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Sai Charita - Chapter 31

Shri Sai Satcharita

Chapter XXXI

The Passing Away In Baba's Presence of - (1) Sannyasi Vijayanand - (2) Balaram Mankar - (3) Noolkar - (4) Megha - and (5) The Tiger.

In this Chapter Hemadpant describes the passing away of certain persons and a tiger in Baba's presence.


The last wish or thought, that a man has, at the hour of death, determines his future course. Shri Krishna has said in Gita (VIII-5-6) that "he who remembers Me in his last moments, comes verily to Me, and he that mediates, otherwise, at that time, goes to what he looks for." We cannot be certain, that we can entertain a particular good thought, at our last moment, for, more often than not, we are more likely to be frightened and terrified by many causes. Hence, constant practice is necessary for enabling us to fix our mind, on any desired good thought, at any, or the last moment. All Saints, therefore, recommended us to remember God and chant His name always, so that we may not be puzzled, when the time for departure comes. The devotees, on their part, surrender themselves completely to the Saints, fully believing that the all-knowing Saints would guide and help them in their last moments. A few such cases will be noted here.

(1) Vijayanand

A Madrasi Sannyasi named Vijayanand, started pilgrimage to Manasa-Sarovar. En route, on hearing Baba's fame, he halted at Shirdi. There he met one Somadevaji Swami of Hardware, and enquired from him about the particulars of the Manasa-Sarovar trip. The Swami, told him, that the Sarovar was 500 miles above the Gangotri, and described to him the difficulties of the journey, viz., plenty of snow and the change of dialect every 50 koss, and the suspicious nature of the people of Tibet, who give a lot of trouble to the pilgrims on the way. On hearing this, the Sannyasi was dejected and cancelled the trip. Then when he went to Baba, and prostrated himself before Him, Baba got enraged and said - "Drive out this useless Sannyasi, his company is of no use." The Sannyasi did not know Baba's nature. He felt discomforted, but sat there watching things that were going on. It was the morning Darbar, and the Masjid was overcrowded. Baba was being worshipped in various ways. Some were washing His Feet, some taking the Tirth (holy water) from His toe and drinking it heartily and some touching their eyes with it, some were applying sandal-paste, and some scents to His body. And all were doing these things, forgetting the distinction of caste and creed. Though Baba got enraged with him, he was filled with affection for Baba, and he did not like to leave the place.

He stayed in Shirdi for two days, when he got a letter from Madras, stating that his mother was very ill. He felt very dejected and wanted to be by his mother's side; but he could not leave, without Baba's permission. So he saw Baba with the letter in hand, and asked for His permission to return home. The omniscient Baba knowing the future said to him - "If you loved your mother, why did you take Sannayasa? Fondness or attachment makes ill of an ochre garb. Go and sit quiet at your lodging, wait with patience for a few days. In the Wada, there are many robbers, bolt your doors, and be very vigilant, the thieves will carry everything. Wealth and prosperity are transient, and the body is subject to decay and death. While knowing this, do your duty, leaving all attachment to the things of this world and next. He, who does this and surrenders himself to the Feet of Hari (Lord), will get free from all troubles and attain Bliss. The Lord runs and helps him, who remembers and meditates on Him, with love and affection. Your store of past merits is considerable, so you have come here. Now attend to what I say, and realise the end of your life. After being desireless, begin from tomorrow the study of Bhagwat. Do three 'saptahas', i.e., three reading during three weeks, conscientiously. The Lord will be pleased with you, and will destroy your sorrows; your illusions will vanish and you will get peace." On seeing, that his end was approaching, Baba prescribed this remedy; and made him read `Ramavijaya', which pleases the God of death. Next morning after bathing and other purifying rites, he commenced to read Bhagwat in a secluded part in the Lendi garden. He completed two readings and thereafter felt much exhausted. He returned to the Wada, and stayed in his lodging for two days; and on the third day he breathed his last on Fakir (Bade) Baba's lap. Baba asked the people to preserve the body for a day for a good reason. The police afterwards came and, on making proper enquiries, gave permission, for the disposal of the body. It was buried in a proper place, with due rites. In this way Baba helped the Sannyasi and ensured him Sadgati (salvation).

(2) Balaram Mankar

There was a house-holder devotee of Baba, by name Balaram Mankar. When his wife passed away, he got dejected and entrusting his household to his son, left his home and came to Shirdi and lived with Baba. Being pleased with his devotion, Baba wanted to give a good turn to his life, and He did this in this manner. He gave him Rs. 12/-, and asked him to go and live in Macchindragada (District Satara). Mankar was first unwilling to go, and stay away from Baba, but Baba convinced him, that he was giving the best course for him, and asked him to practise mediation thrice a day on the Gada. On believing in Baba's words, Mankar went to the Gada. He was much pleased with the lovely sight, pure water, healthy air, and the surroundings of the place, and began to practice assiduously the mediations, as recommended by Baba. After some days, he got a revelation. Generally, Bhaktas get revelation in their Samadhi or trance states, but in Mankar's case he got it, when he came down to his ordinary consciousness from his trance. Baba appeared to him in p