"Sometimes I am a dog, sometimes a pig, a cow, a cat and an ant, a fly, and a aquatic creature in such various form do I move about in the world. Know that I like only him who sees Me in all the living beings. So give up the sense of differentiation. This is the way to worship Me," said Baba to Mrs. Tarkhad (Sai Satcharitra Ch.9). She fed a hungry dog that came to her door at lunch time. Then came a hungry pig smeared all over with mud and dirt; happily she fed the pig too.
Baba used to feed a mongrel dog daily. The dog used to sleep on the steps of Dwarkamai one day Madhu False hit the dog, who was obstructing his path. Baba at once flew into a rage and said, "It came here for Me and not for you. Be aware hereafter."
In Devotees Experience, page 166, the story of Hansaraj is given. As he was an asthmatic, Baba forbade him to eat curds. However, Hansaraj could not resist his love for curds. He got the curds made at home and asked his wife to hang it in a sling from the ceiling. Every day, a cat came and ate the curds. One day Hansaraj stayed at home to catch the cat in the act, so he could punish it. This is exactly what happened. The cat stealthily came in climbed up and ate the curds. Hansaraj waited with stick in hand and beat the cat as it left. Later he went to see Baba in Dwarakamai. Baba said, "There is a man who wants to die by eating sour and pungent things. But I would not allow him to do that. Today I went to him in the form of a cat. That fellow has given Me a caning on the back. See here!"
Then Baba exposed His back and thereby showed the welt marks.
Mahalsapathy used to feed a crippled bitch daily. One day having fed her he said "go, go" but the bitch would not move, so he took a stick and beat it. Later when he went to Dwarakamai, Baba said, "There is a bitch, sickly like Me in the village. Every one is beating it". Mahalsapathy remembered his behaviour and repented, (Ref. ~~ Life of Baba, Vol.2).
After taking 'bhiksha' Baba put all the food collected into the 'Kolemba'. The cats and dogs of Shirdi waited for Him to return so, they could eat to their hearts content. He, who would not drive away the animals would He allow them to be beaten?
Dakshina literally means 'sacrificial fees'.
In Sai Satcharitra Ch.14 is the wonderful story of Ratanji Shahapurji Wadia of Nanded. He went to Baba on Das Ganu's advice, because he was filled with sorrow and despair, as he had no male children. He longed for a son and prayed to Baba from the bottom of his heart. Baba said, "And so, after all these days you have come to Me today! But then give Me first whatever dakshina you wish to give. Only then will you get your satisfaction".
Ratanji had brought with him the most beautiful garland the choicest fruit and of course dakshina. Full of love and humility, he offered them at Baba's feet. But Baba said, "/ know you have already given Me three rupees and fourteen annas. Now give Me the remaining money as dakshina". Here Baba identifies with another saint called Mauli Saheb, who was invited for lunch by Ratanji. The amount spent for that purpose was exactly rupees three and fourteen annas.
Baba stayed in the Dwarakamai for sixty years. From the very beginning, He went for biksha to the five chosen houses. He ate very little. The rest He distributed to the devotees, the dogs and cats survived because of that bhiksha. His needs were very little. All He required was a little tobacco, oil for burning the lamps and wood for His Dhuni.
Why did Baba demand dakshina?
The most significant meaning for dakshina was to rid the devotee of ego, and instill non-attachment to the transient things. Baba had a unique method of taking dakshina. Usually, He asked only for that amount that the devotee had wished to offer. At other times, He would keep on asking the devotee till his pockets were empty. There was a lesson behind this. He then asked the devotee to borrow it (instilling humility). Some times it was to instill faith, for another devotee would give that same amount unknowingly. Time and again the devotee left Shirdi penniless and Baba appeared on the way in some disguise and took care of every thing.
The most striking feature was the significance of the number.
1) Re. I/-. The number one stood for jeeva or even Brahma.
2) Rs.2/- for nishta, faith and saburi (Sathe and Radhabai Deshmukh. Sai Satcharitra Ch.18 & 19)
3) Rs.4/- often indicated the ego complex, i.e., Manas, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahankar and the need to surrender it at the feet of the Guru.
4) Rs.5/- symbolized the senses, i.e. the Indriyas (The Marwari and quick Brahma Cyan. Sai Satcharitra 16 & 17).
5) Rs.6/- refers to the six internal enemies (Mrs. Tarkhad. Ref: Devotees' experience)
6) Rs.9/- refers to Nav Vidya Bhakti of the Bhakti Marga (Laxmibai and Anantrao Pathankar and the parable of the mare, Sai Satcharitra Ch. 42 and 21 respectively.)
7) Rs.15/-. Giving Dakshina here means deriving lessons from the scriptures and lodging them in the heart where Baba resides. (Prof. Narke. Ref: Devotees' experience)
Rs.16.50/-. Sharanagati (total and complete surrender to Baba).
Some times the amount was large; implying a pay raise or bonus and the exact amount was demanded by Baba
Source-Ambrosia in Shirdi - Part I
(Baba's Leelas Before 1918) by Dr.Vinni Chittluri .
OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI!!!
Let us pray at the feet of Sai Baba who is the incarnation of all gods and protector of all, to show mercy on us, and increase our devotion towards him.