Well, i am back from Shirdi and felt so blessed, cared, loved and pampered there. The journey started on August 5, 2016 and we reached Shirdi the next day morning at about 11 AM. We were supposed to reach at 9:00 AM but were late as there were rains in Nashik. Though there were down pours we had pleasant time watching greenery on the way and Lord Sai Baba ensured our safety in all terms.
A month before we had planned to go to Shirdi (June 19, 2016), i had taken vow not to have tea for my loved one. Tea is the thing which i wake up for every morning 😉 I had severe headaches and feel dizzy all day without it. Somehow the wish was fulfilled to a certain extent, but now i wanted Lord Baba to serve me tea when i go to Shirdi. I wanted Lord Baba to come and offer tea to me in Shirdi in any form. I told Him, “Lord, i know You will fulfill my wish. Still You will play Your Sport. But mind well, i am going to have my eyes and mind open to see You in any form when You come to me”. Yes, i was getting stubborn but a daughter can sometimes be so with her Father, i consider it my right as well.
One of my Sai Brother Anubhav ji was also with us. He traveled from Delhi. However we all reached Shirdi, almost at the same time. He went downstairs of the hotel room to bring tea. He knew about my vow and said, “See, I am offering you tea, think its Lord Who is offering you”. I was determined and told him that since you know about my vow i cannot accept tea from you. Please bring coffee for me. He also knew that i was suffering from headache from more than a month and he wanted me to get relief as soon as i had stepped in Shirdi. He cares for me a lot and this is my Darling Lord Baba, Who is showering so much of love on me through His devotees.
We had reached Shirdi late and by the time we were ready after bath, noon arti had already started and so we headed towards Dwarkamai. I had vowed to offer a coconut in Dwarkamai (Sorry Lord Baba i forgot for what wish i had vowed!). My Sai brother told me that now a days they do not accept coconut in Dwarkamai. I was sad and he could read my face. He said, “Dont worry. Let’s first reach Dwarkamai”. On the way i asked him several times, but he didn’t tell me what was the rescue plan. Reaching near Dwarkamai, he asked my husband to buy a coconut while i was having glimpse of Lord Baba standing outside Dwarkamai. Anubhav ji brought and gave the coconut to me and asked me to offer it to Lord Baba from outside and drop it in the container provided in between the queue to enter Dwarkamai. Satisfied with his idea, i did the same. We started for Dwarkamai in queue and slowly we entered Dwarkamai, Heaven. I was getting so overwhelmed with its serenity and felt so thankful to Lord Baba for calling me to Him. I felt i was meeting my Love for the first time and all the nervousness and happiness gathered me. I was with teary eyes and seeing Him with my blurred vision. He was responding with loving glances. He was so lovable and so welcoming. With all love in my heart, i climbed steps of Dwarkamai and wanting to hug Him tightly. Dhuni Ma was calm and Lord Baba was shining so brightly. Loved Him to the core at the moment. I bowed to Him when i reached near Him and was getting goosebumps. I was thankful for whatever He has given me and felt sorry for my mistakes. I had lot many questions, thoughts to discuss with Him, but He did not allow me to think anything, except i was gazing Him and He was also doing so. Love to Him 🙂 I went down and bowed to the photograph and the stone. The pavement was empty and people were allowed to sit there. I wasn’t ready to miss that opportunity and i sat there. Again teary eyes. So thankful to Him to allow me to be with Him. He has been showering so much love through His people on me. There are so many people in my life who love me dearly and i consider this to be the biggest blessing from Him. My husband and kid were also sitting besides me but i was in different world. So satisfied with the Darshan and hospitality of Lord Baba. But i was completely unaware what more was in store for me. Satisfied with heart to heart talk with Lord Baba, we again went upstairs of Dwarkamai bowed with reverence and left.
When i reached outside Dwarkamai, my husband was making my kid wear his footwear and informed that his footwear were taken by somebody. I laughed and said, “Let it go, you are relieved from some calamity”. My Sai brother also came out, he was talking to my kid and i was asking him to answer him, suddenly a person with a kettle in his hand came to me from behind and said, “Madam, Chai?” All these days, i was denying any offer for tea and subconsciously i refused to the person as well. He left instantly without asking for tea to my husband or my brother. He even did not ask to anybody else present around and returned happily. After a few seconds, it striked, both to me and my husband that IT WAS AN OFFER FOR TEA FROM LORD BABA! All i could see was kettle and the man disappearing. I didnt see His face because He came from behind. After second thought to the whole incident, i felt no no it must be my own thinking, Lord Baba will come directly and offer me tea.
