Friday, March 23, 2012


‘What do you want?’ asked Baba. Kakasaheb replied, ‘I wish to be around You forever’. Baba said, ‘Kaka, keep this Shamya with you. It will mean I am with you’. 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, as soon as Baba completed His meals and washed His hands, Shyama was wiping the wet hands of Baba. Then playfully, Baba pinched Shyama’s cheeks. Pretending to be angry, Shyama said, “Deva! Is it proper for You to pinch like this? We don’t want a mischievous God who pinches us.” Baba said, “Oh Shamya, for the last 72 generations that you were with Me, I never pinched you. It is only now that I have touched you. Are you finding fault with Me for that?” Then Shyama said, “We want a God who will give us sweets to eat and kiss us. We don’t want any respect from You. Allow us to have our faith in Your divine feet always.” Baba affectionately replied, “Yes, I have indeed come for that. I have been feeding and nursing you and have love and affection for you.” The person whom Baba reminded that He was with him for the past 72 generations, and whose cheeks Baba playfully pinched was Madhavrao Deshpande. Baba used to call him as “Maza Shamya” (“My Shamya” in Marathi) with great affection. At other times He would call him just Shama.

Madhavrao was born on the Margasheersha Shuddha Panchami day of the year 1860 in the family of Yajurvedi Deshastha Brahmin. His birth took place in village Nimon (Sangamner taluka, Nagar district) about 20 miles to the west of Shirdi.

Madhavrao’s mother was the fourth wife of his father Balwantrao. Balwantrao’s first three wives did not bear any child. He, therefore, married the sister of Laxman Mama Kulkarni, a resident of Shirdi. He had three children from this fourth marriage. Of them, Madhavrao was the eldest. He was followed by Kashinath - who was adopted by another family and was named as Ganesh Sridhar Deshpande. Bapaji, about whom mention is made in chapter thirty and thirty-four of Sri Sai Satcharitra, was the youngest brother of Madhavrao.

When Madhavrao was about 2-3 years old, his father came to stay at Shirdi with his entire family. Up to standard V-VI, Madhavrao’s education was carried out at Shirdi itself.

Madhavrao married twice. His first wife was Savitribai. He had one son, Eknathpant, from her. Eknathpant’s wife Ushabai, was the daughter of Gopal Kacheshwar Kulkarni of Nighoj village.

Madhavrao’s second wife was Dwarkabai. They had two sons - Jagannathpant and Uddhavrao - and a daughter – Babitai. Babitai was married to Narayan Nagesh Wande of Parner village in Nagar district.

Madhavrao was tall, robustly built and very healthy. His complexion was wheatish. He used to have a square diet and had a healthy appetite. Up to the age of 72, he did not suffer from any ailments. He did not suffer even from simple maladies like fever or head-ache. He entirely adhered to ancient religious traditions. His conduct was sacred and strict in observance of religious rites. Barring a few known households, he never used to have meals at others. He was also an expert in cooking. Therefore, generally he prepared meals himself at his house.

After completing his education, he taught in the village Marathi school, as an Assistant Teacher, for a few years. Nana Ratna Parkhe was his Headmaster and superior. One Laxman Master was another teacher above him. Madhavrao conducted his class in a room built by circle inspector Gopalrao Gund. Subsequently, for some time, Radhakrishna Aai stayed in that room and towards the end, it became a stable for Baba’s horse, Sri Shamsundar. The room was made of bricks and mud. One wall facing the Masjid had a small window. Madhavrao could see Baba sitting in the Masjid and observe His activities. Madhavrao used to sleep in the school. Baba was the sole occupant of the mosque. Sometimes Baba sang songs in Arabic or Persian languages and Madhavrao could hear them from his class room. He could hear English, Hindi, many languages being spoken in the mosque (at night) evidently by Baba. Madhavrao inferred that Baba had remarkable powers and began to have faith in him.

