Sai Darshan at Shirdi with Mohanji

by Arpana Nazre, Bengaluru, India

Shirdi Sai Baba has always been a special guiding force in my life, even before I knew it was him guiding. Most of us Baba devotees have all been, one way or the other, guided to Mohanji as he is in physical form right now. I have always felt Mohanji and Baba are the same.

When I met Mohanji, I started gaining the same connection with Mohanji that I had with Baba. Having been with him for almost 10 years, Baba sent Mohanji to all of us. Mohanji’s ways and many other things reminded me of Sai Baba, yet Mohanji was also distinct in his own ways. I always told Mohanji, “I know of no God other than you and Baba.” Both are, in fact, one for me. I see all Gods only in my Guru. I rarely have any desire to go to temples, but with Mohanji, the essence of the pilgrimage is magnified when Mohanji is with us. The grace is amplified when we are with our Guru. I don’t think I would have the kind of experiences I have had with Mohanji and his retreats if not for him in these power centers. 

One such experience I want to share was during my Shirdi Retreat with Mohanji in 2023. I have been to Shirdi retreats with Mohanji many times. So, this time, I had no such desire or plans for the retreat. However, one day, I was contacted by the Gurulight team to come to the retreat to conduct some programs as I am also a Mohanji Acharya. I thought I would conduct one or two processes and cool my heels the rest of the time. I agreed, thinking that this would be my part of the seva. 

As the dates approached, Mohanji had other plans—no tamas when with Mohanji. The team said I would have to manage the entire program, host, and conduct a few processes. A skeptic initially about my ability to do so, the team assured me that I could do this and I should take this responsibility. To some extent, event management is something I have always liked to do, too. So, I agreed, and we went ahead with all the planning in full swing. The day approached, and the retreat, too, started. To my own surprise, things went well, and a few even complimented me. I was happy, too. 

We had a wonderful program; all went on schedule, and we visited some powerful places around Shirdi that I never knew existed. After the program, we bid farewell to everyone and took a blessing from Mohanji for all the volunteer work we did. The icing on the cake was when Mohanji gave us certificates for volunteering; when I prostrated at Mohanji’s feet, he gently said, “Bless you.” That is all I needed. At the same time, I had this nagging feeling that I was not doing things right and living up to the teachings of my Guru Mohanji. Doubts are a thing of the mind, which Mohanji has always pointed out. Despite our huge blessings, we doubt ourselves and everything around us, often taking them for granted.

The next day, after the retreat ended, we had to leave for our respective towns. I had half a day at hand before I left. While some of my other friends used the opportunity to visit the Samadhi Mandir for kakad aarati, I was quite exhausted. I had to catch up on my sleep and could not go so early in the morning. I mentally prayed to Baba and thought I would have his darshan in Dwarkamai. In the morning, a few of my friends checked on me to see if I would be interested in visiting Sakori, where the Samadhi of Upasani Maharaj is present, and a few other places around. It was just 15 minutes away, and I happily agreed. 

We reached the place, an ashram for young girls being initiated into austerities to break the age-old Tradition of male priests and women taking over the reins in the Vedic rituals. Upasani Maharaj stayed there, and after he left his physical body, his Samadhi was also in the same place. We visited his room in the ashram, where he would sit and meditate. We sat for meditation, and there was strange peace and calm descending on me, and at the same time, a lot of energy download started happening. 

I didn’t know what it was. But the energy seemed to enter through my Sahasrara chakra (crown center), so much so that my head started swinging rapidly; being still conscious of what was happening, I felt I might sprain my neck at this rate. But from my previous experiences, I knew no physical harm would occur if it were a divine energy. To our amazement, we spent quite some time in the place without being interrupted by the ashramites or visitors. After a long meditation, a lady, an ashramite, came to us and said, you are not supposed to sit and meditate here. But Maharaj had already granted us enough time in his sacred space.

