G G Narke Experiences of Sai Maharaj
Excerpts from a letter by respected Shri Ganesh Govind Narke to Shri Hari Sitaram Dixit dated 4/3/1918.
It was Nath Shashthi (death anniversary of Sant Eknath Maharaj) day before yesterday. That day after sending some devotees to a narration of Sant Eknath’s life by an old lady, Baba told us some stories after mealtime, in which He mentioned Sant Kabir and Sant Namdev.
Later at dinner time Baba suddenly flew into a rage and quarrelled with Tatya. He took a ‘Narsimha Avatar’ before touching any food. He told Dada, “Throw him out or else I am going down”. He went to the ‘Chaurang’ (short four–legged stool used for Pooja) and even picked up two big stones to hit Tatya. Tatya descended; but he was adamant about not letting Baba go to the Chavadi without partaking any fruits.
The bell clanged at 8.45 p.m. and devotees started collecting and singing Bhajans; but Tatya continued to sulk. The clock ticked past 9.30, then 10.30, and the place became crowded with men and women. The palanquin was ready, the horse was at the gate and the singing of Bhajans reached a crescendo. Baba silently got up from His seat and approached the Chaurang. He then calmly sat near the pillar, but did not utter a word.
“Baba is going to delay the departure to Paithan” assumed the people and started singing and dancing in frenzy as though they were in Paithan itself. At 11 p.m., Dada asked for permission to go home. Baba said, ‘‘where are you going? Sit down!” In the end Tatya gave up; but Baba said, ‘‘I am not going.” He told Dada, ‘‘Okay, you may leave, it is very late.” He hurled abuses to those singing Bhajans to stop. He told Mhalsapati, ‘‘Let’s go to the Takya!” Mhalsapati sent all the Bhajan singers away as per Baba’s wish. He told Tatya to go. Everyone went home. Bapusaheb left. While we were still in the Masjid (myself, Khadke etc.), Sai took His seat and again got very angry and hurled abuses. Amongst the many names mentioned, yours was one.
Finally around mid-night, Baba said, “Let’s go!” The bell was rung in a hurry. Tatya and Bapusaheb came and we all reached the Chavadi joyfully. People called it a Sai Leela of Nath Shashthi.
The next morning everybody was talking of nothing, but the happenings of the night. Tatya came up to the wall and said, ‘‘Baba, if you had told us properly that we had to go after mid-night, everybody would have happily sung Bhajans until then. We would not have gone against you.” “What a sport!” “It’s you and Bapusaheb who are great sportsmen.” When people were returning from Lendi Baug, Baba asked, “Why were we late yesterday?” So be it. Everything is fine here.
Once, Shri Moreshwar Pradhan’s son became ill. A Telangi Shastri, who was a Lord Datta’s devotee, lived there. He did not like Shri Pradhan worshipping Sai Baba. He told him, ‘‘Leave Baba and surrender to Lord Datta and your son will be fine.” Pradhan said, ‘‘Sai Baba is Lord Datta.” Shastri Buva said, ‘‘If your son starts drinking milk within five minutes, I shall believe Sai is Lord Datta and if from tomorrow your son starts recovering his normal health, I will go for Baba’s Darshan and offer Rs.125/- as Dakshina. The boy drank milk within five minutes and started gaining health from the very next day. When he recovered completely, Shastri Buva visited Shirdi, took Sai’s Darshan and offered the promised Dakshina. Late in the evening Baba again asked him for Rs. 5/- as Dakshina. When Madhavrao asked, why He again asked for Dakshina, when he had already received Rs.125/- in the morning, Baba said, ‘‘He gave them to Lord Datta. When did he give me?”
– Ganesh Govind Narke, Shri Sai Leela, Shravan, Shaké 1845, Year I, Vol. VI
Translated into English by Jyoti Ranjan Raut, 8/A Kakad Estate, 106 Sea Face Road, Worli, Mumbai – 400 018.