Friday, July 18, 2008

Upasni Maharaj and Shirdi Sai Baba-Part 2.

Share Author: Manisha.Rautela.Bisht on 12:06 PM

Dear readers,

This is in continuation to the first part posted about Upasni Maharaj and his relation with Shirdi Sai Baba .Please read further details given below.Jai Sai Ram .

To make Kashinath realise that, his Guru (Shri Sai) was present in every living being irrespective of the species, Baba once told Kashinath that he would one day visit Khandoba temple (where Kashinath used to stay). He further said that would Kashinath recognize Him? He would have chillum (earthen pipe for smoking) with him. About two or three months later Kashinath was taking some food to his Guru (Sai, who was sitting at the DwarkaMai mosque).

A black dog who had been watching Kashinath while cooking, followed him. Without giving any food to the dog, Kashinath went straight to Sai, who said, “why did you take the trouble to bring the food here, in this hot sun.
I was sitting there (i.e. near the temple)”. Kashinath was shocked to hear that his Guru was at the temple and he did not know. He told Sai that there was none in the temple except a black dog. At that, Sai said ‘yes, yes, I was that dog”. Hearing this Kashinath could not stop crying and resolved never again to commit such a blunder. On the next day, while cooking, he watched around cautiously lest the dog would come again. The dog was no where to be seen. A shudra (lower-caste) beggar was found leaning against a wall and watching him cook. Kashinath the Brahmin (Uppermost-caste) grown in the orthodox tradition, immediately asked him to go away.

Later when he approached Sai, the latter asked him

“yesterday you did not give me food and today you also ordered me not to stand there and drove me away. Do not bring food for me hereafter.”

Again Kashinath was surprised and again he was told that ‘shudra’ was Sai Himself. These two lessons taught Kashinath that God and Shri Sai are in everything, and that the essence of God pervades everyone and everything.

On the Gurupurnima day (Ashadha full moon day) of 1913, Shri Sai asked a devotee Chandrabai, a strong willed lady to worship Kashinath the way Sai was being worshipped. This lady approached Kashinath in Khandoba temple with the Puja (worship) material for his worship. Kashinath refused to be worshipped and, even, threatened her for her audacious act. But Chandrabai told him (the language of Sai said through her) that even his body, which he thought was being worshipped, did not belong to him. From this day onwards Kashinath was called as Upasani Maharaj as officially Sai installed him as a Guru even in his probation period. After this incident, he started losing the sense of his body (Dehabhava).

Now Upasni Maharaj started having visions and feelings of a highly psychic and spiritual nature. For example, he lost his normal vision by looking at the sun constantly. The sun and other light sources looked dark to him. When in this state, one day, he suddenly started seeing circles of light, which expanded and then came near him. These circular specks of light would disappear coming near his body. Now he started seeing spiritual visions inside these circles of light. One day he saw himself standing at some place in the space and saw the whole cosmos including the sun, moon, sky revolving. The whirling cosmos slowly became smaller and smaller, came towards him, and vanished near him or into him. Upasni Maharaj now experienced that the whole world was illusory and revolving and that he, as a soul, was outside it. This was a higher stage in his spiritual growth.

From his childhood Upasani Maharaj had identified the body as the cause of all evils in life and had made conscious attempts to punish it. For a spiritual aspirant identifying the body with the self is a big limitation. How Shri Sai removed it is an interesting story. One day Upasani Maharaj saw a vision that in an old building he (Upasani) and Sai were there. Shri Sai beckoned him to bring his ear close to his (Sai) mouth so that he could give a mantra. When Upasani Maharaj tried to do so, a shabby figure, which looked exactly like him tried to pull Maharaj away from Sai. Then Sai beat-up that shabby figure carried him out and burnt him in a pyre. Identifying himself with this figure when Upasani complained about this action (of burning). Shri Sai told him that it was his (Maharaj’s) evil form, which has been burnt. Little later, he saw an illuminated figure of himself. Again on being asked, Sai said that it was his (Maharaj’s) virtuous form. Maharaj was surprised and asked if he had an evil form and also a virtuous form who was he! Shri Sai told him that he was beyond both these forms and was the pure soul the element with which Shri Sai himself was made of.

