(Had the power of producing any where, with the boon granted by Baba, udhi from
the dhuni in Shirdi masjid, by merely remembering Baba and holding forth Kusha’s
Kusha Bhav alias Krishnaji Kasinath Joshi was the son of Kashinath Padmakar Joshi,
Mirazgaon. He belonged to a poor family and studied in local elementary school in
vernacular and became a school teacher and was getting Rs.5 to 7 per month. He was
also trained in the hereditary duties of the village priest. However, he did not
have a liking for these avocations. But he had a flair for bhakti and started searching
for a Guru. His Guru was Datta Maharaj. Under the guidance of his Guru, he learnt
yoga and various Asanas, He also learnt Pranayama and the rousing of the Kundalini
Sakti. In spite of all these practices, he was not satisfied with his achievement
and he still wanted, due to his peculiar thinking, to know and practise some other
mantras which would give him worldly powers. He was aware that his Guru knew such
Mantras and approached his Guru through his persistent solicitations. Seeing his
stubbornness in his approach, his Guru most unwillingly imparted to him such Mantras.
He went through the necessary Japa and sadhana and practised them as prescribed
for the required number of times and became an adept in these Mantras. He also wore
an iron bangle and succeeded in acquiring the required powers. Based on these powers
acquired, he could simply utter a mantra and order the production of sweetmeats,
pedhas and the like and the articles ordered would at once appear in his hands.
He would thus produce certain things and show to others and the items so produced
were distributed among the admiring public. Such items produced through the Mantras
should be distributed to others and should not at all be used by him. He was also
capable of destroying by exorcising the evil spirits of others. Of course, he was
able to produce these items through by his power of Mantras and there was no role
of any evil spirits.
All these things had happened when he was within his twenty two years. When he was
about twenty two years old, he was thus fully armed with these magical powers. His
Guru decided to move to the Himalayas and wanted to live there alone and spend his
remaining life time at the Himalayas. He moved with Kusha upto Delhi and from there
his Guru wanted to proceed further alone. His Guru also told Kusha that there was
one Sai Baba in
Shirdi, whom he referred to as his elder brother and that Kusha should go to him
and do whatever Sai Baba would direct him to do. With these words, his Guru went
away and disappeared from him. Subsequently, Kusha had not seen or heard anything
further about that Guru since then.
Then during 1908, he went to Shirdi and had darshan of Sai Baba. But Baba was against
Kusha exercising his powers through Mantras and production of pedhas etc and also
his wearing of the iron bangle. Baba asked him to break his iron bangle, stop exercising
powers and production of pedas. Baba also ordered him to sit in a corner of the
masjid and go on reading Dasabodha of Ramdas Swami. As Baba’s orders were strict,
Kusha complied with them and broke and threw away his iron bangle and also stopped
production of pedhas etc through his powers of Mantras.
He stopped all those things and started his life afresh by begging food in Shirdi
village and was not having any specific shelter. Baba ordered him to sit in a corner
of the masjid and read Dasbodha during the day time which he obeyed. During nights,
he used to sleep wherever he could find some place to lie down. Baba did not give
him any upadesh.
During 1908, there were only few visitors to Shirdi from Bombay but only the local
people from Shirdi village used to go to Baba now and then and ask Baba for remedies
to their illness. At that time Baba was giving udhi to them from his ever-burning
dhuni for curing their illness. Baba was also not asking for dakshina from all the
visitors but was asking dakshina only from a selected few for buying fuel for the
dhuni or some other items of necessity. At that time, Nanasaheb Nimonkar was often
seen with Baba. Whoever was visiting Baba, Baba used to advise them to follow their
own God, their religion but have faith in God. Baba would also give darshan to each
visitor in the form of the God whom the visitor liked.
Kusha stayed in Shirdi for three years at a stretch with Baba. During the next nine
years, he was frequently visiting Shirdi. On one occasion, Baba told him to visit
and have darshan of a person with three heads. Based on Baba’s expression, he took
it that Baba wanted him to visit and have darshan of Datta at Gangapur. Every year
he was visiting Gangapur twice and had darshan of Datta, once on Guru Poornima day
and again on Magha Poornima day. Again Baba once asked him to do 108 parayanas of
taking three days to finish each parayana. Accordingly, he completed 108 parayanas
in Gangapur by staying there for about 11 months. Baba advised him not to use his
powers of Mantras and Kusha followed sincerely Baba’s directions.
