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 (Photos courtesy : Sai Bhakta Dr.Vinni, Shirdi- Author of Ambrosia in Shirdi )

 

DWARAKAMAI 

 

OUTER VIEW OF DWARAKAMAI (MASJID)

THE BELL AND OCHRE FLAGS OF SANSTHAN

The Bell above and to the left of the entrance of Dwarakamai pavilion was tied Baba. It rings only three times a day, at 4.00 AM, 11.30 AM and 8.30 AM.  It is rung by the Pujari of Dwarakamai, calling the devout people for Arati. If it is rung untimely, it singals an untoward incident has taken place in the village. The people will assemble in the paviolion, and then go to the place of the calamity and set is right. This practice is still going on; hence its gong is tied to the grill.

BABA SITTING IN FRONT OF DHUNI MAA

FLAGS OF DWARAKAMAI

By Rasane Family

By Nimonkars Family

Gopal Rao Gund who started the Urs (Ramanavami celebrations) in Shirdi, asked his friend Damu Anna to supply a flag for the ocassion. He also induced Nana Saheb Nimonkar to supply another embroidered flag. Both there flags were taken in procession and fixed atop the roof of Dwarakamai. This tradition is still being carried out by their descendants (Ref SSS Ch.VI)

Even now the flags are brought by the descendants of Damu Anna and Nimonkar are first placed on the Samadhi. Arati is performed, then taken to the home of Tukaram by the Sansthan. Again Arati is done, the flags are hoisted on the staff (pole) preppared by teh descendants of the three brothers. Then with great joy and cermony it is taken in procession throught the village and hoisted ont eh roof of the Dwarakamai (SSBS by Pradhan).

The gheru flags on the southern wall of Dwarakamai are provided by the Sansthan.

RED SMALL PILLAR

In front of the Chulli is this sacred pillar. Baba used to sit in front of the Chulli while cooking, and rested His back against this pillar. Once when Nana Saheb Dengle wanted to do formal worship to Baba, Baba refused and asked him to do the ritual to this pillar. Every morning the Pujari of Dwarakamai applies Asthagandh to this pillar.

The unique feature of this pillar is, that if anyone who has pain in the back or joints, leans against it, the pain abates

.

Whenever Baba went out of the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Dwarakamai He made Pradakshina of this pillar. So also when He returned. One can do the same and utilise the favour of the pillar.

PADUKAS IN FRONT OF CHARIOT ROOM

Every morning Baba stood here leaning against the wall, while He looked at the sun. In remembrance of this, two sets of Padukas; (1) small Padukas are on the southern wall. This is where Baba placed His hand while leaning against the wall; and (2) just below the small Padukas, is a small shrine enclosing a bigger set of Padukas. This is the site of Baba's holy charan.

Daily worship is done by the Pujari of Dwarakamai.

CHULLI

Whenever Baba wanted to do Anna Daan He used this Chulli for preparing the food, and the devotees joyfully ate the prasad. There are two copper Handies, a small one could feed 50 people. The other could feed a hundred people to satiation with some food remaining. The hand mill and the handies used by Baba, are kept in the show room of the Samadhi Mandir

 DHUNI MAA

The everlasting Dhuni lit by Baba Himself more than 140 years is still burning. Baba kept this Dhuni 'ever' burning all day and night.  When Baba slept in the Chavadi, Radhakrishna Aai cleaned, and whitewashed the Masjid. She had to take out all the things including the Dhuni and replace as it was (Ref SSS Ch.VI)

SMALL PADUKAS IN FRONT OF DHUNI MAA

This padukas are in the NW corner of the Dhuni. It is the sacred place where Baba sat every morning before 5.00 AM for about an hour. This hour Baba spent in solitude. At that time other devotees were not allowed to approach Baba, except for the Sevkaries who quietly came and swept the Dwarakamai. Bhagoji Shinde was the first Sevak to go to Baba and massage His burnt hand.

