A mention about Sai Mahabhakta Dr.Pillay has been made in Chapter 34 of Holy Shri Sai Satcharitra. Dr.Pilly's full name was Dr. Shivanand Pillay. He was a native of Selu village in Parbani district of Maharashtra.

Once Dr.Pillay was in excruciating pain because of Guinea Worms. They had increased from one to seven. He was fed of life. Shri Sai Baba loved him greatly  and affectionately and called him by the nickname “Bhau”. Baba always enquired after his well-being with great love. In Dwarakamai Masjid, Dr.Pillay (bhau) always used to sit near the railing, in the morning and evening. Baba spent a lot of time with Bhau and they chatted a lot. Bhau was needed when the Chillum was puffed, when the Bidi  was smoked and when Baba passed judgement on certain matters. When Bhau was not near, Baba missed him.

Since the pain  on account of the guinea worms was unbearable, Bhau was confined to the bed being enfeebled. The intensity of the pain was too much to bear. Even in such pathetic situation, Bhau continuously chanted Sai Baba’s name. He cried “enough of this suffering. Even death is preferable” and totally surrendered to Sai Baba. “I am weary of bearing this pain. How many abscesses do I have on my body! I do not have the strength to bear this. Throughout my life I have acted correctly. Why should I have to undergo this painful condition? I have never deviated from the path of righteousness. Why should I be punished and for what sin?. Baba! I can no longer bear this pain on account of the guinea worms, which is similar to death. Instead let me die now. I shall undergo the suffering in my next life. There is no alternative but to bear this pain. I shall have to take many more births. But that which is destined cannot be avoided. Dull-witted though I am, I realize it. I will happily take ten more births, in which I shall undergo the fruits of my Karma. But grant me the boon of ending  this present life. Enough of this life. Release me from this birth. I do not wish to undergo this pain. That is all that I ask for now”.

Listening to this prayer of Dr.Pillay, the ocean of compassion Sai Baba showered nectar of mercy. Hari Sitaram Dixit  brought a message about Dr.Pillay’s health condition to Baba. Listening to this news, Baba said: “Go and tell him to be fearless. Why should he be crippled for ten lives? He has to bear it out only for ten days and we shall both share it. When I am capable of granting liberation, material desires, or spirituality, why he is asking for something meaningless like death?. Pick him up and bring him to Dwarakamai Masjid. What has been destined must be borne with equanimity. One should not be confounded like this. Bring him here on somebody’s back”.

As per Baba’s instruction, Dr.Pillay was immediately brought to the Masjid in such serious condition. Taking out the bolster from behind his back, Baba gave it to him to lean on. Placing on his right, where Fakir used to sit he said: “Lean on it and stay quiet. Do not fret, unnecessarily. Stretch your legs out comfortably whereby you will be at ease. Whatever is destined has to be borne. That is the only remedy. Good or bad, pleasure or pain, as per destiny, come either like nectar or poison. Bear in mind that this pair of opposites comes naturally in the life of a person. Be neither happy nor miserable. Endure whatever comes. Allah is the Master and Protector. Always meditate upon him. He takes every care. Surrender at His feet with body, mind, speech and wealth. If one remains constantly thinking of Him, one will realise His functioning”.

Dr.Pillay then informed Sai Baba that Nanasaheb Chandorkar had tied a bandage over the wounds but he had got no relief. Baba said: “Nana is mad. Remove the bandage, otherwise you will die. Now a Crow will come and peck. Then you will get well”.

While this conversation was in progress, Abdul Baba came up immediately, to pour oil in the lamps. The Masjid was as it is very small, and there was a large crowd of devotees. In the midst of all that there was the confusion about Dr.Pillay. Abdul Baba had no room to put his foot. Abdul baba was concentrating on his work and had his attention on the lamps. Thereby, he did not notice Dr.Pillay.  Hence, unknowingly Abdul Baba’s foot fell on the leg which Pillay had stretched out. The leg was as it is swollen and Abdul Baba stepped on it at that very spot. Then Dr.Pillay bawled out loudly, as he was in excruciating pain. He shrieked once in such a way that it pierced the mind. Then, with folded hands, he prayed to Baba to show mercy.

The wound burst and worms began to ooze out. Dr.Pillay was restless. He was crying out loudly and signing, alternately: “O Karim! Have mercy on my pitiable state! Thou art called Merciful and Kind! Thou art Emperor of both the worlds! The world is thy splendour. This world is going to be destroyed. But your grandeur will be eternal. You are always the saviour of the Devotees”.

The pain was intermittent. Dr.Pillay was in agony and lay down helplessly. Everyone felt that this was Sai Baba’s sport. Then Baba said: “Look at Bhau. He seems to be better. He is singing now”. Dr.Pillay then hesitantly asked Baba: “Is that Crow still going to peck at me?” . To which Baba said: “Go and rest in the Wada now. Now the Crow will not come again to peck you. Did he not already come? He is the same one who trod on your leg. He is the Crow to pecked and ran away. He squeezed out the worms”. Baba was referring to Abdul Baba here figuratively. Whatever had to happen was got done in front of all inside the Masjid. Baba fulfilled the prediction. Baba’s words were not ordinary but destiny. Even the deeds done in previous births will have no effect in front of Sadguru Sai Baba. Within a short time Dr.Pillay began to feel better. And as the tenth day dawned, the disease was totally cured only by application of Udhi and partaking of it. Udhi was the only medication. All the seven worms came out alive, from the wound. They were thin and long. The excruciating pain eased. There was an end to the Misery of Dr.Pillay.

