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Shirdi trips are always amazing. The way Lord Sai Baba frames His plan and lay it in front of us, is very wondrous, I can say that they are simply not human. A human mind cannot accept such acts owing to its predetermined thinking, but when Lord Sai Baba showers His love, human heart should only assimilate inside it and let mind not think anything. Last Shirdi trip was filled with only one thought “Tea, Tea and Tea”, i request you to read whole episode from here. This time i was mixed with lot of feelings yet Lord Baba was kind enough to make it memorable. I went to Shirdi in August 2016 and passed whole 2017 year waiting for His Divine Call. However i was also waiting for the year 2017 to pass away, as after passing it, we would be entering a new century in which i expected Lord Baba to be more responsive. He proved it so. In the first week of January 2017, Lord Baba fulfilled my wish to visit Shirdi and thus my wait was over. Planning Shirdi trips was however difficult task for me everytime. It had to be cancelled three to four times and then with all pros and cons it got finalised. Well this is history for me since last 12 years. This time it was simply the opposite. It was settled within moments and tickets were booked within no time. I thought it to be a dream and could not stand my happiness. So filled with Divine joy i started calling members of editorial team of Devotees Experiences With Shirdi Sai Baba who can join me in Shirdi. Curious thing to be noted here is that though we all work on same subject, talk on phone almost everyday, we haven’t meet in person and were dreaming to meet each other for the first time in Shirdi only. In the long gap of 16 months when Lord Baba had played many sports and given us responsibility of MahaParayan, Naam Jaap and what not, my feelings were like, Lord Baba now what? There are few plans in pipeline which we will be unfolding in months to come, but now i was filled with some unusual feeling.

I have always taken service of blog differently with my devotion to Him. To be specific, it is like balancing my personal and professional relation with Him. I get calls, messages, emails, asking to pray on devotees’ behalf to Lord Baba, sometimes i question Him, “Who will pray for me Baba, i am also not spared from law of Karma”. Sometimes He answers like, “Tell Me, I am Listening”. I laugh and reply, “You already know, what should i say Now”.

Being blank always in front of Him (Sagun Roop) has now become a habit to me. I rarely utter any word in my mind to Him when i am in front of Him, let it be my home shrine, temple near my home where i usually visit on Thursdays or in Shirdi.

Sometimes, unlike other devotees, i feel that He does not come in my dreams any more nor give me darshan in Sagun form just like a kid seeing another kid playing with toy ask Him for the same toy. He says, “Why do you want that thing which I am giving to others, Our relation is different and unique, ask what you actually intent to seek”.

At times i am confused what to ask from Him when He knows very well what to give. I always feel i am the laziest and most foolish devotee of Him who even doesn’t know what to ask and depend on Him totally. I am not sure what height of spirituality it is – positive, zero or even negative – i am not seeking any such thing, except one thing that Lord Baba should be with me till i breathe last. I don’t know any strict pooja to please and attain Him, i don’t know what mantras to chant nor do i take pains to find them, i just want Him to be in constant communion with me. Sometimes wit, sometimes tears, sometimes discussions, sometimes silence, His ways are inscrutable and beyond my intellect when He communicates with me. I feel there’s no sense in attaining heights of spirituality when i leave Him behind and dawn myself in ego of attaining it. So seeking His presence in my life is what i ask from Him. Other things related to law of Karma can’t be changed, neither by Him nor me, then why yell on it and waste precious moments of togetherness. If i ask for signs from Him, He will give me signs just opposite to what i am expecting. When asked directly, He answers directly from within (Atma Hi Paramatma Hai Sai Tune SabKo Bataya Hai Vide Bhajan by Sai Brother Rana Gill). When i expect a miracle from Him, He does nothing, but when i do not expect any miracle, He does it and doesn’t even allow me to notice it. It is sometime (or days, weeks and months) later that i realize what He did. He has made me totally unconscious and it is like i know He is with me – consciously and subconsciously. At times i see live darshan, other times i forget, at times i cling to Him for something, other times i know He is working behind and ask nothing. There is no end to what He does and how to reconcile things. I have even noticed that what i am thinking in my mind or what i discuss with my editorial team, Lord Baba has already prepared it’s blue print and i realise it at a later stage. No end to His leelas and the relation that He has with all His devotees is simply beyond human intellect.

