This beautiful Shirdi trip experience was shared by Deepa. I liked the way she has narrated it and you will feel as if you are having Sai darshan along with her.
The Moral Law is inexorable, so follow it, observe it, and you will reach your goal. God is the Perfection of the Moral Law”
~ Shree Shirdi Sai Baba
So, was it planned to go to Shirdi, or were I called by the Saint Shree Sai Baba to visit Shirdi ad take his blessings? If am asked this question, I would say that it was both called by him and we planned like how few couples say that theirs was “Love cum Arranged Marriage”.
I started believing and worshipping Baba Since 2005, the year I came to Bangalore for a dissertation. Everywhere I turn, I could see his photos, idols, sayings (Eg. “Why fear when am here”), devotees worshipping and praising his deeds in gathering in satsangs (Group of people praising God and singing devotional songs).
I could feel some vibration within me when I saw his picture and gotten into the curiosity of knowing more about him. I savvied about him from my friends praising him how he was with them during their hardships. And, thenceforth, I started visiting the Mandirs (temples/holy Shrines) where he was worshiped. I could feel blessed each and every moment I stepped into the mandir. To add on to this bliss, I happened to see his photo from which the holy ashes what we call as “Vibhudhi” pours down. Though incredible, I could see through my eyes the Vibhudhi coming out from the glass photo that had Baba’s picture.. Such a miracle that anybody could witness. I also heard that in one of my friends’ house, turmeric powder that is considered holy in India pours down from Baba’s photo. My faith grew on him more by seeing this miracle and listening to his stories.
The thought of somehow visiting Shirdi rooted up in my mind and this thought that I had thrown to the universe has reached the controller of the Universe, Shree Sai Baba..
I usually take Baba’s help before proceeding for any work or any endeavor through Sai Baba’s questions and Answers site. It so happened that one day I typed a question related to my job loss, as I was bogged down and desperate in need of a job. He answered me asking me to visit Shirdi and to apply the Holy Ashes Vibhudhi on my forehead and soon I will be relieved from all my mental agony and crisis. I felt very meritorious and my happiness had no boundaries.
I wanted to leave the very moment itself to Shirdi. I was in so much joy then. I had a wish to take my parents along with me to Shirdi. So, it was my Dad who had been with us throughout for arranging travel, boarding and lodging.
Journey to Shirdi
It was Feb 17, 2015, my son celebrating his 6th Birthday, and the same day, Dad got the tickets booked to Shirdi by train. It was an auspicious day of “Mahasivarathri”, a day we intensely immerse in worshipping Lord Shiva. We caught the train to Shirdi. It was Kurla express that took us to Daund. From Daund, we had to encounter lots of hiccups as we didn’t have confirmed tickets to reach Kopergaon. We bought open tickets in a connecting train from Daund to Kopergaon. Keeping faith in Baba, amongst several difficulties, we could get the seats also. Alighted from the train we all, at Kopergaon, we took an auto rickshaw to go to Shirdi which was 20kms away from there.. We safely reached Shirdi by his grace. It was a Journey of around 20 hours, we were welcomed by an acquaintance there in Shirdi, we were severed a delicious meal, which we call as “Anna Dhanam”, food donated to the devotees.. After having our food, we booked a room at a good hotel nearby and refreshed ourselves. Rested for an hour, we got up, dressed with new garments, to visit the holy mandir of Shree Sai Baba.
Yes, my lifetime dream was to visit Baba is going to come true and am there with limitless joy.
We all moved to the temple which was just a 10 minutes walk from the hotel we stayed. We, got into the lane, moved in, and waited in “Darshan Hall-2”. The offerings to Baba, the evening Pooja Aarthi (devotional offering) was going on and we could watch that through the TV screens kept in the Halls in many places as and when we moved.
The gift of touching holy Samadhi Mandhir
Like a small child, yearning for Mother’s love, I was waiting with flowers in my hands, when I will step into the hall, where Baba’s Samadhi (Baba’s body buried) was there with his huge idol. On the way, we were distributed consecrated “Prasadham” (holy food). Then, it took 45 minutes to come through several lanes and climbed steps. Finally, there he is, garbed with red holy garment, his Samadhi covered with orange, hall fully decorated with flowers and Garlands, lightings, it was a complete bliss. Anybody will surrender in such an ambience to Baba. In fact, I forgot myself what I wanted to pray and was blank till I went very near him. I was fortunate that day because I could touch his holy lotus feet and Samadhi by my hands and there was no rails kept to guard them.
