Narhari’s Stay in Shirdi: Days 9–18 On the morning of the 9th day, Narhari’s stomach was rumbling with hunger. Bayjabai came there with a basket of freshly prepared, hot bhakris. Narhari without brushing his teeth fell upon the bhakri and ate them. Baba said, “Look how hunger makes a person desperate makes him lose his equanimity and presence of mind. He becomes blinded by the gnawing hunger pangs in his stomach. A rational person turns into a devil, and all he thinks of is how to fill his belly. Even if he has to snatch the food from a child’s hand, he will not hesitate to do so. In the years to come, man will yearn for money, and he will have no regard for family and loved ones. When it comes to getting money, his actions will put even the devil to shame.” How true Baba’s words have been proved today. There is rampant hunger and malnutrition in the world. There are plenty of organisations to relieve “world hunger”. In India numerous devotees try to relieve hunger in their own way like contributing to “Sai Roti” and “Sai Bharosa”. Other devotees do Annadaan in temples and Gurdwaras and feed people of all castes and creeds. On the 11th day of Narhari Vasudev Raikar’s stay in Shirdi with Baba, he was woken at the crack of dawn by Baba, who shook him and said, “Arre! Get up and come with me.” Immediately Narhari woke up and followed Baba, who briskly walked to the small Maruti temple which was not far off. There was a peepal tree and under it was an idol of Maruti with ochre paste on it. Baba ordered him to do 11 pradikshinas (circumambulations) around it, and Narhari did as he was told. Thereafter Baba asked Narhari to keep a fistful of mud below the parapet and place the lighted lamp that was there on the mud. Next Baba asked him to place the fistful of mud back in its original place. After that, they returned to the Chavadi and Baba asked him to have a bath. Then they both had tea that a villager had brought. After drinking the tea, Baba asked him not to return till it was evening. He said, “Go and spend the entire day in the village somewhere or the other. In the evening come and meet me in the Dwarka Mai.” Narhari went away in accordance with Baba’s orders. That evening, when Narhari returned to the Dwarka Mai, Baba called him, took a fistful of ash from the Dhuni Mai and sprinkled it on him, murmuring something the entire while. Then Baba asked Narhari to sit calmly near the Dhuni Mai. After a long period of time, both of them left Dwarka Mai and went to the Chavadi. Finally Baba said, “Now your work has started. Don’t worry about anything.” Narhari had been concerned about his future and had suspected that there was something in it that was not too good. Thus he felt this was probably Baba’s remedy for it. Who can guess what Baba does and why? On the 18th day of his stay in Shirdi, Baba took him to the place where they had buried the snake. At that time it was late afternoon. On reaching the place, Baba looked at the sky and raising both his hands said, “Oh, Master! Have mercy on this child and throughout his life provide him two square meals a day, and take care of his needs.” Then Baba asked Narhari to close his eyes and sit calmly with his eyes shut. A short while later a supernatural phenomenon occurred wherein he felt as if a whirlwind was taking place in his head. Narhari then had the feeling of being shaken. The intensity of this sensation started increasing, and he was scared stiff. Then he felt as if he was being pulled down. The whole episode was eerie and he was exhausted. Narhari couldn’t quite comprehend what was happening to him. As he had handed his life and future in Baba’s hands, there was nothing more that he could do, so he lay down and went to sleep. It was dark when he finally got up, and he looked around for Baba, but he was nowhere to be found. So he hastily went to the Dwarka Mai and found Baba there. In a pleasant manner Baba spoke to him, saying, “Come, my child. Your life had started improving from today.” Baba had often told Narhari that his destiny was wretched, and what was written in the annals of his life was meagre. It was Baba’s pledge that there would be no dearth of food and clothing in his devotee’s life. Here was this lad who had come all by himself to Shirdi to seek refuge in him. Now Baba was determined to change it and he did change it, by the leela just described. Ref.: Tey Soneri 21 Divas, written by Narhari Vasudev Raikar.