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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why did Baba demand DAKSHINA ?

Share Author: Manisha.Rautela.Bisht on 10:00 PM
Dear readers
While reading Sai Satcharitra and Leela related to Shirdi Sai Baba we come across the word dakshina .This word has been beautifully explained in Sai Satcharitra .

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.
It is a well-known fact that Baba always asked for Dakshina from people who went to see Him. Somebody may ask a question, "If Baba was a Fakir and perfectly non-attached, why should he ask for Dakshina and care for money?" Earlier Baba did not ask anything from his devotees. If anybody placed before Him paise or two, He purchased oil or tobacco.

Then some persons thought that they could not see the Saints empty-handed, and they started offering money. When it was one paise,He used to pocket it; if it was a two paise coin, it was returned immediately. Then after Baba's fame had spread far and wide, people began to flock in numbers; and the offerings increased manifold.

In Hindu Shastra and Upanishad, the importance of Dakshina is also illustrated. It is said that we should not visit God or Guru empty handed. Baba has given Dakshina further greater meaning. By Dakshina He teaches devotee to give away the attachment of the worldly thing.

There were also secondary meanings of Dakshina, in many cases, in which Baba did not want any pecuniary amount.

It was the significance of the number asked as dakshina .
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 gyan.
Sai Satcharitra 16 & 17).
5) Rs.6/- refers to the six internal enemies .Baba asked Mrs. R. A. Tarkhad to give Rs.6/- as Dakshina. She felt pained, as she had nothing to give. Then her husband explained to her that Baba wanted six inner enemies (lust, anger, avarice etc.) to be surrendered to Him. Baba agreed with this explanation.
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.) Baba asked Rs.15/- as Dakshina from Pro. G.G.Narke, who replied that he did not have even a pie. Then Baba said, "I know you have no money; but you are reading Yoga-Vashistha. Give Me Dakshina from that."
8) 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.

Baba was totally non-attached with the Kanchan(Gold). He gave away all he collected as Dakshina. On his MahaSamadhi day he was penniless.

In short, Baba's main object in taking Dakshina, from His devotees was to teach them the lessons of Renunciation and Purification.

Mr. B. V. Deo of Thana, retired Mamlatdar, and a great devotee of Baba, has written an article on this subject (Dakshina) in "Shri Sai Leela" magazine, Vol.VII, P.6-26, in which he says amongst other things, as follows:-
"Baba did not ask Dakshina from all. If some gave Dakshina without being asked, He sometimes accepted it; and at other times He refused it. He asked it from certain devotees only. He never demanded it, from those devotees, who thought in their minds that Baba should ask them for it, and then they should pay it. If anybody offered it against His wish, He never touched it, and if he kept it there, He asked him to take it away. He asked for small or big amounts from devotees, according to their wish, devotion and convenience. He asked it, even from women and children. He never asked all the rich for it, nor from all the poor."

"Baba never got angry with those from whom He asked Dakshina, and who did not give it. If any Dakshina was sent, through some friend, who forgot to hand over the same to Baba, He reminded him somehow of it and made him pay it. On some occasions, Baba used to return some sum from the amount tendered as Dakshina, and ask the donor to guard it or keep it in his shrine for worship. This procedure benefited the donor or devotee immensely. If anybody offered more than he originally intended to give, He returned the extra amount. Sometimes, He asked more Dakshina from some, than what they originally intended to give and, if they had no money, asked them to get or borrow from others. From some, He demanded Dakshina three or four times a day."

"Out of the amount collected as Dakshina, Baba spent very little for His own sake, viz., for buying Chilim (clay pipe) and fuel for His Dhuni (sacred fire), and all the rest, He distributed as charity in varying proportions to various persons. All the paraphernalia of the Shirdi Sansthan was brought, by various rich devotees at the instance and suggestion of Radha-Krishna-Mai. Baba always used to get wild and scolded those, who brought costly and rich articles. He said to Mr. Nanasaheb Chandorkar, that all His property consisted of one koupin (codpiece), one stray piece of cloth, one Kafni and a tumrel (tinpot), and that all the people troubled Him by bringing all these unnecessary, useless and costly articles."


Though there are many leela related to Dakshina but here I shall site a example of how Baba shall take dakshina from his bhakta .

At Shirdi, Baba used to do notable things. He would receive money from whoever came to him. He used to ask for "Dakshina" (cash offering). He did not ask for large sums.

It was two rupees or five rupees. He would receive the money and give it away immediately in their presence. He kept nothing with himself.

One day a man by name Pradhan came to Baba. He had intended to offer twenty rupees to Baba. In those days, there were no currency notes everything was in silver coins, unlike the alloy coins of today, in those days every rupee contained one tola (eleven grams) of silver. Pradhan thought that instead of offering so many silver coins, it would be better to offer one gold sovereign to Baba.

Baba turned the sovereign this way and that way and remarked, "How is it I have not seen such a coin before? " A person near Baba said: "It is a gold coin." Baba then observed, "I do not want this. Give Me money in rupees." He asked how much the sovereign was worth.

At that time it was worth fifteen rupees. Getting back the sovereign, Pradhan gave fifteen rupees to Baba. Immediately Baba remarked, "Pradhan! You have to give me five more rupees!" Pradhan was a judge at that time.

Pradhan as well as persons around him wondered why Baba was demanding five more rupees when a sovereign was worth only fifteen rupees. Noticing Pradhan's hesitation, Baba told him, "First hand over the five rupees and then think about it." Pradhan gave the five rupees.

Then Baba observed, "When you set out of your home, how much did you want to offer to Baba? You intended to give twenty rupees. You gave only fifteen. So I was entitled to ask for five more. " When Pradhan heard these words, he was stupefied. He admitted that SAI BABA was a good Judge.

In this manner, Baba was in the habit of collecting money from those who came to Him and to give it away to the needy.


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