Sri Sai Sachcharira - Chapter -8

Shirdi Sai Baba - Suprabatha Darshan at Singapore
Installation of Paduka under Neem Tree, Wrestling Bout with Mohiddin, turning water into Oil, Pseudo-Guru Jauhar Ali

Installation of Paduka under Neem Tree

A devotee of Akkalkot Maharaj Bhai Krishnaji Alibagkar used to worship his picture daily. Once he decided to have 'darshan' and do worship of the 'paduka' of Maharaj's by going to Akkalkot (District - Sholapur). But before that Akkalkot Maharaj told him in a dream that now-a-days I am in Shirdi, you do my worship by going there. So Bhai by changing his programme went to Shirdi and worshipped Sri Sai Baba. He stayed at Shirdi for six months happily and as a mark of his dream he got 'paduka' made. He installed 'paduka' in Shaka year 1934 on an auspicious day of Shrvana month. Dada Kekkar and Upasani Maharaj completed the installation ceremony by observing proper rites. One Dixit priest was appointed for doing worship and the management was assigned to a devotee Meru Nayak.

The retired Mamalatdar of Thane Shri B.V.Dev was a great devotee of Sri Sai Baba. He enquired about this matter from Sagun Meru Nayak and Govind Kamalakar Dikshit. The full details of 'paduka' are published in Sri Sai Leela Part II number 1 page 25, which is like this - In 1912 a devotess, Ramarao Kodhare of Mumbai came to Shirdi for'darshan' of Baba. His compounder and another friend of his Bhai Krishnaji Alibagkar also came with him. The compounder and Bhai became great friends of Sagun Meru Nayak and G. K. Dikshit, while exchanging views on some matters, an idea occured to them why notto install 'paduka' in the historic memory of first advent of Sri Sai Baba in Shirdi and his living under 'Neem' tree?

When exchange of views began to take place about making of'paduka' then Bhai's friend, the compounder said that if his master Kothare comes to know about it he would get very beautiful 'paduka' made. Everyone accepted his suggestion and Doctor Kothare was informed about it. He arriving at Shirdi, prepared blue-print of 'paduka' and he consulted Upasani Maharaj about it in the temple of Kadova. Upasani Maharaj made some modifications and drew lotus flower etc., and composed the following sloka, which is a symbol of the importance of Neem tree and yogic powers of Baba:
Sai Paduka under Neem Tree, Shirdi

Sada nimbvrakshaysya mooladhivasat,
Sudhastravirham tiktampya priyam tam,
Tarum kalpavarkshy adhikam sadhyantam,
Namamiswaram sadgurum sainathan.
The idea of Upasani Maharaj appealed to everyone and it was acted upon. 'Paduka' were got prepared in Mumbai and were sent to Shirdi through the compounder. According to Baba's command it's installation was done on the full - moon day of the Shravana month. In the morning of this day at 11 o'clock U.K. Dikshit brought them placing on his head from the temple of Kandova to Dwarakamai with great festivity. Touching the 'paduka' Baba said: These are the Lotus feet of the Lord. Install them under the Neem tree. Only one day before this, a Parasi devotee Pashta Sheth of Mumbai sent Rs. 25 by money order. Baba gave the money for the installation of 'paduka'. In the installation ceremony a total of Rs. 100/- were spentand Rs. 75 were collected by donations. For the first five yers Kodhare kept on sending Rs. 2/- monthly for lighting the lamp. He also sent steel - grill to be fixed around the 'paduka', Sagun Meru Nayak met the expenditure (Rs. 7.50 paise) on cartage of steel-grill from the station and for expenses on fixing the roof - top on it. Now-a-days Jarvashi (Nana Pujari) does the worship and Sagun Meru Nayak offers 'naivedhya' and lights the evening lamp.

Bhai Krishnaji was a disciple of Akkalkot Maharaj before. While going to Akkalkot in Shaka year 1834 on the auspicious occassion of 'paduka' installation he had come to Shirdi and after having 'darshan' when he asked for permission to go to Akkalkot, then Baba began to say thus: "O! what is there in Akkalkot? Why do you go there invain? Maharaj of that place is here itself(pointing to himself)". Hearing this Bhai gave up the idea of going to Akkalkot. After installation of 'paduka' he often visited Shirdi, Shri B.V.Dev at the end has written that Hemadpant did not know the details of these matters otherwise he would not have missed writing them in hi Sri Sai Sachcharitra.

Wrestling Bout with Mohiddin Tamboli

A wrestler named Mohiddin Tamboli used to live in Shirdi. Baba had an argument with him on same matter. As a result of which both had a wrestling bout and Baba was defeated. After this the life of Baba underwent sudden change. Now he dropped his long robe, tied a long cloth on his wait as undergarment and covered his head with a piece of cloth. He used to sit and sleep on a tattered mat. Thus he appeared to be very contented by wearing old and torn garments. He used to utter "Poverty is princely of the first order, higher than all riches. God is the brother of the poor."

