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Shri Sai Satcharitra

Chapter I

Salutations — The Story of Grinding
Wheat and Its Philosophical Significance.

According to the ancient and revered
custom, Hemadpant begins the work, Sai Satcharitra, with
various salutations.

(1) First, he makes obeisance to the
God Ganesha1 to remove all obstacles and make the work a
success and says that Shri Sai is the God

(2) Then, to the Goddess
Saraswati2 to inspire him to write out the work
and says that Shri Sai is one with this Goddess and that He
is Himself singing His own life.

(3) Then, to the Gods; Brahma,
Vishnu and Shankar – the Creating, Preserving and Destroying
Deities respectively; and says that Sainath is one with them
and He as the great Teacher, will carry us across the River
of Wordly Existence.

(4) Then, to his tutelary Deity
Narayan Adinath who manifested himself in Konkan – the land
reclaimed by Parashurama3, (Rama in the Hindi
version) from the sea; and to the Adi (Original)
Purusha4 of the family.

(5) Then, to the Bharadwaja Muni,
into whose gotra (clan) he was born and also to various
Rishis, Yagyavalakya, Bhrigu, Parashara, Narad, Vedavyasa,
Sanak, Sanandan, Sanatkumar, Shuka. Shounak, Vishwamitra,
Vasistha, Valmiki, Vamadeva, Jaimini, Vaishampayan, Nava
Yogindra etc, and also modern Saints such as Nivritti,
Jnanadev, Sopan, Muktabai, Janardan, Ekanath, Namdev,
Tukaram, Kanha, and Narahari etc.

1. God Ganesha, a son of Lord Shiva,
bears the head of an elephant and the body

of a human being. When starting
anything. He is worshipped by the Hindu.

2. Goddess of learning.

3. One of the Avtars of incarnations
of God (before Lord Rama)

4. Man


(6) Then, to his grandfather
Sadashiv, father Raghunath, his mother, who left him in his
infancy, to his paternal aunt, who brought him up, and to
his loving elder brother.

(7) Then, to the readers and prays
them to give their whole and undivided attention to his

(8) And lastly, to his Guru Shri
Sainath – an Incarnation of Shri Dattatreya, Who is his sole
Refuge and Who will make him realize that Brahman is the
Reality and the world an illusion; and incidentally, to all
the Beings in whom the Lord God dwells.

After describing in brief the
various modes of devotion according to Parashara, Vyasa and
Shandilya etc., the author goes on to relate the following

“It was sometime after 1910 A.D.
that I went, one fine morning, to the Masjid in Shirdi for
getting a darshan of Sai Baba. I was wonderstruck to see the
following phenomenon. After washing His mouth and face, Sai
Baba began to make preparations for grinding

He spread a sack on the floor; and
thereon set a hand-mill. He took some quantity of wheat in a
winnowing fan, and then drawing up the sleeves of His Kafni
(robe); and taking hold of the peg of the hand-mill, started
grinding the wheat by putting a few handfuls of wheat in the
upper opening of the mill and rotoated it. I thought –
‘What business Baba had with the grinding of wheat,
when He possessed nothing and stored nothing, and as He
lived on alms!

Some people who had come there
thought likewise, but none had the courage to ask baba what
He was doing. Immediately, this news of Baba’s grinding
wheat spread into the village, and at once men and women ran
to the Masjid and flocked there to see Baba’s act. Four bold
women, from the crowd, forced their way up and pushing Baba
aside, took forcibly the peg or handle into their hands,
and, singing Baba’s Leelas, started grinding. At first Baba
was enraged, but on seeing the women’s love and devotion, He
was much pleased and began to smile. While they were
grinding, they began to think that Baba had no house, no
property, no children, none to look after, and He lived on
alms, He did not require any wheat-flour for making bread or
roti, what will He do with this big quantity of

Perhaps as Baba is very kind, He
will distribute the flour amongst us. Thinking in this way
while singing, they finished the grinding and after putting
the hand-mill aside, they divided the flour into four
portions and began to remove them one per head. Baba, Who
was calm and quiet up till now, got wild and started abusing
them saying, “Ladies, are you gone mad? Whose father’s
property are you looting away?

Have I borrowed any wheat from you,
so that you can safely take the flour? Now please do this.
Take the flour and throw it on the village border limits.”
On hearing this, the women felt abashed and whispering
amongst themselves, went away to the outskirts of the
village and spread the flour as directed by Baba.

I asked the Shirdi people – “What
was this that Baba did?” They replied that as the Cholera
Epidemic was spreading in the village and this was Baba’s
remedy against the same; it was not wheat that was ground
but the Cholera itself was ground to pieces and pushed out
of the village. From this time onward, the Cholera Epidemic
subsided and the people of the village were happy. I was
much pleased to know all this; but at the same time my
curiosity was also aroused. I began to ask myself – What
earthly connection was there between wheat flour and

What was the casual relation between
the two? and how to reconcile them? The incident seems to be
inexplicable. I should write something on this and sing to
my heart’s content Baba’s sweet Leelas. Thinking in this way
about this Leela, my heart was filled with joy and I was
thus inspired to write Baba’s Life – The Satcharita. And as
we know, with Baba’s grace and blessing this work was
successfully accomplished.

Philosophical Significance of

Apart from the meaning which the
people of Shirdi put on this incident of grinding wheat,
there is, we think, a philosophical significance too. Sai
Baba lived in Shirdi for about sixty years and during this
long period, He did the business of grinding almost every
day – not, however, the wheat alone; but the sins, the
mental and physical afflications and the miseries of His
innumerable devotees. The two stones of His mill consisted
of Karma and Bhakti, the former being the lower and the
latter the upper one. The handle with which Baba worked the
mill consisted of Jnana. It was the firm conviction of Baba
that Knowledge or Self-realization is not possible, unless
there is the prior act of grinding of all our impulses,
desires, sins; and of the three gunas, viz. Sattva, Raja and
Tama; and the Ahamkara, which is so subtle and therefore so
difficult to be got rid of.

This reminds us of a similar story
of Kabir who seeing a woman grinding corn said to his Guru,
Nipathiranjana, “I am weeping because I feel the agony of
being crushed in this wheel of wordly existence like the
corn in the hand-mill.” Nipathiranjana replied, “Do not be
afraid; hold fast to the handle of knowledge of this mill,
as I do, and do not wander far away from the same but turn
inward to the Centre, and you are sure to be

Bow to Shri Sai — Peace be to

Chapter II

Object of Writing the

Incapacity and Boldness in the

Hot Discussion

Conferring Significant and Prophetic
Title of Hemadpant –

Necessity of a Guru


In the last Chapter, the author
mentioned in the original Marathi book that he would state
the reason that led him to undertake the work, and the
persons qualified to read the same and such other points.
Now in this chapter, he starts to tell the same.

Object of Writing the

In the first chapter, I described
Sai Baba’s miracle of checking and

destroying the epidemic of Cholera
by grinding wheat and throwing the

flour, on the outskirts of the
village. I heard other miracles of Sai Baba

to my great delight, and this
delight burst forth into this poetic work. I

also thought, that the description
of these grand miracles of Sai Baba

would be interesting, and
instructive to His devotees; and would remove

their sins, and so I began to write
the sacred life and teachings of Sai

Baba. The life of the saint is
neither logical nor dialectical. It shows us

the true and great path.

Incapacity and Boldness in
Undertaking the Work

Hemadpant thought that he was not a
fit person to undertake

the work. He said, “I do not know
the life of my intimate friend nor

do I know my own mind, then how can
I write the life of a saint or

describe the nature of Incarnations,
which even the Vedas were unable

to do? One must be a saint himself,
before he could know

other saints, then how can I
describe their glory? To write the life

of a saint is the most difficult,
though one may as well measure the

depth of the water of the seven seas
or enclose the sky with clothtrappings.

