More Shirdi Sai Baba Stories from Sri Sai Satcharita...
Long Distance Vision of Sai
Mr. V.H.Thakur was a clerk in the Revenue Department and he once came to a town named Vadgaum along with a Survey party. There he saw a Kanarese Saint by name Appa and bowed before him. The Saint was explaining a portion from the book "Vichar-Sagar" of Nischaldas (a standard work on Vedanta) to the audience. When Thakur was taking his leave to go, he said to him, "you should study this book, and if you do so, your desires will be fulfilled, and when you go to the North in the discharge of your duties in future, you will come across a great Saint by your good luck and then he will show you the future path and give rest to your mind and make you happy".
Then, he was transferred to Junnar, where he had to go by crossing the Nhane Ghat. This Ghat was very steep and impassable, and no other conveyance than a buffalo was of use in crossing it. So he had to take a buffalo-ride through the Ghat, which inconvenienced and pained him much. Thereafter he was transferred to Kalyan on higher post, and there he became acquainted with Nanasaheb Chandorkar. He heard much about Sai Baba from him and wished to see Him. Next day Nanasaheb had to go to Shirdi and he asked Thakur to accompany him. He could not do so as he had to attend the Thana Civil Court for a civil case. So Nanasaheb went alone. Thakur went to Thana, but there the case was postponed. Then, he repented for not accompanying Nanasaheb. Still he left for Shirdi and when he went there, he found that Nanasaheb had left the place the previous day. Some of his other friends, whom he met there, took him to Baba. He saw Baba, fell at His Feet and was overjoyed. His eyes were full of tears of joy and his hair stood on end. Then after a while the omniscient Baba said to him - "The path of this place is not so easy as the teaching of the Kanarese Saint Appa or even as the buffalo-ride in the Nhane Ghat. In this spiritual path, you have to put in your best exertion as it is very difficult". When Thakur heard these significant signs and words, which none else than he knew, he was overwhelmed with joy. He came to know that the word of the Kanarese Saint turned true. Then joining both hands and placing his head on Baba's Feet, he prayed that he should be accepted and blessed. Then Baba said - "What Appa told you was all right, but these things have to be practised and lived. Mere reading won't do. You have to think and carry out what you read, otherwise it is of no use. Mere book-learning without the grace of the Guru and self-realization is of no avail". The theoretical portion was read from the work `Vichar Sagar' by Thakur, but the practical way was shown to him at Shirdi.