Shirdi Sai Baba conferred His grace abundantly to everyone who sought His grace with purity of heart and selfless devotion. Mataji Krishna Priya was one such a devotee. She lived in Nagpur and she used to worship Krishna and considered Shirdi Sai Baba as another form of Krishna. She frequently visited Shirdi to seek Baba’s blessings with genuine devotion.
Once she went to Shimla. She came to know that Baba had left His mortal coil at 2:30 p.m. on Vijayadashami day in 1918. On September 28, 1918, Baba developed a high temperature. Two days earlier he had collected food by seeking alms in some houses. He took that food and at noon; he expressed his wish to his devotees that he should be taken from the choultry to Bootywada. He hoped to have a quiet time there. In that ward, a Muralidhar temple had been built by a devotee by name Booty. He wanted Baba to install the idol of Krishna in the temple. But Baba was putting off the installation of the idol. He directed Booty and Kakaji to take their lunch. Feeling that Baba was better, they went out. Baba had nine rupee coins under his pillow. He took them out and gave them to Lakshmi Bhai. Then Baba summoned Shyam to come near him. Shyam sat close to Baba. Baba reclined on Shyam’s shoulder and passed away.
Krishna Priya came to know of this and felt very sad the whole day. The next day, she closed all the doors and windows in her house because of the severe cold in Simla. While she was resting in the house, a tall and well-built monk arrived at the next-door and inquired about her house. He made inquiry not because he did not know where she/Mataji lived, but only to make others know that He was physically present in Simla. The neighbour sent a servant with an umbrella as it was snowing. The monk knocked at the door.
Mataji opened and could not believe her eyes. She wondered how Shirdi Sai Baba, who had passed away the previous day, could come to Shimla? She asked, “How did you manage to come so soon? It takes at least three days to come from Shirdi to Shimla.”
Baba said, “Beti (dear daughter), I am everywhere. You have worshipped me in the form of Krishna. Is this all you know about me? I am feeling the cold. First get me hot tea.“
She prepared tea and offered it to Baba. After taking the tea, Baba said that he was hungry after his long journey. Krishna Priya brought him chapattis and brinjal curry, which Baba used to like very much. After taking the food, Baba washed his hands and wiped them in a towel. He then told her, “The purpose for which I came is over and I am going away.”
In those days nobody dared to exchange words with Baba. If anybody opposed or said anything to the contrary, Baba would wield the stick against them. He never allowed any contradiction. Hence, Krishna Priya could not tell Him anything. He gave her a jasmine garland.
Krishna Priya watched him as he went out walking through the bazaar. In Shimla, on the roadside, there are usually deep valleys. As Baba was walking along, some workmen were engaged in some roadwork. Noticing that Baba had fallen down from the road, they ran to rescue him. But they could find nobody there. Baba had just disappeared.
Before taking leave of Krishna Priya, Baba whispered in her ears, “See me in 1926.” She did not know where to see him, how to see him.
When I (Sathya Sai Baba) went to Simla about 15 years ago, Krishna Priya came to see me. She was shivering on account of age and the cold weather. She asked, “Baba, have you forgotten the promise that you made to me long ago?” I told her, “It is you who have forgotten, not I. I never forget what I promise.”
These are some of the aspects of the Shirdi manifestation. When Shirdi Sai brought to impart wisdom, it was not through discourses. Everything was taught by stern methods. It was because of the conditions prevailing in those days.
From the discourse of Sathya Sai Baba during the discourse on October 6, 1992, Vijayadashami Celebrations