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Sacred Past - Golden times with Shirdi Sai -1


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"Shirdi Sai - Golden age"

Kaka Mahajani's Friend

A friend of Kaka Mahajani was a worshipper of God without form and was averse to idolatry. Out of curiosity he agreed to go to Shirdi with Kaka Mahajani on two conditions, viz., (1) that he would neither bow to Baba, (2) nor pay Him any Dakshina. Kaka agreed to these conditions and they both left Bombay on a Saturday night and reached Shirdi the next morning. As soon as they put their feet on the steps of the Masjid, Baba, looking at the friend from a little distance, addressed him in sweet words as follows, "Oh, welcome sir". The tone that uttered these words was a very peculiar one. It exactly resembled the tone of the friend's father. It reminded him of his departed father and sent a thrill of joy through his body. What an enchanting power the tone had! Being surprised the friend said, "This is no doubt the voice of my father". Then he at once up and, forgetting his resolution, placed his head upon Baba's Feet.

Then Baba asked for Dakshina twice, once in the morning and again at noon at the time of their taking leave; but He asked it from Kaka only and not from the friend. The latter whispered to Kaka, "Baba asked for Dakshina from you twice. I am with you, why does He omit me?" You ask Baba Himself" was Kaka's reply. Baba asked Kaka what his friend was whispering, then the friend asked Baba himself whether he should pay any Dakshina. Baba replied, "You had no mind to pay, so you were not asked; but if you want to pay now you may." Then the friend paid Rs.17 as Dakshina, the same amount that Kaka paid. Baba then addressed him a few words of advice, "You do away, destroy the Teli's wall (sense of difference) between us, so that we can see and meet each other face to face". Then Baba allowed them to depart. Thought the weather was cloudy and threatening, Baba assured them of their safe journey and both of them reached Bombay safely. When he reached home and opened the door and windows of his house, he found two sparrows fallen dead on the ground and one just flying out through a window. He thought that if he had left the windows open, two sparrows would have been saved, but thought again, that they had met their lot and that Baba had sent him back soon just to save the third sparrow.

Kaka Mahajani's Master

Kaka was the Manager in the firm of Thakkar Dharmasey Jethabhai, a solicitor of Bombay. Both the Master and the Manager were on intimate terms. Mr. Thakkar knew that Kaka was often going to Shirdi, staying there for some days and returning, when Baba permitted him. Out of curiosity and just to test Baba, Mr. Thakkar decided to go to Shirdi with Kaka during Shimga holidays. As Kaka's return was uncertain, he took another man with him as an associate. The three started together and Kaka bought two seers of raisins (dried grapes with seed) on the way for presentation to Baba. They reached Shirdi in due time, and went to the Masjid for darshan. Then Babasaheb Tarkhad was there, Mr. Thakkar asked him why he came there. "For darshan", Tarkhad replied. Mr. Thakkar asked if miracles took place there. Tarkhad replied that it (to see miracles) was not his attitude, but the earnest intentions of the Bhaktas were satisfied here. Then Kaka prostrated himself before Baba and offered the raisins to Him. Baba ordered them to be distributed. Mr. Thakkar got a few of them. He did not like the raisins and he was advised by his doctor not to eat them without washing and cleaning them. So he was in a fix. He did not like to eat them, nor could he reject them. To keep up formalities, he put them into his mouth, but did not know what to do with the seeds. He could not spit them out on the floor of the Masjid, so he pocketed them against his wish. He then said in his mind that if Baba was a Saint, how could He be ignorant of his dislike for the raisins and could He force them on him. When this thought arose in his mind Baba again gave him some more raisins. He could not eat them, but held them in his hand. Then Baba asked him to eat them up. He obeyed and found, to his surprise, that they were all seedless. He wanted to see miracles and here was one. He knew that Baba read his thought; and as per his wish converted raisins (with seeds) into seedless grapes. What a wonderful power! Again to test further he asked Tarkhad, who was sitting by and who also got some raisins, "What kind of grapes you got?" He replied "They variety with seeds." Mr. Thakkar was still more surprised to hear this. Then to confirm his growing faith Thakkar thought in his mind that if Baba was a real Saint, the raisins should be now given to Kaka first. Reading this thought also, Baba ordered that distribution should be commenced from Kaka. These proofs were sufficient for Thakkar.

Then Shama introduced Mr. Thakkar as the master of Kaka, upon which Baba said, "How could he be his master? He has got a different Master altogether". Kaka appreciated this reply. Forgetting his resolve, Thakkar saluted Baba and returned to the Wada.

