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Offline fatima

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In Sai's Proximity!!!
« on: May 11, 2008, 02:29:01 AM »
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  •                                                           In Sai’s Proximity       


    Shri Satchidanand Sadguru Sainath Maharaj is worshipped all over the world as a divine personality - by devotees belonging to different religions, castes and nationalities, speaking varied languages. This great eminent personage and angelic incarnation had amazing Godly powers and His life’s accomplishments are vast. It is not possible for us mere mortals to take a review of the same.

    Studies about Sai Baba point out that He was possibly born in Shake (Hindu year) 1760 (1838 English year).

    From time to time, attempts have been made to find out the roots and past history of this divine personality. A few attempts yielded some information, while in majority of cases, people had to remain satisfied with mere guess-work. Several things had to be left unknown. Even today, the persons conducting research are still attempting to unearth the facts about the past life of Sai Baba.

    It is felt, that one should respect the wishes of Sai Baba and let His past remain shrouded in mystery.

    Instead, an attempt could be made to find out how He was perceived by the men and women living in His time and around Him. In this series of articles, an effort is made to trace information about these people who were fortunate enough to see Sai Baba, experience the shower of His blessings and teachings through miracles, love and affection.

    Sai Baba was first sited under a Neem tree in Shirdi around the year 1854. At that time, He had just entered His youth. At the outset, His fair complexion, sharp features, tall body attracted many of the villagers to Him.

    In the whole of Shirdi, it was mother of Nana and Bala Chopdar who first spotted Sai Baba sitting beneath the Neem tree. Like other villagers, this elderly woman was also curious about this young Boy.

    This incident as narrated by her and mentioned in SHRI SAI-SAT-CHARITA is

    “In the initial period, every one was amazed by the magnetic personality of Baba. Let it be day or night, harsh sunlight or heavy rains, Baba was always alone sitting in the open under the Neem tree. He rarely talked to anyone. Because of this, hardly any information was known about Him – Who was He ? Who were His parents ? Where from He came ? All these and similar other questions remained unanswered. And this deepened the mystery surrounding the Baba.

    Villagers belived that sometimes the Spirit of God Khandoba possessed the bodies of a few devotees. Villagers, who were curious to know more about this Boy (Baba), asked questions to few such ‘spirited’ devotees. The God responded by saying ‘Bring pick-axes and dig at such and such place. You will know the origins of this Boy’. As instructed by the God, the ground below the Neem tree was dug open. A layer of bricks was revealed. Underneath was a grinding stone. When it was moved away, below it was found to be a wooden seat in the shape of mouth of a cow. It was surrounded by prayer beads with light from oil lamp in each four corners shining brightly.

    The villagers asked repeated probing questions about this to Baba. He replied in a jestful manner :- ‘This is the place of My Guru ! It is a sacred place for Me. Preserve it in the state in which it is. Burn ood (incense) at this place on every Thursday and Friday. It will be beneficial to you all.’ ”

    It was under this Neem tree that Baba performed tapascharya for 12 years. Due to this sadhana performed at such a young age, there was uniqueness in His behaviour. The villagers were now getting convinced that this was no ordinary human being.

    Slowly the word about Baba’s fame started spreading in and around Shirdi. People started forming ques to get the darshan of Baba. Prior to this, Baba’s devotees were mainly the ordinary villagers from Shirdi – farmers, ladies, children, goldsmiths, tailors, carpenters and the like.

    Several residents of Shirdi were getting convinced about the extra-ordinary personality of Baba. Chief amongst them were – Shreemant Ganpat Kote Patil, his wife Bayajabai, his son Tatya Kote Patil, Mhalsapati Sonar (goldsmith), Kashiram Shimpi (tailor), Appa Jagale, Appa Bhilla, Kashinath, Daji Kote Patil, Ganpatrao Patil Gayke, Waman Mankojirao Gondkar, Vitthal Gondkar, Dagdubhau Kalu Gayke, Bhagchand Marwadi, Nandram Shivram Marwadi, Kondajibhai Musalman, Balaji Bapuji Jagtap, Appaji Kote Patil (father of Bayaji Kote Patil), Santaji Bhivsan Shelke Patil, Gabaji Sutar (carpenter), Bappaji Kulkarni, Salubai Shelke and others.

    However, the several people were still opposed to Baba particularly belong to Teli, Wani, Bhat-Bhikshuk communities and having orthodox set of mind. Outwardly, Baba’s behaviour was eccentric and due to this those opposed to Him called Him a ‘Mad Fakir.’ Over the passage of time, as they experienced the truth themselves, they also realized the greatness of Baba.


    The first person to comprehend the divine nature of Baba’s personality were Ganpatrao  Kote Patil and his wife Bayajabai Kote Patil from Shirdi. By nature, this couple was extremely pious, helping and religious. They always accorded due respect to any virtuous persons visiting Shirdi – touched their feet and looked after their needs.

    This Boy, Who had renounced the worldly pleasures and had a radiating personality, was the subject of curiosity of the entire Shirdi village. It was but natural that the eyes of the Patil couple fell on the Boy and they were overcome with paternal feelings of love and affection for Him. Bayajabai felt that her fondness for the Boy was pulling her towards Him. Those were the days when a group of powerful villagers were very strongly opposed to Baba. Under such circumstances, this Kote Patil couple got devoted to Baba from His first darshan and it continued till their last breaths ! They loved Baba as their own son. When majority of the populace was dismissing Baba as a mere ‘mad man’, Bayajabai gave Him the warmth of her love and affection.

    The detailed description of happenings, when the Kote Patil couple went to take Baba’s  darshan for the first time, have been described by Shri Pandurang B. Kavade in his book titled ‘SHRI SAI MAHARAJ YANCHE CHARITRA’ (Life of Shri Sai Maharaj).

    “As soon as Bayajabai came for His darshan, Maharaj immediately arose and stood up. He expectantly looked at Bayajabai like long lost calf looks at his mother. It was as if, in this birth, Baba was confirming their relation since their previous births. Some time lapsed in this state. The Maharaj spontaneously uttered ‘Mami’ (Aunty). This loving call and the child age of Maharaj, opened the floodgates of Bayajabai’s heart. Her motherly instincts were aroused. Since the time of this incident till the time Bayajabai was alive, Maharaj looked upon her as a mother.”

    Shri Kavade further adds -

    “It is only Maharaj Who knows as what Bayajabai appeared to Him during the first meeting ! Because till that time it was His vow to renounce the worldly relations between human beings and treat all the mankind with an equal and same view point. This vow was easily broken in case of Bayajabai. She imprisoned this great soul in the bonds of motherly love.”

    In Shri Kavade’s opinion :-

    “There were few apparent reasons because of which Baba made Shirdi His permanent residence. Chief among these reasons appears to be the love of Maharaj as a son for Bayajabai and her affection for Maharaj as a ‘mother’.”

    Whatever it may be. But it is true that Baba had given Bayajabai the place of mother. No one else had the power to convince Baba against His wishes. Baba used to set aside His own pride and chit chatted with Bayajabai. He answered her questions very lovingly.

    From the very beginning Bayajabai was regularly sending bhakaris/rotis to Baba. She used to trace Baba by going through the various routes of the forest. She used to feed Him with her own hands. During the life time of Bayajabai and even after her passing away, a single day did not pass without Baba eating bhakari/roti from the Kote Patil household. Similarly, Bayajabai did not have her meals till she had fed Baba. After her demise, her son continued the tradition.

    Written proof of this has been provided by Bayajabai’s son and Baba’s favourite devotee Tatya Kote Patil. On 25th December 1915, he has written :-

    “I am Tatya Ganpat Kote Patil, resident of Shirdi. On request I am furnishing the following information in the presence of Diwan Bahadur Shri Sai Abad Sansthan.

    I have been staying at Shirdi. Since my birth, I have been brought up by Shri Samartha Sai Baba. My both parents have been always in the service of Shri Samartha. We have always treated Shri Samartha as an elderly person from our household and as our family deity. Till some 12 years ago, Shri Samartha did not accept alms /dakshina from anyone. He used to manage His livelihood by asking for bhiksha at certain houses only.

    Till I was a small child, whenever needed, my parents used to provide for His needs. Since the time I attained manhood, I have been doing so after my father’s demise. As the days passed, the sadhana of Shri became more intense. The number of devotees also increased substantially. From time to time, I have been financing the required expenditure. I have been incurring the expenditure assuming that I am the son of Shri Samartha. Day by day the expenses have been rising and now they have increased to daily about Rs. 75 to Rs. 125. I have been meeting all this expenditure mainly from the dakshina being received by Shri and balance from my own assets. My present state is hundred times better than the state in which I was earlier. This is due to Shri Samartha’s blessings.”

    At the end of this statement, the signature of Late Tatya Kote Patil appears and is witnessed by prominent persons of Shirdi such as Ramchandra Dada Kote Patil, Bayajabai Appaji Kote, Pandurang Bhikaji Shelke and Sakharam Mahadu Kote Patil. Further, it is stated that at this event Rao Bahadur Hari Vinayak Sathe, Dr. Pillay, Chinchanikar and others were respected devotees of Baba were also present.

    Later on, after Baba settled down in the Masjid, He started going out for bhiksha / alms.  On some days, He used to go 4-5 times to Bayajabai for bhiksha. However, Bayajabai never sent Him back empty handed. On the contrary, Bayajabai used to invite Him inside her home. Very rarely Baba entered their home. Bayajabai always coaxed Him to have His meals in her house. On such occasions, Rambhabai (Tatyaba’s wife and Bayajabai’s daughter-in-law) served the food. She stood in a corner and listened to their conversation between Baba and Bayajabai. In this regard, Rambhabai states -

    “Their conversation was full of love and affection - as if it is a conversation between a mother and her son. Before starting the meals, Baba used to inquire whether they have prepared any non-vegetarian food. Because, for about 40 years, He had not even touched non-vegetarian food. Bayajabai also used to invite Baba for meals only when she had prepared only vegetarian food. Baba used to have bhakari, pithale, onions, chillies, pickles etc. He did not have any other item even if coaxed by Bayajabai. On some occasions, He used to have little milk.

    Bayajabai was curious about Baba’s earlier years. She used to ask several questions about it. But Baba did not give any clue about the matter. Bayajabai used to repeatedly insist ‘Bring the members of Your family at least once. Or give us their whereabouts and we will bring them.’ But Baba did not make even a passing mention of region, caste, parents or acquaintances. If asked ‘Where from did you come ?’ His answer was ‘From far-far away !’ I have heard this type of conversation between the two on several occasions.”

    Rambhabai further adds -

    “Even after Shri Baba took Samadhi, every morning and evening, the naivedya of bhakari is sent from our home. Even on auspicious days it is naivedya of bhakari only. Baba never left it untouched. He at least tasted some portion of it.”

    Even today, no one from Bayajabai’s household touches any food, till naivedya is first offered to Baba.

    As her end came nearer, Bayajabai became bed-ridden. At that time, on one or two occasions, Baba came to their house and gave some advice.

    At the time of her death, Bayajabai was around 75 years of age. Her funeral procession was progressing by the usual rout. At that time, Baba sent a message, saying that it should be taken to Dwarkamai. As the procession was passing, Baba stood on the foundation of Dwarkamai and lamented in resonant voice..... “Oh ! My Kote’s mother is going away. My aunt has gone.”

    The entire village was shaken up by this vibrant cry.

