Madhavrao Deshpande (Shama) and Sai Baba had a unique relationships, that none other shared. This we have seen in earlier posts. Recently a search on google was made for the Gujarati book Sai Sarovar, which led the searching devotee to this blog. In yahoo group, Sabkamalikek, the devotee asked for the book if it is available, since the huge book, 1400 plus pages, contains many incidents and stories of Sai Baba which are not published anywhere else.
On answering that question, I have been receiving many mails to put the translation of the book on blog if possible and if it does not clash the copyrights. Regarding the copy rights I would like to say that the book says all the copyrights are with the author. However this is not the complete story.
The devotee who presented me with the photo copy of the book, did it after seeing this blog He wished that more Sai Baba devotees get to know the leelas of Sai Baba. He also added that after reading and getting stuck and amazed with this book, he found out the whereabouts of the author’s family and met them. According to him the family’s economic condition is not very good and if the book is published for the commercial purpose or any other purpose, the author’s family should get some financial benefits from it.
Reading through the first pages of the book, one can easily understand that the purpose of writing this book and publishing was purely to spread the stories of Sai Baba, His tremendous love, His astonishing grace and the astounding events that took place in the sacred Shirdi, while Sai Baba was in gross body and even the improbable events that took place after He left his leaving the gross form.
The first page of the book says that the first two parts (out of total four parts), of the book, 45,000 where distributed for free. Unfortunately 90% of the books reached to the non devotees or not to serious about the leelas of Sai Baba. When the demand for the book from real interested devotees came, there was none left.
This forced them to set few rules like none will get the book for free, leaving some charitable trusts and temple libraries. Later few able devotees donated some amount and the first two parts and the later two parts total 1,500 page were published. As the fate would have it the book published in July 1987, is not available as book in any store. There are few devotees who give the photocopy of the book and demand only the cost of the photo copies. Still it works out about Rs. 700/- for all four parts.
I would be writing most events that are written in this book on the blog. Also Shri Leeladhar of saileelas.org has asked for the copies of this book so that the translated parts will be published and uploaded on his website, so that the maximum devotees can have the joy of reading more about Shirdi Sai Baba.
Now continuing about Shama from the same book, there was relationship between Sri Sai Baba and Shama was quite unique and astounding. It was like the merging of various aspects of relationship like friendship, sneha, priti, faith. The merging of close relationship that human shares and that which devotee shares with God.
Madhav Rao (Shama), when first saw Sai Baba, he considered Sai Baba as a mad Fakir, as the rest of the villagers did. Yet he would go to Sai Baba so that he could get to smoke a bidi (Indian primitive cigarettes) for free.
At the age of 16, in 1877 A.D. Madhavroa had got a job in a Marathi school in Shirdi. Madhav Rao did not knew English or Sanskrit. His educational qualification were much primitive that of 6th grade in school. He had spent much of the time in village and so used slang language, the villagers use and that was the langage he shared with Sai Baba also.
Sai Baba many a times used to say that He does not care for the way he is called for. Puja, Jap recitals, Mantras, Tantra, Hom Havan, He does not require anything. I (Sai Baba) am hungry for the true love form your heart. Mantra, Tantra, Hom Havan are for pundits and priests. Just a call by the name Sai Sai from you, and I will be by your side, wherever you are, whenever you call me.