Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Sketches
|Shiradee Sai Baabaa|
Unknown (1838?)-Oct 15, 1918 = 80 yrs
Read a Story About Sai Baabaa
Sai Baabaa was regarded a Guru, Faqeer, saint both by Hindu and Muslims equally. Some regard him the incarnation of Krishn, while others regard him the incarnation of Dattaatreya. His real name is not known. Sai title was given to him when he came to Shiradee - a town in Mahaaraashtra. A local temple priest recognized him as a Muslim saint and greeted him "Ya Sai" (means "Welcome Sai"). Sai, in Persian to a Soofee saint; and Baabaa means father, or grandfather, or an old man.
Shiradee town is situated in Rahata Tahasil in Ahmednagar District of Mahaaraashtra State (India). It falls on Ahmednagar-Manmad State Highway No. 10 at 83 Km. from Ahmednagar, and 15 Km. from Kopar Gaaon. It (the Ahmednagar -Manmad road) was a very busy route in the old times. It is located at 185 Km to the East from Western Seashore line.
A Yogee named Premaanand was dedicated to practicing of Yog. The real meaning of Yog is melting and merging in the Divine. Premaanand practiced Yog for the real purpose and found difficulties in attaining his goal. Some one advised him to visit Shiradee and meet Sai Baabaa, who was one with Supreme soul and that he would be the right person to guide him. Listening to them Premaanand visited Shiradee. When he came near Dwaarakaamaai, he saw Sai Baabaa sitting with devotees and eating. He noticed that Sai Baabaa took bites of onions with the food. Onion was a favorite food of Sai Baabaa. Premanand's mind immediately rebelled against this. He knew that the Yogee have to stay away from the onions due to its Taamasik properties.
He was still a little far away
from Sai Baabaa. Sai Baabaa did not want him to leave like that, and since
he knew everything and every person's thoughts, he spoke out loudly, "Onions
should be eaten by the ones who can digest them, to those the Taamasik properties
cannot influence. For those getting influenced by the Taamasik properties should
not eat them, that is also true." These words and the Divine attraction of
Sai Baabaa removed the doubts of Premaanand. He stayed in Shiradee for a long
time and benefited beyond his expectations.
Reported Miracles by Sai Baabaa
By lighting the lamp, you are
getting rid of your sins. Read an incident from Shiradee Sai Baabaa's life:
Origins of the Samaadhi Mandir
The shrine was built by a wealthy devotee from Naagpur, Gopalrao Booty. The "Sri Sai Satcharitra" describes him as a "multimillionaire". He was introduced to Baba by SB Dhumal about ten years before Baba's Mahaa-Samaadhi. The Baadaa was originally intended as a rest house and Mandir. The inspiration for the building came to Booty in a dream, when he was sleeping beside his friend and fellow devotee, Shama, Baba appeared and told him to build a house and a temple.
Excited by his vision, Booty immediately woke up and pondered its significance. He noticed that Shama had tears in his eyes and asked him what the matter was. It transpired that Shama had just had the same dream and was deeply touched by it. He told Booty, Baba came near me and said distinctly, "Let there be a Baadaa with a temple so that I can satisfy the desires of all." Together then they drew up some rough sketches, showed them to Dixit for approval, then took them straightaway to Baba to ask His permission to go ahead with the plan. Baba responded warmly and gave his blessing to the project. The work began around 1915. It was built in stone and was therefore known as Dagadee (stone) Baadaa. Shama supervised the construction of the basement, ground floor and well. Later, Baapoo Saaheb Job took over supervising the work.
When Baba passed the site on his way to Lendee, he would sometimes offer suggestions. As the building progressed, Booty asked Baba if he could include a temple on the ground floor with an statue of Muraleedhar (a form of Krishn). Baba readily gave permission, and said, "When the temple is built, we shall inhabit it and ever afterwards live in joy." Shama then asked Baba if that was an auspicious time to start the work and Baba replied that it was. Shama immediately fetched and broke a coconut as Muhoort (good omen) and the work was begun. The foundation was quickly laid, a pedestal prepared and an order placed for the idol. However, the significance of Baba's comment was appreciated a few years later.
Baba's Unforeseen Moving-in
The news of Baba's passing spread quickly, and thousands came to Dwaarkaamaaee for a final Darshan, queuing for five or six hours. The body was kept on the handcart all night, while preparations digging a pit and building the platform went on. Before the burial, Baba's Kafanee was removed and he was given a final bath. It is reported that even at this stage, his body remained soft, as if he were merely sleeping, Earlier, while the body was in the wheel chair, his nose started to bleed (usually impossible for a corpse).
