Tuesday, June 23, 2009



When Baba's life left His body in October 1918, it was a great blow to all His devotees. But there was further danger of confusion and conflict about the disposal of Sai's body. The proper disposal of the Sai body was essential for the carrying out of His mission, because Baba had said, 'Even from the tomb, I will be active'. Where was this tomb to be? Who was to build it? In whose charge was it to be? The almost universal belief of people (Hindus and Muslims alike), when Baba passed away was that Sai Baba, living in the Mosque, was a Muslim, and so the Muslims including Bade Baba gathered the body, and they wished to be in charge of his tomb. Baba was a famous Avalia. His tomb would be visited by innumerable people, and miracles would be performed there. The offerings by the visiting pilgrims would be abundant. The tomb would be a very important place. Hence the Muslims thought and said that they should be in charge of the tomb. Unfortunately, they were few in numbers, and they had neither the influence nor the means to erect a suitable tomb for the Avalia. The Hindus stressed the fact of custom that the vast mass of people that worshipped Baba was Hindus, and, therefore, they were the proper persons to arrange for the tomb to be worshipped.

The Kopergaon Mamlatdar arrived on the scene and asked each party to put forward its representation with largely signed mahazars. The Hindus were in larger number, and their mahazars also were numerous. The Muslim signatories to the Musim mahazar were very few. As for Baba's own wishes in the matter, it was not well known. He never talked about it. But during His last illness He said 'Carry me to the Wada', (i.e. Buty wada). Buty was quite willing that his building should become the tomb of Baba. The Mamlatdar pointed out his difficulties. He said that if all parties agreed, he could give directions for the disposal of the body in accordance with the terms of the agreement. If they did not, he said, they should go to Ahmednagar, and get the District Magistrate's decree, and he (Mamlatdar) would have to act upon that decree. Kakasaheb Dixit was willing to go to Ahmednagar. As he was a solicitor of high repute, the Muslims thought that if he went to Ahmednagar, he would get the District Magistrate's order in his own favour, and they would be nowhere. So, they came to an agreement with the Hindus that Baba's body should be in Buty wada, and the management of the tomb would also be with the Hindus, but Muslims should be allowed free access even though it was in a Hindu gentleman's house, and that mamul should continue. So, the Mamlatdar himself passed an order, and Baba's body was buried without any difficulty at Buty wada, where it still remains. That was only a temporary settlement.

The more important matter was as to the guidance of the future. It should be according to a scheme sanctioned by the District Court of Ahmednagar. Kakasaheb Dixit with his remarkable legal ability, his worldly wisdom, and great devotion, drew up a scheme and presented it with the signatures of number of influential devotees. It was sanctioned by the District Court in 1922. The scheme governs the Shirdi Sai Sansthan and Baba's tomb and other affairs. The property of the Sansthan vested in a body of trustees with managing committee of fifteen. Dixit contented himself with being the Honorary Secretary, and his able management pleased all parties. Kakasaheb Dixit thus laid firm foundation for the success of the Shirdi Sai Sansthan, and he must be given the credit for its present position. This may be ranked as one of his great services to Sai and to the public or to humanity.

The other assurance Baba gave to Kakasaheb Dixit was "Mi tula vimaanaatoon ghevoon jaayin (I will take you in a vimana)". Taking in a vimana is what occurs in puranas. When holy persons like Tukaram die, their souls go to Heaven in a vimana. So, Baba's words were understood to mean that Kaka would have excellent Sadgati. Kaka was assured of his future and also that his death would be happy and peaceful. Let us see how Baba fulfilled this assurance also.

It is commonly believed that death on an Ekadashi Day carries a man to Heaven. Kaka Dixit had that belief, and he mentions it in his preface to Sai Satcharitra. Page 4 of Sri Sai Lila Masik contains the preface of the earliest part of Sai Satcharitra, Volume I No. I of year 1923, where he says, 'It is fitting that the death of Hari bhaktas should be on Hari's own day, that is, Ekadashi' (because Ekadashi is devoted to Hari bhajan). Dixit notes that Baba gave this Ekadashi death to Kasiram, Appa Bhil and other bhaktas. We may also note here that Mhalsapathi died on an Ekadashi day as also Nanasaheb Chandorkar, Tatya Patel, and others. Therefore, it is most fitting that Dixit should die on an Ekadashi day according to the current belief of the virtues of death on that day.

He had excellent company in Anna Saheb Dabholkar, the author of Sai Satcharitra, and Tendulkar, the composer (along with his wife) of innumerable songs on Sai Baba (found in the Sai Bhajanamala) both of whom were very deeply attached to Sai Baba and prized Dixit's company on that account. The portions, which in his daily pothi, Dixit had to study on 4-7-1926 were Gajendra Moksha, that is, the giving of Moksha to an Elephant by God (Sundarakanda, 21st Adhyaya of Eknath Bhavartha Ramayana). This book was studied by Dixit every night, and on the night preceding his death, 4-7-1926, he had a dream. In that dream he had a vision of Sai Baba and noticed that Baba came up and got into the upper part of Annasaheb's body, and Annasaheb was holding Baba in a fast embrace with great love. This dream he communicated early morning after waking to Annasaheb, Deshpande, Legate, and others. His parayana of Eknath Bhagavata also on that very day of his departure was of the portion which dealt with the Ashta Maha Siddhis in Chapter XV of Ekadasa Skanda, especially verse 23. It says

Parakaayam Vis can siddhah Aatmanam Tatra Bhaavayet,
Pindam hitva Viscef pranaah Vaayu bhutah shadanghrivat.

When a siddha wishes to enter into the body of another creature, he has only to mentally carry himself into the body of that other creature, giving up mentally his own body, carrying himself in an aerial body, just as a bee leaves one flower and flies into another.

The commentary of Eknath's stanza is extremely brilliant and Kakasaheb read that with overflowing heart and as described in that stanza, he himself, like a bee, flew from his body to some other body arranged for him by Baba's Grace at the time of death in accordance with Baba's promise.

