Travel Divine India

Shirdi Mandir Programme Schedule

Bhupali 4.15 a.m.
Kakad Aarti 4.30 a.m.
Holy Bath After Kakad Aarti
Satyanarayan Pooja 8.00 a.m. & 10.30 a.m.
Abhishek 7.00 a.m.. 9.00 a.m. & 12.30 p.m.
Mid-day Aarti 12.00 Noon
Evening Aarti Sunset Time
Bhajan, Kirtan & Vocal Music 8.30 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.
Shej Aarti 10.30 p.m.

Overview :

A small village in Ahmednagar district, Shirdi has become famous all over India on account of its association with the Divine Incarnation ( Avatar ) of Lord Shri Sai Baba. Pilgrims belonging to all faiths, throng here all the year around. Shri Sai Baba Sansthan, Shirdi was established in the year 1922 to carry out the noble service of Lord Shri Sai Baba. From the year 1922 to August of 1989 the establishment staff provided various facilities for the devotees. On May 4, 1990 Bhoomi Pujan of 'Sai Baba Bhakta Niwas' was performed. A building to accommodate 3500 devotees, having 560 self-contained rooms and two spacious halls has been constructed. The Sansthan is publishing various photos and books on Shri Sai Baba in many languages. The trust has started English medium schools three years ago. Scholarships are given to the poor and clever students every year by the Sansthan. The Chairperson and the members of the trust are taking keen interest to provide facilities to the villagers and devotees. Shraddha Inn (formerly - Shraddha Park Inn) Shirdi, epitomizes the peace and sernity expected by all devotees of Shri Sai Baba, who visit this temple town for spiritual enlightenment.

Places Of Interest :

Shri Gurusthan Mandir This is the place where Baba first appeared to the world as boy of 16 years and this place is supposed to be Baba's Gurusthan. The famous Margosa (Neem) tree is here which has a reference in "Sai Sat-Charitra". Shri Saibaba's Samadhi Mandir This is the place where sacred body of Baba is resting in Samadhi. Shri Gopalrao Butty of Nagpur constructed this building, This place is also known as 'Butty Wada'. It consists of Shrine and of a beautiful idol of Shri Saibaba. Lendi Baug / Data Mandir This is the place where Shri Sai Baba used to go for stroll. Nandadeep is kept constantly burning near the Pimple tree planted by Shri Sai Baba himself. There is also Datta Mandir in this garden and Shri Sai Baba's beloved horse 'Shamkarna' (Sham Sundar) is taking Eternal rest here. There is also a well here called as 'Baba's Shivdi'. Maruti Temple Baba was having a splendid place in his heart, for the Maruti temple. Baba used to regularly visit this temple.

Early years

Historians and devotees agree that there is no reliable evidence for a particular birthplace or date of birth. Communities have claimed that he belongs to them, but nothing has been substantiated. It is known that the Shirdi Sai Avatar spent considerable periods with Muslim fakirs, and his attire resembled that of a fakir. He did not discriminate based on religion and respected all forms of worship to God. Little has been officially documented on the early life of Shirdi Sai Baba. An account of Shirdi Sai's missing childhood years has been reconstructed by his disciple Das Ganu, after researching in the area around the village of Pathri. He collected this story in four chapters on Sai Baba, later also called the Sri Sai Gurucharitra.[9][10] Das Ganu states that Sai Baba grew up in Pathri, with a fakir . At the age of five, says Das Ganu, the fakir's wife put him in the care of the saintly desmukh Venkusha, where the boy stayed several years. Dasganu calls the young Sai Baba the reincarnation of Kabir. Because Das Ganu was known to take poetic liberties when telling stories about Sai Baba, and as there are no other sources to corroborate this story, it usually is left out of biographies of Sai Baba of Shirdi.

Sai Baba's biographer Narasimha Swamiji states that Sai Baba was born as the child of Brahmin parents: "On one momentous occasion, very late in his life, he revealed to Mahlsapathy the interesting fact that his parents were Brahmins of Patri in the Nizam's State. Patri is part of Parvani taluk, near Manwath. Sai Baba added, in explanation of the fact that he was living in a Mosque, that while still a tender child his Brahmin parents handed him over to the care of a fakir who brought him up. This is fairly indisputable testimony, as Mahlsapathy was a person of sterling character noted for his integrity, truthfulness and vairagya." —Narasimha Swamiji, Life of Sai Baba[11] According to the Holy Book Shri Sai Satcharita, Sai Baba arrived at the village of Shirdi in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, British India, when he was about 16 years old. He led an ascetic life, sitting motionless under a neem tree and meditating while sitting in an asana. The Shri Sai Satcharita recounts the reaction of the villagers: The people of the village were wonder-struck to see such a young lad practicing hard penance, not minding heat or cold. By day he associated with no one, by night he was afraid of nobody.[12] His presence attracted the curiosity of the villagers, and he was regularly visited by the religiously inclined, including Mahalsapati, Appa Jogle and Kashinatha. Some considered him mad and threw stones at him.[13] Sai Baba left the village, and little is known about him after that. However, there are some indications that he met with many saints and fakirs, and worked as a weaver. He claimed to have been with the army of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.[14] It is generally accepted that Sai Baba stayed in Shirdi for three years, disappeared for a year, and returned permanently around 1858, which suggests a birth year of 1838.[15] Return to Shirdi

