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water. Guruji preserved it carefully using it for special purposes as a penacea and always kept it filled to the original level with Gangas water5. The lady passed away shortly after this occurrence making Guruji realise that it was to this that that fakir (Baba) had cryptically referred.

Knowing him intimately as I did and having had the .privilege of sharing mutual experiences of Baba's Lee/as with "him, I can say without hesitation that as a rule, Guruji preffered to treasure them in his heart.

After his retirement in 1958, Guruji had a small house built with the amount of his gratuity supplemented by the financial help of one or two rich devotees6. The front-hall with the verandah took up the major portion to serve as Baba's Mandir. It is this that later came to be known as Shri Sai Baba Darbar at Jabalpur. It began drawing devotees from neighboring places extending as far as Nepa Nagar, especially for the Rama Navami and Samadhi Day celebrations. He had no issue. To the best of my knowledge and belief, his relationship with his 'Sahadharmini' was platonic, his energy being sublimated in the service of Baba and His devotees. Now he was available at all times of day and night-to answer devotees' calls, and their attendance for the 'aarthi' continued to increase overflowing onto the verandah and spilling over into the street, especially on Thursdays. An hour in the afternoon, usually between 2 pm and 3 pm on thursdays was reserved for the 'sumangaiis' I suhaasinis' for the worship of Baba with 'haldi, kumkum'. The 'aarthi' later in the evening, at 5-30 pm during October-March and 6.30 pm during April-Sept, was preceded by 'ashtothara puja' in which all, irrespective of caste or creed, took part. The prasad consisting of a mixture of fried gram and parched rice from the Darbar along with the 'Naivedya' offerings of devotees was distributed to all. It was a pleasant surprise to find the majority belonging to the younger age-group. With more and more persons from the business community evincing keen interest, the celebrations for Rama Navami came to be on a grander scale than before extending to about to week, with daily

5 Guruji's grand nephew (niece'son) Shri B.N. Konar employed as UDC now in the Bansagar Project Circle Office, Rewa, MP is. keeping some of the sacred water. He also vouches as having heard from Guruji that something like human excreta was found where the fakir had slept, and thought he was for preserving that too, his sister swept it away.

6 Shri Pathak of Pathak Bros., Car-dealers was one.

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