Bala Shimpe was doing tailoring work in Shirdi. Tatya got Baba’s clothes stitched by him. Now and then devotees from Bombay and Poona brought long coats and presented them to Baba. For the satisfaction of the devotees Baba kept the clothes with him for a few days and later on gave them away to devotees who were dependent on him. Some sent big shoes, chillum pipes,satakas and sweets from different places. Whenever sweets were offered by the devotees in large quantities, Baba called the village children and making them sit on his lap, offered them sweets. These children who sat on Baba’s lap were very lucky!
The following facts about Sai Baba spread through the length and breadth of Maharashtra just like the smell of scent spreading through air.
i) If one steps into Shirdi, all the sufferings will disappear.
ii) If one steps into the mosque (Dwarakamai) one will have happiness & wealth. iii)Whatever words come out of Baba’s mouth, will prove true and,
iv) By touching Baba’s feet one’s desires will be fulfilled.
Several devotees came and worshipped Sai Baba and sought only materialistic benefits. Though they were taught in several ways by Baba that their desires were temporary again their minds got entangled in worldly objects. Shirdi Sai Baba who was the incarnation of God was pained at the desires of the devotees. Noticing the day-to-day increase in the number of such devotees, he said, "I have been seeing since a long time. All are thieves. I have to move with such persons. I am struggling day and night to get right such persons. I am also praying to Allah in this matter. But Allah, is not accepting my prayer. Whether I am alive or not my prayer will be accepted. I will not pray for others. The people are generally not of good behaviour. They are not gentle. They are fickle minded. Very few have shown interest in spiritual matters and spiritual practices. People are becoming mean-minded and causing me pain. Always they are pestering me for materialistic benefits." This way Baba indicated in the beginning of the year 1918, that it had become imperative to end his Avatar.
Sai Baba frequently used the Arabic word, "Allah Malik". If any of the devotees referred to him as a great person, Baba said, "God is the greatest of all. He is the Master of all. None equals God. Just imagine how powerful is God who has created this Universe, sustaining it and finally merging it in Him. Such a powerful God had given us certain stages in this birth, and we should be content with that and be happy. How God wanted us to be, we will be and whatever pleasures and sufferings He gives us, we shall be content with that. Only God has full freedom. All the human beings should work with a feeling that they are acting as per the orders of God and offer their all to Him without caring for loss or gain. Only then will we get salvation or moksha. On the other hand, if we go against God’s orders due to nescience (ajnana) and delusion (moha) we have to take several births to wipe off these actions. Jnana is the way to attain moksha, and ajnana will lead us to the cycle of death and re-birth. Therefore, we must obtain Jnana from Sadguru, and get over the cycle of death and rebirth and desire no other thing from him." Thus Sai Baba himself told us what to ask and what not to ask from Him.
In the same manner Sai Baba told several times how our behaviour should be in the world. "Never hate anyone. Do not quarrel with anyone. Love all living beings. Do not have revengeful attitude. Do not insult anyone. If anyone talks about you in hard words, get away from there without getting offended. Then their hard words will not affect you. Avoid laziness. Always be doing good work. If there is no work to do, read holy books or repeat God’s name (Namasmaran). Do not develop hatred or jealousy for others. Children should obey their parents . They should assist their parents in work. They should always speak only the truth. If someone talks to us in ten words, we should reply in one word, that is easily understandable. Do not have a tit-for-tat attitude. Do good to those who did bad to you."
For those on the spiritual path, Baba advised as follows. "Eat little,Sleep less. Do not go after several tastes of food. Be content with one or two tastes. Do not indulge in finding faults in others and cruelty to living things. For self-realisation, meditation is important. Meditation keeps the mind in peace. The peaceful mind will attain the state of Samadhi (spiritual superconsciousness). Unless you discard your desires, it is not possible to meditate by keeping the mind stable. Without attachment in the previous birth, none will come to you. Therefore, do not drive away any living being that comes to you."
In this manner, Baba advised his devotees. With aartis three times a day and with a large number of devotees attending, Dwarakamai wore a festive look every day. Butty was anxious to install Sree Krishna’s idol in the Wada built by him. As he did not have the courage to ask Baba for his permission, he kept his desire in his heart . Ramachander Patil and Bala Shimpe were fearing the impending death of Tatya. Nana Chandorkar, whenever he got an opportunity, was explaining the greatness of Baba to the people. Das Ganu through his Hari Kathas was spreading Baba’s leelas in the entire Maharashtra. Bapu Saheb Jog was serving Baba by giving arathis regularly everyday. Close devotees like Mhalsapathi were enjoying the love of Baba to their heart’s content by way of his darshan, touch and nectar-like words. Thousands of devotees came to Shirdi, worshipped Baba, and had their desires fulfilled. Tatya who was not aware of his impending death, was serving Baba with a pure heart like a lotus flower floating on the surface of the water. In this manner, Baba had already decided as to the duties of each devotee and all was going on well.