36 hours after he had left his body, Baba was finally interred. Certain personal articles were buried with him: the broken brick, now mended with gold and silver wire, one of his Satkas, a Chilam, needle and cotton (Baba would mend his clothes until they were a mass of repairs, a cause of affectionate amusement among close devotees), some spices to preserve the body, and an old cloth bag that Baba never allowed anyone to touch, but which devotees investigated after his Mahaa-Samaadhi and found that it contained a green Kafanee and a cap. The burial was completed by very early Thursday morning. A photograph of Sai Baba was placed on a throne on the platform of the tomb. It remained there until the statue was installed in 1954. That picture is now kept in the recess of the Samadhi Mandir where some other things of Baba's are on display.
The Mandir that we see now is about twice the size of the original building, having been later extended back from the stone arches. As the temple authorities try to find new ways of coping with the ever-increasing flow of visitors, various alternations are made. In 1998 a hall was added to the back of the Mandir, so that it has again almost doubled in size. A big beautiful hall, connecting Masjid (Dwaarkaamaaee) has been built up.
For pilgrims to Shiradi, Darshan at Baba's tomb is the climax of their visit and the statue of the tomb represents the living, breathing God. As such, it is the focus of all their longings, hopes and desires, and a concrete form to which they can express their love. The statue is admired as an extraordinary and exquisite image, exclUdeeng grace and benevolence. Baba sits relaxed, natural and majestic, gazing benignly on the millions of diverse visitors who flock to him for succor. Many have commented on the lifelike quality of the eyes, as these are typically the most difficult feature to portray in a stone sculpture. In this statue, they really do seem to be looking at us and responding.
Baba repeatedly assured devotees that he would never cease to answer their call, and that his mission is "to give blessings". The pull of the tomb above which the idol sits, is powerful and intense and is drawing seekers to Shiradee in numbers that increase by the week. Here, devotees address their heartfelt prayers, beg for help, give thanks and offerings for prayers answered and wishes fulfilled, sign their devotion, and pay humble obeisance to their beloved deity. For them, the idol does not merely represent God, it is God; and the opportunity to prostrate before it and make oblations may be fulfillment of a lifetime's ambition.
The statue was installed on 7 October 1954, on Vijayaa Dashamee day. As the main object of adoration in Shiradee, the idol is accorded all due honors. Out of their love for Baba devotees wish to provide every comfort and respect they can. Accordingly, Baba is given a hot water bath in morning, offered breakfast, lunch and dinner, has his clothes changed four times a day before each Aaratee and is adorned with a silver or gold crown for the Aaratee worship. At night a mosquito net is hung and the tomb is spread with a special white cloth, of plain cotton, of the kind that Baba's Kafanee was made. Each morning at five o'clock, Baba is awaken up, the mosquito net is removed, and incense is offered (this ritual in known as Bupaalee). A glass of water is also kept by his side.
After the first Aaratee of the day, an Abhishek (ritual bathing of the idol with water, milk curd, ghee etc) is performed. Devotees may sponsor the Aabhishek by contacting the Sansthaan. Visitors may also donate cloth for Baba, which will be wrapped around the statue. Later all the cloth that Baba has "worn" is put on sale in the Sansthan shop which is at a few minutes walk from the Mandir. Many people like to buy cloth that has been sanctified in this way and use it for their altar or some other sacred purpose.
The Display Of Baba's Belongings
On another occasion, Baba used the Satakaa for healing purposes. He had warned Mahalsapati that some misfortune would hit his family, but that Mahalsapati should not worry as he would take care of it. Soon after, several of Mahalsapati' s family fell seriously ill. Some devotees who were doctors offered Mahalsapati medicine, but Baba discouraged him from using them, saying simply that the sick should stay in bed. With that, he walked around the mosque waving the Satakaa exclaiming, "Come on, show us your power. Let's see it, such as it is, and I will show you the power of my Satakaa if you (dare to) come and face me." This was the way Baba treated the disease and cured it without any other medicine.
