Experiences of the Tarkhad Family with Shirdi SaiBaba 14 of 21
Author: Virendra Jyotindra Tarkhad
Bathing of LORD SHIVA by Megha
One staunch Sai devotee who had permanently stationed himself at Shirdi was Mr. Megha. He was a very ardent follower of Lord Shiva and Baba knew about it. Baba had therefore gifted him the Lingam of Lord Shiva so that he could perform his daily Pooja of his Lord. Baba also loved Megha intensely, which made him to attend his funeral procession in Shirdi. Baba joined the procession and went on showering flowers over his dead body right up to the cemetery and also shed tears like a normal mortal snowing his grief and love for his true devotee.
Of course Megha use to reckon Baba as his Lord Shankar and Baba had therefore allowed him to draw the Trishul on his forehead as was desired by Megha. On one Mahashivratri day Megha developed a fervent desire of giving a bath to Baba with Gangajal i.e. water from river Godavari. He was therefore nagging Baba to allow him to do so well in advance, as he knew that Baba would not permit him to do so easily. Finally after a lot of persuasion Baba agreed to take a bath from Megha.
On receiving the permission Megha was very happy. One day earlier Megha informed his acquaintances and invited them to witness the ceremony. My father was one of the invitees. Earlier night Megha left Shirdi with a Kalashi (metal vessel) for getting Gangajal from river Godavari that is around 11 km away from Shirdi. But for an ardent devotee like Megha, distance was no bar and he was back in Shirdi before noon with the Gangajal. After the noon Aarati Megha requested ‘ Baba to come for the bathing ceremony. Baba told him that he was only joking about taking the Gangajal bath, as such for a Fakir like him such acts are not permitted. Baba suggested to him to pour the sacred Gangajal over the Lingam of Lord Shiva in the Shiva Temple in Shirdi. Then Megha told him that he is bathing the Lingam daily and he reckons Baba as his living Lord Shiva and Mahashivratri being the most auspicious day for all Shivabhaktas Baba should not disappoint him. As Megha was very adamant Baba told him that he would allow him to pour the water only on one condition. Baba explained to him that Ganga emanates from Lord Shiva’s head and hence Baba will bend forward and then Megha should pour the water over his head only. Megha though reluctant agreed to abide by this condition. Then Baba got up from his seat and they proceeded to Lendi Baug. There was a special stone on which Baba used to take bath, he sat on it, bend his head forward and signaled Megha to proceed. Megha started pouring water over Baba’s head very slowly but he was not satisfied with that kind of bath, he decided to act as he had contemplated in his mind all these days. He suddenly emptied the bucket with the remaining water on all over Baba’s body saying “Hara Hara Mahadev.” He was very jubilant and started dancing with Joy, as he thought he had fulfilled his desire completely. But this did not last long. Soon he realized that although he had poured water all over Baba’s body, only his head was wet and rest of his body including his Kafni was as dry as ever. Megha was astonished to notice that and he could not believe. Then Baba told him “Hey you know Ganga flows out of Lord Shiva’s head and does not touch rest of his body.” My father was watching this fun along with other invitees. He realized that Baba wanted to impress upon Megha that his word is final and no one can dare to disobey him. Also Baba wanted to ascertain to Megha that he is his Living Lord Shiva. My father by then had fully understood Baba’s various acts. According to him Baba over period of time had developed typical devotees around him. Through their mystical acts he use to impress upon people the presence of Lord and his mighty powers which people must learn to respect through their faithful devotion. To name some of them were Megha (Lord Shiva), Nanavali (Lord Hanuman), and Dasganu (Lord Vithoba). In fact Dasganu Maharaj in one of his Aarati says SHIRDI MAZHE PANDHARPUR SAI BABA RAMAVAR (My Pandharpur is Shirdi and my Vithoba is Sai Baba). My father use to say that sometimes in jovial mood Baba would say that “Hey Bhau I am none other than Goddess Laxmi and while sitting in this Dwarkamai I would never utter a lie.” In his entire life span he called upon himself as messenger of God and never God himself. Of course whatever he would utter would take place unfailingly. My father use to recall Baba saying that “Hey Bhau, after I depart from this humanly body, you will see that people will flock to Shirdi like Ants to sugar. Today you visit Shirdi any day of the year you will get the proof of Baba’s statement made years ago.