On 5-7-1926, the Ekadashi day, he was starting from Ville Parle (suburb of Bombay) to go to Dr. Deshmukh's dispensary at Bombay to see his ailing son Ramakrishna. Annasaheb Dabholkar had spent with him some time in excellent bhajan and pothi and was starting to go to his own station. When both of them, alongwith Tendulkar, came to the platform after the scheduled time, they found the train also was late. The train came just in time for them to catch it. All the three of them got into the train, and the words which came from Kakasaheb were, 'Annasaheb, Just see! How merciful Baba is! He has given us this train this minute. He has not made us wait even a minute.' He then looked into his pocket time table and said, "Baba has made the train come late and enabled us to catch it. Or else we would have to be stranded at Colaba and be frustrated. So, this is Sai's grace". Thus, sitting facing Anna Saheb, Kakasaheb remembered Baba's loving grace and appeared to fall asleep. Dabholkar first thought be was sleeping. When he went near him to hold his head and asked him, “Are you sleeping?” there was no reply. Then Dabholkar feared that Kakasaheb had fainted. Making Kaka lie down, Dabholkar noted the apparently hopeless condition of Kakasaheb. The train was speeding from station to station. Annasaheb told his friend Tendulkar in the carriage that he should tell the Guard so that they may carry down Kaka's body from the carriage. But as there was a big crowd and heavy rain, he could not do this at Bandra (suburb of Bombay), and so only at Mahim (another suburb of Bombay) he got down and told the Guard. The Guard arranged to phone to Parel (suburb of Bombay) for a stretcher and doctor, and at Parel, the body was taken out. The doctor examined the body and said that life was extinct. On account of the suddenness of death, there would have been difficulties of inquest. But luckily they got the doctor's certificate, and the body was committed to the care of Annasaheb. The main point for us to see is how Baba carried out his undertaking to carry Kaka in a Vimana. Tukaram was carried to Heaven in a Vimana, and that was a fine, blissful, and excellent end. But that was a miracle - Without any miracle, Baba had given Kaka a very high end.

There was no pain or fear before life departed from his body. His was a happy death even from the worldly standpoint. But from the spiritual viewpoint it was a highly blissful end. The death in such circumstances meant Sadgati to the Soul. According to the Gita, what a man thinks of at the time of his death, he becomes, in his next birth. Here Kaka was thinking of his Guru at the close of life as "That wonderful God that delayed the train for him." So, the mood of gratitude and love towards Sai was the mood in which he passed away. Dixit would go to his Gurudeva, and live along with him after his death. Baba has stated, "God has agents everywhere. They have vast powers. I have vast powers”. He has mentioned how he is exercising those powers. He says 'Sit quiet, Uge Muge. I will do the needful. I will take you to the end.' Baba refers to himself thus, 'This is a Brahmin, a white Brahmin, a pure Brahmin; this Brahmin will lead lakhs of people to the shubra marga and take them to the goal right up to the end'. He says, 'I draw my devotee to me at the time of his death, even though he may die a thousand miles away from Shirdi. I will not allow my devotee to be lost. I will account to God for all those that have been given to me'.

A study of the life of Kakasaheb Dixit might be of greater help to most of us than the lives of other devotees. Dixit was a worldly solicitor or businessman and was not marked out for any extraordinary spiritual career like that of a Sadguru. What is important in Dixit's life is that from his ordinary level of a businessman, he made the very best use of his life after 45 years of it were over, and by the kindness of Baba, he was able to surrender himself more and more to his Sadguru and to attain, as a result thereof, perfect reliance on Baba's assurance that every responsibility of his would be borne by Baba, and the consequent fullness of peace and calmness. He could and did carry on his affairs, spiritual and temporal, with total
nishta and saburi in his Master, being assured of getting the best out of his life. This is all that most of us can aim at. We can see that Kaka had first a brilliant worldly life and an equally brilliant or even more brilliant success in the spiritual line, and that he died a happy death, 'being taken in a Vimana' by the Guru. Every one of us, though we are not face to face with Sai Baba as Dixit was between 1902 and 1918, can still have, even now, the same faith, the same surrender and the same assurance from Sadguru Sai that he will look after all our concerns and the consequent fearlessness and calm with the certainty of happy death like Kaka's. Sai Baba is not dead. He is God, and cannot die. When his body was lying in the Dwarakamayee, he appeared to and told Lakshman, 'Jog thinks I am dead; no, I am alive. Therefore do pooja and arati'. He has repeatedly said that his tomb will speak and move with those who make him their sole refuge. Baba said, 'I shall be active and vigorous from the tomb also. Even after my Mahasamadhi, I shall be with you, the moment you think of me at any place. As soon as a devotee calls unto me with love, I will appear.'

||Sri Sainathaarpanamasthu||

Monday, June 22, 2009



The greatest interest in a saint for any serious minded person is, and ought to be, spiritual interest. So, though originally Dixit's idea was to go to Baba for the cure of his lameness, he soon gave up that idea and said 'Lameness of the body does not matter much’, and wanted Sai to cure the lameness of his soul.

Dixit's vairagya developed steadily along with his love of the Guru. His Guru, both by example and precept, showed him the absurdity of the worldly man's desire for wealth and how unnecessary it was even to an ordinary sadhaka. Especially after Baba had assumed all his responsibilities, he noted how needless it was for him to spend attention and time or energy as before to acquire or preserve wealth. Two instances may be cited as typical of this teaching of Baba. In the early years of Kakasaheb's contact with Baba, he earned large fees. On one occasion when he came to Shirdi, he came along with a trunk full of rupees, which he had earned. He came to Baba, placed the trunk before him, showed him the rupees, and said, 'Baba, all this is yours'. Baba at once said, 'Is that so?' and plunged both his hands in the box full of rupees and gave away heaps of rupees to the people who crowded round him like bees for honey. In a few moments, the trunk became empty. This incident is narrated by Garde, a Sub Judge friend of Kakasaheb Dixit, who was watching all the time the face of Dixit to study the reaction on his face to the rapid scattering of his hard earned money by Baba. Though any other person in his position would have felt the loss of money very bitter, Kakasaheb was unmoved. That showed how he had hardened in his vairagya at the feet of Baba. He learnt again that the silver so highly valued by the world was but mud to the Sadguru.

