How Baba proved to Mr. Dixit that
He is same Shirdi Sai come again
Mr. M S Dixit had
the unique privilege of seeing Shirdi
Sai Baba when he visited Shirdi in 1909
as a young lad and later Sri Sathya Sai
Baba in 1961 when he was past sixty.
Here’s how he realised that both the
Sais are in fact the same, as related by
Howard Murphet in his book, “Sai Baba:
Man of Miracles”:
M S Dixit was born in
1897 to Sadashiv Dixit, an advocate who
was at one time Diwan (Prime Minister)
of the royal state of Kutch. Sadashiv's
eldest brother, Hari S. Dixit, was a
solicitor in Bombay and a member of the
Legislative Council. Hari Dixit became a
close devotee of Shirdi Baba.
In the company of his
uncle Hari, M. S. Dixit told me, he made
his earliest visits to Shirdi; first in
the year 1909, and again in 1912. Before
this second visit he had been suffering
what he called "half-headaches".
At sunrise half his
head would start to ache agonizingly;
then a little before sunset it would
stop. This would go on each day for
about two months at a stretch; it was
very distressing. His uncle took him to
Sai Baba hoping for a cure of the
Mr. Dixit recalls
vividly how he was sitting near Sai Baba
one day when Baba suddenly said to him:
"Why are you sitting here - go home!"
Young Dixit replied
that he had a bad headache and the heat
of the fire near which he was sitting
brought him some relief. But Baba
insisted that he must go. It was the
custom when leaving to take some ash
from the fireplace and put it in Baba's
hand, so that He might with it give His
boy did this. Baba held the udhi for a
moment and then applied it to the lad's
forehead with some force. Young Dixit
felt that he had been slapped on the
head as well as ordered to go away, so
he told his uncle that he would not
visit Baba anymore.
Hari Dixit replied:
"Are you a fool? The slap means that
your headache will not recur."
This turned out to be
true. The strange and terrible headaches
never came back after that day, and
young Dixit understood that Baba had
been in His enigmatic way ordering, not
the boy, but the headache to go away.
Six years later, in
July 1918, M. S. Dixit found himself ill
again, this time with bad haemorrhoids
and an anal fistula. The medical men of
Bombay where he was living said he must
undergo an operation, but he felt very
nervous about having surgery and did not
Yet he was suffering
a lot and there was much bleeding. He
felt very miserable about his condition.
At one of the regular Thursday evening
gatherings of Shirdi Baba's Bombay
devotees, M.S. Dixit was somehow
overcome by the devotional atmosphere
combined with his own misery. Although a
young man of twenty, he broke down and
cried like a child.
That night he had a
dream in which Shirdi Baba came to him
and chided him for "weeping like a
girl". Then the old saint told him what
to use as a cure for his ailment.
After waking, Dixit
could remember everything except the
name of the medicine that Baba had
prescribed. He was very distressed about
this and decided to go to Shirdi as soon
as possible and get the name from Baba's
But before he could
go he heard the news Baba had passed
away."Now” he thought gloomily, "I shall
never know the medicine’s name and must
go on suffering."
The next Thursday
evening meeting, following the news of
Baba's passing, he found himself again
overwhelmed with sorrow for himself, and
wept once more. The same night brought
him another vivid dream.
In this Baba stood
before him again, still in the old
Shirdi form. He said, "What! Crying like
a girl again."
Then he told the
young man to "take seven seeds of
pepper, crush them to powder, and each
day take a pinch of the powder mixed
with udhi. All devotees, incidentally,
kept some of Baba's udhi in their homes.
M. S. Dixit remembered these
instructions clearly next morning and
carried them out. On the third day of
treatment the pain stopped; on the
seventh the bleeding stopped.
A complete cure took
place and the complaint never returned.
The years passed and the pages of
Dixit's life turned over: he was in
business; he got married; he was a major
and Brigade Education Officer in the
army during the Second World War and for
some years afterwards. The year 1959
found him back in commercial life in the
west-coast city of Mangalore.
