Monday, December 7, 2009

Sai Baba's Chavadi Shirdi-Complete Detail With Rare Pictures and Video.

Share Author: Manisha.Rautela.Bisht on 10:35 PM
Dear Readers,
Happy Thursday to all,
Yesterday I had posted Invitation from Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan for Chavadi's Centenary Celebration .This signifies that on December 10, 2009, the tradition of Chavadi procession will be completing 100 years.To make this occasion memorable Sansthan had started unique celebration by taking Baba's portrait and Paduka on 10th Dec 2008.To mark this great occasion I am publishing a post on various details about Baba's most revered place 'Chavadi'.Many of has visited Shirdi and our visit to holy land is complete only when we visit Dwarkamai and Chavadi after having darshan in Samadhi Mandir .

There are many places of importance which are also must see but pilgrimage to Shirdi is incomplete without taking darshan of Baba in Darwakami and Chavadi.Keeping in mind the importance and divinity of these places I am bringing a complete write up on all the places in Shirdi where Baba lived,moved and spent His life.These details shall be followed in coming post .

Content of the post is the extract of various details about Chavadi available from various resources devotees are welcome to contribute more information on this if they have by mailing me at this ID.I have also tried to gather old and rare pictures of Sai Baba's Chavadi .
Old and Rare Picture of Chavadi.

History of Chavadi :

Chavadi means “village office”, and was the place where taxes were collected, village records kept and visiting officials were put up.It also meant “meeting place of Villagers”.
Baba used to always spend most of the time in Dwarkamai but after one particular incident Baba started spending alternate nights in Chavadi. There are two Chavadis in Shirdi one south facing and the other north facing, right chavadi is now the Nagar Palika reading room .South Chavadi is where all the Sai devotee go for Baba's darshan.

Sai Baba is intimately connected with South facing Chavadi, as he used to sleep here on alternate nights, during the last decade of his life .It so happened that on one wild and stormy night, in 1909 it was raining heavily, and water was coming through the leaky walls of the /Dwarkamai mosque. The devotees tried their best to persuade Baba to move out, if only until the water had subsided, but Baba did not want to go. Eventually, they virtually forced him to leave, by picking him up and half-carrying him to Chavadi. From that day onward, Baba spent alternate nights here.
Chavadi is also very significant to Sai devotees as it played a major role in the inception of formal worship of Baba. Once Baba started sleeping at Chavadi, the custom arose of offering regular arati to him on his arrival from the mosque/Dwarakamai. This was Sej (night) Arati. Later, Kakad (morning) Arati was offered when he woke up there.

On entering this south facing Chavadi, one can see a plaque on which is written "Shri Sai Nath Babanchi Lakshmi Bai Damodar Babre, Chinchanikar Chavadi, Saka 1859".

Damodar Babre came from the village Chinchani -Thana district. Hence, every one called him Anna Chinchanikar. He and his wife came and lived in Shirdi, and were devoted to Baba. For many years they did selfless service not expecting or asking anything from Baba. One day Shyama asked Baba "why He had not blessed this couple with a son?. Other devotees were blessed and their wishes were fulfilled". Baba smiled and said
"Has it happened so, that whenever anybody has asked me for any thing, I have not given to him "?
Baba being Antaryami saw that the son, would only continue the name of Anna for one generation. While Baba wanted Anna's name to last for a very, very, long time.

A civil suit regarding his fields was then in progress at Dhanu. Anna time and again asked Baba about the outcome.Baba always used to say "Allah Bhala Karega". A famous lawyer, Achyut Narayan Khare, was handling his case. Once someone wrote to Anna saying that he had lost the case. Anna ran to Kaka Dixit and informed him, so, both of them came to Baba at Dwarakamai. As they were entering the Dwarakamai, Baba shouted "This old man has no faith in Me, throw away that letter".

