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||

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