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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Children's Stories (Chapter 22 & 23)

Chapter 22
Shirdi pilgrimage has a peculiar characteristic. If one had to leave Shirdi he had to take permission from God of Shirdi i.e. Sai Baba. If he was granted permission then he had to leave Shirdi at once and if refused he had to stay there unless he got affirmative permission. Many incidents regarding this are included in Sai Satcharitra also.
In 1915, Shri Lakshman Vithal Nadkar, along with his family came to Shirdi to seek Baba's blessings. After they stayed in Shirdi for some days, Baba asked them to leave Shirdi. But they continued staying in Shirdi and did not leave as per Baba's desire.
One day Baba was going to Lendi Bagh with his devotees, He saw Nadkar and said, "You have still not left, leave at once” In those days, the Godavari river had to be crossed on small boats. On reaching there, all the boatmen refused to take Nadkar and his family across the river. Shri Nadkar stood there on the banks of the river and began to think that now we won't be able to reach Manmad in time and thus will miss the train. He regretted not listening to Baba and wondered how he would spend a night in the jungle with his family. He begged for forgiveness to Baba and prayed to Him for help. Suddenly Mamlatdar from Kopargaon reached there and on Shri Nadkar's request agreed to take him across the river on his boat. On reaching the railway station, he found that there was a great crowd. On inquiring from somebody, he found that the train was late by two hours. Later, they reached Mumbai by train. In this way Baba helped Shri Nadkar and his family to reach back in time and saved them the discomfort.
Bow to Sri Sai – Peace be to all.


Chapter 23
Many devotees at first did not trust Sai Baba. They came to Shirdi just to test Him. But they had such experiences in the Holy Feet of Sai Baba that they became His staunch devotee till the end of their lives. The following incident has been narrated in Sai Satcharitra Chapter 49 under the heading Hari Kanoba. It is one of my favourite chapter of the sacred book.
In Mumbai, Shri Hari Kanoba's friends and relatives told him about Sri Sai Baba's miraculous powers but Shri Kanoba was suspicious by nature. He decided to go to Shirdi and test Baba. He reached Shirdi with some of his friends. At that time he was wearing a turban of Zari and new sandals on his feet.
On reaching the Masjid he respectfully bowed to Baba but his mind was on his new sandals, which were kept outside. He was doubtful that someone might steal his new sandals. When he returned after taking Udi and the Prasad, he found that his sandals were not there.
He returned to his place and had food. One Marathi boy came to him and said, "Hari Ka Beta, Zari Ka Fenta." That boy told everybody present there that Baba had instructed him to hold a stick with the sandals tied to it in his hands and keep on saying 'Hari Ka Beta, Zari Ka Fenta' wherever he went. Baba had told tjie boy that when anybody asked for the sandals, the boy should ask that person whether his name was Hari and if he was the son of Kanoba. Baba also told the boy to see whether the person was wearing a Zari turban and only then was the boy allowed to hand over the sandals to him. Hearing the words of the Marathi boy, Hari Kanoba was very pleased but was also very surprised. He wondered how Baba came to know about him and his father's name as nobody had mentioned their names. Moreover this was their first visit to Shirdi. He had come to Shirdi to test Baba. He got to know that Baba is omniscient and became his great devotee.
Children, we know of some people who came to Shirdi to test Baba, but they became his great devotees. We should worship Lord Sai Baba earnestly and should not be suspicious about his miraculous marvels.
Bow to Sri Sai - Peace be to all

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