TANAJI MALSURE OF SHIVA JI & SADASHIV PATIL OF AVATAR MEHER BABA)
According to Baba, Sadashiv Patil of Kesbapet was Tanaji who gave his life for Chattrapati Shivaji. Baba also said about Sadashiv (Patil): He is My right hand. A paralysed hand, although becoming revitalized at times. Brief biography of Tanaji Malsure and Sadashiv Patel are written below.
Tanaji Malusare was a Maratha Koli and military leader in the army of Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire in 17th century India. Tanaji was one of Shivaji's closest friends, hailing from the Malusare clan of Kshatriya Kolis; the two had known each other since childhood.
Tanaji is famously known for the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670. At Shivaji's request, he pledged to recapture the fortress of Kondana near Pune. According to many accounts, he received the summons while at his son's wedding, and immediately left the festivities. Tanaji and his troops scaled the fort with the help of domesticated monitor lizards (ghorpad in Marathi), to whom they tied ropes and sent crawling up to the top of the ramparts. (The ghorpad grows up to 1.8m in length, and its natural habitat is rocky terrain, which it scales by gripping crevices with its strong claws). Tanaji's pet ghorpad successfully climbed the ramparts after two failed attempts. Tanaji and his men than climbed the fort in pitch darkness. He and his men recaptured the fort from Udaybhan Rathod, fortkeeper of Jai Singh I.
A fierce combat took place between Tanaji and Udaybhan. Udaybhan managed to rid Tanaji of his shield, but Tanaji fought on by tying a cloth over one of his hands and using it to ward off Uday Bhan's sword attacks. Despite a lengthy fight, Tanaji was killed in battle, and Shivaji renamed the fort from Kondana to Sinhagad in his honor. Per legend, Shivaji's words after hearing about the demise of Tanaji were Gad ala pan Sinha gela ("although the fort was captured a lion was lost").
Sadashiv Govind Shelke Patil
In 1918, Sadashiv Govind Shelke, known as Sadashiv Patil came in contact of Meher Baba. (Then Merwanji) Sadashiv Patil, a Hindu, was 29, five years older than Merwanji. Sadashiv was the Maratha landlord of Merwanji's new toddy-shop in Kasba Peth, and he and his wife Geeta lived over the shop. One day Merwanji happened to stop by Sadashiv's apartment and requested a meal. Sadashiv was quite unprepared and answered that the food was not ready. Merwanji replied, "That's all right, some leftovers will be fine." Wishing he had more elaborate fare to offer, Sadashiv reluctantly put the leftovers in front of Merwanji, who ate with pleasure.
Initially, Sadashiv had taken Merwanji to be merely a toddy-shop-keeper, but he later recognized him to be someone quite different. It was Sadashiv who, for the first time, used the appellation Merwan Seth in referring to Merwanji. (Seth is a term of respect and means a person of influence.)
In 1919, Meher Baba travelled to Puri (in Orissa) along with Sadashiv Patil. Puri is a major place of pilgrimage, located along the seacoast of eastern India. It is famous for the great Jagannath temple there, one of the most visited temples in India, entry to which is barred to non-Hindus. Arriving in Jagannath Puri, Merwan and Sadashiv went to the temple's dharamshala. Observing that Merwan was wearing pants (instead of a white dhoti) and had a kerchief tied around his head, the temple priest asked Sadashiv curiously, "Who is your friend? He does not appear to be a Hindu." Sadashiv replied earnestly, "His name is Jagat Narayan and he is a pucca (pure) Hindu. He has accompanied me from Benares and we are going on pilgrimage to other holy places."
The priest made no further inquiry and registered them in his record book as Jagat Narayan and Sadashiv Patil; residence: Poona. (Jagat Narayan literally means the Lord of the Universe!) Little did the priest know who his guest really was—he was, in fact, Jagat Narayan—the Lord Himself! Because of Merwan's appearance, it was inconceivable that anyone would mistake him for a Hindu, but this innocent priest did not object. The Lord stayed at his temple—meant only for Hindu pilgrims — to the good fortune of the priest. The priest served them food, and afterwards Sadashiv and Merwan Seth went to the seashore to bathe. They then took darshan at the temple, gave a generous dakshina to the priest, and took a train west to Kharagpur the following day.