After the noon-Arati was over, they all went to the Masjid for taking Baba's leave for their departure. Sharma spoke for them. Baba then spoke as follows.

"There was a fickle-minded gentleman. He had health and wealth and was free from both physical and mental afflictions, but he took on him needless anxieties and burdens and wandered hither and thither, thus losing his peace of mind. Sometimes he dropped the burdens and at other times carried them again. His mind knew no steadiness. Seeing his state, I took pity on him and said, "Now please keep your faith on any one place (point) you like, why roam like this? Stick quietly to one place.

Thakkar at once came to know that, that was an exact description of himself. He wished that Kaka should also return with him but no one expected that Kaka would be allowed to leave Shirdi so soon. Baba read also this thought to his and permitted Kaka to return with his master. Thakkar got one more proof of Baba's capacity to read another's mind.

Then Baba asked Kaka for Rs. 15/- as Dakshina and received it. To Kaka He said, "If I take one rupee as Dakshina from anybody I have to return it tenfold to him. I never take anything gratis. I never ask any one indiscriminately. I only ask and take from him whom the Fakir (My Guru) points out. If any one is indebted formerly to the Fakir money is received from him. The donor gives, i.e. sows his seeds, only to reap a rich harvest in future. Wealth should be the means to work out Dharma. If it is used for personal enjoyment, it is wasted. Unless you have given it before, you do not get it now. So the best way to receive is to give. The giving of Dakshina advances Vairagya (Non-attachment) and thereby Bhakti and Jnana. Give one and receive tenfold".

On hearing these words Mr. Thakkar himself gave Rs.15/- in Baba's hand, forgetting his resolve not to do so. He thought he did well in coming to Shirdi as all his doubts were solved and he learnt so much.

Baba's skill in handling such cases was unique. Though He did all those things He was totally non-attached to them. Whether anybody saluted Him or not, or whether anybody gave Him Dakshina or not, it was the same to Him. None He disrespected. He felt no pleasure because He was worshipped and no pain because He was disregarded. He transcended the pairs of opposites, viz. pleasure and pain, etc.

Insomnia Case

A Kayastha Prabhu gentleman of Bandra suffered from Insomnia for long. As soon as he laid himself down for sleep, his departed father appeared to him in his dream, and abused and scolded him severely. This broke his sleep and made him restless the whole night. Every night this went on and the man did not know what to do. One day he consulted a devotee of Baba in this respect. He recommended the Udi as the only infallible remedy he knew. He gave him some Udi and asked him to apply a little of it to his forehead before going to bed and keep the Udi-packet under the pillow. He tried this remedy and found, to his great surprise and joy, that he got sound sleep and that there was no disturbance of any kind. He continued the remedy and always remembered Sai. Then he got a picture of Sai Baba which he hung on the wall near his pillow and started worshipping it daily and on Thursdays, offering garland, naivedya etc. Then he got on well and forgot altogether his past trouble.

Balaji Patil Newaskar

This man was a great devotee of Baba. He rendered most excellent and disinterested service. Every day he swept and kept clean all the passages and streets in Shirdi through which Baba passed in His daily routine. This work was, after him, equally well-done by another female devotee named Rahda-Krishna-Mai, and after her by Abdoola. When Balaji reaped his corn every year, he brought the whole quantity and presented it to Baba. He returned with what Baba gave him and maintained himself and his family with it. This course was followed by him for many years and after him by his son.
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DEVOTEE'S EXPERIENCE

The following experience has been narrated by Shri Dajisaheb Awasthi of Pune
which was published by SABARI ASHRAM of Jhalod, Gujarat in their publication
"SHRI SAI BABA of Shirdi" in Gujarati. The undermentioned extract has been
translated in English and is best described in Shri Awasthi's own words as
under :-
"I was an advocate at Pune. When I was 28 in 1897, I was introduced to a
saint of a very high spiritual order. The saint emphasised the existence of
God and validated the mantras being chanted for various Divinities of
GODHEAD. To me, the saint said, "Chant "Om Namo Shivaya". He also predicted
that the chanting of this mantra of LORD SHIVA would have its remarkable
effects after 16 years.I commenced chanting this mantra. I visited
Pandharpur in 1910 where another saint whom I met advised me to go to Shirdi
and take SHRI SAI's darshan and said that PANDHARINATH LORD VITHOBA is there
in the form of SHRI SAI. But, as fate would have it, I was unable to visit
Shirdi for three years.