I knew, that this was the most
venturous undertaking,

which might expose me to ridicule.
I, therefore, invoked Sai Baba’s


The premier poet-saint of
Maharashtra, Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj,

has stated that the Lord loves those
who write the lives of saints; and

the saints also have a peculiar
method of their own of getting the

service, which the devotees long
for, successfully accomplished. The

saints inspire the work, the devotee
becomes only an indirect cause or

instrument to achieve the end. For
instance, in 1700 Shaka year1, the

poet Mahipati aspired to write the
lives of saints. Saints inspired him,

and got the work done; so also in
1800 Shaka year,2 Das Ganu’s service

was accepted. The former wrote 4
works-Bhakta Vijaya, Santa Vijaya,

Bhakta Leelamrit and Santa
Kathamrit, while the latter wrote two –

“Bhakta Leelamrit and Santa
Kathamrit”, in which the lives of modern

Saints were described. In chapters
31,32,33 of Bhakta Leelamrit and in

chapter 57 of Santa Kathamrit, the
sweet life and teachings of Sai Baba

are very well depicted. These have
been separately published in Sai Leela

Magazine, Nos. 11 and 12, Vol. 17;
the readers are advised to read these

chapters. So also Sai Baba’s
wonderful Leelas are described in a small

decent book named Shri Sainath
Bhajana Mala by Mrs. Savitribai

Raghunath Tendulkar of Bandra.
Das-Ganu Maharaj also has composed

various sweet poems on Sai Baba. A
devotee named Amidas Bhavani

Mehta, has also published some
stories of Sri Baba in Gujarathi; some

Nos. of Sainath Prabha, a magazine
published by Dakshina Bhiksha

Sanstha of Shirdi, are also
published. Then the question of objection

comes in, that while so many works
regarding Sai Baba are extant, why

should this (Satcharita) be written?
and where is its necessity?

The answer is plain and simple. The
life of Sai Baba is as wide

and deep as the infinite ocean; and
all can dive deep into the same and

take out precious gems (of knowledge
and Bhakti), and distribute them

to the aspiring public. The stories,
parables, and teachings of Sai Baba

are very wonderful. They will give
peace and happiness to the people,

who are afflicted with sorrows and
heavily loaded with miseries of

this worldly existence, and also
bestow knowledge and wisdom, both

in the worldly and in spiritual
domains. If these teachings of Sai Baba,

which are as interesting and
instructive as the Vedic lore, are listened

to and meditated upon, the devotees
will get, what they long for, viz.,

union with Brahman, mastery in
eight-fold Yoga, Bliss of meditation

etc. So I thought, that I should
call these stories together that would

be my best Upasana. This collection
would be most delightful to those

simple souls, whose eyes were not
blessed with Sai Baba’s darshana.

So, I set aboust collecting Sai
Baba’s teachings and expressions –

the outcome of His boundless and
natural self-realization. It was

1. 1700 SA + 78 = 1778

A.D.+ 57 = Vikrami year

2. 1878 A.D.


Sai Baba, who inspired me in this
matter; in fact, I surrendered my ego

at His feet, and thought that my
path was clear; and that He would make

me quite happy here, and in the next

I could not myself ask Sai Baba to
give me permission for this

work; so I requested Mr. Madhavrao
Deshpande alias Shama, Baba’s

most intimate devotee, to speak to
Him for me. He pleaded for my cause

and said to Sai Baba, “This
Annasaheb wishes to write Your biography,

don’t say that You are a poor
begging Fakir, and there is no necessity to

write it, but if You agree and help
him, he will write or rather, Your feet

(grace) will accomplish the work.
Without Your consent and blessing,

nothing can be done successfully.”
When Sai Baba heard this request,

He was moved and blessed me by
giving me His Udi (sacred ashes) and

placing His boon-bestowing hand on
my head said :- “Let him make a

collection of stories and
experiences, keep notes and memos; I will help

him. He is only an outward
instrument. I should write Myself My

and satisfy the wishes of My
devotees. He should get rid of

his ego, place (or surrender) it at
My feet. He who acts like this in life,

him I help the most. What of My
life-stories? I serve him in his house in

all possible ways. When his ego is
completely annihilated and there is

left no trace of it, I Myself shall
enter into him and shall Myself write

My own life. Hearing my stories and
teachings will create faith in devotees’

hearts and they will easily get self
– realization and Bliss; let there

be no insistence on establishing
one’s own view, no attempt to refute

other’s opinions, no discussions of
pros and cons of any subject.”

The word ‘discussion’ put me in
mind of my promise to explain the

story of my getting the title of
Hemadpant and now I begin to relate the

same. I was on close friendly terms
with Kakasaheb Dixit and Nanasaheb

Chandorkar. They pressed me to go to
Shirdi and have Baba’s darshana,

and I promised them to do so. But
something in the interval turned up,

which prevented me from going to
shirdi. The son of a friend of mine at

Lonavala fell ill. My friend tried
all possible means, physical and spiritual,

but the fever would not abate. At
length he got his Guru to sit by the

bed-side of his son, but this too
was of no avail. Hearing this, I thought

ëwhat was the utility of the
Guru, if he could not save my friend’s son?

If the Guru can’t do anything for
us, why should I go to Shirdi at all?’

Thinking in this way, I postponed my
Shirdi-trip; but the inevitable must

happen and it happened in my case as
follows : – Mr. Nanasaheb

Chandorkar, who was a Prant Officer,
was going on tour to Bassein. From

Thana he came to Dadar and was
waiting for a train bound for Bassein.

In the meanwhile, a Bandra Local
turned up. He, sat in it and came to

Bandra; and sent for me and took me
to task for putting off my Shirdi

trip. Nana’s argument for my Shirdi
trip was convincing and delightful,

and so I decided to start for
Shirdi, the same night. I packed up my

luggage and started for Shirdi. I
planned to go to Dadar and there to

catch the train for Manmad, and so I
booked myself for Dadar and sat in

the train. While the train was to
start, a Mahomedan came hastily to my

compartment and seeing all my
paraphernalia, asked me where I was

bound to. I told him my plan. He
then suggested that I should straight go

to Boribunder, and not get down at
Dadar, for the Manmad Mail did not

get down at Dadar at all. If this
little miracle or Leela had not happened,

I would not have reached Shirdi next
day as settled, and many doubts

would have assailed me. But that was
not to be. As fortune favoured me,

I reached Shirdi the next day before
9 or 10 A.M. Mr. Bhausaheb (Kaka)

Dixit was waiting for me there. This
was in 1910 A.D., when there was

only one place, viz., Sathe’s Wada
for lodging pilgrim devotees. After

alighting from the Tonga, I was
anxious to have darshana, when the

great devotee, Tatyasaheb Noolkar
returned from the Masjid and said

that Sai Baba was at the corner of
the Wada, and that I should first get

the preliminary darshana and then,
after bath, see Him at leisure. Hearing

this I ran and prostrated before
Baba and then my joy knew no bounds.

I found more than what Nana
Chandorkar had told me. All my senses

were satisfied and I forgot thirst
and hunger. The moment I touched Sai

Baba’s feet, I began a new lease of
life. I felt myself much obliged to

those who spurred and helped me to
get the darshana; and I considered

them as my real relatives, and I
cannot repay their debt. I only remember

them and prostrate (mentally) before
them. The peculiarity of Sai

Baba’s darshana, as I found it, is
that by His darshana our thoughts are

changed, the force of previous
actions is abated and gradually nonattachment

of dispassion towards worldly
objects grows up. It is by the

merit of actions in many past births
that such darshana is got, and if only

you see Sai Baba, really all the
world becomes or assumes the form of

Sai Baba.

Hot Discussion

On the first day of my arrival in
Shirdi, there was a discussion

between me and Balasaheb Bhate
regarding the necessity of a Guru.

