Sai Mahabhakta Shankarrao Dattatreya Balvally's information has been published in Shri Sai Leela Magazine, March 1943 Issue.

Sai Mahabhakta Late Shri.Shankarrao Dattatreya Balvally was residing at Vakola, a suburb of Bombay. He was married to Smt.Indirabai S. Balvally.

Shri.Shankarrao Dattatreya Balvally also held the position of Secretary of Shri Sai Baba's 25th Punyatithi Festival which was conducted by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan in the year 1943.

(Devotees sitting on the chair from your left : 1. Nana Saheb Rasne of Pune (Joint Secretary), 2. Vasantrao Narayan Gorakshakar alias Baba Saheb Gorakshakar of Santacruz (Trustee), 3. Tatya Kote Patil of Shirdi (Trustee), 4. Moreshwar W.Pradhan of Santacruz (Trustee), 5. Govind Kashinath Gadgil alias Appa Saheb Gadgil of Pune (Member), 6. Raghuvir Bhaskar Purandare of Bandra (Member), 7. Daji Vithal Sambare alias Mr.Kolambo of Vile Parle (Treasurer), 8. Dr.Kesharinath Vasudeo Save of Girgaon (Member). Devotees sitting down from your left : 1. Nagesh Atmaram Savant of Dadar (Member), 2. Shankarrao Dattatreya Balvalli of Santacruz (Secretary).

Shri.Shankarrao Dattatreya Balvally built a Datta Mandir at Vakola, Santa Cruz in 1924.

Shri.Shankarrao Dattatreya Balvally has narrated the following account of his experience when he recently called out the secretary, at his residence in Thana.

He had a neighbour staying just opposite to him and he was known to him to be a very pious man and hence was very friendly and attached to him. About a year back one day he came to know that his friend had discarded his wife some 10 years since and the lady, who was so long being taken care of by her father was brought to her husband for shelter by her brother, as the father was no more and the brother was not in a position to maintain her. The husband was, however, not prepared to shelter his wife and the whole locality was sorry on the plight of the lady. Ultimately the mater was brought to the notice of Shri.Balvally. He prevailed upon the husband to abide by the decision of Sai Baba in the matter as final and proposed that he should accompany him to Shirdi for the purpose. The husband agreed and they both went to Shirdi.

During the noon Arati the husband as advised had arranged to get Baba's order by Chits. Both were present during the Arati and as usual the poojari obtained a chit at the hand of a boy present and gave it to the husband who put it in His pocket. There was great rush as usual at the Pooja Hall to get out after taking Tirth Prasad. The busband started enquiry of Balvally about the various photos of old devotees hung around the hall and forgot all about the chit which he kept in his pocket.

At the time they both left the hall, the Poojari gave the husband one more chit (of the two given to him to be used for the purpose instead of its being left idle on the Samadhi). The husband took it in his hand and on reaçhing their room read it and showed it to Shri.Balvally seeing that, though Shri. Balvally felt sorry for the decision, said he had now nothing to say in the matter and that they have to abide by Baba's order.

At night both were fast asleep when the husband roused Shri.Balvally rather in a terrified mood which Shri. Balvally took to be due to the presence of either a scorpean Or reptile a common thing at Shirdi. But it came as a surprise when he heard the husband's version for the cause of his rousing him. The husband gave him to understand that he had a dream in which some one reminded him about the chit he had in his pocket and warned him not to be misguided. Then only he lighted his torch and took that chit from his coat pocket and showed it to Shri.Balvally. Shri. Balvally admired Baba's powers and felt greatiul at seeing how he
relieved the suffering humanity.

The result was, the husband on his way home resorted to the relation's residence where his wife was staying with her brother and took her along with him buying a pair of Sarees for her. He has given ber shelter and has developed Bhakti for Baba as a result of his being impressed with the powers that He still exercises for responding to those who resort to him with faith.

Do not the above two accounts show how Baba still attracts those whom he wants and responds directly to the call of those who resort to him, that no mediary is required to approach and seek his blessings?

(Source: Shri Sai Leela Magazine, March 1943 Issue. Photo Courtesy: Shri.Jignesh C.Rajput)