Om Sai Ram, dear Sai devotees, pranaam. I have been a BABA devotee since my first trip to Shirdi which took place with BABA's grace in 2016 on Vasant Panchami day. Like many of you, I have had the immense good fortune of experiencing many beautiful BABA Leelas, his divine darshan, grace, and blessings on multiple occasions since then, and I would like to share one such experience with you today.
Last year in 2019 my long awaited second trip ever to Shirdi was to happen in the first week of December. We were driving from Mumbai to Shirdi, my sister and I along with three other devotees. Before I left home I prayed intensely to BABA, I am coming to your home after a long time BABA, please take good care of me, and also in the 24 hours that I am going to be in Shirdi, I really want to attend EVERY single arti of yours, and pay my full respects to you. With this prayer in my heart we started our trip early in the morning at 5:30am. Barely had we driven for 15 minutes and were not even out of Mumbai yet, when BABA began to show his clear presence. Multiple trucks with large pictures of BABA began to accompany us on the road and later on the highway. Devotees with BABA pictures and statues in Palkis, were walking alongside with us on the highway all the way to Shirdi. I knew in my heart then that BABA was personally escorting us to Shirdi ! The first restaurant that we stopped at for tea on the way, had a HUGE picture of BABA in the hall. This Beautiful Leela continued all the way till we reached Shirdi very peacefully in less than 5 hours.
We got to Shirdi around 10:30 am, and our first stop was Gurusthan. There were a lot of people there, and along with the rest I started my pradakshina around the blessed Neem Tree where BABA had first been seen when he first came to Shirdi. While I was walking around the blessed Neem tree, I had a very strong desire to get a leaf from the tree as BABA's prasad. As you know, now the tree has a big net under it, and it is almost impossible to get a leaf, as the net catches all the leaves that fall from the tree. Still I prayed intensely to Baba, BABA please give me a leaf from the tree as your divine blessing and prasad. Barely had the thought left my mind, that there was a sudden gust of wind on an otherwise calm day, and a beautiful little Neem leaf fell from the tree, and escaping the net, wafted straight down, and even though I walking, it came and landed exactly on the big toe of my left foot !!! I was so so happy !! BABA had heard my prayer !!! I immediately bent down picked up the leaf, thanked BABA profusely in my mind for answering my prayer, and put the leaf into my mouth and ate it as BABA's prasad. At this point I knew my trip to Shirdi had been blessed, and BABA was truly taking very good care of me.
After we finished taking darshan in Gurusthan, I walked into the Samadhi Shrine for the first time on this trip, for Madhyan Arti. The moment my gaze fell on BABA, I felt such intense love for him rise up in my heart, that I truly thought my heart would burst open, and tears started pouring down my face. I started weeping like a baby in front of everyone as I walked towards HIM. Throughout the arti I couldn't stop crying, and felt SO incredibly grateful that I was actually in HIS presence, in the Samadhi Shrine standing right in front of him. As the Arti progressed, it was just HIM and me, and the rest of the world had simply disappeared.
I will pause here for now. There were many more beautiful, loving, and heart touching BABA Leelas that took place on that short but incredibly memorable trip to Shirdi. My heart is feeling overwhelmed at this point as the energy is very intense. With BABA's grace and blessing I will share the rest of my experiences on this memorable trip, with all of you, in "Blessed Trip to Shirdi - Part 2" .
May BABA's love and blessing be with all.
Thank you Nikhil ji for the wonderful seva you do for BABA by becoming HIS instrument and spreading HIS teachings in the world. Stay blessed always.
Thank you dear beloved loving BABA for EVERYTHING.