19 Unknown Facts about Shirdi Sai Baba
1. Once, a lady devotee of Baba suffered from severe pain in her eyes. Doctors examined her and declared that even doctors abroad would not be able to help her. The husband brought her to Shirdi and every day he used to take her around Baba's Samadhi. She promised to offer an embroidered shawl to Baba's palaquin if she was cured. In the course of a year, she was all right and she fulfilled her vow. Yashwant Deshpande, Vithal Deshpande's father, had lost his sight due to old age, but he had a strong desire to go to Shirdi and bow to Baba. As his son was busy, he asked his grandson to accompany him to Shirdi and thus he came to Shirdi. While prostrating, the old man said to Baba, "Baba, I am sorry. I can't see You," to which Baba said, "Of course, you will be able to see".
2. Meanwhile, the boy had gone to the lodging to bring the purse which he had forgotten there. Baba passed His hand over the old man's eyes and at once his blindness was gone and his sight restored. Then Yashwant left with Baba's permission and 'udhi' while his grandson returned and not finding his grandfather there, ran about searching for him. He found him at last in their lodging quite safe, having walked all the distance from the Mosque.
3. One day, a blind man came and sat in the shade of the tree where Baba was meditating. A few rowdies came and manhandled the blind man. This disturbed Baba's meditation. He came to know about the commotion. Feeling pity Baba with His divine hands cleaned both his eyes and holding the eyelids firmly with His hands, passed divine rays from His eyes into those of the blind man. Unable to bear the agony of the burning eyes the blind man cried aloud and fainted. After a short time the blind man regained his consciousness and found that he was no longer blind ! Shyama's uncle had a blind grandfather. Shyama led him to Baba. Baba simply laid His hand on the old man's head and his eyesight was restored. Source Saipadananda July 2013
4. SAI BABA`S LOVE FOR CHILDREN
4. Sai loved children a lot. Though there are not many leelas in Sai Satcharitra regarding Baba’s love for Children, we can read many such leelas in “Life of Sai Baba, Devotees Experience of Sai Baba and also from Sai Leela Masik. Here is one such story as to how Sai Loved children.
5. Shankar Haribhau Chaubal was born on 13-8-1910 in Dhanu (Thane district). He was the son of Haribhau V. Chaubal so he met Baba when his father stayed in Shirdi for long periods of time. He was too young to remember the first stay there but he vividly remembers the second stay in 1917 when he was 7 years old. After Kakad Arati his mother would go home and prepare Zunka Bhakari for Baba every day as he would come to take Bhiksha daily from their home. The children would fight amongst themselves as to who would give Bhiksha to Baba. His mother solved the issue by making each child take turns. Shankar would run to the Dwark Mai before Baba arrived from his rounds and wait there. Baba would pick him up and seat him on his lap for some time, cuddle him and often times wipe his nose. Baba would give him delicious food that he had received, the tell him to go and play.
6. Once Shama called Shankar and said in a stern voice, “Boy you are very dirty so from tomorrow don’t stand next to the railing as Baba picks you up and has to wipe your nose. The next day Shankar did go to the Dwarka Mai but quietly sat in the Sabha Mandap, Baba sent a devotee to fetch him but he refused to go as Shama was next to Baba. The devotee was sent again by Baba, and when he refused, the devotee picked him up and brought him to Baba. Baba sat him on his lap and in a gentle voice said, “Bhau are you angry with me today? Why are sitting so far away” Then Shankar told him what Shama had said. “Arre Shymia just as you are my child so is Bhau. If I don’t take of my children who will? So dont be angry with him” and pacified Shama since then Shama didn’t object to Shankars going to Baba. Ref Sai. Leela Magazine May 1986.
7. SAI BABA AND THE STORY BEHIND THE INVISIBLE BABA PHOTO
7. Dr KB Gavankar, an ardent SAI devotee during whose time as President of Shirdi Sansthan the statue of Sai Baba was installed in the year 1954. Dr.Gavankar was also the editor of Sai Leela magazine and He has writted three books on Sai Baba. Dr.Gavankar had met Sai Baba when He was around 12 years old and Sai Baba has gifted one of His Kafnis to Dr.Gavankar. In one of his books Dr.Gavankar records an experience of how once a few visitors at Shirdi requested SHRI SAI for permission to take HIS photo. SAI however refused but on being persuaded, allowed only HIS feet to be photographed. Taking advantage of this the visitors took HIS full snap. The result: only HIS Feet came out in the photo. In another instance, a photographer without SAI's consent took his snap and the picture that came off was of the photographer's own guru and not that of SHRI SAI. Do not try to outsmart SAI. HE is much smarter than we can ever even imagine. BOLO SHRI SAINATH MAHARAJ KI JAI!
