~~ SHRI GURU PURNIMA CELEBRATIONS
Shirdi: On the occasion of 'Guru Purnima' festival,
a large number of people flocked to Shirdi,
to offer their prayers to their Guru "Shri Sai Baba"
on Sunday 25th July`2010.
A festive ambience pervaded the small town of Shirdi
where a sea of believers converged at the famed
shrine of the revered saint, Sai Baba, to offer
Around 5 lakh devotees queued up outside the shrine
since early morning just to get a glimpse of the
who used to be viewed as the Guru by many people.
"Baba is the central force of the universe. When
Baba used to sit in the shrine, his followers used
to offer prayers
and worship him on the Guru Purnima (full moon day).
This practice gained prominence ever since and has
been followed till date,
to commemorate Baba's influence on his followers,"
said Vidya Kshirsagar, a priest.
Devotees offered Garlands, Sweets & Gold / Diamond /
Silver Items to the Shrine of the Saint, as they
sought his blessings.
The number of devotees was estimated at around 5
lakh in one day itself, which was mainly because:
1) Gurupurnima celebrations had completed its
100th year since it was first celebrated in Shirdi,
2) The Temple remained open the entire night for
devotees to have Baba's Darshan.
3) 25th July being a Sunday (Holiday), poured in
more than expected number of devotees.
The Temple authorities made elaborate security
arrangements to avoid any untoward incident.
Even though it had been Raining the whole day,
devotees from all over reached the Temple since
early morning, on the auspicious day.
Apart from Baba's Traditional Wooden Chariot (Rath)
which is now converted into Gold,
the Shirdi Sansthan possesses one another old Wooden
Chariot (Rath) also,
which it had planned to auction away on Gurupurnima
itself but on strong objections by devotees,
the Sansthan had to cancel the Auctioning off.
Reasons attributed by the devotee's were that when
is not short of Money or Space to keep the Chariot,
then why were they Auctioning away Baba's items.
Also, owing to the ever growing rush of devotees at
the Stone in Dwarkamai on which Baba used to Sit,
has now been enclosed in a See through Glass frame.