On one Ekadashi day, Kusha was in the masjid, sitting by the side of Baba and Baba
enquired him and asked what he had eaten that day. He said that on Ekadashi day
he would not eat any thing but observe upavas/fasting. Then Baba said, “ What does
upavas mean?” Kusha said, “It is just like rojas.” Baba said, “What is rojas?” Kusha
said, “We take nothing except Kandamula “ “Kanda” means tubers and “Mula” means
roots and usually any thing like sweet potatoes would be eaten but not onions on
such Ekadashi days. Then Baba gave some onions to him and told him to eat. When
Baba insisted that he should eat onions, then Kusha agreed but he also requested
Baba to eat onions and then only he would eat. Then Baba ate some onions and Kusha
also ate some onions. Then some visitors came to the masjid to have darshan of Baba.
At that time, Baba told them, pointing out at Kusha that this Bamniya (a contemptuous
corrupt word for Brahmin), was eating onions on Ekadashi day. Then Kusha said that
Baba ate some onions and then he also ate some and he wanted to justify his eating
of onions on that Ekadasi day.
But Baba immediately said in a humorous tone that he (Baba) ate not the onions,
but some thing else and saying this, Baba vomited some thing which were not onions
but sweet potatoes. Baba also said that he did not eat the onions but only sweet
potatoes. At this sudden turn of events, Kusha was taken by surprise and also thought
that the production of sweet potatoes by vomiting by Baba was perhaps meant for
him as an opportunity. Immediately Kusha then took up the vomited sweet potatoes
and swallowed them. Baba then abused him and kicked him and said, “why do you eat
the vomit uchishta?”. Kusha kept quiet. After some time, Baba became cool and told
Kusha that he would bestow on him some powers by way of boon and said that thereafter
he would have the power of producing the udhi from the dhuni in masjid, by merely
remembering Baba and holding forth Kusha’s hands. Baba asked him to give udhi freely
to all the people as it would help them for their welfare and that Kusha would get
spiritual benefit through this act. Baba raised the topic of eating on Ekadasi day
with Kusha only to
bestow this boon on him.
Kusha was interviewed by B.V. Narasimhaswamiji in Poona in about 1936 when Justice
P.R.Avaste, another devotee of Baba, was also present. At that time, Kusha stretched
out his hands with closed eyes and uplifted face and immediately thought of Baba
and produced udhi in his hands and offered the udhi to them who received it and
found that the udhi was warm, coming fresh from the dhuni in Shirdi and at that
time the weather was also cold. This was a great miracle which Baba bestowed on
him for the welfare of the general public.
Once Baba asked Kusha in the masjid that in his next visit he should come with another
person, meaning that he should visit Shirdi with his wife, after his marriage. Shortly
afterwards, he got married but he went to Shirdi alone without his wife. After some
time, his wife also came to Shirdi and had darshan of Baba and then took Kusha away
from Shirdi to continue the married life.
He again visited Shirdi and at that time, Baba told him that it was not necessary
for him to come to Shirdi several times, travelling all the way to Shirdi for Baba’s
darshan. Baba said that he was there in his (native) place also and told him the
specific location in Mirazgaon where Baba was also there. Then Kusha went to the
specific place in Mirazgaon and got the area cleared and found a Samadhi which was
the Samadhi of Datta. Then Kusha started worshipping at the Samadhi there and had
also the darshan of Baba there.
Kusha then spent his remaining life totally devoted to propagating about Baba and
spreading information of Baba’s miracles and powers. He was also serving the general
public by giving Baba’s udhi for curing their diseases and also for their welfare.
He had children and grand children. Later he passed away and a tomb was erected
in his memory at the foot of Shivaji Hill and his devotees were worshipping at the
tomb. Thus he did lot of service to the public in the name of Baba and also propagated
among the public about the mission and miracles of Baba.