The Chapter XXXIX of Shri Sai Satcharita deals with Baba`s interpretation of a verse from the Bhagwad-Gita. Nobody believed that, Baba knew Sanskrit. One day He surprised all by giving interpretation of a verse from the Gita. Nanasaheb Chandorkar was a good student of Vedanta. He had read Gita with commentaries. He fancied that Baba knew nothing of Sanskrit texts. One day Nana was sitting near Baba and muttering some words. Being asked by Baba to say it loudly, he recited the Shloka IV-34 from Bhagwad-Gita which is as follows:
‘Tadviddhi Pranipaatena Pariprashnena Sevaya,
Upadekshyanti Te Gnyanam Gnyaninastattwadarshinah’
Being asked by Baba to tell its meaning Nana told-It means this: “Making Sashtanga Namaskar i.e. prostration, asking the Guru, serving him, learn, what this Knowledge is. Then those who have attained the real knowledge of the Sadvastu (Brahma) will give you Upadesh (instruction) of Knowledge”.
Sai Baba was not satisfied with the explanation of Nana. He asked him to explain the meaning of the words: ‘Pranipaat’, ‘Pariprashna’, and ‘Seva’. Nana could not explain.
Then Baba explained:
It is not enough merely to prostrate before the gnyanis. We must make Sarvasva Sharanagati (complete surrender) to the Sadguru.
Mere questioning is not enough. The question must not be made with any improper motive or attitude or to trap the Guru and catch mistakes in the answer, or out of idle curiosity. It must be earnest with a view to achieve spiritual progress or liberation.
Seva is not rendering service with the feeling that one is free to offer or refuse service. One must feel that, he is not the master of the body, that the body is Guru`s and exists merely to render service to him.
In analysing the second line of the verse Baba wanted to know whether the word ‘Gnyanam’ be construed by ‘Agnyanam’ .The instances of Agnyan are ‘Body is the soul (I am the body)’, ‘Not knowing that body is not the soul’ &‘God, world and Jiva are different’, ‘Not knowing that God, world and Jiva are one’. To teach these and destroy the ignorance in this regard, is this instruction in Gnyan or Agnyan; He said. Baba spoke that why Gnyan should be imparted to the Jiva (who is a Gnyan moorti). Upadesh is merely to show him his error and destroy his ignorance. To understand Tattwadarshi and Gnyani, Baba explained that the Shishya (disciple) like the Sadguru is the embodiment of Gnyan. The difference between the two lies in the attitude and realization. To the disciple, Guru imparts the teaching: “You are Sat-Chit-Anand”. Then, he realizes his divine existence and wisdom. The disciple is in fact of the same Swarupa.
Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda
Shirdi Sai Baba devotee