Expereinces of SAI.BA.NI.SA (Shri Gopal Rao Ravada) with Shirdi SAI – 8

In those days it was an established practice for people going out of Shirdi to seek permission and blessings from Baba and then only move out. Those of them who followed the procedure never faced any hurdles and could complete their mission successfully. Those who did not comply with this practice had to either face some or other difficulty or terminate the journey halfway through, for unknown reasons. This aspect is aptly demonstrated in chapter – 9 of Sai Satcharitra. I too have undergone similar experiences and would like to narrate one of them.

It was during the year 1992 March when I had to go to Nandyal, a town in Andhra Pradesh to gather more information about my son-in-law to be, upon insistence by my wife. It was set in my mind that it may not be appropriated to do so when marriage is already fixed up but my wife wanted it to be done. I prayed upon Sai for advice and opened up a page at random from Saicharitra (page 51, chapter-9) and the message was clear enough to caution me not to move out of a station in haste. After lot of deliberations finally I decided to go to Nandyal.

Exactly on the festive day of ‘MAHA SHIVA RATRI’ I reached my would be son-in-law’s residence. He was least comfortable and appeared feeling delicate on my sudden unexpected arrival without any prior notice. I had to bluff him and said that I arrived to offer my prayers at the temple of Lord Shiva at Mahanandi on this auspicious day. He was already planning to go along with his friends to Lord Narasimha Swamy Temple at Ahobilam (a nearby place) and invited me to join them. I readily agreed to the proposal and we all completed our temple rituals by 12.00 noon at Ahobilam on the same day and were returning.

The return transport was not available till evening as the Bus had just then left. The nearest village was 8 km away and we had no other way except to walk in scorching heat. I was feeling exhausted and restless too. No tree, shade or place to take shelter was in site. I took to main high way in the fond hope that some private carrier may offer me a lift seeing my plight. I fully got convinced by then that all the ordeals were due to my ignoring Sai’s advice and fore warning. I closed my eyes and sincerely started praying upon him to forgive me for my offence and help me out. A lorry with inscriptions “SHIRDI SAI BABA LORRY SERVICE” with a photograph of Sai in blessing stopped in front of me and I got fainted. Later on I understood that people around helped me into the Lorry. Thus we reached the nearest village. The driver offered me a glass of soda and lemon to recover. I could see and feel my beloved Sai Baba with his protective gaze in the eyes of the driver. I greeted him traditionally with folded hands and with a sense of gratitude.




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