8. SAI BABA LOVES THOSE WHO OBEY HIM
8. Sai Baba always treated all the devotees equally there was no distinction based on Caste or creed or money in the Darbar of Sai Baba. Saibaba also treated animals as equal. Sometimes He came in the form of animals to accept the food prepared by His devotees. Here is one such story wherein Baba came both in the form of a animal and human. Damu Anna Rasane(chapter. 6 & 25 of SAI SATCHARITA) observed that SHRI SAI always treated all creatures and men of low positions as HIS EQUALS OR AS HIMSELF. When Damia invited SHRI SAI for meals at his lodgings in Dixit wada, the latter replied that though HE HIMSELF would not go, yet HE would send Bala Patel (of low caste) to be Damia's guest. SAI further said,"DON'T CRY DHUT DHUT AT him i.e. DO NOT HUMILIATE THE GUEST BY GIVING him A PLACE TO SIT FAR AWAY FROM YOU." When Damu Anna prepared sumptuous meals, he kept a plate for SAI and called out, "SAI, come." A black dog came frm nowhere and ate from SAI's plate after which Damia made Bala sit beside him and both had their meals together. More than rituals, SAI loved those who obeyed HIM. BOLO SHRI SAINATH MAHARAJ KI JAI!
9. SAI BABA AND DATTATREYA
9. Lord SAI gave darshan to B Kohojkar as a little three headed infant on Datta Jayanti 1911. HE told Kusa Bhav to visit Gangapur and do GURU CHARITRA parayan 108 times and see a person with three heads that is Dattatreya. He reprimanded Chandorkar for skipping the darshan of Datta at Kopergaon; HE was annoyed when Shinde of Harda failed to fulfil his vow to LORD DATTA at GANGAPUR. As a sanyasi HE told Lakshman Jakhadi, railway station master, Kalyan to visit Shirdi often as SAI is LORD DATTA. HE told a devotee to do parayan of GURU CHARITRA instead of SAI SATCHARITA. HE identified HIMSELF with SWAMI SAMARTH of AKKALKOTE a perfect DATTA AVATAR. Here we shall see one more leela how a Dattattreya devotee accepted Sai Baba as a Datta Avatar.
10. Sivasankar Dixit, a DATTATREYA devotee suffered from TB and gave up all hopes of life. one night he had a dream in which he saw a picture of an old fakir and bowed to it. At that same moment in the dream, a muslim fakir came in person and applied udi on Dixit's forehead and he began and recover. Wondering as to who the fakir could be as he had never heard of SAI before, he was even more surprised when some children while playing left behind a small picture of SAI's samadhi with the picture of SAI tallying perfectly with the fakir in his dream. Later when Dixit visited Shirdi he found SAI's statue instead of the Photo. On enquiry, he learnt that till 1954 a Photo of SAI was kept at HIS Samadhi and later in that same year itself, the statue of SAI was installed. Henceforth Dixit began to worship SAI as DATTATREYA. BOLO SHRI SAINATH MAHARAJ KI JAI!
11. B.V. DEO AND THE READING OF TH'S JANESWARI
11. Mr. Balkrishna Vishwanath Deo who was a Mamlatdar of Dahanud (Dist Thane) had wished for a long time to read Jnaneshwari (the well known Marathi commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Sant Jnaneshwar) along with other scriptures. While he could easily read, the Bhagavad Gita and other books a chapter daily, he found it impossible to read or begin the Janeshwari. Difficulties, obstacles, etc of some sort always cropped up or the other. So he resolved in his mind to visit Shirdi, seek SHRI SA'I's blessings an then begin the Janeshwari. Accordingly, with his family he went to Shirdi in February 1914 and. there Jog asked him if he (Deo) had read the Jnaeshwari . Deo expressed his firm desire to do so but expressed his helplessness as some obstacles always came his way. Jog advised him to take a copy of the Jnaneshwari, present it to BABA have it consecrated by HIM and than he could easily read this holy text. Deo refused as he himself wanted BABA to give him blessings on HIS own. He knew that BABA knew everything, as nothing was hidden from Him.
12. Deo then met BABA who asked him for Rs 20/— dakshina which Deo gave. However, Shri Deo continued to make enquiries and asked one Balakram as to how he secured SHRI SAI ' s grace. Balakram sought time to reply to this question and the matter rested there. Next morning, BABA on seeing Deo against asked him for Rs 20/- which Deo willingly gave. The day was pretty busy with devotees crowding the Masjid and so Shri Deo had to content himself; by sitting in a corner of the mosque. The crowd dispersed after lunch and so did Deo but was again called by BABA through Chandu a leper devotee. BABA again engaged Deo in some conversation and asked him for Rs.20 as dakshina which he gladly gave. Then BABA suddenly took him in a corner and charged Deo with stealing his rags and ordered, him to make a search. Deo was innocent of this but BABA was adamant and insisted that Deo committed the theft. He hurled all kinds of abuses to Deo and even threatened to kill and bury Deo in HIS masjid and insisted that the rags be found anyhow. After an hour, BABA on HIS own asked him to go to the Wada. Deo returned and once again BABA called him over to HIS Dwarkamayi and though BABA remarked to another devotee of HIS that H's had been unduly harsh and stern at Deo, but the fact that as the latter (Deo) had committed the theft, it had to be accounted for. When Deo went to the Masjid, BABA again asked him for 12/- Deo collected that amount and paid it. Then BABA enquired of him as to what he was engaged in. On knowing that Deo was idle, BABA asked him to read the Janeshwari Gita and added that when He was there to Deo the whole gold embroidered Shella' (valuable cloth) why should he steal? By stealing, BABA meant making piece meal inquiries to other devotees about spiritual texts by avoiding HIM when HS was HIMSELF there to solve all Deo's difficulties. Why needlessly ask others was BABA's point.
