While this post is published, i would be nearing Shirdi, my Heaven on this Earth. Even though i am away from my system i try to compensate posting well in advance to avoid interruption. So if i am Shirdi will Lord Sai Baba allow me to forget my duties related to Him? For next three-four days there will be posting and comments will be approved by Sai brother Anil ji. See you all soon! I will certainly share my experience of Shirdi as i always enjoy devotees’ experiences in Shirdi. Moreover today’s post is also related to an experience of Shirdi trip. What a Sai-Incidence!
What to say about Shirdi trips! Each one going there gets special treatment from Lord Sai Baba. The One Who calls arranges for everything. He is Father of all. He cannot see His Bhaktas in pain or getting troubling when they come to His Home. Read following Shirdi trip of an anonymous devotee.
Anonymous Devotee from USA says: Dear Hetal Ji, you are very dear to Baba. The work that you are doing is great for getting all Sai Devotees on the same platform. I wait for your new experience every day as if I thrive on it. If I miss reading it, I feel so incomplete. It is such a joy to read these experiences. I am in CA, and every day the new experience is posted around noon my time. I can hardly wait to read and then in the evening, I make it a point to share it with my family.
I would also like to bring your attention to the miracles/leelas that happened, when I went to Shirdi for the first time. My school friend was a Baba Devotee for quite some time. I remember visiting Baba’s temple in Najafgarh in Delhi as a kid. We used to go there sometimes, but I never knew much about Him. So coming back to my story now, my friend and I decided to go Shirdi. I was a new Baba Devotee at that time (6 months into His Devotion). We made a plan to visit in Nov 2008, and we were trying to book tickets in Oct 2008.
We had to go to Triambakeshwar as well. So we decided to make bookings to Nasik and then go to Shirdi from there. We got the tickets from New Delhi to Manmad for 27th Nov 2008 easily. The tickets were confirmed. Our return ticket was waitlisted 3/4 and it was early October, we thought it will be easily confirmed by the end of November.
Now as we were approaching to the date of Journey, we all are aware of the attacks on Mumbai (26-11) absolute carnage. I used to stay in India at time and my parents were here in the US and they were very scared that I should not take this trip. They asked me to cancel the trip last minute. My friend’s family and friends were also very scared forcing us to not go. Anyway we said “Baba hamarey saath hai kuch nahin hoga (“Baba is with us and nothing will happen to us) and we started. Our train was at 9.00 PM on the 27th and we started the journey. I had some pending money for a longtime. At the station, I told my friend let me go and withdraw some more money. In case of emergency, we should carry some extra money and yes, when I checked my balance for my Long due money had been deposited into my account; it was not a lot of money. But just that it was pending for a long time (this was the just the beginning of many miracles that happened). Just when we started from Vikas Puri, it was around 7 PM, and it was very dark. We usually have to walk for a good distance to the Auto Stand to get an auto to go to the Station. That day as we got down the flight of stairs, we saw an auto dropping someone off and he agreed on the said rate to drop us off to New Delhi Railway Station. The journey was very comfortable. We reached Nasik changing trains from Manmad. At Manmad, an auto driver got after us and said that he will help us. We were very doubtful of his intentions, so we proceeded. But he was so stubborn to help us. He convinced us that he was not a bad person. He asked for a lesser price compared to all the other Auto drivers. In Nasik he took us from one hotel to the other and then finally to a very good and economical hotel. The hotel had a very dingy and small entrance, my friend and I were very sure that we won’t like it. But again, he was adamant that we should check it out and it was so nice, when we went inside. It was nice, with very nice facilities and a nice restaurant. We checked in, changed and had dinner. This auto driver was God sent. Honestly, we both were very doubtful of him. By the end, he promised us that he will send someone to drop us to the bus stop for going to Triambkeshwar next morning.
The next day was good. We reached Triambkeshwar and did Kal Sarp Pooja and were back to Nasik in the afternoon. We started for Shirdi and we were planning to go to Shani Shignapur. The day went as we had planned. We were in Shirdi by 5-5.30, checked into the hotel and then went to Shani Shignapur and we were back. We had very little time, as we just got one day’s leave from office. We had a packed schedule, cutting everything too close. But it all fell in place so beautifully by Baba’s grace.
The next day, we started off from the Hotel at around 9 AM (we woke up late as we were tired) and we had our train at 1.30 PM back to Delhi. We had breakfast, went to Khandoba and then to Samadhi Temple. By the time we came out of Samadhi Temple, it was around 10.30-10.40. The Darshan was completed in one hour. But there was a very long queue for Dwarkamai and Chavadi. We were both so disappointed to see the long queues as we had very little time left. We had to leave Shirdi by noon to get to Kopargaon at 1. The train was on time. We were just thinking what to do next, suddenly a guard came from somewhere and said do you want to go to Dwarkamai. We both nodded. He took us to Dwarkamai and Chavadi and nobody stopped us. We didn’t have to get into any queue. This was definitely Baba’s presence, where we were escorted to take Darshan at the Masjid Mai and Chavadi. We were done by 11.15 AM. This was nothing short of a miracle for us. I still remember the miraculous impact of this experience. He made sure that we have enough time to get back to the Hotel, get some lunch packed and reach the Station again. Baba is just great.
The best was yet to come. This was not the end of the miracles. Remember, I told you that our tickets were waitlisted 3/4. Till the end they were waitlisted 1/2. We were both praying that at least, we should get 1 RAC ticket. Anyway we reached the station, our names were not there. We had taken out extra money before leaving Shirdi to bribe the TT (Sorry Baba), because we had to get back to Delhi the next day.
At station, when we were worried and were talking to each other about the waitlisted tickets someone overheard our conversation. They said we have an extra ticket; this was a group of 3 youngsters and a very sweet middle aged gentleman. We had a little doubt, but then we thought we doubted the auto driver as well. Maybe Baba has sent them.
As the train arrived we got into our coach, tried to talk to the TT who was very rude (it wasn’t his fault, he had a lot of people like us bothering him). He told us to get off the train. We didn’t and suddenly we saw the same 2 people who met us at the station, had come to check if we got a berth or not. They took our bags for us and took them to their Coach. This Uncle is a great Sai devotee, who has the privilege of visiting Shirdi very frequently. He said that he had booked 5 tickets but I didn’t get his son because of the Mumbai attacks. See all this is so well planned by Baba. They were in 2nd AC coach vs. 3rd Ac that we both had booked. We both easily managed. They took really good care of us and then we reached home safe and sound. After a few days, I checked and we received the money back for the return tickets that we had booked pertaining to our Shirdi travel, because the tickets were waitlisted and not confirmed. Whenever I think about this trip, I have goose bumps. That day and today whatever legit, I have asked my master, I have never been disappointed. Baba, please give me the ability to be at your feet unconditionally (Not because I want something, but because of absolute unconditional love). I don’t like myself when I start to lose faith and patience. Please keep me at Your feet always. I love you a lot Baba.