Shyam Rao Jayker was a famous painter and was a resident in Ville Parle, Bombay.
He first visited Shirdi in 1913 and also during 1916-1917. During his stay in 1916-17,
he went and stayed with others. But, when others left Shirdi, he continued to stay.
When he was with others he was getting money and so he was giving dakshina to Baba
whenever Baba asked him. Baba never asked him dakshina when he did not have money.Baba
knew about his condition and every thing without being told.
When he was a boy of 16 years, a Brahmachari gave him Siva Mantra Initiation. Later,
a sanyasi gave him Sakti Mantra. When he went to Baba, he had thus his initiation
into mantras. Baba’s advice to him and every other person was that they could follow
their own guru, their religion and follow their religious tradition, but have faith
in God for their welfare.
He knew some of the people in Shirdi. He never went to Radhkrishnamai as there was
no need for him to go. He knew Nana Wali as a dangerous person and Baba warned him
not to move with him. First, he had moved with Nana Wali and Dr. Pillai also moved
with Nana Wali. But once Nana Wali beat Dr. Pillai and then both started keeping
away from Nana Wali. Nana Wali was not worshipping Baba, but treated Baba with some
respect. Baba would beat occasionally Nana Wali and warn him not to do mischief
in Shirdi. All these happenings were known to Jayker.
During the eight months of his stay at Shirdi, he heard a lot of goshtis, talks
of Baba. But, he said that he did not remember any of them. Baba, so far as he knew,
did not give any Upadesh to any one. People went to Baba praying for health, wealth
and solutions to other problems.
Baba did not permit anyone to take his photographs. If anyone dared to do so without
his permission the frame would be either blank or without Baba. Baba on a rare occasion
permitted Jaykar, an eminent Painter to paint a life like oil painting of Baba.
He normally used to paint portraits of royal family members and British Lords and
in 1913 Rao Bahadur Moreshwar W. Pradhan, another ardent devotee of Baba, requested
him to visit Shirdi for making Baba's portrait. Jayker went to Baba during his first
visit along with Pradhan who wanted him to give Pradhan a lifelike oil painting
of Baba. So Jayker had to go and actually see Baba for painting purpose. He went
and had a good look at Baba. Baba also looked at Jayker. Baba was not so
famous at that time.Even Jayker was not aware about the powers and fame of Baba.
During his journey to Shirdi, he was thinking that his visit to Shirdi would be
futile. He had also thought that if he had gone to some royal palace, that would
have fetched him a handsome amount. After reaching Shirdi they went to the masjid
to have darshan of Baba. The first sentence Baba uttered, on seeing Jayker, was
why he came to Shirdi and he should have gone to some royal palace and painted their
portraits. What was the use of taking out a portrait of a humble fakir like him.
Then Baba's permission had to be obtained before an oil painting could be made of
him. So Shama went to Baba and asked for his permission. Then Baba replied, "Why
should I, a poor fakir, have an oil painting of me? You, Shama, you may get a portrait
of yourself”. Ultimately, Shama convinced Baba and told Jayker that Baba's permission
for the painting had been obtained. However, on Shama’s intercession only, Baba
finally decided to sit in front of Jayker and allowed him to paint. Jayker, instead
of painting one picture, as permitted, had painted four portraits.Then, Pradhan
took two portraits and the third one was taken to Baba who touched it and then asked
him to hand over to Dixit. The fourth one painted by Jayker is a big-sized portrait
of Baba. That was left unused for some years andwas later kept in the masjid for
the innumerable devotee-visitors to have darshan of Baba through this portrait for
This unique portrait of Sai Baba was in his Pooja Room since 1913. It is important
to note that only Jayker got rare honour of painting three portraits of Sai Baba
by making him sit in front of him. All other paintings were made after Baba's Mahasamadhi,
based on either his paintings or any other painting based on Baba's photographs.
Pradhan brought the two portraits to his house. Later they were lying with his family
members in the folded canvas form for a very long time. Amazingly, around 1970,
Pradhan's son and grandson, both, got the similar dream in the same night. Baba
appeared in their dream and instructed them to deliver the portraits to his house.