Coming to the main topic of this post, i made few calls and its obvious that no one would be saying Yes in first place as each one has to set their priorities and plan. However priorities also depend on Lord Baba’s divine call. My son Krishaang on regularly watching “Mere Sai” show on Sony Entertainment Television wanted to go to Shirdi just to see the original Dwarkamai and he kept on asking when are we going. I used to find excuses like his dad not is getting leaves, there would be rush during long weekends in this month, etc. He even said that we can go next month, but two weekends are working out of four and in the other two we had social obligations to be fulfilled, so we cant be anything as of now. At the same time, my brother, who has migrated to Bangalore last year wanted to visit Shirdi. He was coming home for ten days and so he planned to go to Shirdi for two days in between. He never calls in his working hours but that day it was unusual with him and he called our mum to book tickets, either offline or online to Shirdi. My parents went to book tickets and called me to ask if would like to join. Obviously i had to ask my husband first, i called him and he immediately agreed to it. Within five minutes tickets were booked and we all set to start our trip after 24 days. I started counting days and admist that we took our another Spiritual Venture of Anant Akhand Sai MahaJaap. My hands were full on both sides and i was busy struggling to meet deadlines of blog and my professional commitments as well. It seemed tiring but then how can it be frustrating when all was being done for going to Shirdi.

The day finally came and before that i knew whom i was to meet in Shirdi other than Lord Baba. Due to Mahaparayan i got into contact with few devotees of Lord Baba who were initial members of my Sai family since last 10 years. When i texted Sai Sister Sasikala RaviVenkatesan to come to Shirdi, she replied she had plans but nothing was clear then. We had met in Shirdi about 9 years ago in 2009 on the occasion of inaugurating audio of Stavan Manjari in Gujarati and now we both wished to meet soon after such a long gap. Before that, in 2008, Lord Baba had played His sports just to make us realize that when He wants to make any relation strong, He does it skillfully. You can read how “Shirdi Sai Baba Gifted me a Pink Dress” through her and how He had blessed blog. Later after few months Lord Baba even confirmed by Himself being dressed in Pink on my visit to Shirdi, you can check out that post from here. After few days she confirmed her plan and then i was very happy and anxious to meet her. Meanwhile Lord Baba also arranged for Sai Sister Pooja to come to Shirdi and meet me. I was thinking what to buy for them, when my bestie Nehal came up with idea of buying embroidered slings which are very famous in Gujarat but might not be available in Chennai or Pune respectively where they both belonged. Two days before leaving Shirdi, my husband took off from work (very rare case, as even if he is sick, he tries not to take leave). So i asked him to take me to shop to buy gifts for my Sai sisters and he readily accepted (again rare case!!!). So everything was settling slowly and finally after long wait the day came when we left for Shirdi.

We reached Shirdi around 9 AM. We had booked room in Dwaravati online in advance but did not expect to get room before 11 AM as it is it’s standard check-in time. Lucky enough we got room within minutes. We quickly freshened ourselves, had breakfast and started towards Samadhi Mandir. I always first meet Lord Baba in Dwarkamai and by the time we reached Dwarkamai it was 11:45 and we sat in courtyard of Dwarkamai for Madhyayan Arti after we meet Lord Baba upstairs where i felt He was welcoming us with a smile. My mother-in-law had cooked Bajra Roti, chatni and sabzi for Him on my request, which we offered Him just before start of Arti. Even my besties Nehal and Anjali has sent something for Him which was again offered with love and it was accepted by Him similarly. I love to be in Dwarkamai during Arti (specially Madhyayan Arti) and He made sure this happens. I was happy chanting arti and making eye contact with Lord in Dwarkamai throne, picture above the stone on which He used to be seated and not to forget Lord Baba sitting on His Golden Throne in Samadhi Mandir seen from LCD placed there. I was happy within and out. It was blissful. Times when Lord Baba and His devotees gathered for Arti was reminisced and i lived in those times for few minutes. What made me more happy was seeing Krishaang clapping on the tune of Arti and being seated at one place for nearly 30 minutes whereas it’s difficult for him to sit quietly even for one minute.