In 1858 Sai Baba returned to Shirdi. Around this time he adopted his famous style of dress consisting of a knee-length one-piece robe (kafni) and a cloth cap. Ramgir Bua, a devotee, testified that Sai Baba was dressed like an athlete and sported 'long hair flowing down to the end of his spine' when he arrived in Shirdi, and that he never had his head shaved. It was only after Baba forfeited a wrestling match with one Mohiddin Tamboli that he took up the kafni and cloth cap, articles of typical Sufi clothing.[16] This attire contributed to Baba's identification as a Muslim fakir and was a reason for initial indifference and hostility against him in a predominantly Hindu village.[17] According to B.V. Narasimhaswami, a posthumous follower who was widely praised as Sai Baba's "apostle", this attitude was prevalent up to 1854 even among some of his devotees in Shirdi.[18] For four to five years Baba lived under a neem tree and often wandered for long periods in the jungle around Shirdi. His manner was said to be withdrawn and uncommunicative as he undertook long periods of meditation.[19] He was eventually persuaded to take up residence in an old and dilapidated mosque and lived a solitary life there, surviving by begging for alms, and receiving itinerant Hindu or Muslim visitors. In the mosque he maintained a sacred fire which is referred to as a dhuni, from which he gave sacred ashes ('Udhi') to his guests before they left. The ash was believed to have healing and apotropaic powers. He performed the function of a local hakim and treated the sick by application of ashes. Sai Baba also delivered spiritual teachings to his visitors, recommending the reading of sacred Hindu texts along with the Qur'an. He insisted on the indispensability of the unbroken remembrance of God's name (dhikr, japa), and often expressed himself in a cryptic manner with the use of parables, symbols and allegories.[20] Sai Baba participated in religious festivals and was in the habit of preparing food for his visitors, which he distributed to them as prasad. Sai Baba's entertainment was dancing and singing religious songs. After 1910 Sai Baba's fame began to spread in Mumbai. Numerous people started visiting him, because they regarded him as a saint with the power of performing miracles or even as an Avatar.[21] They built his first temple at Bhivpuri, Karjat.[22] Teachings and practices

Shirdi Sai Baba, leaning against the wall of his masjid, with devotees Sai Baba opposed all persecution based on religion or caste. He was an opponent of religious orthodoxy — Christian, Hindu and Muslim.[23] Although Sai Baba himself led the life of an ascetic, he advised his followers to lead an ordinary family life. Sai Baba encouraged his devotees to pray, chant God's name, and read holy scriptures. He told Muslims to study the Qur'an and Hindus to study texts such as the Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, and Yoga Vasistha.[24] He was impressed by the philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita and encouraged people to follow it in their own lives.[25] He advised his devotees and followers to lead a moral life, help others, love every living being without any discrimination, and develop two important features of character: unflinching perseverance (Shraddha) and waiting cheerfully with patience and love (Saburi). He criticized atheism.[26] In his teachings, Sai Baba emphasized the importance of performing one's duties without attachment to earthly matters and of being content regardless of the situation. In his personal practice, Sai Baba observed worship procedures belonging to Hinduism and Islam; he shunned any kind of regular rituals but allowed the practice of namaz, chanting of Al-Fatiha, and Qur'an readings at Muslim festival times.[27] Occasionally reciting the Al-Fatiha himself, Baba enjoyed listening to moulu and qawwali accompanied with the tabla and sarangi twice daily.[28] Sai Baba interpreted the religious texts of both Islam and Hinduism. He explained the meaning of the Hindu scriptures in the spirit of Advaita Vedanta. His philosophy also had numerous elements of bhakti. The three main Hindu spiritual paths — Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Karma Yoga — influenced his teachings.[29] Sai Baba encouraged charity, and stressed the importance of sharing. He said: "Unless there is some relationship or connection, nobody goes anywhere. If any men or creatures come to you, do not discourteously drive them away, but receive them well and treat them with due respect. Shri Hari (God) will certainly be pleased if you give water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked, and your verandah to strangers for sitting and resting. If anybody wants any money from you and you are not inclined to give, do not give, but do not bark at him like a dog."[30] Other favorite sayings of his were "Why do you fear when I am here" and "He has no beginning... He has no end."[31] Sai Baba made eleven assurances to his devotees:

1. No harm shall befall him, who steps on the soil of Shirdi. 2. He who comes to my Samadhi, his sorrow and suffering shall cease. 3. Though I be no more in flesh and blood, I shall ever protect my devotees. 4. Trust in me and your prayer shall be answered. 5. Know that my spirit is immortal, know this for yourself. 6. Show unto me he who has sought refuge and has been turned away. 7. In whatever faith men worship me, even so do I render to them. 8. Not in vain is my promise that I shall ever lighten your burden. 9. Knock, and the door shall open, ask and it shall be granted. 10. To him who surrenders unto me totally I shall be ever indebted. 11. Blessed is he who has become one with me.

