SIGNIFICANCE OF UDI
Sacred Ash (Udi) of Sai Baba.
of Baba's special features was that he always kept a sacred fire
(Dhuni) burning. The ash from this fire was called Udi and it was
freely distributed to the devotees at the time of their departure
from Shirdi. What did Baba teach or hint by this Udi? Baba taught
by His Udi that all the visible phenomena in the universe are as
transient as the ash. Our bodies composed of wood or matter of the
five elements, will fall down, after all their enjoyments are over,
and be reduced to ashes. In order to remind the devotees of the
fact that their bodies will be reduced to ashes, Baba distributed
Udi to them. Baba also taught by the Udi that the Brahman is the
only Reality and the universe is ephemeral and that no one in this
world, be he a son, father or wife, is really ours. We come here
(in this world) alone and we have to go out alone. It was found
out and is even now found out, that the Udi cured many physical
and mental maladies, but Baba wanted to din into the devotee's ears
the principles of discrimination between the Unreal and the Real.
Narayan Motiram Jani of Nasik was a devotee of Baba. He was serving
under another devotee of Baba, by name Ramachandra Vaman Modak.
Once he went to Shirdi with his mother and saw Baba. Then Baba Himself
told her that he (her son) should serve no more, but start independent
business. Some days after, this prophecy turned true. Narayan Jani
left service and started a boarding house, 'Anandashram' which thrived
well. Once a friend of this Narayanrao was stung by a scorpion and
the pain caused by it, was severe and unbearable. Baba's Udi (sacred
ash) is most efficacious in such cases; it is to be applied on the
seat of pain, and so Narayanrao searched for it, but found none.
Then he stood before Baba's picture and invoked Baba's aid, chanted
Baba's name and taking out a pinch of the ashes of the joss-stick
burning in front of Baba's picture and thinking it to be Baba's
Udi, applied it on the seat of pain and the sting. As soon as he
took out his fingers, the pain vanished and both the person were
moved and felt delighted.
Udi used to facilitate childbirth.
About 1904-05 Nanasaheb Chandorkar was Mamlatdar (revenue collector)
at Jamner, in the Khandesh District, which is more that 100 miles
distant from Shirdi. His daughter Mainatai was pregnant and was
about to deliver. The case was very serious and she was suffering
from labour-pains for the two or three days. Nanasaheb tried all
remedies but they proved in vain; he then remembered Baba and invoked
His aid. There in Shirdi, one Ramgirbuva, whom Baba called Bapugirbuva,
wanted at this time to go to his native place in Khandesh. Baba
called him and told him to take a little rest and stop at Jamner
on his way home and give the Udi and Arati (spiritual ceremony)
to Nanasaheb. Ramgirbuva said that he had only two rupees with him
and that amount was barely sufficient for the railway fare up to
Jalgaon and it was not possible for him to go from jalgaon to Jamner,
a distance of about 30 miles. Baba assured him that he need not
worry, as everything would be provided for him. Then Baba asked
Shama to write the well-known Arati composed by Madhav Adkar and
give a copy of it with Udi to Ramgirbuva to be delivered to Nanasaheb.
Then relying on Baba's words, Ramgirbuva left Shirdi and reached
Jalgaon at about 2:45 a.m. He had only two annas left with him and
was in a hard plight. To his great relief he heard somebody calling
out "Who is Bapugirbuva of Shirdi?" He went to him and told him
that he was the person Bapugirbuva. Then the peon, professing to
be sent by Nanasaheb, took him out to an excellent tanga with a
good pair of horses. They both drove in it. The tanga ran fast and
early in the morning they came to a brooklet. The driver took the
horses for watering them and the peon asked Ramgirbuva to partake
of some eatables. Then both of them took the refreshments and started
again. They reached Jamner at dawn. Ramgirbuva alighted to attend
a call of nature and returned within a few minutes, but found that
there was no tanga, no driver and no peon. He was dumbfounded. Then
he went to the neighbouring Katcheri and making enquiries, learnt
that the Mamlatdar was at home. He went to Nanasaheb's house and
announced himself and gave Nanasaheb Baba's Udi and Arati. At this
time, Mainatai's case was most serious and all were in deep anxiety
about her. Nanasaheb called out his wife and asked her to give the
Udi, mixed with water, to their daughter to drink, and sing Baba's
Arati. He thought that Baba's help was most opportune. In a few
minutes came the news that the delivery was safe and that the crisis
had passed away. When Ramgirbuva thanked Nanasaheb for the peon,
tanga and the refreshments etc. the latter was greatly surprised
as he had sent none to the station, and was not aware of any person
coming from Shirdi.
Saved from Humiliation by Baba's Grace and Udi.
Balaji Neweskar was a great devotee of Baba as was his son after
him. Once it happened that at Balaji's anniversary day, a certain
number of guests were invited and dinner was prepared for them.
But at the dinner-time it was found that thrice the number of people
invited turned up. Mrs. Newaskar was in a fix. She thought that
the food would not suffice for the people assembled and that if
it fell short, the honour of the family would be at stake. Her mother-in-law
comforted her by saying, "Don't be afraid, it is not ours, but Sai's
food; cover every vessel with cloth, putting some Udi in it, and
serve from the same without opening it : Sai will save us from ignominy."
She did as she was advised and it was found to their surprise and
joy that not only did the food suffice for all, but plenty of it
remained after serving. "As one feels intently, so he realizes accordingly"
was proved in this case.