Bayyaji Appa Kote Patil was a land owner, revenue and police patel of Birgoan. He was very affluent and owned 84 acres of land. He states that Baba took Bhiksha from his house many times up to His Mahasamadhi.
His house is named “Sai Kutir” and is at the end of Kote Gully. He was born in Shirdi and was close to Baba since infancy as his father was a staunch devotee. He started serving Baba at the age of eleven.
Bayyaji noted that Baba was very fair and just and would enjoin silence on the Hindus when Namaz was being performed and vice versa. Sweets and Pedas were distributed to all alike.
Kaka Saheb Dixit decided to perform the thread (Upanayan) ceremony of his eldest son, Babu, at Nagpur. At about the same time, Nanasaheb Chandorkar’s eldest son was getting married at Gwalior. Both Dixit and Chandorkar came to Shirdi and lovingly invited Baba for these events. Baba asked them to take Shama as His representative. When He was pressed to come in person, Baba told them to take Shama with them and said, “after visiting Banares and Prayag, I will be ahead of Shama.” Now mark these words, for they show Baba’s all-pervasiveness.
With Baba’s permission, Shama decided to go to Nagpur and Gwalior for these ceremonies and from there to Kashi, Prayag and Gaya. Bayyaji Appa Kote Patil decided to accompany him. They both went first to Nagpur for the thread ceremony. Kakasaheb Dixit gave Shama 200 rupees for his expenses. Then they went to Gwalior for the marriage. There, Nanasaheb Chandorkar gave Shama 100 rupees and his relative, Mr.Jather, also gave him 100 rupees. Their next stop was Kashi and then Ayodhya, where they were well received in Jather’s beautiful temple of Laxmi-Narayan at Varanasi and in the Rama-Mandir at Ayodhya, by Jather’s manager. They stayed for 21 days in Ayodhya and two months in Banares. Then they left for Gaya; On the train, they were a little uneasy upon hearing that plague was raging in Gaya. At night, they alighted at the Gaya station and stayed in the local boarding house. In the morning, the Gayawala (the Priest who arranges and provides for the lodging and boarding of the pilgrims) came there and said, “The pilgrims have already started, you better come soon.” Shama casually asked him whether there was plague in Gaya. “No” said the Gayawala. “Please come without any fear or anxiety and see for yourself.” Then they went with him and stayed in his house which was a big and commodious Wada. Shama was pleased with the accommodation provided for him. However, what pleased him the most, was the large, beautiful portrait of Baba fixed in the central portion of the building. Seeing this portrait, Shama was overwhelmed with emotions. He remembered Baba’s words, “After visiting Kashi and Prayag, I will be ahead of Shama” and burst into tears. His hairs stood on end, his throat was choked and he began to sob. The Gayawala thought that Shama was afraid of the plague and was therefore crying. But Shama asked where he had got Baba’s portrait. He replied that he had 200 or 300 agents working at Manmad and Punatambe, to look after the convenience of the pilgrims to Gaya. And it was from them that he had heard about Baba’s fame. Then about 12 years ago, he went to Shirdi and received Baba’s darshana. While in Shirdi, he wanted Baba’s portrait which was hung in Shama’s house, and with Baba’s permission, Shama gave it to him. This was that very portrait; Shama then remembered this incident. The Gayawala’s joy knew no bounds when he learnt that the same Shama who had obliged him before was his guest. Then they were both very delighted. The Gayawala gave him a royal welcome, as He was a very rich man. He treated Shama to a ride on an elephant and attended to all his comforts and conveniences (Ref: Shri Sai Satcharitra Chapter 46).
Baba forewarned him of his father's death, which later happened as Baba had predicted. Baba used to give him Rs.4/- daily and said "Do not eat and excrete". So he invested it in land and had 84 acres. Baba also advised him what to cultivate on it, and He was always right. Once he did not heed to Baba’s advice, and there was no yield and he incurred a loss of 300 rupees.
Bayyaji Appa Kote Patil was with Baba when Baba's Mahasamadhi occurred. Baba distinctly told him "I am leaving, carry me to the Wada. All Brahmins will be living near me." With these words He took Mahasamadhi. Baba rested on Bayyaji's lap when he breathed his last. Nana Saheb Nimonkar poured some water by placing his cupped palm below Baba’s chin. Baba leaned on him and took Samadhi (Ref: Shri Sai Satcharitra Chapter 42)
His Son Shri.Gopinath Kote still lives in that very house in Shirdi. The Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan has given that family the honor of carrying Baba’s Padukas (holy footwear) and Satka (Baton) during the Chavadi procession.
Shri.Gopinath Kote Patil - Bayyaji Appa Kote Patil's Son
Family Tree of Bayyaji Appa Kote Patil:
Family Tree Courtesy: Smt.Meenakshi Sanjay Kote
(Source: Ambrosia in Shirdi & Baba’s Gurukul by Sai Bhakta Vinny Chitluri, Holy Sai Satcharitra Chapter 42 and Chapter 46. Photo Courtesy: Shri.Jignesh C.Rajput, Surat)