Gopalrao Buti’s son-in-law’s name was Ganpatrao Narke. In the year 1909, he passed M.A. examination with high marks. The government of Madhya Pradesh awarded him with scholarship for further studies. He was sent to Manchestor city of England. There he studied Geology for next three years. In the year 1912, he returned to India.
At one occassion, he went to meet his father-in-law in a small city called Sitabardi near Nagpur. There he came to know that Gopalrao Buti was in Shirdi. As a result he went to Shirdi to meet his father-in-law. Ganpatrao Narke was interested in spiritual matters since his childhood. While he was in Mnachestar, his daily routine was to wake up early, do meditation, retired from his daily worship and read Jnaneshwari Gita.
In the year 1912, when Ganpatrao went to meet his father-in-law in Shirdi, he was deeply impressed with darshan of Sai Baba. His body experienced vibrations and he stayed with his father-in-law in Shirdi. He used to apply for jobs while being in Shirdi only. In those times, ‘A’ grade colleges in India were very few. So there were less opportunities for professors who completed their studies abroad.
When any other professor went for long leave, Professor Narke got temporary job. But whenever such opportunities came across, two three interview calls came together, and all of them were for short time only. Still Prof. Narke made it a point to take all the letters to Sai Baba. He attended only those interviews which Baba advised. But whenever Baba advised any city, he used to say ‘Pune’ in the end.
On one occassion, an interview at Satara was scheduled on January 11, 1912, Thursday, Baba at that time said, “Go to Satara-Pune”. Like this everytime Baba added suffix ‘Pune’ while advising to attend any interview.
Ganpatrao and his father-in-law thought, “Why Baba says Pune Pune everytime?” Satara is not situated in Pune district. Moreover there was no institute for Geology in Pune, so the question of getting job in Pune does not arise at all. Baba used the word ‘Pune’ everytime but the mystery did not resolve inspite of thinking over it many a times.
Gopalrao consulted many learned persons like Dadasaheb Khaparde, Kakasaheb Dixit, Nanasaheb Chandorkar and Mamlatdar Dev, but all of them answered only one thing, “The ways of Baba are inquisit, incomplete humans like us cannot understand them easily”.
Ganpartrao got a temperory job in Satara for a short time and then again he was in the previous condition. Thus he had to spend most of his time without any work in Shirdi. Gopalrao Buti had built a house of his own in Shirdi. Ganpatrao also lived with him. Without work he was much. A thought was disturbing him that he was living on other’s support. He lost interest in almost everything and was craving for happy and settled life.
As said earlier, Ganpatrao was interested in spiritual matters, teachings of Gita flowed in his nerves, so everytime he wished to leave this worldly attachment and take Sanyaas.
In the year 1913, once solicitor of Mumbai Shri Vamanrao Praangovinddas Patel who later on became famous as Shri Sai Sharanandji Maharaj came to darshan of Baba. He used to help Abdulbaba in his seva, clean the chimney of lantern at evening time, filled kerosene in lanterns, etc. Baba was aware about his future very well, so sometimes he used to send him with Jholi to beg food from the houses of Shirdi. Although being a solicitor, he took jholi on his shoulders and stood in front of the houses of Shirdi saying “Ram Krishna Hari”. He did not hesitate in begging, on the other hand he felt fortunate to hold jholi of Baba and roam in the lanes of Shirdi. He felt proud on himself for doing such a work.
Sai Baba is the knower of past, present and future, he was aware that a person who was solicitor that day would become a saint in near future, so Baba sent him with jholi. In this way Sharananandji got chance of feel hidden love and warmness of Baba.
On one day Ganpatrao was present in Dwarkamai. There he thought, “How nice it would be if Baba sends me also with the jholi”. No thought remain unknown to Baba. Next day it was the time for going for begging rounds, but Vamanrao could not come on time. So Baba entrusted this job to Narke as per his wish. Narke now became aware of all pervasiveness of Baba that day.
The mystery of word ‘Pune’ will be solved in subsequent posts.