In the tenth chapter we learnt how Baba saved Maina Tai from her sufferings during delivery, by sending her udi. In this chapter we will know some more incidents showing the greatness of udi. By giving it as prasad to the devotees, what did Baba intend to convey ? "Everything in this world will end as ash. When life goes out of our bodies, they are cremated and they turn into ash. For such a short-lived body’s sake, why do you indulge in greed, deceit, sins and desires?" To make the devotees realise that everything in this creation is transient including the body which is finally reduced into ash, Baba gave udi. Now let us see how this udi worked.
Greatness of Udi
One Narayana Rao was a native of Nashik and the proprietor of the hotel Anand Ashram. Once a scorpion bit his friend. The pain was unbearable. Narayana Rao searched for Baba’s udi, but could not find it. Immediately, he went to Baba’s photo, prayed to him and took some ash fallen from the incense sticks. He applied it on the place where the scorpion had bitten his friend and they were surprised when the pain subsided.
The daughter of one of Baba’s devotees and the resident of Bandra went to another village where she was struck by plague. The devotee sent word to Nana Chandorkar to send him Baba’s Udi. Word reached Nana at the Thana railway station, as he was on his way with his wife to Kalyan. He did not have Baba’s udi with him. He did not know what to do. He prayed to Sai, "Baba, I am not in a position to send your udi to the devotee who asked for it in full belief. You are all powerful. By repeating your sacred name, I will pick a little of this earth and thinking that I am giving this to the girl in the village, I will apply it on the forehead of my wife. Kindly save the girl from plague fever." The person who came to take udi from Nana watched all that took place. When he went back to the village he was surprised to find that the fever had subsided almost at the same time as when Nana chandorkar had put the earth on the forehead of his wife, invoking the name of Baba. The nephew of a doctor who lived in Malegaon suffered from an incurable disease, tubercular bone-abcess. A number of medicines were used, without any result. So his parents brought him to Shirdi. Baba asked them to put udi on the abcess and it would get cured in a week’s time, adding, "This is not a mosque. It is Dwarakamai. Whoever places his foot in it will have good health and happiness. All their difficulties will be over." So saying, Baba slowly massaged the abcess with his hand. He glanced at the boy with compassion. The pain began to subside after the application of udi and the abcess was cured completely in due course.
Once Shama’s brother’s wife had an attack of plague. She had two bubos in her groins. Shama’s brother requested him to seek the help of Baba. Then it was night time. Shama went running to Baba and told him about this. Baba told him, "Do not go at night time. You send udi and there is nothing to fear. For all of us the father and head is only that God - Sab ka Malik ek hai. You can go tomorrow morning and return quickly." The udi was sent through Shama’s brother. When Shama went to his brother’s house, the next morning, he found his sister-in-law completely recovered and personally preparing tea. He recollected Baba’s advice asking him to go the next morning and realised the significance of Baba’s words and was overjoyed.
Dr. Pillay was an intimate devotee of Baba. He often used to sit near Baba and Baba who loved him used to discuss many matters with him. The doctor was once suffering from guineaworms and the pain became unbearable. He went to Kaka Dixit and told him that he could not withstand the pain anymore and preferred death. He requested Kaka to go to Baba and pleased on his behalf to reduce the pain and distribute this suffering over ten births. Kaka Dixit went to Baba and told him about the condition of Dr. Pillay and his request. Baba was moved at this and with compassion told him, "Why should he suffer for ten births. Let him not fear. I can destroy the sins committed by him in the previous birth in ten days’ time. I am sitting here in Dwarakamai to give happiness to my devotees in this world as well as the other world. Then why should my devotee desire to die? Bring Pillay here. I will remove his pain permanently." Pillay was brought to Dwarakamai. Baba gave him his bolster and asked him to take rest. He slowly messaged the abcess and blessed him with his raised hand. He told Pillay that the real remedy was to suffer for the sins of the previous birth and get salvation. "Our own actions are responsible for our sorrows and pleasures. Have patience. Allah can only remove the sorrows. If you meditate on God, he will look after you. You have to give him your all-body, mind, wealth and surrender yourself completely. Then God will definitely protect us. God is the head of all of us. Allah Malik. Just now a crow will come and peck you on the abcess and then you will get cured."
In the meanwhile, a boy named Abdul came and started cleaning the lights in the mosque. He leg accidentally touched the abcess and seven guineaworms came out of the abcess. Afterwards, due to applying udi on the abcess, there was complete cure in ten days without using any medicines. Baba’s udi completely cured the fits of the daughter of an Iranian devotee, cured the old man from Hardha of a stone in the kidney, corrected the obstruction at the time of delivery experienced each time by a Bombay lady.
Whenever a gentleman of Bandra, tried to sleep, his departed father appeared in his dream and abused and scolded him severely with the result that he could not sleep. He had been suffering from insomnia, thus for a long time. His friend advised him to take a little of Baba’s udi inside and also put it on his forehead before going to sleep every night. After doing this he could sleep peacefully. This gentleman became a Sai devotee and putting up a photo of Sai in his house started worshipping it.
