Once, Anaatrav Patankar a resident of Poona felt a strong urge for Sai Baba’s darshan. So he made arrangements and visited Shirdi at the earliest. He was a very learned man. He had listen to the Vedanta, he had read original Sanskrit Upanishad along with the commentaries.
But all this learning didn’t help him much. The restlessness of mind would simply not leave him.
But it all changed, as soon as he was in the physical present of Sai Baba. With great respect and gratefulness he bowed to Shirdi Baba and offered puja with all rights and rituals. This was a wonderful day of his life.
With humbleness and with folded hands he sat in front of the holy Sai Baba of Shirdi. In a law tone he asked for the divine help of Baba,
“Baba I have read great many books, I have carefully studied Ved-Vedangas, I have also studied the Upanishad and have listened to excillent Shastras and Puranas. After all this how is it Baba, that my mind is restless, weird and tired?
“Now I have began to fill that all my reading and learning have been wasted. The not so learned but faithful ones appeared to me far better that myself.
“All my reading of books has produce no good result. I feel, I have wasted time in deep studies of Shastras. Because, all this learning and all this studies of spiritual topics have not yet brought about the peace of mind. I had started losing the hope of attaining Brahma-Gyana.
Grace of Guru and Devotion – The Importance
“I heard about the greatness of your darshan, that Sai darshan removes all the worries, and all the anxieties. I have also heard that in the midst of light-hearted, humorous talk, Sai Baba effortlessly guides you to a right path.
“Therefore, O Sai Nath Maharaj, i have humbly come to your holy and divine feet. Kindly bless me that my mind will become calm and steady.”
To this, Sai Baba with a wonderful smile on its face spoke a symbolic story. This story also brought satisfaction to Anantrav that all his study on spiritual subject indeed was not worthless. Now let us attentively read the story which Sai Baba spake. This story told by Shirdi Sai Baba is with profound significance and most instructive.
Shirdi Sai Baba tells a Short Story
Shirdi Sai Baba said, “There was once a merchant, a horse standing in front of him happened to drop nine nodules of dung. The merchant was quick to grab this opportunity. Instantly he spread his Uparna-(a small piece of cloth on the shoulder) and caught them. He securely tight those in it. His mind becomes steady and concentrated.”
Anantrav could not catch the meaning of a story at all and kept pondering on it. Then he seek the help of Dada Kelkar about the mystery of this story. Dada replied,”I too don’t understand the meaning of Sai Baba’s utterances. But by Sai Baba own inspiration i will tell you what i have understood about this story.
- The horse is God’s grace.
- The nine lumps of dung are 9 different types of devotion. without devotion God cannot be attained. with knowledge alone, the god cannot be reached.
Dada Kelkar continued,
- The first one is Shravan – listening to the attributes, the excellencies the wonderful stories of God and God realised souls.
- Kirtan – Singing aloud the glories of God or chanting of God’s name.
- Smaran – Silently remembering the God’s form, God’s name, sacred place, divine experience.
- Paadseven – washing, kneading etc. of holy feet of self-realised Guru.
- Archana – Outer worship and services.
- Vandan - Adoration
- Dasya – Service or Servitude.
- Sakhya - Friendliness.
- Atmanivedan – Total surrender.
If any one out of this, is practised with faith devotion and love Shri Hari (God), will appeared to devotee in his own abode.
Consider yourself to be a merchant and hold fast to the nine fold part of devotion.
The next day as Anantrav was worshipping Sai Baba’s holy charan (feet) Sai Baba asked, “what! Did you securely tide up the dung modules in your Uparna?”
Anantrav prayed, “If your grace Baba, is with this poor, meek, they can be easily tied up.
Sai Baba’s Assurance and blessings to Anantrao
The compassionate Guru that Sai Baba is, He blessed him and assured him, ” Allah Bhala Karega, all will be well with you.”
Listening to such wonderful gracious words form the mouth of Shirdi Sai Baba, Anantrao was overjoyed. He had won the grace of Sai Baba. Peace of mind was guaranteed for him. The divine experience was guaranteed for him.
Om Shri SatChitAnad Sadguru SaiNath Mahraj ki Jai.