BABA CAME TO US
By Prahfad B. Huiiyatkar
There are some experiences which are beyond explanation. They exist as sunlight. The manifestation of divinity is beyond all our limited perceptions. As for myself, I cannot explain the cause of incidents; but they exist as clear as sunlight. I humbly try to catch the spirit.
My parents and grandparents were indeed blessed to see Sai Baba when he was physically alive. One day Baba gave to my father a coconut, some sweets and two silver coins to my grandfather, who was then working as a Deputy Collector at Nasik. He asked my father to give him a ‘Dakshina’ of nine rupees and also gave him a chillim to smoke. Both my father and grandfather started worshiping Sai Baba even after we shifted to Jamkhandi in Karnataka. The elders in the family objected to this worship and in order not to hurt their feelings, my grandfather put the photo of Sai into a suitcase. They worshipped Sai Baba mentally till the last breath of their lives. As I was a pet grandchild, my grandfather used to narrate miracles of Sai Baba. He became Dewan of Bhor, later at Ramdurga and finally at Jamkhandi till it merged in the independent India. In his retired life he spent on spiritual quests and I remember Mr. B.D. Jatti (who later on became Vice-President of India) visiting him now and then.
During this time, Gurudev Ranade, who was then the Vice-Chancellor of Allahabad University frequently called on my grandfather at Jamkhandi. My grandfather died in 1958.
Then the problems started for us. I graduated at Poona and had got into the Law College when my grandfather passed away. Since the financial position became critical after his death, I had to leave the Law college and work as a teacher at Malvan. Here due to a strange coincidence, I came in contact with a girl, I liked her and subsequently we married.
After marriage, I learnt that my wife was a very quiet devotee of Sai Maharaj and as any other young man, in order to please the newly married spouse; I also started worshipping Sai Baba. She had a photo of Sai Baba with a horse. Along with her, I started reading ‘Sai pothi’. I felt this was more pretence than devotion!
In 1965, we were blessed with a son. My son was healthy but gave indications of dumbness. We did not know what to do. We took him to Shirdi when he was two-year old. He virtually slept off on the’ Samadhi’. When we returned home two days later, he was saying ‘Baba- Baba’. He picked up vocabulary and he became normal in all respects. This miracle changed my attitude towards Baba and I accepted him as my God!
We shifted to Goa in 1960. On seeing our worship of Sai Baba a good number of neighbors also became His devotees. We hold ‘Satsang’ and the number is ever increasing. In 1977, a devotee by name Avinash went to Shirdi and brought a small bag of Udhi. My wife told him: “Avinash! You came from Shirdi. Why did you not bring Baba with you”? He answered: “Baba is coming – Baba is coming. He is on His way.” Avinash’s word turned out to be prophetic. On 9th June 1977 my wife had a dream: “Your brother-in-law is coming. Do not allow him straightaway. Take out ‘Dristi’ (evil eye) and then allow him to meet your husband”. My wife saw in her dream Sai Baba in orange robes climbing the footsteps and herself taking out ‘Dristi’ with a piece of bread and then Sai Baba entering the house. The dream ended. I did not attach any importance to her dream but she had implicit faith that Baba is coming to us:
On 22nd June 1977, in the afternoon, someone tapped the front door. I opened the door and noticed that two cars were parked close to my house and around 20-30 people were standing near the cars. A Sai devotee by name Sri Abajee Panshikar greeted me and said: “We have brought Sai Murthji to install in the temple tomorrow. In the temple, arrangementsare still to be made. So we would like to keep the idol in your house for tonight”.
We agreed. Baba’s idol was brought inside and kept on a table. In the night, we performed ‘Arathi’ and sang Sai-bhajans. My wife said: “Baba- you really belong to us. You should not leave us.” I laughed at her request and said “Baba will go away to the temple.”
Next day, around noon people started gathering near the temple. Sai-devotees Kulkarni, Kishore Sahoo, Jaya Rao came to my house. News came that there was some difficulty in installing the idol in the temple. Ultimately the crowd came to my place and in a chorus said: “Let the Murthi be here”. They performed Ganapathi pooja, Sathyanarayana pooja and then the idol was installed on a table in my house. Baba has stayed permanently with us since then! In our own humble way we worship Him. People from different parts of the world have attended ‘arati’ and ‘pooja’ in our house and everyone has got some experience or the other. Prayers have been answered. Sai Baba is blessing us and is close to us in every moment of life. Thus Sai Baba came to us in an incredible manner.