I contended, “Why should we lose our
freedom and submit to others?

When we have to do our duty, why a
Guru is necessary? One

must try his best and save himself.
What can the Guru do to a man

who does nothing but sleeps
indolently?” Thus I pleaded freewill,

while Mr. Bhate took up the other
side, viz., Destiny, and said, “Whatever

is bound to happen must happen; even
great men have failed, man

proposes one way, but God disposes
the other (contrary) way. Brush

aside your cleverness; pride or
egoism won’t help you.” This discussion,

with all its pros and cons went on
for an hour or so, and as usual no

decision was arrived at. We had to
stop the discussion ultimately as we

were exhausted. The net result of
this was that I lost my peace of mind

and found that unless there is
strong body-consciousness and egoism,

there would be no discussion; in
other words, it is egoism which breeds


Then when we went to the Masjid with
others, Baba asked

Kakasaheb Dixit the

“What was going on in the
(Sathe’s) Wada? What was the discussion

about?” and staring at me, Baba
further added, “What did this

Hemadpant say?”

Hearing these words, I was much
surprised. The Masjid was at a

considerable distance from Sathe’s
Wada where I was staying and where

the discussion was going on. How
could Baba know our discussion unless

He be omniscient and Inner Ruler of
us all?

Significant and Prophetic

I began to think why Sai Baba should
call me by the name

Hemadpant. This word is a corrupt
form of Hemadripant. This

Hemadripant was a wellknown Minister
of the kings Mahadev and

Ramadev of Devgiri of the Yadav
dynasty. He was very learned, goodnatured

and the author of good works, such
as Chaturvarga Chintamani

(dealing with spiritual subjects)
and Rajprashasti. He invented and started

new methods of accounts and was the
originator of the Modi (Marathi

Shorthand) script. But I was quite
the opposite, an ignoramus, and of

dull, mediocre intellect. So I could
not understand why the name or title

was conferred upon me, but thinking
seriously upon it, I thought that the

title was a dart to destroy my ego,
so that, I should always remain meek

and humble. It was also a compliment
paid to me for the cleverness in

the discussion.

Looking to the future history, we
think that Baba’s word (calling

Mr. Dabholkar by the name Hemadpant)
was significant and

prophetic, as we find that he looked
after the management of Sai

Sansthan very intelligently, kept
nicely all the accounts and was also

the author of such a good work “Sai
Satcharita”, which deals with

such important and spiritual
subjects as Jnana, Bhakti and dispassion,

self-surrender and

About the Necessity of a

Hemadpant has left no note, no memo
about what Baba said regarding this subject, but Kakasaheb
Dixit has published his notes regarding this matter. Next
day after Hemadpant’s meeting with Sai Baba, Kakasaheb went
to Baba and asked whether he should leave Shirdi. Baba Said,
“Yes”. Then someone asked – “Baba, where to go?” Baba said,
“High up.” Then the man said, “How is the way?” Baba said,
“There are many ways leading there; there is one way also
from here (Shirdi). The way is difficult. There are tigers
and wolves in the jungles on the way.”

I (Kakasaheb) asked – “But Baba,
what if we take a guide with us?” Baba answered, – “Then
there is no difficulty. The guide will take you straight to
your destination, avoiding wolves, tigers and ditches etc.
on the way. If there be no guide, there is the danger of
your being lost in the jungles or falling into ditches.” Mr.
Dabholkar was present on this occasion and he thought that
this was the answer Baba gave to the question whether Guru
was a necessity (Vide Sai Leela Vol. I, No.5, Page 47); and
he thereupon took the hint that no discussion of the
problem, whether man is free or bound, is of any use in
spiritual matters, but that on the contrary real Paramartha
is possible only as the result of the teachings of the Guru,
as is illustrated in this chapter of the original work in
the instances of great Avatars like Rama and Krishna, who
had to submit themselves to their Gurus, Vasishtha and
Sandipani respectively, for getting self- realization and
that the only virtues necessary for such progress are faith
and patience. (Vide Sai Satcharita, Ch. II,

Bow to Shri Sai –– Peace
be to all

Chapter III

Sai Baba’s Sanction and Promise –
Assignment of Work to Devotees

– Baba’s Stories as Beacon – Light –
His Motherly Love – Rohilla’s

Story – His sweet and Nectar – like

Sai Baba’s Sanction and

As described in the previous
chapter, Sai Baba gave His complete

assent to the writing of the
Sat-Charita and said, “I fully agree with you

regarding the writing of Sat
Charita. You do your duty, don’t be afraid in

the least, steady your mind and have
faith in My words. If my Leelas are

written, the Avidya (nescience) will
vanish and if they are attentively,

and devoutly listened to, the
consciousness of the worldly existence will

abate, and strong waves of devotion,
and love will rise up and if one

dives deep into My Leelas, he would
get precious jewels of knowledge.”

Hearing this, author was much
pleased, and he at once became

fearless and confident, and thought
that work was bound to be a success.

Then turning to Shama (Madhavrao
Deshpande) Sai Baba said.

“If a man utters My name with love,
I shall fulfill all his wishes,

increase his devotion. And if he
sings earnestly My life and My deeds,

him I shall beset in front and back
and on all sides. Those devotees, who

are attached to Me, heart and soul,
will naturally feel happiness, when

they hear these stories. Believe Me
that if anybody sings My Leelas, I

will give him infinite joy and
everlasting contentment. It is My special

characteristic to free any person,
who surrenders completely to Me, and

who does worship Me faithfully, and
who remembers Me, and meditates

on Me constantly. How can they be
conscious of worldly objects

and sensations, who utter My name,
who worship Me, who think of My

stories and My life and who thus
always remember Me? I shall draw out

My devotees from the jaws of Death.
If My stories are listened to, all the

diseases will be got rid of. So,
hear My stories with respect; and think

and meditate on them, assimilate
them. This is the way of happiness and

contentment. The pride and egoism of
My devotees will vanish, the mind

of the hearers will be set at rest;
and if it has wholehearted and complete

faith, it will be one with Supreme
Consciousness. The simple remembrance

of My name as ‘Sai, Sai’ will do
away with sins of speech and



Different Works Assigned to

The Lord entrusts different works to
different devotees. Some are

given the work of building temples
and maths, or ghats (flight of steps)

on rivers; some are made to sing the
glories of God; some are sent on

pilgrimages; but to me was allotted
the work of writing the Sat Charita.

Being a jack of all trades but
master of none, I was quite unqualified for

this job. Then why should I
undertake such a difficult job? Who can

describe the true life of Sai Baba?
Sai Baba’s grace alone can enable one

to accomplish this difficult work.
So, when I took up the pen in my

hand, Sai Baba took away my egoism
and wrote Himself His stories.

The credit of relating these
stories, therefore, goes to Him and not to

me. Though Brahmin by birth, I
lacked the two eyes. (i.e. the sight or

vision) of Shruti and Smriti and
therefore was not at all capable of writing

the Sat-Charita, but the grace of
the Lord makes a dumb man talk,

enables a lame man to cross a
mountain. He alone knows the knack of

getting things done as He likes.
Neither the flute, nor the harmonium

knows how the sounds are produced.
This is the concern of the Player.

The oozing of Chandrakant jewel and
the surging of the sea are not due

to the jewel and the sea but to the
rise of the moon.

Baba’s Stories as Beacon-

Light houses are constructed at
various places in the sea, to enable

the boatmen to avoid rocks and
dangers, and make them sail safely. Sai

Baba’s stories serve a similar
purpose in the ocean of worldly existence.

