Sai Ram sisters and brothers,
I wish to take this opportunity to thank our dearest Lord for the immense experience He gave me and my family at the Divine place on 31st Jan and 1st Feb 2009. Now let me take you through this wonderful experience.
I took the last printout at 6.30 pm on friday and prayed to Baba that we get a good darshan. Before that Our Lord already answered my prayers through the letter that was taken by a devotee on 19th January in which I had prayed that I would also like to do the service of placing letters and that we should have a lovely darshan and return safely. Now see how Baba fulfils each of these wishes. Firstly I could go within the couple of weeks of the prayers (mentally on 17th Jan) and letter reaching Shirdi (19th Jan) to Baba. Secondly I could do the service of letters as per the letter.
We started our journey on Saturday. My day started at 5.30 with hearing of Vishnu Saharastranamam cd (quote that Baba blessed Shama with Vishnu Saharastranamam in Sai Satcharita) and then we started at 7am. I offered my prayers to Lord Ganesha with Ganesh gayatri and also heard certain mantras related to Lord Ganesha. Then I heard Sai Amrutvani in my iPod (this also Baba instructed me in my heart to save the songs in iPOD instead of hearing other songs!) So I had the excellent opportunity of reading Sai Satcharita at 9am with hearing Sai Amrutvani along. With Baba's grace we reached Shirdi at sharp 1 pm or so. Never before we reached so early. My husband was really glad that we reached well before expected time.
You may recollect that I had prayed and Baba had given me darshan through my inner vision and He was wearing a purple robe....and Lo! at Shirdi and the hotel where we stayed the Photo had a purple robe. I have sent the photograph taken on my mobile a little later to confirm this to all and it is attached with this post by sister Hetal. So it was the beginning of the excitement, my heart was thumping loud and as in satcharita the devotees heart was thronging to have darshan of his lord same way i was going on urging my husband to have early darshan.
While my family rested for some hours at hotel I was reading Sai Satcharita and praying to Baba for a nice darshan. We started to mandir at 4pm. At the mandir gate only one man who was serving to keep chappals since the stand was crowded he offtered to take chappals and give us an offering plate. He told us that each one of us can take our mothers under senior citizen.
My mother-in-law, mother, husband and I (four of us) had been to Shirdi, so my husband decided to take his mother and I took my mother through senior citizen gate. Really my mother was laughing and saying, "Baba is hearing everything..." Let us see how the darshan goes.
I had carried the printouts of the prayers with me. When we just reached the Samadhi Mandir main darshan (the place where the actual mandir line merges with Baba's Samadhi, there I asked a security guard where is the senior citizen's line and he said to through a way which went directly inside and he opened up a tied gate and allowed me, moother, mother-in-law and husband into the mandir!! We went straight and merged into the Samadhi Mandir and thanked Baba's grace and love that He allowed me to walk on the left hand side railing which means from beginning of the railing to end of the Samadhi. I could see baba clearly. My mother was behind me. Then I requested the security guard present there whether he can keep all these prayers at Baba's Samadhi while I reach slowly after sometime. He assured me to keep it myself and Baba will allow. He kept monitoring us till we reached the Samadhi (flat 5 minutes from beginning) and I had carried my Sai Satcharita. I immediately decided to pray to our Lord to bless this book also so that I absorb the messages He wanted to convey through it and also I learnt spirituality and undertake everything in life through reading His stories and mahima (greatness). We reached near Samadhi where I prayed and tears were flowing through my eyes throughout and Baba blessed the letters and Sai Satcharita and I got both the things back through the pujari. Then the security guard allowed us the stay in the middle centre and have good darshan.
I offered my namaskarams and surrendered myself and thanked the Lord for the wonderful darshan and on my way out thanked security guard. He said, "Hope you had a nice darshan go carefully out from here" and again we came out the way we went in! we stayed in front of the mandir (where we can have mukha darshan) and attended Aarti till 6.30 pm.
Chavadi and Dwarakamai bhog and acceptance of prayers
I was still immersed in the bliss of the darshan and aarti and now was wondering how to take our elders to Dwarakamai in the crowd. Although the day was Saturday, it was not so crowded but my mother-in-law could not walk too much she already got giddy while sitting and waiting there. So I took the prayers to Chavadi and kept there and prayed Baba to accept all prayers and prayed for myself and then joined family at Dwarakamai gate. Here also I took my mother-in-law with me and requested the security guard politely to allow us directly parellely into Dwarkamai since she cant walk conviniently in the queue, so he said that he could not allow us in the line directly but we can take darshan by standing at a distance. I agreed. When we went and stood in front of the dhuni and Dwarakamai, I requested another security guard again to keep these prayers at the lord's feet. I said, "I am not allowed inside, can you please do this favour?" and can you all believe what he said ? I guess this was Baba's shere
Leela. He said, "They are giving bhog (offering of food to Lord) to baba and hence the gate is closed we will allow you specially to keep the prayers, dont worry, just wait here for 10 minutes please".