During his leisure
time he would read the ‘Guru
Charitra’. It is said that if this
book is read through completely within
seven days, great spiritual benefits
will ensue. On the evening of the sixth
day of the reading he had a dream.
In the dream, he was
walking along a broad avenue of trees,
and felt that someone was following him.
He looked back. There was a man, very
distinctive looking, close behind him.
Dixit asked: "Who are you and why are
you following me?"
But there was no
reply. The figure just continued to
follow silently. After a few minutes
Dixit looked back again and saw the man
still following him. Neither said
anything. Soon the footsteps drew
closer, and Dixit felt that something
was being poured over his head from
behind. He realised that it was ash…
That was all of the
dream he could remember on waking, but
very clear in his mind remained the
striking, unique figure and face of the
man who followed him.
afterwards - through an odd set of
circumstances he heard that there was a
reincarnatian of Shirdi Baba but did not
believe it. Then later on he heard the
same story again from another quarter
and was shown a photograph of Sathya Sai
Baba. It was the man who had followed
him in the dream.
Now his interest was
really aroused. He remembered his
uncle's story that Shirdi Baba had once
told him: "I will appear again as a boy
of eight years."
Was this the boy, now
grown to manhood? He decided to go as
soon as possible to Puttaparti and find
out all he could. It was early in 1961
when he managed to get there, as one of
a party of about thirty people. The
ashram was choked with the thousands who
had arrived for the Shivaratri festival,
and Dixit stood among them waiting for a
view of Sathya Sai Baba on the high
When the little
red-robed, dome-haired figure with the
sweet, lovable face appeared, Dixit knew
for certain that it was the figure of
his strange dream. Yet, he thought, how
can this be the old saint of Shirdi?
With His coloured silks, hair like a
woman and the big crowds around Him,
this man is more like a film star.
Shirdi Baba was rugged, homespun,
simple: how can this possibly be the
same man?, he pondered. Suddenly he
wanted to go home.
But he stayed to
watch Sathya Sai pour huge quantities of
sacred ash from a small bowl over the
statue of Shirdi Sai, and the same
evening take nine lingams from his
mouth. Then during a public discourse
next day Baba said: "Some who have come
here think I am too much like a film
star; they object to my bright-coloured
robes and the style of my hair…"
Dixit heard all of his own unspoken
critical thoughts being repeated from
the platform. Then Baba went on to
explain the reasons - good reasons Dixit
felt - for the striking attire, the
unique hairstyle and the other features
of this incarnation.
Well, Dixit decided,
He is certainly something very special.
There is no doubt about His paranormal
powers, but.... He is so different from
old Shirdi Baba. Can it really be the
On his second visit
to Prasanthi Nilayam three months later,
he was called into a room with a group
of half-a-dozen people for an interview.
Baba came in, spoke to a few people, and
then went up to M. S. Dixit who was
holding a small photo of his uncle, H.
S. Dixit, in his hand. Baba took the
photo from him, looked at it, and said:
"That's H. S. Dixit, your uncle,
your father's elder brother, and my old
devotee at Shirdi. Now have you any more
His doubts were fewer
because all that Baba had just said was
true. And Dixit had told no one his name
at the ashram. He was there
incognito - just an unknown member
of a crowd of visitors. But Baba had
recognised the face of his uncle in the
photo at first sight.
After that Dixit
often made trips to the ashram and,
through the years, enjoyed the wealth of
Sai Baba's miraculous powers, great
compassion and spiritual teachings.
Once, speaking of
Shirdi Baba's remark to his uncle Hari
about coming back to earth "as a boy of
eight years", Baba told Dixit that what
he had really said was he would return
as a boy in eight years, that
is, eight years after his death - which
he in fact did.
Sathya Sai added that
H. S. Dixit must have misunderstood him.
But it was, the many, many little
things, more than these big ones that
finally, convinced him that the two Sais
were one, Dixit told me.