They surpass nectar in sweetness,
and make our worldly path smooth

and easy to traverse. Blessed are
the stories of the saints. When they

enter our hearts through the ears,
the body – consciousness or egoism

and the sense of duality vanish; and
when they are stored in the heart,

doubts fly out to all sides, pride
of the body will fall, and wisdom will be

stored in abundance. The description
of Baba’s pure fame, and the hearing

of the same, with love, will destroy
the sins of the devotee and,

therefore, this is the simple
Sadhana for attaining salvation. The Sadhana

for Krita Age was Shamadama
(tranquillity of mind and body), for Treta

Age, sacrifice, for Dwapara,
worship, and for Kali (present) Age, it is

singing of the name and glory of the
Lord. This last Sadhana is open to

all the people of the four varnas
(Brahmins, etc.). The other Sadhanas,

viz. Yoga, Yagya (sacrifice), Dhyana
(meditation) and Dharana (concentration)

are very difficult to practice, but
singing and hearing the stories

and the glory of the Lord (Sai Baba)
is very easy. We have only to turn


our attention towards them. The
listening and singing of the stories will

remove the attachment to the senses
and their objects, and will make the

devotees dispassionate, and will
ultimately lead them to self-realization.

With this end in view, Sai Baba made
me or helped me to write His

stories, Sat-Charitamrita. The
devotees may now easily read and hear

these stories of Sai Baba and while
doing so, meditate on Him, His form

and thus attain devotion to Guru and
God (Sai Baba), get detachment

and self-realization. In the
preparation and writing of this work, Sat-

Charitamrita, it is Sai Baba’s grace
which has accomplished everything,

making use of me as a mere

Motherly Love of Sai Baba

Everybody knows how a cow loves her
infant calf. Her udder is

always full and when the calf wants
milk and dashes at the udder, out

comes the milk in an unceasing flow.
Similarly a human mother knows

the wants of her child and feeds it,
at her breast in time. In case of dressing

and adorning the child, the mother
takes particular care to see that

this is well done. The child knows
or cares nothing about this, but the

mother’s joy knows no bounds, when
she sees her child beautifully

dressed and adorned. The love of
mother is peculiar, extraordinary and

disinterested, and has no parallel.
Sadgurus feel this motherly love towards

their disciples. Sai Baba had this
same love towards me, and I

give an instance of it

In 1916 A.D. I retired from
Government Service. The pension that

was settled in my case was not
sufficient to maintain my family decently.

On Guru-Pournima (15th of Ashadha)
day of that year, I went to

Shirdi with other devotees. There,
Mr. Anna Chinchanikar, of his own

accord, prayed to Baba for me as
follows:- “Please look kindly on him,

the pension he gets is quite
insufficient, his family is growing. Give him

some other appointment, remove his
anxiety and make him happy.” Baba

replied – ” He will get some other
job, but now he should serve Me and

be happy. His dishes will be ever
full and never empty. He should turn

all his attention towards Me and
avoid the company of atheists, irreligious

and wicked people. He should be meek
and humble towards all

and worship Me heart and soul. If he
does this, he will get eternal


The question Who is this HE, Whose
worship is advocated, is already

answered in a note on “Who is Sai
Baba” in the prologue, at the

beginning of this work.



Rohilla’s Story

The story of the Rohilla illustrates
Sai Baba’s all embracing love.

One Rohilla, tall and well-built,
strong as a bull, came to Shirdi, wearing

a long Kafni (robe) and was
enamoured of Sai who stayed there.

Day and night he used to recite in a
loud and harsh tone Kalma (verses

from Holy Koran) and shout “ALLAH HO
AKBAR” (God is Great).

Most people of Shirdi, were working
in their fields by day and when

they returned to their homes at
night, they were welcomed with the

Rohilla’s harsh cries and shouts.
They could get no sleep and felt much

trouble and inconvenience. They
suffered in silence this nuisance for

some days, and when they could stand
it no longer, they approached

Baba, and requested Him to check the
Rohilla and stop the nuisance.

Baba did not attend to their
complaint. On the contrary, Baba took the

villagers to task, and asked them to
mind their own business, and not the

Rohilla. He said to them that the
Rohilla had got a very bad wife, a

Zantippi, who tried to come in and
trouble the Rohilla and Himself; but

hearing the Rohilla’s prayers, she
dare not enter and they were at peace

and happy. In fact, the Rohilla had
no wife and by his wife Baba meant

DURBUDDHI, i.e. bad thoughts. As
Baba liked prayers and cries to God

better than anything else, He took
the side of the Rohilla, and asked the

villagers to wait and suffer the
nuisance, which would abate in due course.

Baba’s Sweet and Nectar-like

One day at noon after the Arti,
devotees were returning to their

lodgings, when Baba gave the
following beautiful advice:-

“Be wherever you like, do whatever
you choose, remember this

well that all what you do is known
to Me. I am the Inner Ruler of all and

seated in their hearts. I envelope
all the creatures, the movable and immovable

world. I am the Controller – the
wire-puller of the show of this

Universe. I am the mother – origin
of all beings – the Harmony of three

Gunas, the propeller of all senses,
the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer.

Nothing will harm him, who turns his
attention towards Me, but Maya

will lash or whip him who forgets
Me. All the insects, ants, the visible,

movable and immovable world, is My
Body or Form”.

Hearing these beautiful and precious
words, I at once decided

in my mind to serve no man
henceforward, but my Guru only; but

the reply of Baba to Anna
Chinchanikar’s query (which was really

mine) that I would get some job,
began to revolve in my mind, and I

began to think whether it would come
to happen. As future events


showed, Baba’s words came true and I
got a Government job, but that

was of short duration. Then I became
free and solely devoted my self to

the service of my Guru-Sai

Before concluding this Chapter, I
request the readers to leave out

the various hindrances viz.
indolence, sleep, wandering of mind, attachments

to senses, etc. and turn their whole
and undivided attention to

these stories of Sai Baba. Let their
love be natural, let them know the

secret of devotion; let them not
exhaust themselves by other Sadhanas,

let them stick to this one simple
remedy, i.e. listening to Sai Baba’s stories.

This will destroy their ignorance
and will secure for them salvation.

A miser may stay at various places;
but he always thinks of his

buried treasure. So let Sai Baba be
enthroned in the hearts of all.

In the next chapter, I shall speak
of Sai Baba’s advent in


Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to


Chapter IV


Mission of the Saints – Shirdi a
Holy Tirth – Personality of Sai

Baba – Dictum of Goulibuva –
Appearance of Vithal – Kshirsagar’s Story

– Das Ganu’s Bath in Prayag –
Immaculate Conception of Sai Baba and

His First Advent in Shirdi – Three

In the last chapter, I described the
circumstances which led me to

write Sai-Sat-Charita. Let me now
describe the first advent of Sai Baba

in Shirdi.

Mission of the Saints

Lord Krishna says in Bhagvadgita
(Chapter IV, 7-8) that “Whenever

there is a decay of Dharma
(righteousness) and an ascendancy of

unrighteousness, I manifest Myself;
and for the protection of the virtuous,

the destruction of the vicious and
for the establishment of righteousness,

I manifest Myself in age after

This is the mission of Lord, and the
Sages and Saints, Who are His

representatives and Who appear here
at proper times, help in their own

way to fulfil that mission. For
instance, when the twice born, i.e. the

Brahmins, the Kshatriyas and the
Vaishyas neglect their duties and when

the Shudras try to usurp the rights
of the higher classes, when spiritual

preceptors are not respected but
humiliated, when nobody cares for religious

instructions, when every body thinks
himself very learned, when

people begin to partake of forbidden
foods and intoxicating drinks, when

under the cloak of religion, people
indulge in malpractices, when people

belonging to different sects fight
amongst themselves, when Brahmins

fail to do Sandhya adoration, and
the orthodox their religious practices,

when Yogis neglect their meditation,
when people begin to think

that wealth, progeny, wife are their
sole concern, and thus turn away

from the true path of salvation,
then do Saints appear and try to set matters

right by their words and action.
They serve us as beacon-lights, and

show us the right path, and the
right way for us to follow. In this way,

many saints, viz. Nivritti,
Jnanadev, Muktabai, Namdev, Gora, Gonayi,

Ekanath, Tukaram, Narahari, Narsi
Bhai, Sajan Kasai, Sawata, Ramdas,

and various others did appear at
various times to show the right path to

the people, and so presently came
Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi.


