Stories of (1) Madrasi Bhajani Mela - (2) Tendulkars
(Father and son) - (3) Dr. Captain Hate - (4) Waman Narvekar.
This Chapter described other interesting and
wonderful stories of Sai Baba.
(1) Madrasi Bhajani Mela
It was in the year 1916 that a Madrasi Bhajani Mela (Party of
the Ramadasi Panth) started on a Pilgrimage to the holy city of
Banaras. The Party consisted of a man, his wife, daughter and
sister-in-law. Unfortunately their names are not mentioned. On
their way, the party heard that there lived at Shirdi in Kopergaon
Taluka, Ahmednagar District, a great sage named Sai Baba, who
was calm and composed, and who was very liberal and who distributed
money every day to His Bhaktas and to skilful persons, who went
and showed their skill there. A lot of money in the form of Dakshina
was collected daily by Sai Baba and out of this amount, He gave
daily one rupee to a three year old girl Amani, the daughter of
a Bhakta Kondaji and Rs. 2 to 5 to some, Rs. 6 to Jamali, the
mother of Amani and Rs. 10 to 20 and even Rs. 50 to other Bhaktas
as He pleased. On hearing all this the party came to Shirdi and
stayed there. The Mela did very good bhajan and sang very good
songs, but inwardly they craved for money. Three of the party
were full of avarice, but the chief lady or mistress was of a
very different nature. She had a regard and love for Baba. Once
it so happened, that when the noon-day Arati was going on, Baba
was much pleased with her faith and devotion, and was pleased
to give her darshan of her Ishtam (Beloved Deity). To her Baba
appeared as Sitanath (Rama) while to all the others the usual
Sainath. On seeing her beloved Deity, she was very much moved.
Tears began to flow from her eyes and she clapped her hands in
joy. The people began to wonder at her joyful mood; but were not
able to guess its cause. Late in the afternoon she disclosed everything
to her husband. She told him how she saw Shri Rama in Sai Baba.
He thought that she was very simple and devout, and her seeing
Rama might be a hallucination of her mind. He poohpoohed her,
saying that it was not possible, that she alone should see Rama
while they all saw Sai Baba. She did not resent this remark, as
she was fortunate enough to get Ramadarshan now and then, when
her mind was calm and composed and free from avarice.
Things were going on like this, when the husband got a wonderful
vision in his dream one night as follows :- He was in a big city,
the police there had arrested him, tied his hands with a rope,
and put him up in a cage (lock-up). As the police were tightening
the grip, he saw Sai Baba standing quiet outside, near the cage.
On seeing Baba so near, he said in a plaintive tone - "Hearing
Your fame I came to Your Feet and why should a calamity befall
me when You are standing here in person?" Baba said - "You
must suffer the consequences of your action" He said - "I
have not done anything in this life which would bring such a misfortune
on me." Baba said - "If not in this life, you must have
committed some sin in your past life." He replied, "I
do not know anything of my past life, but assuming that I did
commit some sin then, why should it not be burnt and destroyed
in Your presence, as dry grass before fire? "Baba - "Have
you got such faith?" He - "Yes." Baba then asked
him to close his eyes. No sooner did he shut them than he heard
a thumping sound of something falling down, and opening his eyes,
he saw that he was free and the police had fallen down, bleeding.
Being much frightened he began to look at Baba who said - "Now
you are well caught, officers will now come and arrest you."
Then he begged - "There is no other saviour except You, save
me anyhow." Then Baba again asked him to close his eyes.
He did so and when he opened them, he saw that he was free, out
of the cage and that Baba was by his side. He then fell at Baba's
Feet. Baba then asked him - "Is there any difference between
this namaskar and your previous ones? Think well and reply."
He said "There is a lot of difference; my former namaskaras
were offered with the object of getting money from You, but the
present namaskar is one offered to You as God; besides, formerly
I thought resentfully that you, being a Mahomendan, were spoiling
us, the Hindus". Baba "Do you not believe in your mind
in Mahomendan Gods?" He said "No". Then Baba said
- "Have you not got a Panja (Emblem of Hand) in your house
and do you not worship the same in Tabut, i.e. Moharum festival?
