Experiences of the Tarkhad Family with Shirdi Sai Baba 3 of 22
Author: Virendra Jyotindra Tarkhad
After this 1st divine Sai meeting the Tarkhad family decided to reckon Sai Baba as their Guru and they completely gave up themselves for his devotion. The headache of my grandma had vanished forever and her devotion towards God increased multi fold. The one paisa coin was put to worship in our house.
We used to ask our father what exactly used to happen after meeting Sai Baba. He used to state that the Blissful Sight in his eyes had an enormous attraction which would pull any one towards him and that Midas-touch in his powerful hands could heal any deep wound. As you all know that Sai Baba never equated himself with God & would always state that he is a messenger of God. However my father used to say that the priest of Khandoba Temple (later turned great devotee of Sai Baba) Mhalsapati Bhagat had very appropriately named him in his very 1st meeting saying "Aao Aao."
Our India is a land of many spiritual Babas and their devotees name them accordingly. My father use to say that SAI name suggests everything. His explanation was the word SAI in Marathi means SAAKSHAT (actual) and the word I mean ISHWAR (God). Thus from his point of view means Saakshat Ishwar Baba. I must say that what my father had experienced during his visits to Shirdi was something amazing and any common man like him after undergoing such divine experiences would come to only one conclusion that Sai Baba possessed that supernatural Godly Power. I consider myself lucky to have been born in this blessed family and wish that Sai's blessings be with us for all time to come.
2nd Meeting along with Babasaheb Tarkhad
After experiencing such a wonderful meeting with Sai Baba both mother and son felt like quickly returning home and narrating the same to my grandfather Babasaheb Tarkhad. However Sai Baba had suggested to them to spend some more days in Shirdi so they conceded to his request. They had consultations with Mr. Madhavrao Deshpande who was very close to Sai Baba and used to help and guide devotees. He told them that in the morning Baba was looking out for someone and on inquiring with him he said that his mother and brother are arriving to meet him. Mr. Madhavrao also informed them that normal practice followed by devotees in Shirdi is to leave the place only after seeking permission from Baba. They then wrote a letter to Babasaheb in Bandra stating that they are extending their stay in Shirdi as they have experienced something unique. Thus they spent about one week in Shirdi and after seeking Baba's permission and promising him that they would come back along with Babasaheb Tarkhad, they returned to Bandra their place of residence.
During their one-week stay they came across other Sai devotees like Shri Mhalsapati, Kakasaheb Mahajani, Shamrao Jayaker etc. They conveyed the entire episode to my grandfather & tried to convince him that Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi is not an ordinary person. He not only gives good medicines but also possesses supernatural powers. My grandfather took lightly the impressions of my grandma but was rather surprised to hear the same from my father. Of course both of them informed him that they have promised Baba that next time they will visit Shirdi along with Babasaheb.
Dear readers I firmly believe that, Babasaheb was also destined to meet Shirdi Sai Baba. Hence in course of time he met his friends Mr. Shamrao Jayaker, Kakasaheb Dixit, Justice Dhurandhar and he came to know that they all were Sai devotees. Finally my grandfather agreed with the family to visit Shirdi as an outing. As he was a very busy person it was difficult for him to be away from the job. They decided to leave on Friday night on a weekend along with his friends. They were travelling by night train to Manmad. My father and grandma had spread their bedding and were relaxing. The Gents were busy playing cards. Train had left Nashik Road station and a Fakir with his hair tied with white cloth, entered the compartment. He came to my grandfather and begged for alms. My grandfather looked at him and he felt pity at his status. He took out a silver coin of one Rupee and gave him and asked him to move away. Fakir drew his attention to the one Rupee coin because it was rather too big an amount to be given in charity in those days. Here I wish to mention to readers that my grandfather was Secretary to Khatau Group of Mills and in the year 1908 he was drawing Rs. 2000/- per month as salary. He told the Fakir that the coin is genuine with stamp of George the V embossed on it and issued in the year 1905 and he need not worry about it. He requested him to move away as their card game was getting disturbed. The Fakir then moved away.
Next day morning they reached Shirdi. My grandmother and father directed my grandfather, as they were now familiar with the place. They had bath & breakfast and they along with Pooja material entered the Dwarkamai. My father and grandmother bowed to Baba and touched his feet. Baba then gave a smile and turned to my grandfather and said "Mhatarya (old man), my mother and Bhau had to plead to you and after of persuasion you had agreed to come to Shirdi. Have you recognized me?" My grandfather replied in negative. Then Baba put his hand in the pocket of his Kafni and he took out the one rupee silver coin bearing the stamp of George the V. He showed the same to my grandfather and asked, "Do you at least recognize this which you had given me last night?" Now my grandfather started recollecting the incident of previous night in the train and before he could say anything Baba told him, "Hey, that Fakir of the night was none other than me." Babasaheb was instantly overwhelmed. He realized his mistake that he had taken Baba to be a beggar. He felt very sorry for his act of the night. He bowed to Baba and asked for his pardon. He realized what Jyotindra and his wife had narrated about Baba was 100% true and Baba was not an ordinary person and he is a 'Messiah of the Lord' in the true sense of the term.
After this incident there was an unprecedented transformation in Babasaheb Tarkhad. He was no more a Prarthanasamajist. He developed a spiritual love towards Baba. He started taking important decisions only after aligning with Sai Baba. He started sending Tagas (Rolls) of cloth to Baba so that he can stitch Kafani out of it. He had also sent Petromax lamps for illuminating the Dwarkamai at night. My father used to light them every evening whenever he used to stay in Shirdi and hung them at decided locations in Dwarkamai. There is an interesting incident about this, which I will narrate later.
Dear readers in these fashion three members of the Tarkhad family came in contact with Sai Baba of Shirdi. In fact, Baba only pulled them towards him like a powerful magnet. They all developed intense love toward Baba. Their visits to Shirdi had increased for simple reason that they started getting experiences, which were unique in their nature. They were nothing but miracles and this made them realize that Sai Baba is God's incarnation. I am going to reveal to you these experiences and I am sure you all will agree with me after you have read through them.
Baba returned the one rupee silver coin back to my grandfather and he said "Mhatarya l am returning your coin back to you. Please worship the same and you will have a very fruitful life. Believe in me. I never lie when I speak from this sacred Dwarkamai" Thus Baba addressed my "grandfather as "Mhatarya" and my father as "Bhau" and that continued in all their future conversations.