I was really surprised. i called my mother and my husband, but unfortunately my husband did not understand standing outside what was saying so he chose to stand outside but my mom came and joined me. In flat 4 minutess they allowed us (3 of us) please note that the devotees were standing on either side of the railing at dwarakami patiently waiting. But we three standing in the centre of the Dwarakamai. The security guard allowed us to go one more cage inside so now we were standing just outside the dhuni cage down waiting for the bhog offering to start and the mandir poojari came and offered bhog to Baba. I was thrilled to see and was absorbing all these in my mind. He also put one portion of bhog into the dhuni and locked the dhuni door. Then after the poojari gave the bhog which be offered and god was so kind that we also got a small piece of that blessed prasad. What more can a devotee ask for after reading Sai Satcharita stories of how Baba used to make food Himself and offer it as prasad to all His devotees. I felt that same way of devotion. Then the security guard who first allowed me to get inside and asked me to go inside and take good darshan and place the letters! Before we entered Dwarakamai, another devotee who had performed special pooja was also offered us prasad. Then we went inside after a few devotees came out. I placed my head on the Divine Feet of Baba and then requsted the poojari to place the letters at Baba's feet and he asked, "IDHAR HI RAKHNA HAI KI WAAPIS LEKE JAANA HAI?" I said YES, IDHAR HI RAKHIYE, if you are willingly allowing it." All was Baba's Divine will I told him! And he was so pleased that he gave 3 'kaju katris' (a sweet made from sugar and cashew nuts). Please note that the sweets were for myself mother-in-law and mother. Now how did he know that we were three in all? Surely it was Baba who pointed out this to that poojari! Also we got one more prasad 'shira' (a sweet dish made from suji-Semolina, sugar, milk and dry fruits, specially used for offering prasad) from another poojari who was standing besides the other poojari.
So kind and loving is Baba. His heart melts for His devotees and I was shocked by the treatment we got and I can only say all prayers are really powerful that I thank God that I had the honor of taking them to Shirdi this time! My humble thanks to all of the devotees without whose powerful vibrations each and every member that day in Shirdi was allowing us to go without any obstacles.
After returning from dwarakamai I shared this incident with my husband. I felt so bad but shared all the prasad with him we did some shopping of prasad, photos and my mother-in-law and my mom saw a lovely murti of Baba I really intended to buy it. I thought, "Anyways we are there here till Sunday and if Baba wills I shall buy it tomorrow (1st feb)." Also I bought two Sai Satcharita for my aunty and sister+in-law and thought I shall get them blessed during the next day darshan. We returned back and I continued reading Sai Satcharita and now all the stories that I read soaked well into my heart and mind and was thinking of Baba and slept.
T he next day morning my mother and I went for early morning darshan at 6am. I took the two Sai Satcharitra for blessing. Again this morning I tried to take my mother as senior citizen & we were allowed directly into the samadhi mandir but a small incident happened. we went through the centre that allows you dirctly to reach the Samadhi with no railings. So we could see Baba right in front of us but due to Sunday rush to reach the Samadhi itself it took a few minutes among pushes and pulls. When I reached there I offered the prasad and also Sai Satcharitra. Now see Baba's Leela again. The poojari flung the prasad and the plastic fell down. By the time I got up with my prasad bag the books were missing! I asked him 2-3 times abut the book. He exclaimed that he did not have any book. From the behind security people were forcing us to leave the place to make room for other devotees but I was insisting to stay for few minutes as that I had given the book to the poojari and he said 'Kidhar jayega mai idhar khada hoon.aapka dhyaan nahi tha aur kisi ke haath me de diya hoga maine - Where can the books from here, Mai. You may not have noticed me giving the books to you, so I may have given them to another devotee by mistake!" I said, "I cannot see." He asked to search again. I was so surprised that in my front of my eyes Baba gave the book to someone who needed it. Immediately the other security guard told me to take darshan and leave and if the books was missing may be its had fallen somewhere down. I got the message and again offered my namaskarams to Baba and came out. I kept thinking again and again and kept telling my mom again and again. Then my mom said, "You can afford to buy another books, lets buy it now. Dont worry the books have gone to someone else who really needs to read it. Baba has ensured it to be reaching the right hand. Dont worry and lets go now."
So this way I accepted as prasadam this lovely incident that Baba has shown me an immediate example of practising spirituality (which I recollected in Sai Satcharita book, chapter on Shama and Vishnu saharasranama where Baba blesses the book of Ramadasi and gives to Shama quickly! From the blog owner - Readers can read the fuller account from here. Another thing which I was reminded while editing this post. This experience was received by me to be posted on Monday, but due to inevitable circumstances, I had to delay it and today it happened that I sat down to edit it and released that today is Thursday Baba's day. Morevoer Sai Sister Manisha has also posted an incident about the importance and experience regarding Vishnu Sahastranaam and co-incidently the thursday message from Sai Satcharita came out to be the same one. Ah! what a Leela of Baba and how smartly He pulls up all stringes. This clearly signifies us that we should practice to read Vishnu Sahastranaam along with His daily worship. Now coming back to the detailed narration of Shirdi trip by Sister Ranjini)
Later then I realised that I was a fool standing in Baba's darbar and didnt think of praying Him instead was arguing with the poojari and others for the missing books! I should have just accepted quietly and prayed for more enhancement and progress in spiritually. Never will I get such an opportunity this year to come again. Anyways I savoured this in my heart & when while reading Sai Satcharita I laughed and accepted that we should be non attached to any material thing and accept His will and that Baba wanted me to learn this in His own unique ways! We reached bombay in time within 5 1/2 hrs and reached & returned safely (as per my prayer) from the divine place. I finished reading Sai Satcharita yesterday and I forgot to mention that my mother also expressed her thought on sunday morning for buying Baba's murti (so divine was Baba). We both laughed when I said, "I had totally forgotten after the book incident." We bought two other books for my aunty and Baba's murti from a shop before we left the mandir. This murti was installed by us in our shrine yesterday evening. After I finished the last chapter I offered bhog and we performed aarti and installed the lovely small murti of Baba. More than that we installed Baba in our hearts.
So with this now I can say that Baba accepted all our prayers and offered us prasad also. Let us all accept the outcome of our prayers with 'prasadha buddhi' and surrender our hearts, thoughts, words, deeds and actions to His lotus feet. He can only assure us that we will be free from all miseries.
Aum Sai Ram Bow to Shri Sai --- Peace be with all.
© Devotees Experiences with Shirdi Sai Baba