In 1913,I finally made it to Shirdi and the moment I climbed up the steps of
the Dwarkamayi, I beheld the form of LORD SHIVA in place of SAI BABA.
Overcome with emotion, I immediately prostrated at HIS feet when seconds
later as I looked up once again I saw SHRI SAI as usual, BABA blessed me and
said, "Allah Malik Hai" and told me to stay at Radhakrishna Ayi's house.
Radhakrishna Ayi's devotion to the LORD was so deep and sincere that I
revered her and treated her as my divine Mother and she reciprocated by her
motherly care and affection towards me.
After staying a few days, I left Shirdi for Pune but could not forget BABA
and Ayi. For four years thereafter, I regularly worshipped them in my house.
One day as I completed my puja, the room was suddenly filled with a
wonderful rose fragrance for at least an hour after which it subsided.
Unable to solve the mystery about this strange phenomenon, I made enquiries
around my house but in vain. Three or four days after this incident, I
received a letter from Abdul Bhai and Wamanrao Patel (Swami SAI SHARANANAND)
from Shirdi that Ayi had passed away, the date and time of which perfectly
coincided with the rose fragrance that filled my room.

A few months after this episode, I visited Shirdi again on Akshay Tritiya
1918 accompanied by my wife. After taking BABA's darshan, I put up at Ayi's
house on BABA's instruction. My wife began to make preparations for BABA's
Naivedya but try as she would, she could not light the charcoal stove.
Wondering what to do, she was astonished to see Radhakrishna Ayi descend
down the stairs from the attic and helped her in lighting the stove and also
in assisting her for preparing naivedya . That done, Ayi climbed back to the
attic. At noon, when my wife waited for Ayi to come down and join us for
meals, she did not and thinking that she may be engaged in some work, my
wife personally went up to call her but found the attic locked. Rather
puzzled, she hurried down and made inquiries with two or three neighbours
from whom she learnt that Ayi had attained samadhi a few months ago. She was
shocked with disbelief.

The veil of Maya was so strong that my wife failed to recollect that Ayi was
no more and that a letter in this regard had also been received by us from
Shirdi.

If devotees of Baba like Ayi who were blessed by HIM could be so powerful as
to appear even after shedding their mortal coil and render timely assistance
to HIS devotees, what to talk of SHRI SAMARTH SAINATH who was Parabrahma
Incarnate. Can anyone fathom HIS powers and leelas?

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This is the strange story recounted by a Londoner Arthur Osborne, born in London, educated at Christ Church, Oxford who lived in India for several years and was deeply interested in spirituality and has written a small book entitled "The Incredible Sai Baba"

In Calcutta, where Osborne lived for four years, he had and old lady as his neighbour, named Miss Dutton. Miss Dutton had been a nun in her younger days but had been given absolution of her vows by the Pope because she found that she could not, in all honesty, accept the rigours of a convent. While her application for release from her vows was pending, she was much too pre-occupied with her internal conflicts to give much thought to her future. It was only when she was about to leave the convent that it dawned on her how hopeless her future was. She was practically penniless. She was well over middle age, without a profession and with scarcely any near relative. The nearest to a relative was a nephew living in a far-away Calcutta. The situation was daunting.

One day, while sitting in her cell immersed in the deepest gloom, she suddenly felt the presence of a man in front of her. He was tall, barefoot and looked like a holy man. Miss Dutton's suprise could well be imagined. There was no way any man could have got entry into her cell. In any event he did not look like any holy man in the West. As she told Osborne, he looked at her with compassion and told her: "Do not worry so much. Everything will be all right when you go to Calcutta." Then, Miss Dutton reported, the holy man said: "Now won't you give me a gift?" Miss Dutton told him she had no money with her. "Oh yes, you have" said the holy man, "you have thirty-five rupees in a box in the cupboard up there!" Miss Dutton had completetly forgotten about that little reasure, but taken aback by the holy man's prescience, she went to the cupboard, took out the money but, when she turned round, the holy man was nowhere to be seen! He had disappeared as unaccountably as he had come!

She never mentioned this incident to anybody. She left the convent and went to stay with her nephew who turned to be a kind and loving nephew indeed. Her worries about her future had been taken care of.

Osborne wondered who this holy man- Miss Dutton had called him a fakir-could be, but felt instinctively that may be it was Sai Baba. To test out his hunch, he told Miss Dutton: "I will show you a picture of the fakir". He went back to his apartment and fetched the picture of Sai Baba to show to Miss Dutton. She took one good look at the picture and exclaimed with unfeigned suprise: 'Yes, that is he! He had even the same white kerchief on his head!"

The point, writes Osborne is that Miss Dutton had never heard of Sai Baba before!.

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