Aaratee is held four times a day at Baba's Samadhi: at 5 am, noon, sunset (around 6.30 pm) and at 10 pm. A siren resounds throughout the village a few minutes before the noon and sunset Aaratee, and at 4 o'clock in the morning. The bell is also rung in Dwaarkaamaaee and the ceremony is broadcast by an amplified system throughout the village. To attend Aaratee it s best to go early and join those waiting in the Queue Complex, where there will be a separate line from the regular Darshan queue. It was in Dwaarkaamaaee that Aaratee was originally performed to Baba and devotees still flock here to fervently join in the Aaratee worship.
Baba was a simple fakir. He was a model of dispassion and holy poverty. His personal possessions amounted to little more than a few pieces of cloth, some Chilam pipes, a stick, a begging bowl, and a change of Kafanee and not even always that.
Dwaarakaamaaee (Samaadhi Mandir)
Here a great diversity of devotional expression is noticed. Some people will be kneeling before Baba's picture of making offerings, others will be praying before the Dhoonee (perpetually burning sacred fire), some may be doing Jap or reading from sacred texts, and others will be sitting in contemplation. If we spend some time here we may become aware of a mysterious phenomenon.
The atmosphere is so homely there but what is perhaps more remarkable, is that his homeliness co-exists with a powerful experience of the sacred and transcendent. The spirit is profoundly moved by "something" something indefinable, something great, something mysterious, something magnetically attractive. As we explore Sai Baba's Shiradee, this aspect of Baba at once the concerned mother and the Almighty is shown again and again. Many devotees relate to Baba as a mother, and many as a God supreme. That these two are so perfectly synthesized in Baba it is perhaps the most beautiful and unique aspect of Shiradee Sai.
When Sai Baba moved into this mosque it was an abandoned and dilapidated mud structure, much smaller than the one we see today. It was rather a hazardous place to live! Once when Baba was sitting in the mosque, eating with a few devotees, there was a loud crack overhead. Baba immediately raised His hand and said, "Sabar, sabar," ("Wait, wait"). The noise stopped and the group carried on with their meal, but when they got up and went out, a large piece of the roof came crashing down onto the exact spot where they had been sitting. In spite of all this there was no need for any alterations in it. Once, in the mid-1890s, a devotee had some building materials delivered to the mosque, with the intention that they should be used for repair work, but Baba had them redirected to a couple of local temples that were in need of restoration. But eventually he permitted to acquiescing and allowing the work to go ahead and the construction team resorted to working at night, and then only on those alternate nights when Baba slept in Chavadee. By about 1912 the renovation work was complete and all that remained to be done was the metal roofing for the courtyard. For this, one of Baba's most intimate devotees, and some others, arranged for materials to be brought from Bombay. They then set about the work, inclUdeeng digging a trench for the erection of some iron poles, without asking Baba's permission.
When Baba returned from Chavadi to the mosque and saw what was happening he appeared to be furious, demanding, "What is going on ? Who had done this ?" He promptly ripped out the poles with his own two hands (though it has taken several people to carry them), and threw stones at the laborers to drive them away. Then he grabbed his devotee by the scruff of his neck until he was unable to speak and almost choking, and violently berated him. Still he insisted on the need to make repairs. Baba finally relented and by evening he cooled down. Some time after this event, the original mud floor was also replaced with tiles and the work was complete.
When Sri Sai Baba moved into the mosque permanently, he had already been in Shiradee for a number of years, staying mostly under the Neem tree, with an occasional night at the mosque or in the near vicinity. It could be said that Baba's settling in the mosque marked a turning point in his life, or rather, in that of the village itself, as the shift brought him into closer contact with the local people.
Baba's Fondness for Lamps
The wondrous nature of this event, which is said to have taken place in 1892, and the many such Leelaa which followed, precipitated an influx of visitors to the Shiradee mosque that has never stopped growing. To this day, lamps are burnt continually in Dwaarakaamaaee, providing us with an unbroken link to Baba and the lamps that he himself started and lovingly kept alight.
Association with Dwarakaa
When Baba returned from his morning begging-rounds with a cloth bag of food and a tin pot of liquids, he would first offer some of it at the Dhoonee before taking any himself. We may not be able to discern exactly why or how Baba used the Dhoonee, but it is evident that despite the apparent informality around it, the fire was an important part of his routine. According to the Sri Sai Satcharitra, the fire symbolized and facilitated purification and was the focus of oblations, where Baba would intercede on behalf of his devotees. Once when Baba was asked why he had a fire, he replied that it was for burning our sins, or Karm. It is reported that Baba would spend hours sitting in contemplation by the Dhoonee, facing South, especially in early morning hours after getting up and again at sunset. At these times "He would wave his arms and fingers about, making gestures which conveyed no meaning to the onlookers and saying "Haq" which means "God."
