THE GREATNESS OF SRI SAI SATCHARITRA
So be it. I will explain to the best of my ability the method that Pant Hemad uses for the compilation of the chapters. Listeners should hear it with respect.
At the outset, there is praise for the Sadguru and then there is narration of the Vedant, description of Sai as Brahman Incarnate, followed by narration of experiences.
To begin with, Hemad was well-versed in shastra and literature; and with the propitiation of Sadguru Sai he was overnight turned into a genius, so that he could create this book like a well-flavoured meal.
He, who experiences its sweetness and goodness, will find that the cycle of birth and death has ended; and the legacy of the liberation will certainly be received.
How can the grandeur of the book be described when it has Hemad’s lucid language and the sacrament of Sai. Truly, it is the mixture of milk and sugar cane juice.
There may be many authors but they do not have the authority of sacramental language for which a real Sadguru is needed, who is the Support of the universe, and the Consort of Rama.
Even if the shastras are studied such a book cannot be written, without the Guru’s Grace. This is absolutely true.
Who can describe Sree Sai Satcharita! How incomparably worthy is the book! For which an author like Hemadpant was found! It is the supreme good fortune for seekers of liberation.
As long as the book exists on this earth, its fame will spread amongst the people. Govindrao has given a timely abundance of wealth for the seekers of liberation.
Twice blessed is this surpassing book! which is the outcome of Sai Sadguru’s favour. It will be honoured by seekers of liberation and it will overcome their poverty of thought.
Because of the store of good deeds done in innumerable past lives, Govindrao got this opportunity to do this service for Sai, which bore sweet fruit in the authorship of this book.
Hemad Pant was a staunch devotee, poet and fond of the knowledge to be gained from the Vedant. He was devotedly attached to Sai’s feet, day and night.
The subject of Vedant is very deep. Without the combination of detachment, devotion and knowledge and the grace of the Guru, it is impossible to write such a book.
These are not chapters but sockets of gold in which the priceless gems of the stories have been studded and from which sparks of knowledge and meaning have been drawn by Govindrao with an immense effort.
The different chapters are the fragrant garlands of flowers offered to the neck of Sree Sai Sadguru by Govind, the loving child, to the best of his ability and with pure devotion.
The various chapters are pure pots of gold which are filled with Sree Sai Satcharita, like the waters of the Ganges, by the son of Raghunath, to drive away the pride of the seekers of liberation.
In the canopy of the battlefield of various books, the son of Raghunath has raised victory pillars of the chapters for destroying the demons of evil feelings, deceit and false pride, with the sword of his intellect.
The book is a five-wick lamp, studded with gems to wave round the king among Saints! The chapters narrate the stories which are wicks of oil, the light of which brings detachment and peace.
The book is Maya which entices the world. The chapters are arms raised high and the meaning of the stories are bracelets (worn on the upper arm) decorating the body ready to embrace Sai, Brahman Incarnate.
The Sai Satcharita is the universal sovereign amongst books. The chapters are pleasing, clever minstrels, narrating faith, knowledge, the Vedantic beauty and its vast glory.
The Sai Satcharita is the market place for spirituality and each chapter therein is an emporium. The stories of the experiences are the objects fully stocked there, arranged neatly by the greatest among the poets.
The book is formidable as the span of the Ganges. The chapters are the compact ‘ghats’ of just proportions. The flow of stories is sweet as nectar and vast, by the Guru’s Grace and formidable greatness.
It is not just a book but a wish-fulfilling tree, which the people engrossed in mundane existence find barren but for the seekers of liberation it gives only the actual experience of liberation.
This alone can be called a real memorial which destroys the darkness and tribulations of the mundane existence and saves from the hell of greed and illusion. It is certainly a giver of peace.
The author, Govindrao by being a bee at the lotus feet of Sai Sadguru, always savours the newly drawn sweet honey.
His surname was Dhabholkar and he was engaged in serving the British government. He was learned, full of humility, wellbehaved and well-qualified.
Rakhumabai was his wife, virtuous, devoted and full of good qualities, dedicated to her husband and always submissive. She had confirmed faith in Sai.
Dapoli, near Vengurla, was the original place of domicile of the poet. Later on Kelva was the village, for the family forefathers.
In ‘Shake’ 1781 (1859 A.D.) on the 5th day of the dark fortnight of Margashir month, the blessed and meritorious Govind was born to Lakshmi, the wife of Raghunath.
He belonged to the Goud Saraswat Brahmins caste and to the Bharadwaj gotra. He died at the age of seventy in Shake 1851, on the ninth day of the dark fortnight of Ashad month.
In ‘Shake’ 1844 (1922 A.D.), in the month of Chaitra, he commenced writing this book and completed upto the fiftysecond chapter by Shake 1851 (1929 A.D.), in the month of Jeshtha.
Govindrao had only one son and five daughters of which four were married. The son was also married and was studying medicine; and the unmarried daughter was also doing the same.
-Shri Sai Samartha Satcharitra, Ovi 149 – 180