Shri.Gopalrao Mukund alias Bapusaheb Buti was a rich person from Nagpur and was an great devotee of Baba. He was brought to Sai Baba fold by Shri.S.B.Dhumal in the year 1910. He came along with his family and stayed in Shirdi permanently to serve Baba. Sai Baba used to call Bapusaheb Buti as “Butayya”.
He some times felt that he should buy a plot in Shirdi and construct a house for him for staying permanently in Shirdi. Every day, after the noon Aarti, Buti used to take his afternoon meal sitting on the left side of Baba in the masjid.
Once Bapusaheb Buti once had severe diarrhoea and repeated bouts of vomiting due to a chill in the stomach. His cupboard was full of all sorts of medicines, but none of them were effective in curing his illness. Bapusaheb Buti was frightened in his heart and began to worry. Bapusaheb became very weak due to purgings and vomittings and, therefore, was unable to go to the masjid for Baba's darshan which was his regular practice. News of Buti's illness reached Sai Baba. Baba then sent for him and made him sit before him and said, "Mind you! from now onwards, you will not go for evacuation of bowels!" and remember even the vomiting must stop". Facing Buti, Sai Baba showed His forefinger and once again, repeated the same words to him. Sai Baba's words were so powerful that both the afflictions took to their heels at once. Bapusaheb Buti thus got relief from the disease immediately. Once before, Buti had suffered from Cholera. His throat parched with thirst, the stomach had a constant sick, uneasy feeling. Dr.Pillay tried all sorts of remedies but in vain. Then Buti went to Baba for relief. Sai Baba asked Buti to take Boiled Milk mixed with almonds, Pistachio and walnuts. Normally this combination would aggravate the illness according to any doctor or a physician, but Buti obeyed Baba's orders and drank the infusion so prepared and his illness was cured immediately (Chapter 13, Shri Sai Satcharitra).
Once Nana Saheb Dengle, a great astrologer told Buti "today is the most inauspicious day for you. But have courage in your heart and be very alert". Hearing this, Bapusaheb Buti became very restless in his mind and kept on worrying. The day seemed very long to Buti. Later at the usual time Buti went to Masjid along with Nana Saheb and other devotees and sat in front of Baba. Immediately Sai questioned Buti "what does this Nana say to you? Did he say, your time is not good today and that you will be killed?". Later in the evening, when Bapusaheb Buti went for nature's call, a snake had crept in there at that time. Seeing that terrible obstruction, Bapusaheb came out at once. His servant Lahanu, thought that he would kill the snake with a stone. But as he was about to pick up a stone, Bapusaheb stopped him saying "go and fetch a stick instead". Even as the servant went for the stick, the snake began to climb on the wall, lost its balance and fell down and went through a hole. Buti remembered Sai's words and marvelled at His way of averting the danger, both to himself and the snake (Chapter 22, Shri Sai Satcharitra).
Once Bapusaheb Buti had an interesting vision, while he was asleep on the upper storey of Dixitwada. Even Madhav Rao Deshpande alias Shama was also sleepin the same place next to him. Even he had the same vision. Both of them were astonished that they had the same vision. Bapusaheb had a dream in which Sai Baba commanded him to build a wada with a temple included in it. On seeing the vision, immediately Buti woke up trying to remember the dream from the beginning as he lay in his bed. While this was happening, Madhav Rao was suddenly heard weeping and as Buti called out to him to wake up, the dream vanished. When Buti asked Madhav Rao why he was weeping, he said "I had a vision in which Baba commanded me to build a wada with a temple included in it". Buti was quite amazed that both of them had the same vision. He immediately resolved to construct a wada with a temple included in it. They both sat together and fixed the general outline of the project, which was approved by Kaka Saheb Dixit. Next day morning, all the three of them went to Baba. Shama told Sai Baba about the dream that he and Buti had last night. Baba immediately gave permission to build the wada with the temple.
Butiwada - Ancestral Home of Gopalrao Mukund alias Bapusaheb Buti in Nagpur
Thus the construction of Butiwada began around 30th December 1915 (Kapharde Dairy, Page 123). Madhav Rao immediately swung into action and built the basement and the ground floor. The well was also constructed. Baba used to watch the progress on his way to Lendi Baugh and on his return as the doors and windows were being fixed. Baba used to often direct "put a door here, a window there. Here, to the east, take out a gallery. It will enhance the beauty". As the work was fast progressing, Buti had an idea to build a Sanctum Sanctorum where an Idol of Muralidhar could be placed. But without consulting Baba, Buti never started anything. While on his daily round, as Sai Baba came near the wada and reached the door, Madhav Rao told the plan of Buti to Him. On hearing Madhav Rao's words, Baba happily said, "All right. Once the temple is ready, we too, wil come there to stay". Madhav Rao asked Baba, "if this is His final direction, let us lay the foundation stone on this day. Is this time auspicious, O God? Shall I bring and break the coconut, right away?". To that Sai Baba said "Break, break!" Accordingly Madhav Rao brought a coconut and broke it. Later on, the Sanctum Sanctorum was made, along with the platform for the idol of Lord Muralidhar. But, later it so happened that Baba became severly ill and the end came near. All the devotees were greatly agitated in their minds. Bapusaheb grew restless too and was very sad as to what the condition of the wada would thereafter be?. He was worried that Baba's feet won't touch the temple. Lakhs of rupees were spent by that time and this obstacle had come in the way. Hence, Buti was totally dejected. But Baba before passing away, expressed “Place or keep me in the Wada” and this had consoled Bapusaheb Buti and after Baba passed away, as per Baba’s desire, Baba’s holy body was placed and preserved in the central shrine meant for Murlidhar and Baba himself became Murlidhar and the "Butiwada" became the Samadhi Mandir of Sai Baba (Chapter 39, Shri Sai Satcharitra).
Buti''s outstanding service to Shri Sai Baba Sansthan was remarkable as he constructed the huge stone building and devoted it entirely for the Mahasamadhi Shrine of Baba. This stone building is hence known by the name "Butiwada". Baba used to refer it as Dagadi (stone) Wada.
The construction, though started in 1915, Baba had mentioned about this construction in 1913 to Narke, son-in-law of Buti and also said that Narke would administer the management of Butiwada. Every year dramatic performances and celebrations were held at Shirdi in front of Chavadi. Bapusaheb Booty would annually donate a large sum of Rs.500 towards the expenses. Many people used to come from the surrounding villages to witness these celebrations.
A committee was formed on 27th October 1918 comprising of 15 members with Shri.Bapusaheb Buti as the Chairman to manage the worship of Sai Baba's Samadhi. Buti engaged Dixit to take care of Baba's Samadhi.
Buti served Baba with utmost devotion till his last breath. Buti passed away in the year 1921 at Bombay.
Bapusaheb Buti's Son Shri.Keshavrao Buti
(Source: Shri Sai Satcharitra, Chapters 13, 22 & 39 published by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi, Photo Courtesy: Shri.Jignesh C.Rajput, Surat).