Sree Sai Samaratha Satcharitra – Sequence of Indexing Chapters
In the first chapter is the invocation to the remover of difficulties and the cause of the Universe, to the ornament round the neck of Uma and Shiva – obeisance to Sree Ganesha.
Obeisance also to the wonderful Goddess of Speech, full of wisdom, Sree Sharada, who entices the world and is the grantor of whatever is desired.
Obeisance to the Lord Sai, the Family Deity, the relations, the Guru brethren, the saints and virtuous people who are incarnations of God; and surrender to the Sadguru, who is the abode of salvation.
By narrating the story of the grinding of the wheat and how the cholera epidemic was removed was explained and the powers and greatness of Sai were described.
In the second chapter, the purpose for writing the book is given, also the naming of Hemadpant, the end of the debate of the necessity of a Guru and the first darshan of Hemad.
In the third chapter it has been fully explained how the permission was given for writing the book by Sai’s own words and the story about the Rohilla.
Next, the reason for the appearance of saints and sages, who are ornaments of the Ruler of the World, on the earth, has been explained in detail.
And the first arrival of Sai, Avatar of Dutta, Son of Atri, the wish-fulfilling tree, in Shirdi village – all that is described in the fourth.
The disappearance from Shirdi village and the re-appearance in the company of the well-to-do Patil which surprised all; 33. the gathering of Gangagir and other saints, the carrying of water in pots on his own head from afar to create a garden is all fully mentioned in the fifth.
In the sixth chapter, the big festival of Ramnavami where Bala Buva was the Kirtankar and the renovation of the Masjid is narrated in detail.
Next is about yogic practices of Samadhi, Khandayog, Dhoti- Poti etc., whether Baba was a Hindu or a Muslim; the unfathomable inner self of a Saint;
Baba’s dress, behaviour, giving of medicines, smoking of ‘chillum’, caste, ‘dhuni’, lamps, his illness, and service to him – incomprehensible was the sight of all this!
The seventh by the learned poet excellently narrates matters about Bhagoji Shinde’s leprosy, the medicine for the plague affecting Khaparde’s son and Nana’s Pandharpur ‘darshan’ idea.
The unique greatness of human birth, the description of the mode in which Sai asked for alms, the service of Bayjabai to the saints and the offering of food to Baba with her own hands;
How Baba, Tatya and Mhalsapati, all three of them, slept in the Masjid at night and Baba’s excessive love for both of them, which was identical;
And the mutual love of Baba who was the repository of peace and knowledge, and Kushalchand of Rahta village is all delightfully narrated in the eighth chapter.
How greatly Tatyasaheb Noolkar, and Tatya Patil, who were great devotees, as well as the English gentleman repented for not following instructions;
How Baba made an offering to the five elements before savouring the food which had been given as alms, how Baba was qualified to seek alms is cleverly explained;
And the excellent story of how the famous Babasaheb Tarkhad, the staunch Prathna Samajist, became a devotee of Sai, whole-heartedly, are all given in the ninth chapter.
Yogeshwar Baba’s bed, of a plank four-hands long and a span in width, hung from the rafters;
A touching account of when Baba first arrived in Shirdi, how many years he lived there and when he left the mortal coil;
Though calm and desireless within, outwardly demonstrating a demonic nature and Gururaya’s unfailing inclination to lead the people together on a particular path;
The Sadguru’s tremendous skill in teaching the Ved-shastras and the essence of religion, spirituality and the code of behaviour, and testing the intellects of the devotees as well as the non-devotees;
Baba’s usual seat, Baba’s knowledge, Baba’s meditation and Baba’s dwelling – his power and his greatness – are fully described in the tenth chapter.
Baba’s fame everywhere as being the embodiment of Satchitanand, Doctor Pandit’s loving devotion, and the narration of the behaviour of Siddique (Falke);
His control over the clouds, his incredible power over fire and his protection from strong winds are interestingly described in the eleventh;
Kaka (Mahajani), Dhumal, Nimonkar, a Mamlatdar and a Doctor — different incidents about each of them were narrated sweetly.
And the unique Sai ‘darshan’ of the Agnihotri from Nashik, the doubting Muley, a disciple of Saint Gholapram, in the twelfth chapter.
Bala Shimpi’s malaria was cured by giving curds to a black dog, and Bapusaheb’s (Butti) cholera was eradicated by feeding him walnuts and pistachios;
The Swami from Alandi, who had pain in the ear, was cured only with blessings, and the diarrhoea that Kaka (Mahajani)suffered from was removed by peanuts;
The devotee Dattapant from Harda, who suffered from a servere stomach ache, was freed from his trouble by blessings, in front of everybody;
And one, Bhimaji Patil, had severe cough and tuberculosis. He was cured by an application of ‘udi’ – all this is narrated in the thirteenth.
Seth Ruttonji, a Parsi from Nanded, a famous businessman who was dejected was granted a son, placing him in the seventh heaven;
How the saint Mauli Saheb of Nanded, who worked as a coolie and remained incognito, became known thanks to an indication from Sai is the amazing story in the fourteenth.
The ‘kirtan’ practice of Narada was told by Baba to Das Ganu; and Cholkar was requited for his vow by giving him tea full of sugar;
A lizard from Aurangabad came and met one in the mosque, and the story of their chirrupings is narrated in the fifteenth.
A gentleman, well-endowed with wealth and children, came to Shirdi having learnt of Sai’s fame, to acquire knowledge of Brahman;
One who desires the Brahman should be detached from the worldly life and the greed for wealth should be discarded, as a first step,
But if he could not give a loan of five rupees to Baba for a short while, even though he had a big roll of money in his clothes, how could he attain the Brahman!
The method by which Sai taught the lesson was beautiful and Hemad’s words are like ‘prasad’, a mixture of milk and sugar. This enticing story is in the sixteenth.
The continuation of the earlier story, a detailed discussion of the knowledge of Brahman, total destruction of the greed for money, is the interesting narration in the seventeenth.
Sathe’s story about the Guru Charitra, the story about Radhabai’s ‘upadesha’, and the favour bestowed on Hemad are skillfully narrated in the eighteenth.
The detailed narration about this favour, and the in-depth thoughts (of Hemad) according to the lesson taught by Sree Sai are given in the nineteenth.
Das Ganu commenced the “Ishavasya Bhavartha Bodhini ”. In that respect he had some doubts which he asked Baba.
Baba said that the maid-servant of Kaka (Dixit) would resolve it. The Sadguru’s greatness is extra-ordinary. An interesting narration of it is in the twentieth.
A virtuous district officer, another learned man Patankar and the third, a brilliant lawyer – all three were granted favours, as mentioned in the twenty-first.
Mashidmai helps to cross the ocean of existence. It is none other than Dwarkamai. Baba said this to all the people but no one understood its deepest meaning.
The virtues of Mashidmai were praised; Mirikar and Butti were saved from snake bites; Amir Shakkar’s rheumatism was cured and he was saved from the danger of the snake.
Hemad was saved from the danger of a bite from the scorpion and others from a snake and untimely death – all these incidents are published in the twenty-second.
How the doubts of a student of Yoga were removed, how Madhavrao was cured of a snake bite; dhuni; and fire-wood, and the killing of a goat are very interestingly described.
The respect and glamour of Bade Baba, the lack of obedience to the Guru’s orders, his greed for more irrespective of what was given to him, and his dissatisfied nature;
Kaka Saheb, the best among the devotees, who had supreme and unswerving faith in the Guru’s orders, and how the Sadguru sported with him is beautifully narrated in the twentythird.
Making grains of grams the excuse, Hemadpant was given a lesson that without remembering the Sadguru nothing should
be enjoyed (eaten);
Sai caused a quarrel between Anna Babare and Maushibai, and that uncommon incident of wit and humour has been sung by the inestimable poet in the twenty-fourth.
A devotee, Damu Anna Kasar, a resident of Ahmednagar, was desirous of doing a big business of cotton and rice.
There would definitely be a loss in the business. By eating the mangoes, sons will be born said Sai, the Sun of Knowledge. All this is described in the twenty-fifth.
A devotee named Pant, who was a disciple of another saint, was immediately given an indication, which made Pant overjoyous;
The son of devotee Harishchandra Pitale, who was suffering from epilepsy was completely cured by only a merciful glance;
Pitale was given three rupees and was told that he had been given two rupees earlier. Baba told him to worship them. It is a charming narration in the twenty-sixth.
Kaka (Mahajani) placed the Bhagvat ‘pothi’ in the Lord’s hands, with the hope of getting it back as ‘prasad’ but the Lord gave it to Madhav (Shama);
The ‘pothi’ of Vishnusahasranam was in the collection of a Ramadasi. Baba took it from there without his knowledge and gave that also to Madhavrao.
The story how Sai, the cloud of mercy, granted a boon to Shamrao (Madhavrao) by giving him the Vishnusahasranam ‘pothi’ is narrated in the twenty-seventh.
Lakhmichand Munshi, Chidibai of Burhanpur and the most virtuous Brahmin, Megha, came to Baba’s feet.
By giving them all a dream vision, gave them experience in the waking state. Incredible are the feats of the Sadguru Mauli. All this is lovingly narrated in the twenty-eighth.
A group of ‘bhajan’ singers from Madras gathered at Shirdi to witness the spectacle of generosity and giving of charity by Baba, the guileless Shankar;
The way in which the examination of Raghunath Tendulkar’s son and his pension problems were resolved are the pleasant ‘leelas’ of Baba; and
How Dr. Captain Hate, who was a very loving devotee of Sai’s feet, was given an early morning dream vision is the graceful story in the twenty-ninth.
A person named Kakaji Vaidya, a devotee of Saptashrungi Devi, was given a dream vision by the Devi, to have the darshan of Sai, the foremost amongst the saints;
Shamrao had taken a vow to the same Devi, so to fulfill that vow Shama went to Vani after thirty years; and
How Sai spoke “come to Shirdi ” in the dreams of both, Seth Kushalchand of Rahata and the Punjabi Brahmin, Ramlal, is narrated in the thirtieth.
Vijayanand, a Madrasi sanyasi, set out for Manas Sarovar. Baba, Sree Hrishikesh personified, held him back at his own feet;
And the upliftment of the distinguished devotee Mankar, who hovered over Sai’s feet like a bee over honey, and the afflicted, cruel tiger is beautifully narrated in the thirty-first.
The story about four virtuous people wandering in the woods, in search of God, and the darshan given by Gururaya to one (Baba) as he had shed his ego;
The unusual episode of the fasting lady Gokhalebai and another similar story told by Sai himself, are sung by Hemad in the thirty-second.
A friend of Narayan Jani was suddenly stung by a scorpion, while the daughter of another devotee was suffering from high fever;
How the difficult labour of Chandorkar’s daughter frightened her and how unhappy and worried everyone was;
The staunch devotee Kulkarni Saheb, the ‘bhajan’ singer Bala Bua really understood the efficacious power of the ‘udi’;
And the enchanting story of the ‘dakshina’ of Haribhau Karnik, a devotee full of faith and religious feelings, which teaches a lesson, are all in the thirty-third.
The great distress of the Malegaon doctor on account of the bone abscess of his nephew, the difficult illness of the staunch devotee Dr. Pillai from guinea-worms;
The torment of Bapaji of Shirdi (Shama’s brother) on account of the bubonic plague of his wife, and the epilepsy of the young girl of Irani, which greatly troubled her;
The gentleman from Harda who was in great pain due to stones in his bladder and the difficult labour of a lady from Bombay, of the Kayasth Prabhu caste;
The complete removal of the above-mentioned maladies or troubles by the mere application of the ‘udi’ without loss of time, are interestingly described in the thirty-fourth.
A friend of Mahajani, who totally believed in the Formless, became a devotee of the Form, after only one darshan;
The greatest of Gurus turned grapes with seeds into seedless ones immediately and gave them to Dharamsi Jethabhai Thakkar, a solicitor from Bombay;
A Kayasth gentleman from Bandra who could not sleep at ease and Bala Patil of Nevasa both had experiences of the ‘udi’ which are given in the thirty-fifth.
Two gentlemen from Goa had separately taken different vows – one for getting a job and another for finding a thief;
Both had forgotten their vows but Sai Samartha made them remember. Who can describe the fame of him, who had the knowledge of the past, present and future and was omnipresent!
The wife of Sakharam of Aurangabad rushed to Sai’s feet for the boon of a son. How her wish was fulfilled by giving a coconut is the story told, with a purpose, in the thirtysixth.
Hemad describes the ‘chavadi’ celebrations and festivities, after seeing them himself, in an interesting narration in the thirty-seventh.
After putting different ingredients a variety of items were cooked in the ‘handi’ (cooking-pot) and distributed as ‘prasad’ lunch to all – a pleasing narration of it is in the thirty-eighth.
The elucidation of the verse from the Gita, ‘Tadviddhi Pranipatena’ is told to Chandorkar to remove his false pride about his knowledge of Sanskrit; and
The king among saints gave a dream vision to Bapusaheb Butti instructing him to build a temple – that is the narration in the thirty-ninth.
Deo gave a feeding to the Brahmins in honour of his mother’s completion of vows, for which he invited Baba by writing a letter.
On that day, three eminent persons wearing the garb of sanyasis came and had their meals with the Brahmins! It is difficult to understand the sport of Gururaya!
After giving a dream vision to Hemad, Baba came for lunch in the form of a portrait – that is the lucid narration in the fortieth.
The poet narrates the story of the portrait at length to the devotees. The Sadguru’s greatness is inconceivable. The narration is enchanting and witty.
Assuming the Rudra avatar and becoming red as a blazing coal, Sree Sai showered a volley of abuses on Deo angrily.
The Lord Sai said: “Read the Sree Dñyaneshwari regularly ” and even gave instructions in a dream about the method of reading. Hemad narrates this in the forty-first.
The application of the Tripundra by the devotee Date;1 the early warning about Sai’s leaving the body; averting the deaths of Ramchandra (Patil) and Tatya (Patil Kote); and
The story of Sai Sadguru’s leaving the body which caused deep sorrow among the listeners and disturbed Hemad also — these are the holy stories in the forty-second.
The story about Baba’s leaving the body which was certainly incomplete in the previous chapter is completed by Hemadpant in the forty-third, and forty-fourth.
Once when Kaka Saheb Dixit was reading the Eknath Bhagvat, with Kaka (Mahajani) and Madhav, had some doubts;
Madhav Rao clarified the doubt but Dixit was not convinced or satisfied. Anand Rao Pakhade narrated a dream and that removed the doubts;
Sai Samartha gave an explanation why Mhalsapati could not possibly sleep on a plank hung from the rafters —all stories skillfully told in the forty-fifth.
Baba’s deeds are wonderful! He remained fixed in one place but roamed everywhere, showing people his miraculous appearances. Strange were his travels to Kashi and Gaya.
The gem among saints told Shama to go and attend the wedding celebrations of the son of Chandorkar, and Shama saw Baba at Gaya in a portrait at that time.
The earlier life story of two goats was narrated himself by Sai, the three-eyed one – pleasing, sweet, holy and deep is the story narration in the forty-sixth.
Similarly a story about a snake and a frog, or a greedy money lender and a borrower and their previous lives is told by Sai, who is truly Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar.
Enmity, murder and debt have to be repaid and for that there is re-birth – that is the nectar-like story that Baba imparts in a heart-warming narration in the forty-seventh.
One staunch devotee Shevade and the manner in which he faced his advocate’s exam and the other a disbelieving Sapatnekar who was granted grace is in the forty-eighth.
Hari Kanoba, a resident of Bombay, and Somadev Swami, who had a malicious mind, came to Shirdi to test the saint, with pride in their hearts!
As soon as the ‘darshan’ was taken, they were told what their intentions were and both were right away ashamed. They were attracted to Sai’s feet and their sins of many lives were obliterated.
While sitting near Baba, Chandorkar’s mind was disturbed and his emotions were aroused by seeing a beautiful woman. This story is narrated in the forty-ninth.
Raghunath’s son (i.e. Govindrao Dabholkar) gives in detail the meaning of “Tadviddhi Pranipatena ” giving arguments in support and justification, in the fiftieth.
How Dixit Hari Sitaram, the devotee Balaram Dhurandhar and an advocate Named Pundalik of Nanded, arrived initially at Shirdi ach one’s story is marvellous! Hearing them the listeners were amazed and their evotional feelings were aroused. All this is narrated in the fifty-first.
After reviewing the book, Hemad asked for a boon —that the wickedness of the evil-minded be destroyed and that the virtuous are protected.
Surrendering at the Sadguru’s feet and offering him his head and his pen, the book is completed and his objective is achieved in the fifty-second.
Govindrao completed the series of chapters of Sree Sai Satcharita in this manner. I lovingly bow to his feet and also to the Guru, who is the Mother of the whole universe.
Giving the summary of each chapter is itself called the ‘Avataranika’. It is the right or virtuous path for those desirous of attaining liberation.
It may be scornfully neglected considering it to be a ragged border for a beautiful mantle, or robe. But this humble one appeals to the clever listeners to hear it once.
Just as a black mark is put on the forehead of a plump, lovely child to ward off the evil eye, Bal (Deo) has applied this black mark in the form of this ‘Avataranika’ to this robe.
The beautiful book is like a well-flavoured meal and the chapters are like the different items. Buttermilk is necessary for digesting such a meal, if heartily partaken. This ‘Avataranika’ is written for that purpose.
The book is the ever-fruitful, wish-fulfilling cow and each of the chapters are holy and pure. The ‘‘Avataranika’ is the necklace of black beads put round the neck to avert the evil or malignant eye.
- Sree Sai Samartha Satcharitra, Ch. 53, Ovi 24 – 148