Sai Sister Santi ji from USA says: Dear Hetalji, My name is Santi, we live in US. Thank you for the wonderful website. The new look is very good. Every day after I login, first I read the devotees experiences. You are such a blessed soul for the wonderful service you do for enabling us to share. I would like to share the experience of my second visit to Shirdi. If you think this is too long please edit as you wish.
I have prayed in 2008 December during a hardship we faced, that in my next visit to India, we will definitely visit Shirdi and Tirupati with my husband. We started planning the trip in the month of Jan to visit both the places. There were several things that have to be taken care of. My 3 children were still in college/school. Here the school year ends only in the middle of June. Finally we figured the date out and booked our tickets to leave USA on May 13 and be back on May 27. This was the first time when we were travelling out of the country leaving my children back here in US. I had lots of fears. But I asked and prayed a lot to BABA to take care of my children and return us safely.
We landed in Bombay; my husband’s friend picked us up and took us to their house. Though we went to take a quick nap at 1 AM and were up at 5:30 AM and got ready and eagerly waited for the taxi to show up. We left our friend’s place at 7:30 AM. They have arranged the car trip to and from Shirdi and a nice accommodation at Shirdi, across to Baba’s temple was also arranged. The lady of the house packed us our lunch, so that we do not stop and waste our time on the way to Shirdi. I felt that BABA not only brings us to him, but also makes sure in the path there are no hurdles.
I was very excited and could not fall asleep during the car ride, though my husband was taking a nap and asked me to take a nap, so that I will be fresh. I was going to Shirdi and going to see Baba at the Samadhi Mandir. That’s all I had in my mind. We reached Shirdi around 12:30 PM, after checking into the hotel, we freshened up, bought flowers and chaddar and Peda and stepped into the temple premises. We went to PRO’s office and bought 2 tickets. In my heart, I was longing to see at least one Aarti. So when we checked with PRO office, they suggested we could get the tickets for the Sej Aarti, and asked to come back at 7:30 PM to get the tickets. We took the Darshan tickets and stood in the line for the Darshan. As we entered the big hall, I was so excited to get a glimpse of the ALMIGHTY, there I saw him. He is sitting on that seat with so much radiance; it was such an amazing experience. I cannot describe in words. Then we gave the flowers and chaddar to the priest. He opened up the chaddar and wiped the floor and gave it back to us along with the flower we gave him. All I did was crying and thanking Baba for this wonderful moment.
After we came out, we visited Dattatreya temple, Eswara temple, Ganesh temple, Lord Sani temple, Hanuman temple, Gurustan, went into Dwarakamai and CHAVADI. As per the tradition, only men were allowed into CHAVDI. Prayed to the stone on which Baba used to sit. We went to the Donations office to pay a small donation (the money which I save every month). The person there gave me a handful of UDI and Prasad packets. I was very thrilled, when I touched them. After we came out, I asked my husband if we could go to the KHANDOBA temple. We took an auto and went to that temple too. I prayed there and went back to the room in the same auto.
We just landed 12 hours ago. The heat was bothering my husband. For me, all I wanted to be on the temple premises. But my husband convinced me that we should take some rest and go back in the evening to buy the Sej Aarti tickets. In the room, he was taking a nap. I was very restless initially, but finally I fell asleep. Around 6:45 PM again, we got ready and walked to the temple. We could buy the Aarti tickets. My husband asked me “shall we go for a Darshan now”, I immediately said YES and I got again another set of Darshan tickets and got in the line. The crowd was not as much as we had in the afternoon Darshan. This time, we moved towards the center lane. I kept on saying “Sri Sainathaya Namah”. As we moved closer to the Samadhi, the security guard instead of saying “keep moving keep moving” told me “Aaramse Darshan Kijiye” (Have Darshan comfortably) and showed me the corner spot near the metal frame to stand and said “idhar khade ho jayiye” (We can stand here). I asked my husband to stand next to me. I really thank the guard for showing mercy on me and letting me stand there in the corner as much time as I wanted. I am sure BABA HIMSELF in the form of the guard came and allowed me to have such a WONDERFUL DARSHAN. My husband got some Prasad also from the priest and we got into the center position. We prostrated before the ALMIGHTY and sat there on the floor in front of HIM for 2 seconds and left with JOY filled hearts.
After that, we went to have a quick dinner and came back to the temple premises around 09:30 PM to be in the queue for the SEJ Aarti. We sat on the ground, a nice evening breeze blowing; it has cooled down a lot. I was enjoying my surroundings and every moment of it.
Around 10 PM, the queue started moving. We went in and again got a nice spot to stand to see SEJ Aarti, it was another WONDERFUL experience. Baba was clad in a white dress with the long Mala. The atmosphere there was very divine and pure. After the Aarti, I moved in the queue and had another glimpse of HIM through the ‘MUKH DARSHAN’ window and headed to our hotel.
Here, I must tell you one thing, before I departed USA for the trip, only thing I prayed was “BABA PLEASE GRANT A WONDERFUL DARSHAN”. Baba did GRANT that for US not ONCE, but THRICE during one day. I will cherish THIS TRIP FOREVER and SINCERELY PRAY TO BABA to enable me to visit the SAMADHI MANDIR again and again. I prayed for all the fellow devotees, who long to have a Darshan of Baba, should have a BLISSFUL one. May BABA shower His blessing always on you Hetalji and also on every devotee.
OM SRI SAINATHYA NAMAH