Sunday, March 25, 2012



Though He used to give money to other devotees, Baba never gave any money to Madhavrao. Once, Shinde Sarkar wanted to give Rs. 5,000 to Madhavrao; but Baba did not allow him to do so. Though Baba did not give money to Madhavrao, He gave him tremendous love. Once, in an angry mood, Madhavrao said, ‘It is we who made you God. You give money and wealth to others; but are very miserly as far as I am concerned.’ Baba smiled indulgently at him and said with affection, ‘Are Shamya, the wealth of money is not for you. What is for you is very much different than that.’ Madhavrao understood the significance of this and remained quiet about the matter.

Baba fulfilled all demands and wishes of Madhavrao. He did not provide him wealth; but gave him enjoyment of all the things, which wealth can provide. Several pilgrimages such as Chaar Dham, Kashi, Gaya, Ayodhya, Mathura, Gokul, Ujjain, Haridwar, Prayag, Girnar are hectic and taxing money-wise. But, with Baba’s blessings, Madhavrao undertook them without any hardships.

Once, on Baba’s instructions, Madhavrao went to Bapusaheb Booty at Nagpur. While there, he went for the Darshan of Shri Tajuddin Baba towards the South of Nagpur. The incident narrated below happened after he returned to Shirdi. It was evening time. A lot of devotees were sitting around Baba.
Baba enquired, “Ka Shamrao, which are all the places that you visited?”
‘Deva, I had gone to Nagpur.’
‘You visited Nagpur. Then, did you see the tree of Gold towards South of Nagpur?’ Madhavrao had a keen sense of observation and a sharp mind. He realized that this must be a reference to Tajuddin Baba. He promptly said, “Hoy, Deva ! I had gone for the Darshan of Tajuddin Baba at the South of Nagpur in the garden of Raghoji Raje Bhosale.”
‘And thereafter, which places did you visit?’ Baba asked.
Madhavrao said, ‘Deva, from Nagpur I went to Amravati. There Narayan Maharaj from Bet Kedgaon had arrived. I took his Darshan also”.

It may be mentioned here that, Madhavrao did not go anywhere on his own. It was Baba Who sent him to different places. And, once he was away, Baba became restless without him.

Every devotee wanted Baba to be with them; but Baba always told them, ‘Take my Shama with you’, ‘Let my Shama be near you and I am near you’, or ‘Don’t worry when my Shama is with you’. Baba said so to devotees, who came to Him with many requests - to accompany them on travels, visit their homes for meals, be with them in their times of difficulties..... So on.

Once, Kakasaheb Dixit was overcome with emotions and went to Baba. Baba asked him, ‘What do you want?’ Kaka replied, ‘I wish to be around You forever’. Baba said, ‘Kaka, keep this Shamya with you. It will mean I am with you’. From that day, Kakasaheb accorded the same respect to Shama which he used to give to Baba. Once, while in Shirdi, Kakasaheb Dixit suffered from Navajwar (a deadly fever which lasts for nine days). Lots of risks are associated with this disease and in those olden days, many times it used to prove to be fatal. Baba told Kaka to go his home in Vile Parle. Kaka was unable to understand, why Baba was asking him to go to Parle instead of keeping him near him. Just then, Baba said, ‘Take care. Take this Udi and take Shamya also with you!’ Even though Kakasaheb was suffering with the illness, he was happy that Madhavrao was coming with him. Those 9 days were really difficult for Kakasaheb. However, he survived on the strength of his devotion to Baba and company of Madhavrao.

The end of Bapusaheb Booty’s life had come very near. Madhavrao was beside him. Booty was still conscious. He called Madhavrao near him and said, ‘Madhavrao, now I am unable to bear the pains. It will be better if Baba takes me near His Feet. I know you very well. When I am near you, I feel as if I am near Baba’s Feet’. While uttering these words, tears were flowing from Bapusaheb’s eyes. He was overcome with emotions and placed his head on Madhavrao’s feet regarding them to be Baba’s.

After the demise of Bapusaheb Booty, his son Shrimant Keshavrao Booty also accorded the same respect to Madhavrao. On pilgrimage tours, he used to take Madhavrao with him. Similarly, he used to welcome Madhavrao at his Nagpur house with lot of hospitality. He used to pay some amount as a monthly pension to Madhavrao till the end.

After Baba took Samadhi, Madhavrao spent the next 23 years in practicing medicines, looking after the devotees and narrating Baba’s Leelas to curious devotees. It would be proper to say that, besides Mhalsapati and Tatya Patil, Madhavrao was the only other person who had the great fortune to spend so much time in the company of Baba.

