Sai Mahabhakta Late Shri.Vinayak Sitaram Mulherkar was working as a Head Clerk in the Thane Forest Division and his office was in Bandra, Mumbai. He used to travel from Lower Parel to Bandra by the daily passenger train.  Many of  his friends in Bandra used to visit Shirdi for Baba’s Darshan.  They used to bring ‘Udi’, ‘Prasad’ and other articles, and occasionally gave Udi and Prasad to him. Some would put Udi on Vinayak’s forehead. Even though Vinayak accepted the same, Due to his inadequate knowledge and viewpoint he used  to say that he did not believe in such things. He also used  say that unless Baba Himself inspired him, he will not visit Shirdi.

In this manner, many days passed. Many devotees who used to visit Shirdi came to him and described Baba’s inexplicable Leelas. Consequently people from Mumbai, Bandra, Vasai, Virar, Agashi, Dahanu, and Umbergaon also started visiting Shirdi for Darshan. But, Vinayak stuck to his earlier resolve of not going unless Baba inspired him.

After some days, it so happened that one Thursday (the day Vinayak used to fast), he finished his regular routine and went to sleep. He woke up with the feeling that he should visit Baba the same day.  Also Early morning , he got a divine vision which he could not express in words.  He finished his morning tea, left for office at 8 a.m. and took the signatures of the boss on some important papers.  When Vinayak asked him for leave, his boss promptly granted it to him saying - ‘‘Okay, I shall give you leave for 3-4 days since you are going for a good cause’’.  Vinayak’s boss  also added, ‘‘I too have to visit a relative in Nasik; so we can leave together in the same train.’’  Accordingly, Vinayak came home around 11 a.m. and said to his wife ‘‘Today Baba has inspired me to go; so I shall be leaving by the afternoon train.’’ She immediately agreed; but was apprehensive about the long distance, unknown place, nobody to go together with, no known person in a faraway place as well as the chilly weather. Though all these points were valid, the inspiration in Vinayak’s mind took precedence; and hence Vinayak completed the rituals of the Thursday fast and left to Shirdi. 

He reached Kopargaon Station in the morning. While inquiring about a Tonga to take him to Shirdi, Vinayak met one of his old friend Dr. R.R.Chaubal, who had alighted from the same train.  Since Shirdi was their destination and meeting Baba was their ultimate aim, their happiness knew no bounds. When the Tonga reached the banks of the river Godavari, Vinayak met his another childhood friend Shri.Gajananrao Kanekar, who inquired about the Tonga and sent his sepoy to bring them home as his guests.  Soon the Tonga reached Kanekar’s bungalow and he was very happy to see his two friends. He took their luggage and forced them to stay back.  In the end after partaking some tea and light refreshments, they  requested him to let them leave as they  wished to take Sai’s Darshan at Aarati time the same day; Hence, they had to reach there soon and so could not prolong their stay at Kanker’s House.

Immediately they left and reached Shirdi about 30-45 minutes well before the Aarati time. Both of them stayed in Kakasaheb Dixhit’s Wada. They met Kakasaheb and he made all the arrangements for them. After some time,  they went to attend the Aarati. Vinayak experienced great bliss upon Baba’s Darshan and an elation which he had never felt before in his life. When Vinayak prostrated to touch Baba’s feet, he was taken aback when Baba said, ‘‘You needed to be inspired by me to come here isn’t it ?’’  The very same thoughts were going on in Vinayak’s mind.  Realizing Baba’s omnipotence, Vinayak prostrated once again. Baba blessed Vinayak with His eyes and with His hands by caressing his body. Then He asked Vinayak to get up. Dr. Chaubal too took Darshan at that time. 

Later, when both Vinayak and Dr.Chaubal went to take Baba’s leave (as they both wished to go to Pune), Baba asked the Doctor, ‘‘One of my devotees in Bandra is taking treatment from you. Has his fever subsided and is he feeling better now?’’ When Baba did not know about Dr.Chaubal being a doctor and practicing in Bandra, yet He asked about His devotee’s well-being. Hearing Baba’’s words,  Dr.Chaubal was amazed. This incident strengthened their belief that Baba was an incarnation of God. 

In the first meeting with Baba itself , Baba proved how much He cared for His devotees’ welfare and that He could read their minds and give appropriate hints that He knew what was in their minds. Though Vinayak’s wife had some valid reservations about his visit to Shirdi, yet there were no hitches in his trip to take Sai’s Darshan.

During the Second experience,  Vinayak’s wife used to say that since he had made several trips to Shirdi, he should take the family at least once. Hence, once Vinayak took his family members along with him. When the family members went for Baba’s Darshan, Vinayak’s wife sat amongst the ladies assembled there. When Baba described the daily household routine of family life, Vinayak’s wife realized it was a narration of her own life, and experienced untold happiness which cannot be explained. Baba also advised as to how one should behave. Vinayak’s wife became such an ardent devotee that she always said, ‘‘Ask Baba and do what He says’’.  So, once Vinayak asked Him about his daughter’s wedding.  ‘‘What you have in mind is the best and the marriage will be fixed there. The girl will live happily ever after’’. The girl was married to the boy as decided and is living in luxury and happiness.  Baba had blessed Vinayak’s wife by putting His hand on her head, and she remembered it vividly.

(Source: Shri Sai Leela Magazine, November-December 2007)