Then we visited Chavadi and Abdul Baba’s Samadhi and it was lunch time for Krishaang. So we quickly headed to Prasadalay where Krishaang was to get his favorite Varan-Bhat (Pulse and Rice) from Lord Baba. He was surprised at the sight that the restaurant was so huge, i said its Lord Baba’s restaurant, that’s why it is so huge and we get everything as His Prasad cooked by Him only. Meanwhile i was informed by Sai Sister Sasikala RaviVenkatesan that Sai brother Satish was also in Shirdi. Even we knew each other since 2008 but never met in person. So definitely it was going to be reunion but we couldn’t meet as he had to leave at 3:30 and both of us couldn’t pick each other’s call. Sai Sister Pooja was in touch and she said she reached Shirdi and she was going for darshan in Samadhi Mandir and by the time we finish our lunch she would be free. However when i called her she didnt pick so it was signal that still she wasn’t done with darshan and we had booked our darshan slot from 4-5 PM. Somehow we managed and met near Dwarkamai. We had to finalise logo for Anant Akhand Sai MahaJaap and she had chits ready with her. Sai sister Kriti had given us two creatives and we had to choose one. She had done homework of making chits and showed me both creatives. I picked the first one which even her heart had reconciled but we had to ask Lord Baba to finalize one for us. So we went in Dwarkamai and Sai Sister Pooja asked Pujari there to put both chits in front of Lord Baba to consecrate and she intended to get one of them picked by Krishaang. However Pujari returned her only one chit and the other remained with Lord Baba. Krishaang was asked to open chit and we were surprised to know that Lord Baba has chosen that creative which was liked by me and Pooja. Again He finished His task which i and Pooja discussed and were to work upon. This has happened several times and for us now there was no amazement in it.

We have now understood playful and naughty nature of this Lord Who says, “I do nothing but still people hold Me responsible for everything”.

As naughty and active kids are liked by all and love overflows naturally on seeing them, the same feelings come for Lord Baba as well on seeing Him sporting thus. Before entering Dwarkamai while i and Pooja were discussing on the creative, she showed me “108 Pearls of Sai Baba” book written by Jaya Wahi and also shared that she wished to buy it since long and now she had bought it finally. Then i remembered that i had to give her sling that i had bought for her before i forget as she was in hurry to leave. She wasn’t ready to except it as she was not reminded to bring anything for Krishaang. I told her that no formality was required but then she quickly slipped the book in my hand and said Didi you keep the book from me. I denied saying that she had bought for herself but then she was determined and pressed me to accept. I did and understood her emotions. Beyond that i felt that Lord Baba is giving me book and hinting me as it were that i have to restart reading books. Though i am surrounded by books whole day, but they are study books of Krishaang πŸ˜€ i cant read even a page of any other book on Lord Baba from my small library. All thanks to Sai Brother Anubhav for gifting me so many books and enlightening me. I dream of my own personal study with ample lights and a one seater recliner so that i can read books whole day without hunger and thirst. Keeping my fingers crossed for this Lord Baba πŸ˜‡

On my request then Pooja somehow managed to accompany us for darshan in Samadhi Mandir and we had quick darshan (quick means we reached in main hall within minutes as there was literally NO queue). He was sitting calmly and seeing all His devotees with so much Bhaav on His face. Dressed beautifully the glow of His face added to the charm. The environment was very serene and we had opportunity to touch Samadhi as glass protectors were removed due to less crowd. I always love to go to Him as an ordinary devotee but He makes sure that i get good reception and He did that by giving me peaceful darshan. By now Krishaang was getting cranky as he had no sleep in afternoon and he was fatigued, so he insisted returning room where he can play freely and rest for a while. Later in evening Sai Sister Sasikala RaviVenkatesan came to meet me at room and gifted Krishaang coloring books of which he is very much fond of. I was happy that Lord Baba acknowledged his interest.