    Several generations of Bayajabai’s family were rich. Therefore, Baba asked them to perform the rites of 13th day on a grand scale. Thousands of poor people were given food on that day.

    Baba had asked His ardent devotee Megha to perform Gayatri - Purascharan. On 3rd January 1912, the rites were completed and meals were served to some Brahmins. On the same day evening, Ganpatrao Kote Patil (husband of Bayajabai and father of Tatya) passed away.

    – Translated from original Marathi (  Mrs. Mugdha Diwadkar)

    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline fatima

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 04:49:04 AM »
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    ‘‘I will carry your burden for ever !’’

    Baba had told Damuanna the names that were to be given to the first two sons and Damuanna had noted them down in his diary. One year passed thereafter and Damuanna’s first son was born. When the boy was an infant, Damuanna took him to Shirdi and placed him at Baba’s feet. He enquired, “Baba, what name shall I give him ?” Baba retorted, “Damya, did you forget,  what I had told you in such a short time ? You have noted down the name on the third page of your diary. Have I not told you to name him ‘Daulatsha’ ? As instructed by Baba, Damuanna named him as ‘Daulatsha’ (Dattatray Damodar alias Nanasaheb Rasane).

    After a few years thereafter, the second son ‘Tanashah’ was born.

    When Daulatshah became five year old, Damusheth took him to Shirdi for Chaul Karma. Baba held the boy’s hand in His own hand and taught him to write the word ‘Hari’.

    Baba also gave guidance at the time of marriage of Daulatshah alias Nanasaheb Rasane. For this boy from a rich family, several proposals were coming from well-off families. One of the proposal was from his own maternal uncle who was offering a dowry of Rs. 2-3,000. There was also a proposal from a poor family from Pandharpur. Due to financial condition, the family could offer no dowry.

    Damusheth took a bunch of horoscopes to Shirdi and along with Madhavrao went to see Baba. Madhavrao showed the horoscopes to Baba and enquired, “Which proposal should they accept ?” Baba held the papers in his hands and selected the one belonging to the girl from poor family. Accordingly, Damusheth went with the alliance of his son with that girl.

    The marriage was held in Pandharpur. Damusheth also invited Baba for the marriage. Baba assured him - “I am always near you. Don’t be afraid. Whenever you think of me, that every time I will be with you. Don’t forget this.” As Damushet repeatedly invited Him, Baba said, “Without Allah’s permission, I cannot do anything. I will send Shamya on my behalf.”

    Madhavrao alias Shama attended the marriage at Pandharpur.

    The people criticized Damusheth for foregoing such large sum of dowry and having alliance with a poor family. However, without getting attracted towards any monetary matters, Damuanna followed Baba’s instructions to the last word. Daulatshah’s family life with his wife began on the path of happiness.

    Inner Kowledgeable Baba

    A Mumbai Broker and a friend of Damusheth once recommended a deal to him. He said, “If you purchase cotton now for Rs. 50-60,000, after some time it will fetch you at least Rs. 1 Lakh. However, you must not delay the matter.”

    Damusheth did not do anything without taking Baba’s advice. On this occasion also he wrote a letter requesting Madhavrao to seek Baba’s permission for the deal. But, Baba said, ‘‘Has he gone mad ? He thinks that with such a purchase he will reach the sky. But, tell him, not to run after Lakhs. And, what is he lacking at home that he is getting involved in such unnecessary matters ?”

    Damusheth was little dejected on receiving such an answer from Baba. He decided to go to Shirdi and himself put the question to Baba. It was his practice to press Baba’s legs after going to Shirdi. While pressing Baba’s legs, an idea entered his mind – why not offer part of the profit to Baba. But, before he could utter a word, Baba retorted, “Damya, I do not want to get involved in any transactions.” Then Damusheth gave up the idea altogether.

    On another occasion, he asked Baba’s permission about trading in food provisions. Baba said, “The market rates will collapse and purchase prices will be higher than the selling prices.” Damuanna told this to his business friends. They said, “Actually, the present situation is exactly opposite.”

    However, during that season the rains were very good and the crop was abundant. The result was – the prices came crashing down and the hoarders lost a lot of money.

    Damusheth himself narrated these stories about his business to Narsinha Swamy.

    Once, Damusheth’s appeal was being heard in Mumbai High Court. The lawyer wanted him to come to Mumbai. Damusheth went to Shirdi to seek permission from Baba. However, Baba did not allow him to go to Mumbai. Not only that, He made him stay with Him. Here in Mumbai, Damusheth won the case.

    When Damusheth first went to Shirdi, it was Balaji Patil of village Nevasa who used to sweep the Masjid, lit the lamps and do other such work. Damusheth obtained permission of Baba and started participating the chores.

    While Baba was Dehdhari, Damuanna took his advice in person and after His Samadhi Damuanna put chits of paper with “yes” - “no” options before Baba’s photo and picked one of them treating it as Baba’s advice.

    Supreme Guru - Shri Sai Baba

    In the year 1926, Damusheth’s senior son – Dattatray alias Nanasaheb went to Kedgaon to avail the Darshan of Shri Narayan Maharaj. The moment Maharaj spotted him, he said, “Your Guru is Param Guru. He is several levels above me. Why did you come here ? Your fate is safe in the hands of Baba. You have chosen rightly. You go to Him and yours shall be accomplished.”

    ‘‘I will only fulfil wishes of my devotees !’’

    Nanasaheb was childless for a long time. Earlier he lost three children due to epilepsy. His wife, therefore, tried to persuade him to get married for a second time. He was depressed and sad. He lost interest in family matters.

    In such a frame of mind, once sat in front of Baba’s Samadhi in Shirdi and began pleading - “Baba, bless me either with a child or show me the path to Atma Kalyan.” While appealing thus, his eyes welled with tears. Just then he heard a faint voice from the Samadhi – “Santati Ho Jayegi (You shall be blessed with a child) !” Nanasaheb’s joy did not know any bounds. He prostrated before the Samadhi. He was amazed and ecstatic – not because he was going to be blessed with a child but with realization that his Sadguru responded to his prayers. In 1928, he bore a son.

    As Nanasaheb had only one son, his father Damusheth prayed in front of the Samadhi and Nanasaheb was blessed with a second son in 1931.

    Damuanna said, “I incessantly think of Baba. He sometimes gives me Darshan, sometimes even abuses me and on occasions even thrashes me. It is said that devotees of Akkalkot Swami benefited from abuses and beatings sometimes showered upon them. So is the case of Baba. Therefore, I was never hurt with his bad words or thrashings. Nor did my devotion and affection get any less.”

    A theft was committed at the Ahmednagar house of Damuanna. The startling fact was it was committed by a person who served in the home for as many as 33 years. With the help of keys, he opened the cupboard and took away the box containing family ornaments. It included a very old nose-ring which is priceless for a married lady. The loss of the nose-ring hurt everyone more than anything else.

    After the name of the thief was revealed, Damuanna was very much disheartened. He was unable to understand the reasons which tempted the servant to commit such a deed. In turn, the man was threatened with dire consequences and offered various enticements, but to no avail. He did not disclose anything. A police enquiry commenced. But, in his heart Damuanna repeatedly felt that the matter should not be dragged to court.

    Ultimately, he sat in front of Baba’s photo and began praying. He placed the matter before Baba. Baba was his ultimate court. The very next day, the servant produced the stolen box of ornaments – intact with all its contents – before Damusheth and sought forgiveness.

    Clearance of doubts

    This is an event which took place sometime in 1910-11. Once, as usual, Damusheth was sitting at the feet of Baba. There, two questions going around in his mind. One was – “So many devotees come every day to Baba. Do they all benefit from coming here ?” The moment the question was formed, Baba replied, “See ! You must have observed the Mohor that a mango tree gets ? But, some of it gets drained before conversion into fruit. Even all fruits do not reach the stage of ripening. Ultimately, only mangoes become ripe.”

    The second question was, “What will happen to me, when Baba is no more ?” Baba immediately replied, ‘‘Damya, whenever and wherever you think of me, I will be always there with you.”

     Before his demise, Damusheth called his sons near him and earnestly told them, “From time to time my Baba has given me money – totaling now to Rs 31. Take care of them even more than your life. These are not simple Rupee coins – they are Saakshaat  Kamdhenu. Make sure that nothing is left wanting in your service to Shri Sai Baba.”

    Damusheth breathed his last at the ripe old age of 89 on 20th January 1941. His successive generations hold only Baba in esteem as their Param Aaradhya Daivat. The young and old from their household, even today follow Sai Baba’s teachings. As directed by Damuanna, the senior son – Nanasaheb – gave more importance to serving Sai Baba than looking after his own family. Baba also helped him in his Parmarthik progress. He spent major portion of his life in propagating the teachings of Shri Sai Baba. He was a trustee of Shirdi Sai Sansthan.

    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline fatima

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 04:51:17 AM »
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    After the passing away of Damuanna, when Nanasaheb went to Shirdi, he became inconsolable and began crying. At the Samadhi Sthan he heard Baba’s words, “Are Nana, the rites of fourteenth day have been performed and the mourning period has ended. Isn’t it ? You have eaten sweets now. Now don’t shed tears any more”.   

    Nanasaheb was a Punyatma. He was a good orator and a social worker. He had relinquished his entire life at the feet of Baba. He had no attraction towards his family life. His every act and deed was connected to Baba. He was drenched in the shower of Baba’s Krupa.

    Since childhood his mind was getting prepared in devotion to Baba. Gradually, his Virakti grew. Simultaneously, his desires towards materialistic things and pleasures got destroyed automatically. In his heart, he believed that “It is the Sadguru who is the Karta and it is He who runs our lives.” He was a divine soul. He had excellent Vachasiddhi.

    He was known for his very stern nature. However, at heart, he was equally kind. He hated devotees who gossiped and behaved carelessly. He despised cheating and deceit.

    He always referred Baba as “My Baba.” He used to say, “People pester and harass my Baba. Everyone is scheming to loot my Baba. Don’t try to fool or annoy my Baba. HE IS A FIRE INCARNATE.”

    He said, “It was never in the nature of my Baba to sit in a Devhara (small temple in a house). My Baba behaved like a common man. He used a lot of Urdu words in his conversation.”

    There was a reason for Nanasaheb referred Baba with such close familiarity. It was Baba who had asked Damuanna to give his first son to Him.

    Once, on the occasion of Guru Poornima, a coin of one Naya Paisa dropped from Baba’s garland into Nanasaheb’s hands. He preserved it with great devotion throughout all his life. He carried it in the Button Patti of his shirt. He said, “My annual income is about Rs 5,000. Even then no coin in the world can match this Naya Paisa. And no value can be attached to it – it is valueless.”

    Nanasaheb had expressed a desire that the coin should be cremated along with his body. And so was done.

    He had another fervent wish. Most of the Jyeshtha and Shreshtha devotees of Baba had coincidentally passed away on the auspicious day of Ekadashi. Nanasaheb wished that the day - on which he would breath his last – should be also Ekadashi.

    In his last days, he moved his residence to Shirdi. On the day of Ashadhi Ekadashi, there was a small reason for his suffering an injury. He fell down on his shoulder. His collar bone was damaged. He was admitted to the Sai Hospital and passed away on the same day.

    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline fatima

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 03:37:00 AM »
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    In his researched article, Balasaheb Deo writes, “If Shri Sai Baba is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna, then Madhavrao must be regarded as Arjun.” In Shri Sai Sat Charita, Hemadpant has pictured Baba as Lord Shankar and Madhavrao as His Nandi.

