An experience of a devotee from USA - Thakur Mukund Raj

It was on Saturday December 7th 2002 morning that we had a chance to visit “Sai ka Angan”, Baba’s abode on the outskirts of Delhi. Baba seems to have taken on after the popular Indian mantra, “Chalo Delhi”, Delhi being capital of India. Once someone steps inside the door, then the difference between Shirdi and this place dissolves. The layout, the structure, interior and everything up to the nails in walls is so carefully done that one can’t say the difference between Baba’s abode in Shirdi and here. Not only that, HE himself sits next to the railing in the form of a life sized replica of HIS form as though saying to his visitors; “When this masjid was not built, then also I was present here but no one recognized me; hence I have come with the masjid, so that my devotees can recognize this place also as my abode!”

It is not mere coincidence that at that moment a family arrived here just returning from their trip to Shirdi and the lady’s statement bears truth when she exclaimed “It seems that we did not even leave and we are still in Shirdi!” Such is the magic of this place. Not to be carried away just by emotions and people’s reactions we decided to put our faith to test. The first thought that came to the mind was that no one speaks Marathi here, so this place can’t be Shirdi! What a cheap thought one may say! But pat came back the reply from the master sitting in his court. All of a sudden the speakers started blazing the glory of Shirdi and the Master in Marathi. Where from and who played the tape is not of importance so much that the tape played in Marathi and it was glorifying the Lord as was done by the villagers each morning in Shirdi. It started looking and feeling like the stories and characters were rising from the pages of Sai Satcharita to enact and replay the scenes that took place almost a century ago!

Not still satisfied, the eyes and the mind wanted more! The body stood in the “Sabha Mandap” or courtyard outside the famous three steps of the Masjid and prayed to Baba. “Baba, if this is you then I can’t climb the steps with out your permission. So, hey lord, till you give express permission, we can’t come up!” Not even a minute passed after this mental prayer was offered then came the result from the master. Some one walked up and said, “Please step into the masjid and do “phanka” (fan the master)”. With tears in eyes, hair standing up on its edges and ego crushed, the command was instantly accepted and obeyed.

Then as if to satisfy more, the Master continued to play his game. All of a sudden from no where long lines of children, mothers and fathers, started queuing in front of the masjid. Upon inquiry, it was informed that on this day, there was a comprehensive health camp being organized by “Sukarya” a non governmental organization for the benefit of poor and needy followed by “annadan” or feeding the poor. Baba’s Handi and Radha krihsna Mayi’s kitchen started playing in the very front of our eyes. Many ladies donning the roles of Laxmi and Radha Krishna Mayi relived the days of Baba’s Shirdi, some cutting vegetables, some serving the food, some cooking but all of them very immersed in telling tales of Baba’s influence in their lives!

Came the time for Arathis, one could clearly hear the conch of the shell loud and clear for miles, inviting and informing one and all of the time for Arathi. The masjid roared with live singing of “Ghevooni Pancharathi..”. And our feeble minds wanted to test Baba’s strength merely on the language of Marathi! “Shame on us! O’ Lord of Lords, please forgive this sinner! How many times have you told and explained to us and how many times we have not listened we know not, by you know it all! Hey Baba, have mercy. At this moment, we do not even feel worthy of your grace but out of your kindness, please do forgive us for we are not even worthy of that!”. The mind presently came back as the arathi was ending. Then came the time for “langar” or partaking of food. Men and women got busy in serving the food that was being prepared since morning. Seeing there were big lines, we thought of waiting on the side. Stepping on the dirt, all of sudden the eyes fell on a long line of ants walking very briskly in a great hurry. Curiosity arisen, we started to follow the long line of ants very busily going and coming from somewhere. The trail led straight to the back of the masjid, where there was a small hole and through which were seen ants carrying on their back, a pinch of food for a human, but as big as a cart load no doubt for the little ant in a line. The same food that was being served on the other side of the wall! Reminds of food served from Baba’s daily begging rounds? By this time, the heart was begging the Master to stop proving his point!

The jet lag started to set in, the body was very tired from the long journey and the back was hurting immensely. The body was screaming to rest and lie down but the crowds were still looming. How can one leave without taking Baba’s prasad and his permission. After all, He has already shown his presence! The mind started its game once again. “Why not ask Baba to cure this hurt and avoid bearing the pain? He is here isn’t it, then why can’t he provide relief for it?” Not even a moment passed after the thought arose that the eyes fell on a sign declaring that place to be where Baba stood leaning and distributing Udhi. Having read the sign, we quickly walked there and standing against the wall started rubbing our backs to the wall. In less than few minutes, all the pain in the back vanished and the body felt well rested with out any signs of tiredness at all!

Thus the day continued with sharing and listening to Baba’s leelas and stories from many. While taking his leave, a though arose to pen this day down for whose benefit and for whom we know not! We are sure though that through this he will reach his intended audience. The Dwarkamayee of North India, “Sai Ka Angan”, is located in Sushant Lok, Gurgaon, Haryana on the outskirts of Delhi.

If one is in Delhi for a visit, one should surely check out this place of Baba that brings Shirdi and its experience away from Shirdi.