Shirdi Saibaba - Part III
olden days mosque, Sai in procession with devotees!
His early devotees!
A little prelude would do good. At present Shirdi Saibaba is worshiped all over India and in many places abroad. There are devotees around the world, who perform regular worship to him and conduct Bhajans(devotional singing). The peculiarity of Saibaba is, "His immediate response to calls wherever we are in any corners of the world! Though He has shed his mortal coil on 15 Oct 1918, He is helping all those who take his name and call him with sincere devotion. People use to read His life history in the name "Sai Satcharitha" and adopt it for every day reading. He rescues the devotees from many mishaps around the world invisibly. He assured the devotees when He was alive that "My tomb will speak to the needs of my devotees", "I will be active from the Tomb", "Why Fear when I am here? "If you look to Me, I look to you" "If you place your burden on me, I shall surely bear it" "If you seek My advice and help, it shall be given to you at once" " Whoever puts his feet on Shirdi soil, his sufferings would come to an end"!
There are millions who are benefited by the grace of Saibaba, even after he left his earthly body! Hence, it is no wonder that the devotees are growing day by day. Almost all the 365 days, his Samadhi(tomb) is being visited by thousands of devotees every day. Shirdi has become a great pilgrim center like Benaras or Tirupathi.
Now let us revert to his beautiful stories. After Saibaba returned along with the marriage party, he took his residence in the dilapidated mosque. He stayed there alone in the night. In the day time, devotees who were very few at that time visited him and listened to his immortal teachings about God and life on earth, duties of house holders etc., Though he talked sometimes about abstract philosophies, he helped the devotees in solving their worldly problems. People came to him seeking children, wealth, health, promotion and properties. Each of the devotees were benefited in different ways. In some cases, he preferred to keep quiet since the sufferings were due to misdeeds in past life. He knew that such people has to undergo the sufferings in order to gain wisdom. Still he mitigated their sufferings to an extent so that they can bear them. It is not that all who went there become perfect in all things. It depended upon their past actions. But he blessed them to bear the troubles with equal mindedness.
Two people who often visited him in the mosque are "Mahlsapathi", the Pujari of Kandoba temple(Pujari is one who worships the deity and perform the rituals in temples). The other is the son of Bayaji Bai, the pious lady who fed Saibaba in the jungles and woods. His name was Tatya Kote Patil. Saibaba allowed Tatya and Mahlsapathi to stay in the mosque along with him. They will be discussing many things till midnight. Saibaba wanted that both his devotees not to get attached to bodily comforts. Hence he won't allow them to sleep until after midnight. If any of them is found sleeping, he would wake them up by hitting them and pressing their head or pinching them. Thus Tatya and Mahlsapathi enjoyed the company of Divinity in the form of Saibaba for many years. Rest in Part IV.