Lakshman Ratna Parkhi’s ancestors were experts at evaluating precious stones and diamond for the Peshwas. Thus, they were called by the surname Ratna Parkhi. They were Brahmins and Priests by profession. They migrated to Shirdi and made it their home. Lakshman Mama was the village priest and astrologer. Mention is made of him in the Shri Sai Satcharitra.
His home is behind the Vittal Mandir. Upon entering, the Vittal Mandir to your left there are a flight of steps. On ascending, these steps there are a few houses, where the extended Ratna Parkhi family lives.
Vittal Mandir maintained by Ratna Parkhi Family
Lakshman Mama was a very orthodox Brahmin and rigid in his ways. He did not approve of Baba’s unorthodox way of living in Shirdi. Once he was extremely sick and his son Bapaji ran to Baba and begged him to save his father. Baba shouted abusive language at him and asked him to go home. Soon Baba’s compassionate heart melted and he went to his home. There he found Lakshman Mama groaning in severe pain. Then he lovingly caressed him, and laid his hand of benediction on his head. At that very moment, he started recovering. This incident had a profound effect on his life and he became an ardent devotee of Baba. Once Bapaji was very sick. All kinds of treatments were given to him, but nothing worked. Ultimately his father ran to Baba for cure. Baba cursed him and shouted violently, a little later Baba went to his home. He laid his hand of benediction on his forehead, and he was cured. This incident further strengthened his faith and devotion in Baba.
Lakshman Ratna Parkhi
Lakshman Ratna Parkhi
When Baba took Mahasamadhi on 15th October 1918, Bapaji was with him in the Dwarakamai. Baba sent the anxious and concerned devotees home. Yet a few devotees stayed behind and Bapaji was one of them. His father Lakshman Mama performed the Kakad Aarti to Baba the next day (Refer Shri Sai Satcharitra, Chapter 43).
In the early morning that day, Lakshman Mama had a vivid dream in which Baba bade him to come and perform his Kakad Aarti. Indeed he was a true devotee for he did the Aarti unmindful of all the protests and objections of the Maulvis. Baba had asked him in the vision to perform Kakad Aarti so he was adamant to do it. With a great deal of tenderness and reverence, he washed Baba’s feet, and then he performed the Aarti with tears streaming down his cheeks. Then he opened Baba’s closed fist and kept his Dakshina and Tambul and left.
His great grandsons Shri.Jagadish Ratna Parkhi and Shri.Vinayak Ratna Parkhi known by family name "Joshi" and their family are still living in that home inside Old Vittal Mandir in Shirdi and are leading fruitful lives.
Vinayak Ratna Parkhi in front of Das Ganu Maharaj's Photograph at Old Vittal Rukmini Mandir
Family Tree of Laxman Ratna Parkhi
We have given below the contact details of Shri.Jagadish Ratna Parkhi and Shri.Vinayak Ratna Parkhi, Great Grand Sons of Lakshman Mama Joshi for the benefit of Sai Devotees:
Shri.Jagadish Ratna Parkhi & Shri.Vinayak Ratna Parkhi
(Source: Baba’s Anurag by Vinny Chitluri; Photo Courtesy:Smt.Shreya Nagaraj,Pune, Shri.Vinayank Ratna Parkhi, Shirdi & Shri.Jignesh C.Rajput, Surat)