Shirdi News


Mohan Yadav

Public Relation Dept.,

Shree Sai Baba Sansthan Trust (Shirdi)

Translated by

Vishwarath Nayar

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Shri Sai Baba Sansthan’s ‘Prasadalaya’

The very mention of the name Shirdi evokes in the mind of crores of devotees the serenely beautiful, peaceful and pleasant image of Shri Sai Baba and spontaneously the mind prostrates with faith and the hands fold on their own, both, of the believers and non-believers too. The name Shirdi is no more like earlier days. Not merely in the whole of India, the benevolence of Shri Sai Baba on His devotees and His strange Leelas (doings) have spread the fragrance of faith worldwide, which attracts these devotees to Shirdi through various paths and even without those devotees being aware about it . For, the urge of Baba to meet His devotees and the devotees’ urge to meet Baba is uncontrollable.

Shirdi is located near Kopargaon in Ahmednagar district. It was earlier known as ‘Shiladhee’ It is now very easy to come to Shirdi. Almost all state government transport buses in India and private passenger vehicles ply continuously to and from Shirdi. Shirdi is about 300 kms. from Mumbai and about 165 kms. from Pune. It is convenient to get down at Kopargaon on the Dound-Manmad railway line. Shirdi is 60 kms. from Manmad railway junction. Shirdi is located at a distance of 90 kms. from Ahmednagar and 145 kms. from Aurangabad district places. The black Mother Earth on either side of the road soon-after crossing Nasik draws our attention. During the monsoon days, the black Mother Earth, draped in a shawl filled with splashes of green, pleases the mind and in that blissful state of mind one enters Shirdi. Totally away from any thoroughfare, habitat boundless concern for devotees and the lure for spiritual, divine knowledge and as one sets foot on (Baba’s) Karmabhoomi, in the reign of that knowledge, the mind is over-whelmed with extreme joy, faith and satisfaction.

In Kaliyug, charity has an extra-ordinary significance and amongst the charitable duties, offering food (Annadan) is considered supreme. One should regularly do Annadan and satiate the pangs of the hungry. One should do some Annadan to those asking for food. Shri Sai Baba popularly followed (the practise of) Annadan. Baba Himself sat to grind the spices and prepare meals. Baba Himself purchased all the ingredients to prepare the meals maintaining perfect account of all  requirement. Boiling food in the Handi, He satiated His devotees, poor and destitutes by serving them with  His own  hands. Truly, how blessed were they who savoured meals prepared  by Baba Himself. Shri Sai Baba Sansthan  continues  this Annadan work perenially through Prasadalaya. Shri Sai Baba Sansthan’s Prasadalaya has become a centre of faith for Sai devotees, who savour the food here with faith as ‘Sai  Prasad’ (blessing). If one understands that this is merely not an eating house or a food joint but a ‘Prasadalaya’ then one can know the sentiment of  the Sansthan behind this service. The sumptuous meal for merely Rs. 5/- is the special feature of this Prasadalaya.

Considering the growing  number of devotees  coming to Shirdi every day, the Sai Baba Sansthan has erected a Prasadalaya that can accommodate 6000 devotees for Prasad-meals at one time. This has become the largest Prasadalaya among the religious organizations in the country. This single storeyed grand Prasadalaya on 7 acres of land has been erected at a cost of  Rs. 20 crores. In this, a dining hall of 44,567 Sq. ft. has been built. In this 3500 devotees can have Prasad-meals at one time. The flooring  of this dining hall is of white refine and dado has been laid and the walls are gypsum plastered. The Prasadalaya has been  beautified  with tiled roofing. An additional dining hall that can accomodate 1000 devotees at one time has also been built. And for very important people three dining halls spanning 20240 Sq. ft. have been built, in each of which 300 people can have meals. An Annadan-hall to accommodate 250 Bhikshus (who beg for food) has also been built. A big kitchen worthy of this building has also been built . Ultra-Modern appliances are being used here. Solar system will be used for preparing food. A separate kitchen for preparing Prasad-laddus (sweet) and a hall for drying them has been built. Apart from this, an office for the management and godown facilities have been provided. Rs. 18 crores for equipments and Rs. 2.5 crores for interiors have been spent for constructing this building.

This is the biggest and noteworthy project of the managing committee under the leadership of legislator and chairman of the Sansthan Shri Jayant Sasane and vice-chairman Shri Shankararao Kolhe. This Prasadalaya located about one km. from the city to  the west of Nagar-Manmad highway and behind Shirdi police station will be very convenient for the devotees. The present Prasadalaya of the Sansthan can accommodate one thousand devotees at one time and daily an average of fifteen to twenty thousand devotees avail the Prasad-meals, informed (ex) executive officer Shri Bhausaheb Wakchaure.


