Baba was Akalkot Maharaj / The Story of Maina Thai
In the year 1898, Das Ganu (Ganapathi Rao), who was a police constable, was entrusted by the Government to catch the notorious dacoit Khana Bhill. Once or twice Khana Bhill’s associates caught hold of Das Ganu but left him with pity. Das Ganu was contemplating to leave his police job and dedicate himself in the service of Sai Baba as willed by Baba. But Das Ganu thought that if he could catch the notorious dacoit, the Government would be pleased and give him promotion, which after enjoying for some time, he would leave the job and serve Baba. Khana Bhill’s associates got hold of Das Ganu for the third time and they wanted to kill him. Das Ganu prayed to Baba. He took a vow that if he was saved by Baba this time, he would leave his job and dedicate himself to Baba. In an unexpected way, Khana Bhill let go Das Ganu. Afterwards Das Ganu continued in the service for some time and finally left his job in the year 1903.
The devotion to Baba started in Das Ganu in the year 1893, slowly fortified in the year 1903 when he left his job. These 10 years he used to visit Baba now and then. Baba brought about several changes in Das Ganu. He used to declare that even if his devotee was beyond the seven seas he would drag him to Shirdi in the same manner as tying a thread to the leg of sparrow and dragging it. This had come true in the case of Das Ganu. After 1903, Das Ganu spread the message of Baba throughout Maharashtra by means of Hari Katha. He also used to keep a big photo of Baba on the stage whenever he gave programmes. This Hari Katha programme used to last for four or five hours and thousands of people would attend. Similarly, Nana Chandorkar spread Baba’s message through his lectures.
The Story of Maina Thai
In 1904, Nana Chandorkar was working at a place called Jamner which was about 100 miles from Shirdi. His daughter Maina Thai was in labour pains since two days and was suffering a lot. Eminent doctors came to his house and gave medical aid, but delivery did not take place and she continued to suffer unbearable pains. Then Nana Chandorkar prayed to Baba and sought his help. At the same time in Shirdi, a sanyasi named Ramgiri Buva sought permission of Baba to go home. Baba gave him permission and his blessings and asked him to visit Jamner on the way and hand over the udi and arathi hymn to Nana Chandorkar. But Ramgiri Buva hesitated because he had no money to go to Jamner. Baba told him not to worry and that all arrangements for his journey to Jamner would be made and asked him to proceed immediately. He used to call him Bapugiri Buva.
Having complete faith in Baba, he started for Jamner. He alighted at Jalgaon station at night at about one o’clock. The money he had with him was sufficient for the journey upto Jalgaon only. To go to Jamner he had to go by a tonga (horse-drawn carriage) for 30 miles. Not knowing what to do he sat down and prayed to Baba. At the same time, a well built person was calling out "Who is Bapugiri Buva? Who has come from Shirdi ?" On hearing this Bapugiri Buva met him and the person informed him that Nana Chandorkar had sent the tonga. Thereupon, they proceeded in the tonga which travelled very fast. The tonga driver stopped near a rivulet and offered some eatables saying that they were sent by Nana Chandorkar. After eating them and drinking fresh water from the rivulet, they proceeded again. In the early hours before daybreak, the tonga reached the outskirts of Jamner. Babugiri Buva got out of the tonga and went to answer nature’s call. When he returned, he did not find the tonga or the driver. He wondered what had happened to them. He went into the village and after making enquiries reached Nana Chandorkar’s house. He handed over the udi and the aarti hymn. Everybody was happy to receive the udi sent by Baba. Immediately they mixed it with water and made Maina Thai drink it. While they began singing the aarti song, Maina Thai delivered a male child.
All those present there who saw this miracle praised Baba by saying aloud "Bhagwan Sree Sainath Ki Jai". When Bapugiri Buva thanked Nana chandorkar for sending the tonga, Nana Chandorkar was wonderstruck and told Bapugiri Buva that he had no tonga and he had not sent anyone to the station. Bapugiri Buva concluded that it was all Baba’s leela; it was Baba who called him by name at the Jalgaon station. Baba in the forms of horse, tonga and tonga driver simultaneously had driven him to Jamner. He experienced supreme bliss at Baba’s love. So did Nana Chandorkar knowing how Baba saved his daughter. On seeing this miracle, the members of Nana chandorkar’s family and people from nearby became great devotees of Baba. "I am spread all over this world. I do not require a tonga or cart or any other mode of travel, to come to you. If my devotee prays to me, then I shall be by his side." This charter of Baba came true in the case of Nana Chandorkar.
Baba was Akalkot Maharaj
In the year 1876 Sarardha Akalkot Maharaj attained Samadhi in the village of Akalkot. A devotee of his was preparing to go to Akalkot in 1904. But Akalkot Maharaj appeared in his dream and told him that there was no need to come to Akalkot as he was at Shirdi in the Avatar of Sai Baba. When the devotee visited Baba, the latter blessed him and told him that Akalkot Maharaj and he are the same. Sai Baba is not merely Akalkot Majaraj, he is also the incarnation of all gods. He appeared as Rama, Krishna, Maruti, Datta and also as Ganesh to several devotees. Before closing this chapter, let us pray at the feet of Sai Baba who is the incarnation of all gods and protector of all, to show mercy on us, and increase our devotion towards him.