HOUSE OF GOVINDRAO DABHOLKAR HEMADPANT MUMBAI
Built in 1911,Sai Niwas in Bandra (W)`Mumbai is the residence of Shri.Govindrao Raghunath Dabholkar (Hemadpant),
who scripted the book "Shree Sai Satcharitra", a composition of 9,308 verses in Marathi, on the life & teachings of Shirdi Sai Baba.
In Sai Niwas, in the corner of the prayer room just below the original photo of Sai Baba,
is the Desk which was used by Shri.Hemadpant while scripting 'Shree Sai Satcharitra'.
Also present in a glass topped box, are the Two Coins given to Hemadpant by Baba.
- SAI NIWAS -
Morning: 08:00 A.m - 01:00 P.m everyday except Thursdays.
Evening: 04:30 P.m to 10.00 P.m everyday except Thursdays.
Thursday's: 08:00 A.m to 04:30 P.m
Aarti: Everyday @ 07:00 P.m followed by Chanting.
1856 - 1929
- HOW SAI BABA GUIDED HEMADPANT TO MUMBAI -
In the year 1910, when Govindrao Dabholkar was posted in Anand`Gujarat,
Kakasaheb Dixit wrote a letter to him describing a few Leelas of Sai Baba.
Govindrao was highly impressed with Baba after reading Kakasaheb Dixit's letter.
A desire arose in his heart to have Darshan of Baba as soon as possible.
He applied for leave for 30 days but was rejected by the Commissioner of Southern Division.
Then Govindrao thought that if his job would be get transferred from Gujarat to Maharashtra,
it would become easier for him to visit Shirdi for Baba's Darshan.
So he requested the Commissioner for a transfer to Maharashtra, but the Commissioner refused
his request on the grounds that as he had aready worked before in Bandra`Mumbai,
he could not be posted there once again as per the official rules of the Govt.
But in the course of time an unexpectable thing happened!
Only few days had passed since the Commissioner had left Anand`Gujarat for Thane`Maharashtra,
that suddenly the Deputy Collector of Bandra`Mumbai died due to a heart attack.
So, now there was an urgent need of a responsible and trustworthy person for the Bandra Office.
The Commissioner who had earlier denied Govindrao Dabholkar's transfer to Mumbai,
immediately sent him a telegram & got him finally transferred to Bandra in Mumbai`Maharashtra.
- THE POTHI -
When Govindrao Dabholkar finally shifted to Bandra`Mumbai, as per the rules of the Government,
his pending leave request was also sanctioned and thus he was able to plan his trip to Shirdi for Baba's darshan.
In 1910, when Shri.Dabholkar first came to Shirdi, he saw Baba grinding wheat,
only to later scatter it all around the village boundary, to stop the cholera epidemic.
His curiosity was aroused, and he wished with all his heart to write the 'Satya Charitamrit' of Baba's life.
He sought permission through Madhavrao Deshpande alias Shama and it was granted.
Sai Baba told him: "You have my full consent to write My life. Take notes and keep them.
If My Leelas are recorded, sins commited through ignorance will be dissolved,
when these are heard and or read with love and devotion, the cares and troubles of worldly life will be forgotten."
So, Dabholkar set about, writing, hearing and seeing the leelas of His Guru. With Love & devotion he kept a record of them.
As in 1916, Baba had finally given him the permission to write his biography, so by the time Baba took Mahasamadhi,
Hemadpant had barely written two or three chapters. Most of his work was written after 1918.
He actually started writing 'The Pothi' in 1922 and it was published in 1929 after he took samadhi.
The Marathi Pothi is written Ovi Meter, like Eknath's Bhagwat.
It is usually sung rather than read.
On 26th November`1930,
the first edition of Shri Sai Satcharitra was published in Marathi by the Shirdi Sai Sansthan
and had approximately 900 pages, in vertical size of 8x5, and was priced at Rs.3/- only.
Later it was translated verse to verse in many different languages.
- BABA'S SIMGA MEAL @ SAI NIWAS -
On the full moon morning of the festival of Holi in 1917, Hemadpant had a vision.
