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Entrada de Blog SAI BABA DEVOTE MAHALASAPTI Jul 12, ’10 10:17 AM
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Mhlasapati, a simple rustic goldsmith of small village like Shirdi, is counted among closest and foremost devotees of Sai Baba and it is very much correct to be considered so.

Mhlasapati, the name each and every devotee of Baba is familiar, named, with divine instinct, the guest Fakir as ‘Sai’.

Mhlasapati was
the only one who adhering to Baba’s words as a true devotee, sat for three consecutive days with Baba’s body in his lap when He took short Mahasamadhi in the year 1886.

If Baba had not made this blessed soul
a medium, the history of His life would have been incomplete and thus importance of Sai Baba’s name would not have fallen in our ears.

Formal Worship of Sai Baba Started…

Another fact depicting importance of Mhlasapati is that he was the first person, a staunch Hindu, who started worshiping Sai Baba at the time when all villagers of Shirdi considered Baba as a Muslim saint and took him up as his Guru. He applied Chandan (Sandalwood) Paste to Baba’s neck and offered Him flowers. Nobody else except Mhlasapati had the permission to do so which became a routine and gradually Mhlasapti started applying tilak of sandalwood paste on Baba’s forehead. Also Mhlasapati was the one from whom Baba accepted milk as a part of his worship. Nana Saheb Dengle also wanted to perform pooja to Baba in the same manner, but could not succeed inspite of several requests. Baba used to say, "Worship this pole of Dwarkamai’s Masjid, not Me". But nobody could satisfy their thirst of worshiping Baba in their own way through an inanimate thing like a pole. On intervention of another close devotee of Baba, Dagdu Dengle succeeded to seek Baba’s permission to worship Him as he pleased. Thus, this weak poojari of Khandoba temple who fed himself and his family by begging alms, can be considered as the key person in starting proper method of worship to Baba.

Mhlasapati’s spiritual journey and deeds

Mhlasapati considered ‘Mhlasapti (Khandoba) Puran’ as his Ramayan and he read it daily without fail and also he used to read it among 150 audience of goldsmith community. Every year, he used to go to Jejuri (about 150 miles away from Shirdi) taking Palki and other devotees in procession.

While being in meditation sometimes, Mhlasapati could see near future and could describe it. He was completely pure, simple, trust-worthy, pious and religious human. Such a person is liable for God’s blessings and God, with the help of such a body highlight deep-penetrated secrets to ignorant persons.

Mhlasapti was detached with worldly desires. The amount received from donations in temple was used up for its expenses.
In the name of property, he had a mud-house in Shirdi and a land of seven acres which could not be harvested due to shortage of water. Also Khandoba temple was made up of mud and was situated on Shirdi’s border. He worked as a goldsmith to run his family expenses, but Shirdi being a small village, people did not earn that much money which would suffice to buy gold. Mhlasapati being engaged in God’s bhajans would always be carefree from financial worries. Often in the state of meditation, he saw dreams!!! His main goal of life was to get rid from cycle of life and death. He prayed to Lord Khandoba to give him this blessing only. Khandoba is considered as an incarnation of Lord Shiva Who is said to give liberation. He was ever conscious about the goal of liberation and thus he acted in pure, devoted way and used to be in company of good personalities.

Though existing in 19th century, Mhlasapti with people belonging to any caste were equal. He did not possessed hatred for anyone. So, it was his practice to welcome any saint visiting Shirdi like Jankidas, Devidas and many alike and arranging for their food and lodging. Two others, Kashiram Shimpi and Appa Bhil were also of similar nature and thus the trio used to get together and served guest Saints in Shirdi. Kashiram Shimpi and Appa Bhil used to serve in the limits which their pockets allow, but Mhlasapati, though poor readily served saints with his heart and body (Tan and Man). Thus every saint (Fakir) visiting Shirdi got warm welcome and respect.

It was good fortune and relation of past births that Mhlasapti could spend about 50 years of his life with Sai Baba. In the year 1872, when Baba first came to Shirdi in marriage procession of Chand Patil said, "This place (Khandoba temple) is appropriate for a Fakir like Me". As per Muslim custom, idol worship is prohibited and Baba was fully aware of such customs. Also He knew fully about Mhlasapti’s disagreement of keeping a muslim Fakir in Khandoba temple, so Baba said, "God of Hindu, Muslim, Christians and Sikh is the same, but if you object My staying here. I go away".

To be continued…

© Shirdi Sai Baba Life Teachings and Stories

Eminent Devotees of Saibaba – MahalSapati
Mahalsapati was the fortunate soul who gave a name to the saint whom we now know and revere as Sri Saibaba. He uttered ‘Ya Sai,’ when Baba made His first appearance at the Khandoba temple along with the marriage party of Chandbhai.

Baba used to call Mahalsapati   ‘Sonarda,’ and later on ‘Bhagat’ i.e. close disciple.


Mahalsapati was a poor priest of the Khandoba temple, Shirdi. He had only an elementary education, which the village veranda schools impart. He could however read his caste men’s Bible, namely, Mahalsapati Purana, and would carry on the traditional worship of Mahalsapati at home and abroad.


Mahalsapati was a pious and orthodox Hindu, who first raised an orthodox objection to Baba’s stepping into and residing at the Khandoba temple, which was in his charge, but soon developed into the most zealous admirer and ardent worshipper of Baba.


Mahalsapati had no worldly motives. He was ascetic in temperament and was highly detached. He took care not to be governed by lust or other low urges. His goal in life was to get free from the cycle of rebirths (Samsara) and attain Liberation (Moksha) through the    grace   of   Khandoba.


Mahalsapati was the first person that started doing ritual worship to Baba by applying sandal paste. Only    Mahalsapati was allowed to place   flowers   and sandal on Baba’s feet or neck.   This developed later into regular worship by the use of sandal paste and flowers on Baba’s feet, neck and finally on his forehead also.