Experiencing this miracle, Dr.Pillay was overwhelmed. Tears of affection flowed from his eyes by this fine deed of Baba. Dr.Pillay embraced Baba’s feet. He was choked with emotion but could not utter a single word (ref: Holy Shri Sai Satcharitra Chapter 34).

Dr.Pillay got to married to Smt.Parvati. His marriage was performed in Shirdi. Sai Baba personally attended their marriage and gave His blessings.

Dr.Shivanand Pillay and his Wife Smt.Parvati during their marriage

Dr.Shivananda Pillay's Son and Daughter-in-Law

Once some big dogs were running away when chased by a small white dog which was a rabid and big dogs were afraid of its bite. Some people in the village armed with sticks in their hands, went after the small white dog and wanted to kill it. The small white dog ran up the steps of the masjid and stood behind Baba, seeking protection and the chasing people were afraid of entering into the masjid. Seeing all these happenings, Baba abused them vigorously as they did not have any sympathy for a poor dumb creature. They expressed that the dog was mad and that it should be killed. Dr.Pillay and Jayker, another staunch devotee, were in the masjid, sitting very near Baba and the dog, and they also knew that the dog was mad and felt internally that both of them were in danger. But finally the men went away and the dog was saved. Then both felt that Baba was so generous that he cured the dog and saved its life. How merciful was Baba. Even animals and creatures also knew that Baba would protect them as he was God. This miraculous incident had happened during May, 1917.

Jayker, and Dr.Pillay, were initially moving with Nanavalli who also once beat Dr.Pillay. Then Baba warned Nanavalli and cautioned both of them not to move with Nanavalli.

Once Dr.Pillay, Bapu Saheb Buti, Kaka Saheb Dixit, and Tatya got together for dinner at Radhakrishnamai’s house. At that time, Tatya openly narrated his own experience regarding Radhakrishnamai. He said that once he had some conflict of opinion with Radhakrishnamai, at that time her anger was at its height. After that he went to his farm and got busy in his farm work. But he observed that some stones came flying from somewhere and started hitting him on his legs but could not understand and find out who was throwing the stones at him. At last he realized that this work must be at the instance of Radhakrishnamai only.

Dr.Pillay was consulting Baba on several matters. He got settled in Shirdi and was also doing service to the residents in the village. On one occasion Booty had an attack of cholera, and suffered from severe thirst. Dr. Pillai tried all sorts of medicines which could not give him any relief. Then he went to Baba and consulted Baba as to what he should drink to allay his thirst and also asked for the remedy for curing the attack of cholera. Baba prescribed an infusion of almonds, walnuts, pistachio (dry fruit), boiled in milk with sugar. Normally this would be considered as something which would aggravate the illness by any doctor or physician, but Booty obeyed Baba's orders strictly and drank the infusion so prepared and his illness was cured immediately. This was quite strange and this became a miracle—as it was Baba’s desire which cured him and not by the drinking of the  infusion.

Upasani Baba, while forgetting the glorious future promised by Baba, felt that he would soon die in 1912-13 in Shirdi and with this feeling he told Dr.Pillay that he was being tortured like a dumb brute. Dr.Pillay was close to Upasani Baba who used to vent his feelings to the doctor. On another occasion, when Upasani Baba was in Shirdi, he was starving without food almost for about a year during 1913-14. His body was sturdy and even when he was starving, his bodily frame did not shrink but he lost considerable weight. And even at that time also, he was capable of drawing stone rollers on the road. Dr.Pillay used to examine his pulse rate at that time and found it at 40 per minute in April 1913 before starving and at 20 per minute in July, 1913 during the course of starving. Even during that time also, he was capable of doing any hard labour work. Such was his energy that was provided by Baba’s Grace. Baba also indicated that Upasani Baba was reaching the highest point in the spiritual achievement during July-August, 1913. However, Upasani Baba decided to leave Shirdi stealthily with the help from Dr Pillay and Ganapat Rao of Shinde even without completing the 4 year novitiate period in Shirdi under the direction of Baba. Having left Shirdi, Upasani Baba visited Shinde, Nagpur, Kharagpur and several other places of pilgrimage.

Dr.Pillay was treating the devotees and other general public by giving medicines and at that time the general public was moving as a team under the Divine Leadership of Baba.

Dr.Pillay's grandson Dr.Gayatri Prasanna Pillay who was residing in Vidya Nagar in Secunderabad, Telangana had taken Sanyas and thus he was the final generation of Dr.Pillay. Dr.Gayatri Prasanna Pillay merged with the Lotus Feet of Sai Baba on Tuesday, 24th October 2023.

Dr.Gayatri Prasanna Pillay's Home Outer View

Dr.Gayatri Prasanna Pillay, Grandson of Dr.Pillay

Dr.Gayatri Prasanna Pillay Home

White Shivaling worshipped by Dr.Pillay

Pooja Room of Dr.Gayatri Prasanna Pillay

Ganapati Idol worshipped by Dr.Pillay

(Source: Holy Shri Sai Satcharitra, Chapter 34 and late Shri. Bondada Janardhana Rao- bonjanrao.blogspot.com. Descendant Photos and Info Courtesy: Smt.Shreya Shyam, Shri.Naresh Kancharla, Smt.Ramadevi, Shri.Krishna Chaitanya Akella & Shri.Jignesh C.Rajput, Surat)