The Manifestation of Shirdi Sanstan
It was observed by devotees that Lord Saibaba’s Samadhi was not being maintained after the Mahasamadi of Lord Saibaba in 15-10-1918. Sri G K Dixit came forward to preserve the situation. Soon he came to Shirdi and approached Ahmednagar district court in order to seek permission to establish a set up under the act of public financial sector to fulfill the task.
Sri Abdul Baba being one of the committed devotees of Sai Baba performed the sacred rituals like Abishekam and offered prasadam (religious offering) to Saibaba. Abdul Baba used to eat that food (mahaprasadam) which was offered to Saibaba. He used to stay in the room which is situated towards the left side of Samadhi. Nearly he used to get four to five thousand rupees which were offered by devotees of SaiBaba as Dakshina (donation for the service of a priest).Only few supported him and thought that he was the successor of lord Saibaba but the idea of administration board and its formation was against the law.
By believing these words Abdul Baba filed a petition in Ahmednagar court stating that he is the real successor of Sai Baba. By the grace of Sai Baba the high court declared that he is not the successor of SaiBaba and not related to the administration of Sri SaiBaba samstha. By the courts declaration Abdul Baba stopped performing the sacred rituals and made him to vacate the room.
One of the important places to visit nearby Shirdi is Shani Shingapur temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shaneshwar. One can reach this destination by car or by bus.
Holy places in Shirdi
Kanifnath temple:This temple is situated in the front of the old post office. Kanifnath is one of the nine leaders of the Nath cult. It is believed that Lord Saibaba has visited this temple number of times. In shravan masa (fifth month) many occasions are celebrated in this temple. Gokulaasthami i.e. the birth day of Lord Krishna is celebrated very magnificently. Daily in this temple the sacred rituals are performed by the priest of the village.
Temple of Mahalaxmi:
This temple is just by the side of pilgrims Inn by Pimpalwadi road. Once it happened that Balashimpi had suffered from severe Malaria as he could not get rid from it for many days though he approached many doctors he couldn’t find any solution for his suffering. He came to Shirdi and pleaded to Saibaba about his illness. Then Lord Sai replied that soon he would be freed from the suffering if Shimpi offers curd rice (made with yogurt) to a Black dog in front of Mahalaxmi temple. After hearing the words of Lord Sai soon Shimpi went to the temple where he saw a black dog wagging its tail. The dog ate the food as soon as he kept the food (curd rice) in front of it. Soon, he was freed from the suffering. From that day the villagers believed that whoever visits this temple would be freed from any kind of diseases.
Temple of Khandobha:
Khandobha is the manifestion of Lord Shiva. He is the presiding deity of Maharshtra. It is the situated in front of the bus stop beside Sainadh hospital. Mhalasapathi served as a priest in this temple. Lord Sai Baba visited this temple when he came along with Chandpatil for his marriage. Mahalsapthi welcomed Baba by calling him as Saibaba. From that time the villagers started to call him as SaiBaba. Baba told Mahalsapthi that it is the suitable place for him to stay in the temple as the temple was filled with serenity. But Mahalasapthi opposed him saying that Muslims are not allowed into the temple. Then Mahalsa along with Kasiram requested Sai Baba to stay in the Masjid which was near to the temple. Mahalasapathi started to accompany Baba as he was influenced by Baba’s Bhakti Tattva (the deliberation on the true Nature of Devotion).
Baba ordered Upasini Baba to stay alone in this temple for three and half years for the progression of Bhakti Tattvam and for enlightening the soul. In 1929 Upasini Baba took the responsibility in renovating the temple as it gradually fell into disrepair. The temple was built with bricks and lime mortar. As a token of gratitude for Sai Baba’s grace on him he also constructed a Gopura (monumental tower).
The most auspicious occasion in this place is Champasruti. This is celebrated every year very grandly. After the prayers may people will walk on fire with bare feet over a bed of embers or stones. The last phase of this festival is that the priest of the temple should walk on the embers.
Banyan tree (marri chettu ) :
One can see a Banyan tree in front of the Khandobha temple. It can be seen in the temple premises exactly on the right side. It is believed that Lord Sai Baba used to take rest under that tree, which made the tree premises more sacred. A parapet wall was constructed around the tree and photo of Lord SaiBaba and his Paduka’s (footwear) were placed.
