Baba sleeps on a plank
Sri Sai Baba is a great yogi. It is beyond my feeble intellect to describe his divine powers. Fascinated by the divine power of Baba, and his throat trembling in passionate devotion, Dengale described Baba’s leelas thus, “Baba’s bed is of surpassing wonder. It is a wooden plank about a hand span in width and four cubits in length. He tied it to the roof beams of the Masjid with torn rags of cloth. The Masjid itself is in a dilapidated condition. The plastering of the walls was peeling off and falling down in chunks. The plank thus hung assumed a bow shape and all who saw it were wondering at its shape. Baba used to light lamps and keeping them on the four corners of the plank, would sleep on the plank. It was the power of his yoga that kept the bed aloft. The rags, which were used to hang the bed, were in such poor shape that it seemed they would be torn asunder at the lightest of weights placed on them. How can I describe the way Baba slept on that wondrous bed? Some people who had heard of this divine play, felt that it was false, a confidence trick. So they would come to the Masjid at night to see for themselves.
Gradually, the number of people increased so much that it was disturbing the peaceful atmosphere at the Masjid. Baba wanted to rid himself of this unwanted intrusion and one day removed the bed and discarded it.
Baba’s fame had spread to the four corners of the country. People started coming for the darshan of that great mahatma and started making vows for their weal. Shirdi became a great pilgrimage centre. By Baba’s power that small village gained fame as a great and powerful pilgrimage centre throughout the country. As the garden soil gains repute by its flowers, as the holes made in the ear ornament gain lustre by the jewels placed in them, as the cloth used to bundle gold gains respect by the gold it contains, so did Shirdi gain name and fame because of Baba. People thronged in the multitudes for the darshan of that mighty saint of infinite power.
We can still see the place where it was hung in Dwarkamai it we care to look upward just after the Dhuni ends and in front of the Nimbar.
(SRI SAIGURUCHARITRA – by devotee Ganpatrao Dattatreya Sahasra-buddhe better known as Das Ganu Maharaj)