My entire family was left with bliss. I surrendered myself to the saint, Fakir and Sadhguru, who having gone the path of divine consciousness himself, leads his disciples through the jungle of spiritual teaching. I felt that I have started to pursue the path of Self-Realization ardently after placing my head on his holy feet.
After the Darshan, we had visited few other Shrines such as Dwarkamayi Masjid, were the “Dhuni” (Furnace in which Baba cooled himself) form which we get the Vibhudhi was there, Chavadi, Hanuman Shrine, Ganesha Shrine etc. Had our dinner in a restaurant, we returned to the hotel. Next day was Thursday, regarded as the day of Sai Baba. I had a thought of visiting it again. Asked my mother about this and she agreed. Next day, early morning around 5, me and my mom reached the temple. But this time, it was crowded and the queue was too lengthy as it was Thursday. We bought some garland and sweet packets to keep in Baba’s feet and distribute as “Prasadham” to our people.
Love for Lord Dattatreya
It took nearly 1 and ½ hours to get the darshan. This time, I could not touch the holy feet and Samadhi as the rails were kept to guard hem. So, I was feeling lucky that we made to the mandir yesterday and touched the feet and Samadhi. After having the Darshan, me and mom, took a big walk around the temple and explored many more holy Shrines around. Amongst those was a deity on whom I had a special love and devotion, “Lord Dattatreya”. He was looking so beautiful and shining in marble. Offered him flowers and prayed for some time. We could see the Neem tree, which is believed that Baba rested there and it has a cave under it. The leaves from the neem tree branch which served as Baba’s place of rest, tastes sweet, this neem tree is believed to be efficacious and cure ailments. It was protected with the net from the leaves falling down.
We were also fortunate that, we could see the counter where they were distributing “Udi”, or “Vibhudhi”, the holy ashes. I had no idea that Udi is distributed here and again I felt so very blessed that I missed it the previous day but Baba made me to see this day. Me and mom rushed there collected the Udi packets. The Udi, by inferences is believed to cure mental and physical ailments when it is applied on forehead and wounded parts. Hence, it is very powerful and devotes will definitely like to get one for them. I was so happy that I am lucky to get one for myself and was feeling blessed to the core.
The place also had a museum where Baba’s things like his apparels, utensils, etc where kept for display. After having a visit there, we me and mom, went to around for shopping. We bought some Baba’s idols to distribute to our neighbors. After shopping, we both were back to the hotel to send my dad who also wanted to visit the Mandir.
I was overwhelmed with joy that I could make it to Shirdi and am still carrying the feel of bliss after having passed a month. To me, this is an unforgettable trip and has etched each and every moment of this visit.
There were few more other temples nearby Shirdi like Alandi, Shegaon, Ramkund, Muktidham, Kalaram Temple, Ellora Caves, Tribakeswar, Bhimkeswar etc. As this trip was a short visit to Shirdi, we could not visit those places. Our next Shirdi trip will be a long one of 5 days were we would visit all the nearby Shrines. My next blog on Shirdi visit will be even more exciting and informative with the blessings of Shirdi Shree Sai Baba.
~ Deepa Priya. J
Hope you like this devotees experience friends. Don’t worry if you can’t touch Saibaba’s samadhi during your Shirdi visit. You don’t really have to touch Saibaba’s samadhi to get his blessings. Just looking at Saibaba from distance and deeply remembering him will bring you all the blessings. I personally avoid spreading information about Udi shedding from Sai photo etc but in this experience, it has inspired her to show devotion on Saibaba. Seems such miracles have a good effect in creating faith in Sai children. I also like the way the devotee has explained about the patience one must have waiting in que to get Saibaba’s darshan in Shirdi. Its been years since I visited Shirdi. So I am thankful to Deepa for her narration of Shirdi trip – Venkat