In various religions


During Sai Baba's life, the Hindu saint Anandanath of Yewala declared Sai Baba a spiritual "diamond".[37] Another saint, Gangagir, called him a "jewel".[37] Sri Beedkar Maharaj greatly revered Sai Baba, and in 1873, when he met him he bestowed the title Jagad guru upon him.[38][39] Sai Baba was also greatly respected by Vasudevananda Saraswati (known as Tembye Swami).[40] He was also revered by a group of Shaivic yogis, to which he belonged, known as the Nath-Panchayat. But Shri Shirdi Sai Baba was neither a Saint , a Fakir , a Sadhu nor a mendicant as he appeared to . He was the Supreme Entity , Parabhraman or The Effulgent Attribute less Lord encased in the Human garb , An Avatar which incarnates from time to time to elevate humans to lofty spiritual heights and Fosters Dharma on Earth .


In a minor section of Islam community, Sai Baba is mainly considered as a Muslim fakir. He appears in Sufism as a Pir. Zoroastrianism Sai Baba is worshiped by prominent Zoroastrians such as Nanabhoy Palkhivala and Homi Bhabha, and has been cited as the Zoroastrians' most popular non-Zoroastrian religious figure.[42] Others Meher Baba, who was born into a Zoroastrian family, met Sai Baba once, during World War I, in December 1915. Meher Baba was still a youngster named Merwan Sheriar Irani when he met Sai Baba for a few minutes during one of Sai Baba's processions in Shirdi. This event is considered as the most significant in Meher Baba's life. Shri Sai Satcharita (Sai Baba's life story), makes no mention of Meher Baba. But in Lord Meher, the life story of Meher Baba, there are innumerable references to Sai Baba.[36] Meher Baba credited his Avataric advent to Upasni, Sai Baba, and three other Perfect Masters: Hazrat Babajan, Hazrat Tajuddin Baba, and Narayan Maharaj. He declared Sai Baba to be a Qutub-e-Irshad (the highest of the five Qutubs as said in Sufism in Islam), a "Master of the Universe" in the spiritual hierarchy.[43]

In culture

Sacred art and architecture

In India, its a common sight to find a Sai Baba temple in any city or town; in every large city or town there is at least one temple dedicated to Sai Baba.[4] There are temples located outside India as well, like United States, Netherlands, Kenya, Cuba, Canada, Pakistan, Australia, United Kingdom and more.[44] In the mosque in Shirdi in which Sai Baba lived, there is a life-size portrait of him by Shama Rao Jaykar, an artist from Mumbai. Numerous monuments and statues depicting Sai Baba, which serve a religious function, have been made. One of them, made of marble by a sculptor named Balaji Vasant Talim, is in the Samadhi Mandir in Shirdi where Sai Baba was buried.[45] In Sai Baba temples, his devotees play devotional religious music, such as aarti.[46] After the Samadhi Darshan, one can visit the Gurusthan, the tree where Sai Baba was first spotted meditating by the people of Shirdi. After that, one can go to the Udhi counter to collect the Udhi. The temple premises also has the samadhis of some of Sai Baba's most prominent devotees. It also has a book store where one can buy Sai Baba's books (Shri Sai Samartha Satcharitra, Aarti books etc.). One can also get clothes and Prasadam offered to Sai Baba. Mobile phones and cameras are prohibited within the temple premises. Dwarakamayi - Located adjacent to the temple complex, Dwarakamayi is the name of the mosque where Baba resided for an unbroken span of 60 years till his Samadhi in 1918. The structure has been renovated and houses the Dhuni the fire that Baba always kept burning. The flames are never allowed to die and the Dhuni today is the same that Baba lit over 100 years ago. Additionally, some of Baba's articles such as his grinding stone, fireplace, a stone on which he used to sit are located in the Dwarakamayi Chavadi - This is located next to Dwarakamayi. Every alternate day, Baba used to sleep in the Chavadi, a few meters away from the Dwarakamayi. Even today, on Thursday nights, Baba's footprints are taken in a ceremonial procession from Dwarakamayi to Chavadi. Khandoba Raya temple - This is the temple where Mahalsapati first welcomed Sai Baba and recognized that He is no ordinary saint. This is located on the highway, approximately 7 minutes walk away from the temple. Trimbakeshwar, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India, is just 150 km from Shirdi and it is worth a visitable place. Shani Shingnapur, the most famous temple of Shani in India, is just 75 Km from Shirdi. Taxi costs around Rs. 1200 and shared vans cost around Rs. 80-100 for a return trip.



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