Shirdi – A Holy Tirth

The banks of the Godavari river, in
the Ahmednagar District, are

very fortunate for they gave birth
and refuge to many a Saint, prominent

amongst them being Jnaneshwar.
Shirdi also falls in the Kopargaon Taluka

of the Ahmednagar District. After
crossing the Godavari river at

Kopargaon, one gets the way to
Shirdi. When you go three Koss (9 miles),

you come to Nimgaon, from whence,
Shirdi is visible. Shirdi is as famous

and well-known as other holy places
like Gangapur, Narsinhwadi,

Audumbar on the banks of Krishna
river. As the devotee Damaji flourished

in and blessed Mangalvedha (near
Pandharpur) as Samarth Ramdas

at Sajjangad, as Shri Narasimha
Saraswati at Saraswatiwadi, so Sainath

flourished at Shirdi and blessed

Personality of Sai Baba

It is on account of Sai Baba that
Shirdi grew into importance. Let

us see what sort of a personage Sai
Baba was. He conquered this Samsar

(worldly existence), which is very
difficult and hard to cross. Peace or

mental calm was His ornament, and He
was the repository of wisdom.

He was the home of Vaishnava
devotees, most liberal (like Karna)

amongst liberals, the quint-essence
of all essences. He had no love for

perishable things, and was always
engrossed in self-realization, which

was His sole concern. He felt no
pleasure in the things of this world or

of the world beyond. His Antarang
(heart) was as clear as a mirror, and

His speech always rained nectar. The
rich or poor people were the same

to Him. He did not know or care for
honour or dishonour. He was the

Lord of all beings. He spoke freely
and mixed with all people, saw the

actings and dances of Nautchgirls
and heard Gajjal songs. Still, He

swerved not an inch from Samadhi
(mental equilibrium). The name of

Allah was always on His lips. While
the world awoke, He slept; and

while the world slept, He was
vigilant. His abdomen (Inside) was as

calm as the deep sea. His Ashram
could not be determined, nor His

actions could be definitely
determined, and though He sat (lived) in one

place, He knew all the transactions
of the world. His Darbar was imposing.

He told daily hundreds of stories,
still He swerved not an inch from

His vow of silence. He always leaned
against the wall in the Masjid or

walked morning, noon and evening
towards Lendi (Nala) and Chavadi;

still He at all times abided in the
Self. Though a Siddha, He acted like a

Sadhaka. He was meek, humble and
egoless, and pleased all. Such was

Sai Baba, and as the soil of Shirdi
was trodden by Sai Baba’s Feet, it

attained extraordinary importance.
As jnaneshwar elevated Alandi,



Ekanath did to Paithan, so Sai Baba
raised Shirdi. Blessed are the grassleaves

and stones of Shirdi, for they could
easily kiss the Holy Feet of

Sai Baba, and take their dust on
their head. Shirdi became to us, devotees,

another Pandharpur, Jagannath,
Dwarka, Banaras (Kashi) and

Rameshwar, Badrikedar, Nasik,
Tryambakeshwar, Ujjain, and Maha

Kaleshwar or Mahabaleshwar Gokarn.
Contact of Sai Baba in Shirdi

was like our Veda and Tantra; it
quieted our Samsara (world consciousness)

and rendered self-realization easy.
The darshana of shri Sai was

our Yoga-Sadhana, and talk with Him
removed our sins. Shampooing

His Legs was our bath in Triveni
Prayag, and drinking the holy water of

His Feet destroyed our desires. To
us, His commands were Vedas, and

accepting (eating) His Udi (sacred
ashes) and Prasad was all purifying.

He was our Shri Krishna and Shri
Rama who gave us solace and He was

our Para Brahma (Absolute Reality).
He was Himself beyond the Pair of

dwandwas (opposite), never dejected
nor elated. He was always engrossed

in His Self as ëExistence,
Knowledge and Bliss.’ Shirdi was His centre;

but His field of action extended far
wide, to Punjab, Calcutta, North

India, Gujarat, Dacca (Now in
Bangladesh) and Konkan. Thus the fame

of Sai Baba spread, far, and wide,
and people from all parts came to take

His darshana and be blessed. By mere
darshan, minds of people, whether,

pure or impure, would become at once
quiet. They got here the same

sort of unparalleled joy that
devotees get at Pandharpur by seeing Vithal

Rakhumai. This is not an
exaggeration. Consider what a devotee says in

this respect.

Dictum of Goulibuva

An old devotee by name Goulibuva,
aged about 95 years, was a

Varkari of Pandhari. He stayed 8
months at Pandharpur and four months

– Ashadha to Kartik (July –
November) on the banks of the Ganges. He

had an ass with him for carrying his
luggage, and a disciple, as his companion.

Every year he made his Vari or trip
to Pandharpur and came to

Shirdi to see Sai Baba, Whom he
loved most. He used to stare at Baba

and say, “This is Pandharinath
Vithal incarnate, the merciful Lord of the

poor and helpless.” This Goulibuva
was an old devotee of Vithoba, and

had made many a trip to Pandhari;
and he testified that Sai Baba was

real Pandharinath.

Vithal Himself Appeared

Sai Baba was very fond of
remembering and singing God’s name.

He always uttered Allah Malik(God is
Lord) ands in His presence made

others sing God’s name continuously,
day and night, for 7 days. This


is called Namasaptaha. Once He asked
Das Ganu Maharaj to do the

Namasaptaha. He replied that he
would do it, provided he was assured

that Vithal would appear at the end
of the 7th day. Then Baba, placing

His hand on his breast assured him
that certainly Vithal would appear,

but that the devotee must be
ëearnest and devout’. The Dankapuri

(Takore) of Takurnath, the Pandhari
of Vithal, the Dwarka of Ranchhod

(Krishna) is here (Shirdi). One need
not go far out to see Dwarka. Will

Vithal come here from some outside
place? He is here. Only when the

devotee is bursting with love and
devotion, Vithal will manifest Himself

here (Shirdi).*

After the Saptaha was over, Vithal
did manifest Himself in the

following manner. Kakasaheb Dixit
was, as usual, sitting in meditation

after the bath, and he saw Vithal in
a vision. When he went at noon for

Baba’s darshana, Baba asked him
point-blank – “Did Vithal Patil come?

Did you see Him? He is a very truant
fellow, catch Him firmly, otherwise,

he will escape, if you be a little
inattentive.” This happened in the

morning and at noon there was
another Vithal darshana. One hawker

from outside, came there for selling
25 or 30 pictures of Vithoba. This

picture exactly tallied with the
figure, that appeared in Kakasaheb’s vision.

On seeing this and remembering
Baba’s words, Kakasaheb Dixit

was much surprised and delighted. He
bought one picture of Vithoba,

and placed it in his shrine for

Bhagwantrao Kshirsagar’s

How fond was Baba for Vithal worship
was illustrated in

Bhagwantrao Kshirsagar’s story. The
father of Bhagwantrao was a

devotee of Vithoba, and used to make
Varis (annual trips) to

Pandharpur. He also had an image of
Vithoba at home, which he

*Mr. B.V.Deo, Retired Mamlatdar of
Thana has proved by his researches that Shirdi

comes in the limits of Pandharpur
which was the southern-most centre of Dwaraka

therefore, Shirdi was Dwaraka
itself. (Vide Sai Leela, Vol. 14. Nos. 1-2-3). I have

across another definition of Dwarka,
quoted from Skanda-Puran by K.Narayan Aiyar in

Permanent History of Bharatvarsha,
Vol.2. Part 1. Page 90 which runs thus:–

Ææ®Wyûª” I


The place, where doors are open for
all people, of the four (Brahmin, Kshatriya,

Vaishya and Shudra) classes, for
accomplishing the four Purusharthas, viz. Dharma,

Karma and Moksha, is called Dwaraka
by the wise philosophers. Baba’s Masjid in Shirdi

was not only open to the four
classes; but to the depressed untouchables, lepers etc.