Nandurkhibudruk village is 5 kms. from Shirdi. A progressive farmer and the village Sarpanch Shri Arjun Vishnu Chaudhary offered a horse named ‘Raja’ on January 10, 2008 at the feet of  Shri Sai.  

The bronze-white shaded horse is 2½ years old and the market price is about Rs. 2½ lakhs.

(Ex) executive officer Shri Bhausaheb Wakchaure received the horse on behalf of the Sansthan. This horse is going to be included in the Palkhi-procession every Thursday, as also in the Palkhi and chariot processions of festivals.


Golden Throne of Rs.10 crores offered to Shri Sai

Shri A. M. R. Reddy, managing director of M. R. Construction of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh  recently offered a Rs.10 crores golden throne weighing 95 kgs. for the idol of Shri Sai Baba.

Shri Reddy is an ardent devotee of Baba. He organizes Satsang in Shirdi every year on Datta Jayanti since the last 15 to 20 years. Shri Reddy had expressed the desire to offer a golden throne of 100 kgs. for Baba’s idol on July 15, 2007, and had requested permission for the same from the Sansthan. The chairman of the Sansthan - legislator Shri  Jayant Sasane, vice-chairman Shri Shankararao Kolhe, trustee -  legislator Shri Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and the managing committee deliberated on Shri Reddy’s appeal on July 28, 2007, and decided to grant the said permission. After that Shri Reddy gave the work contract to Padmalaya Metals, Bangalore and commenced the work. 41 artisans of Padmalaya Metals did this work in 2 months and 10 days. 95 kgs. of gold and as support for the gold sheet, 80 kgs. of silver and teak wood were used to make the golden throne.

The 95 kgs. gold included two golden lions, golden Prabhaval (a plate forming the back of an Idol’s pedestal), golden seat, one umberella and golden sheet on the back wall of the throne. After completing the throne on December 19, 2007. It was immediately despatched to Shirdi. After reaching Shirdi on December 20, it was taken to Samadhi Mandir. After removing the silver throne there, a practical demonstration of installing the golden throne was made. After the practical installation, necessary corrections were made, and the throne was duly arranged. On December 23, 2007 on the occasion of  Datta Jayanti, at 7.30 a.m., the throne was ritually offered to Baba amidst loud chanting of Mantras, by donor, Sai devotee Shri Adinarayan Reddy, his wife Mrs. Sulochana Reddy, Mahesh Reddy and Girish Reddy.

After that the idol of Baba was showered  with flowers. The occasion was graced by chairman of the Sansthan Shri Jayant Sasane & Mrs. Rajashree Sasane, vice-chairman Shri Shankararao Kolhe, trustees Shri Suresh Wabale, Shri Krishnachandra Pandeya, Shri Ashok Khambekar, Shri Pandurang Abhang, Dr. Eknath Gondkar, the chairperson of Shirdi Municiple Council and trustee of the Sansthan Mrs. Sumitra Kailas Kote and (ex) executive officer Shri Bhausaheb Wakchaure and other dignitaries.

The chairman Shri Jayant Sasane and vice-chairman Shri Shankararao Kolhe presented a marble idol of Baba and Shri Sai Sat Charita book to the donor Sai devotee Shri Adinarayan Reddy and on behalf of Shirdi villagers, Municipal Council chairperson Mrs. Sumitra Kote heartily felicitated Shri Reddy and his family.


Remarkable performance in sports by players of

Shri Sai Baba English Medium School

Players of Shri Sai Baba English Medium School in the Educational Complex run by the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan displayed excellent performances during the academic year 2007-08. By participating in fencing, volleyball, chess and other outdoor and indoor sports at the taluka, district, regional, state and national levels, the players representing the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan carved a place of pride and earned a reputation as the leading educational institution in sports in Ahmednagar district for the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Educational Complex.

Rakesh Gyanchand Yadav of Shri Sai Baba English Medium School captained the Maharashtra State Volleyball team at the 53rd All India National Schools Volleyball Tournament in this academic year in the field of sports. This tournament was held at Banglore (Karnatak) in which teams from 22 states participated. The Ahmednagar district was honoured with the captaincy in the volleyball game for the first time due to Rakesh Yadav. He also represented Maharashtra at the national games in Bhilwada (Rajasthan). Holder of a government sports scholarship, he has till date represented Shri Sai Baba Sansthan in volleyball tournaments at the all-India level three times. The sports trainer of the Sansthan, Shri Rajendra Kohokade has been selected this year as the chief coach of the Maharashtra volleyball team. At the volleyball tournament in Rajasthan, under his guidance the Maharashtra team exhibited spectacular performance in their game. He was also decorated with selection as member in the state-level schools volleyball selection committee. Ahmednagar district was bestowed both the honours in the field of sport for the first time.