Mahalsapati   had the fortune of being in the constant company of Baba day and night. He had the great opportunity to sleep with Baba in the Mosque for many years. Mahalsapati    used to spread his own cloth and on that Baba would lie on one half, and he would lie on the other. Baba would tell Mahalsapati, ‘Place your hand on my heart and listen my remembrance of Allah, if that suddenly stops and natural sleep supervenes, wake me up.’   Mahalsapati used to sleep in the Masjid even after the mahasamadhi of Sri Saibaba.


Baba would never let Mahalsapati get down the Masjid stairs once he entered in the Mosque at night.   Even when Mahalsapati needed to go out for toilet purposes, Baba used to shout at him saying ‘If you get down the Masjid steps, you will die’.


Mahalsapati   has three daughters and one son. (One son died around 1896)


All that Mahalsapati owned was a mud house in the village, and seven and a halfacres of barren land without water supply, which yielded practically nothing. To eke out his living, he followed the hereditary profession of a goldsmith.    But in a poor village with very few houses and very few visitors, even   this brought very little income. Once Khandoba appeared as an old Brahmin in a vision, and said to him, ‘What?    Can you not get your bread without practicing your profession of gold smithy?’   Then Mahalsapati   answered in the    vision.    ‘Yes.   I shall   give it up’. Then Khandoba in the vision said,     ‘Touch my feet and hold   them.   This   meant evidently,     ‘Hereafter, regard your subsistence as being dependent purely upon your holding to my feet and not upon your doing goldsmith’s work.’ From that time onwards, he gave up goldsmith’s work in perfect trust (NISHTA AND SRADDHA) and lived by begging, that is, he became really a    Sanyasi ‘Monk’, though living with a family. Mahalsapati was very meek, obedient, and pious. He firmly adhered to a life of ‘Holy Poverty’ and Baba kept him to it. Baba protected him from all calamities in his worldly life and brought about Mahalsapati’s spiritual uplift.


Today we can see Mahalasapti’s Samadhi, Baba’s Kufni, sandals, satka etc. at Mahalasapati house near Dwarkamai.


Mahalsapati’s objection for Baba entering into Khandoba temple:

It was about   1872 perhaps   that    Saibaba entered   the   village along with a ‘Barat’, i.e. a bridegroom’s party of Moslems headed by Chandbhai, Patel of Dhupkeda (in the ‘Nizam’s State’). Then Saibaba separated from the marriage group very near Khandoba temple at the outskirts of Shirdi and sauntered along till the threshold of Khandoba temple. Mahalsapati, who was inside worshipping Khandoba, noticed Baba’s presence and, with his usual civility, invited him to sit. After a few minutes, the fakir Baba remarked, ‘How secluded and quiet a place is the Khandoba temple, best fitted for a Fakir to be in’. Mahalsapati’s conservative outlook flared up and he protested the proposal that a Moslem should reside in Khandoba temple. This was, in his opinion unthinkable. Most Moslems are iconoclasts, ( i.e. breakers of images) and, therefore, Mahalsapati prevented Baba from entering the temple, which contained the images of Khandoba etc. Finding Mahalsapati’s objection to be natural, Baba said, ‘God is one for Hindus, Moslems, and all, but, as you object to my entry, I shall go’. Baba went away from there.


Baba’s prophesy:

When Mahalsapati got a male child and took him to Baba and talked of Namakarana, i.e. the name to be given to the child, Baba, evidently to prevent his being too much attached to the son, told him ‘Look after the child for 25 years and that would be sufficient’.   Mahalsapati did not then understand what Baba said. It later transpired that it was a prophesy of Baba as that 25 years period indicated the length of his child’s life which was to end around 1922.


Mahalsapati’s happy ending with Baba’s grace:

The end of such a devoted person must necessarily be  good, (sadgati). Mahalsapati died on September 12th, 1922. Baba knew the future of this devotee but gave him only hints.Baba made this assurance doubly sure and granted him the merit of dying on an Ekadasi day (with God in his mind and His name upon his lips) just as he did for several other devotees. As Mahalsapati’s death was approaching, he retained full-consciousness and control of his mind. That was on 11th Sep. 1922 Monday (in the month of Badrapada, Ekadasi Somavara, sacred to Shiva and Khandoba) Having finished all his puja, he said to his family, ‘To-day is my father’s Shraddha (memorial) day. Finish cooking soon. To day I close my earthly life and go to Heaven’. So, Laxman, the Brahmin, came and finished the Sraddha at once and finished the rituals of food offerings to crows, cows, etc, and guests were fed. Then the family had their meal. Mahalsapati took betel and nut after his meal. After chewing a bit, he put on a kufni. Having near him, Bala Gurav, Ramachandra Kothe, etc., he told them all to do Ramachandra Japa.   The Japa went on. His son was present, and he gave him his stick. Mahalsapati said to his son, ‘Spend time piously in Uttama Bhakti Marga i.e. in holy devotion. All that I told you will happen.’ The next day, early in the morning, Mahalsapati uttered the word ‘Ram’ and breathed his last. Thus he passed away in calm faith and cheerfulness.


Baba’s Teaching to Mahalsapati for his spiritual upliftment:

‘You had better sit upright. Do not go to sleep. Place your hand on my heart. I will be going on with remembrance of Allah, Nama Smaran, that is, a half conscious trance, and during that Nama Smaran, the heart beat would clearly show you that I am still having Nama Smaran. If that suddenly changes and natural sleep supervenes, wake me up.’


Baba’s Saying to Mahalsapati:

When Mahalsapati often obtained leave of Baba to go for his night meal, Baba used to say, ‘Go. I am with you


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