78-SADASHIV GOVIND SHELKE (Sadashiv Patil)
Sadashiv Govind Shelke, known as Sadashiv Patil, came into contact of Merwan (Meher Baba) in 1918, and later played significant role in relation to Him.
Sadashiv Patil a Hindu first met Baba at the age of 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 Gita 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.) No one yet acknowledged Him to be a God-realized Master, although most of his acquaintances thought Him to be extraordinary. Some accepted Him as a staunch, devout disciple of both Babajan and Upasni Maharaj, but no one thought of Him as a "saint" or as a spiritually advanced soul. However, although Merwanji was only in His mid-twenties, young and old alike looked upon Him with respect. So, from 1918 onward, Merwanji was called Merwan Seth by the people living in Kasba Peth.
Merwan Seth introduced Sadashiv to Sayyed Saheb, and they immediately became closely connected. Later Merwan Seth would take either man with him when he visited Upasni Maharaj. It was through Merwan Seth that both came to recognize Upasni's greatness and spiritual authority as a Perfect Master. As mentioned, both men served as personal messengers for letters and messages passing back and forth between Merwan Seth and Upasni Maharaj.
Many of his real life time events and dialogues with Meher Baba are elaborated as under:
In 1922, Baba wrote to Sadashiv Patil in Poona to arrange the immediate construction of a Jhopdi (thatched hut) for His own personal use. As He had explained in Sakori, Baba reiterated in the letter that, on His return to Poona, He intended to rest at night in this hut instead of at his parents' house.
According to Baba's instructions, Sadashiv Patil had erected a thatched hut in a barren field surrounded by mango and sitaphul trees along Fergusson College Road, near Chatursinghji. Sadashiv met Baba at the Poona station on Friday, 27th January 1922 and took Him directly to the hut. Baba was pleased. He smiled, patted Sadashiv on the back, and said, "Shabash (Well done)!" The owner of the property turned out to be one of his school friends and he refused to accept any money in rent when he discovered who was to use the land.
Glancing at the men present, Baba revealed, "You were all with Me at the time of Shivaji. Sadashiv Patil was Tanaji Malsoore, the man who gave his life to save Shivaji."
Baba led the way to Sadashiv Patil's house in Kasba Peth, where arrangements were in progress for the departure to Bombay. Each man's bedding roll and personal kit were placed in a bullock cart. As the world slept, these young disciples were wide awake — excited and eager to begin their wayfaring.
Referring to His sickness in the afternoon, Baba remarked in the presence of Sadashiv Patil and others:
This is the third time during the last eight years that I have actually shed tears and then gotten ill. The first two illnesses were a wound in My shoulder and then the dysentery at Ajmer.
For the various members of My circle, I will thus have to die 28 times, and every time I will have to cry. But the subsequent illnesses will be lesser and lesser in severity. This fever is for you, Sadashiv, who always suffers from it. The first two sicknesses concerned Gustadji and Behramji. The second group, for whom I will have to suffer, includes Ghani.
(After some time, Baba further stated) In the circle, Ghani's number is seven and it is most significant because, even after Realization, this number is always with the Perfect Master. The next three to four illnesses will be somewhat severe, but the suffering will lessen thereafter.
The previous October, Baba had led the mandali to Kalyan to visit the shrine of Haji Malang Shah, but failing to reach it He had vowed to revisit the tomb of the great Mohammedan saint. To fulfill this promise, the Master, with the remaining mandali, went to Kalyan from Bombay on 13th April 1923, in the middle of the night, around 1:30 A.M.
In the morning, they left Kalyan in tongas for the high hill where the saint's tomb was situated. Reaching its base, Baba stayed there with Sadashiv Patil and sent the rest of the men up the mountain to bow down and offer homage at the tomb on His behalf. The men placed a jali of flowers on the saint's dargah (tomb). They also recited the Fatiha, as instructed by Baba. The excursion took two and a half hours.
After a long discussion, it was decided by Baba that they should instead stay in Abdulla Jaffer's house in the Camp area of Poona, and Sadashiv was told to arrange for the mandali's food. At first Sadashiv agreed to provide food for the group, but later expressed his inability to do so. He was upset at Baba's staying at Abdulla's house, because he wanted the Master to stay with him.
