By: Ramaswami Sheshadri
Damodar Savalram Rasane alias Anna Rasane, or simply Savalram Rasane, S/o Kasar originally belonged to Ahmednagar and later moved to Poona. Baba used to call him as Damia. He was a very humble man and began as a poor bangle seller. His first wife did not have any issue. He married a second wife and even then, he did not have any issue. Out of curiosity, he had consulted astrologers and they said that planet Ketu was in the fifth place in his horoscope and that he would not get any issue. In course of time, his business improved and he became rich. But he was not happy as he did not have an issue. At that time, he heard about Baba and his miracles. He went to Shirdi for the first time in 1895 with an intention of seeking Baba’s blessings for getting issue. Their family deity is Devi Renuka- Jagadamba Maata of Rashin village and hence the Surname Rasane has been associated with all the family members and the descendants.
A devotee sent to Baba a parcel of excellent Goa mangoes and Baba was distributing the mangoes to the devotees present in the masjid. But Baba kept separately 8 mangoes aside and they were meant for Damia. The children in the masjid were the recipients of the remaining mangoes. Some children wanted more. When Baba said, ‘there is nothing,’ the children pointed to the eight mangoes kept aside. Baba then said, ‘They are for Damia.’ But the children said, Damia is not here.’ Baba said that Damia was on his way at Kopargaon and would be coming shortly to Shirdi. Then when Baba went out these petted children stole away four mangoes and when Damia came there were only four mangoes remaining. Damia came to the masjid and offered garlands and chadar etc to Baba. Then Baba gave him four mangoes saying, ‘Eat and Die.’ Damodar was perturbed listening to such inauspicious words from Baba’s mouth. Then Mhalsapathy clarified that the word ‘die’ did not mean physical death, but the death of ego at Baba’s feet. Damia was convinced. Then Baba interceded and told Damia’ ‘Do not eat yourself. Give them to your second wife.’ Baba also said that his second wife would have eight children and the first two would be boys. Baba also asked him to name the first two boys as Daulat Shah and Thana Shah in that order. Damia immediately noted down the names in his notebook. He got children in the same order as Baba told him and it took him fifteen years for all the children to be born. Thus, Baba changed the adverse effects of his planetary influence for his good even though astrological predictions were otherwise. What is not possible for God? As four mangoes were stolen by the children, so four out of his eight children, did not survive. Thus, he had four children that survived, and were hale and healthy. His first two sons were accordingly named as per Baba’s orders and besides these names they also had their usual Hindu names. Baba knew of his arrival much before he came to Shirdi.
Savalram got children despite adverse planetary position in his horoscope. So, he was very happy and became the means of broadcasting Baba’s powers and miracles and Baba’s fame thus spread to far off places due to his efforts, in different directions in the neighborhood during 1895 to 1897 itself.
He always took Baba’s advice and acted upon it, and the results were always good. Once he had an appeal in the High Court and the lawyer had written to him to come to Bombay. At that time, he was in Shirdi and Baba detained him and did not give permission to go to Bombay. Despite this, the outcome of the appeal was in his favur.
Damia also achieved spiritual progress and with contentment, passed away in January 1941 at the age of 89 years.
Sai Baba knew the capabilities of each of his devotees and accordingly awarded what was best for them. One such beneficiary in temporal as well as spiritual matters was Savalram Rasane. He was a truly blessed soul for he had the proximity to God and forever guided by God.