Late Laxman Ganesh alias Kaka Mahajani, an ardent Sai Mahabhakta was a resident of Mumbai. He used to stay in a flat near Wilson College, Mumbai. He was a great Artist and was having his own Photo Studio in Mumbai.
He had a great personality, tall and handsome and used to always wear Maharashtrian Pagadi.
The name of this Sai Mahabhakta finds its place in Chapter 12, 13, 27 and 35 of Shri Sai Satcharitra written by Shri.Govind Raghunath Dhabolkar alias Hemadpant.
Kaka Mahajani once travelled from Mumbai to Shirdi, intending to stay there for a week and then come back to Mumbai. Kaka Mahajani had arrived at Shirdi a little early, intending to participate in the Gokulakshtami Festival. But when he went for Baba's darshan baba asked him "So, when do you return home?". On hearing Baba's words, Kaka Mahajani was totally taken aback! Kaka started wondering "Why Baba is aksing this question the moment I am meeting Him?". In fact, Kaka wanted to stay put in Shiridi for eight days. But as Baba put the question, he himself prompted the expected answer to Kaka. Then Kaka answered Baba "Whenever Baba gives me the command, I shall return home". And, even before Kaka could finish what he wanted to say, Baba said: "Go back tomorrow". Obeying Baba's command with great reverence, he prostrated at the lotus feet of Sai Baba and left to Mumbai on the same day, although it was a very special occasion of Gokulashtami. But, when Kaka reached home and went to his office, he saw that his employer was anxiously waiting for his return. The munim (Clerk) had suddenly fallen ill and the employer was in urgent need of Kaka's help. In fact, he had already dispatched a letter to Shirdi, calling kaka to come back immediately to Mumbai. When the postman came enquiring for him in Shirdi, Kaka had already left Shirdi and was on his way to Mumbai. The letter was re-directed to Mumbai and Kaka received the same on reaching home! (Ref:Chapter 12, Shri Sai Satcharitra).
Once just eight days before the commencement of work for paving the floor of Sabhamandap at Dwarakamai, Kaka Mahajani suffered from severe attack of Cholera. He began to pass loose motions repeatedly. But in his innermost heart, he had total faith in Sai Baba and hence, he did not take any medicine or treatment, eventhough he was totally wearied out by the illness. Mahajani very well know the power of Sai Baba. Hence, he did not even tell Him of his great discomfort. He went on bearing the pain and suffering in total faith that when Baba wishes it, He will, on His own remove the affliction. His only strong desire was that despite his suffering, he should not miss daily pooja and Aarti that he performed to Sai Baba. With that intention in his mind, he kept a copper vessel, filled with water in Dwarakamai at a place where it would be easily accessible even in the dark. He used to sit very near to Sai Baba pressing His feet and would be invariably present for Aarti, as it was his daily routine. In case of any uneasiness, he used to quietly take the copper vessel filled with water, went to an unfrequented spot, relieve himself and return. One day, when Baba came back from Lendi Baugh and sat in His usual seat, Kaka also came and started pressing His feet. All of a sudden the work of paving of Sabhamandap at Dwarakamai began. A worker started digging the floor with the Hoe. The moment Baba heard the sound of the Hoe, He shouted aloud in a very strange voice, assuming the fierceness of Lord Narasimha, with wild, glaring eyes. Baba roared "Who strikes his hoe there? I shall break his back!". So saying, He got up and picked up his baton, striking terror into the hearts of all those present inside Dwarakamai Masjid. The worker dropped his hoe and ran for his life. Everyone present in Dwarakamai also took to their heels. Kaka, too was startled, when suddenly Baba took hold of his hand. Baba said: "where are you going?. Come and sit down". In the meantime, Tatya Kote Patil and Laxmibai Shinde came. Baba hurled abuses freely at them to His heart's content. Baba also hurled abuses on those who were present outside the Dwarakamai Masjid. Suddenly, Baba pulled up a bag of groundnuts which was laying there. The bag must have belonged to a person who came for Baba's darshan. Baba was in a fit of rage. Baba took out fistful of groundnuts, rubbed them in His palms and cleaned them by blowing off the skins. He then made Kaka Mahajani eat the cleaned groundnuts, even as He continued His abusing on one side, while rubbing the skins off the nuts, on the other. Baba kept on giving the nuts and asked Kaka Mahajani to eat them. In this way, Baba emptied the entire bag. After all the groundnuts were finished, Baba said: "Bring water. I am thirsty". Kaka filled up the spouted drinking vessel with water and brought it to Him. Baba drank from the vessel and asked kaka also to drink water. Kaka followed Baba's instructions. Then Baba said to Kaka: "Go now, your motions have stopped!. Where are those Brahmins. Go and bring them here". Everyone who ran away from Dwarakamai returned and the paving work began. In this way Baba cured Kaka of his Cholera (Ref:Chapter 13, Shri Sai Satcharitra).