After the Mahanirvan of Baba, Madhavrao distributed some of the Udi on special occasions amongst the devotees. He had two large earthen pots which were full of Udi from Baba’s hands. Madhavrao had kept the pots very carefully in a corner of an inner room of his house. The women folk from the house were not aware about the Udi. Once, they set upon the task of cleaning the house. And, in the process, they moved out the earthen pots with an intention of throwing them away. At that time, Madhavrao was in Mumbai. That night he had a dream and heard, ‘Shamya. Get up! The Udi - which you had so carefully kept - will be soon thrown into garbage dump. Go, Go quickly and keep it properly!’ Within seconds, Madhavrao got up from his sleep and rushed to Shirdi. He realized that his dream was true. He took the pots into his custody and moved them to the upper floor of the house.

Kakasaheb was affectionate towards Madhavrao and made him stay in his Wada. He let out Madhavrao’s own house on rent and thus, helped in improving his means of living and finances. Madhavrao stayed in Kakasaheb’s Wada and also looked after the maintenance of the Wada. After the death of Kakasaheb, Madhavrao used to issue his rent receipts in the name of the Sansthan. Bapusaheb Booty also had entrusted the work of maintenance and supervision of his Wada to Madhavrao. For this work, Bapusaheb gave Rs. 7 every month to Madhavrao. After the death of Bapusaheb, his son Keshavrao continued the practice.

3-4 years prior to his death, Madhavrao suffered from gout. At that time, his age was more than 75 years. He was staying at that time on the upper floor of Dixit Wada. From there, he was unable to come down every day. He had lost considerable strength. In spite of this, he used to speak and incessantly narrate experiences of Baba.

A few months prior to his death, for some specific reason, Madhavrao was required to leave Dixit Wada and stay at his own house. It was a miracle that 6-7 months before he passed away, Madhavrao’s health improved suddenly and he started moving about. He repeatedly said – ‘My God has once again started looking at me’.

Kakasaheb Dixit, Bhausaheb Dhumal, Annasaheb Dabholkar were virtuous devotees who did not experience sufferings before their demise. Madhavrao was similarly fortunate. He spent only a night and time up to noon in an unconscious state. He passed away in his own house on Thursday, 26th April, 1940 (Chaitra, Krishna Chaturthi, Shake 1862). At that time, he was 80 years old. Very rarely, a person is fortunate enough to have such a peaceful death. This is not possible without the good deeds of the past. The next day, Madhavrao’s funeral procession was taken out with great fanfare. A lot of people were present. They gave him Tilanjali on the public well of the town.

Irrespective of Baba’s mood, may He be angry or irritated, Madhavrao used to confidently go near Him, fill His Chillum and change Baba’s mood by tactful talk. Not only this, Madhavrao used to sometimes even quarrel with Baba, get angry with Him, bind Him with vows and sometimes even tell Him a few things of advice. Baba, realizing the love and affection that Madhavrao had for Him, used to only smile. Baba never got heated with him, as Madhavrao’s total persona had become ‘Saimay’. He constantly chanted the Jap ‘Sainath, Sainath, Sainath’. While he was awake, sleeping or dreaming, he saw only Sai. His all senses were laid at the Feet of Sai. Day and night, whether in a sleeping or awake, Madhavrao was gripped by the devotion of Baba. His senses were pre-occupied with dedication to the Lord. We find proof of this in the Khaparde Diary.

In his diary, Dadasaheb Khaparde has written an amazing episode about Madhavrao. On 8th December 1911, Khaparde writes –

“Madhavarao Deshpande was here & fell asleep. I saw with my own eyes, & heard with my own ears what I only read about, but never experienced, that with every outgoing & in drawing breath of Madhavarao Deshpande, comes the clear sound of “Sayin Nath Maharaj Sayin Nath Baba” This sound is as clear as clear can be & when Madhavrao snores, the words can be heard even at a distance. This is really wonderful & he is in deep sleep all the time.”

Any person studying Shri Sai Sat Charita will observe that - amongst the devotees who were close to Baba - Madhavrao comes very near the top.

||Om Sri Sainathaarpanamastu||


  1. This IS Really Amazing & Wonderful Write Up! I liked This A Lot!

    “Madhavarao Deshpande was here & fell asleep. I saw with my own eyes, & heard with my own ears what I only read about, but never experienced, that with every outgoing & in drawing breath of Madhavarao Deshpande, comes the clear sound of “Sayin Nath Maharaj Sayin Nath Baba” This sound is as clear as clear can be & when Madhavrao snores, the words can be heard even at a distance. This is really wonderful & he is in deep sleep all the time.”


  2. shrine was built by a wealthy devotee and a businessman called Gopalrao Booty from Nagpur