Bhagwad-Gita and Shirdi Sai Baba

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:
Pranipaat means-
It is not enough merely to prostrate before the gnyanis. We must make Sarvasva Sharanagati (complete surrender) to the Sadguru.
Pariprashna means-
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 means-
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


About drmcpanda

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S.,M.D. Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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8 Responses to Bhagwad-Gita and Shirdi Sai Baba

  1. Ideal Guru Shishya parampara has been explained above very well and a very pertinent point has been raised.

    Current environment is not fit for such tradition.Teacher now-a-days is supposed to make his best effort to allow his knowledge flow to as many students as possible, through books, media or verbal communication.Students compete with each other to acquire best possible out of an ocean-full of knowledge.

    Spirituality, spiritual knowledge is also part of overall knowledge that exists in this world.One should make whole hearted effort to imbibe and practice the required knowledge and also be submissive to the teacher.Average morals of individuals in all professions demand caution, before submitting to anybody in ideal traditional way of Guru Shishya parampara.

    Some of professional colleges are still having best teachers, where devotion and submission is way of life, permitting all benefits to flow to the society.Teachers like Satya Sai Baba are difficult to locate in current world.

  2. Santhosh says:

    Sai Ram Uncle 🙂

    Very true explanation given by Sai.

    Thanks and Kind Regards,
    Om Sai Ram
    San 🙂
    Santhosh KV
    Hewlett Packard India Global Operations,

  3. Vinod Varma says:

    No one else but only a true Guru can lead a Jiva to God addressing his eternal quest for true happiness. True Guru glows as a divine light that guides through darkness of great illusion (Maya) to realization of God within.

    asato ma sadgamaya
    tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
    mrtyorma amrtam gamaya

    Lead me from the asat to the sat.
    Lead me from darkness to light.
    Lead me from death to immortality.

  4. I think,Sadguru Sai Baba has rightly explained the meaning of Bhagwad-Gita’s shloka.I am happy to know that SAI BABA had such vast knowledge on GITA.

  5. Chandra Kumar Panda says:

    Amidst official business I couldn’t be able to reply you earlier. To day I had my opportunity to go through those photographs which were meant for Nuakahai Bhet-Ghat in Bangalore and by going through the photographs I became really very astonished how you have earned social recognition amongst Odisha people in Bangalore in a short span and immediately requested my present A.D.M.O.(F.W.) who was beside me to see the same.He also saw the photographs for a moment.

    Then regarding the second addition,on Bhagwad-Gita & Shirdi Sai.Indeed, the leela of Sri Sai can not be penetrable to the layman.I am going through the Sai Parayana every day morning & while going the phases of leela,really tears come out from the eyes.This much I know that your article is definitely a good one but I am not as much learned to know as the theme of different words and mystery is concerned.

    Yours Sincerely
    Chandra Kumar Panda

  6. V. Nageswar Rao says:

    Dear Sir,
    Very Nice Article and Well Explained.

    Happy to know that Sai Baba had vast knowledge about Bhagwad-Gita and he taught many more about the ingredients of Bhagwad-Gita and Its Practice.

    Thanking You
    With Regards,

  7. Madhusudan Mahunta says:

    I am astonished to know that Shirdi Sai Baba had so vast knowledge and wisdom in Bhagwad-Gita !

  8. Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

    Respected Sir,

    The above topic is very amazing and simultaneously interesting to go deep to learn more for own practical utility in day to day life. Because it imparts the real knowledge of humanity, that by virtues of it one (student) can cross the chaotic ocean of life in front of him. Now present education trends toward belly and keeps asides the Brahma. This is our great misfortune that ensures premonitoring of devastating tornado of human civilisation. Hence my request and heartiest appeal to each modern student, even that he learns from head never never neglect to imbibe from heart. So follow the principle of Arjun before Krishna as in Bhagwad-Gita of Dwaper-Yuga and of Nanasaheb before Shirdi Sai Baba during their conversation of a verse of Bhagwad-Gita of Kali-Yuga. Because Krishna and Sai Baba are transparent teachers (Sad-Guru) and had no formal education. Now though difficult to search and to get the same teachers, still one who trades the path with patience and perseverance he reaches the ultimum and able to sway his own formal teacher, an anti-clock phenomena of pertaining knowledge by student to teacher. It is presently possible to student even by chance obtains the real eternal knowledge( Brahma Vidya-the spiritual knowledge).The Bhagwad-Gita and Sai Satcharita are ready-reckoner of the same and daily enumeration of the same will definitely infuse one.

    Thanking You
    With Regards,
    Your Divine Brother
    Dr.Binod Bihari Naik
    Bargarh, Odisha

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