Thus Kakasaheb was confirmed in his absolute belief in the divine protection of Sai Baba, and the absolute truth of every word that Baba uttered. This faith is called 'Nishta', one of the two coins which Baba insisted on being given by the disciple as Dakshina to the Guru - namely, ' Nishta' and 'Saburi'. Saburi means patience, courageous, cheerful and persevering.

These qualities were steadily developing in Dixit, and he gave these two coins (Nishta and Saburi) to Sai Baba, his Gurudeva. There were frequent occasions to revive and strengthen these qualities in Kaka. For instance, on one occasion, Kaka went to Baba thinking he should present him a garland and Rs. 25. But he first presented only the garland. Then Baba said 'This garland calls for Rs. 25'. Kaka gladly noted Baba's Antaryamitva (knowledge of all minds). On another occasion, he had gone on with his pooja to Sai Baba in his quarters but he forgot to offer the usual betel and nut after naivedyam. When later he went to Baba, Baba asked for the betel and nut. This convinced Dixit that Baba was watching him every moment of his life and his every act.

Baba once tested some of his devotees. Bade Baba, Shama, and Radhakrishna Mayi all shrank from carrying out Baba’s order. Let us see what happened at that moment.

A famished old goat, just about to die, entered the mosque. Seeing it, Sai Baba said to Bade Baba, “Cut that goat with one stroke”.

Bade Baba: (Looking at it with pity) How are we to kill this?

So saying, he went away from the mosque. Then Sai Baba called Shama and said, “Shama, you cut it. Fetch a knife, from Radhakrishna Ayi”.

Radhakrishna Ayi sent a knife, but learning the purpose, recalled it.

Shama: I will go home to fetch a knife.

Shama went home and stayed away there. Then Baba called Kakasaheb and said, “You fetch a knife and kill it”.

Kakasaheb went and fetched a knife, and asked, “Baba, shall I kill it?”

Baba: Yes.

Kakasaheb lifted the knife and held it up in hesitation.

Baba: What are you thinking of? Strike.

Dixit obeyed and was bringing the knife down, when Baba said, “Stop. Let the creature remain. I will kill it myself but not at the mosque”.

Then Baba carried the goat a few yards, after which it fell dead. Kakasaheb Dixit alone stood the test of implicit obedience to an apparently horrid command.

Dixit was a perfect gentleman with excellent manners and a very good heart. Dixit would not scandalise any one. But on one occasion, it happened that he joined a group in scandalising Jesus Christ. A little while after, he went to Baba for massaging him. Baba was angry and said, 'Do not massage'. At once Dixit remembered that he had scandalised Jesus Christ, and that Baba was therefore angry. He repented his mistake and resolved never to commit such mistakes again. Kaka had the immense advantage of "practicing the presence of God." In Kaka's case, the presence of the divine watching him and directing him every instant of his life was evident, too patent for him to ignore and the consequent elevation and freedom from fear and care, quite easy and natural for him. Whether he was talking ill of Christ or resolving to fast or whether he failed to offer betel nut to Baba at his private pooja to Baba's photo, Baba was on the watch, and when Kaka went to Baba later, there was the appropriate rebuke or demand.

Baba was watching not only over Kaka, but over all his relatives also. One day Kaka received a letter that his younger brother at Nagpur was ill. Then he said to Baba, 'I have received this letter and I am of no service to him.' Baba said, 'I am of service'. Kaka could not make out why Baba said so. But at that very moment, at Nagpur, a sadhu came to attend upon his brother, and cured him of his illness, and used the very words of Baba, namely, 'I am of service'. Kaka thus found that across 1,000 miles, Baba could see what went on and could carry out what was necessary for his sishya's relatives.

On one occasion, Kaka at Shirdi got fever, and then when he went to Baba, Baba told him, 'You better get away to your bungalow at Ville Parle. This fever will last only "four" (a few) days. But have no fears. It will pass away, and you will get all right. Do not allow yourself to be bedridden. You can go on eating sira (semolina pudding), as usual'. Kakasaheb accordingly went away to Ville Parle. His fever was increasing. Dr. Demonte was called and he diagnosed the fever as Navajvara and he directed the patient to remain in bed and take the prescribed medicine. Baba had told him, 'Padighevun Nakos’ (Avoid lying in bed). So, Kaka sat up on a swing and went on eating sira, a dish full of ghee and semolina, which fever patients are medically advised to avoid. The fever steadily increased, and the doctor was aghast at Kaka's throwing his instructions to the winds. He called on a fellow doctor to diagnose, and both of them said that things would take a very serious turn, if Kakasaheb kept on violating medical advice. But Kaka told his doctor Demonte that he had sent for him to have friendly and cheerful company and that he was sure, as Baba said 'This fever would pass away in a few days" and that the doctor would not be blamed as he (Kaka) was sure to recover. Dr. Demonte thought that Kaka was being fooled by some fakir. But to his surprise and that of others, Kaka's health, though it went on from bad to worse, suddenly regained normality on the ninth day.

With Kakasaheb, who had the benefit of being in England for some time, differences of Hindu and Muslim did not count. One instance of this may be cited here. After Sai Baba's passing away, Bade Baba, or Fakir Baba, wished to live at Shirdi, but the houses being mostly Hindu houses, no one was willing to rent a room to him. Strong was the prejudice to allow a Muslim into a Hindu house. Then Kaka determined that he should give and did give Fakir Baba accommodation in his wada in spite of the protests of the Hindu pilgrims. Even Nanasaheb Chandorkar protested against the accommodation being given to Fakir Baba. Kaka brushed aside even that objection. Dixit's samatva was of a very high order and was based upon the high principles, which he imbibed from Baba, that he should see God in all creatures and things. Nanasaheb Chandorkar and Upasani Maharaj were also taught this aspect by Baba.