Later the lawyer informed him that he had won the case and Rs. 1,8007- along with the court costs was awarded to him. Anna and Kaka went to Baba with the letter in hand. Baba simply said
"Have you got faith in Me now?"
Anna placed the letter at Baba's feet and said "Baba this is all yours, I do not want it". Baba refused to accept the money saying that He was a Fakir. Anna begged Baba to accept it. This conversation went on for some time. Ultimately Kaka suggested that the sum could be used to repair the Chavadi, and it should be named after Anna and his wife Lakshmi Bai. The sitting platform along the outside of the front wall is a later addition.
Inside Chavadi:

Large Portrait of Baba:

Inside Chavadi is a large portrait of Baba which was painted by Ambaram from Nausari in Gujarat after Baba had given him darshan in a dream in 1953 after his Mahasamadhi. At the time, Ambaram was only eighteen years old. Ambaram painted this portrait from his dream vision. The Nausari villagers were touched by Baba and Ambaram’s painting of him, so they collected donations, framed it, and brought it to Shirdi and handed it over to the Sansthan. It was first proposed to keep this portrait in the Samadhi Mandir. But as the statue was being prepared this portrait was placed in the Chavadi. Baba used to sit at this very place during Sej (night) arati and Kakad (early morning) Arati.

On the left of the painting is a plain, wooden bed on which Baba was given his last bath after he passed away in Dwarkamai. These days, the bed is taken out each Thursday and the palanquin is placed on it. In the same corner next to the bed is a wheelchair which was presented to Baba when he was suffering from asthma, but which he never used.These items are now kept in Museum and are not in Chavadi.
Raj Upchar Photo:

The right portion of the building contains the framed photo of the cross-legged Baba ,kept in grand attire on Silver Sinhasan(hence it is known as the Raj Upchar photo) and this is the picture that is taken out on procession on festivals and each Thursday in the Palki and Rath.

The silver throne where it is kept is where Baba used to sleep.It has been there since Baba’s time. Women were not allowed in this section and this tradition is maintained till today, only men and children are allowed in this area.

Every Thursday after the noon Aarti it is brought out and kept on the wooden cot for darshan .Than it is taken to Samadhi Mandir ,where after the “Raj Upchar “ it is taken in the Palki along with Baba’s Paduka and Satka Aarti is done in the Chavadi and chillum is offered to Baba in this portrait. Than it is taken back to Samadhi Mandir for Sej Aarti .It is brought back to Chavadi after Kakad Aarti the next day. Chavadi is opens from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Wooden Cot.

After Baba took Mahasamadhi on 15Ih October, 1918, (Tuesday) at 2.30 PM His body was laid on this wooden cot for three days, till 17Ih October, 1918 (Thursday). As there were differences between His devotees as to where to intern Him (Ref, Ch. 43-44), on this wooden cot His 'last bath was performed. With due formalities His body was brought in procession to Dagdi Wada (Samadhi Mandir). In the Garbha Gruh i.e. central portion reserved for Murlidhar "HIS samadhi" was made.

This cot was previously in Dwarakamai now it is housed in the Chavadi. Every Thursday it is taken out and placed in front of the Chavadi and Baba's palki is placed on it. After Arati this cot is placed along the western wall of the Chavadi.
Wheel chair:

In 1886 Baba made an attempt to cross the borderline. He suffered from a severe attack of Asthama, and to get rid of it He took samadhi for 72 hours. Mahalsapathi guarded His body well (Chapt 44). Baba coughed off and on. This chair was presented by a devotee, for Baba to use, and move about in His old age. However, Baba moved freely and occasionally with the help of His devotees. Baba did touch this chair, and kept it, but never made use of it. This chair is placed on the north-western corner of the Chavadi and now it is placed in museum.

Glass lamp shades.

Radhakrishna Ayi was a young widow from Pandharpur who came and stayed in Shirdi. She loved Baba and wanted Him to have a royal sansthan service. She tirelessly worked to this end and, often asked rich devotees to bring beautiful things for Baba (her Vittal). Kaka Mahajani on the advice of Radhakrishna Mai brought these glass globes for Baba's lamps. Govardhan Das brought silk curtains, and new dresses for the volunteers who carry the umbrella and chamars .

Around the time when Dwarkamai was renovated, Chavadi was also upgraded. The mud walls were neatly plastered, huge mirrors were hung, glazed tiles replaced the mud floor and glass chandeliers were suspended from the ceiling.
Procession to Chavadi During Sai Baba’s Time:

One cannot help marveling at Baba. We know that he did not like such pomp and paraphernalia and we have seen the importance to him of holy poverty (“faqiri”) and his reluctance to allow devotees to worship him, yet here he was allowing himself to be lead to Chavadi in an extravagant display of adoration.

