Home » Blog » Navavidha Bhakti – Fundraising for Building in Durban, South Africa

Navavidha Bhakti – Fundraising for Building in Durban, South Africa

Shirdi Sai Baba’s Legend of the Nine Coins or Navavidha.

The revelation of the nine silver coins, their consecration by the divine touch of Sai Baba & how they came to be gifted to Smt Laxmibai Patil Shinde is a saga in itself.

Shri Sai Baba came to Shirdi at the age of Sixteen along with the marriage party of Chand Patil. The party alighted and rested under a Banyan tree opposite the Khandoba temple. The marriage party moved on but Sai Baba stayed back and started living in a dilapidated Masjid (Dwarakamai) Smt. I Laxmibai Patil Shinde, a woman from a well-to-do family became an ardent devotee of Baba and served Baba till the day he attained Samadhi.

One day while Laxmibai was passing by the Masjid, Baba called out, “Laxmi Maa, Mujhe bhook lagi, Roti la”. She rushed back prepared the food and brought two rotis, one lota (tumbler) of Dood Chaneka besan (Milk and gram) and goodu ka tukda (a morsel of Jaggery) and placed it before Baba. Instead of eating the food so lovingly prepared by Laxmibai, Baba gave it to the dogs and pigs sitting nearby. She went back again prepared some more food and brought it for Baba He again gave away the food to the dogs. Laxmibai was taken aback and asked Baba as to why he gave away the food to the dogs while he himself was so hungry. He said, “why do you grieve for nothing? The appeasement of the dog’s hunger is my own hunger’s appeasement known for certain, he was feeding the hungry, in fact, serves me. After this incident, Laxmibai started bringing for Baba every day till the day he took Samadhi in 1918 Sc Baba used to enjoy the food prepared by her.

On the historic day of Vijayadashami in 1918, Laxmibai brought ‘Puranpoli’ (Sweetbread) and offered it to Baba, before breaking her own fast which she had been observing for the last nine days (Navaratri). Baba asked Laxmibai to leave the food and asked her to go and breakfast. She looked surprised on hearing this as she had never broken her fast before feeding Baba. Therefore she was reluctant to take food before Baba had eaten. The all-knowing Baba then asked her to fan him, which she did with great devotion. Abdulla Baba, Bhagat Mahalspathi and Sreeman Booty were also present on this eventful day. After some time, Baba put his hand in his pocket and took out five (5) silver coins*

Smt. Shailajamaa Patil with I Saibaba’s last prasad nine (9} coins. (Grand Daughter of Smt. Laxmi Bai PatiJ Shinde Shirdi*). Smt Shailajamaa Patil to whom the responsibility of doing poo|a of nine coins given by j Sri Sai Baba to Smt Laxmibai Patii Shinde were entrusted by Smt Sonubai Patil (Daughter-in- law of Laxmibai Patii Shinde (02-06-1963).

The devotees present there asked Baba as to whom he was going to give those coins. Baba said, “Kisiko Kuchh Deneka nai, Aye Meri Laxmi Maako deneka hai,” Laxmi spread her Sari’s pallu & Baba dropped those five coins into her Jholi. Laxmibai continued again her Seva by fanning Baba. Baba again put his hand in the pocket and this time he took out another four (4) coins. The devotees again asked Baba -“Abi Kisko denaka hai”. Baba said, “Kiseko nai,

Meri Laxmi Maa ko hi dena hai.M Then Baba turned to Laxmibai – “Laxmi Maa tunhe meri bahut seva ki – tera naam satsamunder par nihalkarunga, mere janeekebad meri-haddi mere Bhakth on ke saath baat karegi. Mere Samadhi ke Dharshan kame ke leye chitihooki tarahan line- lagegi”.(Laxmi Maa, you have served me with devotion, 1*11 make your name known across the seven-seas. After I leave this corporeal frame my ashes will converse with my devotees. To visit my shrine my devotees will come in long ant-like rows).

Baba uttered these words and poured the four(4) coins into Laxmibais jholi. thus, these nine(9) rupees or coins symbolise the nine ways of devotion which he gave to Laxmibai and soon thereafter Baba attained samadhi. Thus offering Baba his last prasad to Laxmibai is nothing but lord Krishna’s sermon of the nine-fold path of Bhakti which he gave to his disciple Uddav in the Bhagwat gita. In the same way, Baba gave the nine(9) coins, pointing out Navabhakti to Laxmibai.

The nine(9) coins given by Baba to Laxmibai after the Navaratri pooja signify, as stated above, the nine-fold path of Bhakti (devotion) i.e,(I). Shravana (listening), (2). Kirtana (3). Smarana (remembering) (4)Pada sevena (resorting to the feet), (5)Archana (worship), (6). Namaskara (making obeisance), (7). Dasya (service), (8). Sakhyatva (Friendliness) and (9). Atmanivedana (Surrender of the self).

Any one of these nine forms of Bhakti will lead man to the Louts Feet of the Lord. Baba had thus explained the significance of devotion and the need for ardent desire to cultivate the nine types of devotion to the Lord in so simple away.

