SAI IN SHIRDI
SAI IN SHIRDI
The famous temple of Lord Khandoba is situated in the village Shirdi. This temple is also known as Shri Khandoba Temple. After returning from the bride's house, the marriage party stayed in the courtyard of the Khandoba Temple. During those days, Mhalsapathi was the Chief-Priest of the Khandoba Temple. No sooner did Mhalsapathi catch sight of Sai Baba, alighting from a bullock cart, he recognized his celestial form through his spiritual and yogic powers. Instantly, he fell at Sai Baba's feet and began to shed tears. He said, "My Lord, Sai Baba ! You have been long awaited. Shirdi has been waiting for your auspicious arrival for a long time. Now, sanctify Shirdi with your holy feet."
First of all, Mhalsapathi addressed Baba as 'Sai Baba'. Thereafter, the devotees began to call Baba by the name of 'Sai Baba' and 'Sai Nath'.
Sai Nath picked up Mhalsapathi and said to him smilingly, "You are innocent. You don't know how deep and old my relationship with Shirdi is. I was waiting for the most suitable time to come to Shirdi. At last, the most appropriate time has come. Now, I will never desert Shirdi."
Mhalsapathi made proper arrangements for Sai Baba to stay in the temple. But Sai Baba refused to accept the meals, served to him. Daily, he went to one house and begged alms to sustain his life. In the Shirdi village, he went to Bayaja Bai's house to beg for alms for the first time.
Bayaja Bai was a staunch devotee to Lord Khandoba. When she saw Sai Nath at her door, she presumed as if God had come to her house. Sai Nath called her like his mother. Hearing Sai Nath's affectionate words, Bayaja Bai's heart began to overflow with motherly love. She embraced Sai Nath just like her son. After that, Sai Nath gave Bayaja Bai a lot of love and reverence as if she were his mother. Bayaja Bai had a son. His name was Tatya Kote. Just like his mother, Tatya Kote developed great love for Sai Nath. Tatya Kote remained a life-long devotee of Sai Nath.