During the last week of December 1923, Baba went to Poona for a couple of days and stayed at Sadashiv Patil's house in Kasba Peth. In a splendid mood, Baba held His largest public darshan; hundreds came for His blessing.
In 1930, in Ahmednagar, Baba met His followers. The group left, but did not reach Poona until 3:00 A.M. The Poona lovers waiting at Sadashiv Patil's house had fallen asleep. Baba Himself knocked on the door, but it was the wrong house. A Jewish man opened the door and was startled to see a group of strangers holding kerosene lanterns. He directed them to Sadashiv's house where they rested for a few hours.
Chhagan then asked Sadashiv, "What am I to do now" Baba's order was to take the boy to Meherabad." Sadashiv sent a telegram to Baba explaining the situation. Baba's reply promptly came, instructing Chhagan to leave the boy with his parents and return to Panchgani. Only then did Chhagan understand why Baba had sent him on this journey. The message Baba had given Chhagan to convey to Sadashiv was nothing important, but Baba wished to reunite the child with his heartbroken parents.
One day, while Sadashiv Patil was passing Meherabad on the train, he threw out four large parcels of laddoos, which the four working on the cave retrieved. Being more than enough for them, they distributed a large portion of the sweets to the rest of the Meherabad community. This upset Buasaheb, because he was the manager of Meherabad and eating such "contraband goods" was not allowed without Baba's prior permission.
On Wednesday, 11th February 1931, Baba took a few of the mandali to Poona, where they stayed at the home of Sadashiv Patil. Baba attended Sadashiv's daughter's wedding, and the nuptial ceremony turned into a large darshan program as several hundred people came to pay their respects to the Master.
Sadashiv Patil, who were in Baba's close contact stayed with Baba in Nasik and was allowed to come and go except few more mandali men.
On 24th March 1932, at nine at night, Baba sailed from Bombay for England with his small group of six mandali; Approximately 150 of Baba's lovers gave him a hearty and loving send-off on the docks at Ballard Pier. Sadashiv Patil among others was one among others.
In 1934, Baba visited the homes of some of His Bombay lovers and then left for Poona. Darshan was held in Kasba Peth at Sadashiv Patil's home and many Poona lovers attended. After the program, Baba met with His mother Memo, His brother Beheram and His sister-in-law Perin, with whom he had individual talks.
In 1941, at Meherabad, before entering into seclusion, Baba called a meeting of the mandali on 20 and 21 July 1941. Joining them were Sadashiv Patil from Poona; along with other close ones Baba personally met with each man, and instructed each about His work and individual affairs.
In 1944, Sadashiv Patil Pappa Jessawala, Eruch and arranged a small darshan function in Poona in honor of Mehera's birthday, and Sarosh drove Baba there on the 30th of December. Mehera, Mani, Margaret, Meheru and Walu accompanied him and were accommodated at Bindra House. Pappa and Eruch had to move into the garage, as they were not to see the women.
Eruch, Pappa, Sadashiv Patil and Jalbhai had arranged another darshan program in Poona at the Ahilya Ashram hall, on 23rd April 1944. Baba arrived from Pimpalgaon that morning by car with Adi Sr. and Deshmukh and gave darshan at the hall for one hour, About 300 bhaktas (lovers) came, mostly Zoroastrians from Bombay, Poona, Nasik and Ahmednagar, most of whom had not seen the Master for years. Many were newcomers who had heard of Baba through the lectures of Manek Mehta, who gave the welcome address.
According to instructions, those invited arrived in Meherabad on the 23rd 1945, Baba gave them individual interviews. Called to the meeting were the following 40 men: Sadashiv Patil was one among other mandali men.
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."
On Sunday, 24th November 1946, Baba dictated instructions to nine close disciples to find either a mast or saint from various areas of India. Sadashiv Patil — Satara or Kolhapur was one of the nine men.
On 17th September 1947, Baba drove to Bombay with Sarosh, Kaka Baria, Norina and Elizabeth. Sadashiv Patil with other man boarded the train at 8:30 that evening and left for Surat.
On the morning of 15th October 1949, Baba paid a final visit to Meherabad to inspect the traveling kits containing the necessary items to be taken by each of those accompanying him.
It was now decided that the following four women and sixteen men of various ages would be going with Baba in the New Life. Baba was then 55 1/2 years old. Sadashiv Patil was one of sixteen men.