Also there is in your house another Mahomedan Deity by name Kadbibi,
whom you propitiate and appease on your marriage and other festivals.
Is it not so?" He admitted all this. Then Baba said,"What
more do you want?" Then a desire arose in his mind to get
the darshan of his Guru Ramdas, when Baba asked him to turn back
and see. And when he turned, lo, Ramadas was in front of him.
No sooner did he begin to fall at His Feet, Ramadas vanished.
Then he inquisitively asked Baba,"You look old. Do You know
Your age?" Baba - "What! Do you say I am old! just run
a race with Me and see." Saying this Baba began to run and
he too followed. Baba disappeared in the dust raised by His foot-steps
while running and the man was awakened.
After awakening he began to think seriously about the dream-vision.
His mental attitude was completely changed and he realised the
greatness of Baba. After this, his grabbing and doubting tendencies
disappeared and true devotion to Baba's Feet sprang in his mind.
The vision was a mere dream, but the questions and answers therein
were most significant and interesting. Next morning when all the
persons assembled in the Masjid for the Arati, Baba gave him as
prasad two rupees' worth sweetmeats and also two rupees from His
pocket and blessed him. He made him stay there for a few more
days and gave him His blessing, saying,"Allah (God) will
give you plenty and He will do you all good". He did not
get more money there, but he got far better things viz. Baba's
blessing which stood him in good stead all along. The party got
plenty of money afterwards and their pilgrimage was successful
as they had not to suffer any trouble or inconvenience during
their journey. They all returned home safe and sound, thinking
of Baba's words and blessings and the Anand(Bliss) they experienced
by His grace.
This story illustrates one of the methods, which
Baba followed (and is following even now) in some cases to improve
and reform His devotees.
(2) Tendulkar family
There lived in Bandra (a suburb of Bombay) a Tendalkar family,
all the members of which were devoted to Baba. Mrs. Savitribai
Tendulkar has published a Marathi book named "Shri Sainath
Bhajan Mala" containing 800 abhangas and padas describing
the Leelas of Baba. It is a book worth reading by those who are
interested in Baba. The son, Babu Tendulkar was studying hard
day and night and wanted to appear for the medical examination.
He consulted some astrologers. Examining his horoscope they told
him that the stars were not favourable that year and that he should
appear for the examination next year, when he would be certainly
successful. This cast a gloom over him and made him restless.
A few days afterwards his mother went to Shirdi and saw Baba.
Amongst other things she mentioned the gloomy and morose condition
of her son, who was to appear for the examination in a few days.
Hearing this Baba said to her,"Tell your son to believe in
Me, to throw aside horoscopes and predictions of astrologers and
palmists and go on with his studies. Let him appear for the examination
with a calm mind, he is sure to pass this year. Ask him to trust
in Me and not to get disappointed". The mother returned home
and communicated Baba's message to her son. Then he studied hard
and in due course appeared for the examination. In the written
papers he did well, but being overwhelmed by doubts he thought
that he would not secure sufficient marks for passing. So he did
not care to appear for the oral examination. But the examiner
was after him. He sent word through a fellow- student, stating
that he had passed in the written examination and that he should
appear for the oral. The son being thus encouraged appeared for
the oral examination and was successful in both. Thus he got through
the examination that year successfully by Baba's grace, though
the stars were against him. It is to be noted here that doubts
and difficulties surround us just to move us and confirm our faith.
We are tested as it were. If we only hold on steadily to Baba
with full faith and continue our endeavours, our efforts will
be ultimately crowned with success.
The father of this boy, Raghunathrao was serving
in some foreign mercantile firm in Bombay. As he grew old, he
was not able to attend to his work properly and so he had to take
leave and rest. As he did not improve during the period of leave
a further extension of leave or retirement from service was inevitable.