To Dixit's mind nothing was low or bad, and if there was any trouble in any creature or person, his sympathy was excited. He was known from very early days as a very liberal host inviting all people to his table and even at Shirdi at his wada, a mess was run and many people including Upasani Maharaj were fed free at Kaka's expense. At Ville Parle as at Lonavla, he would daily invite all persons, not merely friends but also fresh acquaintances to dine with him. His bungalow was described aptly as Annadana or Dharmadana Hindu hotel; and this prevented many from starting a hotel business at Lonavla during Dixit's lifetime. But apart from human feeding, Kaka had his atithis (guests) in cats, dogs, ants, flies, etc. Baba's instruction to Chandorkar in regard to atithis was that atithi feeding is best done by taking some food and throwing it out where cattle, ants, dogs, etc., will come at their own time and eat the food. These are the real atithis.

Kakasaheb at Ville Parle had a number of cats and dogs feeding with him, and his bungalow was always full of these cats and dogs. Even at Shirdi when he sat for his meal, cats would come, and he would offer them rice with ghee with the fullest feeling that God was inside them. Baba had instructed Nanasaheb Chandorkar on (1) how Nana should see and revere the soul within each body, which is but a part of the Universal soul, and (2) how Namdev ran to offer ghee to a dog that had picked up a slice of roti, (dry flat bread), from his plate (thereby polluting the plate) and was running away. Kakasaheb's sympathies were powerfully attracted to all creatures. This is a highly important step for expanding one's sympathies to all, thus overcoming mamata and ahankar. Once indeed, he yielded to the common frailty of thinking that serpents were the cause of many human deaths and. therefore, at the sight of serpents, one must kill them (an advice found in books and pamphlets issued by Government). He asked Baba whether people should not kill serpents to save themselves from snake bite (and death). Baba's answer was, 'No, you should not kill it. The serpent will not kill us unless it is ordered by God; and if God so orders, we cannot escape it.' But this doubt was at Kaka's earliest stage. As days went on, his outlook changed completely. He would not kill snakes or scorpions, both of which infested Shirdi.

On one occasion when Kaka and a number of others were together, a big black scorpion was approaching and some people brought a shoe to kill it. Kaka stopped them, and brought a long stick and placed it in front of the scorpion. The scorpion got on to the stick, and Kaka carried the scorpion and the stick outside, and left the scorpion at a safe place. He would not kill ants, bugs, and flies. As for bugs, there was an exuberant supply of bugs at Shirdi, especially at Kaka's wada. Kaka himself was a very sound sleeper, and his sleep was never disturbed by bugs. Others were not equally hardy, or insensitive, and when insecticide powder was brought by others to kill the bugs on Kaka's bed also, he stopped those friends, and said, 'Don't spread the powder. Human blood is the natural food provided for bugs. My sleep is not disturbed by them. At best they drink only half an ounce of blood and my body can easily make up that loss. Is not God in bugs also?' he asked. His friends were stunned by his remarks. So, this habit of seeing God in all creatures was an excellent course for Kaka and thus he was able to think of God always.

As for upadesa, Baba gave no upadesa mantra but every word, act, and omission of Baba was full of instruction and inspiration. For 10 years, 1909-1918, Dixit studied every word, every act, and every deed of Baba. Kakasaheb treasured these utterances, and deeds of Baba. His notes of them have been compressed into articles in the Sai Lila Masik which Kakasaheb started around 1923, and they are found under the headings 'Maharaj's Anubhav', 'Bodha paddhati' and 'Bol'. Almost every serious devotee going to Shirdi contacted Kakasaheb, and communicated his experiences to him. Kaka's services through starting Sai Lila Masik, and recording the experiences are undoubtedly great and valuable service to Sai and the Sai movement.

About Kaka Dixit, at the very outset, Baba had said, 'Kaka Tula Kaiji Kasli; Mala Sara Kalji Ahe', (Kaka. why should you have any care? All care is mine). Baba, having said this, would be the last person to break his promise of bearing the entire responsibility for Kaka and his relatives. Several incidents could be mentioned to show that before the Mahasamadhi of Baba in 1918 and after, Baba did bear all that responsibility.

In 1913 Kaka Dixit's son was reading at Bombay at Ville Parle, and Kaka was with Baba at Shirdi. Just a month or two before the examination, the boy had continuous fever. So Kaka's brother wrote to him to come up and look after the boy, but when the letter was shown to Baba, he told Kaka not to go, but, on the other hand to send for his son to Shirdi, where there was neither doctor nor medicine available. So, the boy's uncle sent him up to Shirdi unwillingly, and strange to say, without hospital, doctor, and medicine, the boy improved in health and got alright at Shirdi. Then the uncle wrote that the examination was on 2-11-1913, and the boy must be sent up for studies. But Baba did not allow it, not even for attending the examination on 2-11-1913, though the boy's uncle wrote that the boy should be sent up. Kaka asked for leave. But Baba did not allow him to start. It looked as though Baba was seriously injuring the boy's prospects. But what happened at Bombay? The examination to be held on 2-11-1913 had to be postponed to 6-11-1913 as a plague rat was found in the examination hall. Again for the 6th, the boy was requisitioned. Again Baba forbade the boy's departure. The boy did not go up. The explanation appeared soon. Again there was a plague rat in the examination hall, and the examination had to be postponed to the 13th. Baba ordered the boy to be sent up for that date, and he attended the examination and passed.

