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Offline JR

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Eminent Devotees of Saibaba - MahalSapati
« on: October 01, 2007, 08:29:33 AM »
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  • Eminent Devotees of Saibaba - MahalSapati

    Mahalsapati was the fortunate soul who gave a name to the saint whom we now know and revere as Sri Saibaba. He uttered 'Ya Sai,' when Baba made His first appearance at the Khandoba temple along with the marriage party of Chandbhai.

    Baba used to call Mahalsapati   'Sonarda,' and later on 'Bhagat' i.e. close disciple.


    Mahalsapati was a poor priest of the Khandoba temple, Shirdi. He had only an elementary education, which the village veranda schools impart. He could however read his caste men's Bible, namely, Mahalsapati Purana, and would carry on the traditional worship of Mahalsapati at home and abroad.


    Mahalsapati was a pious and orthodox Hindu, who first raised an orthodox objection to Baba's stepping into and residing at the Khandoba temple, which was in his charge, but soon developed into the most zealous admirer and ardent worshipper of Baba.


    Mahalsapati had no worldly motives. He was ascetic in temperament and was highly detached. He took care not to be governed by lust or other low urges. His goal in life was to get free from the cycle of rebirths (Samsara) and attain Liberation (Moksha) through the    grace   of   Khandoba.


    Mahalsapati was the first person that started doing ritual worship to Baba by applying sandal paste. Only    Mahalsapati was allowed to place   flowers   and sandal on Baba's feet or neck.   This developed later into regular worship by the use of sandal paste and flowers on Baba's feet, neck and finally on his forehead also.


    Mahalsapati   had the fortune of being in the constant company of Baba day and night. He had the great opportunity to sleep with Baba in the Mosque for many years. Mahalsapati    used to spread his own cloth and on that Baba would lie on one half, and he would lie on the other. Baba would tell Mahalsapati, 'Place your hand on my heart and listen my remembrance of Allah, if that suddenly stops and natural sleep supervenes, wake me up.'   Mahalsapati used to sleep in the Masjid even after the mahasamadhi of Sri Saibaba.


    Baba would never let Mahalsapati get down the Masjid stairs once he entered in the Mosque at night.   Even when Mahalsapati needed to go out for toilet purposes, Baba used to shout at him saying 'If you get down the Masjid steps, you will die'.


    Mahalsapati   has three daughters and one son. (One son died around 1896)


    All that Mahalsapati owned was a mud house in the village, and seven and a halfacres of barren land without water supply, which yielded practically nothing. To eke out his living, he followed the hereditary profession of a goldsmith.    But in a poor village with very few houses and very few visitors, even   this brought very little income. Once Khandoba appeared as an old Brahmin in a vision, and said to him, 'What?    Can you not get your bread without practicing your profession of gold smithy?'   Then Mahalsapati   answered in the    vision.    'Yes.   I shall   give it up'. Then Khandoba in the vision said,     'Touch my feet and hold   them.   This   meant evidently,     'Hereafter, regard your subsistence as being dependent purely upon your holding to my feet and not upon your doing goldsmith's work.' From that time onwards, he gave up goldsmith's work in perfect trust (NISHTA AND SRADDHA) and lived by begging, that is, he became really a    Sanyasi 'Monk', though living with a family. Mahalsapati was very meek, obedient, and pious. He firmly adhered to a life of 'Holy Poverty' and Baba kept him to it. Baba protected him from all calamities in his worldly life and brought about Mahalsapati's spiritual uplift.


    Today we can see Mahalasapti's Samadhi, Baba's Kufni, sandals, satka etc. at Mahalasapati house near Dwarkamai.


