W. Pradhan
Clerk, Collector's Office, Revenue Department, (Old Customs House) living at Venkateshwar Press, Chawl, near Sandhurst Road, Bombay

23rd September, 1936.

But my wife and sister were very anxious that I should not lose the chance of seeing Baba early. So I started about a fortnight after the first party returned from Shirdi by the end of May 1910. By the kindness of Mr. Chandorkar, his two sons Babu and Bapu became my companions. At starting I had provided myself with three or four gold sovereigns (guineas, as they were called) and some notes. I got a note changed with the object that I might be able to give silver rupees when Baba should ask for dakshina. I had 20 Rupees in cash and the rest in notes. Thus provided, I went to Shirdi. After a good reception at Kopergaon from the Mam-latdar and a good bath at the Godavari, we reached Shirdi. There at that very moment of our arrival, Baba was standing at the Lendi, as though he was waiting for us. So we at once got down and bowed to him. We put up at the Sathewada and there had the company of Rao Bahadur Sathe, Mr.Noolkar, 1st Class Sub-Judge &c. Soon after, I took all the flowers, garlands, fruits &c, I had brought to the Masjid to garland Baba and gave him all the presents. When I looked quietly into his face and eyes, I felt confirmed in my impression that Baba is a really great saint and said within myself Thank God. I am come". This deep impression was quite opportune. Baba at once proceeded to put my faith to the test.

Baba asked me for a Dakshina. Instead of giving him silver as I had intended when I changed the notes at Kalyan, I gave him gold. I put a sovereign in his hand. Baba received it, turned it in his palms now with St. George's figure upwards, again with the written side upwards. He did so thrice and asked Noolkar each time, "What is this?" Noolkar replied "Baba, this is a guinea". Baba then asked him "What is it worth?" and he replied "It is worth fifteen rupees". Then Baba returned the coin to me saying, "I do not want this. Keep it and give me fifteen rupees". I put the coin into my purse. But Noolkar was anxious that I should not mix up the coin touched and returned by Baba, with other coins and asked me to keep it apart as a sacred possession. Of course I did so. I then gave Baba fifteen silver rupees. Then Baba took the fifteen, counted them over and over and professed to find only ten rupees in what I gave and said "here is only Rs.10. Give me 5 more". This was really testing my faith in him. A lawyer accustomed to combat and criticise would naturally defend himself against the aspersion that he gave only ten when asserting that he paid a larger sum. But rny faith had come up to the mark. I meekly accepted Baba's declaration and without any inclination to dispute Baba's words gladly gave him the other 5 rupees in my pocket. Baba was obviously aware that the 20 rupees in my pocket was intended for him and expressly got to be paid to him and under colour of wrong calculation was carrying out my intention to place that sum at his feet. After I gave him the 20 rupees on that occasion he did not ask for more, though I had a lot more in notes with me. Then I left him.

When I went to him next, he was giving udhi to a number of devotees crowding round him. He caught sight of me as I stood at a distance, beckoned to me to draw near, addressed me as Bhau (as he did ever afterwards) and said "It will be alright in 2 or 4 days". Then he gave me udhi and I left the mosque. Persons who were present and wondered at such deep interest of Baba in me and his regard for me, like Mr.Noolkar and Mrs.Jog, came to me. Noolkar embraced me. Mrs.Jog wanted to know from me what sacred reading I went on with (to find out how I should deserve the "Vilakshan" i.e. marked treatment accorded to me by Baba). Baba, every one knew, did not care for mere wealth, gold or family position. I humbly admitted to Mrs.Jog that I could boast of little sacred study, Pothi etc.