Anand Rao’s Dream Vision
According to Baba’s orders, Kaka Saheb Dixit was reading Bhavardha Ramayan daily and explaining it to the others. One day he was explaining about the Navya Nathas’ elucidation of the characteristics of devotees, contained in the eleventh Skandha of the second chapter of the book. The substance of all the exposition of the Nava Nathas was that in this age of Kali, the only means of liberation was the remembrance of Hari’s (Lord’s) or Guru’s feet. After reading this, Kaka Saheb entertained a doubt as to how to reach the devotional path indicated by the Nava Nathas, saying that it would be difficult to put that into practice. Shama did not agree with the thinking of Kaka Saheb and argued that their devotion to Baba was no less than that expounded by the Nava Nathas. The same night Anandrao Pakhde, who had partaken in the above discussions, had a dream, in which Baba gave him the following vision, as narrated by Anandrao Pakhde: "I was standing waist-deep in a very deep sea and I saw Sai Baba all of a sudden. He was sitting on a gold throne studded with diamonds. His feet were in the water. The vision was like a real one, very unlike a dream. Shama was there by the side of me. He asked me to fall at Baba’s feet. I asked him how it was possible since Baba’s feet were below the water. Then Shama requested Baba to raise his feet above the water and Baba did so. Then I put my head on his feet. Baba blessed me and told me that I would benefit by this and should not have anxiety and fear. Baba asked me to present a silk dhoti to Shama."
By saying that Baba’s feet were inside water, the actual meaning is that due to an unstable mind, we are unable to see our Guru’s feet. By moving in the company of devotees whose minds are stable, one can get a Guru and that was the real meaning of Shama requesting Baba to raise his feet above the water. By asking Anandrao to present a silk dhoti to Shama, he meant that one would benefit by serving a devotee who had complete faith in the Guru. As per Baba’s order in the vision, Anandrao bought a silk dhoti and requested Kaka Saheb to give it to Shama. As Shama did not accept it, they put two slips near Baba’s padukas, one had the words "accept" and the other "do not accept" written on them. When one of the slips was picked up, it contained the word "accept". Then Shama accepted it.
Tilak’s Secrets of the Gita
Baba encouraged devotees who read holy books and Brahmavidya (Metaphysics). One day Bapu Saheb Jog received a book by post. He came to Baba to have his darshan and when he bent before him in salutation, the book fell from his armpit. Baba asked for it and turned a few pages. It was the book titled Gita Rahasya (Secrets of Gita) written by Tilak. Baba took out a rupee from his pocket and put it on the book and returned the book along with the coin to Jog with an advice to read it carefully and completely which will benefit him. Because Baba had consecrated the book by his touch, Jog benefited a lot from Parayana of the book.
Killing of Poisonous Creatures - Baba’s opinion
One day Dixit and his friends were talking on the first floor of Dixit Wada. A snake entered through the window. When an attempt was made to kill it with sticks, it went away. While one devotee Muktaram opined that it was good that the snake went away, Hemadpant differed and said it was good to kill poisonous snakes. The whole day both of them argued over this and finally they asked Baba about it. Baba replied, "God only is the preserver of this entire universe which includes poisonous creatures like scorpions, snakes, etc. Without His permission no harm can come to anyone from them. None of the living beings in this world have any freedon of action. So we should take pity and love all creatures and abstain ourselves from quarrels, killings, etc. God is the protector of all."
Haji Siddique Phalke
As prescribed by his religion, Phalke undertook a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina and returned. Hearing about Baba, he came to Shirdi. But Baba did not allow him to enter the mosque for nine months. He felt discouraged and approached Shama. On behalf of the Haji, Shama intervened and asked, "Baba, You have blessed many who have come to you. But why you are not blessing the old Haji?" Then Baba replied, "What can I do when Allah is not agreeing? Without his permission none can enter the mosque. You go to the Haji and find out whether he could come near the Bharavi Well." Shama went and found out that he was prepared to come there. Baba asked Shama to find out from the Haji whether he was prepared to pay Rs.4000 in four instalments. Shama asked Haji and found out that he was even prepared to pay the sum. Baba again asked Shama to tell the Haji that a goat would be cut in the mosque and whether he wanted its meat or its testicles. Shama got the reply from the Haji that he would be satisfied with a small piece of meat from Baba’s mud pot. Hearing these answers Baba got angry. He went to Chavadi where the Haji was staying and said to him, "Why are you acting like a great man? You are feeling proud of your pilgrimage to Mecca and failed to know who I am." Afterwards Baba took him into his durbar. The condition that the Haji should come to Bharavi Well was a test for the Haji’s egoism. If the Haji would have refused to go to the Bharavi Well, it would indicate his egoism. By asking money, Baba tested his sacrificial quality. By asking whether the Haji wanted meat or the testicles, the sensory tastes were known. After testing the Haji in the three qualities, Baba took him into his durbar.
