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INTRODUCTION ELEVEN ASSURANCES STATEMENTS OF BABA
SIGNIFICANCE OF UDI SATCHARITRA DEVOTEE'S EXPERIENCES

SIGNIFICANCE OF UDI

Sacred Ash (Udi) of Sai Baba.

One 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.

Scorpion Sting.

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.

 
     
 
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