by Nagesh Atmaram
I met Shri Maadaye Buva in the ‘Sai Darbar’ established by him at Kudal, Sawantwadi, in 1922. There is a huge picture of the ascetic and radiant Sai Baba there, which made me extremely happy. There I read a copy of Shri Sai Leela and my heart was filled with devotion. I kept wishing for a similar picture of Sai, as even a picture of a saint inspires your mind on the path of devotion.
In January 1924, I had to go to the Police Training School in Nasik for training. There I saw a picture of Sai Baba in the house of sub-inspector Dev (who was then training with me). When I requested him for a copy, he kindly gave me one.
While in Nasik, I suffered from some stomach ailment, for which the doctor advised an operation. Hence, I took leave and left for Mumbai. On the station, I met Narayan, a Gujarati gentleman. When he came to know, why I was going to Mumbai, he said, “Postpone your operation for another 20 days. The planetary situation is ominous.”
Later I read his name in Shri Sai Leela and learnt that he was a devotee of Baba. When I reached Mumbai, I inquired about the planetary situation as advised by him and came to know that it was indeed ominous for the next 20-25 days and could affect my life. So got myself operated 25 days later and was cured. As I was advised rest, I had to extend my leave and they removed me from the Nasik Police Training School. It was obvious that I would not be able to secure a sub-inspector’s post. The medical costs and the bleak future were a constant source of worry. I kept thinking of Baba every day. Later, after I was completely cured, I reported to the deputy police commissioner. I had Sai’s picture in my pocket. As I had been a sub-inspector earlier, he asked me some questions and appointed me as a sub-inspector once again. This was definitely Baba’s blessing. This was in September, 1924.