In Dadar, Mumbai, lived Vittal Yashwant Deshpande with his parents and grandfather. A tragedy brought him to Baba. His grandfather suddenly fell sick and gradually lost his sight. All sorts of remedies, treatment, doctors and vaids were tried. But, he became totally blind. Vittal was very fond of his grandfather and he helped him move around the house.
There lived in Bandra, a Satpurush named Govind Rao Mankar. He was a devotee of Baba and advised the grandfather to go to Shirdi, and seek Baba’s blessings for a cure. The grandfather was impressed by the Satpurush, and was determined to go Shirdi. He requested his son to take him to Shirdi, but for some reason, the trip was postponed.
In 1916, Vittal was just twelve years old. As his uncle was busy, it was decided that Vittal would take his grandfather to Shirdi. Before leaving, his parents repeatedly told Vittal to behave properly and take care of his grandfather. They reached Shirdi and went to the Dwarakamai. They took darshan and prostrated before Baba, who said, “Give Me Rs.6/- dakshina”. Vittal thrust his hand into his pocket and found that he had a Rs.10/- and a Rs.5/- note. He gave Baba the ten rupee note, which He did not accept, nor would He accept the Rs.5/- note, nor would He give him the change. Vittal tried again, but Baba stubbornly said, “Give Me Rs.6/- dakshina”. So Vittal brought his grandfather next to the wall. He went out to get the change. But no one gave him the change. Frustrated and wondering how his grandfather was, he started crying. Suddenly, a well-built man stood before him. He had on a clean dhotar (Indian Dress) a pagdi (turban), Poona shoes and chandan (Sandalwood paste) on his forehead. Gently, he asked, “Child, why are you crying?” Vittal told him how stubborn Baba was and his inability to get change. Quietly, he gave him the change. Vittal ran to Dwarakamai and placed the Rs.6/- at Baba’s feet “Daro mat, beta. Allah Malik achacha karega. Ab thumhara kaam hogaya” (Do not fear my child Allah Malik will do good. Now your work is successful). Vittal was astonished, but rather confused. He had not told Baba why he had come, nor had Baba asked him. He just stood there staring at Baba. Baba repeated the same words again. Still confused, he went to the corner where he had seated his grandfather, but he wasn’t there. He searched in the Sabha Mandap, but couldn’t find him. Fearing that he may have walked out, he ran out of Dwarakamai, but there was no trace of his grandfather. Again, he ran around the village, calling his grandfather, but he couldn’t find him.
Dejected and afraid, he started crying bitterly, wondering if his grandfather had fallen or hurt himself. Lo! The same man stood before him. “Why are you crying now?” he asked gently, patting Vittal on his back. Through sobs, Vittal told him what had happened. “Your grandfather is seated on the steps of Sathe Wada”, he said, pointing in that direction. Vittal ran and found his grandfather happily seated on the steps, eating sugarcane.
Angrily, he said “Why did you leave the place I seated you at? Suppose you fell and hurt yourself? How did you reach here?” His grandfather told him that as soon as he went to get the change, his sight was restored. “By the time you came back, I could see clearly. So, I came to the Wada”. Vital was relieved to hear this. He also understood why Baba asked for Rs.6/- only. The dakshina of Rs.6/- could possibly mean ‘giving unto Baba the six internal enemies (lust, anger, greed, pride, delusion and envy) that thrive through the five senses (sight, hearing, speech, smell and taste). Especially sight (Sai Satcharithra Ch-16 “Shadripus”) is explained.
On the way home, he lost his cap, and was afraid to tell his grandfather about it. Finally, they reached Dadar. His parents were awaiting their arrival, when he turned around, his grandfather was missing. He collected all their bags and walked slowly towards his parents. They eagerly questioned him about the trip. He mumbled something, just then his grandfather arrived with a new cap. He was then filled with immense joy, as he finally got proof that his grandfather could really see.
“But who was the mysterious gentleman, and how did he know who my grandfather was?” he wondered.