In our last post we had seen how Sai Baba permanently made Durgabai stay in Shirdi. She built a pukka house of her own in Shirdi in between the lane from Dwarkamai and Lendibaug. She used to do labour work at two different places and earned her living. She was a hard worker and never felt ashamed to do any type of work. Well learned and high profile devotees of Baba’s court gave her much respect, but she bore least proud for that.
However, such down to earth nature of Durgabai was not liked by all and few people used to criticize her very badly. Still she did not retaliate to those people. She sat in a corner of Dwarkamai and wept slowly.
One day it was noon time. She was pressing Baba’s legs in Dwarkamai and she remembered few bitter words against her. She could not control her tears. Baba, Who knew everything said, “Durge! What business do you have with these people? People may do anything, speak anything, but is there any necessity to pay attention to them? I am here for you. You have to do many things and work hard. You will always find Me sitting here and ready to help you.” Baba’s nectar like words consoled Durgabai to a great extent.
Durgabai never rejected any work. However difficult it may be, she would complete the task assigned to her. After retiring from work she used to take pot filled with rice grains to Dwarkamai and cooked it on Baba’s Dhuni (sacred fire lit by Baba Himself). Till the rice was cooked, she used to massage Baba’s whole body. She would not stop until Baba asked her to do so.
Durgabai prepared Naivedya from the rice cooked in Dwarkamai for Baba. There was strange relationship between Durgabai and Baba. Durgabai was inspired to prepare those dishes which Baba wished to eat!!! So undoubtedly dishes prepared by Durgabai were partaken by Baba with lots of love. Dada Saheb Khaparde was very much impressed by Durgabai’s service to Baba. For her uninterrupted service, he had arranged to give fifteen rupees to Durgabai every month.
Durgabai used to follow strict rules in her worship to Baba, although Baba was only hungry for true feelings and love of His devotees. She believed in discrimination of touchable-untouchable. Once it so happened that Durgabai had kept rice to cook and was massaging Baba’s body. Meanwhile a devotee turned up. He placed aside rice pot from Dhuni, took a flame from Dhuni to light chilam and again placed the vessel on to continue cooking. That devotee did not have any thought of untouchability. He only knew that it was Baba’s darbar where there is no discrimination of high – low, rich – poor, touchable – untouchable. Everyone is equal in This court.
Durgabai did not object to any of that person’s actions nor did she leave her service. Mentally she thought, “It’s time for my son’s lunch. How can I feed such untouchable rice to him? A person lives on food and he is outcome of the food that he eats. No, no, such untouchable food will not do any good to my son. Now when will I go to shop to bring rice, when lunch will be prepared again and when will I feed my son?”
Such were thoughts of Durgabai and they made her cry. One tear fell on Baba’s back. Baba knew her feelings and state of mind there and then.
Baba said, “Durge, you please don’t cry. There is no room for untouchability in our court. This Masjidmai is not worthless. People come here and wash away sins of their crores of births. I have lighted this Dhuni with My Hands. God of fire – Agni Dev resides in this Dhuni. So, will the rice cooked on this pious fire ever become unfit to eat due to someone’s touching it? Your’s son’s fortune will shine by eating rice cooked on this holy fire. I am not saying these words because mercy has downed in Me. I don’t have any ill feelings towards anyone in My heart. Agni Dev resides here in this dhuni and I have lit this dhuni. People come and take Udi (sacred ash) of this dhuni to cure diseases and apply on foreheads. So what to say about their fortunes? Durge, don’t have any doubts in your mind. You feed Raghu with this rice only and also feed yourself”. Saying so Baba tried to calm down Durgabai and gently moved His hand on her back. Again He added, “Now get up and go to your home. Eat this rice and give to Raghu also.” Like this Baba imparted a very valuable message that every one is equal in His eyes and thus discrimination of caste-creed and touchable and untouchable are barriers in the path of spiritual progress. More stories of Durgabai and her son will be covered in upcoming posts
Our next post is going to be on an interesting subject line "Shirdi Sai Baba and Yoga". Hope you come back to see what Sai Baba has inspired us to jot down. Also you might like to read this book: ShirdiChe Sai Baba