Illuminated Samadhi Mandir during important celebrations
Ram Navami (Birthday of Lord Ram the Incarnation) celebrations were started with Baba’s permission in Dwarkamai mosque in the year 1898. Devotees regarded this auspicious day as the birthday of Lord Sai alike Lord Ram, an incarnation. The celebrations continue for three days. On the first day a procession is taken out with Baba’s photo and Sai Satcharitra (The life history of Baba written by Shri Hemadpant in Marathi). On the same day the Palki procession goes round the village of Shirdi. On the main day (Ramnavami) Godavari (Baba used to call it ‘Ganga’ ) water is brought in Kawads and this water is used for Baba’s Mangal snan (Holy bath). In the evening on the main day chariot procession is taken out going round the village with much fervour and devotion. The temple is open for the whole night for darshan on the main day. Various devotional programmes are conducted on this occasion for all the three days.
Guru-purnima festival was started with Baba’s permission during his time. This day is marked for offering worship to one’s spiritual Master with reverence and love. It falls on the full moon day of the Hindu month ‘Ashaad ' (July-August). The celebrations continue for three days. The temple is open for the whole night for darshan on main day. Various devotional programmes are conducted on this occasion for all the three days.
VIJAYA DASHAMI (DUSSEHRA)
Vijaya Dashmi (Dussehra) festival is celebrated as Baba’s Maha Samadhi day. The day Baba left his physical body . After the Maha Samadhi of Baba, Vijaya Dashmi or ‘Dussehra’ has come to be the most important festival at Shirdi as the anniversary of the Supreme event – Shri Sai Baba’s Mahasamadhi. The celebrations continue for three days. The temple is open for the whole night for darshan on main day. Various devotional programmes are conducted on this occasion for all the three days.
Baba is known as the full incarnation of Lord Dattatreya, therefore the traditional festival of ‘Dattajayanti’ (the anniversary of Divine descent of Lord Dattatreya) has become another important celebration in Shirdi.
Ekadashi (Shuddh) is the 11th day of the bright half of the month. The devotees of Lord Vishnu observe this day with much devotion and austerity. On two occasions of Ekadashi days (Kartik and Ashaad) the Palki procession takes place with Vitthal's image along with Baba.
Maha Shivratri, is a night of spiritual congregation. The devotees of Lord Shiva celebrate it with much fervour and devotion. On the occasions of Shivratri the Palki procession takes place with Lord Shiva's image along with Baba.
Gokul Ashtmi is celebrated to mark the auspicious day of the birth of Lord Krishna, an Incarnation.
For the devotees from all religions, all other festive occasions are large congregations at Shirdi.