In the year 1973, I went to Bombay and I resolved that I should not come back to my head office without going to Shirdi. I took two days leave. I wanted to perform special Abhishekam to the Lord. So I went to a shop and gave an order for the required articles for the Abhishekam. Only those who are in the list of the first 200 persons can stand near the Lord. The shop owner who took money from me said that he would make arrangements for my number to be included in the first list of 200 persons. He did so. I was happy I could be near the Lord I worship day in and day out.
The next day at 8 a.m. a man brought me the Abhishekam ticket and got the balance amount from me. After about an hour I saw the number on the ticket. The number was 620. I got confused and sitting in a place I meditated. I was waiting for my turn. It was only a few minutes for the Abhishekam to start. Suddenly someone came to me and asked me what was the number of my ticket. I told him that the number was 620. He said that as his friend did not come for the Abhishekam he was going away and that I might use his ticket. I came within the list of the first 200 persons. My joy knew no bounds. As my turn with the number 620 would come after 3 p.m. I could not board the bus for return to Bombay. Only the great Sri Sai Baba miraculously helped me through a stranger.
In 1974 I got chances to go to the shrine twice. Once I went during the Sri Rama Navami festival. I became intimate with one C.D. Deshmukh. He bought betal leaves, coconut and other things for the archana. I too bought the Archana articles in the same shop in which Deshmukh bought. The coconut I bought was unhusked with the basket of the Archana articles in my hand I sat in a corner in the temple and began to husk the coconut. The coconut was found to be of irregular shape. I was a little worried why it was so. Could it be broken into two halves exactly? Why this test, Baba? There was no time to buy another coconut. I was crying within myself that this coconut should be broken into two exact halves.
After the sankalpa was over one after another went near the shrine of Sri Sai Baba at his Samadhi and garlanded it. The priest placed my basket containing the coconut and other things on a light cabinet. The cabinet was about 2 ½ feet high. Before I got up after prostrating myself before the shrine the coconut fell down unbalanced and broke into two exact halves. Everyone including the priest wondered at this strange happening. It was my coconut which was broken first. The priest told me, “This is your luck. Baba will always protect you.” That year went by enlightening me more and more about Sai Baba’s greatnesss.
I had to go to Bombay in the last week of December 1975. But I had to go to Hyderabad earlier on official duty and stay there. Mahasamadhi day when Baba attained Samadhi was approaching fast. I was at a loss. As I had gone to Hyderabad on official duty I had no chance of availing myself of leave. There were some more days for my official work to be over. Without feeling hesitant I asked my foreign engineer for two days leave of absence and he unhesitatingly granted me leave.
I returned to Madras immediately. I went through the railway time-table by chance. I happened to read an interesting advertisement in the Deccan Chronicle. It read like this: In a place called Kachaguda a person earned some lakhs with an investment of a small sum. He raised a Samadhi for Sri Sai Baba like the one at Shirdi and installed a small statue of Sri Sai Baba. Seeing the advertisement I changed my plans. I thought of going to Kachaguda and wanted to perform Abishekam to the statue. When I went to the Sai devotee’s house the devotee entrusted to me the duty of performing the Abhishekam to the statue. I did not know why he did so.
After the Abhishekam was over I returned to my lodge and stood at a bus stop. My attention was attracted to a lottery agent’s shop nearby. It was Meeta Lottery Agency. I spoke to Baba in my inner being and asked him for permission to buy a ticket. A boy in the shop gave me a ticket. Someone else plucked that ticket and gave me another ticket. I told Sri Baba in my heart of hearts that I would give half the amount if I got a prize in the lottery.
The drawing of the lottery was held. On the day of drawing I was very eager to know the results. I was sleeping at night and I controlled my eagerness. I wanted to go out and look into the newspapers. A bell rang and I considered it a good omen. At about 1 p.m. I opened the newspaper and the page in which the results were published opened on its own accord. I found that I had won the third prize of Rs.500 /- I remembered my vow to set apart half the amount I had won to Sri Sai Baba and went to bed.
The next morning I went to the lottery agent’s office and was given Rs.500/- That evening I went to the Sai Baba temple and did Archana. I shared this news to my friends and to my family members and I reserved the ticket to Shirdi . I changed half the amount of the lottery prize into new currency notes and made a garland of them. I wanted to adorn Sai’s statue with that garland. We did Abhishekam to Sai Baba adorning the statue with the garland of currency notes we enjoyed the rapturous scene.
When I went back to office after my leave was over my officer, Mr.K.V. Satagopan called me and told me that my salary had been fixed on a higher grade and because of the increased salary I would get Rs.500 more/-. He gave me the letter of increment and I shed tears of joy. It was undoubtedly Sri Sai Baba’s miracle. Just because I gave half the amount of my prize in the lottery Sri Baba thought of giving me an increment in my salary. The year 1975 passed with these incidents. To be continued.....
2.Leelas of Sai in the life of Meenakshi Sundaramji-Founder Bhairava Sai Mandir.