A GREAT AND BLESSED SAI DEVOTEE - LATE TATYASAHEB NOOLKAR 2 of 6
(SHRI SAILEELA MAY JUNE 1991)
Severe pain of eyes cured
Once Tatyasaheb had some dangerous disease of his eyes. He could not see properly and pain was unbearable. When no improvement occurred in spite of treatment from well-known eye specialists, Tatayasaheb as a last resort went to Shirdi.
Two days he sat in Sathe Wada praying Sai Baba and continuously repeating Sai-Nama. On the third day Baba placing His hand on His own eyes, said to Madhavrao Deshpande, "Shama! Today My eyes are paining severely". As soon as Baba said these words, Tatyasaheb's pain started becoming less and less and soon the eyes were cured completely. (In Shri Sai Saicharita Ch. XXI, Sai Baba's taunting a pleader from Pandharpur and teaching him not to indulge in any scandal or slander of others, was in reference to that pleader's criticism and discussion in the Bar Room of Tatyasaheb Noolkar's above stay at Shirdi for cure of his eyes only).
Babu's favours to Tatyasaheb
In earlier days Sai Baba was not getting Himself worshipped. If somebody brought a garland, He did not accept it. But later on due to love of various devotees, He started permitting devotees to apply sandal-paste to His fore-head, offer Him flowers and perform Arati (waving of burning lamps). It was Tatyasaheb who had the privilege of first performing such Pooja on Guru Pournima Day. Tatyasaheb describes this incident in his letter to Nanasaheb Chandorkar thus:
"On Saturday just as I got up in bed, I remembered it was GURU POOJA DAY and made preparations. After Bhiksha (begging round of Sai Baba) we were permitted to perform Guru Pooja. Baba allowed us to do upachar (particulars and points of worship) quickly. He returned all Dakshina that was given at the time of Pooja. Then He sent word to Radhakrishnamai and Dadabhai (Dada Kalkar, father-in-law of Rao Bahadur Sathe) that Pooja and Arati was being done and they should come. So Radhakrishnamai sent her Pooja articles and Dada came with his Pooja articles."
Thus, with Tatyasaheb Noolkar, the congregational worship of Baba with singing of Arati and playing of musical instruments started which was continued further first by Megha and then later by Bapusaheb Jog.
Sai Baba's and Tatyasaheb's mutual love was really incomparable. Sai Baba used to call Tatyasaheb Tatyaba or 'mhatara (old man)'. At worship time, many dishes of different food items used to come and sometimes Sai Baba used to say, "Today I want Tatyaba's 'poli (wheat cake) and so saying He would accurately pick out poli received from Tatyaba's house out of the heap of pollies received.
Tatyasaheb once had a desire in his mind that he should get some words from Baba's sacred mouth for reciting. Baba having known this, once uttered some special words to satisfy Tatyasaheb who continued to recite the same till the end of his life. Tatyasaheb also wished to receive some article from Baba for placing it in his Poojaroom and worshipping. Then unexpectedly on Datta-Jayanti Day (Birthday of Sri Dattatreya in the month of Margasirsh), at about 9 p.m., Sai Baba sent a messenger for Tatyasaheb. The messenger had not even reached the Wada when Baba was in such a hurry that He sent two more messengers one after another. When Tatyasaheb arrived, Baba pulled out one 'Kafani' (a long robe such as used by Baba Himself) from the heap of kafanies and placed it on Tatyasaheb's body saying, "Let it be with you. It will protect you from severe wind and cold". Tatyasaheb felt that this was a sort of 'sanyas diksha' (initiation into the fourth stage of life, i.e. abandonment of all worldly possessions and earthly affections) as per his own liking and with tears of joy in his eyes he placed his head on the feet of Baba and resumed. Such were the many favors Tatyasaheb received from Sai Baba.