To return to Appasaheb's story. While he was in Thana, he had to go on tour to Bhivandi and was not expected to return within a week. In his absence, the following wonderful thing took place on the third day. At noon a fakir turned up at Appasaheb's house. His features resembled exactly those of Baba's photo. Mrs. Kulkarni and the children all asked him whether he was Sai Baba of Shirdi. He said 'No', but that he was an obedient servant of His and came there at His order to enquire after the health of the family. Then he asked for Dakshina. The lady gave him a rupee. He gave her a small packet of Udi, and asked her to keep this in the shrine along with the photo for worship. Then he left the house and went away. Now hear the wonderful Leela of Sai.
Appasaheb could not proceed with his tour as his horse fell sick at Bhivandi. He returned home that afternoon and learnt from his wife about fakir's visit. He smarted in his mind as he did not get the darshan of the fakir and he did not like that only one rupee was paid as Dakshina. He said that had he been present, he would have offered not less than rupees ten. Then he immediately started in quest of the fakir and searched for him in the Masjid and other places, without taking any food. His search was in vain. He then returned home and took his food. The reader may remember Baba's dictum in Chapter 32 that God's quest should not be made on an empty belly. Appasaheb got a lesson, here about this.
Appasaheb after taking his meals, went out for a walk with a friend Mr. Chitre. Going some distance they saw a man approaching them rapidly. Appasaheb thought that he must be the fakir who came to his house at noon, as his features tallied with those of baba in the photo. The fakir immediately put forth his hand and asked for Dakshina. Appasaheb gave him a rupee. He demanded again and again and so Appasaheb gave him two more. Still he was not satisfied. Then he borrowed three rupees from Mr. Chitre and gave them to him. He wanted still more. Appasaheb asked him to accompany him to his home. Then they all returned home and Appasaheb then gave him again three rupees, in all nine. He looked unsatisfied and demanded again.
Appasaheb then told him that he had a currency of ten rupees. The fakir asked for the same and took it and returned the nine rupees in cash and went away. Appasaheb had said that he would pay ten rupees and that sum was taken from him and nine rupees, consecrated by Baba's touch, were returned to him. The figure 9 is significant. It denotes the nine types of devotion (vide Chapter 21). It may also be noted here that Baba gave nine rupees to one Laxmibai Shinde at His last moment.
Appasaheb examined the Udi-packet and found that it contained some flower-petals and Akshata. Then some time later he got hair from Baba when he saw Him at Shirdi. He put the Udi-packet and the hair in a talisman and always wore it on his arm. Appasaheb realized the power of the Udi. Though he was very clever he got Rs. 40/- as pay in the beginning, but after he secured Baba's photo and His Udi, he got many times forty rupees per month and also got much power and influence; and along with these temporal benefits, his spiritual progress was also rapid. So those who are fortune enough to get Baba's Udi should, after bath, apply it on the forehead and take some little of it mixed with water in the mouth as holy tirth.
Sai Ram. The udi mixed in water and taken after invoking His name works like a medicine as seen in many stories, esp. the case of Maina Tai, the daughter of Sri Nanasaheb Chandorkar. This servant of Sai also experienced the power of udi several times and has been fortunate to be chosen by Sadguru Sai to help others too. If udi from Shirdi or any Sai mandir is not available, any other udi will also do. This has been verified time and again. Sai Ram.
To Be Continued
About the author
Swarna.Venkateswara Swamy, (also known as Venkateswara Swamy Swarna, S.V.Swamy or simply Swamy) is a physicist and a metallurgist by education. He considers Sai Baba of Shirdi as his Sadguru but respects all Gurus. He is an avid reader, a book reviewer and an editor. He has an abiding interest in holistic health systems..