The Story of Two Goats
That was the month of May in the year 1909. Shirdi had acute shortage of water during summer months. The severe summer made the people very uneasy. In the nights the villagers slept outside in the open though there was no breeze. But in the early hours there was a cool breeze which the villagers enjoyed very much, thinking it to be God-sent.
Baba was going from Dwarakamai towards Lendi Bagh. Behind him were Shama, Tatya, Balashimpi, Bhagoji Shinde and others. Just then a heard of goats passed that way. Baba caught hold of two goats from the herd. Bhagoji Shinde went to assist Baba. He talked with the owner of the herd and purchased the two goats for Rs.32. The actual cost of the two goats would not be more than Rs.7. Baba ordered for five seers of chana dal (Bengal gram) and fed the goats. Seeing the strange behaviour of Baba, Shama questioned him about this. Baba replied, "I have neither a house nor family and therefore I should not accumulate wealth." Even then Tatya and Shama were discussing seriously among themselves about the transaction. Baba gave away the two goats to the owner of the herd. Baba explained his strange actions and also the story of the two goats, to the devotees thus; "These two goats were humans in their previous births. They were with me for some time. They were brothers born to the same mother and were affectionate in the beginning. As they grew up, enmity grew between them. The younger brother earned a lot of money with his intelligence. The elder brother, out of jealousy, tried to kill his brother and steal all his money. In this way the two brothers tried to kill each other. At last both of them died at the same place and time by killing each other. Because of their actions in the previous birth, now they are born as goats. When they were passing by me, I recognised them and drew them near to me. From the happy human life they have come down to animal life in this birth and are suffering. In view of their connection with me in their previous births, I wanted to keep them with me and make their lives happy. But you all made a fuss about my transaction and so I returned them to their owner."
A resident of Bombay, Hari Kanoba, on hearing the greatness of Baba came to Shirdi to test the greatness of him. When he went to the mosque he put on his best dress, wore new footwear and sprayed scent on his dress. He did not know where to keep his costly footwear before entering the mosque. He kept them in a corner near the mosque and went in. He waited till his turn came and greeted Baba with folded hands. Baba gave him udi as prasad. All the while he was in the mosque, his mind was on the new footwear left outside and not on Baba. When he came out of the mosque, he was shocked to find his new footwear missing. Then he began thinking - on hearing of Baba’s greatness he had come, but lost his footwear and blamed Baba for what had happened. He went to his room. While he was eating a boy with a stick, at the end of which the footwear was tied, was announcing loudly "Hari Ka Beta, Zari Ka Peta", meaning son of Hari and sporting zari headgear. Kanoba came out of his room on hearing the announcement and found his new footwear on the stick carried by the boy. He called the boy and on enquiry he was told that Sai Baba had given him the footwear and asked him to go round the place announcing as stated and if someone responded to this, then to give the footwear to him.
Kanoba then went inside the room and brought and showed the zari headgear to the boy, and claiming the footwear, felt immensely happy. He thought that Baba might have known his name and about the zari headgear. But how could he know about his father’s name? Thus Kanoba who had come to test Baba, found him to be of all pervasive.
Fakir Maddhu Shah
In the year 1913, Madhu Shah, a resident of Meerin village near Jalgaon, came to Shirdi and requested Baba for Rs.700 which was urgently required for a good cause. At the instance of Baba, Jog gave Rs.700 in coins to two youths, Lakshman and Gulab with a direction to give this money to Maddhu Shah. But the youths gave only Rs.500 to the fakir, Maddhu Shah, and kept for themselves the balance of Rs.200.
Maddhu Shah told Baba that he received only Rs.500. Baba appearing not to have taken note of it, gave the fakir udi as prasad and sent him away. The fakir travelled for about two miles and was near Neemgaon, when a tahsildar named Erun Shah, passed in a tonga. On seeing the fakir he got down from the tonga,gave the food packet he was carrying and also Rs.200. The fakir took the money and food packet, and feeling very happy, continued his journey after some rest.
Erun Shah, the tahsildar, reached Shirdi and stayed in the house of Tatya Patil. He told him about a dream he had. In his dream someone told him, "Come to Shirdi in a tonga. On your way near Neemgaon you find a fakir with a tiger skin on him. Give him Rs.200 and also some food." He finding such a fakir near Neemgaon he gave him Rs.200 and some food.
