Sai Mahabhakta Shri.Ramachandra Sitaram Dev alias Balabhau or Balabhat belonged to Brahmin Community and was a landlord who resided at Varsova Road, Andheri in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

He visited Shirdi for the first time in the year 1908 and darshan of Sai Baba. But he had earlier learned about Sai Baba from Sant Kavi Das Ganu Maharaj when he had attended his kirtan programme at Kalyan. He knew Amir Shakkar Khatik, the Butcher of Bandra. Amir Shakkar also spoke very highly of Baba and asked Ramachandra to and have darshan of Sai Baba. Hence, Ramachandra went to Shirdi along with another devotee Sri Krishna Patil. Sathe Wada was the only place to stay at Shirdi at that time. But Ramachandra and his friend Sri Krishna Patil statyed at Ganapati Temple. On the day of their visit, there was no crowd from Mumbai but there were devotees who came from places in and around Shirdi.Ramachandra was intending to go to Akkalkote and Amir Shakkar told him "Shirdi was on the way. Let us go there first and then proceed to Akkalkote". Hence, Ramachandra wanted to just have darshan of Baba and then immediately after that to proceed to Akkalkote. But, when the duo visited Sai Baba, he told them "I must go to Akkalkote" thereby expressing the premodinating idea that was in Ramachandra's mind. Ramachandra was astonished seeing Baba's power to read what was going on in his mind. Hence, Ramachandra decided to spend one day in the company of Sai Baba at Shirdi. But He had not come with any intention to Shirdi except that he wanted to spend some time in the company of a great soul like Sai Baba. Next day he took permission from Baba and left to Akkalkote. Ramachandra got attracted to Baba so much that he repatedly visited Shirdi to have Baba's darshan. In the same year he repated his visit and went during the Deepavali Festival. At that time there were crowds from Mumbai with Baba. Ramachandra had gone with a group of 5-6 friends. Ramachandra was with Baba from 8 PM till midnight at Dwarakamai Masjid. During their conversation Ramachandra begged Baba to give him Upadesha and be his Guru. Then Baba told him "it is not essential that one should have a Guru. Everything is within us. What you sow, you reap. What you give you get. There is no need for a Guru. It is all within you. Try to listen within and follow the direction you get. We must look at our self. That is the monitor, the Guru".

During that visit, Ramachandra had visited Baba for getting Upadesha from him. He also had his Sampradaya Guru at Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.

As his faith in Baba grew, he gradually dropped his visits to Pandharpur and Akkalkote. He was doing two professions. One was Assistant Manager in a local fund school and the other was Stamp Vendor's work. His visits to Shirdi also used to hamper his school work. Baba used to detain him beyond his leave days. The school authorities eqnuired from other sources as to where he was spending his time and abused him for his act. Thus, Ramachandra was forced to choose between Shirdi and School Work. Hence, Ramachandra gave up his school teaching, but continued the Stamp Vendor's work till the year 1931 and later transferred his profession to his son. During those days, Ramachandra used to earn around Rs.20 to Rs.25 per day for persuing his Stamp Vendor's work.

Ramachandra gave up his job at a young age of just 32 years. But he kept his faith in Baba and thus his financial position was quite satisfatory. He attended every Ramanavami festival at Shirdi. When Sai Baba was in His flesh and blood, He used to give personal directions to Ramachandra. After Baba took Samadhi in the year 1918, Ramachandra used to get guidance from Him by casting chits before His picture and picking one chit from the lot after completing the prayer for guidance.

Once, there was a terrible robbery at Andheri were Ramachandra used to reside (old house) because of which he got frightened. That time Baba was hin His flesh and blood. Ramachandra visited the inmates of the house that was robbed at the hospital. They were laying on bed with severe injuries inflicted by the robbers. Ramachandra quietly prayed to Baba in his house and begged Baba to save him and his family from facing such misfortunes. The same night Baba appeared in his dream and assured him that He has come with ten pathans and that he need not fear. Just at that time, the washermen using B.B. & C.I Railway property for their washing, were refused further access to their usual washing places. Ten of them came to Ramachandra and wished to build huts for themselves in the vacant land that Ramachandra had. Ramachandra agreed for the proposal. The ten people not only paid Rs.200 towards monthly rent but also gave him their company because of which he was protected from Robber's attacks. The well that was situated in Ramachandra's house had no sufficient supply of water for their washing of clothes. Ramachandra consulted Baba and as per his advice, he dug a new well in the place approved by Baba and there he got abundant resource of water. In another big building at Andheri were he resided, he wanted to dig a well first and hence he went to Shirdi and consulted Baba. Acting on his advice, Ramachandra got a well dug as directed by Baba and that turned out to be a very good resource of water. Then Ramachandra started building the house, off course after taking permission from Baba. When He had visited Shirdi, he had funds only for building 5 rooms and wished to build only 5 rooms. But Baba drew on the floor before Him 25 lines and said: "One rupee for each line. i.e., each sets of rooms. So, give 25 rupees". Though Ramachandra intended to build only 5 rooms, he paid 25 rupees to Baba. The work began, rooms were slowly being added till the year 1920. Finally, the total number of rooms became 25! Even now the building in this place has only 25 rooms!

Ramachandra always used to think and feel that He is ever alive and guided him. His sons also have the same faith like their father.

(Source: Devotees' Experiences of Sri Sai Baba - Part I, II and III by Poojya B.V.Narasimhaswamiji)