I woke up at 4 A.M today with a dream. I completely forgot the dream (Thankfully. Else, I will write about it and complicate my life more). But I did got a message after the dream. Last evening too Sai blessed me with a dream as I hugged Saibaba statue and slept for an hour. I just decided to keep all these dreams within myself and not to reveal to everyone. I had enough Saibaba. Let’s keep within ourself now. So I had to write something else…
I wish to come to Shirdi. Take me soon to Shirdi or I might have to plan something tricky at work to go to Mumbai and there by land in Shirdi once again. he he..I have all chances to do it but then, I don’t know how people will take it. So I am keeping quiet. Having said that, what’s there in Shirdi?
Saibaba is every where.
So I am listing all that I love about Shirdi
Long Que and mix devotees from several parts of India and abroad
This is the best thing about Shirdi. You will see ‘India” the way it should be seen. I especially like the devotees who look very ordinary and coming from a very simple background. The way they speak, their devotion on Saibaba really shows in the way they move in the que towards Samadhi Mandir.
I like some Maharastrians who wear those white topi on their head and imagine if that’s how people in Shirdi village used to dress during Saibaba’s life time.
2. The Sound of Shirdi
Shirdi has its own nature of Sound. You must be in shirdi to experience it. You will listen to the Aarti 4 times a day. Apart from that, I like one of the Marati recitation of Sai Satcharita which they do early in the morning. Its so divine to listen to.
I love the way kids speak to their parents and exited looking at the colourful toys, Saibaba photos and other stuff in Shirdi. I also like the way my sweet Indian husband-wife, Parents-Kids, Grandparents-relatives argue with each other loudly without any decency (Like me) in the middle of the road, in streets, in shop, restaurants and also on their way to see Saibaba.
In India, there’s no travel experience without these cute little arguments!
The parasadalaya in Shirdi is one of the biggest in Asia and the one that uses green energy from a solar plant impleted few kilometers from Shirdi. I have never been to this new prasadalaya though. I still like the food in the hotels around the temple complex. During my March 2016 visit to Shirdi, I met my Sai friends Vandana and Purnima Aunty along with their daughter Nupur. After we had darshan, we had food in the Punjabi hotel opposite to Mahalakshmi temple. When Purnima aunt said something good about the restaurant, I still can remember the way Nupur proudly said “This is Sher-E-Punjab”
How can I forget that accent?
I don’t have any friends from Punjab but I do have friends who are Punjabi living in other parts of India. Another place I don’t have even one Sai friend is Kolkatta but I do get mails from that area occasionally. I assume Sai devotees are very less in those places. Not sure why?
Recently, Nupur had mailed asking if Sai sent a message for her in my dream. I did got a dream even when I was in Shirdi and even before I met her that evening. So I passed on the message to her. Its really something known to Sai and myself alone. Why he shows dreams to me as message for someone else? Saints ways are very unique. I just wish Sai blesses Nupur with a dream that sends a message to me for my current situation as I am really confused.Let’s wait and see if it happens.
Now come back to Shirdi story!
hmm..What else do I like in Shirdi?
Oh..How can I forget the greatest and the most divine place on planet Earth. If there’s one place where I wish to leave my last breath in this birth, its in this holy Dwarakamai. Sai lived here. He walked here. Our Sai slept here. He did hundreds of miracles in this holy Dwarakamai. The soul of my life, holy fire of Dhuni was first lit in this Dwarakamai. I love Dwarakamai. In any Shirdi Saibaba temple, Dwarakamai is where I wish to be.
I wrote few articles about my experience in previous trip to Shirdi
I was spending most of one night sitting outside Dwarkamai and wrote the experience here –
5. Samadhi Mandir
When Bapu Saheb built Buti Wada, it was supposed to be a temple of Lord Krishna. None new Sai is going to pass away leaving all of us and the place reserve for prana Prathista of Krishna statue became Samadhi of Saibaba. There was only a huge portrait of Saibaba in this place until 1954 when they kept the real life statue of Saibaba. You get only few seconds to have darshan of Saibaba in his Samadhi Mandir but remember him alone. Don’t bother about what other devotees are doing or how you are asked to move ahead. It happens. People shout. Scream or what ever. You just focus on Sai for you came all the way to Shirdi to see him and the right way to put it is
“Sai took you all the way to Shirdi to see you”
The land where Shops are filled with “Sai…Sai and Sai”. You will love shopping in Shirdi as long as you are not bored with the different forms of Sai you can get. What matters is, it fills your time to pick different stuff to gift your family and friends who are Sai devotees.
7. Meeting my Sai friends
When ever I write that I am going to Shirdi, I get mails from some of my Sai friends. Some make sure I meet them or their close friends in Shirdi who happen to travel to Shirdi in the same dates. I have this friend Kashyap in Shirdi who used to tell me that you must arrange an event in Shirdi just to meet your Sai friends. I told him, its not practically possible and hence I accept sudden surprised.
From Geetha Mathuri who came from Hyderabad to the Australian Author who wrote about Saibaba to Nupur whom I met recently. It was all a surprise!
In 2006, I rarely hear Tamil speaking devotees in Shirdi. Today, If I stay in Shirdi for 3 days, I will have someone who calls me loud. During my previous trip to Shirdi, I was walking out of Dwarakamai at 3-4 A.M early in the morning towards my room. One of this guy whom I have seen in Nagasai Mandir spotted me and called in excitement – “Sollave Illa..Neega epidi inga – You din’t tell me that you are going Shirdi”. So people I come across in Coimbatore Saibaba temple expect me to say that I am going to Shirdi.. We spoke for couple of minutes and moved away.
8. Mahalakshmi temple
How can I describe her. My Beautiful Mahalakshmi of Shirdi. I don’t have words to describe the beauty of my darling Mahalakshmi. She’s so divinely gorgeous. Just walk few meters in Pimpalwadi road. Opposite to hotel Neeta, you will see this temple. This is the Mahalakshmi temple infront of which Saibaba asks Bala Ganpat Shimpi to offer rice to a Black Dog to cure his fever.
Here’s her photograph…
Now, I want you to write what you like most in Shirdi. And share your experiences with Photo.
Just when I started to write this article, my parents started to one of my cousins enggagement. One of this relative walked in and said “After this wedding, Could you take me and aunty to Shirdi?”. I said “Hmm”. May be, Sai’s own way of calling me to Shirdi.
Anyway, I wish to go alone. I have been alone all my life.
Om Sai Ram,