Sai Mahabhakte Late Smt.Rangutai used to cook Maha Naivedya at Sai Baba’s Naivedya Prasad preparation place (Oblation Hall) for Shri Sai Baba for nearly 35 years. Her tagline was “Job is a Selfless Service”. She was fortunate to have seen Shri Sai Baba directly during His sojourn in Shirdi. She used to tell the marvelous memories of Shri Saibaba. She used to narrate many unknown facts about Shri Sai Baba.
Late Smt.Rangutai was the wife of Late Shri.Narayana Rao Kulkarni. She got married at a very early age of 10 years. In the beginning, for about 5 to 6 years she was preparing the Maha Naivedya for Shri Sai Baba at the Oblation Hall without any salary. In the evening, she used to prepare Junka Bhakari for the Oblation and offered it to Shri Sai Baba which used to be very tasty. But when the same Junka used to be preapred at home, then it do not have any taste. In the Oblation Hall, only the food cooked by Rangutai used to be very tasty. She devoted rest of her life for the service of Shri Sai baba. A miracle happned once in her life. She had severe body pain due to old age. But whenever she started to cook Maha Naivedaya for Baba, she used to feel some kind of Power in her Body. That power was given by none other than Shri Sai baba. Surprisingly, after she completed cooking and returned home, she used to suffer from severe body pain again. Her Full body, hands, legs used to pain. This was surprising for everyone who witnessed it. Her associate Smt.Krishnabai Gurav who used to work with her was also surprised by the same. Krishnabai regarded Rangutai as her own Mother.
The villagers of Shirdi and all the Sai Devotees who visited Shirdi used to address Rangutai with Love and Affection as “Tai”. Tai receiprocated their gesture and treated everyone equally. She used to treat everyone either as her own son or daughter. The descendants of Late Smt.Rangutai are leading a very happy and peaceful life with the blessings of Shri Sai Baba. She retired from the services of Shri Saibaba Santhan In the year 1978.
Late Rangutai had 2 children namely Shri.Keshav & Shri.Rangnath. Among the two, Shri.Rangnath Kulkarni is working as an employee with Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi.
Late Rangutai had Baba’s Realization (Sakshatkar) i.e., She was in possession of a land near Guru Paduka Sthan.(opposite to Gurusthan). Many devotees were approached for a place for Santshan. But all of them refused to part with their piece of land. Shrimant Keshav Rao Butti was ready to buy that place by giving away all his wealth and donating the land to Sansthan. In the year 1941, Narayana Rao, (husband of Rangutai) passed away and again Sansthan approached her for that land with a view to construct a beautiful and simple building in that place for housing the devotees. Kulkarni’s family was devoted to Shri Sai Baba from many generations. Then, Sai Baba thought something should be done so that both Kulkarni and Sansthan will be happy. Accordingly in the year 1944, during the auspicious month of Shravan, on a Thursday Shri Sai Baba appeared in the dream of Rangutai and asked her to sell the land to Sansthan. Next day Morning, she narrated her dream to her son Shri.Keshav Rao and advised him to sell the land. As per the instructions of Shri Sai Baba in the dream, the family sold the piece of land to Shri Sai Baba Sansthan for a mutually agreed decent price. The signature of Son of Rangutai, Shri.Keshav Rao was taken as an eye witness on the land documents which was purchased during the year 1957–1959 by Shri Sai Baba Santhan. The present Shanti Niwas Building, Water Fountain and Lendi Baug was that piece of land purchased by Sansthan. Cremation Ground was in that place earlier. That place was very hazardous to health. The Son of Rangutai Shri.Keshava Rao had made special efforts to remove the cremation ground. At last with the blessings of Shri Sai Baba, he was successful in his efforts and Cremation Place was removed by Honorable Collector of Ahmednagar by way of order No.165/17.8.59 and now the Sai Devotees can see Shanti Niwas, Water Fountain and Lendibaugh in that place. This incident clearly shows that Shri Sai Baba showered His blessings on the household members of Rangutai. Even today, the Mahaprasad Naiveday for Shri Sai Baba is taken taken by Rangutai’s Daughter-in-Law Smt. Ushatai Kulkarni.
Late Shri.Rangutai Narayana Kulkarni who was an embodiment of Service to Shri Sai Baba merged at the Eternal Divine Lotus Feet of Shri Sai Baba.
(Source: Article published in Shri Sai Leela Magazine, Year 1980. Translated from Marathi to English by Shri.Gaurav Shirke, Kalyan, Maharashtra)