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Friday, January 2, 2009

Shravan Monday -16th August 1965

Previously posted chapters of the book 'Live Experiences of Tarkhad Family'
1. Experiences of Tarkhad Family with Sai Baba - Preface
2. Meeting with Shirdi Sai
3. Second Meeting with Shirdi Sai Baba
4. Sai Baba's Sandalwood Mandir
5. Sai the Saviour of Ganesh Murti
6. Frightful Sight of Goddess Mari Aai
7. Meeting with Lord Vithoba of Pandharpur
8. Facing Death in a Cloudburst in Shirdi
9. Resurrection of a dead body
10. Sai's Golden Test
11. 9TH Chapter from Sai Satcharitra
12. Other Episodes from Sai Satcharitra
13. Memorable Last Meeting with Sai
14. Proof of Sai's Mahanirvana in Mumbai

From 1918 to 1965 a period of 47 years is quite a long time span and how did my father cruise through this long journey I would not like to state it to you all. My very purpose of writing this book is to narrate to you his experiences with SaiBaba of Shirdi and through which one can express his love and devotion towards Lord Sai. Of course during this time he got married to my mother who hailed from a place near Mumbai called Kelve Mahim. Her name was Laxmidevi Kelvekar. Also during this time my parents got acquainted with one of the great Saints of Maharashtra Saint GADGE MAHARAJ who directed my father to buy one bungalow for his own family. Accordingly my father purchased a bungalow in Khar (situated at 51 E, Khar Pali Road) then and they all bid good-bye to Tata Blocks in the year 1923. As the name of

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Saint Gadge Maharaj has appeared during my narration I would like to place some facts about him in my next chapter. After his marriage my father had taken my mother to Shirdi only once and had given her the detailed account of his earlier life and association with Lord Sai. My mother was also a religious person. In short I now consider myself to be a lucky person to have God-fearing parents like them from whom I have imbibed "Good Sanskar" a rare commodity in 21st Century. My father was a very healthy person. I never saw him fall ill at any time, he not even suffered from common cold or cough. He had five daughters and two sons. He fulfilled his duty of marriage of his five daughters and could not see the marriages of his two sons.
It was the month of July 1965. He had taken ill, had severe bronchitis followed by a catch in the waist, which forced him to lie-down in bed. We all thought it to be signs of old age. I was studying in the final year of B.E. in VJTI Engineering College and my elder brother Ravindra was working in the same textile mills from where my father had retired. In those days my mother used to suffer from all kinds of illness like Hypertension, Diabetes, Asthma etc. She used to get serious at times whereby we were required to put her on oxygen. In fact we use to keep one oxygen cylinder handy at home all the time. My father was in great pain and initially doctors had diagnosed as Lumbago. I use to apply Wintogeno or MahaNarayan oil to his waist, which use to give him some relief. He used to feel very sad that we were required to nurse him. He had never ever asked us to even press his legs & hence he use to feel terrible to be a bed ridden person. Once he asked me whether he would come out of his sickness. I 'remember to have told him to give a distress call to his Baba who could only come to his rescue. But this did not happen. His condition worsened and under the advice of Dr.Joshi we were required to admit him in Nanavati Hospital at Santacruz. My mother was totally duty bound in extending all nursing assistance to him. She had completely forgotten that she was herself a patient. She used to take morning tea and breakfast to him and then again in the evening take dinner for him. I use to inquire with her after returning from college about his health. She would say that not much of improvement but he has not lost any of his senses.

I think he was hospitalized for about a week. My mother would daily give him the sacred Udi, which Baba had given him along with his cup of tea every morning. Then came the 16th August that was a Monday in the month of Shravan as per Marathi calendar. My mother told my brother and me to return home early as we use to take dinner early before Sunset on all Shravan Mondays. I returned from college in the afternoon. While going to Hospital, she said that today is a crucial day. If your Dada goes through it then he will survive for at least one more year. I asked her why was she saying like that She replied that she had learnt from her mother in law that Shravan Monday is unlucky day for the men folk of Tarkhad family as most of them had died on that day.

Now what happened when she reached hospital? Around 3.30 p.m. she gave a cup of tea to my father which she used to carry in the thermos my father was a tea addict. He felt better and around 4 p.m. he once again asked for tea from my mother. My mother told him that only half an hour ago she had given him the tea and as it was Shravan Monday she would go home early. At 5.00 p.m. she would give him the tea and then would leave for home. But my father insisted that she should give him the tea as he was seeing something, which is not very clear. My mother told him not to worry and she gave him the Mala of Tulsi beeds in his hand and asked him to pray for Baba. She also applied the sacred Udi on his forehead. No sooner he took the first sip of tea he started telling my mother that someone is calling but he can't see the face clearly and make out who the person was. My mother then told him that we are only two people present in this room and he should do "BABA'S JAPA" with the Tulsi Mala. He then started murmuring Baba's name. For a short while his face had turned brighter. The agony of pain had disappeared and he almost shouted saying "Baba I am coming to you"(BABA MEE ALO). These were the last words and he was lifeless. This was his end. I think he must have seen Baba at that time. What a way to die!! They say that each living being suffers a lot when life "PRANA"(soul) leaves this body. However my father died by saying "Baba I am coming to you." So this way Baba had taken away his Bhau with him. I admire the courage of my mother who returned home alone. She told us that your Dada had left for Heavenly abode. Please inform all concerned and make preparations for his last journey. I remember when in school we had a lesson the title of which was "MARANATA KHAROKHARA JAGA JAGATE"(One Lives The Real Life In One's Death). Dada had proved this title one hundred percent. My mother normally was a very emotional person but she did not shed even a drop of tear. May be she was overwhelmed with that unprecedented sight of death or may be there were strict orders from Baba to those tears not to flow on that day. So the dictum of my grandmother had come true on that Shravan (name of Hindu Month) Monday of 16th August 1965.


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