In 1919, Meher Baba made Sadashiv to Meet Tajuddin Baba. While in Nagpur, Merwan Seth explained to Sadashiv, "I am also connected with Tajuddin Baba. I want you to take three or four of Upasni's devotees with you to Vaki Shariff and meet Tajuddin. Take flowers and fruits with you. Give Tajuddin my salutations, although I cannot go." However, when Sadashiv and the group reached Tajuddin headquarters, they found that the Master had departed just an hour before. Disappointed, they went back to Nagpur and explained this to Merwan Seth.
The next day Merwan Seth instructed Sadashiv, "You must meet Tajuddin. I am sending you again to Vaki Shariff, but this time, leave an hour earlier so you don't miss him." But again Tajuddin had just gone.
For four days Merwan Seth instructed them to go to Vaki Shariff and each time Sadashiv and the devotees of Upasni Maharaj missed Tajuddin Baba by minutes. Each day they were sent earlier and earlier, but each time Tajuddin had slipped away ahead of their arrival. Finally, Sadashiv complained to Merwan Seth of his unwillingness to go back again. It was a long tonga ride of eleven miles each way. Merwan insisted, "Go for a fifth time and I assure you he will be there. Tajuddin will be waiting for you."
This time the Master was present. After Sadashiv and the others bowed to him, Tajuddin inquired, "For four days you have been put too much trouble, but today I was waiting just for you to arrive. Do you know why I was not here?" Tajuddin then showed them a photograph of Merwan Seth, remarking, "This Heavenly Rose was calling me for the past four days, but he was also sending you to me! Today the Heavenly Rose did not call me, so I am now able to meet you." (Sadashiv recalled a similar incident regarding Tajuddin Baba that occurred a few years later, after Meher Baba had set up his own ashram. Baba had sent his disciples Ghani, Vajifdar, and Sadashiv to meet Tajuddin, and upon meeting the three men, Tajuddin gave each a photograph of Meher Baba, telling them, "Worship this photograph of Meher Baba." They then bowed down and said prayers before Baba's photograph in front of Tajuddin Baba. )
From Nagpur, Merwan Seth and Sadashiv left by train to meet Upasni Maharaj at Sakori again, and later returned to Poona after being away for a month. After they had been some days in Poona, Upasni Maharaj again called Merwan Seth and Sadashiv to Sakori. From there they traveled together to Nasik. The Sadguru did not take any of his other devotees with them. He, Sadashiv and Merwan Seth walked the distance of four miles from the city of Nasik to a forested area where they spent the night at a Mahadev temple consecrated to the greatness of Shiva.
The next day, Maharaj sent Sadashiv on an errand back to the city to buy some sev and chiwada (dry chickpea snacks) to eat. Maharaj remained behind so he could work on bringing Merwan Seth further down from divine consciousness to gross consciousness. By the time Sadashiv returned with the snacks it was dark. Upasni asked him, "Were you afraid while walking through the jungle?" Sadashiv replied, "Yes, I was somewhat frightened." Upasni remarked, "I was just behind you. There was nothing to be afraid of." Then Upasni's appearance changed and he became gloriously radiant, declaring to Sadashiv, "Remember this always: Merwan will make the whole world dance to his tune! If you hold to him, you will never have anything to fear."
Meher Baba visited house of Sadashiv Patil. The village of Patil's house was in a cool and shady setting, and it seemed to be a well-chosen spot where Baba could spend the day relaxing in private with his close disciples. However, no sooner had he sat down upon a special carpet spread for him than a crowd began gathering for darshan. Showing his displeasure, he left his seat and directed the mandali to sit in the trolley with the intention of returning to Meherabad. The Patil sought Baba's forgiveness, and Baba replied, "I have visited and sanctified your residence, but I am unable to remain here for the present. I will come back again someday. Don't worry." Baba then took his seat in the trolley and departed.
In 1945, Sadashiv Patil of Poona expressed his willingness to dedicate everything to Baba, and Baba assured him, "When the time comes I will accept your offer. For now, just wait, and take it that your everything belongs to Me."
In 1949, Sadashiv Patil was one of 16 men joined in Baba’s New Life, at that time Sadashiv was 60 and Baba was 55 1/2 years old.
