sudha Aditya in "The Inner Journey" compares this act to a mother caring for her child:

Take a mother and her child, for example. The mother loves her child dearly and she spares no effort to please it. She cooks the child’s favourite dishes, dresses it in fine clothes and does everything in her power to make the child happy and feel loved and cared for.  The mother never thinks that her is wasting her money, time or effort.
Similarly, the abhishekam is an offering to God and should not be viewed as a waste of materials, effort or time.  In fact, Sudha Aditya goes on to say:

…what we are offering Him by way of abhishekam is actually an minuscule part of what He gives us. We are merely giving Him what already belongs to Him.
As we move into the ritual, the puranic(ancient) vedhas had left evidences that each form of Abhishekam has a definite purpose and devotees are blessed accordingly as stated below:
One who performs abhishekam using:
  • Mangoes will be gifted with Victory ever
  • Panchamirth will be gifted with Prosperity
  • Tender coconut water will be gifted with Good position
  • Vibhudhi(Ash) will be gifted with Goodness
  • Sandal will be gifted with Highest post
  • Paneer(Rose water) will be gifted with Happiness
  • Milk will be gifted with Long life
  • Sesame oil will be gifted with Relief from viral disease
  • Lemon will be gifted with overcome fear of death
  • Bananas will be gifted with full Granary
  • Curd will be gifted with Flourish with generations
  • Honey will be gifted with Good health
  • Jaggery will be gifted with Relief from grieve
  • Sugar will be gifted with Overcome enemies
  • Food will be gifted with All wealth and health
  • Water will be gifted with Peace
The rituals and custom we observe and perform are carried out through generations just not for the religious sake but as the chanting of "OM" creates wonders each of these rituals have been carefully meant to its value and the perfect way of carrying forward it with full faith and dedication results only in peace for everyone on all worldly matters.

Sri Sai Sachcharira - Chapter -9 - Part 1

Jun 12, 2014

Effect of touch of Guru's hand and Sai Baba's words, URS on Ramanavami Day, Chandan celebration, Arrangement for the fare, Inter-relatedness of US and Ramanavami, Renovvation of mosque.
Shirdi Sai Baba, Mylappore, Chennai

Effect of touch of Guru's hand and Sai Baba's words

The power of the touch of the hand of Sadguru is great and astonishing. The subtle body, which is indestructible even by the fire and it envelopes the world, is vanquished by the mere touch of the hand of Guru. Sins of innumerable births are washed away. The mind of such people who have no interest in religious and Godly matters become inclined to piety. The voice gets chocked by ecstasy at the mere 'darshan' of Sri Sai Baba's enchanting form, tears begin to flow and when the heart is overtaken by emotion, bliss of Atmic experience follows with the feelings of "I am that"(So_Aham).

When ego begins to be inflated in devotees, then Guru by annihilating it bestows his power and enables them to attain their final aim and make them worthy of eternal happiness and contentment. The one who takes refuge in Baba becoming humble easily attains virtue, prosperity, pleasures and liberation. There are four paths leading to God-realization works, wisdom, yoga and devotion. Of these the path of devotion is full of pitfalls, and thorns. But if by relying upon Sadguru and avoiding pitfalls and thorns one proceeds further the ultimate aim is easily attained. For the upliftment of devotees the following words of assurance given by Sri Sai Baba are memorable.

In the house of devotees there shall be no shortage of food and clothings'. This is my special attribute that whosoever takes refuge in Me and worships Me in his innermost being I am always worried about his welfare. Lord Krishna too dwelt upon this in Gita. So do not worry unnecessarily for food and clothings'. If you are desirous of asking for something then ask only for God. By giving up the wordly praises and titles, get grace of God and his boon of being fearless, keep on holding fat to your "Ishta"(particular chosen form of God). Engage all your senses and mind in contemplation of God. Do not be attracted to anything material and be immersed in Me so that the tendancies of your mind are not drawn towards senses, progeny, wealth, name and fame. Then your mind shall become steady, peaceful and fearless. Attaining this state is indicative of 'sthitpragya'. If the wavering of mind is not controlled then it cannot be concentrated upon and ultimate goal cannot be achieved".

