(Astrologically, he would not get children despite having two wives. However, Baba
changed the adverse effects of his planetary influence for his good and he had children
and Baba gave the names of the first two boys in advance. Baba once told him, “I
am God. I have vast powers”).
Damodar Savalram Rasane alias Anna Rasane, or simply Savalram Rasane, S/o Kasar
originally belonged to Ahmednagar and later moved to Poona. Baba used to call him
as Damia. He was a very humble man and began as a poor bangle seller. His first
wife did not have any issue. He married a second wife and even then he did not have
any issue. Out of curiosity, he had consulted astrologers and they said that. Ketu
was in the fifth place in his horoscope and that he would not get any issue. In
course of time, his business improved and became rich. But he was not happy as he
did not have an issue. At that time, he heard about Baba and his miracles. He went
to Shirdi for the first time in 1895 with an intention of seeking Baba’s blessings
for getting issue.
A devotee sent to Baba a parcel of excellent Goa mangoes and Baba was distributing
the mangoes to the children present in the masjid. But Baba kept separately 8 mangoes.
The children wanted some more mangoes; but Baba said that the eight mangoes were
meant for Damia, but children said that Damia was not there in the masjid. But Baba
said that Damia was on his way at Kopergaon and would be coming shortly to Shirdi.
But when Baba went out, they stole 4 out of the eight mangoes, leaving 4 only for
Damia. Damia came to the masjid and offered garlands and chadar etc to Baba. Then
Baba gave him four mangoes and asked him to give them to his wife. Damia asked which
wife he should give the fruits. Then Baba asked him to give them to his junior wife.
Baba also said that his second wife would have eight children and the first two
would be boys. Baba also asked him to name the first two boys as Daulat Shah and
Thana Shah in that order. Damia immediately noted down the names in his note book.
He got children in the same order as Baba told him and it took him fifteen years
for all the children to be born. Thus Baba changed the adverse effects of his planetary
influence for his good even though astrological predictions were otherwise. What
is not possible for God?. As four mangoes were stolen by the children, so four out
of his eight children, did not survive. Thus he was having four children surviving
and was hale and healthy. His first two sons were accordingly
named as per Baba’s orders and besides these names they also had their usual Hindu
names. Baba knew his arrival much before he actually came to Shirdi.
Savalram got children in spite of adverse planetary position in his horoscope. So
he was very happy andbecame the means of broadcasting Baba’s powers and miracles
and Baba’s fame thus spread to far off places due to his efforts, in different directions
in the neighborhood during 1895 to 1897 itself.
He always took Baba's advice and acted upon and the results were always good. Once
he had an appeal in the High Court and the lawyer had written to him to come to
Bombay. At that time, he was in Shirdi and Baba detained him and did not give permission
to go to Bombay. In spite of this, the outcome of the appeal was in his favour.
At the time of selecting a bride for his eldest son, Daulat Shah alias Nana Saheb
Rasane, he received offers from several girls and then he approached and requested
Baba to select a girl out of them. Then Baba selected a poor girl and Nana Rasane
married that girl and the marriage took place at Pandharpur and Shama attended the
marriage as Baba’s representative. Nana Rasane’s family was happy and prosperous.
Damia’s children improved his business and kept up his father’s tradition of doing
propaganda about Baba and extending generosity wherever needed. Nana Rasane was
a Trustee of Sai Baba Sansthan for some time and also achieved some spiritual development.
Once Nanasaheb Dengle brought a big silver plate full of various dainties and begged
Baba to eat. Baba shouted out at him and then a black dog came there and licked
up some of the food. Nanasaheb Dengle who was there nearby looked at this happening
with unhappiness and felt internally,. "Is it for this pariah dog that I prepared
all this?" Baba perhaps read his mind and at once threw away the plate with all
the contents at him and said, “Take it away". Baba would appear in the shape of
any creature or any body and taste the food. Savalram observed this event.
He knew that Baba would treat all creatures and men of low position and caste as
equals without any discrimination. Once when he went to Baba and knowing that he
would not be interested in coming to his lodging for the dinner which he wanted
to offer to Baba, he requested Baba to send Bala
Patel, his attendant belonging to a low caste as a guest. Baba accepted his request
but said, "Don't cry Dhut, Dhut at him" and asked him not to humiliate the guest
by giving him a place far away from your own place of dining for which he agreed.When
the meals were prepared, he kept one plate with the food items for Baba and then
called out, "Baba, come!". A black dog came in and ate from the plate. He waited
with respect till it finished its meal and then only offered meals to others and
he also took his food along with Bala Patel who also sat near him and took food.
