Baba’s Padukas at Om Sai Mandir, Flushing, NY
A young couple was highly devoted to Lord Shiva. They appeased Lord Shiva with intense prayers and austerities. Finally, God appeared to them and offered a boon. The devoted couple said: “Deva, we would like the boon of parent-hood.” Pleased with their request, The Lord said, “Choose whether you would like to have a wise son who will have a short lifespan of sixteen or a dullard son who will live a hundred years.”
The couple unequivocally opted for the wise son. True to God’s words, a divine child was born to the couple. As the child grew, the parents became increasingly concerned about the advent of his sixteenth year. To allay their fears, the young boy said, “Do not worry about me. I have full faith in God. I will perform intense austerities to please Him.” Accordingly, he did intense penance. Finally, when his sixteenth birthday arrived, Yama, God of Death, threw his nooze around the lad.
The boy was not afraid, though. He immediately called out to God, who vanquished Yama. It is for this reason that Baba and Lord Shiva are known as Kaala Kalaya, the one who caused death of the Lord of Death himself. Not only was the boy saved, he was granted the boon of immortality.
A similar incidence happened in Shirdi. One day, Baba called out a boy who was serving Him and said, “Come tomorrow afternoon. When you come hold on to My feet, no matter what you see do not leave My feet.” The following day, the boy came there and followed Baba’s instructions. He was massaging Baba’s feet and held on to them very tightly.
Suddenly, a demonic and ferocious-looking figure appeared on the scene and screamed at Baba: “I want the boy!” Baba responded: “He is under My protection; I won’t let you have him.” She was adamant, though, and made a move to grab the child. Immediately, The Lord of Shirdi kicked her and she flew and landed several feet away from the lad. The demonic form was terrified with Baba’s powers and ran away from there.
Then Baba smiled and told the boy, “The danger has been averted; you can return to your normal duties now.” The demonic figure was a dangerous disease that was about to devour the young child, but because he held on to Baba’s feet with love and faith, the danger was averted.