History Of Shirdi Sai Temple
The main shrine that houses Sai Baba’s Samadhi and statue today was originally a large private house that was constructed during his last years.
The construction was done over the garden that Baba had tended over a dumping ground. The original house was built to serve as a resting house as well as a Mandir.
In his dream a wealthy devotee of Baba named Gopalrao Booty from Nagur and his friend Shama received the instructions of Baba to build the temple. The first round of work began around the year 1915 and it was built of stone. While passing by Baba would sometimes offer his suggestions.
Booty asked Baba if he could place the statue of Muralidhar in the temple to which Baba readily gave permission and promised to inhabit the place permanently with joy. Very soon Baba fell ill and according to his last words he was carried from the masjid to the newly constructed wada.
He was carried there and buried at the place where the statue of Muralidhar was to be placed on 15th October 1918 the day of Vijaya Dashami. He was buried along with his some of his personal possessions a photograph placed on a thorne on the tomb that is still kept in the recess of the Samadhi Mandir.
In the subsequent Shirdi temple history the present day Samadhi Mandir has become twice the size of the original wada with a large hall that has been constructed at the back so as to connect it with the masjid or he Dwarkamai.
Also a museum has been added that displays three pair of sandals, folded clothes, several chillims, cooking pots and a silver palanquin.
The eternal spiritual presence
The Shirdi temple has great implications to people of all faith who flock there to seek his blessings. Just as when he was alive and sought to educate his disciples with his philosophy of shradda and saburi that is faith and compassion, even in death he continues to bestow his blessings.
Sai Baba is said to have never returned anyone who came to him empty handed during his lifetime.
Similarly the devotees firmly believe that a darshan at this holy temple will fulfill all their material needs. Baba is believed to be omnipresent and manifesting in different ways to the believer.
Daily worship rituals
The image of Sai Baba is given the due honor that he used to be given during his life time.
Every day in the morning at 4 am Baba is woken up and his mosquito net is removed following which incense is offered to him. After this the ritual abhishek is offered to Baba during which he is bathed in hot water, curd milk and ghee.
His clothes are changed four times during the day before the elaborate arati. He is adorned with silver or a golden crown during the arati.
The arati is held at 4.30 am, at noon, at sunset around 6.30 pm and finally at 10.30 pm. He is offered breakfast, lunch and dinner and at night a mosquito et is spread over his hung above his statue and a kaffan like white cloth is placed on the tomb.
To assure his comfort, a glass of plain water is kept next to him too. Each Thursday a Palki with Baba’s photo is taken out of the temple in procession. The Shirdi temple timing for Darshan is from 5 am to 10 pm.
Worshiping Sai baba will obtain prosperity and some other virtues in life and receive divine blessings.