We have already seen how Baba looked after Kaka's daughter Vatsali when an almirah tumbled down upon her. How did the fall of the almirah, with the heavy articles inside, not hurt the girl? Baba said, “I will not allow my devotees to come to harm. I have to take thought for my devotees. I stretch out my hands, four, four hands, at a time to support them”. There were some cases, however, in which Baba found himself prevented from doing anything, and that is what happened finally in the case of Vatsali. When she was in Shirdi, she got fever and Dixit was simply trusting to Baba. But this time instead of saving her, when the fever had far advanced, Baba appeared to her in her dream, and said. 'Why should you be down here? Come and be lying under the margosa tree'. This was ominous, and the very next morning, Baba asked Shama, 'Is Kaka's girl dead?' Shama replied, 'O, Deva, why are you speaking so inauspiciously?' Then Baba replied, 'She will die in the afternoon'. She died accordingly at that time. To enable Dixit to bear the blow, Baba gave him a prescription. Kaka took in his hands Bhavartha Ramayana and handed it over to Baba. Baba then dipped his hands into the book, and opening it, at the page in Kishkinda Kanda, where Rama kills Vali and consoles his widow, asked Kaka to read and digest the same. When death is inevitable, Baba wants his devotees to be strong-minded enough to recognise the fact of its inevitability and bear the separation. Death is not always an evil. Baba conveyed this truth to Kaka at least on one other occasion.

An old woman with her only son was at Shirdi, and a cobra bit that boy. The old woman ran to Baba, and asked for udhi to save the life of her son. Baba did not give any udhi. Then the woman went out. But soon she returned beating her breast wailing aloud that her son was dead. She implored Baba to revive her son. Baba gave neither udhi, nor other help, and said nothing. But Dixit was there. His sympathy was very much excited, and he requested Baba to help her, and said, “The woman's plight is heartrending. Please revive her dead son for my sake”. Baba replied, 'Bhav, do not get entangled in this. What has happened is for good. He has entered a new body. In that body, he will do especially good work which cannot be accomplished in this body, which is seen here. If I draw him back into this body, then the new body he has taken will die, and this body will live. I will do this for your sake. Have you considered the consequences? Have you any idea of the responsibility, and are you prepared to take it up?' Kakasaheb desisted from pressing his request. The current idea of the worldly man that death is always evil is incorrect and the wise man is he who cares for life only as long as it lasts and meets death without fear when it comes.

As for Dixit's own financial position, there was, for a long time, a period of depression, but there was no positive distress. Contentment was ingrained in Dixit. He was generally contented and retained his mental peace in the midst of lack of funds and income. However, special occasions arose and his faith in Baba was tested and confirmed. Some time after Baba passed away, Kaka had to meet a heavy obligation of Rs. 30,000 to be paid to a Marwadi. The day for payment was drawing near, and Kaka could not see how to get funds for meeting this large demand. One night, as he was sleeping, he had a dream, and in his dream, his creditor was pressing him for payment. In the dream, he assured the creditor, 'Oh, don't you fear. I have my friend Sir Chunnilal, Sir Chimanlal etc. all of them knights, and they will provide the money'. Suddenly, he woke up and remembering the dream, he bitterly repented his stupid folly in relying upon 'Sir' this and 'Sir' that who are just the persons who will fail to help at the crucial moment. He felt that the only person on whom he could rely for getting help was Baba, and cursed his folly in relying upon such useless human help. He resolved not to think of these 'Sirs' at all, and to rely confidently and boldly upon Sai Baba alone to furnish him with the funds and that too in time.

He sat up in his office room on a chair and was waiting and waiting till the actual date of payment came. Till the last date and last moment, no money was forthcoming. But at the last moment, a young man, the son of a rich friend of his, came asking for his advice. He said that after his father's death, he was managing his property, and had to find an investment for his money. He said, just then he had brought with him Rs.30,000/- and wanted to know from Dixit what would be the best investment. Kaka, after explaining the pros and cons of other investments, finally told him that he himself was in urgent need of Rs. 30,000/- and he would be glad to have it on any reasonable terms, but that it was his duty to explain to the lender that his practice had gone down, that his income was very low, though his properties in the shape of bungalows were there, and that it was his duty to point out the danger and disadvantage of lending to such a person. The young man, however, made up his mind to lend the money to him on account of his need and on account of his being his father's friend, and thus the creditor of Dixit was paid in time. But who could know that the sum of Rs. 30,000 was with a person with a mind to be influenced to lend it to Dixit? Baba alone could know. Baba alone could influence the possessor of the funds. It is this Baba, who knows all facts and grips all minds, who brought Kaka's friend's son in time with Rs. 30,000 to clear off Kaka's debt, and Kaka had many instances like this confirming him in his attitude of utter childlike reliance on his Guru even in financial matters.

After Baba left the body, Dixit, like several other staunch devotees, intently concentrated on Sai Baba, and after prayer cast chits before Baba, and asked some child to pick up a chit at random, and the directions of the chit were Baba's orders and were safe to follow always. One instance may be cited of Dixit's trust in consulting Baba through chits and it’s proving a reliable method and Baba's proving a reliable helper of himself and his relations. After Baba's Samadhi, Dixit tried to revive his practice especially for the sake of others. His brother Sadashiv Dixit, BA, LLB, tried to practice at Nagpur, and failed to secure any practice or appointment. Dixit then consulted Baba through chits and acting on the chit-accrued order brought Sadashiv over to Bombay. But even at Bombay, Sadashiv failed to secure any success. Kaka wondered how Baba's order of advice should prove so useless. He was thinking of sending his brother away from Bombay, but as Deepawali festival came in, the brother was detained for that festival. Just at that time, leading persons from the Kutch Sansthan came to consult Kaka Dixit as to which person should be selected as a sufficiently reliable officer on a high pay of Rs. 1000. When Kaka suggested Sadashiva's name, that was readily accepted, and he became Dewan of that State.


