Raghunath Bhaskar Rao Purandhare, a devotee of Sai Baba lived in Bandra (a suburb of Mumbai). His wife, Vishakhabaai, got fever which did not subside for a long time. The fever was then called Typhoid. While she was suffering from this rare type of fever of those times, she had dream of Sai Baba wherein He applied Udi on her forehead. She also saw His mesmerizing form and was moved to the core. After a whiile she suddenly woke up from the dream and on touching her forehead, she found Udi applied and the fever had gone completely. She woke up her husband to share her dream and wonderful effect on her. She excitedly informed him about vanishing of the fever as well! The couple were overwhelmed and started praising and singing Baba’s name. They both decided to go to Shirdi to offer their gratitude for the grace He had showered on them.
Before starting to Shirdi, they decided to meet Tarkhads and inform them about their plan. Both the families had close relations and so Vishakhabaai was excited to share the news with Tarabaai Tarkhad of her getting alright by Baba’s grace and going to Shirdi for His darshan. On hearing the news, Tarabaai;s happiness knew no bounds. She immediately rushed to market to buy brinjals (eggplants) as it was not a season of brinjal in Shirdi and she wanted to do something special for Baba as always. She knew that Baba liked bharit (as in Marathi, in Hindi it is called Baingan bharta) and kacharya and so she wanted to serve Him with these two dishes topped with loads of her love and devotion towards Him. She bought some brinjals of good quality and handed over to Vishakhabaai with humble request and instruction to make bharit of half of brinjals and kacharya of the remaining ones. She also added to serve the karcharya pipping hot to please Baba the most.
On reaching Shirdi, Vishakhabaai set on to cook bharit of few brinjals and served it as Naivedya to Baba. She then returned to her lodging (Kakasaheb Dixit’s Wada) in hurry and started frying sliced brinjals. She made sure that the brinjals were perfectly cooked and delicious. She happily undertook the responsibility given to her by Tarabaai. Soon, the noon Arti got over and curtain was laid down for lunch. Food got served and Baba took first morsel of bharit. He liked it the most and exclaimed, “What a delicious bharit, I really enjoyed it, now I want to have kacharya. Go and check if it can be brought pipping hot!” The devotees present in the dinner party were in a fix, it was not a season of brinjals, if luckily they found some, it would take a considerable time to prepare the dish. They were in a dilemna to keep Baba waiting for a long time for cooking. All had similar thoughts and confused about how to fulfill this small yet nearly impossible wish of Baba. The ladies (Tarabaai and Vishakhabaai) were fortunate more than the Gods in the Heaven for Baba was asking something from them and they were ready to fulfill His Wish!
The devotees present then thought a step forward and concluded that they can try to approach the person who brought the naivedya of bharit. They decided to ask the person if he/she has some extra brinjals to cook the kacharya. They reached Dixit Wada and saw Vishakhabaai frying the slices and they were ready to serve hot! So they took the dish and offered to Baba for Him to relish! Baba fulfilled His devotees’ wish in pretext of His wish! What a merciful God landed on this earth for us. We are fortunate to be able to take His name and listen to such stories.
It is on account of good deeds of past births that we encountered such a Merciful God Who is only dependent on our love, Who never wants His devotees to come to slightest the trouble. He will play sports just as a Loving Father and sometimes enjoy with us. Many times we feel that He is taking us on a ride but in the end we will find ourselves smiling at His Sports thus loving Him more. In this particular incident He very well knew what Tarabaai had planned for Him and also that Vishakhabaai was executing her plan. He played a role as a Kid and made His devotees rush to fulfill His wish. Many times i have experienced that He is a very possessive God, He craves for our love more than us. That is the reason He always rushes to His devotee on one sincere call. His way of acknowledging the devotion of His devotee is unique for all.
Source: Translated from Gujarati Book “Sai Sarovar”