    Any person studying Shri Sai Sat Charita will observe that - amongst the devotees who were close to Baba - Madhavrao comes near the top. Amongst the followers of Sai, there would not be any one who does not know Madhavrao.

    He served Baba till the end of his own life. Baba gave him the respect like Arjun - the place of a friend close to heart. It is a very vivid example of devotee-friend.

    Madhavrao - a person with great religious merit - was born in the year 1860 (Shake 1872 Margasheersha Shuddha Panchami) in the family of Yajurvedi Deshastha Brahmin. His birth took place in village Nimon (Sangamner taluka, Nagar district) about 20 miles to the west of Shirdi.

    Madhavrao’s mother was the fourth wife of his father Balwantrao. His first three wives did not bear any child. He, therefore, married the sister of Laxmanmama Kulkarni, a resident of Shirdi. He had three children from this fourth marriage. Of them, Madhavrao was the eldest. He was followed by Kashinath - who was adopted by another family and was named as Ganesh Shridhar Deshpande. Bapaji was the youngest brother of Madhavrao. (His story appears in Shri Sai Sat Charita).

    When Madhavrao was about 2-3 years old, his father came to stay at Shirdi with his entire family. Up to standard V-VI, Madhavrao’s education was carried out at Shirdi itself. As his entire life was spent in the rural atmosphere of Shirdi, his spoken language contained many impurities and many usages from the rural area.

    Madhavrao got married twice. His first wife was ‘Savitribai’. He had one son from her. His name was Eknathpant. His wife Ushabai was the daughter of Gopal Kacheshwar Kulkarni of Nighoj village. The name of Madhavrao’s second wife was ‘Dwarkabai’. They had two sons - Jagannathpant and Uddhavrao - and a daughter - Babitai - from this marriage. Babitai was married to Narayan Nagesh Wande of Parner village in Nagar district.

    Madhavrao was tall, robustly built and very healthy. His complexion was wheatish. He used to have a square diet and had a healthy appetite. Up to the age of 72, he did not suffer from any ailments. He did not suffer even from simple maladies like fever or head-ache.

    He entirely adhered to ancient religious traditions. His conduct was sacred and strict in observance of religious rites. Barring a few known households, he never used to have meals at others. He was expert in cooking. Therefore, generally he prepared meals with his own hands.

    After completing his own education, for a few years, he taught in the village school. Thereafter, till the end of his life, he worked as a village doctor. He used to give medicines after taking Baba’s name.

    From the beginning, Baba used to call Madhavrao as ‘Maza Shama’ (My Shama). Once, Kakasaheb Dixit was overcome with emotions and went to Baba. Baba asked him, “What do you want ?” Kaka replied, “I wish to be around You for ever.” Baba said, “Kaka, keep this Shamya with you. It will mean I am with you.” From that day, Kakasaheb accorded the same respect to Shama which he used to give to Baba.

    Seniors like Bapusaheb Butti and Narke also treated Madhavrao with the same reverence.

    As Baba used to call Madhavrao ‘Shama’, he used to refer to Baba as ‘Deva’. Majority of the devotees used to place their questions or other matters before Baba by going through Madhavrao. Even elders like Bapusaheb Butti and Kakasaheb Dixit approached Baba through Madhavrao.

    The end of Bapusaheb Butti’s life had come very near. Madhavrao was beside him. Butti was still conscious. He called Madhavrao near him and said, “Madhavrao, now I am unable to bear the pains. It will be better if Baba takes me near His Feet. I know you very well. When I am near you, I feel as if I am near Baba’s Feet.” While uttering these words, tears were flowing from Bapusaheb’s eyes. He was overcome with emotions and placed his head on Madhavrao’s feet regarding them to be Baba’s.

    After the demise of Bapusaheb Butti, his son Shrimant Keshavrao Butti also accorded the same respect to Madhavrao. On pilgrimage tours, he used to take Madhavrao with him. Similarly, he used to welcome Madhavrao at his Nagpur house with lot of hospitality. He used to pay some amount as a monthly pension to Madhavrao till the end.  After the death of Madhavrao, some donation was given by Keshavrao Butti to Madhavrao’s son Eknath to be used for the last rites.

    Once, while in Shirdi, Kakasaheb Dixit suffered from Navajwar (a deadly fever which lasts for nine days). Lots of risks are associated with this disease and in those olden days, many times it used to prove to be fatal. Baba told Kaka to go his home in Parle. Kaka was unable to understand, why Baba was asking him to go to Parle instead of keeping him near him. Just then, Baba said, “Take care. Take this Udi and take Shamya also with you !”  Even though, Kakasaheb was suffering with the illness, he was happy that Madhavrao was coming with him. Those 9 days were really difficult for Kakasaheb. However, he survived on the strength of his devotion to Baba and company of Madhavrao.

    Whenever Madhavrao was not in Shirdi or was not present in the Masjid, a few devotees would communicate directly with Baba and place before Him their difficulties. However, the answers given by Baba at such times used to be somewhat different.

    Once, Shri Narke received an offer for a temporary job at Brahmadesh. As Madhavrao was not there, Narke asked his question through Dr. Pillay. Baba replied, ‘‘Go to Brahmadesh. It is ours.’’ Dr. Pillay again asked, ‘‘Baba, is the job there good ?  Will he be made permanent in the job ?” Baba said, “Yes !”

    Due to Baba’s affirmative reply, everyone thought that Narke is going to get a permanent job in Brahmadesh. However, Baba had earlier told him that he will be a permanent resident of Pune. After Narke went home, he told the events to Madhavrao. Madhavrao asked Baba, ‘‘Deva ! Which is true - what You told me or what You told Bhau (Baba used to call Dr. Pillay as ‘Bhau’) ?” Dr. Pillay also covered his mouth and smilingly repeated the same question. Baba answered, ‘‘What I told Shamya was the truth.’’

    It was in 1913, Narke first came to Shirdi. At that time, Shri Butti and Shri Dhumal introduced Madhavrao to him saying - he is a ‘very useful person from Shirdi’.  And in reality, Madhavrao was a very helpful person in Shirdi. Though he was a Bhikshuk Brahmin from a small village, his face used to radiate like that of a learned person from a city.

    Baba used to talk in riddles. But, as Madhavrao had spent considerable time with Baba, he was able to catch the meaning very quickly.

    This is the story of Shri Tarkhad, when he visited Shirdi in December 1910 for the second time to take Baba’s Darshan. At that time, only Sathe Wada was available for staying. Tarkhad wanted to spend time away from the routine, daily responsibilities and problems of his job and family. His main wish was to spend the time at the feet of saintly person and get some peace of mind. On that occasion, he had come alone to Shirdi. On his arrival, he was very much fatigued because of the hassles of travelling, the strong sun and an unsatisfied urge to have tea since morning.

    Tarkhad had just reached Sathe Wada. Immediately, his charge was taken by two gentlemen not very closely known to him. They bombarded him with questions relating to spiritual matters. However, he did not outwardly show that he is tired of their questions. He enjoyed the cup of tea provided by Balabhau (nephew of Nanasaheb Chandorkar. Nanasaheb had started an eatery for him in Shirdi.) and went to take Baba’s Darshan. However, he could not help thinking that ‘I came here to get away from the botherations of Mumbai and have some mental peace. But, it seems that the nuisances would not leave me here also. I think, I unnecessarily came here. Mumbai was better.’ Such conflicting thoughts started going through his mind in just five minutes. In the same mental status, he went with Madhavrao to take Baba’s Darshan.

    As per usual custom, he lit incense and camphor, placed coconut and bowed down in front of Baba. In blessing, Baba placed hand on his head, gave fruits as Prasad and asked him to be seated. In his own mind, Tarkhad was getting himself ready to take Baba’s permission to return to Mumbai.

    Suddenly, Baba said to Madhavrao, “Shamya, why is he behaving like this ? Give him some advice. Go ! Take Udi and sit peacefully in the Wada.”

    Taking the Udi, Tarkhad and Madhavrao came outside the compound of the Masjid on the street. There Madhavrao stopped Tarkhad and asked him, what had happened. Tarkhad narrated the chain of events. After hearing everything, Madhavrao said, “This is the miracle and message of this God. He is teaching you that you must remain steadfast in your devotion - in spite of the problems posed by the mortal world. While facing the day to day hassles involved with your job, your mind must be focussed on your God. Let us go back to our God and understand, what He has to say.”

    Both of them once again entered the Masjid. The moment they climbed the steps of the Masjid, Baba said, “Bhau, always remember the words of Shama !”

    Seeing this miracle, Tarkhad was overwhelmed with emotions and placed his head on the ground in front of Baba. He realized the teaching of Baba - Even while facing the problems of day to day life, a disciple must be unwavering in his devotion to his Sadguru and his contentment must be constant.

    Irrespective of Baba’s mood – may He be angry or irritated – Madhavrao used to confidently go near Him, fill His Chillum and change Baba’s mood by tactful talk. Not only this, Madhavrao used to sometimes even quarrel with Baba, get angry with Him, bind Him with vows and sometimes even tell Him a few things of advice. Baba – realizing the love and affection that Madhavrao had for Him – used to only smile. Baba never got heated with him. Because Madhavrao’s total persona had become ‘Saimay’. He constantly chanted the Jap “Sainath, Sainath, Sainath”. While he was awake, sleeping or dreaming, he saw only Sai. His all senses were laid at the Feet of Sai.

    In his diary, Dadasaheb Khaparde has written an amazing episode about Madhavrao. On 8th December 1911, Khaparde writes -

    “I had only heard about this phenomenon; but never experienced it. Now, I am seeing it with my eyes and hearing it with my ears. Madhavrao Deshpande is here and is fast asleep. With his every breath-in and breath-out, I can clearly hear, ‘Sainath Maharaj’ ‘Sainath Baba’. While he is snoring, the words can be even heard from a little distance. This is really miraculous.”

    Madhavrao came to Shirdi in his childhood. Later on, he started working as a deputy or assistant teacher in the local school. He used to conduct his class in a room built by circle inspector Gopalrao Gund. (For sometime Radhakrishna Aai stayed there and towards the end, it became a stable for the horse ‘Shri Shamsundar’.) The room was made of bricks and mud. In one wall facing the Masjid, it had a small window. Madhavrao could see Baba sitting in the Dwarkamai or Masjid and observe His activities. Sometimes Baba sang songs in Arabi or Persian languages and Madhavrao could hear them in his class room.

    When Madhavrao started working in the school, his age was about 14-15. At that time, he looked upon Baba as a Chillum smoking, little mad young Fakir. Then he did not consider Baba as a ‘Sagun Parmatma’ or ‘Siddha Purush’. This was the state of his mind for initial 10-12 years. The next 10-12 years, he started considering Baba as ‘Sat Purush’. Thereafter, as he spent more and more time in the company of Baba, he realized that Baba was a ‘Siddha Purush’ and ‘Moortimant Sagun Parmatma’.  He spent about 20-22 years obeying His Aadnya and serving His devotees. Thus, Madhavrao spent 42-43 years of his life in incessant company of Baba.

    Madhavrao first saw Baba in the dilapidated Masjid. Shri Narke was very curious about Madhavrao’s unique relationship with Baba. It was Shri Narke’s nature to study things and find out cause. Accordingly, he wanted to know the reasons behind the familiarity in conversation and acquaintance between Madhavrao and Baba. The families of Madhavrao and Narke were very close. Taking advantage of this, Narke asked probing questions about the matter. Then, Madhavrao told his own story in detail.