KOLAMABA

Baba used to take Biksha from five houses daily. He called out 'Oh Lassie give me a piece of bread".  The food thus collected was put in this Kolamba (pot), dogs, cats and crows freely ate from this and Baba did not drive them away.

WATER POT

Baba Himself used to carry water from the well behind the Samadhi Mandir and fill this pot. Devotees used the water as 'Tirth'. This pot is next to the Kolamba adjacent to the southern wall of the Dwarakamai. Devotees may use this 'Tirth' to get relief of their ailments.

HOOKS ON CEILING

Nana Saheb Dengle brought a wooden plant of about 8' wide and 5' in length and gave it to Baba for sleeping. Baba tied this plank with old rags to the hooks on the ceiling like a swing. After lighting four Panthis He kept them in each corner of the plank. Baba 'The Yogi Raj' then slept on this plank. Many people wondered, and tried to watch Him get up and down this plank, and so, one day Baba broke it.  (Ref :SSS. Ch.X)

NIMBAR AND EVERBURNING LAMPS

In a Masjid the Nimbar is said to represent the Darga at Macca. It is next to ever burning lamps on the western wall. It is garlanded daily. Mention is made of this Nimbar in several places in the Sai Satcharitra.  After Noon Arati the devotees went home. Baba then went inside, and sat behind the curtain, with His back to this Nimbar for meals. 

Baba was very fond of lights. He kept lamps burning perpetually from the beginning of His stay in Dwarakamai. The 'Jyoth' has been burning perpetually since Baba's time, even when the lamps are cleaned.

JAATH (HAND MILL)

Karma is the lower stone, and Bhakti is the upper stone, and the handle is Gyana. In 1910 cholera broke out in Shirdi and Baba got a quantity of wheat and started grinding it. Then four women completed the grinding and then Baba said to them "Take the flour and throw it on the village border limits " and thus this Leela stopped cholera from raging in Shirdi. Besides the philosophical significance and grinding the cholera germs Baba daily ground sins, mental and physical afflictions and miseries of his innumerable devotees and He is still doing so (Ref. ESS, Ch. I). Devotees can touch this hand mill entreating Baba to grind their sins. Another hand mill which Baba used while cooking, is kept in the show room of Samadhi Mandir.

SACK OF WHEAT

This wheat bag is kept in a glass encased almirah next to the hand mill. Balaji Patil Newaskar rendered good seva to Baba, by sweeping and cleaning the streets daily, through which Baba used to walk. Every year when there was a harvest in his field he would bring the whole quantity of wheat to Baba and maintain his family on whatever Baba gave him. (Ref . ESS, Ch. XXXV). After him, his son also did the same. This bag was replaced on every Ramanavami day by his family, now the Sansthan does it.

SAI BABAS PORTRAIT IN FRONT OF DHUNI MAA

This portrait is an oil painting by the famous painter Shyamrao Jaykar. Moreshwar Pradhan had brought Jayakar to Shirdi and requested him to make two portaits of Baba. After Jaykar met Baba he on his own accord made more than two paintings, at Baba's bidding, when Baba said 'Aur Banao Jyada Banao, main gulli Gulli mein rahnewalla hoon'. This painting was received by the Sansthan, and after Baba's Mahasamadhi, was installed in the very place where Baba sat.

SILVER COVERED PADUKAS IN FRONT OF BABA'S PHOTO

In front of the portrait painted by Jaykar, is a pair of silver covered Padukas. After Baba's Mahasamadhi Shyama was staying in the Dixit Wada. The Sansthan was formed and Shyama was asked to pay rent. Shyama however, left Dixit Wada and took along with him Baba's Padukas and Photo to his house. The Sansthan requested Shyama to return them but he refused at first. Then S.B. Dhumal went to his house with a big procession and Shyama handed over all the articles. These Padukas are daily worshipped by the Pujari of Dwarakamai and decorated by the Pujari of Samadhi Mandir between 11.30 and 12.00 noon. Devotees offer their'Sashtang Namaskar' to these holy Padukas.