13. Deo was much pleased to hear the words of Shri Sai and immediately began reading the Janeshwari . However, BABA's blessings did not end here and extended even further. Just two months after that i.e. on 2nd April, 1914, on Thursday morning, BABA appeared to Deo in a dream and asked him whether he understood the Pothi. On Deo' s reply in the negative, BABA asked him the reason which Deo said that unless HE (BABA) blesses him, how can he read with concentration. BABA thereupon instructed him to read the Adhyatma (Spiritualism) and as Deo went to fetch the book, BABA vanished from the dream and he woke up. Deo was filled with ineffable joy and bliss after this. (From SHRI SAI SATCHARITA Chapter 41)
14. GADGE MAHARAJ AND SAI BABA
14. Gadge Maharaj or Debuji Zhingraji Janorkar (February 23, 1876 – December 20, 1956) popularly known as Sant Gadge Maharaj or Gadge Baba was a saintly social reformer, a wandering mendicant who held weekly festivals with the help of his disciples across Maharashtra. His reforms and visions for villages in India is still a source of inspiration for various political parties and non-government organizations. The Government of India has started a 'Sant Gadgebaba Swachata Abhiyan' in 2000-01 in his honour. This programme awards prizes to villagers, who maintain clean villages. He was one of the great social reformers of Maharashtra. He was a saint who understood problems of his people and worked untiringly for upliftment of the poor and needy with focus on hygiene. He was also associated with Atmaram Tarkhad (Chapter 9 of Sai Satcharitra). A separate chapter has also been written about Gadge Maharaj by V.J.Tarkhad in Live experiences of Tarkhad Family with Sai Baba.
15. Govt Of India has announced National Award For sanitation and water in honour of him.Govt of Maharashtra also runs Sant gadge Baba Swachta abhiyan (Cleanliness Scheme). Saint Gadge Maharaj was associated with Sai Baba of Shirdi. Read the leela here Gadge Maharaj had the habit of continuously singing “Gopala, Gopala Deviki Nandan Gopala” In his early days he was a poor saint who owned only a mud pot, but a desire to build a grand building for charitable work. He was quite successful in building a “Dharamshala” at Pandarpur, When he started building a dharamshala at Nasik the funds suddenly froze. He had only a few rooms built and the work had to be stopped. He was quite disgusted by the turn of events so he decided to go and meet Baba.
16. Just as he climbed the steps of the Dwarka Mai, Baba looked at him and shouted a lot of foul abuses. Gadge Maharaj laughed heartily and so did Baba. Gadge Maharaj knew that hereafter his work would proceed smoothly. Since Baba had abused and driven the bad fortune and soon the funds rolled in and he successfully completed his mission. Source: Shirdi Diary by G.S. Khaparde.
17. Dwarakamayi is the place where Sai Baba resided for 60 long years. Here only Sai Baba played and laughed with His devotees. Sai Baba attached lot of importance to Dwarakamay. Dwarakamayi is the place where the every burning Dhuni is there and which supplies Udi the medicine for all purpose to the devotees. On Thursday night of 5th January, 2012, SHRI SAI manifested HIMSELF on the Shirdi Dwarkamayi wall drawing thousands of devotees 2 witness this big miracle. What is the significance of this leela? Every miracle of SHRI SAI has a definite purpose. What is the purpose of HIS darshan in this case? SHRI SAI has emphasised the importance of the Dwarkamayi where, for a continued span of 60 years (1858-1918), SAI worked for the welfare of HIS devotees from Dwarakamayi.
18. Sai Baba said in Chapter XXII about Dwarakamayi.“This is our Dwarakamayi, where you are sitting. She wards off all dangers and anxieties of the children, who sit on her lap. This Masjidmayi (its presiding Deity) is very merciful, she is the mother of the simple devotees, whom she will save in calamities. Once a person sits on her lap, all his troubles are over. He, who rests in her shade, gets Bliss". Then Baba gave him Udi, and placed His protecting hand on his head. When Balasaheb was about to depart, He again said- "Do you know the "Lamba Bava" (long gentleman), Viz. serpent?" And then closing the left arm like fist He brought it near the right elbow, and moving His left arm like the hood of a serpent, He said- "He is so terrible, but what can he do to the children of Dwarakamayi: When the Dwarakamayi (its presiding deity) protects, what can the serpent do?"
19. Present day devotees who flock to the Samadhi Mandir will gradually understand that SAI's divine energy flows from the Dwarkamayi to Buti Wada and that the energy at Samadhi Mandir gets perpetually charged from the Dwarkamayi. Difficult it is to believe but its nonetheless true that the Buti Wada is highly dependent on the energy from Dwarkamayi where SAI is ever present even today. DWAR-KA-MAYI means darwaja (gateway) to liberation. All devotees' karmic accounts are settled here. JAI SAI!