Experiences of Dasganu’s wife
Dasganu’s wife’s name was Saraswati. She was also known by the name ‘Baya’, while Baba used to call her ‘Tai’. Her mental condition was not stable and hence, she was brought and kept at Shirdi to be near Baba.
The story of how Baba asked Babasaheb Sahasrabuddhe to look after Dasganu’s wife is worth listening.
Babasaheb was not inclined to pay a visit to Shirdi. However, in 1910, bowing to the persistence of Nanasaheb Chandorkar, Annasaheb Dabholkar and Kakasaheb Dixit, Babasaheb Sahasrabuddhe visited Shirdi for the first time. And, then onwards, he became a staunch devotee of Shri Sai Baba.
Once, while he was sitting in the Masjid, Shri Baba suddenly pointed a finger at him and said, “This Tai is his daughter-in-law!” Hearing this, Kakasaheb Dixit and others jovially asked, “Then, should we handover the lady to him?” Baba replied, “Yes! Hand her over to this old man. He will take every care of her and nurse her – like he did in the case of Tatyaba (Tatyasaheb Nulkar).”
Tayasaheb was the college-mate of Neelkant Ramachandra Sahasrabuddhe. After a long gap, they met in Shirdi. During Tatyasaheb’s last days, he had diabetes. On the directions of Shri Baba, Tatyasaheb’s friend Sahasrabuddhe looked after him round the clock – like a trained nurse. Hence, the reference.
Taking care of Saraswatibai, was a herculean and delicate task. The lady had gone completely insane and, therefore, on many occasions she was not even aware of the state of her body. She used to incessantly murmur something or the other. She would roam about anywhere. Her hair and clothes were always unkempt. She would answer nature’s call anywhere – even on her bed. She would enter anyone’s house and try to occupy the bed there.
Her both hands were full of skin disease. Once, she even jumped into a well in Shirdi. However, Baba had directed Sahasrabuddhe to take care of her. And, His word was sacrosanct. He had even selected him for the second time – the first time being in case of Nulkar.
Babasaheb Sahasrabuddhe has himself noted down his experiences in this regard. He says – ‘‘The moment I heard Baba’s words, I immediately fetched Cuticura soap and Pulvis Glicerazyko and began the task of taking care of her. Every night at about 11 p.m., I arranged to send her with another lady to answer nature’s call. Because of this, she stopped soiling her bed.
I used to wash her hands at least twice a day with the soap. Because of this, her body became clean in a very short time. I used to give her a bath every day. After that, I used to make her go 108 times around the deity in Sathe’s wada. After completing every round, I made her do namaskar.’’
In this manner Babasaheb’s affectionate but strict nature was useful in her recovery. This routine was followed everyday for a month. Amazingly, she began showing signs of great improvement. Once, she approached Babasaheb and said, “Babasaheb, I am feeling better now. I want to prepare meals with my own hands and serve it to all these people.” Everyone around was taken aback with what this lady (who was till recently believed to be utterly mad and beyond cure) had said! They immediately went to Baba and conveyed the improvement to Him.
Everyone was very happy and amazed at what Babasaheb had achieved. But, Baba retorted, “Has he done any favor to anyone? He has helped his own daughter-inlaw. So, what is so great about it?”
Babasaheb says – ‘‘My friends were very eager to solve this riddle of daughter-in-law. They asked me the meaning of it. I began searching for an answer. I realized that Dasganu’s surname was the same as mine – Sahasrabuddhe! He was much younger than me in age. Therefore, his wife became my daughter-in-law!’’
Dasganu never had any family life worth mentioning. In fact, he never wanted it. Due to the resultant psychological pressures, his wife had lost mental balance. During these times, even the inner turmoil’s faced by Dasganu must have been tremendous. It must have been difficult for him to either accept or reject his duties towards his lawfully wedded wife. His mind was engrossed in matters relating to spiritual bliss. He was totally absorbed in his writings, kirtans, and japa. To render kirtans, he had to travel to various places and thus, was away for days together from ‘home’. On top of all this, Baba ordered him to reside at Nanded. Therefore, he entrusted his duties of looking after his wife to Baba. As ‘Tai’ was being looked after by Baba, Dasganu had complete peace of mind. Baba chose the proper person for taking care of the lady and released Dasganu from his family responsibilities.
In the year 1919, Dasganu’s wife passed away.