Chess players of Sai Baba English Medium School, Tanmay Badhe, Kanhaiya Sahani, Pritam Patil, Pratik Patil, Akshay Varghude, Dharamvir Sahani, Sandip Sahani, Kiran Jape and Prajakta Tambe, scored successes at the district and regional chess tournaments. Vikas Borkar, Pritam Chiranjilal and Rishikesh Maind exhibited worthy performance at the state-level fencing tournaments in Kalyan and Sandeep Sahani excelled in the state-level fencing tournament in Nanded.

The under-14 years boys volleyball team of the school beat famous teams at the taluka and district levels and emerged champions. They were runners-up at the Pune regional tournament. Swapnil Jambhulkar, Abhishek Dunakhe, Hirsingh Rajput, Madhavsingh Rajput, Sajid Shaikh and Akash Gondkar exhibited excellent play skills.

At the under-16 years boys volleyball tournament organized by Sports Authority of India (SAI), the school displayed grand performances to trounce 10 teams at the district level and 4 teams at the regional level and clinch the championship. This team was selected for the state-level volleyball tournament at Solapur. The team bagged 3rd place in the tournament and added one more feather to the schools cap in the field of sports. Similarly, the team scored a hatrick by winning the general championship for the third consecutive year at the Ganesh Kala-Krida festival at Rahata. Taking special note of this victory, trustee of the Sansthan & legislator Shri Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil felicitated the team with a momento and honoured the players. 45 schools and colleges in Rahata region registered their participation in the Kala-Krida festival. The most remarkable aspect of this academic year is that 8 students of X Std. will be getting 25 sports points (4.50%) in their X std. marksheets, as per Maharashtra State Education Board rules based on their performance in various sports at the state-level. This is indeed a matter of great pride for Sai Baba Sansthan and its educational complex.

The players and sport trainer of Sai Baba English Medium School were congratulated for their successes by the chairman of the Sansthan & legislator Shri Jayant Sasane, vice-chairman Shri Shankararao Kolhe, other trustees of the Board of Trustees, (ex) executive officer Shri Bhausaheb Wakchaure, administrative officers Shri Prakash Deshpande, Shri Subhash Jagtap, Shri Prakash Joshi, Shri Eknath Wagh, Shri Ramesh Sable, principal Mrs. Z. V. Inamdar and others. All the players were guided by sports trainer of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan, Shri Rajendra Kohokade.


Saipradkshina bears fruit

My wife Vanaja and I  experience several tidings of Shri Sai Baba. She started doing 100 Pradkshinas (going round) of Nandadeep after coming to Shirdi. Nowadays she does 1000 Pradkshinas. I also started doing Pradkshinas with her. Thereby I got rid of the ailment of pain in my legs immediately.

       B.Vijaykumar (Hyderabad, A. P.)    


In the Shastras, for the different epochs different, means are prescribed for attaining Nirvana. Penance for the Krita Yuga, Knowledge for the Treta Yuga, Sacrifice for the Dwapara Yuga and Charity for the Kali Yuga.

Performance of charity and righteous action is always important. Pacifying hunger is the best of all. Therefore, giving food in charity should be done regularly. It takes precedence over all other actions.

When it becomes noon, we suffer from the pangs of hunger. Just as we feel, so do others. One who understands this inner feeling is virtuous.

According  to the code of conduct laid down by the Shastras, giving food in charity has the first place. When considered, there is nothing greater than that.

Food is Parabrahma. From food all beings are born; by food lives are sustained and having departed, into food again they enter.

When an uninvited guest arrives at any odd time, a householder should make the guest happy with food. Those who send them back hungry invite trouble to themselves.

Giving charity of money, property, clothes etc. requires some discrimination; but in the matter of food, no such consideration is necessary. Whoever comes at any time to the door, it is not good to disrespect him.

Such is the greatness of giving food in charity that there is evidence of it in the Shrutis also. Therefore, Baba too offered food to the people behaving as long established tradition.

Giving money or doing any other charity is imperfect without giving food in charity, as is the constellation of stars without the moon or a necklace without its pendant. Would they look beautiful ?

Just as ‘Varan’ is the best among six flavours, giving of food in charity is the most meritorious. A spire without a pinnacle does not seem befitting, nor does a lake without lotuses;

nor Bhajan without devotion, nor a married lady without the Kumkum mark on her forehead, nor singing without a sweet voice which is tedious, nor buttermilk without salt which is tasteless.

When offering food, the diseased, the weak, the blind, the crippled and the poor should be served first - the relations and others people afterwards.

                                                            - 12-23, Chapter 38, Shri Sai Sat Charita