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Shirdi Saibaba - Part VII
Saibaba on begging rounds.
How obscure is the little village “Shirdi”? How it gained prominence subsequent to Saibaba’s arrival there? In that period (1858-1918) when Saibaba lived in the dilapidated mosque, there were no communication facilities as it is obtained now. Only Postal service was there. It is a wonder “how Saibaba’s fame spread around the globe? How people came to know about him and his life?
Now let us see, who are all instrumental in spreading the glory of Sai in those obscure days. The first devotee who talked about Saibaba wherever he went is “Nana Saheb, the Deputy Collector and His orderly “Dattatreya Sahasrabuddhe” later nicknamed as “Dasganu” by Saibaba and others. By virtue of his official tour, Nana Saheb toured the jurisdiction of his official duties very often. Though he went to Saibaba under compulsion and call from Saibaba himself, he might have considered that more number of people should benefit from the Divine Saibaba! Many of his collegues came to Shirdi under one pretext or other and started visiting the village very often, finding the treasure chest of Wisdom in Saibaba!
Many considered him as a ‘mad fakir’ due to his frequent bouts of anger. Moreover this Fakir begged his food from four or five houses and there is no fixed time for his outings. Some times he will go many rounds of begging and some times he will visit only once. He was never angry when somebody has not given him food or drink! He was compassionate towards all. But when his close devotees go against his teachings, he would reprimand them severely! None would dare to go near him when he is angry. He will shout at all. His eyes will rotate fiercely and turn red. But the closest devotees knew that all his anger is towards the evil forces that surround the earth and he want to protect his devotees from them.
Once a devotee came to Saibaba. Baba asked him to hold his feet and sit quiet. The devotee promptly caught hold of Baba’s feet and he was sitting there. Suddenly, a fierce looking woman with unkempt hair and large eyes and teeth came near the devotee to snatch him from Saibaba. Finding Saibaba uttering angry words at her, she dares not to come near the devotee and she was drove away by Saibaba. Baba afterwards told the devotee “Why Fear When I am Here”. Now this has become one of the assuring announcements of Baba! Baba has told the devotee, “Whenever my devotee is about to fall, I hold him with my four hands”. Though he remained as a begging fakir, assurances as above has shown that he possessed great powers and anticipated the mishaps and saved the devotees from death and destruction! Rest in Part VIII.