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Shyam Rao Jayker was a Painter who lived in Ville Parle, Mumbai. He first visited Shirdi around 1916-1917. He used to go and stay with many other Devotees. He continued to stay even when others left Shirdi. Jayker used to get money when he was in Shirdi. Hence, Saibaba used to ask Dakshina from him and he used to pay whatever dakshina Baba asked from him. When other devotees left Shirdi, Jayker had no money. Hence, Baba did not ask Dakshina from him. Baba knew his condition without being told.

When Jayker was a boy of 16 years, a Brahmachari gave him Siva Mantra, (i.e.) initiated him into it. Later, a sanyasi gave him a Shakti Mantra to add to it and form its compliment. When Jayker went to Baba, he had thus initiation and the mantra. His advice to every one was to keep to what he has already, his guru, his mantra and his course "Jo Karith Ale Thech Kara" but Baba gave devotees a lot of fine ethical teaching. One such teaching was “Be pure and truthful. Treat all people properly”.

Jayker knew some of the people at Shirdi. He never went to Radhkrishna Ayi, as there was no need for him to do. He knew Nana Wali. He was a dangerous man. Sai Baba warned Jayker not to move with him. First, Jayker had moved with Nana Wali. Dr. Pillai also had done so. But once he beat Dr. Pillai, and both of them left Nana. He was not worshipping Baba, but treated him with some consideration. Baba would beat him and warn him not to do mischief.

During the eight months of his stay at Shirdi, Jayker heard a lot of goshtis (i.e) talks of Baba. But, he did not remember anything. Baba, so far as Jayker know, did not give any advaitik teaching to any. People went to him for the most part for plain matter-of-fact requests (e.g.) health, wealth etc. and he dealt with them.

Baba looked after Jayker’s well being and he was content for that. He lost two sons. But, he had kept their family alright. It is not for money that devotees should go to him - though he gives money also, when he thinks fit. He used to say that the walls of his Masjid were really made of gold. He wanted people to come and take away cartloads of that wealth; and his regret was that none came to take it away.

Jayker went to Baba for the first time, as Rao Bahadur M.V.Pradhan wanted him to give him a lifelike oil painting of Baba. So Jayker had to go and actually see Baba. He went and had a good look at him. Baba also looked at Jayker. Then Baba's leave had to be obtained before an oil painting could be made of him. So Shama, (i.e.) Madhav Rao Deshpande, went and asked him for permission. Then Baba replied, "Why should I, a poor fakir, have an oil painting of me? You, Shama, you may get a portrait of yourself”. Ultimately, Madhav Rao came and told Jayker that Baba's leave for the painting had been obtained. Instead of painting one picture, as ordered, Jayker painted three. Then, Rao Bahadur M.V.Pradhan took two and the third was taken to Baba, touched by him and handed over to H.S.Dixit. There, in his bungalow, it is still kept and worshipped.

Jayker painted one more big-sized picture of Baba. That was left unused for some years and is now kept in the Mosque, and serving to assist or augment the devotion of numerous people who go and look at it.

Baba had been very kind to Jayker. But, Jayker had been guilty of neglecting Baba and all things. He had been so peculiarly indifferent in his temperament, he could not carry things through. Baba knows this well enough. Once, Jayker was wishing to worship silver padukas of Baba, after receiving them from his own hands. So, Jayker got a small silver pair of padukas prepared and took them to Baba. He looked at them and Jayker. He received them. But, instead of giving them to Jayker, he sloped his palms (on which the padukas were placed) downwards and they fell down. Jayker picked them up and hoped to worship them. But, that very evening, Jayker gave out his clothing for wash, with the silver padukas inside a shirt-pocket. They were lost to him and he never got them back. Baba knew how he would lose things and so did not give the padukas into Jayker’s hands to worship but allowed them to slip off his hands, showing evidently how they were going soon to slip off Jayker’s hands.

On one occasion, Jayker had lent Rs.4,000 to a very rich Moslem purda lady without issue. It was essential for him to recover the sum as he had a large family of 8 sons to support. But, the lady never sent him the money. He went to Baba, hoping to have his sympathy and aid for recovering the money. But, Baba told him then “Let us have nothing to do with such evil or ill-fated wealth”. Jayker did not get back his money. Two or three years later, Jayker came to know  that she had lost all her wealth.