    “Baba used to smoke tobacco Chillum and for sharing the smoke, I used to go to Him again and again. Most of the prominent villagers considered Baba to be reverent. Tatya Patil’s mother and family members, Gondkar family, Mhalsapati Sonar, Kulkarni and others were His devotees and loved Him as village Fakir. I became one of them. And – I do not know what happened – but, I started getting pleasure in visiting Shri Baba. When I was near Him, I felt He is doing some magic on me – my mind was filled with holy and pure thoughts, my body started trembling, my eyes were filled with tears of happiness. I, therefore, looked forward to meeting Shri Baba. The visits and familiarity increased. Naturally, I started enquiring about the devotees visiting Shri Baba. Shri Baba also began telling me to look after the arrangements for devotees from outside Shirdi. They started having their meals at my home. Thus, I started coming in contact with devotees from outside Shirdi. They started inviting me to their homes and I started accepting the invitations. I used to undertake such visits only after seeking prior permission from Shri Baba. At the town I visited, I got introduced to more people. And the amazing thing was that, as soon as I began talking to the newly introduced people, they were entranced with Shri Baba. As if Shri Baba had made use of me to attract people.”

    Of course, the above story is very old. At that time, Madhavrao was very young. However, it proves that Baba sometimes wanted certain persons to come to Him and for that purpose He used to plan persons like Madhavrao. On many occasions, Madhavrao used to bring devotees to Baba without Baba directing him to do so. Then Baba pretended to get angry and come charging at Madhavrao saying - “He is sending persons after Me”. After sometime He used to calm down. When devotees came to Masjid, He would say, “Shamya, look after those who come !”

    Madhavrao’s health was robust. If any devotee got sick, then he would carry him on his own back to the Masjid. Once, Bapusaheb Butti was suffering from typhoid. At that time, Baba had asked Madhavrao, “Bring him to the Masjid on your back.” Generally, it was Madhavrao’s duty to bring ailing devotees on his back.

    After completing evening stroll, Baba used to sit in the Masjid. At that time, besides specific 3-4 devotees, no one else was allowed to come to the Masjid. However, Madhavrao had no such restrictions on his coming, going or asking things to Baba. If he went to Baba at odd hours in the night, Baba pretended to get furious like Nrisinha; but also quickly get pacified.

    Once, Tatyasaheb Nulkar became seriously ill while in Shirdi. His last hour came near and he disclosed a desire to get holy water from Baba’s Feet. It was almost 1-1.30 in the night. Who could dare to go to Baba at such an hour ? Madhavrao got up and went to the Masjid with Pali and Panch-patra. Baba got up from His place and roared, “Who is it ?” On getting reply that “I am Shamya”, Baba said, “You came at this hour” and pretended to come to hit him. He stood on the Masjid foundation with one leg in the front.

    Madhavrao started pleading with him, “Tatyasaheb is losing his life. He is asking for the holy water from Your Feet. Please give it quickly.”

    Baba was saying “No !” and Madhavrao was daring to inch forward. Of course, as Tatyasaheb was an ardent devotee, Baba had also put forward his toe.  Madhavrao immediately dipped the toe in the water carried in Panch-patra and fulfilled the last wish of Tatyasaheb.

    Like He used to give to other devotees, Baba never gave money to Madhavrao. Once, Shinde Sarkar wanted to give Rs. 5,000 to Madhavrao; but Baba did not allow him to do so. Though Baba did not give money to Madhavrao, He gave him tremendous love.

    Some of the devotees gave Baba things with a hope that He will bless it and return it as a Prasad. However, many times Baba – instead of returning it – passed it on to Madhavrao saying - “Keep it with you !” In this manner He handed over several articles – Vishnu-sahastra-naam Pothi, Eknathi Bhagwat Pothi, a coin having picture of Ram-Seeta-Laxman, silver Padukas, a clay statue. Sometimes, Baba said to Madhavrao, “Shamya, build My house (Devhara) and keep all these things in it.”   

    Every afternoon, Baba used to make Kala of the different Naivedyas that were received and distributed it amongst the few devotees who asked Bhiksha in the noon. Madhavrao was one of them. But, assuming that he would not like the mixture of Kala, Baba waited till everyone else had finished their meal and then gave Madhavrao a plate full of slices of mangoes.

    Baba fulfilled all demands and wishes of Madhavrao. He did not provide him wealth; but gave him enjoyment of all the things, which wealth can provide. Several pilgrimages such as Chaar Dham, Kashi, Gaya, Ayodhya, Mathura, Gokul, Ujjain, Haridwar, Prayag, Girnar are hectic and taxing money-wise. But, with Baba’s blessings, Madhavrao undertook them without any hardships.
    (To be contd.)

    – Translated from original Marathi into English by Sudhir

    « Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 03:38:50 AM by fatima »
    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline sureshsarat

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      • Sai Baba
    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 05:35:39 AM »
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  • Om Sri Sainathaya Namaha
    Om Sri Sainathaya Namaha
    Om Sri Sainathaya Namaha

    Extract from Sri Sai Satcharitra

    It is a well-known fact, that the Sadguru looks first to the qualifications of his disciples; and then gives them suitable instructions, without unsettling their minds in the least, and leads them on towards the goal of self-realization. In this respect, some say that what the Sadguru teaches or instructs, should not be divulged to others. They think that their instructions, become useless, if they are published. This view is not correct. The Sadguru is like a monsoon cloud. He pours down profusely, i.e., scatters widely his nectar-like teachings. These, we should enjoy and assimilate to our heart's content; and then serve others with them, without any reserve. This rule should apply, not only to what he teaches in our waking state, but to the visions he gives us in our dreams. To quote an instance: Budhakowshik Rishi composed his celebrated Ram-raksha stotra, which he had seen in his dream.

    Fatima j Sairam, may baba bless you for sharing these golden wisdom with all. May it confirm Sradha & Saburi in all of US.


    Offline fatima

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 08:45:21 AM »
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  • Om Sai Ram sureshsarat Ji

    Thanks a lot for your kind words.May Baba bless us all.

    Om Sai Sri Sai Jaya Jaya Sai
    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline fatima

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #6 on: May 16, 2008, 08:47:15 AM »
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  • Once, on Baba’s instructions, Madhavrao went to Bapusaheb Butti at Nagpur. While there, he went for the Darshan of Shri Tajuddin Baba towards the South of Nagpur.

    This is an incident after he returned to Shirdi. It was evening time. A lot of devotees were sitting around Baba. Baba enquired, ‘‘Ka Shamrao, which are all the places that you visited ?’’ “Deva, I had gone to Nagpur.” “You visited Nagpur. Then, did you see the tree of Gold towards South of Nagpur ?’’ Madhavrao had a keen sense of observation and a sharp mind. He realized that this must be a reference to Tajuddin Baba.  He promptly said, ‘‘Hoy, Deva ! I had gone for the Darshan of Tajuddin Baba at the South of Nagpur in the garden of Raghoji Raje Bhosale.’’ “And thereafter, which places did you visit ?’’ Baba asked.  Madhavrao said, “Deva, from Nagpur I went to Amravati. There Narayan Maharaj from Bet Kedgaon had arrived. I took his Darshan also.’’

    Madhavrao used to tease Baba. So he added, “Kay Deva, you know, a lot of people go to take Darshan of Narayan Maharaj” giving stress on “a lot of people”. He was anxious to know Baba’s reply to this. But, Baba was equally playful ! Initially, He did not reply at all. Madhavrao repeatedly started asking the same thing again and again. Finally, after 5-10 minutes, Baba said to him in a persuading tone, ‘‘It is like this Shamya. After all one’s father is his father. He may beat him, thrash him; but, he is the only one who will feel pity. How anyone else can have that feeling ! I am your father ! What do you have to do with anyone else ?”

    Here, Baba has given a message not only for Madhavrao but to all His devotees. He says - ‘‘Do not look at anyone with ‘Dosh -Drushti’ (a view to find faults). And, never ever try to find blemishes in a Satpurush. Then our tradition gets stained. Remain devoted only to your Guru. Have steadfast faith in him. And, in spite of this, always bend in front of others !’’

    Baba has imparted this very important advice on this occasion. Baba used to repeatedly say - ‘‘One should lay his devotion before his Ishta Devata.’’

    When He wanted to teach a lesson to a person, He used to ask him to give a body massage.  Even, persons like Tatyaba Patil, Mahadu Phasle, Madhavrao Deshpande, Annasaheb Chinchanikar, Mavshibai and others are known to have been asked to do the task for hours together. They used to press His back and massage His body till their body was covered with sweat and they had difficulty in breathing. Still Baba did not say “enough”. Ultimately, they gave up the task on their own.

    Madhavrao was an expert at diagnosing various diseases and knowing properties of various medicines. He was also very good at ‘Nadi Pariksha’ (diagnosing the ailment by merely feeling the pulse). He had gained the knowledge on his own and did not learn it from anyone. He carried a stock of Indian and foreign medicines. He could earn some money by practicing medicines. He had cured many patients, where other doctors had given up their efforts. People enquired as to “How he gained the knowledge.”  He replied, “Shri Baba used to suggest Aushadhi Gutika (medicines). Generally, the conversation used to take place through me. Thus, I came to know the medicines which were uttered by my God.”

    Further, Madhavrao used to mix Baba’s Udi in the medicines. Besides, he also used to refer to books on Ayurveda from time to time. He used medicines manufactured in the factories of Puranik (Panvel) and Sandu (Chembur). He also prepared some of the medicines himself.

    Madhavrao was very discreet and diplomatic. Baba did not give him any money. Madhavrao had some income from a piece of land at village Nimon as well as from his medical practice. He used this financial income very judiciously and even managed to undertake expenditure for looking after certain visitors as per instructions of Baba.

    Once, after his bath, Madhavrao was taking out from a alcove the utensils etc. for Pooja. Suddenly, a snake - which was sitting in the alcove – bit him. A few days prior to this event, Baba had warned him, “Shamya, take care ! Do not put your hand in any nook or corner.” As the snake’s venom started spreading, Madhavrao panicked. Everyone started running helter-skelter. People started saying - “Let us take him to the temple of Viroba.” Madhavrao was getting fits and seizures. But, even in that condition, he started saying - “Take me at once to the Masjid and place me before my God there.”

    People brought him to the Mandap. But, on seeing him, Baba started yelling, “I am warning you not to come up ! At this instant, get down and go away ! If you do not listen to what I say, I will make you into pieces like seeds of Mustard.” Hearing these words of Baba, Madhavrao was aghast. Other folks were also surprised. Madhavrao started crying. He was unable to understand, why Baba – Who allowed him to come near at any time of the day – had suddenly become stone-hearted, when death was hovering around him. No one understood at that time that Baba was warning not Madhavrao but the snake venom not to come up, get down and go away !

    As instructed by Baba, the folks brought Madhavrao to his home and did not allow him to lie down through out that night. By morning, Madhavrao got relief. However, for two-three months thereafter, his finger – which the snake had bitten – had turned blue-black. Due to the snake bite, he also suffered from acidity for sometime. However, his life was saved by Baba’s utterances – “Don’t come up, get down and go away !”

    On some occasions, Madhavrao used to suffer from ailment of piles. At such times, he was a really harassed man. For relief, he used to take fomentation of a brick. He never used any medicines on himself without asking the permission of Baba.

