Experiences of the Tarkhad Family with Shirdi Sai Baba 10 of 21 – Baba's Footprint became Gold
Author: Virendra Jyotindra Tarkhad
Sai's Golden Test - "Om Shri Sainathaya Namaha."
Dear Sai devotee readers I am inclined to think that you all must have liked the experiences I have narrated so far. Our normal lifecycle is such that we first put on the mantle of family hood and then come across all the sweet/bitter experiences of life. On going through them we get attracted towards spiritualism for final peace of mind. But this cycle was exactly reversed in case of my father. He first went through all holy experiences and then had to grind the axe of tough family life. One thing was clear that because of his association with Sai Baba, he had possibly learnt the art of facing any eventuality. I also believe that the path of Bhakti is such that when one starts practicing it, he gets better equipped to face any kind of fear in life.
By now my father had visited Shirdi ample number of times and was sufficiently rich with divine experiences to his credit. The time had come that he faced some twisting moments. Those were the winter days when days are shorter and the nights are longer. One such day, when it was dusk and twinkling stars could be seen in the sky, Baba told my father to accompany him. It was an out of the blue invitation because Baba would never leave Dwarkamai at that time of the day. He walked towards "Lendi Baug" and then passing through it they came to the bank of the rivulet as described in the earlier chapter. By then it was quite dark and the moon had risen in the sky. Then Baba told my father that he was going to show him some fun and that was the reason he had brought him to that place. My father was very pleased because he was getting some special personal attention. Then they sat down and Baba started moving the soft soil with his own hand. He then asked my father to look in the soil whether he was able to see anything. My father saw and replied in the negative. Baba then repeated the act and my father looked at the place for the second time and said that he could only see the soil. Then Baba repeated the act for the third time and this time he hit the back of my father's head with his hand and told him to look carefully. When my father looked at the place he saw some shining metal which was glittering even more because of the moonlight. Baba enquired with my father whether he could see anything. My father then replied that it was some metallic object and it was shining. Then Baba told him "Bhau that metal is nothing but gold and you can take as much as you want." Then my father told him "Baba I do not want this. With your blessings we have everything and I do not come to Shirdi with the intention of getting such materialistic returns from you." Then Baba cautioned him stating that "Bhau this is Goddess Laxmi, She is pleased with you and once you decline her boon she will never ever come back to you, at least not in this birth. So please rethink". Then my father told him that "Baba you are putting me to some acid test and I will not fall prey to this 'Maya' and once your blessings are there with me then I can live a peacefully comfortable life without this 'Maya'. Then Baba moved the mud back in its place and then both returned to Dwarkamai.
One interesting thing happened at that time. One of the natives of Shirdi had seen what was happening at the bank of the rivulet. He guessed that had shown some buried treasure to my father over there. He decided to visit that place late at night and dig the same and unearth the treasure. Accordingly he got up at midnight to venture for the treasure hunt. But alas! No sooner had he laid his hands to pick up the crow bar than a scorpion stung him on his fingers and he was uncomfortable throughout the night. By morning the pain was unbearable so wisely he decided to go to Sai Baba and pleaded guilty. He realized that he could not disclose his previous night's treasure hunt to anyone other than Baba. When he entered Dwarkamai he was in severe pain. My father was present there. He saw the native was pleading to Baba with guilt and was saying that he would never ever commit such a sin again and was requesting Baba to relieve him from the agonizing pain due to the scorpion sting. Baba then told him that the one, who, was destined to have the treasure declined to take it, which does not mean that any other person could get it. In this world the Lord has made a rule that each one would get according to his own 'Karma' and if one tries to break this rule then he was bound to get punished from the Lord. My father understood the conversation. Baba then applied his sacred 'Udi' to the scorpion-stung finger of that native and told him not to misbehave in future. He blessed him that Lord would relieve him out of this agonizing pain.
So such was the 'Golden Test' my father was put through to at Shirdi and I think he was successful in the same because he did not fall a Prey to 'Maya'. But one thing was certain that in his future career he could not accumulate wealth. Goddess Laxmi had refrained from going to him and his financial status was so but we shall not go into that history.