As Upasni Maharaj proceeded from the stage of illumination to self-realisation occult powers and ‘siddhis’ came to him. When an aspirant evolves in the spiritual path higher psychic and occult powers gradually grow in him. He could read the minds of everyone – his past, present and future. People started surrounding him and he had some following.
Often, when he would be worshipped by a few persons, a crazy ascetic called Nanavali, who stayed at Shirdi, would come and pull out his cloth and talk with him with disrespect and contempt. Once he tied him up and beat him up. As Nanavali was a tough and dangerous person, no one could protect Upasani Maharaj. His cup of sorrow was full but inwardly his Godly qualities were evolving to perfection. He was getting ready for his new and bigger role. Every time he faced a problem, Sai assured him by saying that He (Sai) was always with him and that the more he suffered at present, better it would be for his future.
One night in July 1914 Upasni Maharaj left Shirdi quietly taking mental permission from his Guru for a role he was destined to play elsewhere. First he went to a place called Shindi, then to Nagpur where he stayed for about a month and finally Kharagpur. At all these places, people started worshipping him even when he tried fervently to run-away from such situations. He tried to remain incognito but people would not leave him in peace.

To end this barrier of castism, in February 1915, Shri Upasni Maharaj moved to a poor man Namdeo Mahar's house in Kharagpur. Maharaj belonging to a high brahmin caste voluntarily stayed in a cow stable, and ate food in the house of Namdeo who belonged to a lower and untouchable class. The high caste disciples of Maharaj were forced to come to Namdeo Mahar's house to seek Maharaj's blessing, and be prepared to receive a warm welcome by Namdeo. After some time Maharaj went to Nagpur and then returned to Shirdi to inhabit once again Khandoba's temple. But the atmosphere at the temple was different this time, as devotees began to gather in larger numbers, and happy times began. The seeker who lived a life of hard penance at this temple, was now a Master.

Since he had become a ‘Satpurush’ (Perfect one) people naturally flocked to him whether he liked it or not. All persons coming in contact with a Satpurush get purified. His following increased everyday and his surroundings became a place of activities like poor feeding, kirtan and ‘Naamjap’ remembrance of the name etc. Although Upasani Maharaj would not agree to be the creator, but a number of miracles started happening around him.
After staying for about a year in Kharagpur, when people tried to build a permanent abode for him, he quickly left the place. Soon he reached Nagpur, where also, people surrounded to have his darshan. After two months of stay at Nagpur, he visited places like Poona and also his home at Satana. As his four-year period was over, he returned to Shridi and stayed at Khandoba temple for about seven months. Thereafter, he left for a place called Rahata where he conducted naam japs, poor feeding etc.
From there he went to Ahmadabad for some time. Returning to Shirdi, a third time he stayed near to his Guru for about two to three months. In 1917, he finally shifted to Sakori and started functioning as a spiritual master (Sadguru).

Kashinath was now Sadguru Upasni Maharaj. A few things in His behavior were very peculiar. He would mostly remain naked except for a gunny sack flung around his waist. Even Mahatma Gandhi came to meet Him at Sakori and found him sitting with a sack cloth around. Gandhi was amazed to understand the divinity of the consciousness of the Perfect One. In this temple Upasni Maharaj had various experiences of the three worlds. Sai Baba visited Khandoba temple on one occasion to meet Upasni Maharaj during this period of fasting, and finally sent a devotee with coffee and food for him. The long fast ended, and Upasni Maharaj started taking food in small quantities. This gradually improved His health and activities

