I met Smt. Rukmini Devi, the wife of late Bhau Banakar. From her I had gone to hear about some real experiences. Then, on 15th February 2004, the 81 year old Rukmini Devi said that she and her husband got see some strange experiences of God Shani. For example, a thief stole the anklet from the foot of their daughter Jayashree. Later, he cut off the gold chain. But after awhile, he came back on his own and he kept the anklet and gold chain and ran away. Ours is a joint family. There are no door or locks and all things are kept in the open. But till today, there has been no loss. I have had no fights with my daughter-in-law and others. By the grace of God Shani, we are a healthy and happy family.
Was injustice done to women?From whatever books of God Shani I have read, I found that in no book was there any mention about women. Nor is there any scope for their experiences. Is this any injustice to women? Because, they are not allowed onto the foundation here. The oldest woman living here in the village near the temple, Smt. Vithadevi Yashwanth Borude, is over 100 years old. When I met here on 13th February 2004 and asked her questions pertaining to this topic, she answered humbly, "Bhai Saab, in my mind there is absolutely no complaint about this, no hesitation, I am always happy. When husband and children went to the foundation and took a glimpse of God Shani, it was the same as my taking it. There is no difference between them males and us females. Whether the 'darshan' is taken from there near the deity or from down here, there is no difference. Faith depends on the happy mind. And so, when we take the glimpse of God from below here, we find peace of mind."
When I tried to gather more information from Smt. Vithadevi Yashwanth Borude, she said, " Throughout my life, I have had no fear of anybody. You also go into the house of anyone in the village. Nobody will say anything. On the other hand, they will treat you well like a guest. There is no box or lock in our house. Nothing is attached to anything. I have never had any quarrel with any daughter-in-law or anyone else. We all live together cheerfully and happily."
So friends, you can look around in all directions, but you can never find such a village or such a temple. In the house of Vithadevi also, thieves had entered. There was gold and money in the pots. They searched a lot. But they found nothing and in the end they went away. They also said that once, two thieves stole cycles from the temple and began running. But in the end, they came back to the temple after roaming around, left the cycles near the temple and went away.
On the 22nd February 2004, I met Smt. Parvatidevi Darandale in the village. She also narrated an experience with great humility. When I asked her about why women were not allowed on the foundation of the temple's premises, she said, " There is a custom that women are not allowed for the 'darshan' from the foundation, but what difference does it make? When we fold our hand and pray from our hearts from here also, it goes there. For this, what is 'from there' or 'from here'! If the mind is clean, then Ganga can be sought from anywhere. With devotion in my heart, I pray to God Shani from my house also and get his blessings."
Shri. Pramod Honarao, C.I.D. Inspector of Pune has been coming for the last 30 yaers to Shanishingnapur for 'darshan'. From 1991, for the devotees of God Shani's Palki to Pandarpur, he provides the meal for one time.
It is learnt that the Judge of the Mumbai High Court wanted to come here for 'darshan', but could not come. For one reason or the other, he kept postponing it. But last year, his car was stolen. The thieves left the car at Pravara Sangam, near Shingnapur. When the judge came to know that the car was lying there, then he came rushing and took the vehicle. And immediately came over here for the 'darshan'. Everybody says that God Shani himself, called him over, this way, here for the 'darshan'.