UDI STAND AND KATHADA (RAILING)

The railing is attached to a pillar on which the Udi stand is fixed. The literal meaning of Udi is 'to go'. Baba gave Udi to His devotees with blessings that they should go to a higher plane in their spiritual endeavour.

This is the railing on which Baba rested His left hand. Baba sat near the wall of the Masjid facing sount (towards Dhuni). Baba usually sat on a piece of sack cloth but His Bhaktas lovingly placed a Gaadi over it and bolsters for Him to rest. Baba usually stat with His legs outstretched and His left hand rested on this railing. This railing has been painted over and over again but if one lovingly rests one's forehead on the railing, one can feel a depression where Baba probably rested His hand.

BABA'S BATHING STONE

This stone was prepared by Rambaji of Nasik. Hearing of Baba's Leelas he came to Shirdi in a mentally disordered condition. He used to drink Baba's bath water and used it on his body. By doing so he got rid of his mental disorder. As a reminiscence of this he gratefully prepared this stone and offered it to Baba to sit and have bath on it. This practice of using Baba's Abhishek Tirth to cure mental and physical ailments is still going on today. Devotees carry this Tirth to their homes not only in India but also far away countries.

AGARBATTI STAND

This small red Agarbatti stand is on the platform, on the right side of the main entrance of Dwarakamai. It was there since Baba's time. This was used to fix Agarbattis. Baba often sat on this platform and distributed Udi after the Noon Arati.

TORTISE

This marble tortoise is in the center of a well, the black tiles surrounding it represent the four flights of steps leading to the bottom of the well. This tortoise is worshipped with 'asthagandh' before 'Kakad Arati' and after 11.30 AM before 'Noon

TULASI BRINDAVAN

Baba planted this Tulasi Brindavan outside His Masjid. After the outer pavilion was constructed, the devotees brought this Tulasi Brindavan inside and tended it. It now stands in the North East corner. Every year Tulasi Vivah is done on the twelfth day of Deewali.

SHYAM KARAN

Kasam, a horse merchant, was distraught because his mare had no issue for a very long time. He vowed to Baba that if his mare had a foal, he would offer the first born to Baba. By Baba's grace the mare did have a series of issues. So he came and presented Baba with the first born. Baba called the horse 'Shyam Karan" as his body was brown while his ears were black. The horse loved Baba and Baba reciprocrated. This horse was housed in teh room situated on the eastern side of Dwarakamai; now called 'Shyamsunder' hall. This beloved horse of Baba died in 1945 and his samadhi is built in Lendi Bagh. Bala Saheb Sulthe of Shirdi presented this idol. It was installed on the left side of the stone on which Baba sat. This statue is in remembrance of the deep love that Shyam Karam had for Baba and Baba reciprocated.

STONE ON WHICH BABA SAT AND PORTRAIT ABOVE THE STONE

This stone is placed in the center of the eastern wall of Dwarakamai in a small Mandap. Baba used to sit on this stone facing the west. Marble Padukas were installed on this stone. The legend has it, that this stone was in Lendibagh, Abdullah like the other villagers, used to wash clothes on it. Then they saw Baba sitting on it. So they brought it to Dwarakamai and venerated it as Baba's Asan.

D.D.Neroy of Bombay was a great devotee of Baba who made many photo prints of Baba with one of the eleven sayings. Usually he would write 'If you look to Me, I look to you'. He was a photo merchant and made this beautiful photo. It took him three months to frame it. On the advice of Kamu Baba, he presented it to the Sansthan to be kept in the Sabha Mandap. Baba has given Sakshatkar (darshan) from this photo with blessings and healings.

STATUE OF TIGER

Installed on 12.11.1969 by Triambkarao of Ozar Village. Seven days before Baba took Mahasamadhi the Leela of giving a sick tiger Sadgati is vividly described (SSS Ch.XXXI).  Baba not only gave Sadgati to men but also to beasts alike. The Samadhi of this tiger is in front of Mahadev temple in the old Shanti Niwas premises.

 

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