To understand Sri Sai Baba is easy only for his devotees. One can read sri Sai Satcharitra writeen during the life time of sri sai baba (and published by Sri Sai Baba Samsthan, Shirdi)and understand Sai to an extent.
Without reading Sai Satcharitra and without hearing the leelas of sri sai baba from anybody the great devotee who realised Sri Sai Baba on 1-7-1939(at Dharmavaram in Anantapur district now in Andhra Pradesh)in a few hourse after merely hearing the name of Sri Sai Baba is Swami Kesavaiahji.
Swami Kesavaiahji has visited Shirdi about 73 times after he was first blessed by Baba in 1939. He helped construct and open mandirs for Baba in many places.
How Baba Came into Swami Kesavaiahji's Life
Swami Kesavaiahji at that time had not heard about Sai Baba and not even seen his picture before. On one occasion he was relating to his friend Mr. Malli Reddi, an Advocate of Anantpur some of his personal difficulties. Mr. Reddi said, "Pray to Sai Baba. Your difficulties would be over." Swami Kesavaiahji mentioned this to his dear wife Govindammal. On that night Sai Baba came to Swami Kesavaiahji in his dream. He remained with him for four or five minutes. Swami Kesavaiahji felt blessed and overjoyed. He wanted to buy a picture of Babaji the next day and worship it. Strangely enough, on the same day a picture of Baba and packet of udhi arrived from Shirdi although the name of the sender was not known to the Shirdi people.This revelation was on 1st July, 1939. It was then about 21 years since Baba had left this world. Yet this miracle in the life of Swami Kesavaiahji had happened. It had a special significance. Baba had chosen Swami Kesavaiahji as his servant. Swami Kesavaiahji used his spiritual powers to serve the bhaktas in the name of Baba. Many people sought Swamiji's help. When he was Sub-Registrar at Penukonda in 1948, he built a small shrine there for Sai Baba, which became famous. Swamiji did his spiritual healings to whoever sought his help. He did this good work wherever he was transferred in his official career.
Swami Kesavaiahji came to Madras in 1948 for medical treatment. As if ordained by Baba he was transferred to Madras in 1949. Even during his illness he would conduct Sai Puja in devotees' houses. He would give sacred udhi to whoever came to him. Swamiji's illness grew worse. On one night his condition grew worse. He prayed to Sai Baba intensely. Baba seemed to have driven away the messengers of death. Swamiji recovered by the grace of Sai. Through Swamij’s grace many persons had received a vision of Baba in their dreams. One such person was the doctor who treated Swami Kesavaiahji during his illness.Once Swami Kesavaiahji visited Pandaripur. Baba seemed to accompany him in the guise of a fellow traveller. Swami Kesavaiahji dreamt that the garlands he placed on Vittoba at Pandaripur was on Baba's Samadhi itself. Swami Kesavaiajhi had innumerable such experiences to tell.
Swami Kesavaiahji's Mission
MANDIRS IN MANY PLACES
In 1948, swamiji got a temple constructed for Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi at Penukonda.( Anantapur dt, A.P)
Swami Kesavaiahji's wish had been to build a big mandir and meditation hall, to accommodate the increasing number of devotees. This was a mighty task. It was a difficult task to get apiece of land. He had to face many difficulties patiently. Swamiji, by Baba's grace, had secured the use of the land opposite to Sai Nilayam. Then the money had to be found, to construct the mandir.
Devotees came forward with help. As work progressed, money was always found short. Swami used to pray night and day for Baba's blessing for the completion of this work. By Swamiji's penance, the building is now completed. Now you find a beautiful Mandir has been built. A beautiful portrait of Babaji is installed there. There is a mantap for puja. The big hall in front is artistic. It can hold a large number of persons who come for dharsan. Swamiji's dream has come true. Praise be to Swamiji for achieving his great mission.
This Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir was inaugurated on the 14th March, 1975 amidst great enthusiasm and acclamation by the Hon'ble Sri K. Brahmananda Reddy, the Home Minister of the Government of India. The Mediation hall was opened by the Hon'ble Sri C.Subramaniam, Finance Minister, Government of India. He also released the Souvernir, on the 15th March, 1975. Blessed are those who contributed to the completion of this monument. Blessed are those who will go there and seek Baba's blessings through Swami Kesavaiahji. Blessed are those who laboured to serve Swamiji to complete this task.
Swamiji is survived by a son and two daugthers. Before his Samadhi on August 9, 1981, Sravana Sudha, Dasami, Swamiji has asked for udhi. He applied it to his forehead and swallowed. This occurred at sunset. Still seated, he said "Allah Malik" and closed his eyes. After a while, he was made to rest on his bed. At about 6.30 p.m. the sage of Shenoy Nagar left his mortal frame.Glory to Sri Sai Baba, and glory to the hallowed memory of His chosen devotee Sri Swami Kesavaiahji.