Sunday, June 21, 2009


||Om Sri Sainaathaayanamaha||

'Kaka, tula kalji kazli? Mala sara kalji ahe' ('Kaka, why should you have any anxiety or care? All care and responsibilities are mine') was one of the assurances Sai Baba gave to Kakasaheb Dixit. Baba gave him indisputable proof that the undertaking, though vast and unlimited in the context of time and circumstances, was real. No ordinary man with human powers will or can give such an undertaking. But it was Baba, possessed of divine powers that gave it. When Baba gave this undertaking at Shirdi, Kaka's daughter, aged about eight, was in his bungalow at Ville Parle, and was playing close to a huge almirah with a large number of big dolls in it. She climbed up the almirah and the same, with all the dolls, fell on her, but strangely enough, no doll fell on her. And, no damage was done to her by the fall except the breaking of her bangles and the consequent scratch. Kaka learnt of this incident only later, and understood what divine power and kindness were in Sai, when he gave the undertaking, which he fulfilled thus at once at Ville Parle. Dixit could never forget that Sai's powers and nature were divine, that all responsibility for him and his family rested on Baba's divine shoulders, and that there was no need to apprehend any harm.


Hari Sitaram Dixit, whom Sai Baba always called 'Kaka' (uncle), was Baba’s ankita sishya. Kakasaheb Dixit was born in 1864 to high caste Nagari Brahmin parents enjoying a high position and affluence at Khandwa. His academic career was bright as he secured a first class in Matric and good marks in F.A., B.A, and LL.B. He very soon settled himself as a leading solicitor at Bombay. His name frequently appeared in the Law Reports and in the press, distinguishing himself as an able advocate in sensational cases namely, Bhavnagar Exposures, Sedition trials against Poona Vaibhava, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Globe and Times of India, among others. He attained great fame and wide popularity and commanded high esteem both with the people and the then British Government. He had numerous public activities, political, social, municipal, by means of which he was rendering good and valuable service to the public. In politics, he was in the Indian National Congress, and was a redoubtable follower of Sir Pherozesha Mehta. He was an elected member of the Bombay Legislative Council from 1901 till he gave it up to devote himself to spiritual progress under Sai Baba. He was also an elected fellow of the Bombay University, a public Notary, and Justice of the Peace. He achieved great fame by his bold speeches (by being the sole protestor against Valedictory address to H. E. Lord Sandhurst who prosecuted Lokmanya Tilak) and action in the Councils. He helped bodies by serving on Committees with his keen intellect and strenuous observation and study. He was Secretary of the Indian National Congress of 1904 at Bombay wherein Dadabhai Nowrojee stated its goal to be attainment of Swarajya. He rapidly rose by his influence and ability to greater and greater positions of honour and, had he continued in that line, he would surely have achieved a Knighthood, membership of the Executive Council and appointment as Commissioner of some Province with ample emoluments and gunfire salutes. But his destiny and rinanubandha drew him to other lines, and the turning point was what looked like a mischance.

Around 1906 he went to England. There he had some accident in which his leg was injured. In spite of repeated efforts, the injury could not be cured. The limping impeded free movement, as there was pain whenever he walked even a few furlongs. Not only did it make him look awkward, but it also made him less fit for his numerous activities - personal, domestic, political, legal and public - and thus had the double effect of giving him an inferiority complex and disgust for these aspects of life, thus preparing him for the nobler and holier life. Around 1909, Nanasaheb Chandorkar advised him to go and see Sai Baba, the wonderful personality at Shirdi, who might cure his lameness. The same year he went to Ahmednagar in connection with some Council election business to the residence of Sardar Kakasaheb Mirikar, who was a Sai devotee, and who had with him a huge picture of Sai Baba. Dixit saw the picture and his reverence heightened.

Learning of Dixit's desire to go to Baba, Sardar Mirikar sent for Shama (Madhava Rao Deshpande), who had gone to Ahmednagar, and asked him to take Dixit to Baba. Accordingly, Shama took him to Baba in 1909. Dixit, in 1909, was a leading solicitor with a highly lucrative practice and had made his name in notable trials. He had abundance of social contact and great influence in social and political matters. In 1909 he was only 45 years old, and he had a very good prospect of amassing much wealth and achieving many honours in social and political matters also. Perhaps due to early contact with saints, such as Datta Maharaj, his mind, however, was drawn away from worldly attractions, and the meeting with such a wonderful personality as Baba gave a powerful impetus. He went to Shirdi frequently, and in 1910 resolved to have a building of his own there. So the foundation stone was laid for a wada there in December 1910, popularly known afterwards as Kakawada or Dixit wada. The work was pushed through and completed in April 1911, within five months of beginning of construction. Kaka wanted only a small room for him in upstairs, for Ekanta Dhyana (solitude and meditation). The rest of the building was used by pilgrims for lodging.

Almost from the beginning of his contact with Baba, he decided to embark on a spiritual career under Baba’s guidance, whatever may be its consequence on his worldly affairs. Though his income was ample, his generosity and liberality left very little fluid resources remaining with him and, barring his three bungalows at Bombay, Ville Parle, and Lonavla, which did not yield any income, he had no other property. Yet, Sai's attraction being so strong, his attention to the legal practice diminished. The effect of this diminution of interest was that his partners in the solicitor business, Rao Bahadur S. Narayandas and Dhanji Shah, broke up their partnership with him. He formed a new firm with a newly enrolled advocate, Purushotham Rai Markhad for his partner. That gentleman also, on account of Dixit's frequent absence and lack of interest, withdrew from his partnership. Other partners also, like Maneklal, left him very soon. Or rather, he left them very soon, and his income from law became precious little. From 1911 onwards, his practice may be said to have been nil, though Baba asked him to go to Bombay to practice. He obeyed Baba and went to Bombay, but returned soon as his heart was only at Shirdi. All his friends, acquaintances, and admirers were astonished when he closed his lucrative practice in 1912. Several people were saying that 'A Fakir called Sai Baba had cast a fascination on him that pushed him to Shirdi and made him crazy'.