In describing the scene a few moments before the procession Hemadpant in Sai Satcharitra hints at Baba’s response. People were singing bhajan, some were decorating the palanquin, rows of oil lamps were burning, Shyam Sunder stood waiting fully decorated, then "Tatya Patil came to Baba with a party of men and asked him to get ready. Baba sat quiet in his place till Tatya came and helped him to get up by putting his arm under Baba’s armpit”.

Baba wore on his body the usual kafni, took His satka (short stick) under His arm-pit and after taking His chillum (tobacco-pipe) and tobacco and placing a cloth over His shoulder became ready to start. Then Tatya threw a golden-embroidered beautiful Shela (Shawl) over His body. After this Baba, moving a little the bundle of fuel-sticks lying behind with His right toe and then extinguishing the burning lamp with His right hand, started for the Chavadi.

Then all sorts of muscial instruments, tashe, band and horns and mridang, gave out their different sounds; and fire-works exhibited their different and various coloured views.

Men and women singing Baba 's name started walking, making bhajan to the accompaniment of mridang and veena. Some danced with joy and some carried various flags and standards. The Bhaldars announced Baba's name when He came on the steps of the Masjid.

On the two sides of Baba stood persons, who held chavaris and others who fanned Baba. On the way were spread folds of cloth on which Baba walked on, being supported by devotees' hands. Tatyaba held the left hand and Mhalasapati the right and Bapusaheb Jog held the chhatra (umbrella) over His head. In this fashion Baba marched on to the Chavadi.

When procession reached near Maruti Mandir, Baba used to halt there for some time. Baba used to look at Hanuman ji's idol and gestured something with His hands by moving them in various directions. Baba only knows the meaning of these strange gestures!

The fully decorated red horse, named Shyamakarna led the way and behind him were all the carriers, waiters, musical players and the crowd of devotees. Hari-nama (the name of the Lord) chanted to the accompaniment of music rent the skies as also the name of Sai. In this manner the procession reached the corner when all the persons that joined this party seemed well-pleased and delighted.

On coming to this corner Baba stood facing the Chavadi and shone with a peculiar lustre. It seemed, as if the face of Baba glittered like dawn, or like the glory of the rising sun. Baba stood there with a concentrated mind, facing the north, as if He was calling somebody. All the instruments played their music while Baba moved His right arm up and down for some time. Kakasaheb Dixit at this time came forward with a silver plate containing flowers besmeared with gulal (red powder) and threw them on Baba's body off and on.

The musical instruments played their best at this juncture and Baba's face beamed with steady and added radiance and beauty, and all the persons drank this lustre to their hearts' content. Words fail to describe the scene and splendour of this occasion. Some times Mhalasapati began to dance being possessed or obsessed by some deity, but all were surprised to see that Baba's concentration was not in the least disturbed.

With a lantern in his hand Tatya Patil walked on Baba's left side and Bhagat Mhalasapati on the right, holding with his hand the hem of Baba's garment. What a beautiful procession and what an expression of devotion! To witness this, men and women, poor and rich, flocked together there. Baba walked very slowly. Bhaktas followed on both sides with love and devotion. With joy pervading the whole atmosphere of the place, the procession reached the Chavadi.

The Chavadi was also fully decorated with a good white ceiling, mirrors and many sorts of lamps.

On reaching it Tatya went ahead and spread an asan and placing a bolster made Baba sit there and made Him wear good angaraksha (coat). Then the devotees worshipped Him in various ways. They put on His head a mugut (crown) with a tuft above, placed garlands of flowers and jewels round His neck and marking His forehead with musk-mixed vertical lines and a dot (as Vaishnava devotees do) they started at Him for long to their hearts' content. They changed His head-dress now and then and held it aloft on the head, fearing that Baba might throw it away. Baba knew the heart of them all and meekly submitted to all their methods without objection. With these decorations He looked wonderfully beautiful.

