DHOOP GAON, now known as “DHOOP KHEDA” is a small village 38 kms in the southwest direction from Aurangabad (Paithan Tehsil).
Dhoop means fragrant smoke. And where there is smoke there will be Fire, as the adage goes. So, from Dhoop proceeded the man, heralding the Fire of Knowledge in the form of Sai.
“Chand” means Moon, which rules over mind. Mind is the medium through which the body experiences the Spirit. Thus Sai chose Chand Patil as the medium through which His greatness (fragrance) became available to the whole world.
Shri Sai Baba had spent almost 6 to 8 years of his life in Dhoop Kheda, a village whose Head was a well-to-do Mohammedan gentleman by the name Chand Patil.
Chand Patil was the first one to refer Baba as “BABA”
Today, in Dhoop Kheda one can see Chand Patil’s Mazaar and the Neem Tree under which Sai Baba used to sit with Chand Patil. It has also has a Sai Mandir, and a Dilapidated structure belonging to Chand Patil’s family.
Once, on his way to Aurangabad, Chand Patil lost his Mare. His search for the Mare continued for 2 months without any success. He then decided to return to his village carrying the Mare’s saddle on his shoulders.
After he had covered a distance of 12 to 14 miles from Aurangabad, he saw a young Fakir sitting on a huge boulder of rock, under a mango tree, wearing a Patka, Kafni and a Dhoti.
He had a “Satka” (short stick) under his arm-pit and was preparing his Chillum to smoke.
Chand was surprised as to how did the Fakir know his name, as they had never met before. While preparing his tobacco filled Chillum, the Fakir asked him about the saddle. Chand Patil replied that it was of his Mare’s, which was lost.
The Fakir told him “Go down to where the Stream narrows and you will find her. She is grazing near the water.” Chand Patil hurried away, and sure enough his Mare was lazily grazing at that very spot. He led his Mare back to thank the Fakir, who was busy preparing his chillum, for which two more things were required,
Fire – to start the process of burning and Water for wetting the filtering cloth, but neither was available.
To Chand Patil’s surprise the Fakir then thrust his Chimta forcibly into the ground and out came a live burning coal, which He put on the Chillum. Then He dashed the Satka on the ground from whence water began to ooze.
The chhapi wetted with that water, was then wrung out and wrapped round the Chillum.
Everything complete, the Fakir smoked the Chillum and also offered it to Chand, who realized that this Fakir was not any ordinary person but a man with extra ordinary powers and so immediately fell at his feet.
Chand then addressed the Fakir as “Baba” and asked him as to who he was, where had he come from and where did he stay? Baba simply replied that he stayed everywhere.
Chand then invited the Baba to stay with him, in his village Dhoop Kheda. Baba accepted his hospitality and spent a few years of his life in Dhoop Kheda until accompanying Chand Patil to Shirdi, for the wedding of his wife’s brother’s son, whose bride was from Shirdi.
The Marriage Ceremony went off smoothly & after it was over, Chand requested Sai Baba to return with them to Dhoop Kheda. Baba refused to leave Shirdi and told Chand that he had lot of work to do and that many people here were waiting for him, since long.
Chand Patil wept for a while as even the thought of being physically separate from Baba pained him immeasurably and so, asked Baba if he could also stay with him in Shirdi. Baba smiled and told him not to worry and just to go back to Dhoop Kheda as when the time comes, he will himself call him to Shirdi.
To this, Chand questioned Baba as to when will that time come and Baba a bit annoyed said â€“ “I told you later, ok…Now no more questions.”
Chand intimated everyone of Babaâ€™s decision. Everyone was sad but Baba had made up his mind. Before departing, Chand Patil touched Babaâ’s feet again.
Baba looked straight into Chandâ’s eyes and said – “Remember.. I will call you.. Have faith in me.
History has it, that Chand Patil never visited Shirdi again.
Photograph’s – http://www.saiananta.com/index.html and article by Sai brother Rohit