We had darshan at Chavadi and in Hanuman ji temple. It was lunch time then and my son and husband wanted to take rest for sometime. So we returned to lodging, made my son sleep and i also had a power nap for sometime owing to headache. At five, i and my Sai brother left. There was no question of going to Samadhi Mandir for darshan because it was Arti time. So again we went to Dwarkamai and had blissful moments. I had carried Rakhi to be consecrated and it was done by Lord Baba. My mother, could not make anything for Lord Baba as usual this time. So she offered just two chapatis to be offered to Him which was already offered to Him in lunch the earlier day. Still, as we know, Lord Baba is an ocean of compassion and love, He accepted one chapati and one was returned to me. I was so happy that my mother’s devotion was accepted and she was blessed even though she was not present in person. I wanted to complete my daily reading of Shri Sai Satcharitra so i asked my Sai brother to leave me at Parayan Hall, (he wont leave me alone anywhere, so much caring and loving) and he went to Gurusthan. After sometime, my husband and kid came to Parayan Hall and i had leave my reading as my kid wanted me to go with him.
Sai Brother Rana Gill had told me to go meet a family from Canada who were in Shirdi during our visit. We had talked over phone and decided to meet near Gurusthan after evening arti. So we went near Mukh Darshan and attended arti there. After arti was over, we went to Gurusthan and i waited for the couple to come up. However, we could not trace each other. So lately we left and again went to Dwarkamai. After having Darshan at Chavadi, we now headed towards Samadhi Mandir for the first darshan of the day. I was excited, to meet Lord Baba once again. The queue was walking at a good pace. So we did not have to wait for long. Chanting Lord Baba’s name and watching Him in TV hung above in Samadhi Mandir queue halls was all so mesmerizing. We reached main hall and Ah! What a sight it was. On the top of it, there were no glasses around Samadhi. We could touch Samadhi and be blessed. Lord Baba was seeing us and i felt He was happy. I verbally requested Him to take care of each of His kid and see their welfare, i was literally blank, what to ask or what to say. He knows everything why to speak even a single word, when He knows it already and we can say everything without speaking a word. My son was also blessed as he by his own touched his head to Samadhi. This was directed by Lord Baba to him, definitely. Contended with the Darshan, we came out of Samadhi Mandir and it was dinner time for us.
After dinner we went to hotel to make my son sleep as it was past 10:00 PM. As per my pre-request to Lord Baba, i went to Dwarkamai when my son settled and ready to sleep without me. I took my phone with me to make Lord Baba read prayers received. We could easily enter Dwarkamai, quickly had His Darshan behind sleep-veil and sat in pavement below. I felt, Lord Baba read all prayers and blessed His kids. Meanwhile in between during my dinner time i called family who were to meet me and i requested them to share their picture so that when we meet the next day, we can trace each other. I just saw their pictures in blurr in Whatsapp and did not download them. Somehow i saw them and felt they are the same whom i was to meet. I quickly downloaded their pictures and Lo! there were there right in front of me. I went to them, exchanged greetings and we had pleasant talk. I had to leave as i was little worried about my kid, and we planned to meet next day. We bid bye to Lord Baba and said good night to Him.
Next day, when we went for breakfast, i ordered coffee for myself. My Sai brother tried to convince me that i should now have tea as that person with kettle was none other than Lord Baba. I said, I do not agree because if it was Lord Baba, as per my wish, it should be direct order to me to have tea. Instead on my one denial He left. Somehow i was waiting for something more. I told him that the family we met last night, have called us to their hotel. If they offer tea i wont deny this time. However when i called them, they said we are near Gurusthan and we can meet us anywhere, as Lord Baba wills. So getting tea from them was out of question. Now i was feeding my kid, and i had left my coffee to be cooled so that i can have it comfortably. A housefly came and drowned in it. I noticed it and exclaimed that i would not have this coffee. My husband and brother started kidding that remove house fly and have it. I was getting irritated and i answered, i wont have coffee even, Lord Baba has not offered me tea even though i am in Shirdi since yesterday. I was sad but it was all my ignorance and a sweet fight with my Loving Father. My husband said, “Your headache will increase, at least have coffee, i will order another one for you”, i denied. He agreed without discussion. This was unusual with him because he rarely accepts my denials in matter of food. He forces me to the extent that i have to agree. Not thinking over it much we left the restaurant and roamed in lanes of Shirdi, did some shopping. My kid wanted to go to hotel, so that he can play their comfortably. My husband returned to hotel with him and we headed towards Dwarkamai. My Sai brother took me to the route which passes through the houses where Lord Baba used to go and beg for alms. We relived those moments and had so pleasant talk about Lord Baba. Really his company is so precious and he knows how much i crave to discuss or know anything about Lord Baba.
