Shirdi, a distinguished and divine city in Maharashtra is famous for the stay and memories of Shri Sai Baba. The sacred environment and piece as contrast to metropolitan lifestyle, allows pilgrims and tourists to spend quality time in the shed of Baba's blessed land.
It is well-known that Baba took Dakshina from all, and out of the amount thus collected, He spent a lot on charity and purchased fuel with the balance left with Him. This fuel He threw in the Dhuni - the sacred fire, which he kept ever burning. The ash from this fire was called Udi and it was freely distributed to the devotees at the time of their departure from Shirdi.
Baba taught by His Udi that all the visible phenomena in the universe are as transient as the ash. Our bodies composed of wood or matter of the five elements, will fall down, after all their enjoyments are over, and be reduced to ashes. In order to remind the devotees of the fact that their bodies will be reduced to ashes, Baba distributed Udi to them. Baba also taught by the Udi that the Brahman is the only Reality and the universe is ephemeral and that no one in this world, be he a son, father or wife, is really ours.
We come here (in this world) alone and we have to go out alone. It was found and is even now found out, that the Udi cured many physical and mental maladies, but Baba wanted to din into the devotee's ears the principles of discrimination between the Unreal and the Real, non-attachment for the Unreal, by His Udi and Dakshina. The former (Udi) taught us discrimination and the latter (Dakshina) taught us non-attachment. So Baba asked for and took Dakshina, and while the devotees took leave, He gave Udi as Prasad, besmeared some of it on the Bhaktas' foreheads and placed His boon-conferring hand on their heads. When Baba was in a cheerful mood, He used to sing merrily. One such song was about Udi. The burden of the Udi song was this,"Oh, playful Rama, come, come, and bring with you sacks of Udi." Baba used to sing in very clear and sweet tones.
Places to see in Shirdi
Baba's Sacred Body has been laid to eternal rest (Samadhi) here. The edifice of this main Mandir (Temple) was constructed with Baba's blessing, by Shri Gopalrao Butti of Nagpur, an ardent devotee of Baba. It is therefore also known as "Butti Wada". Baba's Beautiful lifesize idol is installed near His Samadhi in this shrine. All rituals, comprising Pooja, Abhishek and daily four Aaratis, are performed here. This is the place where sacred body of Baba is resting in Samadhi. Shri Gopalrao Butty of Nagpur constructed this building, This place is also known as 'Butty Wada'. It consists of Shrine and of a beautiful idol of Shri Sai Baba.
This was Baba's abode (located within Samadhi Mandir Complex) continuously for sixty years till He took Samadhi. Baba blessed innumeranble devotees here. The Sheela (Stone), on which Baba used to sit, is located in Dwarkamai. The sacred fire (Dhuni) lit by Baba is also eternally burning here. Baba used to give Sacred Udi (Ash) from this Dhuni to His devotees to fulfil their wishes. Even now, Udi distributed to devotees is from this Dhuni. Baba used to cook food here distribute it among His devotees.
Chavadi is located nearby, on the eastern side of Samadhi Mandir Complex. On every alternate day, Baba used to proceed in Procession from Dwarkamai to Chavadi at night and sleep there.
Baba was first spotted when he was a lad of sixteen. Baba used to refer to this spot as His Guru's (Mentor's) location. The famous Margosa (Neem) tree, refered to in Shree Sai Satcharitra stands here. It is the experience of devotee that they burn incense here on Thursday and Fridays, their ailments get cured. This is the place where Baba first appeared to the world as boy of 16 years and this place is supposed to be Baba's Gurusthan. The famous Margosa (Neem) tree is here which has a reference in "Sai Sat-Charitra".
This is the place where Shri Sai Baba used to go for a stroll. Nandadeep (oil flame) is kept constantly burning near the Pimple tree planted by Shri Sai Baba himself. There is also Datta Mandir in this garden and Shri Sai Baba's beloved horse 'Shamkarna' (Sham Sundar) is taking Eternal rest here. There is also a well here called as 'Baba's Shirdi'.
Valuable things used by Baba during his time are drinking vessel (Tumbler), Baba's Paduka (footprints), Baba's Satka, Grinder, Gramophones, Bowl of Hukka, Horse bridle-habiliments, the kaphani and Sandals worn by Shri Sai Baba and the original photographs of Lord Sai. All these valuable things are kept in the museum Hall for Sai devotees. This is the place where sacred body of Baba is resting in Samadhi. Shri Gopalrao Butty of Nagpur constructed this building, This place is also known as 'Butty Wada'. It consists of Shrine and of a beautiful idol of Shri Sai Baba.
Samadhis of Shri Tatya Patil Kote, Shri Bhau Maharaj Kumbhar, Shri Padmanabha Iyer, Shri Nanawali and Shri Abdul Baba, who were Baba's ardent devotees and were closely associated with Him during His life time, are located within Samadhi Mandir Complex, Near Lendi Baug. Besides the forgoing, there are other Temple located within Samadhi Mandir Complex : Shri Ganesh Temple, Shri Shani Temple, and Shri Mahadeo Temple.