By: Seetha Vijayakumar
This was an occasion where Dikshit was reading the second chapter of ‘Eknathi Bhagwat’ along with Balasaheb Bhate and while he was thus engaged there came a message that Sai Baba had asked for a dakshina of sixteen and a half rupees, from Dikshit.
Dikshit did not have any money. The message had come from Bapusaheb Buti who had also been asked to listen to Dikshit’s reading.
Dikshit began to ponder upon the request for sixteen and a half rupee dakshina, which was a rather unusual sum to ask. He therefore concluded that somehow that amount had something to do with the reading of that day’s part of Eknathi Bhagwat.
Buti, meanwhile, sat as directed by Baba to listen to the reading Bhagwat and in time Dikshit came to the verse ‘Kayena vaacha.,” which was an exposition of what Bhagwat dharma meant made by one of the sons of Rishabh Muni. The Verse meant: “Whatever I do through my body, speech, mind, organs, intellect, ego and nature (prarabdha – karma at birth) I offer to Narayan who is beyond everything, after pronouncing His name.
Dikshit had hardly completed reading Eknath’s extensive commentary on the Bhagwat when another messenger came from Baba asking Buti to return. This intrigued Dikshit even more. Was there any connection between Baba’s demand for sixteen and a half rupees and the stanza ‘kayena vaacha’ he had just completed reading? Mentally Dikshit added up the units mentioned in the verse: body 1, speech 1, mind (manas) 1, intellect 1, ego 1. organs 10, nature 1/2. But it all totaled up to 15 ½. But then, Dikshit told himself, Baba had asked specifically for 16 ½ rupees. He scrutinized the commentary of Eknath again and found out that though there is no mention of chitta (discursive faculty including memory) in the original stanza in Eknath’s commentary there is exposition also on chitta Now that totaled 16 ½. From this Dikshit understood that Sai Baba’s object in asking for 16 ½ ‘rupees’ dakshina in effect meant that he wanted all those ingredients, kaaya, vaacha, manas, indriyas, etc. to be offered to the Lord.
Thus, Dikshit understood the significance of a Dakshina of rupees sixteen and a half.