Sai Mahabhakta Late Shri.Kakaji Appaji Vaidya was the Chief Priest of Goddess Jagadamba Temple (Moola Roop of Sapta Shrungi Matha) at Vani in Nasik District of Maharashtra. His mention has been made in Chapter 30 of the holy Shri Sai Satcharitra written by Shri.Hemadpant.

Kakaji Appaji Vaidya

Jagadamba Matha Mandir, Vani - Outer View

Shri.Kakaji Appaji Vaidya regarded Sapta Shrungi Devi as his chosen Deity. He was so much overwhelmed with adverse circumstances and calamities that he lost peace of mind and became quite restless. Under such circumstances one evening he went into the temple of the Goodess and prayed unto Her from the bottom of his heart and invoked Her aid to free him from anxeity. The Goddess was pleased with his devotion and the same night appeared to him in his dream and said to him, "You go to Baba and then your mind will become calm and composed". Kakaji was anxious to know from Her who that Baba was, but before he could get any explanation, he was awakened. Then he began to think as to who might be that Baba, to whom the Goodess has asked him to go. After some thinking, he resolved that this Baba might be 'Tryambakeshwar' (Lord Shiva). So he went to the holy place 'Tryambak' (Nasik District) and stayed there for ten days. During this period, he bathed early in the morning, chanted the 'Rudra' hymns, did the 'Abhishekam' (pouring unceasingly fresh cold water over the Pindi) and did other religious rites; but with all that, he continued to be restless as before. Then he returned to his place and again invoked the Goddess most pitifully. That night She again appeared in his dream and said - "Why did you go to Tryambakeshwar in vain? I mean by Baba - Shri Sai Samarth of Shirdi."

Jagadamba Matha - Vani

The question before Kakaji now was 'How and when to go to Shirdi and how to see Baba? If anybody is in real earnest to see a Saint, not only the Saint but God also, fulfills his wish. In fact the 'Sant' (Saint) and the 'Anant' (God) are one and the same; there is not the least difference between them. If anybody thinks that he will go himself and see a Saint, that will be a mere boast. Unless the Saint wills it, who is able to go and see him? Even the leaf of the tree won't move without His bidding. The more anxious a Bhakta is for the saint's visit, the more devout and faithful he is, the more speedily and effectively is his wish satisfied to his heart's content. He who invites anybody for a visit, also arranges everything for his reception, and so it happened with Kakaji as well.

When Kakaji was thinking about his visit to Shirdi, a guest came to him at his place to take him to Shirdi. He was none other than Shama, a very close and intimate devotee of Baba. There is a nice story about how he came to Vani at this juncture. Shama was severely ill when he was very young and his mother had taken a vow to her family Goddess Sapta Shrungi at Vani, that if the son got well, she would bring and dedicate him at Her feet. Then after some years the mother herself suffered much from ring-worms on her breasts. At that time she again took another vow to her Deity that if she got all right, she would offer Her two silver breasts. These two vows remained unfulfilled. At her death-bed she called her son Shama to her and drew his attention to the vows and after taking a promise from him that he would fulfills them, she breathed her last. After some time, Shama quite forgot about these vows and in this way 30 years elapsed. About this time a famous astrologer had come to Shirdi and stayed there for a month. His predictions in the case of Shriman Booty and others came true and everybody was satisfied. Shama's younger brother Bapaji consulted him and was told that his mother's vows, which his elder brother promised to fulfill at her death-bed, were not yet fulfilled; hence the Goddess was displeased with them and bringing troubles on them. Bapaji told this to his brother Shama who was then reminded of the unfulfilled vows. Thinking that any further delay would be dangerous, he called a goldsmith and got a pair of silver breast prepared. Then he went to the Masjid, prostrated himself before Baba and, placing before Him the two silver breasts, requested Him to accept them and free him from the vows as He was to him his Sapta Shrungi Goddess. Then Baba insisted upon him to go himself to the temple of Sapta Shrungi and offer them in person at the feet of the Goddess. Then after taking Baba's permission and Udi, he left for Vani and searching for the priest came to Kakaji's house. Kakaji was then very anxious to visit Baba and Shama went there to see him at that very time. What a wonderful coincidence is this!

