As described in Sai Leela, Vol.11. No.I quoted in Chapter V of Shri Sai Satcharita in English by N.V.Gunaji published by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi in 1834 Shaka (1912 A.D.) one Doctor Ramrao Kothare of Mumbai came to Shirdi for Baba`s darshan. His compounder and his friend, Bhai Krishnaji Alibagkar, accompanied him. The compounder and Bhai became intimate with Sagun Meru Naik and G.K.Dixit.While discussing things, these persons thought that, there must be some memorial of Sai Baba`s first advent at Shirdi and his sitting under the holy Neem tree. They thought of installing Baba`s Padukas there, and were going to make them of some rough stone. Then, Bhai`s friend, the compounder, suggested that, if this matter was made known to his master, Dr. Ramrao Kothare, he would prepare nice Padukas for this purpose. All liked this proposal and Dr. Kothare was informed of it. He came to Shirdi and drew a plan of the Padukas. He went to Upasani Maharaj in Khandoba`s temple and showed him his plan. The latter made many improvements, drew lotus, flowers, conch, disc, mace etc. and suggested that, the following Shloka (verse), regarding Neem tree`s greatness and Baba`s Yogic powers be inscribed. The verse was as follows:
“Sada Nimbavrikshasya mooladhiwasaat,
Sudhastravinam tiktamapiapriyam tam,
Tarum Kalpavrikshadhikam sadhayantam
Namameeshwaram Sadgurum Sai Natham”
Upasani`s suggestions were accepted and carried out. The Padukas were made in Mumbai and sent to Shirdi with the compounder. Baba said that they should be installed on the Pournima (15th day) of Shravan. On that day at 11a.m., G.K.Dixit brought them on his head from Khandoba`s temple to the Dwarkamai (Masjid) in a procession. Baba touched the Padukas, saying that, these are the Feet of the Lord, and asked the people to install them at foot of the Neem tree.
Shri Satchidananda Sadguru Sainath Maharaj ki Jaya.
Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda
Shirdi Sai Baba devotee