|| Aum Sai Ram || Aum Sai Para Brahmanaa Namah ||
Dear Sai Baba devotees,
Today on Baba’s day (Thursday, 15th June 2017) I would like to share my recent and very precious experience with our dear Sai Baba. There are so many miracles and blessings Baba has showered in my life right from the time I first started hearing about Baba, till my present day. It will really take me many pages to jot down all the experiences I cherish in my heart. But, this particular experience is very much related to my Baba’s blog AUM SAI SHARNAM which I started along with my husband an year ago, on 6th May 2016. It all first started as an intense urge to thank Sai Baba publicly as I was for long basking in His shelter and receiving His gracious blessings silently. So on 6th May 2016, I picked up an excerpt from the most read book I had with me then – “SAI BABA IS STILL ALIVE” written by Jaya Wahi Di and posted in the FB Group HEAL THE WORLD. Now, this was a tremendous turning point in my journey with Baba since the last 10 years and more. Little did I know then that, 1 year after I will end up compiling a blog with all the messages of Baba from our Holy Book “SAI BABA IS STILL ALIVE” and the wonderful life history and teachings of Baba from His Own Holy Book “SHRI SAI SATCHARITRA”.
My entire gratitude for making this happen goes to our dear Shirdi Sai Baba, Jaya Wahi Di, my Husband, my dear unseen friend through Heal The World group, Ms. Ramya Sivakumar and many more Sai devotees from Heal The World group who have been a constant motivation with their undeterred faith and immense support.
Baba’s Most Precious Gift
Since the time we shifted to Mumbai in 2013, it has been customary for us to visit the sacred land of Shirdi once in every two months. The immense peace we experience just by touching the soil of Shirdi used to pull us there again and again…and each time, each visit gave us new experiences which we never experienced earlier, be it a difficulty faced before or during the travel towards Shirdi, or one regarding the unavailability of room or getting to see a new Babaful place of worship within Shirdi…every thing seemed like it was scripted by Sai Baba and we always used to get out of any trouble by the grace of His timely and miraculous intervention and got the opportunity to visit unplanned important places related with Sai Baba. I always had a passion to collect curios or interesting articles for my Mandir at home or any thing Divine which I would feel cannot be bought from anywhere else other than Shirdi.
As I had been using Shri Sai Satcharitra for more than half a year while making my daily posts, the Holy Book which we actually bought from a popular Sai temple in Chennai 7 years ago, started showing signs of wear and tear. My husband (though he mended the Book and pasted the cover bind) said, “When you finish posting the entire book, I will get a new book for you from Shirdi.” That seemed so exciting to me and I happily agreed as I always wanted the Mandir copy of Sai Satcharitra with Sai Baba’s beautiful image on the cover page (my copy in hand didn’t have it!)
Well, soon the day came (19th May 2017) to visit Shirdi, and I was nearing the 50th Chapter of Shri Sai Satcharitra, I was happy and elated as always. First day (20th May 2017) after Baba’s first blessed Darshan, we happily went to the Shirdi Sansthan’s Book counter and Hubby asked, “Please give us the Shri Sai Satcharitra, English edition.” The shopkeeper said, “Nahi Sahib, English nahi hei, Hindi mein hei.” But we wanted only the English edition as in the back of my mind I wanted to post the rest of the last few chapters from my new Book from Shirdi and wanted to save that as my Main copy at home henceforth. So we felt, let’s go inside the temple and enquire, may be this shop is not having it at present. We went inside and asked and we got the same reply, with the added information that the English edition is out of stock since last 6 months and it may take some more time to be available!
Now, this is something which was totally unexpected by us. No English edition since 6 months, how can it be ? So many devotees are visiting Shirdi each day, how come they don’t have a copy. In my next darshan that evening, my only prayer to Baba was “Baba, if you really accept my work of posting all your valuable teachings so far, please give me one of Your Holy Book, before we leave Shirdi tomorrow night. If I am unable to receive it, I will take it as You are not happy with me.” Saying this tears filled my eyes, I was least expecting that the Holy Book which I have earlier bought so easily for my Parents and my Sister from Shirdi is now not available when we wanted to buy one so desperately and as stubborn as I am with things related to Baba, I was determined that I can’t leave Shirdi this time without His Holy Book as I came this time wishing for His blessings and His Book.
