Madhu Fasle was an old Sevekari of Baba. His real name was ‘Madhav’; but in Shirdi, he was known as ‘Madhu’. Since his childhood, he developed an attraction towards Baba. As a young man, he served and stayed with Baba. From morning till night, he was always ever willing to serve Baba.
He used to do a lot of chores - sweeping the Dwarakamai Masjid, Washing Baba's Kafni, cleaning the mat on which Baba sat, fill-up water in the tub kept near the steps, draw lukewarm water for Baba’s bath, anxiously wait for Baba to finish His bath and then wipe His body, clean the Hundis (lamps) kept in the Masjid and Chavadi, help Abdul Baba in lighting up the lamps, look after Baba’s horse, etc. Baba fondly called him ‘Ghodewala’ (one who tended to the horse).
There was a room, adjoining the Dhuni, which was used for storing fire-wood. Baba had -with His own hands - constructed almost three-fourths of one wall of that room. At that time, Madhu had assisted Baba by making mixture of mud. Baba had stacked the bricks and then plastered the wall with the mud.
At the time of Baba’s mortal end, Madhu handed over the Chillum and Satka used by Baba to Bapusaheb Jog. Bapusaheb had kept both these articles in his Pooja Ghar. Later on, when Bapusaheb shifted his residence to Upasani Ashram at Sakori, he took these sacred articles with him. In due course of time, these articles have been preserved in the Sai Sansthan.
This is a story of 1936. Baba's Muslim devotee Chhotekhan and Madhu Fasle were sleeping in the Masjid. Chhotekhan heard Baba's voice saying, “Are Madhu, get up! I have to pass urine”. But, Madhu was fast asleep and could not get up. Next day morning, it was observed that at the place, where Baba used to sit, there was a poodle of water and a sweet fragrance was emanating from it.
Once Baba ordered him to go on a pilgrimage to Kashi. Madhu hesitated and said, “Baba I don’t know how to get there” Baba said, “Go from Shirdi to Paithan, Jalna, Balaji, Devalgaon, Omkar, Ajmeer, Neemuch and then Kashi” Then Madhu set out with Baba’s blessings in the form of an old kafni, and 10 rupees that Baba had given him for expenses on the way. Madhu had the utmost faith in Baba and he knew that Baba would take care of him every step of the way.
The journey covers many miles over 1,400 miles through the states of Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh and Utter Pradesh. Madhu walked to Paithan without any trouble, then he met Nandu Patil who asked where he was bound. Madhu told him that Baba had asked him to go to Kashi, and he was on his way. Nandu invited him home and looked after him for four days. Madhu told Nandu about Baba’s divinity and his experiences. Nandu took him to Jalna by his horse carriage.
From Jalna he walked up to Balaji Devalgaon, there he met Ranganath Maharaj. Seeing Madhu the omniscient Ranganath said that Madhu was fortunate to live in a spiritually elevated place like Shirdi. Then Madhu continued his journey and every time he broke his journey somebody helped him. He then proceeded to Omkarareshwar by foot, and stayed in a temple for 2 days. The priest of the temple provided food and a place for him to rest. His next destination was Ajmeer. On the way he got plenty of dates to eat. As he was tired he went and sat by a stream and remembered Baba. Suddenly a fakir in a green kafni appeared before him and inquired as to where he was going. The fakir then warned him that there was fighting and unrest in that area. The fakir gave Madhu a large quantity of dried fruits and together they smoked a Chillum. When Madhu decided to proceed the fakir bought him a railway ticket to Bhopal. Upon parting he said, “If any one gives you chapattis to eat on the way eat it unhesitatingly if not eat Margosa leaves”. Madhu had crossed into Madhya Pradesh the rest of his wonderful journey will be given in the next leela.
From Bhopal Fasle walked all the way to Agra. While he was walking it happened to be Ekadashi, he went to a Railway station and slept on a bench as he was tired and hungry. A Bhil (Tribal caste) came up to him and gave him some Chattu (flour when mixed in water to make a delicious gruel). Madhu suspected that he was a low caste person and refused to accept it. The Bhil assured him that as it was uncooked flour it was suitable to eat while fasting. So Madhu ate it and continued his journey.
When Madhu reached Agra he met the same fakir who met him on his way to Ajmeer. He welcomed him saying, “Child now go to Mathura and Brindavan, but do not make friends with anyone on the way” Then he bought him a train ticket to Mathura. Madhu reached Mathura comfortably there he met a man who was enrolling laborers to work in his Tea Estate. Madhu also joined as a laborer, but told him that he would not have his meals with him. The man gave him money and asked him to eat from any restaurant. He continued giving him money for 8 days, then Madhu remembered the fakirs words and escaped from there. He then walked to Kanpur and along the way he got Chapattis to eat, then he met the same fakir again. The fakir gave him ‘Chattu’ to eat and advised him to go to Ayodhya from Lucknow. He gave him all the information for a comfortable journey and told him where to stay and get food. Finally Madhu went to Kashi from Lucknow, there he met Mohan Pandya, who took him home and looked after him for 5 days. At Kashi he visited the famous Vishvanath Temple and numerous temples along the Ganges. After having a dip in the Ganges he went to Prayag by train and took a bath in the ‘Triveni’ (confluence of three rivers).
Again Madhu met the same fakir fed him and, gave him a train ticket to Manmad and asked him to return home. From Manmad he walked to Shirdi Baba welcomed him saying “I was with you through out your journey. I saved you on numerous occasions, during these 3 months” Madhu knew that he could not have done the pilgrimage without Baba’s help. As a token of his gratitude Madhu would mix a little sacred water of the Ganga in Baba’s drinking and bathing water every day.
(Source: Ambrosia In Shirdi by Ramalingaswamy)