Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi had a great impressionable personality which hypnotized those who came near him. With his miraculous power and simple teachings he had a host of ardent devotees who carried forward his teachings and philosophy to a wide gamut of society. Here we will discuss some of the most prominent devotees of Saibaba of Shirdi.
Abdul Baba came to Shirdi in around 1890. He came here after a fakir
who was inspired in his dream by Saibaba to bring Abdul Baba to Shirdi.
On his coming to Shirdi, Saibaba greeted him by saying "My crow has
come". A dedicated worker Abdul Baba took care of Baba's mosque and
lit the lamps in Lendi. Baba took care of his welfare, and often had him
reading aloud passages from the Koran.
Bayajabai Kote Patil
Bayajabai was Tatya's mother and the family had a close association
with Baba, who he took as his sister. She had taken a vow that until
Saibaba had her food she won't take food. Such was her devotion to
Saibaba that she would carry food in a basket and went looking for him
to feed him.
Bhagoji Shinde suffered from leprosy and yet he was among the closest
to Saibaba. He accompanied Saibaba to Lendi garden carrying a parasol to
give him shade. Once Saibaba got hurt while thrusting his hands into
dhuni, Bhagoji was the one who bandaged the wound and dressed him long
after it had healed.
Das Ganu Maharaj
Dasganu was originally in police service and it was during this time
that Nana Chandorkar took him to see Sai Baba. Das Ganu wrote about the
lives of saints and composed kirtans (devotional songs) which he sang
with great fervor.
Most popularly known for being the author of the work The Sri Sai
Satcharitra, Annasaheb Dabholkar was called Hemadpant by Saibaba after a
well known poet of 13th Century. His work is a great insight into the
life and philosophy of Saibaba.
Hari Sitaram Dixit
Hari Sitaram alias Kakasaheb Dixit was a prominent solicitor another of
Saibaba's ardent devotees. Saibaba used to call him affectionately
Langda Kaka and removed fear complex from his mind. Kaka Dixit was known
for his obedience to Baba's orders.
Hon'ble Mr. Ganesh Shrikrishna alias Dadasaheb Khaparde of Amraoti, an
ardent devotee of Saibaba and was instrumental in bringing Loka Manya
Tilak, the great freedom stalwart to Shirdi for Baba's darshan.
Laxmibai Shinde was well-to-do woman, who worked in the masjid day and
night. Except Bhagat Mhalasapati, Tatya and Laxmibai, none was allowed
to step in the Masjid at night.
Mahalsapati was the one who owes the name of Saibaba as we know it
today. He uttered 'Ya Sai,' when Baba made His first appearance at the
Khandoba temple along with the marriage party of Chandbhai. Saibaba used
to call Mahalsapati 'Sonarda,' and later on 'Bhagat' i.e. close
Tatya Kote Patil
Tatya Kote Patil's family was one who loved Saibaba for Himself and not
for what they got from His divinity. Tatya was the first amongst the
devotees who had all the love of Saibaba.
Nana Chandorkar was among the most prominent devotees. A Deput
Collector by profession, he had the distinction of being one of the very
few disciples that Baba directly called to his side.
MadhavRao Deshpande was another of Saibaba's ardent disciples who was
quite close of Saibaba.