This presentation of the nine coins, apart from symbolising the nine-fold path of devotion also signifies the successful Culmination of the pooja ritual of Ambika (Goddess Durga) at the end of the Navaratri festival. It also stands for Navashakti since it was given after the Navaratri Pooja. There was also a view, which was quite prevalent that this presentation of the nine coins could also denote die Nava Graha (nine planets) which have a direct impact on a man’s life.

Laxmibai came from a well-to-do family & she was not in need of any money. By presenting these nine coins to her Baba had merely pointed out to her and the others present there, the characteristics of a good disciple as narrated in Verse 6, chapter 10, Skanda 11 of the ShrimadBagawat wherein the first five of these four characteristics are described. Thus Baba followed the same order (this information is provided in ‘Sri Sai Satcharitra’- published by Sri Sai Baba Sansthan – Shirdi- in chapters 42&21).

On 2nd June 1963, when Laxmibai’s Condition was critical & she knew that her end was near, she instructed those present near her to read the 42nd Chapter of Sai Satcharitra. As per her instruction, her granddaughter, Smt. Shailajamma started reading from the above chapters. Laxibai son, Nana Patil Shinde, her daughter-in-law, Smt. Sonubai Patil Shinde and her grandaughter, SmtShailajmma Patil (lovingly called Heera by Laxmibai) were at her bedside when she passed away after the Shej Aarti (the day’s last prayer). On the morning hours of 3rd June, relatives, family members and the villagers came to attend the last rites. Opposite the old house where Laxmibai lived, a temple dedicated to her memory was constructed by Smt. Shailajmma.

Patil Shinde (daughter-in-law of Smt.Laxibai), Smt. Shailajmma Patil (Laxmibai’s granddaughter) and Smt. Sonubai Shinde to whom Smt. Laxmibai Shinde (who passed away on 02-06*1963). Has given the photo frame of nine coins given by Sri Sal Baba the photo of Sonubai shows holding the photo frame of nine coins given by Baba.

Master Arun (Laxmibai’s great-grandson) was residing in the old house where Smt. Laxmibai Patil Shinde used to live.

The nine silver coins were kept with due reverence. Smt. Laxmibai Shinde Patil till her demise in 1963 prior to which she had handed them over to her daughter-in-law, Sonubai part Shinde. In 1980 Smt. Sonubai Patil Shinde, her daughter, Smt. Shailajamma Patil and grand-son Arun Shifted to Kopergaon with Baba’s nine coins. Smt. Sonubai died on 25th December 1984 in Kopergaon. Before passing away she in turn had handed over the Nine coins to her daughter Smt. Shailajamma for safe custody and worship. In fact, people had come to know of the Sanctity of the nine coins and they had been visiting Smt. Shailajamma’s residence at Kopergaon since 1980 itself to have their Darshan. A large number of well-known Sai devotees like ’Sri Rajeev Kapoor’(Cine star ),Smt. Ritu Nanda w/o Sri Rajan Nanda, Chairman Escorts Group, Col. Nimbalkar (prominent writer & translator of Sri Sai Satcharitra) Pune, sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman, Excavators Ltd., England, Sri Shankarrao Kolhe (MLA, Kopergaon), Sri Inamdar, tlie present.

The photo shows cine actor Rajeev Kapoor holding frame in his hands of nine coins giving by Sri Sai Baba to Smi. Laxmibai Patil Shinde on his piligrimage to Shirdi at the house of Smt Sailajamaa on 16-08-1986 (the photo frame was changed with new frame due to damage to old wodden frame).

Trustee of Sai Baba Sansthan, Shirdi had been having the darshan of these coins till 1980 at Kopergaon. The images found shows Sri Shankar Rao Kolhe M.LA. of Kopergaon Constituency district Ahmed Nagar (M.S.), on his visit and praying Lord Sai Baba’s Nine Coins at the residence of SmtShailajamaa house on 20th January/1990, (giving pravachan) delivering discourses on the importance and sanctity of the nine coins to the Sai devotees for the last several years.

On the persistent requests of Sai devotees, these nine coins were brought back to Shirdi by Smt. Shailajamma Patil then they have been kept with all reverence since 1997 at the house of Smt Shailajamma Patil, Shirdi and the coins are being kept for worship.

Smt. Shailajamaa Patil with Salbaba’s last prasad nine (9) coins. (Grand Daughter of Smt. Laxmi Bai Patil Shinde, Shirdi). Smt. Shailajamaa Patil to whom the responsibility of doing pooja of nine coins given by Sri Sai Baba to Smt Laxmibai Patil Shinde was entrusted by Smt. Sonubal Patil (Daughter-in-law of Laxmibai Patil Shinde (02-06-1963) worshipped with all veneration as Baba’s last Prasad, since there is a firm belief that anything by Baba’s divine touch is a sacred relic and is on par with Baba’s potential blessings.

Baba explained the significance of these nine rupees as the nine qualities a devotee should have: (1) Absence of egoism (2) Absence of jealousy (3) untiling service (4) Absence of worldly desires (5) Complete faith in Guru (6) Peaceful nature (7) Desire to know the truth (8) Absence of envy, and (9) Absence of self-boasting and find faults in others. Unless a devotee improved these nine qualities, he could not have true devotion to reach God. Thus Baba taught Laxmi Bai even in his last moments.