Temple of Vittal:
This temple is situated on the left side of the road that leads to the post office. Long Back Lakshman roa used serve as priest in that temple. He was deeply a pious person. At first he did not like Baba and his daily activities. One day when Lakshman Roa was suffering with illness Baba with his power saved him. From then he changed his mind and became Lord Sai’s devotee. One day his son Bapaji Laksman Ratna parkhi was suffering with illness he requested Saibaba to save his child Baba himself went to his house and placed his divine hands on and gently swiped his hands on his forehead soon he recovered from illness. Bapaji is one of the beloved devotees of Lord SaiBaba. At the time of Mahasamadhi along with other devotees he was one of the luckiest devotees who were present at that time.
Temple of Hanuman:
This temple is called as Maruti mandir and also known as Dakshinamukhi. In this temple there are two idols of Lord Hanuman. A Yogi called Devdas lived in Shirdi for many years before Baba’s visit to Shirdi. Baba along with Devdas stayed in this temple. Devdasi restored the temple to a good condition with the offerings given to Baba.
On the way to Chavidi Baba stopped in front of this temple and waved his hands. At the time of procession they used to stop the palanquin in front of this temple to give Lalkari aarathi. People who are in the spiritual practice of Namajapam are mostly seen in this temple. Hanuman Jayanthi is considered very auspicious and celebrated very grandly. One can see a peepal and Neem trees in front of this temple B.V.Narshimha swamy installed the idols of Naga (snakes) under this tree. The resident of Mumbai Murthikar installed a Shivaling along with Nandi. The residents of the Shirdi will celebrate the auspicious occasion Mahashivaratri in a splendid way.
Temples of Ganapthi,Shani and Mahadev:
These temples are situated in front of old Bhaktinivas( Q complex). The money which was donated to Baba was used in the renovation of these temples with the help of Tattya.Sri Samsthan has take up this task to renovate this temples as they were in poor condition. Temporarily the idols were removed from the temple on December 26, 1998 and the idols were moved to Kailsamandir. After the renovation of the temple the idols were placed in the original places on July3, 1999. From that time this temples have become a part of tourist destination.
Temple of Narshimha swamy:
This temple was constructed by the descents of Shakaram. This temple is situated beside Shakaram house which is close to Baba’s chavidi. The tomb’s of Rama giri bhuva, Trayambak( son of Shakaram) , and Arashabhai ( wife of Shakaram) are present in this temple. Shelke family takes the complete responsibility of this temple.
Other places of interest in Shirdi
Shivanesan swamy’s Samadhi:
Shivanesan swamy was born at Nayakkarpalayam in Coimbatore district on Ramanavami. His parents are Alamelu and Muthaih. He is the youngest person in his family. Swamiji from his childhood showed disinterest towards studies. He continued his studies till eight standard. He preferred loneliness. He experienced utmost happiness by mediating on God. He left that place after his mother death. In search of Divyagyana(spiritual knowledge) he reached Mumbai. There he met Muttaiya swamy who belonged to Valalanadu village. Muttaiya swamy became Guru to Shivanesan. Shivanesan got complete knowledge about of Bhakti tattva, Vendanta and in practicing dyana (meditation). Later during his exploration about Divyagyana he moved to Nityananda ashramam from Mumbai. In 1953 he reached Shirdi. When he visited Dwarakamai he has seen lord Saibaba who is the embodiment of Divyagyana punjam. He got the blessings of SaiBaba. From then he did not leave Shirdi.
Shivanesan used to clean every temple in Shirdi. He was very much fond of Dwarakamai. He used to clean the earthenware which was used for lightning a lamp (pramida). He always wore white colored clothes. He was pure at mind and heart. He utilized the given or offered money to buy sacred books or to serve the needy with food. Swamiji studied many Grandha’s. He was well versed in ten languages. He participated in Satsang with devotees. He carried his speeches in different languages. Shivanesan practiced Circumambulations around Gurusthan daily in the Moring from 3-30. He suggested his devotees to practice the same as he told that it would benefit them by giving a Good health. After evening aarathi he made other devotees to participate in Bhajan’s. His favorite song was Saibhavani. World widely this song is sung by Sai devotees.
Dhuni puja was performed collectively. Even till date it is performed in Shirdi. He used to give sacred water of Sai Baba (theertham) and holy ashes (vibhuti) to the devotees. It was not an easy life Swamiji sometimes had to undergo the pain of hunger. He had no proper place to rest. Because of his principled life he was blessed with a good health thought he experienced hunger pangs.
He asked the devotees of the Sai to construct Sai temples who were coming from different parts of the world. He wanted the devotees to share their experience in satsang. It is not an ordinary effort that is delivered by Shivanesan Swamiji to spread Sai Tattvam. He took Mahasamadhi on 12th February, 1996. His Mahasamadhi is on Pimpalwadi road about two and half kilometers from prasadalay. It is the most Sacred and holy place in Shirdi .one must definitely visit this place.
**** Sairam ****