Six months after the above mentioned incident, the two youths, Lakshman and Gulab, came to Erun Shah and gave him Rs.1000 each in some other connection. Thta day again Erun Shah had a dream. Someone told him in his dream, "In your dream about six months back, as per my direction you gave to a fakir Rs.200. Today, I am giving you ten times that." What moral we learn from this story is, Baba collected ten times the amount from Lakshman and Gulab , which they had misappropirated, not caring for Baba’s instructions and made the two youths pay to Erun Shah, who obeyed Baba’s instructions,ten times the money he had paid to the fakir. Those who steal God’s money will have to pay back ten times that during this birth or in the future. Under any circumstances one should be willing to spend for God but if one is tempted to take God’s money then one will have to suffer.
Desiring Mantropadesa from Baba
An old woman called Radha Bai Deshmukh treated Baba as her Guru and she wanted to have Mantropadesa and also Atma Sakshatkara. With this determined desire, she went to Shirdi and requested Baba to teach her mantras. But Baba kept silent. Then she went on a fast and decided not take food or water till Baba taught her mantras. Her fast continued for three days and she became very weak. Shama noticed this and fearing that Baba might get a bad name if anything happened to her, requested Baba to interfere in the matter and save the woman.
The Baba sent for her and told, "Mother, I am like your child, You are like my mother. Why are you undergoing this agony and desiring death? I am a fakir. Show kindness to me. My Guru was a great‘Satpurusha’. When I approached him, he asked me two coins as dakshina. They are not ordinary coins. One is shraddha (faith) and the other is saburi (patience). Shraddha means faith, doing work correctly and saburi means patience - equanimity in the face of difficulties. As soon as he asked for them, I improved these two qualities in me and gave them to my Guru as dakshina. He immediately got my head tonsured and accepted by dakshina.
When my Guru was in meditation, I used to sit in front of him, and then focus my eyes on his face, without diverting it on other matters; this went on for days, forgetting hunger and thirst. He also used to look at me with love. On such occasions we used to be full of mutual love and happiness. I could not withstand our separation even for a moment. There was no other goal for me except my Guru He also desired to have my love only and nothing else. He used to radiate his affection on me always.
"I wil never tell a lie sitting in this mosque. My Guru did not tell me any mantra in my ear. So I cannot also give any advice to you. If you want to have me as your Guru, you must behave as I did in the case of my Guru. Keep me as the goal for your thoughts and ideals. See me with undeterred sincerity and I will also see you in the same manner. Some drawbacks and pressures in life will try to separate us. Without yielding to such things you should exercise patience and be happy. Unless you act like this, you cannot reach your life’s goal. You need not bother about the four kinds of practices, six shastras or eight kinds of yoga. With strong devotion, if you serve your Guru that is enough. This is the only true thing that my Guru taught me."
These nectar-like words of Baba changed the heart of the old woman and she gave up the fast. That day Baba made her sit next to him and eat her food. Sai’s philosophy is about mantras, pujas and procedures coming down from ages, and also the blind beliefs. What are required to be given to Sai Baba are our heart, mind and ego. When we offer these three to our Guru, then the five senses will lose their power. A person who controls the five senses will be deemed to have won the world. As advised by Baba, if we focus our eyes on the Guru, some changes will take place in our body. Let us see what these changes are. All our senses will desire external pleasures. This is the natural tendency of the senses. But if we concentrate our mind on the Guru, then the mind will not stray. Then the desires will disappear and the mind will be focussed on Guru only. In the olden days they did penance to achieve this only. If we concentrate our mind on Guru keeping this as our life’s aim, then this is equivalent to penance.
Ekalavya could learn and master the arts of warfare, by concentration of his mind and meditation on Dronacharya. Baba’s teaching about devotion to Guru is also like penance. Keep these in mind and read the words of Baba once more. In these days, where weaker sections of our society cannot do sacrificial rites, Sai who descended from Kailash has shown this easy way to attain moksha. Wishing all the readers will go in the Sai Marga and enjoy peace and happiness.