We entered Dwarkamai, had darshan and when we sat at the pavement there, noon Arti started and we had golden of golden chance to be in Dwarkamai during Arti. It was so mermerizing and solace to the soul. It was like the soul being fed with grace of Lord Baba. After Arti while i was having darshan in Dwarkamai, i again met that couple in Dwarkamai and i handed them Rakhi for Sai Brother Rana Gill. It was again co-incidence that we met in Dwarkamai without planning ahead of time. Now it was lunch time and we went to hotel to fetch my husband and kid. After lunch, we went to buy laddoo prasad and it was about 3 PM, few hours were left for us to leave Shirdi as bus was at 6:30 PM. My headache was growing more and i was still waiting. My son was cranky and due to headache i was also feeling irritated. My brother then said, “I have been to Shirdi so many times, I have no counting of it. You are also aware of the fact that no one sells tea in front of Dwarkamai. This is the first time we saw anyone with kettle in his hand outside Dwarkamai. Also if it was not Lord Baba, with your denial, would not have he asked to me or your husband. He did not go to anybody else on the contrary. He left merrily. Do you know think a person whose business is to sell tea will not try to convince more and more persons to buy tea from him and why should he walk away merrily? If he had family to support, he would have tried his best to sell off the tea. So now have tea, your wait is already over, Lord Baba did not keep you waiting, it’s you who is wanting more and a direct order!” I said, “I had told Lord Baba in advance that please do not play any sport where i will be illusioned. I am keeping my eyes and my mind open to see You, then why He made my mind shut when He came to me”. He replied this is our Lord Baba and reminded me of the story of Mr. Dev who had invited Lord Baba for lunch at his place and Lord Baba went there with two others as Sanyaasi and Mr. Dev failed to recognise Him and blamed Lord Baba for breach of His promise. Now i felt, it is Lord Baba Who is speaking to me in the form of my Sai brother and i agreed to have tea. Without wasting time, he bought tea for three of us. I have a habit of having a mug full of tea, but just two sips of tea were so satisfactory for me and my headache vanished in a moment. Believe me, since then i did not have any headache. In fact, before leaving for Shirdi, about two weeks before i was not feeling well. I felt that my hemoglobin levels have gone down and i need to keep check on my diet properly. All day i suffered from weakness, light headedness and headache. This had made me worried but i was sure that i would be alright on reaching Shirdi. The same happened, i was charged to 100% and completely fine without any medication or change in diet. While i was not able to work in kitchen for even for half an hour, i roamed in Shirdi continuously and i didn’t even feel any weakness. Headache was a reminder to me that Lord Baba had fulfilled His promise, i was not able to understand that.
Another vow that Lord Baba helped to fulfill me in Shirdi was to remain bare-footed for two days. The moment i reached hotel and removed my footwear, i was to be bare-footed till i leave to board the bus. Someone may feel that half of the times we are bare-footed in Shirdi and this no big vow. Agreed, but i do have flip flops on my feet even in home and i cannot be bare-footed comfortably. Even i knew that rains were there in Shirdi and there would be mud everywhere. This would irritate me but no such thought gathered me. I walked in water, mud, slippery areas and i enjoyed.
After having tea, it was time to go to Samadhi Mandir for last darshan of the trip. My husband and kid again had to go to hotel because my son wanted to have his afternoon nap. So my Sai brother accompanied me. In queue we saw that Samadhi is covered with glass. So we thought we will go in queue from where we are in the center of the Samadhi Mandir and have glances of Lord Baba till we leave. The moment we were changing the queue, we saw in TV outside the main hall that glasses are removed and there was no need to adjust our side. We were to the extreme right side of Samadhi Mandir in queue. Does anybody remember that we can have darshan of Chariot of Palki Procession and Picture of Lord Baba taken in procession, from an oval glass window, there was no rush there and we went there, had darshan and stood near a pole unnoticed by any security guard but attended by Lord Baba Himself. We could gaze Him and talk to Him and what not. It was golden opportunity to be there. After sometime i thought to move ahead as Lord Baba had given so much beyond expectations and it was as if time to leave. We moved and reached near Samadhi and bowed to Padukas there. Before my Sai brother could also bow, he was asked to wait as priests wanted to remove heap of flowers and clear off Samadhi. He was lucky to have touched Samadhi and Paduka. I was standing at door from where we can peep and clearly see Lord Baba. I bid Him good bye and requested Him to call me soon. I even thanked Him for the tea finally and asked forgiveness for not recognizing Him. Lastly we went to Dwarkamai and Chavadi and then left for hotel. My husband had packed everything, totally unexpected and we left for bus to Baroda. We had a pleasant journey and Lord Baba ensured we reach in time and start our routine.
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