In 1918, Keshav, along with his parents and aunt, visitedShirdi with a packet of pedhas as fulfillment of a vow taken five years before. There, Baba blessed Keshav by gripping the tuft of his hair and placing his head on His own toes. Then Baba asked Keshav for two paise. It was a mock give-and-take. The two paise symbolised Faith and Patience. Baba then removed His 'Kafni' and gave it to Keshav as a gift, and it is still preserved at his residence in Kurla. Baba then, through dreams, introduced him to his Moksha Guru, Dr. Trimbak Vitthal Samant of Kurla, also known as Bhau Samant.
Under his Guru's guidance, he enriched his spiritual life, and at the same time righteously discharged his household duties. He was himself a saint. To the many who knew him, he was a source of strength and solace. From a politician to a policeman, rich and poor were treated alike, with warmth and affection when they came to him with their problems. To him, every individual was a temple of God. Their problems got solved and his predictions always came true because of the guidance of Lord Sai Baba before whom he presented their problems. Being thus in constant communion with Sai Baba, he eradicated the mental pain and physical infirmities of his devotees who came for his advice and sought his blessings. To a few of his deserving devotees, he gave mantras for Nama Japa, thereby advancing their spiritual progress. It was during his tenure as the president of the Shirdi Sansthan that Sai Baba's statue was installed in the main Samadhi Mandir.
He was also the editor of 'Sai Leela' magazine, and authored two books in Marathi, viz. "Shiladhi" (Shirdi) and "Sai Baba Hach Chamatkar" (Sai Baba, A Miracle).
He visited Shirdi very frequently and stayed at Shama's house. During his stay, Shama used to narrate many incidents regarding Baba's miracles and other episodes in his day-to-day interaction with Sai Baba. Here, it should be noted that Madhavrao Deshpande, alias Shama, was to Lord Sai Baba as Arjuna was to Lord Krishna. Also Dr. Annnasaheb Keshav Gawankar has included in this book many such narrations of other first-ranking devotees of Sai Baba with whom he was fortunate enough to interact.
On going through the various chapters of this book, a reader will get deeper insights into Sai Baba's daily routine, His code of conduct, words of eternal wisdom and also the innumerable leelas (miracles) that Baba performed. Even today, lakhs of His devotees are experiencing His presence and they have realised that Sai Baba is truly a helping hand to the most needy and troubled persons.
शिर्डीचे साई बाबा
Recommended by Dr. Vinny Chitluri
In our Sai Baba's Devotee Speaks series on Baba's Mahabhaktas, this book is personally recommended by Dr Vinny Chitluri in her tribute to Dr Gawankar.