*Narhari Meets Baba*
This is the story of a fortunate adolescent who by providence stayed with Baba for 21 days. His destiny had been unenviable and wretched and Baba acted against his inherent nature and changed it. This adolescent was Narhari Vasudev Raikar, who witnessed a mind boggling scene of death and heard Baba talking about the future of the human civilization and what a sorry state it would become from 1978 onwards. Baba predicted to him many facets of life that we now often experience in the “Kali Yuga” (the age of the demon Kali, or the age of vice). The life story is exceedingly long so it has been described as several leelas.
On a Monday of December 1912, Narhari Vasudev Raikar, aged 16 years, decided to visit Shirdi and seek refuge at Baba’s feet as he was fed up of his wretched life. He took the long arduous journey from Mumbai, alone, and finally reached Shirdi at about 4 p.m.
The village was very rustic, and the dirt road was full of holes and pits. There was litter scattered everywhere. Narhari saw a village woman coming from the opposite direction and he asked her where he would find Baba. She silently pointed the direction to him. He walked ahead and came upon a hut where a woman was standing, who Narhari asked for a drink of water. In a very kind and caring way she asked Narhari, “Baba, where have you come from?” Narhari replied that he had come from Mumbai to meet Baba. Surprised she asked him to sit down and hurriedly brought him a plate filled with peanuts and small bits of jaggery, along with a glass filled with water. She then requested him to eat it while she sat in front of him asking Narhari about his life in Mumbai.
Narhari replied, “I am an orphan and I can’t remember when
humy parents passed away. My uncle who works in a textile mill took me home. My uncle would frequently visit Dabolkar’s house and I often accompanied him. There I heard about Baba’s Godliness, so I decided to ask Him to help me. My uncle remarried, my step-aunt had two children and she disliked the very sight of me. She made me work from morning till late at night, gave me leftovers to eat, and very little of it. Then she said I was a burden on the family as I ate food for free. This hurt me a great deal, so I decided to ask Baba what the future held for me, take his blessings, and start living on my own. With only 3 annas in my pocket I dared to come to Shirdi.”
That kind lady said, “Arre! My child, hearing your story I feel very bad. May God bless you with a great future! In the evening come to my house for dinner. I am a poor woman but I will definitely feed you whatever I have. You can sleep on the platform in front of my home.” Narhari’s eyes filled with tears as he heard this. He couldn’t help but compare the difference in behaviour between this unknown lady and his own aunt!
Narhari then went to the Dwarka Mai, where he saw a man sleeping with his face towards the wall. He was wearing a dirty, torn white kafni which was hardly white any longer. A dirty white cloth was tied around his head and he was about 6 ft tall; lean but fit and strong. Now Narhari had to wait for him to get up, so he sat on the steps and waited. Half an hour later, he woke up and said, “Abdulla, give me some water.”
Narhari immediately stood up and as no one was around, he fetched him some water from a bucket kept nearby. He kept the water in front of him. That man was murmuring something, and looked at Narhari and asked, “Who are you?” Narhari said he had come from Mumbai to meet Sai Baba. And where could he be found? The man replied, “You ass, who do you see in front of you?” Hurriedly Narhari placed his head on Baba’s feet.
This was what happened when Narhari first came to Shirdi and met Shri Sai Baba.
Ref.: Tey Soneri 21 Divas, written by Narhari Vasudev Raikar.