The spot where Baba used to sit is marked by a small pair of silver Paadukaa. This was the spot where Baba stood and sat, his finger on the pulse of the universe, controlling, effecting, giving, protecting, never resting but constantly seeing to the needs of his devotees, for as he said, "If I don't take care of my children night and day, what will become of them?"
The Kolambaa and the Water Pot -
The Nimbaar -
The Grinding Stone and Bag of Wheat
"One morning, some time after the year 1910, while I was in Shiradee, I went to see Sai Baba at his mosque. I was surprised to find him making preparations for grinding an extraordinary quantity of wheat. After arranging a gunny sack on the floor he placed a hand-operated flour mill on it and, rolling up the sleeves of his robe, he started grinding the wheat. I wondered at this, as I knew that Baba owned nothing, stored nothing and lived on alms. Others who had come to see him wondered about this too, but nobody had the temerity to ask any questions. As the news spread through the village, more and more men and women gathered at the mosque to find out what was going on. Four of the women in the watching crowd forced their way through and, pushing Baba aside, grabbed the handle of the flour mill. Baba was enraged by such officiousness, but as the women raised their voices in devotional songs, their love and regard for him became so evident that Baba forgot his anger and smiled.
As the women worked, they too wondered what Baba intended doing with such an enormous quantity of flour... They concluded that Baba, being the kind of man he was, would probably distribute the flour between the four of them When their work was done, they divided the flour into four portions, and each of them started to take away what she considered her share. "Ladies, have you gone mad!" Baba shouted. "Whose property are you looting? Your father's? Have I borrowed any wheat from you ? What gives you the right to take this flour away ? Now listen to me," he continued in a calmer tone, as the women stood dumbfounded before him. "Take this flour and sprinkle it along the village boundaries." The four women, who were feeling thoroughly embarrassed by this time, whispered among themselves for a few moments, and then set out in different directions to carry out Baba's instructions.
Since I was witness to this incident, I was naturally curious as to what it signified, and I questioned several people in Shiradee about it. I was told that there was a cholera epidemic in the village, and this was Baba's antidote to it ? It was not the grains of wheat which had been put through the mill but cholera itself which had been crushed by Sai Baba, and cast out from the village of Shiradee.
To this day, a grinding stone is kept in the mosque with a sack of wheat beside it, as it was in Baba's time. This tradition goes back many years to the time when two devotees a farmer (Balaji Patil Nevaskar) and his landowner came to Baba for arbitration. Although Nevaskar had been cultivating the land for decades, the owner wanted it back. Baba advised him to comply with the owner's wishes, but instead of giving the crop to the owner he sent the whole of it to Baba, keeping none for himself? Baba took a small portion of it, which he kept beside him all year, and returned the rest. In this way the custom was born and the ritual was repeated every year. These days a bag of wheat is kept in a glass case by the grinding stone throughout the year, and is replaced annually on the festival of Raam Navamee.
Something of that freshness is evident when we look at the portrait here. No matter how many times we take its Darshan, we feel that Baba is greeting us a new. For that, we are indebted to the artist, SR Jaikar from Bombay. The original picture was painted under commission from a close devotee (MW Pradhan). At first, Baba did not give permission for the work, claiming that he was just a simple beggar and fakir and what was the point of painting such a person. It would be better for Shama (who relayed the request to Baba) to get his own portrait done, suggested Baba. Luckily for future generations though, Baba later relented and Jaikar actually painted four pictures, one of which was touched by Baba. The picture was installed in Dwaarakaamaaee after Baba's Mahaa-Samaadhi. The painting that we see now is a recent copy of Jaikar's original, which has been moved to a Sansthaan office to preserve it from the drying effects of the Dhoonee.
In Dwaarakaamaaee alone, there are five sets of Paadukaa, symbolizing Baba's presence and giving us the opportunity for remembrance and worship. Taking the lowest part of the saint's body, we touch it with the highest part of our own (the head) as a gesture of obeisance and respect, in an act of Namaskaar. When we bow down we are adoring our Beloved, affirming our hallowed connection, and in this way, asking for continued blessings.
