I have been following your blog for over a year and have been writing many experiences, but somehow have been postponing to post them. As it is overdue, I will post them one by one. As I was born in a religious South Indian family, my devotion was to Shri Krishna and considered Sai Baba as a Holy person and have been to His temples. After coming to UK also I have tried to visit temples here as often as I could. It is only in November 2011 that Baba decided to call me near Him and take me under His wing.
I was taken by one of my colleagues to Sai Baba’s Aarti on Thursday evening in November 2011. At that time my temporary job was not going to be extended, so I only prayed to help me with a job. We did not know the correct time and went at 6.30. There were Bhajans and Sai Satcharitra path going on and Aarti was going to start at 7.30 and go on till 8.30. After sitting for a while, I excused myself before Aarti as I had come straight from work and did not plan to sit for so long. I had already been told that I had no chance of getting extended. The following Wednesday, my manager called me and said – a new role has come up and would I be willing to stay on for another 6 months? I was overjoyed and said yes – of course and went to Sai Baba’s Aarti the following Thursday to give Him many many thanks.
Around that time my mother had a bad fall and hip fracture, so I was highly distressed. My friend advised to do a reading of Sai Satcharitra within 7 days and I did that for my mother’s sake, so that she recovers soon and is relieved from pain. First three days, I was struggling to complete the required reading. On Monday, I told my friend, “I don’t think I can complete the 1 week reading”. She told me – just pray to Baba. By Baba’s grace, I was able to complete a major part of the path as required by Wednesday evening and complete the 1 week reading. I realized it was not my doing at all. I also realized Sai is Krishna, Ram as He had given vision of Lord Vitthala, Lord Ram to many devotees. Soon my mother recovered much more than the doctors’ expectation and was able to walk.
After that I prayed to Baba regularly, watched Sai Baba’s old serial episodes (which made me relate to the Sai Satcharitra better), I attended Thursday Aarti whenever possible. The priest gave me a small photo of Shirdi Sai Baba, which I kept in my purse always. I prayed to Baba to please let me come to Shirdi and have Darshan of the holy land which He performed His wonderful pastimes and His Samadhi from where He speaks and fulfills His devotee’s prayers. Within a month, I was able to get a very short leave during Christmas and prayed to be able to go to Shirdi with last minute arrangement.
I reached Mumbai and went to a travel agent to ask him if there was a ticket for that same evening. At first he said – Madam, this is Christmas, so holiday season booking has to be done much in advance. I begged to try, he told one of his boys to search in the computer. That boy kept giving dates in New Year. I denied and was leaving as I had only 3 days holidays and could not go any later, but didn’t feel like admitting that it was impossible. Then suddenly he said, wait – there is 1 seat in A/C leaving tonight and reaching early morning tomorrow. I was so very delighted and thanked Baba from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to have His Darshan. As I didn’t have much leave, I wanted to return same day. He said return booking will not be possible, but I could take any bus from Shirdi to come to Mumbai. He made my reservation for going by A/C and as I was leaving, just tried in 1 screen for next day return booking and again he called back saying – there is return booking also available in general compartment!! I was almost floating in unbelievable happiness.
Baba was showing me what innumerable devotees have experienced. He can make arrangements for anyone to come and see Him within their constraints. He is Boundless and Unlimited, but He brings Himself within limits or boundaries for the sake of coming within range of limited human perception. How wonderfully merciful!!
I was planning to see some relatives in the evening before boarding Shirdi train that night. After visiting them, I was trying to catch a cab to the train station, but did not get one for a long time and started getting worried. My very close relative offered to take me to nearest station by her scooter. As we were walking back to the place, where the scooter was parked, I saw Sai Baba’s picture in the spare tire cover of one other scooter (I was slightly surprised as that was unlikely to see in that area). I sat in the scooter and shortly I fell of the scooter in a very busy traffic area in a steep turn. Luckily I didn’t get hurt much and proceeded to board the train to Shirdi.
I realized that Baba gave me Darshan before I was going to sit on that scooter. So definitely He has saved me, as that part of the road had so heavy traffic that if someone fell, the next vehicle was micro seconds away and anything serious could have happened. So Sai actually gave me a life. I thanked Sai and requested Him please engage this new life in Your seva only like it is sung in Baba’s Aarti
“Hee Kaaya, Laavisi Hari Guna Gaaya” (please engage this human form in singing the glories of Lord Hari). I reached Shirdi early morning and before placing my feet on the holy ground of Shirdi, I felt thrilled as if I was given a chance to go back in time and see and touch the ground where Sai Baba walked and blessed His devotees.
I got to share a rickshaw to the temple area. There some guide took me to a hotel, where there was bathing (hot water) facilities for a few rupees. I got ready quickly and left to stand in the queue. Vishnu Sahasra Nama (1000 names of Lord Vishnu) was on the speaker system was going on and we could Sai Baba see in the display screens. After a couple of hours, I came in front of Baba’s Samadhi. As the crowd was surging, I could not stand for more than a few seconds and came out. I then proceeded for Darshan of Dwarkamai and Chavadi, Nanavali’s Samadhi, after which I went to give some donation which my mother had sent, got UDI Prasad. I felt kind of breathless and as if it all happened too soon and I could not get a sense of satisfaction. I then saw the back entrance pointing Mukh Darshan. I went in there and got to sit peacefully, saw Baba from a distance but was able to communicate to Him all my thoughts and prayers. I begged Sainath that no matter what happens to my state of mind, He should never leave me or let me go astray. Now I felt content and prepared to go and have breakfast. After breakfast I went back to temple area and went to Chavadi again, got some Sai Satcharitra books for my mother and me, some small photo stands of Baba and thanked Baba and proceeded back to the railway station, extremely thankful to Baba that He arranged for Darshan at such short notice. I took His permission to return back to Mumbai and then to UK, but requested Him to call me again soon.
I came back and resumed work, attending Sai Aarti on Thursdays, doing Sai Satcharitra reading. One evening after I did some shopping, all of a sudden, I could not find the photo I used to constantly carry in my purse. I got panicky and very sad. I thought some big calamity was going to fall that’s why Baba has left me. I was in tears and searched all the shops. Then finally in one shop, I saw a big beautiful framed picture of Baba (only one) and purchased it and started worshiping Him daily by lighting lamps and doing Aarti. I told the priest the following Thursday that Baba was angry with me, so He left me. He explained, maybe Baba wanted you to worship Him in a proper way, so He disappeared in His pocket size form and appeared in a big photo frame size where you can worship Him in a better way. Thus Baba came to me and encouraged me to worship Him, come near Him and made me realize that He is always very close by and ready to help us and listen to our pleas. All I had to do was call out earnestly. Jai Sai Nath.