Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Apostles Of Shirdi Sai Baba - Upasani Baba (Part -1)

Author is PRIYANKA RAUTELA.DHANKAR on Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sairam and Happy Baba's day .

From today onwards I shall be publishing about the apostles of Sai Baba ji ,make sure that you keep visiting the site regularly because I will be posting it in parts otherwise it will be too long to read in one go .So today I am starting with Upasani Baba .

Among the apostles of Sai Baba the most prominent was Upasani Baba who at one time was thought to be the successor of Sai Baba and was groomed by Him with that purpose in view.As will be seen later in this account Sai Baba went all out to make him an ideal disciple and to bestow on him all his powers .He even went to the extend of asking his devotees to worship him as they worshiped Sai Baba.But Baba's plan did not worked out ad Upasani left Shirdi after three years while Sai Baba wanted him to stay on for four years to get the full benefit of his association with Sai Baba.

Upasani Baba,whose full name is Kasinath Govind Upasani Maharaj,was born in 1870 in an orthodox Brahmin family in Satana village in Maharashtra.His grandfather ,Gopal Satstri was a court adviser on religious and literary matters to the Gaekwad of Baroda.Gopal sastri was also the advisor to many other rulers of petty states.Upasani's father ,Govind Sastri was a copyist in the civil court of Dhulia.

Upasani was one of the five sons and he came from a family of village priests.He had little formal education and was married when 14 to girl of eight in 1883 who died a year later .He married again in 1885 and his second wife also passed away shortly thereafter.

Upasani ran away from his home and lived away from his family for long intervals.He became interested in yoga ,went to a cave and sat in meditation for long periods .He spent many days without food or drink .He went to Sangli and learnt Ayurveda and later set up practice as an Ayurvedic doctor in Amaravati in 1896.He started a medical monthly in Marathi and advertised in it the patent medicines he made.

Upasani bought land in Gwalior in 1907 but found that he had made a mistake as the land was barren and there was no yield from it .He lost everything and his health failed ;he returned home as a broken man .

Then in 1910 he started on  a pilgrimage with his third wife and visited a number of places.1911 a yogi,Kulkarni in Rahuri advised him to go to Sai Baba.Thinking that SaiBaba was a muslim ,Upasani said that he would not go to see Sai Baba.Later he met Narayan Maharaj ,a Dattatreya devotee who was said to possess marvellous powers .When Upasani told him of his poor health Narayan Maharaj made him chew betel and nut and said he was "finely painted" inside and outside and asked him to go away .

Upasani again met Yogi Kulkarni who again asked him to visit Sai Baba .Finally Upasani decided to go to Shirdi and he met Sai Baba in 1911.After staying for a day Upasani asked Baba for permission to return home.Baba said "What ! So soon !When are you returning ?"Upasani  replied it was not easy for him to return to Shirdi .Baba said " Then better you stay ,do not go away ."

Seeing him undecided Baba said : "well go ,I shall see what I can do " Upasani  thought that permission had been given to him to leave and left Shirdi .While he was at Kopargaon the priest at the Datta temple there told him to go back to Shirdi and stay with Baba.

Upasani said "NO".As they were talking some visitors who said that they were going to Shirdi arrived and the priest told them "Take this person with you ".But Upasani said "No ,I have been there already ".The visitors said : "That is the best reason .We have not been there ,so we want someone to be with us to guide us ."So in spite of his protests Upasani  was forced to accompany them to Shirdi .....

Will be continued ....

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