Anonymous devotee from India writes: I’m in my last year of college and it’s only been five weeks since I’d begun sai nav vrat sanskar. I took it up to ensure a long life for my father who had been at the receiving end of an alarming threat a month and a half ago. And well, as a kid, my home tutor instilled faith for Baba in me but some circumstances caused me to lose touch with it, slowly it diminished and was no longer a driving force in my life. I would go to Sai temple once in a while and I even went to Shirdi with my cousins but the faith in me wasn’t as strong as it used to be. Simply put I wasn’t so motivated even after taking up Sai Vrat until today, that is.
I was returning home from college, when my car was stopped at the traffic signal a little further from college, on the opposite one sided lane. There is nothing new to it, it happens every day. The traffic signal is swamped with beggars and I usually recognize the ones that tend to haunt it and very rarely do I see a new face cropping up on the scene.
But today was special. I was sitting in the car waiting for traffic light to go green when I noticed a Baba selling incense sticks to the car ahead of me and I was dreading it already because I knew the Baba would be knocking down my window next when the girls in the prior car refused to. I come from a seemingly affluent joint family yet my father has been suffering through a financial crisis for the past few months and that leaves me with little to no money on my best days. In fact, I had just Rs 300 in my wallet.
The Baba came to my window next, I remember little about his appearance although it happened just a couple of hours ago. I remember him being dressed in white, head covered with white cloth, carrying a jhola. He wore thick spectacles and had a greyed beard. He knocked on my window once; I tried not to acknowledge him. However, my driver offered me money because he is quiet aware of the fact that I almost never turn away any needful who comes to me. The Baba knocked again and my poor driver who is an exemplar human being started getting restless on my behalf. When the third knock came, my driver turned around to wave him off. I needed that money to buy essential notes and yet I couldn’t resist it, I dived into my bag for a Rs 100 note and handed it to the Baba without looking at him. I was a little upset with the baba because he called me behanji, can you imagine a 20 something girl being called that?
In return, he gave me the incense sticks in his hand; I shoved them in the back shelf of the car. He didn’t move away then, he continued. He blessed me saying ‘may Sai help you, may Sai allow you to live in abundance’. He said some other things that I can’t quiet recall, but I do recall smiling and nodding in response involuntarily at the mere mention of baba’s name, and when he finally moved away I didn’t even look back to scour for him. I didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary until I reached home.
It was the fifth fast of my ‘Sai Nav Vrat’ and every Thursday I take ten rupees from the pandit ji at my bua’s place as chadhava, I live with her, and always forget to pay him back. I have been thinking and meaning to give him Rs 100 to balance out the equation for some time now but like I said, I always forget. It was such a humongous coincidence that I didn’t have any change on me today, I always make it a habit to keep loose currency and I at times take from money from my driver when I don’t have any and pay him back later. But today, I didn’t even think of that despite the fact that he offered, today I almost turned the fakir like baba away, today I didn’t have loose money despite the fact that I always do, today I paid the fakir the exact amount I have been meaning to pay up as Baba’s Chadava. Today I found my faith in Sai again.
So, I am not asking anyone to believe that the fakir was Sai baba, I am not even saying that it was not a coincidence, maybe he was just an average vendor make a living for himself and I’m reading too much into it but whatever it was, it was momentous for me and just the sheer possibility that he could be a godsend or maybe, just maybe, Baba testing me out himself. Just the slightest of inklings that he could have been Sai in disguise is enough for the revival of faith in baba for me. As for the rest of you, you yourself get to decide. Om Sai Ram.