It is described in Chapter XXVII of Shri Sai Satcharita that- It was the habit of some devotees to take to Baba some religious books, of which they wanted to make a special study and to receive the same book from Him, after they were touched and consecrated by Him. While reading such books daily, they felt that, Baba was with them.
Once Kaka Mahajani came to Shirdi with a copy of Eknathi Bhagawat. Shama took this book to read in the Masjid. There Baba took it from him, touched it and turning some pages here and there, gave it back to Shama and asked him to keep it with him. When Shama said that it belonged to Kaka and had to be returned to him, “No, no,” replied Baba. “As I have given to you, you better keep it; it will be of use to you.” In this way many books were entrusted to Shama. Kaka Mahajani after a few days, came again with another copy of the same Bhagawat and gave in Baba`s hand. Then Baba gave it back as Prasad and asked him to preserve it well, and assured him that, it would stand him in good stead. Kaka accepted it with reverence.
Shama was a very intimate devotee of Baba and Baba wanted to favour him in a particular way by giving him a copy of Vishnu-sahasra-naam, as Prasad. Baba gave the copy of Vishnu-sahasra-naam book possessed by Ramadasi to Shama without consent of Ramadasi and said to Shama, ”Shama, this book is very valuable and efficacious, so, I present it to you, you read it”. When Ramadasi demanded the book possessed by him to be returned back by Shama, Sai Baba said to Ramadasi, “Shama had no concern with it. I took it up Myself and gave it to him. You know it by heart. I thought Shama might read it and benefit thereby, and so I gave it to him”. Then Ramadasi calmed down and said to Shama that he would take ‘Panch-ratni Gita’ in return. Shama was much pleased and said, “Why one, I shall give ten copies in return”.
Baba always loved those, who studied Brahma-vidya (metaphysics) and encouraged them. Once Bapusaheb Jog received a post-parcel. It contained a copy of Gita Rahasya by Lokamanya Tilak. Taking it under his arm he came to the Masjid and prostrated himself before Baba, when the parcel fell at Baba`s feet. Baba enquired what it was. It was opened then and there, and the book was placed in Baba`s hand. He turned some pages here and there for a few minutes and took out a rupee from His pocket, placed it on the book and handed the same with the rupee to Jog and said to him, ”Read this completely and you will be benefitted”.
Shri Satchidananda Sadguru Sainath Maharaj ki Jaya.
Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda
Shirdi Sai Baba devotee