The day for leaving Shirdi was here. Even before days going to Shirdi i am surrounded by morose thoughts of leaving Shirdi. It is testified fact that Lord Baba is everywhere still i don’t know why this happens. It pains from within but then Lord Baba has set priorities and responsibilities for each of us. All such things are sum total of our karmas and again there’s no escape from it. We checked out quickly and took pass for time slot of 10-11 AM. We were to rush to Samadhi Mandir but Krishaang was hungry and wanted to have something. Oh 😱 i thought i we would be late, indeed we were, but Lord Baba had arranged meeting with Sai Sister Sasikala RaviVenkatesan before she was leaving. Thus in Shirdi, even if we have planned, Lord Baba executes His Own plans only 😍 We entered Samadhi Mandir at 10:50 and it was likely that we would be in Mandir during Madhyayan Arti. On entering Samadhi Mandir i quickly finished my chapter for Nitya Parayan and was standing watching long queue and rush there. After going little further or passing a hall

I said, “Baba, seeing the rush here, i wish You should come and reside at my home with me, so that i wont have to surpass this long queue just to have Your glance” (Read towards the end to unfold leela related to this conversation).

He answered, “Ok, but what about these innumerable devotees of Mine?”

I said, “If You want, You can redirect them there πŸ˜…”

Well the conversation ended as Krishaang was again cranky due to rush and that increased as Arti finished but queue didn’t move. I said to him, “Next time you be with your Dadi (grandma) if you are so frustrated with rush”. He first agreed but then changed his statement as, “No I will come with you only Mumma as i cant sleep without you”. He was crying simultaneously and speaking these words. I somehow made him forget his frustration by engaging him in talks. Seeing this my mother felt pity on little one and said to Lord Baba, “Why so much testing Lord Baba, we as adults are tired, then we can totally relate what this little one must be going through”. The waiting period seemed ages for all of us and finally we reached main darshan hall. Krishaang was then calm and composed. He did good darshan and so did i. My mother was standing in one corner while we were not allowed to wait for long. We waited for her and she joined us.

After joining us she told me that she could spot tears on face of Lord Baba just as a kid cries and tears flow down his cheeks. She felt as if Lord Baba was saying her, “I know you all are tired and you all took so much pain to meet Me. Even I did not like that you are tired and see that’s why I have tears for you, I even know pain of little one”. My mother was reminded of the incident of Shri Sai Satcharitra when Lord Baba showed four fully developed bubos, as big as eggs and added, “See, how I have to suffer for My devotees, their difficulties are mine”.