Once, Kaka Mahajani who was very fond of reading the "Bhagavat" came to Shirdi, carrying with him a copy of that book. Madhavrao Deshpande alisas Shyama had come to meet him and casually, picking up the book to read, he carried it in his hand when he went to the Masjid. Seeing this, Baba asked Shyama: "What is this book in your hand?". Shyama told Him what it was. Baba took it in His hand, looked through it and returned it. It was a copy of Ekanath's "Bhagavat" which Kaka Mahajani had received from Baba as Prasad on an earlier occasion. Madhavrao Deshpande conveyed to Baba in clear words that the book did not belong to him but to Kaka Mahajani and that he had just felt a momentary desire to read it and thus he had brought it with him. But Baba said to him: "Since I have given this book to you, you should keep it in your collection. It will be useful to you". However, Kaka Mahajani had again come to Shirdi after few days and had brought another copy of "Bhagavat" along with him and placed in Sai Baba's hands. Baba returned it to him as prasad saying: "Keep it with you with utmost care. It will really be of great use to you. This will serve you well, do not give it to anyone else". Kaka took the book from Baba with great reverence and prostrated to Him. (Ref:Chapter 27, Shri Sai Satcharitra).
A non-believer in Idol-worship, who was a staunch worshipper of the formless, once became very eager to go to Shirdi, only out of inquisitiveness. He was a close friend of Kaka Mahajani. He told Kaka: "We will come to Shirdi only to have Sadhu's darshan, but we will not bow down before Him or give Him dakshina. If these two conditions are accepted, only then we will come to Shirdi". When Kaka agreed to this, he set out to go with his friend with an easy mind. But his mind was riddled with doubts and misconceptions. Both of them left Mumbai on a Saturday night and came to Shirdi on Sunday morning. Both went at once to Dwarakamai Masjid to have Sai Baba's darshan. Even as Kaka put his foot on the step to come up, seeing his friend in the distance, Baba siad in a sweet tone, "Why have you come, please?". Hearing Sai's loving words, the friend at once recognized the mark. The way Baba spoke made him remember his late father at once. Kaka's friend was totally astonished on hearing Baba's words. He immediately murmured to himself, "These are indeed the words of my father! So familiar is the tone!". His heart was touched. At once he placed his head on Baba's feet, quite oblivious of his earlier resolve not to prostrate in front of Baba! Later, Baba asked and took Dakshina only from Kaka. Then both of them left the mosque and again came back in the afternoon to Dwarakamai. They planned to return to Mumbai and hence came to take permission from Baba to leave. Baba once again asked Dakshina from Kaka saying: "Give me seventeen rupees". Again Baba did not demand Dakshina from Kaka's friend. Hence, Kaka's friend felt regret and uneasiness in his heart. So, he softly asked Kaka: "Why does He ask only you for Dakshina? In the morning, He asked you for it and even now, he asked only you. When I am with you, why is He not asking Dakshina from me?". Kaka replied: "Ask the question to Baba Himself!". Suddenly Baba asked kaka, "What is he saying to you?". Then friend then himself asked Baba: "Can I give you Dakshina?". Baba said: "You did not wish to give, so I did not ask you. Now if you wish to give, then give it". When Baba asked and the devotees gave Dakshina the friend was find fault with them. But when he himself asked Baba whether he could give Dakshina and that too without being asked, Kaka was totally surprised. kaka's friend also offered seventeen rupees at Baba's lotus feet without being asked. Baba then said to him: "Where is the hurry to go? Wait, sit for a moment." He then told him: "Pull down the wall that separates you and Me. The way will then be wide open for us to meet each other". Baba then permitted them to leave Shirdi. But seeing the overcast sky, Madhavarao Deshpande said to Baba that they will be drenched in the rain on the way. But Baba replied: "Let them go at ease. They have nothing to fear whatsoever from the rain on the way". Both of them prostrated to Baba's feet and sat in the tonga. Lightning flashed in the sky, the air filled with thick fog, waters of Godavari River swelled. The sky resounded with thunder. They had to ferry across the river. But in Kaka's heart, there was full trust in Baba's assurance. Kaka's friend was however worried, as to how the journey would be safe and comfortable. However, they crossed the river in comfort and boarded the train to Mumbai. The moment they boarded the train, rain begin to pour down heavily!. Both of them reached Mumbai safely. When Kaka's friend reached home and opened the doors and windows, a sparrow who was confined within, swiftly flew out, while two other sparrows had died. kaka's friend felt that Baba must have been anxious about the that flew away and therefore he willingly gave permission to return today.