Sai Baba neither kept company of people, nor did he hold conversation with them. Whenever someone asked him question then only he gave a brief reply. During the day time he sat under the tree. Sometimes he kept sitting under the shade of "Babul' tree.On the bank of a drain at the curvature of the village and in the evening would go for a stall anywhere around. In Neemgao he used to go often to the reidence of Baba Saheb Dengale. Baba loved him greatly. His younger brother named Nana Saheb had no progeny inspite of his marrying twice. Baba Saheb sent Nana Saheb to Shirdi to have 'darshan' of Baba. After sometime by the grace of Baba NanaSaheb got a son. From this time onwards a large number of people began to come to Shirdi for 'darshan' of Baba annd his glory spread far and wide. His fame reached Ahmadnagar also. Then began coming to Shirdi Nana Saheb Chandorkar, Kesav Chidambaram and several other devotees. The whole day Baba remained surrounded by his devotees and at night he slept in the deplted mosque.

At this point in time all that he had his belongings were a smoke - pipe, tobacco, one mug a long robe, apiece of cloth to put around his head, and a stick, which he always kept with himself.

He used to tie a piece of white cloth around his head in a manner that it fell on his back by the left side from the ear so as to appear as if it were a bunch of hair. He never put on shoes or chappals in his feet. He would put on a waist-cloth and in order to protect himself from cold kept on sitting in front of burning fire facing the south. He used to put wood in fire himself and burnt in it all his ego, desires and attachments to senses. He would always utter aloud 'Allah-Malik'. The mosque which he occupied was as big as equal to two small rooms and it was here only that all devotees used to have his 'darshan'. Some alterations were made only after 1912. The old mosque was renovated and a floor was added inside. Beside shifting to mosque, baba lived for a long time in 'Takia'. He used to dance and sing enchantingly Bhajans (devotional songs)by putting on anklets on his ankles and get immersed in ecstasy.

Turning Water into Oil

Baba had great love for lighting lamps. He would get oil in the evening by begging for it from shopkeepers and decorate the mosque by lining with burning lamps. This practice continued for sometime without any hindrances. Now the shopkeepers got fed up with it and unitedly they decided that now on wards no one would give oil. As usual when Baba reached to them for begging oil everywhere he got a refusal. But without complaining to anyone Baba returned to the mosque and put the dry wigs in the lamps. The shopkeepers were watching him with great curiosity to see what Baba does now. Baba took up the mug which had a few drops of oil, put some water into it and he gulped the oil mixed water. After sometimes, he poured it out in the mug and put the same oil or water in the lamps. When the curious shopkeepers saw the lamps lighting during the whole night as before they fell repentant for their wrong doing and they asked Baba to forgive them. Baba pardoned them and cautioned them for good behavior in the future.

Pseudo-Guru Jauharali

After five years of wrestling bout with Mohiddin there came a faqir Jauhar Ali along with his disciples to Rahata. He began to live in a house opposite to Birbhadra temple.The faqir was learned and he had learnt, versus of Holy Quran by heart. He had sweet voice, many faithful villagers began to come to him and he got due respect. He decided to build a Idgah in front of Birbhadra temple by the people. Some quarrel took place on account of this, because of which leaving Rahata Jauhar Ali came to Shirdi and began to live with Baba in the mosque. He had won over the people by his sweet talk. He began even to call Baba to be one of his disciples. Baba raised no objections and accepted being called his disciple. Baba never disrespected him and kept on doing his duties to him as a disciple whole-heartedly, and served him in various ways. Both of them used to come to Shirdi, but they mainly stayed in Rahata.

The devotees of Sri Sai Baba did not like his staying in Rahata. So all of them together went to Rahata for bringing Baba back from there. They met Baba near the Idgah and told him the reason of their coming. Baba explained those people to return to Shirdi before the coming of faqir.The conversation was still going on when the faqir arrived. he got flared up by seeing the people to take away his disciple like that. After some arguments the matter was settled and the situation took a sudden turn. Atleast it was decided that let the faqir and his disciple stay in Shirdi. So they returned to Shirdi and began to live there.

After sometime Devidas put the Guru to test and found certain faultsin hi. Twelve years before Baba had arrived in Shirdi along with the marriage party of the son of brother-in-law of Chand Patil, Devidas had come probably at the age of 10-12 years, to Shirdiand lived in Hanuman temple. Devidas was well-built, handsome and of sharp intellect. He was the veritable symbol of sacrifice and learning. Many people took him to be their Guru (Preceptor). People brought Jauhar Ali to hi. Jauhar Ali was badly defeated in the debate and he ran away to Vaijapur leaving Shirdi. After several years he came to Shirdi and worshipped the Lotus feet of Sri Sai Baba. His illusion that he was guru and Sri Sai Baba his disciple had vanished.

Om Sai | Om Sai | Om Sai

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