Bhagoji Shinde and, therefore, it is
very appropriately styled Dwaraka.



worshipped. After his death, the son
stopped everything – the Vari, the

worship and shraddha ceremony etc.
When Bhagwantrao came to Shirdi,

Baba on remembering his father, at
once said – “His father was my friend,

so I dragged him (the son) here. He
never offered naivaidya (offering of

food) and so he starved Vithal and
Me. So I brought him here. I shall

remonstrate him now and set him to

Das Ganu’s Bath in Prayag

The Hindus think that a bath in the
holy Tirth of Prayag1, where

the Ganga and Yamuna meet, is very
meritorious and thousands of pilgrims

go there, at periodical times, to
have the sacred bath there. Once,

Das Ganu thought that he should go
to Prayag for a bath, and came to

Baba to get His permission for doing
so. Baba replied to him – “It is not

necessary to go so long. Our Prayag
is here, believe me.” Then wonder

of wonders! When Das Ganu placed his
head on Baba’s Feet, out came

or flowed streams, of Ganga – Yamuna
water, from both the toes of Baba.

Seeing this miracle, Das Ganu was
overwhelmed with feelings of love

and adoration and was full of tears.
Inwardly, he felt inspired, and his

speech burst forth into a song in
praise of Baba and His Leelas.

Immaculate Conception of Sai Baba

His First Advent in

Nobody knew the parents, birth or
birth-place of Sai Baba. Many

inquiries were made, many questions
were put to Baba and others regarding

these items, but no satisfactory
answer or information has yet

been obtained. Practically we know
nothing about these matters.

Namdev and Kabir were not born like
ordinary mortals. They were

found as infants in
mother-of-pearls, Namdev being found on the bank

Bhimrathi river by Gonayee, and
Kabir on the bank Bhagirathi river

by Tamal. Similar was the case with
Sai Baba. He first manifested

Himself as a young lad of sixteen
under a Neem tree in Shirdi, for the

sake of Bhaktas. Even then He seemed
to be full with the knowledge

of Brahman. He had no desire for
worldly objects even in dream. He

kicked out Maya; and Mukti
(deliverance) was serving at His feet. One

old woman of Shirdi, the mother of
Nana Chopdar, described Him thus.

This young lad, fair, smart and very
handsome, was first seen under

the Neem tree, seated in an Asan.
The people of the village were

wonder-struck to see such a young
lad practising hard penance, not

1. Allahabad in U.P.


minding heat and cold. By day he
associated with none, by night he

was afraid of nobody. People were
wondering and asking, whence this

young chap had turned up. His form
and features were so beautiful that

a mere look endeared Him to all. He
went to nobody’s door, always sat

near the Neem tree. Outwardly he
looked very young; but by His action

he was really a Great Soul. He was
the embodiment of dispassion and

was an enigma to all. One day it so
happened, that God Khandoba possessed

the body of some devotee and people
began to ask Him, “Deva

(God), you please enquire what
blessed father’s son is this lad and whence

did He come”. God Khandoba asked
them to bring a pick-axe and dig in

a particular place. When it was dug,
bricks were found underneath a flat

stone. When the stone was removed, a
corridor led to a cellar where

cow-mouth-shaped structures, wooden
boards, necklaces were seen.

Khandoba said – “This lad practiced
penance here for 12 years.” Then

the people began to question the lad
about this. He put them off the scent

by telling them that it was His
Guru’s place, His holy Watan and requested

them to guard it well. The people
then closed the corridor as

before. As Ashwattha and Audumbar
trees are held sacred, Baba regarded

this Neem tree equally sacred and
loved it most. Mhalasapati and other

Shirdi devotees regard this site as
the resting place (Samadhi-Sthana) of

Baba’s Guru and prostrate before

Three Wadas

(1) The site with the Neem tree and
surrounding space was bought

by Mr. Hari Vinayak Sathe, and on
this site a big building styled Sathe’s

Wada was erected. This Wada was the
sole resting place for pilgrims,

who flocked there. A Par (platform)
was built round the neem tree and

lofts with steps were constructed.
Under the steps, there is a niche facing

South and devotees sit on the Par
(platform) facing north. It is believed,

that he who burns incense there, on
Thursday and Friday evenings

will, by God’s grace, be happy. This
Wada was old and dilapidated

and wanted repairs. The necessary
repairs, additions and alterations have

been made now by the Sansthan. (2)
Then after some years another Wada,

Dixit’s Wada was constructed.
Kakasaheb Dixit, Solicitor of Bombay,

had gone to England. He had injured
his leg by an accident there. The

injury could not be got rid of by
any means. Nanasaheb Chandorkar

advised him to try Sai Baba. So he
saw Sai Baba in 1909 A.D., and

requested Him to cure rather the
lameness of his mind than that of his

leg. He was so much pleased with the
darshana of Sai Baba, that he

decided to reside in Shirdi. So he
built a Wada for himself and other

devotees. The foundation of this
building was laid on 10-12-1910.



On this day, two other important
events took place. (1) Mr. Dadasaheb

Khaparde was given permission to
return home, and (2) the night Arti in

Chavadi was commenced. The Wada was
complete and was inhabited

on the Rama-Navami day in 1911 A.D.,
with due rites and formalities.

(3) Then another Wada or palatial
mansion was put up by the famous

millionaire, Mr. Booty, of Nagpur.
Lots of money were spent on this

building, but all the amount was
well utilized, as Sai Baba’s body is

resting in this Wada, which is now
called the Samadhi Mandir. The site

of this Mandir had formerly a
garden, which was watered and looked

after by Baba. Three Wadas thus
sprang up, where there was none formerly.

Of these, Sathe’s Wada was most
useful to all, in the early days.

The story of the garden, attended to
by Sai Baba with the help of

Vaman Tatya, the temporary absence
of Sai Baba from Shirdi, and His

coming again to Shirdi with the
marriage-party of Chand Patil, the company

of Devidas, Jankidas and Gangagir,
Baba’s wrestling match with

Mohdin Tamboli, residence in Masjid,
love of Mr. Dengale and other

devotees; and other incidents will
be described in the next Chapter.

Bow to Shri Sai –– Peace
be to all

Chapter V

Baba’s Return with Chand Patil’s
Marriage – party – Welcomed

and Addressed as “Sai” – Contact
with Other Saints – His Dress and

Daily Routine – The Story of the
Padukas – Wrestling Bout with Mohdin

and Change in Life – Turning Water
into Oil – The Pseudo – Guru Javhar


Return with Chand Patil’s Marriage –

As hinted in the last Chapter, I
shall now describe first how Sai

Baba returned to Shirdi after His

There lived in the Aurangabad
District (Nizam State), in a village

called Dhoop, a well-to-do Mahomedan
gentleman by name Chand Patil.

While he was making a trip to
Aurangabad, he lost his mare. For two

long months, he made a diligent
search but could get no trace of the lost

mare. After being disappointed, he
returned from Aurangabad with the

saddle on his back. After travelling
four Koss and a half, he came, on the

way, to a mango tree under the foot
of which sat a RATNA (queer fellow).

He had a cap on His head, wore Kafni
(long robe) and had a “Satka”

(short stick) under His arm-pit and
He was preparing to smoke a Chilim

(pipe). On seeing Chand Patil pass
by the way, He called out to him and

asked him to have a smoke and to
rest a little. The Fakir asked him

about the saddle. Chand Patil
replied that it was of his mare which was

lost. The queer fellow or Fakir
asked him to make a search in the Nala

close by. He went and the wonder of
wonders! he found out the mare.