Kaka Mahajani's friend was suffering from Pain in one heel for the past several months before visiting Shirdi. But after his return from Shirdi, the pain subsided and ceased to cause him any discomfort and in a short while, disappeared altogether.
Dharamsi Jethabhai Thakkar, a solicitor from Mumbai felt a keen desire to meet Sai, purely as a result of his accumulated merit of his previous births. He was the employer of Kaka Mahajani and both were very closely associated with each other. Kaka was employed as the managing clerk in Thakkar's firm and used to avail of all the holidays to go to Shirdi, all the time repeatedly. Whenever he went to Shirdi, Kaka never used to return on the scheduled time. He used to spend eight days in Shirdi and would plead that Sai did not give him permission to return. At that time, Thakkar used to think "What is this way of these Saints!. I do not approve all this fuss about nothing!". Hence, Thakkar also set out with Kaka Mahajani during the holi festival holidays to settle the issue directly with Sai, once and for all. Full of conceit in himself and in the greatness of his wealth, he felt that these saints are, after all, just like other human beings. When that being the case, why lower your head before them. He also thought "Blind faith is not good. So let me make sure for myself". With this frame of mind, he made preparations to go to Shirdi. Since, he was not sure Kaka Mahajani would return with him, he took one more companion with him and all the three went to Shirdi. On their way to Shirdi, Kaka bought two seers of grapes to offer it to Baba. The grapes thus purchased were with seeds. Immediately after reaching Shirdi, they went to Baba's darshan in the mosque. At that time another devotee Babasaheb Tharkhad was also present in the mosque. Thakkar asked him out of curiosity: "What do you find here that makes you come here over and over again?". Tharkhad replied: "We come for Baba's darshan". Thakkar again asked him: "But I have heard that miracles takes place here. Is it true?". Tharkhad said: "I do not come here to see miracles. Whatever may be the keen desire in one's mind, that desire is fulfilled". Kaka went near Baba, bowed his head on Baba's feet and offered the grapes in his hands. Baba started distributing the grapes to devotees present in Dwarakamai. Along with other devotees, Baba gave it to Thakkar as well. Thakkar did not like grapes with seeds. That is why he did not like eating this variety of grapes which had seeds. In addition to that, doctor had forbidden him to eat grapes without first washing them. Thus numerous doubts started arising in Thakkar's mind. Unwillingly, Thakkar popped them in his mouth, carefully putting away the seeds in his pocket. He did not want to defile the sanctity of a Sadhu's place by throwing seeds of chewed grapes inside the Masjid. While doing so, Thakkar said to himself: "Baba is a Saint. Yet, how does he not know that I do not like these grapes? Why does he give them to me compulsively?". Even as this thought crossed his mind, Baba gave him some more. Knowing that they were with seeds, he kept them in his hand instead of putting them in his mouth. He felt very embarrased and did not know what to do. But Baba suddenly said: "Do eat them up!". Thakkar promptly obayed Baba's orders. When he did so, he found the grapes to be seedless! Thakkar was greatly astonished. He thought to himself: "Truely marvellous is His power! What is impossible for these saints?. Knowing the wish in my heart, though the grapes were with seeds and unwashed, Sai gave me seedless and beneficial grapes". His ego was thus overcome by Baba and instead great love arose in his heart towards Saints. But confirm it again, Thakkar asked Baba Tharkhad who was sitting there with him "How were your grapes?". Tharkhad replied "With Seeds". Hearing Tharkhad's reply Thakkar was completely astonished. But once again to further confirm Baba's powers, Thakkar told to himself: "Baba, if you are a real Sadhu, then after Kaka Mahajani you should distribute the grapes to me". The moment this thought crossed Thakkar's mind, Baba who was distributing the grapes to other devotees stopped and restared new round of distriution of grapes first with Kaka himself. Thus Thakkar was completely convinced that Sai Baba was a real Sadhu. Then, Madhavrao Deshpande introduced Thakkar to Sai Baba saying: "Baba, He is Kaka's Shet". To which Baba said: "Who, this? Oh, how can he be Kaka Mahajani's master? His master is another!. Hearing these words of Baba, Kaka Mahajani's heart was filled with joy. Then, Baba showing His hands towards Appa, a cook who was standing near Dhuni continued: "This Shet has come all the way, but he has not taken this trouble for me. He came to Shirdi because he felt a great love for this Appa!". On hearing