Baba has told his devotees, "I am a slave of those who always remember me in their thoughts and actions and do not eat anything before offering it to me." If you are in Dwaarakaamaaee around midday, you may see people offering food to the portrait. After being offered, the food is then taken back to the person's house and shared as prasad or distributed among those in the mosque. The Sansthan also offers food to Baba here (as well as at Gurusthan and the Samadhi Mandir). Afternoon arati, it is given out to all those present in Dwaarakaamaaee.
In the context of offering food to Baba's portrait, we may recall the story in the Sri Sai Satcharitra of the Tarkhad family. Mrs. Tarkhad and her son were planning to visit Shiradee, but the son was reluctant to go, as he was afraid his father would not properly carry out the daily worship to the large picture of Baba he lovingly kept at their house in Bandra. His father assured him that he would, and mother and son left for Shiradee. For three days all went well, but on the fourth day, although Mr. Tarkhad performed the puja, he forgot to offer the customary few pieces of lump sugar. As soon as he remembered his omission, he postrated before the shrine, asked for forgiveness and wrote a letter to Shiradee. Meanwhile, around the same time in Shiradee, Baba turned to Mrs. Tarkhad and said, "Mother, I went to your house in Bandra to get something to eat, but the door was locked. I managed to get in somehow, but found that Bhau [Mr. Tarkhad] had left nothing for me to eat so I have returned unsatisfied. " Mrs Tarkhad did not understand what Baba was talking about, but the son immediately realized and asked Baba if he could go home, Baba refused, but let him do his Poojaa in the mosque. The son wrote to his father imploring him not to neglect the Poojaa and the two letters crossed in the post and were delivered the next day. This shows that in a mysterious and inexplicable way, when we offer something to a picture of Baba, it is not merely symbolic, but we are offering it to Baba himself.
Dakshina Box or Hundee
Baba's Photograph and the Stone
On the eastern wall opposite the steps leading up to the Dhoonee, hangs a large framed picture of what is probably the most famous image of Baba. It is a painting of an original black-and-white photograph. He is seated on a large stone with his right leg crossed over the left thigh, his left hand resting on the crossed foot. Baba is wearing a torn Kafanee, a headscarf knotted over his left shoulder, and he sits relaxed yet alert, leaning forward slightly. His expression is at once intense, all-knowing and compassionate, but above all, unfathomable. To Sai devotees, this is probably the most familiar image of Baba. The picture is treasured by Sai devotees as one of only six or seven photos that we have of Baba.
Until Baba sat on it, the stone was used by devotees for washing their clothes (remember that in those days, the mosque consisted of only the raised area around the Dhoonee, so the stone was outside). One day Baba happened to sit down on it and someone took the opportunity to photograph him. Once he had sat on it, the stone was considered sacred and no longer used for washing. It is that stone, set with a pair of marble padukas, which is now under Baba's photo. The owner of the original painting of this photo, D. D. Neroy from Bombay, gave the painting to his guru, Kammu Baba, who later gave it to the Sansthan. It is likely that this was the picture that the Sansthan gave as a model to the sculptor who carved Baba's statue for the Samadhi Mandir.
Darshan of Baba
The Animal Statues
The Tiger - Just one week before Baba's Mahaa-Samaadhi, a band of traveling Darvesh brought a tiger to him for exhibiting. The animal had fallen sick and was described as "very ferocious". After trying various remedies in vain, the Darvesh brought him to see the renowned saint of Shiradee hoping he would be cured by Darshan of a Mahaatmaa. The group paid obeisance to Baba and told him about the tiger's condition. "I shall relieve him of his suffering," said Baba. "Bring him here !" The Daravesh wheeled the cage into the courtyard of the mosque. The tiger, which was tied up tightly with chains, was taken out for Baba to see. The tiger approached the steps and stared at Baba, who returned his gaze. It then thrashed its tail on the ground three times, gave out a terrific roar and fell down dead.
