A GREAT AND BLESSED SAI DEVOTEE - LATE TATYASAHEB NOOLKAR 6 of 6
(SHRI SAILEELA MAY JUNE 1991)
Amazing story of the locket
To show how much Sai Baba loved Tatyasaheb, his grandson Shri Raghunath Vishwanath Noolkar, narrated to me one more incident along with a copy of a letter dated 20th December 1912 in Shri Madhavrao Dcshpande's (Shama's) own handwriting as a proof. Both being interesting, I am presenting here in the grand-son's own words:
"Our grandfather died at Shirdi in 1911 at the age of 48 years. Afterwards my father (Tatyasaheb's younger son Vishwanath) to satisfy the wishes of our grand-mother (Shrimati Janakibai) got a locket prepared, in which on one side there was Baba's photo and on the other side that of my grandfather Tatyasaheb. The locket was sent to Shirdi by registered post, the idea probably being to get it back after Baba touching it and blessing it. When the parcel reached Shirdi, what actually happened at the Masjid, was conveyed to my father by Shri Madhavrao Deshpande (Shama) by a letter in Marathi language, a photo copy of which is given below":
Yesterday on Thursday the 19th instant, at the time of Arati, the postman delivered to Sai Maharaj the locket parcel sent by you. Sai Maharaj took it and moving the box round His face, kissed it. He then said to me, "There are two persons in this" and handed over the parcel to me. On opening the box I found in it the locket with photos and the letter from your mother. I read out the letter to Sai Maharaj and handed over the locket to Him. He held the photo in His hand for about 15 to 20 minutes and showed it to almost every person come for Arati, saying, "This person took me away with him." These exact words said by Sai Maharaj have been written down and sent to you by me. The locket has been handed over to me for safe custody.
My respects to your mother.
From the above letter, we can imagine how much Baba loved Tatyasaheb Noolkar. By saying "There are two persons in the locket", Baba has, as if, equated Tatyasaheb with Himself and certified the advanced spiritual status of Tatyasaheb and looking at Tatyasaheb's photo in the locket, Baba said, 'This person took Me away with him", it seems as if Baba has confirmed that, after death, Tatyasaheb's soul has been merged with that of Baba.
No wonder at the end of this story in Ch. XXXI of Shri Sai Satcharita, Hemadpant sings:
"Blessed is Noolkar, who in the end, left his body at Shirdi, absorbed in repeating God's name."
"Whatever form one meditates on, at the time of death, the same form he is born with. If one is absorbed at the feet of Lord, one is not reborn again."