Baba's words, Thakkar at once fell at Baba's feet. Afterwards they both returned to the Wada. After the afernoon Aarti, they began preparing for their return journey to Mumbai. When they went to seek Baba's permission, Baba began to tell a story: "There was once a fickle-minded man, whose house was full of wealth, food grains etc... physically, mentally he had no illness, no afflictions. But, he liked to court trouble. Needlessly, he wandered about, carrying a heavy burden on his head. His mind knew no peace. One moment he would put down the load, only to pick up the next moment. He could not steady his mind. Seeing his plight, my heart was moved by compassion and I said to him, 'Steady your mind and fix it on one thing - whatever that may be!. You wander needlessly. Steadily fix your mind in one place". Immediately Thakkar came to know that Baba was giving him a warning through the story. Then, Baba gave permission to even Kaka Mahajani to go with Thakkar back to Mumbai. Thus Baba had cleared all the doubts in the minds of Thakkar. As they were ready to leave, Baba asked for fifteen rupees dakshina from Kaka and said to him: "He who has given me one rupee as dakshina, him will I have to give ten times more in return. Will I ever take anything free from anyone? I do not ask each and everyone for dakshina. The question of dakshina comes only for him to whom the Fakir points a finger. And, this Fakir too, will ask only of him to whom he is indebted. When such a giver gives, he is only sowing the seeds of which he will reap the harvest later. Of his own will, Thakkar placed fifteen rupees dakshina in Baba's hand. He forgot his earlier resolve. It was all most strange! Thus, after receiving Sai Udi Prasad with His blessings, all the three returned to Mumbai, with all their doubts completely clarified by Baba. (Ref:Chapter 35, Shri Sai Satcharitra).
On 13th November 1918 Shri Sai Baba appeared in the dream of Shri Kakasaheb Mahajani and said to him “Why are you still sleeping? wake up and worship My 30th day ceremony after My Samadhi". After waking up Mahajan calculated that day is the 30th day after Baba’s Mahasamadhi. He himself prepared in his house the Baba's 30th day ceremony. He invited Shri Kakasaheb Dixit, M. V. Pradhan and Dabholkar for dinner. He celebrated Baba’s Bhajan and the whole day went very happily and to one and all. Dear readers please think over was Baba alive or not by this incident (ref:Ambrosia in Shirdi_Post Samadhi Stories by Ramalingaswami).
Late Shri.Kaka Mahajani in his capacity as the Editor published the first issue of "Shri Sai Leela" (Marathi) Magazine in the year 1923.
Family Details of Shri.Kaka Mahajani:
As far as family details of Shri.Kaka Mahajani is concerned, he had three daughters but no son.
His Eldest daughter, who was addressed by Sai Baba as "Pilla" was known by the name "Prabhawati" after her marriage with Late Shri.Dinkar Rao. Smt.Prabhawati is not alive now. They had a son Justice Padmakar D.Mulye who was a practicing advocate of Madhya Pradesh High Court before being retired from Service. At present He is leading a peaceful life in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
His second daughter whom Sai Baba used to call her as "Maina" was married to Late Shri.Bhaskar Rao. She was known by the name "Sarojini" after her marriage with Late Shri.Bhaskar Rao. Smt.Sarojini Muley took Samadhi on 16th November 1998.
Late Smt.Sarojini Mulye
His third daughter Kumari Shanta was unmarried and died at a very young age.
Kaka Mahajani's Grandson Justice Shri.Padmakar Mulye remembers the Ford Carwith a Crocodile Horn that Kaka Mahajani had, and which was very familiar with the residents of Mumbai during those days.
Last Days of Shri.Kaka Mahajani:
During his last days, Shri.Kaka Mahajani got an attack of Paralysis and he was forced to close his business. After closing the business, Kaka Mahajani shifted to a place called "Wai" near Panchagani, near Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra to his ancestral house. Shri.Padmakar Mulye remembers that he stayed with Kaka in the year 1936. Kaka Mahajani left his mortal coil in his ancestral house at Wai in the year 1938.
After the death of Kaka Saheb in 1938, his wife whom the Mulye family members address as "Kaku Bai" used to visit Indore often till her last days. Kaka Mahajani had taught her English and hence she used to speak very fluently in English. She was also very jovial in nature.
Justice Padmakar D. Mulye, Grandson of Late Shri.Kaka Mahajani after leading a successful life breathed his last on 8th December 2016.
Late Shri.Padmakar D Mulye (Photo Courtesy: Smt.Shreya Nagaraj, Pune)
(Source: Shri Sai Satcharitra written by Shri.Govind Raghunath Dhabolkar alias Hemadpant and Personal Interview with Justice Padmakar D. Mulye on 15th September 2015)