Sadashiv Patil arrived from Poona at eight o'clock that morning and joined the companions.
Therefore the Arrangementwallas were informed about the 25-day stay in Benares, and Sadashiv Patil was sent this telegram c/o the stationmaster at the Benares Cantonment:
We leave Belgaum on 12th November arriving Mughal Sarai 15th early morning and will stay in Benares bungalow from 15th November for twenty-five days. Arrange food for twenty-five days for Rs.600. Wire reply immediately. — William Donkin
In the early hours of 15th November 1949, they reached Mughal Sarai station at 2:30 A.M. via the Calcutta Mail train and were met by Sadashiv Patil. At Mughal Sarai station they had to change trains for Benares, but when it came time to transfer everything to the other train, the companions had to run back and forth to unload the baggage, leaving Baba standing alone with part of the luggage. Baba was irritated, and took them to task for leaving him unattended. He then criticized Himself, "I got angry, which is not good. So, each of you pinch My ears and slap Me once." The men carried out the behest. Afterwards, when Baba had calmed, they had tea with Him.
To lighten his mood, Baba appointed a committee to suggest treatment for his troubles, which he humorously dubbed the "Piles Committee." The members were Sadashiv Patil, Vithal Bhokre, Gadekar, Ghani, Nariman and Meherjee. The men were briefed daily about Baba's health, and Meherjee and Ghani took the most interest. When they were asked their opinion, Sadashiv and Vithal suggested pulverizing the bark of a certain tree and making it into a poultice. This was tried, but it increased Baba's suffering.
In 1953, 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.
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."
Every evening in Khuldabad, Baba sat with the mandali for an hour, listening to their stories about men of God. Generally, these were narrated by Kumar, Dhake, Ramjoo and Sadashiv Patil. While reminiscing about such great saints, Baba would praise their love for their Masters. He would also tell some of the mandali to pray on His behalf according to their religion and would then bow down to them. Before praying, the mandali had to wash their feet so that Baba could put His head on their feet after the prayer. "Don't try to think about the why and wherefore of My work," Baba advised them. "Do as I ask you to do.
Babadas had grown a beard, dressed in a white kafni, was leading guileless people astray by posing as a saint. Baba sent him with Sadashiv Patil to the nearby confluence of Triveni Sangam to have his head, beard and all the hair on his body shaved. Baba also had a coat and trousers made for him and, handing them to him, admonished, "I have named you Baba-das (servant of Baba), so by becoming a true servant of mine, prove worthy of the name!"
Sadashiv Patil came from Poona and was to coordinate arrangements for their meals. (Baba nicknamed him Ma-Baap [Mother-Father], one approached with an entreaty respectfully with folded hands.)
Baba for Pandharpur on 6th November 1954. Sadashiv Patil from Poona also travelled
On 18th June 1955, the following men arrived in Satara for the cricket match, with Sadashiv Patil and other mandali men.
The cricket match in Udtara had been played. While they were leaving Udtara, Baba had remarked, "Remember this place." The men did not understand why Baba had said this. But they learned the significance of Baba's words a year and a half later, when Meher Baba's second automobile accident occurred near this spot.
Poona lovers, including Sadashiv Patil and others had been given permission to arrange a mass darshan in Poona on 14th January 1956. They came to Satara at the beginning of January to discuss the arrangements with Baba.
In 1957, just before group was ready to start from Khushru Quarters, they received a note from Baba, stating that each man should take a bath before coming. Sadashiv Patil was lodged separately.
The preparation work for 1958 Sahwas was proceeding very slowly, and one day, out of sheer frustration, Pendu burst out weeping at not finding sufficient cots available to rent. To make up for the shortage, Baba immediately sent Sadashiv Patil from Meherabad to Poona to bring 100 more, for a total of 825.
Baba also called Sadashiv Patil to Mahabaleshwar from Poona. There were only three cots in Shapoor Hall for Eruch, Bhau or Savak and Jalbhai, which they would share, as one of them was always with Baba. Baba specifically told them not to give their bed to Sadashiv when he came, but to tell him to put his bedding roll on the floor and sleep there. During this period, Baba would retire to His room at 1:00 P.M. for rest, and Bhau was on watch by Him from 1:00 to 11:00 P.M.; then Savak would take over until 6:00 A.M. the next morning.