Nanasaheb Nimonkar held the Chhatra (umbrella) with its beautiful pendants which moved in a circle with its supporting stick. Bapusaheb Jog washed the feet of Baba in a silver dish and offered 'arghya' and worship with due formalities, then besmeared His arms with sandal paste, and offered tambul (betel-leaves). Baba sat on the asan (gadi), while Tatya and others kept standing and falling at His feet. When Baba sat on the gadi supporting Himself against the bolster, devotees on both sides waved chamars and fans. Shama then prepared the chillim and handed it over to Tatyaba who drew a flame out of it by his breath and then gave it to Baba. After Baba had His smoke, it was given to Bhagat Mhalasapati and then it was passed round to all.
After this function was over, devotees put garlands of flowers on His neck and gave Him nose-gays and bunches of flowers for smelling. Baba who was dispassion or non-attachment incarnate, cared a fig for all these necklaces of jewels, and garlands of flowers and other decorations; but out of real love to His devotees, He allowed them to have their own way and to please themselves.

Finally Bapusaheb Jog waved the arati over Baba, observing all formalities, the musical instruments playing thier auspicious tunes. When this arati was over, the devotees returned home one by one saluting Baba and taking His leave. When Tatya Patil, after offering chillim, attar (scent) and rose-water, rose to depart, Baba said to him lovingly - "Guard Me, go if you like, but return sometimes at night and inquire after Me." Replying in the affirmative Tatyaba left the Chhavadi and went home. Then Baba Himself prepared His bed. He arranged 50 or 60 white chadders one upon another and thus making His bed, went to rest.

In the morning devotees would come to Chavadi and take Baba again to Dwarkamai. This was followed till Baba's Samadhi

Again and again this scene was re enacted, and it is one replete with poignancy and poetic tension. A great saint, adored as a living deity, but to whom any personal worship was distasteful, yet allowing it out of love for his devotees and sympathy for their human longings.

"What a beautiful procession and what an expression of devotion! With joy pervading the whole atmosphere of the place .That scene and those days are gone now. Nobody can see them now or in the future.”
Procession To Chavadi At Present Time:

However, we are fortunate that those days are not completely gone. We can experience something of that splendor and fervid devotion even today, as each Thursday evening, a similar procession takes place with Baba’s photo in honour of that tradition.

It is a passionate, understrained – yet exalted – celebration of Sai Baba. If you have a chance, be sure to see the procession – it is an exhilarating experience!(Apart from Thursdays, Sansthan organises Palkhi Procession on the first day of celebration of Ramnavami, Gurupoornima, Dashera (Punyatithi) and also on Mahashivratri and eleventh day of full moon phase of Ashadh month as per Hindu calender {July-August month as per English calendar}.

In the evening, Baba’s satka and padukas (in this case, a pair of Baba’s leather sandals) are displayed in front of his sacred tomb from 7.30, until they are carried out at the beginning of the procession at 9.00 p.m.The Samadhi Mandir is even more crowded,as people are eager to touch and pay their respects to these sacred objects, which are accessible only at this time.The sense of occasion is enhanced by the hearty singing of melodious bhajan by some villagers,while outside a group of young men from a local youth organization move rhythmically to a rapid drumbeat.

Thousands of devotees -local and from all over the world participate in this incredible procession and make their souls satisfied with cries of Baba's name with deep devotion. The path on which procession passes is dawned with mixture of cow dung, mud and water with beautiful rangolis drawn. Few fortunate married women perform arti of Palkhi. Many famous music bands participate in this procession to make the atmosphere submerged in music, which is another form of devotion.

At about 9.15 the procession moves out of the Samadhi Mandir, to a flurry of horns, cries and waving fans. At the centre is the garlanded portrait of Baba (the one from Chavadi) carried reverently by the great-grandson of one of Baba’s dearest devotees, Tatya Kote Patil, (Tatya Kote is son of Baijabai, who used to search for Sai Baba in jungles for serving Baba with lunch when Baba used to roam in jungles.Sai Baba called Baijabai as her sister and Tatya Kote Patil, used to call Sai Baba as Mama, meaning maternal uncle. It is mentioned in Sai SatCharitra that Tatya Kote Patil used spend nights in Dwarkamai with Sai Baba and other devotee Shri Mahlsapati.)and another of his relatives .