And thus he got one more blessed portrait of Baba. The other one was displayed on
the home page of their website.
Baba was looking after him regularly with care and he was happy. Though, he lost
two sons, Baba kept him and his family members always with contentment. He always
felt that it was not for money that one should
approach Baba, though he would give money also, whenever he thought proper. Baba
used to say that the walls of his masjid were really made up of gold and wanted
people to come and take away cartloads of that wealth; but his regret was that none
came to take it away.
Baba had been very kind to Jayker. But, Jayker had been guilty of neglecting Baba’s
words and forgetting several things. He had been so peculiarly indifferent in his
temperament, he could not carry out things with conviction. Baba knew this very
well. Once, Jayker was wishing to worship silver padukas of Baba, after receiving
them from Baba’s own hands. So, Jayker got a small silver pair of padukas prepared
and took them to Baba. He looked at them and Jayker. He received them. But, instead
of giving them back to Jayker, Baba sloped his palms (on which the padukas were
placed) downwards and the padukas fell down. Jayker picked them up and hoped to
worship them. But, that very evening, Jayker gave out his clothes for wash, with
the silver padukas lying inside a shirt-pocket. Thus he lost them and never got
them back. Baba knew already these happenings and so did not give the padukas into
Jayker’s hands but allowed them to slip off his hands, indicating in advance the
On one occasion, Jayker had lent Rs.4,000 to a very rich Muslim purda lady without
children. He had the need to recover the amount as he had a large family of 8 sons
to support. But, the lady never repaid the money. So he went to Baba, prayed for
his sympathy in recovering the money. But, Baba told him, “Let us have nothing to
do with such evil or ill-fated wealth”. Jayker did not get back his money. Some
time later, he came to know that the same Muslim lady had lost all her wealth.
Ever since Jayker went to Baba, he was keeping Baba’s picture always with him; wherever
he went, Baba was behind him protecting his family in several instances; but some
of them only are narrated below:
In 1916, Jayker and his family were living in a suburban area in Bombay. Baba's
picture was kept in a room in the house. One night at about 2-00 A.M. thieves were
trying to enter into that house and succeeded in pulling out some rods of the window
of the room where Baba’s picture was kept. And then it was very easy for them to
enter the house and commit the theft. But a barber was sleeping in the verandah
in a nearby house. It was
customary for him to get up at 4-00 AM. every day and to go out for answering calls
of nature. But at this time very strangely, he got up at 2-00 AM and went round
the house due to call of nature. The thieves seeing him started running and he also
shouted,.”Thieves, Thieves”, and every one got up. All the people thought that Baba
took care of his house and protected them against robbery.
In 1917, Jayker and his family were living at Poona in a dilapidated house, the
ceiling and walls of which were weak and crumbling. To prevent the falling of dust
from the ceiling, a long cloth had been stuck up under the ceiling. In that room,
there was a picture of Baba and a kerosene lamp was burning before Baba’s photo
and Jayker’s one year old child was also sleeping nearby.. At dead of night, they
heard a loud sound by the fall of the ceiling cloth with debris and fall of some
bricks from the weak walls on the fallen cloth. As the ceiling cloth covered the
entire ceiling, it would have fallen with the bricks on the lamp and on the child
sleeping nearby. But Baba protected the child as the debris, cloth and the bricks
fell away from the child and the cloth did not catch fire. Thus Baba protected by
saving the child.
During 1917, Jayker with his family went and stayed for 10 months at Shirdi by staying
in the house of Sharadabai. A snake was living in a hole in the house in the small
portion in which they were living and they saw the snake and were in danger. But
nothing had happened to them as Baba protected them with his ever vigilant eyes.
Baba also helped him in the matters of spiritual pursuit by direct oral advice.
Baba once told him "As you sow so you will reap". On another occasion, looking at
Jayker he told "We must serve the Guru". Baba did not elaborate this further. Baba
already knew that Jayker had already received upadesh from a Guru, and that he had
uttered the mantra for the prescribed period of more than 12 years..
