Now here comes my favorite one once again. I really love to read experiences of devotees in Shirdi. I am also very excited to get approval of Lord Sai Baba to go to Shirdi in February next year. Now let’s go through the experience below.
Sai Sister Supriya ji from India says: Jai Sai Ram Hetal ji, I am a regular reader of your blog and have posted many of my life’s incidents also on your blog. Needless to say you are doing a wonderful seva of Baba and people like us would love to contribute whatever little we can to make Him happy.
This time, when I post my experience I also have a prayer for Baba. I pray to you Baba that whatever You do, please do not make my prayers meaningless. Please do not make this relationship meaningless. I have cared for it, for You with all my heart. Maybe, I am a very bad devotee, but please Deva, please do not make it look worthless. Whether we are together or not is Your wish, but please keep that thread between us intact, keep our love alive and please keep it constant and meaningful. People who are no more, I cannot bring them back. I cannot see them, no matter how much I wish to. But people who are there at a distance of 2 minutes from me and still I cannot see them. Nothing can be worse. Please accept my humble prayers and bring us back together. At least please keep the Sarthakta (meaning) of my prayers and please do not make me feel that I wasted it all. Honestly, I would not and do not want that feeling. I survived certain things that I thought I won’t be able to. All is because of you. I still do not understand why certain things happened, but I am sure You had a reason, a plan. Whatever Your plan is, please do not make this go to waste. Please Baba, please make keeping this relationship meaningful as a part of your plan. Thank you.
I went to Shirdi on 30th August 2011 and stayed there till 3rd September. I had such wonderful experiences and every moment Baba showed it to me that He is with me. Everyone asks me why do you go alone, but truly speaking I am never alone. A part of me is at times scared and then I tell Him that I come to You for a certain reason but these are just mediums. You call me and so You take care of me and He does.
Finding accommodation in any hotel in Shirdi for a single person is a big hassle. But fortunately, I never faced this problem. Everybody always warned me of this, but somehow Baba made sure that I never face this issue.
Somebody I care for, someone who is very close to my heart has his Birthday on 1st September. For past 2 years, I hope for some Leela from Baba that I could celebrate his Birthday with both him and Baba. Nevertheless, till such time, I do celebrate it with Baba. While I was going to Shirdi from Pune, we stopped on the way for some tea at a Bakery. I saw some wonderful cakes there and thought, how can You celebrate a birthday without cake. Buy one. And then I thought, Birthday is after 2 days. Though, Baba understands that I am here for this very reason. Even if I buy it today, who would eat so much cake? I really do not have a sweet tooth. I am always vary of offering Prasad to people because if someone says no it really pinches me. I know it’s weird but. Also I already had a lot of other stuff that I had brought for Baba. I checked with the owner and he said it is an eggless cake and I felt Baba wants to eat it, buy it. I bought it, and reached hotel in the evening. Initially I thought, I would keep it in Hotel’s fridge and offer on 1st itself, but then I guess Baba wanted to eat it the very same day. While I was taking it to the Samadhi Mandir around 9, the lady at the hotel said that they would not let me take it inside the Mandir and I can offer it in Dwarakamai. My previous experiences had taught me that the guards only stop you from doing such things, if there was too much rush. The Mandir was absolutely empty and within 2 minutes, I was inside the main hall. Every guard asked me on my way who’s Birthday it is. I had a wonderful Darshan and when I gave the cake to Panditji even he asked, who’s Birthday it is. I told him the truth and asked for His blessings, which he did give. He put some flowers inside the cake, smiled and gave it back to me. I was wondering what I would do with so much cake. I can’t keep it for 5 days to take it back home. I thought I would check with the hotel staff and distribute it as Prasad to them if they do not mind. Believe me, as soon as I was out everybody who saw me wanted to have a piece of it and I was so happy distributing. Every guard, devotees, people was asking for alms. Everyone wanted it. When I was inside the temple, I asked Baba that I am offering this to You. I believe You wanted to eat it so please do eat lots of it. I just put a very small bit of cream in front of a dog and he ate it. There was only one piece left.
That dog did not let me move till the time the complete box was empty and he ate it all. When I reached Hotel, even the Hotel people wanted the cake and the lady specially asked me. I was like I wish I had bought more. Then on other days, I offered Baba a lot of things. And always, when I used to come out of the Mandir, there would be a dog waiting for me somewhere. I thought it is ok because people do offer sweet things to dogs here and they are used to it so nothing special if they come after me. But one day, a lady standing next to me offered something sweet (looked like a laddoo to me) to a dog and he did not eat it. That very moment, I also offered him something sweet, probably was a laddoo or halwa and he immediately ate it. He even did not sniff the earlier offering from that lady. He was after me to give more and more. I guess that way Baba accepted all my offerings to Him because I really wanted Him to and He cannot see His child sad.