Sadashiv arrived in Mahabaleshwar at 4:00 P.M. Bhau was with Baba, but when He went to the mandali's room at 11:00 P.M., He found Sadashiv fast asleep on his cot. Thinking that Sadashiv was a very old and close lover of Baba since 1918, Bhau did not have the heart to wake him, and instead slept on the floor.
The next day, Baba sent for him and asked where he had slept. Bhau said his cot had already been occupied by Sadashiv, so he slept on the floor. "Why didn't you wake him up?" Baba inquired.
Bhau said, "He is elderly, Baba. It would not have been proper to disturb his sleep."
Baba scolded, "You thought of Sadashiv not liking it, but you had no thought of what I would like! You have hurt Me more than you can ever know by disobeying Me, and this hurt will never heal! I could not rest for a single minute last night. You have pained me in order to make Sadashiv comfortable. Do you find pleasure in hurting Me? Is that why you've come to stay with me?
When, despite My order, you have thoughts of what is good and 'proper,' you will never be able to obey Me. You only think of your feelings, not of Mine.
"What have you to do if Sadashiv is My longtime lover — he may even be My father! — Of what concern is it to you? Are you here to think about such things, or to obey Me? You are a kaccha (unbaked; raw, inexperienced) pot and cannot be trusted! You think of others, never of Me. You are strangling Me! What sort of love is this?"
Bhau acknowledged his mistake and Baba forgave him.
Baba came to Mahabaleshwar for instructions on 17th April 1958; Sadashiv Patil was also there along with other mandali men.
During Baba's stay in Poona, a few men, including Sadashiv Patil were free to come to Guruprasad at any time.
In 1959, during His stay in Poona, Baba visited the home of Sadashiv Patil (301 Nana Peth)
In 1960, Baba was to stay at Guruprasad for the three months, and like the previous year, Age saw how hundreds of lovers from all over India came to "bathe in the Ocean of Love." Darshan was given every Sunday. Besides this, each day Sadashiv Patil would visit Baba.
In 1963, once, Baba asked Sadashiv Patil how work should be done. Sadashiv replied, "We should talk less and do more work. We should be so engrossed in work for Baba that we find no time for petty arguments."
In 1964, during inauguration of Poona centre, as soon as Baba stepped out of the car, the president of the center, Sadashiv Patil, garlanded Him. With a smile, Baba embraced him and then approached the door of the hall, where Meherjee presented Him with a tray containing scissors and the key. Taking the scissors, Baba cut the seven-colored ribbon fastened across the doorway and then unlocked the door with the key.
Baba told Sadashiv Patil, "I will give darshan at the Poona Center just once more, one year from today on 1st May 1965. After that I will resume the darshan programs at Guruprasad as usual."
In 1965, Yeshwant Rao Boravke of Sakori was in critical condition in a hospital in Poona. Baba instructed Sadashiv Patil to visit him. As his condition worsened, Baba advised Yeshwant's relatives to shift him to Sakori. Despite the objections of Yeshwant daughter and others, Yeshwant Rao was taken to Sakori by ambulance on 30th June 1965, in accordance with Baba's instructions. Baba sent frequent messages to the family through Meherjee and Sadashiv. Yeshwant Rao died two days later, on 2 July 1965. Baba sent this telegram to B. T. Wagh (the ashram manager) and others at Sakori: "(Yeshwant Rao) has come to Me."
During 1966, Sadashiv Patil would come to Guruprasad every day. 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 30th 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 I 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."
On 13th October 1968, Baba held a meeting to inform His main workers of his decision to give darshan the following year from 10th April to 10th June 1969 at Guruprasad. Besides the resident men mandali, From Poona: Sadashiv Patil and others were called to Meherazad:
In the morning 23th December 1968, Dara and Amrit were married in a civil ceremony in Ahmednagar at 8:00 A.M. at Sarosh's home, Viloo Villa, and they then came to Meherazad to receive Baba's blessings, as did the same 200 guests who had come the previous day. Before the functions started, Baba called His Poona workers — Sadashiv Patil, Soman and Kamble — to His room. Sadashiv burst out weeping, seeing Baba in such poor health. Baba assured him, "I will be all right very soon and give darshan to My lovers."
Baba said about Sadashiv (Patil): He is My right hand. A paralyzed hand, although becoming revitalized at times.