When Madhavrao started working in the school, his age was about 14-15. At that time, he looked upon Baba as a Chillum smoking, little mad, young Fakir. In Madhavrao’s own words, “Baba used to smoke tobacco Chillum and for sharing the smoke, I used to go to Him again and again. Most of the prominent villagers considered Baba to be reverent. Tatya Patil’s mother and family members, Gondkar family, Mhalsapati Sonar, Kulkarni and others were His devotees and loved Him as village Fakir. I became one of them. And, I do not know what happened, but, I started getting pleasure in visiting Sri Baba. When I was near Him, I felt He is doing some magic on me, my mind was filled with holy and pure thoughts, my body started trembling, and my eyes were filled with tears of happiness. I, therefore, looked forward to meeting Sri Baba. The visits and familiarity increased. Naturally, I started taking care of the devotees visiting Sri Baba. Sri Baba also began telling me to look after the arrangements for devotees from outside Shirdi. They started having their meals at my home. Thus, I started coming in contact with devotees from outside Shirdi. They started inviting me to their homes and I started accepting the invitations. I used to undertake such visits only after seeking prior permission from Sri Baba. At the town I visited, I got introduced to more people. And the amazing thing was that, as soon as I began talking to the newly introduced people, they were entranced with Sri Baba, as if Sri Baba had made use of me to attract people”.

Madhavrao remained a teacher for five or six years. He gave up that place, when he was transferred from Shirdi. When Madhavrao was still at School, Chidambar Keshav Gadgil came to Shirdi and asked him, "It is said a great Sadhu is here. Where is he?” Madhavrao said, “There is none at Shirdi”, and from the school he pointed to the mosque and told, “There is only this mad Fakir." Mr. Gadgil went to the mosque. Sai Baba showered abuse on him. But the abuse was productive of faith and joy. Before coming to Shirdi, Gadgil had paid his respects to a saint living at Bhima Shankar temple at Poona. The reason why he had come to Shirdi was, that saint had asked him to go and see the saint at Shirdi. Sai in his abuse referred to that and Gadgil felt sure that Baba was a Gnani, a great saint. From then on, he frequently visited Baba and became his staunch devotee. At the first visit of Mr.Gadgil he was a Chitnis, and with him came Vaman, a Special Munsiff, and Sitaram Patwardhan, an Educational Officer, and a tongawalla. Madhavrao went with this group up to the steps of the Mosque. Baba forbade them from climbing the steps and began his shower of abuse. He said, "I am a Muslim. Go and fall at the feet of the sadhu at Bhimashanker temple".

At that time Madhavrao did not consider Baba as a Sagun Parmatma or Siddha Purush. This was the state of his mind for initial 10-12 years. In the next 10-12 years, he started considering Baba as Sat Purush. Thereafter, as he spent more and more time in the company of Baba, he realized that Baba was a Siddha Purush and Moortimant Sagun Parmatma. He spent about 20-22 years obeying His orders and serving His devotees. Thus, Madhavrao spent 42-43 years of his life in incessant company of Baba.

After resigning the teacher’s job, till the end of his life, he worked as a village doctor. He used to give medicines after taking Baba’s name. Madhavrao was an expert at diagnosing various diseases and knowing properties of various medicines. He was also very good at ‘Nadi Pariksha’ (diagnosing the ailment by merely feeling the pulse). He had gained the knowledge on his own and did not learn it from anyone. He carried a stock of Indian and foreign medicines. He could earn some money by practicing medicines. He had cured many patients, where other doctors had given up their efforts. When people asked, ‘How he gained the knowledge?’ he replied, ‘Sri Baba used to suggest Aushadhi Gutika (medicines). Generally, the conversation used to take place through me. Thus, I came to know the medicines which were uttered by my God’.

Further, Madhavrao used to mix Baba’s Udi in the medicines. Besides, he also used to refer to books on Ayurveda from time to time. He used medicines manufactured in the factories of Puranik (Panvel) and Sandu (Chembur). He also prepared some of the medicines himself. Madhavrao had some income from a piece of land at village Nimon as well as from his medical practice. He used this financial income very judiciously and even managed to undertake expenditure for looking after certain visitors as per instructions of Baba.



  1. That Is How People Change, Once They Get To Know About Sainaath!

  2. Many thnx, dear Creativity for your comment! Yes, Baba has that attraction even today - whoever sees him once are drawn to him, like sparrows tied by a string!!

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  5. We can diagnose root cause of ailments which are sometimes hidden and cannot be found through modern diagnostic equipments.Nadichikitsa is also one of the best centers in India to learn Nadi Pariksha.

  6. Get your Nadi Pariksha done at Nadi Chikitsa for Best diagnosis. We are experts in Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis. Nadichikitsa is also one of the best centers in India to learn Nadi Pariksha.