    Once, he was suffering from an attack of piles. Baba said to him - “We will do the treatment in the afternoon.” Accordingly, Baba prepared a concoction of an Ayurvedic herb called ‘Sonamukhi’ and gave some of it to Madhavrao. He immediately got relief.

    Two years thereafter, Madhavrao once again had an attack of piles. He on his own -without consulting Baba - took some amount from the concoction already prepared by Baba in the past. However, instead of bringing relief it aggravated the problem. After a few days, with the blessings of Baba, Madhavrao started feeling well.  He realized that the power of healing was not in the medicine but in the blessings of his God.

    Once, Madhavrao was at Nagpur with Shri Butti and the attack of piles reoccurred. Madhavrao sent a letter to Baba. Baba replied, “Ask him to come to Shirdi !” He further jokingly added, “I take utmost care of him; but he likes to roam about; does not like to come here. Send him a letter and call him here ! He will get well.”

    It may be mentioned here that, Madhavrao did not go anywhere on his own. It was Baba Who sent him to different places. And, once he was away, Baba became restless without him.

    Madhavrao had two large earthen pots which were full of Udi from Baba’s hands. Madhavrao had kept the pots very carefully in a corner of an inner room of his house. After the Mahanirvan of Baba, Madhavrao distributed some of the Udi on special occasions amongst the devotees. The women folk from the house were not aware about the Udi. Once, they set upon the task of cleaning the house. And, in the process, they moved out the earthen pots with an intention of throwing them away. At that time, Madhavrao was in Mumbai. That night he had a dream and heard, “Shamya. Get up ! The Udi - which you had so carefully kept - will be soon thrown into garbage dump. Go, Go quickly and keep it properly !” Within seconds, Madhavrao got up from his sleep and rushed to Shirdi. He realized that his dream was true. He took the pots into his custody and moved them to the upper floor of the house.

    3-4 years prior to his death, Madhavrao suffered from gout. At that time, his age was more than 75 years. At the request of Kakasaheb Dixit, he was staying at that time on the upper floor of Dixit Wada. From there, he was unable to come down everyday. He had lost considerable strength. In spite of this, he used to speak and incessantly narrate experiences of Baba.

    Madhavrao used to be overwhelmed with emotions while remembering and narrating stories of Baba. “I said a lot to my God” saying so, he used to repent his utterances.  Remembering the forgiving nature of Baba, his eyes weeled with tears and he called, “Oh my Lord !”

    Baba went to Madhavrao’s house especially on two occasions – firstly, when Madhavrao was bitten by a scorpion and secondly, when he was running a very high fever. On not seeing Madhavrao in the Masjid, Baba enquired with the devotees, “Why Shamya has not come for the Aarati ?” The folks said, “Baba, he has fever.” Baba took hold of his worn Kafni, went to his house and brought him for the Aarati.

    Madhavrao stayed in Kakasaheb’s Wada and also looked after the maintenance of the Wada. Kakasaheb was affectionate towards Madhavrao and made him stay in his Wada. On the other hand, he let out Madhavrao’s own house on rent and thus, helped in improving his means of living and finances. After the death of Kakasaheb, Madhavrao used to issue his rent receipts in the name of the Sansthan.

    Even Bapusaheb Butti entrusted the work of maintenance and supervision of his Wada to Madhavrao. For this work, Bapusaheb gave Rs. 7 every month to Madhavrao. After the death of Bapusaheb, his son Keshavrao continued the practice.

    A few months prior to his death, for some specific reason, Madhavrao was required to leave Dixit Wada and stay at his own house. It was a miracle that 6-7 months before he passed away, Madhavrao’s health improved suddenly and he started moving about. He repeatedly said - “My God has once again started looking at me.”

    Balasaheb Deo writes about Madhavrao’s death :-

    “Kakasaheb Dixit, Bhausaheb Dhumal, Annasaheb Dabholkar were virtuous devotees who did not experience sufferings before their demise. Madhavrao was similarly fortunate. He spent only a night and time up to noon in an unconscious state. He passed away in his own house on Thursday, 26th April, 1940 (Chaitra, Krishna Chaturthi, Shake 1862). At that time, he was 80 years old. Very rarely, a person is fortunate enough to have such a peaceful death. This is not possible without the good deeds of the past.

    The next day, Madhavrao’s funeral procession was taken out with great fan-fare. A lot of people were present. They gave him Tilanjali on the public well of the town.”

    After Baba took Samadhi, Madhavrao spent the next 23 years in practicing medicines, looking after the devotees and narrating Baba’s Leelas to curious devotees. It would be proper to say that – besides Mhalsapati and Tatya Patil – Madhavrao was the only other person who had the great fortune to spend so much time in the company of Baba.

    There were persons who were ardent devotees of Baba. However, amongst them, the love and affection between Baba and Madhavrao was somewhat unique. Balasaheb Deo – an ardent devotee of Baba – was curious about this relationship between Baba and Madhavrao. He carried out an in-depth research on Shri Sai Sat Charita to ascertain the reasons, why Madhavrao was so close to Baba, why he was so fortunate to have such Bhakti-vaibhav (wealth of devotion) and why Baba used to agree to many things which Madhavrao asked.

     For the purpose, Balasaheb also studied the life of Madhavrao. On 2nd April, 1934 Madhavrao placed two chits before Baba’s Samadhi and took Baba’s permission before narrating his life story to Balasaheb Deo.

    From the very early times, Baba used to call Madhavrao as ‘Shama’ and Masjid as ‘Dwarkamai’. Balasaheb felt that there was a reason behind this. After careful study, Balasaheb came to conclusion that there were similarities between the relation of Lord Shri Krishna with Arjun on one hand and Baba and Madhavrao on the other hand.

    * A reference to 37th Shloka in 10th Adhyay of Bhagwad Geeta reveals that Bhagwant had given his own name ‘Shri Krishna’ to His devotee ‘Arjun’. Similarly, Baba had given the name Sham to Madhavrao and indicated that Sham is His own Vibhuti.

    At the time of wedding of Nanasaheb Chandorkar’s son and also at the time of thread ceremony of Kakasaheb Dixit’s son, Baba told Nanasaheb and Kakasaheb, “Take my Shamya with you !”

    Once, Kakasaheb was overwhelmed with emotions and said, “Baba, let me have Your Sahawas for ever.” Baba replied, “Keep this Shamya with you ! That will mean I am with you.”

    * Similarly, Madhavrao used to call Baba by the name ‘Deva’. In Bhagwad Geeta, Arjun has also called Lord Shri Krishna as ‘Deva’ on several occasions. 

          Once, in an angry mood, Madhavrao said, “It is we who made you God. You give money and wealth to others; but are very miserly as far as I am concerned.” Baba smiled indulgently at him and said with affection, “Are Shamya, the wealth of money is not for you. What is for you is very much different than that.” Madhavrao understood the significance of this and remained quite about the matter.

          * Arjun had once felt that the Lord is talking irrelevant things and had got angry with Him. Similar incident took place in Madhavrao’s life also.

    Once, Madhavrao’s eyes were swollen and were paining. Even after trying out several medicines, there was no relief. Ultimately, in a foul mood, he rushed to Baba and said, “Are you blind ? Can’t you see that I am suffering ?” Baba smiled and relied, “Don’t get wild. Take seven seeds of Pepper, soak them in water and apply the water to your eyes. And take some Udi also.” Though Madhavrao knew that such water may bring stinging sensation to his eyes, he had full faith in Baba. He went ahead, tried the home remedy and received instantaneous relief.

          There is another incident concerning the wife of Sakharam Aurangabadkar – a resident of Solapur. Madhavrao had forced Baba to gift a coconut to her and warned Him to bless her with a child or “else I will bang the same coconut on Your head !” The lady really had a child within a year.

          At the time of noon Aarati, Madhavrao would scold Baba to “to sit and distribute Prasad.” Baba also followed Madhavrao’s orders without a whisper.

          Once, while chitchatting with Madhavrao, Baba took out some money from the pocket of His Kafni and shoved it under the gunnysack, on which He was sitting. Just then, a man came to Him and started asking for money. Baba told him that He had no money and the man went away. When Madhavrao questioned this behaviour, Baba said, “This was not lying in true sense. You to give only when the person deserves it.”

          Once, a Ramdasi came to Baba. Everyday he read various religious books; but he was not able to overcome his ego. One day, Baba suddenly started pain in stomach. He told the Ramdasi to bring Sonamukhi – a medicinal herb. While he was gone, Baba took out Vishnu Sahasra Nam Pothi from the Ramdasi’s bag and gave it to Madhavrao. On his return, the Ramdasi saw the book in Madhavrao’s hand and became furious. Baba told him, “You wear saffron clothes and still behave like this ?’’

          * Arjun had requested Lord Shri Krishna to give him Vishwaroop Darshan. Similarly, on Madhavrao’s insistence, Baba told him to close his eyes and blessed him with the view of Satya Lok, Vaikuntha Lok and Kailas Lok !

                From the above incidents, one would realize, how apt was the comparison made by Balasaheb Deo between Arjun and Lord Shri Krishna and Madhavrao and Baba.

    – Translated from original Marathi into English by Sudhir
    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline fatima

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #7 on: May 17, 2008, 04:10:44 AM »
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  • Sant Dnyaneshwar says -“One can light a second lamp with the help of the first lamp. The lamps may appear to be independent of each other, but the flames of both lamps are merged into one flame. One may look at sea and its tides as separate entities, but when looked at the water consisting them, they are one. Likewise, in Sakhya Bhakti God and His devotee are unified.”

    We experience the above saying of Sant Dnyaneshwar - on one hand - in Lord Krishna and Arjun and on the other hand in Sai Baba and Madhavrao.

    In his alliance with Lord Krishna, Arjun came so close to the Lord that he himself became the form of the Lord and they became Advait. Similarly, Baba gave the title ‘Shama’ to Madhavrao and thus, proved that the both were united.

    Every devotee wanted Baba to be with them; but Baba always told them, “Take my Shama with you”, “Let my Shama be near you and I am near you’’ or “Don’t worry when my Shama is with you’’. Baba said so to devotees, who came to Him with many requests - to accompany them on travels, visit their homes for meals, be with them in their times of difficulties..... so on.

    Bapusaheb Butti had heard Baba saying similar things about Shama and had also experienced this on several occasions. At the time, when Bapusaheb felt that his death was near him, Madhavrao was nearby. Butti saw Baba in Madhavrao and placed head on Madhavrao’s feet and asked for blessings.

    There were occasions, when Madhavrao and other devotees posed same question to Baba; but the answers that they received were different. To the confused devotee seeking clarification, Baba said, “The answer that I gave to Shama was proper”.

    Baba gave benefit of many meetings with saintly persons and visits to pilgrimages to Madhavrao. He also gave Shama the Vishva-roop Darshan and said that everything for Shama is unique.

    The God gives experience of Advait to His devotees and still appears in Dvait Roop. Because, only in Dvait Roop it is possible to enjoy the love of the God, and secondly, to whom can the Lord express his innermost feelings otherwise ?

    Day and night, whether in a sleeping or awake, Madhavrao was gripped by the devotion of Baba. His senses were pre-occupied with dedication to the Lord. We find proof of this in the Khaparde Diary.
    – Translated from original Marathi into English by Sudhir

    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline fatima

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #8 on: May 17, 2008, 04:22:11 AM »
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    From the time Baba arrived in Shirdi till His Mahanirvan, Mhalsapati was an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. It is very difficult to evaluate his services. He had turned his back on his family life and had devoted his entire life at the Feet of Sai Baba.

