Because of their exalted state, masts can endure unimaginably harsh conditions. On the outskirts of Kolhapur, an old mast with blackened, dirt-encrusted skin and a bent back was living in filthy conditions, occupying a small corner near a stone temple. The spot was so small that a normal-size man could not sit there. While sitting in such a narrow space, his feet remained outside. The place was made of stone and cement, and would become like a furnace in summer. But throughout all seasons, this mast would occupy that corner.
Whatever was given to him, he would put in a bundle of cloth. Every evening, taking the bundle with him, he would wander through the city, returning at about 9 or 10:00 P.M. He was a jamali type (serene) but at times, he also showed signs of being jalali (fiery). He would rarely utter a word.
Due to the accumulation of eatables, the bundle was smelling foul when Baba contacted him, but not even for a moment would the mast be away from his bundle of garbage. Baba was highly gratified by contacting this mast and liked him very much. One night Baba brought the mast with him to Satara, but because the mast became extremely restless, he was returned to his abode in Kolhapur the next day.
Kumar was also sent back to Dehra Dun at this time, and on 27 October, Eruch drove Krishnaji to Meherazad, where Baba ordered him to keep silence for six months.
Prior to Kumar's departure, one day at Meherazad, Kumar had the idea that it would be wonderful to have an impression of Baba's footprints. He was not sure whether Baba would agree, but he sent for plaster of Paris and kept it ready. After it arrived, he requested that Mani or Goher ask Baba if he would consent to give his foot impression, saying even if he agreed to give only the right foot, that was sufficient. Baba had already retired for the day and was in his room with Bhau.
Kumar put the plaster powder in a cardboard shoebox and was called to Baba's bedroom. He was nervous, wondering what Baba would say. When he arrived and explained the idea, Baba was in a pleasant mood and replied, "Yes, all right." So, with a nervous heart, Kumar quickly mixed the plaster of Paris with water. Eruch had accompanied him and told him to put a little salt in the mixture.
Baba graciously put his right foot into the box. After removing his foot, he asked Kumar, "What about the left foot?" Kumar hadn't been sure if Baba would agree to both feet, so there was only a small amount of plaster of Paris left. Excited, he mixed the remaining powder in the shoe-box's lid, and Baba put his left foot in it. (This is the reason the right footprint turned out fuller and more defined than the left.)
As Kumar was taking the impressions, Baba remarked, "It will be good for future generations — for posterity." Kumar took the boxes of plaster to his room where they dried, and then took them back with him to Dehra Dun.
Pandharpur is one of the most sacred and holiest places of pilgrimage for lovers of Lord Krishna, because of its temple of Vithoba (another name for Krishna). About 160 miles from Ahmednagar, the temple is situated on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River and was made famous by Tukaram. Gadge Maharaj had invited Baba there, and at the beginning of November 1954, he again beseeched Baba to stay in Pandharpur from the afternoon of the 6th to the afternoon of the 7th, these being the two most sacred days of the year, when thousands of pilgrims would be coming there.
Baba, however, did not wish to give mass darshan as he had done in Wadia Park, and informed Gadge Maharaj of this. Baba stated, "My coming to Pandharpur will be tantamount to Vithoba himself coming to take Vithoba's own darshan!"