6. SAINTS ARE THE BEST OF BENEFACTORS
"Unlike man they live not for themselves, but for others, God’s creatures whom He loves."
Baba had His own ways of relieving people from such fell epidemics as plague and Cholera. When the writer first went to Shirdi in December 1911 Baba had on His body seven plague bubos. Devotees asked Baba as to what remedies they should adopt to relieve Him from these bubos’ pains. Baba said, "Nothing needs be done, Seven bubos on My body bespeak deaths only seven people; that no more plague" fatalities would occur in Shirdi thenceforth; the devotees however pressed Baba to name the medicine the application of which would relieve Him from bubo pain; so He prescribed for Himself the application of burnt cotton soaked in oil and the devotees went on applying this during my stay of ten days in Shirdi, So soon however as seven fatal plague gases had occurred, the plague, it was reported, left Shirdi, and bubos also disappeared from over Baba’s body.
Another time, when Cholera broke out in Shirdi and several people fell victims to it, one morning Baba took out large quantity of wheat from the gunny bag He had at the Dwarkamai and turning the hand-mill Himself, ground them and had that wheat flour spread out on the banks of the stream, two, three furlongs away from Shirdi. When some devotees asked Baba what all that was for, He emphatically stated it was to stop Cholera and as stated by Him, Shirdi people were freed from the ravages of Cholera Since that day. Several educated devotees of Baba attempted to find out from scientists without success the connection, the spread of Wheat Flour had with Cholera epidemic.
Similarly, when a millionaire devotee suffered from constant motions and vomiting for a fortnight Baba called him to His presence and by a simple wave of His 4th finger, cured him of stools and vomiting. So soon as Baba by His finger ordered Bapu Saheb not to go to privy nor to vomit, the motions and vomiting stopped and Bapu Saheb felt alright. On being asked by his doctor what diet should Bapu Saheb be given, Baba said give him almond Rabadi which is usually considered to be too heavy to digest for a man of Bapu Saheb’s weakened health. Bapu Saheb did not stop to weigh this common belief but with faith implicit in Baba took the prescribed Rabadi. The result was marvellous; Bapu Saheb at once regained his lost energy and health.
Another cure by Baba was even more wonderful than the preceding one. One Patil Bhimaji of Narayan village, Taluka Junner, Dist. Pune had tuberculosis of a most advanced stage. Every five minutes he vomited blood. All medicines had failed and his life was despaired of. He was very intimate with Nana Saheb, who advised him to go to Shirdi, and have Baba’s grace for his cure. So he came to Shirdi and supported by two three men, he got down from the cart and was seated in front of Baba. Bhimaji laid his head on Baba’s feet and prayed, "Save this helpless soul". Baba was moved by these words and patil’s pain subsided at once, and yet on finding that the Patil thereafter felt a bit uneasy, Go you will have a complete cure within a day or two. Put up at Bhimabai’s place now vacant." Blood vomiting, he had every five minutes, stopped in Baba’s presence and he felt as if he was slowly regaining his lost energy; so he slowly walked upto the place where Baba had asked him to put up. The ground there appeared to be quite wet as it had very recent rubble filling and cow dung plastering. To-night he had two fearful dreams in the first of which his primary school teacher went on caning him and making him repeat some poetry lines and in the other, a fierce looking man went on rolling a heavy stone roller on his chest with such force that he felt as if he was passing through the last moments of his life. But thereafter he got sound sleep and when he awoke in the morning he found himself completely cured much refreshed; he had now no coughing, no vomiting. He was agreeably surprised to see that the fell disease had, for ever left him. He therefore all alone went to Baba, prostrated himself before Him and expressed his gratefulness to Him with tears in his eyes. Baba blessed him. All without exception admitted that Baba had cured the Patil of T.B. in advanced stage within a day and that too without medicine simply by the exercise of His divine supernatural powers. Patil then left for home.
Another time when Madhavrao was stung by a poisonous serpent in the evening. He stopped the spread of poison of the serpent’s fang simply by his command to the serpent and keeping Madhavrao awake the whole night chewing nimbleaves. Next morning Madhavrao was all right; the finger stung by the serpent had only a burning sensation for a few days. Of what moment is a scorpion sting to one who can stop the poison spread of a poisonous snake simply by the word of His mouth? Bapu Saheb Jog had that experience; when he had one evening a scorpion sting and he complained to Baba about it and Baba simply said, "Go, go, the pain will soon vanish."
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