In 1952, Meher Baba made Sadashiv Patil to go to Perfect Master Gyaneshwar. Before Baba left for Meherazad in the evening, Sadashiv Patil was instructed to visit Alandi (about 20 miles from Poona) the following morning and offer his respects on Baba's behalf at the tomb of the Perfect Master Dnyaneshwar. At 2:30 P.M. Sadashiv Patil arrived from Alandi, where he had bowed at the tomb of Dnyaneshwar, and Baba placed his head on his feet. Sadashiv said that at 8:30 A.M. in Alandi, he found that a mahapuja (large worship ceremony) had been arranged lasting until 9 A.M. — the exact period during which Baba was occupied in listening to the reading of the Dnyaneshwari in Meherabad Hall. Baba explained, "I have a very close connection with Dnyaneshwar, so I sent Sadashiv to Alandi."
In 1955, Meher Baba played cricket (using a rubber ball) with Sadashiv Patil and other the men on grounds under some mango trees adjoining an Inspection Bungalow there. He was in a most pleasant mood. The cricket match was played unusually seriously for a game with Baba, according to his instructions. There were ten players on each side, and Baba, being the eleventh of each team, played on both sides. Nariman and Sarosh were the captains, but Baba selected each team along with mandali at Udtara 20 miles from Nasik. During the half-time, they had refreshments under the shade of a mango tree. At the end of the match at 11:00 A.M., the score was equal. Baba led them back to the rest house and handed out snacks, which Nariman had brought from Bombay, and also small cash prizes to some for outstanding play. Baba observed: "Due to the self (ego), everything has an existence.
In 1964, Baba told Sadashiv Patil, "I will give darshan at the Poona Center just once more, one year from today on 1 May 1965. After that I will resume the darshan programs at Guruprasad as usual."
There are two humorous episodes of Sadashiv Patil with Meher Baba reproduced below:
1966, Sadashiv Patil would come to Guruprasad every day, as would Meherjee. One day on a sign from Baba, Mehernath asked Sadashiv, "Patil Kaka (Uncle), how much exercise do you take?"
Sadashiv replied, "I do 2,000 sit-ups every day!"Baba, in surprise, covered his mouth with his hand. At a nod from him, Mehernath exclaimed, "Two thousand sit-ups! Oh God!"
Sadashiv said nonchalantly, "That is nothing! I also walk three miles daily and go up and down Parvati Hill five times a day."
Again, from Baba's gestures Mehernath asked, "And what do you eat?" "Two pitchers of buttermilk, two seers of milk and five loaves of bread!"
Baba was much amused, and Mehernath said, "Patil Kaka, you are as strong as a man 25 years old, but you are not a man, but a giant!" Sadashiv said, "Granted, but what is wrong in that?"
In another episode, every day, Baba would make Sheela ask Sadashiv when it would rain. Sadashiv would give a definite date each time, but no rain would fall. This happened a few times, and one day Sheela told him, "Baba thought that he was the only one who could deceive us; but Patil Kaka is now the master in that art, since he deceives even Baba! Cattle and humans have no water to drink because of lack of rain, and here Dada is making a game of it!"
Sadashiv replied, "Now, rain will surely come within four days!" On the fourth day, black clouds overcast the sky, and Sadashiv began telling Sheela, "Now, go and tell Baba that, as I said, rain will surely come today."
Soon the clouds blew away and the sun began shining, so Sadashiv gave 30 May as the definite date for rain. But no rain fell then either, and on an indication from Baba, Sheela told Sadashiv a bit heatedly, "You are a trickster! Where is the rain?"
Sadashiv replied, "I give up now! I can do nothing more. There will be rain only when Baba wishes." Once, on a sign from Baba, Mehernath told Sadashiv, "Patil Kaka, make me your heir." Sadashiv said, "I am sorry, but I cannot accept any boy as my heir." On a word from Baba, Sheela said, "I am a girl; make me your heir." Sadashiv said, "All right, I will adopt you." "Take me to your house." "No, I cannot do that."
Baba smiled and said, "Patil, you are very selfish! You adopt someone, and it is who have to look after her! Well and true is your justice. If you take Baby home, I will give her to you as your adopted daughter." Sadashiv said, "No thank you, I do not want to adopt anyone. Of course, I will if you say so; but her maintenance will be your responsibility." Baba laughed and observed, "The old one is quite clever! He cannot be trapped."