Maid Servant demonstrates meaning of Upanishad

Das Ganu once started to write a commentary on the Ishavasya Upanishad. He translated it verse by verse into the Marathi language. But he did not comprehend the gist of it and so was not satisfied with his performance. He, therefore, consulted some learned men regarding his doubts and difficulties and discussed with them at great length. They did not solve them nor did they give him any rational and satisfactory explanation. So Das Ganu was a little restless over this matter.

This Upanishad is the quintessence of the Vedas. It is the science of self-realization, it is the scythe or weapon which can rend asunder the bondage of life and death, and make us free. Therefore, he thought, that he who has himself attained self-realization, can only give him the true or correct interpretation of the Upanishad. When nobody could satisfy Das Ganu, he resolved to consult Sai Baba about this. When he got an opportunity to go to Shirdi, he saw Sai Baba, prostrated himself before Him. He mentioned his difficulties about the Ishavasya Upanishad and requested Him to give the correct solution.

Sai Baba blessed him and said- “You need not be anxious. There is no difficulty about the matter. The maid-servant of Kaka (Kakasaheb Dixit) will solve your doubts at Vile Parle, on your way home”. The people present there thought Baba was joking. They asked, “How could an illiterate maid-servant solve the difficulties of this nature”, but Das Ganu thought otherwise. He was sure, that whatever Baba spoke, must come true, Baba’s word was the decree of the Brahma (Almighty).

Fully believing in Baba’s words, he left Shirdi and stayed with Kakasaheb Dixit. There the next day, Das Ganu was performing his morning worship. He heard a poor girl singing a beautiful song in clear and melodious tones. The subject matter of the song was a crimson-coloured Sari (Indian dress), how nice it was, how fine was its embroidery, how beautiful were its ends and borders, etc. He liked the song so much that he came out. And saw that it was being sung by a young girl, the sister of Namya, who was a servant of Kakasaheb. The girl was cleaning vessels and had only a torn rag on her person.

On seeing her impoverished condition, and her jovial temperament, Das Ganu felt pity for her and when Rao Bahadur M. V. Pradhan next day gave him a pair of dhotars, he requested him to give a sari to the poor little girl as well. Rao Bahadur bought a good Chirdi (small Sari) and presented it to her. Like a starving person getting luckily good dishes to eat, her joy knew no bounds.

The next day she wore the new Sari, and out of great joy and merriment, whirled, danced round and played `Fugadi’ with other girls and excelled them all. The following day, she kept the new Sari in her box at home. She came with the old and torn rags, but she looked as merry as she did the previous day. Seeing this, Das Ganu’s pity was transferred into admiration.

He thought that the girl being poor had to wear a torn rag. But now she had a new Sari which she kept in reserve and putting on the old rag, strutted herself, showing no trace of sorrow or dejection.

Thus he realized that all our feelings of pain and pleasure depend upon the attitude of our mind. Thinking deeply over this incident, he realized that a man ought to enjoy whatever God has bestowed on him in the firm conviction that He besets every thing, from behind and before, and on all sides and that whatever is bestowed on him by God must be for his good. In this particular case, the impoverished condition of the poor girl, her torn rag and the new Sari, the donor, the donee and the acceptance were all parts of the Lord and pervaded by Him. Here Das Ganu got a practical demonstration of the lesson of the Upanishad. The lesson of contentment with one’s own lot in the belief that whatever happens is ordained by God and is ultimately good for us.


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