Tatya Kote Patil are preceded by one of the mandir staff carrying the padukas and satka. Other staff follows, dressed in Maharashtrain-style festive red tunics and turbans. The procession wends its way through the street lined with eagerly waiting crowds, and the music and excitement crescendos as people strain for a glimpse of the photo and padukas. Many throw flowers, and guns fire marigolds, petals and confetti into the air.

The procession enters Dwarkamai about ten minutes later, where again there is an assembled crowd waiting for its arrival and jostling for a view. Here the photo is placed on the decorated silver palanquin to the accompaniment of more exuberant bhajan. This takes about fifteen minutes. Mandir staff and locals then carry the palanquin to Chavadi, where people are waiting inside and out.
As the palanquin approaches Chavadi, we come to the climax of the evening. The palanquin is parked outside, and the picture, draped in gold embroidered red velvet, is carried inside Chavadi and greeted as if Baba himself were entering.

People may prostrate (if they have the space !), shout his name, say a silent prayer, or gaze longingly on his face. Baba’s picture is then settled into place on a silver throne and arati is performed.
Finally, the whole group returns to the Samadhi Mandir. Here, a local person receives the satka and padukas, and the Kote brothers hand back the picture and collect a coconut as prasad. The prasad is kept beside Baba’s statue until the final night arati is over (around 10 p.m.). The picture is returned to Chavadi after morning arati the next day.

During the procession, lalkari is performed at prescribed places along the route. There is no direct translation for “lalkari”, but it means the shouting of slogans or words of praise, such as “Long live Sai Baba!” There are three specific places where this is done during the utsav, just as there were when Baba made the trip by foot, nearly a hundred years ago.

Even today on Thursdays and other festival days the procession can be seen.

Jai Sai Ram .
Bow Shri Sai peace be to all.
Video of Chavadi Procession.

logo© Shirdi Sai Baba Sai Babas Devotees Experiences Sai Baba Related all Details

If you enjoyed this post and wish to be informed whenever a new post is published, then make sure you subscribe to my regular Email Updates. Subscribe Now!

Kindly Bookmark and Share it:


Radio Online on December 13, 2009 at 8:45 AM said...

Nice blog.. Nice Pict

Have any question? Feel free to ask.

~श्री सच्चिदानंद सदगुरू श्री साईनाथ महाराज की जय~ श्री साई बाबा के ग्यारह वचन : १.जो शिरडी आएगा ,आपद दूर भगाएगा,२.चढ़े समाधी की सीढी पर ,पैर तले दुःख की पीढ़ी पर,३.त्याग शरीर चला जाऊंगा ,भक्त हेतु दौडा आऊंगा,४.मन में रखना द्रढ विश्वास, करे समाधी पुरी आस५.मुझे सदा ही जीवत जानो ,अनुभव करो सत्य पहचानो,,६.मेरी शरण आ खाली जाए, हो कोई तो मुझे बताये ७.जैसा भाव रहे जिस मनका, वैसा रूप हुआ मेरे मनका,,८.भार तुम्हारा मुझ पर होगा ,वचन न मेरा झूठा होगा ९ आ सहायता लो भरपूर, जो माँगा वो नही है दूर ,१०.मुझ में लीन वचन मन काया ,उसका ऋण न कभी चुकाया,११ .धन्य -धन्य व भक्त अनन्य ,मेरी शरण तज जिसे न अन्य~श्री सच्चिदानंद सदगुरू श्री साईनाथ महाराज की जय~
Leave Your Message.

About Author.

I feel I am like a river, having my own course, stream and flow but the final destiny is to be one with the boundless ocean of my Sathguru Shirdi Sai Baba.

Amidst all the worldly rituals I am performing,I do not dare to loose sight of my Sainath. He is the sole driving force, the guide and the Supreme master.

The strings of my life are in his hand,I am just a puppet at His Holy Feet.
Read View My Complete Profile.
Related Posts with Thumbnails


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on StumbleUpon
Share on Delicious
Share on Digg
Bookmark on Google
Email Receive Email Updates
If you like what you are reading, mention this in your post or link to this site by copying-pasting this HTML code into your own blog/website.
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 South Africa License.Best Viewed in 1024 x 768 screen resolution © All Rights Reserved, 2009-2010 .