Through the Door

From Pune, I took a bus to Shirdi and reached late at night. At the entrance of the Samadhi complex, stood Babaji. “Come, come,” he said, “so you met the young yogi. Here everything is closed now but we shall go to the Chavadi, where Sainath used to sleep.” We walked past the Samadhi, Gurusthan and Dwarkamayi, where the Dhuni fire burns, and reached the small structure called the Chavadi. There was no one around except a few stray dogs. The wooden door to the Chavadi was closed. I wondered what we were going to do.

Babaji said, “Let’s enter.”
I said, “The door is locked.”
“I know,” he said, “now close your eyes and act as if you were entering the door.”
“But Babaji…”
“Just do it and don’t open your eyes.”

With my eyes closed, I put my right foot forward with my knee bent. It felt like I was pushing against a cloth screen. It was the same feeling when the rest of my body came in contact with the door.

In a flash, the feeling disappeared, and I heard Babaji saying, “okay, open your eyes.”
I opened my eyes and found myself inside the Chavadi. The door was still locked. Babaji was standing beside me. I had hardly recovered from the astonishment of somehow walking through a closed and locked door, when I was taken aback by something even more astonishing, and unbelievable.

On a narrow wooden plank, suspended from the roof by torn pieces of old cloth, twisted together like a rope, reclined the Sai Baba of Shirdi. Sai Baba of Shirdi was supposed to have passed away in 1918! As I stared at him with wonderment and awe, my hair stood on end and my whole body trembled. He sat up on the plank, and as I wondered how he could come down from his peculiar bed, hanging six feet above the ground, he quietly slid off the plank and floated down effortlessly to the floor. I noticed that the cloth that he is normally seen with, wrapped around his head was missing.

His head was clean shaven, and when he stood beside us, I realized that he was a six-footer, and built like a wrestler.

He hugged Babaji, Muslim style and they kissed each other’s nose lightly. I prostrated at his feet. He lifted me back to standing position and said, “Salaam (peace) boy, you have got a great guru, mursheed. I also had a great guru, my Venkusha, and all I did, was stare at him. Allah Malik Hai (God is the owner), Ram Ram.”

Babaji said, “Please bless him, Baba.”

“Allah Malik Hai, you have to do the kind of work I do, in a different way. Not easy, lad. This world is crazy, and they think I am mad. Hu Allah, Ram, Ram, Ram. Do Kabir’s work. Take guru’s blessings.” He reached under the sheet that covered his plank bed and took out a wad of currency.

“Here,” he said, “Allah bhala karega (God will take care). Take this money and travel to Ganagapur, Pithapur and Akkalkot. Go, go.”

I hesitated to take the money. Babaji whispered, “Take it.” I took the money and again prostrated. Babaji and Sainath hugged each other, and we exited in the same fashion as we had come in. After coming out, Babaji said, jokingly, “Don’t try passing through closed doors next time, you might end up with a flattened nose.” It was still dark outside, but dawn would soon be upon us.
Babaji said, “Keep the money safe and begin your journey tomorrow. I have to leave now. I will see you when it is necessary.” He then gave me directions to the places mentioned by Sainath and walked away.

At dawn, I visited the Gurusthan, the Samadhi, the Dwarakamayi, where the Dhuni burns and once again the Chavadi. Standing in the Chavadi, looking at the large picture of Sai Baba, I marveled at the extraordinary experience of the night.

Source: Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master, A Yogi’s Autobiography

Leave a Reply