Hetalji, Sai Ram
God is giving me a good opportunity once again to share my experience at Shirdi. I had, with Baba's grace gone to Shirdi in 1st week of February 2009 and with His call i could go again on 31st July 2009 & 1st Aug. Listen to your heart. If Baba's gives permission please publish on your blog... Sai Ram
I have with God's grace started Sai Vrat Story (9 weeks).
Baba made me start this with the good intention that all should go well and my prayers were general in nature. The day i started it, i was not very
satisfied with the Hindi version and the same night I got a mail from you (Hetal) on the subject : Sai Vrat Katha - FAQ's with introduction as "Many devotees are asking me the procedure of Sai Vrat story, so here is the correct procedure and not necessary you need to do the fast or read all the stories etc..."
What a coincidence isn'it ? Then i was happy to see a English version PDF attached which i printed and thanked Baba for showing me the way.
I also started hearing Vishnu Sahasranamam occasionally and when i was in the rickshaw i saw a big photo of Shirdi Sai Baba in the hotel and it was too good. I again saw Shirdi Sai Baba photo on another rickshaw, i was even more happy to see Shirdi Sai bless my intent. Tears flowed from my eyes and i showed my mother that Sai Bab is blessing us :) I hope i get chance to go to Shirdi.
For 5 weeks i continued the Vrat however I did not do the fasting. I kept seeking pardon from Him and kept praying. The 5th week i.e. last Tuesday i got a call from my husband's uncle (chacha) asking me whether I would like to join them to Shirdi!? Would my joy know any bounds??
I was struggling in office and lot of mental stress and what a great time without thinking i said yes that i am coming on Friday afternoon. Without checking or getting permission from my boss i confirmed to him.
From Wednesday i got diarrhea problem. The day when I was going to leave for Shirdi, i went to doctor, took tablets and prayed to SaiBaba to ensure i dont find the journey uncomfortable.
Trip to the holy shrine began on Friday noon. With the advent to Shirdi on Friday noon i started reading the Satcharita book as i do this usually. Generally with Baba's grace, i finish the next day while reaching back safely home. It has been a practice now since 2.5 yrs. Just this February we had been to Shirdi so had thought that lot of rush will be there. But to our surprise we reached Shirdi at 6 pm and my maternal uncle had arranged for a vip pass for 9.30 pm aarti. Also to our surprise a manager also had signed a special invite letter as an alternative. So we had 2 passes! What a leela!!!
We freshened up and went at 7 pm for darshan in the normal queue and got through by 1 hour 20 minutes. It was excellent darshan from the mandir -- we were standing against the railing so we got 15 minutes slow darshan till we reached the moorti (idol)/Baba's darbar. I got the Satcharita book blessed and got a rose in return. Even my husband's uncle and aunt got rose and flowers as blessings. Then we waited in the mandir outside for 9.30pm aarti for VIP pass darshan. They opened the gates again at 10 pm for that special entrance and i started praying for all the family members. Excellent darshan again but what - we were all on empty stomach since noon. Especially me since i have been on motion problem and my stomach was literally clear and remember that I didnt do fasting on Sai Vrat days?? So bhagwan compensated in one trip but phal (fruit) was given a lovely darshan!!!...
I was not able to concentrate because i was getting giddy but kept praying and thanking Lord for being so kind to me. I kept praying for my office work to settle and for me to feel better. Then we finally came out and had dinner and slept at 12.30. On the way from darshan only an inner voice kept prompting me come back tomorrow you cannot leave Shirdi without seeing me! I wondered what was in store for me next morning.
Next day we had to leave for Shani Shingnapur at 7 am but i had a strong urge to meet Sai Baba and have His mukha darshan since He had clearly told me so. Not to disobey this order, i told my husband and our family that while you get ready i'll quickly do shopping and come back! Give me 20 minutes they agreed and asked me to return by 7.20 am.
How did i get a wonderful darshan that day?......
I had my mobile with me. But when i saw that Mukha darshan queue not much lengthy, i pleaded to the policemen to leave me inside for 2 minutes. He said yes please go and keep your mobile in the counter and then go. I was listening to Vishnu Saharasranamam and it was really sad to see that i have to go all the way back to counter and then come back for darshan.
So i just said, "Oh ho, i cannot go so far - getting too late!!! Then suddenly guards behind watching this scene called me and permitted to go and have a nice and quick darshan. He added, "I'll hold the mobile for you! So i quickly thanked Baba, went to have a door darshan but very very fulfilling and then went to Samadhi, went to Dwarakamai and then bought some books (Sai vrat books to distribute after the vrat pooja) and then a moorti/idol for my aunty.
Then i reached the hotel they were just packing and keeping the car ready for leaving thank God i did not delay them.
Obeisances to Shani Shingnapur - Lord Shani : We took Baba's name and started towards Shani Shingnapur. The day was Saturday and we reached exactly before Rahu Kala 9 - 10.30 am). There also we had a lovely darshan and my husband, his cousin and uncle all three did the pooja and oil offering (during Rahu Kala which is very auspicious) and we also did anna danam and started towards Mumbai.
My stomach was not ok but it was manageable. We reached Marshej ghats lovely hill station 1 hour drive from Titwala and we enjoyed that moment. Seeing greenery and hills and clouds touching the mountain tips but it did not rain. I was just thinking O lord can we go to Titwala but i was scared to ask my since he does not like over doing things. I kept quiet.
To note that we were all empty stomach after our breakfast we did not have lunch anywhere it was already 4 pm by the time we were approaching Titwala and reached there at 4.30. It was empty almost when we reached there were only 5-7 people!!
We had a lovely darshan and then had lunch at 5.30 pm and went back home with divine memories. With Baba's grace i completed the Satcharita book reading before reaching home. We went to my granny's home and distributed prasad, ate dinner and reached our home late night.
The thoughts of the trip, darshan & Baba's distinct kindness was overflowing in my mind.
Sai Ram with a prayer "Please never discard your devotees always be with us" i slept off.
'He' is great - Bow to Shri Sai peace be with all.
Aum Sri Sai Ram
© Devotees Experiences with Shirdi Sai Baba