How puerile and vain can man be that, not withstanding the show and pomp, penance and ostensible devotion with which he invokes the Lord, when He does appear, he fails to recognise Him! Even tapasvins were occasionally not exempt from such an woeful lapse.
The all-knowing Baba, speaking at my level, gave me an apt and satisfying reply. He said that he was staying at the Sri Subrahmanya Temple near the railway station, which, as will be seen presently, was true in a literal sense as also applicable universally according to His own proven assertion to many a devotee in respect of His identity with any idol or image or worship. I, of course, took His words literally and said, "All right Baba, if so I will surely go and see you". "Do come!", He confirmed and went back letting me accompany Him up to the gate. Indeed it is a misnomer to say he went back, for, how and where can He, the 'Sarvantaryamee', ever go to come back again for that matter? However, such wisdom was yet a long way from me.
Here it should be noted that Baba and I were conversing in Telugu, my mother-tongue, which He spoke with ease and in our dialect. I wonder why and how I had started talking thus. It seemed the natural thing to do. I now realise the question does not arise at all. I am sure any one in my place would have naturally spoken in his own language and Baba would have answered in it or vice versa. Mahalsapati (the earliest devotee of Baba at Shirdi) has vouched that many a time in the night while all were asleep, Baba used to converse with some unseen agent(s) in some foreign tongue(s)
Soon, I must unblushingly admit, I lapsed into the humdrum routine of existence, and all thought of the incarnate Baba receded to the back of my mind, though my daily worship went on as usual. About a month later, as I was about to take my noon-meal, the thought of my defferred visit to Baba in the temple flashed across my mind. At once, grabbing the hand of my convalescing son, I rushed out like one possessed and trotted along to reach the temple, about a mile away. I had often passed by it and noted it to be a transit camp for the Sadhus to and fro on their pilgrimage. Reaching the portal sweating and panting, I accosted the first person I saw and enquired about Baba's stay there,