Ever since Jayker went to Baba, his photo or picture is always with him; wherever he went, Baba was behind him protecting his family, in remarkable ways of which Jayker mentions only a few instances.

In 1916, Jayker and his family were living at Gajanan Rao's house at Mugabat, a part of Bombay. Baba's picture was kept in a room there. One night at about 2 a.m. thieves were trying to break into that house, beginning with the very room in which Baba's picture was kept. They had succeeded in pulling out by mere strength 1 or 2 iron bars from the window of that room. Entry into the house thereafter would naturally have followed and the whole house would have been pillaged and robbed. But a barber was sleeping in the verandah in a totally different part of the house. It was usual for him to get up at 4 a.m. and to go round the house for answering calls of nature. On this occasion most strangely and without any traceable reason, the man got up at 2 a.m. and went round the house for his necessary purpose. The thieves seeing him began to run. He saw them and shouted out Thieves, Thieves', and every one got up. The family found that they had got up just in time to prevent the robbers entering inside the house. Every one concluded that Baba took care of the house and took care to nip out the intended robbery when it began in his own room.

In 1917, Jayker and his family were living at Poona in a dilapidated house, the ceiling and walls of which were crumbling. To prevent the falling of dust from the ceiling, cloth had been stuck up under the ceiling. One night, in such a room, there was a picture of Baba with a kerosene lamp burning in front of it, and Jayker’s one-year old child was also sleeping close by. At dead of night, there was a sudden thud. The ceiling cloth had fallen. Loose bricks from some of the walls had fallen on the cloth and the debris came with the cloth on to the floor. As the ceiling cloth covered the whole ceiling, it might be expected to fall with the bricks on it, on the child and the lamp if not on Baba's picture. But Baba's providence willed it otherwise. The debris and the cloth fell within a foot of the child and the lamp and did not touch either the child or the lamp. If they had fallen on the child, it would have been crushed; if on the lamp, there would have been a choking fire on the child and other parts of the house might have been endangered.

In 1917, Jayker and his family went and stayed for 10 months at Shirdi. The family stayed at Bala Bhav's (i.e.) Sharadabai's house. A snake was living in a hole in the small portion in which they lived and they were in danger. One night, Jayker’s son and others saw the reptile emerge from its hole and made short work of it.

In 1923, Jayker’s son Surendra, then aged ten, had typhoid. In the course of his illness, he cried out one day, that gas was rising upward from his belly and pressing hard evidently against the diaphragm and heart etc. And he shouted, “Save me, Save me”. He had become extremely weak from the typhoid and Jayker feared even to touch him much more to press or massage him. Jayker merely cried in a very loud voice, 'Baba.' The upward pressure at once abated.

Baba's help to Jayker spiritually consisted of direct oral advice or symbology in matters of dakshina etc. Once he told him "As you sow so you will reap". On another occasion, looking at Jayker he told  "We must serve the guru". He did not however, give him any mantropadesha. Jayker had already in his twentieth year received that from a guru, and had uttered it for the prescribed period of 12 years and more. Baba's teachings were mostly on moral questions and conduct. He once said amidst a group of listeners "We must see (things) for ourselves. What good is there in going about inquiring of this man and that man for his views and experiences?" At the time this was said, there was a man amongst the devotees who was going about asking people, 'Is Baba a Siddha? Is he an avatar purusha?' etc. Baba evidently deprecated such inquiries when the inquirer had the opportunity of directly facing Baba, getting into contact with him and then deciding on every question for himself with more certainty than could be obtained from reports of others' experiences and views.

Once even about H.S.Dixit (who was noted for his obedience to Baba), Baba made a remark. Baba called Dixit, asked him for dakshina of Rs. 30 when he had no money and sent him to Babu Saheb Jog to get the money. Even before H.S.Dixit left the compound of the Masjid, Baba referring to him said, "He is unsteady". At that time Dixit had still his former habit of making inquiries and investigations about Baba instead of directly contacting Baba on every matter and taking his decision upon the results of such contact. This was, of course, sometime prior to Baba's Samadhl Things changed later on undoubtedly.

Baba strengthened Jayker’s faith by showing him his antarjnana, (i.e.) knowledge of every fact without being told of it or having direct sensual experience of it.

