Till March 2012, I didn’t know much about Sri Shirdi Saibaba. When we had stayed in Andra Pradesh (Hyderabad, Samsabad and Warangal) nearly two years, we went to one temple in Samsabad near new aerodrome, which was built in the shape of Sivalinga, and Birla Temple in Hyderabad, where we saw Shirdi Sai Baba statues and prayed in front of Him and bought small picture. Even though, I had nothing know about Him except name and figure. Also I didn’t have faith.
In 2006, I was transferred to Samsabad. And after some months, we had shifted our family from native place to there. My wife’s aunty gave a book about Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Vrat Mahima. We took the book along with some devotional books to Samsabad. Then we shifted to Warangal on transfer. And then we shifted to native place in 2007. After resigned the job, we shifted to Coimbatore for new job. In 2007, we shifted to Sivaramnagar for my daughter’s higher education in 2010. That book came with us (even without our knowledge).
In March, 2012, my daughter was preparing for her plus two exams. One day, the day was not in memory, while sorting out old news papers and books, my wife saw this book. With some temptation, she read the book, and the experiences of Baby Kethal’s parents, which attracted her because my daughter was also in a state like Baby Kethal. In evening, she asked me that shall we start 9 week Guruvar Vrat. Then we started the Vrat with best of our knowledge. My daughter has not interest in studies. Suddenly we felt some changes in my daughter. She started studying well. In parent and teacher meeting, my daughter’s class teacher, who gave admission to her, told to my wife that she felt very much sad for giving admission. After Vrat started, exams came, results declared. With Baba’s grace, my daughter got 1045 marks. High light is her teacher proudly spoke about my daughter with my wife.
Then we started another cycle of 9 week Vrat for seeking easy admission without too much donation. Then I shaved my head for a special reason to famous Othimalai Muruga’s temple. I prayed Baba, if my daughter got admission as she likes, after completing 9 week Vrat, I again will shave my head for Shirungar Nagar Baba temple. With Baba’s grace, my daughter got admission in Coimbatore PSGR Krishnammal College in B Com CA in merit, easily. As I prayed, I shaved my head and went to Shirungar Nagar Baba temple, thank Him.
After a very long period of waiting, my second sister got Teacher post in Gudalore taluk, Kolappalli Govt School. My brother in law’s family refused to go to join there because of staying alone there. We prayed with Sai for His help with tears. She was very much depressed. Hearing that we also felt sad and were not going there for two three days. Next Sunday, I and my wife went to my sister’s house. Sister went to temple. Her daughter told that mother joining duty tomorrow after receiving order from C.E.O, Ooty.
Miracle is another teacher from Kumutham Nagar, Coimbatore also got posting in that school, went to Kolappalli, made all arrangements. In that school she got information one more teacher from Coimbatore will join soon. Her husband went to CEO office, Ooty and collected address of my sister, came to her house and convinced my brother in law and family. Our joy has no bounds. We went directly to Shirungar Nagar Baba temple and thanked Him.
Purchasing or constructing a house was a long time ambition of my wife. We have searched within our budget. No fruitful results. Every day we prayed Baba that if bought a house we will come to Shirungar Nagar Baba temple by walk and named the house as “Sri Sai Nivas”. Some days later, we saw a new built house. We all are satisfied. But budget was too high more than our expectation. We thought we will sell our site of 11.49 cents in Udumalpet and balance will be arranged through bank loan. We finalized that house. For fast process, we asked our father in law, who sold his site recently, to buy our site. He told that will think of it and tell in one week. After week time, he came to my house, we asked about our request. Unexpectedly he told he will give share of 18 lakhs each to my wife and her sister. Then we asked my co-brother to buy our site. They have some other ideas first. As we continuously pray with our Baba, finally they came forward to buy our site from their share. With these amounts and bank balance, I borrowed only 3 lakhs loan from my father in law and registered the house in just 20 days. With Baba’s grace, we planned and held grahapravesam in 2 days and the same day we shifted all the materials. We discussed and told Iyer to name the house in Tamil as ‘Sri Sai Illam’. But at the time of pooja, Iyer told as Sri Sai Nivas (he didn’t know what we planned earlier). Then we named our house as we prayed with Baba.
After some days, I and my wife start pathayatra (going temple by walk) to Shirungar Nagar Baba temple. It was 10 Kilometers away for our house. It is not easy to my wife to walk continuously 2 or 3 kilometers at a stretch. We decided to walk taking some rests. But excitedly, we reached Baba temple non stopping. Even now I admired how we reached without take intervals. In one my favorite Tamil song of Baba, one who make pathayatra to Baba temple, Baba bring him as walking on silk carpeted to His temple. When I came across these lines, I felt it was narrated for the sake of beauty of lines. But we felt the kindness of Baba. High light is that my wife asked can we return home by walk. We didn’t feel any pain even after returning to home.