Once during 1917. Jayker was sitting in the hall few yards away from the main masjid
where Baba sat. One Varde was talking with Baba and told him that he wished to perform
"Satyanarayana Pooja" there and wanted Baba’s permission. Baba gave permission.
Then Varde said he had no funds to perform it. Then Baba pointing out his finger
towards Jayker asked Varde to go and approach Jayker and ask him to give money.
Jayker knew Varde then
only as a devotee of Baba and and did not know any thing other than that. But, Varde
approached and told him that as per Baba’;s orders, he was seeking money for Satyanarayana
Pooja. Jayker agreed and enquired him how much he required. He asked only Rs.2-5-0
which amount only Jayker was having in his pocket at that time and it was the entire
amount he was having. This thought of asking for the entire amount from Jayker was
at the inspiration of Baba who knew every thing. Jayker gave him Rs.2-5-0 at once.
Then, Varde started procuring the required materials and made all the arrangements.
He brought small plantain plants and set them on both sides of Baba, to make a pandal
and tried to use Baba himself in the place of God Lakshmi Narayana for worship by
way of pooja. But, Baba objected and asked him to have his usual images and perform
the pooja. But, Varde and other devotees went on insisting that Baba should allow
himself as the Main Deity in the place of Satya Narayana and allow them to perform
the pooja for which Baba finally yielded.
Then, Satya Narayana Pothi was being read in the mantap below, while Jayker sat
with other persons by the side of Baba in the masjid. But there was some disturbance
in the mind of Jayker. He was interested in hearing Satya Narayan Pothi and also
to continue to be seated near Baba. Again Jayker was hearing Pothi sitting up above
the level where the Pothi reader was sitting. Thus he was sitting on a higher pedestal
than that of the Pothi reader. Therefore he was perplexed and was unable to decide
what to do. Baba evidently read the dilemma in the mind of Jayker and immediately
asked him to go down, sit there and hear the pothi. Every idea in every mind was
known to Baba..
Baba once showed lot of concern for the poor dumb creatures by protecting them from
unnecessary harassment. Jayker was on the veranda of Dixitwada at Shirdi, one day,
and saw a strange sight. Big dogs were running away when chased by a small white
dog. It was clear that the small white dog was rabid and that the big dogs were
afraid of its bite. The people available there, armed with sticks in their hands,
went after the small white dog and wanted to kill it. When this was going on, Jayker
had moved to the masjid and sat near Baba. The chasing people came running upto
the masjid as the small white dog ran up the steps of the masjid and stood behind
Baba, seeking protection. Perhaps that the white dog felt that Baba was its sanctuary
then the chasing people were afraid of entering into the masjid. The people waited
for the dog to come out of the masjid. Seeing all these happenings, Baba abused
them vigorously as they did not have any sympathy for a poor dumb creature. They
expressed that the dog was mad and that it should be killed. He abused them and
asked them to get away. Jayker and Dr. Pillai were in the masjid, sitting very near
Baba and the dog, and Jayker and Dr.Pillai also knew that the dog was mad and felt
internally that both of them were in danger. But finally the men went away and the
dog was saved. Jayker then told Dr.Pillai that Baba was so generous that he cured
the dog and saved its life. How merciful was Baba, even animals and creatures also
knew that Baba would protect them as he was God. This miraculous incident had happened
during May, 1917.
Even after Baba’s Mahasamadhi, during 1923, Jayker’s son Surendra, then aged ten,
was suffering from typhoid. As gas was rising upward from his belly and pressing
hard evidently against the diaphragm and heart, he cried out loudly saying, “Save
me, Save me”. He had become extremely weak due to severe type of typhoid and Jayker
was very much afraid of the boy’s condition. Jayker then cried loudly and uttered
in a very loud voice, 'Baba.' Immediately, the upward pressure in the stomach got
reduced and the boy after some time became almost normal and thus Baba saved the