His heart was free from anxiety, fear or worry even though lucrative practice, with high social and political position and prospects, was lost. Ordinarily the change from affluence to poverty would be painful. But in the case of Kakasaheb, his habits were very simple. He reduced his needs to the minimum, and avoided every sort of luxury or unnecessary expenditure.

When he settled down in Shirdi, Kakasaheb had already 25 years of
Grihastha Ashrama and was ripe therefore for Vanaprastha Ashrama. In his case, however, he had no necessity to go to a forest. His life at Shirdi from 1912 onwards may be considered to be his Vanaprastha Asrama. To make that effective, Baba told him, 'Kaka, remain in your wada upstairs. Do not go here or there. Do not come here, even to the Dwarakamai', as it was crowded and distracting. Kaka obeyed this injunction strictly. Then he found his absence at 2 O' Clock Arti very painful, as that was the time he could have darshan of Baba. Through Shama he prayed and obtained permission to attend it and the Arti at Chavadi. Thus Baba kept him for nine months in solitude. This was strict Vanaprastha or Vanavasa. Alarmed by the change, his wife at Ville Parle tried to give him her company and came to Shirdi. At Kaka wada, ladies were not allowed to go upstairs. That was the rule. When Shama asked Baba whether during his wife's stay downstairs, Kaka should go down for sleep or sleep upstairs only, Baba emphatically said that Kaka must sleep upstairs. Thus Kaka's Brahmacharya and rigorous tapas were maintained, and his wife returned quickly to Ville Parle. One the occasion of her departure, Sai Baba repeated his assurance that he was entirely responsible for Kaka Dixit. He told her ‘Have no fears at all about Kaka, I will look after him myself.’

The regular study by Kaka, as prescribed by Baba, was an excellent purificatory preparation for self-realisation and God-realisation through bhakti and jnana. Kaka had gone through Harivarada, a Marathi commentary on the 10th Skanda of Bhagavata. He then went to Baba and asked, 'This is finished. Should I read this again or read any other pothi?' Baba said, 'Go on with the parayana of Eknath Brindavan pothi'. After completing the pothi, Kakasaheb again went to Baba and asked if he should study Bhagavad Gita with commentaries. Baba ordered him to go on with concentrated study of only two works, Bhagavata and Bhavartha Ramayana. He had not merely to study but also do Mananam (meditation) and observe Acharanam. After the nine months were over, Baba stopped his severe practice of seclusion, and Dixit was permitted to go and visit Bombay also.


Monday, June 1, 2009


||Om Sri Sainaathaayanamaha||

maaza kavala aala (my crow has come)”, was what Sai Baba said, when He saw Abdul Baba. In Sufi poetry, birds are used as symbolic imagery, like nightingale, dove, falcon, crow etc. Crow is used for the mundane and materialistic affairs of this world. Baba had called Abdul to Shirdi to take care of His day to day mundane affairs. Baba ordered him to dedicate himself to His services. Baba had a high regard for Abdul and relied on him.

Abdul Baba is mentioned for the first time in Chapter Twenty Two of Sri Sai Satcharitra, in connection with Amir Shakkar’s illness. Amir Shakkar was one of the staunch devotees of Sri Sai Baba. He was suffering from Rheumatism. Because of that, he had to endure plenty of pain. When he could not find any treatment from his doctors, he decided that God alone was his doctor. So, he left his business and went to Shirdi. He saw Sai Baba, fell at His feet and begged Him to relieve him of his disease. Baba’s methods are always unusual. He asked Amir Shakkar to stay in Chavadi.

One night when Baba and Amir Shakkar were sleeping in Chavadi, Baba got up and shouted, “Oh Abdul, come immediately. Some devilish creature is dashing against My bed.” Abdul Baba came with a lantern and a stick but found nothing. Baba was not satisfied and asked him to examine more carefully. He also started hitting the ground with His satka. Baba had seen a snake moving near Amir’s bed. Abdul immediately brought the lantern; found that a snake was coiled near the bed moving its hood up and down ready to strike. It was immediately killed, and once again, Baba had protected His devotee, Amir Shakkar because of His eternal vigil.

The second instance when Abdul Baba is mentioned is in Chapter Thirty Four of Sri Sai Satcharitra. Dr Pillai was one of the intimate devotees of Baba. Baba loved him very much. He used to call him as ‘Bhau’ and discussed so many issues with him. Invariably, Pillai used to sit next to Baba in the masjid. Once, Pillai suffered from an attack of guinea worms. One after another, he had seven boils on his body. The pain had become unbearable, and chanting Sai Nama smarana was almost impossible with that suffering. So, when Kakasaheb Dixit visited him one day, Pillai told him, “The pain has become unbearable. I prefer death to this pain. I know that this is because of the misdeeds in the past lives and I cannot escape the effects of those misdeeds. Please go to Baba and request Him to transfer these effects to ten future births. Suffering so much of pain in this birth alone is becoming impossible for me.” Kakasaheb duly went to Baba and told him of Pillai’s request. Hearing about Pillai’s plight, Baba said, “Tell him not to worry. Why should he suffer for ten births? In ten days, he can complete the sufferings and consequences of his past Karma. When I am here to give him all the help, why should he pray for death? Bring him here on someone’s back. We can finish his sufferings once and for all.”

Somebody brought Pillai on his back and he was made to sit on Baba’s right side. Baba gave him His bolster and told him, “The true remedy is that the results of the past actions have to be suffered and got over. Our Karma is the cause of our happiness and sorrow. Therefore, put up with whatever comes your way. Allah is the only Dispenser and Protector. Think of Him always. He will take care of you. Surrender to Him completely, with body, mind, speech and wealth. Then see what He does.” Pillai told Baba that Nanasaheb had applied a bandage over the leg. Even then, he did not find any relief. Baba replied, “Nana is a fool. Take off that bandage or you will die. Now a crow will come and peck you. Then you will recover.”

