Religious Program on Important Events
SSP also conducts 5 important events (New Year, Ram Navami, Temple Anniversary, Guru Poornima and Mahasamadhi ) where special satsanghs are held. Special activities on those days include Palkhi Seva for Baba, Chandan Utsav, Gopal Kala Ceremony and various cultural programs.
Akhand Sai Naam Jaap
Chanting the Lord’s name gives the devotees deliverance from miseries in this Kali age. SSP conducts the Akhand Sai Naam Jaap (12 hours or 24 hours continuous chanting of Sai Mantra ) on certain occasions.
Palkhi seva for Baba is done on all events and certain special occasions. Baba is offered Arati and then Baba is carried in the form of a portrait in a palanquin by devotees on their shoulders from Dwarakamai to Chavadi. Children carry the flags, followed by Shyamkarna, the horse, and Baba surrounded by His devotees to the accompaniment of dance and music. On reaching Chavadi, a small Arati is waved to Baba signifying the end of the Palkhi sewa.
The origin of this dates back to early 20th Century when BABA sleeping alternatively in Dwarakamai and Chavadi until His Mahasamadhi. From Dec 10, 1910, on the days Baba retired to Chavadi for the night, devotees flocked to Dwarakamai, made music and accompanied Baba from the Masjid to Chavadi. Baba’s horse, his ratha (small car) and some devotees led the way with flags and other items, while others sang and danced. After the Arati at Chavadi, devotees took leave of Baba after offering their salutations.
The ‘Sandal’ Procession or Chandan Utsav
At Shirdi Sai Parivaar, ‘Chandan Utsav’ was started as part of Sri Ram Navami celebrations in 2011. Chandan is prepared and carried in procession along with Palki from Dwarakamai, with great enthusiasm and devotion, chanting Baba’s name. Hand imprints with chandan are made on white sheets placed against the walls. Many devotees including children participate in this celebration, remembering our beloved Shri Sai. Chandan Utsav was celebrated in Shirdi during Baba’s time with His blessings along with ‘Urs (fair)’ and Sri Ram Navami celebrations
Origin: The idea of ‘Sandal’ procession originated with one Mr. Amir Shakkar Dalal, a Mahomedan Bhakta from Korhla. This procession is held in honour of great Muslim Saints. Sandal i.e. Chandan paste and scrappings are put in the THALI (flat dishes), and these are carried with incense burning before them in procession to the accompaniment of band and music through the village and then after returning to the Masjid, the contents of the dishes are thrown on the ‘Nimbar’ (nitche) and walls of the Masjid with hands. This work was managed by Mr. Amir Shakkar for the first three years, and then afterwards by his wife. So on one day, the two processions, the ‘Flags’ by the Hindus and that of ‘Sandal’ by the Muslims, went on side by side, and are still going on without any problems. (Source: Satcharitra chapter 6)
Shirdi Sai Parivaar performs Gopal Kala ceremony as part of ShriRamnavami festival celebration at SSP Temple. The Gopal kala prasadam made in traditional way, is offered to Baba on ShriRam Navami day along with other prasdam. At SSP, instead of the mud pots filled with curd or butter, piñatas filled with Gopal kala prasadam and goodies are tied up in for kids to celebrate Gopla Kala ceremony.
The origin of this dates back to early 20th century. The Ram Navami day is very dear to all the Hindus so Kaka Mahajani, Bhishm and Radhakrishnamai ardent devotees of Baba wanted to celebrate Ram Navami festival at Shirdi. They went to masjid and obtained Baba’s permission. All rejoiced and made preparations for the Jayanti festival. Next day the masjid was decorated. A cradle was suppllied by Radhakrishnamai and placed in front of Baba’s seat and the proceeding stated. Bhishma stood up for Kritan and Mahajani played on the Harmonium. Baba took a garland form the‘Nimber’ and placed it round his neck and sent another for Bhishma. Then the Kritan commenced. That day’s program including Mahapuja and Arti was finished. Next day, another Kritan and Gopal kala ceremony was performed and then Baba allowed the cradle to be removed signifying the conclusion.
BOW TO SHRI SAI AND PEACE BE TO ALL