He thought that this Fakir was not
an ordinary man, but an Avalia (a

great saint). He returned to the
Fakir with the mare. The Chilim was

ready for being smoked, but two
things were wanting; (1) fire to light

the pipe, and (2) water to wet the
chhapi (piece of cloth through which

smoke is drawn up). The Fakir took
His prong and thrust it forcibly

into the ground and out came a live
burning coal, which He put on the

pipe. Then He dashed the Satka on
the ground, from whence water began

to ooze. The chhapi was wetted with
that water, was then wrung out

and wrapped round the pipe. Thus
everything being complete, the Fakir

smoked the Chilim and then gave it
also to Chand Patil. On seeing all

this, Chand Patil was wonderstruck.
He requested the Fakir to come to

his home and accept his hospitality.
Next day He went to the Patil’s

house and stayed there for some
time. The Patil was a village – officer

of Dhoop. His wife’s brother’s son
was to be married and the bride was


from Shirdi. So Patil made
preparations to start for Shirdi for the

The Fakir also accompanied the
marriage-party. The marriage went

off without any hitch, the party
returned to Dhoop, except the Fakir alone

stayed in Shirdi, and remained there

How the Fakir Got the Name

When the marriage – party came to
Shirdi, it alighted at the foot of

a Banyan tree in Bhagata
Mhalsapati’s field near Khandoba’s temple.

The carts were loosened in the open
court-yard of Khandoba’s temple.

The carts were loosened in the open
court-yard of Khandoba’s temple,

and the members of the party
descended one by one, and the Fakir also

got down. Bhagat Mhalsapati saw the
young Fakir getting down and

accosted Him “YA SAI” (Welcome Sai).
Others also addressed Him as

Sai and thence-forth he became known
as Sai Baba.

Contact with Other Saints

Sai Baba began to stay in a deserted
Masjid1. One Saint named

Devidas was living in Shirdi many
years before Baba came there. Baba

liked his company. He stayed with
him in the Maruti temple, in the

Chavadi, and some time lived alone.
Then came another Saint by name

Jankidas. Baba spent most of His
time in talking with him, or Jankidas

went to Baba’s residence . So also
one Vaishya house-holder Saint, from

Puntambe by name Gangagir always
frequented Shirdi. When he first

saw Sai Baba, carrying pitchers of
water in both hands, for watering the

garden, he was amazed and said
openly, “Blessed is Shirdi, that it got

this precious Jewel. This man is
carrying water to-day; but He is not an

ordinary fellow. As this land
(Shirdi) was lucky and meritorious, it secured

this Jewel.” So also one famous
Saint by name Anandnath of Yewala

Math2, a disciple of Akkalkot
Maharaj came to Shirdi with some Shirdi

people. When he saw Sai Baba, he
said openly, “This is a precious Diamond

in reality. Though he looks like an
ordinary man, he is not a ëgar’

(ordinary stone) but a Diamond. You
will realize this in the near future.”

Saying this he returned to Yewala.
This was said while Sai Baba was a


Baba’s Dress and Daily

In his young days, Sai Baba grew
hair on His head; never had His

head shaved. He dressed like an
athlete. When He went to Rahata (3

miles from Shirdi), He brought with
Him small plants of Merry Gold,

Jai and Jui, and after cleaning, he
planted and watered them. A devotee

1. Mosque

2. Monastery


by name Vaman Tatya supplied Him
daily with two earthen pitchers.

With these Baba Himself used to
water the plants. He drew water from

the well and carried the pitchers on
His shoulders. In the evening the

pitchers were kept at the foot of
the Neem tree. As soon as they were

placed there, they were broken, as
they were made of raw earth and not

baked. Next day, Tatya supplied two
fresh pitchers. This course went on

for 3 years; and with Sai Baba’s
toil and labour, there grew a flowergarden.

On this site, at present, stands the
big mansion – Samadhi Mandir

of Baba, which is now frequented and
used by so many devotees.

The Story of Padukas (foot-prints)
under the Neem Tree

A devotee of Akkalkot Maharaj by
name Bhai Krishnaji Alibagkar

worshipped the photo of Akkalkot
Maharaj. He once thought of going to

Akkalkot (Sholapur District), taking
the darshana of the Padukas (footprints)

of the Maharaj and offering his
sincere worship there; but before

he could go there, he got a vision
in his dream. Akkalkot Maharaj appeared

in the vision and said to him – “Now
Shirdi is my resting place,

go there and offer your Worship.” So
Bhai changed his plan and came to

Shirdi, worshipped Baba, stayed
there for six months and was happy. As

a reminiscence of this vision etc.,
he prepared the Padukas and installed

them on an auspicious day of
Shravan, Shaka 1834 (1912 A.D.) under

the Neem tree with due ceremonies
and formalities, conducted by Dada

Kelkar and Upasani. One Dixit
Brahmin was appointed for worship,

and the management was entrusted to
devotee Sagun.

Complete Version of this

Mr. B.V. Deo, Retired Mamalatdar of
Thana, and a great devotee

of Sai Baba, made enquired about
this matter with Sagun Meru Naik

and Govind Kamlakar Dixit and has
published a full version of the

Padukas in Sai Leela Vol. 11, No. 1,
page 25. It runs as follows:

In 1834 Shaka (1912 A.D.) one Doctor
Ramarao Kothare of Bombay

came to Shirdi for Baba’s darshana.
His compounder; and his friend,

Bhai Krishnaji Alibagkar,
accompanied him. The compounder and Bhai

became intimate with Sagun Meru Naik
and G.K. Dixit. While discussing

things, these persons thought that
there must be some memorial

of the fact of Sai Baba’s first
coming to Shirdi and sitting

under the holy Neem tree. They
thought of installing Baba’s Padukas

there and were going to make them of
some rough stones. Then Bhai’s

friend, the compounder, suggested
that if this matter be made known



to his master, Dr. Ramarao Kothare,
who would prepare nice Padukas

for this purpose. All liked the
proposal and Dr. Kothare was informed of

it. He came to Shirdi and drew a
plan of the Padukas. He went to Upasani

Maharaj in Khandoba’s temple, and
showed him his plan. The latter made

many improvements, drew lotuses,
flowers, conch, disc, man etc., and

suggested that the following SHLOKA
(verse) regarding Neem tree’s

great ness and Baba’s Yogi powers be
inscribed. The verse was as follows:

“Sada Nimbarvrikshasya

Sudhasravinam tiktamapi-apriyam

Tarum Kalpavrikshadhikam

Namameeshwaram Sadgurum Sai Natham”

Upasani’s suggestions were accepted
and carried out. The Padukas

were made in Bombay and sent to
Shirdi with the compounder. Baba

said that they should be installed
on the Pournima (15th) of Shravan. On

that day at 11 a.m., G.K. Dixit
brought them on his head from Khandoba’s

temple to the Dwarkamai (Masjid) in
procession. Baba touched the

Padukas, saying that these are the
feet of the Lord and asked the people

to instal them, under foot of the
Neem tree.

A day before, one Parsi devotee of
Bombay named Pastha Shet

sent Rs.25/- by money order. Baba
gave this sum for the installation

of the Padhukas. The total expense
of installation came up to

Rs.100/- out of which Rs.75/- were
collected by subscriptions. For






I bow to the Lord Sai Nath, who by
His constant stay at the foot of the Neem tree,

made, it – which though bitter and
unpleasant was yet oozing nectar (the oozing of this

is called Amrit, i.e. nectar, on
account of its healing properties) – better than the

Vriksha (wish – fulfilling


the first 5 years, G.K. Dixit
worshipped the Padukas daily and then this

was done by Laxman Kacheshwar
Jakhadi. In the first five years, Dr.