Kaka Mahajani’s friend was against idol worship. He went to Shirdi once to witness the miracles and leelas of Sai Baba. Before going to Shirdi he told Kaka Mahajan that he would not give dakshina to Baba or prostrate before him. When they reached Shirdi, Baba welcomed Kaka Mahajan;s friend with pleasing words. The voice with which Baba spoke resembled that of his departed father. For just a moment, Baba appeared to him as his father. His joy knew no bounds. He went up the stairs of the mosque saying it was really his father and so saying fell at the feet of Baba and wept. When he got up after in a few minutes, he found Baba and not his father. Then Baba said to him "You did not like to give dakshina . So I did not ask you. Remove the screen between us. Then we can see each other clearly, and be happy. We are not different from each other. I am in you and you are in me. At least in future, do not have that differentiation." So saying Baba ordered him to go back to his house early. Without any obstacles in the way he reached home safely. He recollected Baba’s words frequently and derived a lot of happiness. As soon as he opened the door, a sparrow flew out fast. He found two dead sparrows inside. He might have locked the door while going to Shirdi without noticing the three sparrows inside the house. Even though two sparrows died, to save the third sparrow Baba might have ordered him to go home immediately. Realising this he was surprised at Baba’s love towards all living things.
Some looked at Baba with a critical eye. So many divisions and sub-divisions in Hindu religion made the common man think, wonder if there was God at all. Besides, with the growth of materialism, God’s devotees were depicted as worthless in cinemas and modern literature. This led to the youth mocking at God and His devotees. A high court pleader named Thakkar who had such modern thoughts, owned a company in which Kaka Mahajani worked as a Manager. He considered modern education and intelligence to be more important than devotion to God and was also of the opinion that love towards mankind was more important than an offering made to God. So with the motive of criticising that Baba was collecting money in the form of dakshina and also to find out the truth in his leelas and miracles, Thakkar came with Kaka Mahajani to Shirdi during the Holi festival holidays. Kaka bought two seers of dried grapes for offering to Baba . When he presented the grapes to Baba after darshan, Baba ordered that the grapes may be distributed to all the devotees present there. Thakkar, not knowing how to dispose of the seeds in the grapes, for throwing them in the mosque was not proper, put them in his pocket. He considered putting the seeds removed from his mouth after chewing the grapes in his pocket to be below his dignity and blamed Baba inside his heart for creating such a situation.
Noticing the thoughts of Thakkar, Baba called him and gave him some more grapes out of the earlier stock brought by Kaka and asked him to eat them. As he did not like to eat them, he kept them in his hand. But Baba again asked him to eat them. When Thakkar ate the grapes this time, there were no seeds in them. He questioned others about the grapes they had eaten and found out that there were no seeds in the grapes. As he had wanted to see some miracles of Baba, he thought Baba had shown him this miracle. Kaka Mahajani introduced Thakkar to Baba as his master. Then Baba told that Thakkar may be the master of Kaka, but there was another Master for Thakkar who was the Master for all Allah Malik hai. So saying he blessed Thakkar, who then fell at the feet of Baba, lost in complete bliss. While he thus prostrated before Baba’s feet he found them resembling those of Lord Vishnu. But when he got up, he found Baba’s feet only. After witnessing this, Thakkar prostrated with more devotion at Baba’s feet for second time and Baba told him, "God is Omnipresent and Omnipotent; you cannot see God so easily with your five senses and mind. Every person should try to acquire that power to see God. Though service unto mankind is service unto God, one should not forget God."
Baba clarified his doubts regarding dakshina saying, "I will take dakshina from only those who were indebted to the mother of the mosque. I will take dakshina from those pointed out by the mother only. If I take a rupee as dakshina, I have to repay ten times of it to them. This is my principle. Those who give offering or charity now are sowing seeds. This will give a good crop in future. If you give to others in this birth, you will get back in your next birth. Detachment will grow with the charities you make and with this, devotion will increase and you will get Jnana. You give a charity of one rupee now and get back ten rupees in future."
Balaji Patil Navaskar was a resident of Shirdi and a great devotee of Baba. He used to sweep all lanes through which Baba walked. Every year he used to get his entire crop and offer it to Baba, taking home only that much given to him by Baba for the maintenance of his family. Because of the complete confidence reposed in Baba, his family never faced any difficulties. Baba’s words, "There won’t be any wanting in my devotees’ house," proved to be true in the case of Balaji Patil Navaskar and the following was an example of this.
Once when Navaskar invited his relations for dinner, three times the expected number arrived. The family members were worried that the food prepared may not be sufficient for all. Praying to Sai, they covered all the vessels containing the food items with a cloth and put some Sai udi over it and without removing the cloth covers completely, they started serving the dinner. After everyone had dinner, there was still some food left over in the vessels. Thus Baba’a assurance proved to be true. The devotees who have read the chapters explaining the greatness of udi, should consider the udi as a cure for all ailments and keep it always with them. They should take a little of it every morning after washing in the mouth, then sprinkle some on any new thing purchased and then only use it. After taking bath, they may apply it on the forehead.