Sai Mahabhakta Baala Baavu alias Balabhat or Ramachandra Sitaram Dev was a Brahmin Land Lord residing at Varsova Road, Andheri, Mumbai of Maharashtra.

On 18th September 1936, he narrated in his own words the experiences he had with Shri Sai Baba to Late Shri.B.V.Narasimha Swamji as below:

I saw Sai Baba first in Shake 1830 i.e., 1908. I had already heard of Him through the Kirtan of Das Ganu Maharaj at Kalyan. I knew Amir Shakkar Khatik who worked as a Bucher in Bandra, Mumbai. He also spoke highly of Baba and asked me to go to Shirdi and see him. Hence, I went to Shirdi along with my friend Shri Krishna Patil. On those days, Sathe Wada was the only place for devotees to stay in Shirdi. But we stayed at Ganapati Temple. On that day, there was no crowd of Mumbai visitors but there were visitors from local and nearby villages of Shirdi. Before visiting Shirdi, I intended to go to Akkalkot and Amir Shakkar said, 'Shirdi is on the way. You first pay a visit to Shirdi and from there proceed to Akkalkote'. So, I wanted to just see Baba and start off to Akkalkote. When we went and met Sai Baba for the first time, He said 'I must go to Akkalkote' thereby expressing what was haunting my mind. I was stuck struck at once by His power to read what I had in my mind. Hence, I decided to spend one full day with Him in Shirdi. But clearly I had no intention to achieve anything except having the pleasure of being near a great soul. Next morning I took permission from Sai Baba and left for Akkalkote. After my first visit to Shirdi, I was being drawn to Him. So, I went again during the festival of Deepavali. During that time, there were visitors from Mumbai with Baba. 5 or 6 devoees had accompanied me during this visit. I stayed with Baba from 8 PM till midnight. During the conversation, I requested Baba to give me Upadesh and be my Guru. Baba told me "it is not essential that one should have a Guru. Everything is within us. What you sow, you reap. What you give you get. There is no need for a Guru. It is all within you. Try to listen within and follow the direction you get. We must look at our self. That is the monitor, the Guru". I have my Family Guru in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.

As my faith in Sai Baba grew stronger and stronger, I gradually stopped visiting Akkalkote and Phandharpur. I was having two professions at that time. I was Assistant Master with a local fund school and was also doing stamp vendor's work. My frequent visits to Shirdi dislocated my school work. Baba used to detain me beyond the stipulated leave days that I had taken from the school authorities. Hence, the school authorities inquired where I was spending my time and heckled me about it. Hence, I was forced to choose between Shirdi and School work. Hence, I gave up the school teaching job but retained the stamp vendor's work till the year 1931 and then transferred it to my son. The teaching profession used to give me a income of about Rs.20 to Rs.25 per day.

When I gave up my teaching profession, I was just 32 years old. But I kept up my faith in Sai Baba and my financial position was satisfactory. I used to attend each Shri Ramanavami festival during Baba's sojourn in Shirdi. Baba used to give me personal guidance and direction. After Baba left his mortal coil, I still get guidance from Him by putting chits before His photograph and picking one chit after praying for guidance from Him.

This incident happened when Baba was in flesh and blood. There was a terrible robbery in a house at Andheri, Mumbai. I saw the inmates of the hhouse that was robbed at the hospital with severe injuries inflicted by the robbers. I earnestly prayed to Baba in my house to help me and save me and my family from such misfortune. The same night Baba appeared to in me in a dream and said he had come with ten Pathans and that I need not fear. Just at that time, the washermen using BBCI Railway property for their washing, were not allowed by the Railways to use their property for washing purpose. Ten of the washermen came to me and wished to build huts for themselves in my land. I readily agreed. They are still not only paying me a monthly rent of Rs.200 but also giving me their company because of which we are free from robber's attacks. The only well that was in my land did not have sufficient water for their washing purposes. I consulted Sai Baba and acting on His advice, I dug a new well in the place approved by Baba and there I had abundant supply of water. In the new place where I am staying now, I had do dig a well first, and I went to Shirdi and asked Baba. Acting on his advice, I dug it and it turned out into a good well. Then I started the building after getting Baba's approval in person at Shirdi. When I went to Shirdi, I had funds sufficient to build only 5 rooms and had planned to build only these 5 rooms. But, Baba drew on the floor before Him 25 lines and said, "one rupee for each line, i.e., each sets of rooms, Give 25 rupees". Though I had originally intended to build only 5 rooms, I offered 25 rupees as Dakshina to Baba. The work began, Rooms were slowly being added on till the year 1920. The total number of rooms became exactly 25 as prophecied by Sai Baba. Even to this day, this building has 25 rooms only!!!!!

I have a strong belief that Baba is Ever Alive as is evident from the fact that He is still guiding me and my family members. My sons have also developed strong faith in Sai Baba. I have sent the above account of my experiences with Shri Sai Baba to Late Shri.Dhabolkar.

(Source: Devotees' Experiences of Sri Sai Baba Part I, II and III by Sri.B.V.Narasimha Swamiji)