II Sai Ram ll
Value of Labour
It was the month of May in 1946, when Vasant Pradhan and his friend visited Shirdi. That evening there was a pleasant breeze and the heat of the day had tapered off. So both the friends walked through the village, hoping to find an aged villager who might have met Baba and could tell them some leela or interesting anecdote. They walked through the narrow alleys and soon found an aged Muslim gentleman. He was seated on a stone, smoking a bidi. Vasant said, “Baba, are you a resident
of Shirdi?” The man nodded eagerly. Then Vasant requested him to tell them about Baba and any experience that he may have had. Unfortunately that elderly gentleman’s name is not mentioned.
He said, “I used to sit near Baba and puff on his chillum. Every day I would go to his durbar and carefully listen to what he said. Baba had a strange way of talking whenever he had something to tell a particular devotee, he would look at someone else and give his message or advice. Hence the person that he looked at was perplexed, but the devotee that it was meant for listened to it carefully and with concentration.Then he would fall at Baba’s feet, and heed his advice.
Every day Baba would distribute vast amounts of money. He gave 5, 10, 50 and even 100 rupees to the devotees seated there. However, he never ever gave me any money. I owned a small farm and eked a living from it. One day, I accosted Baba and said, “Baba you liberally distribute money to all your devotees. I am exceedingly poor and yet you never give me a single pie.” Where upon Baba said, “Arre! Why do you want money? Your farm has a pot of gold in it.” The next day I carefully ploughed my field, put adequate manure in it and planted the seeds.
Every day I worked diligently with Baba’s words ringing in my ears. Time rolled on and I never did find the pot of gold; however by my hard labour, every time I had an abundant harvest. Soon I was able to buy three of the adjacent fields. Now I am quite affluent, and along the way I learned that by constantly remembering Baba and working diligently you are bound to be successful. Years later I told Baba that I still hadn’t found the pot of gold. He laughed and said, “Continue trying.” Thus Baba’s words came true as I am now affluent and happy. Baba taught me that my hard labour and his grace can together yield a bountiful harvest.”
Vasant also learned a lesson from this story. In chapter 19 of Shri Sai Satcharita, Hemadpant writes: “You put forth your best effort and work hard; I am there with a cup of milk standing right behind you. And if you don’t work hard don’t expect me to be standing with a cup of milk.”
Baba taught the illiterate and the literate devotee spiritual wisdom in such a simplified manner, that Baba was present in everything and is omnipresent.
Ref.: Sai Prasad Magazine, Deepavali issue, 1992.
Source: Baba's Divine Manifestations by Vinny