Any devotee going
to Shirdi will first have darshan in Samadhi Mandir and then
after devotees' step automatically proceeds to Dwarkamai and
Chavadi. These two places give us feeling of Sai Baba's presence
Actually, Chavadi means a place for discussion
to give justice, but this Chavadi of Shirdi became
a place of residence of God Incarnation - Sai Baba. Late
Shri Nimbalkar has thrown some light on the reason why Baba
started to sleep in Dwarkamai and Chavadi on every alternate
day in his explainatory book of Shri Saitcharitra originally
written by Hemadpant (Govindrao Dabholkar)
in Marathi Language.
"Once due to heavy rain Dwarkamai was flooded
with water and there was no dry space for Baba to sleep.
So devotees took Baba to Chavadi which is situated nearby
and Baba was taken back to Dwarkamai. Since then Baba started
sleeping in Dwarkamai and Chavadi every alternate day."
Seeing this daily routine of Baba, from December
10, 1909, devotees started a tradition of taking
a procession admist band and music from Dwarkamai to Chavadi.
People used to clean lanes of Shirdi on the day on which
Baba had to sleep in Chavadi. A mixture of cow dung, mud
and water was sprinkled to prepare a uniform platform to
draw rangoli. Torches were ignited on polls in lanes to
enlighten Shirdi. Before chariot procession, devotees sang
bhajans in Dwarkamai. Then Tatya Kote Patil would come to
Dwarkamai and requested Baba to proceed to Chavadi. Without
Tatya Baba would not stand up to go.
Baba wore His regular Kafni on His body, had Sakta under
His arm and carring some tobacco and His pipe and placing
a small piece of cloth on His shoulder, Baba started for
Chavadi. Tatya Kote Patil placed a embroidered Shela on
Baba's shoulder. After that Baba Himself put some sticks
in Dhuni to keep it burning the whole night and then Baba
extinguished the lamp near Dhuni. With various sorts of
music Baba started for Chavadi with His devotees. Devotees
sang bhajans with melodious voice. The procession started
with loud cries of "Sai Nath Maharaj Ki Jai" -
"Victory Be Unto Sai"
Tatya Patil was on Baba's one side and Mhalasapati on the
other. Villagers of Shirdi and guests of Shirdi participated
in this procession. Procession was led by devotees who played
sorts of music instruments followed by Bhajan Mandali. Fully
adorned Baba's horse Shyamkarna was placed in third position
and beautifully decorated Palanquin (Palkhi) followed it.
When procession reached near Maruti Mandir, Baba used to
halt there for some time.
Baba used to look at Hanuman ji's idol and gestured something
with His hands by moving them in various directions. Baba
only knows the meaning of these strange gestures! After
the procession reach Chavadi, Shej Arti was sung. At the
time of Artis of Sant Jnaneshwar and Sant Tukaram, Sai Maa,
Godly incarnation who came to this earth for welfare of
this mankind, bowed Her head in praise. After arti was over,
devotees returned to their homes. Baba slept in a room in
Chavadi. A bhajan mandali used to accompany Baba in Chavadi.
In the morning devotees would come and take Baba again to
Dwarkamai. This was followed till Baba's Samadhi.