We then set off to Dwarakamai and decided to visit Khandoba Mandir first. This was the temple that the chief priest took care of during Sai Baba’s times – Mhalsapati. It is in this temple that Sai Baba first appeared in Shirdi and was welcomed by Mhalsapati as “Ya Sai” (Come, Sai). After that, Baba came to be called Sai Baba. As we visited the temple, prostrated, and took blessings there, it felt surreal, for I had read so much about this temple in Sai Satcharita, and here I was visiting it in flesh and blood. There is a hall beside the temple where all of Baba’s devotees’ pictures have been displayed with names. 

Mhalsapati at Kandoba Temple

Since I had read the Satcharita many times, I got curious to look at each picture. I started taking photos of all these people with my camera so I could associate better with the names when I read the Satcharita. While all this was happening, we found a person dressed in white robes and a white headgear sitting there. His eyes looked totally distant from what was happening around him. He was different from the rest of the crowd. His eyes also displayed a strange level of intensity. It was difficult to comprehend. However, I didn’t give much thought, and we went about our work and moved on. Our last stop was Dwarakamai, and we hurried to the place from Khandoba Mandir by auto. 

We entered Dwarakamai and sat inside. I just settled myself and closed my eyes for meditation, mentally thanking Baba for making this visit happen and for everything else. After a couple of minutes, I just opened my eyes, and lo and behold, the same person we saw in Khandoba temple was sitting right opposite to me on the other side of Dwarakamai, and my eyes fell straight on him. There was no mistake that he was the same person. He had a white dhoti, white shawl-like clothing around him, and a white turban on his head. My intuition suddenly said that this was Baba himself. I could not take my eyes off him. He also once made eye contact and then turned his head away without a trace of any expression on his face. 

Internally, I started feeling strongly that this was none other than Baba. But how do I verify it? Mentally, I started praying to Baba. Baba, is this you? How will I know it’s you? Without my knowledge, when he next looked at me, I joined my hands in namaste and bowed at him. I started looking for some signs. My mind started racing. How do I know he is Baba? I started asking Baba for some indication. After some time, he bowed his head three times. I felt that was an indication, but I still could not clarify enough to know it was HIM. I said, Baba, it still does not give me a clear indication. And as always, our minds doubt ourselves. 

Why would Baba give me a darshan? I am not that great a person. Again, I was looking for some tangible indication. I started praying intensely – Baba, if it is you, I need you to give me something to prove it’s you. Give me udi (sacred ash), flower petals, or even one petal or anything to help me understand it’s you. Only after that will I understand that it’s really you. In the meantime, my friend sitting beside me started talking about her yoga and meditation Guru, who once went into a trance while at her house. He was in full white clothing and had let down his hair, and the aura he exuded at that time was otherworldly, etc. 

Again, I felt that this story coming up when I was asking for some proof might be an indication enough. But I was still not happy. This may be a coincidence. Again, I stubbornly went back to my previous ask. I want you to give me something for a clear indication. I also missed taking his picture since no phones were allowed on the Dwarakamai premises. Otherwise, I would have this as a lifetime memory.

In the meantime, it was getting late, so we decided we would visit the dhuni and the paduka of Baba inside Dwarakamai and then leave. It was over an hour, and yet there was no indication. I started feeling slowly disappointed that this might not be Baba and felt bad for raising my hopes. While in the queue for the dhuni, I remembered that even if it’s not Baba, I will at least give him some dakshina. 

Mohanji always offered dakshina when he would meet Masters in various places, including his meeting with Sai Baba in Rishikesh, where he had offered him Rs 100, and Baba gladly accepted it. Divine coincidence: I just had Rs 100 in my pocket, and while coming out, I decided I would give this amount as dakshina to this person. I prayed to Baba to accept it and forgive me for any mistakes. I took the money out, and half expected the person not to accept it. But a pleasant surprise that he took his hand out from the shawl and accepted the dakshina. A strange disappointment struck me as soon as I gave up and turned around to walk out of Dwarkamai. 

