Sai the guiding spirit-Guru role in life
We have to bear in mind certain important points about Hemadpant.
(1) Hemadpant was a ‘Resident Magistrate’ which points to the fact that he was professionally very highly placed.
(2) As for his coming to Sainath, Hemadpant gives all the credit to Kakasaheb Dixit and Nanasaheb Chandorkar. (Chapter 2/verse 101)
(3) At the time he came to Sainath, what state of mind was Hemadpant in? He was in distress.
And here, at this point begins the story of Hemadpant. Kakasaheb Dixit meets with him, talks to him, tells him about the eminence, the glories of Saibaba and persuades him to come to Sainath. Hemadpant then makes up his mind to go to Shirdi. The decision to go to Shirdi is indeed taken but then it so happens that there is a misgiving that crops up in his mind. Hemadpant’s friend loses his son. Hemadpant makes it a point to write about the circumstances in which the family loses the boy:
(1) The boy in question is the only child of his parents.
(2) He is in sound health and physically quite fit.
(3) He is a good person.
(4) When fever strikes him, he is in Lonavala, away from the city where the air is fresh and pure (conducive to good health).
(5) All remedy, absolutely all that is humanly possible in the situation, is done.
All of the above clearly reveals that there is no evident cause in his health or in the situation to which the boy’s death could be attributed and yet the sad fact remains that death does indeed strike him and the family does lose him.
Hemadpant uses therefore, the term ‘prarabdha-karma-praabalyata’ in verse 109 of chapter 2. (prarabdha=destiny. karma=deeds. praabalyata=predominance. So ‘prarabdha-karma-praabalyata’ means the overwhelming impact of deeds in accordance with the boy’s destiny that overrode all human effort to save the boy’s life).
So the point of the matter is, that several remedies are tried, no stone is left unturned; even the ‘navas’ is offered to gods and deities. The guru of the boy’s father – Hemadpant’s friend – visits the home and sits beside the sick boy. Yet, death does take the boy away. Rendered upset and sorrowful, Hemadpant asks himself, ‘What indeed is the guru’s role in life? What good is it after all to have a guru in life? If my life events are sealed by past deeds and my fate, if all that life presents, is inevitable, what is the need for a guru?’
A big misgiving! That, Hemadpant says, proved to be a hurdle and he dropped the idea of going to Shirdi. In this frame of mind while talking about the guru Hemadpant says
(1) Is this what one stands to gain in the company of the guru? (the death of his friend’s son)
(2) The guru cannot wash out the certainty of fate (deeds) – (prarabdha-karma-praabalyata)
(3) If what fate has in store is indeed inevitable, why should a guru be crucial in life? Why should we miss a guru?
(4) Why follow a guru and opt to walk towards misery when life is otherwise quite happy?
(5) Be it joy or sorrow, we have to go through whatever life offers. What is the point then in going to a guru any way?
Though in this peculiar state of mind, Hemadpant explains –
If what life offers is inevitable, the good and the welfare that life has in store also comes to us inevitably and however much we may deny it. Also it is this inevitable that we cannot resist and so I was pulled to Shirdi. (Chapter 2/verse 114).
‘I will tell it to you once and I will tell it to you a second time over’ was Sainath’s rule and so in accordance with His Will and this rule of course, Hemadpant received a message through Kakasaheb Dixit; he received an indication revealing the path meant for him. But yet again Hemadpant decides not to go to Shirdi – by choice, by opting to stay away. However, the epitome of infinite compassion that He is, Sainath brings about one more opportunity. This time by the grace and leela of Sainath, Hemadpant is again shown the way through Nanasaheb Chandorkar. And how exactly does this happen? As Nanasaheb Chandorkar waits at Dadar station, Sainath the ‘buddhi-sphurandata’ (the One who inspires the buddhi in a way that appropriate action is taken). On the apt line of thought, Nanasaheb realizes he has ample time on his hands – he has an hour before he reaches Vasai. Why not put this time to good use? (Chapter 2/verse 116).
No sooner does this thought occur to Nanasaheb than there is this train that enters Dadar station – its route terminating at Bandra. He boards the train and arrives at Bandra and gives the message to Hemadpant which implies the following:
(1) Nanasaheb is very clear in his mind as to what precisely the ‘task’ he has to accomplish is.
(2) Nanasaheb has a means to deliver the message to Hemadpant.
(3) By the grace and leela of Sainath, Hemadpant is present where the message is delivered.
(4) Also, at this time, it is very much possible for Hemadpant to see Nanasaheb immediately. Were Nanasaheb to be delayed, he would have missed Hemadpant.
So this is a classic example of how the loving mother that is the Sadguru brings about situations and occurrences. Hemadpant is not until then a bhakta of Sainath as such – not when the above occurred; he has not personally met Sainath either. He has only heard the glories of Sainath from Kakasaheb Dixit. He has no clue about why Nanasaheb Chandorkar wants to see him. Thus we know, that aware of the bhakta’s earlier births, the Sadguru brings about situations and events, creates or builds circumstances that generate for the bhakta, a golden opportunity to come to the Sadguru. When this opportunity first came Hemadpant’s way, he denied it. So Sainath gave him another – Nanasaheb Chandorkar, the deputy collector then, is inspired to narrate incidents and stories of Shirdi. Hemadpant opening up to Nanasaheb in response to his (Nanasaheb’s) eagerness that he visit Shirdi, candid but sheepish, confesses that he was indeed in a dilemma, he was unsure and his mind did waver. But again by Sainath’s grace and inspiration, Nanasaheb put to rest all the misgivings of Hemadpant’s mind. He spoke to Hemadpant from the heart and with love and in response to this earnestness received from Hemadpant, a promise – a promise that he would leave for Shirdi immediately. Nanasaheb left from there only after he received the promise. (Chapter 2/verse 122).
This is it – the leela of Sainath.