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Om Sai Ram

Om Sri Sai Nathaya Namah.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Khandoba Mandir in Shirdi

Aum Sai Ram.

*Temples in Shirdi.*

*Khandoba Mandir in Shirdi.*

It is said that this temple is more than 500 years old. The date of construction is not known. This small temple is situated opposite the bus stand and adjacent to Sainath Hospital.

Mhalsapati was the priest of this temple, since then the upkeep of this temple has been in the hands of his descendants, the Nagre family.

The temple is 15 ft long and 15 ft in breadth. In the center is a stone idol of Khandoba. Mhalsa is on the left and belonged to the Vaishya caste. Banai is on the right, and belonged to a shepherd’s family. They are incarnations of Parvati and Ganga. Khandoba is an incarnation of Shiva and is the ‘Kul Dev’ of Maharastra.
Two Shiva lingas are in front of Khandoba a tiger in front of Mhalsa and a dog is in front of Banai. The temple’s wooden door is fitted with grills so the devotees can have darshan of the deities even after the temple door is closed.

Mhalsapati was performing Pujain this temple, when the marriage party of Chandbhai Patil arrived. There was a Muslim fakir with them. This fakir immediately went into the temple. Mhalsapati sensing that that there was somebody behind him turned and saw the fakir. He welcomed him saying “Aao jee Sai Maharaj”. Then Mhalsapati did namaskar, and seated the fakir with respect.

After he completed the Puja Baba and Mhalsapati, smoked and shared a chillim between them. Then he took Baba to the village and introduced him to Kashiram Shimpi and Appa Jagle.

Ref Shiladhi written by Dr. Keshav B. Gavankar.

Later Baba went to the temple, and said it was a fit place for a fakir’s residence because of the solitude. Mhalsapati objected, saying that “No Muslim should get into his Hindu temple” (Ref Shri Sai Satcharita chapter 5)

Baba asked Upasani to sit quietly in this temple for 3 ½ years for his spiritual advancement as Baba would do the rest. In 1929 Upasani reconstructed this temple with bricks and mortar and installed a ‘Gopuram’ (temple spire) in gratitude to Baba for showering his grace.

Two arati’s are performed daily, at 12 noon and at 6 p.m. On the festival of ‘Champa Shrasti ” a grand ceremony is held there annually. This falls in Margashirsh shuddh shasti(November- December). Many devotees after fervent prayer walk on burning coal that is kept in the 12’ long pit. This ceremony has been going on since 1850. The Pujari completes the ceremony by walking on the burning coal.

On Vijaya Dashami the ritual of Seemolanghan is performed at this temple. It is described under the heading ‘Vijaya Dashami or Baba’s Aradhana vidhi.

*The mythology of Champa Shasti .*

Two demons Mal and Mani were granted the boon of immortality by Lord Brahman. Then they became evil and killed people. Lord Shiva reincarnated as Khandoba, and battled the demons. Khandoba’s wife Champa, (alias Mhalsa) prayed for her husband’s victory. On the 6thday the demons were slain. Champa happily gave a huge feast of brinjal bharit and bhakri made of bajri. Since then its’ calledChampa Shasti.
Lord Khandoba repented, so he set up a long Agni kund, and walked back and forth on the burning coal bare foot.

*The Banyan Tree.*

This is the blessed Banyan tree that gave shade to Baba and the marriage party of Chandbhai Patil. This tree is to the right upon entering the compound. A small parapet is built around it. A small shrine of Baba’s padukas is placed there to commemorate the wonderful return of Baba to Shirdi.

In Shirdi, Vat Purnima is performed around this tree. In theSkand puran this story is given. Savtri’s husband Satyavan lost his life as she was late in coming to meet him. Then she pleaded with Yama to give back her husbands life, and succeeded. So girls of marriageable age, and married women perform this ritual to get a good husband and for their longevity. In this ceremony the female ties a white thread around the tree by circumbulation.

*Source : Baba’s Gurukul compiled by Vinny Chitluri.

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