Damia’s mind was always thinking about Baba and often he felt that Baba was every
where. On some occasions Baba abused him and also beat him some times fiercely.
But he always knew that just like Akkalkote Maharaj, abuses and blows had altogether
a different and deeper meaning and also resulted finally in auspicious endings.
So he never resented or grumbled against such treatment from Baba.
Baba some times was asking the Muslims to do their namaz and then would allow them
to read the Quran in the masjid; he had also talked with the moulvis on their religion.
Damia’s experiences with Baba were not fully known to Das Gunu Maharaj or Dabholkar.
But his experiences and other instances came to light when Savalram was interviewed
by B.V.Narasimhaswamiji in 1936. In the interview, he also said that Baba was helping
him even after his Mahasamadhi and that Baba sometimes appeared before him.
In the year following his first visit to Shirdi, Ramanavami Utsav celebrations were
started in Shirdi and at that time as a token of his gratitude to Baba, he arranged
at his cost a grand ceremony of “The standards Procession” and he continued that
Standard Procession for next 40 years, by providing one ornamental standard on that
occasion every year.
Regarding business consultations with Baba, once he got a proposal from a cotton
broker from Bombay about speculating in cotton as he was having substantial cash
with him. His broker told that he could safely speculate and earn quickly several
lakhs. He immediately wrote to Shama with a request to ask Baba for permission for
this speculative trade. When the letter came to Baba, immediately Baba said that
Damia wanted to catch at the sky, his head was wrong, he was thinking in terms of
lakhs and asked Shama to write
back, saying that his present position was not bad and ask him not to think of lakhs.
Inspite of this reply, Damia then went to Shirdi and while massaging Baba’s legs,
he requested again for permission and also offered a share in profits to Baba. Baba
flatly refused and said that he did not want money at all. Baba also said, “I am
God. I have vast powers” Baba again said that he could command large amounts at
will but he had no need for wealth. Baba replied expressly that he did not wish
to get involved in any Samsara (like sharing profits). So Damia gave up that idea.
On another occasion, he went to Shirdi and there he expressly asked Baba if he could
trade in grain, wheat, etc. Baba said that the prices would fall and that he would
have to sell at a lower price than the purchase price. He gave up that proposal.
But when he mentioned the views of Baba to a merchant-friend, that friend explained
to him how Baba’s views became untrue by the steady rise in prices for next many
days. But after one or two months, there were heavy rains and the prices suddenly
fell and the grain traders incurred heavy losses. Baba thus saved him from similar
There was a theft of a jewel box containing nose ornament belonging to his wife,
usually that ornament was considered as sacred, in his house. The ornament was stolen
by a servant who had worked in his house for as long as thirty years. This gave
a shock to him. He then wept before Baba's photo in his house. When he went to Shirdi,
Baba asked Shama to give him a good feast and a coating of sandal paste. Baba also
said that he was always with Savalram. The next day, the servant returned the jewel
box and prayed for pardon.
When his sister died, he was upset very much. He did not care for life and developed
detachment in worldly matters. When he went to Baba, Baba pacified him with Upadesh
and made him eat a feast of Pooran Poli (a sweet dish) in the house of Appa Kulkarni
and get sandal paste applied.
He never initiated any activity without consulting Baba and taking his permission.
When Baba was in the mortal coil, he went to Shirdi and asked him directly. After
1918, he was still consulting Baba, by casting chits etc.and Baba was guiding him
even after his Mahasamadhi.
Once when he sat at Baba’s feet along with many others, he had two questions in
his mind and Baba gave answers to both.
1). There was a huge crowd around Baba in the masjid. His doubt was whether all
of them could get benefit from Baba. To this Baba said. "Look at the mango tree
in blossom. If all flowers turned fruit what a splendid crop it would be! But do
they? Most fall off (either as flowers or as unripe fruits, by wind, etc.) Very
2). His second question was about himself. “If Baba were to pass away, how hopelessly
adrift I would be and how am I to fare then?. To this, Baba said that he would be
with him whenever he thought of Baba and wherever he thought of Baba. That promise
Baba had kept up before 1918 and even after his Mahasamadhi. The portrait of Savalram
Rasane was also kept along with the portraits of other close devotees in the Samadhi
His son, Nana Saheb had only one son and then Damia went to Shirdi and prayed to
Baba for a second grandson at Baba’s Mahasamadhi and thereafter a grandson was born.
Damia also achieved spiritual progress and with contentment, passed away in January,
1941 at the age of 89 years.