A GREAT AND BLESSED SAI DEVOTEE – LATE TATYASAHEB NOOLKAR 3 of 6
(SHRI SAILEELA MAY JUNE 1991)
Desire to stay permanently at Shirdi
While working as Sub-Judge at Pandharpur, a court case regarding “Arati” rights of the famous Vithoba Temple came before him and as per his usual truthful nature gave a decision generally not expected by the public. Then he took leave and went to Shirdi along with his family. When Tatyasaheb went to see Sai Baba, He lovingly said, “Tatyaba! It’s good you have come. How long are you staying?” Thereupon Tatyasaheb replied, “Baba! I do not feel like leaving this place. Now please let me stay here. In the court I have decided a case concerning Lord Vithoba Himself. Now do not make me hold the pen again to write decisions on cases concerning human beings. It is enough now.” On this Baba uttered, “Yes so will it be” as if prophetically.
Arrival of a school-friend
Tatyasaheb Noolkar and Babasaheb alias Nilkanth Ramachandra Sahasrabuddhe were close friends while studying at Pune High School. But afterwards for 25-30 years they never came across each other. Now while Tatyasaheb was sitting in Sathe Wada, one gentleman came near and wished him. So Tatyasaheb said to him, “There is no doubt that you have recognized me but I am sorry that I cannot recollect you”.
Thereupon the gentleman said, “You are physically such that having seen you once nobody can forget you, while like me there must be hundreds of individuals. We have also not met for 25-30 years. So it is quite natural that you cannot recognize me. But now see if you can remember a person called Nilkanth Sahasrabuddhe known to you from Pune High School.” No sooner Tatyasaheb heard this; he jumped and embraced Babasaheb lightly. After inquiries about each other’s welfare and whereabouts were over, Babasaheb narrated to Tatyasaheb as to how he landed up at Shirdi from Bombay on insistence by Nanasaheb Chandorkar and Kakasaheb Dixit, who not only paid him the railway fare but also gave a note to Shri Madhavrao Deshpande. On this Tatyasaheb said, “We will of course send for Madhavrao Deshpande, but from now onwards you are my guest and making all arrangements of your comfortable stay at Shirdi is my right only.”
After bath etc. they all along with Bapusaheb Jog went to the Masjid for Arati. When Sahasrabuddhe bowed to Sai Baba, He said to him, “Serve Tatyaba”. This order to Sahasrabuddhe was repeated by Baba on second and third day also. Both Tatyasaheb and Babasaheb could not understand the implication of such order. Later on when Babasaheb, time and again, started jokingly asking Tatyasaheb, “What service should I do to you as per your Guru’s orders?” Tatyasaheb once replied, “What is the implication of His orders, Baba alone knows. We will know when the time comes. Both you and I are of the same class and after coming here I am absorbed here completely. Perhaps you may also be similarly absorbed soon. However, please stop your joking manners. I feel very hurt thereby.”
In between, Madhavrao used to open the topic with Baba about Babasaheb’s going back from Shirdi, but every time Baba used to say, “He will go after 4 days.” Then at last one day he said, “Let him lie down in front of Masjid like a dog. We want him here in future for some big job. You do not know. He has not come here without any reason.”
Last sickness mid service of the school friend
Ten fifteen days after this, Tatyasaheb because of his diabetes, got a carbuncle (inflamed boil) on his buttock and became sick. Slowly the number of carbuncles increased and Tatyasaheb’s sickness started getting worse. Babasaheb, his school-friend was always ready to serve others. Moreover this was a friend’s cause and ordered by Sai Baba Himself. So Babasaheb placed himself day and night next to Tatyasaheb and decided not to fail even slightly in serving Tatyasaheb and not to think of leaving Shirdi until Tatyasaheb was completely cured.
Tatyasaheb’s two sons were present and were also serving to their best ability. The elder son Wamanrao was a doctor having passed his L.M. & S. degree recently. In that small village there was no possibility of getting neither any allopathic medicines nor any facilities for carrying out an operation. Dr. Wamanrao therefore wired to Bombay and got medicines and equipment, operated on the carbuncles and bandaged them. Babasaheb also like an expert hospital nurse was very alert all the time. Even if Tatyasaheb at night called out in a slow voice, Babasaheb would get up immediately and asking what is required, would attend to accordingly.