In one of my last post it was mentioned about Baba's dress and how Kashiram shimpi would get kafni stitched for Baba.Baba lead a life of fakiri (poverty) .It was a simple life. His needs were few he never cared for worldly things. Babas attire stated that philosophy and HIS Kafni reflected this .
His kafani though torn and tattered was clean and "snow white”. The kafni is symbolic of Maya .Maya functions through two powers known as Avarna(covering) and Viksepa (projecting) Kashya or white dress represent the state of having burnt all desire .If they are smoldering in cinder form they wear yellow.If they have reached beyond that they wear white a symbol of purity and flawlessness . So one learns that we are covered and mired in Maya which should be torn apart and uncovered.
Baba’s Kafni was made of a coarse (Manjarpat) cloth. In the early days Baba used to wear either an orange or white kafni .Than Shimpi stitched a green kafani for him as mentioned in previous post.Baba asked Bala to make only white kafnis for him and that was done.
In the Dwarkamyi there would be bundles of kafnis lying in the corner and Baba would not wear a new kafni easily where as he would be seen sitting in the sanctum sanctorum and stitching the torn kafni seeing this Tatya would pester him to change in to a new kafni and Baba would excuse it for another day .Thus days would pass by .Not getting Baba change into a new kafni Tatya would playfully with his demonstrating love for Baba he would insert his finger into the torn portion and tear it to widen so much that Baba would not be able to wear it . And this way Baba would be forced to wear a new kafni by His loving Bhakt.
Sometimes Baba would distribute his kafnis .Baba would give his kafni to some of his devotees according to HIS wish even those who would long to have one Baba would not give . Some of the them who got Baba's kafni were Balaram Mankar,Udavesh Bua ,Kaka dixit ,Tatya Sahib Noolkar,just to mention a few. A incident of G.G Narke is mentioned in my previous post where we too longed for Baba's kafni and how Baba refused him is narrated.
On one of Tatya Saheb Noolkars ( a mention is made in previous post about Baba and Tatya's special bond )visit to Shirdi he writes-" In the Afternoon Appa Kote came and stood near the pillar of the Chavadi .He was twisting a rag around his fingers; I asked him if his finger was hurt? He said,” No” and told me that the rag was a piece from Baba’s Kafni.
I asked him why he tore it? He said Baba tears the kafani for wicks (used for lighting lamp)and this bit was hanging out .So I took it .I prayed earnestly to Baba to be given the piece and he gladly gave it “little did Tatya Sahib knew that Baba would himself give him His kafni?
One afternoon Baba summoned Tatya Sahib to Dwarkamayi .Tatya Sahib of course went immediately.Baba took off his kafani and gave it to him saying,"Take this it will keep you warm in cold winters nights". what a blessing unasked bestowed on Taya by Baba.This also reflects How powerfully Baba read everyone's mind and HIS divine omnipresence .
Its very appropriate to mention another leela of Baba's kafni .
Jyotindra Tarkhad was devoted to Baba from very young age ,he is very special bhakt and his family experienced unique and beautiful leela of Baba ,which I personally like very much and whenever I read them I am engrossed deeply in those leela ,thrilled beyond explanation experiencing each Leela as though present at that time witnessing it myself ,the Bhav that flows is not in control and a deep longing for Baba's love rises like waves in ocean on a full moon night,blessed are we to read those leelas.Here I shall mention one of the leela among so many experienced by Tarkhad Family.
Jyotindra relationship was more than a father and son with Baba.On one of his visit to Shirdi this wonderful incident took place.
Jyotindra Tarkhad was ever willing to do Baba's seva, without expecting any returns .One day Baba told Jyotindra that He is going to Lendi bag to bathe .He asked him whether he would do a chore for him?
Baba said,"it’s not a difficult task I will bathe .Before doing so I will hand you my kafni take it to the well and wash it. As you know I take an extremely long time to bathe, so it will dry in mean time. But do not allow it to trail on the ground. So hold it up. Okay!"
Jyotindra readily agreed.They went to Lendi Baug where there was a covered room with tin sheets and a big rectangular stone on which Baba use to take bath.
Here Jyotindra says he instinctively felt that there was a lesson in this chore .After saying so Baba entered the room to have his bath.Jyotindra waited outside for Baba to handover his kafni.
After quite long time of waiting he got impatient and he decided to peep through the slit in the door.
What he saw left him speechless and spellbound. There was Baba and from each and every pore he was emanating light .The light was so powerful that he feared losing his sight. He at the same time was repentant for trying to see Baba in the nude. At that very moment Baba called out to him to take the kafni.
Hastily Jyotindra took the kafni. He went to the well and carefully washed, rinsed and wrung it .Than he stepped into the mid day Sun and held the kafni with both hands above his head .As time passed by the kafni instead of getting lighter from drying started getting heavier and heavier.
His arms ached as time went by and he knew he would fail .
."As a last resort he started praying to Lord Hanuman to give him strength to complete the chore."Oh Hanuman destroyer of Lanka give me some of your strength so that I can fulfill this seva.Oh !Hanuman Bhakt of Ram help me to perform this service as Bhakta and sevak of Baba His lips moved silently in prayer.
Just than Baba yelled “Aree Bhau why are you praying to Hanuman for help”. Undoubtedly Baba was "ANTERDNYANI"(possessing intuitive knowledge) who could read mind with pinpointed accuracy. Then Jyotindra requested Baba for forgiveness as he had committed the sin of trying to look at Baba's naked body.
And Baba responded to his confession and in no time Jyotindra found the Kafni had become lighter. He thanked Baba and took a vow not to venture into any such adventures. And he had also realized that one could hide anything from Baba.
Om Sai Ram.
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