On 15 October 2018 it will be 100 years ago that Shirdi Sai Baba left his body. Although he has appeared to people many times since that day in his original form, he can no longer be visited in that form. He announced his departure to his devotees, but at the same time promised that he would always be near.
"You will hear my bones speak to guide you’
On 3 October 1918 Purandare came to Baba. Baba told him: ‘Child, I will continue and you will follow me. "He gave him Udi. Because Baba foresaw Purandare would react strongly to his departure, he sent him home in time. Purandare so loved Baba that he regarded him as his own life's breath. Baba told him also:
"Believe me,, although I leave, my bones in my tomb will give you hope and faith. Not just myself, but also my samadhi (tomb) from now on will speak to those who surrender themselves completely to me. Do not be afraid that I will leave you. You will hear my bones speak to guide you. My name will answer as well. Think always of me, believe in me with heart and soul, then you will receive the greatest blessings.'
Because Baba always talked like this, Purandare did not understand the significance of these words or what Baba meant by them. Baba was not ill at the time and therefore Purandare did not expect that he would die. With Baba's permission, he left for home.
On 15 October no-one could find Baba. Four devotees went looking for him. They were looking in a nearby well, because they feared that he had fallen into it, but when they got back to the mosque, they saw him standing there. Baba asked : 'Where are you looking? I'm in one place and you look elsewhere. I am in all pure hearts, but you look in contaminated places. How can you ever find Me?’
Then he sat down.
Will you be with us in our next lives as well?
In 1918 Mr. and Mrs. Tarkhad and Jyotindra came to Shirdi to be with Baba. At that time, Baba's fame was widespread and people flocked in droves to request him worldly things. Baba became irritated at seeing the crowds and told Mrs. Tarkhad: 'Mother, I am much bothered lately. Everyone asks me for riches, a job, a marriage, health and children, but nobody asks me what I own and what I really have to offer. I've been waiting a long time and I loathe it. For that reason I will disappear one day.' Mrs. Tarkhad listened to these words sadly . 'What is it, Baba? Why do you talk like this? What will become of us if you disappear? Who will take care of us?' she said. Baba immediately replied: "Why would you worry about that? Really, I enjoy protecting my devotees and I will always be with them. But I'd be happy if they would ask me the right things.' Jyotindra answered: 'Baba, We have come here to receive what you want to give us. Don't you know that?' Baba said: ' Yes, I know. You'll get it, too.' Mr. Tarkhad was happy when he heard this and said,: 'Baba, We believe in your words. But when will I get it?' 'Very soon. ' 'After how many lives?'There are still three lives necessary.' 'Baba, if that is so, will you be with us in those lives?' 'Why not? I have been so many lives with you, We will definitely continue to meet each other again. I am guarding my children every moment with the utmost care. I can not let them be ruined.' When he had said this, he blessed them and gave them the sacred food that is called bliss.