    Mahalsapati's objection for Baba entering into Khandoba temple:

    It was about   1872 perhaps   that    Saibaba entered   the   village along with a 'Barat', i.e. a bridegroom's party of Moslems headed by Chandbhai, Patel of Dhupkeda (in the 'Nizam's State'). Then Saibaba separated from the marriage group very near Khandoba temple at the outskirts of Shirdi and sauntered along till the threshold of Khandoba temple. Mahalsapati, who was inside worshipping Khandoba, noticed Baba's presence and, with his usual civility, invited him to sit. After a few minutes, the fakir Baba remarked, 'How secluded and quiet a place is the Khandoba temple, best fitted for a Fakir to be in'. Mahalsapati's conservative outlook flared up and he protested the proposal that a Moslem should reside in Khandoba temple. This was, in his opinion unthinkable. Most Moslems are iconoclasts, ( i.e. breakers of images) and, therefore, Mahalsapati prevented Baba from entering the temple, which contained the images of Khandoba etc. Finding Mahalsapati's objection to be natural, Baba said, 'God is one for Hindus, Moslems, and all, but, as you object to my entry, I shall go'. Baba went away from there.


    Baba's prophesy:

    When Mahalsapati got a male child and took him to Baba and talked of Namakarana, i.e. the name to be given to the child, Baba, evidently to prevent his being too much attached to the son, told him 'Look after the child for 25 years and that would be sufficient'.   Mahalsapati did not then understand what Baba said. It later transpired that it was a prophesy of Baba as that 25 years period indicated the length of his child's life which was to end around 1922.


    Mahalsapati's happy ending with Baba's grace:

    The end of such a devoted person must necessarily be  good, (sadgati). Mahalsapati died on September 12th, 1922. Baba knew the future of this devotee but gave him only hints.Baba made this assurance doubly sure and granted him the merit of dying on an Ekadasi day (with God in his mind and His name upon his lips) just as he did for several other devotees. As Mahalsapati's death was approaching, he retained full-consciousness and control of his mind. That was on 11th Sep. 1922 Monday (in the month of Badrapada, Ekadasi Somavara, sacred to Shiva and Khandoba) Having finished all his puja, he said to his family, 'To-day is my father's Shraddha (memorial) day. Finish cooking soon. To day I close my earthly life and go to Heaven'. So, Laxman, the Brahmin, came and finished the Sraddha at once and finished the rituals of food offerings to crows, cows, etc, and guests were fed. Then the family had their meal. Mahalsapati took betel and nut after his meal. After chewing a bit, he put on a kufni. Having near him, Bala Gurav, Ramachandra Kothe, etc., he told them all to do Ramachandra Japa.   The Japa went on. His son was present, and he gave him his stick. Mahalsapati said to his son, 'Spend time piously in Uttama Bhakti Marga i.e. in holy devotion. All that I told you will happen.' The next day, early in the morning, Mahalsapati uttered the word 'Ram' and breathed his last. Thus he passed away in calm faith and cheerfulness.


    Baba's Teaching to Mahalsapati for his spiritual upliftment:

    'You had better sit upright. Do not go to sleep. Place your hand on my heart. I will be going on with remembrance of Allah, Nama Smaran, that is, a half conscious trance, and during that Nama Smaran, the heart beat would clearly show you that I am still having Nama Smaran. If that suddenly changes and natural sleep supervenes, wake me up.'


    Baba's Saying to Mahalsapati:

    When Mahalsapati often obtained leave of Baba to go for his night meal, Baba used to say, 'Go. I am with you.'

    « Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 02:13:32 PM by subhasrini »
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    Offline SS91

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    Re: Eminent Devotees of Saibaba - MRS. LAXMIBAI GANESH KHAPARDE
    « Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 01:47:52 PM »
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    By V.B. Kher

    Mrs. Laxmibai Ganesh Khaparde- was a devotee favoured by Shri Sai Baba and
    initialed by him. The story of her rinanubandha with Sai and her initiation
    at his hands is narrated in verses 139-69 of twenty-seventh canto of Shri
    Sai-Sat-Charita. Similarly in verses 100 to 110 of seventh-canto the story
    of how Baba took upon himself the karmic suffering of her son's infection of
    plague and relieved her of all anxiety is told. We shall first narrate the
    stories and then examine the references in the Shirdi Diary to these and
    other incidents not touched upon in Shri Sai-Sat-Charita. Then we shall
    trace an outline of her life story till her end which the reader will find
    very moving. Her end was not only peaceful but she was blessed with darshan
    by her Sadguru Saibaba. What higher joy can a devotee of Sai expect? So now
    let us begin with her story of rinanubandha and initiation.

