Dr. Annasaheb Keshav Gawankar was inspired by the famous Palaye-Shashtri, to render discourses and perform Kirtans. One day Shashtri told him, “As you have mastered the art of Kirtan, you can also write biography of Sai Baba in an interesting way”.
In 1964, one day, Dr. Annasaheb retired from the day’s word and went to bed as usual. He was fast asleep. After midnight his sleep was interrupted and he was in a half-awake-state. He clearly heard Sai baba say to him, “Come on, get up and start writing My stories.” Dr. Annasaheb was quite sure that it was Baba’s voice. He immediately rose from the bed. After a sincere prayer to Baba he started writing the biography of Baba. He noted the time. It was 1:30 am (after midnight). He went into a trance and started writing and did not stop till 10:00 O’clock in the morning. During that short span of time he had completed many chapters of this book “Shirdi Che Sai Baba”. Originally the book was in Marathi.
Sai Baba got this ‘Seva’ (service) done by Dr. Annasaheb. The biography was completed in due course. But Annsaheb was worried about its publication. He had no funds for spending on it. Sai Baba is still alive in “Sanjivan Samadhi” and he obviates the difficulties of His devotees. One day Shri Ramanlal Patel came to Dr. KB.Gawankar (Annasaheb), and offered him Rs. 4000/- for the publication of the book. Shortly thereafter, it was published and was quickly sold at the hands of devotees (First Marathi Edition was published in 1966). After about forty years, by the tireless efforts of his son Dr. Sainath Keshav Gawankar, the second edition was published in 2006.
In 1918 Keshav with his parents and aunty visited Shirdi with a packet of pedhas as fulfillment of a vow taken five years before. There Baba blessed Keshav. He gripped the tuft of his hair and placed his head on His own toes. Then He asked for two paise from Keshav. It was a mock give-and-take. These two paise were faith and patience. He then removed His ‘Kafni’ and gave it to Keshav as a gift which is still preserved in his residence at Kurla. Baba then through dreams introduced him to his Moksha Guru Dr. Trimbak Vitthal Samant of Kurla, also known as Bhau Samant.
Under his guru’s guidance he enriched his spiritual life and at the same time discharged righteously his household duties. He was himself a saint. To the many who knew him, he was a source of strength and solace. From a politician to a policeman, rich and poor were treated alike, with warmeth and affection, when they came to him with their problems. To him every individual was a temple of God. Their problems got solved and always his predictions came true because of the guidance of Lord Sai Baba before Whom he presented their problems. Being thus in constant communion with Sai Baba, he eradicated the mental pain and physical infirmities of his devotees who came for his advice and sought his blessings. To a few of his deserving devotees he gave mantras for Naam Japa, thereby advancing their spiritual progress. It was during his tenure as the president of the Shirdi Sansthan that Sai baba’s statue was installed in the main Samadhi Mandir.
He was also the editor of ‘SAI LEELA’ magazine. he was also the author of other two books in Marathi namely “SHILADHI” (Shirdi) and “Sai Baba Hach Chamatkar” (Sai Baba, A Miracle)
He visited Shirdi very frequently and stayed at Shama’s house. During his stay, Shama use to narrate many incidents regarding Baba’s miracles and other episodes in his day-to-day interaction with Sai Baba. Here, it should be noted that Madhavrao Deshpande alias Shama was to Lord Sai Baba, as Arjuna was to Lord Krishna. Also, Dr. Annasaheb Keshav Gawankar has included in this Book, many such narrations of other first-ranking devotees of Sai Baba with whom he was fortunate enough to interact.
On going through the various chapters of the Book the reader will get a deeper insight in Sai Baba’s daily routine, His code of conduct, words of eternal wisdom and also the innumerable Leelas or Miracles Baba performed. Even today, lakhs of His devotees are experiencing His presence and they have realised that, “Sai Baba is truly a Helping Hand, To the most needy and a troubled man”.
Below are the links to the chapters of the book
Coming up next
Fragrance of Sai Bhakti – A must read book by any devotee of Sai Baba written by Late Shri. Suresh Chandra Gupta. It is an eye opener for all who wants to treads on the path of devotion and get closer to Sai Baba. Subscribe us to get latest updates.
© Author – Dr. Keshav Bhagwant Gavankar (Annasahib Gavankar) – Explicit Rights To Publish To Shirdi Sai Baba Books.com (Member of SaiYugNetwork.com)