Baba was a Mahatma (Great Soul) with uncanny,divine powers. But he called himself "Servant of God,' and the supernatural feats that occured at his hands, he ascribed to God Himself. He never called himself a Guru and had no disciples too. He had only his devotees.
Now I will tell you some of the earliest leelas of Baba.
Every night, Baba used to light earthen lamps in the Dwarkamai. For this, he asked the grocers to give him oil. In the beginning, people looked upon Baba as a mad fakir, and so the grocers gave him oil just for the fun of it. But soon they got fed up with this daily practice and one day they all refused to give him oil.
With the empty oil-tin dangling from his hand, Baba came back to Dwarkamai, with a merry song on his lips :-
If no oil, I am not worried,
Dwarkamai will supply the need.
He put a little water in the oil tin and drank it, as if to please the God within. Then he took more water, poured it in the lamps and kindled them one by one. Alack and ... !
God said, let there be light
And there was light !
The 'water-lamps' burnt throughout the night. Those who had come to scoff remained to praise.
This incident established the supernatural powers of Baba beyond a shred of doubt.
At another time, there was an epidemic of Cholera in Shirdi. Helpless people approached Baba for relief. Baba daily used to grind corn in the Dwarkamai. Now he called the village women and asked them to lend a helping hand to grind some wheat, beckoning God all the time to save his children. Then he asked the women to throw the wheat-flour on the outskirts of the village. Immediately, the calamity was driven away.
One evening, the sky suddenly became overcast with clouds. There were strong winds and flashes of lightening. Soon there was a fierce hailstorm, followed by heavy rains. Again Baba ran to the villagers' rescue. With satka (a foot-long black rod) in hand, he stood at Dwarkamai's door, and thrashing the pillars with satka, ordered the rains to stop. And stop they did!
Once the fire in the dhuni blew up fiercely and the flames rose higher and higher. Baba ordered the fire to calm down and the fire instantly obeyed.
Many a time, Baba took the bhaktas' ailments on himself. He suffered their pangs and the bhaktas' were were relieved. An instance in point is that of a young boy who had come to Shirdi with his mother. The mother was constantly in the service of Baba, when her son had an attack of plague. The fever rose dangerously and the mother, 'thinking that nothing could be done in Shirdi, asked Baba whether the son should be taken home. Consoling her, Baba said, "Mother, since you have thrown the burden on me, you need not worry. I am taking on your son's fever and the bubos, look". So saying, he showed the bubos in his arm-pits. The fever too could be clearly felt. The boy soon recovered.