Experiences of Baba's Representative -MADHAVRAO DESH PANDE ALIAS SHAMA Part 3 of 3
Baba used to smoke tobacco Chillum and for sharing the smoke, I used to go to Him again and again. Most of the prominent villagers considered Baba to be reverent. Tatya Patil's mother and family members, Gondkar's family, Mhalsapati Sonar, Kulkarni and others were His devotees and loved Him as village Fakir. I became one of them. And I do not know what happened but, I started getting pleasure in visiting Shri Baba. When I was near Him, I felt He is doing some magic on me my mind was filled with holy and pure thoughts, my body started trembling, and my eyes were filled with tears of happiness. I, therefore, looked forward to meeting Shri Baba. The visits and familiarity increased. Naturally, I started enquiring about the devotees visiting Shri Baba. Shri Baba also began telling me to look after the arrangements for devotees from outside Shirdi. They started having their meals at my home. Thus, I started coming in contact with devotees from outside Shirdi. They started inviting me to their homes and I started accepting the invitations. I used to undertake such visits only after seeking prior permission from Shri Baba. At the town I visited, I got introduced to more people. And the amazing thing was that, as soon as I began talking to the newly introduced people, they were entranced with Shri Baba. As if Shri Baba had made use of me to attract people.
Of course, the above story is very old. At that time, Madhavrao was very young. However, it proves that Baba sometimes wanted certain persons to come to Him and for that purpose He used to plan persons like Madhavrao. On many occasions, Madhavrao used to bring devotees to Baba without Baba directing him to do so. Then Baba pretended to get angry and come charging at Madhavrao saying - He is sending persons after me. After sometime He used to calm down. When devotees came to Masjid, He would say, Shamya, look after those who has come!
Madhavrao's health was robust. If any devotee got sick, then he would carry him on his own back to the Masjid. Once, Bapusaheb Butti was suffering from typhoid. At that time, Baba had asked Madhavrao, Bring him to the Masjid on your back. Generally, it was Madhavrao's duty to bring ailing devotees on his back.
After completing evening stroll, Baba used to sit in the Masjid. At that time, besides specific 3-4 devotees, no one else was allowed to come to the Masjid. However, Madhavrao had no such restrictions on his coming, going or asking things to Baba. If he went to Baba at odd hours in the night, Baba pretended to get furious like Nrisinha; but also quickly get pacified.
Once, Tatyasaheb Nulkar became seriously ill while in Shirdi. His last hour came near and he disclosed a desire to get holy water from Baba's Feet. It was almost 1-1.30 in the night. Who could dare to go to Baba at such an hour? Madhavrao got up and went to the Masjid with Pali
and Panch-patra. Baba got up from His place and roared, who is it? On getting reply that I am Shamya, Baba said, you came at this hour and pretended to come to hit him. He stood on the Masjidfoundation with one leg in the front.
Madhavrao started pleading with him, Tatyasaheb is losing his life. He is asking for the holy waterfrom Your Feet. Please give it quickly.
Baba was saying No! And Madhavrao was daring to inch forward. Of course, as Tatyasaheb was an ardent devotee, Baba had also put forward his toe. Madhavrao immediately dipped the toe in the water carried in Panch-patra and fulfilled the last wish of Tatyasaheb.
Like He used to give to other devotees, Baba never gave money to Madhavrao. Once, Shinde Sarkar wanted to give Rs. 5,000 to Madhavrao; but Baba did not allow him to do so. Though Baba did not give money to Madhavrao, He gave him tremendous love.
Some of the devotees gave Baba things with a hope that He will bless it and return it as a Prasad. However, many times Baba instead of returning it passed it on to Madhavrao saying - Keep it with you ! In this manner He handed over several articles like Vishnu-sahastranaam Pothi, Eknathi Bhagwat Pothi, a coin having picture of Ram-Seeta-Laxman, silver Padukas, a clay statue. Sometimes, Baba said to Madhavrao, Shamya, build my house (Devhara) and keep all these things in it.
Every afternoon, Baba used to make Kala of the different Naivedyas that were received and distributed it amongst the few devotees who asked Bhiksha in the noon. Madhavrao was one of them. But, assuming that he would not like the mixture of Kala, Baba waited till everyone else had finished their meal and then gave Madhavrao a plate full of slices of mangoes.
Baba fulfilled all demands and wishes of Madhavrao. He did not provide him wealth; but gave him enjoyment of all the things, which wealth can provide. Several pilgrimages such as Chaar Dham, Kashi, Gaya, Ayodhya, Mathura, Gokul, Ujjain, Haridwar, Prayag, Girnar are hectic and taxing money-wise. But, with Baba's blessings, Madhavrao undertook them without any hardships.
Translated from original Marathi into English by Sudhir
Source: Translated from http Gujarati Book "Sai Sarovar"