Baba's Devotees

Mhalsapati and Kashiram were the two earliest devotees of Baba. They assigned to Baba a dilapidated mosque to live in. Baba named it 'Dwarkamai'. People who came to Shirdi visited Baba and had his darshan at this place. Many structures, small and, big came up at Shirdi later on. But Baba lived all his life in Dwarkamai only. This place is, therefore, regarded as very holy.

Mhalsapati spent almost his whole day with Baba and served him with utmost devotion. Kashiram supplied Baba all necessary things. There was not even a stint of selfishness in this. He did this all out of puire love and sense of service. Once when he was traveling on business, he had a bloody encounter with robbers. He was remembering Baba all the time. While he was, on the point of fainting due to exhaustion, a drama was taking place in Shirdi. Baba, throwing up his hands was shouting in Kashiram's direction. This gave Kashiram such a sudden spurt of strength that the robbers, being overpowered, fled away. This was a clear indication of Baba's supernatural powers.

Next, Madhavrao Deshpande of Shirdi was strongly attracted towards Baba. He completely merged himself in Baba's service. Baba lovingly called him 'Shama'. So great was Shama's authority that Baba deputed Shama to go in his own place wherever needed. What Arjuna was to Lord Krishna, the same was Shama to Sai Baba.

Nanasaheb Chandorkar, a highly placed Govt. officer, also became Baba's unflinching devotee. Das Ganu Maharaj was serving in the Police Dept. But, after meeting Baba, be left the service and turned to the Path of devotion. He became one of the greatest kirtankars in modern times. He and Nanasabeb spread the fame of Baba in all quarters.

Sathe built the first wada at Shirdi and this became a good resting place for visitors. Another wada, a bigger one, was built bv Dixit. This provided further amenities. But the biggest wada, a spacious stone and masonry structure, Was built by Gopalrao Buti of Nagpur. The present Samadhi Mandir is housed here.

Radhakrishna Mai came and settled at Shirdi, after her husband's death. She lived only ten years more. But due to her tireless and imaginative work during that short span of life, she eiitirely changed the very face of Shirdi. The present discipline and daily routine at Shirdi were laid down bv her. That Shirdi soon attained the status of a Sansthan (Institution) is a testimony to her fiery zeal.