A human being with a drained intrinsic worth is as useless as the gadget with a drained battery inside it. Travel is related to new beginnings, new learning, a transformation, and memories that last a lifetime. Life is all about reviving from the point of enervation.
Spirituality is about energizing life positively. I have always been blessed to first alight at the Khandoba Mandir (Temple) every time I have visited Shirdi. Khandoba is an incarnation of Lord Shiv and is commonly known as the house deity of many in Maharashtra. The Fakir, who is known as Satguru Shirdi Sai Baba today, had decided to make the town as his center for discourse on human values which have immense potential to help individuals progress in their life. The Fakir was instantaneously addressed as “Sai” for the first time at this temple by the temple’s priest Mahalsapati & it is believed that it was Khandoba himself who spoke through the priest’s mouth. One can celebrate this place and feel emotionally energized and rejuvenated the moment they step down on this soil. The experience is devout.
Next, I head straight to Dwarkamayi to offer some wood for the Dhuni. People in the 19th century visited Dwarkamayi to listen to Baba’s discourse. The Dhuni/firewood was lit by Baba at Dwarkamayi with the amalgamated fire from the lamps of Peace, Love, Truth, and Righteousness, founded underground beneath the holy Neem tree where the Fakir (Saint/Baba) sat for his penance as a young lad. The Fakir’s divine feet enriched the Shirdi soil. The Dhuni wood bears resemblance to the perishable & a sinful human body which turns to ashes and returns to mother earth someday. The powerful Dhuni blesses our physical status or body to gracefully perish by the end of the lifetime.
The next important place I visit after Dwarkamayi is the Gurusthan. Baba attained spiritual powers from his Guru here; hence the name Gurusthan- The Gurus abode. Baba’s Guru was lost in penance for twelve years underground beneath the Neem tree where the four lamps of peace, truth, love, & righteousness were discovered only before Baba decided to light the Dhuni/Firewood in Dwarkamayi. One can attain the blessings to love their Guru unconditionally and eternally, & learn to have unshakable faith in him and win his ceaseless guidance at this place. One’s life can become miraculously sweet as the leaves of the Neem tree in the Gurusthan. Prayers offered by devotees here are never turned down by Baba.
The Samadhis (tomb) of all Baba’s beloved devotees from the 19th century have been constructed close to the Lendi Bagh & the Gurusthan. The tombs bless each one of us today and pave the path for us to reach Baba’s feet.
The next on the Agenda is the Nanda Deep which is an extension of the Lendi Bagh. At Nanda Deep, one can be blessed with the spirit to protect nature, & to spread its significance worldwide. One can walk towards the well in Lendi Bagh which Baba had excavated to protect Shirdi from water scarcity, and pray at this well for the world to be water sufficient. The beautiful Lendi Bagh speaks volumes about Baba’s message to this world to plant trees and protect the environment.
Each of Baba’s beloved devotee’s house is a mini temple by itself. One must visit Abdul Baba’s dargah (mosque) next to Dwarkamayi, Hanuman Mandir, Baba’s Chavadi- Prayer Assembly point), Mahalsapati, Shyama, & Lakshmi Bai’s house which is now all converted into mini lodges. These devotees bless us to be virtuous in our actions to family and society during our lifespan.
By the evening, I head towards the Prasadalay (A system where food is offered to all devotees who go to visit Baba). The Prasadalay system was started by Baba to bring people from all religions, classes, and beliefs together as one. It was the best platform where he served and spread the message of love and unity.
After the meal, I wait for the next day, when I visit his Samadhi Mandir. Baba’s idol in the Samadhi Mandir is a carbon copy of how he looked before his Mahasamadhi. Late Shri Balaji Talim had disclosed how his prayer was answered, & Baba manifested to help him complete the marble statue of Baba. After greeting Baba, one can set out to offer peda prasad (sweets) to the speechless animals, the helpless and the poor. Baba had emphasized on feeding the hungry as the highest form of spirituality.
In Baba’s museum, one can witness the evidence of his lifestyle. I was ecstatic to learn, that he enjoyed poetry & Ghazals immensely. I only yearn to know which ones he liked, as there is a possibility that I may have missed reading that information in the museum.
Each of my experiences has a deeper explanation to it. There is more to understand than what is understood, & more to know than what is known. My blog is just a droplet from the Ocean of the Fakir’s tales.
A Guru is like the light that shows you the path in the darkness. Walk on this path, & you will certainly relish emancipation.
This piece of my work is an ardent effort to acquaint anyone who has not had an opportunity to experience Baba & Shirdi, and to bring them one step closer to understanding their life better through him.