Abdul Baba (Bade Baba)
Abdul was a resident of Nanded. From his sixteenth year he was serving Fakir Amiruddin, a saint of Nanded. In the year 1889, Baba appeared in a dream of Amiruddin, put two mangoes in his hands and asked him to send Abdul to him. When Amiruddin woke up he really found two mangoes in his hands. He gave them to Abdul, and asked him to go to Shirdi and be in the services of Sai Baba. Abdul came immediately to Shirdi. On seeing him, Baba said that his crow had come. Baba asked him to do his service without any other thoughts. From then onwards Abdul kept the mosque and it’s adjoining places clean and also the paths on which Baba walked. He cleaned the lanterns in the mosque, not forgetting Lendi Bagh. In his leisure time he sat near Baba and read the Quran. He put two big pots of water near the Nanda Deep in Lendi Bagh. Baba set in the evenings daily at a fixed time near Nanda Deep. He took water in his hands from the pots and reading something sprinkled the water on all sides. After that he got up and looked seriously in all the directions in which water was sprinkled. The devotees used to think that by his actions, Baba was protecting his devotees who were there on all sides. One whole night, Abdul knelt down and put his hands on his head and Baba asked him whether he wanted to see the moon. After remaining in that position for sometime, Abdul fell on Baba sleepy. Baba woke him up and told him that he would show him the moon. Next day afternoon, when Abdul took water in his hands, he found the image of the moon in the water. Abdul washed the clothes of Baba daily in the nearby rivulet and kept them neat.
Imam Bai Chotekhan
Imam Bai Chotekhan was a sepoy in the government of Nizam. Once he severely beat a Christian teacher for having not cooperated in an investigation. The teacher vomitted blood and became unconscious as a result of the beatings. The sepoy’s superiors advised him to leave the job and get out of the state to escape punishment. Therefore, he resigned his job and came over to Maharashtra State with the intention of escaping the punishment, with the blessings of Shirdi Sai Baba. When he went to see Baba the next day, Baba assured him saying, "Allah Malik! Do not fear. I will see that no punishment is given to you," He stayed at Shirdi for two months. One day Baba told him, "You can go home. The pending litigation about your lands will be settled in your favour." He had disputes about some lands with his aunt. Though he had not told Baba about this, Baba knew about it and blessed him. Afterwards Chotekhan visited Shirdi several times and took blessings and advice of Baba and progressed in his life.
Butty’s Life in Danger
Once an astrologer named Nana Saheb Dengale came to Shirdi. He told Butty one day that the particular day was inauspicious for him and there was danger to his life. Butty came to Baba and sat at his feet. Baba asked Butty, "What is this Nana telling you? He is telling that there is danger to your life. I will see how death will kill you. You do not fear." That evening when Butty went to answer nature’s call he found there a big snake. Buty called his servant , and by the time the servant came with a stick, the snake had disappeared. He recollected Baba’s assurance and felt happy. Actually that day the poisonous snake might have bitten him as per the prediction of the astrologer, but it could not do anything because of Baba’s words and went away.
Ameer Shakar was a butcher by caste and belonged to the village Korale near Shirdi. He was doing commission business at Bandra. He suffered from rheumatic pains. Hearing about the greatness of Baba, he left his business and came to Baba. Baba asked him to sit in the Chavadi. In those days, the flooring of the Chavadi was damp. Such a flooring was not suitable for a person suffering from asthma. But none can go against Baba’s words. So he sat in the Chavadi. Baba used to go to the Chavadi in the mornings and evenings. On alternate days, he used to sleep in the Chavadi. Because of this Ameer cultivated a closeness to Baba. His ailment was slowly getting cured.
One night he went to Kopargaon without informing anyone and stayed in a choultry there. There a fakir was about to die and asked for water. Ameer gave him water and the fakir drank a little and died. Fearing that the police may question him regarding the fakir’s death, and regretting for having come without Baba’s permission which had resulted in this situation, he immediately returned to Shirdi , chanting Baba’s name. He stayed in the Chavadi as per Baba’s orders and got cured completely. One night when Baba was sleeping in the Chavadi, he woke up Abdul in the middle of the night and said that some dangerous creature was coming towards his bed. When Abdul brought the lantern and searched, he found a snake under the pillow of Ameer Shakkar. Baba indicated his own name instead of Ameer’s. This way Baba saved Ameer. Let us pray to Baba to similarly protect the readers of his Life History.