Experiences of Baba’s Dearest Devotee – NANASAHEB CHANDORKAR Part 1 0f 5
In the years after 1910, there was a considerable increase in the number of devotees of Baba and Baba also changed His ways of communicating with the people. He began talking in a profound ways which needed to be interpreted by someone. In spite of His preaching’s, the devotees continued to remain attracted to the worldly ways of life. On seeing this, Baba was disappointed and had tears in His eyes. He said to Nanasaheb, “Nana, I am here to give something much more important to my devotees; but no one wants it. They all want from me what I cannot give them.”
Whenever Nanasaheb came to Shirdi, he spent a lot of money on various matters as per his own wishes. There were occasions, when Nanasaheb found that – since his last visit to Shirdi – Baba had borrowed money from some of moneylenders and used the amount either to donate the money or to buy things which people asked from Him. Nanasaheb ascertained the borrowed amount from various moneylenders and repaid the same without uttering a word about it. Radhakrishna-mai used to ask moneyed people (including Nanasaheb) to buy costly things for Baba and forced Him to use those. However, Baba was reluctant to do so. He said, “Nana, there are only a few things which are really mine – a cloth rag, a loin-cloth, only one Kafani, one piece of earthen pot and a metal tumbler. But, look at these people, they unnecessarily keep harassing me. They try to force things upon me. What kind of behavior is this?”
Guidance from Nanasaheb
Balasaheb Deo – an ardent devotee of Baba – had very high regard for Nanasaheb. Actually, it was Nanasaheb who was instrumental in attracting Deo towards Baba. He used to get electrified while narrating his Sai experience. Likewise, he used to be excited while talking about Nanasaheb. He has penned down his thoughts and experiences about Nanasaheb at great length.
It was said that Deo’s family was truly blessed and the dreams they had turned into reality later on. Before Deo had the opportunity of availing Baba’s Darshan for the first time, he had a beautiful dream. In this dream, he saw two persons. Later on after coming to Shirdi, he realized that the two persons – whom he saw in his dream – were none other than Baba and Nanasaheb. From that time, he developed a bond of friendship, love, affection and esteem towards Nanasaheb. He frequently went to Kalyan to meet Nanasaheb.
Deo had a dilemma about his dreams. He knew that according to Vedant and day-today life, dreams are considered to be mere illusions. But, many of his own dreams were not so. On the contrary, they were later on turning out to be reality.
He posed his question to Nanasaheb in one of his visits to Nanasaheb’s residence at Kalyan. Nanasaheb replied, “Generally, I don’t get such dreams. If I happen to get them, I either don’t remember them on waking up or if I remember them, I have not had any experience about their turning them into reality. But, let us ponder about your events after having meals.”
After finishing dinner, Nanasaheb and Balasaheb moved to the sleeping quarters on the first floor. On a table, a big photo of Baba had been placed. A lamp was burning in front of it. “Let us see, how Baba answers your query. Till then, let us sleep,” said Nanasaheb and both of them lay down on their beds.
Around 4.00am – 4.30am in the morning, Nanasaheb got up and uttered, “Balasaheb, your query has been answered. Baba appeared in my dream and said, ‘What is so difficult in it? In a forest, there are trees of various types. But, most of them are just wild trees – not bearing sweet smelling flowers or fruits. However, even amongst these wild trees there are some exceptions. They yield such flowers and fruits. Similarly, most of the dreams are just dreams. Only some turn out to be true. But, they are exceptions.”
A sermon on Nanasaheb
Balasaheb Deo had studied in great detail Nanasaheb’s life and the experiences that he had concerning Shri Sai Baba. He had openly appreciated many aspects and events of the same. Not only that, Balasaheb even made a compilation of the various events and narrated them to a gathering of devotees in Shirdi.
While introducing the compilation, he says -“‘The Ultimate Truth’ is only one. In this vast world, there are thousands and thousands of devotees. But, only a few of them pray for seeking the almighty. And, amongst these few, there are still rarest of rare persons who have actually achieved their goal of Parmatma Prapti or the true knowledge of the Parmatma. Total surrender towards God is the only path to achieve the ultimate goal – which is the rarest part. Even for the almighty, to get such a devotee is a rare occurrence.”
He adds -“Nanasaheb’s Bhakti belongs to the fourth type of Bhakti as narrated in the Bhagvad Geeta – that is Dnyanyukta Bhakti. Nanasaheb had fully understood Sai Baba and Sai Baba had also fully understood Nanasaheb. Both loved each other from the bottoms of their hearts.”
He thereafter narrated the miracle relating to Nanasaheb’s daughter Mainatai’s pregnancy. Deo had referred to the Shri Sai Sat Charita and also extensively interviewed Bapugeer (who was about 75-80 years old at that time). He also verified from Nanasaheb’s elder son Vasudeo Narayan alias Baburao the events after Bapugeer reached Jamner.
At the end of his Aakhyan (sermon), Deo said, “The Tongawala delivered the Udi at a critical time of Mainatai’s pregnancy. The Tongawala from this incident is no different than the Shrikhandya who served Eknath Maharaj, the Vithoo Mahar who delivered the receipt to Damajipant. Are they not different forms of the Parmatma Shri Sai Baba?”
Source: Translated from http Gujarati Book “Sai Sarovar”