Sai Baba appeared to him in his dream in the form of a Sannyasi, woke him up,
and said that He would come to him for meals that day. This awakening constituted a part of the dream.
When he fully awoke, he saw no Sai nor any Sannyasi.
But when he began to recollect the dream, he remembered each and every word the Sannyasi uttered in his dream.
Though he was in contact with Baba for seven years and though he always meditated on Baba,
he never expected that Baba would come to his house for meals.
However, he went to his wife and informed her that being the festival of Holi,
a Sannyasi guest was coming for meal and that some more rice should be prepared.
She enquired about the guest, who he was and whence he was coming.
Hemadpant told her all about the dream.
She doubtingly asked whether it was possible that Baba should come there (Bandra) from Shirdi,
leaving the dainty dishes there for accepting their coarse food.
Hemadpant then assured her that Baba might not come in person but He might attend in the form of a guest
and that they would lose nothing if they cooked some more rice.
After this, preparations for the dinner went on and it was quite ready at noon.
The Holika-worship was done & the leaves (dishes) were arranged with 'Rangoli' marks around them.
Two rows were put up with a central seat between them for the guest.
The full family came and occupied their proper seats and the serving of the various articles commenced.
While this was being done, everybody was watching for the guest, but none turned up though it was past noon.
The door was then closed and the anna-shuddhi (ghee) was served.
Formal offering of the food to the Vaishwadeva (Fire) & Naivedhya to Shri Krishna was done.
But as they were about to begin, foot-steps in the staircase were distinctly heard.
Hemadpant went immediately and opened the door and saw two men Ali Mohammed and Moulana Ismu Mujavar.
These two persons, seeing that meals were ready and all the members were about to begin eating,
apologized to Hemadpant and requested him to excuse their interference.
They said - "You left your seat and came running to us, others are waiting for you, so please take this Thing
and I shall relate all the wonderful tale about it later on at your convenience."
So saying he took out from his arm-pit a packet wrapped in an old newspaper cover and placed it on the table.
Hemadpant uncovered the packet and saw, to his great wonder and surprise, a big nice picture of Sai Baba.
Seeing it, he was much moved, tears ran from his eyes,
he bent and placed his head on the feet of Baba in the picture. He felt blessed by Baba.
Out of curiosity he asked Ali Mohammed whence he got this picture.
He said that he bought it from a shop and that he would give all the details about it later on
and wished that as all the members were waiting for him, he should go and join them.
Hemadpant thanked him, bade them good-bye and returned to the dinning-hall.
The picture was placed on the central seat reserved for the guest
and after the due offering of the Naivedya, the whole family commenced eating.
At Shirdi, the same day and at the same time Sai Baba told Shama that
he had a sumptuous meal at Bandra in Hemadpant house.
Shama could understand Baba's words only after sometime when Hemadpant came to Shirdi.
- HOW BABA'S PHOTO REACHED SAI NIWAS -
A long time back, a saint by name Abdul Rehman gave a lifesize framed photo of Sai Baba to Ali Mohammed.
After sometime, Ali's brother-in-law fell sick.
Someone suggested that if the photos of saints were put in the sea, the illness would subside.
So Ali asked his manager to collect all such photos in his relatives house and put them in the sea.
After some days Ali Mohammed came home and was surprised to find that Baba's photo was still there in the wall.
He began to think to whom it should be given and then
as per Baba's order given to him through his thoughts, the photo was handed over to Hemadpant.
Source: Life History of Shirdi Sai Baba - Chapter XXIX
- TWO COINS GIVEN BY BABA / BABA'S HOLY PADUKAS
& HEMADPANT'S SPECTACLES @ SAI NIWAS -
- PORTRAIT OF SAI BABA @ SAI NIWAS -
'Baba sitting on Stone" posture portrait painted by Shyamrao Jayakar on 26th Dec`1916.
It is on the left side wall just upon entering Sai Niwas.
- SAI BABA'S STATUE @ SAI NIWAS -