Ramnavami festivities begin, 'Satcharitra' procession taken out i Shirdi
By M Rama Rao, India editor, Asian Tribune
NewDelhi, 03 April (Asiantribune.com): Ramnavami is being celebrated with traditional fervour and enthusiasm. At Shirdi, the temple town that draws millions for a darshan of Saibaba. The festival was marked by a processison of Satcharitra, the holy book on life and message of Sai Baba. Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust organised the procession. Trustees Ashok Khambekar, Ujwala Jadhav, and Suresh Wabale, and Dy. Executive officer Yashawant Mane were amongst the many who took part in the procession.
Minakshi temple- The huge mirror image of Meenakshi templehas been set up at the Saibaba temple in Shridi to mark the Ramnavami festival. As per the tradition of Saibaba Sansthan Trust, 'Shri Ramnavami Utsav' is a three day affair and this year it is being celebrated from Thursday, 2nd April, to Saturday, 4th Various religious and entertainment programmes have been scheduled during the festival period to mark the celebration with religious fervour. Ramnavami Utsav was started in 1911 with the consent of Saibaba.
The Sansthan celebrates three major festivals every year. These are Shri Ramnavami Utsav, Shri Gurupournima and Shri Saibaba Punyatithi. Lakhs of devotees throng to these festivals from all parts of the world.
The first day of celebration began with Kakad Arti at 4.30 am. The procession of portrait of Shri Saibaba and Pothi (The holy book) was taken out at 5.00 am. Akhand Parayan (Continuous reading) of Shr Saicharitra began at 5.15 am in Dwarkamai. Holy bath of Shri Saibaba took place at 5.30 am. And thereafter, devotees were allowed to have Saibaba’s Samadhi darshan.
The second and main day of the celebration i.e. 3rd April will begin with Kakad Arti at 4.30 am. Akhand Parayan Samapti (conclusion) procession of Portrait of Shri Saibaba and Pothi will be taken out at 5 am. Kawadi procession (holy water carriers) will be at 5.30 am.
After procession of Kawad, the holy bath of Shri Saibaba will be done H.B.P Vikram Dandekar will deliver the kirtan on Lord Rama’s birth at 10.00 am. Mid-day arti and teerth Prasad will be at 12.30 pm. Procession of Nishan (Sacred flag) will be taken out at 4 pm.
Procession of Saibaba’s chariot through the town will begin at 5 pm. Soon after the return of chariot procession, Dhooparti will be sung. Various artists will present their art of singing bhajans, classical dances etc in Samadhi temple from 10 pm to 5 am of next day morning. Samadhi temple will remain open for Darshan throughout the night.
On third day of festival, the programmes will start with the holy bath of Saibaba and darshan at 5.05 am. ‘Rudra coronation’ will be performed at Gurusthan temple at 6.45 am. Gopalkala keertan by H.B.P. Shri Vikram Vinayak Nandedkar will be held at 10.30 am. Dahihandi programme will also be conducted at the same time. Mid-day Arti will be held at 12.15 pm. Dhooparti and Shejarti will be sung at 6.30 pm and 10.30 pm respectively.
Like eery year this time also there is attractive electric lighting and cynic scenes on the life of Shri Saibaba. Dwarkamai Mandal, Mumabi is undertaking the job for the last 37 years for a fee of just one rupee and one coconut from the sanstham. Palanquins from many places come to Shirdi particularly during festival periods. The Sansthan has made the provision of drinking water, light, shelter and ambulance on Mumbai- Shirdi road.
- Asian Tribune -