It was evening. That was the time when Abdul came for trimming the lamps and lighting them. Baba had just completed talking to Pillai. Pillai was trying to relax by stretching his leg. While carrying out his work, Abdul accidentally stepped on Pillai’s outstretched leg. The leg was already swollen and when Abdul stepped on it with all his weight and almost crushed the leg, Pillai let go a huge death cry. For some time to come, he was shouting. Then, he began to sing and shout. Baba was amused and said, “See, our bhau has become alright. He is singing.” Then Pillai asked Baba, “When will the crow come and peck?” Baba replied, “Did you not see the crow? It won’t come again. Abdul was the crow. Now go and take rest in the Wada. You will be all right soon.” When Abdul stepped on the leg and almost crushed it, he had squeezed out all the seven guinea worms. With the source of the infection gone, it was only a short time before Pillai recovered fully.

Abdul Baba was born in 1871, at Nanded on the banks of river Tapti, in Northern Maharashtra. His father’s name was Sultan. Other than the fact that his parents placed him under the care of a Sufi master called Amiruddin of Nanded, nothing much is known. In 1889 when Abdul was around 18 years of age, Amiruddin had a dream in which Sai Baba appeared and gave him two ripe mangoes. Baba instructed Amiruddin to give the mangoes to Abdul and send him to Shirdi. When he woke up, Amiruddin was surprised to find two ripe mangoes materialized near him. Amiruddin gave the mangoes to Abdul and sent him immediately to Sai Baba at Shirdi.

On seeing Abdul, Baba said, “mera kavala aala (my crow has come)”. Baba had called Abdul to Shirdi to take care of His day to day mundane affairs. Baba ordered him to dedicate himself to His services. Abdul’s duties were to:

1. Keep the five lamps around Dwarakamai constantly filled with oil

2. Look after a lamp in Lendi Baug (protected by pieces of metal sheet and kept permanently lit by Baba)

3. Keep Dwarakamai and Chavadi clean by sweeping daily.

In addition, he swept the streets and removed “night soil” (human excreta). He fetched water from the river and washed Baba’s clothes daily.

For the first few years with Sai Baba, Abdul lived in a stable. Later, he moved into a room opposite Chavadi. Subsequently, he got married and had children, but in the beginning, he did not get any food and had to beg, like Sai Baba, for living. Baba kept him strictly on the path of renunciation. He was to sleep little, read Quran in the night, and not fall asleep over his reading. He was told to eat very little and not to go for variety of eatables. Baba had kept him and Mhalsapathi strictly on the path of poverty. Abdul told Pujya Sri BV Narasimha Swamy that, “Sai Baba’s blessings to me were very strange and sometimes concealed in anger and violence”. Later Baba told Abdul, “I have enabled you to cross the ocean (of Samsara); your earth, the body, has been turned to gold”. Many years later, Amiruddin asked Abdul to be sent back, but Baba refused.

Abdul was the only one who read Quran in Baba’s presence. Baba occasionally opened the Quran and made him read passages at which He opened the book. Then Abdul would go on writing what all Baba said. That book contained the gracious sayings of Baba. After the Mahasamadhi of Baba, this book became very precious to Abdul as he used it as a book of prophecy through which Baba’s message and guidance could be obtained. When anyone wished to know about the future or unseen and unknown matter, and came to Abdul, then he reverentially consulted the book. The answer that came out of a randomly opened page was proved correct many times. Once, a well was dug behind Sai Baba’s idol in the Samadhi Mandir. The water from the well proved to be salty. Not knowing what to do, one of the Sansthan members consulted Abdul Baba. Abdul Baba opened his book and replied that the digging has to continue for some more depth, after which potable water would spring forth. The digging continued and Abdul Baba’s words proved correct. In another incident, a legal practitioner by name Sri Gadgil consulted Abdul Baba regarding his son’s arrival. Sri Gadgil’s son had gone to England several years ago and had not returned, causing untold anxiety to the father. Abdul Baba opened his book and predicted that the boy would return very soon, which once again, proved correct.

After the Mahasamadhi of Sai Baba, till 1922, Abdul’s duties changed as he became the custodian of the shrine of Sai Baba. His responsibility was to clean, decorate the shrine with flowers, ritual offerings etc. Any food given as prasadam became his sustenance and he lived on the dakshina offered by Baba’s devotees. In 1922, Kakasaheb Dixit set up a Public Trust through the Ahmednagar District Court to administer the shrine. Persuaded by his well wishers, Abdul challenged the formation of the Trust and claimed that he was the legal heir to Sai Baba. He lost the case and consequently was debarred from having any connection with the maintenance of the shrine. He was refused free food and asked to vacate the room reserved for him in the shrine. Some time later, these severe restrictions were relaxed and Abdul Baba continued to play a role in the maintenance of the shrine till his death in April 1954.

Abdul Baba lived for 36 years after Mahasamadhi of Baba. Throughout those years, he felt that he was under Baba’s protection and guidance. In 1927, he was reciting Quran in the house in which Radhakrishna Mayi lived during her lifetime, when the three mud walls suddenly collapsed, half burying Abdul. He survived unscathed. After his death in 1954, he was buried in the precincts of Samadhi Mandir near Lendi Baug. His is the only tomb in the Sai Baba Mandir complex besides Sai Baba’s. His original small dwelling house is located opposite Chavadi. The main room of that house is preserved and maintained as a memorial and visitors can go and pay homage to the memory of Abdul Baba. His grandson Rahim Khan is the guardian of this memorial which contains pictures, photos and other memorabilia.

Abdul Baba’s wife was Umranrao Bi and the couple had a son by name Abdul Pathan. The son was born in 1901 and passed away on 14 december 1984. Abdul Baba had five grandsons and two grand daughters. They are Ibrahim, Aziz, Rehman, Rahim and Hamid, Shamshad Bi and Irshad Bi. Only Rahim and Hamid are alive now.

||Sri Sainathaarpanamasthu||