URS on Ramanavami Day

There was one inspector Shri Gopalrao Gund in Kopargavon village. He was a great devotee of Baba. He had three wives, but none had a child. By the race of Sri Sai Baba he got a son. In the event of being so happy in 1897 he got an idea that a fare or urs should be held in Shirdi. He expressed his idea to other devotees - Tatya Patil, Dada Kote Patil and Madhav Rao. They all liked the idea and they got evev the approval of Baba.

For holding urs was required Government permission. So an application was sent to the collector. But permission was not granted due to objection by village official, but on trying a second time for it the permission was finally granted and with the approval of Baba holding urs on Ramanavami day was decided accordingly.

But now there was difficulty of getting water. There were only two wells in village of which one used to be dry and water of the other was salty. Baba turned salty water to sweet water by dropping a flower into the well. But for how many people water from one well suffice? So Tatya Patil arranged for getting water from outside. Temporary storage of woods and bamboo were put up and boats were arranged. A friend of Gopal Rao Damu Anna Kasar liven in Ahmednagar. He was grieved beacuse of having no child. He too was blessed with a son by the grace of Sri Sai Baba. Sri Gund asked him to offer a flag. Another flag was given by Shri Nana Saheb Nimonar. Both the flags were taken in procession with great gaiety through out the village, and at last they were hoisted on the corners of the mosque which was called Dwarakamai by Baba. This programme continues to be held as before even till to-day.
Ramanavami at Shirdi

"Chandan" Celebration

This celebration was the idea of muslim devotee of Korhal Shri Amir Shakkar Dalal. Normally such a celebration is observed in the honor of Muslim Pir. Lots of sandal paste is collected by rubbing it on a stone sill and placed along with perfumed sticks in large flat vessels. The sticks are lighted and taken in procession to the mosque where the celebration comes to an end. The 'sandal paste' and burning perfumed sticks are scattered on Neem tree and around the mosque. For the first three years arrangements for this celebration were made by ShriAmir Shakkar and after him, his wife did the same. So flag procession by Hindus and 'Chandan' procession by the Muslims were taken out together. This tradition continues even till to-day.

Arrangement for the Fare

The sacred day of Ramanavami is very dear to the devotees of Sri Sai Baba. The external and internal matters were managed by Tatya Pati and a great devotee of Sri Sai Baba Radhakishna mai respectively. On this occassion their residence used to be full of guests and they had to take care of all people who gathered there. At the same time they had to make all necessary arrangements for the fare. The other job she used to do with pleasure was to sweep and clean the mosque and white-wash it. The walls and courtyardof the mosque got blackened due to smoke coming out of constantly burning fire inside it. when Baba would go to Chawadi for taking rest there during night then she used to do all the work. Everyhting including burning pier had to be taken out of the mosque and after cleaning and white-washing they had to be placed in their proper places and properly decorated. The most dear activity of Baba was feeding the poor, which was a part of all the celebrations. For this purpose grand feast used to be arranged. All this job used to be done at the residence of Radhakrishna mai. Many rich persons helped by contributing money. Several volunteers also took active part in the arrangements of the fare.

Inner-relatedness of Ramanavami and URS

In 1911, a changed occured in this programme. A devotee KrishnaraoJogeshwar Bhishma, the author of Sagunopasana, stayed one day before the fare in the Dixit Wada at Shirdi along with Dada Saheb Khaparne of Amaravati. When he was lying in its corridor, Laxmanarao alias Kaka Mahajani was going towards the mosque carrying with him articles of worship. They both exchanged their views how to hold URS fare together with Ramanavami celebration?

......to be continued....
 

Thirumeeyachoor

Thirumeeyachoor
Thiruvavur, Tamilnadu

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