He went on to
describe these important little things:
the similarities in the siddhis
(powers), the parallels in the teachings
and manner of instruction, the subtle
echoes from the past in gesture, phrase
and attitude. "Sometimes I even see on
his face the same old smile that I saw
long ago on the face of Shirdi Baba," he
Of course, the
differences which he felt so sharply at
first are indeed there, he admits. But
there, is, after all, a different body,
a different setting, a different period
in time - a different environment for
the Sai mission. And therefore the
mission, while in spirit the same,
cannot be precisely the same in form and
style, and it is to be expected that the
outer personality through which the
message comes to the world will also be
Sai Baba himself
comments that He is not as hard or angry
now as he was in the earlier
manifestation. He is more tolerant and
gentle. He explains the difference by
means of a simile: "The mother is
usually hard when the children enter the
kitchen and disturb the cooking; but
while serving the food she is all smiles
and patience. I am now serving the
dishes cooked then. Wherever you may be,
if you are hungry and if your plate is
ready, I shall serve you the dishes and
feed, you to your heart's content.”
At another time,
concerning the controversy about whether
He is the same Baba or not, He said:
"When there are two pieces of candy, one
square, another circular, one yellow and
the other purple in colour, unless one
has eaten and realised the taste of both
pieces one cannot, believe that both are
the same. Tasting, experiencing - that's
the crucial thing for knowing the
“Sai Baba: Man of Miracles” by Mr.
Page: 62-66 (Paperback Edition).
Published by Macmillan India Ltd, 1972.
Baba reveals His Omniscience to
the Rani of Chincholi
The Raja of Chincholi
was a very ardent devotee of Shirdi
Baba. Baba used to spend a few months
every year at Shirdi, Akalkot and other
holy places in the company of Siddhas
and Sadhakas (holy men). After the
passing away of the Raja, the Rani
(queen) was pleasantly surprised to hear
of the incarnation of the Lord as Sri
Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi and she
visited the place.
She prayed to
Bhagawan who was just fifteen years of
age at that time to accompany her to
Chincholi and Hyderabad. What a surprise
it was for her, when Baba on arriving at
the palace, asked her about a Margosa
tree that had stood when Shirdi Sai had
visited them, a well that had been
filled up, a line of shops that had been
newly built. Baba told her that He had
seen the places years ago while 'in His
Sathya Sai Baba asked
her about a small stone image of
Anjaneya which had been given to the
Raja while in the previous body; the
Rani did not know that it existed; Baba
himself discovered it for her! He also
said that there must also be found a
picture of Sai Baba and that too was
later discovered in the house.
Three years ago, the
Rani had been rummaging the huge
store-room at Chincholi for old brass,
bronze or copper which she could sell
off and save space when she came upon a
brass ‘Kamandalu’, a drinking vessel
used by Sadhus, whose shape was quaint
and artistic. The water has to be poured
through a slit in the handle and the
spout ends in a cow's-head figurine!
Some one suggested
that it could be polished and displayed
as a decorative article in the drawing
room of her Hyderabad House. The mystery
of the Kamandalu deepened next day when
they found a cobra coiled round it!
"Baba alone can solve the secret," she
said to herself, while propitiating the
cobra with the traditional Puja
She arrived at
Puttaparthi on the first day of Dasara,
and as soon as she entered the premises,
Baba sent word, asking her to come up,
"with my drinking vessel"!
As soon as the
Kamandalu was in His Hands He showed
some devotees standing nearby the
letters inscribed on the vessel in
Devanagari characters, 'S A A' followed
by a pair of short vertical lines, 'B A
A' with the two lines again. 'SAA'
indicating Sayi and 'BAA' for Baba!
Readers may wonder
how the saint of Shirdi who, according
to all accounts, never left Shirdi for
years, could have gone to Chincholi and
Hyderabad, and left a Kamandalu with the
Raja. But, devotees who have seen and
experienced the Avatar of Sri Sathya Sai
Baba will have no difficulty on this
score. In fact, it is the honest belief
of the Rani as well as some old servants
of the Palace that Sai Baba stayed a few
days every time He came and that He used
to ride in a Tonga drawn by bullocks far
out of the town, in order to have talks
with the Raja who accompanied Him.
This Tonga is now
at Prasanthi Nilayam and is on display
at the Chaitanya Jyothi Museum.