The whole evening we asked many vendors (known and unknown) in and around the Samadhi Mandir, all of them showed us a Duplicate copy which was very dull looking and was differently authored and not as attractive and well printed as the Mandir’s copy which had the beautiful picture of Shirdi Sai Baba on its cover. Even inside the Samadhi Mandir, the book store had many copies of The Sai Satcharitra in all the regional languages in India, except the English edition, which we wanted! I started getting worried and sad. We have come here many times before and never thought of buying a copy for ourselves from here even when we had bought many other divine gifts. This was the first time we came with this special wish and I didn’t want to go back without my new copy as it now seemed would be possible only with Baba’s infinite grace. Anyhow, we decided to retire to our room for the day after attending the blissful Shej Aarti, which we miraculously got to participate inside the Mandir near to Baba. Even there, I had only the same prayer repeatedly inside me. My husband very well knew my desires and he kept speaking in the affirmative that he will surely get me one, the next day and to keep faith in Baba. I was thankful that he is being considerate, but how is it even possible when the entire Shirdi hasn’t got a Mandir’s copy since last 6 months. But I wanted to believe him and in Baba, we had one more day to search!
Next day (21st May 2017) dawned, and I got up with the same desire, now that the Book (which I thought is just a matter of giving money and collecting from the Samadhi Mandir) was difficult to get, my desire to get it also started gaining more momentum. I started attaching my sentiments to it thinking that going back home without His Book would mean Baba is not happy with me or He is not accepting my prayers or my little seva.
After one more round of failed search, we were standing in the queue outside the Dwarakamayi for the Noon Aarti, and it was a pretty long queue moving in snail’s pace. I started becoming restless, and said to my husband, “Let me go and ask the nearby vendors too as someone may have atleast one copy without their knowledge.” Actually I was pushing myself, well aware that I am going against my usual patient self and now forcing things to happen as that night we had to leave Shirdi and there wasn’t a possibility of visiting Dwarakamayi a second time. I hurriedly wanted the Book before I entered for Noon Aarti inside the Dwarakamayi. After all the shops were searched, I came back to where my Husband was standing, looking quite peaceful and not as disturbed as me. I asked him whether we could buy the Duplicate copy as I wanted to keep the Book over Baba’s Padukas inside Dwarakamayi and get it consecrated. He said, “If you really want to buy, you can, but we still can try some more shops before we leave.” I said, “Yes we will continue the search till we board our bus, but let me still buy this duplicate copy.” But after Baba’s darshan and returning back to room by afternoon I checked the contents of the book I bought and to my little disappointment, found it had extra chapters and was even different in the way the stories were narrated. I realised that, I won’t be able to continue my blog with this book. Feeling sad, I asked Baba, “Why is Your Holy Book not available to me when I wanted it the most.”
By evening as per plan, we were to go towards the Dwarakamayi for the evening Dhoop Aarti, but as we were walking from our place of stay, we felt we were taking a deviation to another road. My husband said, “Let’s simply take a stroll, have a cup of tea and then walk back to the Samadhi Mandir.” Now, this part of the road we had never explored earlier and it was like we never saw it earlier to even think of walking down the road. Then as we walked few metres ahead, we realised that it was more like a residential place with many small homes and it didn’t seem to have any restaurant in that area. My husband said we will now return from here, as it is getting late for the Dhoop Aarti. But I insisted saying, “We have come this far, let’s walk a bit more and if we don’t find any restaurants we will return.” So as we moved further, our eyes fell on a big signboard by the roadside. It read “Hotel Shraddha Inn”. We were intrigued, as we never knew all these years that, there was any hotel in that name in that part of Shirdi. My husband said, “Let’s go inside and find out”, and even before we realised we were walking towards the gate and got further drawn towards the hotel.
