Om Shri Sai Nathaya Namaha!
One of the Shri Sai Baba’s unique ways of teaching the people and devotees have been blogged about 4 years ago. It was the story of feeding the dog by Mrs. Tarkhad, from Shri Sai SatCharitra Chapter 9. Then, Feeding the hungry pleases me – Sai Baba was written about one and a half month back. Going through the blog posts mentioning the dog, i happen to revisit the preface of this Sai Baba blog written about 5 years earlier when this blog was just born, that too mentions a hungry feeble puppy.
This mode of Baba’s teaching has made great impact on writer. And while reading a just released book ‘Shirdiche Sai Baba’ by Dr. Keshav Bhagwant Gawankar (Annasahib Gawankar), it was a pleasant surprise to know that the incident described in Shri Sai Satcharitra chapter 9 was followed by similar incidents on the same day. Shri Sai followed with the teaching, as He knew, that it was not enough for some people present there.
Two hours after the incident of Mrs. Tarkhad and dog, those who were present there and had witnessed and heard Baba, gathered at wada ( Large building with many rooms to accommodate visitors for short and long stays in those days were called wada). They all sat there for lunch. In Shirdi, it was customary to take lunch after they satiated their heart and soul with guru Sai Baba in Dwarkamai.
There too, a dog came, in search of food. Hard is the long term sanskara to shrug off. Quite unconscious of their own behavior they expelled the hungry creature. The dog went next door, were it received thrashing. When the dog started yelling and barking due to pain from beating, they were awakened to Sai Baba’s lesson, which was imparted just a couple of hours before. Those who expelled the dog felt sorry and were ashamed of themselves, for not being able to imbibe Baba’s teaching.
It did not end there, the lesson pursued. Sai Baba loved Naamsmaran (Chanting of God’s name) and bhajan kiratns (singing the glories of God). Das Ganu, Sai Baba’s beloved kirtankar (who sings the glory of God and chants the name of God in gatherings of devotees) was to perform that evening in presence of compassionate Sai Baba.
During this kirtan, Das Ganu narrated a story concerning a dog.
The story which Das Ganu narrated.
Once God Vitthal visited saint Namdev’s house, disguised as a dog. The dog snatched the roti from saint Namdev’s dish and began to run away. Seeing this Namdevji followed the dog. He followed the dog with a bowl full of ghee (clarified butter applied on roti). He was calling out the dog, “Deva, do not eat that dry roti. Eat this ghee with it; dry roti will harm your stomach.
"“ After eating the Bhakhri, given to me so lovingly, I am satiated most truly, - nay I am still belching ( In olden days in India, when the guest was invited to a meal the host would fed him to the point of satiety, of which belching was indication) with satiation. “When you sat down to lunch, you suddenly saw that a hungry dog with a an empty stomach, who came to door know that I am one with him. “ And also the pig the pig you saw suffering from pangs of hunger, and smeared all with mud, -- I am one with him too!” “Know, that I like only him who sees me in all living beings. So give up the sense of differentiation. This is the way to worship me."