Kothare sent Rs. 2 per month for
lighting and he also sent the railing

round the Padukas. The expense of
bringing the railing from the station

to Shirdi (Rs. 7-8-0)1 (presently
Rs.7.50p) and roofing was paid by

Sagun Meru Naik. Now, Jakhadi (Nana
Pujari) does the worship and

Sagun Meru Naik offers the naivaidya
and lights the evening lamps.

Bhai Krishnaji was orginally a
devotee of Akkalkot Maharaj. He

had come to Shirdi at the
installation of the Padukas, in Shaka 1834 on

his way to Akkalkot. He wanted to go
to Akkalkot after taking the

darshana of Baba. He asked Baba’s
permission for this. Baba said – “Oh,

what is there in Akkalkot? Why do
you go there? The incumbent Maharaj

of that place is here, Myself.”
Hearing this Bhai did not go to Akkalkot.

He came to Shirdi off and on, after
the installation of the Padukas.

Mr. B.V. Deo concluded that
Hemadpant did not know these details.

Had be known them, he would not have
failed to depict them in his


Wresting Bout with Mohdin Tamboli
and Change in Life

To return to other stories of Baba.
There was a wrestler in Shirdi,

by name Mohdin Tamboli. Baba and he
did not agree on some items,

and both had a fight. In this Baba
was defeated. Thenceforth, Baba

changed His dress and mode of
living. He donned Kafni, wore a Langot

(waist band) and covered His head
with a piece of cloth. He took a piece

of sack-cloth for His seat,
sack-cloth for His bed and was content with

wearing torn and worn out rags. He
always said that “Poverty is better

than Kingship, far better than
Lordship. The Lord is always brother

(befriender) of the poor.” Gangagir
was also very fond of wrestling. While

he was once wrestling, a similar
feeling of dispassion came over him,

and at the proper time he heard the
voice of an adept, saying that he

should wear out his body, playing
with God. So he too gave up Samsara

and turned towards God-realization.
He established a math on the banks

of the river near Puntambe, and
lived there with disciples.

Sai Baba did not mix and speak with
the people. He only

gave answers when he was questioned.
By day he always sat under

1. Prior to 1957, the Indian rupee
was equal to 16 annas and 1 anna was equal to

4 paisa.



the Neem tree, sometimes under the
shade of a branch of a Babul tree

near the stream at the outskirts of
the village. In the afternoon, He used

to walk at random and go at times to
Nimgaon. There He frequented the

house of Balasaheb Dengale. Baba
loved Mr. Balasaheb. His younger

brother, named Nanasaheb, had no
son, though he married a second wife.

Balasaheb sent Nanasaheb for taking
darshana of Sai Baba, and after

some time with His grace, Nanasaheb
got a son. From that time onwards,

people began to come in numbers to
see Sai Baba, and His fame

began to spread and reached
Ahmednagar; from thence Nanasaheb

Chandorkar and Keshav Chidamber, and
many others began to come to

Shirdi. Baba was surrounded by His
devotees during day; and slept at

night in an old and dilapidated
Masjid. Baba’s paraphernalia at this time

consisted of a Chilim, tobacco, a
“Tumrel” (tin pot), long flowing Kafni,

a piece of cloth round His head, and
a Satka (short stick), which He

always kept with Him. The piece of
white cloth on the head was twisted

like matted hair, and flowed down
from the left ear on the back. This

was not washed for weeks. He wore no
shoes, no sandals. A piece of

sack-cloth was His seat for most of
the day. He wore a coupin (waistcloth-

band) and for warding off cold he
always sat in front of a Dhuni

(sacred fire) facing south with His
left hand resting on the wooden railing.

In that Dhuni, He offered as
oblation; egoism, desires and all thoughts

and always uttered Allah Malik (God
is the sole owner). The Masjid in

which He sat was only of two room
dimensions, where all devotees came

and saw Him. After 1912 A.D., there
was a change. The old Masjid was

repaired and a pavement was
constructed. Before Baba came to live in

this Masjid, He lived for a long
time in a place Takia, where with

GHUNGUR (small bells) on His legs,
Baba danced beautifully sang

with tender love.

Turning Water into Oil

Sai Baba was very fond of lights. He
used to borrow oil from

shop-keepers, and keep lamps burning
the whole night in the Masjid

and temple. This went on for some
time. The Banias1, who supplied

oil gratis, once met together and
decided not to give Him oil. When,

as usual, Baba went to ask for oil,
they all gave Him a distinct No.

Unperturbed, Baba returned to the
Masjid and kept the dry wicks in

the lamps. The banias were watching
Him with curiosity. Baba took

the Tumrel (tin pot) which contained
very little (a few drops) of oil,

put water into it and drank it and
forced it fall in the container.

1. Shopkeepers


After consecrating the tin-pot in
this way, He again took water in the

tin-pot and filled all the lamps
with it and lighted them. To the surprise

and dismay of the watching Banias,
the lamps began to burn and kept

burning the whole night. The Banias
repented and apologized. Baba forgave

them and asked them to be more
truthful in future.

The Pseudo-Guru Javhar

Five years after the wrestling bout
mentioned above, one Fakir

from Ahmednager by name Javhar Ali,
came to Rahata with his disciples

and stayed in Bakhal (spacious room)
near Virabhadra temple. The

Fakir was learned, could repeat the
whole Koran and had a sweet tongue.

Many religious and devout people of
the village came to him and began

to respect him. With the help of the
people, he started to build an Idgah

( a wall before which Mahomedans
pray on Idgah day), near the

Virabhadra temple. There was some
quarrel about this affair, on account

of which, Javhar Ali had to leave
Rahata. Then he came to Shirdi and

lived in the Masjid with Baba.
People were captured by his sweet talk,

and he began to call Baba his
disciple. Baba did not object and consented

to be his Chela. Then both Guru and
Chela decided to return to

Rahata and live there. The Guru
(Teacher) never knew his disciple’s worth,

but the disciple knew the defects of
the Guru, still he never disrespected

him, observing carefully his duties.
He even served the Master in various

ways. They used to come to Shirdi
off and on, but their main stay

was in Rahata. The loving devotees
of Baba in Shirdi did not like, that

Baba should stay away from them in
Rahata. So they went in a deputation

to bring Baba back to Shirdi. When
they met Baba near the Idgah

and told the purpose for which they
came, Baba said to them that the

Fakir was an ill-tempered fellow, he
would not leave him and that they

should better return to Shirdi
without him, before the Fakir returned.

While they were thus talking, the
Fakir turned up and was very angry

with them for trying to take away
his disciple. There was some discussion

and altercation and it was finally
decided that both the Guru and

Chela should return to Shirdi. And
so they returned and lived in shirdi.

But after a few days the Guru was
tested by Devidas and he was found

wanting. Twelve years before Baba
arrived in Shirdi with the marriageparty,

this Devidas aged about 10 or 11
came to Shirdi and lived in the

Maruti temple. Devidas had fine
features and brilliant eyes, and he was

dispassion incarnate and a Jnani.
Many persons, namely Tatya Kote,

Kashinath and others regarded, him
as their Guru. They brought Javhar

Ali in his presence, and in the
discussion that followed, Javhar was



worsted and fled from Shirdi. He
went and stayed in Bijapur and returned

after many years to Shirdi, and
prostrated himself before Sai Baba.

The delusion that he was Guru and
Sai Baba his Chela, was cleared

away, and as he repented, Sai Baba
treated him with respect. In this case

Sai Baba showed by actual conduct
how one should get rid of egoism

and do the duties of a disciple to
attain the highest end, viz., self-realization.

This story is told here according to
the version given by Mhalsapati

( a great devotee of

In the next Chapter will be
described Rama-Navami Festival1, the

Masjid, its former condition and
later improvement etc.

Bow to Shri Sai – Peace be to

1. This festival is celebrated in
the honour of Lord Rama.