The life of the Saints is naturally sweet. So is the life of Saint Sai. His life was not only sweet but Nectar was always oozing out from the stories, parables and teachings of Baba. Though Baba’s words were always short, pithy, deep and full of meaning, they were instructions to work out our path to salvation. Let us remember Him with love and devotion, who has taken this human form to lead us to our goal. The only remembrance of Sai brings many rewards to our lives and also solves the riddle of life and death. We should not waste a minute and make chanting of His name a part of life. O’Blissful Sai, we are indebted to you and can never redeem your obligations in this life. We will sing your leelas, bhajans, and stories so that your form is always fixed in our mind and eyes and that should be the sole object of our life.

Let us come to the subject of the topic. It is said in our Shastras that Puja of God is not complete, unless a golden coin is offered to the Divine or Supreme with a pure heart. The Vedas further exhorts us that we should never go empty handed to see God, King, Saint or Guru. Taittiriya Upanishad also lays down to practice charity and other virtues. It goes on to say that “Give with faith, or even without it; give with magnanimity”.

Baba asked for Dakshina to remove people’s attachment to money and purify their minds. It was not Dakshina, which he collected, but their sins to make them happy and free from this mundane existence. Baba said, “He had to give back hundred times more of what he received”. Donation or charity induces Vairagya – non-attachment to money and other worldly affairs to speed up man’s liberation from this world.

Baba always encouraged good thoughts. Though he collected lot of money by Dakshina, he never kept any amount with him. He would distribute the whole amount the same day and the next morning, he would become a poor Fakir as usual. Dakshina does not necessarily mean pecuniary amount. One day Baba asked Rs.15/- as Dakshina from Prof. G.G. Narke, who replied that he, did not have even a pie. Then, Baba said, “I know you have no money; but you are reading Yoga-Vashistha. Give me Dakshina from that”. In other words it means that deriving lessons from the book and lodging them in the heart where Baba resides. In another case, Baba asked a certain lady Mrs. Tarkhad to give Rs.6 as Dakshina. The lady felt pained and got desponded, as she had nothing to give. On explaining by her husband that Baba wanted six inner enemies (Lust, Anger, Avarice, Jealousy, Ego and so on) to be surrendered at his feet. Baba agreed with this explanation.

Continuing with the importance of donation or Dakshina, Baba once asked Kaka for Rs.15/-, which he gladly gave it. Then Baba said, “if I take one rupee as Dakshina from anybody, I have to return it tenfold to him. I never take anything gratis. I never ask any one, indiscriminately, I only ask and take from him, whom the Fakir (My Guru) points out. If any one is indebted formerly to the Fakir, money is received from him. The donor gives i.e. sows his seeds, only to reap a rich harvest in future. Wealth should be the means to work out Dharma. If it is used for personal enjoyment, it is wasted. Unless you have given it before, you do not get it now. So, the best way to receive is to give. The giving, of Dakshina, advances Vairagya (non-attachment), and thereby Bhakti and Jnana. Give one and receive ten fold”.

Mr. B.V. Deo of Thane, retired Mamlatdar, and a great devotee of Baba in his article on Dakshina summed up that charity given in a holy place and to a holy personage conduces to the donors’ welfare to a great degree. What is more holy than Shirdi and its Presiding Deity – Sai Baba?

By: Rajesh Anand