Sai Mahabhakta Dr.Vinayakrao Gopinath Hate’s information has been mentioned in Chapter 29 of the holy Shri Sai Satcharitra written by Late Shri.Govind Raghunath Dhabolkar alias Hemadpant. Shri.Hemadpant has mentioned his name as “Captain Hate” in the holy Shri Sai Satcharitra.
Dr.Vinayakrao Gopinath Hate, a doctor by profession belonged to Daivajna Community and was working as Captain in the Army during Shri Sai Baba’s sojourn in Shirdi. He was a very faithful devotee of Sai Baba. Shri.Sai Baba appeared to him in a dream and pulled him to Shirdi.
Dr.Vinayakrao Gopinath Hate, was living in Gwalior and it was there he saw Sai Baba in a Dream. Baba appeared to him in a dream and asked him “Have you forgotten me?”. Hate at once, caught Baba’s feet saying: “If the child forgets his mother, where will he find refuge?”. He, hastily got up and went out into the garden from where he plucked some fresh Vaal- Papadi (a kind of Beans Vegetable). He also gathered together other uncooked provisions, like Rice, Pulses, Flour etc.., and some cash as Dakshina and thus prepared a special offering to Sai Baba with great devotion. On completing the preparation, as Hate was about to offer the scuttle-basket containing all the things, suddenly he opened his eyes and came to know that it was just a dream. He felt that he must get hold of all these things at once and offer them to Baba by personally visiting Shirdi specially for this purpose. But since he was in Gwalior at that time, he wrote a letter to his friend Shri.Kaka Saheb Dixit in Mumbai narrating his dream in detail and requested him to go to Shirdi personally. He also informed Shri.Dixit that he would send the money by way of Money Order and that he should buy the proper provisions including the best variety of the vegetable Vaal-Papadi which he should somehow or the other obtain and offer it to Baba. Dr.Hate also requested that the balance amount of money should be taken to Shirdi and offered to Baba along with other provisions. After offering them to Baba, He (Kaka Saheb Dixit) should request for “Prasad” from Baba and the same should be sent to Gwalior by Post.
As soon as Shri.Kaka Saheb Dixit got the money from Dr.Hate, he went to Shirdi, bought all the ingredients, but had some difficulty in procuring Vaal-Papadi. Then, all of a sudden, a basket full of vegetables arrived. The woman, carrying it on her head was called at once, And when it was found that the basked contained the very Vaal-Papadi which he needed to buy, all were greatly astonished.
Then all the ingredients were brought to the Mosque and offered to Baba. Baba handed over them to Nimonkar, who cooked the food on the morrow and offered it as Naivedya. Later, Baba sat down for his meal. But He did not even touch the rice or daal. He only picked up the vegetable, to everybody’s utter surprise. He ate only the vegetable Vaal-Papadi. When Dr.Hate came to know about this, he was full of Joy.
Consecrated Rupee Coin:
After few days, a desire arose in Dr.Hate’s mind to have in his house, a rupee coin which is sanctified by the touch of Sai Baba’s hand and accordingly Sai fulfilled his wish.
One day, Saval Ram of Gwalior came to him distraught as his son was missing. Dr. Hate said, "Go to Shirdi and take Baba's darshan and you will surely find him". Saval Ram agreed. After some time he received a letter from the boy saying that he was in Egypt. He had secretly joined the army, as he feared his parents' wrath. Now he was returning to India. Saval Ram's joy knew no bounds. But instead of going to Shirdi, he and his wife went to Bombay to receive the boy.
When they met, Saval Ram was upset, as his son was emaciated and suffering from high fever. He rushed with the boy to Gwalior for treatment. Again he told Dr. Hate about it. The doctor chided Saval Ram saying, "You failed to keep your promise. Now take the boy to Baba and he will be alright". The three of them then set out to go to Shirdi. Just before they left Dr. Hate gave one rupee to Saval Ram and said "Place this in Baba's hand. Do not fail to bring it back". He wanted the blessed coin to keep in his Puja.
Saval Ram went to Shirdi and after the usual salutation gave first his Dakshina which Baba pocketed. Then he gave Hate's rupee, which Baba took in His hand and began to stare at it. He held it in front, tossed it up with His right thumb and played with it. Then He said to the friend, "Return this to its owner with the Prasad of Udi, tell him that I want nothing from him, ask him to live in peace and contentment." Saval Ram returned with his family to Gwalior and told him all the happened at Shirdi. This time Hate was much pleased and realised that Baba always encouraged good thoughts, and as he wished intently, Baba fulfilled his rightful wishes. Saval Ram told Dr. Hate that his son was recuperating. He also gave the rupee coin to Hate. On receiving the coin Hate felt it was not the same coin he had given. Disappointed, he told Saval Ram to go back to Shirdi and fetch his coin. On returning home Saval Ram told his wife about the incident. She however, just went inside and brought Dr. Hate's coin, which she had put away safely. The next day a thrilled Dr. Hate received his prasad (coin) and Saval Ram apologized for the substitution (Ref: Shri Sai Leela Magazine)
Dr.Viayakrao Gopinath Hate who was a Captain in the Army during Baba's sojourn in Shirdi got promotions and finally retired as a Colonel.
His Grand Daughter Smt.Devika Patel was not born when Dr.Vinayakrao Gopinath Hate passed away. But, she remembers very clearly and narrates that Dr.Hate had Six Sons and Three Daughters. Unfortunately, none of them are alive now. Smt.Devika Patel is the only child of of Dr.Hate’s son Late Major. Pratap Hate who was also a staunch devotee of Shri Sai Baba.
Smt.Devika Patel is married to Dr.Altaf Patel who is working as Director of Medicine at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai. Dr.Altaf Patel is a regular columnist for Mumbai Mirror edition of Times of India. Smt.Devika Patel says that her husband who was a non believer of God also started believing in Sai Baba after he experienced many miracles.
Smt.Devika Patel confirms that the sacred Rupee Coin which was consecrated by Shri Sai Baba was with her eldest uncle who disposed it off without informing any of the family members. She says that she even offered him a blank cheque for securing the Sacred Rupee Coin but he refused to part with the coin. She also confirms that one of her cousins who is based in Canada also asked for the same but with no luck. Unfortunately, Smt.Devika Patel’s Eldest Uncle ,his Wife and his only daughter are no more now and she has no clue about the Sacred Rupee Coin.
Smt.Devika Altaf Patel
(Source: Holy Shri Sai Satcharitra Chapter 29, Shri Sai Leela Magazine, Personal Interview Smt.Shreya Nagaraj had with Smt.Devika Altaf Patel, Grand Daughter of Late Dr.Colonel Vinayakrao Gopinath Hate Photo Courtesy: Smt.Devika Patel)