Whenever, I am there I am so happy. I am all smiles, I make hoards of friends from shopkeepers to street hawkers, beggars, Mandir Pujaris, office people at Sansthan, guards or others who have come there to offer their prayers to Baba. I am showered with love and affection. Not for a moment do I feel alone. Even if I would eat less, the hotel guy would ask me ten times if I did not like it. It’s such a wonderful feeling that I cannot express it in words. Coming back to my stay this time, I was showered with UDI without even standing in the queue for it. Every time, I would cross some guard, pandit ji or the office people at donation counter they called me and asked me how I am and gave me packets and packets of UDI without me even asking. By the end of the week, I had a lot of UDI with me and there is another very interesting thing that happened which I would post. It actually was Baba’s Leela for someone else and not for me. There I was just a medium.
Wednesday, I went to have lunch at the Prasadalaya and requested Baba to accompany me. It is His Prasad and so I wanted to go. I do not eat rice and the last time I had gone there it was Thursday and they only had rice and dal. I had only eaten the dal and it was a bit of a problem because it was very watery and there was no spoon. It tasted wonderful, but it was a bit difficult to eat. This time, I prayed that I want to come and eat because they say it’s Your food, but You know I do not eat rice. I do not like to say no because that would show as if I am arrogant and You say that if someone asks you for food, you should never say no. But I would not be able to eat rice and You know that as well. I was scared to go there as I thought if I find only rice. It would break my heart or upset me a little. When I went there, I bought the ticket for the executive dining area because I was all alone and was feeling shy. The normal ticket is for 10 and executive for 40. I thought I would quietly sit in one corner eat some Prasad and come out. When I went inside, this time there was chapatti and dal and lots of other stuff like vegetables, curd, salad etc. The sevadaars or caretakers made sure that I ate heartily and were going on serving me. It was a full course meal and the best meal I had in my entire stay. I was so happy that he did not force any rice on me. I got chapattis instead which I had least expected.
Thursday was all wonderful. I had asked Baba for a Nariyal to be given to me from the Priests hands anywhere, if He had accepted my prayers. I had offered a Nariyal to Baba in Dwarkamai and something inside me had said to take it with You and I did. But still there was no priest there. I had offered it and taken it back.
After the afternoon Aarti on Thurday, I offered the sweets I had brought from home. It was moong dal halwa and I did not open it as I was scared if it had got spoiled because it was the third day and I did not keep it in any fridge etc. Because the hotel people said they cannot assure that no one would touch it. It was hot in Shirdi and humid as well and I was scared if the halwa had got spoiled. I simply left it on Baba and did not open it. I gave it to the priest to open it and asked Baba that please accept this as I got it for You. The priest opened the box and offered it to Baba and gave it back to me. It was absolutely fine and I smiled. Then he gave me a bag full of Prasad, with nariyal and peda’s and a small piece of cloth. I said I did not offer it and must be someone else’s and I looked here and there but no one was asking or waiting for it. The priest simply signaled at me very forcefully to take it. Nobody would simply leave their prasad and leave. I could not understand anything and again looked if someone wants to take it but nobody. I took it. At that moment, I did not even know what all was inside. When I saw the Nariyal, I was so happy and realized that I had asked for one and He gave it to me. Just the way I wanted. Thank you so much Baba. Thanks for accepting my prayers.
Anyways after attending the night Aarti on Thursday, I felt a little pain in my back and thought that I would lie down for an hour or so and then would go sit in the queue for Morning Aarti. I do not like staying in the hotel as it’s not really scary, but I just do not feel like it. Anyways I just dozed off and could not wake up for the Morning Aarti. I was very upset when I woke up and felt that Baba did not accept my prayers. I was expecting some calls, which I did not come and that probably added to my woes. Then I went to attend the afternoon Aarti, but I could not reach inside. I was almost in tears and very upset. I just said that I came because You are there with me. You were there to take care of me only for the initial days. Now who would? I was sad and I was quietly reading Sai Satcharitra inside the reading hall. Suddenly I remembered, that one can buy pass for Aarti on weekends by paying some money. Why not I should try? I wanted to again stand in front of Baba and see the Aarti. I went to check with PRO and there was someone standing outside. I asked him and he said you have to do an online booking and then we can give you a pass. But that can be done 3 days in advance and I doubt whether it would be available now. You can go to the market and check in an Internet cafe and come back. I told him I am all alone and if he can check with someone and do an exception as one person would not make a difference. He said this way it can only be done for people who donate huge sums of money, somewhere above 51000 Indian Rupees. I felt sad because I could not donate so much money. I thought its ok. I would again stand in the queue. I was about to leave and he simply said, how much can you donate? I looked at him not knowing what to say. Whatever it would be, it would simply be peanuts in front of 51000. He understood and said, “What 100 or 200. Whatever”. I said “Yeah, 500 or 1000. That is all”. He smiled and said, “Whatever it is. It is your wish. Go there (pointed somewhere) and donate the money, get a slip and come back”. I did not know who he was. I went, donated and came back with the slip. He was nowhere there. I checked with people in PRO window and explained what he was wearing and they simply said he was standing somewhere there only and I should look for him. I did but still he was nowhere to be seen. Finally the guy inside the window agreed to send someone and check if he was there in his office. He was there and the guy came back in a few moments and asked me to follow him, which I did. Apparently, he was a big officer there. He smiled when he saw me and made me sit on Sofa in front. He took the slip and read my name and asked me what I did. He then said that you have come alone. Aren’t you married? I said no and then he said Baba has started the process to get you married. Next time when you come with your husband, meet me alright. I said it’s Baba’s wish and I sure would. He then asked me which Aarti you want to see, today evening or tomorrow morning. I never even expected to sit inside the office of such a big guy. I am no VIP. I was almost in tears and did not know how to thank Baba. I simply said; whatever you want to give you please give because I can’t make a choice between the two. If I could, I would ask for both. I do not know whether he saw that I was crying or what, he simply said, alright you take both. I can’t explain what I felt at that moment. I was crying inside and feeling sorry that I was questioning Baba a few hours ago. I attended both the Aarti’s standing right in front of Baba. He even came inside the Mandir Complex before the evening Aarti was about to begin and asked me by waving his hand that everything happened easily. You came inside without any hassle to which I smiled and said yes. He was such a big man. People would stand in queue’s to meet him and I met him outside. Almost my father’s age and I was nobody to him. I felt so happy and so thankful to him and especially to Baba for doing all of this for me.