Another incidents:
1.Gradually it became customary for those who came for Sai Baba's darshan, to also visit the Khandoba temple and meet Upasni Maharaj. Even Sai Baba would ask some of the disciples to go to Sakori, and Maharaj was now being known as His spiritual heir. It so happened one day that a Swami came to meet Sai Baba. This arrogant Swami considered himself next to none in spiritual knowledge. Sai Baba soon asked this Swami for a favor "Will you please go to Sakori and bring me four hundred rupees from Upasni, as I am in urgent need of money" said Sai. "It is very important", He further added. The Swami proudly walked up to Sakori, expecting a warm welcome, being an Ambassador of Sai Baba.
Upasni Maharaj was as usual sitting naked under a tree when this arrogant Swami arrived, and started demanding for four hundred rupees. Upasni Maharaj got up immediately as if the matter was really urgent, and before the Swami could understand what he was going to receive so urgently, Maharaj grabbed the Swami and beat him up. The shaken Swami returned to Shirdi to find Sai Baba, smiling over the warm welcome at Sakori. Indeed the Swami had received the real blessings.
2.On the departure day to Mumbai,Bapu Saheb Jog did not allow vaman rao to go. He said, Vamanrao, from now onwards you can have direct darshan of Sai Baba in Sakori. The one who takes darshan of Samadhi of Sai Baba in Shirdi, but does not go to Sakori, then his/her trip of Shirdi does not prove to be fruitful. After convincing Vamanrao in this way, Bapu Saheb Jog took him to Sakori.

When Vamanrao reached Sakori, Upasani Maharaj and Durgabai Karmarkar were seated in a hut made of grass straws. This hut is now situated behind the temple in Sakori. People were performing Pooja in front of Sai Babas photo which was kept on a rough stone made of concrete. The work of Pooja and Arti was done by Govind Kamalkar Dixit. People called him Guruji. When Upasani Maharaj was doing penance in Shirdi, he only used to do his Seva.
Seeing Vamanrao, Upasani Maharaj said, Sai Baba made me reach to Parmeshwar (God) in Gods refuge while sitting on a donkey. Donkey means obstinate and determined person. But Sai Baba is so great that He took me to God and showed me God to an obstinate person like me.

3.This was December 1915, Merwan, a young boy from Pune who was God absorbed, after Hazrat Babajan kissed him on his forehead, came to see Upasni Maharaj. When Merwan approached Maharaj, He was as usual sitting naked, near the Khandoba temple. Maharaj welcomed Merwan by throwing a stone at Merwan, hitting Merwan on the forehead, exactly at the place where Babajan had implanted a kiss. Merwan started bleeding, and prostrated before Maharaj.
Only Masters know their ways. This welcome from Maharaj left those who accompanied Merwan in great shock and surprise, but Maharaj and Merwan both were unaffected. Maharaj greeted and embraced the bleeding Merwan and took him inside the Khandoba temple where they stayed together for two days in solitude.
This welcome gift of Maharaj brought Merwan down to the world of duality, which he had lost after the kiss from Babajan. Merwan became a disciple of Maharaj and later on various occasions stayed at Sakori. He traveled with Maharaj to many places, throughout India. Year after year, Merwan's consciousness became more normal. One day Maharaj told Merwan that He had given the key to Merwan, and He had become what He was, a Perfect One. Wandering to many places, Merwan, came to Ahmednagar, and His first disciples began calling Him Meher Baba. From Ahmednagar in the early twenties Meher Baba started His spiritual mission.

For nearly seven years after the first meeting with Shri Sadguru Upasni Maharaj, this young Zorastrian Merwan whom Maharaj had struck with a stone in the first meeting, kept coming to Sakori regularly. Merwan stayed at Sakori for as long as six months on some occasions. But once Merwan became Meher Baba and started His spiritual mission the Master and disciple did not meet in person for nearly 20 years.
Whenever Shri Upasni Maharaj came to Ahmednagar or Pune, He always visited Meher Baba's house. But both did not meet each other in person for many long years. On persistent insistence a personal meeting of the two great Souls was arranged, at Dahigaon Village, near Ahmednagar on 17th October 1941.A cottage was built for this meeting, and a car was sent to bring Maharaj. On Maharaj's arrival Baba and Maharaj walked towards the cottage which was a short distance away from the road. There were strict instructions for the disciples of Meher Baba or Maharaj not to look in the direction of the cottage under any circumstances. After this meeting in seclusion, Maharaj left for Sakori.