The Darvesh were dismayed at losing their means of livelihood, but later they were reconciled to it and recognized the tiger's exceptionally good fortune in dying in the presence of a saint (in India, this is commonly thought to confer Moksh or liberation). Baba consoled them saying that the tiger was "meritorious" and that it had been destined to die there on that day and had achieved permanent bliss by doing so. "The tiger's debt incurred to you in a former birth is now cleared," said Baba. He also helped Darvesh financially by giving them 150 Rupees. Baba told the Darvesh to bury the tiger in front of the nearby Mahaadev Temple and you can see its Samaadhi by the Nandee. The statue of the tiger was erected much later (on 12 November 1969)
The Horse - The story of the horse is equally remarkable. Once a horse was given to Baba in fulfillment of a vow by a horse dealer named Kasam, in about 1909. Kasam's mare had not produced a foal for a long time and so he resolved to give her first-born to Baba if she foaled. This came to pass and that Shyaam Karnee (meaning with black ears - Baba's name for him) mare became a great favorite with Baba who lavished much love on her. Shyaam Karnee (also known as Shyaam Sundar, "Black Beauty") was an integral part of the Chavadi procession. Extravagantly decorated, he would lead the procession each time. He was present at Poojaa and is also said to have been trained to do Namaskaar to Baba. One day, when Baba was in the mosque, he suddenly exclaimed in pain, "Oh they're killing that horse, go quickly and fetch him." It turned out that the trainer had been beating him severely, but perhaps what is more extraordinary was that when Baba revealed his back, the livid marks of a whipping could be seen on his own skin. Shyam Sundar outlived Baba.
The Tortoise Tile
The Cooking Hearth and the Wooden Post
An outstanding aspect of Baba's cooking style was that rather than use a ladle or a spoon, he would stir the scalding food with his bare hand, without causing himself any injury. The Sri Sai Satcharitra describes in great detail how and what Baba would cook, "then with his own hands, serve very lovingly to all, with great respect. And those desirous of eating would happily partake of the food till quite full, even as Baba pressed them to have more, saying lovingly, "Take, take some more !" "Oh, how great must have been the merit of those who partook of this most satisfying meal ! Blessed, blessed were those to whom Baba served, himself."
Beside the stove is a three-foot tall wooden post, which Baba would lean against while cooking. Though it is unremarkable looking, it is thought to be invested with healing properties, since Baba once advised a close devotee (Sai Saranananda), who was then suffering from severe knee pain, to touch the post with his knee and then do Pradakshinaa around it. After doing this the pain disappeared. To this day, people with bodily aches and pains also like to lean against the post as a means of receiving Baba's blessing for their healing.
Baba's Paadukaa Again -
One incidence concerning the Neem tree illustrates how practical and down-to-earth Baba could be. In the early 1900s, after Baba had moved to the mosque, construction work on Sathe Wada was hampered by a long branch of the tree. However, nobody wanted to remove it, as this tree had been sanctified by Baba's stay under it. When Baba was approached for his advice he told the villagers, "Cut off however much is interfering with the construction. Even if it is our own fetus which is lying across the womb, we must cut it !". But despite this clear instruction from Baba, none dared meddle with the tree. Eventually Baba himself climbed up and lopped off the branch.
Perhaps the villagers did not prune the tree because some time back a boy had climbed the tree to trim it, and had fallen to the ground and died. At that moment, Baba, who was in the mosque, sounded a note of distress, blowing Shankh with his cupped hands. Baba sometimes did this when a person was in great danger, although he could not have "seen" from the mosque what was occurring at Guru Sthaan. Villagers linked the boy's death with his attempt to cut the tree, and became afraid to do anything to it that might have been a sacrilege.
There are several references to Baba's Guru recorded in the literature, but they are somewhat enigmatic, and it is not clear whether He was referring to a Guru in His present lifetime, or a previous one.
The Paadukaa were made in Bombay and sent to Shiradee. When they arrived, Baba commented that they were "Allah's Paadukaa" and should be placed in Guru Sthaan on a particular day. The Paadukaa were duly installed on the August Full Moon day (15th) of 1912. The Shiv Ling was installed in Guru Sthaan the same year. During Baba's lifetime, Guru Sthaan was completely open and looked quite different from the fully paved and enclosed area it has now become. Shri Sai Baba said that whoever burns incense and cleans here on Thursdays and Fridays would be blessed by Allah (Thursday is sacred to Hindu, and Friday to Muslims). We assume that out of love and respect for his Guru, Baba wishes the place to be venerated and kept clean. A small Dhoonee on a stand is kept in front of the shrine here. Until recently it was kindled every day by embers brought from the main Dhoonee at the mosque, but this is now done only on Thursdays and Fridays.
Finally, before we leave Guru Sthaan, let us return to the mighty Neem tree. Since the 1980's more and more devotees have started doing Pradakshinaa around the tree (and thereby the tomb). Now, one can often see large numbers of people going around throughout the day and night.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 10/20/12