    His full name was Mhalsapati Chimnaji Nagare. Though particulars about his birth are not known, it is estimated that at the time of his death he was about 85 years old. He was a goldsmith by caste and his several generations had resided at Shirdi. He had a house consisting of about 14-15 rooms and land admeasuring nearly 7-7.5 acres at Shirdi.

    His family Deity was Khanderai. Because of this, he was a dedicated follower of Khanderai of village Jejuri in Pune district. At least once every year, he went on a pilgrimage visit to Jejuri temple. Basically, he was disinterested in worldly things. He managed his household expenses by carrying on the business as a goldsmith. However, later on when his business was not doing well, he started supporting his family by collecting alms as advised in a vision by the God. After he placed his entire faith in Sai Baba, he totally gave up all the worldly pleasures.

    Mhalsapati had four daughters. Their names were – Janakibai, Seetabai, Rakhumabai and Vithabai. Their grooms were respectively from Asnagaon. Dochale, Dorhale and Sei. Mhalsapati also had two sons. The first son died at an early age. Because of this, Mhalsapati further lost his interest in worldly things.

    Later on, due to the blessings of Baba, second son was born to Mhalsapati – though against his own wishes. As suggested by Baba, he was named ‘Martand’. He raised his own family of sons and daughters and died recently in 1986. Mhalsapati has narrated his experiences to his son Martandrao, who has written them down.
    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline fatima

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 04:24:46 AM »
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  • Three residents of Shirdi - Kashiram Shimpi, Appa Jagale and Mhalsapati were very thick friends. All the three were loving, hospitable and had similar natures. This was the reason for their close friendship. These three collectively took the responsibility of providing food, shelter and other requirements of any saintly or pious persons, who visited Shirdi. They greeted Gosavi with “Namo Narayan”. Bairagi was welcomed as “Jai Ram” and if the visitor was Fakir, he was received with “Jai Sai”. The guests were always received with utmost respect and affection. Kashiram Shimpi provided the foodstuff. Appa Jagale gave firewood, utensils etc. Mhalsapati used to massage the tired feet of the visitors.

    As is well-known, at the age of sixteen, Baba had suddenly appeared in Shirdi and equally unexpectedly He disappeared. After a lapse of three years, Baba once again came to Shirdi. This time He came as a member of the marriage procession of the household of Chandbhai from the village Dhoopkhed. The marriage party had halted in Mhalsapati’s farm opposite  Lord Khandoba temple. Seeing the radiant young Fakir has come back, Mhalsapati, as per his usual practice, welcomed Him with “Aao Sai” and bowed down in front of Him.

    After completing his Pooja, Mhalsapati partook chillum with Sai and then he took Baba to the Masjid in Shirdi. He made Him comfortable there and also introduced Baba to his friends - Kashiram Shimpi and Appa Jagale.

    Thereafter, Baba and these friends used to sing songs, play games and smoke chillum. Very soon, Kashiram Shimpi and Appa Jagale became ardent devotees of Baba.

    As narrated by Mhalsapati, when Sai Baba first came to Shirdi, His attire was saffron Kafani, saffron topi and saffron dhoti. Later on, Kashiram Shimpi stitched a green Kafani and topi for Baba, which He used to wear. After a few days, Baba started wearing white Kafani and tying dhoti around His head. He continued to do so till the end.

    The Masjid, where Baba was staying, had become very old and dilapidated. Nana Saheb Chandorkar decided to reconstruct it. One day, after Mhalsapati arrived at the Masjid, Baba called him and asked him, “O Bhagat, who is that person standing outside ?” Mhalsapati replied that “He is Nana Saheb”. Baba said, “Are Bhagat, I wanted to ask you one thing. This Nana, who is standing outside, says that he will reconstruct a new Masjid. What do you think ? Should we get a new Masjid constructed ? Or is our old building good enough ? Why construct a new one ?”

    Mhalsapati very affectionately and humorously said to Baba, “Let him construct a new one ! It will be convenient to both of us – to sit, as well as sleep”.

    This conversation took place between the two while smoking chillum. Baba gave permission to repair the Masjid only after first asking Mhalsapati. As directed by Baba, Mhalsapati called Nana Saheb, performed the muhurta by breaking a coconut and the work began.

    As is well-known, Baba used to sleep on alternate days in Masjid and Chavadi. Since the time Baba went to stay in Masjid, Mhalsapati and Tatya Patil started sleeping with Him there on alternate days, when it was not the day of Chavadi. Only these two had the good fortune to sleep with Baba in the Masjid. In fact, Baba always kept Mhalsapati and Tatya awake ! In the secluded atmosphere, Mhalsapati spent several nights in sitting with Baba and chitchatting till it was daybreak time. After the Mahanirvan of Baba, Mhalsapati continued his custom of sitting in the Masjid and sleeping there on alternate days. This continued till he breathed his last.

    The relation between Baba and Mhalsapati was really strange, as well as intriguing ! It seems that, because of this, their extraordinary conversations took place in isolated surroundings. The discussions used to become more and more interesting while enjoying chillum. Baba was fond of smoking chillum. He was not used to finishing entire chillum. Mhalsapati, Tatyaba and Madhavrao Deshpande alias Shyama used to take 2-4 drags and pass it on turn by turn amongst the other people present at that time.

    Late Kashibai Kanitkar has narrated her 1906’s experience in the regard, which is worth reproducing here. She says.....

    “On alternate days, Baba used to come to Chavadi for sleeping. On that particular day, as per His custom, Baba and Mhalsapati came to Chavadi. They sat in the darkened area at the entrance of the Chavadi. My husband Late Govindrao Kanitkar also went and sat there. They were having a pleasant chat. While carrying on the conversation, Baba lit His chillum and shared it with Mhalsapati. It was also passed on to my husband.

    It was difficult to know what they were talking about. But, from time to time, Baba was asking, “Ka Mhalsapati ?” (Isn’t it Mhalsapati ?) And Mhalsapati was repeatedly saying “Beshak, Beshak” (without doubt, without doubt) – repeating the words twice. However, a third person was not able to grasp, what they were talking.

    Then, it was time to light the chillum once again and it was noticed that the piece of stone, required for the purpose had been lost somewhere. This was reason enough for Baba to become livid with anger and as if, He took the Avatar of Narasimha and started showering abuses…..”

    Because of the continuous association with Baba, Mhalsapati was able to understand the meaning of outwardly weird actions. On several occasions Baba’s other devotees were puzzled by His strange and intriguing utterings. Many of them, therefore, approached Bhagat (as Baba used to call Mhalsapati lovingly), and sought clarifications in the matter. He was able to explain Baba’s symbolic signs or mysterious words.

    While talking about this once Kaka Saheb Dixit said to Baba, “Maharaj, shall I bring a wooden plank for You to sleep – like the one You had earlier ?” Baba replied, “No. How can I sleep higher and leave Mhalsapati on the ground ?” Dixit offered, “If You wish, I can arrange for another wooden plank for him also.” Baba smiled and answered, “Will he be able to sleep on a plank ? It is not easy to sleep like that. I tell Mhalsapati, keep your hand on My heart and observe how Nam-smaran is going on in My heart, and if you find that I am falling asleep, please wake Me up ! But, he is unable to do even that. He starts dozing wherever he is sitting. Then, I wake him up by calling his name ‘Bhagat’. He is startled and rises from his slumber.’’ So, Sai Baba replied, “I am better off on the ground !”

    In the evening, once the lights were lit up, Baba’s devotees were forbidden from coming into the Masjid - the only exceptions being Dada Kelkar, Mhalsapati, Tatyaba, Mahadu, Abdulbaba and Laxmibai. Barring these, no one else was allowed to enter the Masjid at night.

    Mhalsapati had a liking for passionless life not having any interest in the worldly things. Baba allowed him to do so. Financially, he was very poor.  However, rather than spending his time on earning a livelihood, he spent his entire time in the Masjid serving Baba. By nature, he was extremely devoted to Baba and took pleasure in serving Him. Because of this, Baba was very much fond of him. Mhalsapati’s influence on Baba was also very strong. Because of this, the spiritual experiences felt by him were equally worthy.

    Whenever Baba’s favourite devotees suffered from some ailments, Baba used to take the illness upon Him-self and gave relief to His devotees. Shri Martand (son of Mhalsapati) has narrated a beautiful experience in this connection. He says.....

    “A forty year old story. My mother had gone to her brother’s place at village Nandur Shingote. As per his usual practice, my father was sitting near Baba. All of a sudden, Baba said to him, ‘Are, My devotee is suffering a lot from a boil. See, there is a boil on My hip also. But, now it will be cured.’ My father actually saw that Baba had a boil on His hip and He was suffering from the pains. He was, therefore, worried. But, Baba Himself said, ‘Don’t worry. It will be alright in two-three days.’ All this was ambiguous talk. My father did not realize that it was in fact related to him-self. After two-three days, the boil on Baba’s hip burst open. Two-three days later, my father received a letter from village Nandur Shingote. It was written that my mother had a boil at exactly the same place and had suffered a lot from it. But, as soon as Baba prayed in Shirdi, she was relieved of the pain and now, even the boil had burst open.

    It dawned upon us that when Baba said that He has a boil on His hip, from exactly that time my mother’s sufferings had gone down. And, the day on which her boil burst open, same thing happened at Shirdi also. Once my father realized the connection, he became very sad for the sufferings taken upon Himself by Baba. My father said to me, ‘Are Martand, did you see ? To give relief to your mother, Baba took the agony of her boil upon Himself. Because of us, He had to suffer a lot.’ ”

    Baba knew events of past, present, as well as future and accordingly, He used to guide His devotees. Once, He said to Mhalsapati, “Bhagat, at village Asnagaon (Taluka Kopargaon) don’t go to Rambhau Londhe and Dorhale’s daughter. You will be insulted there.” However, due to some unavoidable reasons, Mhalsapati was required to go to both the homes. And, as predicted by Baba, he was insulted there.

    Once, on the occasion of the death anniversary of Mhalsapati’s father, several people had sat down to have meals. Suddenly, a dog suffering from scabbies came at the place and stood in front of them. As per his usual practice, Mhalsapati asked his wife to throw a piece of bread in front of the dog. However, as the bread was not given, the dog remained at its place. Finally, Mhalsapati smacked the dog and it ran away. In the evening, while he was preparing Baba’s bed, Baba said to him, “Ka re Bhagat, in the town, there is a dog suffering from diseases like Me. But, people hit it.”

    Similarly, on one more occasion, a dog went to Mhalsapati. It was looking very ugly. Saliva was dripping from its mouth. Mhalsapati gave struck it and shrieking, it ran away. Later on, when Mhalsapati went to take Baba’s Darshan, Baba said, “With a great hope we went to Bhagat. But, we received blows only.”

    The above incident took place in the morning. After two hours, in Dixit wada, people were busy with the meals. Suddenly, a dog appeared and stood on the steps. After it was driven away, it went to the neighbours staying opposite. It got beaten there and ran away yelping loudly. After hearing the noise, everyone remembered, what Baba had said on the very morning. They felt that a piece of bread would have served the purpose and the dog also would not have received a beating.

