Shirdi Saibaba - Part XVI
Saibaba's original photo with devotees!
Nanasaheb Chandorkar, a great Devotee!
The life of Saibaba will be incomplete if we do not recollect about the close devotees. In the last episode, we have discussed about Dasganu. Now we will narrate about Shri Nana Saheb Chandorkar, the Deputy Collector who came reluctantly to Saibaba even after Saibaba sent words to invite him to Shirdi. In the beginning, Nanasaheb taught that Saibaba want to benefit due to his Official Position. He could not understand the real relationship between him and Saibaba.
Saibaba knew that Nana was his companion in the previous four births. Hence when Nana first visited Saibaba, the later told him, “Oh Nana, I know you for the past four births. I want to revive our association in this birth also and hence I was sending you words of invitation. Since you were not aware of our past association, you didn’t evince interest in coming to Shirdi”. Finally, Nana understood the Divine Love of Saibaba. It is not for the benefit of Baba but for the spiritual progress of Nanasaheb, Baba was forcing him to visit Shirdi.
Once Nana came to Shirdi, he was fascinated with the words uttered by Baba. Inwardly, there was a subtle transformation which enabled his frequent visits afterwards. Whenever a person approaches a preceptor or God, it becomes the responsibility of the preceptor of God for the complete welfare of the individual both in the material and spiritual welfare. Saibaba utilized every opportunity to teach Nana on moral and spiritual aspects of day to day life. Once Baba emphasized the importance of Charity to Nana and advised him to give food etc., to the needy poor. Nana took this advice to the heart and he always gave alms to the poor in the form of food grains etc., once it so happened that one poor man was asking for more and more food. Though Nana gave him again and again, the poor man was not satisfied and he was demanding more. This infuriated Nana and he started shouting the poor man away. When he visited Shirdi, Saibaba was angry with him. Nana requested Saibaba to reveal the reason for his anger. Baba told him, “Why you are shouting at the beggar. If you have no intension to give further, you could have told him politely. Nana understood his mistake and begged pardon from Saibaba.
On another occasion, Nana was sitting near Baba when a Muslim family from Bijapur came there to see Saibaba. When they came, Nana silently moved away but Baba told him to remain there. There were two Muslim ladies. The younger one took her veil before seeing Saibaba and offering her reverence to Him. When she removed her veil, Nana Saheb was smitten by the beauty of her face and he wanted to see her face once more. At once, Baba hit Nana on the thigh and Nana understood the reason. After the family has left, Baba told Nana, “Why you are feeling ashamed? We can see beautiful scenes but we have to always remember that God is the creator of such beautiful persons. We have to show our reverence to God for creating such beauty both in people and in nature. Mind will always jump at sensual objects but the body should not be allowed to follow the mind. Thus Nana learned that we should keep our senses under control and should not allow them to wander as per its whims.
Saibaba not only guided Nana in moral and spiritual paths. He saved him many times from death. Also Saibaba saved the daughter of Nana during her delivery time by sending holy ash through one stranger devotee. Nana understood that Baba knew his innermost thoughts and He was Omnipresent and Omniscient. Hence wherever he went, he always talked about the greatness of Saibaba to his friends and colleagues. Thus many visited Shirdi due to the information shared by Nanasaheb. Rest in next Part XVII.