Narhari’s Stay in Shirdi: The First 8 Days
Baba kept Narhari by his side for the 3 weeks of his stay in Shirdi. He got to see this incomprehensible scene on the 5th day of his stay in the Dwarka Mai. This is how Narhari recalls it:
That entire day Baba was very restless, and that night I saw a terrifying scene with my own eyes. Baba was in the Dwarka Mai till darkness fell. At first he asked everyone to go home. Then he asked Abdulla to leave and sternly said, “Today nobody should stay here, or come here during the night. Tomorrow you may come but only after sunrise.” Next, he turned to me and said, “You sleep right here.” Hearing this, the rest of the devotees glowered at me, and left reluctantly. After that, Baba made me sit near him and gave me some milk to drink.
Finally, he asked me to go to sleep. However, he categorically said, “Now listen to me carefully. Don’t be the least bit afraid. Whatever you may see, you are not to get up. Lie quietly and watch. If you get up and stand then you will definitely die. Lie down calmly, don’t make any noise or scream. Whatever comes, in whatever form, you are not to get up from your bed. Just lie still and watch. Is it clear?” Then he asked me to lie on my sack and drew a line by the side of the sack with his Satka and the milk from the vessel. Again Baba said, “Follow my instructions and don’t move or get up.” I lay down quietly, and after a long time I glanced at Baba. Baba was seated next to the wall with the Dhuni Mai in front of him. Next to him was the pot with water in it, and a small bowl of milk and arudraksh rosary. He was calmly seated and chanting the name of Allah. Soon I was sound asleep.
At some time during the night I was awoken by a loud slithering sound. I woke up startled, but my ears were ringing with Baba’s admonition so I lay still like a dead person. A humongous black python slithered near my foot, but did not dare to cross the line drawn by Baba next to where I lay. The snake then came and stood next to my face with the upper half of its body raised straight up with its hood spread in an attacking stance. Its hood was huge, about 3 to 4 ft long, and its eyes were like red beads. It kept staring angrily at Baba and trying to strike him, but it dared not because of the Dhuni Mai in front of Baba. In actuality it could have easily bitten Baba from where it was, but it was unable to do so, as much as it tried. I couldn’t understand why. Baba was tranquilly seated there, chanting Allah’s name. Behind his head I could see a brilliant halo. The halo became even more brilliant and the entire Dwarka Mai was lit up due to its brilliance. The python repeatedly tried to strike Baba, but in vain. Neither could it cross the Dhuni, so it kept thrashing its tail on the ground in frustration. This continued for quite a while.
Finally Baba came out of his meditation and the halo behind his head disappeared. From Baba’s eyes a brilliant ray of light emanated and fell on the snake; and from the eyes of the snake a ray of light was emitted and met the ray of light from Baba’s eyes about midway. At the meeting point, a beautiful scene was seen; a small miniature form of Baba that looked like a small doll appeared. This doll-like figure slowly moved forward, and engulfed the ray of light from the snake. Then the figure of Baba slowly disappeared into Baba himself. After this the snake slithered over my body and God knows where it went. By then I was shuddering with fright and I wet myself. I felt I was half dead and I don’t remember when I fell asleep.
The next morning Baba shook me awake; at that time I was running a high fever. Baba took his Satka and tapped my head thrice with it and the fever vanished. He asked me to wash my face, my hands and feet and accompany him. Then Baba briskly walked into the village and I ran behind him. He stopped in front of a house and called out to a person called
Hari, and asked him to give us some tea. After drinking the tea and blessing Hari, we proceeded till we reached an elevated place, which had a tree on it. Right below the tree, the snake from last night’s terrifying scene lay dead. Baba with tears in his eyes said, “Child, there is no better deed in this world than giving your life for someone.”
Then Baba picked up a large stone and started digging a hole with it, I also did the same. Soon a large pit was created and Baba laid the snake in it. He then stood still for some time, then lifted his hands towards the sky and said, “Allah have mercy on this snake.” Then he filled the hole with mud and placed a leaf from the tree on top of it. Suddenly a strong wind blew, creating a small whirlwind and both of us were covered with dust. This lasted for about 5 minutes followed by utter calm. I looked at the grave and on it was a heap of Parijatak flowers (night flowering jasmine; botanical name: nychanthes arbotristis). Baba then walked briskly back to Shirdi, after sternly warning me not to look back.
Upon reaching the Dwarka Mai, there was a crowd of villagers eager to know what had taken place the previous night. Many of them tried to bribe me with “goodies” hoping I would tell them something. However I said that I had slept soundly through the night. Then they wanted to know where we had gone that morning. Innocently, I said, “For a walk.”
On the 8th day of his stay in Shirdi, Narhari heard Baba tell Tatya Kote Patil that he had been given a new life. Now he would live for another five to six years more, so Tatya need not worry. Narhari was puzzled as to why Baba said this, as the snake was unable to cross the Dhuni Mai and bite him. Who was to die that night? For whom did that snake give up his life? Thus Baba predicted his passing away.
He said, “Tatya you don’t have to worry, I will be around till 1918. I have this brick with me. It is my life-line so I take good care of it. But if this brick should break I will not survive for long. A person who is born is surely going to die, so why should you grieve about it? God has a unique method of keeping the population at a constant level; this is why human beings die. 196
The cause of death is varied, some die of hunger, some due to illnesses, others die due to natural calamities like floods. But 80-90 years from now there will be a population explosion and unusual diseases will arrive throughout the world. Massive numbers of people will succumb to these diseases. There will be new diseases in different continents of the world and cure will be difficult to find. Human beings will lose empathy and sympathy towards others and people will be recognised only by the amount of wealth they possess. Dharma will be in great trouble and holy men will face diverse difficulties. Even the Government will have many problems and in the chaos it will be difficult to govern justly. This is going to be the dismal future of mankind.”
(Whatever Baba predicted has come true in this day and age. There are diseases like HIV–AIDS, a multitude of new viruses that cause diseases like dengue, chikungunya, swine flu and the recent EBOLA virus.)
Then he told Narhari, “You are fortunate you will never go hungry. You will have a place to sleep and clothes to wear. This is my blessing to you.” Thus Baba’s blessings came to pass.
Ref.: Tey Soneri 21 Divas, written by Narhari Vasudev Raikar.197