When Shri Purandhare found that Sai Baba was a powerful saint and showering benefits like Ramdas, Akkalkote Maharaj and other Samarthas, he naturally wanted to take the earliest opportunity to got to Shirdi. Being a petty clerk on Rs. 35 per month, going to Shirdi was not an easy matter for him. as he had to support a family of four or five including his mother, his wife, his brother and a child. Yet, the spark of enthusiasm in his heart did not find these to be difficulties. He fixed upon a certain day to leave for Shirdi. But his young child was unwell and the mother thought that it was foolish to risk taking a little child with fever for such a great distance from Bombay to Shirdi. Yet, Shri Purandhare would not brook a denial of his wishes. He left and took the child with him in spite of his mother’s protest. The burning enthusiasm of his love for Baba bore down all considerations of ordinary precautions or medial advice and they did go. His love was accompanied by intense faith. So, Baba justified his faith and his love in what followed. When the child was taken with an illness to Shirdi, it quickly regained health instead of suffering – it was a chamatkar of Baba.
Upasani Maharaj says:Aneka Ascruta Atarkysya Lila Vilasam Samavishkrita Isana Bhasvat Prabhavam (I salute Lord Sai Natha, the great preceptor, whose matchless glory founded on His divine prowess glows with lilas, which are unheard of and beyond rational comprehension). Yet he was: Ahambhavahinam Prasannatmabhavanam (He is completely devoid of any sense of ego and exudes infinite inner joy.)
Shri Purandhare found that his child’s health far from being ruined by the journey was set right completely at Shirdi. Purandhare was made firmer in his faith and deeper in his love of Sai Baba by this occurrence and this was just the beginning. At every step he had full faith in Baba’s omniscience and omnipotence and he found that his faith was fully justified by the subsequent events.
Baba knew exactly when Purandhare should start, when he should stay at a place like Nasik, a holy place of pilgrimage, which his mother wanted to visit, and how long he should stay there. When Purandhare acted upon Baba’s directions, it seemed to several that he was running foolish risks, but everything that Baba said occurred exactly as he said it would. he was told to stay one day at Nasik and to proceed on the next day. When he went there, he found that cholera was attacking some members of his family, such as his brother, and he was advised to get away. But he remembered that Baba had said that he must stay one day at Nasik. So he did stay. on the next day he found that he was perfectly safe by blindly following Baba’s directions. Reverence and faith combined with thankfulness for the resulting good, form an excellent basis for the development of love.
Baba’s kindness towards him was remarkable even from the beginning. Why should Baba care so much for this petty clerk who went to Shirdi for the first time? That is the question, which any one would ask. And one would like to know the root of that love. The root of love is not always traceable, but in this particular case we have Baba’s own statement to help us. When Purandhare’s mother told Baba to look after him, Baba’s reply was, “I have known him for generations. I have guarded him from his infancy in front and behind. I will not eat even a bit of food without him”. That is, as much as to say that Baba remembered the love relations between Purandhare and himself in former lives.
Purandhare felt the same love unconsciously and was being pulled to Baba. Baba draws his devotee’s even from thousands of miles away like a boy drawing a bird to whose foot one end of a string is attached while the other is held by him. Similarly Baba pulled persons who had former contact with him which is Rinanubhandha and Purandhare was one of those greatly attached to Baba in a former life. This explains why he took so many risks like taking a sick child to Shirdi from Bombay to meet Baba, with no ostensible gain.
Source: LIFE OF SAI BABA (Volume – III) by H.H B. V. Narasimha Swami