Bhaiji, brother of Kakasaheb Dixit was staying at Nagpur. When he had gone to the Himalayas in 1906, he made an acquaintance with one Somadeva Swami of Haradwar at Uttar-Kashi down the Gangotri Valley. Both took down each other’s names in their diaries.
Five years afterwards, Somadeva Swami came to Nagpur and was Bhaiji’s guest. There he was pleased to hear the Leelas of Baba and a strong desire arose in his mind to go to Shirdi and see Him. He got a letter of introduction from Bhaiji and left for Shirdi. After passing Manmand and Kopergaon, he took a tanga and drove to Shirdi.
As he came near Shirdi he saw two high flags floating over the Masjid in Shirdi. Generally we find different ways of behaviour, different modes of living and different outward paraphernalia with different Saints. But these outward signs should never be our standards to judge the worth of the Saints. But with Somadeva Swami it was different.
As soon as he saw the flags flying, he thought, “Why should a Saint take a liking for the flags? does this denote Saint-hood? It implies the Saint’s hankering after fame.” Thinking thus, he wished to cancel his Shirdi trip and said to his fellow travellers, that he would go back. They said to him, “Then why did you come so far? If your mind gets restless by the sight of the flags, how much more agitated would you be on seeing in Shirdi the Ratha (car), the palanquin, the horse and all other paraphernalia?”
The Swami got more confounded and said, “Not a few such sadhus with horses, palanquins and tom-toms have I seen and it is better for me to return than see such sadhus.” Saying so he started to return.
The fellow-travellers pressed him not to do so, but to proceed. They told him that the Sadhu, i.e. Baba, did not care a bit for the flags and other paraphernalia, nor for fame. It was the people, His devotees that kept up all that paraphernalia out of love and devotion to Him. Finally he was persuaded to continue his journey, go to Shirdi and see Baba. When he went and saw Baba from the court-yard, he was melted inside. His eyes were full of tears, his throat was choked and all his evil and crooked thoughts vanished.
He remembered his Guru’s saying, “that is our abode and place of rest, where the mind is most pleased and charmed.” He wished to roll himself in the dust of Baba’s feet and when he approached Baba, the latter got wild and cried aloud, “Let all our humbug (paraphernalia) be with us, you go back to your home, beware if you come back to this Masjid. Why take the darshan of one who flies a flag over His Masjid? Is this a sign of saint-hood? Remain here not a moment.” The Swami was taken aback by surprise. He realized that Baba read his mind and spoke it out.
How Omniscient He was! He knew that he was least intelligent and that Baba was noble and pure. He saw Baba embracing somebody, touching someone with his hand, comforting others, staring kindly at some, laughing at others, giving Udi and prasad to some and thus pleasing and satisfying all. Why should he alone be dealt with so harshly? Thinking seriously he came to realize that Baba’s conduct responded exactly to his inner thought and that he should take a lesson from this and improve; and that Baba’s wrath was a blessing in disguise. It is needless to say that later on, his faith in Baba was confirmed and he became a staunch devotee of Baba.