    There is a story of, how Shri Vithoba took the appearance of a dog and went to Namdeo with a piece of bread in its mouth. Namdeo came with a pot of ghee and said, “Don’t eat the bread dry, have some ghee along with it.” 

    Coincidentally, exactly this story narrated was by Das Ganu Maharaj in his kirtan on the same day evening. Further coincidence is, on the same day evening, Madhavrao Adkar was reading ‘Bhakti Leelamrut’ in the Maruti Mandir. There also the same story appeared.

    Everyone was amazed by this method adopted by Baba.

    Baba always kept Mhalsapati away from any greed for money. In spite of his poor financial condition, Mhalsapati on his own never accepted any money given to him by any one.

    Hansraj was a well-known businessman from Dadar. In 1917, he was suffering from asthama and stayed in Shirdi with his wife for two-three months. Knowing the poor financial condition of Mhalsapati, he offered him Rs. 10. Mhalsapati declined to accept it. Hansraj, thereafter, handed over the sum to Kaka Saheb Dixit and suggested that Dixit should hand it over to Mhalsapati in the presence of Baba. Accordingly, while Mhalsapati was carrying on the Pooja of Baba, Dixit started offering the amount to him. But, Mhalsapati did not accept it. Then, Dixit told Baba, “Baba, please ask Mhalsapati to accept the amount or You take and hand it over to him.” To this Baba said, “For the time being, let it remain with you only.”

    After some time, Mhalsapati completed the Pooja and went away. Then, Baba asked Kaka Saheb, “How many rupees are there ?” He answered, “Ten”. Baba asked him to keep them on His mattress and asked Nana Saheb Nimonkar to distribute the amount amongst other people. Thus, out of that amount, nothing went to Mhalsapati. Hemadpant has written about Mhalsapati that he was not a devotee of money; but he had great hunger for Paramartha (divine truth). He had placed his body and soul at the Feet of Sai Baba. He was affectionate and self-less.

    Baba always protected His devotees from any hindrances in their progress towards Paramartha. While doing so, He also took their acid-test. Around 32 years, prior to His Mahasamadhi, Baba took a very strange and tough test of Mhalsapati.

    On the full moon night of Margashirsh (a month as per Hindu calendar), Baba suffered from a sudden attack of asthama. To over come it, He went into a Samadhi and took His Jeev (life’s essence) to Bramhand. He told everyone around, “For three days from now, do not wake Me up. And at the end of the third day, if I do not rise, then [pointing to a corner of the Sabha Mandap (meeting hall)], dig a Samadhi there and place Me in it !” Then, turning to Mhalsapati, He said, “Bhagat, do not neglect Me for three days.” Thereafter, His body became lifeless and He rested on Mhalsapati’s lap. His breathing and pulse stopped. After some time, everyone gave up hope about Baba. Patil – Kulkarni carried out a panchnama (legal procedure) and started making preparations for the last rites. However, Mhalsapati had not given up hope and did not move Baba’s body even an inch from his lap. He sat day and night for three days. After three days, at three o’clock in the morning, Baba’s body started showing signs of life. The breathing began, eyes opened slowly, the stomach started moving. And, after stretching His body in different directions, Baba awoke and sat up.

    This showed the real love, devotion and faith of Mhalsapati ! He was really blessed by his Guru.

    Because of the love and affection, only Mhalsapati dared to physically touch Baba and applied Gandh / Tilak to His throat. No one else had the courage to do so.

    Later on, Baba appeared in Mhalsapati’s dream - with Gandh and Utane applied to His forehead and both hands. Immediately, from the very next day, after completing the Pooja of all Deities, Mhalsapati started applying Gandh and Utane to Baba’s forehead and both hands.

    This practice was resented by the Muslims. They complained about it to Baba. But, Baba did not heed to their request. The community then brought the Kazi (Muslim priest) from Sangamner. After seeing this, Mhalsapati got scared. That day, as usual, he completed the Pooja of Shani, Khandoba, Maruti and Ganapati and proceeded without doing the Pooja of Baba. As he passed the Masjid, Baba objected and said, “Are, why are you passing from the going outside, without doing Sa-gandha ?” Mhalsapati said, “I was avoiding it; because it would make Kazi Saheb angry.” Baba replied, “Apply the sandal-wood paste – here and here.” And pointed to His forehead, throat, head and hands.

    Baba’s these words gave courage to Mhalsapati and with pleasure, he performed the usual Pooja. After seeing all this, Kazi Saheb went away. From then onwards, Baba’s Sa-gandha Pooja was performed every-day. The honour of doing it went to Sitaram Dengale, then to Megha and onwards to Bapu Saheb Jog. (In the early days, Baba once asked Nana Saheb Chandorkar’s four-year-old son Bapu to apply Gandh to Him.)

    Mhalsapati’s Pooja carried on incessantly till Baba’s Mahasamadhi. Every-day Naivedya (food offering) was sent from his house for Baba. Similarly, as directed by Baba, Mhalsapati used to also carry the Naivedya of Sathe Saheb and Bala Saheb Bhate from their houses to the Masjid.

    Baba used to foretell a lot of events that were to take place in Mhalsapati’s life. He also sent His several learned devotees to Mhalsapati. It seems that in doing so, Baba wanted His these devotees to see the life being led by Mhalsapati and emulate it. Because of this, in times of difficulties, many devotees relied on Mhalsapati.

    Kaka Saheb Dixit has written about Mhalsapati that “He is an authority on Adhyatma. He is without any desires for the worldly things. Through him, Maharaj’s devotees gain knowledge and pleasure. After the Mahasamadhi of Maharaj, Mhalsapati was a place of solace for many devotees.”

    Due to the blessings of Baba, Mhalsapati regularly encountered divine experiences. Once, as per his annual practice, he was on the way to visit Lord Khandoba’s Fair.  On the way, he stopped for a few moments at a well and realized that there is an acute shortage of water in the area. With sincerity and devotion, he remembered Baba. Immediately, a stream of water sprang near the well and the water was sufficient for the needs of Mhalsapati and his co-travellers.

    Similarly, once, Mhalsapati was carrying the Palkhi of Lord Khandoba to the Fair at village Jejuri. He came to know that the epidemic of plague was currently prevalent in Jejuri. All the co-devotees panicked upon hearing the news. Mhalsapati was also uncomfortable and disappointed. He sat resting on the Palkhi. He sensed that someone has come at his back. He turned around and looked in that direction. He saw Baba there, Who immediately disappeared. Baba’s Darshan gave him lot of courage and he told everyone about the incident. All went to Jejuri, hailing Lord Khandoba and Baba.

    In their stay of four days, they did not face even the smallest difficulty. Their pilgrimage tour was completed without any untoward event.

    After their return to Shirdi, Baba inquired, “Are Bhagat, the Fair was good isn’t it ? I had also come there. Were you not resting your back on the Palkhi ? That was the time, I came there.”

    Mhalsapati knew in advance, the day of his own demise. He also informed his family members about it. He sent a telegram to Kaka Saheb Dixit calling him to Shirdi from Mumbai. It is said that to facilitate Kaka Saheb’s arrival, Mhalsapati postponed his demise by a day. As the date of his death was known in advance, people from Shirdi and surrounding areas came and met him.

    Such a pious man, left for his place at the Feet of Sai Baba on Tuesday, 12th September, 1921. His body was consigned to fire near Lendi Baug.
    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline saidas

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 08:54:34 AM »
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  • sai ram fatima ji,
                     Thank u for all the posts. I came to know a lot of details which I dont know. BABA bless u.

    Offline Dipika

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 09:25:36 AM »
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  • OMSAIRAM!Fatimaji........Thankyou for this precious posts...



    Sai baba let your holy lotus feet be our sole refuge.OMSAIRAM
    साईं बाबा अपने पवित्र चरणकमल ही हमारी एकमात्र शरण रहने दो.ॐ साईं राम

    Dipika Duggal

    Offline adwaita

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 10:59:10 AM »
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  • Great job fatima dear. Please continue posting. Your post 'babas leelas' is also wonderful. Baba bless you and be with you always.

    Offline fatima

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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 01:50:42 AM »
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    Laxmanrao Kulkarni Ratnaparkhi was maternal uncle of Madhavrao Deshpande. He was a resident of Shirdi itself. He was an orthodox Brahmin. He used to follow the laws of touchability and religious rites very rigorously.

    As Laxmanrao was the maternal uncle of Madhavrao, he was known as ‘Laxman Mama’ in the village. He was the Vatandar Kulkarni and Gram Joshi of Shirdi Village.

    While the devotees were experiencing Baba’s miracles, Laxmanrao maintained a distance from such things. He not only had no faith in Baba, but he was a very staunch opponent of Him.

    An unlearned person is likely to fall into prey to bad ompany and habits. He may listen only to his ego and have belief only in himself. Gradually, he starts thinking that he is bigger than God. To bring such a person to the proper path, Bhagvant gives him certain jolts. The person starts coming back to his senses. Then, the Almighty enters his inner soul and gives him deliverance.

    It so happened with Laxmanrao. The great egoist fell ill with an incurable disease. His sufferings knew no limits in spite of the various remedies he tried. Ultimately - as a last resort - he came to Baba’s Masjid.

    Baba looked at him with tranquil eyes, moved his hand over Laxmanrao’s body and said, “Go ! Allah will set things right.”

    There was a miraculous change in Laxmanrao from the time he stepped into the Masjid. On top of it, he had the blessings of Baba. From that moment, he became a devotee of Baba.

    On another occasion, Baba took a test of Laxmanrao.

    Bappaji was the only son of Laxmanrao. When he was young, he ailed from some incurable disease. But, now Laxmanrao had faith in Baba. Therefore, along with other medial remedies, everyday he started bringing Udi from Baba’s own hands and giving through water to Bappaji.

    However, there came a time, when people felt that the body is going to be lost for ever. Laxmanrao rushed to the Masjid. He prostrated hemself at Baba’s Feet and cried, “Baba, save my son ! Oh, my God, I bow before you.”

    But, suddenly, Baba shouted at him, ‘‘Go away !’’ He even started showering abuses. Laxmanrao got scared. He was unable to understand Baba’s strange behaviour.

    In reality, now Laxmanrao had started believing in Baba. However, his old traits had not been completely eradicated. Some of his ego was still lingering. A few questions and doubts used to crop up in his mind - time and again.

    With a heavy heart, Laxmanrao returned home. And after some time, Baba got up from His place. He came down the steps of the Masjid and straight away went to Laxmanrao’s home. With love and affection, He moved His hand over Bappaji’s body and immediately turned back. From that moment, Bappaji got relief.

    Now Laxmanrao began believing that Baba is God Incarnat. He decided that in his every deed he will remember Baba.

    Early every morning, Laxmanrao used to complete the rituals of Snan-sandhya and then came to the Masjid to avail Baba’s Darshan. He used to wash Baba’s Feet (Pad-prakshalan), used anoint Gandha Akshata, draw a Tilak, place flowers and Tulsi leaves, offer Dhoop - Deep -Naivedya and Dakshina. Thereafter, he used to prostrate himself before Baba and take His blessings. He used to distribute Prasad amongst those present. And then, he used to proceed to perform Pooja of other Gods and Goddesses of the village. This was his daily routine and he adhered to it till the end. With great devotion, he served Baba.