Grandson of Kakaji - Shri.Gajajan Narayan Vaidya and Wife Smt.Manorama Gajanan Vaidya

Kakaji asked him who he was and whence he had come, and on learning that he came from Shirdi, he at once embraced him. So overpowered was he with love! Then they talked about Sai-leelas and after finishing the rites of Shama's vows, they both started for Shirdi. On reaching the place, Kakaji went to the Masjid, and fell at Baba's Feet. His eyes were soon bedewed with tears, and his mind attained calmness. According to the vision of the Goddess, no sooner did he see Baba, that his mind lost all its restlessness and it became calm and composed. Kakaji began to think, in his mind, "What a wonderful power is this! Baba spoke nothing, there was no question and answer, no benediction pronounced; the mere darshana itself was so conducive to happiness; the restlessness of my mind disappeared by His mere darshan, consciousness of joy came upon me - this is what is called 'the greatness of darshan'." His vision was fixed on Sai's feet and he could utter no word. Hearing Baba's Leelas, his joy knew no bounds. He surrendered himself completely to Baba, forgot his anxiety and cares and got undiluted happiness. He lived happily there for twelve days and after taking Baba's leave, Udi and blessings returned home.

It is for the devotees to contemplate, why Sapta Shrungi Devi directed Her Pujari(priest) to Sai Baba ? Could She not give peace of mind to Her own Pujari ? Why the pilgrimage to Tryambakeshwar went basically useless ? What is the significance of Shirdi Sai Samarth ? Once, Sai had declared, He was Ganapati, Mahalakshmi, Shiva, Ram... Could He not accept silver breasts and redeem Shama from the vows ? A saint only can understand another saint.  Devi Sapta Shrungi knew, Who Sai Samarth was. Perhaps She wanted the world to know through Her Pujari that Sai Samarth was Tryambakeshwar in flesh and blood. All know Ramakrishna Paramahansa was directed by Kali Maa to get Sannyas from Totapuri. Similarly, Namdev, a Vitthal Bhakta (devotee) was directed to go to Visoba, a realised saint. After the visit Namdev, who was limiting Lord Pandurang to a particular form and place could see his Lord in a dog. Thus Shama who could see Sapta Shrungi Devi in Sai Baba could not see Sai Baba in Sapta Shrungi Devi. Kakaji was made to see Tryambakeshwar and Sapta Shrungi Devi in Sai Baba. One must remember Sapta Shrungi Devi’s words ‘Sai Samarth’, and bow down before Him for attaining peace of mind.

Shri.Shama Rao Vaidya Great Grand Son of Late Shri.Kakaji Appaji Vaidya born on 7th August 1939 who was residing in ancestral home at Vani passed away peacefully on 4th January 2018. He continued the legacy of his Great Grand Father till his last days.

Late Shamarao Vaidya - Great Grandson of Kakaji Vaidya

At present, Shama Rao Vaidya's wife Smt.Rajani Shamarao Vaidya, her elder son Shri.Pravin Shamarao Vaidya, his wife Smt. Deepali Praveen Vaidya, his two daughters Kum.Prateeksha Pravin Vaidya and Kum.Krutuja Praveen Vaidya, Smt.Rajani Shamarao Vaidya's second Son Shri.Prashant Shamarao Vaidya, his wife Smt.Bharati Prashant Vaidya, his only son Chi.Pratik Prashant Vaidya are residing at Kakaji Vaidya's ancestral home at Vani.

Shri.Prashant Shamarao Vaidya, Great Great Grandson

We have given below the contact details of Shri.Prashant Shamarao Vaidya for the benefit of Sai Devotees:

Shri.Prashant Shamarao Vaidya
Great Great Grandson of Kakaji Appaji Vaidya
Opposite Shree Ramdev Mandir,
N Town Internal Road,
Brahman Galli,
Vani - 422 215,
Nasik District,
Maharashtra, India.
Mobile Number: 93738 30553

(Source: Shri Sai Satcharitra Chapter 30 and Personal Interview with Shama Rao Vaidya by Smt. Shreya Nagaraj on 19th March 2017 and Personal Interview with Shri.Prashant Vaidya by Shri.Jignesh C Rajput, Surat Photo Courtesy: Shri.Deepak Gaikwad, Vani, Smt.Shreya Nagaraj, Pune and Shri.Jignesh C Rajput, Surat)