Cholkar an ardent devotee of Sai Baba was working with Thane Civil Court as Probationer. Cholkar used to regulary visit Shri Kaupineshwar Mandir and listen to the Kirtan of Das Ganu Maharaj. One day when Das Ganu Maharaj was performing Hari Kirtan in the Shri Kaupineshwar Mandir, his love for Sai suddenly surged up in his heart and he said to himself “O Compassionate Baba, please look after this meek, helpless creature”.
Cholkar was a probationer, poor and moneyless and hence was not able to shoulder the burden of providing for the family and put the entire responsibility on Baba for obtaining the means of livelihood through the government job.
It is a practice for the devotees who needs something from the Lord to take a vow that if their wishes are fulfilled they would serve the Brahmins whatever food they desired, and to their heart’s content. While the rich people would take a vow to feed thousand people or to offer a hundred cows, if their wishes are fulfilled.
But Cholkar was a poor man. Hence remembering Sai’s feet he humbly said “ Sai, mine is a poor household, my entire family is dependent on me getting a permanent job. For the present job to become permanent, I need to pass the examination. With great diligence and hard work I have prepared for this examination with a hope to get through in the examination. If I fail in the examination I will lose even the present job as a probationer. If by your Grace, I pass this examination, I will humbly present myself at your feet and distribute sugar-candy in your name. This is my most firm resolve”. This way Cholkar took tough vow in front of Sai’s feet.
Later on, go his great joy, his wish was fulfilled as he got through in the examination. But the fulfillment of his promise to Sai was delayed as he did not have money to travel to Shirdi to complete his vow. Hence, to atone for it, he gave up eating sugar.
Cholkar was very much aware that he needed money for travelling to Shirdi and also that he cannot go to Shirdi to meet Sai empty handed. So, he kept on postponing the visit to Shirdi for a longer period of time and in painful waiting.
It may be very easy to cross Naneghat, the dangerous cliff of the Sahyadri mountain range, but it is far more difficult for a householder like Cholkar to cross the threshold of his house.
Since, Cholkar was not able to fulfill his promise to Sai, he did not partake any dish made with sugar. He even took tea without sugar.
After sometime, the time came for Cholkar to visit Shirdi. So he went there fulfilled the vow that he had taken and was very happy.
As Cholkar took Sai’s darshan, he prostrated before Him and bowing at Sai’s feet, was filled with satisfaction and joy. With a heart so purified, he then distributed sugar, offered coconut to Baba and said, “Today, all my heart’s desires have borne fruit”.
Sai Baba’s darshan and his conversation with Sai made him very happy. Since, Cholkar was Bapu Saheb Jog’s guest, he naturally had to go with Jog to his house. When Jog got up to go, Cholkar also got up. At once Sai said to Bapu Saheb Jog, “Serve him cups full of tea, well sweetened with sugar!”.
Cholkar was astonished to hear these significant words referring to his secret vow. His eyes filled with tears of joy as he placed his head on Sai’s feet. If Jog was filled with a fond admiration for Baba, Cholkar felt twice the admiration to Sai.
Why did Baba speak about Tea with Jog when he never touched Tea in his life? Sai did that just to reaffirm Cholkar’s faith and to impress on his heart the mark of devotion. Baba also said to Cholkar “your promised sugar-candy has reached me! And hence, your vow is fulfilled too!. I even know your agitated mind when you took the vow, your atonement for the inadvertent delay in fulfilling the vow even though you had kept that a secret”.
This incident of Cholkar has been narrated in detail in Chapter 15 of Shri Sai Satcharitra. Whoever reads Chapter 15 with utmost devotion and make a promise to Sai like Cholkar did, their rightful wish would definitely get fulfilled without fail.
(Source: Shri Sai Satcharitra, Chapter 15 published by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi).