|| Aum Sai Ram || Aum Sai Para Brahmanaa Namah ||
“In 1917, Appasaheb Kulkarni was transferred to Thana and began to worship Baba’s picture presented to him by Balasaheb Bhate. In real earnest, he did the worship. He offered flowers, sandal-paste, and Naivaidya daily to Baba in the picture, and longed intently to see Him. In this connection it may be remarked that, seeing Baba’s picture earnestly is equivalent to seeing Him in person. The following story illustrates this statement.
A Saint of Mumbai named Balabua Sutar, who on account of his piety, devotion and style, was called ‘Modern Tukaram’, came to Shirdi for the first time in 1917. When be bowed before Baba, the latter said, “I have known this man for four years.” Balabua wondered and thought how could that be, as that was his first trip to Shirdi. But thinking about it seriously, he recollected that he had prostrated himself four years ago before Baba’s portrait at Mumbai, and was convinced about the significance of Baba’s words. He said to himself, “How omniscient and all-pervading are the Saints and how kind are they to their devotees! I merely bowed to His photo, but this fact was noticed by Baba and in due time He made me realize that, seeing His photo is equivalent to seeing Him in person!”
Now we return to Appasaheb’s story. While he was in Thana, he had to go on tour to Bhivandi and was expected to return after a week. In his absence, the following wonderful thing took place on the third day. At noon a Fakir turned up, at Appasaheb’s house. His features resembled exactly those of Baba’s photo. Mrs. Kulkarni and the children all asked him ,whether he was Sai Baba of Shirdi. He said “No”, but that he was an obedient servant of His and came there at His order to enquire after the well being of the family. Then he asked for dakshina. The lady gave him a rupee. He gave her a small packet of Udi, and asked her to keep this in the shrine. Then he left the house and went away. Now, hear the wonderful Leela of Sai!
Appasaheb could not proceed with his tour, as his horse fell sick at Bhivandi. He returned home that afternoon and learnt from his wife about Fakir’s visit. He got very restless as he did not have the darshan of the Fakir and he did not like that only one rupee was paid as Dakshina. He said that had he been present, he would have paid not less than ten rupees. Then, he immediately started in quest of the Fakir, and searched for him in the Masjid and other places, without taking any food. His search was in vain. He then returned home and took his food. The readers may remember here Baba’s dictum in Chapter 32 that, God’s quest should not be made on an empty belly. Then, after his meal he went out for a walk with a friend, Mr. Chitre. After going some distance, they saw a man approaching them rapidly. Appasaheb though that, he must be the Fakir that came to his house at noon, as his features tallied with those of Baba in the photo. The Fakir immediately put forth his hand and asked for Dakshina. Appasaheb gave him a rupee. He demanded again and again, and so Appasaheb gave him two more. Still he was not satisfied. Then he borrowed Rs. three from Mr. Chitre and gave them to him. He wanted still more. Appasaheb asked him to accompany him to his home. Then they all returned home and Appasaheb then gave him again three rupees, in all nine. He looked unsatisfied and demanded again. Then he told him that he had a currency of Rs. ten. The fakir asked for the same and took it and returned the nine rupees and went away. Appasaheb had said that he would pay Rs. ten and that sum was taken from him and nine rupees, consecrated by Baba’s touch, were returned to him. The figure 9 is significant. It denotes the nine types of devotion (vide Chapter 21). It may also be noted here that Baba gave Rs. nine to one Laxmibai Shinde at His last moment.
Appasaheb examined the Udi-packet and found that it contained some flower-petals and Akshata. Then some time afterwards he got a hair from Baba when he saw Him at Shirdi. He put the Udi-packet and the hair in a Tabiz and always wore it on his arm. Appasaheb realized the power of the Udi. Though he was very efficient he got Rs. 40/- as pay in the beginning; but after he secured Baba’s photo and His Udi, he got many times forty rupees per month and also got much power and influence; and along with these temporal benefits, his spiritual progress was also rapid.
So those who are fortune enough to get Baba’s Udi should, after bath, apply it on the forehead and take some of it mixed with water as holy Tirth.”
– SHRI SAI SATCHARITRA (Chapter XXXIII)
|| Aum Sai Sharnam || May Peace Be To All ||