“Sathyam Shivam Sundaram” Vol-I by Prof.
Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and
How Baba had prophesied His
advent to Smt. Sharada Devi.
Smt. Sharada Devi
(affectionately called as ‘Pedda Bottu’
by Baba) is one of those few privileged
souls who had the unique chance of being
in the proximity of both Shirdi Sai and
Sathya Sai. Here she narrates how Shirdi
Baba had revealed to her about His
future Advent and how later Sathya Sai
blessed her profusely:
One day I requested
Baba (Shirdi Sai) to give me Mantra
Upadesh (spiritual initiation).
Baba replied, "You are young yet. I will
give you Upadesh when you grow
I waited till I was
29 years old and prayed to Baba again.
He shouted at me in anger: "You are
always obsessed with Upadesh" and kicked
me on the chest with his right foot.
With tears of
dejection streaming down my face, I went
out and lay beneath a tree. I must have
slept after weeping for a long time. It
must have been very late in the night
when Baba came to wake me up. He asked
me to follow him to Lendi Garden.
When we reached the
Garden, He said "My child, I could not
sleep in Dwaraka Mayi (the dilapidated
Masjid, and Baba's dwelling) when you
were lying out there without food since
morning. I have brought you here, for, I
want to tell you something, but first
you must eat.”
He stretched out His
right hand with palm up and said "Allah
Malik hai". (God is the master). Two
chapatis (wheat pancakes) and a lemon
sized-kova (soft solid sweet made of
milk) materialised in His palm. He gave
them to me to eat. Again He stretched
out His hand and this time a very small
mud pot full of water materialised. When
I ate and drank, he asked me: "Gori, Is
your anger gone?" (Baba used to
affectionately call Sharada Devi, ‘Gori’)
I replied in all
humility "There is no anger or
frustration now. I was a fool not to
realise that your kick was in fact a
sign of your Grace.”
Baba then told me "I
will tell you something, but before that
you should hold My feet and promise Me
not to tell this to anyone".
With pounding heart
and anticipating the much awaited
Mantra-Upadesh I did as he told me,
"Gori, I will appear in Andhra
with the same name of Sai Baba but in
another Avatar (divine manifestation).
Then again you will come to me. I will
keep you with me and will give you joy".
I was ecstatic in joy
and said "I am blessed, my Lord. This is
my greatest fortune.” This conversation
between us took place in 1917 AD. Later,
I was informed that my ailing elder aunt
wanted to see me at Rajamundry. It was
when I was at Rajamundry in 1918 that I
learnt that Baba had left His physical
body. I was filled with inexplicable
One day, many years
later, I was invited to sing a ‘Hari
Katha’ (a form of ballad popular in
rural areas of Andhra Pradesh) in a
village called Uravakonda. In the house
where this event was arranged, I
happened to see on the wall a photograph
of a handsome lad. He had a large crown
of hair. The face and eyes were most
charming and magnetic.
I asked the housewife
whose photo it was. She told me "Don't
you know? He is Puttaparthi Sai Baba. If
you want to see him, I can take you to
The next day I was
taken to the house of one Mr. Seshama
Raju, the elder brother of Baba. I then
saw the young 14-year-old Baba. It was
in 1940; I was then fifty-two years old.
The first words that Bhagwan Sri Sathya
Sai Baba uttered were: “Gori,
you owe me sixteen rupees from my Shirdi
I replied that I had
already paid up all my debts to Shirdi
Baba. He said, "I know. I said it
because you are not able to recognise
Me. All right. After completing all your
tasks at the Poor Home you are running,
go over to Puttaparthi. I shall retain
you with Me and shall bestow all the joy
For the next
seventeen years, I used to visit
Puttaparthi frequently and spend a few
months every time in the divine presence
of Baba. In 1958, when I was 70, I
closed down the Poor Home and went over
to Puttaparthi to spend the rest of my
“Sathya Sai – The Avatar of Love”,
Page: 14 –16. Published By Sri Prasanthi
under the auspices of Sri Sathya Sai
Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of Baba’s
67th Birthday, 1992