In one of earlier posts on this blog, we had read about Bade Baba’s strange behaviour towards Sai Baba. Pride arouse in Bade Baba’s mind as he was respected by Baba in the form of highest Dakshina of more than Rs. 100 everyday. At times Bade Baba even acted against Baba’s wishes. The devotees felt that Bade Baba must use his language carefully and politely while at least speaking to or about Baba. But, his choice of words bordered on sheer arrogance.
Once Baba’s devotee Shri Raghuvir Bhaskar Purandare was suffering was suffering from severe headache. Whole night, he was restless. In the same condition, he went to Baba. Bade Baba, who was sitting nearby, told harshly to Baba, “Purandare has suffered during the entire night. He has got a sever headache. Look after him. Don’t make him so much ill.”
Another similar event. Once, Baba was very much upset with Purandare. Therefore, Baba did not allow Purandare to fix the plants of beautiful scented flowers that he had specially bought. Obseving this, Bade Baba told Baba rahter self-righteously, “Why are You getting so angry with Purandare? He is dying for You day and night. he forgets to even drink or eat while serving You. You also remember im at all times. But, when he comes to You, You act as if You are upset. What is this strange behaviour?”
After having his lunch it was Bade Baba’s practice to get ready to go. Everyday, Baba would bid him good bye by walking a few steps with him. After the previous said arrogant utterance, Bade Baba further added as usual, “Achchaa, I am going now. Are You coming or not?” Baba did not take offence at these words; but quietly got up and saw him off.
In the initial period, whenever the devotees made preparations for Arti, Bade Baba would get up and go down to the Sabha Mandap. He did not participate in the Arti. Later on, as persuaded by Kakasaheb Dixit, he did not move to the Sabha Mandap; but continued his abstainace from participating in Arti. Many Hindu devotee disliked this. However, Kakasaheb as per his kind and loving nature managed to persuade the Hindu devotes to overlook Bade Baba’s behaviour. He said, “Sai Baba has accepted Bade Baba as His. Therefore, he is one of us. Then, where does the question of discrimination arise?”
Bade Baba’s bloated ego had become a nuisance to other devotees. They covertly hated him. Therefore, they even did not let out their rooms for Bade Baba’s stay. Ultimately, Kakasaheb came to his rescue and allowed him to stay in one of his rooms in his Wada. Kakasaheb said, “We must see ourselves in anyone who has been accepted by Baba”.
It is only the fortunate few who are able to spend time with saints. But, even they must strive to overcome ego.
Baba treated Bade Baba as one of His near and dear ones. He was accorded the honor reserved for guests and friends. Baba always kept a seat next to Him for Bade Baba. A lot of amount was everyday donted to Him. Bade Baba was even given several opportunities for Parmeshwar-prapti.
But, Bade Baba wasted all the opportunities because of his bloated ego.
While giving money, Baba always cautioned, “This belongs to Allah. Eat, but don’t defecate”. The money given by Sai Baba was not to be used for seving self-interests. Those who used it for the betterment of others, prospered. However, Bade Baba spent money received from Baba for his family. However, within two months after Baba laid down His mortal physical form – Bade Baba became pennyless. He had to go begging from village to village. He passed away at Nagpur in January 1926.
It appears that Baba used Bade Baba as a medium of instruction. Through this, Baba wanted to set an example, from which other devotees could draw a lesson.
The then Editor of Shri Sai Leela Magazine Shri Kakasaheb Mahajani writes in his article, “Maharaj had some unique ways of imparting His teachings. One such method as Fakir Baba’s (Bade Baba’s) stay in Shirdi and Baba’s behaviour with Him. One can draw a lot of lesson from this example.