    After the demise of Baba’s loved devotee Megha, it was Bapusaheb Jog who used to perform Baba’s Pooja at all times. In the afternoon of 15th October, 1918 - on the auspicious day of Dassera - Baba took Maha-nirvan. On the same night, He appeared in the dream of Laxmanrao and told him, “Bapusaab will not come to perform my Kakad Aarati. He thinks, I am dead. But, I am alive. You come and perform my Kakad Aarati.”

    There was havoc after the Maha-nirvan of Baba. Everyone was moved with deep grief. On that night, Baba’s mortal body was placed in Masjid itself. Next day, it was moved to Butti Wada. Therefore, as instructed by Baba in the dream, Laxmanrao arrived at the Masjid with full preparations for performing Pooja. He prostrated before Baba, removed the cloth covering the face and took the last Darshan, and proceeded to perform Pooja. Many - who were present experienced Baba’s hands moving at that time.

    Time and again, Laxman Mama’s eyes were getting filled up with tears. His body was trembling. In that state, he opened Baba’s closed fist, placed Vida Dakshina, covered the body and departed from there.

    Thereafter, the noon Aarati was performed by Bapusaheb Jog and in the evening Baba’s body was brought to Butti Wada...

    This was the way in which Baba showered His blessings upon Laxman Mama. Baba entered Mama’s dream and made him perform the Aarati.

    After Laxman Mama’s demise, his only son Bappaji became Vatandar Kulkarni and Gram Joshi of Shirdi Village. Bappaji was fortunate enough to be around Baba for close to twelve years when Baba was Dehdhari.

    Bappaji said that Baba believed in reincarnation of man.

    In the year 1917, Lokmanya Tilak had come to Shirdi and offered coconut and garland to Baba. Baba returned the coconut as a Prasad to Tilak. Bappaji was present in the Masjid at that time.

    Bappaji was a good Keertankar. He was well read as far as religious books are concerned.



    Mahadu Phassle was a old Sevekari of Baba. His real name was ‘Madhav’; but in Shirdi, he was known as ‘Mahadu’. Since his childhood, he developed an attraction towards Baba. As a young man, he served and stayed with Baba. From morning till night, he was always ever willing to serve Baba.

    He used to do a lot of chores - sweeping the Masjid, cleaning the mat on which Baba sat, fill-up water in the tub kept near the steps, draw lukewarm water for Baba’s bath, anxiously wait for Baba to finish His bath and then wipe His body, clean the Hundis (lamps) kept in the Masjid and Chavadi, help Abdulbaba in lighting up the lamps, look after Baba’s horse, etc.

    There was a room, adjoining the Dhuni, which was used for storing fire-wood. Baba had -with His own hands - constructed almost three-fourths of one wall of that room. At that time, Mahadu had assisted Baba by making mixture of mud. Baba had stacked the bricks and then plastered the wall with the mud.

    At the time of Baba’s mortal end, Mahadu handed over the Chillum and Satka used by Baba to Bapusaheb Jog. Bapusaheb had kept both these articles in his Pooja Ghar. Later on, when Bapusaheb shifted his residence to Upasani Ashram at Sakori, he took these sacred articles with him. In due course of time, these articles have been preserved in the Sai Sansthan.

    This is a story of 1936. Baba's Muslim devotee Chhotekhan and Mahadu Phasale were sleeping in the Masjid. Chhotekhan heard Baba's voice saying, “Are Mahadu, get up ! I have to pass urine”. But, Mahadu was fast asleep and could not get up. Next day morning, it was observed that at the place, where Baba used to sit, there was a poodle of water and a sweet fragrance was emanating from it.                                 

    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid

    Offline fatima

    • Member
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    Re: In Sai's Proximity!!!
    « Reply #14 on: May 19, 2008, 03:09:51 AM »
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    ShrI Sakharam Balwant Dhumal, an ardent devotee of Baba, was a well-known lawyer from Nasik. His word carried considerable weight in government offices. He was a staunch social reformer. From 1917 to 1925, he worked as the first non-government chairman of district local board. Due to his pre-occupation with this chairmanship, he could devote limited time to his private practice. However, the government considered his this sacrifice and honored him as ‘Rao Bahaddur’. After 1925, Dhumal once again concentrated on his private practice. Due to Baba’s blessings, his practice flourished in spite of being away from the field for 8 long years.

    He was extremely pious. Before he became a devotee of Baba, he was a follower of Shri Gajanan Maharaj. He first went to avail Darshan of Shri Sai Baba in the year 1907. And he was at once got attracted with the radiant personality. In the first visit itself, Baba asked him for a Dakshina of Rs. 2. On receiving it Baba promptly returned the amount to Dhumal and said, “Preserve these ! Don’t spend or give them away !!”

    He was a close friend of Bapusaheb Butti of Nagpur. Therefore, soon Dhumal took Bapusaheb Butti with him to Shirdi. Like Dhumal, Butti also became an ardent devotee of Baba in the very first visit.

    Once, Baba said to Dhumal, “Are Bhau, I take care of you at every moment. If I don’t do so, I don’t know what will happen.” On one more occasion, Baba said to him, ‘‘Bhau, whole night I was unable to sleep.” Bhausaheb enquired “What was the reason Baba ?” Baba replied, ‘‘The etire night I thought about you and only about you.” Hearing these words of Baba, Bhausaheb was moved with mixed emotions – surprise, love and gratitude. He was sad that Baba was doing so much for a mere mortal like him. But, he was convinced that Baba was the only saviour Who will protect him from evil happening in future.

    Dhumal’s entire life was spent in his ancestral house at Nasik. Once, there was an epidemic of plague all around and on top of that he found a dead rat – a deadly carrier of a fatal epidemic of plague – in his house. He did not know whether he should move his family out of the house for sometime and save everyone’s life. He sent his query in a letter to Baba, Who asked him to move into another house. He did accordingly. However, in this also another dead rat was found in the same night. Dhumal again enquired, whether he should leave the second house also. Baba replied in negative. Dhumal acted accordingly keeping full faith in Baba.

    A few days later, some more dead rats were spotted at different places in the same house. Dhumal once again sent a letter to Baba and in the meantime, anticipating a positive reply, packed his belongings to move to a third house. Baba replied, “Why move ? Stay where you are !” Dhumal did likewise and continued staying in the house. Around him, he saw daily 14-15 deaths because of the epidemic. But, no harm came to him or his family.

    In 1909, when Dhumal was only 36 years old, his wife died an untimely death. He was young, dashing and a well-known lawyer. His friends and relatives began persuading him to get married once again. However, Dhumal was firmly of view that such a marriage was possible only if permitted by Baba. A famous lawyer from Nagpur – Bapusaheb Kinkhede – took him to Baba to seek the permission. Baba just glanced at him and Kinkhede realized that the permission has been declined. Till his death, Dhumal adhered to Baba’s wishes and remained single. He had earned a lot of fame and money in his profession. However, he gradually absolved himself of family responsibilities and turned toward Virakti.

    After the death of his wife, Dhumal concentrated his energies on further studies in the legal professional and started planning for Barrister-ship. Bapusaheb Butti showed readiness to finance his study abroad as well as expenses of Dhumal’s family in India. However, Baba declined permission saying, “Your Vilayat (England) is here only.” Dhumal adhered to Baba’s wishes.

    This is an incident which took place in the year 1910. At that time, there were two warring groups in Shirdi. One of the groups targeted Raghuji Shinde (elder brother of Bhagoji Shinde, a Sevekari of Baba) and 4 others and falsely implicated them in a case of molestation of a Marwadi woman. Tatya Patil was confident that these people are innocent. But, several learned persons like Dadasaheb Khaparde, Kakasaheb Dixit, Raobahadur Sathe etc. felt that it was difficult to prove so.

    Tatya Patil approached Baba and He advised him to go to Dhumal. Dhumal felt that a lawyer from Mumbai would be necessary to handle the case. However, Tatya pointed out that Baba had Himself suggested his name. Then, Dhumal studied the matter in detail and prepared necessary papers. He visited the British district magistrate at his residence and presented his papers.

    The district magistrate said, “At a first glance, there appears to be a prima facie evidence. What do you say ?” Dhumal replied that “This case and its witnesses is a work of fabrication and is a result of enmity between two warring factions.” The district magistrate enquired, “Are, you fully convinced about this ?” Dhumal expressed his utmost faith. The district magistrate issued orders releasing the persons. British district magistrate expressed interest in Sai Baba and said that he would like to visit Him.

    The persons were released without discussing the matter with police prosecutor or without studying and reading any other papers. Dhumal knew, what power had come to the rescue of the concerned persons.

    At the same time in Shirdi, Kakasaheb Dixit’s 7 years daughter passed away. Everyone was making preparations for her funeral when Baba uttered, “Wait for a while ! I am going to show you a miracle.” Everyone thought, there would be a miracle concerning the dead girl. However, as nothing happened, after sometime they went ahead with the funeral. Just then Dhumal reached there and declared that the innocent persons had been released. First, people found it difficult to believe the good news. But, after sometime they realized that this was the miracle Baba was referring to.

    From 1930 to 1932, Dhumal worked as revenue member of Devas Sansthan. During that time he often travelled between Devas and Nasik. During the journey, he carried Baba’s photos with him. His nephew, as well as the cook did not approve of this practice and expressed their displeasure. To take a decision on the matter, Dhumal – as was his practice – placed two chits in front of Baba’s photo. The answer came, “Keep the photos always with you !”

    One of the photos that Dhumal carried with him was given to him by Radhakrishnaai. Whenever he looked at it, he remembered Baba’s sentence, “The entire night I thought about you and only about you.”

    Once, he was carrying this photo while passing from Dwarkamai. Baba called him and enquired, “What are you carrying ?” Dhumal replied, “You are here.” Baba asked him to give Him the photo. Baba kept it in His hands for sometime and turned His gaze all over it. Baba returned it to him and said, “Keep it with you !” Dhumal always craved that Baba should give him a photo for performing daily Pooja. His silent desire was thus answered. He never parted company from this photo.

    From time to time Baba gave a total sum of Rs. 67 to Dhumal. Then in 1918, He suddenly took back the money and demanded Rs. 7 more. Dhumal said, “I don’t have any more money.” Baba replied, “Borrow from someone else !” This was Baba’s way of teaching Dhumal not to have false pride about money. Dhumal always remembered this lesson. After Baba’s Mahanirvan, he even followed Baba’s practice of collecting Bhiksha from selected houses.

    In 1918, just prior to Baba’s Maha-nirvan, Dhumal’s sister-in-law became seriously ill at Pune. Dhumal took about Rs. 80 and set on his journey from Nasik to Pune. En-route he halted at Shirdi to avail Baba’s blessings and Udi. However, Baba took away the Rs. 80 that he had and also denied him permission to go to Pune. In the meantime, Dhumal received a telegram informing him that the lady had passed away.

    After a few days, Baba set on His last journey. Dhumal realized the reason for Baba keeping him back at Shirdi. Baba knew that the lady’s death was inevitable. Further, if he had gone to Pune, he would have missed the few last memorable days in company of Baba.

    After Baba’s Mahanirvan, the district court appointed 5 trustees to administer the Sansthan property. After one of the trustees expired, Dhumal was appointed in his place. In his capacity as a trustee, he used his legal knowledge and experience to set the rules and bye-laws for the Shirdi Sansthan.

    On Saturday 29th June 1940, Bhausaheb breathed his last at his own home. He always wished that at the time of his death, he should be in Shirdi. But, Baba desired otherwise

    Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love.

    There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

                                       ------Baba Farid


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