On 19th December, 2012, my elder sister’s daughter asked to come for an interview in NCL, Pune for Phd research scholarship instead of Delhi. She asked me to come with her and planned to go to Shirdi. I told that it is not possible to get 5 days of leave. Then she asked me and my wife to come with her on 15th December from Coimbatore, and will arrange to return on 17th night from Pune to me and wife and 19th for her and my wife ( if her friend not coming with her in return). We accepted. She had booked up and down train tickets. We have to leave for Shirdi on 15th December. On 13th night my daughter also wants to come with us. We tried to convince her, but she was not ready to hear. I tried to book ticket for her on tatkal booking on 14th morning 10 A.M. As net connection was too slow, we had trouble to book the ticket within time. I prayed Baba if I got the ticket, I will collect money from friends and bring the amount to Him. Within minutes, ticket was booked. I asked my friends and relatives for donation to Shirdi. Rs.1110/- was collected.
We four had to catch train on 15th December at 8.30 A.M. But train started 3 and half an hour late by 12 Noon. We booked connection train to Shirdi from Kurudvadi Station, where one friend of my sister’s daughter will receive us and come with us to Shirdi for helping us. It is her native place. She is a Doctor and story writer in Marathi and English. She has the talent in writing both hands. We thought train will compensate the late. But it went so late by leaving way to other trains. We became tensed. We were going to miss the connection train. We reached Solapur, 6 hours late, by 12.15 P.M next day. From there to Kurudvadi running time is around one hour. If the train will go without stopping, we may catch the connection train or will miss it. We pray Baba to help us. Fortunately the train went in good speed and reached Krudvadi Staion by 1.15 P.M. Friend and mother was waiting for us with food and water.
We came to know the Sainagar Express train will come 2 hours late. We got the train and journey was so comfortable. We took a lodge and got very good Darshan of Baba on 17th morning. When we stood in the queue my mind was restless. I cried with Baba for a happy mood before leaving His temple. It is true, when I saw and stood in front of Him, I felt very much happy. My wife luckily got one leaf from the divine neem tree. We put the collected amounts to Hundi. We had purchased Baba statue and photos for relatives and those who donate the amount. Then we reached railway station and no train available at the time to Pune. We returned to bus Stand to catch bus to Pune. When we reached bus stand one bus was ready to leave for Pune, but no seats available. I decided to go by standing. My daughter and sister’s daughter were very angry. How can we wait there for hours with language and other problems. With grace of Baba, two persons got down the bus and we two got seats. After some time, before crossing the borders of Shirdi another two persons got down from the bus and we all got the seats. I and my daughter leaved on 17th midnight and my wife and sister’s daughter leaved on 19th midnight, after the interview. It was a pleasure trip to all of us.
I kept Baba UDI., which I got from Shirdi in our pooja room in front of Baba’s statue. One day it was missed. I was very much depressed and felt like everything gone from us. We thought it was thrown away and searched for three days everywhere and not found. My wife grand mother became very sad. We prayed with Baba. I went to Naga Sai temple and collected UDI from there. For some extend it helped us to bring down our sadness. After one week or 10 days, at that time I was in Office, my wife called me and happily says that the UDI pocket was found outside the house where we searched for three days, without any damage. Our happiness has no bounds.
On the way to my office, one day I saw back side of a Baba statue, which was kept in temple near the fence, when I was going to office. I felt very sad that He was under no roof and affected by rain and heat. I liked to take that statue to my home. Two three days gone in oscillation. Finally I and my daughter went to that temple to ask the priest for taking the statue. Nobody was there. We went inside and saw the statue, which was badly affected having a big hole in chest and one hand was not there. Little bit depressed. We discussed with my wife, who was interested in hand works. She told me to bring the stature she will do the best. Next day morning I went to the temple and asked the priest permission to take the statue. He told it was damaged. I convinced him and took the statue to home. On the same day when I reached my office, I saw plaster of paris was kept there and I got permission to take some quantity of it. In two days my wife managed to make the damages and put a new hand showing ‘abayahastham” and repainted with poster colours. We all felt happy. Now Baba is in our Pooja room.
In so many small incidents and experiences, I felt the presence of Sai Baba. Whenever we saw Baba’s picture or statue unexpectedly on backside of the car crossed us, we felt a great pleasure. I love you so much Baba. “Om Sai, Sri Sai, Jaya Jaya Sai” has been always in my mind.