Dixit Wada is to be found just opposite Gurusthan. Work on the building began with
Baba's permission in late 1910, the year after Dixit had taken his first darshan
of Baba and been so touched by him. The building took about four months to complete
and was inaugurated on Ramnavami the following year. Dixit lived in a modest room
on the first floor and generously kept the rest of the building, including a small
dining hall, for the use of visiting pilgrims. Many people benefited from the facility
- Hemadpant, author of Sri Sai Satcharitra, always stayed here when he was in Shirdi
and the wada is mentioned several times in the literature. Baba sometimes sent people
to the wada to attend the parayana that Dixit did every day and puja was also conducted
regularly. It was while lying on the verandah here that Sri Bhishma conceived the
idea of celebrating Ramnavami, a festival that grew in size each year and is one
of the grandest events in the Shirdi calendar.
Hari Sitaram Dixit, better known as Kakasaheb Dixit, was a close and exemplary devotee
of Sai. He came to Baba in 1909 as an influential lawyer, active in politics, through
his good friend Nana Chandorkar. While studying in London, Dixit had injured his
leg in a train accident which left him limping and lacking in confidence. It was
ostensibly for his recovery that Nana persuaded him to visit Sai Baba. How this
trip came about and the beautiful way in which Baba arranged it, with Shama as his
escort, is described in the Sri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. 50. Upon having Baba's darshan,
Dixit forgot why he had come and reported that the handicap of his leg was nothing
compared to the limitations of his mind.
Baba apparently once asked Dixit, "Why are you anxious? All care is mine."Dixit
accordingly entrusted all responsibility for his material, physical and spiritual
welfare to Baba. In each area he received ample and dramatic help, including being
saved from a near fatal fever and unexpectedly getting last minute relief from a
huge debt. There are many inspiring instances of his deep devotion to Baba and of
Baba's response. Baba once promised that he would "take Kaka in a vimana" (i.e.
secure him a happy death). This transpired in 1926 when Dixit passed away peacefully
while travelling on a train with some close fellow devotees, as he was fondly recalling
the greatness of his beloved gurudeva.
Dixit bequeathed part of the wada to the Sansthan and later it was given the whole
building. Until the mid-1990s the building was used as a canteen. A small part of
it is now open as a reading room. In a recent extension to the wada a few of Baba's
things have recently been put on display in a small museum with a sign above the
door: "Museum Hall". The Sansthan is planning to expand the display.