    "Once Dadasaheb came to Shirdi with his family and was absorbed in the love
    of Baba. Khaparde was no ordinary person. He was very learned, yet before
    Baba he bowed in veneration. Well versed in English education, he enjoyed a
    high reputation in the Supreme Legislative Council and the Council of State
    as a debater and moved the Legislature with his eloquence. However, before
    Sai he assumed silence. Baba had many devotees but no devotees except
    Khaparde, Gopalrao Buti and Lax-man Krishna Nulkar remained silent before
    Baba. Others spoke to Baba, some engaged in controversies, spoke whatever
    came to their mind. But these three observed total restraint. Leave aside
    speaking, they always assented to what Baba said. Indescribable was their
    humility and their courtesy in listening. Khaparde who expounded on the
    subject matter of Vidyaranya's Panchadashi with great mastery fell silent as
    soon as he came to the Musjid. Whatever may be the splendour of speech,
    before pure and radiant Brahman incarnate Sai, it would just be eclipsed.
    Khaparde stayed in Shirdi for four months and his wife for seven months and
    both of them became increasingly happy. His wife had great faith in Sai and
    she herself would bring Naivedya in the Musjid. She would not touch food
    until Baba accepted the Naivedya and partook of it. Only thereafter she
    would have her meal. It so happened once that seeing her firm devotion Baba
    who loved His bhaktas dearly showed her the way. Various are the ways of
    gurus for imparting instruction, but Baba's was quite distinct. He showered
    grace so effortlessly that it would sink into the innermost recesses.

    Once Mrs. Khaparde brought the Naivedya of a dishful of Shira-puri, rice,
    dal, payasam, sandge, papad and koshimbir. As soon as her Naivedya came,
    Baba eagerly got up from his seat and rolled up his sleeves. He took his
    seat at the usual place of meals, pulled the dish towards him and removed
    the covering with a view to commence eating. Many were the naivedyas, and
    some more sumptuous than the present one, which used to be received from
    other devotees but they would remain untouched by Baba for a long time. Then
    why was this lady's favoured? This is the behavior of a worldly person but
    how could such considerations even touch a saint's mind? Therefore,
    Madhavrao Deshpande looked askance at Baba and wanted to know how He could
    make such distinctions. Madhavrao said, 'You ignore all naivedyas, even hurl
    away naivedya in silver dishes but it is strange that as soon as this lady's
    naivedya came you started eating. Why does her naivedya taste so sweet to
    you is the great puzzle for us, Oh Gurudeva! What is this mystery of your
    favouring some?' Baba replied, 'How shall I describe the excellence of this
    food? In one of her previous births she was a very fat cow yielding much
    milk and belonged to a merchant. Thereafter 1 lost sight of her (for some
    time) and in Wrth which followed she was born to a gardener, then to a
    Kshatriya and thereafter became the wife of a merchant. Later she was born
    in a Brahmin family and has been sighted after a long time. Let me partake
    of the food served with love happily and give her satisfaction'. So saying,
    he ate heartily, washed his hands and mouth, belched contentedly and resumed
    his seat. The lady then bowed to Sai and began his charan-seva. Taking this
    opportunity Baba talked to her of her welfare. Baba pressed her hands with
    which she was doing charan seva. Shama then observing the service of each
    other by God and His devotee, said humorously, 'What a leela we witness, oh
    God! Seeing the mutuality of faith we are filled with wonder.' Seeing her
    spirit of service Baba was pleased and whisperd to her softly, 'Say Rajaram,
    Rajaram. Do this japa regularly and constantly and you will find
    self-fulfilment. Your mind will be calmed and you will derive immense
    benefit'. So power-packed were those words that they pierced the heart and
    in a moment imparted spiritual strength. Thus merciful Shri Samarth Sainath,
    the protector of the humble, satisfied the desires of his devotees and
    ensured their welfare."

    (Source Shirdi Dairy)
    « Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 02:18:27 PM by subhasrini »
    A Person, who has controlled his mind, can achieve any success in his life. How far you are trying to control your mind?
    The mind that judges not others ever remains tension-free.


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