Since there was no indication I asked for, he was indeed not Baba. Nevertheless, I thought whatever we gave to anybody would reach Baba and started walking out. Just two steps from when I turned around after giving the dakshina, a man with a vessel in his hand and prasad (consecrated food to Baba) in it, which was almost over, came suddenly out of nowhere and then handed over the prasad (which was sweet rice) in my hands and moved away. For a minute, I was left blank, and then it struck me that I had indeed gotten an indication that it was Baba, and he proved it by giving me what I asked for. I wanted some physical indication – be it udi, flower, or anything. And here I was, having received some prasad! 

I was shocked and happy at the same time, and there were so many mixed feelings. I could not believe what had just transpired. While my mind was also playing games, I still doubted the experience. Meanwhile, we were getting late to leave, and I also got many calls from our team to pick up some things from the hotel. I rushed to the hotel to pick up these things. Surprisingly, my own Baba–Mohanji was just leaving the hotel, and many people were there to send him off. I stood there waiting for my turn to bid him bye and take his blessings. Meanwhile, I mentioned my encounter with Baba to Preethi Duggal, who was standing nearby, and said I would confirm this with Mohanji. She said you should not doubt your experience. 

By the time Mohanji came, I fell at his feet to take his blessings, and he had casually asked me when I was leaving. I blurted out to Mohanji that I had met Sai Baba and felt happy. It looks like he already knew it and didn’t show any sign of surprise but just chided me, saying – ok, so for how many hours will you be happy – meaning we sway from happiness to sadness so often in spite of our huge blessings in life. This, by itself, was a confirmation for me. My joy knew no bounds by this. It was really Baba. I couldn’t thank him enough. I was in bliss the whole day.

The next day, I was just browsing through all my pictures on my phone gallery, and I had taken a few pictures of the Khandoba temple, too. And lo and behold, there was this picture of Baba I met in Khandoba temple; I jumped out of my seat out of happiness. I couldn’t believe that I had taken this picture while capturing all of Baba’s devotees’ pictures without my knowledge. Again, as my mind was still processing all this, I finally had to ask Mohanji if I could share this testimonial with the world and he said, please go ahead. 

Sai – man with white robes and turban

While writing, I remember Sai Baba’s words – “If you can’t come to meet me, don’t worry, child, I will come to meet you.” And this was exactly what transpired in my case. Somewhere in my mind, I was guilty that I could not go to Samadhi mandir for Baba’s darshan. But he kept his word. He came to meet me. The feeling and the experience are still sinking in. But with loads and loads of gratitude first to my beloved Master Mohanji and to Sai Baba for giving me his divine darshan, I humbly prostrate at the Tradition for giving me these divine experiences at a time when I most needed it. 

Again, Baba’s darshan confirmed that I was on the right path, helping me evolve in the presence of a highly elevated Master like Mohanji, and I should keep walking. Koti koti pranaams to Mohanji for providing these platforms, where we are helped to raise our frequency through selfless service, meditations, Mai-Tris, etc. 

When our frequency rises, it’s easier for the higher Masters to reach us. Hence, I first thanked Mohanji for making all this happen, without whom I don’t think we would be where we are now. And for gracing us and making us eligible for all these divine encounters. And last but not least, koti koti pranam at the lotus feet of Sai Baba for giving us Mohanji and giving us his darshan, thereby confirming that we are all on the right path and carrying on the work for Mohanji and his mission of adding value to the world.


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 15th February 2024


The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Mohanji, Mohanji Foundation, it’s members, employees or any other individual or entity associated with Mohanji or Mohanji Foundation. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

We reserve the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner we see fit blog entries or comments that we, in our sole discretion, deem to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, of an express commercial nature, or otherwise unacceptable.

Mohanji Testimonials team

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts
Scroll to Top