Once Jayker sat before him with only Rs.3 in his pocket. That was all the sum he had for his household expenses. Baba was seated along with Kaka Dixit, Nana Saheb Nimonkar at the time and he asked him, "Mala Chaar Dyave". Jayker doubted if he asked for a Rupee. But, he took it that he wanted Rs.4 dakshina and took out Rs.3 and placed it before him. Kaka looked at Jayker suggestivety as much as to say, "Why give only 3 when 4 was asked for?" Baba at once answered, "Where are 4? There were only 3". Baba knew the exact state of Jayker’s pocket. As he knew also Jayker’s straitened circumstances, the demand for 4 seemed to indicate his desire that Jayker should develop resignation to fate, to face utter absence of pecuniary resources with confidence on him, of course to remedy matters, when he thought fit, and to part with the last pie cheerfully when ordered by him to do it.

Here is another instance of his order depriving Jayker of the last pie in his possession and leaving him absolutely helpless to meet domestic responsibilities coupled with his exhibition of his antarjnana. It was a day in Ashad 1917. Jayker was sitting in the Sabha Mantap some 20 feet away from the main mosque where Baba sat. One Varde was talking with him. Varde told him that he wished to perform "Satyanarayana Pooja" there and wanted permission. Baba accorded permission. Then Varde said he had no funds to perform it. Then Baba pointing  his finger towards Jayker told to Varde, "Go and ask him." Varde came to Jayker and reported that Baba had asked him to take money for him for  the expenses of Satyanarayana pooja to be done there. Jayker knew Varde barely as a devotee of Baba and was hardly anything more than an acquaintance. But, when he said Baba told him to get money from him, Jayker at once agreed and asked him how much he required. Fancy what his reply was. He just asked for Rs. 2-5-0. That was the exact sum that Jayker had in his pocket and constituted his entire resources. This thought of asking for the entire amount with Jayker must have been Baba's Leela. Jayker gave him the 2-5-0 at once. Then, Varde set about getting the necessary materials and made all the requisite arrangements. He brought small plantain plants and set them on both sides of Baba, to make a chappar or pandal and tried to use Baba himself for the God Lakshmi Narayana or Satya Narayana that has to be worshipped at this pooja. Baba objected and asked him to have his usual images or pictures and place his plants round them. But, Varde and other devotees went on insisting that Baba should himself act as the Satya Narayana and Baba ultimately yielded.

Then, Satya Narayana Pothi was being read in the mantap below, while Jayker sat with one or two by Baba's side in the mosque itself. Jayker’s mind was very soon at war with itself and he was much perplexed. He loved to hear Satya Narayan Pothi. But, Baba's own personality and neighbourhood - that was a great fact - and he could not decide which he should prefer. Again, Jayker was hearing Pothi sitting up above the level where the reader of the Pothi sat. To sit on a higher level is improper for the hearer. So Jayker was in a dilemma as to what he should do. He was greatly perplexed in his mind. Baba evidently read the conflict in Jayker’s mind and told him suddenly: "Go down and sit there" (i.e.) in the lower level, close to the Pothi reader. Baba made the selection for him when he was unable to make it for himself.

Baba once showed the devotees how concerned he was to save poor dumb creatures from unnecessary molestation; how powerful he was to cure serious ailments of such creatures and what a refuge or sanctuary he was to all creatures. Jayker was on the veranda of Dixit Wada at Shirdi, one day. He saw a strange sight. Big dogs were running away from and being chased by a small white dog. It was clear that the small dog was rabid and that the bigger dogs were afraid of its bite. The villagers then took sticks in their hands and pursued the small dog with a view to smash it to death. When this chase was going oh, Jayker had moved on to the Mosque. The chasing party came up there. Suddenly, the small white dog ran up the steps of the Mosque and stood behind Baba. It seemed to feel that Baba was its sanctuary and that its assailants dared not attack it there. This indeed proved to be the fact. The men stood at a distance and waited for the dog to come out. Meanwhile, Baba abused them vigorously for their heartless cruelty to a poor dumb creature. They explained that the dog was mad and that it should be killed. He abused them the more and asked them to get away. Jayker and Dr. Pillai were at the Mosque, fairly near Baba and the dog, and they were assured that the dog was mad and felt that they were in dangerous proximity to it. But ultimately the men went away and the dog was saved. Jayker then told to Pillai that Baba had evidently, out of consideration, cured the dog and saved its life. Baba, of course, knew the exact situation in respect of the dog, its rabid state, its possibilities of cure, and the way to save it.

(Source: Devotees Experiences of Sri Saibaba  by Poojya Sri B.V.Narasimha Swamiji)