By Sai's Grace saved from attack of dacoits


When I remember the incident of October 16, 1997, my heart gets heavy, I tremble and my body shivers. That day Shri Sai Baba gave me a great experience. I fall short of words to describe His incomprehensible and infinite Leelas. Such is His limitless power.

Sri Vijay Nerkar and I were working as internal auditors in the Central Bank of India. At that time our audit work was going on in the bank’s Wardha branch. Before completing the work, it had to be discussed with the branch manager and then a report had to be prepared.

I like to visit any kind of temple. So during the audit period, I used to go to the Sai Baba temple in Wardha everyday at 5 a.m. Devotees going there used to bathe Baba after filling the bucket with water with love and devotion. Watching that, I too followed them. It was Kojagiri Pournima on October 16, 1997. As per my routine in the last few days, I went to the temple at 5 a.m. There Baba was being bathed with milk, curd and water. After the bathing ritual, I prostrated at Baba’s Feet and told Him, “Today is our last  meeting”, as, by now our audit work was completed.

We were staying at hotel Center Point in Wardha. Since we were staying there for nearly 15 days the hotel owner and staff were well acquainted with our habits. On October 16, 1997 at about 9.30 p.m. I went to my colleague Sri Vijay Nerkar in the adjoining room
to discuss certain official matters and returned to my room. It was 12 o’clock at night. In a few moments the call bell of my room rang. I opened the door and what did I see, three well-built men with sharp knives at the door. Holding the knife on my chest they pushed me inside. They bolted the door of the room, snapped the telephone wires and increased the volume of the television. I was ordered to stay put on the bed. One of them kept holding the knife to my chest, the other cut the bedsheet and made strips, and the third asking me to hand over all valuables started searching me. They found Rs. 2500/- cash in my pocket and the 14th chapter of Gurucharitra and other things in my bag. Keeping the cash, they threw back the other things. They gagged me and bound my hands and legs with the bedsheet strips and took me to the bathroom and tied me to the tap.

I was totally scared at this sudden horrifying incident. To gain courage, I started remembering the name of Shri Sai Baba. And what a surprise! The knot that bound me to the tap came off. Removing the gag on my mouth, I started shouting loudly. Being Kojagiri, residents in the neighbouring building were awake. They called out to the hotel owner. Displaying his presence of mind, the hotel owner got the main
entrance door locked. At that time the dacoits were climbing down the stairs. They were having knives; yet, the hotel owner and employees threatened them with a sword and other weapons. Taking advantage of the scuffle that ensued, one of them fled. However, they succeeded in nabbing the other two. Having intimated the police, they soon arrived and took the two into custody. Our whole night was spent at the police station.

The dacoits seemed to be murmuring that they should have killed me. My life was saved by the blessings of Sai Baba and utterance of His Name. Remembering Him, the idol of Sai Baba appeared in front of my closed eyes and inadvertently my hands folded (before Him).

- R. G. Panbude
Retired Branch Manager,
Central Bank of India,
6/7, Tarshung, Sainagar,
Godhani Road,
Jhingabai Takli, Nagpur – 440 030.

Source: Saileela Magazine

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