I made sure that I do not even lie for a second on Friday night. Anyways this was going to be my last night in Shirdi for this time and since I had the VIP pass I planned to sit at Dwarkamai and read. When I reached there, people were doing seva and I happily joined them. There was a local guy, who was taking care of things there and had arranged turns for people to clean the premises. I asked him as well and joined everyone else. After some minutes of seva, I sat in one corner looking at Baba’s picture with my Sai Satcharitra in hand. It is with such devotion and love those guys who do the seva that you really feel they are blessed souls. While I was looking at Baba’s picture, I could really feel Him talking to me. I just did not want to go anywhere and sit there till eternity. It is my request that anyone, who goes to Shirdi should go and sit at Dwarkamai at night. It is such a calm and peaceful feeling and you can feel the presence of Baba every moment. While I was looking at Baba’s photo in Dwarkamai, this guy did a final wiping of all important things in Dwarkamai and of Baba’s photo with a small towel handkerchief. I wanted to ask him if I can have that handkerchief. A couple was sitting next to me and the guy had befriended these guys and the lady had already asked for the handkerchief before anyone could. I thought inside me that it is ok. I keep coming to Shirdi and so I would ask for it the next time. I was still sitting quietly there and did not feel like moving. I never said anything about the handkerchief to that guy or to the couple or anyone. I did not even give a hint that I wanted to have it. It was just a thought in my head. I had planned to go and stand in the VIP queue at 2 in the night. I was talking to Baba and telling Him everything, my problems, thanking Him for His blessings and trying to listen to and understand His answers. Suddenly, the guy (couple) asked me the time and I said, quarter to 2. I do not know why or what made him do it. As soon as I told him the time, he turned to his wife and said, give her the handkerchief in a very soft whisper which of course I did not hear. I could just make out that he said something. The next moment, without even asking her husband anything, she simply stretched her hand towards me and when I looked she said that you please take it. Tears started rolling down my eyes and as always I did not know what to say. I thanked her and thanked Baba so many times.
Then I reached the queue for Aarti. There were already 2 couples and 2 small kids there. Another couple joined a few minutes. I had again got lots of UDI during the day and I thought of leaving it in the Hotel room, while I had gone to change. But then I thought I have so much, I might as well give some to anyone who is in need. I started talking with this new couple and made friends with the lady. She was really nice. I told her about various Leela’s of Baba that had happened in my life. I also told her that how I have been showered with UDI and then she said wow. Then I asked her if she wanted some, she can have it and the guy became so happy. He said I have been trying to get more and more UDI because I need it and lots of people have also asked me to bring it for them. But they only give 1 packet in the queue or at the most 2 and told me how he had really wished for it. I smiled and emptied my bag and gave him packets and packets as I still had more in Hotel. This was Baba’s Leela for him. He was so happy and all smiles. And I was happy to see him so.
I made good friends with them and when it was time for me to come back. I was so sad. I prayed to Him as always and asked His permission to leave and prayed that He should come along with me and be with me always. I thanked Him for all that He did for me. I can never forget these experiences in life. I keep a diary of all these things, so that whenever I am stuck, I can read them and gather some strength. So that I always know that He is there with me every moment of my life. He does come running when you call Him. Like He said, He does keep His words, I am waiting for a few of them to come true and they would, I know. They always have. I do feel upset. I do give up, but You keep me going and I am sure You will take me across. Please be with me Baba always and bless us all. Thanks and Jai Sai Ram.
I shall again eagerly wait to see this and in case for some reason you cannot, please let me know. Thanks again. Jai Sai Ram.