Baba’s Divine Manifestations -- Kashibai Kanitker & Shirdi Sai Baba

Kashibai Kanitker

Once, when Govind V. Kanitker was working in Yevola, he took his family to Shirdi. Prior to their departure from Yevola, Govind had hired a tonga for the to and fro journey from Shirdi. On that visit, Shama and his children accompanied them to the Dwarkamai. As soon as Baba saw them, he turned to Govind and said, “Now where do you think you are going? You will go alone from here at 2 a.m.” Kashibai realised that they would have to stay that night there. So they stayed in the old Marathi shala. Around midnight an officer from Yevola came to meet Govind, and handed him a telegram. The telegram was from his brother Chintu saying, “Mother is seriously ill,” and asked him to come soon. As Govind had to leave, Kashibai packed his bags for him and he left at 2 a.m., exactly as Baba had said.

The next day, Kashibai packed her bags and got ready to leave. When they went to Baba to ask for permission to leave, he refused. So they sat in the Dwarkamai. Baba said, “Time and again he promised to go and meet her, but procrastinated every single time. Now the telegram has come. Someone is sick, but the symptoms are present in someone else.” Baba literally said, “Who has the ailment, and who has the symptoms.” No one could understand what Baba was saying or to whom. Kashibai returned to her room, and Baba sent a platter full of burfis so she could break her ekadashi fast with them.

When the Kanitkar's returned to the Dwarkamai, Baba was getting ready to prepare some shira. Baba said, “Would anyone like to eat shira?” Immediately, the thought cropped up in Kashibai’s mind, “How to eat the shira prepared by a Muslim?” Concurrently Baba put both his hands over his ears and said, “Arre! I am not trying to desecrate or defile anyone’s religious beliefs. It is good, and if anyone desires to eat the shira they may do so.” Then Baba got up and washed the plates, wiped them, and filled the plates with piping hot shira from his handi. Thereafter Kashibai’s sister and other family members, including her children, started eating the shira. After a while, Kashibai requested Baba for permission to leave, but he was silent. At that moment Dada Kelkar came to the Dwarkamai. Pointing to Kashibai, Baba said, “She is my mother, and has come here from far away. She has observed the fast for ekadashi, so she and her family are hungry. Can’t you prepare some bhakri and feed her and the children? Thus your soul will be satisfied.” Hearing this, Dada Kelkar requested them to join him for lunch.

That day Kashibai received a letter from her husband saying that his mother was alright. However, his sister Gangu had severe labour pains, and had delivered a baby girl that night. Then Kashibai understood why Baba had said, “Someone is sick, but the symptoms are present in someone else.”

In 1906, the Kanitkers visited Shirdi again. On that occasion Baba had wrapped his finger with a dirty, oily strip of cloth. Kashibai mentally wondered what had happened to Baba’s finger. Simultaneously Baba said, “My finger got burnt, so I bandaged it.” And he unwrapped the bandage and showed her his finger that had turned whitish in colour. Later she heard that Madhavnath Maharaj of Nasik had burnt his finger and Baba had taken the burns upon himself.

On that visit, the villagers claimed that there was a rabid dog in Shirdi, and they tried to kill it with steel rods and sticks. They chased it around the village, until finally the dog took refuge in the Dwarkamai and sat behind Baba. The villagers cautioned Baba saying, “Baba, don’t touch that dog; it is rabid and will bite you.” Baba angrily drove the villagers away. The dog rested behind Baba for a short while and went away. Thereafter, it freely roamed about without any symptoms of rabies; nor did it attack or bite anyone.

Ref.: Shri Sai Sagar, Volume 12, No. 3, Diwali issue, 2012.

Source : Baba’s Divine Manifestations by Vinny Chitluri

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