Kashiram was kind, gentle and a very spiritual person. Mahalsapati, Kashiram and Appa Jagle were like-minded individuals, and were friends. The three of them, looked after the welfare of ascetics and saints who visited Shirdi. Each did whatever was needed, according to their means. Mahalsapati after welcoming Baba in the Khandoba Temple brought him to the village. There Baba met Kashiram Shimpi and Appa Jagle. The three friends became devoted to Baba and took care of his meager needs.
Kashiram Shimpi was a cloth merchant. He owned some property and had a stable also. He loved Baba a lot, and stitched a green cap and Kafni for him. This Kafni and cap was found in a bundle when Baba took Mahasamadhi.
Kashiram Shimpi used to provide the wood for the Dhuni Maa in Dwarakamai. Every morning he would bring 2 paisa and lay it at Baba’s feet. At that time Baba did not accept any money offerings from the devotees. Baba however accepted the money offered by Kashiram Shimpi, as it was offered with love and devotion. If Baba did not accept the money on any given day Kashiram Shimpi would weep copiously.
Later on Kashiram Shimpi started brining the entire amount of cash that he would earn every day and would lay it at Baba’s feet. He asked Baba to take as much of the money that he needed. Gradually the seed of pride took hold of Kashiram Shimpi, and he felt that he was the provider of Baba’s needs. At that moment his financial condition started declining, and Baba’s demands for money offerings started increasing. Finally, he had to tell Baba that he did not have the money. A lesson had to be taught, so Baba asked him to borrow the money. After a while, the creditors refused to give him the money, and then he realized that he was not the provider of Baba’s needs. At that very moment his finances started improving.
As he was a cloth merchant he went to different villages and sold bails of cloth. Once while returning from Nawoor Bazaar he was waylaid by dacoits. The dacoits first attacked the carts that were following him. Later they turned their attention on Kashiram Shimpi who was riding a horse. He did not resist, and gave up everything he had except a small bundle. The dacoits got suspicious and thought it contained money or something precious. They attacked him viciously, though wounded Kashiram saw a sword fallen nearby. He picked it up and killed two of the dacoits, but the third dacoit delivered a blow with an axe on his head. Kashiram fell down in a pool of blood. The dacoits thought that they had killed him and left.
A saint called Jankidas had advised Kashiram to feed ants daily with Sugar. In the small bundle that he was protecting with his life was actually a packet of Sugar. After sometime he regained consciousness. He asked the people who had come to help, to take him to Shirdi. At Shirdi Baba asked Shama to attend to him and he recovered fully.
While Kashiram was being attacked by the dacoits, Baba who was sitting in the Dwarakamai flew into a rage. He used foul abusive language and waved his Satka about. Indeed Baba was warding off the vicious attack of the dacoits, and protecting his devotee. There were many armed dacoits fighting with Kashiram, yet he managed to ward off their attack and stayed alive. The Government of Bombay acknowledged his valour and presented him with a Sword.
The villagers called Kashiram, “Shimpi” and so did Baba. Shimpi refers to his cast, and so this surname was used. Now the descendants use the surname “Mirane”.
Family Tree of Kashiram Shimpi
Shantaram Ranganath Mirane Shimp, descendant of Kashiram Shimpi was a trustee of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust from 1999 to 2004. He was responsible for bringing back the old tradition of doing Samoohik Parayan of Shri Sai Satchritra. After the completion of Samoohik Parayan there is Kirtan or singing the praises of the Lord, and devotional songs. He started the Guru Path Bhajan (25 Abhangs composed in 1903 by Late Das Ganu Maharaj) programme. Following this, the devotees talk about their experiences and miracles that occurred in their lives, or during the reading.
Nitin Mirane Shimpi states that his grandfather Late Ranganath Bala Shimpi was also a follower of Sant Kavi Das Ganu Maharaj. When devotees closely observe the photo of Bala Shimpi, they can easily see that he used to apply Sandal Paste as per Vaishnava Tradition on his forehead like Das Ganu Maharaj. But, surprisingly when devotees look at Baba's Dwarakamai Pose, Sandal paste has been applied on Baba's forehead as per Shaiva Tradition along with Bilva leaf on His head.
Kamal Mirane Shimpi Great Grand Daughter in law of Kashiram Shimpi with Grandson Sukrit Mirane
Kashiram Shimpi passed away some years later in Shake 1830, on Chaitra Masa Ekadashi. His descendants are still living in that very house. They are devoted to Baba, and are carrying on his legacy of doing Seva.
(Source: Baba’s Anurag by Sai Bhakta Vinny Chitluri, Photo Courtesy: Smt.Shreya Nagaraj, Pune, Family Tree Courtesy: Shri.Nitin Mirane Shimpi Ji, Shirdi)