This is an anecdote, narrated by Late Shri Vithalrao Marathe, former Shirdi Sansthan Musician, and Keertankar, at a Satyanarayan puja at Shirdi.
Keertankar vividly remembered the day Baba’s Leela bechanced. It was a frigid winter morning in Shirdi. It was way too early in the day and the Sun was still trying to make his appearance. He had well hidden behind the clouds and the mercury on the thermometer was hovering low. Shirdi was still half-awake to its usual mid-day hustle bustle energy of the crowd. The gray sky contributed toward the appearance of serenity and the scenery was just apt for some high burning firepit. Baba was, as usual, sitting in the Dwarkamai facing South toward the Dhuni. Though the temperature was bone piercingly cold, the Dhuni was burning at low intensity. Baba was feeling cold. He appeared like he was on the lookout for someone. His eyes were fixated toward the door of the Masjid Mai more than usual. Suddenly Baba’s gaze eased with the certitude of his gaze now focused on the Dhuni. At that instance, in walked two well-built pious Pathans to take Shri Baba’s darshan. After paying their most revered obeisance to Baba they sat in front of Him shivering in the piercing cold. Baba’s gaze was now filled with love and mischievousness. It was like he was waiting for a drama to unfold itself in front of him. One of the Pathan’s started to inch toward the Dhuni Mai to imbibe in the warmth of the Fire God, Agni who was calm with utmost respect to Baba. At that very instant, a thought came to the Pathan’s mind, “How fine would it be, if we could get a cup of hot tea at this time!”. He instantly dismissed the thought reinforcing himself with his frail blanket as he concluded that it is irrational to expect hot tea in that remote village especially at the wee hour of the morning, where tea may not even be known to some.
At that moment, Sagun Meru Naik, a dedicated and disciplined devotee of Baba came to Dwarkamai for his morning darshan of Shri Sai Baba. Sagun Naik operated a small eatery and gift shop that sold sundries to the devotees visiting Shirdi. He often brought the most important morning meal for Baba. So as was the tradition, after bowing to Him, he asked Shri Sainath what he should bring for His breakfast. Baba said, “Sagun, go and bring quickly a kettleful of piping hot tea.” Sagun was wonderstruck as he had never ever seen Baba drinking tea. His devotion toward Baba prevailed over his reasoning. So, without asking any question he went home and returned soon with a kettle full of flavored steaming chai.
The Pathans were baffled! They drank the tea to their heart’s content indulging in the warmth of the tea that traveled down their esophagus and traversed through the veins of the system. The Pathan had never expressed his wish for tea to anyone. Yet Shri Baba had seen through his mind. He realized Shri Baba pronto was not only an ordinary holy man but a Superman, who was in harmony with every being, all-knowing and all-seeing!
By Amit Gattadahalli
Source: Shri Saileela Magazine