SHRI SAI’S GURU, SHRI SAI’S MANIFESTATION IN SHIRDI - Continued
Another man Mule Shastri, a palmist also got a similar experience. The Shastri was a disciple of one Gholap Swami-a Sanyasi, and he never bowed to any one else but his master Gholap Swami. During the Shastri’s stay in Shirdi one day Baba called him at the arti (The Waving of lights) ceremony; fearing pollution he stood at a distance and threw some flowers on Baba from there; but to his great surprise he saw in Baba’s place is own Guru Gholap Swami in his usual Bhagwa (redochre) coloured dress; so he at once rushed to Baba and while Sai devotees were reciting at the time Shri Sai’s Arti he recited his Gholap Swami’s Arti; when he finished arti recitation he opened his eyes and saw Sai Baba seated in his usual place demanding some Dakshina from his. Mule Shastri prostrated himself before Sai Baba as if to thank Him for the favour He had shown in procuring for him his Guru’s Darshana after a lapse of many years.
Shri Sai Baba convinced one Harichandra Pitale of Bombay that He was the Swami of Akkalkot, by giving him three rupees at the time of his departure from Shirdi and asking him to deposit and worship them with the two rupees He had previously given him. Pitale visiting Baba for the first time could not understand when the said two rupees were given to him; but subsequently on enquiring of his mother he learnt that Swami of Akkalkot had given his father Rs. 2/- spoken of by Baba. In this way Baba clearly told him, He was none else but the Swami of Akkalkot.
For another staunch devotee of Shanker named Megha He assumed the form of Shanker, Shanker, when that devotee went to a Shanker’s temple of his native country and convinced him that He was veritably his own deity Shanker in the form of Sai Baba.
The priest of the goddess Sapt Shrangi temple, also was shown that his goddess and Baba were one. He was directed in a dream by his goddess to go to "Baba" in reply to his fervent prayer for relief from worries he suffered on account of worldly calamities. Misunderstanding the word "Baba" used by the goddess the priest went to Trambakeshwar and staying there for ten days tried to propitiate Shanker by constant prayer etc; but he found no improvement in his harrowed (troubled) mind. Returning home, he rebuked the goddess that she had sent him to Trambakeshwar without any purpose and again prayed her for relief. The goddess again appeared in the priest’s dream and said "by ‘Baba’ I meant ‘Baba of Shirdi,’ Why did you run up to Trambakeshwar in vain?" The priest was altogether ignorant of the where about of Shirdi; nor had he heard of Sai Baba. While he was in this embarrassed predicament. Baba asked one of his favourite devotee Madhavrao to go to that Sapt Shrangi temple and fulfil the vow of giving tow gold teats long since outstanding in respect of his mother’s illness. The priest was very much pleased to see Madhavrao of Shirdi, for from him he got all the information about Shirdi and Sai Baba; so when Madhavrao had finished his work of fulfilling the vow and prepared to return to Shirdi the priest of the Sapt Shrangi temple accompanied him. So as soon as the priest prostrated himself before Baba his worries left him; his ruffled mind calmed down; and he enjoyed peace. Neither the priest spoke nor Baba; mere sight of Baba sufficed to supply what he wanted; this convinced the priest that Shri Sai Baba was in charge of Sapt Shrangi’s work then.
Even after he left His body, in response to the earnest prayer of one Mrs. Kumudben B. Raval (of Bhau’s Pole, Ahmedabad Maha Gujarat) Baba manifested Himself in the form of Goddess Ambika.
Similarly all such prayers of devotees of Mohammedan and Parsis were responded to by Baba by manifestations of such forms as the devotees worshipped. Very lately for a Parsi doctor of Kopergaon (Dist. Ahmednagar Maharashtra) He assumed the form of his Paygamber Zarthostra. To another Mohammedan devotee named Gulam Hussein Jaffarally Surendranagar (Maha Gujarat) He was please to appear as his Prophet Ali on horse. To native Christians He showed that He had that heavenly divine power which they believed in. Thus Chakranarayan, a Police constable, who kept an eye on the income and outgoings of Baba expressed his wonder saying, "Baba distributed hundreds of rupees per day and yet very often. He received a much lesser amount. Really he has got the divine power". A native Christian nurse yearning to go to Shirdi after His Maha-Samadhi, was at first refused leave by the head-nurse but on the first one'’ constant chanting of Baba'’ name, she was able to bring about a change in the mind of the latter as a result of which she sanctioned her leave and enabled the first one to fulfil her wish. Another Christian Miss Meerabai Satyavir, a teacher in Baroda Methodist school, says that this (the writer’s) book inspired in her an unshakeable faith, and in the course of her reading she had Sai Baba’s vision in the form of a globe of Light and thereafter she has visited Shirdi more than once; Baba is her only refuge or shelter. He has been helping her and always saving her from irreparable losses. It is therefore clear that rendering of help in all matters material, spiritual to every person irrespective of his caste, creed, race, merits or demerits has been Sai Baba’s daily routine, His very nature, His joy.
He knew that amongst the people of the various races, who visited Him, something like hereditary antipathy subsisted particularly between two major races, Hindus and Muslims and this very often burst out in riots, murders, arson. Loot and it seems that if He had elected to adopt some of both their ways of life and religion, His object was to draw to Him people of both these races, to provide for them a common ground for meeting and worship so that all mis-understandings would vanish and their attention would be drawn and fixed on the one universal feature of devotion, common to both religions, that differences between them in the forms and formalities of the religions of both would not be made much of, would be tolerated with a liberal mind on both sides, that strifes and feuds would give place to unity and friendly feelings and relations.
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