Lord Baba Joined Us As Requested

After that we had our lunch again in Prasadalay and it was almost 4 PM when we were left only with one hour to depart. The day before i shared a thought with my father that i wished to buy a stone on which Lord Baba’s image is present to get it mold in gold ring. Although i have two identical gold pendants of Lord Baba it was only visible to others and not me when i wore them. I was also reminded of one of my conversations with Manisha Didi (dated again some 10 years back) that she had a bracelet with such a stone and she was wearing it in her right hand. Thus image of Lord Baba was visible to her while she was blogging and doing other works. But till that day i never thought of having any such stone. How this thought came to me i dont know and i do not have any standpoints to justify it. However my father couldn’t make out what i was trying to express. In evening when we went to book our tickets of departure, the booking person in charge was wearing such ring and i showed him. Now he was clear what exactly i wanted and he said we would buy before leaving Shirdi. The same i shared with my brother that night and then the thought seemed to have lost impact the next day as i had no hopes to stroll in market because very less time was left to leave Shirdi. When we went to Hanuman Mandir, i was reminded of my intent to buy stone and i gestured my father that i will go and check stone in a shop near the temple, while Krishaang was putting on his footwear. I quickly went and saw many of them! Now i was confused between red and black background. See colorful play of this Lord! My father said leave black background as we don’t consider black color as auspicious. However i love black and want to have everything in black, even Lord Baba in black background was nothing inauspicious to me πŸ˜› Then my mother exclaimed that if you want to mold it in golden ring then red would be a good combination. Dear all, let me tell you, on professional grounds i have to play with colors and thus i am always alert on combining colors. I liked my mother’s suggestion and bought the stone with red background. Suddenly my mother then noticed silver rings already studded with stones of Lord Baba’s image on them. She said i would buy one for myself. Even i started to help her in choosing then suddenly i realised that i wont be able to wear gold ring immediately as it have to be made first and i wasn’t sure how much savings it will cost me πŸ˜› So even i bought one silver ring for me and then i was super happy to Take Lord Baba With Me In The Form Of Ring As I Requested Him To Come Along With Me In Samadhi Mandir. Finally i even bought the stone and the ring. This might sound simple thing as many of you must have bought and wore such ring but the fact is that it was was something which was not even thought in dreams. A casual talk of 10 year’s back took shape now. We have been going to Shirdi from past 12 years but why the thought of buying stone and then rings came this time only. My human mind is not finding logic in it as i know Lord Baba was in mood to come with me just as He wanted to accompany NanaSaheb Chandorkar to Pandharpur. All i can say that it’s Lord Baba’s valentine’s gift to me

In this centenary year, we are finding incidents from Shri Sai Satcharitra being repeated in our lives and i am sure there are many more to come. Though fatigued, feverish and totally drained i returned home as the return journey was too uncomfortable, Lord Baba ensured safe journey and filled heart and soul with contentment. Praying Him wholeheartedly to call me soon again with my Soul Brother Rana Bhaiya when he visits India this time.

Β© Shirdi Sai Baba Life Teachings and Stories

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Hetal Patil Rawat
Articles: 637


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  3. Lovely Di.The way you describe everything related me and make me feel as if I'm taking Baba darshan.Thank you so much for sharing ur experience .Om Sai Ram

  4. Dearest Hetal,

    Your this post is an answer from sai to me..I have sent a post just few days before and will be sending more in the coming days..

    To make things short, I am in hospital now after my husband's kidney transplant- it's not so easy to be in this situation,Β  but for last few days Sai is been showing his blessings abundantly on us..will be sharing those in detail in another post..

    Today evening while we were walking in the corridor as part of his post transplant workout, I was telling my husband that my father used to have a silver ring with baba on it and after he passed away, my mom kept it for sometime and now don't know where it is..and I really feels like having a silver ring of baba for me..then I told him I am sure Sai will some how make it possible and I will get one.

    In the night I was going through this website as for last few days I used to read all posts..what I used to do is to read that day's post..Today once I finished today's post, just below I saw the link of Ms.Hetal's Facebook page and I clicked on that to see what's in it..the first post in that which I saw was this post about her Shirdi journey and it was not readable from there and I clicked the link to this post..I was casually reading and then she was talking about the silver ring and how did she get that and from where…I was speechless! you might be knowing how I might have felt that time..

    Her that post was done long back and there was no chance that I would be reading this today if it was notΒ  by swamy's grace. with us like this always baba…
    May bless you all..


  5. Wonderful narration of your trip. Loved the minute by minute details felt like I am visiting Shirdi in person. Happy to be part of Sai family.Looking forward for your next blog. Sairam

  6. baba I m very sad and broken down please save me baba.. I m not that fortunate like Hetal ji my life is total broken baba pls Daya Kara

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