Sagun Meru Naik


Mahrath, age 47, Teashop Shirdi, 7th December, 1936.

In 1914, I had a dream wherein Baba appeared and said, 'Bring me soft boiled rice'. Then for two years, I took boiled rice to Baba without any ghee in it. Then he told me to put some ghee into the food before taking it to him. Since then, and up-to-date, I have been carrying boiled rice with a little of ghee and first offering it to the God of Fire at Baba's Dhuni ( at the Mosque). I place part of it in a pot (Kolumba) for the use of Baba and throw the remainder to the dogs. For 5 or 6 years when huge crowds were daily flocking to Baba, I ran a busy hotel here, and engaged some Brahmin cooks to cook and serve food. In October 1919 when the crowd had fallen off, I closed down the hotel.

I know Upasani Maharaj. He had arrived here at Shirdi shortly before me. After I came he was living at Mr. H.S. Dixit's Wada and being fed for 5 or 6 months at Mr. Dixit's expense. This was when Mr.G.S. Khaparde was here. Madhav Rao Deshpande (H.S. Dixit's agent) and U. Maharaj then had a quarrel and the latter moved to Khandoba temple to live there.

In the middle of 1912, the marble stone paduka of Sri Sai Baba was installed at the foot of Baba's favourite Margosa tree in the Sathe Wada. Bhai Allibagkar, a Mahratti vendor of Udbattis started the idea. Practically the whole of the expenses were borne by Ram Rao Khotare of Bombay. Bhai Allibagkar was too poor to pay for this. Baba himself gave Rs.25 as his contribution. Four Brahmins, representing the four Vedas, were brought from Kopergaon for performing the ceremony. Amongst the local people Balasaheb Bhate, Bapu Sahib Jog, Dada Kelkar and Upasani Maharaj took a leading part, and helped in the installation.