Upasni Maharaj began residing in Sakori, a place nearly five kilometers from Shirdi, during July 1917. When Sai Baba dropped His physical form in 1918 Sakori, a small poor village, had already become spiritually rich, with the presence of Upasni Maharaj and a growing fleet of disciples. Maharaj looked after the last rites of Sai Baba as His chief disciple. Maharaj always welcomed hardships.

Once in 1921 He locked Himself inside a small bamboo cage. The cage was too small for such a stout person like Maharaj and He was most cramped inside. He said He suffered for the release of His disciples, and was standing as a surety in the divine court for their release. Over thirteen months He confined Himself in that small cage, practically fulfilling all His daily needs from there. The disciples performed His "Arti" and listened to His discourses from within the cage. At last on 31st January 1924, Maharaj released Himself from the cage, and stepped out of it to greet a small child named Godavari.

This small child Godavari Vasudev Hatavalikar later became the inheritor of the spiritual wealth of the Sakori Ashram. In their first meeting itself the Sadguru removed the garland from His neck and placed it around the girl's neck, astounding His devotees. Maharaj also visited many places around India, including Hyderabad, Bombay, Kolhapur, Indore, Benaras, Surat, Nagpur, Jabalpur, Katni, Ahmednagar, Poona and many more.

This child of Shri Sai served thousands and thousands of people, day in and day out with least regard for his personal comforts and finally left his gross body in the early hours of the 24th day of December, in the year 1941. Like his Guru, Upasani Baba had given enough indications about his final departure earlier.

The customary rites were performed at Sakori the next day. Meher Baba sent seven disciples including Kalemama from Ahmednagar to attend the last rites of the Sadguru

Meher Baba also occasionally visited Sakori after Maharaj dropped His body. Meher Baba had the longest association with Maharaj, amongst the five Perfect Masters. Sakori and Meherabad (the location of Meher Baba's "Samadhi") are both in Ahmednagar District, on the Shirdi-Ahmednagar Highway, and are now places of world pilgrimage.

Upasani Baba was Shri Sai’s loftiest creation a stone turned into a touchstone.
Dear readers ,few years back when I had visited Shirdi with my family we were fortunate enough to visit Sakori -Upasani Maharaj's ashram.One cannot describe the peace and serenity there.Time has no boundary and one can sit hours and be in the ashram having the bliss of divine .I had taken video recording and photo's which are not now at present with me .I would upload them once I go back to India but here are few pictures of Sakori .

Few photo's of Sakori Asharam.

Upasani Maharaj and Shirdi Sai Baba-Part 1.

Read : Here.

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~श्री सच्चिदानंद सदगुरू श्री साईनाथ महाराज की जय~ श्री साई बाबा के ग्यारह वचन : १.जो शिरडी आएगा ,आपद दूर भगाएगा,२.चढ़े समाधी की सीढी पर ,पैर तले दुःख की पीढ़ी पर,३.त्याग शरीर चला जाऊंगा ,भक्त हेतु दौडा आऊंगा,४.मन में रखना द्रढ विश्वास, करे समाधी पुरी आस५.मुझे सदा ही जीवत जानो ,अनुभव करो सत्य पहचानो,,६.मेरी शरण आ खाली जाए, हो कोई तो मुझे बताये ७.जैसा भाव रहे जिस मनका, वैसा रूप हुआ मेरे मनका,,८.भार तुम्हारा मुझ पर होगा ,वचन न मेरा झूठा होगा ९ आ सहायता लो भरपूर, जो माँगा वो नही है दूर ,१०.मुझ में लीन वचन मन काया ,उसका ऋण न कभी चुकाया,११ .धन्य -धन्य व भक्त अनन्य ,मेरी शरण तज जिसे न अन्य~श्री सच्चिदानंद सदगुरू श्री साईनाथ महाराज की जय~
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I feel I am like a river, having my own course, stream and flow but the final destiny is to be one with the boundless ocean of my Sathguru Shirdi Sai Baba.

Amidst all the worldly rituals I am performing,I do not dare to loose sight of my Sainath. He is the sole driving force, the guide and the Supreme master.

The strings of my life are in his hand,I am just a puppet at His Holy Feet.
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