The Chief Manager of the firm decided to retire him on pension
as he was an old and a reliable servant. The question regarding
the amount of pension to be given was under consideration. He
was getting Rs.150/- p.m. and his pension i.e. half the amount
viz. Rs. 75/- would not be enough to meet the expenses of the
family. So they were all anxious about this matter. Fifteen days
before the final settlement, Baba appeared to Mrs. Tendulkar in
her dream and said, "I wish that Rs. 100/- should be paid
(settled) as pension, will this satisfy you?" She replied
"Baba, why ask me this? We fully trust in You". Though
Baba said Rs.100/- still he was given ten Rupees more i.e. Rs.110/-
as a special case. Such wonderful love and care did Baba exhibit
for His Bhaktas.
(3) Captain Hate
Captain Hate, who was staying in Bikaner, was a great devotee
of Baba. Once Baba appeared to him in his dream and said "Did
you forget Me?" Hate then immediately held Baba's Feet and
replied, "If a child forgets his mother, how could it be
saved?" Then Hate went into the garden and took out fresh
walpapadi vegetables, and arranging 'shidha' (ghee, wheat-flour
and dal etc.) and Dakshina, was about to offer all this to Baba
when he was awakened and came to know that the whole thing was
a dream. Then he decided to send all these things to Baba at Shirdi.
When he came to Gwalior some days afterwards, he sent Rs.12/-
by money order to a friend, with instructions that Rs. 2 should
be spent in buying shidha articles and walpapadi vegetables, and
those should be offered to Baba with Rs. 10 as Dakshina. The friend
went to Shirdi and purchased the things mentioned, but walpapadi
was not available. In a short time a woman turned up with a basket
on her head, which curiously enough contained the vegetables.
It was purchased and then all the things were offered to Baba
on behalf of Captain hate. Mr. Nimonkar prepared the 'naivedya'
(rice and walpapadi vegetables) next day and offered the same
to Baba. All the people were surprised to see that Baba while
dining, took and ate walpapadi, and did not touch rice and other
things. Hate's joy knew no bounds when he heard of this from his
At another time Captain Hate wished that he should have in his
house a coin of rupee consecrated by Baba with His touch. He came
across a friend who was bound for Shirdi. With him Hate sent his
rupee. The friend went to Shirdi and after the usual saluation
gave first his Dakshina which Baba pocketed. Then he gave Hate's
rupee, which Baba took in His hand and began to stare at it. He
held it in front, tossed it up with His right thumb and played
with it. Then He said to the friend, "Return this to its
owner with the Prasad of Udi, tell him that I want nothing from
him, ask him to live in peace and contentment." The friend
returned to Gwalior, handed over the consecrated rupee to Hate,
and told him all the h0appened at Shirdi. This time Hate was much
pleased and realised that Baba always encouraged good thoughts,
and as he wished intently, Baba fulfilled the same accordingly.
(4) Waman Narvekar
Now let the readers hear a different story. A gentleman, named
Waman Narvekar loved Baba very much. He once brought a rupee.
On one said (obverse) of it were engraved the figures of Rama,
Laxman and Sita and on the other (reverse) side was engraved the
figure of Maruti, with folded hands. He offered it to Baba with
a hope that He should consecrate it with His touch and return
it to him with Udi. But Baba immediately pocketed it. Then Shama
spoke to Baba, regarding Womanrao's intention and requested Him
to return it. Then Baba spoke in the presence of Wamanrao as follows
:- "Why should it be returned to him? We should keep it ourselves.
If he gives Rs.25/- for it, it will be returned." Then, for
the sake of that rupee, Wamanrao collected Rs.25/- and placed
them before Baba. Then Baba said, "The value of that rupee
far exceeds 25 Rupees. Shama, take this rupee, let us have it
in our store, keep this in your shrine and worship it." No
one had the courage to ask Baba why He followed this particular
action. He only knows what is best and most suitable to each and