The ambience outside was so nice that we wanted to check the inside of the hotel too and find if we can have a cup of tea quickly and return. When we stepped inside, what we saw was no less than a temple like darshan. There were two huge beautiful statues of Sai Baba and LalBaugh Ganapati, with another majestic statue of an Elephant between them. The sight was so welcoming that we loved gazing at them for sometime and approached the reception for enquiries. So it happened that, the staff directed us and we sat comfortably inside a cosy and well-furnished restaurant. As by then the Dhoop Aarti had also begun, there were no other customers inside the hotel restaurant and we waited a while for our order to be served. Meanwhile I got up, wishing to take few clicks of the beauty around and started capturing Baba’s beautiful idol in the lounge, some wonderful sculptures and the interior decors. My eyes then fell on the Curios shop just opposite the reception, with many handicrafts and divine idols and like always I just went inside, out of excitement to see if I can collect any rare items. I was very much impressed with many beautiful articles in the store and I told the shopkeeper that I will be right back after sometime to get them.
After having a hot piping tea and satisfied by the wonderful walkthrough inside the hotel and hearing the history of its inception we were about to leave, when I guided my husband to the Curios shop to show and buy the item I had chosen. My husband walked in delightedly, looked around and the first thing he asked the shopkeeper was, “Do you have Sai Satcharitra, Mandir’s copy? We need the English edition.” I wondered why is my husband asking that inside a Curios Shop where there are only Baba’s idols, images, idols of all deities, bags and pooja related articles and I continued to look around the show-cased items. But the reply that came from the shop keeper blew me away and I turned to him. He said, “Yes Sir, I have many copies” !!!! I was like, did I really hear it right or is he going to show us the same Hindi or Marathi editions. I then saw him kneeling down and opening a cupboard and pulling out few books! AUM SAI RAM !!! All 3 were English editions of the Mandir copy of Shri Sai Satcharita and many more copies were inside!!
Pause….let me take a deep breath, as narrating this incident even after days gives me goosebumps!
I was overjoyed and was looking with my eyes beaming at the beautiful, reddish coloured Holy Books with Baba’s blessed photo on it, which were lying within my hands reach, but I was not even touching it out of ecstasy. I least expected to find them there! Everything before that moment flashed my mind….Baba was sitting and smiling right in front of us! Baba was really pulling us here!!! My husband enquired the shopkeeper curiously, “How come you have so many copies here, we have been searching whole of Shirdi for one copy since yesterday, and all of them said its not available now.” His reply amazed us further when he said, they always save some copies for the physically challenged devotees staying in the hotel who are unable to get the Holy Book from the Samadhi Mandir. He offered us all the 3 copies but I thought we would take one copy for myself, one for my husband (as his post Birthday gift from Baba, 18th May! 🙂 ) and leave the rest for someone who might come searching for it like us. We narrated our story to the shop keeper and said how our joy knew no bounds now and we happily thanked Baba and him and returned to the Samadhi Mandir. On the way we were happy to share the news with our friend and shop owner there, who was also trying to help us find a copy since the previous day. He immediately sent his staff boy to get both the Holy Books consecrated by Baba from inside the Samadhi Mandir, something we didn’t even ask for! We waited eagerly and soon he was back with the Books and we bowed and touched it with our foreheads. We couldn’t ask for more that day. All thanks to Baba, that blessed day 21st May 2017 will be etched in our minds forever. 🙂
Baba’s ways are very mysterious, miraculous and difficult to comprehend by our little minds, but as we always believe, Baba definitely has a solution for all our problems. Just that, He needs our unswerving faith and patience. He can turnaround any difficult situation and make it favourable for us. That night, when we boarded our bus with one copy each of His divine Holy Book…our hearts were thanking Him for His unfathomable grace and our lips were chanting His name…you can imagine the joy and bliss we would have felt….. 🙂
Aum Sai Sharnam!…with all prayers, may peace be to all, Ajitha Amarnath 🙂
AUM SAI SHARNAM….THANK YOU BABA FOR EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE
WE LOVE YOU BABA 🙂 ❤